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Florida’s first high school newspaper


Hillsborough High School • 5000 N. Central Ave. • Tampa, Fla. 33603 • Volume 112, No. 7 • May 2012

reen is OLD page 15

Junior Jeremiah Green won the state triple championship and holds the top national ranking in the event. (Photo by Rachel Mowat)

Cheating eating g threaten threatens Armwood’s mwo ood’s state title

Ones two remember

Seniors give their plans for the future pages 7-10 page 15


Obama advocates gay marriage

page 4



May 2012

Audience chooses talent show winner By Kimberly Rampersad Staff Writer

Hassan Jr. performs his rap to the audience at the talent show. Michael Rodriguez played the piano in the show while Xavier German (pictured) also joined him. (Photo by Nadiya Fakhar)

Seniors Hassan Ashi, also know as Hassan Jr., and Michael Rodriguez were in for a “pleasant surprise” when they were named the winners of the talent show. “We weren’t expecting to win,” Rodriguez said. Best friends since middle school, Ashi and Rodriguez have been playing together since sixth grade band class. Rodriguez freestyles on either the piano or drums, while Ashi raps along. “Our music is just stuff we freestyle on a daily basis for fun. It wasn’t something that we thought was talent worthy,” Rodriguez said. When Ashi suggested entering the talent show to Rodriguez, he replied, “We might as well,” not planning on placing at all. Sophomore Kendal Lee, “Hassan is a really good rapper. He’s so into it.” “Our favorite part about performing was the crowd. For them to react how they did and wave their hands and jam to us, it made us want to do five back flips,” Ashi said. “We love to perform, especially in front of a crowd that supports us.” “It didn’t hit me until about the next day that we won. To feel the vibration of the stage when the crowd was cheering was glorious,” Rodriguez said. “I was excited about them winning. They deserved it the most,” Senior De Lani Carrington said. Although Rodriguez will be going into the military in June, Ashi plans on pursuing a career in music. He has already dropped a mix tape with all of his own songs. Senior Thuan Nguyen said, “I bought his CD when it first came out — his rapping is pretty good.” Sophomore Kendal Lee, “Hassan is a really good rapper. He’s so into it.” “I’m going to be famous,” Ashi said. He plans on performing in more shows on his own in the future.

Signs speak louder than words

Signing from his heart, senior Diquan Jackson felt honored to place in the top three of the talent show. “It was unbelievable because I wasn’t looking to place. I just wanted to have a good time.” Jackson had performed in the talent show in years before but this year was the first time he placed. Carrington called Jackson “original.” She said, “He signed, which I don’t think people are used to.” Jackson doesn’t sign just for the fun of it. He has a reason behind it. “My aunt got me started with signing, and she just passed away this year,” he said. “When people recognize my gift it’s just overwhelming.” Said Jackson: “Every time I sign I feel like I’m making my aunt more and more proud.”

Singer not ‘short’ of talent

For juniors Kelsey Leggett and Madeleine Varda, placing in the top three of the talent show was “awesome.” “Considering that the song was a musical theater number and a lot of kids at our school don’t even know what that is, it was really exciting that I was up there with kids who were rapping and signing,” Leggett said. Leggett and Varda performed the song “In Short” from the musical Edges. “It’s a musical piece about a woman who broke with her boyfriend and consequently has schemed up about 100 different ways she wants to kill him and get revenge,” Leggett said. Freshman Kaylina Muniz said she “liked her a lot” and that Leggett’s performance was “very entertaining and funny.” Leggett said they are looking forward to performing next year. “It was a reallyy fun experience,” p , she said.

New AP wants to ‘increase success of students’ By Kimberly Rampersad Staff Writer

From elementary school to high school, Jeremy Klein has “done it all.” Klein, the new assistant principal, hopes to get know the students and teachers here over the next few weeks. “I want to learn as much as I can as quickly as I can so I can be effective for both teachers and the students,” Klein said. Before becoming an AP, Klein was the band director at Robinson High School for eight years, overseeing all music divisions of the school. While at Robinson, he also taught middle school for one period a day. Prior to teaching there, he taught music at Robles Elementary. Among his administrative experience, Klein has also been president of the Hillsborough County Secondary Music Council, chairman of the

All-County Honor Band Festival for Hillsborough County and secretary of District VII Florida Bandmasters Association. “It feels good to be the new AP,” Klein said. “There’s definitely some culture here so I’m looking forward to learning more about it and figuring out how you guys do things here.” But Klein has not forgotten the discipline side of his job. He said, “I need to make sure I’m getting through the tardies and the referrals, because that’s why I’m here.” Living by his motto “success is the only option,” Klein wants to “keep moving Hillsborough in a forward direction.” “I want to make sure we’re increasing the success of the students,” Jeremy Klein interacts with students and staff Klein said. “I hope to be a team player and a part of the community during lunch duty. He was previously band director at Robinson. (Photo by Holly Schroeder) here, and get people to realize that I’m here for them.”

The Red & Black


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May 2012

Xiaodong “Dee Dee” Lu Dual Enrollment Student Hillsborough Community College Graduate Lennard High School Valedictorian

HCC’s dual enrollment program offers qualified high school students a chance to earn college credits free of charge. Highly motivated students like Dee Dee may even graduate from college before high school—bringing them closer to achieving their academic goals. With small class sizes, affordable tuition, and guaranteed transferability to state universities, it’s easy to see why more than 48,000 students each year choose HCC.


Opinion Our View

4 Volume 111 No. 7 Editor in Chief Samantha Matras News Editors Jacob Gagne Chrissy Geshel Life Editors Nick Bennett Roksana Borzouei Brittany Valencic Kristine Lee Calendar Editor Alex Rosendo Sports Editors Katie Lutton Luke Votzke Kellen Yent Opinion Editors Nico Tavella Nikki Ferrera Photo Editor Jimmy Herd-Bond Staff Writers Fabio DeSousa Holly Schroeder Nadiya Fakhar Jenn Travis Amanda Glenz Zachary Wright Kimberly Rampersad Adam Godbey Adviser Joe Humphrey, MJE Principal Dr. William T. Orr Jr. The Red & Black belongs to the Florida Scholastic and National Scholastic (All-American, 2011) press associations. The newspaper considers itself an open forum for student expression and decisions about content are made by student editors. However, the paper is subject to prior review by the school’s administrative staff. The staff editorial reflects the view of student editors and columns represent the viewpoints of their authors. The R&B welcomes letters from students, teachers and members of the Hillsborough community. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity, and should be submitted to Room 506 or to The Red & Black, 5000 N. Central Ave., Tampa FL 33603. Advertising content is subject to approval of the editorial board. The Red & Black is printed in partnership with The Tampa Tribune. This newspaper includes content from the MCT Campus wire service. Phone: (813) 276-5620 • Fax: (813) 2765629 e-mail:

May 2012

Obama right to back gay marriage For the first time since the founding of the United States, an American president has publicly advocated equal civil rights for homose xuals. President Obama declared this month that he believed “same-sex couples should be able to get married,” a statement made only a day after North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. This historical statement has of course been met with much controversy, but we believe Obama’s statement is a progressive step for this nation. Regardless of their personal standpoint, all presidents preceding Obama have so feared public upheaval concerning the issue that they have never made a public statement directly supporting gay marriage. Challenging the status quo is never unanimously praised by the nation, especially in the case of homosexuality vs. heteronormativity, which further exalts Obama’s statement. One accusation of many dissenters is that Obama only made that declaration to increase the amount of people who would vote for his reelection in the coming months. It is possible that Obama has reelection as an ulterior motive, but this declaration could very well result in a loss of votes from specific religious communities. It’s also possible that Obama hopes to bring the gay marriage argument into the 2012 election to distract from other topics such as the economy and foreign policy. Regardless of these other motives, we feel it’s most important to realize that, for the first time ever, the face of the United States has outwardly shown support for marriage equality. Obama’s statement is proof that this nation as a whole has come a long way. Thirty years ago, the AIDS crisis led to deaths of thousands of homosexual men with little aid from the government. Twenty years ago, the Kentucky State Court ruled laws criminalizing homosexual sex as unconstitutional. A decade ago, the U.S.

How would your vote be affected?

100 students were asked how Obama’s support for gay marriage would affect their vote if they were to vote in the election this fall.

Would influence to vote for Obama (33%)

Would influence to not vote for Obama (8%)

Would not affect vote (59%)

Survey compiled by Nico Tavella Supreme Court held the same ruling, legalizing homosexual sex in every state. Five years ago, the Congress passed its the first gay rights act. And this year, the U.S. President has declared support for gay marriage. There’s a long way to go towards equality, but this is another sign of progress.


May 2012

Is music too mainstream? Looking at the differing views on mainstream music Does non-mainstream (NM) music require more raw talent than mainstream music? In some cases yes, but I find it’s important to keep in mind that there are a wide range of talNico Tavella ents that make up a Commentary “talented” musician. There are many popular musicians who are extremely talented, some more so than any other musicians (mainstream or otherwise). I don’t think the amount of popularity directly correlates to the talent of the musician. Are the lyrics of non-mainstream music more substantial than mainstream music lyrics? Substantial is a very subjective term; what might be substantial to one person might sound like garbage to another person. I think that non-mainstream lyrics might be deeper in general, but as far as substance goes I think sad teenage girls find Taylor Swift more substantial than Tallest Man on Earth. Is mainstream music repetitive? Yes. All music is repetitive, mainstream or not. How many times have underground musicians produced songs protesting war or the government? The number should be about equal to the number of break-up songs that exist. The bottom line is that musical topics are limited and eventually songs are bound to mimic each other.

Does non-mainstream (NM) music require more raw talent than mainstream music? It seems that way, because nonmainstream music is fiddled around less with respect to autoRoksana Borzouei tuning and sound Commentary enhancement. Those musicians focus on the music rather than creating a song that has mass appeal. I believe something is lost when an artist tries to make their art a part of popular culture. Are the lyrics of non-mainstream music more substantial than mainstream music lyrics? The word “underground” connotes dark and deep places, so non-mainstream, or “underground” music associates with deep meaningful lyrics. Mainstream music is often less substantial because catchy songs that can be played in clubs are more profitable, while NM musicians are free of that pressure. Is mainstream music repetitive? I call it formulaic, but it makes sense to stick with what works I suppose. Popular artists, or those who are trying to be popular, see the methods of successful musicians and adopt it as their method. I prefer NM music because the subjects of the songs aren’t all about breakups, having no air, and even more breakups. I like having an iPod full of songs about everything from Bob Dylan to Empire of the Sun.

“music is subjective; everyone has different tastes”

One thing we can agree on, however, is that it is difficult to decide objectively if a song is good or bad. There are ways to determine if an artist is technically proficient or if a song is technically challenging; the complicated solos of jazz legend Miles Davis might sound like noise and clatter to one person, who at the same time

loops the vapid drone of Chris Brown. Chris Brown fans, known as “Team Breezy” might argue that he isn’t vapid, but talented. We agree that music is subjective; everyone has

different tastes. It just happens that some music becomes mainstream because it appeals to a majority of individuals who share similar tastes in a particular genre.


ment Corner CStuodenm ts share their valuable end-of-the-year advice Don’t procrastinate on homework. Don’t replace sleep with homework, because performances on tests and in-class learning is more important than homework. Manage time wisely. Play sports or do an activity with passion. Be as friendly as possible. - Abhishek Taiwade, freshman

Get ready for a tough year. As much as you may not want to spend more time with your textbook than your friends. Do any and all homework you are assigned, otherwise it’ll pile up really quick. Try as hard as you can, because this is the year that really counts: This is what colleges see! -Elijah Kallett, junior

I’d say some advice is to have a sport or something. You need to focus on your grades but you also want to be as involved as possible. I was in SGA this year and it’s made this year by far better than freshman year. If you don’t have a club or something it tends to get really boring so just try and always have something extra. Because colleges look at that stuff too and you being really involved might be the deal breaker, you never know! - Kelsea Swafford, sophomore Inteviews by Nadiya Fakhar; photos by Jenn Travis



May 2012

State adjusts standard after writing scores plunge By Roksana Borzouei Life Editor

Tenth-graders throughout the state struggled on a tougher FCAT Writing exam this year, prompting the state to lower pass scores. The change raised the passing percentage of students back to previous percentages, but the credibility of standardized testing remains in doubt. The recent changes are part of the phasing in of FCAT 2.0, the state’s initiative to join other states nationwide in developing more common and correspondingly rigorous standards. This has the intent of keeping Florida students competitive among their national counterparts. The conflict is whether this year’s grades are a true indication of students’ performance, or if the drop was a result of being graded too harshly. Hillsborough administration blames their scores on the changes made in FCAT mid-school year, claiming it did not allow teachers to prepare their students. Principal William Orr said, “The state continues to adjust things mid-year … It changes every year. It is very difficult to plan instruction. It has to be hard on the teachers.” A higher percentage of HHS 10th graders passed writing than their statewide counterparts, but not by a large margin. Hillsborough’s passing rate only surpassed the state’s by 3 percentage points. The decreased pass rate prompted further investigation of FCAT writing scores and criticism of Florida’s overall improvement of scores in the past decade. For more than a decade, FCAT has been used to measure students’ performance. This year, the Florida Department of Education made the grading method more rigorous for the writing portion of the exam. There was a greater inflexibility for punctuation, grammar and spelling errors and more stress put on details and logical, relevant support, no longer accepting unsubstantiated simplifications as stated by the department. Results statewide were alarming. Without the adjustment, fewer than 40 percent of students would have achieved a passing score. To curb statewide backlash, the state Board of Education cut the passing score to a 3 in a crisis meeting on May 15. They argued that students’ writing skills did not plummet this year. Actually, 73 percent of fourth grade students scored in the 3-4 point range this year, similar to


Lower passing scale raises percentage of passing 10th-grade students 86



80 60

3.0 Passing scale




4.0 Passing scale


20 0


“If you are going to do a statewide test, do it on tests that are already valid and accepted as a national standard.” -Principal William Orr last year’s 72 percent. Rather, the more rigorous standards generated fewer 4s and more 3s. While this change does allow a greater number of students to pass, it questions the effectiveness of the test in joining more national standards, especially when the grading of the writing is subjective. Orr said, “If you are going to do a statewide test, do it on tests that are already valid and accepted as a national standard.” The issue of fallen scores due to raised standards has already prompted the department to address these changes and plan the future of Florida students.



Hillsborough reading by the numbers

Reading scores were also released recently. Hillsborough 10th graders scored higher than their statewide counterparts, but ninth graders fell 3 percent short.

21 18

Percentage of students recieving a 4, as opposed to the state average of 10

Percentage of students recieving a 5, as opposed to the state average of 9


Percentage of ninth-grade students who passed


Percentage of 10th-grade students who passed Illustrations by Roksana Borzouei and Samantha Matras

May 2012

Special Report: Class of 2012


Top graduates share stories of success Jeanette Cruz Traditional Salutatorian Q: What did you do to work towards this achievement? A: I didn’t go and try to be valedictorian or salutatorian or any kind of high ranking like that. All I did was my school work to go and get the grades I needed for college, I took extra classes online because I had a lot of free time and all of that just helped boost up my grades to the point that I’m at now. I never thought that I would be this high in ranking. Q: What are your plans for the future? A: I’m going to go to USF Honors College and major in chemistry. Hopefully I’ll become Sara Correa-Giraldo a researcher and developer for pharmaceutiTraditional Valedictorian cal medicine. Last year, in Dr. Burgess’s AP Q: How did it feel when you found out Chemistry class, I just feel in love with the foundation of chemistry. you had become valedictorian? Q: What are three things you’ve A: It was sometime in the middle of learned at Hillsborough? junior year, and I was like “Oh my gosh! A: I learned that you have to go and This is amazing!” My goal was to be in do your own workyou can’t expect the top 10 of my class, but I didn’t think others to do it for you. that I was possibly going to make it I’ve learned that others will expect into the top three. That’s when I started Both are future you to do their work for them, and pushing myself to keep that spot. This USF Bulls. I’ve learned that overall, you have to year I took five AP classes just so that I do things because you want to, not because could keep my spot and I got it! someone else is expecting you to. Q: Have you always been academicallyQ: Have you had any regrets from the focused? A: Not really. I actually repeated third grade last four years? three times. It was kind of when I came here, A: The only thing that I regret is not realizing to the United States [from Colombia], that I that I could be much more, much sooner. realized “all right. I can do this.” Q: What are your plans for the future? A: I am not really sure yet. For now, I’m just going to go to USF with an undeclared major. I might be a social worker or a Spanish teachersomething to help other people. Q: What advice would you give to underclassmen? A: Give up what you want to do now for what you want to do in the future. Someone told me that once, and I believe in it. Q: Do you have any regrets from your last four years? A: I should’ve enjoyed high school more instead of studying and working, but it got me to where I’m at now, so I don’t mind it.

Vishal Thumar IB Salutatorian Q: How did you feel when you found out you had been named salutatorian? A: I felt honored to be recognized for my academic success ... and a little scared because I knew I had to give a speech. Q: How did writing your salutatorian speech go? A: Initially, I didn’t know what to write about because I didn’t want to bore the audience during graduation. That led me to write my speech a little later than it was due, so I decided to base my speech off of that experience. Q: Was this something you had come Cheryl Cherian into high school expecting? IB Valedictorian A: I wasn’t expecting it coming into high school and it wasn’t even a specific goal of Q: Was being valedictorian a goal you mine. I wanted to perform to the best of my had coming into high school? abilities and achieve as much as A: Since both of my older sisters I could during high school. When I were Hillsborough IB Valedictorians, I realized I was second in my class, I knew I wanted to be Valedictorian for knew all my hard work had paid off. the longest time. Q: What are your plans for the Q: What are your plans for the future? future? Both plan on A: I’m going to University of becoming doctors. A: I am doing a six-year accelerMissouri-Kansas City’s six-year ated medical program; after two medical program. No doctor, no honor. years at Penn State, I will spend four years at Q: What is your best memory of the last Jefferson Medical College. After becoming a 4 years? doctor, I also want to get my Ph.D. and take part A: Model United Nations. It has opened in international medical relief efforts. my mind to so many international issues that I Q: Has there been anyone or anything wouldn’t have explored otherwise. that helped shape these goals? A: When I volunteered in rural hospitals in Tanzania for two weeks, I realized just how much healthcare is lacking in other parts of the world, and how important it is for doctors to provide their services in third-world countries. Q: Any advice for underclassmen? A: It’s super important to prioritize, and by that, I don’t mean that homework always comes first. I mean you also need to know when to stop working and enjoy yourself. Q: What are three things you’ve learned? A: You’ll be happiest with yourself when you have no regrets. Sometimes you have to put yourself first. Going for days without much sleep is not a very good idea. Stories by Nikki Ferrera Photos courtesy of Lifetouch

Special Report: Class of 2012



ONES TWO remember Raymond Berroa I don’t plan straying far from

Alisha Espinosa I am attending Southeast-

Katie Lutton It’s not that I don’t like

Percia Nicholas I’m staying home for col-

school. As a matter of fact, I’ll be back in school before I know it. When I’ve finished my two years at HCC and the other four at USF, I plan to be back in school as a teacher. Whether I’ll be teaching high school students or college courses is still a mystery. I want to be a teacher because I love kids. I’ve coached at the YMCA and have spent a lot of time in the nursery at church. I’m paying for all six years of my college career by myself, with no financial help except for what I make at my night job, working as a custodian at B.C. Graham Elementary School. I’m working towards getting my master’s degree.

ern University in Lakeland after graduation. I received a scholarship to play soccer there for four years. While at Southeastern University, I plan on studying pre-medical. I see myself with a medical degree in the future. I am going to miss my friends and spending time with my family because I’m moving away for college. I’m a little nervous about going away because I’m really close to my family. My favorite moments at HHS were hanging with my friends and seeing my favorite teachers: Dr. (Andrew) Burgess, Mrs. (Maria) Gonzalez and Coach (Kenny) White. They are all-around great people and helped me in high school.

Florida or that I want to get away from my family like other teenage girls, because I actually have family in North Carolina, but as soon as I saw that beautiful that campus was in Chapel Hill, there was no question; I would be attending the University of North Carolina in the fall. I will leave Hillsborough soon; the place I spent the last four years, creating memories that would last a lifetime. Memories like being terrified of Mrs. (Linda) Wilson freshman year, being evacuated because of the clogged toilet sophomore year and, of course, prom. I don’t know what I’ll study or what I want to do yet, but I can’t wait to experience new things and make new friends so far away from home.

lege. I plan to attend HCC to get my associate’s degree. Later, I will transfer to USF to get my Ph.D in the medical field. I would like to become a pediatrician and open up my own doctor’s office. If that doesn’t work out, I will just work in a hospital. I have a passion for working with kids. I would rather work with children than adults. Also, I care about people and healing the sick leaves me with a good feeling. I’m happy about leaving high school; I’ve been counting down the days. I am happy to start college and live in the “real world”. Some of my best memories are at my lunch table talking with my friends about inappropriate stuff. Also, Grad Bash was a fun experience. It was my first time at Universal Studios and I got to experience it at night!

-As told to Nicola Althaus

-As told to Savannah Rogers

-As told to Nicola Althaus

-As told to Joanna Lewis

Diqwan Charianny Jackson Payero My Aunt Minnie, who is After high school, I am go-

Jordan Prince When August comes, I’m

Brian Law Throughout my four years

Elisha Farrell I plan on going to St. Pe-

Kyle Hobson I will be attending Auburn

going to have my nose in a book again. I got accepted to USF and I plan on studying criminal justice there to become a detective for Hillsborough County. I don’t live far from USF and work is less than a mile away from my house, so it will be cheaper to live at home. My favorite memory was being on drum line, getting to share the honor of playing at Hillsborough and performing at football games. I loved getting to put some really sick cadences together as a team for Lion’s Pride. Once, the judges even came down off their podium clapping for us because we did such an amazing job.

here at Hillsborough, one thing that majorly influenced my life were the teachers. They taught me to always give 110 percent, to never give up on anything I want and to never be a quitter. They have always inspired me to go on and do more with my life. Even to this day they are making sure I have everything I need to graduate. After high school I plan on going into the navy for computer engineering. I’ve always had a knack for computers; I knew I wanted a job where I could work with them. I take classes for it now and I have started thinking this is something I really can do with my life.

tersburg College after I graduate. I am getting a full scholarship because I was in the UTA program since my freshman year. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to train to be a teacher. It’s going to be easy to move away because I am close to my older sibling, but he has already moved out of the house and is working on his own. So I’m not nervous about doing the same. When I graduate from college, I plan on being a elementary school teacher somewhere in Florida. I enjoy teaching and am really looking forward to being a teacher one day.

University where I will major in chemical engineering. My major will give me a good career throughout life. The decision of Auburn came after visiting the school many times. My mother also graduated from Auburn. I will miss going to baseball practice every day and seeing all of my boys. The IB program has brought me together with a great group of people that I will never forget, including my girlfriend Kaylee Hickman, who I plan on being with after high school. College will just be another big step in my life. I know I’m ready for the challenges and fun it will bring, but I will never forget where I started.

-As told to Kirstin Barnes

-As told to Holly Schroeder

-As told to Hannah Barone

-As told to Xavier German

deaf, inspired me to learn American Sign Language. My goal is to make her life easier and be able to communicate with and for her. I finished taking ASL my junior year, but I’m still fluent. I plan to study Sign Language interpretation at Valencia and then get my master’s in deaf education at UCF. One thing I’m proud of is winning the ASL show for the second time in a row. I also got second place in the talent show this year. Although I’m not a huge fan, both times I signed songs by Beyonce. There’s so much you can do with Sign Language. I think it is the most beautiful language; other languages just can’t compare. I’ve gotten so used to the environment these four years I’ve been at school. It’s heartbreaking to leave all my teachers and friends. -As told to Madeline Quam

ing to move in with my fiancé. I’m going to join the Air Force in September, which came as a surprise to me. I didn’t think they were going to call me in until 2013. I’ve already passed my Air Force test, and got an 80 percent, which is pretty high. I think the biggest challenge during high school has been learning English. Hopefully I’ll be able to go to college with more knowledge about the English language. I decided that I want to be an architect, and I can’t wait for it. After the Air Force, I’m just going to go to school and finish my classes. I want to get my degree and be successful. After college, I’ll hopefully be able to get a job somewhere and use my degree. Hillsborough has really influenced my decision on this matter. -As told to Jasmine Seales

Kingslan Reed Inspiration can come from

Tia Madison I’ve already started taking

anywhere. My inspiration came close to home: from this school. Mr. (Marc) de la Portilla is my Psychology II teacher and through his class and his teachings, he has made me think twice about what I want to do with my life. He taught me a lot about the brain itself, along with the tactics the brain will use to gain knowledge. This topic sparked my interest into what is now my goal. He has inspired me to study psychology while in college. I plan on going to Saint Leo University so I can major in psychology. I will be putting the best effort into achieving my goals. It’s my goal, ultimately, to be a psychologist. I will miss being around all my great friends and the memories I have created at Hillsborough the most.

college courses at Learey to be an EMT. I do hands on training so I get to ride in an ambulance and help people. The first time I had to help a lady with breathing problems and it scared me. I was really nervous but my older sister, who is taking the class with me, helped me through it. I’ve been doing this for six months so now I’m used to it. I would also like to maybe get an RN degree and take care of babies or do accounting on the side. I’m excited to graduate, but I will miss all of my friends, especially Shontae Gamble. I threw a ball at her head at band camp and we’ve been best friends ever since. I hope we can stay friends.

-As told to Madeline Quam

-As told to Derek Vick


Special Report: Class of 2012


May 2012

Class of 2012 by the numbers

Lorena Pina-Padilla

Richard Garcia

Ashley Danley

Joseph Hall

I’m pretty excited for the rest of the year. Graduation is coming so soon and I’m so excited (even though I’m a bit nervous too). After summer, I’m headed to HCC for just a few years until I go to University of Tampa to major in psychology. As hard as it’s been here, I am more than prepared for college and whatever else that lies ahead. I probably got the most out of my economics class with Mr. P (Marc de la Portilla). He’s a handful, but he has taught me so much. I’ve also learned how to be independent. When I came to Hillsborough as a freshman, I didn’t know anybody at all. Now I can say that I’m friends with almost everyone that I meet. This school will always be special to me, and I’m going to miss its castle-like air and the teachers. Most of them really care about us.

I want to start a new life. In fact, I need to get out of here. I could stay in Tampa if I wanted to, but why would I? I honestly cannot come up with a good enough reason to stay. That’s why I’m so overjoyed to be going to either University of West Florida or Florida Atlantic University. I hope to major in pre-dental because it has always been something that I’ve sort of liked. The best part of my high school experience has been meeting new friends. The teachers are good too; most of them are really nice. As we get closer and closer to graduation, I am so much more excited and ready to go. Even though I’m a bit scared for the future, I know it will be worth it. This is it. No more high school. No more school obligations. I’m ready for freedom.

I’ve had so many wonderful teachers here that have taught me so much and have just been the best role models to me. I want to be able to inspire other kids in the same way and I guess going to Hillsborough really helped motivate me to pursue majoring in education. I plan to attend HCC for prerequisite studies. I plan to end up transferring to USF for my major. Am I kind of scared for college? Sure, but I’m ready to go. I’m really going to miss all the school spirit here though. One of the best memories I have is going to as many football games as possible and hearing the band play. I really love the band. I’m not a part of it, but I feel like I am. I know a bunch of people in it and they’re so passionate that I get really into it. The band is the only reason why I went to football games.

I’m going to miss the teachers the most. But I’m glad I’m leaving now. What they’ve taught me will definitely help me through college. I’m starting my college education at HCC, and will continue at USF in a few years. But most importantly I want to start strong and finish hard with college. I just want to power all the way through and move on to bigger things. Being the first person in my family to go to college, I’m really motivated. I hope to major in psychology. I’m still going to miss high school though. I love the architecture of the school. I remember on my first day of school, I could not believe that I got to go to school in a castle every day. Athough I wish I could spend another year here, I’m ready to go.

- As told to Ellie Rodriguez

- As told to Ellie Rodriguez

- As told to Ellie Rodriguez

- As told to Ellie Rodriguez

Graduation Information By Nikki Ferrera Opinion Editor

This year’s graduation will be a bit different than others experienced in the past. Due to a rotation between the 27 schools that hold their graduation ceremonies at the Florida State Fairgrounds’ Expo Hall, the

Class of 2012’s graduation will be at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 4. Each school involved in the rotation has the opportunity to pick its ceremony time. This year, Hillsborough was near the bottom of the list, resulting in the early-morning graduation

time. Students wishing to attend graduation to see off friends or family members will not have their absence counted against them on that day. Graphic by Teresa Chorvat

2 National Achievement Finalists 6 students accepted to Ivy League schools

$5,975,633 scholarship award offers to date

8 National Merit Finalists 3 National Hispanic Finalists 29,363 volunteer hours


May 2012


Hot Summer Concerts

Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw

Graphic by Alex Rosendo

Bon Iver


One Direction

Raymond James Stadium, June 2

Straz Center, June 7

Tampa Bay Times Forum, June 28

311/Slightly Stoopid


Pierce The Veil

1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, July 20

1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, July 27

1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, June 29

Jason Aldean

Downtown St. Pete, July 29

1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, Aug. 10

Cupcake craze Taste- 3 Texture- 3 Appearance- 3.5

Datz Bakery

Cupcake Spot


Sweet Tweets

Taste- 3.5 Texture- 2 Appearance- 5




Taste- 5 Texture- 5 Appearance- 5



With the growing fad of gourmet cupcakes and the local popularity of cupcakeries, The Red & Black decided to feed the craving of its sweet tooth and find Tampa’s Tastiest Cupcake. In reference to taste, texture and appearance, here are our results:

Taste- 4 Texture- 4 Appearance- 4

Taste- 2 Texture- 2.5 Appearance- 3




Are you a ’90s kid? May 2012

Students rate their favorite childhood TV shows

By Kristine Lee and Jenn Travis Life Editor and Staff Writer

Nowadays it seems like every teenager is saying “I’m a ’90s kid.” From TV shows to toys, students told us their favorites. Out of 48 students they voted Rugrats as their favorite and Pokemon in close second. Sophomore Danny Dolford said, “I love that show! I still watch Rugrats. Every time I hear about it is that overwhelming wave of nostalgia.”

Junior Suvetha Ravichandran said “My parents bought me Minnie Mouse the first time that we went to Disney when I was around 3.”


Barney was a popular character that many children loved. “I brought him everywhere I went and refused to put him down,” said junior Katelyn Ellwood.




“A lot of people didn’t remember the toy so I was happy I was able to remind them of this awesome childhood toy,” said senior DJayy Jackson.





Hit Clips

8 Barney and Friends


Minnie Mouse


“I loved my Tamagotchi” said junior Mimi Pham. “I would always play with it, but I would usually end up killing it on accident”


May 2012

A trip to the

snack bar Ever wonder how bad school vending machine snacks really are for you? In light of the Obama administration’s plans to revamp the amount of unhealthy foods available to students, The Red & Black did research on all the snacks found in the vending machines. The main nutrition fact of interest was the calorie count, seen as one of the biggest factors in the weight and health problem of this nation’s youth. To follow the Snack Bar: the highest calorie snacks are in the red region and as you go down the bar, the calorie count gets subsequently smaller.



(Illustration by Jake Gagne & Brittany Valencic)


*Per Pop-Tart


13 Quilt sustains memory of Larsen Hunt By Holly Schroeder Staff Writer

Although more than a year has come and passed since Hillsborough alumna Larsen Hunt’s death, she has not been forgotten. On Thursday, May 17, Susan Hunt, Larsen’s mother and current HHS media secretary, was presented with a quilt of the nurse's scrubs stitched together. “I can remember ... I remember ber her wearing these. This was her career, it was her passion,” Hunt said. Guidance counselor Joan Rudolph created the quilt. Calling it a “labor of love,” Rudolph made it as a keepsake for Larsen’s son, Aidric. Aidric was obviously happy to receive the keepsake, smiling, stretching on the blanket, even wrapping himself up in it. Rudolph said, “Hopefully this is something Aidric can keep for a long time.” As grandmother and grandson sat together, Hunt pointed to a quote in the middle of the quilt saying to Aidric, “Mommy is an angel watching from above now." Hunt was killed in October 2010.

150 100

Susan Hunt reads a quote off the quilt to her grandson Aidric. (Photo by Holly Schroeder)



May 2012

Get fit this summer Coaches offer tips on how to use the break to shape up By Kellen Yent Sports Editor

Senor Jarius Gainey trains with the track team to keep up his fitness all year long. (Photo by Claire Kalhoefer)

For athletes, there is no offseason

Staying active over the summer is important for those athletes who are getting ready for an upcoming season. It is also important to stay fit over the summer, even if you don’t have and training to do. HHS P.E. instructors and sports coaches, Babita Artabasy, Joe Sipp, Jean Wiser and Earl Garcia III, have said that kids should stay healthy over the summer, especially athletes. To do that, you need to know five simple things about exercise, what to eat and how to make it fun. 1. Coach Sipp says to exercise at least 30 minutes to an hour a day. This should help you keep your cardio up and your stamina ready for the intense training of your school

sport. A fun way for non-athletes to work out is to do jumping jacks during the commercial of your favorite show. 2. Coach ArBabita tabasy says to look Artabasy up Crossfit. It is a website devoted to keeping people active. It has intense training and easier work outs. It varies for you skill level and how much you want to do Earl that day. Garcia III 3. Drink fewer fizzy drinks, says Sipp. Drink a lot of

By Kellen Yent Sports Editor

When most students go to the beach or hang out with friends at the pool, the athletes at HHS are training hard for their next season. PE teacher and track coach Joe Sipp says, “Anyone who plays sports should work out over the summer.” Sipp also stated, “[Summer training] helps with endurance, strength training, and competition.” Most sports are going to have their training time in the mornings to keep out of the heat. “It can be a grind, but we try to keep going,” football defensive coordinater Earl Garcia III says. “We are there to get better. You don’t have to be there if you don’t want to.” Freshman quarterback James Pensyl says, “Every Wednesday we will go out and play seven on seven with other schools.” Girl’s basketball will also be doing some major workouts over the summer, according to Babita Artabasy, girl’s head basketball coach. They will be doing training three times a week and a former NBA player will come to help them with their skills. Sophomore Brianna Honeywell comments, “I hope Mr. Price will work his magic on us.” Students who work out over the summer try to keep positive because they know it is going to help them next season. Garcia III. says, “Come with a good attitude and you will get better.” Honeywell has the same idea. She says, “I don’t mind the workouts. If that’s what it takes to get better then I’ll do it.”


Here is a workout plan that will help you keep active over the summer if you are not doing (2 days a week) any camps or training sessions with your team. This is something that will keep your cardio up while building your strength at a steady rate. Having a lifestyle like this, or just keeping active for about an hour a day, (4 days a week) is something that will difinitely help anyone who wants to *8 100-meter sprints with 15-30 stay healty. But remember to always eat healthy along with training, because both will help you feel better and stay fit.

water when it is hot, and make sure to find an alternative to caffine. This has made may athletes like quarterback James Pensyl and boxer Isaiah Miramba, more efficient with their workouts and more capable of Joe feeling better during Sipp practice. 4. Coach Wiser suggests that you stay in a cool environment like a gym or pool, and learn to swim if you can’t. Being in a cool enviJean ronment will protect Wiser you from heat-related illnesses, like heat stroke or dehydration.

*Upper body (curls, lat pulls, bench, etc) *Lower body (leg press, squats, etc)


sec. rest


This pyramid is arranged so that the most important workouts are on the bottom. Swimming and running is your choice of which is easier for you.

(6 days a week)

*8 sets of 13 (push-ups, sit ups, crunches, etc.)



35-45 minute run with no breaks

1000-2000 meters with no breaks

(6 days a week)

(6 days a week)

Graphic by Kellen Yent


May 2012

Green takes gold at state track meet By Thomas Liu Correspondent

The boys track team won regionals for the fifth time in six years, and one athlete scored a gold medal at the state track meet this month. The team earned a ninth-place finish at state, and was led by junior Jeremiah Green, who set a national record with a triple jump of 50 feet, 3 inches. “I worked hard and it’s a work in progress,” said Green, who also finished fifth in long jump. “It’s not about me. It’s not about Jeremiah Green. It’s about our track team, it’s about Hillsborough High School and just because I got first place doesn’t mean anything.” Green, also the Hillsborough County Track Athlete of the Year, will next compete at an international meet in Puerto Rico. “I can still do better,” he said. “Everyone can always do better.” Other students also placed at the meet held in the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. HHS was the highest scoring Hillsborough County school. Senior Evan Jennings placed fourth in the 110-meter hurdles as well as sixth place in the 330 hurdles event. He also scored eighth-place in the 4x400 relay team with freshman Kyren Hollis, junior Robert Wilson and Green. Hollis said, “I worked extra hard, and it took a lot to get where I am. All that hard work, from 2:15 to 6 p.m. every day except Friday, paid off.” Several members of the girls track team also placed at the state meet. Jorian Ordway achieved third place in the 400 meter run and Ciara Hawkins placed seventh in the 800. These two also competed in the 4x400 relay with freshmen Tijah Ray and Marilyn Hawkins, taking seventh place. “I tried really hard, I mean it was hot out there and I got seventh place. I feel proud of myself because I worked really hard to get there,” Ray said. The girls finished second at regionals.


Armwood may lose state title By Jake Gagne News Editor

This school’s biggest football rival may lose its state title after an investigation found student-athletes lied about their addresses to obtain athletic eligibility. Allegations against Armwood High School put forth in a report by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) put the status of the Hawks’ program in serious question. Armwood has been vexing the Terriers since they started playing each other in 1991, with Armwood winning 79 percent of the games. This includes a shutout loss that ended the Terriers’ season in the playoffs last fall. Despite the Terriers not winning a game since 2005, they remained adamant that Armwood was not invincible and could be beaten. However, the Hawks did go on to be unJunior Jaykwon Hosey carries the ball during the regular season game against Armwood. The defeated this season, though now it may be Hawks may have to surrender all 15 of its 2011 victories. (Photo by Alexis Spivak) tainted by findings laid out in a 45-page report. The report was filed by FHSAA investigator Another player was found to have another Callahan, County Athletic Director Lanness Troy Pumphrey, also an assistant teacher here. residence outside the Armwood district nearly Robinson and Principal Mike Ippolito. The report focused on five Armwood 70 miles away. Offensive lineman Jack Light“This is a serious matter which has revealed players: Javonte Sneed, Keionne Baines, sey was living in Orlando during the Hawks’ some very specific procedural areas that we Jack Lightsey, Craig Carrington and Gregory title run. agree we need to closely review,” Elia said, Newton. While his drivers license showed an ad- according to the Tampa Bay Times. The FHSAA report accuses Sneed of fal- dress in the Armwood district (it was changed She later made it clear that the men would sifying an address by submitting a fraudulent a day before Pumphrey interviewed him), not be losing their jobs over the investigation. electric bill. neighbors told the FHSAA investigator that HHS Assisstant Principal Stephanie Davis According to the report, the family obtained the family was regularly seen at their home decided to comment on the treatment of this document from a friend who works at in Orlando. athletics and lessons learned, rather than a Tampa Electric Co. One Armwood rival -- Hillsborough senior punishment. He also lied to the investigator about having football player Julius Wilcox -- was blunt in his “It’s sad that parents put kids’ athletic career to change residence due to a sinkhole problem, assessment of the situation. in jeopardy to be at one location to win. You contradicted by talks to regional geologist, “They cheated, and cheaters never win,” are teaching them to lie and cheat is to win,” James Pease about the lack of seismic activity. he said. “They should sit out for two or three Davis said. Keionne Baines’ cousin, Emon Keller seasons or be kicked out of the school.” Hillsborough track coach Joe Sipp, who Washington, was interviewed by Pumphrey, FHSAA reported two other players used played and coached football here, compared and admitted to the investigator that she had false addresses. Craig Carrington and Greg- recruiting to speeding. prepared a lease solely for the purpose of him ory Newton provided false information about “Everybody does it, but few get caught,” being able to play at Armwood, seeing as he where they lived, as determined by visiting the he said. lives in Brandon. addresses they gave to guidance and finding Armwood had 10 days to respond to the When Baines’ father Kenneth Baines was nobody living there permanently. report. It faces forefeit of all 15 of its wins, interviewed for the investigation, he first apCarrington used the address of current including its state title. peared with facial hair and claimed he was the player Phillip Smith, and Newton’s provided Sipp also said that no matter what happens mother’s boyfriend, FHSAA reported. address was determined to be false through to the title officially, Armwood players will alHowever, he later appeared with his facial interviewing him and the parents. ways know who won the 2011 championship. hair completely shaven, noted by Pumphrey as After the FHSAA revealed its findings, “The title can be stripped, but that would an attempt to elude the investigator’s recogni- Superintendent MaryEllen Elia appeared at a just be on paper. They still were undefeated tion of Kenneth Baines. press conference with Armwood coach Sean and still won.”



Leading the team Various sports captains share their views on leadership, responsibility and team building as they reflect on the past sports season

May 2012

“Being captain taught me how to be a leader.”

By Chrissy Geshel News Editor

Captains play various roles on a sports team. They unite the team in tough times, lead their teams on and off the field and are responsible for both wins and losses. A challenge faced by senior baseball captain Xavier German and junior softball captain Rachel Street was uniting their teams. German countered the disunion between the baseball players “By breaking the cliques that we have in our clubhouse and becoming a family by the end of the season.” However, Street said, “To help the team unite I really just tried to keep the drama to a minimum and throughout the season we played bonding games every once in awhile.” Challenges faced by captains also involved training less experienced players on their team. Junior volleyball captain Alexa DaSilva had a constructive method in helping the weaker players on her team. DaSilva said, “I would encourage them as much as possible while taking on little hints of advice. I would also step aside with them privately and offer to help and give added advice for what they wanted help on.” By becoming captains, skilled players must transition from a position of cooperation to a position of leadership. This transition comes with a changing of the captain’s mentality where they begin to put the team’s success before their own personal gain. Junior boys soccer captain Mack Rocha said, “I have to play well every game, because when you play everyone is watching you.” Rocha is referring to setting an example for the other players on the team. DaSilva also feels the same way. DaSilva said, “I hate making mistakes because I feel a bigger responsibility to my team to lead by example, and I feel that when I make a mistake, it lets the team down.” However, Street’s transition to captain involved becoming more understanding to the other players on the team. Street said, “My greatest challenge was to be a role model, in terms of never having an attitude and giving a hundred percent, that way the rest of my team would do the same.” All captains had one greater responsibility that seems to encompass all the responsibilities a captain holds. Street said, “The greatest responsibility as a captain was just

“Being a captain has taught me about pride, resolve and character.”

“My greatest challenge was to be a role model.”

Captains (clockwise from top left) Mack Rocha, Xavier German and Rachel Street explain what its like to lead their teams. Said another captain, volleyball’s Alexa DaSilva: “Be a non-judgemental, beneficial leader, with the goal of helping everyone improve, including yourself.” (Photos by Lifetouch, Nina Phan and Alexis Spivak)

making sure everyone did their part and no one was slacking off. It’s hard telling someone they need to do better without coming off as mean.” However, German said his biggest responsibility was being present at all games and practices. German said, “Being the first one on the field and the last one to leave was the hardest part for me.” At the end of the season, with all the high and lows points over, leading their teams was a beneficial experience. Rocha said his highlight of the boys soccer season was “being able to be involved with decisions of the team and running practices.” The most rewarding experience for German was, “Having people look up to you when things aren’t going right or when

there’s pressure.” Leading a sports team in high school has its benefits during and after the captains graduate from high school. From the captain’s leadership, they learned skills to help them later in life. Captains Street, DaSilva and Rocha said leading a sports team taught them leadership skills that they can use in later life situations. Street said, “I feel like later on in life I will be more prepared to take the leadership roles in certain situations and be good at taking in the viewpoints of multiple people to try and compromise to make everyone happy.” Said German: “Being a captain has taught me about pride, resolve, and character. I think those three qualities are essential to have in the future.”

The Red & Black, May 2012  

The Red & Black, student newspaper of Hillsborough High School (Tampa, Fla.)

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