e n i l i h tiger
VOLUME 51 ISSUE 26 1015 Division St. Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613
Math department says good-bye to two veteran teachers Chandal Geerdes Staff Writer
Two math teachers will be retiring this year from Cedar Falls High School. Dave Kofoed and Barb Koble will be going on to new adventures after over 30 years of teaching. “I read that the challenge in retirement is to keep the mind and body active, so I will strive to stay away from the TV as much as possible. I do plan to do some volunteer work, maybe do some math tutoring and golf as much as possible. Perhaps some reading as well,” Kofoed said. Kofoed has stayed in Iowa over his years as teacher; he has also taught at Regina High School in Iowa City and Columbus High School Waterloo. Before teaching, he worked at John Deere and Chamberlain Manufacturing. Kofoed first came to Cedar Falls High School in 1968 and then returned after his other jobs in 1998. He decided to become a math teacher when he was inspired by his math teacher, Mr. Brandt, who was also his football and baseball coach. He also choose the math career because the job
Math teacher Dave Kofoed
Math teacher Barb Koble
market looked good at the time. “It was in a time after Sputnik where there was much interest in boosting the math and science education, so the job market also looked good. I really enjoy math, and still do,” Kofoed said. Koble currently is teaching two sections of AP calculus, two sections of Hawkeye Community College (HCC) statistics, and one section of HCC math for liberal arts. She said her favorite part about teaching is getting to encourage students in mathematics as well as in their outside-ofschool activities. “I want students to feel that I have high expectations for them in the classroom and in the future,” Koble said.
Koble has taught grades 7-12 and said it’s always nice to receive e-mails from previous students who have entered college and say that their AP calculus from Cedar Falls has helped them in college. Students love their easy going math teacher but feel sad about her retirement. “I’m actually sad. I feel bad for the people who aren’t going to have her,” junior Sungha Nielsen said. Senior Meredith Roethler likes Koble’s teaching style and agrees with Nielsen about her retirement. “She cares, she gives us time to all understand and she has a certain way of helping us memorize stuff,” Roethler said. Both Koble and Kofoed
have seen the math department change and become more technologically efficient. “I use a tablet computer instead of the blackboard, which makes my teaching much more effective,” Koble said. Coming from a time where they didn’t even have calculators, Kofoed said math is now more user friendly. He is also very thankful to see and use what we have today. He even believes that the graphing calculator has revolutionized the math classroom. Initially teaching geometry and algebra, Kofoed has moved to math analysis, also known as honors precalculus. He has currently been teaching algebra II, honors precalcus and an algebra I class once in a while. He said the fact that there are no two days the same and that you’re kind of your own boss are a few favorite things he enjoys about being a teacher. Over the years he has tried to make students’ math experiences meaningful and worthwhile. Sometimes, these teachings are not realized until after students have graduated. “I continue to believe that the math experience may be more important for the mental
analytic process that everyone can benefit from, and maybe not so much from the actual math itself,” Kofoed said. He also has attempted to challenge all students to do their very best. These qualities of Kofoed have made him a well liked and respected teacher at CF. “I have him as a teacher, and I like him a lot. He’ll answer all your questions any time and doesn’t explain things too quickly,” sophomore Brayden Longnecker said. Both Kofoed and Koble will enjoy their retirement travel. Kofoed still plans on taking his annual fishing trip to Canada and taking up even more fishing around the area. He still plans on following Tiger and Panther football and basketball. Koble will enjoy spending more time with her two grandsons, William and Lincoln. Kofoed and Koble will both be enjoying the new experience of retirement after this year is over in just a few weeks. “Retirement is a new game, a challenge, and I am just looking forward to some new experiences,” Kofoed said.
Alum honors Flaherty at Wartburg English teacher won Gold Star Teacher award in 2010 Sandra Omari-Boateng Staff Writer
Diane Flaherty Winner of Wartburg Outstanding Teacher Award
A CFHS teacher has recently been chosen to receive a teaching honor form Wartburg College. English teacher Diane Flaherty won the Outstanding High School Teacher Award. She was chosen from
nominations from the 2011 Wartburg graduating class. Every year, Wartburg College gives out an award to one of the teachers from one of the graduates. Seniors fill out a nomination form and write a letter nominating their teacher. The award recognizes teachers who inspired graduating seniors and contributed to their accomplishments of earning a degree. The student who nominated Flaherty was Jordan Galles, who graduated from Cedar Falls High School
four years ago. “I am so grateful that Jordan took the time to nominate me. She was a wonderful student and so much fun in class,” Flaherty said. The recipients of the award receive $500 for themselves, and then Wartburg also awards a senior at the high school of the award winner with a $500 scholarship to Wartburg. “I don’t have a say in who gets [the award], but they will let me know who they have
chosen from Cedar Falls,” Flaherty said. Flaherty will be receiving her award May 29 during a Wartburg commencement exercise. English department head Judy Timmins said, “It is not surprising to me that she could impact a student in such a profound way.” There were two English teachers who received the award this year. The other person who won it was from Hastings, Minn.
2 opinion our view Teacher dress code provides important lesson for students “What a strange power there is in clothing,” Isaac Bashevis Singer once said. And indeed he is correct. What we wear can say a lot about us. It reflects our attitudes, personalities and lifestyles; it even can reflect our intelligence. With this being said, it is a good time to annouce that last week the school board added another item to it’s to-do list: teacher dress code. The board felt that a dress code for teachers next year will help to boost professionalism in the classroom. It was also implemented as a way to influence students and fellow co-workers. Teachers, beginning next fall, will be required to wear the appropriate attire during the school week. “Dress down” or “casual” days will be not allowed unless administration has said otherwise, and any staff that does not adhere to these new guidelines will be asked to change or “Maybe some of that leave for the professionalism could remainder of the day. translate to the students While it directly.” may seem silly and irrelevant to students, it is, in fact, very clear that staff professionalism impacts classes. And maybe some of that professionalism could translate to the students directly. Most companys today have dress codes, so those short shorts or baggy jeans that may look good now will not be appealing to companies that may employ you in the future. Clothing is a choice and freedom of expression, and, of course, high school students face many influences as they shape their appearances, but don’t forget professionalism as a factor for the long run. In other words, dress smart, think about who could be watching. The choices we develop on what we wear now could have lasting effects for what jobs we will land later and how people treat us, too.
Contact the Tiger Hi-Line
The Tiger Hi-Line is a weekly publication of the journalism classes of Cedar Falls High School, 1015 Division St., Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613. Our website is www.hiline.co.nr. The Hi-Line is distributed to CFHS students on Tuesdays to read in their DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) classes. Columns and letters do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Hi-Line or Cedar Falls Schools. The Hi-Line editorial staff view is presented weekly in the editorial labeled as Our View. Reader opinions on any topic are welcome and should be sent to the Tiger Hi-Line staff or delivered to room 208. All letters must be signed. Letters must be submitted by 3 p.m. on Thursday for publication the following Tuesday. Letters may not exceed 300 words and may be edited to meet space limitations. Include address and phone number for verification.
Editors-in-Chief: Sara Gabriele and Ellen Gustavson News Editor: Ben Olson and Sara Gabriele Opinion Editor: Meg Lane and Kaylee Micu Sports Editor: Ben Olson and Allyson Vuong Feature Editors: Ellen Gustavson Entertainment Editors: Meg Lane and Kaylee Micu Photo Editor: Tracy Lukasiewicz
e n i l i h r e tig THE
May 24, 2011
“FEMA has already given the money, so I do not see why they even have the nerve to ask for it back.”
FEMA has no right to ask for money back from Aplington-Parkersburg The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is attempting to reclaim nearly $1 million that it gave to the Aplington-Parkersburg School District to rebuild after an EF5 tornado hit the small town in May of 2008. Consequently, the district is choosing to appeal the decision, hoping federal officials will reconsider. If the school district loses the appeal, they would have to repay the $970,000, which has already been used on several projects. As we may remember, the destructive tornado killed six people in Parkersburg and destroyed Aplington-Parkersburg High School as it rolled through the small community. Thanks to FEMA’s quick reaction, students were able to start classes in the new building in fall of 2009. Federal officials approved
Aaron Parsons Staff Writer
money for a temporary gym at Aplington-Parkersburg Middle School, which also happened to serve high school students after the disaster. There was an early plan in place that the gym would have been used for a year and then demolished. The district wanted to make the gymnasium at the middle school permanent, so they decided to spend about $500,000 of the district’s own
money. That is when FEMA approved of the district’s plans, but now FEMA has changed its mind. I think that it is downright ridiculous that FEMA has shifted after it has given the money. That is not showing that this country and federal officials are behind communities that have been hit by a horrific natural disasters and need repair. FEMA has already given the money, so I do not see why they even have the nerve to ask for it back. The Aplington-Parkersburg School District was doing what was in the best interest for them, and I do not see what was wrong with anything they did. I hope that the school district does win the appeal, as they do not necessarily have room in their budget to repay nearly $1 million that has been spent.
Cell phone users beware Spyware turning up on unsuspecting customers The cellphone is a must have item for more than 300 million Americans, but when the phone rings, what if it is acting as a double agent keeping tabs on your calls, your text, even your every move? There are lots of apps called cell phone spyware, and for a little as $50 and a quick computer download, someone, anyone, can secretly track you through your phone. The process is simple. All you have to do is choose the software, download it to your computer, connect the computer to the phone and in roughly 10 minutes the phone becomes a human tracking device. The target will never know what’s going on. The smarter the phone, the easier it is to get it. The bad guy can get all of your text messages, your emails, your
Kara Stewart Staff Writer
photos, your videos, basically everything that’s on you cellphone. Companies selling the spyware market it as a “great way for mom and dad to keep track of the kids” or “an employer to know what employees are up to with company phones,” but this is illegal in the United States. Websites like Flexi-Spy
and Mobile Spy claim it’s 100 percent legal as long as you are keeping tabs on your kids or employees, but they are hardly being truthful because it’s only legal where they are based, and that’s outside of the United States. The federal law says you can get five years in federal prison and a very large fine, but only if you get caught, and since the software isn’t easily spotted on the cellphone with the naked eye, the chances of that happening aren’t all too great. The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to make sure your phone is always password protected. Another way is by having a pre-paid phone. If you suspect the spyware is on your phone you should have your carrier check it out.
e n i l i h r e tig THE
May 24, 2011
Tigers race to top at State
Athlete Week of the
With Harrington, men capture title; women’s distance medley takes 1st Lucas Hamilton Staff Writer
Men’s and women’s track seasons came to a final head at State at Drake University in Des Moines. Men’s Track participated in 13 events with 19 runners, and women’s track competed with 21 girls in 16 events. Men’s track came home with a State title, a first for the group. Women’s track placed 7th as a team, which is 11 spots better than last year. For men’s track, sophomore Jaime Zarate and junior Adam Streicher ran in the 3,200. Streicher was expected to place 19th and ended up placing 12th. Zarate placed 19th, and said, “It was a hard race for sure with a lot of good guys, and I personally
“We did everything we expected to do. It was flawless.” —Jeff Hartman men’s coach didn’t have my best race. Streicher ran spectacularly on the other hand. I’m looking forward to being back on the magical Drake track next year and hopefully do better. My goal is to be top 10.” Streicher gave props to the sprint team for locking up the state title. “It was really cool to be a part of the first state champion track team. It was fun to be able to watch our
sprinters be able to do what they needed to do to bring home the title.” Junior James Harrington was the man to beat this year. Setting a record for the men’s 200, anchoring the 4x100, winning the 100 and running in the 4x200. Harrington worked hard to bring home the title of State Champions for the team. He said, “I really focused on my start. I knew I was fast, and I had a good try at beating the record, but at the same time it kind of did surprise me.” Coach Jeff Hartman commented on the team’s group effort and said, “We did everything we expected to do. It was flawless.” For women’s track, sophomore Allison Gregg placed
third in the 3,000 meter race. She said, “I was very pleased with my performance at State. I knew I had much potential to place and score points for my team if I stayed focused. Next year, I hope to build on top of what I accomplished this year. My goal is to have a strong cross country season and come back to the team and place in the top five at State.” The women’s distance medley won its race. The runners were senior Cassie Crotty, junior Hannah Savage and sophomores Brianna King and Daianera Whitaker. Savage said, “It was a really fun weekend. I’m so proud of my distance medley team. We all worked super hard, and we all ran really well. We achieved what we set out to do.”
Intramurals end with Quidditch Maya Amjadi Staff Writer
Although they don’t wear wizard robes or stash their wands away before entering the playing field, CFHS students recreate the game of Quidditch from the magical world of Harry Potter in intramural action after school. They bring broom sticks and their competition. “The best part about Quidditch is pretending like you go to Hogwarts and play actual Quidditch,” junior Adam Streicher, who plays seeker for the Drumline team, said. “It is fun to be competitive, and I really enjoy playing with my friends,” sophomore Josh Ochoa said. He added that it really is great exercise. He plays keeper for the Drumline team and sometimes chaser. “The keeper is the one
who stands by the hoops and blocks potential goals from being scored,” Ochoa said. He hopes to be a team captain next year. Each goal scored is 10 points. The quaffle, which is a yellow dodgeball, is the ball that is scored with by the chasers. Red dodgeballs, called bludgers, are used to distract the opposing team from scoring in the goal rings, and the players who use them are the beaters. Seven people play for each team at a time. The most important player on the team, supposedly, is the seeker who has to catch the snitch which ends the game and awards the victorious team with 50 points. The snitch is a person with two flag football stripes attached at each hip; to completely capture the snitch,
both flags must be ripped off. The game is slightly affected since the participants can not, in fact, fly. “Its hard to enforce the rules [since we cannot fly], but we are but simple muggles who are trying to celebrate Harry’s greatness,” Streicher said. He insists he will go to his grave a Harry Potter fan. Senior Forrest Wrede plays beater for his team. He encourages others to join. “There were less people this year than last year, and the game is at its best when it’s the full seven-on-seven,” Wrede said. He again, is a huge fan of Harry Potter. Wrede waited 12 hours in line for the last premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, and he is planning on waiting 36 hours for Part 2.
The best part of quidditch for junior Samantha Gaffney is that there is a huge group of Harry Potter fans making the series come to life. “You don’t even have to know the people you’re playing Quidditch with to have fun because we’re all there through our love of the series,” Gaffney said. “I love how people all over the world play this magical game that we grew up reading about — now it’s a reality.” Gaffney and junior Beth Kosmicki talked last year about starting up Quidditch in some form at the high school. They talked to gym teacher Jamie Smith and got the whole thing rolling. This is the second year that Quidditch has existed at Cedar Falls High School, but both years have brought in a great turn out.
Sonja Przybylski Women’s Golf Senior
1. What has been the key to your success this year? “The team we have now is a lot of fun. Some of the girls we have this year are a little more silly than others, but we manage to balance it out.” 2. What are your goals going into state and regionals? “We would like to make regionals because we’ve placed second for the last two years.” 3. How did you get started? “When I was nine, I had those little junior lessons and just didn’t go. Then, ninth grade came around, and Mr. Strike got me started again.” 4. What areas of your technique can you work on? “It’s always the short game because it takes up most of our time.”
Men’s Soccer 5/28, Substate @ Cedar Valley Soccer Complex Baseball 5/24, Metro Tournament@ Riverfront Stadium, TBD 5/25, vs. Charles City, 5:30 p.m. Softball 5/24, vs. Charles City, 5 p.m. 5/25, vs. Linn-Mar, 5:30 p.m. 5/26, vs. Waverly-Shell Rock @ Robinson Dresser Sports Complex
e n i l i h r e tig THE
May 24, 2011
Could 4’s and 3’s replace A’s and B’s? A look into standards-based grading Sara Gabriele Editor-in-chief
When Isabella Mauceri checks her grades online, she doesn’t see a list of assignments. Instead, she sees a list of standards, such as “analyze visual literature” or “communicate effectively” with a number out of three behind it. Mauceri is a student in Joeseph Frenna’s language arts course at Malcolm Price Laboratory School. Frenna, along with several other teachers at Price Lab, has recently revamped his course to use what is called standardsbased grading. In standards-based grading, material is broken down concept by concept and students are graded on their mastery of each standard. As opposed to “norm based grading,” the class isn’t graded on a curve, but rather, students move on based on their proficiency of individual standards. For Frenna’s language arts course, this makes for a less traditional class. Instead of entering assignments into the grade book, individual standards, such as the aforementioned “communicate effectively,” appear along with the student’s demonstrated proficiency. “I initially started doing this because of the Iowa Core Curriculum,” Frenna said. “[I decided to use] sort of a reverse method; I use the standards to develop an assignment, instead of making an assignment and seeing what concepts I’m hitting with it.” Frenna said this allows him flexibility in his course because if a student doesn’t meet a standard with a particular assignment, he or she can come up with a different way to learn it. He named a particular instance where a student had given a research presentation and had done
well on all the standards but one: “learning how to communicate effectively.” To meet this standard, Frenna allowed the student to create a short, fun presentation on Zombies in which the student’s entire focus was on this particular skill. “It allows me to be flexible,” Frenna said. “It’s important for me to constantly remember it’s not the paper that I think is so important. It’s the skill. If my assignment isn’t getting the student that skill, I have to rework and make one that will.” Students see benefits from the approach as well. “It really reflects the work ethic of the students,” said Megan Grey, a junior at Price Lab. In Grey’s Algebra 2 class, there are no longer chapter tests. Instead, students must demonstrate their mastery of the material, one concept at a time. Short assessments are given instead of blanket tests, and students have two opportunities in class to get the score they want on the assessment. After that, students may come in as many times as they like to take another assessment, but on their own time. “[This method] ensures that you master the concepts,” Grey said. “Unlike in a blanket test, you actually get a chance to go over the information you may have missed and work through it until you understand it.” Several schools around the state and country have begun to implement versions of this system. However, the method poses several obvious challenges for larger schools like Cedar Falls High School. Although Price Lab uses a mixed approach method where students receive letter grades based on their cumulative performances, many schools using the standards-based approach do away with letter grades altogether. Students receive a
series of numbers correlating to their mastery of the particular standard, usually on a 0-4 scale. Because this results in no GPA, it poses a dilemma for college-bound students. “Colleges want to see letter grades,” Principal Dr. Rich Powers said. “Systematic change takes a long time, and, right now, everyone else is still using the old system.” The system also creates logistical challenges for teachers, especially in math and science, because it can lead to a constant reshuffling of students. Often, schools using this method do away with the traditional honors/middle/ low divisions of classes. Instead, classes move concept by concept and students are regularly reshuffled based on their mastery of the material. Although many teachers recognize that this method would provide a more individualized education for students, some question whether it would be worth it. “Our current system would have to completely change for students to be able to progress,” science teacher Lynn Griffin said. Other concerns include losing a traditional classroom environment, less personal teacher-student relationships, and difficulties with scholarship applications. Despite the structural challenges, some, like Sandra Dop, a consultant for 21st Century Skills at the Iowa Department of Education, contend that standardsbased grading is a move in the right direction. Dop explained the standards-based grading is a part of a larger educational reform movement for what is called competency-based education. This approach to education focuses on giving students credit for what they know or are able to do, not how long
they spend in a class. “Under the current system, a student gets the same credit for Algebra 1 whether they receive an A or a D, and they both take the same amount of time to complete the course,” Dop said. “Our goal is to develop a system that accurately reflects what students do and don’t know or are able to do and allows them to do so at a more individualized pace.” The push behind this more individualized approach to education is to ensure students receive an education that prepares them for the current work-force and economy. “We’re not in factory mode anymore,” Dops said. “The type of education that worked for me in the sixties and seventies will not work for students today. Today, students have to be creative, critical thinkers, communicate in complex ways, and work in collaborative situations, all in a global context.” Competency-based education and standardsbased grading are not formulated systems, and this allows school districts the freedom to determine what works best for them. Wendy Battino is the director of a national foundation called RISC (Re-Inventing Schools Coalition) and a long-
time pioneer of this less traditional approach to education. At her school in Alaska, the students were the instigators in deciding how they wanted the system shaped. At this particular school, students not only receive grades for math, English, and reading, but for “career skills” and “personal skills.” “We wanted to create something that was unique for each student,” Battino said. Although Battino’s Alaska school is fairly small in size, she has begun the approach at a number of other schools in larger districts, such as in New York City and Los Angeles. “We’ve learned to roll it out in waves,” Battino said. “Change is tough, whatever the size of the school.” Even at Cedar Falls High School, administrators are looking into methods such as MAP testing, an adaptive assessment that provides more accurate measures of student growth, to move towards the standards-based approach. While Powers doubted that Cedar Falls High School would ever reach full implementation of a standardsbased system, he did note that “[MAP testing] is one way we’re trying to be more standards based.”
Published on May 22, 2011
This is the May 24 edition of the Tiger Hi-Line newspaper, which is produced weekly by the journalism students at Cedar Falls High School.