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Boundary update


Word of the Year


League discussion

A&E 14

A day in Parkville

A&E 15

Holiday gift guide



Students now required to have car identification BY ELLEN MERRILL


tudent Resource Officer Mo Loridon has sent numerous emails to parents to ensure students have a registered parking pass. Starting immediately, Loridon will be writing tickets for cars without passes. Loridon said the parking passes help insure the safety and security of the cars in the parking lot. “This is a school policy,” Loridon

said. “If there is a vehicle without a pass on it, the vehicle can be assumed that it doesn’t belong here and will have to be investigated.” According to Loridon, there is a need to keep track of how many cars are in the parking lot because spaces are becoming limited. The first violation for not having a pass will be $5 and will increase in $5 increments per every infraction. The failure to pay the tickets is then addressed by administration. Assistant principal Marilyn Chrisler said unpaid fines can result in consequences. “If you are a senior applying for

part time, it will be denied if there is an unpaid fine,” Chrisler said. “It may also prevent students from passing the year if they have unpaid fines.” Loridon said he will be checking the parking lot frequently. “It is too big to check everyday, but I will randomly go out and pick a row of cars,” Loridon said. Loridon gives advice for convertible and soft top cars. “Every car on Mill Valley property must have a parking pass,” Loridon said. “They will have to put it somewhere I can see it, like the front windshield.”


ABOVE: Identified by the parking sticker, this car is permitted to park and avoids the fine of $5 if such identification is absent. Photo by Kelly Gothard



The Kansas Honors scholarship recognizes the top ten percent of each graduating class in every high school across Kansas. The program is run by the University of Kansas.

Each Honor Scholar receives a certificate and a Websters New College Dictionary.




Throughout the holiday season, many people take time out of their lives to give to those in need. If you are interested in donating to charities, go to www.

Former South African president Nelson Mandela died of a recurring lung infection on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the age of 95. Mandela is remembered as a revolutionary who was a major leader in the fight against apartheid in South Africa.

The People’s Choice Awards is set to broadcast in early January. The ceremony will honor many actors, actresses,television shows and movies. The voting deadline depends on the category. To vote, go to www.

ABOVE: For being in the top tenth percentile of their class, 29 seniors are recognized as Kansas Honors Scholars on Monday, Nov. 11. Photo by USD 232

NHS DECORATES STUDENT LOCKERS Students receive certificates for academics this quarter BY ELLEN MERRILL


ABOVE: Senior National Honors Society member CJ Meeks places signs on the lockers of honor roll students on Monday, Dec. 2. “It shows appreciation to those who got on honor role,” Meeks said. Photo by Kelly Gothard


Design by Erika Kringen

n recognition of the students who made the first quarter honor roll, National Honor Society decorated lockers and distributed lanyards instead of hosting a REACH party. This change stems from a large increase in honor roll students. “There were over 600 kids on honor roll first semester,” NHS sponsor Kristen Chavez said. “We just can’t fit that many kids in the commons [for a REACH party].”

For the semester honor roll, NHS will hand out goodie bags that may consist of small treats. “They will have stuff like juice boxes, $1 Catty Shack gift cards and snacks,” Chavez said. “We will also put in stuff that is school sponsored.” It is undetermined what NHS will do for third quarter honor roll students. Chavez hopes to differentiate the rewards every semester, but likes the idea of the goodie bags. “I have a feeling the goodie bags will stay, but I will switch things up,” Chavez said. “The students will be happy not having to give up seminar, [and] one of the three rewards will be a goodie bag.”


*as of Monday, Dec. 9









Cover by Alana Flinn and Madeline Lamons Trending topics photos from MCT campus


COMMITTEE TALKS IDEAS AT ITS FOURTH MEETING Lack of discussion frustrates some committee members BY KATHERINE WHITE


fter what some members described as a frustrating and slow process, the Enrollment and Boundary Study Committee began discussing specific ideas and solutions to enrollment challenges at its fourth meeting on Thursday, Dec. 5. The majority of time was spent discussing ideas and forming proposals in small groups. It was also announced at the fourth meeting that the public forums were moved back from Dec. 18 and 19 to the week of Jan. 20 to provide more time to develop ideas and give the district more time to answer questions about them. “I think we took too long to start discussing ideas,” committee member Brian Rodkey said at the end of the fourth meeting. “I think we should have done what we did tonight about a meeting or two ago.” Director of administrative services and community relations Alvie Cater said having a large committee and a set process is what makes progress seem slow to some. “Just because a committee member disagrees with the process, it doesn’t make it wrong,” Cater said. “We’re never going to have 100 percent agreement on anything. That’s why the committee members feel like there hasn’t been enough time to discuss ideas. It’s because it’s a process, and it’s because it’s a very large group ... If we went in there trying to please everyone then we might as well pack it up now because it’s not going to happen. So I just urge anyone on that committee to have patience.” Creating a sixth or ninth grade center, closing schools, building new schools, creating a new feeder system, bringing in mobile units to Mill Valley and Monticello Trails or providing a voluntary transfer program have all been discussed. Cater also suggested looking at the data to determine whether the problem is more long-term or short-term. “Just by looking at the data there may be some other ways to get around the enrollment challenges without going through some very complex changes,” Cater said. “[In] the enrollment

forecast, you can see that there appears to be an enrollment bubble that’s moving through ... enrollment is expected to peak during the next school year. The following year it’s expected to decrease again. So is there a way to sort of manage that bubble for one year? So the question is, is it really a major enrollment challenge or is it a minor challenge?” Changes to the restrictions on solutions allowed the committee to consider a wider range of possible solutions were put into effect after the third committee meeting on Thursday, Nov. 14. “When we first started out one of the requirements was that the grade level configuration [K-5, 6-8, 9-12] had to stay the same,” Rodkey said. “Then the community responded and said they didn’t want any options off of the table. They [originally also] didn’t want to affect more than 20 percent of the district. Opening that up allows us to affect more students but make the best possible decision.” These changes were brought about by feedback from committee members who were frustrated by lack of progress in the first three meetings. “I do think that we have made basically no progress,” junior committee member Callahan Eckardt said before the fourth meeting. “We’ve already looked at the data and they’re asking us a lot of what if questions. It’s a lot of speculation, we haven’t come up with possible solutions.” However, other committee members preferred discussing problems before solutions. “I think for how long it will be impacting people, it’s a good pace,” junior committee member Maddie Butterfield said. “It’s a really complicated situation, and we can’t rush any decisions. A pace like this allows us to observe all sides of it so that when we make our decision we can make sure that we didn’t leave any variable out.” Eckardt said that deciding what solution is best is a difficult task but that the committee is an important step in the process of doing so. “Really there are limitless solutions to this,” Eckardt said. “The possibilities are endless, and we are supposed to come up with which ones to use. I think the committee is a very good idea, and they should not cut it out because you can’t have just the Board

of Education making the decisions. Parents and students from the schools that are going to be directly affected are going to bring so much more to the table.” Rodkey said that while there is a variety of possible solutions, some changes are unavoidable. “Some solutions we talk about will alleviate the elementary and middle school problems but don’t do anything for the high school problems,” Rodkey said. “Either a boundary change is inevitable or we will have to build onto the high schools.” Cost is another factor that will be considered. “The state of Kansas has reduced funding; we’ve cut at least $6 million from our operating budget over the last few years, which is a lot of money for us,” Cater said. “That is also going to be a factor because we’re at the point now as a school district where if you’re going to do something new then we’re going to have to give up something in order to get that accomplished because we just don’t have new money coming in every year.” Though finding the best decision is hard, Cater remains optimistic. “We’re going to be criticized no matter what we do, and I say that under this context: whatever decision is made, will everyone be happy? No,” Cater said. “It’s a challenge but we’re going to get through it. We really have great schools, we have great community support, and we can’t lose sight

TOP: District administrator Alvie Cater presents the agenda to the boundary committee at its meeting on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the district office. Photo by Ashley Kitchen ABOVE: Boundary committee members go over the possible boundary changes for next year at the committee meeting on Thursday, Dec. 5. Photo by Ashley Kitchen


A look at possible boundary changes suggested by RSP & Associates

Those who live north of Shawnee Mission Parkway and east of K-7 Highway and those who live north of 55th Street will attend Mill Valley

Those who live east of K-7 Highway will attend Mill Valley

Illustrations by Madeline Lamons Information from district website Design by Ryan Fullerton


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VIRGINIA SMITH Sophomore Virginia Smith shares her experiences with Kansas City Ballet


When did you start dancing? I started dancing when I was about six years old.

What got you interested in dancing? When I saw The Nutcracker, at three years old. I wanted to dance on those fancy toe shoes like the big girls did.

What types of dance do you do? I take ballet, modern, pointe class and jazz.

Where have you danced before? I danced at the Academy of the Arts for seven years.

Have you ever had a dance related injury? [I have had] a lot of them [injuries]. I broke my foot two years ago and at the moment my knee cap is dislocated.

How different is dancing at Kansas City Ballet compared to your old dance studio? It is more technical, and they take things a lot more seriously. The girls there are there to dance and not just socialize.

How are dress rehearsals for shows different than regular classes? Dress rehearsals are a lot more fun than just regular classes because you get to practice on the stage. You don’t have to do any kind of warm up if you don’t want to. You get to wear your costume and watch the professionals do what they do best. In technique class, you do the same things everyday and it is kind of bland.

What were some of the thoughts running through your head before your first performance? Don’t fall, keep a straight face and smile and if you mess up, keep going.

What do you feel when you are onstage? All I pretty much feel is adrenaline. I love being onstage. I can’t really speak in front of people, but I can dance in front of people.

What is it like dancing next to professional ballerinas? It’s really fun, they are just like regular students they help you when you need it. They know exactly what they are doing so it’s really cool to see how a professional dancing is to a student.

What is a typical practice like?

What motivates you to keep pushing forward during practices and performances?

A typical practice starts in the center of the room or at the bar doing warm-ups. Then we go to the center and do a lot of traveling combinations and jumping.

The fact that I always think back to that very first day when I saw a dancer. I always think of how I want to be like that or better.

What type of shows have you been apart of with Kansas City Ballet?

What is your favorite part about being a student at Kansas City Ballet?

So far just The Nutcracker and the Spring Show.

I loved meeting new people and gaining a whole other family.

What led to you to trying out for the Kansas City Ballet? I felt like I had learned all I could from Academy of the Arts and I have always wanted to be in the nutcracker at Kansas City Ballet. That is really what led me to leave Academy of the Arts.

What types of roles have you played in shows? I have played a mirlinton in The Nutcracker which is like a candy cane.

What are some of the difficulties you have to deal with at Kansas City Ballet? A lot of the hard things are injuries at the moment. They really push you and it causes a lot of stress sometimes.

What kind of commitment comes with being a student at Kansas City Ballet? There is a lot of commitment ... you lose a bit of

your social life, but it is all worth it.

Who has supported you while being apart of Kansas City Ballet? My dad and my sister. My sister was a dancer and always tells me to keep going.

How have you changed as a dancer since starting classes at Kansas City Ballet? I have become a lot more technical and so much more serious about dancing. I know it takes a lot out of you, so I have learned to manage my time as much as I can.

What has been one of the most memorable things from Kansas City Ballet? The very first day I was there, I was so scared and I didn’t know what I was doing. I was afraid that everybody would have a lot more ballet training than I did. Then I realized that they had exactly the same training as I did so we were all on the same level.

Do you plan on doing anything professionally with ballet? I would eventually like to become the student apprentice to the company, which is someone who is still a student but the professional company lets you join just to get some [professional] experience. Then I hope they allow me to join the company after I graduate.

What is your goal as a dance student right now? At least to be the student apprentice which is a big honor.

What has being a student apart of a professional dance company taught you? It takes a lot of work to keep a show going and keep a professional appearance.

How has being a student in a professional ballet company changed your life? It lets me gain a lot more experience in the professional world to see what it might be like if I choose to join the professional company.

ABOVE: Sophomore Virginia Smith does a turn during rehearsal at the Boldender Center on Friday, Dec. 6. Smith has been dancing for nine years and plans to continue. Photo by Jena Smith

For further coverage: Design by Karissa Schmidt


WORD OF THE YEAR: Students reflect on 2013’s Word of the Year, “selfie” BY CALLEE LINTON



hey are taking over Twitter timelines and invading Instagram feeds. Over the past year, selfies have exploded in social media. So much, in fact, that the word “selfie” was recently named the 2013 Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionary. According to Oxford, a selfie is defined as a photograph taken by oneself that is typically uploaded to a social media website. Although it has only become popular within the last year, Oxford claims that the first known use of the word dates back to Sept. 13, 2002 in an Australian online forum. “Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped over and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps,” the online post said. “I had a hole about one centimeter long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.” From there, the term began spreading through social sites such as Flickr and MySpace. By 2012, selfies had made their way onto Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sophomore Gretchen Gambill said she posts a selfie about every two weeks,


but sees at least five a day on social media. “[I post selfies] so people know what I look like and I’m not just an anonymous internet user,” Gambill said. “I do it so when people see my account they say, ‘Oh, I know who that is.’” Although selfies are most commonly posted as self-portraits on social media, many teens also use them for alternative purposes, such as taking pictures with friends and pets or using apps like Snapchat. Junior Becca Dixon is among those who like using selfies for more creative purposes. Dixon has made a hobby of taking selfies with unsuspecting students. She calls it “selfies with strangers.” “[I do it] to make other people laugh and because it keeps me entertained to see each person react differently,” Dixon said. Gambill has taken similar selfies, such as ones with art teacher Jerry Howard in the background. “Everyone found the one I took with Mr. Howard pretty funny,” Gambill said. “I was honestly just trying to mess with him during musical practice.” Despite their popularity, Dixon does not believe that the word “selfie” is worthy of being Word of the Year. “I don’t think it should have been put in the dictionary,” Dixon said. “It doesn’t really apply to everyone. It’s only popular because of teenagers.”

noun (plural selfies) informal: a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website

ABOVE: A group of freshmen stop to pose for a selfie in the hallway on Thursday, Dec. 5. Photo by Jena Smith


Students share their favorite selfies




Design by Justin Curto and Karissa Schmidt




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MILL VALLEY NEWS Your source for everything Mill Valley Follow us on Twitter: @millvalleynews

Design by Miranda Miller


I didn’t think it cou

Bear attack an strike give stu BY JACK LOPEZ



Junior Tevin Kieti [on ordering a pizza at school]

Junior Jordan Matlock [on her hair catching fire on her 13th birthday]

“During English, I got called to the office ... [because] one of my classmates had ordered me a pizza online ... The kid that ordered [it] got a detention.”

“[On my birthday,] I had a three tiered cake. I went [to blow out] the candles and my hair went in the lowest cake. All of the candles were lit.”

Junior reflects on chance to sing with popular band BY JUSTIN CURTO


Sophomore Abby Brown [on Hurricane Katrina] “My parents didn’t want to rebuild the backyard and the roof of our house so we just sold the house and moved.”


Design by Justin Curto and Alana Flinn

he crowd is cheering. They’re chanting her name. She begins to sing, and the crowd goes crazy. To junior Katie Carson, the situation was beyond surreal. “My heart was racing,” Carson said. “It didn’t feel real. It felt like a dream.” Carson sang Taylor Swift’s part in the song “Two Is Better Than One” by Boys Like Girls at a concert on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. According to her, the situation was unplanned and spontaneous. “They said they had a song they wanted to sing, but their good friend Taylor Swift wasn’t there, so they needed someone else to sing it with them,” Carson said. “They called me on stage, asked me my name and said, ‘tonight you’re going to be Katie Swift.’” Carson was very nervous while singing. “I was very jittery during the whole

thing,” Carson said. “I couldn’t hear myself [singing, so] I thought I was going to suck. I was very nervous at first … I think I just freaked myself out.” However, Carson said the crowd’s enthusiasm helped to calm her nerves and made the situation more enjoyable. “When I first got up there, [the crowd was] chanting my name and it was very cool,” Carson said. “After I was done singing they were cheering so loud and it was like a dream come true for me … It was like conquering a fear.” Even though she sang with Boys Like Girls, the concert was still a generally fun experience for Carson. “It was a really cool concert,” Carson said. “It was very packed. I was pushed up to the front of the stage and probably had a few bruised ribs but it was a good show.” Although her experience was extraordinary, Carson still thinks situations like this can happen to other people. “You may think it can never happen to you, but it happened to me,” Carson said. “Things have a weird way of working themselves out.”

e’ve all had th ing which, n do, nothing seems if the universe is your every hope an had our luck run two, but it seems t consistently on the equation. Sophom mons could be con people. Fitzsimmons’ b began more than normal trip to the orado. In the mid routine hike throug tain wilderness, Fit denly ran out when the trail in front of the only other pers time. When he saw

uld happen

nd lightning udent a scare

hem: those days durno matter what you s to go your way, as conspiring against nd dream. We’ve all out on us a time or that some people are e wrong side of that more Brian Fitzsimnsidered one of those

bout with Lady Luck five years ago on a e mountains of Colddle of a seemingly gh the Rocky Mountzsimmons’ luck sudn a bear cub crossed f him and his uncle, son with him at the w the cub’s mother,

Fitzsimmons froze, unsure of what to think. “I was really nervous and scared for what was going to happen,” Fitzsimmons said. “I was just unaware of what was going to happen next.” Fortunately for uncle and nephew, they came prepared. After being shoved over and scraped up minimally by the bear, Fitzsimmons’ uncle sprayed the mother bear with bear spray, a heavy duty form of pepper spray meant to discourage an attacking bear. The spray worked, and the two escaped the situation relatively unscathed. The experience taught Fitzsimmons an important lesson about being in the wilderness, one he hopes others learn the easy way. “Always be prepared, know what’s out there and be observant,” Fitzsimmons said. Three years later, during a church trip to the boundary waters, the lakes on the border of Minnesota and Canada, Fitzsimmons luck ran out for a second time. Fitzsimmons and 2004 Mill Valley graduate Alex Treaster who was

Junior arrives at LAX safely after delay due to shooting BY CALLEE LINTON


s the plane is about to take off, it is interrupted by the pilot on the intercom. The flight has been delayed and the pilot instructs junior Lindsay Roush and other passengers to return to the terminal. “At that moment all we knew was that there was a security issue at [Los Angeles International Airport],” Roush said. “The pilot said he would give us more information as soon as possible.” What Roush and her family didn’t know was that LAX was in the midst of a shooting in one of the terminals. Their plane was held at Kansas City International while the situation was being handled by police. Four hours later, their plane took off for LAX. The scene was shocking when they landed. “I had never seen so many policemen and security people in one place

a leader on the trip were in a canoe in the middle of a large lake when an unexpected storm rolled in. “It got to be a torrential rainstorm, and we couldn’t see very well,” Fitzsimmons said. Fitzsimmons and Treaster headed for what they thought was safety, a small island in the lake. The two got out of the canoe to take it out of the water when the worst case scenario became reality. The canoe and the two young men carrying it were struck by lightning. “[The lightning strike was] very fast, very hot,” Fitzsimmons said. “We got burns on the bottoms of our feet ... and we were really dizzy and we had concussion-like symptoms.” Fitzsimmons attributed the mildness of his injuries to being in the water when he was struck, causing the electricity from the strike to disperse more readily. After two near-death experiences in the span of three years, Fitzsimmons has surely had enough for a lifetime. at a time,” Roush said. After the Roushs grabbed their luggage and walked out of the airport, they were surrounded by hundreds of other people waiting in line for a taxi. The airport had been shut down and no traffic was being let in. “My dad told us to grab our luggage and start walking,” Roush said. “It was really weird because everyone was dragging their luggage along this empty LA highway.” There were so many stranded passengers exiting the airport on foot that some people were taking action. “We walked past an Urgent Care and there were nurses handing out water and food to everyone walking past,” Roush said. After walking for two miles, Roush and her family were finally able to meet their dad in a Kohl’s parking lot. She said the incident was a bad coincidence. “Out of all the flights ... on all the days, it happened that day,” Roush said. “I’m fortunate that we were still in Kansas City instead of LA at the airport.”

Junior Clayton Kistner [on wearing a teacher’s jacket] Senior Joe Vincent [on having lymphoma as a child] “When I was four years old, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphona. After treatment and chemotherapy for about a year, I was cured.”

“I found a denim jacket in [social studies teacher Jeff] Wieland’s classroom one day and put it on ... when [Clear Creek elementary technology specialist Janice] Wilcox came in looking for her jacket ... We both just laughed.”

Senior CJ Beran [on cutting off his finger] “I was doing hang clean in the weightroom and I was doing a little too much weight. I dropped it down and my finger got caught between my knee and the bar and my finger just kind of popped off.”

Photos and Illustrations by Madeline Lamons, Amber Nguyen and Adri Talavera



LEAVING KAW VALLEY BEHIND It’s time for Mill Valley to look for new opportunities outside of the Kaw Valley League

STUDENTS NEED MORE EXPOSURE BEFORE LIFE DECISIONS ARE MADE Real life experiences needed for the future



hile the JagWire staff was initially upset when rumors surfaced of the football team being asked to leave the Kaw Valley League, we soon realized that perhaps it is time to move on. With 73 Kaw Valley League championships in the past 14 years, it is time to make the necessary progression into a bigger league. Mill Valley won 11 of 14 KVL championships just last year. Playing schools that have half the population of ours isn’t much of a competition sometimes. When we only play smaller schools, sports teams are unprepared for the post-season. Athletes cannot reach their full competitive potential if they aren’t provided with an appropriate level of competition. However, playing larger schools could end our league domination. But,

we should all be willing to give up a winning streak for our athletic and academic teams to have more competitive opponents. If athletic and academic teams are willing to put in the extra effort, perhaps we could learn to win in a larger league. We believe one of the most beneficial aspects of a league change would be an increase in school spirit. Old rivals we consistantly defeated would be replaced by new teams that athletes and fans have never experienced. Attendance at events could increase because the games wouldn’t just be a definitive win for our school. A new league would allow our school to be the pioneer of new traditions and rivalries. The JagWire staff wants to see a league change, but according to the athletic director, the school’s current

Cartoon by Madeline Lamons

facilities cannot sustain a change. The football and soccer stadiums are too small to accommodate visiting 6A schools, and a lack of artificial turf on both fields can’t compare to that of 6A schools. Our school cannot make the transition into another league until the district provides the necessary facilities and funds to adjust. If the district takes the initiative to improve our facilities, both athletic and academic teams can finally compete at a level that is appropriate for our school. From there, fans can establish new traditions as rivalries are born with opponents in the new league. While it would be a major adjustment, people need to realize that a league change would allow our school to become the large, suburban school it deserves to be.


15 Disagree

1 Absent


“What do you want to be when you grow up? Where do you want to go to college?” As a sophomore in high school, these are questions I seem to get asked all the time. Students need more real life experience before they can make big decisions like these. When I think back to middle school, it seems like it was more fun and games. Grades weren’t very important in comparison to high school, and it didn’t really matter what classes you took. But as I reached my eighth grade year, one of my most prominent memories is talking about taking classes in middle school to put me on the track to get college credits in high school. Wait, what? Thinking about college in middle school? One thing that really did matter in middle school was making decisions such as these. While I understand it is good to start thinking about life decisions like this early in life, it has become a big focal point in society today. Such as when you take the ACT, you are expected to know where you want to go to school and what you want to do. This can be an unrealistic request for some students such as me, as I haven’t been exposed to many options, making me unsure of what I want to go into in college. Just this year, as a sophomore, have I even started to get an idea of where I want to go to college and what I want to do. Students need more real life experience before they can make good decisions on things that will affect their life dramatically in the long run. This being said, schools need to expose students to more options earlier in their school career if they expect us to make life-altering decisions before we can see R-rated movies.


“I have no problem switching leagues, because we’ll have more competition that way.” FRESHMAN OCTAVIOUS HARRIS


Design by Nick Booth

“I wouldn’t like it because I like the people we play against. I’ve gotten to know people on other teams.” SOPHOMORE AVERY KILGORE

“We’re not ready. Athletically, we’re going to get killed. We think we’re prepared, but we’re really not.” JUNIOR AUSTIN MOORES

“I think we would lose our winning streaks, but we would get more competition, and that’s good.” SENIOR HALEY HAMILTON

SHOULD THE WINTER DANCE BECOME A FORMAL WOMEN PAY ALL EVENT? Two JagWire staff members give their ideas on the future of the winter dance, and what can be done to make it a fun event with high attendance




he winter Women Pay All dance has been a bust for the past couple years. The dance used to be a more formal affair, but within the past couple years it has become a casual mixer. The reason Homecoming has such a big turnout every year is because there is a spirit week for it, a pep assembly the Friday before and a whole night devoted to the dance. WPA used to be the exact same way, and people would go if it was just as big of an event as the fall Homecoming. Initially, the administration changed the dance rules so it was more cost effective for students who couldn’t afford Homecoming and Prom. However, there are other ways to make

WPA cost effective without taking the formal aspect dance away. If there was a hype built up with the WPA dance with a spirit week and theme, the attendence of the event would benefit. If people were aware of the dance and made a point of making the date, there is no reason why it wouldn’t be as good as Prom and Homecoming. If you don’t want to pony up the money for a new dress, there is no rule saying you can’t borrow or exchange dresses with your friends. Also, WPA takes place after Homecoming but before prom dresses are put on the racks, so Homecoming dresses are typically on sale in most stores, so you can save money that way. For dinner, someone in your group could host the meal at their house. If it’s not that big of a deal for you and your group, you could even order a pizza or pick up a take-and-bake from Papa Murphy’s. If WPA is made formal again, with some minor changes that will have significant expense benefits, there would be more of a crowd and it would have just as great of a turnout as Homecoming and Prom.




omecoming and Prom: the two dances worth spending a ton of money on in return for unforgettable nights. And then in between these two great dances is a lackluster event, Women Pay All (WPA). Due to a lack of student interest, WPA has been wildly unsuccessful as of late. While I admire StuCo for attempting to revive the forlorn tradition, it’s time for the school to stop hosting the event. Instead, the seniors need to step up and host an informal, off-campus event for all students to attend so one of our school traditions is not completely abandoned. There are numerous advantages to an informal, senior-hosted dance. For one, the money

students would save is a huge motive; attending dances is anything but cheap. The ladies won’t have to buy dresses and shoes, and the guys won’t have to buy corsages and dinner. A senior-hosted dance would also save the school money. For the past few years, the school organizations that held WPA lost money. While there is always a chance the seniors will not make their money back on the venue, it is a worthy risk for a potentially fantastic dance. One of the problems with an off-campus event is enforcing security and controlling students who show up under the influence. However, this seems to be an issue at on-campus events, too, so it isn’t anything new. Parents of seniors could volunteer to stand at the door and monitor the students coming in, which will hopefully deter incapacitated students from entering. For the sake of everyone’s wallets, WPA should be a fun, inexpensive night with all of your friends. The school would not have to worry about hosting a dance, and the seniors would have the chance to take responsibility and create an event for all students that is comparable to both Homecoming and Prom.


In the holiday season, people shouldn’t forfeit expression of beliefs to be politically correct



erry Christmas. That’s right, I said it. Over the years, this phrase has become politically incorrect and offensive. However, this isn’t how it should be. In an age where political correctness has become the norm, we shouldn’t abandon our own beliefs just to be nice to others. Not everyone celebrates Christmas.

There are other winter holidays, such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Eid al Fitr (which occasionally falls in December). So, in an effort to not hurt anyone’s feelings, more and more people are switching from saying merry Christmas to happy holidays. This is illogical. In a nation that prides itself on religious freedom, why should some have to make concessions to their faith just because others don’t believe in it? Christmas isn’t even necessarily a religious holiday. Although it has roots in Christianity, it’s become a secular holiday over the years. Christmas is celebrated by atheists and Christians alike, and its celebration doesn’t have to promote Christianity in any way. It’s merely a day to celebrate family and giving to others. Also, happy holidays is not all in-

clusive. Not everyone celebrates a winter holiday. While some atheists and agnostics do celebrate Christmas, others choose not to, so happy holidays could be an offensive phrase to them as well. When people say merry Christmas, they don’t intend to be offensive whatsoever. It’s just supposed to be a kind gesture in a time where people are being nice to each other. Although the phrase merry Christmas should be OK to say in society, this doesn’t mean everybody has to say it. People can still say happy holidays if they so choose, but they shouldn’t force others to do the same. After all, we live in a society where we are given free speech, and we shouldn’t forfeit that right for the sake of political correctness. And with that, I’d like to wish you a merry Christmas.

JAGWIRE INFORMATION JAGWIRE STAFF Editors-in-chief Alana Flinn Ryan Fullerton Managing editor Jack Lopez Photo editor Ashley Kitchen Copy editors Sydney Wilson Jack Lopez Ads manager Miranda Miller

News editor Katherine White Feature editors Jillian Leiby Karissa Schmidt Opinion editor Nick Booth Sports editor Tori Aerni A&E editor Sydney Wilson

Briefs editor Erika Kringen Web editors Justin Curto Amber Nguyen

Staff Hunter Bessey Annie Crouch Kelly Gothard Madeline Lamons Callee Linton Ellen Merrill Sarah Myers Jena Smith Adri Talavera

JAGWIRE OFFICE 5900 Monticello Road Shawnee, KS 66226 Phone: (913) 422-4351 Fax: (913) 422-4039 Adviser: Kathy Habiger JagWire, a monthly publication of Mill Valley High School, is printed by the Sedalia Democrat. MEMBERS OF Kansas Scholastic Press Association National Scholastic Press Association Journalism Education Association The 2013 JagWire was named an All-American newspaper by the NSPA

and earned an All-Kansas rating from KSPA. The Mill Valley News website was named a Pacemaker finalist by the NSPA in 2013. CENSORSHIP POLICY Kansas Senate Bill 62 guarantees the same rights for student journalists as are guaranteed for professional journalists. These rights include, but are not limited to, all First Amendment rights, including the rights of freedom of speech and the press, insofar as published items may not contain libelous, slanderous or obscene statements, may not incite or promote illegal conduct and may not cause a substantial disruption to normal school activity.

EDITORIAL POLICY We value your opinions. If you wish to submit a column or a letter to the editor for the JagWire, you can do so by handing it in to a member of the staff or to the print journalism room (C101). Additionally, you may email any member of the staff with opinions, as well as tweet us at @millvalleynews. Anonymous content will not be accepted. Please understand that we have the right to edit all copy that runs in this publication. SOCIAL MEDIA Twitter: @millvalleynews Facebook: Mill Valley News Instagram: @millvalleynews



A look at previous records and players


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ABOVE: The girls basketball team breaks out of a huddle during its game on Friday, Dec. 6, which resulted in a 46-39 loss to Piper. Senior center Laurel Knust has had a good time playing on the team. “[My time on the team has] been fun. We’re close like a family, we look out for each other. It’s been a blast.” Photo by Adri Talevara


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SEASON 20-5 ‘13RECORD 22-2




Boys and girls basketball have plans to follow up last years finishes after losing twelve seniors


ABOVE: In the 2012-2013 season, senior forward Nathan Stacy led the boys basketball team to victories and post-season success. Photo by Miranda Snyder


Design by Tori Aerni

fter a season that ended in the boys and girls basketball teams achieving their highest ever finishes at the state tournament, the teams are transitioning and adjusting to the loss of the seniors who helped lead both teams. Last year, the boys team took third at state with a 75-70 win over Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School, led by Nathan Stacy, who holds multiple school records. Led by senior leading scorers Tanner Tripp and Stephanie Lichtenauer, the girls team took second after a one-point loss in the championship game against St. Thomas Aquinas High School. “[The seniors] really instilled the idea that with hard work and the right attitude, you can accomplish anything,” junior guard Mitch Perkins said. “They were here for all four years and they kind of built a foundation for what we do on the court now.” Senior power forward Carly Eaton said the girls team has had to make multiple changes after losing its seniors. “What we’ve had to do is reestablish leaders, and we’ve had to completely revamp our offense,” Eaton said. “We’ve had to figure out what positions people have to do; I had to change positions from last year. JV and varsity ... don’t have the same core plays, so JV had to learn what varsity does.”

Eaton had to make the transition from a regular player to being a team leader. “[It’s different] because I was the only one coming back from varsity, lettering,” Eaton said. “I’ve had to take the role of captain. I’m the only one that’s been there for awhile. It’s harder because I have to be responsible for more than one position, knowing what everybody else has to do. It’s just weird because last year I was at the bottom of the food chain, and now I’m at the top; I was never in the middle.” Senior center Laurel Knust also had to take on a leadership role, although she says she does not have as much varsity experience. “With there only being three seniors and most of us not having much [varsity] playing time, we have new roles of making sure practices run smoothly and being prepared for game day and keeping the hype in the team ... It’s a lot harder becasue during practices you’re on the court almost the entire time,” Knust said. “It’s a new level of aggressiveness, and we just have to make sure we keep up with it.” Head boys basketball coach Justin Bogart has been working to get the new team to realize that it can be successful even with the loss of last year’s seniors. “We emphasize being tough, playing together and being all-in which means that every second

of every practice, every second of every game you are locked in, focused and ready to be the best athlete you can be,” Bogart said. “They are the ones that are ultimately responsible for demonstrating [how successful they can be] through their actions.” After the success of last year’s boys team, Perkins is excited to prove the abilities of the new team. “It’s a lot of pressure to succeed and to continue with what they left off with, but at the same time it’s a nice challenge that I look forward to achieving,” Perkins said. Following a successful junior season, senior guard Wyatt Voorhes is looking forward to taking on the role that the previous seniors held. “I think [last year’s seniors] really set the bar for this year’s team,” Voorhes said. “As a senior on the team, I’m just excited to be able to be a leader this season.” Knust is also excited, saying she thinks the girls team will do better than people may think. “I think we’re going to be a lot better than everybody expects,” Knust said. “People don’t realize that other schools had seniors who graduated too, so we’ll be playing the freshmen, sophomores and juniors we played our other years. Basically, nobody thinks we will be any decent this year, and we just want to prove them wrong.”





Talk of league change continues due to enrollment differences BY ALANA FLINN


n hopes of competing against larger schools, the athletic department is currently making attempts to leave the Kaw Valley League. During the 2012-13 school year alone, athletic and academic teams collectively won 11 KVL championships out of a possible 14, and some coaches and players hope a larger league would provide more competition. Currently, the KVL has eight member teams, which includes 4A and 5A schools. Other leagues in the area include: Sunflower League, which consists of all 6A schools, Eastern Kansas League, which consists of all 5A and 6A schools, except for Bishop Miege High School and the Frontier League, which consists of all 4A schools. One of the main reasons the school is trying to leave the league is because of the size discrepencies in KVL schools. Mill Valley has 1,290 students, and the next largest school in the KVL is Turner High School with 907 students. “We [the KVL athletic directors] started discussing enrollment numbers and where [Mill Valley] might end up, and there was a fear that Mill Valley would become a 6A school,” athletics director David Ewers said. “Then there would be a 6A [school], three 5A [schools] and four 4A [schools], so you’d have one league stretching across three different classifications. That really got the conversation started and got everyone working together to discuss alternative possibilities.” The school has given two other area leagues formal letters of interest; however, various issues could prevent Mill Valley from being able to make the change immediately.

“There’s a lot of factors that go into leaving one league and joining another,” Ewers said. “You obviously have to be welcomed into the league. From a financial standpoint, you have to make sure you can make the change. From a facility standpoint, you have to make sure you can accommodate [the size influx]. It’s not as simple as ‘let’s just make a move.’” In preparation to join another league, the school has planned a new two-year football schedule. The team added Staley High School, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, St. James Academy, Blue Valley Northwest High School and Derby High School to the schedule. Only three KVL teams remaining on the schedule: Bonner Springs High School, Lansing High School and Turner High School, as they are in the school’s state football district. The team played six KVL teams in 2013. Ewers said these changes were a mutual decision between all of the KVL school athletic directors at a monthly meeting. Head football coach Joel Applebee welcomes the new schedule. Football has won five league championships since 2002. “It’s going to be a completely different kind of challenge for us,” Applebee said. “The preparation that goes into knowing the opponent will take us preparing and putting in a little more work to know those teams. And of course trying to get that across to our kids will be a heck of a challenge, but it’s going to be fun.” Senior defensive tackle Ryan Smith said he would have rather played the new schedule during his four years on varsity. “The KVL does have some good competition,” Smith said. “It would have been nice to branch out and have different competition. Better competition can always help you get ready for those difficult games.” After playing varsity soccer for three years,

senior forward Michaela Remijio said she would have rather played in a more competitive league. Girls soccer has won five league championships in the past six years. “Playing any type of game will give us experience, which in turn makes us better,” Remijio said. “However, playing 6A schools with a larger talent pool really gives us a leg up for the state tournament. It gives us more experience and opportunities to work on things that need to improve.” The girls track team has won the KVL championship for the past 13 years. Senior Brooklyn Hogfoss would exchange consecutive league championships for more difficult competition. “I feel like it would be better for our team if we switched leagues,” Hogfoss said. “It’s hard to find the motivation to improve when we are running against the same competition over and over again. Winning league championships doesn’t mean anything if it’s easy.” Senior golfer Jon Darby said golfing in a different league would have better prepared him for the state tournament his freshman year. “In golf, the Sunflower League is much more competitive than the Kaw Valley League,” Darby said. “Playing against those schools during regular season encourages us to practice more in the off-season. And when I went to state, it was really difficult because I’d never golfed against such huge competition.” Head basketball coach Justin Bogart believes it is time for a league change. Boys basketball won league championships in 2004 and 2006. “Now is the right time,” Bogart said. “We need to embrace what this school has become and what it still aspires to be and that’s going to be a large, suburban school, and that doesn’t fit very well in our current league. It is time. We need to continue the process of searching out what’s best for Mill Valley High School now and in the future.”





See how many times each sport has won the KVL championship from fall 2000 to fall 2013

BOWLING FIRST MEET: AWAY, JAN. 8 VS. PIPER AT KC LANES, TIME TBD Girls basketball, Boys basketball and wrestling

Volleyball and baseball

Girls cross country and boys golf

Softball, football and girls soccer

Boys cross country, boys soccer and boys track

Girls track *As of Monday, Dec. 9 Design by Tori Aerni





RUSTY HORSE TAVERN 6325 Lewis Street




f you are a fan of pizza, stop by Stone Canyon Pizza right in the heart of Parkville. A pizza restaurant with a partial Italian feel, Stone Canyon will satisfy any food pallet. With just about every topping under the sun, you can stop by for a light meal or a big dinner and leave pleased. Stone Canyon will fit any size party, as you can get a mini pizza for yourself or share a pizza with your family. While the food is good, the service lacks in attentiveness. If you expect perfect change and drink refills without having to go up to the counter, Stone Canyon may not be the place for you. So if you’re just looking for a good meal without being bothered by a waitress, Stone Canyon is a great place to check out.

f you’re willing to splurge on a good burger, stop by the Rusty Horse Tavern on the outskirts of Parkville on Lewis Street. The Rusty Horse Tavern is a quiet environment with little to no wait, which makes it a great location for any occasion if you’re not a fan of the loud bar-like environment. You can get a burger of your liking and a side of your choice for around ten-dollars. The wide variety of burgers ranges from a basic burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pickles to “The King” topped off with peanut butter and bananas. If you’re spending a day in Parkville and looking for a good meal that will fill you up, visit the Rusty Horse Tavern.








P Photos by Ashley Kitchen, Amber Nguyen and Hunter Bessey Illustrations by Madeline Lamons

14 A&E

Design by Jack Lopez

arkville Coffee is filled with a hominess you cannot find in mainstream coffeehouses. Savory pastries and cookies are displayed on the shelves and the scent of freshly brewed coffee fills the air. When cold weather hits, Parkville Coffee is the perfect place to warm up, either with the many different flavors of coffee or a nice hot chocolate, or get lunch with the array of sandwich selections. With a relaxed upstairs space, Parkville Coffee is the place to get work done or just sit back and enjoy a nice cup of coffee.

mallcakes is the perfect opportunity to satisfy your sweet tooth. It is a popular dessert shop that specializes in making the perfect cupcakes for any craving. A vanilla cupcake with white buttercream frosting covered in a thousand multi-colored sprinkles can be a creative,and edible birthday present. A Smallcakes cupcake is also a tasty souvenir to remember your fun day in Parkville.




his vintage store is home to all sorts of antique technology. As its name would suggest, watches are the main focus of the store, but there are many more types of old technology to be found here, such as typewriters, vintage radios and vinyl records. Most items do not have a price on them, so you will have to ask an employee for help, which can be a setback if you’re looking to quickly compare items to buy. While some of the items are pricey, they can be great, unique gifts.


f you’re constantly anxious about the possibility of an apocalypse, want to become the next Bear Grylls or want to go all-out for basketball camo nights, this store has some supplies for you. Its stock includes large cans of food that have a 25-year shelf life as well as camouflage military gear. Among other products are insect sting medical kits and “The Complete Guide to Wild Edible Plants.”

Design by Sydney Wilson and Nick Booth



A younger brother could be happy with a pinup of his favorite sports star.


These Nike Elite socks are great if your older brother likes sports.


If you genuinely have no idea what to get them, try buying some generic lotions.

Nothing; save your money for people you care about.


A younger sister might want some makeup to play with.


Ahhh. Parents or siblings?


So, family then. How close are you?


How well do you know the person you’re giving the gift to?


If your mom is the cooking type, get her a nice apron. If not, try getting a keepsake ornament.


Pamper your girlfriend with a manicure or a pedicure.



Are they really?


Make your friends some sweet treats to let them know how much you appreciate them.

Photos by Jena Smith, Kelly Gothard

Some new cologne might help him out with upcoming school dances.






Depending on what he likes, you could give him a sports jersey or a nice bow tie.


A Starbucks gift card can help any sibling who needs caffeine for school or work.

Older or young-





Then why are you getting them anything?

Your sideways view of the art of gift giving NOT AT ALL



A&E 15

LEFT: Using a scraper, custodian Rhonda Jesen cleans the bathroom sink after school on Thursday, Dec. 5. “[My least favorite part of my job] is definitely [cleaning] the bathrooms,” Jensen said. Photo by Jena Smith

A look at what the custodial staff does for the student body before, during and after-school to maintain a clean building for both faculty and students LEFT: While smiling, custodian Khamla Malthip cleans the main foyer doors on Monday, Dec. 2. Photo by Hunter Bessy

LEFT: Custodian Donald Dobbels vacuums the floor of foreign language teacher Niti Kamath’s classroom after school on Monday, Dec. 9. “[I enjoy my job] because I see immediate results,” Dobbels said “I walk into a dirty room, and ten minutes later it’s clean.” Photo by Adri Talavera

ABOVE: Custodian Robert Nossaman cleans the floors in the freshman locker banks on Tuesday, Nov. 26. “My favorite part of the job is being able to work in such a positive environment with great people,” Nossaman said. Photo by Adri Talavera RIGHT: Custodian Khalma Malthip sweeps up the mess after the last lunch period on Thursday, Dec. 5. Photo by Miranda Miller


Design by Annie Crouch and Ashley Kitchen

Scan on your smartphone to see more photos online. Illustration by Madeline Lammons

Volume 14, Issue four  
Volume 14, Issue four  

Volume 14, issue four of the JagWire newspaper