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Melting pot ... or not?


Board votes on boundaries


Left-handed students


Bilingual pros/cons

District cheer showcase

Books to movies


NAHS HOLDS CHILI BOWL SALE Money rasied goes towards future projects and supplies

projects that have been judged and awarded by art teachers. NAHS sponsor Jerry Howard enjoys that the fundraiser is an opportunity for students to receive feedback on their art. “[The fundraiser] gives students the experience of getting their projects judged and looked at, just like a professional art show,” Howard said. Art teacher Erica Crist said she likes to give students the opportunity to showcase their art. “I enjoy that the students get to show off their work,” Crist said. “I like that the community can come in and

see how much talent we have here.” Senior NAHS secretary Logan Robertson likes the publicity the fundraiser brings to the club. “It might get kids more interested in joining,” Robertson said. “It will help spread the word since a lot of people don’t even know there is an art club at Mill Valley.” Senior NAHS president Anna Frontura was excited by the community’s interest in the club’s artwork. “I like it when people ask questions about the artwork,” Frontura said. “It’s nice to see that people like it, not just because it is pretty.”




T ABOVE: Junior Alex Ralston admires her ceramic bowl at the National Art Honor Society Chili Bowl sale on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Photo by Ashley Kitchen

Members of the blue band travel to Emporia for concert BY SAM LOPEZ


he Blue Band performed a concert with the Emporia State University band at their concert hall on Tuesday, March 4. This event, including traveling, rehearsing and performance time took about 10 hours. Despite the time needed to sacrifice for this performance, junior band member Maddie Butterfield enjoyed the experience. “It was really cool because it was [band teacher Debra] Steiner’s alma mater, so it meant a lot to her,” Butterfield said.“We all wanted to do well to make her proud of us.” The band began preparing and rehearsing for this event in late October

and finished in late February. “I think we [prepared] well. We had some really great rehearsals coming into it,” Butterfield said. “I think we had some difficulties on some pieces, but that’s just expected.” However, there were some obstacles for the band’s rehearsals, including inclement winter weather. “All the snow days kind of threw a kink in our schedule, but despite that, they did an awesome job,” Steiner said. “They did a really good job making up for that lost time.” Steiner said the band worked through until the end and had a great concert. “I think it’s always the fine details that sometimes slip. A measure here, a measure there,” Steiner said. “But as a general, overall big picture, [the concert] was really good.”

he National Art Honor Society conducted a fundraiser on Tuesday, Feb. 23 where they sold ceramic bowls and chili raising $500 for the club. All proceeds of the event support NAHS. The money will be spent on supplies needed to conduct more projects such as murals and new projects for the club. The fundraiser featured student’s

Winning class decides on end of the year prize BY HUNTER BESSEY


t a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 25, Student Leadership Team decided the winning class of the Class Cup Competition will be able to choose where they will go for their reward. However, SLT members will narrow choices down to three or four options and the winning class will get to decide from these. “We decided to let the students choose because they would be able to have a little more say and be able to do what they want,” Hayes said. SLT members proposed ideas such as going to the Kansas City Zoo or spending a day at the Legends Outlets in Kansas City, Kan.

5 33 23

“Students could go to a movie then grab a bite to eat, go to Dave and Busters or maybe do a little shopping,” Hayes said. As of right now, the sophomore class is in the lead for the year. Sophomore Val Merriman likes the idea of being able to choose the reward. “I think it is good so we can have the freedom to choose what to do,” Merriman said. “But, I think it will be hard for the class to agree on one place to go. I think going somewhere like Worlds of Fun would be really fun.” SLT decided not to choose a reward with a specific date in order to have more flexibility. However, the tentative date is Tuesday, May 6. Students will leave during first block and get back before the end of the day, allowing enough time for althetes to return for sports practices.





ABOVE: Sophomore Jillian Ottesen plays the trumpet in the ensemble on Tuesday, March 4 in Plumb Hall at Emporia State University. Photo by Miranda Miller


Design by Erika Kringen

The men’s NCAA basketball tournament will announce its seeds Sunday, March 16. The first round games will begin Tuesday, March 18.



As spring approaches regions across the country have been affected by harsh weather, including flooding, record lows and snowfall.

Kansas City will host its St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Monday, March 17. Festivities will begin at 11 a.m. with children activities and vendors


SENIORS *As of Monday, March 10

Cover by Alana Flinn and Madeline Lamons Trending Topics from MCT Campus



he Board of Education voted 5-1 not to change any district attendance boundaries at a special meeting on Monday, March. 3. This option was one of three finalists, the second two being changes that affected middle schools. These three proposals were selected in February by the Board out of 18 proposals submitted by members of the enrollment and boundary committee. This decision comes after months of discussion between committee members. After a study conducted by RSP & Associates revealed enrollment issues, including overcrowding at some schools and underutilization of others, the committee began meeting in October, finally submitting proposals for review by the district in January. These proposals were then presented to patrons at two public forums in late January. The Board began discussion of this issue at its February meeting before voting for to make no changes. Board member Tim Blankenship was absent from the meeting, and Board member Rachele Zade voted for changes. All other members believed no change was necessary. “There just weren’t enough students to justify the inconvenience it would cause people just a short term solution,” Board member Bill Fletcher said. “Most of [the patrons] were happy that we didn’t make any boundary changes. I don’t think I’ve gotten any negative [reactions] on it. It just doesn’t cause any turmoil this way, and it doesn’t affect the education.” Board president Mitch Powers didn’t want to make changes because this option followed one of the Board’s goals in discussing this issue. “[I favored no boundary change because of] minimal impact to the families of the district, which was one of our guiding principles,” Powers said. However, some committee members were frustrated with the process by which this decision was reached. Math teacher Brian Rodkey served on the committee and felt it would have been better for the Board to take action. “My initial response [to the decision] was disappointment,” Rodkey

said. “I don’t feel that was a wise longterm decision. It seems like we’re just crossing our fingers and hoping the enrollment projections are wrong.” Rodkey thinks the process should have been planned better. “The way it was proposed in the beginning was that the job of the committee was to formulate a plan to solve overcrowding in the district, and we didn’t do that at all,” Rodkey said. “We submitted 18 proposals ... we didn’t come up with a plan as a committee. I think that part of the problem was that we wasted the first two meetings. We should have started hammering out a plan in that second meeting. I thought the process the committee was supposed to follow was poorly thought out.” Junior committee member Maddie Butterfield enjoyed learning from serving on the committee, and she thinks a similar process needs to be used in the future. “Although it was a really long process, I think it was a great learning experience, and it helped us realize as a [committee] and a community how arduous the process is,” Butterfield said. “I also think we learned that this needs to be something we look into every couple of years.” Fletcher liked the use of a committee, but he believes it needs to be directed better in the future. “I think that if they would have better direction than from the company we hired, it would have gone smoother,” Fletcher said. “Instead of 18 choices, we could have narrowed it down.” Rodkey also likes the idea of a committee, but he thinks it needs to make a more efficient use of its time. “I think a committee is a good idea because it gets input from a lot of different people ... but we shouldn’t have spent one meeting doing an icebreaker game and wasting time,” Rodkey said. “We don’t have time for that, and adults should be able to come together and be productive. They shouldn’t need all of that hand-holding stuff.” According to the projections by RSP & Associates, some schools will still face overcrowding in the near future. Monticello Trails Middle School is expected to continue to exceed capacity, and Mill Valley High School is expected to reach it soon. Open enrollment may be used to solve underutilization of De Soto High School and Lexington Trails Middle School.


A look at the process used by the district to address overcrowding problems

The district hires RSP & Associates to conduct an enrollment and boundary study exploring school populations and overcrowding.


The proposals are presented for feedback at public forums on Wednesday, Jan. 22 and Thursday, Jan. 23.

Based on the study’s results,

u a boundary committee is formed to find a solution enrollment problems


Board votes 5-1 to keep current district boundaries

The Board of Education narrows the proposals down to three options, finally voting 5-1not to change the boundaries at its meeting on Monday, March 3.


Committee members have four meetings from October through December

Committee members write proposals and present them at the fifth meeting on Thursday, Jan. 16.



Photos by Miranda Miller and Ashley Kitchen

Board members chose the “No Boundary Change” option from the following options:

NO BOUNDARY CHANGE All district boundaries will remain the same Open enrollment will be available for students who want to attend Lexington Trails Middle School and De Soto High School



Would redrawn boundaries for Mill Creek Middle School and Monticello Trails Middle School

All Mill Creek Middle School students who would attend De Soto High School would be moved to Lexington Trails Middle School

Students who live east of Woodland Road would be shifted to MCMS High schools would not be affected

Some students at Monticello Trials would be shifted to MCMS High schools not affected

Design by Ryan Fullerton





hanging nutritional standards will impact food items sold on campus beginning next year. This upcoming phase put into effect by the U.S. Department of Agriculture affects all food and beverages, specifically snacks, served on campus during the school day. The USDA defines the school day as midnight to 30 minutes after the conclusion of classes. Next year’s changes will affect a la carte lunch items most, including the selection of chips currently provided. Due to the new fat content and caloriebased regulations, no full fat chips will be available to students starting next year. Cookies will also change, as the new regulations will require them to be whole grain. Director of student nutrition Amy Droegemeier said over 600 cookies are currently sold every day at Mill Valley, a number that added up to $80,000 worth of cookies sold last school year. “We’re very concerned with [the cookies] and the changes we’re going to have to make to follow the federal guidelines next year,” Droegemeier said. “That’s a huge part of our a la carte budget and our revenue we make every year.” Droegemeier says she and her team are aware of the cookies’ popularity among students and have been “sampling multiple vendors’ cookies and have yet to find ones that we think will be acceptable to students.” Regardless, Droegemeier said that as of now, students can expect to see cookies of some kind sold next year.


Design by Katherine White

“We’re trying to strike that happy medium between following the guidelines and also providing students with things that they want and will purchase so we can stay self-sufficient with our department,” Droegemeier said. “I’m trying to be creative. We’re trying to come up with new solutions and get kids involved to help make those decisions.” Since the initial phase of the USDA’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 focused on hot lunches, the breakfast and lunch menus will remain relatively the same. Students can expect all grains to be whole grains, although Droegemeier said 90-95 percent of the grains currently provided in the cafeteria are already whole. Beverages sold on campus will not be affected by the new guidelines, as they already meet requirements for the upcoming regulations. Pizza will also remain available. The Catty Shack will also be affected by the upcoming changes, and Droegemeier has been working with marketing students who run the store to be proactive in anticipation of the changes. Marketing teacher Dianna Heffernon said she and her students are still determining what food they will be able to sell during the school day. Still, they have been certain to only introduce items this year that meet the new guidelines, such as Jamba Juice. “We started [preparing for the changes] last year,” Heffernon said. “It just takes a little bit more thought and a little more creativity. That’s the big thing. It’s always an adventure.” Many students have been vocal about nutritional changes made in the past, as well as those coming next year.

“I think it’s good that they’re bringing in healthier foods, but I also think we should still have a wide variety of options,” sophomore Morgan Panovich said. “I’ve really enjoyed having the garden bar this year because you know that what you’re getting is nutritious, and it’s just another opportunity to eat healthier.” In addition to the Catty Shack, vending machines will also have to conform to the standards. Droegemeier said if all items in the vending machines next year do not meet regulations, they will not be available until 30 minutes after the school day ends. Sophomore Patrick Gambill has mixed feelings regarding the upcoming changes in regulations. “I think it’s good to have healthy options for students, but I wish they could use their own common sense to make healthy choices,” Gambill said. Taste Test Tuesday is one way students have been able to get involved in these decisions. All items sampled at Taste Test Tuesday earlier this year will be available next year in the cafeteria. “I really liked Taste Test Tuesday,” freshman Camden Davis said. “Obviously the nutritional changes were going to come at some point, and I think it’s cool that they wanted to get our input.” The best way to get involved, Droegemeier said, is to give feedback. “Please stop me when you see me in the cafeteria. Give us ideas,” Droegemeier said. “We go constantly to our vendors and our food service providers to say, ‘our kids are asking for this.’ Just understand that we are under these restraints and under these regulations.”

Students and staff prepare for the second phase of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act FAR LEFT: Dollar in hand, sophomore Catherine Westin looks over her options at the vending machine on Thursday, Feb. 13. Next year, vending machines will have to meet the incoming nutritional standards. “I think the changes will push students to make healthier choices while at school,” Westin said. Photo by Adri Talavera LEFT: Director of student nutrition Amy Droegemeier explains nutrition changes for next year on Friday, Feb. 21. Photo by Hunter Bessey

FOODFIX A look at how the changes in nutrition standards will affect the food that is sold in the school and at lunch COOKIES COOKIES WILL ALL BE WHOLE GRAIN, AND MORE OATMEAL COOKIE OPTIONS WILL BECOME AVAILABLE


HOT LUNCHES HOT LUNCHES, WHICH ARE CURRENTLY 90-95 PERCENT WHOLE GRAIN, WILL BE 100 PERCENT WHOLE GRAIN Information provided by director of student nutrition Amy Droegemeier

15555 W. 87th Street, Lenexa, KS 66219 913-888-0060 Fax: 913-541-0932 E-mail: Enroll Online at

Design by Miranda Miller



JACK EARLENBAUGH Junior Jack Earlenbaugh participates in Shotokan karate through Young Champions of America


What type of martial arts do you participate in? I do a program through Young Champions. It is a style of Shotokan karate, which is a versatile mixture of different styles of martial arts. We do weapons forms and open hand mace, basically self-defense.

How is Shotokan karate different than other forms of martial arts?

Since it is a more versatile form, it is more useful for a lot of different attacks. Certain martial arts styles focus on one area of the body or one area of technique. Shotokan is more centralized [than other forms of martial arts].

How did you find out about Shotokan?

I saw a poster when I was in third grade in the office of a school. It said Young Champions and where I could sign up. I told my mom I had always wanted to do something like that, and my mom said it was a good idea. Me and both of my sisters got into it, but they no longer do it.

How do belt rankings work?

There is a class per semester where we are given instruction in many different forms and styles that they have for techniques like punches and kicks. That criteria of what you know and learn, and the sequences of forms that you have to memorize coincide with a belt rank. They will teach you the basics first then they will go advanced. At the end of that, you will get graded by the instructor and it works just like any other grading system.

What do you have to do in order to receive your black belt?

It involves a bunch of self-defense techniques where you have to memorize at least 30 one-steps where you have to react to different punches and different kicks and attacks from all sides. We also have to do sparring, and sparring


involves fighting people.

How does class work?

In the first part of class the way it is right now, we start out with 30 minutes to an hour of sparring. It’s basically you fighting another opponent with the instructor mediating. You sit in a ring and fight the other person to demonstrate the techniques you learned. The rest of the class is usually instruction on katas and punches, kicks, and self-defense moves.

What kind of gear do you wear?

We wear a gi, so it’s what you would normally think of a karate style robe. It has a belt on it. Also, we have to have weapons. I have a wooden practice sword, a bo staff and a fan that we can use for weapons katas. I also have sparring gear, which is like body armor so we don’t get hurt. Besides those weapons, it’s your two hands, your two feet, and your head.

How is Shotokan karate different from other sports or activities?

For karate it’s a lot different because it is individualistic. You don’t cooperate with other people unless you’re sparring. It is you individually going through the techniques and memorizing the things you have to do, while reacting to them in a way that is different from a team activity where you can rely on another person. You only have yourself when you’re in a fight.

What is your coach like?

We call him sensei because that is the correct terminology. Sensei Uri is my instructor.

How often do you practice?

We do practices every week on Saturday for about two hours and we’re supposed to be working everyday outside of class.

What are tournaments like?

We go to tournaments; there is one tournament every semester,

Design by Karissa Schmidt

although we are required only one per year. The tournaments that we go to involve everything that we are required to do for belt testing. [Competitions] are usually the time people show off all of the extra stuff they can do. The competition is mainly against yourself and working to achieve a belt rank without completely failing. We usually compete in sparring tournaments at the end of it. All the upper levels come together and we fight against people of your same size and belt rank.

fight them and really part of the enjoyment is fighting.

What is your least favorite part?

My least favorite part is getting scrutinized by my instructor. It is sometimes difficult to please him in a lot of things that he asks for you to do. There was a point I remember when we would practice side kicks. A side kick to him was perfectly sideways or above that at a 45 degree angle. He’s a perfectionist in a lot of what he does.

How do you place at tourna- Have you ever faced any injuments? ries in Shotokan karate? You try to get in the top three. You place if you are the top of your group and they only give first, second, and third place trophies.

How hard is it to advance?

You can take the test and they ask you to do basic things. You start with the easy techniques and from there they progressively get harder as you are trying to memorize more things. They add more things you have to do to the point where it took me a year to get my brown belt, and now it’s taking me a while longer to get my black belt. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re out there alone and a black belt isn’t going to save you.

Yes. Two tournaments ago I got a pretty bad concussion. A guy punched me in the head when he wasn’t supposed to and it was an illegal hit. It was bad. Also in fifth grade I damaged my heel and pulled my Achilles tendon. Then, of course, there are bumps and bruises along the way.

Would you suggest other students participate in Shotokan karate? If you

What has been your biggest want struggle? a Currently, I’m trying to achieve a black belt. The brown belt was also a pretty difficult thing to do. I had to really knuckle down and get serious about it if I wanted to ever achieve any of the things I wanted to do. Overcoming my mental capacity of what I thought I was capable of doing was the hardest part.

What is your favorite part?

It used to not be this, but my favorite part is sparring. You’re fighting against different people from different areas that are also working towards their belt. It’s fun to

challenge and are willing to put in the work, I would say it’s worth it.

Do you think martial arts gets enough attention and respect?

I think there is a lot of bad reputation with it. People say that it may not be useful or that you don’t know what you’re doing. If you truly do work, it is a legitimate sport. The Olympics and such things do a good job of covering mixed martial arts and it does a good job of representing it.

ABOVE: Junior Jack Earlenbaugh practices a kata on Friday, March 7. “There is a set criteria of 10 katas that you have to memorize in sequence,” Earlenbaugh said. Photo by Jena Smith

For further coverage:

For some students, being left-handed makes simple daily activities geared toward right-handed people a hassle BY JUSTIN CURTO



dergarten and preschool because I wrote my letters backwards and upsidedown [since I was left-handed],” Remijio said. Although she is right-handed, sophomore Morgan Nelson said she understands left-handed problems somewhat well. “My whole family is left-handed, so I kind of get it,” Nelson said. “I feel bad for left-handed people because it’s harder for them [to do things].” However, Novak does not think right-handed people understand these problems well enough. “They kind of think it’s a joke,” Novak said. Due to this, Hoepner said products for left-handed people are rare. “It’s tough,” Hoepner said. “Lefthanded people are a novelty, so lefthanded products [tend to be] more expensive.” Despite this, there are some advantages to being left-handed. “Being left-footed helped a lot [when I used to play soccer],” Remijio said. “Most people are right-footed, so all I had to do was move the ball to my left foot and it made it more difficult for people to take the ball from me ... It made me a stronger player.” Although there are struggles, Novak sees the bright side of being lefthanded. “Right-handed people are jealous they don’t have that hidden talent,” Novak said. “I’d have to say I enjoy [that]. I take pride in being left-handed.”

s he steps up to the plate, senior Drew Novak waits for the pitch. The ball is thrown and he prepares to hit it. Novak analyzes the spin of the ball carefully because of a trait that makes baseball harder for him -- his left-handedness. “In baseball, it’s like the real world: not a lot of people are left-handed,” Novak said. “When right-handed pitchers throw ... it’s harder for lefthanded [hitters to pick up the spin]. Obviously, right-handed pitchers have an advantage over left-handed hitters.” Overall, left-handedness is an uncommon trait. According to, approximately 1012 percent of people are left-handed. This amounts to roughly 30 million left-handed people in the U.S. Due to right-handed people being the majority, tasks such as writing in notebooks are considered to be a nuisance among left-handed people. “Notebooks were not made for lefthanded people,” sophomore Madison Remijio said. “When you write on them, it ends up leaving a binder ring on your arm [and a pencil] stain on the side of your hand.” Some, such as freshman Ben Hoepner, learned to do things as he saw them done by others for the sake of ease. “I just [learned] the right-handed way,” Hoepner said. “That was the way I saw it done, so I learned it quicker.” Others, like Remijio, struggled with doing tasks the left-handed way. “I got yelled at when I was in kin-


10 -12 30 percent of people who are left-handed

million people in the United States are lefthanded

FAMOUS LEFT-HANDERS Oprah Winfrey Jimi Hendrix Leonardo da Vinci Babe Ruth Beethoven Benjamin Franklin Julia Roberts Thomas Jefferson Aristotle

LEFT: Sophomore Madison Remijio struggles with the graphite smudges on her left hand on Thursday, March 6. “It’s annoying because I constantly have to wash it off.” Photo by Karissa Schmidt

LEFT: In a relay drill, senior Drew Novak throws the ball to his teammate during a practice on Sunday, March 9. “Playing baseball left-handed is really difficult when you first start out,” senior Drew Novak said. “You really have to be willing to put in a little extra work in order to catch up to the right-handed kids and figure things out for yourself.” Photo by Karissa Schmidt

Information from Photo from MCT Campus

AUGUST 13 Left- Handers Day

Right-handed people need to realize that left-handed problems exist and are significant


ver since elementary school, I remember being different. Why? Because I am left-handed. I remember learning to write differently, to play sports differently and even different methods to do daily tasks like using a pair of scissors. After a while, I became used to making accommodations because of my left-handedness. However, my struggles always seemed to be underestimated by my right-handed brethren. The right-handed world needs to learn the reality of left-handed struggles and to sympathize with such struggles, because we lead a hard knock life. To most right-handed people, being left-handed doesn’t seem like a big deal. This is not the case. Many seemingly simple tasks, such as using the number pad on a computer, a ballpoint pen or even a spiral notebook, are specifically tailored toward right-handed people. Although there are some products out there for lefthanded people, such things are few and far between. Learning new tasks is also difficult, because more often than not, you are being taught by a right-handed person. In my past experiences, I have had to single myself out amongst others in order to be instructed on how to do things (mostly the tasks previously mentioned in this column) the left-handed way. This isn’t only a hassle, it also makes me feel downright awkward. Being left-handed isn’t easy. Righthanded people may underestimate our struggles, but they’re still real problems. Being left-handed is no walk in the park, and if right-handed people can realize that, it’ll make a better world for everyone.

Design by Karissa Schmidt and Sarah Myers



BARRIER Photo Illustration by Adri Talavera and Madeline Lamons

Mexico Spanish

Bangladesh Bengali





Description: Red with one large yellow star and four smaller ones around it. Meaning: Red symbolizes revolution. The four stars represent the four social classes: the working class, the peasantry, the urban bourgeoisie and the capitalists.

Description: Three panels of green, yellow and red. Yellow emblem with ten rays in the middle. Meaning: Green, yellow and red symbolizes hope, justice and sacrifice. The blue circle represents peace and the pentagram represents unite and equality.


Description: Equal panels of green, white and red. An eagle with a snake in its peak in the middle. Meaning: Green respresents hope, joy and love, white represents peace and red symbolizes bravery.

Bilingualism has multiple advantages, disadvantages BY ERIKA KRINGEN



hile sitting in Spanish class, sophomore Marianne Hoyt flies through her work with ease because of her bilingualism in English and Spanish. Bilingualism is the ability to speak two languages fluently. This is something that few students have the ability to do. Hoyt is a bilingual student who became fluent in Spanish before learning English. “I lived in Mexico and the Dominican Republic when I was younger,”


Design by Jillian Leiby

Description: A red circle slightly left of the center, on a green background. Meaning: The red circle represents the rising sun and the sacrifice to achieve independence. Green field represents the lush vegetation of Bangladesh. Hoyt said. “I really began [to learn Spanish] when my mom started teaching me.” Sophomore Helina Mckonnen learned Amharic from her family who originally came from Ethiopia. “I really didn’t know that much about [the language] until my aunt moved here because she doesn’t speak English at all,” Mckonnen said. “I was forced to learn the language so I could communicate with her.” Freshman Jason Chen achieved his fluency in Mandarin in a more formal school environment as well as from his family. “I used to go to a Chinese Sunday school,” Chen said. “My parents are from China so I [learned from them too.]” Hoyt believes that one benefit of speaking two languages is that it could be a useful tool for her future.

“I can speak multiple languages, and if I ever had to speak Spanish I would be able to,” Hoyt said. Being bilingual also helps these students communicate with their families and friends. “I speak it because most of my family speaks it,” Mckonnen said. “I also go to an Ethiopian church where I need to be able to speak the language.” Sophomore Rohit Biswas learned Bengali at a young age and mainly speaks it at home with his family. “[Speaking and understanding another language] means that I can speak to my family easier,” Biswas said. Knowing another language also helps Hoyt with her education and daily life. “Spanish class comes very easy to me,” Hoyt said. “I can understand people and join in on conversations.” Although there are some advan-

tages to being bilingual, it is hard for Mckonnen to differentiate between languages in school. “I got confused a lot this year because I am taking Spanish,” Mckonnen said. “Some words in Spanish are said the same way in Amharic.” Biswas runs into similar problems such as mispronouncing words and mixing languages up, leads to confusion in conversations. “When I am talking to people that I speak Bengali with, I have to switch over to English,” Biswas said. “It’s weird because we have words in Bengali that we don’t have in English.” Chen has discovered this problem as well. “Sometimes I mix languages,” Chen said. “I say some weird stuff.” As children, being left out of conversations within their families led some students to become more focused

and interested in being bilingual. “I didn’t start getting serious about [being bilingual] until I was five or six,” Mckonnen said. “I just thought since everyone in my family spoke [Amharic] I didn’t want to be the only one who didn’t speak it.” Hoyt had a similar experience with her interest in Spanish. “It wasn’t until I was eight that I began to grow an interest in the language,” said Hoyt. “Just being able to understand and speak [Spanish] is the way I communicate with my family.” For Hoyt, speaking Spanish helps her understand her family’s background and how to communicate with them. “My family is Mexican,” Hoyt said. “Speaking Spanish helps me understand their culture and what they are saying and how to speak to them.” Information from The World Factbook

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An in-depth look at ethnic, religious, sexual orientation and economic diversity, or lack thereof, at Mill Valley

De Soto HS

Mill Valley HS 2.84%

Students cope with lack of ethnic diversity in school BY JUSTIN CURTO


hile walking through the halls, sophomore Maricela Javier hears a taunting voice and stops. “Hey Mexican,” the voice says. Although the comment does not seem to carry much weight, it still hurts Javier, who is half Mexican and half Salvadorian. “[When] people say racist things, it gets to me,” Javier said. Under 20 percent of Mill Valley students were part of ethnic minorities during the 2012-2013 school year, according to the Kansas State Depart-



How do you identify in terms of sexuality? I identify as pansexual.

What is pansexuality?


ment of Education. Many of these students are in situations similar to Javier’s. Some students, however, such as sophomore Roslyn Freeman, have been able to combat racism through involvement in organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Freeman attends NAACP meetings on the first Saturday of every month at noon at the Shawnee Church of the Nazarene. “The NAACP is an organization that deals with civil rights for everyone, not only different races but also gender and social background,” Freeman said. “There are some kids in the [NAACP] that I know, and it does help that I can talk with and relate to them.”

Design by Alana Flinn


see it. [The difference is] pansexuals typically could [also] see themselves in a relationship with someone who is transsexual. People who are bisexual typically just see themselves in a relationship with a man or a woman.

Sophomore Karla Kim, who is South Korean, does not see Shawnee as very ethnically diverse when compared to other areas. “Overland Park and Kansas City have [more] races,” Kim said. “In Mill Valley, we don’t have many Koreans.” After having experiences in more diverse areas, Javier agrees. “I feel like it’s less diverse here,” Javier said. “I used to go to [elementary school in] Kansas City, Kan. and it was more diverse.” Some Caucasian students, such as freshman Joel Soderling, provide a different opinion. “I think we have a lot of different people that come to Mill Valley, whether they have a [Hispanic], African

American or Asian background,” Soderling said. Statistics show otherwise. According to the KSDE, for the 2012-2013 school year, about 82 percent of Mill Valley students were Caucasian and about 18 percent are ethnic minorities. In contrast, about 68 percent of students at Bonner Springs High School were Caucasian and about 32 percent were ethnic minorities. The Harmony Club helps students cope with this low amount of ethnic minorities, but according to Freeman, the club has not been very active this year. “I’m upset because this is my first year doing it and I didn’t really get to experience it,” Freeman said.

to tell me I was being greedy and indecisive and another wanted to stop being friends, but for the most part, [people have responded positively].

are confused about their sexuality. There’s just some people there to help you come to your decision. Also, there’s straight people, and it helps because we see that the people who are there for us aren’t just LGBTQ.

How does involvement in the Gay-Straight Alliance help with being LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bi- How diverse is this area in terms sexual, transgender, or queer/ of LGBTQ people? questioning)? There’s more LGBTQ people than It provides a community [of peo-

people think, but not a lot ... Being

How do people react to your sex- ple to talk to] who understand in Kansas and all, it’s not always uality? how you feel. A lot of them have accepted, so some people haven’t

Pansexuality is kind of like bisex- For the most part, people have ac- been through similar situations, uality; that’s how a lot of people cepted it. One of my friends tried but it’s also a place for people who





Sexual orientation Pansexual student receives support in GSA involvement



% 8.07

African American

8.7 7%


3.20% 0% 10.5




13. 3

12.04% 83.55%

Blue Valley North Olathe Northwest Gardner Edgerton 4.71% 7% 6.0


% .87 13


Bonner Springs

9% 11.8



% 6.16



come out.

Kim, however, has been able to find more Koreans in the area without the help of school organizations, and this has made her feel more at ease as an ethnic minority. “I met two freshman Koreans, and we formed our own sense of a Korean community,” Kim said. “It seems like over the years I’ve found more Koreans in Shawnee, and that’s comforting.” Despite having acclimated herself to Mill Valley not being very diversified, Javier said it would be more beneficial for her if Mill Valley was more ethnically varied. “I love this school, so I’ve gotten used to it,” Javier said. “At the same time, I wish there were more Hispanics who could relate to me.”

What effect does this have on the area’s LGBTQ community? People don’t think about people being LGBT, so they think that only guys who look really feminine and girls who look really masculine are LGBTQ. People don’t think that regular people are. People don’t expect that many people [to be LGBTQ], but as it’s become more accepted in modern day, more people have been able to explore their sexuality instead of being oppressed into whatever sexuality is the norm.

Economic De Soto

Olathe 27.32%




Economically Disadvantaged Students


Realtor Melody Tener sees little fiscal diversity in area BY JUSTIN CURTO

Christianity dominates religious population BY ADRI TALAVERA


s a sign of respect, sophomore Sivani Gadiraju showers prior to praying to the gods each night. Gadiraju does this not only to cleanse her body, but also to relax her mind. In the Hindu religion, bathing, or “Snanam,” is considered the most important daily ritual because of its ability to purify a sinner by washing away external and internal contamination. Gadiraju, along with the rest of the Hindu community, is considered a minority in Johnson County, which, according to Onboard Informatics, is home to a population that is 64 percent Christian. This majority also exists in the halls of Mill Valley, which currently has three clubs, Club 121, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Claim Your Campus, targeted towards followers of the Christian faith. Club 121 leader senior Katie Linsey

explains the importance of Christian clubs in creating fellowship between believers. “It’s easier to walk down the halls of Mill Valley and be strong in your faith when you know there are other people trying to do the same thing,” Linsey said. “It’s just really nice to have that unity.” Currently, there are no clubs targeted towards non-Christians. Sophomore Komal Sangha, a practicing member of the Sikh religion, said she would like there to be more clubs for students of alternate faiths. However, she doesnt believe there much demand for any. “I think there should be groups [at school] for other religions, but I don’t think there are many non-Christians looking to start their own group,” Sangha said. According to Sangha, the apparent lack of diversity in religion may be due to this generation’s more relaxed approach to religious tradition. Sangha said religion is mainly a result of parental influence. “How religious you are depends on your parents I think … My dad took an oath to not drink [alcohol], not eat

meat and not cut his hair [because that’s what it says to do in the Bible],” Sangha said. “… but really, only old school people do that. My parents are pretty laid back; [they] let me make my own choice.” Linsey believes it is important for religion being a personal choice. “There comes a point when you start to question things,” Linsey said. “If [religion] is just something you were taught and you never have that belief in your heart, then once you go off on your own, you’re not going to keep [your religious beliefs.]” Junior Dylan Wall said that his choice in becoming a Jehovah’s Witness has provided him with an outlook on life that differentiates him from other kids his age. “I try and look at the big picture … I think a lot of kids now are not aware of their spiritual need,” Wall said, “I think for high school students it’s pretty easy to be that way because everything seems to be instant, and people don’t worry about their future at this point, but I try and do that [by applying biblical principles to my everyday life].”

Shawnee Mission 36.87% 63.13%

Non-economically Disadvantaged Students

this area? There’s not a lot. [Currently] there are three, and they’re all under contract. They go quickly because they’re usually priced lower.

What’s the price range of houses How economically diverse would in this area? From $125,000 to $500,000 you say this area is, according to would be your range. There’s not this information? many around $125,000, they’re typically in older neighborhoods with updating needed.

How does this compare to other areas in Johnson County? There are areas in Johnson County [with higher prices than here], like the Blue Valley school district. We’re not the top, but we’re near.

There’s not a lot of economic diversity compared to other areas. We’re on the higher end of not being diverse. If you look at Shawnee [as a whole], there’s diversity. You’ve got homes for $50,000 all the way up.

How does the housing market indicate an area’s economic diversity?

How do duplexes and apartments The types of homes and price ranges. The thing is, you can’t get play into all of this? You’ll start to see the average income lower because typically those are transient people … [With the size of homes here], most people will live here for a few years. It’s a family area.

How frequent are foreclosures in

a home for less than $100,000 [here]. Even the townhomes are around $165,000. Most people wouldn’t spend that money on a townhome when other singlefamily homes are going for the same price.

Information from Kansas State Department of Education 2012-2013



SEEK OUT SCHOOL’S DIVERSITY School should work to improve student awareness of cultural and ethnic diversity

SET ASIDE THE FEAR OF FAILING AND WORK TO ACCOMPLISH GOALS Start what you’ve always wanted to do now



Cartoon by Madeline Lamons


f you look around the hallways, it’s not hard to see that the school has a small amount of diversity. However, Mill Valley isn’t just a school of one group of people; the student body is made up of a multitude of ethnicities, sexual orientations and religions whose cultures often go unnoticed. There are clubs within the school that are capable of promoting diversity. Clubs such as Harmony Club and the Gay-Straight Alliance share the goal of providing a safe environment for students of different races or sexual orientations, respectively. However, it seems that neither has had recent active involvement in the school. If clubs follow the example of activities such as jagPRIDE, which sponsors informative events like Arrive Alive, then they

may become more successful in achieving their goals. More action by these clubs, such as use of public speakers or sponsoring of events, could help keep Mill Valley’s diversity from fading into the background. Some of these clubs may not be able to take these actions due to a lack of vocal or financial support. In classes, teachers should and could make use of examples of other cultures in social studies, world language and in English classes. While it could be difficult to add more classes, there are ways in which students can receive more education on other cultures. Classes such as World Geography and World History, which provide introductions into world cultures, could provide more in-depth analysis of these lifestyles to

ensure that all students are knowledgeable about the diversity around them. In regards to finances, the school could try to provide more funding for these diversity clubs. Additionally, if clubs believe they do not have enough money to take action, then they need to understand there are ways around low funds. Groups such as Club 121 and National Art Honor Society have used fundraisers such as to ensure that they can remain active. JagWire recognizes that the school cannot change its diversity. However, we as a school can do more to learn about and recognize other cultures. The only way for this to occur is for everyone in the school to actually do something about it; don’t stand by and let these cultures remain unseen.


19 Disagree

1 Absent



s a musician, when I tell people what instruments I play, I typically get the response “I wish I could play such-and-such instrument.” When I ask them what stops them, it’s usually an “I don’t know, I just haven’t started” or “I don’t think I’ll be good.” I’ve heard the same from people perpetually “planning their novels,” or hoping to exercise more. Sometimes it’s a matter of money or time, which is understandable, but when people simply hold themselves back they should dispel the fear of failure, take the plunge and start doing something that they may enjoy. It’s true that when starting something new, unless you have some undiscovered innate talent, you’ll probably be not so great. That’s because you’re a beginner, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Practice, repetition and learning will help you get to the next level. The reason why people are so scared of failing is because they are comparing themselves to those who have experience already. To quote pastor Steven Furtick’s remark in the article “Why Writers Are The Worst Procrastinators” by Megan McArdle, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” Once over the fear of failure, anyone with Internet connection has tutorials or lessons for practically any hobby or interest at their disposal. Online communities such as forums or blogs provide a place to troubleshoot and share thoughts. Events like National Novel Writing Month or “30 day challenge” prompts provide the motivational push to start a project. Next time you’re bored on a day off, recall what goal you’ve been putting off “until you get better,” and use it to improve instead. Write your novel, play your song, run your 10K or learn how to knit. You could discover your new passion, and your future self will be thankful.


“We have a lot of different people. We could probably accept more exchange students.”

“I feel there’s not a need to improve diversity awareness. Our student body is already aware of diversity.”




Design by Nick Booth

“We only have a Christian club, so we should probably get clubs for different religions.” JUNIOR HALEY DOZIER

“They can improve it by opening more clubs and bringing more opportunities to the less fortunate.”


VOTER TURNOUT NEEDS TO IMPROVE AT ELECTIONS OF ALL LEVELS Eligible citizens need to register to vote and take the time to participate in elections



hen I turned 18 back in October, one of my immediate goals was to make sure I registered to vote soon, especially in preparation for the 2014 mid-term election. It’s something I’ve been excited to do for awhile now, and I look forward to casting my vote for the first time this fall. However, I’ve become more aware over time that many citizens don’t care enough to vote - as it turns out, more than 40 percent don’t.

ABC reported that in 2012 the number of eligible voters who showed up to cast their ballot in the presidential election had decreased from the 2008 and 2004 elections, falling below 60 percent for the first time since 2000. It seems sad to me that barely more than half of the nation’s voters cared to take the time to help choose our country’s leaders, as well as a significant portion of Congress. We are also now in a time where a large amount of citizens are dissatisfied with the performance of Congress. Ideally, there would be a good voter turnout to ensure the return of good Congressmen and the removal of bad ones. Unfortunately, history suggests this won’t happen. In addition to declining participation in elections, the re-election rate of politicians is rather high. According to the Washington Post, over 90 percent of the Senate and House incumbents who ran for re-election were voted back into office. Voter turnout could definitely improve at the

local level as well. Last April, there was an election within the district for the Board of Education. Additionally, a ballot was held over whether or not to adjust the Local Option Budget, which funds the district’s day-to-day activities, from 30 percent to 31 percent in an effort to offset a loss of $3 million in state funding. Despite the fact that both of these issues affect everybody in the district, few of the district’s many eligible voters showed up. Less than 3,000 decided to cast their vote, even though some of these Board members will be deciding the district’s future through 2017. More eligible voters, now and in the future (I’m speaking to the underclassmen on this one), need to realize that voting is an easy way in which anybody can have a voice in government. The issues debated everyday can directly affect you; if you believe politics needs to be handled a certain way, you can have an impact simply by casting a vote.

Cartoon by Madeline Lamons

NHS LOSES PURPOSE DUE TO ABSENCE OF LEADERSHIP AND LACK OF DIRECTION Productivity and service suffer as a result of poor organization in National Honor Society



ecently, the Eisenhower Chapter of the National Honor Society has become the punchline of jokes in the halls. After too many early Wednesday mornings and nothing to show for them, the group has not only become a joke to those involved, it has been reduced to a disappointment to members and the people it could be helping. If changes are not made and the problem persists, it could damage the reputation of the organization and reflect poorly on the school as a whole. In joining NHS, I did so under the belief that I was joining a group of academically talented students whose goal is to make a collective dif-

ference both in the school and the community. While I don’t doubt the former, the latter has evolved into more than a doubt. As members, we are required to have 15 hours of community service per semester. No big deal, you might think. In speaking to NHS members from Olathe East and Olathe Northwest, I learned that they have numerous opportunities to meet the requirement with relative ease. However, that is not true of NHS here. This semester, there have been very few community service opportunities. In addition to tutoring at Monticello Trails middle school, there has only been one event, a 5K run, that NHS students have helped with. Last semester, there were just as few, perhaps two or three. That means that in the event that a member is active in other groups - as NHS encourages - or has prior commitments on the rare days that there is an opportunity to serve, they are left to find their own volunteer work to meet the requirement. The shortage of opportunities has ended up being both an inconvenience for members with busy schedules and a disappointment for those who genuinely want to make a difference.

In order to make a change, the root of the problem has to be addressed. Organization within NHS must improve before the collective group can. At meetings, leaders rarely arrive on time or at all, attendance is merely a second thought and most meetings go something like this: show up, wait for stragglers, officers or one of the sponsors makes one or two announcements (if any) and the meeting is adjourned. As a two-year member, this is a dramatic change from even one year ago when we would have a weekly meeting, break into groups, take attendance, meet for most of our allotted time and have regular opportunities to serve. It felt as if we were actually doing things that mattered. Relative to last year, we’re merely twiddling our thumbs, and it’s become such a problem that some members no longer attend meetings. On a more personal level, I would rather have to get to school early once a week and use the time well than arrive early every other week to sit around for 15 minutes and accomplish nothing. Additionally, officers can take advantage of their positions without the guidance of sponsors to improve the program. It seems that officers

are waiting to be told what to do and, in the absence of direction, the proactivity of the group has suffered. In the future, rather than wait for orders, officers can help search for community service projects for the group to be involved in, have a role in making decisions and take more of a leadership position in organizing NHS-sponsored events. It should not be solely the responsibility of sponsors, who have other obligations to manage, just as students do. That being said, the most effective solution would be for officers and sponsors to work together to resolve the growing problems in NHS. While I was filling out college applications, and as I continue to fill out scholarship applications, it has been difficult writing “NHS” on my resume and feeling like it is a satisfactory qualification for acceptance or reward. Similarly, I will have a hard time being proud to wear the NHS stole as I walk across the stage in May. Now, I can only hope that future members do not have the same experience, and instead come out of the organization both proud of their service and proud to be associated with such a distinguished group of individuals.

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

News editor Katherine White Feature editors Jillian Leiby Karissa Schmidt Opinion editor Nick Booth Sports editor Tori Aerni

Briefs editor Erika Kringen Web editors Justin Curto Amber Nguyen

Staff Hunter Bessey Annie Crouch Madeline Lamons Callee Linton Sam Lopez 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




Out of school sport interests students


ace to face with a player twice his size, junior Josh Orbin prepares for a face-off. Orbin is one of the few students who has pursued lacrosse out of school. Along with Orbin, sophomores Thomas Franco and Austin Mackey play for the Shawnee Mission South Raiders lacrosse team. “My dad found the Shawnee Mission South team, and they were looking for players so I joined the team and I’ve been playing for two years now,” Orbin said. Junior Chase Battes also plays, but for the Blue Valley West Jaguars. Lacrosse is similar to other sports in many ways. Each goal is worth one point, and you run up and down a field similar to a soccer field. While lacrosse has various similarities to other sports, it has many unique qualities. For Franco, one of the biggest differences in lacrosse compared to other sports is the way it’s played. “Lacrosse is sort of like hockey, except a lot of the rules are edited or changed,” Franco said. The passing and shooting is all through the air.” Battes enjoys the quickness of the game. “No other sports are as fast paced,” Battes said. “Not a lot of sports are throwing a ball into someone else’s stick to score eventually.” Each player likes the that the sport relies greatly on the teamwork aspect of the game, but believe there are many other benefits of the sport. Orbin enjoys the teamwork, and the fact that lacrosse requires skill. “It requires a lot of skill to play. Not only speed, but strength and endurance. Also coordination, and you have to be a team player. It’s really fun, and different than other sports,” Orbin said. “It’s really hard to play without teammates. I mean if you’re going to be a ball hog you’re going to have a hard time.” A common stereotype about lacrosse is it’s physicality. Franco says that this stereotype is reality. “Yeah, it’s physical. There’s a lot of fistfights, and people get called for lots of fouls,” Franco said. Lacrosse includes many plays, and for Franco, this is one of the biggest challenges of the sport. “The only thing that’s hard is the tactics. You have to be able to communicate with your teammates,” Franco said. Above all, Franco has enjoyed playing with his teammates. “[The best part about lacrosse is] the people I meet,” Franco said. “They’re all different, but they’re always friendly.”


Design by Tori Aerni









A= Attacker D= Defender G=Goalie M= Midfielder

“You have a goalie on each team. Three defense, three attack, three middies. Midfielders are the only ones who can go back and forth across the field. Defense must stay back, and attack stays up where the other teams goalie is,” sophomore Thomas Franco said.

ABOVE: Running a drill to improve passing, sophomore Austin Mackey recieves a pass from his teammate on Thursday, March 6. Photo by Karissa Schmidt LEFT ABOVE: Sophomore Thomas Franco, warms up as goalie, with his teammates during practice on Thursday, March 6. BOTTOM: In a one on one scrimmage, sophomore Austin Mackey tries to score while junior Josh Orbin defends the goal. Photos by Karissa Schmidt



The first annual De Soto District cheer showcase takes place RIGHT: Freshman Kameron Williams, junior Elizabeth Pfister, and seniors Emily Godwin, and Emily Meier perform an individual stunt group at the showcase on Friday March 7. “It’s the first time we’ve ever done something like this. Next year I can only see it becoming even better” Pfister said. Photo by Jena Smith





he cheerleaders hosted their first ever district showcase on Friday, March 7. The De Soto High School and Monticello Trails Middle School squads joined the Mill Valley squad to perform various routines from the season, such as those performed at competition and pep assemblies, as well as individul tumbling and individual stunt groups. Families, faculty and students showed up to support the cheerleaders. Freshman Julia Kemp was one of those in the audience. “I really liked watching all the cheerleaders perform,” Kemp said. “I liked seeing all my friends there. The music and energy were great.” Junior cheerleader Beth Pfister said her favorite routine they performed at the showcase was their competition routine, adding that the team put a lot of work into it. “My favorite part about the showcase was getting to show the other schools that maybe weren’t at any of the competitions that we competed at what we’ve done and getting to see what other people have done, too,” Pfister said. The team normally has practices twice a week, and three times a week leading up to pep assemblies and competitions. “The year has gone so great,” coach Megan Duden said. “The girls have received a lot of awards.” Freshman cheerleader Sarah Anderson saw the showcase as a way to bring cheer squads across the district together. “I thought it was a good experience because we were able to show that we can all work together as a district and that we support each other,” Anderson said. “I think it was a success, for sure. All of our stunts turned out well, and the other schools looked really good, too.” Pfister agreed. “[The showcase] let us [take away the competitiveness] of the sport and keep it enjoyable for everyone,” Pfister said. “It was good for the teams to bond.”


GIRLS BASKETBALL ABOVE: The cheerleaders finish their pep assembly routine, “Ayy Ladies,” on Friday, March 7. “[My favorite part about the showcase was] having the other schools in the district there because we don’t get to see them during the regular season. ” sophomore Sara Hempleman said. Photo by Jena Smith


Sophomore cheerleader Katlyn Seyb reflected on the experience as a positive one. “I liked getting to see all the other teams and how their performances were different than ours,” Seyb said. “It was nice getting to perform one last time for our family and friends before the season ended.” Altogether, Anderson thought the squad was able to use the showcase as a way to end the season on a high note. “It was definitely a good way to wrap up the season,” Anderson said. “We worked so hard throughout the year, and to show it off to our school and our parents was really rewarding.”




Design by Tori Aerni­­



Design by Jack Lopez

is said

The origin of Halloween stems from a Celtic tradition celebrating the day spirits would return to Earth through a feast called Samhain. It also celebrated the end of the summer season. During the late 8th century, the Catholic church appointed a night in October to all Saints who did not have their own individual holiday, which became known as ‘All Hallows,’ and the night before became known as ‘All Hallows Eve,’ which became Halloween over time.

eve r-el usi ve e

While many believe the legend of Dracula originates from Romania, skepticals are convinced that the story is derived from Ireland. The author of Dracula, Bram Stoker, was born in Dublin, Ireland and never had a direct link to Transylvania. Stoker’s tale was said to be influenced by a fifteenth century tyrant, Vlad the Impaler, who was known as Dracula. Vlad was known for impaling his enemies on a stake and is essentially the basis of the Irish folklore.

at th e

Samhain (sah - win)

to be

Vlad the Impaler

Irish traditions that have become part of American culture


The location of a leprechaun’s pot of gold

Fun Fact: Ireland is a completely snake-free island, with only one species of reptile - the common lizard - native to the island. Legend says that Saint Patrick banished them.

According to tradition, the original color that was worn on St. Patrick’s Day was blue. However, due to the close association of the color green to Ireland - known as the “Emerald Isle,” and other symbols of the Irish tradition, green grew in popularity and eventually took over.

Why is green so closely associated with it?

Whether or not you have ancestors from Ireland, you have very likely celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, even if just by wearing green. St. Patrick - in honor of whom many Irish legends and traditions stem - is the patron saint of Ireland in the Catholic faith, which makes up 88 percent of the population of Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day, or St. Patty’s, as some affectionately refer to it, is simply a Catholic feast day that has become a celebration of Irish culture around the world.

Why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Your sideways view of everything Irish


A&E 16

of nd , bow n i a ra

t. effec l a c pti an o


Ireland is the only country in the world that has a musical instrument – the harp – as its national symbol. The oldest known harp in existence is housed in Trinity College, Dublin. It dates back to at least 1300 and is one of only three remaining midieval Gaelic harps.

Leprechauns are fairies in Irish mythology that love to cause trouble and are very selfish when it comes to their treasure. According to legend, the creatures, who are about the size of a small child, must tell the location of their treasure if they are caught, but many use their wits to keep it safe. In Irish Tradition, Saint Patrick used the the leaves of a four leaf clover to represent the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with the fourth representing God’s grace. In modern times, they are said to represent faith, hope, love and the fourth leaf represents luck.

Information from,, Huffington Post Photo from MCT Campus

1. Place corned beef in large pot and cover with water. Add the spice packet, cover and bring to a boil. Cook for approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender 2. Add whole potatoes and carrots and cook until vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest for 15 minutes. 3. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add broth to desired amount.


3 pounds of corned beef brisket with spice packet 10 small red potatoes 5 carrots, cut and peeled into 3 inch pieces 1 large head of cabbage, cut into small wedges

Traditional Irish cuisine made easy Ingredients:


The Harp


Four Leaf Clover

Symbols in the Irish Tradition




NO PLACE LIKE HOME Guide to a successful staycation

J’s on Oak in Bonner Springs is a small, family-owned coffee shop and bakery that offers sandwiches, soups and beverages. As you walk in, you enter a family based atmosphere. There are several games set up on the counter for children to play, such as Connect Four and Trouble. Unfortunately, there are hardly any seats, as the whole shop consists of four small tables, two comfy chairs and a small




Lunch: Fogones Mexican Delights

Breakfast: EJ’s on Oak



counter. However, the cafe in general seemed like a comfy place to sit with a friend or to get away and write an essay. There was only one person working that I saw, and quite frankly, one worker was all that was needed. I can’t imagine that the small café gets extremely busy, considering its size. Come to find out, EJ’s gets their coffee from The Roasterie, which is a Kansas City based company. I ordered a classic mocha and a chocolate chip cookie. The coffee was medium roast and was mized with steamed milk to give it the mocha taste. The chocolate chip cookie was about the size of a CD and was loaded with chocolate, which is just the way I like it. There is also a varierty of sandwiches EJ’s offers, which incude your choice of four meats and five cheeses. There is also a Soup of the Day and various sweets and pastries such as cupcakes and muffins. EJ’s is ultimately worth returning to for the coffee and treats.


t Fogones Mexican Delights, a small restaurant located next to Shawnee City Hall, a delicious meal accompanied by phenomenal service will do nothing but leave you satisfied. As the restaurant name suggests, the food is authentic Mexican cuisine that is both delicious and completely homemade. The entrees are hugely portioned and are accompanied by a side of your choice. I had the chicken chimichanga, which is basically a deep-fried burrito with pinto beans and the black bean salad, comprised of black beans, corn and cilantro. The chimichanga was a little bit greasy, so if you’re on a diet, Fogones may not be for you. However, the avocado crema that was served as a dipping sauce had a perfectly smooth texture and gave the deep-fried entrée a healthy component. The entire dish cost $10 and will be sure to satis-

fy the hungriest of appetites. If you’re aiming for a less expensive meal, all tacos are $1 during happy hour, and numerous appetizers are reduced in price as well. Between the comfortable atmosphere and delicious food, Fogones Mexican Delights is a can’t-miss lunch destination.

Dinner: Sutera’s Italian Restaurant


utera’s is an Italian restaurant best known for its specialty pizzas and pasta. It is located right here in Shawnee, situated off of Shawnee Mission Parkway. It is a fairly small, family owned-restaurant with around 20 tables and a small bar area. I frequently visit Sutera’s for the great food and service. My favorite meal is the Jumbo Stuffed Shells, which are full of ricotta and mozzarella cheese and topped with delicious marinara sauce. The marinara has a perfect tang of basil without being too overpowering. There is also an option to add meat sauce for an extra dollar.

However, this past time that I went, I ordered their pizza. I chose the small, which ended up being the perfect personal size of four small slices. While you can build your own pizza, I chose one of several Sutera’s specialty pizzas, the Chicken Alfredo. The Chicken Alfredo Pizza was loaded with chicken to the point where it was almost too much for me. Sutera’s is also known for their use of thin crust, which is fine, but I personally prefer thick. I would have also liked for there to be more sauce on the pizza, but overall it was a fine meal. Sutera’s also offers a vegetarian pizza, as well as salads for healthier options. To get the full experience, I ordered the strawberry cheesecake to top off my meal. The strawberry sauce was baked right into the actual cheesecake, and was delicious. You can also top it with ice cream for some added sugar. For a hearty and authentic Italian meal, Sutera’s is a great place to satisfy your hunger.

Shop: Moon Marble


oon Marble Company is located in an unassuming building that is easy to miss at first glance. Near a car dealership, gas station and a couple of restaurants, this small marble store is a diamond in the rough. The marble selections can be seen right as you step in the store. Here, there is a wide selection of souveniers

to choose from, including the marbles themselves, board games and toys. The best thing to do at Moon Marble, however, is to watch one of the demonstrations. Watching a glass artist meticulously craft beautiful marbles is really a joy. The handcrafted marbles turn out looking spectacular and can be purchased inside the shop after each demonstration. Demonstrations take place between 10 a.m.-3 p.m., between Monday and Saturday. The inside of the building itself contains a wide array of cool and interesting items to enhance the atmosphere. Vintage posters and eccentric signs cover the walls and greatly enhance the mood. Moon Marble is an excellent place to stop and spend an hour or so if there’s nothing to do over a long spring break. This is an amazing place to view the incredible marble making process in action. Design by Adri Talavera

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JagWire takes a closer look at how well some books are portrayed on the bigscreen

The Prestige Book by: Christopher Priest Directed by: Christopher Nolan Starring: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson Book vs. Movie: Movie


ith elements of suspense, mysteries and dark truths, “The Prestige” is a true psychological thriller, both in book and movie form. The main plot tells the story of a feud between two stage magicians that becomes more and more violent over time. The book, which is written in classicsounding diction despite being released in the ‘90s, was adapted into a movie directed by Christopher Nolan. Nolan, who has directed such mind-twisters as “Inception” and “Memento,” delivers his typical movie formula in this film as well: an intriguing plot leading up to a twist ending. In fact, the movie improves upon the book in regard to providing an interesting storyline. Typically, I am skeptical of movie adapta-

The Spectacular Now Book by: Tim Tharp Directed by: James Ponsoldt Starring: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley Book vs. Movie: Movie


Photos from IMDb

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Design by Jack Lopez

n “The Spectacular Now”, written by Tim Tharp, Sutter Keely is a teenage alchoholic who is the life of every party. After an unexpected break-up with the girl of his dreams, he meets the withdrawn Aimee Finecky and to make his former girlfriend jealous, he dates Aimee, and encourages her to shed her shy personality. Told from the point of view of Sutter, the novel has a teen voice that works well with the plot. “The Spectacular Now” may be morbid, but it is also very shallow. Its adaptation takes a much lighter, but profound route that goes with the medium better. “The Spectacular Now”, directed by James

tions of books. I like to read the book first, then see the movie, usually happy to see a good book in film form yet disappointed at the inevitable inaccuracies. However, this movie packs a punch that the original novel lacks. The book provides hints to the secrets and twists of the narrative that takes away from the impact of their unveiling. It is also written in an unconventional format, containing parts of characters’ journals as the main narrative, which takes away from the excitement of the storyline. While the plot is exciting, it is not for everyone. If you’re looking to simply relax and laugh while watching a movie, the mind-twists and dark atmosphere of this film render it unfitting. The historical setting and Old English dialogue could be interesting or boring depending on your preferences. For the most part, the suspenseful plot makes up for any faults. “The Prestige” is an exception to the books-superior-to-movies rule. The best approach to experiencing this story is to watch the movie first, and if you like it enough to find out the original tale behind the film, read the novel. Ponsoldt, is a quintessential independent movie starring relative up-and-comers Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. The actors fit their roles like gloves, with Teller having the perfect amount of charisma to inhabit the “ultimate partier” and Woodley showing just enough shyness for the audience to root for her. “The Spectacular Now” not only makes its characters likeable, it has a different overall theme than the novel on which it is based. Therein lies the major difference. The novel implies that love does not conquer all. Live-action Sutter, however, really loves Aimee and changes throughout the movie in order to be with her. While most adaptations are lost behind dropped plot lines, this movie adaptation shines. The talented cast make the roles their own, and the new variation perfectly mixes sarcastic crudeness with sincere drama. In either medium, “The Spectacular Now” brings a realistic voice to teenage years but the movie is for the romantics, the teens who just want that one guy to take them out of their shell.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Book by: Stephen Chbosky Directed by: Stephen Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson Book vs. Movie: Book


ilarious and emotional, Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is the story of the awkward Charlie’s freshman year of high school. In the book, Charlie befriends two seniors, the charming Sam and her flamboyantly hilarious stepbrother, Patrick. Through a series of letters, Charlie tells of his endeavors with them, and the struggles of being in high school. The movie lives up to the expectations set by the book. While some elements change and adult content is more understated, the general plot stays the same. Logan Lerman’s portrayal of Charlie is OK, but Emma Watson and Ezra Miller embody Sam and Patrick, respectively, in amazing ways. Overall, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is a phenomenal book with a great movie adaptation, both of which will leave you feeling infinite.

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ABOVE: Huddling before a basketball game against Olathe Northwest, junior Mitch Perkins and his teammates get pumped up and prepare to play on Saturday, Feb.15. “It’s really encouraging to have a large fan turnout ... it means a lot to know what we are doing on the court is appreciated by our fans,” Perkins said. “We are out there playing for them, so it’s good to see them come out and support us.” Photo by Karissa Schmidt ABOVE: Junior Sebastian Uriarte celebrates a teammate’s victory at the state wrestling tournament in Wichita on Friday, Feb. 28. “It was a really good experience and a great time with all my friends,” Uriarte said. “It is always fun watching a teammate wrestle.” Photo by Jena Smith RIGHT: Senior Coltyn Gatton and several other seniors cheer the boys basketball team on to a 55-51 victory over the Tonganoxie Chieftans on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Photo by Ashley Kitchen

ABOVE: The cheerleaders lead the rebound chant at the game against Bishop Ward on Tuesday, Feb. 11. Photo by Alana Flinn BELOW: Sophomore Cole Griggs plays in the drumline at the boys basketball game against Bishop Ward on Tuesday, Feb. 11. ”I like playing for the pep band because it shows my school spirit,” Griggs said. Photo by Karissa Schmidt

The student body shows off its school spirit as winter sports reach the final games of their seasons

Scan on your smartphone to see more photos online. 20 PHOTO ESSAY

Design by Ashley Kitchen

Volume 14, Issue six  

Volume 14, Issue six of the JagWire newspaper.

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