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Boat Races

Physics students compete to build the best boat.


Talent Show


volume 66.7

A+ 4.12.13

Within Opinion


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It takes somebody who has grown up in North Dakota to truly pause for a moment and just appreciate a sunset.

Students showcase various talents at West Fargo.

801 9th St. E West Fargo, ND 58078

West Fargo welcomes

new principal Katie Savage Enertainment Editor


Brittany Rheault

Pg. 3 Feature

It was an opportunity to detach ourselves from the modern society we live in and get back to a primitive experience.

Pg. 12 Entertainment

It is not often that a person can say they went to a concert that was so full of perfection that they did not for a moment need a break.

Pg. 15 Sports

It’ll set you straight. It gives you a lot of willpower, and it makes you less susceptible to peer pressure.

School-wide policy implemented at West Fargo Brittany Rheault Co-Assistant Editor Plans for creating a new, school-wide, academic honesty and integrity policy are progressing as the year continues on. Concrete plans have not been implemented yet, but the goal of the Faculty Council and administration is to have the policy in effect by the beginning of next year. “Up to this point in time, there has been no policy for the whole school,” Principal Gary Clark said. “It has been more or less, ‘cheating is wrong,’ and each teacher had their own policy.” The Faculty Council is the main group spearheading the progress of this new policy, and teacher Matt Slocomb has been in charge of leading this subcommittee with the

discussion of what the policy will consist of. The committee has taken into account what the consequences are for different types of offenses and the common occurrence of them. “What teachers talked about originally was about keeping track,” Clark said. “In other words, what if there becomes a pattern? If a student does it more than once, then should that mean there will be consequences for a second offense or third offense as compared to the first one?” According to chemistry teacher Brad Amundson, the school-wide policy will be beneficial to the school if carried out in a strict and consistent way.

40% Yes

“Having a schoolwide policy would provide students with a consistent definition and consequence to show the importance of academic honesty,” Amundson said. “However, for this policy to be effective, it would actually have to be followed and supported by all teachers and administration. There would be no room for ‘special’ circumstances.” Clark stated that hopefully the policy will be finalized with enough time to include it in the 2013-14 Packer Planner. “If you have an official policy in the planner, it is just the school presenting a consistent message to the students, the community, and the staff,” Slocomb said. “That [helps] people understand a little bit more clearly what the expectations are.”

Walking into West Fargo High School, Jennifer Fremstad is greeted by two smiling students and a cheerful “good morning.” Odds are, those two students did not know that Fremstad will be the new head principal at West Fargo High School starting July 1, 2013. Fremstad is coming to West Fargo after holding the position of assistant principal at Fargo South High School for eight years. Although nervous about the jump from assistant to head principal, Fremstad is able to find plenty of reasons to also be excited about the move. “[Fargo South head principal Todd] Bertsch is an amazing mentor,” Fremstad said. “[His job] is not only one faceted, it’s multi-faceted and it builds the community. That part of it excites me.” Fremstad will be taking over for current interim principal Gary Clark. who returned this year after a year of retirement while the district worked on hiring a new head principal. “Whenever people ask me about my year off, I say, had a great time but I missed the students and staff,” Clark said. “It’s been fun; coming back this year was like one last hurrah.” As head principal, Clark believes strongly in interpersonal relationships and is often seen by students walking around the commons in the morning and during lunch, always with a smile on his face and greeting kids. Clark has known Fremstad the eight years she has served as assistant principal at South High and is pleased to hear that like him, she is a student advocate.

New Principal: Page 5

Do you think copying other students homework is cheating?

The responses from 100 West Fargo students

Pg. 18

(701) 356-2050

60% No

Kstie Savage

Jennifer Fremstad will be the new head principal at West Fargo High School starting July 1, 2013.

Integrating social media in education Anna Soderholm Online Editor

Expectations push students towards testing It is that time of year again: time for tests, high expectations and plans for the future. By this time of the school year we see assessment scores and college level classes come to light. While many students are feeling the pressure of these expectations, others are surfing the tension and merely coasting until the end. Whether you are a junior experiencing ACT struggles or a senior experiencing those precollegiate jitters, everyone is trying to meet some kind of expectation. Remember back in grade school when the only expectation to meet was to not fling your mashed potatoes at the kid sitting next to you in lunch? Expectations and standards have definitely changed throughout the years. Today we are expected to maintain a decent grade point average while participating in activities, all while holding a part-time job and padding our college resumes. Things have definitely gotten more complicated. When it comes down to it, is it helpful or detrimental to put so much stress on ourselves to achieve a high score on standardized assessment tests? With all of this worry and stress it is easy to become overwhelmed in the desire to achieve these high expectations. Sure, you might be a boss when it comes to grades, but other things in your life might be falling behind. It is these kind of nerves that really strike a person. After spending endless nights studying, practicing, and taking a full day to take the test, the question remains: is it all worth it? The fact is, with AP testing, a lot of schools require a certain number in order for it to actually count. And then some schools do not even

Bailey Vertin

count it towards any classes at all. So all of that studying and practicing could add up to nothing, depending on what school you decide to apply to. That is a big let-down considering how red your nose probably is from the grindstone. Some would like to believe that these tests teach students real life-long lessons. However, I do not remember the last time I was out in the “real” world and somebody suddenly popped up from the bushes and began quizzing me on grammar. A lot of the testing has to do with having grace while under pressure and preparing students for what college exams will be like. This would be a great skill to have, but the fact that it is viewed upon as a standard for every student is kind of hard to swallow. That is the dark side of standardized tests: they are the same for every student. These tests do not take anything but knowledge into account. Some students can work as hard as others and are only able to maintain a C average. Standardized tests do not take family, background, or personality into consideration and this can be a very negative aspect, especially since colleges look into tests like the ACT. Impressing the colleges with a high score can sometimes seem like an impossible expectation to meet. Hopefully in the future there will be other options available, however, until then it looks like the best thing to do is to take a step back and brace for impact.

It is ironic how teachers are preparing us for our future while, simultaneously, negative connotations are linked with students using social media. Granted, there have been improvements in classes, such as having the option of tweeting teachers’ questions, but Facebook and Twitter are still number one on the list of assumptions about why assignments are missing. The significant flaw in blaming social media for why students do not complete assignments is that it degrades the crucial role it plays in the upcoming years. Statistics prove that in order for us to keep up with the advancing technology, we need to be taking advantage of social media sites and integrate it into education. According to the Huffington Post, 34 percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. Having access to a continuous newsfeed provides an exclusive angle to major events around the world with one click. Moreover, we need to be encouraged to embrace this and take advantage of its potential to help us in school, rather than push it aside as if it is not a necessity in our future. Promoting the responsible use of social media could be done by suggesting that students connect on the web to complete assignments and help each other when they have questions that need to be answered. In one of my classes during first semester, the perks of students integrating social media with education was proven


extremely effective. The class created a private group on Facebook, including only the students in that period. Whenever a student was gone, we were able to go on Facebook and ask what we missed. Not having this option causes additional stress associated with the hassle of trying to reach somebody in your class, or having to constantly ask the same person for help. This ultimately benefits students who are shy also, because we can address each other as a whole and work together. The group made us feel like we were connected outside of school, not just in the classroom, which actually improved our relationships because we felt more comfortable around each other in school. In this scenario, it was the student’s idea to create the group to effectively communicate outside of class. I believe teachers should encourage all classes to use Facebook and Twitter in such a manner, because it gives students the opportunity to connect outside of school, work together, and build a stronger relationship. This concept should be introduced on the first day of class when the students are given a syllabus, in order to implement the importance of it in education. Moreover, it would be even better if teachers were included in a Facebook group with the class so they also have the option to answer questions and join in on school-related discussions. If we started practicing this concept, the negative connotation with social media would dissolve and we would be stepping in a positive direction, accepting social media as an efficient tool.

YouTube Twitter

#1 #2 Instagram Flickr Rank of #8 #3 most used #7 #4 Tumblr Pinterest social media #6 #5 sites during Wanelo Reddit school

Business Manager: Logan Ahern Head Editor: Jaurdyn Dobler Assistant Editors: Claire DeJong, Staff Writers: Alexander Bertsch, Emily Chadwick, Wyatt Ehlke, Brittany Rheault Bailey Johnson, Jessica Qian, News Editor: Brittany Rheault Bailey Vertin, Alexis Young Opinion Editor: Nicole Johnson Adviser: Jeremy Murphy Feature Editor: Claire DeJong Entertainment Editor: Katie Savage Sports Editor: Elsa Bollinger Online Editor: Anna Soderholm Copy Editor: Mark Staples

Packer Survey of 50 students

The Packer is published periodically throughout the school year by WFHS students at 801 9th Street East, West Fargo, ND 58078. Subscription rates are $4.25 per year. The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of the student body, the faculty, administration or the school board. Letters to the Editors must be signed. Mail them to the school or email them to We reserve the right to edit letters submitted for publication. The Packer will accept advertisements if they are not considered libelous, obscene or do not promote the use or sale of illegal goods or service.

rebuilding ambition

Spring 10%:

1 million: sandbags requested to be filled by April 13

chance that the Red River will flood this year

$377 million: spent on flooding this year in the Red River

Wyatt Ehlke Staff Writer For one fourth of the year, the world is made to freeze and suffer underneath torrents of harsh winds and blankets of cold snow. Slowly, the freeze becomes the norm and the world makes do with huddling and shaking beneath upturned blankets and coats. Here, upon the plains of the Red River Valley, the winter is notable for its cruel grasp. Yet when the warm rays of the sun finally break through and crack the ice away, the people of the valley complain. Words are thrown to the wind in vain, detailing the hate that some feel when the snow, once equally hated, turns to slush. Logic would indicate that the opposite should be true, that people would dance and cry words of hope and happiness while basking in the newfound warmth of the sun. But there is something, perhaps frozen deep in the ice, which reemerges in the spring after disappearing in the winter: the want of more. During the winter months, we learn to cope with the crushing defeat of the cold. We grow closer together as we complain about the weather. Somewhere,

deep inside, a sort of satisfaction develops. Spring destroys this. It demolishes complacency and rebuilds ambition. The familiar concept of “spring cleaning” represents a change in the popular psyche: misery that was acceptable for so long is no longer as such. It is time to move, to stretch out, to test and set goals. The best political movements happen as though intended by nature itself; people band together to fight for something they believe in, which leads to either success or failure. If the situation lacks the proper people or the timing is not correct, the movement ends with no substantial change. When the right people are afforded the correct time, however, nothing can stop the movement. In the same way, spring is the correct situation for all kinds of change. It allows for people to experience a rebirth of sorts. The chance to be a new person with new habits emerges as a possibility. New Year’s resolutions fade because the sense of complacency at that time of the year is overwhelming; with the melted frost, though, the real opportunity for resolutions appears. Make a lifestyle change in the spring. It will be welcomed and appreciated by the warm hands of the season.

Litter builds up fast Adopt-A-Highway

Nicole Johnson Opinion Editor

It takes somebody who has grown up in North Dakota to truly pause for a moment and just appreciate a sunset over a field, someone who can look at the long stretches of nothing and still find beauty in the simplicity of it. Lately though, that incredible sunset which helps make North Dakota unique has started to be defiled. It seems like I cannot drive down any road lately without watching someone throw a pop can out of their window, I cannot even go for a walk without seeing dozens of cigarette butts along the sidewalk. What is the point of littering? It is just lazy and frankly disgusting. In all honesty, I am not the most environmentally friendly person, but I consider myself at least aware of the situation. In North Dakota, the problem is especially bad and it is because of the oil boom. According to James MaCpherson’s article “North Dakota Litter Problems Rises with Litter Boom,” “Litter has become an escalating problem as the rush to tap vast caches of crude escalates in North Dakota. As the number of trucks coming to the oil mecca increases, so does the trash. Some of

the industrial rubbish blows in from unsecured truckloads, but for many, the most frustrating trash is the gallons of discarded urine.” The article then goes on to explain how the problem has risen with the oil boom because of the traffic North Dakota is now getting from people moving. While it is great that North Dakota has this great natural resource at our hands, at what price is the state suffering? Highways and neighborhoods are just becoming trashed. Overall, the problem is not going to change overnight, I understand that, but little things could help reverse this problem. For starters, keep your garbage in your car. I understand it is such an inconvenience to wait until you get to a garbage can but suck it up and be an inspiration to us all. Also, stop peeing in bottles; it is gross and it is unnecessary. In the same article, they went on to say how now drivers are peeing in bottles and throwing them out of the windows of their cars. If people just became more aware of what they were doing and how it was affecting the world around them, problems would get better. Just remember how beautiful North Dakota can be and help keep it that way. We may be a plain state but it is the little things that count.

Nicole Johnson

Litter compacted into snow outside of West Fargo High School. North Dakota litter problems rise with litter boom. Litter has become an escalating problem as the rush to tap vast caches of crude oil escalates in North Dakota.

How can you help?

1 22 33 44


Must be16 years old or supervised by an adult Must attend at least one “Safety Tips for Adopt a Higway” meeting per year Must pick up litter on highway in the months of May, July, and September Adoption lasts for three years minimum

This information was found at North Dakota Department of Transportaion. If you would like to help out your community and adopt a highway visit

Textbooks Mark Staples Copy Editor

For decades of teaching, many class periods have begun with the ringing of a bell and a variation on the command to take out a textbook and follow along as the class takes notes. This immediate gravitation towards the bound pages of information is nothing new to the educational scene. Yet at this moment, all across the United States, students are powering up their hand-held tablet to “page through” their e-books. In a world that is cascading over the rapids of increasing technology, this switch to tablets might not be the best choice for education on all fronts. While tablets will admittedly give students direct access to more learning tools and online resources than a print textbook can ever supply, that is really the only major difference. Of course, it must be noted that this is easily solved by logging onto one of many school computers, which seem to be plentiful in most high schools. The truth of the debate is that textbooks still hold the advantage over high-tech tablets. This can be seen by analyzing the environmental impact of textbooks and tablets, discussing the cost to schools and finally by filtering through the adverse effects students would see if textbooks were eliminated. First of all, one of the biggest arguments that proponents of tablets make is that they are better for the environment than 1,000 page textbooks that have to be replaced year after year. This is wrong on multiple levels. One contention is that tablets have to be replaced in the same way that textbooks do. Technology is not infallible to the abuse of reckless students that do not care for their items. Not only that, but tablets are actually more damaging to the environment than books are. According to an April 2010 article from The New York Times Online by Daniel Goleman and Gregory Norris, manufacturing one tablet results in 66 pounds of carbon dioxide. Print books produce 100 times fewer greenhouse gases. Tablets are not all that eco-friendly now, are they? Second, implementing a tablet system would be cost-prohibitive for schools. A study by Lee Wilson, a prominent figure in education marketing, found that the sheer capital it would take to purchase and maintain such a system would be exponentially larger. His February 2012 study reported that the cost of using an iPad tablet system would actually lead to a 552 percent increase in price for schools to replace textbooks with tablets. The cost does not stop here. Not only would the actual products cost more money, schools would have to spend on increasing technological infrastructure to accommodate for more tablets. Unlike the random usage that is seen by the typical school wireless network, a tablet school would see the mass attempts at wireless access all within a few minutes after the ringing of a bell. Unlike a tablet, a textbook never fails to open because of network overload. Finally, students would be worse off using tablets. The American Optometric Association reported that tablets put students at danger of straining their eyes and putting themselves at risk for recurring headaches. The distractions do not stop with health issues. Tablets provide a direct link to detrimental multitasking that could easily steal the attention of students in and out of class. Students would also be faced with monetary costs. When investigating the tablet or textbook conundrum, the Federal Communications Commission reported in February of 2012 that as high as a third of American families do not have broadband access that would allow students to run their tablets, thus prohibiting them from doing their assignments, and therefore defeating the very purpose of “homework.” No matter what angle tablets are presented in for school-wide use, they are simply not an efficient method of learning in America’s schools. Tablets are less environmentally-friendly, they are too expensive for schools to support, and students would be negatively impacted by the switch. Excuse the nostalgia, but the feeling of seeing all the names scribbled inside the front cover of a book declaring ownership cannot be replaced by the impersonal and unwelcoming lock screen of a hand-me-down iPad.



The truth of the debate is that textbooks still hold the advantage over high-tech tablets.

3.1 billion textbooks sold each year

tablets sold each year

30 million


new print books purchased

$$$$$$$$$ used books purchased


books 15% rented


e-books purchased

Tablets are the new upcoming gadget that every student should be using in school.

Logan Ahern Buisness Manager

I know from firsthand experience that I learn better using a tablet device. Tablets offer more options than any textbook can. When looking at a thick textbook with over six hundred pages and a boring cover, it can be quite nerve racking. We are in the 21st Century. It is time to ditch those old textbooks. Tablets are the new upcoming gadget that every student should be using in school. Ever since Apple started producing the iPad in 2010 and Android’s tablet in 2011, tablets have been on everyone’s wish list. tablet sales are projected to increase about $173 million sales. My cousin, who is a teacher in Minnesota, teaches at an all tablet based high school. In the school every student was given an iPad or tablet to do all of their homework and classroom assignments on. Tablets can benefit everyone in the classroom instead of students having to deal with the hefty hardcover textbooks. If the school purchased a tablet for every student they would no longer have to deal with the agonizing laptop carts. That would save around $700 a laptop, and since we would no longer need textbooks that would save even more at about $80-$120 a book. With all of those savings we could afford a decent tablet for every student that would last them the four years they have in high school. Main classes that would benefit from tablets include art, history, math, and english. In art class a student will no longer have to go through art books to come up with an idea, and if a student did not know how to particularly sculpt something, they can download an app for that. In history class we would no longer have to look at the map in our textbooks, we could look at an interactive one on Google Earth. In math class, we could do our assignments electronically and send them to our teachers, which in the long run will save a lot of paper. English would get a great benefit too because they can download e-books so the school does not have to worry about buying another copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Not only are tablets good for all of those classes, students can start doing presentations and work on their personal responsibility. When a student makes a presentation they can stand in front of the class room and share the presentation on everyone’s tablets so they can get a good view of it too. It also will help with student responsibility because they will have to never break it, and always be alert on where it is located. Another cool feature that a tablet can do, and a textbook cannot, is that students can start taking tests on them. Teachers would not have to worry about Scantron sheets and, make online tests so the computer can instantly grade them. Teachers could also do mini quizzes to gauge the classes learning and make sure everyone is on the same page. The amount of paper the school would save would be phenomenal. Scantrons would be gone and worksheets, tests and quizzes would all be electronic. With all of the learning styles at schools, tablets can be personalized for a single persons learning abilities. Teachers can record the day’s lesson and post it on Sharepoint for them to easily see. By doing that it would also get students to check their grades on PowerSchool more often. Schools in North Dakota are already converting to the tablet style, and it is time West Fargo follows in their footsteps and trash the textbooks. It would be helping the environment and especially student learning.

Discussing spring break: Tue





4 11 18

School board reviews schedule

Alexis Young Staff Writer

New principal:

Cont. from page one

“I like hearing that because I think a principal needs to care about kids,” Clark said. “I tell my staff, when we’re in this job, you have to love kids so I think [Fremstad] is going to relate well with students and staff that way.”

here that we had a week long spring break,” Dardis said.

With another school year coming to a close, the plans for next year’s school year are in the process of being implemented. Last December, the school board committee voted and finalized the 2013-2014 school year. This committee consisted of representatives from elementary, middle, and high school principals from each school and the activities director. Together, they plan the days that students will go to school and those they will not, but by state law, students are required to attend 175 days of school, while teachers have 187 day contracts. The school year’s schedule is not put together over a couple of days. The committee starts assembling in September and they meet multiple times a month for two to three hours at a time. “We got together; we had things we had to do. We came back, decided and were done,” Kathy Antonelli said. As a science teacher at the high school, this was Antonelli’s first year of being part of the committee. Making the school year’s schedule takes multiple tries before it is approved and finalized. Once the committee finishes a draft of the schedule, they send it off to the rest of the school board and they either accept it, send it back for changes or make changes themselves. “Our school board typically votes with what the committee has brought forward,” assistant superintendent, Louise Dardis said. Dardis has been part of the school board for the past 14 years but has been working within the school district for the past 34 years. “[The 2011 school year] was the first time in all my 34 years

Bertsch has worked with Fremstad in her years as both a Dean of While making a school year’s schedule, there are many Students and Assistant Principal requirements that the committee must follow. There must at South High and has no doubts be a certain number of professional development days, three that her passion, friendliness, high holidays, conference make up days and there has to be a grading energy and creativity will lead to a day for teachers. Not only does the committee have to meet all successful career for her. of those requirements but they must also try to plan around sports, which is why the district’s sports director comes to help. “The West Fargo High School While the committee is planning breaks for the fall and winter, community is fortunate to have it affects the school’s spring break. Now with the 2013-2014 Mrs. Fremstad become their head school year scheduled and all ready to go, it is final that West principal,” Bertsch said. “She is a Fargo will not have a spring break. There will be two days off talented administrator that has which the committee is calling a ‘spring break,’ it just won’t be high expectations for students, staff as long as it was in 2011. and also herself.” This can cause some confusion among students. Students that went on vacations during the 2011 school year because they had a week long break did not get the chance to go on the same vacations since there was no break. Students, such as sophomore Mackenzie Ste. Marie, missed their break this spring and will miss it next spring. “Because then you have to make up all the homework from when you’re gone,” Ste. Marie said. Antonelli volunteered to join the committee because she was hoping to help put a spring break back into the schedule, but after being part of the committee she says she understands why there cannot be one. “It seems so easy to say we should have this and that when you’re not on the committee,” Antonelli said. The reason there will be no spring break during the 2013-2014 school year is because the first day of school is be-

2013-2014 School Year st Augu 27: day First

December 21: Start of winter break

Janua ry 1 End o : f winte r break

Ma La y 29: s of t day sch ool T NOV DEC JAN Gr June C O T P F E E ad 1 B MA S ua : RA AUG Y tio L P RM JU n E AY N U JU YJ NE A M

3: 2 y Ma t day s La 2013 of ool sch ar ye

Bertsch also mentioned that the students and staff at South High are happy for Fremstad, even though they will miss her greatly. Fremstad has similar feelings, as she said leaving the school she has been at for eight years now brings both joy and slight nervousness to her. “I have been so blessed to work with amazing people,” Fremstad said. “I will miss them, but I will develop those relationships with staff and students [at West Fargo] and that’s exciting.” Fremstad wants to look at it in a way that she is not losing a network of people, but gaining a bigger one. To students and staff at West Fargo and even South High, the thought of having a principal come or move to a rival school may be a strange thought, but Fremstad is not looking at the situation in a negative way. The best part about education in general is the connections that you make are not dictated by a building that you’re at. When I walk in the door here, I smile and greet a student; I do it not because I’m a Packer or a Bruin, I do it because I am an educator and that’s the culture we want building,” Fremstad said. “I will miss my friends and family at Fargo South, but just think about how much bigger my family gets by coming to West Fargo.”

Katie Savage

West Fargo High School’s new principal, Jennifer Fremstad. Before coming to West Fargo Fremsted was the assistant principal at South High School.





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Math Average:

51.9 Critical Reading Average: 49.5 Writing Average: 45.6

North Dakota Average PSAT Scores for 2012

Claire DeJong Co-Assistant Editor In 2012, the Degerness family was lucky to receive the news that their oldest son, Jordan, was awarded the national merit scholarship. This news was only intensified the next year when the news that their next son, Walker, obtained the same award. “That’s kind of a cool thing to say that both my brother and I were able to receive that scholarship,” Jordan said. “I think that’s a good reflection of the great work ethic that our parents have raised us with. It’s paid off that our parents have impressed that work ethic on us.” This scholarship is unique compared to others. It allows flexibility for the receiver. After winning the scholarship, they are able to choose the kind of scholarship they get, depending on what school they are accepted to. When Walker first applied for the scholarship, his family was confident that he would be accepted due to the similarities between the brother’s applications. “I wasn’t too surprised, because he has always done very, very well in school, as well as on standardized tests,” Jordan said. “I felt he was very deserving of the scholarship. I was also very proud that he was able to earn it as well.” Walker himself was anticipating the scholarship, but once it was finally awarded it, he was still just as enthusiastic. “Obviously I was really excited,” Walker said. “Not a puppy-dog excited but thinking about what opportunities I have now. With student loans, I don’t have to worry as much.” Recipients of this scholarship need to attain a high PSAT score their junior year in order to possibly become a finalist. Once they are a finalist, participants are required to turn in a short essay and a recommendation from a teacher. In the case of the Degerness brothers, they were both recommended by one teacher, English teacher Aaron Knodel. Walker notes how Knodel was more than just a teacher to the both of them and how he affected both of them personally. “[Knodel] is amazing,” Joan Degerness, Walker’s mother, said. “He has absolutely been a mentor to both boys. He sees potential in so many of his students and he brings out the best in all that he has in his class. We felt really fortunate that they had him in his junior year.” Jordan said Knodel was just another extension of fueling the fire of their work ethic. He always pushed them and made sure that they always did their personal best. While reflecting on the scholarship, Walker said how he is thankful that Jordan is his brother and that he could

not have asked for a better person to live up to. “There’s a bit of competition between brothers,” Walker said. “But he didn’t put a lot of pressure on me. He was supportive of my endeavors.” In the Degerness family, Joan thinks that even though her sons are gifted, there is more to succeeding than natural ability. “I don’t think there is a magic formula in the Degerness household,” Joan said. “They love to read; they like math. But I know there are a lot of kids that could do well.”

Elsa Bollinger

Senior Walker Degerness sits in his A.P. English class taught by Sybil Hopkins as she describes the plan for the day. Degerness earned the Merit Scholar scholarship this year and looks forward to using it for college in the year to come.

Passing on the ‘W’ power


Charley just wanted to play some dodgeball, and so today we are going to grant that wish and play some dodgeball. - Cory Herrmann


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Each dodgeball team walked into the Cheney Middle School gymnasium and sat down at the bleachers to hear the rules of the “Chuck It” Dodgeball tournament on March 19, 2013, read off by physical education teacher Cory Herrmann. The one thing that probably touched most students was one of the last words he said. “Charley just wanted to play some dodgeball. So today, we are going to grant that wish and play some dodgeball,” Herrmann said On New Year’s Eve this year, Weber and friends were snowmobiling and got into a horrific accident, leaving Weber in critical condition. “I wanted to do this tournament because I wanted to help out the Weber family and because I wanted to show off my great dodgeball skills,” junior Devon Wangen said. More than 18 teams participated in the tournament, all excited to help out the Weber family. Top: Freshman Charley Weber (right) stands with his family at the “Chuck It” Dodgeball Tournament. The family had many thanks to give that night. Far right: Senior Preston Lehmann prepares to throw the ball to the opposite side of the gym while supporting his fellow wrestler. Right: Sophomore Tanner McKinnon throws the dodgeball at his opponent during the “Chuck It” Dodgeball Tournament on Tuesday, March 19.

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Bailey Johnson

Students and staff gather to pass on the ‘W’ power Bailey Johnson Staff Writer


Most students were shocked to see how many showed up for the event, especially Charley. “My favorite part was seeing how many people showed up that day,” Weber said. “I didn’t realize how many people actually cared until that moment.” After the accident, Weber needed many surgeries, including four brain scans and therapy, so the benefits helped the Weber family with the hospital bills tremendously. Insurance is helping as well, but the help from the students and West Fargo High School gave a much needed extra boost. “After I heard they were having the tournaments for Charley, I knew this was something I needed to do because I need to help him out,” freshman Dylan Badar said. The total amount for the tournament is yet to be determined, but the Weber family is still very thankful for how many students and adults showed up to support Charley that day. “The fundraising that the school is doing is helping out our family in many ways and we are very thankful,” Michelle Weber said.

Tanya Ridder

Tanya Ridder

A letter from the family The Power of the “W” “Even out of diversity, brokenness and chaos, a beautiful picture can emerge.” We know that prayer works, we know that we should never underestimate the power of an adolescent and we know the power of a community and the strength their support can provide. We are grateful for everyone and their contributions, prayers and power. The Charley Weber family would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. At the end of the day we wouldn’t be here without the quick response of the Anderson family, the Horace fFrst Responders and the FM Ambulance. Their fast reaction allowed the talented doctors, nurses, and therapists the opportunity to work with Charley and help bring him to the place he is at today. Forever grateful, Jeff, Michelle, Charley, and Shelby

*ask us about being a prom rep

[ [ [ [ [ [

Behind the scenes:

Total AP Students

2012 AP Exam Statistics of West Fargo High School

129 192 Students who scored 3+ 76 Number of Exams

% of Total AP Students with Scores of 3+


AP teachers excel to enhance student experience

Total AP Students

Brittany Rheault Co-Assistant Editor

% of Total AP Students with Scores of 3+


Total AP Students

2012 AP Exam Statistics of North Dakota

1,469 Number of Exams 1,932 Students who scored 3+ 936

% of Total AP Students with Scores of 3+


Alexis Young

Physics teacher Michelle Strand is assisting senior Miranda Wilcox in a physics lab on April 3. Strand has been an AP reader for thirteen years while connecting with other AP teachers from all over the country.

APTesting TessaSophomore Chambers: takes her chance at AP Claire DeJong Co-Assistant Editor

Studying and preparing for the Advanced Placement exam is an intense process that some AP students undergo to excel in the college level course, but the behind the scenes work of grading the exams proves to be just as much of an immense undertaking. AP Physics teacher, Michelle Strand, has been grading the AP Physics exam for 13 years. “Basically, I lived in Nebraska and I was teaching when they had an ad for an extra summer job to help with the grading of AP exams,” Strand said. “It wasn’t that you were grading, it was that you were helping circulate the exams around. So I got into that and the next summer I ended up being a chief aid for the AP Physics exam that was being graded, which meant that I was in charge of making sure that all 80,000 exams got circulated properly so they were all graded in a week.” About 150 teachers are brought in from across the country, both high school and college, to help with the grading process. Strand said that her work with grading has greatly benefitted her in her AP experience. “I now have AP teacher friends all over the country that I can email and say, ‘Hey, I’m looking for this kind of lab, is there anybody that has any ideas?’ and they fire them back,” Strand said. Strand has also participated in writing practice questions that were published in text books in order to help students prepare for the AP test. “One of the books was undergoing a revision and they were looking to add an extra supplement that


had AP type practice questions, so I wrote questions for that textbook for about half of the chapters,” Strand said. To become an AP reader, the College Board usually requires that teachers have taught the AP course in a face-to-face classroom setting and have at least three years of experience teaching that course. Before having an AP class of their own, teachers must attend a week long-intensive training process through the College Board. Within this training session is a specific itinerary specializing in the class that each teacher is aspiring to teach in AP. Biology teacher Jessica Gregorson attended one of the training sessions two years ago at Carleton College, just south of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The training session Michelle Strand included all of the labs that are performed in an AP course for science, along with different tips and tricks to help students enhance their experience. “We had to do practice exam stuff ourselves to kind of know what that exam is like that we were preparing the kids for,” Gregorson said. “We do a lot of networking with other teachers to find out what works and what doesn’t.” Networking is a popular benefit among the teachers that have connected with other AP teachers from around the country. Becoming an AP reader is also a thought shared by AP teachers in order to better prepare their students for the AP exam and make their course worth it for the students who decide to enroll themselves in a more challenging endeavor.


2012 AP Exam Statistics Globally

2,106,916 3,714,278 Students who scored 3+ 1,295,069 Number of Exams

We do a lot of networking with other teachers to find out what works and what doesn’t.

AP Statistics


been like that. She has the drive to do that and I know that she’ll be able to.” For the actual process of signing up for the test, it was not that much different than any other exam. Instead of checking a pre-made box, Chambers had to write Environmental Science into the “other” category. “As long as they let me know by the deadline and pay the fees for the exam, I would just order an exam for that subject,” counselor David Thorpe said. “It’s the same process, once I start the ordering process I can’t take anymore sign-ups.” In order to get ready for the exam, Chambers reviews by going through one chapter every two days. At the end of the September Eschbach week, she does a review of all of her notes from last semester, which takes a few hours for Chambers. Thorpe is happy with students like Chambers who take the extra initiative to prepare themselves for their future. “I just hope students take advantage of that and save a few tuition dollars if they can score high enough,” Thorpe said. “It’s also good just getting into college and getting into the world of high-stakes exams. It’s just good practice for that.” Eschbach is also proud of her daughter in the fact that she already has a set goal at such a young age. “Knowing that [environmental science] interests her right now lets me know that she has something to strive for in the future,” Eschbach said. “Right now she has a goal that she’s going for. And it’s not just for herself, it’s for everyone.”


For most students, Advanced Placement (AP) exams are taken mostly during their junior and senior years. However, sophomore Tessa Chambers has already decided what she wants to do with her future and plans on taking the AP Environmental Science test her sophomore year. The unique thing about this test is that the corresponding class is not even offered at West Fargo High School. Chambers had recently taken this environmental science class when she participated in a semester program for environmental science at Conserve School. “I want to go to school for environmental science,” Chambers said. “I was going to this [Conserve] school, and I wanted to get everything out of it that I possibly could, and since I’m already going to this school, I might as well take a college credit.” Chambers says that the course itself was harder than other classes, but it was worth it because it helped her prepare for her future. She has been interested in environmental science since she was 13 years old. “Environmental problems and issues and current events, that’s my passion,” Chambers said. “That’s what I want to do with my life; that’s what I am doing with my life. It just fits. It just helps me with my future.” Chamber’s mother, September Eschbach, says that she thinks Chambers will do well on the exam. She says that she knows Chambers is a hard worker and that knowing this is an AP test, she will do her best and study. “Tessa’s pretty independent and she has the motivation to take things on herself and study,” Eschbach said. “She’s always


of public high school students in the class of 2012 took an AP exam at some piont in high school


courses and exams are offered through the AP Program.


million AP Exams were taken by 2 million students worldwide in the year 2012

Check ist

y a D Test

Right now she has a goal that she’s going for. And it’s not just for herself, it’s for everyone.

Claire DeJong

Concentrating on her assignment, sophomore Tesssa Chambers attempts a math question in her Algebra II class on April 3. Chambers will be taking the AP Environmental Science exam, one that is not usually offered at West Fargo.

Several sharpened No. 2 pencils with erasers for all responses on your multiple-choice answer sheet.

A watch (in case the exam room does not have a clock that can be easily seen).

Pens with black or dark blue ink for completing areas on the exam booklet covers and for free-response questions in most exams.

Your Social Security number for identification purposes (optional). If you provide your number, it will appear on your AP score report.

Your six-digit school code if you are testing at a school different from the one you regularly attend.

Up to two AP-approved calculators with the necessary capabilities if you are taking the AP Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics or Statistics Exams.

A ruler or straightedge only if you’re taking an AP Physics Exam. (Protractors are not allowed.)

If applicable, your SSD Student Accommodation Letter, which verifies that you have been approved for extended time or another testing accommodation.



Mark Staples Copy Editor Looking out from base camp, the shadow of Mount Hood in northern Oregon cast itself over senior Brandon Molland as he saw the challenge that rose out of the ground before him. This ancient volcano was about to welcome a first-time mountaineer onto its slopes as he embarked on his trek to the top. As he prepared for the climb, he reminded himself the climb ahead would undoubtedly be difficult, but the reward was entirely worth it. Growing up in North Dakota, Molland was not born inclined to climb one of America’s largest peaks. Yet he describes the experiences he has had with mountaineering as some of the most life-changing lessons he has learned. Molland’s mountaineering adventure first began two summers ago when his father, John, took Brandon and his brother on their first climb. “We weren’t originally going to summit Mount Hood, we were just going to do a snow class to learn the basics about mountaineering,” Brandon said. “[After the course], we were like, ‘What the heck, let’s just do it.’” With that, Brandon and his younger brother Trayton prepared to join their father on their maiden trek up the mountain. However, they had to begin with a certain amount of caution. “The day before we were going to climb, a big ice chunk somewhere on the summit melted off and hit a team of climbers,” Brandon said. “They had ambulances there and the media was there, so we were kind of freaked out.” Nevertheless, the team set forth on their mission and eventually reached the top of the mountain without any major problems. While they both agree

If you’re the hands-on type the choice is clear, you belong at NDSCS. 4 4 4 4 NORTH DAKOTA STATE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE

Top: Benchmarker at the summit of the Grand Tetons. Middle: Molland, on the final ascent to the top of Mount Hood, pauses for a quick photo. Bottom: Molland and his father John Molland look out from the peak of the Grand Tetons.

Essentials for climbing “You want to make sure you can shed a layer if you get too hot. This may consist of long underwear, a light fleece, maybe heavy fleece.” -Brandon Molland



that one of the best parts of mountain climbing is seeing the view from above the clouds, they also see something deeper than just what meets the eye. For John, it was a time to bond with his sons. “There is a certain artificialness in how we grow up today,” John said. “It was an opportunity to detach ourselves from the modern society we live in and get back to a primitive experience.” This fascination with the natural world and the desire to find something more in nature turns out to be a common thread between many mountaineers. Perry Rust, another local mountaineer, has had the opportunity to travel to many different parts of the world to pursue his climbing aspirations. He says the world he encounters when he’s climbing is so greatly different than the world he is normally surrounded by. “You learn a lot about yourself when going down is not an option,” Rust said. “It’s a lot of mind strength.” This mastery of mental struggle is what it takes to reap the rewards of making it to the top. “Mountaineering is an amazing way to see a mountain,” Rust said. For those who climb, the journey teaches them more than mountaineering skills. John said that he has learned many lessons from climbing, especially how to take life at a different pace. “A majority of injuries happen on the way down from the mountain,” John said. “You can go to the top of your goal, but you still have to get back down. You don’t want to spend all you have trying to reach a goal or a dream and then not have enough to get back down.”

Photos submitted by Brandon Molland

“Every time there is a little break, eat a little something; this could range from a granola to even chocolate. It is also extremely important to drink water.” -Brandon Molland

“Merino wool socks are strongly recommended, your feet are the most valuable on the mountain.” -Brandon Molland

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Bailey Vertin Staff Writer

[T]he best part about the committee is that you get to take ownership in what Prom really is.


Bailey Vertin

Co-supervisor of the Prom Committee, Sonja Butenhoff talks at her Prom meeting on Thursday, April 4.

Fame is fleeting. Especially in the music world, figures will arise for a brief period of time, maybe release an influential album, and then disappear from the public eye forever more. Such was not the case with David Bowie. Between 1969’s “Space Oddity” and 1983’s “Let’s Dance”, Bowie remained a constant in popular music. Albums like “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust” and “Young Americans” cemented new notions about glam rock and soul in the public eye, while “Station to Station” and “Low” set the foundation for post-punk. Though Bowie continued to experiment with different styles of music, his albums since 1983 have been less renowned. “The Next Day,” Bowie’s 26th studio album, continues this tradition of less experimentation, with similar results. “The Next Day” is a long album. With 14 songs, it has nearly double the material that his older albums generally had (“Young Americans” had eight tracks; “Station to Station” had six). This overabundance of material shows while listening to the album. There are tracks that are almost certainly filler, such as the overtly obvious “I’d Rather Be High” and the boring “Boss of Me.” The midsection of the album drags on for too long. That being said, the singles on “The Next Day” are both fantastic. “The Stars (are Out Tonight)” is one of Bowie’s best, most honest rock songs in decades, while “Where are We Now?” is a heartfelt ballad that touches upon aging à la Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt.” Other songs on the album stand out as interesting, specifically the upbeat “Dancing Out in Space.” On the whole, Bowie’s slower songs are more successful than his quicker tempo songs, which can perhaps be attributed to his age. Bowie is 66 years old, and though he still shows his musical prowess on his ballads, his rock songs seem a bit tired. Knowing Bowie’s many personas and experiments through the years may cause one to think that he is just trying another character, but the exhaustion is there. Bowie’s albums always have some deeper theme or topic that he does his best to address. The theme of “The Next Day” is almost certainly aging. The album artwork simply takes the cover from Bowie’s 1977 album “‘Heroes’” and places a white box over Bowie’s face. When the album is opened, a picture of Bowie as he is now (66, wrinkled and tired) sits in the younger face’s place. Songs like “Where are We Now?” and “You Feel So Lonely You Could Die” question the nature of fame and technology, specifically in relation to the self. “And I tell myself, ‘I don’t know who I am,’” Bowie croons on album closer “Heat,” a testament to the excess and indulgence that Bowie was almost certainly familiar with in his prime. David Bowie thrived in the music scene because of his capacity to change from album to album and stay relevant. Ultimately, “The Next Day” is nothing groundbreaking. As such, it is not a necessary album to listen to. However, Bowie fans will definitely find songs to latch onto. It may not be groundbreaking, but it is the next step on the road Bowie has traveled since the beginning.




‘The Truth About Love’ Nicole Johnson Opinion Editor I have been in love with one performer since I was four. It could have been the simple fact that my sister loved her and I wanted to be like my sister, but the love never disappeared. I would sit on YouTube watching hours of interviews, learn all the lyrics to every song and convince others of the perfection that was this particular artist. As I drove to Minneapolis on March 19, the morning of her concert, listening to the CD of my favorite performer, I could hardly believe that in a matter of hours, I would be checking an event off of my bucket list: attending a P!nk concert. After reading countless reviews online of her concert, I started to get nervous because when a concert gets blown up with amazing reviews, it ends up being just horrible where everyone is counting the minutes until it is over. Thankfully, this was not the case with P!nk. What caught my eye the most as I walked into the Xcel Center was the level of diversity in the crowd. All ages graced the stadium, all eager for what was about to come. Another thing that I had not seen before at any concert were activities around the walking paths before the concert. Many a person stopped to take their picture with the Covergirl, a make-up brand that P!nk sponsors, logo behind them. Before the opening band started, a man walked through the crowds making everyone laugh. He kept the laughter going until the opening band, City and Colour, walked out to a sold-out arena. The band was good but a little too mellow to get the crowd hyped up and excited for P!nk. They were still able to keep the crowd going with little side comments about P!nk coming to the stage. Finally, the moment arrived and it came with a skit. The man who had previously been walking the stadium was the host of a game show titled, “The Truth About Love.” In the video, P!nk was chosen to come to the stage to play and in the end went on a rant about love and the screen froze with her giving the crowd the middle finger. The concert had begun. After she had shot out of the stage to her hit song, “Raise your Glass,” she continued to get the


West Fargo

crowd hyped up by singing louder and dancing faster. Halfway through, she took a breather from her cirque du soleil show, which she put on without even missing a note, showing that P!nk is a true performer. After she gave her killer body a break by welcoming everyone to the show and thanking everyone, she started introducing members of her band. Finally, she brought down the mood by singing some of her slower songs. The truly great thing about this concert was that she played not just her new album but a lot of her oldies as well. She also joked with the crowd and made comments about her family, truly inviting the entire stadium into her life. While every part of the show was amazing, there were parts that stood out from the others. When P!nk performed, “Family Portrait,” for instance, the entire time it was just her and a piano that entertained the audience, while a collage of her own personal family pictures flashed across the screen. The show-stopper would have to be one of her encore songs, “So What.” Everyone in the crowd by then knew of her skill in acrobatics and singing, but P!nk one-upped it again. It started like any other song, full of energy and laughter, but then all of a sudden she was catapulted across the room in no more than five seconds. Now she was hundreds of feet above the ground, waving to everyone, and she continued this until she had flown around the entire stadium twice, then plunged into the middle of the concert to touch hands with screaming and adoring fans. I, among many, walked out of the Xcel Center extremely happy and content with my love of P!nk. Now, because of overwhelming demand, she has extended her tour from Europe and Canada to America again. She is scheduled to perform at the Fargodome in October and I will hopefully be among the crowd again. It is not often that a person can say they went to a concert that was so full of perfection that they did not for a moment need a break. It is a true testament to the performer and artist that P!nk is and her incredible vocals and lyrics. My four-year-old self was fully satisfied with the spectacle that is P!nk.

1 2 3 “Just Like a Pill” was P!nk’s first number one single in the UK in 2002.

“So What” was P!nk’s first number one single in the United States in 2008.

“The Truth About Love” was P!nk’s first number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

Bismarck | Sioux Falls | Minneapolis | Alexandria | Billings

My four-year-old self was fully satisfied with the spectacle that is P!nk.

continues trend

Breen supervises with an easy-going attitude

“[Butenhoff] is very easy-going and she knows what she’s doing, so everything runs smoothly,” Breen said. Every year, students wait with This easy-going manner has anticipation for the biggest dance of helped Butenhoff continue superthe season. With expensive dresses, fancy rides, and sharp tuxedos, stuvising prom committee for the past dents begin getting ready for what five years. While she admits that is seen by some as one of the most the week before the dance is a little exciting events in high school: Prom. stressful, her favorite part is seeing Such a large event requires much it all come together in the end, the preparation, decoration, and timing. part students in prom committee While students eagerly begin shopanxiously await to see. Junior Breeon ping for corsages, behind the scenes Rosendahl-Hoffman is a first year work prom committee remains member, and is as busy as enjoying it every ever. step of the way. One Excited about of the coseeing everything supervisor in the end, she is of the Prom just happy to be Commita part of a tight tee, Sonja group of people. Butenhoff, “It is fun -Co-supervisor Sonja Butenhoff works hard being behind to make everything, and Prom a memorable night for stuknowing what’s going on,” Hoffman dents. Taking time out of her schedsaid. ule, Butenhoff collaborates with DaHoffman states that the students kota Breen to get together a group of all enjoy being on the committee and students interested in the technicali- following Butenhoff and Breen’s lead. ties of Prom and begins working out “I’ve never heard anyone say the finer details of the dance. Startanything bad about her, she’s so ing early in the fall, the committee easy-going and fun,” Hoffman said. got together and fundraised to buy While anxieties might be runextra decorations. As the fall season ning high through the committee, progressed into winter, the commiteach student is feeling excited for tee then met once a month to start the big dance. Today, Butenhoff and putting together theme and music DJ Breen continue leading her members ideas onto the table. By March, evthrough all of the preparations and erything was ordered and ready to be decorations that go along with prom. set up. With an upbeat attitude, the Butenhoff encourages all students to two advisors are able to keep everytake a part in the happenings behind thing under control while watching, prom. making sure the students complete “The Prom Committee gets to be their tasks before the big dance. This first in the Grand March,” Butenhoff year, Dakota Breen joined Butenhoff said. “But the best part about the and worked with her to create a percommittee is that you get to take fect night for the dance. ownership in what Prom really is.”


CBS Television/Public Domain



‘The Next Day’

Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT

Meyer beats her former standard Logan Ahern Buisness Manager When the last “Twilight” movie hit theaters, the exasperating hype for Stephanie Meyer died. After the “Twilight” movies, anything even remotely related to Stephanie Meyer was brushed off and not even considered. Do not, however, let “The Host” based on the book by Meyer, turn you away. “The Host” was a brilliant film written and directed by Andrew Niccol, who also directed 2011’s “In Time,” which was nominated for a Teen Choice award. Unlike recent releases, “The Host” finally offers a unique storyline that does not leave the audience expecting what is going to happen during the film. Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) is part of a small resistance of humans who survived an attack by aliens, called “souls,” inhabiting earth and using people as their hosts. After careful years of hiding, Melanie is caught by the souls while her boyfriend, Jared (Max Irons) and brother, Jamie (Chandler Canterbury), escape. After Melanie gets a soul injected into her body, named Wanderer, she is forced by a persistent Seeker (Diane Kruger) to try and remember where the resistance is located. When Wanderer is first put inside Melanie, she can control her body despite Melanie being able to yell at her inside her head. The film does not leave you bored wondering why

you bothered purchasing a ticket, because of the tactical fight scenes between the resistance and the souls. The movie keeps you moving through as a love triangle begins to develop when the soul in Melanie’s body, Wanderer, falls in love with Ian (Jake Abel), and the Melanie part of her still loves Jared. Now this sounds like the typical “Twilight” love story, but it is not. With the great casting of Melanie, Ian, and Jared, it is believable. The love triangle was so well developed that it often made fun of itself when Wanderer kissed Jared and Ian and Melanie forced her to punch them. “The Host” is not the type of movie the girls are dragging their boyfriends to see; its main focus is science fiction. The film had decent car chases with futuristic buildings and technology that gave the audience something to admire. Casting could not have been picked better with great performances from Diane Kruger, the Seeker, and William Hurt as Melanie’s uncle. Each had an important role but the movie would have fell through if they had not done so well. Hurt convinced you that he indeed cared about all of the people he had saved, and Kruger made you feel resentment towards her as she savagely gained the upper hand. Regardless of “The Host” being based off a book written by Stephanie Meyer, check this movie out if you are looking for a little science fiction and romance, but do not expect another “Twilight” based film.


Stephanie Meyer’s movie earnings opening weekend

1. Twilight: New Moon - $142,839,137 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Bioshock Infinite pays off all debts Alexander Bertsch Staff Writer Before its release, Bioshock Infinite was one of the most anticipated games in recent years, after the first two entries in the series boasted huge success. Through its beautiful environment, atmospheric soundtrack and incredibly in-depth storyline, Bioshock Infinite gives the player a simply unmatched gaming experience and earns its place among the top games of all time. The game follows the story of Booker DeWitt, a down and out private investigator who, in order to wipe away his debts, has been tasked with retrieving a girl from the sky-city of Columbia. Bioshock Infinite has created one of the greatest villains of all time with the antagonist, Father Zachary Comstock. Comstock is the prophet of Columbia, combining religion and ultra-nationalistic views to create a culture in which George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are worshipped as gods. As the game progresses, the story gains complexity, splitting off into many tangents before coming to the final climactic plot twist that left me astonished. Bioshock Infinite has one of the greatest plots of any video game I have ever played and would be worth the buy for simply that, yet it offers so much more. As far as gameplay goes, Bioshock Infinite is not innovative by any means. Most of the gameplay is the same as would be found in many other first-person shooter today. However, it does offer interactive cutscenes that hold the player’s attention and makes them feel integral to the storyline. These interactive cutscenes also help to break up the shootouts without slowing all of the story’s momentum, thus helping to contribute to an already great story. By far, Bioshock Infinite’s best quality is the atmosphere that it creates. Although the graphics are not stunning or next generation quality, they help to create an amazing mood throughout the whole game, whether it be through the creative lighting of the city or through the waxy texture of the “Motorized Patriots.” The game’s composer, Garry Schyman, creates a masterpiece in every scene, whether it be sad, happy or anything in between. If anymore reason was needed to buy this game, the soundtrack will do it. Apart from Schyman’s contributions, the game also contains classic, early twentieth century pieces, such as “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” as well as later songs like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” No matter how many times the player will play through this game, it will still amaze them with its overall atmosphere. If there is only one game to buy this year, it is Bioshock Infinite. It has not only lived up to its hype, but has exceeded it. This game is the best game of this year, and has no debt to wipe away.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 - $141,067,634

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - $138,122,261

Twilight - $69,637,740

Twilight: Eclipse - $64,832,191 The Host - $10,600,112

Training t h e Race for

Anna Soderholm Online Editor Senior Kelsey Toy and her father, Mike, were running side by side in the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon Series in Phoenix, Arizona. Suddenly, Mike began to feel the pain of an injury he was working through, and suggested that she continue forward and meet him at the finish line. “She wouldn’t go,” Mike said. “She stood by my side and we ran the entire race together. Bottom line, I'm a proud father and look forward to many more running experiences with Kelsey.” In addition to the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon Kelsey and her dad completed, she has participated in several 5Ks since elementary school and completed the 10K in the Fargo Marathon last year. Kelsey mentioned that her passion for running has continued to grow throughout the years and her decision to join track her junior year was one of the best decisions of her life. “My dad always told me that he knew running ran through my blood,” Kelsey said. “He has always been a big runner, and I am a huge daddy's girl, and always wanted to pick up running so we could have that connection to strengthen our relationship as I knew how much it meant to him.” During her junior year, Kelsey turned to running to help her through some difficult times she was going through. She described that she would wake up in the early morning hours to clear her mind. “I was at the point where some days, running seemed to be the only thing that made sense,” Kelsey said. “Then I was just hooked. Some people say that running can almost turn into more than a habit, and seem like a drug. I never really understood until I realized that I was basically addicted.” Despite her passion for running, other sports continued to interfere, keeping her from competing up until her junior year when she decided to join track. Ultimately, she considers this to be the best decision she has ever made. “That season, with the relationships I gained with teammates, coaches, and family, helped not only the physical but mental and emotional strength I developed, and just the sense of pure accomplishment, pride, and joy,” Kelsey said.


“ “

My dad always told me that running ran through my blood. -senior Kelsey Toy

It is her desire and love of the run that I would say are her best qualities. -Mike Toy

Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/MCT

“That is when I truly realized that it was more than just a hobby, but a passion.” She is continuously influenced by her dad, sister, coaches, herself and the future. Currently, she is unsure if she wants to run at the collegiate level or not, but will run driven by her biggest fear, what she calls “losing the love for the run.” “Running releases more than just sweat,” Kelsey said. “It is my go-to when I am happy, sad, mad, stressed, anything, any mood. I am just always up for a run.” Like she mentioned, training is a crucial aspect to participating in races. Physical Therapist for Bodyworks in Fargo, Amanda Helgoe, emphasizes the importance of finding a good training program to follow. “A good program would include stretching the major muscle groups of the legs; strengthening the hip girdle muscles, quadriceps, and hamstrings; as well as building endurance with running,” Helgoe said. “Don’t take on too much mileage too soon and be sure to listen to your body. Often, those aches and pains are actually telling you to take a break.” Kelsey and her father have strengthened their relationship through spending time together training and participating in the races. In addition, running has helped Kelsey become emotionally and physically stronger throughout the years. “It is her desire and love of the run that I would say are her best qualities,” Mike said. “She is willing to listen, read and explore. Some of the other qualities I see displayed are drive, dedication and organization. She has them all in my eyes.” On June 29, Kelsey will be running alongside her aunt for the “Run or Dye” event held in Fargo and will continue to follow the same training programs she is following to prepare for longer races in the future. “She does have the love for the run and it simply warms my heart to see that,” Mike said. “I only wish I had the dedication she has when I was in high school. But to be able to work out with her at times, run races with her, get up for early morning yoga, talk about races and designing running programs is more than pleasing to me.”

“ “

Alan Markfield/MCT

Photo submitted by Kelsey Toy

Senior Kelsey Toy stands with her father and sister before the second annual Team Ian race. Toy will be running ‘Run or Dye’ on June 29 in Fargo with her aunt. Toy plans to use the same training programs she uses to prepare for other races.



Run or Dye is environmentally-friendly, non-staining, and completely safe for everybody

8 tons of colored powder

10,000 runners per event

50 cities this year History of color races trace back to 300 B.C.


Arel finds willpower Jessica Qian Staff Writer


Taekwondo incorporates both linear and circular movements. -Jim Grimestad

This Korean-founded martial art is practiced in over 188 countries.

Jessica Qian

Kluth overcomes epilepsy Bailey Johnson

Bailey Johnson Staff Writer

In January 2007, eight year old Jazmine Kluth sits in a doctor’s office awaiting test results that can help explain why she has felt so sick and dizzy lately. She is calm and unaware of the news to come as the doctor walks into the room. The doctor explains to Kluth’s parents that their youngest daughter has epilepsy; a medical condition that produces seizures affecting the mental and physical functions of the body in various ways. “When I first heard about Jazmine’s epilepsy I was scared because at the time I wasn’t sure on what the experience would be like,” Kluth’s mother, Kris, said. Being careful is a key factor in Kluth’s everyday life, especially when she is in her many sporting activities. These sports include soccer, basketball and volleyball. She started soccer when she was in third grade, basketball in fourth and volleyball in seventh. “I have to be very careful to not get pushed down too much or work myself too hard,” Kluth said.

There are an estimated 30 karatejitsu styles and 75 karate-do styles.


Judo is mostly throws. It involves a lot of grappling and choking -Jim Grimestad

are diagnosed with epilepsy annually.

Jessica Qian

125,000 Americans


Movements in karate are more linear and straight forward. -Jim Grimestad

Jessica Qian

First degree black belt Heip Ngyuenand and seventh degree black belt instructor Jim Grimestad demonstrate a Judo throw during an adult Taekwondo class.

One in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. Kluth just happened to be one of those 26. She was diagnosed with hereditary epilepsy when she was eight but since then, most of her seizures that she has are due to stress, anger, worry, and anxiety. “Sometimes I get really stressed out over sports and school and it can start to take a toll on me if it continues to grow,” Kluth said. Kluth’s schedule is extremely packed, with little to no free time for friends. Her everyday schedule usually consists of her sports, church, and most importantly school. “As I’m growing older I continue to have less and less time to spend with my friends,” Kluth said, “This year will be my last year with my two best friends because I’m a Mustang and they are Packers but I don’t have time for them usually.” Kluth will continue on with her sports and will work through her epilepsy throughout. At times it can be difficult but Kluth knows that she is strong and can make it past her challenges one day at a time. “Sometimes if Jazmine starts to get really stressed out I start to worry but I know that she is strong and can overcome epilepsy,” freshman Carley Lemieux said.

KNOW what to do during a seizure 1 Move things out of the way so the victim does not injure himself or herself.

2 Loosen clothing around the neck.

This Japanese martial art is one of two asian martial arts in the Olympics.



Lay the victim on one side.

Support the victim by placing a soft object under the head.

5 Time the seizure. Call 911 if seizure lasts more than five minutes.

FUN, REWARDING SUMMER JOBS Train to be a lifeguard or swimming lessons instructor!

Jessica Qian

Maddie Pillen

Left: Freshmen Jazmine Kluth and Carley Lemieux sit in Sheyenne commons doing Child Development homework. Right: Freshman Jazmine Kluth plays basketball for the Sheyenne Mustangs against the West Fargo Packers.

wrong, you still need to say it loud and proud.” Arel’s mother, Carmella Arel, thought Arel’s confidence level increased after joining taekwondo. “I think taekwondo helped to develop Nathan’s physical abilities, which gave him confidence because before he went to taekwondo, he really struggled with sports,” Carmella said. “He wasn’t coordinated well [enough] to be able to do well, but since taekwondo, he does really well with sports.” Although taekwondo has impacted him so positively, Arel recently quit taekwondo because of his commitments to theater. “I miss the people, and I miss being able to jump and kick so high. I tried to go back a few times but there really wasn’t enough time,” Arel said. “[I loved] being able to kick a foot and a half above my head and doing a 360 spin in the air while kicking someone in the face, and just the agility and flexibility that comes with [doing taekwondo].” Grand Master Jim Grimestad, a seventh degree black belt and the head instructor at Red River Traditional Taekwondo, remembers having Arel in class. “The one word I would use to describe Nathan is stoic. He worked harder than anyone. At first, he didn’t want to do taekwondo, but when he changed his mind I remember him saying, ‘I’m not stopping until I get this right,’” Grimestad said. Taekwondo has given Arel a new attitude towards the people and events in his life and he recommends it to anyone who is thinking about joining taekwondo. “It’ll set you straight. It gives you a lot of willpower, and it makes you less susceptible to peer pressure,” Arel said. “It’s not just martial arts, it’s not just kicking people. The Red River Traditional Taekwondo teaches you how to act and stand up for what you believe in.”

Seven years ago, junior Nathan Arel took his first taekwondo class. Soon, Arel acquired a regular routine before class: he put on his taekwondo uniform, referred to as a Dobok, and stretched while waiting for class to begin. Arel joined taekwondo when he was nine years old and found a specialized facility, Red River Traditional Taekwondo, which helped him accomplish his adolescent dreams of becoming “a ninja.” “My parents did some research and there was one really in-depth [taekwondo facility], Red River Traditional. The masters there go to South Korea and train with Grand Master Yun, the only tenth degree black belt alive in the world. It’s really legit, it’s actually from South Korea, the real taekwondo,” Arel said. Taekwondo was a challenging sport to keep up with, but Arel says it was worth the hard work. “You have to have a lot of endurance. [It is] very fast moving but [the masters are] at this point where you don’t exactly have time to get your adrenaline up, so you always have to keep pushing yourself and it’s never just easy to keep going,” Arel said. “It really helped with self-control and it kind of makes you a better person because it gives you the willpower to do what’s actually right. It makes you feel good too, and it’s a lot of exercise.” Taekwondo has affected Arel in ways he did not think participating in a sport could. Going off the five tenets of taekwondo, he gained qualities much like the ones people in a school setting should have, including perseverance, self-control, integrity and much more. “I wasn’t really prepared for the way that [taekwondo] would change your personality; it’s not like a giant emotional experience but you’d be surprised what it does for your self-confidence,” Arel said. “It’s all about confidence; they teach you that even if you think you’re

YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties has several upcoming lifeguard and water safety instructor trainings in 3 and 4-day course options. Build your resume and learn life-saving skills. Plus, at the Y you can work year-round!

For Course Details Visit: To Register Call: 701.293.9622.

New Neighbor


Experience the culture within our school

April 18, 2013 - 5:30-7:30


viewfrom up top

Basketball Breakdown


Elsa Bollinger




Elsa Bollinger




Alex Marinucci

Elsa Bollinger

Left: Junior Travis Shock swings from the rim after making a dunk as Fargo South’s Drew Fahrman looks on during the game at West Fargo High School during the EDC conference. The Packers went on to beat the Bruins 55-51 for the quarterfinal game. Top Right: Senior Lexi Lennon protects the ball from Shanley forwards Liz Heintzman and Haley Brenner during the EDC tournament. Fargo Shanley went on to defeat the Packers 51-41. Middle Right: West Fargo’s student section cheers on the boys basketball team against Fargo Davies on March 9 during the championship game in the EDC tournament. The Packers came back from behind during the final minutes of the game to win 65-58. Bottom Right: The Packers boys basketball team raises the first place trophy as they celebrate their win against Fargo Davies during the EDC tournament held at the Fargo dome.

Basketball finishes with a swoosh As the season switches from winter to spring, new sports are beginning but many well played seasons are in the history books for 2013. The boys EDC basketball season ended with a first place finish over Fargo Davies at the Eastern Dakota Conference. Boys head coach Greg Limke said winning first place over Fargo Davies was a big game, but the Grand Forks Red River game was the team’s statement game. “The Red River game was the one that got us into the state tournament,” Limke said. “We beat the top team and we had to play great to do it, and we did, so I am very happy about that.” Limke has been a part of a few EDC championship teams in the past, but he knew that the team had just as equal of an opportunity to win EDC as any other team had. “We talked about it every day at practice, all 62 practices

we had this year and before every game, we felt that we had to challenge anybody. That doesn’t mean you’ll win every game, but we can compete with anybody if we do our part,” Limke said. “We felt we played our best and we can challenge anybody else’s best. It was an exciting opportunity for us.” After the success at the EDC tournament, Limke knew the team needed to play their best to continue the success at state. “We practiced and prepared well and we were ready to play, but we didn’t play as well as we would have liked to,” Limke said. “We didn’t execute things we wanted to.” The boys state run did not turn out how they would have liked. According to Limke, though, the amount of support during the EDC and state tournaments was tremendous. One event Limke will never forget is a photograph of his team and all the students behind them after the Davies game. It became one of his all time favorite pictures. “To me, that’s what high school sports are all about,” Limke said. “Not just the people on the court but also the involvement of the whole city, student body, faculty and everyone who had the chance to be there. One of my greatest memories is that the students go to rush the court two nights in a row.”





Other than the boys basketball success, the girls team also continued their tradition on the court. The girls finished second place in both the EDC and state tournaments. Head coach Barb Metcalf always tells her players during the EDC and state tournament that they go there to compete. “We wanted to be number one in EDC and of course that’s always a team’s goal, but I think Shanley just bad a better game,” Metcalf said. For senior Lexi Lennon, getting second in state two years in a row is tough and frustrating. However, Lennon says that she cannot just look at that one game, but has to look at the whole season and the team she played with throughout the whole time. “Everything you accomplish throughout the season matters,” Lennon said. “You can’t just base your season on one game.” “We don’t graduate tradition,” Metcalf said. “No matter what role you are on the team, you’re just like the others who come to practice every day and work hard. My philosophy is that you’re always a Packer and we appreciate all the work that previous Packers have done for us.” After winning second place overall for the second year in a row at state, Metcalf feels the team is becoming more and more anxious for that first place finish. “We thought we were hungry last year,” Metcalf said. “I think this group of seniors that we will have next year will be equally hungry to get back. Third time is a charm.”

“One of my greatest memories is that the students got to rush the court two nights in a row.” -Greg Limke

The Packer  

This was my last issue published as head editor of The Packer newspaper

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