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the black and white march. 2014. volume 22 issue 7. 5152780449. 6501 NW 62nd ave. johnston, ia

t he black and white march, 2014

Ignore the empty seats Students should love their activities despite attendance or recognition pg. 12

Also in this issue: Feature An unorthodox approach p.6 t

Doubletruck Security secrets unlocked p.10/11

Find us on Twitter! follow us @jhsnewspaper

Health Everything but nuts p.17

Sports Student refs call the shots p.18

Follow us on Instagram! Follow JHSPress for newspaper and yearbook photography


march 2014

the b&w p.2 words & layout | Carmen Vajgrt





Head Editor in Chief Laura Scieszinski Print Editor in Chief Mollie Greenwood Online Editors in Chief Jeremy Caracci Mallorie Goodale Sports Editor Anne Rogers


Design Editor Kenzie Foldes Sub Design Editor Zoe Wilson Photo Editor Daisha McAvaddy Sub Editors Carly Kinning Clare Farrell

best buddies prom


app winners


improv & speech


different beliefs


before prom

7 cheating

10/11security 12 editorial app to Online Preview 13 improve

Odd jobs

Senior Brandon Gabbert worked with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for about a year doing tobacco compliance checks before he turned 18-years-old. “My boss drove me around to different convenience and grocery stores and I had to ask for a certain type of cigarette,” Gabbert said. “I had to be honest with my age. The goal was to not be able to buy anything because I was a minor.” He was always kind of nervous before going in the stores, but he became used to it. “Occasionally a place would sell but for the most part, stores are good about checking IDs,” he said. When the stores would sell to Gabbert, he and his boss had to report it. “We would both leave the store and sit out in his car and fill out a quick form for that store and move on to the next place,” Gabbert said. “Every once in a while we did a ‘re-check’ and those took considerably longer because if they do sell, then he has to do a full written citation and dozens of pages of paperwork. So I just sat there for an hour doing one re-check.” Gabbert cannot do this job anymore because he turned 18 and it is now legal for him to purchase cigarettes.

visit to read more


Staff Writers Ellen Bennett Senad Besic Carly Campbell Sarah Caporelli Meredith Gwennap Eileen Lagerblade Natalie Larimer Katherine Licther Anna Larson

Carmen Vajgrt Sarah Margolin Courtney Mithelman Elizabeth Schraeger Bryce Schulte Elizabeth Orr Olivia White Kitarrah MangraDutcher


5 things back2besic


student refs


learn hockey


celebrate 100 years


peanut allergies

peer 14 positive pressure bird 15 early benefits

B&W Philosophy The Black and White is published solely by the Johnston High School newspaper staff. Its goal is to inform, enlighten and entertain Johnston students. It is an open forum. In accordance with Iowa law and board policy, students assign and edit material and make all decisions of content. The paper is published ten times per school year. The paper will avoid material that is libelous, obscene or an invasion of privacy. The law does not require parental permission to use student quotes. Ethically, we believe students can speak for themselves. Staff editorials represent the opinion of a majority of the editorial board. Editorial and opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the advisor, school officials or the district. Letters to the editor must be signed. Like all material, letters may not be libelous, obscene or an invasion of privacy. Bring letters to room 413 within one week after publication to be considered for the next issue. The Black and White strives to report accurate and timely information. If you believe that an error has been printed, please contact the editors at The Black and White is a member of CSPA, NSPA, Quil & Scroll, and IHSPA. Recent issues of the paper earned these honors: Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Medalist, National Scholastic Press Association First Class rating, Quill & Scroll Gallup Award, IHSPA state placings and sixth in the National Best of Show.

the b&w p.3

march 2014


Varsity boys finish their season 2 1 words & layout Carly Kinning & Daisha McAvaddy

1 2 3 4 5 6

Carly Kinning/BW

Number 22, junior Nick Neumann dribbles the ball while being

guarded by a player from Roosevelt. Neumann spent the major-



Daisha McAvaddy/BW

ity of the game in the pointguard position, and will be a starter fior next season.

Running past two Roosevelt players, number 10, senior Nick Stitzell shoots a lay-up. Stitzell has played basketball for his past four years of high school, but will not be going on to play basketball in college.

While being closely defended, number 40, junior Regen Siems

Daisha McAvaddy/BW

goes to shoot a lay-up. Siems stood at six feet and five inches tall during the season, and in the photo he did make the basket.

Shooting a three-point shot, number 30 senior Joe McGinn

went in for Neumann with 16 seconds left in the game. The Dragons were down 57-64, and could not make a comeback and lost the game. The final score was 60-66.

While running past Roosevelt defenders, number 34 junior

Derek Jones successfully makes a basket. Jones finished the season making second team in the Western Division.


Carly Kinning/BW


A player from Roosevelt attempts to block number 44, senior

Jay Knuth but manages to make a basket. Knuth plans to continue his basketball career at Loyola University in Chicago.

Check out for more boys and girls’ basketball photos from the season. Daisha McAvaddy/BW

Daisha McAvaddy/BW

the b&w p.4

photo essay

march 2014

Inside Best Buddies PROM words & layout Carly Kinning


Carly Kinning/BW


Carly Kinning/BW


Carly Kinning/BW

5 4

1 2 3 4 5 Carly Kinning/BW

Carly Kinning/BW

Sophomores Erin Gardner and John Kyhl dance together at Best Buddies prom. The two danced for one song, and then went on to dance with their friends for the rest of their time at prom.

Juniors Joel Kafer and Keely Larkin make a pinky promise that he will take a turn at the photo booth.

At first, Kafer was not excited to have their photos taken, but Larkin made him pinky promise that he would participate in all of the fun.

Zach Baer-Deffebaugh dances at Best Buddies prom with his friends. Baer-Deffebaugh ended up in

dance-off against senior Devin Lile and a student from another school during the dance, which then turned into a push-up contest.

After dressing up, junior Abby Gorsche and sophomore Jackie Smith pose for the camera in the photo booth. Gorsche and Smith are buddies in the Best Buddies program.

Senior Monica Gagne and sophomore Macey Kelly sing and dance together at Best Buddies prom. The dance lasted from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Check out for more Best Buddies prom photos.

the b&w p.5

march 2014

Students compete for best app words & layout

When talking to a group of students from Spalding Catho-

lic High School in Granville, IA, senior Sanjay Koduvalli was

persuaded to participate in the Verizon App Challenge. “The

(Spalding) students said it wasn’t as time consuming as they thought it would be, it was a lot of fun, and the experience

was phenomenal,” Koduvalli said. “So I thought that’s something I want Johnston to have.”

The Verizon Foundation, Technology Student Association,

Samsung and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media

Anne Rogers

compete with larger corporations. A business owner

can sign into MyBis and make its own app within the

app. It allows it to put its catalogue and its brand on the App Store without having any previous programming

knowledge. “It allows businesses to be creative, but at

the same time it doesn’t mean they have to go through

all the coding of making an app,” Bujimalla said. “It just makes it a lot easier for them.”

After creating the idea, the video and the essay,

Lab sponsor the challenge. Middle school and high school

the group sent in its project to the judges. The stu-

science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) and ad-

to advance STEM education in the school. In January,

students create a mobile app concept that incorporates

dresses a need or problem in their school or community.

To begin this project, Koduvalli compiled a group of stu-

dents who had different fields of interest and skills. He chose seniors Tyler Fenton, Pratyusha Bujimalla and Anna Lam

as well as juniors Meredith Toebben and Sarah Caporelli.

Together, the group produced a video and essay to sell their app to the judges. “The really amazing thing about this challenge is that it was very much student led,” Koduvalli said.

“Our essay and video was done entirely without any kind of

outside help; filming, editing, revising, project overview, project management, all of it was done by students.”

Instructional Technology Coordinator Ann Wiley was the

faculty supervisor for the project, helping with paperwork,

meetings and eventual interviews with the judges. “It’s really

been student driven,” Wiley said. “The kids have to be a part of the school, and the school has to sponsor them because

Verizon’s whole goal with this project is to help schools with STEM programming.”

The group considered several app ideas. In the end, three

main ideas were narrowed down. “Talking about the app


Behind the App Each student had a part in the project, using their skills and talents to produce MyBis Sanjay Koduvalli

dents won the best in state award, receiving $1,000

The Manager

the best in region app winners were announced, MyBis

entirety of the project

the group received $5,000. “I have had interviews with

Tyler Fenton

being one of the winners. For winning best in region,

Mr. (principal Brent) Riessen about what we are going

to do with this money the school received,” Wiley said. “I think the students who won this for us need to be

compiled the group and oversaw the

The Cinematographer video production and video editing

involved in the process of choosing what we do with the money.”

Out of the 24 best in region winners, eight best in

nation winners were announced at the end of February. MyBis was not one of them. The group was disap-

Anna Lam

The Graphic Designer created the icon and design for the app

pointed, however they recognized that the four groups

who did win, deserved it. “Every app is so different and

unique that you can never tell how the judges will score and choose the winners,” Toebben said. “We were all

just grateful that we got best in region and that our app was in the top 24 for the nation. The experience was

great and we all learned some amazing things from the project.”

Koduvalli was satisfied of the work the group put

Pratyusha Bujimalla

The Researcher compiled the research for the app to be used in the video and essay

Sarah Caporelli

concept is a very important stage,” Koduvalli said. “It’s very

into the project. “I was so proud of the project we

The Essay Writer

and qualified.” In Case of Emergency was one idea; this app

something as arbitrary as winning or losing define our

plaining the app and what its purpose is

important that you make sure your app is feasible, unique

helped a user in whatever emergency situation he might be

in. “If someone had a heart attack or something like that, this

developed and the effort we put in, I wasn’t going to let work,” Koduvalli said.

The group believes the lessons they learned from

app would have the instructions to resuscitate them,” Kodu-

participating in the project defines their work. “It taught

of this app was to allow the user to see the screen without his

important to live up to your part of the project because

valli said. Another idea was called Visionary. The main focus prescription glasses on; the screen would adjust itself so the user could see what was on it. “The thing that turned us off

to that idea was if you had two different prescriptions in your

eyes, there’s no way to make the tablet work with that,” Kodu-

me the fragility of teamwork,” Bujimalla said. “It really is if one person were to not do their part it would actually

let the entire team down and there’s no way it could be replaced.”

For Toebben, it increased her interest in a future

valli said. “It narrowed the market a little too much for us.”

career. “In this project, I had the chance to compose

MyBis. According to the group’s research, 93.3% of small

really big deal for me because I haven’t done a lot of

The app idea that won the group’s approval was called

and medium-sized businesses will not render success-

fully on a smartphone or tablet because they are unable to

the score for the background of the video, which is a

that before,” Toebben said. “It really opened my eyes to a new thing I could do and now I’m considering doing

led the group in the essay writing ex-

Meredith Toebben

The Sound Producer composed the background music for the video

it in college.” As a junior, she will have the opportunity

to possibly compete in this competition next year. “The ultimate goal is, obviously, to win nationals, but I’d just like to have as much fun next year as I did this year,” Toebben said. “I got a lot closer with the five other

people on the team and realized something new that I absolutely love to do.”

the b&w p.6


march 2014

An unorthodox approach Students who hold different religious views than their parents

An atheist’s outlook

words Mollie Greenwood layout Anna Larson


Starting around ninth grade, senior Noah

known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who

claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.


denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings

A priest’s perspective Father Zach Kautzky is the priest chaplain

A questioner Senior Jack Kapustka transferred to John-

ston Schools from Dowling Catholic halfway through his sophomore year. “The main reason (I left is) because I didn’t want to participate in a

religion that I didn’t care for,” Jack said. “ I can’t sit here and disprove a god, but I don’t consider

myself under any religion or ideal like that. I just try to be a good person.”

Jack decided that he did not agree with the

Catholic faith. “Seventh or eighth grade I just

helping them navigate the Catholic faith. “I think

it so I did research and thought a lot about it,”

it’s pretty common for kids to ask the big questions like ‘Who am I? Who is God? What is Heaven like? What is Hell like?’ big questions

kind of started to have different feelings about


Kapustka said. “Eventually I kind of just decided that Catholicism is not for me at all.”

Jack approached his father Michael Kapust-

about where I came from, where I’m going,

ka about his beliefs. “I was probably more curi-

Kautzky said.

also more interested in him seeking more infor-

what I’m supposed to do with my life,” Father He believes that it is common for teenage

students to rebel sometimes. “I don’t think it’s always because they disagree but sometimes they just want to strike out on their own and I

ous as to why he was feeling that way and I was mation than what he had already experienced

through nine years of Catholic school and by that time almost 14 years of life,” Michael said.

Michael and Jack made a deal that Jack

think sometimes it manifests itself in religious

could attend Johnston if he continued going to

Father Kautzy attributed questions about

to Johnston, I said ‘I understand what you want

faith,” Father Kautzky said.

one’s faith from dealing with hardships such

as death or serious illness of a friend or family member. “I think maybe sometimes that causes

them to ask big questions like ‘Why do we suffer? ‘Why does God allow us to suffer?’,” Father Kautzky said.

Father Kautzky encouraged students who

have questions about the Catholic faith to ask their questions. “I think it can be healthy for kids

church with the family. “When he decided to go

to do,” Michael said. “I can be supportive of this, but I want you to continue to go to church with

us for two reasons. Number one, I want you to be part of the family experience. And number

two, and I said this to Jack, ‘Jack whether you believe Jesus Christ as your personal savior, it

doesn’t discount the information the church is trying to share with you.”

Michael feels that valuable advice can be

to ask questions and I hope as they ask those

learned through going to church, even if one

Kautzky said. “Have a priest or faithful person

take the religious part of it out, it’s still good life

questions they go to a good source,” Father

that they can ask questions of and there are so many good resources online too like ‘Catholic Answers’ and ‘Father Robert Barron’s’.”

He advised questioning students to speak to

does not agree with the spiritual part. “If you

lessons and practices and it can be very posi-

tive information that you can use for the rest of your life,” Michael said.

Jack agrees that good lessons can be

their parents. “I think some amount of question-

learned from attending church. “I still think it can

to be a mutual respect and dialogue between

just pretty outdated and definitely shouldn’t be

ing is pretty normal but I think there also has parents and kids,” Father Kautzky said.

the Bible and just kind of started reading about

Reformed 2.5%

should understand what it is so I started reading

at Dowling Catholic High School. He guides

students throughout their high school careers,

lic faith. “I decided if this is my religion than I

Agnostic 0.8% Jewish 0.8% Muslim 0.8% Presbyterian 0.8%

Beebe became more curious about the Catho-

a person who believes that nothing is

be used for positive messages,” Jack said. “It’s taken literally.”

JHS Religions

it and reading about other religions and I guess

I just realized that this wasn’t really my thing,” Noah said. “I realized that I shouldn’t just really

go through the motions. If it’s not something I

Other 1.6%

Methodist 2.5% Buddhist 4.1%

believe then it’s not something that I should be part of.”

Laura Beebe, Noah’s mom, started noticing

Atheist 5.7%

her son’s resistance to go to church. “He was

just not as agreeable to going,” Laura said. Evangelical 6.6% “We’ve fought at different times because my family is very Catholic and I went to Catholic school.”

Laura noted Noah becoming less interested

in the Catholic faith after he finished his reli-

None 9.0%

gious education classes. In religious ed classes, kids learn and explore Catholicism. “When

he finished religious-ed classes, in the Catholic church, you’re kind of on your own and considered more of an adult in the church I think he

Christian 13.1%

was getting less and less involved with those things (church),” Laura said.

Laura eventually decided that she would

let Noah choose what he wants to believe. “I

don’t think that any of us are done on the journey,” Laura said. “You’re constantly questioning and challenging and you’re faced with deeper

or weaker times in your life so it’s certainly not

Lutheran 23.8%

over in terms of his religious development.”

Despite Noah being atheist, he still is with

his family during the Christian holidays. “Honestly, I go to those more to see my cousins and

stuff,” Noah said. “It’s kind of like everybody is going for the weekend and I’d kind of be left alone. Yes, we do celebrate it but it’s more of a

family gathering to me than it is a celebration of Christmas or Easter or any of that.”

Even though Noah isn’t part of the Catho-

Catholic 27.9%

lic church anymore, Laura believes he is doing good work in the community. “ He’s come to do

a lot of service work, kind of doing less church service work and more volunteering activities,” Laura said. “And you kind of go ‘Well, at least

he’s giving back to the community’. Maybe not

the religious community but he still cares for others and will give service to the community.”

*Survey was taken from an ILA, World Studies, AP US History, US History, and two Government classes

the b&w p.7

march 2014

Cheating magnified

Teachers and students give their opinions on cheating

words & layout Elizabeth Orr & Olivia White Some students just do not understand “Hamlet.” Es-

pecially one junior that was in English teacher Wendy

Arch’s class. When the time came for the class to hand

in essays, he was prompt with his paper, even meet-

ing the criteria. The only problem-- it was not his. “The student copied and pasted his entire essay from his girlfriend,” Arch said. “It would’ve slid by, if he hadn’t left his girlfriend’s name at the top.”

There are countless stories like this; students cheat-

ing to further themselves in their academics. In some

cases like Arch’s, the cheating is caught, but some incidences go undetected.

According to, cheating in high school

has risen dramatically over the past 50 years. The students most likely cheating are the above-average college bound student, rather than the struggling student.

To find out what teachers know about the cheating

that goes on in their classrooms, the “Black and White” interviewed nine teachers – two social studies, two

English, one foreign language, three math and one science – about their experiences. The results were almost identical.

All nine of the teachers believed that students cheat

on homework the most. “Students can get the homework from their friends, but they would not be reviewing

or practicing what was covered in class, which would

not give them the benefit of doing their homework,” Spanish teacher Nora Olguin said.

A few teachers accepted the fact that students might

be cheating on their homework, but believe that it will

not benefit the students come test day. “Homework is a learning process, so if you’re cheating on the homework, you are really cheating yourself,” science teacher Sara Kate Howe said.

Students admitted to cheating on homework.

“Most of my homework and classwork comes from my

friends,” one senior said. “Homework is only graded on

completion, so I just save myself the time to do it.” Now, especially with the iPads, it is easier to share homework

or even copy and paste from the Internet, specifically the problem with plagiarism in schools nationwide.

“Once in a while, I do catch a student copying home-

work from another,” social studies teacher Alicia Rollison said. “Especially if you start to see the same things


being said in different students’ work.” Although teachers are aware of students cheating on homework, other cheating can go undetected.

All nine teachers said they rarely catch cheating on

tests and quizzes. “Since I’ve been working here at

Johnston, I have not yet seen cheating during a test or a quiz,” math teacher Julie Kosman said. “If I would

ever see cheating, I suppose I would mark it as a zero, and have them retake it.” Like Kosman, the rest of the

teachers claimed that wandering eyes and notes scribbled on hands are uncommon in their classrooms, but students said it happens.

“I turn my body away from

the teacher and angle myself perfectly so I can look at my

classmates’ tests, while being

discreet about it,” one sophomore said.

Out of the nine teachers, only a few of

them acknowledged that technology could play

a part in cheating on tests and quizzes. Most teach-

ers do not allow students to have their iPads out during

graded assessments, so iPads cannot be a cheating

advantage for most. With iPads away, teachers believe that it means less cheating. Without the iPads, many

cheaters resort to phones for their quick answers. “I know of a student who records answers on their phone,

and just listens to their phone during tests,” one sophomore said. “That kid in particular cheats on almost every test he can, and seems to never get caught.”

One students uses a phone. “I set a picture of my

study guide as my background for my phone, so when

I “check the time”, I know the formulas for solving quadratics,” one Algebra II student said.

With phones, students can have access to the In-

ternet, allowing them to receive any answer they might

be looking for. “I just leave my phone in my lap and use answers off of there,” one student said.

Some students ask someone who already took it.

“My friends and I always ask each other what’s on this test and what we need to know to do good,” one junior said. “It literally saves me from failing sometimes.”

lison said. To solve this problem, teachers like Rollison

that they sometimes find themselves asking what

giving out different forms of the same test. This help

hardest question is. Informing others about the content

the best of their abilities.

the students, but most of the teachers disagreed.

don’t happen often, but some students will do almost

Some students that said they do not cheat, confessed

try to even out the scale by scrambling questions or

chemistry formulas you need to know and what the

ensures that students have the equal opportunity to do

of tests is not considered cheating according to some of This form of cheating is what teachers consider the

most harmless, but it is an unfair cheating advantage

that all students could have- as long as they do not have the test first that is. “It’s the luck of the draw,” Rol-

Instances such as the situation with the “Hamlet”

anything to make the grade.

“An easy A is what he wanted,” Arch said, referring

to the student who copied his girlfriend’s paper. “That’s why he used his own girlfriend’s work as his own.”


march 2014

the b&w p.8

‘Improvnation’ joins improvisation Five seniors, who decided to join improvisation, surprise themselves

Provided/Laura Schwartz

words & layout Courtney Mithelman Senior Carter Mehls never imagined his se-

nior year involving participating in improvisation. Improvisation is performing a scene without having time to pre-plan what you will do. Group improvisation is a part of large group speech.

Thirteen members from the large group

speech team qualified for All-State. This was the first time that any students have qualified


from Johnston; the All-State festival has been

going on for 39 years. Large Group Speech

practices started in November and competi-

Seniors (from left to right) Nick Wyman, Ethan Moran (on floor), Michael dents go to a district competition, and depend- Hanstad, Carter Mehls, and David Rice perform at the talent show for ing on how well they do there, they can qualify Johnston’s Big Give. Improvnation qualified for All-State non-performing. tions started in January. All of the speech stu-

for state and All-State. This year, there were

provnation’s theme is to make every prompt

three group improvisation teams, one readers’ into a movie scene. “We always know that theater and one choral reading team. Together, David will be the director, and we kind of these five teams were made up of 25 students. have an idea of our personalities each time,” English teacher Brenda Smrdel is the Large

Group Speech coach. For group improvisation,

it is important to put students into a group that

they would work well in. “It’s all about ensemble playing,” Smrdel said. “So you have to have

that chemistry and character between team

members.” Smrdel’s role is to assist the students and give them feedback at their practices. There are 15 events within Large Group

speech, and they are all a part of the Iowa

High School Speech Association (IHSSA). Some





rial, such as one-act play and ensemble acting. Other events require reading off scripts

such as choral reading and reader’s theatre.





improvisation and group and solo mime.

Improvisation can have two to five stu-

dents in each group. One-act play can have unlimited numbers of students, while choral reading can have fifteen students involved. Schools can enter as many groups as needed. One of the teams from Large Group Speech

is ‘Improvnation’. ‘Improvnation’s’ members

are seniors Carter Mehls, Nick Wyman, Michael Hanstad, Ethan Moran, and David Rice.

Before performing an improvisation, it is

helpful to have an idea, strategy or a theme

that the prompt can fit into. For example, Im-

Mehls said. “We just kind of customize

each of the situations to fit our movie scene. Ethan is always the weird guy. Nick kind of

holds us all together. Michael and I are usually a couple, and the crazy, energetic ones.” Sometimes

more people that came to the talent show than

Improvnation’s competitions, there was more

pressure during the talent show. “Once we started getting laughs from the crowd it kind of fueled

our energy for our performance,” Mehls said. Improvnation performed at districts on Jan.

Choral Reading Alexis Pottebaum Claudia Tice Asiya Mohammed Alexis Rivett Sara Siebrecht

“Luckily having five of us, we can fill in

on Feb. 22. They received a Division I rating at

Simrita Varma





what improv is all about.” Because there were

25, the talent show on Jan. 30, state on Feb.



said. “It gave us a chance to show our friends





my best experiences of the improv year,” Mehls

students for


for people who freeze up,” Mehls said.

After the improvisation group walks into

8, and qualified for All-State non-performing

districts, which is the highest rating to receive.

For freshman Will Linder, joining high

the room, a host hands them a bag of scenar-

school improvisation was not his first expe-

prompts. Once the third prompt is drawn, the

small theater things at The Playhouse that

ios. Each group can only draw three different

host starts a timer for two minutes. These two minutes are used to discuss how you are going

to present the scenario to the judge and audience. When the time is up, the host tells the audience what the group has chosen as their

prompt, and the group begins their presentation. A designated group member makes eye

contact with the time keeper, and the time of-

rience with improvisation. “I started off with

had improv in them,” Linder said. “I did a thing

with Second City Players (theater group in

Chicago).” After his experience in Chicago, Linder did a theater class at Luther College

at the Dorian Fine Arts Camp at Luther College. “After that I truly felt comfortable with

the basics of theater and improv,” Linder said.

Linder thinks that he will continue to partici-

ficially starts. When the group members are

pate in improvisation throughout his high school

bers put their heads down to show that they

think I can improve,” Linder said. He is look-

finished with their performance, all group memare finished. The group then exits the room.

Mehls’ favorite experience from this year

was participating in the talent show for John-

ston’s Big Give. “I wasn’t really feeling it at first, but once we got into it, I think that was one of

years. “We did pretty well for our group but I

ing forward to more competitions and different

scenes that he can work with. Linder’s goal for high school improvisation is the make it to the

All-State competition at Iowa State University.

Megan Gibbons Naomi Debaene

Group Improvisation Carter Mehls Nicholas Wyman Michael Hanstad Ethan Moran David Rice

the b&w p.9


march 2014

Do prom differently Junior Hezekiah Applegate is working to publicize

Before Prom to students. He has tried in the past to get the word out, but was unsuccessful. With fliers

and posters, he is hoping this year to start a tradition here like they have at Ankeny High School. His goal

is to raise a few hundred dollars to kick-start this program for upcoming years.

How it began

The idea for Before Prom came from a simple ar-

ticle in the Des Moines Register approximately six years ago detailing the high cost of prom. According to CNNmoney, last year the average cost of prom

Why participate?

Before Prom donations support a program

good cause the money goes to I couldn’t not par-

ticipate,” senior Maggie Mixford from Ankeny High School said, “It’s so awesome to be able to help

other people and provide clean drinking water for

“We donate 100% of all the money that is given

previous donation from student council’s Big Give.

“You don’t have to do everything that I’m sug-

that. Every little bit counts.” Students can submit

begin the program at Ankeny High School. To kick-

start the program, Doug chose Ankeny because that is where his youth group was located and he thought


donate the money to JDRF to continue the school’s

$10,000,” Doug said. “Just think of the impact that led Doug to form the organization Before Prom and


for putting on the dinner or for the advertising.”

gesting,” Hezekiah said. “Just maybe this year skip

group could have had on the world.” This realization


first time last year.

prom but spent less money on everything they did before the prom that group alone could have raised


them.” Mixford contributed to Before Prom for the

To put a Johnston spin on it, Hezekiah wants to

where cheaper, then going to the dance and after


provide for an entire village. “When I heard what a

gate decided it was time for a change. “I thought,

but still done fun stuff like going out to eat some-


fresh water. The wells cost about $1,000 each and

to us,” Doug said. “We don’t pay ourselves anything

‘Wow, if that group would have done prom cheaper,

words | Elizabeth Schraeger layout | Kenzie Foldes & Zoe Wilson

called Gospel for Asia that builds wells in India for

for one person in the nation was $1,139 and the

price may be rising. Hezekiah’s father Doug Apple-

How to limit the cost of prom to help those in need

out on the flowers and save 20 bucks and donate their donations at the accounting office to contribute to JDRF or online to contribute to Gospel for Asia.

Check out for more information

they would be great advocates to lead the program.

shoes $40

tuxedo $170

Hezekiah is now trying to jump-start the program at Johnston.

Examing the cost of prom

How to participate

Before Prom is a program that encourages

Average prices of “Prom Essentials”

spending less on prom and putting the saved money

toward a charity. One way to cut costs is to skip the

Coursages and Boutineers

the flowers and still have a good time,” Hezekiah

Flower Locations






stead of a tux and to drive yourself instead of renting










flowers. “I believe that you can go to prom without said. You can also go to a dress swap, wear a suit ina limo. “You could have your folks cook you dinner at home and make it all fancy and donate the money you would have spent at the restaurant,” Doug said.

Senior Nick Paulson from Ankeny High School

*provided by retailers

Eating Out

saw the value in the program and contributed toward

the cause. “The first thing I did was I wore a suit,”

Paulson said. “ So that alone was a savings of over


100 bucks. Then I drove my own car and [Before


per classy.”

Granite City

Prom] hooked us up with some chow and it was suBefore Prom donations are accepted from any

student, despite if their school promotes the charity. Donations can be made at or toward the designated cause for your school.

Court Avenue Brewery Latin King *provided by

Menu Price Range $11.00-$30.00 each


girls $550 guys $170

*plus tickets and flowers

A note from the creator

“You can still have a super great night. You still get to spend it with

your friends. You still get to go to the dance and the after prom event. And actually by doing prom differently and spending less you might

actually create some better memories than if you would have celebrated the same way everyone else celebrates. And also you would be

making a difference in the world. When you think back to your prom you will have a ton of great memories and you know that you helped

people too. And lastly, we aren’t asking you to spend more money than you have. We are just asking you to do a little something different

with the money you were already going to spend. Just spend less. Donate what you don’t spend. Make a difference. Come on, we dare you to do prom differently.” -Doug Applegate


the b&w p.10&11 march 2014 Current system/what has been changed It has been over a year since the massive

school shooting in New Town, Connecticut and the issue of school security is still hot.

Just after the New Town shooting, the John-

ston School District changed the security system in the high school. Before the shooting,

almost all doors were open throughout the entire day, leaving the school very accessible to anyone who wanted in.

Changes came after the 2012 winter break.

Currently, students have daily access to two doors with their iPad IDs. “Keeping the doors locked was maybe spurred by Sandy Hook, but

it was the right decision and had been needed to be done,” Principal Brent Riessen said.

The visitor badge is new this year and works

through a system called Raptor. It requires a

driver’s license to be scanned to print out a visitor’s pass. The system identifies anyone who is on the sex offender registry, but it also allows

teachers and students to identify anyone who

does not look like they belong at the school.

While the current system provides obstacles

for an intruder to jump over, Officer Jensen

does make the point that if someone is determined to get into a school, he/she will get in. Some bring up the question of a student

shooter. “Obviously, (students) are able to get in. Still, teachers and the staff understand what to look for. They know how to start emergency plans,” she said.

Having a student shooter does not change

is going on, our job is to keep students safe,”

Riessen said. “That’s the only job we have as educators.”

Technology may provide a sense of security,

but security can come from places other than

machines. “If somebody is doing that, it’s law enforcement’s job to stop it,” Mr. Riessen said.

It is also important for students to know that

they have lots of power in a situation involving

a shooter. “It is definitely a group effort,” Officer

Jensen said,” It is going to be everybody knowing that they need to do something.”

the building and purposefully didn’t wear the

One entry point, cameras, SRO, hall monitors, visitor sign in

different times and I was notified three times


ID badge and was stopped in the hallway four about the woman before administration tracked her down to tell her to put on the ID badge since she was causing a disruption.”

The camera system has remained the same.

The cameras that are put up around the school

not only play recordings at the high school but

they have the ability to play live in the Johnston

UNLOCKED words | Carmen Vajgrt


SRO, campus monitor, unwilling to release further information


Three entry points (security guards check IDs), cameras, SRO


Since there is not much that can structurally do. I think that is partially for convenience.”

professional whose sole job is to protect stu-

tration has been doing everything they can to cards is something that may be looked at for

to many people’s worries. “I think she (Officer

change with the current high school, adminis- Figuring out the best way for students to carry

change systems and practices that will keep next year. “If the iPads aren’t the best way,

students safe. “Safety is the number one con- we can do some different things...We have a cern,” Riessen said.

bunch of different things that can be put on

heightened awareness, schools are still being

targeted and victimized. “Everyone is having

the same conversation,” Riessen said, “Whether it be shopping malls, restaurants, businesses. You watch the news and this kind of stuff is

happening everywhere, so we have to be vigilant when 1,400 people are in the same loca-

tion. It’s a school issue, but it’s a society issue.”

One entry point, cameras, SRO, teacher hall monitors, student uniforms

South East Polk

Two entry points (video intercom), cameras, SRO, *three security officers, one staff monitor

*hired by an outside company information given by school Principals

dents and staff in the building may be a comfort Jensen) does enforce behavior,” senior Kaari Devens said.

Pieces of advice from Officer Jensen mainly

Faculty has been encouraged to keep their the card,” he said, “You can check out books,

base around confidence in students and teach-

a survey, out of the 77 classroom entry doors SAT on them. We didn’t want to put that on

be the biggest thing...Be aware, react...Don’t

doors locked throughout the day. After taking we could put lunch cards on them, put the

checked 14 were locked, leaving 63 unlocked. the scan card because we didn’t want stu“Having the perimeter secure as well as the dents to bring their iPads into the game...We

interior slows down any advances the intrud- will need to get some student input on what er may be making,” Director of Buildings and will be best.” Grounds Tim Kline said, “Mr. Riessen was very

Teachers have been through Alert Lock-

wise in making that choice.” Although at times down Inform Counter Evacuate (ALICE) traininconvenient, safety expectations are set in ing sessions with Officer Jensen and know place for a reason. Many of the issue comes the appropriate actions to take if an intruder with finding a balance. “Some classrooms are were to ever enter the building. just not feasible to be locked all of the time,”

“Her serious tone...And the way she pres-

Riessen said, “You have students coming in ents it really helps convey the importance of

and out. You just have to find out what the best it all,” English teacher Kelly Thompson said. practice is.”

“Because I’ve been teaching for so long, I

As of now, students are to keep their scan- know the old way of teaching which was just

ably weren’t going to get lost,” Riessen said. “I powering and it’s more all about getting out

Dowling Catholic

Kline is in charge of the designing the new

high school. “What we are currently doing in the

ing what door to come in to. “Walking all the

Ankeny Centenial

ported school-related shootings. Even with a


school are very similar,” he said.

What we can do now

an emergency.

Since New Town, there have been 33 re-

the new high school and where they should be

convenience for some students when choos-

Police Department, the Administrative Building

The reality

EMC to decide which systems will best secure

parking wraps around the school, causing in-

ning cards in the back of their iPads. “We put sit in your room and cower and hope that it’ll

One entry point, cameras, SRO, hall monitors, visitor sign in

The school district is working with Alvine and

Parking will be a major difference. Current

One entry point (using video intercom), cameras, *security officer

and the Buildings and Grounds office in case of

Do We Lock Our Doors?

high school and what we will do in the new high

layout | Kenzie Foldes

somebody is in the building and that activity

en by EMC Insurance,” School Resource Officer Jessica Jensen, said. “A woman entered

Security secrets

A breakdown of current and future plans for school security

plans to get the situation under control. “Once

Comparing the CIML

“Last year, a (surprise) survey was being tak-

What the new school could have

them in the iPads knowing that the iPads prob- go away. Then this new way is more self-emknow some students have probably taken them when you can.” out of the iPads, which we don’t want them to

Knowing that the school has a trained

ers. “Knowing that you have options is going to

just cower,” she said. Training students may be coming in the near future. Sharing certain pieces

of information from the ALICE program is something that Officer Jensen is interested in presenting to District Administration. “Students are very

aware of these things going on in the news,” Jensen said. “If this type of training is something

students are interested in learning, let your student council know, let you student body presi-

dent know and make that request to the District. It’s amazing the kind of power you all have when you band together and make it known that an issue is important to you.”

Security improvements have been made and

they will continue to be made. “Overall, we are

in a better place than we were last year, but I still

think there are a lot of things we still can be looking at when building a new high school,” Riessen said.

way around the school can be annoying,” junior

Carlyn Waetke said. The new high school will have one large parking lot for students directly leading to one entrance. Staff will have their

own lot as well as an entry point on the other

side of the school. This limits the number of entry points for both students and possible in-

truders. Visitors will have a main entrance that will most likely be similar to the entrance in the Middle School or Summit. Doors will enter into a small hallway that could open to an office by a buzzer, finally allowing entrance into the high school.

As far as alerting the school about a fire or

a lock down, new technology will take over.

“Every room will have a visual,” Kline said, “It will have a digital message coming across the

clocks. When you look at that clock, it will tell you what it is...That will help take away with some confusion.”

Since indoor perimeter security has been re-

searched in depth, entering a classroom could be a possible change. “Providing we can afford this, we are looking at doing card access to all

classrooms...The lock on the nurse’s office, it

would be similar to that,” Kline said, “It would eliminate keys all together.”

63 Unlocked teacher doors

Security is a large part of the discussion with

the architects for the new high school. “They’re

sending us information that they get from workshops and conferences and there’s pros and

Access inconvenience “I think what we have is pretty good. It’s safe even though it can get annoying. I think putting our scanning ID’s on lanyards would be a good idea.” Wesley Witt | Senior

cons to everything,” Riessen said. ”EMC is our

insurance company and we will look to them to

“I think what we have is pretty safe and they should do something similar in the new high school.”

“Sometimes it’s inconvenient taking out your iPad and having to scan it to get in.”

Jack Krone | Junior

Carlyn Waetke | Junior

see what makes the most sense.”

With the many differences, community

members can expect big changes. “I really look forward to building the best high school in the

Midwest,” Kline said. “Since we have a fresh start, we are going to do it right.”

14 Locked teacher doors

Stats taken 3/4/2014 @ 9:40 am

the b&w p.12


march 2014

Ignore the empty seats

Students should love their activities despite attendance or recognition

No matter if there are empty seats or a full crowd, everyone should take pride in the activities they are involved in. When senior Ethan Moran crosses the finish line at his

track meet, he looks around and sees his teammates, his

coaches and his parents. Normally, there are not many

student supporters that attend track meets. “I feel like there are certain sports that everyone just treasures and that they have to talk about that and only that,” Moran said. “It’s my last year of high school and I want to do all that I can. Mostly I just do it for the experiences.”

Students should take pride in the activities they are in-

volved in no matter how many people attend. If they love what they are doing those things should not matter.

Recently, there has been much talk about school pride

and “Dragon Nation.” There has been conflict about it on

social media sites, with many people getting upset that

their sport or activity does not receive enough recognition. “It’s a little annoying how everyone talks about football

and basketball and stuff and we support that, but no one

seems to really care about other sports or academic activities,” Moran said.

It is generally perceived that athletics are more excit-

ing and more fun to watch rather than academic activities

such as speech or mock trial. In the culture we live in, Friday nights in the fall students usually go watch the football

games and while the marching band plays at halftime no one typically goes to watch them.

“No one goes for the marching band that’s the thing,”

senior Riley Deutsch said. “You work so hard and put in

the effort and the mentality is to go for football and at halftime you hang out and socialize it’s not ‘Let’s go watch the

marching band’.”

Different amounts of people go to different events and

Although students do not usually make the effort

games; obviously certain activities that are more preva-

Deutsch still takes pride in his activities. “I don’t think

“Some of your larger revenue sports such as your foot-

to watch marching band or most academic activities, you should do something just to have someone come

watch you do it,” he said. “I think you should take pride in what you do and how you perform and how you grow, it shouldn't matter that you're recognized by the students.”

Junior Kate Minney believes that the attendance at

I don’t think you should do something just to have someone come watch you do it. I think you should take

pride in what you do

and how you perform and how you grow. It shouldn't matter that you're recognized by the students, you shouldn't need friends to come cheer you on in order to love what do, I think you should do it for yourself.

-Riley Deutsch, senior

lent with community and the school get more attention.

ball or basketball are probably going to have a greater attendance,” Ross said.

Some students wish that their activity received more


“I know myself and others on the team (bowling) would

appreciate having a couple people come and support us,” junior Kelli Bormann said.

To encourage attendance better communication is

needed. It does not matter if they show up and watch and

cheer, but it is a matter of knowing what is going on in our

peers’ lives. Students need to have that carry over into the academics or music sides to understand where everyone is coming from.

“I guess attendance isn't as big of a deal but there is

no recognition at all,” Deutsch said. “No one knows what's going on.”

The low recognition is due to little awareness of the

efforts put into activities.

“I feel as though some people can be close minded

student activities is unevenly distributed. “They advertise

when it comes to people knowing how much effort goes

there are theme nights around it,” she said. “The school is

Senior Ethan Moran does not feel it is necessary to

[certain sports] so highly with t-shirts and all that jazz and

into a certain activity,” Minney said.

driving the students to go to it.”

publicize his cross country accomplishments.

Although certain school activities do not receive equal

attention, the participants should not care who is in atten-

“Our coach on the cross country team says cross

country is more of a humble sport; we don't try to get at-

dance. “It doesn't mean it’s any less important,” Athletic

tention tweeting about our meets,” Moran said.

just how it is and those tend to not draw as many people

great, but do not determine success off praise. Students

Director Gary Ross said. “With our culture and society it’s to your athletic events.”

Publicizing accomplishments in student activities is

should love what they do despite who knows about it.

The editorial is an opinion held by the editorial board of the newspaper. It needs a simple majority to pass. This month’s vote was 11-0.

video. Laplante was taken out of public

meet them where they are and take them

his interests and his style of learning.

At first I believed Laplante’s creative

mind, speaking skills and communication

skills outshined public school students be-

ferentiating, which is along the lines of what

you’re talking about, it’s not realistic in writGriffin said this situation is unrealistic.“As

close to 30 students, this semester I’ve

education,” he said. “We are bringing in


Studying tips for different learning styles

rosters of six periods of 30 students, or got 173, that’s not a realistic component I could have with 173 students.”

Griffin finds an app helpful for strug-


color coding making models group assignments charts/maps


notetaking graphic organizers analysis of a system brain teasers

with memory, spelling or problem solving

This program will help with brain-based

30 five-year-olds we are not teaching them

each have a preferred style.

of 45 minutes”

the time and tools to create varying tests

learning and training by taking the way stu-

School did not necessarily hinder my

creativity. I have always been a creative

and worksheets.

dents prefer to learn, essentially making it

Thompson believes the app would ben-

more fun and productive to learn.

“I think I would love an app like that,”

there would be a school-wide test based

many times when I look at a kid and I’m like

students’ best way of learning and which

out’ and if I had an app that showed ‘oh to-

MAPS and ITEDS tests do show aca-

At the beginning and end of each grade,

student, taking classes like Creative Mind,

efit her understanding of students.

photo art classes. Being creative and using

Thompson said. “I just think there are so

on a set algorithm that identifies each

a struggle to me. However, some science

‘why is this kid failing, why can’t I figure it

brain-based learning they excel in.

tally visual learner’ then I would know how

demic progress in math, science, reading

One way to help high school teachers

compare where students are in relation to

ering information before high school. Stu-

These tests cannot measure exactly what

that holds their educational improvements

cise, such as memory, attention, flexibility,

Advanced Woodworking, newspaper and the right side of my brain has never been

and math-oriented kids don’t always learn like that so improvements could be made.


mnumonics jingle or theme writing poems class discussions

cally, tactically and kinesthetically. Yet, we

gling students, yet unrealistic for the entire

school. High school teachers do not have


flash cards in short blocks listen to background music with other people

1,300 students everyday and we are trying to get the most out of them in eight periods

a mental process that involves discovery analyzing and solving problems to overcome obstacles and find a solution that best resolves an issue

ing 180 tests.”

points out one of my concerns with public lic schools] is that we have a factory model

e itiv y gn co xibilit fle

to the next step,” Griffin said. “But also, dif-

it stands right now with teachers having

schools.“The only problem I see with [pub-


a skill or ability, when using the hands or body it is agility, when referring to intellectual dexterity it is cleverness

every kid the way they come to school,

cause he was not in a public school.

Psychology teacher Thomas Griffin


the mental ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts and to think about multiple concepts at the same time

m le ob ng pr lvi so

called differentiation which means teach

schools and adapted his education to fit


processing speed is one of the measure of cognitive efficiency or cognitive proficiency

“There is another word in education

13-year-old named Logan Laplante speak about his education in a 2013 TEDx talk

a concentration of the mind on a single object or thought


how school kills creativity after watching a

one lesson plan is needed.

Brain training mo

words & layout Daisha McAvaddy

the mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions


An app to improve intellect I was going to write this opinion on


march 2014

sp e pro ed o f ce ssi ng

the b&w p.13

skills in math. It helps so that in a group of all how to color, which teaches dexterity

and attention skills, when 15 of them may already be proficient for their grade in that area.

This app would help students learn at a

faster rate, as well as helping the student

body as a whole progress at the same time.

“I think some kids are lost and don’t

know why they keep failing and this app

could give them a clue as to why,” Thomp-

to better motivate.”

and writing. But they are used to show and

to learn. “Some kids no matter how friendly

identify learning styles is to start in gath-

other students in the district and grade.

on my strength of creativity. However, if I

like writing out an essay; I like (learning in)

dents would have an app on their iPads

part of your brain needs the most exer-

weaknesses, such as problem solving, and

from kindergarten up.

speed of processing and problem solving.

The app would give us tests and work-

choose one of four different quizzes and

will help with placement for students’ brain

180 different learning styles each semester.

known as type of learning. This app would

for the type of learner. If Student B is do-

isn’t a matter of you only learn visually,” he

school level so high school students know

can get more quizzes that are suited to his

it better than I do.” However, the program

When the teacher sends out the quiz

This is how works. It uses

Student A does not do so well, the app sup-

part of students’ brains are not as strong

with this app that Laplante had with his

represent her style of learning to further her

provide the person a better-rounded brain.

He was taught in a way that worked best for

We all learn visually, verbally/linguisti-

teachers know which students need help

The problem is we do not all learn one

way, but we do have a way that we prefer you try to be they will never tell you I don’t

other ways,” English teacher Kelly Thompson said.

An app could be a possible solution.

So when it’s time to quiz, a teacher can

Instead, a test based on a set algorithm,

then send out the quiz that is best suited

skills and deficiencies. Griffin argues, “It

ing well with a particular type of quiz, he

said. “It’s that we all learn visually; you like

learning that may advance him in a class.

would also work on students’ weaknesses.

We may have Student A, who wants to

best fit for Student A’s learning style and

tests and games to figure out exactly what

while Student B may need a teacher to

plies games or worksheets that also best

and caters to each student’s learning to

sheets for the four main intelligences, also

give worksheets and tests that highlight a

student’s learning style (example: visual)

but also improve weaker areas of the student’s brain (example: memory).

be left alone to learn by himself in class, hold her hand through it. Student C may best learn by pictures, and Student D may

best learn by facts. It seems like more than

understanding of the subject.

At an elementary level it could help

son said.

Throughout high school I have focused

had an app that would have identified my forced me to work on them then I would be more well-rounded in my education.

Teachers do not have the time to teach

However, an app starting at an elementary

their best way they learn could work. El-

ementary school teachers will have a full year with 30 kids to learn about their students and help gather information.

Students could have the opportunity

home schooled and personalized learning. him, about subjects that mattered most to

his education and that helped him succeed.

the b&w p.14


march 2014

Pressure your peers positively words & layout Sarah Caporelli

Peer pressure gets a bad wrap nowadays, although;

peers pressure each other everyday. We talk pressuring people down and fight to stop the spread of negativity. ‘Don’t let your friends pressure you into doing

drugs’ or ‘Don’t give in to the pressure to skip class.’

Yeah, I mean we’re all doing it!

Come do this study guide for the test tomorrow with us!

Peer pressure is influence from member’s of

one’s group, good or bad. When people go through

the process of decision making they often enlist the help of friends or peers. Whether it concerns my outfit for work or whether or not I should

take an AP class I always ask for several opinions. Peer pressure isn’t all bad. You and your friends

can pressure each other into some things that will im-

prove your health and social life and make you feel good about your decisions. On www.thecoolspot.

gov they say, “Good pressure from your peers might lead you to play sports, study hard, or join clubs.”

When I was debating whether or not to take psy-

chology or AP psychology, my friends provided a long lists of positive outcomes that would come from me

taking the class. They told me we would be able to

study or do homework with each other and possibly be in class together. Ultimately I did take AP psychology and my friends and I all get to be together and study for tests, work on projects and do homework together. Senior Blake Singbush was positively peer pres-

sured to go to a golfing camp last summer. His

friend who was also in golf suggested Singbush

sign up with him. “He continued to ask me ‘Hey did you sign up for FCA camp,’” Singbush said. After attending Singbush gained many experienc-

es. “I got to meet a lot of people who have changed

me to be a better person and keep continued-rela- leagues versus universities versus private colleges. tionships throughout my life,” Singbush said. These

My best friend and I happen to have the same ca-

experiences helped Singbush continue with his golf reer path in mind, becoming surgeons, and therefore career. “I’m thankful for all of the memories and we plan on going to college together.

Even though

guidance I received at the camp,” Singbush said. we are involved in different things and are going to be

I hate when people tell me to not let pressure change mismatched we are applying to all the same schools.

my mind because everyone has been pressured and

Our financial positions and academic achieve-

everyone pressures others. Even our parents pres- ments are very different. I know that when the time sure us. The hunt to have the perfect grades, job and comes and we get ready to decide I will be positively

friends is motivated by the pressure exerted on us. pressured by her to go to the school that is best for me. Pressure from our peers or our parents or even

The peer pressure I faced through making big

from TV and magazines is around us and affecting decisions will shape my life. I really believe that

us everyday and all throughout our life. Maybe the the pressure to make a huge decision in the best way to fight the negative pressure is take Singbush’s way for my future is not bad. If my friends presapproach. “I say you’ve got to go with the flow, sure me into Iowa because their medical pro-

you got to get those good vibes,” Singbush said. gram is better than any of the other colleges I have

A lot of my decisions are based on the input of looked at is their motive to harm me? I think not.

my friends. When the question came up of where I

I think that we need to stop holding meetings and

would be going to college, I was flooded with tons gathering awareness that peer pressure hurts and

of information about my options, from all differ- only hurts. Be aware that if a peer is “pressuring” you ent outlets. Friends were giving me advice of Ivy they might actually be offering their advice to help you.



In schools around the nation, anti-peer pressure posters and signs are all over schools encouraging students to stand up to their peers. The most common types of peer pressure advertised features kids pressuring other to engage in drinking alcohol and doing drugs. The most common forms of pressure in real life stem from things like “Hey you should really come over to study tonight?” or “want to work out with me after school?”. In Johnston we have a couple of signs around the middle school and Summit buildings that feature things like “Don’t give in to peer pressure.”

the b&w p.15


march 2014

Early bird benefits Offering more early bird classes would greatly benefit students words & layout | Bryce Schulte Next year as a sophomore, (yes, I am a freshman on the

Newspaper) I‘m taking both Algebra 2/Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus. With that, Newspaper, ILA, social studies,

get going in the morning.”

Taking a class that starts at 7 a.m. can be a bit hard to

get used to, but you’d be surprised at how many people

early bird health class. It allows students take the classes

shower and scalding hot coffee, I feel like I can do anything,

they want, without having to stress out over problems that shouldn’t even happen. If the school were to offer more

are actually up and at it in the mornings. With a nice warm and learning is already something I find myself good at.

It’s situations like this where having early bird classes

classes like early bird health, it would make our high school

are a huge benefit. If it weren’t for them, many students

It’s most commonly the students that are taking at least

one bug can lead to many more, and that can lead to stu-

careers a lot easier.

four year long electives, like me, that run into a scheduling

problem, that makes them decide if they want to cut out a

would have to rethink their schedule and their classes. Just dents missing out on the classes they wanted to take.

“Some people liked the idea of a parking pass that went

course they really wanted to take just so they can fit health,

along with it,” Stratton said. The parking pass that is part

good choices.

a student takes early bird health. For a lot of sophomores,

or if they want to take it the following year. Both are not very Early bird health teacher Jackie Sapp was the one who

came up with the idea of the class. After going to principal Brent Riessen and Human Resources, it was decided that

the school could allow the early morning class. They put out the request for students last school year and there was

of the “early bird package” lasts for the full semester that

health are also in a lot of other activities. The parking pass privilege comes in handy quite often.

Thankfully, there has been talk of considering to offer

who couldn’t get into it that had asked for it,” assistant prin-

lish class. So there’s where you get into trouble,” Stratton

was, you would think offering other classes as an early

bird wouldn’t be such a bad idea, and the school just might

English class, not everyone is going to take the same Engsaid. “[But] we know every kid has science, every kid has to take math, social studies, P.E.”

While more early bird classes might not be up and of-

agree on that. Hint hint administration, there’s a reason for

fered next year, or maybe even the year after that, they’re

have a somewhat normal schedule.

been a couple teachers who have said, ‘Hey, I would be

the big interest. Students need these classes so they can

Since the early bird health started, students have been

able to take their four electives and fit in a health class the same year. It’s especially helpful to have these classes

still being talked about among the administration. “There’s

Whether you’re super busy like me, or you just want to

ILA, World Studies, P.E. and Biology.

take an early bird class is much better than not.

save money for expensive college, having the choice to Hopefully the school can work something out, and get

cross-country and basketball just added to it. In her case,

some other early bird classes up and running. I’m not so

she would’ve been forced to take it either her junior or se-

World Studies, US History, Algebra 2, etc. But it would be a

she had to take early bird health. If the school didn’t offer it,

nior year. “It worked out for me, so I was really happy with

taking it!” Beswick said. “The only bad thing I can remem-

“It’s better to take classes in the morning than in the afternoon (after school), because some people have jobs.”

subject areas,” Stratton said.

take early bird health so you can take more classes and

Her schedule this year was full, and being in track,

Sydney Luu, senior

interested in doing early bird if you’d wanna offer it in other

when you’re as busy as sophomore Julia Beswick, who

was taking accounting, Algebra 2 (blocked), Spanish 3,

“I think the high school should offer more early bird classes. I would be fine waking up early to get the classes in. The school just needs to offer them first.”

health. Like I said earlier, most people that take early bird

core classes as early birds. “If you look at a junior level

cipal Jerry Stratton said. With as much interest as there

Tara Djukanovic, freshman

the parking pass is really helpful, and not just for early bird

a big interest.

“We had a waiting list, so there were even some kids

People were asked if having more early bird classes would be beneficial.

ber was [that] sometimes people were late since it’s hard to

science, and my other electives, I seriously have no room

for health. Thankfully, the school recently started doing an

Do you think more early bird classes should be offered?

worried about what classes, since everyone has to take big benefit to the people like me, who need these classes so they can be able to fit more things into their schedule.

Jason Jauron, teacher

“Yes. I’d even be willing to teach an early bird world studies. I’m sure that Mr. Knight would even be willing to teach an early American government. We totally support the idea.”

the b&w p.16



march 2014

ways to be successful in your

3 Moodle can be your key to success

Take a little bit before your next test and do some searching on your teacher’s

hardest classes


Moodle page, because you may find extra practices, objectives for sections in

the chapter, powerpoints for reviewing or for easier learning, and even a semester study guide broken down into chapters that be used for the chapter you’re

working on. If you don’t find anything, ask your teacher if they will put up things like those to help you out.

words & layout Carly Kinning

Do homework for extra practice

Nobody enjoys doing homework, however to be completely aware of what

is going on in the class, it needs to be done. If you’re short on time do a couple different types of problems that are on the assignment, or review notes quickly

with a highlighter. Homework assignments are also great practice and review for a test.


Having friends in class is cool but...

Having your best friend in your class is both a blessing and a curse. You will

never have to worry about not having a partner, however, you will need to worry

about keeping your focus. If you want to save your grade, then gossiping has to wait. Stay focused during the lesson and talk during down time.

words & layout Senad Besic

I’m sick of school. I’m constantly busy and hardly

get enough sleep as it is. Unfortunately, I’m 12 years in,

counting kindergarten, so it would be stupid to stop now. No matter how stressed I am, I always try to do all my

homework when it’s assigned. I would never skip school just because I don’t want to give a speech or turn something in the next day because those aren’t good enough

reasons to miss school. Here are some reasons you can

miss school: school related field trip or activity, being sick,

medical appointments or some type of family issue. Believe it or not, I didn’t get these reasons from the student handbook, they’re just good and legitimate reasons to miss school. Nowhere on this list of reasons does it state you can miss school because you’re a slacker.

So maybe track practice ran a little later than usual,

or your pet crayfish died and you just had to cry over it for a solid three hours, or maybe you’re not in the mood to do homework, but let’s just say some force made you

push your homework back. Well, hopefully that homework

is due later in the week so you can work on it tomorrow. But wait, teachers will just assign more homework the

next day, doubling the load of homework you have that

Instead of taking notes for class on your iPad, it may be your best bet to take

notes in the classic spiral notebook. It’s especially helpful for when your textbook is on your iPad. You can avoid the swiping between apps or switching between

notebooks in GoodNotes. This will help to avoid the distraction from games while studying, when all that is needed is your notebook and a highlighter.

5 Make your own study guide

Some teachers do not supply their students with a study guide, which is frus-

trating when trying figure out what to study for. A great option is to go through the sections of the chapters that you have been learning, and write down the main concepts and important terms. You will be studying while you make the study guide, and when you fill it out.

kcaB2 Besic

Skipping school is not cool

4 Use an actual notebook

day again. So now you’re caught in

exaggeration. That is the daily life of this American teen-

behind on your homework until one

Staying home from school to do homework sounds like

this perpetual cycle of always being

ager, and I am not talking about that horrible T.V. show.

day your teachers really pile it on,

a really boring time. You spend an entire day at home,

to catch up on homework or skip a class the next day be-

reason. I would honestly rather sit through a whole day

causing you to take a day off school

cause you didn’t get something done.

This isn’t a good idea for many reasons. Now,

I’m not saying it’s the student’s fault that track practice ran late or whatever, but it is the student’s responsibility

to get their homework done. There have been countless times where I didn’t get homework done and the next day

the teachers told me tough luck. Sure it made me angry, but ultimately, I realized it was my fault. I didn’t have to

go to practice, I should’ve grown a pair and not cried over my crayfish dying and I most certainly should have been

in the mood to do my homework. My parents always tell

doing nothing but the work you’ve been pushing off for a

of school. And just imagine what would have happened if that day that you take off from school was a very important day. You may have missed some important lesson in

science or maybe your crush was going to profess her affection toward you that day (probably not but it’s important

to keep an open heart). Regardless what’s important that

day, you would be missing out on some vital schooling

that you’ll just have to make up later anyway, just causing this endless cycle of homework deficit to start all over again.

Skipping school is a topic that has bothered teachers

me that school comes first. If I have to miss practice to

since knights started pillaging castles.

practice. No if’s and’s or but’s about it.

“You’re assigned to class, so just go.” Palmer’s right,

have enough time to do homework, then I have to miss

I don’t understand how students can get behind on

homework and why they would even allow it to pile up. I

“It irritates me,” S.T.A.R. teacher Jennifer Palmer said.

you’re here for a reason, you might as well go to class.

The whole point of going to school is to learn. We

highly doubt anyone enjoys getting in trouble for not fin-

wouldn’t call this place a high school if all we did was

homework until I’m so exhausted that I fall asleep. Sure it

sounds like a good time, but as students we have a re-

ishing their homework. From the second I get home, I do sucks but it’s required if I want any chance of being an individual adult when I grow up. My daily night of homework

usually goes like this: I sit down on at my desk, turn on my

desk lamp, open my iPad, sharpen my Ticonderoga pencil and read a chapter of AP Biology, bust out five pages of

APUSH notes and do at least 20 math problems. That’s no

play duck, duck, goose and drink Sunny D. Granted, that

sponsibility to get assignments done. Unless you plan on being a professional athlete or your family is experiencing

some difficult times, school should come first. Because

to most people, nothing should be more important than your future.

March 2014  
March 2014