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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Beauty THE Beast AND


After months in the making, Disney’s romantic fantasy springs to life on stage at JHMS. BACK PAGE John Hopkins Middle School St. Petersburg, Florida

Morgan Knowlton fixes Amari Shirley’s hair before the morning performance of Beauty and the Beast on May 2. SOPHIE OJDANIC | JHT

Campbell Park Our next door neighbor is a legendary city park. Come along for a visit. PAGE 12-13



Mr. Butts

Top 8th-graders

A driving force (literally) for JHMS’s music program. PAGE 19

The high and mighty — meet the JHMS students with the highest GPAs. PAGE 4


2 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014


J.Hop Times staff The J.Hop Times is produced four times a year by students at John Hopkins Middle School.

NEWSROOM 3 | PERIODS 1 & 5 Editor in Chief: Annie Gjineci and Rachel Gadoury Photography Editors: Bry-Anna Bani and Sophie Ojdanic Katelyn Angelis, Bry-Anna Bani, Ronald Britt, Kenshara Calhoun, Bailee Campbell, Bianca Collins, Sabine Diligent, Rachel Gadoury, Annie Gjineci, Caleb Gordon, Jiana Johnson, Zachery Kennedy, Griffin O’Neil, Sophie Ojdanic, Kyrsha Page, Veronica Sierra, Qeara Smith, Thayer Tymon, Dante Wilkenson, Destiny Young.

NEWSROOM 2 | PERIOD 4 Christopher Anderson, Cameron Canfall, Jakyra Champine, Nyanna Dixon, Keyon Evans, Esmeralda Garay, Cesar Garrison, DeJa King, Amber Lemire, Alicia Lopez, Jennifer Marapoti, Michael McCarter, Thomas Pham, Eulie Roberts, Dovanta Rosebud, Marco Smiley, John Smith, Szeja Thomas, Shakera Thompson, Zoe Walsh, Delano White, Paris Williams.

NEWSROOM 2 | PERIOD 8 Andrew Atwell, Angelina Capucci, Kaylen Carson, Jacob Clutter, Frank Gilliam, Nuriyjha Jackson, Andrew Johns-Hoffman, Tommy Mason, Seth McIntosh, Sandra Mean, Justin Moncada, Ashley Muse, Marcus Odajuste, Alicia Phandara, Maya Rivas, Timothy Smith, Rafael Tabera, Yon’Daijah Turner, Destiny Ulanoff, Brianna Walker, Miashia Walker

NEWSROOM 1 | PERIOD 2 Mikaella Alston, Nadin Antonova, Felicity Asencio, Kristi Chitphaiboon, Keondrick Davis, Tara Denson, Gary Ervin, Isaiah Fields, Damiano Gallina, Pedro Gonzalez, Kiara Harper, Vivianne Harrington, Patricia Holt, EJ’ramel King, Nicholas Madole, Demetrio Martin, Willow McCalpin, Lacy McKee, Antoniece Morgan, Draytavious Morgan, Legacy Phillips, Kaylee Pompey, Essex Potts, Chakiya Price, Julianna Raymond, Jostyn Rodriguez, Kalira Russell, Jarves Scruggs, Jaeden Slomic, Autumn Stipe, Amaiya Waters, Ay’Ria Webb, Christopher Wessel

The costs associated with discarded foods are high; if translated nationally for school lunches, roughly $1,238,846,400 annually is wasted. Food waste may especially impact low-income students who depend on school meals for up to half of their energy intake.” From a 2013 report by the National Institutes of Health


NEWSROOM 1 | PERIOD 6 Asia Arrington, Isabella Bodnar, Samora Brown, Asia Bryant, Nicholas Disbrow, Jakeem Dixon, Jakobie Elias, Zakiya Harper, Brenna Harrell, Charles Maddox, Simon McCray, Juwaun Monroe, Ashanti Morrow, Milton Sagastume, Syerra Simmons, Chamise White, Roishar Williams, Sayvon Wilson The opinions on this page are the opinions of the writers who try their best to get all sides of an issue before writing.

Here’s how you can be heard Write a column, letter or draw a cartoon (keep it clean, no profanity or name calling.) Spell and fact-check your work. We reserve the right to correct any factual or grammatical mistakes. Sign your work and bring it to our newsroom in Building 5-113. Note: There is no guarantee your work will be published. Journalism teachers: Cynthia Vickers, Tom Zucco Journalism assistant: Pearl Gopfert Newspaper designer: Brittany Volk Journeys in Journalism coordinator: Cynda Mort

JOURNALISM ADVISORY BOARD Chair, Gretchen Letterman, tb-two* editor, Tampa Bay Times; Program strategist and Tampa Bay Times liaison, Gelareh Asayesh, community volunteer; Stephen Buckley, Dean of Faculty, Poynter Institute; Beth Casey, attorney, Jenkins and Kaiser, P.A.; Goliath Davis, community volunteer; John Just, director, Precyse University; Marilyn Lusher, director of human resources (secondary placement), Pinellas County Schools; Shirmatee Ojah Maharaj, manager, economic development/business assistance, City of St. Petersburg; Mary Shedden, journalist and parent; Norm Smith, associate dean/director of special learning, Eckerd College; and Nancy Waclawek, director of corporate giving, Tampa Bay Times

John Hopkins Middle School 701 16th St. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33705, 727-893-2400 Principal: Barry Brown Assistant principals: Nicole Wilson, Dwight Latimore, Robert Florio (magnet coordinator)

ANNIE GJINECI J.Hop Times Editor

ore than $1.2 billion worth of school lunch food is wasted every year. That’s about $34 million a day. Think about that. Thirtyfour million dollars a day is wasted. Students each and every day do not just waste that much money, they also put their health at risk by skipping good food and not getting enough vitamins and minerals. At John Hopkins Middle School, students can get three meals a day for free. But really, it starts and ends with lunches. The lunches don’t always appeal to the students who grab the trays, so many students just throw their food away carelessly. They’re probably unaware of how much money they’re throwing away. Once that food slips out of their fingers and into the trashcan, it’s gone. The National School Lunch Program says that every student has to take three items from the food line, one being a fruit or a vegetable. Grabbing a fruit or vegetable every day is supposed to eventually lead you to actually eat them. But is that what really happens? The bet is that if students are given fruit or vegetables, they’ll eat it. Eventually. “Being given fruit every day is a really a good way to keep students healthy,” said sixth-grader Chloe Gay. “If they don’t like the fruit they shouldn’t get it, and they should choose something else.” There are many ways schools are trying to get students to eat more healthy meals. The Edible Peace Patch builds gardens in elementary schools here in Pinellas County, includ-

ing Campbell Park and Melrose. The students help build vegetable gardens and the produce they grow is later served as their lunch. The students actually enjoy the veggies because they grew it themselves. John Hopkins has a large vegetable garden that is tended by Mr. Hayward. Produce from there goes to the cafeteria or is sold to the public. Some schools just cut out all of the junk foods students can buy — no soda, chips or candy is sold on campus. Ms. Dew, the cafeteria manager at John Hopkins, said seeing all of the waste “breaks my heart.” Federal and state laws say students must eat healthy meals, Ms. Dew said. “But then the kids are forced to choose some things they have never eaten before.” “We used to keep track of all the food that was wasted,’’ she added, “but then we stopped. It was just so much.” So what do we do about the waste? Ms. Dew suggested that teachers occasionally eat in the cafeteria, not in the teacher’s dining area, so that students see that the food is good to eat. She also said we have to start at the elementary level. Having students start to be nutritious when they are young is very important, she said. It gets them used to eating certain foods. Then we go beyond that, with the goal to get students to be healthy even when they’re not obligated to do so. “I cried when I saw a kid order a fruit salad for breakfast,’’ Ms. Dew said. “They’re being nutritious even when they don’t have to. I was just so happy. “That shows that kids do listen.’’

J.Hop Times • Thursday,May 29, 2014 • 3


The Buzz | Three weeks of nothing



e watch movies. And then the next day, we watch movies. We’ve seen Akeelah and the Bee about 400 times. By now, everyone in school knows every line to every song in the Disney movie Frozen. And if we’re not glued to a movie on the Smart board, we’re playing countless games on a computer or our phone. Welcome to the FCAT, which stands for Frazzled, Cranky And Tired. If you’re not testing, which is most of the time, then you’re waiting around for the day to end. This goes on for almost three weeks. Test. Wait. Test. Wait. That’s a huge mistake. As we all know here at John Hopkins Middle School, we are a “D” rated school. That means we do not have a lot of time to mess around and not be learning. We need to learn so that we can get our test scores up. We need to have the most focus so that we can achieve the goal of 560 and 3.0 which is Mr. Brown’s big goal this year. So what happens? FCAT is dragged out over

most of April, and we get little or no instruction because our classes are split up and we may not even be in our normal classroom. It’s chaos. (Why FCAT takes almost three weeks when it used to take three days is another great question.) All of the parents try to send their children to the best middle school they can find. So why would parents want to send their child to a school that is failing at the FCAT and getting bad grades? The answer is that they won’t. So let’s do something about it. It won’t solve the whole problem, but we need to take the extra time we have in our classes to learn and get extra work done. The irony is that here at JHMS, we have been wasting our time during the FCAT, and it probably affects our FCAT scores, our grades, and our chance to achieve that 560, 3.0. We need to put down the phones and turn off the movies and get back to regular classes. And maybe if we can start learning it would help us achieve a 560 and a 3.0 by the end of this year. It’s never too late.

Goodbye, eighth-graders


Dear JHMS Class of 2014, The last few days of school are here. We are all excited for that, but at the same time, we are saddened because of you — the 330 eighth-graders who are leaving. For many of you, these last weeks were a frantic last chance to make your mark. Drama students had the spring musical, dance students had their final performance, and journalism students had the last edition of the newspaper — which you are reading now. Remember this: You are passing the torch to the underclassmen who will try their best to be as awesome as you all have been. You guys have grown up and are “wise” enough to leave the nest. This is not the end of your school years, but it is the end of your middle school years. Within those years, you’ve probably made many friends and good memories. Your footsteps have been left, and they pave the way for others. Your memories will last forever. Thank you, goodbye, and keep making everyone at JHMS proud.

school news BY QEARA SMITH • J.Hop Times Staff Writer

As Mr. Brown wraps up his fourth year as principal of John Hopkins Middle School, we sat down with him to talk about the 2013-14 school year — what he liked and what he didn’t.

Catching up with Mr. Brown A quarterly “state of the school” conversation with the principal

So … how has the year been? “I think it’s been a successful year academically. We got a new resource officer, Officer Hiatt, who transitioned really well, and a new magnet coordinator, Mr. Florio, and a new AP, Ms. Savage, who have fit right in and made our school better. We need to work to improve our dress code and tardy standards.’’

was an AP. As principal, there’s a buffer between you and the kids. This is the hardest job I’ve ever had. I’ve learned about being a leader, listening, and trying to be knowledgeable about everything. There’s a huge lens we have to look out of. But this has also been one of the most rewarding years. At the end of each day, I really want to be a better principal than I was the day before.’’

Your goal this year was to bring JHMS up to a B rating. When will we find out if we came close to 560, 3.0? “Right after the school year is out. And I feel good about how we’ll do.’’

Are we adding more teachers and programs next year? “Not right now. For us, the key is fine-tuning what we have. That said, about 60 percent of our students are Level 1 or 2 in math and reading, so it’s important we continue to provide academic support.’’

Enrollment here is declining. What can you do about that? “I’m not sure it is declining. We had 904 students a couple of months ago, but we added 40 or 50 more since then.’’ How has this year been for you personally? Do most people realize what a tough job you have? “Dealing with kids has always been rewarding, but I think I kind of lost the connection I used to have when I

Do you feel you’ve got the support you need to do your job? “I feel completely supported. We’ve got a great group of teachers and support staff. And our plant operators and cafeteria staff contribute as well. It takes so many different people to provide for our students. “I want to make sure our entire staff knows how much I appreciate them.’’

4 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014

school news

Summer job ideas Need some cash for the summer? Here are some ideas to earn money, and you don’t have to own a car or spend a lot of money to get started.

Outside jobs • Washing cars • Bake sales • Lemonade and cookie stands • Running errands for elderly people • Garage sales • Lawn service

Inside jobs


Some of the top academic achievers from the 2014 class at John Hopkins include, from left, front row: Alicia Lopez, Adriana Ladera, Maiyah, Alise Bryant; back row: Elizabeth Burns, Thayer Tymon, Gabrielle Knaust, Anne Evans, Kevin Pham, and Sarah Ferrer.


Meet the sharpest knives and the brightest bulbs. BY ANNIE GJINECI AND SOPHIE OJDANIC


J.Hop Times Editors

hey are boys and girls. They are black and white, Asian and Hispanic. They are also the best and the brightest at John Hopkins Middle School. Nearly 20 students will end their threeyear career at JHMS with GPAs ranging from 3.8889 to 4.0. “It’s crazy,” said eighth-grader Kamylah Pena, one of the students who fit in the range. “All of this hard work paid off.’’ For three years they had to keep their grades up to at least honor roll level (at least a 3.8889). Many of the students said it wasn’t difficult. “You just have to pay attention,” said Anne Evans, proud owner of a 4.0 average this year. To maintain a grade level this high, students said they had to work harder than the average student and study a lot. It’s not easy having to balance the studying, the homework, and the classwork, said Kamylah. Keeping up the good grades in high school will be even harder. “You’re only as good as your last perfor-

JHMS eighth-graders with the highest GPAs for the 2013-14 school year 4.0: Manuel Andrade, Anne Evans, Ashleigh Zirups 3.9750: Adriana Ladera 3.9545: Joshua Quarles 3.95: Kamylah Pena 3.9473: Gabrielle Knaust 3.9318: Kevin Pham 3.9285: Katie Truong 3.9250: Kamryn Marshall 3.9230: Maya Leonavicius, Sidney Scudder

mance,” said Maiyah Cratic, who had a 3.8780 average this year. It wasn’t just that the students spent more time studying and doing homework. They also

said they tried to avoid distractions like school drama. “I had to pay attention, stay focused, do my homework and any make-up work,’’ said Kamylah (3.95 average). “I also had to sacrifice sleep.’’ “Getting there took a lot of effort,’’ added Thayer Tymon. “But getting there was worth it in the end because I never would’ve thought I could do this.” All of the students have one thing in common — they’re very high achievers, said Ms. Yeazell, who tracks grades for JHOP. “They got straight As the whole time they were here, and did whatever it took to get there. “Not all of them had high FCAT scores,’’ she added. “Some are naturally smart, others worked on it. But they all achieved it.’’ Ms. Yeazell also said that seventh grade is a critical year because that’s when students can begin to set a course for advanced classes in high school. “All of this hard work must continue,’’ Anne Evans said. “It’s going to be hard, but in the end it will pay off.”

• Tutoring • House cleaning • Babysitting • House sitting • Look after a neighbor’s pets when they are on vacation

Technology jobs • Be a vid-kid (a video recorder for parents who want to record, say, their child’s baseball game or gymnastics meet) • Teach people how to set up and manage social media accounts • Teach people how to use Microsoft Word /Excel/PowerPoint (only if you know how) • Teach people how to use a computer (only if you know how) • Teach people how to download pictures from their camera (only if you know how) Note: Always be careful who you deal with. Check out the person you want to work for to make sure they are safe and honest. — Nadin Antonova, J.Hop Times Staff Writer

J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014 • 5

school news

a very good year


From art and girls’ basketball to steel drumming and drama, the 2013-14 school year was one to remember.

BY THAYER TYMON • J.Hop Times Staff Writer

t’s the tightening in your chest. It’s not being able to swallow. It’s your heart beating faster with every thought. But in that moment, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that before you were scared, you doubted every fiber of your being because right there, in that moment, you win. • And win is what the students of John Hopkins Middle School did this past year. From the Author’s Camp to the afterschool S.T.E.M. program, the academic side was a major success. And because JHMS is the Center for Arts, Journalism and Multimedia, many highlights also came in the magnet program.

Students in theater received 22 superior and five excellent ratings at district competition. At the state level, the students had two superior and eight excellent ratings. There were more than 2,500 students at the state competition. JHMS drama students also performed at the Saturday Morning Market, and showed us all how incredible they are with their eighth-grade projects. This is where students come together to perform their own “one-acts”. No help from any teachers; it was all the student’s creation. “It was really challenging,” said Melanie Londoño, the director of one of the skits — Ten Ways To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse. “I had to put everything together myself without any help. It was a really interesting experience that I would hope to do again.” “It was a lot of fun” added Lara Coiro, the director of another one act, Competition Piece. “I could bring my ideas to life and push my classmates to their full potential. I would love to do bigger things, more dramatic things. My favorite part was watching everything come together.” The theater students ended a busy year with four phenomenal performances of the musical Beauty and the Beast, which attracted the attention of WTVT-Ch. 13 reporter Charley Belcher. “It’s all really great because we accomplished so much this year.” said Caitlin Ferkile, a Drama 3 student and eighthgrader. Mrs. Hosey, the advanced and intermediate drama teacher at J.Hop, was more than happy to talk about her

students. “I think it’s a real blessing and honor to work with such talented young ladies and gentlemen,” she said. The art focus at JHMS was also on a roll this year. Case in point: 35 different pieces of work were accepted into Scholastic Art, which is a national contest. This was not an easy feat. Sidney Wright, an eighth-grade Art 3 student, had two pieces accepted. “I had to work hard on them,’’ Sidney said. “But in the end it was all worth the effort.” Rosie Santiago, another eighth-grade Art 3 student, had two pieces accepted into Scholastic Art. “It was fun,” she explained. “But at times it could stressful.” Abigail Altieri and 13 other students had their work displayed at an outdoor festival at the Morean Arts Center as part of the Word and Image Middle School Exhibition. The exhibit combines art and writing. Abigal won the top award. “I like how flexible they are, what strong risk takers they are, and that they are willing to try new things,” said Mrs. Smith, the intermediate and advanced art teacher. “They use art for expressing themselves in ways you can’t do any other kind of classroom.” Dance students at JHMS also excelled this year, including a performance in which the most advanced students did something extra. “We performed a piece we all made.” said eighth-grader Devon Moore. “It was nerve-wrecking leading up to the performance. But once we got on stage, the nerves just went away.” “I will always remember the fun times

with choreography;” said eighth-grader Joy Bessudo, a Dance 3 student. “We were always laughing and having fun.” She paused and smiled. “We had a lot of fun.” The jazz band at J.Hop doesn’t lack when it comes to showing everybody up. The band had performances at Munch’s Restaurant, Jamerson and Perkins elementary schools, and at the Pinellas Park holiday parade. When the jazz band went to Music Performance Assessments, they came back with nothing but excellent ratings. “It felt pretty good,” said eighth-grader Gregory Collins, a member of the band who plays base. “It goes from superior down to poor. Excellent is right under superior. It’s a good thing for us and the school.” “Band has made me look at the better things in life,” added eighth-grader Rose Ho, a proud member of the band program. Mr. Wright, the new band teacher at J.Hop, is impressed with what his students have been able to accomplish. “Jazz band has been making really great progress,’’ he said. “I’m really proud of them.” The orchestra at J.Hop, under the direction of Ms. Chambers, performed at North Shore Park, and like the jazz band, they scored all superior ratings. “We worked really hard this year, and it shows,” said Ronnessa Hart, an eighth-grade cello player. There were many other honors JHMS students took home this year. There were also plenty of highlights. Here are just a few: • JHMS was selected by the National Association for Music Education to house a Tri-M Music Honor Society at the school. “I’m excited that we have 18 members in our charter class,’’ said Mr. Allen, percussion director at JHMS. The 18 students were inducted May 5. The students are Alana Balloon (treasurer), Rachel Baltz (historian), Maxim Estevez-Curtis (secretary), K’myah Frazier, Travis Hughes, Ivy Jones, Raven Jones, Shanna Michael, Gabriel Osorio, Ayrias Pedigo, Jasmine Robinson (vice president), Heidi Roosa (president), Bella Shuler, Cory Sweat, Tam Tran, Trevor Uhlmann, Marliese VanWyck and Toby Wall. • Lataria Adams, an eighth-grader at JHMS, was named Ms. Junior Miss Childs Park)

• These students were awaiting induction into the National Junior Honor Society: Abigail Altieri, Bill Baptiste, Tekierria Benjamin, Joy Bessudo, Alise Bryant, Elizabeth Burns, Lara Coiro, Maiyah Cratic, Desirae DeFazio, Chelsea Hage, Ronessa Hart, Aleena Jones, Gabrielle Knaust, Adriana Ladera, Kimika Lawson, Maya Leonavicius, Kamryn Marshall, Zion Moore, Katherine Muehleck, Anna Pottér, Kevin Pham, Desurae Pittman, Jorden Pompey, Sidney Scudder, Courtney Smith, Thayer Tymon and Paris Williams. • The following students put in more than a dozen hours of volunteer service in beautifying our campus: Kate Spoonamore, Alexis Brown and Samora Brown. • Anne Evans, an eighth-grader, was awarded a full scholarship to the Spanish Immersion Summer Program at Eckerd College as a result of her essay and recommendations. • Tim Sennikova, a seventh-grader, made all county on tenor saxophone. • These students were members of the South District champion girls’ volleyball team, coached by Mr. Glessner: Alise Bryant, Grace Elliott, Malia Gibson, Kathryn Girdler, Kelly Hage, Denise Hall-PaPeleo, Kelly Hannigan, Raven Jones, Taylor Redington, Heidi Roosa, Katie Truong, Jaelyn White and Macey Zeh-Amdt. • These students were members of the undefeated South District champion girls’ basketball team, coached by Ms. Forte: Paris Williams, Denise Hall, Macey Zeh-Arndt, Jo Thomas, Alize Bryant, Ashley Frazier, Shakera Thompson, Szeja Thomas, Leah Dudley, Alexis Williams, Kylan Turner, Jo Thomas, Teayonia Hope, Kristi Chiphaiboon and Que’dasha Erving. • The J.Hop Times was selected as the best middle school newspaper in America by the National Scholastic Press Association. It is the first time any Pinellas County middle school has received such an honor. The newspaper and its website are part of the Tampa Bay Times’ Journeys in Journalism program. J.Hop Times staff writers Sabine Diligent, Ronnie Britt and Griffin O’Neil contributed to this report.

6 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014

school news

Mr. Dickter to the rescue The BY BRY-ANNA BANI


J.Hop Times Photo Editor

ost of the time, when students get sick and miss a lot of school, their teachers send work home so the students don’t fall behind. Mr. Dickter took that one step further. One giant, 20-mile step. When Brooke Kimball, an eighth-grade student in Mr. Dickter’s U.S. History class, needed a back operation recently, she found out she would miss about six weeks of school. To a teacher like Mr. Dickter, missing that much school is unacceptable. If she couldn’t go to school, he’d bring the school to her. Mr. Dickter brought reading material to Brooke in her hospital room and made sure she kept up with her history lessons. Typical Mr. Dickter. He tries to attend every school function and sporting event he can. He also tries to stay involved with his students, especially when they need a little help. Mr. Dickter drove more than 20 miles to visit Brooke at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa. At first he drove to the wrong hospital, walked in and asked for her. His mistake cost him several additional miles and minutes, but he found the right hospital. “I was concerned (Brooke) was going to be in a lot of pain and in discomfort,’’ Mr. Dickter said. “I was concerned she was going to fall


Civics teacher, Mr. Dickter, visits Brooke Kimball during her stay at St. Joseph’s hospital in Tampa.

behind in her school work, so I brought her historical novels so she wouldn’t. “She was very happy. I promised her if she paid attention to the lesson, I would give her a treat.’’

He brought her a generous supply of beef jerky. “She was very brave and didn’t complain a lot,’’ Mr. Dickter said, “but I could tell she was in a lot of discomfort.’’ Brooke said she was really happy to see a familiar face in a strange place like a hospital. “Mr. Dickter is a pretty cool guy,’’ she said. “I couldn’t ask for a better, fun, caring, funny, nice history teacher. I knew he would do this. This is typical Mr. Dickter.” “I don’t look at this as a job.” Mr. Dickter said. “If I have to spend my evenings going to Tampa and looking for a hospital, I will. Brooke is a happy kid who loves middle school. She doesn’t deserve to go through major surgery at this age. No one does.” Mr. Dickter said he wants to set an example, to be a positive role model. “I tell my students that character is measured when people aren’t looking,’’ he said. “You see kids bouncing around in the hallways all happy, but in reality, there is always someone hurting inside, and for some kids, you could never tell.’’ That’s when Mr. Dickter tries to step in when he can. “Not every teacher would do what he did,’’ Brooke said. “He always wants his kids to be happy and doing their best.’’ After being out of school for a month, Brooke was happy to come back to school. She said she missed everyone, especially Mr. Dickter. “Without Mr. Dickter,’’ she said, “my recovery time would have been a lot harder.’’

The sole men BY KENSHARA CALHOUN • J.Hop Times Staff Writer


alking around in a worn out, leaning pair of shoes can make life pretty miserable. Some students at John Hopkins Middle School have to do that every day. But Mr. Brown and Mr. Smith may have found a solution to that problem. They have asked teachers and staff to donate new or slightly used shoes to the school. Shoes are dropped off at Mr. Smith’s office in the Media Center and then given to students who need them. Mr. Smith said he has given out about 10 pair of shoes in the last two months. “Mr. Brown (JHMS principal) came up with the idea,’’ Mr. Smith said. “He had shoes at home from his kids that were still in good shape, and he just thought other kids could use them. “There are kids here who need food, clothing and shoes,’’ added Mr. Smith, who is the social worker at JHMS. “I assume there are also a lot of kids who need shoes but who don’t come in. “It’s pretty important that kids have decent shoes and feel good and comfortable. Kids make fun of each other for being poor, and you don’t want to walk around with a constant reminder of that.’’ Mr. Smith said he will continue to collect shoes “as long as they keep coming in. “And they don’t have to be brand new or name brand.’’ Illustration by Dante Wilkenson

Real Mr. Clean


J.Hop Times Literary Critic

Who’s willing to stay after school to pull weeds and pick up trash? You might be surprised. Mr. Glessner, a Spanish teacher and the girls’ volleyball coach at John Hopkins, has started a project to make the campus more appealing. He and students who wish to participate come together after school and head outside to work. They have done everything from weeding to picking up trash, and they plan for bigger projects once more people come to help. They’d like to put in new plants, clean up the courtyard, car circle and in the track field. At the start of the project in February, a dozen or so students came to help. But at times, there are as few as four or five students who show up. Mr. Glessner has high hopes for the project and is looking forward to next school year. “It’s been fun so far,’’ Mr. Glessner said. “The kids have fun working together, and we’re making John Hopkins Middle School at better looking place to be.’’ The students who help out had the same idea. “I want to give a helping hand,” said Bill Baptiste, an eighth-grader at JHMS. “I thought it would be good to give back to the school.” Chelsea Hage, another eighthgrade participant, said she likes showing teachers she is willing to help. “We usually do gardening and weeding, which really isn’t that bad,’’ she said. “Plus the volunteer hours are great.” Any student is allowed to come and help. Cleanup is from 4:15 p.m. until about 5:30. Students can tell Mr. Glessner when they are coming, or they can just show up at his room (6-219). “Our goal this year was to make a small difference,’’ Mr. Glessner said. “I think we’ve made one.’’

J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014 • 7

school news DEMOGRAPHICS


J.Hop Times Staff Writers


disciplinary referral is like a bad cold; it’s not something you want to get. But John Hopkins Middle School has had the sniffles lately. There were 3,469 referrals written at JHMS between mid-August of last year and early March of this year. That’s almost four referrals per student, with three months left in the school year. Referrals usually happen when a student is defiant or disruptive. The consequences can be detention (ABC or ABS) for as little as one class period or as long as 10 days. Students can also serve detention in the cafeteria, where they have to clean tables. In the magnet program, a student can be kicked out if he/she has too many referrals. But the bottom line is this: Refer-

rals reflect poorly on the students and the school. The more referrals are written, the worse the behavior seems to be. There are other numbers behind those nearly 3,500 referrals. For instance: • Just over half of all students (51 percent) had no referrals; 49 percent had at least one. • Black students make up nearly 60 percent of the student population, but account for nearly 90 percent of the referrals. • Male students make up 44 percent of the student population, but account for 62 percent of the referrals. Ms. Wilson, an assistant principal at JHMS, said that the number of referrals has stayed about the same in the four years she’s been at the school. What has changed, she said, is the cause of the referrals. “My first two years here, the reasons were really bad, like fighting,’’ she said. “But I don’t see those


Number of students in student population

Percent in student population

Number of referrals

Percent of Number of Percent referrals students receiving receiving referrals referrals

All students







Black students







Hispaninc students







White students







Asian students







Multi-Ethnic students







Econ. Disadvantaged







Students w/Disabilities







English Language Learners






















JHMS data from August 2013 to March 2014

kinds of referrals that much now. There are not the major disruptions that we used to have.’’ Still, Ms. Wilson referred to the overall number of referrals this year as “overwhelming.” There are two main reasons students get referrals, she said. “Acting out to get attention, and kids who can’t do their school work and become frustrated.’’ “This has to be talked about,’’ said Mr. Green, a JHMS campus monitor. “The disruption could be from a lack of education. A kid can’t read at a competent level will act out

because they can’t read as well as everyone else. “Teach these kids. Give them a foundation. Put more money into programs like Head Start that reach kids before they get to elementary school. So they have a better chance when they get older.’’ Lazarus Whipple, an eighthgrader, said he got a referral for fighting. “I do care if I get one,’’ he said, “but kids will still be bad.’’ Jaleyah Booker, a seventh-grader, said she never got a referral. Asked if referrals stop kids from being bad, she said no, “because it keeps

happening over and over.’’ And then there was eighthgrader Krissy Brinson. “I’ve gotten referrals because I can’t control my mouth and I have a bad attitude,’’ Krissy said. “I care if I get one. But it doesn’t stop kids from being bad.’’ Not always. Jeremiah Baker, a sixth-grader, got a referral for fighting. “I think kids will change their ways if they get one,’’ he said. “I did.’’ Staff writers Essex Potts, Nick Madole and Jorden Acquarolo contributed to this report.

The ABS effect: Making the best of a bad situation BY RONNY BRITT

J.Hop Times Staff Writer

It’s one of the last places you’d think students would do well academically. The ABS (alternative bell schedule) program at John Hopkins is for students who are serving in-school suspensions of up to 10 days. It’s located in a portable behind Building 7. To get to it, you have to go through two metal gates. Life in ABS is not fun and games. The students are isolated, and because they never leave the portable, they don’t interact with other students. They even eat lunch alone. ABS students have to be quiet and seated. Their teachers send their work to the portable, and the students have to do it. No phones,

no loud talking, no drama. And that’s exactly why some students find their grades inching up. “It’s easier to concentrate. There is no noise and it is just peace and quiet.” said ABS student George Andrews. “It’s better than being in my normal classes because you don’t have to go through the disruptions and distractions.” Many students prefer ABS over ABC because of its calmer, quieter environment. Students even request to be put in ABS rather than ABC so they can get their work done. “Some students only passed some of their classes because of the work they have accomplished out here”, said ABS director Mr. Shumilak. “It seems a little extensive to have

to go through all that to get your work done. But if that’s what the students have to do, then so be it.’’ Students in ABS also say the smaller class size (usually four to 12 students) allows them to stay more focused and on task than in a regular classroom. “Actually, it’s better than regular school,’’ said ABS student Kevin Lang, an eighth-grader. “The class is smaller and there isn’t any chaos. The only downside is that we don’t have certain teachers in here to explain some things. And there’s no social time. But you get used to it. “I prefer being in here,’’ he added. “We get here around 8 a.m. and leave at 12:30, but I would stay until 4 if I could. “I get so much work done.’’


“Some students only passed some of their classes because of the work they have accomplished out here,” said ABS director Mr. Shumilak.

8 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014

school news Next mission: Change Building 7 to The Gist Building


The story of Mr. McKinley Hayward, JHMS Class of 1954.

J. Hop Times Editors


t was just a simple, handwritten sign that was put up in September of 2012, not long after Mr. Gist, a beloved math teacher at John Hopkins Middle School, died of a heart attack. It was taped to the wall outside Room 103 in Building 7 to try to cheer up Mrs. Gist. She was Mr. Gist’s wife and she also taught math at JHMS. The sign read: #1 Math Teacher Mrs. Gist. Nearly 30 students wrote messages on the piece of construction paper, and Mrs. Gist would say over and over how ANNIE GJINECI really proud she was JHT of it. The sign was created by sixth-graders Megan Fanning and Malia Gibson, and what they and other students wrote says a lot about Mrs. Gist. I love you. You’re amazing. The best math teacher in the world. That was two years ago. Today that sign, a little yellowed and smudged, is still taped to the wall. And it means more now than ever before. On Feb. 16, Mrs. Gist passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a fatal condition that attacks the nervous system. She had wanted to teach this year, but her health got worse and she had to retire. No one knows exactly why, but the sign was never taken down. Some students notice it as they pass by, and some don’t. But no one touched it. “The sign just shows how important Mrs. Gist was and how much the students enjoyed her,’’ said Mrs. Lynch, who teaches history next door to Mrs. Gist’s room. Ms. Serne, a language arts teacher in Building 7, said Mrs. Gist tried to help everyone through their problems. “She

Outstanding in his field BY QEARA SMITH

J.Hop Times Fashion Editor


Sixth-grade math students signed a huge card for Ms. Gist when she retired at the end of the 2012-13 school year. The card still hangs in the window of Ms. Gist’s former classroom.

was always there for you,’’ Ms. Serne said. “She was such a great teacher and friend.” As for the sign, “It’s very beautiful,’’ Ms. Serne said. But of all the teachers at John Hopkins, the one who currently occupies Room 103 is the one who misses Mrs. Gist the most: her daughter, Mrs. Williams. “I get to walk by every day and see that sign,” said Mrs. Williams, who is continuing the Gist family tradition as a JHMS math teacher. “It is an honor to have my mom’s room. Last year I taught in my dad’s room.” Nicholas Lynch, a seventh-grader who is Mrs. Lynch’s son and was Mrs. Gist’s godson, said the sign “shows that people

really cared about Mrs. Gist. It affected my mom a lot because she and Mrs. Gist were best friends. “Mrs. Gist cared a lot for me and she never wanted me to get in trouble,” Nicholas added. “I hope the sign stays up for a very long time.’’ There is a way to make sure that happens. Some teachers have suggested that a better and more permanent sign that Mr. and Mrs. Gist are still with us would be to rename Building 7. Put a plaque up outside that reads: The Gist Building. “There was an effort to rename the gym in honor of my father,’’ said Mrs. Williams. “But that never went anywhere.’’

10 Unsolved Mysteries

The missing Malaysian airliner captured headlines for weeks. Here are ten more famous unsolved mysteries. 1. Chupacabra: Latin American goat-like creature that drinks blood 2. Amelia Earhart: Aviation pioneer disappeared in 1937 3. Shroud of Turin: The cloth believed to have covered Jesus 4. Loch Ness Monster: Dinosaur living in a Scottish lake 5. Bigfoot: Giant ape-man of the Pacific Northwest 6. Area 51: Nevada base where aliens and spaceships are secretly kept

7. D.B. Cooper: Jumped from a jet carrying $200,000; never found 8. Jimmy HoffA: Union leader vanished in 1975 9. The Curse of the Billy GoaT: Keeps Chicago Cubs out of the World Series 10. Bermuda TrianglE: Unexplained disappearance of ships and planes — By Nadin Antonova, J.Hop Times

He wasn’t sure he wanted to help his daughter start a vegetable garden behind John Hopkins Middle School last summer. Not at first. It would take a lot of hard work, every day, out in the hot sun. And he’s 77 years old. These days, it’s almost impossible to keep Mr. McKinley Hayward away from the little plot of land behind Building 7. He’s there every morning and stays until about noon, his Bucs ball cap pulled low to shade his eyes. He’s always raking, weeding, planting, and chatting with students who drop by to visit. “I don’t get paid, but it’s my daily job,’’ he said. “I come here every day … even on Saturdays.” All of Mr. Hayward’s hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. On April 27, he received The Green Thumb Award from St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman. The award was for Mr. Hayward’s dedication to the school’s garden. “It was a big surprise to me,’’ Mr. Hayward said. “It means a lot to me and it’s a big boost for our school.’’ Cayleb Blevins, a sixth-grader at JHMS who has helped Mr. Hayward throughout the year, also was honored with a Youth Award plaque. Like the plants he tends, Mr. Hayward has deep roots at JHMS. In 1952, he was part of the first class at the school, which was called 16th Street Junior High back then. “I played on the first basketball team the school ever had,’’ he said. “Our gym was so small they called it The Matchbox.’’ After he graduated from Gibbs High, Mr. Hayward worked for the city of St. Petersburg for several decades before he retired. He met his wife, Betty, at John Hopkins. They’ve been married 55 years. Their daughter, Ms. Forte, is now a teacher at the school. She’s the one who started the garden last July. In many ways, Mr. Hayward is also a teacher at JHMS. “I teach you where your food comes from,’’ he said as he pulled some weeds from a row of mustard greens. “It’s from fields like this. It doesn’t just show up in the store.’’ In the garden you will find neat rows of cantaloupe, melons, collard greens, onions, corn, white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, broccoli, strawberries, bell peppers, squash, cabbage, and turnip greens. There is even a stalk of sugar cane, and some bushes that attract butterflies. “Wait until the watermelon comes up,’’ he said. “You’ll be eating watermelon right up until the end of school.’’ Mr. Hayward said he lets students help if they show they’re interested, and he gives some of the vegetables he grows to the cafeteria. The rest is sold to the public. Mr. Hayward never stands still. After a minute, he was back to work. “Now keep the dirt loose around the plants,’’ he said as he moved his hoe between his tomato plants. “That’s the trick.’’

J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014 • 9

school news


Bumper to Bumper in Building 6 BY SOPHIE OJDANIC AND ANNIE GJINECI

J.Hop Times Editors


tudents rush past you like cars whizzing by at a Grand Prix race. There is bumping, shoving, and students running run into each other. You jump in the pack and race to get all the way across the school in four minutes. Suddenly, you hear the bell ring. Time’s up. Now you have to get marked tardy to class. Get marked tardy three times and you earn yourself a referral. That could lead to a suspension, Saturday school or some other “consequence.” Plus, you’ve missed the beginning of class. Which is what you were trying to get to in the first place. As of now, students have only

four minutes to get to their classes. Without students in the hallway, it takes about three minutes and 10 seconds to get from Building 6 upstairs to Building 7 upstairs. It takes about two minutes and ten seconds to get from Building 6 upstairs to Building 5 downstairs. We know. We timed it. That’s from bell to bell; it doesn’t include normal activities like finishing any work you might have, grabbing your backpack or talking to a teacher. “In four minutes, they expect us to use the restroom, talk to our friends, and run nearly across the school,’’ said seventh-grader Brittney Adams. “It’s almost impossible.” Some students, however, think

that there is enough time to get to their classes. “If you just walk, without talking to your friends, you can make it to class on time,” said Jasmine Robinson, a seventh-grader. Several students said one possible solution is to add two minutes to the time they have to get to class. That would mean school would end at 4:16 instead of 4. But they said one of the advantages of having an extra minute or two is being able to talk to your teachers after the bell and ask them questions. Could we get an extra two minutes? Not so fast. “If students manage their time wisely and don’t get distracted they should be able to get to class on time,” said Ms. Bell, the magnet counselor at JHMS. For the 2013-

The sign C


J.Hop students rush to class on a recent A day.

14 school year the time will remain the same. “If I did change the time to pass to class, I would maybe add a minute,” she said. Mr. Green, a JHMS campus monitor, disagrees with adding more time to get to class. “If we add a minute, students may just think of it as more time to talk to their friends,” he said. He thinks students


J.Hop Times Staff Writers

Unable to make her point, a JHMS mom goes public.


Seventh-grader Ajene Ferrel holds up a sign outside of J.Hop’s campus as her mother Yulonda Baily supervises.

ars honking. People staring. A woman and a girl were on the sidewalk in front of John Hopkins Middle School, crying. It was 9 o’clock Friday morning, April 4, on the corner of 16th Street and 7th Avenue S. It’s a busy intersection that time of day. The girl was seventh-grader Ajene Ferrel. The woman was her mother, Yulonda Baily. Ajene held a sign that read: “I acted a donkey in school so this is my schooling today.” She was sweaty, tired, and upset. “This is embarrassing,” she said. “I really don’t know what to think.” Her mother was sitting in a lawn chair just a few feet away. She said she felt bad for her daughter, and that she wishes she didn’t have to make Ajene carry the sign. But she had no other way to punish her. “It just came to me,” said Ms. Baily. “Today is the day she got suspended, so I brought her here. This is so she is still learning.” Ms. Baily also said she hopes that carrying a sign in front of school not only teaches Ajene a lesson, but teaches other kids a lesson, too. This isn’t the first time a parent has decided to make their child carry a sign as punishment for something they did or didn’t do at school. In 2011, a 15-year-old middle school student from Tampa kept getting bad grades. His GPA was 1.22. So his parents made him stand on a corner of a busy street holding a sign that read: “Honk if I need an

need to learn how to be on time. “You need to be on time for a lot of things in life,” he said. “For work, if you have an appointment, you better be on time. And if you are a boss, you’d want your employees to be at work on time.” The J.Hop Times wanted to speak more with Mr. Green, but the bell rang.

education.” (Lots of motorists honked.) In that case, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families told the Tampa Bay Times that the punishment might legally be considered a form of abuse. Some teachers at JHMS had strong opinions about a girl embarrassing herself in front of the school. “I am hoping that this will help teach some kids in our school a lesson about being bad,” said Ms. Dillard, a language arts teacher. “I also hope that her mom has tried everything else to punish her. “But I do feel bad for her. She is crying. Students were looking at her and laughing at her.” Mr. Smith, a social worker at JHMS, said that if it were his daughter, he wouldn’t make her stand on the sidewalk with a sign. “But I don’t disagree on what her mother is doing,” he said. “It could work to make the kid scared and not have her try to get in trouble. But it is not something that will make her understand that she didn’t do the right thing with whatever she did.” Ms. Bell, the JHMS magnet counselor, agreed with Mr. Smith. “That is not what I would make my daughter do,” she said. “But I cannot decide what is right or wrong for another parent to do with their children. That is their decision.” But Ms. Bell also hopes Ajene feels embarrassed, because if she does, “that means there is a slight chance that she will never do what she did again.’’ By 10:30 a.m., Ajene and her mother were packing up to go home. “That’s enough,’’ her mother said.

10 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014


Eighth-graders step up at District meet


ABOVE: Eighth-grader Paris Williams competes in the long jump during district championships as Trojans track coach Ms. Forte looks on.



J.Hop Times Staff Writer

hakera Thompson and Szeja Thomas took first place in their respective events April 10 at the South District Track Championships at Lakewood High School to lead the JHMS girls’ track team to a second place finish. Shakera won the girls’ 100-yard dash, and Szeja won the girls’ discus. The JHMS boys’ team finished third, thanks in large part to Deshawn Brown and Mohammad Haitham. Deshawn won the 100- and 200-yard dash and the discus. Mohammad won the 400-yard dash and the mile. Second place finishes went to Ireoina Lightesy, Paris Williams, Deanne Samuel and Jakyra Champine on the girls’ team. Jacquez Clemons had a second place for the boys. Meadowlawn won the boys’ team title, and Bay Point captured the girls’ title. Other schools taking part in the meet were Tyrone and Azalea. “This year was kind of hard for me,’’ said JHMS track coach Ms. Jones, who was pregnant during most of the season. “But it was exciting to see the results.” Ms. Jones said she was grateful that several eighth-graders, including captains Paris, Shakera and Mohammad, stepped up to help lead the team. “Next year is our rebuilding year,’’ Ms. Jones said. “All of us (schools) are losing key runners, so we need a good turnout. “But if our seventh- and eighthgraders step up again, we’ll be just fine.’’

LEFT: Trojans Garnett Fort, center, and Bill Baptiste, right, run the 100 M hurdles during a track meet against Tyrone. MAYA RIVAS | JHT

Trojans, from left, Gabriel Osorio, Mariah Mickens, and Cydney Schweinsberg compete in the mile during a meet at Gibbs High School.


J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014 • 11



The Ireoina Lightsey Story


EIghth-grader Mohammad Haitham won the 400yard dash and the mile at the South District Track Championships at Lakewood High School.

The first time is a charm BY GRIFFIN O’NEIL

J.Hop Times Staff Writer


e won his first race back in March, and then he didn’t lose again. Mohammad Haitham didn’t just run the mile for the John Hopkins Middle School track team. He owned it. Mohammad, an eighth-grader, won all five Pinellas County South District track meets, cutting his time from 5:57 in his first victory, to 5:24 at the district championship. That’s more than half a minute off his first time. “My main goal,’’ he said, “is to beat my previous time every time I run.’’ So far, so good. And not bad for someone who had never run the mile before. “I was playing basketball and football,’’ Mohammad said. “Then one of my friends said I should try out for track. So I did. “I just wanted to stay active, that’s why I decided to do track.” Mohammad, who is six feet tall and weighs 130 pounds, said he trains by going to practice and running on a treadmill at home over the weekend. And when he runs, he tries to clear his mind of everything. “When you think,’’ he said, “you’re draining your energy.’’ Next year, Mohammad plans to run track at St. Petersburg High School. “I wish I could be as fast as Usain Bolt,’’ he said, referring to the Jamaican sprinter and Olympic champion who is regarded as the fastest person on Earth. Who knows? It could happen. “He’s a natural talent,’’ said track coach Ms. Jones. “He’s very self-motivated, which is something you have to be in a sport like track and field.’’


Seventh-grader Ireoina “Smoke” Lightsey has been running track since she was 8. “Track is in my blood. I’ve been doing it my whole life,” said Ireoina.


J.Hop Times Staff Writers

They call her “Smoke” because that’s what she does to the runners who try to catch her. She smokes ‘em. Ireoina Lightsey is a seventh-grader and a top track athlete. Ireoina specializes in the medium distance events — the 400- and 800-yard runs. She was unbeaten during the regular season in the 400. At the district championship last month, she was asked to only run the 800. It was her second place finish in that event that helped the Lady Trojans to a second place finish. Ireoina has been running track since she was 8. It all started when her grandmother took her and her older brother, Davion, to a track. Her brother was practicing for his track meet. That’s when she decided she wanted to run, too. “Track is in my blood, I’ve been doing it my whole life,” said Ireoina. She loves track because her whole family is involved. Her parents are extremely supportive of her track career. Whenever she misses a practice, her parents drive her to a track so she can make it up. Ireoina looks up to Davion very much. He ran track at Lakewood. “If it weren’t for my big brother, I wouldn’t be running track,’’ she said. About that nickname? “Coach Rashad, my AAU coach, called me that, and it just stuck,’’ she explained. “It’s not hard to live up to my name because I know what it means and I don’t care what others think. “They think my name is Smoke because I’m black,’’ she added. “But it’s just because I’m fast.” Ireoina is looking forward to a strong eighth-grade season, and then on to Lakewood and Florida State. “She has a lot of drive she is very reliable,’’ said Ms. Forte, a track coach at JHMS. What made Ireoina so good was she practiced her race, and then she kept practicing.” As for how far Ireoina can go with track, Ms. Forte thinks the only thing holding Ireoina back is … Ireoina. “If she stops acting so silly,’’ Ms. Forte said, “I’m sure she can go to college.” Ireoina said she gets the message. “My motto is that in order to be the best, you have to work harder than the rest, and that’s what I’m going to do.’’

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14 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014


Ask The Owls

Accomplishing My Dream | A regular series



J.Hop Times Staff Writer

Have you seen The Owls posters around school? Have you heard people talking about it? The Owls are two JHMS journalism students who write a new advice column you can find at the J.Hop Times website: Too much drama in your life? Relationship problems? Parent problems? Just feel lost? Maybe The Owls can help. If you have a problem or need advice, write them a letter and drop it in the Advice Box outside of Room 5-113. (The journalism room.) You can sign your letter, but we will never publish your name. You will remain anonymous to the readers. We’ll post the letters and the answers at The Owls will answer letters until Friday, May 30 and then take a break for the summer. The column will resume when school reopens in August. The Owls hope they hear from you. J.Hop Times Staff


A love of travel and flying have inspired Luke Nasworthy to become an Air Force pilot.


fter high school, most of us don’t know what we are going to do. Go to college maybe, but then how do we pay for it? One option many young people have taken is joining the Armed Forces. Serving our country lets people learn skills that could come in handy when their service is completed. People like Luke Nasworthy, an eighthgrader at John Hopkins Middle School. He wants to join the Air Force, learn to fly, and then become a commercial airline pilot after his service is over. “I like to travel and I like to fly,” Luke said, adding that he has two uncles who served in the Air Force. “I chose to be in the Air Force,’’ he said, “because after I’m done with my service, I’ll have more opportunities to get a job”. Luke, who is 14, has decided to start on this path by going to Boca Ciega High School to join the JROTC program. The program was established in 1988 and is now the largest JROTC program in Pinellas County. Students get to travel for competitions and have state-of-the-art facilities. That includes a new firing range for students to use in marksmanship activities. Luke’s family and friends have been very supportive with his decision and future plans. “They think that it’s good that I’ll be serving the country,” Luke said. We asked Luke about patriotism and whether he considers himself a patriot. “I think a patriot is someone who supports their country,’’ he said. “I consider myself a patriot because I support my country. I support the belief that everybody is equal.” The JROTC’s mission statement is, “To Motivate Young People To Be Better Citizens.” And it would appear that Luke is a pretty upstanding citizen already. So with the help of JROTC at Boca Ciega, Luke should be on a path to success in the Air Force. But keep this in mind. The military has become very selective. Only 20 percent of those who try to enlist in a branch of the armed forces get accepted, according to a recent Department of Defense report. But that doesn’t worry Luke, who is confident he’ll make the cut. “I picked the Air Force out of all the other services,’’ he said, “because I think I’ll do well there.” Someday, when you board a jet or look up in the sky and see one, it might be Luke Nasworthy at the controls.

for the sky

J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014 • 15


Part Four

A summer

I’ll never forget This past summer my grandparents, my father, his girlfriend and I took the trip of a lifetime. We went to Europe, and I kept a journal of the whole trip. Here is the fourth installment. BY BAILEE CAMPBELL • J.Hop Times Staff Writer JULY 11, 2013, DAY 12

London to Scotland Today I said goodbye to my cousins in London and bid farewell to my grandparents, because they would not be accompanying us on the rest of our trip. We headed to the airport to depart for the last leg of our journey in Europe. The flight to Scotland took about an hour, and instead of someone picking us up from the airport, my parents rented a car. To drive by themselves. In Scotland. Where, like the rest of Europe, everyone drives on the LEFT side of the road. I was nervous, antsy and scared. And then we got in the car. At one point my step mom was driving and she drifted onto the right side of the road. All of a sudden I heard screams because my dad had noticed and thought we were going to get in a wreck. Lesson learned — stay on the left hand side or we die. We stopped at Edinburgh, the capitol of Scotland, and had some lunch, which was … okay. The Scots have a special dish called haggis, neeps and tatties. It’s basically turnips, potatoes, and one other thing: sheep intestines. I ate a bite of it, not knowing what it was. It had an okay taste, but it wasn’t something I would generally eat. As soon as I found out what it was, I didn’t take another bite. After lunch, we decided to explore Edinburgh. We walked past Edinburgh Castle. It wasn’t a cliché, like something out of Disney World. It’s a rambling, old grey castle that sits on a hilltop. We walked past some street performers who were actually pretty good, but I didn’t have any money to give them.


We decided we better leave, seeing as we still had an hour and a half drive to where we were staying. This time, we weren’t going to be exploring Scotland. We were in Scotland for one specific reason. That reason was T in the Park. T in the Park is a major Scottish rock music festival that’s been held for one weekend every summer since 1994. About 85,000 people attend each day. When we arrived, we went to check in. But we weren’t staying in a hotel. Or a building for that matter. We were camping in a giant tent. Once we got in, we were handed a packet filled with information about the festival. When we were done, we explored the festival grounds. It was calming and peaceful where we were staying because you had to pay to stay there. But the majority of the people going to the festival were camping out. When we walked outside of the gate to where the concert was going to be the next day, the scene was crazy. Everyone was dancing and partying everywhere. We walked around, then decided we’d save our energy for the concert the next day. We ate some pizza and headed back to our tent to rest up.

JHT photo illustration

JULY 12, 2013, DAY 13

Scotland We awoke, and we knew it was going to be a big day. But we had to wait. The concert didn’t start until later in the afternoon. We sat around and read for a while, and talked about what bands we would like to see. Finally, it was time to enter the grounds. We headed to a tent to watch Imagine Dragons play. We were in the middle of the crowd, and the band came on and the music started playing. Imagine Dragons are one of my favorites, so I knew most of the songs they played. It was enjoyable but tiring as well. It was unlike any American concert I had been to. There were no mosh pits, but it was still crazy. People were dancing and jumping around everywhere. When Radioactive started to play, the crowd went wild. In our spare time, we rode the Ferris wheel and ate some delicious Scottish candy that was like licorice. Then my dad and I went to go watch Of Monsters and Men. We stood in the back, well away from the crowd and its craziness. When the music started to play I could feel the energy radiating from the crowd. And I knew in that moment that nobody in that crowd cared who you were, or where you came from. You were all there for the same reason: to have a good time. My dad and I decided to dance. We jumped around and crazily danced like the rest of the people in the tent. I felt free in that moment. Free of worries and anything else in the world. It was really cool, the way the music took over you. The songs ended and the bands left, but there was still one more band to play for a magical experience of the night. We decided to eat some food, and so we went to a stand, ordered some food, and sat down in the grass and talked for a while. That day was supposed to be a fancy dress day. Apparently, Scottish people’s idea of dressing up is different from ours. Instead of fancy dresses and tuxedos, people were in costumes. It was like Halloween. After we finished eating, we walked over

to the stand that was across from the main stage. We asked if we could stand in it, and the people controlling it let us. As we climbed up, we realized we had a great view of the concert and the stage. The band was Mumford and Sons, another of my favorites at the time. Whether you liked the band or not, you could agree it was magical. There were so many people standing there. Thousands. It was amazing. After Mumford and Sons was over, we headed back to our tent to get some sleep. The next day, we headed over to the festival. It was cold, the sky was gloomy, and there were many hung-over people. We decided that it would be better to skip the rest of the concert, for our safety, and because it was just too gloomy. And we were tired and had all seen all the bands we wanted to. We drove back to Edinburgh and found a small apartment to stay in for the next day and a half. We relaxed for the rest of the day, and did basically nothing but sleep and read. JULY 13, 2013, DAY 14

Scotland We awoke this morning and readied ourselves for a day of adventure and exploring. We headed out for Edinburgh Castle. We walked around, in and out of it, and it was beautiful. People have been living here for nearly 2,000 years, but the castle wasn’t built until the 12th century. Then we walked the streets of Edinburgh. We listened to street performers and gave some of them money. We relaxed on the sidewalk for a while before exploring once more. It was finally getting dark, so we rushed into a restaurant to get something to eat before packing to leave and fly back to America the next day. I packed everything I needed except for some clothes for the next day. JULY 14, 2013, DAY 15

Scotland and America It was time to leave. I grabbed my things and left the apartment with my parents. We drove to the airport, checked in, took the rental car back, and sat around waiting for our plane to board. Our plane was quite large, and I took my seat. This time we were in coach, but it was comfortable. We took off, and I watched a movie. Halfway through the movie, I fell asleep for the duration of our seven-hour flight to Canada. I awoke as we landed. We waited about an hour or two until our next flight back home. Finally we were able to board, and we flew back to Tampa. The time I spent in Europe was amazing, and I’m thankful for this chance at such a young age to be able to take a trip of a lifetime. I hope to revisit some of the places when I’m older. I’d like to thank my parents and my other family members for taking me along. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

16 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014


Book Review

Cinder by Marissa Meyer While her sisters were given beautiful dresses and fine slippers, Cinderella had only a filthy smock and wooden shoes. A plague runs rampant in the city of New Beijing. It has claimed another victim - the emperor. Now is the time for the Lunar council to come to Earth and bring fear of BY THAYER war. The young TYMON emperor Kai J.Hop Times has much to Literary Critic deal with in very little time; but in the midst of it all he meets Linh Cinder. Cinder is the best mechanic in New Beijing. The reason is that she is a cyborg and learned to deal with her metal appendages herself. The real reason Kai is surprised by Cinder is the fact that she is a 16-year-old girl. Kai asked her to figure out what has been going wrong with his android, who for no reason, stopped working. Cinder discovers from working on this android that the prince had been looking for something that he shouldn’t. Cinder has much more going on than just a royal client. Her younger step-sister Peony has just contracted the plague. Cinder’s step-mother and older stepsister blame it all on her. In retaliation, Cinder’s step-mother enrolls her in the cyborg draft, which was created to test subjects for the plague. The chances of coming out alive are slim to none. Yet, when Cinder is injected with the plague she finds she is completely immune. Reading Cinder was truly a different experience considering growing up with Cinderella and the pumpkin carriage and mice turned into horses. And let’s not forget the fairy godmother. Cinder is by far one of my favorite fairy tale twists. It is so worth picking this book and spending hours on end reading it.

y ? t i r a l u p o

s i t a h w



r r o w o s e w e r why a

? t i t u o ied ab

BY SOPHIE OJDANIC, ANNIE GJINECI AND RACHEL GADOURY J.Hop Times Editors “Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character.’’ Horace Greeley

Illustration by Sabine Diligente, Annie Gjineci, and Sophie Ojdanic

Popular. Some people will do just about anything to be it, while others wouldn’t give you two cents for it. What exactly is this popularity thing? Being popular can be explained in a million different ways from a million different people. It’s all just a person’s perspective. The dictionary says that someone who is popular is liked by many and well-known. That’s not always easy, and may not even be worthwhile. Wouldn’t you be stressed out all the time if you had to please everybody? Sometimes popular people are labeled as mean or bratty. In TV shows and movies, the “popular girls” are almost always arrogant, self-centered and disrespectful. But seventh-grader Brittanie Bailey thinks that “being popular is considered cool,” she said. “A lot of people know you.” Seventhgrader Brittney Adams thinks popularity is more about personality than looks. “Popularity is something a lot of people have without realizing it,” she said. “I think popularity is when people like for who you are … your personality. Not your looks.” If you think about it, that’s a pretty good definition. Is trying to become popular worth it? Shouldn’t popularity just come naturally? Is it a good way to measure someone’s character? Some of the best teachers are not the most popular, but they are the most effective. Is this about how many Facebook friends or Twitter followers you have? Or is the real question whether it’s worth all the effort to try to be popular. Shouldn’t you just be yourself and not worry about it?

J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014 • 17


J.Hop fashion | By Qeara Smith, Fashion editor



t started earlier this year and just sort of caught on. Every Wednesday, a growing number of JHMS students and teachers wear bow ties to school. And as we all know, no matter what you’re wearing, a bow tie always adds a touch of class. On any Wednesday you’ll see solid color ties, and some with prints and patterns. Some are tame; some are wild. Several teachers wear them as often as possible, but students aren’t quite as quick to catch on. Hopefully that changes, because Bow Tie Wednesdays spread school spirit. “You have probably noticed a furor of bow ties making their way into our weekly clothing trends on campus,’’ Mr. Allen, the JHMS magnet department head, explained in an email. “This event has been affectionately titled Bow Tie Wednesdays. “Ms. Chambers started this whole thing with Work It Wednesdays and Mr. Wright and I took it another notch to Bow Tie Wednesdays. Mr. Brown accidentally wore a bow tie on a Wednesday and it was all downhill from there.’’ Mrs. Piotrowski, a Spanish teacher, has a large collection of bow ties. Her daughter is in a debate club at Madeira Beach Fundamental and each



member must wear a bow tie so Mrs.Piotrowski makes them. “I love bow tie Wednesday,” she said. “This is not an exclusive club, a private alliance, or a confidential clique,’’ Mr. Allen added. “It does not require any form of membership, acceptance or registration fee (although we are always accepting donations!). “Feel encouraged to join us in this exciting and exceptional expression of elegance! Bow Tie Wednesdays and Work It Wednesdays are for everyone here at John Hopkins. All you have to do is wear a bow tie or dress up fancy on Wednesdays. It’s just that easy! “Thank you for inquiring into our fastidious and foxy festival of this finest formal fashion frenzy.” Well said.



18 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014



JHMS eighth-graders look back It happens every May. Eighth-graders who have looked forward to graduation day since they were J.Hop newbies suddenly look around and get nostalgic. Sure, moving up and moving on is exciting, fun, and full of possibilities. But what about leaving the familiar feel of the courtyard or the cafeteria? Some eighth-graders share what J.Hop has meant to them.

Quincy Martin’s best memory of eighth grade is meeting new teachers and making new friends. His favorite teachers are Mrs. Bresler, because she is outgoing, and Ms. Baker, because “she is a funny person to be around during C lunch,’’ he said. “Heck, yeah! I’d come back to visit because I want to see all the old teachers and see how they are doing.” Quincy will miss J.Hop. “It’s like one big, happy family,’’ he said.

Eighth-grader Anne Evans says her best memory is “the mini celebrations we have for honor roll and Principal’s List.” Her favorite teacher is Ms.Baker because “she’s organized and teaches well. And no, I wouldn’t come back,” Anne said, “because I’m going to be too busy.”

Deanne Samuel will come back to visit J.Hop because “I want to see all of the little kids.” Deanne’s favorite teacher is Ms. Baker because “she’s fun and nice.”

For Aujonee Dunbar, this year’s favorite memory is “being with my friends Kyrsha, Nhtra and Zante.” Aujonee’s favorite teachers are Mr. Dickter and Mr. Stevens because “they are fun and hands-on.”

The best memory of this school year for Lijah Nelson is “band class and Mr. Wright because he’s cool.” Lijah would like to come back and visit “to see all my old teachers.”

Tisan Jones’s best memory for this year is “being with my friends because we have great times and discussions.” His favorite teacher is Mr. Dickter because he always gets As. “Yes, I would come back (to visit) because then I can see how everyone has changed.”

J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014 • 19


How JHMS found its voice


J.Hop Times Staff Writer


Vocal Tech teacher Mr. Butts teaches first period chorus class.



J.Hop Times Staff Writer

hroughout the years, there have been dozens of must-have toys and games and crafts. Must-have, that is, for maybe a few months. These are fads like pet rocks, Beanie Babies, Silly Bands, Squinkies, Angry Birds, Rainbow Loom bracelets, and the latest one, Flappy Bird. Around 2009, there was one very popular fad called Silly Bands, which are rubber bands that can be made into the shapes of animals and other objects. They started out small, and then more and more shapes were created. If you didn’t own one, you might have been considered uncool. It seemed like everybody had them. And some people didn’t just have one, they had hundreds. They

hen he moved to St. Petersburg from Illinois in 2000, he could have taken a teaching job at Meadowlawn Middle School, Pinellas Park Middle, or John Hopkins. Mr. Butts chose JHMS. That was 14 years ago. “I’m glad I did,’’ said the JHMS choral director. “It’s an arts magnet school, and I thought of the movie Fame and thought this school is just like it.’’ Because he lives in north Pinellas County, it takes Mr. Butts about an hour to get to school on a good day. With traffic jams, it takes about an hour and a half. But the trip is worth it. “The area around the school is like the area I grew up in,’’ Mr. Butts said. “It’s like I’m teaching at home but I’m here. “I have become a part of the school’s community and I feel I have a place here,’’ he added. “I feel I have an impact on my students. It would be too hard to leave. I have too many good students and colleagues.’’ If Mr. Butts appreciates being at John Hopkins, the feeling is mutual. “Mr. Butts is dedicated, devoted, tremendously skilled, humble, kind, and gracious,’’ said Mr. Florio, the magnet coordinator at JHMS. “He brings over 30 years of choral music experience to our school and program. He works with all students and has an uncanny knack for getting the best out of his students. “I believe we are truly blessed and fortunate to have him here.”

That was so like … so last week would get traded like crazy. But a year or so later, Silly Bands gave way to Squinkies, which are small, squishy pencil toppers in the shapes of animals, and even people. They started out as bears, pigs, turtles, squirrels, hippos, whales and sea horses. They were normal colors, and colors the animals were in real life. Then they were odd colors that you’d never expect, like a purple hippo. Everybody had at least one. Like most fads, they made a quick exit and headed for extinction. What came next was

Angry Birds. It started out as a small game for Apple devices, and soon were top-selling games. Not only was the game popular, but it led to Angry Birds T-shirts, plush toys, figurines and many other things. Angry Birds are still fairly popular today. Some say that you haven’t lived until you’ve played the highly addictive game. Next on the fad list is the game Temple Run. It became No. 1 in most app stores and is still a very popular game. The object is to

Mr. Butts didn’t plan on becoming a teacher. In high school he planned on doing something that would help his community. He went to University of Illinois and instantly fell in love with the music program. “Once I got into college,’’ Mr. Butts said, “I knew it was for me.’’ He also realized he wanted to become a teacher - a middle school teacher. “I like watching the students through their growing stage,’’ he said. “I feel I work best with middle school students.’’ The third, and final, piece of the puzzle was picking John Hopkins. “The people here are great students and colleagues,’’ he said. “You start to grow friendships and it impacts you. “When I watch kids come here and start learning basic techniques, then see them in high school just blossom, it shows me I have completed something good,’’ he said. “It encourages me and shows me if one can grow like that, all students can grow like that. “I’ve been blessed with so many incredible students here,’’ Mr. Butts added. “I watch them grow and develop into grown and amazing singers.’’ Mr. Butts said he likes all types of music, including gospel, country, reggaeton, Latin, hip hop, old jazz and R & B. But he also likes to keep up with the news, especially while he’s driving to school. His key to being an effective teacher? “Set the bar high,’’ he said. “And a little respect for the students goes a long way. Give them the best of you. They deserve it.’’ As for retirement, maybe someday. “As long as I feel I can do it and still be able to do the drive, I plan to still work here,’’ he said. “I would definitely love to retire from here.’’

run, turn, jump over and slide under things without getting killed. It’s also highly addictive and easy to play. Most recently, we’ve seen two fads became very popular, and then quickly, very unpopular. The first was Rainbow Loom, which lets you make bracelets, necklaces, rings, and other things out of different colored rubber bands. But the Loom doesn’t get the Came & Went Award. That goes to Flappy Bird, the most highly addictive video game of them all. You have to tap the screen to get the bird through pipes. It looks easy, but it’s not. Everyone had Flappy Bird on their phones, tablet, or iPod. If you heard the ringing sound of the bird flying through the pipes, you unmistakably knew it was Flappy Bird. Sadly, Flappy Bird got taken out of the Apple products game store.

20 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014



J.Hop Times Staff Writers

Megan Fox attended John Hopkins Middle School in 1998 when she was in seventh grade.

Look for Ms. Fox, 27, in the upcoming summer movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Megan Fox went to JHMS Yes, that Megan Fox BY SOPHIE OJDANIC AND ANNIE GJINECI

J.Hop Times Editors


egan Fox starred in the movie Transformers, was a guest star on several TV shows, and is in demand as a fashion model. One more thing about Ms. Fox. She attended John Hopkins Middle School from 1998 to ’99. She was here for seventh grade and was in the drama program. She wasn’t just here. She lived it. In an interview a few years ago, Ms. Fox said she was bullied and picked on during her middle school years; so much that she ate her lunch in the girls’ bathroom to avoid the bullying. She explained that she was bullied because she got along better with boys than other girls, and that rubbed some people the wrong way. But it didn’t stop her from becoming successful. Ms. Fox began modeling at 13. In 1999, she won several awards at the American Modeling and Talent Convention in Hilton Head, S.C. She broke into movies in 2001 with a part in Holiday in the Sun. She followed that with Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen in 2005. But Transformers made her a star.

In an interview last year with The Times of London, Ms. Fox said she wasn’t ready to go from being an unknown to a celebrity in a short time. “I definitely feel illprepared,’’ she said. “I don’t know if anyone ever sits back and goes, ‘Now is the moment that I think I should be a famous celebrity,’ But I definitely feel it’s premature. I mean, I was in one movie that people have seen.’’ When they found out Megan Fox went to JHMS, students had a variety of reactions. “She’s a good actress because made it to the big leagues,” said eighth-grader Amaya Carter. “Either you’re born with it or you’re not,” said seventh-grader Brittney Adams. “I think Megan Fox excels with action,” Ms. Johnson, a JHMS drama teacher. “I think students at J.Hop now could be just as successful.” TV production teacher Mr. Sakiotis, who was at JHMS when Ms. Fox was here, thinks her career is fantastic. “It lets current students know what’s possible for them in the future,” he said. As for now, Ms. Fox, who is 27, is working on the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, scheduled for release in August.


Selana Ramires stands with her newspaper dress.

When most people look at a stack of old newspapers, they probably think of an attic, a garage or a recycling bin. But eighthgrader Selena Ramires sees something else. A fashion statement. Selena created a dress out of scraps from three newspapers and said it took her a week to make it. She cut out a piece that said Evening News to represent the theme. The dress was part of a project in Ms. Smith’s art class. A paper dress does have its drawbacks. Like rain, for instance. But think what you’ll save in cleaning bills.

Ms. Smith got the idea of paper dresses while looking art work from both Gibbs and Clearwater high schools, and professional dresses made by artists in the community. This was an extra credit assignment and that is why Selena was the only one who finished. Ms. Smith refers to the dress as a night dress. Selena said she did the project because she is “really interested in fashion” and is going to Gibbs High School for the technical theatre program. She will be working with the costumes the actors will wear. When Ms. Smith first saw the paper dress, she was overjoyed. “Oh my goodness!” she said. The color of the dress? Read, or course.

The Wright



J.Hop Times Staff Writer

Mr. Wright is a band new teacher at John Hopkins Middle School. For his first teaching job, Mr. Wright chose to come to JHMS, where he teaches band. Born and raised outside Orlando, and a graduate of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Mr. Wright sat down with the J.Hop Times recently to talk about music and his first year of teaching. If you hadn’t become a music teacher, what would have been? “I thought about being an architect.’’ What would happen if there was no such thing as music? “Life would be a lot harder.’’ Do you play anywhere besides school? “In the St. Petersburg Wind Symphony.’’ What kind of music do you listen to? “All genres, including progressive rock, funk, jazz and hip-hop.’’ What musicians do you admire? “Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre and Miles Davis.’’ Who is your biggest inspiration? “My parents and my high school band director.’’ What made you want to play music?


JHop band director Mr. Wright works with saxophonist and jazz band member Rose Ho during class rehearsal. Mr. Wright is new to JHop this year.

“My friends were in band class and I wanted to be with them.’’ How has your first year of teaching gone so far? “If I had to sum it up, I’d say I’ve learned a lot from my students about myself. It makes me really excited about starting next year, now that I understand things a little better.’’ What have you learned? “I’ve learned so much to make me a better teacher. I’m a lot happier, with a sense of purpose. I sleep well at night knowing I’m trying. And I’m definitely more patient after this year. And I definitely have a thicker skin. “I’m glad I’m here because I think this is where I’m supposed to be, for better or worse.’’

J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014 • 21


Laos: Beauty and hardships BY KRISTI CHITPHAIBOON

J.Hop Times Staff Writer


y parents are from Laos, which is a country in Southeast Asia. They didn’t come here on a normal trip, like a vacation. They came here to find a better life. I’m very proud of my family because of what they’ve been through. My grandfather was a captain in the Laotian army. When he was camping with his troops, a bomb hit nearby and hurt his eye. My dad wanted to come to America to start a new life and get a better job. He was 17. It was 1982. My mom was 12 when she came to America, mostly because of the war inside Laos. To get to America, they had to go to a refugee camp in Fiji, which is an island in the South Pacific. But they didn’t meet each other until four years later in, of all places, Michigan.

About Laos POPULATION: 6.7 million CAPITAL: Vientiane NEIGHBORS: Thailand, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma) GOVERNMENT: Socialist/ communist OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Lao POVERTY: More than a third live below the poverty level RELIGION: Mostly Buddhist

My mom is from Huay Xai, a town in the northern part of Laos. She lived in a bamboo house that had hay for a roof. It leaked when it rained. We have about five relatives who still live in Laos. When my parents came to America, the new culture was hard for

them because life was so different. In school in Laos, if they had long fingernails, the teachers slapped their hands with rulers. If they didn’t pay attention, the teachers twisted their ears. If they didn’t do their homework, they had to stand outside in the hot sun until class was over. When you speak to someone in Laos, you can’t look each other in the eye. It’s a sign of disrespect. And you don’t touch people. Also, dropping a glass and breaking it is bad luck. Back to my parents. When they moved to America, they thought they’d be punished the same way as in Laos. But it was different, and they were very happy about that. When my grandpa on my dad’s side passed away in 2012, my dad flew to Laos for the funeral. The services in Laos are different from those in America. People praised my grandfather and thanked him.


Then they set his coffin on a raft in a river, lit it on fire, and sent it floating down the water. As for food, the most popular in Laos is papaya salad. People also eat a lot of pho, a soup made with rice noodles and vegetables. I’ve never been to Laos, but I think

it’s a beautiful place with a lot of nice people. I’d like to go there some day and meet my grandma. I’d like to see her because I didn’t get a chance to see my grandpa before he died. One last thing. My nickname is Noi, which is Lao for “youngest child.”

Finally … a test worth taking BY RACHEL GADOURY J.Hop Times Editor

Summer. Is there a better word in the English language? School is out, and there’s all the time in the world to hang out with your friends. Speaking of the summer, it gets pretty hot outside in Florida in June, July and August. So what’s a good way to keep cool? A fan? Lots of water? Good choices. But can you top a popsicle? As summer approaches, students want to know which popsicle tastes the best and which is the easiest to eat. As popsicle connoisseurs know, there is much more to a popsicle than frozen water, flavoring and sugar. There is the matter of how it tastes, how it melts, and how hard it is to open the package. Even how the package looks. In their never-ending pursuit


Swirl Poppers


Magnet secretary Ms. Robinson, right, and J.Hop Times editor Sophie Ojdanic test Popsicle brand ice pops.

of the truth, the J.Hop Times staff asked two JHMS administrators and two staff members to taste-test four of the most popular popsicles on the market. The brave panel included Mr. Brown, principal; Mr. Florio,

assistant principal and magnet director; Officer Hiatt, school resource officer; Ms. Robinson, magnet secretary, as well as J.Hop Times editors Sophie Ojdanic and Annie Gjineci. Here are the results:



Bomb pop





















Overall rating 4.6





“Good overall popsicle,” said Officer Hiatt. “Vibrant color, but very bland.” said Mr. Florio.

“It’s easy to open,” said Officer Hiatt. “There is no meltiness,” said Mr. Brown.

“I remember these from when I was a kid,’’ said Ms. Robinson.

“I think the packaging is too risky,” said Mr. Brown. “Refreshing,” said Mr. Florio. “I like the texture”

22 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014



Ten weird words We scoured the Internet for some unusual words found some that we promise we didn’t make up. We hope you try to add these words to your vocabulary. Some day. π Bibble (verb): to drink often; to eat and/or drink noisily π Doodle sack (noun): Old English word for bagpipe π Eccedentesiast (noun): one who fakes a smile as on television π Gongoozler (noun): an idle spectator π Mumpsimus (noun): one who sticks obstinately and wrongly to their old ways π Ratoon (noun): small shoot growing out from the root of the plant π Winklepicker (noun): style of a shoe or boot in the 1950s with a sharp pointy toe π Witzelsucht (adjective): a feeble attempt at humor π Xertz (verb): to gulp down quickly and greedily π Zenzizenzizenzic (noun): a number raised to the eighth power

Unscramble these word with one letter to each square.

Bring it on down to Riddleville By Amber Lemire I. People climb me, cut me, and burn me. My rings are not of gold, but do tell my age. What am I? II. What is clean when it is black, and dirty when it is white? III. I dig out tiny caves and store gold and silver in them. I also build bridges of silver and make crowns of gold. They are the smallest you could imagine. IV. What is dead, but can grow and change colors? V. Take away my first letter, take away my second letter, take away all my letters, and I would remain the same. What am I? VI. I run but never walk, I murmur but never talk, I go but never stop. What am I? Answers: (I) A tree; (II) A chalkboard; (III) A dentist; (IV) Hair; (V) A mailman (or letter-carrier); (VI) A river Source:

Source and

12 weird but true facts

By Nadin Antonova, J.Hop Times Staff Writer

π A cockroach can live up to nine days

without its head.

12 powerful words

π Butterflies taste with their feet.

π Imperil (verb): to put in a risky

π Elephants are the only mammals

situation π Extinct (adjective): no longer exiting π Inquire (verb): to ask for information π Privilege (noun): a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others π Arrogant (adjective): having or showing an insulting attitude π Compose (verb): to come together to form or make something π Abstract (adjective): vague or not clear π Persistent (adjective): refusing to give up or let go π Represent (verb): to stand for; symbolize π Reflective (adjective): thoughtful; pensive π Document (noun): an official paper, to provide proof of something π Franchise (noun): a privilege or a right, an authorization to sell a company’s goods By Nadin Antonova, J.Hop Times Staff Writer

that can’t jump. π Mosquitoes are attracted to the color

blue twice as much as any other color.

Ten Famous Failures | People who failed before they succeeded J.K ROWLING: Author of the Harry Potter series was broke and divorced when 12 publishers rejected her first book.  OPRAH WINFREY: Host of the Oprah Winfrey Show was fired from her first television reporting job because she was “not suitable for television”.  MICHAEL JORDAN: One of the greatest basketball players of all time was cut from his high school team.  ALBERT EINSTEIN: Was called slow and mentally handicapped by his teachers. Then he won the Nobel Prize in physics.  WALT DISNEY: Creator of Mickey Mouse was fired from his newspaper job because he “lacked creativity and imagination”.  THE BEATLES: Decca Records said they 

had “no future in show business.’’  STEVE JOBS: Cofounded Apple computers, was fired, then returned to lead the company back from near bankruptcy.  EMINEM: Popular rapper was a high school dropout whose struggles with drugs and poverty led to an unsuccessful suicide attempt.  STEVEN SPIELBERG: Academy Awardwinning director was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times.  THOMAS EDISON: America’s foremost inventor was told by his teachers that he was “too stupid to learn anything.’’ Source:

By Nadin Antonova, J.Hop Times Staff Writer

π The only 15 letter word that can be

spelled without repeating a letter is “copyrightable”. π Stewardesses’ is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand. π No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, and purple π The Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters. π 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321 π If you spell out consecutive numbers, you have to go up to one thousand until you would find the letter “a” π Men can read smaller print than women; women can hear better than men. π Bullet proof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers were all invented by women Source:

By Deja King, J.Hop Times Staff Writer

J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014 • 23

puzzles Easy Sudoku

How to solve Sudoku puzzles: Place a number into each box so that each row across, each column down, and each small 9-box square within the larger diagram (there are 9 of these) will contain every number from 1-9. In other words, no number will appear more than once in any row, column, or smaller 9-box square. Working with the numbers already given as a guide, complete each diagram with the missing numbers that will lead to the correct solution.

Pun and games I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me. I tried to catch some fog, but I mist. A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy. I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest. Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes. I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic. It’s syncing now. Jokes about German sausages are the wurst. I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time. This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore. I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down. I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words. I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me. Broken pencils are pretty much pointless. What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus. I dropped out of the Communism class because of lousy Marx. All the toilets at the St. Petersburg police station have been stolen. So far, the police have nothing to go on. Compiled by Nadin Anotova, J.Hop Times Staff Writer

Cryptoquote One number stands for a letter in the alphabet. Single numbers, apstrophes, the length and formation of the numbers are hints

24 • J.Hop Times • Thursday, May 29, 2014


The Spring Musical | Beauty and the Beast “We couldn’t have asked for a better way to end our year.’’ BY BAILEE CAMPBELL AND RACHEL GADOURY

J.Hop Times Staff Writers


on’t judge a book by its cover. Or a beast by its horns. That’s the message students got when they witnessed the magic of the JHMS Drama Department’s production of Beauty and the Beast, performed April 29 to May 3 at the school auditorium. Beauty and the Beast is best known as a 1991 animated Disney film. But the story, about true love and physical appearance, was originally a French fairy tale dating back to the 1700s. “We decided to use Beauty and the Beast because it’s family friendly and elementary school friendly, and I think it was a very good choice,” said drama teacher Mrs. Hosey. The plot revolves around a girl named Belle, played by seventhgrader Bayleigh Butler. The role of The Beast was played by eighthgrader Elgin Newton-Watkins. “I’m glad I didn’t let the pressure get to me.” said Bayleigh. “And I’m glad I got the role of Belle even though it did have its ups and downs. But I hope that this play taught people that beauty is found within.” The musical was filled with catchy tunes that the students sang like professionals. “The play means a lot to me because now that I know I can play this part in the musical,’’ said eighth-grader Rico Navedo, “it gives me the courage to play a bigger part in other plays.” “I really enjoyed it,” added cast member Kelly Hannigan. “It’s a musical, so we didn’t have to be so serious and we got to have fun.” The production got a big boost from local media May 1 when WTVTCh. 13 reporter Charley Belcher and a film crew spent more than three hours at JHMS interviewing cast members and teachers for the Charley’s World segment of the Good Day Tampa Bay morning show. Among those interviewed were drama teachers Mrs. Hosey and Ms. Johnson, as well as choral director Mr. Butts. When the show was over, the cast agreed on one thing. “We couldn’t have asked for a better way to end our year,” said eighth-grader Travanna Sultaire.



Belle (Bayleigh Butler) and the Prince/Beast (Elgin Newton-Watkins) share a dance during the finale.

The Baker (Neftali Rivera) and Belle (Bayleigh Butler) sing during the opening act of Beauty and the Beast.


Belle (Bayleigh Butler) reads to the Beast (Elgin Newton-Watkins) while she is his prisoner.


The Silly Girls (from left: Kelly Hannigan, Lara Mustapitch, Samantha Hughs, Grace Elliott, Heather Sanders) comfort Gaston (Noah Diggs) after Belle rejects his marriage proposal.


Timia Fonville, front, and Ana Sorgi, center, rehearse backstage before a matinee performance.


The chest of drawers (Katie Mueleck), left, and the teapot (Caitlin Ferkile), right, give advice to Belle (Bayleigh Butler) as she considers joining the Beast for dinner.


The servants (from left: Audrie Crowder, Lana ‘e Hernandez, Sa Coya McKenzie,Timia Fonville) sing Be Our Guest to Belle.


Kamryn Marshall, right, styles Kelly Hannigan’s hair before a matinee performance of Beauty and the Beast.

JHop Times  

May 29 2014 Publication John Hopkins Middle School Newspaper