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Lakewood High School - September 26, 2012

Vol. 4, No. 1

Neighborhoods: special pull-out photo section

...pages 7-10

Candidates battle for youth vote 5 Pro Athlete Comparison ... page 14

Two-Time Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Medalist

the hub

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A word from


Welcome back Spartans! As editor-inchief, I have a few goals for our newspaper this year. The Spartan News Network will be timely and on point. We will be sure to include anything that will affect the Lakewood community. We will have motivating opinion pieces that we hope will inspire you to submit your thoughts and rebuttals. For those of you who are new to Lakewood, let me tell you how our paper, SNN, works. We produce six issues a year but are constantly updating our website with the newest stories and pictures. So check the site daily: We work hard to put out the best quality work with the most hard-hitting, essential news and most interesting features. Although we cover a lot of news, we are always looking for stories - so send in your news tips or any story ideas. Also, we are always looking for letters to the editor – your chance to get published! Send all story tips and letters to, or come by room C100 and tell us in person. Our first paper of the year is full of important and need-to-know stories, but here are some highlights to be sure to check out: 1. State update: A look at what will happen this year and next as the state enters its third year of oversight at Lakewood High …Page 4. 2. A look inside neighborhoods: A special sneak peak at an upcoming exhibit featuring work from the Journeys in Journalism program. …Pages 7-10 (And check out the multimedia that goes with it on our SNN website.) 3. Pro athlete comparison: Lakewood athletes compare themselves to professional athletes in the sport they play. … Page 14. 4. Back to school fashion trends: See what’s in style ... Page 16




Sophomore Kimberlee Bryant gets her picture taken in the auditorium for picture day, Sept. 7. “It was quick and easy,” said Bryant.

On the web... Check out the following news and multimedia stories on the Spartan News Network’s website. Go to

• SNN gets political: Staff photojournalists and reporters covered a breakfast at the Republican National Convention and a rally for President Barack Obama.

• Jalissa’s Closet: Tune in for the first episode of Jalissa’s Closet, a new video series about the latest fashions trends and styling tips.

• Athletic trainer intern comes to Lakewood: A student from the University of Tampa is interning with teacher Erika Miller. By Jalon Edwards

• Football Highlights: Check out a photo slideshow of the Spartan’s best moments this month on the field.

• New school year, new teachers: Find out a little bit about the new teachers at Lakewood High School this year. By Mariah Watts • Freshman Adissa Wassmer came from a private school. Find out how she adjusted during her first week at Lakewood.

• Morning Light Slideshow: Getting to school at 7 a.m. might be difficult, but it makes for some nice lighting. By Basil Rolle and Krystal Mitchell • New Clinic: LHS gets a clinic in a portable with an everyday morning nurse and all-day aid. By Victoria Bischoff

Page 1 photo by Kamdon Martin: A wooden dock stretches across the water at Bay Vista Park. Bay Vista Park sits at the end of Pinellas County overlooking Tampa Bay.

Be there and be scared This year the Lakewood High School Homecoming will be held off campus for a change. Homecoming will be at Club Nova, 535 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N in St. Petersburg, on Oct. 27 from 7:3011:30 p.m. Students say they like the idea of an off-campus event, because it will be flashy and nice. The theme is “A Haunted Ball” because it is so close to Halloween. Tickets will cost no more than $35 and will go on sale on Oct. 15. Only 400 tickets will be available. “The theme is straight, I guess. The spot is hot. I’m excited,” said junior Kiana Barbery. Here is the schedule of events for the week: Monday: Black and gold day Tuesday: Character day Wednesday: Sports day Thursday: Flock (Twin) day Friday: Class color day - DAIJHA WIMBERLY and RASHAUD JACKSON

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OJT given, then taken away By NILAJA KING SNN Staff Writer


English teacher Beth Brubaker lectures to her eighth period college readiness class on Sept. 13.

College readinessstudents get early prep By ZOE BLAIR-ANDREWS and KAYLA GARCIA SNN Staff Writers

Last year, all juniors at Lakewood High School were required to take the Post-secondary Education Readiness Test (PERT). This year, for the first time, students who didn’t meet the required score have been automatically enrolled in college readiness courses. Lakewood isn’t the only school with this new addition. It is a new state mandated rule that all high schools have PERT testing followed up by college readiness classes. “It’s the first year Florida is doing it, from what I understand,” said guidance counselor Tara Davidson. “We’re remediating in high school, so students won’t have to do it in college.” Though students don’t get college credit for the class, the courses will help students save money in the long run. By taking the remedial courses in high school instead of at St. Petersburg College, for example, students will save about $300. The test is also required if a sophomore plans to go into dual enrollment in his or her junior year. Once the students take the test, if their scores are above 113 on the math portion, and more than 104 on the English, they are able to be in dual enrollment. In Lakewood, there are about 160 students enrolled in the college readiness math course, and 67 in the college readiness English. Senior Jakeya Allen is in the

math course. “It’s kind of challenging to me, because I’m weak in math,” Allen said. “Not being able to pass is hard for me.” Even though Allen plans to work hard to pass the class, she isn’t very excited about having to take it. “Honestly I don’t think it’s really making a big difference, just another standardized test,” she said. However, college readiness math teacher Syreta Snead is excited about this new class. “I love the class,” she said. “The kids work hard, they know why they’re in there, and they’re doing their best to improve.” The math class covers a wide range of math skills, from grades nine to twelve, according to Snead. “Knowing your basic skills really will help prepare you for anything,” Snead said. The English class, much like the math class, helps students brush up on their skills. “It’s definitely going to improve grammar, vocab and writing skills,” said English teacher, Beth Brubaker. Senior Krystal Ivy is a student in the English class. Ivy said she thinks this class was a good idea, and hopes it will help her in the future. “I want to be better in my writing skills and to broaden my vocabulary,” said Ivy. “(Now) when I do get accepted (to college), I’ll know what they’re looking for.”

You may see a few disappointed, annoyed or irritated students within Lakewood this year. That’s because on-the-jobtraining (OJT) was canceled this year. The teacher who was supposed to be in charge of it, Rita Tomaselli, left for an administrative position in the county, said principal Bob Vicari, leaving no qualified teacher to take on the job. In order to be an OJT teacher you must have marketing on your teaching certification, he said. OJT allows students to leave school early to go to their jobs. The teacher would check on the students at their work site. Like every other class at Lakewood, it’s worth half a credit per semester. The program would have provided “an opportunity for students to gain real life work experience for high school credits,” said Vicari.

It has been at least five or six years since Lakewood has had an OJT program. Most students are disappointed, because they wanted the class so they could make money or get out of school early. “I felt disappointed, because I needed it. I got my hopes up for nothing,” said senior Jada Campbell-Blossom. “It sucks because I could come to school for three hours and leave early and go make some money,” said senior Jamez Walker. Lakewood is planning to have OJT next year as long as a teacher can be found, Vicari said. “Internship opportunities are always a great way to learn what you like … and what you don’t like,” said Vicari.

AMSET mentors, breeds and grows By CIERRA CHAMPAGNE and KAHIL HOLMES SNN Staff Writers

With the help of a $15,000 grant, AMSET is also starting a new curricuAMSET (Aquatic Management Systems lum this year that will have students breedand Environmental Technologies) students ing fish and crustaceans and growing and are starting a mentoring program for Bay selling crops. In October, AMSET will start Point Middle School growing vegetables students this year. including green beans, About 75 AMpeppers, tomatoes and SET students from cucumbers in the back Lakewood High will of Kostka’s room. be taking 300 Bay “I think it’s a good Point Middle School idea. It will help fund eighth-grade stunew things for AMdents on three field SET,” said sophomore trips. The goal is to Evan Curren. teach them about AMSET will also the aquatic environbe forming a Future ments. Farmers of America The first field trips chapter and hopewill be to Sawgrass fully competing in the Lake Park on Nov. 1 regional competition, and 2. Kostka said. FFA “The whole helps its members program is designed explore careers in to get everyone farming. interested in the Students will also environment, starting be starting a team to Cartoon by KEJUAN SAMUELS with the younger stubuild and operate a dents,” said AMSET submersible ROV teacher James Kostka. (Remotely Operated Vehicle) for a compeProgress Energy gave a grant to a tition, Kostka said. coastal environment program at the Uni“It’s interesting because this is the first versity of South Florida-St. Petersburg. time that the school is doing this,” said This grant will help pay for the AMSET AMSET senior Alexis Valencia. field trips. The purpose is to teach students about water quality, pollutants and coastal management.




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State Update: This is Lakewood’s last year under the state’s magnifying glass


Students have all experienced representatives from the Florida Department of Education, creeping in the corner, a shiny clipboard in hand, observing our classes, evaluating our teachers and judging how well Lakewood students are being taught. This is the third year that the state has been at Lakewood and this direct involvement ends officially at the end of this school year, though state officials will barely be here this year, principal Bob Vicari said. Next year, some changes may be coming to Lakewood, including a shorter school day and the end of block schedule. But with a new superintendent coming to Pinellas County this year, no one can be certain of what next year’s schedule holds, Vicari said. “In 23 years of being in Pinellas County and 17 years of being an administrator, one thing I’ve learned is to wait to see what happens. You have to be patient,” he said. Vicari said by the end of December he will definitely know about the type of schedule Lakewood will have. Whether Lakewood stays on its block schedule depends on many things, he said. As the current schedule requires more money to function, Vicari said the school hopes to receive the Race to the Top grant next year. This is a federal grant that rewards states that go above and beyond in

educational reform. This would replace the School Improvement Grant that the state provides now but Lakewood will no longer receive next year. Vicari said there was a state-wide initiative to push for a six-period day for all schools; however, if Lakewood can receive the Race to the Top grant, there is “flexibility.” “I’m hoping nothing changes. Obviously the superintendent will decide,” Vicari said. Prior to the 2010-2011 school year, the year the state intervened, the school was not doing as well as it could. Lakewood had just barely scraped by with a “C” letter grade, only slightly better than the previous five “D”s. As part of the state’s three-year Improvement Plan, the school had to show improving grades. Lakewood got a “B” in the 2010-2011 school year and expects to get another “B” for the 2011-2012 school year. When the state came to Lakewood, they implemented a three-year success plan and awarded grants to allow the school to improve. Because of the money received, the school was able to: hire three new teachers, enable lowincome students to take the SAT and ACT and provide new software to the music department, Vicari said. Many students and staff say the changes have paid off.

“I think our school will get better over time. Our programs are attracting the right kids. As long as we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll be fine,” said sophomore Tyler Fowler. “Yeah, it needed to happen. It made me make my lessons more focused,” said AMSET teacher James Kostka. Others, however, say the negatives of the last two years outweigh the positives. “Before we had the block schedule I felt more relaxed during school; now it is a more rigorous environment,” junior John Douglas Willett said. In the future, Vicari said he hopes to entirely transform our school into wall-to-wall academies. This means Vicari is pushing for no “traditional programs,” and the school will consist entirely of programs, such as CAT, AMSET, CJAM and hopefully a new Digital Music Engineering academy. This is intended to diversify the programs offered in Pinellas County; allowing students to specialize in certain fields of study, even before college. “I look at the programs and I want all the students to be proud of something. Even if it has nothing to do with their career, it will be more influential in their lives than the general course of study offered right now,” Vicari said. -SNN staff writer Katie Blevins contributed to this story.

Lakewood population increase jams up faculty parking lot

CAT expands


Lakewood’s freshman population is the highest it’s been in three years. This year there are 348 freshmen. Last year (201112) there were 306 freshmen, and the year before (2010-11) 321. Principal Bob Vicari attributed the influx of freshmen to several things, including the fact that private school is expensive – especially in a bad economy. In addition, Lakewood’s feeder school Bay Point Middle has a higher graduation rate. Because of the increase in freshmen, 10 new teachers were hired for this school year. The additional teachers plus the fact that no one is allowed to park along the fence of the student parking lot because of a fire hazzard meant more parking spots were needed. Because of this, some of the faculty has to park in the first two rows of the senior parking lot. Since teachers don’t have assigned spots, the faculty parking lot is first come, first serve, Vicari said. “(It) encourages the teachers to come earlier,” he joked. As Vicari pointed out, however, there is plenty of room in the student parking



lot. “You could fit three school’s worth (of student drivers) in there,” he said. Vicari said there are plans to move the fence enclosing the student parking lot back at least one row to extend the faculty parking lot. This was supposed to be completed over the summer but there were other renovations that took the front seat, like electric work, Vicari said. Most faculty agree that the new parking spots aren’t a bad thing. “I don’t mind. It’s good exercise,” said Lakewood’s volunteer coordinator Vanessa Morris, who has had to park in the student parking lot a few times. Morris added that she has found herself “racing to get in on time” to avoid having to park in the student lot. Students have differing views. “I think they need to find another way. My brother’s spot is still there (in the first row) and unpainted and I was kind of hoping to park there because he wanted it to stay that way for a while. It’s what I’ve been looking forward to for three years,” said senior Avni Agrawal.


HOPE teacher Chantella Moore gets in her car after school on Sept. 6. This year teachers have to park in the student parking lot due to limited space. "I think what administration did was good, it’s just some students drive more recklessly than others," said Moore.

The number of students in the Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT) program has started to increase dramatically. The freshman CAT class has grown to 98 students compared to the 70 in last year’s freshmen class. But the question is why has it gone up again? The answer is, “the math,” says CAT secretary Beverly Mitchell-Brown. This year’s applicants had higher math and FCAT scores in middle school, allowing the program to accept more students. Many of the students in the freshman CAT class came from either Bay Point Middle School or Madeira Beach Fundamental Middle School, said Mitchell-Brown. Senior Harrison Boyd thinks the CAT program accepting more students is a good thing. Boyd thinks that with the addition of more students in CAT there will more opportunities for the program. Boyd also thinks the program has changed since his freshman year. “There is new curriculum and there are more technology classes,” he said. For instance, freshmen in computer teacher Chris Borg’s Introduction to Information Technology class have been able to become certified in Microsoft Office programs. - DONNELL MIDDLETON and BEN EFFIOM

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First Time Voters: Presidential candidates battle it out for the support of young people.


Politicians are reaching out to a new generation. With elections approaching, students who will be of age are registering to vote. Lakewood High School senior Melvin Dandridge is no exception. Dandridge, 18, registered in August because he wants “to have a say-so in who runs the free world,” though he admits his vote for this election is family influenced. “If I didn’t vote (Democrat), then my parents would kind of be mad,” he said. Despite this, he does agree with decisions President Barack Obama has made, such as the Affordable Care Act, his healthcare reform legislation. Dandridge believes young people need to vote. “Everyone should have an opinion even if it’s a political party another person might not like,” he said. Dandridge isn’t the only one who believes this. “I want to get young people active and understand they are on an important voting block,” said national chairman of the College Republican National Committee Alex Schriver. Schriver spoke at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Aug. 28, with this goal in mind. According to Schriver, one in three young people will move back home with their parents because of the economy. He advises young voters to “research the candidates and discuss issues,” that way the voters can make an informed decision. Schriver said he thinks politicians need to turn to Twitter and Facebook, and run ads on channels that younger people watch, such as Comedy Central. Alyssa Farah, the communications director for the college Republicans, says there will be 18 million new voters this year. According to a Generation Opportunity youth poll, only 38 percent of younger voters ages 18-29, believe that today's political leaders reflect the interests of young Americans. Of these young voters, 89 percent say the current state of the economy is affecting their day-to-day lives. The poll

also found that 76 percent of those polled believe that the lack of job opportunities is shrinking the American middle class. Farah agrees the job opportunities have been diminishing. “We’ve given President Obama a chance. There has been 24 straight months of job drops. Romney has a great job plan,” said Farah. Lakewood held a registration drive for students to become eligible to vote. The drive on Sept. 10 and 11 was only the first one of this year, and 15 students were preregistered, said government teacher Brennan Woods. More voter drives are planned at Lakewood this year before the election, he said. To register, students will need a photo ID or to know the last four digits of their Social Security number or driver’s license number, Woods said. The deadline to register to vote for this election is Oct. 9. For more information, go to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections web page. ( Like others, Woods also agrees it is important for young people to vote. “It is important because young people are the next generation and it is essential that they become informed and active in our government in order to understand how things actually work as opposed to what the TV advertisements tell them,” he said Senior Eric Brown, 17, said he registered to vote outside the grocery store over the Sept. 15 weekend. Brown, like Dandridge, is also voting for Obama, but is doing so more because of issues that will affect him. He said he thinks Obama has better ideas for supporting students who need financial aid for college. Brown also has family on food stamps and Medicaid, and he thinks Obama will keep these programs in place. “Voting is deciding your future and by not voting it is basically giving someone else the choice to decide your future. I want to choose my future,” said Brown.


Junior Michelle Naue registers to vote during lunch break on Sept. 11. Volunteer Michelle Stagnitta, right, helped students fill out forms so they can be registered to vote in the November presidential election. Sophomore De’Meria Rembert fills out a voter registration form outside the hub on Sept. 11. During break students were able to sign up to vote in the November presidential election.


-SNN staff writers Symone Brown and Elijah Fewellen contributed to this story.




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“I Tried It” is a new column to SNN. Every issue, an SNN reporter will try something new, and write about it here on the features page. This issue, Bobbie Wright tries the social networking site, Pinterest.


About a year and a half ago, Pinterest caught my eye, but not long enough. I didn’t sign up. I don’t like to do what other people are into at that moment. While other teens may eat “shrooms,” I eat pizza. If the new thing is Nike, I go thrifting. So naturally if I hear about a new thing, my common response is, “Eh, I’ll try it in about three years.” Many, many, addicting social sites later I decided to try the old new. Pinterest, a bulletin board-style social photo sharing website, started about two and a half years ago. So, here I am again, joining yet another social site. *click* Well, at least they don’t ask all these pointless questions during the sign-up faze, like so many of these sites today seem to do. That process was, thankfully, quick and easy. I like the layout of the site. It’s a collage of photography. Pinterest instantly asks me to select images I like; that describe me. Hmm, I’ll go with Adele, food, fashion and some expressive photography. The main page (what I’m going to refer to as my dashboard) is filled with pictures that Pinterest recommended and thinks I might dig. Sweet, they were mostly right. But on the other hand, they made me automatically follow like, 53 people. Thanks, but no thanks. So I start clicking: “Unfollow, Unfollow…” As I start “re-pinning” images from their original source’s, I notice that I have to create my own “bulletin board,” to put these photographs in categories, I guess. (I do adore these cute little names they use for common actions on their site.) So what will my own board be named? What


do I like to see most while I’m browsing through pics? My most used boards are: • “People to fangirl over” – celebs I love, like Shia Labeouf, Vanessa Hudgens and so many more. • “Omigaaawd Food” - all things edible (Icecream, pizza, waffles etc.) • “Fashion de la mode” - all things gorgeous and wildly expensive. I couldn’t help but compare the photos on this site to other popular photography-based sites I have seen, such as Tumblr and Instagram. At this point, these two are better than Pinterest only because they’ve had plenty of time to work out their kinks. Here’s a tip: If your site is mostly focused around photos, they should be top notch quality. And not all Pinterest pictures are, sadly. It’s a mixture of high quality photos and poorly gotten ones; like those you expect to get from an extremely filtered search engine. Still, I spent time browsing through pics, re-pinning and liking, noticing that some food pics came with recipes and other pictures could easily provide a new home owner with great decoration ideas. Hmmm, so, this site isn’t just for Fan girls to get their quick fix of their beloved celebrities, or for hungry hippos (such as myself) to find new delicious items to whip up. A person could also get decoration ideas, fashion ideas, and drool over cars they can’t, and might never be able to afford. Addictive factor: 6/10 Style/ Layout: Unique and modern Chances of referral: Average Re-usability value: Moderate Photo Illustration by ALEX BRACKX and SCOTTY SCHENCK



For the past seven years, I had long straight hair. But I missed having my deep waves and curls. Sometimes I looked in the mirror and wondered what to do with my hair, so I often wore it in a ponytail. One day I just got so tired of my hair that I asked my mom if I could get my hair cut. I told her I wanted something new, and immediately she told me to go get the scissors and that was it. That was the end of my long, straight hair. I could have just let it grow out naturally without cutting it because that’s what most people do “People even ask when they are gowhich hair salon I go ing back to natural, to because it’s so neat. but because people said I was I’ll laugh and say, ‘My always only cute because momma’s got skills.’” I had long hair, I just wanted to prove them wrong. I was taking a risk with myself because I never had my hair cut before. Since I cut my hair there’s not a day that’s gone by that someone hasn’t complimented it. I haven’t gotten any negative comments on my hair so far, though people often ask why I did it. Some people think I look different while some think I look more mature, but if you ask me, I look the same. People even ask which hair salon I go to because it’s so neat. I’ll laugh and say, “My momma’s got skills.” My father was the only person who gave me a hard time because I never told him that I was going to cut my hair – and I’m not sure he’s ever going to get used to it. Getting a perm (hair relaxer) costs about $60 a month, while getting hair extensions costs about $160. Going natural would be a lot cheaper for most girls! I don’t know if I would ever get a perm again. All I know for now is that I’m loving my waves and curls. That’s just me: I do the unexpected things when it comes to fashion.






Left: Sailboats reflect in the water at the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina. Below: A rope tied up to a cleat keeps the Vision Quest from floating away.

This photo spread is a special sample from an upcoming event called “Through Our Eyes: Midtown and Beyond.” The exhibit will feature work from Melrose Elementary, John Hopkins Middle and Lakewood High. Each student chose a person, place or event in their neighborhood to focus their work on. The gallery will feature the top 100 photos and multimedia. Opening night is Friday, Oct. 19, from 5-8 p.m. at studio@620, 620 First Ave. S in St. Petersburg. Taste of Midtown will be Tuesday Oct. 23 and the exhibit runs until Friday, Oct. 26. All events are free and open to the public.

Through Our Eyes: An SNN Neighborhood Project


Pastor Keturah Pittman baptises a baby at St. Mark A.M.E. church in St. Petersburg over the summer.



Left: Sunshine streams through the spokes of the Black Ace as it sits upside down in the Lake Vista neighborhood. Below: Cyle Watts bends over to lift weights at his home in Kenwood on May 17.

Cyle Watts lifts weights to complete his shoulder workout on May 17.Odi comneruntum permante, qua nonum rem nerorum novidendaces vilistrae


A flower blooms in front of Theresa Jones’ house on a sunny day in March. Jones’ favorite color is pink so she plants a lot of pink flowers.


Theresa Jones tends to her garden on Third Avenue South near 40th Street. Jones spends each afternoon gardening in front of her home.



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No turtles were harmed in the making of this game BY JAKOB W. BARKER SNN Staff Writer

Nintendo has attempted to strike gold once again, this time literally. In New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS, released in late July, somebody over at Nintendo must have an obsession with coins, for there are more in this game than in any Mario game ever. The gameplay has not changed at all from the original New Super Mario Bros. It is still a 2D platformer, with your goal being to reach the end of each stage by jumping on a flagpole. There are nine worlds in the game, six of them being required, two of them being hidden worlds, and the ninth one being an unlockable “star” world after you have beaten the game for more challenges. The game only lasts about four to six hours, letting you do everything except get one million coins in one sitting. One of the (very) few notable changes is the two new powerups: the Super Leaf from Super Mario Bros 3, which allows you to fly, and the Gold Flower, which turns blocks into coins. The Invincibility Leaf from Super Mario 3D Land is also here, appearing after you die five times on one stage and granting, well, invincibility to everything except lava and other similar stage hazzards. As mentioned above, Nintendo went coin-crazy in New Super Mario Bros 2. In addition to the Gold Flower, they also added gold rings that, when passed through, temporarily turn all enemies into gold and award gold upon their defeat instead of points. There are also golden blocks that appear in many levels after hitting certain normal blocks until they are out of gold that, when hit, attach to Mario’s head and give him coins as he runs

‘Perks’ is wondrous and bitter BY KC SHELTON SNN Staff Writer

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, tells the story of a high schooler named Charlie. He does not share his last name or anyone else’s, because he wants to have anonymity about him. Charlie communicates his thoughts and feelings through letters, usually titled “Hello Friend,” and ending in “Love POCKET BOOKS Always, Charlie.” During the school year, he meets Sam and Patrick, two cousins who bring Charlie into their group of friends. He writes about his adventures at football games, in car rides and in awkward romances. He soon learns about the secrets behind the stories and the truth that hides behind lies. As he tries to unravel the messes he’s made, and ones he hasn’t, he matures and learns to accept some things. With each letter, you become more attached to Charlie and every quirk about him. Throughout the book, Charlie has his ups and downs, but that’s what high school is, which is why I liked it. I enjoyed this book immensely. I don’t normally pick up books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but it was surprisingly addicting to read. I would recommend this book to teens and adults. It is a very heartwarming book on how life is wondrous, yet bitter at times. This book was also made into a movie, which debuted on Sept. 21. The star cast members are Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller.

around. As you can probably tell, lives mean basically nothing with all of these coins, and are really just there for you to brag that you have hundreds upon hundreds of lives. With the devaluing of the lives, the game’s difficulty has decreased from previous titles. There is never any true NINTENDO challenge while playing, just irritation when trying to get star coins that are in completely inane places, such as inches above lava or in the middle of the air with no platforms below. To be perfectly honest, unless you’re a Nintendo fan or really liked the original New Super Mario Bros, I can’t say that this is the best purchase. The gameplay just felt more of the same with barely any difficulty, and while that’s not necessarily bad, it just is not worth the $40 for something as shallow and short as New Super Mario Bros 2.

Be careful what you wish for BY CAROLINE DUNNING SNN Staff Writer

You Wish, by Mandy Hubbard, is the story of a 16-year-old girl whose birthday party goes from bad to worse. Who knew one wish could make someone’s life so messed up? Kayla McHenry is an ordinary high school girl, minus the fact that she pushes everyone who ever loved and would have loved her away. She thinks her father doesn’t love her because he doesn’t show her love or affection like most fathers. Kayla’s best friend, Nicole, is the exact opposite. Nicole is popular, on the cheerleading team and dating the love of Kayla’s life, Ben. When Kayla finds out that Nicole betrayed her and dated Ben, Kayla ignores it and gives her friend a second chance. But Kayla gets annoyed when neither of her two friends shows up to her horrid sweet 16 party. The party, including a four-layered pink cake, tons of ribbons and adults from her mother’s work, totally opposes everything Kayla stands for. Things start going downhill as soon as PENGUIN BOOKS she blows out the candles on her cake and whispers: “I wish my birthday wishes actually came true, because they never freakin’ do.” Her wish not only will change her life, but it will also change her friend’s lives, drastically and for the worse. Hubbard writes a compelling story that will make you careful what you wish for. I would recommend this book for any high school girl.




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United we debate, divided we fall

George Washington warned against them. He said that they would likely divide us as a country and allow “cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men... to (seize) the reins of government.” They have done just that in today’s world. Political parties pit us against each other. It’s a constant battle of Democrats vs. Republicans. The closer the 2012 presidential election gets, the dirtier the campaigns are. It’s a verbal death match between the two parties. The goal of ads or speeches is not to inform the public of their plans for the country, but rather to attack the other candidate or political party. Political parties are wholly counterproductive toward fixing our country’s problems. The only end result will be completely opposite ideas constantly conflicting with no compromises being made to progress forward. They turn the focus to the faults in each other and away from the issues at hand. By categorizing ourselves into one certain political party,

we’ve made thinking outside of that political party’s ideas a near sin. We are not encouraging free thinking and original ideas. We as a country should become more educated on the various political parties that are out there. It is not a black and white situation. Besides Democratic and Republican, there’s the Socialist party, the Libertarian party, the Green party, the Reform party, the Tea party, the Communist party and the Constitution party among many others. Along with these new ways of thinking, people need to become more accepting of different ideas. Fighting constantly will not do any good. Compromises are key. The issues in this country are becoming too urgent and severe to remain in this stalemate. And by focusing on this bi-partisan fight, we are doing just that. -This editorial reflects the opinion of the SNN staff and was written by staff writer Chelsea Helt.

Letter to the editor Dear editor, Looking back at the last issue of the SNN, the political feature struck my interest. As a Republican, I feel badly that only 26 percent (of students) classify themselves as being a Republican, and I feel like a lot of kids don’t really care about politics. It’s very sad to think that the majority of students didn’t have a favored party or just skipped the question. I feel like kids need to realize that our futures depend on our government. A president needs to be really smart in order to get us out of our country’s predicament. If kids don’t care who our political leader is, they might not vote, which means the people who do vote might unfortunately elect the wrong person in to office. I hope to see a lot of these students mature politically by the time they get older. - Christopher Herschberger, 9th grade

Staff Editor-in-Chief: Kayla Garcia Chief Photographer: Leon Tomlinson Chief Sports Photographer: Rachelle Gaddy Sports Editor: Devon Rogers Opinion Editor: Chelsea Helt Entertainment Editor: Tristan Shuler Multimedia Editor: Alex Brackx Design Chief: Scotty Schenck Online Editors: Molinseai Elcius, Jessica Thornton Copy Chief: Katie Blevins Copy Editors: Zoe Blair-Andrews, Caroline Dunning

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Your voice - Politics

What political party do you associate with and why? Cieera Trotter | Senior | Democratic party | “I feel that democratic is for the people.”

Spartan News Network

John Douglas Willett | Junior | Socialist party | “I just think that a socialist society would be better. The main reason is because of the economy.”

As journalists for the Spartan News Network, we work together as a community with respect, professionalism, accuracy and curiosity. We collect information and dig deep to get to the bottom of the most current events to produce and distribute hard-hitting and honest news to the Lakewood community in a timely manner. SNN is an open forum that strives to accurately report a balanced and truthful depiction of the news while remaining objective. Our main goal at SNN is to build and maintain trust with the people, to give a voice to the voiceless and to succeed at not just painting the picture, but telling the story behind the art. SNN is produced by the students of Lakewood High School. 1400 54th Ave. S St. Petersburg, FL (727) 893-2916, ext. 2163 SNN is printed by Lakewood’s business partner, the Tampa Bay Times.

Kerim Karic | Senior | Independent party | “I don’t have the pressure of instantly choosing Republican or Democratic.”

Brooks Cannon | Senior | Republican party | “Because Obama’s made no change.” -Quotes



gathered by SNN Staff Writer Scotty Schenck

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Republicans: We’re misunderstood By JALON EDWARDS SNN Staff Writer

“Believe in America,” a slogan used by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is an inspiration to Americans across the country. Romney believes in the people and that the people can get this country back to working and back to being the most powerful country in the world. There is, however, a misconception about the Republican Partythat it is an evil party for the rich. In reality, it is a party for the people of the United States of America. The word patriotic is the best word that describes the Republican Party and its belief in the American people and not the government. The Democrats are called the “party for the people,” but they would have the people pay more taxes for programs that are limited to certain types of citizens; they believe that the government should control businesses and the people’s personal lives. I wouldn’t say

that this is a party for the people, but a party for the government’s success. I just want to bring to light some of the beliefs of Republicans. It is a party that believes that if you have a business you don’t need the government controlling what you do and how you do it. The party opposes government-run health care; this type of health care won’t promote competition among insurance companies and won’t promote quality and patient choice. The party also wants to maintain a world-class system of primary and secondary education with high standards, and Republicans think that parents should be able to send their kids to the school of their choice. This, of course, is not everything Republicans stand for. It is just a short list that describes a few issues that are important to the party. The party believes in the people, and it trusts that the people will make the right decisions to better the country, and if the people are successful, then the government and country are successful.

Legislation may suppress potential voters By NIA CUMBERLANDER SNN Staff Writer

Politics has been driven to a whole new low, especially the Republicans. Conservatives in several states have been proposing legislation to limit those who they believe are more likely to vote Democratic from voting at all- while hiding under the guise of new “voter fraud” laws. Many states are proposing that voters need a photo ID or driver’s license with their correct name and address to be eligible to vote. This may seem like a small requirement, but this could keep up to 10 percent or 21 million eligible voters from the voting booths, all in an attempt to sway the vote in favor of the Republicans. If Republicans want to win a certain group, they need to win it fair and square. Consider you are 18 and have had your driver’s license

for nearly two years with the address of your parents’ home on your license, but now you’re in college. The license on your address may not be consistent with your new address. Without photo ID proof that you live at your new address, you couldn’t vote. As many as 18 percent of people 18-24 do not have photo ID with current address and name, according to 2004 census tallies. This could keep almost 4.5 million citizens nationwide from voting. Meanwhile 6 million elderly voters nationwide could be kept from voting. Women who were recently married could lose their votes. Citizens earning less than $35,000 per year are twice as likely not to have government issued photo ID as those earning more than them. And up to 25 percent of African Americans have no government issued photo ID. Obtaining the specific documentation required in a citizen’s particular state is time consuming and costly. A young college student or single parent may not have the

means to buy the most up to date ID, and some people may not be able to get documentation at all. Many of these groups affected by voter fraud laws are those that would otherwise vote for President Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates. In last term’s election, Obama won among African Americans, Hispanics, women, those who make less than $50,000 per year annually and young voters. You know, the fact that these laws are being considered at all is one thing, but the fact that there is such little data to actually support the good it would do is another. In 2008, there were 16 cases of voter fraud that were investigated. By comparison, there were 28 shark attacks in Florida in the same year. If you’re going to do something as insidious as trying to take away a U.S. citizen’s right to vote just so your party has an advantage, please at least have the decency to admit it.

Political propaganda sours voters on election By JAKOB W. BARKER SNN Staff Writer

It’s not even October, and voters are already done with this election. You can tell from the exasperated expression on many people’s faces when they see a political ad come on TV, or how many political stories seem to be about voters getting more and more polarized. Or how many simply don’t care anymore. This election, who wins won’t be who the better debater is, or who has the better platform, but instead whoever is lucky enough to get the most zealous party voters. Why have voters become so disinterested? For one, we have been bombarded day after day, week after week, for several months straight with attack ads from both Repub-

licans and Democrats, trying to make the other candidate look bad while simultaneously making their candidate look like this amazing guy. All it has actually done is make both candidates seem like petty, incompetent children. Many soured voters are feeling polarized due to what they perceive as extreme policies on both sides. These voters are the moderates, and in the current political environment politicians are not moderates if they expect to keep their party’s support and headlines. Thus, the moderates in both parties are left in the dust, abandoned in favor of appealing to those in the extremes (like the Tea Party, for instance) who fear anything bipartisan like it’s the Black Plague. For those of you who can vote, I urge you to go out and research the candidates. Don’t research just Mitt Romney

and President Barack Obama; there are more candidates than just those two. Gary Johnson of the Libertarian party and Jill Stein of the Green party are two other candidates running for president. While one of the two major parties will most likely still win, you at least would have made your voice heard. For those of us who can’t vote yet, we need to urge our parents/guardians to go out and register to vote, if they haven’t already. We need to have them research the candidates and make an informed decision. It may not be all that much, but it’s the least that we can do. Even one more informed, willing, and energized voter is infinitely better than not having them at all.




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Lakewood athletes shoot for the top By DEVON ROGERS and OWEN DYCHES SNN Staff Writers

Senior Rebecca Halfast is one of the swim team captains at Lakewood. She dominates in the pool, and compares herself to a past Lakewood swimming legend, Nicole Haislett. “I feel like I’m heading down the same road as her,” Halfast said. After Haislett left Lakewood, she attended the University of Florida, then went on to swim in the Olympics, getting three gold medals in the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Every kid grows up, striving to be like that one player on TV. They idolize that athlete, try and play like them and hope they become as good as them or better. SNN decided to ask some top athletes at Lakewood who they aspire to be like. SNN ARCHIVES

Senior Tracy Johnson has led the Spartans football team for two years as a starting quarterback. Johnson says his favorite player to compare himself to is Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback. “We’re both calm under pressure,” Johnson said. “He makes everybody around him look good, and I think I do, too.”


Senior softball player Haley Michalski has played for Lakewood for three years and plans to continue during her senior year. She’s been recruited by many schools also. She compares herself to softball superSNN ARCHIVES star Jennie Finch. “Jennie is a role model to all softball players on and off the field,” said Michalski. Michalski says she works hard and dedicates a lot of time to softball. She tries to be a leader, like Finch. “I try to always smile.”



Senior Leon Tomlinson has been playing soccer at Lakewood for three years. Tomlinson plays the same position as Sergio Ramos, a fullback for Real Madrid in Spain. “I like his footwork, the way he plays, his knowledge and his physical play,” Tomlinson said. “I like to get down and dirty. My main goal is to play like Ramos.”


Senior Avni Agrawal, the girls tennis team captain, will be entering her fourth season on the Lakewood tennis team. Agrawal compares herself to hard-hitter Maria Sharapova. “Maria and I both hit the crap SNN ARCHIVES out of the ball,” said Agrawal. Sharapova has won four grand-slam titles in her career as well as the silver medal at the 2012 Olympics. Although Sharapova has accomplished a lot in her career, she is famous for something else: her obnoxious grunt. Agrawal compares her grunt to Sharapova’s.“My grunt is loud just like her… We both get made fun of for our grunts."

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Top recruit joins Spartan dynasty ESPN Top 100 recruit transfers from St. Petersburg High to join the CAT program and hopes to play for the Lady Spartans basketball team.


Recruit Dejá Swinton, a sophomore, is on her way to becoming a Lakewood Spartan. She transferred from St. Petersburg High School and is ready to take on the challenge of becoming a Lady Spartan in the Necole Tunsil dynasty. Swinton, 15, is projected to be ranked within the top 20 players in Florida, according to ESPN’s website. “I’m much honored to be noticed for my talents on the court, but I don’t really look at rankings,” she said. Over the summer Swinton was invited to Nike Skills, a summer camp in Atlanta, Ga., for some of the nation’s top players. She also traveled to Louisiana, Georgia, Virginia, and Orlando to play basketball. Besides balancing the life of a top recruit, she likes to hang-out with her friends, go shopping, go to the movies and go on road trips out of town. Swinton’s favorite teacher is health science teacher Erika Miller, because she teaches what Swinton wants to major in in college. The schools Swinton said she would like to attend have top programs in academics and women’s basketball: North Carolina, Tennessee, Miami, Florida State and Baylor. Growing up, Swinton looked up to her mom, an exhigh school basketball player for Northeast High School. “She influenced me to follow her footsteps,” Swinton said. Swinton started playing basketball at the age of 5. Later she played AAU basketball for Nike Team Essence, a team out of Orlando, and everything took off from there. Swinton originally started her high school run as an eighth grader at Northside Christian, a private school where eighth graders are allowed to compete in high school activities and competition. Then she moved over to

St. Petersburg High, where she played point guard on the varsity team for the Green Devils, averaging 12 points a game. Swinton made the All-Conference second team as a freshman. This past summer Swinton made a decision to transfer to Lakewood. “I really do like the CAT program and coach Necole along with the basketball coaching and style of play,” Swinton said. “My expectations for Deja’ are to come in and be able to contribute to the team. ... She needs to bring confidence, maturity, leadership and the ability to be consistent.” Tunsil also said Swinton needs to address her defensive skills. Teammate Tianah Alvarado, a senior, who didn’t play her full junior year due to a torn ACL, led the team to the state championship two years back. “I’ve known Deja since my eighth grade year, and she’s up for the challenge and she keeps a positive attitude,” Alvarado said. Alvarado and Swinton also played together for Team Essence Alvarado’s sophomore year. “I know what she is capable of and our goals are to play hard every game and win states,” Alvarado said. Growing up Swinton always practiced and played with the boys. “Playing against the boys makes me go even harder, and if I can play with the boys I can compete at a higher level playing against females,” she said. As there really isn’t an offseason for athletes, Swinton has been focused on one thing: “success and hard work.” Her workouts consist of footwork, weights, ball handling and conditioning, “This is an everyday thing during the summer,” she said.


Sophomore Dejá Swinton shows off her ball handling skills on Sept. 13 by dribbling through her legs outside the Lakewood High School gym.

Swinton will join senior Kasey Drayton, Alvarado and a key transfer from last year, senior Alexis Ungro. “This should be a fun year,” Alvarado said.

O’Flannery leaves Lady Spartans for FLVS By LINDA CORBETT SNN Staff Writer


Math teacher Thomas Penkethman tosses free balls to the volleyball team on Sept. 14 in the Lakewood High School gym.

Government teacher Sean O’Flannery, last year’s volleyball coach, has left Lakewood and is now a Florida Virtual School teacher (FLVS) teaching driver’s education. Working with FLVS means he can’t coach volleyball for a year. “But I can then return to coaching after that,” he said. O’Flannery said leaving the team was one of the hardest decisions he’s ever made. “I was so excited to work with new players, juniors Mariah Watts and Treniece Green,” he said. “Plus the rest of the team was ready to make another run at the state playoffs.” Green said she was looking forward to working with O’Flannery. “I’m sad he left, but I understand his reasons,” she said. The new volleyball coaches are math

teacher Thomas Penkethman, who is the head coach, and math teacher Kayla Rodak, who coaches junior varsity. “We work very well together in coaching all of the girls from Varsity to JV,” Rodak said. Penkethman said he has been helping out with the volleyball team “for years.” “When the opportunity arose (to take the coaching position), I was happy to step up,” he said. “Our goal each night out is to put the best team on the floor that we can. This is a competitive sport and team. We believe that hard work pays great rewards.” Rodak, a new teacher at Lakewood this year, attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania where she played four years of collegiate volleyball. She said she coached at

over 15 volleyball camps throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania for students ages 12-18. “It was a rewarding experience,” she said. She came to Lakewood because it is “a great school with outstanding students and staff. When the opportunity came about for me to take a math teaching position, I couldn’t resist.” O’Flannery said his goal now is to get Pinellas County schools to add beach volleyball as a high school sport. “I do miss my friends that I’ve worked with that care about this school and only want the students of Lakewood to come to a safe place every day,” said O’Flannery.



Back to school fashion trends

Fashionistas return to Hollywood High sporting the latest trends, which include highlighted hair, jean jackets, unique accessories and trendy nail designs. Lakewood is notorious for being fashion-forward, but this year, more students are getting hip to the fashion scene, one retro accessory at a time.

Photos and text by Marilyn Parker, Deysha Henry, Alex Ison, Areil Ward, Monica Scruggs, Mekell Phillips, Jacoria Tramel, Symone Brown, Caprice Alfred and Jashay Williams



SNN September 2012  
SNN September 2012  

September 2012 issue of spartans news network