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the torch John F. Kennedy High School

Volume 50, Issue 2

Nov. 4, 2016

The Election Issue

Contents John F. Kennedy High School 4545 Wenig Rd. NE Cedar Rapids, IA, 52402 Volume 50, Issue 2

Opinion 4 Anti-Trump/Pro-Trump Elizabeth Barrett/Nathan Sheeley 5 Pro-Hillary/Anti-Hillary Elizabeth Barrett/Nathan Sheeley 6 The Problem with the Pledge Donovan Screws 7 Good Riddance to the Electoral College Nathan Sheeley

News 8 The Choice: Election 2016 Brooke McNeal

Mission Statement The student staff and adviser are committed to producing top quality student publications, applying high standards of writing, editing, and production. These media seek to fairly serve the Kennedy High School faculty, students, and staff showing no favoritism to any particular interest, individual, or group. Final decisions about content are the responsibility of the individual editors, and the Editorial Board.

Non-Discrimination Policy It is the Torch’s policy not to illegally discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, creed, age (employment only), marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socioeconomic status (students/program only) in its educational programs and its employment practices.

Ownership The Torch publication, website, official social media, and broadcasts serve as a public forum produced by the students in Journalism-Newspaper. Student editors make content decisions consistent with the Torch Editorial Policy, Iowa Law, and ethics of journalism.

9 Alternative Views Jake Corkery 10 From Kenya to Kennedy Afnan Elsheikh 11 It’s Cute to Compute Afnan Elsheikh 11 FAFSA Starts Early Taylor Weiss

Feature 13 The iPhone 7: Pros and Cons Darby Herridge 14 What Do They Say? Nathan Sheeley

Culture 16 The Last Story Ever Olivia Haefner 17 What’s your sign? Jenna Anderson

Sports 18 Freshmen Phenoms Jake Corkery

Profile 20 New German Teacher: Biljana Samoukovic Tyler Blattner 21 Campaigning for Clinton Anna Reinhart

Photo 22 Falling Through The Season With... Madeline Jamrok


Cover design by Abby Blum

Letter from the Editor Samuel Adams once wrote, “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote, that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” It is our civic duty to vote for the individuals that hold public office and to hold those individuals accountable. We, the citizens of the United States, hold the power to elect the most powerful person in the world, and a responsibility to exercise that right. As a society, we often take this precious right for granted, but this is the right for which millions have fought and died for us to have. To abstain from the democratic process is to disrespect the fundamental beliefs and inalienable human rights established by our Founding Fathers. Voting ensures that our ideals are accurately and honestly portrayed, and that the best interests of the American people are represented in government. We have the opportunity to set the course for this country’s future. We have the choice, we have the power, we have the vote.

Staff Editorial The path to the 2016 Presidential Election has been one highlighted by insults, outsider campaigns that promise to shake up the establishment that so many Americans feel betrayed by, and a biased media dedicated to borderline libel, defamatory publications, and efforts to influence the election through attempting to alter the perceptions of millions of voters. The media has proven several times throughout this election cycle that its main priority is to further their political agenda and personal bias as they strive to alter the outcome in November. Through blatant ignorance of scandals and passive silence

on hate-fueled remarks, the liberal media has systematically attempted to destroy an entire candidate’s campaign through deliberately dishonest reports and stories filled with political bias. The job of the media is to hold every candidate to the same standard, creating a level playing field and presenting all information as reliable and accurate to the American people. A Gallup Poll taken in September showed that only 32 percent of Americans trust the media. The Torch strives to present unbiased, accurate reports while adhering to fundamental ethical and legal principles. We are against the intention-

ally dishonest, politically-motivated, and biased reports and journalism practices of the mainstream media, making it public that we do not condone the furthering of political positions or liberal bias through a position of power, officially identify with the platforms of any candidate, or affiliate ourselves with a political institution or party. We serve the students and community of Kennedy High School, not our personal political preferences nor the positions of the corrupt mainstream media. Sincerely, Torch Staff

Torch Staff Nathan Sheeley Editor-in Chief

Brooke McNeal News Editor

Jake Corkery Sports Editor

Taylor Weiss Culture Editor

Olivia Haefner Feature Editor

Jenna Anderson Opinion Editor

Anna Reinhart Profile Editor

Madeline Jamrok Photo Editor

Elizabeth Barrett Media Manager

Donovan Screws Writer Afnan Elsheikh Writer Darby Herridge Writer Anafer Millsap Writer Adviser Dr, Stacy Haynes-Moore

Tyler Blattner Writer



Anti- TRUMP As a woman (and sane human being), I cannot comprehend why anyone would view Trump as a viable and qualified presidential candidate. He has built his following on the idea of being an “outsider from the political world,” claiming that this supposedly makes him a better candidate for the presidency thanks to his business-mogul upbringing. Yet, Trump lacks the business expertise he claims to have, the main argument supporters have for why he should be president. He purchased Eastern Air Shuttle (an airline company) which he drove into debt, his casinos have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy more than any other major U.S. company in the last 30 years, and he lost nearly $1 billion in 1995 (a financial loss he used to avoid paying taxes for years.) Not only is his record in business less than impressive, but he’s a racist in every sense of the word. He has said that the world has a “Muslim problem,” he’s been sued twice for not renting to black people, and he has condoned physical attacks on a Black Lives Matter protester.

As for his misogyny, Trump wants to ban abortion, and possibly even punish women who get one. He insulted fellow Republican candidate Carly Fiorina saying, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” Among many other women including Rosie O’Donnell, Cher, Arianna Huffington, and Angelina Jolie, and a recent audio leak exposes his lack of awareness about the perpetration of rape culture. This just barely skims the surface of Trump’s offensive nature. He has insulted people with disabilities, lacks actual policy depth, thinks global warming is a hoax by the Chinese meant to close U.S. factories, and he thinks Obama founded ISIS. This man is not fit to be president. A vote for Trump is a vote for ignorance, bigotry, racism, misogyny, and hate. Elizabeth Barrett


Since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the president, he has competed against several other Republican candidates, the liberal media, and the corrupt campaign of Hillary Clinton. However, the business mogul still managed to appeal to millions of voters throughout the land of the free.

Trump favors a flat corporate tax rate, aiming to eliminate loopholes that companies take advantage of, preventing millionaires from transferring their wealth to offshore holding accounts. He also wants to implement a tax on corporations attempting to increase profits by outsourcing jobs to foreign countries. This tax would make it beneficial for companies to employ American workers, lowering the unemployment rate and increasing economic growth. According to Business Insider, the United States ranks fourth globally in education spending, but remains 17th in Reading, 23rd in Science, and 31st in Math. Donald Trump favors creating a more effective education system, supporting the abolition of Common Core and advocating for the use of charter schools and school choice to promote academic excellence and competitiveness. One of the most divisive issues of this election has been immigration. Trump, the only presidential candidate to ever be officially endorsed by the Border Patrol, favors constructing a border wall to curb illegal immigration. He threatens to impose economic sanctions on Mexico if they refuse to fund it. The United States is Mexico’s biggest trading partner, responsible for more than half of the country’s exports, certainly making it an option. Trump supports a legal path to citizenship,


demanding the immediate deportation of every violent illegal criminal. The truth is, America isn’t in a better position than eight years ago, before Barack Obama took office. The Department of Labor reports that real unemployment is 9.7 percent, compared to 8.3 percent when Obama took office. The current labor force participation rate is 63.6 percent, the lowest since May 1979. Since February of 2009, more than 15 million more Americans are on food stamps, poverty has increased by 0.7 percent, and over ten million Americans are out of the labor force. Obama’s aspirations of building a stronger middle class have failed, as the median household income has seen more than a $3,000 decrease. President Obama has almost doubled the national deficit as it nears $20 trillion, increasing the average national debt per household from roughly $90,000 in 2008 to over $148,000 in 2016. Obama championed himself as a middle class warrior and a leader of minorities. However, black poverty has increased to 27.2 percent and Hispanic median household income decreased over $5,000 during his presidency.

Trump aims to erase the failed practices of the Obama years by reversing the detrimental effects while Clinton seeks to extend them. Donald Trump will bring America back. He will Make America Great Again.

Nathan Sheeley

Pro- HILLARY “I know Hillary, and I think she’d make a great president.” -Donald Trump, March 2008. Yes, Donald Trump said that about Hillary Clinton. In fact, Clinton has been endorsed by countless other major names, including the Obama’s, Meryl Streep, Elizabeth Warren, and even Beyonce herself. And there is a good reason for Hillary’s popularity with a majority of women and minority groups. Hillary Clinton has experience in the political world, far more than any presidential candidate has ever had. She has been a New York Senator, the U.S. Secretary of State, and a First Lady. She has a degree in law from Yale, and is the first woman in American history to become a presidential nominee from a major political party. An extremely qualified candidate, she also has policies built on detail, and has a variety of programs she wishes to implement.

implement programs to aid with substance abuse, give a voice to those with disabilities, and continue to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. She also would help create government programs to aid small businesses, find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and protect our environment. She wants gun control to be safer for families, wants college to be more affordable for students, and wants citizenship to be more accessible for immigrants. A nation governed by Hillary Clinton would be one of acceptance. This year’s election is incredibly close and there’s so much at stake: Social Security, the next Supreme Court Justice, national healthcare programs. Hillary is the only candidate to be trusted to ensure our future as a nation. A vote for Hillary is a vote for acceptance, equality, support, care, and basic human rights. Elizabeth Barrett

One of the biggest reasons to vote for Hillary is her constant support for people without rights. As president, Hillary would


Scandal, dishonesty, and corruption are all synonymous with Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, however, Clinton has the blessing of the bias, liberal media combined with the ignorance of millions of Americans supporting a crooked, immoral, and unqualified presidential candidate.

Clinton has repeatedly proved her poor judgment through blatant lying to the American public and government officials, funneling of illegal cash through the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments, and unforgivable comments about the American people. According to a Gallup poll, 66 percent of Americans believe Clinton is dishonest or untrustworthy. Her image has fallen to its lowest point throughout her 25-year political career. Although Clinton aims to view herself as an average American, her tax plan would prove detrimental to the middle class, as she wishes to impose a trillion-dollar tax hike in order to extend social reform programs that push America further away from its capitalist roots and closer to a welfare state that promotes underperformance and punishments for excellence. Furthermore, Clinton inexplicably commented that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are “deplorable” and “irredeemable” in a September speech. It is in these moments that Hillary shows her true colors. It is in the

moments of her lies, deceit, and criminal activity that Clinton displays her terrifyingly poor judgment. Clinton aspires to weaken our national security through cuts in defense spending and seeks to put our families and friends at risk through the influx of illegal immigrants and refugees without proper vetting processes. We are in danger. America is at risk of plummeting into a pathetic welfare state with an increased risk of domestic terrorism, divisiveness, and inevitably, rising crime rates. America may elect a president who refuses to use the term ‘radical Islamic terrorism’, a president who supports political correctness and the suppression of conservative ideals while pressing the liberal agenda throughout every level of education and in every phase of life, and a president that glows with an aura of hypocrisy and corruption. We need to build a stronger America, not weaken an already failing country. Hillary Clinton will be a continuation of the failed policies and practices of the Obama administration, and will seek to systematically strip Americans of their freedoms and liberties. We cannot risk our country; we must fight to take America back from the unethical liberals and their corrupt government before it’s too late. We must fight to stop Hillary Clinton.

Nathan Sheeley

Pages by Jenna Anderson | 5


The Problem with the Pledge

Photo by Jenna Anderson.


here are few situations in which a citizen’s patriotism is called into question more often than during election time. Considering situations like Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling for the national anthem, the discrimination of minority Americans across the country, and the debates surrounding the treatment of veterans, it’s hard to imagine even more digressions to American patriotism. Controversy has surrounded the Pledge of Allegiance since it was approved by Congress in the 1940s. Recitation requirements, the inclusion of the phrase “under God,” and the morality of indoctrinating our nation’s youth every morning in school are all subjects the courts of the U.S. have decided on in the past several decades. In Iowa, there is no statewide legislation requiring public schools to enforce the recitation of the Pledge everyday, however there are some places in the state where this soon may be changing. In Waukee, school staff in high schools are now required to conduct the student body into the Pledge of Allegiance at least once a week, per the Des Moines Register. Although the Waukee school board decided on this issue earlier this year, the state of Iowa has on statutes requiring the Pledge to be recited at any interval. However, that is not the case in almost every other state in the US, as laws compelling schools to lead in quoting the Pledge are in place in over 40 states and territories. The legality of Pledge renditions cannot be questioned- at least, whenever questioned, the Pledge almost always stands against its detractors- but there’s another side to this little sliver of pa-


triotism that finds itself in many children’s daily lives: the moral aspect. To many Americans who grew up reciting the Pledge every morning, there doesn’t seem any reason for someone to not want to partake in the roughly 15 second activity; it’s a perfectly normal operation at this stage in life. But when a closer look is given to this standard American procedure, there is a sign of something few often consider. The daily repetition of a stanza that is essentially “I love the flag,” is in stark contrast with the stirring Star Spangled Banner to which it is often compared. The singing of the national anthem invokes a beautiful feeling, one of heart clutching joy and tear jerking emotion, including lines every American feels burning in their lungs before sporting events, on national holidays, and just about any other special occasion across the country. Just compare the lines “The land of the free and the home of the brave,” with “I Pledge Allegiance to the flag.” One, performed to any quality, tugs at the strings of American hearts. The other, a dry indoctrination of supposed “ideals” of a true American republic. There is nothing heartwarming about the Pledge of Allegiance, nothing that makes other countries’ citizens jealous of how beautiful it is, nothing about the lines that makes a man love his country. The Pledge is patriotic conditioning, boring propaganda that is only successful literally due to the fact it was pushed through to law over seventy years ago, and now it is time we as a nation move on. Donovan Screws

Good Riddance to the Electoral College



For years and presidential elections, the highest office in the land has been decided through a system known as the Electoral College. However, the Framers of the Constitution, geniuses as they were, failed to foresee the rapid population growth and varied populace distributions throughout the country. The Electoral College is a flawed, outdated system in need of abolition and replacement with a popular vote.

ing process, due to the fact that each candidate will write off roughly 40 states they know they won’t win or won’t lose. This leaves a handful of swing states, which incentivizes candidates to value the vote of a single voter in a toss-up state compared to a single voter in a solid-blue or solid-red state more. This further promotes the notion that individual voters are weighted differently and are, inherently, unequal.

Third Party candidates also offer a problem in an Electoral College system. Although carrying almost no weight nationally, alternative candidates have The Electoral College takes the power away from the opportunity to significantly alter the results of the singe American voter, putting it instead into a presidential election due to influences in indithe hands of pre-determined vidual states, potentially earning electors. The problem that arises “The Electoral College takes enough votes to take away a state is that the electors have no legal away from a major party candidate. obligation to cast their votes the away the power from the same way as the individual voters American voter.” The Electoral College is an outin their respective state have. dated, impractical system that is no longer necessary or effective Furthermore, an Electoral College system distorts in modern times. Shifting to a pure popular vote the idea of the one-person, one-vote principle. Due would ensure that each vote is weighted equally, to electoral votes, a voter in a swing state theoretireturn the power of electing public officials back to cally holds more power than a voter in a solidly the individuals, and reduce the chance that an inred or blue state, morphing the idea of a complete significant third party candidate can consequently democracy in which all voters are equal. alter the outcome of the national election. Not only does the Electoral College manipulate voter weighting, it is also possible for the loser of the national popular vote to become the winner of the final election, thus claiming the presidency although failing to claim the most votes. The Electoral College system twists the campaign-

We need to abolish the unnecessary Electoral College, and replace it with an equal popular vote election system.

Nathan Sheeley

Pages by Jenna Anderson | 7



Graphic by Brooke McNeal.

“Voting Libertarian puts pressure on the old parties to reduce the size, scope, and power of Federal, State, and Local governments,” Vohra agrees.

When a third party candidate favors a position slightly more extreme than a moderate left or right candidate they can pull support from them favoring the opposing candidate.

Students in Hoyer’s class learn that even if third parties don’t elect a president they still can have an impact on the election.

“There is no mathematical reason that we have a primarily a two-party system,” Hoyer said. “If a third party candidate were to come in second place with today’s social media, I think the party would be more viable.”

Students study election systems as part of the course in Brett Hoyer’s stat and finite class.

Currently, Libertarian Party nominee, Gary Johnson, has the “Unlike the Democrats and Republicans, the Greens have been third most support polling at 6.4 percent according to Realsupporting policies of clean energy, social justice, and the Clear Politics. participation in grassroots politics,” Ryder said. “I find a lack of “The Libertarian Party connection between the [Democrat and Republican] party’s “When you vote for one of the old wants to reduce the leaders and the voters and a lack of focus on issues that I parties, you’re telling them: keep size, scope, and power find more important than others.” of government in both on doing what you’re A Wall Street Journal/NBC news report showed 47 percent the economic and social doing.” of registered voters would consider a third-party nominee spheres,” Vohra said. Arvin Vohra. this election cycle. There has been an upward trend of sup“We believe that each port for third party candidates as in 2012, 40 percent said person has the right to they would consider a third party and 38 percent in 2008. do whatever they want with their own bodies, and thus oppose the War on Drugs and any restrictions on marriage.” “Our popularity has exploded during the last year,” Arvin Vohra said in an interview with The Torch. He is the Vice Chair of the “Your vote is your voice,” Vohra said. “When you vote for one of Libertarian National Committee and he ran for the U.S. Repthe old parties, you’re telling them: keep on doing what you’re resentative of Maryland’s 4th Congressional District in 2014. doing.” “This has been largely spurred by the massive increase in access To support these third-parties and more, go to: and to information, powered by social media.” Despite the rising support for third parties, these candidates have historically had little chance of becoming elected. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt of the Progressive Party defeated William Jake Corkery Taft of the Republican Party, but only received 88 of the 266 necessary electoral votes to become president, thus electing Woodrow Wilson.

A third party is any party other than the Democratic Party or Republican Party. The most common third parties are the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, and the Constitutional Party, but there are more than 25 ballot-qualified political parties in America ranging from Communist Party USA to United States Pirate Party.

Ryder supports Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party nominee. On Tuesday, Nov. 8, he will cast his ballot for her as president.

“I learned about politics in AP Comp Gov and it sparked an interest in politics during my junior year,” Caleb Ryder, sr., said.

hose who are sick of the same old Democrat and Republican policies that have governed our people for years have another choice. Third Parties.


Alternative Views

Sick and Tired of Clinton and Trump? Third Parties may be your answer.

Pages by Brooke McNeal | 9


From Kenya to Kennedy Kennedy may be known for its award winning programs, however, what most people do not know, is the growing population of refugee students that attend school, largely in part because of the English Language Learner (ELL) program. Walking down the halls of Kennedy High School, each student that passes by has a story to tell. A few students were willing to share their journey with us. Muna Mohamed, sr., was born in a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. Her parents fled their native land of Somalia because of the ongoing civil war, which has been active for 25 years. Her time in the Kenyan refugee camp was one of the hardest. “The camp keepers would tell you where in the world you were going, if anywhere at all. They would teach us English, common phrases, and how to spell. But, they never prepared us for how life really was like in America. They sold us the Hollywood America,” Mohamed said.

United States, how to get a job, work, and keep a conversation. Mohamed received her citizenship four years ago after searching for her birth certificate and documents, which were lost in the Kenyan refugee camp. Haji Ali, fr., moved to Cedar Rapids after being adopted by his aunt and uncle, following the death of his parents. He attended Roosevelt Middle School. Ali is from Ethiopia, a country in Western Africa. Ethiopia is experiencing civil unrest due to tribal conflicts. The tribe Ali identified with was being massacred by an opposing tribe. Chhunu Adhikari, jr., has attended Kennedy for three years. Adhikari and her family moved to the United States from Nepal, in search of a better education. When first arriving in America, “I experienced a lot of emotion. From fear, to sadness, to excitement.”

Photo provided by Nicolas The camp keepers that MoWhen her family first landed in CaliforRaymond. hamed mentioned are part nia, “We had no friends. We didn’t know of the United Nations High anyone. My mom and sister sat on the Commissioner for Refugees luggage in the airport and started to cry (UNHCR), a subgroup of the UN that provides aid in refugee a lot.” camps across the world. All three of these students have different experiences at After Mohamed’s family learned they were to move to the Kennedy. United States, the UN appointed them an American famAdhikari compares Kennedy to her school in Arizona. “In my ily to shadow. They were taught the societal norms in the school back in Arizona, the students would make fun of my English because I could not speak it very well. This made me focus on bettering my English and losing my accent.” After she passed her school’s English langauge learner testing. she no longer required ELL classes. Ali describes Kennedy as a very welcoming place, “Teachers, students, and administrators are all very helpful.”

Afnan Elsheikh

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Page by Olivia Haefner

Computing Cougars The Kennedy girls’ coding team aims to promote female involvement in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) activites and events.

Kennedy has launched its first ever Computer Science Academy. The Academy offers Computer Science, Advanced Computer Science, Computer Coding, Advanced Computer Coding, AP Computer Science A (Java), and AP Computer Science Principles. Leif Segen is the primary teacher for the Academy, teaching all of these courses. “I have definitely seen a lack of females in my classes. It’s palpable. Racial disparity as well. It was one of the things influenced the open course design we’re trying to form now,” Segen said. Segen reports that females make up 14.3 percent of his computer science courses this year. Iowa Girls Code Camp reports that computer science is one of the fastest growing majors today, though women only make up 18 percent of the graduates. This year marks the first for Kennedy’s Iowa Girls Code Team. Iowa Girls Code is a program for high school girls to learn and explore the computer science field. Kennedy’s team is working on an application that lets the user make music.

Teams consist of five to 10 girls and they are mentored by partner companies. Teams meet at least twice a month to design and implement a computer science project into the community. By March 2017, the teams will reconvene and present their finished products for a chance to win prizes. The Kennedy Iowa Girls Code Team consists of Sophie Feahn, Sophia Jasper, Ellie Jasper, Megan Benter, and Jasmine Li. There are also two Rockwell Collins engineers contributing time to help the team every other Friday. Meetings are after school every other Friday in room 220.

“I get to spend time with amazing people, learn, and create something. I’m hoping to learn more about music and coding, while creating something cool in the process,” Ellie Jasper said. She is a junior who joined Kennedy’s team.

FAFSA is here.

Afnan Elsheikh

FAFSA Starts Early

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is Private Student Loans that allows undergraduates and graduates around the United States to get financial aid for college. Earlier this year, FAFSA has announced changes for the 2017-18 school year; the deadline for families to apply for student aid will be Oct. 1st rather than Jan. 1st. Due to these changes by the Department of Education, students and their families will not be rushed while trying to submit the applications. It allows them more time to fill out information while dealing with other college duties they have to finish to get ready for next fall.

Families are required to send in income and their tax information. They will be able to use their reports from the previous tax year and submit that into their application. For those who are attending college from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 they are able to submit their FAFSA from Oct. 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018. You do not have to be an undergraduate to submit this form, you may also apply for FAFSA while in college. It is recommended that for students who plan on going to college send their application as soon as your convenience. For more information about FAFSA or college, go to studentaid. Taylor Weiss

Pages by Brooke McNeal | 11


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The iPhone 7

Water resistant. Improved camera quality New matte black and jet black finish. iPhone 7 plus has 2 cameras. Improved touch ID to provide more security. Longest battery life yet.

The iPhone 7 dramatically improves the most important aspects of the iPhone experience. -Apple.


25% brighter. 2x faster than the iPhone 6s. Faster LITE with the best world wide roaming. 2x louder than iPhone 6s.

Cons Doesn’t include a headphone/auxiliary jack. There’s no home button. Air Pods don’t come with the phone, you have to buy them separately. The jet black iPhone 7 plus is only available in 128GB & 256GB. The phone itself is very expensive.

Price: $159. Release Date: October, 2016. AirPods are Apple’s new wireless, cord-free in-ear headphones. Pages by Olivia Haefner| 13


What Do They Say?

Issue Immigration

“Prioritize the interests of Americans first. Build a border wall and end sanctuary cities.”


“Reform trade policies to invest, build, grow, produce, and manufacture in America and taxing companies that want to outsource jobs to other countries.”

Foreign policy

“Directly focus on making America safe again. By destroying radical Islamic terrorist groups and ending the nuclear deal with Iran, the world’s number one state-sponsor of terrorism.”



“I’ll cut business rate to 15% and reduce individual rates to three brackets of 12, 25, and 33 percent with 0 percent for many, and add above-the-line deductions for childcare costs, including stay-at-home parents.” “We need unwavering support of the Second Amendment. Get serious about prosecuting violent criminals and make our cities and communities safer.”


“Every child deserves a great education and an opportunity to achieve their dreams, we will embrace education options through school choice and charters, and make it easier for families to afford college so students aren’t buried in debt.”


“We will use our coal, gas, and other American energy sources in a clean and appropriate manner to benefit American families and workers.”

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We need a comprehensive immigration plan with a path to full and equal citizen ship.”

“Two-year grace period for illegals to get work visas and a one-strike-andyou’re-out program.”

“We need to raise pay, create good jobs, and build an economy that works for everyone.”

“Regulation should not be used to manipulate the economy, we need a fair and equal America.”

“I will keep us safe and defend our values by maintaining a cutting-edge military and enforcing the Iran nuclear deal.”

“We will cut off funding on which violent extremist armies defend and repair relationship with our allies.”

“The wealthiest pay too little in taxes. I’ll close corporate tax loopholes and give relief to working families who are struggling.”

“We will continue special interest tax loopholes, get rid of the double-taxation on small businesses and replace income and payroll tax with a single consumption tax.”

“I’ll take on the gun lobby and fight to keep guns away from violent criminals with comprehensive background checks.”

“If guns were more readily available, not more restricted, Americans would be much safer.”

“I’ll ensure every child has a world-class education, we need fewer and fairer standardized tests so that every child gets an equal opportunity to succeed.”

“Nothing is more important to our future than the education of our next generations; competition will make our institutions better.”

“I want the United State to have half a billion solar panels by the year 2020 and generate enough renewable electricity to power every home in America for ten years.”

“We need to make our wind, solar, biofuels, and geothermal energies 100% more efficient every five years.”

Pages by Olivia Haefner | 15


The Last Story Ever. Lauryn Vaske, so., reading “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.” Photo by Tyler Blattner.

Nineteen years after The Battle of Hogwarts the story continues. J.K. Rowling writes the story of Harry Potter and his family in the new book Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.

Lauryn Vaske, so., said.

In this new book we are introduced to new characters. The actors also look different than the original actors in the Harry Potter movies. When finding this out, “It’s a form of screenplay so it doesn’t have I was a little bit disappointed that Harry J.K Rowling’s amazing Potter fans wouldn’t writing in it.” be able to see the originals.

The idea began in the form of play and then was printed in play-like dialogue. Rowling, Jack Throne, and John Tiffany collaboLauren Vaske, so. “I dislike the new rated in writing and characters because I directing the play really liked the old ones. It’d be weird to The Cursed Child. The book contains the read about the new ones, let alone see scenes. them in a play,” Madison Friauf, so., said. The book is set to continue the story The book is around 300 pages, with two of Harry Potter and his three children, parts. The Cursed Child is written exactly mainly focusing on his youngest son Allike the play’s dialogue. I liked how the bus Severus Potter. As a Harry Potter fan book was shorter than the others, howmyself, I was excited to see what this new ever I didn’t like how it was written with book brought to the table. I was intrigued no description, just conversations. I’ve because I wanted to read about Harry’s always liked Rowling’s ability to make children and how they compared to their me imagine. father. “Harry’s main role in this book is the father/mentor to his son. He helps them deal with the weight of the family name,”

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“I don’t like it as well because it’s a form of screenplay so it doesn’t have J.K Rowling’s amazing writing in it,” Vaske said.

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child was the first book in the series to be presented on stage. The play premiered on July 30, 2016. It has not yet come to America, but could eventually in the next couple of years. I have no doubt when it does it will be worth the money. The new book connects to the old seven in many ways, despite being written differently and with less description. “It compares to the old books because it still has most of the same characters and setting like Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic. Most of the new characters are literally offspring of the old,” Friauf said. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is the last book ever in the series of Harry Potter. “I think the author wanted to show fans an epilogue of the afterlife of Harry Potter. She wanted to show the fans that the generation is still living and will continue in the world of magic,” Friauf said.

Olivia Haefner

What’s Your Sign? “I see myself connecting with a Taurus more because I’ve known that it was my sign for a long time and just now realized that it changed. Also Taurus is a bull and I think that represents me more than a ram,” Loney said.

If your birthday falls between Nov. 29 and Dec. 17, you may or may not be aware that you are now the new zodiac sign Ophiuchus. In reality, Ophiuchus is not really new, but has been around for over 3,000 years. +However since we have a 12 month calendar, and originally had 13 signs, Ophiuchus was ditched. Not only has this 13th sign been introduced, but some peoples signs have shifted.

Curiosity has even been dawned upon those who question which dates actually belong with their sign. “I don’t like the new change because I don’t think it is accurate,” Loney said.

“My birthday is May 5, so my sign changed from a Taurus to an Aries,” Jessie Loney, so., said.

Take a look at the new astrological dates and signs.

The new dates of the astrological signs spur mixed emotions between people, causing some to want to stay with their original sign.

Jenna Anderson

New Zodiac Signs

Capricorn: Jan. 20 to Feb. 16

Gemini: June 21 to July 20

Scorpio: Nov. 23 to Nov. 29

Aquarius: Feb. 16 to March 11

Cancer: July 20 to Aug. 10

Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 to Dec. 17

Pisces: March 11 to April 18

Leo: Aug. 10 to Sept. 16

Sagittarius: Dec. 17 to Jan. 20

Aries: April 18 to May 13

Virgo: Sept. 16 to Oct. 30 Libra: Oct. 30 to Nov. 23

Taurus: May 13 to June 21

Pages by Taylor Weiss | 17

Ella Popenhagen



Ellla Popenhagen prepares for state cross country after school. Photo by Anafer Millsap.

Ella Popenhagen, fr., is doubling up this season. She’s in the varsity lineup for both Cross Country and Swimming.

time this season is 18:28. When she is in season she trains for an hour a day.

Just last Thursday, she was participating in the Varsity Divisional for cross country which she placed 4th in. On Saturday, she was participating in the Varsity MVC swim meet which she placed 14th in the 100 freestyle earning her team 2 points.

“I also think it’s good to do cross workouts and not just run.” Popenhagen said. Managing time is a big component in her life. Popenhagen is also involved in Kennedy Swimming, The Best Buddies Club, Key Club and will be involved in Track. She is taking her required courses along with Spanish and in the summer she is involved in triathlons.

“I would bike and my driveway would be the transition zone and then I’d go straight into running.” Popenhagen said. “I also think it’s good to do She started with some triathlons at cross workouts and not just “I work on making sure I get my homework the age of 8; She participated in the done on time and use the little bits of time Hy-Vee kids’ triathlons and has done run.” to get everything done,” Popenhagen said. full length events and sprint events. -Ella Popenhagen, fr. That is when she realized that running Popenhagen was named First Team All-Conwas something that wasn’t too bad and ference this season for cross country. kept with it. “Training is very different depending on what I am training for,” Popenhagen said.

“I was pretty excited and I was shocked at first, because I didn’t think it was right,” Popenhagen said.

With training all summer long and never really stopping, Popenhagen has broken personal records this season. Her record for

Popenhagen is working to qualify for state and make it as a team. Anafer Millsap

Brock Barnhart


The high school golf season is over but Brock Barnhart, fr., still has individual tournaments to prepare for. Photo by Jake Corkery. “I’ve really had the opportunity to grow up around the game of At the district meet, the top three team scores qualify for state golf,” Brock Barnhart, fr. said. “I started when I was two years old and the lowest four scores from non-qualifying teams go to state with a Little Tikes set of clubs and I would always go play with my individually. Barnhart was able to qualify with a 77 individually. brother and my dad.” “I was able to be very calm at state knowing that I’m only a freshBarnhart finished second shooting scores of 76 and 71 to find his man and that all the pressure would be on all the juniors and spot on the podium at the state golf meet. This year’s state meet seniors,” Barnhart said. was at The Tournament Club of Iowa and lasted two days, October Barnhart does not play any other sports and he dedicates as much 7 and 8. time as he can to practicing and becoming a better golfer. “I practice about three “I started when I was two years old with a Iowa State is currently looking hours every day and five Little Tikes set of clubs and I would always go at Barnhart as a recruit. to six times a week,” Barnhart said. “Spending play with my brother and my dad.” Barnhart played in the #1 the amount of time I do -Brock Barnhart, fr. spot on varsity this year for on golf is important to me because I just want to the Kennedy Men’s golf team get better and be the best and led most of the year in I can be.” tournaments. Barnhart plays in tournaments all over the state and sometimes out of state and This season was especially meaningful to Barnhart as it was the continues to play in tournaments in the fall and spring to prepare first and only season he will play varsity golf with his brother him for next season. Brant Barnhart, sr. “Golf is a game where you need passion and motivation to go out “It was fun playing as a team this year and we started out playing and play at your best to improve,” Barnhart said. “That is why I like it so much.” well but at the end we slowed.” Barnhart said. tyler blattner

Pages by Jake Corkery| 19



New German Teacher: Biljana Samoukovic

ennedy is the best, most professional school a “I was very honored and humble about her letting me stay teacher could ask for,” Biljana Samoukovic said. “The with her while I was getting things settled in with my own students apply themselves and it is wonderful to be able to house,” Samoukovic said. watch them academically grow.” Samoukovic is from Serbia and is fluent in Serbian, EngSamoukovic is new to Kennedy, teaching German classes lish, and German. She has her Ph.D. in Educational Policy from the beginner level to AP German. She has nine years and wishes to pursue her career in teaching. of teaching experience with one year at The University of Iowa as a professor. “German class is going to stay as long as I am here teaching it,” Samoukovic said. “I want to be able to give kids “I enjoyed being able to teach in different places but when the opportunities they deserve to learn different types of I came to Kennedy I just absolutely fell in love with how languages.” everything works here from the students to the administration,” Samoukovic said. “When a student applies themselves and really gets to learn the material it is not only enjoyable for me,” SamouAt the beginning of the year Samoukovic was still in the kovic said, “but extremely rewarding.” process of moving to Cedar Rapids so she was able to Tyler Blattner stay with Diana Ross, retired German teacher, until she was able to move into her house.

20 |

During this election process, former Kennedy science teacher Cindy Garlock has been able to meet influential people in politics. Pictured from left are Garlock’s husband, Elwood, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Cindy Garlock, and former president Bill Clinton. Below, Garlock and Clinton join for an Eastern Iowa Democratic campaign gathering. Photos courtesy of Cindy Garlock.

Campaigning For Clinton Retired Kennedy teacher encourages early voting It all began with a phone call. In April 2015, Cindy Garlock, retired Kennedy biology and AP Biology teacher, was asked to meet for coffee to talk politics. Next thing she knew, she was as a dinner table with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Garlock hopes that Iowans will choose to cast their ballots for Clinton on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Lately, Garlock has been mostly canvassing, going door to door to talk politics. There are also phone calls to be made in preparation for the election. In 2008, Garlock also worked for the Clinton campaign. Though that wasn’t successful, Garlock went on to work for Barack Obama in 2012.

“There are a lot of different moving parts to a presidential campaign,” Garlock said.

Garlock said, including former president Bill Clinton and also actors Ashton Kutcher and Tony Goldwyn.

Identifying who the Clinton supporters are is crucial to Garlock.

Garlock’s love of politics derives from her mother, who was also active in the political system.

She and the rest of the Clinton campaign are working to get as much Garlock taught science classes at early voting Kennedy for more done as posthan 20 years, “There are a lot of different sible. but says she is moving parts to a presidential elated to be able During this to spend her campaign.” election proretirement doing cess, Garlock something she Cindy Garlock has been able to loves to do. meet influential people in poliAs of the Torch tics. She sat down with Hilary Clinton press time, the Clinton campaign was for dinner and even had many nonscheduled for a rally on Oct. 28 in the political conversations with her. NewBo neighborhood. “I have had the opportunity to meet so many prominent political people,”

Anna Reinhart

Pages by Anna Reinhart | 21


Falling through Many families have fall traditions; here are some of the best moments members of the Kennedy community have had this autumn.

“Since I’m not a big coffee drinker, when fall comes around I buy plenty of white hot chocolates at Starbucks,” -Lincoln Klopfenstein, sr.

“I went with a bunch of friends to scream acres. We had a lot of fun in the haunted house and ate some of the best fudge,” -Skylar Sparks, fr. The Kennedy Women’s Cross Country Team took a trip to Colony pumpkin patch and then painted pumpkins. Photo provided by Claire Pardubsky.

“My friends and I made caramel covered apples one afternoon,” -Hannah Maus, so. 22 |

the season with... Kennedy’s student government working together to paint pumpkins and raise money for breast cancer. Photo provided by Avery Hanson.

“Lily [Wiese] and I carved pumpkins for Halloween,” -Bj White, jr.

“I spent an afternoon at Wilson’s Orchard. It was fun picking apples and walking around,” -Morgan Sohn, sr.

“I love fall and all of the different scents that come with it. That is why I have a candle for each scent,” -Gabbie Meyer, sr. Pages by Madeline Jamrok | 23

Issue 2 Nov. 4, 2016  

Torch takes a look at this year's election.

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