John F. Kennedy High School
Volume 50, Issue 7
May 24, 2017
One Last Time...
Class of 2017 Reflects on Four Years at Kennedy
John F. Kennedy High School 4545 Wenig Rd. NE Cedar Rapids, IA, 52402 Volume 50, Issue 7
4 B anned or Simply Controversial? Hannah Ratzer 5 S enior Editorials Nathan Sheeley, Jake Corkery, Brooke McNeal, Elizabeth Barrett, Madeline Jamrok. Taylor Weiss News t e ta 10
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.
ea Olivia Haefner
The Narrow Few who Donate Mady Kircher 1 1 I owa College Tour Jurnee Rose-Johnson Feature 14 S
enior Roadtrip Brooke McNeal
eliving Senior P rom 2017
uts to area mental health programs Andrew Hamiltoin
18 13 R
easons Why.. Isma Dizdarevic
Things to do Before G raduation Elizabeth Barrett
It is the Torchâ€™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.
Athletes of the Y ear Jake Corkery 21 S 2
enior College Commits Jake Corkery The Hunt I s On Rebecca Greene
ashing Drake Relays Jake Corkery
ummer Scoring Stats Tyler Blattner
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.
e Hy e at t all
e ey Lydia Kilgore
ady Jake Corkery ad
e le e Anafer Millsap
The Y ear I n P hotos Madeline Jamrok
Staff Editorial As the academic year comes to a close and the Class of 2017 prepares for graduation, we, the Torch seniors, would like to share a couple of our thoughts with you, our audience. The first message we would like to extend to our readership is one of gratitude. We would like to thank everyone who follows us on social media, reads our online stories, and appreciates our published newsmagazine; Without the support of those who value our hard work and tireless efforts, none of what we do could be possible. The second message we would like to share is for our adviser, Dr. Stacy Haynes-Moore. She has done outstanding things for the journalism program at Kennedy, and it is because of her amazing leadership and charismatic nature that The Torch is one of the most elite student-led news organizations in the state of Iowa. The Torch seniors would like to extend our appreciation to Dr. Haynes-Moore for sparking our interest in journalism and supporting us at every opportunity. The awards we have individually won over the last two years could not be possible without the excellent guidance of the best journalism teacher and adviser in Iowa. The third message we’d like to share is for next year’s Torch staff. It’s time for us to do what many senior editorial boards have done before us and what many will do after us. In the words of former President John F. Kennedy, it is time to pass the torch to a new generation. We wish nothing but the best for those who come after us as they face challenges, experiences, and opportunities that will define their unique journalism journeys.
Our fourth message is to the rest of the students at Kennedy, the class of 2018, class of 2019, and the class of 2020. As cliché as it sounds, be patient. You will see approximately 1,460 sunrises, eat roughly 4,380 meals, and spend roughly 5,670 hours in school by the time you get to the point we are at today. As hard as it is to believe, all those hours of stress-induced studying, panicking to finish assignments, and spending hours working on projects will culminate into something special, believe us. You are all one step closer to walking the stage, one step closer to beginning the next chapter in your life, one step closer to continuing Kennedy’s excellent legacy. Our last message is from us to our peers, the class of 2017. The last four years have been filled with incredible moments that will leave a positive lasting impact on Kennedy and the community for years to come. We have faced heartache and jubilation, trial and tribulation, immense pride and utter disappointment. All of us have in some way been shaped by the experiences we have been a part of over our last four years in these hallways, and it is these very moments that will connect us for years to come. No matter where we go, who we meet, and what we become, the experiences that have been shared by the 442 graduates of the Kennedy Class of 2017 will stay with us all. From the Torch seniors to all of those mentioned above, we would like to say thank you.
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
Darby Herridge Writer
Anafer Millsap Writer
Tyler Blattner Writer
Olivia Bowden Writer
Claire Fluent Writer
Rylee Hatfield Writer
Kayla Jacobson Writer
Madylin Kircher Writer
Leeanne Mehring-Cruz Writer
Lizzy Dennis Writer
Dr. Stacy Haynes-Moore Adviser
or simply controversial? Have you ever read a banned book? Chances are, you have. Out of the 20 students I surveyed, all of them had read at least one banned book. So are banned books actually being banned? It appears not. Of the 14 books listed in the survey, I’ve seen nine of them being read in a classroom setting. Personally, I’ve read 10 of them, both in and out of a classroom. Of the books included in my survey, six of them appeared on the American Library Association’s Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books list, with three of them appearing in the top 10. If these books are so commonly banned, why are they being read by such a wide audience? If this is the case, why do we bother banning books if they are just going to be read anyway? If anything, banning a book actually brings it more attention than it had pre-ban. Banning a book brings about controversy and a conversation, pushing a book into a spotlight it otherwise wouldn’t have occupied. Sometimes, simply the fact that these books were banned puts them on a class reading list just so students and teachers can discuss the exact same topics it was banned for.
That seems a bit counterproductive. Banned books are synonymous with controversial messages and people love to disagree with one another. Humans are by nature opinionated and want their opinion to be heard. Several of the books on my survey exemplify this. Perks of Being A Wallflower, To Kill A Mockingbird, 13 Reasons Why, Of Mice and Men, the list goes on. All of these books deal with topics that people have strong opinions over, such as racism, suicide, underage drug use, and profanity. My survey also included modern day classics such as The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, which is actually the #1 banned book according to the ALA survey. Both of these books have been read by massive audiences, not to mention the number of people who have watched their multi-million dollar film franchises. The fact that these books have been banned seems to be a pointless task. These books are so popular that they have been talked about for years, and will continue to be talked about for years to come, preventing them from ever being forgotten on a lowly library shelf. Some may say that banning books is essential in preventing certain messages from reaching the public. But these same messages are the ones that are promoted to public conversation through their banning. The messages in banned books are ones that inspire people. Controversial conversations are the ones that change opinions and make people realize things about the world. This is why conversation about them will never stop. So if we wish a book to be banned, the best thing we could do would be to not talk about it. Don’t recommend it to your friends, don’t debate about its controversial messages, don’t whisper about how you ‘read a book you weren’t supposed to’, don’t share how great you thought it was. Truly banning a book would be to never hear its title again. Because when a book is banned, it shouts a message to the world; Come read me! Hannah Ratzer
Two years ago, I joined the journalism program in hopes of becoming a better writer, and I never thought I would be in the position I am today. The Torch has offered a unique opportunity for me and for the rest of the seniors by giving us the chance to participate in something bigger than ourselves through publishing our stories, opinions, and photographs. For me, however, this journalism journey has been all but orthodox, characterized by unexpected story assignments, stressful nights editing and designing, and hundreds of hours spent writing stories to share with the Kennedy community. I couldn’t be more proud of my fellow senior editors, Brooke, Jake, Madeline, and Taylor, who have worked with me over the last two years, and I’m overjoyed at the bright future the Kennedy journalism program beholds. As cliché as it is, The Torch has truly changed my life for the better. From giving me the tools to succeed in college to teaching me how to be a better person, I have grown through this experience. I’m grateful to have had such a talented group of senior editors to work beside me, and appreciate all the hard work done by those
who never earn proper recognition. I have won awards and earned distinction for the things we have accomplished, and none of it could be possible without the opportunities given to me by The Torch. At the end of the day, it’s not going to be the decorations I received that I will remember, it will be the experience of working for the greatest journalism program in Iowa and collaborating with the best group of senior editors anyone could ask for. The senior editors sharing their final thoughts on these pages are some of the most hardworking, charismatic people I have ever had the pleasure to work with and know, and I am forever thankful for the friendships and connections we have made as a result of the journalism program here at Kennedy. We don’t go through this stress and hard work for applause or for our own gratification, we do it because at the beginning of this journey, we truly believed we could leave The Torch and the Kennedy community in a better place than when we began, and I wholeheartedly believe that we have accomplished that task. Thank you, Kennedy.
Jake Corkery The end of high school also marks the end of our childhoods. It is a big step in the progression from carefree, playful days to responsibility and adulthood. We are slowly losing our safety nets and we are becoming “real people” as Mr. Grady often says. The world can be harsh and unfair and three of our former classmates journeys have tragically ended too soon. Life is precious and we won’t always know when it is coming to an end but it is important that we find a vision for ourselves and follow it every day. We are fortunate to have attended a well rounded high school where you can pursue your own interests whether it’s sports, fine arts, advanced classes, workshop skills and more. I remember looking up to the class
of 2015 golf team and learning from their work ethic. They pushed me to practice harder and I am grateful for the opportunities it opened for me. The experiences I had on the golf course presented me with many opportunities including friendships, scholarships, and jobs. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the many opportunities offered at Kennedy because they can affect your life in ways you would never think of. It is now time to put these skills and experiences to use as we exit high school. It is an exciting time in our lives as we gain independence but we must always remember our values and work to reach our goals every day.
Pages by Jenna Anderson | 5
I am stuck on how to fit all of my memories of four great years into a half page. I have way more memories that will last a lifetime and that take up more than the space I’m given, but I want to include the most memorable.
This class of two years gifted me many all nighters, but it also gifted me the advantage of knowing how to write a college paper and writing it well. Thank you Dr. Ayers and Mrs. Melone for keeping patience.
1. Every single pep assembly, and winning only one (1-11, go seniors!). We sometimes forget how awesome it is to go to a school with such a heightened school spirit.
7. Getting a D+ in AP Euro. This taught me that it’s okay to get a bad grade, it doesn’t reflect your character or your overall intelligence.
2. Friday night football games, freaking out in the group chat about what to wear, always being too hot or cold, Perkins after games, watching our Cougs play in the state championship. 3. Having your parents save you with the yellow passes (thanks Marlys and Brighid!) 4. Looking forward to the day before Christmas break every single year, no other school beats Kennedy on that day. Ugly sweaters, apple cider and hot chocolate, and the staff caroling in the halls, I will miss that. 5. Seeing my best friends in the hallways between classes every single day to catch up and to make weekend plans. It’s hard to believe I’ll be an hour away from my best friend next year. 6. Taking AP Capstone, although it killed me.
8. Trying new things, particularly journalism. The journalism program taught me how to talk to people even if we don’t have the same opinion on an issue, it taught me the importance of a time line, and it also gave me the four people who have become my best friends. Jake, Madeline, Nathan, and Taylor, I am going to miss seeing you and arguing with you every day. And thank you to Dr. Haynes-Moore because she allowed us to express ourselves through the Torch and is one of the most caring teachers I have ever met. 9. Getting to attend a school where everyone gets to express themselves in unique ways… I have the most talented classmates in various areas such as sports, arts, academics, etc. 10. The most memorable moment though was when a teacher told me I wouldn’t succeed. Watch me.
I can almost feel the diploma in my hands, see the stage of the U.S. Cellular Center, hear parents clapping for kids that aren’t theirs. It feels like high school never ends when you first begin. I’m quickly realizing that the real world is coming at me far faster than anything else I’ve experienced. It’s daunting, yet exciting too. I know I’m going to miss the feeling of ending a show in the Kennedy drama program, the red velvet curtains swooshing closed in front of me. I’ll miss the breathless feeling as I dance in show choir, my face smiling so much that it hurts. I’ll miss the tears I conjured for emotional Reader’s Theater pieces in speech, or the laughs I drew out of the audience in Improv. I’ll even, perhaps unexpectedly, miss Torch, something I’ve only done for a year, yet found a passion for insanely quickly.
My time at Kennedy taught me so much. I’ve learned how to write a research paper properly (thanks AP Lit) and I know the principles of physics. I can graph a polynomial function and I can tell you all about the American Revolution. But these things don’t matter in the end. When I graduate I won’t remember much about Pavlov’s dogs or about how to say “store” in French. What I will remember is the people I’ve met and the invaluable lessons they’ve taught me.
I’ve learned how to start conversations, all because I really wanted to befriend that kid in my math class who sat two rows away. I’ve learned how to express my opinions politely and effectively, all thanks to being surrounded by other intellectuals with differing views. I’ve learned how to comfort others, a skill I’ve had to use to help friends through tough times. High school didn’t teach me to be a student, it taught me to be human.
Although I have been ready to graduate high school since my sophomore year, I am glad I didn’t because, my junior year was when I joined Torch and it has positively impacted my life in so many ways. Torch has connected me with some lifelong friends, enhanced my learning and encouraged me to reach out to people in the community. My experience with the Torch has been incredible and I will never forget the time when Brooke, Taylor, Nathan, Jake and I came in late one night to edit papers and we couldn’t stop laughing about the YouTube videos Brooke was showing us -- totally not on task. In addition to Torch, I have been heavily involved with student government and served as the secretary this year. One of my favorite service projects I will always remember was shopping for families in need around Christmas time. Gabbie, Jordan, Julia, Kendal and I shopped for two families this year and not only was it fun to buy presents but the best part of the service was the look on the children’s’ faces when they received the gifts. Those special moments with my fellow officers will stay with me forever. The last memory I want to reflect on is
my involvement with the dance team. Starting high school as a freshman I knew I wanted to be a part of the dance team. After four years on the team I realized my teammates and coaches helped mold me into the person I am today. I am thankful for the performance opportunities and fun times I had on the dance team. I will never forget scoring second place at the State competition this year. This accomplishment was so rewarding because as seniors we had been together since 2013. Jade, Kerrigan, Brooke, Macy, Maryn, Julia and Mackenzie all played a major role in preparing the team for the future and I acknowledge them for their commitment and love for the dance program at Kennedy. Now it is time to graduate from high school, walk across the stage with diploma in hand and begin my next adventure at Iowa State University. As I become an alumni, I hope: the journalism program continues to enrich Kennedy High School through diverse, creative and informative media, the student government organization continues to serve the community and the dance team continues placing well at the State competition while having fun. The last four years at Kennedy have gone
by quickly and there are many memories I will cherish. I am appreciative of all the opportunities I was granted. Thank you Kennedy for friendships, learning opportunities, exciting sporting events, and the free rein at SMART lunch. You have inspired me to be my best!
Taylor Weiss Through my years at Kennedy, they have definitely been an up and down roller coaster. As an incoming freshman it was hard trying to find my place, meet new friends and figure out who I was and who I wanted to be as a person. Now, being a senior with only a few days left before graduating it is bittersweet. I remember being so excited to finally get to go to a big school and be a “big” kid. As the years went on I was just waiting and waiting for the year 2017 to come and it did, then spring break happened and now it’s May. People weren’t kidding when they said it goes by fast.
All the friends we grew up with and met, the relationships we’ve made and the memories we’ve created, they’re not going to be the same anymore. Everyone is moving on with their lives and going to achieve the things we’ve set our minds to since we were 10. Thank you to everyone who has believed in me through my years at Kennedy. Thank you to my teachers, friends, parents, cheer girls, and most definitely my Torch family for keeping me sane and together, I couldn’t have done this without you. I hope the best for the class of 2017 and I am going to miss every one of you!
Pages by Darby Herridge | 7
Ask the staff: Kennedy’s 50th year How Kennedy is celebrating the 50th year... Big things are happening next fall. Kennedy is celebrating its 50th year since opening in 1967. To kick the year off during the homecoming game on Thursday, Sep. 28 there will be multiple celebratory events. The plans for the game include about 30 previous homecoming queens coming back and a band reunion that includes the alumni band playing. Then on Friday, Sep. 29 there will be class reunions and the students will have the homecoming dance. On Saturday, Sep. 30 the alumni associates are planning a 50th anniversary gala which will be one of the biggest events. Tickets are available now for the gala. Kline thinks that Sal Giunta, the Medal of Honor receipt and Kennedy 2003 graduate is coming back to speak along with others who plan to give remembrances speeches about the school. Happiness and the performing arts are doing fundraisers for the events and the theater department is doing something to help as well. These events will be held in the gym and students are encouraged to help. Next year is going to be a big year for Kennedy high school. - Olivia Haefner ‘The spring 2017 pep assembly was my favorite pep assembly. I think pep assemblies are a lot of fun and I really enjoy them. I’d like to say I’m very happy being at Kennedy high school this is my 4th year here and I love it.”
- Principal Jason Kline “Last year when the robotics team won state tournament and we got to move on to super regionals. It’s the first time in the history of the team that they have moved past state. To actually do it was really awesome. The kids were so excited.”
-Science teacher Lorymar Vargas
Opened in 1967, Kennedy’s staff share their favorite moments. “When my class presented to Vice President Al Gore. My class was asked to do a presentation to improve student performance to the Vice president. The secret service was there and it was a pretty cool experience.”
-Social Studies teacher Joe Benedict
“One thing is when people pay it forward in library fines. In general, kids here are good,thoughtful, and considerate.” -Librarian Lesa Neff
“The 1983 senior prank during passing time students released about 50 chipmunks in the foyer. I thought senior pranks were the best.”
-Attendance secretary Brighid Smith “I always like it when they sing the Alma mater at the pep assemblies. It brings a tear to my eye.” -Math teacher Kathryn Hrubes
Pages by Olivia Haefner| 9
The Narrow Few who Donate Bone Marrow A group of students in Mr. Horton’s class took the torch from alumni and carried on the tradition of setting up a bone marrow registry drive as a part of their final project. “Kennedy is the only high school in the state of Iowa that has an annual registry drive,” Horton said. Kennedy has worked with other schools in the district to participate in the drive. For the past two years, Kennedy has gotten Washington to participate in a similar event. Bone marrow is essential for our survival. The transplanting of bone marrow is used for many different illnesses but is most common in kids with leukemia. Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells in your body. White blood cells are your immune systems fighters; they protect you from bacteria. Without a way to protect your body, you will die. In most cancers, you would want to cut it out. But in the case of leukemia, you have to destroy the bone marrow. There are two ways of getting bone marrow. “The traditional way is to go into the femur, which is painful. They need to make a hole (to extract it) and you replace your own bone marrow so you aren’t losing any-
thing,” Horton said. The second way is the most common. You give what is similar to a blood donation; you take medication that will cause the cells to circulate in your circulatory system. When determining which way your marrow will be donated, it is really up to the doctor of the recipient. Throughout the eight years this program has been around, about 60 students have participated in organizing the bone marrow registry drive. 574 people have been placed on the registry through Kennedy alone. “If you are placed on the registry in all likelihood you will never be asked to donate.” Horton said. So far one person has successfully donated and has requested to be kept anonymous. Another is in the process of donating and has agreed to reveal themselves after the donation is complete. “When I say successfully donated, I mean that they did the donation but just because you donated doesn’t mean that person will survive. The survival rate is about 70 percent.” Horton said.
Students involved in the bone marrow registry drive this year.
From March 26 to April 2 about 45 students from the Cedar Rapids and Marion area went on a college tour, visiting HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The tour was led by George Ramsey, giving students the chance to see and explore the opportunities that various colleges have as well as the challenges they will face. “I enjoyed the overall experience of learning what is out in the world and what opportunities I’m open to as an African American,” Gisele Anderson-Pledge, a freshman at Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School, said.
This year, students first met at Washington High School on March 26 to experience four hours of bonding activities as they waited for their bus to arrive and trip to get underway. Dr. Carlos Grant, principal of Washington High School, organized the activities to be physically, emotionally and mentally challenging for students so that students learned to work together and communicate with a new group of people. “The biggest difficulty for me was coming out of my comfort zone,” Trinity Glover, a junior at Washington High School, said. “I got kind of emotional from sharing a picture of my dad I and then talking to the group about the value of this photo.”
enjoyable,” Cadaris Waits, the tour guide at Jackson State University, said.
Grant used the tour to help students get out of their comfort zone and gain a different level of personal comfort. “The trip was important to my continued growth as a student. I’ve always done good in school, and I’m striving to do better,” Tatiana Warden, so., said. Students got to visit larger colleges, like Jackson State University, and even small schools, like Paul Quinn. The family-like vibes and social environment attracted these students. This year, the trip focused mainly on Grambling State University.
Next year’s college picks and tour dates are weeks away from being released for students in grades 9 through 12. The Cedar Rapids Community School District gives out scholarships to help pay for students in need to attend the tour. In addition, the tour itself pays for all seniors to apply to all schools for free. Jurnee Rose-Johnson
“Y’all were my best [tour] group, the curiosity and interactive nature of y’all was
Registrations are now being accepted, and we’re pleased to announce that you can reserve your space today by completing the online participation form and submitting a (non-refundable) $75 deposit. All students are welcome to participate. The tour is open to all 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students from high schools across the state of Iowa, from Davenport to Des Moines. This includes Iowa City, Waterloo, and Cedar Rapids. Next year's Seniors who traveled with us this year are welcome to travel on the tour
One of the Cedar Rapids students’ college visits was at Grambling State University n Grambling, Louisiana.
Pages by Madylin Kircher | 11
Congratulations, Torch Staff Member Award Winners The Following Torch staff members earned recognition by the Iowa High School Press Association. There were over 1,100 entries submitted from individuals from 66 schools across the state of Iowa. Brooke McNeal
The Ducks are Stuck
Multimedia story, News
Walkout at Kennedy
Madeline Jamrok KennedyTorch.org
Good Riddance Electoral College Column
Preparing for the Flood 2016
Top 10 Emerging Journalist of the Year
Third Place Third Place
Honorable Mention Honorable Mention
To view all award winners and categories, visit the IHSPA website at ihspa.org.
Advertise With The Torch for the 2017-2018 School Year Email JFKCougarMedia@gmail.com
Pages by Elizabeth Barrett | 13
A JOURNEY THROUGH SENIORâ€™S NEXT STEP IN lIFE University of Iowa -Baileigh Allen -Natalie Averkamp -Chase Baker -Tana Baldwin -Elizabeth Barrett -Brooke Bekeris -Jake Bissonw -Hunter Brunk -Courtnie Bruns -Ian Carlson -Stephen Chostner -Parker Cooley -Jason Dallege -Tyler Dennis -Finnegan Duffy
-Austin EndersenOhrt -Hunter Erickson -Pablo Estrada -Alivia Fellmer -Paige Franck -Johnna Gary -Allie Goodell -Olivia Green -Raquel Green -Farl Greene -Gage Hahn -Ashley Hamilton -Sydney Helms -Mira Hemaidan
-Micheala Henneberry -Calysta Heunisch -Mackenzie Hill -Nolan Hoheisel -Haleigh Houston -Kyle Huber -Alexis Hull -Jade Irish -Zachary Johnson -Kayla Joyner -Joyce Kim -Danika Klein -Carter Krall -Julia Krouse -Camille Krousie
-Lydia Luton -Brendon Lyman -Rachel Maly -Cameron Markham -Austin Maus -Tucker Maus -Brooke McNeal -Alissa Meyer -Emily Mickelson -Haleigh Middendorf -Nathan Mitchell -Abigail Moore -Arshi Munjal -Connor Peterson -Hannah Peterson
-Claire Phelps -Jesse Price -Anjali Puranam -Alaysia Pursell -Bryceton Reel -John Ross -Myron Rundell -Caleb Ryder -Macy Schares -Morgan Schumacher -Jacob Seedorf -Noah Sempf -Michael Shea -Oather Taylor -Brooke Timmerman
-Callarisse Trueblood -Kaleigh Tuetken -Jordan Vaske -Kelsey Whitmore -Jessica Williams
Iowa State University -Nathan Andersen -Hunter Barnhart -Nicholas Bjorsen -Jake Corkery -Samantha Culver -Nathan Davis -Nathan Drahos -Nicholas Duehr
-Samantha Eltze -Aspen Geraghty -Moira Green -Clay Hasenbank -Madeline Jamrok -Jacob Jennett -Grant Jensen -Amanda Keiper
-Lincoln Klopfenstein -Karlee Knockle -Brandon Koch -Mary Le -Nicholas Lockhart -Daniel Lovig -Calvin Mackin -Aaron Meppelink
University of Northern Iowa -Ashlynn Averhoff -Madeline Bagby -Brant Barnhart -Julia Brewer -Caroline Carter -Karlynn Fifield -Monique Fitzpatrick -Noah Foege -Jenna Hauschild
-Malik Haynes -Sydney Koeppen -Christopher Knight -Makenzie Kovach -Nathan Lindo -Samantha Loecke -Jayden Lovell -Morgan Michels -Ashley Nesbitt
-Gabrielle Meyer -Noelle Oâ€™Brien -Samuel Pape -Chase Rivera -Hailey Spencer -Kyle Staudacher -Andie Trotter
Workforce/Trades -Erik Pauls -Gabrielle Pereboom -Sydney Powers -Maulesia Rulindavyago -Kerrigan Urbi -Megan Wagner -Alyssa Wiedemeier
-Sarah Beauregard -Rachel Glovik -Gunner Haight -Nathan Hill -Michael Icenbice -Claire Jackson -Jonathan Morrow -Noah Phipps
-Austin Reed -Zachary Rehak -Francisco Rivera-Ramirez -Peyton Schmitt -Austin Slattery -Hunter Torrey-McAdam -Alexis Weissenberger
Kirkwood Community College -Avery Anderson -Ahmed Azmeh -Nathaniel Allaire -Michaela Bailey -Brittany Bell -Hannah Borsay -Kiana Brannan -Paige Browning -Winona Buffalo-Shoulders -Chloe Canant -Meghan Canney -Wesley Carlson -Kiana Clark -Molly Conway -Destiny Cottrell -Precious Daniel -Salone Daniel -Austin Davis -Maurissa Detweiler -Hannah Ekstrand -Laura Feld -Kianna Franklin
Aveda Institute -Maryn DeVore
-Breanna Chapman -Serenity Lehr
Central College -Cooper Johnson -Anna Long
Clarke University -Tayler Rathjens -Emily Sass -Jenna Schwartzhoff
-Katie Beer -Isabelle Canney -Abbie Christophersen -Mitchell Dvorak -Sydney Kinney -Nicholas Leonard -Peyton McGuire -Katherine Nus -Maci Oostendorp -Megan Weber -Jared White
-Caitlyn Froese -Juston Fonseca -Brittany Gail -Mitchell Gerjets -Jacob Goedhart -Bailey Graybill -Trevor Guenther -Jacob Harrison -Abbi Hite -Grace Hockaday -Cameron Hooker -Jacob Hyde -Adrianna Jordan -Michael Kaiser -Makayla Keegan -Chloe Kelley -Timothy Kelly -Michael Kircher -Collin Krenz -Madison Krenz -Melanie Lang -Aubree Langhurst -Xochitl LeConte
Northwestern University -Malea Mason -Dalton Maston -Elizabeth May -Kierra McClaud -Gabriel Mejia Montes -Levi Miller -Graceyn Moes -Madelynn Morgan -Govinda Monger -Suresh Mukan -Hawa Mwalimu -Naume Nayino -Allyson Neyens -Yves Nzaibinesa -Mason Ocenosak -Catelyne Oliphant -Riley Patton -Jared Olsem -Ryan Priborsky -Madi Rink -Riley Rinkenberger -Amaja Rucker
-Madison Schleder -Duncan Schultejans -Trystyn Short -Morgan Sohn -Tyler Spicer -Makyla Springer -Haley Steciw -Dana Van Hyfte -Son Vo -Tiona White -Kylisha Williams -Hannah Wilson -Lauren Winders
-Anthony Alepra -Afnan Elsheikh
Olivet Nazarene University -Hance Throckmorton
St. Ambrose University -Valerie Vanek
Transition Center -Dallas Dircks -Benjamin Mulholland -Chase Pfiffner
University of California at Santa Barbara -Nicholas Barak
University of Dubuque -Bailey Klinger -Marissa Loftin
University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign -Jamie Milota
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
City College of San Fransisco
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
University of North CarolinaChapel Hill
Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) -Drake Brewster -Jessica Taylor
Dominican University -Madison Palmer
Graceland University -Joachim Kikuni -Amadou Kujabi
Iowa Central Community College -Johnson Mator
Military -Logan Benion (Navy) -John Dwyer (National Guard) -Hunter Lank (Marines) -Angel Moore (National Guard) -Kiana Murphy (Air Force) -Levi Williams (Air Force)
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design -Joshua Horth
Illinois State University
-Matthew Berst -Kendal Meier
-Nicholas McSpadden -Jackson Middlekauff -Jake Olejniczak -Antonio Patterson -Chandler Poewll -Trae Stutzman -Hunter Wamre -Taylor Weiss
Ivy Tech Community College -Jacqueline Mwirinzi
La James International -Zoey Crighton
University of Oklahoma -Christi Shauger
University of Puget Sound -Donovan Screws
University of San Diego -Nicholas Bast
University of South Dakota -Jackson Coker -Cade Schoenauer
University of WinsconsinPlatteville -Kristin Sheyko
Wartburg College -Katie Choate -Caitlyn Dresmeier
Wellesley College -Jasmine Li
William Penn University -Max Keys
University of Nebraska -Nathan Sheeley
Pages by Brooke McNeal | 15
Reliving Senior Prom 2017 “I feel the pressure there’s paparazzi,” Lauren Harviuex, cosmetologist, said. Photo By Leeanne Mehring-Cruz.
Crighton watching boyfriend play with toddler while she gets her hair curled. Photo By Leeanne Mehring-Cruz.
The most stressful part of getting ready for prom for senior Zoey Crighton was putting on her dress because she was stepping and tripping up everywhere trying to get it on. “My favorite part of getting ready for prom is the makeup and I chose to do a smiley eye look with an updo for hair,” Crighton said. Crighton’s day began at 6 a.m. on that Saturday, because getting ready for dances stresses her out. Zoey’s coworker started doing her hair at 12:30 p.m. and her cousin, cosmetologist Lauren Harviuex, finished her make up at 3 p.m.. “Logan, Abby, Trace, and I went and took pictures downtown at the Green Square,” Crighton said, “Then we ate at Parolor City.” Crighton’s favorite song at prom was iSpy by lil Uzi and she said the best songs to dance at school dances are rap songs. The first song Crighton and Dulin danced to was ‘Call Me Maybe.’ “I went through a couple of dresses, but I decided on my light blue one because I couldn’t stop going back to it,” Crighton said. The best part of school dances for Crighton is being able to dance with Dulin and that is what she will always remember about prom. The most romantic part was slow dancing with him. “Prom was fun and I loved my date, Logan Dulin. We danced all night and then ate some good food at home. The hypnotist at post prom was amazing and funny,” Crighton said.
Crighton and Dulin tearing up the dance floor at prom together. Photo By Kayla Jacobson. Leeanne Mehring-Cruz
Cuts made to area mental health programs affect access for students Tanager Place, a mental health and trauma support facility, has helped more than 2,000 area children and families through their services, though recently they’ve run into trouble providing care. About three years ago, the State of Iowa began a round of cuts and reforms to mental health support services. Tanager continues to have a difficult time adapting to the cuts. “Tanager Place has had to make a push to get a lot of our kids out of inpatient into outpatient care because we’ve been forced to cut down on treatment times for these kids,” says Katherine Shea, Director of Health Services at Tanager.
is also the therapist for both Jefferson High School. As part of her work, she helps students gain access to Tanager programs. “We needed to start a program that cut down on the hassle of kids in outpatient having to go to a therapist, set up appointments, which takes time and keeps them out of school,” Lapel said. “We needed to bring mental health to the forefront.” Lapel said that Kennedy “has been amazing at communicating and assisting” students connect with Tanager.
“Not just counselors and the administration, but teachers have been recognizing kids who need extra support and send referrals so that I can provide assistance.”
With the state reforms in play, Chandran describes the effects as twofold. “While the more kids we get represent an opportunity to help more kids out, patient resources haven’t been increased.”
What this translates into is a shortening of inpatient programs, services where a child stays on site for treatment. Patients spend a limited amount of time with the on-site resources.
Therapists like Chandran are expected to provide the same quality care to more people, without expanding the program’s capability to do so. Chandran says that this inevitably means she has to put students on a waiting list, though they need help and support.
Kennedy’s relationship with Tanager has been going on for five years and represents a bond between mental health and education. Tanager has worked with the Cedar Rapids Community School District to send therapists to help kids with whatever issues they may be facing.
“Kids’ emotions don’t just stop when they come to school. They can’t simply tuck away their problems and worry about them later,” Lapel said, “Whatever is bothering them can seriously affect their ability to learn and operate.”
Chandran Lapel is Kennedy’s school therapist from Tanager. She
Kennedy’s therapist Chandran Lapel. Photo by Kayla Jacobson.
Pages Page by Kayla OliviaJacobson| Haefner | 17
TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY...
Read about the show that has everyone talking This show is heart-wrenching, dark and twisted. I promise that you will cry at least once while watching this.
breaking as you, the viewer, try to deal with why Hannah killed herself at the same time as Clay finds out, too.
Based on the novel by Jay Asher, the Netflix show is about a suicidal teenage girl named Hannah Baker. She is bombarded with backstabbing high school friends, rumors, drama and heart-breaking situations. Before she decided to take her own life, she recorded 13 reasons why she killed herself on 13 tapes. Tony, her good friend, is seemingly responsible for distributing the tapes to everyone who is on them — he must find and give the tapes to the other 12 people that Hannah thinks are in some way an important part of her life, in some way maybe responsible for her suicide.
Viewers should know that the show does not shy away from mature issues such as rape, teen drinking, and swearing. The show even shows how Hannah killed herself in great detail. I would not recommend this show for younger audiences. The show is drawn out and, although it makes sense, might be irritating to watch. Clay insists on listening to the tapes one at a time. He also confronts each person on each tape without even knowing what his reason for being on the tape was or knowing the full story. It also can be confusing to find out the theme of this book/TV Show. Many readers, viewers, and reviewers have decided that the overall message is that adults will never truly figure out what is going on in teenagers’ lives. Or, maybe the message for us is that the reason why someone commits suicide is complicated.
The idea is that Hannah Despite these evident problems for wants these people to viewers/readers, 13 Reasons Why hear her last words and The cover of the new series “Thirteen Reasons is an incredible show and book. The learn why she committed Why” on Netflix. acting is impeccable. Casting was brilsuicide. liant. The story is narrated by the character Clay Jensen This show may seem like a total bummer, well it is. who is the 11th person on the tapes. As he listens But it is important for teenagers nowadays to know to them for the first time, we learn that he secretly that words hurt and sometimes a choice they make had a crush on Hannah and this makes the show is not the best choice. more complex. The storyline is absolutely heartIrma Dizdarevic
Pictured right is the Commencement Ceremony for the graduating class of 2016. The Class of 2017 ends classes today and will have their graduation ceremony at the U.S. Cellular Center on Saturday, May 27 at 7:00 p.m.
10 Things Kennedy Students say you should do before Graduation As the school year slowly draws to a close, we begin to both remi- “Go to breakfast club in the mornings. It's a pretty cool thing that nisce on the past and look forward to the future. For some, as they do every Friday for students to get food before school." Mira May draws to a close so too does their time at Kennedy. Hemaidan, sr. For others, the end of the school year marks only the beginning of summer, until August once again rolls around and the 20172018 school year begins. High school goes by in a blur, as this year's seniors have come to find out. In an effort to help underclassmen maximize their high school experience, here is a compilation of the top ten things that Kennedy students recommend everyone does before they graduate from Kennedy. “Participate in a school activity before you graduate because I didn’t and it’s one of the things I regret.” Rowan Bergen, sr.
“Everyone should go to at least one school dance, even if it's just with friends.” Natalie Averkamp, sr. “Before you graduate jump off a cliff. Or a bridge. I mean, both are really fun.” Jazmine Loomis-Nutt, sr. “Go see a Kennedy musical because they are super fun and entertaining even if you aren’t into musical theater!” Ferin Bergen, jr. “Do science roadshow, because teaching middle schoolers is about science is absolutely hilarious, and way more fun than going to class.” Claire Pardubsky. sr.
“Volunteer a lot in the community because soon you will leave and it's “Make a sports team with your friends over the summer such as sand the only opportunity to really get to know the real world while in high volleyball, softball or kickball. You may suck at it but you'll make great memories either way” Carrie Adams, sr. school. It also makes you very humble.” Afnan Elshiekh, sr. “Everyone should go to a football game at least once, even if you're normally not a sports person.” Ashlynn Averhoff, sr. “Go to an art show to support your classmates. It's a fun and unique thing to do with friends, and the art students will really appreciate it.” Alexis Weissenberger, sr.
Make the most of your time here at Kennedy. Whether you join a sports team, go to a school dance, or even try something new over the summer, enjoy your high school years while they last.
Pages by Taylor Weiss | 19
Athletes of the Year Paige Franck College Sport: Volleyball at Iowa
Position: Defensive Specialist/Setter High School sports: Volleyball, Basketball, tennis, track Major: Pre-Dentistry Favorite Memory: qualifying for state volleyball during junior season Paige Franck #14 competes against Dubuque Hempstead at home on October 4. Photo provided by Yearbook.
Nick Duehr College Sport: Football at Iowa State Position: Cornerback/ Wide Receiver High School Sports: Baseball, Football,Track, Basketball Major: Engineering Favorite Memory: Playing in the state championship at the UNI Dome during his junior season Matt Berst #12 trails Nick Duehr #3 on a fast break in the state championship game this year against Iowa City West on March 11. Photo by Tyler Blattner.
The athletes above were recognized as athletes of the year at senior recognition night on April 24. 20 |
Matt Berst College Sport: Baseball at Illinios State Position: Catcher/ Utility High School Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Golf , Track Major: Business Management Favorite Memory: Making it to State in Basketball and Baseball
Senior College Commits The following students have chosen to continue their athletic journeys at the next level. Thank you for your contributions to the Kennedy Athletic program. Amadou Kujabi- Graceland Soccer Anthony AlepraNorthwestern Baseball Ashley Hamilton- Iowa Softball Cade Schoenauer- South Dakota State Swimming Chandler PoellMt. Mercy Baseball Cooper JohnsonIowa Central Football Drake Brewster- DMACC Basketball Emily Sass- Clarke Soccer Jackson Coker- South Dakota Football Jake OlejniczakMt. Mercy Baseball Jared White- Coe Baseball Jayden Lovell- UNI Diving Jenna Scwartzhoff- Clarke Softball Joachim KikuniGraceland Soccer Johnson MatorIowa Central Football
Katie Beer- Coe Track and Field Katie Choate- Wartburg Golf Kendal Meier- Illinois State Volleyball Kristin Sheyko- UW Platteville Track/Cross Country Maddie Bagby- UNI Swimming Madison Palmer- Dominican Volleyball Maggie Gallagher- Lawrence Basketball Matt Berst- Illinios State Baseball Max Keys- William Penn Football Megan Weber- Coe Softball Mitchell Dvorak- Coe Soccer Nick Duehr- Iowa State Football Nick McSpadden- Mt. Mercy Baseball Paige Franck- Iowa Volleyball Shelby Williams- Cornell Track and Field Sydney Kinney- Coe Softball Pages by Jake Corkery| 21
The Hunt Is On
The hunt is on for a new swim coach for the girls’ team at Kennedy High School. In October 2016, junior varsity head Coach Rick Forrester announced his retirement to the girls’ swim team. This announcement was closely followed by the varsity head coach, John Ross (JR), announcing his retirement in January 2017. “It’s a lot of experience going out the door, you can’t replace 55 to 57 years of experience teaching kids swimming and life through swimming,” Activities Director Aaron Stecker said. Finding coaches for a high school team doesn’t seem all that easy. “It’s finding the applicants that know how to teach swimming and can incorporate it into a swimmer’s life that’s difficult,” Stecker said. “While doing coaching on a small pay and only for a couple months, it’s hard to find a coach willing to do just that.” Stecker also mentions there have been a few people who have applied, but there is a chance that the new head coaches won’t be picked until the end of the school year. As of press time on May 17 no coach hire had been announced. With both of the coaches’ retirement it brings sadness and excitement to swimmers. “I mean it definitely sucks seeing them go, but I think a new experience will be good too,” swimmer Mackinzee
The women’s swimming team at the pleasant valley meet handed their second loss of the season. Photo by Nathan Sheeley.
Macho, jr., said. Macho is one of the captains for the 201718 season. Swimmers say they hope the new coaches care about the team, invest in the sport, are able to handle drama, help the swimmers reach their goals, are patient and have experience with this sport. New coaches will quickly learn that to these girls a team doesn’t mean a group of people they just swim with, it means something a lot bigger. “I really bonded this year with my [swim] lane mates,” Lydia Kilgore, so., said. Reagan Linder, so., explains that the team members spend a lot of time together from swimming practices, to singing together in the pool area, to hanging out having dinners at each other’s houses and having sleep overs. “My teammates, they’re like my best friends,” Linder, so., said.
Dashing Drake Relays
Every year the best track athletes in the state train to get their times down so they can have a chance to compete in the Drake Relays. This year Jayden Lovell, sr., and her relay team stayed up until 1 a.m. refreshing Iowa Quikstats to see if they qualified. The Drake Relays bring together some of the fastest collegiate and high school athletes in the area to compete in their respective divisions. On Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, Kennedy’s 15 Cougars competed at Drake. This was Lovell’s first trip. “I’m hoping to make the finals but we have to run our very best to come close,” she said before the race.
For the women’s team, Cheyenne Mitchell, Natalie McAllister and Katie Beer competed in individual events. Jayden Lovell, Alexis Peterson, Katie Beer, and Natalie McAllister competed in the Shuttle Hurdle Relay and Sophie Feahn, Natalie McAllister, Jurnee Rose-Johnson, and Cheyenne Mitchell competed in the 4×100 meter relay. For the men’s team, Chase Baker, Jesse Price, Malik Haynes, Blake Jones, Payton McCarty, Terrell Jordan, Timmy Kelly, Zac Packingham, and Jack Coker competed in various events. Jake Corkery
Summer Scoring Stats Cougar Baseball Cougar Softball Team Stats From the 2015-2016 Season • Record: 29-14-0
• Record: 37-5-0
• Home Runs: 10
• Home Runs: 23
• Strikeouts: 247
• Strikeouts: 224
Home Schedule for the 2016-2017 Season May 29 VS. Marshalltown @ 3pm
May 23 VS. Xavier @ 5:30PM
May 31 VS. Burlington @ 7pm
May 25 VS. Dubuque Senior @ 5PM
June 5 VS. Dubuque Senior @ 5PM
June 1 VS. Waterloo West @ 5PM
June 8 VS. Jefferson @ 7PM
June 6 VS. Dubuque Wahlert @ 5PM
Pages by Tyler Blattner| 23
Rubik’s Cube Hype: Jacob Kiesey
Jacob Kiesey, so., solving two of his Rubik’s cubes at once Kiesey became interested in the yo-yo when he saw other people Walking through the halls of Kennedy High School, you may notice some students solving Rubik’s cubes or doing yo-yo tricks. bringing them to school. Almost immediately he decided that he wanted to know how to do it; he likes to learn new things and Jacob Kiesey, so., is one of those students. thinks it’s fun. “It seems like something that always amazes people,” Kiesey said. Aside from the wow factor, Kiesey also enjoys the challenge and Kiesey explained that there are two types of yo-yos: responsive and unresponsive. The difference is that while a responsive yo-yo problem-solving that comes with solving a Rubik’s cube. will come back to the hand with a tug, the unresponsive one “I spent two hours one night just figuring it out,” Kiesey said. won’t. When he first became interested in solving the Rubik’s Cube, he A front mount bind, more commonly known as binding it, is a spent a lot of time figuring out the basics of solving it. maneuver in which you catch the yo-yo on the string causing it to After working it out on his own for a day, a friend of his directed coil up and return to your hand. This maneuver is used to bring him to a website containing various algorithms. back unresponsive yoyos. Kiesey explained that an algorithm is a set of movements to get Kiesey said that while he hasn’t had the chance to learn more a piece of the Rubik’s cube to a certain place. The algorithms used tricks yet, he plans on using the website yoyotricks.com in the to solve Rubik’s cubes are identified by certain combinations of future. letters, each of which stands for a certain movement. While the hype on the Rubik’s cube and yoyo has been an inter“U” means up, “D” means down, “L” means left, “R” means right, esting asset to the halls of Kennedy High School, Kiesey believes “F” means front, and “B” means back. Each letter in the algothe Rubik’s cube and yoyo trend is coming to a close. rithm tells you to turn the cube ninety degrees clockwise in the Even though as many people may be bringing yoyos and Rubik’s indicated direction. If a letter is followed by an apostrophe it cubes to school in the near future, Kiesey said that he enjoyed it means that you turn the piece counterclockwise. while it lasted and looks forward to moving forward and trying With the yo-yo, Kiesey expressed how it was something different, new things. and how he’s always enjoyed trying new things. Lydia Kilgore
Pat Grady stands in front of iconic ping pong table while students play on it for one of the last times. year.
After 17 years at Kennedy, Economics teacher, Pat Grady will be retiring. “We are losing a great one,” history teacher, Brian White, said. “He is without a doubt the best AP Econ teacher in Iowa. He is a icon of the school and will be missed.” “Mr. Grady boosted enrollment in AP Econ and improved many students’ table tennis skills,” history teacher Joe Benedict said. Grady began his teaching career at West High school in Iowa City. He taught there for eight years before he became the Vice President of First National Bank. “I always thought I would go back to teaching because I enjoyed it so much,” Grady said. “I was just looking for the perfect job and econ at Kennedy was the perfect job.” Grady is known for many things including being a great ping pong player, which he often plays with students during lunch and Smart Time. He also preaches the significance of graduating to seniors all
“I believe that students don’t understand how profoundly things will change. For the first time in your life you are in charge,” Grady said. Phil Ferrante, Business and Technology teacher, had Grady when he was at Kennedy and he still remembers that lesson. “It’s true, all the rule change.” Grady will continue to live in Iowa City with his wife, Margo, who works at Left Law Office. Grady wants to bar-tend in Iowa City to keep busy. He plans on traveling and golfing more during his retirement. Grady will also be found at Hawkeye games and often runs into former students. “It has been one of the great pleasures of this job,” Grady said, “Some great friends have come from this job.”
Softball Coach: Maddison LeClere
“When I found out that the head coaching position was open, I submitted my application and résumé, interviewed and found out I got the job in early November,” Maddison LeClere, softball coach, said. She has been an assistant coach for the Kennedy softball team for six years working with all levels and has just been admitted to the head coaching position.
career she attended Coe College where she played another 4 years. Along with playing in school, she played with many club teams, mostly in the pitching position.
“I am very excited to be the new head coach, I have been with the program for a long time, and I’ve loved getting to know all the different players and families along the way” LeClere said. Finding out that she was going to be the head coach was very exciting.
“I feel like we have a very successful season ahead. All of the players have worked very hard in the off-season and have put a lot of time in to get better. I can’t wait for the first day of practice” LeClere said.
She has been working with the game for a very long time. She graduated from Emmetsburg High School in Northwest Iowa where she played 4 years of softball. Following her high school
LeClere believes the team this year has a great season ahead, and has high hopes to bring home an MVC trophy this year.
Page by Anna Reinhart | 25
Students at Kennedy will be attending the commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 27. These are some photos of the accomplishments and special moments the Class of 2017 shared throughout their last year at Kennedy. It is a good time to reflect back and keep in mind these awesome memories.
Pages by Madeline Jamrok | 27
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John F. Kennedy
In the final 2016-2017 spring issue, Torch seniors share thoughts about their years at Kennedy. Reporters also provide some news about Kenn...
Published on May 24, 2017
In the final 2016-2017 spring issue, Torch seniors share thoughts about their years at Kennedy. Reporters also provide some news about Kenn...