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C. Leon King High School

6815 N. 56th Street

The C. Leon King High

Tampa, FL 33610




June 2011






Advanced Placement scores earn county national distinction

LEFT: PIECING IT TOGETHER - Jason Adams, senior, applies mosaic pieces to an art mural representing different themes from around campus. The mosaic-mural was one of numerous projects funded by grants provided to the art department. TOP: FREEZING TIME - Jelena Runjaic, junior, captures images of human cheek cells for her Internal Assessment. The microscope camera was provided to IB Biology teacher Dodi Cline’s classroom through, an online grant website.


Content Editor

VOICING CHANGE - Superintendent MaryEllen Elia provides insight on numerous topics concerning the school district. The annual Press Conference was held on May 23 and limited questions to students only.

Grants provide new opportunities

dividuals from the community to contribute towards a teacher’s Production Manager/Clarion Assistant Managing Editor classroom project. The grant allowed her to purchase a microLooking around, one sees project after project in department scope camera that allows her students to see specimen up close. after department proposed and completed. In spite of continuous “It’s good for cells and microscopy, and especially bacteria, and ominous budget cuts and limitations on school funding, new because a lot of our microscopes cannot zoom in close enough to supplies appear thanks to grants given from outside organizations. see them,” said Cline. A grant is an amount of money given to a teacher or class to For her, applying for the grant was not difficult. be used in an explicitly stated manner. But the money is not just “The process was pretty easy,” said Cline. “It was just a matter handed over without cause; each grant requires a proof finding the time to sit down and actually write it out ERS: RESCUIN and plan for what we wanted.” V posal, outlining the use of the money and why it A G CL is needed, before approval is given. Both Cline and Miller see great potential ES F I Many teachers have begun to use grants for grants in the school. in order to support their classrooms and “Ours was a grant to beautify the school help the school as whole. Art teacher and I think we fulfilled our goal,” said Rosanne Miller has received two Miller. “But there are many other progrants from the city of Temple Terrace grams that would help beautify and over the past two years, most recentunify the school.” ly for a mural between the NJROTC, “Everyone should try it,” said Art, and Journalism rooms. Cline. “Worst case scenario is you “We wanted to help beautify the don’t get what you already don’t school,” said Miller. “It was a grant have. But at least you have the chance we had done before; we used it to do to get it.” one of the stained glass windows.” Other projects provided to classrooms Those stained glass windows are now include the financing of the creation of a displayed in the main office and media set of hardcopy books that display student IL H writing, new cameras for the Journalism proLU center. However, the mural is more personal, A ST SH gram, and new books for the Media Center. RAT featuring the many aspects that make the school ION BY SAHIL unique, including a variety of military logos, an IB Among the notable grants, one in particular paid for crest, and “welcome” inscribed in a variety of languages. the printing and binding of student literature for English teacher “We used the many languages because our school is so diverse Leandra Vera’s students. Planning to keep some of the books in and we wanted to spotlight that diversity,” said Miller. her classroom and to give some of them to the day-care program Overall the grant took about a year, to plan and propose, re- at King, Vera explained the meaning behind what the grant did for ceive, and finally create the mural. her students as they were able to work in pairs to create their own “The students did about 99% of all the work,” said Miller. children’s books. “From making tiles, making sections, some were more involved “This project is something that’s theirs,” said Vera. “It’s not just with placing or painting.” an essay that they’ll never look at again, it’s something that they Biology teacher Dodi Cline also received a grant this year, can keep and treasure forever.” through Donors Choose, a website that allows parents and in-





As college admissions become increasingly competitive due to an expanding pool of applicants, school districts across the nation have shifted their focus to rigorous academic programs, most notably the Advanced Placement (AP) courses, to better prepare high school students for the challenging selection process. Out of all the school districts in the country, four districts will be honored by the College Board with the 2011 AP District of the Year awards at the AP Annual Conference in San Francisco on July 22. Among the four award-winning districts, Hillsborough County Public Schools will also be awarded with the Beacon Award for its achievement in utilizing AP to create a culture emphasizing college preparation. The AP District of the Year awards honor school districts that have demonstrated a significantly larger pool of students taking AP courses while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students passing the exams with a score of three or higher. From 2008 to 2010, Hillsborough County, with an annual growth of 19 percent in student participation of AP courses, has achieved the largest increase in the number of students passing the national exams out of any school district in the nation. ...CONTINUED PAGE 3

Look Inside ... 1-5|News 6-7|Opinions 8|Blurbs 1b-5b|Features 6b-7b|Sports 8b|College Prep

Transportation cuts, budget issues prompt change for district BY NISHA PATEL

Features Editor

It seems like every year there are fewer dollars to manage the school system, but officials reassure the district that there are benefits to gain from the changes. By August of next year, the Transportation Reorganization Plan will have reached this school. The plan was launched in 2007 and has circulated through the other six areas of the school district before reaching Area 3. Some bus stops will be consolidated and others canceled altogether. As a result of the plan, 300 students in the northern part of the county will lose

their spot on the bus. No longer will students who live within a two-mile radius from the school be offered a courtesy ride. A Temple Terrace area resident, freshman Charley Chau is mainly indifferent to the bus changes. He has already experienced a situation in which his bus stop location was moved farther from his home. “You have to walk a little extra, wake up a little extra early. It’s not too big of a deal,” said Chau, “But when its hot out and you have to walk, no one wants that.” Chau feels secure in the neighborhood. However, parents generally call John Franklin, Director and Supervisor of

Transportation in the district, to express their unease about the change. “We are open to calls for readjustment,” said Franklin. This reassuring statement echoes Superintendent MaryEllen Elia’s promise to place a bus stop “where it needs to be,” should safety be an issue. Unlike these hesitant parents, bus drivers, who will now carry a lighter load, appear to appreciate the news. Marcus Wright, driver of bus 4124, enjoys the fact that he will not have to drive to as many stops. “It’s going to be excellent,” Wright said, “I’m going to love it.”

Although the changes have inconvenienced some students, they have amounted to huge monetary savings that leave the county in a favorable financial situation. Elia explained the motive behind the action during an annual student press conference at Leto High School. A cut in funding of $100 million is expected next year, and preventative measures were taken to counter the loss. As a result of the changes in the transportation, starting times of schools in this area may also be affected. “We started making some tough decisions, ...CONTINUED - PAGE 3



June 2011

Summer opportunities still offered during renovations BY RISHI BOLLU

Assistant Business Manager

Many students continue to study over the summer, whether to get a head start on their courses for the next year, to catch up in subjects in which they received poor grades, or maybe even a combination of the two. Either way, continuing education over the summer is important because one can lose up to 60 percent of the information one learned the previous year if the information is not attended to and practiced. There are numerous ways to refresh your skills, either by oneself, or in groups. Tutoring programs are available over the summer, including summer school, which will not be held on campus this year due to renovations, and will instead take place at different school sites. “King High School will be replacing its plumbing system because it is getting old,” said Assistant Principal for Administration Dennis Donaldson. According to the Hillsborough County School District, there will continue to be a four-day work week and summer school schedule during the summer months. This poli-

cy was instituted due to the $1.8 million dollars of savings in electricity and support costs for about 250 school sites and district buildings that are created if they are closed for three days instead of the regular two. Working by oneself, though, can be just as productive as learning in a classroom environment. There are many course books available for purchase in bookstores. Incidentally these stores also provide great places to study, as they are as quiet as libraries and are stocked full of study material open for viewing without purchase. Another option is taking Florida Virtual School courses online. These courses can be taken at and are free for all Florida students, as long as they are enrolled in a public or private school within Florida, or are registered as being home-schooled. However a student must be in either middle or high school and cannot be over 19 years old in their senior year. According to Guidance Department Head Sally HoltSmith, students should go online, print the course request form, obtain parental signatures and then give it to their counselor, who will then approve it online. The courses are

offered in either one semester or two semester segments and will result in either regular credit, honors credit, or Advanced Placement credit, corresponding to the class selection. Students can choose to complete the course at an accelerated or standard pace and are able to take the course from any location. Online coursework allows flexibility and does not interfere with summer travel plans. The GAP (Go Advanced Placement) program will prepare incoming freshmen for their high school experience on campus and will begin when teachers resume their posts in August. IMPACT will take place for seniors during the summer to make-up credits at the Bowers-Whitley Career Center, which can be contacted at 813-558-1750. “Any kid can go to any program because it’s all within the district,” said Principal Secretary Linda Velasco. If students are not in the area during the summer months, and still desire to reinforce their skills, a variety of options are available to them.

Teachers leave posts, move towards new opportunities BY XIAOYI REN

vantage of the close-knit community she is confident she will encounter, remarking with a grin that she will soon As the school year comes to a close, students look down become part of the sole high school in that city. “We get to be a part of students’ academic, social, perthe hallways reminiscing on the year’s memories. In addition, teachers begin to reflect on their last few days. sonal journeys,” Plyler said. “As a teacher, I think I have Lindsey Plyler feels as if her career is coming full gotten to be a part of that, and I hope that at Plant I get VERTISEMENT PROOF circle. Three years ago, she began teaching World History to assist a new group of students through their journeys.” and United States Government to freshmen as well as AdThis year she had the new experience of teaching a lease review the following ad carefully; confirm spelling, phone numbers, vanced Placement European History to sophomores in the single course. nd all other content. International Baccalaureate (IB) program. “It was a cool opportunity to know a whole class of Last year she moved on to a position that would edify students,” Plyler said, referring to the IB class of 2014. Publication: Florida Orchestra ain Name: students Academic of Dermatology inAlliance a different manner by agreeing to be the coorAcross campus, Karly Dell’s classes of her final year Year: 2010 ain Number: 813-882-9986 at this school are comprised of multilevel students. She dinator of the Advancement via Individual Determination Sales Rep: Connie Tobias x Number: 813-882-9849 fi nds pride and gratifi cation from working with a variety (AVID) program, whose goal is to provide college opporDesigner/Date: KGH 8.9.2010 e Name: 813-882-9986.IFC-C.FLO 10.jbi tunity and help students reach their individual academic of pupils who can be classified into not only grade levels but also traditional, IB, AVID and King Advanced Placegoals. Plyler views teaching as a tool to further students along ment Program (KAPS). “I have been able to hone my ability to reach different their journeys through school and life. At her teaching post at Plant City High School next year she hopes to take ad- students,” Dell said. “I can tell if they’re bored [or] don’t know what’s going on.” She emphasizes the comfortable instructional style she has through years of experience teaching American Government, Economics and finally Advanced Placement Human Geography. Responding to the inquiry of her view on her legacy, Dell said, “I don’t DERMATOLOGY know, but I hope [the stuSERVICES dents] always thought of Medical me as a fair teacher, [who] OVER 22 YEARS OF SERVICE & Surgical Dermatology always treated them with Cosmetic Dermatology respect, and kind of made Dermatology Skin Care learning fun.” Mohs Surgery Copy Editor


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Dell faces the challenge of creating fresh lesson plans at Strawberry Crest High School in stride, armored with excitement and curiosity. As a new teacher to a relatively young school, she hopes to set a different tone and establish a reputation by forming solid relationships with the faculty and students. Talana Greene will be joining the EET Program after serving a the Chorus and Orchestra director. Benjamin Burnett teaches social studies and is an assistant coach for the baseball team. Burnett will be joining Dell at Strawberry Crest high school. As job adjustments have not been finalized for the next school year, other changes may occur.

Second Semester Exam Schedule June 7-10, 2011

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LOOKING FORWARD - Lindsey Plyler currently teaches International Baccalaureate freshmen world history and is preparing to say goodbye to King at the end of this school year. At Plant City High School next year Plyler hopes to embrace the small community.

Friday, June 10

Period 2 Period 3 Period 1 Period 5 Period 6 Period 7 Period 4

International Baccalaureate Block 2-1 Block 2-2 Block 1-1 Block 2-3 Block 1-4 Block 2-4 Block 1-2

Dismissal (9:30) Block 1-3 Each day, first (morning) exams will take place from 7:209:20. Second exams will take place from 9:30-11:30. Homeroom will be between exams.

June 2011



Double meaning to annual Final Bow BY NISHA PATEL & LISA MA

Features Editor/Clarion Production Manager On May 28, voice after voice of PRIDE fectiveness. sounded their messages into the night, Being her natural, charismatic self, bringing their mixed emotions, of joy and Greene tried to steer away from these more serious issues, even resorting to advertissorrow, into the late atmosphere. The last concert of this advanced show ing, arousing constant laughter from the choir for the school year, Final Bow rep- audience. “DVD’s are on sale for $30!” Greene resented their entire year’s dedication and effort, in making the school proud, in mak- said. However, the grief inevitably penetrated ing themselves proud. These three hours of performance signified the countless days all the hearts present once Greene began singing her yearly song dedicated to the of practice. Their soothing and strong voices mes- seniors, with her slideshow of amusing pictures. merized everyone in the audience. PRIDE returned her song with their “Nothing but praise for PRIDE,” said own, each handing Greene a rose, and fijunior Daniel Ayala. But, this Final Bow was particularly nally presenting her a framed picture of special; it was the last, at least for now, for Elton John, upon which she had earlier set her eyes. Talana Greene, the director of PRIDE. Then, the alumni, led by Kyle Goyens, Next year, rather than keeping busy with every branch of the music depart- revisited the stage, accompanied by the ment, Greene will serve as a peer evaluator current members. for Hillsborough County, observing music With an instinct that past students would teachers and evaluating their teaching ef- come, Greene had prepared another slide-

STRIKE A POSE - Pride opens their annual Final Bow singing and dancing to Blame It on the Boogie, a composition by song-writer Mick Jackson which was later popularized by the Jackson 5. Jazz Band led by director Dakeyan Graham supported Pride in their performance.


Hillsborough County AP Distinction continued... BY AMY CHENG

Content Editor

Over this time period, the district has involved an additional of 1814 students. Fitting into the community of intense learning and preparation, King has contributed many students to the sizeable growth in the total count for the district by offering college-oriented academic programs, such as King Advanced Placement Scholars (KAPS) and International Baccalaureate (IB). Students enroll in numerous AP courses not only because they have the opportunity to earn additional points to their grade point average (GPA) but also because they have the potential to receive college credits without paying costly tuitions. Zahra Hashemy, senior, has taken a total of three AP courses this school year: English Literature, Environmental Science, and Calculus AB. To her, AP classes do not appear too challenging. “A lot of kids think that AP classes are so much harder, but really, not so much,” Hashemy said. The key is that despite the difficulty of

the exams, students have time to prepare themselves by targeting the knowledge that will be tested. Hashemy notes that such college level courses do require organizational skills and a long-term commitment to work diligently and complete the assignments given by the instructors. On the other hand, some students consider AP classes to be more difficult than advanced or honors classes. Matthew Chan, a junior involved in the KAPS program, has taken a total of seven AP courses over a three-year time frame. Chan states that the largest motivation for his enrollment in KAPS is the possibility of receiving college credit. However, Chan does point out that AP classes are more challenging, and that many students do not concentrate on passing the AP exams. “A good way to ensure students to pass the exam is teacher recommendation for the different courses,” Chan said. Certainly AP courses demand a heavier workload when compared to normal classes. Yet it is the perseverance and endurance of the AP students that form the foundation of the system operating for college and career training. The notable distinctions and awards are given truly to recognize the hard work that students have dedicated to their futures

FINAL FAREWELL - Departing seniors each present a rose for Pride director Talana Greene. As her last Final Bow, Green accepted a job as a peer evaluator for the Hillsborough County School District, marking this year’s performance as her last.

show depicting her nine years with the program. Despite the alumni and PRIDE pleading Greene not to embarrass them, Greene only responded with the playfully threatening words “You are so silly.” The deep emotions underlying the night’s music and the endless group hugs created an intimate atmosphere that could make the audience almost feel like an intruder during such a personal moment. “PRIDE meant enough for me to tattoo it forever onto my body,” Greene said. A National Board Certified teacher and the choral representative to the Secondary Music Council, Greene served as the District Chair for the Florida Vocal Association and All-County Jazz Choir Chair. Also as an active member of the Florida Music Educators Association, a plethora of qualifications that prepares Greene for her mentoring position. Greene’s versatility allowed her to influence almost every musical note that represents this school, from choir and theater to orchestra and marching band. “If it happened in the music department, I was involved,” Greene said. Under her leadership the advanced show choir, PRIDE, was selected to premiere the new state anthem of Florida in 2008 and

Transportation continued... BY NISHA PATEL

Features Editor

and ultimately over several years [the reorganization of the transportation department] has saved us $9-10 million dollars,” said Elia, who hopes that due to this, the county may continue to be in a position

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also participated in a Public Broadcasting Service national fundraising event last spring. The choirs have consistently been rated Superior, and the orchestra has never scored under an Excellent at All-County and All-State. “She pushed us to work harder and encouraged us so that we were confident we could get Superiors,” said sophomore Taylor Canerday. This year was one of the most memorable for Greene, not only as her last but because of the many achievements. All three orchestras have scored superiors, and PRIDE was featured on “Good Day Tampa Bay” twice, as well as a commerical during the Super Bowl. The secret to her success can be linked with her great cooperation and friendship with her students. “Mrs. Greene has the attitude kids just want to be around. And it was her that influenced me to pursue a career in music,” said Goyens. Indeed, her personality and passion have impacted many students she contacted. “Mrs. Greene made my high school life,” said senior Jillian Spencer. As a result of these significant accomplishments, she will leave on a good note.

where firing or laying off a teacher is never necessary. Transportation is one of several aspects that are going to change, for better or for worse. The community has adapted to the dynamic times; the school board takes the wheel and students take to the sidewalks, hoping to drive the county to success.

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June 2011



Due to the fragility of teenage emotions, there comes a time where you may reach your breaking point. Here are some ways to stay calm and to deal with your situations in a more relaxed manner. 1. Yoga. Although many people are under the misconception that yoga takes too much time and is difficult, yoga can soothe your soul by using ancient practices from South-East Asia to change your mood and also improve your physical posture, health, and awareness of your body. 2. Eating right. Although dieting sometimes is taken to an extreme, you can never put a limit on a healthy diet. Look for organic products and support local farmers markets that have in-season vegetables, fruits, and meats. Don’t forget to follow the food pyramid as this will help you steerclear of those bad hunger-attitudes that you may have experienced before.

Quotes from the experts:

3. Get enough sleep. Sleep is a necessity and cannot be caught up with later. Instead, sleep deprivation will catch up with

you if you do not have a 7-9 hour resting period every day. Drowsiness is not healthy and may make you too calm to function, or in some cases, cranky! 4. Take a breather. Whenever you are in a tough circumstance or cannot decide on what your best plan of action is, take a moment, step back and evaluate the situation calmly. Breathing exercises have been empirically proved to help with anger problems and over-active hyperness.

5. Listen to others.

Miscommunication causes a lot of problems for people as they are either not receiving the right information or are not giving their honest and entire opinion on a matter. Everyone is fighting their own battle so it is crucial to understand that you cannot always

“You don’t have to come away defeated. You have to come to the realization yourself. The key to everything is that you have to work at it.” - Sally Holt-Smith, Guidance Department Head

put yourself in other’s shoes completely. Internal feelings can be shielded but in some situations it may be better to release those feelings to a family member or close friend through a “venting session.” Do not be afraid to tell them your problems because you feel that they will judge you. If you’ve made a mistake, learn from it. If you’ve noticed a personal problem, embrace it and fix it to the best of your ability. But most importantly, do this with a positive outlook and share your experiences with others. When time is no longer a commodity, your legacy will be the only memory others have of you so leave a positive one in your place and keep the world a happy place.

During this time of year, students are receiving more rejection than acceptance. In the wake of college decisions, some students gleefully walk around campus as their childhood dreams and ambitions have been fulfilled while others sit in disbelief and shock that the way they presented themselves was not up to par. In the wake of school elections, some students jump for joy as they are announced as the new presidents of the clubs in which they have participated since freshmen year while others wonder why their peers did not see them fit to lead instead.

“It’s part of life. There is always other options. Dwell on the options that are out there with optimism.” - Rosana Hoit, International Baccalaureate Guidance Counselor

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June 2011





sure from our increasingly competitive world as they are constantly compared to others.

In the wake of an ending school year, s o m e students hold hands with their companwith the excitement of summer, while go their separate ways with a sense of reailing behind them. Among these groups

those who have rejected, but have put a positive n it.

dents lies another -

thor Charles Dickens wrote: “It was the times, it was the worst of times, it was och of belief, it was the epoch of increit was the season of Light, it was the of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, the winter of despair, we had everything us, we had nothing before us, - in short, riod was so far like the present period, me of its noisiest authorities insisted on ng received, for good or for evil, in the ative degree of comparison only.” e comparison and contrast Dickens presone of the main factors contributing to ge amount of students who feel pres-

“Just keep trying and don’t get discouraged. Have some introspection as to why you got rejected. Rejection has nothing to do with the applicant.” - Gonzalo Garcia, College and Career Resources

ciding for whom to vote.

the issue of stepping up and growing from your

“Everything is double sided, you have mistakes: “try to do your best and keep to look at all of the vantage points trying.” “What matters is and then evaluate what your situation that you tried and acFOR TIPS ON STARTING COLLEGE is and make the best of it,” said senior APPLICATIONS EARLY, SEE PAGE tually ran for the spot Trisha Srigiriraju. as other people don’t In regards to college admissions, the Hills- 8B. even have the courage to run. And if borough County School District has one of the highest annual amount of Ivy League college you lose there’s always next year and admissions in Florida. No matter the size of the you can keep trying,” said sophomore Sary district, or number of students, when looking Kattih, who is taking a positive approach after losing one of his school elections this past year. Brianna Aquino, an active member of the flag-football team, also recently lost her race for the Class of 2013 Parliamentarian, but takes a positive outlook: “I

haven’t let that [take away] from talking to the people who ran after me and won. I actually became closer friends with them than before. I have thought to myself should I be mad or sad? I guess I just realized that I could use this experience in the future to my advantage.” A poll conducted on underclassmen found that 62 percent of the individuals interviewed did not visit every candidate’s online page/ platform, or speak to each candidate before de-

“It is not the end of the world. Life is about wins and losses. Always have a backup plan and set realistic goals.” - Morris Martin, Guidance Counselor for Names H - Ja & Interventions

at numbers, students are being rejected more from schools than being accepted. Every student must realize that it truly does not matter where they go, but instead it matters what they do, and how they do it. You can go to a top-notch college and fulfill none of your goals, drop out, and never succeed, or you can be a student that goes to a community college and then gets in to the same graduate school by working hard. There is an incredible amount of variation, but in the end, hard work tends to shine through. College acceptance rates are declining while the number of applicants are increasing, exposing the necessity of the aforementioned comparison tactics from college admissions officers and universities around the world. With tips to set yourself apart from others, of the Class of 2011 IB Salutatorian Jason Nong weighs in on




Letter to the Editor Dear Scepter,

June 2011

Hope from History

“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot for see.” – Marion Wright Edelman In light of the events in Egypt, I began to reflect on a discussion we had in my history class at the start of the year. In that class, we study the causes, practices and effects of wars by discussing On the Origins of War by Donald Kagan. Kagan’s basic premise is that honor, fear, and interest, (originally developed by Thucydides in 500 BC) are the fundamental origins of nearly every war throughout history. I found his hypothesis interesting. Most other historians identify specific causes of a given war - for example, the arms race or militarism. But if Thucydides’ premise is true, as further developed by Kagan, then it raises the question, are wars really necessary? As we began discussing this topic, our teacher, Mr. Mills, provided us with a guided PowerPoint. There were various quotes in the PowerPoint, one of which stood out to me. Carl von Clausewitz stated that: “War is a mere continuation of policy by other means.” I thought about this statement as the class continued to debate on the causes of war. I concluded that if war is only furthered diplomacy and the fundamental causes of war are personal, human factors, then war is seemingly, avoidablethat is, if the diplomats had the leadership and restraint to differentiate themselves from those personal, human factors. I understand the near impossibility of the absence of war. The fact is that it is extremely difficult to differentiate ourselves from the more negative aspects of our species.

But, there are instances when extraordinary individuals are somehow able to rise above them. For example, Otto von Bismarck, who restrained himself from pursuing imperialism (mostly) and instead lent his skills to sustain an entirely new balance of power system; a system that would weather for 22 years even after his dismissal and the not-so-extraordinary leadership of Kaiser Wilhelm II.Yet, Bismarck is arguably one of the strongest leaders in history. People of that caliber only come around every hundred years! So the real question is, are there any of those extraordinary people here today? Where are they? Well, as I sat in my history class, peering at all the different student’s faces around me and listening to all the varying opinions, I first realized that history is not just the study of change, but the study of people. And secondly, it only takes one person, like Otto von Bismarck, to solve the crisis in Korea or another like Woodrow Wilson, to assure the American people that we will not become a second rate nation. That one leader may take time to emerge; yet, why wait for him or her when we have an entire nation of people who demonstrate small feats of such leadership every day? The Egyptians certainly didn’t. All around us, people are adding to the discourse on the human experience. Those are the people in our newspaper, on the internet, in blogs-- the people in our classes. While people often see the misery in history, the feats of these triumphant people in history give me hope.

- Emily Chen - Former Editor- in- chief

Opinion: Taking rights, freedoms for granted


Marketing Specialist

“…one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.” Most of us know these words by heart and would recite them every day in our early school years. But often we blindly recite them without stopping to think and appreciate their meaning. In the United States, most of us take our freedom of expression, press, and religion for granted. We don’t realize many other countries around the world restrict these freedoms from their citizens, and they have no right to protest. Just this past April, the French government banned Islamic women from wearing niqabs and burqas, their religious face veils, because it felt that the veils imprison women and contradict France’s values of dignity and equality. This act was met with strong defiance as about a dozen veiled women protested in front of Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral because they felt the ban directly inhibited their freedom of expression and religion. Two of these women were detained. The aforementioned example is a vivid illustration of how other governments are constantly restricting freedoms that citizens should be entitled to. Even countries in Europe, which are relatively stronger and more modern than those in Africa and the Middle East, are prohibiting these freedoms. These repressions are all around us; yet most Americans are still blind to the blessings that we have. Another freedom that Americans take for granted is the

freedom of expression through the use of technology. At any time, one has the right to express their feelings on any topic through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, or through calling and texting others on their cell phones. The residents in Egypt are not so lucky. In January, due to many protests against the autocratic rule of former president Hosni Mubarak through these technologies, the government of Egypt ordered the shutdown of the country’s largest Internet service providers and mobile phone networks. This completely prevented citizens in Egypt from being able to communicate with each other through the use of cell phones or the Internet. This restriction is a direct breach on the freedom of expression and communication of Egyptian citizens. Most citizens in relatively developed countries around the world use the Internet and cell phones daily to communicate, and cutting off these forms of communication would have a huge impact on any average person’s life. In the United States, we take communication through the Internet and cell phones for granted and don’t realize that this could be shut off at any second. So the next time you complain about your lack of a desired item, take a moment and open your eyes to how much our government is granting us. Appreciate the freedoms we have instead of focusing on the things we do not.

There are often few people in life that inspire you deeply. This past year has taught me the importance of surrounding yourself with those people. As I skip, run and trip over the gravel on a road known as ‘life’, I dust myself off and come to the understanding that without others, you truly cannot lift yourself up and succeed. My friends, my staff members, my debate partner, my advisors, my team – without them, I would have no motivation. Whether it be distorted with a competitive streak, polished with a sense of love, or crippled with arrogance, motivation is everywhere we look, especially in our reflections. As I face the mirror of my childhood and watch the years unfold before me on old tapes, and a seemingly ancient Panasonic box-set television, I see the changes that come from the people around me – with two individuals standing out especially. In the oldest tapes that are glittered with dust, my parents gleam at my young expressions with the hope that the opportunities that worked for years to give me could provide for a solid future. As I watch those around me with open eyes, our old home, our newer home, and our newest home all glide by as ships do on the coastline, with a little piece of family history fading away with each turn in the tide. As the memories fade, the newer ones, however, feature something different. Stored on my computer and on my own time, they represent a more independent, self-sufficient individual. Part of an intricate world filled with depth, those new memories seem to shift away from my small family and towards the idea that tough love and high hopes are terrible, uncaring actions for anyone to burden someone with. As this idea strengthened itself through desire, coming to this school as a freshmen was hardly difficult; the people were nice, the teachers were pure and the fun was innocent – but now, as true colors have been revealed, true friends have emerged and true passion has lifted those who have worked hard to the top. Until now I yearned for the day that I would be able to look them in the eyes in triumph that I had been able to do it without them – to reach my goals on my own. But, as this past year and my friends have taught me – that is simply not the case, my parents have been my biggest motivation all along. And as the year comes to a close, the ‘end’ to the road reveals itself as a simple turn. Life goes on, but the road only becomes more reliable and true through the amount of people you decide to take with you on it, building the intricate network known as human life. Appreciate those around you, they actually do care.

Editorial Board and Staff

The C. Leon King High Editor-in-Chief Sahil Shah Production Manager Kimberly Carlin Business Manager Rachita Das Business Assistant Rishi Bollu Copy Editor Xiaoyi Ren Content Editor Amy Cheng News Editor Xiaoyi Ren

Sahil Shah

Features Editor Nisha Patel Features Assistant Eric Chao Editorials Editor Sheena Jain Photography Editor Sy-woei Hao Sports Editor Marigny Nevitt Sports Assistant Kunaal Murthy Marketing Manager Visruti Sankar

Adviser Christine Muñoz

Columnist Braden Smith Sports Columnist Kunaal Murthy Staff Writers Shivam Bharadwaj Esha Gandhi

Principal Carla Bruning

Ad Policy All legitimate commercial and political advertising is acceptable for publication, but the advertisement must follow Scepter guidelines. Scepter reserves the right to discontinue any advisement for infraction of guidelines and/or lack of payment.

Publisher Florida Sun Printing

Scepter is published by the journalism class of King High School 6815 N 56th Street, Tampa, FL 33610. Phone: 813-744-8333 ext. 260

Editorial Policy The Scepter is published seven times per academic year by students in the journalism program at C. Leon King High School. Content is determined by the staff and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of King High School’s faculty, administration, adviser, or student body. Students are permitted freedom of the press as granted by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This right is acknowledged in the Hillsborough County Student Handbook. Signed editorials and columns reflect the views of the writer. Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the Scepter editorial board. Letters to the editor and guest commentaries are encouraged and should be signed. The editorial board reviews letters to the editor, advertising and guest commentaries and reserves the right to edit and refuse material. Reasons can include length, clarity, libel, obscenities, violation of copyright laws,or the potential to disrupt the educational process at King High School.

June 2011




Opposing Viewpoints: HB7197

House Bill 7197’s main provision is to require online-class learning for graduation

Graduation requirement encourages education



The Florida Senate recently passed House Bill 7197 and it is awaited Governor Scott’s signature. The bill contains a provision mandating that all high school students take an online course before graduating. This mandate has met with what is in my opinion an undue amount of controversy. I support the bill for two reasons. The first is that it is an example of the fiscally responsible education reform we need to save our school system. The second is that it is in no way detrimental to students themselves. As most of you know, the federal government, as well as the state of Florida, is experiencing a pretty serious fiscal crisis. And as most of you also know, education is facing some cuts. So there exists a problem with how to lower the cost of education without decreases in quality. Requiring students to take an online class is an excellent way to do just that. An online teacher can educate a greater number of students for the same amount of money as a traditional classroom teacher. In addition to the benefits this bill will have for the budget, it could actually improve students’ high school experience. Taking a core class online would free up a period a day. Electives are so limited that an extra slot

on your schedule would certainly lead to a more wellrounded experience. And if a student didn’t want to spend the extra time necessitated by an online course at home, they could take a research period and spend less time on the class than they would if they had to listen to lectures and questions by students other than themselves. There really isn’t a complaint about this mandate that holds up to a few minutes’ serious thought.

New requirement shuts down student liberties


Assistant Features Editor

On May 4, 2011, House Bill 7197 was passed by the Florida Senate. This bill mandates that it is now a requirement to take an online course in order to graduate, as per the Digital Learning Now Act. Along with this, it requires school districts to establish virtual instruction options. In my opinion, this new bill is outrageously unreasonable. Students should not have to be required to take an online course in order to graduate. For some students, this will come as a very unwelcome change. Students take online courses because they want to take them. They want to be challenged by an extra course or want to receive the college credit it provides. This should be the students’ choice, though. They should have the option on whether or not they want to be challenged more when they are already being challenged in a traditional high school setting, and if they deem fit, then they should be the ones signing up for the course. They should not be signing up for the course because House Bill 7197 mandates that they have to sign up for an online course in order to simply graduate. The passing of this bill will bring unnecessary controversy and take away one of the liberties that students had previously, which was the choice of whether or not to take an online course. Plus, with so many students

taking online courses, it will invariably lead to a decrease in the quality of the online classes due to the large masses of students that have to take them now, many of whom do not want to take the course at all. The online infrastructure may not even be able to support so many students taking these courses. Florida Virtual School will receive a huge influx of students, and will bring about a question of whether they can support this massive amount of new online students. Students need teachers, and there are only so many teachers available to teach online. In addition, by teaching online, it dramatically decreases the bond between student and teacher, which in my opinion is crucial to an effective learning environment. Instead of speaking face-to-face with a teacher, students will have to call the teacher. According to studies at Newcastle University, listening to a lecture in person is proven to be more effective than over an online resource, and therefore the online learning will lead to less effective teaching practices. Another reason I disprove of the bill is because I believe it is unfair to lower income families. Many families don’t have access to Internet so requiring an online course to be taken by a student that does not have access to the Internet at home is, in my eyes, an extremely unfair burden. I think this bill was a mistake and the Florida Senate will regret it in the future.

The Times


Columnist Mark Twain said that, “Citizenship is what makes a republic, monarchies can get along without it.” When I read in a recent issue of Newsweek that 38% of American citizens could not pass the test applied to all potential American immigrants, I came to the horrifying realization that, by Twain’s standards, this republic is failing. So how do we save it? I answer, “By saving civics education.” Studies have shown that students who take at least one civics course are 23% more likely to believe they are responsible for improving society and 14% more likely to vote in upcoming elections. When you couple that with the fact that the vast majority of these students are only required to take one semester of civics, the results are astounding. An extra 14% of the 63% voter turnout in the 2008 elections would have been more than 18 million people. Now that would be democracy. Anytime I tell someone history is my favorite subject, there is guaranteed to be a voice telling me it’s not useful. I begrudgingly admit that knowing about the lifestyle of Renaissance women is pretty irrelevant. That being said, a paradigm shift in Social Studies towards civics education would render this point wholly moot. Knowing you have the right and responsibility to shape the future of your country is undoubtedly a lesson more useful to more people than the nature of a transverse wave. People in every strata of American society are up in arms about the fiscal crisis our government is facing, but how much do they really know? A recent poll showed that most Americans believe foreign aid should be cut and that it is biggest chunk of the federal budget. In reality it’s only 1.6%. In contrast, a recent CNN survey reveals that around 80% of Americans are unwilling to see cuts to Social Security and Medicare, which together make up a third of federal expenditure. These are trying times for what President Reagan called “the last, best hope for man.” But I have a sneaking suspicion that our countrymen feeling 23% more responsible for America’s future might just be enough to make the statistics I’ve listed a bit more palatable.


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June 2011

Tips to plan for storm-surges


Photography Editor

Winds of 73 miles per hour blowing against one’s house is a scenario that many people only experience in a safe, dark movie theatre, but hurricanes are real, and can come any time. The most important thing to do is to be prepared. According to the National Hurricane Center, in order to reduce the chances of a major disaster, everyone should develop a family plan, create a disaster supply kit and secure their home. Develop a Family Plan - Be aware of the places in your house that may be vulnerable to high wind and storm surges. - Find out which room or place in your house is the safest and develop a route of the quickest travel to the next safest place, whether it is your house or another location. - Make sure that your insurance covers the potential damages that could occur. - Find ideal locations to shelter your pets.

Create a Disaster Supply Kit - At least on gallon of water per day, per person, for 3-7 days - Food for 3-7 days - First aid kit - Flashlight and batteries - Important documents (medical records, insurance, bank account numbers, etc.) in waterproof plastic bags - Toiletries and hygiene products Secure your Home - Reinforce your garage with vertical and horizontal wooden planks - Reinforce your windows with duct tape and wooden planks - Install hinges on your doors so they are tightly shut.

Student remembers disaster, highlights hurricane awareness BY AMY CHENG

Content Editor Swirling wind, pouring rain, blasting thunder and falling trees. Nothing atypical -- it is just the hurricane season. As Floridians, students have grown accustomed to fickle weather during these times of year. Yet most of the young adults who underestimate the destructive force of nature have not experienced the extremes of such tropical storms. Aside from forming massive, muddy puddles across the walkways and delaying daily traffic, strong hurricanes can result in destructive flooding across a whole city and thereby devastating the ordinary lives of residents. Natural disasters have pushed residents of many “hurricane-targeted zones” to seek new residency in safer cities and towns beyond the state borders. Compared to Florida, Louisiana proves to be a region that suffers heavier consequences. In August of 1992, Hurricane Andrew swept past the Florida Keys and made its landfall around Morgan City. After producing eight-feet-tall tides, the river overflowed and soaked the bank area. During its 10-minute on-ground dwelling, Hurricane Andrew

damaged 163 structures, leaving 60 families homeless. The family of junior David Frick has witnessed Hurricane Andrew sweep past its neighboring cities in New Orleans. Shocked and frightened by the

detrimental effects of powerful hurricanes, Frick’s parents finally decided to move to a city that is located at a higher ground after Frick’s fourth birthday. Frick notes that one of the most important safety fac-

tors to take into consideration is the altitude of a city. “The main reason [that we moved] is that pretty much all of New Orleans is under sea level, and Hurricane Katrina just served as a wake-up call for the rest of my family to move to higher grounds,” said Frick. Frick’s coming to Tampa happens to be a wise choice, as seven years subsequent to his resettlement, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and caused damage nearly triple that of Hurricane Andrew. “I did not experience any of the actual hurricanes first hand, but my house in New Orleans was completely flooded due to Hurricane Katrina,” Frick said. Escaping such disaster even before its advent, the Frick family was fortunate to take a cautious move before combating the disastrous aftermath. Despite the fact that similar occurrences in Tampa are not expected, students should take note that hurricane and tornado warnings ought to be taken seriously. The strength and magnitude of the weather and natural orders should not be overlooked, as it will be too late if one has to experience the storms first-hand.

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June 2011

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Summer Movie Previews

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June 2011 2011 June


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June 2011


Freelance Writer

Tree of Life Critics Choice In a sea of seemingly superficial, summer blockbusters, Tree of Life has surprised and delighted all those who have had the privilege of seeing it. At the recent Cannes Film Festival, which annually hosts the crème de la crème of modern art pictures, Tree of Life grabbed the top award, The Palme d’Or, or translated to English “the Golden Palm.” The genius of this film is it’s brilliant direction and writing, which are both attributed to notorious recluse, Terrence Malick. Malick’s filmography includes critical successes like Badlands, Thin Red Line, and Days of Heaven that provide the veteran director credibility of this film’s worth. Sean Penn and Brad Pitt have starring roles in the film, only adding to the high, artistic caliber we have come to expect from Malick.

Midnight in Paris Critics Choice

The Hangover Part Two

Midnight in Paris is the story of a young couple, Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, who travel to the City of Lights as American tourists. However, the brilliance of Midnight in Paris doesn’t lie in Wilson or McAdams’ performances, but in the radiance of photography that captures the essence of Paris. Woody Allen, noted Writer and Director of this film, explores Paris through the lens of the camera to transport and romanticize the Parisian sights. Glorification of cities through art is not a new approach for Allen whose success in Manhattan forever eternalized New York through the black and white, widescreen perfection it once was in the late 1970s. I recommend this movie to all who enjoy Allen’s signature dark humor, wit, and artistic excellence.

The comedic staple of modern American youth has been The Hangover Part One since its release in 2009. I predict the Hangover Part Two will perform equally well, both in commercial success and public adoration, because the Hangover franchise provides crude humor that appeals to the broad spectrum of the American audience. However, there are limited number of outrageous events that can happen to a group of guys, even in Bangkok and under the influence of equally outrageous writers. I predict The Hangover Part Two will be predominantly a recycling of familiar jokes that provides only mindless, cheap summer laughs.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two This is arguably the most anticipated summer release for the students of King High School. Everyone’s favorite wizards are gracing the silver screen for the last time as a collaborative group. The direction of the film has been completed by David Yates, who has directed the last four films in the Harry Potter franchise. I predict the final film will cine

matically will appear in the traditionally impressive format Harry Potter fans have become accustomed to under Yates’ direction. Additionally, Yates has been noted for progressively adding more relevant details from the original novels, thus improving the experience for dedicated fans. I predict this film will fulfill the expectations of Harry Potter fans and surprise and delight those who have not read the novels.

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June 2011

Proper Nutri Eat Less SY-WOEI HAO

Photography Editor

Spotting a nicely-tanned hot guy or girl at the beach is not a rare occasion; what is rare is while subtly staring at their stunning body, thinking of the question, “Did they use sunscreen?” It is extremely doubtful that this question ever floated in your mind, but maybe once in a while it should. The skin is the largest organ of your body. Although sometimes it may seem easily healable and unimportant, it is significant for many functions such as covering and protecting internal organs from germs, regulating body temperature, controlling the balance of fluids, and communicating with the brain. According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, accounting for approximately half of all cancers in the United States, with more than 2 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer found each year. The most serious type of skin cancer is melanoma, which affected about 68,130 people in 2010. “Don’t leave it to chance,” said junior Emilie Shoffstall, a skin cancer survivor. At the age of 12, Shoffstall discovered she had skin cancer. Just an 8th grader at that time, she did not “fully understand what was going on”, feeling it difficult to communicate with her parents. “I became really close with one of my teachers. He would go out of his way to ask how I was doing; it was good to talk to an adult that wasn’t my parents, they were constantly freaking out,” Shoffstall said. Initially, Shoffstall was reluctant to an-

Slippery Stones

nounce to her friends about her sickness, scared that they would not understand what she had to do, but after participating in Relay For Life as a survivor, her perspectives began to change. “I didn’t really want everybody to know, I thought it was going to be a bunch of people staring at me, [but] they were very supportive [and] gave me a lot of hugs,” Shoffstall said. Shoffstall believes that battling with skin cancer took a part of her childhood away, making her grow up faster in order to deal with it. “I wasn’t a kid for as long as I should have been,” Shoffstall said. In a tug-a-war with cancer, Shoffstall defeated long days of worry, of fear, of confusion, and gives crucial advice to those that spend an abundance of time in the sun. “Wear lots of sunscreen!” Shoffstall said. The best way to reduce the chances of developing skin cancer is to avoid intense sunlight for a long period of time, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Furthermore, searching for shade, wearing as much clothing as possible, and of course, Shoffstall’s advice on applying sunscreen, are critical to protecting your skin. Likewise, tanning beds and sun lamps are also dangerous to your skin. So the next time you are at the beach and you spot that same person, the right thing to do is to give a shout-out telling them the dangers of ultraviolet radiation, and then continue to watch them walking away in a hurry.

Sharp Coral

By far the most impo thinks that you need to a day to get a six pack the biggest step is jus means more veggies an Drink enough water as the Mayo Clinic webs 1.9 liters will suffice. Ye bathroom like crazy. Bu make up for it.

Probably one of the harder steps: you have to eat less. Even if the food is healthier, eating smaller portions of food is a key to getting a six pack, as you need to lose body fat. I know some of you like to eat, so try protein shakes as they are healthy, fill you up, and won’t let you down. However, this step definitely should not be interpreted as to starve yourself!

S More Sleep


Once again, this step seems silly but many people can’t get a six pack because they simply don’t give their muscles enough time to rest. When you exercise, you tear your muscles up and when you sleep, that’s when your muscle recovers. So actually, you CAN get a six pack in your sleep.




Business Manager

The beautiful ocean, silky sand, and bright summer sun all attract us to the place associated with long, lazy, and fun-filled days: the beach. As Floridians one of the things all of us most look forward to during the summer is going to the beach; however we must beware of the many, often unrealized, dangers associated with it. From things as seemingly harmless as sand holes to small fish, everything can have harmful impacts when proper caution is not taken. Burying someone in the sand and making tunnels; everyone’s done it. What we don’t real-


ize when we do is that it can be potentially fatal. The tiny particles of sand add up to hundreds of pounds, and on the occasion that these tunnels collapse the consequences can be serious, and not necessarily just freak accidents. A Harvard researcher Bradley Maron found that 60 percent of all major tunnel collapses at the beach have lead to fatal injuries. The simple way to avoid this is to steer clear of building tunnels and burying people in the sand. Other potential hazards at the beach are in the water. Rip currents are dangerous, but can be spotted with the right eye, so beaches

Man-of-war (Jellyfish)



June 2011


More Cardio

ortant step. Everyone o do 1000 crunches k, but quite frankly, st eating right. This nd less McDonald’s. s well. According to site, drinking about es, you will go to the ut your six pack will

Exercising more is also an important step. Cardio includes but is not limited to biking, running, swimming, playing basketball, or playing football. Try to incorporate cardio into your routine at least three times a week. Cardio can get boring, so you can try playing basketball with friends or running with that cute girl in your neighborhood.

Six tips to a six-pack Assistant Features Editor

What is a six pack? It is the epitome of personal health and fitness, and many men describe it as “chick magnet”. Here are six tips on how to get one. Remember to stay motivated, eat less, and exercise more, and the six pack will come with it (as well as the ladies) Good luck!

Sudden Drop Off


Abdominal Muscle Buildup You do need some abdominal muscle, so this means you have to do some crunches. Other great exercises are sit-ups, static holds, leg lifts, and bicycle crunches. Incorporate your ab workouts when you go to the gym so it becomes second nature.

Lift Weights


normally have warning signs when they are around. When rip currents are declared to be spotted, stay close to the shore; they are dangerous to even the most experienced of swimmers. If caught in a rip current the safest course of action is to swim parallel to the shore, slowly moving towards it. Another thing to remember while at the beach is that it is the home to many wild animals that can pose a threat to us. Common examples of beach dangers include sting-rays, jellyfish, and sharks. The simplest way to avoid sting-rays hiding from predators in the sand is

j ester

This means hit the gym and gain some muscle. Not only will this impress the ladies with your huge biceps, but also more muscle means you burn calories faster and get a six pack faster. Also, only doing cardio means you might not only lose fat, but lose muscle as well. This includes your six pack muscle! Going to the gym makes up for this. Try concentrating on your core and back muscles.

the “sting-ray shuffle” which consists of shuffling through the sand without lifting your feet. If stung by a jellyfish remove the tentacles, and inject the area with a solution of baking soda and water. Most people attacked by sharks don’t see them coming, but if you do happen to see one make sure to get out of the water calmly and quickly. At the beach we can appreciate the beauties of nature, however must also at the same time remember that we are much closer to the powers of it as well.

High Surf

Strong Currents (Rip Tide)



j ester


June 2011

Macaluso passes milestone through dedication


Sports Editor

With 35 seasons of baseball and 914 games under his belt, Coach James Macaluso celebrated his 500th win on April 15, clinching the top seed in the District 9 tournament. Not only was Macaluso greeted by the traditional Gatorade cooler dumped over his head upon the victory but also by a sneak attack of water that left him dripping the entire night. This season, the team went 17-10 with a .630 win percentage. Dedicated. That is the one word most commonly used to describe Macaluso who has been a coach on the team for the past 35 years and attended the school during his own - Nelson Menendez high school years. Macaluso has coached multiple generations of the same family by now, something that does not happen without a great deal of time invested. This season, Devon Pedro is a prime example as his father played for Macaluso some years ago. Nelson Menendez has now worked with Macaluso as a coach on the team for four years but has known him since 1978. “It’s been good to be here as an assistant; we have a good staff. We work together well because he’s really hyper on game day and I’m more laid back,” said Menendez.

“Wherever we go he always runs into someone that he knows.”


Not only does Macaluso work cohesively with his as- BY KUNAAL MURTHY Sports Columnist sistant to efficiently run his team, but he also knows how to work with each of his players individually to create an environment conducive to success. Menendez said that the team has general rules, but Macaluso deals with each situation in a unique way to help the boys as much as possible. Macaluso is a legend at his home field, but he is wellknown throughout the community. “Wherever we go, he always runs into somebody he know,” said Menendez. He’ll see people, kids who played for him, parents of former players; Macaluso doesn’t always remember exactly who they are upon first glance, but they recognize him from across the room. It is easily said that achieving 500 wins is not something that happens over night. Macaluso is said to have exemplified dedication, passion, diligence and energy on the road to this milestone in his career. “It’s a testament to your willingness to stay around,” said Menendez. He believes that achieving 500 wins shows not only commitment or success but rather a balance of the two which must be worked out over time. Macaluso’s team this year did not progress as far in the state tournament this season as they did the last, losing to Manatee 15-5 in the regional semifinals. With some pitching improvement, the team hopes to be as succesful, if not more next season.

Girls track team springs into states with optimism BY RISHI BOLLU

Assistant Business Manager

After suffering the tragic loss of team member Calyx Schenecker early in the season, the girls track team finished with a bang, continuing to work hard and improve. In fact, they excelled and some team members went to compete in the state competition, where they competed against excellent athletes from across the state in order to prove their worth. The boys track team did not go to states or regionals this year, although they did fairly well in the district competition. However, they supported the girls and were happy for their progress in the competitions. The four girls who went to states were Sandra Akachukwa, Ashley McBride, Carrol Hardy, and Rayla McDuffie; all competed in the four by one event. In the state competitions, the girls had to perform in front of a crowd that included members of the press, as well as recruiting coaches from various colleges. Although the girls did very well and were proud of themselves, they were also slightly disappointed because only the first eight teams placed and won a medal. The girls placed ninth; just one place away from going on. Besides this event, two of the girls qualified for other events. Sandra Akachukwa participated in the high jump event, where she placed sixth, and Ashley McBride competed in the long jump and 100 meter dash competitions. Throughout the season, the girls practiced Monday through Thursday. On numerous occasions, Coach Gary Bingham even took time out of his Saturday mornings to practice with the girls. They worked on doing six or eight

200 repeats at about 35 seconds each in order to work on their speed and explosive power in order to run the 100 meters very quickly. This is also useful for the high jump and long jump, as both events require a single explosive jump. Moreover, the girls practiced the relays everyday, along with the other events they qualified for. “My experience at the state meet was great. I got to be in the presence of a number of amazing athletes from all over Florida, and I got to my talents in - Ashley McBride showcase front of a huge crowd,” says senior Ashley McBride, who has been to the state competition every year since her freshman year. McBride has also competed in the state long jump competition since her sophomore year and has done fairly well over the years. This year, McBride placed fifth in the long jump competition, as well as 5th in the 100 meter dash. “This experience was different from previous ones,” says McBride, “because we had another reason to do our best: for Calyx.” The girls have found success through their dedication to do their best and improve themselves with each and every practice. Although they did not place in the four by one competition this year, they were a hair away and hope that next year they will be able to achieve this goal. No doubt they should be on the path to succes with their apparent work ethic and determination to excel in all areas.

“I got to be in the presence of a number of amazing athletes.”


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June 2011

Fall sports teams prepare for next season BY SHIVAM BHARADWAJ

Staff Writer “The season starts now,” said the coach of the boys track and cross-country team, Deirdre Johnson. Likewise, many sports begin preparing over the summer for a season that actually starts during the upcoming school year. The cross-country and track runners will practice five days a week throughout the entire summer. About four to five runners will attend due to the fact that many play other sports, which have their own practices over the summer as well. The cross-country team does exercises such as long runs, running over sand, and running up hills; while the track team lifts weights and practices running. Coach Johnson tells her athletes to “respect the game,” saying that they will get out of it as much as they put into it. The football coach, Al Davis, will have a mandatory conditioning program from June 20 through the resuming the start of school for about 60 junior varsity and varsity athletes. Also, incoming freshmen aspiring to join the

team are welcome to the tryouts and conditioning. The conditioning will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It will consist of a combination of running, weight-lifting, and a class session. Since grades weigh heavily in determining whether one can play for the team or not, this summer Coach Davis is making an effort to help the team achieve good grades. They will be given a small novel to read each month to prepare for the FCAT. The golf team of about eight students will not only be practicing regularly, but will also be playing in various Junior Tournaments, such as the Florida Junior Tour. There are summer camps at the Temple Terrace Country Club, such as the First Tee Program. Some of the golfers will enter the FSGA (Florida State Golf Association) where they will play to qualify for larger events such as the Florida Open. Tryouts for the 2011 golf team will be held the first

week of school (August 23-25) and Coach Barrett Zebos encourages all to “get involved in a summer program and get instructed.” The Baseball team coached by Benjamin Burnett will work over the summer to make the players, “bigger, tougher, stronger.” Conditioning will be held a couple times a week to prepare for the season in the spring. The returning team (not including graduating seniors) will play in five state-wide double elimination tournaments till about mid-July. “Summer is about getting better,” says Coach Burnett, who tells the team that winning isn’t everything when it comes to the tournaments but rather an effort to develop the players and their skills. Essentially the goal is “to be better as a player.”

Flag football team finishes season strong BY ESHA GANDHI

Staff Writer

This year the girls flag football team has stepped it up for the school. They are currently 5-4 and continue on gaining more wins and showing their school pride. As this was a tough year for team because of loss of players and managing their busy schedules, the team pulled it together and worked hard to reach their status quo. “I thought the season went pretty well, we even made it to the playoffs. The experience was amazing especially because it was the first sport I enjoyed playing a lot. The people on the team made it even better and now I want to play more sports” said Evangeline Abraham, sophomore. Abraham started playing this year and managed to keep up with the team through tough conditioning like running, and making sure to stay in shape. “I recommend joining with your friends because it helps with the conditioning and makes the overall game much more fun.” Abraham wishes for the team to continually keep their success in future games and keep the team stronger than ever. Celeste Crain, sophomore, like Abraham had just started flag football for the first time this year but managed to

catch the fun of the game and keep striving on. “The best thing about playing flag football besides being with the team would be that moment you score a touchdown. It’s just a rush of adrenaline even if it was just a small recovery, you still feel proud.” said Crain. Crain also feels that training and making sure to be in shape is a critical part of succeeding in flag football and believes that anyone who is willing to put in the effort has the capability to do it. The flag football team this year has many new players and first comers like Abraham and Crain, but still manage to successful win their games and make the school proud. However, the room for success is never full. “This season was fun and an amazing learning experience since I had never played football before but it needs some mending so that it can be even more better and successful next year and the years beyond it.” said Brianna Aquino, sophomore. Flag football was a sport that rose over the years and it has become a big part of the school and an important COURTESY OF opportunity for girls to participate in. Hopefully, over PRESTIGE the next few years it becomes even more successful and PHOTOthe team becomes stronger and spreads school pride. GRAPHS

INTERCEPTION - Varsity Lady Lion flag-football player Sandra Akachukwu bypasses her opponent and captures the ball. The Lady Lions won against the Brandon High School Eagles on a 13-0 score.



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College Resources

June 2011


Summer headstart on applications


Administrative Assistant o Look up the different programs offered by the different colleges. Eliminate the ones that do not have the program(s) you are interested in. o Out of the colleges offering the program(s) you are interested in taking, check the three types of environments of the school in order to find a good match: > Physical Environment: Eliminate based on... * The number of people enrolled in the college. * Large/small Campus * Located in a city, town, middle of nowhere, etc. > Social Environment: Eliminate based on... * How much student activity goes on in the college * Student migratory patterns (is the college deserted on week-ends?) > Academic Environment: Eliminate based on these preferences: * Sizes of classes. * Undergraduate. Any grad. programs available? (Some schools may have graduate level engineering programs, but no undergraduate engineering. One can work around this by switching schools after undergrad.) o Which college is the most economically feasible for you? > While prestigious colleges are very tempting, remember that you are applying for the undergrad program and that you can go to graduate program for that college if you continue to work hard. Remember that getting into the undergrad program does not guarantee a spot in the graduate level program (i.e. Harvard rejects around 88% of their undergrad students who apply for graduate school).












47% YES 53% NO


26% YES 74% NO





33% YES 66% NO










> Some colleges also do not accept certain scholarships, and while it is advantageous to list a scholarship you have won on your college application, it is important to know that you may not receive this money if you attend certain colleges. > Find out what requirements exist for scholarships next school year. If there are any qualifications you can reach over the summer, it would be advantageous to complete them so that you can apply for a larger number of scholarships in your senior or even your junior year. The more scholarships your apply for, the more you might receive. o Consider what to write for essays. Extensively. > Try to think of things that are unique to you, as well as things that you feel strongly about This could be a sport, a club, a community service project, or even a simple hobby such as collecting coins. > While it is really tempting to show off your knowledge, foresight, depth of understanding, and keen insights, limit the amount of this that you put into your essay, as colleges really want to know more about you as a person, not you as a student. o Consider what you are going to put on your application. > There are only a certain number of merits you can list upon your college application, so sort out your achievements into different categories arranged from what you feel to be the best to the least significant. > This should be varied according to the college the application is going to go to. Certain colleges value extracurricular and sports over a high GPA, others value community service.

150 students interviewed.


June 2011 - Scepter  

June 2011 - Scepter Newspaper King High