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The importance of family • Senior Skyler Day and her grandmother Diana McGlasson hold hands as Day is announced at the volleyball senior night. Photo by ShaDestiny Chism. For the full story, visit kilgorehsmirror.com and search ‘Family.’

Volume XX, Issue II

December 13, 2019

Kilgore High School

For the students, by the students

Students perform with Theater Department puts on Shrek the Musical All-Region Orchestra Carly Mauldin Staff Writer

Ready to Take the Stage • All-Region Orchestra students pose for a quick picture before playing the concert. Courtesy Photo.

Cerenity Exline Staff Writer The orchestra students auditioned for the Region 4 and 21 All-Region Orchestra. The auditions were held on October 12 at the Middle School. Students who want to audition had a month to practice the music selected before auditions. The week of auditions, they received the cuts that they would have to play for the judges in their blind auditions. When the results were released, nine students made it above the cut line for their section. Freshman Kenneth Exline and sophomore Cason Cox made the violin section. Freshman Axel Lira and junior Ciaira Guyton made the viola section. Sophomore Gavin Haynes made the cello

section. Freshman William Shupak, sophomore Zachary Riggs, and senior Kaden Clark made the string bass section. These students went on Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7 to practice for the concert that was held at the Longview High School auditorium on Dec. 7 at 4:30 p.m. This year, the musical selections include Suite im alten Style by Edward Grieg, Danse bacchanale from Act III of the “Opera Samson et Dalila” by Camile Saint-Saens, and An American in Paris Suite by George Gershwin. The orchestra groups are under the direction of Sherry Paetznick assisted by Lisa Lininger. The orchestra’s holiday concert will be held Dec. 17 in the KHS Cafeteria. Come for Coffee & Christmas Carols.

The theater department has been working on their first play of the school year, Shrek the Musical, since September. Rehearsals started out in the choir room, as the cast learned the songs and harmonies. Now the cast has put on their first show, and they’ve prepared for the rest which will be on December 13, 14. “I’m really excited for our performances,” senior Madison Celley said. “It’s the first time in a while that we’ve done a well known musical, and I’m really looking forward to the outcome.” Putting this play together took many long, after school rehearsals, an eight hour work day over Thanksgiving break, weeks of prop and set-building in class, and hours of time working through tech issues. “I’m in charge of sound which entails making sure all mics are working properly, adjusting the mic volume for each character, and controlling the music for the musical as well as different sounds such as Pinocchio’s nose and the dragons roar,” senior Marcos May said. “I figured out out how the mics and sound equipment work, since they’re prehistoric, and making sure all the sound cues and music blend well with what is happening in order to form a cohesive performance is a big challenge.” In addition to rehearsals, the cast members put in hours of individual work in and out of school to get their lines and songs down.

“I started by watching the broadway version...a lot. Then I read my lines, then read my lines, then read my lines, over and over till they are almost all I think about,” sophomore Allan Dickson said. The cast spent a lot of time together, helping each other figure out their roles and singing parts. “For my singing part, our lead and I went to the bathroom everyday for a week or two and just rehearsed our song over and over,” junior Rachel Bowman said. The cast faced many challenges

and setbacks. They had to learn to be flexible and problem solve. “I think things are coming together,” Bowman said. “They always do; that’s just how theatre works. No matter how bad it seems right before a show, the show itself ends up being better than you would expect. It’s always been that way in theatre and that’s solely because we know how to work together when it matters.” Students and the community can go see the final two musical performances tonight and tomorrow.

The play starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults, and $3 for students, faculty, and children. “People should come see our production because the theater department has worked so hard to put it together and create one of the most intricate theatrical displays at Kilgore High School,” junior Brooklyn Hall said. “Besides the obvious set pieces that set our production apart from the past productions, our class has perfected new makeup techniques and prop-making skills that will benefit future projects.”


1 1) Moving to the Music • Seniors Madison Celley, junior James Mallick, and sophomore Bryan Harter perform the song “Make a Move” from Shrek the Musical. 2) All Dolled Up • Seventh grader Kaylie Watkins and junior Angela Ramirez do their stage makeup. 3) A Perfect Pair • Junior James Malick and senior Madison Celley perform the song “You Got Me Beat” as Shrek and Fiona. Photos by Carly Mauldin.


Prom Committee delivers poinsettias Sales help minimize cost of spring prom tickets Payton Berger Sports Editor The Prom Committee spread Christmas cheer on Dec. 5 by delivering poinsettias from their annual fundraiser. The poinsettias were sold throughout October and November, and buyers received their Christmas flowers last Thursday. The money raised goes towards making the best possible prom for our students while keeping ticket costs down. “Kilgore should be proud that our prom ticket prices have not gone up in years due to fundraisers like the poinsettia sales,” prom committee sponsor Amy Bates said. “Because these kids sell poinsettias, their friends don’t have to pay as much for prom as kids at other schools do.” This fundraiser has proven effective throughout the years. Members of the community look forward to buying the plants every year and supporting the prom. “Members of the community know the money is going to a good cause, and it puts people in the mood for Christmas,” junior vice president Shelby Maring said. The committee went out of their way to sell large amounts of plants. Several members make it a friendly competition. Junior Madalynn Parrymore sold the most poinsettias with 49 plants.

“I’m lucky because my grandma asked a bunch of her friends and they bought a couple each,” Parrymore said. “Everyone that bought from me got at least two to five.” Delivering the large numbers of plants can be quite a challenge. Most members sold at least twenty poinsettias and had to find a way to deliver them in the time span of five class periods. The members came up with creative ways to fit all the plants in their vehicles and deliver on time. “I was able to get all of my poinsettias into the car, but they were super tight. I had to keep making sure they didn’t fall,” junior David Moreno said. The students were excused from school during the first half of the day to deliver the poinsettias. Many of them have after school practices, so delivering plants during the day is essential to finish on the one delivery day. “Delivery went really smoothly, and it was fun to see people light up when they received their poinsettias. It was also a good break before finals,” junior Ciaira Guyton said. The money raised from the plants will go towards the prom decor, DJ, lighting, food and venue cost. The prom is the only dance of the year, so the committee tries to make it the best it can possibly be. “We are raising funds to have a

great prom,” secretary and treasurer Olivia Arp said. “Prom can’t happen without adequate funds and our poinsettias and fern sales in spring make a great prom possible.” The committee is now focusing on the prom’s theme and preparing for the night’s events. “We just voted on and selected a theme, and when prom comes around we’ll decorate and set prom up based around our selected theme,” Arp said. Prom will be May 2, 2020 at Maude Cobb and tickets will be $25 each.




1) Joint effort • Juniors Shelby Maring and Carter Williams deliver their poinsettias together. 2) Tight fit • Junior Madalynn Parrymore manages to squeeze 49 poinsettias in her car safely. 3) Working together • The prom committee works together to fill up a car with poinsettias. 4) Christmas Cheer • Junior Jaiden Thompson carries a poinsettia with a cheerful smile. Photos by Skyelar Howell & Payton Berger.


Exam Schedule Changes Are you up to date? Faith Jones

Copy Editor Q: When are exams? A: Wednesday, Dec. 18 and Thursday, Dec. 19. Q: Do we get exemptions? A: Exemptions give students the opportunity to opt out of taking exams in accordance with grades and attendance. In the past, students had the opportunity to exempt exams. However, students are now required to take the exams but might have the chance to exempt some in the Spring semester. Q: Do finals affect my grade? A: They are worth 10 % in classes that are weighed 50 % daily grades to 50 % test grades, as well as 65 % test grades to 35 % daily grades. Q: Does the exam schedule affect early release? A: Yes, the exam schedule will alter when early release students may leave. For example, if you get out after 6th period, you may leave at 2:01 P.M. for Wednesday, Dec. 18 and Thursday, Dec. 19. However, if you get out after 7th period, you will have to stay until 3:25 P.M. on Wednesday, Dec. 18 but you may leave after 2:01 P.M. on Thursday, Dec. 19.


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18 Exams: 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th periods

THURSDAY DECEMBER 19 Exams: 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th periods Study up in the next days and be as prepared as possible, because next week brings the arrival of finals. Be sure to get plenty of rest and be properly nourished on testing days to be best prepared.

12/13 Shrek! Jr Musical Performance @ 7:00 p.m. in KHS Auditorium 12/14 Shrek! Jr Musical Performance @ 7:00 p.m. in KHS Auditorium 12/16 Choir Caroling 12/17 KHS Orchestra Coffee & Carols Concert 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in KHS Cafeteria Kilgore FFA Chili Cook-Off @ 4:30 p.m. Will serve to public @ 7:00 p.m. EVENT TO BE @ Ag Farm 12/19 Christmas Movie Walk 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. @ KMS Track 12/20-1/7 WINTER BREAK 1/8 3rd Quarter Begins 1/11 Area C Band Auditions in Chapel Hill

Synergy Park Stroll @ 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. @ Synergy Park 1/14 FFA District Convention @Beckville High School 1/15 TSI Math Test for Juniors 1/16 Tyler Lee JV Tennis Tournament @ Tyler

1/17-1/19 Fort Worth Livestock Show - Ag Mechanics 1/20 Martin Luther King Holiday 1/22 Longview JV Tennis Tournament @ Longview 1/23 Fort Worth Livestock Show - Heifer Show KHS Blood Drive #3 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in KHS Faculty Parking Lot 1/24 Region 4 Honor Band Clinic @ White Oak Fort Worth Livestock Show - Heifer, Lamb, and Goat Show 1/25 Region 4 Honor Band Clinic @ White Oak 1/25-1/27 Fort Worth Livestock Show - Heifer, Lamb, and Goat Show 1/30 Model UN 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. @Region VII ESC TSI Retakes for Juniors and Seniors John Tyler JV Tennis Tournament @ Tyler 1/31 Fort Worth Livestock Show - Gilt Show Model UN 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. @Region VII ESC

Jacksonville Varsity Tennis Tournament @ Jacksonville 2/1 A Touch of Fame and Fashion Style Show, Talent & Beauty and Handsome Presentation

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Opinion


Christmas Parade




Academics & Orgs

Christmas Sweaters

Santa Letters

Health & Wellness



2 Opinion

December 13, 2019

Making the most out of the holiday season Faith Jones Copy Editor

People look forward to the holidays. Young children are eager for Santa’s arrival, teenagers get excited for a break from school, and adults appreciate quality time with family. The problem lies in the season living up to its expectations of quality times and an overall positive holiday. Teenagers, who seem to place the highest expectations on the holidays, have endless opportunity to exceed the holiday standards and have a great time during the most wonderful time of the year. From staying in with family, going out for a wholesome time with oneself, and staying out all night embracing the season with friends, the ways to spend this celebratory time are never ceasing.

Merry times • Sophomore Kaden Parham and freshman Jayden Jones laugh in the Christmas spirit while enjoying a holiday themed treat. Photo by Faith Jones.

Family travel from all around the world to be together at this time. Aunts and uncles drive down from Tennessee with cousins upon cousins eager to play tag in the yard. Brothers and sisters who’ve started their lives elsewhere meet their loved ones for a long-awaited reuniting in the DFW Airport. Grandparents bring down the plethora of Christmas decorations they’ve accumulated throughout the years and place them around a home full of memories, family and laughter. Time spent with family is time well spent. Whether helping grandpa hang the lights around the roof or baking Christmas cookies with cousins in the kitchen, the value is in the love. Seasons of life can pull people apart, but holidays never fail to bring them back together. Teens thrive on time with friends. At times, it’s put before family time -

and even homework, but nevertheless it is worthwhile. Whether it is spent driving through downtown looking at Christmas decorations while listening to Christmas music, exchanging gifts at a friend’s Christmas party, or taste testing all the new holiday drinks at Starbucks, it’s hard not to enjoy any amount of time spent with friends. Although being surrounded by close friends and family members is appreciated, it’s nice to spend time alone. This could include writing a letter to Santa, going Christmas

shopping for loved ones, volunteering at a homeless or animal shelter, or staying in bed watching Christmas movies with fuzzy socks on. Taking time to be alone and appreciate the company of yourself is important to one’s independence and self love. There is an endless list of twists and turns the holiday season could take. It’s up to you to choose how you spend the most wonderful time of the year. Whether you choose to spend the cold winter days with family by the fireplace and drinking hot chocolate or to take a drive through downtown observing the lights and derricks while listening to Christmas music with a group of close friends; it’s impossible to feel as though the season has not been fulfilling and joyous.

“I’m not like other girls” Payton Berger Sports Editor Girls are so dramatic. They only care about makeup, fashion, and boys. They suck at sports and they’re always giggling with their friends about nonsense. But her...she’s different. She’s natural. She’ll eat around boys and play games with them. She is not like other girls. Almost all girls have heard this phrase tossed around for their entire lives. Whether they’ve been told that they themselves are not like other girls or they identify as such, it’s been deemed as a compliment the entire time. But why is it a good thing to not be like other girls? What’s wrong with these ‘other girls’? It all begins with traditional gender roles and stereotypes surrounding them. For example, girls are expected to like clothes and makeup. Girls are expected to be soft-spoken, passive, and sweet. These traits are titled ‘girly’ by society. Therefore,

the phrase ‘not like other girls,’ refers to the rejection of these stereotypical girly characteristics. This phrase is very intertwined with the patriarchy. The patriarchy is a sociopolitcal and cultural system that values masculinity over femininity. Through this patriarchal society women and their interests are valued less than those of men. It also seems like society enjoys putting people into categories of familiar groups and predictable types. For example, people will say that there are two types of girls. Preppy and stuck-up or cool and laid-back. However, labels such as these are false dichotomies. Labels such as that are not the only thing girls are limited to, nor are they mutually exclusive. Regardless of if they’re false, everyone is deeply influenced by the gender roles and stereotypes we see from a young age. This begins the negative trait of comparing ourselves to other girls. Questions begin to arise surrounding

if we want to be like other girls. We wonder if we can fit into those stereotypes or if we should want to. However, a boy could have told us that we weren’t like other girls in a positive way, thus causing us to believe that it’s a good thing. We start to enjoy and believe that compliment. We would never want to be like other girls. We’re just different. When women start to believe that they’re different than other girls, they also gain a sense of superiority over other women. They’d be insulted to be compared to the basic girl. They take that label to be more well-liked. While this a very poor method to become more liked, it may be used as a defense mechanism for some women. If a girl doesn’t fit in well with other girls, it could be a sense of insecurity. They take this difference and claim it as a positive thing. Male approval is something women are taught to crave from a very young age. Certain women seek the approval of men as a group because

as a group, men seem threatening and more likely to hurt someone’s feelings. This all leads to a term called internalized misogyny, and even though misogyny is described as “hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women,” many women experience internalized misogyny. This is expressed by them minimizing the value of women, mistrusting women, and believing gender bias in favor of men. This is all a product of how we’re raised and it’s not anyone in particular’s fault. It can take a long time to unlearn this behavior after years of instinctually putting other women down or thinking of yourself as better in some way. It takes work to stop those thoughts, and you can’t just suppress them and change them. Being more kind and less judgmental of yourself and other women is not an easy process. Something that might help this behavior is an increase of female role models. If representation in a field you’re interested in is lacking, it may make you feel like you can’t

Contagious laughter • Junior Carley Dollins and freshman Olivia Blundell burst into laughter after a joke. Photo by Payton Berger. pursue a certain thing. The status quo perpetuates stereotypes and gender roles, and if more women role models are portrayed we can more easily break the stigma. I believe that we are all like other girls. There are so many strong,

powerful, and influential women surrounding us that it’s a great thing to be like other girls. Rather than putting women down for liking typically feminine things, we should bring one another up for people being themselves.

BOYS... toxic doesn’t mean masculine Stephanie Canchola Staff Writer

Motivational message • A reminder for boys to be whoever they want and to not judge others. Emotions make people human not soft. Canva illustration by Stephanie Canchola

The Mirror is a member of the Interscholastic League Press Conference ILPC and earned the Award of Achievement from ILPC and UIL in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2017. The Mirror earned the Award of Honor in 2007 and 2010. The Mirror earned the Award of Distinguished Merit in 2008, 2014, 2015 & 2016. In 2014, the staff was nominated for a STAR by the ILPC. The Mirror adviser is a member of TAJE. The Mirror is printed at the The Henderson News. The Mirror staff distributes 1,000 copies to the students and the community, free of charge. Editor’s note: Students of the month and Teacher of the month are chosen by faculty committees.

‘Guys do not need to be anything but strong meat heads, who only care about sports.’ And, for some reason, in our society they’ll get made fun of if they’re anything different. The concept of toxic masculinity has been around forever, even if you don’t know the exact meaning of it, you get the idea of what it is. Raising males to feel like they need to aspire to be nothing but tough and suppress their emotions is what has always been done. Once a boy starts showing any interest in more feminine or “girly” things he isn’t as welcomed as a girl showing interest in things considered to be masculine. It’s “cool” for a girl to be into cars and sports, but a guy wanting to do ballet and paint his nails is ‘weird’. Of course, toxic masculinity affects men, but it also affects other

people in society in the sense that because those men are experiencing or have experienced it, it leads them to do things that make them feel more masculine or dominant. Whether it be to bottle up all of their emotions or take out their emotions but in the form of anger or rage. However, this doesn’t just affect the men and their mental health, but it could also possibly affect people around them who have to deal with their anger or violence. A majority of men turn to violence as a way of expression, which isn’t a bad thing in some cases. For example, some sports are a good way for men to let out that anger and clear their mind of it. However, violence could quickly become a bad and dangerous way to express themselves and their emotions. Also in relationships, men who have experienced toxic masculinity as kids and throughout their life may become controlling or hurtful to their present or future partners. It doesn’t

The Mirror

Staff Writers Yesenia Ramirez Ryan Cartwright Carmen Vazquez Jada Franklin Lesly Amaro Stephanie Canchola Cerenity Exline Kendall Dunn Madison Donovan Angelica Chavez A’Niya Williams Carly Mauldin

Kilgore High School 301 N. Kilgore Street, Kilgore, TX 75662 903.988.3939, ext. 2137 www.kisd.org/khs Student Population 1066 Volume XX, Issue 2 December 10, 2019 KISD Superintendent Dr. Andy Baker Principal Charles Presley Student Publications Adviser Amy Bates

Editors Carlie Massey - Editor in Chief Olivia Arp - Managing Editor Faith Jones - Copy Editor Payton Berger - Sports Editor Teresa Medina - Ad Editor

excuse that type of behavior, but it is a result that can occur. The mental health of people is also a huge thing that gets affected. Whether it is the men, who have grown up thinking they couldn’t let out their emotions, or the women who have always had to deal with a man’s anger or violence due to them experiencing it. Bottling up emotions is not a good idea for anyone to do. Men expressing their emotions is not weak or “girly,” but strong because they have the courage to do so. Being emotional is hard for anyone to do, but it shouldn’t be. Men expressing how they feel should be a more a normal and common thing. Allowing men to express themselves, without being judged or teased, should already be a thing we do. Doing this would most likely relieve them from whatever emotions they’ve been holding in because they

Page Designers Payton Berger- 1 Faith Jones - 2 Olivia Arp - 3 Olivia Arp - 4 Carlie Massey - 5 Faith Jones - 6 Carmen Vasquez - 7 Carlie Massey - 8 Olivia Arp - 9 Olivia Arp - 10 Carlie Massey - 11 Payton Berger - 12

didn’t know how to deal with them. Also, raising men in this kind of environment doesn’t have be on purpose. I’m sure no parent wants their children to grow up not knowing how to express themselves or emotions. It should just feel more welcomed for boys to be able to express how they’re feeling. Being more open-minded and less judgemental could solve a lot of problems, but it is a hard and long process for everyone to achieve this state of mind. People tend to stick to what they know, and not want to change due to pressures from society. Men should be okay with sharing their emotions and expressing themselves. I think allowing people to express themselves in whatever way they want should be something we already do. A man wanting to cry or do feminine things should be more welcomed. We shouldn’t be so quick to judge or tease people for being different.

The Mirror is the student newspaper of Kilgore High School and is published in print form four times a school year by the advanced journalism class. This publication shall strive to serve the interests and needs of the readership and to be fair and accurate. Staff members were selected after completing one year of journalism. Comments and views expressed in The Mirror reflect the thoughts of individual writers and do not reflect the opinions of other students, staff members, faculty, administration or the Board of Trustees. We welcome signed letters of opinion. See the adviser in Room #124 for more information. *It is the policy of Kilgore ISD not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or handicap in its vocational programs, services or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Feature 3 page

December 13, 2019

Spreading Hope Sophomore spreads Christmas

Senior runs community service club Carly Mauldin

Madision Donovan

Staff Writer

As a sophomore, senior Madison Celley was very busy. She acted in plays with the theater department, she was an alto in choir, as well as being in drama club and media, but she still wished she could do more. Celley wanted to find a way to help people in her community. “My sophomore year of high school, I wanted to join a club that was focused on doing good in the world,” Celley said. “I grew up in a home with a single mom who struggled, and I always knew I wanted to help people who needed the help.” She noticed that there were no community service focused clubs at KHS. Instead of forgetting about it, she started thinking about that she could do to change that. “I talked to one of my teachers and he told me about Hope Initiative,” Celley said. “The club was put on pause because no one had time to handle it. I was then told that I could start it back up if I got some kids to join, so I did just that. Hope Initiative is an organization, inside and outside of school, dedicated to helping others in our community.” Now, Celley is a senior, serving her third year as Hope Initiative president. Leading her club is no small task. “Over the years, we have shaped Hope Initiative to be a student led organization, meaning all of our ideas, projects, and events are held responsible by our members,” Celley said. “Basically, unlike other clubs, our members plan, schedule, and make arrangements all themselves. It was really hard to find teens with the same passion to help others. Not many people have an open heart to spend their time doing community service on the weekend.” Celley’s club has continued to grow and gain new members that are willing to take on responsibility. Being involved requires students to be mature and bold. “The hardest part about running Hope initiative is probably the pressure,” Celley said. “Since we are focused on being ‘student led,’ we have to call or meet up with adults in the community for fundraising opportunities or future projects. I have to set a great first impression because I’m representing our club when I’m reaching out to others.” Celley puts a lot of time into her club, and her efforts are recognized and appreciated by her team. “Madison has worked incredibly hard to make Hope Initiative successful,” Hope Initiative Vice President junior Rachel Bowman said. “In the years I’ve known her, she’s been nothing but hardworking, dedicated, and kind.” A lot of phone calls, fundraising,

cheer working at tree farm Staff Writer

Serving with a Smile • Senior Madison Celley leads her Hope Initiative club meeting. Photo by Carly Mauldin. and planning goes into every project. Members have to be patient and hardworking, but it’s all worth it when they get to see the positive effect that they are having in the lives of so many people in our community. “I still believe my first Christmas project in charge of Hope Initiative will always be my favorite memory,” Celley said. “Of course, our first year was absolutely wild, but I still remember starting our tradition of raising money at the Lighting of the Oil Derricks. In our first year of participating in the event, we raised over $300 to buy presents for seven children at a local rescue mission. When I arrived at the rescue mission, the ladies who worked there came out and helped me carry all the presents in, and it just felt good knowing that I bought Christmas for kids.” Their Christmas project has become a yearly tradition that the whole club looks forward to. “You will never understand how great it feels to put in all this time and effort raising money just to know that you helped at least one person who really needed it,” Celley said. “It just makes you feel so good when you drop off those presents. You may not always be able to meet the people you help, but you could just imagine seeing that little girl getting so excited to open that doll kit that she thought she wasn’t going to get.” Celley hopes to make a difference not only in her community, but also in her school by raising awareness for issues and encouraging others to do more good.

“I really believe that Hope Initiative is helping our students realize how big the issue of homelessness and poverty really is and how we should be grateful for the lives we’ve been given,” Celley said. “I think it’s extremely important to get involved in your community. I feel like our society could learn and grow from community service. Instead of being reserved to yourself, you could engage with new people and do good in your community.” Students can join Hope Initiative by talking to Madison or sponsor Jessica Montgomery. The club meets every Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m. in room 227. “Hope Initiative has grown so much these past three years and so have I,” Celley said. “Being a part of a club like this gives you a new perspective on life. It teaches you character and selflessness by putting someone else’s needs before yours. I can’t express enough how proud I am of our members for being leaders in our community. It’s definitely a great way to meet new people you can relate to.” Celley encourages other young people to step up and start something for themselves, in or out of school. “I think if you really have the passion for something, you should go for it,” Celley said. “Sometimes, it’s hard being in charge of something bigger than you, but in the end I promise it’s worth it.”

After helping a family find the perfect tree for their holiday season, she begins to cut the tree down. Sophomore Ariel Briggs smiles big and helps the family move the tree into their car. The family gets into their car with their perfect tree. Another day on the job complete. Briggs works at Danville Christmas Tree Farm, which is the only real Christmas tree farm in the Kilgore area. “My favorite part of working here would have to be seeing all the families happy and smiling bright,” Ariel said. Ariel goes to church with the family that owns the farm, The Robinsons. They asked her if she would be willing to work at the farm. “They are very nice people,” Ariel said. “They are probably some of my favorite people to talk to.” Ariel has worked there for the past three years. During that time she was able to learn many important lessons. “It taught me to be a bigger person and to take responsibility in everything that I do,” Ariel said. Putting up a real Christmas tree can be very important for some families during this time of year. Ariel is no exclusion from this fact. “My favorite part of the holiday season would have to be putting up the tree as well as seeing family,” Ariel said. “I don’t get to see my family much, so it’s a really big deal for me to see them.” While it may seem like a real Christmas tree is very important for the holiday season, a plastic tree can still give off the proper holiday feel. “Everyone’s different, and they don’t all need a real tree,” Ariel said. “Some families just need each other to have the perfect time, and that’s ok.” Families come to the farm looking for the perfect live tree for their home, but sometimes they are unable to find the right one. “It’s my least favorite thing about work,” Ariel said. “Every family that wants a proper tree should be able to get the perfect one for them.” Ariel works from the first week after Thanksgiving break until a week before Christmas itself. “I enjoy working here very much,” Ariel said. “At first, the job could be very boring, but after I worked there for a little bit, it got really fun.” Ariel’s average workday consists of helping families find and cut down trees, then helping them load these trees into their vehicles. She does this from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.. “Since I’ve began working there it is always been really busy and full,” Ariel said. “It is always so fun to meet more people.” Ariel is known within her friend group to be very hardworking


2 and passionate about anything she believes. “She takes dedicated to another level,” sophomore Makayla Fleming said. “When she has her mind set on something, nothing can stop her, and I really admire that.” With Winter break just around the corner, people are making plans for a fun break from school. Ariel plans to visit family in New Mexico. “I am very excited,” Ariel said. “They’ve been through a lot, and now they’re getting settled in a house and making something of themselves.” Ariel Briggs takes on a big responsibility as she has a job and continues to work hard at school. It can be even more difficult with this time of year with studying for

1) Looking bright • Sophomore Ariel Briggs smiles for the camera. She is about to leave school to head to work. Photo by Madison Donovan. 2) Working with a purpose • Ariel Briggs waits for a family to need help cutting a tree. She has been working a long day, but says it’s worth it. Courtesy photo.

semester exams. Briggs is still able to do it all, and she would like to leave people with one message. “Have a good holiday and Merry Christmas,” Ariel said. “Come out to the Danville Christmas Tree Farm this week and get a beautiful Christmas tree.”

NHS members participate in 2019 academic rodeo A team of smarties • Senior NHS members Alex Czarniecki, Spencer Thompson, Carl White, Katherine Domogalla, Lauren Couch, Kaleigh Sammons, Katy Edens, Scott Silvey, Leticia Vallejo, Brandy Espinoza, Dayton McElyea, Daisy Salazar, and Jack Tyra get a quick picture before the competition. Courtesy photo.

Olivia Arp Managing Editor

On Nov. 15, eleven senior NHS members participated in the 2019 Mindset Breaking Experience. This event is hosted by the East Texas State Fair Academic Rodeo. At the Mindset Breaking Experience, participants are encouraged to think outside the box to complete tasks. “I thought the task we had to complete was interesting,” Lauren Couch said. “It forced me to think outside of the box, which is something I feel like I don’t do often.” NHS members were introduced to the idea of the Academic Rodeo at an NHS meeting. “Mrs. Tritt told us about it at an NHS meeting, so I thought it would be fun to try it out,” Couch said. Members decided to get involved because of the opportunity to be with their friends and the potential scholarship that could be won. “I thought it would be a good, fun, new experience,” Dayton McElyea said. “Also, I was told there were scholarship opportunities available through it.”

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The first task of the event was to come up with phrases used in transportation, involving transportation, and with the word transportation in them. “We were assigned to write on a blue sheet of paper words that are used in transport or that have the word transport in it,” Brandy Espinoza. Depending on how the team did with the passive transport activity, they would receive materials. The better the team did, the more materials they would receive that would help in the second task. “[We had] to build a 24 inch bridge across the gap of two desks using random supplies,” Katherine Domogalla said. With the bridge, they were to get the egg to the other side without touching it. “If anybody touched the egg it would be considered contaminated and the time would be stopped,” Espinoza said. The point of the event was to prompt leadership characteristics and encourage team work. The goal of course was to be successful but to also learn how to work together and be a good leader. “I found it interesting that the judging was less about how successful the product was and more about how well the teams worked together,” Katy Edens said. The event allowed participants to learn many valuable lessons and skills that will benefit their future endeavors. “It benefitted me by letting me work in a group and work on my time management skills,” Scott Silvey said. As the teams worked together, they learned more about working together in a time crunch and how to be successful. “Teamwork and communication is key especially when gathering ideas to get the job done,” Espinoza said. While at the event, NHS members got to experience many other students who thought in different ways other than they did. “It was cool to see all of the other kids, and us, using our brains to solve the unorthodox challenges,” McElyea said.

During down time and before the start of the event, NHS members were allowed to interact with their competition and learn their personalities. “I found all of the different types of students and their personalities interesting,” Kaleigh Sammons said. The team that consisted of Dayton McElyea, Lauren Couch, Katy Edens, Alex Czarniecki, Carl White, and Spencer Thompson were successful in getting their egg across the bridge. “My favorite part was watching our egg make it over our bridge when we weren’t sure it was going to,” Edens said. The team had completed the first task successfully but still had limited resources making the bridge-building complicated. “We didn’t have much to work with as far as materials go, so it was fun trying to solve the problem,” McElyea said. The team consisting of Jack Tyra, Katherine Domogalla, Daisy Salazar, Leticia Vallejo, Scott Silvey, Brandy Espinoza, and Kaleigh Sammons came close to completing the task but accidently picked up the egg. “We completed seventeen transports, built an okay bridge, and then accidentally picked up the egg,” Silvey said. This was the first year of Kilgore participating in the Academic Rodeo and with that comes learning. NHS sponsor Johna Tritt plans to take more groups in the future for experience and success. “They worked well together to create a creative solution to the problem,” Tritt said. “I will absolutely take another group next year, and I hope we can expand our participation in Academic Rodeo.” NHS students also recently completed their Penny Wars competition. This tradition is where collections are done throughout the school day in classrooms. Students put in SILVER to subtract from other grades and pennies and dollars to add to their own grade level total. The sophomores ended up winning bragging rights followed by the seniors, juniors, and coming in last, the freshmen. NHS was able to give $250 to the Hearts Anonymous organization.

4 Christmas Parade


December 13, 2019


christmas cheer in the community

The cheerleaders grab a picture on their float in their Christmas pajamas before the parade begins.

PASS waves at the crowd from their Hawaiian 12 Days of Christmas float. This was their first year to do a float in the parade.

The PASS float won second place for best decorated and second place of best use of theme. They competed against 98 other entries.

The soccer hopefuls of both teams gather on the girls soccer float. The teams were revealed December 5 and 6.

Junior Carter Williams helps lead the Hi-Steppers through the streets of downtown.

Teachers Liz Rodgers and Sharon Green help decorate the bus float with PASS.

Junior Cerenity Exline, senior Merryann Hodnett, freshman Haley Davis, and seniors Shakirra and Shakrrya Hamilton promote Health Science and their Marathon Challenge.

The Rusk County Electric Company drives through the streets in their brightly decorated truck.

The woodwind section marks time betweeen playing their parade sequence. The parade sequence consists of “Joy to the World”, “Good King Wenceslas” and “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”.

Sophomore Summer McGee marches with the band as a part of color guard.

The public library interprets the 12 days of Christmas theme of the parade in their own way.

Softball hopefuls for the 2020 season gather on the softball float decorated with the 12 days of softball things. Photos by Stephanie Canchola, Cerenity Exline & Carly Mauldin.

Entertainment 5

December 13, 2019


Last Christmas inspires holiday spirit Carlie Massey Editor in Chief In the movie Last Christmas, bells ring, Christmas songs are sung, decorations are hung, but the Christmas festivities don’t affect Kate. Kate works as an elf at a year-round Christmas store, however, her mood is anything but jolly. Kate recently ran away from home and is attempting to live a life in and out of friends’ houses. After getting kicked out of several friends’ houses, she ends up at her work, exhausted. Her manager, named Santa, has a hurtful attitude towards Kate. Santa regularly tells Kate that she’s ‘stupid’ and is suspicious that Kate showed up to work early. Later in her day, Kate runs into a man named Tom. Tom is everything Kate is not. Kate is selfish and cold, and Tom is constantly smiling and excited about his life. Over the course of the movie, Tom comes in and out of Kate’s life, sometimes disappearing for days on end. Kate has dinner with her parents and her sister, Lydia. Over dinner, Kate mentions to her parents - who don’t speak good English - that Lydia has a girlfriend. Her parents don’t catch on, but Lydia is furious at Kate for telling her secret. Lydia runs to the bathroom, and Kate runs out of the house. Tom finally runs into the crying Kate and brings her back to his

apartment. They sit and talk together. Kate goes into detail about how she had a heart transplant a year ago. She said it was because of this surgery that she felt like she wasn’t herself anymore. As Kate falls asleep that night, Tom disappears again. She wakes up alone, but happy to have finally gotten everything off her chest. That night, Kate began singing outside of a local homeless shelter in order to raise money for them. Kate begins auditioning the people who reside in the shelter in order to put on a Christmas Benefit Show. Kate works with the people who run the shelter and a friendship blossoms between them. All while this is happening, Tom has disappeared again. Nevertheless, Kate continues to work on her attitude and humble herself. She repairs her relationship with her sister, and tries to reconcile with her mother. Kate gives gifts to the friends who let her stay in their houses, and even gives Santa an apology gift. Kate runs into Tom again, excited to see him. They share a kiss, but Tom seems distant. Tom remarks that Kate has become co-dependent on him. Kate then yells at Tom for never being around. She tells him that she’s been working on herself and she can’t be with him if he is gone for days at a time. Days go by before Kate realizes she should speak to Tom. She goes

Harriet Movie Review Carmen Vazquez Staff Writer The inspiring and emotional movie “Harriet” officially came to the big screen on Nov. 1. This is a movie based on real life events that happened to Harriet Tubman. The role of Harriet was taken on by the actor Cynthia Erivo. Harriet was born with the name of Araminta Ross but was better known as “Minty” throughout her family. She was a slave and property of the Brodess family, and even though most of her family were slaves, her dad (Ben Ross) and her husband (John Tubman) were freed in previous years. When Minty finds out she is up for sale and is being separated from her family she does everything in her power to get to the free land of Philadelphia. When she first heads out, it is very difficult, and she faces many harsh obstacles. When she is stopped by her owner’s son at the bridge she has no choice but to jump into the river, and there is where the audience is introduced to one of her most famous sayings, “I’m gonna be free or die.” This quote really hit me. It showed me how strong of a women Minty was, but she was tired of being treated like nothing, and if she couldn’t be free she would rather die. Throughout her journey it is known that she is lead by her faith and the North Star. When she

finally arrives to Philadelphia she is welcomed by Mr. Hamilton who leads an organization that helps escaped slaves. He helps Minty choose her new name. There is where she chooses the name Harriet Tubman in honor of her mother and her loved one. Harriet is then taken to a boarding house run by Marie Buchanon. She welcomes Harriet with a good bath and a good supper. This is a very harsh scene because when Harriet is bathing, Marie is exposed to Harriet’s bruises from all the beatings she received as a slave. This was one of the hardest parts to watch, because it’s so hard to believe that people actually went through all those beatings, and they were marked by bruises all through their bodies. I cannot imagine what it would be like if me or any of my loved ones went through that. Harriet lives in Philadelphia for a whole year, but she is not at peace knowing her family is still suffering from slavery. After that year, she decides to go back and get her family, although they are scared they know she’s the only one who knows the way to the free land. After Mr. Hamilton sees Harriet make it back safely and without losing any of her passengers, he starts to trust her and even introduces her to the famous underground railroads. There is where everything began, she never stopped helping others and saved thousands of lives from slavery. This is a great movie to watch with your family. It shows us how life was back then and makes us realize how blessed we are that life is not as difficult now.

The 4 Star Cinema lit up at night as it shows Last Christmas inside • ‘Last Christmas’ was released on Nov. 8. It was directed by Paul Feig and produced by Emma Thompson, Paul Feig, Jessie Henderson, David Livingstone and Erik Baiers. It also earned a rating of 48% on Rotten Tomatoes.

to his apartment only to find a man in there. He wasn’t Tom. Kate asks why he’s there, and he says he’s a realtor. They discuss the apartment for a second before Kate becomes puzzled. The man reveals that the apartment has been on the market for a year. The previous tenant had died. Kate then

realizes that Tom had never actually been there. A flashback reveals that Kate actually had been given Tom’s heart during her heart transplant a year prior. Kate reels, almost fainting before running out of the apartment. She sees Tom once more in a park and she cries

to him. Tom tells Kate that she must now take care of their heart. A few days later, Kate celebrates Christmas with her family. Lydia is there and has forgiven Kate. She also brought her girlfriend showing that she was no longer afraid of disappointing her parents. The movie

ends with the family dancing, happy and reconnected. This movie is the perfect holiday classic for those in search of a changed heart. Kate’s story has the ability to change cold hearts into warm ones. This Christmas classic is the perfect way to ease into the holiday spirit.

Holiday treats & eats Recipies to try this holiday season Faith Jones Managing Editor

The holidays are here, with that comes along a great excuse to eat anything and everything related to the season. This is the time that treat connoisseurs are able to gain all the holiday weight with none of the guilt. Indulging in sweets is an essential factor when it comes to truly enjoying the holidays. They are also a delicious and convenient gift for friends and family. Two easy and delectable treats for the holiday season are extreme whitechocolate and Oreo cookies and white chocolate trash. Extreme white-chocolate and Oreo cookies call for two eggs, half a teaspoon of baking powder, one teaspoon of baking soda, three fourths cup of brown sugar, two and a half cups of flour, one teaspoon of salt, three fourths cup of sugar, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, two cups of white chocolate chips, one stick of butter and 14 Oreo cookies. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and then line a cookie sheet with parchment paper to prevent the dough from sticking. 2. In a medium sized bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and put it to the side. 3. Mix together the butter, sugar and brown sugar in a stand mixer for two minutes. 4. Slowly add the eggs and vanilla to the previous mixture until fully combined. 5. Incorporate the bowl of dry ingredients gradually. 6. Now, placing the 14 Oreo cookies in a 12 ounce bag, use a rolling pin or desired tool to crush the cookies which will then be added to the mixture. 7. Finally, add the white chocolate chips. The cookie dough then needs to be rolled into one and a half inch balls and placed on the prepared cookie sheet, with about two inches between the dough. 8. Bake the cookies for seven to nine minutes in a 350 degree oven or until golden brown. Once the timer goes off you’ve made 24 cookies, perfect for eating with a glass of milk or sharing with

1) Treats for Friends • Junior friends Rachel Bowman and Hylyn Lumpkins share their white chocolate trash treats. 2) Cookies for Santa • A delicious cookie recipe perfect for putting out for Santa. Photos by Faith Jones.


2 friends. The next holiday treat has many nicknames but is ultimately known as white chocolate trash. It is a mixture of candies, cereals and snacks covered in white chocolate that is undeniably addictive. If one can resist eating the whole batch, it is great to give to friends and family when you aren’t sure of what to get them as a gift or unable to afford a present. The recipe is open to adjustments, but typical ingredients include one 16 ounce jar of peanuts, two 12 ounce bags of white chocolate chips, two tablespoons of vegetable oil, six cups of corn Chex

cereal, six cups of pretzels, small, one 11 ounce bag of plain M&M’s, and will call for parchment paper. 1. Combine the Chex cereal, pretzels, peanuts and M&M’s in a large bowl. 2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and leave them to the side. 3. In a microwave safe bowl mix the white chocolate chips with the vegetable oil and melt while stirring at 30-second intervals until fully melted. 4. Pour the melted chocolate over the dry mixture and fold together

gently until the pieces are coated well. 5. Spread the mixture onto the cookie sheets and cool in the refrigerator until it is set. 6. From here you can choose to divide the mixture into many decorative tins or bags to give as holiday gifts, or keep stored in one, large, airtight bag as a personal treat during the stresses of the holiday season. Baking during the holidays is great family bonding time and it provides a yummy product. There is no limit when it comes to being creative and festive - especially if it’s fun.

Top 5 Songs to get you feeling Jolly Madison Donovan Staff Writer If you’re anything like me, you have been playing Christmas music from the first opportunity you could. Holiday music brings out the very best in people, and some of the world’s top artists have lent their voices to the Christmas songs we love to play on repeat. Whether you’re trying to get into the spirit of the holidays on your drive to school, looking for background music while you decorate your Christmas tree and hang your Christmas stockings, or throwing a holiday party, you need to make sure you have the best Christmas songs playing in the background for all of your seasonal activities. These are the songs that I listen to while doing these activities, and they are the perfect ones for you, too. Get the hot chocolate and the candy canes, and get ready for an amazing holiday. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

1. All I Want For Christmas is You - Mariah Carey This song is the number one most streamed Christmas song. This isn’t surprising to hear at all - this song is an icon. Christmas season hasn’t begun without playing this song. In fact, this song is so popular during this season that Mariah Carey is able to reach Billboard’s Top 100. That’s why Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” is You remains unrivaled as the best Christmas song.

2. Last Christmas - Wham! This song is a holiday classic since its release in 1984. Most people have listened to the song and know the lyrics. The melodic tone and relatable lyrics have enabled this song to stay relevant for the past 30 years. Many would agree that no holiday playlist is complete without this song. This song has even been the recent inspiration for the recent netflix original Last Christmas.

3. It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas - Michael Buble This song is particularly amazing because it is a remake of the 1951 classic by Bing Cosby. Buble’s take on the song has combined his deep, smooth voice with an amazing backing track. It’s no surprise that this song was able to become a holiday favorite since its release in 2011. This song is a must-have on every holiday playlist, and it was able to work it’s way onto this one.

4. Mistletoe - Justin Beiber From a pop sensation, this song has been a hit from the moment it was released. With a much younger Beiber, it no surprise that this song is on the softer side of his music. It adds to the nostalgic feeling that many may feel while listening. Bringing along with it a chance to remember easier times as well as embracing the holiday season has earned this song a spot on this list.

5. Santa Tell Me - Ariana Grande From Ariana Grande’s Christmas album, this song has landed itself a spot on this list. Grande’s impressive vocals are shown throughout this song. She is able to give Christmas a pop spin and pull it off. It is an amazing show of skill and technique. Combining two genres can be difficult, but Grande pulled it off amazingly.


6 Student of the Month

December 13, 2019

November Student of the Month

Leticia Vallejo is Student of the Month for November. She is a 2 year UIL Academics Regional Qualifier, a 2019 UIL Computer Applications District Champion, a 3-year Academic Recognition for All A’s, Microsoft Office 2016 Specialist, and a Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA). One of Leticia’s favorite classes is PASS. “Ever since the first day, I have relished observing the growth of every individual in the class. From the Special Olympics to cleaning the library, I couldn’t imagine spending my time during the day doing something else,” Leticia said. She plans on becoming a mechanical engineer. As a senior you have to start thinking about colleges and your future which can be stressful and hard to decide. Leticia is undecided about what college to attend. “I am leaning more into colleges in-state, but I have began applying to a few up north,” Leticia said. Being a senior can make you realize like everything’s going by fast, so you have to enjoy every moment. “My most memorable experience is one that I now look back on and laugh at very much. In biology, we were told to make strands of DNA. When I turned it in, Mr. Dean told me it was wrong and would give me a 50. I cried until the class was over, only to be

told that I received a 95.” Not only do you make friends with the students but the teachers can also make an impact on you. “Mr. Northcutt is one of those teachers you will never forget in your life. Coming into his class every day for the past four years has been therapeutic while I learn the beauty of architecture. His advice, sagacity, and jokes will be something I will revere even after high school,” Leticia said. Being able to have teachers you can talk to in school can be so refreshing, and someone that can help you out and show you exactly what you need is such a good feeling. “The teacher who has taught me the most is Mr. Williams. I have always had a passion for math, and this class was an eye-opener for my Calculus class I took over the summer. After my calculus course was over, Mr. Williams explained the beauty of derivatives and how everything originated. To my Pre-Cal teacher, thank you for everything you have done for me. I hope you continue to impact students’ lives the way you did mine,” Leticia said. Also the environment we stay in can help us to what we like, especially a classroom that feels like home. “The class I will miss the most is College Ready. Mrs. Diaz allowed us to prepare for standardized tests on Khan Academy and gave us the

flexibility to learn at our own pace,” she said. One of the people in Leticia’s life who is most special to her is her sister. “Up until I was nine, I was a single child. Ever since she was born, I came to realize that being reticent was no longer possible as she always lights up the room with her smile and countless silly jokes,” Leticia said. The most influential person in her life is her mother. “My mother is the blueprint I reference that has built me into the person I am today. Being alongside her when she overcame adversities has given me the strength and willpower to continue her legacy for many years to come,” Leticia said. Being a senior goes by so fast, and so many emotions come to you. “The one thing I fear most about graduating is losing touch with many of the people I have become close with,” Leticia said. “When everyone goes off to college, many go separate ways and never come back to their hometown. To the class of 2020, I wish you all the best in everything you do in life.”

Leticia Vallejo

~ Teresa Medina

November Student of the Month Senior Kaden Downing was selected for November Student of the Month. He is involved in National Honor Society, has been a state qualifier for Skills USA, a class favorite for 2 years, and is on the Bank Board. While going through high school, friends are something many students rely on. Colton Burrows and Erith Rushing are the two people who are that for Kaden. “We have great memories,” Kaden said. Kaden’s favorite community service was working at the Kilgore City Pool over the summer. “I got to enjoy teaching people how to swim,” Kaden said. High school proposes challenges and those are different for everyone. Many struggle with making friends, having enough time in the day, or keeping up with grades. “[My biggest challenge is] trying to keep my grades up,” Kaden said. Kaden plans on going to Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He plans on following a pre-med course program to later be a surgeon. “I am planning on taking the pre-med program,” Kaden said “I am taking it to prepare myself for medical school in the future and

Kaden Downing

in hopes of becoming a doctor later on.” The class that had the biggest impact on Kaden was Carey Murphy’s English class. “She taught me many valuable things and helped grow me into a stronger student,” Kaden said. Kaden was the mascot his sophomore year. While the mascot, Kaden grew very close with the cheer sponsor Natalie Threlkeld and spent plenty of time with her and the cheer team. “Mrs. Threlkeld has taught me the most,” Kaden said. “She gives great advice about life.” Kaden also said that when life brings him down he goes to Mrs. Threlkeld’s class. Kaden has high expectations for his future ten years from now. “I will just be starting off my career,” Kaden said. “That will be about how long it takes me to finish my schooling, and I will be fresh in the real medical field.” Kaden’s dad is the most influential person in his life. “He has become successful and a role model to me,” Kaden said. If he got to sit down with anybody in the world it would be George Strait. “We would write a song together because he is the King of Country,” Kaden said.

Graduating can sometimes be an emotional roller coaster with fearing going out into the world alone. “Going to college alone is one of my greatest fears about graduating,” Kaden said. One of Kaden’s biggest accomplishments is being in inducted into National Honor Society. “I am proud of this because the people in this club are held to a higher level so you have to work to stay in it, and it looks really good on college applications,” Kaden said. Kaden’s memorable experience in high school was being the mascot sophomore year. “I enjoyed how happy the children were and loved bringing joy to people,” Kaden said. After enduring almost the entirety of his education, Kaden has procured certain wisdoms about making the most of these years. “Never argue with stupid people; they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience,” Kaden said.

~ Jada Franklin

Novemer Employee of the Month The November Employee of the month is Connie Carrasco. She is employed at KHS as secretary to vice-principal Ronnie Garvin. Mrs. Carrasco grew up in West Texas, graduating from Hart High School in the small town of Hart. While in high school, Mrs. Carrasco played different sports like basketball, track, tennis, cross-country and powerlifting. “I love sports,” Mrs. Carrasco said. “I was MVP in track my freshman year. I loved going to competitions.” She went to college in Bossier City, Louisiana. “I have Criminal Justice Associates Degree,” she said. “I worked for attorneys and the city of Shreveport.” Mrs. Carrasco also is a licensed realtor in Louisiana and has been one for over 12 years. Now that they are in Kilgore, she has a love for helping around the Kilgore High School campus. “I love FHLA and helping students become leaders for tomorrow,” she said. “I am proud when I can see that I have made a difference in the life of a child or colleague.” The people who impact her most at KHS are the students. “We can always learn from someone, and I believe in embracing challenges as a way to grow and learn,” she said. Mrs. Carrasco’s mother

and her husband are the most influential people in her life. “My mother is a fighter,” she said. “She never gives up, and her patience is amazing. My husband is the most patient and kind person. He always looks for the good in someone. He is also my best friend who is there to listen, support and motivate me.” In her spare time, Mrs. Carrasco likes to spend time with her family and friends and also volunteer. “I have three children, two daughters and one son. Two daughters are grown and my son is 10 years old. Being with them is great. I also love keeping the basketball books. Where I lived before there were many organizations I was a part of and volunteered with, but we recently moved here, and I am hoping to do the same,” she said. If Mrs. Carrasco could sit and talk with one person, she would like to talk to Abraham Lincoln. “I would love to talk to him about his contributions and his struggles,” she said. “I would like to talk to him about how he got to where he did and achieved much success.” When she runs into tough times or has a bad day, Mrs. Carrasco has found guiding thoughts and ways to feel better. “I focus on the scripture

‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ (Jeremiah 29:11),” she said. “Sometimes I find a nice quiet area where I can refocus and gather my thoughts.” Mrs. Carrasco said her life has been all about learning. “I would have to say that my greatest accomplishment thus far has been graduating college, raising a family and giving back to people,” she said. “I am always open to learning and do believe that when we stop learning is when we stop growing as a person.” In ten years, Mrs. Carrasco does not have plans to slow down. “I hope to see myself still helping students as well as giving back to the community,’ she said.

~ Kendall Dunn

Connie Carrasco

Student of the Month 7 page

December 13, 2019

December Student of the Month Student of the Month for December is Kathryn Edens, who got cheerleader of the year, has been a 4 year honors student, is a member of the National Honors Society and is top 5 in her class. After she graduates high school, she plans on attending Texas A&M and majoring in marketing. “I love the creativity involved in the marketing aspect of the business world,” Katy said. “A&M has a really good business school, and I love the traditions and school spirit embedded in the university.” Her biggest challenge throughout high school has been time management. “My biggest challenge has been learning to manage my time and prioritize what is most important,” Katy said. Throughout her high school career she has grown to love her cheering class. “I love my team and we have so much fun supporting other organizations at KHS,” Katy said. However, the class she will miss the most when she graduates will be yearbook. “I love Mrs. Bates and all the staffers,” Katy said “I’ll also really miss cookie cake days.” The teacher who has left the

biggest impact on her has been Mrs. Tritt. “She has taught me so much that can be applied both inside and outside the classroom,” Katy said. “It shows that she really cares about her students.” On the other hand, the most influential person in her life is her mother. “My mom always puts my siblings and I first and is willing to help with anything we need. She’s my #1 supporter,” Katy said. Carl White is not only her boyfriend but also her best friend. “He is always there for me and makes me happy,” Katy said. “I know I can be myself around him.” When Katy has spare time, she likes to relax and get away. “I like to clear my mind by just driving in my car around Kilgore,” Katy said. “Also I like to hang out with my friends and boyfriend, bake, and watch movies.” Her favorite out of school activity is being part of her youth group at First Baptist Church. “Wednesday nights bring me a sense of peace in the middle of my week, and my youth group is so supportive,” Katy said. Her favorite community service has been working at SAFFE Day. “The special needs kids are so sweet and this event provides a unique way to spend time with them,” Katy said.

Katy is also very proud of becoming captain of the cheer team this year. “My most memorable high school experience was my first time cheering on a Friday night as captain,” Katy said. What she fears the most is losing touch with her friends and moving on. “In ten years I see myself with an Aggie ring, a decent job, and raising a family in the suburbs,” Katy said. If she could sit down and talk to one person, she would choose to talk to Malala Yousafzai. “I’d want to talk to her about her passion for education and the fearlessness that keeps her going despite terrorist attacks on her life,” Katy said. The quote she lives by is “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3

~ Carmen Vazquez

Katy Edens December Student of the Month December’s student of the month is senior Justiss Ross. After high school, he plans to attend The University of Texas in Tyler to major in physics. “I would like to go there because it is close and most of my favorite teachers went there. Also, I am majoring in physics because it’s both a field of personal interest and a window to a few potential career paths,” Ross said. Coming to school every day can be a struggle, and for Ross his biggest challenge during high school has been “finding a motivation to succeed.” Ross will have wonderful memories of this place. “I am proud of the bonds I’ve made with my peers and instructors,” Ross said. Sometimes friends make us able to be more than we thought we could. “My best friend is Kristal Loredo because she pushes me out of my comfort zone,” Ross said. During his spare time he likes to “read, write and come up with ridiculous questions I can’t answer,” Ross said. “Also, I like to annoy my friends (sorry Rachel).” There are things even friends don’t know about Ross. “I’m red-green color blind, I like Irish Folk music, and I’m just as annoyed with how overly technical I am as everyone else is, and I’m

Justiss Ross

sorry,” Ross said. For Ross the most influential person in his life would be his grandmother. “The most influential person in my life is my grandmother because she basically raised me,” Ross said. Students sometimes have teachers that they look up to or have had an impact in their life. “Mr. Boatman has had the largest impact on my life because of his contagious enthusiasm for mathematics helped me stay motivated to succeed,” Ross said. Even though, he enjoys all his classes, he will truly miss being Mr. Williams’ aid the most. “I appreciated being able to handle the responsibilities of that class at my own pace without strict deadlines. Plus, there was some excellent banter,” Ross said. In addition, the teacher that has taught Ross the most would be a tie between Mr. Williams and Mr. Russell. “They both made more time than was necessary to answer my genuinely absurd questions,” Ross said. High school can be the place where students’ most memorable experiences can happen. “I once showed up to a robotics competition without a robot

(Thanks Mr. Russell). It could have gone worse, but it was definitely interesting,” Ross said. His biggest accomplishment in his four years of high school would be “helping my team get second place in the first annual East Texas Ideas Challenge and earn a scholarship to U.T. Tyler,” Ross said. When facing graduation, multiple feelings come together which can cause excitement or fear for the future. “What I fear most about graduating is not seeing my friends and having to rebuild my social network,” Ross said. In ten years, he sees himself “broke and finishing up post doctoral research at a major University,” Ross said. If Ross got to sit down with one person and talk to them, it would be Lee Smolin, professor of physics at the University of Waterloo. “I would like to ask him about his work, but more importantly, I want to thank him for writing the book that inspired my passion for physics,” Ross said. A quote he lives by is “It is the work of an educated mind to entertain an idea without accepting it.” - Aristotle.

~ Yesenia Ramirez

December Employee of the Month December’s Employee of the Month is Ashia Kelly. She teaches chemistry, integrated physics, and is also an assistant girls basketball coach. Kelly attended the University of Central Florida with a Division One basketball scholarship. She majored in Health Science Pre-Clinical prior to becoming a teacher. She grew up in Kilgore and she attended Kilgore High School. She was a four year letterman in basketball, a part of DECA, the National Honor Society, and the website manager for KHS. Her most memorable moment of her high school experience was watching the 2004 football team win the state championship. Her biggest challenge while juggling being a teacher as well as a coach would be learning to manage her time. “During my first year of teaching, I really had to prioritize to keep up with lesson planning, student grades, and my coaching responsibilities,” Kelly said. This year is Kelly’s second year teaching at KHS, and she has been most impacted by her basketball girls. She is most proud that she is able to fulfill her purpose of inspiring young ladies to be better right in her own hometown. “I find so much joy in how

much each of them grow because it is a reflection of the time that I get to spend with them,” Kelly said. Outside of being a teacher and being a coach to her basketball girls, she loves to read, attend church, and visit new places. “Above all, I like to make lasting memories with the people I love,” Kelly said. The people Kelly would consider the most influential to her are her parents. “Mom was influential in provoking and challenging how to think for myself and, my dad gave me the passion to be an athlete and to give back all that I know to others about basketball,” Kelly said. Within the next ten years, Kelly sees herself continuing teaching and coaching basketball. “These avenues have afforded me unspeakable joy, an opportunity to inspire and challenge me to be better than the day before,” Kelly said. When life gets her down, Kelly likes to soak in a hot bath. “It is a place of relaxation, quietness, and a fresh start,” Kelly said. The quote she lives by is “Take the next best action.”- Don Meyer. This quote is a constant reminder to her that we are given so many opportunities in the game, or in life, even when we fault, however, it is up to us to

take the next opportunity and make it a great one. Her best friend is Alexis Hagler. She met her at a pivotal time in her life and has endured the teenage, young adult, maternity, and adult years of Kelly’s life. “No matter how the seasons have changed with us, she continues to show faithfulness to our friendship,” Kelly said. Some words of encouragement she would like to leave her basketball girls is “Do not dare to be anything less than fearless. You are everything you need to be; walk in it,” Kelly said.

~ Lesly Amaro

Ashia Kelly


8 Academics & Organizations Model UN prepares for competition Twirling UIL & VBM Competition December 13, 2019

Carlie Massey Editor in Chief Model UN is a program in which students are selected to represent a country and argue about an issue that the country is facing. Students will travel to Region 7 on January 30-31 in order to argue their opinions about their country. “I think our students will do better this year than in previous years because we have all four grade levels represented in Model UN,” Model UN sponsor and English teacher Johna Tritt said. “Having students from every grade level provides us with experience and leadership that we haven’t had in the past.” Each student receives his or her own country and will represent themselves at the competition. Freshman Kenneth Exline chose Equatorial Guinea. “I’m arguing how oil corruption is affecting the country’s citizens,” Exline said. “Some research I’ve done shows that Equatorial Guinea’s poverty rate is high due to its government

have been competing in this event for years. “It’s really cool to see other students with similar priorities hear about world issues and challenge yourself,” Bowman said. “Being part of it forces us to stay updated on world issues and potentially uncomfortable topics.” Model UN is an event meant to teach students “Being around all the different schools all dressed up and arguing about foreign countries’ problems is my favorite part about Model UN,” Exline said. “I like being able to learn about the world’s problems and debate different ways to solve them.” Students are required to do research and know as much as they can about the issues occurring in their chosen country. “I’m writing about Zimbabwe’s struggling economy,” sophomore Alexia Sosa said. “Poverty in Zimbabwe is the major issue their dealing with, so I wanted to argue on behalf of that.” Model UN also is a way of teaching

country is the Dominican Republic. “I chose to call attention to the damage being done to the Dominican Republic’s coral reefs. Coral reefs are where most of our ocean’s biodiversity is. If it continues to be damaged it would be catastrophic for almost all marine life.” Model UN requires a level of confidence in order to speak in front of other students at the competition. “I like being able to introduce an issue and make people understand what needs to be done to fix it,” Niemeyer said. “I’m always afraid of forgetting what to say or that I’ll mess up, but once I finally muster up the courage to stand, that feeling goes away.” Students have the ability to not only argue their topics, and gain leadership qualities, they have a chance to win awards as well. “I think more students need to realize that world issues are serious and that we can try to solve them globally, and not just in the U.S.” Model UN teaches students leadership qualities.

Angelica Chavez Staff Writer The twirling UIL and VBM competitions were held on November 9 and 23 consecutively. On November 9, the twirling line senior Carlie Massey, junior Olivia Arp, and freshmen Anai Zarate performed at Pine Tree High School. As the day of the competition came, the line was getting prepared to compete. “Preparing for the UIL was nerve-racking,” Massey said. Performing is always exciting, but the thought of performing in front of a judge terrified me.” After their preparation, the line was ready to perform their first UIL competition of the year. “UIL was a good experience,” Performance success • Junior Olivia Arp practices her solo for Arp said. “We didn’t come away UIL at Pine Tree High School. Photo by Carlie Massey. with the result we desired, but everyone was still close and I know and my results,” Massey said. “It They performed to the judges we tried our hardest.” wasn’t a perfect score, but I’m proud and a crowd which one of the line Each of them were feeling of what I accomplished.” members thought it was different emotions rushing through them As the competitions continued, from the UIL. while they were performing to the the line performed their second “I felt that we were more judges. competition which is the VBM prepared for the VBM than the “Before my performance I was (Vicki Bowden Mobbs) competition UIL,” Arp said. “Although the mostly just nervous,” Massey said. on November 23 at Kilgore College. routine was not quite successful.” “I was scared I was going to forget Vicki Bowden Mobbs Majorette and Massey said she was dizzy and my routine or embarrass myself. flag line classic is a competition held stressed, due to her wisdom teeth However, as soon as my music in honor of Vicki Mobbs. She was a surgery, so she wasn’t focused on began, I felt confident in what I was KCT and her family carries on her the competition as a whole. She doing.” memory through this event. thinks she did good, but she wishes Arp said she was extremely “I had just gotten my wisdom she could have watched the other nervous even though this is her third teeth taken out so I wasn’t exactly teams that were a little more. year at UIL. She said the judges excited,” Massey said. “I was “I felt a bit more nervous than were a little harder this year. and worried I was going to mess it up my other performances,” Zarate she didn’t know what was going to for the other girls. But, I didn’t drop said. be expected. my baton and now I have a funny As they finished performing, the “I didn’t feel stressed preparing story to tell.” line went to see their results. They for UIL,” Zarate said. “I felt a little The line practiced hard received a best costume certificate nervous but confident at the same before performing for the VBM and a trophy for fifth place. time since we practiced a bunch.” competition. “The other twirlers are my The group made a two as their “It wasn’t as stressful as last time favorite part of twirling,” Arp said. result. They put in their hard work I competed,” Zarate said. “I mean, “The friendships I have made and on their first competition. Arp and I was pretty excited to show off on the people I get to twirl with are Massey made a two on their solos. our routine that we practiced so hard the best thing ever. We spend hours Arp and Zarate on, but I felt a bit more nervous than together practicing and end up “I feel confident in my routine my other performances.” becoming a family.”

1) Busy members • Members of Health Science Club gather for a group picture to celebrate kicking off the Marathon Challenge which was held at the Middle School track.

Preparing for greatness • Senior Lauren Couch works on her Model UN research during advisory. “I enjoyed getting to do Model UN for the first time last year because it was a huge learning experience for me,” Couch said. “I really liked getting to meet new people and discuss our ideas on certain topics with them.” stealing money from its oil industry.” Every nation has its own issue to be argued on. “My nation is the Bahamas,” junior Rachel Bowman said. “My nation is using physical models to highlight the issues of HIV, AIDS and human trafficking. The Bahamas is a major center for these issues. These topics can be sensitive, but that is exactly why they should be acknowledged.” There are students who are new to Model UN, and there are others that

students about real world issues. “My issue is drugs in Ireland,” freshman Olivia Hardin said. “I decided on this issue because drugs are a large issue in Ireland.” The point of Model UN is to push students to think about topics many high schoolers don’t know about. “My favorite part of Model UN is discussing and arguing topics you don’t talk about much in school,” Hardin said. Freshman Rachel Niemeyer’s

“Kilgore High School has a great opportunity to win multiple awards, including best overall delegation,” Model UN sponsor and geography teacher Carl Mohn said. “Our junior and senior students bring Model UN experience and leadership and our freshmen and sophomores are bringing with them enthusiasm and experience from the middle school level. They have all been working hard this semester to prepare for a great competition this coming spring.”

Journalism students travel to Lindale for workshop Annual Marathon Challenge held Cerenity Exline

1) Good start • Sophomores Ashaw Bailey, Kylee Lakey, and Eryka Hopper review over lunch. 2) Learning a lesson • Journalism students pay attention to a lecture about the different contests. 3) Big smiles• Journalism students relax before the lecture starts. Photos by Journalism Coach Amy Bates.

Staff Writer


2 Hopper said. “Being critiqued was hard, but I’m glad I received the feedback.” Staff Writer With the new advisory system in On October 30, Journalism UIL place, the journalism team meets on students traveled to Lindale to attend Tuesdays during this time to practice. a workshop designed to better their This opportunity for extra study time writing. This is one of the first steps didn’t exist last year, and it may prove in preparation for the upcoming UIL to be successful. “Some students have extremely competitions. busy schedules, and they’re unable “UIL is something that you have to prepare for,” sophomore Eryka to make it before or after school,” Hopper said. “You can’t just show up Hopper said. “I can’t make it after school, so I’m glad to have time to and expect to place first.” At the workshop, the students actually practice.” School isn’t the only time or place learned a lot of skills that will be useful in the upcoming competitions. that students can practice. They are “I learned how to get the readers’ also committing time outside of class attention in feature writing, and how to practice. “I plan to have about two hours of to formulate an editorial piece,” practicing through 30 minutes of study freshman Dulce Rangel said. “I even learned what not to include in news with ten minute breaks in between,” Rangel said. writing.” One student in particular is Hopper, who attended the workshop last year as a freshman, focusing on a specific UIL event, learned a different lesson while in the Copy Editing. Sophomore Ashaw Bailey plans to focus his practice more advanced course. “I was able to learn what I was using the AP Stylebook. “I want to learn common mistakes doing wrong, and how to fix it,”

Madison Donovan

The Health Science Club officially kicked off the 2nd annual Marathon Challenge. At last year’s 5K Color Dash, there were lots of participants for the first year. This year, the Health Science Club has grown the event in having a kickoff and opening the event to surrounding areas. The challenge is for a person to run or walk the distance of a marathon, 26.2 miles, over a 22 week time period while keeping track of it in a logbook. By completing and turning in a logbook, you earn a free entry into the 5K Color Dash that will be held March 28 in downtown Kilgore. The idea behind the challenge is to encourage those who live in the Kilgore community and surrounding areas to get fit. To help keep track of progress made in the challenge, the Health Science Club has a Facebook and Instagram page as well as tagging #GetFitKilgore in each post.

The kickoff was held on October 26 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium Track. While at the kickoff, people were able to walk or run around the track to begin their journey in the Marathon Challenge. When they were finished for the day, participants were able to get their logbooks and log their progress from the day. With all who showed up, there were 591 laps walked around the track, equalling 147.75 miles. Leading up to 5K Color Dash that will be held on March 28, there are multiple smaller events to help participants complete the Marathon Challenge. For each of the smaller events, the club has a theme and has selected something to collect donations. The first smaller event was the Puppy Walk held at Meadowbrook Park on November 16. Those who came out were able to walk on the Creekside Trail that ran alongside Meadowbrook Park. At the Puppy Walk, the Health

3 in writing, and how to fix them,” Bailey said. “I know this will help improve my own writing skills.” UIL isn’t just about learning journalism. It can also be used for students to step out of their comfort zones. “I get the opportunity to learn about a new subject and learn more about myself as a person,” Rangel said. Freshman Kayla Ridge is even hoping to to gain skills that will help the future generations of her family. “I’m looking to gain experience and leadership qualities to pass down to my younger siblings and family,” Ridge said. The UIL journalism team will continue to work hard into the new year. The team was very successful last year, and will prove to be a difficult competitor this year. “Last year I didn’t know what I was doing really,” Hopper said. “This year, I know what the judges are looking for; I’m ready to grow into the genius I knew I could be.”


Science Club collected donations for the Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center. Many donations were collected including collars and leashes, Milk Bones, Ziplock Bags, cleaning supplies, and a little bit of cash for the animal center to buy needed supplies. Combining the distance that each person who came out walked or ran, there was a total of 59.6 miles. The next smaller event that is planned for those doing the challenge is a Christmas Movie Walk at the Kilgore Middle School Track on December 19. People are welcome to come out and enjoy a Christmas movie while they walk around the track. While enjoying the movie, there will be hot chocolate and popcorn provided. The Health Science Club will be taking donations for local Angel Trees. After the Christmas walk on December 19, there will be a stroll through Synergy Park as well as Jack Stallard’s Birthday Walk. The stroll through Synergy Park will be held January 11. The Jack Stallard Birthday Walk will be held at the R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium Track on February 29 and March 1. Jack will walk 54 laps for his 54th birthday, and will be collecting donations for the KC food pantry. Even if you have not been able to come to the kickoff or puppy walk, you are still able to join in on the challenge. The Health Science Club hopes to continue the Marathon Challenge each year as well as grow the challenge by having more surrounding schools and towns participating.


1) Sweet puppies • Sophomore Cason Cox snuggles a puppy at the puppy walk. 2) Dogs are a girls best friend • Freshman Olivia Blundell hangs out with her German shepherd. Courtesy photos.

Christmas Sweaters 9

December 13, 2019

Physics teacher Brandon Osborne displays his festivity with his Darth Vader sweater.

Sophomore McCabe Wheeler is all smiles in his gorilla Christmas sweater.

Humanities teachers Johna Tritt and Carl Mohn show off their

Rudolph Christmas sweater.


Assistant Principal’s secretary Emily Bailey jumps for joy in her Buddy the Elf sweater because smiling is her favorite thing.

Sophomore Ashaw Bailey poses in his ‘Meowy’ Christmas sweater.

Junior Haylee Brown gives a smile in her “Merry Everything” tinsle sweater.

‘Tis the ‘Sweater’ Season to be Jolly

Senior Carlie Massey shows off her llama sweater.

Sophomore Abby Hattaway shows off her gingerbread house sweater.

Freshman Bethany McWilliams is jolly in her Christmas poncho.

Freshman Addison Woods is all smiles in her Photos by Carl Mohn, Eryka Hopper & Olivia Arp.


10 Santa Letters

Dear Santa, This year I just want every kid in this world to have a place to go to where they can be warm, receive lots of love from their family, find a present under their Christmas tree, and make great memories with their loved ones. Yesenia Ramirez

Dear Santa, 2019 has been wild. In Theatre, we are performing Shrek the musical, Hope Initiative is buying Christmas presents for families, and I need to settle on one college instead of juggling seven choices. If I could have anything, it would be a BIG FAT grant or scholarship for college. I’m really not trying to pay off student loans till I’m 50, so that would be great. Also, if you could PLEASE set up a homeless shelter in Kilgore that would be great. There’s never enough homeless shelters. Welp, that’s it. Peace out my dude. Madison Celley

Santa, I wish to have a game I’ve been keeping an eye on and if you can, I hope you have something or someway that can help my brother out. If not, then thank you for trying. The game I’m talking about is Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. I hope you have a good one. Joseph Hicks Dear Santa, For Christmas, I want Santa to give me apple juice and hot dog. Jaime Baldazo

Dear Santa, For Christmas, I want Santa to give me apple juice and hot dog. Ethan Drury Dear Santa, Hi Santa! For Christmas, I want a pair of good boots. Please. Colston Perdue Dear Santa, What do I want for Christmas you may ask? I am honored to have a new video game for my TV at home. Joseph Hicks

December 13, 2019 my grandparents. I haven’t seen them in about six years, and I would like to feel their love and warmth once again. They are gradually growing old each day, and I hope I get to feel their touch once again, before one of them, or both of them, is taken to heaven. Thank you. Shanna Casayuran Dear Santa, I wish for a simple thing, world domination. You see, I desire to be supreme leader and rule upon the masses with an iron fist molding the world as I please. Take

Christmas movies) a nice smile, and maybe some freckles. If he can drive, that’s a plus! Also, cuddles are always accepted. (If you’re reading this and fit this description snap me @ avery17593). If this is too much to ask for, a college fund will work as well :). Avery Leblanc

Dear Santa, Please make sure everyone has a safe holiday break and a Hey Santa, blessed New Year. Ya know, some people ask for From, money, toys, games and other Haylee Brown stuff. But all I want is for my best friend to be at ease with Dear Santa, her life. She has so much All I want for Christmas is nothing because I already got what I have. I have a family that loves me and friends that support me with anything everything I do. Jada Franklin Dear Santa, I don’t wish for much during Christmas, but what I do wish for is a vacation. I feel like I deserve to be able to get away. I’ve been wanting to go to New Orleans and check out Bourbon street. I’ve heard all types of stories. Plus one of the best movies “Girls Trip” was shot there. Traveling is something I enjoy in life, and I would love to travel to one of the places I’ve been wishing for. Hopefully, my dream will come true. Santa, I promise I’ve been sweet! Aniya Williams

Dear Santa, For Christmas, I want Santa to give me apple juice and hot dog. Luis Baldazo Dear Santa, For Christmas I want a Chevrolet Camaro from the 1990s. For my friends, I just wish them to maybe have their own things that they wish for. For the school, I just want it to be a bit more creative with a couple of things, and finally my wish for the world is to just stay the same as it is. Aaron Petty

for the world to get better and stop all the violence around. I wish for happiness, love and health for me and my loved ones, but above all I wish for another year full of blessings! Carmen Vazquez

Members of the

& Mirror staffs gather at the end of their annual staff Christmas party. The staffs wish everyone a very Merry Chistmas and a

Dear Santa, I’ve been behaving well in many days even though I wanna be a champion in sports for my school. What I want for Christmas are these Dear Santa, things For Christmas I want Santa 1. Gucci Slides or Sandals to give me apple juice and 2. Beyblade Burst Turbo hot dog. stadium with TURBO beys Aiden Lothrop 3. IPHONE 11 4. 5 pair of Adidas pants Dear Santa, with stripes (stripe colors: I would like to have a happy, red,gold,blue,green, and pink) joyful Christmas. 5. USA Jersey Leanna Morin 6. Black Adidas Superstar shoes with white stripes Dear Santa, Danna Requena Can I have some air pods for Christmas, please? Dear Santa, Sarria Jackson I want Santa to bring me apple juice and hot dog. Dear Santa, Samuel Clements For Christmas, I want Santa to give me apple juice and Dear Santa, hot dog. I want passing grades and Jack Tyra better school lunches. Shawn Rowland Dear Santa, ‘Sup’ man! Can I get some Dear Santa, money, and by some I mean a I would like to be able to have lot? Thanks, Bro. classes with my best friend Edgar Sanchez Cayden and I also would like for off campus lunch so I Dear Santa, don’t have to eat the school This year for Christmas I lunch. I would like to be able would like a sewing machine to have school start at 8:00 for my mom. I want a new job and end at 3:15, and I wish for my stepdad and a job for there was more time to get James. And I would like a big to class and more time for house like the one from The lunch and no detention for Notebook. I know that’s not being seconds late to a class. how wishes work, but I can at THANKS!<3 least hope. Mr. Presley gave Dillan Baker us Christmas dinner last year. Dear Santa, This year I think we’ll be ok. For Christmas, I want Santa But we don’t have a car so to give me apple juice and my stepdad can’t get too far hot dog. to work. Well I’ll be sure to Omar Gauna leave milk and cookies on my table for you. Dear Santa, Yours Truly, All I want for Christmas is a Kara Malick cash cash cash money. William Bennett

Mirror the staff played.

Dear Santa, For Christmas I want Santa to give me apple juice and hot dog. Ivan Moran Dear Santa, The things I wish for is that the Earth gets treated right and that there is no more bullying at schools, on the internet, or anywhere else. Please just let people on earth treat Earth and others right. Some people do not even think about the Earth and how we treat the Earth. These are the only things I want for Christmas this year. Lucas Tyson Dear Santa, I’m going to be honest with you; this year hasn’t been the best, but I think I would really like to receive a big hug from

Dear Santa, I’ve been positive this year and not focusing on the negative in my life. All I wish for is my life to be positive and not be negative. I don’t really want any stuff this year but thank you. Please slap me if you ever see me spending money on random stuff. :) But please don’t slap me whenever I’m buying a caramel frappes. ;) Sincerely, Angelica Chavez

going on right now, and I don´t know how she is still together. She means everything to me. She is sweet, caring, kind, trusting, and I just want her to be happy. I want her to not have to worry about what’s going on at home or at school because everything is perfectly fine and she has nothing to stress or worry about. Dear Santa, Kyndal Collins I want crocs size 11 and a soft blanket. Dear Santa, Kendrion Wheat All I want for Christmas is good golfing weather and Dear Santa, presents under the Christmas This year I just want more Tree. I also want Donald happiness and good health for Trump to be elected for the my family and friends, I don’t next upcoming election. I really need anything. Just a also want to ask from you Thank you for this year and for everyone to get along. what it has taught me. I just Hopefully you get me what ask for my family to be safe what I really want, and that and well taken care of, and would be for many more also my friends. Christmas dinners with my Teresa Medina into consideration that I am family. Thank you. indeed a good boy and my Sincerely, Dear Santa, future actions technically Jagger Bryant For Christmas I would like for do not violate your Terms everyone to feel the Christmas of Agreement of exemplary Dear Santa, cheer I feel every December. I behavior between the days I want hot wheels, Hot hope that anyone who doesn’t of January 1 to December Cheetos, and Jesus for like Christmas can have a 25 as they take place in the Christmas. change of heart. Lastly, I wish future. In addition, I am open Kaden Thrower for a productive, enjoyable to maintaining your holiday 2020. :) during my period of reign Dear Santa, Carlie Massey and have no future plans The thing I would love to diminish its place in my to receive from Santa is a Dear Santa, subject’s life. Thank you for college acceptance letter from I would like candy and a gift your service my red lord. Texas A&M University! I card to Walmart! Martin Hernandez have wanted to go to Texas I would like to get my friend A&M for my entire life, and it Kya a bag of chocolate! Dear Santa, would be truly life-changing Merry Christmas, This Christmas I would love to go to my dream school. Layla Spalding a loyal boyfriend. Preferably Madison Robins one that has dark hair, is taller Dear Santa, than me (5’3), has hoodies, Dear Santa, For Christmas this year I is funny, enjoys Christmas This Christmas I wish for would like a new curling iron, movies (if he can be dropped everybody to find peace some fuzzy blankets, and a off before Christmas that’d within themselves. I also wish new puppy! be nice because ya know: Katherine Shupe

December 13, 2019

Should you recycle & will it make a difference? Carlie Massey Editor in Chief With the rise of Greenhouse gases, pollution, and plastic use in everyday life, America has been faced with a smelly issue: trash. Landfills are rapidly overflowing with mounds of trash that could be recycled and used again.

biggest contributor to soil pollution. Eighty percent of the items in these landfills could have been recycled. With the U.S. recycling rate to be around 34.5%, the possibility of us rising to a rate of 75% would be the equivalent of removing 50 million passenger cars for the roads in America. Recycled paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 463 gallons of

Saving the planet • Recycling has the potential to change the planet, the atmosphere, and the future. Made by Carlie Massey with Canva.com Americans should recycle their trash in order to decrease the waste found in landfills. Recycling was introduced with the ‘environmental movement’ in the 1970’s. However, it has been around for thousands of years. Before the industrial age, people could not create products quickly, so manufacturers were driven to use recycled products, even if their intention was not to help the environment. Despite this, large-scale recycling programs were not common. Recycling was mainly a household concept. Nine-tenths of all waste has not been recycled. Landfills are the

oil, and 3 cubic yards of landfill space. Recycled plastic can save up to 16.3 barrels of oil. Recycled steel can save 1.8 barrels of oil and 4 cubic yards in landfills. Un-recycled aluminum is enough to rebuild the US commercial air fleet four times. The University of Southern Indiana reported, “If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.” Recycling is taking used materials and making them into new products that can be used again. Products that are not made from recycled materials are made with new materials formed by gathers fresh, raw materials from

the Earth. Recycling helps by conserving raw materials. Creating products through recycled items requires less energy than creating products through raw materials. It also saves money to create items through recycled materials. Recycling also cuts back the need for mining, logging, etc. These actions create air and water pollution. Recycling decreases the amount of pollution produced in making products. A recycling bin costs $5 to $25 for pickup, and can help the environment tremendously. Items such as paper, cardboard, metal cans, and plastic can be recycled. In order to recycle cardboard, make sure it is flattened. Be sure that there are no food contaminates or liquid on the paper or cardboard. Additionally, bubble wrap or other forms of plastic must be removed from paper items before throwing them in the recycle bin. Metal cans must be dried, with paper or plastic labels removed. Plastics such as water bottles, milk jugs, detergent containers, and other hard plastics can be recycled, but flexible plastics cannot be. These include grocery bags, bubble wrap, or styrofoam. Lids are too small to be recycled by themselves, so be sure to attach them on their containers or simply throw them away. A rule of thumb for flexible plastics is this: if you can poke your finger through it, it does not belong in the recycling bin. Many people argue that recycling is too hard or too difficult, but in actuality, it is not. Recycling does not have to be strictly buying a recycling bin, separating trash from recyclables. Recycling can occur in small ways such as using a reusable container when packing lunches or dinners rather than using plastic bags. Or investing in a reusable water bottle rather than buy many plastic water bottles. It can also be helpful to carpool, or ride a bike to commute to work. This will help to make your commute ‘green.’ Recycling can be found in everyday life, and does not have to be restricted to sorting trash and buying a recycling bin. There are many ways Americans can help recycle, and it is up to us to provide a clean world for future generations. Recycling is important. With recycling, the climate and world can change.

Health & Wellness11page

Preventing seasonal allergies As teachers get Germ-x and tissues out of the cabinet, students know what season is coming: allergy season. The main cause of seasonal allergies are weather conditions, mold spores and pollen, and during fall is when the highest pollination takes place. Allergies occur at any season of the year or windy seasons when the branches of the trees are moving and pollen grains appear like smoke in the air, but especially autumn. It is the season when people get prepared and take precautions to not get sick or contagious. During school, students are often exposed to these allergies by simply not washing or disinfecting their hands after blowing their nose, sharing the same cups, classroom pets

or even chalk dust during class. This can be prevented by making simple changes. Washing your hands, covering your mouth when sneezing, not sharing drinks with others, and making sure everything you’re touching is clean can help you and the ones around you be more unlikely to get sick. Sometimes having allergies is hard to avoid, as students are surrounded by many infected things that can be contagious. However, knowing the signs of infection and taking medication as soon as possible can ease the symptoms. The most common signs of these seasonal allergies are runny nose, congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, sore throat and itchiness. During the seasonal changes, pollen grain and mold spores are very high and they stick on hair, clothing, skin and pets, which can be a reason for these symptoms to appear. Avoiding pollen is a way to prevent

Senior Karen Gonzalez:

these allergies and people can do it by keeping windows closed at all times, both at home and car. Remember that pollen can get into your home via your clothes, hair or pets, so changing your clothes after being outside for long periods of time and not hanging laundry outside is suggested. Shower before going to bed and wash your hands after petting an animal that has been outside. Another way to prevent it can be, vacuuming and cleaning the house often to keep dust mites, pet hair and other indoor allergy triggers under control may help to be less uncomfortable. Changing vent filters, using air conditioning in house, and servicing heating systems can also ease symptoms. Students’ health should be a priority and making sure precautions are taken to prevent any inconvenience. Remember this season by having lots of memories not allergies, take precautions.

Junior Aileen Resendiz:

Nurse Melissa LeBlanc:

“I prevent allergies by paying attention to our surroundings, what we touch, and looking deeper onto how to prevent them and what causes it to be prepared and take proper medication.”

“Taking allergy medicine or wearing a mask to prevent pollen from going into your system can also help you to prevent them.”

“It’s hard to avoid, but daily medication, clean surroundings, air filters at home, staying indoors more if you can, can definitely help.”

Yesenia Ramirez Staff Writer

Saving lives with blood donations

Health Science Club continues to partner with Carter BloodCare Cerenity Exline Staff Writer Throughout the school year, the Health Science club partners with Carter BloodCare to host five blood drives. Anyone wanting to donate blood must be 16 or older. Those under 16 need parent permission. There have already been two blood drives held so far. The first was held on Sept. 5 where the Health Science club collected 49 units of blood. The second blood drive was held on Nov. 21 and the club collected 56 units of blood. On Nov. 11, the Health Science Club officers, sophomores Cason Cox and Madison Donovan, and juniors Idaira Castillo, Juan Vega, and Cerenity Exline went and participated in the Carter BloodCare Leadership Initiative Conference held in Tyler. While at the conference, they heard from two guest speakers, Jose Feliciano and Glenn Barnes. Barnes shared his story of how the only reason he was living today was because someone chose to donate blood. In his life, there were actually two different incidences where

Barnes was in need of a blood transfusion in order to live. Thanks to those who chose to donate blood, he, along with many others, had the ability to continue their lives. “My favorite part about the experience was when Barnes told us how important blood donations are,”

junior Juan Vega said. Each time you donate blood you save someone’s life. In one donation, you donate about one unit of blood which is one pint. Vega has donated 10 times and plans on continuing to donate in the future.

There is a 97% chance that there is someone that you know who will need a blood transfusion at some point in his or her life. It is a common belief that donating blood is more important during a natural disaster or major incident where someone is injured,

but hospitals are always in need of blood donations. “I think everyone that can give blood should,” Vega said. “It’s not like you’re gonna run out. It’s an important thing to do and it’s not that bad of an experience.” One donation can save up to three

lives. Blood transfusions have saved about 4.5 million lives each year. “If my body could make a pretty much unlimited supply of blood then might as well give some away,” Vega said.

1) Learning from friends • Junior Payton Berger and junior Ruben Estrella talk about where the needle will be inserted for the blood donation. 2) Saving lives • Senior Keira Hollis donates blood for the blood drive Photos by Hylyn Lumpkins. & Sarah Kosel. 2


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December 13, 2019

Striving for success Lady Dogs start season 8-5;Battle upward

Senior Jada Abercrombie shoots the ball.

Junior Miah Thomas dribbles down the court.

Unfinished business

Boys Varsity Basketball begins season 2-7; Strive to gain momentum

Junior Donovan Adkins stays in ready position.

Senior Jeremiah Hoskins & sophomore CJ Ingram & sophomore Jake Thompson work for the rebound.

Record: TO BE UPDATED Junior Alexis T. Anderson takes a shot.

Ny’Kayla Hooper goes head to head with an opponent.

Senior Rowdy Rieke gets down and ready for the ball.

Junior Bryson Parker shoots a layup. Photos by Zadie Vega.

Soccer teams selected Payton Berger Sports Editor

Soccer season picked back up last week as tryouts were held after school. The girls tried out Monday through Wednesday, and the boys tried out Monday through Friday. Seventeen girls were chosen for varsity and 20 girls for JV. Fourteen boys were chosen for varsity and 20 boys for JV. The Dogs scrimmaged Mount Pleasant last night at home to kick off the season. The Lady Dogs’ season begins on December 19 with a scrimmage against Pine Tree at home. “We are working hard. We are changing the style of play from last year. We are doing lots of team building to make us become one,” head coach Todd BonDurant said. Tryouts consisted of a combination of drills, running, and agilities. After a tough week, both teams were chosen by the coaches. “Coach BonDurant and I were very pleased at the turnout we had this week. There was a ton of competition which made it tough to make our final rosters for the upcoming season,” assistant coach Jason Bragg said. The girls team is under new leadership. Todd BonDurant is the new head coach, and he’s excited for what the season has in store. “Our goals for this season are to win the district title back and win state,” BonDurant said. Both the girls’ and boys’ teams are making steady progress to prepare for the season. “I have been very happy with our work ethic so far. Players seem hungry to get after it,” head boys coach Tom Wait said.

Photos by Jaida Thurmond.

Games to watch over winter break Boys Soccer 12/19

Terrell, Pine Tree @ Longview

Girls Soccer 12/19 Pine Tree @ Kilgore

Boys Basketball 12/20 Mt. Pleasant @ Kilgore

Girls Basketball 12/20 Henderson @ Henderson

Boys Basketball 12/26-12/28

Paris Tournament - Location TBA

Girls Basketball 12/27-12/28 Bragg brags on his JV girls • The girls JV team gathers for a photo to start the season. “I’m most excited about getting on the practice field with this talented group of ladies, growing as a team and starting the process of working towards a state championship,” assistant coach Jason Bragg said. Coaches also have high expectations on the type of players on the team. “The boys need to be leaders on the field and accept coaching and be willing to give one hundred percent desire, effort, and proper attitude no matter what the score is,” Coach Wait said. Returning players also have high hopes for their seasons. “We want to play more as a team because last year we weren’t as successful as we wanted to be because we weren’t as connected,” junior Emma Taylor said.

Girls Soccer Roster Varsity Varsity Laramie Cox Ximena Galicia

Michelle Garcia Yamila Valenzuela Madison Alford Brianna Alvarez Zoe Craven Jackie Estrella Estrella Galvan Vazquez Cristina Rosas Emma Taylor Maria Whitaker Berenice Zarazua Alyssa Richardson Sarah Loomis Alexia Sosa Lesly Herrera


Kayla Cedillo Diana Garcia Alexis Olvera Carla Paredes Tara Parson Vanessa Ramirez Vanessa Velasco Heavenly Caldwell Jaycee Pierce Chicuqita Crain Liseli Fragozo Fatima Ornelas Samantha Rodriguez Fabiola Vanegas Alejandra Whitaker Skylar Greenberg Valeria Zuniga Seleste Romero Laryna Romero Danna Requena

The players are already working hard to be the best teams they can be. The teams practice during their athletic period and every day after school. “My goal is to commit to upholding the winning tradition of this program,” Bragg said. Goals are set high for the year and the teams are hoping to improve not only physically but as a team as well. “Communication and chemistry and high levels of play are what we are working to achieve this season. It takes more than a ball to hold a team together through a season,” Wait said.

Team members are determined to go farther this year. “We for sure want to beat Spring Hill this year. We lost to them last year and were second place in district, so we really want to beat them this year,” junior Cristina Rosas said. The Lady Dogs’ first official game is on January 3 against Nacogdoches in Nacogdoches. The Dogs’ first official game is on January 24 against Hallsville at home. The boys will participate in several tournaments before this to prepare for the season. Go support the soccer teams during their season.

Boys Soccer Roster Varsity Varsity

Justin Cedillo Karson Offerding Luis Martinez Wanya McIntyre Jose Perez Christian Vega Richie Avalos Jack Bolding Daniel Estrella Tray Epps Efrain Mojica Izaiah Ramirez Chris Baldazo Ricardo Cedillo


Jonathan Aguilar Gerardo Reyes Nabor Venegas


Angel Esparza Adrian Estrella Adrian Herrera Jose Jaime Gustavo Rojas Jaime Baldazo Raymundo Cazarez Valente Cedillo David Chaves Chris Galindo Albert Gonzales Isaac Gutierrez Graviel Hernandez Julian Herrera Chris Martinez Angel Rico Josue Rosas Anthony Salinas Yamir Sanchez Max Torres

Hallville Tournament @ Hallsville

Boys Soccer 12/28 John Tyler @ Tyler

Girls Soccer 12/30 Grace @ Kilgore

Boys Soccer 1/2-1/4

Jacksonville Tournament @ Tomato Bowl

Girls Soccer 1/3

Nacodogches @ Nacodogches

Boys Basketball 1/3 Gilmer @ Kilgore

Girls Basketball 1/3 Gilmer @ Kilgore

Girls Soccer 1/4 Lufkin @ Lufkin

Girls Basketball 1/3 Gilmer @ Home

Boys Soccer 1/6

New Summerfield @ Kilgore

Boys Basketball 1/7

Spring Hill @ Spring Hill

Girls Basketball 1/7

Spring Hill @ Spring Hill

Throwback to fall season highlights

Seniors Jada Abercrombie and Lauren Couch celebrate a winning play.

Freshman Bryce Borders and junior Chase Borders play a doubles match with determination.

Sophomore Vanessa Velasco picks up her pace to outrun her opponent.

Senior Brayden Johnson lifts junior Cade Pippen into the air with excitement.

Profile for Kilgore High School Mirror

Kilgore High School Mirror December 13, 2019 Edition  

We are the student newspaper of Kilgore High School. We are published for the students, by the students. Our paper comes out four times a sc...

Kilgore High School Mirror December 13, 2019 Edition  

We are the student newspaper of Kilgore High School. We are published for the students, by the students. Our paper comes out four times a sc...