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MavLife News r La Costa Canyon High School

1 Maverick Way, Carlsbad, California 92009

Volume 5 - Issue 6

May 2011

The Money Game

Of La Costa Canyon

MavLife takes a close look at the management of student funds on campus. See pages 11-16 to find out how ASB and Yearbook allocate their money.


MavLife Editor In Chief: J.P. Horrigan Managing Editor: Sean Bentley News Editors: Cara Connor and Alex Ham Sports Editors: Sean Bentley and Andrew Murray Entertainment Editor: Ally Allen Opinion Editor: Liliana Alaniz Staff Writers: Kristen Adams, Jake Barnes, Jordan Bernard, Kenya Caines, Kiely Doherty, Trace Dimeff, Steven Fahy, Cassidy Feeney, Jordon Freiler, Maggie Hammock, Rachel Hutchison, Will Jones, Brenna Lyles, Breonna Mabry, Lisa Mazzone, Tara McQueen, Alex Meeks, Lauren Sonken, Jessica Stevenson, Rebecca Sykes, Tanner Taguchi, Nick Theriault, Hunter Vurbeff

Adviser: Suzi Van Steenbergen

Front cover photo by Hunter Vurbeff

1 Maverick Way Carlsbad, CA 92009 (760) 436-6136 ext. 6020 email: Mav Life is the student newspaper of La Costa Canyon High School. La Costa Canyon High School student media products are public forums for student expression. Students are responsible for their work in print publications, online content and video broadcasts, as well as in other products, none of which are subject to administrative approval. Students make all final content decisions. Media programs follow educational best practices as defined by the National Scholastic Press Association, Journalism Education Association, and Student Press Law Center. In addition, student media programs work to follow all copyright laws and avoid libel, slander, and infringing upon the rights of others. Unsigned editorials represent the opinions of the newspaper staff, while opinion columns represent the writer’s perspective. Advertisements do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s viewpoint. MavLife, an open forum, welcomes signed letters on pertinent issues from the community, which may be submitted to room 804, via e-mail or to Suzi Van Steenbergen’s mailbox in the administrative building. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

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Editorial The opinion of the editorial team

Financial Oversight Needed Review of Yearbook account raises questions Over the past five months, MavLife has looked into the ASB budget, which includes all clubs (including the yearbook and journalism publications), the ASB class, and athletics. The management of money in the school budget is a subject that remains undisclosed to the majority of the student body. While most accounts appear to be well managed, some questions arose about the spending methods of yearbook specifically, and about how the school manages the budget overall. For example, as the reports by Steven Fahy and Brenna Lyles show, technological equipment makes up as a large chunk of yearbook’s expenditures. Now, while this may be entirely reasonable, we feel that items such as two WiFi-enabled iPads, a case and keyboard for the iPads, and an iPod classic appear to get little actual student use. No club should have independent powers to spend on materials that don’t go directly toward improving student education. Yearbook, because of its fundraising power, must be wise with its spending strategies in order to provide students with necessary learning materials. The last thing the school needs is student-funded clubs spending on luxuries rather than necessities. Independent spending without oversight from the students or the administration can lead to purchases that could raise questions as to whether the items serve the curriculum of the class. Such independence often leads to a lack of transparency, and in the case of yearbook, contributes to a lack of oversight of the club’s expenditures. This laissez-faire attitude allows yearbook to spend freely with little to no regulation from school authorities. This lack of transparency runs deep. In order to find a copy of the yearbook contract, for example, Fahy and Lyles contacted Mr. Salas, who did not respond to their request, and Herff Jones representative Steve Bailey, who declined to provide a copy. They also spoke with Finance Officer Susie Gardner, Assistant Principal Doug Kamon (who oversees yearbook), and Principal Kyle Ruggles, who contacted the district office for a copy; none of those contacted had a copy of the yearbook contract. Further, with all the money that students pour into yearbook through senior ad and yearbook sales, we find it ironic that as teachers and classes get cut, yearbook’s budget continues to increase. Another concerning point is the lack of financial assistance for students to purchase yearbooks. Unlike other schools in the district, scholarships are not provided for low-income students to purchase a yearbook. It appears certain funds could have been made available for students in need, such as the over $55,000 starting balance in the yearbook account, or the $10,000 LCC Foundation “contribution” from Herff Jones. It seems wasteful to have thousands of dollars not being used directly for students, especially those who cannot afford the high yearbook prices. With the overall school budget leaning towards major clubs like ASB and yearbook, more strict financial facilitation becomes a necessity. Some of the excess funds being contributed to these clubs should be awarded to low-income students who can’t otherwise afford to pay for yearbooks or other school events.

Correction & Resignation To the readers of MavLife, In my recent opinion piece concerning the WASC evaluation I must address certain issues in the quality of story itself. In the story I incorrectly sourced a quotation concerning statistics on the American education system; those statistics were drawn from the Alliance for Excellent Education Fact sheet. I would also like to acknowledge that my use of the term “bad review” in reference to the WASC visit was misleading, as the WASC review while, conveyed to teachers negatively, was altogether positive. Due to these two unfortunate but inexcusable mistakes I have chosen to resign from my position as Co-Editor in Chief. I find by not doing so would hurt the credibility of this publication and set a low standard for future student journalists. While the eight teachers who have written the response may say I cast a negative shadow on the American educational system with “dire” and “dismal” statistics I must say that they themselves are all too optimistic with the same statistics. As Americans I do not believe that anyone finds being 17th in the world in education is a reassuring view of our educational system. While they say there “is no great disparity” between our scores and other countries, there is enough disparity for the USA to be placed 17th. *Continued on Page 3

Educators Taken Aback


Response to the WASC opinion piece in the April issue Dear MavLife, As dedicated educators, we agree with your recent “opinion” piece in that we are “proud, confident and spirited.” We do take exception to the recent “dire” and “dismal” offering that Hunter Vurbeff has published. As in any institution, there is room for improvement at LCC. We have spent great time researching, analyzing, and making plans for improving instruction for all students at LCC through the WASC process. LCC has always done well with previous accreditation reports. Hypocrisy was mentioned in the editorial. Vurbeff stated that teachers are: “complaining about a bad review.” Who is doing this? Where and how is this substantiated? The final reports do not even come out until later in the year. The majority of the report and action plans have been written by our own on-site WASC committee. If anyone was “complaining” it was due to a perception of a lack of professional etiquette from the WASC visiting team towards our staff. The hypocrisy we see is a journalist who has not adequately researched the

specific topic. We would like to ask: If Vurbeff feels so strongly about this school and its involvement in improvement, why did he not participate in any of the meetings with WASC teams? Additionally, if he has any information regarding a “bad review” that he please come forward and share that with us or the administration so that we may include it into our planning. While Vurbeff cites many “dire” and “dismal” statistics regarding the national educational experience, he does not cite any specific information or data regarding LCC other than a platitude that there “are many stellar teachers.” Vurbeff’s editorial consists for the most part of his rendition of an older article copied online. He reports research data chosen by another person for the specific purpose of lampooning the education system in our country. If Vurbeff had looked up the original research data quoted in the article he has copied, he should have come to a different conclusion. OECD data from 2009 ranks the United States as

17th of 65 countries. On 6 of 7 reading scales, the U.S. is above the average of all countries. The same is true for our science rankings. The only subject where the U.S. is slightly below is in mathematics. On all scores, the U.S. falls within a few percentage points of those countries ranked higher than us. There is no great disparity in our scores compared to those higher ranked. When you look at the list of countries scoring better than us, the top performers are China and Korea. These countries aren’t required to educate all their students until age 18 as we are (OECD PISA Database 2009). We became educators to serve the community and our country. Teaching is only a portion of what all hard working educators do. Instilling confidence, promoting future leaders and providing a sense of optimism are functions of our daily work that cannot be measured. We will continue to support MavLife and hope that future offerings are more objective, creative and optimistic.

Signed: Michelle Anderson, Math Department Chair Penny Bernal, English Debroah Elliot, Career and Technical Education Department Chair Paul Giuliano, Social Science Department Chair Ryan Giusta, World Languages Department Chair Lynn Heyman-Hogue, French/English Mimi Ralston, VPA-Co-Department Chair James Teague, Spanish

*Continued . . . from pg 2 In response to teacher reaction I implore the teachers of America to take criticism in stride. When students are beginning to understand that the statistics show us placed 17th in the world, we feel cheated out of a good education. I ask teachers to not foolishly feel personally insulted but rather to join together to bring us at least to the top ten ranked educational systems in the world. The fact that we aren’t in the top five is disheartening to say the least. I would also like the community to take note of these teachers who felt insulted enough to write an opposing opinion piece on my article critiquing the educational system. I have never come into contact with any of these teachers and thus they must unfortunately judge me by this piece of work alone. Please understand that the opin-

ion is coming from a student haunted by the realization that our educational system is falling short of world standards. I leave LCC and MavLife with my head held high knowing that future journalists in this school are assured that their First Amendment rights are secure in this campus. As a newspaper we have not only the right but the duty to report the truth as well as express our opinions. La Costa Canyon has been an amazing and life-changing experience and I’m appreciative of those who have taught me in my three years here. I hope to use their inspiration in the future and I believe I made a stand that we as students are never afraid to criticize our own educational system even when facing opposition.

Warmly, Hunter Vurbeff

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Future Engineers at Work Breonna Mabry Staff Writer

Program teaches applied techn0logy


he engineering program isn’t a wellknown feature of our school’s community, but their applicable contributions are making a difference in a big way. Run by Deborah Elliott, it includes three courses: Intro to Engineering, Principles of Engineering, and Civil Engineering and Architecture. Students in these courses learn how to manage technology efficiently and develop skills and attitudes to meet the challenges of daily living and the future world of work. This program of studies incorporates many of the practical arts programs like Engineering, Computer Aided Drafting and Design, Digital Photographic Imaging, and TV Production. “The program really inspires and prepares students for college. It’s not offered at most schools, so it’s pretty awesome to know this is a program special to LCC,” Kasie Shahbaz, senior, said, Principles of Engineering is a year-long class in which students learn about different career possibilities in engineering, explore various engineering systems, experience how math and science are used together in solving engineering problems, and see how new innova-

Students applying principles of engineering in class. Photo by Breonna Mabry.

tions are developed. “Students learn valuable problem solving skills that are transferable to everyday problems, as well as how to use industry

Questioning Nuclear Power Breonna Mabry Staff Writer

Explosions at the Japanese nuclear

power plant, after Japan was hit by an earthquake and tsunami, have sparked new fears that will feed into debates about nuclear power across the globe. Until the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused a nuclear emergency, on a scale not seen since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, it was taken for granted that nuclear power would become increasingly important across the world. According to the United States Regulatory Commision, in the United States alone, there are 104 nuclear reactors, and operators are seeking permission to build at least 20 more in the next 10 years. Central and southern California - a region famed for being prone to seismic shocks - is also home to two nuclear power plants: the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in San Luis Obispo County and San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station located near San Clemente. All California plants are located on the Pacific coast, vulnerable not only to earthquakes but also to a tsunami. The disaster in Japan is raising some serious safety concerns and questions in the homes of nearly every Southern Californian citizen. “People are really nervous,” Paula Vuong, senior, said, “I work at Henry’s Farmer’s market and ever since the Japan crisis, custom-

ers have been buying iodine by the caseload.” Iodine is a mineral substance known to protect the thyroid and other small organs safe from radiation harm. Unfortunately, if a nuclear reactor were to go off anywhere near a resident’s home, the mineral substance would save their glands, but do little to save his or her life. President Barack Obama, trying to reassure a worried nation, declared recently that “harmful levels” of radiation from the Japanese nuclear disaster are not expected to reach the U.S., even as other officials conceded it could take weeks to bring the crippled nuclear complex under control. Not only this, but there are currently new construction plans to guarantee safety near all US plants, including the one’s located with miles of La Costa Canyon. “I don’t really think there’s anything to worry about and I mean, even if something were to go down, there’s not much we can do [about it],” Aly Feildmeir, senior, said. State senators are reviewing whether California’s nuclear power plants and gas pipelines are safe from earthquakes as Japan’s scramble to control its damaged reactors brings up uncomfortable similarities to the nuclear plants on America’s West Coast. Also in the debate, is whether or not Southern Californian citizens are safe from hazardous chemicals traveling from Japan itself.

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standard 3-D modeling software. Students who become proficient in Autodesk Inventor and Revit can more readily get into entry level jobs with engineering and architectural firms than those who don’t,” Elliott said. Students also learn about the tools that engineers use to benefit people and societies, and how technological change can cause social and political problems. Students design and build models in order to solve basic engineering problems. “One of my favorite projects is where we deconstruct products and redesign them into an entirely new product with a different function. It’s called Reverse Engineering,” said freshman Scott Wojtowicz. The course culminates in a multischool design development and marketing project. Students will learn how to sketch, document, and model all of their dreamed up designs using state-of-the-art 3-D modeling software, and will build many of their designs in the classroom’s “Fabrication Lab.” The courses take a “hands on” approach, and it is a transferable credit for many California universities.


Striving for Environmental Efficiency Earth Day provides an oppurtunity to learn about enviornmental sustainability Kenya Caines Staff Writer


n high school being a “zero” basically means you are a low on the totem pole, but now being a zero has a more positive connotation. “Being a zero means, to decrease your impact of atmospheric pollutants such as carbon dioxide, and using other means besides cars to get to destinations, especially, since 1 gallon of gas equals 19.4 lbs of carbon dioxide. Try putting 20 pounds on your back and carrying it around all day,” said AP Environmental Science (APES) teacher Jerry Trust. Every year Trust and his APES students organize and prepare for the school’s Earth Day activities on April 22. Earth Day was started by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teachin, first held on April 22, 1970. While Earth Day focused on the United States, Denis Hayes, one of the original national coordinators in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. This year, Trust and his students focused Earth Day around the theme of “zero.” The “zero” theme not only focuses on keeping school efficient and environmentally friendly, but it also applies to the effort and collaboration of the students and teachers on and off campus.

Earth Day posters were placed around campus to promote the event. Artwork by Natalie O’ Brian.

This year, Trust and his students contacted various environmental groups who set up booths around the student center in order talk to students about environmental issues. Car dealerships and other automotive dealers also brought fuel-efficient and electric cars and motorcycles. “We wanted to make students and teachers more aware of environmental issues of today, especially major issues like climate change. This is a great time to recognize and celebrate the earth and acknowledge that we should be living more sustainably,” said Trust. The APES students also participated in Earth Day by entertaining students with activities like “Minute to Win It,” a game testing your skills moving and replacing objects in one minute, live music preformed by the Sea Cucumbers, and booths set up for the students and their projects. “All of the activities on Earth Day got the students involved and they gained a better understanding of what the pollution does to the environment,” Meghan Assioun, junior, said. “Earth day reminds me to get outside more, and really appreciate the wonders of nature,” said Trust.

Upcoming Events May 26-27: One Acts in the theater at 6:00 pm May 31: Band Spring Concert at 5:00 pm in the theater June 6: Smart Start in the theater at 6:30 pm June 8: Senior Dinner and Yearbook Signing at 5:00 pm in the gym June 10: Science Extravaganza at 7:00 pm in the theater June 11: Yearbook Distribution at room 900 June 14: Senior Checkout Day June 14: Senior Boat Dance at 6:00 pm June 17: Last day of school! Graduation at 3:00 pm in the stadium

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Student Spolights Adam Bucci: From the stage to Capitol Hill Lauren Sonken Staff Writer


any students toy with various activities throughout the course of high school. It is rare when one activity seems to stick, and turn into a passion, for high school is often solely a time of search. However, senior Adam Bucci strays away from that method of testing. He entered high school with a strong passion for musical theater, and nurtured that passion throughout his four years. Due to his dedication, Bucci is able to reflect upon his high school years feeling content with his accomplishments. Bucci has been involved in thirteen shows throughout his life, so a majority of his memories are concerned with theater. “I became interested in theater in my first grade class when I saw ‘Pirates of Penzance,’ a show that was put on by one of the fifth grade classes. It turned out that ‘Pirates of Penzance’ was my first show,” Bucci said. His interest in acting sparked early in his life, allowing it to become something he invested a large amount of time in. Bucci has experimented with involvement in other activities on campus, but

has always found himself straying back to theater. “I’ve always been most involved with theater at LCC. My first show was called ‘The Foreigner’ where I played a KKK member. That part was an interesting one for a nice Jewish boy like myself,” Bucci said. Although Bucci has established a strong sense of involvement in theater, he does participate in other activities outside of campus that stray away from the arts. Bucci takes his bold presence and speaking skills into a student-run program Youth and Government run through the YMCA. As a Junior, Bucci became president of the Youth and Government program located in Encinitas. Next year, Bucci will be studying political science at Loyola Marymount University, located in Los Angeles, California. He also hopes to be a member of the crew team. His contrasting interests will give him a more diverse experience. Bucci describes his life through the maxim, “A goal without a plan is only a wish.” He hopes to execute the motto later in later years, where he desires a life working in Washington, D.C.

Bucci will be attending LMU in the fall to study political science. Photo by Lauren Sonken.

Brooke Farnum: Growing passion for acting Jessica Stevenson Staff Writer

Farnum has starred in five productions and acted in 11 during her four years here at LCC. Photo by Jessica Stevenson.

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raduating this year, senior Brooke Farnum has accomplished many feats as a student on campus. She made her main mark being a Thespian, participating in the program here since her Freshman year. As club president of Thespians, a participant of Gay Straight Alliance, and a star of theatrics on campus, Farnum can often be found singing her heart out in the theater. “I’ve been singing forever! Singing initially got me into acting,” Farnum said. Farnum began acting in second grade and started community theater in seventh grade. Her first plays were The “Jungle Book,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “You’re a Good Many Charlie Brown.” Her favorite role she has played is Maria in Sound of Music at Coast Kids Theatre when she was thirteen years old. “It was the first time someone gave me the opportunity to be something more than just a chorus part so it was a huge learning and growing experience for me. Plus everyone in the cast was extremely close so that made it really fun,” Farnum said.

Outside of school and theater, a lot of Farnum’s time is spent with voice lessons. Friends and family are very important people in Farnum’s life so she loves doing spontaneous things with them, as well. This year, Brooke starred in “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “Macbeth,” and “The Wedding Singer.” Her acting career has certainly launched on campus, but is sure to continue far into her future. Farnum’s life path will continue next year at Emmerson College in Boston, Massachusetts as she majors in Musical Theater. She wants to continue, ideally, onto the stage of Broadway after college, but would be thrilled with any career in theater. “The choice is kinda made for you as you audition at the different schools, but out of all the places I auditioned, I felt like Emmerson offered the best program for Musical Theater. And plus, Boston is an awesome place for the next chapter in my life,” Farnum said. “I don’t remember exactly when I realized I love acting, I just always have, like I don’t ever remember not loving it,” said Farnum.


Smooth Transition

Team looks for another CIF title despite coaching change Nicholas Theriault Staff Writer

The varsity lacrosse team has

seven North County conference titles and four CIF championships in the last 8 years. Their excellence has continued through this season as well. Last year, Dallas Hartley coached the varsity lacrosse team through an undefeated season (27-0). Before the start of this year, he went to the next level up in lacrosse coaching. Hartley was hired as a coach at Chapman University. With coach Hartley gone, last year’s assistant coach, Jesse Foss, was promoted to the head coaching position of this year’s campaign. The team seemed to not be phased by the change, as they quickly jumped to a 3-0 record. In these first few games, the Mavericks had a scoring differential of plus 24 goals. In their first game, they crushed San Marcos 11-2. In game two, they destroyed Santa Margarita 18-4. Then, they beat Rancho Bernardo 7-6. With a 3-0 record, the Mavericks took on Tustin Foothill next. The chance for back-to-back undefeated seasons came to an end here as the team lost 9-8. They rebounded well from their first loss with a win over Wheatridge and our rival, Torrey Pines. During

the Torrey Pines win, the team had 12 saves, while Torrey Pines had 8 saves. Brendan Gaughan scored 10 offensive points. In more recent games, the Mavericks had a pair of four-game winning streaks to move their momentum forward heading into CIF. As the season nears its end, the team’s chemistry is improving. As the new varsity lacrosse coach, Foss has several goals that he wants to continue to focus on for success in CIF and possibly beyond during his first year as the head coach. His main goal is to teach the lacrosse players to become better athletes, leaders, and competitors. Everyone, including Foss, is working harder. Although the team had great success last year, they are still training hard this season and perfecting all of their techniques and fundamentals to do just as well as in past years. “I feel that our practices are more deliberate and intense than last year. We come in every day with a plan of what we need to accomplish to be a great team,” Foss said of their training. They practice for an hour and a half each day and have had regular season success to show for it. “My goal is to fine-tune some things and make sure we continue to be a

Recent Varsity Results Sport





May 6th


W (7-0)

Girls Volleyball

May 6th

San Pasqual

W (3-0)

Boys Tennis

May 12th

Torrey Pines

L (12-6)


May 5th



May 12th


L (6-1)

Boys Lacrosse

May 9th


W (11-5)

Girls Lacrosse

May 11th

Torrey Pines


May 5th


W (73-63)

Boys Swim

May 6th


W (99-71)

Girls Swim

May 5th


L (115-64)

successful program,” said Foss. Foss also plans to try and acquire another CIF title. This team has all the effort and talent to do well, according to the coach. With all the time and effort being put in

by Foss and the team, they feel that they have an excellent chance of success in the CIF playoffs, despite what many would consider to be a rebuilding year after having to transition to a new coaching style.

(Above) Midfielder Michael Gennuso passes the ball downfield. (Below) A defender swipes the ball away from the opposing team during the same game. The team was playing against Coronado and won 13-8. Photos courtesy of Jesse Foss.

L (198-195)

L (9-8)

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Absolutely Perfect


Trent Swart deals 21 straight outs for first perfect game in school history Tanner Taguchi Staff Writer

Where were you the day that Trent Swart,

senior, pitched the first perfect baseball game in our school’s history? Most major league pitchers never achieve what was accomplished by Trent Swart against Oceanside on April 13, 2011 around 5:00. “I just came into that game just like any other, warmed up the same way. I didn’t feel anything special,” said Swart. The Mavericks went up 1-0 after the first inning. As Swart took the mound for the first time that day, without knowing, he began the game that would make school history. Pitch after pitch the Pirates went down, onetwo-three. The crowd could see the smoke on Swart’s fastballs as they hurled over the plate. Swart registered 15 strike outs that game with only six outs made by fellow team members. This was truly

“I really didn’t know what to do; I kind of just stood up there. The rest of the team was going crazy in the dugout.” -Trent Swart (12)

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Trent’s day. Three scoreless innings passed. In the fifth inning, LCC scored two more runs, bringing them to a 3-0 lead over the Pirates. With each passing inning, Swart was getting closer and closer to one of the greatest achievements a pitcher can ever accomplish. The closest an LCC pitcher has come to a perfect game was Tyler Ryan in an 11-0 win over El Camino, in which he gave up no runs, no hits, but one walk in April of 2002. “By the sixth inning I knew I was getting close. I knew I could do it,” Swart said. After six more LCC runs scored, including multiple home runs by Phillip Evans and Evan Schrieber, Swart threw another flawless inning, which ended in another strikeout. Just one inning remained. With no runs scored in the top of the seventh, the time had come: three more batters, and Swart would carve his name into school history. Under this extreme pressure, Swart kept his cool and managed to strike out the first two Pirates. The game ended similar to many 1930’s radio broadcasts: Bottom of the ninth, two outs, two strikes, the wind is coming in cold from the coast. Banners are waving, colors are streaming above the sky. A hush falls over the crowd. He takes a wind up, lets it

Swart could break the school’s ERA, strikeout, and win records for a single season. Photo courtesy of Trent Swart go! STERRIKE three! The ball game was over. “I really didn’t know what to do; I kind of just stood up there. The rest of the team was going crazy in the dugout,” said Swart. And just like that, after 14 years of baseball, our school finally has a perfect game to add to its list of baseball accomplishments. The Mavericks won the game with 13 hits in a 9-0 win over Oceanside.


Strokes of Glory Mickey Mackle swims to defend his CIF title Nicholas Theriault Staff Writer work ethic and skills have catapulted him to being one of the leading members of the varsity swim team. Mackle started his swimming career simply because his parents wanted him to try it, yet it has been his personal passion and inner drive that has taken him to elite status in the San Diego County high school swim world. Little did his parents know that they started Mackle on the road to high school sports glory. Mackle continues to improve with each successive year at LCC, and the effort he puts into swim is reflected by his ever improving statistics and reputation as a top-notch athlete. He has seven years of swimming experience and plenty of talent to show for it. Mackle practices about an average of three hours a day, includ-


ing hours in the morning as well as after school. Though his high school days will end next year, his swimming days will be far from over as Mackle plans to continue his swimming career beyond high school. However, Mackle refuses to get too far ahead of himself and remains focused on attaining success in high school first and foremost. “I haven’t looked too much at colleges yet,” Mackle said. His role on the high school team has kept him too busy for any of that. “Mickey is looking to repeat as CIF champion in the 200 individual medley and is crucial as a member of our relays,” said swim coach Micky Murad. Some of Mackle’s best events include the 400 individual medley, the 200 individual medley, and

“Mackle is looking to repeat as CIF champion in the 200 individual medley.” - Swim Coach Mickey Murad


Mickey Mackle may only be a junior, but his

Seeking back-to-back CIF titles and the opportunity to continue his swim career in college, junior olympian Mackle practices about three hours a day. Photo courtesy of Mickey Mackle. the 200 breastroke. A 400 individual medley is made up of a 100 meter butterfly, 100 meter backstroke, 100 meter breastroke, and 100 meter freestyle. His best time in this event is 3 minutes and 59 seconds. His personal best in the 200 individual medley is 1 minute and 53 seconds. Colleges aren’t allowed to talk to Mickey until he becomes a senior once this school year ends in June.

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Sports In A Year

Photos by the Journalism Class

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g n i w

o l l Fo



Tr a


n e e r of G p. 12-16 Design by Hunter Vurbeff and JP Horrigan


The Money Game Brenna Lyles Staff Writer

MavLife tracks the path of ASB Spending

When students write their check for a $50

ASB Sticker in August, few realize exactly where that money goes. With over 1,300 sold, ASB stickers prove to be the biggest fundraiser of the school year. This year alone, they brought in a total of $61,795. That’s more than the average American makes per year, and would cover the cost of two or more years of college tuition and could even pay for a brand new Mercedes Benz. Because the stickers are relatively cheap to

print and this fundraiser takes place so early in the year, ASB starts off with a solid and reliable source of money for various expenses. Yet, ASB stickers are not ASB’s sole means of raising money to supplement their many financial needs. So what exactly does ASB do with all that cash? They spend it on the students. All those events that do not charge money or are offered at a discount are covered by such fundraisers. Similarly, this money goes to school-sponsored clubs that request financial help, CIF Sports, and ASB

members’ outings such as going to lunch while searching for a prom location. With as much money as ASB has to manage, it is vital to analyze how and why all that spending occurs. La Costa Canyon MavLife extensively reviewed several documents and accounts in order to sort out various elements of the ASB budget. Through much analysis and investigation of ASB accounts and ASB club accounts from the past three years, we were able to report how student money is being spent.

By The Numbers: ASB Sticker Breakdown:

Major ASB Expenses:

Major Athletic Expenses:

ASB Sticker Revenue: $65,335

Winter Formal: $39,458.10

Security for Athletic Events: $9,564.50

Gold Card Making Service Cost: $3,600

Homecoming: $19,060.98

Athletic Officals: $34,955.50

ASB Sticker Printing: $80.00

ASB Special Events: $4,909.80

Ambulances: $6,817.91

Total Balance: $61,655*

General Supplies for ASB: $6,755.33

CIF: $28,828.60

*not including returned checks.

Athletic Accounting

In times of financial distress teams look to outside help Kiely Doherty Staff Writer

From the new turf football field to the ex-

panding training facilities, the sports programs are certainly a prominent feature on campus. There are over 15 sports offered, each with a JV and Varsity, sometimes even Freshman team. The recent success in our sports teams, like both girls and boys California Interscholastic Federation basketball titles, has provided further attention to the high achieving and highly-regarded sports program here. But the teams require more than the talented students that play on them. A coach, method of transportation, trainers, facilities, officials, security, custodial services, and equipment are just some of the necessary tools required for a proficient sports team, all of which require money. With the current financial struggles affecting scholastic programs, the sports funds are strained as well. “The district provides coach stipends for each sports team. The rest of the money is paid for by

parents and fundraising,” John Labeta, Athletic Director, said. The money comes from three main sources. One is revenue raised by the students directly, like concession sales and fundraisers, which are handled through finances in ASB. ASB also allocates $5000 a year to trainers and allows the teams to keep athletic gate funds, which keeps the capital generated for the teams in their budget rather than the overall budget for the school. The second source is from the Athletic Boosters account, which comes from parent and community donations. The Athletic Boosters are a branch of The Foundation, which is parent-run. The third source of revenue for sports is district-allocated stipends for coaching positions. “Seven years ago, when I first started here, the district gave us $18,000 to help with funds. Last year, it was cut to $9,000. Next year, we will be receiving zero additional funds from the district,” Labeta said. In addition, the district will cut six coach-

12 | MavLife | May 2011

ing stipends next year. Financial cutbacks have been prevalent in all programs, including sports. Because of the financial difficulties, a heavy reliance has been set on parental involvement, donations and revenue-making within the teams. “More active parents means a more stable budget for the sports programs,” Labeta said. Though contributions are heavier in the larger sports like football and track, all teams rely on outside funding. “Budgets for each team through athletic boosters would be entirely dependent upon the size of the squad. It is proportional but not monetarily the same. A football team with 200 student athletes is going to raise more funds than a basketball team with 26 athletes,” Labeta explains. Overall, the sports teams have not had to change their programs in response financial stress, but more emphasis has been set on the teams and their families to provide funds.


Club Spending and Distribution ASB accurately distributes club earnings

Steven Fahy and Brenna Lyles Staff Writers

With over 50 clubs on campus that put on

not be donated,” said Kaitlin Wood, ASB Director. Debate) and $55,244.13 (Yearbook), others begin Meanwhile, open-forum clubs such as those with a mere $50. Part of the reason for this is numerous events and offer a wide variety of centered around religion, community service, or simply that remaining money gets carried over opportunities criteria otherwise from the previous year, whether or not ASB open to all stunot connected decides a starting budget grant is necessary for dents, budget directly to the the club. distribution While some clubs begin the curriculum or Some student organizations are given budget among clubs school year with balances as high as school sports, supplements from ASB in order to cover larger is a somewhat are not allowed club costs. For example, Speech and Debate, $6,199.93 (Speech and Debate) and confusing to hold ASB acThespians, and Journalism are each granted process. While $55,244.13 (Yearbook), others begin counts or receive $3,000 each year. some clubs money. ThereASB-funded clubs just can’t go about spendwith a mere $50. are unable to fore, they cannot ing their money on anything they wish; there receive grants raise money on are specific rules and guidelines implemented in directly from campus or apply for grants, order to keep club spending in line with district ASB or raise money on campus, others prosper but are still encouraged to meet on campus. This standards. under the funding of ASB. means they are also restricted from participatThe first and most basic rule is that club Clubs are classified into two types: schooling in food fairs, which ASB has recently started money must be spent on something that will sponsored and open-forum. Those that are closely monitoring. Financial options for opendirectly benefit the students, not teachers, parschool-sponsored and ASB funded, including CIF forum clubs include advertising and fund-raising ents, or other staff members. This also means sports and clubs that can be scholastically tied, on the Internet or within the community, as long purchased items must be school appropriate. are eligible to receive grants from a budget put as it is off campus. For example, clubs can’t go out and buy a case of aside specifically for clubs. However, if an open forum club is intent cigarettes for its members, nor can it purchase Though only a select few of these clubs are on raising money on campus, talking to ASB in anything otherwise not judged as permitted on given a starting budget (or grant), they are all alorder to organize something school grounds. lowed and encouraged to petition for additional may be possible. Also, ASB grants, in which case the ASB would pull from For example, in the funds should not The first and most basic rule is their club budget (if the club’s proposition is accase of Battle of the be used for costs cepted). that club money must be spent on Bands, Stand sponthat are the reThe money within these account carries over something that will directly benefit sored the event in sponsibility of the each year, allowing clubs to continue building order to raise money district, such as the students, not teachers, parents, up funds over the years as long as they remain for a charity. Invistextbooks, mainteactive. The purpose of this system is not for clubs or other staff members. ible Children came nance and teacher to build up funds over the years, but rather use out and collected the salaries. Accordthe money to benefit the club. money themselves, ing to the state-is“If you are a school-sponsored club, you can and ASB could only recommend a donation of $5. sued Associated Student Body Manual, “the most have an ASB account. All the money that goes Within ASB-funded clubs arises yet another important question that should be asked is, ‘Is into these accounts has to be spent on something source of confusion: money distribution among this something the district should provide, or is it to benefit the students. So that’s why it’s almost clubs. While some clubs begin the school year really an ‘extra’ that the students want?’” better for community service clubs to not have with balances as high as $6,199.93 (Speech and an account because any money they made could





Lauren Sonken Staff Writer

Food Fair Funds

Four times each year, ASB hosts food fairs

in the student center during lunch. The event is one that many underclassmen look forward to, for their brown-bagged lunches are graced with the presence of warm bread sticks or homemade cookies and drinks such as a Boba or iced coffee not sold at school lunch lines. The food fairs are social events that excite many students. Any clubs that desire to make money on campus, after being approved as a school-sponsored club by ASB, are able to sell their desired items at their desired prices to receive a desired income. Everything is left up to

club presidents, except for the transformation of tickets into dollar amounts. “We take in tickets from the clubs, and count each stack twice. Then, Susie in the finance office places the appropriate amounts into each club’s account,” Blaire Bender, ASB President, said. “We don’t take any money from the food fairs into ASB’s account, unless ASB has sold something at the food fairs. One hundred percent of the money goes directly to the clubs,” Bender continued. After reviewing the account information for the 2010-2011 food fairs, the remaining balance after all the money was transferred back to the

clubs was $457.56. Because the balance was not at zero, a discrepancy remained. “The hope is for a balance of zero but it does not always end up that way. Sometimes we make more money by accident. Each year is completely different,” Kaitlin Wood, ASB director, said. ASB’s system is honest and detailed; there is no money left unaccounted for in the food fair budget. “We’re extremely careful in counting the money and try our best to make sure the clubs receive all the profits,” Martha Grimes, ASB Treasurer, said.

May 2011 | MavLife | 13


Yearbook Budget

An inside look into the Yearbook finances Brenna Lyles and Steven Fahy Staff Writers

Table 1. Yearbook and Senior Ad Prices In the past several years, the Stampede, La Costa Canyon’s yearbook, has earned national recognition for its success in publication. “Our yearbook is among the best yearbooks in our county, but we’ve also received some national recognition for having one of the best in the country,” Principal Kyle Ruggles said. Among various awards, the Stampede has been honored with Best in Class and Best in Show at the San Diego County Fair, has been proclaimed one of the best yearbooks in the nation by the National Scholastic Press Association, and has been featured in well-known publications such as the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Yearbook Income and Prices Along with its national recognition, La Costa Canyon’s yearbook is also known for its high prices. During Business Week, yearbooks are offered at $85 for those with ASB stickers and at $100 for those without; then, the price goes up when school starts, as yearbooks rise to a flat rate of $105 for the remainder of the school year. Dr. Ruggles explains, “I think they’re both, [the yearbook prices and printing prices], high and I think that we charge a lot for yearbooks, but I also know that yearbooks are expensive to produce.” MavLife reviewed the LCC yearbook club’s account summaries, several purchase orders, and the publishing contract with Herff Jones, along with both of Torrey Pines’ 2010-2011 Club Account and Budgeted Account reports. Based on these documents, for the past three years, it costs approximately $142,000 to print and ship 1,900 yearbooks for one school year. In the 2009-2010 school year, yearbook sales brought in exactly $143,436.80. It is apparent that not all yearbooks were sold at full price, as many staff members can purchase discounted yearbooks. For the past two years, the total income from yearbook sales alone have been sufficient enough to meet printing expenses set by Herff Jones, with a few thousand dollars’ profit. However, these profits do not include the income from Senior Ad pages, which brought in a total of about $38,000 this year, 2010-2011. For comparison, the Yearbook and Senior Ads Chart provides yearbook and senior ad prices set by Torrey Pines, San Dieguito Academy, and Canyon Crest Academy. La Costa Canyon’s yearbook prices are set at a rate higher than TPHS and SDA. While LCC Senior Ads are close to those of Torrey Pines, our prices exceed those of SDA and CCA. See Table 1 for a breakdown of district yearbook and senior ad prices.

Crest, “Our carry over varies wildly. One year we were $600 over-drawn; another we had a $25,000 carry over (which required a detailed letter of explanation for the finance audit).“

Yearbook Printing Agreement

Annual Carryover At the end of each school year, money in the yearbook account left unspent is transferred to the next year’s account as a starting balance. Although yearbook is an ASB club, they are not financially sponsored by ASB; in addition, their annual carryover remains within the club as opposed to being transferred back into the ASB general account. This year, LCC’s yearbook account started with a balance of $55,244.13. In comparison, Torrey Pines’ yearbook club’s beginning balance for 2010-2011 was $8,524.57. However, Torrey Pines yearbook program deals with their financial accounts differently than LCC in that the money is separated into two accounts: the Yearbook Club Account and the Yearbook Budgeted Accounts. Torrey Pines’ Yearbook Budgeted Account’s summary shows a beginning balance of zero each year and strictly deals with publication income and expenses. Their Yearbook Club Account, on the other hand, has an annual carryover, which in 20102011 became a beginning balance of $8,524.57. This account’s money covered the expenses of airfare and hotel rooms for conventions as well as food for deadline nights and class meetings. La Costa Canyon yearbook’s beginning balance for the past 3 years has been thousands over that of Torrey Pines:

- In 2008-2009, the Yearbook Account’s beginning balance was $26,567.18. - In 2009-2010, the beginning balance was $60,948.00. - In 2010-2011, the beginning balance was $55,244.13.

These beginning balances significantly exceed any other club on campus and other yearbook clubs in the area. According to Michael Gaughen, yearbook adviser at Canyon

14 | MavLife | May 2011

Every three years, La Costa Canyon yearbook and Herff Jones form a printing agreement signed by both Dan Salas, yearbook class instructor, and Steve Bailey, Herff Jones sales representative. This contract verifies school address and contacts, publication information, printing specifications, a printing agreement total, and “additional features.” The projected annual “total printing agreement” amounts to an estimated $146,773.62, which roughly matches the total cost of printing yearbooks in the 2009-2010 school year. At this price-- assuming that all 1900 yearbooks were sold-- each yearbook could theoretically be sold at $77.25 in order to break even. Some “additional features” listed in the yearbook contract include a $1,750 early renewal discount, a $150 shopping spree on yearbooks. biz, and an annual $10,000 “contribution to the LCC Foundation.” The $10,000 contribution goes directly to the school and into Dr. Ruggles’ Principal Account, which is used for covering various purchases necessary for the students and the campus. “In the past, I have bought everything from chairs for the Band Room to food to cover WASC meetings to plants for the parking lot to banners around campus. It will also be used for STAR testing incentives for students like iPods,” said Dr. Ruggles.

Yearbook Spending With yearbook’s annual carryover, combined with income from both yearbook and senior ad sales, there is plenty of room in the budget for class spending. For a breakdown of major annual expenditures refer to Table 2 on the facing page. Aside from printing yearbooks, electronic purchases are the club’s largest expense. In the 2009-2010 budget, significant purchases included ten iMac Desktops, a DVD replicator system, an LED cinema display, and various computer software and applications. In the current year’s budget, one Mac desktop, two WiFi-enabled iPads, two iPod classics, an HDTV, and several camera lenses with UV filters were purchased. Mr. Salas’s website (http://teachers.sduhsd. net/dsalas) reports that his Apple lab, located in

Budget Table 2. Major LCC Yearbook Expenses

Table 3. iPad and iPod Expenditures

[continued] room 900, contains “20 four-year-old iMac computers and 12 iMacs that have been purchased within the last two years,” and is “sponsored by The Stampede Yearbook.” In comparison, the Torrey Pines publication classes are not responsible for purchasing equipment. “Their computers are supplied by the district office, as well as the cameras. Typically, we [the school and its clubs] only pay for office supplies like paper, envelopes, and software upgrades for fonts,” said Torrey Pines Finance Officer Patricia Hargraves. If the Torrey Pines yearbook class were to update its technology-- for instance, purchasing computers or cameras--the adviser would be responsible for filing a written request for ASB. In this circumstance, TP’s ASB could take out money from their savings in order to aid in covering the costs. La Costa Canyon’s Finance Officer, Susie Gardner, explains, “My understanding of the funds for student publications is as follows: Journalism, Yearbook and Literary Magazine (a club in past years) are all typical ASB fund-raising trust club accounts and ASB budget items. With that, they are all governed by ASB (with the consent of the Principal) and should follow all state and district adopted guidelines provided to them, including adequate internal controls such as ASB purchase orders.”

How Purchases are Used With all the types of purchases being made, it is important to analyze how these purchases are being used by the yearbook class. “The advisers get to order things based on what they need for their I would think that Mr. Salas is purchasing things with the budget [money] to use within his class,” states Dr. Ruggles. As for how well equipment is being used, according to yearbook student Alex Lopez, junior,

equipment such as cameras and Macs are available for student use under close supervision and care. “There are about six class cameras which are all in good use. We have sign out sheet for cameras... and when they are checked back in, they require cleaning with special microfiber cloths,” said Lopez. Any damage to or misuse of such equipment would consequently result in serious repercussions and further limitations of their use, rules imposed by Mr. Salas. The 2010-2011 yearbook budget also reports the purchase of two iPads with applications and various accessories, as well as two iPod Classics. Table 3 provides a breakdown of these costs. Uncertainty arose amongst the five interviewed yearbook students when asked about these items, as none of them were aware of a class set of iPads or iPods. Editors Paige Santangelo, Nicole Haiduck, and Clarissa Foster report that they have seen only one iPad in use by Mr. Salas, and according to Alex Lopez, “only a select few editors may have access” to the devices. Because Mr. Salas, the yearbook advisor, declined multiple requests for an interview, little is known about the purpose or terms of use of the iPads and iPods. When asked about what exactly is allowed regarding such purchases (iPads and iPods), Dr. Ruggles said, “The iPad and iPod should be used within the program, which is yearbook in this case, in order to improve and enhance the class so we can provide the best possible yearbook for our students.” In addition to the iPads and iPods, other items that have been purchased through the yearbook account include an 88-key music workstation ($2,799.00) in September of 2009; two posters ($127.24) and 650 programs ($779.93) for the school play, “Lend Me a Tenor,” in January of 2010; an LCD monitor and theater system ($770.23) in March of 2009; and two Blu-Ray players and mounts ($1,060.64) in May of 2009.

Financial Aid for Yearbooks Unlike many schools in the San Dieguito Union High School District such as Torrey Pines, Canyon Crest Academy, and San Dieguito Academy, La Costa Canyon does not offer students financial aid for yearbooks. This decision is dependent on each school’s principal and administration. “I haven’t been able to provide financial aid on yearbooks because yearbooks are not something I’m requiring for students. It’s an option and it’s something that students can have if they wish to have,” Dr. Ruggles said. At Torrey Pines, financial aid for yearbooks is available to seniors only. TPHS’s financial adviser, Patricia Hargraves, explains that “ASB put $4,000 in the budget this year for scholarships. That would be for dances, yearbooks, and senior week. Scholarships are for seniors only, and they have to be approved through counseling and administration based on financial need, attendance, and discipline.” Similarly, Canyon Crest offers financial aid to their students with a priority for seniors. Financial aid transactions are handled through the school’s administration and registrar alongside their finance office. Financial aid for yearbook purchases is granted on a sliding scale based upon students’ ability to pay. San Dieguito Academy’s yearbook adviser, Carrie Land, states that at SDA, “some financial aid is available to a very limited number kids who can’t pay full price.” However, Principal Ruggles has decided to provide scholarships for Prom for those unable to pay. Editor’s Note: MavLife Staffers who are concurrently enrolled in Yearbook did not contribute to the story.

May 2011 | MavLife | 15


The Money Dance A week of festivities leads to a long list of spending Jessica Stevenson Staff Writer

As Homecoming is the first significant event

of the school year, students expect a spectacular show at the Homecoming Game as well as an enjoyable and well-planned Homecoming Dance. Last October, ASB did not disappoint students with the extravaganzas presented during both the game and the dance. However, some wonder how such events can be put on under a budget. In the end, the 20102011 account information shows that expenses and income almost balance out. ASB spent $19,060.98 on Homecoming-related events, while tickets and Homecoming carnival sales topped $19,465.10. But with five different Homecoming committees, are these expenses being distributed equally throughout the many areas of demand? ASB’s goal for Homecoming is to balance out the income and expenses in the end. Because the Homecoming tickets cost less than the bigger dances of the year, ASB accounts for this by planning for costs to equal expenses, rather than the income to substantially exceed the costs. “The dance pays for all of the other Homecoming events. Our goal isn’t to make money, but rather break even at the end of the events,” Kaitlin Wood, ASB director, said. ASB distributes the planning and funds among five different committees within their class: spirit week, carnival, parade, half-time and dance. Each committee is given an allotted amount of money to work with and this year

each seemed to be successful in staying within budget, while still being able to afford the necessary supplies to create Homecoming week. For spirit week, the committee had a small budget to work with, but accomplished a lunch game each day as well as a Pep Rally on Friday. Students donated clothing for the Tacky Tourist day, which took expenses off the budget. Otherwise, funds were spent on renting tricycles and buying simple items such as chalk to create lunch games for students to participate in. The carnival is one of the larger committees because of the inflatables and games that ASB puts on to ensure an enjoyable time. However, this event costs more and generates little revenue. The expenses come out to just under $4,900.00, which encompasses the carnival inflatables, the tattoo vendor, the helium for the inflatables, carnival security and food venues such as Juice Stop. The carnival brought in just $1,322.10. “I think that the carnival would be our biggest expense because we don’t earn much back from it, but we are trying different things,” Wood said. The parade, although a Homecoming event, has little expense for ASB and the parade committee because each float is funded by its own class. This year the halftime show cost almost nothing, whereas last year around $1,500.00 was spent on the sky diver alone.

This year’s celebration, with seven students running across the field displaying the homecoming queen’s name printed on morph-suits, cost much less at $294.95. The homecoming sashes, crowns and roses cost $177.00 and the rented halftime golf carts cost $1,489.75. In addition, funds were spent on the sky-tracker lighting, confetti and balloons, which cost around 2,855.00. The total expense for the halftime show was just over $4,800.00. The Homecoming Dance is the biggest event of the week, costing $8,680.43. The dance expenses are put toward first and foremost the D.J. then also the dance photos, security and decorations. However, the dance also brings in the most profit of the week. Ticket sales totaled over $18,000.00. “Homecoming is one of our biggest events because it gets everyone excited for the school year. We put a lot of our effort toward planning it. We spend a lot of the money on the D.J. and decorations for the dance, but our goal is to break even and make all of the money back through ticket sales. We were very successful this year,” Martha Grimes, ASB Treasurer, said. As is common with many clubs on campus such as Yearbook, Speech and Debate and Journalism, the ASB class was provided with meals over the hours they spent on campus planning and preparing for the Homecoming events. This expense totaled $562.88.

Homecoming Costs:

Formal Finances Winter Formal draws considerable revenue Steven Fahy and Brenna Lyles Staff Writers

It is no wonder that an event as sig-

nificant as Winter Formal would both cost a lot and bring in big bucks. Proving to be one of the most expensive events of the school year. Winter Formal left ASB paying the lofty total of $39,458.10 for everything from food to the D.J. Renting out the House of Blues for an entire night was the greatest expense, coming in at $28,987.39. The second highest cost was $4,007.50, spent to hire a D.J. Other costs, such as a photo booth, food, and party favors like wristbands and sunglasses, also

added to the total. Despite the high cost of this dance, ASB was able to fully pay for and even make a profit off of ticket sales alone. Because this year’s location was one of the priciest Formal sites rented in years, formal tickets were higher than years past. “Raising ticket prices each week is in order to get people to buy their tickets and commit so that ASB can expect how many people are attending and prevent a last-minute rush to buy tickets. ASB also gives discounts as an added push to encourage people to

buy early,” explains Kaitlin Wood, ASB director. Tickets were available the first week at a rate of $40 with an ASB sticker and $45 without, rising $5 each following week. Nearly half of all ticket sales took place in the first week of availability.ASB also offered up to a $10 discount for those who donated used formal dresses. Formal ticket sales brought in a total of $50,010, leaving ASB with a balance of $10,551.90 to be used for future student events.

Spirit Week $52.90 Carnival $4,873.13 Parade $44.57 Half-time $4,742.90 Dance $8,774.60 ASB Meals $562.88

May 2011 | MavLife | 16


May 2011 | MavLife | 17


Music “The Fall” Gorillaz

“Take Care, Take Care, Take Care” Explosions in the Sky

“Femme Fatale” Britney Spears

“The People’s Key” Bright Eyes

Originally released on Christmas 2010 as a free download for members of the Gorillaz Fan Club, “The Fall” takes a completely different twist than the animated band has ever created. Gorillaz’s newest album takes a very calm, soothing tempo to every song with few vocal tracks, leaving most of the album instrumental. The thing that makes this album really stand out, aside from the simple genius of the music, is that the entire album was created on tour, on an iPad. The album creates a journey of the tour as the titles correspond to the cities that they were created in. “Shy-Town,” written in Chicago, creates a cold yet calm drift as if walking through the city in the fall, as cool breezes pass by. “The Snake In Dallas,” however, begins with a stressful synthesizer, creating the feeling of a scorching hot area in the desert. The album represents the band’s previous tour in a way that no written article or documentary could. B+ Jake Barnes

“Take Care, Take Care, Take Care” adds to the already large collection of beautiful music produced by the experimental rock band Explosions in the Sky. There is nothing especially great about the album; the relatively constant quality of their music and style makes a choice between any of their albums seem arbitrary. However, like any of their albums, it is a quiet instrumental masterpiece. Each song has its own plot; its own unique progression of sound. “Last Known Surroundings” starts the album with the band’s signature duet of layered guitars and drums. “Trembling Hands,” the shortest song on the album, sets a faster pace, with racing drums and light vocals. For those days when you would rather lie down and relax, “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care” is a great album. B+

Britney Spears is making a strong comeback with her seventh album, “Femme Fatale.” This upbeat album, consisting of edgy pop songs, has so far been a hit. The title, “Femme Fatale,” means an attractive and seductive woman, especially one who will ultimately bring disaster to a man who becomes involved with her. Spears’ songs revolve mainly around that theme, including edgy, moody, and upbeat tracks. The album was made in hopes of being played in clubs or before going out at night. It has definitely lived up to expectations, consisting of a variety of different danceable songs. Other than the two singles, “Hold It Against Me” and “Till the World Ends,” the song that comes in third is “Drop Dead Beautiful.” It is a song that can be played over and over and I cannot get tired of it because it is so upbeat and fun. Spears, without a doubt, has shown that she still knows how to please an audience, producing music that not only shows off her talent but is entertaining. ACassidy Feeney

From spiritual to celestial; from inner peace to outer space. In completing this album upon the death of a close friend, Conor Oburst has flipped his philosophical coin since his last visit to a Florida commune. “The People’s Key” is on a mission to decipher how quantum mechanical codes, prisms and triple spirals can add up to the complexity and confusion of humankind. This new Bright Eye’s masterpiece envelopes the voyage to the organic state of electronic sound. The bursting howl and groan of tortured Yamahas and the fluttering of flutes and piano riffs, are more than enough to send the mind on a journey as the poetisicsm of Oburst is laid down over the tracks. This is one of Oberst’s most listenable records to date. Every line is laid with the rich sense of rhythm and texture that he has mastered over the years, but it still adds up to very little: a wildly spiritual record without any spirit. ABreonna Mabry

Jessica Stevenson Staff Writer


Will Jones

L’Amour de la Mode Maverick

18 | MavLife | May 2011

Photo by Jessica Stevenson.

hile spring approached unhurried this year, the fashions of the season have also leisurely made their way into closets. Spring and summer ensembles are comprised of stripes, cropped tops, the infamous romper, and the look of lace. Striped attire has been a prevailing style for years now. However, navy blue and white stripes are very popular this season and will be seen even more once summer hits. The color combination can remind you of a sailor-look, but is very trendy and cute. The look is most popular when applied to a top, a fun dress or a simple tee. But watch out because the stripes are dominant. Pair the stripes with something plain. Cropped tops are not a new style for 2011, but have always lingered as only a surfacing trend. This season the cropped top is beginning to show up more and more to accommodate the warm weather around the corner. The top shows midriff, which is a less mainstream style and more risqué than other summer styles- the main reason the trend has not become a hot item in past years. The look can be achieved in a less body-revealing way by pair-

The fashion of spring

ing it with high-waist shorts or a skirt, by finding a modified-long version of the “crop top.” A few summers ago, the popular romper was seen everywhere and a must have. Although it has gone in and out of style since then, the piece known as the “romper” was trendy this season. The loose and flowing short style of the jumper is most popular for summer, even though the lengthy styles have been showing up more on runways. This more sophisticated, long look most likely will not become a popular trend on campus. Lace is a trend that hit runway summer season and will continue to be a popular wardrobe item. Lace dresses and skirts are becoming trendy in spring. The lace itself will be be more of an antique lace for a delicate look. Lace can also be a good way to make a statement. Wearing the material as a sheer garment is daring and can look amazing if worn right. Now with these trends and ideas for spring styles, you can start organizing your summer wardrobe incorporating more lace, rompers, stripes and cropped tops.


Gaga’s Monster Ball Cassidy Feeney Staff Writer “The Monster Ball,” Lady Gaga’s highly anticipated concert, was unlike any other show. Along with her dedication and talent, the show was full of energy, dedicated fans, and strange costumes. The night began with an American band called the Scissor Sisters. The singers had very revealing leather outfits and an impressive amount of energy. Their music was quite a hit with the Gaga fans. After much anticipation, a giant screen descended from the top of the building. Lady Gaga appeared behind the screen in a futuristic jeweled jumpsuit. She was hidden for most of the first song, “Dance in the Dark.” Then for the second song she put a jeweled keyboard around her. As she began singing one of her most known hits, “Just Dance,” she emerged from a white cube. Gaga rarely shows her face. She tends to hide behind strange costumes that usually consist of masks or headpieces that restrict the audience from seeing her entire face. However, at some points during the show, her face was completely exposed. Aside from her biggest hits, Gaga also surprised the audience by including a new song, “Living On The Radio”. She said that the song most likely won’t appear on the new album, but she feels as though it is the best piece she has ever written. Gaga played her newest song, “Born this Way,” twice. With an acoustic version and an

Little monsters show their claws

encore at the end, she explained her thoughts behind the song. Teased as a kid, her mother always told her that one day she would be a star, looking out on stage at all those people that thought she would never be anything. Gaga strongly supports being proud of who you are and where you come from, not letting others make you feel inferior. She also spent a lot of time making her fans feel loved. She called to a fan in the audience, telling her she gets backstage passes. She also tried to clear up any myths people thought about her, making very clear that she does not lip sync. There was so much energy within the crowd, especially on the floor. The majority of the fans dressed up for the event, showing their support of Gaga’s individuality. Not only did the women dress up, but so did the men. I saw more guys in spandex and fishnets than women. It showed how dedicated they are to Lady Gaga, proving themselves as true “little monsters,” as Gaga would call them. Lady Gaga is much more genuine than I had ever expected. Along with donating money to many different charities and organizations, she truly seems to care about her fans. She made a strong effort to make it known that she is very appreciative for where she is. Her speech about how you shouldn’t let others bring you down and to be proud of who you are was inspiring. As Gaga said multiple times, “Put your claws up, you were born this way.”

Advertisement for Lady Gaga’s concert tour, “The Monster Ball.”

Getting Clutered? How to spring clean effectively

Tara McQueen Staff Writer What is spring cleaning and why do we do it? According to a TLC article*, it is said to be derived from the Persian New Year, Iranian Norouz, which falls on the first day of Spring. Iranians still commit to the practice of “shaking the house,” in which everything in the house is meticulously cleaned from top to bottom. Others believe that spring cleaning comes from the Jewish holiday, Passover, where the though ridding of left over “chametz,” or leavened products, occurs in Jewish homes before the holiday. During the 19th Century, in America, March was best known as the perfect time to dust because the weather was warm, but not hot enough for insect problems. These origins of spring cleaning all rest on the basic idea that spring is a season of purity and rebirth. Need help getting started? Here are some steps and ideas to begin with: * Start by deciding what to clean. * Sort by separating objects into piles: “Trash,” “maybe,” and “keep.” * After throwing away the trash, decide what you need to keep from your “maybe” pile and either throw away or donate the rest out. * Then arrange everything you want to keep in a manageable order. By doing so you’ve systematically reorganized your stuff in order to continue keeping everything tidy and neat throughout the year. * Congratulations! You have successfully spring cleaned and purified yourself for a brighter future. Remember to keep in mind the following: * Set reasonable expectations for your purge. * Maybe make a chore or goal list if it is going to be a longer process. * Find a place for everything. No cramming junk into the nooks and crannies! * Make it enjoyable. Listen to music, do it with a friend, or reward yourself for your hard work. *

May 2011 | MavLife | 19


“The Wedding Singer” soars

Maggie Hammock Staff Writer Sandwiched between the busy weeks of STAR and AP testing was a welcome break from the stress of it all. The thespians performed the spring musical, “The Wedding Singer,” through the end of April, and had some of the best turnouts for a school play in recent memory. “The show was really different than “Cabaret,” last spring’s musical, and most of the musicals we’ve done in the past,” said Brooke Farnum, who plays female lead Julia in the show. “While “Cabaret” and some of the other shows we’ve done are really intense, “The Wedding Singer” was just a really fun show. The costumes and makeup were awesome, and the cheesy 80s music was great. It was like night and day compared to “Cabaret.”’ “The Wedding Singer” is based on the hit 1998 film of the same name. The musical largely follows the same story line as the film, which starred Adam Sandler opposite Drew Barrymore. However, some plot and character elements were altered, which kept the play exciting for even those who have already seen the film. The story follows Robbie Hart, a wedding singer, who is left at the altar by his fiancée, Linda. Somehow Robbie is convinced to sing at another wedding, where he inconveniently falls in love with the bride, Julia. The show follows Robbie and Julia as they try to make sense of their feelings for each other and the people they are “supposed” to love. “I played a few roles in the show, including a Cyndi Lauper impersonator, so that was really fun,” said Hannah Sloan, senior. “The characters are all super funny like that, and the songs are very catchy.” The cast prepared for the show by running lines, practicing songs, and rehearsing dance numbers during their two and a half hour rehearsals. “We practiced a lot,” said Sloan. “Four days a week for about two months. As soon as ‘Macbeth’ ended we began preparing for “The Wedding Singer.”’ Though they spent a lot of time working in the theater, the actors were still able to have fun preparing for the musical.

Spring musical a success

Adam Bucci (12) serenades Brooke Farnum (12) before he is left at the altar. Photo by Maggie Hammock.

“Preparing for the show was a lot of work and a big time commitment, but it was so worth it in the end,” said Anna Gagliardo, senior, a featured dancer in the show. “The cast became so close, and we were able to keep the shows really energetic. We were all so excited to perform together, and the shows couldn’t have gone any smoother!” Indeed, the musical was fast-paced and funny, with memorable comedic moments provided by Aaron Roubitchek and Tom Knapp-Ramos, seniors, and other supporting actors. Brooke Farnum, Adam Bucci, and Paige Santangelo, seniors, as well as Ali Madurowicz, junior, and other younger cast members, were able to demonstrate their vocal talents in several powerful musical numbers.

The spring musical was the last time senior cast members had the chance to perform on the stage they commanded for four years, so they were pleased with the show’s large turnout. “Not just is it a rousing comedy, but these are your fellow students and friends. We have been working really hard on the show, and we would really appreciate a good audience,” said Kyle Gaan, senior, prior to the musical’s opening. Many of the actors expressed positive reactions at the consistently big crowds. The show ran April 21-23, and 27-29, and was a truly attention-grabbing performance that left audience members both entertained and amazed at the talent of the cast.

Upcoming Events and Concerts SOMA San Diego

June 1st - Cage The Elephant / Manchester Orchestra June 7th - Forever The Sickest Kids / Anarbor June 14th - Honor Society June 19th - Hellogoodbye June 25th - City Delivered / A Shattered Hope

House of Blues: San Diego June 10th - Good Charlotte / Yellowcard June 16th - Matt & Kim / The Thermals June 17th - The Maine / Augustana June 19th - Panic! At The Disco June 24th - Taking Back Sunday July 13th - Reel Big Fish / Streetlight Manifesto July 22nd - Donald Glover

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Celebrating Death

Reflecting over Osama Bin Laden’s end Breonna Mabry Staff Writer When Osama Bin Laden was finally laid to rest, I couldn’t help but notice the many tweeter feeds that were clearly uncomfortable with celebrating his death. I for one came to find myself quickly disturbed with the image of thousands of Americans parading in the street in celebration for the death of a human being. I found that some agreed with me, but they were a quiet minority, giving way to the much louder parade mentality of the herd. People seemed joyous, as if some patriotic victory had been won. What is the real attitude the world should share on the demise of Bin Laden? Should we celebrate in his death or mourn quietly? Should we revel in his demise or take the more diplomatic approach and remain stoic? Being raised in a Christian home I have always been taught that the ability to love is the most valuable gift

A still shot of Obama announcing the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden.

a person can contain. In the religious text of my faith we are asked to love our enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who mistreat us and persecute us. Considering that I live in a nation that is 78% Christian (according to the Census Bereau), I found the response to Osama’s death to be quite shocking. Osama Bin Laden was, by definition, an evil man. However, when I found out that he had died, I was oddly somber. I remember not feeling that way when Saddam Hussein was captured (indeed I was overjoyed about that), so I wondered what was different. Then I realized that the difference was death. But why should I be sad that an evil man died? I think what it comes down to is that deep down I know that Hell has another occupant, and to me, that just doesn’t seem victorious.

Join Journalism Next Year! For more information check out the back page.

May 2011 | MavLife | 21


Fading Standards

Jordan Bernard Staff Writer

AP teachers should balance rigor with relaxation

The first two weeks in May mark the finish line for students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Within these two weeks 31 tests are given, each test a reflection on a course that students have struggled with and tackled throughout the year. Unlike any test given by a teacher in the class, these tests will not reflect your grade in the course, however, they test your full knowledge of the specific course. Students in AP classes work to the bone up until May, taking the classes hoping to receive passing scores and college credit. However, on May 13 when the last exam is taken there are still five weeks left in school. For some students this means that homework deadlines and in-class work cease to exist, while for others they work hard until the last bell on June 17. Unfortunately, students’ work ethic does not always represent their teachers’ ideas of work ethic after the AP exams. Having been in a number of AP classes I have seen both extremes. Some teachers continue on like AP tests were merely a small goal in the overall scheme of things, while others wipe their hands of their teaching requirements as soon as the proctor an-

Advanced Placement (AP) study materials. Photo by Maggie Hammock

nounces the exam done. While most students would love the idea of just hanging out in class for the remainder of the year, the reality is that after about a week this be-

comes unbearably boring. The best way to go about filling the space is to do activities that cover material that would not be on the AP tests and that allow students to work with others in

creative and fun ways. The AP US History department assigns their students a “Decade Project” for the last five weeks. This project focuses on areas that were not explored deeply and that are, in most cases, more interesting and relevant to students. This one was of the most enjoyable projects I have been assigned in high school. Although it did not provide me with information that would have helped boost my score, it allowed me to learn about relatively current events and was actually beneficial for the “real world.” Other teachers do pig dissections, science extravaganzas, and read books that are not on a required reading list. While these assignments may not be candy and a movie, every day they contrast the common monotony that most students dislike about their classes before the AP exams hit. So, while it is not a grand idea for teachers to assign massive projects and tests that are irrelevant to the course as a whole, it is necessary for a happy medium to be met. Students should be challenged and active in the last weeks before the end, or else by the time summer rolls around we will already be bored out of our minds.

Under Pressure

The SAT defines student intelligence, not talent

Lisa Mazzone and Rebecca Sykes Staff Writers

It is the beginning of the end for

juniors. At such a young age, it’s that time of the year to start planning for the future by preparing or even taking the SAT. On a Saturday morning you can find about 25% of a high school’s student body at a nearby school taking the atrocious SAT. This test is four hours long but determines four years of one’s life. There are ten sections on the test and students began with the essay prompt. With only twenty-five minutes to write a well thought out essay, students race the clock to finish on time. The remaining nine sections consist of math and English questions ranging from intermediate to difficult. The average high school student is thrown into a mix of emotions in their preparation for the SAT. Countless hours of cramming from Princeton prep books and attending special classes are all the signs that the SAT is in the air. Across the world students are preparing for their future in numerous

ways but all strive to be successful. The comparison for U.S. students preparing for college differs from other nations in the world such as China or India. In a USA Today article dated September 13 2010, research was conducted on the effectiveness of schools preparation for college readiness. This article states that, “America’s students are not completing college at a high rate because our education system is not preparing them to succeed in college. If we want to improve college completion, we have to improve college readiness. If we want to improve readiness we have to measure it.” Overall, scores have declined not drastically, but enough to question the educational system students are put in. The same article also stated that “reading scores have declined from 508 to 501, math from 518 to 516. Writing scores have dropped five points since that section was added in 2005, from 497 to 492.” As current juniors taking part in this test, we believe that this test is

22 | MavLife | May 2011

unnecessary for determining one’s future. Our future should be based on our work ethic and not some number we get on a test. This number does not define us as human beings, but defines our intelligence and is a vital factor in applying to college. We understand this helps colleges enroll students based on these

scores but these scores do not reveal other talents we have to offer. The test should include a personality test or a short answer section of past experiences. The blood, sweat and tears put into this test should reflect on the type of student, versus labeling the student with a number that was acquired through four hours on one day.


Educational Crisis on the Big Screen Breonna Mabry Staff Writer dent, documentaries such as “Waiting for Superman” and “Race to Nowhere” are on the rise. These movies are both meant to serve as glimpses for the general public about how the educational system works, and pose the viewer to ask questions as to how it may be flawed, and how these issues should be addressed. In “Waiting for Superman” the biggest claim to educational failure is poor teachers. The film analyzes the failures of American public education by



. . . homework leads to stress, hatred of learning and a lack of intrinsic motivation.

following several students through the educational system who are hoping to be selected in a lottery for acceptance into charter schools. Within these schools the teachers have no tenure and can be fired at any moment if their work is to be found as “unsatisfactory.” Now I’m not gonna lie; we have all had teachers that clearly shouldn’t be allowed within ten feet of a white board, but is this really the sole cause of America’s failing educational system? I think not. “Race to Nowhere’s” biggest claim is that too much homework leads to stress, hatred of learning and a lack of intrinsic motivation. According to re-

Alex Meeks Staff Writer

With a touching message, the movie “Waiting

for Superman” captures viewers and implores them to consider the flaws of the American educational system. Writer and director Davis Guggenheim documents the story of five ambitious young children and their dreams to attain admittance to specific charter schools. He tells the struggles of detrimental family environments and how the children strive to live above the influence of their drug-addicted, alcoholic, or financially-hindered parents. In addition to sending off a message to appreciate education, “Waiting for Superman” also notes the displeasing aspect of school lottery systems and how terrible it is to be literally denied a better education. The magnet and charter schools mentioned in the film have students admitted based on class size and the space available at each school site. According to “Waiting for Superman,” a magnet school can determine the entire outcome of a student’s educational career. It is of course great news when the hopeful and prospective students are granted admission into these magnet school, but on the contrary, we never really know what happens to the students who are denied. Where do they go? We would assume they simply have no choice but to attend some other school nearby (which most denied students do). However, what if the nearest school happens to be private and too expensive? What if the next option is more than forty miles away? The movie “Waiting for

search cited in the film, after two hours of homework, there is no correlating improvement in information retention. Yet parents, educators, universities and students all subscribe to the myth that more effort equals elite performance. Schools require students to earn better test scores so teachers can receive better pay, which results in eliminating project-based hands-on learning in favor of test-specific teaching. This to me is the flaw. Pedagogically speaking, according to the Education Services Branch of California Education Authority, this strategy results in 50% of students entering California State universities requiring remedial reading and math courses to perform at minimum college levels. No one is winning here. “Race to Nowhere” spreads the blame around: No Child Left Behind, bubble tests, too much mindnumbing homework and -- yes -- parents who are more concerned with their own social status than with the health and well being of their children. My personal belief is that we live in an age where information overload is the norm and survival requires developing better boundaries and communication skills. The most important question is, “Are we helping children become passionate lifelong learners?” Anything that gets in the way of that goal should be identified and removed. Period. Passion and innovation are our most precious natural resources to inspire and grow.

Superman” answers these apprehensive questions. I was taken aback to know that if these questions aren’t answered, it could essentially result in an intelligent child being labeled a dropout because he/she was stricken by exterior factors. It is also shameful that some students skip school when there are plenty underprivileged individuals striving to be taught. You would think that our nation’s vast wealth and advanced industrialization could better this problem, but in actuality, no dramatic measures have been taken. Nothing has changed, other than producing a movie that tells people to



As the need for educational reform becomes evi-

. . . it could essentially result in an intelligent child being labeled a dropout because he/she was stricken by exterior factors.

await a hero to save them from this education crisis. Though this movie significantly lacked exposure to the younger crowd, the message is still relevant and it is definitely worth seeing. After watching this movie, you will most likely have a clearer understanding about controversial issues present in the school system. You might even find yourself being inspired to explore other ways to get involved with improving education in less fortunate schools. Or even better, realize how fortunate we are to be growing and learn ing on our remarkable campus.

Visit for upcoming showings. “Waiting for Superman” is available on DVD.

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