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bagpipe magazine

Lakeland High School’s monthly news magazine


in this issue expecting change 03 hanukkah 04 volunteers in action 08 dish diaries 11

Student Profile: Ronnie Berry The band colonel, Key Club president, and an AP student, and he still...Page 5

Athlete Burnout Page 6...Athletes suffer through sports, work, school, and other activities, but what happens when they reach the boiling point? academics • student life • community • clubs and organizations • sports • current events •

bagpipe EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Cori Orcasitas Phone: 863.499.2900, 2480 Email: writers Joel Berdiel Charlotte Renner Savanna Collins Dezi Carpenter Morgan Pierson ADVERTISING Sales and Marketing: Journalism Staff Phone: 863.499.2900, x2480 Email: DESIGN Cori Orcasitas Savanna Collins Dezi Carpenter Charlotte Renner Morgan Pierson PHOTOGRAPHY Morgan Pierson Savanna Collins Summer Nasr Bill Simmons Leonards Highlander Mikayla Hinds Circulation Director Want a copy for your office? Call us. Phone: 863.499.2900, x2480 GENERAL INQUIRIES 726 Hollingsworth Drive Lakeland, FL 33801 Phone: 863.499.2900 Fax: 863.499.2917 ADVISER stacey Pierce Email: Website: COVER ARTWORK Bill Simmons and Cori Orcasitas


All material appearing in Bagpipe Magazine is copyright unless otherwise stated or it may rest with the provider of the supplied material. Bagpipe Magazine takes all care to ensure information is correct at time of printing, but the publisher accepts no responsibility or liability for the accuracy of any information contained in the text or advertisements. Views expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher, editor or school.

Brought to you by the students of

Volunteering. Do you get it? Like many people, I reflect at this time of year and make my own little mental list of things for which I am grateful. One of those things is the amazing group of students that I have at Lakeland High. LHS students do extraordinary and notable things on a regular basis. From dominating on the From the playing field to earning distinction in the arts and Principal’s Desk Tracy Collins excelling in the classroom, our students give our faculty and community many things about which to be proud. Of all of the many reasons to be proud of our school, I am most proud of one thing — our students give back. Servant leadership is a hallmark of LHS. From the moment I walked on our campus ten years ago, I knew I had entered a special place. The spirit of community, giving and volunteerism is inspiring. Through co-curricular programs and extracurricular clubs, our kids take advantage of opportunities to get involved. The Leadership Cadre program is truly second to none. Working on both internal and community-based projects, students gain perspective on why giving back is essential and how to organize these initiatives. Extracurricular service clubs, such as Key Club, Keyettes, LEO and Teen Trendsetters are additional opportunities that our students have to get involved. These clubs, led by committed and dedicated teachers, look for innovative ways to help others, make improvements, or just bring joy to others. The skills and experiences from this class and these clubs are carried with each of them as they leave the hallways of our school. The community recognizes the dedication and spirit of our students. Rarely does a week pass that we are not involved in a project somewhere in our local community. On weekends our students can be seen out picking up trash, making suitcases for foster children, decorating bags for VISTE holiday meals, or painting children’s faces at a civic event. The students of LHS currently have accrued more than 40,000 hours of community service. That is an effort that inspires me. Our kids get it! They understand the importance of community, the strength of partnerships and the power of giving. For that, I am thankful and proud.

Expecting M


aintaining their grades may be the biggest problem many teenagers are facing right now, but for thousands of other teens in the U.S., providing their child with the best life possible is what they are focused on. Teenage pregnancy remains the highest among the most developed countries in the world. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the teen pregnancy rate was at 67.8 pregnancies per 1,000 women between the ages of 15-19 in 2008, which means that nearly 750,000 of the U.S. teens became pregnant that year. “I feel like a lot of teens just don’t realize what they can get themselves into Oh baby | Teen mother, from being sexually active at such young ages,” said 20-year-old Enghel Berdiel, Michelle Walker, stares a former Lakeland High School student who got pregnant when she was 16 years old. lovingly into her son’s eyes. Teen parents face the challenge of trying to live the average life of a teenager, She got pregnant with him when she was just 15 years while still being a responsible parent. Many teen parents often sacrifice their old. photo submitted social lives to focus on their child. “During my pregnancy I couldn’t play basketball and I had to give up Sleeping sound | One-yearbasketball for a year. I couldn’t go and have fun and party with my friends like old Jamal dozes off to sleep I had planned on doing,” said teen mother, Michelle Walker. Walker is currently during a busy day. Rare a senior. Her son Jamal, is one-year-old. She has not returned to basketball. moments like this afford Instead, she had to find employment. mother, Michelle Walker, a break. photo submitted “I have a lot of help from my mom so that kind of helps a little bit when things get rough,” Walker continued. “I was going to continue to play basketball but the way things are right now, I wouldn’t have been a reliable player.” Senior, Brittany Simmons, is a soon-to-be teen mother and dealing with the challenges. “It’s different; like you can’t go out and do things that normal high schoolers do now...and you sleep all the time, so sometimes you forget to do your homework,” she said. Less and less teens are facing the challenge of young parenthood with sex education becoming a more crucial topic. Teenagers are learning more ways to prevent pregnancy and have a safe sex life, but the ultimate way to prevent pregnancy is abstinence. “I think teems should just wait,” said Berdiel. “Focus on school and have a good time. You don’t want to end up being in the position I was in. You have the rest of your life to worry about kids and relationships.” Walker agreed. “Talk to your parents to make sure you think twice, maybe even three times, about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with,” she said. — Article by Joel Berdiel

Bagpipe switches printers; requests student submissions As deadline day approached for the first Bagpipe magazine, the staffers watched and waited for the mail to arrive - and then, as deadline day passed, the staff continued to wait. “Working with a newly established company presented some unique challenges that we were not happy with,” adviser Stacey Pierce said. The original deal with the printer based out of California (aPrintis) involved the printer selling the advertising and printing a 32-page magazine, at no cost to the Bagpipe

program or Lakeland High School. “The company was supposed to keep all revenue from the advertising sales, and that was supposed to pay the printing bill,” Pierce said. Because the company was not able to sell as much advertising as it had hoped, students were left waiting on the first issue of the magazine, after a publication date had already been announced on campus. In the mean time, the staff released the magazine online, via, and eventually, the magazine was delivered a

week later. The Bagpipe is now with new publisher, School Publications. The staff has also decided to seek student submissions for the December/ January issue, in feature format. Students are encouraged to submit poems, artwork and photos that highlight “Lakeland: City We Live In.” Capture life in the city at its best. Staff will select the top entries and publish them in a spread in the December/January magazine. — Article by Bagpipe staff 3

Hanukkah a time for family; celebration Thanksgiving Break is a time for gratitude; a time to commemorate that first successful year of harvest for the Pilgrims. It is a time to remember where one came from, and a time for family gettogethers, good friends, good food, and… Hanukkah? While everyone is busy stuffing their faces, or watching all of the holiday specials on television, the Jewish culture is preparing for the first day of Hanukkah. Hanukkah translates to “Festival of Lights,” and serves to celebrate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and mark “the miracle” that occurred when the oil burned for eight

days. The holiday runs December 8-16 this year, which is “really early,” according to senior, Jesica Ambar, although the celebration does typically occur in December. Like any holiday preparation, there are gifts to be bought, plans to be made, and stories to commemorate. “We prepare when my dad does brain teasers every year about the Hanukkah story,” junior, Hannah Feldman said. “We also stock up on candles, those run out quickly!” As a common In lights | While tradition, families her brother lights light one candle of the third candle on the menorah the menorah every during Hanukkah, night to honor the

eight days that the supply of oil lasted. Many families also cook a variety of fried food, which also contributes to the symbolism of the burning oil. The timing of the school breaks makes Hanukkah a little different each year. “Last year, the fourth day of Hanukkah fell on Christmas,” Ambar said. “It fluctuates every year because the Hebrew calendar is shorter.” Even though Hanukkah occurs during the Winter holidays, it is not to be confused with the commercialism of holidays such as Christmas; Hanukkah is typically a family-oriented holiday. “We have fun,” junior, Jacob Post said. “My favorite thing about Hanukkah is being with my family for eight days.” — Article by Charlotte Renner

“My favorite thing about Hanukkah is being with my family for eight days.” — Jacob Post, junior

junior, Hannah Feldman, celebrates the tradition with family. photo submitted

Day In The Life It is often said that high school is what you make of it. With that in mind, senior, Ronald Berry is making quite a bit of his last year at Lakeland High School. “I like leadership and service, I love being in charge,” Berry said. Most of his time is dedicated to music, as a saxophonist and band colonel in the high school band. In his schedule alone, Berry has four different music courses, all of them with director, Brad Wharton. “Ronald is one of my leader students,” Wharton said. “I communicate with him the most. He’s a strong student leader, very talented musically, very intelligent; great charisma and fun to be around.” Beyond that, Berry is also the Key Club president, and he completes his schedule with advanced placement classes. “I love being involved, it keeps me busy,” he said. But between his band duties, Key Club and his advanced


Ronald Berry

courses, sometimes it can be difficult to balance it all. “I have Key Club and Officer meetings on Thursdays after school, as well as marching band practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 8:30 p.m.,” he said of his schedule. “It’s hard work, but I’m handling it pretty well. The agendas on my phone and in my mind always help keeping things together, so I’m careful as to not overlap the two.” Things do not look like they will slow down any time soon for him, as he has college aspirations as well. He says he plans to major in music and stay involved. “I don’t have that much free time,” he said. “If I’m not asleep, I am usually studying or doing homework. ” Berry added. In the end, he says his hard work now is worth making sacrifices. “Being in charge is a lot of work, but if it works out in the end like it is now, it will all be worth it.” — Article by Morgan Pierson Lead of the pack | After school, Ronnie Berry can either be found in the band room, or at a Key Club meeting. Berry is an officer in the Key Club. photo by Morgan Pierson In unison | Berry marches to the beat at the start of the Homecoming game, October 12. photo by Leonards


Feeling pressure to win, earn good grades, and scholarships...


In high school and college, athletes play their sport, or sports, year round. Balancing school, friends, family, and sports is no easy task and the scale is often tipped unequally. A part of life ends up being neglected, as explained by volleyball player, Kali Boatwright. “I’m so exhausted from volleyball,” said Boatwright. “It’s too exhausting to have the motivation to do homework if you’re putting so much into sports.” Not only does school get put on the back burner, but social life can become nonexistent. Athletes feel as though sports consume life and everything they do. “I play two sports; basketball and football. I wanna do things that normal high schoolers do, actually have a life,” said Trenton Pearson. This is a common case for athletes. Becoming so enthralled in sports often leaves no time to relax, as was the situation for Lakeland teacher and former John A. Logan College basketball player, Laura Lasseter. During her high school years, Lasseter was a multi-sport athlete, excelling in track and basketball. “I have pretty much played sports since I was about five,” she said. Lasseter says her life revolved around


basketball, and she had dreams of playing for University of Tennessee, as many young basketball players do, but something changed. “I made the decision to quit playing after

explained. The push to keep playing can result in more than just a tired mind and body.

“If I could do it all over again, I would focus all of my time on sports.”

After not having a break in more than a year, Boatwright says the mind may be in the right place but the body does not always follow.

“I get hurt a lot since I don’t — Laura Lasseter have breaks. Probably once a month, I have a different injury just from overuse. It’s my freshman year [in college] because, never detrimental; just strains and pulls basically, I was burnt out,” Lasseter said. because they’ve been used so much,” she shared. The feelings Lasseter experienced as a freshman in college are the same that high The continuous pounding on the body school athletes today are feeling, some in can lead to athletes who are ready to be just their junior year. done with the pain, but that is not the case for Boatwright. “I couldn’t handle off-season practices, three hour practices, and keep up with my “I just play through the injuries but I’m school work; and to be honest, my social always icing. I just hate losing more than life too,” Lasseter explained. “At the point, anything so I’d rather suck it up and keep I felt like basketball and athletics was in going than wait for the season to be over,” the way of everything else,” Lasseter said. she said. Athletes in danger of burn out are feeling the pressure from a variety of sources, including extrinsic motivators. “I wanna be like my dad. The pressure is on me to perform well,” Pearson

Although both athletes say they are beginning to feel burnt out, they dream of the same future that Lasseter had in her grasp; playing at the next level. Feeling the pressure | Double-teamed in the Regional finals last year, Pearson scores two points. Pearson is also a tight-end on the football team. file photos

Steady hitting | Against crosstown rivals, George Jenkins, Kali Boatwright swings away as starting hitter for the team. Below, she studies for her advanced placement classes. photo by Leonards

“After high school I wanna play college volleyball, hopefully at a Division I school. I want to be able to give to a different team and help them be successful at a higher level,” Boatwright said. Pearson has those same aspirations for himself, but takes into perspective the lurking feeling of burn out. “Am I afraid I’ll get burnt out? Yes. I feel like I’m neglecting all this other stuff in order to succeed [but] to keep myself from being burnt out, there’s nothing I really can do. I just have to keep going,” he said. Many athletes push through the burn out, and attain what they set out for, but some, succumb. “It was a bad decision on my part; other things became more important than basketball,” Lasseter said of giving up her college career. “If I could do it all over again, I would focus all of my time on academics and sports but unfortunately that was not the case.” Whether a learner or well-polished player at sports, athletes can experience the ill-fated effects of burn out, but the thing that keeps most going including Boatwright is this: “I just love [volleyball] so much and I’ve just always been around it. It’s just a huge part of my life so I wanna keep doing it because I love it and I enjoy it.” — Article by Savanna Collins

Honored | As a college basketball player, Laura Lasseter had everything she hoped for as a high school student. Lasseter earned All Conference three times and All South and All State twice, each. She was also an accomplished trackster. She quit basketball after her first year in college. photo submitted


Students in Paddle for a Cure | During the Purple Paddle Battle, a fundraiser for pancreatic cancer research, Keyettes member Monica Santana holds a boat before the race begins. photo by Mikayla Hinds

Growing for good | FFA President, Shelby Hawkins stands for the cameras with School Board member, Frank O’Reilly, at the ribbon cutting of a garden dedicated to the senior citizens of VISTE. photo submitted


Veterans Day | On November 12, JROTC members Jaelin Dittman, Javonte Brown, Charles McIntyre and Raidel Martin-Perez, post the colors during the Veterans Day Program. The program was hosted by teacher Stacy Moser, and her sixth period U.S. History class. photo by Morgan Pierson


Volunteerism A new brand | Gathering on a Saturday morning, Art Club members paint, “Dreadnaught� onto Dreadnaught Walk, as the start of a school beautification project. The group put more than 30 hours of work into this phase of the project. photo submitted

Volleying for a cure | Seated in front of a wall of JDRF donation shoes, Mallory MacDougall and another volleyball teammate collect money for the foundation. The team fundraises for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, each year. photo by Stacey Pierce

Teaching is learning | During a Dixieland Elementary tutoring session with Teen Trendsetters, Juan Sevilla helps a student read through a book. The club sends members to the elementary school on Wednesdays each week, to read. photo by Summer Nasr





Stevi B’s

Each month, staffers will review a local restaurant to give you the inside scoop on everything from customer service, to cost and cleanliness. Staff members do not tell the restaurant they are reviewing them. They are real customers, on an undercover mission to discover the truth.

Debuting in April, Stevi B’s is the newest pizza joint in the city. Located in the Grove Park plaza, near Publix, off of Bartow Road, Stevi B’s is in a lot of ways, like a Cici’s Pizza. A family-friendly environment, complete with a game room in the corner, with employees that greet you from across the room are just small pieces of the unique atmosphere. The dining room is a big, spread out area, with plenty of room so you do not bump chairs with those behind you. The layout is not the only reason kids go there though. When you go in on a good day, like right after school between 2 and 4 p.m., the cooks will actually come to your table to get you anything you need whether it be a fresh pizza or a refill on your soda. Another important aspect: the bathrooms. The area is well-kept and is checked at regular

intervals. Customization is a key feature at Stevi B’s, as the cooks routinely accept the challenge of new and interesting combinations that you request. When they finish making your pizza, they bring it to the table with a smile. Their pizzas, much like their attitudes, are one of a kind with a wide spectrum of toppings. Specialty pizzas range from macaroni and cheese pizza, to Smores pizza. The pizzas are kept warm and, when needed, they take it off and make a new one. The salad bar is a nice feature too. They have salad toppers of all kinds, from bacon bits to cheeses, jalapeños, and olives. Stevi B’s is an “all about the customer” restaurant. Cleanliness is a number one and so is the customer’s happiness. They love to serve you. — Review by Dezi Carpenter

Ed Hammerberg Eddie Hammerberg

Team Hammer

2328 Main Street E. Lakeland, FL 33801

Screen Printing & Embroidery

T-Shirts • Hats • Polos

Phone: 863.666.1108 Fax: 863.667.1951 Cell: 863.412.6622 Toll Free: 877.647.TEES

November Bagpipe  

Lakeland High School student news magazine