Page 1

what’s inside Teachers, administrators discuss the dangers of synthetically made drugs story on page 3

Former Mac student writes, directs, produces play at the UT Lab Theatre story on pages 6-7

out with the old in with the

In-depth look at how AISD distributes money for athletics


story on pages 10-11

Student designers take on art icons, make them their own, prepare their pieces for the annual benefit fashion show Feb. 8 story on page 15



McCallum High School / 5600 Sunshine / Austin, TX 78756 / Feb 7, 2014 / Issue 4 / Volume 61

2 contents

inside the issue

story on page 8

story on page 12

From left to right: Senior Dylan Feldpausch played with the Austin Symphony during its performance at Mac on Jan. 22. Photo provided by Dylan Feldpausch. Senior captain Hannah Henry prepares to swim in the 100 breaststroke race. Henry

story on page 16

won first place in the race, and the team took 2nd in district. Photo by Mary Stites. Senior Connor Barr performed a rendition of Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” for his talent during the male pageant Mr. McCallum on Jan. 25. Photo by Mary Stites.






Obama administration urges schools to abandon zero tolerance policies


Senior violinist plays with Austin Symphony, looks to future music opportunities

12 Brothers on the varsity soccer

14 Designers in annual Benefit Fashion


Katie Carrasco named McCallum Teacher of the Year


Teachers talk about their high school years

12 Mac swim team places second at

16 Annual male pageant crowns senior

team play together at school, home district meet

save the date 8 11 13 14 14 27 27,28

february NOVA: Fashion Show in MAC @ 7 p.m. 1,2 Orchestra Pre-UIL Concert @ 7 p.m. 3-6 Late Start 4 Valentine’s Day Boys Soccer game vs. Crockett @ 6 p.m. 6 Late Start 9 “Les Miserables” in MAC 7-9 p.m. 10-14

the shield // Feb. 7, 2014

Show ‘Nova’ take inspiration from artists, icons Jak Holbrook as Mr. McCallum

Don’t forget to like The Shield on Facebook


“Les Miserables” in MAC 7-9 p.m. TAKS retest days Steel Drum Inside Out Carnival in cafeteria @ 7 p.m. Guitar Concert in MAC Daylight Savings Time Begins Spring Break

Follow: @theshieldonline on Twitter

Visit: for exclusive content

Cover: Senior Rowan Youngs practices her walk for the upcoming benefit fashion show on Feb. 8. Photo by Maya Coplin.


SEAN SIMONS staff reporter

The day before the second semester began, assistant principal Larry Featherstone addressed teachers at an in-service meeting about synthetic drugs. He wanted all the teachers to be aware of the existence and the rising threat these drugs pose to teenagers, and to help teachers be aware of suspicious activity. “They asked that we be on the lookout for things,” chemistry teacher Sarah Noack said. “Any students that are acting weird, then that could be a red flag. If we see that their eyes look different. Just in general if they are acting different.” Synthetic drugs (or designer drugs) are chemically altered substances that are laced with products similar to heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. They come in bags with misleading names like Spice, K2, Special K and Bath Salts, and can be bought over the counter at many convenience stores. “[Synthetic drugs] were legal at one point,” Police Officer John Yoder said. “It was last legislative session that it became illegal. It’s a fairly new law that has made it illegal. So there’s still people that will sell it even though they’re not supposed to.” Yoder said the convenience stores get away with selling the drugs by doing it “un-

some [synthetic drugs], and the son had der the table.” The packages are ironically labeled a full psychological breakdown,” Noack “NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMP- said. “He sort of went crazy. He was a TION” even though the products other- healthy, well-rounded kid one day, and the next day he was hallucinating and seeing wise have no practical purpose to be sold. “There’s no other reason [to buy them],” horrible images that weren’t there. It had Yoder said. "I can guarantee you 98 per- been three years since he had taken the drugs, and he’s still in therapy and really cent don’t use it for incense and aroma.” According to the Drug Enforcement messed up.” The synAdministrathetic drugs tion, (DEA) mostly come synthetic drugs can have He was a healthy, well-rounded from chemical manufacturvarying sidekid one day, and the next day he ers in China effects from depression was hallucinating and seeing hor- that are able to find loopand delusion rible images that weren’t there. holes in drug to insomnia, regulations in paranoia, suiSarah Noack// Chemistry Teacher the U.S. The cidal thoughts, drug makseizures and ers are able panic attacks. “The labels say ‘Not For Human Con- to slightly alter the chemical components sumption’ because it contains chemicals of the drugs in order to make them legal. that the human body doesn’t know how Once the current drug becomes illegal, the to break down,” Police Officer Christine manufacturers make a new legal strain, Hearn said. “You are basically introducing and so on. “When you expose your body to alcopoison into your body.” During the faculty meeting, Feather- hol or other drugs, it increases the smooth stone showed a CNN video over a syn- endoplasmic reticulum,” physics teacher Kendra Flenniken said. “That is the organthetic drugs story. “In the video we watched, they were elle that actually purifies those poisons out, interviewing a mom whose son had taken patches them up, and then sends them to

the lysosome or peroxisome. So you literally have a physiological change when you do drugs.” Certain types of synthetic drugs have recently been linked to extreme damage to the kidneys, the organ that removes harmful waste from the bloodstream. “The drugs chemically mess up the stuff in your brain and you don’t act right anymore,” Noack said. “Your body has to process all that stuff out of the blood. When you take drugs, and it gets in your bloodstream, the organs in your body have to work really hard to filter all that stuff out.” It is both Officer Yoder and Hearn’s first year at McCallum, so neither have had incidents here with synthetic drugs yet, though Yoder said he has “come across it a few times before” in his previous employment at Giddings Police Department. Yoder said the biggest thing students can do to help keep synthetic drug activity down at McCallum is to be vocal if they see something. “Don’t be quiet about it,” Yoder said. “There is Crime Stoppers where you can report anonymous tips, and that also helps us out a lot. We’ve been able to use that to actually help us out with a few busts. So the biggest aspect that could help us is to keep your eyes open and don’t be afraid to speak up and let us know if you hear or even see something.”

FEB. 7, 2014 // the shield


Our way or the highway Federal government urges schools to abandon zero tolerance policies CAITLIN FALK

assistant editor A wealth of data shows that, of the nation’s students arrested or referred to law enforcement at school, over 50 percent are African-American or Latino. So Jan. 8, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued a series of guidelines informing schools that the federal government would hold them accountable for ensuring that school discipline policies do not have a discriminatory impact on minority students and those with disabilities. Deborah Fowler, deputy director of the public interest law center Texas Appleseed, said this was a historic and longawaited announcement that would protect all school children. “We applaud their desire to work with the states and to support the nation’s schools in shifting the impact of school disciplinary policy away from ‘zero tolerance’ and a ‘pipeline to court,’ which has had the most profound impact on students of color,” Fowler said. Zero tolerance refers to school policies which allow the suspension, expulsion and referral of kids to court for any offense— the “school-to-prison” pipeline. “Numerous research studies show that removing kids from school for behavior that may disrupt, but not pose a safety threat, only increases the likelihood of

dropout and future court involvement,” Fowler said. Assistant Principal Andy Baxa said the disciplinary policy at McCallum takes a common sense approach. “Our disciplinary policy is that we try to be as consistent and fair with it as we can,” Baxa said. “We realize that each individual case has to be looked at and has to be taken as an individual situation. When two situations are similar, we try to be consistent with the discipline that we hand out.” Fowler said the core argument against zero tolerance is that it removes the common sense approach from student discipline. “It is overly used to remove students from the classroom, placing students farther behind academically and weakening their ties to school,” she said. Junior Emma Larson said ultimately zero tolerance policies will have a detrimental impact on students who fall victim to the “school-to-prison” pipeline. “I don’t think zero tolerance policies are a good thing,” Larson said. “I think if you send someone to prison, especially a teenager, for a crime that’s not really hurting anyone except themselves, then they’re going to come out of prison a lot worse than they went in, with maybe the willingness to commit crimes that do actually hurt other people.” The Texas legislature has set stan-

dards for school discipline that are laid out in the Texas Education Code. Felony offenses such as the use of firearms on school grounds, aggravated assault and sexual assault will trigger mandatory removal of an individual from the school. Less severe offenses, which include conduct occurring off campus or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, such as felony criminal mischief, misdemeanor drug, alcohol or inhalants offenses, are discretionary. For these offenses, school district officials have the discretion to remove a student from the classroom or school. Fowler said because of this type of approach, Austin Independent School District has been a state leader with regard to disciplinary action. “Austin ISD has implemented campuswide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support strategies to help reduce disciplinary problems,” Fowler said. “Unfortunately, in Austin and across the country, the data shows that African American and special education students are still overrepresented in discretionary disciplinary actions to address minor misbehavior.” Experts on the issue have praised the guidelines released by the federal government but still acknowledge that changing school cultures and policies will be difficult. The experts say this is due to the focus of school accountability systems on student’s test scores and other means of

academic measurement, rather than reducing suspensions. “Focusing on test scores kind of twists the idea of public education,” Larson said. “Public education exists so that we can have an educated adult population that knows how to make well-informed, good decisions, so if you create a system that gives teachers an incentive to actually kick kids out of class or stop educating them, then that goes against the entire point of public education.” Fowler said there were preferable options to a zero tolerance disciplinary policy. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach that must be followed,” she said. “Ideally, schools would preemptively model high standards for behavior, make sure that all on campus -- students, teachers and administrators -- clearly understand behavior expectations and the consequences for misbehavior, strive to address minor misbehavior at school and keep students in class, and focus more resources and supports for the minority of students with the most serious behavior problems.” Baxa said, however, changing established school cultures would be difficult to do on a national scale. “It’s an interesting trend that we have to look at,” he said. “The problem is bigger than the schools. It’s bigger than what we’re dealing with. It’s more systemic than what we’re dealing with.”

African-American students comprise only 15 percent of nation’s students however...


the shield // feb. 7, 2014


o Pris


of those are suspended once

44% rison

of those are suspended multiple times


of those are expelled from school


Data collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection system

news in brief MARA VANDEGRIFT staff reporter

11 students named to All-State orchestra Eleven orchestra students qualified for the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra Concert. “They send you a whole bunch of music you have to learn, and then you go and you play in an orchestra that’s made up of people from all over the state,” junior Emma Boardman-Larson said. Students submitted recordings in October. “You record your stuff that you’re going to send in October,” Boardman-Larson said. “They listen to it and judge it and determine whether you get in, and you find out in November and then the actual thing you go to is in a couple of weeks.” As a first year attendee of the concert, Boardman-Larson said she is nervous and excited. “I’m very nervous because it’s a lot of music to learn and its very hard, but I’m excited. It’s gonna be cool.”

2 AVID students win scholarship Two students were awarded the Dell Scholarship for their involvement in AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and their academic achievements. “The Dell scholarship is for 11th and 12th graders that are in approved programs like AVID,” AVID teacher Annette Gutierrez said. “You have to be in AVID


your 11th and 12th grade year, you have to hold a 2.4 GPA, you have to display leadership, and you have to be taking rigorous courses, like AP or dual-credit.” Mariah Garza and Christopher Vasquez-Chiman, both seniors, are the first students of Gutierrez to win the $20,000 scholarship. “I think they’re just really great students,” Gutierrez said. “I think our senior class this year is really a really good class overall, and the AVID program here at McCallum is really taking off. I think all the leadership is coming together. They were able to write and describe their story and move the scholarship committee.” Gutierrez said her students encourage her just as much as she encourages them. “I’m going to grad school because of them,” Gutierrez said. “They push me to reflect on my own learning and make me be a better person in my character and in my teaching. I’ve seen myself in them, and I’ve realized my own fears through their eyes and have conquered some of my fears.”

Carrasco named Teacher of the Year World Geography teacher Katie Carrasco was named Teacher of the Year. [The Teacher of the Year award] means that my colleagues think highly of me and see me as a valuable part of the McCallum community,” Carrasco said. “They must hear good things from students, which is really more meaningful to me that students think I’m doing a good job than teachers.” For more information, visit:

Feb. 7. 2014 // the shield

6 Feature

‘This is how I imagine her to be’ CAITLIN FALK assistant editor

the shield // Feb. 7, 2014

Illustration by Lili Hickman Waldon

Arvind Hathaway’s mother tried to poison him when he was 3 years old. Twelve years later, he and his brother secured a lifelong protective order against her. Now, she is the main character in his play “MOMMY.” “My mother had just tried to contact my brother and me, and when we had to take her to court, it was a weird time in my life, and my creativity levels were at an all time high,” Hathaway said. “[This play] is important to me because it’s my story. It’s the few things about me that make me different from everyone else.” Hathaway, a former McCallum student who is now graduating with Masters Learning Academy, said his mother suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder (BDP) and depression. She was sent to prison after she attempted to poison Hathaway, his brother and herself. She tried to contact Hathaway and his brother when she was released, and that was when they secured the protective order. Having always enjoyed acting, writing and singing since he started working in theatre in seventh grade, Hathaway said he thought a play would be the best medium for sharing his story. He said he doesn’t know his mom, but her character in the play is how he imagines her to be. “My close family expected me to portray my mother as a monster, a crazy person intent on ruining everyone’s lives,” he said. “I decided to show that she’s a human being as well, so I made her the main character while knowing nothing about her. I want the audience to feel for her and understand that each action has a consequence.” Over the past year, Hathaway has met with local screenwriters, playwrights and actors for feedback on his script. “MOMMY” premiered Jan. 30 in the UT Laboratory Theatre for a three-day run as part

Feature 7 Former McCallum student Arvind Hathaway writes, directs play



1. During a scene in the courtroom, mother Susan Hoffman (played by Addie Alexander) reflects on her life. 2. Ezra Hankin and Harold Fisch play brothers Nick Hoffman and Emmett Hoffman in this scene where they’re playing video games and talking about the trial. Photos by Liz Moskowitz. of its Spring Season. The opening night proceeds, which amounted to 162 dollars, were donated to Safe Place. “The UT Lab Theatre is all about pushing things to your limit and working at the edge of your abilities,” Hathaway said. “When Evan [Roberts] pitched my play to the board, they loved it. A 16-yearold, wanting to put on a play about a court trial with his mother sounded interesting to them, so they gave us a date. Free of charge.” Hathaway’s story is now the premise of award-winning filmmaker Evan Roberts’ new documentary, entitled “ARVIND”, which follows Hathaway as he produces his play. A few years ago, Hathaway auditioned for Roberts’ last film, “Yeah Kowalski!,” and shortly thereafter, Roberts asked him to come in and audition for a documentary. The premise of the audition and documentary was, “If your life were a movie, what would it be about?” After hearing Hathaway’s story, Roberts decided Arvind wasis who he wanted. Hathaway said he has now grown accustomed to cameras following him as Roberts’ crew documents him on this journey. “When [Roberts] first told me that I was the one he wanted, I told him ‘NO,’”Hathaway said. “The idea of a cam-

era following you around every day of ev- experience of dealing with our past,” Robery week sounded terrible. Eventually I erts said. “How do we let the past affect us warmed up to the idea and said ‘yes.’ I learn in the present?” to ignore it. And while my friends think it’s The documentary is expected to be weird when I show up with a cameraman, complete by mid-May. Roberts said it is I think they’re slowly getting used to it still a work-in-progress and that he is keeptoo.” ing an open mind about the concluding The documentary is already receiving message. community support and recognition. Ha“You don’t go into a documentary with thaway said he is not sure what he hopes a message that you want to tell,” Roberts people will said. “Ultitake away mately you just from seetry and find the ing the film best way to tell which will [This play] is important to me the story that debut later see unfoldbecause it’s my story. It’s the you this year. ing without few things about me that make imposing your “This is what Evan subjective me different from everyone own would say; viewpoint. In else. Arvind is documentadifferent, ries, you find Arvind Hathaway // Junior he’s a mithe story in the nority who editing roomis gay,” Hathaway said. “His family strug- - so even now I might think I know what gles financially. His story is one that some story I’m telling, but I can’t be sure until people might relate to. “It’s different from I see all the footage put together. Somethe typical gay teen story.” Hathaway said. thing might come out of it that I didn’t exRoberts said audiences will be able to pect or see until later.” connect with the story on a personal level. Though the documentary and the “It is essentially about the very human play publicize Hathaway’s story more, his

friends and family have been encouraging. “It’s kind of like having your journal or diary out for everyone to see,” Hathaway said. “The ‘secrets’ that I do have are those I plan on keeping. Everything else is in the documentary. My dad has supported me greatly and wants me to do what I want with my life. Although it’s their story and they are the ones who remember it, it’s my story too.” Hathaway summed up how he felt about all the recent success he has had. “I try not to let it get to my head because that’s the worst I can do,” he said. “However, I think it’s a nice kick in the face to those who have ever doubted me or told me that I won’t amount to anything.”

FEB. 7, 2014 // the shield

8 Feature

Senior Dylan Feldpausch performs his solo of Prokofiev’s “First Violin Concerto in D Major” with the Austin Symphony.

Feldpausch performs his solo with the conductor of the Austin Symphony, Peter Bay. Photos provided by Dylan Feldpausch.

Violin virtuoso Senior wins a chance to perform with Austin Symphony NICK ROBERTSON staff reporter

Senior Dylan Feldpausch didn’t really choose to play the violin. However, nine years later he is playing as a soloist with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and cannot imagine himself without the violin, he said. “When I was young, my mom was like, ‘You have to play an instrument,’ and we had one lying around,” Feldpausch said. “It was my grandfather’s, and so I just picked it up.” Feldpausch said it has “a lot of range.” “It’s naturally conducive to a solo setting and in small ensembles, and it’s very versatile for any kind of music, classical, any type of folk, especially European types,” Feldpausch said. The Austin Symphony Orchestra plays primarily classical music from composers like Bach or Beethoven. Each year the symphony holds a competition for stu-

the shield // feb. 7,2014

dents in Austin to win a chance to play a is there to try and make you happy.” Feldpausch admits there is a lot of anxisolo with the group. “You go and play a preliminary round, ety before any performance, and he has to then you come back and play the finals,” fight to not let the nerves get the best of Feldpausch said. “It is open to kids up to him. “Before performances, I kinda just age 19.” freak out a Because little bit, and Feldpausch I just practice won this year, try and when the symIt was a lot of fun. There is and forget about phony came nothing quite like playing with it,” Feldpausch to play here, said, “but durhe was the feaa really good orchestra. ing perfortured soloist mances, I try for the opening Dylan Feldpausch // not to think concerto. Senior at all because “It was a lot you have done of fun,” he said. all the work. “There is nothing quite like playing with a really good or- Thinking about it usually makes it worse, chestra. The conductor is super-sensitive not better.” All of that work that he had to do came to what you are trying to do, and it’s actually kinda easy because the whole orchestra in the form of hours upon hours of prac-

tice. The saying “practice makes perfect” definitely applies to the violin, he said. “During the school year I usually practice about three hours a day, three to four, and during the summer I get in three to six,” he said. Feldpausch has auditioned at several music schools. “I’ve auditioned at UT and Rice, Overland Conservatory and other places,” he said. “I would like to make it [music] my career.” While violin is an integral part of Feldpausch’s life, he still tries to make time for other things like school and bowling. “I bowl. I bowl a lot, actually,” Feldpausch said, chuckling. “It has been easier to balance school and violin senior year since I have fewer classes to take, and I haven’t had as much work associated with them. Making music is just a lot of fun and doing it in a group is even better, so I hope I get to continue in college and beyond.”

Feature 9

Blast from the past

“I wore a leather jacket, a silver cross and black T-shirts. I had long hair that I parted in the middle, I wore it as long as I could. I liked to play hacky sack. I had a crew of really good neighborhood buddies. We hung out and played after school, got into mischief.”

Teachers reminisce about high school years, share hopes for students

Eric Wydeven English teacher

“You have to watch out when you’re making choices. If you make the wrong judgment choice, it’s kind of detrimental. It’s going to affect you in a broad sense.” Mary Ghazi art teacher

Ms. Ghazi What were you like in high school?

What’s the worst thing about being a teenager?

“To treat my students with respect and with kindness. I think they’ll remember how kind I am to them longer than they remember the Pythagorean Theorem.” Richard Cowles mathCowles teacher Mr.

Read more stories and advice from your favorite teachers on

the shield // feb. 4, 2014

Photos by Natalie Murphy

What do you want you students to remember about you?

10 Feature

Pay to play

MARY STITES photo editor

With each returning year, high school coaches work to find equipment, tournaments and other necessary items to run a successful sports team within the confines of the limited budget that Austin Independent School District (AISD) provides. For the 2013-2014 school year, AISD provided the athletic department at McCallum with $48,300. The money was then distributed among all of the sports based on participation, including the club sport cheerleading, which is provided with $950 for transportation. “Participation numbers are really what determines how the district funds athletics,” said Jason Cecil, head football coach and athletic

the shield // feb. 7, 2014

director. “Field maintenance and equipment will bump up the cost and get more funding. It’s all relative to the number of people participating and the amount that it takes to keep the program running.” Roughly $4,400 of the $48,300 goes towards general supplies for the school, including field maintenance and the cost of upkeep for the utilities the athletic program uses. “All of the outdoor sports are more expensive than indoor sports because of the upkeep,” Cecil said. “Those [outdoor] sports get a lot more money just to maintain the fields and practice facilities.” Every year AISD uses data from the previous year to determine how the money will be distributed among programs. The sports with the most participation receive the most funding from the district. “Football is the most boys sport,” Cecil said. “All of the girls’ sports are fairly equal; I couldn’t say any of the sports get drastically more funding per athlete. Basketball and volleyball are the two most expensive [girls sports].” Of the 641 male and female athletes at McCallum, 101 of them are football players. Football receives $14,000 from AISD, about $138.61 per athlete. “Football is the most expensive because of the equipment you have to buy, field maintenance and that sort of stuff,” Cecil said. Excluding teams that are not receiving new uniforms, AISD spends, on average, $44.15 per female athlete. “[Girls] Volleyball and basketball are right on each other in every [funding] aspect,” Cecil said. “But the funding

Athletic director discusses AISD a athletic funding compared to subu

that each sport receives can vary if it is their year to get new uniforms. If it is time for new uniforms, the district will give them more money.” The $48,300 athletics receives for the year is a fraction of what other schools are supplied with. At Westlake High School, Eanes ISD’s only high school, the total athletic budget for the 2013-2014 school year was $283,743. “AISD athletics is grossly under budgeted in comparison to other schools and other districts in Texas,” Cecil said. “Our kids don’t get the same kind of equipment; our facilities are pretty rundown and not taken care of. We have to do a lot of fundraising and have a good strong booster club to get our kids the kind of things they need to be successful.” Due to holes in the budget, teams are required to make equipment last the entirety of the seasons, if not longer. “We have to take better care of it, which is a good thing,” Cecil said. “We should take care of [our equipment] anyway. We have to do a little more shopping around to find the better deals. I think we do great with what we’ve got, but if our district would provide more for us we would definitely have been able to compete with outside districts. ” Suburban schools are able to devote more money to supplies for each sport. McCallum’s football team is allotted with $14,000 from the district to buy equipment and anything else they need for the season. Westlake’s football team is given $22,000 just for general supplies (pads, cleats, helmets, ect). This does not include travel, maintenance or any other expenditure. Their football budget is $53,824, not including what the booster club supplies. While being a 4A school limits the district funding the school receives, inner-city 5A schools see significant budget deficits as well. However, 5A schools see the benefit of having a larger coaching staff due to their higher participation rates. “5A schools in the district get significantly more [funding] than the 4A,” Cecil said. “They get more coaches for each sport; they get an extra athletic trainer, which is a significant addition right there. Since the program has more coaches, they get more specific training; therefore, they are able to do more with their kids.”


Having coaching experiences outside of AISD has given Cecil the ability to see the gap between inner city and suburban athletic funding. “I live in Leander and I coached in Round Rock for a while, and you see a drastic difference in money that comes into a program,” Cecil said. “Those suburban communities support athletics whereas Austin really doesn’t as a whole. There are small pockets that do really support it, and our kids and families are great and are very supportive. But outside of Austin, if there is a bond to support athletics or fine arts, it’s almost guaranteed to pass every time, whereas here it fails miserably.” Coaches are able to find cheaper equipment, but the coaching staff AISD althetics is for inner city der budgeted in schools is much smaller than to other school at suburban districts in Texas schools. All Leander High Schools have a Jason Cecil // Athle football coaching staff of at least nine strictly for football, whereas McCallum has nine coaches who work with multiple sports teams. “While they do get much more money, the biggest difference we see from budgeting is the amount of coaching we have,” Cecil said. “All of these other districts have significantly more coaches per kid, and they are getting coached that much more.”

Middle School Programs Suburban districts see advantages both in funding, coaching staff and having programs that prepare students before they enter high school. Leander, Hays schools and other suburban schools in the Austin area have refined middle school programs. “Outside of Austin, middle schools have athletic programs where they have coaches that are just like high school coaches,” Cecil said. “They

Feature 11

llotted rban districts

have athletic periods just like their high school does, so really if you look at a middle school program almost anywhere in the state, their kids have seventh and eighth grade training. They know how they are going to be coached and have been exposed, where our middle schools have nothing, so our kids are two years behind when we get them.” Students in other districts come into their freshman year prepared to be a part of the high school athletic program. “We are way behind in the mental aspect of the game for the same reasons. Our facilities are behind the times. I definitely don’t think facilities make you win a game, but they help. I firmly believe that kids that have nice facilities take pride in them and want to be part of the program more. It’s a lot easier for a teenager to take pride in a nice facility rather than that is beat s grossly un- something up and bummed out. comparison It’s just not a lot of fun s and other to see.”


Club Sports In suburban, wealthier areas schools are provided with more money devoted to athletics. Students in these districts also have the advantage of playing club sports, year round. “[Club sports] help the schools that have the kids that can afford to do it. Volleyball is a great example,” Cecil said. “My daughter does it, and we have a lot of girls that play club. It helps to have kids that can play the sport year-round, but it also hurts when you have multiple-sport athletes. I’m in the mindset where I like our kids to do as many sports as they can, but I really think club sports has made it more specialized.” Club sports have become an increasingly popular activity within the past decade. Being able to have professional, outside coaching that is more individualized for players has created a wide gap between athletes who play year round and those who just partake in their high school programs. “When I was in high school, I think there

tic Director

was a much more level playing field. The increase in club sports has changed two things,” Cecil said. “One, people just focused on what their school coach said. I know it can really cause problems when you’re having your club coach says one thing and your school coach says another. I understand that part. It’s also made it harder for kids to be multiplesport athletes. Kids used to do three sports a year. Now they will do one, maybe Westlake High School Football two.” (red) budget versus McCallum High Cecil says that School (blue) Football Budget for the rise in popularity of club the 2013- 2014 school year. Each sports has affected kid’s money bundle represents $2,000. ability to compete in high school sports. “If you take a kid that is in any sport and they with uniforms and gear. Most sports get new are playing year-round, they are going to be a uniforms every two to three years, and the dislot more skilled and a lot better, so in return it trict doesn’t always give enough money to fund becomes more competitive for varsity sports. good uniforms, so they really work to make up Kids that are in an environment where there the difference.” Volleyball Booster Club treasurer, Susan are many club athletes will be so far behind that they probably won’t ever be able to catch up to Martinez works with other volleyball parents those that are getting the outside coaching and to raise money for new equipment, food for players, senior scholarships and T-shirts. playing year-round.” “This year we were able to help get new netBecause there is not club football, Cecil has not seen the effects of club sports on his teams. ting, a new pole system and new pads for the However, this means that coaches rely more gym,” Martinez said. “This was our largest conon the middle school programs to prepare kids tribution this year. We also purchased iPads and software to track the statistics of the playoutside of high school. “I think in football there is a more level play- ers. Each year we provide scholarships to two ing field because there isn’t club football,” Ce- seniors, team meals for team bonding and away cil said. “I think you can see it in schools, kids games, we cover tournament fees, the banquet, playing year-round having an advantage, but in theme shirts, banners and playoff shirts. We football that is not the case. Football is more also produce programs that are sold at home of a deal of how your middle school programs games to raise money.” The booster clubs work to fund the items feed your high school programs.” To make up for the funding deficit, booster necessary for the success of the teams without clubs work to raise money to cover the cost of putting the stress on the coaches. “If we didn’t raise money to supply all of items that would otherwise not get paid for by these items, it would either fall on the coaches AISD. “The booster clubs definitely help with uni- activity fund which has a smaller budget, on forms and travel for when we have to go on long parents to provide for their own player, or it trips, and they provide us with a couple of bus would not be done at all,” Martinez said. “I rides,” Cecil said. “The booster club also helps believe this would cause stress for the coaching

staff, players and parents. With all of us working as a group together, the burden is not too great on any particular individual.” Coaches said that a strong athletic program will benefit the school in all aspects. Having resources that students take pride in is seen to better the athletic program and promote success outside of sports. “One thing that I’ve always believed is good athletic programs will create a good school environment,” Cecil said. “I’ve seen that in a lot of places. Anywhere where athletic teams are competitive and winning, it makes for more school spirit. I think if AISD would invest that kind of money like other districts do, our participation would go up, kids would have more pride in their school, and people would be more successful.” Despite being at a large financial disadvantage compared to other Austin-area schools, the athletic department uses it as a motivator. “We don’t let budget limit us,” Cecil said. “We teach our kids that we don’t have any advantage compared to these people, so all we have is what we put into it. But realistically we are at a disadvantage compared to the other schools. I think our kids have to be hungrier and work harder while we have got them.”

feb. 7, 2014 // the shield

12 Sports

double Seeing double


staff reporter The varsity soccer team gives junior Alonso Fernandez a way to hang out with his brother, freshman Sacco Fernandez. “It’s cool to play with him because I grew up playing with him,” Alonso said. Alonso said he enjoys having his brother on the team with him because he encourages him to do better. “I’ll play harder if I know he’s playing next to me because it’s a good motivator because you don’t want to let him or your team down,” Alonso said. Sacco said his brother doesn’t need motivating, but Alonso motivates him to do better. “He doesn’t really need very much encouraging because he’s been on varsity already, but he’s been helping me a lot,” Sacco said. “He encourages me. He’ll always tell me when I did well and that I can do it.”

Woolley-MacMath named district Swimmer of the Year Junior Jessie Woolley-MacMath was named Swimmer of the Year at the district meet Jan. 25. “Swimmer of the Year is adding up all our points from races, and I won all my races,” Woolley-MacMath said. ”I was pretty excited and honored to win this award.” Swim coach Jeffrey Rudy was named 2014 District Swim Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. “I think he has worked really hard this year to improve the team and he deserves the title,” sophomore Nyla Gershoni said. Swim district competition took place Jan. 25 at the UT pool. The swim team placed second in district meet just behind rival LBJ. The team competes in regionals today and tomorrow. “We had great season,” sophomore Isabella Grossling said. “Almost everybody will be a able to compete in regionals. All

the shield // Feb. 7. 2014

Sacco said it’s normal for them to play soccer together, and it doesn’t feel out of the ordinary. “It’s not really weird for us,” Sacco said. “It’s just playing on a team together.” Being brothers pays off on the field because they work well together. “We have some really good combinations together,” Sacco said. “I like to think that we intimidate other players.” Coach Nicholas Martin said he is happy to have them on the team together. “It seems they work very well together and they have fun playing together out on the field,” Martin said. Being brothers doesn’t intimidate the other players, though. They are all comfortable with each other. “No [they don’t intimidate others players], not at all,” Martin said. “They’re both friendly and open.” The Fernandezes aren’t the only broth-

Two sets of brothers play together on varsity soccer team ers on varsity together. Junior and Junis Coello are sophomore twins who are also on the team. “Both sets of brothers are on varsity together, and both are doing very well this season,” Martin said. Like Alonso and Sacco, the Coellos said they play well together because of their bond as brothers. “We have a connection together,” Junior said. “We know how to play together; we know how to talk to each other to play well.” While the twins admit they have a connection, they said they don’t necessarily play better together than with other players on the team. “[We don’t always play together better] but sometimes we do,” Junis said. The Coello brothers are much more comfortable around each other than the Fernandez brothers. “We don’t really get intimidated by each

other,” Junis said. “We don’t really think about it.” Junior said they help each other on technique in soccer. “I just tell him what to do and how to do it,” Junior said. Junis, on the other hand, said he helps his brother with being calm and doing his best during the game. “I encourage him to do everything he can,” Junis said. “I tell him to be calm on the field and focused in the game.” They started playing soccer for a similar reason the Fernandez’s did: it’s a family sport. “Since we were little, our dad used to be a soccer player,” Junior said. “We grew up playing soccer.” They said they love everything about soccer. “[Our favorite part is] just playing soccer,” Junis said. “It’s just what we like to do.”

sports in brief of us are going to try to do all that we can to get to state; we’ve been training all year to get to this point.”

Basketball teams fight for district wins After starting off district play 4-2, the boys varsity basketball team lost two straight games to rivals Travis and LBJ. Junior Jake Holmes said the team is much better than the way they have been playing of late. “We’ve been playing really sloppy lately,” Holmes said. “We’ve had tons turnovers and missed a lot of easy shots.” The boys JV team has played very well in district play, sophomore James Sullivan said. The team’s district record is 3-7. “We played some really good teams early in the year, and I think that’s what prepared us for district,” Sullivan said. “I thought we didn’t play to our potential during the early part of the season, but now I think we are playing our best basketball.”

The girls varsity basketball team finished up district play Feb 4 with an 82-11 win over Lanier, ending with a 6-4 district record. The Lady Knights finished third in district and now look to the playoffs. “We’re pumped for playoffs,” junior Ria King-Smith said. “I think we can really prove ourselves to all of district.”

Varsity girls soccer 3-0 in district; varsity boys 1-1 The girls soccer team started district with three straight wins. “Our goal is to come out of district undefeated and get past the first round of the playoffs,” sophomore Lily Stuesser said. “I think our main competition in district is LBJ. Both teams lost some key players from last year, so it should be an interesting match-up.” In non-district play, the Lady Knights won the Mustang Winter Classic in Marble Falls, going undefeated in the tournament. Senior goalie Chaundra Brown won tournament MVP.

“The team has really come together and learned how to play with well as a unit,” Stuesser said. The boys varsity soccer team has a 1-1 district record so far, with a loss to Reagan and a win over Travis. “We have a really good district, and I think we can be one of the best teams in it if we play to our best ability,” Fremgen said. The Knights next game will be against rival LBJ tonight at Noack field.

9 wrestlers to compete at state meet The girls and boys varsity wrestling team will send nine wrestlers to the state wrestling tournament Feb. 15-16. Senior wrestler Jaede Davis said he is very proud of the team. “Everyone has done such a great job this year, and it really showed with us sending nine wrestlers to state,” Davis said. “This is the most we’ve ever sent during my time on campus. This way exceeded my expectations.”

Sports 13 The Shield: What is your best stroke? Wes Johns: My favorite stroke is probably freestyle, but my best stroke is breaststroke. Breaststroke comes pretty naturally to me, and I don’t have to spend that much time perfecting it in practice. Freestyle is my favorite stroke because you can go all out in the races. Breaststroke is more laid back. It is hard to push yourself to swim faster and harder when swimming breaststroke. It feels easy so you have to make yourself swim hard to swim fast. TS: How has the team changed since you’ve been at McCallum? WJ: The first year I was here, we had a really small team. A lot of freshman joined the team, and that has kind of carried us throughout these four years. Every year the team has grown a little bit, which is really helpful when it comes to getting points. TS: How did the team do in district? WJ: We came in second. LBJ won. They only beat us by about 70 point,s and their team is twice the size of ours. I was disappointed because I thought that we were going to beat them this year. We came really close, and we improved a lot since last year. LBJ has a few really good swimmers, but they have twice as many opportunities to score points because they have a much bigger team. The swimmers we have are just as good as theirs; they just have more. This

is honestly the best year we’ve had in district. We had a lot of swimmers improve their times, and a lot of people placed high in their events. TS: What do you hope to accomplish at regionals? WJ: I hope that we can beat LBJ at region. It would be nice to move up a little bit in the region. Every year we kind of finish in the cellar. We’ve been working really hard in practice, and [Coach Rudy] pushes us to be better. TS: What have you learned from being on swim team? WJ: I’ve learned to help motivate myself to improve on things. Swimming is one of those sports where it is based on personal goals, so you have to be able to motivate yourself. That’s something that will help me for the rest of my life, especially in college. I really feel like being able to motivate myself will help me get things done. TS: What has been your most memorable moment from swimming? WJ: I think my favorite moment was the 50 free race at districts this year. [Senior] Jak [Holbrook] and I were seeded right next to each other. We always joke around about racing each other and I hadn’t beat him all year, so I was kind of hoping to do that. I had a bad turn, but I ended up beating him. It was really exciting. TS: How has the team changed since last year? HB: We have a lot of new people on the team this year. Last year we lost a lot of seniors and they played in important positions. This is the first time that I haven’t played with a lot of [those seniors]. It has taken a while to adjust to the changes. People have had to move around in positions and change up tactics. I got used to playing with Katie Gernsbacher last year in the middle, and now I don’t always play with the same person. I really have to adjust to different people and adjust to their different playing styles, which is really fun.

Holly Bucknall

TS: How has being captain affected your experience on the team? HB: Well as captain I have to lead warm-ups and help out. I definitely have to be much more of a leader than I’ve had to be in my previous years. I used to just be a player on the team and now I have to give lots of direction. I have learned to be more vocal and I’m more ready to help people out. I hope that I can always be there for my team. TS: How has being on varsity all four years helped you? HB: I’m really used to [Coach Nancy Honeycutt’s] coaching style and how the team works. That is what is different about high school soccer; in club soccer the team pretty much stays the same. In high school the team changes every year. Honey is very nice and keeps soccer fun. She makes

Wes Johns

the class interesting, which really makes people want to join soccer. TS: How has the team adjusted to increased competition in district? HB: We saw it with Reagan this year. They have gotten so much better and really put up a challenge for us. This is the first year that we don’t get to just walk right through district with easy wins. We have to work hard during practice and during games in order to beat the teams that have gotten better in the recent years. It’s more satisfying to win district when we have to work for the win. It prepares us for playoffs and it’s nice to have a sense of accomplishment. TS: Describe your most memorable experience from soccer? HB: Every year we go to a tournament in Marble Falls every year. We always go to Blue Bonnet Café and eat in between games and we have won the whole tournament a couple of years in a row, which is always really cool. TS: What has been your favorite part of being on the soccer team? HB: My favorite part is definitely being able to play soccer with a bunch of really awesome people.

MARY STITES photo editor

feb. 7, 2014 // the shield

14 Sports

Rushing away from change Russia passes bill regarding homosexual propoganda, causing activists to protest HALEY HEGEFELD staff reporter

As Russia is gearing up for the Winter Olympics that begin today, the country is trying to find a way to quell the recent protests regarding homosexual propaganda. On June 30, president Vladimir Putin signed a bill that bans the distribution of “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors,” thus putting yet another restriction on the rights of the country’s LGBTQ community. “You just can’t talk about it, or teach it, or wear a flag or anything,” said Tim Bjerke, sponsor of the Spectrum Club. “It’s another step in embedding their fear into their culture. They are so afraid of it.” Although homosexuality in Russia has been legal for 20 years, there have been many restrictions added since then. The violations of this law include banning gay pride parades in Moscow and other cities, fines to homosexual rights organizations for acting as a “foreign agent” and denial of registration to nongovernmental organizations. “[This new bill] is going against the law,” sophomore Sarafina Fabris-Green said. “Because if they already had the law that homosexuality was legal, they shouldn’t then turn on their own policies by making the propaganda illegal.” Protests have become commonplace since this bill has been signed. Law enforcement has been known to be harsh in regard to these protests, resorting to violence and detaining up to two-dozen individuals. “In some cases, [the law enforcement’s] own personal beliefs may be interfering with their ability to defend the law,” Fabris-Green said. “But at the same time, if this new bill as passed saying the propaganda was legal, then they are defending that law.” However, with the Olympics read-

the shield // feb. 7, 2014

ily approaching, the issue has been made global, and Russia is receiving heat from pro-gay rights nations to stop the brutality. “The U.S. has made it an issue by sending over delegates, previous Olympians, who are gay,” Bjerke said. “Most of them are gay, so that is going to make Russia face and explain why they treat their own people so terribly, and they will have to treat these people with respect because they are such important people.” The U.S. has recently been gaining ground within the gay rights campaign, so it has been one of the countries that has pressured Russia to follow suit. “We are doing it right,” Bjerke said. “We are saying we respect their laws, but we are going to send these people over and they better not [mess] with them.” The protests have become violent in some cases, with more than two dozen protesters being attacked by anti-gay activists.

“At all costs, they should make sure that it’s going to be safe for their athletes to be in the environment,” Fabris-Green said. “It is a good opportunity for the athletes to show their opinions, but the main concern is going to be the safety.” However, Putin has said the athletes and Olympians need not worry about coming to Russia. He has made it clear these laws only apply to his own citizens. “If Putin decided to change his mind, he would be within his rights because guests of his nation do have to abide by

U.S. Delegates to Olympics Brian Boitano figure skater gold medal at the 1988 Olympics two-time World Champion in 1986 and 1988

Caitlin Cahow ice hockey player Olympic silver medalist in 2010 member of the U.S. women’s national ice hockey team

Billie Jean King delegate to the Sochi Olympics won 39 grand titles for tennis founder of the Women’s Tennis Association

those laws,” government teacher Michael Sanabria said. “Most visitors to a country are subject to that country’s laws, regardless of whether or not certain things would be illegal in their home country or not. A good example of a place where there are problems with that is Saudi Arabia and the expectations of women. However, it would be unprecedented for someone to hold Olympians and visitors of the Olympics, by its nature being so high profile, to those standards.” Bjerke said Russia has received the message the world has been sending and has been trying to quiet the protests since then. “Russia is going to be embarrassed, and people are going to do a lot of things to make sure they are embarrassed,” Bjerke said. “[Russians] don’t like to be last in anything, and right now they are last in at least being accepting. They are scrambling to make it better.” However, with a stereotype that is so ingrained in their society, making the social inequality better has proven difficult. “They have such an established culture, and being a man is so important in Russia,” Bjerke said. “You hit yourself with branches and jump into the snow, and they think being gay is not manly.” Bjerke said what these laws will really do for the country is change the gender roles. In a traditionally patriarchal society, this change is hard to accept. “Every time a society makes laws like that, it’s because they are afraid that it’s going to happen anyways, and inevitably it will happen,” Bjerke said. “So whether it’s Russia or the Congo, eventually these changes are going to happen. We just need to give it time.”

Entertainment 15

Out with the old, in with the new Annual studentrun fashion show, ‘Nova,’ benefits Austin Dress for Success

Designer Laura Cole measures model Kate Pargaman for her designs (left).


“I am usually excited to see them in what I make, so I get excited with them and like to talk to them about it.” For the models, preparing for the show is a totally different process from the designers. First there is a workshop, which shows potential models the basic skills needed for the show. The head models are chosen beforehand, and help at the workshop. “I worked a station at the workshop, when everyone was seeing what it took [to be a model] and what [the directors] were looking for,” Sanchez said. “The directors pulled me aside and told me to talk to people about this, and notice people’s strengths and weaknesses. You have to be a leader to help people. I try to help out as much as I can, and be an example.” There is an audition for the potential models. At the audition, they show off their modeling potential. Once the models are selected to be in the show, there are rehearsals to hone their runway walk. “The rehearsals are fun, just to bond with the other models and designers,” Pargaman said. “It’s pretty relaxed until the two weeks before the fashion show, and even then it’s not awful. We usually practice for two hours every day, and the week of at least two, usually three or three-anda-half hours.” The reward of all of this preparation comes down to the single night when the show is finally put on. “It definitely feels good to strut your stuff,” Pargaman said. “It’s fun to get up there with the music pumping and the lights shining, and you can hear everyone cheering. It’s a big confidence booster.”

Designer Ramona Beattie fits the dress, inspired by artist Frida Kahlo, model Olivia Hardick will be wearing in the fashion show (right).

staff reporter

With the final fittings of designs being made, designers and models are prepared for the annual Fashion Show tomorrow night. “The day of the show is realy fun because you get here really early and get to go to a salon and have your hair and makeup done,” head model Katie Sanchez said. “It’s like prom but ten times better. And by the end of it, you are friends with everyone, so it’s a good experience all around, really bonding.” Before the models can do their job, the designers have to go through the process of planning, designing and making the clothes. Each year, the directors of the show pick a theme that helps to direct the designers during this process. In this year’s show, “Nova,” designers used their own icons to inspire their designs. “Nova stems from the concept of something growing out of something else,” director Stasia Foster said. “That relates to our theme where the designers are taking a concept or line or an idea from an artist in history, and they are making it their own, and making something new.” The driving idea behind the show was to give the designer’s freedom to create what they wanted, so the directors tried to brainstorm a theme which would allow that. “It can be an artist of any sort, like a musical artist or actual artist or author or other designers,” Foster said, “so they have chosen their own inspirations. We felt that the theme should help them choose what they felt and be inspired in their own way.”

Head designer Calla Bordie, who achieved this title by winning last year’s show, is using three avant garde designers as her icons. Avant garde designers are known for trying to push the boundaries of what is accepted as the status quo. “This is encouraging me to make a change from a basic kind of clothing,” Bordie said. “The avant garde would make the colors or the fabric or make the actual shape of the clothing to be different and interesting.” Another designer working in the fashion show is sophomore Ramona Beattie, whose icon is Frida Kahlo. “I found a book with a bunch of letters she wrote to one of her first boyfriends, and I am taking quotes from those and making found poetry that I am putting throughout the collection on the clothes,” Beattie said. “It’s also similar to clothes she would’ve worn and inspired by the imagery in her art. There is a lot of imagery I associate with the 1930s and Mexico.” The stark contrast between avant garde designers and Frida Kahlo shows the variety that the directors wanted in the show. Each clothing line is also a reflection

of the personality and style of the individual designer. “I felt like since I was head designer, I should make a line that hits all of the stuff I tend to put in everything I make,” Bordie said. “I also thought about last year’s line and what in that represented me, and what I would want to be placed in front of people to see. I hope that I represent myself accurately.” Months of planning, working on their designs, fittings and rehearsals went on before the show could be put on the stage. Bordie and Beattie agreed time management is the hardest part of designing clothes. “I did a lot of planning,” Bordie said. “I’m trying to keep myself on a schedule to make them all. I usually make the bulk of them and then do the fittings, and finish all of the different pieces at once.” Bordie said the moment when the designer gets to see his or her clothes on the models is a very rewarding experience for both the model and designer. “Some models are more excited to see what you make than others,” Bordie said.

FEB. 7, 2014 //the shield

16 Entertainment

Reigning men 12 senior boys vie for crown in Mr. McCallum pageant LULU NEWTON STAFF REPORTER

Twelve senior boys showed themselves off in the annual Mr. McCallum pageant Jan. 25. Senior Jak Holbrook was crowned the winner. “Being on student council, I helped with [last year’s pageant],” senior Roberto Pellegrini said. “It was pretty funny to see what all the guys came up with.” Pellegrini said all the money raised through ticket and calendar sales and vote money goes towards prom. “It was a success,” he said. “We raised a lot of money.” Senior Marcus Cole said the interview was his favorite part of the pageant. “The interview was fun because you got to talk to [the people who ran it] and that was funny” Cole said. “They asked funny questions.” Cole said in the interview he was asked what three celebrities he would invite to a party. “The celebrities were James Franco, Kanye West and Beyonce,” Cole said. For his interview, Holbrook was asked what his ideal date was. “I said picking someone up in my helicopter and going on my sailboat to the Caribbean, but I don’t have that type of cash, so we can just go to the movies or something,” Holbrook said.

Holbrook said the talent was his hardest category, though. “You have to get ready,” Holbrook said. “You have to get hyped up for it.” Holbrook said he and senior Garret Hemphill sang “The Final Countdown” for the talent portion. “They cut us off before we could get to our guitar solo,” Holbrook said. “We had two blown up air guitars, and we were going to play them and throw them into the crowd, but oh well.” The talent portion didn’t go as planned for others, too. “I practiced, but I messed up halfway through [my dance],” Pellegrini said. “I just laughed and it was still okay.” The boys collectively did a dance for the event. Holbrook said it took them all an hour to get their dance down, but it was still rough. “It really wasn’t gotten down. I didn’t really know what I was doing,” he said. “It went well, though. [The dance] was ‘Rain-

Senior Jak Holbrook won the Mr. McCallum title. Senior Jordan Cook shows off his swimsuit.

ing Men.’ We all did it in our swimsuits.” The swimsuit category and the dance coincided. “I thought swimsuit went well,” Cole said. “I didn’t know the dance very well, but it was okay. It was still fun.” Cole and Bellomy performed their talent together. “It was to the beat of ‘All Gold Everything’ and it was about McCallum basi-

All 12 contestants and their mothers wait for the winner to be announced. Photos by Mary Stites. the shield // FEB. 7, 2014

cally,” Cole said. “It was a blast. It was way more fun than I thought it would be. We wrote it a week before and then never learned our lines, then had to learn our lines the day of. We forgot a couple lines, but it wasn’t too bad.” Cole said he thought the overall feel of the competition was that it was a good time. His advice for next year’s contestants was to have as much fun as they can. Pellegrini’s advice for next year’s contestants is to actually practice their talent before going up on stage because messing up is awkward. “It [was] an opportunity for us to just make ourselves look silly and get away with it,” Pellegrini said.

And the winner is . . .

Entertainment 17

Teachers compete in pageant to raise money for media tech

1. Spanish teacher Juana Gun is crowned the winner of the second annual Teachers In Tiaras pageant by last year’s winner Nikki Northcutt, on Jan. 14. The pageant was sponsored by Mac Radio. 2. Gun performed cumbia and the chicken dance while wearing a chicken costume for the talent portion of the pageant. 3. Math teacher Scott Pass juggles while balancing on a rolling board during the talent portion of the show. 4. Security guard Georgia Pina walks across the stage after being announced in the formal wear section of the show. 5. English teacher Tom Watterson sings and plays the guitar during the talent portion of the show. Photos by Mary Stites.

Feb. 7, 2014 // the shield

18 editorial

Zero tolerance policies are unfair to students Schools across the country are reconsidering “zero tolerance” discipline policies under which children are suspended and often arrested for such minor offenses as cursing or getting into small fights—things that in the past would have been resolved with a trip to the office or with a parent meeting. This comes after the Obama administration released a 35-page document urging schools to rethink these policies. This proposal for change is long overdue. Many studies have shown that taking students out of the school system and into the courtroom does nothing to improve the classroom for other students while it increases the probability that children will experience long-term social and academic problems. The policies are often also racially discriminatory. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection, of the nation’s students arrested or referred to law enforcement at school, over 50 percent were African-American or Latino. The data also showed that AfricanAmerican students without disabilities were more than three times as likely as whites to be expelled or suspended. The Council of State Governments Justice Center, a nonprofit policy group, con-

ducted a study of school discipline polices in Texas. It showed that six in 10 public school students were suspended or expelled at least once between seventh and 12th grades. Only a small fraction of the actions taken against students were for serious criminal conduct that would have required suspension or expulsion under state law. Since then, the Texas Legislature has taken steps to improve disciplinary policy so minor infractions do not land students in court. These students who are removed from school are placed at a much higher risk for low achievement, falling behind, being held back, having to drop out or becoming further immersed in the justice system (known as the “school-to-prison” pipeline)—to a point where it’s difficult for them to redeem themselves. This is not what school is about. Administrations should not be displacing hundreds of students out of school, leaving them with a permanent criminal record and other potential social and academic problems for such minor offenses as cursing in class or saying things which could be misinterpreted as violent. The oftentimes shrouded judgment teenagers are known to have or their seemingly rash decision-making should not cause them to end up with criminal records that will fol-

low them for life. Schools must start making an effort to try alternative action to deal with

editor-in-chief Grace Frye

assistant editor Caitlin Falk

online editor SEREN VILLWOCK

public relations editor NATALIE MURPHY

photo editor Mary Stites

advertising manager HALEY HEGEFELD

adviser Rhonda Moore

The Shield is published by journalism students in the Newspaper production class. Although students work under the guidance of a professional faculty member, the student staff ultimitely determines the content. Students may not publish material that is obscene, libelous, or that which will

the shield // feb. 7, 2014

students who are misbehaving. These kinds of offenses can be dealt with in school.

A.N. McCallum High School 5600 Sunshine Dr. Austin, TX 78756 (512) 414-7539 fax (512) 453-2599


shield staff

Cartoon by Tillie Walden.

cause a “substantial disruption to the educational process.” Content that may stimulate heated debate is not included in this definition. The Shield operates as an open forum for exchange of ideas. Opinions expressed in editorials are the ideas of the staff. Opinions expressed in the columns are that of the writer’s alone.

reporters Ben Brown, Maya coplin, Kendra murphy, lulu newton, nick robertson, sean simons, mara vandegrift

Letters to the editor are encouraged and must be signed. Positive identification may be required when a letter is submitted. Letters may be edited. Letters that are critical of the newspaper staff’s coverage of events or that present information that may stimulate heated debate will be published. Letters that contain malicious attacks on individual reporters, the adviser, or the prin-

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what’s new on

Issue 4 online staff:


Seren Villwock Natalie Murphy Ben Brown

Kendra Murphy Maya Coplin

Recent headlines: World Geography teacher Katie Carrasco wins Teacher of the Year Former student subject of documentary film Student performs with Austin Symphony (3) A moment with student band “The Death Aquatics” (2) Opinion on senioritis: We’re getting too old for this


Teachers show off at the second annual “Teachers and Tiaras” pageant (1)

Like: macshieldonline Follow: @theshieldonline on Twitter

Staffer column: Writing roundtrip


Two days of classes cancelled for ice

20 Photo Essay




Man of the Knight Senior boys, student council host annual male pageant, Mr. McCallum

1. Senior Bobby Pellegrini answers questions from seniors Hannah Rudy and and Zoe Scott to conclude the interviews. 2. Seniors Marcus Cole and Wes Bellomy rap a song about their experience in high school to the tune of “All Gold Everything” by Trinidad James. 3. Senior Jak Holbrook looks around as his mom, Becky Holbrook, reacts to the Mr. McCallum victory. “It was really exciting to win,” Holbrook said. “I sort of saw it coming. Garret [Hemphill] and I had a really cool dance. I think the scooters won the crowd over.” 4. Senior Garret Hemphill poses for the audience during the swimsuit portion of the night. Photos by Mary Stites. the shield // feb. 7, 2014


The Shield  
The Shield  

Volume 61 Issue 4