25 years and counting pg. 7
Volume xxv, issue vii MO 63017 MARQUETTEMESSENGER.COM APRIL 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS YOUTUBE
street safety TWITTER
THE PEOPLE Editor in Chief Online Editor in Chief Associate Editor Production Editor Copy Editor News Editors Opinions Editor Features Editor Arts&Leisure Editor Sports Editor Online Sports Editor Assistant Online Editor Advertising Manager Business Manager Staff Reporters
Greg Svirnovskiy Neelansh Bute Austin Woods Abhijit Srirangam Mahika Mushuni Marta Mieze Kailin Zhang Alex McAteer Kavya Jain Kenzie Winstead Delaney Neely Jeff Swift Jen Bosche Sabrina Lacy Grihith Varaday Jackson Estwanick Ethan Hill Mansi Mamidi Sarah Harris Jessica Li Will Roach Emily Jorgensen
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Chromebooks CLUNKY, JUNKY, CHEAP AND BROken, all words to describe the 3-pound hunk of dead weight that takes up far too much room in my backpack, otherwise known as a Chromebook. To call the Chromebooks functional or useful is an extreme overstatement, as they are slow and block websites that should normally be accessible to any student in search of being successful. The iboss software blocks websites such as Spotify and only allows clean search for some of its amenities such as YouTube. I have even had some instances where Google Classroom and Google Docs were blocked, which totally defeats the purpose of the Chromebook itself. It also weighs down backpacks as it weighs almost as much as an actual textbook. Imagine having
5 10 eco-art 15 13
In the aftermath of tragedy in the MHS community, administrators and students are grappling with the implications of street safety. Zack Lesmeister, senior, performs a poem at Poetry Club. The club meets every Friday. Natalie Leach places second overall in the Eco-Art Exhibition at Wildwood Community College March 5-9. Freshmen Connor Del Carmen and Stone Burke line up at the starting line to race the 2 mile run at the Parkway Northwest High School track meet.
OUR POLICY The Messenger is published eight times a year by students enrolled in the Newspaper Production class at Marquette High School, Chesterfield, MO, 63017. The publication office is located in Room 226, (636) 891-6000 ext. 26228 Opinions of Messenger columnists or the Editorial Board are not representative of the opinions of the entire Messenger staff, the newspaper or the administration. The
all your textbooks in your bag and then having to add another textbook-sized item that doesn’t even serve its purpose! I do however have to admit that the Chromebooks do serve a few functions, including use as a weapon and a great way to get off task during class. If Rockwood really wanted to spend its money functionally, then they should just invest in more school Chromebook carts designated for staying inside of the classroom in order to take a load off student’s shoulders. Sincerely, Elise Ambler junior
Messenger takes responses for any issue. Send these in at www.marquettemessenger.com. The Messenger reserves the right to edit submitted material and to refuse to print material because of space limitations, repetitive subject matter, libelous content or any other reason the editor in chief and adviser deems appropriate, including advertisements and letters to the editor.
Guns in School I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT IF A teacher wants to carry a concealed firearm on campus they should be allowed to; however, I don’t believe that it should be mandatory for teachers to be armed. If you have ever walked through a public place in your life, you have definitely passed by at least one person who was carrying a concealed firearm on their person and you were none the wiser. So if one were allowed to carry in a school, it could act as a deterrent for mass shooters. Let’s not forget that most mass shootings happen in gun-free zones. Sincerely, Taylor Thomas junior
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MUSTANGS SPEAK What do you think of the schedule changes? Next school year, MHS will move to a ABCAA schedule.
Abby Cook, freshman
Cartoon by Delaney Neely
Walk Up & Walk Out ON MARCH 14, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS sincerity and I support the students,” Blair later notthroughout the nation walked out of class to memoed. rialize the lives lost in the Parkland shooting and to Therein lies the real issue: no matter how much demand political action to ensure school safety, such walking up students do, there are just some bad as stricter gun laws. people in the world. On top of that, the implication But lately, a new movement called “Walk Up, Not that the burden of fixing these issues lies with the Out” has taken root. Proponents of this movement victims of school violence treads dangerously close to suggest students “walk up” to their peers and make victim-blaming territory. them feel included through kind actions. Additionally, the movement is a cheap attempt at While the identity of the person responregaining the moral high ground, as legislasible for engendering this movement is ture has continuously failed to stop mass disputed, Ryan Petty is perhaps its shootings. It does this by suggesting a most prolific member. After his student can either walk up or walk daughter, Alaina, was killed in the out, not both. This is preposterous. “I thought the walkout Parkland shooting, he began pubWhile some students will choose was going to be a licly endorsing Walk Up, Not Out to walk out, all students should be and expressing dubiety towards contributing to a healthy learning novelty, but I see the the effectiveness of walkouts. environment. sincerity and I While Petty may be the most Even worse, some promoters support the students,” notable member of the moveof the movement support it just ment, David Blair, former Texas to stop the conversation on gun high school teacher, is said to control in order to preserve their DAVID BLAIR have inspired the movement with own political agenda. FORMER TEXAS TEACHER a Facebook post where he said, “Gun Protesting is an essential part of control or more laws is not, and will public discourse. It serves as a platnot, be the answer. You are the answer. I form to spur change. To suggest that it is know you. I trust you.” ineffective promotes a dismissive attitude that Promoting an atmosphere of compassion and dissuades political action. inclusion is undeniably important, but there’s a major Everyone should treat each other with respect flaw with Walk Up, Not Out: it, in no way, replaces and try and reach out to the students who don’t feel protesting. included. But that has to happen everyday, not just Protesting and being friendly serve two entirewhen we want to distract from real issues. ly different purposes. Walkouts serve as a message As high school students, we have the right to be about the need for reform to make our learning envisafe in our learning environments. In America today, ronment safer. On the other hand, “walking up” is an that safety is in question more than ever. There have action everyone should be taking simply because it’s been 170 primary schools that have experienced a kind thing to do. shootings since 1999. However, even Blair was seemingly moved by the So yes, walk up. But don’t ever let anyone tell you passion behind the nationwide walkouts. “I thought that you shouldn’t be exercising your right to a safe the walkout was going to be a novelty, but I see the learning environment.
Kori Snipes, sophomore
“It’s a lot better. A lot more people are getting what they wanted for classes. The only thing for me is, I don’t like blocked classes at all. I can’t stay focused for very long. I think it will all take a big amount of adjusting but overall I think it will be pretty good for the school considering the amount of people that will be happy with the results.” “It’s okay since with the old schedule, 85 percent of the school were having scheduling conflicts. For certain classes, like performance-based classes, there could be some issues since those classes build off each other, but I’m sure the teachers have it all figured out. They know what will work best for their classes.”
“It’s going to be a great change for everybody for two reasons. One, students are going to get more of what they choose. As I’m building the schedule right now, I can understand that’s happening, more and more students than ever before are Steve Hankins, getting the associate principal actually classes they picked. Before, there were a lot of conflicts we couldn’t avoid. Two, it looks like class sizes are going to be more balanced because of that also.” “I have always chosen a standard schedule; however, I’m excited to now have variety with my schedule. I also think it’s good because it helps the district with the start and end times.”
James Tanzola, junior
MENTAL HEALTH Mental Health: a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.
School counselor shortage
Mental health screenings
MHS IS HOME TO 2,252 STUDENTS. SOME HAVE three AP classes and play in orchestra. Some play two sports and have to work 15 hours a week. And, of course, they have stressors outside of school, at home. Stress is everywhere. In the most turbulent time of our lives, stress can escalate to a seemingly insurmountable level. Maintaining one’s mental health and staying clear minded is one of the hardest things to accomplish for many high schoolers, and the fact that it can seem unattainable is absurd. Students stay up late into the night studying or trying to unwind after a long day of balancing everything from academics to extracurriculars to friends and family. And, from what I have seen, many students really do truly give it their all and can manage it. However, they do this at the high cost of exhaustion and anxiety. Whether it’s a workload issue or not having quite enough time, the problem remains: many students aren’t aware of their counseling resources. Counselors don’t necessarily fix all of life’s problems, but they certainly get one closer to a solution. We have only one social worker, Brenda Casey, for 2,252 students. We lost our two Youth in Need therapists due to a cut in funding from the Children’s Service Grant Fund, thus leading to a pullout from the Rockwood School District. The therapists saw about 40 students on a regular basis between the two of them, Casey said. She also noted this therapy had helped those students with attendance issues, productivity and mental stability. Many also might be completely unaware there are counseling opportunities to begin with. In my mind, therein lies the problem. We have amazing counseling resources here at MHS and many people have little to no idea. These counselors have given their full attention and time to helping students drowning in anxiety and stress. We need first and foremost to bring awareness to the fact that we do have a social worker here at MHS. We do have people at this school everywhere that would love to help try and sort issues out and talk to us students. And then, we need to push for the return of the Youth in Need counselors. Whether we bring attention to our school board or try and get funding to increase again, they need to be able to come back to MHS and successfully help those students in need. Talking is where everything starts, no matter the issue. The road to recovery from anxiety, stress, depression can begin with speaking up. MHS and our district want to help. We can get the ball rolling with spreading awareness of the resources the school offers and what it should offer once again. Keeping mentally healthy can become attainable.
OUR PSYCHOLOGY TEACHERS TELL US THAT occasional feelings of melancholy are no big deal, simple symptoms of a lack of the sleep and the stress associated with being a high school student. But sometimes, those feelings become omnipresent. Depression is debilitating. The Center for Discovery reports that a teenager takes their own life every 100 minutes in America. And an estimated 16.2 million adults in the U.S. have dealt with at least one depressive episode in their lives. It’s common, but today we are to better recognize the issues regarding depression. But there’s a disconnect. The National Institute for Mental Health estimates that less than 1 in 5 teenagers with depression ever undergo treatment. For the most part, it’s because their depression goes undiagnosed.
Mental health day alex MCATEER IT’S NO SECRET THAT SCHOOL CAN BE A HUGE source of stress for students, but with the conversation of violence against students at the forefront of the national news, it’s worse than ever. School serves as a source of consistency for students. We wake up, we get to school, we go from period to period and we go home. This time is rigidly structured. On one hand, this consistency can be good, but the monotony of the school schedule day after day can seriously weigh someone down. This weighs double, now that the most prevalent topic in the news is school shootings. Students need something to break up the monotony and stress that comes with being a high school student. If the administration wants to do a tremendous service to the student populous, then they will give students a rest. I propose a mental health day. Not a day of sitting at home lying in bed, but a day full of relaxing activities and perhaps a speaker of some sort to talk about how to deal with stress. This day would benefit every student, without exception. A mental health day would be without homework, tests and judgment. Just the school coming together as a community in order to ensure the mental stability of all people in our community. Balancing our Minds is a program that seeks to
It’s imperative that we instill and mandate a program in which every teenager within the public school system’s jurisdiction is given a free mental health screening to help enlighten their families and push them towards potential treatment opportunities. Every sixth grader at a public high school in the country has free screenings for scoliosis. Each one. But for some reason, our government doesn’t provide those same services for mental health. And that’s disconcerting. After all, Pediatrics magazine found that a whopping 11.5 percent of teenagers suffer from depression. But according to the American Family Physician, only 2 percent to 4 percent of students age 10 to 16 suffer from scoliosis. Four percent of American teenagers is a huge number, but the number of teenagers afflicted with depression literally triples that. Some worry that if we push forth universal mental health screenings, we’ll also be forcing treatment. And that’s not something that governments should have the power to do. But they miss the mark. Let’s take the scoliosis example. Even though students are all required to undergo scoliosis screening, the few who are diagnosed are not forced to undergo treatment. When superimposing that number onto the issue of mental health, it’s clear that those who are found to have depression will not be forced to treat it.
help schools make their campus more conducive to mental health. Activities they do to promote mental health are quilting or putting up positive messages on school walls. This day would start with everyone in the gyms or Commons where students can then split into groups of friends because some students don’t necessarily get to see their friends in school everyday. Students would then begin to move from station to station as they go about their day. It could be a Friday before a weekend as to not interrupt the flow of the school week while also having the benefit of flowing right into the weekend, giving students an extended break. In an article written by the Huffington Post about scientifically proven ways to relieve stress, things like spending time with animals, art projects and meditation are listed. Therefore, stations could include therapy dogs, which MHS has had in the past; a board games station; a movie station; a meditation station; and a station at the counselor’s office. Lunch could be catered, just something else to further break up everyday school. Then, back to activities where students can continue to enjoy themselves and be free of stress. At the end of the day, students will be left feeling stress free, and with any luck, ready to get back to school. All these activities combined would result in a day for students to decompress and regain a sense of stability in their lives. Students would walk away from this day with strategies to help them control their stress and have a healthier relationship with school. I urge the administration to promptly execute this idea. It could do ample amounts of good for the students of MHS.
Accidents involving pedestrians rises mahika MUSHUNI • greg SVIRNOVSKIY FOR DENNIS CARLILE, FATHER OF RECENTLY deceased junior Matthew Carlile, his son’s brightest quality will forever be his never-ending happiness. “He always brought joy. He always brought a good time,” Dennis said. Now, having had a month to process the shock of his son’s passing on Feb. 20, Dennis has adopted a sage attitude. “If we are doing what we are supposed to be doing and our focus is in the right place then we don’t have the incidents that we had with Matthew,” Dennis said. “If we’re walking around with our hoodies pulled up with our ear buds then we are not focused on what else and that’s why my family is where it is now.” It’s about humility, the willingness to accept that teenagers don’t know what they haven’t seen. “Kids are smarter but they aren’t any wiser,” Dennis said. “Slow down and listen. Slow down, listen. There’s a lot to be learned from your parents and your grandparents, your aunts and uncles and there’s a lot of information out there that you know absolutely nothing about.” On Feb. 20, Matthew was fatally struck by an SUV near the intersection of Manchester and Old Ballwin Roads. Recently, the record number of traffic related accidents like his that involve pedestrians has risen. In 2015, an estimated 70,000 pedestrians were injured in crashes compared to the 61,000 injured in crashes in 2006. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this shows nearly a 15 percent increase in the number of accidents in that category. The CDC suggests that driver’s education be taken to help reduce teen-related accidents. Educated drivers are not only more likely to avoid potentially injury-causing behavior, but they also are better prepared for those situations should an accident occur. Michael Stewart, Drivers Ed teacher, said the program aims to prepare students by teaching them how to be safe and aware drivers. “There’s a lot of different elements that go into being a safe driver and we make sure these kids are as educated as possible,” he said. Stewart said the program is effective in preparing new drivers because it breaks down events so students know exactly how to respond. “It isn’t just reading from a book where it is ‘this
2,333 teens in the U.S. ages 16–19 were killed and 235,845 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes.
48% of teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes occurred between 3 p.m. and midnight.
is how you change a tire’,” Stewart said. “It really helps prepare you by breaking down individual instances that you may see on the roads and how we react to those.” The class has seen its popularity drop significantly since a policy banned driving practice during Driver’s Ed, a fact Stewart would like to see change. “We’re always looking for more kids to join the Driver’s Education program and we feel like it is a strong program,” Stewart said. Junior Principal Dr. Dan Ramsey said high school educators expect students to come in with an already developed sense of the roads. “I think bringing [street safety] to light is a really good step in getting it talked about,” Dr. Ramsey said. “It’s one of those things that we assume kids know by the time they’re in high school.” But Dr. Ramsey said administrators sometimes miss the mark with such an assumption. “The Catch 22 is that sometimes for a high schooler you kind of think you’re invincible,” Dr. Ramsey said. School Resource Officer Steve Aspinal said the rules for street safety are fairly easy to understand. “Just be aware of your surroundings,” Aspinal said. “You don’t have to always look over your shoulder but just be aware if someone’s coming up on you from whatever angle.” Aspinal is not aware of a class that teaches street safety, but said much of its subject material would be common sense. “Don’t walk anywhere where no lights are at. At night, always park your car under a light,” Aspinal said. Officer Scott Stephens, Public Information Officer for the City of Ballwin, said Ballwin roads are in good shape. “The city spends a lot of money trying to keep potholes fixed during the snow season,” Officer Stephens said. “They plow curb-to-curb which we are one of the few cities that do that to make sure that the roads are clear.” Many times, Officer Stephens said, the city relies on the people within the community to alert them to issues with the roads. Up until Matthew Carlile’s passing, the intersection of Manchester and Old Ballwin Roads were not brought to the city’s attention as being hazardous. “That’s the only pedestrian fatality that I am aware of ever occurred there,” Officer Stephens said.
Only 61% of high school students reported they always wear seat belts when riding with someone else.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Principal Dr. Greg Mathison is the 2018-19 High School Principal of the Year selected by the St. Louis Association of Secondary School Principals. “An award like this is about our whole school community,” Dr. Mathison said. “It’s a reflection of the whole school.” For the video story visit marquettemessenger.com
This year RSD nominated 7 MHS students out of 13 for Missouri Scholars Academy. April is Jazz Appreciation month. To find out more about the month of April check out page 11. Five baby chicks have hatched in Room 346.
Teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations.
Infographic by Marta Mieze Information from Center of Disease Control and Prevention based on 2015
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History of MHS 1993 to 2018: Celebrating 25 years marta MIEZE kailin ZHANG
he year was 1993, a year of changes: Kurt Cobain’s death, the bombing of the World Trade Center and the Missouri Great Flood of 1993. Another change also was coming to the city of Chesterfield: the building of a new high school. As a result of the 1991 $65 million bond issue program, RSD made Missouri history and began building two new high schools, Rockwood Summit and MHS, and two new middle schools, becoming the fastest-growing school district. Twenty-five years ago MHS, built on the grounds of a farm for $20.5 million, opened initially to serve 1,000 freshmen and sophomores. However, the Great Flood of ‘93 hindered the construction of the school for several months due to the breach of Chesterfield Valley levies that also flooded many businesses and homes up to 10 feet. Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost said seeing MHS as an iron structure months before opening is an image he’ll never forget. Despite the school ultimately opening in the fall of 1993, many were doubtful it would open on time. “I remember going over during the very end of the previous school year in 1993 and the school was still just an iron structure,” Dr. Knost said. “Over the three months in the summer, they had to work hard to get the school open.” Fortunately, on Sept. 1, 38 students from MHS, their families and friends gave up their last three days of summer break to help clean up the mess left behind by the flood, which allowed the school to open as scheduled. Dr. Knost said the feeling of walking through school on the first day, Sept. 7, as the first band teacher is a difficult feeling to explain. He said the school was new, big and fresh, and he felt inspired to work in such an exciting environment. “It was all positive,” Dr. Knost said. “We loved the place, we thought it was beautiful and we were just thrilled to be there.” Fifteen months earlier, the Marquette High School Colors/Mascot Committee first met on May 12, 1992. The committee had narrowed down the potential mascots to the Cavaliers, Hornets, Mavericks, Mustangs and Trailblazers. Seventh and eighth graders from Selvidge and Crestview, who would soon go to MHS, voted on the school
Left: The view of MHS from the intersection of Clarkson and Kehrs Mill Roads during construction in 1993. Photograph from the MHS Archives. Right: MHS in 2018 from the same spot. Photograph by Mahika Mushuni.
name, mascot, and the navy blue, kelly green and white school colors - and with that, a legacy was built. While the students developed traditions and grew their friendships that first year, their population quickly outgrew the school’s initial size. Only three years after the school opened, the school placed four trailers, portable classrooms, in the front of the school to hold the large student population. Within five year, 14 additional classrooms would be added to the second and third floors.
BEGINNINGS Dr. Knost said the most important aspect about the school to Dr. Knost was the students. Dr. Knost came to MHS as a band teacher, and ended up being named the very first Teacher of the Year. He said he was honored to even be nominated for the award among all of the other exceptional teachers. “That was the highlight of my career,” Dr. Knost said. “I’ve been in education for 30 years, and I still wear the ring on my finger I got from being Teacher of the Year.” Dr. Knost began his career as an elementary band director at Westridge Elementary School, Ballwin Elementary School, Ellisville Elementary School and Woerther Elementary School. Dr. Knost taught some students as fifth graders and sixth graders, but each year, his teaching assignments would change. The vast majority of the kids he taught in fifth and sixth grade continued on to be taught by him in Selvidge Middle School. From there, he continued teaching the Selvidge students after transferring to MHS. “I had this cohort of students that I had from fifth grade all the way until
they graduated,” Dr. Knost said. “It and eager to build something without wasn’t like I was going to work and the anyone setting the status quo before new building came with all these new them. students, so that was just extra special “They were sort of instant stars,” and to be able to have that familiarity Dr. Deschamp said. “They took over all with the brand new school was just the leadership roles...and I think that really neat.” helped them have a very special ownerDr. Dan Deschamp was the first ship for it.” principal of MHS for eight years and Lisa Kaczmarczyk, former MHS said when he found out about the iniprincipal and current substitute princitial plans in 1991, that he was excited pal, has been with MHS since the very to allow students and faculty to shape beginning. the school and make it their own. The summer before MHS opened, “It was probably the most satisfyan advisory group of students put toing experience about my career,” Dr. gether by Dr. Deschamp brought future Deschamp said. “Not many people get faculty and students together from to start a high school.” Crestview and Selvidge to have a big The most important vision of MHS, meeting at Bluebird Park. Dr. Deschamp said, was having a high “I had taught 13 years at Crestview school that was inviting and allowed with seventh, eighth and ninth graders, everyone to develop their own so when I came to high school, I path. knew that the pressure was on However, achieving this because I would have to teach vision was not without ninth, tenth and, eventuThe creek was obstacles, Dr. Deschamp ally, juniors and seniors,” originally named said. Since LHS was so Kaczmarczyk said. “I was respected, it was hard really excited, but I was River Deschamp trying to break away also nervous.” after the first and create a school that Kaczmarczyk began students felt would set her journey in RSD as a principal of MHS them up to do well in the choir teacher at Crestview future. Middle School in 1980. From “Creating a spirit of Crestview, Kaczmarczyk came excitement about coming to a to MHS as a choir teacher in new high school was a challenge,” Dr. 1993, where she became assistant prinDeschamp said. cipal in 1995 and associate principal in Dr. Deschamp said it was also a 2007. This year she filled in for 8 weeks battle trying to obtain the resources for Senior Principal Carl Hudson. needed to build and develop MHS beKaczmarczyk said returning was a cause opening four new schools at once no-brainer because she’s always willing was not cheap. to help the school in whatever ways she Incoming sophomores who went to can. She wants to help keep the school Crestview had a choice to attend LHS consistent. or MHS, Dr. Deschamp said. However, this was not taken advantage of much. As MHS opened, Dr. Deschamp said, the students were always positive
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8 “I’m back because I love this place. I love Marquette,” Kaczmarczyk said. “The staff, the atmosphere, the students, has a very special place in my heart. It’s kind of like riding a bike. You just get back on.” Kaczmarczyk said MHS has been a student-centered school since the beginning. The biggest changes she has noticed are the additions to the original building and the use of technology through Chromebooks. “As far as the overall student body staff, the reach for academic, athletic and activity excellence has always been Marquette’s focus,” Kaczmarczyk said. Kaczmarczyk is most proud of students and their acceptance of all kids. She is also proud of the motivation in both teachers and students. “Not just tolerance, but acceptance of all students, and helpfulness, and caring,” Kaczmarczyk said. “The Dazzlers dance team is a tangible example of what this student body is all about.” Megan Hueseman Schacht, Class of ‘96 , said opening a new high school was a great experience because some of the teachers from Selvidge and Crestview came with them to work at MHS. “It was nice to have a new facility and be part of that experience,” Schacht said. Starting all the first traditions, Schacht said, was the best part. While many of these firsts are still around, such as Mr. Mustang, some were kept in the past, such as the hockey cheerleading squad. Schacht was in Teenage Health Consultants, a group which gave students a chance to counsel their peers in a variety of topics. She also was a hockey cheerleader, part of NHS and a
Alternative names for MHS included: Clarkson Valley HS, Kehrs Mill HS and Gateway
The MHS Commons went through two name changes: the Barn, the Center and then the Commons
The name Mookie was first suggested by the Messenger’s co-editor Zac Ide in one of his columns
member of Senior Women. “At Marquette I had top quality teachers and top notch resources, materials and curriculum,” Schacht said. Schacht said she stays in touch with many of her high school friends through Facebook and get-togethers, and therefore keeps her connection to the school alive. Armon McWell, Class of ‘96 , was involved in as many activities as he could. He played as running back and quarterback for the football team; ran track; had a part in the school musical, “Bye Bye Birdie”; and was on STUCO. He also was on color and winter guard. “You name it, I just about did everything at that school,” McWell said. McWell said the unusual combination of being on the football team and guard was sort of like a leap of faith, which turned out as one of the best experiences in high school. “We all were in it together,” McWell said. “We were trying to build the tradition and have fun in the school, all together. That’s what made Marquette so amazing.” Even though he had to leave his friends from LHS behind, McWell said, he soon realized the honor of being in the first graduating class. “I looked at the opportunity to be the first of just making history in everything that we did,” McWell said. The best part was the unity of the whole class, McWell said. “The pride that we have for being the first and the responsibility...is just amazing,” McWell said.
THE DEVELOPMENT Neil Smith, Class of ‘96, transferred to MHS from Saint Louis University High School and joined the first graduating class. He said all of the teachers were extremely enthusiastic about the school when he first came. At MHS, Smith took a Creative Writing class where the teacher, Carol Brandt, brought in local writers to talk to the class. He loved the freedom of the class and the experience of learning. “She pretty much had a class format with pretty much no rules,” Smith said. “The best memory I have of the school is going up during the Creative Writing class near the stage and just working on things up there during class.” Smith said the Internet was a new concept when he was in high school. He said the school made an effort to allow students to explore computer technology. “The teachers were really willing to just try experimental things,” Smith said. “Most of the teachers were really young and new, and even some of the older ones were really innovative in the ways they teach.” Smith said he enjoys seeing MHS in the news and is excited to see the school winning sports championships as well as performing well academically. “It’s really enjoyable to see what you guys are doing now because we all feel like we have a connection to you guys,” Smith said. “Keep up the good work.” During the first year of MHS,
“We can never forget our history but we should always continue to look forward to our future.” DR. GREG MATHISON, PRINCIPAL
Kimberly Hotze, German teacher, introduced the new school not only to incoming students but also to students from Germany. This was part of an exchange program where students from Germany came to MHS for three weeks and later MHS students visited Germany. “I hadn’t planned on the very first year of Marquette being a year that we did that because everything was new,” Hotze said. However, as another school had to cancel last minute, MHS took on the German exchange, Hotze said, because the German students had anticipated the trip for so long. “It gave the kids a great opportunity to really live in the language,” Hozte said. Hotze said, typically, only students enrolled in second or higher level German could do the exchange, but because it was the first year of MHS, there was a small number of students who were able to go. Thus, she made an exception and allowed a first-level sophomore who had a passion for the language participate. “His German improved so much, he was able to skip a whole level before the next school year started,” Hotze said. Hotze said, now, a similar program is done through the whole district rather than individual schools that is much shorter because students are not as available during the summer. Gail Barth, former language arts teacher, taught for 20 years and advised the yearbook for MHS’ first six years. She said, it was great to be a part of a school from ground up. Although, when she first arrived, only few days before the school opened, her classroom had not yet been set up and there were no desks. The teachers also had nowhere to park so they got shuttled in with school buses. Nevertheless, MHS turned out much better than she ever expected. “I always thought that I had fun teaching my entire career,” Barth said. “But I think probably that first year was the most fun I’ve ever had.” Her goal was to establish the yearbook and help the school grow.
“I knew that the first statement that we made, the first yearbook, would be something everybody would remember,” Barth said. “It was pretty big responsibility.” Due to the initially small size of the school, Barth said the faculty and students knew each other, even if the teacher didn’t have all the students in their class. Yet, the yearbook themed “From Ground Up” developed into a great keepsake. “We all kind of bonded and that’s not a bond you ever get again in a school,” Barth said. “It’s a very unique situation.”
CURRENT Principal Dr. Greg Mathison has been at MHS for the last 11 years. He was assistant principal for three years before becoming head principal eight years ago. In 2000, he taught math for a semester. Many traditions, such as Senior Farewell, Taste of Marquette and Wacky Olympics, have always been a part of MHS, Dr. Mathison said. However, many also have been added, like the Homecoming Bonfire, pep-assemblies and dodgeball tournaments. “We try to be excellent in all areas, whether that’s academics or at extracurriculars,” Dr. Mathison said. While the core values have remained the same since the beginning, Dr. Mathison said, thoughts have shifted and grown to be more inclusive and give all students opportunities to grow. “We build upon the legacy and the traditions of others and we make it better,” Dr. Mathison said. “[All the other classes before] have all built Marquette to be the great school that we are today, so we can never forget our history, but we should always continue to look forward to our future.” Before coming to MHS, Dr. Mathison attended, taught and coached at LHS. However, when he arrived, he noticed the environment was relaxed and open. “Our students have a lot of freedoms that they’ve earned and that we also give them,” Dr. Mathison said. “It’s an encouraging, open environment to
9 FIRST PROM THEME: CITY NIGHTS
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
MUSTANGS PLAY A HOME GAME
TEACHERS PREPARE FOR SCHOOL YEAR help students thrive.” Every year, Dr. Mathison looks forward to graduation night. He said the significance lies in looking out at all the seniors and their supporters, opening just a sliver into what their life has been throughout high school. The night is not much about parting ways with the senior, Dr. Mathison said, but more about reflecting on their hard work over the last four years of their lives. “It’s just such a special moment to see all the work each individual person, every individual story that went into that, every person that poured their lives into that student to get there,” Dr. Mathison said. “To me, that’s a very powerful moment because that’s why we’re here.”
THE FUTURE RSD is developing a new district-wide program, “Welcome Home Rockwood,” which will work to encourage students to think about a career as an educator, help them get involved and give them a chance after college to come back to teach at Rockwood. Dr. Mathison is part of the committee developing this program. He said in the next few years, a large number of educators will retire, leaving a large job opening. “We need to be proactive in seeking out people to teach,” Dr. Mathison said. The program will try to increase access to more one-on-one student-teacher time as well as possibilities for counselors to talk more about students’ careers, to help students find a way to get involved in the field early. “We are also looking into how we also encourage people with different and diverse backgrounds,” Dr. Mathi-
LOCKERS PUT TO USE FOR THE FIRST TIME son said. “Making sure that our staff population reflects the student population.” Art teacher Kenzie McKeon, Class of ‘10, came back this year to teach. Although she enjoyed gaining the new experience teaching at Fort Zumwalt South for her first two years, she said she came back because MHS feels like home. “I feel like I have more of a connection to this school,” McKeon said. “I can get more excited about things going on around the school because I’m an alumni.” McKeon said MHS has relatively stayed the same, including some of her teachers from her years as a student and crowded hallways. However, the generation of students varies a lot due to the growth of technology. “There is not a huge difference, the change [is] in generations and the behavior changes,” McKeon said. “High schoolers are kind of always the same.” As a student, McKeon loved school and was excited to start high school after going to Crestview Middle School, though she was overwhelmed by the grand size of the school. “I’m sure incoming freshmen still feel that way about how big and crowded it actually is,” McKeon said. McKeon said her favorite part about MHS is the amount of opportunities
PICNIC AT BLUEBIRD PARK BEFORE MHS OPENS
it offers to students and wide variety of classes. She enjoyed taking a lot of art classes as well as being a part of Mystique. “I just liked being a part of school activities,” McKeon said. “I liked being a part of the social aspect of it as well as the classes.” When it comes to “Welcome Home Rockwood”, McKeon said this program will raise school spirit because it will increase the amount of teachers with more passion and ties to not only the school, but the district as well. “Rockwood produces really great students because we have such high caliber teachers here,” McKeon said. However, McKeon said the experience she gained at teaching at a different school made her appreciate MHS more. Claire Jones, sophomore, had always known she wanted to be a teacher. When she was in elementary school, Jones would take papers from the recycle bin in order to hold classes in her basement to teach lessons to friends. Jones loves interacting with kids, and said teaching is something she has truly always enjoyed doing. “They’re the next generation, so
it’d be amazing if I had an influence on how the next generation would turn out and shape,” Jones said. Her experience at MHS has helped her pursuit of becoming a teacher through opportunities such as teacher aids and seniors serving as a teacher aid outside of the building in the elementary schools. Jones said she loves the idea of a program helping to bring back students to teach in RSD because Jones hopes to work at Ballwin Elementary School in the future. “I went to Ballwin, and I think it would be super cool to teach at somewhere I graduated from, so I’m definitely in favor of the program,” Jones said. “It would be amazing.” Jones said she the program will help encourage more students to be interested in teaching in the future, and break stereotypes associated with teaching children. “They don’t look at how much fun you could have or the impact you’re making on the kids’ lives, and what impact they’re making on your life,” Jones said. “It could totally change you and I feel like if students were able to see that, more people would want to be a teacher.”
NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS MONTH
NATIONAL DEAF HISTORY MONTH
NATIONAL VOLUNTEER MONTH
NATIONAL AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH
CHINESE LANGUAGE DAY APRIL 2O EARTH DAY APRIL 22 ENGLISH LANGUAGE DAY APRIL 23 Zack Lesmeister performs a poem at poetry club. Alyssa Shellabarger and other key club members make blankets for Project Linus. Photographs by Greg Svirnovskiy and Andrew Ogden.
greg SVIRNOVSKIY EACH FRIDAY, AS the school bell rings, six students push off their freedom and head to Room 288 for one hour devoted to the study and celebration of poetry. April is National Poetry Month, which Shelley Justin, language arts teacher, does not hold lightly. “I think it’s hugely important, especially in today’s society and culture because I think poetry is a way for young people to really express themselves,” Justin said. “That’s why I like to have kids join the poetry club or get involved with poetry because every kid realizes that poetry is not what they thought it was.” Justin said she’s seen a rise in the popularity of poetry, particularly in SLAM poetry, a subsection rooted in the forceful and empowering delivery of poetry in performance. Justin said the rise in SLAM poetry has introduced more people to poetry’s utility as an art form. For Zack Lesmeister, senior and president of the Poetry Club, the SLAM style has made up a large part of his poetic identity. “Poetry for me is an avenue to express my artistic ability in the best way I can,” Lesmeister said. “It allows me to spread my activism in and efficient and entertaining matter while challenging myself.” Lesmeister said the function of the
COMMUNITY SERVICE waha SIDDIQUI • andrew OGDEN
club he leads is to spread that desire for truth to others. Jillian Hyink, senior, said her participation in poetry club has given her a small, close-knit group of people, willing to give their constructive criticism and keep her feeling welcome. Hyink said it’s important not to push poetry onto every student. “I think poetry is something that if people want to do it, they’ll do it. It’s not something that can be forced. If someone doesn’t like doing it, they’ll hate it and find that it’s boring,” Hyink said. “But if people want to write, it’s important to encourage people to express their creativity without it being pushy.”
HOW DO YOU HUG SOMEONE from afar? Most people would think it’s not possible, but MHS’ Key Club has been hugging children from afar for a year by making blankets for young children in need. Key Club took it upon themselves to dedicate a group of members to Project Linus, a cause strictly devoted to making, collecting and sending blankets to kids. Project Linus is a national organization born in 1995 to honor and help young kids who need blankets and the stability and comfort they bring. The project is named after the Peanuts character “Linus,” who carried a security blanket around with him. “The idea of giving a kid a blanket in a time of need seemed really important. It makes kids feel special in time of need,” Laurie Philipp, Key Club sponsor, said. So far, Key Club has made 50 blankets. “Project Linus seems like a true and selfless organization,” said Jenny Kolodiazhna, sophomore. “I wish there were more organizations out there like it.”
A tale as old as time: Prom Court kavya JAIN • kailin ZHANG
Linda Mathison is crowned prom queen at her Junior Prom in 1995. Photo from MHS Archives.
RHINESTONES WRAP AROUND HER black floor-length dress. Her friends all wear similar gowns, and their dates sport tuxedos with matching bow ties. The theme is “City Nights.” Tonight is going to be a night to remember - she is going to be crowned Prom Queen. In 1995, Linda Mathison, Class of ‘96, became MHS’ first prom queen in her junior year. Mathison, then Blanner, was a member of the first graduating class. Mathison said that at the time her crowning was just fun, but now the event has more significance. “We just had our 20-year reunion and the first prom king was there and he was joking and he called us historical figures,” Mathison said. While she wasn’t expecting to win, Mathison said she understands why she did and doesn’t feel like it was a popularity contest. “It’s like I tell my girls, I was just a friendly person and kind to everyone,” Mathison said. “To me winning showed while I wasn’t the most popular person, I was the most well liked.” Lynn Richardson, social studies
teacher, is helping to plan and manage Prom this year. Fellow seniors can nominate peers in their grade to be a part of Prom Court. Richardson said it has been difficult to get students to nominate others for Prom Court. “It used to be a honor to be a part of it, and now kids don’t seem to care about it,” Richardson said. Richardson said Prom has changed greatly since she attended Eureka High School. “Prom was a big deal,” Richardson said. “And now, I had to beg kids to nominate people on Monday. Nominate who you think is deserving to have an honor for being an awesome person.” Zoya Abbasi, last year’s Prom Queen, said this may be because students have to make an effort if they want to nominate and vote, so they often skip over that table. Abbasi said the media often portrays prom court differently than it actually is, especially at MHS. Abbasi and her friend Taylor used social media to campaign for prom queen and king as a joke, and then they both ended up winning. “I was really happy, but it was hap-
piness out of shock - it wasn’t anything I strived for,” Abbasi said. Abbasi said her initial happiness was overtaken by the awkwardness of the dance. After being crowned by Sophomore Principal Richard Regina Abbasi thought that was the end of it, but then a slow song she had never heard before started to play, and all eyes were on them. “I still to this day do not know the song, but it was playing at a restaurant recently and it haunted me,” Abbasi said. “It was some slow song I had never heard before, and Taylor has so much rhythm, but I was so awkward, and I kept saying ‘I don’t know this song.’ Taylor was so into it - it was like his favorite song. I swear if I end up in hell that song is going to be on loop.” Despite the uncomfortable aspects of winning that she wasn’t prepared for, Abbasi said Prom was a memorable way to celebrate the end of high school and a positive experience to share with friends at college. “For me winning wasn’t that big of a deal, it was just being with my friends,” Abbasi said. “Even if I didn’t win prom would still be one of my favorite experiences from high school.”
Students encouraged to “Walk Up, Not Out” austin WOODS IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT SHOOTing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and the nationwide walkouts that ensued soon after, people are now encouraging students to “Walk Up, Not Out.” This movement began to spread when one of the fathers of a student killed in the Parkland shooting made a proposal via Twitter. Rather than walking out of school in protest, he said, students should “walk up” to their peers and make them feel included through kind words and actions. He intended to provide an alternative to walkouts, which he vocalized doubt towards. With “Walk Up, Not Out” recently finding its way to public consciousness, people are expressing concern with the movement’s potentially faulty implications, such as the notion it creates an unnecessary divide with the walkouts. Morgan Kovis, junior, said she thinks some people who side with “Walk Up, Not Out” could use the movement to wrongly discourage students from taking action and participating in walkouts. Kovis said that while she doesn’t agree with this, she still expresses solidarity with “Walk Up, Not Out,” as well as the nationwide walkouts. “For me personally, I’m really big on respecting both sides and I think they both could be right,” Kovis said. “I think we should be kind always, but I think that people should be able to stand up for their convictions on gun control and things like that.” Kovis is the founding member of Ambassador’s Club, a club dedicated to providing mental health education and awareness to MHS. Through Ambassador’s Club, Kovis has worked to apply the values of “walk up, not out” to students’ everyday lives. For instance, prior to B.I.O.N.I.C. (Believe It Or Not, I Care) Day on April 2, Kovis encouraged her fellow Ambassador’s Club members to not feel confined to a single
day, to participate in a B.I.O.N.I.C. week. “Everybody in the club got a stack of post-it notes and their goal was to get rid of all their post-it notes and give them to teachers, peers, friends and family saying all the reasons why they appreciate them and love them and why they care about them,” she said. “I’ve talked to a lot of the kids who did it, and they said it was so amazing to see what an impact the smallest thing had.” Kovis said one of her goals with Ambassador’s Club is to keep encouraging behavior like this to foster longterm inclusion among students. “I think we’re going to try to do a lot more with facilitating an environment of kindness and compassion and spreading that, not just for a week but for the rest of the year,” she said. Ashley Hobbs, social studies teacher, said long-term compassion needs to be ingrained in students, which she said can be achieved by movements such as “Walk Up, Not Out” and entire days dedicated to expressing appreciation for others. “What I do think is important is that if we work on being truly kind, if we are truly showing acts of kindness, compassion and caring on that day, that maybe it will remind people of how easy it is,” she said. Hobbs said that part of the impact of such movements could be attributed to their promotion of small acts of kindness that could build up over time and become much greater. “Something as simple as holding the door for someone says to that person, ‘You’re import-
ant too. My time’s not more important than your time’,” Hobbs said. “So I don’t think it should be a single act on a single day, but I think that the reason that those movements happen is to remind people how easy it is, and sometimes we just lose sight of that.” Little actions to make others feel included have psychological benefits for individuals as well, Hobbs said. “When kids feel connected to the school and the community, they are more successful,” she said. “A lot of that has to do with self-esteem and our need and want to belong. When kids feel ostracized, we know that it lowers their self-esteem. It makes them more vulnerable to act in negative ways. It makes them less successful at school.” Hobbs said helping students who are struggling can be achieved through strengthening mental health resources along with creating an inclusive atmosphere. “We need more school psychologists, we need social workers and we need more people who are trained to help us with these things,” she said. “If we can’t afford to provide those resources, then we have to train the staff more.” Principal Dr. Greg Mathison said he has worked, and continues to work, with fellow administrators to provide such changes and improve resources for students in need. “I think we need to continue to look for ways to encourage students to get the help they need and also communicate where you can get that help,” he said. Dr. Mathison said one of the most recent issues being tackled by administrators has been figuring out how to bring more therapists into the school environment. This has been especially relevant given budget cuts by St. Louis County, which have prompted therapists previously positioned in RSD to relocate to new school districts. “We’re looking at how we can
bring back therapy time for our students who need it, and how we can get that help for them,” he said. Dr. Mathison said such conversations among administrators have become more prominent as they’ve noticed the number of students grappling with mental health issues increase in recent years. “Those struggles are real,” Dr. Mathison said. “And I think some of that has to do with the technological age. I think it has to do with people maturing a little bit faster in some forms. I think it has to do with social media and seeing everyone else’s perfect life, and there’s no such thing as a perfect life. I think those things compound in young adults.” In addition to strengthening mental health resources, Dr. Mathison said the acts of kindness encouraged by “Walk Up, Not Out” also will be immensely beneficial to the mental health and sense of unity among students. “Finding ways to connect with other people is what we should be doing as humans,” he said. “I’m for people being able to have discussions and debates, but I think the walk up movement is something that’s going to bring people together rather than divide them. In our country right now, we need that more than ever.”
ARTS & LEISURE
GET the LOOK
These three styles help showcase the variety of looks that will be present at Prom mahika MUSHUNI • kenzie WINSTEAD
Alternative Jeff Irwin and Chelsea Perry preform at the MHS voting registration concert May 23, 1996. Photograph by Angela Long
‘96 alumni reflects on music success after high school marta MIEZE FORTY-NINE STATES, 13 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, Central America, Canada and Australia. That’s where life after high school took Jeff Irwin, Class of ‘96, after becoming a multi-instrumentalist and back-line technician. Currently, Irwin designs and implements keyboard systems for live performances. He has toured with numerous talented musicians all over North America, including Paul McCartney in 2013. “That was a thrill, getting to watch him every night that summer,” Irwin said. However, not all his pride lies in reaching his musical goals. “Besides anything I’ve ever accomplished musically, I take pride in [my family],” Irwin said. During his high school years, he played the double bass in jazz band and a lot of brass instruments. He also became the first drum major in the marching band, sang in the choir, competed in speech and debate and performed in the school musicals and plays. Additionally, Irwin created his own band, The Mafia. Irwin said being the first at MHS was both a blessing and a curse because, even though they got to make the rules, they didn’t have the wisdom of the upperclassmen. “For the first couple of years, when we would go and compete in things like marching band or sports, we would be up against people with a lot more experience,” Irwin said. Irwin said Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost, who was then his band teacher, was instrumental to his development and opened the students’ eyes to all the possibilities that music held. “He definitely helped point the way to some music schools,” Irwin said. He ended up in Belmont University in Nashville where he studied music business and was first introduced to the work in studios. And so the seed to his current career was planted. Dr. Knost taught Irwin music for all three of his years at MHS. Although they didn’t know each other prior to high school, the two soon bonded over various instruments. “Jeff was just an awesome kid,” Dr. Knost said. “He was hungry for music. He just wanted to play music.” Dr. Knost said the many years of being an educator pays off seeing all the things his students have accomplished. After keeping in touch with Irwin on Facebook, Dr. Knost said he can’t believe how far he has come. “He followed his dream and I am very proud of him,” Dr. Knost said.
Shae Schiff-Clark, senior, wanted to change things up from her junior prom. Last year Schiff-Clark opted for a two-piece dress with a white top with ruffles and with a blue and white geometric patterned bottom. This year, she went for a little something different. “I don’t have a date, and since I don’t have to match with anyone, I wanted to go for something a little different,” Schiff-Clark said. “I wanted to be a little more unique for my last prom.”
This sleek black jumpsuit packs both power and elegance while giving the wearer greater mobility than a traditional prom dress.
Gothic Milo Laux, senior, has chosen gothic style prom attire. Gothic style has a expansive array of categories; however, dark colors, thick bands, and large metal buttons are common in all gothic outfits. “I honestly really like Descendants,“ Laux said. “[The outfit] is inspired by Carlos.” Last year, Laux wore a floral suit which they felt expressed their individuality. “I went all out last year and I thought I might as well do it again,” Laux said.
Traditional Rebecca Zhao, senior has chosen a princess style dress for this year’s dance. Ball gown style dresses that mimic princesses are a re-occurring trend in school dance attire. “I feel a surge of self confidence when I wear it and I feel like a princess,” Zhao said. This choice reflects her daily choices in style. “I’ve always preferred a classic look over avant-garde, so I chose a more traditional dress,” Zhao said.
Heeled boots are extremely popular with those who follow this style. The soft pastels on these add a splash of color and a touch of personality to the outfit.
The thick straps that cover the front of these knee high boots en capture the intimidating intensity of gothic style.
These rugged black pants may look casual but paired with a striking red tailcoat, they bring a whole new spin on formal attire.
Following along with the princess style, many chose heels as their footwear. Finding a shoe that compliments your dress is important. Many stick to black, gold or silver.
This particular dress has embellishments at the top. The high neck cut paired with a pale pink color creates a elegant illustrations by delaney NEELY and romantic
ARTS & LEISURE
Senior excels at Eco-Art Exhibition jessica LI SURROUNDED BY HER PEERS FROM AP Art Studio and her family, Natalie Leach, senior, received the 2nd overall award at the Eco-Art Exhibition March 5 through 9 at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood. The exhibition includes artwork by local high school students that features an environmental theme. For her piece, Leach decided to create an otter sculpture made out of sticks and rocks. “I though the best way to show the greatness of the environment was to make it out of pieces from the environment,” Leach said. She chose the otter as her centerpiece because it was something she adored. Though she focused on making the sculpture pronounced and bold, she still wanted to keep it simplistic to allow the natural elements to stand out. With all the other pieces of artwork at the exhibition, Leach was surprised to place so high and felt extremely honored. In eighth grade, Leach started creating art. She plans to take art classes in college to build on her knowledge. “I feel art is very freeing and subjective,” Leach said. “Overall, it relaxes me.” Melissa Wilson, art teacher, was not familiar with Leach’s artwork because this was the first year she had her as a student. She said Leach came into the
class with a strong technical ability and creativity throughout her pieces. Wilson mentioned that Leach had originally created a 2D piece of the otter and worked on it for most of the year; however, she chose to change it to a 3D piece for the exhibition. “She really stepped up the size and pushed her creativity by using material found in nature,” Wilson said. Wilson said she was very excited to hear Leach placed 2nd overall because the results are often unpredictable with the multiple high schools involved. Each high school that competed was allowed 10 pieces of art. As the art teacher, Wilson was responsible for choosing the school’s 10, which was a difficult process for her. “This class is considerably larger than last year,” she said. “We had 22 pieces and I had to dwindle it down to only 10 pieces.” Wilson said oftentimes a student from a Rockwood high school wins 1st overall. This is partially due to the participation of many AP Art Studio students. “We do it as a project and really push them. Whereas for some of the other schools that compete, it might be just a Drawing 1 class,” she said. MHS has competed in the Eco-Art Show since its founding in 2009. Wilson said this year’s results were very good, which she believes is because of the work she demands from the AP Art
Rockwood Drug-Free Coalition
Studio students. “We’ve really pushed over the years to try to push them bigger and bolder every year,” Wilson said. Veronica Leach, Natalie’s mother, was extremely proud that her daughter’s talents were being recognized. Previously, she had a lack of knowledge of art before her daughter started getting involved in it more. “She’s really opened up my world to art,” Veronica said. “Which is something I had never experienced before.” She hopes for her daughter to be able to incorporate her artistic skills into her experience at college. Leach plans to go to Truman State University. The University sponsors many international events, which Veronica said Leach can take advantage of to expand her thinking process. “I think it can offer her so many opportunities and expand her knowledge internationally,” Veronica said.
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going the distance Boys Track & Field
Athlete Profile: Mason Walters allyson INGLI • mahika MUSHUNI • abigail NEBOT
4 1. Boys track arrives at Northwest High School on Sat. April 7, for the Northwest Invitational. 2. Ian Watson-Hirsch, junior, races in the JV 4x400. His team placed third with a time of 3:48.15. 3. Stone Burke and Connor Del Carmen, freshmen, race in the JV 3200. Burke placed second and Del Carman placed fifth. 4. Burke has a photo finish at the end of the JV 3200. He placed second, beat by 0.02 seconds. 5. Robert Gary, senior, races in the varsity 4x400. Gary’s team placed fourth with a time of 3:35.80. Photographs by Ethan Koop and Jeff Swift Photo by Filip Maljković
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TOO MANY ACTIVITIES, TOO little time. Mason Walters, junior, has learned how to handle chaos of his day, proving it possible to do it all. Walters is a part of a plethora of activities. Each activity consumes the majority of his time and sometimes overlaps one another. “My coaches are really flexible with show choir, which is a really big time commitment,” he said. “My show choir teacher is flexible too, since I’m always running.” Matt Nienhaus, boys’ track coach, credits Walters’ ability to manage both activities to his avid communication with the heads of both activities. “He’s got a talent in both areas, so we want to make sure we give him an opportunity to shine in both of them,” Nienhaus said. “[As far as track] he keeps getting better every year, he is a very good 400 runner.” Walters said his involvement in Show Choir, in its own way, helps him with track. “I like to credit [show choir] to the fact that I can sing and hold a note for a long time and it really helps with lung capacity and also it keeps me on my toes about being healthy,” Walters said. From freshman year, Walters’ speed in track was evident, running varsity and ultimately running at State as an alternate and breaking the freshman record. As a sophomore, Walters qualified for State with track and field, running the 400m race with a time of 50.64 seconds. Beyond scoreboard times and medals, Walters has gained a particular attitude towards running and how he ap-
proaches each season from his teammates on the track team. “A lot of times people get less serious about it and I’m just trying to stay serious and serious and focus on working hard and everything,” Walters said. For him, Walters said track was an activity he hoped to take with him past high school and into college. He said right now he could run D3 or D2 and maybe D1 and is working hard to get faster to earn running scholarships. “I’m trying to run more off season so during the summer and even during the winter which is really hard over the winter,” Walters said. “Cross country helps a lot with that and I could probably run cross country in college as well.” Walters said he has a lot of amazing memories and experiences he will carry with him for years to come and will always look back with a smile. “Every year for track we kind of serenade the girls that make it to State,” he said. “I always get pushed to the front because I’m in Show Choir, so me and Robert Gary always sing really loud. People always look at us outside the restaurant; it’s always really fun.”
Go Fish! Fishing club reels in victory ethan HILL FISHING IS A STRATEGIC SPORT. EVERYTHING must be examined from the lures to the shore position. A bass fishes differently than catfish. Anything can happen at anytime. And thus the difficulty to slip through four rounds and ultimately come out on top of a year-long tournament. “Each team gets a shoreline for about 20 minutes, and you measure every fish you catch,” Ethan Milburn, junior, said. “They total up the five longest in total centimeters, and that’s how they rank you.” On Sunday, March 21, the Fishing Club won their first round of the year at Carondelet park. It was the first of four qualifier rounds to start the year-long journey to the championship. MHS beat out five other teams: Oakville, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Chaminade and Vianney. The team had the most points, thus winning the weekend’s competition and qualifying for the second round. The tournament is a long one, too, stretching across two school years. “Either in the fall or next spring, there will be bracket play,” Milburn said. “And then it leads to the Championship.” With MHS’ victory on March 21, the team has a 32-point lead over second place going into the next qualifying tournament on April 15, weather pending. MHS will face off against Oakville, Lindbergh, and Vianney. “We’re off to a good start because we won the first one,” Colin Wolinski, sophomore, said. “I think
we’ll be able to qualify and then hopefully do good in the Championship.” There’s a long way to go in the season, and as Wolinski explained, the season would not come without its challenges. “There are eight teams in each bracket and only five qualify, so it’s pretty hard to qualify,” Wolinski said. Both Wolinski and Milburn expressed their love for the team and the large focus from their teammates. “It used to be we would just meet somewhere,” Milburn said. “But now we’ve narrowed it down to eight or nine guys who want to do this tournament.” “We wanted to be a little bit more competitive,” Edward Scalf, sponsor, said. “There’s more and more high schools getting into fishing and having fishing clubs. There’s more opportunity to do more tournaments.” With a long way to go in the season, the team is optimistic after such a good start. A 32-point lead and an early win could signal good luck for the rest of the year long tournament. “I like our chances,” Scalf said. “We got some really good members on this team that are very good fisherman, and they want to make this club bigger than it’s been in the past.”
Illustration by Delaney Neely
Tennis teams up with EHS to fight cancer marshall AREBALO • rene MOORE “HELP ME IF YOU CAN, I’M feeling down” that’s what a lot of patients at Siteman Cancer Center might be thinking and this is a call several high schools in the St. Louis area are answering, including MHS. For the last two years, the team has been raising awareness for breast cancer and they are dedicating this year’s designated awareness game to Lisa Nieder, activities office secretary. This game is against Eureka at 4:15 p.m. on April 26 at MHS. Nieder was diagnosed with breast cancer over Winter Break and has been going through chemotherapy since then. “[Nelle] thought it would be helpful for students to relate better since I am part of the Marquette community,” Nieder said. Her daughter Kenzie Nieder, senior, said it’s an honor that people care enough to start raising money for cancer awareness. “It really means a lot to our family,” Kenzie said. “Her [Lisa] especially.” The team is playing the game with pink balls and pink grips on their rackets in order to raise awareness. During the game, they also will be wearing t-shirts they designed. MHS and EHS did the same thing
last year. “Last year, we played the match to see how it would go and it was great,” Jason Conley, EHS tennis coach, said. “We had a specific player that we honored before the match who had battled a rare cancer and beat it. That was really cool for him because a lot of his own teammates had no idea he went through that rough time.” Conley said he and Nelle had discussed the idea the season before starting the match. “They decided to try it out to see how it went,” Conley said. “The game was a success and the teams ended up raising $1,500 for the program.” Nelle and Conley then contacted Mueriel Carp, the director of community relations and events at Washington University who also works in close contact with the Siteman Cancer Center. “The funds donated are directed to the Siteman Discovery Fund, which allows Siteman to be at the forefront of the most promising cancer research for all types of cancer for both men and women,” Carp said. This year 30 other schools have joined MHS and EHS in putting on cancer awareness events. “Our goal, between Eureka and us, is to get the entire state involved,” Nelle said.
Robbie Zhang, junior, and Mohan Palakollu, senior, play in a match against Mehlville on April 10. Photograph by Delaney Neely Fundraiser shirts will be sold through April 13. The shirts are $15 and all the money raised will be donated to Siteman Cancer Center. Contact Alex Nelle for more information.