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What Lies Within...

Student Parking Lot

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Christmas Spotlight

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Snowboarding... a way of life

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Panther Press

The voice of Montezuma-Cortez High School

December 2011

206 W. Second Street, Cortez, CO 81321

Volume #12: Issue #4

Shop with a Cop

C h an gi n g t h e bel l sc h e dule a ga i n ? Tanner Wright, Staff Reporter The administration is coming to the conclusion that the bell schedule this year isn’t good enough. Principal Gordon Shepherd has presented the staff with four options that will be voted on. Two options are "mixed block," and one has seven periods. They may also vote to keep the schedule the way it is. Refer to the chart on Page 9 for more information on the mixed block and seven period schedules. Our current schedule has many flaws that have administrators concerned. “We had some issues with giving sophomores the classes that are required to graduate,” said Jimmy Lankford, M-CHS Activities Director. Continued on page 9

Theatre kids enjoy State Conference

Lacey Lukas, Managing Editor Every year the drama department of M-CHS travels to Denver for their yearly State Conference. From the 8th to the 10th, the thespians had opportunities to learn different acting styles, technical skills, as well as compete against others for scholarships and high honors. Only inducted thespians could go to the state conference. These are normally sophomores, juniors, and seniors. In order to become inducted thespians, students had to have been active in the department by acting in or doing tech for the shows as well as the other smaller scaled events that are put on. Continued on page 9

T.J. McKinney, Staff Reporter If people had one chance to shop with a cop, would they take it? Well, on December 16, 2011, M-CHS held the second annual Shop with a Cop program. Many parents brought their children to shop with these brave, heroic people. Shop with a Cop is designed for local, underprivileged elementary students who might not otherwise get anything for Christmas. The kids are matched with patrolmen from our local police force to go shopping for Christmas presents. This year, they were given a $100 to buy whatever they wanted for Christmas. The M-CHS Student Government decided to create Shop with a Cop because another policeman from out of town suggested this community-based activity. After that, the Student Government jumped on board to give elementary kids a great opportunity to spend the day with local policemen.

“Shop with a Cop has expanded from 30 kids last year, to about 42 kids this year.” said Mr. Rice, from the career center at M-CHS. "We were also able to give the kids more money to spend compared to last year." The kids enjoyed the policemen helping them choose gifts. These policemen make underprivileged kids happy, and that's the true meaning of Christmas: spending time with each other making others happy, even if it's just for a day. In the two years that Shop with a Cop has been held, the M-CHS Student Government has given children of all ages the experience of this wonderful activity and opportunity. Surely they will cherish it forever during their happy young lives. For the years to come, Shop with a Cop will keep growing with the support of MCHS, the parents of underprivileged elementary students, and our local police force. The kids deserve the best in life

Shop with a Cop attendees stand outside of the school for a group picture

Photo taken by T.J. McKinney

L e ade rs hip c ou n c i l takes a ct i v e s t a n ce

Mack Carter, Editor-in-Chief

It’s been about a month now that announcements have gone out for Leadership Council meetings, but this new organization still remains shrouded in mystery for the majority of the student body here at M-CHS. The Leadership Council was organized by Mr. Lankford, our Activities Director, to give students a voice to air their grievances and ideas for bettering our school environment. The Council meets every Wednesday during Career Pathways to discuss problems in the school that hinder the learning process and prevent students from being excited about school. Stephen Candelaria was chosen by Mr. Lankford as one of two seniors who lead the group in their discussions and meeting; the other is Tori Stanley. “The purpose of the council is to find

issues within the school and focus on getting the students’ viewpoints from every part of our school. We not only want to find all the problems, but also to fix them instead of just complaining about them,” said Candelaria. The Leadership Council is in the midst of planning a campaign to combat the astounding 40% dropout rate in M-CHS, as well as the frighteningly low number of graduates who do not pursue further education. The council members mostly agree that this is partly due to a lack of school spirit and a pervading frustration with and tiredness of public education. “We want to make them enjoy high school so they actually want to go to college,” said Senior Class Representative Devynn Nutt, speaking of potential dropouts at the school. Despite these good intentions, the Leadership

Council will face even more challenges on this front with impending budget cuts and changes to the school schedule. The Council is made up of representatives from each class, and it also includes representatives from various academic departments and extracurricular programs, according to Devynn Nutt. The first members were selected by Mr. Lankford, who received recommendations from teachers around the school. The group plans to expand its base of representation in the coming weeks. They are looking for students who wish to represent their peers and who would like to improve the quality of the education at M-CHS. Any student who would like to apply for the Council can get more information and an application from Tori Stanley.

Press 02 Panther D 2011


Kno wledge bowl: who knew?! ecember

Wyatt Yates, Business Manager Lacey Lukas, Mangaing Editor

Did you know that M-CHS has a Knowledge Bowl team? The Knowledge Bowl team has been winning awards and tournaments since 1979. This season the Knowledge Bowl team hosted a tournament, and the A Team took fifth place. Fruita Monument High School placed first followed by Durango, Dolores, Bayfield, and then our Montezuma-Cortez Panthers. The Panthers were led by M-CHS Knowledge Bowl sponsor Debra McVicker and the captains of each team. For the A team, Mack Carter was the extraordinary captain who led the four man team of Freeland Wegner, Kyme Lambson, and Mitchell Noyes. B Team was led by Carson Soukup, and the team was made up of James Liska, Abby Lock, and Kyle Baacke. Xavier Eddy led our C Team to a great competition; Kelly Abrams, Kia Baikie, and Jeremiah Tjossem were on this team. In most regular season Knowledge Bowl tournaments, according to sponsor Mrs. McVicker, there are five rounds, including the final. In contrast to this, the state championship tournament is held over two days and has two written rounds and several mosre oral rounds, as well as championship rounds for each division and an overall championship. Last year a team from M-CHS qualified for state and placed fourth in 4A. The first round is written. Each team is randomly assigned to a room along with two others. There is a 50 minute time limit and 60 multiple choice questions. One volunteer is placed in each room to pass out the tests and monitor the teams. The readers put each team's score on the central score board. The scores for each round are recorded on their scorecards, which are ranked from highest to lowest. They are then posted in groups of three on a wall under the room number signs so that the players can report to the correct room for the next round. The next four rounds are oral. They consist of 50 questions, which are read by the reader to the teams. This can take anywhere from 25 to 35 minutes. Teams buzz in when they think they have the answer, and they have 15 seconds to respond. If the team answers incorrectly or time runs out, the next team that buzzed in then has 15 seconds to answer the question. A team only has one chance to reply to the question, and only one member from the team can give the answer. Because teams cannot discuss the question, many teams use hand signals to decide who will answer. The team captain picks who answers each question. Scores are kept by the reader during the oral rounds. Each room's reader is the final authority on whether an answer is correct, or whether a disputed question should be replaced with an alternate. Unlike on the show Jeopardy!, there is no penalty for wrong answers. At the end of each round, the score keeper/reader announces the scores. The competition this year was very intense. Going into the final round

there was a four-way tie for fourth place among the A teams from M-CHS, Bayfield, Durango, and Montrose, all with 66 points. The teams in second and third place were only a few points ahead. Cortez, Bayfield, and Montrose duked it out in the second room, while Durango competed with two lower teams in the third room. At the end of the round, Bayfield had earned twelve points, Cortez had won eleven, and Montrose had gained six. Durango, because the third room was not quite as competitive, was able to garner fourteen points, rocketing them into second place behind Fruita Monument's A team, who maintained a large lead throughout the entire day. "It was very tense the room; the teams were never more than a few points apart. Bayfield only beat us by a few points; I think we could have beaten them if we had had a little more experience," said Mack Carter of the final round. Normally the team hosting the tournament has to pay for the readers and the timers; fortunately, M-CHS has enough community support that the extra fee was not needed. The team would like to thank all of the people that put in their time at the tournament. Without these people, the tournament would not have gone off so easily. Andy and Beth Carter, Charlie and Leslie Hayes, Barb and Dave Rightley, Susan Ciccia, MaDonna Whyte, Shelley Curtis,

C r o s s w o r d

Kim Olson, Damiond Smith, Randi Smith, Bobbi Lock, Norma Duncan, Joel Tracey, and Eric Chandler all volunteered their time to help the Knowledge Bowl succeed.

Our Knowledge Bowl teams competed long and hard, spilling out their preponderance of evidence and vast knowledge. M-CHS thanks them for representing our school.

Photo taken by Wyatt Yates

3 6 4 1

Sara Christian Staff Reporter

P u z z l e

2 9

8 5



15 10


13 12

Across 1. The managing editor of Panther Press 2. Varsity swim coach 5. School name 7. Cheer coach 10. Girls assistant coach 12. Athletic director 13. When does the library close?

Down 3. Head basketball coach 4. Freshman guidance counselor 6. Editor in chief 8. Girls basketball coach 9. Boys basketball assistant coach 11. Football player #23 14. Grassy area with trees in the middle of the school 15. How many computer labs are in the high school?

Panther Press


Trying to keep up with technology at M-CHS Sara Christian, Staff Reporter

The computers at M-CHS have been around for many years; some as long as fifteen. In spite of the school's aging technology, our IT department works miracles to enable students to use state-of-the art software such as Microsoft Office 2010 and Adobe Photoshop CS5 products in many classes. However, the limited capabilities of our machines could soon be too much for even them to handle. A large majority of computers at this school are far behind the current standards for processor speed, memory, and software, as evidenced by the complaints of students and staff alike. Kim Olson, the computer liaison for M-CHS, said She added, “Sometimes students have problems saving their work.” Sophomore Dakota Roth added “They pretty much suck, and they’re old.” As far as numbers of computers go, M-CHS is fairly well stocked. Two labs are reserved for teachers to bring their classes to, as well as for MAP testing. Several classrooms are stocked with their own computer banks; some of these rooms are the journalism room, Mrs. Brewer’s room, and the Cortez Options room. The library also has computers available for classes to use. According to Ms. Olson, all of the library's twenty-eight computers

were replaced this year with newer machines, although there are some changes she would still like to see: “Getting new monitors for the ones that aren’t flat screens would be nice, and if the computers in the library and all the labs were updated to Microsoft Office 2010.” The library desktops are not the only new computers to come to M-CHS.

labs are not always advanced enough to deal with the technical challenge of large numbers of students working on different projects. “The East and West Wing Labs run off the same server, and I don’t know if that’s good or bad,” said Ms. Olson. According to Alex Mims, sophomore, our technology situation is not being handled properly. He boldly

M-CHS students work diligently in a computer lab.

"We added two COW (Computers on Wheels) labs, which seem pretty popular," stated Olson. The COW labs are composed of 30 laptops each, all loaded onto a cart set up for them to charge on. These carts are in the library for teachers to check out. However, it is apparent that these

stated, “I believe we need to upgrade our computers at school as soon as possible. They have bought new monitors for the library just to replace the older models that still work! We don’t need more screens; we need computers that won’t crash from basic programs. We need something that won’t lock up as


soon as you finish the last paragraph of your four page essay. We don’t need more screens; what we need is a newer generation of computers.” Technology is changing rapidly, and many schools have difficulty keeping up with the expansion. Our IT department does what it can, but with recent budget cuts and possibly more in the future, it may be a while before our

Photo credit: Christina Stevens

computers are brought up to speed. Mark Knox, M-CHS Technology Director, could not be reached for comment.

04 Panther Press D 2011



Staff Spotlight Mahalia Watts, Staff Reporter Mr. Ray Harriman is a familiar face around M-CHS. He teaches Social Studies, World History, Honors World History, Anthropology, American History, and US Government. He has also coached football and baseball at M-CHS and has taught Freshman Academy during the summer. "I chose teaching because I love History and teaching the subject. I also like being involved with young people and have always enjoyed teaching and coaching youth. I enjoy teaching because it is challenging and every day is different. It is a very demanding but rewarding career," said Harriman of his profession. Mr. Harriman was born in Pueblo, Colorado and grew up in Walsenburg, Colorado. He attended St. Mary's High School and Walsenburg High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology and archaeology at Adams State College. Later on, he achieved another BA, this time in education, at Fort Lewis College. Harriman then went on to receive a graduate degree in educational administration at CU Denver. Mr. Harriman has been teaching in Montezuma-Cortez School District since 2000.

He taught at Cortez Middle School for two years. This is his tenth year working at MCHS. Prior to teaching in the RE-1 school district, he taught in Shiprock, New Mexico for four years. He also worked on the Dolores Project at the University of Colorado, the I-70 Project at Brigham Young University, and the Agrominero Project in Costa Rica. Mr. Harriman held a job at the McElmo Canyon Research Center, and as an archaeological subcontractor for various companies in the southwest for about twenty years When Mr. Harriman is not busy teaching students, he enjoys spending time with wife Deborah Lux-Harriman, an art teacher at M-CHS, and his son Kyle Harriman who graduated from M-CHS in 2007. Mr. Harriman's parents, brothers, and sister all live in Colorado. In his free time you will find him outside. "I am an avid mountain biker and crosscountry skier. I love to fish, camp, hike, ski, and kayak. I love dogs and spending a lot of time with my Chocolate Lab," said Mr. Harriman. He also loves listening to all kinds of music and is currently learning how to play the guitar. Reading is one of Mr. Harriman's favorite things to do; his favorite genre is historical fiction. We enjoy having Mr. Harriman at M-CHS. Elizabeth Wilson Rhodes says “He’s an amazing teacher; I think everyone should have him.”

Mr. Ray Harriman poses for photographer Thomas McDonell

College Spotlight T.J. McKinney, Staff Reporter

There are many colleges to choose from in society today. But some people would prefer Colorado State University. Why would someone pick CSU as a place for a secondary education? Well, Colorado State University, which is in Fort Collins, Colorado, is an accredited, public, four year comprehensive research university. The University will also admit just about anyone as a guest student, meaning that they have to maintain a certain standard once enrolled. Colorado State University is also internationally known for its green initiatives and clean-energy research including alternative fuels, clean engines, "smart" grid technology, wind engineering, water resources, and satellite-based atmospheric monitoring and tracking systems. Colorado State University offers courses and degrees online which is unique in some ways. This allows students to learn from a distance even if they're not residents to Colorado. According to CSU’s website, they offer a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree so people can have time to decide their career plans. Students that will be attending Colorado State in the fall of next year will have equal opportunity to get an education because all the classes are average size. CSU has good academic opportunities. They have about 150 programs that offer world-class education. In addition, those programs are best in national quality, in-

novation, and achievement. "There won't be an exact number of students attending CSU at the moment because application aren't due until Feburary and March," said Mrs. Ryan from the Career Center. It’s mostly about the campus life when choosing a college. Well, the dorms at CSU are a place to study and even socialize with friends. A Colorado State education will basically pay off for the rest of people’s lives. They also provide resources people need to a good and honest living. “The most surprising thing about CSU and Fort Collins is how nice and down to earth every one seems to be. The education is great and extra-curricular activities are solid," said a student from CSU. CSU also has great programs for sports including football, basketball, baseball, etc., and anyone can attend or join the clubs that Colorado State provides. But it's an open fact CSU has difficulty recruiting and maintaining a racially diverse student body. It doesn't help that Fort Collins has a population that is over 90% white. CSU is a good college to go to. It is an excellent top-tier state school that won't break the bank. The college also gives students the opportunity to get an education with academic programs they currently have. They also have great sports programs. “CSU is fun all the way around,” said senior Dezirae Todd. Hopefully people can decide for themselves on what they think about going to Colorado State University.

Panther Press

You go see Santa and I’ll stay here

December 2011

P a n t h e r


Christina Stevens, Assistant Publisher have their picture taken with, I will either not go into Wal-Mart, or I will avoid the part of store he is in. During the parade of lights, I will stay in the car, or turn the other way as he drives by. I came out and told my unusual fear, and I’m proud I did. No one should be scared to mention what they are scared of, especially if it’s a childish fear, like Santa Claus. It doesn’t matter if you can’t handle spiders, clowns, the dark, Jell-O, or even water, people shouldn't judge you by what you fear. If you run into your fear, do what I do, cover your eyes and run!

"Ho Ho Ho;" many of you have heard this particular catchphrase before, and could possibly get excited for the owner's related holiday. But this onomatopoeic phrase is one I dread hearing. Almost everyone has at least one or more unusal fears. This could possibly include ophidiophobia ( fear of snakes), nyctophobia (the dark), arachnophobia (spiders), astraphobia (thunder and lightning), or acrophobia (heights). In my case, I have two. One is not so bad, which is arachnophobia. My second one is hagiophobia, or fear of Santa Claus, and yes, this usually only occurs in small children and I know I’m 16 years old. I don't consider being afraid of spiders being a particularly unusual fear, but being afraid of Santa? Yes, that is unusual. Spiders, I can deal with spiders. Even though I scream at the sight of one, and sometimes I possibly will cry, they're not that bad. It’s easy

to avoid spiders. But Santa? No, he is definitely not easy to avoid during the holiday season. I can’t just step on him or throw something at him. I would rather not be charged for assault. Some may ask, well why Santa? And I honestly cannot answer that. Since I was little, I have had this fear. It could be that I’m just not comfortable with him appearing in my house, which is creepy, but also eating the cookies we make for Christmas? That’s not fair! Unlike spiders, I don’t have to worry about Santa biting me or having eight legs. Perhaps Santa’s facial appearance is what scares me. To me, Santa has creepy piercing eyes and a weird red nose. I could live without seeing him for a while. Being afraid of heights is easy to deal with; just don’t go by high places. Spiders? Spray an insect repellent. Scared of clowns? Stay away from the circus. But when it comes to Santa, during the Christmas season, he is everywhere. If Wal-Mart ihas a Santa for small children to


T h e r eal m e a n i n g o f C hr i s t m a s

P r e s s

We apologize for the mistake in the Math Grading Scale story printed in our October issue. We original wrote that to pass math classes this year, students would have to receive a 75% or better on the final; however, this is not true. To pass the final a student must get a 70%; the grading scale for the final is the same grading scale for the rest of the course (A: 90-100%, B: 8090%, C: 75-79%, and D: 70-74%). Thank you Mrs. Wisenbaker for the correction. Lacey Lukas I apologize for the late response to your story about the math grading scale. I appreciate the paper covering this issue and informing the student body about the background. I must request that you correct one error in the article. The math grading scale was reported correctly (A 90-100, B 80-89, C 7579, and D 70-74). The error was saying that in order to pass the final, a student needed a grade higher than 75%. The grading scale for the final is the same as for the course, listed above. A passing grade on the final would be a 70% not 75% as printed in the article. I understand that the confusion came from the requirement last year that students had to get a C or better to pass. We changed the grading scale to reflect that a student needed better than 70% (last year's C) to pass. I am sorry for the confusion. Mrs. Wisenbaker

Lacey Lukas, Managing Editor

Christmas is a time for family and friends to reconnect and spend time together. It’s supposed to be a time that people stop and give thanks for all that they have in their life. But over time, Christmas has become all about getting gifts and buying things. Christmas was originally meant to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is celebrated on December 25; some believe that this date was chosen because it falls exactly nine months after the conception of Jesus, but others believe that it coincides with either the date of the Roman winter solstice or some ancient winter festival. Over time this spiritual meaning of Christmas was lost to people’s greed and wants. Most people forget why they are buying gifts when they put themselves through the long lines and inflated prices for toys and the latest electronics. According to, every year Christmas generates about 435 billion dollars’ worth of economic activity in the United States only. It is not just the gifts that we spend our hard-earned cash on; it’s everything from buying lights to hang around the house and tree to the food needed for the feast on Christmas day. Gifts are the largest part of our budget, however; the average American will spend about 750 dollars on presents, compared to citizens of England, our sister country, who spend about 200 dollars on gifts. Christmas has strayed away from being family-oriented to object-oriented. Gift giving is a part of Christmas because the wise men that went to visit the baby Jesus brought presents for the new King. This financial burden, especially during these rough economic times, is straining on fami-

Panther Press 2011-2012 Staff & Information Editor in Chief Mack Carter

Assistant Publisher Chrisitna Stevens Managing Editors Lacy Lukas

Business Managers Wyatt Yates Thomas McDonell

Photographer Thomas McDonell

Staff Reporters Dominic Brendle Sara (Craig) Christian Anthony Hodge Aubrey Lopez Tyler McKinney Scott Sanders Charles Warren Matthew Warren

Braxton Whiteman Tanner Wright Shihonna Vigil Mahalia Watts Reshaun Badback Reiana Jones Levi Downing

Want to advertise with the Panther Press? Call our Business Managers at (970) 565 - 3722 Ext. 148 preferably between 10am and 11:30am . Monday Through Thursday Contact us at: Montezuma-Cortez High School Attn: Panther Press (Deb McVicker) 206 W. 7th St., Cortez, CO 81321

lies; many start planning their shopping lists and how to budget in October. All the built up stress leads many adults to drinking and using other drugs to cope with the hard time. This is not what Christmas was meant to be about. America has become so capitalistic that we have forgotten what is important in life and why the holidays even exist. Students don’t get out of school because they have to open gifts; they get out of school because it is important to reconnect with loved ones. But this is difficult when your family is grumpy and depressed over the stresses of visiting family members and preparation for dinner and other things. Although Christmas has turned into a holiday to focus on family and friends, people that don’t have family and friends have no one to shop for. Perhaps we should all take a lesson from these people and their empty shopping lists by remembering the origin of Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ. America needs to take a step back and reexamine the importance of Christmas. This should be a time when we are thankful for what we have, not what we want to have or what we are going to get. While you are off from school for this winter break, try to remember why you are off. Take time to appreciate your family and all the things you have in your life.

The M-CHS Panther Press is an open forum which RE-1 district policy. The RE-1 school district, board, and staff are not responsible for the

operates under

information and opinions expressed in the

Panther Press.

The Panther Press invites your letters, comments, and questions. Letters will be edited on the basis of content and conciseness.

pantherpress dmcvicker@cortez.k12. 970-565-3722x148


Press 06Panther D 2011



Ch r i stm a 300 hall shows Christmas spirit by decorating the show case for everyone to see.

Shane McCaw-Freshman: “Opening presents.”

M-CHS library shows their holiday cheer with a little tree and presents.

Clifton W

Mrs. Love- Teacher: “The kids coming home and the family getting together.”



It’s time for the Annual NHS Coat Drive! Monday, November 28th through Wednesday, December 21st Bring your old coats, boots, scarves, gloves, and hats to the M-CHS library! All items will be donated to people in need! Help spread the warmth of the holidays!

Photo taken by Dominic Brendle

On rade o of Rea ry Mc as she Th around day th was a people bright At rade b still m that m Christ The the flo Non-p Chrom & Rus py’s B In t tez Le to Sch Radio Works In th placed Arriol


T i m e!

Panther Press



What is your favorite Chritmas tradition?

n Whyte- Freshman: “Butchering a sheep.”

Mrs. Tesci- Teacher: “Snowboarding.”

Donny Paddock- Freshman: “Stay home and play video games but this year I am traveling to Albuquerque with my family.”

Kicking off the Christmas cheer

minic Brendle, Staff Reporter

On Saturday, December 3rd, 22nd Annual Parade of Lights onsored by the Four Corners ard of Realtors took place on ain Street. This year Terry Mcbe sponsored and organized the ade, just as she has for the last ur years. The people of Cortez bundled up d gathered around to see what re regular street cars during the y that turned into balls of light ring the night. It was about 30 grees that night, but that didn’t p people from coming from far d wide to enjoy the bright, colorful lights. A total of 60 organizations registered for the pae but only 50 of those showed up. There were l many beautifully decorated floats to be judged t made up the Parade of Lights and started off the ristmas holiday in Cortez. There were three categories that the judges scored floats in. These categories included Commercial, n-profit, and Others. In the Commercial category, rome Mafia Custom Cycles placed first, Holgate's Rustic Arts Carving placed second, and Mr. Hap’s Bakery & Café placed third. In the Non-Profit category, first place went to CorLeopard Sharks Swim Team, second place went School Community Youth Collaborative & KSJD

Radio, and third place went to Ute Mountain Publics Works. In the Others category, Manaugh Elementary School placed first, Cub Scout Pack 516 placed second, and Arriola Bible Church placed third. Even though no M-CHS floats received an award, participants included M-CHS Panther Press, M-CHS Marching Band, and Cortez FFA (Future Farmers of America). Although all the floats could not get an award, all of them tried hard. “I think the effort was very good because i saw some great floats,” said freshman Kirsty Rankin. “I liked Mr. Happy’s float the best.” The weather cooperated; the snow did not hit hard until after the parade was over. The snow brought a great end to the parade, making a thin white sheet over

the town and making not just the floats but also the town look ready for Chirstmas. The Parade of Lights is a time-honored tradition for the residents and visitors of Cortez. With the parade over, the Christmas cheer keeps growing as we get closer to the day that the parade is all about. “ The parade is about the start of Christmas” said Kirsty Rankin.

08Panther Press 2011



Sn o w b o a r d i n g : a w a y o f l i f e Anthony Hodge, Staff Reporter

It’s that time of the year again, when students and staff have fun snowboarding on those slopes. Snowboarding is very popular with many of our students. “Telluride better just get alot of snow this season so I can board,” said freshman Bo Lard. Snowboarding is among the fastest growing sport in the United States. Snowboarding is enjoyed by people of all ages; one in every four snowboarders is aged 25-44. “About twenty five of my friends and family snowboard,” said Ms. Tecsi, an M-CHS science teacher. M-CHS has a skiing and snowboarding club, which is now run by Ms. Wojciechowski. Starting in January, the club will go on five trips to Telluride. Students can take advantage of this opportunity by paying a fee of twelve dollars to finance the buses which transport the students back and forth to Telluride. Anyone who would like to take part in this can see Ms. Wojciechowski in Room 308 for more information. Because of the unfamiliar motions needed to guide the board, to start it in motion, and to stop, snowboarding uses a variety of muscles such as the hamstrings and quadriceps. This can make it a difficult sport to learn. “Snowboarding is a sport that you need to practice on,” said freshman Shayne McCaw. Due to the steep learning curve and the dangerous nature of the sport, both beginners and experienced boarders can encounter injuries that range from annoying to debilitating. These can include broken bones, twisted joints, various sprains, or dislocations. “My worst injury was a concussion,” said Ted Newcomer, an M-CHS senior. “My worst injury was when I bit a hole through my tongue,” commented Ms. Tecsi. Snowboarding also requires several pieces of specialized equipment, which

M-CHS Boys Basketball Aubrey Lopez, Staff Reporter

can make it very expensive just to get It is time to pile up the stands an 80 to 30 point victory against started, according to again with fans for the Monte- Shiprock’s junior varsity. Both First on the list is the snowboard it- zuma-Cortez High School boys’ of these wins definitely ranked self, which is what the boarder will basketball season. The boys’ them into the championship stand on to slide down the slopes. A season has already begun with game. snowboard can cost anywhere from the opening of scrimmages to The boys knew they wanted three hundred to a thousand dollars. introduce the competition this to repeat last year and win their Getting a cheaper board for as a first- season. home tournament. Cortez and time snowboarder would be best beThe boys of M-CHS know Delta were bound for first or seccause beginners wouldn’t feel the ben- what needs to be done in order ond in the championship game. efits of an expensive board, according to be guaranteed into playoffs M-CHS came on top in overtime to seasoned snowboarder Freeland We- this year. Even though it will with a 75-67 victory. gner, senior. take hard work, heart, and dediBoys’ varsity played Bayfield Next are bindings. They are what cation the boys know they can on their home court on Tuesday holds the boarder’s feet to the board get there. the 13th. Even though the game and allows his or her feet to interface The basketball team will be a was brutal, M-CHS still came with the board, guiding it through the more experience group of boys’ out with a 64-56 win. The boys snow. Bindings can range anywhere this season with seven seniors had lazy mistakes with eighteen from forty to three hundred dollars. suiting up. As one of the seniors, turn overs. Devin Fox, a senior, Brands of bindings include Union, Jay Rainer says his number one sprained his ankle in the secFlow, and Salomon. “Burton bindings goal this season is to make it to ond quarter and did not return are my personal favorite,” said Walker playoffs. He also stated, “Fruita to the game. Jay Rainer led the Brown, freshman. and Grand Junction High School team with 25 points, and DesAlthough they are not necessary and are probably our biggest compe- try Smith, another senior, had a many people decline to wear them, tition this year.” career high with 17 points. The helmets protect people’s heads from On Friday and Saturday the M-CHS boys record is now 7-2. serious in- 2nd and 3rd of December, the Montezuma-Cortez High juries like boys’ basketball held a tourna- School boys’ basketball has had concussions ment here at M-CHS. The boys a great start for the season. The or worse. did an outstanding job against boys’ passion for basketball and Helmets can all three of their opponents. the confidence level has had a cost anyThe boys started the tourna- positive influence on them. They where from ment beating Shiprock NM 99 to know anything can happen at a twenty dol- 35. After the first win the boys’ given point in time; therefore lars to a cou- confidence grew in themselves they have to take it one game at ple hundred and as a team. During the sec- a time and give it their all. for fancier, ond game they came out with professional models. A Senior Destry Smith goes up for a lay-up against Bayfield while his team helmet is a mates Alex Lopez (15) and Jay Rainer (14) watch him good investment for a beginner, who will most likely be falling down a lot. Just getting somewhere to ski or snowboard can also be expensive; it can cost anywhere from thirty dollars to over a thousand. One of the ski and snowboarding resorts near Cortez is Telluride Ski Resort, which is a favorite of many students and staff. Telluride passes can vary from twenty five dollars for a toddler and one thousandnine hundred- twenty five, for a regular season pass. Although there are risks and costs that should be carefully considered, snowboarding can be a very fun and enjoyable winter activity that could keep one entertained for a lifetime. Photographer, Thomas McDonell

MCHS has racism problems? Kids at State



Continued from page 1

Levi Downing, Staff Reporter

Is racism a problem in our school? This is a touchy subject, but it's one that ought to be addressed. “Sometimes there is racism in the school, sometimes on the internet, so yes I believe there is racism in our school,” said Mr. Robinson, M-CHS Vice Principal. Racism doesn’t just affect students; it affects teachers in several ways also. It can be hard for a student to learn and pay attention in class. Teachers find it even harder to teach their classes. Racism can affect a student’s performance in school in many different ways. It can cause a student to become very distracted in their classes. Shayne McCaw said, “The best way to deal with racism is to tell someone.” If there is a case of racism that you feel the need to tell someone about, you can call

Panther Press

haven't been any reported cases like that in M-CHS yet. Teachers have different problems when racism is happening in our school: it is their responsibility to find a way to stop racism if it happens in their classes. Some teachers find it hard to motivate students that are being affected by racism. Ms. Harriman has her own unique way to deal with racism. “I tell my students that we are of the same race… the HUMAN RACE… We just celebrate different cultural backgrounds.” It is very important for every teacher to have a way to stop racism if it is happening in their classrooms. There seems to be some racism in our school, but the information gathered from the members of M-CHS indicates that there isn’t

Graffiti in bathroom at M-CHS. Photo taken by Thomas Mcdonell Safe2Tell (1-877-542-SAFE). enough to be a major problem. Racist acts can range from simple To deal with the racism that is here, name calling to physical violence. the school has a "No tolerance" Sheldon Johnson, a sophmore at M- policy for racism. This includes CHS, said “I’m not really bothered clothing, drawings, symbols and/ by it, but if it keeps on continuing or statements that intimidate other then it’s going to become a prob- students because of their race. Belem.” Racism can make students cause of our school's policy about feel worthless until they won’t want racism and because the dedication do anything in their classes. There of our teachers to end the problem, are a few extreme cases in the U.S. students shouldn't have too much to where a student doesn’t even want worry about on the subject of racto go to school because they fear ism. for their safety. But thankfully there

In accoradance with the department’s system, students had to earn ten points to become inducted. The secretary is responsible for keeping track of the points. Points are gained by the involvement of shows, different events offers different point amounts; for example, anyone involved with the musical have received eight points. Thespians that attended were Sonny Stone, Mariah Kingery, Austan Koller, Rachel Faught, Cheyenne Baber, Cami Lange, Lacey Lukas, Lecil James, and Joshua Horneff. After the eight hour trip by car, ten hour trip by bus, the thespians offloaded at the Grand Hyatt Hotel near the 16th Street Mall in Denver. Opening ceremonies for the conference took place at 8:00, and thespians from all over Colorado crowded around the theatre doors at the Wells Fargo Convention Center. Once the doors opened a rush of theater kids hustled to find their seats. Sonny Stone, President of the theatre department, said “Opening ceremonies are always a blast; there is so much positive and exciting energy in the air. All of us can hardly wait to walk into that theatre and experience what it really means to be a Thespian.” The ceremonies commenced with the viewing of the winner of the film competition. This is a short film, five minutes on average, which was written, edited, and directed by a student. The opening ceremonies ended with a performance from a selected school. This year Poudre High school brought Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, and the thespians also viewed the musical West Side Story performed by the Denver School of the Arts. Other competitions included musical duets, dramatic duets, comedic duets, musical solo, dramatic monologue, comedic monologues, and pantomiming. There was a technical aspect of the competitions as well. They hosted what is known as the “Techy Olympics”. This was a race that included many different parts of back stage work like lights, set, and costumes. There were also individual competitions including, set design, costumes design, light design, and sound design. Scholarships were competed for privately. They have to be registered for promptly because slots fill up fast. Students auditioned in front

of judges but unlike all the other competitions, there were no other students in the room. This year there was one thespian competing. Lecil James, a sophomore at SWOS who works with M-CHS’s Theatre Department, competed in costume design. There were countless workshops offered to thespians at the convention. Professors, actors, technicians, stage managers, and many other professionals from different parts of performing arts came to teach a class. Some of the workshops offered this year included perfecting accents, extreme stage make-up, and stage combat. The workshops are broken into sections, each a little more than an hour long. Friday had five workshop sessions, which started at 8:30 AM and went to 5:45 PM. This was also the time that students competed in their individual events. Colleges from all over came to the Convention Center and set up booths much like M-CHS College Fair. This also provided students with information specific to the theatre department of schools. “With a creative venture like the performing arts, it’s important to see what other people are doing to improve the quality of our own program,” Mr. Sandner, the head teacher of our drama department stated. State conference is important because it gave the thespians an opportunity to advance their knowledge of the performing arts as well as what it is like to compete, according to Josh Horneff, “being able to meet so many like-minded people who care for the arts and have the opportunity to hone my skills was a unique experience.” It was also beneficial to our community because the thespians were able to bring back new techniques and improve their shows.

10Panther Press 2011



Staying safe in the Student Parking Lot and on the road

Matthew Warren, Staff Reporter At M-CHS, student drivers know how chaotic it can be getting out of the parking lot during lunch and after school. This can prove even more treacherous in the winter months with slick and icy roads. There are many different safety tips for driving in the student parking lot and on the road. These tips can be very helpful in staying safe, whether in the student parking lot or on the road. There are many reasons why we have a student parking lot here at the M-CHS. “A reason why we have a student parking lot is so that students have a place to park,” said Sequoyah Treadwell, a junior at MCHS. It also lets the students have some free room to hang out with each other; after school students can be found lingering around cars, talking to their peers. The other reason why we have a student parking lot is that many students at M-CHS drive during their high school career and need a place to park. However the student parking lot can be a hectic place to park; in the past, there have been many accidents. “Someone hit hit my car one day, and I have no clue who did it. It pisses me off because people aren’t responsible enough to confess that they did it,” Ashley Romine, sophomore, said. There are many different safety tips for driving and also for parking. To some students driving is a privilege but, others just take advantage of the opportunity.People who drive should never tailgate. Tailgating is when a driver is right behind someone

else who is driving and doesn’t have the time to react with the other cars that are on the road or in the student parking lot. Many people in the student parking lot speed out in order to be first in line at lunch. They also speed out at the end of school because many people just want to get home while others have to race to get ready for work. “When it is snowing people should have their head lights on a low beam so they can see the road,” stated Treadwell, highlighting an important safety tip for winter driving. During the winter time of the year it is crucial for students and faculty to be very careful when driving on the roads or in the student parking lot. People who drive should be cautious and try not to hit any patches of ice. When people hit ice it they can slide, making it extremely easy to get into accidents and also get hurt. Another mistake that young drivers make is jerking the steering wheel or slamming on the brakes, which will almost certainly intitate a slide on a slick road. People who drive in the winter months should consider slowing down so that they don’t hurt themselves and others. Even though there are many different safety tips, these are the most important for driving. Driving slower is a way for people to be safe on the roads and in the parking lot. The next time you feel like peeling out of the parking lot, remember your safety and others.

Changing the bell schedule...again Continued from Page 1 The high school does not have enough students for the number of courses offered. This was obvious at the start of the 20112012 school year when scheduling was a nightmare for both students and counselors. “I like the idea of a seven period day. We are trying to get the best schedule we can for students,” said Dave Robinson, MCHS Vice Principal. The teachers on leadership team are all going to be giving input on the different options. They will consult with one another to come to a conclusion that everyone will be happy with. The majority of M-CHS students want the school schedule to stay the same Jasmyn Brendle, M-CHS sophomore, said “It is frustrating adjusting to a new schedule because you finally get used to one schedule and then they change it so you have to get used to another one.” Sandora Watts, a senior, added “Well it doesn’t really affect

me because I’m a senior, but if I wasn’t, I would be really upset if they changed it because I’m comfortable with the schedule I have now.” Research shows the advantages for the seven period days far outweigh the block or split block according to Cindy Ryan, M-CHS Career Counselor. Some of these advantages include teachers being able to keep the attention of their students, more time for hands-on learning, and smaller classes so teachers have time to work one on one with students. However, according to a faculty member who wished to remain anonymous, in a recent vote among the staff, 75% of staff members voted for the 4x4 block that the school used to have, 15% wanted the seven period day, and 10% desired the split block. Mr. Shepherd will allegedly be recommending the the 4x4 block to Doctor Houser and the school board.

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Panther Press

Music Reviews



Thomas McDonell, Photgrapher/Business Manager

Track listing:

City Lights:

We Came as Romans: 1. Mis//Understanding 2. Everything As Planned 3. What I Wished I Never Had 4. Cast The First Stone 5. The Way That We Have Been 6. A War Inside 7. Stay Inspired 8. Just Keep Breathing 9. Views That Never Cease, To Keep Me From Myself 10. What My Heart Healed 11. I Can’t Make Your Decisions For You 12. Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be

1. Intro 2. Hang Out 3. Please Let Me Know 4. Where You’ve Been 5, Trophy Room 6. My Entire Life 7. Just in Case 8. Lawnmower

We Came as Romans “Understanding What We’ve Grown to Be”

Progression is the key to success in the music industry: you have to improve enough musically that you’re not doing the same things over and over, but stay true enough to your sound that your fans still have interest. At the same time, making music that makes you happy is what keeps the artists interested, and that is exactly what We Came As Romans does with “Understanding What W e ’ v e G r o w n to Be”. They’ve progressed a lot musically, combining technical but not overpowering drumming with very melodic yet heavy guitars, along with a great blend of screaming and singing that is much more together and more listenable than their first album, “To Plant a Seed”. Another thing We Came as Romans has done is progress lyrically. In “To Plant a Seed”, most of the lyrics were about brotherhood and friendship and were almost too positive to be real, whereas in “Understanding What We’ve Grown to Be” the lyrics are still positive, but in more of an optimistic way and are just much more real: dealing with everyday struggles with yourself and in life, but always pushing on and getting through it. We Came as Romans's “Understanding What We’ve Grown to Be” is most definitely a must-hear album and one of the best heavy albums of the year that does not disappoint at all in any aspect. Tracks To Download: What I Wished I Never Had & Stay Inspired

9. I Made A Song on Garage Band and All I Got Was 10. A Lousy Record Deal (Feat. Caleb Shomo Of Attack Attack!) 11. What it Takes 12. Lawnmower (Acoustic)

City Lights

“In It to Win It”

Here in Cortez we don’t get a whole lot of good entertainment as far as concerts or shows go, so when touring bands Kid Liberty and City Lights came through this past summer, it was kind of a big deal. At the time, City Lights was just touring on their debut EP "Rock Like a Party Star", but since then they have entered the studio and recorded their first full length album “In It to Win It”, and it turned out to be a really solid album. “In It to Win It” is definitely a pop-punk album through and through, but you can find very heavy parts, and a couple songs have very metalcoreesque breakdowns that will get your blood pumping. “In It to Win It” is also filled some nice little guitar riffs and solid drumming, but the biggest thing it has is very good singing and extremely catchy lyrics that will have you humming their songs in no time. City Lights also does a good job of keeping it real and speaking their minds lyrically, but at the same time being positive and pushing their fans to go after their dreams. City Lights's “In It to Win It” is a very impressive album that definitely deserves to be listened to and could lift them to new heights. Tracks To Download: Hang Out & Lawnmower

12Panther Press 2011 december

December 2011 Issue  

Panther Press December 2011 Issue

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