Page 1

odyssey Summer Creek High School

14000 Weckford Blvd., Houston, TX 77044 Issue 02, Vol. 5 s October 2013

With veteran team, coach Brian Ford looks to lead No. 4 Bulldogs to State, page 8-9.


Last chance nears to bid on items online in “The 25 Drive” auction

More than 100 people from the community will be in the cafeteria to honor Astros legend Jose Cruz and Dynamo star Brian Ching in a fundraising dinner organized by the journalism department on Saturday, Oct. 5. No tickets will be sold at the door, but people can still bid on items including autographed footballs by Cowboys great Charles Haley and Texans’ stars J.J. Watt, Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub. Other opportunities include golf outings for four, desserts from various bakeries and two club level Cowboys vs. Redskins tickets for the Oct. 13 game in Dallas. The online bidding will close at 7 p.m. tomorrow night. Prizes will be mailed or available for pick-up by Monday morning. The auction can be found at:

Final performances this weekend for “It Runs in the Family”

The theater department will be putting on its production, “It Runs in the Family,” tonight and tomorrow night at 7p.m. The play is a comedy that takes place in a hospital atmosphere. The cast has had its quickest turnaround production with auditions after the first day of school. “It’s been really hard on the actors,” Angela Sanson, theater teacher said. “They have struggled to memorize their lines and have had to work really hard.” The decision to fit in this play so early came from the demand of the next play, “A Christmas Carol,” which Sanson said is going to be “huge.” “A Christmas Carol” will be performed during the first week of December. The cast has already been named, and they will begin rehearsals as soon as “It Runs in the Family” is completed this weekend. The cast list for “It Runs in the Family” includes: Dr. David Mortimore - Rolly Rena, ‘14 Dr. Mike Connolly - Spencer Jones, ‘14 Dr. Hubert Bonney - Kyle Adams, ‘14 Matron - Tatyana Ramirez, ‘14 Sir Willoughby Drake - Justin Murphy, ‘15 Jane Tate - Peyton Donnell, ‘14 Rosemary Mortimore - Memona Niazi, ‘14 Leslie - Pike Stewart, ‘15 Sister - Denisse Roman, ‘15 Police Seargent - Nakia Dolford, ‘15 Bill - Jake Brown, ‘16 Mother - London Glover, ‘15 Male alternate - Alex Carlson, ‘17 Female alternate - Joceline Wiggins, ‘16

Homecoming tickets still on sale

The homecoming dance will take place on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the SCHS Cafeteria. Tickets will be on sale in the cafeteria everyday during lunch until all of the tickets are sold. Tickets will sell for the final time at $25 today. The price increases to $30 Monday. The theme for this year is “Urban Lights.” “Think of an underground club in New York with skylines, glow-in-the-dark graffiti, black lights and neon colors,” Mariah Becerra, ‘14, Student Council secretary of state reports, said. “Our budget is almost double what it’s been in the past, so we’re bringing this year’s Homecoming to a whole new level.” Student Council officers and students in Julie Sahmel’s leadership classes have been hard at work preparing for the special night. They have spent multiple class periods painting away and planning out every detail. “I think this year just might be the best homecoming we’ve ever had,” Sahmel said.


October 2013

Library tweaks displays, book club to attract more readers

Book club members are reading books and also collaborating to write a book together during Wednesday meetings.

sean perry staff reporter

The library, led by Louise Lankau and Donna Smalley, is usually bustling with Photo by Mackenzie Harper students working on homework, finishNick Hermandez, ‘14, and Pedro Salinas, ‘15, visit the library during pre-calculus. Students spend their time at the library working ing school projects or hurriedly studying on homework or class projects. It’s open before and after school to allow students to use the available resources. before their test first period. Numerous students use the library to work; but reading is often neglected, both members of the book club have begun “It’s a good group of people, we’re all outside of school and in. With increasfriendly, and it introduces you to new working together on a creative writing ingly busy schedules, recreational readstyles of writing,” said book club member project where they are collectively writing slips through the cracks. ing a book. They’re collaborating with Gabrielle Matthews, The book club, each other along with several other high ‘15. “It’s an atmodubbed “Books & school students from around the country. sphere where reading Bites” was created to “Students are allowed to The fantasy book, still a work in progress, is encouraged instead combat this loss of bring whatever they’re of forced, which is a combines elements of both a comic book interest. and a novel. change.” “Students are alreading and just talk about welcome “We’ve been working on it for months,” “Books & Bites” origlowed to bring that particular book. We Matthews said. “I’m really excited about inally assigned books whatever they’re it.” for members to read reading and just talk have food here; we start While they have grown considerably each month but is now about that particuconversations on the charthis year, “Books & Bites” is always lookmuch more studentlar book,” Smalley ing for new members. Members of the said. “We have food acters, plot, elements of the run. “Students can meet new people, they club meet and decide here; we start constory and just make connec- what they all want to can learn about different books that they versations on the might want to read, and it’s a way to get do that week. characters, plot, eltions with each other..” to get to know others,” said Smalley, “It’s “You can learn a ements of the story just another way for students to find their whole bunch of things and just make con-librarian Donna Smalley, niche at school.” driven by the fact that nections with each on “Books & Bites” book club “Books & Bites” meets every other you want to learn other.” Wednesday in the library from 3 to 3:45. these things,” said “Books & Bites” “Reading really helps you learn, and Smalley. “The book was started last year it’s also a fabulous pastime,” said Lankau. club is really what the students want to to encourage reading as a hobby among “People who like to read are never bored.” make it, and that’s the important thing as students. The book club first began with far as I’m concerned.” very few members but has expanded this Since the beginning of the school year, year to about 10 students.

Humble ISD makes adjustments to improve school safety Humble ISD builds the Emergency Operations Center for students’ safety. Yazmin Lopez Staff Reporter

After events that have occurred in schools such as the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and the stabbing in Spring High School, principal Thyrun Hurst has worked to advance safety in school. “I want more visibility from the faculty and staff,” Hurst said “We are reviewing our safety plans, also questioning anybody without an ID and make sure all the exterior doors are locked and not open.” Humble ISD’s Emergency Operations Center was designed with the security

in mind. It allows police officers and trict’s transportation building and the emergency management officials to bus barn. “The center is a police dework together to meet the partment building,” Jones safety and security needs of said. “We were separated schools. last year but we started to “We need to be more communicate more with aware,” officer Quincy them.” Jones said. “All schools are In case of any emermore strict of who enters gency, Hurst wants the facthe building without an ulty and student body to be ID. There’s more visibility - Thyrun Hurst, principal prepared. around the school -- more “Teachers and students patrol, more officers on should take the drills serishifts and more officers covously,” he said “Also the act ering after school activities.” The Emergency Operation Center of having more frequent drills makes us building opened April 2013 and is lo- prepare.” cated on Wilson Road behind the dis-

“I want more visibility from the faculty.”


Social Action students look inward to eventually reach others

New class on campus has students excited about projects that will impact others in the community. Connor Black staff reporter

Faculty member Lori Ford stumbled upon a pot of gold when she heard about the student-interactive “Finding Heroes” class last school year. Atascocita’s Kap McWhorter developed the class in which students would not only learn about social issues but actually get to make their own organization to help fund relief programs dear to their hearts. Ford liked the idea and decided to develop a version of the class called “Social Action,” an elective in the social studies department. “[It’s] challenging students to look past the external things which they define themselves [by] and realizing they have many things to offer the world,” Ford said. This semester is focused on a study of social issues as well as simply getting to know each other, something that is not only important to Ford but also the students. Another goal for Ford is to change their perspective on volunteering. “[We need to be] learning to view that we

Photo by Jordan Mobley

Analyzing a video they watched in class, Social Action teacher Lori Ford offers up instructions to her students Taylor Thomas, ‘15, Sydney Thompson, ‘15, Tamara Minix, ‘14, Queendeje Clay, ‘14, and Scott Myron, ‘14.

are not the heroes and that the real heroes are the ones having to live in the situation.” Ford said. Ford is no stranger when it comes to volunteering and relief programs. She is the Key Club co-sponsor and routinely orga-

nizes local events which students actively volunteer in. When asked about inspiration, Ford said “Mother Teresa and Katie Davis, basically the present day Mother Teresa.” Davis is the founder of Amazima Minis-

tries, which is based out of Tennessee and helps the poor and orphaned in Uganda. Among the lucky 16 to be involved in Ford’s class is Queendeje Clay, ‘14. “[We are] studying each other’s stories,” said Clay. [This] gains a safety net with us... It’ll make us closer.” Another student, Joseph Guy, ‘14, seemed just as positive about the class. “It’s had a big impact so far, even though it’s just the third week of school,” said Guy. “Mrs. Ford said you can’t appreciate someone else’s story until you appreciate yours.” At the beginning of the second semester, Ford plans a field trip for the class to Dallas to be homeless for a weekend. “[The purpose of the trip will be to] become aware of the social issues that are facing their generation,” according to Ford. “It will be very supervised” said Ford. It’ll also require the approval of the parent/guardian of the student along with a small fee. After their temporary homelessness, students will get an opportunity to design their own relief program-- anything they desire. Ford stated she “hope they see the long term benefits of their work.” “After this class, with the experiences that we are going through, maybe we will have a different perspective,” Clay said.

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Coureau finds place in sports management Senior David Coureau shows his love for sports in a different way. Gerson Vilchis Staff reporter

Since his youth, David Coureau, ‘14, has always been involved in sports. From playing baseball to becoming the basketball manager, he has an unprecedented passion that drives him to be involved. “He’s a child who loves sports, and he doesn’t see his disability as a hindrance,” David’s mom Mary Coureau said. “He’s played baseball, basketball and golf because he loves playing.” Spina bifida is a birth defect, where the vertebrae is left infused and open at birth. This causes spinal fluid to drain out and sometimes leads to complications regarding the ability to walk. This was the case with David, as he was diagnosed with the disability before his birth. However, instead of allowing it to hinder his life, he chose to take a different route and become widely active in many activities. “David is part of us now,” boys basketball coach Ricky Mourning said. “I’m big on the family part, and he’s part of our family. Everyone on the team knows that he is a part of us.” Mourning heard about David before he

Photo by Mackenzie Harper

David Coureau, ‘14, monitors practice by controlling the scoreboard, gathering equipment and several other tasks that make him an essential part of the team. He has been a manager since his freshman year, developing close bonds with many teammates.

even reached high school. When David was still at AMS, Mourning called and had it arranged to have him as their new

manager. Throughout practices he helps keep the time, run the scoreboard, and set up the equipment. Acting as an assistant

coach, he has been supporting the team since his freshman year. “This year it’ll hurt when he leaves our practices because Dave knows how to get it going, he’s been here for four years,” Coach Mourning said. As a senior David will no longer be present next year and will be forced to leave his position as manager. The basketball team will then lose a person that can run practice smoothly, efficiently and flawlessly. As a four year manager, his contribution to the team was massive; and the love he put into the team will never be forgotten. “I’m going to community college so afterwards I can go to Tulane, LSU, or southern Texas - any big-name schools,” David said. “I’m debating between counseling and culinary arts because I love to be around people.” After high school his plans are still up in the air; however, he is confident he will succeed and never quit on anything. He is certain that it will involve being around people since he is so friendly and outgoing. Having overcome difficulties and struggles in life, David continues to be a role model for any and all people around him. “You should never cease to try,” Mary said. “Try if it’s something you’re interested in. That’s the heart and soul of David Coureau.”

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Victoria Carr, ‘16, showcases her feature in Seventeen Magazine’s September nail art issue. Carr’s nail art has been a source of publicity across social media and magazines alike.

1 2604 147 manicures



on Twitter and Instagram


Story and photo by Jenna Duvall

umbling through the mail, Victoria Carr, ‘16, grabbed the shrink-wrapped Seventeen magazine from the pile of envelopes. On top of the magazine was a monthly beauty pull out, and Carr’s nail art featured on page 3. Since her start in nail art 18 months ago, Carr has completed 147 different manicures. Her hobby started with an idea found on Pinterest, a primary paint splatter manicure. Soon after, cupcake inspired art and a galaxy manicure would follow, the start of many more to come. “I started with really easy stuff and looked at tutorials I found on YouTube and Pinterest,” Carr said. “I think my art has improved a lot with practice. I have learned so much since then.” Carr begins all of her manicures with a base coat to prime the nails and uses a variety of tools. For precision, she cuts down paint and makeup brushes to the width she needs. Since beginning, she has collected 150 bottles of nail polish from “Fairy Dust” to “Clowning Around.” “We have contributed to Tory’s nail art collection,” mom Sabrina Carr said. “She worked all summer though and mostly buys all of her own supplies now. We bought her a lamp, nail brushes, gems, and lots of nail polish and acetone.” Carr’s use of social media has brought her recognition in the nail art community. Her nail art Instagram account, @VJCnails, has helped her connect with other girls and women around the world also doing nail art. Her Twitter account and blog provided new opportunities for publicity when Seventeen Magazine began the hashtag “Manicure Monday.” On multiple occasions, her manicure was retweeted by Seventeen Magazine’s account. “I’ve been featured on Seventeen’s Twitter many times,” Carr said. “I was featured on Seventeen’s website this summer. I have been included in several of Grazia Daily’s, a UK based magazine Manicure Monday web features. Of course my biggest feature was in Seventeen’s print issue.” Carr tweeted a picture of a pink manicure with the handle for Seventeen magazine and received a direct message back asking if she could be featured in the September issue’s “mini mani mag.” “Tory has been featured on People Style Watch online,” dad Frank Carr said. “She won second place in a PacSun Kendall and Kylie Jenner contest. She received a shout out in the nail section of the September issue of Seventeen magazine. She was interviewed for the Observer. I think having so much publicity has challenged her to make her designs more complicated.” Carr’s nail art will continue to be a hobby into the future, but she does not plan to make a career out of nail design. “I do believe she has a future in nail art,” Sabrina said. “However, I am not sure how that coincides with her goal to attend Harvard, but she always finds a way to do it all.”

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october 2013



Three teens explore new territory away from home Meet the foreign exchange students this year: Dima Helou, Tasneem Kibria Orpa and Songguo Zeng. The three girls give insight to their favorite things and thoughts about coming to America. Dima Helou, Palestine Tasneem Kibria Orpa, Bangladesh Songguo Zeng, China Born: August 21 Favorite hobby: Dancing Palestinian folklore dance Favorite subject: World history Favorite movie: Romantic, horror, and mystery Favorite thing about school: “There is a variety of everything from subjects to sports to clubs.” How she felt about coming here: “I was so happy, and I couldn’t wait. I was a little scared but my excitement was way stronger.” Major differences: School, food, transportation,and the city What she misses most about home: Hanging out with friends, family, going to dance practices, and the food What they hope to gain: Leadership skills, knowledge of cultures, a lot of friends, and a straight A report card. Most memorable moment so far: “I had a sleepover with Tunisian, Mexican, Egyptian and Bengali girls.” Most looking forward to: Great relationships and being active in school activities. How she has changed: More open minded and starting to accept different point of views What she has learned: Stop expecting things and just let your life go down its own path What her host family is like: “The adjustment to my family was really easy since my mom is really nice and she is teaching me how to cook.”

Born: In capitol of Bangladesh, Dhaka Favorite hobbies: Singing, drawing henna designs, and photography Favorite subject: Biology and math Favorite movies: Comedy, drama, and romantic Favorite thing about school: “School is fun and I really like the teachers, but I don’t like the behavior of some students.” How she felt about coming here: “Honestly coming here was like a dream, I couldn’t believe I got such a huge chance.” How the adjustment has been: “There is a huge difference between USA and Bangladesh.” Major differences: Roads, houses, transportation system, and school What she misses most about home: Friends and family What she hopes to gain: An experience that would be different and valuable Most memorable moment so far: “I saw the mission control room for the journey to Mars in 2030.” Most looking forward to: See and experience a new culture How she has changed: “I think my English has improved.” What she has learned: “I don’t know what I will learn from this experience, I will let the time tell me.” Involved in back home: Basketball and table tennis

Born: May 29 Favorite hobby: Watching movies Favorite subject: Art Favorite movie: Star Trek Favorite thing about school: School ends much earlier than in China What she felt about coming here: “I was really excited but nervous because I didn’t know what to expect from here.” How the adjustment has been: “I’m better than I was the first week but I’m slowly getting used to it.” Major differences: The foods during lunch and the classes What she misses most about home: Language, the food, and family What I hope to gain: The experience of another country culture Most memorable moment so far: “Probably the pep rally, it was the first time I saw anything like that.” Most looking forward to: The end of the semester How she has changed: More responsible What she has learned: A new language and the different ways people interact with each other. What her host family is like: ”They are really kind. There are two kids who are really cute, and spending time with family is really important to them.”

New math teacher happy to make move sean perry Staff Reporter

The new school year has brought many changes along with it, including more than 50 new teachers. One of those additions is Brian McLemore, a calculus and Algebra II teacher. A Lamar University graduate, McLemore has been an educator for 12 years. Although he went to school to become an accountant, McLemore switched over to teaching to help others and make a difference. He said he could not be happier with his decision. “The most rewarding thing is when the light bulb goes off for a student and a new concept is learned,” McLemore said. Although he has since gotten used to life at a new school, McLemore began the year living in Beaumont and driving more than an hour to and from school every day. The commute prevented him from being able to do things such as stay late to work or tutor. “It affected my ability to relax more,” McLemore said. “By the time you get where you are going, it’s time to eat, sleep, and prepare to do it all over again. I think things will calm down once I’m settled in Humble.” McLemore will move into a new apartment in Humble this month, but he has yet to find a permanent place with his family. McLemore changed schools in order for him and his wife to move closer to both sides of the family. In Beaumont, he worked at Central Magnet High School for four years. “There were a lot of challenges to overcome at my old school


october 2013

with many at-risk students,” said McLemore. “Summer Creek is a nice change.” Originally from Longview, Texas, McLemore moved to Beaumont to attend college but never intended to stay. However, he ended up living there 20 years. “It was a nice place to live, but I’ve been ready to leave for a long time,” said McLemore. “I don’t think I’ll miss it.” McLemore is known by his students for his particularly relaxed and calm demeanor, one that creates “a really soothing environment that makes going to algebra not so scary” said Patience Ojionuka, ‘16. McLemore makes it a point in his classes to ensure that his students are not intimidated by him or the subject. Making sure that students aren’t afraid to ask questions is very important to McLemore. “Mr. McLemore is always really understanding with students, and he never makes us feel dumb or talks down to us when we have questions,” said algebra student Michelle Ngyuen, ‘16. “He’s just really chill.” Although McLemore has had to make many adjustments and changes since moving, he doesn’t regret any of it. “I love everything about Summer Creek,” said McLemore. “It’s a place where everyone from the students, staff and parents are very nice. There’s no bad part to it that I have experienced.”

Photo by Mackenzie Harper

Calculus and Algebra II teacher Brian McLemore goes over an assignment with students. For the entire first month of school, he drove an hour each way to school from his home in Beaumont.


Brittain brings overseas experiences to classroom michelle garcia Staff Reporter

Photo by Mackenzie Harper

Brittain discusses what evidence was found at the OJ Simpson trial with her Forensic Science class. Prior to the discussion, Brittain showed her class the documentary of the OJ Simpson trial. In Forensic Science, the classes are studying how to sketch crime scenes and analyze evidence.

Teresa Brittain has only moved from one classroom to another since the school opened in 2009. It wasn’t long ago she was traveling much further to teach and live. “I really wanted to go overseas and explore,” said Teresa Brittain. Brittain lived in the Netherlands, Singapore, Dubai and Texas. Enron, which is the company her husband worked with, took Brittain, her husband and her two daughters Jennifer and Chelsea, who were 6 and 4 years old at the time, overseas. “At first my daughters were very resentful,” Brittain said. “They had to leave behind friends and experience a different culture and language.” When in Singapore, Brittain taught at the Canadian International School teaching students English. She also taught fourth grade at the International School in Dubai. According to Brittain, teach-

ing overseas brought a new way to think about education and a new way to teach. She also got to meet kids from all over the world but did notice some differences. “It is very different, more attention is paid to students and their understanding rather than taking test and quizzes,” Brittain said. “The students really valued their education, they knew not everyone was going to get what they got. There were fewer discipline issues.” Along with the region, the students have differences as well. “Students that were in school had a goal for after school and weren’t in school just to be there, they were planning their lives,” Brittain said. “Students were eager to learn.” While teaching anatomy and physiology, students see her as a helpful teacher who can really help them with their future. “I believe her education on educating children went to a higher level due to teaching overseas,” Tiye Hazelton, ‘14, said. “She helps our

future by using her knowledge to make it easier for us to learn and actually remember the material taught in her class.” According to Brittain, moving overseas was a bit of a culture shock considering she grew up in Texas. “It’s just little things,” Brittain said. “Like you couldn’t point your finger in some countries. It was really hard. We had to be extra careful.” Sharing her experience helped change her teaching style. “She’s a good teacher,” Aleesia Wilks, ‘14, said. “She has taught me that it’s not always about your grade but your understanding of the material which I never really thought about before being in her class.” Brittain also encourages students to pursue going overseas to teach. “Do it!” Brittain said. “It’s a phenomenal experience. You will grow and learn and experience things you can’t even imagine. There’s education and travel, the best of both worlds.”

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August 2013



One of state’s best programs led by quiet leader Brian Ford helps lead football team to success while taking care of what matters to him at home.

2013-2014 Results

Madison Terrier Co-Editor-In-Chief

Watching coach Brian Ford pace the surgery waiting room, Student Council sponsor Julie Sahmel couldn’t help but notice that he handled his wife and family with the same dignity and perseverance as the boys on the football team. “He was hugging and thanking people for coming, he was the same person, just fighting a different fight,” said Sahmel, who sat in the waiting room as her friend and Brian Ford’s wife underwent a double mastectomy in March 2012. A year after completing chemotherapy, Lori and Brian Ford are focused on a much different goal this fall: winning the 4-A State Championship. After ending last season with a record of 11-1 in the second round of playoffs, Ford and 14 returning starters began the season ranked No. 7 in the state and have quickly climbed to No. 4. “I think what we did last year laid a foundation for a successful season,” said Brian Ford, who is the head football coach and campus athletic coordinator. “We want to take it a few steps further this year and make it to the State finals.” Brian Ford worked as the offensive coordinator for North Shore High School for nine years where he helped the team win the 5A State Championship in 2003. It was that same year his wife was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. For the next nine years, the former high school sweethearts would deal on and off with cancer, surgeries, and treatments. Away from home, Brian Ford built a championship contender in his first job as a head coach. “I am so very proud of him,” Lori Ford said. “Most of the time people wouldn’t know that he is carrying what he is carrying. He does what he needs to do. He is very strong, a quiet strong.” The philosophy Brian Ford brought to the program was hard work and dedication. “He always says ‘Good football is good football and will work anywhere.’ But you have to get buy-in,” Lori Ford said. “He had to teach them that when you fall down you have to get back up, to leave everything on the field; and how to be men, getting them to believe in themselves.” When Trey Kraemer opened Summer Creek five years ago as principal, he made sure both Fords were on his staff. Having worked with Brian Ford at North Shore, Kraemer knew that Ford’s “character and integrity as a leader” were ones he wanted


October 2013

SCHS v. South Houston


SCHS v. Port Neches-Groves


SCHS v. New Caney


SCHS v. Crosby Upcoming Games: SCHS v. King SCHS v. Kingwood Park SCHS v. Humble SCHS v. Porter SCHS v. Barbers Hill SCHS v. Dayton

63-49 Tonight 10/11 10/18 10/24 11/01 11/08

Past Records

Photo by Meredith Mann

Coach Brian Ford and wife Lori Ford embrace after the team’s loss to Georgetown in the second round of the playoffs last November. Lori Ford underwent chemotherapy during the entire 2012 football season from June to December. As her husband helped lead his team to a district title and an undefeated season, he also helped her at home as she dealt with the side effects of her medication.

at the helm of Summer Creek’s athletic program. “The staff becomes family; and when there are family issues, they take care of each other. Coach Ford is a husband first and coach second,” Kraemer said. “Mrs. Ford is a very driven lady who has an incredible passion for life, and through her faith she has been an example to others. It has not been an easy journey, but they make a great team.” Brian Ford said it was tough trying to juggle football season and his wife’s treatments during the 2011 football season. Some nights he would come home and basically rock his wife to sleep during her harshest chemo. “He was the one that figured out I had gotten my medications mixed up one night,” Lori Ford said. “I was in such a bad place and couldn’t figure it out. [He just did] whatever it took to take care of me.” Assistant coach and U.S. history teacher Christopher Roberts said Brian Ford carried on as if everything was “business as usual” during Lori Ford’s treatments. “Mrs. Ford is such a strong incredible person, as well, and allowed him to focus on his stuff,” Roberts said. “I know it was tough on them, but you never saw it from

the looks on their faces. They are such high character people.” Linebacker Dakota Allen, ‘14, was surprised that Brian Ford didn’t act any differently during the time of his wife’s treatments. “He did it because he loves his players,” Allen said. “I feel good about playing for Coach Ford, I wouldn’t want to play for anyone else.” Brian Ford’s schedule during football season includes weekdays plus Saturday and Sunday. Lori Ford said the long hours are a trade off for seeing him change students’ lives. She said she is most proud of her husband for his humbleness and dedication to the program. “I got a text a couple weeks ago from a friend saying ‘Hey, your husband’s on the 6 o’clock news,” Lori Ford said. “He doesn’t even tell me stuff like that, and I want to talk about it.” For Roberts, coming to coach for Brian Ford was “refreshing.” “I would work for him anywhere,” Roberts said. “He’s a great person and lots (of coaches) aren’t, when you find one that is, it’s a blessing. Even if we weren’t winning I’d still enjoy working with him, he’s a quality human being.”

2009: 6-4 (non-varsity) 2010: 3-7 (2-5 district) 2011: 9-2 (6-1 district) *co-district champs 2012: 11-1 (8-0 district) *district champs Lori Ford said the wins the team received last year were the payoff for their hard work. “Knowing that Georgetown went all the way lessened the blow,” Lori Ford said of the team’s loss in the playoffs. “Some of the best teams you meet up with are in the first and second rounds, and somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. It takes him (Brian Ford) about a week to transition from basically functioning 24/7 with caffeine running through his veins to saying ‘ok let’s go back to work with the off-season.” This year, the team will have to face down the challenges of living up to their ranking, continuing their district championship title, and making their way through the playoffs to face their ultimate goal at the state finals. “I am very proud of Brian,” Kraemer said. “I can’t imagine being in his shoes. Life is not fair, but when you have the right attitude, you will prevail. I would love to see Summer Creek win a state championship in football. There was a plan from day one to get to this point; and I hope he, his staff, his players and the Summer Creek community enjoy the ride.”

ll feature

2013-2014 Player statistics Rushing Leaders:

Quarterback Stats:

DeUnte Chapman 326 rushing yards on 28 carries, 7 TDs Jordan Braden 271 rushing yards on 36 carries, 6 TDs David Calhoun 160 rushing yards on 21 carries, 2 TDs

Aaron Sharp s Completed 53-of-84 passes (63.1%) s 855 passing yards s 12 TDs thrown s 0 interceptions thrown s Quarterback rating of 195.7

Receiving Leaders: AJ Jeffery 21 catches for 354 yards, 4 TDs Torrey Johnson 8 catches for 153 yards, 2 TDs Kameron Wheeler 6 catches for 111 yards, 1 TDs

Defensive Leaders:

Dakota Allen 33.5 tackles (32 solo), 5 tackles for loss Javion Honora 21 tackles (18 solo), 8 tackles for loss Gairy Graves 2 interceptions

14 returning starters work to make senior season special After a loss in the second round of the 2012 playoffs and a final record of 11-1, 14 starters returned for the 2013 football season and their senior years. The team has jumped out to a 4-0 start and are ranked No. 4 in 4-A. Two returning starters, Aaron Sharp and Dakota Allen, have already committed to play in college at Kansas State and Texas Tech, respectively.

Harrison thompson

kameron Wheeler

Dakota Allen

Wallace Jackson

AJ Bailey

Position: Tight End Stand out teammate: “Dakota Allen, because not only is he a good vocal leader, but he leads by example on and off the field.” What you should know about him: “I like baseball more. I’ve been playing it longest, although I like both.”

Position: Linebacker Goals this season: “Personally, I want at least 100 tackles. As a team, I want to go to State.” Inspiration: “My dad. He was a really good athlete in football. He never pressures me, he just wants me to do my best.”

Position: Defensive End Goals: “I want to take my team to State. I want to prove that Summer Creek is here and ready to take on anything.” Hobbies:“I like to dance and listen to music. I also write poetry. It’s just something I do.”

Jordan Braden

Torrey Johnson

Jesse Reese

Position: Wide Receiver/ Running Back Inspiration: “My brother, because I grew up watching him play. He’s always there to give me pointers.” What he will remember the most: “My teammates. we’ve experienced a lot together.”

Position: Cornerback/ Receiver Describe your high school football career: “It’s been a roller coaster ride. We had a horrible first year, and we have improved. Everyone thought last year would be our best year, but this year will be the best.”

Position: Cornerback Goals for this season: “Personally, I’d like to get five interceptions and three touchdowns.” Hobbies:“I like to ride horses at Cold Springs, Texas, at Camden.” What you should know about him: “I want to be a brain surgeon.”

Darrion Everette

Cordarrell Davis

Position: Center Inspiration: “My grandfather. He expects me to work hard, he expects a lot from me.” What he will remember the most: “How we won even when people doubted us as a new school.”

Position: Linebacker Standout teammate: “Jordan (Braden), Aaron (Sharp), and Kameron (Wheeler), because I have been playing with them since I was 4.” What you should know about him: “I want to either study law or petroleum engineering.”

Position: Left Guard Favorite football player: “Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens. He retired but he knew how to bring the intensity to the field.” What he will remember the most: “My brother is on the offense line.”

Position: Defensive End Inspiration: “My mom because she kept pushing me and taking me to practices.” Hobbies:“I like to read.” Describe your high school football career: “It’s been great. It’s been a struggle getting in shape, but if you work hard you’ll get used to it.”

Javonte Howard

Position: Right Guard Inspiration: “Coach (Barry) Briner, because he pushed me to work harder even when I thought I had nothing left.” What he will remember the most: “Everytime I look down at that State ring, I’ll be reminded.”

Aaron Sharp Position: Quarterback Outside of school: “I watch ESPN to keep me updated. I sleep and play video games.” What you should know about him: “Outside of football I am a very relatable and laid-back person.”

Byron francis

Michael Peterson

Position: Defensive Back Inspiration: “My grandpa because he tells me to do what you want, do well at it and never quit on your goals.” What you should know about him: “I want to own a restaurant.”

Position: Right Tackle Stand out teammate: “Aaron Sharp is a great quarterback and it’s been an honor blocking for him.” What you should know about him: “Off the field I’m just as human as everyone else.

october 2013


arts & entertainment

Child stars continue to become negative influences Drake’s album album review

Former child stars are sending a negative message to the younger generations. Fans begin to look down on their past role models.

does not disappoint

victoria valentine staff reporter

Waking up early in the morning or staying up late at night to watch the lastest movies and TV shows is something every child has done. Seeing the commercials a few days before the big premiere, children made googly eyes at the celebrities who seemed to be the perfect role models. They memorized the theme songs to shows like Hannah Montana, The Amanda Show, Even Stevens, That’s So Raven and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Movies like High School Musical, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Twitches and The Cheetah Girls excited children to the extreme. “I used to love watching Full House. My favorite character had to be DJ because she was the oldest in her family like I am,” said Clarissa Zaragoza, ‘14. “Now she has three kids and I believe married to a hockey player. She’s a spokesperson for teens. She is definitely a positive influence.” Since the stars that children grew up with are no longer child stars, students may wonder what kind of role models they turned out to be or if they abandoned their innocent fans all together. The younger generation still looks up to celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan, Zac Efron and other former child stars. The celebrities mentioned all starred in Disney and Nickelodeon TV shows and movies in their early careers. Miley Cyrus, once the star of the hit TV show Hannah Montana, is now twerking on giant teddy bears

raven johnson staff reporter (Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/Landov/MCT)

Zac Efron arrives for the 82nd Academy Awards in 2010. Recent news reports said Efron has been admitted to rehab twice in the past year for issues with drugs.


Amanda Bynes has been in the news for reportedly struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. (Nancy Kaszerman/Zuma Press/MCT)

Miley Cyrus attends the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at The Barclay Center in New York City, NY, Sunday, Aug. 25. Cryus has developed a unique sense of fashion over the past couple of months.

half naked. Amanda Bynes, once the goofy and hilarious Nickelodeon sweetheart who was famous for her expression, “Amanda, please,” is now known for her abnormal behavior earlier in the year in which she set fire in a stranger’s driveway and her small dog was drenched in gasoline. Lindsay Lohan, who starred in children movies like The Parent Trap and Herbie Fully Loaded, now loads herself with drugs and alcohol and is an example of a typical party girl. And Zac Efron, who starred in all three High School Musical movies as Troy Bolton, just recently was reportedly released from rehab for the second time in efforts to cure addiction to illegal substances.

“Celebrities are no different than we are so why should they be treated differently,” said economics teacher and football coach Robert Davis. “Most high school kids want to be like the celebrities they see, but the daddy in me says celebrities shouldn’t be considered role models.” People are starting to have extremely negative opinions towards stars that the younger generations are watching. Most recently, media seems to be attacking Miley Cyrus for her inappropriate behavior during her VMA performance and her two newest music videos, We Can’t Stop and Wrecking Ball, where she is naked the entire time simply swinging on a wrecking

ball. Even fans are starting to question her character. “I think Miley had an OK performance,” Bryce Sanders, ‘14, said. “It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good, and her outfit wasn’t great either. I think she’s a bad role model too and she brings publicity to herself in a negative way.”. How far will celebrities go until they decide that they need to clean up their act? Do they even realize what negative messages they are sending to the younger generation? Maybe if more twerking 12-year-olds develop within the next year or when one more young person becomes addicted to drugs, celebrities will notice the influences they have on their fans. “A lot of celebrities don’t care if people are talking bad or good as long as they are talking,” said Davis.

iTunes live streaming lets users preview before purchase With many new albums in the making from music artists, Apple provides a new feature for iTunes users. Previewing an album before buying has never been an option until iTunes began “livestreaming” unreleased songs and albums from artists. Live streaming allows listeners to hear an entire album before it is released so iTunes users can decide whether or not they will purchase the album. Gone are the days of disliking


october 2013

an album after spending $9.99 on it. Gone are the days of skipping over songs that weren’t the best. iTunes streaming lets users pick and choose what Jenna Duvall specific songs to buy or to not buy on an album. I live streamed Ciara’s most recent album before I purchased it. I was a fan of her entire old album; but after listening to her

newest release beforehand, I decided to only buy two of her songs. The availability of albums range from Lady Gaga, Ciara, and Justin Timberlake to lesserknown artists. With a click of a button, the listener can form an opinion of the album. Timberlake’s album is available for streaming up until release. Allowing users to live stream is a valuable feature. Apple creators have gained accountability with their users by making their iTunes purchases the most valuable to each individual.

Streaming on iTunes

Justin Timberlake “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2” Kings of Leon “Mechanical Bull” Arctic Monkeys “AM”

Some people may say album of the year, and others may say an emotional rollercoaster. Well Drake has done it again. He has made another album that has caused an uproar among the social networks and rap fans. Nothing Was The Same, released Sept. 24, containing 15 new tracks featuring Jhene Aiko, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Jay-Z and more. Two singles that hit the charts from the album include “Started From The Bottom” and “All Me,” which excited many fans. As always Drake doesn’t disappoint. Nothing Was the Same has raised the bar for the competition in the rap industry. Drake is known for his versatility. His ability to be lyrical and send an emotional message to different people is what makes Drake such a sought after artist and Nothing Was The Same such a great album. A few favorites from the album include “Worst Behavior” and “From Time.” All songs on the album are relatable to his fans in some way, which shows that Drake has outdone himself once again. Drake’s earlier releases Thank Me Later from 2010 and Take Care from 2011 were also chart toppers and caused a lot of talk about the artist and his style of music. When comparing all of Drake’s releases so far, everyone has their own opinions. Whether they like the newsest or not, Drake’s albums are flying off the shelves after every release. And when you listen closely to his lyrics, it’s clear he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Drake will be visiting Houston’s Toyota Center Nov. 13 to resume his Would You like a Tour? tour. All fans are buying tickets and they are definitely selling fast.


Bowling team has fun to spare jordan mobley Staff Reporter

Photo by Shaianne Rubin

Marvin Leonard, ’15, takes part in his first halftime show at Turner Stadium on Sept. 12. Leonard joined the Color Guard team during the second semester of last year and became the first male Color Guard member in school history. He wants to use his talent to try out for Drum Corps International in December.

Boys continue breaking barriers

of a workload but incorporates many of the same skills. Maxwell has a special love for tumbling that At the age of 14, Talon Maxwell, is shown when he performs his ‘17, was faced with a difficult passes at practice and on the field. “You’re so free because you’re in ultimatum. He could either continue to train doing gymnastics the air and there’s nothing around for hours a night, competing in you,” Maxwell said. “You feel meets, or try something newer, unstoppable - like you’re defying more exciting and a little scary - gravity.” Since Maxwell won’t be able to cheerleading. Rather than feeling burned out at move to varsity until sophomore year, the gymnastics, coaches he went out figured JV for the junior would be a varsity cheer better way squad, and a to prepare few days later him for was added the higher to the list of level team the school’s than the first male freshman cheerleaders. squad. As a former “I prefer level 8/10 - JV cheerleader Talon Maxwell, ‘17 a co-ed gymnast, s q u a d ,” T a l o n Jamie Stoker, brought new skills to the squad along with JV cheer coach, said. “and Talon is school spirit and a willingness to a great tumbler, cheerleader and role model.” learn. Maxwell has high hopes to cheer “I love everything about cheer,” Maxwell said. “I love the fact that on varsity his sophomore year and cheer is about being happy and the remaining years of high school. hoping for the best for your team; He practices, conditions and feeds and you have all these cheers, his body with a balanced diet to chants, stunts and beautiful stay in shape for cheer. “For jumps I do a lot of leg work to tumbling.” Compared to his past daily get more power, and for tumbling I gymnastics training, cheer is less work on endurance,” Maxwell said.

Jazmyn Griffin editor

“You’re so free because you’re in the air and there’s nothing around you. You feel unstoppable - like you’re defying gravity.”

Photo by Mary Alice Waddel

Talon Maxwell, ’17, cheers along with the JV squad during the school pep rally to get the student body excited about the Port Neches-Groves football game on Sept. 12.

“You have to fuel your body with the right nutrients - sometimes I bring a vegetable tray to practice.” Making school history is something that Marvin Leonard, ‘15, is no stranger to. Joining Color Guard during second semester of last year, he was the school’s first male color guard member. “We’re part of the visuals for the band,” Leonard said. “It’s a mix of different styles of dancing body movements and using flags and rifles.” Leonard made the Color Guard team after learning that he wasn’t able to try out for Drum Corps International (DCI), a traveling band tour that takes place over the summer, with his clarinet. He instead wanted to learn color

guard skills in order to audition for DCI in that category. “Tryouts are in December, and they’re pretty intense,” Leonard said. “If I make it, we practice first then go on the road in June.” Both Leonard and Maxwell may be minorities in their respective activities, but they have passion that makes them stand out. Maxwell plans to continue the sport after high school and get a cheerleading scholarship in college, while Leonard wants to try out for DCI every year until he makes the cut. “I’m not ashamed,” Leonard said. “Since I’m the first I get so much recognition and set an example not to be afraid of what you like to do.”

For the first time in the school’s history, a bowling team has been formed. The team started practicing Sept. 3. The turnout was small, but sponsor Jaime Stoker, is hoping to have a boys and girls team with four players each. Stoker’s main goal for the team this year is to get more people involved and just having fun. This month, they will be having tryouts for kids from Summer Creek, Humble and Atascocita. After they get the team up and running, they will be competing in areas like The Woodlands and Spring. “I’ve been bowling outside of school for a long time,” Julian Rodriguez, ‘17, said, “I didn’t expect the school to have a team. When I figured out there was going to be one, I was like ‘heck, yeah!’” Rodriguez was introduced to bowling through his family who is very much into the sport. Rodriguez’s father, special education teacher and co-sponsor for the bowling team, Eric Rodriguez, also pushed his son into joining the team. “I don’t like the concept of winning and losing,” Rodriguez said, “I just try to keep it cool. It’s just a game.” Even though Rodriguez feels he needs to work on his spinning, he’s really there for the fun and opportunity to meet new people. Cameron Norman, ‘17, also new to the team got his passion for bowling from his family. His mother has played for seven years and his brother CJ Norman, ‘14, loves to play but doesn’t have enough time to play because of band. Cameron Norman plays a lot of sports but manages to fit in time for bowling. If it wasn’t for his mother, he probably wouldn’t be on the bowling team. She is continuously pushing him to work hard and try new things. “I’m just trying to come back better than yesterday,” Norman said.

october 2013



Lowe targets new passion after military Thomas Lowe joined the military in 1977 and spent almost 10 years in the Marines and Army. danielle miller sports editor

During a nine year and 10 month stint that started in 1977, tennis coach Thomas Lowe was a Sergeant in the US military in 1977. “Being in the military is something that we definitely need to have, and I believe it would not hurt anyone in the United States to spend two years of service to their country,” Lowe said. While Lowe was in the Marine Corps, he was first stationed in Alameda, CA, just across the bay from San Francisco while he guarded a nuclear base and patrolled areas that had nuclear weapons stored there. “Marine Corps boot camp is some of the worst training physically and mentally I have ever endured in my life,” Lowe said. After the Marine Corps, Lowe joined the army and was sent to Ft. Knox, Kentucky, and then to Baumholder, Ger-

Photo by Dominique Thomas

Tennis coach Thomas Lowe gives tennis player Mallory Musik, ‘15, instructions during practice Sept. 26. Lowe is in the midst of his second season as the school’s tennis coach.

many. “Being in the military teaches you tremendous discipline that I still carry out even today,” Lowe said. Lowe was on one of the last REFORGER (return of forces to Germany) missions in 1985 while stationed in Baumholder. It was one of the biggest peacetime missions with military from all over the world. They went through Germany just as if they were in real combat. “It was very disciplined, and we were always having formations to make sure you were where you were supposed to be,” Lowe said. “You were on duty 24

hours a day, and that is a big change from civilian life in that when people get off of work they are really off, not so much in the military.” After leaving the army, Lowe moved to Guam and then to Seattle, WA, and then back to Guam and then to Texas in 2002. “Guam is a very beautiful place but very small,” Lowe said. “Oceans are as clear as water coming out of your tap and the temperature never goes below 70 degrees. It was very expensive to travel back and forth as fares now around $2,100-$2,500.” Now Lowe is a high school teacher and coach and is leading the tennis team to

Runners jump out to strong start As the team has gotten smaller, the runners have to train harder to get better than ever. Regine murray Staff reporter

Photo by Paige Gonzalez

Cameron White, ‘16, competes in a meet at Kingwood High School in September.


october 2013

With the cross country season underway, runners are already racking up the medals. “This year we have a lot of seniors,” boys cross country coach Shelton Ervin said. “So the message is different, which makes things easier.” The team has dedicated a lot of time to cross country, spending up to 10 weeks this summer in Ervin’s brutal boot camp, running up to 500 miles. “I really enjoy running,” said Jake Bootz, ‘14, who won the Spring ISD Invitational as an individual champion. “I love the competitiveness.” Bootz has run cross country since the seventh grade at AMS and is thought of as the team’s captain. “One senior (Bootz) in particular has set his goals high and would like to see teammates reach full max,” said Ervin. “All the seniors have really matured and dedicated themselves to the sport.”

As the team has decreased in numbers since last year it just makes more room for improvement and friendships to keep being created. “Joshua Hales (‘15) has been most improved,” Bootz said. “He stepped up big as our numbers in teammates got smaller. Antone Young (‘16) was new this season and has done great, he also keeps practice really interesting.” The team has a pasta night every night before their meet. It’s at a different runner’s house each time and leaves time for the team to bond. “Pasta night is so much fun, it’s never a dull moment,” said Hales. “The pasta also gives us carbohydrates before the meets.” Teammates from the soccer team have also joined cross country. “Coach (Ramiro) Cantu and I have collaborated and I have gotten 12-plus kids from them and they have really helped the program,” Ervin said. The team is working hard to meet their goal and win as many meets as they can. “We still have a lot of meets left to go, and they have plenty of time to keep improving skills,” Ervin said.

hopefully another playoff appearance. On the boys’ side, most of varsity consists of returners; but on the girls’ they are having to work hard to make sure that they will do just as well. Their hardest matches this year will be Kingwood Park and Barbers Hill. “He is a straightforward person,” Bobbie Lowe, Thomas Lowe’s wife said. “His style of coaching extends to his students being prepared for life after high school and college. He treats them as they will be treated once they are adults and all the pitfalls that might be waiting on them. Hopefully, they are prepared for it.”

Girls Cross Country

Next meet: Oct. 5 in Liberty Top runners: Tessa Esquivel, ‘15,

Julissa Garcia, ‘15, Angelica Jacobs, ‘15. Coach quote: “They run really well as a team.” - Coach Elton Ervin said. Runner quote: “We put all our differences aside for the better of the team.” - Tessa Esquivel, ‘15, said.

Photo by Paige Gonzalez

Tessa Esquivel, ‘15, is one of the leaders of the girls’ squad.

sports Off the Court

Creek Crazies cheer teams to victory Sitting on the bench or playing in the game, there’s no better feeling than when you have a whole crowd of people cheering for you. The rush that the cheering gives Sports Editor you helps lead teams to a Danielle Miller better showing and the goal of taking home the win. Each home game and many of the away games, the Creek Crazies do their best to have people there so that teams always have someone cheering for them. They let the students know about every game about to happen that week via their Instagram and Twitter @CREEK_CRAZIES. Being apart of the Creek Crazies and being an athlete who has benefitted from them really builds the appreciation for what they do. For the volleyball team, fan support always helps us play well because we know that there are actually people who are watching us do what we love to do. During the games the best cheer that they do is the chant “I believe that we will win.” Not only does that cheer intimidate the other team, it gives the team about to win confidence. The Creek Crazies intimidate the opposing teams. At volleyball games, often times the Creek Crazies get in cheer fights with the opposing JV and freshman teams. When this happens they are yelling across the gym at each other trying to see who can be louder. Without the Creek Crazies, few peers would attend many sporting events. Not only are the Creek Crazies great cheerleaders, but they are a fun group to be around. If you haven’t joined the Creek Crazies, get to the next home sporting event and stand with them. Go out on a limb if you are a quiet person and see how loud you can be at a game. You might surprise yourself at how much fun you are having.

Girls set on reaching goals With a 5-3 record in the district (7-13 overall), the Bulldogs continue their goal of returning to the playoffs. Danielle Miller, ‘14, is the team leader with 30 kills and Danea Darron, ‘16, is second with 27.

Photo by Shaianne Rubin

Danea Darron, ‘16, and Taylor Bost, ‘15, block an attempted tip from Tomball Memorial’s setter during the first week of school.

Photo by Shaianne Rubin

Caleigh Miller, ‘17, tries to keep a pass from being blocked by the other team during a match against Tomball Memorial in August.

meet coach linda Lindsey Linda Lindsey is the new JV volleyball coach and a co-teacher. She is from Corpus Christi, TX, and has taken a team to second in state. She was directed here by Humble ISD athletic director Krista Malstrom, who Lindsey used to coach against at State playoffs, and because her husband graduated from Humble in 1979. She plans to improve the volleyball program and hopes for at least two seniors to sign to a college. 1. What are you looking forward to this season? I am looking forward to setting a new state playoff standard for the Summer Creek High School volleyball program. Also, having at least two of our seniors sign at college. 2.What do you enjoy about working in special ed? It’s a passion I have. The last 12 years I worked with Severe Profound Students (SPS). In the near future for Humble ISD, we are looking to make a sports team for SPS. I am super pumped. The students enjoy everything they do, they really have a zest for life. 3. How did you take a team second in State? We mainly built on fundamentals and added community buy in. The intangible took over and people began to believe the unbelievable and it came true. 4. Describe what you felt like when you took your previous team to second in State? At first I was overwhelmed with emotion, then I couldn’t stop smiling. Then I began to plan how we could repeat. 5. What effect do you think you have had on the students you have coached so far? I think I have taught them to hold themselves accountable for their actions, to inspire a self-disciplined, goal driven life.

Photo by Shaianne Rubin

Chrissy Augustin, ‘15, passes the volleyball before the game during warm-ups. Danea Darron, ‘16, serves the ball to keep the momentum going for the team in a September home match. The Bulldogs are 5-3 in districts.

Photo by Dominique Thomas

october 2013



iOS 7 worth the update gerson vilchis staff reporter

Photo credit Andree Kaiser/MCT

Destitute Syrians who’ve flocked to rebel-held eastern Syria have taken to the oil fields of Deir el Zour to earn what they can, refining oil from what were once government lands into diesel fuel. Many have fled from other parts of Syria, saying they were ordered to leave their homes by the Syrian army.

U.S. should not rush into war

Connor Black STAFF REPORTER As a boy who is about to be 18, the image of me being drafted into a war is a bit overwhelming. I don’t want to be another statistic, so if I am going to war it had better be for something really important. I think most of us feel this way, right? Obviously this conflict with Syria is not near a drafting situation, but doesn’t the nonchalant threat of American force come a little too easily to the tongue of many of our leaders? Whether or not Syria did in fact use chemical weapons on their own people is beside the point. The point is that the United States does not seem to understand what its identity is. It’s like a junior high student not knowing whether they should hang out with the band geeks or the cool kids. We, as a country, are stuck in the middle, haphazardly committing to both groups. Should we be the police officer of the world or a city upon a hill? Let’s commit to one or the other. So what is our role in the world? In our country’s relatively short history, we have fought a lot. As we look back, some of these conflicts appear necessary, like the American Revolution or WWII, yet many others appear more tragic than heroic, such as the horrific wars against the Na-

tive American Indians or the South going to war with the North because the South wanted to continue slavery. The number of people that could have lived a fuller life if we chose different paths is astronomical. Yes, hindsight is 20/20, but why would we go to war with Syria? Some would say “for freedom,” others would say “for truth,” while President Wilson would shout “for morality!” But, as we all know, practicing idealism is a frustrating endeavor, and constantly fighting wars for it tends to be unfruitful. It is only common sense for us to stay out of things that really don’t involve us. If we take the “city on a hill” role, we can demonstrate democracy, freedom, and all of the ideals that we all hold so dear. Trust me, I know that the use of chemical weapons on your own citizens is a horrible crime, and that because of it, many kids won’t see another sunrise or sunset. But what will us going to war really do besides boost our economy and end the lives of even more people? If I learned anything from my childhood, it’s that using your life as an example is the best way to spread an idea. Let’s be a better America and actually live up to what we know is right before we try to fix someone else.

Rolling out on Wednesday, Sept. 18, Apple released it’s newest update, iOS 7. Its sleek and retro design is a new change to the old dull operating system. Nearly everything has been revamped from the startup screen to the settings. The look is familiar yet vibrant, and the new features are something we can all appreciate. The most noticeable feature is without a doubt the sleek and colorful graphics. The colors and images of many apps have changed from simple to bright designs. With our start up screen now having a fade in transition, the overall look could not be more appealing. Aside from the look, there have been a few more nifty features added like the control center, which you get from scrolling up at the bottom of the screen. It pulls up your music control, airplane mode, Bluetooth, and even the flashlight. Although it should’ve been added long ago, it’s one of the most excellent improvements brought on by iOS 7. Siri has also been improved with the ability to do more things, one of which is the fact that “she” can now be a “he”. Us-

ers are now able to choose between Siri having either a female or male voice. Siri can also now turn on and off settings like Bluetooth. Another breathtaking feature is the multitasking addition. Now by pressing the home button twice you can see all your open tabs and close them with a single swipe. Finally, two of the new best features are the improved safari as well as the keyboard. The new safari is much more simple and can make surfing the web easier. Its three dimensional view on tabs makes them accessible and easy to switch out. The new keyboard has broader buttons with a larger spacing so you won’t fumble around with letters. It’s also able to adapt to your typing, keeping auto correct from making you say the oddest things. The amount of new additions is nearly endless and is something all iPhone users can appreciate. The look is sleek, the features are convenient and most importantly, simple. In the coming weeks small updates will seek to fix bugs, but this update deserves praise. It has finally given Apple products and their consumers the renovation they’ve longed for.

Thumbs Up • •

• • • • • •

Pumpkin flavored everything, loving fall flavors. New songs and albums by Drake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake. New lunch items. Yum. New SCTV episodes. Who doesn’t like to be informed? Grand Theft Auto 5 Halloween. You’re never too old for free candy. New iOS7 update for the iPhone. Open note quizzes and tests. Doing class work pays off.

Thumbs Down • • • • • • •

Rain every day. Not good for hair. Pop quizzes. Early morning practices for sports. No one likes waking up before 5. Classrooms always being either too cold or too hot. Six-minute passing period leaves you running to class. Having homework for every class and not enough time to do it. People making their own lines at lunch. So annoying.

What new class would you like to see added in the school?

“Sleeping class, where you pretty much sleep all period.” -Jacob Faircloth, ‘17


“A socializing class. Teachers could help us socialize better.” -Miranda Gonzalez, ‘16

“Hip-Hop class. We could do dances from the movie Step Up.” -Kiara Mcelroy, ‘16

“A current media class. We would do studies on pop culture. I like to know what’s going on.” -Macey Staes, ‘15

october 2013

“Penguin class, where we learn all about penguins.” -Elijah Cote, ‘14

“Rocket Class. It’s a class where you build rockets all year. KPHS and KHS have it. Many of the students who took it have gone on to be scientists. -Paul Edwards, associate principal

staff editorial


Fine Arts credits cost students The cost of education adds up. Taxes pay for the electricity and teachers’ salaries and parents pay for student involvement in clubs. However, recently, students have been required to pay fees in accredited classes needed to graduate. Fine Arts classes like art, choir, band, and orchestra, which require a minimum of one credit to graduate, charge students a fee in order to participate. A $40 fee must be paid to participate in Beginning Art, or book work can replace hands-on activities. Involvement in Orchestra requires a one time purchase of an instrument of $300-$400 (renting is also an option), a minimal dry cleaning payment, shirt, and a $35 pianist fee for UIL Competition. Other costs are optional in order to participate in trips, camps, and workshops. The cost of Choir ranges from $75. Band costs $100. In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the state of California for charging students fees

“Funds should be spread out to use in programs like Fine Arts that do not receive a budget in order to keep them in the school. Education should be a liberty, not a cost.” for supplies, books, uniforms, and classroom activities. The charge violates both the California constitution’s stance on free education and the decision made in Hartzell v. Connell that “no financial burden may be imposed on the right to an education,” according to Article IX of the state constitution. In Humble ISD, students are often asked to pay fees for fine arts classes in order to be able to participate; however, according to the education clause of the state of Texas constitution, the duty of the state is to “establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an ef-

ficient system of public free schools.” The key word is free. The public education system of Texas is guaranteed to be free of charge for credited classes, and students are being charged for classes requiring one credit for graduation. Students should be required to pay for basic supplies such as pencils and paper. However, because the Texas school system provides a free, public education in Article 7, it should not be required to pay for credits needed for graduation. Funds should be spread out to use in programs like Fine Arts that do not receive a budget in order to keep them in the school.

editor’s corner

Extra precautions worth the inconvenience As a student hearing about the tragedies such as the stabbing at Spring High School and the shootings at LoneStar College and Sandy Hook Elementary, my heart aches for those involved. My initial reaction is astonishment and fear for something similar hapMadison Terrier pening to myself or my loved ones. However, as I think that, I dismiss it. I always tell myself that nothing like that will ever happen here. Perhaps I am finally old enough to pay attention and understand the magnitude of these tragedies, or perhaps they are becoming more and more frequent; but no child should have to leave for school wondering if they are going to come home alive. Last month, when the stabbing at Spring took place, word spread around the school quickly. Many classmates that had friends at the high school took to their cell phones, quickly asking what was going on. Our hallways were filled with talk and exasperation: Why do these things keep happening? Why isn’t there something that the schools can do to keep us safe? However, the problem isn’t an unwillingness on the school system’s behalf to

take action. The problem is, what is the solution? Our school does a great job of keeping exterior doors locked and making visitors check in at the front office before gaining entrance to the campus. One idea students often throw around, though, is metal detectors. It was decided a few weeks after the incident that Spring High School would be installing and utilizing metal detectors on their campus and decide if they would become a mainstay after the end of the school year. With many schools in the area moving in this direction, it would be in the best interest of our students if we considered implementing similar precautions. There would be no way for teachers to know if a student at our school was carrying a weapon in their backpack or purse. The only guarantee of total safety would be to make students and staff walk through metal detectors on their way in the building. This idea really isn’t that drastic considering that any major sporting event or concert venue you enter requires patrons to have their bags checked, and airports require a pass through the metal detector. Schools full of children shouldn’t be treated any differently when it comes to safety.

The cost and time associated with metal detectors keeps the immediate implementation up in the air. School budgets often don’t allow for these kind of purchases, and the strain of administrators to get everyone through the system and in class on time isn’t enticing. Many parents and students as well may oppose on the grounds of privacy. All of these concerns are understandable; and until something of this magnitude happens on our own campus it would be hard to rally full support. However, there are other options that could be effective. For instance, eliminating backpacks and bags would lessen the opportunities for weapons to be brought on campus. Using the lockers already here, students could store their books and binders for classes and visit the locker in between to pick up and drop off items. These are just a few solutions to the issue of feeling safe on campus. While I believe we do a great job of enforcing safety, I also believe there is always room for improvement. If these measures would help students feel safe and even prevent one terrible event from taking place, it would be worth it. Nothing is going overboard when it comes to potentially saving a life.

“No child should have to leave for school wondering if they are going to come home alive.”

odyssey staff

Co-Editors-in-Chief: Madison Terrier Jenna Duvall Editor: Jazmyn Griffin Photo Editor: Shaiannne Rubin Sports Editor: Danielle Miller A&E Editor: Mackenzie Harper General Staff: Michelle Garcia Jordan Mobley Victoria Valentine Katherine Holmes Gerson Vilchis Connor Black Sean Perry Special Contributors: Paige Gonzalez Dominique Thomas Mary Alice Waddel Adviser: Megan Ortiz Principal: Thyrun Hurst Summer Creek High School 14000 Weckford Blvd. Houston, TX 77044 281.641.5400 October 2013 Issue 2 , Vol. 5 The Odyssey serves as a public forum for Summer Creek High School and is distributed free to all students and staff. Cover photo by Shaianne Rubin. Caption: Coach Brian Ford smiles as the team prepares to take the field for the second half against Port Neches-Groves on Sept. 12 at Turner Stadium. The team won 38-17 to remain unbeaten for the season. They are currently ranked No. 4 in 4-A.

october 2013


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