Student Prints Mehlville High School • 3200 Lemay Ferry Rd • Volume 54, Issue 3 • December 17, 2010 • studentprintsnews.com
District superintendent Terry Noble will retire, while the district names Dr. Eric Knost as his replacment.
Center Spread Pages 8-9
As teens become more and more engaged in technology advances, student attention span may be wavering.
Prints Sports Features Student gives students a few ideas on how to spend your 12 days of winter break.
In her fourth year as a varsity starter, senior Chanese Washington expects this to be her best season yet.
Co-Editors-inWebmaster Chief Brett Heinkel Ryan Dell Becca Honeyball Business Manager Loredana Leone Photo Editor Katlyn Sansone Staff Reviewer Liz Simone Opinions Editor Liza DiStefano Reporters Marlee Cox Features Editor Stephanie David Anushri Thakkar Aurora Miller Matt Vogt Sports Editor Michael Wells Jacob Vantrease Adviser Web Editor Mrs. Erin Moeckel Brent Pearson
Noble to retire, Knost tabbed to lead district
By Ryan Dell Co-Editor-in-Chief
Mission Student Prints is a mostly self-funded forum whose goal is to inform, entertain, and represent the diverse population of Mehlville. Student Prints is published in paper six times during the school year. The website is updated consistently throughout the school year. Please contact the staff regarding publication, subscriptions, or advertising/sponsoring information. Editorial Policy Student Prints editorials represent the opinions of the staff and not necessarily those of the Mehlville School District Board of Education or administration. Letters to the editor may be submitted, but the staff reserves the right to edit any and all letters, including personal attacks. Please limit the letters to 300 words or less. Anonymous letters will not be accepted. All submitted story comments will be reviewed by an authoritative member on staff before being published. Contact Us Student Prints Mehlville High School 3200 Lemay Ferry Road St. Louis, MO 63125 firstname.lastname@example.org (314) 467-6240
Cover Model Macy Salama, junior Cover Photo Katlyn Sansone
During a closed-session Board of Education meeting on December 1, the board (BOE) accepted the retirement of current Superintendent Terry Noble, and appointed Deputy Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost as his replacement. Noble has been the superintendent for the past four years after being hired from the DeSoto School District where he served in the same capacity. Knost was appointed Deputy Superintendent four years ago after previously serving a year as area super intent and three years as the head principal at Oakville High School. For Noble it was the right time to step down. In April the BOE approved a new three-year contract that would have kept him from retirement and given him a 20 percent raise on his current salary to $226,000 annually. In July after severe community backlash Noble returned the contract and instead took a one year contract with only a 3 percent raise to $192,798. “I don’t know if there is ever a perfect time, but it is something everybody at some point and time to decide, when is the best time [to retire],” said Noble. Since taking over the district in 2006, Noble has had to deal with a down turning economic climate and failed propositions. The district currently has historic fund balance highs, meaning the budget reserve is at historic highs and despite the failure of Proposition C. Currently the district has enough excess funds to operate through tough times in the future. While at Mehlville Noble has tried to work in what he describes as a “transparent way,” having elevated communication lines with the community and keeping an open door. “Some people would like for me to say it is because of the election failed or I have lost the trust of the community,” said Noble. “It is not because of the election, I can tell you that.” After he leaves public education Noble hopes on continuing to work in some capacity, though at the time he does not know what that will be. “This is a great place, a great com-
Knost Dr. Eric Knost will take over as Superintendent on July 1, 2011 after spending the past five years in the Mehlville Central office, including the past four as Deputy Superintendent.
Noble Terry Noble will retire effective July 1, 2011 after 37 years in education. He spent the last four years as Superintendent of the Mehlville School District.
munity, great people to work with, a tremendous student body. I could not ask for a better place to work,” said Noble. As one career in education ends, another is riding the fast track to the top. In 2002 Knost joined the Mehlville school district as the head principal of Oakville High School and has not looked back from there. After three years at Oakville, he moved into central office and a year later to his current role as Deputy Superintendent. In his role as Deputy Superintendent Knost has worked alongside Noble and pioneered programs such as Project Engage which he hopes will help unite the district and community. “Mr. Noble has been very respectful to me and afforded me a lot of opportunities to lead that have further prepared me to take the reins,” said Knost. “I think Dr. Knost has proven himself in every position he has served,” said Noble. “It is a great advantage to have a Superintendent who has been here in the district.” Knost has spent the past 23 years in education, starting as a Band Director in the Windsor district and moving up into administration in the Parkway District before settling in Mehlville. Since being
appointed Knost has interviewed with several other districts with open superintendent positions, including being named a finalist for Webster Groves position in 2008, but ultimately he stayed at Mehlville. “I love Mehlville, this couldn’t be more fitting and I am glad this came together,” said Knost. “It is an honor and awesome challenge that I am willing to accept.” Challenges will await Knost in July when he takes over. In November district voters overwhelmingly failed Proposition C. The state of Missouri is expected to decrease funding and local revenue is expected to remain dormant. “Obviously we have some challenges, but one of the great things about the Mehlville School District is that we have always accomplished great things on a shoestring budget,” said Knost. Like Noble, Knost will have an open door policy, welcoming anyone to talk about issues they see in the district. By doing this Knost is hoping to keep an open line of communication with the community. “I want the opportunity to address (the communities) concern before it gets aired out for all the community to consider,” said Knost. “If I do not appropriately address the concern, than they can take whatever avenues beyond me they like.” Knost received a three-year contract that will pay $185,000 annually. He takes over as head of the district on July 1, 2011.
Source: Individual district salary figures.
History teachers raise funds to construct statue downtown By Becca Honeyball Co-Editor-in-Chief Mehlville’s history teachers, along with others in the St. Louis area, have begun collecting change in an effort to erect the very first statue of Dred Scott in the country. The memorial will feature a six-foot rendering of the former slave and his wife, Harriet. In total, the project will cost $250,000, and depends completely on the fundraising on the St. Louis Community. Because of this and the dedication of a Clayton High School teacher, Penny Drives have commenced across the Metro Area. Kristin Dodd heads up Mehlville’s branch of the collection. “The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation is asking for donations for them to build a statue ... in downtown St. Louis near the old courthouse,” said Dodd. “A teacher from Clayton High School, emailed various high schools throughout the county and the city, asking for other schools to join hers in collecting.” Donne Rogers-Beard teaches social studies at Clayton, took it upon herself to contact area high schools and middle schools for this cause, asking each to set a goal of $500.
“I was introduced to Lynne Jackson, the great great granddaughter of Dred and Harriet Scott, by a Clayton parent,” said Rogers-Beard. “I am so enthusiastic about this project because I have taught history for forty-two years and now have an opportunity to help preserve an important part of St. Louis%u2019 role in United States history.” Rogers-Beard continued, addressing the significance of the foundation’s desired location for the statue. “The case began here in St. Louis, at the Old Courthouse, and ended in the United States Supreme Court. The Old Courthouse, in downtown St. Louis, honors [St. Louis’s] role with an annual re-enactment of the decision and extensive artifacts ... prominently displayed in the museum and its gift store,” said Rogers-Beard. “It is the wish of the Lynne Jackson and the Dred Scott Foundation to place a statue of Dred and his wife on the Old Courthouse grounds. The plan has the approval of the National Park District and the mayor of St. Louis.” But the statue means more to Rogers-Beard, and to the foundation, than tangible evidence of history. “Dred and Harriet Scott, with the help
Photo by Katlyn Sansone
of several prominent St. Louis citizens, brought to a climax the national discussion of slavery in the United States,” said Rogers-Beard. “Along with Lynne Jackson and so many others, I believe that each generation must have people who make it
their priority to keep events of this magnitude alive. We hope that this Penny Drive will allow teachers and their students to revisit the local and national events surrounding the Dred Scott decision.”
Where can I donate pennies? Students can drop off change in any of the containers located in each of the social studies classrooms, as well as the two containers located in the office.
Where can I find more information? Visit www.thedredscottfoundation.org for more information.
a TV studio.
OPEN HOUSE MARCH 3rd • 4:30PM TO 7:30PM You can use your elective credits to discover a future custom made for your talents and abilities. Over 30 programs are available for your exploration along with advanced college credit, scholarships, internships, field experience and more. Get more information about these exciting courses, including Broadcast Captioning & Court Reporting, which are available to all St. Louis County High School students by visiting www.southtechhigh.org.
By Katlyn Sansone
Finals bring out all types of study habits
It’s 1:30 in the morning. The glow of the laptop is practically making your eyes bleed and you still have math and English to study for. Stacks of books, note cards, cups of coffee and energy drinks create a blanket of junk across your desk. You’re tired. You’re stressed. Not only do you have to study, you have work after school and your mom has been nagging to clean out your car. This hellish nightmare is finals week, and you didn’t study. At least, this is what the procrastinator realizes. There are three basic categories the average student falls under: the slacker, the studier, and the procrastinator. Of the three, procrastinator is the worst, because although they did not study, they still care immensely about the outcome of their grades. They create the middle ground between the two extremes. Jessica Foote, senior, admits to not always doing things in a timely manner. With extracurricular activities like being Student Council President or babysitting her cousins multiple times a week, things are never slow, and doing projects or homework ahead of time seems unnecessary. “I can’t force myself to do something if I know it’s not due,” said Foote. Procrastination is something almost every student faces. The prospect of still having time creates a sense of false security that one inevitably gives in to-- whether it is not doing one’s homework until the night before it is due, or waiting until the five minutes before class to scribble in some made-up answers on a worksheet. On one end of the spectrum, you have the slacker who simply does not care what grades they receive on finals, and more often than not their overall grades reflect that. Elesia Lang, junior, just does not feel there is a point having lost credit for half of her classes already. She feels stressed about the idea of not passing but her attitude about it resembles a go-with-the-flow approach.
Enter any of your favorite convenient store to find an entire cooler full of high caffeine energy drinks. The taste might bring you in, or peer-pressure. maybe the twohour burst of energy. Energy drink distributors don’t want you to know is what is inside. During the season of exams and projects, students pound the refrigerators full of ginseng, sugar filled drinks. Whether it’s the peer pressure, glow-in-the-dark can, quick intake, or advertisement that draws you in, the energy drink is consumed. “I drink energy drinks because it gives me the caffeine I need to make it through my day,” said Emina Donlagic, junior. Donlagic, consumes caffeine in energy drinks or soda every morning to make up for sleep lost due to work and school. Consuming the drink means more than 80 grams of sugar and caffeine. Inside, consumers may know what is inside, yet the effects are soon realized after consumption. In the United States, the Department of Food and Nutrition have begun to put regulations in effect for energy drinks. Energy drinks may become dangerous with a mix of caffeine and alcohol, such as the drink Four Lokos, which has been added to the list of dangerous drinks. “The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug abuse is working on legislation in Jefferson City to put more strict laws into effect for distributors and sellers,” said Kathy Waser, RN. Students have caught themselves in unhealthy situations such as David Hupperts, senior, who faced addiction of drinks such as Monster. “I started with one or two per day, not
“If I’m going to fail, I’m going to fail. So I’m just not going to worry about it,” said Lang. On the other end you have the studier. This type of student will study, as advised, throughout the semester. Kaitlyn Smith, junior has a schedule that is just about as full as humanly possible as well as a class rank of 6. For her, studying is just part of who she is-- instilled in her as a child and cultivated over the years. Studying for finals doesn’t get her stressed to the extreme because she has been studying all semester, and she follows her own advice. “The only person you’re in competition with is yourself. If you actually try to enjoy school, instead of just trying to get through with it, you may surprise yourself,” said Smith. Sometimes, however, feeling stressed at finals is as unavoidable as the 7:20 bell. But the key to overcoming that stress is knowing how to cope. School nurse Kathy Waser advises students who come to her complaining of anxiety to remember the basics. “We always tell students to sleep, it boosts your immune system and also keeps your brain alert, and remember to make time for yourself. Something that is calming and destressing,” said Waser. Skipping out on a few hours of sleep to continue to studying seems like an effective way to remember everything, but science says otherwise. According to the National Sleep Research Project, “Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%.” That is waking up at 6 a.m. and going to bed at 11 PM. By time one is finished studying in the wee hours of the morning, one might as well be considered drunk. “Just take good care of yourself, and love yourself, and the stress won’t bother you as much,” said Waser.
Warning: Energy Drinks By Brent Pearson Web Editor
Photo by Katlyn Sansone
noticing the lack of sleep,” said Hupperts. Factors of sluggish morning include lack of hydration, sleep, food, and exercise. “When I stopped drinking them, I couldn’t sleep without them. I began drinking gallons of water because I was used to drinking the energy drinks,” Other students such as Christyuna Williams and Clayton Woehl, juniors find no problem with the drinks, as they find the drinks as a morning or afternoon pickme-up or drink of choice due to taste. You have a busy day, they keep you up. I need two per day,” said Williams. Energy drinks advertise to teenagers because the drinks started in their generation. “They target teens. Teen’s brains are not mature until age 25. The brain takes over, s and when they drink high amounts with added alcohol, the teens emotion take charge with aggression,” said Waser. Sports like the X-Games and Nascar receive large amounts of advertisement from energy drinks. Athletes are paid large amounts of money to post an energy drink label on themselves. “It’s a sponsor of motocross. I drink it for the taste, but it is advertised on the equipment,” said Woehl. Across the nation, numerous accuracies of serious harm and injury or death have been reported frequently in the past. “I had to stop. Once I had another drink of one later, I couldn’t stand the taste,” said Hupperts. The energy drink industry will continue to take off, as other wait for the government to take over and take charge with the drinks causing harm to young and old.
12 stinkiest people of 2010 Every month there is someone who stands out in a bad way, ranging from making a mockery of a religious document to flipping off a stadium full of New Yorkers. Here are 12 of this year’s worst (except for the heroic Chilean Miners, whose addition to this list is from an actual stink not their actions). Pat Robertson, host of the 700 Club and his own radio show on Christian Broadcasting Network, was quoted stating that the earthquake devastation in Haiti was due to its people having an agreement with Satan. “Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it,” Robertson said. “They were under the heel of the French ... and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’” With hundreds of thousands of people suffering and struggling for survival, there is a general consensus of people on the callousness of this remark. While the FBI ranked the state of Michigan fourth highest in the nation in hate crimes, it was a shock to many when Gary Glenn filed suit against anti-hate crime legislation. On behalf of the American Family Association of Michigan, Glenn (along with three ministers not affiliated with the organization) claimed that the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act violated their First Amendment rights. U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington promptly dismissed the case. Nicholas Sparks, romance novelist, in what is possibly the most overt case of hypocrisy the human race has viewed in a while, criticized Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Ernest Hemingway for re-using plots in an interview with USA Today. Sparks himself has oft been ripped on by critics for his own lack of plot variation. “Sparks recently went on record as saying he is a greater novelist than Cormac McCarthy,” wrote movie critic Roger Ebert in a review of Spark’s “The Last Song.” “This is true in the same sense that I am a better novelist than William Shakespeare.” Tiki Barber, formerly of the New York Giants, dumped his wife of 11 years for a 23 year-old, blonde intern. Eight months pregnant with twins at the time of the split, Barber’s wife, Ginny, was a full-time mother to their two sons A.J., seven, and Chason, six. Come the due date, she had Barber retained from the hospital room. When compared to statements made in his 2007 memoir, “Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond,” Barber’s lechery is particularly ironic. “I want to be an honorable man, because that’s what I want them both to be,” Barber wrote. “My family is everything to me.”
By Becca Honeyball and Ryan Dell Co-Editors-in-Chief
For years Takeru Kobayashi of Japan was the world’s best competitive eater, taking home six consecutive Nathan’s hot dog eating championships before American Joey Chestnut unseated the champion three consecutive times (2007-09). Now all that will be remembered of Kobayashi is his crazy antics before the 2010 eating competition. He stormed the stage in protest of who knows what and ended up in the back of a New York police car. The 32 year old was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, trespassing, and obstructing governmental administration. Then Chestnut swallowed 54 dogs and buns in 10 minutes to claim his fourth consecutive mustard yellow belt and Kobayahi got a bologna sandwich in jail, chalk that one up as a win for Chestnut. On August 5, 33 men descended over 2,000 feet below the Atacama Desert in Chile into a century old gold and copper mine and would wait there for 70 days. The San Jose Mine would collapse on top of them, trapping the miners underneath piles of rock. Chilean officials were able to get them food and water and some entertainment as they battled to stay alive so deep under the earth’s surface. Finally In October the miners were rescued, rising up one at a time in a tiny capsule. There is no one to blame for the mine collapse, but it is good news for a change on the stinkiest people of the year. But if you were trapped in a dusty mine for 70 days you would be smelly too. Everyone wants their five seconds of fame, but pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida decided with his he would anger millions of Muslims across the world. Jones organized a Koran burning at his church on September 11 to take a stand against Islam calling the Muslim religion the religion “of the devil.” The act was thought to have drastic repercussions to American Soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq because of their large Muslim populations. Eventually President Barack Obama was able to calm the situation and the burning ceremony never occurred, but Jones surly got his five seconds of fame, and a lifetime of hatred. Who knew vampirism was a religion? Apparently Amanda Williamson and Aaron Homer of Arizona did. The two stabbed their roommate Robert Maley in an attempt to drink his blood. Local firefighters who were at the apartment complex on an unrelated call saw Maley covered in blood alerted police, who then charged Williamson with lying to police after she told them it was self-defense. Homer was charged with aggravated assault.
68-year-old Robert Hakel of Grand JuncThe stinkiest people in the month of November are the Mehlville voters. The voters tion, AZ upon determining that he needed overwhelmingly turned down Proposito supplement his Social Security income, tion C because the expenses were too started dealing meth... out of his apartment high. Mehlville students are using ninein a senior housing complex. That is where year-old computers in buildings that sit the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) on a sink hole (Buerkle). In the current ecoapprehended Hakel and his suppliers, who nomic recession more and more students were caught in a transaction involving a 3/4 of a are attending public school and less resources are being provided to them. Voters have pound bag of meth amphetamines. The addicts of neglected this district; not the administrators, Grand Junction referred to him as “Grandpa.” not the teachers, not the students. Hopefully, after the district revises the proposition with community input, Mehlville voters will support the changes.
Lady Gaga, the living embodiment of individuality and peculiarity, showed up in the fifth inning of the June 10 Mets game in bejeweled underwear and in short order, flipped the crowd the bird. Why? Because her front row seats were too close to the photographers covering the sporting event she was attending. As Mets fans booed, Gaga retreated to the luxury box of comedian Jerry Seinfeld. During the seventh inning stretch, she proceeded to carry on in her crude tirade against photographers, this time including verbal obscenities.
On December 7 Australian Julian Assange was arrested in London, England facing allegations of raping a woman in Sweden, though that may be far from his worst criminal act. Assange is the Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks which has leaked almost all of the U.S. classified documents over several months. By leaking the cables into the public Assange h a s allowed potential terrorists to see exactly what the US is thinking and identified as key locations to protect against attack. It is not yet known whether Assange will be tried for espionage if brought to America.
opinions student prints
By Liza DiStefano Opinion Editor
Playing the victim These days, it seems like everywhere profit minded. you turn there are claims of depresIn 2001, a company which produces sion, attention deficit disorder, obses- the popular A.D.D. drug Ritalin spent sive compulsive disorder, you name it. 36 percent of its total earnings on marEspecially among adolescents, every keting alone. downturn of mood after a break-up As teenagers and adults alike watch is a catastrophic full scale depression these commercials over and over needing medical attention. Every time again, listening to the vague list of someone cannot focus in class due symptoms that may qualify them for to the cute new kid, A.D.D. takes the depression or other psychological conblame. ditions, they may begin to believe that But the problem goes beyond sym- they are affected by these disorders. pathy seeking melodramatic teenagers They begin to victimize themselves. trying to get attention. Mood swings turn into bipolar tendenHigh school students nowadays are cies, headaches into migraines and all too aware of the wide spectrum of drowsiness into detachment and loss things that could be wrong with them, of interest. thanks to an onslaught of pharmaceu“It does bring up issues for people to tical ads and places like WebMD mak- ask their doctor about, but they end up ing everyone into a taking more drugs miniature self-diagthan needed,” said nosing physician. Maxfield. You would not diagnoses in three to 17 year olds Exaggerations turn on the TV in brought on by France or China to these advertisefind the oh-so-eerie ments are enough guy from the Viagra to land some at commercials smilthe doctor’s office, ing at you; the US where research and New Zealand has shown the adare the only counvertisements sigtries where direct-to-consumer drug nificant impact. ads are legal. And even New Zealand is A 2001 study conducted in Sacrareconsidering this policy. mento, CA showed that when a patient “Ads for pharmaceutical companies asked for a prescription by name, they seem more beneficial to the drug com- were far more likely to receive it than if panies than they do for the consum- they had simply listed their symptoms. er,” said Bill Maxfield, Media Literacy In today’s society, it has become teacher. too common place to blame everyday Drug commercials wear an innocent stresses, pitfalls, and mood shifts to a disguise: informing the public of symp- range of mental and emotional disortoms that may qualify you and side ef- ders. fects once you do begin treatment. But Next time, before pleading depresthey mislead many into thinking they sion or saying A.D.D. ate your homeneed unnecessary medication for non- work, turn to your doctor, not the TV, existent problems. for a diagnosis. The American pharmaceutical industry is a business just like any other:
A D H D
rose 1.1 million 1997-2002 anti-depressants
use went up 48 percent
Dr. Dell: Stop the snow complaints Snow days are the best! You get to and unreliable Jefferson county plows sleep in late, go sledding, do anything make it very difficult to navigate buses but your homework and just tack it on even with a dusting of snow on the to the end of the school year. But there ground. But that is also why they are has to be a line drawn in the snow. in school until June every year. I have heard all too At the time of press much over the past sevthe Mehlville School eral weeks that we should District has had school have been off school on a cancelled five times, four particular day for snow were “B” days on the that had fallen a day or high school calendar. In two before. The reality of part to planned days off, it is that Mehlville is an the students had only urban area that is a priorseen their “B” day teachity to St. Louis county and ers four times through MoDot plows. the first three weeks of In the three plus years the semester. I have been at Mehlville, This forced Head Prinwe have only had a doucipal Dr. Denise Swanger ble snow day a few times, to move Thursday, JanuBy Ryan Dell and that is because one of ary 27 to a “B” day, angerCo-Editor-in-Chief two things occurred. We reing many in the process beceived more than ten inches of snow, cause they will have three “B” days in or we had freezing rain that brought a row. down power lines or made roads imSo when does the administration passable. win? I understand the “Great snowpocaFirst they lose when students have lypse of 2011” came through last week to attend school while students at Fox keeping us at home for three days, but sip hot chocolate, all because Lemay it was because of the large amounts Ferry and side streets are passable, of freezing ice and sleet that covered and then they lose when they comparking lots and power lines. pensate for days missed to balance After a snow day in which we re- the schedule. ceived no more than 5 inches, the Now since the snowpocalypse, chances of a snow day are very mini- studnets have complained about not mal, if not obsolete. being in school. Is it just our nature to I enjoy a snow day just as much as complain about the weather? the next high school student, but there It is time for students to finally take has to be a limit to the madness cre- a mature look at the entire situation ated over an inevitable fact: we must and realize classes will not be called go to school. off for an inch of snow or the day after It is common knowledge that our four inches piles up in the front yard. Southern neighbors, the Fox school But on a closing note, I will endistrict, is called off if Kent Ehrhardt joy my extra three days off while the predicts a snow flurry. The hilly terrain underclassman tough it out one more week in May.
Photos by Katlyn Sansone
Education falters, America falls behind
This map shows the world-wide math rankings, according to the 2009 PISA assessment test.
According to the 2010 Census, 16.3 million public school students currently attend high school. Of that number, eight percent of students (approximately 1.3 million) will drop out this year. This number has decreased from the 14 percent of 1980, but as global competition constantly increases, eight percent still remains too high. Millions of American students lack the right mindset towards education. Many children and parents cannot accept the reality that America is no longer the best; it’s not even close. According to the data collected from the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that American students rank 30th in math and 23rd in science compared to 30 other industrialized countries. This shouldn’t surprise many individuals, those educated at least. America continually lowers its standards. Each year after 1985 the government spent more money to promote educational improvement and academic achievement, yet the ratings have not improved. The problem does not solely involve students, but America’s system of education as a whole. Compared to Asian countries, the setup of a school day is entirely different. Some of the greatest differences include priorities and mindsets, standards, teachers, teaching methods and classroom
environments. tions for their children. WhereAmerican parents as in America, students may have a deep desire for be allowed to pass to the next their children to enjoy their grade level even if they don’t childhood. They don’t want meet the standards. This haptheir children to “grow up pens more often too fast.” In Asia, a child’s primary in middle and focus is his or her school work. In elementary America, parents tend to be more schools than focused on a variety of different achigh schools, tivities such as sports, jobs, clubs, but the problem organizations, volunteer work, etc. remains that it happens at all. Psychology Professor HarUnlike Asia, America finds old Stevenson from the Uni- By Anushri Thakkar it difficult to hold all students versity of Michigan conductto one standard. For example, Features Editor ed a study of Asian childhood No Child Left Behind (NCLB) education with his was a program imcolleagues. plemented by the When Stevenfederal government son asked Asian and in an effort to imAmerican students prove education. to fantasize about NCLB requires stuwhat they would dents in all states to wish for if they were given only one wish, reach grade-level proficiency by 2014. For more than two-thirds of the Asian children example, students must score proficient wished for something related to educa- or advanced on EOC testing. Programs like tional success. However, only one in ten that are certainly not the solution. TeachAmericans wished for something educa- ers know better than anyone that students tionally related. learn at different rates and to expect every It has been engraved into the minds of single student to reach a standard level is these children to appreciate the value of nearly impossible. their education, something American stuThis is not always because students dents tend to lack. don’t have the capacity or capability, but Asia enforces strict requirements for many students simply do not care— and education. Teachers, students and parents in countless situations, their parents don’t have a solid understanding of the expecta- either. Students want to pass while doing
“Approximately 1.3 million students will drop out of public school this year.”
the bare minimum, because they don’t see the need to excel. They don’t see the importance of education. The way students view their teachers and the student-teacher relationships differ immensely. In Asia, students view their teachers more as mentors or coaches. They believe their teachers actually are about their success, and not only giving them a grade. It seems that many American teachers empathize well with their students; however, more often than not this empathy is mistaken for weakness, which leads students to disrespect or ignore their teachers. When it comes to the way teachers approach their classes, Stevenson found that Asian teachers encourage their students to work with concrete objects, even toys, to help them better understand concepts. For example, in math classes he observed that students created their own word problems and solved them, rather than routine worksheets found in American classes. America no longer stands at the top; its education statistics continually decline. There is not a single solution. Multiple issues with American education require confrontation. Parents and children must realize that a child will not go too far in America without an education. That may have worked in the past, but it definitely will not suffice in today’s culture, especially if America wants to see a prosperous tomorrow.
Mapping the bars
By Katlyn Sansone and Liz Simone Many students hope to see a new cell phone policy active put into action soon. But with the shoddy signal in half of the building, will it really matter? This map illustrates what parts of the school get the most coverage? The number of bars have been averaged for each area of the school. cricket
t-mobile sprint at&t
Fresh Faces Student Prints asked freshmen to give us their best interpretations of some standard emoticons.
:O ;) :â€™( :D :( :P :@ :)
in the classrooms and hallways.
in the classrooms and hallways.
t-mobile sprint at&t
in the library, commons, and cafeteria
main floor cricket
in the gym a, gym b, and the commons
in the classrooms and hallways. cricket
By Brett Heinkel Webmaster
SRSLY in danger? Who ya gonna text Plans to modernize the 911 service have been under way for years. Citing the fact that 70 percent of 911 calls come from mobile phones, the FCC announced Monday, November 22 that they are moving forward with plans to allow people to text message the details of an emergency situation to dispatchers. Features such as sending a photo of a vehicle fleeing the scene of a crime, giving a sensoryimpaired individual the means to communicate with a call center or even allowing environmental sensors or security cameras to transmit alerts are also now available.
iPad most wanted toy for holiday season According to a recent study of most wanted tech gifts, 31 percent of children aged six to 12 fancy the iPad, making it the most coveted gift in its category. The iPad is closely followed by fellow Apple product iPod Touch at 29 percent. Only 25 percent expressed want for a Nintendo DS, though that statistic may be skewed by the number of existing owners. Meanwhile, 21 percent want a PS3, and even fewer want a Wii, Xbox 360, or PSP, ranking in at 15 percent, 13 percent and nine percent respectively. While only 18 percent of the 13-and-older crowd showed a desire for an iPad, these older consumers are statistically more interested in having full-featured computers.
Chrome OS coming to handhelds, tablets and TVs In
dynamic times where the likewise Google-branded Android OS is no longer bound exclusively to mobile phones, an expansion onto other platforms may represent a need to justify Chrome OS. The forthcoming web app platform, set to become publicly available in late fall of this year, was originally intended for traditional computer design. In a recent interview with Google VP of engineering for Chrome Linus Upson, the New York Times was told that the beta-stage project has the potential to be an alternative to Android on small-sized devices and Google TV on larger screens. Upson added that it would eventually support touch capability, since tablets are also in the long-term plans.
Life in the
Digital Age “Board” of education By Marlee Cox Writer In Stephanie Derenski’s second-block calculus class, twenty or so students sit in front of a glowing Smart Board, dutifully copying notes while their teacher clicks away at the electronic clipboard-like object that controls what appears on the screen. Instead of scribbling messily on a blackboard and losing precious class time to this task, Derenski is able to pre-plan everything she will need to teach, and display this information like an interactive PowerPoint presentation: clear, controlled, and concise. The commencement of the 2010-2011 school year seems to have brought with it advances in the technology of Mehlville High School. Nearly every classroom now has a projector mounted into its ceiling, and many teachers have received Smart Boards or other equipment. These tools can be incredibly helpful in planning and executing lessons, and they make the time spent in class more interactive and enjoyable. In a time when teenagers spend copious amounts of time with their eyes fixated on a screen (be it a computer, television, cell phone, etc.), adding an electronic edge to the monotonous drone of classes can help
to engage students and hold their attention. Greg Adam teaches mathematics, a subject few people would describe as “fascinating.” However, since he acquired an Airliner Writing Board (the aforementioned electronic clipboard-type control device), Adam finds that his lessons are more appealing. He is able to reach both visual and auditory learners through giving lectures accompanied by Airliner demonstrations. “It’s kind of a double-edged sword, though,” said Adam. “Kids learn better when they see you do something, but it can also make teaches lazy, because you’re not getting up and walking around as much.” Still, Adam acknowledges that lazy teachers might be a worthwhile price to pay in exchange for the ways technology supplements his classes. “We have to compete with video games, and stuff like that. We have to be as techsavvy as Call of Duty, or we’ll lose them.” Students, meanwhile, are glad their teachers are accepting the world of technology. As the electronic world of the twenty-first century expands, so do the opportunities to turn computers and projectors into classroom tools.
text message on the phone and boom, they want to pay attention to that rather than focusing on getting the assignment done.” Kayla Boyd, senior, admits to distraction when it comes to school. “My main focus is Facebook and my cell phone. I put work last and I get on the internet more, [so] I forget if I have a homework assignment,” said Boyd. “I put [school work] last, I put friends first. If I have an essay and I get a call, I’ll set it to the side.” But some students feel that they use social media specifically to get their mind off of school. “I believe they just change the subject. School is just educational, but Facebook and cell phones? That’s more socializing and it disrupts your studying,” said Milos Vukadinovic, freshman. “Due to that, we’re kind of abusing it for our entertainment. But if you can multitask, you’re fine.”
Ebert, in agreement with Vukadinovic, believes that it may not be as distracting for young people today as it is for adults. “Kids are so used to that networking and so used to that technology, that maybe it isn’t as distracting as I might think it is. I would like to see more research (or even with my own children, everything’s fine with their grades),” said Ebert. But Ebert also believes that teens are going to have to learn for themselves when to lay off the distractions and hit the books. “Some kids can’t discipline themselves and focus on what they need to do,” said Ebert. “At the same time, I’m curious. It’s all fairly new, this technology and the social networking, and you kids are on the cuspate. You kids are the ones that we’re really going to watch and see how this does affect.”
Your brain on social media By Becca Honeyball Co-Editor-in-Chief An estimated 550,000,000 people visit the Facebook social networking site every month, approximately 80 percent of the world’s population. But is this really surprising when considering the average teenager’s daily routine? Wake up in the morning, and the first thing you do is check your cell phone. Then you jump on Facebook Mobile and respond to messages and notices. Oftentimes, you’ll keep your cell phone on and logged in all day long; that way, you’ll be instantly alerted to the activities of every single one of your friends, family and acquaintances. But could this overload of information be negatively affecting the way we think? “My opinion is it’s absolutely fine for the kids to go ahead and use [social networking and other media],” said Bill Ebert, psychology teacher. “I realize today, the kids rely on it more and more
compared to my day, old school. The only thing I’ve noticed over the years is the attention span of you kids, because you’re busy trying to see whose [texting] or information you’re getting is worrisome, you’re not paying attention to the teacher. You’re distracted by those things.” A recent article in the New York Times suggested that because most students today were raised using technology and the internet, young people inadvertently use social media such as cell phones to “reward” their brains for having a lack of focus. “In general, once they leave school, and they’re at home and their friends’ house then obviously that’s all they’re doing is texting and on Facebook. And of course you’ve got to get to your assignments and your projects so it is very distracting,” said Ebert. “I see my own kids, they’re doing homework and all of the sudden they get a
Dr. Dell: holiday meals from heaven By Ryan Dell Co-Editor-in-Chief I will never forget my grandmother’s Christmas meals, but not because they tasted good. Every Christmas Day my family and I would pile into the car and make the 40 minute drive to Wildwood for Christmas with my grandparents. We would gather around the tree and unwrap the intricate and decorative paper that hid the contents of our many gifts. They seemed to always pile up, adding to the haul we made earlier in the day from our parents. After we finished handing out gifts we would gather around the large dining room table: my parents, grandparents, my sister and I. We would wait patiently as my grandmother would bring out the ham, the “homemade” sweet potatoes and rice. By the time it was all lined up the ham was cold, and there was probably something burnt, but that was fine. After dinner we would find the pre-made Dierbergs containers of sweet potatoes and rice, the ultimate sign of how great a cook she really was. Again it did not matter, it was great to just be together as a family, no matter how bad or cold the food was. Looking back, I would give anything for another December 25 of cold ham and pre-made potatoes. In January 2009 my grandmother was rushed to Missouri Baptist hospital with an apparent case of pneumonia. I remember thinking to myself out of crude humor, “Good thing this happened now instead of earlier in her life, then it could have killed her.” Once admitted into the hospital her health grew progressively worse, eventually sending her into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and then onto a ventilator. I can remember sitting in the room, listening to her fight the breathing tube. All I could think of was “why her?” In my life I had never met anyone stronger than my grandmother Nancy. The one who just a few months prior was driving around on her own Harley-Davidson motorcycle, the one who was the most strict and loving individual I knew. She was my best friend, we would talk at least once a week on the phone for hours. About anything we wanted; politics, the elephants at the zoo or my sister. She never lacked words or good advice. On a cold snow-covered January evening I sat in a small room filled with machines that were keeping my favorite person in the world alive. I can still to this day remember seeing her open her eyes for the final time, looking me dead in the face with feelings of panic and fear. It was January 28 when we all came to the consensus it was time. The pneumonia that we thought had brought her in turned out to be a stroke, leaving a blood clot in her brain and paralyzing parts of her right side. It was the hardest decision I ever took part in. On January 30, my dad walked in with a somber look on his face. Immediately I knew what he had to say, but I let him tell my sister and I the fateful news about his mother. I knew what was coming, I knew the implications they had, what made the words so much more difficult to hear was not the words at all, it was the date. January 30, 2009 was also my sixteenth birthday. Your sixteenth birthday is supposed to be one of your favorites, you get the freedom to drive, the independence every teenager seeks. But for me, my sixteenth birthday will remain the worst day of my life. I will forever remember my grandmother’s cooking and I would also give anything for another one of her Christmas meals.
graduate Jimmy Simmons is enrolled in college, A smile can change a life Mehlville has a job and is battling his body all with a smile By Brent Pearson Writer A smile can make anyone’s day. For James “Jimmy” Simmons, 26, smiling comes as a natural reaction to anyone he meets. Jimmy Simmons, born to parents Jim and Sally, entered the world with Down syndrome. The effects include an increased risk of complications with the extra genetic material. Down syndrome forms with 47 chromosomes instead of the normal 46 chromosomes at birth. Despite these conditions, Jimmy preservers. Growing up, Jimmy lived a normal childhood. First enrolling in the Affton School District and eventually moving to the Mehlville School District, Jimmy attended Trautwein, Washington Middle and continued to Mehlville. In high school, he studied within the Special School District and also took general studies classes. He graduated in 2004 amd cuurenlty is attneding Meramec Community College. “I just wanted him to know the Presidents of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, general topics like that,” said Sally Simmons, Jimmy’s mother. After walking across the stage at graduation, Jimmy moved into the workfoce with the help of St. Louis Arc. St. Louis Arc assists employers with on the job training for those with special needs.
Jimmy began at St. Louis Bread Company on Tesson Ferry Road in 2005. He then added a job at St. Anthony’s Hospital as a volunteer. “It was scary. You never know what to expect and how they will receive him,” said Sally. He was received well at Bread Company as many customers became fond of the presence of a worker with special abilities. Twice a week, Jimmy enters the familiar confines of Bread Co. to serve as a friend to all with a smile on his face. Jimmy completes projects along with working in the dining room bussing tables and interacting with customers. Simmons’ personal-
ers. The unexpected visit reminded Jimmy of the memories with the past teacher. “Mr. Hodapp is awesome,” said Jimmy. Hodapp and Jimmy have a history together. They were first united in 2000 when Jimmy entered the doors of Mehlville. A new environment for Jimmy, Hodapp assisted him with social and academic learning. The next four years, the two spent countless hours in the classroom improving study, life and social skills. The impact of Jimmy became the motivation for Hodapp to immerse himself in teaching. “Jimmy reaffirmed my reason for teaching. He was incredibly friendly and didn’t take much very seriously,” said Hodapp.
“He didn’t care if they were the star football player or the average student, he would greet everyone.” ity
brightens the café-bakery. Naturally, Jimmy approaches each customer as if he has known them his entire life. Unafraid of rejection, Jimmy greets everyone. A recent visit to the bakerycafe from Mehlville teacher Michael Hodapp sparked frenzy for Jimmy. Jimmy lit up upon seeing Hodapp, telling everyone from managers to co-workers to custom-
Along with Hodapp, students accepted Jimmy. Walking through the halls, Jimmy greeted everybody. “He didn’t care if they were the star football player or the average student, he would greet everyone,” said Hodapp. Some students did not reply to his greetings, ignoring him and his kind smile. Jimmy would come home
crying because of his differences. “They would think I was a nobody. I sometimes wished like I was them. I just wanted to be like them,” said Jimmy. Along with two jobs and academics, Jimmy competes with Special Olympics, and has collected over 50 medals during the course of his career. Simmons admires Michael Jordan, joking he will be the second coming of the legend. “I like to compete, but I also like being with my friends,” said Jimmy. Jimmy knows of his syndrome, and sometimes questions why he was given heart and kidney problems. “I wish I didn’t have my heart or kidney problems. I didn’t ask for it,” said Jimmy. Simmons lives every day to the fullest regardless of the problems or hurdles he faces. He tells many this one simple line. “Your dream will come true when you put your mind to it. Everyone can be a star,” said Jimmy. Jimmy Simmons developmental disabilities affect his daily life. With his simple smile or greeting, he imprints himself on others day after day. “It wasn’t what Jimmy does for others, it’s what others have done for Jimmy,” said Sally Simmons. Patrons can visit Jimmy at the Tesson Ferry St. Louis Bread Company Mondays and Wednesdays from 2-4 p.m.
Sinner or a saint? By Liz Simone Writer Tamar Kaprelian’s first album debuted August 24, 2010 and is available in stores everywhere. The pop album entitled “Sinner or a Saint” includes many songs Kaprelian wrote herself. The lyrics to these songs have deep emotional meaning to Kaprelian because she wrote them based on her personal life experiences, both bad and good. The cover track “Sinner or
Tamar Kaprelian expressing her musical talent. Photo courtesy of Yousingiwrite.blogspot.com
a Saint” is a song about taking a chance on someone or something regardless of fear; it encourages people to be courageous so they will not miss out on the many opportunities life has to offer. Kaprelian speaks so passionately about this topic through this song because it so closely relates to her experiences becoming an artist. Kaprelian is best known for her inspirational single, “New Day”. “New Day” speaks of past hurt, how to overcome it, and how things always get better with a fresh start. Other tracks on the album include “Delicate Soul,” “Raining in Paradise,” and many more songs that reflect the everyday struggles to find love and acceptance in all aspects of life. The music for the ten tracks on the al-
SP: When did you know you wanted to pursue acting? RK: When I was 3 years old I saw Peter Pan at the Fox. I fell in love with the lights, the sound, and the spectacle of theatre from the first moment. SP: How do you keep your motivation when in a performance? RK: I focus on what/who my character is, and then everything else comes naturally.
SP: Who is your inspiration and what advice would you give to the other drama pursuers out there? RK: My inspiration and mentor is Mrs. Heller, and to everyone else: just go for it and don’t doubt yourself. SP: What motto do you live by? RK: “Thespian motto” – Act well your part; there all the honor lies. SP: What keeps you coming back to drama every year? RK: It’s so much fun here. When I’m per-
bum is very catchy and pop-oriented. Kaprelian has talent with both singing and song-writing. She writes meaningful lyrics to all her all songs that listeners can relate to and learn from as well.
Take the stage, enter the spotlight
Imagine a world without entertainment, how boring life would be without TV, theaters, or movies. One student, Robert Kapeller, junior, has imagined being on the stage since he was three. That dream has never left. His focus is taking part in the show and being the character that the audience will recognize and appreciate. Kapeller doesn’t want a good show, but a great show. SP: What do you take from drama? RK: It’s a rewarding experience because you get to discover who you really are.
Photo courtesy of Idolator.com
By Loredana Leone Business Manager
forming I get to forget about my own troubles and become someone else. SP: What would your dream role in a play be? RK: My dream role would definitely be Hamlet in Shakespeare’s Hamlet because there’s so much as a character to him. SP: What is your favorite play? RK: American would definitely be “Street Car Named Desire” and overall would be “Hamlet.”
“It’s a rewarding experience because you get to discover who you really are.”
Kapeller acts with great enthusiasm during the fall production “Twelfth Night.” Photo by Becca Honeyball.
Kung-Fu Family A daily routine filled with teaching, taxing and a tremendous amount of patience awaits Jaclyn Ori as the alarm clock blares. Ori, biology teacher, manages two children and a privately-owned pharmacy, as well as her job as teacher at Mehlville. With all the patience needed, Ori and her family found inner peace. The idea began to take form in August 2010. Ori’s seven- year-old son Nick sparked interest in gymnastics as he watched his five-year-old sister Natalie in class. After a short trial, Nick became hooked. Wushu Kung-Fu originated nearly 4,000 years ago as a way for the ancient Chinese to practice self-defense, master hunting skills and prepare for
By Brent Pearson Web Editor
battle with military training. Wushu, as a martial art, allows for inner-peace through a dynamic muscular exercise. Wushu’s style of Kung-Fu is similar to world re-known stunt-man Jackie Chan’s fighting style, seen in numerous Hollywood hits. Kung-Fu promotes cardiovascular exercise with the use of defense, fighting techniques, and use of weapons. Ori at first observed from the side, reading a book on the 2-3 nights per week as she waited for the lessons to end. That is until she signed herself up for Wushu at Technique Studio in West County. “I needed a place to exercise. It’s perfect because I can spend time with my son,” said Ori. Ori entered the class of teens and
Photo courtesy of the Ori family
adults along with her son, who was youngest in the class. “Instead of reading on weeknights, I was on the floor with my son. It was the perfect opportunity,” said Ori. Ori and her son have progressed over the months. Ori recently received her red belt, a second level on the course. Moving up in rank involves studying and practicing, along with meditating to find inner peace. Climbing the ladder involves testing your knowledge of Wushu through a written test and a 45-move physical test. The tests difficulty level increase as the prestige rises. “I learn new techniques and moves. It makes me feel safer knowing the moves,”
said Ori. Along with Ori’s children, her husband Lee jumped in recently, participating once a week. The activity has truly become a family affair. “It’s great to have the entire family bonding in one activity,” said Ori. The Ori family practices at home with meditation and stretching despite a busy schedule and motivation. “I would say I practice 50 percent of the time. It’s hard with laundry and other tasks in a household, but I try to make it a daily thing,” said Ori. The family formed a bond that many seek to find. The mental and physical gains continue to propel the family.
The battle within the battle A look into the mental aspect of sports By Jacob Vantrease Sports Editor
Athletes spend many long hours preparing for what matters most to everyone-- the games. Through training, conditioning, and repetition in practice, players of all sports enter games physically prepared for what lies ahead of them. If most teams practice the same amount of time, with the same levels of intensity and commitment, then how do some perform at such a higher level than their peers? In some cases, it simply comes down to talent. A team with superior athletes will usually prevail over their less talented competition. For the majority of games and events, however, the players and coaches who are more prepared mentally will find the path to victory. In the ultra-competitive world of sports, any tiny slip-up can cost the game, and any slight advantage can win it. These intangibles do not show up on the scoreboard or the stat sheet, but mental toughness, focus and con-
centration on a daily basis combine to create the formula for success. One area athletes have to overcome is stress. This can come from coaches, teammates and fans, as they try to encourage the player to do well and help the team win. While these distractions sometimes affect performance, athletes become used to hearing these. The stress that most often affects on-field performance comes from the individuals themselves. The high intensity of the game, along with the desire to win and play well, causes players to push themselves to the furthest extent, mounting the pressure even greater. Although these nervous feelings can negatively impact athletes, some stress helps the level of play. If there is no stress involved, an athlete may lack motivation and have no reason to get pumped up for the game. Because of these different levels of anxiety, we commonly say that some players thrive in clutch situations, while others struggle. This cannot be definitively proven because of the differ-
Photo by Katlyn Sansone
ent ways athletes feel the pressure. The best way to deal with these issues is to find ways to cope with the stress. According to the dealwithstress.com article “How Does Stress Affect Sports Performance and What You Can Do to Overcome It,” the best way to deal with negative thoughts is to twist them in a positive way. The article states that “Instead of worrying ‘What might others think,’ think about ‘I am going to prove all that wrong.’” Stress can also cause affect athletes
physically. When playing stressfully or nervously, the muscles can become tense and tighten up. This can cause a decrease in timing, speed and hand-eye coordination. According to the article, some good ways to prevent this include stretching before games and taking deep breaths to relax during moments of high intensity. When the game is on the line, and athletes need to make the quick decision, sometimes the best thing to do is to just slow down and think.
BCS brings out best, worst in sports By Jacob Vantrease Sports Editor Playoffs— where dreams are achieved and shattered. Where stars and legends are born. Where champions are crowned. Only one sport season does not end this way: college football. In Division 1-A football, the season ends with the teams ranked 1 and 2 playing in the BCS Championship Game. The winners of the six big conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, SEC) play in the other Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games, with two of the games selecting atlarge teams that did not win their conference. Every year, analysts and experts criticize the BCS, claiming that they do not decide a true champion. They call for a true playoff, in which the best team is decided on the field, rather than by coaches and computer rankings. Despite these complaints and outcries, including those from President Obama, the system does not seem likely to change any time soon. While the claims that bash the current format may be true, the BCS also does a lot of good for the sport. The 2010-11 season will see 35 bowl games played between Dec. 18 and Jan. 10, meaning that 70 teams get to play another game, and half of them cap off the season on a winning note. With a playoff system, most of these teams would already have packed their bags and said goodbye until next year. The players in these extra games get the opportunity to travel to a new place (usually to a nice weather location, such as Texas, California or Arizona), get a few more weeks of practice time, and face a new opponent of equal talent. The school itself gets more recognition because of the game, plus the money from both the ticket sales and the game’s main sponsor.
Sports shorts Bradford leads Rams’ playoff push The St. Louis Rams suffered greatly in 2009, winning just one game. This year, however, the Rams have enjoyed a surprising six wins behind rookie quarterback Sam Bradford. Through Week 14, Bradford threw for 2,884 yards and 17 touchdowns, and the Rams sat atop the NFC West at 6-7, tied with the Seattle Seahawks.
By Michael Wells Writer
Vanderbilt. This early success comes largely thanks to the efforts of team leader Marcus Denmon, who leads the Tigers in scoring at 16.4 points per game.
Panthers take pride to the mat: The wrestling team began its season with two losses, the most recent to Eureka. The Panthers have their chance to make a comeback Tigers start season with style with the efforts of junior The Missouri Tigers jumped Dillon Diamond and seniors out to a 8-1 start, including an Kyle Schaeffer and Naim 85-82 overtime thriller over Gasanov, who took 3rd, 5th
and 5th, respectively, in the meet at Parkway South the weekend of December 3. Mehlville shows its skills on the court: After a strong performance in the Southside Classic, the varsity boys’ basketball team stands at 2-3 as of Dec. 11. After dropping their season opener to Lutheran South, the Panthers responded with wins over Affton and Hancock to win the tournament’s Consolation Championship, equal to 5th place.
Another factor in favor of the BCS is the importance of the regular season. No other sport can rival the meaning of every single game. Every game must be taken seriously, because any slip-up can knock a team right out of the title hunt. Because of this, every upset means that much more, and rivalries heat up even more when a conference or national championship appearance is on the line. When debating and arguing about the system, fans usually point to college basketball, which ends with a 64-team tournament known as March Madness (the tournament will expand to 68 beginning this season). One of the most popular times of the sports calendar, March Madness brings fans all across the country together. We look for this year’s Cinderella story, support our favorite schools, and brag about the genius of our brackets. But even this postseason has its flaws. After the tournament bracket is revealed, certain teams always argue to have been snubbed, or wrongfully left out of the Big Dance. The best teams not to make the cut still get the opportunity to play in one of various postseason tournaments. While this event may make college football look dumb and senseless, both individual systems work well for their sports. College sports have never been more popular, and the ratings and attendance of the bowl games will show it. Both sports exemplify what college and nonprofessional athletics should be about: Playing the game they love, growing as athletes and as people, and having fun along the way. These concepts are often overlooked during the heat of the game, but should be considered when watching college athletes perform. The BCS and college football are far from perfect, but do a great job of shining light on their schools and players. Some of the best and most crazy fans can be seen across America every Saturday. This holiday season, instead of faulting and mocking college football’s postseason, let’s just sit back and enjoy the games.
Student Prints asks: What is your favorite sports apparel brand? Poll By Miranda Hall J1 Correspondant
*Based on a poll of 60 students
Play hard, play smart, play together
In three years as a varsity team starter, Chanese Washington has seen it all on the court. This year, the senior guard plans to use what she has seen to lift the Panthers into contention, including contributions from the entire team. “The biggest thing I’ve learned in my previous three years is to work better as a team, by not only scoring myself, but by helping my teammates get involved,” said Washington. Washington’s previous time on the team has not brought about much success. The Panthers have failed to post a winning record in each of the past three seasons. Her statistics, however, have vastly improved over this time. As a freshman during the 2007-08 season, Washington led the team in scoring, averaging 11.6 points per game. This increased to 14.5 the next year, ranking third in the Suburban West Conference. This past season, she took her game to even broader heights. Washington’s 13.6 points per game put her at fifth in the conference, but her all-around numbers made it an outstanding junior campaign. Her assist average increased to 3.6, third in the conference, and her rebounding average to 4.5. These numbers should only go up even more in her final season. “I’ve worked mostly on improving my ball handling and shooting [since last season],” said Washington. “My number one goal for myself is to work harder on the court and get to the basket more, so I can help my team win as many games as possible.” Her play has also helped her teammates improve, and allow them to have a greater impact on the team’s play. “My goal for the team is for us to work together and have confidence in each other and in ourselves,” said Washington. “We have the talent; we just need to see it through.”
A big part in her teammates’ improvement is Washington’s leadership skills. As a four-year player, she knows how to lead the way to success. “I expect my leadership to improve a lot this year because I am now a senior and my teammates will look up to me more,” said Washington. “It should also improve because I want to win even more in my final year, and the only way we can do that is by me stepping up and leading the way.” “Chanese leads both the offense and the defense,” said assistant coach Jacquelyn Wamser. “The entire tempo of our game is based off of her.” This showed during the Southside Classic, which the Panthers won for the second time in three years. Washington, named to the All-Tournament team along with senior Jessica Fox, scored 56 points in the three victories, second-most in the tournament. Her 21 assists and 17 steals each topped the tournament leaderboards. With this fast start under their belt, the team has much higher expectations for this season. “The thing I want most from the girls is for them to improve every single day,” said Wamser. “As long as we do that, I think we have a realistic shot at winning Districts.” As for Washington’s future, nothing has yet to be set in stone. “I really don’t know where I’m going yet. I’m still talking to schools and coaches,” said Washington. “But I definitely want to play in college.”
Photo by Katlyn Sansone
By Matt Vogt Writer
It never fails in basketball too always have those players that just seem to click. For the varsity girls at Mehlville it is all but unusual, from Erin Anderson and Chanese Washington, to the Twin Towers Alyse and Kayla Gordon, and most recently the Herbert sisters, Sam and Stephanie. When on the court together, they dominated from the perimeter to the paint. This year, the team found a triple threat in Fox sisters, Jessica, senior, Mandy, junior, and Emily, freshman. Jessica and Mandy have both played varsity before this year, with newcomer Emily joining them in her first year of high school action. “I was hoping I would [make varsity] so I could play with my sisters, but I really wasn’t sure if I was good enough,” said Emily. The sisters kicked off their first season together by winning the Southside Classic, beating Lutheran South 6551 in the finals. For the first time, they truly showed the power of three. “We play together great because we understand each other and almost know what the other will be doing” said Mandy. Like almost every other athlete, they have that moment before each game, like the calm before
a storm. Players blast their favorite songs that motivate them to go out and perform at their best. On the way to the games, the girls find themselves listening to songs such as “Click Click Boom” by Saliva and “Game On” by Disciple. When they hit the court, it’s all business. Afterwards, it’s all about the game. “After wins I feel like I got something accomplished and we as a team improved,” said Jessica. After a loss, however, the whole atmosphere changes. “I’m pissed after losses, but at the same time it shows us exactly what we need to work on, then we improve,” said Jessica. Outside of school you can find the sisters together hanging out, doing whatever they can to have fun. “We were already pretty close, but now we spend almost all of our day together,” said Mandy. “Usually it’s fun, but sometimes not so much.” Even in the summer heat, the sisters were together outside practicing in preparation for their first season together. “We’d shoot around a lot during the summer. It gets too cold during the season,” said Jessica. As the season continues, the team looks to keep up their winning ways, with the Fox sisters leading the hunt.
Photos by Katlyn Sansone
Mehlville High School Journalism Department 3200 Lemay Ferry Rd. St. Louis Missouri TO: