Page 1

Christmas features are on page 4.

Basketball action is on page 5.

Check out page 8 for Clue photos.

Bear Facts

The

25¢

A PUBLICATION OF MENA HIGH SCHOOL

Volume 33 Number 3

December 2009

700 S. Morrow St., Mena, Arkansas 71953

Toys for Tots Telethon provides for local youth by Jocelyn Gray

With people across the nation facing economic difficulties, it is almost a certainty that many children will not get a visit from Santa this year. Not so in Mena thanks to the local Herbert A. Littleton detachment of the Marine Corps League, which sponsored a drive to collect toys. The Toys for Tots Telethon was held Dec. 5 at Rich Mountain Community College, and it was broadcast on RMCCTV. People from across the community helped with this endeavor. Toy collection boxes were placed in many local businesses. Mena Cosmetology College gave away free lunches and door prizes to those who donated toys. A number of MHS students were involved with this project. The local Teen Council, overseen by Walt Gray, had

members walking in the Christmas parade to help advertise the toy drive. Teen Council members also went to RMCC on the day of the telethon to serve pizza to the donors and to provide additional help. Tori Henry, president of the Teen Council, said, “It’s nice to know that because of Toys for Tots, kids who normally would get nothing will now have gifts.” Although an official total has not been announced yet, at least 500 toys have been donated locally to help children in need. In addition, a lot of money has been pledged which can be used to purchase even more toys. Because of the Toys for Tots drive and the generosity of businesses and citizens in the community as well as the willingness of local teens to volunteer their time, many deserving children will now wake up to find toys from Santa at their homes on Christmas.

MENA HIGH SCHOOL students, Chelsea Bodkin, Tori Henry, and Alyvia Castillo, inspect donations to the Toys for Tots Telethon that was held Dec. 5 at Rich Mountain Community College. People from across the community helped with the annual Christmas toy drive. (photo by Jocelyn Gray)

All-region jazz bands include 15 from Mena by Micheal Sterner

SENIOR BAND MEMBERS display the trophy that the band received for winning all superior ratings at the fall marching contest held at Lakeside High School in October. If the band can now get superior ratings at the region concert contest, they will receive the coveted Band Sweepstakes Award. (photo by Rachel Roberts)

Musicians from the MHS band traveled to Hope on Nov. 19 to try out for the Region III All-Region Jazz Band. Mena students placed the largest number of students in the jazz band in our school’s history with 15 being accepted. Six of these made 1st band-1st chair, the highest position possible. Making the high school first band were Adam Matejek, 1st chair trumpet; Brent Bell, 1 st chair trombone; Kody Chastain, 4th chair trombone; and Ryan Matejek, 1st chair bass trombone. Jordan Newman made the second band as 2nd chair trombone, and Natalee Ainsworth was a percussion alternate. Those who made the junior high

jazz band include Jacob Talamantez, 1st chair alto saxophone; Allison Austin, 1st chair tenor saxophone; Luke Callahan, 1 st chair baritone saxophone; Jordan Hooper, 4th chair trumpet; Ivy Powell, trumpet alternate; Joseph Maddox, 2 nd chair trombone; Race Grubb, 3 rd chair trombone, Lake Ashley, 4th chair trombone; and Connor Purvis, 6th chair trombone. The all-region jazz clinic was held on Saturday, Nov. 21. “I think it is amazing how well these students have done,” said senior high band director Nevada Mills. “Jazz is not something that is taught during the school day. This is all done on their own time. I am really proud of all that they have accomplished.”


Page 2

The Bear Facts - Editorial

December 2009

Editorial: Sights and sounds of Christmas

Just as the familiar semester fi nals and homework assignments are coming to an end, the arrival of the sights and sounds of Christmas is upon us. To many the month of December is a time of anxiety, craziness, and frustration. Teachers and students are all feeling the pressure after an exhausting semester. Lessons that could consume several weeks are being taught and absorbed in days. Students cram for tests knowing full well that one test could mean a whole letter grade difference. This anxiety and craziness are what we have learned to love about the holiday season. It is the longest break of the year! Winter break always evokes thoughts and memories from past years. People certainly celebrate Christmas in different ways; however, many of the traditions are similar. To a lot of people, Thanksgiving is not the end of a holiday but simply the beginning of another. In many homes a tree is set up and decorated. Houses light up the sky of a neighborhood with their glowing bulbs covering the roofs. A colorful wreath or bow may adorn the front door. Spectators fl ock to the annual Christmas parade or enjoy the lighting of the city park as an offi cial way of welcoming the holiday. Simple traditions such as leaving cookies and that all-important letter to Santa may seem childish, but they are an important part of the celebration. Along with these usual sights and sounds of Christmas, comes the biggest part… shopping! That’s right, shopping. All of the highly coveted toys or games are now being considered as potential presents under the tree. This madness about fi nding the perfect gift begins early on Black Friday, perhaps the biggest shopping day of the year. As the critical day approaches, family and friends are mapping out the best route to fi nd the best deals and perfect gifts for their loved ones. The time spent shopping could determine the size of a happy smile on some child’s face or the gratitude of a family member. So as the remaining days of the semester wind down and winter break draws closer and closer, we anticipate the time we will have to spend with family and friends. We rejoice in our time off from classes and tests, and we look forward to gathering together in suspense as those gifts are unwrapped and joy fi lls our homes. I’m hoping that everyone thinks of December not as a time of anxiety or frustration, but as a time of laughter and excitement. Have a merry Christmas!

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Logan McCourtney; NEWS EDITOR: Jocelyn Gray; NEWS REPORTERS: Marissa Beaver, Jordan Johnson, Leigha Smith, J.D. Pack; FEATURE PAGE EDITOR: Jas Williams; FEATURE REPORTERS: Rachel Roberts, Micheal Sterner; VARSITY SPORTS EDITOR: Matt Edwards; SPORTS REPORTERS: Myranda Vaughn, Jarret Thompson; CLUB PAGE EDITOR: Rachel Collins; CLUB REPORTERS: Sabrina Mallett, Myranda Vaughn; PHOTOSHOP EDITORS: Smith Harrison, Leigha Smith; EDITORIAL COLUMNIST: Rachel Roberts; ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST: J.D. Pack; SPORTS COLUMNIST: Jarret Thompson; CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHERS: Myranda Vaughn, Smith Harrison; ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHERS: Leigha Smith, Marissa Beaver, Jas Williams,Jocelyn Gray, Rachel

Collins, Sabrina Mallett, Rachel Roberts; CHIEF TYPIST: Rachel Collins; ASSISTANT TYPISTS: J.D. Pack, Jarret Thompson; ADVERTISING MANAGER: Micheal Sterner; EXCHANGE EDITOR: Jordan Johnson; CIRCULATION MANAGER: Marissa Beaver; STAFF ARTIST: Myranda Vaughn; LIBRARIAN: Sabrina Mallett; PAGE DESIGN by DTP Students: Chelsi Bates, Weldon Beaty, Jennifer Debnar, Zack Fair, Jake Fedor, Candace Ford, Samantha Gough, Justin Grasman, Van Holman, Matt Horner, Jenya King, Anthony Laxamana, Josh Lochala, Matt Marks, Logan McCourtney, Jordon McDaniel, CJ Mos, Erik Owens, Ricky Pack, Eddie Perrine, Courtney Peters, Lake Philpot, Dustin Pitts, Dakota Rapp, Jerry Roberts, Todd Roberts, Brandon Russell, Lauren Shufelberger, Danielle Skinner, Dylan Strong; ADVISER: Randy Lindsey

The Bear Facts, a publication of Mena High School, is published monthly October through May by MHS journalism students and is printed by the Mena Star. The Bear Facts is a member of the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association, the American Scholastic Press Association, and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association. Editorials and letters to the editor refl ect the views of the authors and do not necessarily refl ect those of the staff or school. All letters must be signed, and all published letters will include the author’s name.

Advertising rates are $8 per column inch. For advertising or subscription information, address all correspondence to Bear Facts, Mena High School, 700 Morrow St., Mena, Arkansas 71953.

On the D-L with RR by Rachel Roberts - editorial columnist

What I love about Christmas - After a long day of school with its grueling tests and endless lectures, I walked into my house with a backpack full of homework. I was feeling exhausted and not looking forward to the evening. The house was really cozy, and the smell of pine was everywhere. Curious, I searched through the house to fi nd the source of the delightful odor. I went into the living room, and in the corner was a gigantic, real Christmas tree. My mood changed instantly because it hit me that Christmas is near. So much goes on around Christmas. The tree is the fi rst thing that my family sets up. We all help out decorating the tree. Of course, every ornament we own has to go on the tree…especially the ones that we have made. Another favorite thing about Christmas is the parade. It seems as though everyone in Mena comes out to see Santa and the fl oats. I love how (after the parade) they light up Janssen Park. Walking around the driving circle and looking at the elves and reindeer always puts a smile on the faces of everyone there. The evening would not be complete without a nice cup of hot chocolate and a walk over to the live nativity scene where the true meaning of Christmas is on display. I love the thought of snow during Christmas break. Just a couple of inches would be enough to get the sled out. This town hasn’t had a good snow for such a long time. Maybe this year! Making a list for Santa is always fun. Yes, I still do it today…writing down things that I would like to see under the tree. I will not apologize for believing in Santa. My parents like to bring out old Christmas movies. We sit in front of the fi replace watching black and white movies. It is a good time to slow down and enjoy some time with my family. I love listening to Christmas music too. It makes me want to sing and dance with the songs. Most of all, I love how the spirit of Christmas affects everyone. People are so happy! It’s almost as if the kid in everyone comes out to play. Yes, Christmas really is the best time of the year. When I think of Christmas, I think about how it is a time of giving. We are truly blessed that we live in a town that is so generous…not just at Christmas time but throughout the year. Mena is a very giving town. Everyone wants to help each other. It seems that the generosity just increases at Christmas. So, hopefully Christmas will bring out the little kid in all of us again this season. Help spread the spirit of generosity and kindness, especially to those who are less fortunate. Have a safe and merry Christmas.


December 2009

Page 3

The Bear Facts - Clubs

Art classes host guest speaker by Jarret Thompson

Gerald Wood, who is retired from working for Hallmark Greeting Cards, was a guest speaker in Sheila Johnson’s art classes on Nov. 23 where he shared his portfolio and talked about many of the experiences he had in that career. Wood’s portfolio was filled with pictures of Hallmark stores where he had designed shelving, backboards, and signs to assist customers. He also designed boxes that held some of the merchandise. His knowledge of color was used in all of his designs.

Wood also brought artwork with him of different media. He showed prints, oil paintings, watercolors, and a sculpture. In addition, he used his father’s army medals to demonstrate the mounting, and he explained how they were mounted using the elements and principles of design. “Before his presentation, I was expecting all of these greeting cards, but Mr. Wood never designed a greeting card,” Johnson said. “I really enjoyed his presentation because he was able to talk to the students about different career opportunities that are behind the scenes in a lot of cases.” MHS ART STUDENTS heard guest speaker Gerald Wood, a retired employee for Hallmark Greeting Cards, in November. Wood used a variety of artwork to explain elements and principals of design. (photo by Sheila Johnson)

Agriculture fruit/meat sales provide funds for programs

by Jas Williams

PACKAGING BOXES OF FRUIT for the annual FFA fruit sale are Bryan Maye, Andrew VanEmmerik, Monica Griffin, and Julian Parnell. The fruit sale is a fundraiser that helps pay for various FFA activities. (photo by Rachel Collins)

MENA FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 501 Ninth Street, Mena, Arkansas 479-394-3051 Visit our website at http://www.gbgm-umc.org/menafumc/

Each year for the past 22 years, MHS agriculture students have had the opportunity to participate in a yearly fundraiser by selling fruit and premium meat to the community. This activity is optional, but many students participate because of a friendly competition created by agri teachers Mike Collins and Bryan Maye. The top seller receives a cash prize of $300. Runner-up gets $200, and the second runner-up gets $100. Students who elect to participate are given their order forms in October. They must have

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all orders turned in by the beginning of November. This year’s sale was another success story for the agriculture program. The money raised from the fundraiser helps fund scholarships, leadership events, summer camps, and various career development events for students in the agriculture program. “We’ve noticed over the past fi ve years that the sale’s profit base has started increasing,” Collins said. “The agriculture fruit and meat sale has become a community expectation and a tradition from the school.”

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Page 4

The Bear Facts - Christmas

Holiday Riddles Q. How do dogs say Merry Christmas in Mexico? A. Fleas Navidad! Q. What did the gingerbread man put on his bed? A. A cookie sheet! Q. What do you get when you cross a snowman with a shark? A. Frostbite! Q. What do you call an Eskimo cow? A. An eskimoo! Q. How is the Christmas alphabet different from the ordinary alphabet? A. The Christmas alphabet has NO EL! Q. What did the big candle say to the little candle? A. I’m going out tonight! Q. What do you get when you eat the Christmas decorations? A. Tinsel-itus! Q. Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve? A. Because it soots him!

December 2009

All I want for Christmas is… by Jordan Johnson

Jas Williams- a Ferrari that would make it down my dirt road Shawn Adams- a weed wacker for my beard Marissa Willis- for Ethan not to hate me Aaron Miller- a new truck that doesn’t suck Michael Cabello- for Alabama to win the NCAA Championship Rachel Collins- a new oven Jocelyn Gray- parents that will let me keep our Christmas tree up all year Cody Shores- bundle o’scarves and Easy Mac Jarret Thompson- underwear Devin Broyles- to be just like Jordan Johnson Channing Moore- to get new wheels and rims for my truck Tanner Kesterson- my beautiful girlfriend Faith Damon Newman- for Coach Hunter to realize that he is just a big teddy bear not a big bad wolf Anthony Laxamana- for life to be like it used to be and to fi nd my true love Jordan Deramus- a certain someone to realize the Dallas Cowboys own the Eagles Josh Harper- Kansas City to win the Super Bowl and Mark Roberts Austin Hurst- for Michael Jordan to give me his basketball skills and a kiss from Megan Maye John Ballentine- world domination

Q. How does Santa take holiday photos? A. With his North Pole-aroid!

Christmas gifts I’d like to give by Myranda Vaughn

Marissa Willis: my big muscles to Coach Tedder Kaitlyn Mitchell: a huge bag of candy corn pumpkins to Logan McCourtney Myranda Vaughn: green hulk hands to Coach Tedder Makenzie Davis: Clark a truck that doesn’t catch on fi re Denisha Walker: a smile to Coach Tedder Jas Williams: a wife to Shane Venters, a nice guy to JJ, and the best Christmas ever to Maggie Jeremy Harrison: my basketball skills to Coach Tedder Randy Peters: a big bag of Three Musketeers to Flannery and a girlfriend to Jon Lacie Land: all my love to Cody Standifer and a great season to the girls soccer team Rachel Collins: hearing aides to Cheyenne Peerson Jocelyn Gray: holiday spirit to Jarret, a huge bag of popcorn to Christa, and a swollen injury to Krystin Rachel Roberts: pills to Emily Callahan that make you taller Jarret Thompson: steroids to the whole football team Zach Orr: drumming skills to Jeremiah Foster Ethan Campbell: a cure for cancer to my grandma and all other cancer stricken people in the world Leigha Smith: a new truck and manlier looking glasses to Damon Newman

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December 2009

The Bear Facts - Varsity Sports

Page 5

In basketball action

Ladycats win two, lose two by Rachel Collins

The Ladycats opened their 2009-10 basketball season with a tough opponent, a very physical Greenwood team. The Ladycats started out slowly in the first half, forcing their shots and slacking on defense. Mena was down 15-30 at halftime. The action began to pick up in the second half, and the Ladycat defense picked up the pace. Offensively the Ladycats began to progress, but it was too little too late, and Mena suffered their first loss of the season, 52-62. Bouncing back from the opener against Greenwood, the Ladycats then took on the Booneville Bearcats for a 39-26 victory. Mena was led in scoring by senior Whitley Borin with 15 points and junior Rachel Collins with 10. Chelsea Anderson had eight, and Brittany Moon had five. The Ladycats hosted Clarksville at home on Nov. 24. Mena came out determined to play aggressively. The Ladycats pressured the ball hard, which

not only caused multiple turnovers but also resulted in scoring opportunities. The defense was giving Clarksville a struggle, and several Ladycats were nailing their shots. Junior Jordan Johnson, who had an outstanding game, led the Ladycats in scoring with 14 points. Borin followed with 11 points. Adding to the score were Anderson, Hilary Sherrer, and Megan Maye with nine points each. The Ladycats were able to defeat the Panthers, 58-55. After the impressive win over Clarksville, the Ladycats traveled to Oklahoma to face off with the Roland Rangers. After losing a tough battle to Roland, the First National Bank Classic loomed on the Ladycats’ horizon. “I’ve been very proud of the girls’ efforts and their will to win,” said head coach Heather Clark. “It’s still early in the season, and we have plenty of things to continue to work on. They’ve been playing very well, and I feel confident that when conference play comes around, we’ll be ready.”

GUARD WHITLEY BORIN attempts to maneuver around a Sand Lizard defender at a home game at Jim Rackley Gymnasium. The Ladycats took a 56-44 victory over Dardanelle. (staff photo)

Cats defeat Booneville and Dardanelle Mena vs. Clarksville

by Matt Edwards

Mena vs. Greenwood

The Mena Bearcat basketball team opened their season against the Greenwood Bulldogs. The Cats put up a fight, but Greenwood prevailed by a score of 37-48. Logan McCourtney and Daniel Wood each had nine points. Randy Peters had seven, and Austin Hurst had six. Alex Hurst had two points.

Mena vs. Booneville

Looking to rebound back after the opening loss, the Bearcats went up against Booneville. Mena had an easy time against the other Bearcats, taking a 55-38 win. Wood led the scoring with 14 points followed by Peters with eight. The Hurst brothers had seven points each, and McCourtney had two.

Coming off the win over Booneville, the Bearcats faced off with Clarksville. It was a close game with neither team able to dominate, but at the final buzzer the Cats lost to the Panthers 62-68. Peters had a tremendous game with 20 points on the scoreboard. McCourtney followed with 17. Wood and the two Hursts had seven points each.

Mena vs. Dardanelle

After the close loss to Clarksville, the Cats set their sights on Dardanelle. Defensively, both teams played well, but it was the Bearcats who came out on top of the Sand Lizards, 48-30. Peters led the scoring with 11 points, and Alex Hurst had 10. McCourtney contributed seven, and Wood had six.

SENIOR RANDY PETERS looks to pass in basketball action against the Dardanelle Sand Lizards. The Bearcats came out on top, 48-30. (staff photo)

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Page 6

The Bear Facts - News

December 2009

CBA students earn certification by Leigha Smith

Students in Molly Lindsey’s Computerized Business Applications classes were able to take Certiport’s Microsoft Certifi ed Application Specialist exam, and 17 of the 24 students who were tested received the certifi cation. The students, after learning to use Microsoft Word 2007, were given the option to take the exam. The MCAS exam reveals the students’ digital skills for the competitive global workforce. Certifi cation means that a student has demonstrated profi ciency in the newest of the world’s

foremost desktop computing applications. Students who achieved profi ciency on the exam include Alex Atchley, Alex Betz, Nicole Bobo, Daryl Castillo, Lacy Colbert, Jasper Davis, Alec Emry, Jordan Fuchsberger, Tori Henry, Christa Jumper, Ryan Lowery, Adam Matejek, Corey Moon, Bryar Parks, B.J. Schuller, and Brad Watson. “I am very proud of these students. It shows that they are willing to go above and beyond what is required to pass a class and that they are more than competent in a particular software program” said Lindsey. COMPUTERIZED BUSINESS APPLICATIONS students who received national certification as Certiport’s Microsoft Certified Application Specialists (MCAS) include Bryar Parks, Alex Betz, Alex Atchley, B.J. Schuller, Lacy Colbert, Adam Matejek, Jasper Davis, Jordan Fuchsberger, Brad Watson, Corey Moon, Daryl Castillo, Tori Henry, and Christa Jumper. (photo by Molly Lindsey)

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Choirs present annual Christmas concert by Marissa Beaver

The Bearcat Chorus, Spotlight Singers, and Sixth Grade Choir presented their annual Christmas Concert Dec. 3 at Dallas Avenue Baptist Church. Choir director Ferroll “Tammy” Taylor was assisted by student conductors Erik Owens and Alyssa McClesky. The Accompanists were Jan Puckett and Lauren Herod.

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The Spotlight Singers performed In Winter’s Peace; This December (I’ll Remember You); O Come, O Come Immanuel; and What Child Shall Come? The Bearcat Chorus sang The Little Drummer Boy, Jinglin’ Bells, and We Wish You. The Sixth Grade Choir performed We Are Lights; Sing We All Noel; Antiphonal Hosanna; Child of God; Children, Go Tell It; Santa Claus, Santa Claus, You Are Much Too Fat; and May Peace Always Be With You. The concert concluded with the Bearcat Chorus and Spotlight Singers performing Carol of the Bells and Wonderful Christmastime.

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December 2009

The Bear Facts - News

Page 7

December Birthdays by Sabrina Mallett

Seniors: Natalee Ainsworth (2) Lucas Gandy (3) Cody Shores (3) Jordan Deramus (4) Cherie Schmidt (7) Zach Roppel (11) Matt Marks (13) Zach Smith (13) Cameron Wagner (17) Angel Watson (21) Devin Ward (22) Erik Owens (23) Juniors: Jenya King (8) Aaron Johnson (9) Jeremy Harrison (15) Jennifer Howard (15) Krystal Saulsbury (15) Josh Lochala (17) Tiffany Cecil (24) Dylan Foster (24) Sophomores: Victoria Boydstun (2) Logan Bryant (6) Samantha Gough (7) Kamara Taylor (7) Taylor Maechler (9) Jessica House (14) Britain Morris (14) Madison Ralls (14) Brock Harvey (15) Sean Hensley (16) Dakota Rapp (16) Christopher Romero (16) Steven Arnold (19) Amanda Dollarhide (20) Chance Strother (21) Hannah Knittig (24) Amber Lane (25) Freshmen: Brooke Price (1) Kayla Bates (8) Angela Brown (9) Joesph Maddox (10) Courtani McCauley (10) Ashley Fruen (13) Taylor Miller (14) BJ Schuller (14) Stephanie Vidrine (15) Kyle Williams (15) Haley Herron (17) Cassie Gear (18) Brittney Duvak (19) Jacey Holland (21) Jade Allen (23) Gabby Lewis (23) Tiny Shores (23) Makala Williams (23) Samantha Henry (26) Autumn Cunningham (27) Brittney Cunningham (27) Justin Martin (28) Ryan Spencer (31)

WORLD HISTORY STUDENTS in Julie Gordon’s fourth period were the big winners in the class competition for a Thanksgiving community food drive, collecting 460 cans of food. Overall, the MHS students collected 1,231 cans and Kool-Aid which was donated to the Optimist Club and the Dallas Avenue Baptist Church Food Pantry. (photo by Myranda Vaughn)

History students have food drive

Students in Julie Gordon’s world history classes held a food drive in November to benefi t the local community on Thanksgiving. After they completed a social studies literacy prompt about volunteerism, the students were challenged to beat other classes and to beat the record of Gordon’s internship students from Waldron last Thanksgiving. The MHS students collected a total of 1,231 cans plus Kool-Aid. This total included cash which was equated with can value. After a fi erce competition, the

fourth period class came out as winner with a total of 460 cans. Everything collected in the food drive was donated to the Optimist Club and the Dallas Avenue Baptist Church Food Pantry. The food was then packaged in baskets which were donated to needy families at Thanksgiving. “I want to thank the MHS faculty for their support and patience,” Gordon said. “Our class motto is ‘From MHS to the world; we’re making history.’”

SENIOR HIGH CHEERLEADERS performed their competitive routine between the basketball games at Jim Rackley Gymnasium on Dec. 4. The next day, they performed in competition at the Summit Arena in Hot Springs. (staff photo)

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Page 8

The Bear Facts - Play Photo Spread

December 2009

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Quick! Act innocent. It’s my parents.

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Isn’t this the tryout for American Idol?

Okay, mess up my carpet one more time and it’s back to the dog pound.

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Page layout by Dakota Rapp

Now, all those who prefer pepperoni raise your left hand.

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I told her not to mix Diet Coke with her Mentos.

I’m a vampire, and I can fly!

They’re looking at me again; aren’t they?

Dec09  

Mena High School Bear Facts for December, 2009, a student publication

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