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Manhattan High School Volume 101 Issue 15 Jan. 14, 2014

Crowned Winter Homecoming 2014

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Mr. MHS begins application process Tracy Le Graphic Editor “This is just a joke but it’s given me gray hair,” Tish Simpson said. “I always laugh when I say that because my hair has been graying for some time and I always say that this is because of Mr. MHS.” Simpson taught at MHS for 25 years before retiring in 2011. She has been credited with being the person to expand the production of Mr. MHS by getting more people involved. Even with the stress of being in charge of Mr. MHS brought, Simpson still enjoyed it. ”I think it’s a great morale builder,” Simpson said. “The student body, everybody looks forward to it. They know it’s going to be funny, it’s going to be fun. Those are important things for the student body to look forward to. I hope it continues for a

very long time. It’s a wonderful tradition.” “Mr. MHS is a parody of a beauty pageant,” Leslie Campbell said. “The candidates have different competitions that they are in, based on their outfits and their talents. It’s a lot of fun, it really is. And it’s five bucks, you can’t really go wrong with that. They have fun doing it and the audience really gets into it, too.” Campbell teaches the Ecological and Environmental science classes and is also the sponsor of Manhattan High’s Student Council. She has been in charge of Mr. MHS for four years. This year, the applications for Mr. MHS will be available Wednesday, Jan. 15, and the performance is scheduled for Feb. 27. “I know we have some incredibly talented young men in this school this year and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they bring to the

table,” Campbell said. Out of the applications that are handed in, 10 students will be chosen to be a part of the performance. “We’ve had years when we’ve had just enough people and some years when we’ve had to eliminate an awful lot,” Campbell said. “This year, based on what I’ve heard, we’re going to have a lot of people turning in applications so it should be a really good year.” The 10 contestants will perform a dance number; show off an opening outfit, swimwear and formal wear; and present their talent. According to Campbell, the talent portion of the competition has grown a lot. “The original Mr. MHS performances, for the most part, was lip-syncing to soundtracks and dancing and that was it. And it has See Mr. MHS Page 5

Student arrested for attempted aggravated robbery Sarah Shi Opinions Editor

Seniors Cameron Beauregard and Jamie Steele stand together after winning Homecoming King and Queen. The winners were announced in between the girl’s and boy’s basketball game. Turn to page 3 for more homecoming coverage.

Olweus program kicks off campaign ager, or just to get to know others a little bit better. Spreer’s hopes for this year are to simply get the Music blaring from Rezac program off the ground. Auditorium is a strange way “My hopes would be both to begin a day at Manhattan kids and staff see the benHigh, but speaker Bill Cordes efits of the program. Taking went all-out exciting students a little bit of time a couple for the new anti-bullying camtimes a month to set academpaign on Thursday at West ics aside and just get to campus and Friday at East. Cordes con- The big goal of this program is to help know each other could really help, because the big nected with students, mixing in humor with make a more positive school environ- goal of this program is to help make a more positive life lessons, along ment for everybody.” -- Erin Spreer school environment for evwith the main goal of erybody,” Spreer said. “So the Olweus kick-off, a weren’t as smooth as oth- we’re starting small. It’d just push against bullying. “It’s only been recently ers, but I think overall I was be nice if people could start to see the value in that.” that the Olweus program has pleasantly surprised.” The new Olweus bully Spreer’s main concern added a high school component. This is the first year prevention program hopes can relate to Bill Cordes’ we’ve implemented it at the to use guided class meetings message “YOGOWYPI” or high school level, but Man- to build a safer learning en- “You only get out what you hattan has had the program vironment for all, and even put in.” Spreer hopes stuat the elementary and mid- a safer community outside dents will put in effort to dle schools for the last seven of school. The program will accept the program, so that years. We got a pretty good be implemented every other they may truly benefit from grant a few years ago we were Wednesday throughout the those 20 minutes. “I suspect there may be able to write in the funding to school year. The Wednesget somebody trained and to days between normal activ- some people who are maybe start implementing it up here ity period and grade check don’t see the value in it or at Manhattan High,” Social will incorporate the Olweus maybe think it’s going to be and Personal Counselor Erin program. Students will take corny, or a waste of time. Spreer said. “It’s pretty new about 20 minutes (Tribe I hope, and believe, by the Time) to address different end of the year everybody for everybody.” Students spent half of the issues going on in the com- finds at least some value in day hearing Cordes speak as munity, or with being a teen- the program,” she said. Gage Benne Staff Writer

well as participating in icebreaker activities in their Tribe Time class. “From what I’ve heard, a lot of people really liked the speaker, and I think that went really well,” Spreer said. “I think a lot of the icebreakers and class meetings went well. Maybe some

A Manhattan High student was among four people arrested for attempted aggravated robbery following an incident on Jan. 2, according to the Riley County Police Department. Sophomore Andrew O’Connell was arrested, along with Antonio Vinson, 16; Tieler Reeves, 17; and Tyrell Scott, 21. Reeves was a student at MHS until Nov. 4. According to Matthew Droge, RCPD’s Public Information Officer, officers responded to a call at approximately 10:30 p.m. about an attempted robbery in the 2100 block of Green

Avenue. Upon arrival, the officers were told that Anson Eddy, 30, of Manhattan, was approached by at least two subjects, one who appeared to be carrying a handgun. Eddy was able to flee without injury. It was later discovered that the weapon was a handgunstyle b.b. gun. From further investigation, officers made another arrest. Danielle O’Connell, 35, of Manhattan was arrested on January 3, 2014 for contributing to a child’s misconduct, furnishing alcoholic liquor to a minor, and unlawfully hosting minors consuming alcoholic liquor.

Band members participate in state KMEA auditions Danielle Cook Copy Editor Months of practice came down to the luck of the draw for Manhattan High’s musically inclined students when they traveled to Salina Central High to participate in auditions for the Kansas Music Educators’ Association All-State music group early Saturday. After rehearsing three different pieces of music, the students, who earned the opportunity by acquiring a position in the KMEA’s District music group, were told at the audition which one of those pieces they would perform. According to MHS orchestra and Jazz Band director, Nate McClendon, each of the three pieces given to each eligible student was “lengthy” and required much time and effort to learn and practice. “[Before the auditions] I’d been meeting with kids individually during lunch and after school to work on their pieces in preparation,”

McClendon said. “The fact that the students weren’t told which of their three pieces they would have to play at auditions added some pressure, but I think they handled it maturely. There didn’t seem to be too many nerves.” A clarinet player, junior Hannah Schmidt explained that while mostly calm before and during her audition, nervousness finally caught up to her afterward, in anticipation of results. “I guess everybody deals with it differently, but I wasn’t really nervous before [the audition]. Afterward, though, it was kind of nerve wracking because you’re just kind of left to wait for the results to come out,” Schmidt said. “Another thing that was nerve wracking was practicing in a big room full of your competition before your audition. You see how talented the competition is.” Junior French horn player Justin Gittle, though skeptical about the quality of his

District audition, felt that he improved significantly by the time State auditions rolled around. “I think it went pretty well. I mean, it was kind of nerve wracking, but waiting to know how you did is probably the scariest part of even auditioning,” Gittle said. Though the students who auditioned for State await the results of their months of hard work with some uncertainty, McClendon anticipates a good turnout for his music students, and hopes that their hard work will lead to success, earning them “a great experience” in potentially becoming apart of the State music group. “I’m really excited for the kids who did audition. They could get the chance to play in some incredible music groups and to work with some incredible people,” McClendon said. The results of State music auditions are expected to be released on Wednesday.

Board revises smoking policy Thespians attend State Conference Madeline Marshall Staff Writer Over winter break changes were made to USD 383’s tobacco and electronic cigarette policies due to recommendations by the Kansas Association of School Boards. It was noticed that while implied, there was no direct mention of the use of electronic cigarettes by staff members or students. “The Kansas Association of School Boards policy development specialists originally suggested that e-cigarettes be added to existing policies banning tobacco use in schools,” superintendent Bob Shannon said. “We further conducted our own review using Centers for Disease Control and

other sources to learn about e-cigarettes and their function. No benefit to students from any credible source was found advocating use of e-cigarettes. Therefore, our recommendation to revise the policy was presented to the Board of Education.” As of now, the use of any tobacco product or electronic cigarette is prohibited not only on campus, but on any building owned, leased, or rented by the district; in any school vehicle; and on the grounds of any building owned, leased or rented by the district including athletic/activity sites. Any schoolsponsored event also falls under these policies. “I don’t view the new policy that restricts the use of ecigarettes in the Manhattan-

Ogden schools as a drastic action,” Shannon said. “It makes it clear that electronic cigarettes are considered just as any other tobacco product is,” communications director, Michelle Jones said. “Electronic cigarettes weren’t apart of the old policy and so thats why we felt the need to include it in the new policy.” The use of tobacco products by school district employees on district property has been prohibited for many years. The new policy disallowing e-cigarette use applies to both students and employees. “I don’t believe banning e-cigarettes will have any negative effects on teaching See Smoking Page 5

Maddie Ross News Editor Manhattan High Thespians were among the 1,200 Kansas drama students who took classes in dancing, singing, acting and technical skills at the State Thespians conference in Wichita last Thursday through Saturday. “We took 22 students,” Thespian sponsor Linda Uthoff said. “We also took two parents and our technical director.” Once there, students had ]over 100 different workshops to choose from. “I went to a lot of the dance classes, just because I think they are really fun,” junior Hannah Schmidt said. The workshops are taught by college theater professionals. “There are lots of profes-

sionals from Chicago and New York which is a unique opportunity for the students to gain knowledge from someone else,” Uthoff said. Colleges also brought displays to promote their theater programs. “One of our seniors, Macy Lanceta, auditioned for colleges, and actually received 18 of 25 callbacks,” Uthoff said. In addition students were able to compete in various theatrical competitions. The competitions covered many topics including improvisation, play writing, creative costuming, and a Tech Challenge. “We took fourth in improv competition and second in a technical competition,” Uthoff said. The students also received

the opportunity to watch productions performed by other high schools. “We don’t generally enter a play, just because we do our plays later in the year than conference, so we aren’t as prepared,” Schmidt said. “We got to watch ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Noises Off.’ Next year I would like to see us present a play from the Advanced Rep class,” Uthoff said, “because honestly anything we do here is just as good as anything that we saw. It’s time to try to do that again.” The students were not the only ones involved in the conference. Drama teachers from around the state led panels and taught classes on different drama techniques. “I taught a class on diaSee Thespians Page 5

Opinion The Mentor Page 2

New policy violates Question of the Week: free speech What is yo ur N ew Year ’s resolu tion?

The editorial is a compilation from a discussion held by the Editorial board. While many Kansas students were enjoying winter break, the Kansas Board of Regents created a new policy that we believe impedes free speech on our state college campuses. The Regents adopted restrictions on social media regarding state funded universities, prompted by the (admittedly awful) tweet sent by University of Kansas professor David Guth after a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard last September. “The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you,” Guth fired off on Twitter after the shooting. Conservatives loyal to the National Rifle Association quickly pounced and demanded that he resign, but Guth took a paid administra-

tive leave instead. After months of discussion the Regents enacted the policy giving a university’s top leader the power to suspend or fire any faculty member or staffer who posts a comment “contrary to the best interest of the university” on any social media site. With this, Kansas is the first state to threaten the career of an academic because of an idea expressed through a tweet, Facebook post, or blog entry. Furthermore, the board crafted the policy without open debate and without consulting university faculty members. Board of Regent’s spokeswoman Breeze Richardson defended the policy, saying, “The goal was to craft a constitutionally sound policy, utilizing Supreme Court language, that does not violate the free speech or due process rights of university employees while also establishing guidelines for employees and employers.”

Worded so vaguely and subjectively, the policy raises the question of whether the university executive’s opinion should carry so much power in a situation like this. Political bias or conformity to popular views can interfere with the judgment process. Kansas State University president Kirk Schulz looks down on the new restrictions as he believes “the policy seriously curtails both academic freedom and free speech. One of the fundamental founding principles of higher education in this country is the ability for faculty to speak out on controversial issues with fear of retribution.” We agree that university staff and faculty should remember to consider the consequences that one’s words might bring. But even though social media has the susceptibility to be misused and damage a party’s image, the content should not be censored.

Found a home back in India again Connor Bliss

I was born 16 years ago in the city of Varanasi, India, and spent the next 10 years in a place that would be foreign to most but became home to me. Six years ago I moved to the town of Manhattan where dogs didn’t wander the streets and where English was no longer a commodity. A lot happened in between then and now but move forward six years, I had a chance to go back to India for a time of closure. After a couple of planes, a day in London and little to no sleep we landed in New Delhi. From my previous experiences I was prepared for culture shock to greet me

as I stepped off the airplane with TVs and into the airport which was probably what the airport in “Argo” was based off. But now, the airport has become a modern spectacle complete with water fountains. This scared me since I was going back to India to seek closure from a place that I was only supposed to be gone from for two years. How could I say goodbye to a place that wasn’t really the same place? Thankfully it doesn’t matter how many new Pizza Huts and Nike stores are now in India, you still can’t get rid of the taste of tandoori chicken or of the countless horns of auto rickshaws honking for no apparent reason or of the roads that seem to get worse with every effort that is made to fix them. I was expecting more culture shock than I experienced. Surprisingly, my 16year-old brain remembered what my 10-year-old brain

had memorized. I knew how to get to my house from different places in town and I could tell you what to order depending on what restaurant we were eating at. But my 16-year-old brain was able to pick out stuff that I had never noticed before, most notably that India is a land of stark contrasts. People talk about the divide between the rich and the poor here in the U.S., but this class division is even more apparent in India. Looking out one window you can see an idling Mercedes and a tapping on the other one draws your attention to a homeless person who begs for anything you can provide. The trip could have been a cold hello from a land that I used to know but in the end it was more of a welcome back hug. Luckily saying goodbye now felt less like closure and more like a ‘see ya later.’ I hope to go back to India for a gap year following high school.

‘To be put in the question of the week section on the MHS Mentor. You better do it.” - Nicholas N. Clark, junior

“Keep a steady practice schedule for band. Going well, actually.” - Justin Gittle, junior

Next edition’s Question of the Week:

How did yo u s p en d yo ur lon g we eken d?

“Spend less time on my phone i.e. Twitter. Failed miserably.” - Michaela Braun, senior

Submit answers to mhsmentor. com or tweet us at @mhsmentoronline

“Make it through this semester without exploding. So far so good.” - Madi Fellers, senior

Put the spotlight on education Maddie Ross

We live in a country that gives the explicit right to a public education. The success of this education depends heavily on the collaboration of a multitude of people ranging from teachers and school faculty, local school boards, federal officials, and the center of a growing dilemma in Kansas, state legislatures. Kansas has recently been put in the spotlight for our inadequacy to properly fund the institutions of education. Gov. Sam Brownback and the predominantly Republicanled legislature have made extreme cuts to education in Kansas, leading to a lawsuit that now sits before the state Supreme Court. Many lawsuits of this nature result in a successful increase in school funding with an emphasis on providing resources to

impoverished and special needs students. The current crisis is rooted in a series of cuts beginning in 2009, and fueled by a tax break enacted in 2012 by Gov. Brownback benefiting wealthy Kansans. As students we have the power to protect our education and the education of those who will come after us. Education is the center of technological, social, political and environmental developments. For these developments to take place our constitutional right to the resources to a rounded education can not be intruded upon. We need to be challenged in a curriculum tailored individual strengths and weaknesses. We need the opportunity to explore the critical thinking that comes through classes that excite our interests while increasing our knowledge. We need the opportunity to create visual and dramatic arts and music, express ourselves in whatever it is that makes us thrive. We need to give those with learning abilities the opportunity to grow and develop in an

educational venue identical to their peers. To achieve this goal, we need to first bring to attention the importance of this issue. By cutting funding for education, we will lose opportunity. The thirst for knowledge, the creativity, the infinite ability are all left behind. Lastly we need to invest in our teachers. We need the educators surrounding us to be enthusiastic in sharing their knowledge. We need educators who challenge our abilities and nurture the strengths we didn’t know we had. We need to show as a society how important the role of educators are in our daily lives, and ultimately in our future. The problem with Kansas education seems to be a lack of priority. We as the Kansans and they as the State legislature of Kansas need to decide what is important. Is a tax break benefiting a select group of wealthy Kansans worth the future of students? You decide.

No need to be envious Danielle Cook

It’s there again -- that burning feeling in your heart -- you see that girl that’s dating the guy you’ve had your eye on since the fourth grade. It’s there every time you see someone wearing that pair of shoes you love that you can’t afford. It’s even there when your best friend scores higher than you do on a math test. It’s there every time you see or think of something you want, but can’t have. And it brings you down. It’s envy, the little greeneyed monster, back to taunt you once more. It’s back again to make what you have seem inadequate in comparison to what others around you may have. But as strange as it is, everyone gets envious...even the people who seem to have everything in

the world. Envy, though a universal and common state of being among humans, comes in all different shapes and forms; it morphs and molds based on the desires of each of its victims, and each of those victims feels envy’s bitter impact with a unique intensity. So, each person is left to deal with envy in his or her own way, and most people choose to hold onto it, letting it turn their general feelings more and more negative over time. However, even though envy is a natural, mostly unavoidable thing (especially for those of us who are caught in some kind of bizarre limbo between childhood and adulthood), it’s by no means powerful enough to control a human life – especially one that’s full of positivity. Yeah, everyone gets jealous. But when you do, are you one to hold on to a jealous feeling toward someone, possibly creating more issues for yourself, or are you one to try and remember what it is that you’re lucky to have? I’ll let you in on a little

secret . You might just have something that someone else would love to have. Maybe you have amazing friends or an amazing family that someone else doesn’t have and would be jealous of. Now, I’m not saying you should strive to be the envied; I’m saying that you should strive to count your blessings and to be a sharer of those blessings. The sooner you figure out that there is no true need to be envious of someone else, the better, because every single person is unique in their strengths and weaknesses. So, any time that menacing green-eyed monster pops up and does its best to make you feel down and out, try to focus on your own strengths. The unique positive things you do have in life instead of everything you don’t have. If you learn to shake jealous feelings with positivity, then there’s no way jealous feelings can shake you. It might not be easy, but the more you practice positivity, the happier you’ll be. Trust me.

The Mentor EDITORS:

Liz Logback, Editor-in-Chief/Trending

Maddie Ross, News Editor Sarah Shi, Opinions/Content Editor Jared Gebhardt, Entertainment Editor Greg Woods, Sports Editor Connor Bliss, Features Editor Kennedy Felice; Danielle Cook, Copy Editors Alan Brown, Multimedia Editor Tracy Le, Graphic Designer Allison Olsen, Photo Editor

STAFF WRITERS/PHOTOGRAPHERS: Kristen Batson Rachel Beach Gage Benne Chris Klug Retta Lazaris Madeline Marshall Madison Newman John Rockey Joseph Sell


Kristyn Baker David Clinkinbeard Karl Drown Patrick Falcone Vincent Goss Karl Harmon Jordan Hatley Colten Kirk

Josh Kohls Kasey Morris Mallory Morris Megan Ritthisorn Jeremy Romig Zane Smith Austin Tatum


Gage Benne, Business Manager Kristy Nyp, Adviser

The Mentor is published each Tuesday that school is in session at Manhattan High School, 2100 Poyntz Ave. Manhattan, Kan. Telephone (785) 587-2114. More than 1,500 Mentors are printed each week and distributed free of charge to all faculty members and students. MHS journalists are members of the Scholastic Press Association. The Mentor is an open forum that accepts contributions from the public. E-mail us at

Halsey Camera, Cartoonist

The Mentor is an open forum and accepts signed letters and guest columns from students, faculty members and parents. Letters and columns are distinct from each other. • Letters are in response to content in this publication and are recommended to be no longer than 350 words. • Columns are a new topic, a call to action or a clear statement of an opinion regarding a school or national issue and are required to be within 300-600 words in length. Anyone interested in contributing a guest column is advised to clear the topic with the editorial staff prior to writing it in order to save time and effort. The editorial staff reserved the right to edit for length, grammar and clarity while preserving the original intent. All letters, columns and other guest content must be signed and must be free of copyright violations. E-mail ideas and submissions to Editor-in-Chief Liz Logback at Staff meetings take place every five-day school week on Tuesdays during fifth hour and editorial discussions are Wednesdays during second lunch. Anyone is invited to come pitch ideas.

Entertainment The Mentor Page 3

Walking in a winter wonderland

Senior boys show off their moves during Friday’s winter Homecoming pep rally. Seniors who wanted to be part of the poweder puff cheer squad had to be approved by the MHS cheerleaders. They practiced their routine, which was choreographed by members of the cheer team, during December and through Homecoming week. Jared Gebhardt, photographer

Candidates warm up for Homecoming Jared Gebhardt Entertainment Editor After a week of atypical scheduling, Winter Homecoming candidates missed first hour on Friday to get ready for the crowning of a new king and queen at Friday night’s basketball games. Candidates spent the majority of first hour learning where to stand and who to walk with in the main gym during a practice session of the crowning. For some students, like junior Mary Romig, the candidacy was simply honorary. “I’m really shy, so this is really nerve wracking, but I feel kind of special,” Romig said.

Romig represented GSA. walking down with all my She kept her hopes high in friends.” terms of future homecomBeauregard was surprised ings. “I’d be scared,” Romig to hear his name called dursaid, “but I’d be very proud ing the crowning between the of it.” girls and boys varsity games, Other students had a as he was crowned king. more nostalgic connection to “I definitely didn’t think the event. about the situation that I’d “It’s pretty cool, I If I won I’d be really happy and proud to mean, you represent swimming and diving, but the kind of grow up watching best part is just walking down with all my everyone friends.” -Beauregard walk down the aisle so to be part of it is pretty neat,” have, that I did have, if I did senior Cameron Beauregard actually win, so I was really said. “If I won I’d be really really nervous. I was honhappy and proud to repre- estly surprised I just didn’t sent swimming and diving, know what to do and I got but the best part is just handed everything and I was


Homecoming kicks off return from break Allison Olsen Photo Editor It’s that time again. Students were seen around the halls sporting creative apparel, classroom doors were spiritedly decorated and shopping carts were being crafted, all to this winter’s homecoming theme: “It’s a Winter Wonderland.” As a new tradition for the school, started at the Fall Homecoming pep rally, the West Campus welcomed all of the freshmen to join them in the excitement. For spirit week this year, Manhattan High students were able to support their school by dressing up. Since the cold weather actually provided a winter wonderland snow day, the theme of Monday’s “stay at home and bundle up” replaced the camo day that was originally planned, but on Tuesday many students came to school wearing the tackiest sweaters imaginable. Wednesday was dubbed as western day and the school was full of plaid shirts and cowboy boots. Thursday was tie-dye day and Friday students wore their class colors. For every Homecoming MHS has a competition where classes decorate their classroom doors to the theme and the most creatively decorated one wins. Along with spirit week and door decorating, each club gets the opportunity to decorate a shopping cart to creatively represent both the

theme and the entirety of the club. During the pep rally, the club members paraded the shopping carts around the North Gym for all of the school to see. The pep rally always has many different fun parts, from Chase Nielsen performing robotic dancing to Grand Marshall Darren Allman dressed as Santa Claus. The cheerleaders and the dance team have practiced their pep rally routines since November. Their skills were displayed in complicated lifts and stunts. For the winter homecoming pep rally, a new entourage of male dancers entertained the crowd with their technique and skill during the powderpuff performance. They, too, had practiced for several weeks leading up to the performance. “Winter break was a challenge, but we ended up fitting in extra practices,” senior Tori Matta said. During the pep rally, tugof-war teams faced off in an epic battle of strength. The freshmen girls’ inner beasts came out as they beat the juniors to advance to the finals during the basketball games in the evening, where they defeated the senior girls. To accompany all of the Homecoming activities, the MHS basketball teams had their games against Shawnee Heights. Between the girls’ and boys’ games, the Homecoming king and queen nominees lined up to be announced. This year, MHS decided

to make the Homecoming Fun Night into a semi-formal dance. Students dressed up and danced the night away.

Monday: snow day Tuesday: tacky sweaters Wednesday: western Thursday: tie-dye Friday: class colors Skills USA members assemble their shopping cart for the upcoming pep rally. Retta Lazaris, photographer

kind of nervous but it was fun,” he said. He took a moment to recognize everyone who supported him by voting. “I mean it’s nice, it’s cool. It means at least my peers look good upon me,” Beauregard said. “Thank you to everyone who voted for me. I really appreciate it.” Senior Jamie Steele, representing cheerleading, was equally stunned when her name was called to come forward to be crowned queen. “It’s just crazy, I didn’t expect it at all. I guess it’s always good to win,” Steele said. “I guess I would put other people above myself in that way, so it was just a surprise.”

Senior Lakith Ranaweera plays the part of Frosty the snowman for the NHS cart during Friday’s pep rally. Jared Gebhardt, photographer

Shopping cart parade brings out clubs’ creative side Retta Lazaris Staff Writer Students piled into the stands, anticipating the roar of school pride coming from the Winter Homecoming pep rally. Among the festivities, a parade took place to promote the Homecoming theme, “It’s a Winter Wonderland.” Instead of traditional floats, however, clubs from all over the school decorated Wal-Mart shopping carts to fit the theme -- with a bit of their own personal

twists. Each club tested the boundaries of creativity by thinking ‘outside of the cart’ and making a simple shopping cart into a Winter Wonderland. Spanish Club draped their cart with a felt igloo. FFA used dry ice and a splash of water to add an icy effect. NHS had a guest appearance by Frosty the Snowman (senior Lakith Ranaweera.) Thespians were absent for part of last week due to their state conference, so Linda Uthoff’s seventh hour

stagecraft class actually decorated the Thespians cart. “We do one every year, and I wish that we could be [there] to work on it this year, but we have state conference this week,” senior Macy Lanceta, president of Thespians, said. SkillsUSA had a friendly competition with FFA while they made their carts. The students had covered the window peering into the auto tech class, keeping their work very low-key.

Sports The Mentor

Girls, boys split with Shawnee Chris Klug Staff Writer The Manhattan High girls basketball team began Friday night’s homecoming excitement with a 66-43 win over the Shawnee Heights Thunderbirds in blowout fashion. The Indians were able to get ahead early with good defense in the first quarter which set the tone for the rest of the game. “We got off to a good start right off the bat and were able to put them away pretty early,” senior forward Darby Price said. The first quarter was capped off with a half-court buzzer beater made by junior guard Molly Fiser. Fiser finished the game with a career high 13 points and three 3-pointers. “Making the first [three pointer] made me want to shoot more,” Fiser said. “It definitely sets the tone.” The second quarter was

highlighted by a 20-3 run, putting the game away for good. The Indians defense proved to be a factor forcing 16 turnovers and holding the Thunderbirds to 19 percent shooting in the first half. “I thought we played really good defense. Overall we played as a team and that’s what made our defense so strong,” Price said. “It is what we really worked on in practice was defense and help defense.” The Indians are now 5-1 with the lone loss coming to Great Bend by two points. That’s a 3-0 start to Centennial League. “Oh, we are going to State. This team is going to go far,” Price said. The Indians go on the road to play the undefeated Hayden Wildcats (5-0, 3-0) team tonight at 6:15. “We just need to play as a team and hit the open girl and play strong defense and force turnovers,” Price said.

Price, McNair nominated Seniors Par McNair and Darby Price were nominated to the 2014 McDonald’s All-Americans. Only 14 athletes (eight girls and six boys) were selected from the state of Kansas. Getting nominated as a McDonald’s All-American is a big honor for the players, their families and their school. “It feels really good. You know you work really hard for something, when you get it, it is really rewarding,” Price said.

Senior Darby Price shoots over a Shawnee Heights defender Friday night. Retta Lazaris, photographer back. Shawnee forced multiple turnovers in the first quarter alone, turning them Climbing uphill is a very into points on the other end, in large part due to its athletidifficult thing to do. The Manhattan High cism. However, the Indians kept School boys basketball team learned that lesson the hard fighting. MHS outscored the way, dropping its Friday Thunderbirds in the third home game 53-45 to Shaw- quarter 12-9, including a 10-0 nee Heights, a game in which run fueled by junior Payton Stephens, who finished the the Indians seldom led. MHS spent most of the game with 15 points. Nevergame trailing. The first quar- theless, Shawnee proved reter resulted in a 15-11 Shaw- silient. SHHS countered with a 15-5 run of nee lead, setting the Hopefully we’ve got a competitive its own, making the climb tone for Manthe rest of juice that wants to get the nasty taste for hattan that the game. out of our mouth. -- Tim Brooks much more “It was difficult. hard to “We didn’t execute down guard [Shawnee Heights’] speed,” head coach Tim the stretch,” senior guard Brooks said. “Their speed Alex Stitt said. “We didn’t guarded us very well, and we guard the ball well.” Shawnee Heights roundweren’t very good offensiveed out the game in the fourth ly because of that.” That much became quarter, outscoring MHS evident as the game pro- 16-11. The Indians, indeed, gressed. The second quarter struggled on defense. Comsaw SHHS extend its lead to ing into Friday, MHS surseven points at 22-15, and rendered about 44 points the T-Birds never looked per contest. They allowed 55 Greg Woods Sports Editor

points Friday night. “This was the first time we were really tested. We didn’t respond very well,” Brooks said. Four Shawnee Heights players finished in double figures, establishing an offensive threat unknown to the Indians before Friday’s match-up. Manhattan’s last two conference games versus Shawnee Heights and Washburn Rural have demonstrated the difficulty of the Centennial League, as MHS outscored its non-conference opponents by an average of 67-48. “Hopefully we’re mature enough to [rebound after Friday’s loss],” Brooks said. “Hopefully we’ve got a competitive juice that wants to get the nasty taste out of our mouth.” “[Rebounding] starts tomorrow morning,” senior Darian Taylor said. “Just start from the ground up again.” Manhattan’s next game is Tuesday in Topeka to take on the Hayden Wildcats.

Senior Darian Taylor shoots over a Shawnee defender Friday night in Manhattan. Taylor ended the game with six points in a 53-45 losing effort as the Indians lost their perfect season, falling to 5-1 on the year. “[Losing] gets our heads level,” Taylor said after the game. “It lets us know we’re not all that.” Kristen Batson, photographer

Wrestling wins on Senior Night John Rockey Staff Writer Coming back from the break, the Manhattan High Wrestling team continued their season with wins against Emporia on Wednesday and at Clay Center on Thursday, finishing the week with two more wins at Salina South and Topeka Seaman Saturday. Wednesday, they faced Emporia at home for Senior Night. The night started with an introduction of the team’s senior wrestlers. The meet

resulted in a Manhattan victory, 38 to 21, in the dual that had been rescheduled from December. “It’s great to have all the support. There’s nothing better than winning in front of your home crowd,” senior Josh Mullin said. On Thursday the team had another JV/Varsity dual meet in Clay Center where the Varsity won 64 to 6. Both teams prepared for separate meets on Saturday. Varsity competed in Salina South against 10 other teams to win first overall with 139 points.

Athlete of the Week

Freshman Mason Wallace

The JV team placed first out of eight teams with a total of 179 points. “I am glad that I’m finally wrestling to my ability and not freezing up,” senior Erick Sanchez said. “No matches were given. We went out there and did it,” freshman Devin Norris said. The Varsity team will compete in Newton this Friday and Saturday while the JV will be away at the Hays Tournament on Saturday.

Q: How long have you been wrestling? A: For about 11 years. Since I was four.

Q: What’s it like to place first at a tournament? A: It feels pretty good for my first high school tournament to place first.

Q: What’s your favorite part about wrestling? A: Competing and winning.

Bowling continues to improve Joseph Sell Staff Writer This past weekend, the boys bowling team took sixth out of 27 schools at the Bishop Carroll Varsity Tournament in Wichita. With most of the girls bowling team sick they were unable to field a girls team. The head coach Chris George also faced illness for the tournament. They lost the fifth slot by 4 points. “We did real good all around but could have done better,” junior Smitt Thirakul said. Thirakul said the difference can come down to leav-

Senior Austin Chauncey wrestles for Manhattan High. John Rockey, photographer

ing an open frame or getting the spare. “One spare is 10 points plus the next frame,” he said. One bowler felt better about his game on Saturday than usual. “I think I personally did better than I had at past practices,” sophomore Frank Felber said. “I had only a couple of misses three or four in all the games we played.” On Thursday, to prep for the tournament, the bowling team practiced hitting pockets, areas between pins, and picking up spares. “We’re working on spares because we lost tournaments to spares,” Thirakul said.

The bowlers have a lot on their minds while competing. “You need to figure out your strike line and you need to figure how much the ball is moving. You move for spares so you can hit it,” Felber said. “To some people bowling isn’t a real sport, to us it is we put in as many hours as other sports,” Thirakul said. The bowling team will compete today against Seaman, Washburn Rural, Emporia and Hayden at Hayden.

Features The Mentor Page 5

From Bangalore to Manhattan Liz Logback Editor-in-Chief Born and raised during his early years in Bangalorla, India, senior Sriramana Sankar has experienced two cultures, but found that they are more similar than different. “When I was 12, during the seventh grade, I moved to New York. I was there for about two and a half years and then I moved here to Manhattan,” Sankar said. “My mom finished her doctorate and she got a job in New York, that’s why we moved from India.” Fortunately for Sankar, English has always been his first language and he considers himself to be outgoing when making friends, so the move wasn’t too hard on him. “I usually don’t have a problem with [making

friends.] I’m usually a pretty friendly person. We didn’t really have a problem. The move happened quickly and well,” Sankar said. In fact, Sankar felt lucky to move to the United States

happy we moved before that time,” Sankar said. Even the school system in Manhattan differs from his experience in New York. “It was a lot larger than my old school, it was good.

I feel like Americans are the best at speaking in the fake stereotypical Indian accent.” -Sriramana Sankar

before he moved into higher school grades. “Later on in school in India, 10th grade, 11th grade, those are very important in India and you really have to study constantly during that time and you really don’t have much of a life during that time, so I was really

There were a lot more choices, a lot more classes I could take. This school only had seven hours in the day, my old school had nine,” Sankar said. And despite the easier transition, Sankar and his family still left a lot behind and have tried to preserve

their culture and traditions from India. “At home its pretty similar to the way it is in India. We still eat Indian food almost all the time. We brought all the spices and all the different things so all of our food is Indian,” Sankar said. “I did leave a lot of friends and family there.” Sankar feels his Indian culture is embraced pretty well, but is frustrated by stereotypes. “Everyone thinks we have a fake stereotypical Indian accent and I’ve never actually heard any Indian speak like that. That’s not how our accent is,” he said. “And I feel like Americans are the best at speaking in the fake stereotypical Indian accent.” Sriramana Sankar was born and raised in India. Photo by Taelor Jones, photographer

Foreign exchange students experience foreign Christmas Madison Newman Staff Writer Christmas celebrations in the United States are much different from some other parts of the world, which the Manhattan High School foreign exchange students discovered during the recent holiday season. “It was fun. I learned a new tradition,” junior Silvan Plattner said. “You guys find

everything you can possibly fit on your tree. I’ve never seen such random things. Willie the Wildcat was on our tree.” Ana Dominguez laughed, and agreed with this. “Yes we had the same way. I have never seen pictures as a decoration.” “It was odd to celebrate during the day, because at home [Denmark] we celebrate at night, and dance

around our tree,” junior Oliver Liebe said. Senior Tomas Nocetti had a special treat for the holidays when his family came from Argentina to spend part of his break with him. “It was great, my family came to visit me. They came for New Year’s and picked up my sister in New York, so that was a long drive. I think that was the best Christmas present I got,” Nocetti said.

“It was also my first white Christmas, too. We open our presents at midnight, so that was different, too.” Senior Oscar Serrate had not seen snow before either. “I made an igloo. In Bolivia we don’t have snow, obviously. We do fireworks and everybody gets together in the family, and we stay up late and my mother and grandmother make a very, very large pig.”

Some of the religious aspects of the Christmas season are treated differently in other countries, as well. “In Spain, the three Wise Men come on [Jan.] 6th and they leave gifts telling you if you were good or bad, and Papa Noel comes on the 25th to bring the rest of the gifts,” Dominguez said. “In Switzerland the three kings come on [Jan.] 6th and they bless you with gifts if you

were good, then the Christ Kind, which is like the holy spirit, comes the 25th and brings you the rest of your gifts,” Plattner said. The trend of starting the holiday season early was unusual for Liebe. “You guys listen to Christmas music really early. And very long,” he said.

The Killers’ ‘Direct Hits’: Right on target Alan Brown Multimedia Editor Bullseye! Throughout their career, The Killers have always hit the mark when it comes to innovative music. A glance at the name would suggest them to be a group that sputters out poorly tasted heavy metal or intense screamo rock, but that is certainly not the case. In truth, the Nevada-based band has been one of the leading indie bands in recent years and has been one of the few to actually crack mainstream radio. Single “Mr. Brightside,” for example, was voted one of the best songs of all time

by NME magazine. But with the release of “Direct Hits,” it would appear that the end is near for the band. Overall, the album provides an excellent summary of the group’s career. Chronologically ordered, “Direct Hits” acts as a timeline. The transitions from album to album are evident, and the listener cannot help but notice that their earlier work clearly outshines the singles they have released most recently. Their early rise to success was especially impressive considering they developed long after the rise and fall of the 2001 rock revival and had to grow from out of its shadow. Hit singles

“Somebody Told Me” and “Mr. Brightside” were more than enough to propel them to the high profile status they hold today. The Killers have not only leaned on the rich vocals of lead singer Brandon Flowers, but have looked to him as a source for inspiration as well. Flower’s fascination with electronic and ‘80s music has evolved into the band’s signature sound. Even in recent years, the influences are still present. “Runaways,” for example, has U2 written all over it. Lyrically, they are unconventional as they come. “Are we human or are we dancers?” from the song “Human”

would make nearly all English teachers cringe, but somehow it has emerged as one of the the most memorable lyrics of all the last decade. To include such questionable lyrics is a risky gamble, but it is fresh, unique and acts as a pillar that shapes the identity of the band. Indie fans everywhere should be dissapointed if this album indeed marks the end of the great career of The Killers. They will certainly be missed. The Killers’s new album “Direct Hits” provides a striking end to their dazzling career. Photo Courtesy of

Thies’ long, odd road to teaching Joseph Sell Staff Writer You won’t find Jacob Thies listed “Most Likely to Become an MHS Teacher” in the 2001 edition of the Blue M yearbook. But Thies, who graduated from Manhattan High that year, did go on to become a teacher, and he’s been making advanced

placement U.S. History interesting for students since 2006. Thies says he actually didn’t enjoy high school all that much and in return didn’t take the challenging courses offered. “I liked history. I wasn’t that interested in being there. I went to high school for three years and then for

senior year went to technical college for construction,” Thies said. After graduating technical college Thies started a construction business called Gutter Guy. “We did aluminum gutters and siding and roofing. We could do anything but electricity and plumbing,” Thies said.

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Thies continued to run the business while attending college and found it stressful because he would have to divide time between writing an essay or applying roofing to a house. He did not sell the business until his second or third year of teaching. “I didn’t want to divide time between teaching and running a business,” Thies

said. During college he wasn’t sure that he wanted to be a teacher. “I didn’t decide to be a teacher until I graduated college,” Thies said. He first went and got a degree in history and then went back to get a second degree in teaching, which allowed him to turn his passion into

From Smoking Page 1

From Mr. MHS Page 1

and learning in our schools,” Shannon said. Research done by the district suggests that electronic cigarette use is not widespread. “I view the school and district administration action as proactive and beneficial to individual health and school climate,” Shannon said. While changes were not extensive, administration believes it will further help to prevent student tobacco problems. “My personal and professional opinion is that students smoking cigarettes is beginning a personal habit that will have detrimental health consequences for individuals as life continues,” Shannon said. “If school rules help diminish the use of tobacco products during the teenage years, then perhaps this will help them not develop the dependency as they age.”

evolved to really be talent,” Campbell said. “Last year, we had people who rearranged and wrote music on their own. We had people who did dance routines, skits that they put together.” Simpson agrees. “The talent, my goodness. That was truly amazing to watch that grow because before they were just kind of doing stunts and that kind of thing,” Simpson said. “The other thing I saw grow was interesting costuming. They’ve really put forth a lot more effort in costumes. I see some very, very clever things.” The competition and the crown may seem like a big part of the production, but

both Campbell and Simpson share the idea that the relationships that are built and the joy that comes with the preparation and the performance are what makes Mr. MHS something special. “I love the idea [of Mr. MHS] and one of the things that’s really nice is yes, the guys really love doing it, but by the time they’ve done those rehearsals it really doesn’t matter who wins, they’re just really happy for whoever wins,” Campbell said. “It’s a good feeling for them to go through a competition but not see it as something that is a competition, it’s more fun.”

From Thespians Page 1

was a success. “They did a great job they really represented Manhattan very well,” Uthoff said. “It was a great learning experience.

lects for the theater and also was on a panel of directors to educate student directors,” Uthoff said. Overall the conference

a career. “I have really enjoyed teaching because the students are at the age where they have a sense of humor but aren’t as stressed as adults,” Thies said.

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In with the new, out with the old Trending The Mentor

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A look back...what’s to come 2014 2013 JF Liz Logback Editor in Chief


Whether it be Miley Cyrus’ wild take off or President Obama’s inauguration, 2013 was a year to remember, paving the way for up and coming artists, movies, world events and more in 2014. We’ve highlighted some of the top events of this past year and given a preview of what's to come during this year. Throw in a few fun facts, and you have a full blown package of two different years. Remember the best of 2013 and look forward to what’s to come in 2014.





9 10 5



1. Twerktastophy. Miley Cyrus’ career took a turn in a different direction and she released her album “Bangerz.” 2. Vine was released, making 6 second videos of #smackcam popular. 3. Obama was inaugurated and began his second term as President of the United States. 4. “What Does the Fox Say?” took the country and YouTube by storm. 5. Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95. 6. “Catching Fire” topped the box offices with over $417 million made so far.



7. Jimmy Fallon will take over the Tonight Show on Monday, Feb. 17. 8. The Winter Olympics will be on Feb. 8 in Sochi, Russia. 9. The FIFA World Cup is on June 12 in Brazil. 10. “Amazing Spider Man 2” starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone swings into theaters in May. 11. It’s rumored Taylor Swift will release a new album in the coming year. 12. Elections!

2013’s Top Instagram locations 2013’s hottest movie premieres

n ago Par all, m M ia 1. S pping hailand Sho ok, T gk Ban

2. Tim New es Squar York e City ,

nd, n e y l a lif. s i D . a 3 im, C Anahe

4. Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas

Iron Man 3-409 million Man of Steel-291 million Gravity-255 million Frozen-313 million Catching fire-417 million

5. Disney Orlando, World, Fla.

in dollars. information gathered from USA Today.

Volume 101 Edition 15