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4/23/10 News 5

Cheerleaders Place First at Nationals

The cheerleading squad wins NCA as the first competitive cheer team in the Acalanes district by Jessica Coleman The Miramonte Cheerleading squad made their debut as the first competitive cheer team in the Acalanes district when they placed first at the NCA Nationals Competition in Los Angeles. They competed in the small team division against teams that had up to three stunt groups, compared to their single one. “We paved the way for future teams to be competitive,” said junior Christie Requa. Prior to the competition, the loss of two team members discouraged the team and hindered their optimism. However, the team decided that they wanted to compete regardless of their loss in numbers, and rechoreographed their routine. Photos: S. Belinsky Chances of a win at Nationals seemed slim, but the team felt prepared going into the competition. Above: The team poses with their first place trophy. Right: “We went out on the floor hoping to hit a strong, The cheer squad practices their routine in preparation for clean routine,” said Requa. “We are proud of what Nationals. we accomplished as a team, and that we fought Their win has inspired the team to stay competitive through the hardships despite the fact that we competed next year, but it depends on the amount of dedication that against teams twice our size.” The extra work from the cheerleaders and their coach, the new members have. “We are with each other the entire year so we really Rebecca George, proved to be worth it after their first bond and love each other,” said Belinsky. “We have a great place win. “We saw Ms. George running towards us crying, and we team.” The upcoming tryouts will determine the squad for the all started screaming,” said Captain senior Sasha Belinsky. 2010-11 school year. “I think it was one of the best moments of my life.”

Odyssey Wins by Hannah Tennant and Marina Allen Odyssey of the Mind is a creative, educational program, which provides students with opportunities from building technical machinery to interpreting theatrical pieces. The Miramonte team, after placing first in the regional tournament and second in the state tournament, is headed to Michigan State University where they will compete in the World Tournament. “How we place at worlds is not important to us,” said team member junior Kathryn Butler. “We are just happy to be able to go.” The team consists of Butler and juniors Caety Klingman, Melissa Chenok, Ann Pister, Ariel Cohen and College Preparatory junior T.J. Barber. The team participated in problem five entitled “Food Court.” In this problem, the team was required to create a theatrical scenario involving fruits and vegetables, while meeting a set of requirements specific to their problem. They will be judged upon various categories, including acting, style, overall effect and creativity. The tournament will take place May 26-30.

Grad Night Nears by Jessica Coleman As June approaches, many seniors are debating how to celebrate the end of their high school career. Meanwhile, parents are laboring over Grad Night, a party thrown for the seniors after their graduation ceremony. This celebration has been controversial since the massive district budget cuts, but many parents believe that Grad Night is money well spent. “People don’t understand the value of Grad Night,” said Ina Pavey of the Grad Night committee. “They think it is a waste of money.” In reality, the money ensures a safe drug and alcohol free atmosphere where the seniors can spend one last night together. In the past, students have described the night as an irreplaceable bonding experience, where the efforts of the parents create a magical night. Past Grad Night parties have featured a DJ, games, crafts, spa and relaxation, zip lines, a casino, video and arcade games, dancing, live entertainment, raffle prizes, never-ending food and a senior class video. “The parents say it takes a village to do this. It’s great to roundup the parents and work together one last time,” said Pavey. Due to the success of fundraisers, ticket prices are ensured to be less expensive than in past years, according to Diane Oshima.

Red Watch Band Program Teaches Alcohol Poisoning Awareness Red Watch Band promotes alcohol safety at teenage parties by Sophia Bollag Eleven students completed the Red Watch Band alcohol awareness training where they learned how to perform CPR and how to help a peer who is suffering from alcohol poisoning. The pilot program at Miramonte was administered by sports medicine teacher and athletic trainer John Grigsby and Healthy Choices co-chairs Lynne Alper and Jaime Zaffanella on Thursday, March 18 and Saturday, March 20. “The Mission of the Red Watch Band is to provide Miramonte students with the knowledge, awareness, and skills to prevent toxic drinking deaths,” said Zaffanella. “The more young people who are trained in this, the safer the environment will be.” The program was started to educate the teenagers who attend parties where alcohol is present so that there will be a reduced risk of someone dying of alcohol poisoning or another alcohol related problem at one of these parties. A large part of the training focused on teaching minors when it is imperative to call for help and how they can

resist peer pressure when those around them do not want to contact help for fear of getting in trouble. Trainees were also taught to recognize signs of an alcohol overdose, including slowed breathing and unresponsiveness. In addition, trainees learned how to use an automatic external defibrillator (an AED) on a person who is potentially experiencing cardiac arrest or having a heart attack. “We [the trainees] all think they’re good skills to have,” said junior Kirsten Rutledge, who participated in the training. “If the situation was to come up [where we needed to perform CPR or help someone experiencing alcohol poisoning] we may not be 100% competent, but we would know what to do.” Students who completed the training will receive red watches and are encouraged to wear them so that other students will know that they are CPR and Red Watch Band certified. Grigsby said he hoped there would be more opportunities for other students to participate in the program. “I thought it was very successful,” he said of the pilot group. “I am working on setting up another training.”

Admin Places J-Lot Under Watch Rule prevents students from using cars as lockers by Mackenzie Lee You’re in third period and you realize that you left the book needed for that class in your car…again. You ask your teacher to go to your “locker,” and on the way you see campus security office Mark Graminski patrolling the Junior Lot. He approaches, and you put on your best “I’m innocent” face. However, your acting skills need some work because Mr. G sends you back to class without granting you access to your car, with the book locked away inside. In past years, students were allowed to go to cars in the Junior Lot during school hours. Graminski patrolled the J-lot so students could retrieve lunches and left behind books. However, in recent months, the right to visit cars during school has been restricted. “The problem was that kids were using their cars as lockers,” said Associate Principal Jan Carlson. “This rule was made by the district because students need to be kept in a smaller area so that safety doesn’t become an issue.”

With limited faculty and nearly 1300 students to maintain a safe environment for, faculty felt overwhelmed by the amount of students wandering to the J-lot during brunch and lunch. During Graminski’s leave in January, supervision of students during brunch and lunch was stretched thin. The administration has had reports of vandalism on cars, including spray paint and paint markers, brought to their attention. Some students felt targeted and the administration has investigated accusations of bullying. The administration has also reviewed the camera recordings of the J-lot. “I have brought names of habitual offenders to the office,” said Graminski. “The amount of people in the Junior Lot has slowed down 85-90% because of my visual presence.” However, the administration maintains the freedom for seniors to use the Senior Lot during brunch and lunch. “It is not my goal to get kids in trouble,” said Graminski. “If you left a big project in your car and you need to get it before your class, then just ask me and I’ll be happy to allow you to get it from your car.”


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