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Boys’ swim team hopes to restore district title Page 12

Fans choose sides: Team Matty or Team Jake? Page 6

Senior Tori Ford volunteers in Tanzania Page 9


Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

5901 Pine Island Road Parkland, FL

Volume 25


September 2012

Students visit college campuses to seek perfect atmosphere Page 7

Index News.....................1-3 Entertainment......4-6 Feature.................7-9 Editorial...............10-11 Sports...................12-16

Astronomy students embrace space with iPad technology Page 2

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The Courier


September 2012

Astronomy projects soar

J u n i o r C a r l o s Rodriguez reviews new registration regulations on the ACT website in the Media Center.

with iBooks application AMANDA GAINES News Editor Upon the release of Apple’s iBook Author application on January 19, 2012, astronomy teacher Kyle Jeter discovered the potential of this e-book publishing software in the classroom. Apple’s iBook Author, a tool for creating custom iBooks, allows users to publish their work to the iBook store or Over the last half of the 2011-2012 school year, Jeter planned his new curriculum, which he calls “iAuthor Astronomy.” With this idea in mind, he applied for a grant from the Parkland Public School Fund to get the necessary equipment, such as an iPad to view the iBooks on and the iBook Author software to put on the computer. In the proposal, he explained his new astronomy curriculum, which allows his students to create an Astronomy iBook with the material students learn in class. After reviewing Jeter’s proposal, the Parkland Public Schools Fund donated $1,000 to the “iAuthor Astronomy” project, enough to purchase two new iPads. Instead of reviewing the progress of their iBooks on the school’s laptops, students can view their iBooks on the newly purchased iPads, similar to how a person reads purchased iBooks on an iPad, while in class. To begin the 2012-2013 school year, Jeter launched a new Astronomy curriculum, in which all students will make

an astronomy iBook. “I thought it was really cool and unique,” senior Ryan Gross said. “It made me more excited about the class, and I like how it’s a different way of learning.” Both Mr. Jeter’s and Mr. Simpson’s Astronomy classes go through an alternating class schedule. They alternate days taking notes during class and transferring these topics to their iBooks. Ultimately students will create their own astronomy textbook, equipped with interactive components such as 3-Dimensional pictures, video clips, Keynote presentations, and photo galleries. “The fact that this program is new to all of us is a big challenge,” Jeter said. “We learn something new about the program everyday.” At the end of the school year, some students may be given the opportunity to present their iBooks at a banquet hosted by the Parkland Public Schools Fund. Whether they present them or not, students will still keep their completed iBook either on their personal iPad for family and friends on their computers at home. “I’d like to thank the administration and Mr. Otero for their support in making this happen, along with the Parkland Public Schools Fund, from myself and Mr. Simpson,” Jeter said. “I certainly hope that we will be able to continue this project in the future Astronomy classes.”

Photo by Ryan Blitzer

SAT/ACT require photo I.D. SABRINA REISS Staff Writer College Board and ACT Inc. have implemented a new requirement: submit a photo of yourself when you register for the SAT or ACT. According to the Washington Times, College Board and ACT Inc. agreed to the precautions under public pressure from New York Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

Between September and November of 2011, Rice charged 20 high school students from Long Island with hiring a college student to take their exams for them, paying him between $1,500 and $2,500. “I feel like that is very responsible of [College Board and ACT Inc.], because people pay other people to go take their test,” junior Adam Greenhouse, who is preparing to take the ACT, said.

According to, the photo must be a clear image of only you against a plain background. You must face the camera, you cannot wear dark glasses, and any head-coverings must be adjusted to provide a fullface view. Beginning September 2012 for the ACT and October 2012 for the SAT, the digital photo you provide will become part of your admission ticket along with another I.D.

September 2012

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Changes impact students According to Assistant Principal ideally replaced every 10 years, had remained untouched since 1999. In down to the base wood as part of regular maintenance, installed fresh

The school added 12 picnic tables to the courtyard, courtesy of the Parent Teacher Student Association for $9,600. “Since we only have two lunches now, I think the tables give people more places to eat and will lessen the crowding,” senior Michael Norwalk said. Photo courtesy of Douglas Drama

Newly cemented bricks in front of the leadership room and the bus area were placed to create a stable walking surface. “I love the new improvement because I don’t trip anymore,” senior Sophia Reagan said. --LAUREN CHABAREK, Staff Writer Photos by Alexandra Barry

The Children’s Hour, runs October 5 and 6 at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $6 for students. The show will feature performances from seniors (left to right) Michelle Frost, Sean Morse, and Sykler Evans.

Drama students prepare 4 show lineup ELYSSA RONIK Staff Writer From 50’s doo-wops to ugly ducklings, the Drama Department will bring four shows to the stage this year - Children’s Hour, Falling From Trees, Grease, and Honk! The Children’s Hour, on October 5-6 at 7 pm. “Set in the 1960s, The Children’s Hour tells the story of two women who run an all-girls boarding school,” play director and senior Kasandra Meiler said. “One student, who doesn’t really want to go to school, starts an awful rumor about the women, and everything goes bad from there.” Falling From Trees, the second show of the school year, being performed on November 2, focuses on renewing the hope of a group of very diverse teens with extensive backgrounds of struggles.

“Every character has a story, such as being abused or breaking the law,” play director and senior Michelle Frost said. “But they all eventually come together, up, and realize they each have a purpose in life.” From February 14-16, the Drama Department will hand-jive with Grease - the musical that has the whole school talking. Students from other schools, otherwise known as “Cappies,” will critique this performance. “Grease was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and I still really love it, so I can’t wait to see it performed at the school,” freshman Gabriela Kotszer said. Honk!, running May 2-3, is the Drama Department’s children’s theatre project. Over 2,000 children from local elementary schools will visit Douglas to watch this musical, which is based on the story of the ugly duckling.

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The XX commits to detail in sophomore album Coexist the styles of their debut album, and is almost a Entertainment Editor continuation of what fans The XX is a London in- originally fell in love with. The album is a refreshdie pop band with similar sounds to Bon Iver, Tem- ing change of pace from per Trap, and Florence + bands that continually reinvent themselves. The Machine. Yet the small enhanceThe group’s self titled album, released in 2009, ments do not go unnoticed. quickly went platinum. The album’s beats per The XX’s new album Coexist is a superb sequel minute (BPM) slowly progresses upwards with to their release in 2009. each song from tracks one Trademarked by soft through six with an intermellow back beats, created by Jamie Smith, and ruption for track number soothing vocals by Romy seven, “Missing.” The patterns seen in Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim, the group’s music is the album completely halt the perfect lullaby to after for this track as its still nature catches the listener a long day. Released on September off guard. All resumes with track 10, 2012, Coexist mirrors ROXANNE ZECH

number eight, “Tides,” one of the more optimistic beats to come from the group. Smith artfully constructed this album, as every listen unveils a new sound or technique and even the smallest background noise can take a song into a new direction. Croft and Sim’s duo is unparalleled as they spill intimacy with every note. The XX completely its romantic lyrics and lull rhythms that make the listener easily get lost in thought. Although an acquired taste, the simplicity of The XX’s music can be appreciated by all.

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The Courier


Claymation transforms Frankenweenie ALEXANDRA BARRY Staff Writer After 28 years, Tim Burton, writer, producer, and director of movies such as Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice, has done it again with his clay-mation remake of the 1984, blackFrankenweenie. When Sparky is hit by a car, his owner, Victor Frankenstein, conducts a science experiment to reanimate him.

written by Tim Burton and Leonard Ripps and produced with Walt Disney Pictures. It starred a dog named Sparky and a young boy named Victor Frankenstein (Barret Oliver). This new version of Frankenweenie is a heartfelt story about a young boy named Victor who, after tragically losing his dog, decides to build a contraption that will, revive his beloved dog, Sparky. After Victor successfully brings Sparky back to life, his sewnup creation causes havoc throughout the town. Victor must convince his parents and neighbors that despite Sparky’s appearance, Sparky’s still the good dog he has always been. “I really enjoy Tim they are creepy, yet suitable for children. The use of clay-

mation is not only original but it also takes a lot of effort and I respect him for that,” sophomore Chloe Cabrera said. Writer, artist, and producer Tim Burton is famous for his creative and well as the use of clay-mation. “His movies range from action packed, to freaky. I really like all of the movies that he has remade. Alice in Wonderland is my favorite,” freshman Gabi Kostzer said. This black-and-white, stop-motion

Tim Burton takes the character Frankenstein and changes it to a dog that has a special connection with his owner. Frankenweenie stars Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, and Conchata Ferrell. The PG remake is scheduled to hit theaters October 5.

September 2012

Upcoming Films Pitch Perfect - September 28 Wuthering Heights - October 5 Taken 2 - October 5 War Of Buttons - October 12 Paranormal Activity 4 - October 19 Fun Size - October 26

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MTV show Awkward. makes quirk work a k e vs T e a J m am e Ma T


y tt


Staff Writer Being a teenager can sometimes be a little… awkward. All of the hilarious, inspiring, painful, and uncomfortable moments of adolescence are encompassed in MTV’s hit series Awkward., which was

55% person view of the main character Jenna Hamilton (Ashley Rickards) and her blog posts, the series provides a refreshing Illustration by *out of 50 students Roxanne Zech perspective on high school and steers away from the usual teen comedy/drama Fans turn Jenna Hamilton’s decision between high school stereotypes. Despite being a popular cheerleader, Sadie Saxton McKibben into a debate, similar to Twilight’s Team Jacob versus (Molly Tarlov), the show’s Team Edward.

RACHEL KAHN Staff Writer As the virtual world increases in popularity, people realize the possible success of online music. Since the creation of and Spotify, companies have captured virtual audiences and integrated the social and musical aspects of modern day technology. Spotify is a European social music media company that was introduced to America last July. The program works with Facebook to allow users to share and listen to millions of songs for free on their computers. However, Spotify offers a premium membership through which a user can access unlimited streaming

without advertisements. Without the premium subscription, members of Spotify cannot listen to their music on a device other than a computer. According to Facebook, Spotify currently has over 21 million users monthly. Along with Spotify, Last. fm gives users the option to they enjoy, and discover new music similar to what they like. “Spotify gives you access to just about anything, and’s main function basically gives you a record of what you’re listening to,” junior Keno Catabay said. “I had before Facebook even existed, but Spotify is better in my opinion [when it comes to] recommending music and creating radio

stations.” People can access through iTunes. recommends artists and music to users depending on previous personal music tastes. uses the term “scrobbling” to express the action of recording what a person listens to. A user can “scrobble” through iTunes, Spotify, the website, and other online music companies. and Spotify have eliminated the need for mechanical devices to listen to music and have increased the use of mobile devices for socializing and listening. Spotify especially has caused a decrease in music piracy and an increase in the ability to share and explore the music world.

antagonist, is far from being a Barbie doll. The reason for her bitterness and bullying is something everybody can relate to: body image. Her humorous harassment of other kids makes her a villain who’s entertaining to watch. Jenna’s mother, who was a teen mom, encourages wild Another unpredictable character is the eccentric guidance counselor Val, who desperately wants to become “BFFs” with Jenna but unintentionally causes some of her most embarrassing moments. A dominant theme in season 2 was the love triangle between Jenna, popular guy Matty Mckibben (Beau Mirchoff), and Matty’s

best friend Jake Rosati (Brett Davern), as both boys fought for her affection. This part of the plot is a bit overused. Similar to the Twilight phenomenon of Team Edward and Jacob, Awkward. fans take sides on who they think should end up with the lead girl (Team Jake or Team Matty). Jenna Hamilton, who tries to make the best of the most awkward situations, gives teenagers inspiration and something to anticipate Unlike seasons one and two, which both had 12 episodes, season three will be extended to 20 episodes. Full episodes are available on along with bonus features and season previews.

Artist radios

Radio based on personal music taste

Browsable database of more than 15 million songs

“Scrobbling” records listening patterns

Option to create and share playlists

Tracks artist events and concerts

Integrated with Twitter and Facebook

Community connects like-minded listeners

September 2012

Newman mixes style, singing ELYSSA RONIK Staff Writer While most students go home to play sports or instruments, senior Ashley Newman plays something else: the sewing machine. “I’ve been sewing for practically my entire life,” Newman said. Newman recently released her own clothing line called A.V.N. Clothing Company. She designs one-color shirts and backpacks, juxtaposed with funky sleeves and pockets. “[The clothing line] is urban, with a lot of tribal patterns. I sell my clothes starting at $25. I’ve noticed people like things that are different and unique, so I try to give my clothes a fresh,

The Courier unique look.” Currently working on creating a website as a gateway to sell her designs, Newman now shows and sells her clothes on social media sites. “Right now, I have Instagram [@AshlieVictoriaa] and Twitter [@ItsMeAshlieV] accounts where I post my designs and information to purchase them.” Newman plans to bring her passions together later in life. “I sing as well, and I clothing company and eventually pair my singing with that later in life.” Newman has been taking classical vocal lessons since she was six. Newman is auditioning for the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, AMDA, of Los Angeles later this year, and hopes to either attend AMDA or the University of Southern California. “My goal is to one day become a performing artist,” Newman said.


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Seniors’ search for perfect college NADEEN SALEH Staff Writer Students consider weather, campus size, architecture, and academic rigor when narrowing down their choice of favorite college campus, and according to Quint Careers, visiting a college campus is the most important part of the search for the perfect school. This summer, senior Matthew Mursten ventured on a three-day road trip with his father to visit Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. “My favorite school out of them all was UNC at Chapel Hill because of the southern style area and the fact that it has the business program I hope to partake in if I get in,” Mursten said. “My dad and I rented bikes

to get around UNC Chapel Hill, and it really helped us get a behind the scene look of the campus, stuff that the tour wasn’t able to show us, like Greek road and the sports According to US News, college campus visits can be the deal breaker for high school seniors deciding on their future college. When visiting a college campus, students should talk to current college students, sit in on college lectures, and visit libraries. Senior Michelle Pagnotta visited Winter Park, Florida, where she took a tour of Rollins College. Located just 15 minutes outside of Orlando, Rollins had a small town vibe that Pagnotta favored. “I got lots of letters in the mail from Rollins and since my friend’s sister is a student there I thought I might take a

look,” Pagnotta said. “I visited the campus over a long weekend, walked around the campus and watched volleyball games. One of my good friends, Becca Carr, and I really wanted to get a feel of what college was going to be like.” However, there are still students who wait for college acceptances before visiting their future university. “I will probably wait to visit decision based on the academics the school has to offer,” senior Michelle Frost said. “Some of my friends have already visited universities like USF, FSU, UNF, and UF. I’ve heard the most positive feedback in regards to UF’s academics and school spirit.” According to College Express, on college tours students tend to notice book stores, gyms, dorms, and hangout spots.

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September 2012

‘Take your child to workday,’ everyday for some ALYSSA FELLER Staff Writer School is a place where students can escape from their parents for the day, but for a select few, they just can’t get away. “It’s really awkward seeing my dad in the hallways. When I pass by his classroom, I try to hide from him,” senior Jane Katz said. Teachers and staff such as Joel Sanders, Stuart Katz, Randi Peskin, Melody Herzfeld, and Maryann Raaf have their children enrolled in their workplace. “An advantage of having my own kid at school is keeping track of him. I can email his teachers, get feedback, and know his performance in school,” Joel Sanders, father of sophomore Josh Sanders, said. Senior Brianna Raaf takes

advantage of having her mom at school. “I can give my mom my stuff to take home that I don’t want to carry, like my AP books. Since she is a cafeteria worker she always has my food ready. Whenever I need little things like money I can just go get it from her, and if I forget something she can go home and get it for me,” B. Raaf said. There are also disadvantages of having parents working as teachers. Senior Noah Peskin doesn’t always get to leave campus right when the bell rings; he has to wait for M. Herzfeld is not only junior Alec Herzfeld’s mother but also his drama teacher. According to A. Herzfeld, his mom asks him to help out with all the scene work and lighting for stagecraft. Imagine going over to your

friend’s house and seeing your teacher. Teacher’s kids’ friends can end up in their classes. According to J. Katz, seven out of eight of her best friends have her dad as their teacher. “I go over Jane’s house all the time; we have been friends since freshmen year. It was weird at still think of him as my friend’s dad,” senior Bari When senior Brianna Raaf’s mom, Maryann Raaf, doesn’t pack her lunch at home, Brianna can always depend on her mom at school. Photo by Ryan Blitzer

Orlowsky said. M. Raaf is glad to work here because it allowed her to spend more time with her kids. “I am so proud of my daughter Brianna for getting a scholarship to UCF, and now that she is a senior I am able to be a part of her whole high school experience,” M. Raaf said.

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Summer of service, lifelong memories Tanzanian community. A few dishes included Feature Editor dried corn pudding made from scratch called Loshuro, Landing the experience of a along with the main foods lifetime, senior Tori Ford spent banana, tea, and avocado called her summer in Africa painting Parchichi, which was served classrooms, tutoring students everywhere she went. that were unstable for in English, and becoming “The best part was being the foundation of part of a culture. able to spend time with the the building and “I decided to go to kids, whether it was a local unsafe for the Africa after doing In Swahili, kids,” Ford said. soccer game, a scavenger hunt a community “Simba” around the village, hiking, or About 20 service project means American and learning how to make local in New Orleans pottery,” Ford said. “They international with the travel “lion.” even taught us Swahili one students program I went accompanied Ford afternoon.” with called ‘Rustic Although Ford believes on the trip. Once they Pathways.’ I wanted a landed in Tanzania they broke there is plenty to do locally in unique experience somewhere off into different groups. Ford the community, she encourages else and I thought Tanzania others to volunteer in Africa. spent six days in the village, would be an awesome “We don’t usually learn from Njoro, and three days traveling. location,” Ford said. others how privileged we are Her group stayed in a hostel Besides having to embark and it’s a good eye opener to provided by their host family. what the rest of the world is Not only did Ford get to mother worried about her back like,” Ford said. experience helping children, home, Ford knew traveling As a four year member of but she also enjoyed the to Africa was something she different traditional dishes and Key Club, an international always wanted do. service organization, Ford local church services of the Each morning Ford walked RACHEL EPSTEIN

to Poli Primary School, the local primary school in the village, and did construction work. “Our main job for the week was to break up and

Photo courtesy of Tori Ford

Senior Tori Ford (center) spends time with the Tanzanian children in front of the school she helped rebuild in the Njoro village. has helped out others locally and a library for the kids. We were internationally. planning to fundraise with her to As for going back to Africa, get more books for the library and Ford says she would love to. “One of the girls who has next summer, but we’ll see what been there multiple times built happens.”

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September 2012

Amendment 8 will take public school funds LAUREN HALPERT Editorial Editor An amendment to the Florida State Constitution that will appear on the November ballot proposes an end to current restrictions on using public funds to support religious programs. Voters should vote against this amendment. Initiated by the predominantly Republican Florida legislature, Amendment 8 is titled “Religious Freedom” but it is not about freedom of worship. Amendment 8 proposes changing the rules for spending tax dollars. The Florida Constitution prohibits the use of tax dollars to support religious institutions, upholding the ment provision for the separation of church and state. Amendment 8 would overturn the Florida state constitutional ban on using public money to support religion. Education provides opportunity for advancement, and in the United States public education

offers every child a chance to succeed. Public support of private religious schools is being presented as allowing religious freedom. The Florida legislature proposed this amendment but would not likely support increased taxes to pay for public support of private schools, so passage of Amendment 8 could result in even less money for public education. Public schools cannot select only the students they wish to educate, as private schools do. Public schools cannot charge families when revenues fall short. Public schools depend on government support. Amendment 8 prohibits the government from denyother support” because of “religious identity or belief.” While the amendment states, “except as required by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution,” if implemented, there could be federal challenges and expensive lawsuits for Florida regarding separation of church and state. Broward School Board

With the government handing money to religious schools, the concept of separation of church and state will be violated and public schools will suffer

Illustrated by Jordan Paul

member Robin Bartleman expressed to the Sun-Sentinel concern that with the limited resources available for public and charter schools, passage of Amendment 8 would cause a further strain. The Broward Teachers Union and the Anti-Defamation League have also expressed their opposition. Both organizations believe that the intention of Amendment 8 is to

institute school voucher programs, allowing students to use education tax dollars at private religious schools. The Florida Supreme Court struck down a school voucher program which included religious private schools as unconstitutional, in 2006. The name “Religious Freedom” for this amendment is misleading. The purpose of Amend-

ment 8 is to allow tax support of religious institutions by changing the state constitution. If Amendment 8 passes, tax dollars that support public schools might be diverted to religious schools resulting in less money to support public and charter schools. Amendment 8 will hurt public education in Florida.

Letters to the Editor Tips for college applications I’m a senior this year and this past summer I began my journey down the dark and suspensful rabbit hole of college applications. Being an only child whose parents both attended city universities in New York, having 6 AP classes and boatloads of extracurricular activities,

and knowing little about the process, going to a school where the student to guidance counselor ratio in the senior class is over 300:1 makes the expreience interesting, to say the least. Needless to say, it’s a stressful process. With double digit supplement essays, teachers to beseech for letters of recom-

mendation, and countless deadlines to remember, I overwhelmed and under water. I guess my advice to anyone reading this letter would be as follows: start early, start quickly, and start off with a bang. You’ll need all the help you can get.

Jeffrey Greenberg, senior

Students: recycle beyond the classroom I think it’s great that there are recycling bins in classrooms. Even though not all kids throw papers in them, for the kids who do, it is a great thing. However, there are many easy changes that would allow us to “go green” even more. For one, at lunch, most people have a drink. Most of these drinks come in the form of a bottle. Bot-

tles are made of plastic. Plastic is recyclable. Here is the problem; all of these recyclable bottles have no place to be recycled. In the courtyard and in the cafeteria, there are no bins for recycling. We need to have recycling bins scattered around the courtyard and in the cafeteria. There would be no harm in doing so, and only positive conse-

quences would result. If we say that we are going green, we should have these recycle bins around school for plastic. This should be a main focus of whoever is in charge of such a matter, and I am honestly surprised the bins have not popped up yet. Other schools have them, and it’s time that we do too. Harrison Schwartz, senior

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School board must repeal new mandates Broward’s Superintendent Robert Runcie’s new mandate, requiring teachers to teach an extra period without extra pay, has led to educational constraints and additional stress for both teachers and students. With no raise in six years, teachers were already underpaid and this additional requirement merely adds insult to injury and creates a hopeless environment that is actually detrimental to education. The intention of the superintendent was to save money but the result is that he is damaging education at the high

“There are too many classes in one day and there is not enough time to absorb all the information the teachers are teaching.” Samantha Sprott, senior

school level. Teachers now must instruct anywhere between 150-200 students for 6 hours every day, with only 1 hour to prepare lessons, grade assignments and tests, complete required paperwork, and communicate with other staff members and parents. How can teachers possibly accomplish overseeing the learning of so many students in so little time? Simply put, they can’t. Unless they try to just keep up. Some teachers arrive at school at 6:30 a.m. to get

“It’s very exhausting. They give us a lot of homework and expect us to learn independently, which I’m not very good at.” Jessica Chung, freshman

work done, or they stay late, or take work home every night and over the weekend. Most teachers spend their lunch time grading papers or waiting in line to use the Xerox machine. In order to just survive this detrimental change, teachers have no recourse but to cut down on the amount of work they assign because they don’t have time to grade much more than a multiple choice test in one hour a day. Students and parents should care about this negative impact on high school education in Broward County. They should contact the school

board and Florida’s Department of Education and demand that they get education that provides teachers with a reasonable amount of planning time to prepare for different courses they instruct for 6 hours every day. They should insist that teachers’ second planning period is reinstated or they get compensated at their hourly rate for the additional period. Neither Dade nor Palm Beach counties require their teachers to teach an additional class without additional compensation. Why does Broward County expect its high school teachers to work for free?

“I have to go to every class every day, I have a shorter time to take tests, and I have more homework.”

“I do not like the “straight seven” schedule because it’s a lot of work and I have to do more homework every night.”

Laniel Romeus, senior

Samantha Fernandez, sophomore

Youth votes will influence election results up 24 percent of the eligible voting population in the U.S., Editorial Editor according to the Pew Research Center. Youth voter turnout The youth vote matters. reached a recent high of 51 President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candi- percent in the 2008 presidential date Romney both recognize this election, up from 40 percent in and are campaigning on college the 2004 election. Nevertheless, young eligible voters are sigcampuses. Eligible young voters, ages 1829 number 46 million and make American voters over 30, 67 LAUREN HALPERT

percent of whom voted in 2008. In a video put out by Our Time, an organization whose mission is to get out the youth vote, comedian Larry David asks, “Not to vote, why are you even living here?” Choosing government representatives whose views align with ours is important. It is not the only way to effect change in the American


Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School 5901 Pine Island Road Parkland, FL 33076

The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of the advisor, administration, or advertisers. The Courier welcomes letters to the editor which can be turned into Michelle Gideon in room 236 or online at These letters can be edited for content but these changes will not affect their meaning. The publication abides by the scholastic press and is a member of the Florida Scholastic Press Association and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. If you would like to advertise please call (754) 322-2150.

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system, but voting is vital to our democracy. According the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, voting is habit forming. Young people who vote are more likely to continue to vote when they get older. Even when they are not old enough to vote, such as most high school students, when young people are

involved in election related learning and discussions, their eligible family members are more likely to vote. Young voters are diverse. Young voters can have an impact. High school students who are eligible to vote should exercise that right. Those too young to vote should learn about the candidates and the issues. It matters.

Michelle Gideon Advisor

Roxanne Zech Entertainment Editor

Christina Sileo & Robbie Kravec Editors in chief

Lauren Halpert Editorial Editor

Mitchell Kaufman Online Editor in chief

Victoria Malcolm Sports Editor

Amanda Gaines & Megan Robb News Editors

Mitchell Feldman Copy Editor

Adar Livni & Rachel Epstein Feature Editors

Alex Newman Ads Manager

Staff Rachel Kahn Matt Walzer Elyssa Ronik Lauren Chabarek Spencer Davis Jacob Feldman Sabrina Reiss Nadeen Saleh Aaron Sager Alyssa Feller Sabrina Eisenberg Brandon Ponczek Ryan Blitzer Alexandra Barry

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Girls’ swim team seeks 20th consecutive district title LAUREN CHABAREK Staff Writer

Boys’ Swimming Team hopes to restore district title SPENCER DAVIS Staff Writer Losing the district time in 19 years by only two points, the boys’ swim team

ended last season in disappointment. to continue with the success we have had in the past and take back the district championship,” head coach

Lauren Rubenstein said. According to senior captain Austin Fruithandler, the BOYS’ SWIMMING Continued on Page 15 Photo by Ryan Blitzer

After winning 19 consecutive district championships, the girls’ swimming team hopes to continue the legacy this season. returners to really step up by not only teaching the traditions of the team but also keeping everyone going,” head coach Lauren Rubenstein said. “The few seniors that we continue to place well with the strength and speed that they have developed.” According to senior Ivana Radovanovic, the team works to perfect all four strokes at practice, alternating between doing drills and swimming for endurance. Since underclassmen make up 35 out of the 46 swimmers,

Rubenstein instructs each swimmer on all four strokes to create depth on the roster. “My assistant coach and I are starting back at the basics of mechanics and teaching every stroke to prevent people from saying, ‘I can’t swim that’,” Rubenstein said. “We want everyone to be able to compete in different areas, not just what they’re most comfortable with.” According to senior Anne Kuczynski, one of four state are high. “My goal for this year is to win districts again as a team since swimming doesn’t get as much recognition as it should,” Kuczynski said. “Considering we’ve won districts 19 years in a row, I’m not losing the streak my senior year.”

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September 2012

Student athletes verbally commit to college coaches VICTORIA MALCOLM Sports Editor While other seniors toil over college essays, ask for letters of recommendation, and work to improve standardized test scores, select student athletes have already been promised entrance into institutions of higher learning through verbal commitments from college coaches. Senior Brianna Raaf verbally committed to University of Central Florida’s soccer program as a junior in February. “It was a relief [to commit],” Raaf said. “I still have to work hard in school, but I don’t [need] a certain GPA or to write college applications. I don’t even have to write an essay. I’m already in.”

According to the National Collegiate Scouting Association, the term “verbal commitment” describes a generally accepted form of nonbinding commitment when a student athlete indicates that he or she plans to university. Although verbal commitments bind neither athlete nor coach, they typically lead to the signing of a National Letter of Intent during the period allowed by the NCAA, which ensures at least one academic year of athletic scholarship. “I’d rather get [committed] before my senior year so I can enjoy it who signed in February to play baseball at Florida State University, said.

I have a college to go to. I don’t have to worry.” According to Raaf, elite travel team and writing letters to college coaches allowed her to pick which school she wanted to attend. “I went to all the major Division I schools for visits and I just got the feeling that FSU was my home,” Fritz said. According to senior Jason Fitzgerald, who committed to Florida Atlantic University for soccer in early August, committing does not “I felt accomplished that everything I had been working for actually led to something, but it also gave me the perspective that I’m Fitzgerald said. “My job is still going.”

Football team off to slow start JACOB FELDMAN Staff Writer

season, the football team began padded practices for the fall season one week before school. “Preparation is a lot more intense this year,” senior middle linebacker Niko Vassil said. “We have had harder conditioning workouts, like longer running drills, and we have still been working out in the gym. The tempo in practice has sped up a lot, too.” According to junior defensive end and offensive tackle Bradley Mullings, the upbeat practices will translate to success in the upcoming season. “I feel like [the conditioning] has made the game

Junior tight end and slot receiver Corey May runs out for a pass in the game against Western High School. So far this season, the Eagles are 1-3.

easier and has allowed me to play at 100 percent for longer,” Mullings said. Head coach Rick Divita emphasized the importance of the coaching staff getting on the same page. “We know and understand each other and what it takes to make us successful,” Divita said. “We have an outstanding staff this year that is working hard to make Douglas Football a success. According to sophomore wide receiver Tate Lehtio, the team will utilize the same spread offense as last year with formations that

VARSITY FOOTBALL Continued on Page 15

September 2012

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Over 100 on cross country team Senior Matt Mursten (left) and junior Jacob Oster compete in a meet at Quiet Waters Park on September 10. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams placed


September 10.

and speed training. “The team is trying to improve on beating schools that we have never beaten before and getting our 5K times faster,” Arnold said. According to DeCarlo, the team has over 100 members, more than ever before. “We have an amazing team,” DeCarlo said. “Not

from them and nothing less,” head coach Anthony DeCarlo said. “That means qualifying and going to states for both the girls’ and boys’ teams.” According to sophomore Hallie Arnold, the team holds practices every day after school at 3:30. Practices consist of long runs from

but just some amazing kids [with] awesome attitudes towards one another.” Senior Matan Ozery, looking to run cross country and track at either the University of Virginia, Duke, University of North Carolina, or University of Florida has run the two mile in 9 minutes and 42 seconds.

Staff Writer ished 14th at regionals last year, the cross country team started conditioning workouts for this season on June 18.

Check out individual game coverage, sports columns, pictures and more on the Courier website.

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VARSITY FOOTBALL Continued from Page 13

wide receivers spread out on the line of scrimmage with the quarterback in shotgun formation. “Our [spread offense] is a fast paced offense that is set up at the line of scrimmage by hand signals sent to us from the coach,” Lehtio said. “We use it to try and catch the defense off guard.” According to Vassil, the offense should score more touchdowns this year, but the defense needs to blitz more often to limit the opposition’s scoring. “We look forward to playing every game. We feel that the games are our payday for all of the hard work that we put in during practice,” Divita said.

The Courier


Girls’ volleyball team welcomes new coach

Senior Kristen Kuhl serves during a game against Western High School. The girls’ volleyball team coach Austin Clubb hope to win their 11th consecutive district title this year.

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BOYS’ SWIMMING Continued from page 12

team must improve attendance at practices. “My main goals for this year’s team are to win districts [and] improve our swim times,” Fruithandler said. “A big problem we faced last year was people coming to practices late or not often enough. I am responsible for motivating my teammates to bring out the best in them.” According to Rubenstein, practice may look like mass

chaos to non-swimmers. The team shares the Coral Springs Aquatic Center with Taravella, Coral Glades, and Coral Springs. Each team receives four lanes, and they

can train in the assigned lanes at once. “As a whole, the swim enced,” Fruithandler said. “We have many players that swam in swim club or for the city. I think our team will do fantastic at our meets and take back our district title.”

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September 2012 Issue  

douglas courier september 2012 edition

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