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Beecher High School 538 Miller Street Beecher, IL 60401

March 2011



Solo and Ensemble

FirstGiving is dedicated to helping people Katrina Szewka: News Editor



Dance Court needs variety


Is depression more common?


Perspectives Features

Where has the St. Patty’s Day Parade gone?

Date: Sunday, March 06, 2011

pg. 5


Location: Chicago, Illinois


Freezin’ for a Reason - In the frigid waters of Chemong Lake of Ontario, Canada, people took a dive last year in the 2010 Polar Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics.


Spectrum Staff Editor in Chief

Hillary Marquez

Co-Editor in Chief Cheri Ruiz

Copy Editors

Alaina Garza Alyssamay Griño Katrina Szewka

News Editor

Katrina Szewka

Opinions Editor Nicole Bergen Features Editor

Alaina Garza

Entertainment Editor Mandy Egenlauf

Sports Editor Jake Hall Perspectives Editor Bekah Kamp


Olympics Chicago 312-527-3743

Drew Blankenberger Kena Bocek Briana Bowler Cecelia Carr Nick Giroux Alyssamay Griño Kaitlin Harvey Colin Leahy Jacob Schwartz Brieanna Steele Jordan Triemstra Mary Tucker

8,000+ 13 million+ $1 billion

Nonprofits have used Firstgiving

Online donors

Raised online According to

Last year more than 1,700 people jumped in Lake Michigan to take part in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Chicago. Participants are allowed to go knee high, waist high or take the full plunge, and all are welcome to attend. All participants have to raise a minimum of $125. Participants will enter the water in groups at 10:00am, 10:30am, 11:00am, and 11:30am. All fundraisers will receive a long sleeved t-shirt and a commemorative towel when exiting the water. Also, all are invited to the post event “Melt Down Party,” from 11am to 2pm, which will take place inside the boat house and in large heated tents. There will be music, food, cash bar, and more. The team that raises the most funds will receive a two hour party including food and drinks for up to 100 people on Shoreline Cruises. FirstGiving will provide a free round trip bus for groups of 20 or more. According to, FirstGiving has one purpose: “empowering passionate nonprofit supporters to raise more money than they ever thought possible for the causes they care about.” FirstGiving partners with nonprofit organizations to allow them to make successful online fundraising campaigns and charity fundraising events. For individual fundraisers, FirstGiving aims to make raising money easy, sufficient, and even fun to

raise online. There are fundrais“Basically everyone raises ing tips and ideas on pledges from people they know, FirstGiving that aland they go and jump in the low nonprofits and freezing cold lake water. I think their supporters to raise a lot of money everyone should participate because it‛s for a great cause, and for important causes, because it‛s fun!” to build awareness, and expand the world of giving. This world of giving has even expanded to the small town of Beecher. Sam Kozak (Jr) is one out of the handful of people participating in this year’s plunge. Sam’s father, Jeff Kozak, created a team for this year’s Polar Plunge. The team is called Maximum Shrinkage and anyone could have joined or made a donation to this Beecher team. “My dad found out about the polar plunge last year because he works downtown in Chicago,” said Sam Kozak. “And so he participated last year, and it really inspired me to see how everyone came together and jumped in the lake for the great cause.” Others participating in the Polar Plunge from team Beecher, besides the Kozaks, are Jenna Petrelli, Chelsea Gliva, Mrs. Livesay and more. Anyone may come and be supportive as these fellow peers and teachers make a difference and feeze for a reason.

Sa m K oz ak


Hockey finally arrives

Contact: SCC /Special


Ju nio

Are you going goo-goo for Lady Gaga?

Freshmen serve up some fresh food Jordan Triemstra: Reporter

If you are looking for somewhere good to get breakfast, then the pancake breakfast is something to look forward to. On March 27, the freshmen class will be putting together a pancake breakfast to help raise money for prom, the senior trip, and senior t-shirts. The

money will also go to the junior class to raffle off an iPod. “Juniors will also be raffling off a T.V. and an Xbox with Kinect,” said Mrs. Cal. The pancake breakfast will be held at 8am to 12pm. Tickets will be six

dollars for adults and four dollars for children. At the breakfast, pancakes, sausage, eggs, fruit, juice, coffee, and milk will be served. Anyone can come out and enjoy a breakfast and help out the school.

page 2 News The Spectrum

Editor: Katrina Szewka

March 2011

Solo and Ensemble gives students opportunity Alyssamay Grino: Reporter

Playing a Tune - Victoria Zurek (So) practices for her flute solo.

Dedication - Bobbi Stanula (So) pactices her trombone as the rest of the band students practice hard to get themselves ready for their performances at solo and ensemble.

This year’s BHS participants: Matt Meier

Tyler Smith Dan Knuth

Nick Giroux David Ayala

Colin Leahy

Casey Walsh

Allison McKay

Heather Albrecht

Rachel Peters

Ryan Fernandez

Meghan Jacobson

Angela Meier Jenna Petrelli

Katie Howard

Victoria Zurek

Jacob Darabaris

Blair Fernandez

Larissa Swanson

Brianna Peternell

Sydney Katschke

Alyssamay Grino

Samantha Schwartz

Morgan VanDerLinde

For decades, students with musical talent have participated in a musical competition known as the IHSA Solo and Ensemble. Students of different high schools come together to compete for a spot in first division. “This is an opportunity for young musicians to perform solo and ensemble duets, trios, and quartets for a judge,” said Mrs. Williams, BHS choir director. There are five divisions. Students placed in division five performed poorly as opposed to students placed in division one, who presented a superior or outstanding performance. Judges determine a single student’s division by rating him or her on a scale of 6-30 in the categories of general effectiveness, technique, rhythm, scales, accuracy, and more. The only difference for students performing in a group is being rated on a scale of 6-40. Because there is no limited amount of spaces in divisions, it is possible for all young musicians to be placed in a first division. Students may sing or play an instrument of their choice, as long as they fulfill the requirements to qualify for the Solo and Ensemble contest. Singers and instrumentalists must prepare a variety of scales or rudiments and they also must perform a musical piece, conducted or arranged by a musician. Students are allowed to participate as a soloist or with a group of people. A variety of musicians can play different instruments combined together to perform a piece. “Solo and Ensemble has definitely helped me become a better musician. It allows me to play music that is challenging,” said Jenna Petrelli (Jr). “I get to show my talent and get feedback from judges so that I can improve.” In recent years, Beecher High School has been successful in having the ma-

jority of its participants place in first division. “(Students) were exceptionally successful,” said Mrs. Williams. “But, of course, I can only speak from last year’s competition.” Mrs. Williams has not only witnessed last year’s competition, she has also judged five other contests in solo and ensemble. Something most students may not know is that high school level choir students from BHS must sing an aria in a different language. Arias are classical pieces of vocal literature. Blair Fernandez (Fr) will be singing “Vergin Tutto Amor,” while Heather Albrecht (So) will be singing “Se tu ma’mi, se sospiri.” Both pieces are in Italian. Morgan VanDerLinde (So) will be singing “Ave Maria” in Latin. Morgan VanDerLinde (So) said, “Solo and Ensemble contest gives us a chance, as vocalists and instrumentalists, to perform and compete on our

“Solo and Ensemble has definitely helped me become a better musician. It allows me to play music that is challenging,” said Jenna Petrelli (Jr).

Hoping for more talent variety Cecelia Carr: Reporter For the last several years the Beecher High school student council has planned a talent show for teachers or students who would like to participate. The talent show is planned to be held on April 15, the day students leave for spring break. Each year the talent show is filled with many different acts. Last year’s talent show also consisted of many varied performances such as bands playing, solo singers, drama skits, and karate. In order to sign up for the talent show you will have to go through auditions that will basically judge if your talent is appropriate or not. “ I would like to see a greater variety of talent and more students involved,” said Dr. Wright. The talent show is a way to help Beecher High School raise money for dances, materials needed for bulletin boards, items for the school like podiums, and birthday gifts for the teachers. Everyone who would like to see the talent show will be required to pay a $2 entrance fee. The talent show takes place during a school day so the students who do not pay the entrance fee will not be allowed in to watch. They will have to sit in a classroom for a study hall while the talent show takes place. Many people at Beecher High School are hoping to see new talent brought to the show this year. If you think you have a unique talent, are part of a band, can sing, or anything else and would like to share your talent with the whole school, you can sign up with Ms. Cousin.

page 3 Opinions The Spectrum Editor: Nicole Bergen March 2011

Green zone causes mixed feelings Ashley Harvey Junior “When we don’t have much homework it seems kind of pointless and you just feel like you want to get out of these.”

Jenna Willie Senior

“You should be able to do whatever you want when you are done with your homework that is not disturbing the class.”

Katrina Szewka: News Editor

Green zone is a time at the end of the day for students to get work done and have time to ask teachers any questions that they may have. “The design of green zone is to give students the opportunity to start or finish homework and be able to ask further questions,” said Dr. Wright. “I have asked all teachers to be sensitive to a student’s need and a quiet green zone is what is expected.” Students and teachers alike have different opinions on how the green zone should be run. “I think green zone should be run as a quiet study hall and students should be prepared for that,” said Mrs. Rodeghiero. Though this may be what is expected, many students have mixed feelings about green zone. Some green zones are way too strict. “I do like green zone because it is a good way for students to have a chance to get their homework done,” said Brian Wagner (Sr). “I just don’t like the whole not being able to put your head down after you are finished with your work.” Though I agree with the teachers, Brian’s opinion is quite valid as well. If our homework is complete then we should at least be able to put our heads down or even listen to an iPod. Like me, many other students have a lot of hard classes and enjoy this chance to get their work done. Some students need this time to get their homework done because of after school activities and jobs. This is why green zone should be appreciated because students have an extra 30 minutes at the end of the day to do homework. Students with grades that are not doing too well are put into yellow zone. This is a great chance for students to raise their grades and have a greater opportunity to understand the material better. Many students have a fear of asking questions because they do not what to look incompetent to their peers, and yellow zone helps them over come this fear. “It’s good that we have time built in the day for students to get help,” said math teacher, Ms. Shoven. “Yellow zone is working for the students that put in the effort.” Students have the chance to seize the opportunity at the end of the day to do homework and get help because of yellow and green zones.

Morgan Vanderlinde Sophomore “I think green zone is nice because I can get my homework done so it gives me less of a chance of leaving it at school or not doing it.”

Lindsey Pape Freshman

“I think it is incredibly useful when I have homework and things to get done.” Hard at work: Ms. Shoven helps students in yellow zone

The Spectrum/Bekah Kamp

Beecher proves to be a flawed paradise for teens

Nick Giroux: Reporter

Beecher, Illinois: a small, lonely town with inhabitants numbering about three thousand (as of 2008), where everyone is a familiar face. The small town atmosphere welcomes good character, as well as honesty. Beecher holds one of the lowest crime rates in the area, and as a result, is a great place to raise a family. With an excellent school system, there is no doubt that kids will receive an excellent learning experience, in an excellent environment. Although Beecher may seem like a paradise for adults, kids feel different-

ly. While some may enjoy the perks of having a small school, with more one on one time with teachers, some feel that seeing the same faces every day is getting old. “Coming from a larger school district, I feel bored in this place. I’m used to a lot more diversity, and also I feel like we don’t get away with as much here,” said Jeremy Soria (Jr). Along with keeping the same routines at school, kids also feel like there is

nothing to do outside of school. For example, sophomore Joey Walsh believes Beecher should take more initiative to build more public areas for teenagers to hang out. “There are only one to two places to skate in this town, and the police are usually already there waiting for us. Building a skate park would help (skaters) stay out of trouble with the law, as well as provide a new public spot for the average Joe (no pun intended) to

hang out at,” Walsh said. Beecher’s image as a family paradise soon fades, as young kids become teens. The image is then one of boredom and routine, surrounded by virtually no activity. I believe Beecher still has the potential to provide fun for teenagers; all we need is something fun to do. If Beecher were to build a new place for kids to hang out at, or even update an existing one, teenagers would find this lonely town more enjoyable.

Mrs. Calomino said, “We had a rule in my school that if you were on homecoming court you couldn’t be on prom court. I think having this rule is fair.” This sounds like a good solution. It seems right that once a student wins one time, he or she should not have the opportunity to win again. Ms. Cousin also agrees, “I would like to try to get rid of the fact that court is a popularity contest. A student should only get nominated once.” For things like senior best a person can only be nominated for one category, so the dance courts should not be any different. Apryl Washington (Sr) said “I like when the teachers do the nominating

part, but I wish the rules were better about how many times a person can be on court and how many times a person can win. That way, more people would get a chance to be on court.” Generally the best solution to make the situation better is to change it. The rule that someone should not be nominated twice is a good suggestion that could make the chances even for everyone. Mrs. Calomino said, “I agree that there should be more variety. I would have no problem making the rule that a student can only be nominated once.” Maybe, it is time to make a change for the better and give more people the opportunity to be recognized.

Dance court needs some variety

Nicole Bergen: Opinions Editor

The school dances are some of the most interesting events in Beecher High School since there is a huge lack of activities. The downfall of having the dances be so important is sometimes they become too biased and the ideas of a small town get too involved in the simple things like the dance court. Living in a small towm makes it very easy and convenient for the same people to get recognized countless times for numerous reasons. One of these things is the dance court. Since I have been a freshman, it seems like every year the same people either get nominated or win court. Personally, I think that it is time to mix things up a little. Other people deserve a chance to be recognized too.

page 4 Perspectives The Spectrum Editor: Bekah Kamp March 2011

Teen depression is real... believe it or not Brieanna Bowler: Reporter

Teen angst is nothing new. You fight with your parents, struggle with school, and sometimes feel way in over your head. It is expected and, for the most part, universally accepted. No matter who you are, everyone goes through periods or moments of ups and downs. Every individual has different coping methods, too. For some coping comes easy, but for others it does not at all. Even though negative feelings are a normal part of life, there is still a seriousness about them that needs to be understood, especially when talking about teens. It is said that adolescence is the most important phase in a person’s life because it is a time for making so many determining decisions that will potentially affect the rest of the individual’s life. Maybe that alone is the very cause of high teen depression rates: stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Depression is something many people are scared or uncomfortable talking about. But statistics show that teen depression is actually a very common problem. Some stats are saying that over 20 percent of teens will go through at least one phase of true depression before they reach adulthood. Even with those numbers, teens themselves sometimes still have trouble talking about it. “I think teens do talk about some of their problems with friends, but a lot of it is just day to day issues,” said Mrs. Rojas, BHS social worker. She also added, “Students shouldn’t be afraid to come talk to someone at school like

me. Everything is confidential, it’s the law.” There is a definite line drawn between normal sadness and clinical depression, but most people are not very aware of it. There are many misconceptions about teen depression, just like there are about teens in general. Experts can say whatever they want about our generation being lost, but whose job is it to prove them wrong? It’s our job. Just like

sion compared to its opposite feeling: happiness. “Depression is when you feel that you no longer have anything to look forward to and you are just overwhelmed with sadness and lack of motivation,” said Caitlin Satalic (Fr.). “Happiness is when you feel that you would change nothing about yourself and your life because you fully appreciate everything you have.”

“Depression is feeling the lowest you can, and it’s hard to sway. Happiness is the best feeling you can have, that can come into your life fast and be taken away easily,” said Tyler Jones (Sr). depression, we cannot just sit around waiting for something to change. Instead of doing nothing and dealing with our standards of just being apathetic, it is necessary to open people’s eyes to a bigger problem. Any one person dealing with depression can feel different about it. Every individual fights their own internal battles and has to deal with their own personal situations. Some students here at BHS have a lot to say about depres-

“You are very self indulged when you are depressed. I think when you are depressed, everything is about yourself; how a problem affected you, how no one understands you, and how sad you are. When you are happy you are less self indulged, and you think of how other people and how your actions effect them,” said Emily Feret, BHS graduate. “Depression is feeling the lowest you can, and it’s hard to sway. Happiness is the best feeling you can have, that can

come into your life fast and be taken away easily,” said Tyler Jones (Sr.) Depression is a serious problem many teens have to deal with. It can impact every aspect of a teen’s life, and can destroy the very base of a teen’s personality. “It’s not a word to be tossed around lightly, depression has a more serious meaning than just a bad day or week,” said Mrs. Rojas. It’s important to know some signs of a more serious problem to help understand someone who may be in need of help. According to, some of these signs may include, but are not limited to, excessive sadness, irritability, withdrawal from friends and family, restlessness, lack of motivation, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Also, take into account how long these symptoms have been present and how severe they are. Untreated depression can lead to multiple problems like substance abuse, eating disorders, selfinjury, reckless behavior, and even suicide. Help is available in many forms because all teens with depression are different. Resources are always available online at sites like or The number for the LoveToKnow Recovery depression hotline is 1-800-850-8078, and is available 24/7 and always free. Mrs. Rojas is also always available here at school if you ever need someone to talk to.

Students speak out about depression Bekah Kamp: Editor

The Spectrum/Bekah Kamp

“Depression is no interest in life, and no interest in self. Happiness is feeling good about your own life and knowing that you succeed,” Josh Hollis (Fr) said.

“To me, depression is when you are feeling worthless. Being happy is when you realize how lucky you are to have all the things and people you do in your life. I think being happy is the most important thing in anyone’s life,” Cassidy Bonk (So) said.

“Depression is the moment when you feel helpless and the world is crashing down around you. Happiness can be different in every person, it can be something big, but it’s something that makes you smile,” Keegan Short (Jr) said.

“Depression is when a person is really upset even when there is nothing wrong. Happiness is being content with your life,” Liz Meyer (Sr) said.

pagE 5 Features The Spectrum Editor: Alaina Garza March 2011

Beecher welcomes foreign exchange Brieanna Steele: Reporter

Most high school students rarehim and welcomed him ly get the opportunity to experionto their team. Brent’s ence high school with kids from family loved having Peter other countries, but at Beecher so much that they decided High School, we are fortunate to sign up for another forenough to have had many differeign exchange student. ent foreign exchange students in The Boland-Prom’s next our school. Brent Boland-Prom foreign exchange student (Jr) and Taylor Schrage (Sr) prowas Michal Janda. Brent’s vided housing for three foreign family found Michal exchange students. through an organization “My family and I decided to called ASSE (American have a foreign exchange student Scandinavian Student Exbecause my dad was a foreign change).He played soccer exchange student in the Philipthis year for Beecher. pines when he was in high school “My family decided to do and he really enjoyed it” Brent the foreign exchange proBoland-Prom (Jr) said. gram because it was a new Shrage, similar to Brent, found experience for me, and it is out about the program through always fun to learn a new family and friends. A home away from home - Brent with his two foreign language,” Michal Janda “We had foreign exchange exchange students, Michal and El. (Jr) said. students because a friend of my After Brent’s family met The Spectrum/Bekah Kamp dad’s told him about the foreign Michal they still weren’t exchange program and we thought it ily, but after a while it was just like they finished welcoming newcomers into would be a cool experience,” said Tay- were another brother or sister. It was their home. They used the program cool having them live with my famlor Schrage (Sr). USSE (United Studies Student ExSchrage had three foreign exchange ily because they would tell us about change) to receive El. He is from students, Nina Heckmann, Leonie Frit- how things are different between here South Korea. His parents decided to sche, and Arthur Hilbig. They were and Germany, and it was cool to hear put him in this program because his all sixteen and from Germany. Taylor them speaking a different language to sister and brother knew how to speak found them through International Stu- their friends and family,” said Taylor English so they wanted El to learn the dent Exchange. The organization did Schrage (Sr). language also. Even though foreign exchange stubackground checks on her family, and Beecher students have realized that they came to her house to make sure dents cannot stay with you forever, the there are many differences between that her family and home were okay experience is truly unforgettable. The Beecher and other countries all around for an exchange student. Taylor’s par- families all gained a new member of the world. The main difference beents filled out paperwork and then the the family and friend that will never be tween the schools is the timing from organization gave a packet with several forgotten. when it starts and when it ends. “Having foreign exchange students students that wanted to come to Ameri“My school back home is different ca. The International Student Exchange was a good experience for my family from Beecher because in the Czech program helped her family choose a and I because now they feel like a new Republic’s school, it starts at all difstudent that would come live with them. member of our family. We still keep ferent times depending on what the After the organization contacted the ex- in contact with them very often,” said schedule is for that day,” said Michal change student’s family, they set up the Taylor Schrage (Sr) Janda (Jr). Brent’s first foreign exchange student flight for them to come to America. Beecher has been doing a great job “At first it was weird getting used to was Peter Chang (Jr). Peter ran track for making the boys fit in. having a new person live with my fam- Beecher. The track team really loved

Beecher struggles to provide enough jobs for teens

Kena Bocek: Reporter

Employment is currently a serious issue in the U.S. Opportunities to gain a job are very limited due to the economic crisis within the country. Beecher, Illinois is a microscopic portion of the U.S., but nevertheless, it is still directly affected by the nation’s issues. However, students of Beecher High School continue to attempt to find a job, despite the circumstances. Rachel Peters (So) understands the process of acquiring employment in the small town of Beecher. Peters learns the skills needed to step into the veterinary field, which she hopes to someday enter. The experience she gains is crucial to her success in the future, including college. All teenagers are not as lucky when it comes to finding a job during high school. “There is not much to choose from because the economy is so bad,” said Peters. Then again, other reasons have an influence on teenagers receiving employment. Alex Nelson (So) is unemployed, but the economy is not at fault. Alex has never applied for a job because of one simple reason. “I do not have a license,” Nelson said. This is a common problem, which prevents countless numbers of teens from employment. With the absence of a car, a job is unrealistic. Savannah Schofro (Sr) has the advantage of a license. Schofro is presently an employee of Aurelios in Beecher. She understands the benefits employment offers. For example, she receives an income which is essential to those aiming for college. Becoming employed is about being proactive, always staying positive.

The rise and demise of the Southside Irish Parade Colin Leahy: Reporter The town of Beverly, Illinois is known especially for it’s Irish heritage. There is also a castle built to mimic one in Ireland. If there was one event that changed Beverly forever, it was the Southside Irish Parade. Twenty-seven years ago, two gentlemen decided it would be a good idea to entertain their children with a parade. That St. Patrick’s Day, seventeen children marched the sidewalks of Beverly handing out flyers promoting the parade and celebrated their Irish heritage. Within one year, over three hundred people were marching in the parade, and it was moved from the sidewalks to the side streets. The parade soon became a massive hit, and thousands began making a tradition of attending the event every year. Over time, the parade grew to be one of the largest in the nation. Eventually, it would become the largest neighborhood based parade in the world with the exception of a parade in Dublin. As the parade became larger, it became more of a hassle to police, and even the residents of Beverly. With over three hundred thousand people spectating the event, and over fifteen thousand participants, the parade was getting out of control. The streets were filled with drunks and underage drinking. Hundreds of people were being arrested each year, and dozens of police officers were being assaulted. Although there were many negative effects from the popularity, the parade wasn’t con-

sidered such a bad thing for local businesses. A lot of the same businesses are still advertising for people to attend massive parties and celebrations to attempt to retain the extra business. As

“The parade was a major part of Irish heritage, and made the south side what it is today,” said Stanula. a protest to the cancellation of the parade, over thirteen thousand people united together on Facebook pledging to attend festivities in Beverly regardless of the city’s decision. Police got wind of the plan and increased security and warned many of the consequences of disorderly conduct. The plan was never followed through and the parade remained cancelled. Beecher High School’s own Nathan Stanula (Sr) played a major part in the parade, leading the march with the Stockyard Kilty Bagpipe Band. Like many others, Stanula says he disagrees with the decision to cancel the parade. “The parade was a major 1121 part of Irish heritage, and made the south side what it

is today,” said Stanula. In the end, the decision stood strong, and the parade remained cancelled. The town of Beverly plans to return the parade to its original purpose, entertaining the children. The Beverly Center of Arts still holds a much more tame celebration, offering traditional Irish music, and arts and crafts. The downfall of the South Side Irish Parade was the massive amount of people and the abuse of the celebrations. What was started for familyfriendly fun turned into a nightmare for

the city of Beverly. In recent years, the town of Beverly has been able to rest much easier on St. Patrick’s Day, enjoying family fun, and not having to worry about the rowdiness of thousands of spectators filling their town. Although there is no sign of the parade returning anytime soon, many are still looking forward to the day when the streets of Beverly will once again be filled with green, and families can watch as the Irish celebrate their proud heritage.

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pagE 6 Entertainment The Spectrum Editor: Mandy Egenlauf March 2011

Going goo-goo for Gaga

“Skins” should be skinned Mandy Egenlauf:

Entertainment Editor

Drew Blankenberger: Reporter

In 2008 American pop artist, Lady Gaga, released her hit album, “The Fame.” She rose to fame with the album and soon released her extended play, “The Fame Monster.” The extended play was a hit. Now she will release her second album, “Born This Way.” Her first single of the album is “Born This Way,” which has been praised by many people. One of those people is Ryan Fernandez (Sr). “I think it is really good,” said Fernandez. “It’s very different from what she has done in the past and from a musician’s point of view, it was done very well.” The album, “Born This Way,” is scheduled to come out on May 21, 2011. In addition to the album, Lady Gaga will be coming to Chicago on February 28 at the United Center. “I am extremely excited,” said Fernandez. “I heard it is going to be such a great show.”

In my perspective, Lady Gaga’s newest single is one of her best songs. It was worth listening to and overall I am pleased with Lady Gaga’s new material. I do hope that the songs in the album are like the single, telling the story of how Lady Gaga came into the world of fame. The genre of the song was electro-pop, which is Lady Gaga’s lead genre. The lyrics in the song were very poetic. The lyrics showed that she does not care about what other people think of her, but what she thinks of her- self. I’ve also noticed a strong similarity with the song, “Express Yourself,” by Madonna. I see a connection with the tune of the song and the similarity between the lyrics. Overall, I loved the new single. I think that Lady Gaga will be in the hall of fame with many other artists like John Lennon and Michael Jackson. Lady Gaga will not quit what she does best. I like her style of music and her determination to express herself no matter what people say.

Students conquer Beecher boredom Mary Tucker: Reporter

Whether a person is into sports, videogames, music, or shopping, everyone likes to have fun. Most students of BHS wonder if that is even possible in this small town, but many students do not limit their fun because of Beecher’s size. They head out of town or find something new to do in Beecher to make weekends and life in general, more exciting and worth their while. Gabrielle Bachis (So) enjoys going to the movies, McDonalds, and walking around town. These types of entertainment are common to the average teen, but what she is involved in that most teens are not is her church. Her church has its own youth group ranging from grades 6-12. “We have a super bowl party each year, we get together with our small groups to go bowling, go to the mall, or someone’s house to hang out. We also have Thursday night youth group each week,” said Bachis. “Having fun for me is having a good time with the people you enjoy to be around.” Some senior class groups of friends of BHS hang out to watch different premieres of various television shows. “Pretty Little Liars” and “Jersey Shore” are two popular shows viewed by BHS students. These groups of friends get together, eat lots of food, and just enjoy each other’s company. It is something fun to shake up a Monday night. Cody Wyatt (So) and his friends hang out at Buffalo Wild Wings to enjoy wings and watch sports games on multiple televisions. If their wallets do not agree with going out to eat, they will hang out at a friend’s house for the night. Of course Beecher does not have

a Buffalo Wild Wings so Wyatt and his friends have to travel, but the taste of the wings and the time with their friends should take their minds off the gas money. Dan Alleva (Jr) goes to the movies and also hangs out at his friend’s house to bring some excitement to his Friday nights. Nick Hermanson (So) bowls when he gets the chance, and when the weather is nice, plays football or basketball with a large group of his friends. “Having fun is doing stuff that makes you happy, being with who you want to be with, and making the moment how you want it to be,” said Hermanson. Even though Beecher is not the center of entertainment for teens, students of BHS know how to make Friday nights exciting because they are able to create their own entertainment. Having fun in this town is about being creative, hanging with friends, and always laughing despite the small town. Anyone can be creative and have fun with their friends instead of loathing the fact that Beecher does not provide enough entertainment.

Hype For “The Secret Life” Katie Harvey: Reporter

“The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” also referred to as “The Secret Life,” has been a huge success since it first aired back in 2008. Now, with the fourth season approaching, I am still a loyal viewer. If you have not seen the show, it is about a teenage mother, Amy, who got pregnant at fifteen and is trying to balance the struggles of being a mother and being a high school student. The teaser for this season shows Amy proposing to Ricky, who is the father of Amy’s son, and the pregnancy going on between Ben and Adrian. What I am looking forward to the most this season is to see what happens between Ben and Adrian. In the last season, viewers were shocked to find out about an unplanned pregnancy for the duo. With Ben wanting to be responsible for his actions,

he proposes to Adrian and she was hesitant about accepting. Amy Jergens, the main character of the show, was in New York at a music program for young mothers when she found out about the news. The news happened to bring Ricky and Amy together. I would also like to see Amy and Ricky together, but viewers know that it might not happen due to his lack of commitment and effort. Tune in to “The Secret Life Of The American Teenager” on Monday, March 28 at 7:00 P.M to see what happens this season. January 17, 2011, MTV released its new show “Skins.” “Skins” depicts the lives of teenage kids and the struggles and problems they deal with. Basically it is a new age, hardcore version of “Degrassi,” which also shows the struggles that all teens go through. I was excited about seeing what “Skins” would be like since I used to be a fan of “Degrassi.” I found myself extremely disappointed and a little offended. Being a teenager and watching a show about the lives of teenagers, a person would naturally want to feel some kind of connection to the show, but this show made me feel looked down upon. From a teenager’s point of view, the way the writers of “Skins” portray the lives of teens is all wrong. “Skins” is over-dramatic with everything they do, and most, if not all, the scenarios they show are unrealistic. The harsh truth is yes, teenagers do like to go out and have a good time with their friends, get a little crazy, and even do things they might later regret. I think most teens would agree though that “Skins” is a bad show to watch if you want to get a glimpse of the life of the average teen. To me, “Skins” did not have any regular teens at all. Every character and scene is blown way out of proportion. In fact, the name of the show has nothing to do with the show being about teenagers and their struggles. Skins is a drug reference to papers that the characters in the show use to smoke marijuana. I thought this show would be a new age “Degrassi” and I expected it to be a lot better and realistic. After seeing it, I was highly disappointed. I think the show does a horrible job of showing the lives and struggles of teens. “Skins” shows dirty, alcoholic, drug addicted kids who steal cars and whose parents have no idea what they are doing or just do not care. Being a teenager now and having this show come out makes me feel looked down upon and labeled by society. The only reason I would consider watching the rest of the season would be to see what ridiculous scenarios the directors can come up with next to make teens look bad. If you are the type of person who likes very over dramatic scenarios to the point of it being offensive and ridiculous, then you will probably like this show. As for me, I have nothing good to say about “Skins.”

pagE 7 Sports The Spectrum Editor: Jake Hall March 2011

Intramural starts its 39th straight season

Jacob Schwartz: Reporter

Many people anxiously await for the first game to start, with the beginning of the 39th straight season of intramural hockey. Open gym was held on February 22. With Coach K retiring, many questions arose regarding whether or not there was going to be a 39th season of Intramural Hockey, but above all odds Coach K returned to bring Beecher High School another year of intramural hockey. Intramural hockey is floor hockey played in the den. Coach K has been in charge of intramural hockey since 1972. He has kept records for all of the years, which are posted on the wall of the den. these records range from team points to penalty minutes and everything in between. The games are played much like in the NHL, but there are a few rule changes and shorter periods. One period in the NHL is 20 minutes long, and in intramural the periods are only 12 minutes long. The season of intramural begins with a prospect game. After the captains choose their teams, the season is underway. Depending on how many teams participate, the season will last anywhere from 3-6 weeks. Every team will

New Season, New Sports Jacob Hall: Sports Editor Jacob Schwartz: Reporter

Spring brings many changes along with new sport seasons. Four sports start this semester and many athletes are already preparing for the upcoming spring season. Most teams have basic conditioning but some are going the extra mile to make sure they are as prepared as possible for the season. Girl’s soccer begins in spring and the team is already preparing for the season. The team formally started conditioning on February 14 and will continue to condition until March 21 when their first game is scheduled. “ We lost a lot of our team last year, but we have hard working girls that will step up, and I think we will have a good season,” said Sam Schwartz (Sr). The team has been conditioning using many different methods to help get the

play the other Cup, I am looking forward to at least twice, try for a repeat. I also would and the winner like to try and make the Allis decided at the star game for the first time this end of the seayear,” said Nick Oosting (So) son. The team Players and fans of Intrawith the best mural Hockey are excited, record will win, and they have every reason to but in the event be. intramural hockey is fun of a tie a final and exciting and this season game will take should prove to be a great one. place. The new captains will have After every a chance to lead their team to season of invictory and have their name tramural, there go down in Coach K’s Wall of is an All-Star Fame. I am sure that evey team The Spectrum/Colin Leahy game. Coach K will compete to the fullest for picks the best Prospects: Open-gym is the best way for the captains to see what this year’s that oppurtunity. of the best from prospects look like and what assets they could bring to their team. Intramural hockey has been each team and puts them together to exciting and I look forward to this year’s a tradition for Beecher High School play. Usually the players play against match up. It will be interesting to see since 1972, and it’s good to know that the other division, but all the teams are how this year’s seniors will match up the tradition will continue. The first in one division. Therefore the teams against the alumns of previous years,” game statts soon and I know many peoplay the alumni, and this proves to be a said Nick Giroux (Jr.) ple are excited to see the game. With fun and interesting matchup. The game Players have many hopes this year open gym over and the season almost in brings old players as well as young and plan on accomplising a lot this sea- full swing we look forward to the seaplayers. The game also provides a son. Last year Stluka’s Stars won the son progressing and all the games and chance for redemption for players who championship, but this year every team plays this season has to offer. did not win in their high school years. is shooting for that title. “The All-Star game has always been “Last year my team won the Stanley

team as physically and mentally pre- can,” said Coach Dubois. pared as possible. The boys open their season at home “We do a lot of circuit training with against Bloom Township on March 17 cardio, weights, and biometrics,” said at 4:30pm. Coach Compton. Spring also brings the promise of the The team is looking forward to finish- softball season, and the Ladycats are ing with more wins then losses this sea- working hard to get ready for the upson, and expects to finish in the top half coming season. The girls have been of the Bremen conditioning Tournament on “This year we are hoping for since the end March 21. as many State qualifiers as of January, and The baseball continue we can,” said Mike Polzin (Jr) will team has been until tryouts on training for their season since the start March 1st. They have been working of October, when they started lifting af- hard to reclaim their State Championter school. Since then, they began condi- ship since 2007, and that is a motivattioning in the start of February, and they ing factor in their conditioning workalso had an open gym that the players outs. Softball is big in Beecher and could attend. With Coach Krizan’s re- so are their workouts. They have been tirement the baseball team will undergo running, lifting, and conditioning just changes. The new baseball coach will to get ready for their season. The team be Mr. Dubois. He has high hopes for shows dedication and promise. the season and plans on coaching in the Track also begins in spring and they footsteps of Coach K. have high hopes for the 2011 season. “I just plan on building what Coach They had a great year last year and they K started, adding knowledge where I are all conditioning hard

to get ready for the season. “We have high expectations, we have to represent Beecher in running,” said Grant Nykaza (So) Track is one of the most participated and diverse sports Beecher has to offer so each person will condition according to their track event. Most players will run, but some players will focus more on lifting to prepare. One thing that does unify the track team is their high expectations and hopes for the coming season. “This year we are hoping for as many state qualifiers as we can,” said Mike Polzin (Jr) Beecher has been preparing for the spring sports season for many months now and we can only hope that each team lives up to their own expectations. They have been working hard to get ready, and it doesn’t look like they will disappoint us.

The Spectrum/Colin Leahy


Annie Pignatello and Paige Wheling run in the gym to get ready for the upcoming track season.

Jamie Ackman

Alaina Garza: Features Editor

“First starting karate, I did not think I would have come this far, or meet the people I have met. There are experiences I will never forget,” said Jamie Ackman, Junior at BHS. Jamie Ackman, a 16 year-old Junior at Beecher High School is a board-breaking, kicking, punching, and self-defense fighting karate extraordinaire. At age nine, Jamie sat in on her sister, Jessica’s, first karate class. By the end of that class, Jamie found herself participating with all the other kids. That’s when she knew that karate was the thing for her. She now practices and works out twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday, at

Beecher’s Community Hall. Jamie’s sister Jessica is now 14 and fully supports and is proud of Jamie’s karate accomplishments. Jamie has been involved in several tournaments all over the country. She has placed first six years in a row as a national champion for fighting. At Beecher High School’s talent show last year, Jamie demonstrated some of her karate moves and amazed the audience. “I loved the feeling of performing in front of all my peers and finally getting to show them what I can really do,” Jamie said. Her performance stunned everyone and Jamie got to prove to her fellow students how serious she takes her karate. Who is the mystery instructor that led Jamie to such a high accomplishment? Juan Hernandez, of Beecher, is her highly trained and skilled karate/ self-defense instructor. Juan Hernandez, age 45, is also nationally known as Mr. Karate. Juan’s nephew is known as Mr. Karate Jr. Juan is a former world karate champion, professional wrestler, world and U.S. heavyweight champion wrestler, and even participated in the Olympics at one time. He even trained a few famous wrestlers, such as Dr. Death. Jamie is thankful that she gets to train with such a skilled instructor such as Mr. Hernandez but not everything about her hobby is so fun. Jamie admits that her least favorite part of karate is working out and training as hard as she has to. She says that her favorite part is earning her next belt and winning. Every time Jamie reaches the next level of skill in karate, her belt color changes. Jamie’s current belt is green. The different colors of the belts let everyone know how high of a rank a person is. Jamie’s green belt, in most styles,

means intermediate, which means she is above beginner and below advanced. Her belt is also only three belts away from black. “There are many different styles and techniques we use. The moves are all in Japanese language. For example, punches are ‘zukes,’ kicks are ‘geris,’ and blocks are ‘ukes.’” It is interesting to think that when Jamie puts on her karate persona not only does she master the art of fighting; she even speaks in a different language. It is common for karate instructors to teach their students the different moves and techniques in karate’s original language of Japanese. One may think karate/self-defense would be really hard and time consuming. “Yes, my instructor is very hard, but I know it is only because of how much he believes in me, I love what I do and I do not want to quit,” Jamie says of her never ending determination. Considering that Juan Hernandez, former professional wrestling and karate champion, is her instructor, we can rest assured that Jamie is receiving the best practice she can get to be that much closer to her karate dream. Jamie’s future plans are opening her own karate school, that is if she makes it to earn her black belt. Jamie is only three belts away from the highest she can be, and she feels that she is so close and will continue to give it her all until she accomplishes her biggest milestone yet. After all of her training and hard work out sessions over the years, Jamie has developed the skill to handle pain. In all of her years of karate, Jamie has suffered many punches to the face and even kicks to the throat. Jamie’s karate can be considered more than a hobby. It is more of a lifestyle, considering how

much karate means to her and how hard she works at it to achieve her dream of earning a black belt. Even though it seems hard and back-breaking at times, Jamie will continue to work hard until she has that final belt in her hand. The belt that proves to her friends, family, and most importantly herself, that all of the hard work over so many years has finally paid off.

The Spectrum/Bekah Kamp

Spectrum: At what age did you start Karate Self Defense? Jamie: I started when I was nine. Spectrum: Do your future plans include Karate? Jamie: If I become a black belt then I want to open my own school. Spectrum: Who is your instructor? Jamie: Juan Hernandez. Spectrum: Have you ever gotten majorly injured? Jamie: If a couple punches to the face and getting kicked in the throat count, then yes. Spectrum: Have you ever really wanted to give up? Jamie: Yes, but I love what I do and I know that my instructor is hard on me only because he believes in me.

Question & Answer


Beecher High School Spectrum March issue