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Mountain Vista High School

10585 Mountain Vista Ridge Highlands Ranch, Colo. 80126

Volume 9 • Issue 3 • December 16, 2009

Making the holidays special

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> pages 8-9

Vista student tells of experience at drug rehabilitation center > page 6


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Do ath es m let usic ic p aff erf ect orm an ce?

How the economy stole Christmas

What really goes on in



> page 12

>> DECA qualifies 84 percent of team 53 and Counting for state competition at The Broadmoor 2 | WORD | vista | juice | soul | pulse | advertising | eagle eye |

December 16, 2009


Q &A Sponsor Sheri Bryant gives the facts on DECA



4 1 Clockwise from top left: 1. Ryan Farmer 2. Abbey Traylor and Carly Belzer 3. Brennan Boehne 4. DECA team with state trophy 5. Sponsor Sheri Bryant 6. Clockwise from left: Karli Moats, Liz Johnson, Chelsea Nugent, Jenn Plummer, Ali Stadjuhar, Caitlin Cumpson 7. Team testing 8. Team at hotel in Beaver Creek





>Eagle Eye: In one sentence, can you describe the purpose of DECA? >>Sheri Bryant: “To prepare high school students with the right marketing skills to be competitive in whatever their post-secondary plans are.” >EE: Is DECA more like a club or a team? >>SB: “DECA is absolutely a competitive team. If you wanted to look at it like a sports team, you could say that JV would be Marketing I and varsity would be Marketing II or III. The awesome thing about DECA is that no matter what your level of experience, you have the opportunity to compete at any conference we attend.” >EE: What are the main things the team competes in? >>SB: “There are individual events and team events, which really helps kids have choices. The most popular events are Apparel and Accessories, Hotel and Lodging, Sports Marketing and Travel and Tourism.

Really, there is a category for just about anything that kids are either interested in or in jobs where they may be currently working.” >EE: What are the most important tournaments this year? >>SB: “DECA tournaments start in October and run through the first part of December. Once state qualifiers are determined, things are really in preparation mode until we go to The Broadmoor in February. My goal is that we can have a national champion. With the talent we have in our chapter, it is certainly attainable. >EE: How can more people get involved? >>SB: “The only way a student can be involved is to enroll in Marketing I or II or Entrepreneurship. While freshmen cannot be in Marketing, I encourage them to be a member of FBLA to help learn the components of competition. If students have more questions, check out our Facebook page, email me and get involved with a winning organization.”

Photos courtesy of Sheri Bryant

State qualifier discovers passion Ryan Winter > Word Co-editor Fiona Blois waits in anticipation as she listens to the announcer at the DECA district competition read the winners in the Apparel and Accessories category. Names fly from the presenter’s mouth, each coinciding with a thud in Blois’ heart. “He kept reading names that I didn’t know,” Blois, junior, says. “I was thinking: ‘Wow, nobody from Mountain Vista made it.’” The announcer finally arrives at the fifth place spot, and reads Blois’ name, meaning she is a state qualifier. The competition consisted of two parts. The first is a written test. The second, two role-play situations in which the contestants demonstrated real-life conditions, such as dealing with customers or advertising a promotion. “I was ecstatic. I didn’t think I would qualify this year,” Blois said, who qualified last year but did not compete due to a broken arm. Blois happened upon DECA by accident. “I first started because I thought it was a requirement of being in Marketing,” said the two-time state qualifier. “Then, I realized it was really fun.” Mountain Vista seems to have a flair for “fun,” as 53 out of the 63 students in this year’s DECA chapter qualified for the state tourna-

Photos courtesy of Fiona Blois

DECA inspires one student to pursue dream of career in fashion industry

ment, scheduled for late February at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. “We have managed to truly dominate every event this year,” seven-year sponsor Sheri Bryant said. Overall, the team has raked in a total of nine team championships over a seven-year span. “There is a real misconception with students and staff that we just do Taste of Mountain Vista, miss too much school or sell concessions,” said

Fiona Blois

Bryant, who lists the team’s district championship trophy as one of her proudest accomplishments this year. “DECA students put in long hours within the school day and outside of class to study curriculum, practice with business volunteers and plan school events,” she said. “All of these skills are helping to prepare them for the real world.” This connection to reality has played a considerable role in DECA’s success, as the students really see a purpose to their hard work. “It is a rarity that a student is sitting in a mar-

keting class, working in the store and wondering: ‘When am I ever going to use this information?’” Bryant said. Blois said she believes DECA has opened her eyes to the prospect of a career in the fashion industry, with the hopes of one day becoming a designer. “It’s funny that I originally didn’t consider being in DECA, but obviously I am glad I did,” she said. “I have learned a lot about the business side of fashion and other careers as well.” Blois said she has looked into the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, which has four campuses in California, as a tool to achieving her dream once she leaves high school. Apart from Apparel and Accessories, Bryant said the most popular events include Hotel and Lodging, Sports Marketing and Travel and Tourism. “Really, there is a category for just about anything that kids either are interested in or in jobs where they may be currently working,” said Bryant, who considers traveling with the team one of her favorite parts of being the DECA sponsor. For Blois, the best part is the heat of competition and the “thrill of victory.” “I am thrilled because I didn’t get to go last year,” Blois said. “Now, I’m just hoping I can qualify for nationals.”


>> of the holidays | word | vista | JUICE | soul | pulse | advertising | eagle eye |

In true

Saving the season T

Zack Smith > Juice Co-Editor he winter holiday season — Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, whatever one chooses to believe or not to believe in — carries an enormous amount of stress under its charming facade. Simultaneously searching for gifts for loved ones, studying for finals and hosting out-of-town relatives produces an exorbitant amount of pressure. In the rush of it all, people tend to forget the true spirit of the holidays. Parents elbow each other at the doors of stores and rush almost comically through the aisles to get their child the new “Zhu Zhu Pet,” or to buy themselves a discounted flat-screen television. Such actions are done out of love, but the holidays cannot be only about presents. Yet instances such as the death of a Wal-Mart store employee who was trampled by crazed shoppers during Black Friday in 2008 highlight what Christmas means to some people. To some, buying material objects trumps human lives. Such an ugly precedent disfigures basic human nature and sympathy. “Americans tend to get greedy instead of giving and embrac-


Graphic courtesy Lexington Herald-Leader

play the dreidel game Hanukkah normally commences in December or late November, and commemorates the victory of the Maccabees, a Jewish rebel army, over the Syrians in 165 B.C.E., as well as the subsequent rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem. > Dreidel was played by Jews when practicing their religion was illegal. When Maccabee troops passed by, they hid any holy scriptures they had and instead pretended to play the game. > Today, children play the game with chocolate coins or other objects during the eight nights of Hanukkah. Here’s how to play: 1. Everyone places the same amount of something (money, candy) in a pot. 2. The first person spins the dreidel and waits until it stops. 3. Whatever side it lands on is the action the spinner takes. If it lands on “Nun” the spinner receives nothing, “Gimmel” means he takes all of the pot, “Heh” gives him half the pot and “Shin” forces the spinner to put another token in the pot. 4. The game continues until all but one of the players runs out of tokens. Source:

December 16, 2009

ing the true meaning of Christmas,” junior Kirby Wagner said. Society nowadays emphasizes siphoning money toward the expensive and insignificant instead of genuine expressions of love, even though times are tough these days. According to the American Psychological Association, 30 percent of children ages 8-17 worry their family does not have enough money. However, aiding the impoverished and unfortunate and saying thanks to soldiers in the armed forces are costless and selfless ways to give back. Volunteer by serving meals at soup kitchens for the Denver Rescue Mission, sending letters to troops in Afghanistan via Web sites like or visiting a local church for community outreach opportunities. Who knows, maybe a simple display of kindness and caring will make someone’s Christmas a little better. My guess is it will. Count your blessings, because it is impossible to tell when they might disappear. Instead of getting caught up in pointless brouhaha this season, take a step back and understand the real reason for the season: uplifting others and celebrating family, friends and life.



Graphic by Jamie Woodworth


A look at how different religions celebrate

Christian>> Jewish>> Kwanzaa>> Scientology>>

Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec. 25 Jews celebrate the two miracles of Hanukkah from Dec. 11–19 Celebrates and honors African heritage and culture from Dec. 26 – Jan. 1 Commemorates official recognition of the Church of Scientology on Dec. 30

Information compiled by Taylor Ernest

Celebrating a Jewish Christmas Sarah Atlas spends both Hanukkah and Christmas with her family Zack Smith > Juice Co-Editor In the same month junior Sarah Atlas opens a stocking and gifts under a Christmas tree and lights candles on a menorah with family and friends. As a Catholic-Jew, she celebrates the birth of Jesus in addition to the eight-day Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. “It’s different because most families stick to one religion and that’s it,” Atlas said. While Hanukkah and Christmas do not always overlap (this year Hanukkah began Dec. 11 and ends Dec. 19), Atlas said when it does it’s really cool. “We do the traditional lighting of the menorah, and in the same room is the Christmas tree with lights and tons of ornaments,” she said. She spends the eight nights of Hanukkah passing time with her brother, sister, mother and father, and plays traditional Jewish games with them. “I get woken up early on Christmas morning and I get to play dreidel with them all eight nights of Hanukkah, so it’s fun,” Atlas said.

Atlas’ father’s side is Jewish, while her mother’s side is Catholic. Although in the Jewish religion the children technically follow whatever the mother believes, Atlas said she has always identified herself with both religions. “Usually my friends think it would be really cool to see how Hanukkah works,” she said, smiling. “Every year me, my brother and my sister all have a few nights when friends are with us just to see how we do it. It’s pretty funny to see their reaction.” Atlas, however, said the most important aspect of the holidays is the opportunity to take a break from the hectic nature of her schedule. “It might be cheesy, but I really enjoy spending time with my family,” she said. “It is really the one time we all have an excuse to take time out of our busy lives, and come together.” And no, Atlas said, she does not receive any more presents than other people. “My parents split it up very evenly to make sure we don’t get more than (people who celebrate one religion) would,” she said.

Photo courtesy Sarah Atlas Junior Sarah Atlas stands with her family’s menorah and Christmas tree. “I get woken up early on Christmas morning and I get to play dreidel with them all nights of Hanukkah,” Atlas said.




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December 16, 2009


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December 16, 2009




e fi Vista’s Hall-I-Day Outreach >>Catch the

National Honor Society makes of a family’s Christmas wish come true Spirit Christmas single mother of five. “That Caitlin Young > Juice Co-editor was amazing,” Shuster said. Confident and eager, “We provided a winter coat National Honor Society for everyone in the family”. sponsor Heidi Shuster NHS members are clasped her hands toperforming outside comgether in glee: “It will make munity service and then Christmas!” donating the money earned The “It”, Shuster referred to this year’s family. to is the Also, members put toadoption gether a winter event called of a local Happy Hall-I-days Dec. 12 family from 1-4 p.m. that was a by NHS, substitute for the snowedproviding out Trick-or-Treat-Street. the basic Students not in NHS were needs and able to help as well. Heidi Shuster securi The $2 to enter the ties for their upcoming Winter Festival will be for holidays. the family in need. This year the club has Activities included found a single mom who making cookies, decoratis looking into adopting a ing presents, gingerbread child who will hopefully houses, a visit to Santa and arrive before Christmas. a Gingerbread “I think it’s a walk. great organization In times like this, All students and a great way to those who have, were welcome and help families that wouldn’t have a should give. We hope encouraged to try guessing for the Christmas,” NHS to help a family find officer Brooke Murthe joy in the season candy cane jar at lunch any day phy said. despite extreme during the week, If last year was economic drawbacks. and donate to the any indication, the cause. For one current recipient Everyone deserves a guess worth $1, family will soon Christmas. the winner will receive variated recieve an iPod living comforts Heidi shuster, Nano. that will lighten NHS sponsor “This year we will burdens, while have the opportunity to allowing the whole student make a difference,” Murphy body to get involved. said. “We don’t only buy toys,” Shuster said, “We buy wheelchairs, gas, blankets, tires, bikes, food, clothes eagleeye and more.” for update on NHS and Two years ago, the club adopt-a-family project. raised over $2,000 for a

If every student donated$1 We’d raise a total

Times are tight for a lot of people this year and there are many people less fortunate than the majority of the students at MVHS. However, this year if every Mountain Vista student donated one dollar the school could raise approximately $1,979. So think about what a dollar could do, whether you give it to someone on the street who needs it or an organization, a dollar can go a long way in the grand scheme of things.

>> thelowdown

Where & How to Donate

Salvation Army Kettles>> 1.At every grocery store or Walmart during

the holiday season, dropping some spare change you may have in your pocket, can go a long way.


The Silhouette



Tree – Angel Tree is a great >> 2.wayAngel to give back to the young children with

parents in prison. Whole families take part in this cause, spending little over $10 and making a little boy or girl smile on Christmas day. Source:

Photos by Caitlin Young On Saturday Dec. 12, National Honor Society hosted a holiday festival where kids could come and participated in various activities in the spirit of the season. Juniors and seniors helped by setting up rooms and running projects like cookie decorating. Admission was $2 per child and the money went towards an adopted family.

Audrey Paranka TALENT: Service

Makeeba Helms > Reporter This year Key Club is hoping to raise money in order to create care packages to send to a platoon in Iraq and senior Audrey Paranka is one of the main people who made it happen. Key Club decided to do this charity this year because Paranka has close ties with some of the officers in the platoon. Paranka has been doing charities since she was in sixth grade, starting with helping Photo by Amy Markowski out at soup kitchens.

Kitchens – Spending time at >>3.localSoup soup kitchens is a great way of reaching out to those in the greatest need. Places like the Denver Rescue Mission or Friends of St. Andrew in Aurora are places you and your family can give back over the holidays. Source:

“I started volunteering at soup kitchens and that’s when it opened my eyes to charity and giving,” she said.

The club is hoping to raise a couple hundred dollars to create these special Christmas packages for the soldiers. The club hosted a bake sale every day last week, Paranka said The packages consisted of gifts for the soldiers, presents for the Iraqi children and also food for a Christmas dinner.

“I feel that being from Highlands Ranch I have a lot to give and a lot of opportunities to give,” Paranka said.

Photo courtesy of John Frost She said being charitable is a big part Paranka’s friend, Colonel John Frost, is a member of the troop she’s aidof her life and is very important to her. She also said she feels that being from Highlands ing. Here, Frost and his troop poses for a holiday picture in Iraq. Ranch she has a lot to give back.


REHAB 6 | word | vista | juice | SOUL | pulse | advertising | eagle eye |

the pain. the struggle. the recovery.

6 a.m. required chores, cleaning

7-2 p.m. on-site school

2-3 p.m. gym classes 3-5 p.m. group therapy

9 p.m.

back to room, sleep

December 16, 2009


Kelsey Krebsbach > Soul Co-Editor


o would you call yourself a drug addict?” Daniel, who asked that his real name not be used because of the sensitivity of the story, didn’t even flinch. “Yeah,” he replied nodding his head.“Yeah, I would actually.” There are some struggles in life that never completely fade away. Drug addiction is one of them. Daniel, a junior at Mountain Vista, spent nearly all of September and October this year at Lost and Found Inc., a rehabilitation facility in Morrison, Colo. With a history as a dealer and user of ecstasy and acid, rehab was Daniel’s parents’ decision to help him get sober and stay clean. Torn from his friends and family, he reflects on what it was like to live apart from the rest of the world for 50 days. The rooms patients sleep in are similar to tiny hotel rooms, except crammed with four uncomfortable bunk beds. Daniel said all the boys receiving treatment at his facility came directly from jail. Some had not known any other life for years. “These kids have been in jail and rehab for so long they don’t even know how to get home anymore,” Daniel said, shrugging. “It’s just how they live.” Despite the differences in lifestyle, he said he was “still tight with everyone there” because although the boys came from different backgrounds, they all shared the same goal: to get sober and get out. Megan St. John, a program manager at Lost and Found Inc., said relapse is part of the recovery process and doesn’t negate a patient’s treatment. Addictions at the facility vary from alcohol to narcotics. “It kind of depends on the year,” St. John said. There’s kind of different trends (in addictions). Mainly alcohol and narcotics have been seen recently. Methamphetamine is typical though.” According to www.drug-alcohol-rehabs. org , the cost of monthly treatment in rehab can reach up to $40,000, but the average cost is approximately $7,000. Typically, tax dollars and insurance covers the bill, but it is an expensive process and Daniel said he thinks he got out early because his insurance carrier dropped out. The counselors at Lost and Found Inc., he said, were supportive and helpful. “They were all nice unless you broke the rules,” Daniel said. “You just can’t break the rules.” With a strict color-coded demerit system, the facility forced the boys to stay in line and keep their anger under control. The rules included a no cussing policy, and requirements to complete chores each morning. “You’re pretty much forced to be nice to everybody,” Daniel said, “because if you weren’t,

you get demerits, and then you end up staying longer.” However, it was not always a calm atmosphere, he said. “It was funny to see kids flip out,” he said, laughing, “They weren’t allowed to cuss, so they would start punching the lockers we kept our clothes in and stuff.” It was not always easy for Daniel to control himself in rehab either, he said. He had been using narcotics on a daily basis for three months, causing his emotions to build up. Daniel said it was especially painful to cope with being away from home. “I had been putting (these feelings) off for like 10 months, and the weirdest feelings would just hit me at the strangest times,” he said. “I think the most difficult thing I had to deal with was not being able to see my little sister. That really sucked… definitely the worst part.” St. John said most kids resist treatment and have a love-hate relationship with the facility. “They feel cared for and safe, but still want to be free,” she said. There finally came a point when the redundancy of the days and unexpectedness of The most difemotion became too ficult thing I had to much to handle, and Daniel tried to run deal with was not away. being able to see “I made it 10 miles my little sister. down C-470,” he said, smiling, revealing his full set of shiny silver braces, “but a cop finally picked me up.” One of the greatest changes in lifestyle a patient must deal with in rehab is staying sober, experiencing reality above the twisted influence of drugs. “I liked being sober. Being sober is way better than being high all the time,” Daniel said. Unfortunately, staying sober in rehab is nothing like staying sober in the outside world. Daniel said being back in the teenage lifestyle makes it near impossible not to relapse because drugs and alcohol seem to be everywhere. “It’s so hard not to get back into it,” he said. Now he is back at home in Highlands Ranch transitioning to a normal teenage lifestyle, one free from all the consequences and limitations of his former rehab center. He attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings called “Ain’t Dead Yet” on a regular basis. However, according to Daniel, no one is every truly ‘cured’ of a drug addiction. Struggling through the monotony of rehab can change a teenager’s lifestyle, but the addiction will always lurk in the background, waiting to resurface. “When I go to my N.A. meetings, they call it a disease,” Daniel recited as if he knew the words by heart. “To have an addiction is to have a disease. You can’t get rid of it. You can stay sober but you’re always gonna have an addictive personality. That’s why you can’t go back.” Photo Illustration by Amy Markowski

A Million Little Pieces: read about one man’s journey

James Frey’s struggle through the rehabilitation process as an alcoholic and drug addict is illustrated through his memoir/fiction novel “A Million Little Pieces.” As a 23-year-old, Frey undergoes 12 steps in a treatment center as a 10-year alcoholic and crack addict for three. Enduring the pain and struggle to fight the “Fury,” readers follow Frey and his experiences during the grueling and long recovery process.


For more information on rehab facilities in Colo. and the ongoing battle of addiction,visit: | word | vista | juice | SOUL | pulse | advertising | eagle eye |

December 16, 2009



‘...people don’t accept me’


Senior Scott Severe confesses fears he had admitting he was gay to family


Brenna Cameron > Soul Co-Editor e cradles his math notebook in his arms. His red plaid scarf tied around his neck adds a pop of color to his speckled white t-shirt and gray cardigan. His blonde hair holds some styling gel but still tumbles to the side in a lopsided, out-of-theordinary mohawk. One look and a student might turn away, asking themselves why a boy would ever dress like that in high school. Senior Scott Severe has to take these remarks and stares every day just because he’s gay. “High school is hard,” he said. “Random people don’t accept me.” The glares and backward glances started in seventh grade for Scott when he decided to admit to his family and friends that he was gay. “My dad kept asking, ‘When are you going to get a girlfriend?’ Scott said. “I was thinking ‘screw you.’” Though Scott wanted desperately to tell his family, he said that he still had constraints, wondering if his parents would understand. “Both my parents somewhat knew (of my sexuality), but we were a very conservative family and it was still frightening,” Scott said. And at first Scott’s parents, Ellen and Jeff Severe, said they didn’t want to accept it. “We were scared of what people would think, but then we realized that that shouldn’t be our fear,” Ellen and Jeff commented in an e-mail. “If Scott is comfortable enough with his sexuality we should support him.” Coming to this approval though posed some problems for the Severe family, caught up in their conservative traditions and an often narrow-minded community. Expressing her opinion on overcoming these presumptions Mountain Vista High School counselor Sandy Teegerstrom said, “Stereotypes are based on fear. People are fearful of things that are different.”

Ellen and Jeff said they had to reflect about their own morals when Scott admitted he was gay. “We were prejudiced,” they said. “We always looked down on discrimination, yet we were discriminating against our own son.” Scott laughs lightly as he retells how he brought home his first boyfriend, “They were weirded-out at first but they saw it was basically the same as everyone else and it became a lot more comfortable.” Teegerstrom said she thinks that it’s not a choice to be gay or straight, it’s something you’re born into. Unfortunately, she said, being gay is terribly difficult in a society that needs to have more tolerance for gay citizens. “Adolescence is a time for self discovery and being in a situation where your experiences aren’t similar (to your peers) sets you apart in your own mind,” she said. And for Scott, admitting he was gay became a life-changing experience in and of itself. He began to find the person within himself, exploring this newly found comfort with his sexuality. “I became more confident. I gained more friends,” he said. “I didn’t have to hide anymore.” Scott has embraced his sexuality, letting his revelation change his entire outlook on life and the relationship he holds with his family. He leans against the locker smiling a little as he says there is a “closeness between me and my family now.” “We know now that nothing needs to be kept a secret,” Ellen and Jeff said. “We’re now able to know our son for who he really is.” For Scott, it’s hard to fit into a conservative environment like Highlands Ranch with his sexuality, but he deals with the adversity as if it wasn’t an adversity at all. “I’m happy I came out,” he said. “I now have an ability to be happy and open with everything.”

Gay Straight Alliance club: a place where people belong

by the


all teen suicides are 30% >>ofcommitted by gays or lesbians come out as 10% >>ofgayteens or lesbian kick their gay 50% >>parents or lesbian child out of

Isabel Salinas > Reporter n high school, there are lots of things teens can become fanatic about. Some turn into serious dancers, others devote themselves to an advanced placement class, but


the house because of their sexual orientation of homeless youth are gay or lesbian of gay or lesbian teens drop out of high school because they feel uncomfortable in school

40% >> 28% >>

gay men will have 55% >>ofa substance abuse problem sometime in their life


Photo Illustration by Amy Markowski

Laura Reed Katherine DeGraff

Photo by Amy Markowski

there are not many students who are willing to put themselves out there in order to stand up in support of gay kids. “We understand if you’re totally flaming. We’re really just a place where people can come and belong while still being able to say, ‘Hey! We’re different! So deal!” said Katherine DeGraff, senior. DeGraff and Laura Reed are the main leaders in Mountain Vista of Gay Straight Alliance, a club that stands up for the rights of lesbians, gays, transgenders and bisexuals. “We never ask people to go and declare themselves in our meetings,” Reed, senior, said. “We’re basically here to provide a safe place in a world

that’s not very friendly to such a radical concept as being gay.” Though the group at MVHS recently stopped meeting due to lack of consistent members, they both have found a way to continue “influencing the ‘bubbled community’” by instead uniting with three other high schools — Rock Canyon, Thunder Ridge and Highlands Ranch — in an effort to bring awareness to others while still upholding the integrity of the club. “As a club we try to participate in national campaigns to raise awareness of this imbalance of rights, such as the Day of Silence, National Coming-Out Day and No Name Calling Week,” Reed

said. “The administration was kind of ‘iffy’ about (the club’s) challenge to the school to participate (last year) in the Day of Silence since they thought it would be a disturbance, but once it happened and nothing went wrong, they were and have been pretty cool about the whole thing.” Even though the club is not meeting right now, possible GSA meeting dates are posted around several schools. “But mostly,” Reed said, “our meeting dates are passed on by word of mouth. So listen up!”

OUT ✓ eagleeye for what students had to say about gay students at Mountain Vista

>> Jackman girls give back to family 8 | WORD | vista | juice | soul | pulse | advertising | eagle eye |

December 16, 2009


Ashley, Brooklyn Jackman take focus off of gifts this holiday season


Alli Cole > Reporter his holiday season Ashley and Brooklyn Jackman are less focused on gifts, and more concerned with spending time with their family. With the current economic situation, many businesses are suffering, including the real estate market. The girls’ father, Mark Jackman, was a realtor and the houses were not selling, therefore it was hard and the family of seven was having some trouble. “We have such a big family,” Brooklyn, sophomore, said. “There is a lot to support.” Their parents have had to make some changes in order to help. Mr. Jackman is currently a consultant for a laser company, and Mrs. Jackman is a nurse at Summit View Elementary. “They may be making less, but my mom absolutely loves her job,” Ashley, junior, said. With Christmas coming up, both girls said they feel it is their time to give back to their family. “I am excited for the holidays, but it doesn’t really feel like Christmas because We are learning I’m not so focused to live with what on the gifts,” Ashley we have and it said. “I’m OK with that though because it helped our famshouldn’t be all about ily grow and come the presents. I’m just closer together. looking forward to Ashley Jackman, 11 spending time with my family.” Brooklyn said this year will be different because her, Ashley, and their eighth-grade sister Courtney are going to help more for their little brothers Mike and Mark. “We are all going to chip in to help get them their gifts from Santa,” Brooklyn said. Recently, the Jackmans moved into a new home and will have to adjust to their Christmas



24 inexpensive gifts for teenagers 1. Mix CD 2. Scrapbook 3. Hat, mittens, scarves 4. iTunes cards 5. Jar of candy 6. Homemade cookies

Photo courtesy of Jackman Family The Jackman family comes together for a family portrait. Brooklyn said the holiday has been stressful since there are so many of them. Back row: Courtney, Mark, Ashley, Mike, Brooklyn. Front row: Penny, Mark.

in a new place. “When we had to move I didn’t like it at first, but now I love my new house,” Ashley said. “I really think everything worked out for the best.” So many things have changed for the Jackman family, but Ashley said they have kept their heads high, and continue trying to make everything work.


7. Board games 8. Scented candle 9. Jewelry 10. Ornament 11. Bath and body lotions 12. Wallet/Purse

“It has been stressful and really hard,” Brooklyn said. “Sometimes it’s hard to get things we want, so we just have to focus on what we need.” Ashley said she agrees the current recession has not been easy for anyone in her family, but they are all coming together to make it work. “We are learning to live with what we have and it has helped our family grow and come For inexpensive gifts for the holiday season 13. Key chain 14. Movies 15. Water bottle 16. Box of chocolates 17. Make up 18. Framed photo

19. Gift basket 20. mp3 player 21. Popcorn 22. Gift cards 23. Books 24. Clothes

closer together,” Ashley said. They may not be having as many gifts under the Christmas tree this year, but the Jackmans said they will certainly have enough love to get them through the holidays. Both girls said they agree the recession and being at a loss gives a new meaning to Christmas, and for that, they are thankful.


trying to find the best sales and discounts 92% >> People going to shop where it is most convenient 85% >> People spending more family time at 38% >> People home hosting holiday parties, most 10% >> People will just be guests Source: The Harris Poll

How has the recession affected your Christmas?

“My dad lays people off so it’s all going to be ok.” >BILLY KIRSCHER, Junior

“Santa will bring me all my presents this Christmas.” >ZACH EVINS, Freshman

“My parents say it’s not going to be the same and to not expect much, but I am okay with it.” >DYLAN SENIW, Junior

“My sister’s college is expensive so that affects my Christmas and the amount of gifts I will get.” >HALEY KROLL, Freshman

“Christmas is not going to be as good as it has been in previous years.” >MICHAEL CARTER Junior Photos by Amy Markowski

EAGLE EYE >2009-2010 STAFF CO-EDITORSIN-CHIEF Carli Auran Trevor David SECTION EDITORS Val Buccio Brenna Cameron Kelsey Krebsbach Tyler Mustin Zachary Smith Kyle Tosch Ryan Winter Caitlin Young ADVERTISING Dallin Calvert Jordan Laeyendecker

REPORTERS Allison Cole Taylor Ernest Andrew Frieman Brooke Healey Makeeba Helms Macy Morgan Erica Rasquinha Isabel Salinas Jake Smith Caleb Williams PHOTOJOURNALISTS Tessa Kaufman Amy Markowski ADVISER Mark Newton, MJE

>POLICY Eagle Eye, a legally recognized public forum for student expression, is published six to nine times a year by the Newspaper class for students of Mountain Vista High School. Expression made by students in the exercise of freedom of speech or freedom of press is not an expres¬sion of Douglas County school board policy. The views expressed in Eagle Eye do not necessarily represent the views of the entire staff, adviser, MVHS administration or the Douglas County School District administration. Board policy regarding student publications (JICEA and JI/JIA) is available in the journalism/publications room (Room U328) or in the principal’s office.

>LETTERS TO THE EDITORS Eagle Eye welcomes and encourages letters to the editors. This is a chance to express your viewpoint on important issues. Letters should be limited to 250 words. Letters will be edited for space and legal considerations, but not for inaccuracies, grammar or spelling. Letters must contain information pertinent to the students of MVHS. The staff retains the right to not publish any letter not meeting these requirements. Unsigned letters will not be published. Please submit typed letters in person to Room U328 or via mail or e-mail.

>CONTACT Eagle Eye, Mountain Vista High School, 10585 Mountain Vista Ridge, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126. Phone: 303- 387-1500. FAX: 303-387-1501. Adviser e-mail: mark. Publication e-mail: EagleEyeNews@ dcsdk.12org

>COST Single copies are free. Where available, additional copies of this paper are available for purchase for 50 cents each. Contact Eagle Eye for more information. Taking more than one copy of this paper with the intent to prevent other individuals from reading this edition of the paper is prohibited (C.R.S. 18-4-419). Violators, subject to prosecution and penalty under C.R.S. 13-21-123, will be prosecuted.

>OPEN FORUM CONTENT Some material courtesy of American Society of News¬paper Editors/MCT Campus High School Newspaper Service. ©2009 Eagle Eye/Mountain Vista High School. All rights reserved.

>ON THE COVER Senior Audrey Paranka helps Key Club make holiday cards for soldiers and sick children. Cover Photo by Amy


iPod courtesy of Kensington/MCT | Ornament courtesy of Chicago Tribune/MCT | Football courtesy of Kurt Strazdins/MCT

THE FIRST AMENDMENT Congress shall make no law respecting an establish¬ment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to as¬semble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Rethink the holidays In the current state of the nation’s economy, it is time to focus less on the materialistic side of the holidays

C­­ arli Auran with contributions from Trevor David > Co-Editors-in-Chief urn on the television the day after Thanksgiving and you’ll most likely hear the following: “Every kiss begins with Kay” paired with a cheesy love scene sparked by a $3,000 diamond. The holidays are coming once again, and the media won’t let us forget it. But with the economy in its current state, getting gifts for all your loved ones will be harder than ever. In a way, though, the hard times may just provide an opportunity to appreciate the things we take for granted around Christmastime: friends and family. Gathering around the Christmas tree has a certain way of uniting a family as smiles spread across each face. Some are struggling There is more just to make the mortgage to the holidays and Christmas presents are than receiving becoming less and less of a priority. every present My family of seven is requested. preparing for our meekest Christmas yet, setting a limit of just a few small gifts per person. Because providing five kids with a lavish amount of presents is difficult when my mom won’t be receiving a Christmas bonus and my stepdad did not recieve his annual raise, my parents warned my siblings and I to expect less this Christmas. America puts too much emphasis on gifts and spending money. Over the decades, the prices of toys, electronics and clothes have gone up despite the “deals” stores claim to offer. The standards of how much to spend on a gift have slowly risen to radical heights. Now, more than ever, is the time to change our ways and replace money with meaning. Cutting back and spending less benefits both




Side” for depicting Michael Oher’s inspirational story. Oher, now an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, went from poverty to stardom on the gridiron. Props to NHS and Key Club for their holiday charity. Key Club made care packages for soldiers and NHS provided gifts for the less fortunate.


> Props to parents for generously Illustration by Jamie Woodworth parents and children. Since only two of the kids in my family have jobs, finding the money to spend on gifts has always been hard for the five of us. Working part time and having my winter hours cut to less than 10 per week prevented me from saving cash for the holidays. But this year, relying on mom and dad as a backup funding source is no longer an option. We’re learning there is more to the holidays than receiving every present requested. Purchasing less allows families to concentrate on the memories and relationships rather than material objects. Fewer gifts under the tree doesn’t mean a worse holiday season. Family and friends stick around regardless of the amount of money you have to spend on them. This holiday season I plan on relaxing at home and drinking homemade hot chocolate with my mom, watching movies with my dad and letting my four brothers entertain me with constant pranks and horseplay. I’ve got a full schedule of festivities to enjoy and most of them don’t consist of spending money. In fact, if anything, this holiday should be a less stressful one; if everybody can understand the national financial bind, worries about not giving somebody enough can be cast aside and we can focus solely on something priceless: spending time with those we love.


THINGS TO DO DURING THE Instead of spending money on gifts, spend time with

the people you care about doing activites everyone can enjoy. They’re cheap and create lasting memories. Lights courtesy of Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT

Go to the synthetic ice rink at Town Center > Open every day and until 8:30

p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Prices: $4 Monday-Thursday; $5 Friday-Sunday; $2 Skate Rental.

Drive around Highlands Ranch to see the Christmas decorations > Make

sure to go to the house with their lights synced to radio station 93.9 FM. The house is located at 1582 Meyerwood Circle off of Wildcat Reserve Parkway. Stay at home for the night > Watch movies, play games or bake holiday treats. Start a family tradition and make it a point to spend some quality time at home with loved ones. “Props and Flops” photos courtesy of: Baltimore Sun/MCT (top) Minneapolis Times Tribune/MCT (middle) for more holiday gift and activty ideas.




> Props to “The Blind


1 2 3








December 16, 2009

D | word | VISTA | juice | soul | pulse | advertising | eagle eye |

Illustration courtesy of Bradenton Herald/MCT

donating to our newspaper. Printing each issue costs over $1,000, and their donations helped us meet the total.


> Flops to Tiger Woods for continu-

ing to bash the media rather than expain his real situation. Reporters are getting a bit nosy, but they’re just doing their jobs. He needs to accept the consequences of his actions.

> Flops to starting school on time

despite icy roads and packed snow. An extra hour would allow longer commute time and encourage slower driving. Normal start times in bad conditions are just dangerous.

> Flops to the weather. A little cold

makes it feel like winter, but subzero temperatures and cold classrooms just make things miserable.

eyeDEAS >>eagle

IN A JAR > Layer the ingre>>COOKIE dients to your favorite cookie recipe

carefully in a jar. Attach recipe instructions and decorate the jar. (Also try with hot chocolate ingredients.)

>>HOMEMADE BATH SALTS/SOAP BLANKET > Tie >>FLEECE-TIED together layers of fuzzy fleece fabric

for warm and meaningful gifts for all ages.

PAPER CLOCK > >> DECOUPAGED Decorate a cheap clock set (you

can find cheap ones at most craft stores) with scrap booking paper and other materials. Make it unique and personal.

PIECE PICTURE FRAME >>PUZZLE > This is a crafty way to recycle an unused puzzle.

>>A MIX CD > Everyone loves good music. CALENDAR > Kinko’s has >> PHOTO cheap prices and all you just have to bring in the pictures to use. Plus, this is a gift that will last all year long. Source:

Happy Holidays


10 | word | vista | juice | soul | pulse | ADVERTISING | eagle eye |

December 16, 2009

from the Mountain Vista Eagle Eye staff we want your

buy a 2009-2010 yearbook before its too late!

60 70 80

until December 17th January 4th through 25th after February 1st

In order to buy a yearbook, visit the school webpage and click on the yearbook link. We also have past yearbooks available for purchase. Please contact Mr. Newton.

| | word | vista | juice | soul | PULSE | advertising | eagle eye |

December 16, 2009




Same Team, Different Perspective

Two Vista poms dancers share victory, but differ in point of view

Hayley Harder, senior


Rachel Obering, freshman Erica Rasquinha > Reporter hen Vista students cheer for the home team and the poms start to dance, they not only provide entertainment but they keep the fans in high spirits. Freshman Rachel Obering is one of three in her class on the varsity team. Because she recently joined the team, Obering built a bond between her teammates and herself. “I barely knew anyone at first, but naturally the practices made us grow close,” she said. “Sometimes we’ll go get ice cream together after practice.” There are many hours of practice required to succeed in a two-minute routine. The team practices four times a week or more if needed. Each dancer has their own share of talents and also skills they need to work on. “Before state, I worked hard to make sure that my toe-touches were as good as the other girls,’” Obering said. There were two dances for the competition, a jazz piece and a poms piece. The team’s jazz piece reflects emotion, while the team’s poms dance is more technical and requires endurance. Obering said she enjoys dancing the poms routine the most. “I like it because it’s upbeat and shows off


Photo by Tessa Kauffman Poms poses for a picture at the school assembly before an encore performance of their state-winning routine. Standing: Liz Johnson, Hope Sanford, Rachel Obering, Karli Moats, Hayley Harder, Emily Sherwood, Hayley Ehring, Melanie Rufien and Rebecca Johnson. Kneeling: Coach Trimble and Rachel Miller our skills,” she said. “When you walk in people are sizing up the competition but other people become more friendly throughout the day,” Before the poms team hit the floor for the preliminary round; Obering said her mind runs through everything she needs to remember. “While I’m dancing,” she said. “I just keep telling myself to smile!” After each routine, judges scrutinized the teams, watching for mistakes. Points can be deducted if the dancers break the restricted space, if they fall or if they are wearing jewelry. “Since I was in the back, I had to change our format so that I didn’t cross the boundaries,”

>> theSCHEDULE 5:20 a.m. Woke up and Curled Hair

Photo by Val Buccio

“State was a very busy day for us, sun up to sun down. By the end of the day we were all exhausted. It takes a lot of energy mentally and physically to prepare for such a big and important day. Going from one place to another keeps us busy but we can’t forget to stay in the right mind set and stay on top of our game.” HOPE SANFORD, jUNIOR

Bt#: 2

5:00 a.m. 6:00 a.m. Went to Rachel Miller’s house for breakfast and make-up

Kyle Tosch > Pulse Co-Editor s the Mountain Vista poms team walked off the floor at the Denver Coliseum after a top-notch routine, reality hit senior Hayley Harder. “That’s the last time I’ll ever dance at the Coliseum,” she said. “It all happened so fast.” For four seniors the recent state championship performance was the last time any of them would perform at the Denver Coliseum as a Golden Eagle. “It’s hard to think of all these things coming and going,” Harder said. “I don’t even remember dancing.” While the last two years for the poms team have ended in first place finishes at state, Harder’s sophomore year—and first on varsity poms—didn’t end as smoothly. “There was a fall during our prelims performance which caused us to not make the finals,” Harder said, “but our entire team stayed and watched the finals.” It took that humbling experience for Harder to learn the importance of sportsmanship and hard work. “The experience taught me that you never know what can happen when you are out on the floor,” she said. As a senior on the team this year, Harder tried to teach the lessons learned through experiences to the underclassmen. “We all believe the trophies and titles are nice,” Harder said, “but we’re all really there for each other and for the love of dance.” Harder said she enjoys the team chemistry and it is unlike other teams. “At Vista, our team is known to not have any drama,” she said. “Those girls are my family,” Harder said. “They all have taught me so much and I treasure each one of them so much.”

she said. The top six teams dance their routines again and receive a new score. The final two teams were announced and the Golden Eagles were named state champions. “I’m excited that we won state this year,” Obering said. “It really means a lot to me since it is one of my first poms experiences.” Obering said she hopes to win three more state competitions with her team. “I am proud to be on a team where each moment that we dance, we work harder and harder” Obering said.

The busy day Vista poms had for state

9:00 a.m. Stretched, sat 10:20 a.m. down in a circle Prayed for the and visualized opportunity the routine 10:45 a.m. 7:45 a.m. Left for hotel Took limo to to relax Competition

7:00 a.m.

9:00 a.m.

11:00 a.m.

8:30 p.m. Awards ceremony

3:30 p.m. Finalists were announced 3:00 p.m. Left again to go to Coliseum

1:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

7:00 p.m. Performance for finals

5:00 p.m.

8:30 a.m. 10:32 a.m. Arrived at Performed Denver Coliseum 10:00 a.m. Ate Sports Jelly Beans

State championships in a row for the Mountain Vista poms team; also includes three league championships in a row.

7:00 p.m.

7:10 p.m. Watched rest of the routines

11:00 a.m. Arrived home

9:00 p.m.

11:00 p.m.

10:30 p.m. Back to Rachel’s house to eat

Photo by Tessa Kauffman


Estimated hours the poms has practiced since summer in preparation for state.


Photo by Tessa Kauffman For more information on the poms victories Photo of energy beans used with permission from Running Wild


12 | word | vista | juice | soul | PULSE | advertising | eagle eye |

pump up the




The Ultimate Playlist 5 songs to get your heart pumping before a big game > Eye of the Tiger, Survivor >Till I Collapse, Eminem > Stronger, Kanye West > Remember the Name, Fort Minor > Don’t Trust Me, 3OH!3


>> what’s on


Studies show pump-up music can help athletes succeed in sports Brooke Healey>Reporter ennis state qualifier Cory Hensen doesn’t attribute all of his success to training, practice or experience. Some of his success, he says, is because of music. “One time, I was losing my match and the song ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’ by Kansas started playing in the distance,” Hensen, senior, said. “I started dancing and singing to it, and I came back and won my match.” Hensen’s belief in the power of music isn’t rare. Mountain Vista athletes in sports ranging from tennis to rugby to swimming all agree: Music acts as a relaxant and helps athletes get focused and pumped up. “Music pumping gets my adrenaline pumping,” senior baseball player Jake Price said. Softball player Marina Long, senior, agreed. “It gets me focused and gets rid of the butterflies,” she said. “I like the hardcore rock,” senior rugby player Amanda Brown said. “It’s good music to pump me up and get me ready to play.” But, is there any truth in the common assumption that music plays a role in athletes’ attitudes and performance? The answer: Yes. According to Peak Performance sports psychologist Lee Crust, listening to music improves performance by approximately 5-7 percent. A 2002 study conducted by The Sports Journal supports the Music bumping assumption. When gets my adrenaline listening to music, participants’ lap paces were, pumping on average, 3.03 seconds Jake Price,12 faster than when not listening to music. Brunel University sports psychologist Costas Karageorghis said the most important power of music is to distract an athlete from pain and fatigue. “I think of music as a legal drug,” Karageorghis said in a article. “It reduces the perception of effort by blocking fatigue-related messages to the brain.”

December 16, 2009

“What They Gonna Do,” Lil Jon >Kenneth Vaughn, senior, cross country and track “Party in the USA,” Miley Cyrus >Jasmine Stamm and Kelsey Reinert, juniors, cheer “California Vacation,” The Game >Sean Joyce, senior, lacrosse and ice hockey

“Frozen,” Tami Chynn ft. Akon >Jo Jo Nisenson, senior, volleyball

Photo by Amy Markowski Jake Price, senior, bench presses to the beat of his iPod nano. Sports psychologist Lee Crust says listening to music improves (an athlete’s) performance by approximately 5-7 percent.

[ [ This may be why the Mountain Vista baseball program always seems to be singing when weight lifting. “During lifting, we always sing ‘Sweet Caroline’ by Neil Diamond,” Price said. “Nobody really knows why, we just do it. It’s tradition.” While this “legal drug” not only increases endurance, it also is healthy for the body. According to a 1996 Truman State University study, listening to music while exercising has been proven to quicken heart rates and increase adrenaline levels. Not only does music increase performance and affect the heart, but it also affects an athlete’s mental performance. Studies show how psyched an athlete gets before the game directly depends on the song. In a current study published by the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 30 participants

synchronized their running pace to the tempo of either rock or pop music. Compared to a nomusic environment, the addition of this rock or pop music led to a 15 percent improvement on the participant’s endurance. Vista athletes’ music choices before big games range from Eminem’s rap to Skillet’s hardcore rock. And while these music choices are intense and up beat, experts say the amplified beats lead to faster and better athlete performance. “The song I listen to before big games is ‘Till I Collapse’ by Eminem,” senior Jamin Drake, a member of the ice hockey team, said. “It gets me psyched.” So, the next time an athlete puts on the headphones and turns on his pump-up song, think about this: That 5 to 7 percent performance increase could be just enough to edge out the victory.

>> theCOACHES’ TAKE >> Pump Up Song

Favorite Song

Program’s Theme Song

Hit Song in their High School Days

“Shoots and Ladders,” Korn

“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Nirvana, 1991

Frank La Voie, wrestling

Any “Rage Against the Machine” songs

“Walk Away,” Ben Harper

Bret Grammerstorf, softball

AC/DC or Metallica

“No Woman, No Cry,” Bob Marley

Bob Wood, boys basketball

“We are the Champions,” Queen

“Your Song,” Elton John

Mixed CD, each player contributes a song

“Hotel California,” Eagles, 1977

Ric Cash, football

“Boom,” P.O.D.

“Monster,” Skillet

MVHS fight song

“We are the Champions,” Queen, 1977

“Party in the USA,” Miley Cyrus

Anything Led Zepplin, Aerosmith, or AC/DC, 1988

“What is Love,” Haddaway >Cory Hensen, senior, tennis “Space Jam Theme Song,” Quad City DJ’s >Grace Shea, junior, basketball “The Way You Make Me Feel,” Michael Jackson >Andi Patton, junior, soccer “Lux Aeterna,” Reqiuem for a Dream >Grant Giltner, junior, football and lacrosse “I Don’t Like the Look of It (The Oompa Loompa Song),” Da Backwudz >Marina Long, senior, softball “Till I Collapse,” Eminem >Jake Price, senior, baseball “She’s Country,” Jason Aldean >Cole Hackney, senior, swimming “Showtime,” Lil Wayne >Justin Miller, junior, basketball “Awake and Alive,” Skillet >Dan Lander, senior, football and track


Check out what is on the pros playlists:

Issue #3  

Our special holiday edition of the Eagle Eye.

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