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ee eagle eye

The importance of teenage news literacy page | 6 Abhi Sharma

&: Different

relationships all across Vista pages | 9-13

Mountain Vista High School 10585 Mountain Vista Ridge Highlands Ranch, Colo. | 80126 Issue 5 | Vol. 11 | March 22, 2012

Preparation for Prom Sophomores Alex Mara and Abby McGuire pose at the end of the runway at DECA’s Prom Fashion Show Feb. 17.

Random Acts of Kindness Club promotes positivity

Girls’ Golf: Introducing the new players

Overcoming rivalries to combine sports

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pages | 22-23

Taylor Blatchford

Jack Reeves

Mike Collins


March 2012 What you need to know right here right now



Junior Kaylee Heck becomes the new District 11 state officer, while DECA advances 22 individuals to National DECA April 28-May 2.


Staff member Taylor Blatchford evaluates Vista’s boys’ basketball season, Kony 2012 and “The Amazing Race.”

Buy an “I’ve Got Weaver Fever” T-shirt for $13 by March 22.

&: CONNECTIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS The Eagle Eye explores several relationships that demonstrate impact on another’s life.

Attend a Random Acts of Kindness Club meeting on some Tuesdays in U208.

Download the school Android app from the school website.


Attend a girls’ soccer or lacrosse game.

Theater teacher Michael Wright explains why he chose the play, and all the preparation beforehand.

Attend school fundraisers, like Chick-fil-A on March 24, 5-8 p.m. for Prestige World Wide.

ON VISTANOW.ORG DECA qualifies 22 students for Nationals.


Boys’ volleyball starts season off strong.


Survey says students find teachers uncaring.


Will the social network Google+ catch on?

TOP TWO TWEETS Hannah White junior

Fighting Gravity Mitch Carter, junior, leaps towards the basket while being challenged by Highlands Ranch player Austin Haldorson in the 5A Great Eight game against Highlands Ranch March 2. Despite Vista’s 66-55 loss, the team went the farthest in the state playoffs in school history. “(Advancing in the playoffs) feels amazing,” Carter said. “We made history.” Photo by Trevor Zalkind


“Can Spring Break come any sooner? #MVHSEagleEye”

Allie Holtschneider junior “@MVHSEagleEye In Hitch’s math class, i wonder if he actually knows how many of us have our phones out, trig is not my friend Hitch!#mathprobz”

TREVER KIM “I’m going to Arizona for a lacrosse tournament.”

ELLEN HAMILTON “I’m going climbing in Golden.”

CARLY LANDGRAVE “I’m going to Philadelphia to try and find the best Philly Cheese Steak in the world.”

JAKE SMITH “I’m going to Hawaii to swim with dolphins and jellyfish.”


Remember Rachel’s Challenge and give someone a compliment.


Work on the 20-hour community service requirement for graduation (page 5).

Photos by Kyle Waters, cover photo by Cody Enboden






Rising to the Occasion Kaylee Heck named DECA state officer


Cesco | Viola and Macy | Morgan

Sitting at the final awards ceremony at the DECA state conference Feb. 28, junior Kaylee Heck screamed and cried. “I just kept thinking about how thankful I was,” she said. Heck was chosen as the DECA state officer for District 11 for the 2012-2013 school year. The initiation process began Feb. 28 at the state conference, and she learned of her responsibilities, along with the other state officers, at a meeting that took place at the Colorado Community offices March 14. The premise of being a state officer is to be part of the team that runs Colorado DECA, Heck said. Heck is the representative for all of the schools in District 11, including all Douglas County high schools. She is the liaison between the state DECA organization and the seven high schools. Responsibilities include travelling to local high schools and to educate students about DECA, getting students excited and helping with events. At the state conference next year, she will attend luncheons and help with the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as with the DECA Dash, a 5K race for the state of Colorado. “State will be non-stop, no-sleeping, no-eating 15hour days for four days,” DECA sponsor Sheri Bryant said. “(Heck) is the perfect fit for the office, she has the perfect personality and the perfect drive.” The regulations for staying an officer are very demanding, she said. “You have to put (in) so much effort (for) the team,”


ee march.22.2012

Heck said. “You need to have (at least) a 2.5 GPA and follow the DECA code of conduct, (for which) there is no three-strike rule. It’s one and done.” The DECA code of conduct entails professionalism, language use and appropriate behavior. A test also was required on which the applicants needed to score at least a 70 percent - Heck scored Photo courtesy of Sheri Bryant a 96 percent after studying for half-an-hour on content Junior Kaylee Heck stands with her first place trophy at the DECA state conference Feb. 28 regarding “people and policies.” Being a DECA state officer also entails many opportunities, including scholarships and networking with local businesses. “I’m so grateful to be on the team,” Heck said. “The opportunities are so great and so numerous.” Heck also has won first place in single event that she competed in, including the state championship for Marketing Management. After she graduates next year, she will have the opportunity to run for the national office, for which officers lead DECA on a national level. Heck said she is considering it, and she will make her decision at the end of her term when she graduates high school. She said the life of being a DECA officer can be a Students who compete in very enjoyable one, but DECA are using the skills also a very demanding one, learned in the classroom to yet she said she is ready to devote as much as she can demonstrate their ability to to the program and to her market their ideas in event new role as state officer. competitions such as Fashion “I’m taking a lighter DECA is about leading the course load so I can give all Merchandising, Automotive, future generation towards I can,” she said. “DECA Sports Marketing, Travel & great things, we focus on role is such a part of who I am Tourism, Hospitality and now, and I can’t think of playing and acting out reala better way to spend my Entrepreneurship.” world business situations.” senior year.”

THE FINAL WORD $350 reduction x 2,073 projected students =

$725,550 in budget cuts = 9 teachers cut from MVHS staff

Source: Michael Weaver, principal

| Sheri Bryant, sponsor

And What They

| Hannah Robertson, senior

GREAT PLACES TO COMPLETE SENIOR COMMUNITY SERVICE All seniors must submit their community service forms to Ms. Reed in the copy room by April 19.

GOODWILL | Help organize donations | | 9579 S University Blvd, HR


| Visit your local church or religious

center for information on a mission trip or other volunteering opportunities

WILDLIFE EXPERIENCE | Lead tours of the museum | | 10035 Peoria St., Parker | (720) 259-8381


Distributive Education Clubs of America


HR PUBLIC LIBRARY | Organize books as a librarian | AboutUs/Volunteer | 9292 Ridgeline Blvd., HR | (303) 647-6642




| State of Colorado changed to TCAP because the old CSAP test did not match state testing standards. | CSAP —> TCAP (Transitional Colorado Assessment Program)

| TCAP scores are used to rate Colorado schools | Your personal score is used to assess your improvement. | TCAP scores are used very little at Mountain Vista because it is such a high performing school. | TCAP assesses the same areas. | TCAP/CSAP scores go on students’ college transcript.

RUMORS | Incoming freshman have to take TCAP all four years. | The district built an entire warehouse just to store testing booklets.

CORRIE HITCHENS Assistant Principal

“Five of us administrators spent between 15 and 20 hours each on TCAP outside of testing. We have to fill in bubbles, organize tests, etc.”

Source: Corrie Hitchens, assistant principal

| Work at HRCA events and help clean up the backcountry | CAVolunteers.aspx | (303) 471-8828

HUMANE SOCIETY | Take rescued dogs on walks | | 2129 W Chenango Ave., Littleton | (303) 703-2938

CARNIVALS | Visit any MVHS feeder elementary school for more information about carnivals and other volunteering opportunities. Elementary schools also accept student aides for extra volunteer hours. MVHSEagleEye




Every day on this Earth of seven billion humans, numerous events happen, from trivial to momentous. Governments rise and fall, international negotiations proceed, new technologies are invented, people are born and die, and teenagers idly pass by. Oftentimes, I have noticed that many teenagers do not pay as much attention as they could to important news and current events outside of their immediate community and popular culture. These events can vary from a controversial piece of state legislation to events in the nationwide presidential election to the current geopolitical situation in the Middle East. I believe that, for the betterment of the current generation and future generations, all teenagers must develop a sense of news literacy--a baseline knowledge of current events. I feel it is important to follow current events since most of them have far-reaching implications, down to our local level in Highlands Ranch. For instance, consider a hypothetical situation in which Rick Santorum gets elected. The Republican presidential candidate has publicly stated that “public education is anachronistic” in a speech to the Ohio Christian Alliance, so his election could result in reduced government funding for public schools such as those of the Douglas County School District. This would result in even more budget cuts, further worsening our dis-

trict’s financial situation. Drastic measures may need to be taken. Without a modicum of news literacy, Mountain Vista students would be powerless to discuss, debate, and protest this issue. News literacy enables students to either argue in favor of Santorum, citing an increased variety of private-school options and the benefits of reduced government spending, or against Santorum, discussing the importance of public education and the high performance record Douglas County Schools has maintained. The more feedback legislators get from students, the better they can represent us regarding school funding, or any other relevant issue, for that matter. Also, a baseline level of news literacy is important in certain social situations. Say all of the students in a U.S. Government class are discussing President Obama’s controversial new health care mandate. Basically, this mandate states that all employers must pay healthcare providers to provide employees contraception (birth control) products. This has upset many social conservatives, who feel that this proposed law forces them into paying for something which they believe is unethical. Unless the majority of the students--and the teacher--in the class know enough about the bill to understand how it would affect constituents, the class could reach a potentially factually wrong consensus on the issue, which may have significant

consequences if students/ teachers bring misinformation with them to the polling booth. Situations like these increase in frequency and importance in adult life, making it even more important to have knowledge of current events. In order to follow the news, it’s not necessary to read the newspaper religiously every day or stay glued to the computer reading news websites. Spending five minutes reading/watching the news every day is enough to give anyone a basic understanding of current events. Catching up with news can be simple, easy, and fast without interfering with daily routines. For example, just flipping the television to a news channel during a commercial break in a favorite program can keep anyone news-literate. Most news outlets even have Twitter accounts ( cnnbrk,, so just “following” them and reading a few of their 140-character “tweets” every day can keep everyone up-to-date with current events. Following news and current events is critically important for all individuals, especially teenagers. News literacy gives us the tools to make a difference in the local community through discourse, an essential tool considering the plight of our school district in these turbulent economic times. We are the future; we need to learn what is happening now in order to make a positive difference in the world for future generations.

Advice from Abhi: The top five things you need to know about your world.







ME OFF My thoughts

Wes Edwards |

U.S. Presidential Elections: This year, this is the most important news topic for all Americans, casting our vote for the candidate we support. We need to find out which candidate aligns best with our beliefs. Douglas County Budget Issues: As MVHS students, every single budget cut will have negative effects on our school and district; we need to know how to cope with this. State of the U.S. Economy: We all need to know how well our economy is doing since all of us will need to make big financial decisions in the future, such as buying a house. Arab Spring Revolts: This issue clearly illustrates how social media can be used by people our age to enact real and permanent social change. U.S. Military Deployments in Foreign Countries: We all need to know what our military is doing for national security reasons, especially when many teens are planning to go into the military after high school.

on students taking school spirit ‘too far’

Caleb Williams |


As the school budgets are decided for next year, the Douglas County School District Climate Survey of Teachers and Classified Staff for the 2011-2012 school year was released, giving a glimpse into the minds of teachers in the district. A survey supported by the Douglas County Federation of Teachers examines the points of views of teachers and district employees and how they view the current state of the district. The results are concerning to say the least. The most concerning of many responses was 70 percent of teachers disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement, “I feel valued as a district employee.”’ Dumbfounded would be the only word that could describe my expression after reading this fact and others found in the survey. What should not be overlooked in these results is the human factor and the importance of corporate culture and attitude within the schools. If 70 percent of the staff in the district do not feel valued, what

happens to the drive, motivation and morale of the staff ? There is no longer a sense of purpose and value in the schools. A teacher may be struggling to connect with their students to help them achieve, but when they are burdened with a large number of students, an increased number of classes and do not feel that the district supports them, one can imagine just how difficult it can be to stay motivated. Motivation should not be overlooked. It leads to tenacity, ingenuity and progress. You could have the brightest teachers in the world but unless they actually want to use their skills, there is no reward. The kindness and compassion of teachers is not what is lacking in the district. The teachers are merely being overextended so that their dedication is spread thinly over a large group of students. The individual attention keeps shrinking with each budget cut, each added class and each teacher laid off. Now the obvious ques-

tion is, “So what? What can be done in the face of hundreds of thousands of dollars disappearing from each and every school?” I cannot offer a solution. I will not call for you to write to the superintendent because I wouldn’t know what to tell you. I don’t know what to do about class sizes and salary cuts. I do know before anything is going to change for the better, get mad. You are forced to spend the majority of your young life here. You are shaped and conditioned within these halls, yet the people who control this aspect of your life remain unquestioned and ignored. The very least you can do to have one sliver of control in this aspect of life to be informed.

For more information on the DCFT Teacher Climate Survey, visit

I know everyone is going to just love this one, but school spirit, though it may have its positive attributes, has really just become another excuse for unnecessary aggression from the school. At the root, the concept itself doesn’t really make much sense to begin with. By random draw, you happen to live in a home in a part of this city that feeds into this elementary school. This elementary school feeds into this middle school, this middle school into this high school. Now see the people that wound up at the other schools? HATE THEM. Ever met anybody in our general age group outside of school? Things are fine and dandy, we’re all getting to know each other, having a good time, and then the topic of where you go to school comes up. ThunderRidge. Vista. And, cue the stunned silence. I might as well have just had my water break all over the floor given some people’s response. Back it up slugger, everyone told me I have to hate you. I remember walking out to the parking lot the week before a football game to find some perfectly-detailed illustrations of male bitsand-pieces scrawled on my car’s windshield, courtesy of some Ranch kids, who


I have never met — like some kind of warning shot from an unknown adversary. We’re promoting this sense of superiority, this idea that we are the best, and if you don’t go here, you can’t be trusted and don’t deserve to suck the same oxygen we do. There’s this xenophobic attitude towards people six minutes down Wildcat Reserve Parkway. This isn’t a race war for our holy land; we’re a bunch of teenagers playing a game together. The kids who are slashing the tires of the car that happens to be parked at T-Ridge aren’t exactly the pride of their people. They’re the people who are going to wind up shot in another parking lot over some Broncos vs. Raiders bull. You want to take pride in your school? Make it a positive thing. Use it as a supplement to the high school experience. Have it bring people together rather than split them apart. This may come as a shock to those who would chisel an eagle into your back with a rusty spoon and a book of matches, but there is a pretty big difference between the Burmese civil war and the regional meet between two high schools.







CO-EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Joanie Lyons Macy Morgan Erica Rasquinha EDITORS Taylor Blatchford Gabi Capocelli Riley McCloskey Jack Reeves Pamela Shapiro Caleb Williams PHOTO EDITOR Trevor Zalkind ADVERTISING Jordan Laeyendecker REPORTERS Michael Collins Marilyn Cosson

Wes Edwards Cody Enboden Zane Johnson Gabe Rodriguez Lyndsey Trujillo Shannon Van Dok Cesco Viola PHOTOJOURNALISTS Taylor Atlas Jason Colbourne Sammy Linares Tommy Ryan Kyle Waters GRAPHICJOURNALIST David Orser WEBMASTER Abhi Sharma

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 expression 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: 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. 1321-123, will be prosecuted.

OPEN FORUM CONTENT Some material courtesy of American Society of Newspaper Editors/MCT Campus High School Newspaper Service and Creative Commons licensing. ©2012 Eagle Eye/Mountain Vista High School. All rights reserved.

THE FIRST AMENDMENT Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment 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 assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.





Students & Teachers


The relationships of

Our response to above-average student-teacher relationships

Editors Note: Mr. Newton will be viewing the content of this page for the first time on distribution day.


Photo by Trevor Zalkind

In one classroom, a teacher describes to his calculus students that every year he tries not to get attached to the senior class, and every year he fails. Down in the choir room, one director wants to have a celebration for her three students’ and codirector’s birthdays, just to have a special day. Inside the journalism room, we laugh, we make messes, we argue and we bond. While all of this chaos is occurring, our adviser guides us, referees our fights and holds our staff together. At Vista, there are a few teachers who see a student for just a semester, while most of the other faculty have students who just keep walking back into their classrooms. Those students who keep repeating their visits to their favorite teachers do so because they have developed a unique tie with them. Teachers here go out of their way to make sure that every great moment is a celebration and the bad ones become learning experiences. As a staff, we decided that a teacher who has impacted our lives while at Vista is journalism teacher Mark Newton, also

known as “Mr. Newton” or “Newt.” We realize that while we put our names on a product that reaches the student body, the person who pushes and encourages us is rarely recognized. Each Eagle Eye staff member has a specific memory of Newt that not only makes our individual connections with him stronger, but also unites us as a staff. He is a teacher who embraces what is going on in our lives outside of his classroom. There are moments when he counseled one of us on a decision that changed that person’s high school career, and when he continues to give dating advice to the girls (even if we don’t ask for it) or even when one boy told Newt about his sexuality before his own parents became accepting of it. But most importantly, our relationship with him goes past his teacher/adviser role in our lives because he has taken the time to get to know us individually so he can stretch us to share the best and truest versions of ourselves with the people we meet. This issue explores special relationships at Vista. Our & section does not have a “student-teacher

relationship” page because while we see that special relationship take place here in our classroom, we also realize there are so many diverse student-teacher relationships at Vista that it is hard to cover all of them. In our eyes, Mr. Newton represents the teachers here who choose to have an above-average relationship with their students because we spend so much time with him in the journalism room. But he is hardly alone, Vista is the place where teachers can change our lives, beyond their lesson plans, while we can make a lasting impression on them as well. All schools go through some trying times and Vista will be challenged by a much tighter budget, but we also commemorate so many jubilant moments. It is the relationships we cultivate here that make those moments extremely special. As a student body we should take the time to connect with our teachers on multiple levels. Perhaps we are just lucky, because we work with Newt, but we hope that every student can have at least one of those relationships with a teacher at Vista.


The connections we make between ourselves & others become relationships that ultimately influence us, change us & contribute to shaping the people we will become. Here, we showcase only a few of these relationships that have influenced Vista’s students, faculty & community.




QUINN ANDERSON & JOSH CLEMONS Editors’ Note: We selected this relationship because religion is a huge part of many students’ lives, and religious leaders often offer students guidance during their high school years. They help students grow in their faith and give them someone outside of school to come to for advice and mentoring.



Juniors Becca Smith and Chandler Lockwood have been dating for over two years. Freshman Cindy Severance and junior Matt Wood journey through a fairly new relationship. Both of their relationships make high school a unique and different experience that they will cherish.

Learning to love

A Friend in Faith Gabi | Capocelli Photo courtesy of Quinn | Anderson

FLORIDA FUN Sophomore Quinn Anderson and youth pastor Josh Clemons of Crossroads Community Church embrace after her recent baptism. “He’s teaching me how to live my life in a Christ-like way,” Anderson said.


“He’s the person I feel like I can always talk to,” sophomore Quinn Anderson and member of Crossroads Community Church in Parker said about Josh Clemons, her youth pastor at Crossroads Community Church. As the youth pastor, Clemons plays a key role in the lives of many teenagers who attend church at Crossroads. “I do a lot of mentoring for her,” Clemons said. Along with being her youth pastor, Clemons also is Anderson’s cousin by marriage. “He used to help out with middle school ministry at my old church and my mom introduced him (Clemons) to my cousin, then he married her,” Anderson said. Clemons has known Anderson since she was four-years-old, and as the years have passed, their relationship has only grown stronger.




“My favorite memory was fall break. I went with his family to Florida and got to meet his grandparents. We spent a night at a condo and got to walk along to beach,” Smith said.

“My favorite thing about Cindy is her smile,” Wood said.

FRIENDS “We have a good friendship and relationship,” Severance said.



“When I asked her out, I drove to her house around midnight and dropped off flowers with a letter and a teddy bear,” Wood said.

“Communication and honesty are what makes our relationship work,” Lockwood said.

“I try to help her connect with God frequently,” Clemons said. Anderson sees him every Sunday at Crossroads, where he leads small group and prepares a sermon for youth group. “We talk about what’s going on in our lives and our relationship with the Lord,” Anderson said. Anderson said Clemons does much in her life to guide her in further knowing Jesus Christ, like “leading me through prayer before school when I have tough things going on and sending me texts of bible verses,” Anderson said. Clemons played the most significant role in her recent baptism. As Anderson accepted her faith and the responsibility that comes with a life led by Christ, she said Clemons was right alongside her in this journey. “I met with him before (the baptism) and we talked about how hard it is to show your faith at school. He gave me some tips on how to use the Lord to stay strong in my faith. He’s teaching me how to live my life in a Christ-like way,”


said Anderson. Clemons said that Quinn has taught him how to work hard and be dedicated to his passions. Anderson balances friends, soccer and school, but she is able to “put 100 percent into whatever she does,” Clemons said. Clemons acts as “my outlet in all that I do,” said Anderson. As their relationship continues to grow and change, Clemons hopes to “keep teaching her to have God remain at the center of all she does and to love others as much as she possibly can.” Even though the stresses of high school and the worries of any teenager seem to be daunting at times, Clemons said he hopes to continue to “support and guide her (Anderson) through her journey in life.” “He is a huge part of my life,” Anderson said, and even when things get tough, she hopes to keep it that way.



LAUGHING TOGETHER “He always makes me laugh, he always knows what to say, whether I’m in a good mood or a bad mood, he just always knows,” Smith said.

LEARNING TOGETHER “Our relationship has made high school a lot easier because it helps me through all the time,” Lockwood said.

“I asked her. We went bowling and I pulled her out during one of the frames and asked her out. It was freshman year, towards the beginning, right after homecoming,” Lockwood said.

“I’ve learned not to let anyone else interfere with our relationship. If we really like eachother, nothing should get in the way of that,” Severance said.

TALKING IT OUT “Communication is the most important thing. If we can’t talk, there’s no point in being together,” Severance said.




BRITTANY MACKAY & BROOKE MACKAY Juniors Brittany and Brooke Mackay have an inseparable relationship that carries through all aspects of their lives. Besides being twins and consistently being together, this bond is one that is open to a continuous amount of life-changing moments.

THE RAFTERS & THE STUDENTS The Rafter boys are the epitome of school spirit at Mountain Vista. Throughout the entire year, these seniors have created a relationship with our school that is indescribable. As their time in high school comes to a close, their cheers will stick with Mountain Vista forever.

The Snowball Effect

A Friendship to Last a Lifetime

Christian Nicolosi, Jesse Boyton and Drew Boeckman, seniors, reveal their rafting cheer at the Sadies week pep assembly, Jan. 27. “Brett came to me and said, ‘I’ve got this idea. It’s called rafting,’ and from there we just built on it. The cheer had a snowball effect and everyone loved it, “Boyton said.

Identical twins tell about learning to live and love Gabi | Capocelli Lyndsey | Trujillo Photos by Sammy | Linares


While talking to twins Brittany and Brooke Mackay, it’s hard not to smile when seeing them describe their

relationship. These twin juniors spend their time having classes together, working together and running on the cross country and track teams. “Being together all the time, it’s just fun,” said Brittany. Brooke and Brittany are inseparable. They have a relationship that takes sisters to a new level by benefiting from the best friend they have in each other. “We have a very laughable relationship, all we do is laugh,” Brittany said. “We really depend on each other and are there for each other at any time.” When explaining the closeness of their relationship, Brooke said because the two have grown up to be together and we are the exact same age, each one always have someone to be there. “We’ve grown to have this strong relationship,” she said. Even though Brooke and Brittany are close, they still have their disagreements — just like any other siblings. “Our fights aren’t like normal fights. We’ll get mad at each other and then we’ll take five minutes away from each other and then just go back to being friends like nothing ever happened,” Brittany said. “But we do fight a lot, just over stupid things.” The Mackay twins share the same friends and learn to be dependent on each other when it comes to school and sports. “We have the same friends,” Brooke said, “but if one of us meets a friend independently, then we introduce them to the other. We normally all end up hanging out together. We never have separate friends.”



Brittany Mackay


Brooke Mackay

While every relationship between twins are different Brittany said she feels bad when she sees other twins who aren’t as close as she and Brooke are. “They aren’t taking advantage of the friend that they have. It’s really hard not to be close,” she said. “If you have a twin, you basically have a best friend already there for you. It would be kind of hard to not like your twin.” It can be difficult to tell the two girls apart. “It used to really bother me that people would think that we were basically the same person,” Brittany said, “but now I don’t really care. If people call me Brooke, I go along with it. It just doesn’t matter to me because I’m so used to it.” The way to tell the difference between the two is that Brittany is just a little bit taller than Brooke and Brooke doesn’t have a mole on her eyebrow like Brittany. While they are both identical on the outside, when it comes to their own personalities, Brooke describes herself as flirtatious and Brittany describes herself as sassy. Brooke and Brittany agree their plan is to stay together within the next few years, even in college. “We’re definitely going to the same college because I don’t think that I could manage without her,” said Brooke. “We couldn’t be roommates, that would be bad, but we want to be on the same campus so that we could see each other.” The sisters have a bond that will allow them to have a friendship for life, they enjoy hanging out together and being with each other as much as possible. “We get to help each other out with our styles and push each other to do different things, and we like making desserts together and eating ice cream,” Brooke said. “It’s so hard to put our relationship into words because we’re so close,” said Brittany. “It’s hard to explain to people how it is and what we do.”


Photo by Cody Enboden

Wes | Edwards


The bleachers are packed full of hundreds of screaming fans who suddenly lean to one side. Seconds later, the direction is reversed as the spectators collapse onto their neighbor. Finally, the enthusiasts frantically row and scream as they plummet over the imaginary rapids. The source of this massive excitement and hysteria is a collection of seniors calling themselves the ‘Rafters.’ “We wanted to bring something new,” senior Kevin Paschke, a member of the group, said. “A lot of schools have their own thing so we said

‘THE RAFTERS’ Pep rally seniors Jesse Boyton, Brett Newman and Christian Nicolosi talk about their favorite cheer, rafting.

why not rafting?” Group members Jesse Boyton and Brett Newman find that expanding school spirit is the number one aim of their group. “Most of us are pretty good friends and we have a lot of friends competing so we like to pull together and support them,” senior Christian Nicolosi said. Pashke, an athlete himself, said he enjoys support from fans when he competes saying, “It’s always nice to see a crowd.” The group decided to start after previous seniors had attempted rallying the school through a group of spirit leaders but ultimately

After discussion, the three seniors agreed that their first cheer they made up, rafting, is their favorite. “I like rafting because it really gets everyone involved and when the whole school does it together,” senior Brett Newman said. “It looks really cool.”

failed. Newman, the founder of the group, said the group “perfected it.” “We have four routines that look pretty neat and get everyone involved in the games,” Newman said. “They’re pretty wild and unique.” Paschke believes these routines are succeeding at drawing crowds to the games and getting the school excited. “From when I was a freshman to a senior, this year has the best spirit” Paschke said. “The big thing,” Jesse Boyton said “is to connect with the school, get more school spirit and get people to go to games,”

Photo by Trevor Zalkind




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Props & Flops

Photos by Trevor Zalkind


Bringing out the good in others The newest club plans to promote positivity in the community through acts of kindness

PROPS to the girls’ basketball team for making it to the second round of the state playoffs. PROPS to Mock Trial for qualifying for the state competition. The boys’ basketball team had a standout season, making it the farthest in the state tournament in school history. Regular-season highlights included a thrilling triple-overtime 84-77 loss against rival Highlands Ranch, and the memorable

A March 5, the charity “Invisible Children” uploaded a new video entitled “KONY 2012” to YouTube, and it hit the Internet like a bomb. By the next day, many of my friends had posted links to the video “KONY 2012” on Facebook. “#StopKony” trended worldwide on Twitter. The 30-minute video accumulated 72



“parting the green sea” skit in the home game against ThunderRidge. In the state tournament, the team beat Overland in the last home game of the season, and went on to upset Aurora Central. In arguably one of the most surprising upsets of the state tournament, million views within a week of first being posted on YouTube. Their current campaign aims to make Ugandan criminal Joseph Kony more well-known, so that he can eventually be tried by the International Criminal Court. The charity “Invisible Children” has been active since 2005, but has never gotten this level of attention. I watched their original film in middle school, and was stunned by the story of Kony’s abductions of children for his Lord’s Resistance Army and forced them to become his personal child soldiers. Their new video, though shorter, is just as emotionally powerful and educational to viewers. In my opinion, the more attention and support this charity gets, the better. Photos courtesy of Creative Commons


Vista beat first-seeded Fairview in order to advance to the “great eight” for the first time ever. The season ended with a disappointing rematch loss against Highlands Ranch to give the team an 18-9 record. Personally, I was impressed by the level of dedication

Reality game show “The Amazing Race” is now in its twentieth season, and still continues to send contestants to new and interesting locations in the race around the world. So far this season, teams have traveled to Argentina, Paraguay, Italy and Germany. What keeps me interested are the crazy challenges the teams have to do in the forms of “Roadblocks” and “Detours,” such as skydiving, making 120 empanadas or stacking

and humility the players seemed to possess. The seniors seemed to offer leadership to the many juniors on the roster. Win or lose, the team’s success throughout the season brought a new level of spirit and enthusiasm to the school.


watermelons in a huge pyramid. The only complaint I have would be the amount of screentime given to the teams getting from place to place - thanks, but I already know what the inside of a car looks like. As long as the show continues to use these unique challenges to give contestants a taste of a variety of cultures throughout the world, I will keep watching, no matter how many seasons the show has.

FLOPS to the cold virus going around the school and making a lot of people sick. FLOPS to the weekly class schedule constantly changing.

Hallway Talk “I used to love turkey, until my grandma ripped its heart out.” “Something about watching boys sing is nauseating.” “Nuns are notoriously uninteresting.” “And then Jesus came, and we were like, ‘Oh, hey!’”

Photo by Trevor Zalkind Seniors Joanna Valladares and Brianna Davis make St. Patrick’s Day themed cookies to distribute to CONNECT classes March 15.


Taylor | Blatchford After helping a Mountain Vista student who was living in a shelter by buying her clothes, seniors Celeste Ruiz and Joanna Valladares decided they wanted to extend acts of kindness to a broader audience. “We were both just sick of people being rude to other people,” Ruiz said. The girls decided to start the Random Acts of Kindness Club, with hopes to make a change in the school atmosphere by promoting positivity and helping less fortunate people within and outside

the school. Valladares said she thinks that many people in the school are very fortunate and they take it all for granted. “So many people don’t realize what people outside of Highlands Ranch are going through,” Valladares said. Ruiz said that though she and Valladares had already had the idea to start the club, the Rachel’s Challenge assembly during HERO Week also gave them inspiration. Sponsor Maria Cox said Ruiz and Valladares approached her when they

were looking for a sponsor for the club. “They were so enthusiastic that I just couldn’t say no,” Cox said. The club meets every other Tuesday at 3 p.m. in U208. Ruiz said during the meetings, they plan future activities and events. They handed out cookies to CONNECT classes as one of their first school events. The girls have also gone to the Mothers of Preschool Students (MOPS), to give hand massages as a way to help the mothers relax. Currently, Valladares said there are only eight or nine members, but the girls

have hopes of recruiting more people to the club. “We want to get more people so we can do bigger things, hopefully things involving charities,” Valladares said. Cox said that though there have only been a few meetings so far, she has helped the leaders brainstorm ideas for events and keep the club on track with deciding what needs to get done. “Our goal is to bring out the good in people with random acts of kindness,” Cox said. “The club would like to do events within the school and community to

promote positivity.” Even though both leaders are graduating this spring, they have a plan to continue the club into the next school year. “Both of us have sisters that are going to be freshmen next year (Christina Ruiz and Jasmine Valladares), so they can carry on the club after we leave,” Ruiz said. Ultimately, the club aims to promote kindness and help people, Valladares said. “We should all help make a difference,” Valladares said. “It could change someone’s life.”






“The Skin of Our Teeth”


Michael Wright discusses his experiences directing one of his all-time favorite plays Pamela | Shapiro Some are rehearsing lines back stage. A few are drilling in the shelves for the set. Others are making sure their costumes fit snug for the next run through. This is a small picture of rehearsals for Vista’s production of “Skin of Our Teeth.” Theater teacher Michael Wright said the play was the best choice for the Theatre Department. The play was “about the Antrobus (Greek for human) family making it through three different apocalypses: the ice age, Noah’s flood and a manmade apocalypse at the end,” Wright said, He said he chose the



play specifically because it is one of his favorite plays of all time. “I’ve always wanted to direct this,’ he said, “but I was looking for a group of kids that I felt could do a really good job with it. “I feel that I’ve found that group here. They’re a hard-working group that enjoys hanging around each other,” he said. Wright said cast cohesion and attending rehearsals is not all that it takes to produce a play. “It takes passion. It takes dedication. It takes energy and it definitely takes the mind set to be


a kid,” Wright said. Besides getting to work with students in different levels of theater classes, Wright said the best part is it’s a play that doesn’t dwell within reality. “We can have a lot of fun with it,” he said. “We can create a lot of highlevel artistry and a spectacle that we normally don’t get to (work with).” Creating that level of artistry requires daily rehearsal. Wright said for a typical rehearsal, “we get everybody together and play some theater games to bond as an ensemble. We do some character work and get into costume, then the actors find

their centers and we run through the show. After the show we take notes and discuss the things that went really well, or the things that we need to improve on.” There are many different things that go on backstage in order to make any play successful and run smoothly. “I make sure that all of the technicians are organizing everything that needs to be organized so the show can go on, that the cast is focusing on their characters and the jobs at hand so we can effectively create the show,” he said. Wright said “Skin of Our Teeth.” is an

interesting play because it is a “fake reality. “Everyone has to do their part and stay focused to keep that reality that we’re trying to create smooth, seamless and consistent,” he said. As a director of the play, Wright also took on the responsibility of being a mentor. “I (tried) to help them create the reality, have fun, create a play that is memorable and meaningful and guide them as much as possible,” he said.

Photo By Cody Enboden








GROWING PAINS: Girls’ golf adds depth

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Through sliced tee shots, short putts or a distraction in the midst of a swing, the girls’ golf team struggles to complete the task of getting a dimpled, white ball into a 4.25 in. diameter hole. Yet the Mountain Vista High School (MVHS) girls’ golf team faces more than just the frustrations of playing a round of golf. Currently, there are approximately 25 girls officially signed up for the 2012 season, many of which have never picked up a club. Due in part to the loss of four seniors and two varsity players, the coaching staff was forced to recruit more girls to join. At an introductory meeting on Feb. 29, around 24 girls were present. However, numbers don’t seem to be the main concern for head coach Tim Taylor, a former MVHS teacher. Taylor said that the number of players may not determine the quality of a golf team. “It’s a matter of if you have players with previous experience — not how many (players) you have,” Taylor said.

Photos by Trevor Zalkind Junior Abbey Solnet approaches her tee shot on the par-3 sixth hole at The Links during tryouts.

Head Coach Tim Taylor talks to new team members on the first teebox at The Links in Highlands Ranch.

But this year it appears that the team will gain a greater amount of girls than previously expected, meaning the players may not get much one-on-one instruction with the coaches. To remedy the situation, Taylor has increased the coaching staff to include former Golden Eagle Stephanie Zavilla. “We’re fortunate to have this year Stephanie Zavil-

Hannah Walcher and senior Lauren Cordero. Solnet, a veteran of two years, has hopes of improving her game to compete at the varsity level. “I was number one on JV (junior varisty) last year so I hope to move up this year,” Solnet said. One key player is returning for the team. Junior Rachel Sweeney (see below), who finished in

la,” Taylor said. “Stephanie may have more to do than she actually anticipates.” With the loss of four seniors, there are opportunities for several players to jump into a varsity spot on the team. All Taylor asks is that they commit to the game. Some of the players looking to make the varsity team this year include junior Abbey Solnet, junior

the top 50 at the 5A state championship last year, is considered a leader on the team by her teammates and by the coaches. There will be no cuts from the team this year, meaning that there will be a varsity, junior varsity and a practice squad. Five girls will be on varsity, seven on junior varsity and approximately 13 on the practice squad.

Rachel Sweeney: Veteran leader shows positive attitude, passion for golf game Junior Rachel Sweeney is one of the best girls’ golfers in Mountain Vista history. As a sophomore, she was putting up scores that most guys would be proud of, including a seasonrecord three-over-par 75 at Highlands Ranch Golf Club, one of the more difficult courses on the team’s schedule. “She’s got a great




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attitude and she’s got a good head on her shoulders and she’s become passionate about the game,” veteran head coach Tim Taylor said. “I’m really excited to see Rachel do well this year.” Sweeney has been thrust into the spotlight before, and will be asked to do so again this year in a time of growth for the team.

RACHEL SWEENEY 2011 Season Stats —•— Team Rank: 2 (out of 12) Index: 14.58 Low Round: +3 (75) State Qualifier: Yes Finished in State: T-48 (out of 84)

ee Overcoming rivalries to combine sports

Mountain Vista, Rock Canyon, ThunderRidge and Highlands Ranch high schools each field spring teams that bring together students to play boys rugby, girls’ lacrosse, boys’ swimming, boys’ volleyball

T Mike | Collins

The longing to win a state championship and the drive to succeed lives within every athlete as they journey on their path through their sport seasons. These qualities develop even when students from rival schools like Mountain Vista, Rock Canyon, ThunderRidge and Highlands Ranch become teammates, and combine teams during spring sports such as boys’ rugby, girls’ lacrosse, boys’ swimming and boys’ volleyball. “It’s a very unique experience because you get to meet people that you normally wouldn’t meet,” senior volleyball player Matthew Miller said. “It’s very different as well because you take schools that are normally rivals and combine them for a common goal.” “I like the variety of the schools with the different (players), and you get to meet a lot of new friends,” women’s lacrosse player, Haley Kroll, junior said. Bringing schools within Highlands Ranch together in order to create one sports team creates many advantages. “It makes our team bigger and there is a wider range of talent,” senior swimmer David Fraser said. “It’s also nice to meet the swimmers from other schools and making new friends.”    Players on these teams need to have camaraderie in order to have success in

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What are the benefits of having a sports team combined with students from different schools?


“It gives kids an opportunity to play if their school doesn’t have that sport. It’s a lot like any other sport, they have to try out just like (non-combined) sports.”

Fielded by Vista by the



“The benefits of combining the schools is removing boundaries and bringing people together and the amount of students that come out to play on our men’s team (while it continues to grow).”

MVHS junior Haley Kroll, a member of the combined lacrosse team, challenges a Dakota Ridge opponent at the ThunderRidge game on March 13. ThunderRidge High School beat Dakota Ridge High School, 22-6. the sports that they play. With the talent that is brought together on these combined teams sometimes the only question is how they will work together. “It really helps to play with players that have played a lot no matter what school they go to,” Miller said. “When these talented players come to our school they help make our team better.” With the advantages of combing schools to create sports teams, there are also


a few disadvantages. Every year teams have many new players and it can be tough to rebuild the program every year with new players, Kroll said. Many years teams are dominated by good players from one school and when they all graduate we have to rebuild with players from other schools. Although these teams are bringing rivals together, and some may think that it might be tough to find team

unity, but it is no different than meeting new teammates for anything, Miller said. “It’s a little strange at the beginning but after a while we really bond as a team and become one,” Miller said. The coaches on each of these teams are determined by the school that fields the team. Boys’ volleyball is fielded by Mountain Vista High School, while girls’ lacrosse is fielded by ThunderRidge High School, and

boys’ swimming and boys’ rugby are fielded by Highlands Ranch High School. Although players at Mountain Vista High School want to field one team for their sport, combining schools to create one team is working, Miller said. “We have already won a state championship for girls’ field hockey, so obviously combining schools is bringing success to our sports teams.”

“I think the kids in the community could benefit from making friends from other schools.Yes,we are rivals in other sports but when it comes to swimming we are one.”



students from Vista

Moments from Practice Photo by Jason Colbourne





“We get to pool from four different schools so we can see different talent. The girls love it because they get to make new friends.” Photos by Jason Colbourne

students from Rock Canyon

student from ThunderRidge


student from Arapahoe

| Last season the girls’ field hockey team won the state title with combined schools. | Vista won 1-0 against Kent Denver Oct. 5. | “Obviously, it was good winning state because even though the team is combined, I still became close with my teammates and we still have the same team atmosphere,” senior Andrea Friesen said. Photo by Cody Enboden



1 | Senior Jake Hergett passes the ball during a boys’ volleyball practice. “Combining schools is not as bad as I thought. They’re really cool guys and very talented,” Hergett said. 2 | The Mountain Vista boys’ rugby team executes a line-out, bringing the ball back into play after going out of bounds while at practice.


3 | The Highlands Ranch boys’ swim team takes over Northridge Recreational Center to practice for its next meet, March 31. Photos by Jason Colbourne





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Eagle Eye Issue Five  

The fifth issue of Vista's Eagle Eye. It includes preparation for prom, boys' basketball, DECA updates, and CSAP changes.