MV Viewer 2021-2022 Issue 9

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VOLUME 69 ISSUE 9 | JUNE 03, 2022

THE VIEWER School Spending in the Spotlight

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Roe v. Wade 02/ Book Banning 04/ Van Gogh Exhibit 08


02

News

Friday, June 03, 2022

Changes to Roe v. Wade by Maya Gjelhaug staff reporter

The right to abortion has been protected by the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade since 1973, in which the court ruled that the right to privacy included pregnancy. However, a Supreme Court draft, recently leaked to Politico, showed that the court intends to overturn the previous ruling and return the decision of abortion to the states. As some states, especially red states, prepare to overturn abortion protections previously guaranteed, debates over the constitutionality of abortion will persist across the U.S. According to Oyez, an online court-case database, the case began when a pregnant woman under the alias of Jane Roe sued the district attorney of Dallas, Texas, challenging the Texas ban on abortions except to save the mother’s life, arguing that the law violated the right to privacy protected by the Fourteenth Amendment (while the Fourteenth Amendment does not explicitly mention privacy, it does ensure the right to liberty which is always interpreted as the right to privacy by the Supreme Court). The court ultimately decided in a 7-2 majority that the “right to privacy” included pregnancy, therefore ensuring that women had control over their own pregnancy. However, the court also stated that this “right to abortion” must be balanced with the government’s interest in protecting human life. Therefore, the court set different guidelines for each trimester of pregnancy. They decided that in the first trimester, the state should have a very limited or nonexistent role in regulating abortion. In the second trimester, the state can have a limited role in regulating abortion if it is in the interest of maternal health, and in the third trimester, when the fetus is considered “viable” (able to live without the mother), the state can completely regulate abortion except when the mother’s life is endangered by the pregnancy. Debates over abortion have polarized American

society ever since the 1973 ruling. As states such as Mississippi and Texas began to challenge the ruling through new restrictions and regulations on abortion, it was only a matter of time before the question of the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade was brought up to the Supreme Court again. With the current conservative majority in the court, the likely overturning of Roe should not come as a shock. The leak of the Supreme Court draft to overturn will likely inflame debates over the constitutionality and morality of abortion even further. As the country becomes more polarized over the issue of abortion, these divisions will become apparent in communities across the U.S., including schools. English teacher Rebecca Hauth-Schmid shares her concern over the draft leak, worrying that overturning the previous ruling would not only restrict abortion rights but also infringe on the right to privacy. “I think that’s the really frightening thing about the reversal of this decision because it has more to do with the right to privacy even more so than it does with abortion,” she said. Her concern is shared by many others, who all fear that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will lead to a domino effect of decision overturning by the Supreme Court. Hauth-Schmid points out that the court seems to be influenced more by its own belief system than the constitution when making abortion-related decisions. “I think the majority of Americans are against overturning Roe v. Wade, and if the justices do not follow the Constitution, and they do not follow the will of the people, then I think it’s going to erode trust in our judicial system,” she said. “I think it already is eroding trust again, because I think these justices are acting out of their own belief system and not out of an interpretation of the Constitution.” According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, but a number of Americans still believe that there should be more strict restrictions on abortion.

SAT changes by Johnny Yue spread editor

Whenever high school students hear the words “standardized tests,” some may tense up with anxiety and nerves. The Scholastic Aptitude Test, also known as the SAT, is one of the most common standardized tests used for college admissions. It has preoccupied many students’ schedules and workloads, as taking practice tests and preparing test-taking strategies can be time-consuming. However, the College Board recently revealed on Jan. 25, 2022, that they will make substantial changes to the testing experience in the coming years.

photo curtesy of Pixabay

Most notably, the test is transitioning into a digital format. Students will be able to bring their laptops, use a school-issued device, or utilize a College Boardowned device on testing days. In addition, the level of difficulty will change depending on the student’s performance - something that is impossible to do with a physical testing system. With the test having always been distributed as paper copies, many students who have taken the SAT have questions about how a digital format would work effectively. “If certain test takers

“If certain test takers have worse internet connections..., there may become problems that arise.” Chris Yan, 12

have worse internet connections or computer signals, there may become problems that arise,” said Chris Yan, 12. “So, that’s something I think needs to be addressed.” As a result of the digitization of the SAT, College Board will shorten the exam from three to two hours. Proctors will no longer need to organize, pack and distribute testing materials, saving tremendous time for test-takers. “I do believe that the shortening of time is extremely beneficial since it takes away some of the stress that comes with taking a long exam, and it also allows for a more bearable exam environment,” said Brandon Luna Sanchez, 10. The length of the questions being asked are going to be different as well; long reading passages will be replaced with shorter questions, along with only one question, rather than several, associated with each reading passage. Yan took the SAT in his junior year and believes this renovation will help many test-takers. “I think, overall, this is a very good change because it helps students that often struggle with the parts of the test that are very readingheavy,” Yan said. The current SAT also splits the math section into two parts: a section that allows calculators and a section that does not. “I do believe that the calculator changes will be useful because I know from experience that at times of stress my basic knowledge of math dissipates,” said Luna Sanchez. “Allowing the calculator in all of the math sections would allow students to have strong reliability and focus more on the

There are many on the other side of the political spectrum who disagree. Wesley Dolton’s, 10, religious values contribute to his belief that abortions are always unjust. “I’m Catholic so I do feel like everyone should get a chance at life,” he said, “and on top of that, there’s a lot of ways to protect yourself from pregnancies.” Daniel Shin, 10, has a moderate opinion. He personally doesn’t agree with abortions because of religous beliefs, but doesn’t think personal views should effect legislation, “Personlly I don’t support [abortion] because I’m a Christan,” he said, “but not everyone follows the same beliefs as me.” Because the Constitution does not specifically mention abortion, the legality of Roe v. Wade remains questionable. It is not unprecedented for the Supreme Court to overturn previous decisions, such as the overturning of Plessy v. Ferguson, but any change to legislation could prompt distrust and suspicion in the American court system.

photo curtesy of Unsplash

execution of formulas.” However, the new change will allow graphing calculators for the entire duration of the math section. Despite these controversies, the changes will bring benefits that will help all students. Students currently have to wait weeks to receive their test results, but with the digital format of the test, students will be able to receive their score reports in a matter of days. The score reports will also incorporate local community college re-

It takes away some of the stress that comes with taking a long exam.”

-Brandon Luna Sanchez, 10

sources, career counseling and workforce training. Ultimately, the College Board hopes these changes will provide test takers with a less stressful and fulfilling experience. “What I hope and want is for students to be able to come in and just focus on demonstrating what they’ve learned and what they can do in the core reading, writing and math areas,” Priscilla Rodriguez, vice president of college readiness assessments at College Board, said to U.S. News. “And (to) have a lot of the stress around the test, the rigidity, the policies, all melt away.” With standardized testing being near the top of most students’ priorities throughout high school, there is no doubt that these changes will impact how students prepare and perform on the SAT. However, taking time to adjust to this revamp will allow students to excel throughout their testing journey.


features 03

Friday, june 03, 2022

Tanzanian student takes on the water crisis by Lucy Zhao staff reporter Mounds View High School has many students that come from different backgrounds and cultures. One student from Mounds View High School arrived in the United States, not sure how to continue her life in a brand new country Moving from Tanzania in 2018, Upendo Angaza Gimbi, 12, came to the United States to attend Mounds View for her freshman year. At first, adjusting to life in an unfamiliar school was difficult for her. Feeling different from her new fellow peers, Gimbi did not feel like she really fit in with the crowd. “Everyone was nice but I didn’t feel like I fit in because I felt so different,” said Gimbi. “Everyone else knew themselves and what they were doing and I was like the opposite.”

secondary/high school in Tanzania. So when I moved here I knew I had to work but I didn’t think it had to be that soon cause I was only 14, turning 15 and I was not really aware of the amount of things I had to do. In Tanzania, school was literally my only responsibility,” said Gimbi.

We are getting lots of support from each other as club members to make the walk for water happen and encourage more people to be aware of it as well

-Upendo Angaza Gimbi, 12

For her, life in Tanzania was vastly different from life in the United States. In Tanzania, Gimbi attended a public English-medium school, which is a Tanzanian school that teaches students in English. The academy functioned more like a boarding school than a Western public school. As a student in Tanzania, Gimbi’s most important responsibility was focusing on her academics. “It’s not normal for teenagers to work in

Gimbi joined the H2O for Life club in her second semester of freshman year. She first heard about the club from history teacher, Ms. Heinz, and wanted to join to challenge herself as a student. “I wanna reach my full potential and I haven’t done that yet,” said Gimbi. “Everyone back home knows me for different things I have done and accomplished but those achievements can’t and will never be recognized here so that was a really hard thing to accept at first but I just had to keep going forward and continue what I want to achieve,” said Gimbi. This was a way for her to find her own path in the network of high school. In May 2022, as the president of the club, Gimbi helped organize H2O’s annual Walk for Water event, which aims to raise profits for water-deprived places around the globe. This year, the profits of the walk are going to Ghana’s Tsinyu Community School. The H2O club raised $1,280 with about $300 as extra

photos by Lauren Isabel

funds. The president of the H2O for Life Foundation, Patty Hall, also participated in the MV Walk for Water. “This club has opened my eyes to learn about different things about the water crisis. I, as a person from Africa, know a little bit about it,” said Gimbi. As the president of H2O for Life, Gimbi is able to help spread awareness of the water-crisis. “Getting to let people know more about this kinda served as a purpose too for me coming here. We are getting lots of support from each other as club members to make the Walk for Water happen and encourage more people to be aware of it as well,” Gimbi said. On the day of the walk, the club received support from fellow students and teachers. Although Gimbi struggled to fit in as a new student in America, she was determined to find her place. Now as a leader of H2O for Life, she takes pride in helping others while challenging herself at the same time.

Omar Rahman: A busy bee

by Johnny Yue spread editor High school is a time for students to explore their interests through different activities and hobbies. Omar Rahman, 12, has been involved in beekeeping to explore his interests of preserving the environment. As a beekeeper, Rahman manages a colony of bees with the goal of extracting honey from them. Although the task may seem daunting, Rahman asserts that it is way easier than it seems. “Unlike keeping other farm animals, like chickens or cows, bees do practically everything on their own,” said Rahman. “They get their own food, make their own food, and take care of themselves. All I do is make sure they don’t swarm, crowd, or get overwhelmed by diseases.” Rahman’s side hustle stemmed from a scholarship he stumbled upon while looking for other academic scholarships. With beekeeping being an expensive activity that requires a lot of financial support, this scholarship made it possible for Rahman to make a budding passion a reality. “I was super lucky to get this beekeeping scholarship from the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association (MHBA),” Rahman said. “I’ve always wanted to keep bees since fifth grade, but beekeeping is expensive. Starting investments easily go north of $1000. That’s not even taking into consideration Minnesota’s 60% colony failure rate, so in the worst-case scenario, you spend $1000 plus on something that fails the first year.” As a busy high school student, Rahman has had to navigate his commitments to school and extracurricular activities with this newfound endeavor. Luckily, he’s found that he does not need to tend to his bees as much during the school year than the summer. “In the spring, I’ve only had to put in two hours a week

at the most, but in the summer, I’m expecting to put in probably six or more,” Rahman said. “I can’t put in that much time because the bees don’t like it when you come in all the time and open up their house.” With the environment and climate change being a topic of a lot of conversations throughout recent years, many have wondered whether beekeeping can help mitigate declining populations of certain bee species. Unfortunately, Rahman hasn’t found a way to enhance biodiversity with beekeeping. “Beekeeping is actually not that great for native biodiversity, since honey bees can actually outcompete bee species,” Rahman said. “It sucks, but unfortunately, there really isn’t a way to keep taking care of them like we can with European honey bees.”

All in all, Rahman’s bee endeavor accentuates the unlimited opportunities students have to explore through different activities. Students like Rahman are crucial for younger generations taking action in fighting issues that are currently affecting the community.

Starting investments easily go north of $1000. Thats not even taking into consideration Minnesota’s 60% colony failure rate -Omar Rahman, 12

photo by Omar Rahman

The Viewer Mission Statement 1. To publish news, information and opinion articles for and about student, faculty and administration activities, interests and policies. 2. To maintain high ethical standards with regard to fairness, personal and legal rights, responsibilities and accuracy. 3. To provide a forum for free and responsible expression of student opinion and present well-balanced, locally researched coverage of issues of broader student interest. 4. To strive for a high level of competency in the technical aspect of writing, including grammar, spelling, clarity, and precision. 5. To welcome diversity and increase the scope and depth of our coverage in order to heighten mutual understanding and awareness throughout our entire school community. Articles and letters to the editor appearing on the editorials pages represent solely the opinions of the writers and do not represent in any way the viewpoint of The Viewer, our advertisers, Mounds View High School or its staff. The editors of The Viewer welcome and encourage the publication of all viewpoints.


04

editorials

Friday, June 03, 2022

My rights, your rights, their rights by Junha Yoo editorial editor In recent years, increasing scrutiny over transgendered people has led to discriminatory legal action against the minority group. Debates over the legitimacy of trans athletes is especially controversial as people question the biological diversity between sexes and its role in sports. Trans people deserve equality, and bans that impede on their ability to play in sports that affirm their gender are immoral and unjustifiable because gender is a social construct, there are many effects of transitioning and sports are already inherently unjust. It is first important to recognize that gender is a social construct, meaning that it is a product of society and does not describe any inherent aspect of a person. As a result, a person’s gender can change over time, or exist outside of the societal binary. While some people agree with this statement, they revert to using a person’s sex as an excuse to segregate sports. Trying to define people within this binary would mean infringing on a person’s privacy through checks on genitalia or blood tests. Even then, tests can draw inconclusive results because sex is a gendered science and does not realize the true spectrum of sex. As a result, these tests would discriminate against intersex people, who, according to Planned Parenthood, make up one to two percent of the U.S. population. The complications that arise when defining sex in sports is indicative in itself of the irrationality of trans discrimination because they are forced to create arbitrary boundaries between sexes. For example, María José Martínez-Patiño, a 1992 Olympian, was perceived as a woman her entire life and in 1983 even earned a certificate of femininity. However in 1985, she was forced to take another sex test, which came back inconclusive, and months later, revealed that she had XY chromosomes. As a result, she was told to retire from womens sports completely, despite having competed as a woman her whole life. MartínezPatiño’s story demonstrates how any one metric, or

physical attribute does not always have to represent a person’s gender or sex. Trying to inplace these tests onto everyone is perverse and demeaning, especially for trans individuals. It is time that sports recognize people for who they are, and move on from outdated measures of a person’s athletic capabilities. When people argue that individuals may lie about being trans in order to perform better in other sports, they are being ignorant of the great stigma and effects of transitioning. Societal pressures regarding trans people are so severe that according to the

photo courtesy of www.unsplash.com

National Library of Medicine, 82% of trans people have considered committing suicide and 40% have attempted suicide. Upsettingly, these statistics are even higher for trans youth. The study found that microaggressions, internalized stigma and a lack of belonging had a significant influence on these proportions. As a result, many trans youth never join sports because of fear of bullying or lack of representation. Even in the event that they do join, they may perform poorly as a result of poor treatment.

Desegregating sports and creating a more inclusive environment would greatly benefit the trans community and help sports become a more diverse environment. Furthermore, gender-affirming hormone therapy leads to significant changes in a person’s body. In the context of sports, opponents claim that differences in testosterone and hemoglobin levels give trans women an unfair advantage. However, according to WebMD, trans women had similar testosterone and hemoglobin levels as cisgender women. Estrogen hormone therapy also leads to fat redistribution, and a decrease in strength and muscle mass. Lastly, sports are already inherently unjust because of human biodiversity. For example, Michael Phelps, who has won 23 gold Olympic medals, has a disproportionately large wingspan, double-jointed ankles and produces half the lactic acid of other athletes. Although it is true that he put in an immense amount of effort, his rare biological attributes gave him an advantage over his competitors. According to Schuyler Bailer, the first openly trans man in Division I swimming, “people win and lose all the time, and nobody considers that unfair, until it is a marginalized person, specifically a Black or Brown woman and/ or a trans woman.” When people point out the physical differences in trans people and not others, it demonstrates that their problem is not with equality but with trans people. The social construct of gender has pulled society apart and degraded trans people by making basic amenities inaccessible and banning them from social activities. It is unethical to marginalize a group of people because of their biological diversity when it is celebrated for the majority group. If society is ever to become equitable, it must first recognize the diversity of humankind.

Literary restrictions in schools by Olivia Sperbeck sports editor The perception of books is crucial in any education system. Literary works are designed to teach students how to think critically about society as a whole. Students should be able to freely discuss how a novel makes them feel and what epiphanies they have while reading. But when certain novels are banned, these freedoms become restricted. Literature has started to become more politicized, and Mounds View’s English curriculum has begun to follow this trend by making some novels optional after parents have complained about the effect the topics will have on their children. Parents should not have the right to control what their children can and cannot read. This practice restricts students from having powerful discussions with their peers about controversial topics. In addition, it censors what students can learn about specific topics, limiting their education and world view. Other Minnesota schools have removed “To Kill a Mockingbird” from required curriculum due to its use of racial slurs. The Duluth School District believes that the issue of racism is not addressed properly in the book. “Conversations about race are an important topic, and we want to make sure we address those conversations in a way that works well for all of our students,” said Michael Cary, the director of curriculum, in an interview with Independent News. While what Cary is saying has truth to it,

school curriculums should not try to change the way their students interpret controversial topics. Removing the novel sends the message that the school district is trying to control the way students can view a topic like racism. Instead of taking the students’ beliefs and trying to educate them, the district is trying to tell the students what they should believe about the topic. However, the controversy also comes from conservative states as well. As the politicization of literature has increased, conservative groups have tried to restrict student access to books that focus on LGBTQ+ topics. These bans are so serious that in Wyoming, a county prosecutor’s office contemplated criminal charges against library employees for housing these types of books. Charging a librarian for simply putting an LGBTQ+ novel in a library, a space often advertised to be a safe place where people can freely read books, is invasive. People should have the freedom to read whatever makes them comfortable, and if that is a novel that focuses on gender and sexuality, then they have the right to read it. Another title that has been blacklisted is “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” by Sherman Alexie. In Arizona, the book has been banned due to its anti-government views and promoting resentment towards white people. This threatens student freedoms because Arizona is trying to control what their students read. It prevents students from learning about the history of what happened to the Native Americans. Keeping students from learning about the ugly parts of American history

narrows their education. It shows the hardships that Native Americans have gone through as unimportant and not worth learning about. Literature can be perceived in many diverse ways, and attempting to steal students opportunities to converse about a topic can greatly damage a student’s world view. Banning a book may seem to be a minor threat to student freedoms, but it could have major consequences in the future.

illustration by Iris Ren


Debates 05

Friday, June 03, 2022

High school relationships

Pro: they increase skills and experience by Joseph Hoffman arts & entertainment editor

Highschool relationships are a relatively divisive topic, with many people opposing them. With a large next step in people’s lives looming on the horizon, whether that is college, trade school or another lifealtering change, high school relationships are often seen as temporary. However, there are many reasons as to why they could be a positive in someone’s life, not only now but far into the future. A main reason that people have romantic relationships in high school is simply because they want to. High school is when people are first coming to terms with new romantic feelings, and so naturally it is the first time that many people enter into romantic relationships. Inherently opposing these relationships seems out of place, especially if the criticism is about its temporary nature. Many things people enjoy are temporary. Many people enjoy watching TV shows, watching movies or reading books despite those things having an inevitable end, so being opposed to something for being temporary seems like an unreasonable critique. Relationships in high school can also be particularly helpful during a rough time. For many people, high school is a difficult transitional period in their life. Having someone that you trust and who cares about you can be an important grounding experience in this particularly unstable time. Having

a close, healthy relationship can be very mutually beneficial by both parties by having someone they can fall back on, especially considering that high school relationships are not always doomed to end, offering a source of stability during the transition from high school to the rest of one’s life. For those in committed relationships in high school, they can often last nonetheless. The “high school sweethearts” cliche, while possibly more common years ago, is still a realistic idea for many high school couples. At Mounds View, many students plan to go to college and plan on leaving the state, for others, that is not the expectation.

“Most importantly, there are lots of priceless skills and lessons people learn by engaging in romantic relationships early in life.”

Students often plan staying close to home, meaning a high school relationship is unlikely to be broken up due to long distances. Besides coming to terms with what one wants from a relationship early on, a person can also develop incredibly important skills for long-term relationships, such as learning to communicate, compromise and connect with a romantic partner. This takes practice for many people, so learning those skills in advance is not only helpful but important for many. In this case, the temporary nature of high school relationships could even be a benefit. There are countless reasons for someone to have a relationship in high school, whether it be to learn important life skills for future relationships or learn how to effectively communicate with peers. Whether it be to have a source of support and care during a tumultuous time in their young adult life, or whether it is because they want to, each reason is as valid as the last.

Joseph Hoffman, 12

Con: over glamorized by Zige Wang managing copy editor

Through various books, movies, television shows and western cultural practices, high school relationships have been put on a pedestal. It has been ingrained in us that we must have at least one romantic relationship during this time of our adolescence, but it should not be expected. First, it does not make logical sense to enter a relationship at a young age when the two participants will most likely have different post-high school plans. But alas, love is not logical, nor are teens. Whether it is planning to go to college, trade school or entering the workforce, everyone has different plans after high school. Even solely focusing on those who plan on secondary education, the likelihood a couple goes to the same school is small — and dealing with long-distance while simultaneously entering a new environment is near impossible. This does not mean it cannot be done, however. It is also true that not all relationships need to be serious and long-term, nor need to last beyond the day of graduation. But simply being in a relationship complicates a person’s feelings about their future goals and plans. Additionally, high school relationships can be awkward, especially breakups. Having to walk in the same halls or sit in the same classroom with a former partner can invoke negative emotions for most people, making it hard to focus on other important aspects of life. These awkward, often stressful and heart-wrenching interactions are further amplified if the two people have the same friend group (which is common for high school relationships). And, while this does not only apply to high school love, it feels more extreme due to the school’s small campus and

lack of emotional maturity. Friendships can have almost all the pros to being in a relationship. Building communication skills, going on dates, building intimacy, etc. can all be applied to friendships. Learning to build these relationships gives the opportunity not only to build support systems but also gives people the chance to build all kinds of experiences. Plus, friendships tend to last longer than romantic ones, which can create a more stable environment when dealing with the daily stresses of day-to-day life. But perhaps most importantly, high school is a great time for personal development. Learning about your own self is far more important than any romantic relationship. Finding your interests and passions is a wonderful journey that requires time and patience. By no means does someone need to know everything about themself at this age, but this is the exact time to start exploring. Plus, for teenagers and young adults, learning what independence means and how to be comfortable by yourself is an important lesson that carries on for life. If someone is unable to love themself, or at the very

least tolerate, then their relationships will not be as healthy or fulfilling as when that person grows to feel comfortable with themself. At this age, it is best to focus on understanding ourselves without the complication of another individual. This is in no way shaming those who are currently in a relationship; love is always a thing to be celebrated if the connection is real. But, again, the cultural inclination that high school needs to be the first time to have a romantic relationship is absurd when considering everything. It is completely normal for the first relationship to be after high

illustration by Iris Ren


School spending How are schools funded? by Michael Wang staff reporter When asked about the amount of money spent by the Mounds View School District, students underestimated the amount by a large margin. The district has spent over $211 million in the 2021-2022 school year. Public schools are funded in a few ways, primarily in three main categories. Two are State Education Finance Appropriations and State Paid Property Tax Credits, which are both funded with state-collected taxes. Another way is Property Tax Levies which are made with either voter approval or at the discretion of the school board. The majority of the district’s expenditures are directed toward student instruction and support. According to district reports, 76% of taxpayer dollars were dedicated to students in the 2021-2022 school year. This includes supplies, Nutrition Services, and teacher salaries. Teacher salaries take up the majority of school expenditures, at $135 million. While not as large, purchased services also make up a significant portion of spending. The Mounds View district spent $34.5 million on counseling fees, postage, utility services, maintenance, property insurance and other related items, which is about 16% of their total budget. An additional 5% of the budget was dedicated to supplies for classrooms, the cafeteria, and community services such as extracurriculars. The remaining expenditures are used for debt repayment and capital such as new buildings and construction. The Nutrition Services fund is one aspect of spending that is not well known among students. This money is used to fund the daily operations of the cafeteria, including breakfast and lunch. Money for food mainly comes from students as well as local, state and federal sources including taxes. Lunch also costs different amounts for different groups. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) offers free or reduced-cost lunches to low-income students which are funded partially by the federal government. However, lunch prices are far from constant. This is shown with lunch prices varying significantly even in the Twin Cities. Lunch costs range from $2.85 in Fridley to $3.20 in Centennial. Mounds View on the other hand is slightly cheaper than average with a price of $2.95. Prices also vary according to age. Lunch is priced at $4 for adults, including teachers and other faculty. Lunch cost $2.70 for elementary students and below. Another endeavor that Mounds View has recently undertaken is the installation of solar panels on the building roof. Mounds View received a grant from the MN Department of Commerce to build the panels. “The district did not have to pay for the solar panels and installation,” Facilities Director Chris Paquette said. “In exchange, the district agreed to use district rooftops for the installations, and purchase the electricity generated by the solar panels at below-market prices.” The solar panels are expected to save over a million dollars in their operation period. According to Paquette, they are expected to produce electricity for 25-30 years. Other schools are also planning to follow suit. Commerce has approved 80 schools to submit their project’s full application for Commerce’s review and approval by May 31. The goal of the Minnesota government is to reduce energy costs for schools, provide local jobs, increase renewable energy usage and educate students on solar power. While Mounds View’s spending funds the classes and activities that students see and experience, money also goes towards areas that are not visible to the student eye. For further information, see the diagram and the Mounds View website.

Pandemic pressure by Michael Wang staff reporter When COVID-19 hit Minnesota and schools closed down in March 2020, Mounds View had to make drastic changes to its spending distribution. Money that once went to accommodating students now went into paying for Zoom subscriptions and other online tools. However, this is just a small fraction of Mounds View’s budget. With all of the students out of the building, where did the extra money go? The school keeps reserves, or extra money, as per school board policy, which acts as a safeguard against instability or emergency. However, this budget has decreased since the end of the 2019-2020 school year. After the construction of the MAC, Mounds View planned to rebuild these reserves by cutting spending in unspecified areas. The district administration was forced to reconsider these plans because of the pandemic. Because of the pandemic, the cost of maintaining schools heavily increased. “Covid created several new challenges for Mounds View Public Schools. The goal was to have students return to in-person learning and to provide a safe clean environment,” said Bernice Humnick, Executive Director of Business Services. “To meet these goals, additional resources were used to enhance learning and provide a safe learning environment.” The transition from online learning back to hybrid and in-person learning was particularly detrimental to the district budget. The district budget varies from year to year. According to Humnick, Minnesota funds most of its K-12 programs based on the number of students attending each public school. “Basic education revenue for each district equals the formula allowance multiplied by the adjusted pupil units for the school year,” Humnick said. Additional funds are held by the superintendent, who uses them at their discretion. The funding of Mounds View Public Schools comes from a wide array of sources. These include local sources and federal aid, but the majority of the money comes from state aid and taxpayer dollars. However, the extreme inflation rates seen during the pandemic have not been reflected in increases in school revenue. Schools all across Minnesota have experienced lower and lower state aid from funding as inflation rates continue to rise. Humnick said, “State funding has not kept pace with rising costs and inflation.” Once adjusted for inflation, students receive $1,605 less from the state now than they did in the early 1990s. This is shown in the decreased flexibility experienced by the district. Compounded with the increased costs, Mounds View is working to make changes to the school budget. “Final audit results will be provided to the School Board in the fall, which will recap the financial year,” Humnick said. These changes will be taken into consideration by the School Board. COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way that schools operate, leading to large shifts in spending throughout the U.S., including Mounds View. The district experienced shrinking revenues and increasing costs from the conditions brought about by the pandemic. However, the district continues to alter the current system and hopes for an eventual return to normalcy.


in the spotlight The results of renovation by Tyler Quattrin staff reporter In 2016-17, after a recent increase in enrollment and overcrowded classrooms, the district did a capacity study. Because of new residential homes and apartments being built within the district, Mounds View Schools decided that the schools needed more classrooms to accommodate more students. Just over four years later, almost all the buildings in the district have been updated, and many of them now contain new classrooms, flex spaces and athletic facilities. To afford the projects, the district went out for a voter-approved tax levy, which is when residents in the district vote on a tax increase for a specific cause. The levy passed and granted the district $164,500,000 which covered the entirety of the construction costs, so no funding within the district was affected. During the process, changes had to be made as bids came in to stay on budget, explains Facilities Director Chris Paquette, who was largely involved in the renovation process. “During the process, each school convened site-based teams to discuss the needs of their building. The needs identified by these site-based teams closely mirrored what was identified by the District lead capacity study,” he said. “While there were more projects identified by the site-based teams than could be covered, all projects that made the final project list were completed on time and on budget.” One of the most impactful additions to Mounds View is the new activity center. With four basketball courts and a new walking track, the new space can be used in many different ways. Throughout the process of its construction, there were a few changes of plans. One is the design change from poured floors to wood floors. Although poured floors are more multi-use, which is why they were the original choice, wood floors were installed because they are preferred for basketball. Pole vaulters on the track team were disappointed with this change because it meant that a new indoor plant box pit, which was promised, could not be installed. Track coach Ross Fleming says although it would have been nice if the poured floors and a plant box would have been included in the renovation, he acknowledges that wood floors make more sense. “The wood floors for basketball affects not just grades 9 through 12 here, but all the tournaments they have with the younger people,” he said. “It’s a quality facility for a lot more kids, and some people would say that the pole vault plant box is a special interest.” Despite not having as much versatility as the poured floors would, the wood floors can still be used in many different ways and most students, staff and athletes at Mounds View are able to enjoy the facility. Although these renovations may not be popular with pole vaulters, the new additions are beneficial to the majority of Mounds View students. French teacher Ingrid Narum explains that one of the most helpful addition was the new classrooms. “Overall, this has been a really great new space and I think it’s good for learning and for everyone to enjoy,” said Narum. Besides some complaints that the shared walls are occasionally too loud and a shortage of outlets, the new classrooms and flex space in the language wing have been useful for many since their addition to the building. While some students, such as the pole vaulters, remain unsatisfied with the final product of the renovations, most students and teachers are content with the new additions. The district administration is proud that they were able to finish not only on time but also on budget.

Activities and liabilities by Tyler Quattrin staff reporter 1,232 students are registered for a school-sponsored sport or activity at Mounds View. Within those students, it is not uncommon to find participants in school activities with complaints about how their activity is funded. “Fundraising [for tennis] was a very unpleasant experience. It makes me wonder how money is given to clubs, and why the school doesn’t cover indoor courts,” said Parker Brynteson, 10. He is not the only one who is curious about the spending on activities. Many students believe that the sport or activity they are involved in receives less funding than others, or receives less funding than needed. These are common misconceptions among students, many of which are not aware of how activities are funded at Mounds View. The process of deciding funding is simple but not commonly understood among students. Activities Director James Galvin explains the process, “The school district gives MVHS a certain amount of money each year to fund our co-curricular programs,” said Galvin. “With this money, we pay for coaches’ salaries, transportation, officials, uniforms, equipment, facility rentals and maintenance.” While the school’s funds pay for the needed aspects of an activity, such as the examples listed by Galvin, it does not cover costs for special occasions such as trips. For that reason, many activities fundraise and have booster clubs. While some still believe that there is bias within the activity funding system, Galvin clears up this misconception. “We do not give each individual activity a certain amount of money to do with as they please,” he said. He emphasizes that funding is determined objectively by looking at what activities need.

photo courtesy of the Mounds View website


08 Arts & Entertainment

FRIDAY, June 03, 2022

The Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit

by Joseph Hoffman arts & entertainment editor The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is a for-profit event held across many major cities, typically in large gallery spaces. It is a mesmerizing art endeavor, in which moving animations of Van Gogh’s paintings are depicted, paired with classical music, including the likes of Handel and Schubert. This exhibit has a variety of beautiful aspects. For instance, it allows for the captivating art works of Vincent Van Gogh to be brought practically to people’s backyards. The famous Dutch artist’s paintings are featured all over the world, showcased in places such as Musee D’Orsay and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Remarkably, this experience allows you to virtually travel the world and view his paintings in one place. As one walks through the experience, the classical score playing through the surround sound system is mesmerizing and the sequencing of his works pulls you along. Within the exhibition, there are distinct categories of paintings grouped together, linked independently to corresponding music, which in turn makes the differing sections represent a wide range of emotions. Many of his heavier compositions, for example, were coupled one after another with a somber supporting track to create an oppressive and dark atmosphere for onlookers. However, there were parts I was less of a fan of. The animations appear as afterthoughts, which is unfortunate considering it is the main focus of the event. The foreground, middleground and backgrounds are choppily separated and moved over each other. Another unfortunate aspect is that the iconic brush strokes and texture so emblematic to Van Gogh’s work are lost in the projections of the immersive experience. My final criticism is the length. After spending anywhere from around $55 to $100, an extended experience that takes you on an hour-long journey would be closer to what I expected, and those who would prefer a shorter version, could step out early whenever they please.

Overall, the Van Gogh immersive experience is a mixed bag. It’s an accessible and cool concept with a good score and good sequencing. It does, however, leave me feeling as if it was a bit lackluster, considering the disappointing animation, the loss of one of Van Gogh’s defining characteristics, and a length that left me feeling shortchanged. I would recommend it if you’re looking for an interesting concept and have money to spare, but it may not be worth the cost for most people.

The Verdict: 10/10 photos by Joseph Hoffman

Shop Club Country Vintage

by Darah Ostrom spread editor With vibrant colors, bold patterns and a broad assortment of clothing, accessories and decor pieces, Shop Country Club Vintage is the perfect stop for unique thrift finds. The shop, located in Shoreview, is known for its aesthetically pleasing displays and dreamy atmosphere. At first glance, the storefront was inviting, with natural light highlighting the main display as I walked through the doors. I was greeted by the welcoming owner who was knowledgeable about the store and the products sold, telling me to let her know if I had any questions. On the front table, there were funky rings and a collection of ornate trinkets laid out with mannequins presenting the store’s trendiest and most unique items: a flowy summer button down or an

intricately patterned cowboy hat. The shop itself had a distinguished vintage feel with racks of clothing and shelves lining the walls displaying everything from cowboy boots to sequined dresses. Despite its wide range of items, Shop Country Club Vintage has a perfectly curated aesthetic that mixes vintage with contemporary, giving it a broad consumer appeal. One drawback, however, was that some of the items were seemingly overpriced, but that can be expected from a carefully handpicked collection of real vintage products. Another inconvenience is that they are only open three days a week, Thursday through Saturday, from 12-5pm, which could be an issue for some customers. As I continued to walk through the store while browsing the shelves, I was immediately transported into a world of chic and unique clothing. The walls were decorated with framed artwork and t-shirts or bags hung from wooden hangers.

They also had a display of colored sunglasses with differing shapes and lenses. My personal favorite aspect of the store was the pink foam-textured mirror that hung on the wall, which added a pleasing pop of color and nicely contrasted with the store’s existing color palette. In addition, pots of plants and vases of flowers were spread throughout the store, sprinkling in reminders of spring. Overall, I had a very pleasant experience at the store. While it may not be a store I would personally visit often, the vintage atmosphere, cohesive aesthetic and unique products are definitely aspects of Shop Country Club Vintage that anyone with a love for thrifting can appreciate.

The Verdict: 8.5/10 photos by Darah Ostrom


Puzzles 09

Friday, June 03, 2022

puzzle byWikimedia Commons

puzzle by The Word Search

Editor submissions Managing Editors’ Ode

First five students to finish both puzzles and DM @ mvviewer on Instagram win free coffee from Mustang Mocha

by Maya Betti, Tyler Quattrin, Michael Wang upcoming managing editors

Four people, sitting around a table It’s 8 o’clock and they are not close to done Not one is mentally stable Not one is having fun Sitting inside as the sun sets They type away, filled with regrets Three people pacing about When the school turns cold and quiet Soon they shout, arguments sprout As collaboration turns to riot Internally beaten Pizza goes uneaten Two people, scrambling for interviews From the few students who are left No one cares to share their views The editors grow more desperate yet Words make less and less sense Wait, what was the right tense? One person sits by computer screen God, I need caffeine photos courtesy of Tyler Quattrin

The Viewer Mission Statement 1. To publish news, information and opinion articles for and about student, faculty and administration activities, interests and policies. 2. To maintain high ethical standards with regard to fairness, personal and legal rights, responsibilities and accuracy. 3. To provide a forum for free and responsible expression of student opinion and present well-balanced, locally researched coverage of issues of broader student interest. 4. To strive for a high level of competency in the technical aspect of writing, including grammar, spelling, clarity, and precision. 5. To welcome diversity and increase the scope and depth of our coverage in order to heighten mutual understanding and awareness throughout our entire school community. Articles and letters to the editor appearing on the editorials pages represent solely the opinions of the writers and do not represent in any way the viewpoint of The Viewer, our advertisers, Mounds View High School or its staff. The editors of The Viewer welcome and encourage the publication of all viewpoints.


10 sports

Friday, june 03, 2022

Girls softball season kicks off

by Ariana Eschenbacher staff reporter The Mounds View Girls Softball team has had a difficult start to their season. With uncooperative weather causing practices and games to be canceled, they have endured more than a few setbacks. Nonetheless, the girls strive to come together to improve their abilities on the field and relationships with one another as their season continues. Despite these minor setbacks, as the weather gets warmer, the girls are able to play more games and practice their skills. Along with their games being canceled early in the season, the girls had to practice inside whenever the weather was bad. “We did not get to practice on dirt until later in the season,” said Emmi Markham, 9. The girls try to keep a strong mentality as the season progresses. Team bonding is a very important aspect of softball, as having strong connections with your teammates makes for better play on the field. “Being able to cheer for everyone and hype them up,” said Markham. She likes to say that hyping others up is one of her important strengths during a game. Another way the team bonds is through listening to music during their bus rides to games. “When we’re on the bus, we

I’m super excited to show each other and other teams how much we have improved.”

- Emmi Markham, 9

blast music and all hang out. After games, we usually go out and get ice cream or out to eat,” said Ashley Branco, 11. On most trips, the team listens to old 2000s throwbacks or modernized hip hop genres often featuring artists such as Nicki Minaj and Doja Cat. There are many strengths and weaknesses in team sports, both within the team as well as personally. “My determination to win is a personal strength of mine, but I want to focus on making sure my emotions don’t get the best of me on the field,” said Branco. Being able to manage negative emotions is a very important skill while playing sports. If athletes let emotions get the best of them, it can alter their plays and performance. While working on the weaknesses the team faces, the girls are improving during the season with their first win this season against Roseville High School with a score of 12-4. The team’s determination as a whole got them to the win against Roseville. “My main goal this season is to win,” said Anika Metz, 11. Metz has been able to celebrate this victory as it was one of her goals for the season. The season has been building up and the girls are moving to Sections. This is a great time for the team to show off what they have learned throughout this season. “I’m super excited to show each other and other teams how much we have improved,” said Markham. Sections is a time for the team to show off their skills and how they can overcome the difficulties they faced earlier in the season. As they advance to Sections, they must focus on their strengths. “I’m a good pitcher and I can put the ball in play during my at-bats,” said Metz. With Sections coming up, the girls continue to stay motivated in order to focus and enjoy the games. “My coaches and winning motivate me to continue with softball,” said Metz.

photo courtesy of Morghan Larson

Throughout the season, leading up to sections, Metz has been able to improve and stay motivated because of those around her. Through the difficulties the team has been dealing with, they continue to come together and work through the challenges they face. Although the season has been rough, the team continues to stay motivated, work hard, and tune their skills to finish the season strong.

Mustangs charge into a new season

by Olivia Sperbeck sports editor During the spring season, the Mounds View girls lacrosse team works on their chemistry in order to perform well while also promoting an uplifting team culture. Tryouts for the team began on April 4, which determined the placement of players on either the varsity, junior varsity or B-squad team. After tryouts, the team immediately got to work. The team has made significant improvements from last year. Compared to last season, they are more skilled at transitioning the ball from defense to offense, which ensures the offense is able to score. The team’s defense has also improved substantially, according to senior captains Raegan Valois and Abby Nolinger.

Lacrosse emphasizes teamwork, because you can’t win without the whole team helping out. You learn very quickly that everyone needs to work together and trust each other in order to succeed.”

- Gabi Bullert, 9

Collaboration is crucial in lacrosse, as scoring and defending the other team requires working together. Gabi Bullert, 10, has built many strong friendships on the team which makes collaboration easier and the game more enjoyable. “Lacrosse emphasizes teamwork

because you can’t win without the whole team helping out. You learn very quickly that everyone needs to work together and trust each other in order to succeed,” she said. Others agree that the team’s emphasis on a strong sense of community has been successful. “Our coach is like a mom to us, and we really feel like a family,” said Norlinger. The players love the game for many reasons. Valois enjoys lacrosse because of the intensity and team relationships. “I like lacrosse because it’s a fast-moving game, it’s a somewhat physical game, and you meet incredible people along the way,” she said. Another reason the athletes love the sport is because of the fun opportunities. They have one Bsquad tournament in Prior Lake, which is a fun way for B-Squad players to participate in the sport. The athletes have the opportunity to hone their lacrosse skills, and also bond with their teammates. This is important for the younger players because they get a chance to build their confidence early in their lacrosse careers. The Mounds View girls lacrosse team has a lot of middle school members, so Norlinger is confident in the future of the team. “A lot of our younger girls are very talented, so I’m excited to see what the future holds for MVGL,” said Norlinger. With the end of the season approaching, the lacrosse team hopes to perform well and also deepen their bonds as a team. Norlinger is especially proud of how far the team has come. “I am extremely grateful for all the memories MVGL has given me, including great friendships and wonderful coaches,” she said.

photo courtesy of Gabi Bulllert

The encouraging culture of the team solidifies the bond on the field, improving the team substantially. The athletes look forward to what the future holds for Mounds View girls lacrosse.


Athlete of the issue Friday, June 03, 2022

Athlete of the Issue 11

Q: What is the biggest lesson Track and Field has taught you? A: The biggest lesson tack and field has taught me is patience. Improvement isn’t always a straight line and usually you’ll have to work for a long time to reach your goals. Injuries and setbacks happen, but consistency and patience is what will lead you to success.

Hadley Streit

Streit (12) is a varsity athlete, who competes in track and field as well as volleyball.

Q: What is your favorite part about track? A: My favorite part about track is the team atmosphere. While competing is really fun, talking with my fellow throwers or goofing off at practice is what I’ll remember for a long time. Everyone is so kind and funny always. I have made a lot of long term friends and I hope to make more as I go.

Q: How did you balance being an athlete and a student?

Q: Is there anyone you can credit your success to? A: My coaches, my parents, my brother, and my friends have all led me to be as successful as I am. My coaches are always helping me improve and work through problems. My parents and my brother are there to support me at my games and meets. It helps knowing someone cares and wants to see me play. My friends are super supportive as well and they help me calm down when I get stressed due to sports.

A: I balance being a student and an athlete by staying focused and organized. I stay focused during class and always make sure to do my homework the night it’s assigned if possible. I just try to keep my schedule balanced between athletics and academics.

Q: Which sport is your favorite to play and why? A: I play volleyball as well as track and field. I like both of them a lot. They’re hard to compare because they are so different in so many aspects. Volleyball is a sport where you need to work together for success. In track and field, while there is a team aspect, you can still find a lot of success as individuals. I like both equally I think.

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment and why? A: My proudest accomplishment is taking first place at the state track meet in shotput. A few years ago I never would’ve imagined being at state let alone winning. I worked really hard and eventually I got there. I’m really proud of myself for having the consistency to go as far as I’ve gone.

photos by Hadley Streit

Viewer Staff 2021-2022 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MANAGING COPY EDITOR MANAGING DESIGN EDITORS BUSINESS MANAGER NEWS EDITOR FEATURES EDITOR SPREAD EDITORS EDITORIALS EDITORS ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR SPORTS EDITOR ILLUSTRATOR

Maya Betti Tyler Quattrin Maya Betti, Tyler Quattrin Sarafina Dillon Michael Wang Rachel Zou Maya Gjelhaug, Rachel Zou Lale Baylar, Thierry Thao Morghan Larson Madeline Boespflug Iris Ren

ONLINE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ONLINE MANAGING COPY EDITOR WEBSITE MANAGER ONLINE EDITORS ADVISOR PUBLISHER

Shivam Vashishtha Michael Wang Shivam Vashishtha Sarafina Dillon, Madeline Boespflug David Ostrom Sauke Centre Publishing

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friday, june 3, 2022

12 Artist of the Issue

Artist of the issue Bella Tran Tran (11) has been involved with art since she was five years old and hopes to be a grapic designer in the future.

Q: Who or what are your biggest influences? A: I get inspiration from everyday life to the media I consume. I use movies for color and composition references, songs for drawing ideas, etc. But growing up, anime/manga was my main inspiration, and it is still significant to me today. Series like Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL and Samurai Champloo have really inspired me and my art. I also am a big fan of older artists too like Egon Schiele and Van Gogh. I usually get my inspiration on Instagram though. Q: How would you describe the art you typically create? A: The art I typically create is vibrant and dreamy. A lot of my art tends to be a little sentimental too? I’m not sure. But I always strive for eye-catching art with interesting compositions. I also frequently add lyrics from songs in my drawings. Q: How do you see yourself working with art in the future? A: I’m looking forward to being a graphic designer and hopefully becoming an art director. I want to create logos and work on big projects like photo shoots and such, but I still want to have my own individual projects and continue selling paintings/commissions. However, I see graphic design being my main endeavor.

Q: What is your favorite medium to create art? A: I use a lot of mediums but my favorite to work with is digital art, gouache and colored pencils. I prefer high opacity paints so I don’t really use watercolors or any other sheer medium as much. I’ve only started using digital art consistently for the past two years or so, and I love how flexible it is. For gouache, I just think it’s super fun and colored pencils are just simple and easy to work with.

Q: What’s your art process? A: My art process usually starts with me scrolling on Pinterest for references and ideas. After that I sketch out my drawing until I’m done and happy with the concept, and then I just go ahead and color it. Some things are added later like new additions to the background of the drawing or glitter/stickers. My art process differs slightly with different mediums though.

Q: What got you interested in art? A: I think I just always gravitated towards art. When I was a kid (around five), my parents got me piano lessons, but after a few months, we stopped because all I wanted to do was draw. Q: What is something you would say to other aspiring artists? A: One thing I would tell aspiring artists is to practice, practice, practice. Natural born talent can only take you so far if you never practice, skill is the most important thing. To improve you have to practice consistently (it’s okay to take breaks though). Don’t let other people’s art discourage you or make you give up on art, try and let it motivate you instead. Q: Do you have a favorite piece? Why? A: This is a very hard question since I think my opinion on my favorite drawing fluctuates a lot, and I’m not sure if I even have one. There’s a lot of drawings I love with my whole heart, but I can’t pinpoint my “best” drawing or one that I’m incredibly prideful of. I guess I’ll just have to make my favorite drawing in the future.

photos courtesy of Bella Tran