MyDSHS News March 2018

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MARCH / 2018



Seniors organize walkout...

Students from all walks of life gathered by the flagpole in front of DSHS to talk about gun violence. PAGE 8





March, 2018

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Club Members Also Regulars at State Tessa Stigler Staff Writer

Earning a letterman jacket is one of the privileges given to a high school student, and it is something that can only be achieved through qualifying for state. Students of all grades and interests worked towards qualifying for state this year in hopes of earning a letterman. “The main reason why you want to have a letterman jacket is because you want to show your passion for the school,” junior Riley Borneman said. “It proves that you’ve made your mark in the school.” A few art students attended the Visual Arts Scholastic Events or V.A.S.E. competition last year, a UIL state competition, and are competing again this year hoping to qualify for state within the upcoming months. “I’d like to prove that I have the ambition to push my artwork to a stronger competition level this year in state,” sophomore Catarina Covatta said. DECA, a business organization, had 17 qualify for state in January and two students move on to Internationals for the first time. “It felt exhilarating [to make state],” sophomore Sydney Hetherington said. “I didn’t really commit myself but once I got to state I was like ‘wow this is really something I can feel confident about.’” After months and months of hard work and practice, the marching band won 2nd place in the state competition last semester. “It was pretty cool,” freshman Stanton Stiernberg said. “Everybody else seemed to expect it, but I was really surprised.” As it was the previous band director’s last marching season, it was important for the band students to qualify and compete in state. “I feel like his one dream was to finally go back to state and win it,” Borneman said. “The speech he gave after qualifying for state was very emotional, he was crying and it means the world to send Mr. Lancaster off on his last ride.”

Tigers Host Winter Guard Regional Competition Katie Haberman Staff Writer

On March 3-4, the colorguard will show their as well as independent groups that consist of skills at the WGI Austin Regional competition. individuals who are no longer in high school. Not only will the guard compete, but they will also “There’s a lot of people, more than you would assist in hosting the event, which will be held in expect,” freshman Vivien Tooke said. “There’s so their home facilities. many people that are so different from you, and “The band and colorguard are all preparing yet you can find a commonality with them.” for this,” sophomore Mackenzie Newlan said. “If Prior to the competition, the directors have also something goes been tasked with their wrong at the own pre-competition contest, we’re duties: they’ve hired responsible for judges, analyzed it, so they will the school’s facilities make a judgment to choose different whether they say contest and warmit out loud or not.” up areas, arranged Due to the parking, and even contest’s location chosen the types of at DSHS, the concessions to sell. guard members “The whole time will count as a everyone’s going to part of the effort be looking at us, so to get the event if we do something up and running immature, everyone by helping with will know it’s Dripping set-up. The duties Springs,” sophomore will include tasks Aimee Brownsonlike helping other Welch said. “We’re schools with going to have to do a directions and lot of preparing before making the most instead of showing up of the spaces the Front Row: Stephanie Valor, Sophia Burson, Officer; Jose Boehm, Maddie and being like ‘Look at school provides, Bininger, Captain Libby Picotte; Second Row: Jonathan Garcia, Mary Smith, me.’” plus focusing Hannah Sharman, Sophie Marek, Rylee Kirkey; Third Row: Alexis Nurch, In addition to the on their own Staci Turner, Chris Lee, McKayla Cothern, Lieutenant; Jade Berry upcoming contest, the performance. colorguard will also “[Cologuard members] can get community hold auditions for the 2018-2019 year March 26-28 service hours,” colorguard director Derek Woods from 4:45-6:15 in the band hall. said. “They can also get exposure to what students “The people you get to perform with, you get their age are doing from all around Texas in the to know them more,” junior Hannah Owens said. colorguard activity.” “They’re all rooting for you. They want to see you DSHS will host schools from all over Texas, succeed. It’s like a mutual respect for each other.”

March, 2018


Sky’s the Limit

Sky Cinemas, a branch of the Violet Crown movie theatre, opened January 26 in the new Belterra Village offering free popcorn and discounted movies on opening night. “It was a lot more personal than any other movie theater I had been to,” sophomore Lydia Lehman said. Their locally sourced menu consists of burgers, fries, pizzas, and various vegetarian options, all of which are chef-prepared and made from scratch. “[Working at Sky Cinemas] was kind of the perfect job for me,” junior Jonathan Manzello, one of the Sky Cinemas staff, said. The theatre also offers luxury reclined seating inside all 14 of their wall-to-wall screened and surround sound equipped auditoriums. “The theatre is obviously very new and a lot of the features in it are very new,” junior

Tessa Stigler Staff Writer

Thomas Prendergast said. “It was very elegant.” The theatre prides itself on offering a wide variety of showings from mainstream movies to art films to Hollywood classics. “They play a lot of not so common movies,” Manzello said. “They’re playing Oscar nominated short films, and there are only two theatres in Austin that are playing those right now.” Members of the Dripping Springs community have various opinions on the new Belterra Village, but the majority of high school students are all for it. “I’m excited to see what [Belterra Village] brings,” Prendergast said. “I can’t wait to not have to drive so far to all these brand new stores, and I think it’ll be great for the community.”

The Sky Cinema has a modern exterior look with several glass windows to allow natural light into the theatre. Inside, the cinema is very open and airy, with a large wooden staircase leading upstairs where there are several theatres and a soda fountain.

2 Qualify for DECA Internationals Two of the 17 state conference qualifiers in DECA advanced to international competition after this past weekend’s success in Dallas, representing the school for the first time at the top level. Juniors Varun Verma and Lily SethreBrink will compete in Atlanta in late April after qualifying in Business Financial Services and Marketing Communications respectively. DECA is sponsorerd by Michael Lemonds.

supports Dripping Springs ISD 598 E. Hwy US 290, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 (512) 858-2972




March, 2018

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Thoughts and Prayers: Is it Enough? Grayson Ruiz Opinion and Lifestyle Editor

The recent events in Parkland, Florida can be described as many words: devastating, heartbreaking, cruel, evil, horrific. The list could go on and on. In early February we were reminded yet again just how quick detrimental events can happen, and that our time on Earth isn’t always guaranteed. This is the kind of event that makes your heart hurt. It’s the kind of thing that made CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd break down in tears on air. It makes you scared, frightful, weary of the society we live in. However, this is, unfortunately, a vicious cycle. It happens again and again while we send our “thoughts and prayers” over Twitter. A week goes by, the shooting is somewhat forgotten in our nation, and we resume to our daily lives until a mass shooting happens again. The scary part is, you can purchase any other type of gun in Texas, as long as you are “18 and can pass a background check”, Fox News states. However, to purchase a handgun, you must be twenty one, and you must carry a permit with that handgun. It’s baffling to think that while there is a higher age restriction for handguns, and not for any other type of gun. You are also only required to have a permit for a handgun. It seems as if there are little restrictions on assault weapons like the AR-15, and more regulatory measures for a handgun. In my eyes, this is all backwards. We should put these restrictions in place for automatic weapons meant for war. Absolutely no one should be using an AR-15 to hunt, keep around the house, or kill, unless you are in a warzone. In late February students organized a peaceful protest at the flagpole on campus, calling for “No More Gun Violence”. Students from all different sides came together to honor those killed at Stoneman Douglas, and to celebrate the start of progress for change and young voices beginning to emerge in a time of crisis. I was a part of this, and seeing how many students showed up for this brought tears to

my eyes. We are oftentimes called the generation of social media addicts, laziness, or unmotivation, and while some of those things can prove to be true, I also believe we are a generation that understands

the meaning of change. We understand that we will be the next social and political leaders, and based on what I witnessed at the protest, we are more than ready to rise up to the challenge. With the weapon argument, I also believe that

we do have a mental health problem in our country. There are many who are struggling in silence, and feel as if they have no one to lean on. But how can we fight for more mental health awareness with our current healthcare system? How can we make facilities like doctor’s offices more affordable for those who are still struggling, but in need? The mental health issue arises every time there is a mass shooting, and I still fail to see those politicians alleviate any of their own funds to support mental health awareness as a whole, specifically those people who are unable to make it to the doctor’s office. For now, I can only say that how I will make a difference is to make others feel included, and to be kind. Through all of this, I have realized that you never know who is suffering in silence. Political division has the power to rip society apart. We’ve seen our country become so divided, one side demanding that their way is the only way. I want to stress that it’s not about being a Republican, or being a Democrat. Now, it’s about common sense. We just shouldn’t have automatic weapons in young adult’s hands anymore, especially if they have a record of mental illness. We need to start focusing less on what side everyone is on, and more on how we can come together. For anyone reading this, I urge you to start making a change. For your daughters, or sons, family members, friends, loved ones. No one should have to grow up or be a part of this ongoing fear. I looked around at my student body today during the protest and I remain hopeful. I remain hopeful because there is always a time and place for change. And that change is now.

March, 2018


Why You Shouldn’t Stereotype Big Cities: A Look Inside Los Angeles Grayson Ruiz Opinion and Lifestyle Editor

When I flew out to LA last weekend, I didn’t really know what to expect. The last time I had been in Los Angeles was when I was nine, and my vague memories weren’t doing me any justice. I am someone who loves to travel (even if it is exhausting at times). I love seeing those new places, finding great places to eat, shopping, learning about the culture of that specific place, going to the airport, basically every element that correlates with traveling. I was curious to see just how the Los Angeles society would be, especially since I had heard that the culture there was particularly “highend” and “snooty”. Another city that I had compared to Los Angeles was New York City, and having been there three times, I felt like I already got a sense for the people that live there and the culture. Besides spending the majority of the day thrifting, I took the TMZ Celebrity Tour, saw David Spade, ate at Jones L.A., and got coffee at Alfred Coffee on Melrose. Just from walking around, I got the sense that it was less “hustle and bustle” like New York, and more laidback. It reminded me in little ways of downtown in Austin. The people I interacted with were not snooty at all, and in fact were welcoming. The only thing that I had heard that was valid was the traffic, and the parking downtown was tricky. There is no shortage of bodies in L.A., but the numerous restaurants and shops make up for the time spent on the road. I definitely went into the trip expecting worse since it was such a big city. I started to really ponder the stereotype of big cities like this, especially since we are living in such a small one currently. Can we really pass judgment on cities using just what we’ve heard from others? From this trip, I ended up loving Los Angeles even though I had thought I would hate it. Sure, the food might be a little pricey, the gas might be a dollar fifty more than the gas in Texas, and it might be a pain to drive anywhere no matter

the time of day, but I wouldn’t have known just how beautiful and eclectic it was until I actually experienced being there. I have always prided myself in being a “New York City” girl and I’ve always wanted to pursue a career there after I attend college in Texas, but I had worries about if I could keep up with the fast ways of life in the north. And now that I’ve seen and experienced Los Angeles, I believe it will be a better fit for me to pursue a possible career there instead of NYC (but I will hopefully be visiting frequently). There are too many stereotypes about what each perception of a big city is like. My biggest advice for anyone who enjoys traveling, or would like to travel in the future, is to go out and experience the culture of that city yourself before making judgments. You could be surprised by the outcome, and possibly have a new place to call home.



March, 2018



Too Old For Cartoons? Jade Howe

Staff Writer & Illustrator

Do you remember that sweet pastoral feeling of waking up on a Saturday morning to watch your favorite cartoons with a fresh bowl of cereal? The brightly colored characters dancing across the screen while you smile along with the cheerful theme songs. As we get older, many of us turn to different new forms of entertainment outside of our childish realm of the Saturday morning cartoon to more mature programs. However, I have never given up my cartoon watching ways and find myself waking up extra early before school to watch my beloved cartoons. I have found that they give me something nice to look forward to in the morning and help me de-stress before I start my day. I can’t help but feel that my simple love of all things cartoon is more than that of the average teen. Though I am not ashamed of my inclination towards these bouncy, effervescent programs, I wanted to know if other students felt the same way. Most of us grew up with cartoons. We have our favorite theme songs, characters, episodes, and quotes. But have most students moved on from our animated amigos to something more refined? I set out to find out how the community felt about cartoons and whether or not high schoolers still indulged in them. 95% of students surveyed had grown up watching cartoons as a child, but only around 57% of these students still watched cartoons today. 76% of students also say that they have or have had a favorite cartoon. Of the favorites, the cartoon listed most often was a classic, Tom & Jerry. While many students have moved on from watching cartoons today, they still had found things to say about how they have made them feel over the years. Almost all the students surveyed had nothing but positive things to say about cartoons and how they make them feel. Cartoons bring us the sweet feeling of classic nostalgia and a simpler time where all we worried about was whether or not Ed, Edd and Eddy would ever get a jawbreaker. These cartoons can allow us to look back on tough times and happy times through animation. Cartoons give us this power to reflect on where we are now and where we were then. Cartoons also provide us a release from reality. The fantastical settings and bizarre situations can really help pull us out of our world and into another that is much louder and more colorful. Cartoons have the ability to distract us in a positive and eccentric way which can bring relief to our own hectic lives. The world of animation is absolutely boundless. In cartoons, anything goes, allowing us to meet and learn about characters and places that cannot be

replicated in real life. Cartoons when it comes down to it, is an art form that just happens to be appreciated primarily by children. But can you ever really be too old for cartoons? Never. Cartoons today have expanded their audiences, allowing parents to watch shows with their kids that they actually enjoy. There has also been a significant increase in interest of adult cartoon programs with success in shows such as Rick & Morty, South Park, Bojack Horseman, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers. Most cartoon shows are also short making them a convenient show to go to when you need a bit of a brain break. Cartoons are easy to enjoy whether you are 5 years old, 15 years old or 50 years old! Cartoons provide us a quick escape from our world into one that holds excitement, zany characters and outlandish predicaments that we could never imagine but relate to. You can never outgrow characters and cartoons because they have grown with us. So the next time you hear, “Are YOU ready, kids!?”, I hope you respond with a rousing, “AYE, AYE CAPTAIN!”.

March, 2018



Cartoons’ Effect on Children Dallas Johnson Creative Editor

Children begin to watch cartoons at the early age of six months, and become dedicated viewers by the time they’re three or four. They practicalize what they see on the screen and need guidance to ensure they’re not absorbing any of the negative aspects of cartoons. However, when steered in the right direction, children can benefit tremendously from watching cartoons. Cartoons make a strong impact on the minds of children and their nature, affecting their futures directly. Children spend time out of curiosity to obtain information, and begin to interpret what they are viewing as real because they are at such a young age that they are unable to distinguish between what is real and what is fantasy. Furthermore, cartoons are being identified as possible tool that can be employed to increase literacy of children. It promotes continuous learning, and are a good substitute for books, which children in this century might not find intriguing enough to hold their attention. So many lessons and messages can be passively captured by watching certain shows. Cartoons such as Blues Clues put a heavy emphasis on expanding brain activity and teaching children things such as colors or shapes much sooner than they would’ve learned them otherwise.

The Meraki is open for submissions

Short stories, poetry, and art are welcomed for publication. Submissions should be reasonable length. Full entry guidelines can be found at

Graphic by Jade Howe

Final submission deadline is Wed. March 7



March, 2018

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Seniors organize walkout against gun violence in response to tragic Parkland shooting

Jaxson Power-Thornton Editor-in-Chief

Enough is enough! Enough is enough! These words echoed around the campus of Dripping Springs High School on Wednesday, February 21, as students gathered their belongings and walked out of their classrooms in protest. Why? Because students are tired of participating in the most disgusting waiting game we are all forced to play... Waiting for the next mass shooting. When is it going to happen? Where is it going to happen? Will it be near home or in a place I’ve never heard of? Is it going to be a domestic terrorist or a foreign one? Why? WHY? WHY? But I digress. I spoke my two cents on this problem less than two months ago in the My DSHS News December issue, where we covered mental health and the tragic mass shootings of Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs. It is unfortunate to say that the issue persists, and the story still holds true in light of the recent events in Parkland, Florida. Instead of me simply reiterating myself, if you

are interested in my thoughts, visit mydshsnews/docs/mydshsnews_december_2017 and see Page 16. This story, though, is not about my thoughts. A group of Dripping Springs seniors from the Young Democrats club, led by Mia Haraguchi, took it upon their shoulders to host an Anti-Gun Violence walkout at the flagpole, during which they honored the victims and heroes of the Parkland shooting, as well as other victims of mass shootings. They also took the chance to urge students to be active in the fight for stricter regulations on guns by informing seniors who are of age to vote of upcoming elections, and by encouraging those who are too young to call their representatives and have their voice heard. Being that this is Dripping Springs, a historically conservative area, it was no surprise to anybody that there was opposition to the walkout. Seemingly led by Jackson Waight (pictured on Page 9), many conservatives sported their MAGA gear and homemade pro-gun clothing, and had no issue stepping to the front of the enormous crowd

to oppose the Young Democrat leaders. Some stated that Waight’s “hijacking” of the walkout to push his pro-gun narrative was disrespectful and ill-mannered, considering the event was slated to be a peaceful protest against gun violence and a memorial for those who passed in the Parkland shooting. But when it came down to the nitty-gritty, the students were able to overcome their political differences to hold memoriam for the lives lost with a silent prayer for the victims and for safety in the future. There’s a lesson in that. Look past the vanity on both Fox News and CNN. Look past the extremes that preach hatred for their opposition. Look past such surface level differences like politics, and remember that we’re all humans. Because, regardless of the legality of the tools they use, and the work that needs to be done regarding that matter, remember what makes us different from the monsters we so abhor who make us grieve a different shooting every month. Remember that we are all human. photos by Jaxson Power-Thornton

March, 2018


Seeing that this is an extremely divisive issue, I saw it fit to let some of DSHS’ most adamant and vocal supporters from both the left and the right wing discuss why they support what they support and speak on the importance (or non-importance) of the walkout. First and foremost is Mia Haraguchi (pictured below). She was one of the chief organizers of the rally itself and was one of the eight women who stood aside the flagpole and spoke to the audience. “It’s often very divisive [in Dripping Springs], but to have this show of unity and have this many people who feel passionately about [gun violence] come out and demonstrate that they too want change, I thought it was very powerful,” Mia said when asked about the support for her opinion that stricter gun regulations are needed. “I think it’s just the idea that enough is enough. It has been happening so many times. There’s that statistic of 18 school shootings this year. This keeps happening, and nothing seems to be changing. People are just getting tired of it,” Mia said. Mia, along with others, have been a part of the Young Democrats Club since its inauguration, and the walkout is only the most recent political statement from the group. “The 19th anniversary [of Columbine] is coming up in April, and just last week we have this [the Parkland] shooting. It’s as though everything has stayed the same in the last 19 years, and I think people are frustrated,” Mia said. “Regardless of the situation, we need some kind of change, because this can’t be allowed to keep happening.” Mia and I also had the chance to briefly speak of the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to bury a proposed bill that would ban assault weapons. “I think its disgusting. With what happened just last week, the fact that we’re still refusing to acknowledge that it’s a problem is just disgusting,” she said “This would have been a perfect time to show solidarity, and to refuse to do that is just reprehensible.”

Senior Mia Haraguchi speaks to the crowd about the importance of gun control next to junior Molly Moynihan, who is holding a sign with the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting.


Next up is Jackson Waight, a senior who was the most vocal about his pro-gun opinions during the walk out. Armed with his homemade t-shirt, complete with the phrases “Guns Don’t Kill People, Idiots Do”, “Second Amendment Supporter”, “Trump, MAGA”, and lastly, “Liberals, Get Help”, Waight took to the front of the crowd to make sure his voice was also heard. “I thought initially that [the walkout] was about raising awareness for the kids that died. So that’s why I came, but I wore my pro-gun shirt to support what I believe in [just] in case it was about guns, which it was, so that was false advertising, but I thought it would end up being about guns so I wanted to be involved,” Waight said when asked about his initial thoughts after hearing about the walkout. Waight stood front and center throughout the entire event, often standing on the same platform as the eight organizers of the event to preach his pro-gun thoughts. Many thought his behavior was antagonizing and rude, considering the event was to commemorate the lives of the Parkland 17, but Waight didn’t think so. “I just wanted to be involved, you know, see what they had to say. It wasn’t about going in there trying to be bigger, or trying to argue, I was trying to be respectful,” he said. Regardless as to whether or not you agree with Waight’s pro-gun viewpoints or his arguably aggressive methods in speaking his mind, Waight, just like the other side, deserves a chance to speak his mind. “I just think that they [Democrats] are looking at the wrong viewpoint with guns. I don’t think guns are the issue. Obviously, guns were used in the thing [referring to the Parkland shooting], but it’s not the gun. It’s a mental health issue,” Waight said. “Guns are not the problem here. They’re blaming this on the gun which makes absolutely no sense. At a bombing, you blame the bomber not the bomb.”


Senior Jackson Waight (far left) wearing a shirt that says “Guns Don’t Kill People, Idiots Do.” next to three of the walkout organizers.


March, 2018

“I’d invite anybody who’s interested in the issues to look at [all of the] clubs, and see which one suits their own personal belief system best and participate. This democracy that we live in has one of the lowest participation rates in the electoral process and that’s sad and pathetic, and you can’t just sit on the sidelines and complain. You need to be a part of the solution, and we are the government, the government isn’t a disembodied third party in Washington. You and I and everybody who is a citizen is the government, and if you have complaints about the government then you have complaints about yourself. So get off your butt and go participate.” - John Adams, Young Deomocrats sponsor

High School Conservatives of Texas Giselle Galletti Features Editor

Primarily associated with the image of an elephant, the Republican party, otherwise known as the GOP, is the chosen party of President Donald Trump. However, that isn’t the only person or political stance that they represent. The High School Conservatives of Texas club was formed to create a place for those with similar political views to be able to Photo by Photo Texas get together and talk about current issues. “[The club] is a great way for high schoolers to express their political views with their peers and get more engaged in the political process,” senior Gavin Dring, vice-president, said. Students with particularly strong opinions have found a place where they can voice those opinions and also listen to other viewpoints. “Someone should join the club for the same reason I did, to get a much more broad sense in more of the discussionary and to meet people you can befriend and have an interest with within the group,” senior Diedrich Welling said. Not only discussion based but also informative, the club was formed during the preliminaries of this past presidential election. “The club gives students a place to discuss their ideas with like minded individuals as well as educating young people on conservative ideals,” senior Danner Hutch, president, said. To help with this process, the club often has speakers come in from the local government. “We’ve actually had several local Republicans that are in the local races come in and talk to them, so for instance Robert Abram who is running for Justice of the Peace, he came in to talk to them and also to enlist their help in possibly canvassing neighborhoods and things like that,” Cindy Reynolds, club sponsor, said. “They’ve been invited to the Lincoln Reagan Dinner which is a huge fundraiser, but Hays county provided a table for them.” The club meets biweekly, though infrequently due to busy schedules. “It’s not just to get students involved in the political process, but to understand the differences as to what the Republicans viewpoints are and to what Democrats viewpoints are,” Reynolds said. “It is really just to enlighten and to educate students about what do the political parties really stand for.”

Young Democrats Often recognized by the image of a donkey, the Democratic party is one of the two largest political parties in the United States next to the Republican party. Like any organization, there are stereotypes made about the Democratic party and their views on elections, but they don’t always have to apply to everyone. Young Democrats is a club at the high school, formed to give any students interested in politics a safe place to express their opinions, discuss current events and other political issues with their peers, and participate in local political activities such as rallies, marches, campaigns, and volunteering. “This club was created to promote political activism among youth and to establish a voice for democrats in a largely conservative community,” senior David Garcia said. The club meets every other Friday to discuss current events, eat donuts, and plan for upcoming events. “We’ve helped with local political campaigns by building signs and participating in blockwalks, where we knock on doors and encourage people to vote,” senior Mia Haraguchi, co-president, said. “We’ve also attended several marches and rallies in Austin, such as the No Ban, No Wall Rally, the PRIDE March, and the Women’s March. Finally, we’ve participated in service projects—last year, we helped the Wimberley Democrats with their highway cleanup effort.” As well as going out into the community, they have also had speakers come to them. “We’ve hosted Kathi Thomas, Steve Kling, a local candidate for Texas Senate, and Taline Manassian, a current Dripping Springs City Council member,” Haraguchi said. Bipartisan is defined by Merriam Webster as “marked by or involving cooperation, agreement, and compromise between two major political parties”. The club is currently working towards bipartisan actions with the Young Republicans club, by setting up a joint meeting where they can discuss their opinions and see how the other side thinks. Haraguchi Hopes that things like this will help break down some of the barriers that exist between the two parties. “By being part of the club, you get access to a ton of local opportunities to get politically involved,” Haraguchi said. “You also get to talk about current events with people who are just as passionate about the issues as you are.” In addition to community service projects and helping with campaigns, they also helped initiate the organization of the Stoneman Douglas walkout. “Talk to anyone in the club and we’ll add you to the GroupMe, where we do most of our planning,” Haraguchi said. “Alternatively, you can just show up to a meeting. Our meeting dates for the rest of the year are 3/2, 3/9, 3/23, 4/6, 4/20, 5/4, 5/18, and maybe 6/1. We meet at 8:20 am in Mr. Adams’s classroom (C.202). The club presidents are Josh King and I, so you can always find one of us if you have any questions.”

Photo courtesy of the Young Democrats

FEATURES Turning Point U.S.A.

Photo courtesy of Addie Mae Villas

While the Democratic and Republican parties are the most well known, there are also 20+ minor parties that cover a whole range of political views. Yet still, some students might not be sure which party is right for them, or maybe they just want to know more about the government and its politics. Well, guess what, there’s also a club for that. Turning Point USA (TPUSA) is a national, non-profit youth organization founded on June 5, 2012 by Charlie Kirk with over a thousand chapters in both high school and college campuses. The high school has its very own chapter here, in the form of the Turning Point USA club. “The point of TPUSA is to educate students on the ideas of free markets and limited government, as well as fiscal responsibility and the importance of freedom,” sophomore Addie Mae Villas, president, said. “We educate in a nonpartisan way, meaning we never endorse political candidates or parties.” The club has bimonthly meetings where they learn and talk about various topics such as capitalism, socialism, and philosophy. “We usually will go through a presentation presented by the club leaders and discuss whatever the topic is for that meeting,” sophomore Maddy Brandt said. “We recently got two books by Ayn Rand donated to the club, and we will be reading them throughout the semester.” While they do not currently have any students who work or intern in the local government that is apart of their chapter, members such as Villas hope to have an internship at the capitol one day. “With being in TPUSA, you have access to their various resources, as well as acceptance into their various conferences throughout the year,” Villas said. The club leaders don’t require an expertise on any of the subjects previously mentions, the club is meant to take an interest in the government and expand on it and inform the student. “You don’t need any knowledge about government to join the club,” Brandt said. “As long as you are interested in government related topics. You should join because it would be a great opportunity to connect with other like-minded people and a chance to explore topics not discussed everyday.” While it is a relatively new club, having just formed back in September, there are already big plans being put into action. “I hope to grow the chapter to have people from all different backgrounds and grades,” Villas said. “As well as doing more activism events to educate more people on our organization and the ideas we advocate for.” For more information on TPUSA as a whole, go to


March, 2018


Dancing For Those Who Can’t

Instead of continuing to let the sound of the gun firing ring in their ears, students all over America have been drowning out that sound with their plans to make this the last school shooting while remembering those who lost their lives. In the case of the Hi-Steppers, this meant dancing in honor of a victim who was a dancer herself. The Hi-Steppers traveled to Fort Worth, Dallas over the weekend of Feb. 17 to compete in a Crowd Pleasers dance contest held at Timber Creek High School. The drill team showed off their hours of hard work, and were incredibly successful at the contest. “We placed 3 out of 118 for our opening piece,” junior Faith Walker said. “A lot of preparation Camryn Horst and practice went into that piece.” Sports Editor The team also won the Artistry Award for their team dance, best in class award for their opening dance and their lyrical dance, and got second runner up Grand Champion Team. There were a lot of things that happened for the first time in Hi-Stepper history at this contest. “Our score was the highest in Hi-Stepper history, and we also choreographed our team open dance by ourselves,” junior Bella Nichols said. Apart from these accomplishments, the Hi-Steppers were filled with a lot of emotions during their last contest of the season due to the recent Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida. “We learned that one of the victims in the Florida shooting was a dancer,” Walker said. Her name was Jamie Guttenberg. The team worked as a whole to honor her, and ended up dedicating their lyrical dance to “Hallelujah” by Pentatonix to her. “It was a honor to dance for her since she got the opportunity taken away last week,” Nichols said. There were a lot of other obstacles placed in front of them during the contest, and their emotions were at an all time high. Three members of the team had the flu, some were diagnosed with strep, and many of the girls had broken toes. “We helped each other get through the weekend,” Nichols said. Despite everything that they had to face, the team was able to continue to push through. It was a meaningful and successful ending to their seniors’ last ever high school level competition. “This contest was one of our hardest ones because we competed against bigger schools and most of teams are trained differently than us,” Nichols said. “Our scores showed that we dance from the heart.”

Photo by Naya Yarborough



March, 2018

Concerts/Major Events

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2 RED SPARROW 3-4 WGI AUSTIN REGIONAL 4 ACADEMY AWARDS 7 DEMI LOVATO This month marks the 90th annual A young Russian intelligence DSHS will host the 2017-18 WGI Austin Regional Academy Awards to be hosted by Jimmy officer is assigned to seduce WinterGuard competition March 3-4. The competition Kimmel. The nominees for Best Picture a CIA agent who handles the will go on all day, and everyone is encouraged to Musical artists Demi Lovato Award are Call Me By Your Name, Darkest CIA’s most sensitive penetration attend and watch both high school and independent and DJ Khaled to perform in Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, of Russian intelligence. The WinterGuard groups perform. the Dallas American Airlines Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of two young officers collide in a Center. Tickets are for sale on Water, Three Buildboards Outside Ebbing, charged atmosphere of tradeStubHub. Missouri. craft, deception, and inevitably After the disappearance of her scientist forbidden passion that father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her threatens not just their lives but brother, and her friend to space in order to the lives of others as well. find him. Hayley Kiyoko Album “Expectations” to A sequel to 2011’s Gnomeo & Juliet;




9-18 SOUTH

BY SOUTHWEST South by Southwest is an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas, U.S. It began in 1987 and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year.


Time to relax and take some time away from school.


Everyone deserves a great love story. But for Simon it’s complicated: no-one knows he’s gay and he doesn’t know who the anonymous classmate is that he’s fallen for online.

Gnomeo and Juliet recruit detective Sherlock Gnomes and his sidekick, Gnome Watson to help investigate the mysterious disappearance of the other garden gnomes.


be released. Expectations is the debut major label studio album by American singer and actress Hayley Kiyoko. The album was preceded by the singles “Sleepover”, “Feelings” and “Curious”.

26 BON JOVI 31 AUSTIN URBAN MUSIC FESTIVAL Bon Jovi playing in Dallas! Bon Jovi Mon. Mar 26, 2018 7:30 p.m. American Airlines Center - TX, Dallas, TX

Austin Urban Music Festival Auditorium Shores More than 15,000 music revelers converge on Auditorium Shores at Lady Bird Lake to enjoy Austin’s only music festival focused on R&B, neo-soul and hip hop music.


March, 2018



Looks for Spring: Sponsored by Haute Exchange Grayson Ruiz Opinion and Lifestyle Editor

Floral dresses and bucket hats are always a must have for spring.

Denim ponchos are perfect for rainy weather.

CONTACT US General Questions: 512-858-3243 Advertising Inquiries: Follow Us Online: Twitter: @myDSHSnews @myDSHSsports Instagram: @my_dshs_news Snapchat: myDSHSsnaps

Pair a black jacket with silver hoops for a professional look.

Meet the Staff Editor-in-Chief Jaxson Thornton ‘18 Sports Editor Camryn Horst ‘19

Features Editor Giselle Galletti ‘19

Opinion & Lifestyle Editor Grayson Ruiz ‘18

Entertainment & News Editor Jade Berry ‘19

Online Editor Clara Comparan ‘18

Creative Editor Dallas Johnson ‘18

Staff Writers Tessa Stigler, Katie Haberman, Jade Howe, Rigley Willis

Bold colors with a mixed print are sure to draw attention.


MyDSHS welcomes reader viewpoints through letters to the editor and guest columns. Opinions expressed in myDSHSnews are not necessarily those of the Dripping Springs High School or Dripping Springs ISD administration.

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Editorials express the opinions of the writers. Letters and columns are the opinions of an individual and not myDSHS.


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Molly Akers Q& A sophomore

Why do you swim? “I have just learned to love it. I had some friends who did it and I watched it in the Olympics, so as time passed, I finally decided to join.” What motivates you to be great in swim? “Nothing much. I honestly do it for the fun of it, and I get to hang out with my friends so that’s a plus.” Why do you think people should join swim? “Well, for one, it’s so fun. every practice and every meet is such a fun experience. If people out there are in sports that they don’t like, come tryout swim next year. What is the difference between swim and other sports? “Swim has like a certain freedom to it. Once you learn how to swim, your

Girls Swim Team Wins State! Camryn Horst Sports Editor

3rd place: Girls 200 medley relay - Katie Tuohy, Lydia Evans, London Farris, Emily Warkentin 2nd place girls 200 Freestyle - London Farris. Farris broke her own school record. 5th place girls 200 Individual Medley - Keeley Vardeman 14th place boys 100 individual medley - Markus Egger 4th place girls 100 Fly - London Farris 5th place girls 100 Fly - Keeley Vardeman 9th place girls 500 Freestyle - Lydia Evans 13th place girls 500 Freestyle - Isabella Sites 7th place Boy’s 500 Freestyle - Markus Egger. Egger broke his own school record 15th place Boy’s 500 Freestyle - Danny Henry 2nd place girls 200 freestyle relay - Emily Warkentin, Katie Tuohy, Lauren Kehm, & Keeley Vardeman. The girls broke the school record. 10th place girls 100 backstroke - Katie Tuohy 6th place girls 100 breastroke - Lydia Evans 1st place girls 400 freestyle relay - London Farris, Lydia Evans, Katie Tuohy, & Keeley Vardeman. The girls beat their own school record. This race secured the title.

success comes down to how dedicated you are outside of swim.”

What are your plans for swim in the future? “The Olympics, just kidding. I hope to have a good varsity career over the next two years.” Any words of advice for future swimmers? “Enjoy this sport but do not burn yourself out. Have fun with it while it lasts.” Rigley Willis Staff Writer

Photo by Jessica Stamp

March, 2018


Softball, Baseball in Full Swing

Rigley Willis Staff Writer

The Spring sports season has officially kicked off as both the baseball and softball teams at Dripping Springs High School have begun their annual season. Scrimmages have ended and the first round of district is in sight. With basketball, wrestling, and other sports ending baseball and softball have gained the spotlight. “It’s cool to be the sport that everyone is talking about right now. During this time of the year, baseball is definitely the topic of discussion,” sophomore Zach Tjelmeland said. With this spotlight, players realize the additional pressure. “Everyone watches and pays attention, so one little mistake could go a long ways in playing time and how other people and players see you,” sophomore Ryleigh Needham said. One Dripping Springs softball player, a commit to the University of Texas has relished the spotlight and connects her dedication to and time with the Dripping Springs softball program to her future. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities and that definitely helps with the success that I’ve had so far,” Junior Camille Corona said. Many driving forces go into this year-to-year success produced by the softball and baseball departments but the programs’ determination might be the Holy Grail.


Voted Most Outstanding Wrestler at both District and Regionals

Clayton Jetton placed 3rd at State

Photo by Kira Dyer


“My life is pretty much devoted to baseball at this point. I work on my game whenever I can, and the whole team goes hard both in practice and in games,” senior Pete D’Alessandro said. This determination can only go so far, however, as the teams face roadblocks. “Sometimes, there are some scuffles,” sophomore Garrett Kane said. “People get so into games and practices and they let their emotions get the best of them.” Resilience prevails, however, as the heart of the teams at Dripping Springs High School are prominent. “We’re always there for each other,. We carry ourselves as a unit everywhere, whether that be on the field or off the field,” senior Danielle Northrup said. This chemistry that has been produced by the Dripping Springs community helps the players have a great relationship with each other. “We’re all friends,” junior Ty Kaatz said, “It’s easier to get through the rough spots in games and practices when you’ve got life-long friends all around you.” Baseball and softball are truly mental sports. Players have said that being down in a count or closing a game can be some of the most intimidating moments that they may ever feel, and they are amplified by booming crowds and bitter rivals. “Things can get intense. My team and I have been in a lot of games where all the pressure in the world is crushing you,” sophomore Matt Gustafson said. Composure is expected, however, as players have learned to find an evenkeeled approach to games that help them in the long run. “I try to stay relaxed,” Corona said. “I don’t want to show other teams that I’m anxious at any moment.” With the season under way for both Tiger baseball and Tiger boftball, you can expect many things: hard fought games, thrilling victories, and extended runs into their respective playoffs. “We’re going to be good, without a doubt,” senior Curt Raymond said. “Be ready for us come May.”



March, 2018

Hey, you! Yeah you! Want to contribute to the MyDSHS Paper? Visit

Pet the Class Pet, Not Your Friends Katie Haberman Staff Writer

In the past, entering the health science classroom might have been a typical experience, with only the usual posters and projects lining the walls as decoration. However, a new furry friend recently joined the ranks of both people and mice, and is fondly referred to as either Gandalf or Kip. The new class pet has sparked discussion within the student body. Whether the pet is a teacher’s or a student’s hasn’t always counted as a large issue, but sometimes the owner can make a difference in terms of keeping the animal safe. The idea of looking out for a pet’s well-being resounds with some of the student body, and opinions on the subject of bringing animals to school differ greatly. “I decided to get a class pet because it was something the students had talked about, and in the hospital they use a lot of pet therapy, with dogs, and so I thought, what a great way to introduce that here in class,” Jessica Chambers, Health Science teacher and HOSA sponsor, said. “I know a lot of my students work really hard, and it’s hard to be in class all day, so I thought having a pet would kind of help just ease their anxiety and stress levels.” Students also attest to the relief a class pet can bring after a stressful day at school. While many can get that same sense of comfort from their own animals during after school

hours, having an animal in class can help calm anxiety levels while they’re still in school. This can give someone that extra push to get through the rest of their day. “It provides support and comfort,” sophomore Lilly Fletcher, Health Science Theory (HST) student, said. “The class pet lives there, and everyone knows this is where it lives, and it has its own house, and it’s safe.” The question of an animal’s safety plays a part in students’ ideas about pets at school. When an animal has its own living environment in a classroom, it’s guaranteed a safe space to reside, whereas a pet brought in by a student has a higher likelihood of being mishandled or frightened by more people than its used to. “I think [school] can be stressful for a pet, especially a cat or a dog,” sophomore Kasey Gusella said. “That environment shouldn’t be exposed to them because it’s loud in the halls, and just a different environment that is too much for them.” This proved true last school year when a student brought newborn kittens to school and they passed away on campus. Though this was a not a desirable outcome, the situation turned into a learning experience for some. “We thought they were just kind of like a zoo exhibit that we could look at and then go on with our learning,” sophomore Caroline Sprague said. “It really made me realize that they’re actual pets that need to be cared for just as much as house pets.” That incident isn’t one that students plan to repeat. Due to most class pets and other animals being either older or more safely contained, students have the chance to take care of them better and respect the animals’ space. “You want kids to treat [the pet] with respect and handle it properly, but there is still the possibility that

there are some kids that don’t really know how to handle a pet,” sophomore Eliana Glenn, HST student, said. “It could be stressful and overwhelming to the pet, but they also get more attention than they would if they were just alone at a house, so I feel like it could have both positive and negative impacts.” The keeping of class pets is carefully maintained and regulated, but bringing pets to school or from home counts as a concern for some students. The specific issues animals can cause with certain students, such as allergic reactions, can outrank the mental benefits of having a pet at school and can cause repercussions. “I think maybe animals like cats and dogs shouldn’t be brought to school just because of allergies, and maybe people having fears,” Gusella said. “Maybe stick with smaller animals, like a fish or a hamster.” Studies have shown that these types of smaller animals have made a positive impact on the environment of a classroom. In a 2015 survey for the Pet Care Trust’s “Pets in the Classroom” initiative, around 1,200 teachers attested to the fact that children who go through school with a pet in tow have learned values of compassion, responsibility, and leadership, and have experienced a decrease in stress levels. According to the data collected, the most commonly adopted class pets were fish with guinea pigs in second and hamsters in third. Teachers reported that the pets were also useful in enhancing lessons and opening students up to new experiences. “We had high hopes that the program would have a positive impact on children in schools throughout North America,” Steve King, Pet Care Trust executive director, said. “The study results confirm what we have been hearing from teachers since day one - classroom pets do make a difference.” On the other hand, recent information has developed concerning the impact of larger animals, like therapy dogs, being shown around campuses. The Alliance of Therapy Dogs is one of the largest therapy dog

Photo courtesy of Jessica Chambers

organizations in America, and a large focus of their centers around how dogs in classrooms can help alleviate stress. An earlier study found that around 8-10 percent of teens have an anxiety disorder, and the Alliance affirms that therapy dogs can help lift moods or even act as a source of friendship for students. Therapy dogs have also been introduced to college students and were brought into a Yale library in order to help students adjust to their new university lifestyle and to cope with their anxieties. The effects of students on animals and vice versa are debated regularly with the opinions of students varying greatly. Though there are arguments against bringing your own pets to school, positive thoughts on the issue also exist, making both students and teachers more inclined to bringing their animals to school. “[Class pets] really add a sense of liveliness to the classroom, especially on the days when we just read or do individual projects,” Sprague said. “It adds a sense of whimsy to the classroom and just makes students a lot more keen about learning and experiencing new things.”