Central High School Zone Newspaper
State of the Union brings new promises Shelby Yancey Staff Writer
President Barak Obama gave the annual State of the Union Address entitled “Winning the Future” back in January. Some students watched the address such as junior Samantha Stromyer, who said, “I thought it was good, a lot of good points about supporting our country and doing what’s best for the people.” Mark Johnson, senior, “watched the whole thing live.” He said that, “most of it was about education and job creation and how those two are created, a little bit of infrastructure…that part was particularly good. It was really uplifting if anything, it defiantly gave a good message.” The president introduced the speech with the statement: “It’s no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.” This year both parties sat mixed, as opposed to sitting on opposite sides of the room. Johnson said he thought it was amusing, and a good idea. He cited social studies teachers talking about how representatives used to “hang out,” and really cooperate outside of their jobs. Teacher Jeff Long told his US government class that older politicians would agree; one of the problems in modern politics is the lack of relation-
ships between politicians. The president future is ours to win. we can’t just stand Kennedy told us, gift. It is an achievethe American Dream about standing pat. It generation to sacrifice, meet the demands of a new it. Over the next 10 of all new jobs will education that goes beyond a
continued with, “The But to get there, still. As Robert ‘the future is not a ment.’ Sustaining has never been has required each and struggle, and age… Think about years, nearly half require
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high school education. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations. America has fallen to ninth in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us –as citizens, and as parents –- are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.” Stromyer said, “Creating jobs, that’s what our country should be focusing on.” Johnson pointed out the President’s emphasis on “investing” in education, and later on freezing all spending, where as both cannot be simultaneously accomplished. Johnson quoted Fox News saying, “Beware of the word investment - it means more spending.” Senior Jonathan Dedman commented on a fear on government spending, especially when it comes to health care. “He’s talking about giving free health care. That’s just taking money out of taxpayers [budget]; it’s really not the government’s place to do something like that. It’s the right of the people to and work to get their own, not to pay for everyone else. The idea that the government shouldn’t control so much, it’s not their place to fix everything.” Although controversy existed between parties over the stances of the address, few could disagree with the closing statement: “The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice.” Photo courtesy of www.treehugger.com
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Central High School Zone Newspaper
Epting: Merit Scholar Aliza Etkind Editor-in-chief
Matthew Epting, senior, was named National Merit Finalist last week. “The school offered a free PSAT course to certain students in the summer of 2009 and I think that offered a huge advantage,” said Epting. Ms. Amber Shive taught the writing portion of the prep course. “[Epting] could have taught the class,” said Shive. To prepare students for the rigorous exam ahead of them, Shive specifically tailored her lessons. “We really just tried to hone in on the questions students commonly missed,” said Shive. After being named Nation Merit Semifinalist last September, Epting had to go through a protocol to receive this prestigious honor. “I had to submit an application with SAT scores, an essay, a transcript and counselor recommendation,” said Epting. A long wait followed, allowing Epting to reminisce about his possible award. “It’s really confusing,” said Epting. “Semifinalists are the top 1,660 scores. Finalists are the top 1,500. Half of those get a scholarships
from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Any finalist can get one from a college.” Now that Epting has this honor, he is expecting a scholarship from his first choice school. “Right now, my first choice school is the University of Oklahoma, but I’m not for sure,” said Epting. “I’m still waiting on letters from private schools.” The University of Oklahoma offers a large amount of scholarships for National Merit Finalists. “It’s like $90,000 scholarship over four years, but they do a laptop allowance and a study abroad stipend,” said Epting. Out of state tuition is $28,000 a year at the University of Oklahoma. “My mom was pretty excited,” said Epting. “That was my goal when I took the PSAT, so it was nice to see my goal realized.” According to Shive, she is very excited to see this particular student receive this honor. “I think he got it through his hard work and dedication and it couldn’t have happened to a better person,” said Shive. “He’s so very humble.”
Registration begins Samantha Meadows, Katie Homans Staff Writers
It’s that dreaded time of the year where you have to start thinking and considering your future. Registration time has come again. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors are looking at and choosing the classes that they want to take next year. With more than 300 classes available, there are many options and opportunities across the district. “There are not a lot of changes in names this year of classes,” said Mrs. Beverly Figueroa, counselor. “Last year they changed the names of most if not all of the CTE classes which caused a lot of issues.” Students will watch a registration video, receive a packet of classes and obtain a registration form to choose classes with. But students are not alone as they pick their classes. “We are going to have junior conferences,” said Figueroa. “Freshman counselors will be going into English classes to talk to them. And Sophomore counselors will be visiting World History classes to talk to them.” Some students don’t bother to fill out their registration forms. “I haven’t filled out my registration so I don’t have any problems yet,” said Zach Sanchez, junior. “But if I don’t get the classes that I want then I will be mad.” Counselor conferences are a way for students to straighten their classes out.
“It is important to attend your conference with your counselor,” said Jordan Porter, junior. “Because you can get more information on classes and the counselors are able to answer any questions that you may have.” Mrs. Francine Lalande, the freshman counselor, has been going to middle schools that feed to Central in order to register them for their freshman classes next year. “The eighth grade to ninth grade transition is one of the most important,” said Lalande. “It is a big step for them to go to and we help them step-by-step as they complete registration and to understand the credit process because we can’t tell them what classes to take through high school, they have to figure it out on their own.” Registration forms are due before spring break. Not everyone turns in his or her forms though. “If students do not turn in their forms then we will have to pick their classes for them based on their classes from previous years,” said Figueroa. “We will be sending home course verification letters after spring break and again in May so students will be able to make any changes to their classes.” Said Figueroa. “Picking classes each year gets harder as you go,” said Porter. “As a freshman you don’t have to care as much about what classes you pick, but as a junior picking your senior classes you have to pick classes that would help you to support what you want to do in college.”
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Film finalists announced Aliza Etkind Editor-in-Chief
The finalists for the the Keller Film Festival are up. Amongst the 284 entries submitted, 37 made it to finals in the 9-12 grade category. Of those, eight of the submitted videos are from Central students. “I honestly can’t say how long it took me [to complete my video],” said Isaac Dalton, senior. Dalton competed in the film festival last year, taking top honors for his animation. This year, he has made it to finals again for his animated feature, Techno Chase. “[Techno Chase is] pretty much the story of a girl running away from evil robots,” said Dalton. Three other Central students made it to finals this year in the animation category. “I was just surprised that I [became a finalist],” said Beau Begole, senior. “This was the first time I animated and I got into finals.” Begole’s video, Devil Eyes, has a more complicated plot. “[It’s] the tale of three men traveling together and they come across a guy defending the town they were in,” said Begole. “In the end, the three guys defeat the one defending his own town.” Begole worked on his video for three months for “probably, at least five hours” a day. “Sometimes, I ended up staying up late,” said Begole. For all the work he put into it, is anima-
tion is only 20-30 seconds long. Nate Wadkins, senior, can sympathize with a large time commitment for a relatively short video. “[I worked for] three months for 27 seconds of animation,” said Wadkins. Wadkins secured his place in finals with the History of the World. “It was a film about the futility of man and how in the end, we’re just worthless pieces of meteor dirt,” said Wadkins. “You must look deeply in the meaning to truly understand my artistic demand.” The competition is one. To win the festival, one must prove that his or her video is the best among the others. One can win in his or her respective category. One can also top honors and win the festival. There is also a People’s Choice Award. If the most people vote for your video online, then you can secure this prize. Dalton expects to win a prize this year due to the fact that he worked “pretty hard” on his video. “I had to stay up until 6 [am] the day it was due just to finish it,” said Dalton. Begole has his eyes set on winning top honors. “Well, I’ve seen competition and I think I’ll win first place,” said Begole. You can vote online until Feb. 21 for your favorite video. The winners of the festival will be announced March 1 at the Timbercreek Fine Arts Center. You can view the videos online at kellerisd.net.
Cheer to nationals
Katie Homans, Samantha Meadows Staff Writers
The entire cheerleading squad at CHS left Friday, in order to compete at UCA in Disney World, one of the biggest competitions of the season. Central cheerleaders advanced to this competition after one of their teams won first place at the state competition in San Marcos in late January. Kat Johnson, junior, suffered a concussion just a day before the competition during practice therefore she couldn’t compete for safety reasons. This was disappointing news to the other cheerleaders, they had to change their routine just moments before going onto the floor to compete for a title. “Even though we had one
less team member and even if the stunts fell, I still wore a smile proudly on my face,” said Cassidy Loftin, sophomore. The fight song/game day team ended up getting first place out of the seven teams. The team had five one-man stunts, which is one girl holding up another girl in the air. “My favorite part of the competition was winning the game day/ fight song, and watching all of the really really good teams that were there,” said Kaki Simmons, freshman. The teams practiced every week, and they finally got what they wanted, first place. “It was really fun getting to watch the other teams’ routines and seeing how we could improve or change our own,” said Loftin. “ There were four
teams competing for the title for first place for the medium varsity division. Because one of our team members was unable to perform, we couldn’t give all that we had and ended up not winning.” Even though this was a set back for the team they were still able to give their all, even if they did not win. “I feel bad that I was unable to compete because of my concussion,” said Johnson. “But I knew that if I did compete then I would have caused our team to be disqualified. I’m glad that I was still allowed to go and support my team from the sidelines.” The team is fully healthy and prepared to compete in Disney World against the top cheerleading squads in the nation.