northview high school · Volume 12 · issue 5
titan of the court Cindy Brogdon’s unbelievable career
winter fitness 8
josh everett 22
athletics vs. academics 28
[masthead] Editor-in-Chief: Sam Quinn Managing Editor: Nancy Coleman News Editor: Meredith McBee Sports Editor: Noah Gray Features Editor: Marri Kang Opinions Editor: Rachel Williams Photo Editor: Hui Lin Business Manager: Meredith Keisler Faculty Adviser: Chris Yarbrough Staff Writers: Shelby Bradley, Andrew Gottlieb, Sneha Gubbala, Meredith Keisler, Nabila Khan, Bryan Liang, Hui Lin, Jessica Ma, Lindsey Moon, Brittney Neser, Annie Pennington, Nik Radtke, Tarun Ramesh, Hend Rasheed, Ryan Siatkowski, Andrew Teodorescu, Maggie Xia, Sophia Choi, Tiffany Xu, Connie Xu Cover Design: Sam Quinn Email: email@example.com Phone: (770) 497-3828 ext. 176 Website: nhsmessenger.com Address: 10625 Parsons Road, Johns Creek, GA 30097 The Messenger is a student publication published for and distributed to students, faculty, staff, and the Northview community to promote readership of the students â€™ current events and issues. The statements and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the entire staff or those of Northview High School, its students, faculty, staff, or administration. Content is controlled and edited by staff editors, with a high-priority on celebrating the achievements of its readers as well as events occurring within the circulation. The staff will publish only legally protected speech, adhering to the legal definitions of libel, obscenity, and the invasion of privacy. Photo credits in this issue : Page 7: Hui Lin / STAFF Page 10: hui lin / staff page 11: Hui lin / STAFF Page 12: sam quinn / STaff Page 16: Sam quinn / Staff page 18: sam quinn / staff page 19: larry winter / atlanta sports hall of fame Page 22: hui lin Page 24: nabila khan / Staff Page 26:Andrew gottlieb / staff & amazon.com / Guest Page 28: hui Lin / STAFF Page 30: Jenn Five, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Zara, Swinging-paris.com, Betty Sze, Sam Hessmanian, Carven, Kathryna Hancock, Brandon Wickenkamp, Americana Manhasset, Acne Studios, Kildare Village, Madewell, Juergen Teller / special
[ contents ]
2 masthead 5 editorâ€™s letter 6 news 11 sports 16 cover story 20 features 25 opinions 28 face-off 30 Staff columns 31 staff editorial
6 new band building opens this spring / Bryan liang 7 Meet Dr. Purugulla, Northview's new assistant principal / Jessica Ma 8 alexa rivard, world champion / Annie Pennington 10 Fulton county's library construction continues / Shelby Bradley 11 Swim and dive team works together to win / Maggie Xia 12 Transfer student Kendrick Cole brings victory to basketball team / Noah Gray 14 Change comes to senior exemption policy / Annie Pennington 16 Cover story: Coach Brogdon joins Atlanta sports hall of fame / Meredith mcbee 22 Josh Everett moves to Northview from South Korea / Nik Radtke 24 Staying in Shape after Winter break / Lindsey moon 26 Drones, Drones, Drones / Andrew gottlieb 28 Face-off: Is switching schools for sports okay? / Andrew teodorescu and Rachel Williams 30 Columns/Ryan siatkowski and Connie xu 31 Staff Editorial
the messenger | 3
SAT ENGLISH TUTORING Committed to helping students improve their performances on SAT reading and writing sections and providing effective instructions on how to: - Take a systematic and methodical approach to expanding vocabulary range – make mnemonic connections based on radicals, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, and antonyms - Read critically and contextually – identify the authors’ points of view and assumptions, determine the author’s attitude or tone, understand how the author wants the reader to feel or think, and find evidence in the actual text to make right choices - Write clear, effective and accurate English – cultivate good writing habits that comply with established writing conventions and standards; work on consistency (in tense, pronoun reference, parallelism, noun-number agreement, and subject-verb agreement), logical expressions of ideas (coordination and subordination, logical comparison, modification, and word order), clarity and precision ( to avoid ambiguous pronouns, diction errors, wordiness, and weak passive verbs), and appropriate use of conventions (to avoid errors in sentence fragments, comma splice or fused sentence, idiom, comparison of modifiers, pronoun case, and adjective and adverb confusion) - Achieve unity, coherence and clarity in essay writing – develop a point of view effectively and insightfully, use appropriate examples, reasons and other evidence to support the main idea, demonstrate clear coherence and smooth progression of ideas, and exhibit skillful use of language and meaningful variety in sentence structure
Phone: (770) 667-3863 or (678) 480-8696
Johns Creek Language Services
Supervisor: Dr. Cheng Doctorate in English, Emory University Member of Modern Language Association A professional English teacher with 20 years of college English teaching experience and 10+ years of SAT English tutoring experience 9810 Medlock Bridge Road Johns Creek, GA 30097 Building A, Suite 203
letter from the
current events: 1, social media: 0
here are fires in the streets of Kiev. Back in November, the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovich, began to stray from the prospect of free-trade with the European Union, and instead sought to broaden economic relations with Russia. He even consented to a Russian purchase of $15 billion in Ukrainian bonds, on the promise that Ukraine’s citizens would get cheaper access to Russia’s expansive natural gas market. For comparison, the GDP of Ukraine is about $175 billion. Yanukovich let Putin buy nine percent of Ukraine in one fell swoop. The backlash has since been fierce, with tensions rising on both sides. On one hand, the Ukrainian government has rather overtly enacted legislation promising to keep active tabs on all of its citizens with histories of participation in public demonstrations, howsoever scanty. The citizens, on the other hand, have responded with molotovs in increasingly violent police confrontations. In fact, you too can witness these events from the comfort of your own living room. Just plug in a laptop, navigate to one of the myriad live streams, and enjoy. I’ve found it goes well with morning coffee. Everything about this should be disturbing. The civil war in Syria rages on. Almost three years have past, and—again—it’s easy for anyone to measure the destruction, as the BBC photo streams reveal. Boulevards have been decimated such that they, shells of their former existences, are nearly unrecognizable—piles of rubble with vague depressions where the roads once stretched. To the far north, Russia, no stranger to political instability, faces the threat of suicide bombers mere days before the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The Doomsday Clock totters at 11:55 p.m. Historically, the American public has looked upon such worldwide instability with marked disgust. As the first televised conflict, the Vietnam War is the most prominent and most obvious example. But history tells us that we often seek not the path of least resistance, but the path of most security: perhaps more important than Vietnam’s case is the observation that Americans have, in the past, intervened in situations deemed dire by the media of the times (recently, too—q.v. the Gulf War, the Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan), which, in our case, is as revealing as ever. In the world of today, nearly every person on Earth with unrestricted internet access possesses the capacity to view global developments and decide for himself the opinion towards which he leans and the minimum extent of action which he expects of his government. So why is it that so few people have heard of the carnage in Ukraine? Maybe it’s not as developed as Syria was when it hit worldwide news networks. Maybe it hasn’t yet trickled into the digital vat of secondhand news that is social media. Or maybe social media isn’t all it’s cracked up to be—that is, maybe it’s not connecting the world as much as we think it is. It’s a topic whose general form has been beaten to death many thousands of times. I imagine it the frequent subject of those kinds of inane arguments, when one couch potato is yelling, ‘Social media has united us all!’ and his
identical adversary proclaiming, ‘Don’t be fooled! It’s all a lie! So-called social media is distancing us from truly meaningful relationships!’ Not only are such debates mind-numbingly trivial, that’s not what this is about—not by a long shot. If you were hoping for some rock-solid, fullysupported evidence, you won’t find any from here on out: I have entered the realm of speculation. I contend that modern social media is predominantly unequipped for the challenges raised by much of today’s breaking news. Information travels quickly across such sites as Twitter and Facebook, yes, but “quickly” too often accompanies “inaccurately.” Granted, social media sites were created to network people and not to corroborate news, but the times they are achangin’. For many people, Facebook has, whether the company desired it or not, repurposed itself to serve as the daily newsstand. This raises an even bigger problem: Facebook, arguably the most important social media giant in history, is dying. According to recent mathematical models from Princeton researchers, Facebook will, like its cousin Myspace did years before, wither to a sickly 20% of its current size by 2017. In the study of systems of such unimaginable complexity, a statement like this is a rarity. Although moderately alarming, its questionable veracity is beside the point: social media is changing, and if developers don’t expand its abilities to adequately process and convey correct information, such as breaking news coverage on the growing number of worldwide rebellions, this could become a serious issue in the coming decade. At first glance, Vine appears promising as a potential news vector— mostly immune to the inadvertent transmission of misinformation—but, in its current form, no major media conglomerate would ever take it seriously, without its image, structure, and content (essentially everything) undergoing a radical shift toward professionalism. Additionally, Vine suffers from the same pervasive inaccessibility that has stunted YouTube’s ability to handle breaking news: one of the reasons that Facebook became such an important news vector is its textual interface—Vines, and web videos in general, are simply too clunky to serve as viable substitutes to text-based journalism, which, the object of a vicious and unfair cycle, is prone to inaccuracies. I’m no software engineer, but I am in tune to the currents of modern journalism (and veracity thereof). If Facebook and its companions deteriorate, if print journalism fails entirely as the soothsayers claim it will, we’d be left with those laughable online stories in which even the layman can spot numerous errors—you know, the ones that make you wonder about the author. I would like accuracy with my stories, please.
Sam Quinn, Editor-in-Chief the messenger | 5
BRYAN LIANG, Staff Writer
y April, the Northview High School band program will be able to access the new band room, which began construction this past year. This new facility boasts practicing rooms, a library, storage rooms, as well as restrooms. The room is also lined with many cabinets and provides additional space for students to move about. Also affected, Northview’s orchestras will begin having classes in the old band room during the change. An audiological audit performed in one of the high schools discovered the levels of sound were detrimental to the employees and students. “Fulton Co. has been remedying this dangerous situation by remodeling band rooms with better acoustical treatments,” said Emily Dickerson, the Northview band director. “Our band will continue to grow and flourish in a better space both from a size standpoint as well as acoustical safety.” Based in Atlanta, Amacher Bros. Construction Company supervised the construction of the band building. Amacher Bros. has had experience from years of construction projects, building sports fields, churches, and recycling centers. Bruce Underwood was the project manager for the Northview band room construction. “It was natural for me to work summers in construction while I was attending Georgia Tech,” said Underwood. “After studying 3 years in Mechanical Engineering, I realized that I would rather work outside on building projects than being tied to a desk.” The Northview band room is not the only band building Underwood has built. Also experienced in renovation and construction for schools, Amacher Bros. has constructed band suite additions for four schools, including Chattahoochee High School and Alpharetta High School. “I realize that the band instructors, principle, students and parents all lobby for this kind of building addition to further the extent of the students education,” said Underwood. “It is good to know that the facility will be used in this manner.” “One of the cool things about the old room is how connected it is with the other classes,” said senior Preben Are. “We can see the orchestra room through a window and often the two classes make faces at each-other and say hi.” Freshmen, on the other hand, do not share as much enthusiam as the up-
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n r d oom
perclassmen for the switch to the new band room. Freshman Jeremy Gundugollu expressed his apathy for the process. “I won’t miss much in the old band room because I’ve only been in there for one semester, said Gundugollu. “I just had a lot of fun with the other people in my band.” Unlike freshmen, seniors have spent most of band in the old room. The postponement of the construction disappointed some, since they will not have much time to experience the new band addition. “I look forward to going to the new band building,” said senior Eddie Wang. “I definitely wish that it was built a couple years before then so I could have played inside for a longer time period.” The new room does come with its added benefits. The facility is equipped with many accommodations, such as an additional instrument repair room. “A change of setting always has potential to change the way people act,” said Are. “Students may be on their toes a bit more in the new room, and the extra space will make things less cramped and possibly make rehearsal and music making more relaxed and enjoyable for some.” As the band program begins to transition to the new room, many old memories and experiences will be lost. “I think that a lot of the things that we do in the old room we will be able to do in the new room,” said Are. “But memories of random dance parties and games will be with the old room for sure.” The Northview band program, however, will continue to prosper and form everlasting passions. “Band helped cultivate my love for music and I don’t think that it will ever leave me in my life,” said Are. Although her seniors are leaving this year, Dickerson enjoys talking and bonding with the freshmen. “I have the pleasure of watching these gangly lost little ninth graders come in to my band room their freshmen year,” said Dickerson, “teaching them for four years and then watching them graduate as young adults, ready to take on the world!”
Joining the ranks
Northview welcomes Dr. Purugulla as new assistant principal JESSICA MA, Staff Writer
he beginning of the 2013-2014 school year saw 17 new faculty members at Northview, and December has introduced yet another newcomer. Dr. Vijay Purugulla began his work as assistant principal on December 2, receiving a warm welcome from students and staff. According to Principal Paul Brannon, Tiffany Butera’s decision to work part-time this year created the need to hire a new assistant principal. “We had Mr. Box, who filled in,” said Brannon. “We’d like to try to keep four [assistant principals], so that was kind of the reason that Dr. Purugulla got hired.” Though he is new to Northview, Purugulla is no stranger to the school environment. “This is my 15th year in education. I’m a science teacher by background,” said Purugulla. “I’ve taught in Cherokee County and Gwinnett County, middle school and high school, pretty much every science possible.” Teaching was not Purugulla’s first career, however; he also has backgrounds in medicine and business. “As a leader, you always look for strengths that you don’t have, because you want to create the best team possible,” said Brannon. “I felt like Dr. Purugulla met the requirements that I was looking for, and luckily the team of individuals that were part of the interviewing process agreed, and Fulton County offered him the position.” “[The expectations for Purugulla are] the same as they are for every assistant principal — to monitor classrooms, to form relationships with teachers and with students, to make sure that we keep this ship going in the right direction, to add some valuable input to the decision-making processes that go on, and to bring ideas that maybe we haven’t thought about,” said Brannon. “For the first two weeks of the job, he’s met my expectations.” According to Brannon and Coach Mike Dixon, Purugulla has already assumed the responsibilities of his new position. “He’s essentially taking on a full load for administrators. He’s dealing with his own set of kids for discipline,” said Dixon. “He’s really kind of fit in and gotten his feet wet in all the areas involved with that assistant principal position.”
The new assistant principal also brings a motivation to learn and a desire to connect with both the students and staff at Northview. “Just like in anything else, I want a professional relationship,” said Purugulla. “But I also want them to feel like they can always come talk to me, that I can be a resource, and that I can support their efforts.” Purugulla has already begun to develop a friendly relationship with the Northview student body. Sophomore Ahran Lee met the new assistant principal while she was on an errand to deliver a folder. “He was really helpful,” said Lee. “He seemed really friendly, like he really wanted to help.” “[Purugulla is] getting to know people; he’s being visible; he’s stayed for a couple of school events,” said Brannon. “He’s making sure that people can put his name with his face.” According to Dixon, one of the first Northview staff members to meet Purugulla, the new assistant principal has already formed bonds with his colleagues. “I just instantly knew he’d fit in well with the administrating team, the department chairs, the teachers, and the kids,” said Dixon. “He’s very approachable, very likeable […] I think he’s gelled really well with all of us.” P u r u gulla looks forward to meeting more students and staff members and hopes to contribute to the improvement of the school as a whole. “Everything here is so positive. The kids have been great; the school’s been great,” said Purugulla. “Northview’s a family, and they’ve welcomed me in as a family member.”
“ ” A good administrator can help good teachers become better teachers. VIJAY PURUGULLA
Two weeks in his new position have given Purugulla a positive impression of Northview. “All of you guys seem like you are ready to learn - want to learn, and you’re motivated. You motivate yourselves, and your teachers are just there to help motivate you a little more,” said Purugulla. “I want to continue the great reputation of this school and make it even better.” Purugulla already has plans to enhance Northview’s academic capacity. “You guys had a survey, and three of the areas that you all expressed career interest in were business, engineering, and the health occupations,” said Purugulla. “I have a medical background, so that’s something I’d really like to see if I could partner with and help with.” “I think Dr. Purugulla’s going to bring a different lens to how we view things,” said Brannon. “[He will] just provide that insight that we may be looking for […] During the interview process, we talked about some things that I was very impressed with.” “I wanted to move into administration because a good teacher can help lots of kids,” said Purugulla. “A good teacher can also help their fellow teachers, but a good administrator can help good teachers become better teachers.”
news | the messenger | 7
CHANGES TO THE SENIOR EXEMPTION POLICY
The exemption policy changes stir up students’ emotions about the grade raises and attendance issues. ANNIE PENNINGTON, Staff Writer
s the year is coming to an end, exempting from finals is on seniors’ minds. Recently, there was a change in the grade needed to exempt finals. it changed from an 80, without honors points, in a class to an 85, without honors points. To be able to exempt, students must also have less than five absences in the second semester per class. The student handbook states, “Medical, hardship, and preapproved absences bay be appealed through the assigned assistant principal” For certain cases, an assistant principal will review the reason for absences if the grade is up to par. Senior Amoge Okolie said, “I think our exemption policy is unfair because as seniors we have worked hard for four years, so I think exempting both semesters is a well due reward.” On the other hand, senior Rachel Sable said, “I think the exemption policy is fair because an 85 is not a hard grade to get and the five absences allows students to have days off and still have days in reserve if they get sick.” The exemption policy at Northview is different compared to Milton High School, where the requirements are “posting a second semester grade of 90 or above,” or “accumulating five or fewer excused absences second semester”. But if students have “an unexcused absence during second semester, they will not be eligible for an exam exemption, even if their overall grade is a 90 or above.” They have both options, so if a student misses more than five days or has a 90 in the class they are able to exempt their second semester finals. At Lambert High School in Forsyth County, students are allowed to “exempt from the final exam at the end of a course (semester or year-long) if they have a grade of 90 or above.” A senior at Lambert, Ashley Barron said, “It increases the work kids put into their school work, because they actually
aim for an A to exempt the final.” Unlike Northview, students are able to exempt finals for all four years and both semesters. Being able to exempt all four years encourages students to work hard to maintain high grades. For a year-long class, both semesters average together. “I wouldn’t want to change the policy to a lower grade and a certain amount of absences because then people wouldn’t aim to get A’s and that’s not what you want,” said Barron. Johns Creek High School student handbook states, “Students may exempt the final exam in any class in which they meet the following criteria: An average of 85 or higher in the seventeenth week and maintained through the end of the semester, no honor code violations in that school, no more than three absences from the class in that semester.” Students must meet those requirements to be able to exempt. A senior at Johns Creek, Chais Kincaid said, “I don’t think it’s fair that we only are able to have three absences in the class if we want to exempt. People get sick or have doctors appointments that can only be scheduled during the day. It is not fair to penalize them especially if they have the appropriate grade to exempt.” Some teachers like Jordan Kohanim do not agree with the exemption policy. She said, “They are preparing for college and in college there are no exemptions, especially for attendance.” There is a downside of the exemption policy, students lack motivation. Since the grade needed is only an 85, students do the bare minimum to exempt. With the new changes to the exemption policy, students are working hard to maintain the 85 average needed. They are also taking less days off due to the less than five absences in the class needed to exempt. Many students did not realize that the attendance policy changed, but on others it had a large impact. Now students must maintain a high standard to learning and almost perfect attendance.
Key students for policy
students against policy
freshmen sophomores Juniors 8 | news
school exemption policies johns creek 90 average less than 3 absences
northview 85 average less than 5 absences
lambert 90 average by the end of course
In a survey of 100 people per grade, 89 seniors did not agree with the exemption policy and 11 did agree. In the junior class, 78 did not agree with the policy and 22 did agree. In the sophomore class, 84 students did not agree and 16 students agreed with exemption policy. In the freshman class, 76 did not agree with the policy and 90 average 24 did not less than 5 agree.
Out of 100 students from all four schools, 74 percent of students agree with the exemption policy at Northview, which is an 85 or higher average and less than 5 absences in each class period whereas 26 percent disagree with the exemption policy.
26 news | the messenger | 9
LIBRARIES ON THE RISE
Fulton county continues their library project despite budget cuts SHELBY BRADLEY, Staff Writer
ulton county plans to complete construction on eight new libraries by the end 2014 despite lacking money to keep them operating. In 2008, Fulton County voters approved the Library Bond Referendum. This referendum authorized the construction of eight new libraries and two additions. The new libraries are located in Alpharetta, East Roswell, Milton, Northwest Atlanta, Palmetto, Southeast Atlanta, Stewart-Lakewood, and Wolf Creek, Auburn Avenue Research Library and South Fulton libraries will be expanded. Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014. However, in 2013, the funds for construction did not come to fruition. $7,000,000 originally allotted for the creation of new libraries was cut due to Fulton County debt obligations. Although operating expenses have not yet been funded, construction will continue as previously scheduled in addition to the renovation of 23 existing libraries. In response to the debt, service hours at currently operating libraries will be altered. Some libraries will go as far to cut back on working days. With more libraries present in Fulton County, there will be more access to resources for its citizens, however it may limit access at current libraries. “I can see two sides to it; I can see where they want to have more access for people, so people are more likely to go to a library…having more availability. More access is good, but at the same time, if they cannot even afford to keep the ones that they have, they should probably just invest in that,” said Northview Language Arts teacher Sarah Darling. However some are concerned that with the lack of operating money, there will be a lack of resources. “If the libraries aren’t able to purchase new materials, new technology, books or anything like that they can’t keep up to date so the students won’t have as many resources at hand,” said Darling. With the construction of new libraries, students will have a new place to meet for school projects and other functions. “A lot of people go to libraries to work so they might not go for the books but they might go for the place,” said Sophomore Anurati Thiru. The new construction will also allow extended access to technology and books. Students now have opportunities for research outside of the classroom. Northview Media Center Specialist Darry Paul is hopeful that the additional libraries will allow students to expand their studies. He said, “Going to the library does not really help with much but accessing the books and other information really does help. Because no matter what you are doing, being able to read more and being able to read better and understand what you are reading and critical thinking improves basically your ability to do whatever you need to do in life.” The new libraries will open up new opportunities for students and citizens in Fulton County. “I love books, I love to read and I also like not paying for books I read and libraries let you take it for free and bring it back later and that is a wonderful thing” said Paul.
more access is good, but at the same time, if they
new east roswell branch designed by: holzheimer bolek meehan architechs
cannot even afford to keep the ones that they have,
they should probably just invest in that.
new auburn avenue research library designed by: j.w. robinson & associates and freelon group, inc
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STROKES OF SUCCESS
The swim and dive team maintains its stellar performance MAGGIE XIA, Staff Writer
hrough their strong sense of team spirit, Northview’s Swim and Dive team has worked together to overcome issues, and has accumulated numerous achievements through these efforts. Both the team as a whole and the individuals have set goals for the season. “Our goals for the swim and dive program are always to place at the top at state and to do what we need to have as many qualify for the state meet as possible,” said coach Colin Maloney. “Each season our team has many group and individual goals. One of those goals was to encourage each other in any way possible, in and out of the pool,” said senior team captain John Caras. The Swim and Dive team is a close knit group. “We spend a lot of time together at meets because they usually are very long and that allows us to bond while we sit around waiting for our events,” said senior Tess Whitridge. Despite some recent communication issues between swimmers and coaches, the team has accomplished much. It placed second out of the 38 total teams at the McCallie Invitational in Chattanooga, Tennessee on November 22, beat Chattahoochee at the Northview vs. Chattahoochee meet on December 7, and ranked in the top five in the Madeleine Jude Brown Invitational at Emory on December 14. They also placed third overall at the Fulton Championship Meet on January 11, and placed third in men’s and fifth in women’s at the Riverwood Invite on January 18. Eighteen of the team’s swimmers, nine guys and nine girls, qualify for the upcoming state in February meet thus far. Their success is the result of a rigorous schedule of practices. Many swimmers wake up around five in the morning to get to the pool every day for practice, while others, who swim year round, attend practices with their club swim teams. School practices are from six to seven every weekday in the morning, and any lapse of time away from teammates affects the team’s performance. “This year for Thanksgiving, we had a week off and we didn’t get to train together for nine days, which is hard, because even if you work out alone it’s not the same as training with your team, and so it slowed me down. I lost some of the progress I made, and it[lack of team practice] affected the rest of my team as well,” said sophomore Caroline Pennington. The team gets the chance to bond outside of practice and meets at social events. “We’re all really good friends. We go out to lunch and dinner after every meet and sometimes we’ll keep hanging out afterwards. We have team parties, team dinners; everyone becomes close friends. You gotta be friendly with the people you’re around. We’re always there to support each other,” said Pennington. The swimmers must balance school as well as swim, which could be overwhelming at times. “It’s really challenging to balance swim and school since they are both such big parts of my life. I put academics first though if they ever overlap (like my coaches say, the student comes before athlete in student athlete). I just try not to be too stressed out because then you can’t enjoy either one,” said freshman Michelle Cho. Some have gotten used to the combination of the two. “Over time, I’ve adapted and developed time management skills to keep up with the intense training and the intense academic expectations at Northview. Having swim practice right after school everyday is normal for me, so I guess I’m just used to it,” said sophomore Joonas Koski. The team hopes to end the season with a strong finish. “For the rest of our season we hope that both teams place very well at state. Both guys and girls are looking to take home some trophies this year,” said Caras.
Top to bottom: Swimmers Edward Chen, Gracie Clough, Antonio Garrido, Mackenzie Light, and Sam Bray compete in the Emory Invitational on December 14.
sports | the messenger | 11
Transfer student Kendrick Cole provides Varsity basketball team with needed spark NOAH GRAY, Sports Editor
n a word, senior Kendrick Cole is explosive. With a knack for driving towards the basket, getting fouled, and finishing, Cole is the kind of player that brings opposing teams to their knees while bringing fans to their feet, and, in his short time on Northview’s Varsity team, he has made his presence felt, helping the team double their win total from last year’s season already. Cole, who transferred to Northview from Peachtree Ridge in the fall, immediately made an impression during the inaugural Midnight Madness held in the gym on November 8 when he threw down dunk after dunk, each one more impressive than the last. Standing only 5’10”, Cole especially sent the packed crowd into a frenzy with a reverse windmall slam. “I felt like I was in the NBA for a minute. It was really cool,” said Cole on his performance. “It’s different in the game but I’m working on trying to
12 | sports
get one or two into the game.” And he has. Cole has had multiple in-game slams this year with one even clinching a Titan victory by dunking over a North Spring defender on January 14. With all the athleticism Cole possesses, it can be easy to get lost in these acrobatic plays, but Cole also boasts a more complete basketball game that he isn’t necessarily recognized for. “He is a very good defender. I have no fears about putting him on the other team’s best player and him not getting beat off the dribble,” said head coach Steven Bombard. “[My first impressions were that] he could jump out of the gym and was smart. He was under control and knew a lot about the game of basketball.” Oddly enough, Cole’s initial interest in the game came from a family
rivalry with his sister, who is currently playing basketball at Oglethorpe University. “I saw her getting better and I didn’t want to be worse than my sister, so I started practicing more. I played a lot of different sports but every time I get the ball in the hoop, it just makes me feel good. I’ve always just liked basketball.” Born out of a passion for the game and an initial competitiveness, Cole has matured as a basketball player over his 11 years of playing the game and has brought his unique style of play to Northview with hopes of helping the team return to the state playoffs. Titan team captain and starting guard Seong Su Kim, who played with Cole on an AAU team as a freshman, has had the unique opportunity to see Cole grow on the court. “We were both kind of immature of the game, but seeing him now, he’s matured a lot and he has a natural talent for the game,” said Kim. “He’s an all-around player. He can definitely score and that’s what we really needed from last year. He can dunk it as everyone knows, he can make layups, he hits shots inside the perimeter or outside, so he’s a great addition to the team.” “The goal for the team is always to make the state tournament and in order to do that you have to win some games. He provides us with the aggressiveness I’d say we didn’t have before that,” added Bombard.
Page 12: Cole attacks the paint on January 10 against Osborne. Above: Cole skies for a layup against North Forsyth on November 19.
With Cole and Kim leading the guard positions and seniors Dylan Causwell, Isaiah Rose, and fellow transfer student Jalen Archie-Davis providing skillful play, the Titans have a record of 7-11, a stark improvement from last year’s 3-23 season, and their hopes of making the playoffs are still alive. While still focusing on this vital postseason stretch, Cole also has his sights set on the future, which he hopes will be filled with basketball. “I’d like to play basketball in college. I’m not trying to go to the NBA or anything; I just want to get a free education,” said Cole. His teammates share the same optimism, too. “As long as he works hard, he’ll go far and I truly think he has a great talent for the game and passion for the game so it’ll carry him far,” said Kim. Having heard from Gardner Webb, Cole hopes to earn a scholarship from the college and play basketball there next year. “It would be nice to play there,” said Cole simply enough. In a season that coincides with the holidays, Cole has helped revitalized the Titan basketball program. Maybe getting Cole for Christmas isn’t such a bad thing after all. Top: Cole dribbles against Osborne. Bottom: Breaking the press, Cole dribbles through three South Gwinnett players on November 12.
sports | the messenger | 13
Looking into the life of Alexa Rivard: World Champion Dreams of becoming a world renowned equestrian earn senior Alexa Rivard a scholarship to Auburn University ANNIE PENNINGTON, Staff Writer
orld Champion. Not many people can say that they are number one in the world at something. But at our school, Alexa Rivard is the reigning equestrian world champion . To be a world champion in equestrian as a horse and rider combination means winning more competitions and accumulating more points than all other competitors. “My horse, Big Wimpy Step, and I won the 2013 World Champion by dominating the competition circuit and accumulating 270 points for the year,” said Rivard. Her other horse, Spot This One, which she did not show as much, placed seventh in the world with 245 points. Rivard’s passion for horses started when she was 6 years old. “When I was little, every morning I would pass some horses on a field. I would roll my window down and throw an apple to them. I begged my parents to take me to a barn and that is where I rode my first horse.” said Rivard. Her passion for horses soon received a competitive edge, and for the past five years, she has been competing around the United States. She competes with two horses, Big Wimpy Step and Spot This One, who are both ranked in the top ten. Rivard has spent hours in the barn working with her horses. “I had to sacrifice some of my social life to go out to the barn.” Additionally, her family has supported her throughout it all. Her brother Jordan Rivard said, “Throughout her equestrian career I have always been there as her moral support.” The Rivard family has helped tremendously with driving and helping Rivard prepare her rides. She has competed everywhere from Florida to Ohio, over 20 weekends. Her high school equestrian career earned Rivard a scholarship from Auburn University for equestrian. “I decided to go to Auburn because when I was in 7th grade, I attended my first equestrian camp at the university.” said Rivard. She immediately fell in love with the school and felt like part of the Auburn family. She was offered an athletic scholarship during her official recruiting visit in early September 2013. “I verbally committed to Auburn on September 12th, 2013 and signed my NCAA scholarship contract on November 15th, 2013.” said Rivard. She is excited for the years to come on the Auburn equestrian team. Being a world champion is such a great accomplishment, but Rivard is not boastful. “Equestrian has provided a sense of satisfaction knowing my efforts and hard work paid off,” she said. She will continue on with equestrian throughout college. “I will continue to ride and compete daily throughout college. I will always have horses be a part of my life but not as a career,” said Rivard. Auburn University is more than lucky to have such a great rider on their team.
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Above: Rivard at the South Eastern Reining Horse Association Competition with Big Wimpy Step Below: Rivard and Big Wimpy Step taking a break in between events at a competition in Ocala, Florida
pioneer, visionary, “
For her career as a nationally renowned basketball player and 1976 Olympian, Northview’s own Cindy Brogdon will soon be inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame
efore 7th grade, Cindy Brogdon had never played basketball. Though she was naturally athletic and one of the tallest in her class, basketball was, to her, still a playground sport. But when a coach asked her to join the 8th grade Buford High basketball team, she figured she would give it a shot. She scored 53 points in her first basketball game. It was then, she says, that she found the sport she loved. The first game was just the beginning of Brogdon’s incredible basketball career on the local, state, national and world stage. February 7, 2014 will mark another day of achievement as she will be inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame alongside Ted Turner, John Smoltz, and many other influential people. Brogdon comes from a very athletic family. “It was something that just came to me and it was something that has always been instilled in me,” she said. “My mother played ball many, many [years] back. One of my sisters played ball. One of my grandfathers was a tremendous athlete. So athletics have been in our family for a long time. I grew up going to events all the time.” It was only natural for Brogdon to pursue athletic activities in school, but she had no idea about her talent for the sport until she stepped on the court in 7th grade at Buford High School.
Brogdon’s silver medal from the 1976 Olympics in Montreal
High School Success After a whirlwind season at Buford High School, she transferred to the relatively new Greater Atlanta Christian School in 8th grade. Bill Burton, the current Administrative Vice President at GACS and one of Brogdon’s coaches during her tenure at GACS, said, “Because she transferred from Buford High School, there was a lot of controversy as she was leaving her hometown school. However, she kept close ties with her friends at Buford.” She was a standout immediately at the small school. “She was so far advanced even as an eighth grader, she could have been the star of our team had the Georgia High School Association allowed it,” said Jackie Bradford, former Athletic Director of GACS, “She was so much further along in her basketball career. She was a tremendous shooter and a great passer.” She was named the Most Valuable High School Basketball Player in Georgia in 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1975- all four years she was eligible for the award. In addition, she led the women’s’ basketball team at GACS to 3 state championships. Her leadership was evident in the dedication to the team. “Cindy kept the standard high so they were encouraged to work,” said Burton. She helped the newly founded Christian school become a well-known educational institution. Burton said, “She really helped put GAC on the map because of her ability. We would have people come from all over Atlanta to see Cindy Brogdon.” In 1999, Brogdon was one of the first to be inducted into the GACS Hall of Fame. “She’s well known as a groundbreaker,” said Burton.
The olympics After graduating from GACS in 1975, Brogdon was offered a full athletic scholarship to Mercer University in Macon, Georgia- the first woman in Georgia to do so. President of the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame, Larry Winter, said, “She revolutionized women’s basketball in Georgia. Now, girls growing up think this is natural, but [then] that wasn’t so.” “Back then, there wasn’t a lot of opportunities for girls, so I think all of the sudden they were seeing that you could go to college and receive tuition, books, meals, everything was paid for,” said Brogdon. “It encouraged girls to get involved in sports and specifically basket- Larry Winter ball back then. But then, as the years progressed, you started seeing more scholarships offered in other sports. I kind of started the trend.” Having juggled academics and athletics throughout her middle and high school years, Brogdon was fully prepared for the workload at Mercer. “College physically was harder, but academically it was easier because I had more time for academics than I did in high school,” said Brogdon. At the end of her freshman
She revolutionized women’s basketball in Georgia.
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year, she decided to try-out for the USA Women’s Basketball Team that would compete at the Olympics. She tried out with 300 other women at one of the seven try-out locations. Out of the 300, she was selected as one of the top three that would attend the national try-out. After weeks of the selection process, she was chosen to be one of the 12 women to represent the USA in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada. Brogdon played alongside Pat Summit, the former womens’ basketball coach at the University of Tennessee. Brogdon and her team would go on to win the silver medal. In Montreal, Brogdon was able to meet players from all over the world. She said, “It was an education to meet different athletes from different countries and to learn their cultures.” As a child, Brogdon was active in many sports, but she learned that sports were different for many of her international competitors. “A lot of those athletes in those countries, when they’re able to walk, they are usually... [told] this is what you’re going to play, so they become a one-sport athlete. That’s all they ever did, so by the time they got to the Olympic level, they were very good.” Brogdon made the most of her experience at the Olympics, but as a 19 year old, it was an intimidating venture. “It was exciting, but also scary being that young. I was gone from April until August,” she said. After playing Yugoslavia in the championship, the team took home the silver medal. “We played in front of 18,000 people. It was, what I would say, one of the highlights of playing in the Olympics, playing in front of that amount of people at one time,” said Brogdon. Brogdon remembers this experience with great fondness. When she came back to the USA, she received a Sports Illustrated issue with her picture in it from her time at the Olympics. “Out of all the athletes, I was the one bending down and they were putting the medal around my neck,” she said. However, receiving the silver medal was not all she received from the Olympic experience. She was part of the inaugural women’s basketball team at the Olympics. “ We’ve always said we were kind of like the catalyst of women’s basketball where we kind of got things started internationally and that’s where the younger kids had goals they could kind of shoot for,” said Brogdon. COLLEGE AND BEYOND After the Olympic Games, Brogdon returned to Mercer University for her sophomore year, but soon transferred to the University of Tennessee to play under Pat Summit- one of her Olympic teammates. “I think the larger colleges were putting more money into women’s athletics and they were recruiting more top athletes. I wanted to be a part of a program that would be more successful. I knew if they were recruiting top athletes, that’s who I wanted to play with,” she said. Brogdon’s career at the University of Tennessee included features in Sports Illustrated and Newsweek as one of the top collegiate athletes. After graduating from Tennessee, she played professionally for the New Orleans Pride where she was chosen as All-American for the Women’s Professional Basketball League. Brogdon proved herself to be successful on the high school, collegiate, national and international stage. “Sometimes it’s hard to find females that have [the] longevity and career she’s had,” said Winter. After playing professionally, she went to work for Fulton County Schools. After hearing that Northview High School would be opening, she returned back to school to earn her Master’s Degree. She was chosen for the position of Health and P.E. Department Chair at the school’s opening. She coaches womens’ golf, another one of the sports she plays. “I’ve always played the sport since I was in high school and since I wasn’t really coaching anything else, I wanted to get involved in something,” she said. “[I would coach basketball] at the right place and [given] the right opportunity.” “She was born here in Buford, raised here, developed her skills here. Now she’s involved in high school education and athletics. She’s giving back to her community,” said Larry Winter. Brogdon encourages students to pursue athletics. She said, “I admire anyone who takes on an extracurricular activity, no matter what sport it is, because that’s when you have to learn to juggle your time and manage your time well.”
The atlanta sports hall of fame Brogdon has continued to be recognized in her community for her achievements on the court. “What you’ve got there is one of the most accomplished female athletes in the world and most of you probably didn’t know that because she is so humble and modest,” said Bradford. She has been inducted into the Greater Atlanta Christian Hall of Fame, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame, the Womens’ Institute of Sport and Education Hall of Fame and on February 7 will be inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame. “This is probably one of the most exciting ones because it’s probably going to be one of my last ones. I’m excited because of the group that got nominated.” The Hall of Fame takes nominees for people who have connections to the Atlanta Area. The three-step process included a nomination period and many votes by the Honor Court to narrow down the 50 nominees. The Honor Court of the Hall of Fame included representatives from Georgia Tech, the Atlanta Falcons, the Atlanta Hawks, High School Athletic Directors and other influential athletic organizations. “All those were aware of Cindy and spoke very highly [of her],” said Winter. “It’s very difficult to find someone as successful and [for] the amount of time she was able to do it.” The Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame looks for longevity in the careers of its inductees. It was decided that the 2014 inductees will include Brogdon, Corky Kell, Antonio McKay, George Rogers, John Smoltz and Ted Turner. While Brogdon does not play basketball anymore, she still finds time to play with her nephew. “I’ll get out and shoot around with my little nephew. I bought him a basketball goal,” she said. “I think sports molded me and kept me focused in life. I think that’s why sports and athletics are so important for young kids.” Brogdon paved the way for women’s athletics and her legacy will continue to inspire young athletes. “Pioneer, visionary, legendary can all be used to describe her,” said Winter. Brogdon shooting in a game as a Tennessee Lady Volunteer
cover story | the messenger | 19
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TiTans Go WesT.
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NEW COUNTRY NEW CULTURE
Senior Josh Everett readjusts to life in America after spending six years in South Korea
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Opposite page: Everett talking with his friends at lunch. Left: Everett poses for a photo. Right: In a Varsity basketball game on January 10, Everett shoots over an Osborne defender.
NIK RADTKE, Staff Writer
t the age of eleven, senior Josh Everett and his family picked up their belongings and moved from the small town of Appleton, Wisconsin to Seoul, South Korea. They ended up living there for six years. “My dad’s job had us come over [to Korea] because he had an opportunity to have a three-year contract there with the Kimberly Clark Corporation and it just ended up lasting a lot longer. I was there for a total of six years,” said Everett. Everett attended an international school in Korea with other American students as well as kids from all around the world. “It wasn’t just American [at the international school]; it was a lot of cultures combined. Kind of like Northview. But when I got out of the community it was a lot different.” “It was really urban and hectic in the city;” said Everett. “There was always a lot of stuff to do.” However, Everett did note that the perception of American culture in South Korea is somewhat distorted compared to what life is really like in Johns Creek. “The army bases there influence Koreans a lot because that’s pretty much the only Americans they have direct contact with. So it’s kind of the army, more stern and strict American culture that they perceive.” After six years, the Everett family decided to head back to America to start their new life within the states. Things were a little different than what he had become accustomed to in Korea. “I think the biggest thing was having so much space, you know, and living in the suburbs. As far as going to school and stuff, it’s fairly similar. The amount of people at this school is a lot more than it was in Korea. We had like a hundred people in my class,” said Everett. “It’s been weird meeting new people even six months into the school year.”
Senior Grant Ramage, a friend of Everett’s who is known as his “look-a-like,” was curious to meet the newcomer. “The first day I got back to school on opening day everyone said they thought they saw me earlier but it happened to be some new kid that looked a lot like me. So I wanted to meet him.” “At first I thought he was alright but then I realized that he was really cool and we had a lot in common. We both play the trombone [and] we’re both athletic, although he’s more athletic than I am,” said Ramage. Everett has adapted well since he has returned to America. He has gained plenty of great friends and has exceeded in academics as well as athletics. He is currently on the Northview Varsity basketball team as a forward and played on the Varsity football team in the fall on the defensive line. He also plays volleyball in his free time. Senior Amaan Charanyia has become good friends with Everett as well. “I met Josh in my calculus class; he sits in front of me. Josh understands it better than I do so we got along because he used to help me out and stuff,” he said. “I also noticed that Josh plays volleyball and I saw his highlight videos on Facebook and this dude is sick at volleyball, which is another cool thing I learned about him,” Charanyia added. “He’s a pretty cool guy.” Senior Vishal Shah recently became friends with Everett. “I actually didn’t meet Josh until a couple of weeks ago. I knew he was around but I didn’t actually meet him until I saw him at the basketball courts and ever since then it’s been pretty cool getting to know him.” Everett has come a long way, from living in Wisconsin to moving to Seoul, where he resided for six years, and then landing here in Johns Creek, where he has fit in greatly. “Everyone’s been cool here, so it’s been pretty easy,” said Everett.
“It wasn’t just American; it was a lot of cultures combined. Kind of like Northview.” -Josh Everett
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five exercises to get you
LINDSEY MOON, Staff Writer
Whether youâ€™ve made a New Yearâ€™s resolution to start exercising, or simply want to have a nice body for spring break, try these five exercises about three or four times a week to improve your strength and tone muscles.
Lean back and balance on your bottom so that your feet and torso are off the ground. Bring your arms over and touch the ground next to your left hip. Twist your torso, so that your hands touch right next to your right hip. Twist again to the left side, and repeat this process for 90 seconds.
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froggies Start out with your bottom and feet on ground. Lift up your feet, and balance. Then, lean back and stretch your body out while still balancing. After you have stretched out, scrunch your body into a ball. Lean back, and repeat the process.
Mountain climbers Place hands and feet on the ground with your bottom up. Bring one foot forward closer to your hand. While keeping hands on ground, switch feet by pushing the back foot to the front while simultaneously bringing the front foot to the ground. Repeat with opposite legs.
scissors Lunge so that one knee is nearly touching the ground and one knee is perpendicular to the ground. Jump up, and switch legs, so that the opposite knee is almost touching the ground. Repeat this for one minute, the do another rep.
6 inch leg raise
Lie down on your back, with your hands propping your bottom up. Raise your legs six inches off the ground. Hold your position for as long as possible. Slowly drop your heels to the ground and repeat the leg raise another time.
Miles to Run
Easy Pace Walking RUNNING Sunday
rest three two
two three rest three two
rest THREE Four rest three three
rest FOUR three rest
rest FOUR Four three
FIVE three three SEVEN five SEVEN
Rest JOGGING RACE DAY
Five three SEVEN six
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DRONE STRIKES amazon Amazon attempts to expand its company by creating speedy delivery drones
Andrew Gottlieb, Staff Writer
o one remembers the time when computers and electronics were not around us at every moment. It looks like more is coming from the world’s largest online retailer Amazon. Since its simple beginnings as an online bookselling business in 1994, Amazon has rapidly come up with new methods to improve. It may not be now, but Amazon will be in our heads around the clock in the coming decade. Recently, the 65 billion dollar company introduced a different, faster way to deliver products from the distribution center to someone’s front driveway in as quickly as 30 minutes or less from the time the order was submitted. They want to do this in the use of drones, called Amazon Prime Air, which would hold packages up to 5 pounds—which consists of 86 percent of all of their orders. These drones will fly up to 40 miles per hour, faster than the speed limit on Parsons Road. In an interview with 60 Minutes, CEO Jeff Bezos stated that he sees these drones being integrated into the company’s delivery systems in the next five years or so. Like always, safety plays a huge concern, and Amazon is working out a deal with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The company is trying
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to perfect the drone by installing a sufficient camera in each drone so that it does not land on any objects, people, or pets. But because of these cameras, the FAA is concerned with the drones’ spying and data collection abilities. The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act was passed to prevent privacy infractions from commercial drones. Living in metropolitan cities like Atlanta, we might have these drones buzzing above our heads constantly, leading to constant annoyances and distractions. Eventually, it might not only be Amazon drones zooming through the sky, but pizza delivery or last minute flowers for a date flying around as well. Instead of having the UPS man drop off the package with a smile on it, an octocopter will drop it off for him, which will lead to unemployment. It does not seem like Amazon can use this kind of delivery service for people who live in apartments, since they have no private driveways. UPS and other delivery services will still deliver to these people, as well as the other 14 percent of packages, those that weigh over 5 pounds. These drones will be soaring through the air before we know it, and soon enough cars will be too. Get ready to live life like The Jetsons.
The path to success can include both athletics and academics
ANDREW TEODORESCU, Staff Writer
n America, the “land of opportunity,” the privilege of opportunity reigns supreme. Students who would like the opportunity to gain knowledge can transfer schools if they are not districted to a school that supports their academic needs. However, transferring schools for athletic opportunities is looked down upon. All public schools provide the resources necessary for students to be involved in sports, but society seems to discourage students who want to focus solely on sports. Students who concentrate on their athletic careers during high school are generally aiming to compete as professional athletes. The recruitment process for professional athletes is similar in selectivity and competition to the job selection process; both are based on ability and experience. Therefore, a student’s athletic potential should not be restricted due to his location for school districting in the same way that his academic potential has the right to flourish in different districts. The most obvious benefit of athletic transfers is found in the statistics of a school’s sports teams. If an athlete recognizes that his ability level is significantly higher than the level at which his school team competes at, he deserves the choice to transfer to a more athletically competitive school. This is common practice for students who demand a more rigorous academic curriculum than their schools are able to provide, yet it is discouraged for athletes who demand similar needs. Every year, students from a range of school districts transfer to Northview because it is recognized as academically superior to other high schools in the area. Although the amount of athletic transfers cannot be expected to be on par with the amount of academic transfers, they should not be discouraged. Society discourages transferring schools for athletic opportunities due to the fear of a lack of ability. Parents and teachers simply do not trust students’ abilities enough. However, performance in athletics is determined by the athlete’s dedication. Similarly, a scholar’s performance in school is ultimately left up to the effort
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put in to studying. The competition of high school athletes for college athletics scholarships—and eventually recruitment into professional leagues—is rising, as is the competition within the job market. High school students are constantly being prepared to face an aggressive work environment. Similar to athletic dedication, academic dedication does not automatically guarantee a career; ability is usually the deciding factor when competing for career positions. Perhaps the main reason that the transfer of schools for athletic opportunities is so looked down upon is its connotation. In high-density school districts, transferring schools is taken seriously due to the avoidance of reaching maximum capacity levels. If a student is attempting to attend a school outside his school district yet is not willing or able to move to the district in which he wants to go to school in, it is nearly impossible transfer legally. However, by submitting fraudulent proofs of residence, it is much easier for students to transfer schools. Parents, in many cases, are willing to provide their children with the opportunities necessary to succeed—even if this includes breaking the law. A recent investigation involving Grady High School in Atlanta found that over a third of the players on Grady’s football team were enrolled in the school fraudulently in order to have a more qualified high school football career. Associating the transfer of schools for athletics with address fraud explains the excessive red tape behind out-of-district transfers. Despite this common occurrence, athletic transfers should not all be thought of as fraudulent. American freedom encompasses the ideals of opportunity; in a free country, students should be free to dedicate themselves to any productive activity rather than be limited to strictly academic activities. Cultivating athletic skill can be just as rewarding as proving one’s intelligence through grades. More often than not, both athletic success and academic prestige can be paired together rather than focusing completely and entirely on one or the other.
FACEOFF: IS MOVING SCHOOLS FOR ATHLETICS BETTER THAN MOVING FOR ACADEMICS?
Athletics are a temporary focus while academics last forever RACHEL WILLIAMS, Opinions Editor
cademics and athletics constantly war with each other for dominance in a student’s mind: should I study for a test tomorrow or go to practice, get ahead on my homework or improve my skill, should I attend a different school for superior academics or superior athletics. With the distant future of mortgages and bank statements far away from high school students’ minds, athletics has become a popular choice for students wishing to switch schools. However, in the long run, a better education will win out. Due to what some people refer to as the “LeBron Effect,” more and more high school athletes have switched schools for a better shot at recruiting options, championships, and general exposure to college scouts. Since LeBron James’s highly publicized decision to switch teams from Cleveland to Miami in 2010, athletic high-schoolers have decided to follow in his footsteps; but instead of a multi-million-dollar contract, these athletes are getting a better shot at a college scholarship and maybe a chance at professional play. While sports play a major part in a high school experience, the real goal is an education. Switching schools for a better sports chance may or may not benefit the student, but switching schools for a better education will always benefit the student. A recent CNN study revealed that a majority of student athletes at public universities could not read past an eighth-grade level, and a few read below even a third-grade level. When athletics take precedent over academics, the student suffers in the long term. There is a miniscule probability that teenage athletes will play on through college to reach a successful professional athletic career—only one in sixteen thousand high school athletes achieve a professional ca-
reer in sports. Less than one out of every one hundred athletes will receive a scholarship to a Division I school after high school. Academic achievement can not only improve a student’s chance at attending a highly ranked college, it can provide a better chance at a scholarship. Universities issue nearly nine times more money for academic scholarships than for athletic scholarships. Switching schools for academic reasons—in order to attend better classes, have better teachers, or even just to have a better shot at the valedictorian seat—provides students with better long term benefits. Academic scholarships are more easily accessible and more beneficial to students than athletic scholarships, and a successful academic career will lead to a successful professional career in any number of varied fields. Athletic careers, when they are successful, usually end at an early age, whereas a career stemming from an academic perspective will last until retirement at around age 65. When a student switches schools for an athletic purpose, whether it is to get more recognition by colleges or to get a chance at a better position, he may get a higher leg up in the game of scholarships, but he loses what is most important in the long run: a good education in order to succeed in the future. With employers looking for more and more prepared employees for their entry-level jobs, sacrificing the education received during high school can permanently damage a student’s career. A student who switches schools to improve his academic curriculum gains that important education without losing any opportunities. Focusing solely on athletics during a high school career takes away from the irreplaceable benefits received from a successful academic career. Academics wins out over athletics in this war.
opinions | the messenger | 29 opinions | the messenger | 29
RYAN SIATKOWSKI, Staff Writer
VINE Most students are familiar with the idea of Vine. On paper, Vine is a social networking site that allows users to share six second video clips. However, in essence it is the ultimate version of short film making. This app provides every smartphone owner the ability to make simple yet effective clips that share a story as well, if not better than other forms of media. What sets Vine apart from other video sharing is the app itself. Vine is owned by Twitter which gives users the ability to link both accounts which only increases the area of Vine’s reach. Filming on vine is as simple as touching the screen. The camera continues to film until your finger is released or the alotted time runs out. This gives the amateur film-maker more possibilities to combine clips rather than filming a single segment. I believe this app offers more entertainment than any other social network. Although it seems absurd that viewers would enjoy watching videos shorter than commercials, the small scale film-makers that produce these vines make every second count. All it takes is one trip to the explore page and you are hooked. There are more genres than available in theaters to name a few: Comedy, Scary, Art & Experimental, and “weird”, which you can only imagine what kind of videos end up here. You can find clips posted by stop motion artists and comedians. While scrolling through the app you will come across voice overs of AT&T commercials, short special effects driven magic tricks, and many users ranting about their many concerns for society. Otherwise there are limitless videos to discover. Every art form has its celebrities and trends. Vine is no exception. Users such as Marcus Johns, Brandon Calvillo, and actor Josh Peck make videos that frequently end up on the trending page. There have also been endorsements. Aquafina sponsored users to make videos about their new drink. Vine is more than an outlet for companies to advertise with. A six minute clip is perfect for spreading the word about a personal YouTube page or Twitter account. It is also easy to share your favorite clips with your friends via Twitter or “revining” which posts the video to your own page. Word spreads quickly on the internet and Vine is no exception. Unfortunately nothing is perfect, and Vine has some minor flaws. First of all, censorship is limited to nudity and other extreme situations. Viewers may increase their vocabulary in a not so positive way. Also, videos can not be imported, so in order to share existing clips you have to film a display showing the video. Like anything on the internet, it is filled with “trolls” or people who comment maliciously and insult users due to pure boredom. Otherwise, this app is exceptional. Vine is a tool that has infinite possibilities. It incorporates a useful camera, a library of entertainment, and a massive audience literally in the palm of your hand. It has proved to be a viable art form, and looks promising for future advancements in social media.
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A winter wardrobe brings clothes to match the cold and bleak weather, but it may not necessarily be a terrible thing. Along with the weather, winter brings simple, minimalistic trends incorporated into seemingly dull, monochromatic color schemes that allow for experimentation with textures.
The minimalist trend is definitely one to utilize. It allows for little to no effort (which is ideal at this time of year) and comfort, all while still looking pulled together and modern. You know what they say, less is more! The cut of the clothing may also be considered, some like to lean towards fitted clothing, while others may choose oversized, geometric cuts.
While spring and summer have possession of bright and loud patterns, winter has amazing textures. Have fun with them! They will add interest to an outfit with a simple or monochromatic color scheme. It is super easy to just throw on a textured top with some jeans or wear a fuzzy cardigan over a t-shirt. Textures that draw particular attention this year are faux fur, mohair, and angora.
SIMPLE COLOR SCHEMES
Monochromatic and black and white seem to stick out as the go-to color schemes. If a sliver of color slips by it’s usually colors like khaki or pale pastels that have been making their way into pieces with textures, like soft angora sweaters. By sticking to a simple color scheme, it is much easier to find pieces that go together.
Media drowns us all. We wade through television show after television show, movie after movie, celebrity after celebrity, until that perfect fit is found. We become so attached to these beloved shows and characters that have become such significant parts of our lives that they grow to be more than just parts of our lives, but rather parts of ourselves. We become so attached that we cannot bear to see their flaws, to see them criticized. Yet, there is a point where this goes too far. People cannot choose to be blind to the problematic aspects of that which they most cherish. Everything is inherently flawed, including that “quirky” celebrity and that popular movie. To turn away from this is to choose ignorance over reason. In a society in which social issues are already pushed to the side, or condemned for being radical, it is simply not a realistic way of living. Just because one enjoys something does not excuse ignoring the innate flaws in it. Take Disney for example. Disney, the behemoth that fueled the childhoods of people across the globe. Disney, the beacon of a jovial youth. Disney, home of the classic American. However, Disney has a plethora of issues that get ignored by those who believe that the creators of their childhood idols could never be anything but perfect. Disney consistently suffers from what is known as internalized racism, causing them to almost subconsciously avoid proper representation of people of color. When people of color are seen in a Disney film, it still does not sit right. As in, the last two animated Disney films starring people of color had the protagonists stuck as animals for the majority of the film. Somehow that does
not seem like much of a coincidence. This is not to say that Disney films are artistically terrible and no one should ever watch them. Disney movies in general do have good morals and deserve to be watched; however, that does not change the fact that these films, and this company, are inherently problematic and should be remedied. Then there are the celebrities. Celebrities are our modern day royalty. We bask in their glow, learn their loves and hates, marvel at their words, forgetting all the while that celebrities are humans too. They have flaws and issues that must not be lost in this hopeless daze. Jennifer Lawrence, although she may be “different” or “real”, does tend to say things that are problematic and cannot be ignored. Skinny-shaming, making transphobic remarks, and wishing for mental ailments because they are “cool” is not something that should be excused just because she tripped at the Oscars. Jennifer Lawrence is a good actress, if her countless awards mean anything, but she and the numerous others like her should not be mindlessly worshipped without even a single thought to their flaws. We are allowed to like things. We are allowed to enjoy shows, and watch movies, and think celebrities are funny. However, as soon as we allow that love to blind them from the innate flaws that are ultimately damaging to the community at large, that is when a line has to be drawn. We must not let that attachment keep us from seeing the real truth: there are flaws in the things that we love, and we should be able to love them while still keeping a critical point of view.
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