A A LARIAT NEWSPAPER What’s Inside?
Mariachi Goes To State Page 2
2211 McKinley Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76164
February 2018 Volume 5 Issue 2
A Student Publication of North Side High School
OnRamps Program New Path to College Credit By: Jesse Olmos A new program, called OnRamps, is going to begin in the 2018-2019 school year. Students can get college credit, while still in high school, for the core classes: Mathematics, Science, English and Social studies. "What I like best about the program is that students, who are planning to go to college," Dr. David Trimble, Assistant Principal said, "can leave North Side with, theoretically, up to 20 hours to 25 hours of college credits. So, they could enter as a sophomore their first year of college." To find more information about the program, most AP and
Pre-AP teachers at North Side have been given information, as well as the counselors and Ms. Wueste in the Advanced Academic's office. "I expect the students to work hard for the next year," Roxanne Wueste, Advanced academics Coordinator said, "Because the program is going to have the comparison between advanced placement AP courses and duel-credit courses and the OnRamps program. The program was designed to help the students mostly, to get them where they need to be and perhaps even further than that." The program will be taught by high school teachers who
By: Ashley Salomon Alvarado After many years of having a cheer squad, the North Side cheerleaders finally got the opportunity to go to the UIL competition on January 12, 2018. “This year we asked Principal Martinez if he could pay for us to go; the team felt like they were prepared; they had put in more work,” Taylor said. The team felt ready and was very excited for the opportunity. “This is my fourth year here in North Side,” Shanetta Taylor, cheerleading coach said, “I’ve been coaching for three years; cheerleading has been going on for a very long time, but this has been the very first time they have actually gone to a UIL competition.” Taylor also said she was asked by the previous coach if she was willing to be a coach besides having a passion for it.
“I loved it; it was so intense,” Omar Hernandez, senior said. “There was so many teams; you could see nothing but colors. You could feel everyone staring.” The competition was filled with many colors; colorful bows, uniforms, pompons, glitter and much more. “There were about sixty teams in total, we ranked forty-ninth out of the sixty,” Taylor said, “I was very pleased with what they did. I was nervous; they were nervous.” Coach Taylor said if she had the opportunity to change something about the competition, it would be to not be the first team to perform that morning. She also wished that there weren’t so many teams, but she was very happy with what her team had done for the first time. “Cheerleaders were very
are trained by University of Texas professors. The college credit given is guaranteed to be accepted at any public university in Texas and is accepted at most private universities. "I'm planning to take OnRamps for English 4 and U.S. History next year," Mickaela Williams, sophomore said, "because I have found success in Literature as well as Social Studies. I am currently in Pre-AP English 3 and AP World History. I believe that OnRamps will give many kids the option to expand their education earning college credits, all the while saving their parents money and getting high school credits. I think it's a win-win. "
Students who have the determination to do the work can get into the program by conferencing with their counselors or principals to talk about options for their schedule for the next up and coming year. "Just like Dual-Credit now with TCC, it would give students the opportunity to take classes on campus," Trimble said. "They receive credits from both high school and college. What's different is that instead of getting a TCC credit, which not all colleges outside the state of Texas accept; it is a University of Texas Austin credit which we think all campuses nation-wide will accept."
pleased with their routine, and they know they have room for improvement. The plan is to keep going, go
again next year, and keep improving,” Taylor said.
First UIL Competition for Cheerleaders Robot Challenge Pages 4-5
Keep North Side Clean Page 7
Fort Worth Voters Missing from Polls
By: Valerie Rabago Texas has hit a record low in voter turnout. The most recent local election held for Tarrant County that took place in November, had 77% eligible voters, but less than 6% voter turnout. According to KERA news, Fort Worth had the second lowest percentage of 6.48 and Dallas with the lowest of 6.14. “When we vote we’re voicing our opinion,” Mrs. Sharpe,
English and Government teacher, said. “We think that when we vote we’re getting things our way, but those two things don’t always equate so when they don’t equate people don’t vote because things aren’t changing.” Voting means having the chance to impact legislation. Texans have the power to elect officials that affect many lives. Voting in local elections provides insight on a variety of subjects like Education,
Health Care, Wages, Innovations, Public Transportation, Insurance – the list goes on. There are not many that know or care enough to vote, especially the younger age population. Statistics on voting age shows that the average age of voters in Fort Worth are 66 years old. “You don’t see the mayor on TV or on a Meme,” Tim McCune, Senior, said, “but you do see Trump and Hillary a lot because that was a bigger deal. Everyone
was talking about them.” A clear majority of Texas highest voter turnout only goes to major elections involving the White House which are Primary and Presidential Elections. What many do not realize is that the President does more for the nation as a whole than for each individual state. Students can have the power to influence national and state government. “Voting is vital to being an active citizen,” Mrs. Sharpe said. “I think it’s a privilege that we get as citizens especially because we live in a democratic nation. Voting is our voice.” The individuals that really impact big cities like Fort Worth are Mayors, Superintendents of Schools, Councils, Judges, Major Law Enforcment Officials, Senators and Representatives. These positions that are voted for locally by each county are continuously overlooked according to voter turnout percentages. “It impacts us because we’re in that area [locally] the most,” Randy Ortiz, Senior, said. “What they say or want to do affects our community more.” Randy Ortiz had an experience involving an election for the FWISD
By: Jose Monger North Side Mariachi will compete at state for the third year in a row. The competition will be on Saturday, February 24th at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, Texas. Seventeen students will participate in this competition. The UIL State Mariachi has invited North Side to these competitions three times and North Side has been able to bring a state trophy home two times due to their excellent performances. “It’s exciting, always exciting,” Ramon Nino Mariachi teacher for fourteen years said. “Preparation is the hardest part; hopefully, we represent the school well.” North Side’s expectations have not changed. They will still
compete for another first division and a trophy. That’s their goal. They have not disappointed and are going to keep these continuous performances going. “I think we will get to the top five, but we will have to put in lot of effort and time,” Jose Ramirez, Mariachi student, said. North Side had to go through some challenges in order to be in this competition. They had to go to a regional competition and get a first division in that competition as well. They have been able to achieve that these past few years. “There will be a judge that has to certify the Mariachi and a first division is required so that you can be at the state festival,” Nino said. Even though this is North Side’s third year to go to state, they
still feel excited every time they go. They will be on their way to Edinburg three days before it starts since it is almost ten hours by bus. “I feel confident and excited for this event,” Ramirez said. “This is helpful to get experience; I get to play with my partners”. The way that North Side prepares is an important factor for their performances. They practice more difficult music than what they would usually play for performances which increases their music level, and everyone must be able to sing. “Everybody sings which gives more power on stage instead of just playing instruments. It makes the music more enjoyable,” Nino said. North Side has been the only Fort Worth school to win a
first division, but they also expect other schools to compete at a high level. They expect that out of 70 schools, 20 will be at North Side’s level. “We hope Poly and Paschal get a first division because
Photo: Shannon McGee. George W Bush Presidential Library.jpg. May 16, 2016. Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:George_W_Bush_Presidential_Library_(27051971356).jpg
$750 million Bond Proposal. Since Randy was eligible to vote, he decided to get involved and experience what it would be like. What he witnessed was far from what he expected. “I saw no one. I was the only one there,” he said. “It was disappointing and really odd.” These “ghostly polls” are the reason many educators and schools promote voting to students. There are those who say that promoting voting to kids is a way of electioneering (sway political view of students to match those who are promoting). On the other side, some would say there isn’t enough push on the students to get involved in government. “If we don’t inform them, encourage them, motivate them, if we don’t educate them, then they’ll never go vote and things won’t change.” Mrs. Sharpe said. “Voting is education, our job in the school is to educate you on how to do lots of things and one of them is to be a good citizen in society; voting is a part of that.” Fort Worth’s early voting for the upcoming primary election starts February 19th. For complete list of dates and locations, go to tarrantcounty.com.
they will go with us also. They haven’t gotten a first division yet, but we hope they will get one,” Nino said. “We have gotten two first divisions and we hope to make it three, keeping the tradition going.”
Mariachi Headed to State
Cell Phone Addiction Not A Threat at North Side
By: Valerie Rabago At North Side having a phone at ALL times seems to be the number one priority. It is not uncommon to see students walking straight past Principals and Teachers with
their phone in hand, typing away. It’s always comical watching students attempt to multitask when coming up the stairs. They glance up and down at least 20 times so they don’t miss a step while texting. Breaking their neck seems less of a risk than sending that last text. During school, students were randomly selected in the halls to answer one question, “Would you or would you not be able to go a full day without your cellphone?” As many would guess, the majority answered a big no. Even though most said they could not go without their phones, a good number of students said they recognized the impact technology in school has caused. “I think phone addiction is a serious thing,” Dolores Galvan, Senior, said. “It’s affecting our daily lives because we don’t communicate in person like we used to.” Of course, most young adults would say they don’t have an addiction, and surprisingly many of North Side staff agree that students can have an addiction to their phones more-so at home, but say it is not a major issue in school. “I think in your generation it could be a problem,” Dr. Trimble says. “Kids use their phones, but I don’t think it’s really a problem unless kids don’t actually go out and do
stuff and get out there. I only worry for the kids that just sit around with their phone all day not doing anything. As far as North Side goes, we’re not any better or any worse than most schools. Probably less really.” The “no cellphone” policy was first issued in 2009. The rule FWISD made official was that students in grades 6-12 could have a cellular device in their possession on campus, but it must be turned off during school hours. That means, no phones from 8:15 to 3:35. North Side toned down this district wide rule to give students a little more freedom. “The district policy says that from start to end of school your devices aren’t even supposed to be visible,” Dr. Trimble says. “We relaxed it to say we don’t care about halls and cafeteria and stuff like that.” North Side students do take this freedom for granted and might not realize just how much things like cellphones and dress code get toned down just to make our school experience better. So, are North Side students really addicted to their phones? With students saying no and even staff saying it’s not an issue, the answer is students could have a phone addiction, but it does not pose as a major problem in North Side.
2017 Record Breaking Natural Disasters
Extreme Weather leaves the U.S. citizens worried By: Jose Monger Some of the weather in the U.S. lately has been very catastrophic. There have been so many natural disasters that the U.S. had to pay a vast amount of money for recovery. There was a record bill of $306 billion dollars, surpassing the previous record of $215 billion in 2005. Hurricane Harvey was a massive disaster and reported by the Star-Telegram as being the most devastating to date. “There are a number of factors, the intensity of the storms, more people are in them as well. More buildings, more there is to destroy,” Tuff said These disasters took many lives. Hurricane Maria was a really devastating one with more than 1,000 casualties. Heat is an uncommon cause of death, but it can severely damage a human body and can lead to disease. It can also worsen deadly air pollutants. Towards the end of 2017, there were fires in Montana, California, Kansas, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Over 8 million acres were burned. “Heat and fires are affected by the periods of drought,” Ms. Tuff said. “more fuel means bigger fires.” However, the cold is not any better. On January 17th 2018, North Texas experienced the coldest day in seven years. The temperature was below 20 degrees which hasn’t been that low since 2011. “A lot of people had to wear coats and gloves,” Rafael Perales, Sophomore said. Unlike other problems in the world, natural disasters cannot be stopped. The only way to not be caught in another tragedy is to be aware of the weather and get away as soon as possible if there is even the minimal prediction that there will be a catastrophe. However, some catastrophes cannot be predicted and can happen out of nowhere, like most of the costly
2017 incidents. That is something that scares people. Citizens need a way to protect themselves from these situations. “There are possible solutions to this, but they won’t be easy,” Jennifer Tuff, Biology Teacher said, “for example, not using plastic bottles is a good start.” Plastic bottles can reduce the chance of a disaster by recycling them and not creating any unnecessary waste in
CAL FIRE’s Chief Scott Brown speaks with California Gov. Jerry Brown as they survey the damage caused by the wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, on Oct. 14, 2017 (Army National Guard photos by Capt. Will Martin/Released). https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chief_Upton_ and_Governor_Brown_(36992569444).jpg
landfills. Recycling them also conserves natural resources, especially oil, which is directly related to climate change and disasters. The reason that these disasters have been happening more often is because the surge of climate change along with other non-climate changes, such as where buildings are put and where people move, have caused disruptions.
Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard move through flooded Houston streets as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard were called out to support local authorities in response to the storm. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Zachary West) https:// commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Texas_Army_National_Guard_Hurricane_Harvey_Response.jpg
“Steer Clear” of “Steerminators” at Robotics Competition
By: Ashley Salomon Alvarado 25 members of the robotics team had been working since fall to design and build their robots for the FTC qualifying event that took place January 27, 2018 at the Bethesda Christian School. “Students wanted to establish a robot class,” Eddy Finegan, robotics teacher said, “It’s a class, and a club. For the last four years it was just a class, students have to take at least two years of engineering before taking this class. This year we opened up a club for the school.” In the robotics club, there is two teams, 8242 Steerminatorz, and 13780 Steer Clear. This year, 13780 Steer Clear advanced to the semifinals. There they com-
peted against around 28 teams. They went undefeated in the qualifying matches and ranked 3rd but ended up losing in the semifinal round. Private schools, home school, different district, and community groups. This year almost every Fort Worth school was there. “We try to go to at least one competition each year,” Finegan said, “We build one robot per team, it takes them a thousand plus hours to build the robots.” The students come up with the ideas on how to design their robots. This year they started building their robots in September. Students have to pass an inspection, a judge asks questions to the team, and after they compete in five matches. For the first time one of the robots, 13780 Steer Clear got a Design Award for their
Anthony Aviles from the Steer Clear team continuing to perfect robot 13780.
innovative use of tank tracks. “The robotics class is opened to anyone,” Finegan said, “we’ll still continue to have meetings and everyone is invited to participate.” Carolina Lopez joined robotics class at the beginning of her senior year. Now she is a member of the 8242 Steerminatorz. “I was in engineering classes, and I wanted to continue being part of it,” Senior, Carolina Lopez said. “The challenges and how to create, and figure out different ways to build the robots is my favorite part. It was a great learning experience, and we learned from our mistakes.”
13780 Steer Clear received a design award for use of tank tracks.
Steer clear members Juan Salinas and Anthony Aviles operating robot 13780 for the competition.
Steerminators getting the robot ready for competition
The Wonders of the Stock Show
By: Jesse Olmos
At the Stock Show there are tons of exciting carnival games, delicious foods all around, different types of cattle to admire, as well as little shopping boutiques. Lasting from the 12th of January to the 3rd of February, the Stock Show provides all kinds of entertainment for people of all ages. “The thing I like best about my job are the customers,” Steve Johnson, Game vendor said. “The faces of the kids and grownups when they knock all the bottles down in a single throw, it’s just full of excitement. The smiling faces of families having fun together brightens up my mood despite the dreary weather we’re having.” Johnson’s game is called One Ball, which is one of the many carnival games that can be selected to play. It’s where he hands the player a hard softball and they have to try their best to knock all three of the bottles down off the stool a few feet in front of them. The only catch is that the player would only have one shot at winning one of the prizes that’s hanging up. “The carnival games are just one out of the many things to entertain you here, “ Susan Larson, Show-mom said. “But I personally lean towards the cattle of the Stock Show because I just think the animals here are exciting and interesting to look at. I
help my daughter take care of her goats from time to time, while she enters contests and auctions with her animals.” While games and animals are a big part of the Stock Show, they are not the only entertainment. There are rides ranging from small to big, all containing excitement and wonder in the Midway. “My favorite activity at the Stock Show is the Ferris Wheel,” Jocelyn Zamudio, Sophomore said. “The scenery when you get to the top of the ride is just really beautiful. It gives off the sense of happiness and freedom. Even though I only stayed for about three hours there, I had lots of fun with the people closest to me.” Aside from the food, shopping, cattle, games, and rides, there is one thing that brings them all together, the rodeo. It is where cowboys show off their skills at riding broncos, roping calves, and wrestling steers surrounded by the community. “My priority is to drive the mascots around,” David Borne, Rodeo representative said. “They can welcome the kids as well as everyone else when they enter the park. While doing that, we’re also advertising for the rodeo. The best part of all of this is the result of the Fort Worth Stock show bringing all of the communities together in one place, where they could have fun, have a bite to eat, and be entertained with the family.”
Jocelyn Zamudio and her date, Xavier at the Stock Show.
A A Littering Needs To Stop LARIAT NEWSPAPER By: Ashley Salomon Alvarado. North Side would look a lot nicer if students wouldn’t leave trash everywhere. There are students who throw their trash all over the school campus. During lunch they leave their cafeteria food/trays on the floor, outside in the field, inside the buildings, in the stairs where they sit to have lunch. They also don’t throw their trash away. Students need to pick up after themselves. It is ridiculous that high school students still don’t know how to properly throw their trash away. Throwing away trash where it does not belong makes the school campus look dirty and bad. Having trash all over the place makes it seem like students don’t have respect towards the property. They make it seem like they don’t care how it looks. Also having so much trash makes others think no one was ever taught how to clean after themselves. Principal Martinez has provided about forty trash cans. Yet students are too lazy to throw their trash away. They are also not mature enough to think that throwing away trash can be something serious, and there are consequences. Students believe that janitors will clean after their mess. Principal Martinez also said, last year it was the same issue it got to the point where it attracted animals we didn’t want to have around. On a larger scale, littering kills the environment and can cause global warming. Students need to realize that throwing away trash in a proper manner can help our community look a lot nicer, and it can stop the environment from becoming a problem. Another solution is if you see anyone throw trash away tell them to pick it up, or if you see trash on the floor pick it up. Students can solve the problem by talking to one another about how to keep the campus clean and how to properly throw trash away. The consequence will be that students will not go out of the cafeteria to have their lunch.
North Side High School
2211 McKinley Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76164 The Lariat Staff: Jose Monger Santillanes Jesse Olmos Valerie Rabago Ashley Alvarado Salomon
Advisor: Andres Bentley Principal: Antonio Martinez The Lariat is the official publication of North Side High School. As a public forum, we will publish letters to the editor as space allows. Letters must be signed and names may be withheld. Opinion columns represent the opinion of the Lariat Staff Newspaper at North Side High School. The Lariat will not accept advertisements for products or services that are not legally available to students.
FWISD is Fighting Chronic Student Absenteeism A $1.5 million attendance incentive program is in the works. Until then, North Side students have thoughts on motivations that could be used to get students to come to school.
Isaak Rosales - 9th grade “Have longer passing periods.”
Georgina Balderas - 9th grade “They should offer snacks when you get A/B honor roll.”
Azul Gonzalez - 10th grade “More flexibility with our school schedule.”
Julian Ramos - 10th grade “Give students lunch detention when absences aren’t excused.”
Bryan Gutierrez - 11th grade “Have more interesting assemblies.”
Kimberly Gonzalez -11th grade “Teachers should give extra credit to those who have perfect attendance.”
Cynthia Serrano - 12th grade “Be more strict about losing credit.”
Karen Gutierrez - 12th grade “Once a week give the people that come to school longer lunches.”
Student Publication of North Side High School in Fort Worth, TX.