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PANTHER PROWLER Friday October 18, 2013

Issue II

Newbury Park High School

456 N. Reino Rd., Newbury Park, CA 91320

in this issue


Editorial Transgender Rights

Car accident

claims the lives of two alumni Mariam Syed Staff Writer

6-7 Transgender: not easily defined

12 Girls’ Golf undefeated

The aftermath - Emergency responders rush to the accident where the vehicle collided with a stationary tractor. Alumni Aimee Hoff and Michael Hatcher were both pronouced dead at the scene. Ventura County Star/With Permission

On Monday, September 9, a speeding 2005 Infiniti crashed into construction equipment on the side of Potrero Road, killing two passengers, both alumni from NPHS. Aimee Hoff, alumni class of 2008, and Michael Hatcher, alumni class of 2005, were both pronounced dead at the scene after the 11:20 P.M. collision. The two were passengers of Collin Powell, also an NPHS alumni, class of 2008, who was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Another woman in the car survived with minor injuries and was transported to Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center. All passengers in the car were wearing seatbelts when the speeding car slammed into a backhoe on the side of the road, the Ventura County Star reported. According to the Thousand Oaks Acorn, Powell, 23, has been charged with two felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter after first being arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence of alcohol, with an alleged blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15. The accident is currently under investigation to determine if any other factors were involved in the collision, such as the position of the construction equipment. Hoff, 23, was a dedicated member of choir all four years of high school and was a featured soloist in many concerts. She was also involved with the drama and dance departments. “Aimee was a compassionate and caring individual,” said John Sargent, choir director. “She had a big heart, and she always reached out to students that were struggling with various life situations on campus.” After high school, Hoff studied music at Moorpark College, and was involved in many local community plays and musicals. Her parents are now in the process of setting up the Aimee Hoff Memorial Musical Scholarship in her memory. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a senior choir student who demonstrates passion for music. Hatcher, 26, was attending Cal State Northridge at the time of the accident and was seeking a bachelor’s degree in music composition.

Internship Program helps students kickstart careers Courtney Mack Features Editor For many high school students, the idea of choosing a career or a major to pursue is frightening. With so many choices and so little work experience, the decision is difficult and time consuming. In order to help students who are being faced with this tough but important choice, the City of Thousand Oaks created a summer internship program for high school juniors through partnerships with California Lutheran University (CLU) and the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce. Community Internships Training Youth (C.I.T.Y) will provide juniors with job training, 15 to 20 hours of work experience per week at a local business, a workplace mentor, and a business skills class at CLU during a six week period over the summer. The program was proposed by Councilmember Jacqui V. Irwin who modeled it after a similar program in Boston that she says was “extremely beneficial to both businesses and youth in the city and helped to reduce dropout rates and increase youth

engagement.” Nicholas Colangelo, career education director, believes that internships give “students hands on applied skills that help them to understand their career choice in three dimensions - in the fullest sense.” Similarly, Jill Lederer, President and CEO of the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, feels the program will be beneficial to local businesses. “It gives a business owner and executives a window into what students are learning about and what they want their futures to look like,” says Lederer. According to Irwin, any students or businesses who are interested in participating in C.I.T.Y should attend the informational mixer on Nov. 4, 2013 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Civic Arts Plaza Kavli Theater Founder’s Room to learn more about the program and the application process.

news news

2 News in brief Panther Prowler • Sept. 2013 The Prowler • Oct. 18, 20, 2013

Kimmy Ferrante Staff Writer

Online at PPANTHERPROWLER.ORG ANTHERPROWLER.ORG Missed Dancing With The Stars Panthers? Wish you still had the chance to watch it? Then check out the videos of the show on our website,

Grad night decision For the first time ever, seniors will be enjoying their Grad Night experience at Six Flags Magic Mountain, planned for Thursday, June 12, 2014. Seniors will be visiting the park, which will be exclusively open to senior classes around southern California, from 7 p.m. to about 6 in the morning. The decision for Magic Mountain over other amusement parks was due to longer hours and a great deal of features not offered elsewhere. The cost is just over $100 and includes the student’s ticket, dinner, traveling expenses, souvenir picture and a return ticket to Hurricane Harbor.

Fitness Center Opens Doors - Along with the affordable price, the numerous workout machines in Fitness 19 draw in many people who want to exercise. McCall Stone / Prowler

Fitness 19 opens Newbury Park residents looking for a family-friendly work-out center with quality equipment will be pleased with the recently opened Fitness 19 gym, located on Reino Rd. in the Trader Joe’s shopping center. Having opened last month, Fitness 19 offers affordable prices for membership and allows members the freedom to pay month by month, instead of joining annually like other gyms. The gym offers over 11 different types of classes every day of the week, including yoga, Zumba and kickboxing. They feature a variety of cardio equipment, personal training, free weights and a “kid’s room” for children 3-11. The national chain also has other local gyms in Long Beach and Oxnard.

Minimum wage raised Good news for those who are working at minimum wage: after a stagnate rate for the past five years, the California minimum wage rate will be raised from its current $8 to $9 starting July of 2014. Eventually, this will be raised to $10 by the beginning of 2016, and will continue to rise with the rate of inflation. Assemblymember Luis Alejo (a Democrat from Salinas) wrote the bill, which will offer this money not only to union members but to child care workers, as well as protect child care from budget cuts. California has been fortunate in the past with one of the highest minimum wage rates, even higher than that of federal rates. Currently, nine states have a minimum wage rate lower than the federal rate, or have no minimum wage at all. Despite arguments that it will be more difficult for smaller employers to hire workers, the goal is to combat inflation and assist workers in paying their bills and living more financially independent lives.

opinion Panther Prowler • Oct. 18, 2013


TRANSGENDER STUDENTS gain rights through new California law under the School Success and Opportunity Act

transgender students will be allowed to use the restroom and play on the sports teams of the gender they identify with The School Success and Opportunity Act was recently passed by Governor Jerry Brown in August. California is one of the only states with a law of this kind, which allows transgender students to use school bathrooms and play on sports teams of the gender they identify with. Despite growing support for the transgender community, many Americans are still uncomfortable with the idea itself. Even people that support LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights may still feel awkward discussing the topic. It is a symptom of an uninformed society. Because of public misinformation, many parents, teachers, and students continue to feel extremely uncertain about the new law and its potential for abuse. Not suprisingly, opposition has come from Frank Schubert, who is leading a new charge backed by the National Organization for Marriage. Schubert is the same man who led and lost the fight against gay marriage in California through Proposition 8, which was recently deemed unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. Schubert and those who support him now hope to gain enough signatures to stop the newly passed transgender law from going into effect in January, by triggering a public vote on the issue. Schubert and many like him argue that such a law will allow for abuse such as a non-transgender student using the law for inappropriate behavior. However, the reality is that that this will not be a problem. Transgender students are encouraged to talk with counselors before effectively switching genders, and school administrators will be aware of those students for which extenuating circumstances need to be taken into account. While it’s true that issues with the law will undoubtedly arise, both from transgender students and concerned parents, these students, who already feel uncomfortable in their own skin, need protection from discrimination. Bathrooms are just one part of the problems that such students face everyday. The law will also let transgender students play on the sports team as the gender they identify, rather than forcing them to sit on the sidelines. Any protection is better than none, and in the end, the transgender movement will need help from both sides -- both proponents and opponents -- in order to make school a safe place for transgender students. As with many other divisive issues facing the nation, many of the concerns expressed about transgender rights stem from misinformation or a lack of information in the first place. Unfortunately, even though the transgender community has made major strides -- most notably with the crowning of the first ever transgender homecoming queen in California, Cassidy Lynn Campbell -- the country is currently focusing on the LG and B rather than the T, which is why Campbell was still subjected to a large amount of persecution from her peers. Overall, despite the transgender rights movement being one of the quietest and least represented of any struggle for equality, it has been in the works for centuries. It was present at the 1969 Stonewall Riots. It was even there during the Civil War. The struggle has been alive since the founding of our country. Those who have fought and those who will continue to fight to be accepted for who they truly are have not always been on the winning side of the argument. That’s why there is still a great need for support from the general public. In the meantime, the transgender community has made major advances in the movement for social acceptance, and there is no reason to turn back now.


Sports Editors Preston Hill Kishen Majithia

Copy Editors Liam Brown Grace O’Toole

Opinion Editors Courtney Brousseau Dana Foley

Ad Managers Justin Buchanan Business / Victoria Koi

Photographers Chief / McCall Stone Samantha Meyer

Entertainment Editors Liam Brown Nathan Hickling

Online Editors Courtney Brousseau Mariam Syed

because of their gender identity

750,000 transgender people in the United States

which is roughly the population of


2013-2014 staff

News Editors Victoria Koi Nevnit Gill

reported being bullied or assaulted

a recent study found there may be as many as

PANTHER PROWLER Editors-in-Chief Patrick Rewers Cassie Stephenson

of transgender students have

Features Editors Justine Sizemore Courtney Mack DPS / Grace O’Toole Staff Writers Mariam Syed Raevyn Walker Kimmy Ferrante Samantha Meyer Shreya Chattopadhyay

The Panther Prowler is the official publication of Newbury Park High School, and is created and produced by the Advanced Journalism students. The newspaper is funded by advertisements from local companies. The Panther Prowler staff makes all final decisions on information published in its newspaper, its website and its publishing in other social medias. While Mrs. Michelle Saremi advises the Advanced Journalism students, the staff is solely responsible for what is printed. The Panther Prowler is published every three weeks throughout the school year by American Foothill Publishing Co. For advertisement information, visit The Panther Prowler is accepting letters to the editor. To submit your feedback, please provide your full name, email and a letter about 300 words in length. Letters are subject to discretion and editing for taste, length and libel. Letters can be submitted to the email posted below.

Newbury Park High School 456 North Reino Road, Newbury Park, California 91320 (805) 498-3676 x 1109

Adviser Michelle Saremi


opinion Panther Prowler • Oct. 18, 2013


404 Error:

Dispensing Disappointment Samantha Meyer/ Photographer

Patience Not Found

Shreya Chattopadhyay Staff Writer “*Insert Expletive*! I totally forgot Yahoo Mail doesn’t work on the school computers. That’s just great. How am I supposed to print this now?” While working on the computers in the school library, I’ve heard countless similar exclamations. Indeed, the groans students emit when a website is blocked are only slightly less frequent than the sounds of keys being tapped and mouses being clicked as they work on the computers. The message “Sorry, this page is not currently accessible because….” pops up again and again and again. The school blocks all websites that are for social networking, forums, or blogs, along with sites classified as “adult”. This is, I assume, meant for the protection of the students, but it isn’t serving its purpose and ends up just getting in the way of actual, academic work. For example, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail are blocked on school computers as forums, but Gmail is perfectly free to use. This is probably because of features such as Yahoo

Messenger -- but then again, Gmail has a chat feature, too, and that is simply disabled at school. Why are the other popular email sites blocked completely? This is a problem mainly because email is an important part of student life, especially at this school. Teachers email students lecture notes to print out, students apply for positions using their emails, and a huge number of students email their work to themselves so they can work on it at school or simply just to print it out. Communication between students and their counselors, other than by appointments, is limited to -- you guessed it -- email. The fact that Yahoo and Hotmail are blocked makes it much harder for kids with those email IDs to make use of the technology that is so integral to the modern-day school experience. They are forced to create Gmails, or are unable to use their emails at school. Another problem is that many of the blocked websites are useful educational tools, Wikipedia being a prime example. While it isn’t accepted as a credible source for research,

it is a useful place to kickstart, especially because the information on the site is verified and edited by experts. Most Wikipedia pages cite credible sources that are great resources for research, and may be difficult to find without spending eons of time. Even if the sources aren’t used, Wikipedia is a good place to learn a little background information on whatever is being researched, giving students a better idea of what they are looking for when they start looking for sources. The fact that there is a treasure trove of information that is blocked from us just does not make sense. Some things, though, should be blocked and are not. Google Images will display everything that falls under the category being searched, whether the actual website the image is hosted on is blocked or not -- the picture will show up regardless. Those are the kinds of things that kids need to be protected from at school, not sites like Hotmail and Wikipedia that have the potential to be valuable to the student experience.

Raevyn Walker/ Prowler

Courtney Mack Features Editor Clothing is not just a piece of cloth someone puts on their body. What is on that person is only a part of their body. The clothing choice shows who that person really is and how they’re really feeling inside. Take going to a fancy restaurant, for example. No one is going to walk into homecoming wearing their gym shorts and panther shirt. This would be a time to break out the greatest dress or best-looking pants and shirt owned. If the wardrobe has only hideous clothing or threads that don’t fit the occasion, then go out and buy something new. Try going to Forever 21 or Hot Topic; those places are both fun to go to and fashionably ready. Or if that’s not an interest, hit up the thrift store. It may sound “mainstream” but there may be some article of clothing there fitting the needs of an upcoming event. Plus, it’s probably cheaper than Urban Outfitters. Though you don’t want to spend the “high prices” at the popular stores and don’t want to go thrifting, Ross and TJ Maxx have awesome clothes for next to nothing. Some may claim that stores with low

prices mean there is no quality at all in the clothing and nothing is in style there, but a thrift store is all the rage. What people find in thrift stores are just as good at the clothes at a fancy store. You could only find these threads on rare occasions. If it’s a half-and-half day -- just feeling lazy, but not really -- wearing sweats and a nice t-shirt can always be pulled off. Jeans are also an option. There are all types of jeans out there from skinny to bell bottoms. Why not try some on and walk around in them for a day, preferably without sagging. Sagging of the skinny jeans has no point at all. That just can’t be comfortable. Though if it’s just a lazy day when nothing’s going right and laziness takes over, dressing in sweatpants and a baggy sweatshirt is always an option, and why not support the school by wear panther clothing as well? It’s not just for those occasional spirit Fridays. For lazy clothes you can try the Gap. Although there are places that no one would shop. These are the places with really tight, impossible-to-fit-in clothing, even if

you’re a size one. There are also stores that have super high prices but do huge sales every day. These sales would be the normal prices at stores like Papaya. These are the facilities that students and everyday people try to avoid because the price tag is so unaffordable. Not many people in this day and age have the kind of money to throw around on a thousanddollar vest, unless that certain person has millions of billions of dollars in their pockets. There are also ways of creating new fashionable, one of a kind clothing by taking the old ugly clothes that were collected five years before and turning them into something new and beautiful. An old shirt for girls can be revived and old pants for boys can be completely renewed. No matter what is chosen, keep in mind: whichever style of clothing is selected, it’s a good start to a great day. Even if it’s not the most fashionable, if it fits and makes the person wearing it feel better about themselves, then the designer has done their job, and the buyer has found a great item to add to their closet. Happy shopping.

Dana Foley Opinion Editor As explained in my middle school science class, the difference between humans and other creatures is our ability to use and create tools. By this logic, if we can build an artificial heart valve, clone a sheep, and send a space probe beyond the solar system then we should have a way to build a vending machine that can properly dispense the Cheetos out of G5, at least without the need to ask that stranger to lend a helping foot. In the most overrated movie in cinema history, Forrest Gump explains “life is like a box of chocolates.” I like to think of it as “life is like a vending machine full of Flaming Hot Cheetos”. Like your average toddler, my first vending machine encounter began after a long day of naps and cookies at day care. It was only later that I realized that vending machines could be categorized as one of life’s cruelest heartbreaks, much like the death of your first goldfish, Jeffrey (RIP 2005-2005). As a preschooler, I would often find my crisp one-dollar bill my mom had given me to disappear. With no candy in return, I would stare longingly at the Skittles I desired and think to myself, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” until a comforting hand of a parent volunteer would rest upon my slumping shoulders: “Tough break kid”. Although I was confused as to why my candy wouldn’t want to come out and be consumed in my five year old mouth, I soon realized I had just introduced myself to one of life’s top con artists of the world, aside from its cousin the skill crane. But as I got older and gained wisdom in vending machine justice, I learned to stand up to bullies, even the mechanical kind, who continually stole my lunch money and my only sense of pride left. No longer sustaining myself on Skittles, I thrived on the two main vending machine food groups located in your average high school; Doritos and Cheetos. Although I’ll admit that as a freshman last year, I felt intimidated when the machine denied my dollar or mocked me with a miss-dispense. As a line of vicious upper classman would gather behind me, I would feel as if I had no choice but to shuffle away in shame as the snack-less freshman whose baked Doritos were about to be taken. Now neither a toddler nor a freshman, this year I have learned to stand up to snack failure. Confronted by day 9 of the vending machine shutdown of 2013, some might blame Obama, while others may fault the Republicans or even the Tea Party. As for me, I have learned to demand snack justice and freedom of hunger. When mocked yet again by a machine, I now summon my team of Snack Avengers waiting in line behind me. With kicks, punches, and a lack of tights, my team of cape-less rescuers free my dangling Doritos in distress. While a bag of snacks may seem a small victory, no half-empty bag of cheesy delight will ever taste so priceless.

features Panther Prowler • Oct. 18, 2013


Canines on Campus Dana Foley and Kimmy Ferrante Opinion Editor and Staff Writer

Lauren Heller, senior, trains service dog

Service dog aids deaf ASL teacher Not many students can say that their teacher’s assistant is not another student, but a trained canine. American Sign Language teacher Sonia Wilson knows the rewards of having her own service dog with her in the classroom, whether it be to assist her or her

Samantha Meyer / Prowler

When arriving to school in the morning, students are greeted by many familiar sights. Whether it is their best friend, or the familiar ringing of the bell, nothing is too out of place. That is, unless one encounters Lauren Heller, senior. For Lauren Heller, it is just another normal school day with her service dog in training, Kevin. With a backpack in one hand and a leash in the other, Lauren proceeds with her school day just as any other student would. Last year, Lauren Heller surprised students by bringing her 12-week-old guide dog Kevin to school in order to train. Although this was not Heller’s first experience with training a service dog, this was the first time she was the lead trainer. In order to complete a service dog’s training, the dog must follow the trainer’s instructions, even in a high-distraction environment such as school. Heller inherited her interest in training service dogs through her mother’s passion for volunteering with canines. To Heller, growing up with dogs around her house was simply having another friend to lean on. “School was a great experience for him because he had to sit with me for an extended amount of time,” said Heller, reflecting upon her past year with Kevin. Although

Kevin found rare struggles sitting through long class sessions, Heller hopes for Kevin to return to campus to complete his training. Not all dogs are able to successfully complete this rigorous training; some dogs prove to be better suited as guide dogs. Although the dog has the main responsibility of learning, the trainer must absorb just as much as the service animal. “It really is an enjoyable experience, and it makes a difference for blind people, so it definitely means a lot to me knowing I’m helping,” said Heller. One of the challenges that comes with this work is having to say goodbye to the dogs when they graduate. Although Heller has been fortunate to keep most of her beloved trainees, some dogs go on to be placed in different roles where they are needed. While Kevin’s service career has moved into other areas, Heller still hopes to train more service dogs in the future, and bring a new face to campus.

students. Hearing-or seeing-impaired people do not always opt for having a service dog to be a part of their lives, but instead use technology to assist them in everyday life. Wilson finds using technology alongside her companion Stacy, works best for her, for the connection with animals is something irreplaceable and extremely valuable. “(I can) feel her alertness, her body language tells me everything,” she said. Stacy knows “signs” Wilson gives her, alerts her when people are in the room, she hears sirens, or everyday things such as the sound of the microwave. “(It is) amazing animals can do that,” she said, very impressed and appreciative of Stacy’s abilities. Students in Wilson’s class are fond of Stacy, as Annie Davis, a senior in her class explains, “It’s really different having a dog in the classroom. It allows you to understand (and) be in a deaf culture.” Because Stacy is only 4 years old, she is still learning to work in new environments, so students must be aware and respectful that Stacy is learning as well. “The kids really respect her when she is working,” Wilson said, and “they enjoy having her around.” For Stacy, life as a service dog is extremely enjoyable and rewarding. The sweet canine takes her job seriously, and stays attentive to her owner’s instructions. When she is finished with her work, she becomes just another laid back and loving yellow Labrador.

Kathy Barker / With Permission

Man’s best friend - (Above) Sonia Wilson, American Sign Language teacher, smiles along side her service dog, Stacy. (Below) As a young puppy, Kevin began his service training with Lauren Heller last year at a mere 12 weeks of age.

Lauren Heller / With Permission

things you did not know about thin

Rick Bradley R

American Government and Anthropology Teacher

Mariam Syed Staff Writer

Worked as a Union plumber/ steamfitter for 14 years

In 1994-1995, he was one of the plumbers who helped build the Getty Museum

Has been to 35 professional baseball parks throughout the United States

Voted most likely to be a Universal Studios tour guide in high school

Fake - married actress Heather Graham at a marriage booth at a Mardi Gras dance

DPS Panther Prowler • Oct. 18, 2013

Transgender: noun; a person who may act, feel, think, look, or identify differently from the gender they were assigned at birth

the law

Panther Prowler • Oct. 18, 2013 Justine Sizemore Features Editor


As of Jan. 1, 2014, the School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266) which Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Aug. 12 of this year, will go into effect, granting transgender students the right to use school facilities associated with the gender with which they identify. “I don’t anticipate huge sweeping changes,” Principal Athol Wong said. “We have a history of having a pretty good relationship with students, at least to my knowledge, when we have a student who’s dealing with identity issues.” The law explicitly states, “A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.” To parents who expressed concern regarding those who might abuse this privilege, Wong says the chance of this happening is low and any incident would be dealt with appropriately by administration. “Because our counselors have good relationships with our students, I don’t worry about somebody coming in and just making some illegitimate claim that he or she is now transgender. We would deal with that if it did happen but I don’t see that happening,” Wong said. “I think generally speaking we understand the legitimate and serious issues that students have. We do what we can to make sure that everybody is accommodated without putting anybody at risk of being uncomfortable.”

Liam Brown Copy Editor

the staff’s perspective



Teachers and administrators are also reacting to the many struggles faced by the school’s transgender community. Lucia Lemieux, English teacher and adviser of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club, says she was first introduced to transgender challenges because of a student in her class who identified as transgender. “When I first was exposed to a student that had a transgender (identity), I found that it didn’t surprise me,” she said. “I just felt sad that I didn’t know more about it. So I did a little bit of research and … he made me very aware of some of the (challenges) that never would have occurred to me.” Such challenges include transgender students being able to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as. Lemieux recommends transgender students to go to administrators or teachers they trust and get in touch with them about how to deal with these challenges. Lemieux also commented on the recent rise of transgender stories being covered in the media, including H. Adam Ackley, a transgender professor at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA, who was asked to step down after coming out. “(The media can) at least expose (people) to the fact that there are people who walk in difficult shoes sometimes, and that they need our understanding, our love, our tolerance, and our respect,” Lemieux said. “Respect is something that has to be given to everyone … for us to be a fruitful world.” Lemieux also offered advice to those students who may be dealing with gender identity challenges. “Honor your voice inside, honor who you are, be the best person you can be, no matter what anyone says to you,” she said. “Find a community of people at your school that will love you for who you are.” During the Future Freshman Orientation at the end of the previous school year, Athol Wong, principal, brought about an emphasis on accepting others. “I feel every student should be comfortable in his or her skin,” said Wong. While some students may be less tolerant than others, Wong encouraged the school to be “tolerant of others, despite their opinions”, and expects the students to accept everyone around them.

Do you support the new law allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with?






undecided *108 students participated in this survey.

words to know transgender gender identity gender fluidity

gender expression

of or relating to people who have a sexual identity that is not clearly male or clearly female what gender individuals perceive themselves as and what they call themselves not feeling confined by restrictive boundaries of stereotypical expectations of girls or boys the ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, and other forms of presentation (

Samantha Meyer / Prowler

not easily defined.

Use the right pronouns

Nevnit Gill News Editor Samantha Meyer Staff Writer Adrian Vincent*, freshman, began to consider changing his sex from female to male in the fourth grade. It was in that year that he discovered the term that described how he felt all his life: transgender. “I always knew, but I found out the term and started researching it more, (and thought), ‘Oh, I can actually do something about this,’ instead of, ‘Oh, I’m stuck with this (gender)’,” he said. Although his physical appearance will eventually change further, more than the short hair and masculine wardrobe he has adopted already, Vincent knows that on the inside he will still be the same individual. However, he understands that many people may not share the same outlook. “A lot of people have this phobia that once you start (taking testosterone), and start transitioning, that you’re just going to become some completely different person and no one’s going to know you anymore,” Vincent said. “(They are afraid) they’ll have to re-learn who you are, or the thought absolutely terrifies them and they don’t want to be near you.” It is partially because of this stigma that Vincent chose to keep his gender preference to himself for almost three years until he finally came out to the majority of his friends in seventh grade. “For me, (when Vincent came out) I just thought ‘This is my best friend, and I’ve known (him) forever … will (he) be the same person (he) always has been?’” said Araceli Smith*, freshman, who has known Vincent since kindergarten. “But then I realized ‘Well, Adrian is my best friend, and (he’s) never leaving me.’” Though he found support in friends like Smith, some remain less accepting of the idea that Vincent now wishes to be considered male. “Some of my friends don’t use pronouns that I wish that they would use,” he explained.

Vincent decided to come out to his mother more than two years after telling his friends, but refrained from discussing his decision with his father until just one month ago, due to his father’s religious beliefs. “My mom ratted me out to my dad,” Vincent said. “She called him and said, ‘(Adrian) wants to tell you something.’ So he was like, ‘What?’ And she said, ‘It’s something important.’” Vincent was reading his favorite webcomic when his father came into his room, incorrectly suspecting that Vincent was a lesbian. “He just sat in my room while I was reading, and said, ‘Is there something you want to tell me?’” He waited until Vincent finally explained to him what he already told his mother: he is transgender. Today, his father is attempting to consult a physician to assist with the medical part of the transition. “They’ve all been really accepting,” Vincent said of his parents’ overall reaction. However, not all students confronting gender identity have been so fortunate. Stellan Egner*, a sophomore who considers himself to be gender fluid, a person who identifies as neither female nor male, was met with much less support. “I tried to talk to (my parents) about it once but they didn’t really listen. They just gave me the ‘it’s a phase’ crap ... but it’s not a phase, it’s more like a series of phases that never end,” stated Egner. “It’s really hard for the parents, because they’re losing a son or a daughter. A lot of planning goes into that when they’re born, and (changing gender) kind of throws a wrench in the plan,” stated Christy Quigg, director of counselling at the James Cosper Stepping Stone Foundation in Ventura County. “Then again, they’re also

gaining a son or a daughter.” The foundation is dedicated to helping people involved in the LGBTQ community, especially transgenders. Quigg helps transgender individuals suffering from acceptance issues by trying to get their family involved with the entire gender transitioning process. Quigg tries to find supporters in the family, and focuses on the supporters to encourage the transitioner through the process. They get three to four calls a day asking for help, half of which are from transgender people. 75% of their clients are transgender, and about 50% of those clients are transgender students, though the foundation serves people from ages 14 to 60. According to Quigg, Ventura County currently has the largest transgender community in Southern United States. While Vincent has felt out of place within his own body all his life, he warns that making the decision to truly become transgender should not be taken lightly. “I would say you know immediately (if you’re transgender). It’s just a thing where if you’re doubting it, you’re unsure and scared and you just have to sit down and question if this is what you want and if this is who you are. If you’re not sure, don’t do it, because it’s a psychological and physical process that can push away a lot of people from you, so you have to be completely positive,” Vincent advised. Despite the difficulties Vincent continues to face, he has come to terms with his transition: “I’m just doing this for myself, because this is what I need for me. I don’t care what other people think. It’s not something I want to do. I have to do it,” he said. *names changed upon request


features Panther Prowler • Oct. 18, 2013


Colby Mainard/Sophomore

Matthew Green / Math

1What year was Newbury Park

8What is the highest selling

High School first opened?

single ever?

Mainard: 1968 Green: 1965 Answer: 1967

Mainard:“Thriller” by Michael Jackson Green: “Thriller” by Michael Jackson Answer: Bing Crosby, White Christmas

This school was founded in 1967, as stated on the NPHS website that most of us use everyday. But, Colby was extremely close, and I’m nice, so the point goes to Colby.



Who says Christmas tunes can’t compare to pop legends?

7Number one on the NY Times

2Who is the richest woman in

bestseller list? (Fiction, Week of Oct. 6)

the world?

Mainard: Oprah Winfrey Green: Melinda Gates Answer: Christy Walton Photo by Samantha Meyer

As many cars as Winfrey can give away and no matter how smart Gates was to marry the personification of wealth, neither of the two can surpass the female superpower, the owner of Walmart.

Mainard: Larklight by Philip Reeve Green: 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James Answer: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King Perfectly written for October, the new Stephen King thriller tops both 50 Shades of Grey, which happens to still be in the top 25 best sellers, and Larklight, which never was.

Raevyn Walker Staff Writer

3What is the population of United States of America?

4 What is the richest country in 5Name the first three presidents 6 How many people attend this the world per capita?

(in order)?


Mainard: 300 Million Green: 380 Million Answer: 314 Million

Mainard: America Green: Monaco Answer: Qatar

Mainard: 2,500 Green: 2,600 Answer: 2,500

Again, with a close answer. Colby recieves this point, Mr. Green. So sorry for your loss.

Per capita, the country of Qatar would be considered almost two times as wealthy as America.

Mainard: Washington, Adams, Lincoln Green: Washington, Adams, Jefferson Answer: Washington, Adams, Jefferson Elected 60 years before Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson was the third president of America.

Fact: there are a lot of students here, sometimes more than it seems.

IT’S A TIE! FHA-HERO builds leadership in students Kimmy Farrante Staff Writer Victoria Koi News Editor A student taking Foods 1 & 2 or Culinary Arts may not expect to be enrolled in a program that would help to develop leadership, individual and group involvement and career development, but the Future Homemakers of America - Home Economics Related Occupations organization is that and more. FHAHERO is a career technical student organization, for students enrolled in home economics careers and technology classes, and is affiliated at the national level with FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America). The school chapter is a part of Region 9, which includes Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, and competes annually at region, state and national levels.

Haley Taggart, sophomore and vice president of Newbury Park’s chapter, emphasized that being a part of FHA-HERO is more than just taking a food class. “It’s building new leaders for tomorrow”. While attending field trips and competitions, they are “not just having fun but creating our future,” she said. At competitions, each student competes in a field, whether it be cooking, fashion design, or interior design. “(There are) all different activities and competitions you can try out for your (own) fields,” Taggart explains. Giving students these opportunities broadens their personal skills and opens their eyes to an entire new field of career choices. Both Taggart and president Paola Ortiz,

seniors, are examples of students who have thoroughly benefited from the program. Taggart has found she wants to become an economics teacher, while Ortiz said she has learned “speaking skills as well as personal growth, (and) as a competitor. I’ve learned a lot of time management skills,” all of which will help her with running the chapter this year. Throughout the year, the chapter is involved, on and off campus. To fulfill one of the FHAHERO project goals for the year (encouraging teen driver safety) they are planning on doing a teen driver safety week, Taggart said. The NPHS chapter is also looking towards joining the rest of region at their meetings on Oct. 19 and Feb. 22 which will be held on campus.

Samantha Meyer/Prowler

A Celebration of Leadership - At the Officer and Member Installation, members spoke about their past acomplishments while discussing future plans and goals.

entertainment Panther Prowler • Oct. 18, 2013

Movie Review : Gravity


Liam Brown Entertainment Editor

Trapped in Space- In “Gravity”, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play two astronauts stranded in space, who must work together in order to survive. The film is directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who previously helmed the critically acclaimed “Children of Men” and co-wrote this script with his son Jonas. Nathan Hickling/Prowler

Disclaimer: There are no words in the English language to fully get across the experience of Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity”. I say “experience” because this movie is more than just sitting in a theater and eating popcorn, watching the story of astronauts Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) stranded in space. For the filmmakers, this movie was an experience as well -- it was more than filming actors on camera. Cuaron waited four years to make the movie because it was so ambitious. The complicated technology required to film did not exist until James Cameron’s “Avatar”. The filmmakers used a meticulous system involving shooting the actors’ faces and creating everything else digitally, including matching the light on their faces to the environment they were in during a particular scene, be it light or dark. One thing is certain: this is Sandra Bullock’s movie. Her performance is incredible, devastating, unequalled -- definitely the best of her career. She also played a large part in the production of the film, reviewing the script (co-written by Alfonso Cuaron and

his son Jonas Cuaron), and focusing on her character’s breathing, a crucial aspect of the performance. Cameron stated that Bullock’s preparation and work during production is more impressive than the technology of the film, and it shows. Since most of the movie takes place in space, these scenes naturally provide some beautiful vistas. The film’s score by Steven Price is subtle yet powerful, with individual instruments coming in through the theater speakers to create intense compositions. Cuaron’s utilization of long takes (the opening shot is a full 17-minute long sequence) create tension not because of quick cuts or fancy editing. Instead, he lets his actors work with an incredible script, and they work excellently. “Gravity” is a movie that each audience member will experience differently. It’s an individual journey rather than a large group-driven film. I’m looking back on last year’s “Argo”, another great film which came out around the same time, and if what we can expect from Warner Bros. every fall is on par with the two, I’m happy.

Student Voices: What are your thoughts on

iOS 7?

Preston Hill Sports Editor

I think iOS7 was a beautiful development by Apple. The one downside is [that] the appearance looks a bit childish, but hey: the performance is where it needs to be.

I like it because it’s quicker and it looks more appealing.

- Sarah Whitwell / Freshman

- Nathaniel Smith / Junior

Preston Hill / Prowler

iOS7 drains your battery, but other than that it is great. - Chasen Colter / Sophomore

“I dont have it, I refuse to have it!

- Talia Winston / Senior


entertainment Panther Prowler • Oct. 18, 2013

Back in time: dances that rocked the decades Shreya Chattopadhyay Staff Writer

At a school dance in the 1950s, songs by singers like Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry would fill up the room. The dancing was still swing dancebased (coming from Jazz swing music), and one of the most popular dances was the “Lindy Hop” -a partner dance that was a mixture of jazz, tap, and other styles-, also called the jitterbug or the boogie-woogie. Boys wore collared shirts with dress pants, and girls wore dresses that had sleeves and went below the knee, poodle skirts, or “scoop neck shirts”.

The 1990s: While Madonna and MJ still had a presence, many of the popular dance songs came from newer artists like the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” and Aqua’s “Barbie Girl”. The Macarena, released in 1996, became an enduring dance craze. Other dances included the running man (moving the legs in and out like a butterfly) and “Da Dip” (“scooping” of the pelvis).

Among the well-known songs of the 1960s were Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl” and The Hollies, “Carrie Anne”, not to mention the music on the Beatles’ White Album, released in 1968. Girls wore pencil skirts and dresses slightly before the knee, until the mid-60s with the arrival of the miniskirt. Boys often wore bellbottoms and button down shirts. Popular dances included the Monster Mash and the Twist.

Music in the 1970s was wideranging and diverse. From The 5th Dimension’s “(Last Night) I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All” to Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” and “Crocodile Rock”, the sounds of ballads and snappier songs would’ve filled the room. Some of the hit dances from the 70s are still done today, the most well-known being the YMCA. Others included the bump dance, the Hustle, and the funky chicken.

The 2000s: Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, Rob Thomas, and Beyoncé were all dance song chart toppers with hits such as Stefani’s “What You Waiting For?” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”. Well known dance-crazes include the Soulja Boy, the Singe Ladies dance, made popular with the song’s music video, and the dougie.

Ah, the era of Michael Jackson. Chart-toppers in the 1980s included “Billie Jean” and “Beat It”, along songs from other wellknown artists like Madonna’s “Crazy for You” and “Material Girl”, Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name”, and Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All”. As the height of Michael Jackson’s popularity, the moon walk was a prominent dance in the 80s. Along with it came the electric slide, the worm, and the sprinkler.

Chilling the night awaywhile some dance with their friends, other tudents head outdoors to the refreshment area, where they can hang out and chat with their friends if they wanted a break from dancing. Other students (Samantha Meyer / Prowler)



Panther Prowler • Oct. 18, 2013

Girls Golf: On par for league championship Girls golf is undefeated into October, optimistic for the future. Kishen Majithia Sports Editor The Newbury Park girl’s golf team is a on a stellar run to start the season. It is a run that has seen the team rack up win after win, allowing them to stand undefeated so far in league play. Sisters Madison and Skyler Wood, freshmen, have were both named as Athletes of the Month for their significant contributions. Tiffany Huang, senior and captain of the team, is pleasantly surprised by the way the season has gone. “I knew we were going to be good, but I had no idea we were going to be undefeated at this point,” she said. Huang emphasized the importance of keeping the team focused, stating that they all “have a mindset which allows them to play (their) best in every match, no matter the weather or the mood.” She added that the team’s togetherness has been key to their production on the course as well. “All of us get along with each other really well. There are no cliques, and we are all strongly connected with one another.” Coach Nori Parvin does not think complacency will be an issue with the team. “Each day is different, and the team knows what is expected from them in order to continue being successful,” she said. When asked how the team manages to stay so focused, Parvin explained, “We have four seniors, four juniors, three sophomores, and five freshmen. The girls McCall Stone / Prowler all get along well. There are times when we must stay

focused and work hard on the golf course, and there are other times when we can get together for ice cream or get some French fries after a practice or match.” Parvin also praised the team’s enthusiasm towards continuing to learn and improve on the course. “We are very pleased that the team has been so successful and continues to work hard individually on their golf skills that we practice at Los Robles Greens,” she said. Both Huang and Parvin agree that each member has been important to the team’s success. “We stay motivated through each other,” Huang said.

Girls Golf SCORECARD 9/3 *Calabasas High School W 234-282 9/4 *Simi Valley High School W 208-258 9/10 *Westlake High School W 207-227 9/11 *Agoura High School W 206-269 9/17 *Moorpark High School W 221-258 9/18 *Royal High School W 229-NS 9/19 Adolfo Camarillo High School W 212-243 9/24 * Thousand Oaks High School W 211-237 9/26 * Calabasas High School W 218-255 10/1 * Simi Valley High School W 212-NS

On the green - Margeaux Jones (above) makes a put, while Brooke Begg (far left) practices her swing. McCall Stone/ Prowler

Teens and faculty use martial arts to stay healthy Grace O’Toole DPS Editor Karate, or the “way of the empty hand,” is just one of the many different branches of martial arts. Even within karate itself, there are a multitude of forms that emphasize a variance of upper body, lower body, and other factors within the specific forms.

Mel Pralgo Mel Pralgo, English teacher, owns and runs Conejo Family Karate. Pralgo has a 6th degree black belt, and is trained in traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate. He trained in Japan and later in the United States until 1993, when he established his own school in Thousand Oaks. Throughout his years of teaching, Pralgo has only seen a few of his karate students come through the school. “They tend to move on. It’s hard to keep students once they reach high school, unless they’re really serious about the training,” Pralgo said.

Derick Anderson One such dedicated student is senior Derick Anderson. Anderson practices Goju Ryu Karate, a form which places equal

importance on the upper and lower body. Anderson began training at Conejo Family Karate when he was eleven years old. Over six years later, he remains with the studio, going to annual inter-dojo competitions and regularly practicing every other day. “I could go 10, 12 hours a week if I wanted to, but I don’t have the time … I would like to though,” Anderson said. According to Anderson, the school focuses more on form and the performance of karate itself rather than competing. He goes on to explain that most of the karate hotspots are on the East Coast, leaving relatively little opportunity to compete in this area. Growing up with karate has had a huge impact on Anderson. When asked how he would be different without the sport in his life, he said that “it’s hard to say, I’ve grown up basically my entire adolescence with karate. How could I say how I would be without karate?” Nevertheless, Anderson believes the sport has given him more confidence and kept him in shape. Pralgo adds Practicing an art form - A student at Conejo Family Karate that in today’s world, karate is “a great tool for development of stands ready for action. Teacher Mel Pralgo founded the school in 1993. Mel Pralgo/With Permission building a healthy mind and body.”


sports Panther Prowler • Oct. 18, 2013

McLane Martin

Justine Sizemore Features Editor

is honored by CIF

Collecting Accolades - McLane Martin, senior, is awarded the CIF SS Champions for Character Jim Staunton Commissioner’s Award on the Queen Mary on September 30. Martin is an athletic trainer for Newbury Park High School. McLane Martin / With Permission

McLane Martin, senior, was presented with the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section Champions for Character Jim Staunton Commissioner’s Award at an honorary dinner held aboard the Queen Mary on Sept. 30. The award recognizes excellence of performance and character in athletes both on and off the field. This honor is especially meaningful to Martin, who, unlike the traditional recipients of the award, is not an athlete herself, but an athletic trainer who has dedicated hours of hard work to the program tending to injuries and ensuring the well being of her team. “Mr. Berlin nominated me for the award, and then I was selected by the CIF Committee on Ethics. I am so honored that Mr. Berlin would choose to nominate me for this award … because he gives more than anyone to athletics at NP,” Martin said. “Knowing that one of your biggest role models thinks so much of you is a really amazing feeling. I’m just glad I can make him and all the coaches, administrators and athletes who support my work proud.” Larry Berlin, Athletics Director, specifically verified with CIF whether it would be acceptable to nominate an athletic trainer for the award before making his submission. He explained that the athletic trainers put in hours of work and “nobody recognizes them.” “They’re out there in the rain with soccer. It doesn’t matter what the temperature or the conditions are,” Berlin said. “They would tend to the varsity (team) and then varsity would go in. It would be 105 degrees.

The JV ( Junior Varsity) would come out; the JV would go in. They’d tend to the freshmen. So even the players get a break but (the athletic trainers) don’t.” Martin’s passion for athletic training began four years ago, when she first entered the program the summer leading into her freshman year. “Coming from homeschooling before I started 9th (grade), I fell in love very fast and I’ve never slowed down,” Martin said. “I love the fact that I’ve had so many mentors who are continuously teaching me to be better at what I do. To have someone like Mr. Soury, who runs the program, to guide me and teach me is a huge blessing.” Martin’s devotion to the athletics program is demonstrated by the amount of time and effort she dedicates to her position. “She has done a lot of the work for the trainers. She was out there, if you look at the write-up, from eight in the morning until five in the afternoon,” Berlin said. Martin is currently applying to colleges with the intension of pursuing athletic training as a career. She aspires one day to become the head athletic trainer for a professional sports team. “I’d have to say my favorite part is when you’re there to evaluate an injury right when it happens,” Martin said. “Then having the ability to care for and rehabilitate that injury; and one week, one month or even one year later when that athlete is back out there performing again and doing what they love, knowing you were a part of that, I believe, is the greatest feeling in the whole world.”

Junior Matthew Matlock breaks school rushing record Preston Hill Sports Editor

Every fall, there is an individual that manages to capture the attention of the entire football team, school and town. This year, that person is junior running back Matt Matlock. Matlock has assumed the role as the Panthers’ lead offensive ball carrier, taking most of the carries; Matlock has rushed for almost 1,000 yards in six games and scored eleven touchdowns. Playing on varsity his sophomore year, Matlock shared snapshots with since-graduated running back Austin de Maille. The extra year gave Matlock an advantage over first-year varsity players. “He played as a sophomore on varsity last year. For most players, this is their first year on versity. So even though he is a junior, he’s like a veteran…” said Gary Fabricius, head football coach. It is still early on in the season, but Matlock has already shattered school rushing records and is on pace to break others. In the third game of the season against Agoura, Matlock had 33 carries and rushed for 347 yards, thus breaking the previous school record of 310 yards. Despite all this, Matlock remains humble.

“I credit all my success to my coaches and teammates,” said Matlock. “It was a true team effort. The O-line (offensive line) did a great job blocking and the receivers also made some key blocks.” A key part of coaching in any sport is to prepare the players for what they might encounter from an opponent when game time comes. “The coaches had a huge influence on our performance that game. Agoura was a good team but our coaches did a great job in preparing us for them.” While the honor and prestige of holding a record at Newbury Park High School is something he is proud of, Matlock doesn’t put records over his teammates and their goals of winning games. “It’s definitely possible that we could break the record (the rushing record most recently beat) in the future, but the success of the team is my main priority,” Matlock said. It is this “team first” mindset and skill set mixed with the preparations made by teammates and coaches that give Matt Matlock the ability to put up the numbers that he does.

“Winning games is more important than breaking records.” -Matthew Matlock McCall Stone/Prowler

Panther Prowler: 10.18.13