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a National Blue Ribbon, A+ school


A monthly newsletter brought to you by PFTSTA Publications.

Upcoming Dates: March 5 EXPLORE testing – 8th grade March 6 NHS + MAT Inductions 7—8 pm, PFTSTA cafeteria March 9 Talent Show: 4—6 pm, Riverdale Middle School March 10—15 Teen Tech Week March 14 PAC Meeting, LEAP/EOC testing 6:30—7:30 pm, PFTSTA cafeteria March 19 ACT testing for all Juniors LEAP Phase I: MS PLAN Testing: Freshman March 22 Report Cards Issued

March 2013

From the Principal’s Pen…Mrs. Jaime Zapico: The third nine weeks is coming to close already! The last day of the 3 rd 9 weeks period is March 15. Parents please make sure you checking your child’s grades on ECHO on a regular basis. The web address to ECHO is: When you log on you will be able to see your child’s courses with assignments, projects, homework assignments and their grades for each class they are taking. I wanted to invite all of you to the next PAC meeting which is March 14 at 6:30 in the cafeteria. A presentation will be done by Ms. Hernandez, our counselor, on the upcoming standardized testing that will be taking place in March and April. Our teachers have been working all year to prepare your child for these tests. GOT GALA TICKETS??? I hope all of you received my letter that was sent in the mail last week inviting all of you to the Gala. A big thank you to all of the parents who have bought sponsorships and tickets to the Gala which will be held on Friday, April 26 at the Jefferson-Orleans North. We are looking forward to a great night. Don't forget to purchase your tickets prior to Friday, March 8 since the price will increase after that date. Also, if you purchase your tickets by March 8 your name will be entered in a drawing to have your child's fees waived for the 2013-1014.

March 23 District Rally

Senior parents –

March 26 HS Honor Roll Breakfast 7:30—8:30am, PFTSTA cafeteria

Believe it or not it is getting closer to graduation! I’m sure if you asked your son or daughter they could tell you how many days they have left probably down to the last second. Please put the following dates on your calendars. We hope to see all of you at these big events for the Class of 2013!

March 27 MS Honor Roll Breakfast 7:30—8:30pm, PFTSTA cafeteria March 28 NO SCHOOL for students: Parent/Teacher conferences 11:30—2:45 March 29 NO SCHOOL

· Senior luncheon with Ms. Taylor: Tuesday, April 23 6:00 pm (Commander's Palace!) · Senior awards ceremony: Thursday, May 2 6:30pm (Ochsner Hospital) · Graduation* Saturday, May 11 – 9:30am (Alario Center) *Doors to the arena will be close at 9:25 and will not open again until after the National Anthem. Please make sure all family is there ahead of time and in their seats.

Please make sure you make note: Parent Teacher conferences will be held on Thursday, March 28 from 11:30 - 2:45.

Contact Us: 2012 Jefferson Highway Jefferson, LA 70121 504 838 2249 – phone 504 838 7029 – fax Principal – Jaime Zapico Questions – Kathy Guzman

Taylor Tigers School-Wide Expectations: Be Respectful Be Responsible Be Safe

Thoughtfulness of others Independence Global thinking Engagement in learning Responsibility Seriousness in using technology

Lines from the Librarian…Mrs. Elizabeth Kahn:

-----PFTSTA Web-site PFTSTA is on Twitter!/pftsta Jefferson Parish Public School System Web-site

February has been extremely busy in the library. First, I want to thank everyone who has been voting for PFTSTA in the Follett Challenge. Please continue to vote and share the link with everyone you know so that they can vote for us too. Voting continues until March 18th. Here is the link: By the way, our score comes from a combination of the votes, and the application which I submitted, and six schools will share the prize. We definitely have a chance to win this. VOTE for PFTSTA! Two major authors in young adult literature visited campus in February. The juniors had a chance to meet Ruta Sepetys, author of Out of the Easy. Her book set in 1950’s New Orleans is a delight. She spoke for an hour and afterwards, members of Bookmarked gathered around and kept her talking for an hour more. The other visitor was author, Cory Doctorow. The whole high school attended his impassioned presentation. He has lots to say about Internet privacy, security, and free access to information. You might not agree with his politics, but he gave the students a lot to think about. Many students clamored to purchase his books Little Brother and Homeland. You can read more about their visits on my blog:

HS Bookmarked members loved getting a chance to hang out with Ruta Sepetys.

Cory Doctorow talks to the high school. Senior, Courtney Beamer, created the sign. Library Fundraiser information: All items have been delivered to students. Please remember to submit payment for all items by March 8 th. You can send cash or a check made out to PFTSTA. If you are unhappy with any item, return to school without paying. To support the library all year long shop here: and enter the school code: 1479302! Bookmarked, the high school book group, was supposed to finish its gig writing for the online newsletter SLJTeen in May of this year. Recently, I got an email from the editor asking the group to continue until December of 2014. She loves their contributions to the newsletter. This is a wonderful opportunity for the students at PFTSTA to tell authors, publishers and librarians around the country what they think about the books they are reading. You can continue to follow the students’ reviews here: Every two weeks a new link is added. Upcoming Library Events: March 10-15: Teen TECH Week March 12: Iluminate author, Aimee Agresti, visits 8th grade. Find more info here:

SCHOOL COLORS, HEAD TO TOES…SHIRTS TUCKED IN, SPIRIT SHOWS! It’s cold outside! Purchase your PFTSTA sweater from Mrs. Kathy Hill, Account Clerk, for $35!

Dandridge Task Force Community Meetings: The first meeting was held on Thursday, February 21. The rest of the meetings will be held on the following dates: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 – 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. L.W. Higgins High School library 7201 Lapalco Boulevard Marrero, Louisiana 70072

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 – 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Granville T. Woods Elementary School library 1037 31st Street Kenner, Louisiana 70065

Students Create Winning App: Stefan Suazo (Class of 2017), Mark Parfait, Kiara Horton, Ariel Walker, Michael Pham, and Jason Hall (all Class of 2016) worked with teacher, Lisa Valence, to enter the Verizon Innovative App Challenge and were selected “Best in State, Middle School, 2013.” The app, Taylor Tech Tutor, is designed to help new students entering Taylor after the sixth grade.

Ten teams will be selected next month as national winners,

receiving $10,000 for the school and a Galaxy Tab for each team member!.” Pictured below are Ms. Valence, the winning team members, and Ms. Zapico.

Seventh Grader Recognized by Jefferson Parish: The seventh grade students participated in the Nonpoint Source Pollution Essay Contest hosted by Jefferson Parish Department of Environmental Affairs. Students were asked to address this issue of polllution and develop a plan to combat it. This year, PFTSTA seventh grader Chaise Sevin received Honorable Mention. Congratulations!

Music Musings…John J. McCloskey, Band Director: Hello everyone, March is here and we are about to shift it into overdrive! We had a very busy February with adding new beginner band students, who are just terrific. I thoroughly enjoy the beginners. They are so excited and enthusiastic about everything. They are a lot of fun and, after their first six weeks, are turning out to be quite a group of musicians. We reported on our participation in the Excalibur parade in the last newsletter. Since the newsletter, we also marched with Metairie Academy in their school parade. The day before we went home for Mardi Gras vacation.

It was loads of fun and many students were reunited with former teachers. The crowd was great and Ashley Moise led the band as Drum Major flawlessly. Thank you to Ms. Vicki Foster who drove the bus for the band and cheerleaders and to Mr. Juan Prado (father of student Zoey Prado and alumnus Jeffrey Prado) for providing the chase vehicle for the band. This truck is tremendous, and certainly an attention getter. It was the perfect addition to our marching unit; if you haven’t seen it, you should make it a point to it is incredible! The month ahead will also be extremely busy. The weekend of March 1 – 3 was District VI Jazz Honor Band. Rehearsals were Friday and Saturday at Rummel High School and the concert took place at the UNO recital hall on Sunday evening 3/3/2013. Seventh grader Quint Adkins was named to the band and had two solos during the performance. Great job Quint. A picture of Quint playing with the Jazz Honor Band is at left – he is the cool cat in the upper right corner, wearing a white dress shirt and black bow tie. Preparations for the JPPSS Superintendent’s Band Festival begin with after school practice on March 6, 2013. Practices are vital. A calendar of rehearsals and performances will be sent home; please make plans so we can maximize attendance and present a superior performance at festival. Our festival performance will be on April 3 or 4 at Bonnabel High School. When I find out for sure, I’ll let you know. I look forward to the busy month ahead and working with each and every band student. If you have any questions please contact me. Have a wonderful March. Sincerely, John J. McCloskey, Band Director

PFTSTA Receives Check from General Mills: Patrick F. Taylor received a check from General Mills for $562.00 for our Fall 2012 BoxTops submission!

So far we have $150 collected to be submitted at the end

February. Please turn in all BoxTops for Education to Ms. Bourgeois in Room 103 or the front office.

Patrick Taylor receives 10 cents cash for each BoxTop that is

turned in.

Academic Games Accolades: On Friday, March 1, the Taylor Academic Games team competed in the Linguishtiks and Presidents tournaments at Grace King High School. March 1 Academic Games Team: 

Carson Chauvin, Kayla Tarr, Abdullah Syed, Alexandra Miserendino, Edward Johnson, Ty Dugas, Hannah Porta, Zoey Prado, Rachel Indest, Keanu Bartolome, & Bailey Andras

Linguishtiks Results: 

2nd Place: PFTSTA Junior Division Team

Presidents Results:  

2nd Place: PFTSTA Junior Team 3rd Place: Individual Award, Kayla Tarr

Talented Visual Art Students Bloom…from Ms. Linda Patrick: Talent Visual Art students in several schools in Jefferson Parish are collaborating to create sculptures for the annual New Orleans Museum of Art exhibit “Art in Bloom.” The theme this year is “Celebrating Steel Magnolias.” Jefferson Parish students are creating representative totems of six women artists, using discarded women’s shoes, purse, hats, and gloves which they are painting in the style of the artist. Taylor’s subject is Sadie Irvine, known for her Art Nouveau decoration of Newcomb pottery at Tulane University in the early twentieth century, now very desirable to collectors. This is an annual event in which floral designers and artists display floral works of art to complement the museum’s own artworks. Proceeds benefit NOMA educational projects and exhibits, and also community projects of the Garden Study Club, including the New Orleans Botanical Garden, Beauregard-Keyes House, Lazarus House, and Longue Vue Gardens. The displays and artworks will be on exhibit at NOMA March 20-24.

4H Club Members Participate in Cooking Contest: Congratulations to seventh grade 4H member Jake LeBlanc (at right) who received first place in the parish-wide 4-H Commodity Cookery/Ambassador Contest at Lakeside Shopping Center on February 23, 2013! Sixth graders Betty Reyes and Zoe Malanders were also recognized at the school level for their fudge and shrimp stew, respectively.

Spotlight on Science: Chemistry students watched alumni, Hunter McDaniel and Caitlin Mitchell, demonstrate the conversion of dry ice to carbon with a magnesium flame, flame tests, and chemiluminescence. Hunter and Caitlin visited the class as part of their LSU chemistry class extra credit program. Following the demonstrations, they answered questions from the class about choosing a college and college life. Both McDaniel and Mitchell stated that taking AP classes with Mr. AC was the best preparation for their college classes. Pictured above at left: Tanner Moore, Mollie Smoak, Hunter McDaniel, Caitlin Mitchell, and Abdullah Syed

Taylor students received the following awards at the Greater New Orleans Science & Engineering Fair Awards Ceremony on February 28, 2013. The winners and their accolades are featured below:

1st place:    2nd

Kiara Horton, What is the effect of temperature on the index of refraction? Nick Dang, What is the effect of acids and bases on the amount of atmospheric CO2? Nuri Melancon, What are the effects of varying concentrations of Indole-3-Butyric acid on the radicle growth of Acer rubrum seeds? place: 


Team project – Linda Tran and Tiffany Lou, What is the effect of surroundings on the intensity of sound produced? place: 


Paris Evans, What is the effect of nanospray coating on the stain resistance of natural and synthetic fabrics?  David Burns, What is the effect of relative humidity on the levels of UVA and UVB measured at ground level?  Stephen Torry, What is the effect of heat treatment on different types of steel? place:  

Micquel Downs, What is the effect of temperature on the luminosity of luminol? Arielle Laurent, What is the effect of the amount of salinity in water on the growth and chlorophyll content of Spartina alterniflora? In addition, these Science students received special awards:  

Kiara Horton received a second place award from the New Orleans Geological Society for her project titled, What is the effect of temperature on the index of refraction? Team project – AJ McGee and Sara Adoue received a first place award from the US Army for their project titled, How does temperature affect the speed of sound?

Dr. Simpson’s Environmental Science Club recently received national news coverage for their work in City Park! Click this hyperlink find out more: Students work to Plant Trees at the City Park –a picture of the students involved is featured below.

Tech Bytes…from Kelly Maher, Teacher and Technology Coordinator: The skill sets our students will need to be successful in the digital age are vastly different from those of the past. It is no longer a question of whether our kids need to be technology literate, but rather what technology literacy means. Teens and tweens have a reputation for being tech savvy. After all, many young people are connected via laptop, iPod, tablet, or smart phone during most of their waking hours. While it’s true that most digital natives are comfortable with and connected using a variety of electronic devices, does that make them literate? In my experience, many times the answer is no. An article in eSchool News ( recently outlined five technology skills that every student should learn. 1.

Online Literacy The first critical technology skill is online literacy. It is imperative that students learn to effectively search for and evaluate online resources. The vetting and compilation of information that was once done by people is now largely done by computer algorithms. Computers are really good at searching for keywords, categorizing a vast amount of information very quickly, and returning the results. However, they aren’t very good at determining relevance, social importance, and how the information ties in to the big picture. Students need to have a basic understanding of how the search tool they are using works in order to find the best information available online. They also need to become adept at critically evaluating online resources to determine the accuracy, bias, relevance, and appropriateness of the information presented.


Critical Thinking Critical thinking involves everything from evaluating online resources to choosing the appropriate tool and software to create a product or solve a problem. Critical thinking might also include recognizing a need and developing a product or technology to fill that need. Alan November and Brian Mull assert that with the common core curriculum, we will have to rethink our approach to teaching critical analysis of information, as the standards require that students be able to: 

Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism;

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research; and

Interpret mathematical results in the context of a situation and reflect on whether the results make sense, possibly improving the model if it has not served its purpose. (


The Science Behind the Technology In addition to using their computer, smartphone and/or tablet, students should have a basic understanding of the hardware and software that come together to allow all of us to learn, be entertained, be productive, and connect with people around the globe. Steve Jobs said, “Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer… because it teaches you how to think.” He is not alone; there are numerous experts from Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Mitch Resnick, to Cory Doctorow, to the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), urging all students to learn to code and all schools to teach programming. The reason for this are numerous, not the least of which are the logical reasoning and critical thinking skills that students develop when engaged in these activities.


Adaptability The next skill is adaptability. None of us knows how the world and especially technology will change in the next ten years. So, we are, in essence preparing students to solve problems that aren’t yet known using technologies that have not yet been invented. Therefore, our students must become life-long learners. Perhaps the most important skill our students will develop is learning to learn. They must become agile and adaptable. Luckily, the Internet and other technologies make it easier than ever to be creative, and productive or develop skills and acquire knowledge anytime from anywhere.


Courage Finally, students should be fearless when it comes to technology. They should be willing to experiment, learn new tools and not worry about if they’re “doing it right.” Being willing to click around and seek out the “how to” videos will be invaluable to our students throughout their lives. I hope that our students are learning not only to use technology, but are learning to think and learning to learn. Works Cited

Stansbury, Meris. "Five Technology Skills Every Student Should Learn | ESchool News."Five Technology Skills Every Student Should Learn | ESchool News. ESchool News, 04 Sept. 2012. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.

November, Alan, and Brian Mull. "Web Literacy: Where the Common Core Meets Common Sense | ESchool News." Web Literacy: Where the Common Core Meets Common Sense | ESchool News. ESchool News, 25 May 2012. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.

Sports Shorts…from Vicki Foster and Coach Elmo Steinert: Boys and Girls Track started Feb. 18! The rosters and schedule can be found below: Boys & Girls Track Schedule Date




Mar. 6




Mar. 13




March 20

East Jeff



Mar. 27




April 5

Mike Conlin



April 10

East Bank



April 16


Baton Rouge TBA

April 24




May 2/3




Girls Track Roster: 1. Bold, Rachelle 2. Cooper, Courtney 3. Horton, Kiara 4. Lehmann, Britney 5. Moise, Ashley 6. Monix, Sydney 7. Morrison, Sarah 8. Ordonez, Isabelle 9. Pierce, Madison 10. Rolig, Madison 11. Tran, Kaylynn 12. Walsh, Alex 13. Zaeringer, Celia Head Coach – Vicki Foster Asst Coach – Warren Donley

Boys Track Roster: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

Alexander, Jose’ Brown, Morgan Burns, David Chauvin, Carson Cole, Jack Colosino, Daniel French, Noah Gothard, Ben Gutierrez, Daniel Lumar, Cameron Melara, Nicholas Montgomery, Lee Morrow, Gavin Nguyen, Dillon Parfait, Mark Suazo, Stefan Sturcke, Jeffrey Torry, Stephen Tran, Anthony Varuso, Mason

Head Coach – Elmo Steinert Asst Coach – Brad Womack

Teacher Talk…with Gifted English Teacher, Christina Johnson contributed by parent volunteer, Sandra Mesa (mom of 6th grader, Dominic Meca) In nominating Teacher of the Year for 2013, Mrs. Johnson is exclaimed to have an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm for teaching. “She is very dynamic in her dedication in making sure her students are successful and engaged, Mrs. Zapico said. Mrs. Johnson attended Louisiana State University and received her undergraduate degrees in Mass Communications and English. Her Master’s degree from LSU is in Secondary Education with an emphasis on English and Gifted/Talented. Mrs. Johnson has been teaching at Taylor for 5 years. She currently teaches 6 th grade ELA, English I and III. “I have taught almost every core English course Taylor offers,” Mrs. Johnson said. Prior to Taylor she taught in an academic magnet school in Baton Rouge for one year. She feels fortunate to have always taught the best. Her rewards not only come from motivated students, but being a part of a dynamic learning community. More importantly, being a part of schools that place high values and standards on intellectual curiosity and have the charismatic energy that follows. Mrs. Johnson’s values parallel with Taylor’s especially in her view of literature. “It gives us a lens in which we view both diversity and universality of human experience,” Mrs. Johnson said. This is how she portrays the learning experience to her students, and evokes their curiosity. Her enthusiasm even comes across to her peers. Mrs. Zapico recalls when she did her

yearly teacher evaluation. In listening to Johnson teach a lesson on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Zapico recalled high school. In high school this was an area of where Zapico struggled.“I didn’t want to leave Mrs. Johnson’s class, she had me so engaged, Mrs. Zapico said. Just as Mrs. Johnson is highly valued at Taylor and regarded as a gem, she values her students passion to learn. Taylor students make her job easy and allow her to teach effectively. She enjoys and encourages their genuine, and almost always instant, informal feedback. Having this allows her to gauge her teaching performance and their engagement. This amalgamation makes for easy lesson planning, creative discussions and the construction of writing prompts. This provides a platform of success for students at Taylor. Students become effective in their respective classes and follow through in high school. Mrs. Johnsons stated Taylor graduates continually prove to be capable and engaged in their respective universities. She finds they are prepared for academia, but more importantly, the world beyond Taylor. This is why Taylor is so grateful for having Mrs. Johnson.

PFTSTA Honor Roll List – 2nd 9 Weeks: 6th Grade Principal’s Honor Roll Jameel Brown Ayree Johnson Jasmine McGowan Riley Nguyen Hannah Porta Zoey Prado Christopher Totten

A Honor Roll Bailey Andras Amaya Price Keanu Bartolome Amie Sigur Anna Bordelon Virginia Steinkamp Casey Daigle Jamie Summers Kathleen Dinh Andrew Tran Metaxenia Evangeloulis Benjamin Tran Madeline Fryer Liem Tran Molly Gaffney Cameron Vo Madison Grey Wyatt Wittliff Jackson Grisbaum Jada Woodard Megan Harold Emir Karagic Catherine Lam Zoe Malanders Elizabeth Matthews Austin McDonnell Domenic Mesa Lauren Morrow Joshua Nguyen Christian Otero

B Honor Roll Paige Arnoult Aidan Balsamo Haley Benoit Ethan Bui Hailey Parker Sabrina Pham Betty Reyes Baylee Robichaux Madison Salvaggio Benjamin Schluter Angel Thompson Askew Tyler Tran Andrew Varuso Stefrien Walker

7th Grade Principal’s Honor Roll Paige Bass Madeleine Brown Tiffany Quach Johnny Thai Dylan Vo

A Honor Roll Caudle Adkins Grayce Mores Joseph Blanco III Eduardo Paternostro Elizabeth Bundick Marilyn Pati Tamunobelema Derefaka Alexis Plunkett Joel Gabourel Harrison Reiner Samantha Herman Harrison Rosato Claire Hudson Ozzie Ross III Jake Leblanc Dominic Scheurer Gavin Mahl Laura Smith Devin Marque Holly Wilkinson Corianna McDonald

B Honor Roll Taylor Andras

A Honor Roll Kristen Clement Marco Flores Benjamin Gagneaux Hamed Mustafa Raeven Mataya Gavin Morrow Kayla Thomas Mason Varuso

B Honor Roll Rachel Indest Matthew Trochez Hillary Keyes Isabelle Ordonez Claire Pantell Alexcia Perrilloux Soheil Saneei

A Honor Roll Alexandra Compagno Johann DeJesus Baylor Evans Cameron Granger Tyson Kauffman Tyler Libert Justin Lightsey Jasmine McGowan Marissa Nguyen Drew Ordoyne Bill Romero Julia Rosato Valerie Ruiz Gavin Stevens Dylan Vasquez Alexandra Walsh

B Honor Roll Darian Bunch Ty Dugas Thanh Pham Sarah Rogers

A Honor Roll Sarah Allred Quentin Andrus Madison Berard Rachelle Bold Destiny Burnett Jonathan Griffith Alexandra Kirkland Sydney Monix Dillon Nguyen Tyler Nguyen Kristen Stamp

B Honor Roll Claire Commagere

Gerald Blank III Bailey Bourgeois Bryce Dillon Andres Gallardo Mahree Houston Cameron Lumar Willem VanderMeulen Jeremy Ward

8th Grade Principal’s Honor Roll Henry Hazlett Stefan Suazo

Freshmen Principal’s Honor Roll Justin Brown George Evangeloulis Jason Hall Kiara Horton Vy Mai Alexandra Miserendino Madison Pierce Samuel Tejeda Rayne Torry Ariel Walker

Sophomore: Principal’s Honor Roll Edward Johnson Kayla Tarr

Brittany Lehmann Jazmine Wells

Johann DeJesus Abdullah Syed Da’Nesha Tally John Tran

Junior: Principal’s Honor Roll Nicklas Dang Abrania Marrero Louis Messina III Celia Zaeringer

A Honor Roll Jose Alexander III Tameka Aych David Burns Carson Chauvin Brandon Clancey Daniel Colosino Micquel Downs Paris Evans Jasmyn Hall Arielle Laurent Melina Liriano Nuri Melancon Nicholas Melara Evan Michel Lee Montgomery Rickey Nguyen Mary Oliver Madison Rolig Thomas Sostarics Stephen Torry Alicia Tran Lauren Tran

B Honor Roll Imani Bell

A Honor Roll Fatmeh Ali

B Honor Roll Krishna Allam Benjamin Gothard Daniel Gutierrez Kashif Mustahsan Jeffrey Sturcke Anthony Tran Linda Tran

Benny Boudreaux IV Jacob Hebert Mariam Kudsy Kathleen McShane Ashley Moise Sarah Morrison Darla Nguyen Allexandra Pollard Andrew Roberts Kaylynn Tran

Senior: Principal’s Honor Roll Sara Adoue Alexandra Baldassaro Tiffany Lou

Courtney Beamer Emmalyn Buquoi Arthur McGee III Crystal Suggs

Tidings From Taylor March 2013  

Tidings From Taylor March 2013

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