Page 1

Is the end beginning?

Just ask us

Every week before Friday night football games, cheerleaders at Kountze High School in Blank, Texas made banners for the football team to run through as they entered the field. For three weeks this season, the banners included Bible verses. The school superintendent quickly prohibited the banners, following a 2000 Supreme Court decision to keep religion out of schools. What do you think? Are the banners an expression of free speech and religion?

84% said yes

As Americans, we have freedom of speech and religion. The cheerleaders have the full right to show verses.” -lexykline, 11

16% said no

Some people may not have the same religion, so they don’t need to see it.” -toddrigsby, 9

on the edge

The next big thing Dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge. If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball. If you can dodge traffic you can dodge a ball. Dodgeball. But not quite like the movie. Student Council is hosting Pleasant Grove’s first ever dodgeball tournament on Friday, Dec. 7. The tournament will start at 4 p.m. in the pep rally gym. Teams must be made up of three boys and three girls, no exceptions. The cost to enter is $10 per team. The winning team will receive free champion t-shirts and full bragging rights. Think you have what it takes? Forms will be in the office starting Monday. The deadline to sign up is Nov. 28, so start getting your team together now. We are the Globo Gym Purple Cobras and we will, we will, rock you. *Pat pat, hiss*

pg.13 Basketball

pg. 11 20 Books to Read Before You’re 20

pleasant grove high school

5406 mcknight road | texarkana, tx | 75503 vol. 28 #2 | Nov. 9, 2012


A CHANGE IN POLICY Board makes revisions to school policy regarding free student expression Kenzie Floyd



atelyn Miller’s eyes squint in confusion.

Madison Dudley exchanges stumped looks with the person sitting beside her. Naveed Haque doesn’t get it. “Voluntary student expression”? “Limited open forum”? What is Mr. Harp talking about? “Everyone was confused because he was being so vague,” Katelyn said. “We didn’t know what was going on.” Principal Bill Harp paces the library, tells the group of students they have a chance to express themselves before home varsity football games. Tells them they’ll have “a voluntary student expression in a limited open forum.” Tells them they’ll have free speech over the loudspeaker-- as long as it doesn’t cross certain thresholds. That the school policy involving prayer at graduation only has changed. “We’ve been to a lot of away games that have a prayer before the game starts, and I’ve always wanted to do the same at home,” senior class president Nick Cockerell said. “If they could do it, why couldn’t we?” Parents throughout the district felt the same way. One family contacted Mr. Harp about the issue a couple of times. Mr. Harp told them to request a change in policy, they would have to make a formal a request to Superintendent Margaret Davis, and then Mrs. Davis could take it to the school board to consider. So they did.

The decision

Board members sit in their chairs at the Oct. 11 district meeting. They sit and listen as the board moves to Item 8.B.4 on the agenda: Consider and take action on Policy FNA local… Then the chair calls for a motion. Next, the chair calls for discussion, questions. Since Mrs. Davis had previously informed the

board on the issue, there isn’t much to be said. And then – the vote. All six board members raise their hands – in favor. And the motion passes. It’s unanimous.

“We don’t need to make our football games a debate of prayer.”

Will the policy stand

There have been multiple lawsuits filed against schools in the country because of student initiated prayer, one of the biggest being Santa Now the policy’s being rewritten. Fe ISD vs. Doe. Once finished, it will be sent to the Texas AsIn 2000, Santa Fe elected students to address sociation of School Boards, TASB, for their legal the crowd at football games, who usually inapproval. That will take around 60 days. cluded a prayer. Three students sued the school, And next year? arguing that the prayers violated the EstablishStudents holding a position of honor will be ment Clause of the First Amendment. allowed to express themselves in an introduction Even though there were many people supto the Friday night games. porting the Santa Fe practice, the court held that In other words, student council officers, senior this action constituted school-sponsored prayer class officers, football captains, PGTV announcbecause the loudspeakers were owned by the ers, and class representatives from the elemenschool. tary, intermediate, and middle schools will be And Santa Fe lost the suit. expected introduce the game with a voluntary Could this happen to Pleasant Grove? student expression, which may involve a prayer. “Certainly in our country there are many A prayer to God, Jesus, Allah, Mary. Whoever mixed opinions and not everyone is tolerant the student believes in. of all viewpoints,” Mrs. “I’m honored to start a new tradiDavis said. “A lawsuit being tion,” class officer Jorge Rodriguez filed doesn’t always mean said. “As a Christian, I look forward to that something is bad – it expressing my faith. Defining what line just means that someone not to cross is going to be tricky.” disagrees.” The line not to cross is a fine one. The Mr. Harp and Mrs. Davis student expression must be related to the are predicting feedback purpose of the event, mark the openfrom both sides of the issue. Jorge Rodriguez, 11 ing of the event and honor the people “My job is to make sure there. Must bring the audience to order school board policy is foland focus on the purpose of the event. Can’t be lowed, and that’s what I’m going to do,” Mr. obscene, vulgar, offensive, or indecent. And the Harp said. district can’t discriminate against the student Mrs. Davis believes the new policy will work based on the student’s religious viewpoint. out well for the district. “Our district is just asking for a fight. Because “I’ve been here a long time and I have confiof where we live, most people are closed minded dence in the reasoning ability of our students,” when it comes to religions other than ChristianMrs. Davis said. “I have always found our ity. I’m a Muslim, and if I were to pray in Arabic student body to be exceptionally bright, forward on the loudspeaker, people would freak out. No thinking, and interested in representing our one is used to that,” senior Naveed Haque said. district in the most positive way.”

What’s next


When most people sat in theatres and watched the movie “2012” three years ago, they laughed at what movie makers came up with for the end of the world. In the movie, the first thing leading to the apocalypse was the flooding of New York City. After that, earthquakes and other natural disasters progressed into the end of the world. Hurricane Sandy flooded NYC two weeks ago. December 21, 2012-- the date at the end of the Mayan calendar-- is coming up. There’s already been multiple apocalypse controversies that haven’t come true. We’re not saying that we think the world is going to end or that any of these controversies are right... but you have to admit it’s weird.

pg. 5 Twice as Nice

dg e e

page2 news


events, activities, and news briefly

completed by Megan McCorkle, Taylor Langdon, Hayley Harp



A Long Road Ahead

Moores Lane construction moves slowly but surely to improve traffic

One Last Bus Ride The Boys of Fall play their last game, an away game at North Lamar. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.

gimme 5 Students of the Month October: Sostenes Sanchez Band competes in Area After scoring straight First Division ratings at the Regional Marching Contest in Mt. Pleasant, the band competed at Area on Oct. 26, making it to the finals before finishing fifth. Only one-thousandth of a point separated fourth and fifth places, and the top four bands advanced to the state contest.


What you need to know

to go

You’ve been to Spring Fling. Now, try out the Fall version. Hawk Action Team is sponsoring Fall Festival during all lunches Friday. What to bring: Money Cost is $1 to go outside. Bring change for games and Blow-Ups. $1 to go on Blow-Ups and 50 cents for games. Where to go: The parking lot behind the school. Use the 300 Hall doors. If you park in the athletic parking area, those spaces will be limited.

If you thought Moores Lane was difficult to get through without hitting traffic before, it’s about to get even worse. The construction on the street began on Oct. 1, and the roadwork won’t be done until the beginning of 2014. The goal is to have a continuous left-turn lane and still have the vehicles moving without getting into a jam after the roadwork is over. For students, Moores Lane is already very busy and frustrating when running late to school. “It usually takes me seven minutes to drive from my house to the school, and now it takes me 20 minutes,” said junior Megan McCorkle. On a positive note, after the roadwork is done, Moores Lane should be an easier route to get to work, school, and more importantly, Sonic. “I’m so ready for the roadwork to end so I can stop feeling rushed on the way to places where I need to go on Moores Lane,” sophomore Jackson Beavert said.

Despite the bulldozers and traffic cones, some students aren’t affected by the traffic. “I don’t really mind the roadwork because the construction workers let me out right away since I live on Moores,” sophomore Hunter Hatfield said. The section of Moores Lane that is going through remodeling runs 1.4 miles which means it’s a very expensive project. But luckily, the widening project is being funded through Proposition 12, a 2007 measure that allowed Texas to take out $5 billion for road projects. Texarkana is receiving $1.9 million in funding to fix Moores Lane. The two left lanes are already in place on Robin Road and Cowhorn Creek intersections on Moores Lane. However, Robin Road will be closed soon because of the construction on the left side of the road, so everybody should get ready for more agonizing and impatient trips down Moores Lane.

Little Shop, Big Horrors


Come and enjoy some donuts before that big test and hear some stories from veterans in the new gym.


Mistletoe Fair Opens Start your Christmas shopping and watch the drill team perform the next day, closes the 18th.

Fall Musical opens

The theater department presents “Little Shop” in the PAC. Who doesn’t Haley Haywood, Kristina Cox and Hayley Harp dance to “Da-Doo” want to see a man-eating during a rehearsal of “Little Shop of Horrors.” Photo: Natalie Thigpen. set needs a fresh coat of paint and a little more TLC. Add plant? one full Saturday of nothing but singing and dancing, and you have a full fledged musical production. While the show may be perceived as a mellow dramatic show, it also has it’s bits of comic relief. “The show might have it’s dark times,” junior Steven Smith said. “but there will always be someone laughing even if it is backstage.” The fourth annual fall musical performed by Curtain Call productions is coming to the Performing Arts Center Thanksgiving Nov. 16-19. The comedy-horror rock musical is about a Take a few days off and meek guy who comes across his ticket out of the hopeless enjoy some turkey and town in the form of homicidal plant. With a secondary gravy and your favorite pie love story and a few plot twists, the goal of an emotional roller coaster won’t be hard to achieve. “We have been working hard,” senior Kirsten O’Neal said. “and we have a little bit more to do, but this show is nothing less than the absolute best we could produce.”

Red River Pecan Plantation

To order, call 870-896-2737 237 River Road Fulton, AR 71838

Veteran’s Day


Theater department to present Fall Musical next week

When director Debby Sutton Hayley Harp rounded up her advanced theater reporter class last spring to reveal this year’s fall musical, the anticipation filled the theater. “This year’s musical will be,” Sutton said with a pause long enough to cause some fear in the assembled cast, “Little Shop Of Horrors.” The students looked around, wide eyed, with the same thought in their minds. They had all heard what she said, but had they heard her correctly? Taylor Everett meekly raised a hand. “What did you say?” she asked. Mrs. Sutton laughed loudly and shook her head. “No,” she said. “Horr-ors. Horr-ors.” On the front row, se“Little Shop of Horrors” nior Rebeca Puente said Nov. 16- 7pm under her breath,“Well, Nov. 17- 7pm we know we have diction out for us.” Nov. 18- 2pm cutFast forward a few months and a few diction lessons later, and now there is less than a month left until opening day. The cast has practiced the songs and learned the choreography. The


22 23

Black Friday

Watch out for that stampede going for the flat screen and new IPad. Stores open EARLY. Set your alarms.

Five Pleasant Grove Locations 2802 Richmond Road - 670 N. Kings Hwy. 6424 Richmond Road - 5602 Summerhill Road 5121 Summerhill Road

Proudly supporting Hawk Nation


Nutcracker Opens

Six PG dancers take the stage in this Christmas classic at the Perot. Tickets are available from the Perot Box Office.

page3 news

Operation Black Friday.

“I go later so everybody has clearaed out, but I hide the stuff I want the day before then go get them later

“My family goes beforehand and gets a spot and waits. We just write down what we want to remember

How to beat the crowds and get what you want:

-mickeyivey, 9

A Taste of Fame Senior performs in Perot production of ‘Broadway Rox’ Taylor Langdon reporter

Conner Palmore was still in awe when the house manager walked up to him and the other three flustered students. “There are a few PG kids who are requesting you come outside right now,” the manager said. Conner steps outside the stage door and gets the first real taste of being famous. Conner had just finished performing with top notch Broadway actors at the Perot Theatre in the show called “Broadway Rox” which is a group of actors and dancers who have retired or taken a break from Broadway to go on a nation-wide tour. They travel around the U.S. to different districts and have a mini audition for students who want to pursue a career in theatre. “Even though the producer told us to have other options because most people don’t make it all the way to Broadway, I definitely want to be in some kind of theatre after high school from either regional theatre to Broadway,” Conner said. So in August he auditioned for “Broadway Rox” to get a headstart on his Broadway debut and was one of the four high school students around the local area picked to be a part of their show. Out of 16 students in the audition Conner was the only guy and the only one from PG to get a part. After being chosen to be in the show, Conner and the other three students were handed lyric sheets with all six songs they were supposed to learn in just a few weeks. And then they were told to be ready to learn all the choreography in one weekend. “It was very stressful to learn all the lyrics and dances in such a short time, especially

since I was going to perform with actors who had done this 100 times more than me,” Conner said. But just to make it even more nervewracking on Conner, the day of the show the choreographer changed 75% of the dances. “I was already incredibly nervous after having to learn the new dances, but the Broadway actors really helped me out,” Conner said. The stars of “Broadway Rox” were divas and loved the local accents, Conner said, but were also very nice to him, and the other three students who were stressing out about the brand new choreography. With their nerves increasing, the show started and Conner performed his six numbers which were “Aquarius,” “Time Warp,” “Don’t Stop Believin,’” “Dancing Queen,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat.” “Standing up on stage performing right by famous Broadway stars was one of the best moments of my life, and I couldn’t believe it was happening to me,” Conner said. When Conner wasn’t on stage, he was in the audience becoming very emotional because he couldn’t believe he was getting the chance to perform with Broadway performers. “I want to be able to give other people the emotions that I felt when I watched Wicked,” Conner said, “so it seems like they are feeling the same feelings as the actors were in the performance.” So as the curtain call came to an end, while bowing and holding hands with the other actors, Conner had that once-in-a-lifetime feeling of being in the spotlight.

-destinywatts, 11

Get a Head Start

Dinner is over. Leftovers are waiting. The only left on your Thanksgiving to-do list doesn’t have anything to do with food--it’s time for major-league Christmas shopping on “Black Friday.” Stores traditionally open early on the Friday after Thanksgiving for big sales to kick off

Wal-Mart 12 a.m. BestBuy 12 a.m. Target 12 a.m. K-Mart 5 a.m.

the shoping season. It’s called “Black Friday because it’s typically the weekend that stores go into the “black,” or in other words, start making a profit for the year. If you’re heading out, here are some local stores and the times they open.

JC Penney 4 a.m. Kohl’s 12 a.m. Sears 4 a.m. Walgreens 7 a.m.

Office Depot 6 a.m. Old Navy 12 a.m. Radio Shack 5.30 a.m. Gander Mountain 6 a.m.

A Week of Royalty

Kenzie Floyd


The “H” burned brightly for senior Taylor Everett who was crowned Homecoming Queen at the Burning of the H ceremony in the Performing Arts Center. The Burning of the “H” ceremony has been on and off the past few years because of drought conditions in the area. Last year the “H” got plugged in rather than lit up after county offi-

cials declared a burn ban. Recent rains and cooler weather–as well as a later date for homecoming–made the bonfire event possible this year. The other princesses introduced at the ceremony were Anna Ashby, Avery Borrell, Kate Brolo, Meredith Bunel, Katie Beth Irwin, Kendall Lindsey, Collins Riddell, Paige Rikel, Elizabeth Stark.


where PG gets

T-shirts Hats Bags Screenprinting Promotional items Vinyl lettering Banners Signs



page4 opinion

Different Stories, Same Endings Staffer reflects on the lives of friends and family

The gun just happens to point at Drew. Safety just happens to be off. Trigger just happens to pull. That’s the moment. The moment Drew drops to the ground. The kyle green, reporter moment time stops. The moment his father sees his son in his final moments. The father who’s raised him, fed him, watched him grow and mature, who has listened to his secrets. The father who’s guided him, not just through life, but also through his walk with Christ. And the father that knows it’s not time to let go -- it’s time to save a life. The father who knows he can be a hero, knows he can save his son. But in the end, the father has no power. I sit at my computer, eyes glued to the page. It’s his Facebook page. So many RIP messages. So many people sharing their memories of Drew. So many people shocked that this could happen to such a young kid. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Drew was so young, just 17. I want to understand what the father, the family, must be feeling. But I can’t. I want to understand why these things happen. But I can’t. And it’s even harder when the person is in your family, like my cousin, Ryan. The day before his death, Ryan walks in and hides his rope from a roommate. It doesn’t work.

His roommate sees the rope. Suspicious, he asks, What’s up? It’s nothing, don’t worry, Ryan says. The roommate doesn’t second guess Ryan. The day of, Ryan’s roommate’s gone. It’s late. Ryan stares at his computer, and as he writes his farewell letter to his parents, he begins to cry. It’s over. Success didn’t come quickly enough. Not enough faith to keep going, or to realize that there are bigger plans for him, plans designed by a bigger God than he can imagine. He finishes the letter, he tends to his last bit of business. He deletes his Facebook.Then he walks over to the closet, where he hides the rope. His last thoughts are unknown. Unknown to everyone. Everyone but himself and God. Sam walks in the next morning after a night of partying. Immediately he is met with the smells, smells the feces. Sam has an idea of what’s happened. The rope, it can’t be. He inches closer to Ryan’s room. The smell becomes stronger. And he sees the door cracked open. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a foot hanging from the closet. Sees – and his body goes numb. He holds his mouth while he gags, and runs out of the apartment. I lie in my bed, sit at the counter, drive to school, and the story runs over and over again in my mind. My cousin, 28 years old living in Los Angeles, California. Beaten down by life’s sick tricks. His whole mission in life: to prove his high school bullies wrong, to show them that he’s a man, maybe not athletically, but by being a success in his career. The thing is, his chance never came. He wanted to be a director, a profession that’s almost impossible to achieve unless you’re born into money, or you’re brilliant and determined. Ryan never had this kind of determination. He was always looking for fast results. He felt cheated. And each time I want to understand. I want to understand what the father, the family, must

be feeling. But I can’t. I want to understand why pleasant grove high school 5406 mcknight rd . texarkana, tx . 75503 these things happen. But I can’t. phone: (903) 832-8005 . fax (903) 832-5381 I sit in my room, sit in class, in church -- anywhere and everywhere whenever I’m still. And I continue to think about Drew. About Ryan. all Kenzie Floyd of this, and my mind can’t help but to drift back Naveed Haque goes to the fathers, their fathers. Josh Whitt Do they wake up the next day, not sure if yesterday was real or a dream, so unsure they have Editors to check ? Do they walk to the rooms of their sons, suspense building, and when they turn the Avery Borrell corner, all they are met with are empty beds? Do they miss saying good morning, asking how was Collin Craytor their day? Natalie Thigpen The only answer I can get -- it is for a greater Peyton Trippe cause. John 13:7, I may not understand right Landon Young now, but in time I will understand. I will understand why these deaths happened. Photographers Two great men, taken away from the world so unexpectedly, so suddenly. It’s not fair, right now. Kyle Green And although I will come to understand it, it’s still going to be hard to understand why they had Jordan Hearn to leave so soon. Ashlyn Hurst So I just remember these two fine men, and Alex Kauai thank my glorious God everyday for giving me Ruth Kliewer the chance to know them. It’s heartwarming to know that Drew is Taylor Langdon watching down on us right now, but scary to Nick Marchesani think Ryan is a question. I’ll never know what Megan McCorkle happened to Ryan in his last days, what his last thoughts were, and where he is now. Mark Northam But what I do know is that I will wait patiently Curtis Zachry for my day to come, and as I’m waiting, I’ll conReporters tinue to do my Father’s work. I have no idea when my time will be. Neither did Drew. Neither did Ryan. That’s why in all of my days, I will live my life for Christ. I’ll make Contributors sure that whenever my time comes, I won’t have any regrets. I’ll be able to say my work here is done. Charla Harris And through it all, I’ll remember that -- God Adviser is good. All the time.

William Harp Principal

staff editorial

Texarkana College’s survival sits on the line In the last few weeks before the election, the signs supporting Texarkana College have shown an equal appearance to the Obama and Romney signs throuhout the community. Even though we all might be debating who should be President, locally this proposal has caused quite a debate within the area if it should be passed. The proposal on the ballot was to increase the area that is taxed for funding Texarkana College. Fortunately, the voters in Texarkana and the surrounding communities voted to keep TC alive and well. With more than 50% of graduating high school students in the area attending Texarkana College, obviously Texarkana College has a major impact not only within the city but as well as the surrounding areas. While only 41% of PG students attend TC at some point, other schools have a much higher rate.

While some may argue that the tax is excessive, even at 10 cents for every $100 of property value, the amount paid is very minor as to what Texarkana College offers to the surrounding area. In fact, it’s a bargain. The average difference in earnings over a working lifetime of associate degree grads in Texas vs. high school graduates in Texas is $478,600. With the big picture in mind, to invest into Texarkana College is wise because the return back to the area would be far greater. Other people argue that Texarkana doesn’t need two colleges, but really they serve two different purposes. Texarkana College is an ideal choice for local graduates to attend if they are wary about attending a four year college. It offers them an associate degree while managing to keep a full-time job. Many eventually attend Texas A&M - Texarkana to pursue either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Even with the yes vote on the tax district, TC faces an uphill battle. But it’s a battle worth fighting.

Head to Head What did you think of the location for homecoming?

How do you keep up with the presidential election?

“It was really fun. I liked it there more than the cafeteria, but it was really hot.”

“I don’t. I’m just not interested in it and I hear it enough from my parents.”

“Three words: dark, sweaty ‘Merica.”

“Twitter, Mr. Kirk, and the debates on telivision.”

If you could make everyone observe one holiday (real or not), what would it be?

“Pajama Day. You wear pajamas all day and eat cake.”

What are your plans for Black Friday?

“I go shopping with my family in Shreveport.”

-brendahemminger, 10

“Bacon Day. It would be on March 12, because that’s my birthday and the bacon would bring everyone happiness.”

“One year, my brother and I went to WalMart to buy DVDs. I think we’re making it a tradition.”

-hayleyharp, 11


-cadenthompson, 9

“My dad.”

“No School Day.”

“I’m going to sit on the couch.”

Editorial policy Edge is produced by the newspaper students in the publications department of Pleasant Grove High School and are responsible for its production and content. The newspaper serves as an open forum for student expression and the discussion of issues of concern to students. Unsigned editorials represent the opinions of the student staffers and do not necessarily reflect those of the administration. Signed columns and reviews reflect the opinion of the author only. Edge encourages and accepts letters to the editor. Letters must be signed and will be edited to eliminate obscenity and inappropriate content. Letters may be submitted to the editor in room 603. Edge is a member of the Interscholastic League Press Conference, National Scholastic Press Association and Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

Twice as Nice

page5 feature

Voters agree to help expand Texarkana College tax district, help save school

Mark Northam

news editor

Senior Josh Breitfeller is a freshman. It’s not because he has done anything wrong, he’s just taken advantage of the dual credit programs that were available to him. “I’m graduating with several hours of college credit,” Breitfeller said. “I used the dual credit classes,and because of that I’m going to be able to skip some classes in college.” Texarkana College is currently the source of all dual credit classes offered not only at Pleasant Grove, but at high schools throughout the area. In total, the program helps provide the area with 15,000 hours of college credit to local high school students. But due to a financial problem at the college, the program could A sign showing support for Texarkana College located on the Texarkana A&M campus- lyoungphoto see a change. “Before I arrived, Texarkana College was losing money to the The college wanted these funds because a major source of University. tune of $500,000 a month, that’s per month,” Texarkana College income, state funded money, is no longer available. “A lot of the students that we have come over from the college,” President James Henry Russell said. “The board didn’t know “A frequent question is ‘why don’t we go back to spending levels Texarkana A&M University Vice-President of Randy Rikel said. about the problem, but once they discovered it they were spitting five years ago before we got into trouble,’” Russell said. “The “They’ll come over with an associate degree, with all of their angry. Once I was hired we began to make a number of changes reason we can’t do that is because the state doesn’t give out as much entry level classes finished, and continue working towards their to save the college.” funding as they used to.” bachelors or masters degree.” Changes included making top administrators take a pay cut, When news that the college was in Texarkana College and Texarkana A&M have a long history, teachers taking on an increased class load, trouble reached former TC student Ross dating back to the time when TAMUT was known as East Texas trimming the size of the faculty, and cutting Perot, the billionaire decided to help out State University. The two schools first teamed up to offer the Before I arrived, some programs. his old school. residents of Texarkana a local four year college. Texarkana College “We had to take a look at ourselves and “We were out driving when my phone “We still have a close bond with the college, we still have three was losing money to make some changes that had to be made,” started ringing and this secretary asked buildings located on the TC campus,” Rikel said. “With that the tune of $500,000 Russell said. “We did these while trying to ‘can you hold for Ross Perot?’” Russell considered , if the college were forced to make cut backs, we a month, that’s per keep areas like the fine arts intact.” said. “After a short wait, I was talking to wouldn’t be able to completely replace its services.” Despite the changes made by the college, month.” Mr. Perot and he told me, ‘I am going to That’s mostly because of the differences between the two they still have a gap in the budget. In an donate $1 million dollars, then I’ll match schools, Texarkana College is able to provide students access to effort to fill this void, the college is looking the money you raise over the next four vocational school, while Texas A&M Texarkana provides students - TC President James to expand its tax base this would apply the years up to $1 million.’” with degrees in engineering, teaching and so on. Henry Russell current rate of approximately 10 cents for If the tax measure fails, it would be “We would be able to offer dual credit for high school students,” every $100 of property value, approximately unlikely that the college would be able to Rikel said. “But only in class areas that we currently offer.” ⅔ the average rate in Texas. The college currently serves all of match Perots’ offer, but that isn’t the only consequence that TC, While students never had to worry about losing all their college Bowie and Cass counties, along with parts of other surrounding or the community, would face. credit, the community was able to see solidarity between the two counties, but taxes only 16 square miles. campuses. “If the measure fails, we would have to make more cuts,” Russell “I was recently talking to the president of Texarkana A&M,” “That means that we are collecting about $1 million in taxes said. “We would probably have to lay off more staff, and the Russel said. “And he told me, ‘how goes Texarkana College, goes while other community colleges of comparable service areas quality of education given to the students here would fall.” Texarkana A&M.’” collect over $5 million,” Russell said. “This measure would The reduction of programs would not only effect students at the And the cooperation between the two has helped students see increase the money received from taxes, but decrease the overall Texarkana College main campus, but also students at the branch the true intentions of both local schools. income from tuition, because all students living in the tax district school at Red River Army Depot. “It’s obvious to me that they both really care about getting are subject to in district tuition rates.” “We currently have a branch out at the Army Depot,” Russell people educated.” Breitfeller said. “The administration at both On Election Day, Nov. 6, Bowie County residents turned said. “If we lost that, we could see a negative impact because of the schools don’t necessarily care where you go to learn more, as long their ballots over and voted in favor of the tax increase to save effect it would have on our local workforce.” as you go out and do it.” Texarkana College. Another area that could be affected would be Texarkana A&M


Pleasant Grove’s Ideal Country Kenzie Floyd


You hear it from your parents. On the news. From your teachers and classmates. You see it on Twitter. Polictcs. It’s everywhere. It’s election year. Romney, or Obama? Republican or Democrat? Is it okay to be gay? What about taxes? With all the talk, we decided to ask the student body what they really think. No age requirement, no registration, no excuse not to vote. *150 students surveyed

President: MITT ROMNEY *results of school-wide mock election



Pro life or pro choice? life



77% 23% Should gay marriage be legalized? yes




Copy Editor

Should marijuana be legalized? yes


36% 64% Would you consider running for offIce someday? sure

no way

22% 78%

Cartoon by Luke Bultemier

Babe and Wilbur Turned into Bacon

Staff, Students protest against Big-Business Meat Industry Jordan Hearn reporter

Junior Alex Smith pulls out her brown bag lunch and empties everything onto the table. Pineapple, pretzels, peanutbutter sandwich. Occasionally a black bean wrap. A bottle of water. Alex is protesting. There are no signs, no screaming, no picketing, but it’s a protest. An everyday protest. Her Protest. It’s her way of standing against the meat industry. Alex is a semi-vegetarian and is cutting back on her meat intake, in general, but completely avoids beef and pork, if possible. “I do it because of the way the animals are treated. It’s not right,” Alex said. Vegetarian options are on most menus, but for most people, it’s hard to understand why anyone would give up bacon. For vegetarians like Alex, it’s not just about taste. It’s about taking a stand. “My response, though it’s small to the commercial meat industry, is how I protest animal health conditions. The chickens we eat are basically walking breast meat,” said art teacher Nina Cork. “I’m not against people eating meat. Our bodies are designed for it. What I’m against is how the animals are treated, even though they sacrifice for us.” Most people don’t think about how industrialized the commercial meat industry is. Over 600,000 animals are slaughtered for meat per hour in the U.S. The pigs go in and ham comes out. Web sites like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) describe the conditions that animals live in. While family movies like “Babe” and “Charlotte’s Web” depict pigs as family pets that roam friendly confines in the barnyard, in reality, pigs are kept in metal crates two feet wide. According to PETA, the pigs don’t have enough room to turn around, and with nothing to do

Jim & Laurie Booker DeAnna & Bret Craytor Gary & Jennifer Engstrom Joel & Carol Green Richard & Allison Payne Neil Peters Paul & Lynn Whitt Stacy Yates

Chris & Debbie Alkire Joanne Caldwell Christopher & Joyce Cook Jeff & Melanie Harris Lisa & Bobby Howell Dorothy Langdon Jon & Becky Miller Malise & Dennis O’Banion Billy & Terri Parsons Doug & Debbie Trippe Sandy & Pam Wyatt Kathleen & Tom Young Dr. Matt & Cindy Young

kept the same


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in their pens the pigs literally go insane and their mind deteriorates. And rather than being gross slobs living in a “pig sty,” The Global Action Network states that in nature pigs are very clean animals. PETA describes a big-business meat industry where pigs are forced to live in their own filth and even among other pig’s corpses. The owners pump in antibiotics to try to keep the pigs alive under these conditions but they still have to deal with deaths from infections. “Once we have the knowledge about what goes on in the meat industry and how the animals are treated and what they go through, its harder to eat that hamburger,” Cork said. However, not all vegetarians made their choice because of animal treatment. Some people are more concerned about the chemicals and process that goes into making animals “meat.” The chemicals that the animals take in from their food is eventually transferred to humans when eaten. There are many theories about how these chemicals ingested from eating these animals affect us, including a rising number of cancer cases. ( “I made my decision based a lot on health concerns,” art teacher Nicole Brisco said. ”But I am very aware of the sacrifice the animal made to provide me with a meal and I do stop and think about it while I am eating.” The general public is uninformed of what goes on in the industry, and how that Big Mac gets into their hands, but movies like “Food Inc.” and other documentaries have started to change that. “When I was in high school I watched “Fast Food Nation” and I stopped eating meat the very same day,” Brisco said. For some it was a movie that changed their minds or hearing about other’s choices, but for Alex school had almost

everything to do with it. “For Mrs.Lundy’s class I did a research paper about how animals were treated, and then later my art project was about animal treatment,” she said. “Everything seemed to point to it so I just started cutting it out of what I ate.” It’s not necessarily easy making the switch from a regular diet to a balanced vegetarian one especially if you are the only one in your family doing it. “For lunch I do a peanut butter sandwich most of the time,”but at home it’s a little harder. My whole family eats meat and when my mom makes dinner I have to try to figure something out for myself,” Alex said. “When we go out to eat, I try to get fish or seafood, but if that isn’t an option, I’ll go for chicken.” Brisco faces the same problem as she tries to feed her family. “I don’t want to force my belief onto my children. I just want them educated.” said Brisco. “If they want to try a hamburger than they can try a hamburger. I’m not going to keep them from it.” Most of the public is uneducated, but if enough people demand a change the meat industry won’t have a choice about changing their practices. “If we all did our part, even if its just small things like a Meatless Monday, it could change things,” Brisco said. “If people demanded a change it would be better. Not everyone has the means to do this but if it were a perfect world the demand could be answered and the industry would be forced to change.” With more demand for change, the industry would be forced to bend to what the people want, but looking from the outside in it doesn’t look like much is going on. “Sometimes it gets discouraging not seeing much change, but it’s my way of protesting,” Alex said. And for Alex, that change comes one lunch at a time.

Harold & Patti Baird Jane & Chuck Borrell Nita Craytor Grandpa & Grammy Davis Jim & Lisa Day Proud Granny of Madison Edmonds Cora Gann & Shelly Godwin Team Goetz – Wil, Tracy & Kosha James & Debbie Herrington Todd & Gayle Higgins Randy & Judy Kuhns Tim & Danielle Kuykendall Gary & Annell Langdon Carl & June Lewis Donna Lindsey Martha McCorkle Mary Claire O’Banion Antonio Otero Laura Pasqua Brenda Rochelle, Realtor Mark & Susan Stockstill Skip & Suzanne Stouffer Leslie & Sucky Tidwell Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Ward

Reporter Brent, Kym, Jacob & Matthew Bennett Barbara & William Carl Jason & Cheryl Clem Helen Floyd Herb & Sue Irwin Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Kososki Jackie & Sonya Laney Kim & Brent Langdon Mr. & Mrs. Royce Loomis Brian & Sylvia McElhany Nancy Hall Martin Mr. & Mrs. David Mueller Jane Pappas Mr. & Mrs. Charles Reed Rose Lynn Russell Edward Smith Mr. & Mrs. Richard Stark Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Stockstill Charles & Linda Sullivan Charles & Chris Terry Amber & Micah Tompkins Laura Waters

Thanks to these supporters of Pleasant Grove Journalism. If you would like to support our program, contact us at 903- 832- 8005.

page 7

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START HERE 1. Which of the following was the very first Disney movie? A. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs B. Cinderella C. Sleeping Beauty D. Beauty and the Beast

You want answers?” “I want the truth!” “You can’t handle the truth! Ooohe! A Few Good Men! Get that one right? It’s time to see how well you know your movies. Circle and fill in your answers to the following questions, then check them at the bottom of the page when you’re done. 7. What kind of animal does Napolean imagine in the 2004 movie Napolean Dynamite? A. An invincible bear B. A catdog C. A soaring penguin D. A liger 8. What 2004 movie is this quote from? “So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me... everyday. 9. Who was Obiwan Kenobi’s mentor in the movie Star Wars? A. Qui-Gon Jinn B. Yoda C. Hansolo D.General Grievous

15. What is the name of Mark’s pet frog in Cheaper by the Dozen? A. Lilly B. Slimy C. Beans D.Pork 16. What character from The Notebook says “If I’m a bird, you’re a bird?” A. Allie B. Duke C. Frank D. Noah 17. In which of the following movies does a middle-aged man go back in time to fix his future?

2. Who said “Get in loser, we’re going shopping.” in the movie Mean Girls?

A. Step Brothers B. Seventeen Again C. Back to the Future D. The Last Song

A. Cady Heron B. Gretchen Weiners C. Regina George D. Janis Ian

18. Fill in the blank for this quote from the 2000 movie Remember the Titans.

3. Name the movie. “My mama always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.’”

“Coach, I’m hurt. I’m not ____.”

10. What high school football team was the movie Friday Night Lights based on? A. Marshall High School B. Southlake Carroll C. Odessa Permian D.East High

A. The garden B. The ball C. The prince’s castle D. In the woods 14. What kind of animal is Baloo from the 1967 movie The Jungle Book? A. Sloth bear B. Panther C. Parrot D. Monkey

16. D 17. B 18. dead 19. Woody (A),

Rex (B), Buzz Lightyear (C), Mr. Potato Head (D) 20. C

(turn upside down)

13. Where does Cinderella lose her glass slipper?

12. C 13. B 14. A 15. C


A. “Reach for the sky!” B. “Were you scared? Tell me honestly.” C. “To infinity and beyond!” D. “Son of a building block! It’s Woody!”

20. How old is the sea turtle named Crush in Finding Nemo? A. 80 B. 100 C. 150 D. 210

9. A 10. C 11. Deer, Re, golden, Mi, run

6. Who said “You’re killing me Smalls!” in the 1993 movie The Sandlot? A. Yeah-Yeah B. Benny C. Smalls D. Ham Porter

19. Match the Toy Story character with the correct quote.

5. D 6. A 7. D 8. The Notebook

5. In the 1978 movie Grease, where are Danny and Sandy when they sing “You’re the one That I Want?” A. The drive-in movie theater B. The diner C. The school D. The carnival

12. Which two characters from the 1994 movie The Lion King sing “Hakuna Matata?” A. Simba and Zazu B. Mufasa and Nala C. Timon and Pumbaa D.Rafiki and Scar

1. A 2. C 3. Forrest Gump 4. B

4. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, what is the name of the tournament held in Hogwarts? A. Phenix Tournament B. Triziward Tournament C. Wizard Cup D. The Pervati Cup

11. Fill in the blanks. “Doe, a ____, a female deer. ___, a drop of ______ sun. __, a name I call myself. Fa, a long long way to ___.”

breaking it down of Pleasant Grove students 66% say they have been bullied of students say they been targeted emo52% have tionally One out of every 10 students in the nation drop out or change schools because of repeated bullying. of students admit to being a “bully” at some point -50 students surveyed


I am a high school student. I tweet my every thought. I rely on my news feed to remember birthdays. I spend hours scrolling through Pinterest, planning my future. I never call. Even my grandparents have cell phones. I “smh” when my parents ask what a “yolo” is. I vent about the “know-it-alls” and the “hallway blockers”. I subtweet my latest frustration. I flick the person sleeping in front of me. I spread the secrets I wasn’t supposed to share. I make snide remarks under my breath so they can’t hear. I laugh at another’s appearance. Their clothes. Their hair. Their size. I decide what looks “good”. I am a friend. A son. A daughter. I am not a bully.

Ashlyn Hurst reporter


inger. He tries to ignore it. Ginger. The word echoes in the pale yellow classroom. Ginger. Can’t they see it bothers him? Pulling his hood over his mop of bright red hair, he puts his head down on the cold desk. Ginger. Something touches his back. He feels it again. And again. Ginger. He raises his head and looks over his shoulder. A sea of colorful sticky notes cover his back. “Ginger.” “No soul.” That’s it. He pushes himself out of the desk and heads for the door. His tormentors. His best friends. His classmates. The people he’s known for years. Bullies. They call it “the face.” The first time she sees it scrolling through her home feed, junior Madison Dudley doesn’t notice. It’s just another picture, posted by someone she has never met. Until someone tells her. Madison checks her latest post. It’s obvious. They are making fun of her. At first, there is one. One stranger. One picture. One bully. But within days, they are everywhere. The friends of friends. The people she has never met. Bullies.

For years, the media has defined bullying as the physical mistreatment of others, and while physical intimidation is a serious form of bullying, students forget what “being a bully” really means. “Sometimes people confuse bullying with threatening. Bullying can be any number of things,” counselor Louanne Smith said. “Students call it boy- drama or girl-drama or a typical break-up, but it’s not.” Stomp Out Bullying, a national anti-bullying program for kids and teens, reports that in schools across the United States one out of every four students has been bullied and one out of five admit to being “the bully.” The first step to solving this problem is understanding its different forms. “Bullying is any negative message towards another person,” said Dr. Betty Feir, a local school psychology specialist. “It can be emotional, physical, talking about another person, or even excluding someone.” The school’s student code of conduct defines bullying as “a written or oral expression or physical conduct that has a physically harming effect on a student, damages a student’s property, places a student in reasonable fear of harm, creates an intimidating or abusive environment, sending or posting harmful material, or engaging in other forms of social aggression using technology. “Bullying isn’t taking someone’s lunch money or putting them in a trash can–it’s getting in their head and under their skin,” senior Emily Stouffer said. And it’s becoming easier. In a world of Facebook, Twitter, and text-messaging,

I am not a bully. one of its most common forms is cyber bullying. “People are too afraid to do it in person, so they throw punches online,” said senior Avery Borrell. “Another big part of it is people are looking for retweets and are willing to be mean or make fun of someone if other people will think it’s funny.”

about him. “Multiple times, people have talked about me behind my back. I knew they didn’t want to hurt me, but they didn’t know how much it would affect me,” Conner said. “I am lucky to have close friends who stand up for me when I’m not there to hear it.” But not everyone is as lucky as Conner. To have friends who defend him. People Past theatre. 602 to his left. The band to support him. The self-esteem to ignore hall to his right. Senior Conner Palmore it. adjusts the backpack “I think bullying swinging from his shoulhas caused some der. His eyes meet one of students to graduate his friend’s as she turns early. Most cases go the corner brushing away unreported, and we tears. can’t help if we don’t “What’s wrong?” know what is going It’s “them.” Again. on,” Smith said. This time, their gossip Gossip, name-calland snide remarks haven’t ing, and talking about only affected Conner– Conner Palmore, 12 others are all exthey have brought his amples of emotional friend to tears. She can’t bear to listen to and social bullying, but often rationalized them anymore, can’t bear to hear them to be “just part of high school.” complaining about his latest accomplish“I think a big part of it is immaturity,” ment. principal Bill Harp said. “In high school, “He doesn’t deserve it,” they say. students are still developing and seeking “Why would they chose him?” they peer acceptance. Usually, the person who whisper. does the teasing or bullying is the one with He tells her to ignore it. Something he self-esteem problems.” has learned to do well. According to Dr. Feir, bullying can lead He continues down the hallway. Foyer. to life-long problems such as lack of selfLeft then right. He contains his anger. esteem, depression, and can contribute to They can’t know they’ve gotten to him. social anxiety disorder. As he walks into the classroom, “they” “I’ve never, in my 43 years of practice, greet him with smiles. His peers. His had a bully come to me for help,” Dr. classmates. Bullies. Feir said. “Most bullies don’t have an insight on how they are hurting the other Conner is no stranger to bullying, but person.” stays positive despite what others say In fifth grade, the Dare Program tried

“I knew they didn’t want to hurt me, but they didn’t know how much it would affect me.”

to teach just that. “They told us, when we saw someone being bullied to go up to them and say ‘Stop! That’s not nice.’,” Avery said. But not everyone has the courage to stand up against bullying. Dr. Feir advises victims to take the initiative and report it. “If you and being bullied, tell a person of authority,” she said. “Talk to a parent, friend, teacher, principal; tell someone.” Because everyone has different levels of tolerance and sensitivity, where is the line drawn between friendly jokes and bullying? “We [adults] don’t always know which is playful teasing and which is bullying,” Smith said. “‘Playing around’ becomes bullying when the student isn’t playing. There’s a fine line especially between friends. Your friends know better than anyone what it takes to hurt you.” For senior Adam Lyons, the line was drawn at his identity. “It had gone too far when ‘ginger’ became what I was called and marked who I was,” he said. Something as simple as one word or post can have an unforgettable impact. “I went home crying almost every night,” Madison said. “It was awful, but there was nothing I could do.” The code of conduct draws the line at “reasonable fear,” but for most victims of bullying, it isn’t the fear that hurts. For most bullies, fear isn’t the intent, and in many cases, they don’t see the emotional scar they create. “I didn’t know how much it bothered him [Adam] until he told me,” said senior Nathan Hurst. “Everyone called him that. “I only meant it as a joke.”

page10 21?s


14 15 with

questions Jose Rangel

What’s your favorite app? The pocket Poke’ Dex

What’s your favorite Pokemon? Laparus, she’s adorable, she understands human speech, and she can take me across the sea; also, she’s got a mean hydro-cannon.


What does Ohshizzlegizengar stand for? Whenever the Unknown Pokemon breed, that’s their mating call.


1 2 3 4 5

If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring? I would bring a genie in a bottle, Mountain Dew Voltage, and a huge box of tacos! If you could hang out with anyone for a day, who would it be? Mrs. Norton, she is a great lady who really understands me, not many people get me like she does. What do you gel your hair with? Bacon grease, and lots of it.

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? I like enjoying my sucker. I just get down to business and get to the tootsie roll part. What is your dream vehicle? A Hippogriff, like in Harry Potter, I’d name it David!


Where did your parents go to college and do you plan on going there? Ball State University in Indiana, I don’t plan on going there, I have a lot of dark memories from that place.


Would you rather have freakishly long nose hair, or terrible B.O.? Both, I like to be an extremist, make some nice shapes with my nose hair, can’t do much with B.O. though... unless I want to get people to leave a room.


If you could be any fictional character who would you be? Ezio Auditore da Firenze from Assassin’s Creed 2, I could sneak into people’s houses and read their diaries, and if they see me I can take them out with my hidden blade.

9 10

If you had a time machine, where would you go? I want to go to Florence during the Renaissance era and join the Assassin’s guild with my boy Ezio. My assassin name would be... Mario N’ Luigi.


Who will win the Champions League (European Soccer)? Barcelona, I feel like, from the first seven or eight matches, we have seen a lot of confidence in our offensive play. Our transition to defense and getting the ball back is flawless.


When did you start playing soccer? I’ve been playing soccer since I was in the womb, I would use my mom’s belly button as a soccer ball, interesting fact, that’s why she is an outie!


What is your favorite professional soccer team? FC Barcelona, five years ago they were easy to follow because they were the greatest team in the world. Their playing style is unique and a ton of fun to watch, and I love everything about the players.


What would your dream job be? An astronaut, a contract killer, or Kyle’s neck. I could take cute pictures in my space suit, As a killer i’d be more like Ezio and Mario N’ Luigi. Kyle’s neck would be an easy job because there’s not much to hold hold up!

11 12 13


What is your favorite soccer memory? When we were playing Texas High, I scored a late minute winner. The game was two to nothing Texas and we came back to win with two minutes left.

What do you want to do when somebody mispronounces your name? Well, if they say it’s something like wrangle, I’d have to wrangle them.

Just for clarity, how do you pronounce your name? Rang-el

Do you wish you were paid in Trident Layers? Money over everything, got money on my mind, why would anyone want to be paid in gum?


Where all have you lived? I’ve lived in Muncie, Indiana; Richmond, Indiana; Easton, Pennsylvania; Bucaramanga, Colombia; Cartagena, Colombia; and Texarkana, Texas. Soon to be added to the list is Antarctica.

page11 A&E

Twenty. You’ve had your senior prom. You’ve thrown your hat in the air after graduating high school. You’ve experienced your first college football game. You’ve voted. And you think you’ve read your favorite books of all time. But odds are, you haven’t read the books that have changed the world and the way people think. English teacher Shawn Edmonds has read many of these books and knows the importance that they bring. “Reading in general makes students better writers and increases their vocabulary, but especially when you read a lot of the classics,” Edmonds said. “I feel

like the classics expand the student’s knowledge of literary style and also gives them a larger world view. Not to mention it teaches the students about different writing styles and cultural experiences of the authors.” But it’s not all about knowledge to senior Katy Beth Irwin. A big part of what makes these books classics, are the lessons that they bring. Each classic has a different lesson, but the one that connects to Katy Beth the most is The Scarlet Letter. “The Scarlet letter teaches people not to lie, because eventually the truth is going to come out one way or another.

People shouldn’t let mistakes tear them up on the inside, they should just confess them,” Katy Beth said. “It may be hard to keep an open mind or pay attention to the classics, but they all teach great lessons. And lessons learned are timeless, people go through the same struggles no matter what the era is.” People read for different reasons. Some for cultural knowledge, some for life lessons, and others for entertainment. Many books have one of these elements, few books have all of them. These books are the exception. That’s what makes them the twenty books to read before you’re twenty.

The Next


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Gatsb life around li e ea vi is g h ci d rs va s a n n te sa a er a ye , e ea h d rd th to who o belove an orp lost five to try to cr and reason rms of his ce is about the love he , into the a ’s Apprenti rphanage chooses uchannan, h lt er B g ea n a w R to seo erie overty pprentice S now at the age that th ’s apprentice, then a him from p eath. Ranger’s A er d h g it n ill is to w ra W y d ll a l. n a il a t, tu , rs W fi even ke a ranger li child named as been chosen to be re o m e ecom he h quired to b h many challenges. his career, book he re ug ch ro ea th In lf . se ranger rove him p to s a h e that goal, h

Twenty Books to Read Before You’re Twenty

Harrison Benefield (9)-”The Jason Bourne Trilogy is incredible because of the action and the culture you get to see. I read all three this summer, each one took me about three weeks.” What book do you think everyone should read before they reach the age of 20? Mrs. Cook- Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer “It contains material that will help anyone with transition in their life and how to understand life circumstances that may not be the best and turn them into something positive.”

Taylor Everett (12)- Rooftops of Tehran “It’s got the romance aspect, the government rebellion aspect, and it still has an incredible plot.”




$ Financial Aid & You

1. Get a jump on the process. Scholarships are taken quickly, and you will want your fast fund submission ready by January to ensure your place in federal, state, and school fincancial aid.













5. Don’t Stop. Start looking for scholarships, grants, and fellowship. Your financial situation or academic record could change over the years, and could in fact have an impact on financial aid and eligibility. Check out “” for scholrship info.


6. Don’t assume. Almost every family is eligible for at least some financial aid, even those families that think they earn too much. 7. Start low. Focus first on the lowest-cost financial aid: scholarships, grants, and work study cost you nothing because they don’t have to be repaid.


8. Aim high. Don’t think you can’t get into your dream school due to the high pricetag. 9. Stay on track. The financial aid process can be long, and there are tons of things to remember. Make photo copies of all forms and applications and kep them in a handy file, just in case. 10. Get help when you need it. Everyone has questions about the financial aid process and the type of aid available.




4. Save money for college. Yup the good old fashioned solution. Family assets are a factor in financial aid and though your savings will reduce the amount of financial aid you will receive, it will not reduce it by much.




3. Accuracy counts. “Filll out your Fasfa application carefully and correctly. If it contains errors or it is incomplete then expect it to be sent back to you.” Said Counsilor Smith




2. First come, first serve. FASFA, or “Fast Financial Advising” will help you in any way possible. However submit your Fasfa application on January 1st. Don’t wait for tax returns

2012 2013

Best Colleges in Texas Texas A&M University Tuition & fees: $8,387/$22,817 Acceptance Rate:69% SAT 25th-75th percentile: 1610-1950 ACT 25th-75th percentile: 24-30 Location: College Station, Texas University of Texas at Austin. Tuition & fees: $9,418/$31,218 Acceptance Rate: 47% SAT 25th-75th percentile: 16302020 ACT 25th-75th percentile: 25-31 Location: Austin, Texas Rice University Tuition & fees: $33,771 Acceptance Rate: 21% SAT 25th-75th percentile: 20002300 ACT 25th-75th percentile: 30-34 Location: Houston, Texas


Senior Checklist

Start finalizing applications

Finalize scholarship forms

Check in- and out-of-state tuition

Take or retake the ACT

Check distance from home

Explore Job Opportunities

Research scholarships Check out photos from sports, school events on Search “Pleasant Grove” to purchase photos by journalism photographers

Create budget with your parents for expenses Request Transcripts from counselors

Fill out FASFA in January for financial aid

CATERING DELIVERY & MORE 300 E. New Boston Road Nash, TX (903) 334-8227

Shooting For the St ar s

page13 sports (Left) Senior Alex Alsup puts the ball up to the net. ccraytorphoto (Right) With full determination, senior LaDarius Reid practices for his last season. nthigpenphoto

Curtis Zachry reporter

There’s a difference between playing against teams in District 14-AAA and the number one high school basketball player in the nation. Just ask senior Dustin Thomas. “This summer I played with an AAU basketball team that was sponsored out of Dallas,” he said. “We played against a lot of really good teams–the best players I have ever played against. I played against a lot of highly recruited players like Emmanuel Mudiay, who is the number one high school player in the class of 2014.” Dustin was put to the test every game he played with the Dallas “Truth” Trojans, sponsored by Deon Sanders, but he relished in finally playing with guys who challenged him. “I loved going against guys who were just as good and even better then me,” Thomas said. “I am not used to playing with guys that are much better then me, so when I started to get out there with guys who were out showing me, it pushed me to work at another level.” Dustin knew that he couldn’t just play basketball to get on the same level as his fellow teammates. There was another aspect of his game that he had to work on. His strength. So instead of Dustin being on the court in the morning, as most people would expect, he was in the gym, doing work. “When I was home I would wake up at 8 and workout with weights at Mintons. After that I would go and practice in the gym, and most days I wouldn’t get home until 9 that

night,” Dustin said. “In Dallas I would train with personal trainer every morning at 6, then practice with the rest of the team from 2 until 7.” For Dustin all the hard work and training in the offseason has put him on another level, both physically and mentally. “My game is a lot more developed and refined so I have a lot more moves I can use now. Plus I increased my vertical by about 6 inches,” he said. “Also I have a lot more confidence this season. I saw this summer I can hang with the best of the best, it is like this season I’m ready to be a leader for the younger guys.” Dustin wasn’t the only player from Pleasant Grove who played on an elite team this summer. Senior Reggie Myrks also played on Dustin’s team and has been working, right by Dustin’s side the whole time, getting experience for the upcoming season. “Both of us got a lot better from the experience,” Reggie said. “The team is only bringing back three players from last year but we have some young guys who are going to step up. This team may not be as big as last year’s but everyone knows their role, we all fit nice together and are insanely good on offense. We can beat anyone as long as play our game, and Dustin doesn’t foul out.” Reggie’s expectations for this season are on a different level this year. Last year he didn’t exactly know what was in store for his team at the beginning of the season. But this year, he is determined to go all the way with the talent that he sees. “Make it to and win state, simple as that,” Reggie said. “Anything less is a disappointing

season. We can easily win district and so we have to stay focused and keep working hard to get to state.” Dustin and Reggie know how tough a road to state is. Last year they came up short, losing in the regional tournament, and they know how bad it hurts. But they are confident that their regular season play will prepare them for the playoffs. “Last year we could have gone further in the playoffs but we didn’t have a tough enough non-district schedule so we weren’t ready when we played teams that were as good as we where,” Dustin said. “We have a much tougher schedule this season so we are going to be ready. Even though the schedule is tougher, we don’t plan on losing.” With season about to start, Dustin knows what the team needs from him and his other senior teammates this year. “All three of the seniors are going to have to play really good this season,” he said. “I am going to step out from the post and really do a little bit of everything, but I’m ready for it. I just can’t get in foul trouble, because you can’t help your team from the bench.” And if Dustin is ever on the bench, he will have to get use to sitting next to regular high schoolers again and not celebrities like Deion Sanders. “I sat by Deion every game when I wasn’t playing, we got pretty close,” Dustin said. “One time when Deion took the team out to eat, he challenged me to a game of one-onone. I told Deion whenever he was ready, bring it on and I’ll wear him out. It isn’t going upset me to beat a Hall of Famer like he’s still something.”

Come out and Support. Schedules Boys’ Varsity Basketball 11/16 Winnsboro 11/17 John Tyler 11/19 Magnolia High 11/20 Longview 11/27 Mt. Pleasant 12/4 New Boston 12/6-8 NB Tourn 12/11 Hugo 12/13-15 Tatum Tourn 12/20 Arkansas High 12/27-29 Whataburger Tourn 1/04 Pine Tree 1/11 Liberty Eylau* 1/15 Atlanta * 1/18 Paris* 1/22 Pittsburg* 1/25 North Lamar* 1/29 Liberty Eylau* 2/1 Atlanta* 2/5 Paris* 2/8 Pittsburg* 2/12 North Lamar**

PGHS PGHS Magnolia, AR Longview PGHS PGHS New Boston Hugo, OK Tatum PGHS Fort Worth Pine Tree PGHS Atlanta PGHS PGHS North Lamar Liberty Eylau PGHS Paris Pittsburg PGHS

Girls’ Varsity Basketball 11/10 Redwater PGHS 11/3 Hooks PGHS 11/16 DeKalb PGHS 11/9 Magnolia Magnolia, AR 11/20 Daingerfield PGHS 11/27 Hughes Springs PGHS 12/6-8 New Boston Tournamnet 12/11 Hugo Hugo, OK 12/14 Whitehouse PGHS 12/27-29 UT-Tyler Tournamnet Tyler 1/4 Pittsburg Pittsburg 1/8 North Lamar PGHS 1/11 Liberty Eylau PGHS 1/15 Atlanta Atlanta 1/18 Paris PGHS 1/19 Daingerfield Tournament 1/22 Pittsburg PGHS 1/25 North Lamar North Lamar 1/29 Liberty Eylau Liberty Eylau 2/1 Atlanta PGHS 2/5 Paris Paris

Lady Hawks Hope for a Great Season After scrimmaging three teams Saturday morning, the varsity Lady Hawks officially started the season Tuesday night against Mt. Pleasant. The team dropped their opener 69-46 to the 4-A Lady Tigers. The Lady Hawks debuted a new offense and a new coach, as well as three newcomers to the team. Coach Jason Boston was a head coach in the Dallas area before moving to Texarkana and is getting assistance from coach J.W. Bramlett. “We have a lot of depth on the bench this year,” junior Kelsey Kempson said. “We’re also working better as a team.” Freshmen Faith Lipham and Brent Wacha joined junior Renee Walker as varsity newcomers. Four seniors return to the team: Paige Rikel, Claire Rikel, Anna Claire Brown and Jessica Shipp.

“I think the season will be a good one as long as we stick to our offense and play aggressively on defense,” junior Ashlyn Hurst said. “We had a change in our district and it’s tough, and coach Boston is preparing us with some tough practices.” The Lady Hawks face Redwater at home Saturday afternoon.

Freshman Faith Lipham prepares herself for a jump shot. ccraytorphoto

Brandon looks on in support of the team. -pattersonstudiosphoto Brandon leads the team onto the field during his senior year. -2009yearbookphoto

page14 sports

NFL Caliber? South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said that this years’ Alabama team would have a chance to beat the worst NFL team. Whether he really thinks this or it’s just a tactic to get in the team’s head, it has people talking. The Edge wants to know what Pleasant Grove thinks. Could Alabama beat the worst team in the NFL?

38% said yes

Yes. I believe most of the Alabama football players are NFL prospects anyway.” -collincraytor, 12

62% said no

No. Because the NFL is full of grown men and none of the teams are that horrible.” -curtiszachry, 12

Not Just a Fan

Former student Brandon Edwards used to be the spirit of the football team. After graduation, Brandon still supports Hawk Nation every game from the stands. Josh Whitt co-editor

Q&A with

Sostenes “Salsa” Sanchez

What is your fastest mile time? As a freshman I ran in the Queen City track meet. I ran against seniors which pushed me to run a 5:01 mile. How does it feel to be going to state? I’m really happy about going to state but I’m still upset that the team couldn’t advance. I’m glad that I can represent my team, though. What is running a race like? Before the race I would get nervous and have butterflies in my stomach, but once the race started I got that feeling of freedom and concentrated on passing people. What are your expectations for the state meet? Finish in the top 20 out of at least 100.

Ask the Students

Ten years ago. Before President Barack Obama took office. Before the first iPhone was revealed. Former student Brandon Edwards went to his first Pleasant Grove football game. He hasn’t missed a home game since. “Brandon has not missed a home football game in 10 years,” Brandon’s step-dad Terry Whiteside said. “In 10 years Brandon has been to every home game and has only missed a handful of away games.” Brandon isn’t your normal high school football fan. In 2006, Brandon became the water and towel manager of the team. A year later Brandon got the award for being the number 1 fan at Pleasant Grove. Like any fan Brandon always had the best interest for the football team, but he didn’t hold back criticism when it was needed. Brandon gave his fair share of halftime speeches during his years as team manager. Coach Kevin Davis even recalls having to hold him back because he never ran out of things to say. Brandon was not only a fan, but part of the team. “Davis used to have to tell Brandon to keep quiet during halftime,” Terry said while laughing. “It wasn’t that he was being too loud, he may have just told them they weren’t playing too well.” When Brandon was born, doctors found that he had a 47th chromosome as opposed to the normal 46. In other words, Brandon was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Atlantoaxial Instability is common in 10-30% of Down Syndrome patients. AAI is a weakness between the C1 and C2 vertebrates of the spine. The C1 and C2 are responsible for most of the rotation of the



How fast do you think you could run a marathon?

Cross country team had a close shave with state after running in the Arlington Regionals, but freshman Sostenes Sanchez placed 10th overall to advance

“ on the edge

At least a 10 hour 5 minute and .002573 millisecond marathon. - nickcockerell, senior

I don’t think I could finish it... But if I had to finish I think it would be 18 hours. - catherinedaddato, senior

neck making them very important for the skull. It usually requires no surgery or further treatment, but doctors do advise that people with AAI do not participate in sports. Because of this condition Brandon can’t actually play his favorite sports, but he doesn’t let that stop him from cheering his teams on. In 2006, Brandon began walking onto the sidelines to get just a little bit closer to the team. Before Davis knew it, Brandon was standing alongside him and the players. Davis eventually gave Brandon the manager job. It meant he helped with the teams water and towels and wore his legendary number one jersey. Brandon loved what he did and everyone knew it. Aside from his job on the sidelines, Brandon took pride in leading the team out of the tunnel at every home game. After the team’s chant Brandon started the stampede on to the field in front of the pack with the team trailing behind. It was his position and he owned it. He became a natural leader and encourager on the team. “He gets upset if they(the football team) lose,” Brandon’s mom Sabrina Whiteside said. “But he is still a real fan and will be encouraging the team at the end of the day.” Brandon is 27 now but he still loves supporting the hawks even in unfavorable conditions. Whether the Hawks are down by 20 points or the lightening is causing an hour delay, Brandon makes sure to stay until the end. Even if his parents might object. “Brandon is non-stop.” Brandon’s mom Sabrina Whiteside said. “He is a true supporter and we can not leave a football game early. That clock has to go down to zero for Brandon to leave.” 10 years ago. Before Twitter existed. Before the economy went down. Pleasant Grove’s biggest football fan bought his first ticket at Leon Blake Stadium.

Chelsea Cole reporter

After taking the district cross country crown three weeks ago, the varsity team had a plan: finish third at Regionals. “The way we had it figured was that the top two teams were probably set, so the final spot at State would be between us and Sanger,” junior Jorge Rodriguez said. Despite a big kick by sophomore Sostenes Sanchez to finish tenth, the Hawks couldn’t quite pull it off. “After our strong finish in district, I thought we had a legitimate chance at placing top three at regionals and therefore go to state,” coach Kendrick Smith said, “Everyone ran the best they could, but it just wasn’t enough.”

Posing for the picture, the cross country team celebrates a first place district finish. -Gilbertphoto The top three teams from regionals could advance to state. The Pleasant Grove team finished fourth overall, just shy of the advancing mark. It was not all gloom for the Hawks as there were still individual places to be set. The top ten individual runners advance on to state. With his tenth place finish, reached his goal of competing at the state meet. “Of course I’m upset that the whole team isn’t going, but I’m very happy that I’m getting to represent the school at state,” Sostenes said. The cross country team started practice in the beginning of August giving them a solid 15 weeks to prepare for the district meet. After 15 weeks of daily 13 mile runs, the team ran a total of 975 miles. That’s as many miles as it

takes to run to the regional meet in Arlington, and back . . . twice. The cross country boys realized they had literally run their way to the regional meet. At district, the team faced their main rival, Atlanta. “We went into district thinking it was between us an Atlanta. At one point they were ranked in the top five in the state so they were our main competition,” junior Jorge Rodriguez said. “We ended up winning by a big margin--30 points--which is a big margin in cross country. We had Salsa finish second and four runners in the top ten.” The state meet will be held in Round Rock on November 10 at 12 a.m. Sostenes and head coach Kendrick Smith plan on going to state and making history.

page15 sports

That’s My Boy Girl.” Mr. Kirk has always been one for jokes. His students know that. “On August 14, 1997, The Child Bride and I arrived at a hospital in Denver and discovered that the child was in fact, a boy, so we like to call him ‘The Boy.’ I also like to call him ‘Graysoní’ for fun,” his father, Mr. Kirk said. “But in all seriousness, his name is Grayson. Since he’s adopted, he doesn’t exactly have a black and white image of things as a kid, so I named him Grayson.” They’d heard the name, but what students weren't sure of, was Grayson. With a title like “The Boy,” there was a lot left up to interpretation. But whatever the interpretation, you can bet on the fact that Mr. Kirk and Grayson are not very similar, especially with how different their stories are about the nickname. “Well, my dad’s story isn’t quite true. It actually all started on the sports radio show that he’s on. Every so often Coach Tony Kirk pauses for a moment with his son Grayson Kirk. he would talk about the family, and he called my mom The Child Bride, my Kyle Green sister was called The Girl, and I was The Boy,” Grayson said. reporter “He did it to keep our identities hidden, but eventually it just The infamous father son duo share turned into a joke.” more than just a family relationship. Whether Grayson is at school, or at home, he is seeing or hearing his father in some way. Mr. Kirk’s ESPN radio job and They share a bond both on and off teaching job ensure this. The ordinary student might hate this, the court. but Grayson embraces it. Instead of seeing it as a hassle and a nuisance, he sees it as an opportunity to connect with his dad. The Boy. “I think it’s pretty cool that we see each other every day You’ve heard the name. now. We can finally share stories and relate to funny things But you don’t know the story. that have happened in school. He can also help and guide me For students of government teacher Tony Kirk, “The Boy” through a lot of things I will need help with in high school,” is the mysterious character who is part of the Kirk family, part Grayson said. “I just think it’s pretty neat having the chance to of the family that also includes “The Child Bride” and “The see your dad everyday walking in the hallways of your school.”

If seeing and hearing his dad at school and hearing him at home on the radio isn’t enough for Grayson, he will also have him as his freshman basketball coach. This isn’t a big deal though. Mr. Kirk has coached Grayson before on the court for the PGYA league. “A lot of players have a hard time connecting with coaches, but with me, I’m not nervous around him,” Grayson said. “Whether it’s on the court or in the living room watching a basketball game, he’s always giving me really helpful tips. It’s just really easy to play for someone that you have a great relationship with.” Grayson and Mr. Kirk are on the same page. There is no doubt about that. But it hasn’t always been this way. According to Mr. Kirk, his coaching style has changed a little from what it was back in the PGYA league. “I’ve coached Grayson before, and it’s a ton of fun to watch him play. He’s a very entertaining basketball player,” Kirk said. “I used to be way too hard on him back in little league, but I’ve laid off a little, which has definitely helped my coaching and his playing on the court.” Hard coaching and dedication have brought Grayson to where he is today in his basketball career. And through the years, Mr. Kirk has stood from the sidelines and watched his son get better and better. Now he is proud to say that Grayson is truly something special on the court. “The boy’s got a killer instinct--he’s got the ability to put any team away. It really is a ton of fun watching him on the court,” Mr. Kirk said. “The sad part it is that any athletic talent he has, it has absolutely nothing to do with me.” Grayson is a unique kid. Mr. Kirk has made this evident. But this trait doesn’t come from his desire to excel at basketball, nor does it come from his nickname. It comes from the gray image he has. And Grayson wouldn’t want it any other way. “You know, most kids don’t get to hang out with their dads like I do. They see their dads at the end of the day, and I get to hang out with mine all day. My dad is an awesome teacher, and awesome coach, and most importantly an awesome dad,” Grayson said. “He’s different, he’s not like any other dad. He’s out of the ordinary, unpredictable, and I love that.”





Girls’ JV Basketball

Junior Erika Rodriguez

Head coach: Jason Boston Record so far: 0-1 Top Players: I am still looking forward to seeing who will emerge as our top players. Season Expectations: I plan on getting better every game and making a spot in playoffs. Junior John Robert Beck

Boys’ Varsity Soccer

Junior Tyler Goldsmith

Head coach: Matt Wright First Game: Jan. 8, Springhill Top Players: “Jose Rangel will be taking care off the offense. Luke Bultemeier and I will have the defense on lockdown,” Josh Whitt said. Season Expectations: “Nothing less than district,” Whitt said.


Head coach: Steve Wren Last Tournament: “We finished third at Northridge with the team showing they can step it up.” Wren said. Top Players: “Jacob Rochelle and Nick Quinn are our top players and our top girl is Brittany Lassard.” Wren said. Season Expectations: “We can be district champs and we have a shot of placing in the Freshman Savannah top 3 at regionals and advancing to state.” Wren Power said.

Upcoming Games: Boys’ Soccer 1/3- Alumni Scimmage 1/5- Quad Scimmage 1/8- Springhill 1/11- @ Whitehouse

Upcoming meets: Golf 11/29- @ Woodhollow, Hallsville

Head coach: Katie Whitecotten Recent Matches: 3-2 Top Players: “Travis has a lot of experience so he is our top guy. Sarah Mitchell is our top girls.” Whitecotten said. Season Expectations: “I think we can get at least half the team to regionals.” Whitecotten said.

Upcoming tournaments: Tennis 11/5- @ Liberty-Eylau Playoffs- TBA

We support Hawk Nation!

Amigo Juan Mexican Restaurant 4301 Morris Lane

Edge Issue 2 2012  

Edge Issue 2

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