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Dancing Dolphin

Former Dolphins cheerleader coaches TBS team

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4875 Grandiflora Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, 33418

Chief Executive Teacher

Deutsche Bank CEO co-teaches economics class

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October 12, 2012

Issue 2

Volume 33

Technology upgrades impact school Questions remain regarding the priority of future improvements By Ben Greenspan Copy Editor

LIAM FINE / Staff Photographer

Mr. Tony Melendez, born without arms, learned to play the guitar with his feet at a young age.

Armless musician kicks off lecture series By Jerrie James Staff Writer

This year’s leadership lecture series started with Mr. Tony Melendez, a musician who was born with no arms. His Oct. 4 performance inspired students and faculty to sing along and wave their arms in the air throughout the presentation. He started the performance with a video, sharing his background and why he is this way. This video gave the audience the background to understand him and what he goes through on a daily basis.

Melendez was born missing his arms because his mother was given thalidomide, a medicine for morning sickness, while she was pregnant. Although he has no arms, this does not stop him from doing what he desires. Melendez has played for Pope John Paul II three times. He also played at the Major League Baseball World Series, and on various television shows including 700 Club, Good Morning America, and The Today Show. Melendez has been honored with numerous awards including the first annual Inspirational Hero Award from the NFL Alumni Association at Super Bowl

XXIII. He not only travels the world inspiring people with his music and wisdom but also wrote a best-selling autobiography, A Gift of Hope. “Aside from the obvious hurdles that he has overcome in his own life, there seemed to be a genuine concern for everyone in the gym,” mathematics teacher Mr. Ron Ream said. “He got us all involved, and for me, it was my kind of music. I really enjoyed the entire program.” “Melendez really inspired me to not give up. His performance was different and interesting. The per See Musician page 5

The school’s implementation of numerous technology changes during the summer has received mixed reviews from students and faculty and has prompted many to wonder why other modifications were not made. Since June, the Technology Department has changed the school website, grading system, and e-mail system. According to Director of Technology Mr. Russell Tepper, the major modifications stemmed from the need to update the school’s website. “Our website was hosted by a company called finalsite and our contract with them was over,” Mr. Tepper said. “So we evaluated all different providers and decided on a company called Blackbaud that had already been in use to manage our business systems. We took a look at what additional products Blackbaud offered, and we found that they had a whole school-management software.” Mr. Tepper continued, “Blackbaud met all of our needs, was already in use here, and would integrate really well with our new website, so it was a no-brainer.” Because Blackbaud runs the school database, Mr. Tepper believes that it is an efficient system as it can post the grades, record student and teacher logins, and aid the functioning between the database and the website. The Blackbaud grading system on the See Technology page 5

Organizers deem BPA school-wide event successful By Ashlyn Sendler Staff Writer

Students and parents alike deem the recent school-wide family fun night hosted by the Benjamin Parents Association a great success. On Friday, Sept. 28 the event was held at the upper school campus on the grassy field between the Healey Athletic Complex and Reed Performing Arts Center. It took place from six till nine, and luckily, the weather complied with the festivities. The event included family entertainment, food, and activities for students of all ages, as well as their parents. C.R. Chicks provided the dinner, along with soft drinks and water. Desserts included homemade donuts from Donut Divas and shaved ice. Entertainment and activities for the

Study Abroad New students from China and Australia join Benjamin page 14

night were abundant, including a fourstation bungee jump, a mechanical bull, a bounce house slide, a rock climbing wall and “Boogie Bodies,” an activity where the students would zip up in green suits and sing a karaoke song, but when they were viewed on the screen, the students’ heads were placed on animated bodies. Each student got a DVD of himself at the end of the song. As for parents, picnic tables were spread all throughout the area so they could socialize as well as watch their children play. “The BPA decided to have a community event because we felt that having three different divisions on two different campuses did not provide many opportunities to get everybody together. So we thought it would be great to have one community, school-wide event to get the students and their families all together,” See Event page 4

EMILY DUNKEL / Graphics Editor

Students enjoyed the rock climbing wall between the gym and building two.

News: 1-5 School Life: 12-15 Opinions: 6-7 The Scene: 16-17 Spotlight: 10-11 Sports: 18-20

Paralympian Former leadership speaker competes in Paralympic games page 18

Page 2 October 12, 2012

The Pharcyde View more news @ PHARBLOG.COM

From boys to men: Girls spend weeks preparing their grade’s male cheerleaders for performance By Paige Sode Staff Writer

Attempting a forward roll and nearly breaking his neck, junior male cheerleader, Ethan Kaslow, springs off the ground, and challenges the roll once again, realizing he must do whatever it takes in order to lead his team and himself to victory. The highly anticipated male cheerleading competition stands as one of the most celebrated events of Homecoming Week, and male cheerleaders have found themselves dedicating an extreme amount of time in order to present their class with a winning title. On the fourth day of the week, teams of freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior boys stood before the school and took part in a choreographed routine made up of both cheering and dancing. Days before the performance, tensions among each of the teams rose, practices started to dominate free time, and the male cheerleaders revealed their true colors. Senior male cheerleader Ryan Rengasawmy had extremely high expectations for his team, having won first place sophomore and junior year. “We were 100% ready and we knew what we had to do. No matter the results, although we’ll probably win, we know

WILLIAM CONRAN / Staff Photographer

Seniors Jake Reitman, Ryan Rengasawmy, Austin Rosenthal, Dean Sandquist and Alex Schepps take instruction from their coach senior Emma Cecchini at a male cheerleading practice.

we’re the best,” he said. When asked about his opinion of the competition, Rengasawmy said, “I respect the sophomores, but I am hearing that they went to YouTube and took videos from other peoples’ past performances, which I think is pretty lame. The juniors, I didn’t expect much out of them. The freshmen, well, they’re freshmen.” Ever since the seniors’ tenth

grade victory in 2010, they have been marked as a major threat and looked upon as male cheerleading gods, according to junior competitor McKenna Johnston. “The whole team is a powerhouse. Everybody has their own specific talent, and together, their talents mesh extremely well,” he said. “You’ve really got to look out for their entire crew. They’re an inspiration to

us, but they also motivated us to work harder and strive for that first place.” Scheduling practice times, making up cheers and dances, and creating costumes are all part of the male cheerleading experience, but in this case, the girls stand in charge. Behind the scenes of male cheerleading lie the female coaches, who dedicate their own time to help prepare the

boys for their big day. Sophomore coach Izzy Grabel admits that some of the practices have been extremely stressful, and that they have had to take a break every half hour because of the short attention span the boys seem to have. “I’ve taken a lot of extra time and effort to put the routine together. Sometimes it was difficult to get them to focus, but in the end it was all worth it because they appeared ready to perform,” she said. Participants in male cheer display great respect for and appreciation of their female classmates, who devote their own time in constructing practices and choreographing the dances. “Lauren Bernick and Emma Cecchini are equivalent to my lacrosse coaches; they are just as hard; they put in numerous hours of time and effort into the practices; and they know what dance is all about,” Rengasawmy said. According to some students, male cheerleading is considered to be a joke, but to the male cheerleaders, the word “joke” doesn’t exist. “Male cheerleading is what everyone looks forward to during homecoming week and needs to be taken more seriously,” Kaslow said. “We don’t just perform to impress the other teams. We perform to beat the other teams.” v

Spring Break trips offered to Europe and New York By Rachel Smith Staff Writer

Over spring break two groups of students will have the opportunity to travel to New York City or to England and France on cultural immersion trips. The New York City excursion, led by Dr. John Peruggia and Ms. Mary Alice Ditaranto of the English Department, will take place from March 23 to March 30 and feature visits to famous city landmarks including Trump Tower, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the United Nations, and the Empire State Building. “I think the Spring Break trip to New York will be a fun, exciting, and enlightening cultural experience for everyone who goes,” Dr. Peruggia said. In addition to visiting these New York landmarks, the group will visit several museums and attend two Broadway Shows as well as a performance at Lincoln Center. “We'll be doing the ‘tourist’ things in different ways thanks to some behind the scene connections I have in the City,” Dr. Peruggia said. According to Dr. Peruggia, students will also be, “Engaging with local leaders in the media and government, and bonding in a city that never sleeps.”

The trip to Europe, led by Social Studies teacher Ms. Sarah Misselhorn, Foreign Language Department Chair Mrs. Anita Spassoff, and French teacher Mrs. Kimberly Jurawan, will take place from March 22 to March 31 and feature visits to London, Caen, the Lorrie Valley, and Paris. “The trip is geared towards AP European History and French students but anyone is welcomed,” Mrs. Spassoff said. “It’s great to see the students’ reaction, in person, to the places they have been studying in school. I’m excited about the whole trip, but I’m especially excited to go to London, because I’ve never been there; I’m also excited, though, to visit parts of France.” The itinerary includes visits to Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Normandy, the Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe. Junior Sammi Pepper expressed her excitement for the trip. “I’ve never been to Europe before and always wanted to go. It makes me even more excited that I get to go with my best friend, Paige Sode,” she said. “I think London will be the best because I have friends there, and everything they have told me about London is amazing. I love city-life.” v

Staff Writers Lexi Cass and Andy Weir contributed to this report.

EMILY DUNKEL / Graphics Editor

The European trip will travel from London (1) to Caen (2) to the Loire Valley (3) and finish in Paris(4) for ten days over the Spring Break.

The Pharcyde


October 12, 2012 Page

Former Dolphins cheerleader takes TBS team’s reins By Averill Healey Staff Writer

The new head coach of Benjamin’s varsity cheer team, former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Mrs. Stephanie Mahoney, has already taken the cheerleader’s skills to a new level, according to the athletes. Mrs. Mahoney was not looking for a coaching position last year when her step-son and step-daughter were admitted to Benjamin as incoming freshmen from Palm Beach Day Academy. However, upon hearing that the former cheer coach had retired, she was quick to offer her services. “I thought I might as well utilize my expertise and try to help out,” she said. Her experience with cheer and dance stemmed from a long athletic career. As a girl, she practiced gymnastics for thirteen years, during which time she competed nationally. Her success as a gymnast inspired her to try cheerleading in high school, an activity that would play a major role in her future career. During her college years in Georgia, she stopped cheering competitively but did coach cheerleading and gymnastics for a private club. She decided to do professional cheerleading after college, beating out dozens of other athletes in the rigorous audition process to become a member of the Miami Dolphins cheer team in 2008. The following year she also cheered as an NFL European ambassador. When her career as a professional cheerleader came to an end in 2009, she worked briefly as a choreographer for gymnastics and dance. Although Mrs. Mahoney admits that she has come in later than would be ideal to work with the team, she has already begun implementing what she acknowledges is “a lot more conditioning” into practices. “I just want to work on enhancing our tumbling skills and our dance skills on the sidelines so that it’s really


exciting for the fans to not only watch the game, but to watch the cheerleaders,” she said. “In that way, they can create that atmosphere of team spirit and excitement.”

“The cheerleaders are not only athletically inclined, but they’re great leaders. They’re a real family.” MRS. STEPHANIE MAHONEY Head Coach “I think her experience with dance and choreography has definitely brought more flair into our routines,” senior co-captain Rachel Baucom said. “Not only that, but with tumbling she’s helped us a lot by spotting us and making us feel comfortable doing things we wouldn’t normally try.” Junior co-captain Morgan Burkett says that in addition to more concentration on tumbling, there have been more opportunities for leadership on the team this year as well. “The captains have definitely been given more responsibility to help run the team and our practices.” Students have already noticed a difference in the team’s performance. “The stunts they have been doing recently are on a whole new level,” senior Connor Tobin said. Later in the season, Mrs. Mahoney will select a competitive team from the current squad, and those students

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Mahoney

Mrs. Mahoney also went to Europe as an NFL European Ambassador.

will go on to compete in the spring. Overall, Mrs. Mahoney is enthusiastic about the upcoming cheer seasons and excited to work with the

team. “The cheerleaders are not only athletically inclined, but they’re great leaders,” she said. “They’re a real family.” v

Students, faculty scoff at rising texbook costs By Niki Hendi Staff Writer

With rising textbook costs, students are questioning if they are worth the price. According to a recent Pharcyde survey, students spend an average of $500 dollars a year on textbooks. In the same survey, 87.4% of the 175 students surveyed reported that textbooks were more costly than they expected. Zero found them less costly than expected. Senior Sally Frankel said, “I think they are extremely expensive. They cost over hundreds of dollars for some books, and every single year buying 5 books is really ridiculous.” When asked about frequency of textbook use in class, 70.2% of students said they did not use some of their textbooks last year. Freshman Brenna Boyle commented, “There’s one or two classes that we really use our textbooks in, but [for] the rest we just bring our textbooks to class; [we] don’t use them at all and we go on to the next class.” This raises the question: “Why buy something so expensive that will barely be used?” According to Management professor Daniel Raff of Wharton School of Business, who was quoted in The Daily Pennsylvanian, publishers release new editions of textbooks so they sell more copies, even if the content has barely changed from the previous edition. A source at classbooks. com, Benjamin’s online textbook provider, also says that publishers increase

“Like Madison talking about factions being but a necessary evil, textbook costs are that same necessary evil.” MR. JAMIE McVICAR

Social Studies Deparment Chairman prices on new textbooks twice a year. The increases occur in October and June and usually range from 2%-5%. Similarly, a Student Public Interest Research Group did a survey in 2011 and saw that textbook prices rose by 22% from 2007-2011. Students also have trouble deciding what to do with text books at the end of the year. A textbook that is around $100 could be sold to the company for $30$50, depending on how much the textbook has been highlighted or written on. Some people also keep their textbooks for younger siblings or future reference because they find the sell-back price too low. Many students say that they would prefer to use the Benjamin Middle School system, where teachers provide students with a copy of the textbooks they need to keep at home and have another copy at school, so textbooks are not carried back and forth from school and home. The only requirement is that students do not damage the books or write in them. Of 178 responding students, 42.1% said that they would rather borrow textbooks and not write in them than have their own copies.

“I like the middle school way just because there’s really no need to write in your book if you can write it down [on paper].” Boyle said. “And the middle school way is a lot cheaper and better for the school.” Frankel, however, sees the other side of the debate. “I like having my own textbooks because then you can write in them and you can bring them home.” she said. Other alternative sources, such as electronic textbooks, are mildly cheaper and becoming increasingly popular. According to, e-book sales rose by 164% in 2010. “We’ve got such companies and educational pioneers [such] as Apple, who are continuously creating innovations for education, teachers and students alike. It would be nice to concentrate my combined 64 pounds of textbooks onto a nine ounce iPad, where interactive textbooks are at my fingertips.” said Social Studies Department Chair Mr. Jamie McVicar. “I think it is the wave of the future; I think [it is going] in a direction that we as a school should strongly consider equipping students and teachers with devices that allow for electronic textbooks

that can be both interactive and enriching.” Apple has already announced in a press conference in early 2012 that it will have many high school textbooks available on iPads because they are trying to reduce paper textbooks. Teachers encourage students, especially in English class, to read their books on iPads, Kindles, or Nooks. “I like it much better than books,” Sophomore Gretchen Sousa, a user of the Kindle in English, said. “Right now we’re reading Fahrenheit 451 but we’re also writing an essay on A Thousand Splendid Suns, so instead of carrying around two books and making my backpack heavier, I can just carry around the Kindle and it’s lighter than an actual book would be.” Books bought on an eBook are also cheaper. Sousa said, “A Kindle book ranges from like, four to nine dollars as a normal book usually is nine to 15 [dollars].” Teachers also pay attention to textbook costs. “We’re very selective in the history department on what books we choose.” Mr. McVicar said. “We also do take cost into account; if we can get an equivalent textbook at a cheaper price, we obviously choose that one. We’re very mindful of textbook costs.” Few other options for textbooks exist at this time, and Mr. McVicar describes the frustration of many when he said, “Like Madison talking about factions being but a necessary evil, textbook costs are that same necessary evil.” v

Page 4 October 12, 2012


The Pharcyde

Nearly 200 colleges to attend TBS college fair v College

counselors encourage students of all grade levels to attend

By Averill Healey Staff Writer

Representatives from nearly 200 colleges and universities across the country plan to attend Benjamin’s College Fair on Tue., Oct. 16, in the Healey Athletic Complex. The event will be held between 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM, and will be open to all students and parents. Although the official attendance list is still subject to change, the College Fair will encompass a highly diverse selection of colleges and universities. Schools from over thirty states will be represented, as well as the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The College Counseling Office describes the annual event as an opportunity for students to “shop

Ms. Twitchell’s Tips for Making a Good Impression 1. Dress nicely. No grunge outfits at the college fair. 2. Shake the reps’ hands. 3. Look them in the eye and say, “Hello my name is....” 4. Be friendly and respectful. 5. Do your homework on the schools you’re going to be meeting with. 6. Come up with thoughtful and specific questions for each school. 7. Bring pre-made notecards with all of your information on them. around.” Representatives set up booths throughout the gym equipped with brochures and other informa-

Parking system earns praise, appears to be long-term solution By Rachel Smith Staff Writer

When administrators announced changes to the parking system at the end of last year, students pictured scenes out of a movie, with two cars racing from either direction to get into the same spot or students claiming a spot they parked in on the first day of school for the rest of the year. However, none of these worries became reality and most students are very happy with the new system. With these changes, students are no longer assigned individual parking spots and the best spots are now specifically designated for seniors. The rest are for juniors and underclassmen. “I definitely think that this new system is better. Last year people had to park in the spots furthest away from the school [because that was their assigned spot], then there were empty spaces closer to the school, and this system eliminates that. The only empty spaces are the ones farthest away,” senior Kali Chaplin said. Although most people like the new system, some have mixed feelings about it.“The bad thing [about the new parking system] is that juniors have no advantage over sophomores. Even though it is not very apparent right now, once more of the sophomores start driving, they will take the juniors’ spots,” junior Jackson Rossborough said. He also noticed that the parking lot contains more spaces designated for seniors than the number of seniors,

therefore leaving close spaces empty and unable to be used. Even with these negatives, Rossborough appreciates the new system because he does not have to park in the same spot day after day. “It is much better to be able to come to school a little earlier and get a closer spot than to pull the short straw and get stuck at the very far end every day,” he said. “Personally, I hated the assigned parking spots because I had one of the worst spots as a sophomore,” junior Ray Anderson said. He is much happier this year; “Nobody can steal spots like last year, and nobody can complain that they get a bad spot because everybody has the same chance at getting a good spot; it is all very fair,” he said. “It is nice that it is first-come, firstserve and if you are a person like me who likes to get here a little early, it rewards you with a good spot,” senior Ryan Jahn said. Speaking about the student population’s overall opinion, Jahn said, “I think everyone believes this is a more efficient and simpler parking system.” In previous years, administrators assigned students specified parking spots through a lottery system with the seniors receiving preference and picking first followed by the juniors, and then sophomores. This old system led to many disagreements, as sophomores who got their license later in the year were often assigned closer spots than juniors, either in the main or faculty parking lot, since often times closer

LAUREN BERNICK / Co-Editor-in-Chief

Sophomore Gretchen Sousa paints a younger Buc at the face painting station.

tion about their colleges. Students and their parents are free to browse, speak with the representatives, and

take home material provided by the various schools. College Counseling usually advises students to create notecards with their contact information prior to the fair, so that they may easily exchange information with multiple representatives. Counselors recommend this because the event is meant not only to familiarize students with different colleges, but also to help connect students with the schools to which they may apply. Ms. Linda Twitchell, the college counseling secretary, encourages students from all grade levels to take advantage of the resources provided by the College Fair. “Even freshmen should attend,” she said. “It’s a time to shop, shop, shop, and learn what’s out there.” v

WILLIAM CONRAN / Staff Photographer

Seniors enjoy spots marked with an orange ‘S’ at the front of the lot.

spaces were left over from the lottery rather than further ones. Dean of Students Ms. Sue Ball agrees with students’ positive reactions to the changes. “It just makes my day a lot easier; kids aren’t parking in

the wrong spot, and I don’t have to do a lot of running around to see who’s in whose spot.” She said, “I will evaluate it at the end of the year, see how it went, and then probably do it again next year.” v

From Event page 1

had a great turnout,” Mr. Marotta said. The lower and middle school students had a competition for the highest attendance at the event from each grade level. The 3rd and 6th grade won and were rewarded with a free ice cream party. The high school had a raffle for two students to win free Miami Dolphins’ tickets, and the winners were junior Ally Sexton and senior Taryn Wind. “There were a ton of people who helped me. If anyone has to be mentioned I’d like to give a tremendous thank you to Robin Martin, Maria McCraney, and Lisa Kaiser. They helped me put together a great event, with an extremely successful turnout.” Mr. Marotta said. v

Event attracts students from lower, middle, and upper school event chair Vincent Marotta said. “I went to the event with a few of my friends and I thought the event was really nice. There was good food and activities that kept me entertained the whole time,” junior Ray Anderson said. “The administration told me that it was going to be difficult to get middle school students and high school students there but we had about 60% of the kids from the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade show up. We had about 45 high school students there. And of course the lower school was out in mass. There probably were 450 kids who checked in at the gate; so including the parents, there were well over 600 people there. We

The Pharcyde


October 12, 2012 Page


Melendez brings crowd to its feet with performance From Musician page 1

formance was moving and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house when he finished,” junior Rebecca Grimpe said. After the video, Melendez came out on stage and played inspiring songs some of the students and faculty knew. He involved the students and faculty by starting a wave and having the crowd sing along. Towards the end of Melendez’s performance, his brother Jose came out on stage and gave his story of how his brother’s disability affected him. He told stories about how he was embarrassed, in ways that people could relate to. Even though Jose was embarrassed at first, he turned this into something good. He said he learned to “love him the way God made him.” This pair of brothers continued to show how Melendez didn’t let his disability affect things like playing Frisbee with his brother Jose. The two proceeded to throw and catch the Frisbee. Similar to his experience with the guitar, Melendez learned how to throw the Frisbee with his feet and demonstrated that and tried to make this Frisbee go into the basketball hoop at the other end of the court. Melendez did not make it into the hoop, but he turned it into a positive moment and let everyone know that they should not give up even if they cannot achieve something the first time. Melendez offered encouraging thoughts throughout the performance that ranged

EMILY DUNKEL / Graphics Editor

Students and faculty participated in the wave as it moved around the gym during one of Mr. Melendez’s songs.

from telling them how to persevere to how to help people open up about what they are feeling. “If I can do as much as I can with my ten toes, then there is not a person in this room who can say ‘I can’t do something.’ If you set your mind to do something, prepare yourself; you can do something and then some,” he said. Through Melendez’s example students left believing that they can do anything. “I think that from now on whenever I think I can’t do something, I’ll remember him and be able to carry on,” Grimpe said. v

Mr. Melendez explained he uses open tuning to strum the guitar with his feet.

tendance is not saved because he then has to go back up to the top of the webpage and click attendance taken. Mr. Feyk, repeating what one of his colleagues had stated, said, “The program’s very powerful, and it’s also very stupid.” Junior Eric Rosen, self-proclaimed “computer geek”, believes that the Blackblaud grade system is a great program. “I think it’s really innovative, although it may be a bit difficult at first,” Rosen said. “But once teachers become better accustomed to it, they will be able to use it to its full potential.” Benjamin hired an outside designer who is an expert in web design to aid in the creation of the new website. The designer and a committee of faculty members were able to decide what the site would look like, what design they would use, and what pictures would go where. “At first I was a little bit confused because I was used to the old website,” junior Kyle Ruedisili said. “But now that I’ve been using it for a few weeks, I definitely think it looks better than the old site and it’s a lot easier to navigate. I like being able to access my grades on the website.” While the website “makeover” allowed for updates of outdated aspects of the site including

old student photos, some factual corrections were not made. Under the Upper School’s list of clubs and organizations, the website names both the Fellowship of Jewish Athletes and the Poetry and Improv clubs, although these clubs are not currently functioning. During the summer, students were confused that they couldn’t login to their e-mail. Once they arrived at school, they found that these problems stemmed from the transition of Microsoft Outlook 2003 to Google Mail, or Gmail. “The path to upgrade and maintain [Microsoft Outlook] was expensive and very difficult,” Mr. Tepper said. “What really attracted us to G-mail is that it’s not just an e-mail system, but it’s all the applications you get from Google. So by signing on now with your Google account, you can get docks and drives with 5 gigabytes of storage, you can do online document editing, and work with spreadsheets and powerpoints.” As the change to G-mail was unannounced, students were generally upset with the seemingly sudden transition. However, students are adjusting. “I like G-mail a lot better than Outlook,” Ruedisili said. “I use G-mail for my personal e-mail

EMILY DUNKEL / Graphics Editor

Future options for technological improvement weighed From Technology page 1

school’s website allows students to constantly see their class averages, as well as any grades entered into the grade book. Many students are pleased with this system and are glad the school updated from the previous grading program, Edline. com. “I had a teacher last year who wouldn’t show us our grades until our report cards came out,” sophomore Charlie Mountain said. “It’s nice that I now can always see how I’m doing and how my different grades affect my averages. It’s more accessible than Edline.” While administrators told the teachers to expect a new grade system, they were not told that it was quite different from Edline. “We’re still learning how to use this system, and many thanks to Dr. Martino who had worked with the system a little bit before we got here and has been really helpful in teaching the faculty,” English Department Chair Mr. Perry Feyk said. “It’s a steeper learning curve than I expected but, in fairness, I think it’s a steeper learning curve than Tech and the administration anticipated.” According to Mr. Feyk, the new grading system is not very “intuitive.” When he takes attendance and hits save, the at-

and it’s a really easy provider.” Senior DJ Paone, who shook his head at Ruedisili’s approval of G-mail, said, “It’s just really different. All my folders got scrambled, and it was just a real burden to figure everything out. It’s my senior year, and I’ve really gotten use to the same systems, so I was thrown a bit of a curveball there.” Because many people use Gmail for their personal accounts, the Tech Department did not have a formal training session about the usage of the system. However, they have been helping the teachers to learn a little more about G-mail. “Tech sends out small quick tips to help the faculty navigate G-mail a bit better,” chemistry teacher Dr. Darryl Martino said. While many revisions were made, students and faculty were left wondering why specific changes that had been heavily requested, such as new teacher laptops and the iPad program, were not. “I’m having difficulty, as well as other teachers. I have a Gateway laptop, and they’re not even in business anymore,” Mr. Feyk said. “The problem with my laptop is that there are new programs that I’d like to use, but my computer simply isn’t powerful enough to support them.”

Rosen believes that a tablet program should be implemented, but that it should not be an iPad program. “The teachers are thinking iPads because that’s the tablet they’re most familiar with. There are other tablets that are more cost effective, have better support, and could be used for teaching,” Rosen said. “It’s not that the iPad is a bad table; it’s just not meant for this kind of use.” Mr. Tepper addressed both of these concerns. “There are two reasons we haven’t purchased new laptops in the past: limited funds and the uncertainty of the direction the school wanted to go in. This year we held off on purchasing new laptops due to technology integration,” Mr. Tepper said. “A strategic plan is being developed for the next five years, and we have a special consultant coming in to help us develop this plan. It’s going to be all about the kind of technology used by our students and faculty.” Mr. Tepper, as well as Mr. Feyk, would like to explore a Bring-Your-Own-Device program. As the school meets with the technology consultant, students and teachers should be prepared for more changes in the near future. v

Page 6 October 12, 2012

The Pharcyde Jeers


Off Days

Tech Trouble

Holidays and a tropical storm have meant only 3 full weeks of school so far.

Students and teachers alike are feeling the pain of unreliable internet.


The opinion of The Pharcyde

Give the Guards a Key

Seniors wait three years until they can experience many of the senior privileges that the school offers. One senior privilege is having their own separate, air-conditioned hallway. That privilege, however, can create a problem when the school week ends and the weekend begins. The underclassmen have lockers that are outside that give them access to their belongings at all times, even after school and on weekends. This is one of the benefits of having a largely outdoor campus and the underclassmen get the best of it. The seniors, however, are inconvenienced by being the only students with lockers located indoors. If a senior leaves a book or other belongings in a locker, the items cannot be retrieved. The senior hallway is kept locked after school

The privilege of the senior hallway turns problematic over the weekend. hours and on weekends. The security guards do not have a key to this hallway. We propose that the school gives the security guards a key to the hallway in order to eliminate the inconvenience to the seniors, who are supposed

to experience privileges in their last year at school. If the security guards do not have a key for the remainder of the year, seniors’ grades could be affected because they will not be able to get the books that are left in their lockers. The senior class already has enough stress that comes from being in the middle of sending applications to colleges and writing college essays. Forgetting books at school, without being able to retrieve them, only adds to the stress. Students may also forget to bring sports equipment with them and go unprepared to weekend practices, but this can also be easily changed. We realize this may not be the schools’ most pressing problem, but the solution to the problem is simple. Give the security guards a key to the senior hallway.

It’s More Than Just an Email Our paper tells the school’s stories, and when we came across this email from Social Studies Department Chairman Mr. Jamie McVicar, we knew it was a story. After deciding to postpone a previously scheduled test, he notified his AP Human Geography classes via email. Deciding against an ordinary one-sentence notice, however, he wrote a fictional press release covering an imagined “surprise announcement from McVicar headquarters.” He pretended the Associated Press covered a huge press conference of his regarding the test, and it turned out to be quite the tale. We include it on our editorial page as an endorsement of the passion so many of our teachers exemplify and in appreciation of his wit and charm throughout. But on a more basic level, we include it because we think it is a great story, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did. What follows is his email. A surprise announcement came down today from McVicar headquarters in Jupiter, FL. The Associated Press just received word that Mr. Jamie Davis McVicar has decided to postpone the AP HuG [Human Geography] exam that was scheduled for Monday and Tuesday to block day. A press conference was held in Jupiter at 4:05 PM EDT. The following are highlighted excerpts and responses to the press conference. When pressed for a reason as to why the test was postponed, Mr. McVicar was poised and deliberate in his response. “The HuG family recently took a chapter two quest and the results were a bit disappointing. For hours I was searching for the reasons as to why the desired results were not achieved. I instituted a four point stop gap curve to prevent pure pandemonium, but the real crux of the issue is to figure out the cause.”

When pressed further on the subject, he stated, “The goal of the class is to prepare the students for the exam in May. If the material is not being covered in a manner that it is easily understood there needs to be a reevaluation. This group is incredibly gifted and has all of the requisite tools to succeed; the postponement is an effort to extract the best possible performance and understanding from the collective group. The postponement of the test allows us to thoroughly cover the material and allows ample time to go over the quests and homework that is due Friday. If we outpace the schedule, there may even be time for a review on Tuesday.” Our journalists in the field have confirmed that this is the first year HuG has been offered, and it is the first year that 9th graders have been allowed to take an AP course. Our investigations reveal that the 9th graders

Online at

Founded in 1980 as The Spectator October 12, 2012 The Benjamin School 4875 Grandiflora Road Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418 Contact Info Phone: 561-472-3485 Fax: 561-691-8823 Advisor: Mr. Ken Didsbury Co-Editor-in-Chief: Lauren Bernick Co-Editor-in-Chief: Ben Germano

have been doing a wonderful job in the course; the hardest part has been adjusting to the increased workload and amount of independent learning. By all accounts, the 9th grade students will enjoy even more success as the transition period subsides. Student reaction to the decision has been overwhelmingly positive, but there have been a few that have responded negatively to the announcement. All students commenting on the postponement asked that they remain anonymous so as to avoid the judgment of their peers. One senior in support of the postponement stated, “This is just another example of McVic’s awesomeness. He understands the rigors of senior life and has made a prudent and wise decision.” Another senior was unfazed by the announcement. “I would have crushed that test regardless of the date. The delay allows me to fur-

Editorial Board Lauren Bernick Co-Editor-in-Chief Ben Germano Co-Editor-in-Chief Casey Pearce Managing Editor Emily Dunkel Graphics Editor Sam Greenspan Online Editor Dean Sandquist Sports Editor Ben Greenspan Copy Editor

ther work on my Demographic Transition Model rap song. It is set to the tune of Coolio’s ‘Fantastic Voyage,’ and the chorus goes “1, 2, 3, 4 get you model on the floor you want to go up not down, you want to go up not down…” The student continued with the rap but in the interest of our readers we decided to cut him short. An unnamed 9th grader was thrilled by the news. “I think I can really take advantage of the extra study days. The possibility of a review day I think would really be helpful, even though I know it might not happen.” Not all responses to the news were positive. Another anonymous twelfth grader noted, “This is just another example of his ego driving the bus. I have a Chem test, an English Essay, and an Algebra ‘quiz’ on block. How can I possibly add a HuG test to the mix?” When Mr. McVicar was questioned about this conun-

drum, he said that he would gladly work with students on an individual basis and make necessary accommodations. Another senior commented that she is “tired of the McVic shtick” and can’t wait to graduate. She continued with, “I only took the class for my resume; come May I am going to Christmas tree the exam.” Our sources tell us that to “Christmas tree” the exam is student parlance for filling in the dots to form a Christmas tree. We have further been told that the politically correct term for “Christmas tree” the exam is to “Holiday tree” the exam. The press conference ended with some levity as a reporter asked Mr. McVicar why the lengthy press conference for such a mundane announcement. McVicar responded with, “We had the day off from school and I was hoping to play some golf, but none of my friends could play.” The reporter responded with a wry, “That is funny. We know you don’t have friends.”

Mission Statement The Pharcyde is a student newspaper produced to foster an open dialogue about topics that relate to The Benjamin School. The issues that appear throughout our pages may be light-hearted or serious, but regardless we aim to reflect the diversity of opinion within our school that we value so deeply.

Staff Writers

Lexi Cass, Averill Healey, Rachel Smith, Riley Burke, Jerrie James, Juliette Mercadante, Ashlyn Sendler, Paige Sode, Michael Mullery, Andy Weir, Caterina Breur, Niki Hendi, Annelise Hillmann, Bella Ross, Kathleen Walsh

Staff Artists

William Conran Photographer, Liam Fine Photographer, Kelly Moran Illustrator

Membership The Pharcyde is a member of the Florida Scholastic Press Association, American Scholastic Press Association, Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the National Scholastic Press Asscociation. General The Pharcyde, the Upper School newspaper of The Benjamin School, is published six times a year.

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The Pharcyde is distributed to every student and faculty member and is availalbe in the Upper School office. Each issue is mailed to every Upper School family’s home address.

If you or anyone you know would like to place an advertisement in The Pharcyde, please contact Casey Pearce at

The Pharcyde encourages submission of Letters to the Editor. Send your feedback, criticism, or outside opinions in 150 words or fewer to ben.germano13@ The Pharcyde reserves the right to edit all letters for length, grammar, and clarity.

The opinion articles in this paper are the opinion of the writer or the majority opinion of The Pharcyde Editorial Board. They are not the opinion of The Benjamin School or our advertisers.

The Pharcyde


October 12, 2012 Page


A Request from the Head of Upper School

v Mr.

Latta Baucom addresses the health of one of our students

Dear students and faculty, I am writing this letter in The Pharcyde because I want to share with you information about Randall Doane. As many of you may know, Rand has been out of school for much of the semester. He is quite ill and is hospitalized in Milwaukee where he is being treated for a disease called Aplastic Anemia. What this means is that his body is not producing white blood cells, red blood cells nor another blood component called platelets. The body’s bone marrow usually produces these cells, but other cells are attacking his bone marrow and preventing the production of the “good” cells. This week Rand has been having chemo therapy treatments in an effort to kill the cells that are attacking his bone marrow. If this treatment is successful, he will be in the hospital for another two to four months. If it is not successful, then he will need a more complicated procedure called a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, none of his relatives are a match for being donors, and he will have to be listed in a National Registry. If they find a donor for him, then he will have to stay for 6 months to a year at the hospital. In describing Rand’s approach, Mrs. Doane said that he has been “extremely courageous.” He has hopes of being back next semester, and he wants so

much to graduate with his class. He is reading The Sun Also Rises for English and working hard on Mrs. Wissner’s calculus problems, among other things. So why am I telling you all this? He needs and

would be grateful for any contact and communication from the Benjamin community. Rand is on a ward with other patients with suppressed immunity. That means they cannot have visitors because they have no method of fending off other diseases. He only sees his mother and his doctors. When he was medevac’d to Wisconsin, he brought with him a card signed by all of the students in his English class with Mr. Behan. He has it taped proudly to the wall in his room. Let’s cover his wall with cards and good wishes. Send him the message that we care about him, that we are thinking of him and that we are praying for his recovery. Each of these acts is such a small thing, but collectively they will make a big difference in how he faces each day. His mother is right; he is a courageous young man, but he needs our help. We need to be there for him. His mailing address is The Ronald McDonald House, Room 212, 8948 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226-4802. He can receive faxes at 414-475-6342. You can email him at randall. . His cell phone number is 339-9190. Sincerely, Mr. Baucom Head of Upper School

Honoring a Memory

v The eleventh anniversary of 9/11 was overlooked relative to last year’s presentation. Casey Pearce

Managing Editor

Holidays are a time of remembrance to share with those you love, whether it be to cry on their shoulders or to rejoice with songs and presents. On the calendar, the most prominent holidays are written, usually as a reminder, but some people just know the dates by heart. Some of these include Christmas, New Years’ Day, Halloween, and 9/11. Now the only difference between the first three listed above and the last is that 9/11 is not a happy, joyful day. It is a time that commemorates those who were lost, and it pays respect to their families. All over the United States on 9/11, people recognize the severity of the situation. Last year, when we honored the tenth anniversary, many showed their support by gathering around the 9/11 memorial in New York City. At Benjamin, we celebrated with an assembly and a memorable video that left many students and faculty in tears. This year the U.S. celebrated the eleventh anniversary of this day of observance; and at school, when we had assembly, everyone braced for the heartwrenching day. Then assembly came, and we had a moment of silence and a few words to honor the families. Five minutes and it was over. Although Mr. Baucom’s words were thoughtful and well said, his presentation was not of the magnitude we have come to expect. The audience went silent and then abruptly started getting louder and louder, many with the shock of the assembly. The powerful message of last year was

in sharp contrast to the brief five minutes we were given this year. It was not the same. My friends and I started talking, and I heard many complaints. The only thought going through my head was, “It’s no less important 11 years later than it was five or 10 years after.” Why would the school feel the need to lessen the ceremony? All this did was anger many students, including me. For those families, the event of 9/11 should always be celebrated and honored. The rest of the U.S. celebrates it on one day of the year, but those


families who lost people in the terrible tragedy have to remember every single day. The tragedy of 9/11 should always be respectfully honored, and the school should have carried on the tradition with another video or assembly to acknowledge everyone who was lost on this unforgettable date. If this is something that we as a student body feel passionate about, we must take charge, and make sure that our voices are heard so that this date becomes a tradition in our school from this year forward.

Have your voice heard.

Write a letter to the editor. Send your thoughts, in 150 words or fewer, to

Page 8 October

12, 2012

Photo Essay

The Pharcyde

Homecoming Week

EMILY DUNKEL / Graphics Editor

Sophomore Harry Potter characters Ben Greenspan and Carly Kennerly.


Juniors Jerry O’Connor and Morgan Reichel as characters from Austin Powers.

EMILY DUNKEL / Graphics Editor

The Forever Young Freshmen gather in their bleachers during assembly. JULIETTE MERCADANTE / Staff Writer

Freshmen Veronica Weiss and Conor Brannum dress up as Hunger Games stars.

EMILY DUNKEL / Graphics Editor

Senior Samantha Kochman, dressed as Jango Fet, looks on during Star Wars day.


Juniors Megan Sullivan , Morgan Reichel, and Courtney Doran on tie-dye day.

The Pharcyde


October 12, 2012 Page


Deutsche Bank CEO co-teaches economics elective in transition to semi-retirement A Pharcyde writer sat down with Mr. Seth Waugh, the outgoing CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas and father of senior Clancy Waugh, to learn the story of the business experience he brings to the classroom. By Ben Germano Co-Editor-in-Chief

As CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas, Mr. Seth Waugh managed the American, Canadian, and Latin American operations of one of the world’s largest banks, but, even with that kind of experience, he admitted to being anxious on his first day of teaching. “I’ve been on television. I’ve been in Fed meetings. I’ve spoken to a few thousand people at a time probably, but the first day I was a little nervy,” he said. “It’s just different.” What is that difference? “I don’t pay them,” he replied with a smile. “The kids don’t need to like me.” Mr. Waugh, father of senior Clancy Waugh, now goes to work in the Benjamin hallways as a co-teacher of Economics Issues, a semester-long elective he is leading with AP Economics teacher Mrs. Nidhi McVicar. After resigning in February, though he remains acting CEO until a successor is named, Mr. Waugh had two callings he needed to fulfill. The first was family. “The reason I stepped down was to be around for Clancy’s senior year. I’ve been traveling for 70% of the last 30 years, so I really wanted to live at home for one year when he was home. It’s as simple as that.” The second calling was that of the family trade. Born to a family of teachers—both of his parents were teachers and three of his four brothers are today—he was always drawn to the classroom. After graduating from Amherst College, he faced a choice between education and the business world. On the advice of his thengirlfriend, now wife, Mrs. Sheila Waugh, a fellow Amherst graduate who currently serves on the Benjamin Board of Trustees, he chose business. She said it would be easier to go from business to teaching than from teaching to business, and that is just what he has done. As he puts it, “I sold out and went to Wall Street,” but it is his Wall Street experience that he now discusses in the classroom.

The Chief Executive Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, has entrusted Mr. Waugh to run their Americas division as CEO since 2002. He also serves on the bank’s management board, making him, as he loosely described it, “one of the 12 guys that runs the bank.” He explained the “five buckets of things” in which he categorizes his job to make it more manageable. The first is the bank’s daily functions. “You’re worried

LIAM FINE / Staff Photographer

Mr. Waugh lectures in Economics Issues, a one semester class he agreed to co-teach after stepping down from Deutsche Bank.

about the everyday operations. What’s happening, what the business is doing, what’s doing well, what’s not, and what’s blowing up.” The second is the regulatory side. He always has to keep a close eye on Washington and the Federal Reserve. The third is his people. “I think about our culture all the time and how it all works.” The fourth is other people, or at least what they think, as the brand’s reputation is a priority. “And at night,” he said, “you think about strategy: where you’re going and what you’re trying to do.” He described his days as a series of meetings that address one of the buckets, until “some opportunity or some crisis comes up that screws up the whole day.” A crisis he remembers vividly is what he identified as “Lehman weekend,” the days of panic that followed the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, which, at the time, was the fourth largest investment bank in the U.S. It was the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, and it set the stage for the financial downturn of recent years.

‘Everything shut down’ It was a Friday, and Mr. Waugh was traveling in San Francisco for business. Things were “shaky,” he said, as Bear Stearns, another large banking firm, had collapsed about six weeks before. He was in meetings all morning, and called in to check on things at lunch, about 3:00 New York time. Everything was “sort of okay.” Under regular circumstances he would talk to then President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Mr. Tim

Geithner, who is the current Secretary of the Treasury, about once a month. In the midst of a normal crisis it was maybe three or four times a week. When he got out of his afternoon meeting, he had “well over ten” missed calls from Mr. Geithner. “The first one was ‘Hey Seth, can you give me a call? We need to talk.’ The second one was, ‘Hey, this is pretty urgent. Can you give me a call?’ The next one was, ‘Hey Seth, I don’t know where you are, but I need to talk to you.’ And then it progressed to, ‘Where the hell are you?’” Mr. Geithner was trying to get the heads of the top 12 banks together for a meeting to discuss the Lehman collapse and what was to be done about it. “The music stopped,” Mr. Waugh said describing the seriousness of the situation. “It just ended. Everything shut down. You knew bad things were beginning to happen. Everybody is scrambling around trying to protect their own and do the best they can with things.” Mr. Waugh called him back and said he was unable to make the 6:00 meeting in New York, as he was on the West Coast. Mr. Geithner’s response: “I need you back at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.” “So I ended up taking a redeye back to New York,” Mr. Waugh said, “and that was the start of the whole week.” The topic of the meeting was the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a program in which the U.S. government gave banks billions of dollars to strengthen their assets, and the negotiations that followed were the subject of the 2011 HBO movie Too Big to Fail. Mr. Waugh, describing the outcome, said, “They, through

extraordinary efforts, and obviously TARP was very controversial—” He stopped mid-sentence to point out that Deutsche Bank did not have to take any government money. Then he continued, “—did what I think was absolutely necessary to stop the train from rolling off the tracks.” “I think [then Secretary of the Treasury Mr.] Hank Paulson in particular was a hero. He prevented a depression,” he concluded. “We’re all sort of worried about how slow things are right now, but the world is spinning, and we actually have 2% growth as opposed to nuclear waste.”

From the Boardroom to the Classroom Upon hearing of Mr. Waugh’s decision to step down as CEO, Head of School Mr. Bob Goldberg, who knew him well, and in particular knew of his penchant for education, asked him if he was interested in teaching a class at Benjamin. “I told him I’d love to do it,” he said he responded. “But I don’t know if I can teach anything, and I’m pretty sure I can’t grade anybody. I don’t want to be deciding whether someone goes to Harvard or not.” The solution was co-teaching, and in Mrs. McVicar, the current AP Economics teacher, he found a partner who also knows the banking industry. After graduating from Boston College, Mrs. McVicar worked at Goldman Sachs before attending business school at Duke University. “I think that the fact that we share a background makes it that much easier to co-teach,” Mrs. McVicar said, though she did add, “He made eight bazillion more dollars than I ever did.” Their class, a one-semester

economics elective, consists primarily of a series of case studies Mrs. McVicar conducted in business school that she has adjusted for a high school audience. After assessing the strategy and decision-making of successful companies like Starbucks, Ikea, and The Four Seasons, the class works to apply those concepts to other situations. Senior DJ Paone, a friend of Clancy’s who knew Mr. Waugh before the class, appreciates the opportunity for such elevated discussion in a high school setting. “He is willing to answer any question we can dish out, and his presence definitely makes it feel a little more like a business meeting than an Intro to Business class,” he said. “He is the classiest man in the world and is the perfect role model for anyone who is looking to pursue a career in business.” “I’m really proud of the kids. They’ve really embraced it,” Mr. Waugh said. We’ve been doing case studies, and everybody’s really engaged. It’s been a lot of fun for me.” “The whole reason this class came about is that we learn a lot of information out of the textbooks and a lot of theory, and this is one of the few opportunities you get to actually apply it,” Mrs. McVicar said. She added, “I think what helps is that he’s just genuinely nice and really enthused about education.” “Wall Street tends to be a hard and cynical place, but schools are just wonderful places to be around,” Mr. Waugh said, demonstrating the enthusiasm Mrs. McVicar noted. “I know I learn more than I teach when I go to class. I’m as excited about this as I’ve been about anything in a long time. It just puts me in a good mood.” v

Page 10 The Pharcyde October 12, 2012


Student Survey Results


of students are more likely to support Mitt Romney



The Is

of students are more likely to support Barack Obama


of students are eligible to vote in the 2012 election


of that 10% are planning on voting



of that 10% are not planning to vote

of students feel that the environment needs government protection


of students believe women should have the option of abortion


of students believe abortion should be banned


of students believe that the government does not need to implement policies of environmental protection


of students believe women should have that option in cases of rape and incest These statistics are the result of a Pharcyde survey administered to students during their advisor period on September 13, 2012.

“I believe that women should have the right to choose. While I may not be the most scientifically informed person, I also believe that life begins when a baby takes its first breath. Of course, I also believe that life should be cherished, meaning that abortion should not be used as a way out of an unplanned situation but only in cases of rape, incest, or detrimental health issues.” SAVANNAH JOHNSON senior

“Marriage is marriage regardless of gender. If a man and a woman both love and marry each other then why can’t a man and a man or a woman and a woman? Although I agree with Mitt Romney on most of his views, his social views are twisted. A group of people shouldn’t be treated as second class citizens simply because of their sexual orientation.” VERONICA WEISS freshman

Artwork by Annelise Hillman

In March 2010, Democrats were able to pass the Affordable Health Care Act, a set of reforms aimed at insuring more Americans. The president achieved a major victory when the Supreme Court ruled the mandate constitutional as a tax. Republicans fiercely oppose the policy, which they have dubbed “Obamacare,” and Romney has said that he will repeal its provisions if elected. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney put a similar plan in place which penalized citizens for not having health insurance. He says that unlike his plan, Obama’s health care policy is a mandate on all Americans, whereas Romney’s plan for Massachusetts applied only to the state and therefore was better suited for its citizens. Obama maintains his position that the law is in the best interest of the nation, while Romney has vowed to overturn it.

Gun Control

With the recent shootings at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater and the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the topic of gun control has again risen to national prominence. Although the Democrats have always favored stricter gun control measures, Obama has stressed the importance of the Second Amendment, once saying, “If you’ve got a rifle, you got a shotgun, you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it away.” However, he has

called for focus on kee hands of “irrespons citizens. Romney als ground checks, and h do not completely ali National Rifle Associ interest group. Both mained vague on the ing gun control, but desire to limit the u weapons while uphol to bear arms.


A hotly contested iss en’s rights, the argu is at the forefront of tion. Obama has tak on the matter, stating v. Wade and a wom Romney, on the oth number of times that overturn of the Roe v ing the states to mak controversy has com care reform law, whi ers to offer contracep care plans. Romney s an encroachment on Since then, Obama promise that shifts t providing birth contr panies. Obama has re of women’s reprodu Romney has firmly a as pro-life.

“I am obviously aware that the government is facing a large number of growing concerns these days, and that some might be more immediate than others, but I don’t think that we can continue to overlook the environment. I know that the government has taken several steps towards conservation, but I think that people in general need to be made more aware of the threats posed to the entire human race if the population continues to increase at such an alarming rate, along with wastefulness and pollution.” ADRIENNE PROPP senior

“I am all for people stating their opinion and being outspoken, but the CEO of a corperation should not mix his business with his political views. Knowing these things. Why would Benjamin want to sell a product to their students knowing that the profits are going to anti-gay and anti-women’s rights organizations. Chick-Fil-A has awesome food, and I know other students think what will one sandwich do. That one sandwich can give enough money for these organizations to provide signs stating their hate toward these issues. I love their food, but I like my morals more.” ETHAN KASLOW junior

Page 11 The Pharcyde October 12, 2012

ON 2012


eping guns out of the sible, law-breaking” so believes in backhas said that his views ign with those of the iation, a conservative candidates have reeir positions concernt have emphasized a use of federal assault lding a citizen’s right


sue concerning womument over abortion f the upcoming elecken a clear position g his support for Roe man’s right to choose. her hand, had said a he would support an v. Wade ruling, allowke the decision. Much me out of the health ich requires employptives in their health supporters cite this as n religious freedoms. has enacted a comthe responsibility of rol to insurance comemained an advocate uctive rights, while asserted his position

Student Survey Results


Content and design by Emily Dunkel

of students believe that environmental changes are the result of global warming

Same-sex marriage

As the public opinion has become more and more tolerant of same-sex marriage, the issue has become a major factor in the election. In January 2011, Obama repealed “Don’t ask don’t tell,” a policy that kept members of the military from revealing their sexual orientation. Since then, Obama has openly stated that he supports the right to samesex marriage. On the other hand, Romney has defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman and has said that he would support an amendment to the Constitution banning gay marriage.


Artwork by Annelise Hillmann


Republicans have always been skeptical about global warming and its impacts, while Democrats have tried to pass a number of measures protecting the environment. Upon entering office in 2008, Obama promised to create five million green jobs but has not yet fully reached his goal, with a report in March showing the creation of 3.1 million green jobs to date. Romney supports additional drilling and deregulation of many energy industries. In hopes of creating new jobs and energy security, Romney also supports efforts to build the Keystone Pipeline, a project Obama has blocked considering the environmental damage the construction could cause.

“Americans need to have the right to bear arms. The founders put this right in the Bill of Rights for a reason and it needs to be kept. Even if the politicians try and add more restrictions to buying and selling guns, people are still going to get them, there is no way around that. People may bring up the point that more guns create a more violent world, but I don’t believe this to be true. If a person is trained in gun safety and the way to properly handle a gun, then I believe the world becomes a safer place.” COLBY BRADFORD senior

“I am completly fine with Benjamin still selling Chik-Fil-A after the whole gay marriage scandal. While I am personally pro-gay marriage, I don’t see a problem with Mr. Cathy’s statements. We live in a country where we are lucky to have the freedom of speech, and I believe that every single person should have the right to voice their political opinions and not be criticized afterwards.” RACHEL HARRIS senior


of students believed that the environment has not been affected by global warming


of students believe stricter gun control policies should be put in place

of students are satisfied with the current gun control policies in place



of students oppose Obamacare

of students partially support Obamacare

10% of students fully support Obamacare



of students believe that same-sex marriage should be legalized

of students feel that same-sex marriage should not be legalized

of students are fine with Benjamin continuting to sell Chick-Fil-A

of students are opposed to the school selling Chick-Fil-A



“Many people may see government spending on environmental protection important, but I feel at this hard time in the economy it is better to cut down some trees rather than to preserve the whole forest. It is necessary to focus on more important issues such as the economy if we are going to get anywhere in our lives.” ANTHONY MERCADANTE senior

“People who don’t support gay marriage are unfairly labeled as antigay, and that’s not true because I have a lot of gay friends and I don’t find anything wrong with homosexuality. I don’t think it’s something you can inherit. I think it’s something you’re born with, and you can’t alter it. At the end of the day, I believe that the biblical definition of marriage should be upheld.” EVANDER BIONDI-COPELAND senior

Page 12

October 12, 2012

The Pharcyde

Touchdown: Former NFL player joins staff By Dean Sandquist Sports Editor

“I never thought that the highlight of my day would be entering school. That’s usually the worst part,” senior Brian Dolan said. “But ever since the arrival of Big Mike, my attitude coming into school is always positive.” The new security guard and traffic director at the Upper School, Mr. Michael Durrette, more famously known as Big Mike, uses his encouraging and cheerful spirits to brighten the days of those who enter and leave campus. Dean of Student Suzanne Ball said, “Big Mike is great for this school. I love what he’s doing during drop offs and pick-ups.”

“I love how Big Mike always has a smile on his face. I can definitely see how he enjoys his job and that’s pretty inspiring.” MAC ROSS junior

Big Mike, who spends his mornings and afternoons directing traffic, can be found in his golf cart patrolling the school during the school day. A graduate from West Virginia University, Mr. Durrette was drafted in the 1986 NFL Draft and played six seasons as an offensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers. After the NFL, Mr. Durrette settled in California and eventually moved to Florida 15 months ago, soon finding himself at Benjamin at the beginning of the school year. “This campus is beautiful

WILLIAM CONRAN / Staff Photographer

The new security guard, Big Mike, brings a new level of energy and enthusiasm to the bustling parking lot.

and I’m blessed to work here,” Mr. Durrette said. In regards to his traffic patrol duties, Dolan said, “He is very charismatic as he watches the cars go by; it allows us students to feed off his energy.” Sometimes greeting drivers with a bow down, Mr. Durrette respects and values the Benjamin community. “Everybody is so welcoming at the school,” Mr.

Durrette said. “I love my job, and I think that makes an impact on the students.” Interactions with a traffic patrol man may be rare, but Big Mike’s expression and his trademark thumbs-up always leave a mark on student and faculty drivers alike. Junior Mac Ross said, “I love how Big Mike always has a smile on his face. I can definitely see how he enjoys his job and that’s pretty inspiring.”

Big Mike acknowledges that he has had several challenges over the course of his life. But he then found his bliss; he found the grace of God. “When you’ve been knocked down multiple times, you have to turn to a higher power,” Mr. Durrette said. “Now that I have God, I can wake up every morning and honestly say that I’m happy.”

Heavy lifting: Social Studies department carries weight of APs By Katie Walsh Staff Writer

The results of last year’s AP scores left students and faculty feeling confident and proud, but none more than Social Studies Department Chair Mr. Jamie McVicar, who said “I am particularly proud of the product turned out by our AP social studies students and teachers.” The Social Studies Department accounted for almost half of the AP course exams last spring. Mrs. McVicar’s Macroeconomics and Microeconomics classes and Misselhorn’s AP European History classes both achieved a one hundred percent passing rate. “Even the History Department caboose was well ahead of the national and Florida averages,” Mr. McVicar said, implying that students exceeded the national average, even in the lowest scoring of the social studies AP’s, namely AP US History. “One pitfall in writing the most exams is that it usually hurts the overall AP scoring average. In the history department, however, we had an AP pass rate of 93.4%, an average of 4.05, and a 73.7% pass rate with a four or five,”explains Mr. McVicar. The student body as a whole had a pass rate of roughly 91% of which 67% scored either a four or five. So the question is “how do they do it?’” Senior Colby Bradford believes he has found the answer. “I think that

Benjamin has done a great job of getting social studies teachers who have a lot of experience at other places,” Bradford said. “The Social Studies Department is the strongest department in the school. The strength comes from the rigor of the courses and the number of AP questions that the students see throughout the year.” Like Bradford, Mr. McVicar attributes the Social Studies Departments’ success to the dedicated staff as well as a

dedicated student body. “We are fortunate in that we have an incredibly smart student body full of students dedicated to the pursuit of learning and to their

subjects. At the same time I think we have an incredibly dedicated, talented, and innovative faculty.” The beginning of this year marked the first time that an AP became available to freshmen as well. Human Geography, affectionately referred to as AP HuG, is now allowing freshmen to enroll in what will be their first ever advanced placement course. While the class was not available to all freshmen and required a teacher recommendation, many of the freshmen class joined, which increased the ever-growing Social Studies Department. Time will only tell if the introduction of freshmen to the AP will help or hurt their high scores. Benjamin teachers and students alike can only hope to see similar success in this year’s results. “AP success is, in many ways, a social contract; if each meets the other half way, success is the result,” Mr. McVicar said.

Artwork by Annelise Hillmann

AP Homerun Within the Social Studies department, students who take advantage of the opportunity to study either four or all five of the AP courses, receive acknowledgment at the end of the year.

The “Grand-Slam” AP European History AP United History AP Government AP Economics

The “Super-Slam” AP Human Geography AP European History AP United History AP Government AP Economics

The Pharcyde

School Life

October 12, 2012

Page 13

The Dynamic Duo: Feyks join forces, one classroom

across the walls, but the good news is that the really cool stuff that I had to go next door to see I get to see all the time.”

By Lauren Bernick Co-Editor-in-Chief

As married members of the Benjamin community for 20 years, the Feyks have managed to keep their work lives geographically separate. But with Mrs. Feyk’s recent conversion from a full-time to a part-time English teacher, she relocated into the classroom that she neighbored for years: her husband’s. I recently sat down with the Feyks in their new shared classroom to observe just how much the change has affected their lives on and off campus. When entering Mr. Perry Feyk’s classroom, his persona and passions are almost blinding. In the south end of the room that he has stomped for eight years stands his desk, an organized mess. One can find filing cabinets labeled “stuff” and “more stuff,” scattered books, trinkets of all shapes and sizes, stacks of essays, and artwork of past students. For years, Mr. Feyk’s room has remained a region solely for him and all of his “junk.” Until this year, the room hardly seemed welcoming for another faculty member to share, let alone his wife of 33 years, Mrs. Lynne Feyk.

Mr. Feyk - “In all of the years we’ve been teaching concurrently this is the first time we’ve shared a classroom, isn’t it?” Mrs. Feyk – “Well I was in your classroom once when we taught at Rabun Gap. That’s when I floated around. But I think it was only for one period.” Mr. Feyk - “Oh right. But this is definitely the first time my desk and Mrs. Feyk’s desk have been in the same geographic location.” This change has sparked several realizations for the roommates; realizations they never fully recognized as neighbors. As Head of the English Department, Mr. Feyk has the master key that unlocks each room in building 5, a power that, according to Mrs. Feyk, he took advantage of in years past. “It used to be that Mr. Feyk was always in my room between periods and I would have to be incredibly rude and start teaching and scoot him out the door,” she said. Now that she has the key to his classroom, Mrs. Feyk has found pleasure in revenge.

Mrs. –“It’s definitely a new power that I have. I was always locked out before and now I can walk in in the middle of his classes and disturb him,” she giggled. Mr. – “The ironic positive is I think I am becoming more respectful of your class time because… I can’t just wander into the other room. I have a better sense that OK, this

According to Mrs. Feyk, they enjoy their new dynamic. “We really do like seeing each other throughout the day. I think some people would find that oppressive, but it works for us. If Mr. F were not an English teacher, I am sure those Saturday nights on the couch grading essays would be a bit irritating, but since we do the same thing, we both are losers. Also it is nice to have someone right there to bounce ideas off, and when I need someone to word an AP prompt for me, Mr. Feyk is the expert!” The two listed several other advantages of sharing a classroom. The combination of their advisor groups gives Mr. Feyk a better chance at getting food, when D period comes around Mr. Feyk brings his wife fresh coffee, and their recently merged fish tank actually gets cleaned by Mrs. Feyk, a plus for their underwater friends. Although it is early in the school year, the Feyks are confident that this new adjustment is primarily a positive and exciting change in their lives. WILLIAM CONRAN / Staff Photographer

Mrs. Feyk finds herself digging through Mr. Feyk’s “heaps” of paper in their shared classroom.

is your class, your time, and not my time. I’m more respectful of that than I was in the past.” Mrs. – “Mr. Feyk is much better with the unexpected intrusions than I am!...I can get overly focused on a topic and plow ahead at all costs,” she said. “Mr. Feyk, on the other hand, likes those more spontaneous moments. I try to sneak into the room to grab something and he immediately says, ‘right, Mrs. Feyk?’” When he comes in the room, even to do something as nice as give me a cup of coffee, I take the coffee and just keep talking. Wow. Who knew I was so mean.” Although they believe that their transition has been fairly positive, conflict arises when it comes down to Mrs. Feyk’s strength and Mr. Feyk’s weakness: organization and cleanliness. “The point of contention is this,” she pointed, “the podium.” Mrs. Feyk addressed the three shelved wooden podium that Mr. Feyk absentmindedly dominates. She listed the owner of each shelf in descending order including the top of the podium, “Mr. Feyk, Mr. Feyk, Mr. Feyk, and then Mrs. Feyk.”

Mrs. – “I didn’t even take the second shelf, I took the third shelf… I never know what to do

with all of this stuff,” she said. “It’s here, and here, and there are some notes here and other stuff there. So inevitably by the end of the day I have half of his stuff mixed in with my poor folder,” she said. “Other than the podium, we are able to keep Mr. Feyk’s, what I refer to as his ‘heap,’ separate from my desk. At home he can keep his heaps where he wants to keep his heaps.” Mrs. Feyk compared the mixing of their heaps to a venn diagram. The part where the venn diagram intersects is where Mr. Feyk’s heaps blend with Mrs. Feyk’s organized paperwork atop the classroom’s focal point.

Mrs. – “I do feel bad because I just keep heaping his papers on top of another heap, but I’m not sure what else to do with it. I could heap everything on the heaps over on your desk?” Mr. – “But heap mixing is not good…My organizational system is the heap system.” Mrs. – “It is. And mine is the actual filing system,” she said. “For example, I go to put my computer down on his desk and there’s a conversion chart for knots to miles an hour, because

one of us is obsessed with the weather channel.” Mr. - “You need that for hurricanes…The national weather service always publishes their predictions for wind speeds in knots. And I forget what knots are compared to miles an hour, so you need to have a conversion chart.” Mrs. – “I’m likely to stand up and try to teach my English class and suddenly I’m reading the knot per mile an hour chart.” In spite of Mr. Feyk’s unique organizational skills, he has made sure not to contaminate Mrs. Feyk’s portion of the room with his belongings, with the exception of his famous wall of quotations which he refused to give up.

Mr. – “I try to keep myself out of her part of the room.” Mrs. – “You did a good job. From Gene Kelly to the giraffes is pretty much my area.” Mr. – “That’s a good thing because I absolutely love the giraffes so I get to see the giraffes more than I ever did before. And I get to see Gene more, and Judith,” he said. “The negative thing is that I have less room to spread my junk

Mrs. –“So far so good,” she said. “Hopefully at some point in the year when it gets really busy, you don’t find us in here with our hands around each other’s necks or me on the floor digging through heaps, crying.” Mr. - “The strangest of what we are still working on is just getting the rhythm of this life down. As strange as that may sound, for so many years we had the same rhythm. We get up at the same time, we go to school together, we leave at the same time, and I’m in my room and she’s in her room,” he said. “I don’t think it’s bad at all, we’ve just changed the time signature… We’ve kind of gone from classical to jazz. We have a less steady beat; it’s more of a jazz beat that varies a little bit in syncopation.”

Mr. Feyk used a quotation located on his corkboard that reads, “She is a friend of my mind,” to help explain what working with Mrs. Feyk for so many years has meant to him. He said, “I think that the most beautiful thing about working with Mrs. Feyk is that we get to share our minds, our love of art and literature, and our love of students. It’s nice to be able to share together what we do for the bulk of our days.”

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October 12, 2012

School Life

The Pharcyde

Most students applaud time spent during advisors By Ashlyn Sendler Staff Writer

Every Monday and Thursday students take twenty minutes out of their day to “supposedly” spend quality time with their advisors and fellow advisees. Some advisors use this time to discuss in- and out-of-school problems, while other advisors use the time as a free period. Advisors spend their time with their advisees in a wide variety of ways. • Some watch movies and clips on YouTube. • Some sit in a group and discuss problems about what is going on in their lives. • Some bring in food. • Some use it as a study hall. • Some even let their students take quick naps on the couches. According to a Pharcyde survey, 44% of advisees say they spend their time in group discussions and carry out group activities. “We don’t really do much in advisor except for relaxing on the couches in the library and talking. But when necessary we discuss important problems, and I know I can always count on [Mrs. Jefferson] when I need help.” junior Morgan Burkett said. However, students have different opinions on their time spent in advisors. 67% of students enjoy their time in advisors while a few students find the time useless. “I find advisor period pointless because nothing productive is accomplished. We sit in our advisor’s room for twenty minutes and do nothing. Some advisors bring food

and other things in for their advisees, but my advisor has only done this five times in four years.” a senior said. “The point of having an advisor is to have someone that you can go to for help with your school life and out of school life. They should check up on your grades constantly to make sure you are on top of things, and are also there to develop a close relationship with each advisee,” junior Chad Swift said. Some advisors take even another step and keep their advisees parents involved and updated, “I feel like my job is to keep the advisees and their parents informed on what is going on. I always take the Bucline and pull out a few important things that I think the parents of my advisees should know and send it to them.” Mrs. Franci Jefferson said. Most advisors claim to really like developing a relationship with their advisees, and they even become very protective over them. “I feel like after four years I now have an insight into the minds of many of my advisees,” Mr. Boufford said. Certain students claim to really have no relationship with their advisor, but wish they did. Others said that they feel like their advisor is a guardian who protects them and is someone they can go to for help. “My advisor is someone I can always go to if I have an issue regarding another teacher, grades, or basically anything. I know he will always be there ready to help.” Swift said. The majority of students love their time in advisor period. Sophomore student Morgan Ditaranto said, “I like my advisor. Sometimes we watch videos and just hang out and talk about

WILLIAM CONRAN / Staff Photographer

Students enjoy the time they get during the week with their advisor group.

what’s going on in our lives. I really enjoy it.” Junior advisor Mrs. Jefferson concurred, saying, “I love being an advisor; it has really been great watching

my advisees grow and building a relationship with them these past years, and it is going to be really sad to let them go.”

International students adjust to life in America By Casey Pearce Managing Editor

The fears of a new school year are always the same—fears of not being accepted, worrying about getting to know the teachers, and struggling with demanding academics. This year, two students had to face these fears along with more significant ones. They have to learn about a new culture and to experience what it is like to be a student in America.

“I feel very fortunate that I am able to experience and live in two unique cultures in my lifetime.” XIAOYI YI junior

Diversity is an important aspect of the Benjamin school, and junior Xiaoyi Yi and sophomore Michael Mullery enhance this diversity. Comparing their educational experience in their native land to that of America, Yi has experienced a less demanding academic load here whereas Mullery has had to adjust to a more rigorous schedule. Yi, originally from China, has spent a couple years in Florida and is still getting adjusted to the cultural and academic differences. Two years ago Yi started at Palm Beach Gardens High School when she first came to America, and she said she did well academically. This year she is attending the Benjamin School and is facing new challenges all over again. Many students think that it is difficult to take a different language for

three consecutive years, yet Yi studied English for only six years and now has to learn to overcome the large language barrier she still faces. She constantly has to translate in her head what she is going to say to students and teachers at Benjamin. She also has to study for the SAT in her second language. Speaking English is not the only demanding part of the language. Yi says that writing and grammar are the more challenging aspects. “It is difficult to explain to an American, but in the Chinese language, we do not have grammar. Learning this concept in English has been a constant issue for me,” Yi said. “My dad has been very helpful and works with me every day to understand and improve my grammar. I know that in two years my English will be very good. But I only have eight months to prepare for the SAT exam. I know my English grammar must improve to be successful on this exam, and I work every day to make small progress.” Students at the Benjamin school rejoice when the weekends and summers arrive. They get a break for a period of time just to relax from the rigors of the academic schedule, yet in China, by the age of 12 and up, students are expected to go to school or tutor six or seven days a week, all year-round. Yi said that socializing and leisure activities are not encouraged in China. Her whole life revolved around school. Although she must face many challenges, Yi knows that she will strive to reach and soon accomplish her future goal of combining two unique experiences that not many people encounter. “I feel like I belong in two countries. I hope to use this knowledge about both China and America in whatever job I pursue in the future,” Yi said. Benjamin has also gained a student

Artwork by Annelise Hillmann

from Australia. Mullery, who was born in Singapore, moved to Connecticut, and then to Australia when he was five years old. This year, he made another move from Australia to Florida. Like Yi, Mullery faced many differences in academics when he joined the Benjamin community because Australia had an easier grading system. He believes that the work load here is about twice as much as it was in his school in Australia. “The American system is better for school. It’s more advanced and in a way it teaches better,” Mullery said. The grading scale in Australia is very different from America as well. In Mullery’s old school, an A equated to a 90% and a C+ was a 65%. Adjusting to the harder grading system has been an extreme change for him. The school schedule is also very

different in Australia from the American system or the Chinese system. “We go to school more in Australia, but there are more breaks. We go to school eight weeks with two weeks off, 10 weeks and three weeks off, 11 weeks and two weeks off, then eight weeks and eight weeks off,” he explained. Adjustments can be hard when a person has to change schools, make new friends and learn the grading system, but Yi and Mullery show that moving to a new country can increase these challenges. Even with obstacles, these students are keeping an open and positive frame of mind. Yi conveys the optimism of both when she says, “I feel very fortunate that I am able to experience and live in two unique cultures in my lifetime.”

The Pharcyde

School Life

October 12, 2012 Page


Fluent students take native language course By Annelise Hillmann Staff Writer

Mary* spends several hours on Spanish projects every night. But, no matter how hard she works, her grades remain mediocre compared to Susy’s grades. Susy*, Mary’s classmate, returns from school to a Spanish-speaking home where she works on her proyecto and receives an excelente. Competition between native speakers and non-native speakers is a common problem in the World Language Department. With Benjamin offering such advanced classes as AP Mandarin, Spanish, and French, students wonder if fluent students have an unfair advantage in the grading system. At first glance, native-speaking students seem to benefit, but teachers and native speaking students believe otherwise. “Our policy has been that if a student comes to The Benjamin School and they are absolutely fluent in all four skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking, then generally they will take the highest level,” said World Language Chair Ms. Anita Spassoff. “We want heritage speakers to strengthen their skills and become even more proficient in their native language.” In classes with native students interspersed with non-native students, teachers must change their methods of grading native speakers. Spanish Teacher Mrs. Ivette Casiano said, “I expect a lot more from them in their

Artwork by Annelise Hillmann

oral presentations, and I expect them to use what they have learned in class, not just what they know from home.” Incorrect slang acquired in a familial setting may affect their writing compositions. “Sometimes heritage students believe that the slang terms they use in a conversational setting outside the classroom should be accepted when used in formal situations, especially with writing,” Ms. Spassoff said. “As language teachers, we have a responsibility to teach our students to use a high standard of whichever language they are studying.” Students who continue through an academic track are less likely to face this confusion. “If they want to receive the highest score on the AP and the understanding of their audience, they need to be clear,” she con-


tinued. Freshman Enrique Wulff said, “In Spanish [class], [our teacher] knows that fluent kids have advantages, so she expects more from me. But fluent kids also have disadvantages like accents.” Generally, heritage speakers like Wulff, who moved from Venezuela in third grade, cannot shake off their native accents which do not comply with the standard Castilian Spanish taught at TBS. Native students cannot necessarily lean on phonetics and conversational techniques either. French Teacher Ms. Kimberley Jurawan, AP French instructor explained how grammar is a large challenge that native students must overcome. “Often it shows up in writing as the students tends to rely on what is heard to write,” she said.

Sophomore Carolina Zindel, who was born and raised in Mexico, commented, “As a fluent speaker, I focus on different aspects. For example, grammar and accents are two things I was not very good at, while the other students had learned that very well in past language levels.” These weaknesses in native speakers’ grammar and understanding may cause issues in the end of year exams. “The writing and the reading portions of the AP can be just as challenging for a native speaker and at times, even more challenging,” Ms. Jurawan said. “This is because the native speaker is often not exposed to advanced or high level vocabulary, like expressions such as ‘sustainable development’ or ‘to resort to’ because native speakers often engage in informal, familiar speech that does not require them to learn more complicated vocabulary.” Having native-speaking students in classes can even benefit other classmates. “It’s very good for the other students to hear the interaction and to be able to speak to that person in Spanish, French or Chinese,” Ms. Spassoff said. “Obviously, the situation has to be evaluated on a studentby-student basis, and I believe they should be challenged to take the highest level course to fit their personal experience using the language of their heritage.” *These names have been changed to protect the privacy of the students.

EMILY DUNKEL / Staff Photographer

Lower and middle school students enjoyed the bungee jump at the school-wide BPA event.

Page 16 October 12, 2012

Instagram dominates student’s social networking By Juliette Mercadante Staff Writer

Whether it is a sepia picture effect of friends at the beach or a picture of today’s lunch, Instagram users post daily for their followers, some of which they barely know, to see. Students at Benjamin are not strangers to this popculture phenomenon known as Instagram, where people can post pictures of anything from food to friends. Users can follow and be followed by thousands of people, and not know a single one of them. Many question why students allow strangers to see these personal pictures. In 2010, Instagram began in San Francisco and eventually developed into a worldwide app. in which millions now upload personal photos with different filters. Instagram is seen as a way for students to see others’ pictures and be able to see the exact location in which the picture was uploaded. “Insta-

gram is a really cool App. It allows people to post really cool pictures. Also, it shows all the beautiful places in our world,” freshman Blake Pack-

“I have almost 1,000 followers. They follow me but I don’t usually follow them back...”


er said. Instagram seems to have replaced Facebook in popularity among students. By following one-another, in many cases students find Instagram more interesting than Facebook because of the social networking site’s artsy and creative nature. “I take pictures to share that are mostly artsy, because that’s what In-

stagram is for,” Packer said. As more and more people follow one another, the less privacy Instagram has. Some students claim they know all or most of the people they follow on Instagram, others willingly admit to having multiple strangers following them. “I would say about one-fourth or less are close friends,” junior Olivia Kaplan said. Some students follow strangers because they feel the artwork shared inspires them. “I do share [pictures] publically because I think it’s awesome to have someone who you don’t know like your artwork. But I do think it’s weird if they like personal [pictures],” Kaplan said. When students make shout-outs on Instagram for someone, they increase the number of followers for that person. “I have almost 1,000 followers. They follow me but I don’t usually follow them back because I only like seeing the pictures of my

friends”, Packer said. Social networking has developed the closeness of people in our world throughout years, by allowing students

from different schools to interact with other students in other towns, states, or even countries.

Instagram users can choose from 18 different filters to bring life to their personal photos.

LAUREN BERNICK / Co-Editor-in-Chief

To update or not to update: iPhone 5 Features







less volume MASON MANOS sophomore

The Pharcyde

The Scene

From fresh meat to fresh livin’ Sandquist outlines his trek through high school from childhood to manhood which began with the chorus of a Spice Girls song. Standing at an imposing 5’3, I marched into the Benjamin Upper School on my first day with high hopes and excitement. It was my goal to go through high school building up a memorable reputation that would make me a legend, but, as they say, “life happens when we are planning for something else.” I was a freshman. Being a freshman can mean many things, but, according to my elders (the upperclassmen), a freshman was just another annoying kid whose voice was too high

for high school standards. This description, however, was unique to me and only me unfortunately. My buddies were five inches taller than I was, and their voices were far lower. I was the freshman of the freshmen class. I went with the flow. I traveled from class to class in a somewhat reserved fashion, and I rarely raised my hand to talk. Back at the Lower/Middle school campus, I was always able to connect with students from all grades, but high school was a different story.

I was not able to be myself, something everyone told me I needed to do once I entered high school. My first homecoming week finally arrived, and I couldn’t have been more excited. I finally had an opportunity to let out my outgoing self in front of the entire student body. So, I volunteered for one of the school-wide games in assembly. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this competition would completely alter my attitude towards high school and put me on the path I had always

October 12, 2012 wished to set out on. The competition was, “Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” an event that had one male student from each class sing a song alone in front of 450 people. The freshmen, obviously, got the “embarrassing” song that would eventually lead to a heckling session from the seniors. My song was “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls, an extremely feminine anthem that constantly alludes to the process of picking up hot dudes at a party. Yea, I know, a freshman boy singing that could never lead to anything but humiliation. But not this guy…I rocked it. “Tell me what ya’ want, what ya really really want! I’m gonna tell you what I want what I really really want!” It was the most memorable moment of my high school career. I found my confidence and my swagger. I was no longer the freshman of the freshmen. I was walking tall. Since then, I have never looked back. I have grown eight inches since my freshman year (which has allowed me to actually walk tall) and I physically and mentally entered the body of a true senior. Whether it be my time with the bros or my encounters with the ladies (a respectable number I might add), no memory will ever surpass the one I made that October day in the gymnasium.

So, for all you freshmen, know that your minds and your bodies will grow. If you’re patient, you will find that great thing that you know you’ve always wanted, even if your

Page 17

plans suggest you follow another path. Crazy as it seems, my turning point was the Spice Girls, and although I may not be the “legend” I dreamt of being, I think I’m doing all right.

Photo courtesy of Dean Sandquist.

Sandquist’s (far right) shortcomings freshman year were clear to himself and friends.

Photo courtesy of Dean Sanquist

Now that he is a senior, Sandquist (far left) has surpassed the height of his friends and looks back on freshamn year with ease.

Hidden challenge: AP Music Theory demanding By Jerrie James Staff Writer

“The tests and quizzes are timed, so you have very little time to think. Everything has to be automatic,” junior Stephen McCloskey said. “During our fire drill last week, Dr. Nagy made us sing intervals on our way out to the field. There’s no such thing as time off. It’s not a class that you can just push aside. You must spend time on it every night.”

“With other APs, you can study normally and then do well on the AP [exam] while music theory is more practicing than studying,” JASMINE ADAMS senior

Students who stop by the AP Music Theory class may expect the students to be taking notes on their computer as they do in AP history classes, but the class is not a typical AP, and neither is the student’s work atmosphere. The majority of the class time is spent with students training their ears, so that in their future music careers the students will be able to recognize notes and write them down by ear. “The students in AP Music Theory [have] to do a lot of ear training, which involves training your ears to note the differences between certain sounds and progressions played. If you cannot hear the structure of the music, there [is] no way you would be able to succeed [in this class],” senior Jordi Zindel, a former AP Music Theory student, said. Although this class only consists of five students— sophomore Antonio Rodriquez, juniors McCloskey and Riley Burke, and seniors Jasmine Adams and Claire Kearns—music teacher Dr. Alexander Nagy enjoys teaching AP Music Theory for the select students who are interested. “I really like [this class] because kids who are in this class are very interested in music. They really want

LIAM FINE / Staff Photographer

AP Music Theory caters to ambitious students who are interested in music at a deeper level.

to get better and that really motivates me,” Dr. Nagy said. Zindel described a typical class day by explaining that it usually starts with Dr. Nagy giving the students different ear training exercises, triads, inversions of the triads and then the students sing back to Dr. Nagy certain intervals. “After that, we would spend the remainder of the class studying and learning everything, since we all went into the class knowing nothing,” he said. Unlike other AP courses, the students rarely have any background in this class. Zindel and Dr. Nagy refer to this course as another foreign language, not only because the material is hard, but because students need to know how to read and write music before they are able to start learning everything else Dr. Nagy teaches in this course. “With other APs, you can study normally and then do well on the AP [exam] while music theory is more practicing than studying,” Adams said. This course is similar to others in the sense that you take quizzes and tests often, but other than that, nothing is ordinary about this AP. With this course, the tests are more auditory than written; a test could consist of listening to a piece of music and writing down the necessary notes and scales or reading a new piece of music and reciting. “It is very different because it requires a totally different thinking process,” McCloskey said.

According to current and past students, if a student is seriously interested in pursuing a career in music, they should take this course. This course is very demanding and has a fast pace but without the speed, Dr. Nagy would not cover all that he does. “The main thing that makes this class difficult is there is a lot of room for mistakes,” Adams said.

“Now I can compose better pieces with the tools the class and Dr. Nagy have given me.” JORDI ZINDEL senior

Though this class is challenging, some may say the hardest AP at the school, the hard work is worth it, according to Zindel. “My experience [in this class] was a demanding one, but also equally rewarding. It was hard work from beginning to end, but once the AP Exam was taken I knew that I really had learned a lot,” Zindel said. “Now I can compose better pieces with the tools the class and Dr. Nagy have given me.”

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The Pharcyde

October 12, 2012

Former guest speaker competes in Paralympic games

Pharcyde archives

Callahan spoke at the upper school as part of the Leadership Speaker Series in 2009.

By Paige Sode Staff Writer

“USA! USA! USA!” As the chant flooded through the stands at the 2012 Paralympics in London, Mr. Paul Callahan, a previous Benjamin Leadership Speaker, marched forward through the tunnel into the stadium, recognizing how fortunate and blessed one man can truly be. Callahan competed against 42 other disabled sailors from 14 countries in the 2012 Paralympics games, which began Aug. 29 and ended Sept. 9. The Paralympics are equivalent to the Olympics, but only for disabled athletes, using the same location and facilities as the actual Olympics, just weeks after. Callahan is the former CEO of Sail to Prevail, a non-profit charitable organization that creates opportunities for disabled

children and adults to overcome adversity through therapeutic sailing. In the role of Skipper ( in the three-person keelboat, and Captain of the USA Paralympics Sailing Team), Callahan observed a difference between the 2000 Paralympics, in which he also competed, and the 2012 Paralympics. “This Olympic experience exceeded my previous one in 2000. Athletes, or people in general, all around the world became even more competitive and proficient, and it challenged our team to perform at its very best,” he said. As the week passed with no wind, Callahan and his two other teammates did not get a chance to redeem themselves from the previous day’s two unforced errors on the starting line, resulting in a shift in the standings and eventually a seventh place finish.

“We were happy with the results and performed optimally given the constraints we had on us due to the distant geographic location of the various team members and the time that we could spend on the water as a team,” he said. “Our seventh place finish was not truly representative of our skill set, I believe, as we were in second or third place until the last day, when the team made a simple error on the starting line and, at this level, one mistake can be fatal.” The final scoring was extremely close, as the average score for an Olympic medal was 4.2, and Callahan’s final average score was 4.8. Callahan and his teammates were not pleased with their seventh place finish, and they are looking forward to competing in the 2016 Paralympics where they plan on improving upon their previous results. Although his work ethic was evident at

a young age, Callahan was forced to alter his working habits after an accident that occurred at age 21. While attending Harvard University, Callahan’s life was changed when he slipped on a wet floor and broke his neck, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. The accident encouraged Callahan to move forward in life and assume the role of CEO of a sailing organization and a competitor in the Paralympics. Callahan’s successes inspired him to encourage other people, not just quadriplegics, in accepting life as it is, an idea he presented to students several years ago at Benjamin. “When I was in school myself, I was inspired by various adults who were very accomplished in their own areas of expertise, so I am very willing to share any life lessons that I have learned and, hopefully, there are some successes that will stick with students forever,” he said. “I believe listening to speakers at your school is very beneficial, even if they are not in your area of interest – there are some universal attributes that transcend all boundaries and unique interests.” When asked about speaking at Benjamin, Callahan recalls that the students were extremely inquisitive and courageous in their questions. He said, “I certainly would encourage that behavior for the rest of anyone’s life. Often times, it is better to have the right question than the right answer. Given this unique culture, I would be delighted to speak to the students at the Benjamin School anytime whatsoever.” According to senior Ryan Rengasawmy, who was a freshman when Callahan last spoke, he remembers Callahan as one of the most inspirational speakers to date and applauds him for his participation in this year’s Paralympics. “Paul Callahan is a true success story in just about every aspect I can think of. His credentials speak for themselves; he received his M.B.A and B.A. at Harvard, was later employed by Goldman Sachs, and recently just competed in the Paralympics. It makes you think what this man could have accomplished if his accident had not happened,” he said.

Football enters new league, three home games, five away By Caterina Breuer Staff Writer

Many students will not be hearing the familiar “green, 42, hut” as often this season at Theofilos football field because the varsity football team only has three home games. The imbalance in the number of home and away games emerged when the coaches gathered for a meeting to discuss the details of the new South Florida Conference last winter. Head football coach Mr. Ron Ream said, “Several of the 14 teams had conflicts. Benjamin was one of those. So, to resolve the conflicts in scheduling, we had to take three home games this year and five away.” One of Benjamin’s problems was with Miami Curley High School. Benjamin had four away games and four home games, but Benjamin owed Miami Curley an away game. The team agreed to give them a home game, and that finalized the numbers at five and three. Although the football team has a positive attitude about the number of football games, Mr. Ream ac-

knowledged that some students will miss out as a result. “The people that it kind of affects are the seniors, of course, because they won’t come back next year. Thank goodness next year it will reverse,” Mr. Ream said. Like Mr. Ream, the cheerleaders wish that more home games existed. “That is one thing that I am so sad about. Home games are so much more fun, especially for seniors,” senior and varsity cheerleading captain, Brenna Tiano, said. “Senior night is always the last home game. That’s always been a tradition. But, this year it can’t be because Homecoming is the last home game we have.” However, the cheerleaders are making the best of the shortage of home games. “I’ve never really been overwhelmed by the traveling. Our team really bonds a lot. No one really dislikes it,” Tiano said. According to Tiano, traveling never interferes with academics because “academics [come] first.” The games are always on Fridays, with the exception of one Saturday game, so they never come in conflict with school.

LIAM FINE / Staff Photographer

The Buccaneers played Pope John Paul in one of their three home games.

However, the Dazzlers are not as upbeat about the number of home games as the cheerleaders. “I’m so sad. We used to have like six or seven [home] games. Now we only have three,” senior Dazzler Julia Adle said. “Last year we were five and five. Everybody tries to get that. Everybody wants that balance. And hope-

fully after this two-year cycle is up, we could go back to the drawing boards again. I am sure since Benjamin was one of the schools affected by the conflicts, and we gave in to some other schools, they will do the same for us in two years. It all balances out.” Mr. Ream said.

The Pharcyde


October 12, 2012 Page


False hope: Football helmets fail to prevent injury By Sam Greenspan Online Editor

As a result of recent research regarding head injuries associated with football, the Bucs’ football program has created a system intended to protect its’ players, but two instances reflect how the system has its imperfections. The first instance involved senior Evander Biondi-Copeland, who suffered a concussion during a practice that forced him to stop playing football. It was Copeland’s third concussion, but the first that he suffered from playing football. Though he cannot verify whether he blacked out or not, Copeland did remember going to the sidelines and taking a break before continuing with the contactoriented Oklahoma drill. Copeland felt the need to return to practice, despite his history of concussions. “I felt dizzy but I voluntarily went back in there to play. Football practice is sort of a test of your masculinity because after you get hit hard, you are supposed to just throw your helmet back on and get in there,” he said. He said he showed no immediate signs that would have indicated to the coaches that he had suffered a serious head injury. According to Athletic Trainer Mr. Dave Bailey, it is not uncommon for concussion-like symptoms to occur until 48 to 72 hours after sustaining the head injury, as they did in Copeland’s situation. He received an MRI after going to the doctor with complaints about a headache, and it revealed that he had received his third concussion. After receiving this information, head football coach Mr. Ron Ream was very hesitant to let Copeland continue playing. “My number one concern is keeping players safe,” he said. “Evander was insistent upon playing after the injury, but once we saw that it was his third concussion, we both

agreed he should not play.” Mr. Bailey also approaches the handling of head injuries in a very, “cautious”, manner during practices and games. If he or one of the coaches sees a player get hit in the vicinity of the head, the player is pulled off of the field to undergo a test to determine if the player is capable of remaining in the game. Mr. Ream also acknowledged that Mr. Bailey makes the decision if the player is ready to go back in.

“I can say that I think we are doing everything in the students’ best interest.” MR. DAVE BAILEY This approach was put to the test when senior Brandon Davis suffered a hit to the head during a game that, “rung his bell,” and left him, “thinking foggy.” Davis could not remember what position he was playing when he was hit, details about the game, or some other basic details from the day of the game. “I remember after the hit, the coaches or trainer pulled me out of the game,” Davis said. “I underwent an evaluation from Mr. Bailey and was cleared to go back in the game. I thought I was ready to go back in, but I was thinking foggy.” Davis said it does scare him a bit not remembering something he has done. “I was concerned when I woke up the next day because I just felt like I still was not thinking straight, and I was still foggy in the head.” Even though he passed the test administered by Mr. Bailey, Davis feels that he might not have gone back in if he were thinking right. Mr. Bailey administers this test whenever he or one of the coaches takes a player out of a game with the

suspicion of a potential head or neck injury. If Mr. Bailey or the coaches pull a player because of a suspected injured head or neck, he implements a 15-minute policy during which the player is evaluated. “A player must pass a battery of balance oriented and cognitive tests during that 15-minute time period of observation before I even consider clearing the player to go back in the game,” Mr. Bailey said. Though Davis and Copeland suffered their injuries in a game and a practice respectively, both share the thought that the culture of the game contributes to players’ wanting to remain in games and practices regardless of their injuries. “I was taking a break on the sideline and a bunch of guys were patting me on the back to get in there,” Copeland said. “I didn’t want to show any signs of weakness so I did go back in.” Mr. Bailey acknowledges that the football culture may influence players to continue to play through injuries, but he is hesitant to allow players to return to games with a potential head or neck injury. “I am proud that our program always sides with caution when dealing with head injuries,” Mr. Bailey said. “I can say that I think we are doing everything in the students’ best interest.” Two schools in Florida are taking an extra step to reduce the impact on the head and neck by having their players wear a Guardian Cap during practices. The Guardian Cap is a spandex cap covered with gel that place over their helmets to reduce impact upon the head. According to, the comp-

LIAM FINE / Staff Photographer

any reports 7,000 players wore the caps during practice and only two players reported concussions. The website also acknowledges that 10% of athletes who participate in contact sports suffer a concussion each year. Athletic director and assistant football coach Mr. Ryan Smith does not think that the caps are necessarily beneficial to player safety. “As the article in The Palm Beach Post indicates, there is no definitive research showing that the caps can prevent head injuries. By using them it may give coaches a false sense of security to increase contact in practice,” he said. “Football is a contact sport, and the common theme from the research is to try and limit the contact in practice that cannot be avoided in games. Simulating game-like situations in practice is like a balancing act that is very difficult for coaches, but it is important for the well being of the student-athletes in preparation for games.”

Dazzlers to compete in National Dance Association competition Lexi Cass

Staff Writer Opportunity rarely strikes twice, but for the second time in two years, The Dazzlers have been invited to compete at the National Dance Association (NDA) competition that will take place in Orlando in March 2013. This past June, instead of going off on summer vacation, the dance team members were at school preparing for their national qualifier tryout. They practiced and perfected a dance all year long and then again into the summer. It all came down to one day in June when they performed the dance in front of an NDA judge who then scored them in many categories.

“It’s not like you can just walk in for your first time and win it all, you have to have a path.” SAMMI SCHLECHTER senior

After totaling the scores, the judge came back with good news. “We have a bid to Nationals; the judge liked what she saw,” dance team coach, Mrs. Sara Salivar, said with a smile. This is the first time ever that the team will be competing at a national com-

petition. The team members had qualified for the national competition that took place this past year but were unable to attend because the date of the competition conflicted with the Peru trip. With the second offer, they get another chance to prove they have what it takes to compete in a national competition. “[Being able to go] is a big honor for us,” said senior and captain Emma Brooks. The Dazzlers will be performing in two categories: team dance and jazz. Mrs. Salivar believes that these categories are a good fit for the team. “For our first time I think we are just going to work in [these] two different areas. I think these are the areas that they are strongest in. I think they’re going to do very well,” she explained. Since the team knows in which areas they will be performing, they know how hard they have to work to be “competition ready.” The practices this year are going to be more disciplined than any other year. The seniors know they have a responsibility to help the younger members get prepared. “[The seniors] are going to have to push the younger girls really hard because we have never done anything like this before,” Brooks said. Aside from the hard work, Brooks and the other seniors on the team, co-captains Julia Adle and Sammi

LIAM FINE / Staff Photographer

Dazzlers take the field for the halftime dance during a home game this season.

Schlechter, are looking forward to the experience. Speaking for the group, Adle said “We’re excited to go and just see what will happen. We go to the same competitions every year, and this is a whole different competition.” Mrs. Salivar believes that the seniors and the rest of the team are ready for the challenge. “I have three very dedicated seniors. All of them knew that this was attainable. They knew it was a possibility,” she said. “They worked really hard for it this

year. There are only eight members on the team this year, but they’re all very dedicated and very hard working.” The Dazzlers understand that it will not be easy to do well in the competition, but they are confident. “It’s not like you can just walk in for your first time and win it all,” Schlechter said. “You have to have a path.” Enthusiastic about this opportunity, Mrs. Salivar said, “The whole experience is just going to be very exciting.”

Page 20 October 12, 2012

The Pharcyde


Harris’ emotional, physical race to the finish By Andy Weir Staff Writer

On a warm Tuesday afternoon, senior Rachel Harris sprinted through the finish line at the Palm Beach Gardens cross country meet to win the race. This victory, Harris said, was the most memorable moment of her high school running career.

“It has strengthened my mental approach to all aspects of life, and I no longer look at a situation as unconquerable.”


“It was extremely exciting, and it made me feel like all of my hard work had finally paid off,” she said. From the moment she began running for leisure to the moment she won this meet, running has caused Harris to grow both physically and emotionally. Her growth is just one of several accomplishments she has made throughout her high school cross country career. Harris began running for leisure in fifth grade after Benjamin alumnus and longtime neighbor of Harris, Meredith Anderson, sparked her interest in the sport. As she watched Anderson constantly run throughout the neighborhood, she not only became close friends with her but also became inspired to run for fun. In the next year, Harris enrolled at Benjamin in sixth grade, and Anderson persuaded her to run for their school’s cross country team. Thus, she began her school career in cross country. She has run for the varsity team every season since. “Cross Country appeals to me be-

cause it is a sport where you have innumerable opportunities to improve,” she said. “Every race is a chance for me to get my best time or do better than my last race,” she added. Since her start, her progress reflects her evident enjoyment of the sport. These improvements reflect the physical and emotional growth she has experienced due to running. “I have learned that the mental aspect of sports is ten times more important than the physical, and that a positive attitude can make all the difference in the world,” she said. For Harris, this growth has extended beyond running and into other parts of her life, such as academics and even getting into college. Running, and cross country specifically, has taught her not to back down from any daunting situation. “It has strengthened my mental approach to all aspects of life, and I no longer look at a situation as unconquerable. Running has shown me that all of my goals in life can be accomplished if I work toward them one step at a time,” she said. Her growth did not come without challenges, though. In eighth grade, she had hairline fractures in her back, putting her in a back brace for three months during her freshman year. Harris has a clear interest in running, but in addition to Anderson, she cites several other key reasons for her interest in cross country, particularly. “It is also so exciting to see how hard I can push myself both mentally and physically. This sport also appeals to me because it is a way for me to escape from the stress of school work; it keeps me in shape, and I absolutely love being around my teammates,” Harris said. Her dedication to the sport and running is also clear to her coaches. Assistant coach Ms. Carol McGrath has watched her run from sixth to ninth grade and again this year. “Watching Rachel run pain free has been a joy. This year, she has worked so hard to be a good leader

Photo courtesy of Nataly Lambert

After four years of cross country running, Harris wom a first place victory.

and set a good example for the new and younger runners. She won her first race. She ran hard and made it look easy. She’s having a great senior season,” Ms. McGrath said. In Harris’ eyes, her win at the Palm Beach Gardens meet is just one of the many

benefits of running cross country. Reflecting on her memorable race, she said “It is definitely a race that I will never forget. It definitely helped me grow as a person. As cliché as it sounds, running has taught me how to never give up on myself.”

Waugh competes in Invitational, named News Channel 12 Athlete of the Week

Photo courtesy of Clancy Waugh

Waugh’s success got him recognized as News Channel 12’s Athlete of the Week.

By Rachel Smith Staff Writer

Senior Clancy Waugh may have come in second place on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays, but he didn’t in the Honda Classic High School Invitational tournament, where he won

against some of the best teams in the state, and was named News Channel 12 Athlete of the Week for the final week of September. The two-day tournament occurred on Sept. 21 and 22 at PGA National Resort and Spa’s Champion Course, where

the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic takes place each February. Waugh completed the Invitational with a score of 70 and helped to lead the Varsity Boys’ Golf Team to a second place overall finish. “I was just working hard in order for the team to be victori-

ous, but it just so happened that I was lucky enough to win individually,” Waugh said of his accomplishment. Golf has always been a major part of Waugh’s life, and he has been a member of the varsity golf team since seventh grade. “I’ve been pretty much playing [golf] since I could walk. I started playing because we lived on a golf course when I was little, and my Dad would go out after work and I started joining him as soon as I could,” he said. Head Varsity Golf Coach Mr. Toby Harbeck said, “He has made ‘leaps and bounds’ as a golfer because he had a great golf foundation.” Waugh has been captain of the team for the past four years and won the regionals as both an eigth and eleventh grade student. Waugh was also a keymember of the team when they won the state tournament his freshman year. He plays golf everyday for as long as possible. During the team’s season he attends the practices and sometimes plays additionally after practice as well. Waugh also participates in junior tournaments

and championships around the country throughout the year. Speaking about his commitment, Mr. Harbeck said, “Golf is a year-round sport for him.” The results of his focus and hard-work are more than evident according to Mr. Harbeck. “He has matured into one of the best players in the state of Florida,” he said. “He has probably excelled more than a normal high school player because he has…always played against older and usually better competition than most high school players would play against. This has allowed his game to get so much better.” Waugh has committed to playing golf for Wake Forest University next year. “He will do very well in college and should be able to play immediately as a freshman. He has all of the ‘tools’ that are needed to make a good collegiate golfer and maybe beyond,” Mr. Harbeck said. Looking forward to his own future Waugh said, “I just want to see how good I can get and not have any regrets about not working as hard as I could have worked.”

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