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Pattonville High School 2497 Creve Coeur Mill Road Maryland Heights, MO 63043 Twitter: @phsTODAY

Vol. 78 Issue 3 Feb. 2014

A Pirate’s Guide to Graduation

February 2014 PIRATE PRESS 2 NEWS Students with special needs learn skills to succeed in school By Bionca Maldonado

“We’re in charge of making sure every student gets the things they need to be successful.” For the Special School District coordinator, Jessica Brown, the success of students is her top priority. “Not everyone in SSD has profound disabilities,” Brown said. “Some just need a test read to them or more time to do work.” Students enrolled in the Special School District take all of the required classes and earn the same amount of credits as every student needs to graduate, just on their own time based on Independent Education Goals. “As for required classes we have what we call co-teaching,” Brown said. “Co-teaching helps because

students will be in a class with other students while also receiving the help they need individually. So just like you have English 1, 2 and 3, we have Special Education English 1, 2 and 3.” Physical Education is also required for every student but SSD has adjusted their P.E. program to fit students’ needs. “We have what we call Adaptive P.E., where students with disabilities are paired with a student without a disability to mentor them. I wish more students would sign up to mentor someone.” To sign up, students need to see Brown or assistant principal Tiffany Besse to register for the course. Each student’s needs are different. Whether they have physical, mental, or emotional

needs, SSD helps to make sure those needs are met, and each student is comfortable and successful. To meet those needs, there are 15 different classes just for special needs students to help prepare them for after high school. One of these classes is called Community Based Vocational Instruction (CBVI), where students are able to go into one of two work places, K-Mart or KidSmart, and learn basic skills needed for a job such as organization and keeping a schedule. For sophomore Jonathan Brown, speech is just one thing SSD has helped him overcome. “My favorite class was Social Skills. It taught me how to have a conversation; now I like to talk.” Although Jonathan Brown has had made progress with SSD, not

Jonathan Brown works on an assignment in his classroom. Working with teachers in the Special School District, students like Brown are able to find success in school. Photo by Bionca Maldonado everyone at school is supportive. “[A peer] stares at me constantly. It makes me uncomfortable, and there’s nothing wrong with me,” Jonathan Brown said. “When

people are rude to me, I like to go pray and listen to music, it calms me down. I don’t want people to call me names and I need people to respect me.”

Students as Mentors help tutor the LIKE YEARBOOK. future learners of the school district High school students gain experience working in the elementary, middle Now’s your chance

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The Pattonville High School yearbook staff is now accepting orders for senior ads in the 2014 yearbook. Honor a loved one or recognize an accomplishment. Place your ad in the Pattonville ECHO today. SEND TO US: Images on a disc or attach photos (do not staple), payment and this completed order form (with a self-addressed stamped envelope) and mail to Brian Heyman, yearbook adviser, 2497 Creve Coeur Mill Road, Maryland Heights, MO 63043

schools while earning tutoring hours that are required by the A+ program By Allison Leventhal

Few classes at Pattonville are targeted at helping and benefiting such a variety of people. Students as Mentors, taught by Julia Weingart, is beneficial for high school, middle school and elementary school students, and also middle school and elementary school teachers. High school students can gain real-world teaching and tutoring experience while also earning the required 50 hours of tutoring for the A+ program. Weingart explained it is so convenient for high school students because the hours can be earned during the school day as they commute to either an elementary school or middle school in the district, where they will be paired with a class to work with the students for a semester. Senior Riley Ayers took away a lot from her experience as a tutor at Parkwood Elementary. It was so meaningful to her because she plans on being an elementary school teacher in the future. Ayers would definitely recommend this class to other students. “You get to feel like you impacted the younger students,” Ayers said. “They love you and you can feel that. It’s nice for them to see someone who they think is so cool

Pattonville Heights Middle School student Angel Hearon studies in her academic lab. Photo by Allison Leventhal coming in every day giving them love and attention.” Middle and elementary school students benefit from the tutoring because of the personalized assistance they receive. Emily Reyes, a student at Pattonville Heights Middle School, said, “It was helpful because my mentor [tutor] had just finished middle school, and they had recently experienced some of the same stuff I’m being taught now.” Montrell Reed, a classmate of Reyes’s, also agreed that the oneon-one tutoring really helped him, pointing out that teachers do not always have the time to work with one student individually. Reed stated that after working with a high school tutor through the Students as Mentors class, his grades improved. The teachers at the partnering

schools can appreciate the Students as Mentors class offered at the high school because of all the help provided by their tutor. Weingart explained the teachers always use the tutors in many different ways. “Some of the teachers involve the tutors by having them help with the general instruction in the classroom. Some of the students work one-on-one or in small groups with the younger students, and some are just there to help with whatever is needed.” Pattonville offers other ways for students to get their A+ tutoring hours, but Students as Mentors serves as more than a way to earn tutoring hours; it is a chance for students to get teaching experience and create lasting memories.

3 Li leaves early after learning everything Real-life skills taught in Junior Warren Li to graduate early after earning all required credits Consumer Math class PIRATE PRESS

February 2013

By Joseph Schneider

After attending eight semesters of high school and earning 24 total credits, Pattonville seniors will walk across the podium of the St. Charles Family Arena and earn their high school diploma. However, many are unaware that one junior will graduate with the Class of 2014 on the same night. After meeting basic requirements for all core subjects and electives, junior Warren Li will have more than 24 credits by the end of the semester, allowing him to graduate one year earlier than all other juniors. Understanding very few people take this route, Li has carried the aspirations to go above and beyond academically before stepping foot into the high school. “My parents have always encouraged me to work hard and focus on my studies, which motivates me to try my best,” Li admitted. “It’s a form of motivation that allows me to know my limitations, yet push myself hard to achieve higher goals.” In order to fulfill all graduation requirements, Li not only made arrangements to take online and summer courses, but balanced his schedule meticulously to his advantage for the regular school semesters. “I’ve done a lot of doubling up in English because you need four credits and I’ve only been here three years,” Li claimed. “Frankly, you only have so many slots to fill

and I couldn’t take every course, so I wanted to challenge myself and take A.P. classes that I was interested in.” Currently taking A.P. courses in chemistry, computer science, calculus and government, Li gains the opportunity to earn college credit for his work if he takes the respective A.P. exams. Serving as one benefit, Li also uses this chance to expand knowledge on his academic interests. “I know my interests lie in the math and science area, but I don’t specifically have one favorite subject,” Li said. “I’m glad I have a general path to follow, but I feel like I’ll discover in college what exactly I want to go into.” Other students have respected Li’s strong work ethic and dedication to academics. Presently taking several classes with seniors, many students appreciate his desire to learn and challenge himself with tough courses. “He takes so many classes it makes me feel like I’m lazy,” senior Sadie Dasovich said. “It’s awesome that he is motivating students older than him to do so well.” Aside from academics, Li remains active at Pattonville by participating in the school Orchestra and Robotics club. Particularly enjoying the “community and team feel” to both clubs, he finds ways to balance his time between schoolwork, playing violin and working with technology.


Math used in day-to-day operations are the focus By Trish Parsons

Junior Warren Li plays violin for the Chamber Orchestra and will be participating in the Solo and Ensemble Competition in March. Li will be part of a quartet playing a song arranged by Beethoven. Photo by Joseph Schneider. “Activities take up a lot of time, yet they can be very rewarding,” Li said “I try to involve myself into a few activities that I really enjoy, and it’s nice to have a small group of people [in these clubs] that you can interact with frequently.” Still considering where to attend college next year, Li is optimistic his academic successes will carry over. As an early high school graduate, he offers advice for students with similar academic ambitions. “A lot of students aim to get the highest GPA or best grades, but I really like to take advantage of the resources we have and not just do something for points,” Li said. “Don’t just go with the mentality of taking every class regardless. If you really have an interest in learning something, go ahead and go for it.”

Generally in math there are some students who ask, “When will I ever need to know this?” Math teacher Steve Edler has the answer for those enrolled in Consumer Math: “Almost every day. The concepts are designed for realworld applications.” While the majority of math classes, such as Algebra, Precalculus, and Geometry, deal with basic concepts that the average person will not use regularly, Consumer Math deals with math in the financial world. “It [the course] deals with all math in the real world. Like buying cars and shopping, math you will deal with day-to-day,” explained math teacher Jeremiah Simmons. Students need to have the skills required in other math classes to understand the concepts given in Consumer Math.

“Consumer Math draws on concepts from Algebra and Geometry,” said math teacher Michelle Konopka. Senior Katherine Bahr described her experience as a positive one because the math relates back to her personally. “I learned how to look for an apartment, rent, real-world stuff, not the circumference of a circle,” Bahr said. This class affects some students now because they are going out and looking at cars, applying for college, and getting jobs. “I have heard a lot of students talk about how it helped with interviews,” Simmons said. Juniors and seniors are eligible to take Consumer Math. There are no prerequisites for either Consumer Math 1 or Consumer Math 2. Konopka said, “I think along with math, there are a lot of experiences we talk about, like how to be aware of a good decision.”

Math Course Recommendations

Designed for the student with above average ability: -Honors Algebra 2 -Honors Geometry -Probability & Statistics -Discrete Math -Honors Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry -AP/College Credit Calculus -AP Statistics

Designed for the student with average and above average ability: -AP Statistics -Algebra 1.1 & 1.2 -Geometry 1 & 2 -Algebra 2.1 & 2.2 -Discrete Math -Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry -Probability & Stats -AP/College Credit Calculus

Science teaches skills with labs using a hands-on approach

Experiments, projects in classes are highlights for many students involved in courses learning about chemistry, physics, Earth By Conner Delles

Science classes become fun when students get to conduct experiments to learn about physics, chemistry and the human body. Students only need to take 3 credits to graduate from high school, but many colleges and universities require at least 4 years of science for enrollment. With more than 20 science classes to choose from, Pattonville offers many options for students to find a class that interests them. All students are enrolled in biology as a freshman, the study of living things, and must pass the course to take another science class. Physical Science is a laboratory course which integrates the principles of physics, chemistry, earth

and space science that occur in common events. Science teacher Vicki Schaeffer said the students cover so many different topics that this class has a great variety of different labs. “Physical Science is a class that gives the students a good introduction to all the other sciences’ except for biology so it can give a student the ability to pick a science class that they’ll enjoy.” Science teacher Amy Schwendemann said Physics is an advanced science class that also requires the skills that are taught in math. The class is an experimental science course examining mechanics and covering the study of power, work, momentum, mechanical energy, heat, sound, waves, fluids and the nature of lights.

According to Schwendemann, physics labs involve labs like the “egg drop” which is looking at free fall motion. Another creative lab she has students conduct is the bowling ball lab which is designed to study the force of friction between a bowling ball and different surfaces. “Labs help students understand the criteria better because they can actually see physics in action and are able to understand the concepts better,” Schwendemann said. Geology/Astronomy is another class that gives students more knowledge and hands-on experience of the Earth and the Universe. The course studies the laws and principles of the Universe and requires the students to visit the Pattonville Observatory for night-

During an experiment in class, students hold a soda can with tongs and observe how air pressure is strong enough to actually crush a can. Photo by Conner Delles. time viewing of the sky. Other lab assignments done in the class concentrate on the weather, rocks, caves and volcanoes.

Schwendemann said the students build a cave in her classroom to better understand rocks and minerals found in the Earth.

February 2014 PIRATE PRESS 4 FEATURES High school offers new classes for students PIRATE Teachers have new curriculum approved before being included in the course description book PATRONS By Maggie Vitale

Pirate Patrons receive a mailed subscription to the Pirate Press and get a special listing in all published newspapers and the yearbook. Donations are used for student scholarships and to offset the printing costs of all student publications. If you are interested in joining the Pirate Patrons or advertising in the Pirate Press, please visit

Marcus Christian, Jacki Gittemeier and Brian Heyman all have something in common, They will be teaching a new class next year. For Christian, it is Mythology; for Gittemeier, it is Art History; and for Heyman, it is Photojournalism. “To create a new class, we have to make our own curriculum, decide

on a textbook and write important essential questions that every teacher has for their classrooms,” Gittemeier said. “Basically it’s why it’s relevant, why we want to teach this class, why will students benefit from this and why does it interest us.” Heyman goes more in detail on the steps it takes to get a course approved. “You have to come up with

an idea and propose it to your department to get their support,” Heyman said. “After you write the curriculum and develop the units you will teach and how you will assess the students, it goes to a committee to decide if the class is a good fit for the students and the school.” Many new classes are in the books for next year. Here’s a preview of three:

To download a PDF version of the 2014-2015 course description book, scan the QR code or visit

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Course Title: Mythology

Course Title: Art History

Course Description: Mythology includes a survey of the major myths of Greek, roman and Norse antiquity, including the appropriate Gods, heroes and heroines, and an analysis of the values and beliefs those stories convey. Students will learn about the myths in various ways, including reading primary source, epic poems, classical plays, art, archaeology, and the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. Students will learn appropriate names and terms important to the study of Greek, Roman and Norse mythology. Students will examine how mythical illusions, archetypes, and themes enrich literature, art and film.

Course Description: This course offers the serious student the opportunity to explore in-depth the history of art from ancient times to the present through readings, research, slides, videos, and museum visits. Students will view significant art works from around the world. Writing skills will be important in the description, analysis and comparison of these works. Students are encouraged to keep a notebook using “iLearn” technology to record class discussion on significant historical events, art periods/styles, specific art works, and issues/themes that connect these art works.

Course Description: Photojournalism will focus on telling stories using cameras and computers. Students will work as photographers and will learn how to write captions, compose photo essays, to use digital editing software, the history and significance of photojournalism and media law and ethics. Assignments will be geared toward publication in one of the school media outlets (newspaper, yearbook, online). Outside class assignments will be required.

Prerequisites: Themes in World History, Grades 10-12

Who should take this class: “Anyone who thinks that they’re a great photographer and anyone who wants to become a great photographer,” Heyman said. “Pictures will be used in the yearbook, newspaper and online so this is perfect for anyone who likes to capture memories and be able to flip back and remember what they were a part of in high school.”

Prerequisites: Themes in World History, Grades 10-12 (semester) Who should take this class: “Mythology has something for everyone, no matter who you are,” Christian said. “Mythology studies the cultures of people from the past, but really, it’s the human experience and what we think is important and how people act and the problems humans face and how we deal with those problems.”

Course Title: Photojournalism

How this is different from the AP version: “AP is taught in the English department and it’s going to be a year-long class. It’s going to be a little bit broader than what I’m teaching and it will cover more topics,” Gittemeier said. “My class covers topics geared toward a historical aspect rather than an AP exam”

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February 2014



History is a timeline of Oral Communication, Debate are events, classes address no longer required classes but must be earned to graduate different time periods credit Oral Communications credit can be earned by taking one of seven courses Enrolling in various course at Pattonville will cover specific eras By Zack Balzer

There are a plethora of social studies classes available to take. From Anthropology to World War II, there is no shortage of historical events to learn. Many students have enjoyed taking different history electives over the course of their high school career and enjoy many things about them. “I love taking history classes because the teachers are awesome and the classes are interesting,” senior Candice Kopecky said. “Now

AP European History (1452- present)

that I look back on it, I wish I would’ve taken more.” Many students wonder which electives to take when considering their classes, but are not aware there are so many options to choose from. They then settle on taking a class that everyone else is in, and miss out on a great opportunity to take a class they would really enjoy. Below is an infographic using the time periods studied in a class as noted in the course description guide for each course distributed to every student before registration:

1450 1500

By Kyleigh Ambrosecchia

With seniors getting ready to graduate, juniors getting ready for their senior year, and incoming freshmen joining the Pirates, students should start thinking about credits and required classes needed to graduate. One of the requirements is an oral communications credit. “Oral Comm helps students have better public speaking skills,” junior Christina Collier said. Students that take this class learn to write a good speech and how to speak in front of a crowd. “Oral Communications helps students to communicate and learn how to talk to people and to read body language,” said English teacher teacher Dr. Janet Baldwin. “If you want to have a relationship or a successful job interview, then this class would help. It also gives you confidence when asked to

speak and to share your thoughts.” The different speeches or projects that the students do will eventually apply to real world situations. “Just active speaking, research, and organizing your thoughts in a concise conservative speech, they learn how to get attention with a good hook, and coming back to the end with a great conclusion,” Baldwin said. Many students can write a speech but are too afraid to speak in front of people. “Many students say this class isn’t one of their top choices but they’re glad they took it because it helped them with things like job interviews and overcoming the fear of talking in front of people,” Baldwin said. Collier actually recommends it to her friends. “I liked taking this class because it helped me become a better

public speaker and learn more about putting together a speech” Collier said. This class is a required class because it can help with real-life situations, Baldwin said. “Students learn confidence and ease of speaking. I hope students learned body language and what people are saying to them and also what they are saying to people.”

According to the course description book (page 2), students are required to take ONE of the following courses to meet the requirement for ORAL COMMUNICATIONS for graduation: Comm Arts: Oral Communication, Debate and Public Speaking, Politics, Persuasion, and Law Fine Arts: Competitive Theatre, Introduction to Theatre Practical Arts: Television Studio Production, Video Production

1550 1600 1650 1700

AP U.S. History (1776-1865)

Themes in American History (1865-1930) Themes in World History (Early 1900s) World War II (1939-1945)

1750 1800 1850 1900 1950 2000 2050

American Foreign Policy in the Middle East (1776-present) Modern World History (1815-Present) Civil War (1861-1865) Modern U.S. History (1900s-2000s) Post World War II American Culture (1945-present)





HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS “Pattonville School District requires a minimum of twenty-four (24) units of high school credit, which must be earned in grades nine and above. (Subject to change with Board of Education approval)” Credits required:

Communication Arts 4 Social Studies 3 Mathematics 3 Science 3 Fine Arts 1 Practical Arts ½ Personal Finance ½ Physical Education 1 Health ½ Electives 7½

A Pirate’s Guide to Graduation

By Alyssa Potter

By Bionca Maldonado

* Child Development 1 &2



*Students are required to take ONE of the following courses to meet the requirements for ORAL COMMUNICATIONS for graduation: Comm Arts: Oral Communication, Debate & Public Speaking, Politics, Persuasion/Law FIne Arts: Competitive Theatre, Introduction to Theatre Practical Arts: Television Studio Production,Video Production

* Woodworking 1 & 2 * Cabinet Making 1 & 2

Education & Teaching

“One student made an entertainment system that would hold his TV with five other boxes around it. It took up about 12 feet. Some people have also made poker tables,” Woodworking teacher Craig Gregory said.

* Parenting * Individual & Family Health * Human Relations 1 & 2

* Certified Nurse’s Assistant “First semester we studied the book, now during second semester we get to go to the hospital and nursing homes and assist the patients and tenants. In May, we take a test and if we pass, we become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) which means we can work in a hospital or nursing home with pay,” senior Health Occupations student Leana Anderson said.







* Food Science & Dietetics * Nutritional Foods

* Fashion Merchandising * Housing & Interior Design 9 * Clothing & Textiles 9 9 9 Advanced Clothing & Textiles

Modern Meals World Foods Culinary Arts


Total Number of Credits

By Jordan Colquitt


DIGITAL * Digital Design (1 & 2) * Web Design (1 & 2) * Multimedia & Graphic Design



* TV Studio Production * Journalism 1 9 Video Production 9 Pirate Press (Newspaper) 9 Advanced Production (Pirate TV) 9 ECHO (Yearbook)


Feeling lost when it comes to finding electives? Check out this map to find your way.

* Choir, Orchestra or Band * General Music * Music Theory * Piano Lab 1 & 2 * Beginning Guitar


* = Prerequisite 9 = Course option

after prerequisite is met

** = AP Course


FINE ARTS ARTS SCULPTING * Art Fundamentals 9 Ceramic 1 & 2 9 Sculpture 1 & 2 * AP** Studio Art

an Interest

“Art makes me look at things in a different way,” senior art student Kaitlin Gant said.


USINESS * Intro to Business * Marketing 1 & 2 9 Sports & Entertainment Marketing * Business & Personal Law * Senior Career Internship 1 & 2 “Everyone is a consumer, so everyone deals with business. You need to know * AP** Microeconomics how 9 AP** Macroeconomics the business operates even if you are not operating it,” business teacher

* Art Fundamentals 9 Painting 1 & 2 9 Ceramic 1 & 2 9 Drawing 1 & 2 9 Sculpture 1 & 2 * AP** Studio Art

Holly Martinez said.

* 9 9 9 9

Drafting 9 9 * Pre-Engineering 9 Intro to Engineering Design Architectural Drawing 9 Digital Electronics Computer Aid 1 & 2 9 Aerospace Engineering Mechanical Drawing Computer-Aided Drafting “Most times when you enter a career you don’t know much about it, but with these classes, I’m able to get a preview of my future career and I know what to expect.” -Pre-engineering student, Jared Pond, 11



February 2014

Learning how the business world works

“Everyone is involved in the business world as a consumer so they need to learn how it works,” teacher Ms. Holly Martinez said By Tim Vleisides

“Stop Day.” A day set aside for students to select their classes for the following year poses a difficult dilemma for the school’s freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Finding the perfect balance between core, elective and required courses may not be a problem for most students, but it may cause them to overlook courses that teach applicable skills in the world beyond high school. Pattonville’s Business Department, however, helps by introducing students to the financial concepts and information they will need to know for life. “Everyone is involved in the business world as a consumer,” noted business teacher Holly Martinez. “So they need to learn how it operates.” While classes such as Personal Finance are required at Pattonville, the business department provides students with additional options to develop their knowledge in

multiple areas. Some popular business electives include Accounting I and II, AP Economics, and Business Management, all of which count as a Practical Arts credits. Martinez teaches each of these courses and highly recommends them to any student. “Business Management is great because it gives students a general perspective on many business areas. We talk about accounting concepts, the economy, types of businesses, and more,” she said. “However, if students are serious about becoming a business major in college, they need to take Accounting.” One such student planning to major in finance is senior Nathan Samples who has taken Marketing I, Accounting I and II, and AP Economics over his high school career. Samples urges students to consider taking more business classes, as they have helped him develop a solid background on the subject. Specifically, Samples touted AP Economics for the wide range of

topics covered in the year-long course, including the basics of the economy and techniques to running a business. “The classes I’ve taken have taught me the skills I need going into a business program in college,” Samples said. “What you learn [in these classes] will transfer over to any career.” In addition to the courses themselves, students who take any one of Martinez’s or Doug McGhee’s classes are allowed to join DECA, a club through which students can gain a greater background in business concepts through competition. The benefits to participating in DECA are numerous according to Martinez. The club “provides leadership opportunities, allows you to apply your knowledge, and introduces you to contacts in the business industry,” along with the potential of earning academic scholarships. Stop Day may overwhelm many students, but the business courses at Pattonville High School offer a

Senior Jake Deckard works on a cash receipts journal, a vital tool for tracking income within a business, in Pattonville’s Accounting II course. According to Ms. Holly Martinez, accounting skills are in high demand because “one of the main reasons businesses fail is because the owner lacks the financial skills required of them.” Photo by Tim Vleisides sure opportunity to learn practical knowledge. While Personal Finance is the only one required, it is in a student’s best interest, Martinez believes, that he or she be exposed

to business principles early. “A large portion of Pattonville students end up with a business degree,” Martinez said. “And these courses would only help them.”

Seniors receive new English option

Advanced Placement Language and Composition added for next school year By Arael Rauls

Seniors planning to attend a college or university will have a new English course to choose from beginning in 2014-2015. The English department is adding Advanced Placement Language and Composition to the options of College Credit English, College Prep English and English 4. Students in the class of 2015 will be the first to take the course, which is directly aimed toward a goal of taking and passing the AP Language and Composition exam. “If a student enjoys reading and critiquing texts from a variety of nonfiction texts from various disciplines, then the AP Language and Composition course should appeal to them,” English teacher Odetta Fields said. According to Fields, the test is comprised of two basic sections: multiple choice and free response essay questions. “Section I lasts an hour and contains multiple choice questions from a variety of prose passages,” Fields said. “Section II of the test contains the free response essays which include analysis, synthesis

Senior Katie Breakfield participates in a Socratic seminar in Ms. Edna Brown’s College Credit English class. Photo by Bionca Maldonado and argument. It last 2 hours and 15 minutes.” Students enrolled in College Credit English are given the option to take the AP Language and Composition test. Senior Selam Mulugeta is taking advantage of the opportunity given to her. She said she is taking the test this spring in hopes to test out of entry-level college classes. As far as students having to choose between the AP course and the College Credit English class in the future, Mulugeta said it might depend on where the student is considering to attend college the following year. But Mulugeta added, “If I had the option, I would still take

College Credit, because there’s still a choice to take the AP language test.” While the AP test is a big part of the class and is graded by computer and trained AP readers, Fields said as with any course at Pattonville, “The teacher will score individual assignments, projects and papers.” Since AP and College Credit classes aren’t for every student, the high school will still offer College Prep English and other English electives. These classes are designed by the teachers and the curriculum to get college-bound seniors ready to take entry-level college English courses.

9 Students can earn college credit while still in high school PIRATE PRESS

February 2014


Advanced Placement, College Credit courses set students ahead while entering first year of college By Ben Rutledge

As students begin to complete the prerequisites for certain classes, they are open to new possibilities that can advance their learning. Typically, they would take a prerequisite before taking an advanced placement or college credit class, but some AP/CC classes students can jump right into. Junior Moheni Patel is enrolled in Advanced/College Credit Debate. “You work on all your cases and evidence in class and debate at weekend tournaments. There is no sitting down and just listening to a teacher lecture.� Patel goes into detail about how hands-on Advanced/College Credit Debate Debate is. “You have to be really involved because each tournament you go to, and all of them are required, you are graded by your success. And it is also technically a college credit class, not AP.�

AP Studio Art requires four semesters of enrollment and a teacher approval. AP Studio Art is more selective because it is based off of artistic skills and talents on a college level. “They put together a portfolio of 24 pieces of artwork, 12 of those pieces are of a concentration, and the concentration is a series of works based on a theme or idea,� AP Studio Art teacher Ms. Beth Kathriner said. AP Studio Art may seem more relaxed as a curriculum, but it includes deadlines just like any other class. AP Studio Art sort of takes their end-of-course exam all-year long in a sense, with many students taking two years on their portfolio. Although many of these AP/CC classes seem increasingly challenging, they are very beneficial in the long run. Students can earn actual college credit that can transfer with them from high school to a college or university.

Top: Science teacher Kathy Scherer talks to parents and students about the available AP courses during an informational night on Jan. 29 at the high school. Right: Math teacher Jeremiah Simmons discusses options to earn college credit while taking high school classes. Photos by Benjamin Rutledge “AP U.S. History is really fastpaced, with time management a huge part of it, and it’s a lot of work actually,� junior Canaan Kerr said. Whether students are interested

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Kevin Potter, Agent Kevin Potter, Agent 605 Boonslick Road 605 Boonslick Road St Charles, MO 63301 StBus: Charles, MO 63301 636-946-4622 Bus: 636-946-4622

Kevin Potter, Agent 605 Boonslick Road St Charles, MO 63301 Bus: 636-946-4622

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Kevin Potter, Agent Kevin Potter, Agent 605 Boonslick Road 605 Boonslick Road St Charles, MO 63301 StBus: Charles, MO 63301 636-946-4622 Bus: 636-946-4622


“It will prepare us for the workload in college and the way the teachers teach you really prepares you for what the lectures will be like in college.�


February 2014 PIRATE PRESS 10 SPORTS P.E. adds courses allowing students to swim during the day Department writes new curriculum to utilize having an on-campus pool, can earn lifeguarding certification by taking new class By Brady Bell

You dive in. You are instantly hit with the cold water across your body. You start to kick your legs and push the water in with your arms. You keep swimming until you get to the other side of the pool. This isn’t AquaPort during the summer. You are in gym class. With a new pool at Pattonville High School, it opened the door for many new things. The school can now host swim meets and have a water polo team. The school also incorporated the pool into the physical education curriculum. Some classes have even been created to use the pool such as Aquatics Fitness and Lifeguarding. Plus, Freshman Physical Education classes now include a swimming unit. Here are some opinions of the students at Pattonville on having to swim during their

Marcus Thorton, junior “I feel that [using the pool in gym class] is a great idea. You get some of the best workouts in the pool. Some good ones are sprints, resistance cardio and swimming period.”

Hersh Rishi sophomore “I like the idea of swimming during the day. I’m not a good swimmer, so it can only help my skill level of swimming.”

Anise Glenn, junior, “I would hate to swim during the day. It would take up all my energy from the rest of my classes and you would smell like chlorine the rest of the day. I would have take a shower and I sure don’t want to do that.”

Hareen Patel, senior “I believe that it is a great way for students that aren’t stong swimmers to become better swimmers and advance their skill level.”

Charlie Leuthauser, freshman

Darius Johnson, junior

“I wouldn’t enjoy having to swim during the day. I don’t enjoy swimming for fun. Plus, I would have to dry my hair off well or be wet and cold for the rest of the day.”

“I think [using the pool in gym class] is good and bad. Some kids are afraid of water and some just don’t like it. It is good because it could help you save your life or someone else’s.”


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February 2014

Potter’s Staff Perspective Editorial Academic Labs aren’t for everyone By Alyssa Potter

An academic lab can be a time to work on homework, talk with teachers and receive additional help with schoolwork, but it can also be a time that is wasted, taking up space in students’ schedules. As is for everything, there is an up and down side to inserting an academic lab into one’s schedule. For students who are very busy with activities, sports, and/or jobs, a non-credit academic lab may be a time to get their work done and receive help. If freshmen enroll in academic labs, they will be placed into a study hall with PALs (Peer Assistance Leaders) who can assist them with their work, help them become acclimated to high school, and be positive role models for them. PALs also play games, activities and test students with situations that will help them in school. While PALs can be extremely beneficial for some freshmen, others complain the activities they must participate in soak up the time needed to work on homework or receive help. Academic labs have been extremely useful for me. I am able to receive additional help on my work, get my homework done ahead of time and make up tests. While it has been a lifesaver for me, I have friends who believe it is a waste of time because it provides no credit. If I had not taken academic labs, I would have more credits, but I may not have had as strong of grades. In my opinion the positives make up for the negatives. Academic labs have been great for me, but might not be for everyone.

PIRATE PRESS 2497 Creve Coeur Mill Road Maryland Heights, MO 63043

It is the opinion of the Pirate Press that every student should plan a schedule with a balanced mix of courses that are required to graduate and that are interesting to them. After starting the year with an abundance of snow days, Pattonville’s infamous procedure for students to choose classes, otherwise known as Stop Day, was pushed back until Friday, Jan. 24. Planned three days prior to this date, administration had to reschedule this event because school was canceled due to inclement weather on the original date. But students did not get a chance to interpret the opportunities prior to Friday because course description guides were not given to the students before Stop Day. While the school district hopes to maintain accreditation with standard grades and educational requirements in the future, one issue Pattonville faces is guiding all students in the best direction for academic success. In shorter terms, the school’s ability to guide students toward important upcoming decisions was evidently rushed. Meeting with counselors during

Tim’s Take The case of Contemporary Issues By Tim Vleisides

It’s time for a pop quiz! (Don’t turn the page, there are only two questions). First question: Which song won Song of the Year in last month’s Grammy Award Ceremony? If you guessed Royals by Lorde, you’d be correct. Now, the second question: What was the reason behind the infamous government shutdown last October? Hopefully you knew it was the unfortunate result of a budget disagreement between the U.S. Sen-

Editor-in-chief Joseph Schneider Managing Editor Allison Leventhal Multimedia Editor Bionca Maldonado

their history classes, students will have nearly two weeks to finalize their course selections for the 2014-15 school year but pre-registration is rushed when done in just one day with shortened classes. Without taking this process seriously, one could fall into a trap in which their academic limits are exceeded or all motivation is lost to attain educational goals. Avoiding such scholastic problems involves intricate student planning to choose courses that meet graduation requirements, fluctuate brain activity and expand on interests. Needing 24 credits to graduate high school, students must meet all criteria by earning a select number of credits in certain educational areas. Although these classes may not pertain to the regular interests of students, Pattonville follows such state orders to ensure students are prepared for endeavors beyond high school in which this common knowledge will prove essential. For instance, graduation requirements like Oral Communications can help one verbally express thoughts just as importantly as Personal Finance can teach one to write checks. Following strong measures from the state helps the school maintain high accreditation while allowing students to gradually learn life basics skills. ate and the House of Representatives. If not, it might be time for a wake-up call. The truth many teenagers choose to ignore is there is more to the world than pop culture and entertainment. Every day, current events and politics determine almost every aspect of our lives, yet they are so easy to disregard—a sad product of the academic, athletic, and social demands of being a teenager. By depriving ourselves of the prevalent issues of each day, we are essentially stunting our own intellectual growth. For example, how can a teenager develop his or her own opinion on topics like U.S. foreign policy or health care without any exposure to

Web Editor Alyssa Potter Staff Writers Kyleigh Ambrosecchia Zack Balzer Brady Bell Dara Bingham



By balancing such mandated courses on a year-to-year basis, students can push themselves to an extent in which they learn from academic struggles and excel from their strengths. This planning is beneficial in multiple ways, for returning students can create a schedule that keeps their mind refreshed and motivate students to participate in class activities. On average, a student with passing grades will generally have enough room in their schedule to take electives that trigger brain processes differently. If looking to fill a vacant slot, one could enroll in the fine arts to reveal creativity or select from many diverse English options such as journalism or Creative Writing. Despite the ever-lasting possibilities to approach this process, prob-

lems may exist when developing plans for upcoming years. These setbacks may temporarily spread negativity across a student’s mind, and the fact that Stop Day was slightly rushed did not help. However, returning students control their destiny in high school by arranging next year’s priorities. Without being careful, students may not only harm the school’s current accreditation rating but set poor examples for the future as well. Reasonably speaking, students must learn to take on the responsibility behind choosing proper classes before they try to dive in with complex studies or give up hope. When it comes time to select new classes, remember to take a deep breath, relax and construct a schedule that opens a pathway to imminent success.

either of the two? Simply put, the culture needs a change. And though I’m not trying to discourage teens from following Lorde and her music, I am suggesting that it may be to their benefit to pay more attention to the world around them. With that, in light of Pattonville’s recent “Stop Day,” I’d like to lead into my pitch for a class that can provide this information to any student: Contemporary Issues. This course, a semester-long social studies elective, focuses on the most topical matters in the world today. Contrary to other history classes you may encounter, Contemporary Issues does not include a textbook or lengthy unit tests; the layout of the class is much more simple.

Each week, students are assigned to read a short article (usually only a one-page Word document) relating to a current event. The following day, the students’ comprehension of the article is assessed in a brief quiz over its main ideas. After the quiz, the rest of the week is reserved for open discussion, providing students with an opportunity to share their opinions and develop their own understanding of the subject. With only one major project and two tests (a midterm and a final, both of which are open-note), managing the workload over a semester comes with little to no trouble. Speaking from experience, Contemporary Issues taught me more about my own perspective on society than I had known beforehand. As a result, I feel more knowledgeable and aware in this modern world filled with government shutdowns and health care reform. Pop culture and other forms of entertainment will always be present, so why not experiment with information that directly impacts your life? The world may be complex, but that doesn’t mean we, as teenagers, shouldn’t try to understand it.

Jordan Colquitt Luke Cwiklowski Conner Delles Abby Kieffer Mariah Lindsey Patricia Parsons Arael Rauls

Benjamin Rutledge Margaret Vitale Timothy Vleisides Adviser Brian Heyman

The Pirate Press is the open forum newspaper of Pattonville High School. The opinions published are of the publication and are open to criticism. As the members of the 2013-2014 staff, we dedicate ourselves to the accurate and objective dissemination of information to all readers. We will protect and exercise our First Amendment rights. The viewpoints of all staff members are to be regarded as separate from those of our administration, faculty, peers and adviser.



February 2014

Art classes painting foundation for student creativity All students must take the semester-long Art Fundamentals course before taking other electives offered in the department By Joseph Schneider

Throughout the course of the school day, many students are stacked with academic responsibilities and piled on with pages of homework. In some cases, there may not be much room to take a deep breath and enjoy the high school experience. In an effort to help students maintain optimism and creativity during a busy school day, the art department offers many benefits for students. Consisting of four teachers, Pattonville’s art program offers seven different courses to help students earn one required credit for graduation in fine arts. “We feel that art classes are really great foundation classes to have because they teach visual literacy,” said A.P. Studio Art teacher Beth Kathriner. “[People] are surrounded by visual images all day long and many careers these days involve some sort of visual communication.” While the art department encourages students of any interest to become involved, teachers want students to adapt basic knowledge of all art concepts before students can jump into different avenues and higher levels. For this reason, the journey to pursue art at Pattonville begins with the semester-long Art

Fundamentals course. According to introductory art teacher Kelli Dornfeld, the course “provides a strong foundation of the basics that apply to every art area.” In a similar sense, Kathriner agrees and feels Art Fundamentals allows students to “communicate something about themselves and gain confidence” in their artistic ability. After earning credit in this prerequisite for all other art classes, students can select from a wider abundance of art subjects. To attain the other half credit for fine arts, one can choose to pursue the field two-dimensionally with drawing or painting, threedimensionally with sculpture or ceramics, or technologically with digital design. “Once you’re past the intro level, we have a wide variety of courses,” Dornfeld said. “However, art becomes more of a time commitment and there is more outside work for students to complete in these courses.” Despite this, students have responded positively to these obligations in recent years. Dornfeld stated, “All of our classes are pretty full right now” and believes that “students are passionate and excited” about the array of opportunities.

Senior Amber Byrd works on her concentration project for AP Studio Art. Students work on a building a portfolio to present to the College Board to earn college credit. Photo by Joseph Schneider At the top of the hierarchy is A.P. Studio Art, a year-long class open exclusively to juniors and seniors. Since students can earn college credit for their work, A.P. Studio Art can be a heavy course load, thus requiring students must have completed four semesters of art courses and could take up to 2 years for completion. “If students take A.P. Studio Art, they are really moving beyond just projects and are trying to create their own unique voice, style and vision in making art,” Kathriner said. “Everybody is working on a different concentration project in which they create 12 or more pieces on a theme, while putting together portfolios together to show colleges for the A.P. exam.” Although students are encouraged to gain skills through various art classes, the department opens up several opportunities for

students to display their artwork around Pattonville. While several projects can be viewed in principals’ offices, hallways or Gallery G, some have recently been used for Ms. Kampschroder’s college bootcamps. “We are in our second year of Gallery G, and we are encouraging people to get exposed to different artwork around the school,” Kathriner said. “We’ve had shows opened to [non-art class] students and faculty because we think that people want to be making art all of their life, not just in high school.” In addition to these opportunities, competitions open up on a year-to-year basis. Pattonville students generally participate in events such as Art on the Square at Lindenwood, 100 Neediest Cases and Pasta House’s Great Works of Art contest.

Currently, Pattonville has entered three students into a Florissant Valley Art competition that runs until Feb. 13. “We’ve had great press with all of the awards that students have been winning in shows outside of Pattonville,” Dornfeld said. “There’s a really excellent staff here that provides a lot of talents and hands-on experience to students, and you can see it in the students’ success outside of school. For most part, students believe that the art classes allow them to express their talents with the left side of the brain, unlike most other academic heavy courses. “Art is a great learning experience where you can get constructive feedback and improve your skills,” junior Susan Sorsen said. “I’ve taken all of the drawingrelated classes and it’s forced me to become a better artist.” Dornfeld hopes students continue to take art after high school, possibly majoring in it at college. “Personally, I believe art can be a great release [for students] to express their creativity and personality,” Dornfeld said. “It’s cool to see kids build on what they’ve learned here, and most people seeking an art degree have high aspirations for the future.

Introduction to Journalism (9-12)

This semester course introduces students to the idea of what news is, how story ideas are generated and the fundamentals of print journalism. Emphasis is on writing and editing news, features, editorials, sports and reviews.

Photojournalism (10-12) *NEW CLASS OFFERING FOR 2014-2015 This semester course will focus on telling stories using cameras. Students will work as photographers and will learn how to write captions, compose photo essays, use digital editing software, the history and significance of photojournalism and media law and ethics. Assignments will be used in one of the school media outlets. Student must have access to a digital camera.

Work. Play. TRAVEL. Be a part of the student-run, award-winning high school journalism program. Going Places

Students move out of their seats and beyond the classroom to cover school and community events. They attend a local conference at Webster University and the state conference at Mizzou. Staff members also attend national conventions each year in places like San Francisco, Boston and Washington, D.C.

Pirate Press (Newspaper) & ECHO (Yearbook) (10-12) These year-long courses are responsible for the production of the newspaper and yearbook and produce content for, the student-run journalism website. Students must have time available after school to attend events for coverage. PREREQUISITE: Introduction to Journalism or teacher recommendation and application.


Pirate Press (Newspaper), ECHO (Yearbook), Photojournalism and Introduction to Journalism are all cocurricular classes that meet during the school day. You get English credit for being enrolled and have the option to take publication courses for more than one credit.


If you’re into writing or designing, there’s a place for you. Want to be a sports reporter or a movie critic? There’s a place for you. If you’re into photography or videography, want to work on the website or in business advertising, there’s a place for you. Like Twitter and Pinterest? We even have jobs for that. Learn skills that matter now and help later.

Members of Pattonville journalism attend a Boston Celtics basketball game during a trip to the National High School Journalism Convention in Massachusetts. Future trips will be to a variety of places including Washington, D.C., Denver and Orlando.

Follow on social media:

SchoolTube, Facebook: PattonvilleTODAY Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest: phsTODAY

February 2014 Pirate Press  
February 2014 Pirate Press  

February 2014 Pirate Press