North Garland High School 2109 Buckingham Rd., Garland, TX 75042
Volume 40 Issue 4
40TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
of the times Former Raiders look back on traditions from the past pg. 10-11
FAREWELL, FEGRAEUS Principal retires after 11 years at North
VANNAKEOMISY | Assistant Editor KIMBERLYTERRAZAS | Editor-in-Chief Photo illustration by THANHLY | Photo/Design Editor
fter hearing rumors of a retirement, senior Mattie Osborne hesitated to ask Dr. Susie Fegraeus what her plans are for the following year. Uncertain of what to say, she finally asked Dr. Fegraeus if she was going to graduate with the senior class. For the past 54 years, Dr. Fegraeus has transitioned from being a student to a teacher to an administrator. After 38 years of being an educator, she has announced her retirement. Her plan was to leave when she considered North Garland to be in a good place. For her, right now is the best time to leave. Struggling with this decision for the
past three years, she now feels at peace with her retirement. “I wanna go out feeling like I’m on top of the world and knowing that everything is in perfect order for someone to take over,” Dr. Fegraeus said. “I don’t know if there’s ever a good time to retire if you love your job.” Fearing that she might stay in a place long enough where people will eventually get tired of her, she wants to be remembered for the accomplishments the school has earned during her time here. Since North was the only high school that met the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standard, Dr. Fegraeus felt that the school was in a good academic
standing for her to leave. “I’m happy,” she said. “I’m not tired of my job. I love my kids. I love my faculty. There’s nothing wrong. If there’s something left undone that [Dr. Culwell] wants me to finish, I would stay another year and finish that.” Dr. Fegraeus previously thought she was going to retire sooner, but the thought of retiring unsettled her. Until this school year, every time she would plan to leave, her stomach would knot up, and she would have trouble sleeping. After deciding not to turn in her paperwork to retire, all of her anxiety soon disappeared. This year was different. Continued on page 8 Abel Mathew, Shelby Thomas, Dr. Susie Fegraeus, Stephanie Kochuparambil, Jennifer Holt
staff North Garland High School 2109 W. Buckingham Rd. Garland, TX 75042 972-675-3120 email@example.com
(L To R) Top: JO(S)EGARCIA | Photographer; LISATRAN | Content Editor; AUDREYSMALLWOOD | Adviser; ALMALOPEZ | Reporter; JASMINETROTTER | Photograper; NAYELYVALLEJO | Photographer; ELISECOLEMAN | Reporter; Bottom: THANHLY | Photo/Design Editor; VANNAKEOMISY | Assitant Editor; KIMBERLYTERRAZAS | Editor-in-Chief; KELLYSTARK | Copy Editor; ISABELLANGUYEN | Photographer
The Echo requests student and faculty submissions. Guest columns, reviews and letters to the editor can be submitted for possible publication. Regulations are listed below. The Raider Echo is the official student newspaper of North Garland High School. Its purpose is to educate, entertain and provide a valid source of news and educated opinion for the student body, faculty and community. The Echo is an open forum and invites and encourages its audience to submit letters and guest columns. All submissions must be signed. Names can be withheld on request, but must appear on the original document. The staff reserves the right to edit the material for grammatical errors, length, libel, invasion of privacy, obscenity and poor taste. Submit letters and columns to Mrs. Smallwoodâ€™s mailbox or the JLab. Sponsorships are due two weeks prior to publication date unless arrangements have been made. Sizes vary from 1/8 page to a full page. The Raider Echo reserves the right to refuse sponsorships that the staff deems inappropriate for a high school publication. The Echo is a member of Interscholastic League Press Conference, Texas Association of Journalism Educators and Journalism Education Association.
Dear Dr. Fegraeus,
s a staff we want to thank you for your dedication and support you have provided us and the school for the past 11 years. We want you to know that we appreciate everything you do and want to dedicate our final issue to you. As a principal you have always been fair, kind and considerate to the Raider Echo no matter what the problem, and for that we are thankful. As the year comes to a close, we want you to remember all the good times, and we are glad you are graduating with us.
Sincerely, the staff
2 | MAY 2012
…to the UIL Academics competitors. North Garland received Second Place overall in District UIL. … to the UIL Literary Criticism team who took first place at District. Individually, Justin James won first place and Steve Phan won second. Other team members were Kaitlyn Boone and Gabriel Esayas. …to the UIL Calculator Applications team who placed fifth in Regional competition. Individually, Nam-Tuan Tran placed 3rd and will compete at State later this month. Team members were Tran, Trenton Brandow (who scored a personal best), Braxston Miller and George Granados. At the District level, the team placed first with individual wins by Tran who placed first and Brandow who placed second.
…to Milan Patel who placed first in UIL Number Sense at District. …the UIL Science team who won first place at District. Individually Justin James placed second, Michael Nguyen placed third, and Mark Do placed fourth. In addition, Nguyen won Top Chemistry honors. Other members of the Science team included George Granados, My Pham and Ryan Willis. ...to the UIL Journalism team who won first place at District. Kelly Stark, Kimberly Terrazas, Alma Lopez, Vanna Keomisy and Elise Coleman earned points for the team. …to the theatre department for their UIL One Act Play “The Last Night of Ballyhoo.” The play made it all the way to Area competition. Tristan Brown won Best Technician, Carlos Hernandez won Honorable Mention Cast and Chevis Labelle won All Star Cast. At District, Jennifer Holt won All Star Technician and Jace Covington won Honorable Mention Cast. Hernandez, LaBelle, Baochau Ton and Michelle Pham won All Star Cast. There are only eight All Star Cast awards, and North received four. At Zone, Holt won All Star Tech, Brown won Best Tech, Covington and Hernandez won Honorable Mention, Ton and Pham won All Star Cast and Labelle won Best Actress. … to Ivan Dominguez for being named Outstanding Health Science Technology Student Runner-Up by the Texas Career and Technology Council’s “Best of Texas” Awards. He was recognized at a ceremony in Austin on April 30. …to the HOSA students who placed at State and led the district with wins. Those who placed first through third will compete at the National level in Orlando in June. Timothy Dang, Alex John, Akhil Raju, and Hiba Saipullai placed fifth in Community Awareness. In Concepts of Health Care, Ankur Patel placed fifth and Stephanie Ward placed seventh. Thu Nguyen and Brittany Smith placed third in CPR/First Aid. Kimberly Vang placed sixth in Dental Spelling. Milan Patel placed seventh in Medical Match. Christine Tran placed fifth in Medical Photography. Mathew Mansell placed fourth in Medical Terminology. In Public Service Announcement, Liliana Chico, Vishayla Cox, Elizabeth Cruz, Dixie Edugie, Jorge Valderrama placed second. Abel Mathew placed third in Researched Persuasive Speaking. …to the Raider Echo newspaper staff for their awards at the Dallas Morning News High School Journalism Day. The paper was nominated for Best Newspaper. Vanna Keomisy tied for Best Long Feature for “Living Borders Apart.” Thanh Ly won for Best Page Design Portfolio. Vanna and Kim Terrazas were nominated for Best News Story for “Party Drugs Glorified by Rave Scene.” That story package was also nominated for Best Series or Project. Nancy Tran was nominated for Best Sports Feature on her table tennis story. …to the journalism department for their awards at the journalism ILPC convention in Austin. The Raider Echo Newspaper won the Award of Distinguished Merit, the ILPC’s highest honor. Individually, staff members won 8 awards. The Marauder Yearbook won the Award of Achievement, the ILPC’s secondhighest honor. Individually, staff members won 11 awards. Myca Williamson, the editor-in-chief, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from Jostens. …to Kelly Stark who won the Barbara Jordan Media Award
from the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities for her story “Anything but Bland.” Members of the journalism staffs traveled to San Marcos for Stark to receive the award. …to the Varsity Choirs who received the following results at the UIL concert/sight-reading contest: Varsity Mixed: Excellent ratings in concert and sight-reading, Varsity Men: Excellent ratings in concert/ Superior ratings in sight-reading, Varsity Women: Sweepstakes (Superior ratings in concert and sight-reading). The Non-Varsity Treble Choir won: Concert – Superior, Sight Reading – Excellent. This year has been the most decorated the Raider Choirs have been in roughly 15 years. …to the Raider Band, whose students competed at UIL Concert and Sight-reading contest. The Symphonic Band earned the rating of Excellent in both concert and Sight-Reading. The Honors band earned the Rating of Superior in both Concert and Sight-reading. A Superior is the highest rating a band can earn. Next up, 49 band students will travel to Austin to compete at State Solo and Ensemble Contest. …to the steel drum band, choir, and cheerleaders who represented the school at the March of Dimes event.
…to Raider Theatre for their success at the Patty Granville Awards. For The Little Mermaid: Best Ensemble – The Sea Gull Gang – Jace Covington, Michelle Pham & Baochau Ton; Best Costume – Jonathan Best, Michelle Mendez, Paola Velasquez, Allyson Vuong & Jennifer Holt; Best Lighting – Tristan Brown, Cindy Lien, & Clay Skraptis; Best Set – Raider Technical Theatre. For Cinderella Waltz: Best Actress – Chevis LaBelle, Best Actor –Covington, Best Supporting Actress – Tomi Idowu, Best Cameo Actor – Chris Stevens, Best Sound – Kemicha Towns, Best Lighting –Brown, Best Publicity – Devon Rose, Pham, Carlos Hernandez, Linh Nguyen, & Ton, Best Set – Raider Deputy Theatre, Best Show; For Seussical: Best Costume –Paola Velazquez, Best, Nichole Wilburn, & Nickolie Bonds, Best Set – Raider Technical Theatre. Brown received two technical theatre scholarships for his work on Cinderella Waltz & The Little Mermaid. Covington received an acting scholarship for his work on Cinderella Waltz. Raider Theatre was also honored with the Distinguished Theatre Company Award for our hard work and dedication to the theatre. …to Marley Garcia whose art will be on display at the state capitol among only 100 artists. Garcia created a colored pencil drawing that won the State Award of Excellence. Kim-Ngoc Nguyen also won an honorable mention award at State. …to Christine Ngo and Valerie Rodriguez for having art work accepted to the Texas Visual Arts Association - High School art competition. Rodriguez won “Special Sculpture.” …to the art students who placed at the District Advanced Art show. Emily Villeda Principe won first place Ceramic Pinch, first and third place Ceramic combination, first place wood sculpture, first place relief sculpture and second place ceramic sculpture. Christine Ngo won third place ceramic combination, third place ceramic sculpture, third place plaster sculpture and Honorable Mention digital photography. Victor Carron won first place printmaking and Honorable Mention X2 ceramic coil. Valerie Rodriguez won second place wood sculpture and Honorable Mention paper sculpture. Catherine Green won first place mixed media. Karina Nunez won first place paper sculpture. Kahlo Fourzan won second place photography. Dustin Lopez won second place wire sculpture. Jessica Bravo won second place ceramic combination. Hong Le won third place black and white pen and ink. Shamil Afren won Honorable Mention Wood Sculpture. Estella Garza won Honorable Mention ceramic pinch. Kim-Ngoc Nguyen won an Honorable Mention mixed media. Roberto Perez won Honorable Mention wire sculpture. Karan Rosas won Honorable Mention printmaking. Jenifer Rodriguez won Honorable Mention Ceramic sculpture. Cindy Wang won Honorable Mention sculpture other. …to the CATE department for their multiple winners at the district CATE exhibit. The Business and Marketing Department had the following winners: two Best in District, seven Best in Category, 26 first place, 20 second place and two third place. The Graphic Design and Illustration students received the fol-
congrats lowing wins: one Best in District, three Best in Classification, 19 first place, 24 second place, four third place. The Project Lead the Way: Engineering Design students won: one Best in District, one Best in Classification, 11 first place and seven second place. Ms. Eller’s students won: one Best of show, four Best in Category, four first place, one second place. The Flexible Manufacturing students won: one Best in Show, two Best in Division, 11 first place, eight second place and three third place. Mr. Ortley’s students won: four Best in Category and 14 first place. …to the SkillsUSA students who competed at the State Competition. Thanh Ly placed second in Photography. Ly, Myca Williamson and Kim Terrazas placed second in Advertising Campaign Group. Kenny Le placed third in Silk Screen Printing Technical Writing. …to the DECA students who competed at State. Darien Butler, Lina Hassen and Michael Iwuoha placed second in their events. …to the Cisco Club students who participated in the BPA State Competition. Deni Lakovic placed second in Computer Security. Alex Pham placed third in PC Servicing & Troubleshooting. Daniel Tran placed sixth in Networking using Microsoft. Michael Orio placed sixth in Computer Security. Julio Cortes placed 10th in Computer Security. At Nationals, Lakovic placed ninth in Computer Security and Pham placed 10th in PC Servicing and Troubleshooting. Tran placed 26th in Networking Using Microsoft …to the two teams from Architectural Curriculum who have advanced to the finals in the AIA Chicago 2012 Mock Firms National Skyscraper Challenge. Julio Cortes, Dalton Shelton, Juan Hernandez, Luiz Marin, Derek Moreau, Jaime Ruiz, Luis Hernandez and Heraclio Villegas competed in the final stage in May. Only one other school from Texas made it to nationals in this competition. Cortes, Henandez, Moreau and Shelton’s group won Top Architecture & Top construction. Hernandez, Ruiz, Rodriguez and Villegas’ group won Top Sustainability. …to the Lady Raider JV Track team members who placed sixth overall in the district track meet after a second place start in the field events. Winning medals were Yazmeen Hinohosa, who won a silver in the 800 meter run, and Dodbie Ha-Nguyen, who won a gold in the pole vault. Your North Garland Lady Raiders have finished 3rd at the District 10-5A Championships … to the Lady Raider Varsity Track team who finished third in the District. At Regionals, Tomi Idowu, Jade Shanette, LaMetria Sewell and Aaliyah Simpson set Personal Records in the sprint relay. Esme Sheran set a Personal Record in the pole vault. Shanice Roberts set a Personal Record in the triple jump and competed well in the high jump. Truc Le set a Personal Record in the 100 meter hurdles and competed well in the 300 meter hurdles. LaMetria Sewell also competed well in the discus. … to Josh Cartwright who won the discus with a throw of 130’ 10” at District and David Ashley who won the pole vault with a vault of 12’ 0”. Also scoring points for the Raiders at District were Joseph Vo in the pole vault and Ismael Gonzalez in the 3200 meter run. …to Leah Serrano and Jorge Valderrama who were the Exchange Club Students of the Month in January. …to Morgan Berniard who received an Honorable Mention at the 2012 Dallas Regional Science Fair for the Animal Sciences category. …to Roxsann Kaaa who has been selected as a Superstar for the Night of Superstars: Dallas 2012. She will be honored at a formal celebration along with her parents at the Hilton Anatole Dallas on May 19. …to the 150 who donated blood at the StuCo-hosted Blood Drive.
Sincerely, Dr. Susie Fegraeus
3 | MAY 2012
news Officer Murphy transferred to South Garland HS
ELISECOLEMAN | Reporter
JASMINETROTTER | Photographer
or 10 years, Officer Kevin Murphy has served as the school’s Student Resource Officer. Next year, he will be transferred to South Garland. His replacement will be Officer Wilson, who is SRO of South Garland. “[Here] I’m relaxed because I’ve been here ten years,” Officer Murphy said. “It’s not going to be so relaxing going [to South] because everything is new. “The principal is new, the kids are new, the secretaries are new. That’ll be the same for Wilson when he comes over here.” After serving for three years in the army as a helicopter repairman, Murphy joined the police force and has been an officer for 27 years. He was in crime prevention and stranger danger before becoming an SRO. As SRO, Officer Murphy helps council kids on
different issues affecting them and handles the law enforcement for North. In addition, he has taught scuba diving classes. “In the summer, we meet at the Bradfield pool and we do pool work and pool skills,” Murphy says. “Then we come over to [North] and we have class in one of the portables and the second week during the summer, we go to Tyler State Park for three days. We swim, canoe, and fish and scuba dive and cook out.” Officer Murphy says he has enjoyed his time here, and he will miss the students the most. “I like the kids,” Murphy said. “Everybody here participates in different groups, different organizations, so we have a good time.”
confusion and anger in others. “I think it’s lame,” senior Clayton Skrapits said. “I think we should not have to do it, because if we ride the bus [to the CCC], there’s gonna be a really dumb possibility for us to have to come back to the school to get our cars because we drove our car to school. We have to wake up super early too because our graduation is early anyways. It’s gonna be stupid, I don’t like it.” Dr. Culwell is leaving teacher chaperone decisions and the availability of buses back to school up to the principals of each school. As of press date, details regarding students without rides from the ceremony have not been decided. He understands that some students might miss the bus and be late for graduation. “I would imagine that if you missed the bus, you would figure it out,” Dr. Culwell
said. “How did you get there? You could take your own car, or hitchhike. You’ll be able to get there. Every year we have people come screaming in at the last minute because something happens. We try to get everybody to follow the rules. Usually if they’re not there by the time graduation starts, they’re not gonna be able to graduate.” Parent feedback has not really been a problem for the district over the policy. Some students have not told their parents about the policy but some parents are in favor. “I was really surprised about this idea when I heard about it,” senior Roxsan Kaaa’s mom, Beverly Kaaa said. “I understand the concept behind it - less traffic in means less traffic out. It will clear out faster for the next group coming in. [It’s a] good idea. I just hope that it works.”
District implements new bus policy for graduation
ue to a district-wide policy recently implemented by Garland ISD Superintendent Dr. Curtis Culwell, all graduating seniors in GISD will be required to ride a school bus to the Curtis Culwell Center, previously the Special Events Center, for graduation ceremonies. While seniors will be required to go to graduation on a bus, they will not be required to return to school on buses. “It’s okay with me,” principal Dr. Susie Fregraeus said. “I’ve just never really seen a need [to use the buses] because we’re so close. But if that’s what [Dr. Culwell] wants us to, I mean he’s paying for the buses so it’s okay with me. It’ll just be different. I’m not opposed to it. I just didn’t really see the need for it.” Some seniors are not bothered by the policy. However, the policy has stirred up
4 | MAY 2012
KELLYSTARK | Copy Editor
news History teacher begins new course for next year
he aroma of freshly baked goods filled the air as students filed in, preparing for the Civil Rights Dinner. In order to understand the perspectives of Civil Rights activists, students were encouraged to research an individual on a list who played a significant role during the era. The objective was to participate in a lively conversation along with other advocates. The discussion served as an example of Mr. Jason Gray’s expectation for his new class next school year, as he will lead the class in debates and discussions over complex issues and crises world-wide. The semester-long elective course, Modern Ideas and Conflicts, is an honors credit class that will be offered to juniors and seniors. After contemplating the idea of creating such a class for two years, Mr. Gray finally decided to go forth with his idea. “As I shared [the idea] with other people, a number of people kept saying to me, ‘Wow, that sounds really interesting. I would take a class like that. I wish they had that when I was in high school,’” Mr. Gray said. “That made me think, ‘Wow! This sounds good then. I think I’m onto something here.’” Mr. Gray would like to encourage students to stay informed with current events. He would like not only for students to be capable of understanding major concerns currently faced by the world but for them to be interested and understand both sides of a topic. The thought of students graduating and becoming participating members of today’s society has alarmed Mr. Gray, because
JO(S)EGARCIA | Photographer
most students choose not to stay involved within the community. “I often think I want students to be able to read the newspaper,” Mr. Gray said. “[What I’m teaching has] nothing to do with my bias, but students can then navigate their way through these articles and issues and be able to participate.” Already, Mr. Gray has put thought into the lesson plans. The topics include three domestic issues and three international issues, such as the role of the federal government, universal health care, immigration and human trafficking. By the end of the summer, Mr. Gray is hoping to have a lesson plan prepared with concrete ideas. “If it works out, maybe next year, I might have two sections in the fall and two sections in the spring, but that’s all really far down the line,” Mr. Gray said. “I’m hoping if I could just introduce some of the topics, we’ll move on from there, and give [students] opportunities to debate and discuss and argue.” Despite the uncertainties Mr. Gray may be having, junior Michelle Pham has no worries. Compared to history class, she thinks this class will be beneficial to her, especially because she can imagine herself as a lawyer someday. “If we were debating on history, it’s not going to do anything necessarily for us just because history already happened,” Pham said. “It’s not really going to change the way anybody thinks, but if we’re debating on
LISATRAN | Content Editor
something that is actually happening right now, then it’s a lot more interesting and it has more of an effect on modern society.” To complete her final high school years, Pham looks forward to sharing her views on controversial topics with her classmates, no matter what anyone thinks about her. Whether she can take a stand on a subject or change her perspective, she will surely find out next year in Mr. Gray’s class. Because Pham is enrolled in Mr. Gray’s history class and she enjoys having him as a teacher, she feels comfortable speaking up in his class. “I like making my opinions known, like I’ll listen to other people’s arguments, but I like taking a modern issue and going over it and seeing other people’s opinions, and seeing how it can change my opinion,” Pham said. “[Even] if it does or if it doesn’t, I like to see other people’s views of things.”
Lady Raiders track sets the pace, goes to Regionals
oward the end of the meet, one of the Lady Raider track team members admits she’s tired, but she wants to help her team win. She may not be feeling 100 percent, but she realizes that what she is doing is best for her team. And as Coach Jeff Jackson says, she is stronger than she thinks she is. As a result of her and other teammates’ commitments, the Lady Raider track team finishes in second place at the Forney track meet. Coach Jackson believes that moment was a turning point for the program. On April 28-29, the Lady Raiders competed against 24 other teams in the UIL regional track competition. According to Coach Jackson, the girls compete in the toughest region in Texas. “How they performed at regionals on
ELISE COLEMAN | Reporter
average, they are in the middle,” Coach Jackson said. “We placed around 15th or 16th place, so we were in the top eight in a lot of events but we competed in a respectable manner.” This track season, the Lady Raiders won their first track meet since 2004, and according to Coach Jackson, they have been the best team in eight years. “A lot of things went our way,” Coach Jackson said. “The girls have focused on selfimprovement as opposed to how they are perceived. They are worried about how well they will do, as opposed to, ‘I have to win all the time.’” While junior Priscilla Onyebuchi admits that last year’s results could have been better, she agrees the team worked together
this year, and that Coach Jackson has trained the team really hard. He connects with each individual on the team, she adds. “When we trained, he trained each individual to make us better,” Onyebuchi said. “He talked to us about what we were doing wrong instead of screaming at us and saying that we didn’t do anything right. He’d take us through it.” With this accomplishment, Coach Jackson is optimistic for next season. “I think we’ve started something here,” Coach Jackson said. “I think the seniors here have left a legacy in which they will start a tradition, or expectation, of success. Maybe not winning all the time but of success at what we set out to do.”
5 | MAY 2012
The Germinators Microbiology class inspects campus for bacteria fter science teacher Bree Penninger’s Microbiology class searched for certain bacteria on commonly touched surfaces in the school, false rumors spread that the experiment revealed sexually transmitted diseases. The class did a second experiment, testing the office doorknob, announcement and secondary phones, a water fountain, middle stairway rails, the floor, a bathroom seat, toilet water, a sink, a paper dispenser, a stapler, lockers, a library desk and a book, a snack machine, cafeteria tables and a keyboard to identify bacteria. “We found a lot of stuff that’s supposed to be there,” Mrs. Penninger said. “[It] would be fine with anyone with a healthy immune system. [What was found was] nothing astronomically dangerous, but it’s also not terribly clean either.” Again, STDs were not found. Harmless bacteria were found in multiple surfaces: the bathroom water had traces of e. coli (bacilli) and the library desk had bacilli. A keyboard, lockers, toilet water, library desk, cafeteria tables and office announcement phone all had staphylococci (S. aureaus, a nonpathogenic strain). More common bacteria, like E.coli and staphylococcus, or staph, were found on most of the surfaces. The cafeteria tables, a stapler and sinks were the dirtiest surfaces tested. The cafeteria samples also had staph and grew the most bacteria overall in the dishes. “We swabbed the table right after D lunch, so it was before the workers got to clean everything up,” junior Kaitlyn Boone said. “Naturally you’re going to have food particles [and a] plethora of bacteria. Nothing particularly hazardous was found. The majority of the bacteria growth can probably be attributed to lack of washing hands. ” Even though no disease-causing bacteria was found, Mrs. Penninger still strongly advises everyone to wash their hands thoroughly with soap. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, they recommend vigorously washing hands for 20 seconds. Although at times, students cannot wash with soap because some dispensers do not work. “Throughout the week, we get like two or three broken down,” janitor Alex Gonzalez said. “We try to keep up with that.” The janitors are responsible for cleaning
6 | MAY 2012
ALMALOPEZ | Reporter
JASMINETROTTER | Photographer
the cafeteria tables after each lunch and the student restrooms after school. Gonzalez says that it is impossible to have the school completely clean. “[The janitors and I] can’t keep up with all the bacteria,” Gonzalez said. The school offers hand sanitizers to help stop the spread of germs. But hand sanitizer also kills off helpful bacteria on skin that kills bad bacteria that make you sick. Mrs. Penninger advises students to restrain from overusing hand sanitizer unless necessary, like before lunch. “We could all do our part to help keep [the school] cleaner,” Mrs. Penninger said. “It seems pretty dirty, but I don’t think it’s any one particular person’s fault.” According to Mrs. Penninger, the technology the experiment used was not advanced enough to detect viruses, but Mrs. Penninger explained that people come in contact with viruses all the time without getting sick because most kinds of bacteria and small traces of illnesses usually are not harmful. “Our lab results really wouldn’t be a true testament to how clean or dirty [the school] truly is, because we worked in a high school lab,” Boone said. “[It is] not exactly a state of the art facility. But there’s nothing found in the results that should worry you.”
Top: After the bacteria had time to culture, the cafeteria table samples grew more bacteria colonies than the toilet water samples. No samples in the experiment cultured disease causing bacteria. Left: Collecting from the petri dish, junior Ashvin and senior Alex John prepare to examine the bacteria cells.
Teacher moves, will make fresh start
lancing up from her review notes, chemistry teacher Helen Wilson noticed her students’ attention was beginning to drift away from the lesson. They were tired and had no energy left to prepare for the AP Chemistry exam. She pulled out her phone, showing the class a photo of an organic molecule found on the back of her mouthwash. Because Mrs. Wilson was excited about sharing the figure to her students, the class was able to realize how much their teacher was interested in the subject. Mrs. Wilson’s affection for chemistry will not end, but her relationship with her students may, as she plans to end her eight years of teaching at North this year. Mrs. Wilson and her three pet lizards plan to join her husband, who relocated to Austin after he was offered a job promotion. “It makes me sad,” Mrs. Wilson said. “I’ve spent eight years of my working life here. You kind of get established, and you start teaching people’s brothers and sisters, so it’s kind of fun to see the young men and women that they all become. I remember the very young freshmen coming in, and then all of a sudden, they’re almost grown up. That’s always been really amazing to me.” Teaching was not what Mrs. Wilson had originally anticipated doing for a living. Before she attended York University in Canada, Mrs. Wilson was uncertain of her career. She originally thought about being an architect, before being a real estate agent and then a doctor until she realized her passion for teaching and her love for science. Although she did not enjoy AP Chemistry during high school, she learned to love the subject in college. “You get to college and then you realize all of the pieces kind of fall into place, and so you realize, ‘Oh, I understand. [Chemistry is] so much better,’” Mrs. Wilson said. “You understand it with so much more depth the second time around than the first time around. The second time around is when everything starts making sense. And then when everything made sense, I finally realized that chemistry explains, to me, anyway, almost everything. It explains why things are the way they are.” Before she was hired at North, Mrs. Wilson admits that she came into the job as a pessimistic person, but working here has
LISATRAN | Content Editor
ISABELLANGUYEN | Photographer
made her hopeful for the future. She hopes to land a job teaching chemistry in Austin as well. “That’s kind of up there in the air with budgets and hiring freeze,” Mrs. Wilson said. “I have applied, but as of right now, I don’t have a job. I’m hopeful, but I’m sure that if I did teach, it would be chemistry. I can’t imagine that it would be Under the supervision of Mrs. Wilson, juniors Andrea Trinh and Kimmy Pham prepare a buffer solution. something else.” opportunity to go back to school and study One of Mrs. Wilson’s concerns is leaving the school that educational technology. During her leisure she has been given much freedom in. She has time, Mrs. Wilson enjoys reading technology been able to vary her methods of teaching blogs. In fact, she would like to learn more with online and print resources. Besides about the application of devices such as adjusting to bell schedules and school probe ware for testing pH levels and the use procedures in a different district, Wilson of Google docs, smart phones, applications hopes she will be able to teach students in and Apple products such as Macbooks for students to learn in a more engaging way. the most effective way. “[Enrolling in school again is] going to “Here, I get relative freedom, so I can happen. I told my husband already, and [he generally plan on what I think I need to do,” said], ‘Again? Aren’t you tired?’” Mrs. Wilson Mrs. Wilson said. “I had support for putting said. “But it’s really interesting. If it turns up the class website and for making review out that I can’t get a job that is something to videos. [My administrators] thought it was consider. That, or [a master’s] in curriculum really neat. When I need support from or in administration. But I would still like [them], I’ve gotten it. I think that’s a part of to do something in education; it’s what I how I’ve become a way better teacher now invested my life in. [It is also] to prepare for than I was eight years ago. I’m hoping that leadership positions.” if I’m teaching in Austin, I’ll have that same Even with the possibility of going back kind of freedom, but at the same time, I to college to obtain her fourth degree, Mrs. might not. If the district or the school or the Wilson would never give up her teaching department does not allow me to do certain career. things, then I can’t do them.” “It’s my opportunity to give back, When asked what Mrs. Wilson will miss because that’s what it originally started out the most at this school, she did not hesitate. as,” Mrs. Wilson said. “I had great high “The students,” Mrs. Wilson said. “I love school teachers who inspired me. They that there’s a lot of diversity. Not only are taught me a lot of information, but it also [students] able to handle the diversity barrier, showed me that there’s nothing like the value [but] they don’t think anything of it. That’s of a good education. So when I decided to the best thing. It’s like it’s normal. I’ve always be a teacher, I wanted to help provide a good liked that about North.” education the same way that my teachers had With summer quickly approaching, done for me.” Mrs. Wilson knows she will soon have to face reality. Until she has a secure position as an instructor, she is considering another
7 | MAY 2012
Principal retires after 11 years at North VANNAKEOMISY | Assistant Editor KIMBERLYTERRAZAS | Editor-in-Chief
photo courtesy of ERRINSCHUTZA
Continued from front cover “I’m kind of at peace with myself,” Dr. Fegraeus said. “And I’ve cried over it. Just because it’s like moving away. When you move off to college, your mom or family is going to cry probably. It is not like you’re not going to see anybody again, but it’s not assuming you’re going to see them the next day.” All of the school’s accomplishments, such as the high TAKS scores and the expansion of the MST program, according to Dr. Fegraeus, was a team effort. Throughout the years, she has had her share of difficulties and accomplishments. And even after several years of being an administrator, some people will walk into her office and demand to see a male principal instead. In response, she often laughs at the situation. “I have to laugh every time because some people…you think about where they are coming from, [and] what do they hear on the news?” she said. “The crummy stuff, the negative stuff, so you know, I guess they think a man would be the only one to be able to handle something like that. We will show them, won’t we?” Her parents always taught her that, ‘You don’t know what you have until you lose it, and then you wish you had it back.’ After fighting breast cancer this year, she
8 | MAY 2012
has looked at the school in a different perspective. Her only fear is losing contact with the faculty and students. “You don’t know how [breast cancer] is going to affect your body,” she said. “You don’t know if you’re going to live another day or another week or another year. It’s kind of changed my thinking anyway. Knowing this is my last year, it makes you want to embrace everything so closely, so that you’ll take a part of it with you.” Working as an educator has been a journey for her. When she first started teaching elementary school, she never expected to work at the high school level later in her future. After 10 years, she decided she needed a change and applied for a position to become an assistant principal. “There’s been some real challenges and things that you don’t learn about in school or training sessions,” she said. “Some of the things people experience that I’ve never experienced and how tough it is for them and you’re trying to help them through it. There have been some things that have been such a challenge that I feel like a mother hen taking care of all my chicks.” She still keeps in touch with students she has taught in the past. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, some of her former students from Naaman Forest organized a golf tournament under her name. The tournament fundraised money to donate to the American Cancer Society. “Some of them I haven’t seen since
they’ve graduated, and they come up to me and give me a big ol’ hug and I’m like, ‘Holy mackerel, you’re so big now,’” she said. “It’s been a journey full of challenges, because everyone comes in different shapes, sizes and forms with their own uniqueness, their own challenges. But if you’re there to serve them, it makes you a stronger person.” Her mother always taught her that
I want to go out feeling like I’m on top of the world and knowing that everything is in perfect order for someone to take over. things in life always happen in threes. Dr. Fegraeus’s mother believed that you will become a stronger person that way and that nothing will happen to her again. Counting her skin cancer, foot surgery and breast cancer, she asked her husband if he believed that God was counting to three. “I said, ‘Do you think He’ll leave me alone after this?” she said. “And he said, ‘I don’t think God counts. I think He sends you a sign to slow down. The way you work, you’re not slowing down.’ I’m thinking maybe he’s right. We don’t know why things happen, but more than that, He made me stop and think about that. I think I just don’t know what else I can do to make [the school] better. It’s good. I’m happy here.”
Student observes head principal’s work day
alking into her office right as the first bell rings, Dr. Susie Fegraeus starts off her day with a parent meeting. I sat outside of her office, waiting to follow her every move like a hawk. As she called me into her office, she smiled and offered me a desk to sit right outside of her office to observe her. Throughout the day, she often asked how I was doing, if I wanted any water and seemed to go out of her way to make sure I
VANNAKEOMISY | Assistant Editor
While doing an interview for a speech class assignment, Dr. Fegraeus talks about her life in high school.
photo by THANHLY | Photo/Design Editor photo courtesy of ERRINSCHUTZA
and how she had gone to her senior prom with her older brother. When she is asked about her breast cancer, she starts to tear up and apologizes for being so sensitive. ►8:26 a.m.: She takes a coffee break. She opens her cabinet, pauses, and turns around to ask me to not take pictures of what she is about to do. Pulling out a glass bottle of Cinnamon Dulce flavored syrup, she pours it into her coffee. She tells me people might mistake the bottle of syrup for something else. ►8:37 a.m.: As I look over the blue prints of the new school next year, she explains to me which parts of the blue print that are being renovated and expanded. ►8:42 a.m.: New head football coach Joe Castillo walks into her office. She shuts the door, leaving me outside wondering what the meeting is about. I try to look inside, but fail to do so, fearing that I would look very suspicious sticking my ear next to her door. ►9:55 a.m.: She photo courtesy of ERRINSCHUTZA leaves the office and was comfortable. She even hid my belongings checks in on Susie the dog. Susie jumps on under her desk whenever we would leave the her, pawing at Dr. Fegraeus’ knees. She gives room. Dr. Fegraeus took every opportunity Susie a belly rub, repeatedly asking Susie if she had to get to know me and engage in she was being a good girl. conversation, making it impossible for me ►10:00 a.m.: Walking in the band hall to go unnoticed as I followed in her shadow. to do her walk-through observations, she congratulates the band for winning ►8:00 a.m.: A speech student walks in and sweepstakes at UIL and bows down to their interviews Dr. Fegraeus for an assignment. applause. A band student gets up to hug her She tells him about her high school career and asks how she is doing.
►11:00 a.m.: She tells me a story about how she met a woman with stage-four breast cancer while waiting for her chemotherapy appointment. The woman knew she was going to pass away, but Dr. Fegraeus described her to be someone who was joyful and warm. She said the woman was strong and very inspiring. ►11:09 a.m.: Finishing up her last walkthrough of gym class outside, she hears the football players grunting in the locker room and stops to observe them. She gasps at how many weights they can lift. ►11:35 a.m.: She finally kicks me out, so she can have lunch with the assistant principals and attend a meeting I could not listen in on. I say my goodbyes and thank her.
9 | MAY 2012
Traditions of the times
ELISE COLEMAN | Reporter Photos provided by the Marauder Yearbooks
In celebration of NG’s 40th anniversary, the Raider Echo reveals some past traditions “We had yelling contests for the loudest class room. I think it was first period. The cheerleaders would select one classroom from each hall that got selected as the room with the most spirit. That room got a spirit stick and had to choose one person from the class to carry the spirit stick all day and bring it to the pep rally.” Ryan Barrows, Class of ‘83
“I loved every bit of the Raider spirit. Pep rallies, parking lot after football games, haunted house and a ton of other memories that I’ll treasure forever!” Sarah Wicherts Jordan, Class of ‘91
“I always loved TWIRP week. It was my favorite! Each day had a theme. That week usually had the Powder Puff game and the TWIRP dance. TWIRP, I think it stood for, ‘The Week of Incredibly Ridiculous People.’ Charlotte Goode, Class of ‘83
“Back in the old days, boys could not wear their hair long. So a lot of boys wore wigs. About the second or third year [the school] had opened, the district said the boys could wear their hair long. So they had an assembly, and [the boys with long hair] took their wigs off and threw them in the air.” Mary June Stringer, Counselor 1971 - present ALMALOPEZ | Reporter JASMINETROTTER | Photographer NAYELYVALLEJO | Photographer Photos provided by the Marauder yearbooks
Alumni come back to teach, discuss looking back
ost students move on after graduation. Some start completely different lives. However, some alumni have returned to become a Raider once again and teach. Different reasons have brought these past students back to work at NG. Some teachers say their high school instructors guided them and inspired them to do the same for other students. “This is my home,” art teacher and football Coach Matthew Wiseman said. “I think that I can relate to all these kids just JOB
“My teacher here inspired me, [social studies teacher] Peggy McCarty. She still teaches here. It’s a strange experience to have your former teacher be your colleague. I still have a hard time calling her by her first name, because she still seems like my teacher to me.” English teacher Katina Jones, Class of ‘83
10 | MAY 2012
because I was probably raised in the same neighborhood they are now.” Teaching has given alumni the opportunity to come back and see how the school has progressed and changed. “Now I get to come back and experience [the school] in a different way,” credit recovery teacher Mrs. Michelle Stokes said. Some of these alumni did not expect to teach back at the school and came across the job by chance. When Mam’selles director Audrey Mills was in high school, she always
said she would come back to run the drill team, but had forgotten about that in college. “[The school] is familiar, [but] it feels like I never went to school here,” Mills said. “I was a different person back then. You will realize it 10 years from now. You’re not going to remember what happened. It matters so much at the time, [but] I probably [cannot] remember most of the people I graduated with.”
“The church I work for couldn’t pay me anything, so I started substitute teaching. North was close, and math positions opened up in an emergency situation. They offered [me] a job, and I went and got certified. It was not part of my plan. I’m thankful that it worked out.” Math teacher Craig Wilson, Class of ‘98
“I was a paralegal before I was a teacher. But I [realized] I didn’t care anything about it. So I just quit. The same day, the principal [I had in high school] ended up hiring me as a speech teacher. The very l a s t minute the [other speech] teacher had quit on her.” Credit Recovery teacher Michelle Stokes, Class of ‘92
1982: Former Raiders enjoyed attending pep rallies to help them get excited for the upcoming football games.
1982: Mam’selles used to decorate football players’ lockers before games. Each member of Mam’selles was assigned a football buddy.
2001: Student Council hosted a “Fish Dance” for freshman where new students could mingle and dance without being in the presence of intimidating upper classmen.
1978: A haunted house, located on Miller Road, was sponsored by the junior class. In 1978 For nine days, students would partake in dressing up as goblins and ghouls and spooking customers.
FASHION “Everyone wanted to s h o w their stomach a n d belly button piercings.” Mam’selles director and Dance teacher Audrey Mills, Class of ‘01 CHANGES “The classes have become more modern with the technology and stuff they’re trying to do to upgrade t h e school [like] new computers.” Football coach and art teacher Matthew Wiseman Class of ‘98 POPULARITY/ BEING REMEMBERED “I was a nerd I guess, sorry, I was a big nerd.” History teacher Amber Holomshek, Class of ‘99 “I was the very first African American [Mam’selles] captain. That was what I was known for while I was here.” Mam’selles director and Dance teacher Audrey Mills, Class of ‘01
“Back then, the baggier, the better. Nobody wore tight jeans. Goth was really getting popular. Everything was huge in black, black makeup and metal.” Math teacher Craig Wilson, Class of ‘98 “[There was] lots of makeup, leggings and platform shoes. I think I had some leg warmers. I definitely had big hair. Fashion is much better today, but it was really awful back then.” English teacher Katina Jones, Class of ‘83 “We weren’t an MST school. People work really hard to make [the program] what it is. I think that gives us prestige.” English teacher Katina Jones, Class of ‘83 “We were champions in everything when I was here: academic decathlon, football, basketball, track, volleyball, baseball. Cheerleaders were national champions.” track Coach and Math teacher Jeff Jackson, Class of ‘92 “We were on seven periods and changed to block schedule my senior year.” Credit Recovery teacher Michelle Stokes, Class of ‘92 “I was nominated for homecoming king. Of course I didn’t win, but I thought that was cool because I wasn’t a popular kid. I was just this Christian guy that didn’t have a girlfriend. I carried my Bible to every class. I guess some people just respected that.” Math teacher Craig Wilson, Class of ‘98
“The track suits, the wind suits. I remember people wearing those, and they weren’t athletes. A couple k i d s had cell phones, but beepers were the thing.” History teacher Amber Holomshek, Class of ‘99 “The counselors’ office now is where the principals were. The nurse’s office was a tiny room. T h e front section where the office is wasn’t even there. My counselor’s office was right here [in the clinic].” Nurse Staci Antelo, Class of ‘96 “We used to have a lot more cliques. We had the pretty girls cliques, the football guys, and the basketball clique.” track coach and Math teacher Jeff Jackson, Class of ‘92
11 | MAY 2012
Raiders in the Outfield Varsity Baseball strives for a win against Rowlett High School ISABELLANGUYEN | Photographer
1. Before the game, the players raise their hands up for team support. 2. Pitching the ball, junior Andy Dixon hopes the batter misses. 3. Stepping forward, senior A.J. Jones takes a swing. 4. Crouching down, junior Cris Robinson stays steady as he watches his opponent. 5. After hitting the ball, junior Reggie Barnes runs for first base.
Getting the swing of things JV Softball takes on McKinney Boyd 1
1. Swinging the bat, freshman Ariana Hadden attempts to hit the ball. 2. Ball in her grasp, sophomore Alexis Webb is focused on the game. 3. Reaching in front, junior Lisa Nguyen is prepared to make a possible catch. 4. Glove toward the ground, freshman Francis Arradaza is ready for the ball if it goes toward her.
12 | MAY 2012
JO(S)EGARCIA | Photographer
Senior reflects on past four years, cherishes high schoolVANNAKEOMISY | Assistant Editor
h, high school. High school and I have a very complicated relationship. There have been many instances where I have casually strolled down the hallways, people-watching, and think to myself, ‘Why am I here?’ And I wait for an answer as I walk. But then someone will suddenly ram their elbow into my ribcage, because they are far beyond being civilized and in that moment, I can never ever seem to find an answer to my question. I honestly do not understand how I have even managed to roll out of my bed and force myself to attend every day. Setting aside the personal issues I have with this place though, I will grudgingly admit that I love high school, and not just any high school, but North. The nights I have spent here until God knows when working on the paper or decorating the hallways for Homecoming have really given me a reason to cherish this school. The socially awkward and reserved 13-year-old in me would have never imagined putting so much effort into a place where I originally did not even want
to go. She would have scoffed at all the time I spent planning for prom after school or volunteering for club events on the weekends. She would have never imagined meeting people who would surprise you with a bag of cookies and ice cream on your saddest days or hug you while your tears stain the top of their shirt. But the incredible friends I have met and the things I have experienced allowed me to be comfortable with myself here. I have no regrets. And as for my future, it is all thanks to being a part of a little classroom I like to call my second home, the JLab. Before joining staff, I never really thought you could love what you do, at least not in high school. I had no talent for anything and was mediocre at studying. I always doubted whether or not I really wanted to be in the medical field. But then I stumbled
across journalism sophomore year. And here I am, my senior year, continuing to endeavor in a field I believe makes a difference in the world. I would not love high school as much as I do now without the newspaper, the JLab, my staff and Smallwood in my life. And I would have never made the bold choice of telling my mom that no, I really am not going to major in Biology and do pre-med when I graduate. I owe high school so much for what it’s made me realize about myself. And I have taken advantage of the time that is ticking away until graduation and it has not hit me yet that in a month, I will never be able to have this experience again. I feel indifferent. Even as I write this, I’m still in denial that I have to leave this place and all my memories behind. But when the time comes, I will be sobbing hysterically, holding the hands of my beloved best friends as we say our last farewells to a place we claimed to hate so much before. But the cold, hard truth is that I love North Garland High School.
Senior transferred to new high school, finds his place
can’t say no. People told me to join this club and that club. Do this and do that. I didn’t want to be mean. I accepted invitations to join just because I simply couldn’t say no to them. I didn’t want to be rude. This was my chance to change from being an introvert to a student who was involved. Entering junior year, I transferred from a cliquey school to a school I knew nothing about. I didn’t know what to expect. Starting over was exciting yet scary at the same time, but I knew I wanted to be more involved. I was only in Student Council and French Club my freshman and sophomore year, both of which I was inactive in. I wanted to actually do more at school. Perhaps, life wouldn’t be so mundane or routinelike if I became involved. I only did it so I could look good on my college resume to make it look like I actually cared about the school when in actuality, I could care less. Funny thing happened. I enjoyed volunteering. I found this new love for helping people out.
Who knew doing things for school could be so fun? I went from focusing on getting just enough service hours to stay in a club, to becoming president of National Honor Society and historian of Key Club. I didn’t become an officer just to have an impressive resume. I genuinely fell in love with providing a helping hand. I’ve grown to really love every single club I’ve joined at North. What’s even funnier is that I actually like high school. Besides getting three hours of sleep a night trying to balance out homework and making meeting agendas, the endless tests and quizzes I had to study for, and the lengthy essays I had to write, the experience was great. I like staying after 10 p.m. at school perfecting the school newspaper. I like going to school events and taking pictures for both the Raider Echo and the Marauder yearbook, and I like spending some of my weekends volunteering and designing t-shirts for every school organization.
THANHLY | Photo/Design Editor
I’ve grown to realize that people at North are much nicer than you think. If you took the time to get out of your comfort zone, you will meet some of the greatest people. Never have I imagined that I would be friends with such a diverse group of students. Cliques still existed, but people were willing to walk out of their usual circle of friends. I’ve seen so many different personalities, yet somehow, we are all so similar. We all want to leave high school, but we were forced to interact with one another. But lucky for me, I’m coming out of high school with many friends rather than enemies. At the start of senior year, I counted down the days until graduation. But as reality is about to hit a few weeks, the thought of never seeing these people ever again, not living in the JLab after school and during A3 and B4, and not leading a fantastic club and encouraging them to keep volunteering is bittersweet. North Garland, you have made me grow into a better person. I wish I could say that I wouldn’t miss you, but I would be lying. So high school, thanks for the memories.
13 | MAY 2012
Break up blues H igh school is not fair. It’s the boyfriend you really didn’t want, but then you found out it was really sweet and cool and awesome. And then you fell in love with it. And after four rocky, crazy, shaky, amazing, hands-down awesome years, you have to move on. You have to accept the fact you cannot go back and if you do, high school will have moved on. It will not be the same. Your diploma is your decree from high school. Freshman year, I didn’t expect to go to college. I didn’t expect to be torn to bits about leaving. I didn’t expect to be Copy Editor of the Raider Echo (because I had no clue what it was), and I didn’t expect to spend countless hours at deadline stressing over the perfect spacing on a page that wasn’t even mine. I didn’t think about winning awards for the paper or for my writing. I didn’t expect to become so attached to a classroom that is now my home and a teacher who is now like a parent. I just wanted to graduate. I had no idea about anything after that, although I had a vague idea that I could possibly go into a career that involved writing. I am going to the University of North Texas next year. I will keep writing and continue to work my butt off to be
Senior copes with saying goodbye to high school, faces anxiety about collegeKELLYSTARK | Copy Editor successful. Journalism is my sole focus for a career, whether it’s an editor or columnist with a regular salary or a freelance writer with three other jobs and writing for free because I just love the field. High school has changed my perspective on just about everything. Yes, the drama and projects and fights and hours of homework suck. The experience is phenomenal. The friends and memories and laughs and football games and pep rallies and everything in between makes high school, high school. For the past three years, the JLab has been my home. Smallwood, my second mom; the staff, my crazy, annoying, loveable family. Next year, I won’t have a couch, nestled in the cozy JLab office, to break down on. I won’t have an adviser to run to when things don’t go my way, which happens a lot in high school and I’m sure even more so in college. I won’t have a staff to joke with. I won’t have North Garland. I will be alone in a foreign city, struggling to pay bills and scraping change just to eat. I will not have high school. I’m leaving my second
home. The finality of that is heartbreaking. I have never been more afraid. I have never been so thrilled. The things and people I’ve seen and interacted with here have prepared me. I’ve grown here. I’ve learned here. Looking back, the only thing I regret is not being more involved with school and extra-curricular activities. My advice: dive in. Be involved in as much as you think you can handle and then a tad more. Go to games and meets and pep rallies and dances. Participate in hallway decorations, get pumped for homecoming. Get out there and do it. Don’t look back four years too late and think, ‘I wish I had done this,’ or ‘I wish I did that.’ Because it sucks. It really does. Compared to four years ago, I really have come a long way. I just wish I had seen the light a bit sooner. So, North Garland, this column is my goodbye to our utterly brilliant time together. You made high school better than I imagined and, honestly, I’m gonna miss the heck out of you.
Unfortunate Circumstances Senior realizes meaning of high school involvement F
our years of devotion and it has come to an abrupt end. I have never imagined my high school years as having such involvement. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to be involved. It was because I am an Asian girl. Now not all Asian girls have strict parents, but for me I was unfortunate. My mom expected me to be a doctor. My life consisted of homework and making good grades, and my leisure time was spent studying. My mother accepted my involvement with AVID and the tennis team. If it wasn’t for these first two, I don’t think this column would exist. After four years of high school and my first year on staff, I welcome you to my final but, first column. What I realized
14 | MAY 2012
is whether your parents are strict or not, find a way and be involved. The pep rallies, football games, spirit week, Homecoming decorations, dances, Powder Puff and the clubs, cherish it. It never occurred to me how lucky I am to have the opportunity as a National Honor Society member, a photographer for the Raider Echo, the second best, single player for the varsity tennis team and number one mixed doubles. All I want to say is find those opportunities to be
COLUMN ISABELLANGUYEN | Photographer
involved, and make fond memories with it. As I’m attacking the last few inches of my first column I realized what I found here at North. I found a family, my AVID family. I found an opportunity, the Raider Echo. I found my inspiration, photography. I found my passion,tennis. I found a place to stay, the JLab. I found my career, dentistry. As senior year comes to an end, I found that high school was the highlight of my teenage life. Although high school is coming to an end, I found that it was just the beginning. And so here I am, about to leave behind what was the ending of a chapter and start a new one. Good bye North Garland.
on my own
remember when I was a freshman everyone told me four years would go by fast. They said I would just wake up one day and suddenly realize high school was over. I always shrugged it off thinking that endless cycle of testing, homework and long school days would never end. But now, as graduation is getting closer, I kind of wish I had a little more time. Don’t get me wrong, I could not be more excited to move to Austin, become a hipster and live off nothing but food trucks. But at the same time, I’m scared to leave the city I’ve grown up in and the school I’ve become so comfortable with. But I know it’s what I have to do. If someone would have told me in eighth grade what I had waiting for me in high school, I probably would not have been able to comprehend it. I wouldn’t believe that one day I would become Editorin-Chief of my high school newspaper or president of a club with chapters across the nation. I never thought I would get into
Senior comes to terms with upcoming changes, accepts future plans
the Communications school of UT Austin and be in the top 10 percent of my class. Thinking about it now, I still can’t believe it. This school has given me so much; it’s taught me that I can be successful in whatever I choose to pursue. And this year especially has opened my eyes to the possibilities of my future and how lucky I am. And now, there’s no looking back. These four years have been a rollercoaster of good and bad times. And I will always remember the JLab, the laughs I’ve had, the amazing teachers and the great friends I’ve made. But I will also never forget the really late deadlines, AP testing, long English essays and the overcrowded hallways. And I wouldn’t want to. High school has taught me so much about life and about myself. And I know that I wouldn’t be the
or past graduations, while most seniors were trusted to get themselves to the ceremony on time, but this year’s senior class instead will be shuffled into school buses like children on their first day of school. Students will have to get up earlier than originally planned to be able to make it on time to school. From there, the class will have to be put in order and rushed over to the Curtis Culwell Center (formerly the Special Events Center), where graduation will be held. In theory, this plan will save time trying to get the seniors organized and help clear the parking lot for the next graduation. However, it is unfair to seniors who have spent the past 13 years in school only to be treated like children on their final day in Garland ISD. This plan, although it has good intentions, cannot work for several reasons, starting with the difficulty of getting the students in order in a limited time frame. Students who might arrive late could also cause confusion in the organizing process.
KIMTERRAZAS | Editor-in-Chief
same if I hadn’t had the experiences that I did. And now, I think I’m finally coming to the understanding that while moving on is frightening, it is the next experience I need to have in order to grow. Leaving your home is scary and change is nervewracking. But I know that staying behind is worse. I want to move on and start my life. And I don’t mind having to spend my nights studying for midterms and writing term papers, because I know that one day, those long nights will help me get a career. So, while I’m scared that college may not be this magical place I’ve concocted in my head, I’m ready to face it. I have to be.
New graduation bus policy upsets senior class
People would have to keep getting rearranged to accommodate for those running late. This also raises the question of how long the administration will wait for the latecomers and if those who miss the buses entirely will still be allowed to walk the stage. Clearing the parking lot in time should also not be a problem, considering depending on the length of each ceremony there will be two to three hours between each graduation. Students will not take that much time in the parking lot after the ceremony taking pictures with their friends and family. So by the time the next group of graduates come in, the ones before will be long gone. An additional issue is that it is unclear if there will be buses back to school. Those who drove to the school to get on the buses in the morning will now have to find a ride to go pick their cars up. The entire parking situation will just bring confusion for everyone involved and put more stress on the new graduates who will feel rushed to leave the CCC. While there are several practical reasons
why the buses should be banned from graduation, it mostly just seems like a slap to the face for seniors in the entire district. It says that it doesn’t matter that students are about to become adults and move on the next stage in their lives, the district will still see and treat them like juveniles incapable of making it on time to their own graduation. The administration is wrong in trying to treat seniors like they cannot be responsible for their actions. The school district should have more faith in their students. Seniors are not being given the credit they deserve. This year, the senior class has had to deal with some changes that past classes had not, like the TAKS scheduling and being done with school later. It is unfair that students should be treated this way on their final day of high school. It is an unfair, illogical and unreasonable request for the graduates. Students and their parents who do not agree with this plan should contact the administration and express why these buses are actually unnecessary.
15 | MAY 2012
SUMMER SAVIN’ BURN, BABY, BURN
Tips on how to spend less cash over summer break KELLYSTARK | Copy Editor
JO(S)EGARCIA | Photographer THANHLY | Photo/Design Editor
With summer and, for seniors, college, approaching fast, saving money during the next few months can be pretty difficult. For most student drivers, buying gas will be the biggest expense that poses a problem. While it may not seem excessive in chunks, when it all adds up, that cash could go toward other stuff. So, this summer, ride the bus or train to get around locally. Most are air conditioned and a day pass for the DART system costs as much as a gallon of gas. On nice days, riding a bike to a friend’s houses is efficient and you’ll get a work out. For long distance travel, your car is always an option, but for just hanging out locally, public transportation or some leg muscles can go a long way in saving some serious cash.
Fast food is so easy to pick up, not to mention utterly delicious. While spending pocket change here and there on some Taco Bell or Jack in The Box isn’t a big deal, if you save your receipts and add up everything over just a month, the numbers can be shocking. Save money by eating at home and limit your fast food intake to once a month. When you’re going out, bring some snacks or eat before you leave so you’ll be less likely to find yourself scarfing a lot of fast food. Not only will this save money, it can cut out some really unhealthy stuff from your diet. Covering his head in disappointment, junior Gerardo Saldana realizes he hasn’t saved much money due to overspending on junk food.
The Road Goes on Forever and the Party Never Ends
Unfortunately, the party will end when everyone runs out of cash. You should limit recreational activities that cost more than 30 bucks a night. Of course, there are going to be some nights where you want to just go crazy at the movie theatre and order a triple extra large popcorn with several shots of butter, seven boxes of Skittles and of course, slushies galore. As long you don’t do this often, your money should stay in your piggy bank longer.
Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self
Impulse buys are saving’s biggest enemy. Put something you want and think you “absolutely need” in the child seat that’s found in most carts. Go to on the next aisle. After a few minutes, review your dire need for that product. This can help keep your impulses at bay. Also, go in to the store with just enough cash to cover your estimate of what you need and then the tax.
If you If you don’t have a savings account or checking account, get one. It’s usually free with a minimum amount and instead of having wads of cash at your disposal, keeping it safe in a bank will cut some unnecessary spending. If you’re spending even $20 a week, which may seem like not a lot, in just a single month you will have spent almost $100. If you can’t remember even spending that money or have to think about it for more than 10 minutes, chances are it wasn’t worth it, and that was just more money wasted that could’ve been saved.
16 | MAY2012