Six Rings For The Reigning State Champs Page 6
Sweet victory. Flag seniors [from left to right] Lexi Cook, Katie Kemp, Bella Dolce, Sydney Stout, Sadie Jacobson, Meg Courtney and N’Dea Fitzgerald pose for a selfie wtih the state championship trophy. Flag football won their sixth state title beating Florida A&M High School 34-7 in Jacksonville. Photo by Patrick Duffey
Florida Universities Release Pandemic Policies For Summer And Fall Semesters University of Florida, University of South Florida and Florida State University are all planning to return to prepandemic operations in the upcoming semesters By: Ella Wertz News and Features editor
s RHS heads towards graduation, many students from the senior class have decided to further their education at one of the several public universities in Florida. The class of 2025, much like their predecessors, will face the obstacle of starting college amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to ease stress regarding the pandemic and inform students on what college will look like at UF, FSU or USF, Knight Writers has collected information recapping the pandemic policies enforced on each campus. University of Florida University of Florida plans to reinstitute normal operations for both the Summer B and Fall semester. The in-person classes will return to their normal capacity and study abroad activity will be resumed. The campus will continue to enforce mask policies; however, their social or physical distancing policies will be relaxed. University of Florida requires masks to be work in classrooms and public areas which include but are not limited to bathrooms, lounges, lobbies and stairwells. Masks are not required in private workspaces or outdoor spaces where social distancing is achievable. At least during the summer terms, University of Florida plans to continue their COVID-19 testing plan, where students are tested every two weeks. However, students that received the vaccine have the option to upload their CDC vaccination card to the UF Health Portal to be excused from testing. As for eLearning in the upcoming semesters, some classes “Honestly I’m not worried about COVID for my fall semester at all. I will be fully vaccinated and I think most of the other students will be too. UF announced that this semester classes should be back to normal and campus will be completely open. I think with all of the precautions taken over the past year and the progress with vaccinations, I will have a completely safe upcoming year,” Sadie Jacobson (‘21) said.
will be available online, but there are courses that will function solely on the in-person level. Regarding campus events like sorority functions and athletic events, social and physical distancing will be relaxed in the summer and fall terms. In addition, the Southwest Recreation Center and Lake Wauburg are open with adjusted hours. University of South Florida According to the USF website, the university is currently in Phase II of their four-phase pandemic plan. Regarding the start of their Summer B session, University of South Florida plans to return to “full in-person participation in athletic and social activities on [their] campus.” The university is scheduled to return to full in-person, pre-pandemic class sizes at the beginning of the Summer B term. As of now, the mask policy requires students to wear a face covering in both inside and outside facilities. USF plans to launch a website that will hold any and all information regarding updates on campus COVID-19 procedures. The website will also detail resources and guidelines available for faculty and students for the upcoming semesters. In regards to questions about the pandemic, USF plans to offer town-hall style information sessions for faculty, staff and students. Students are encouraged to ask their questions and air their concerns regarding the pandemic. These town-hall style meetings are scheduled to take place towards the beginning of the fall semester. For more information on their COVID plan, check out
USF’s new podcast “InsideUSF: The Podcast.” The podcast will feature the Chair of the COVID-19 Task Force, Dean of the USF College of Public Health, and Chief Human Resources Officer. Florida State University Florida State University’s president announced that starting May 1, all departments will be increasing their on-campus presence. All temporary remote work agreements for faculty and staff will expire July 31. As for masks, students and faculty are required to wear face covering in all indoor facilities on campus. Students are prohibited from participating in in-person classes or other functions if they refuse to wear a mask. During the summer sessions, hybrid (Flex), and in-person classes will be available. The university plans to return to prepandemic operations and population levels for the fall semester. Orientation will be held virtually during the summer. However, in August, FSU will host their “Welcome FSU” orientation with more in-person events and programming. New Student Convocation will be held in-person for students attending in the fall semester. During the Spring 2021 semester, FSU resumed both study abroad and opened recreational facilities. However, the facilities have limited hours, capacities, and continue to prioritize social distancing. Additionally, the libraries on campus are open with limited hours.
I think that while it’ll still be really important to be conscious of others and wear masks at appropriate times, my fall semester at FSU will be pretty normal. Im hopeful that the majority of the population will be vaccinated by the fall and I know that it’s FSU’s plan to resume in person classes so I think things are looking up,” Emma Barret (‘21) said.
“I’m hoping everyone will be vaccinated by then. I’m sure we’ll have to wear masks but I’m not worried about my college experience besides a little anxiety over parties and stuff,” Elli Duffey (‘21) said.
Robinson Senior Throws An Informal Prom By: Amelia Foster Print Managing Editor
n May 15, Robinson seniors flocked to the CL Space in formal wear, ready to make-up for one of the many senior year experiences the COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to miss: prom. The dance was hosted by Rachel Steinfeld (‘21) from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and had no theme. In typical years, the prom is organized by the school, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put a cap on many schoolhosted senior year activities, such as Homecoming, the senior field trip to Universal, and prom. Steinfeld took it on herself to rectify the situation how she best saw fit: by teaming up with her mother to organize a prom for all Robinson seniors. “We decided to have an informal prom because we felt as
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though we could create a prom that not only celebrated the seniors but also was able to keep everyone safe,” Steinfeld said. “Since the school wasn’t able to have a prom, we thought it would be fun to put on our own.” To spread word of the prom, Steinfeld made flyers and posted them on social media, as well as relying on word-of-mouth to get people to buy tickets, which were $40 each. Before the dance, around 140 people had purchased a ticket. “I heard about prom friend a friend... [I was told] to buy my ticket during lunch one day and I did it then,” Daniel Severino (‘21) said. “Decided to go on impulse but thought it would be fun since it’s basically a party. Music and fancy clothes... hard to
turn down.” This dance was in response to the lack of official school dances because of COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean coronavirus precautions were completely ignored. At the dance, all attendees were required to wear a mask the entire time. In addition, there were temperature checks at the door, and attendees were encouraged not to come if they felt sick. A flyer distributed
before the dance. Image by R. Steinfeld.
Editorial: Last time on HCPS... Budget cuts have brought out a side of HCPS that needs reformation, starting with respect to the teachers
By: Robinson Journalism Staff t is very satisfying to write an editorial and publish it in our student newspaper–it’s disappointing that many other Hillsborough County Schools lack this privilege. Not because they can’t write, but because their programs have been cut. Superintendent Davis came into the Tampa Bay Area last summer ready to lead, and we were more than pleased to interview him for a feature. Unfortunately, our opinion on Davis and his leadership have changed over the course of the past school year, surrounding Mr. Davis and the school board as a whole. HCPS’ financial crisis isn’t anything new, dating back to 2015 in an April letter written by Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. But walking into first period and hearing about the newest double take-worthy decision made has become a new routine. In addition to the cuts themselves being saddening to see for the HCPS community, it’s Mr. Davis’s handling of the matter that inspired this editorial. An abrupt email should not be the messenger for a decision that uproots a teacher’s stability. Our teachers give so much this past school year, especially. To clump them into a mass-produced email with little notice brushes away that hard work–which is already so ignored–like it’s crumbs in the cafeteria. This choice of delivery makes us question Mr. Davis’s sense of professionalism. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 15,162 certified teachers serve Hillsborough County Public Schools. There is no guideline saying not to treat each of those teachers as people and not just numbers on a spreadsheet. It’s a cliched phrase, but will linger with every cut. Implicitly, the cuts won’t just impact teachers. Kids who have waited years to finally take a certain language like Latin, only to find that it’s been cut. Student journalists scrambling to publish quality work when the yearbook and newspaper have been combined to save money. A teacher shouldn’t have to give a sigh of relief that they weren’t cut when this Hunger Games reaping-esque message skips their inbox. It’s reassuring to know that teachers can be put into a job pool,
The Knight Writers newspaper is published by the first period journalism II-IV class at Robinson High School. Editor-in-Chief Anna Woodward Print Managing Editor Amelia Foster Online Managing Edtior Jennifer Le
News & Features Editor Ella Wertz Opinion Edtior Olivia Godinez Sports Editor Hanna Malone A&E Editor Meena Vasquez
By: Anna Woodward Editor-in-Chief
at the bare minimum of a “positive perspective.” But that’s giving Mr. Davis too much credit, though, because we shouldn’t be in this situation in the first place. We’ve seen these “solutions” build up and hit our schools one by one. When the next school year rolls around, and there’s an awkward ratio of teachers: students, or a lower IB diploma rate because the administration has to learn another curriculum in place of an IB Coordinator or Assistant Principal, the cause will be obvious.
Read “Ableism in schools must be stopped” on RHSToday.com
Staff Ethan Adair Sarai Cochran Samuel Elliott Pimpaka Kruthun Zoe Thaxton Publications Adviser Nancy Oben Principal Robert Bhoolai
Mission Statement The role and goal of RHS newspaper is to inform, interpret and entertain their viewers through accurae and factual reports, and be accurate, fair and impartial in its coverage of issues that affect the school community. The staff will strive to report all issues in a legal, objective, accurate and ethical manner, according to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.
our issues later, and we’ve made it! There’s no better way to start this letter by thanking our amazing staff and, of course, Ms. Oben. Our print issues this year have been classic, creative, and challenging at times. Jenny, Meena, Olivia, Hanna, Amelia, and Ella, give yourselves many pats on the backs. Future editors, I hope you can look at this as the culmination of lots of stress and lots of fun. I’ve always gravitated towards online. But print is different and exciting in its own way–reflecting the stereotype of a deadline ready to pounce. On that note, another shoutout to Amelia Foster, because when it comes to print, what can’t she do? So complement this issue to Amelia Foster. That’s all. I wish I could write more, but we don’t have space. For the last time, this shall be a lesson in consolidating my words and hopefully still getting my enthusiasm across.
Policies For more information about the staff policies, follow this link rhstoday. com/about/staff-policies Publication Memberships
Opinion | 3
And The Award Go With the close of 2020 and the opening of 2021, Knight Writers wanted to honor the best of the best with our own version of awards... the Tommy’s! These people/places/things are the absolute favorites among our students. We also asked our staff what their choices were, so check out the sidebar.
Illustration of our mascot with a “Tommy.” Illustration by J. Le
Best Coffee Place: Starbucks Robinson students don’t run on Dunkin. Instead, most of the students love to start their morning with a certain green mermaid on their cups: Starbucks! The popularity is no surprise since a Starbucks is located on Gandy, where it’s enroute for a lot of Robinson’s students as they go to An illustration of a “Tommy.” Illustration by J. Le
Disney released a philosophical movie back in Dec. on their streaming service; Disney+. This film discussed themes of death, music, joy and the meaning of life as it followed musician Joe Gardner. Robinson students gave this movie resounding positive reviews, loving the deep meaning behind the film and the comedic factor Soul 22 gave.
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Dairy Joy has been serving the Tampa Bay area for over 60 years, gaining some loyal customers. Robinson’s students proudly support the sweet and delicious treats Dairy Joy gives Tampa Bay. You could say that Dairy Joy... gives us joy!
An illustration of the Starbucks Logo Illustration By Terry Heckler
Best Movie: Soul
One of the promotional posters for Soul. Image by Pixar Animation Studios
Best Local Ice Cream: Dairy Joy
The outside of Dairy Joy on Manhattan. Photo by J. Stasio
Best New TV Series: WandaVision was released WandaVision on Jan. 15, 2021, opening the
WandaVision promotional poster. Image by Disney +
year with the beloved Marvel superheros Vision and Scarlet Witch. These character star in the show as an unusual couple trying to fit in the suburbs. Our students fell in love with the 50’s aesthetic.
By: Meena Vasquez, Jennifer Le and Pim Kruthun A&E Editor, Online Managing Editor, Staff Writer
Best Professional Best Artist: Taylor Athlete: Tom Brady Swift
Brady spent 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, but in 2020 he signed with the Buccaneers as their quarterback. Winning the Super Bowl at a home game made Brady a fan favorite amongst Robinson students.
Swift completely revamped herself in 2020, even beginning to re-record her previous albums. This landed her a position as the best artist as she sang her way to Robinson’s heart. A photograph of Tom Brady playing for the New England Patriots. Photo from Flixr, Creative Commons
Best 2020/2021 Trend: Matching The pandemic created Masks many trends, but
Robinson students love matching their masks to their outfits. Masks became a permnant accessory in everyone’s life, so why not make it stylish?
Two illustrations of a mask and a white shirt. Illustration from Pixabay, Creative Commons
Best Coffee Place: Espresso Yourself Our editors love Espresso Yourselves, a humble coffee place on Dale Mabry.
Best Movie: Promising Young Woman
Promising Young Woman inspired our editors and landed in our top pick. It’s a dark comedy that follows a woman and her quest for revenge after a traumatic moment in her life.
Best Local Ice Cream: Chill Bros
Chill Bros is nestled right next to Buddy Brew on Bay to Bay, and it makes over 15 homemade flavors that we all love.
Best New TV Series: Shadow and Bone Shadow and Bone is based off the Grishaverse trilogy, where our editors fell in love with the whimiscal and fanasty elements.
A photograph of Taylor Swift’s Evermore album cover. Photo from Republic Records
Best Video Game: Among Us
We’ve never seen a game blow up more during 2020. Among Us is a quick and fun murder mystery game that allows players to either complete tasks for their space ship crew, or kill the crewmates.
Best Professional Athlete: Naomi Osaka Osaka is a Japanese professional tennis player that ranked number one, both in the Women’s Tennis Association and among our editors.
Best 2020/2021 Trend: Retro fashion
Retro fashion coming back is our editors’ favorite trend, everything from the 60’s cut crease to the early 2000’s mini bags.
Best Artist: Megan Thee Stallion
Not only did she release an iconic song, “WAP,” but she also released Good News with number one hits like “Body.”
Best Video Game: Animal Crossing New A promotional poster of Among Us. Illustration from Inner Sloth
Animal Crossing provided an escape from the isolation of the pandemic with cuddly animal neighbours and beautiful graphics.
Distinguished Site A&E | 5
Six Rings For The Reigning State Champs
Robinson flag football secures their fifth state title in a row By: Jennifer Le, Zoe Thaxton Online Managing Editor, Staff Writer
he state title for flag football will be staying in the Knight’s territory for yet another year and another trophy to join Coach Joshua Saunders’s shelf. Robinson won their fifth consecutive Class 1A Flag Football State Championship on Saturday, May 8, at Mandarin High School in Jacksonville, Fla. after two tournament games against the Miami Edison Red Raiders and the Florida A&M Baby Rattlers. Robinson’s team entered the state semi-finals against the Baby Rattlers with their undefeated season on the line. Of Quarterback Sydent Stout’s (‘21) four touchdown passes, Jaylen Stasio (‘22) would be on the receiving end for two of them while the other half went to Katejion Robinson (‘23). Stasio would also lead the Knights in receiving 99 yards. All points scored by the Knights came from the first and third quarters. The Red Raiders would only score with 7:30 left, bringing the game within 19. Knights beat the Red Raiders 27-8, moving them into the State Final against Florida A&M. The Knights saved one of their best games for the final one. In the last 7:30 of the first quarter, Stasio would complete a touchdown pass made by Stout, scoring the first seven points of the game. Bella Dolce (‘21) extended the Knights’
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lead by catching Stout’s touchdown pass from five yards out, ending the first quarter 14-0. Stout would make two more touchdown passes before halftime, finishing the second quarter 28-0. “Our first touchdown pass, caught by Jaylen Stasio, lifted such a weight off of our chests by scoring and being the first team on the scoreboard. It was one of the best flag football moments I’ve ever experienced,” said Stout, who had racked up over 100 touchdown passes this season. Starting out the second half with the ball, the Knights ensured their state title in two plays when Stout found Robinson, pushing their lead up to 33-0. Head Captain Katie Kemp (‘21) and Dolce would keep the Baby Rattlers off for the remainder of the game with interceptions until the last possession of the game saw Quarterback Jade Dubose (‘23) meet with Shaviya Williams (‘21) scoring the Baby Rattlers their first and last seven points of the game. “We all had one goal as a team before the game started, and it was to win states, so we played hard throughout the [entire] game. A highlight of it all was dumping the water bucket on Coach Saunders and seeing all of my teammates play during the finals,” Dolce said. Robinson’s flag football team’s state title streak continues as
the Knights are crowned state champions, sweeping the finals 33-7. This served as a momentous occasion for many of the players, who’ve been to the championship before, like Kemp. “I think this year was about proving ourselves and continuing the legacy, and that’s exactly what we did,” Kemp said. The team celebrates their victory and are now back home with their trophy sitting proudly in room 125 with their coach. “The season’s never really over, but it’s been a tough year for everyone,” Saunders said. “The most satisfying thing about this win is the way we managed to safely deal with all the COVID precautions and get this reward in the end.” Senior N’Dea Fitzgerald pushes forward for an extra yard has her flag is pulled by a Florida A&M HS player. Photo by P. Duffey Senior Bella Dolces runs to the end zone without any Florida A&M HS players in pursuit. Photo by P. Duffey
VIDEO: Flag Beats Lecanto in Regional Finals
Key Softball Stats Of The Season
Outstanding plays and stats by the Lady Knight’s softball team
he softball season has come to an abrupt close, with the girls’ losing their final game against Lake Region 4-1 on May 11 at the 2021 FHSAA Softball Regional Semifinals. The
girls finished off with an overall 23-5 record. In the district, their stats sat at 4-0, making the Lady Knights number one in 4A District 11.
On Base Percentage
By: Hanna Malone Sports Editor
Tryout Dates Volleyball: Aug. 2 is the first practice date. Message Coach Gorngpratum at Kylee. Gorngpratum@hcps.net for more info in regards to the upcoming season. Swimming: First practice date is Aug. 2. Reach out to Coach Atkins at James. Atkins@hcps.net for more information. First practice date is on Aug. 2. Contact Coach McCray at Kevin.McCray@ hcps.net Cross-Country: First practice date is Aug. 2. For more information email Coach Altimari at Mark.Altimari@hcps.net Cheer: Try-outs are June 1-3. Contact Coach George at Alexis.George@ hcps.net with any questions regarding cheer. Football: First practice date is non-contact and on Aug. 2. Email Coach Hollingshed at Marlo.Hollingshed@hcps.net for more info. The Starlets: Auditions from May 19-21. Email Siara. Espejo@hcps.net for more info.
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Senior Editors Say Farewell Ella Wertz News and Features Editor
Anna Woodward Editor-in-Chief
ournalism and I have always had a strange relationship. It all started sophomore year when I joined the class late because I didn’t get the elective I wanted. From there, I entered a completely different world: Room 112. At first, I tried to just get Photo by A. Woodward by in the class. I was even awarded Most Likely to Avoid Writing which in a writing-based class tells you a lot. But through my three years in the class, I grew to love the journalistic style of writing, the weekly assignments that let me explore different topics and felt a sort of belonging that I hadn’t found yet at Robinson. My favorite part about the program is the opportunities it has allowed me to pursue and the people it has allowed me to meet. I would never have known so much about the very active Robinson PTSA or even attended a tennis game if it weren’t for journalism. I also would’ve never connected with such a great community of people that despite their differences have such a strong passion for the same thing. Thank you to Ms. Oben for teaching and reteaching me how to use InDesign for every single print issue. Thank you for making Room 112 a safe place and creative hub for all students. Thank you to a staff that puts up with my late story submissions and “unique” InDesign layouts. I wouldn’t trade my three years in Room 112 for the world.
and kids, theatre kids, sports teammates. I’ve spent the last three years determining what a “journalism kid” is. I’d say I have a pretty good grasp now. Extraverted enough to go up to people and pester for an interview, and argue about what chicken tender is superior. At the same Photo by M. Vasquez time, introverted enough to gravitate to writing your thoughts instead of others’ quotes–which in practice, can be even better. A journalism kid may fit into some of the other categories of my first sentence, but pushes that aside when it comes to room 112; from there, it’s all parties that are basically sponsored by Costco’s food section at this point, a spontaneous coffee from the Keurig in the back, and wanting to fall asleep on the couch during first period. Thank you Robinson newspaper, for introducing me to parts of the school I may have otherwise deemed boring without taking photos of or writing an article on. Thank you for giving me a place on three wonderful staffs, two impressive publications, and the opportunity to work with an AWESOME adviser. Robinson newspaper, I will miss you, but I can’t wait to see you grow. I am a journalism kid, loud and proud. Peace out.
Via Godinez Opinion Editor
hen I first moved to Florida in my Sophomore year, I had been dead set on being in Art. I had taken art classes throughout my time in North Carolina and wanted to continue my art education in Tampa. However, that wasn’t the case. Since I could not register for school until the Photo by A. Woodward morning before my first day, all the classes I was interested in were taken. So, I got shoved into Theater, Drivers Ed and Journalism. But those three classes turned out to be my favorites, especially journalism. I had always loved writing, but Journalism showed a new light on the subject for me. I got to learn so much that I wouldn’t have otherwise and made some of the best friends I’d ever had. Not only have I grown as a writer because of journalism, but I’ve grown as a person. Being in journalism has taught me things about the world as a whole and myself. I will forever thank the universe for leading me here.
8 | Senior Farewell
Meena Vasquez A&E Editor
joined newspaper when I was a sophomore to get over my fear of speaking to strangers and to boost my confidence. And I did! But also I met a new community and a teacher that made a lasting impact on my life too. I would always love being myself around the newspaper staff, especially Photo by A. Woodward in my last year where I became A&E editor. I loved talking to Ms. Oben too and she basically became my life coach so thank you Ms. Oben for always listening to me and allowing me and my friends to hang out here too. I can’t explain how sad it is to leave room 112. It was really not the same this year either with covid but I’m glad I made the most of it with the newspaper staff. I’ll always love room 112 and will always remember my time here. I really hope I can go down as a cool A&E editor. Maybe there’s an A&E editor hall of fame. Thank you newspaper for helping me grow as a more confident Meena and helping me build new skills such as interviewing, designing and overall letting me be myself.
Amelia Foster Print Managing Editor
ewspaper, my beloved. I joined this class on a whim my second day of freshman year because my older sister’s (ex) boyfriend told me that colleges would like it better if I did an extracurricular my freshman year. Nearly four years later and I’m Photo by A. Foster still here! I have no clue if it made me stand out to colleges or not, but I’m eternally grateful for what writing a 300-word-minimum article a week did for my college essay process. Of course, the class has given me more than that. The awards from all the competitions certainly don’t hurt. Then there’s the obligatory tribute to the friends that I’ve made in this class and to every senior who is also writing one of these letters: I hope you do great things. To my main babe Juno, good luck next year. I’ll miss making horrific playlists with you. I’ve been on this staff when it’s had 12 people and I’ve been on it when it’s had over 20 and I learn something new each year. How to properly express myself through an opinion, how to contain my excitement when writing a review, how to distance myself from the story during a news article. This class has made me completely reroute my brain the moment I start typing, trying to be the best I can be. Even now this letter is supposed to be some form of catharsis, but I’m still thinking but will people want to read it? The answer to that is, of course, out of my hands now that this has been published and I’m about to graduate. But I hope you read it anyway, and I hope it makes you join the class. God knows we need the body count.
Hanna Malone Sports Editor
oom 112 and the newspaper staff has played a huge part in my high school career, teaching me the art of time management and motivating me to stay active in our school community. The class often extended outside of school hours, and encouraged me to attend events that I Photo by A. Woodward otherwise may have passed up. In my two years of being on the staff, I have attended a number of events, competitions, concerts, and games both at Robinson and within the community, and have gotten to meet an outstanding amount of diversely talented individuals — some of which I now can genuinely consider my friends—through interviews and what not. I also learned a lot about photography and using software such as Adobe InDesign, which is incredibly useful though not always my favorite. I also truly believe that my writing greatly improved due to newspaper’s focus on publishing quality content. I am exceedingly grateful for all of the opportunities and skills that newspaper has granted me with.