Page 1

Seniors, Immigrants & the Death Penalty Opinions.......pp. 4 & 11

Sweethearts unite for a day of

Vol. II Issue 3 Feb. 2012 [A student publication of Ruskin High School]

[Kansas City, MO]

RHS Reaching for Academic Excellence Setting new goals to reach “12 in 2012”


The Hickman Mills School District C-1 goal is to reach 12 annual performance report (APR) points for 2012. So far, they have earned nine of 14 possible points. The measurements for the national requirements are based on the No Child Left Behind Act, which is set so that districts are on the right track for 100% of their students to score proficient or advanced by the year of 2014.

This is called adequate yearly progress (AYP), which is used to determine the mark of accreditation of school districts. Districts have to obtain eight points of 14 APR (Annual Performance Report) points to be considered fully accredited. As of right now, HMSD stands right in the middle of oth-


Principal Chad Ryerson said. Often school districts aim to have the top APR points because it’s perceived that those districts are considered the best of the best. “The nine points are good. We are fully accredited, however we know we can do better,” Dr. Everlyn Williams, Deputy Superintendent of Hickman Mills School District said in a web site presentation. The District has set goals to achieve this such as increasSee “12 in 2012,” cont. on pg. 3

RHS Soph Finishes Novel By: Joseph Fox



By Zach King


Hard work, dedication and stamina. Those are the three main components you’ll probably need, to do what senior Aaron Wiggins accomplished this season with the Golden Eagle Wrestling Team. The senior accomplished his 100th win January 30,

breaking the Ruskin High School record for the most wins in a high school career. The team started their season in November with conditioning and weight lifting and began practice the beginning

[ INSIDE THIS ISSUE... ] New locks ........Pg. 2

er districts such as the Center, Belton, and Grandview School Districts (see sidebar on pg. 3 for full list). Districts are accredited state by state by the Department of Education, which determines the district’s placement. “It’s always a competition between the districts,” Ruskin

Favorite neigbor ..........Pg.3

See “Wiggns,” cont. on pg.14

Spring play cast ..........Pg. 4

Coming fromrecession ............Pg. 5

Insane, unimaginable, and fearful things occur in the novel “The Asylum,” written by Ruskin High School’s very own sophomore Joseph Schwartz. It took Schwartz six months to write this novel that he is currently trying to get published. The book is roughly 200 pages divided into 20 exciting and vivid chapters for teenagers and young adults to enjoy. “This story is basically about the world that I created and about the crazy things that take place in this certain mental Valentine cheer ..........Pg. 8

hospital,” Schwartz said. Anyone can publish a book from the website createspace. com, and that is what Schwartz is working on. He is also proSee “Novel,” cont. pn pg. 6

Drake coming Inside The to KC Classroom ..........Pg. 10 ........Pg. 13

Swimmers win big .......Pg. 15


[PAGE 2]

Eagles tend to broken wing Spring By Deion Edwards SPORTS EDITOR

Ruskin High School is tending to a lot of things that are holding the school back from improvements. Things that actually need help are getting the support they need. The back parking lot of Ruskin needed extreme fixing. It had multiple pot holes, cracks and the concrete was decaying. This really put the cars and buses that drive into the parking lot in danger of damage. The parking lot is in progress of being fixed with many of the holes, now patched. “We need to make sure that the students are safe driving in and out of the parking lot. We’ve been requesting that change for the longest time,” Vice Principal Robert Lee said. Another weight that is keeping the Eagles from soaring is door security. Doors have been bolted at the top for better security when locked and new scan systems are being installed. There will be black box-

es placed outside the doors with scanners to allow access to teachers during certain hours. Doors to the auditorium and to the back of the cafeteria have been bolted. Teachers will be issued new ID badges to allow them access into doors before and after school anytime New ID scanners outside of RHS doors were recently infrom 6 a.m. to stalled and will keep staff and students safer. Photo by : 6 p.m. After Deion Edwards that, they have everybody safer. Everybody to have special permission for is safe now but we would like their cards to work. The new to take that next step to make locks are for better safety mea- things better, ” Ryerson said. sures so that the doors can stay Ruskin is one of the few locked during the school day. schools that has these new Two doors will be locked on scanning systems. The scanboth sides and the rest will be ners can be automated to give locked from the outside. Prin- teachers access during different icipal Chad Ryerson had a posi- times and allow them entry into tive take on the subject. school outside of school hours. “The locks are to keep

SOPA stopped

By Cristina Alvarado PHOTO EDITOR

On Jan 20, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was postponed until Jan. 24 due to all the people that signed the

blackout petition. The SOPA is to stop piracy here in the United States, like downloading movies and music illegally. United States Representative Lamar S. Smith introduced

this bill on Jan. 18. When Smith introduced this bill he had only 31 opponents. Then. by Jan. 20, he had over 120 and still counting opponents, and over 7,000 websites blacked out, or shut down to protest the bill. Congress decided to post-pone this bill because they realized that they needed to re-think how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products, according to bcc. When the SOPA was introduced, websites like Wikipedia, Google, and Tumbler, were either shut down for 24 hours, or they had a blackout on there website. On Google, they had See “SOPA,” cont. on pg. 4

play cast By Markus Snead REPORTER

The brave and bold students faced the lights, camera, and all the action! Many auditioned in the auditorium on Jan. 16, but only nine enthusiastic actors made it as they battled for their spot. Director Kelly Michale cast: Joetay Grayson, Dezerae Ellis, Austin Strassle, Chonte’ Woods, Markus Snead, Akilah Bryan, Rhiannon Hinkle, Cherie Ramsey and Logan Cristian in the play “Almost Maine.’’ The original play was supposed to be “Nosies Off,’’ but due to students’ busy schedules, the play was changed so it would be a great production for the school. The play is by John Carianian, an American actor. The original play has nine short plays and in each story the characters each experience love and loss in a place called Almost, Maine, a mythical place that doesn't exist. The nine plays are ‘’Her Heart,’’ ‘’Sad and Glad,’’ ‘’This Hurts,’’ ‘’Getting it Back,’’ ‘’They Fell,’’ ‘’Where it Went,’’ ’’ Story of Hope,’’ ‘’Seeing the Thing,’’ including a Prologue, Interlude, Epilogue. The play is designed for 4 to 19 actors.The play is supposed to be only two hours long. ‘’Their will be a few surprises,’’ Michale said. “There will be some things done using technology that will make this play very interesting and unusual.” The actors and actresses will be practicing from JanuSee “Play,” cont. on pg. 6


[PAGE 3]

CAC - Ruskin’s favorite neighbor By Cristina Alvarado


Community Assistance Council (CAC) has been helping people for 33 years, accepting donations from clothing, food, and money to help people from the Hickman Mills Area. About 10 years ago, Ruskin High School became in contact with CAC since they have helped out families and students in this area. CAC has been helping people since 1972, with only five full-time staff, and three part-time, but the job isn’t done alone. CAC has over 50 volunteers helping every week, to serve food, stuff backpacks for children, and organize and give away clean clothes. RHS organizations such as Student Council, Leadership 2012, and Y4C brainstorm ideas for future fundraisers to help CAC.

RHS fundraisers are once every quarter including the Food Drive, Toys for Tots, Coat Drive and recently a Christmas collection. Ruskin staff and students have raised $1,280 to donate to needy families and 3,000 cans of food. Student council member, senior Erica Jackson likes the CAC. “The thing I like most is that they help people in need out in the Hickman Mills area,” Jackson said. “Last year we donated a lot of foods and clothes, and some of the money from Courtwarming will go to CAC.” Another StuCo member, senior Terrell Cannon, said he likes this organization a lot. “What I like most is that it is beneficial to the community, families and students that attend here. Everything is anonymous, so anyone in need can call in for help,” Cannon said.

Hickman Mills School District is one of the many partners that offer help to CAC. “CAC does so much for this community,” RHS principal Chad Ryerson said. “This year we have been very involved with CAC, local churches, Coats for Kids and many other organizations. We’re trying to get rid of all our silly ru-

mors and let the people know our school is successful.” Everyone in this building has helped out with donations. Secretary Lisa Jennings grew up with donating to help the needy and ever since then she and her family donate whenever asked. Ryerson and his family also help sort food for the homeless.

es. To help meet these goals, teachers are trying to get at standard and track the data to least 80% of their students to score advanced or proficient on ensure mastery is met. Staff members are also all tests. Every student in the high increasing students’ exposure to literacy by requiring that school contributes in some kind students to read and write in of way to this effort. Students who mainEVERY classroom Hickman Mills C-1 School District has tain a 95% E V E R Y launched a campaign to reach 12 APR attendance points this year. Below is a list of area school will help day. districts and their current APR points: bring the “I find Center School District -13 school atit important Belton School District - 11 tendance for students rate up. Grandview C-4 - 11 to read and S t u d e n ts write every Hickman MIlls C-1 School District - 9 who take single day,” Kansas City (Mo.) School District - 5 the EOC Ryerson Raytown School District - 9 and ACT said. “If we exams secan’t read and write, how do we expect to riously and truly do their best, can help increase overall test be successful in life?” Ryerson said that these two scores. By making progress evinitiatives (ACT standards/data ery year, Ruskin can earn these and literacy) are directly tied points needed. Annual Progress Report to bringing up End of Course (EOC) scores in the core class- is the state report that looks at

specific criteria that Missouri has set forth in measuring the success and accreditation status of school districts in Missouri. It also is referred to as the district’s “report card” and has 15 subject areas that are graded and APR points are awarded. The grading system is strictly either you met the requirements or you don’t, no in between. To determine these measurements, sub-groups such as students on free and reduced lunch, special education students, and minorities are looked at within a school building. The way it work is, if all the sub-groups in one building score higher compared to other sub-groups in other districts they can earn more points. However if one of the sub-groups does not make the AYP target the building is considered as not making AYP.

“12 in 2012,” cont. from front cover ing the attendance rate and test scores. At RHS, the goal for ACT scores is to average 21, the attendance rate to be at 94%, and graduation rate to be at 85%. The pressure is on Ruskin High School students and staff because they can earn 10 of the needed points all by themselves. To help the District exceed its “12 in 2012” goal, the RHS staff has implemented a variety of strategies with students. Ryerson, in collaboration with the school administrators and leadership team, has increased the commitment to literacy and data collection as two of the major strategies. Teachers are focusing on teaching one ACT standard at a time within their individual curriculum. ACT standards are tied to the core classes. They test their students twice on each

Junior Ramiero Palamores unloads some of the 3000 canned goods donated by students at staff at Ruskin High School.


[PAGE 4]

No Death Penalty Not even for my killing father

by Tonique Burrell EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

To wish death upon someone is something I don’t condone, no matter how hurtful, painful, or sinful the crime may be. The death penalty is so wrong in so many ways and I say so for reasons that I personally know. It was Sept. 26, 2011, when my father, Tony Burrell, took my stepmother’s life in front of her children stabbing her countless times and letting her know she was going to die that day. With my younger step-sisters trying to save their mother’s life, he turned the knife on them and left one in the hospital with life-threatening stab wounds in both her hands and legs. The death was all due to domestic violence. My stepmother and father were together for many years but only married for two. My father had gone to jail when I was a very young child, very fresh out of the womb. But then, he came back into my life when I turned 12, and then, back out again. After he had left again, I found out that I had two older step-sisters and three younger step-sisters. My new siblings and I reunited as one

and it was an unbreakable bond. was like: “We want to go for the Me, my sisters, my step- death penalty, so how do you mother and father all moved in feel about that?” together and soon came to the I stopped and listened to conclusion that things were just everybody talk and I was left not right at all in our home. with nothing to say. And when In our home, I say nothing, I mean we saw things like absolute silence. I drug use, violence, was left speechless. weapons, and things I didn’t know we thought we should what to say nor did I never experience. know how to speak There were many on what I was feeling sleepless nights due about the situation. All to arguments, and deI did was sit there and Tonique Burrell fenseless fights that really think of all the I felt just couldn’t be circumstances. won. I thought of things from evThe arguments were so ery perspective that I could and hurtful and painful being that I came up with many of them. I they argued all the time and the thought about how I felt when argument’s turned into helpless, I first found out what had haphopeless, winless fights that left pened...that I wanted him arus wondering what was going rested and put to death. to happen next. But who ever But now something inside knew that it would lead to him of me was saying that the death killing God’s own. penalty was just not the road I It hurts to say that he is my wanted to go down. father and that he took the life One thing that ran through of my sisters’ mother. my mind was nobody has the There was much contro- full understanding of the mental versy about what was suppose state of my father and what he to happen to him after he was was put through to do just what arrested. Questions were being he did. asked like: “How do we feel But then I thought of things about him? What do we feel that like that was my mother, just needs to happen next?” Then it as well as my sisters’, and became to the point that everyone

“SOPA,” cont. from pg. 2


this black box that when visitors clicked it, it took them to this petition to sign. Over 4.5 million people signed that petition, according to History teacher at Ruskin High School Kevin Utterback knew from the start, this bill wouldn’t last. “I’m totally against this. Any censorship of the press is bad. Plus this will effect the economy. We make money off the Internet,” Utterback said. “Even if this was to pass, imagine what other little doors they would open too. They start with this, who knows where it will end. It’s like Pandora’s box, once one side opens, you never know the outcome.” Students at RHS weren’t to happy about this either, including junior Jonathan Rodriguez. “If this happens, the Internet will be boring. You can’t download no more music, or movies. I admit I watch pirated movies, but who doesn’t?” Rodriguez said. The new voting for this bill will be on announced later, when Congress and Smith reconsider the issues on this bill

cause they we were motherless, I hated him. Then there was the thought of being a child of God and to wish death and to kill is a right that no one of mankind should have. Yes, he did take a life of another, but I was always taught two wrongs don’t make a right. People may say that the statement doesn’t fit into this situation, but in reality it does. I look at it as if just because he killed someone doesn’t mean we should take his life. (And, no, I don’t say this because he was my father, but I also look at it as even if he wasn’t my father.) I feel that the death penalty is so wrong and should be illegal in all fifty states. I say this because who is anyone to sentence someone to no longer live their life? My state of mind is set and will always be that no one’s life should be taken if it’s not nature’s course. That means that if God did not take his angel with his own hands, then everyone should still be living on God’s green earth. Even a killer, like my father. For the latest news story about the incident, visit http://www.dallasblack. com/communityChannel/stabbingmurder

Do you have a comment on this or another article? We welcome your letters to the editor. See guidelines below.

Eagle’s Eye Editorial Policy A. Forum. Eagle’s Eye News is the official student-produced medium of news and information published/produced by Ruskin High School’s Eagle’s Eye News staff members. The Eagle’s Eye News has been established as a designated public forum for student expression used to inform, educate and entertain its readers as well as for the discussion of issues of concern to its audience. It will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials prior to publication or distribution. The content of Eagle’s Eye News is determined by and reflects only the views of the student staff and not school officials, the school, the Hickman Mills C-1 School District or any of its affiliates. Advisers may – and should – coach and discuss content – during the writing process. The Eagle’s Eye will print as many letters to the editor as space allows each issue. The Eagle’s Eye reserves the right not to print a letter. B. Format. All letters to the editor must include the writer’s name, signature and class or or position. Typed, double-space letters are preferred, but legible, hand-written letters are acceptable. All letters must be signed. C. Limitations. Letters should be limited to approximately 300 words, or about oneand-a-half double-spaced, typewritten pages. D. Editing. Letters to the editor will not be edited, except in rare cases to prevent legal liability (libel, obscenity, invasion of privacy, etc.), to edit material that is in poor taste, or to fit space requirements. E. Address. Letters should be addressed to the editor, placed in an envelope and mailed to Eagle’s Eye c/o Ruskin High School; emailed to, placed in Mrs. Williams’ mail box in the main office or hand-delivered to Room 102.


[PAGE 5]

From recession to opportunities By Tamara Davis

According to Moore, eight Ruskin According to the Labor Students got hired at Department, the unemployment the JCPenney in Lee’s rate recently fell to 8.5 percent. Summit during the The nation added 200,000 jobs holiday season. Senior in December 2011, in a hiring Laura Vidal counted that drove the unemployment four students who got rate to its lowest in almost three hired at JCPenney at years. The figures raised hopes the Oak Park location. “I got hired at that the economy might finally JCPenney in Novembe healthy enough to power an ber 2011,” junior Ezra even stronger job market. This Hill said. “I promise it benefit opened up more job opfelt like I looked high portunities for many of our own and low for a job. Ruskin students. Now, I am making “I got hired at JCPenney in Lee’s Summit in September my own money and 2011,” senior Pierre Moore happy about it.” McDonald’s also said. “I was so happy when I got hired many of the the job because it took so long Ruskin students. for me to find one. I wanted to “I was hired in start work the day I got hired.” December at McDon- Junior Ezra Hill, a emplyee of JCPenney’s, is folding up clothes and putting them in its corDuring the 2011 holiday rect spot. Photo by Tamara Davis. ald’s,” senior Tevin season, retail store hiring increased. Walmart, Kohls, Best Johnney said. “I was nately, the Great Recession be- 2010, adults were accepting Buy, and JCPenney, are just a looking for a job for gan in December 2007, accord- low-paying, low-skill jobs once at least a year, and it was real few of the stores who hired being to the National Bureau of filled by teens. This made is hard. I couldn’t be more happy tween 700 and 92,000 employEconomic Research, and wiped very difficult for teens to have now that I am making my own ees nation wide, according to out 8.7 million jobs. People summer jobs and jobs for the money.” Jusin Griffen in his article “Act lost jobs and spent less money, holiday seasons. Senior Forrest Wright now if you want a seasonal holso businesses rang up less sales agreed. iday job.” “I can’t forget that me and and were forced to lay off more my homies people. They expanded unemTevin and ployment benefits, increased Zach got food stamp allowances, and adhired on the ditional tax credits passed by same day,” Congress are estimated to have he said. “Not saved 6 million Americans only that I from falling into poverty, acwork with cording to the Research report. my homies, These stressful economic times but I am now had serious impacts on families able to have and their health and well-being. the things I Impacts which caused further economic stress on the state. want.” Accord- Money, work, and the economy Pick up order form in ing to Wright, are rated by Americans as beseven Ruskin ing by far the greatest sources Room 102 or students work of stress. According to Stephanie order online at the same McDonald’s Pappas in her article, “Soarat ing Teen Unemployment could Senior Forrest Wright, an employee at McDonald’s, is taking location. orders in the back window. Unfortu- have Lifetime Effects,” in NEWS EDITOR


ONLY $65 for a Lifetime of Memories


[PAGE 6]

Dogs Pick Up On Human Intent

“Novel,” cont. from front cover

By: Zeinab Ahmed

ducing a cover and page layout for the novel. “This is a cheap and awesome website to publish a book on. Authors are starting to selfpublish now because of the high prices, but on this website you can do it at a low rate,” Matt Dampier said. Schwartz stated he wouldn’t mind being an author professionally when he gets a little older; although, he just wrote this book for the fun of it and for the experience. The problems and obstacles that occurred with him in writing this novel were remembering it all and staying on track with the plot throughout the six months. “I’m just glad I stuck to it and kept writing this book. Whoever likes to write and wants to write a book of some sort, stick to it and don’t quit,” Schwartz said. This intriguing, fictional story came about by the type of music Schwartz listens to and his knowledge of mental hospitals. He favors reading horror, comedy, and some adventure books in his leisure time. “Whenever I had some free time I would either read or work on writing this book. I’m trying now to get it published and hope everything goes as planned. It’s a really good book, you all should read it!” Schwartz said. Many stories are still lingering in Schwartz’s head that he will soon want to release. Keep a look out for his novel, “The Asylum” and congratulate him on the great accomplishment and goal he has achieved for himself and for his peers. Once published, anyone may get a copy from


Dog owners at Ruskin High School - both staff and students - agree that their dogs listen when they speak to them, and now there is a study to confirm that. In a report published online in Current Biology on Jan. 5, researchers concluded that dogs not only understand “sit” and “down,” but they can also follow people’s eye movements and pick up on nonverbal signals. “Our findings reveal that dogs are receptive to human communication in a manner that was previously attributed only to humans,” study author Jozsef Topal, a researcher at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, said in a statement. “Dogs, as well as human infants, are sensitive to cues that signal communicative intent.” For the study, researchers presented 16 pet dogs with two videos featuring an actor turning her head towards one of two identical flower pots on either side of her. In the first video, the woman makes direct eye contact with the dog and says, “Hi dog,” in a high pitched voice. In the second video, the woman avoids eye contact and says, “Hi dog,” in a low pitched

voice. Using eye tracking techniques, researchers concluded that the dog was more likely to pick up on the woman’s intent when directly addressed and less likely when she didn’t look at the dog and spoke quietly. “The [dog’s] gaze was only triggered when preceded by communicating intent. It does seem to be that dogs do look at humans and follow gestures,” said Dr. Nicholas Dodman, director of the Animal behavior Clinic at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Melius’s son cuddles puppy Pella.

“This is intuitive to anyone who owns a dog, that dogs seem to be more in tune with us than some scientists believe.” Communication Arts in-

“Play,” cont. from pg 2

ary 30 until April 11. During this time they will be using all their skill to make this the best play Ruskin has ever seen. Many could agree that Ruskin students have put on excellent plays in the past like “Fame” and “High School Musical.” They will perform the play three times, April 1214. Senior Chonte Woods was one of many who auditioned for the spring play.

structor Stephanie Melius states that her dog, Pella, understands her when she speaks. She said Pella enjoys conversation and will even place her paws on Melius’s shoulders to demonstrate her attentiveness. “Dogs are pack animals and like interaction,” Melius said. “They are very social.” Junior Demarquis Nealy said he talks to his dogs, a rat terrier and rottweiler/pit-bull mix, because they understand. He feels that by communicating with them, he is showing them care and giving them attention. The dogs in the study picked up on the woman’s tone. Junior Kenneth Mussmann says that his dog, Blue, understands tone. “If I yell at him when he does something, he knows not to do that,” Mussmann said. Another student, junior D’Anthony Smith, said he will tell his dog Molly, “Stop doing, and she’ll look at me, put her head down, and walk away.” Smith said that dogs can comprehend redirection and discipline. “Dogs understand just like children,” senior Ariona Brevard said. “Their parents or owner would teach them right from wrong from a young age.”

Catch the latest sports scores and news at the Eagle’s Eye online

BCPR_4096_SL Kickoff_RHS_Outlines.indd 1

1/26/12 3:18 PM


[PAGE 8]

Hot spots for the one you love by Tamara Davis NEWS EDITOR

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and it’s the time that gives everyone warm, fuzzy feelings and brings people closer together. Many students are planning this special day with their special someone. Seniors Daryan Kirkendoll and Talisha Shephard

Seniors Talisha Shephard and her valentine, Daryan Kirkendoll, have decided to switch places on Valentine’s Day. “I am trading places with him, to let him know how I feel,” she said. “Usually, he takes me out, and makes me feel special. Now it’s my turn.” Shephard hopes that her

plans turn out perfect for Kirkendoll. Senior Deandre Oliver also has very special plans for his Valentine. “Valentine’s Day is my girl’s day,” he said. “I plan to buy her a promise ring, a bear, and some candy. Where we go that day, is all up to her.” While some of the couples already have their Valentine’s Day planned out, some people are still seeking gifts and special places to share with their valentine. Junior Jalynn Turnbo hopes that her valentine, junior Demarquis Nealy, surprises her with a special evening. “I have no clue what we are doing for Valentine’s Day,” she said. “I’m still deciding on what to get him, to show him how much I care, but I just want him to surprise me.” Senior Fred Kelley is indecisive on where to take his valentine, Erica Jackson on Valentine’s Day. “I’m not exactly sure what we are doing that day,” he said. “I’m thinking about taking a stroll through a park, and then go out to the movies. We might even go out to eat. I’m just go-

ing to make sure that she has a Junior Jalynn Turnbo and junior Demarquis Nealy good Valentine’s Day.” For those who have yet to decide where to take their loved ones on Valentine’s Day, there are a few “hot spots,” where many couples plan on sharing this special day and suggests that others could do as well. According to Kelley, the movie theatre seems to be very popular on Valentine’s Day because most of his friends are planning on attending that day. Junior Caprice Byers have plans to eat there that day. agrees. Senior Brittany Hobbs “I think the movies is gofeels that these restaurants are ing to crack that day,” she said. very romantic. “I plan to go with my boo, and “I think that couples I know I’m going to see a lot of should choose from one of people there from school.” A few other hot spots that the hot spots,” she said. “My students suggest for that special boyfriend and I plan on going day are restaurants, such as Red to Red Lobster for Valentine’s Lobster, Olive Garden, Ched- Day, but all of those restaurants dars, Cheesecake Factory, and have good food and are fancy Joe’s Crab shack. type restaurants that all couples “Me and my boo are going will enjoy.” to take professional pictures,” Valentine’s Day is the day senior Brittany Hayes said. dedicated to love and there’s no “Then, we are going to Ched- reason why couple’s shouldn’t dars. I know it’s going to be be celebrating this wonderful packed out because their food day together. is so good, and a lot of my peers

Dream Date with a Celebrity? If you could spend Valentine’s Day on a romantic date with a celebrity, who would you spend it with and what would you do?

“Leonardo DiCaprio because he is cute and makes me cry. If we go on a date we would go to my house.” ~ sophomore Motaz Hanson

’’Kina Grannis because she is so sexy, and when we went on the date I would take her to a restaurant. ’’ ~ sophomore Tyler Owsley


Sweetheart Shoutouts! To: <3 My Posey You make me happy. From: A’nessa Walker

To: Brandon Young You are my one and only babe! From: Anonymous To: Tony Lora Happy Valentine’s Day! From: Anonymous To: Students, faculty, and staff Life is Grand! I am glad to become an Eagle. Fly high and get some! From: Colonel Glasco MCJROTC SMI To: Destinee Birks I love you best friend. From: Mariah Maddiy To: Emily Stout From the five: We luv you! From: Sean Crawford

To: Brenda Zenogoza Love you, beautiful!! From: Devin To: Sharell Cole Some things aren’t meant to be, then again, some are. From: Chris Horne

To: A’nessa Walker I’ll never know if it’s trulypossible for me to stop thinking about you because I’ll never try. From: Cody To: Mikayla Chapple Shout out to my best friend. ILY From: Chantai Bull To: Malik Smith Happy V-day Baby! From: Alexis Johnson To: Alexus Jackson ILY Happy V-Day & many more. From: Jarrett Bell To: Marcella Hudson Happy V-Day! From: Jefferic Lagrove To: Justin Chrisman I love you peanut, Happy Valentine’s Day <3!!! From: DeWana Ashley

[PAGE 9]

To: Daryan Kirkendoll Can’t imagine life without you, 2 Joe from Susie From: Talisha Shephard To: Tianna Williams I love you with all my <3 From: Malcolm Hamilton To: Anisha Ray 3 years and strong love. From: Damarko Ross

To: Shacoya Jones Love u Shorty From: Ricardo Herron

To: Crystal Cerna Lencha te amo mucho! From: Cristina Alvarado To: Nichole Horton I’d choose you over the fat lady any day! <3 From: Chelsea Fuller To: Trei Brown I got feelings for you <3 From: Markus D. Snead To: Caleb Green Thanks for being a nightlight to my life. Love ya! From: Anonymous To: A’nessa I love you bess friend. James Samuels

’’Bow Wow. He is cute and he seems nor- ’’Rhianna, I just love her swag! We mal and he doesn’t let fame go to his head.’’ would spend time in Barbados on the ~ senior Latisha Mumphery beach then we would go to the studio.’’ ~ junior LeAndre Williams

To: James Samuels (Best Friend) You the best bess LOL! From: A’nessa Walker

To: Kayron Cheffen I love hanging out with you! From: Nakiya “Pinky” Williams To: Rensheal Smith Love you more than life! From: Tiara Jones To: Rosierra Warren Thomas You the one, girl. From: Tiara Jones To: A’nessa Walker Miss you more than ever. From: Tiara Jones To: Cristina Alvarado Stinna Binna, I love you From: Crystal Cerna

“Trey Songz, he is so sexy and it goes great with his body and his voice. He would pick me up in a jet and we would go every where.” ~ junior Mikayla Chapple


[PAGE 10]

Drake”Takes Care” of Kansas City

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Movie picks

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that I love. It has nothing to do with people on my label, whatever it takes to cater to alTyga’s out, Nicki’s working on most every single fan of his and an album and everybody else his Young Money crew. “I fought for this tour. I is doing their thing on the road fought really hard for this tour with Wayne or with Wayne because, of course, they want (Lil Wayne) in the studio, so I just sort of showcased the music that I happen Outstanding to love right New Worthy effort review now, and those are the So-so two guys that A bomb I’m bringing out,” Drake Albert Nobbs said.

me to go get the big bucks, go into the stadiums and cash out. But I was just like, I really made this album for the same people that supported me since day one. I wanna do more intimate shows,” Drake said. There are many great songs on the album that stand out according to students at Ruskin High. “I think ‘The Motto’ was the best song because the beat is dope and Lil Wayne’s verse was good,”senior Edwin Stewart said. Others liked the best of both worlds collaborations on the album. “I’ll have to say ‘Lord Knows’ because its was nothing but bars between Drake and Rick Ross,” senior Xavier Calloway said. The concert will be held on March 1st in the Sprint Center. Tickets go on sale Jan. 12 and they are going fast. So hurry and grab and ticket, gather some friends and head to the Sprint Center on March 1 to see the musical phenom for yourself.


But Drake goes on to say that he cares about his fans more than anything and will do

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“OVOXO yo girl at my next show.” That’s music phenom Drake’s coined phrase for his fans and the theme for his 18city Club Paradise tour. The “Take Care” rapper is bringing his highly anticipated concert to Kansas City at the Sprint Center March 1 and he’s tagging along Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky. The tour is the aftermath of the blockbuster album “Take Care” which was a hit and dropped in at No. 1 with sales of 631,000, making it the third-best-selling debut of the year behind Lady Gaga’s Born This Way (1.1 million) and Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV (964,000). But all this is not new for Drake. In 2010, he released his first debut album as a new upcoming artist titled “Thank Me Later.” It debuted at number one on the USBillboard 100 chart, selling 447,000 copies in the United States in its first week. He also traveled to Kansas City for the “Away From Home” Tour which was also at the Sprint Center two years ago. In an interview with MTV. com, Drake expressed why he chose to do the tour and why he picked the cities he did. “I spent a lot of time out there [in Toronto]; that’s what this album is about. That’s what I’m gonna showcase. It’s

the same thing with the tour: I wanna bring Kendrick, I wanna bring A$AP, those are guys



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[PAGE 11]

Immigrants, Racism, and Offense By Cristina Alvarado PHOTO EDITOR

“Beaner!” “Wetback!” “Immigrants!” “Go back to Mexico!” “Get your green card!” “Taco eater!” All of these have been said to many Hispanics. I’m not trying to say that Hispanic is the only race that goes through trouble. African Americans, Asians, and many others have had to endure racial slurs throughout the ages. But when Arizona passed a strict border law, the racism increased in Arizona. Hispanics and immigrants have settled throughout the U.S. including right here in Missouri. Sooner or later immigration laws will come to our state, too, and just like in Arizona, neighbors will end up going against each other telling border patrol where, or who is illegal. A week ago, my cousin found a video on YouTube about Arizona racism. When

I heard about it from friends, of ignorance. After I saw it, I e-mailed I just brushed it off because they told me the girls were the video to my cousin in Arijust talking about immigrants. zona. She really took it to heart because she said it I thought, okay is pretty bad down Mexicans aren’t the there. only immigrants so The law in Ariit didn’t mean much. zona that passed says Then when my cousin that a police officer showed us the video can question any perand I saw it, it affected me, my family, and Cristina Alvarado son about their illegal status if they suspect some friends of ours. they may be illegally In the video there are two girls that talk about the border in the country. If a person canlaw that passed in Arizona. But not prove they are citizens, instead of talking about how then they will be deported. I they feel about it they just talk- feel police could bend the law around. Say they see a Hispanic ed down on Hispanics. When the video started, walking out in the dark....of they said flat out, “This video is course, they’re going to quesabout the new law that passed tion/harass them, and with that the Arizona legislators, for you law they could say, “Well the (explitive) illegals to go back law said we can question you, to your homeland. So grab your because you look like an immiburritos and get the (expletive) grant.” That seems very unfair! out of our country.” Throughout the video those girls just It evens happen now. Friends call Hispanics a whole bunch right here in Kansas City tell of names, and just spoke a lot me that the officers mess with


their parents because of the color of their skin. I feel that is true. Immigration has been a hot topic with Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans seem to want border patrol to toughen up and get rid of immigrants. Democrats seem to want to actually make it easier for immigrants to get a green card. I know if Democrats succeed with making a green card easier for immigrants, it will be great for all immigrants. Americans cannot stop immigrants from making a better life for them and their families. Some come here to work, to send money back to their family. People feel that all “Mexicans come here to take their jobs.” My friends joke around with me about that, but deep down people feel that's true. But immigrant don't come to take jobs, they come for a better life.

Seniors, buckle down as “home stretch” approaches By Tamara Davis


Congrats to the seniors who have made it this far in the school year. Now, it is time for us to really buckle down. The Ruskin Class of 2012 graduates on May 21, and it seems to be approaching very fast. Between now and then, seniors have a lot of goals that they should be focusing on accomplishing. First and foremost, the students’ main goal should be improving attendance and grades. According to principal Chad Ryerson, the attendance in first

semester was not exceptional. chased is due by March 19. Students seemed to have Senior dues were $35 up caught the case of “Senioritis.” until February 10. Now stuJust because everydents are expected to one has gotten this pay $50. All seniors far, does not mean must pay their dues that it is time to stop in order to participate doing work, and not in the Spring Senior show up to school. Activities. The activiStudents must get ties include the senior Tamara Davis back on top of their picnic, breakfast, and grades, and coming to field trip. Students will school every day on time. also receive a Senior Signature Senior fees are getting Shirt. Seniors must give their closer to their due dates. Jos- payments to Mrs. Ciafullo in ten’s will be back on Feb. 23, room 212. to receive another payment of It is now time for seniors $60. The full payment of the to get their FASFA (Free Appackages which students pur- plication for Federal Student


Aid) done. Ruskin parents and their senior students are invited to Senior Enrollment Night that will be held on Feb.15 and 16 in the Media Center. Students will receive assistance with filling out their FASFA. They will also be able to learn more about the types of financial aid, such as grants, work study, and loans. It is very understandable that seniors have a heavy load in their hands, but it is time that we prepare ourselves to enter into “the Real World.” I encourage every student to keep their head up and work hard up to graduation day.


What’s your memory? By A’nessa Walker

[PAGE 12]



Everyone has a story, and everybody’s story is unique and different in its own way. The longest time period that people possibly remember the most is their childhood days. A few RHS students shared their most significant childhood memories. Everyone’s story is creative. Some of their memories are about changes that they faced, exciting things that happened, and the fears they used to have. “My favorite childhood memory is family Bar-B-Ques. I always liked BarB-Ques. They were pretty cool. This is my favorite childhood memory because it was involving the most important F’s Family, Food, and Fun - and it was all together at once,” junior Cortez Simmons said. Everyone’s story is Cortez Simmons important and should be shared. “The best childhood memory I have is when I was five years old and my mom, stepmom, God sister, and I went to Disneyland. I remember this as my favorite childhood memory because it’s not something that a lot of kids get Gabrielle Hughes to do,” sophomore Gabrielle Hughes said. But just like every thing else, there’s a flip side to childhood memories. Some have a bittersweet memory. “When I was in the fifth grade I met my brothers on my dad’s side, found out that I have another grandma and that my dad is deceased,” senior Ovell Thomas said. Family traditions are some of the other memories people have. Ovell Thomas “When I was little, every Saturday my brother took me to get some ice cream,” sophomore Alaya Jackson said. “This is my favorite childhood memory because my brother and I are really close.” The slightest things people do for others can be a life long memory that people would never forget. Then you have memories about things that you once faced. “I will never forget my first Pop Warner football game. I was starting on the field. I had butterflies like a fool. This, by far, is my favorite childhood memory because that’s when it all startJames Samuels ed for me,” senior James Samuels said.

Isla Jones

James Adewumi

“I feel honored,” she said. “I am just as surprised as the other Elks students, and congrats to them as well.”

“I applied for the scholarship,” he said. “I feel honored that I was chosen.”

Elks Student of the Month FEBRUARY NOMINEES

Tino Martin

“I am glad that I have been recognized in my high school and by the foundation,” he said. “I was surprsied because I didn’t know anything about it.”

Kaleasha Baskin Smith

“I had no clue about this foundation,” she said. “I like when my hard work is recognized by others.”


[PAGE 13]

INSIDEthe Classroom

No math?

Team Building Design

Seniors George Lovings and Logan Ham work on their new skills for computer graphics taught by Annette McDonald. The course of computer graphics is displaying a team-building atmosphere. They learned skills and functions on how to work on computers. McDonald said that the assignment is important for future job opportunities. Their assignment was to design a week one Power point. They learn how to operate on computers which requires them to be on computers often. “I get to work on computers every day,” Ham said. Photo by A’nessa Walker.

New Music

In room 106, Steve Schlutow’s 5th hour “the leaders of tomorrow” learn about something other than math. Senior Jasmine Simpson learns about the current events. Thanks to principal Chad Ryerson and the new literacy push, the school is increasing reading and writing in all classes. “The current event is important because it keeps us posted,’’ Simpson said. Photo by Victoria Ojeda.

Senior Brett Ruth practicing his sight-reading piece. Orchestra teacher Rodrick Young gives his students a sight reading piece to help them meet performing expectations. “I like sight reading, it’s hard at first, but we get to practice new music and we get better at it,” senior Brett Ruth said. Photo by Zeniab Ahmed.

Exercising for fun

Sophomore Willie Bowles and the class are exercising by playing badminton in Lisa Cunningham’s Lifetime Sports gym class. As everyone can see, kids are actively participating in the background. They play a lot of fun sports and get in a healthy, powerful, and strong shape. “This is a good class to be in. You learn new sports all the time in a good and educating way,” junior Kevin Davis said. “It’s cool, we play a lot of sports and you get a lot of exercise,” senior Justin Tillard said. Photo by Deion Edwards.

Equate this!

Junior Demarquis Neilly is on step three of four series to solve systems of equations in Joe Witherow’s Algebra II class. To do so, they receive a packet each week with detailed instructions on how to solve the equation. The system of equations is basically adding and graphing, as well as multiplying and subtracting. Some students such as junior Cameron Williams think its easy. “I think that the work given isn’t complicated, but it’s hard to pay attention when every one’s on different levels,” Williams said. Everyone may not be on the same level, but everyone has a way with math. Photo by Markus Snead

Shakespeare’s Literature

Junior AP language students are working together to find out the different aspects of Shakespeare’s literature. Juniors Caprice Byers, Jasmine Lyman, and Jasmin White are working together and are expected to present and teach their classmates the information that they have learned about his works and life. The students will be reading Macbeth, one of his plays, and they do not have the background information needed for the reading, according to AP Language teacher, Carolyn Holmes. “We plan on educating the rest of the class about Shakespeare and his life,” Lyman said. “Personally, I’ve learned that his literature leaves the readers with questions because the ending of his plays are ironic.” Byers also learned something new about Shakespeare during her research. Photo by Deion Edwards.


[PAGE 12 4]

Wrestlers Show Determination By: Tamara Davis NEWS EDITOR

The Eagles Varsity Wrestling Team has had several strong showings. At their Center tournament on Sat., Jan.14, freshman Tyrin Scott and senior Devan Lee both came in second place and senior Daryen Kirkendoll came in first place. The JV individual results were exceptional when they competed in the Winnetonka tournament. Freshman Darrick Gilyard came in third place. Senior Chris Abernathy and junior Caleb Green both came in second place. The season began in Nov. 2011, and the team has been having a very successful season for individuals, according to wrestling coach Patrick Truman. While all of the wrestlers have won 20 or more matches, Senior Aaron Wiggins recently reached his 100th match (see

sidebar). This broke the all-time win record in a high school career at Ruskin High School. According to the captains of the team, Kenny Watson, Wiggins, and Jaran West, they are pushing the team to continue with their excellent individual results, and to fight for their place in state. “We’ve been having a pretty good season,” Watson said. “We have lost a lot of players due to ineligibility, but this only means that the team will have to work harder for state.” Wiggins agrees. “We have some promising people on the team,” he said. “We just have to practice and drill harder to make it to state.” On Jan.10 and 11, the team fought hard for their seventh place in the North KC Invitational tournament. The tournament consisted of Class 2, 3, and 4 teams. The individual scores were very promising for competing at the state tournament according to Truman.

Lady Eagles win tourney

The Ruskin Varsity Girls Basketball Team took first place in the Black Division of the Penn Valley Invitational Tournament. They had wins over Central and Center; although, they had an amazing come back against Southwest. The girls were down 30-19 and they ended up zooming by and winning 63-48. “We wanted to pressure their scorers and make them make make passes to other players. Also, we wanted to pressure them full court,” coach Gregory Stevens said.

Wiggins, came in first place, which made him one step closer to his 100 wins. “I didn’t think that this match would’ve been so difficult,” Wiggins said. “The guy that I went against weighed 160, and is in class 4. He was a challenge, but I fought hard for my win.” West and Watson both came in second place. Their toughest matches were from William Chrisman. “My match was ranked fifth in state and weighed 220, in class 4,” West said.”He was only my toughest match because I lost.” According to Truman and Wiggins, these past competition results are what they want to see at the State Qualifier, and the team is fighting hard and doing very well.

“Wiggins breaks record,” cont. from front cover of December. Wiggins has been on the team since his freshman year and has been working on his 100 wins since. “It was hard to get that many wins, especially trying to hit 100 my senior year,” Wiggins said. But working hard all year didn’t really matter at the team’s wrestling meet on Jan. 30. Wiggins had 99 wins and he was up next for his match against his Truman opponent. Minutes passed and Wiggins was informed that his opponent had forfeited the match so Wiggins had won by default. “It actually made me mad but I was a little happy at the same time. I had my mind set on winning the match but, I guess winning without really competing for it was okay,” Wiggins said. The team has 10 more matches left and with Wiggins achieving this extraordinary accomplishment. The only goal left is to make 4th in their upcoming tournament so he can make it to states.

Hamilton returns to lineup

Senior Malcolm Hamilton has been the top scorer for the Ruskin Eagles since the return from his wrist injury. The Eagles are currently 10-10 and recently beat the team Coach Gerry Marlin considers the toughest in the conference, Lee’s Summit. The District playoffs are taking place at Lee’s Summit High. “I believe our team is getting healthy at the perfect time. We’re ready to make a strong approach to the playoffs,” coach Gerry Marlin said.


[PAGE 15]

Swimmers place at conference

Senior Zakiyyah Karriem swims Butterflyi n the 200-yard Medley Relay, helping her team take third place at the recent Conference meet. Photo by Natalya Parker.

by Marcus Snead STAFF REPORTER

Congrats to the Eagle ladies of the water that showed

up and showed out winning a place in the Conference Swim Meet held Jan. 28. In the 200-yard Medley Relay with a time of 2:43.80,

Isla Jones (swimming back), Stashi Hampton (swimming breast), Zakiyyah Karriem (swimming butterfly), and Kayla Dobbs (swimming freestyle)

took third place. The same swimmers also took a fourth place in the 200-yeard Freestyle Relay with a time of 2:32:99. Lady Eagles performed well in the 50 yard Freestyle with Isla Jones bringing home a fifth place with a time of 35.39; Sara Black earning tenth place with a time of 40.69; Natalia Park winning 11th with a time of 41.76; and Maya Purse capturing 14th with a time of 44.74. In the 100-yard Freestyle race, Kayla Dobbs placed fifth with a time of 1:57.28 . Jones also captured another award - a fifth place finish in the 100-yard Backstroke - with a time of 1:57:28. The Swim Team ended their successful season on Jan. 31.


Miami Heat sets FLAME to the NBA By Deion Edwards SPORTS EDITOR

The NBA has been set to flames this season by the best, one and only, Miami Heat.They are the best team in the NBA. The triple threat of Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Lebron James are leading the team this season and they are looking for nothing less than an NBA title. They’re leading the Southeast Region with 16 wins and five loses. They’re on a fivegame winning streak. Lebron James is the second-leading scorer in the NBA after Kobe Bryant. The Heat are really playing as a team this season. Rookie Norris Cole joins the Heat family this season, he’s a electric point guard who plays at a level that the Miami Heat needs this season. Dwayne Wade has also stepped up this

season. He’s averaging 20.1 The teams that believe they James and Wade. The Heat have points per game and 5.4 assist can play to the Miami Heat come a long way, they deserve per game. He has been playing level are the Chicago Bulls and nothing less than a championwith the Heat since 2003, when Los Angeles. They can try, but ship because they are the best he was drafted first round, fifth will never live up to the level of basketball team in the NBA. pick overall. Last year, the Heat made it all the way to the NBA Finals but got knocked off by the Dallas Mavericks. This show-stopping season had been filled with spectacular alley-oops, hard teamwork and forceful wins. They just came off of a win against the New Orleans Hornets, beating them 10995. James and Wade each had 22 points Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh will lead the Heat to a victorious season. Photo toward the win. by: MCT Services

The Eagle’s Eye Ruskin High School 7000 E. 111th St. Kansas City, MO 64134

Freezin’ For A Good Reason By Zeinab Ahmed REPORTER

On Jan. 28, eight Ruskin staff members literally froze their fannies as they participated in the Polar Plunge. This event gives people the chance to “show some bravery,” as they raise money to support local Special Olympics athletes. “It was very cold,” Communication Arts Teacher Cristin Blunt said. “I was scared, nervous, and wanted to back out. But I couldn’t because I didn’t want to be called a chicken.” The event took place in fourteen different locations around North America and the Longview Lake Beach area

was Kansas City’s location. It started at noon and registration began at 9:00 a.m. Drama teacher Carla Sole shared her experience, “A week before the event I was focused on raising all the money we could because it was for a good cause,” Sole said. “Then after the event I felt positive and accomplished it was a great feeling.” In 2010, instructor Carla Sole and Counselor Shelli Copas created the “Frozen Fannies.” This year, they were joined by six other Ruskin teachers: Lauren Anderson, Cristin Blunt, Stacy Johnson, Kelly Michale, Carri Moutray, and Nicole Ruiz. “We are both strong supporters of the Special Olympics and Shelli Copas even volunteers her time to help coach basketball and swimming when she can,” Sole said. T h e Plunge team

encouraged all students and staff to donate to their efforts to help Special Olympics by visiting www.somo. org/plunge. Here at Ruskin High School, the Fannies had a number of faculty members acting as their “cheerleaders.” Art teacher Chris Frye was one of these cheerleaders because it “benefits a good cause.” Special Olympics helps those with intellectual disabilities and provides them an opportunity to “develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Spe-

cial Olympics athletes, and the community.” They are “all about good times” and The Polar Plunge is only one of their exciting ways to encourage the public to fundraise for them and support them.

Eagle's Eye News February Issue  

The Eagle's Eye News is published five times a year by Ruskin High School's newspaper class students.

Eagle's Eye News February Issue  

The Eagle's Eye News is published five times a year by Ruskin High School's newspaper class students.