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GRIFFIN RITES Winnetonka High School

December 18, 2015

Vol. 46 Issue 4


Contents 4



Salvation Army


editor-in-chief Emily Elliott

co-copy editor Savannah Moore co-copy editor Amber Murray 13

Deck the Halls


Chords for a Cure

online editor-in-chief Jeff Thompson design editor Emily Noyes

Same Spirit



editorial editor Mallery Zion 14

co-video editor Paige Hale co-video editor Brehanna Abraham


Competing Outside the Box


Fresh Feet

Policies The Griffin Rites staff strongly supports the First Amendment and opposes censorship. Freedom of expression and press are fundamental values in a democratic society. The mission of any institution committed to preparing productive citizens must include teaching students these values, both by example and lesson. We welcome letters to the editor and reserve the right to edit them for grammar and length, but we will not change ideas. Letters may attack policies but not people. They must be signed and submitted to F6 or mailed to Dr. Shannon Rennaker attention at 5815 NE 48th St., Kansas City, Mo. 64119. Advertising space is also available. Please e-mail or call 816-321-5597 for information. Our organization is a member of the Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City, Journalism Educators Association and the National Scholastic Press Association.

lead design editor Rachel Adamson arts editor Alyssa Magrone entertainment editor Jocelin Egeland comic strip Marley Kennaley 16

On the cover- Christmas tree dress created by students in the Fashion and Merchandising class. See story on page 10. Photo by Kaitlyn Minet

writers and photographers Amy Chavarin James Palmer Kati McMullen Hayden Weatherman Ciara Arena Angela Sluder Kaitlyn Minet Riley Stephenson adviser

Dr. Shannon Rennaker

Fun fabrication or damaging lie By Griffin Rites staff


hose who celebrate Christmas remember Christmas Eve’s when we were younger, from baking cookies to making sure the tree looks perfect before bed. We all had a routine that we looked forward to every holiday season. There are people, though, who avoid the misleading stories about the jolly old man who comes down the chimney and the red-nose reindeer. These two sides of parenting can sometimes clash and it can get ugly. It all boils down to one question: should parents lie to their kids to try to make Christmas feel more rewarding? If parents tell their children Santa is real, then when they find out he does not exist, they are in for a world of hurt. All of their

childhood memories from the holiday seasons – the baking, decorating, opening presents – all of it will become a lie. But parents are only lying about a little thing to keep the Christmas spirit alive, so what is the problem? Many people believe that lying is the issue. If you raise your child, lying to them for about two months out of the year and then all of a sudden they find out it was all a lie, then how can we expect them to still hold true to the moral of not lying? The spirit of Santa is based around the notion of loving thy neighbor. It is supposed to be about giving to the less fortunate and being kind; it is more than just a fat guy in a red suit with a scrumptious beard. Children can learn about generosity and it is a chance for families to connect with their communities and each

other. On the other hand, Christmas is hyped up around the idea that some random bearded man flies around in a sleigh to drop off presents at every house on the planet. No one in their right mind would ever believe that. Except children, that is. Parents should educate their kids on the topic before sending them off to school to become familiar with popular holiday traditions. If they know that Santa is not real, but also are aware that some of their peers are under the impression he is, then they need to respect their beliefs and 99% of their problems are solved. This way when the holidays come around, they can participate in the spirit of Christmas without the deception of Santa Claus.

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 4 | Editorial | 3

Tip of the Cappies By James Palmer


appies is an international program of student theater critics. Local, national and international chapters are designed to train young people how to be constructive theater judges. According to theater one teacher, Paul Hackenberger, Cappies is letting students recognize the good quality work being conducted by their peers. “We are always striving to create quality work and give our students quality experiences and we believe if we do that effectively, it will be reflected in the Cappie reviews,” Hackenbeger said. Each school that is home to the program sends their students to other schools’ productions to be reviewed. The chaperones who attend the productions with the students will then judge the reviews and the top three will be submitted to local newspapers. “It lets me know what people analyze in shows. It helps me put more emphasis on things that you can see from a different perspective on stage,” second year Cappie, junior Francesca Valente said. Valente had one of her reviews published in the Kansas City Star last year. This year, her review of The Music Man, performed by Platte County, was submitted to the Jackson County Advocate.

“First, I feel accomplished. Sometimes I am surprised because it is not something that I expect. It’s nice to have the opportunity to be published,” Valente said. Some may review Winnetonka’s latest show, The Children of Eden, as an inaccurate depiction of the Bible’s Book of Genesis. “The writers of The Children of Eden have clearly stated that it is based loosely on the book of Genesis,” Hackenberger said, “But what they do want to convey is the challenges we as people encounter when we make decisions out of free will.” Cappie and public recognition is not the number one goal for that majority of the theater students, rather is it to convey the art within a theater production. “Within the theater community, excellence is recognized and we do not seek publicity from the general population. We appreciate it [reviews] when it comes along, but we do not do what we do for the recognition, we do it for the art,” Coffman said. Cappie reviews are seen as constructive. When they are read, they are used for performance and production growth. “The reviews are a by-product of doing good work. I’m in competition with myself, not other theater programs. Each show, I want to see the growth,” Coffman said.

“We do not do what we do for the recognition, we do it for the art”

4 | News | Dec. 18 | Winnetonka HS

|Page design by JamesPalmer and KaitlynMinet

TonkaNews.Com Student News Online

5815 NE Antioch Rd. 64119 Phone: 816.452.7200

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 4 | Ads | 5

6| Ads | Dec. 18 | Winnetonka HS

Collecting change for change By Amy Chavarin


ver the last 150 years, the Salvation Army has made it a goal to feed, serve and shelter others. With 7,546 centers across the United States, their mission is to rebuild broken homes and repair shattered lives. “People do need aid and a lot of people just don’t see that every bit of donations count,” senior Julisa Martinez said. The Salvation Army gathers donations by having an annual Red Kettle, where people give monetaryclothing donations, furniture and household items to their local stores. “It benefits homeless, people who were down on their luck, families and the less fortunate, who can’t really afford new things,” senior Stephanie Hedrick said. According to

SalvationArmyUSA, approximately 30 million people received help from the Salvation Army last year. “I believe in giving back because everyone deserves something and no one should have nothing whenever there are people out there that can assist,” junior Joey Souders said. Donations support anyone in need of assistance. They also fund programs such as adult rehabilitation, emergency services, meal programs and more. “I donate all the time, monetary and goods, so I drop stuff off at the Salvation Army’s and I have donated money to the bell ringers,” art teacher Amy White said. The Salvation Army welcomes everyone with or without donations.

The bell ringers will be around during holiday season to collect offerings for families at local stores. “I think if you have and can be generous to donate, you should. I think it’s a good thing, giving back to the world and those in need, but if you are not in a position where you can give, it’s okay and acceptable to not give,” White said.

By Marley Kennaley

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Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 4 | News | 7

Various holidays; sa

By Amber Murray


4 holidays and 227 observances are in 2015 according to timeanddate. Even though people celebrate holidays year round the holiday spirit only seems to exist in December. Even with 64 holidays there are still variations between families’ traditions. “[On Christmas] we have a big feast, [we eat] a whole bunch of traditional foods, like homemade rice noodles, egg rolls, fried rice, fried squid and sometimes barbeque,” Vietnamese decendent junior Lan-Nhi Tran said. There are other people that do not participate in holidays, but still use school breaks to reconnect with their family. “Everyone in our family is busy because we all work in the district. My mom works at Topping [Elementary School], my sister goes to Maple Park [Middle School], my dad is a maintenance guy around the school and my aunt is a teacher, so we’re always busy in

8 | Feature | Dec. 18 | Winnetonka HS

school,” sophomore Allison Walker said, “When we all have off at the same time it is like ‘Hey, we should all get together because we are all not doing anything.’” While Walker’s family does not celebrate any holidays, due to being Jehovah’s Witnesses, they do commemorate Jesus’ death. “There is something called, The Memorial [on March 23], where we gather together at a Kingdom Hall, which is kind of like a church and we do the passing of the bread and wine and someone gives a talk about the history and life of Jesus,” Walker said. There are also those that celebrate multiple holidays that do not share common origins. “I celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, Hanukkah actually starts on Sunday [Dec. 6], so Hanukkah does not go on during winter break this year. It changes every year based on the Jewish Calendar,” art teacher Heather Sulzen said. Even though Hanukkah is a more well known Jewish holiday it is not the major holiday people make it out to be. “Hanukkah is weird because it is not a very important Jewish holiday. It’s not a big deal, but it is made a

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same spirit

bigger deal so that Jewish kids do not feel left out around Christmas time,” Sulzen said. There are others that take nature into account when choosing what to celebrate. “It [the winter solstice, which occurs on Dec. 22] represents the death of one year and the birth of another,” junior Christian Martindale said. Along with the winter solstice, Martindale also celebrates the summer, spring and fall solstices. “We tend to have a gathering or a black mass. We sit and listen to someone speak, usually a leader of the covenant and we eat, have fun and party,” Martindale said. While some treat others differently during the holiday season, there are a few that believe that people should show the holiday spirit year round. “It is good to see people being kind to one another [during the holiday season], but it is nice to be nice to everyone,” Walker said, “I try to be nice all the time, because there is no point in being mean to people.”

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 4| Feature | 9

Deck the halls with lots of dresses By Kaitlyn Minet


ashion merchandising is making seasonal displays to place by the griffin statue located in the Hall of Fame. Fashion teacher Tricia Rosario is having her fashion merchandising class construct Christmas tree dresses to put on display. “They’re taking a dress form and making the skirt of the tree to put on display around Christmas time,” Rosario said, “Then we’ll put lights on them. It’ll look like a wearable Christmas tree.” Someone suggested the idea to Rosario and she decided to try it with her fashion

merchandising class. “I had five or six friends tag me on Facebook and said ‘Tricia you should do this!’ and I just

10 | Focus | Dec. 18 | Winnetonka HS

thought it’d be cool and we’ve never done this before,” Rosario said, “They’re a great group of kids and they’re pretty creative, so I think they can do this.” The class will be working in teams and have as much flexibility as they need to explore their own boundaries. “My group is using traditional pine,” senior Quincey Williamson said, “Another group is doing a Royals themed tree. Some aren’t even using ornaments.” Some teams have chosen to veer away from the traditional green tree. “My group’s going to get a white Christmas tree and spray paint it purple and then have silver ornaments and garland,” sophomore Amia Shaw said. Some students prefer these kinds of interactive assignments because it gives them a chance to work with different materials and showcase them to the student body. “I love hands on projects. We need more because the only other one we have is the fashion show,” Williamson said. The project is purposely set up with no requirements or rules, so students are able to use the creativity to design their own unique Christmas tree. “It’s based on creative freedom. To put stipulations on something like this would hinder their creativity,” Rosario said, “Since it’s something I’ve never done before, I don’t want to put them in a box. If I don’t give them rules, they can see how far they can really take it.” Some believe that putting the dresses on display for others to see will impact public views on the class. “I think it’s beneficial because my friends will see what we did and want to join the class next year,” Shaw said. Christmas tree dress design by seniors Katie Anzalone, Quincy Williams, Jessica Lopez and Pablo Valles. Photo by Kaitlyn Minet

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We asked, you answered Students shared on how much money they annually spend on their families for Christmas.

200+ 0-10 11.5%




Other 6% 12%





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Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 4 | Etc. | 11

Expresso yourself

A review of different holiday drinks sold at Starbucks By Alyssa Magrone and Jocelin Egeland

Peppermint Mocha: This is one of Starbuck’s classic drinks that has made the menu year after year. It is extremely sweet and the peppermint can become overwhelming causing nausea or stomach aches. This is best enjoyed in moderation in either a tall or a grande, but never a venti.

Pumpkin Spice Latte: This is the epitome of the fall and winter seasons. It is the perfect combination of sweet with strong yet not overpowering spice. However, for a classic pumpkin taster, this drink is best iced.

Eggnog Latte: Eggnog lovers beware, the Eggnog Latte tastes nothing like classic eggnog. However, it has an appealing yet subtle taste, an unusual characteristic for Starbucks. Those who love the Vanilla Latte will love this Latte.


Salted Carmel Mocha: Those who love the salted caramel taste will be disappointed in the Salted Caramel Mocha. While the drink itself tastes delicious, the caramel is lost and the salt is only present in the first few sips. The mocha tastes more like an overly sweet hot chocolate.

White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha: This mocha adds a new twist to the classic one. The coffee taste is soft, but still evident. The sweet peppermint is subtle and the strong white chocolate taste enhances the entire drink bringing a new flavor to the table.

Gingerbread Latte: Only passionate ginger lovers will enjoy this pungent drink. Others may be put off by the distinctive gingerbread taste. All in all, the Gingerbread Latte lives up to its name.

Chestnut Praline Latte: Much like the Eggnog Latte, this drink is a disappointment to its name. It tastes more of caramel and the chestnut flavor is lost. On the contrary, this drink is great for the non-adventurous since it is so similar to the Caramel Latte.

12 | Entertainment | Dec. 18 | Winnetonka HS

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Chords for the cure By Mallery Zion


ymphonic Orchestra, along with a few Chamber Orchestra members, gathered together on a Sunday morning to liven the spirits of kids going through cancer treatment. Orchestra director Henry Bullock jumped at the opportunity a few years back to arrange for his orchestra to start the tradition of bringing Christmas music to the Christmas party for the patients, distracting children of their treatment. “Laura Crow [former Maple Park Middle School librarian] approached me four years ago telling me what her vision was for pediatric cancer patients; she wanted to throw them a Christmas party, so that they could have some joy while they were fighting their disease,” Bullock said. “The response from the orchestra was overwhelming.” The orchestra and director used their surroundings and other volunteers to enhance the spirit of their performance. “We even had Rudolph direct us [the orchestra] in the song Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer,” senior Ali Cervantes said. The musicians were not hesitant to stick around and intermingle with the children they were servicing. “After playing, we were allowed to leave, but most of us stayed and attended the Christmas party. At the party, we were to interact with the children while they enjoyed crafts, food and dancing on the dance floor,” senior Emily Glotfelty said. The orchestra students, were not shy to help energize the friendships and general atmosphere of the party. “One of my favorite memories would have to be dancing with the little kids, particularly a little girl who came right into our little dancing circle and danced with us. She looked like she was having the time of her life,” senior Brooke

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Glaszczak said. Bullock was not just an observer as he witnessed his prodigies interact with the patients as if there were no differences amongst the people in the room. “One of my favorite memories was seeing about ten of our students dancing with a young lady on the bubble wrap dance floor. I had to join in because it was so magical,” Bullock said. Reportedly, very few musicians skipped the event for other reasons and Bullock was admiring the dedication of his students. “You can never underestimate the power of your presence,” Bullock said. Students found mutual connections with the organization and its participants. bbbb“I absolutely would do this again because these two cancers [leukemia and lymphoma] run in my family and have taken two of my grandparents, so this is a way for me to show my support for the people m fighting the cancers,” Cervantes said. Overall the musicians were appreciative to use their ability for the childrens’ benefit. “The children were able to escape some of the limitations cancer imposes on their lives, and our presence shows our support of their battle, which will have hopefully renewed their strength throughout their treatment,” Glotfelty said. “Through our interactions with the children, I hope that they come to know how great the small things in life are and that their community will not let their battle with cancer be laid on the back burner.” Senior Symphonic Orchestra members Ali Cervantes, Brooke Glaszczak, Danielle Swinney and Emily Glotfelty interacting with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Christmas party attendees. Photos by Mallery Zion

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 4 | Arts | 13

Competing outside the box







1. Junior Justice Maciel wrestling against Pleasant Valley High School on Dec 3. Photo by Amber Murray. 2. Senior foriegn exchange student Hannah Richert positioned to begin the backstroke race at Gladstone Community Center on Dec 9. Photo by Emily Elliott. 3. Senior DeeNia McMiller practicing her shooting skills in the Winnetonka main gym on Nov. 17. Photo by Rachel Adamson. 4. Senior Angela Kleinmeyer jumping off the diving board to begin the 500 freestyle race at Gladstone Community Center on Dec 9. Photo by Emily Elliott. 5. Seniors Perry Randle and Omar Wright celebrating the win against North Kansas City High School on Nov. 27. Photo by Emily Elliott. 6. Junior Tyler Stults wresting against Savannah High School on Dec 3. Photo by Amber Murray.

14 | Sports | Dec. 18 | Winnetonka HS

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Fresh feet on the floor By Emily Elliott


he freshmen have overpopulated the girl’s varsity basketball team, creating an overall feeling of growth upon the gym floor. The freshmen are learning from a varsity level perspective, as well as DeeNia McMiller— the only senior on the team—who is learning what it takes to be a true leader. “At the varsity level, you try and put together the most competitive team that you possibly can be and they just happen to fill that role for us,” head coach Todd Marcantonio said, “We don’t currently have a ton of seniors in the group, but on the flip side, DeeNia has done an excellent job mentoring the group and helping the kids figure things out as we move on.” Although most of the freshman have been competing since they were young, performing against upperclassmen for each game seems to be a struggle for some. “When I came into high school I thought it would be kind of the same as middle school, but it’s totally different. Playing on the high school team has built my confidence and helped me stay out of trouble,” freshman Victoria Williams said. The coaches are also learning about the stress the freshman on the team may be experiencing during their first high school season. “I remember thinking to myself, we don’t have 75 percent of the stuff that we need too. At that moment, it was good to realize just how overwhelming mentally it can be to play at a varsity level. I would imagine the freshman are a bit overwhelmed, but I think it can be hard for everybody,” Marcantonio said. With the concerns about letting the team and coaches down, the majority of the freshman continue to look up to McMiller and her leadership attributes to the team. “When I look into her eyes I know she wants us to win the game, whether it’s against Platte County or an Ace game,” Williams said. McMiller has had to use her experience to

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Junior Alyshia Davis playing against Ray-Pec guide High School on Dec. 7 at Winnetonka High the School. new Photo by Rachel Adamson players Photo illustration by Hayden Weatherman to

success. Marcantonio shows his pride by letting her leadership abilities shine. “Every time they [freshmen] look at DeeNia and see how she carries herself, they know they have someone to be their role model,” Marcantonio said. The majority of the freshman appreciate the team for what they produce and for McMiller as she helps bond the team together. “We are like sisters, and we may not always agree on things, but we are still one team. It doesn’t matter who’s better than who,” Williams said. “I mean there’s DeeNia, the most experienced on the team and she is my role model.”

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 4 | Sports | 15

Fastest fish in the lane

By Kati McMullen, Emily Noyes and Angela Sluder


t the first Saturday swim practice, in a pool full of intimidating upperclassmen, Christine Harpe emerges from the water awaiting her time for the 50-yard freestyle. 31.78 seconds, the best time on the team. On a team full of 31 swimmers, freshman Christine Harpe is competing at the same level as the upperclassman. “She is the exception and that’s awesome for her and awesome for the team,” senior swim captain, Angela Kleinmeyer said. While most freshman would feel pressure to perform better, Harpe does not let it get to her. “I feel like they expect more from me but I don’t really feel pressured. But I feel like I could do better,” Harpe said. Harpe has been swimming since she was four years old, with her brother Stephen Harpe swimming by her side. She feels she needs to live up to her brother’s backstroke legacy he set in highschool. “I think my strengths would be fly and free because I just work best at those, but

definitely not backstroke,” Harpe said. Their mutual interest in swim has helped form a strong brother-sister bond. “After swim practice every day he asks me how it went and we just talk about it. I like that between me and my brother since he knows a lot about it [swimming],” Harpe said. Even though Harpe excels on the swim team, she still hopes to improve and make it to state. “Christine is the fastest on our swim team, if she were to go to state she would need to cut six seconds off her time,” swim coach Luke Young said. Harpe hopes to continue her swim career throughout highschool and into college, but most of all she just hopes to impact the team. “I hope I make a difference and I can score points for them, that I make the team better,” Harpe said.

Christine Harpe swimming in a meet hosted by Winnetonka at Gladstone Community Center on Dec. 9. Photo by Emily Elliott

Winnetonka High School 5815 NE 48 St. Kansas City, MO 64119 16 | Sports | Dec. 18 | Winnetonka HS

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Griffin rites December digital 2015  

Winnetonka High School Griffin Rites newsmagazine Editor- Emily Elliott Adviser- Dr. Shannon Rennaker

Griffin rites December digital 2015  

Winnetonka High School Griffin Rites newsmagazine Editor- Emily Elliott Adviser- Dr. Shannon Rennaker