Rick Riordan’s collection catches fire with teens
theroar November 2012
EYES ON THE
PRIZE Florida could again decide who will lead the nation. BY NATHANIEL CURTIS
Plus: BRIGHT FUTURES RAISES TEST SCORE ANTE SCHOOLS ASK VOTERS
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theroar Voice of the Students
Vol. 15, No. 2 November 2012
Opinion 4 Inbox
22 Bye-Bye Buses
Letters, surveys, tweets and more
District cuts transportation for sports
5 Staff Editorial
Potential problems plague Electoral College
23 Fall Follow-Up
Interviews with the soccer and basketball teams
6 Fine Print
Politicians cause confusion due to tricky word play
News 12 Half-Cent Tax
A new surtax aimed to boost education in Brevard
14 Wild Side
Volunteers get in touch with the animal kingdom
Members of the South Brevard community gathered at Melbourne Central Catholic High School on Oct. 27 for Jason’s Run, a fund-raiser for former West Shore teacher and cross-country Coach Jason Whitworth, who last year was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease of nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement. Photo credit: Rachel Kershaw
Features 8 Deciding Factor As the election winds down, Florida becomes increasingly important by Nathaniel Curtis
Away With Awards Ceremony cuts down in number of traditions
ON THE COVER: Illustration by Jack Dickens for The Roar
16 Numbers Game Preparation for ACT begins early for juniors with the increase in requirements by Felicia Solazzo
26 Stealing Potter’s Lightning Rick Riordan’s collection of mythological writings targets the youth
24 Making Waves
Dreams of a school surf team take root in junior
Entertainment 28 Getting Fired Up
Jazz band Daniel and the Fire Alarms hits the scene
29 Push and Shove “No Doubt” album fails to please fans
30 Taken Too Far
Viewers are robbed in action-packed sequel
by Madison Dimond and Andrew Lim
THE ROAR West Shore Jr./Sr. High, 250 Wildcat Alley Melbourne, FL 32935 (321) 242-4730 ext. 255 FAX: (321) 242-4740 Adviser: Mark Schledorn Publisher: Carleigh Walter Editor in chief: Brittany Cho Managing editors: Millie Rosasco, Nathaniel Curtis Business manager: Nithya Sheshadri News editor: Felicia Solazzo Opinions editor: Aalekhya Tenali Sports editor: Sam Lack Entertainment editor: Madison Dimond Web manager: Dana Brown Staff writers: Sarah Day, Krunal Patel, Nicholas Baker, Jessica Blanco, Danny Dolnik, Valerie Ferretti, Andrew Lim, Lauren Youngson, Stephanie Shaw, Jack Dickens, Stephanie Everest, Lindsay Gorham, Tania Martin, Keiran Sheridan, Brianna Silvestre, Sydney Saunders, Sarah Brusca, Konur Oyan, Micah Weber, Brady Kelsey, Jack Moore, Liam Wixted, Joseph Crown
Please recycle this magazine
surveysays How do you feel about daylight saving time?
I like it in the fall when we gain an hour.
I’m impartial to it.
It’s so stupid.
Did you like the themes for Spirit Week?
Yeah! I’m going to dress up every day.
I’ll probably dress up... maybe.
When is Spirit Week?
How often do you get food in class?
All the time.
According to the Los Angeles Times, ChickFil-A announced it would stop donating to anti-gay groups after much controversy from the LGBT community.
Spirit Week Statements insensitive On the Friday before Spirit Week, Mr. Melia made a comment at the pep rally that cross-dressing was prohibited and those that participated in such an act would be dress-coded. I, for one, felt that this was a very intolerant remark. I immediately pulled out my planner to look over the school’s dress code, but found no policy banning cross-dressing. I don’t want anyone to think that cross-dressing is wrong. It’s already difficult for any closet transgender students to go out in public because they are often subjected to intolerance and alienation from society for wanting to express who they truly are. But for an administrator to berate their way of living in front of the entire school absolutely disgusts me, so I decided to subtly cross-dress during spirit as protest. I showed up to school in a very feminine shirt and met with a friend to do makeup. As I walked through the hallways, I received a few judgmental looks and snickers, but to my surprise most of my class was very supportive of my cause, praising me for standing up for what I believe in. I think the administrators feel that they are protecting students by disapproving practices of “nontraditional” sexual orientation, but I believe that they are breeding intolerance into a community of students and crippling their wellbeing. Trevor Kolp, 12th Grade
twittersays Attention: Three weeks until Jane comes home #soclose #sofar -Michelle Morency, 12 The amount of stuff I have learned in chemistry in the past two months is incredible. - Marissa Patel, 10
Photo: Jack Moore
NO MOR CHIKIN A group of protesters gather outside the ChickFil-A in Viera to show their support for gay marriage.
Re: Chick-Fil-A Debacle Freedom of speech allows any citizen to say almost anything; however, there are a few clauses that tend to be overlooked. First, the freedom of speech is not upheld when the speaker’s statements incite violence or lawless action. Second, speech isn’t protected when the speaker infringes upon the others’ rights. “OK, but what do those have to do with the CEO of Chick-Fil-A? He hasn’t infringed on their rights, let alone incited violence!” Dan Cathy has sent revenue from Chick-Fil-A to groups that use hate speech and lobbyists to infringe on the rights of gays. Not only this, but Chick-Fil-A’s charity arm has funded groups like Family Research Council, who in 2010 lobbied Congress with $25,000 to not condemn Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill. This bill would allow Ugandans to persecute, imprison, and execute homosexuals. In First Amendment terms, this incites violence in a roundabout way and makes a valiant effort to infringe upon the rights of others. Dan Cathy funneled nearly $2 million to anti-gay groups in just 2009. I am not denouncing the beliefs of others, but I am denouncing the attempt to harm others. Money is not an opinion: It’s a weapon. Alex Colon, 12th Grade
VISIT WESTSHOREROAR.COM TO: vote for “Survey WRITE TO US Send a letter: to Room 3-104 Says,” view the photo of the day, catch up on the latest news, Send an email: OR or to your English teacher communicate with the staff or stay up-to-date on sports. email@example.com The Roar recognizes itself as a public forum and encourages letters from West Shore students and members of the community. The Roar cannot print ads promoting activity illegal by Florida law, ads opposing any religious beliefs, ads written in poor taste, ads with racial or sexist comments, ads considered inappropriate by the staff, advocacy advertising or ads containing libel.The Roar is not responsible for web sites viewed through links found on pages mentioned in the publication. The Roar values letters from our readers: the maximum length for letters is 200 words. No more than one letter a semester will be published from a writer. Letters and columns are edited for length, content and clarity. The Roar maintains the right to edit all submissions for poor taste, length, grammar and libel. Views expressed in the “Opinions” section do not necessarily represent the views of the Brevard County School Board, the West Shore administrators, faculty, student body or The Roar staff.
Illustration: Jack Dickens
Electoral college creates electoral issues
You could become president of the United States with 23 percent of the popular vote. How is this travesty possible? Through the machinations of the Electoral College, an outdated mechanism that has no purpose in the modern world. If a presidential candidate won the 39 smallest states by one vote and lost all the other states completely, not receiving a single vote in any of them, he would win with 273 electoral votes — and only about 30 million popular votes. It took Barrack Obama almost 70 million votes — 53 percent — to win the presidency in 2008. This is a highly hypothetical situation, of course — theoretically possible, but so improbable that it’s more likely that the world will end this year and we’ll never have to worry about presidential elections again. However, this does illustrate the distortions of the Electoral College. Beyond its distortion of the vote, the Electoral College has created a political climate in which only a few states actually matter to a presidential election. If you’re a
Democrat living in Utah, for example, there’s no point in even voting, since the state is almost guaranteed to go red. This is fun for candidates who have to appeal only to a handful of states, but not so much for people who live in “red” or “blue” states and want their vote to make a difference. If the president was determined purely by popular vote, every vote would matter, and candidates would have to make their case to the entire country rather than eight or nine swing states. The Constitution is rightfully venerated, but while the Founding Fathers were among the wisest men of their time, they were limited by their time. The Founding Fathers believed in creating a very limited democracy, preventing the common people from truly controlling the government. Thus, state legislatures chose senators, only property-holders could vote, and the Electoral College was instituted. The first two mistakes have been remedied; how about the third?
november 2012 l theroar l 5
Aalekhya Tenali Playing Politics
community but are being postponed because the politicians don’t want to address them yet. However, nothing stops a citizen who cares to bring any such issue to the limelight, from doing so. Do you feel strongly about any of these? If you do, then the power to pro actively do something about it rests in your hands. really doesn’t matter which political party Democracy cannot be built on a you associate with. Regardless of whether foundation of deceit and trickery. It will you are a Republican or a Democrat, you not flourish when political manipulation are first and foremost an American. So, taints the voting process and it cannot fulfill your citizenship duty and educate exist properly in a place where voters yourself about the proposals prior to walk away from the booth, confused and Election Day. In fact, even better, take the uncertain about what they just voted initiative to suggest new legislation and (or didn’t) vote for. For a country that preaches and prides itself on democracy, it simply doesn’t add up that a ballot is laid out like a law textbook. Why should one have to decipher its meaning? After all, you are hardly allowed to take you lawyer with you while voting. How are the best interests of American citizens preserved when they are kept in the dark, and the people’s voice is rendered uncertainly? Citizenship isn’t simply casting a vote for your choice of president. It means that in addition to following the election, you become aware of the issues rampant in your state and district. Source: Creative Commons Health care, unemployment, Benghazi, social security — these aren’t become the change that you want to see. just some national issues that you can Let’s consider the propositions left afford to be indifferent about. Since the off the ballot. A Renewable Energy legislators are not trying to simplify Amendment proposed that 20 percent this process for you, take the time to of our electric bill come from renewable understand the impact of these issues on sources by 2020. Another overturns the you. current definition of “marriage” which Form an educated opinion about each states that it is a union between a man topic, and seek to understand how the and a woman. One attempted to prohibit proposed state amendments address each state-funding of embryonic stem cell of these issues. Decode the ballot prior to research while another sought to protect Election Day so that when you step up to the Florida Lottery’s Education trust vote about taxes, religious freedom, state fund from being misused. These are courts and the sort, you are aware and issues that have a serious impact on our able to vote for exactly what you want.
Wording of amendments a prime example of linguistic misdirection What does the phrase “religious freedom” mean to you? If you were voting in the November election, would you be likely to vote “yes” for proposed Amendment 8, titled as such? Well, you’re not alone. However, in a nutshell, Amendment 8 proposes to award public funding (i.e. taxpayer money) to religious organizations such as churches and religion-based private schools. With this in mind, are you still as likely to vote “yes?” The fact of the matter is that the proposed amendments on Florida’s ballot for the November election address many heated controversial issues. The problem arises with the manipulative wordiness these proposals. Amendment 5, for example, totals a whopping 585 words of legal jargon. While addressing the subject of judicial reform, it establishes a revised system that would give the legislative branch increased control over the judiciary. However, with phrases such as “the Legislature determines that a rule has been readopted and repeals the readopted rule,” the wording of Amendment 5 does an excellent job of confusing even the most careful reader, making it tricky for voters to the specifics of the proposal. Therefore, when the average, unsuspecting Floridian steps up to the voting booth,chances are that he or she will have no idea as to what such an amendment means the first time that he or she reads it. Both parties are to be blamed for this sort of deliberate wordiness to underhandedly drive legislation through the approval process. Such behavior is neither just and nor should it be condoned. However, when it comes down to it, it
6 l theroar l november 2012
Graphic: Aalekhya Tenali
News Feed Election 2012
The Electoral Battlefield
Why Florida is one of the most valuable swing states in the presidential election By Nathaniel Curtis
8 l theroar l november 2012
Graphic: Jack Dickens
News Feed Election 2012
The First Debate
resident Barack Obama recently ate Bob Sarver’s AP government classes breakfast at Cocoa’s tiny Ossorio voice their opinion Bakery & Café. A few weeks later, former presidential candidate Sen. John Rate Obama’s overall performance. McCain blew into town to address a gathering at the Merritt Island Veteran’s 57% Memorial Center — and to encourage support for presidential contender Mitt Romney. 28% The reason such political heavyweights 12% have spent time and money in relatively 3% obscure Brevard County isn’t because 0% the they like the food or the weather. It’s because Florida controls 29 Electoral 4 3 2 1 5 Votes, making it the third most influential state in the Electoral College, tied with Who gave the most specific responses? New York. This high number of votes combined with close election results each year has made Florida a swing state. Obama “The main thing that makes Florida valuable is the number of electoral votes Undecided it has,” U.S. Government teacher Bob Sarver said. “There is also a large number Romney of minority groups and ideologies within the state. Since Florida is winner-takeall, meaning the candidate who wins the popular vote gets all 29 electoral votes, the state is extremely valuable. Florida has Rate Romney’s overall performance. always traditionally been a swing state.” Looking at a map, the state can be 38% divided up by the largest cities: Miami, 32% Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville, creating 18% quadrants, and these four areas are often split in half. This creates a close race 7% 5% each election year. In 1996, President Bill Clinton won Florida with 48 percent of the 4 3 2 1 5 vote while Republican challenger Bob Dole won 42 percent. In 2000, George W. Bush defeated then Vice President Al Gore 48.9 percent to 48.8. In 2004, President Bush Percentage who got bored beat John Kerry 52 percent to 47 percent. and wanted to turn off the debate: During the most recent presidential election, President Obama won 51 percent of the vote while John McCain gained 48 percent. If history repeats itself this year, the final tally will be too close to call until every vote is counted. “I think the vote will be real close; within a few thousand votes,” Sarver said. “Florida has early voting and absentee ballots, meaning that the closer we get to the election the more energy will be directed here by the candidates. Both Romney and Obama will expend considerable
10 l theroar l november 2012
energy trying to ensure that all registered Republicans and Democrats vote, so I imagine turnout will be really pushed.” One reason the elections have such close results is because of the high population of minorities in Florida. According to the 2012 Census, Hispanics make up 23 percent of Florida’s population and blacks make up an additional 17 percent. Each minority tends to share similar ideologies when voting for president. “The minority vote will definitely determine the overall outcome of the election,” Sarver said. “Both Hispanics and African Americans have low voter turnout, and each often vote Democrat, so the Democrats will be pushing really hard to get a large turnout. According to polls, Obama has a lead in with the Hispanics, so if he manages a large turnout, there is a good chance it will swing the vote.” The youth vote also cannot be discounted. Senior Gregory Topp plans to vote in November but remains unsure about who to vote for because of conflicting outside influences. “Most of my friends can’t vote, but the ones who do have an opinion are split pretty evenly,” Topp said. “They aren’t going to influence me too much, but it can certainly be entertaining to hear political debates among my friends.” These discussions often involve those not yet eligible to vote. In Sarver’s government class, for example, when prompted in polls during a live stream of the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, 47 percent of the students said that they would vote for Obama, 42 percent would vote for Romney and 11 percent would either write in a candidate or not vote at all. “I don’t really need to say who I would vote for, but I based my choice off of common sense and whoever has the most specific support,” junior James Murren said after the debate. “I also have some predetermined ideas about each candidate because of influence from my parents.” Murren is not alone. 34 percent of Sarver’s students said they would vote for the same candidate as their parents. But Topp’s situation is a bit different. “My parents haven’t really been
Sarver’s students duke it out at a live chat session during the debate
politically active because they’re South African,” Topp said. “They don’t feel truly American, and 23 mill people out of work cause so they don’t vote. I feel more OBAMAAA of a desire to vote, especially since I’m a first-generation people need to stop blaming the American. I know I’m entire dificit on obama. it is not an exception. A lot Blame one man’s doing in 4 years that of people I know go dug america into this hole around quoting what their parents tell them about politics.” again with this 5 trillion dollars Family is the most crap. get a new defense Obama... common factor of political i heard something about the Eyebrows? socialization. candidate with the best eyebrows By age 5, many always winning debates children have already begun to foster political views, according When has Romney ever cared to Steffin Schmidt’s American about the middle class? Government and Politics Today The result varies depending on Romney has addressed more the household, but regardless, middle class families and small children gain many of the initial business owners than obama has political opinions from their parents. If the higher class has more “I wouldn’t say that my money they should be taxed parents push me to one more then the middle class to view, but we do have strengthen the economy some common views,” Taxes sophomore Ethan Taggart said. “I get some influence The counter-argument is that from my parents though. I taxing higher-income people guess it’s because we watch the more removes an incentive to get same TV programs and I am rich and invest exposed to the same thing that they are, so for me it is difficult can i vote big bird as a write in not to have some views taken from my parents. I still have my own opinions though.” romney needs to shut up!! Treatment While some parents emphasize of who their children should vote Moderator for, others simply stress the YOU ARE OBNOXIOUS importance of engaging in the political process. bill clinton is a lying skeez who “I always vote, and so do my cheated on his wife. you want to kids,” civics teacher Kathy Thayer model a presidency after that? said. “I don’t influence them in gooood Obama. views though. I tell them, ‘Watch this debate and choose who you want.’ But we don’t discuss our romney sounds like buzz lightyer views within our family.”
So how do all these conversations affect politics in Florida? When examining the groups of people living in each of the four political regions, patterns emerge. Many immigrants and Hispanics occupy Miami and Tampa. A number of the social conservatives often identified with the southern states reside around Jacksonville. Orlando serves as a center for many business owners, some of which are worldwide corporations such as Disney. The influence from each of the groups often outweighs the others in each area, resulting in a dominant view, leaning either Democratic or Republican. “Generally, the large urban areas end up voting Democrat while rural areas and the The panhandle often vote Middle Republican,” Sarver said. Class “The I-4 corridor also usually votes Republican. Despite many Hispanics voting Democrat, new immigrants, especially Cuban-Americans, support Republicans because they originated from a communist nation, and Democrats have some policies that appear to have communist influences.” With this in mind, do not be surprised if a large convoy of police vehicles rolls through Florida again. Twenty-nine votes serve Big Bird? as a great reward, but it will not be easy for either candidate to shake the influences that are present within the state. “I think I’m going to wake up the morning of the election and pick one,” Topp said. “I’m going to do a reassessment before I go to the voting location and figure out what each of them has said and done. It’s going to be the overall view of the candidates Pixar? that will win them my vote.”
november 2012 l theroar l 11
News Feed Taxes
Making Sense of Common Cents
Schools ask voters to boost sales tax By Keiran Sheridan
ine arts programs, low-enrollment electives and staff positions could all disappear if voters reject a half-cent sales tax proposal on November’s ballot, according to informational posters on campus describing the Brevard Public School’s need for increased revenue in light of recent budget cuts. “Theater and the arts have always been a way for me to express myself,” drama member Jackie Heller said. “It connected me with a diverse group of people, and has enabled many people to express themselves outside their comfort zones. It would be a real shame if these opportunities were not available to students.” If approved, the increased sales tax would be initiated in January and will last through December 2023, unless property tax assessments return to the 2008-2009 levels. Of Florida’s 67 counties, Brevard County is one of 12 that does not have a sales tax over 6 percent. Of those 12 districts, Brevard is last in per-student funding derived from property taxes, falling 28 percent behind the collected average of the other 11. “I lived in Indian River County where they have a one cent sales funding the county jail. Until I moved to Brevard, I was accustomed to paying a seven percent sales tax,” Assistant Principal for Facilities Jim Melia said. “If Indian River County can vote one penny for the county jail, Brevard County can vote for a half-cent for education.” According to the BPS website, the goal of the surtax is “to stop levying the critical needs quarter-mill property tax in 2013-14, and replace it with a one half-cent school capital outlay surtax on sales in Brevard County.” As of now, school revenue is derived from millage rates on property taxes, exempting people who do not own property from paying taxes that directly benefit schools in Brevard. A millage rate is the amount per $1000 that is used to calculate taxes on property. BPS is advocating the
Photo: Rachel Kershaw
Half a Penny for your Thoughts Senior Riegel Spogen and junior Erika Dietl read up on the half-cent sales tax posted outside the attendance office.
surtax over an increase in current millage rates to shift the tax responsibility from Brevard homeowners to all consumers who make purchases in Brevard County, including tourists and visitors. “I feel that once the voting public is aware of the facts regarding the capital budget, they will vote in favor of the surtax. When you look at the value of the surtax versus the amount each consumer would pay in a year, it is significant,” Brevard County School Board member Michael Krupp said. “It amounts to being $32 million per year for the capital budget, and $5 to $20 per year per consumer. That amounts to a range of 1.5 cents per day to 5.5 cents per day per consumer to provide for the safety, programs, and health of about 70,000 students per day.” School board member Amy Kneessy said it will be difficult to get the vote in favor of the surtax because it directly benefits only people with children who are currently enrolled in school.
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“I think it will be very tough to sell to the public,” Kneessy said. “I believe older voters and voters without children will respond negatively. I would like to see the proposal pass, because otherwise services and programs this community has come to expect will be eliminated.” Looking at the issue from the perspective of a taxpayer who hasn’t had children enrolled in public schools for the past 10 years, Government and Economics Teacher Bob Sarver understands Kneessy’s concern. “When it comes to an increase in taxes, regardless if it is a good idea or not, it brings out a lot of really good arguments. It’s hard to beat the logic, ‘I paid for my kids, why should I have to pay more for somebody else’s,’” Sarver said. “A half percent increase in sales tax is equal to a 50 cent increase per $100 value of all taxable goods purchased. People have to determine how a raised sales tax would impact them over a levied millage rate, and the affects it will have the community.” In 2005, while the real estate market was still at a peak and millage rates were providing adequate revenue for schools, BPS formulated an improvement plan. Its goal was to renovate, renew and build new schools. From 2005-2010, BPS spent more than $500 million on this project, but their $900 million facilities budget was decreased when property values and student enrollment declined. When the state legislature cut millage rates by half, 23 proposed projects were not completed. But maintenance costs remain. “If you think about kitchen cabinets, air conditioning units, and the roof of your home, they all have to be renovated or repaired about every 10 years. The school system is no different. These buildings are just like homes,” Principal Rick Fleming said. “Without any additional revenue over the last several years, there has been no money to repair dilapidated buildings.”
Graphic: Jack Dickens
october 2012 l theroar l13
Zoo Teen Program provides wide range of experiences By Tania Martin
When Rosalie Heninger was a child, she didn’t dream of becoming a firefighter, teacher or astronaut. She looked forward then as she does now to becoming a veterinarian, a plan helped along by her participation in the Zoo Teen Program at the Brevard Zoo. “I started volunteering at the zoo because I love animals,” the junior said. “I want to be a vet when I’m older, and I thought it would look good on a college application and be just a good experience.” According to Meg Leith, the Children’s Play and Zoo Teen Coordinator, volunteers, one- third of whom are teenagers, help the zoo prosper. Teens from throughout Brevard County have an opportunity Photo: Jack Moore to give hands-on support at the zoo. Activities include animal husbandry, Slithery Situations Volunteer Atharva Chopde, kayaking, animal handling and public ninth grader, shows a snake to guests during education. In addition, volunteers his shift. assist with Zoo Camps, fund-raisers According to Heninger, the program and special events. helps high-schoolers collaborate with each “We have around 300 volunteers at other, creating a greater workplace with the zoo, and 100 of them are in the Zoo the other teens. Teen Program,” Leith said. “Great youth “Over the summer, it stormed on the day volunteers make a more comfortable environment for our younger visitors. Zoo they were supposed to put the ice blocks in the pool to cool it down for the guests, Teens are required to commit to at least a so they put them in the grass in front of year of service and volunteer a minimum the ‘Paws On’ area,” she said. “A few other of 15 hours while school is out.” Zoo Teens and I made and sold snow Applications are accepted from cones while the kids played on the ice September to mid-November. Once they are selected, they begin training in January blocks. I thought that was a really fun and laid-back day. I met and conversed with a which is five days of classes that cover the lot of other Zoo Teens and zoo employees, zoo’s history, its policies, animal training, conservation and kayaking. When training which I thought was really cool.” The program also allows participants to ends, all new volunteers must pass an expand the spheres of influence. exam with a score of at least 80 percent. “The zoo gives me the opportunity to “The Zoo is busy and staff really give back to the community,” junior Jack appreciates the extra help our Moore said. “I get to express to the public knowledgeable volunteers provide,” Leith the importance of conservation and said. “Having volunteers available to educate them through the zoo.” answer questions, introduce bones, skins Sophomore Jessica Whaley agrees. and live animals and bring out activities “Being a Zoo Teen has taught me so really enhances the visitor experience.” much about conservation,” she said. “I
got to be part of a program — created by one of the students — that was extremely enlightening. We invited guest speakers and had a bunch of kids come in to learn about conservation.” That Eco Summit event was coordinated by teens to work to conserve the environment that surrounds them. Sixty participants — ages 11 to 18 — attended and had the opportunity to meet others their own age that shared the same interests and aspire to preserve the environment. Organizations such as the Sea Turtle Preservation Society and Keep Brevard Beautiful spoke to guests with 30-minute presentations. Zoo Teens also have shadowed the veterinarians. “I basically spent all day with the Vet at the zoo and he did checkups and x-rays on three of the vulturine guinea fowl,” Heninger said. “I also looked at things through a microscope to check and see if any animals had parasites.” Zoo Teens commit to at least a year of service, dedicating one Saturday of every month during the school year and volunteer a minimum of 15 hours during summer break. They are also encouraged to assist at special events such as Boo at the Zoo, the zoo’s Halloween celebration” “We decorated the lodge, covering it in spider webs and recycled Halloween decorations,” Whaley said. “I painted a banner with Sarah [another zoo teen]. We had to return paint materials in the dark back in the woods in storage with a puny flashlight and I swear we saw a ghost — or maybe it was a post.” The Zoo Teen Program has helped the Brevard Zoo achieve a spot in America’s Top 10 zoos. “The Brevard Zoo is very hands on — as reflected in our mission ‘Wildlife Conservation through Education and Participation,’” Leith said. “We couldn’t do it without our amazing volunteers, whether young in age or young at heart.”
Leasing commercial retail, office & storage space Family owned & managed over 20 years
Contact West Shore Parent: Leslie Kellner (321)223-3402
News Feed ACT
ACT: 29 is the new 28 for scholarships, admissions By Felicia Solazzo
ince the beginning of July, Randy Slomin has spent his Saturday mornings preparing for the ACT and SAT. From 11:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., he meets a tutor at the Eau Gallie library where they study math, reading and science questions. Slomin knows that in order to qualify for the Bright Futures academic scholarship, he will need a higher score than his older sibling needed. That’s because beginning next year, the minimum ACT score requirement will move from 28 to 29. But Slomin says the test-prep sessions have reduced his report anxiety. “We analyze all the options for each question, and it makes you really familiar with the test,” Slomin said. “The practice makes it so you don’t have to read a lot of the instructions on the actual test, which saves you a lot of time. You can eliminate a lot of answers right off the bat by just knowing what they’re looking for and recognizing what kind of answer you need to have.” Slomin also cited the benefits of working with a tutor. “The one-on-one session is a lot better than taking a course with a bunch of other people there,” he said. “You get all the time and attention, they show you what you’re doing wrong and what you need to do to improve, and they get to know you and how you think.” The release of 2012 ACT Scores shows that West Shore has been ranked highest out of all Brevard Public Schools with a composite average score of 26.1in comparison to the 20.7 county average, 19.8 state average, and the 21.1 national average. But is West Shore’s average of a 26.1 good enough? “We have an accelerated curriculum
Astronaut High Bayside High
Cocoa Beach High Cocoa High
Eau Gallie High
Edgewood High Jr/Sr High Heritage High
Merrit Island High Palm Bay High
Satellite High Space Coast Jr/Sr High Titusville High
22 19.5 20.2
West Shore Jr/Sr High State of Florida United States
Adds Up In the composite scores of Brevard public high schools, West Shore ranks No. 1. that is known nationwide, therefore our students apply to schools that are the most competitive across the nation knowing they are prepared,” Lovel said. “By past student performance at these same colleges, it has been proven time and time again.” According to Lovel, West Shore has used the PLAN and PSAT test as an indicator for each student’s future test performance. “We as counselors go into the classrooms repeatedly encouraging students to take these tests and to also do test prep online through the ACT and College Board websites that have multiple test preps.” Additionally, the administration
16 l theroar l november 2012
26.1 19.8 21.1 Graphic: Carleigh Walter
encourages students to sign up for the ZAPS Learning Company ACT testpreparation seminar which is after school hours and cost $79. According to ZAPS official website, the seminar shows students what to expect from ACT questions and their level of difficulty, how to use partial knowledge to gain points, a plan for writing high score essay, effective time management techniques, and helpful study skills for the weeks prior to the test. “I have never had a student come to me and say that the seminar was a waste of their time,” test coordinator Mike Drake said. “The seminar can help students raise their ACT score by one or two points. These points can make a difference on whether you get accepted to the college of your choice, qualify for the Bright Futures
Under Par Of the 1.6 million 2011 high school graduates who took the ACT, only 25 percent met the College Readiness Benchmark scores in all four subject areas. Source: ACT.org
Scholarship or make it to the next level of Bright Futures, and determine whether you can apply for certain scholarships.” Senior Eran Del Castillo took the ACT when it was administered at school and scored a 34. “I always seem to disappoint people when they ask me [how I prepare], but I never study for standardized tests,” she said. “I believe that, in principle, it should be impossible to study’for standardized tests so people who can afford classes tutors and textbooks don’t get an advantage over those who can’t afford that $25 to $200.” Del Castillo decided to focus her attention on doing well in her daily activities rather than stressing over the ACT.
“Besides [prep courses] being sort of unfair and expensive, I figured that if one of my strengths was already standardized testing, I’d be better off spending time working on my extracurricular activities and grades.” Lovel understands that a student’s attitude is a major contribution to student tests scores. “We know our students have the knowledge but they need to be confident in the fact that they can successfully do the test,” she said. “Anything you can do as a student to familiarize with the test will be helpful on test day.” Recently, there have been rumors that if students are unhappy with their test scores or feel their scores could be better, they can either delay their application
Graphic: Jack Dickens
or send in their application without the scores. According to Lovel, this isn’t true. “Without test scores on your transcript the university you are applying to would not consider your acceptance,” she said. “Make sure when sending an application and a transcript that you include your test scores and then you can indicate if you are retaking a test, but send what you have.” Senior Sydney Balgo, who also scored a 34 on the ACT, says she looked forward to the test as a challenge and not as a chore, believing that a positive attitude is the key to success. “I think that the biggest thing about having a positive attitude is that it will help make the experience more enjoyable,” Balgo said. “It’s hard to do well on something that you are dreading.”
november 2012 l theroar l 17
Graphic: Jack Dickens
Quality vs. Quantity.
Committee sets new standards for awards ceremony By Brianna Silvestre
ow significant is a school awards ceremony if more than onefourth of those invited don’t bother to show up and those who do struggle to pay attention? ”I looked around and saw that there were people taking naps and texting while people were going up,” sophomore Ben Mechachonis said about last April’s academic awards ceremony. “I do like being recognized for doing well in school, but the ceremony was so long and boring that I didn’t even want to be there. The whole thing seemed to center around the seniors, and the rest of us just sat for an hour, got our awards in a few seconds and then sat back down to nap or play on our phones.” The school’s administration took notice formed a committee made up of parents, students and faculty members to explore potential changes. “[Attendance] has been getting progressively worse, and we always reflect and evaluate after events like this,” Principal Rick Fleming said. The committee, which met in September, decided that in order to cut the quantity of the program, quality would have to be addressed in the form of raising the standard for what should be recognized at the ceremony. “We used to reward everyone with a 3.5 to 3.9 GPA, 4.0 and above GPA, AB honor roll, SGA, 100 and above service hours, special and individual subjects, state, national, community awards and senior project honor awards,” Assistant Principal Jackie Ingratta said. “But this year we will recognize the students with a GPA of 4.0 or higher, 100 or more service hours, special subjects, state, national, and community awards at the ceremony. Students with a 3.5 to 3.9 GPA will be recognized in front of their peers during homeroom.” Award categories removed from the high school ceremony will include athlete
Graphic: Creative Commons
awards and Jefferson Awards, which will be recognized during school. In addition, associate of arts degree recipients, Bright Futures scholarship winners and AP diploma recipients will be announced at graduation. The changes made to the middle school ceremony include the removal of the A-B honor roll members and the Jefferson Awards, which will be announced in homeroom. Additionally middle school and high school students will have separate ceremonies to try and shorten the proceedings and entice more students to attend. The length of the ceremony will be shortened from three hours to one, and the day of the week also could be changed in hopes of increasing attendance. “The ceremony is in April, and it causes problems because it’s right in the middle
Athletic award winners will be recognized during school.
of AP testing, end of course exams and FCAT,” Ingratta said. “Students are busy, and there needs to be better planning.” Sophomore Bonnie Rice said she likes the changes to the duration of the ceremony and doesn’t think that the removal of the A-B honor roll recognition will be a problem for most students. “I’d be more willing to go if it was shorter,” she said. “[Before] we just sat and waited for our name to be called and then we waited another hour for it to be over.” Senior Stephanie Shaw, on the other hand, said she supports the decisions regarding student involvement, but she doesn’t agree with the changes to the awards themselves, calling them unfair for excluding students who strive for a 3.5 through 3.9 GPA. “Some of the changes, like adding more student involvement — like the band and the dance team — is a good idea,” Shaw said. “But as a student not having a 4.0, a 3.5 is the best that I can do, and getting to go to the ceremony was important to me. Now that I’m not a perfect student anymore, I can’t go.” Guidance counselor Glenda Lovel said she’s hopeful the changes will bring out more people and make the overall ceremony more enjoyable for students and teachers alike. “There will be a year of transition, and as a committee we were in agreement that what we had was not valued to be a good award ceremony,” she said. “The awards will be more focused, it won’t be as long in duration and the recognition will be for more specific awards.” The next order of business could be to try to attract more faculty members to the awards ceremony. “Teachers have lives too outside of school,” Fleming said. “The ceremony conflicts with their daily lives and the things that they do after school like pick up their own kids from school and other daily tasks.”
november 2012 l theroar l 19
New athletics director already fitting right in By Sarah Brusca
Athletics Director Kimberly Shepherd is no longer the new kid on the block. After completing the first quarter of the school year, she’s settled in well enough to consider the school community to be her new home. Prior to arriving in Florida, Shepherd lived in the northern suburbs of Chicago and worked at a high school there — but Photo: Stephanie Everest not as an athletics director. She Focused AD Kimberly taught Advanced Placement checks sports schedules. Psychology teacher and other social science classes. Her transition to athletics director wasn’t too difficult because she also coached volleyball, football and basketball coach. Even though there are hundreds of miles between her previous job and her new one in Melbourne, she doesn’t feel that far from home because her Illinois school has something in common with West Shore: both schools carry the Wildcat nickname. She said she would do most anything for her new family, and she’s made it apparent to the students that she is here to help. “I think she is a huge asset to Junior Class this year,” junior Bailey Coolican said. “She has really supported everything Junior Class
has wanted to do this year, especially during the preparations of Powderpuff. She also has been a great advocate for us on the faculty-administration side of things.” The Junior Class has grown especially close to Shepherd because she was the boys’ Powderpuff team sponsor. “She’s one of the sweetest and easiest women to work with because she really takes your plans into consideration and does everything she can to have things go your way,” Junior Class treasurer Sierra Purden said. “She drops everything she is doing to help out a student.” The junior boys grew fond of her during their hours together working on Powderpuff dances. In addition, Shepherd’s prior cheerleading experience likely helped them win the competition. Junior Shaun Wilson said her knowledge helped him and his stunt team when they kept falling during practice. By the time the game came they had their stunt perfect. In addition to providing her coaching knowledge, Shepherd also became a friend to the boys and build many memories. Wilson recalled one rainy day in particular when all of the junior boys had to come in from the soccer fields. Shepherd gave every one of them golf cart rides to the cafeteria. Working closely with the Junior Class and others on campus also has left an impression on Shepherd. “I am very happy with how much I actually get to interact with the students on a daily basis and how many students I have gotten to know so far,” she said.
scoreboard Girls’ Golf (4-3) Vero Beach 210-174 Edgewood/Eau Gallie 138-142-145 C. Beach/Holy Trinity 209-186-215 Edgewood 211-204 Space Coast 219-183 Heritage/Satellite 184-266-258 Cocoa Beach/Vero Beach 194-189-183 Boys’ Golf (6-0) Satellite 232-207 Eau Gallie 219-193 Florida Air Academy 225-179 Melbourne 193-179 Merritt Island Christian 215-186 Florida Air Academy 200-186 Girls’ MS Basketball (6-2) Space Coast Cocoa Beach Edgewood Space Coast Cocoa Beach Edgewood Space Coast Cocoa Beach Boys’ MS Basketball (7-2) Space Coast Cocoa Beach Edgewood Edgewood Space Coast
47-15 35-33 41-16 35-10 35-51 37-18 29-14 28-30 46-32 54-41 26-51 50-56 56-30
Cocoa Beach Edgewood Space Coast Cocoa Beach
60-44 39-21 52-44 51-44
Boys Soccer Space Coast East River Montverde Trinity Prep Astronaut Cocoa Beach Melbourne Central Catholic Atlantic Vero Beach Treasure Coast Edgewood Berkeley Prep Sebastian River Holy Trinity Cocoa Satellite Melbourne Gateway Melbourne Central Catholic
11/5 11/7 11/9 11/14 11/16 11/19 11/20 11/27 11/29 12/3 12/6 12/8 12/11 12/14 1/7 1/9 1/11 1/15 1/17
Girls’ Soccer Cocoa Beach Astronaut Edgewood Cocoa Montverde Sebastian River
5-1 11/2 11/6 11/8 11/10 11/13
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Trinity Prep Satellite Space Coast Atlantic Titusville Harmony Master’s Academy Berkeley Prep Edgewood Viera Vero Beach Melbourne Central Catholic Rockledge
11/14 11/16 11/19 11/27 11/30 12/4 12/6 12/8 12/10 12/14 1/8 1/10 1/11
Boys’ Basketball Heritage Heritage Brev. Christian Satellite Master’s Academy Edgewood Astronaut St. Edwards Space Coast Cocoa John Carroll Cocoa Beach Bronson TBA Cocoa Beach Space Coast Astronaut Satellite
11/13 11/15 11/19 11/20 11/27 11/30 12/4 12/7 12/10 12/13 12/14 12/21 12/27-29 1/4-05 1/11 1/14 1/17 1/19
Covenant Christian Cocoa Edgewood Brevard Christian John Carroll Master’s Academy Girls’ Basketball Heritage Edgewood MCC Satellite Heritage Merritt Island Master’s Academy Cocoa Beach Cocoa Beach Cocoa Space Coast M.I. Christian Astronaut Rockledge Palm Bay TBA Space Coast Cocoa Satellite Edgewood Astronaut Covenant Christian Eau Gallie Bayside
1/22 1/23 1/25 1/29 1/31 2/1 11/6 11/13 11/14 11/19 11/23 11/26 11/27 11/28 12/4 12/5 12/7 12/10 12/12 12/14 12/20 12/21 1/9 1/10 1/14 1/17 1/18 1/22 1/23 1/25
Powderpuff’s secret: revealed By Sam Lack
Loyal readers, worry not! I have gotten to the bottom of our school’s biggest issue. If you are a senior, please plug your ears here, and if you are a fellow junior, I will need help removing myself from the garbage can outside building four after school. Thanks in advance. The real reason the senior girls won powderpuff is simple: the referees weren’t actual refs, but instead were replacement refs, only used because the referees’ union was on strike. Now I know a lot of you are probably wondering what I’m talking about, or why I am rekindling this flame, but in reality it’s simple. The NFL (that football league, where grown men injure each other, for our entertainment) and its fans have recently endured four very long, agonizing weeks of football with replacement referees officiating the games. The reason for this travesty? The NFL and the referees couldn’t agree on a labor agreement, and thus we suffered through bumbling replacement officials, and it was excruciating. In short, I demand a rematch! I can not sit here and allow my poor junior girls to suffer through such a devastating loss, when in reality the reason for the lopsided result was Source: Creative Commons, Hana Bilicki poor officiating. Clearly the seniors Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the were in fact an inferior team, and so I Belmont Stakes. Carl “Yaz” Yastrzemski propose the placement of an asterisk in won baseball’s version by finishing a the powderpuff history books. season leading in batting average, home OK, I think I will make my sports trivia runs, and runs batted in. a regular feature here in Cat Tales, so here Can someone please explain something goes nothing. to me? I don’t understand why baseball Who last won the Triple Crown, before is so irrelevant at this school. I mean, the Miguel Cabrera did just a few weeks ago? game is literally 100 percent numbers. Was it A) Affirmed in 1978 or B) Carl You can find stats from any game ever Yastrzemski in 1967? played, dating back to 1894. Did you know Huzzah, it was a trick question. The Marlins’ shortstop Jose Reyes committed answer is they both did. Affirmed (that’s baseball’s 500,000th error in history? No, the horse’s name) won the horse racing you probably didn’t, but the cool thing is Triple Crown with victories in the that you could have known!
From slugging percentage (which I don’t understand), to earned run average (which I barely understand), baseball is all numbers and statistics. Not to be stereotypical, but as a general rule us Wildcats favor the academics over the athletics. With baseball, you get both! You can compute a pitcher’s WHIP, or a batter’s OBP, all the while actually watching sports! It’s the best of both worlds, and to be honest, I would love to talk real baseball with someone at this school. So go ahead, amaze me. There will be a quiz for the next time you read this column. I won’t try to convince you to like hockey (that’s the one on ice, where grown men fight and smash each other into walls), especially because the 2012 hockey season looks like it will be cancelled. Due to greedy old men fighting with greedier athletes, the league and the players union can’t agree on a collective bargaining agreement (similar to the NBA’s lockout last year). We’re losing an entire season so people can argue over dollars and cents. It’s a pure shame. Final musings: Jerry Sandusky was sentenced recently, and the man maintains his innocence. The whole situation is absolutely sickening, and I wish nothing but the best for those poor victimized children. Be thankful that you do not have to deal with situations like this, because I can’t even begin to imagine how horrible it must be. Also, the NBA is about to start once again, and nothing will make me happier than seeing Ray Allen wear a Miami Heat uniform against the Celtics on Oct 29. Actually that’s not true. Seeing LeBron James once again don the Red, White, and Black will delight my soul to no end. In honor of the late football team owner Art Modell who recently passed away, I leave you with this quote from Modell himself. “I want to be remembered as a guy who tried his best and did his best.”
november 2012 l theroar l 21
With busing budget cut, athletes must find own rides By Lindsay Gorham
Football programs at other schools compared to schools such as Eau Gallie “I know I am definitely worried about typically fill the stands on Friday nights and Melbourne High because we don’t Hannah being taken by other kids because — and they also help subsidize most of have a football team,” Athletics Director there is a big chance for something bad to their other sports, providing funding for Kim Shepherd said.“It stinks because the happen,” Krasny’s mom, Mary said. everything from uniforms to referees. parents have now taken on the burden The new transportation policy impacts Without a big-money sport Principal of transporting their kids to and from some athletes more than others. Rick Fleming had to make a choice when games.” “Being on the lacrosse team, the cut athletic budgets were cut at the beginning of the year. Uniforms, officials or transportation: Something had to go. “It was a difficult decision to make but we can’t do without uniforms because I don’t want kids running around in T-shirts, and we need officials or else we couldn’t compete in games and matches, so transportation was the one to go,” Fleming said. The district normally takes the total money collected from sporting events, mainly football games, and pools it into one pot of money for all the schools in the Photo: Carleigh Walter A Thing of the Past Athletes no longer travel to and from games on school buses. district and distributes it evenly. This process, the athletic equality line, effective for Teams such as the volleyball, basketball, of transportation doesn’t even affect several years to provide equal amounts soccer and swimming now must rely on me because we were never given of money to the different schools in the parents and carpools to transport athletes transportation to begin with,” junior district. Under the new policy, schools to and from games and matches. varsity lacrosse player Sierra Purden said. keep money they make from sporting “It is upsetting because now our team Varsity volleyball player Casey events and use it to fund their own can no longer bond and create memories Schauman said buses provided more than uniforms, officials and transportation. Due that we had last year on the bus,” junior just transportation to games. to the lack of a football team, the money volleyball player Hannah Krasny said. “I am just going to miss being pumped flow for West Shore is low resulting in the Parent concern increased after a March up by my teammates on the bus like old elimination of team buses transportation car crash killed one Brevard County teen times,” the sophomore said. “It was a great to sporting events. and injured four others returning from a bonding time that has been taken away “For us, it is hard raising as much money basketball game. from us now, and I don’t think it’s fair.”
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Winter sports athletes access potential 1| Q: How do you think the JV soccer players moving up to varsity will make a difference? A: “The new guys, despite the difference between the speed of JV and varsity soccer, have been coached to expect change. Players seem to be adaptive to where they need to be played. Successfully playing many different positions is key to a championship-winning team,. –varsity David Almeida, 11
2| Q: What do returning players bring to the table, and what can the ones moving up learn? A: It’s good that we have some new young players who will get experience. I started playing varsity when I was a freshman, and the experience really helps. Returning players bring chemistry. We’ve all been playing together for a while and we’re more confident. –varsity Anthony Wattwood, 12 4| Q: How do you think the returning players will make a difference in girls’ junior varsity basketball? A: Now that we have a season under our belt, I think we bring experience. We’ve done it all.” – junior varsity Jennifer Billhartz, 8
Photo: Dean Stewart
Photo: Dean Stewart
3| Q: What do you think the girls moving from junior varsity to varsity bring to the team? A: The new players on varsity bring a lot more taunt to the team. They will help us to reach our goal of winning districts again and to go further to regionals.” – varsity Briana Basta, 11
Photo: Dean Stewart
Photo: Dean Stewart
By Konur Oyman
Boys’ soccer, basketball set high expectations By Konur Oyman
If the expectations going into previous fall sports seasons felt like preparing to climb the Rockies, then this year’s group should prepare to scale Mount Everest. After the boys’ soccer team won the state championship last February, athletics have come to mean just a little bit more, leaving some to believe that path ahead could be even more successful. Varsity soccer is one of the main sports that people will be looking forward to. Six players graduated after last year’s successful run — including leading scorers Kevin Kurtz and John Bocinsky —leaving big shoes to fill, but it appears the new players feel like they can fill those gaps. “The new guys, despite the difference between the speed of JV soccer and varsity soccer, have been coached to expect change, and these players seem to be very adaptive to where they need to be played,” junior David Almeida said. “For example, one of the center defenders last year used to be a mid-fielder. Being able to play many different positions and to be able to successfully play those positions is key to a quick, versatile championship-winning team.” The junior varsity team seems to be shaping up to have a successful season as well. “Through my involvement in local competitive soccer, I have already noticed a number of very talented new seventh-graders as well as a number of eighth-graders who are very good soccer players,” new junior varsity Coach Chuck Keener said. “I am certain that I will find some nice surprises during tryouts also. We should be able to reload with new experienced soccer players to step in
for all of those who move up to varsity. I anticipate that it will be a good year. We should be able to compete with all the teams on our schedule and have a lot of fun playing soccer.” While expectations are understandably high for soccer, the basketball teams also are expected to make some noise come playoff time. “I was surprised, some guys really stepped up during the summer camps and have filled in at the big positions,” varsity boys’ Coach Tony Riopelle said. “I don’t think that we are going to be really strong in the paint, but we wont be small either. This group of guys has really impressed me, and I think that this year not only can we make a good run at the championship, but we can actually win it.” New junior varsity coach Greg Buttrick said that, although there are some weak spots, the group trying out has a chance at having a good season. “I feel I bring a winning attitude to West Shore JV as the middle school team I am coaching here has been very successful,” he said. “Hopefully that will rub off on our JV team as well. We may not win every game, but if you take the court believing you can win every game, that is half the battle. “I have seen most of the guys that are trying out over this past summer during some of our camps and fitness programs,” he added. “The talent level seems to be about average and it will be a work and progress once the team is selected. It appears that we will have several fast and athletic guys, but we will be lacking in the area of height.”
november 2012 l theroar l 23
Dropping In Surfing Service Club President Nathan Johnson, a junior, would like to add a competitive component to his organization.
24 l theroar l november 2012
Dreams for competitive surf team face long odds By Liam Wixted
wo years ago, junior Nathan Johnson had a dream to bring a competitive surf team to West Shore. After pitching the idea to thenAthletics Director Bonnie Bettis, he thought he had achieved his goal. “When I proposed the idea to Mrs. Bettis, she thought it would be a good idea so she told me to get signatures and to write a paper on it so I did,” Johnson said. “I was really excited about the club. I even bought a new surfboard, but when the new school year came around I realized that it’s just a club.” Bettis said the communication between the two was clear and that she told Johnson the chances of having a surf team were slim. “There was no misunderstanding. [I said] coaching sponsors would be difficult to find, and funding would be a problem,” Bettis said. Bettis added that competition is a concern. “We currently compete against several different schools including Jupiter High and Melbourne High,” Satellite’s surf team coach George Seguna said via e-mail. Bettis offered insight into the process of starting a surf team. “[Johnson] would have to go to the new activities director and propose the idea,” Bettis said. “Then prove evidence that Catch a Wave Using a Go-Pro, Johnson captures the moment.
there is enough funding, parent support and coaches to have the team.” Satellite High School is one of the few schools in the district to have a surf team. According to Linda Anderson, the athletics director of Satellite High School, the team is considered a non-district sponsored club. “They have a coach who is not on staff here and a staff member here at SHS who is a club liaison,” Anderson said. “Because it is non-district sponsored, there is no liability to the school. The club sponsor has the responsibility to inform the team members that they are participating in a non-district sponsored club. They use our school name and mascot, and we include them in the yearbook.” Participants are required to pay a $65 registration fee and participate in fundraising efforts. “When we started the surf club/team we did a fund-raiser to get it started,” Seguna said. “We had surf-related products donated and raffled them off at Long Doggers in Satellite Beach. It was a great time and fun for all. That gave us startup money for the club/team.” Satellite’s surf team also ventures outside of Brevard County. “Satellite has traveled to Puerto Rico and California twice,” Seguna said. “We also went to Costa Rica last spring break and have also gone to New Smyrna inlet several times for fun and to surf another inlet. We work really hard fundraising money through donations, car washes,
bucket drops and anyway we can generate money for travel. The kids really like going places and experiencing different waves to ride and meeting different people and experiencing different cultures especially Central America. It gives them the opportunity to go places they might not have been able too.” Although Johnson’s hope for a surf team has not yet been realized, he still remains optimistic about having a team in the future. “I think I may talk to [current Athletics Director Kim] Shepherd this year and try to talk to some people from Satellite and Melbourne High about what it took to get their surf teams started,” Jonson said. Sophomore Grant Fontaine shares similar hope for a surf team. “We would have a good team,” Fontaine said. “We have a lot of talent at the school, and it would be a good group to surf with.” But despite the apparent enthusiasm, Shepherd said the chances of having a competitive surf team at West Shore remain slim. “Unfortunately, I cannot foresee a surf team being created at West Shore in the near future,” she said. “We have an outstanding staff who is dedicated to their students, but this staff is also spread very thin in terms of sponsoring and supervising teams and clubs. As of now, the Surf Service Club will be the only type of school-sponsored surfing at West Shore.”
november 2012 l theroar l 25
Rick Riordan. Author’s fan base grows as teens, schools embrace books. By Andrew Lim
emigods, centaurs, when she was in seventh grade. and Titans: the “I would have been more Percy Jackson & the determined to do summer reading,” Olympians series promises readers Jerdon said. “Because I want to thrilling quests and adventures. relax over summer, and do and read Following 2005 hype of the first things I enjoy.” book, “The Lightning Thief,” the Many students have been Percy Jackson & the Olympians borrowing Riordan’s books from series has been a popular read the media center according to for kids all across the country. media specialist Amy Franco. Accordingly, school teachers “We have two copies of every added the “The Lightning Thief ”, book in the series, and a lot of them to the seventh-grade summer are always checked out,” Franco reading list. said. “The students that have Source: Brittany Cho “I decided to make it a summer already read the books read them Photo: Andrew Lim reading book because [author] all again. If [the students] haven’t Rick Riordan has a way of already read them, when they hear Chilling out: Sophomore Savannah Wheat reads reaching kids,” seventh-grade other people talk about them, they the newest Riordon book in the media center. language arts teacher Susan want to read the books themselves.” Woyshner said. “It’s action-packed Franco said the book has high coming into West Shore as a ‘sevvie.’” and gives them an opportunity to have appeal compared to other summer Students had to create their own book an enjoyable book versus just a historical reading books. jackets, with original artwork and write a book they have to read.” “‘The Lightning Thief ’ seems to go summary on the back. Author Rick Riordan has written across gender. Boys and girls alike read “[The book jackets were supposed] to several other children’s series centering the books,” she said. not tell everything about [The Lightning around mythology, including ‘The The addition of “The Lightning Thief ” Thief ] and make it interesting so someone Kane Chronicles” and “The Heroes of to the summer reading list intensified the will want to read it,” Woyshner said. Olympus,” which tell modernized tales popularity of the entire series. Junior Jennifer Stone, who read”The about Egyptian mythology and Roman “[The book] was good because it was Lightning Thief ” when she was in seventh mythology respectively. Riordan also all about demigods and the Greek theme,” grade, described it as the “school book.” plans on writing a series concentrating on Travis said. “Also, the main character is “It’s good to have a book that almost Norse mythology in 2015. dyslexic and has ADHD, [and] not many everyone has read at the school,” she said. Along with the school’s summer hero characters have a disorder. It really “[The Lightning Thief ] was really good, reading list, the release of the movie makes you want to the read the rest of the and I’m glad the other kids get to read it.” adaptation in 2010 drove many students books.” Because the book was added to the to read the book. Woyshner said the book being added summer reading list when current juniors “I read the book because I saw the to the summer reading affected its were in seventh grade, many seniors did movie, [and] I thought it was amazing,” popularity. not get the opportunity to read it. Senior seventh-grader Marissa Wheat said. “If “It certainly introduces kids to Riordan Danielle Jerdon said she wishes books like there were popular books on the list, if they haven’t read him before,” she said. ”The Lightning Thief ” were on the list people would actually want to read them “I’ll encourage them after they read it to because they’ve heard of them before,” read the whole book series.” Seventh-grader Jessica Travis agrees Travis, however, said she’s just excited that more modern books like ”The to have gotten the opportunity to read Lightning Thief ” should be included on the book. summer reading lists. “Not many other books, if any, have a “More people would know the books plot quite as unique as [The Lightning already,” she said. “So it would be less Thief ],” Travis said. “There is no other stressful to read as the first project book quite like it.”
“‘The Lightning Thief’ is action-packed, and kids enjoy it.”
26 l theroar l november 2012
‘Mark of Athena’ strikes bull’s-eye By Madison Dimond
Photo: Nicholas Baker
The “Percy Jackson & the Olympians” collection was a gripping series with intricate and amusing plots that updated the alwaysfascinating stories of Greek mythology and had a more-than-satisfying ending. When the “Heroes of Olympus” series was announced, I felt uneasy. I liked the way the earlier series ended, and frankly was worried that when Riordan wrote this new series, he would ruin that happy and perfect epilogue that I had created in my head of Annabeth and Percy living happily ever, their kids attending Camp Half-Blood and everything being beautiful and perfect. However, I am pleased to admit I was wrong. The “Heroes of Olympus” series is just as witty and creative as the original, and “The Mark of Athena” proves it. “The Mark of Athena,” the third installment in the “Heroes’ serioes is about the Greek demigods working with their arch nemesis, the Roman demigods to defeat the evil mother earth, Gaea. The story reaches a climax as the two ancient societies try to overcome their trust issues and centuries of fighting. The story is told from the viewpoint of the main characters Annabeth, Piper, Percy and Jason. Personally, I would have liked it if Annabeth and Percy had stayed the only narrators, but I do understand that technically these books are also about the Roman kids too despite their less interesting plot lines. “The Mark of Athena” is a fast-paced novel that sets up the plot for the fourth book in the series, “The House of Hades” which has been scheduled for release during the fall of 2013, and also keeps readers interested in all of the plots, from Annabeth and Percy’s rocky relationship to the bonding of Greece and Rome over a common enemy. For those of you Percy and Annabeth fans, “The Mark of Athena” may not be as focused on them as you would like, but give Piper and Jason a chance because they are actually pretty interesting too. Overall, the “Mark of Athena” and the Heroes of Olympus series in general are a pleasant surprise that I would recommend to anyone who enjoyed the original series.
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Get to Know Daniel and the Fire Alarms. Sparking a jazz combo revolution In the beginning, there were two: Daniel and a fire alarm. Little did Daniel know, these two unlikely foes would soon unite to create the school’s newest jazz combo. During his freshman year, Daniel Tenbusch was slouching against a wall in the band room, when he made the best mistake of his life: He accidentally pulled the fire alarm. The resulting notoriety was not forgotten the following year when the keyboardist decided to start a band along with bassist Nathaniel Curtis, violinist Alex St.-Pierre Pesant, trumpeter Dakota Helbig and drummer Paige Neihart. The Roar’s Nick Baker recently interviewed the band’s members. The Roar: What inspired you to form the band? Tenbusch: “We were inspired by the jazz combo that preceded us: Agility. They were made up mostly of incredibly talented seniors, who have all graduated.” The Roar: Any upcoming gigs? Tenbusch: “We played alongside the West Shore jazz band earlier this month, but other than that, we are waiting to build our set list before we get any big gigs.” The Roar: What makes your band special? Curtis: “We don’t use auto-tune, for one. And we have a jazz fiddle, which was fairly uncommon even during the high days of jazz.” The Roar: What does the jazz fiddle bring to the band? St.-Pierre Pesant: “The violin adds a very different sound to the jazz band. Having a stringed instrument allows for a bunch of unique opportunities while playing. However, I’m playing the alto sax part which forces me to transpose the music to my key while I’m playing, making it more challenging than just playing ordinarily.”
Photo: Rachel Kershaw
The Members Keyboardist Daniel Tenbusch, bassist Nathaniel Curtis, violinist Alex St. Pierre Pesant, drummer Paige Neihart and trumpeter Dakota Helbig. The Roar: How would you characterize your music? Helbig: “Most of what we play is just covers of other jazz combos, but our originals are just kind of snapshots of what we were feeling that particular moment.” The Roar: Describe the song-writing process. Helbig: “I get little jazz licks in my head I write down the notes to get the best arrangement to match what I hear in my head. After I check to see the best chords that fit the progression of music and adjust until it flows like a normal song.”
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The Roar: What are your plans for the band down the road? Helbig: “I was going to have us host a music festival for my senior project as a fund raiser for the West Shore music program. Also we’re discussing trying to record an EP at some point with some help of our college friends.” The Roar: What do you and the band hope to achieve? St.-Pierre Pesant: “We are hoping to learn a wide variety of music and play more performances, as well as just overall improve our sound.”
Reviews Gwen Stefani Lead Singer Tom Dumont Guitar Keyboard Tony Kanal Bass Keyboards Adrian Young Percussion Drums Stephen Bradley Trumpet Backing Vocals
Tons of Doubt. ‘Push and Shove’ smacks listeners into a wall of disappointment By Jessica Blanco So does everyone remember that punk/ reggae band No Doubt, with its timeless classics such as “Spiderwebs” or “Don’t Speak” back in 2002? Well, with its latest release “Push and Shove,” be prepared to throw away everything you thought you knew about No Doubt. It has been 11 years since its last album release, and the band as a whole has grown more connected with today’s music trends. The album leans towards more glassy-
No Doubt in the past “No Doubt” 1992 Interscope records
pop beats similar to what David Guetta cranks out. No Doubt has decided that adding electro/synth beats instead of the traditional bass, guitar and drums will produce a sales increase. The songs themselves aren’t that bad, but if you are like me who craved No Doubt’s intense guitar riffs or their Jamaican reggae-raps, then I might as well save you the time and tell you to take this album and send it on the a Delta V rocket to the
“The Beacon Street Collection” 1995 Beacon Street Records
“Tragic Kingdom” 1995 Trauma Records
next galaxy. “Push and Shove” has the beats, but lacks in vocals. Her voice cracks in “Settle Down” when she tries to sing “But you can see it in my eyes,” which is the beginning of the chorus. No Doubt still hangs on to its iconic obscure lyrics, where Stefani rhymes “La-la-la-la vida loca/ We speeding it up like soca” in the song “Push and Shove” featuring Major Lazer and Busy Signal. “Push and Shove” offers bass drops comparable to Skrillex or Deadmau5, but only for a short period with some added Jamaican spices that makes you dazed but happy. Honestly, it was difficult to listen to the rest of the album because I couldn’t get into the beat of the songs or get the feel for the vocals. “Gravity” will likely be played over and over again on the radio since it contains the album’s most pop-like and annoying vocals, so much so that I was surprised to find that neither Justin Bieber nor Taylor Swift was not involved with its creation. The results suggest little more than a sappy love song. “Sparkle” jumps around the beat and acts similarly to a dancer’s electro/pop dream, with SoCal tunes, showing homage to ND’s more classic tunes. I personally believe this the most daring and heartdropping song out of the album. For the most part, I was disappointed with this album. I thought this would be the brainchild of their career, but I was mistaken. I’’m hoping that No Doubt will redeem themselves in the future. Stefani, it might be time to quit the music business for good and pursue other interests.
“Return to Saturn” 2000 Interscope Records
“Rock Steady” 2001 Interscope Records
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Reviews Taken Too Far. Sequel will disappoint fans of the action-packed franchise By Lauren Youngson
Fans of the movie “Taken” have been anticipating a follow up for years. However Olivier Megaton’s boring sequel “Taken 2” isn’t what they’ve been waiting for. The film’s plot lacks any real intrigue. Relatives of the men whom Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) killed in the first installment are looking for revenge, and his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), is now the one who must do the rescuing after both her parents are taken during a family trip to Istanbul. The audience knows Mills will be able to kill anyone in his path so any attempts of villains led by Murad Krasniqi (Rade Serbedzija) — who appears so apathetic that he falls asleep in a chair while waiting for Mills and his family to be taken — seems almost pathetic. One reason “Taken 2” pales compared to the original might be due to a director change. In the first installment, Pierre Morel’s style helped to make an implausible plot seem believable, one reason it became a surprise hit. Before taking on the sequel, Megaton reportedly asked “What’s the point?” His lack of
FAN FIGHT “FIFA 13”
interest shows, especially in the awkward family scenes between Mills and his daughter regarding her new boyfriend. Film editors Camille Delamarre and Vincent Tabaillon also contribute to drop off in quality. In one of the first action scenes, the audience doesn’t even know which character pulls out a knife and which one gets stabbed until one of the Albanian villains falls to the floor. The
LOVE IT “I’ve had it since it came out and I play it obsessively.” — Brad Mooney, 10 “It pumps you up and it’s pretty cool.” — Nikitia Daavda, 9 “It’s pretty random in a good way.” — Ahmed Naas, 11
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pair’s abrupt style involves the quick switching of camera angles about every couple seconds. The fast transitions make it difficult to follow the action and likely will give some members of the audience a headache. The action in Taken 2 is above average. Mills fights the Albanian bad guys with flair and the audience is often captivated. The car chase where Kim speeds down the Istanbul streets in order to get her dad away from the bad guys is executed nicely making it one of the best parts of the film. The chase involves Kim speeding out in front of an oncoming train, exploding cop cars and it even ends with a crash into the American Embassy in Istanbul. Another redeeming quality of this film is the aerial shoots of Albania and Istanbul which highlight the beauty of these two countries. These shoots help the viewer see what the countries look like outside of the tight narrow streets that are shown in most of the shots. With all things considered, if you want to see an exciting movie, save your money and re watch the first one at home.
WHAT IS IT? “FIFA 13” is a video game that allows players to participate in professional soccer game. “Gangnam Style” is a Korean viral video and dance sensation.
“The Neighbors” is an ABC comedy about humans living in a peaceful alien neighborhood.
HATE IT “All of the FIFA games are basically the same thing.” —Alfonso Hernandez, 8 “It’s getting out of hand pretty fast.” —Melanie Dickens, 7 “It kind of seemed like a rip off of ‘V.’” —Caitlyn Donovan,12
Fun Features Wildcat Playlist Shaun Wilson, 11th “I Knew You Were Trouble” Taylor Swift
“Moth’s Wings” Passion Pit
“You and I”
Of Monsters and Men
“Why Not” Hilary Duff
“Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” Jump 5
Photo: Nicholas Baker
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