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By Zach Mitchell Editor-in-Chief Starting the with 20112012 school year, the Starkville School District will be moving to a 10-point grading scale as opposed to the 7-point grading scale it currently has. This was decided during the March 8 school board meeting. The grading scale as a whole was amended to focus on and reward students for “mastery� as opposed to how much time students spend in classes.

“Mastery is not seat time,� asst. supt. for curriculum Beth Sewell said. “Mastery is how you should be awarded your Carnegie Unit Credit.� SSD is in the minority of schools in Mississippi that still use the 7-point system. This change will put the district’s students on an even playing field with the rest of the state for scholarships. Colleges look at students’ GPAs only, as opposed to the grading scale that they are on. “A student takes a class here, makes a 93, and gets a B here,� Sewell said. “If

they did it somewhere else, they could have made an A. Down the road in competitions for scholarships, it makes a difference.� This new grading policy also aims to take the ambiguity out of grading between classes. Students will no longer be graded on whether or not they turn in signed papers or are in class on time. Classes are now aimed at teaching students what’s in the Mississippi Frameworks. “If I want to know what my child is learning in 6th

grade, I can look at the frameworks on the website,� Sewell said. Students that pass a state test yet fail the class for the test will be assigned a 70 (60 with the new grading scale) in the class. Teachers will also be given instructions on how to assess their students’ mastery over the subjects. Every nine weeks, teachers will have to give at least 10 formative assessments (daily grades) and 2-4 summative assessments (major grades). Teacher and student

opinions at Starkville High School are split on the issue. “I think it will greatly boost the graduation rate,� social studies teacher Jason Young said. “On the other hand, it may negatively enable students. They might think that you can do a little less and get a little more.� Sophomore Emily Damm agrees with Young’s second point, and adds that “[the 10 point grading scale] seems to give out grades and allows students to graduate without getting their diploma.�

Graduation date moved

Saturday School 60% Day By Christine Mazzola News Writer Easter Sunday No School



SHS swiches to 10 point grading scale

Choir Concert

The change of graduation has shortened the school year for the seniors of 2011. The new date for graduation, set for Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m., was chosen due to a variety of circumstances. “Graduation was moved primarily because the original day for graduation falls on a regularly scheduled school day due to the makeup days,� high school principal Keith Fennell said. The original date for graduation was May 20 at 1 p.m. An evening ceremony the same day would have caused parking conflicts with a South eastern Conference baseball game between Mississippi State Photo by Mariel Marcum. and Louisiana State University (LSU) to be held on the nearby Dudy Nobel Field. “The Coliseum reserves the right to move us,� supt. Judy Couey said. “I don’t make up the Humphrey Coliseum rules.� The company that provided cap and gown services will provide free replacement cards for the seniors that ordered cards with the

SEE “Curriculum,� PAGE 2.

Students reflect on Libyan crisis... Feature on Pages 8-9.



How do you feel about graduation’s new date?

39% 28% The change doesn’t really affect me.

I think its the best of a bad situation.


The fact that its on Sunday poses a problem.

107 students were polled. Polls were conducted during third block classes.

Graduation, original date. A criticism for the new date is that teachers will have to grade seniors’ exams the Thursday and Friday before graduation. “It’ll be tough on teachers to get exams done and put in to make sure students can graduate,� Fennell said. However, English teacher Nikki Buss isn’t too worried. “We’ll be fine,� Buss said. “I like it.� Couey and Fennell believe that a Sunday afternoon ceremony won’t affect attendance and that an earlier date will please seniors. “We hope attendance will be good,� Fennell said. “I expect to have the full support of the faculty present at graduation. If I was senior, I’d be all for getting out earlier.� Senior Kenton Coble approves the move. “We get out a week earlier,� Coble said. “I’m all for it.� Others, however, have voiced their disagreement over the decision. “I don’t like it,� senior Tadashea Johnson said. “It’s on a Sunday.� The main criticism among students is the

cont’d from page 1. conflict with church schedules. Their proposed solution is to avoid a Sunday graduation entirely. “It’d be hard with church,� senior Jerral Shields said. “Some churches have afternoon services, and it’d be tough with that time. Some people go far away [for Church]. It’d be okay on a weekday.� Fennell recognizes that a Sunday graduation has its consequences. “We know graduation can be an all-day or even all-weekend event so that can provide difficulties to some families,� Fennell said. “It’s not something we plan on doing year in and year out. We probably won’t have four snow days again.� For senior Divya Patel, the move doesn’t have any positive or negative affect as far as she can see. “It doesn’t really matter to me, as long as I get to walk,� Patel said. In the end, not even an earlier date has lessened the impatience seniors are feeling for graduation. “I can’t wait,� senior Chris Prater said. “I don’t really care what the date is.�

Drama attends SETC By Taylor Bowden News Editor

On March 4, the Starkville High School drama department traveled to Atlanta for the Southeastern Theatre Conference with their play “The Purple Fan,� the first time they have advanced to that point since 1997. To attend the SETC, the troupe (directed by drama teacher Mandy Kinney) had to place first or second in district and state-level contests. The SHS troupe won several sought-after awards. Seniors Hal Sullivan and Davis Richardson recieved All-Star Cast awards while sophomore Rex Ames recieved the Best Supporting Actor award. The troupe won the Best Dramaturgy award for the most wellresearched performance. “One of the things that people do not realize,� Kinney said, “is the amount of work we put in to make sure it [the show] was accurate.� However, at the end of the string of competitions, after

all the late night rehearsals and stress-filled run throughs, what the troupe of high school students, both cast and crew, seemed to walk away with more than just awards; they walked away with a great amount of personal growth. “In high school, you are generally really insecure,� Kinney said. “Our show was very physical. At that age, to be able to trust someone to hold you up for five minutes at a time, or to be willing to hold someone, says a lot about the maturity of the cast.� In any competitive group, be it a sports team or acting troupe, members must push and be pushed for success. “There were certain actors that I had to ride pretty hard,� Kinney said. “I had to be a pretty mean person to get them to do what they needed to do. At the end of it, they would come up to me and thank me. They progressed. It was cool to see that development in the actors.� Ames, the Best Supporting Actor, was one of these.

Rex Ames holds up the sacred map from “The Purple Fan� for characters seeking a lost prince. Photo by Laura Kathryn Lindsay.

“It was the first time I worked with Ms. Kinney,� Ames said. “It was like needles and pins. Every time you mess up she’d get on you. She yelled at me and Mr. Evans would do the same. Really, it helped me more than anything else.� After most of the year performing the piece, the only regret is that it was pushed into the time for the spring musi-

cal, “The Music Man�. “When you look back at a past show,� Kinney said, “people ask you what you would change. This show, I don’t think there was anything I would change. We performed the best we had ever preformed, we did everything we wanted. We didn’t get first place, but we were fine with that.�

A/B/C schedule proposed for AMS By Andrew LaFrance News Writer Starting next year, Starkville High School students and faculty may not be the only people discussing an unusual schedule. Armstrong Middle School principal Elizabeth Mosley has introduced a new schedule at her school, another version of the modified block schedule found at SHS. Her variation, called an “A/B/C� schedule features two “A� days, on Mondays and Wednesdays, two “B� days on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a “C� day on Fridays. During the week, there are four “A� classes and four “B� classes, and on “C� days, students will go to all eight of them.

“One of the main reasons for this change is to lengthen the class periods.� Mosley said. “By giving the teachers more time in each class, they can have more differentiation in their classes, and can accomplish things they could not have before. Although the 4-by-4 schedule is a viable option for that, we cannot use that schedule because of the MCT-2 tests.� Unlike the schedule at the high school, Mosley’s schedule does not change on a week-to-week basis. “Middle school is a fun age,� Mosley said. “But it is also a transitional time as well. So this schedule change will also serve to help the eighth graders transfer to SHS. I think we can use this to improve our school even more.�

Another motivator for the schedule change was discipline. “We’ve had problems with fights during the changes between class periods,� Mosley said. “On the ‘A/B/C’ schedule, these class changes are cut from eight a day down to four, which will help the students stay under control more. I have seen this schedule be very successful in other districts, and I know it will work here.� On the new schedule, more extracurricular classes will be available to students. “We hope to add new things to Armstrong,� Mosley said. “Allowing the students to explore elective classes is a part of this. All of our elective classes reinforce the curriculum being taught in our core classes. Together, these

will all help our students succeed.� In addition, Armstrong has begun the process of adding CollegeBoard-approved preadvanced placement courses to their class listings. “These classes will help prepare our more advanced students for the AP courses they will be taking in high school,� Mosley said. “Studies have shown that students who take pre-advanced placement courses are more successful in their future education, both in high school and college.� The new schedule is certain to produce changes at Armstrong, especially in the way classes are taught. “All in all, I am certain that this schedule is a plus for Armstrong Middle School,� Mosley said.



places in poetry recital Do you plan on attending Lindsay By Dominic Henn to recite one poem, and at senior English teacher and News Writer the regional level where she SHS’s Poetry Out Loud Saturday school on April 16? had to recite two. Coordinator Robin Dibble

37% 63% No

300 students were polled. Polls were conducted during third block classes.


The art of poetry dates back to centuries ago; a time when poets wrote an recited their works to an attentive audience. Poetry Out Loud allows students to recite poems of either famous or less well known poets. Poetry Out Loud holds district, regional and state -level competitions every year. This year, Starkville High School’s representative was senior Laura Kathryn Lindsay. Lindsay won at the district level where she had

Finally, Lindsay advanced to the state level where she memorized and recited the following three poems: “To Fashion� by Elizabeth Moody, “No One Understands Me but Me� by Jimmy Baca, and “Broken Promise� by David Kirby. Lindsay won second place. “I’m competitive and wanted to win but second place is just fine,� Lindsey said. “Poetry Out Loud is a chance to learn about poetry and the oral art of it, not just winning,� Lindsay’s

said. Dibble also says that all student Poetry Out Loud representatives from SHS have gone to state but have not placed. While Lindsay did not win first place, she said she enjoyed the contest at all levels, learned many new lessons and made new friends. “It surprised me how fun the contest actually was,� Lindsay said. “Even if it is not their thing, I encourage people to try it out, it’s very fun.�



Interact raises polio awareness By Cullom McCormick Clubs Editor

Workers from Miss. manage a polio vaccination stand in India on National Immunization Day. Courtesy photo.

The Interact club is trying to help eradicate polio, a crippling disease of the nervous system, in the only four countries it still exists in: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Kenya. The club is raising $2,000 for 3,333 vaccines during the week of April 11 through April 16 by maintaining four donation jars—one for each class—in the Starkville High School cafeteria during lunch. The club will also accept private donations. “Each vaccine is about 60 cents,� Interact president and junior Brian Xu said. “$2,000 means roughly $1.80 per student—enough for three vaccines. Polio used to be a huge global problem. But now, it’s cool to think that every one person here could equal three lives changed.� Interact club is a youth

subdivision of the much larger Rotary International, a charity that, with the help of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has worked to end polio since 1988. “I feel like a lot of times, especially in service clubs, that outreach is really limited to where we are,� sophomore Jordan Cohen said. “Being a part of this organization has helped people realize that they can help people around the world and not just people around them. I get the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve dramatically improved the quality of their lives.� The reward for meeting the $2,000 will be a no-dress code day. However, if the goal is not met, then the class that donated the most money will be able to wear jeans for a day.

“I don’t know about everybody,� Xu said, “but most people hate wearing khaki, gray, white and black every day. You look in the cafeteria, and it’s a little depressing. Of course, I have to say the juniors [will donate most], because I have to have confidence in my people. And it’s not that hard of a goal.� Several posters and flyers around the school will advertise the fundraiser. When the jars are out, they will bear small facts about polio, similar to, “Many children are infected in the first year of life. Cases may show little-to-no symptoms, but may result in Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP), which can lead to permanent crippling of limbs and the respiratory system.� Interact is currently finding organzations to get the money through and ways for donors to make tax-deductible donations.

Freshmen lead JROTC teams By Taylor Bowden News Editor April 16 will mark two firsts for the Starkville High School JROTC program: it will be competing against Jackson Public Schools and they will be fielding their first ever expedition team. The Jackson schools have a reputation for junior military excellence, 5 out of their 9 schools place in the top ten in drill competitions. “Jackson has a lot of history in drill,� Sgt. Maj. Bishop said. “In regulation drills, we can beat them. In expedition, since this is our first time ever doing it, I don’t know.� In regulation drills, teams receive the command list from the meet host, and different teams are judged by how well they execute those commands. In exhibition, the teams have to write their own command

routines that are a minimum 5 minutes long. “Exhibition is a lot different,� Bishop said. “Everyone has to work together as a team to get the routine together. Exhibition routine isn’t on paper; they have to work everything out and write it down so they can keep it standard.� Along with the new drills, the JROTC has seen a rise of new leaders and the freshmen class has had a strong showing in the command lines. Freshman Hannah Park has won first place in armed squad twice; freshman Alicia Carter leads unarmed squad, and freshman Treanna Jefferson heads the expedition squad. “It’s fun,� Jefferson said. “It helps with self confidence and discipline. For both yourself and the team.� Having freshman leaders is a trend that has spread to most of JROTC, as most of the drill

JROTC Drill Team Meet Saturday, April 16 Jackson Rifle Team Meet Saturday, April 16 Brandon

teams (exhibition especially) are comprised of freshmen. Bishop sees it as a blessing. “With the freshmen,� Bishop said, “there are not a lot of distractions. The freshmen are always a lot more dedicated than the upperclass men; they are always going to be at practice. Next year, when they are sophomores, they are going to be training the next group of freshmen, who are going to relate better to the younger leaders than they would a senior. The only thing they can do from here is get better.�

JROTC cadets Hannah Park and Rob Wilbourn stand at attention with several flags. Photo by Bailey Brocato.



Recycling bins reduce paper and cardboard waste By Christine Mazzola News Writer The Skills USA club recently attended state competition in Biloxi after placing in district. Photo by Ruth Brown.

Skills USA makes state By Kiana Stinson News Writer Skills U.S.A. builds leadership and job skills through structured classroom and laboratory activities. They qualified for state competition after competing at district competition Feb. 18 at East Central Community College in Decatur. Senior Quantez O’bryant participated in the Leadership Development contest. In this area, judges asked questions, and students an-

swered using professional skills such as clear pronunciation and eye contact. “It felt like I was being interrogated, but I know it’s a part of success,� O’bryant said. The Trade Industrial and Technical contest consisted of cabinetmaking, carpentry, and brickmasonry. Vice resident and senior Chantel Solis Participated in cabinetmaking while senior Jamaal Clay and Jerral Shields participated in brickmasonry. With their determination

and superb skills, Clay and Shields placed second. “It felt good,� said Shields. “All our hard work showed.� Students had to place first, second, or third to continue on to state competition. This event was held March 12 through 15 at Mississippi Gulf Coast in Biloxi. The students worked hard to master their skills to perfection. “I’m always doing extra practice to get better at what I do,� said Clay. “My goal is to win.�

A new program to make Starkville High “green� is being organized by the Environmental Club. The goal is to recycle paper and cardboard using special bins. Assistance from local organizations would ensure pickup. The program had faced a delay as the environmental club waited for help from a local organization, Green Starkville. The bins arrived this week and will be distributed to the teachers that agreed to join the program. “So far we’ve only had 36 teachers sign up, including myself,� club sponsor Jennifer Ingle said. “We hope it will raise awareness for the environment and help

students learn the importance of recycling.� 29 cardboard bins have been received with the hopes of seven more arriving shortly to fulfill the teachers’ request. The club plans on painting the bins before distributing to the teachers who signed up. environmental club is hoping to expand the program to include plastics. “I’d imagine paper is the greatest problem at a school,� Green Starkville representative Amy Counterman said. “All you’d need is sorters [to recycle plastics]. Little steps are good.� Similar programs have already been implented at the other Starkville schools thanks to active PTAs. The administration sup-

ports the program. “What’s good for the environment is good for the school,� principal Keith Fennell said. “It’s a part of growing up, and it’s as important as the subjects we teach.� Environmental club copresident and senior Ruth Brown hopes the bins will make a difference. “It could teach teachers and students alike about the value of conserving,� Brown said. “I think it’s something that really needs to happen in this school and in the community.� Brown and Ingle hope that the bins will be a longterm project. “We want to get a recycling program established and noticed at SHS,� Brown said. “We want it to be an option for everybody.�



Hughes places 3rd Junior Lauren Hughes took home third place in the Distinguished Young Women contest, otherwise known as Junior Miss. The contest allows young women to compete for scholarships. The contestants are judged on fitness, self-expression, an interview, scholastic talent and individual talents performed by contestants. For her talent, Hughes sang “All I Ask of You.� “The contest was great and I was really happy to win third place, but the girls who won deserved to [win],� Hughes said.

Akash Shaunuk (center left) and Hal Sullivan (center right) lead the cast of “The Music Man� in a quick dance routine. Photo by Bailey Brocato.

‘The Music Man’ SHS performs classic

By Zach Mitchell Editor-in-Chief This year, Starkville High School has decided to, in director Joe Evans’ words, “bust out a classic�: the 1950s musical “The Music Man�. “In the past, we’ve done relatively unknown shows,� said Evans. “The Music Man� takes place in 1912 Iowa. Conman Harold Hill, famous for stealing money from parents under the pretence that he will teach their children to play instruments, arrives in River City, Iowa planning on taking on a new challenge. However, he falls for a librarian, Marian, and his plan goes awry. Evans felt that SHS had the right people to put on “The Music Man.� Even though he felt that the drama department had strong candidates for certain parts, there were still some surprises.

Musical SHS Theater Thurs., Apr. 7 - Sun., Apr. 10 At SHS Theater, admission $7

“We cast people in areas we weren’t expecting,� Evans said. “It’s been a really fun cast. A really good cast.� Despite the strong cast, the musical dates were pushed back from March 25-28 to April 7-10 because most of the cast was working on both “The Music Man� and the award-winning festival play “The Purple Fan.� “It’s been a very trying process, especially with The Purple Fan,� male lead Hal Sullivan said. “The administration approved [the date change] after the parents applied for it,� Evans said. “I never really liked doing it the week after spring break. [We] need a break after. More time is helpful.�

Cast members read through and block the first act of “The Music Man.� Photo by Bailey Brocato.

Cast member and senior Davis Richardson is remaining optimistic despite the change. “Things are really starting to come together,� Richardson said. “It’s going great.� Sullivan stars as Harold Hill and has been involved in every drama production since coming to SHS in his sophomore year. This year, however, he has been cast in a lead role as opposed to the

supporting roles he generally plays. “It’s really challenging,� Sullivan said. “A lot more rests on me.� Both Evans and Sullivan agree that the production has been trying production, yet rewarding. “We’re getting really good work [from the students],� Evans said. “We still have a lot of stuff to put together, but that’s always the case.�


Featured Story


Crisis in Libya

Revolution affects SHS students By Cullom McCormick Clubs Editor Starkville High School students Abdalla and Abdul Sherif can’t be sure their extended family is still safe--they have been unable to reach their family in Libya for approximately three weeks. Two years ago, their immediate family immigrated to America from an already dysfunctional Libya. While they were away, a revolution started in their home country. Libyan protestors flooded the streets on Feb. 15, demanding that their dictator Muammar Gadhafi step down from a 42-year rule. Since 1969, the dictator has refused to form a constitution, disallowed freedom of speech and sponsored terrorist attacks. Gadhafi began to violently quash protests and sporadically shut down phone and Internet connections. The revolts turned violent, rebel leaders taking control of certain cities. Gadhafi has been using his heavily armed military against more sparsely armed rebel troops. On March 17, a no-fly zone was established by the United Nations Security Council. Weeks went by when the Sherifs could not contact their family. “It’s draining to watch the revolution,� junior Abdalla Sherif said. “When it started, I felt tired every day watching people get killed with my family. My father’s cousin died on the first day. I felt helpless. And if you open up the (Libyan) papers, My cousins couldn’t get to school for two weeks because of the soldiers in the streets.

We don’t get good sleep at all.� When the family was finally able to reach each other again, the Sherifs learned of the troops Gadhafi had placed throughout Libyan cities, ordered to shoot anyone suspicious. “We watch the news 24/7 now,� sophomore Abdul Sherif said. “I think our grades are even going down because of it. Now, we might stay up till 1:00 a.m. [to watch the news] because of the time zone difference.� The Sherifs are not the only Arabic students with relatives or friends in unstable African nations. Senior Kauthar Gaber has extended family in both Libya and Egypt and couldn’t reach several relatives at points over the last few months. “The situation puts tension and stress on the family,� Gaber said. “I mean, we’re proud of our origins and where we came from, but how would you like it if your mom just lost contact with you—you don’t know if she got shot, raped or kidnapped. I’d rather know someone died than not know whether they’re alive or captive or decaying in a ditch somewhere.� While many people feel that, in light of so much uncertainty and violence, the U.S. should intervene, some Arabic students disagree. “The Libyan people can handle it,� Abdalla Sherif said. “With foreign intervention, it’d be hard to say we did anything. We want to do it with our own hands.� What strikes their father Rida Sherif about the now bloody revolution is Gadhafi’s use of mercenary fighter pilots. Gadhafi pays nearby coun-

The Sharif family has been torn apart by the violent conflict in Libya over Muammar Gadhafi’s rule. Courtesy photo.

tries for the use of mercenaries and uses them to quell the revolutionary forces with air warfare that the rebels don’t have access to. “They kill innocent Libyans,� Rida Sherif said. “Libyan pilots refuse to do these kinds of things. Our uprising—it’s civilian, just like Egypt’s and Tunisia’s. It’s frightening because these mercenaries come with the permission of their governments.�

The Sherifs will be returning to Libya in 2013 when Rida Sherif finishes his PhD. Abdul and Abdalla Sherif will be reunited with their family in Libya and believe that the country will have changed for the better. “It’s going to be a better place,� Abdalla Sherif said. “We need a good president. Then we need a constitution. After that, it’ll be easy. I’m going to live freely and out of fear.�

Featured Story


Libya’s problems are its own By Merve Karan Opinion Writer

Do you think that America has the right to intervene in the conflict in Libya?

37% No

63% Yes

300 students were polled. Polls were conducted during third block classes. The Sharif brothers attend a mosque in Starkville where they speak with adults and reflect on the turmoil in their native country Libya. Photo by Hal Sullivan.

People are dying all over the world, yet media outlets everywhere have focused their attentions on the rioting countries in Africa. The most recent, and possibly the most controversial, are the riots in Libya. And unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you’ve probably heard all about it. To sum it all up, their president of forty years, Muammar el-Gadahfi, is finally being challenged. He is corrupt and ruthless, ready to have the streets of Libya flow with his people’s blood just to stay in power. He’s commanded the Libyan air force to fire on peaceful protestors. And really proving he’s senile; he claims that there are no riots in his country, and that all his people love him. President Barack Obama has stated that Gadhafi must step down. Currently, Gadhafi has little to no international support left, yet no desire to leave office. So now the international community is faced with a problem—to intervene or not to intervene? Leaders have decided to intervene and I am very much against it. African countries are known to be very unstable and every time something goes wrong, their old colonizers step in to solve the problem. Mostly, because these African countries hold a vast amount of oil. Maybe you’ve noticed the sudden rise of gas prices since the riots started. But these interventions can’t be done anymore. The international community needs to stop holding the hands of African countries. A strong country is born out of its struggles and previous errors, and it grows stronger every time it’s own people triumph over their dilemmas. I don’t think the time has come yet to formally plant troops—U.S. or otherwise—on Libyan soil. Although I’m completely against Gadhafi, I believe we should watch and see how things are playing out. Yes, the deaths are going to escalate, but in the end, when Gadhafi is gone and the people of Libya get a president they can trust in, it’ll be worth it. America’s history shows that a county can overcome their trials and tribulations without heavy international intervention and still emerge to be great. If it can be done here, it can be done anywhere, especially in Libya.




The editorial below is a written collaboration among all members of the Jacket Buzz editorial staff. Ideas expressed represent the majority opinion of the student editors.

Athletic program monopolizes school funding What is the point of high school? Is it to excel in every class and participate in every club? This is a goal that some students have when entering high school, yet we feel that the main goal of high school should be to prepare students for success after they have graduated and gone on to college or a career. Many programs at Starkville High School, such as the drama department, art program, and more recently the journalism department have won amazing amounts of awards in the past. We feel that these programs help stu-

dents prepare for college and future careers in many different aspects, yet receive very minimal funding. The football program receives a much larger amount of funding, but in the long run, how many students are actually going to go pro? Many students will not play beyond high school and though their time spent playing in high school is valuable, it will ultimately not carry them through college and a career. Although we are definitely not trying to downplay the importance of a strong athletic department, we feel that

football makes a large enough revenue to pay for most of its expenses without large amounts of additional funding. The amount of awards our football team receives is also a factor in the situation. Other programs SHS offers earn more awards; for example, many students in the art program are receiving gold key awards for portfolios and national awards annually. The drama department has received numerous awards for anual fall national festival competition. These programs should receive more funding based on merit.

The Jacket Buzz Volume 18, Issue 6

March 31, 2011

Zach Mitchell Editor-in-Chief

Taylor Bowden News Editor

Lammi Micha Sports Editor

Tess Long Opinions Editor

Ruth Brown Photo Editor

Cullom McCormick Clubs Editor

Ty Ringo Yearbook Editor

LaMarion Lindsey Marketing Director

Staff Members Dominic Henn, Christine Mazzola, Kiana Stinson, Andrew LaFrance, Hal Sullivan, Merve Karan, Tierra Tillman, Brandon Gardner, Mariel Marcum, Bailey Brocato, Jennifer Hunt, Ahsia Temple, and Yingying Zhang.

R.J. Morgan

Peer support can save lives


Statement of Policy The Jacket Buzz is published three times each semester by the Journalism Department at Starkville High School. The Jacket Buzz is a student-run publication committed to providing the students of Starkville High School with objective and informative coverage of events involving or affecting the student body. The Jacket Buzz serves SHS as a forum for student expression and thought. Content decisions are made by student editors, and factual errors will be corrected by a retraction in the next issue. Opinions expressed are those of students and do not necessarily reflect the views of the adviser, administration, Starkville High School faculty, or the Starkville School Distict. Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Jacket Buzz staff. Letters to the Editor are accepted and published, excluding those that are deemed libelous, malicious, hurtful or disruptive. Unsigned letters will not be published, and all letters are subject to editing. Please email all letters, or other comments, to

By Tess Long Opinion Editor A little over four years ago, I began really paying attention to what I was eating. I didn’t think I was fat, but I enjoyed the feeling of having control over something. It felt good to see that I was cutting my food intake in half. It was like a game I was playing. Who would win: my willpower or my human need for sustenance? For the next two to three years I kept a very strict diet, with the occasional sporadic, frenzied binge. This binging would leave

me guilty, and I would begin a strict, more rigorous diet. I would eat half a piece of grapefruit for breakfast, skip lunch, and often tell my parents I was eating dinner in my room and then throw it away. Looking back, I am extremely embarrassed that I ever let myself believe that by starving myself I could gain some sort of control over my life. It breaks my heart to know that almost 1 in 20 US girls will suffer from an eating disorder. Many more will be affected by a friend, family member or loved one that battles with an eating disorder. Knowing that someone you love is suffering from a self inflicted

illness is one of the hardest things to witness, and the very limited amount of awareness is shocking to me. An ED is a mental illness, and most who suffer from it will carry it with them their whole life. However with therapy and support from loved ones, an ED can be overcome. This is something I have had to struggle with for several years, but I’d like to think that now I can use my experience to positively influence others that are affected by an ED. I do not bring it up in conversation to bring attention to myself but only when I feel that maybe my history of ED will help someone else overcome theirs.



“Zangief Kid� shows value of defending self By Zach Mitchell Editor-in-Chief

English teacher Cynthia Milons instructs her class on how to operate MyReadingWeb and guides them through the testing. Photo by Ruth Brown.

MyReadingWeb frustrates many intelligent students How effective do you find myreadingweb ? By Hal Sullivan Opinion Writer By reading this, you are proving that the system does, in fact, work. If you cannot read this, you have much bigger problems ahead of you. So, having established that you can read at or around your expected “level,� why then are we made to seem like feeble, illiterate children? I’m speaking of the new program that the Starkville School District has implemented called MyReadingWeb. The SSD’s website says that, “Classroom teachers in many subjects will use MyReadingWeb to match individual students’ reading levels with reading material for class.� This may be the intention, but is not, however, the outcome. Let me offer you an analogy. There are two people: one, who’s just gotten over a cold, and the other who still has a cold. How much good would it do to give cold medicine to the one who wasn’t even sick as opposed to the one who legitimately needs it? MyReadingWeb is a lot like that cold

It will probably help my reading:

it won’t help anything; it’s a huge waste of time:

I’m completely indiferent:




Total number of students polled: 300

medicine - it’s terrific for the ones who need it, but for everyone who doesn’t, it makes them sleepy and bored. It would seem to me that classes like Mrs. Dibble’s AP Lit/Comp wouldn’t need to take time out of their college curriculum-driven coursework to fill in the blank with the appropriate words. As long as I’m being taken from class to reassure a higher authority that, yes, I can read by playing with insignificant

vocabulary words, I guess I’ll go. But I won’t be happy about it. I like to think that when I’m at school I’m going to be learning something that will help me with some aspect of my future career. I’m not calling for a coup or anything; I just feel that the school district and teachers at Starkville High School could be using that time to let their students do something productive.

There’s been a video floating around the Internet lately that features Casey Heynes, (also known as the “Zangief Kid�) a 15 year old child from Australia who is bullied and stands up for himself in a big way. This is a kid who has been tormented all of his life. Ever since second grade, this Australian child has been teased, punched, and even duct taped to a telephone pole by bullies. His group of eight friends has abandoned him in high school because he was bullied, adding to the torture. This is what happens when things build up. A kid gets suplexed. This one act of schoolyard violence has provoked a worldwide debate on venues like Fox News and The View on the nature of bullying and violence. Just take a look at the numerous tribute videos and Facebook groups supporting Heynes. He and the bully have both been suspended for four days due to the school’s zerotolerance stance on bullying. I’m not advocating violence, far from it. However, I believe that Heynes was in the right in this situation. I thinks it’s unfair to give him and the bully the same punishment when its obvious from the video that Heynes was acting in self-defense. Starkville High School currently has a zero-tolerance policy on fighting akin to the one at the Australian school. I distinctly remember being told, “if somebody starts punching you, you better take it� because the evervigilant teachers will apprehend the bully. This is contradictory to the nature of bullying. Someone please explain to me how often “just walking away� actually works. Again, I’m not advocating children fighting each other in the halls over small issues, but I think in this one extreme case I agree with Heynes. The way to stop bullying is to cut it off from the source. It’s obvious from the video and the subsequent interview that this isn’t an isolated event. One would think that a teacher would notice this continued abuse. Heynes’ parents had no clue that he was bullied either, which, I feel, is a common trend among those that are bullied. It’s easy to pretend that bullying doesn’t happen at SHS. It seems like something that only adults talk about and that we see on terrible public service announcements. Pay attention, though, and you’ll see it. I’m not saying that I’m not guilty either; I’ve said mean and hurtful things to peers and I’m not particularly proud of it. We could all be a little nicer though and stick up for kids who get bullied on a regular basis. Heynes stood up for himself and his basic rights as a human being.



Powerlifters go to state By Tierra Tillman Sports Writer

Jackets prepare for MSU Invitational By Lammi Micha Sports Editor

The Starkville High School powerlifting teams have competed well enough to qualify for the state meet. Out of 16 girls, four made it to North Half and three of those then made it to state. For the boys, about half the team placed going into state for their weight classes. “They’re doing pretty good,� senior Jarrod Atterberry said. “A lot of the younger boys are going to state.� Atterberry, who is a “volunteer coach� for the girls’ powerlifting team, is confident in his girls’ ability to place high at the state meet. “We’re trying to get Jondia to deadlift 330,� Atter-

Senior power lifter Latrecia Halbert places second at a regional power lifting competition. Courtesy photo

berry said. “We’re trying to get her bench up and maintain her squats.� Jondia Weatherspoon, a senior captain of the girls’ powerlifting team, is confi-

dent in her team’s ability to do well at state, but wishes the team worked more in preparation for the meet. “If we worked like we did last year, more of us would

have made it [to state],� Tierra Tillman Weatherspoon said. Sports Writer The Jackets will be competing in the state meet in Jackson, Miss. on Saturday, April 16.

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The Starkville High School track and field team has been preparing for the Mississippi State Bulldog Invitational this weekend. After placing 10th at the Homewood Invitational against state championship teams from Ala., Ga., Tenn. and Misss. last week, the boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; track team is prepared for he upcoming competition on Saturday, April 2. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The boys will do well,â&#x20AC;? head coach Caroline Woomer said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m excited about the boys.â&#x20AC;? By But, according to Woomer, the Lady Jacket track team has yet to prove themselves. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I see potential in the girls,â&#x20AC;? Woomer said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I

hope that they strive to meet that potential.â&#x20AC;? At the Paul Bryant invitational, the boys placed second while the girls placed sixth. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The runners learned a lot from the experience of the competition,â&#x20AC;? asst. coach Chris Barnett said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re exposed our runners to what track and field is about.â&#x20AC;? The Jackets are putting in extra work this week in order to prepare more for this Saturday. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The girls werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t able to practice over spring break like they have been,â&#x20AC;? Woomer said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Spring break slowed my girls down.â&#x20AC;? On Saturday, the discus competition will begin at 9:30 and the running races begin at 11:00.


Dawkins an intimidating target By MarkAnne Hobart Sports Writer

Senior catcher Blake Dawkins prepares before a game. Photo by Ruth Brown

Senior Blake Dawkins has been Starkville High Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s varsity catcher for three years. All-in-all, Dawkins has been playing baseball since he was five years old. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blake started baseball after he quit soccer when he was five because he said he got tired of running back-andforth on the feild,â&#x20AC;? mother and number one fan Kathy Dawkins said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been playing baseball ever since that year.â&#x20AC;? Following behind senior Wesley Montgomery and junior Nate Pugh, Dawkins is third in the batting line-up

with a batting average of .387. Dawkins has had quite a few college offers in the past year from schools like EMCC and Delta State University. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blake is an intimidating target,â&#x20AC;? head coach Danny Carlisle said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Three year starter, all division catcher for three years. I think heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll play somewhere at the next level, but I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know where.â&#x20AC;? Before even being a college ball player, Dawkins has already begun being admired by younger baseball players. Pugh, the starting pitcher for the Jackets, admires Dawkins because he is a good leader and catcher. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He always seems to pull through when we need him,â&#x20AC;? Pugh said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And he can be encouraging to players when they have their heads down.â&#x20AC;? Dawkins will be catching for the Jackets tonight against South Panola.


Tate earns scholarship, but gets no money By Lammi Micha Sports Editor

Last Thursday the Starkville High School bowling team had a scholarship bowling competition. The winner, junior Dalvin Tate, was denied the prize money after dominating the competition. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The only reason I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t win is because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not a senior,â&#x20AC;? Tate said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It enraged me, but I know when I bowl next year, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have a great chance of winning the scholarship.â&#x20AC;? Even though head bowling coach Jim Philamlee claims to have made it clear that anyone who wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a senior couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t win, Tate says that he went into the competition unaware of this. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was really devastated,â&#x20AC;? Tate said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was thinking â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I won this tournament but not the money?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Philamlee had a simple

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was devistated. Iwas thinking â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I won this tournament but not the money?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? -Dalvin Tate, junior

explanation for the predicament. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a senior,â&#x20AC;? Philamlee said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Only seniors can win the scholarship.â&#x20AC;? According to Philamlee, everyone competed because the coaches wanted them to compete, weather they were eligible or not. Tateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s close friend and bowling teammate Antonio Owens was upset by the situation as well. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I felt mad,â&#x20AC;? Owens said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I mean, you put in that

effort to win, but get no prize? It should be open and available to all ages who are on the team who bowl.â&#x20AC;? According to Philamlee, all bowlers were informed before the competition that only seniors were eligible to win the scholarship money. But the scholarship competition was still open to all bowlers regardless of the fact if they are seniors or not. If a person isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a senior, Philamlee says they are competing for nothing but bragging rights. But, since Tate is the first non-senior to have won the competition, Philamlee is going to still give Tate a prize. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dalvin gets a gift certificate on Thursday at the banquet,â&#x20AC;? Philamlee said. Tonight, Tate will be awarded a gift card and Adam Hayes and Chris Crosby will be awarded the second and fourth place cash prizes for seniors.

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Lady Jackets change game plan By Lammi Micha Sports Editor

Senior outfielder Tâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;keyia Davis steps up to the plate to bat against Weir on Tuesday afternoon. The Jackets won 18 - 8 and have one the last four out of five games. Photo by Ruth Brown

Lately, the Starkville High School Lady Jacket softball team (4-6) has been working to improve its game. According to head coach Michelle Milling, the team was not satisfied with their performance before spring break. So, they used the break as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;clean slateâ&#x20AC;? to sort of start their season over and change their attitudes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They saw we had the talent,â&#x20AC;? Milling said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe in themselves until they did it.â&#x20AC;? Before spring break, the Lady Jackets were dissatisfied with their five-game losing streak. With help from their leaders for motivation, the Lady Jackets refined themselves. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have won three out of the last four games,â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;If their heads are down, I try to pick them up by making them smile or laugh.â&#x20AC;? -Ty Ringo, senior

Milling said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Spring break was a clean slate and the girls now have confidence.â&#x20AC;? According to Milling, senior Jonissa Buchanan isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exactly the physical leader, but â&#x20AC;&#x153;when sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s up, the team is up.â&#x20AC;? Buchanan may be a leader, but she isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t very vocal. She leads more by example than with her voice.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jonissa cheers people on, but she doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t give any pep talks,â&#x20AC;? Milling said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ty Ringo and Shanice Campbell are the inspirational ones.â&#x20AC;? At game time, Ringo tries to make sure that no oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moral is lower. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If their heads are down, I try to pick them up by making them smile or laugh,â&#x20AC;? Ringo said. Ringo sees herself as both an emotional leader and physical leader. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I try to [lead by example],â&#x20AC;? Ringo said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I try to make sure my defense is up to par, my batting is pretty consistent and my attitude stays positive.â&#x20AC;? Over all, Milling is happy with her teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s change in pace and attitude. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m proud of them,â&#x20AC;? Milling said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The teams weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve beat this year are a lot better than the teams we beat last year.â&#x20AC;?

Carter earns Mississippi Coach of the Year By Lammi Micha Sports Editor This year, head boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; basketball coach Greg Carter earned the Miss. Coach of the Year Award. He is excited, yet modest about his accomplishments. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think I deserve it,â&#x20AC;? Carter said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m honored to have won it, but I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think I deserve it.â&#x20AC;? After years of hard work and determination, Carter has been given this award to honor his investment in his players. But he leaves all of the credit to his players and none to himself as their coach. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you have good players and put them in their places, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do the rest,â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is the best coach in


in my eyes.â&#x20AC;?

-Jacolby Mobley, junior

Carter said. Junior point guard Jacolby Mobley, is proud of his coach and believes that he is deserving of this award. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good coach all around,â&#x20AC;? Mobley said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love him as a coach.â&#x20AC;?

Mobley is also happy that Carter helped him grow and develop as a player. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I became a much better ball handler and shooter since Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been in coach Carterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s program,â&#x20AC;? Mobley said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He really deserves it.â&#x20AC;? According to Mobley, Carterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s secret to great coaching is spending oneon-one time with his players when they need his help on form, technique or anything else they may possibly need. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great at getting his team ready to win by practicing and workng hard,â&#x20AC;? Mobley said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is the best coach in Mississippi in my eyes.â&#x20AC;?

Head Yellow Jacket basketball coach Greg Carter directs his boys in how to properly execute the plays for the next game. Photo by Ruth Brown


Sports buzz


Jackets need win Carlisle looks to leaders for win this weekend By Ty Ringo Sports Writer This season, the Starkville High School Yellow Jacket baseball team has been off to a rough start with a 4-6 overall record and an 0-3 record in the district. The team still hopes for the best. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve run into some tough luck so far,â&#x20AC;? head coach Danny Carlisle said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we work hard, we can make it work.â&#x20AC;? Over spring break, the Jackets went to Fla. for a baseball tournament. Out of the three games, the Jackets only came out with one win. Starting pitcher, Nate Pugh, thinks the team could have done better. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was alright,â&#x20AC;? Pugh said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really have it together but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to bounce back and learn from our mistakes.â&#x20AC;? Pugh believes that one of the teams they played against in Fla., Escambia, is probably the hardest team they have played this year. Carlisle agrees with Pugh. Though they have run into tough luck, he believes they can make it work if they work hard. The Yellow Jackets believe that their success will come from the leaders of the team. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have some guys who are playing hard and showing a lot of leadership,â&#x20AC;? Carlisle said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are leading by example instead of just telling everyone what to do.â&#x20AC;? This week, the leaders of the team will have to

promote team work as the Jackets take on Tupelo and South Panola. â&#x20AC;&#x153;On defense, we need to throw strikes and we need to cut down on the errors,â&#x20AC;? junior Victor Johnson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t played against any team that we couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t win against; we just need to make plays.â&#x20AC;? Carlisle says to win against Tupelo and South Panola, the Jackets will have to make the routine plays, work on pitching, and do more hitting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we can cut down on errors and make more plays, we could have a better record than we have now,â&#x20AC;? Johnson said. The season has only just begun for the Jackets and they believe they can come out on top. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have been through a lot in the last three weeks,â&#x20AC;? senior catcher Blake Dawkins said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But if we get serious about baseball, I think we could do something really big.â&#x20AC;? On Tuesday, the Jackets were defeated by the Tupelo Golden Wave 8-5. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We lost because we couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t throw any strikes,â&#x20AC;? Johnson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make the plays we needed to.â&#x20AC;? The Jackets have South Panola at home on the schedule for tonight and they will travel to Tupelo tomorrow night. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we hit good and we throw good, then weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to play good,â&#x20AC;? senior Blake Harrell.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been through a lot the last three weeks and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re down right now.â&#x20AC;? - Blake Dawkins, senior

Senior first baseman Garrett Batson holds a man on first during Tuesday nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s loss to Tupelo. Photo by Ruth Brown

Jacket Buzz (03/31/11)  

The Jacket Buzz is the student newspaper of Starkville High School.

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