Page 1



E LE T’S MOV Michelle Obama’s mission to reduce obesity in America’s youth >>GriffinBur In 2008, 32 percent of children were participating in the Healthier US Schools overweight in America, according to a National Public Radio report. Over half of those children -- 17 percent -- were obese. In the tradition of past First Ladies who adopt political and social causes, First Lady Michelle Obama plans to start Let’s Move, a program targeting childhood obesity. The program has not been put in place yet but a highly detailed plan has been set forth by the First Lady. One of the program’s core tenets is combating obesity in schools. Let’s Move aims to “double the number of schools

Challenge” program and reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, according to the White House Web site. The Healthier US Schools Challenge Program “establish[es] rigorous standards for schools’ food quality, [...] physical activity, and nutrition education,” according to the Let’s Move Web site. Several important food suppliers including Sodexho, Chartwells and Aaramark have agreed to conform to the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines for health within five years.

>>continued on page 2

continued from one PHOTOESSAY: Boys’ swim team wins state (pg. 5) INSIDE: Financial section SPREAD: Senior art relates>>emotions ( 12-13)

page 2 news 03.01.10 First Lady Michelle Obama works to prevent obesity among American children

MICHELLE’S MISSION >>continued from page one

The Child Nutrition Act (CNA), signed into law in 1966 by Lyndon Johnson, is reauthorized every five years and was reauthorized most recently in September 2009. According to the Healthy Schools Campaign, a website, the CNA “essentially determines school food policy and resources.” According to the White House Web site, “the Administration is requesting an historic investment of an additional $10 billion over ten years starting in 2011.” This money will go towards enrolling more kids in the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs, as well as improving the program for those already participating. Nancy Coughenour, Manager of Food Services for the Shawnee Mission School District, has not yet been contacted about the program but says that the district is already a relatively healthy one. Coughenour pointed to the Board of Education’s wellness policy established in 2006, and changes in school lunches as indicators of the district’s health. Among other moves, the district has removed friers from schools, added vegetarian entrees and reduced the fat content of meat products. Principal Dr. Karl Krawitz has not been officially notified about the program but would be very interested in a program promoting student wellness. While he applauds East’s high levels of participation in student athletics, Krawitz would like to see daily physical education required for students. “I think we ended up taking physical activity for granted,” Krawitz said. “We need more activity; it’s a daily kind of thing.” However, Krawitz said that it was unlikely that such a plan would be enacted in the near future, saying that other school officials may not share his viewpoint. Krawitz himself has a mixed view of East’s health. On the one hand, he said, the cafeteria menu is somewhat unhealthy but does a fair job at balancing healthy foods with ones that appeal to students. “[For example], pasta and other foods with starch and carbohydrates are served daily,” Krawitz said. “But I also know [...] that it must be very difficult to have healthy food that students will actually eat. I think the district and kitch-

en want to truly provide the best food out there and we do have a lot more choice in foods here at East than at other schools I’ve been at.” While the Healthier US Schools program will add new guidelines, all US school districts are already subject to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, according to Coughenour. Additionally, all Kansas districts must follow Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) guidelines and the district is audited annually by the state government. The guidelines specify, among others, “no more than 30 percent of total calories from fat, no less than 100 percent of age/grade range standards for calories” and minimum amounts of vitamins, iron, calcium, fiber and protein. According to Coughenour, one of the difficulties in promoting childhood nutrition is balancing health with other variables. “[The challenge is] finding foods that are healthy, affordable and that the students like,” Coughenour said in an email interview. Exercise, said Coughenour, can be equally as important as nutrition. She emphasized both as being important for student health. “We need to be role models and teach the youth the concepts to be able to balance food with physical activity,” Coughenour said. Sally Berry Brown, a Kansas City-based dietitian and nutritionist, supports the First Lady’s plan to combat obesity. According to Brown, one of the benefits of the First Lady’s plan is that it promotes healthy lifestyles rather than castigating unhealthiness. “I like the idea of focusing on positives rather than the negative feeling of restriction, dieting and obesity,” Brown said in an e-mail interview. “We certainly don’t need anymore shame and blame.” In her profession, Brown frequently finds firsthand evidence of America’s childhood obesity problems. “I see at least one child or adolescent weekly with insulin resistance, high cholesterol, or weight problems due to effects of nutrition and exercise habits,” Brown said.

Childhood obesity has been difficult to eliminate, and no single cause or solution has been presented. But Brown finds that many of the causes of -- and potential solutions to >> -- obesity can be traced back to a child’s surroundings. “I feel that our ‘obesity’ epidemic is really a disordered eating epidemic,” Brown said. “[Previous] plans have not worked because we are focusing the problem on the child rather than the real problem... the child’s environment.” Senior Scarlett Cooley says there are some healthy and nutritious options in the cafeteria but would appreciate more variety, especially with vegetarian entries. “The veggie burger is good,” Cooley said. “But the fruit options are tiny except the whole fruit. I wish they sold good tea and juice and had more non-meat meal options.” While fad diets and exercise programs wax and wane in popularity, Brown believes that the true solution to childhood obesity is long term exercise and healthy eating habits. “[We need to] just live with good healthy foods and have fun in play and spots on a daily basis”

What’s in a Fast Food Meal? health stats on various restaurant foods

French Fries 230 calories 100 calories from fat 11 grams of fat 160 mg of sodium

Chicken Sandwich 250 calories 80 calories from fat 9 grams of fat 520 mg of sodium >>

Sonic Combo Meal

BBQ Wrap 310 calories 130 calories from fat 15 grams of fat 610 mg of sodium

Burger King Combo

Tater Tots 130 calories 70 calories from fat 8 grams of fat 270 mg of sodium >>

Onion Rings 450 calories 24 grams of fat 700 mg of sodium

Hamburger 340 calories 20 grams of fat 530 mg of sodium >>

all photos by KatieEast

McDonald’s Combo Meal

issue 12 news page 3

, n o i t c a , a r e m a c lights,

EAST >>MorganChristian

On any given school day, East’s gym would be empty at five in the morning. No varsity point guards would rush to dribble the basketball up the court. The only movement would come from the dust-bunnies floating across the hardwood, spurred on by the drafts of the air conditioning system. But this Friday, the gym will be full of caffeinated teenagers waving signs, chanting “bananas” and performing crazy stunts for the cameras of KCTV5’s More in the Morning news crew. Reporter and meteorologist Iris Hermosillo, along with a cameraman, will be broadcasting live until 8 a.m. as part of the “Cool School” segment of the program. Begun last August, the Cool School segment is part of an ongoing series sponsored by Wendy’s that highlights a different area high school each Friday for its nonathletic programs and achievements. To nominate a school, students, parents or community members fill out an entry form on KCTV5’s Web site expressing why their school should be highlighted. Each week, account executive Nikki Decker and executive producer Robbyn DeSpain review submissions and select a high school. Other contending high schools for this week included Spring Hill, Kearney, and Shawnee Mission North. East has received a variety of submissions since last October, when KCTV5 first approached Leigh Anne Neal, the district’s Director of Public Information and Communications, about a broadcast. Community members listed a wide range of qualifications in their responses, mentioning the Categories and debate teams, choir and theater departments, the different Honors Societies and the journalism program. However, it was the volunteer work of East that especially caught the attention of Decker and DeSpain. “SHARE really sparked our interest,” Decker said. “East has a lot to offer. It has a lot of different programs to get kids involved in the community and in the school.” This is why Hermosillo will be on location and wearing Columbia blue, black and white to capture the action of the morning’s activities. Interested parents can watch from 5-7 a.m. on KCTV5, then see the third hour on KSMO-TV. Associate Principal Heather Royce has been in charge of planning the schedule for Friday’s broadcast in accordance with KCTV5’s timeline. There will be around seven live seg-

KCTV5 will shoot their program ‘More in the Morning’ at East after ‘Cool School’ nomination

ments, each five to seven minutes in length. At press time, students to be featured in these segments included National Merit finalists, senior Sarah Are, who is being presented with the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for her work in Coalition, and Harbinger and Hauberk staff members. Other groups in consideration for live performances were the Choraliers, cheerleaders, Lancer Dancers, Pep Band, Martial Arts Club and theater students. Are expects the student body to make a good impression. “We have a lot of student leaders, and we have a ton of clubs and groups,” Are said. “There are a million ways to get involved and a million ways to be your own leader...Not everyone can be a leader, but the option is there and the support is there.” Other components of the morning program will include a sign contest with winners receiving Wendy’s gift cards, a staff versus students Categories competition and a dodgeball showdown between the faculty and the Widowmakers, champions of the SHARE dodgeball tournament earlier this year. Additionally, the first 500 people to arrive at they gym receive free Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits. Then in a live segment at 6:10 a.m., Mike Hotchkiss, Director of Area Operations for Wendy’s, will present the Cool Schools trophy to principal Dr. Karl Krawitz and Student Council president Joe Craig. Craig hopes KCTV5’s viewers will be able to see another side of East. “I want people to understand that, obviously we’ve dominated country club sports in the state of Kansas for many, many years, but that we’ve really smart kids,” Craig said. “I hope people can see that..we’re more than just a country club sports powerhouse. Hotchkiss cites similar reasons when speaking about why Wendy’s teamed with KCTV5 to start the program. “We thought we would take the opportunity to recognize other students that work very hard in school...but don’t get a lot of notoriety,” Hotchkiss said. At the end of the academic year, all featured high schools will be eligible to receive a $2,500 general scholarship from Wendy’s. A school is chosen based its enthusiasm and participation during the broadcast, its school spirit and the

kinds of nonathletic programs cited in its nominations. Hotchkiss, along with area Wendy’s owners Kirk Williams, Dave Merola and Mike Pollock, will make this decision, taking into account the input of Decker and DeSpain. Pictures of the morning’s activities can be found on Facebook 1-2 days after the broadcast. Video is posted on KCTV5’s Web site that morning. Royce is optimistic about how the morning will proceed. “It’s a little bit of pride and competitiveness,” Royce said. “We want to show that we consider ourselves to be the best school in the area.”

how to be the ‘COOLEST’

advice from account executive Nikki Decker

1) Uniqueness

“Schools need to show what programs are different from all other schools in their area — what makes them stand out.”

2) Charity “It’s great if schools are involved in charitable organizations. At one school involved in breast cancer awareness, everyone came dressed in pink.”

3) Signs

“Students should bring signs because Wendy’s will be here giving out gift certificates. $20 for the first place sign, $15 for second, $10 for third.”

4) Numbers “There need to be lots of students there showing how much spirit they have.”

>>Samantha Bartow


More on the ‘Cool School’ Program from ‘More in the Morning’ Executive Producer Robbyn DeSpain

What was the founding goal of the ‘Cool School’ program? “It is a combined effort by KCTV5 and Wendy’s to show off non-athletic achievements of metro area high schools. At many schools, the athletic programs receive all the recognition and we want to give clubs and organizations a chance to also have a voice.”

What goes on behind-the-scenes in making the ‘Cool School’ decision? “I am in charge of making initial contact with the schools that are chosen after being nominated. Students nominate schools on our Web site,, and a coworker and I thumb through them to select who we think is the most deserving. I then contact the school to see if there is an interest on their part. If the school says ‘yes’, we begin the planning process.”

What do you hope students take away from the broadcast experience? “I think a Cool School is able to take a lot of pride in the fact that it was chosen as a representative of not just its students, but also the community. With each broadcast, I hope students realize how many great opportunities exist if they just put forth the effort. “

What is the routine the morning of the broadcast? “On the morning of the live broadcast, our reporter and photographer get to the school early to set up. They then get together with the school organizer to plan out how things will run during the entire three hours of “More in the Morning.” It’s exciting for us back at the station to see how much fun students, faculty, and staff have during the show.”

>>All photos by Dan Stewart

page 4 news 03.01.10


Monday, March 1

Advanced Rep Show 6 p.m in the Cafeteria

The Advanced Repertory Theatre students will perform a production of the Dr. Seuss stories “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” “Daisy-Head Mayzie,” and “Red Greens and Ham.”

7 p.m. in the Little Theater

All Sports Booster Meeting

7 p.m. in the Band Room


IB present to future I think it will be a different environment because the class sizes will be doubled. I think it will be better because kids will have more friends.

>>Junior Tom Hung

Invading IB

THE NEWS {in brief}

Theater Booster Meeting

Next year, East’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Program will host the largest junior class it’s ever had. Since IB started at East 15 years ago, class sizes have ranged from 11 and 35. However, at the close of the sophomore enrollment process, a total of 44 sophomores had signed up for IB. “This will be the first year that we have enrolled over 40,” IB coordinator Rebecca Murphy said. “I think it’s very exciting that this many students want to pursue the program.” A main cause for bigger IB classes in previous years is the program’s open enrollment. For the first 11 years it was offered at East, not all students made it into IB due to the strict guidelines for who was allowed to participate. Similar to National Honors Society, students who applied were evaluated by Murphy. She looked at their GPA, previous class selections, and standardized test scores, but allowed only the students that met her criteria into the program. “[Non-open enrollment] was never the philosophy of the governing IB organization,” Murphy said. “This was supposed to be an exceptional rigorous college preparatory program suitable for a wider variety of potential students.” About three or four years ago, the district dissolved the requirements for IB and AP. During that year and the years to follow, any student up for the IB challenge could join. “As our requirements disappeared and more students were participating in the program with success, I think more of our sophomores had confidence in being successful in IB,” Murphy said. However, students have the opportunity to drop the IB program as a whole. Murphy has had at most only one student drop IB each year, and has gone years without any

Next school year, 45 incoming juniors will be

LEFT 14 juniors sit in an IB History of the Americas class. 14 students is a normal size class for IB courses.

2 kids dropping. However, sophomore Maggie Thomas is expecting some students to drop. She chose the IB path over AP after much consideration, but believes some kids might have chosen it at the last minute. “Kids just decided that they would do it to do what everyone else is doing, thinking it wouldn’t be that hard,” Thomas said. “I think it’s going to be a huge shock to people who just wanted to seem cool and do IB.” Junior IB English teacher Marla Lindsay never enjoys hearing that one of her students is dropping, but accepts that the program isn’t for everyone. IB requires students to be strong in all curricular classes, as opposed to the AP style of selective challenging classes. “Sometimes students realize that they want a different path,” Lindsay said. “I don’t know that I would anticipate anyone dropping out. The course and our teaching aren’t designed to cause them to do that.” With classes of nine and 16 IB juniors this year, Lindsay is used to teaching smaller numbers. Fewer students are generally ideal for everyone to practice the oral component of the IB test. “The students need a chance to practice their oral skills and you just need less voices competing in the room to do that,” Lindsay said. “[But] I think it’s actually great to see the numbers up because it’s nice to have a little bit larger group in class to consistently have different perspectives and keep the dialogue going.” Murphy is aware of the stress and extra work the larger class will put on the teachers. She’s requested a second Theory of Knowledge teacher from the district to teach either juniors or seniors so current TOK teacher Nick Paris will not become overwhelmed with 70 students. However, with the district’s budget cuts,

Murphy realizes this request may be unfulfilled. Next year she will have the same amount of money to spend as this year, even with the additional students. “I’m an economics teacher, so I try to be very mindful of making sure that I do everything in my power to be efficient,” Murphy said. Despite the budget cuts affecting IB, students are still attracted to it, partly because of its eminent ‘family’ feel. By the time they graduate high school, the students are said to have become a close group of friends. However, some future IB juniors are worried about the group dynamics. Thomas supposes there will be smaller groups within the large class. “I’ve heard you get really close, like a family,” Thomas said. “But with the huge group that we have going into it, you can’t really be a family with 40 or more other people.” Others like sophomore Tucker Styrkowicz, who is excited to join IB with many of his close friends, is optimistic about their record-breaking class. “I look at it as all of the kids in IB become close friends,” Styrkowicz said. “So if there are more kids than you’ll just have more people you work with on a consistent basis and more views on all the work you do together.” Murphy agrees that one of the bonuses of more students is a larger group to discuss with. She is a strong believer of the IB program and its long-term benefits, and welcomes the large group of incoming juniors. “The most rewarding [part] for me,” Murphy said, “is getting feedback from students who are in the first two years of college and hearing how the preparation provided by our IB program directly correlates with their university success.”

45 4

Students are expected to be enrolled in IB courses as juniors next year. This is in contrast to the 25 current juniors.


Students in English and history classes rather than this year’s small classes of 14 and 11.

Theory of Knowledge classes will be held now instead of the regular two, which is one senior class and one junior class.

Tuesday, March 2

9:40 a.m. Late Start Advanced Rep Tour The Advanced Repertory Theatre students will be performing their collection of Dr. Seuss stories at six elementary schools throughout the day.

NHS Induction Ceremony and Reception 7: 30 p.m. in the Auditorium


Thursday. March 4

Orchestra Booster Meeting 7 p.m. in the Orchestra Room

College Connection

7-9 p.m. in the Auditorium


Friday. March 5

Masterworks Concert

7 p.m. @ Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral Admission is free to “A Night in Vienna,” a collaborative concert of the Choraliers and the Chamber Orchestra.


Tuesday, March 9

District Choral Festival 7 p.m. @ SMNW


Wednesday, March 10

AP Registration Deadline


Thursday March 11

International Club Meeting 2:45 p.m. in the Library

Exchange students Anna Seilund from Denmark and Marisol Galicia from Mexico will speak to the group.

Orchestra Collage Concert 7 p.m., in the Auditorium

The East Orchestra and East area elementary and middle school orchestras will play. Each orchestra will play individually and then either the hymn “A Mighty Fortress” or Handel’s “March from Scipio” together.


Friday March 12

End of Quater- 1:10 p.m. Early Release

issue 12 photo essay page 5

bringing it back

HOME Coming off last year’s third place finish at state, the boys’ swim team wins its fifth title in six years

ABOVE: Senior Clay Finley composes himself behind the blocks before racing against Cameron Gulledge of Blue Valley North in the 50 yard freestyle final. BV North was East’s strongest competition at state, finishing second in the meet by only eight-and-a-half points to the Lancers. >>Grant Heinlein

FAR ABOVE: Senior Hunter Stevenson embraces junior Conor Twibell after Stevenson helped seal the Lancers’ victory with a second place finish in the 400 freestyle relay.

>>Grant Heinlein

ABOVE: Swimming the breaststroke, junior Patrick McGannon finishes the third leg of his 200 yard individual medley. >>Eden Schoofs

ABOVE: Coach Wiley Wright dives into the pool in order to celebrate the team’s victory, a time-honored tradition of swim teams after they win the state championship. >>Michael Stolle LEFT: Junior Andrew Watkins shaves his legs in the hotel bathtub prior to the meet on Saturday. Swimmers shave body hair and wear specialized suits in order to increase aerodynamics and drop time. >>Michael Stolle

issue 12 editorialpage 7


School districts should be allowed to use more local funding

to The SMSD was included among these districts. The extra money that went to the district was used in many areas and ultimately beneficial. However, if our district wants to make a tax like this a possibility yet again, they must get the state to change current restrictions put on our Local Option Budget (LOB). Currently, 31 percent of our general >> photo illustration by Katie East fund comes in through this budget, which is essentially just taxes. The other 69 percent comes from Across the Shawnee Mission School District there have state legislature. The formula used for how much monbeen a series of budget meetings informing people on the ey the state give districts is $4,200 multiplied by the number current financial state of the district. At these meetings, adof students a district has, in our case, 28,000. ministrator Gene Johnson has stated the many budgetary This law was originally enacted in 1992 so smaller districts cuts the Shawnee Mission School District will be taking to who don’t have a lot of local income can sustain themselves. get out of their current debt. But a key part of this plan that The problem now with the larger districts is that the 31 perwas not included in these meetings is the possibility of a locent coming in locally is not enough. In the SMSD’s case, cal tax. they need more money now, and if 31 percent was to raise to This is a great option for a number of reasons, but above 40 percent, the district would have much more money comall else, it would give more power to the everyday citizen ing in through taxes. even if it is not passed. The district is currently trying to get this law changed and With the current troubles that the they are right in this stance for a number of reasons. SMSD is going through, this connecCurrently in the district, a tax similar to the aforemenLetters to tion between administrator and citi- tioned is an absolute necessity. In the past decade, the disthe editor should zen is now needed more than ever. trict has steadily declined financially, losing state funded be sent to room 521 Improvement cannot be brought money each year. Last year, budgetary cuts were deemed or smeharbinger@ about simply by budget cuts. Citizens necessary in many departments-- certain elementary need to be involved in local elections schools were combined or flat-out shut down, the CIS Letters and given the right to vote on these may be edited for issues. A simple solution, if passed, gram was relocated to Shawnee Mission South and Driver’s clarity, length, libel would be a minor tax that can be Education Programs were eliminated. And this year an additional $10.2 million is estimated to be cut from the budget and mechanics and either be voted yes or no on in local according to the local budget meetings. accepted or rejected elections. So, if the state can change the current law, a very minor In 2003, this was used in Johnson at the editor’s tax could be an option in local elections that would go toCounty when voters were asked to discretion. wards fixing the current budgetary woes in the district. answer yes or no on a quarter-cent Some may make the argument that people will not be so sales tax which would help fund quick to vote yes on something that will take money from public schools in Johnson County. It was ultimately adopttheir own pocket. But as the second largest school district ed and renewed again in 2006, but for the last time. In its in Kansas with 28,000 students and 4,100 employees, the three year span, the eligible public school districts received SMSD’s problems are an obvious concern for a large demoslightly more than $66.4 million dollars in taxes, according graphic of people. Already a group has been formed called “Save the Shawnee Mission School District.” The group follows the district and even has their own Web site where you can learn about the current state of the district and offers steps on how you can help out. Also, some people find this tax unfair because rural districts with less money would not be able to pull off



a publication of shawnee mission east high school 7500 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS 66208

Editors-In-Chief >>Tim Shedor >>Phoebe Unterman Assistant Editors >>Sam Logan >>Kevin Simpson Head Copy Editor >>Andrew Goble  Art and Design Editor >>Michael Stolle  News Editor >>Annie Sgroi News Page Editors >>Alysabeth Albano >>Haley  Martin Editorial Editor >>Jack Howland Opinion Editor >>Aubrey Leiter Opinion Page Editors

>>Tom Lynch >>Kennedy Burgess Features Editor >>Duncan McHenry Feature Page Editors >>Sarah McKittrick >> Kat Buchanan >>Anna Bernard Spread Editor >>Emma Pennington Asst. Spread Editor >>Morgan Christian A&E Editor >>Mac Tamblyn A&E Page Editors >>Raina Weinberg >>Maddy Bailey >>Bob Martin Mixed Editor >>Toni Aguiar

March 1, 2010 issue 12, vol. 51

Sports Editor >>Sam Logan Sports Page Editors >>Corbin Barnds >>Christa McKittrick >>Evan Nichols Photo Editor >>Mackenzie Wylie Assistant Photo Editor >>Dan Stewart >>Grant Heinlein  Freelance Page Editors >>Kathleen Ireland >>Collen Ireland >>Lilly Myers Copy Editors >>Andrew Goble >>Logan Heley >>Jack Howland >>Sam Kovzan >>Annie Sgroi >>Tim Shedor >>Kevin Simpson

>>Michael Stolle >>Phoebe Unterman >>Kat Buchanan >>Evan Nichols >>Duncan McHenry Staff Writers >>Griffin Bur >>Grant Kendall >>Alex Lamb >>Anne Willman >>Katy Westhoff >>Ian Wiseman >>Matt Gannon Contributor >>Kiki Sykes Editorial Board >>Griffin Bur >>Andrew Goble >>Logan Heley >>Sam Logan >>Jack Howland >>Annie Sgroi >>Tim Shedor

such a levy. And while this is true, in some ways the SMSD is in more need of financial aid than rural districts. One of the main reasons the SMSD is eligible for this tax in the first place is that their money per student rate is notably low -- $8,890 according to the Kansas City Star. But in rural schools that number is substantially higher -- Healy School District in Healy, Kansas has $19,943 available per student, West Solomon in Lenora, Kansas has $19,356 and Jewell in Randall, Kansas has $18,580. All of these districts contain just a fraction of the students that the SMSD has and consequently, more money is open for each student. So right now, the SMSD needs these taxes more than that of rural districts. So why not go for this additional tax? If our current funding system can be changed, a tax like this could only be beneficial to the district. If it is passed, it will bring in a substantially higher amount of money than now. And if it’s rejected, at least citizens had a say in the tax and were involved. A key element to getting out of financial debt is involvement of the people. In continuing to move towards this tax, the SMSD is giving hope that they can get out of their problematic financial state.

Letter to the Editor I wanted to respond to your recent review of Cozy’s Cafe with my own enjoyable experiences eating breakfast, lunch and dinner there. The owner, who’s name is Cozettta, has taken what once was a convenience store and brightened it up into what I find to be a bright, local spot for meals and the shared company of friends. They offer the usual American food options, plus some treats from Cozetta’s European background. I had a nice portion of salmon, a great helping of vegetables and toasted bread for $10.99, pretty hard to beat. My breakfast was a great value as well. I hear several small groups from nearby religious and business establishments make it one of their regular gathering places. I have been very glad to have this clean, pleasant little spot in the neighborhood where I can go to meet others for an affordable, tasty meal. Best, Bill Roush, East Parent



The majority opinion of the Harbinger Editorial Board

>>KevinSimpson >>Michael Stolle >>Mac Tamblyn >>Phoebe Unterman >>Corbin Barnds Photographers >>Eden Schoofs >>Lindsey Hartnett >>Nathan Simpson >>Samantha Bartow >>Anna Marken >>Katie East >>Grant Kendall >>Claire Wahrer >>Michael Stolle >>Sammi Kelly Staff Artists >>Kennedy Burgess >>Morgan Christian Circulation Manager >>Jeff Cole Ads Manager >>Anne Willman


against absent

11 1 0 Online Editors >>Michael Stolle Assistant Online Editors >>Logan Heley >>Pat McGannon PR Representative >>Jeff Cole Online Staff Writers >>Christopher Heady >>Elizabeth Mcgranahan Online Copy Editor >>Bob Martin Online Photographer >>Mackenzie Wylie >>Nathan Simpson Anchor/Vlogger >>Andrew Goble  >>Jeff Cole Videographer >>Alex Lamb Adviser >>Dow Tate

The Harbinger is a student run publication. The contents and views are produced solely by the staff and do not represent the Shawnee Mission School District, East faculty, or school administration.

page 8 opinion 03.01.10

being the

of the

But it no longer mattered to me because I would take advantage of the opportunities the school gave me to participate in as many athletic programs as I wanted. Sure, I never got my name chanted in the gym after sinking a threepointer against Rockhurst. Sure, I never got to win a state championship, and sure, I was never all that great at the sports I competed in every year. But I sure did have more fun doing it than most kids. I didn’t bring my capabilities down, but because I’m not exactly an athletic specimen it came to be that my efforts made me the best at being the worst. I embraced that and I never backed away from it. I was a “B team” athlete for both the freshman football and basketball teams, I won the mile event at JV track meets, and I was the unofficial captain for cross country my senior year… for the C Team. I won a majority of my swimming heats in the 50 freestyle against kids who had been swimming competitively for two or three years while I, on the other hand, had been at it for 13. When the time finally came for my first action in varsity competition I had to do it while flinging myself off a diving board in a speedo that lay so close to my skin it may as well have just been a tattoo. It’s sad to think that those are the highlights of a lowly career, but in reality they’ve shaped me into who I am today: You’re not always going to be the best at what it is you do, but so long as you’ve got a spot on the team—be it the “A” squad, the “B” squad or the “Z” squad— you can play ball like MJ or like me and still make the most of it. Never again will you get to compete with and against the kids you grew up with your whole life. Even if you win a mile race with a time two minutes slower than the kid who runs on varsity, it counts because you still beat somebody… Regardless of whether or not that somebody looks more like Jared Fogle pre-Subway diet than a runner. Even if you’ve been the leader of a team made up of only the kids who finish last, still hold on to the fact that at least someone looked up to you because you had the same capabilities as them. And even if you’ve been the one who has experienced diving into a pool wearing a speedo when you shouldn’t be sporting, well, just don’t make the same mistake I did and bring it up… There’s nothing uplifting about it. Although I was the ultimate nomadic teammate as I traveled amongst teams frequently during my four years here at East, the positive things I’ve been able to take out of so many ups, downs, and even more downs are ones I wouldn’t have been able to find anywhere else. It’s what draws everyone, not just myself, to sports—the need to experience greatness through competition. I just did it in a much less traditional way. It’s why I’m the best bad athlete to have worn the LANCER name across his chest. It’s why I’m who I am today, and it’s why I’m proud to let others know I wasn’t always the best at them, but I was the best at finding the good things that could come out of them. Sorry, I’m not at all that sorry I sucked.


highest lows of the

1 2 3

Sam recalls three memories that prove he sucked at sports

In a duel meet against BV North my junior year, I was miraculously given my first ever shot at varsity glory with the dive team... I dove okay until I smacked my face on the water while doing a double.

My freshman year during basketball I was given two technicals in backto-back games: one for helping up an opposing Rockhurst defender whom the referee thought I was taunting.

During a cross country meet as thenjunior Harper Coulson and I jackrabbited the race and led the field for about 100 yards. We were gassed and went from first to last in a flash. Backfired plan.

Sorry I sucked. I don’t mean this in terms of my personality but rather in regards to my sporting career. Er, “sporting career.” It’s a bold statement for me to make about myself, but I’m actually >>SamLogan pretty confident in it. This isn’t some self-pity rant, but really, if you’ve always wanted to hear me say that—and I’m sure some of you have— then congratulations. You can now join a long line of teammates, coaches, opposing teammates, opposing coaches, referees, and just about everybody else involved with my athletic events aside from my mother and father. For the first time ever, I’m about to give Lancer fans a reason to celebrate. My athletic career is over. And don’t worry, I won’t be coming out of retirement either; graduation is starting to sound like an okay solution. It’s been a long journey—for both myself and for those who have had to witness it—I’ve played basketball and football, run cross country and track, dove for a year and swam. That’s so many different teams it seems like I’ve been able to do almost all of them but drill team… And I promise there are no plans for that. Four years and zero athletic lettering awards after my first day as a Lancer athlete on the football field in 2006, it’s safe to say I’ll never again be competing in the Columbia blue and black. For most this would be a coming-of-age event, but I see it rather as a celebration, for it seems unlikely that there ever was another Lancer athlete so downright mediocre at his or her sport that he or she felt the need to stop and try another one six different times. It took seven paragraphs to set-up but it’s really pretty plain to see: I’m the best bad athlete in school history. Coming from an extended family where every kid that’s attended East has lettered on a varsity sport and even three won the Newcomer Scholarship Award, it would be easy to consider this feat mildly depressing, yet I couldn’t be more proud of it. Growing up I wanted to be a pitcher in the big leagues. I also wanted to be the next John Stockton and Brett Favre and Lance Armstrong. It just depended on the day. I wanted to be anything that involved getting to wear a jersey for a living. Talk about business casual. Aside from Pokemon cards and pop-tarts, I thought sports were the coolest thing ever, and I still kind of do. This time around, though, I know there’s more to them than just being on ESPN and signing autographs. Now I can look back and see the path I took and take pride in having been able to stay passionate about something while not being all that successful at it. After all, my freshman football team won just a single game and my freshman basketball team didn’t win many more. That first year of high school made me realize I wasn’t all that great like I had thought. an opinion of

pson Thom

Athletically-challenged senior reflects on the benefits of being the most successful bad athlete this school has ever seen




Sophomore experiments a vegan lifestyle for eight days

an opinion of

From Feb. 17-23, I tried a diet that only one percent of all Americans choose to follow— I ate like a vegan. That’s right: no meat, no animal by-products and no junk food. Nothing but natural fruits, veggies and food. I felt super indie. Before I began this all-natural diet, I did some research >>EvanNichols on what it truly meant to be vegan, which is commonly mixed up or used synonymously with vegetarianism. The core ideas may be the same (no eating animals), but vegans take their dieting a step further, choosing not to eat “animal by-products,” AKA milk, eggs, honey, etc. So long, Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. My diet started fittingly on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent for Catholics. My goals: eat a completely vegan diet for one week, stay away from junk food, keep track of my meals and snacks. Let the adventure begin.

DAY 1 I woke up at 6:15 a.m. to go to Ash Wednesday mass. I didn’t have time to eat breakfast before mass, so I had a fresh banana before my first hour Spanish class started. I was a little nervous when lunch came. Walking into the cafeteria was tough knowing I wouldn’t be able to enjoy about half the food in there. No Domino’s pizza, chocolate milk for me. For my first vegan-friendly lunch, I nibbled on some carrots and raisins, with a Pink Lady apple for dessert. I forgot to pack food with protein, leaving my stomach growling and half-empty for the rest of the day. It was even tougher walking into my math class and seeing the kid in the desk to my left gulping down Wild Berry Skittles while I was left with my shriveled grapes. I wished I could have a little taste of the rainbow again. I made it home by 3 p.m., my stomach whining for some protein-filled food. I went through the pantry and fridge, desperate for some vegan-worthy snack. Frustrated that most of my favorite after-school snacks were now outlawed -- Goldfish, a glass of chocolate milk, bagel bites -- I finally found

a nice vegan-appropriate gift my mom had left me in the freezer-Veggie burgers. For those interested in what a veggie burger tastes like- think of taking a bite into a juicy, medium-well burger. Now replace that taste with lukewarm, compressed veggies covered dipped in some fake meat sauce. It valiantly attempted (emphasis on attempted) to taste like a real ole’ fashioned diner burger, but instead delivered a watered down taste of celery and mixed vegetables. I guess my expectations for my first vegan snack were a little too high. For dinner I enjoyed whole-wheat spaghetti with vegan sauce. I almost reached for the Parmesan until I remembered. Cheese is off limits. The heaping plate of spaghetti was a meal nonetheless. And after doing some searching on, I created my own version of a vegan dessert— a couple spoons of peanut butter drizzled in chocolate syrup. Very delicious and filling. Went to bed with a content stomach.


DAY 2 After choosing to ignore my alarm for a solid half hour, I woke up late, not feeling as energetic as usual. Yet again depriving myself of a decent breakfast, I ended up eating a peanut-buttery homemade energy bar during second hour to keep me from tanking before lunch. Lunch wasn’t as painful the second time around; I feasted on the classic PB&J with banana and raisins. A humble but filling meal. With my mom out for the night and no vegan-quality leftovers, my vegan culinary skills were put to the test. I briefly considered the God-knows-how-old tofu shoved in the back of my fridge, but then realized that wanna-be meat had probably been in that fridge since the early ‘90s. Staying within my cooking abilities, I went with tor-

tilla wraps, a much safer and tastier choice than the tofu. The first tortilla got a hearty slathering of hummus and pine nuts, with pita chips sprinkled on top. The second received a couple squirts of ranch dressing, sliced baby carrots and fresh lettuce. Both passed my taste test -- my Pita and veggie wraps are definitely something I would eat even after the vegan diet was over. After wrapping up dinner I ran up to Price Chopper and picked up some zesty lemon sorbet to eat while I watched the Winter Olympics. But at the end of the day, my stomach didn’t feel the same as the day before. It felt halfempty, and the only thing that could fill it was a delicious steak and potatoes dinner.


issue 12 opinion page 9

I can only describe my stomach’s current feeling as withdrawal. I ate my regular vegan snacks like before, but I wasn’t feeling the usual satisfaction of a full stomach afterwords. Opening up the pantry had become a depressing event; my stomach and taste buds shed silent tears as I passed up the Chips Ahoy cookies for the pita chips over and over again. After a drive up to Topeka later that night for the Boys’ state swim meet, I ended up

eating at Hooter’s. After a quick scan over the food options, it was easy that Hooters doesn’t pride itself on its vegan friendliness. Quite the opposite. My masculinity was absolutely soaring after telling Annie, our waitress, that, yes, I would have the chicken caesar salad, but please the chicken. Nothing beats munching on lettuce and tomatoes while watching everyone else licking their fingers eating wings and ribs. Left with an unsatisfied stomach, the only highlight of the night was me faking my birthday and having all the waitresses sing the Hooter’s “birthday boy” song.

DAY 4 Woke up, very tired and groggy with an completely empty stomach. The meatless salad from Hooter’s didn’t seem to do the trick of keeping me filled. I walked down to the hotel buffet, hoping to enjoy a hearty breakfast. That hope, like in the day’s previous, was down the drain 30 seconds after grabbing a tray. I was just about to pour

some waffle mix onto the iron, only to remember that the delicious batter contained eggs and milk. I put down the cup, and slunk over to the fruit and rolls instead. The meet was great to watch, but my stomach was starting to get pissed at me. It wanted some real food, some manly food, and I couldn’t deliver anything.

DAY 5 Not much to write this Sunday. My mood is worsening; I’m feeling legitimately unhappy because of my lack of substantial food. I was pissed to be stuck eating yet another veggie burger while my dad enjoyed a real meal. I spent most of my day walking

over to my pantry, looking for vegan food, and then coming back five minutes later check again. Sadly, no vegan goddess delivered any heavenly snacks for me.

DAYS 6 and 7 I decided to write Monday and Tuesday together because my feelings on these two days were the same. It’s really started to hit


I woke up. I ate a bowl of oatmeal. I went to lunch. I ate my PB&J, banana and apple. But I didn’t think about my stomach or my mood, because I was actually in a pretty great mood. This is my day of reckoning; tonight’s dinner would be my return back into the meaty, milky, cookie-filled world. When the clock hit 5 p.m. and my dinner arrived, my excitement levels were about on the level of when my parents told my I was going to Disney Land when I was 8. I loaded up my plate with four cheesy chicken enchiladas -- goodbye, veganism -- and two chocolate chunk

me how much I was addicted to meat. The PB&J’s and banana at lunch weren’t doing the job anymore.

cookies. My taste buds, w h i c h probably thought I had been torturing them for the past week, were in absolute heaven. A meaty, cheesy heaven.

WHAT I LEARNED To all the dedicated vegans out there, I salute you. I came into this week expecting an week of making interesting meals and feeling good about eating healthy. But “going natural” doesn’t come as naturally as you would think. It took some serious will power and time to keep myself from slipping as much as I did. No, I’m not planning on converting to hard core veganism

anytime soon, but that’s not to say that this week of natural eating didn’t serve any purpose. It taught me a little more self-control and restraint when it comes to snacking, and how to keep my portions in check during meals. And how delicious veggie burgers are.

>>All Photos bySamantha Bartow

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My childhood can be measured in orange blimps, green slime and copious amounts of orange soda. I made a catastrophic vinegar and baking soda >>DuncanMcHenry volcano in my kitchen because it was Doug Funnie’s science fair project, and I still wish that my bedroom was as cool as Arnold’s. Fueled by a steady supply of Goldfish and Blue Sky soda, I spent countless hours watching the animated lives of these TV characters. Every day after school I’d turn on the only kids channel that would ever feature Coolio in the “Keenan and Kel” theme song: Nickelodeon. Cartoons like “Hey Arnold,” “Doug,” “Rocket Power” and even “Pepper Ann” were more than entertainment for me. They were relatable shows about kids who were my age, with roughly the same problems. They showed me that I wasn’t alone in having a crush on a smoking hot, yet unattainable sixth grade brunette. And from watching “Rocket Power,” I realized that an honest apology would probably be the best strategy after destroying a neighbor’s Petunia garden on my skateboard. I grew up with these shows, and they both entertained me and taught me about making decisions as a kid. Sadly, most of the cartoons available for kids nowadays aren’t relatable at all, and many of them are purely annoying (the only exceptions being “Avatar” and “SpongeBob”). Take “the Fairly OddParents” for example. This is a show about a selfish little kid with a voice a mother couldn’t even love, who has two fairy godparents that attempt to grant his every wish. They really suck at it, however, because he invariably gets into heaps of trouble, sometimes due to the fact that the green haired one, Cosmo, apparently has a fairy IQ of about 10. There’s nothing that kids could get out of this show, except that all babysitters are inherently evil and fairy godparents aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. If I ever got a fairy godparent, they wouldn’t have to be a pro as long as they didn’t almost get me killed on a regular basis. Even worse are shows such as “iCarly,” which is basically an off-brand fashion show with lots of hair gel and a pseudo Apple deal, and “Fanboy and Chum Chum,” a show featuring two 9-year-old wannabe super heroes who forgot to take their Ritalin, running around in their tighty-whiteys. The difference between these newer shows and the ones I grew up with is that the new ones have little that kids can actually relate to. Sure, there were times when “Hey Arnold” got a little outrageous, like when he recovered his grandpa’s watch by defeating the sewer king in a game of chess. But there were also the times when he tried to win the heart of his secret crush, Ruth, and failed. Or when he got mixed up with the wrong crowd and ended up nearly getting in trouble for attempted robbery (his football head fit the shop window perfectly). It was episodes like those that I loved so much, probably because they

entertained me then, but I realize now that even the outrageous episodes left a lasting impression. Out of all the Nick shows, the jazzy, New York-flavored “Hey Arnold” was my favorite and had the most impact on me. At first glance, the character Arnold seems like the dorkiest kid ever. That awkward football head, the mile wide gap between his eyes and his long, plaid shirt/ kilt make for an appearance worthy of Steve Urkle. But anyone who’s seen the show knows that Arnold is the coolest kid around; highly respected not only by his friends, but also by adults. From watching “Hey Arnold,” I learned at a young age that true coolness wouldn’t come from patterning myself after others at school, or by insulting other people to empower myself. Remember, no matter how many insults Helga threw at him, Arnold never stooped to her level. In fact, I think he knew what was going on all along. But moving beyond the life lessons I gained, “Hey Arnold” also affected me in much less profound, yet equally important ways. I remember one particular time when I was about 9 or 10 that I staged a front yard concert with a friend from across the street. Our instruments included our voices, two trashcan lids and two horribly out-of-tune guitars. The audience consisted of our parents, his siblings and the neighbors, who probably came outside thinking they were either being attacked by insurgents, or a weirdly tonal 20-car pileup had occurred in the street. Long story short, when our audience seemed bored, the concert culminated with me running around the yard, banging the trash can lids together shouting, “Don’t hit me, I’ll hit myself!” Just like Arnold did in the face of a group of sinister fourth graders. The hilarity that ensued probably saved the concert from being a total failure, and I have Arnold to thank for that. If I hadn’t grown up with those shows, would I have turned out worse than I did? Probably not, but I would definitely have a lot less scars from hucking myself down stairs and ramps, and I probably never would have run around my yard banging trash can lids together. I’m glad that I did, though, and I had a great time doing it. I wish that kids today had access to shows as classy and creative as “Hey Arnold” and “Doug.” Instead, they’re left with shows like “Hannah Montana” and “iCarly” that have almost nothing to do with the realities of being a kid. At least they can hone their lip-synching and vlogging skills. Oh, and about Arnold’s bedroom. If anyone knows someone who could install a set of drop-down wooden stairs and a glass ceiling in my room for cheap, let me know.



Senior looks back on Nickelodeon shows of his childhood

>>photo illustration by Sammi Kelly

Fictional Favorite Staff members share their favorite television show of their childhood Rugrats

With their own personal star on the Hollywood walk of fame, it is clear that ‘The Rugrats’ was the best Nicktoon to date. Every year I wait in anticipation for the epic Passover episode where everyone gets locked in the attic. With 14 years of domination and two fantastic movies, ‘The Rugrats’ will go down in Nickelodeon history as the best cartoon ever created. RainaWeinberg


Rocket Power

I couldn’t skate and I grew up in Prairie Village Kansas; so that’s why I watched ‘Rocket Power’. It was so rad! I greeted people with a ‘Cowabunga’ and a goodbye with ‘Boo-Ya’. It made my parents nervous and the show made me want friends like Otto and Twister so I could learn how to surf and skate. So I strived to do so and still do. DanStewart


Keenan and Kel

Who knew a show that takes place in a grocery store could be so interesting. ‘Keenan and Kel’ is without-a-doubt the best Nickelodeon show from our childhood. Between the hilarious humor and the constant drinking of orange soda, I don’t know who wouldn’t love it!


feeling the

AFTER $HOCK East and the community experience reverberations of the American financial crisis in several ways


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Olathe and Blue Valley’s policies for paying teachers with increased workload varies from Shawnee Mission’s >>KatyWesthoff High school teachers in the Shawnee Mission School ers with a sixth class. The payments needed to be approved representatives that meets District, unlike those in the Olathe and Blue Valley districts, are losing their supervisory period to take on more classes without more pay. Under contract, teachers are granted one planning period and one supervisory period on top of teaching five classes. Because of increased enrollment, block scheduling and budget restrictions, teachers are losing their supervisory period to teach a sixth class. Art teacher Jodie Schnackenberg feels that this difference between teachers with five and six classes is unfair. “Some teachers have 30 more kids, which is 30 more papers to grade for English classes or tests to grade for math classes,” Schnackenberg said. “I don’t think the district appreciates this extra work.” German teacher Karen Pearson volunteered to teach an extra class this year in order to split up German 3 and German 4. The skills between the two sets of students are widely varied, and Pearson thought it would best serve the students to have two separate classes. She has lost her planning time, but doesn’t feel she needs it after her experience teaching. Pearson isn’t bothered by the lack of compensation. “I didn’t go into teaching to get rich,” Pearson said. “The students get what they need. But if this becomes a pattern, teachers should get paid more for the extra work.” Schnackenberg recognizes what she calls the “catch-22” of the situation: teachers want to keep their jobs, so they take on the extra work. She said she is not ungrateful to the SMSD, but is just frustrated because other districts do pay for the extra classes, though she doesn’t see the district policy changing any time soon. “An entire teacher could get a job,” Schnackenberg said. “But we can’t afford them. We’ve got the students and the space, but the money’s not there. That’s frustrating.” The Olathe school district has the same problem, but teachers are getting compensated for their extra classes. For the first time, the district provided $1,000 this year for teach-

by the Olathe Human Resources office. The Executive Director of Secondary Personnel and Services at Olathe, Lowell Ghosey, reported that only four or five situations called for the payment across 12 schools. “[The payment] could prevent the need to hire another teacher, thereby still saving us money in the bigger picture,” Ghosey said. Leigh Anne Neal, the Director of Communications for the SMSD, says that block scheduling is the key factor in teachers losing their supervisory period. “Budget constraints are an issue,” Neal said. “But the block schedule requires more staff to be teaching six classes due to the seminar time.” More teachers are needed to supervise all the seminar classes, causing a greater need for class time. According to Neal, Shawnee Mission South doesn’t have block scheduling and all teachers have five classes, a supervisory period and a planning period. These teachers are paid the same as teachers at East with six classes. At the Blue Valley district, Scott McWilliams, the Director of Human Resources, says the high schools operate with the same schedule, even with block. “In Blue Valley, full-time high school teachers are placed on a salary schedule based on experience and education,” McWilliams said. According to Loralee Baker-Rapue, the Director of the Communications Department in Blue Valley, the Professional Council negotiates contracts. The Professional Council is a group that represents both districts administrators and members of the Olathe teacher’s union, the National Education Association (NEA). The NEA is the largest teacher’s union and works with school districts across the country, calling themselves “the voice of education professionals” on their official Web site, Spanish teacher Linda Sieck, East’s NEA representative, says there is a bargaining team made up of NEA

before the school year to negotiate contracts for teachers at a district-bydistrict level.

Shawnee Mission

Olathe Blue Valley

>>KatieEast Currently, the SMSD budget can’t allow for negotiations with the bargaining team to change the six-period issue. Sieck says the district is handling the situation diplomatically and is expressing their appreciation for the extra work teachers are putting in.

The Blue Valley and Olathe districts pay teachers for teaching extra hours, Shawnee Mission does not.

Helpfor the>> Homeless New policy could provide increased aid to students in need

US Foreclosures

3.2 million in 2008

State Funding for SMSD $14.5 million cut for ‘09/’10

Base Student Aid $4,012 per student

Student Aid Cut

$421 per student since ‘08

less students may be struggling outside of the classroom, the district still expects them to succeed at school. “Regardless of the economic status of the student, we have high expectations for all of our students,” Cain said. “We just want to really make sure that we don’t have barriers in the place of these students accessing that curriculum.” The Olathe School District already has a policy on homeless students and currently has 176 such students in its schools.



Feeling the Shockwave

My dad has to work at home now because his job was moved to Texas and Mexico, so instead of making us move, he started working out of our house.

Budget Cuts

$10.5 million last year

Sophomore L e

because of the guidelines published in 2009. The policy was also proposed because the district has experienced a growing number of homeless students since the economic downturn. “As we see economic conditions, being what they are, you know everyone’s impacted by that,” Cain said. The policy defines a homeless student as “A child or youth who shares housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason; lives in a motel, hotel camp ground or other location due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; lives in an emergency or transitional shelter; has been abandoned at a hospital; or is awaiting foster care placement.” Also, a homeless student is a student whose nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. Typically, homeless students fall under the free and reduced lunch umbrella, according to Cain, meaning the district gives them financial assistance to ensure they are given the same opportunities that other students in the district have. With the new policy, the district will also provide transportation aid for its homeless students. The district homeless coordinator will take each student’s case individually and work to ensure they receive the same opportunities as the rest of the district’s students. Even though home-



In February, 231 homeless students were enrolled in the Shawnee Mission School District, according to the district’s Associate Superintendent for Educational Services, Dr. Curtis Cain. This number is down from last year’s year-end total of 308, but higher than the 186 enrolled in the district two years ago. Cain believes there is a chance this years total might surpass last year’s total by the end of the year. On Feb. 22, the Shawnee Mission School Board read a proposed district policy regarding homeless students in the district. The policy gives a definition for what a homeless student is, specifies the duties of the newly established district homeless coordinator and enrollment and placement guidelines for homeless students. Cain expects the proposed homeless students policy to be adopted by the Board at its March 8 meeting at the McEachen Administrative Building. According to Cain, the district wanted to create a homeless students policy to align themselves more with the McKinneyVento Homeless Assistance Act, a national law. The McKinney-Vento Act became law in 1987 and was reauthorized as part of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Education published guidelines for the Act and made youth funds available as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. According to Cain, the district has proposed the policy

a nn D hlgren ya

Homeless Students in KC Increased 45% this year

how do i get started?

The best place to begin your investment search is by educating yourself on the various funds and stocks available for purchase. Wheeles suggests using services like to familiarize yourself with funds or company stocks you might be looking to invest in. If you’re looking to invest in a certain company, Wheeles recommends researching that company before you do so. Check to see if they match with you philosophically. If there are issues you support, check to see if they support those too. Also, check to see how their company is being viewed. Are they receiving government bailouts? Do they have executives accused of questionable ethics? Setting up a simple Google Alert for that company’s name can keep a potential investor updated on the status of a given company or fund. The next step is to find the service you want to use to invest your money. Your bank or credit union will usually have a person dedicated to just financial advice and investments. Also, there are many investment companies in the area, such as Wheeles’ Morgan Stanley, that will match you with a financial advisor who will help manage your investments for you. Online investment services are another option. Services like E-Trade and are examples of online stock trading sites. Online services are generally the easiest to deal with, but you are on your own when it comes to advice. That is why many choose to set up a portfolio with a financial adviser. Make sure to examine the costs of the service before you invest. If you decide to go with a financial adviser, it would benefit you to meet with the adviser before you sign any agreements and discuss their investment philosophies to make sure you’re both on the same page.

what should i invest in?


Wheeles suggests that teens involve themselves in mutual funds, instead of individual stocks, to begin their portfolio. Mutual funds consist of a diverse number of publicly traded companies and generally produce a fairly stable return. Generally, a fund is managed by an established financial manager. The manager of the fund then decides which companies to purchase and in what amounts. There are three different “share classes” for mutual funds: A, B and C. In most cases, the “A” class should only be purchased if the investor is looking for a long-term investment. “A” class shares are “front-load” shares. This means that the investor pays an upfront fee to purchase the fund and then little or nothing to retain it each year. Investors looking to invest for less than five years should look to “B” and “C” class shares instead of “A” shares. The “B” and “C” classes typically are purchased by investors looking to invest on a shortterm basis. “B” shares have “back-end” loads which mean that while the investor won’t have to pay an initial fee, but they will most likely be required to pay a fee when they sell the fund. Investment service providers have begun discouraging or even eliminating “B” shares from their sales pitch largely because of their lack of pay off in the long run. For investors looking to sell their funds before the five year mark, “C” shares are probably their best bet. “C” shares are “level-load” shares. They don’t charge an initial fee and the fee paid upon selling the fund is small or their may not be one at all depending on how large your account was.

an investment in action: “A” Shares “B” Shares “C” Shares

$1,648 $1,474

A how-to guide in smart investing


As teenagers, we don’t often think about how we’re going to pay for retirement or even how we’re going to pay for college. “Investing” and “financial planning” are things that tend to intimidate young people, but, in reality, they shouldn’t. Keeping track of a portfolio is about as easy as checking Sherron Collin’s stats from the last KU game. “If you can follow Big 12 Basketball, you can follow the stock market,” local Morgan Stanley financial adviser Barry Wheeles said. In fact, teenagers are the ones that should be investing. Getting such an early start can do wonders in the end. Investing just a little now can set you up for life later... that is, if you play your cards right.

how much money should i invest? A good rule for teens to follow is to not invest an amount that you know you’ll need in the near future. If you know you’re going to need the money to pay for something such as college or a car within the next few years, DON’T INVEST IT. No investment service can promise they won’t lose your money and if you make a gamble, it might not pay off. Don’t invest what you don’t have. This may sound obvious, but some investors get caught with large debts because they overestimated how much they could actually invest. Teens with a steady income, no matter what size, should consider setting goals for saving their money or investing it. Even if you feel like its an insignificant amount, you could be surprised. Putting your summer job money in a Roth IRA and letting it sit until retirement can set you up quite well. Two-thousand dollars put in a Roth IRA every summer of a teen’s high school career can yield over $1.1 million. Wheeles loves the “Rule of Seven” example for long-term investors. The “Rule of Seven” says that your investment will double after 10 years if you have a seven percent interest rate (you can find government bonds with a seven percent interest rate at Though the amount you initially invest as a teen might not be much, the interest over time in addition to the amount you add to the fund later in life can make a once insignificant amount turn into retirement goldmine.

how do i keep up with my stocks?

Depending on what type of service you use to invest, the way you keep track of your investments will change. Online services will allow you to check your portfolio by simply logging on. If you use a financial adviser either from your bank, credit union or a private company then you’ll need to contact them personally to check on your investments. However, your financial adviser will not honor any investment instructions given in a voicemail because of security and communication concerns.


Feeling the Shockwave

$569 $264

after 1 year *all numbers assume a 5 percent annual return

top performing


after 10 years >> Photography

21.81% in the past month

Non-Metallic Mining

11.70% in the past month

Audio & Video Equipment 10.26% in the past month

Computer Peripherals

8.84% in the past month

Sophomore N a


I invest in the stock market because it’s a good learning experience. It helps you to understand economics and gets you ready to deal with your finances in the future. My advice is to buy low and sell high.


the cost of the share of stock

say you’re looking to invest $10,000 in a mutual fund. which one is right for you? $1,911

dimes to

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ie Barnes ta l

Jewelry & Silverware

8.82% in the past month

page 4 financial 03.01.10

considering the cuts

Clearing his throat and skipping the usual pause that precedes a presentation filled with bad news, Shawnee Mission School District Superintendent Dr. Gene Johnson addressed the auditorium by clicking to the first slide: “School Funding: A Time for Crisis - A Time for Action.” The crowd of approximately 120, seated in the East auditorium on Feb. 16 for the Board of Education’s first of five Financial Forums, listened for an hour and a half as Johnson met every glum expectation that the meeting had promised. Designed to answer community questions about rumored budget cuts, the forums were open presentations that were concluded with a half hour of Q&A from those in attendance. The forum was marked by slides describing SMSD’s recent budget crisis and their expected solutions. State funds had fallen short, stimulus money would be gone in two years, local and Federal support did not meet SMSD’s need this fiscal year, all while the district population was on the rise along with the demand for more support for student resources. To counter the rapid financial losses, the SMSD Board of Education will propose a budget-reduction plan, expected to cut $9 to $11 million from the current budget, at a district-wide board meeting on March 8. As faculty and personnel costs are currently the largest expense of the district, accounting for roughly 75 percent ($20 million per month) of the district’s overall budget, most of the proposed reductions at the meeting will hover around staff. “We’re just trying to keep our head above the water

financially here,” Johnson said at the forum at East. Johnson attributed the majority of the district’s financial struggle to the allocation of state budget funds. The amount of state funding has been declining, the district’s budget was reduced by $3.5 million, which could continue to decrease until a projected $40 million deficit by the 2012 fiscal year. Alongside staff reductions, the Board may modify special education programs within the district. SMSD budget reports reveal a disparity in state funding for specialized programs, as the state covers only 65 percent of the district’s budget, compared to the 92 percent state-wide average. At the meeting, Johnson stressed that the quality of education would not be compromised. The first dozen slides outlined the achievements and quality reputation that SMSD had upheld. However, most cuts will be from maintenance, teachers, or administrators as they account for the bulk of the budget expenses. The Board of Education will consider fee increases with respect to facility rental, such as gymnasiums and all-day kindergarten and make additional cuts to department and school operating budgets. The district may also have to dip into its Contingency Reserve, currently $5.6 million, to balance the budget. “I’m worried most about the effects of the students,” math teacher Angela Scheiferecke said. “Their opportunities are going to be impacted because we may have to cut some of the programs they are utilizing. The district will have to come to terms that we need to create new sources of revenue in Shawnee Mission.”


Recently announ stem from state and worsening e

>>TimShedor and

county-wide concerns

SMSD’s Johnson County counterparts in Olathe and Blue Valley are witnessing the same red numbers in their budget. Olathe faced a $4.5 million state-funding reduction last year, even after downsizing roughly 250 employees by offering early retirement, creating consolidation through job elimination or forcing resignations. Last year, Blue Valley School District announced approximately $4.8 million in proposed budget cuts, with 90 percent coming from eliminated or consolidated job positions at the district level. “We receive a significant amount of money from the state,” Olathe School District Superintendent Pat All said in a recent podcast. “However, having a local budget option would save the district [approximately] $1.2 million [this year].” The Blue Valley District has plans to open a new school, BV Southwest, and Olathe plans to open Mission Trail Junior High this fall. But unlike Blue Valley and Olathe, SMSD has few intentions to build new schools or to expand. It has a higher student density and a smaller capital outlay - funds raised through local taxes to pay for renovating, building and equipment expenses - than either district because of no new additions, therefore, it has a lower income. SMSD currently holds a higher teacher-administrator ratio at 18.4-to-1 than most neighboring districts. Olathe has 13.8-to-1; Blue Valley 10.5-to-1. Despite staff reductions, however, Johnson said that the district expects only a two-to-three student increase in classroom sizes. Furthermore, no schools are expected to close. “Teachers, no matter that the situation, hold students in their best interest,” Schieferecke said. “Whatever demands the district makes, we as teachers must rise to Trends in Instruction Expenditure Funding for the 2009-10 School Year:

Federal Funds

41 percent since last year

the challenge and continue to provide for our students.” Under the current Kansas School Finance formula, Johnson County contributes 30.5 percent of the statewide income tax and 25.6 percent of the statewide sales tax. However, the county only receives 15.7 percent of the state support from income tax. In a process known as equalization, the state provides financial support to districts with low property values on a per student basis. Since Johnson County’s property values are the highest in Kansas, districts like SMSD, Blue Valley and Olathe are returned only half of what they contribute to the state. However, this percentage may quickly change along side the recent rapid flux in Johnson County socioeconomics. The number of SMSD students living in poverty this year increased 163 percent, as Johnson County as a whole saw only a 55 percent increase. Nearly a third of the district’s students are eligible for the free lunch program, a 10 percent increase in the last two years. “It is likely that more affluent counties will continue to support other parts of the state,” SMSD Budget and Finance Manager Tim Rooney said at the East forum. “Since Shawnee Mission is currently allowed per pupil funding that ranks in the bottom 10 percent across the state, some have argued that [Kansas] should allow the district to collect more local funding where 100 percent of it stays in Shawnee Mission.”

Breakdown of District’s Expenses Operations & Maintenance 10 School Administration 5.7

Business, Human Resourc Information Services 5.2 Transportation 4.2 General Administration Classroom Instruction & Support 74.2


For additional coverage including a video of the Jan. 16 District budget meeting at Shawnee Mission East, visit Extraordinary School Prgrm. 125 percent since last year

Summer School

37 percent since last year

Adult Supplemental Ed. 825 percent since last year

Special Education

3 percent since last year

issue 12 financial page 5

solutions across the state

According to SMSD Communications Director Leigh Anne Neal, state funds have struggled in recent years for a variety of reasons. First, state legislators have developed spending plans that include expenses higher than revenue, creating a deficit. Second, legislators have approved tax reductions that have taken effect over the last decade. Third, the economic downturn has caused state revenues to plummet, and since the state does not have enough balances to absorb these losses, it is being forced to reduce its expenditure budgets. “We think the local education can best manage our budget based on our needs of the local school district,” Rooney said. “Based on the current formula, the state has to try to predict how much each district needs. There have been significant differences in what the government provides and what the state needs. We’d love to see the local option change and more local authority.” Seventy percent of SMSD’s coffers are filled by state funds, but this percentage will face a rapid decline in the upcoming years. The state legislature is continuing to propose new and broad financial proposals, such as the recent $11 million proposed cut from the state’s educational budget. Education accounts for nearly 50 percent of Kansas’s total expenses. Most bills currently in the legislative process concern teacher removal policy, such as advance notice standards and reactivation of retired teachers, but a handful specifically call for reductions to the school budgets. “There are quite a few bills in the legislature that directly affect school funding,” Kansas House of Representative Pat Colloton said in an e-mail interview. “We just passed one last week in the House of Representatives that allows a district to draw down some of its funds from their capitol improvement reserves under certain circumstances. Usually amendments to the budget are offered to counter school budget cuts. I have always voted to support these and have sometimes been the legislator who has brought these amendments.” SMSD has only applied for catastrophic aid, funds that are applied to special education programs, during the 2008-2009 fiscal year. The district plans to apply again this year, and hopes to receive $3.1 million again like last year. However, the a legislature bill may change the catastrophic aid requirements by tightening guidelines and qualifications, which may make SMSD ineligible



nced budget cuts for SMSD e financial discrepancies economy SamKovzan

Annual SMSD Budget



2006-2007 2007-2008 SCHOOL YEAR

General Funds

8 percent since last year

Virtual Education


100 percent since last year

Capital Outlay

To gain a better understanding of how the district spends their money and how it’s changed over the past three years, turn to the back cover of the financial pullout section.

12 percent since last year

Vocational Education

1 percent since last year


Feeling the Shockwave

I’ve been applying for tons of scholarships so r inge my parents don’t have to pay ss the full out-of-state tuition at MU. I had to retake the ACT to boost my score so I’d be more eligible for scholarships.


14 percent since last year

Senior Ellie K e


Total Expenditures

AMOUNT (IN MILLIONS) $100 $200 $300


Local Revenue


State Aid

Capital outlay and construction funds will be reduced by 10 percent, but the bill allows districts to retransfer the money to a regular contingency fund. Once in the contingency fund, a reserve fund for emergency situations, the district is able to withdraw funds and attribute them to various projects in need of funds. According to Johnson, options unavailable to the district include increasing the level of state funding that Shawnee Mission receives and suspending the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, a federal legislation that requires states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students at each grade level. Johnson also disputed the idea that a statewide tax increase would automatically improve SMSD’s deficits, referring to the plan Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson developed in November 2009. Parkinson proposed a 1 percent increase in state sales tax and an increased cigarette tax. If implemented, it would add $50 to BSAPP (Base State Aid Per Pupil) for all school districts in Kansas, providing SMSD an additional $1.7 million. Since the district’s reduction plan is expected to defer roughly $11 million from the current budget, this means that the district would still be reducing its budget by around $9 million. Thus, state sales tax would inadequately address the problem. “When you hear this idea of ‘Let’s support a state sales tax,’ you have to know where that’s all going to go,” Johnson said at the forum. “We’re going to still be reducing our budget for next year by $9 million.” Rather than rely on state legislature, Johnson believes the district must be able to control its own destiny by means of a greater local authority, which would permit local fundraising to stay in Shawnee Mission and allow the district to finance the programs the Shawnee Mission community desires. Through SMSD’s local option budget, raising $1 million locally equals $3.2 million for the district, whereas $50 per pupil provides only $1.7 million. Currently, the local tax authority allows SMSD to raise taxes to 31 percent of the state’s budgeted income. Johnson said the Shawnee Mission Board of Education also advocates the development of a new funding formula for Kansas school districts. “Lots of people are trying to find a new way to fund education in Kansas,” Johnson said. “But in the meantime - either on a [temporary] or permanent basis - we need to be able to control our destiny in Shawnee Mission.”


1 percent since last year

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Affordable Education

issue 12 financial page 7

With several new proposals, President Obama strives to help students pay for college

$5 Billion

.64 percent of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Early Learning Programs, including Early Head Start, child care, and programs for children with special needs.

$77 billion

9.8 percent of the $787 billion ARRA Reforms to strengthen elementary and secondary education. $48.6 billion to stabilize state education budgets and encourage states to:

Three Steps to Making College More Affordable Fill out a FAFSA form


The “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” is a form open to all students trying to recieve some sort of federal aid for college. It determines whether a student is eligible for Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, and other forms of government support in paying for college.

College Funding $30 billion being spent

Apply For Scholarships


With literally thousands of opportunities open, students have an endless amount of chances to get some extra money for college. Often times requiring an essay or written assignment, scholarships are a good way to show who you are and why you deserve help towards college.

Elementary Funding $77 billion being spent

Get a Job


You can’t always rely on your parents for everything. Bussing tables or working a cash register somewhere are both easy ways to make a little extra cash to help you afford the college of your dreams.

Early Learning Funding $5 billion being spent

Make improvements in teacher effectiveness and ensure that all schools have highlyqualified teachers Make progress toward college and careerready standards and rigorous assessments that will improve both teaching and learning Improve achievement in low-performing schools, through intensive support and effective interventions Gather information to improve student learning, teacher performance, and college and career readiness through enhanced data systems.

Federal Recovery Act Passed on Feb. 13, 2009

$5 billion

.64 percent of the $787 billion ARRA Competitive funds to spur innovation and chart amitious reform to close to achievement gap.

$30 billion

3.8 percent of the $787 billion ARRA To address college affordability and improve access to higher education.


Feeling the Shockwave There are people in

America who do not have the things I have, but still college is a reach financially for myself and my family. Another thing that has to come into concern is that I have a sister that’s two years younger than me, and she will be in college concurrently.

Kansas Funds from Act $1.5 billion so far

Senior Patric k

ates degrees in art programs for emerging artistic industries in the nation. Lastly, this program would reward the colleges that graduate the most students. A $4,000 tax credit called the American Opportunity Tax Credit would help families in need send their children to four-year colleges. This tax credit would be completely free to qualifying U.S. citizens and cover two-thirds of the average public college tuition. The government would use previous tax filings to decide who receives the credit on a need-based level. Those who receive the credit will be required to perform 100 hours of public service a year. Maureen Mcrae, the Director of Financial Aid at Occidental College, predicts that most students attending her college will participate in this initiative. “Because of the type of students our school attracts, I would say that our students would take advantage of that,” Mcrae said. Mack agrees. He believes that KU students who already participate in community service without a monetary reward would continue their service if it included promised help for college. Also in his proposal, Obama hopes to increase the amount of money given in Pell Grants. Pell Grants provide need-based grants to low-income undergraduates across the nation. Previously, Pell Grants covered 55 percent of cost at a four-year college but in recent years, with growing tuition costs, that number has dropped to 32 percent. Obama hopes to raise the average Pell Grant from $4,050 to a new maximum of $5,100. Another of Obama’s goals is to implement an income-based repayment plan on July 1. This government initiative, which was originally led by Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, is an effort to prevent payments on student loans from exceeding 15 percent of the borrower’s income. Those who earn less than $16,000 a year, with no dependents would not be committed to making any monthly payments. Senior Tara Raghuveer, a four-year debater, is familiar with Obama’s Pell Grant plan because it was a case within this year’s debate topic on poverty. “I think that seniors, especially in this economy, are in need of aid [more] than in the past. The benefit of this aid is it doesn’t exclude the middle class that doesn’t qualify for aid, but still need help paying for college. In this economy, government assistance is vital.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in invested heavily in education both as a way to provide jobs now and lay the foundation for long-term prosperity. >>

$117 billion

with over $19,000 of debt, according to a recent study done by the United States Department of Education. In the same study it was revealed that, since 2001, two million “fully qualified” students did not attend college because they couldn’t afford it. Statistics from that study also revealed that college costs have grown nearly 40 percent in the past five year leaving 60 percent of college graduates with debt. Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access & Success, explained how government officials should counter the high costs of college. “Policy makers have become increasingly aware over the last several years about the burden that student debt can create in already tough times,” Asher said in an interview with Bloomberg. com. “This proposal gives a signal that if you do need to borrow to pay to go to college, and you’re responsible about repayment, you can do it in a way that doesn’t jeopardize your future.” Since taking office in January 2009, President Barack Obama has placed a strong emphasis on education reform. He has already enacted a plan reforming the entire nation’s high school education system. His efforts do not stop there. In his Jan. 27 State of the Union, Obama stressed that he will “invest in the skills and education” of Americans. Simply put, Obama said, he hopes to make college affordable for everyone. He feels when this is accomplished everyone will have the opportunity to continue their education past high school. Obama’s plan may come at a perfect time for high school seniors. Those planning on attending the University of Kansas will experience a rise in housing costs and a slight increase of base tuition according to KU Admissions Counselor Nathan Mack. In hope to relieve this financial strain, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden developed a five point plan. First Obama and Biden plan to revitalize community colleges. Over 12 million students attend community college each year according to the USDE. Without these schools, Obama said, many students wouldn’t be able to gain the skills necessary to further their education. Obama and Biden hope to create a Community College Partnership Program to strengthen the nation’s community colleges. The program would provide analysis to determine what students need to continue their education after attending a community college. It will also implement new associ-



>>AlysabethAlbano The average U.S. college student graduates


rr y

Remaining Funds Used on grants, loans, etc.





184,033,926 184,790,805 + 5 percent + 0 percent

the 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010



Expenditures Revenues

$240,000,000 $230,000,000

$12.3 Million Deficit

$15.4 Million Deficit

$27 Million Deficit

$38.6 Million Deficit


An in-depth look at changes in the district’s Total Expenditures over the past three school years

$210,000,000 $200,000,000 $190,000,000 $180,000,000 $170,000,000




55 percent 07-08

57 percent 08-09 50 percent 09-10 25,775,779

26,960,231 + 5 percent

25,586,848 - 7 percent 8 percent 08-09 7 percent 09-10

General Administration

3,295,619 2,268,310 + 45 percent 1 percent 08-09 + 1 percent 1 percent 09-10

School Administration

2,253,756 13,418,157

14,120,777 + 5 percent

14,363,128 + 2 percent 4 percent 08-09

4 percent 07-08

4 percent 09-10 22,590,587

24,446,680 25,914,604 + 8 percent + 6 percent

Operations & Maintenance

8 percent 08-09 7 percent 09-10

7 percent 07-08 31,387,759 + 75 percent


Loss of Federal Stimulus



Student & Instructional Support 8 percent 07-08

1 percent 07-08

2010 State Loss of Catastrophic 2011 State Aid Revenue Reductions Revenue Reductions

Instruction Teacher salaries and benefits, classroom supplies Student and Instructional Support Nurses and Counselors’ salaries, Librarians, Classroom media General Administration Superintendents, business offices School Administration School principals and associate principals Operations and Maintenance Custodians, maintenance workers, repairs, mowing Capital Improvements Mainly equiptment and building repair, computers Debt Services Pays off bonds to build new buildings and major renovation Russell Knapp, District Budget Analyst

17,893,941 - 34 percent

Capital Improvements

6 percent 08-09 9 percent 09-10

8 percent 07-08 23,476,615

22,179,014 - 6 percent

24,075,700 + 9 percent

Debt Services

7 percent 08-09 7 percent 09-10

7 percent 07-08 58,546,828

TOTAL EXPENDITURES 2007-2008 $320,421,815


$323,571,172 1 percent increase

+ 85 percent

2009-2010 31,084,492

$367,961,291 14 percent increase

31,668,293 + 2 percent

Other Costs 10 percent 07-08

10 percent 08-09 16 percent 09-10

AMOUT PER PUPIL $11,883 $12,196 3 percent increase $13,942 14 percent increase

issue 12 features page 11

no business like Senior earns money and finds camaraderie through plowing snow in the winter

>>CorbinBarnds Through the window stands a family. Dressed in their holiday best, warmth isn’t an issue with the fireplace calmly burning next to the Christmas tree. This family, like many others, is comfortable eating their smorgasbord of roasted turkey and honey baked ham to celebrate the Christmas night. But outside is a moonlit winter-wonderland; with snow as much as 16 inches in some areas, even the most confident drivers have limited their holiday travels. Only the snowplows are on the road; for Senior Tyler McKelvey, there is no other way he would rather spend his Christmas night. McKelvey is one of the many men on this night not with their families but instead making money plowing the streets, parking lots and drive-ways; and he wouldn’t want it any other way. “I have always loved snow to death,” McKelvey said. “Winter has always been my favorite time of the year, and I think that when you grow up, you think of how you can make money. Snowplowing is a great opportunity.”

>>Dan Stewart During the month of December the Kansas City area experienced 16 inches of snow, some of the most in history. While the snow was falling heavily, McKelvey’s father received a call about the sale of a snowplow; although they had no experience in plowing, the unique opportunity to make money outweighed the risk. They decided to buy it. The first storm after attaching the nine foot Hiniker plow to their truck, Tyler McKelvey got his chance and took the plow out for the first time. Since he had to share the truck with each of his two older brothers and his father, Tyler had to wait for his turn. But when he took the rig out for the first time he fell in love with plowing snow. “I definitely thought I would love it,” McKelvey said. “The guy I worked for this summer had a big plowing service, and he had like monster trucks with big plows on them. I just thought it was something I would like to try out.” Plowing snow is a business often reserved for the bigger companies of True North or Rose Hill who have the capability

plowing provisions Slurpees “Whenever we see a QuikTrip or a 711, we like to stop for a Slurpee. I always combine a bunch of crazy flavors, and I think it’s kind of funny to be drinking such an ice cold beverage when it’s snowing outside.”

to do the Target and Best Buy parking lots in the world but with not much money being in individual drive-ways and small parking lots, the larger companies stay away. This is where McKelvey and his Chevy 3500 come into play. On the pecking order first was the parking lot where his father worked. Allowing an easy job to learn on and get used to the plow. Later that night Tyler went out on his own to begin his plowing career. Without a large list of clients Tyler gets almost all of his business from word of mouth. During a plow, Tyler may be doing a drive-way and in-between pushing a pile of snow, someone may have ask if he could do their driveway. Before the day is over Tyler may have plowed half of the street. This is the core of his business. Depending on the density and quantity of the snow, McKelvey could be up for as much as 36 hours behind the plow with nothing but a Quick Trip taquito or a can of Red Bull to keep him going, but according to McKelvey this isn’t a problem. “I feel like I get in the zone when I am

Tyler describes some must-have items for his plowing crew

“California Love” “That’s the kind of music my dad plays at the lake, and we always go through his CD’s when we’re plowing. We blare ‘California Love’ when it comes on.”

Diet Coke “John always brings massive quantities of Diet Coke with him on the job. I usually see him with a Diet Coke almost everywhere he goes actually.”

plowing,” McKelvey said. “You are plowing away just listening to music, and then you look down at the clock and hours have gone bye, and you just say ‘What happened?’ or ‘Where did the time go?’” As a senior in high school McKelvey may not have the experience of the multi-year plowing veterans, but he has the drive to make up for it. “I view it as a race,” McKelvey said. “There are a lot of other snow plowers out there, and I feel that the first one to the job gets it so it can get pretty competitive.” McKelvey’s joy from the plow and certainly word of the profits he has made have gotten to his friends. On any given snowstorm he will clean 10 of his friends driveways, but what makes the biggest difference is the partnership of his friend, senior John Dollar. When the plow was finally attached to the truck, McKelvey sent a picture to Dollar. Intrigued by the picture, Dollar became Tyler’s shoveler. When plowing small parking lots and driveways like McKelvey does almost always includes shoveling walkways and or sidewalks. This is not what McKelvey or any other snowplow operator enjoys to do. He would much rather be in the cab of his truck listening to country music and operating the plow something that all snowplow drivers treat as a game. Dollar’s job is to work through the arctic temperatures shoveling all that needs to be shoveled, a job that can be very draining. “I don’t mind shoveling at all,” Dollar said. “Especially if you have one of your friends doing it with you.” Outside of plowing being an entertaining occupation for McKelvey, he is a part of a small fraternity of snowplow drivers. When McKelvey pulls up at a stoplight next to another plow or is eating with another driver at the same Wendy’s they share a common bond. Although they know nothing of each other they are the same. Dollar’s and McKelvey’s main goal during the plowing isn’t necessarily to make a living but to have fun, and the two have done very well at that. “We pass the hours really well,” Dollar said. “We listen to music, talk, drink. We have no problem at all having a good time.”

features of the


McKelvey uses a 9 ft. Hiniker scoop plow on the front of a Chevrolet 3500 Duramax Diesel truck. The plow can be raised and lowered with a hydraulic lift system. “No-pinch” pivot prevents debris from jamming the plow’s edge. The Chevy 3500 is capable of 365 horsepower, and can tow up to 15,900 lbs.

page 12 spread 03.01.10

Senior uses art as a way to cope with h


It’s Oct. 18, and senior Alyssa Jolitz sits at her computer drawing her self-portrait. She’s recently started a project where she sketches a new one every day; she hopes it will help improve her art. This was one of the first, but she was already seeing progress; the facial structure was becoming more defined, the colors were coming closer to real life. Her mom Margaret Jolitz had been out of the house all day with her boyfriend. Alyssa didn’t know where; she didn’t really think about it. She keeps drawing as they enter the house. Alyssa’s mom calls for her to come downstairs. She saves her work in Photoshop and changes out of her pajamas. “One sec!” Alyssa calls downstairs. She walks down the stairs. She sees her mom. Her mom’s eyes are puffy. Alyssa can tell she’s been crying. Her older sister Kelsey has also been called into the room. “Your dad died,” Margaret says. Margaret hugs Alyssa and Kelsey tightly. Alyssa goes numb. No. Everyone else is crying, but Alyssa is trying to piece together what her mom has just said. No No No. Her father Charles Jolitz had been through back problems, hip problems, drug problems, but Alyssa didn’t think she would lose him. Not her best friend. Not now. Not so soon. *** G >> rant Heinlein For Alyssa, drawing is an escape. When things make her upset or sad, she draws.

Through the Years

2003 Before Alishka used a tablet and other technology made for computer art, she just used a mouse. This piece was drawn in 2003 when Alishka was 11 years old.

She can control her art, can control the surroundings and actions of the characters in her art. Her lines are precise, and her colors and shading are laboriously and perfectly complete. The art is hers, and it swings with her mood. Life is in Alyssa’s control when she is drawing on her tablet, and that’s the way she wants it to be. *** Alyssa had doodled as a child, but her art career started when she was 8. She had seen a Wacom Tablet, which is a pad that transfers drawings to the computer, at Micro Center on a trip with her dad Charles Jolitz. She wanted it. She wasn’t even sure why, but she just wanted it. One day, her dad came home with it. She began to fall in love with drawing. By the time she was 11, she started to recreate anime cartoons. She made up her own full-length comics with characters in the same style she had seen. She liked to make up back-stories for the characters she created. Art was a way for her to express herself. She is “incredibly shy” by her own account; in this interview she preferred to write down her answer to most questions. Her sister Kelsey, who was 14 months older and inseparable from Alyssa in childhood, often spoke for her when they were young. Her doodles often created discussion without her having to speak. One of her favorite art moments came while she was doodling on loose pieces of paper at a seafood restaurant with her family. Kansas City weatherman Bryan Busby walked up to her and picked up a few of her drawings. He raved about her art, told her how good she was, how she really was going to be something someday. She remembered that feeling of impressing someone. It felt good. Margaret remembers another moment at the Prairie Art Show that revealed a lot about Alyssa’s skills. “The parents said ‘Well, that’s not artwork. That’s just stuff that’s printed out.’” Margaret said. “The kids said ‘No, you don’t understand. Alyssa draws that.’” Under the name “Neko Sama,” Alyssa started uploading art at, an online art community. She received a lot of positive support there, too. With new fans, Alyssa was encouraged to produce a lot of art; she wore down the nib of her hard plastic tablet pen quickly. As she grew up, the type of art she drew changed with what was happening in her life. She fell in love with the movie The Lion King around the time she entered middle school. The flow and beauty of the images hooked her in. She watched it at least 50 times. “During that time that’s probably when I started considering animation to be a career instead of being just a ‘drawer,’” Alyssa said. She knew the names of the animators; professionals such as Glen Keane and Preston Blair inspired her. People

2004 By 2004, she had acquired her Photoshop programs and a Wacom tablet. These became her main tools to work with for computer art.

that didn’t know her would tease her, call her “Simba Girl” at school. She didn’t care. They didn’t understand. She moved to, another online art community, and began her Lion King recreations under the name “SnowTigerCub.” She would draw the same character, but in her own style—called “fan art.” She began getting more views and positive comments than usual, and that encouraged her to draw even more. “The people whom I show my artwork to, either online or off, are very supportive,” Alyssa said. “All the friends I have made from my various galleries are always willing to help me out if I need anything, even if it’s not art-related.” Moving through middle school, Alyssa spent a lot of time drawing, watching cartoons, or playing video games. She was shy, and enjoyed time alone. She played a lot of video games. She especially loved video games where the characters looked like cartoons. These games often translated into art she would upload. She would sit down in front of the TV, pull the game out of the Nintendo 64, and draw the frame that froze in front of her—whatever it was when she pulled the game out, in full detail. When Alyssa was 13, her mom brought her to the Kansas City TeenStar. She did illustrations to accompany the articles. She was invited in middle school, the only middle schooler on the high school staff. She was too shy to hardly ever say anything. She just drew what they asked her to. But Alyssa wanted somewhere where she could control what type of art she did. Online, the fans begged for more recreations of other people’s art, and for the TeenStar, she had little control. She wanted to be able to choose what her characters looked like, what the scenario was, where they were, everything. It was her art, and she wanted to be shaped by her influences—not the influences of what people wanted. She was tired of mimicking the professionals. Alyssa was willing to potentially lose her fans that loved her renditions more than her original work. Since October of 2007, Alyssa has been known as “dodgyrommer,” an artist with a style that describes as a mix of ‘30s and ‘40s cartoons with a little of the ‘90s cartoons she grew up with. It isn’t as popular as the fan art, but Alyssa doesn’t mind. The new style is hers, and she had control of it when she had control over little else. *** When Alyssa was 11, she joined Alateen, a group that helps teens deal with having a family member or friend that has a drinking problem. Her dad was an alcoholic. He would hide it from her, and he would try and cover it up. She knew anyways.

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At age 13, Alishka was still in her “Lion King phase.” She had drawn her own fan character, the SnowTigerCub, which is what she was known as on the internet as well.

During this time Alish drawing anthropomor as the one above. She blue colors because it

issue 12 spread page 13

her emotions

hka was interested in rphic characters such e also used lots of the t’s her favorite color.

“I miss you so very much,” Charles sent in one message. “Never were a child and father more closely bonded than you and I. I love you.” Her drawings were often affected by the same troubles she was trying to avoid; she started her more serious cartoon work around this time, just like her father she missed in Arizona had encouraged her to do. *** It’s Oct. 4. Alyssa and Kelsey had come to visit her father at his apartment. They had been moving to a new home in Roeland Park, so they hadn’t had time to visit before. They talk for a while. It’s been more than a year since he has lived in Kansas City. Alyssa and Kelsey eventually need to go. Charles tells Alyssa to listen to the French singer Jacques Brel. She has already done that the last time he asked. Alyssa remembers Brel’s famous song, “Ne Me Quitte Pas.” Don’t Leave Me. She nods. She goes to where he is sitting and gives him a hug. He looks her in the eyes. “I love you sweetie,” Charles says. “I love you too, dad,” Alyssa says as she walks to the door. “See you later.” She shuts the door behind her and walks to the car. Two weeks later, she would be choosing the urn to keep his ashes in. *** Jolitz now has a variety of platforms to showcase her art. She is a part of the Broadmoor 3D design program. She does freelance work. She’ll do anything, but she likes to do it in her own style: Alyssa is beginning to receive recognition for her work. She was awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd place last year by the Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City for her illustrations in the Harbinger. An online animation called “The Cookie Thief” won her a grand award in an online competition. The trophy sits next to her computer. She likes the feeling of impressing people, just like she always has. Her eventful year has changed her future plans. Besides her father’s passing, an ex-boyfriend and friend of Alyssa also recently passed away. When she was little, she had always wanted to get a Character Animation degree at the California Institute of the Arts, one of the leading animation programs in the world. Now she thinks she might take a year off and just settle down her life. Or two years. She’s trying to find a job in town where she can refine her art. She visited an animation studio Bazillion Pictures down by the Crossroads, and she has applied to be a caricature artist at Worlds of Fun. She hopes one of them works out. Looking into the future, Alyssa hopes the world around her will settle down so that she can look to go to college

and pursue a full-time animation job. She relies on her new friends she has made at Broadmoor in the last two years for artistic and moral support. Kelsey and Margaret are always there for Alyssa, too. But for now, as she tries to get through another “hell week” - she is still recovering from the death of her friend - she is content to slip up to her room, turn on her tablet, and draw whatever happens to enter her mind. *** It’s Oct. 20, and Alyssa and Kelsey are at the funeral home, signing a sheet to confirm the cremation of their father. It was only two days ago Margaret had found Charles at his apartment, lying with a pillow under his legs on his bed. When Kelsey dropped him off at his apartment from the hospital on the 14th, it was the last time anyone had seen him alive. The girls chose his urn and necklaces for some of the ashes to be placed in. Through choking sobs, Alyssa asks the funeral director if she could hold her dad’s hand one more time before he was cremated. The funeral director discourages her from doing it, but says it is an option. That night, she turned on her tablet, flipped on the monitor, and began the portrait of Charles Jolitz, her father, her best friend. She declined to see him again. Alyssa’s art is in her control, and she permanently memorialized her father the only way she knew how.

all art by Alishka Jolitz

Alyssa and Charles were close. She remembers spending ours with him watching X-Files or playing aircraft simulaors, and they both loved green tea and huge chunks of white hocolate. Charles encouraged her to draw, even though he ometimes pursued her science career. Alyssa fell back on art in the process of her parents’ diorce. She would shut herself in her room and try to drown ut their fighting by drawing. It gave her something to do hile she waited for the fights to stop. She would draw coms about her having to deal with the fights and her dad’s coholism. Alyssa’s mom remembers that lots of different things ame together at once and pushed Alyssa to draw to get way from it. “I think there was so much going on at that time…her ster was at an age where she was going her own way and hey were separating from each other,” Margaret said. “For o long, they were the same person.” In the drawings, she transformed her parents into cats. he drew herself as a kitten, one that didn’t understand the roblem but was always trying to build up the courage to ntervene. The fights confused her. The drawings helped. It so gave her a chance to escape to her room. Counselors tried to provide help. They gave her prescripons for antidepressants, but she did not take them regurly. She didn’t like people trying to control her emotions. gain, she preferred to control them on her own. “I was on antidepressants for about a year or so and usuly lied about taking them,” Alyssa said. “Usually I would hrow them away because I didn’t like the way they made me feel.” Her father’s health had always been a reoccurring issue. When she was 5, he had his first back surgery. Then anothr, and another, and another—five total. Then neck surgery. When she was 9, he had to have both hips replaced. They ften dislocated. She didn’t understand the seriousness of her dad’s condion until she was 9, and then it worried her. Charles had een diagnosed with a severe muscle and bone degeneraon disease. He lost the muscles in his calves, then his left orearm and hand. After Charles moved to an apartment after the divorce, he as rarely in the same place for more than a year. He would move to an apartment, and then to a nursing home. The ursing home made Alyssa depressed. In 2005, he moved ack into the basement of the Jolitz house. The family would ake care of him, and he would rarely leave the house. After about a year and a half back at home, he moved in o live with his parents in Arizona. This was tough for Alysa, but she was able to remain in contact with him through MySpace and AIM.

2007 2007 was the year she changed her style of art to more of a cartoon look. Towards the end of the year, she also created her new “mascot,” Dodgy, the Zombie Squirrel.

2008 The piece above is something that Alishka worked hard on while developing her “cartoony” style of art rather than her previous approach.

2009 Drawing this picture of her father only a few days after his death, she likes its “sketchiness.” Although she doesn’t think it’s her best, the subject is most important.

Chemistry and Math got you stumped? Keep up in class with tutoring from R. Kaufman, Ph.D at Corinth Library Call (913)642-7359 Or E-mail

issue 12 features page 15


miracles at

Maison East parent runs a birthing home in Haiti for underpriveleged women

DOCTOR Betsy Wickstrom (right) teaches a seminar to local women about caring for babies. Since Wickstrom started the birthing home in 2004, the birthing home has delivered 3,000 babies. photo courtesy of Betsy Wickstrom


>>ChristaMcKittrick Gathered under a thatched-roof-topped

chouchounet (gazebo) at seven in the morning, a group of women in their mid-20s sit waiting for Maison de Naissance to open. Most eat once a day. Most have to walk a mile and a half just to get water. Most make $1 a week. But through all of these hardships, they are ecstatic to be at a place where they can receive care for them and their babies for free. They soak in the babbling stream and the scent of bananas and coconut. They bask in the early morning sun. For these Haitian women, a day at Maison de Naissance is true paradise. Maison de Naissance, French for “Home of Birth,” was started in 2004 by Dr. Betsy Wickstrom, mother of Junior Andrea Wickstrom and Dr. Stan Shaffer. It is an oasis of safety and a home of hospitality and love for women preparing to have kids, pregnant, and after having kids. Maison de Naissance sees miracles every day when a woman gives birth to a healthy baby. The start of Maison de Naissance was a miracle itself. The first time Wickstrom and Shaffer toured Haiti, Wickstrom saw Presbytarian churches, Roman Catholic churches and Baptist churches. But she didn’t see her personal religion represented: Greek Orthodox Christian. Wickstrom searched even more and eventually found several Greek Orthodox Christians who were doing ministry there. One in particular, Father Michael, was an outstanding man who ran an orphanage, school and more. “I said to him, ‘You know, I really believe in what you’re doing in the ministry here and I really want to give you this money,’” Wickstrom said. “I had already written out the amount on the check and signed it and he said ‘Stop.’” Father Michael then explained that if she wrote a check, it would take weeks to a month to clear because the money would have to be deposited in a Haitian bank, then cleared through the American banking system as a foreign bank. Wickstrom put the check back in her

>>http://www.m In this building, smaller than the Panera at Corinth Square and covered in whitewashed river rocks, over 3,000 babies have been delivered. Over 70,000 prenatal and family planning visits have occured at Maison de Naissance. The goal was to make Maison de Naissance appear welcoming, like a home, somewhere you go for help and support, unlike most hospitals in Haiti. Women are scared of going to hospitals in Haiti because they aren’t treated well. They only go is if their situation is critical. If someone doesn’t have money, they don’t get good care. “If you come in needing a C-section, they give you a piece of paper and on it is listed your IV fluids and your sutures and your antibiotics and your gloves,” Wickstrom said. “Then you have to go to the local pharmacies and bring them back or you don’t get your surgery.” As outrageous as this seems, that’s what Wickstrom and Shaffer found when they toured Haiti. However, Wickstrom is trying to help the villagers to give them what they need and want. The first thing they did when they decided to build the birthing center in Larnage was go to the community and ask what they wanted, what the obstetric history was and what their living conditions were. Now days, Wickstrom and her staff don’t have to go to the villagers; they have started coming to her. “Over time those little villages have created a health improvement committee,” Wickstrom said. “And they have a president. And the president asked to meet with us when we were there in November to give us the run down on what things he thought we were doing well and what things he thought we could do better.” They were pleased with the quality of care and family planning, but they thought that women outside of the village had been getting better treatment than the local girls. They also wished to have more education

and development programs. Wickstrom and her staff quickly worked that out because their relationship with the community is a top priority. Getting along with villagers has never been a problem. Wickstrom’s daughter, Andrea, saw first hand what the village was like when she visited Maison de Naissance when she was twelve-years-old. Andrea went from house to house, weighing kids, giving out Vitamin A and teaching English. Some of the houses were primitive, 12 branches in a circular pattern with a palm leaf roof. Even with their lack of luxuries, the villagers were inviting and friendly. “Maison de Naissance was loved by everyone in the community,” Andrea said. “It was helping the community so the community wanted to help them.” In the future, Wickstrom hopes to expand their care to further areas. Right now, they are training 15 health community workers at a time that will each go to 50 houses in their community twice a month. “They bring prenatal vitamins to the pregnant women, folic acid to the other women who aren’t pregnant yet but might get that way; birth control pills to the ones that don’t want to be; vitamin A and worm medicine to the kids,” Wickstrom said. Beyond this, they hope to be able to build a new, larger building on their land. Right now, they’re only taking up 1/3 of the land that they own. Wickstrom wants to turn the field where kids play soccer and cows graze into a larger facility. By hiring these health community workers and increasing the size of Maison de Naissance, Wickstrom hopes to help many more children have healthy lives, like Prima, the first child ever born in Maison de Naissance. Or Rose Forte, a baby boy with a cleft lip who Wickstrom’s team was able to save. “Once you’ve met them and once you’ve bonded with them, you never forget their faces,” Wickstrom said.

pocket, promising she would wire the money to him once she returned to the United States. Wickstrom and Schaffer then continued to look at all kinds of clinics and hospitals in Port au Prince, Cange, Mirabolais and other Haitian towns, to get ideas for a prenatal care program she wanted to start. Their search was led by an Episcopalian priest who knew about a piece of land that would eventually become Maison de Naissance. The 16 acres of land with a small run-down building on it had been donated to the state strictly for health care by a dying man. All someone had to do to purchase the land was pay the back taxes. The cost of the back taxes was the same as the amount Wickstrom had written on the check to donate to Father Micheal. “I took out the check and said ‘Clearly we’re going to buy this building and we’re going to do this,’” Wickstrom said. The first of three miracles had occurred. The second miracle, however, happened a little closer to home, specifically at Shawnee Mission Medical Center and St. Luke’s hospital. In 2003 the labor and delivery units of both buildings were going through major renovation and all their old equipment and supplies was laying in storage. They donated everything in storage to Maison de Naissance so that it would have chairs and tables, medical equipment and supplies. Third, a shipping company volunteered to pay the shipping fee. But after the miracles had occurred and plans were practically complete, the Supplies getting into the area have been interrupted truck delivering the equipment broke because you can’t get supplies to the southern pendown driving down the bumpy road insula on the roads. Everything is three times as extowards Maison de Naissance. But this pensive as it was. The local hospitals are getting overdidn’t stop Wickstrom or the Haitian peowhelmed so we sent staff and supplies in to help them ple. while they were absolutely just bursting at the seams. “The people came out from every- Doctor Wickstrom epicenter where around,” Wickstrom said, tearing of earthquake up. “They formed a human chain and they carried all this furniture and all this Distance from quake: 100 miles equipment into the building.” Effects: Felt tremors, no damage or injuries Finally, on October 4, 2004, Maison de Les Cayes, Aftermath: Trouble getting supplies, prices inflated Naissance was opened. site of birthing home

The Earthquake’s Effect

page 16 features 03.01.10 >>SarahMcKittrick

While most high school students are struggling to wake up, senior Nikki Prenevost sits in her living room before school catching up on her favorite Japanese drama, Itazura Na Kiss. Later that day, when most students use Facebook as a way to procrastinate, Nikki flips through a Seventeen magazine in Japanese as a break between her studies. While most students rush to finish their homework before their favorite college team plays on ESPN, Nikki rushes to Johnson County Community College to spend three hours learning the Japanese language. What might seem foreign to some students seems perfectly at home to Nikki. Learning different languages has always been a passion of Nikki’s, who has taken languages ranging from Japanese to Swahili to French. Besides taking multiple language classes, Nikki also tries to further her understanding of the languages, especially Japanese, by watching foreign TV shows, reading foreign magazines, and trying out different cultural aspects of various countries. However, Nikki’s love for languages didn’t come the first several years she studied a foreign language. After taking

French for several years twice a week at Belinder elementary school, Nikki didn’t develop any strong feelings for the language. Moving to the school half way through the year made her fall behind in the subject and French seemed like any other class to her. “I just didn’t feel anything about it or have any passion for it,” Nikki said. “That changed for Japanese. There’s something about the language that I’m really attracted to that’s indescribable.” Then, in middle school, Nikki developed an interest in learning foreign languages. She went to the public library and stumbled across several different, non-European languages. At one point, she even tried to learn Swahili. However, none of these languages struck Nikki and they were so uncommon that they seemed impractical to learn. One day, she met a girl who was teaching herself Japanese. With a common interest, the two girls began to informally compete to see who could teach themselves the language better and faster. At the same time, her group of friends was growing interested in anime, an animation style that originated in Japan, and manga, a type of Japanese comic book. These combined to spur on Nikki’s interest in the language. Nikki tried to teach herself Japanese for three years before actually taking a high school or college course. In her free time, Nikki would pore over websites meant to help people learn languages and buy books from Borders to further her knowledge. At first she just tried to learn basic vocabulary, such as greetings, and grammar so that when she took an actual course she would be well prepared. As much as she tried, sometimes learning Japanese was hard because there was no set goal for her independent study. Despite this difficulty, Nikki knew enough of the language to test out of the first semester of Japanese at JCCC. This rapid learning of the language greatly surprised and impressed Nikki’s mom, Susan Prenevost. Susan, who estimates that her daughter spends several hours a day learning different languages, encourages Nikki to study the languages as an academic pleasure.

or f y o aj

n a e p s a e j

Senior finds love for Japanese culture after teaching herself the language

>>Anna Marken

“It really blows me away because she’s working so hard without a grade or reward,” Susan said. “I’m dazzled by how self motivated she is. As a mother I’m proud and as a human I’m confused as to how she can do it.” Nikki’s passion has also impressed her friends. Sadie Wendler, who has known Nikki several years from middle school, is in French with Nikki and is astonished by Nikki’s work ethic and desire to learn Japanese. Before Wendler went to Japan last year, Nikki helped her learn some basic, useful Japanese phrases, such as greetings, that would help Wendler on her trip. “It’s really surprising because normally when people try to do something like this they realize how hard it is and give up,” Wendler said. “But for Nikki learning Japanese is a bottomless pit and she can keep working and going on for hours.” Over the years, Nikki’s love of the language grew more and more. As she found she had a natural knack for learning languages she tried to tackle several other languages as well as Japanese, such as Latin. Now, Nikki is taking Chinese and French at East and Japanese at JCCC. Despite taking all of these languages at once, Nikki said she never gets the languages confused. “A lot of people automatically connect Chinese and Japanese because the two countries are so physically close together,” Nikki said. “But the two languages are nothing alike. Chinese is really hard to pronounce, but Japanese is really easy. It’s kind of like Spanish, once you get the accent down its easy to get.” Because Nikki is not in an environment in which Japanese is spoken regularly, she goes to different measures to further immerse herself in the Japanese language in hopes of learning it better. In her spare time, Nikki will listen to Japanese songs or look up Japanese dramas or anime on the internet. By reading or listening to Japanese, Nikki said her understanding of the language has increased dramatically. In an effort to further discover the Japanese culture and language, Nikki took a week-long trip to Japan with her dad two summers ago. Despite her love of the language, the trip was not as successful as Nikki hoped. The summer heat kept the temperatures in the 90s, blisters from walking kept Nikki in the hotel room for more time than planned, and Nikki found that she didn’t like Japanese food very much. However, this experience didn’t discourage Nikki. “If I hadn’t loved the Japanese culture and language as much as I could, then the trip wouldn’t have been that great,” Nikki said. “But finally experiencing the culture that I had read and heard so much about was amazing.” Not only did the Japanese language interest her, but so did the Japanese culture. Besides visiting Japan, Nikki has learned about the Japanese culture through watching TV shows and reading Japanese magazines. Nikki also celebrates the New Year in the traditional Japanese way, emphasizing a new start and repaying all debts and settling

Asian Acts

Nikki rates her favorite foreign television shows


Kyoko Mogami enters show business in order to get revenge on a guy who dumped her. In the process, she discovers who she really is.

Nikki’s rating:


Translated to “Playful Kiss,” this show is about Kotoko, a happy but unitelligent girl who falls in love with Naoki, a genius.

Nikki’s rating: disagreements. She also forces herself to eat Japanese food, such as sushi, even though she doesn’t like it. “The thing that I find most interesting about the Japanese culture is their values and how they act in society,” Nikki said. “If there’s a mistake then they take all of the blame for it no matter if it was their fault or not. They’re very humble and I think it’s cool that people can be like that.” Nikki also plans on taking her skills in these languages and love of Asian culture on to college and hopefully translate the education into a career. Nikki is planning on attending a college that has a very strong language program, such as Hawaii University. If she went to such a school, Nikki would for sure take Chinese and Japanese and possible other languages such as Korean or Vietnamese. After college, Nikki plans on moving to Japan so she can put all of her work to use. Although she is not sure if she would work as a translator or work in international relations where she could use her English, Nikki said she would be happy as long as she is immersed in the Japanese culture. “Even if I have a mediocre job in Japan, like working as a waitress in a Japanese restaurant I would be fine,” Nikki said. “As long as I’m in Japan speaking some form of Japanese, I’ll be fine.” No matter where her passion for languages takes Nikki later in her life, her skill at learning and speaking these various languages will stay with her forever. “It’s made me feel more like an individual,” Nikki said. “Unlike a lot of high school students I have something I’m striving for. I’ve really grown as a person and it’s completely changed my life.”

Seeing and Singing >>KikiSykes

While some juniors and seniors are filling suitcases with shorts and t-shirts and flying south for their spring break, 100 students have decided to veer their planes eastward. They will be trading the palm trees for icicles. Jeans and choir robes will replace swim suits and sun screen. And instead of laying on a beach listening to the sounds of the ocean, they will be making their own music in historic cathedrals across Europe. The East Choraliers are headed across the Atlantic Ocean for eight days of sightseeing and singing from March 13-20. They will be visiting Salzburg and Vienna, Austria and Prague in the Czech Republic, spending two days in each spot. At each stop, the group will have breakfast and dinner together either back at the hotel or out on the town. They will get the opportunity to sightsee during the day and eat lunch in the towns. The choir will have time everyday to sightsee or shop on their own before meeting back up together. Choir director Ken Foley hopes this trip will prove to be a rewarding bonding experience. “I’m really excited to go to Europe with 100 of my closest friends,” senior Megan McGillicuddy said. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.” During free time, they can choose who they want to spend time with which Foley hopes will allow them to branch out and get to know more people. Throughout the course of the trip, the students will perform in five different concerts together. “This trip for the choir is designed to be a bonding thing that builds camaraderie,” Foley said. The trip is open to both juniors and senior members of the Choraliers who want to tour and see the historic musical sights of Europe. For many of the students going on this trip, it will be their senior spring break and their last trip with their closest friends. Foley understands the issues that could arise dealing with the stereotypical senior spring breaks, where students spend time partying together. However, he has faith in the kids and hopes they won’t get involved in anything that would cause the choir to not be able to take these trips in the future. “I hope kids will go home and be able to tell their parents everything they did, which is far different from other senior spring breaks,” Foley said. Foley hopes he won’t have to deal with anything involving kids breaking rules. Instead, he wants to be able to focus on the incredible sights of the cities and sounds of the choirs. He has personally visited all of the places and is astounded by the musical history that each city holds. Almost all of the European songs they will be singing at their concerts, including “Ave Verum Corpus” composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were written by musicians who lived in the places they are visiting. “The biggest thing I hope for them to get out of this is to make the most of the time and experience all that’s there,” Foley said. Foley is also excited for the songs the choir will be singing, many of which were written in the countries they are visiting and are meant to be performed in these particular towns and churches. He hopes that the students will appreciate this and respect the trip because of it. “Many senior spring breaks are ones you want to forget.” Foley said. “This will be a trip they will want to remember forever.” After an overnight flight to Munich followed by a drive to Salzburg, the students will have had plenty of time to strike up conversations and begin getting to know fellow choir members better. One of the special events planned for Salzburg is the Sound of Music tour. Here, everyone will get to visit places shown in different scenes of the movie including the famous St. Peter’s cemetery, which is the churchyard where the Von Trapp family in the movie hides when the Nazis come for them. Along with this tour, students will also get

issue 12 features page 17 100 junior and senior Choraliers will head to Europe for a spring break of traveling, sightseeing and singing

a chance to stop by and see the home of Mozart. The trip to Salzburg will end with the choir performing a concert at the St. Elisabeth Church. All of the concerts were set up by the trip planners who book these churches for choirs, and they will be publicized throughout the city prior to the concert. The Choraliers will be performing for anyone who hears about the concert and wants to listen to the sounds of an American choir. The students are excited to have the opportunity to sing songs in their concert that were originally composed in the places they are performing at. “It’s a really big honor,” senior Emily Bittiker said. “Especially since we’re from Kansas and it’s so far away. It adds a whole new meaning to the music.” From Salzburg the group will travel to Vienna, for another two days of singing and historical sightseeing. The choir will travel together to the St. Stephan’s Cathedral, a famous church that was bombed out during WWII and later had its roof replaced. Despite this, the insides of the cathedral still show the Gothic style from the original structure. “They [the choir students] can see amazing things both musically and historically and never be bored for a minute,” Foley said. “There are millions of things to see.” The Choraliers will also get to visit and tour the Schonbrunn Palace which was home to the Habsburg Dynasty, the family that ruled Austria for over 630 years. The group will say farewell to Vienna with a concert at Herz Jesu Kirche, the largest church in Graz, Austria. Lastly the choir will cross the border to Prague. As part of the group’s sightseeing, the students will visit a castle in the city of Cesky Krumlov. Here, there are a plethora of castles sitting on hillsides that can be seen from the city streets. These castles were built centuries ago and can now be toured. After touring the castle and other sights in the city, the group will end the day on a buffet dinner cruise along the Vltava River. This way everyone will have a chance to see the city up close offering incredible views of the bustling city at night. The final concert the Choraliers will perform at will take place the next day at St. Saviour’s Church. This may mark the end of the trip, but it will also be the beginning of the new bonds of friendship made throughout the vacation “I think just getting to sing in the cathedrals will pull us together,” junior Emily Welter said. “It’s not every day you get to experience something like that with a lot of people.” From the sights of the ancient cities to the music that will ring through the old cathdrals, Foley and the students have high hopes for the trip. Although the bonds formed during the trip are one of the main goals, Foley also hopes to open the eyes and ears of the choir to a world of culture unlike what they can experience in the U.S. “By doing this tour we are part of the history of theses places and are just tapping into the karma of this history,” Foley said. “I hope they will get a larger global appreciation and understand that music is about the feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself.”

St. Patricks Cathedral


Cliffs of Moher

>>all photos courtesy of

sight Hopping

For eight days the choraliers will be in Europe. These are some of the sights they will see. Sound of Music Tour

The choraliers will see many of the sights that the movie takes place in.

St. Elisabeth Cathedral

The choraliers will perform at many cathedrals and one will be the famous St. Elisabeth cathedral.


The Home of Mozart

The group will go to the place where the famous composer Mozart lived.

page 18 a&e 03.01.10


‘ISLAND’of S E I R E T S MY Scorsese and DiCaprio team up once again for an engaging psychological thriller

atwistoncinema Movies with memorable climactic endings


>>all photos from


Set aside the gangster stories and the New York character dramas of the Martin Scorsese you know, because “Shutter Island” showcases the master filmmaker in a fresh mind-bender mode he’s never been in before. He directs an elaborate, ever-deepening search for the truth through an atmospheric maze of deception and the unexpected, all leading up to a shocking, must-see twist climax that serves as a more than satisfying payoff to the crazy, gripping two hour journey preceding it. Investigating this 1954-set labyrinth of secrets are U.S. Marshals Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his newly-assigned partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), called to Shutter Island’s Ashcliffe Asylum to find a patient who’s escaped from the mental hospital for the criminally insane. MULHOLLAND DR. But immediately upon arrival, the marshals encounter a Weird movie king David Lynch lack of cooperation from the staff, particularly from head directs his mind-warping maspsychiatrist Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley), who seems to be terpiece to make sense for covering up something sinister going on at the asylum. two hours, and then in the last As Teddy spends more time at the mental hospital and 30 minutes, the story of two delves deeper into the case, he has recurring, extremely eeHollywood women trying to rie flashbacks and dreams. These include messages from his solve one’s case of amnesia dead wife and memories of his horrifying WWII experiences in abruptly takes a twist that the liberation of the Dachau death camp. Both slowly take a toll changes everything. This is one of the bigon his mental stability as he learns that something is definitely gest, “What just happened?” endings in all afoot at Ashcliffe, and the more he uncovers, the more he realof cinema, and it takes several viewings to izes that he must unlock the secrets of Shutter Island before it put this puzzle together, but the reward for drives him as mad as the patients. figuring it out is extremely satisfying. With a myriad of plot turns and surprises, the story is expertly plotted and thought-out (even if it does get a tad confusing at In between the two THE PRESTIGE times), and the movie consistently continues to gain depth as it adrecent “Batman” vances. Viewers are kept guessing all the way up to the extended, films, Christopher jaw-dropping explanation, which rightfully earns a spot on the list Nolan made this of the best movie twists ever. psychological thriller Throughout the film, veiled hints are dropped about the end seabout two comcrets (like in any good psychological thriller), and some plot points peting magicians don’t quite add up or completely fit until the final revelation. Yet with(Christian Bale and out a skilled director handling the multi-layered material, the story Hugh Jackman), one could have easily fallen apart, and the ending could’ve ruined the enof the strongest non-chronologically tire movie. But Scorsese proves yet again why he deserves to be known told stories in years. The tale unas America’s greatest living director, crafting suspense that would make folds out of order with a plethora of Alfred Hitchcock proud and building an ending so delicately shaped that plot turns and surprises, so many twist-master M. Night Shyamalan himself could learn a lot from it. And in that it takes multiple viewings to keeping with most brain-spinners, “Shutter Island” highly benefits from a catch them all. This David Fincher thriller (“Fight Club,” “The Game”) about two detectives (Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, both giving some of their finest work) tracking a biblical serial killer is arguably the greatest detective story ever put to celluloid, with one of the most perfectly executed endings of all-time. Even if you guess the twist, that takes nothing away from the finale thanks to its heart-pounding intensity and how flawlessly it all comes together.

Stay home |

| Rental at best |

| Worth seeing |

second viewing, growing even finer with knowledge of the big reveal. Scorsese also really impresses with the dream and flashback sequences, always full of rich cinematography, creepy, haunting imagery and spine-tingling thrills. From the first one of them, it’s clear that they’ll completely submerge viewers into Teddy’s world and at the same time mess with their heads, from trapping them in a burning room to perturbing them with sights of war atrocities, sometimes even evoking chills similar to “The Shining.” For a director with so many superb films, this one shows a new side of Scorsese, but comes up a little shy of ranking among his very best. He’ll often start to amass lots of suspense in a scene (the somewhat jarring but sufficient score helping to increase it), and then he hits a dialogue-driven segment where he loses momentum, still keeping interest but slowing down the pace and thus requiring him to pick up the pieces to rebuild the tension. What’s completely devoid of fault however is the acting. DiCaprio supremely immerses himself into his role, and after only the opening sequence I began thinking of him more as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels rather than as actor Leonardo DiCaprio, a true feat for a big star. Viewers invest just as much as Teddy in his journey, and feel right there with him all the way up through the emotional finale, where DiCaprio pulls the audience head first into his intense situation. Long gone are his days as the kid from “Titanic” — in the coming years he’ll be thought of as this generation’s Dustin Hoffman or Robert De Niro. In fact, he’s already replaced De Niro as Scorsese’s muse, this being their fourth movie together, and will no doubt win an Oscar very soon. Backing up DiCaprio with additionally engrossing performances are Ruffalo, at this point a veteran in the detective role, and Kingsley (always a joy to watch) as the devilishly sly bad guy. Michelle Williams as Teddy’s deceased, otherworldly entrancing spouse and Max von Sydow, with a threatening German accent as the other head doctor (still at the top of his game at the age of 80) similarly enhance the film’s level of captivation. There are also a number of actors that appear in only a scene or two who leave quite a lasting impression, chief among these Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach from “Watchmen”) as a wonderfully slimy rat of a patient in one of the most memorable scenes of the movie. Leo and Marty have scored another hit in this brilliantly-shot mystery island, one of the best full-out psychological thrillers of the past several years. From the dangerous, high-up cliffs to the confining madness of the patient wards, viewers are glued to their seats for the whole ride. Understanding doesn’t come until the last 20 minutes, but once it does, the mind is shattered in “Shutter Island.”


| Instant Classic |



little money, many tunes Russian music downloading Web site,, is affordable yet technologically imperfect


Russia is renowned for a number of things—caviar, vodka and blue-eyed blondes—but not its ability to provide music so cheap, it’s almost Napster level. The Russian mp3 download Web site provides almost all the same possibilities as leading distributors such as iTunes, without putting a dent in the buyer’s bank account. The site offers both local and global music from even the most obscure bands, from the new Vampire Weekend album to the enchanting Columbian melodies of the talented Juanes. Some songs are still nine cents, but the price was increased to 19 cents last year, so any new songs are at that price. Even with the price increase, it’s still remarkably less than the standard 99 cents that iTunes charges per song, and there is no noticeable difference in sound quality between the two sites. Along with the already low prices on, the site also includes an additional 10 percent discount if you purchase an entire album. This is one of the things that really sold me. Think the luxuries of flying first class with the budget of coach. The site’s design is also appealing. There is a clean, organized layout, and I can search music by artists, albums and genres. The colorful albums covering the homepage also brighten up the classic look of the site. By

Peerless Pasta Noodles & Company provides speedy service, versatile dishes and quality food

13448 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park


Don’t Bother |

the Mediterranean column, included classic dishes that I would never imagine being prepared quickly, like Tuscan linguine or penne rosa. And finally, there was an American section, with homemade masterpieces from mac and cheese to spaghetti and meatballs. Each section of the menu also included one salad and one soup, including Chinese Chop Salad, Caesar Salad and Chicken Noodle Soup, to go along with the four choices of noodles. You were also able to customize your meal with additions of Parmesan crusted chicken, braised beef, shrimp or tofu. After we placed our orders, we sat down in the filled restaurant among a crowd of elderly, families and some gel-haired college kids. I hadn’t seen a place packed like this since my last visit to Chipotle. Our lunch was in front of us after only a few short minutes, and we jumped right into it. The Wisconsin Mac and Cheese and the

| On the Fence |

>>all photos by Eden Schoofs

When I first heard of the restaurant Noodles & Company, I was very skeptical of the idea. I wondered if was just another Asian noodle shop. Or another Italian pasta place. I wondered how just noodles could be a meal. When my pack of hungry teenage boys and I walked through the glass doors, we were taken aback by the vibrant oranges, greens, yellows and the very open environment of tall ceilings and large windows. As we walked up to the counter I was surprised that the young woman kept her joyful smile, instead of groaning at the sight of four loud and obnoxious 16-year-olds. Above the counter, the menu listed the choices in three separate columns. There was an Asian section, which contained a unique blend of Pad Thai, Bangkok Curry and the Japanese Pan Noodles. Its neighbor,

pressing the ‘play’ button placed next to every song on the web site, I can easily listen to a 30 second preview of the song. It’s far from the usual sleazy-looking pirated music web sites that come across as either a nasty computer virus or a lawsuit waiting to happen. After setting up an account, users can tag artists and songs as favorites, view downloads and follow payment history with the click of a button. With the initial payment, any amount of funds can be added to begin purchases, but after the first time requires users to add a minimum of $30 at a given time, equal to roughly 200 downloads. This can be inconvenient for buyers who aren’t sure how many songs they’ll be purchasing, but shouldn’t be a problem for the average music enthusiast. I’m personally nearing the end of my third bulk payment on the web site, so clearly it’s not that big of an issue. The only other drawback I found had to do with the download process. If I download the songs directly into my iTunes library, the songs are transferred into my iPod with no problems, and listening to them on the mp3 player itself works fine. But later, when I’m sitting at my computer and want to listen to my music, any song that I downloaded from the site won’t play directly from my library. The track link shows up as inactive, and skips to the next available song. And when I’d try to burn them to a disk later, the same thing would happen. Majorly frustrating, but I found a solution. After trying some different methods I realized that this only happened after I exited the iTunes window and opened it back up later. If

I burned the tracks to a CD before leaving my session on iTunes, then downloaded them back into my library again from the burnt disks then the music played how it should. Though the pleasure of downloading burnt CD’s does bring the hassle of having to rename countless Track 1, Track 2 and Track 3’s. For those who get irritable waiting 30 seconds at a stop light, this might not be the site for you. I know it sounds time consuming, but I think it’s definitely worth it. Ten more minutes burning a CD is well worth the $170 or more I save with every $30 payment I make. Sure I might have to put off watching 90210 for a few more minutes, but having to spend a little more time downloading is a reasonable sacrifice for the other incentives the site offers. Any time I forget to initially burn my downloads, the download archive on my account really comes in handy. The archive is a complete list of purchased tracks and allows each to be downloaded twice. With this feature, a customer won’t have to buy a track multiple times if it isn’t downloaded right to begin with. The whole process of burning and re-downloading the songs may sound like a hassle, but it really isn’t as bad as it may seem. I would most likely burn all the songs to a CD anyway, so I can listen on the road and because even software like iTunes isn’t fail-safe. Music can always be lost, which is why I take the risk-free path. Though there are a few minor drawbacks, the price and other perks the site offers more than compensate for them. It’s like being able to legally cheat on a test. A perfect score, minus the repercussions.


| Spicy Spaghetti and Meatballs may not have been as good as your grandma’s homecooked meals, but they were both filling and left two of my companions scraping up the last drops of sauce in the bowls. The macaroni was better than stuff in the box, but did lack in the category of cheese. The spaghetti’s flaw was the meatballs. They were a bit chewy and that really hurt the overall taste of the plate. Stepping out of his comfort zone of cheeseburgers and shakes, one of my friends ordered the Mediterranean Pesto Cavatappi and a Tomato Basil Bisque. As he put it, “two fancy names for some pasta and tomato soup.” I’m pretty sure he didn’t know

|Check Out Worthy|

issue 12 a&e page 19

FAVORITE FEATURES Feature 1 - Downloading

“The download archive is really helpful because it shows your complete purchase history—each album and track title, when it was purchased, and general information on the track.”

Feature 2 - Artist Preview

“I really like the pages for each artist because a list of their top downloads, a picture of the artist, and all of their past albums are laid out in an organized way.”

his pasta would end up being green or that his soup would have basil leaves in it. Nevertheless, he eventually tried his food, and ended up loving both of them. The bisque was one of the greatest soups he had ever had. The basil made this bowl zestier than any ordinary tomato soup. As for my meal, I had ordered the Indonesian Peanut Saute with chicken, the spiciest dish on the menu. Everything about this bowl was fantastic from the carrots and broccoli to the crushed peanuts and lime on top. It tasted like something I would wait for 45 minutes for at any regular Asian restaurant. Now, of course I would trade this bowl of noodles for a meal at P.F. Chang’s, but this mix of spice and sweet was still a great and inexpensive option. The bottom line was the food at Noodles & Company greatly exceeded my expectations. The people were upbeat, our food was ready in about 10 minutes, and I would definitely go back to try more of their creative dishes. It would be a fun place to get a quick bite after a basketball game or before a movie. Noodles & Company will also be replacing the McDonald’s on the Plaza within the next few months, and I would say that noodles are a exotic and tasty alternative to the everyday hamburgers and fries.





Win $5000 All you have to do is open your mouth The Deal If you are in High School and think you can sing The Center is searching for YOU.

The Prizes The winner will receive $5000 and gain great exposure to entertainment moguls and singing opportunities including the Jewish Arts Festival.

The Details Auditions: Sunday, March 21 at Union Station & Sunday, March 28 at the White Theatre.

Semi-finals: Up to 20 semi-finalists from the auditions will

Beautiful Dresses & the lines you love: Phoebe Couture Nanette Lepore Tracy Reese Plenty Tibi Michael Stars Seven For All Mankind JWLA Love Quotes Scarves & so much more

compete on Thursday, May 6 at Blue Valley Northwest.

Finals: 10 finalists will compete for the $5000 on Sunday, August 29. venue TBD


The Jewish Community Center 5801 W. 115th • Overland Park 913-327-8000 •

Sponsored by Helen & Sam Kaplan Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation

To become a sponsor call 913-327-8073.

Miriam Garvey IN THE FAIRWAY SHOPS • 2710 W. 53RD ST. • 913-722-2101

Visit our website for more information and special events:

issue 12 mixed page 21

“Usually when I stay home, I hang out with friends all week. Sometimes I get really jealous of the people who go to cool and exotic places for break. I’d love to go somewhere warm to get away from the winter.” junior Krey Bradley

“This is my first time ever going to the Philippines. We’re staying in a hotel on an island and then taking a boat to another island to do mission work with Camp Kivu.” junior Emily Fuson


“I’m going with the Satterlee family to Jamaica for their senior spring break. We’re staying in an allinclusive resort, but I hope that I can get out and see some of the culture and street life.” sophomore Libby Eggleston


Spring Break




seconds with senior

Hannah Satterlee

is the best thing about being a Q What senior? a

Q a Q a

Q a Q a

Not having a seminar! I have third lunch so I go home and take a nap before basketball.

Do you have any advice for the underclassmen? Take advantage of everything East offers... Don’t get into a comfort zone!

What are your plans for next year? I’m still undecided, but I think I’m gonna be a Mizzou Tiger.

What will you miss most about East? The friends I’ve made in all my sports.

What is your favorite place to go for open lunch? Planet Sub, by far. The employees have my order memorized because I’ve been in there so many times.

>>All photos by Dan Stewart


How To Make a quick & delicious snack Pizza by the Slice


prep time: 15 min.

1 package of crescent roll dough 1/4 cup pizza sauce 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese toppings like pepperoni

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. 2. Unroll and place a section of the dough on a cookie sheet. 3. Spoon sauce on the dough and sprinkle cheese and your toppings on it. 4. Repeat for all your slices. 5. Bake for 10 minutes.

Berry Lemonade Slush


prep time: 5 min.

1/2 cup dry lemonade mix 1/2 cup water 3 cups ice cubes 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries

1. Add all the ingredients into the blender. 2. Blend on high speed for 10 seconds. 3. Turn off the blender and stir with a spoon. 4. Then blend it for another 5 seconds until smooth. 5. Pour into glasses!

page 22 sports 03.01.10

with the start of a girls’ lacrosse team at East, many girls are choosing to



A simple photo of two girls competing on the lacrosse field flanked by dozens of posts made by East students declaring “I am in!” makes up the Lancer Girls Lacrosse Facebook group wall. When the group was formed in early September, a new trend began. Now hosting 100 members, the group continues to grow. Last year, junior Marissa Horwitz played on a girl’s club lacrosse team that consisted of girls predominately from the Blue Valley area. Making the long drive at 6 p.m. four times a week gave Horwitz an idea. “I decided I wanted to start my own club team in the Shawnee Mission area,” Horwitz said. “My coach and I talked about the idea of starting my own team. He said that it wouldn’t be too difficult and could be done.” After talking to her coach, Horwitz was determined to make the team come alive. She taped up fliers all around East to make the program known. She ventured to Shawnee Mission South where she hung posters and passed out information. “The team is currently up to 38 players,” Horwitz said. “I expect that will continue to grow. The team is a great mix of all high school grade levels and I hope that the freshmen will

keep the program going.” As word of the team was passed around, more people want to get involved. Senior Haley Dalgleish talked to her friends about the team and they also wanted to join the program. “I decided that I did not want to play soccer this year, but I wanted to stay in shape,” Dalgleish said. “I feel that lacrosse will be a fun sport for me.” Horwitz expected many East students to show an interest, and her hunch had been right. She received instant success after establishing her Facebook group and creating posters. “Walking through the halls, I spotted a blue flier that said there was a girls’ lacrosse meeting,” freshman Madison May said. “I was so excited because I was told at the beginning of the school year that East didn’t have a lacrosse team. After seeing it, I wanted to join.” Although the majority of the players are from East, members come from other schools: Shawnee Mission South, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Shawnee Mission West and Blue Valley. The schedule is not fully set, but the team is

>>all photos by Claire Wahrer

expected to play private schools in the area and to practice four times a week. There will be two teams—one for experienced players and a another for those new to the sport. Although this is a club team, the concept of JV and Varsity still exists. The JV team will be used to teach new players more about the game, while varsity will be for girls with prior experience. Horwitz dedicates much of her time to lacrosse. This is her third year playing and her first year playing year-round. She spent approximately six hours practicing each week when she played club this past year. Horwitz started playing in recreation leagues and eventually decided to play on club teams that are more competitive. “After watching my brother play lacrosse, I decided I wanted to do it too,” Horwitz said. “I love playing lacrosse and the competitive aspect of it.” Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. No sport has grown faster at a high school level over the past ten years than lacrosse. It requires players that posses quickness and

agility because the game is played at a fastpaced rate. Lacrosse attracts people that play different sports as it is a combination of basketball, soccer and hockey. “Lacrosse is like soccer in the way that there are positions and like hockey in the way that you move up and down the field,” senior Louisa Morton said. “It’s also like basketball because you switch back and forth from defense to offense.” Many people who have not played lacrosse in the past have taken the next step in getting better. Morton goes to lacrosse clinics and scrimmages on Tuesdays, Sundays, Thursdays and Saturdays to better her skill level. “The girls who have never played before have been involved in an indoor beginner league,” Horwitz said. “Also, girls are doing softball and soccer conditioning to get ready. The goal is to have only East girls in a couple of years and to keep the program growing.”

Chicks with


Junior Kendall Kohnley

Q: Why did you decide to play lacrosse? A: Marissa had been doing it for a long time and she told me she was

starting a team and asked me if I wanted to do it. I always thought it looked fun when I went to her games.

Junior Marissa Horwitz

Q: When did you first start playing lacrosse? Q: Why did you decide to play lacrosse? A: Freshman year. My brother had a stick and I used to play with A: Chandler and Marissa approached me , and they know I play him a little. Then I found out that the Leawood rec was starting a kid’s team so I joined.

Q: Do you think playing other sports helps Q: How does girl’s lacrosse compare to prepare for lacrosse?

A: I did soccer for a while and I played in GABL this winter.

Sophomore Miranda Treas


A: It’s not as violent. It’s more about speed and skill, not so much about the size.

hockey so they knew it would be good for me. I think [my hockey skills] will cross over.

Q: Are you going to embrace the new title of “lax brah”?

A: Yes, definitely.



All PhotosBy

making sense of all the

issue 12 sports page 23

The Harbie gives you a glance at the NCAA tournament from setting up your bracket to finding a sleeper. Let the games begin. >> KevinSimpson


If the basketball gurus were to draw up a blueprint for a national champion, their end result would look a lot like the Jayhawks. They have veteran leadership that has been there before in senior Sherron Collins and head coach Bill Self. They have the ability to lock down on defense as the second-best team in the nation in defensive field-goal percentage, and center Cole Aldrich is sixth in the nation with an average of four blocks per game. CORNELL BIG RED And finally, in Collins, the Jayhawks have a Head coach Steve Donahue's Ivy League leadSYRACUSE ORANGE ers proved to the nation on Jan. 6 that they can The Orange are known for their zone defense, which can surefire go-to guy late in the game when they hang with the best of the best, as they nearly need a crucial basket. become even more effective in March, when players and ended Kansas' 51-game winning streak at home coaches don't have time to devise a strategy to beat unfa- KANSAS STATE WILDCATS in a close five-point loss. At 41 percent, Ryan The Wildcats were in the Big Dance just two miliar defenses. The Orange also lead the nation in field goal seasons ago during Michael Beasley's stellar Wittman is a sharpshooter behind the threepercentage with five players averaging double figures per freshman season. However, this year's squad point line, and center Jeff Foote is a seven-foot game. Guard Andy Rautins leads the charge and is deadly has dreams of making some noise, not just tall monster inside. from three-point range. making the bracket. Junior guard Jake Pul- NORTHERN IOWA PANTHERS OHIO STATE BUCKEYES The Buckeyes are surging at the right time, having won seven len and senior guard Denis Clemente are a The Panthers are a veteran group that knows of their last eight with their only loss coming to a potential potent three-point shooting duo, and vet- their roles well. Head coach Ben Jacobson's one seed in Purdue. Head coach Thad Matta's group has also eran backcourt play has always been a key bunch made the Dance last year, and this exproven that they can win in tough environments, with road to a deep run in March. Coach Frank Martin's perience will pay off for the 23-4 Panthers. Four wins at Michigan State and Illinois. Every great team has a bunch appears to be poised for its first trip Panthers average ten points a game, and this great player, and the Buckeyes boast one of the best in Evan to the second weekend of the tournament kind of balance drives defenses mad as they try to decide which players to focus in on. for the first time in nearly 30 years. Turner.




Despite being ranked in everyone's top 10 as of late, head coach Bob Huggins' squad has faltered in Big East play. The Mountaineers have lost three of their last five and are just 3-4 against ranked opponents. This is a recipe for disaster when preparing for a tournament in which every team will be talented after the first round.





Madness Panel

It wouldn't be the most exciting tournament in sports if every team didn't have hopes of a deep run. If you're a Jayhawk, take 'em, if you're a Wildcat, make 'em the champs... It may just work out for you.

K-State: Pretenders or Contenders?


Watch the conference tournaments. Check out all of the expert's sleeper picks. The more you know about each team, the less you will be picking games based on the mascots.

Strongest Cinderella

Early-Exit Shocker



The Wildcats may sport a 26-1 record (as of Feb. 24), but their lack of experience could become deadly when tournament play rolls around. Freshmen Demarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe have proven to be liabilities in tough situations while John Wall has dazzled the nation with his NBA athleticism, although it has cause him to occasionally be careless with the ball.



Find a group of friends and set up a bracket challenge. It's amazing how a little competition can have you throwing your remote at the television during a Thursday morning Butler-Clemson game.

National Champ

March Madness Stud

Assistant Editor






Copy Editor














SAM KOVZAN Sports Page Editor

CORBIN BARNDS Sports Page Editor






page 24 photo essay 03.01.10

Let it Coalition concert benefits LOVE146, an organization whose mission is to help the victims of sex trafficking >>Mackenzie Wylie

>>Grant Heinlein FAR ABOVE: Senior Brian Rogers plays the djembe to “Black Magic Woman,” by Santana with the band Menlo. ABOVE RIGHT: Members of all of the bands pose for photos for a slideshow that played during Menlo’s performance. ABOVE LEFT: Senior Max McFarland gets into the groove as he plays the electric guitar. FAR RIGHT: Senior Matt Chalk plays his Alto Saxophone in Menlo during the song “What Would You Say,” by The Dave Matthews Band. RIGHT: Seniors Grace Martin and Tara Raghuveer sway to the Menlo cover of the Dave Matthews Band song, “Satellite.”

>>Grant Heinlein

>>Mackenzie Wylie

>>Claire Wahrer

Issue 12  

PHOTOESSAY: Boys’ swim team wins state (pg. 5) INSIDE: Financial section SPREAD: Senior art relates emotions (pg. 12-13) >> GriffinBur...

Issue 12  

PHOTOESSAY: Boys’ swim team wins state (pg. 5) INSIDE: Financial section SPREAD: Senior art relates emotions (pg. 12-13) >> GriffinBur...