Page 1

the >>AlishkaJolitz




NEWS: Teacher Cuts and RIF issues (pg. 4) SPREAD: World Cup Extravaganza (pgs. 16-17) A&E: Summer Movie Preview (pg. 20)

page 2 news 05.10.10

n area

ucatio d E l a t n e m n o ir v ld pond and En

o e h t g in t a v o n e r East is


When students return to East after a much needed summer vacation, one of the final pieces of the school’s renovation puzzle will be set. Over the summer, three ponds will be added to the campus, two will be used in the environmental courtyard, while another will replace the gigantic puddle by the north stairway by junior lot, and will be used as a retention pond. These ponds have always been a part of Krawitz’s construction plan, and there was actually a pond in the courtyard prior to the construction, but because of the construction that pond has become non-existent. “We are going to need a retention pond for overflowing so this building doesn’t fill the sewers,” Dr. Krawitz said. “They will plant vegetation in it. Decorative vegetation, not weeds and stuff, but the plants will also be drought resistant, in case this pond isn’t filled. The foundation for the retention pond already exists, and over the summer layers of gravel, sand, and top-soil will be added, and the it should be a very quick process. The sand and gravel are needed to keep the water in the specific area and slows it down which will keep the new pond from spreading. All three ponds have been pre-planed, and are already in the fixed construction budget. These ponds also signify that the construction crew era at East is nearing its end. The two new ponds in environmental area, just behind the third floor science classrooms, are replacing the previous stream and pond that were there before. The new ponds

Q&A with

Rusty Debey

should very similar to the old ones and will also have a small stream by the ramp. “These ponds will be used primarily for wildlife,” Krawitz said. “It’s basically an area for small animals, some fish, and turtles. Nothing big.” Environmental Science teacher James Lockard used the ponds for his classes for years before the construction, and is excited to be able to teach lessons with them again. “The pond and the stream are the source for our water quality studies lab, and they both tie into the theme of rural Kansas,” Lockard said. “Everything out there relates to the state, whether it’s the stream, the pond, or the little cliffs in the back.” As a Environmental Education student, senior Erika Davee believes that the new ponds in the outdoor area will be a nice thing to share on tours with the many elementary students that visit East on field trips. “It will be another fun thing to share with the little kids, and it will be a good hands-on experience for everybody,” Davee said. Junior and current Biology 2 student Natalie Parker thinks that the two new ponds could make many science classes, mainly environmental ones, a much better learning experience. “It sounds like a great idea,” Parker said. “It will a nice thing to look at in the hallways, and adds good scenery to our school. It’s a nice surprise, especially due to the school’s financial situation.”


What has to happen before you can begin construction on the pond?


proved, we need to get electricity out there. After that the initial dig can start. Will you incorporate the new area into the tours you do with little kids?


Do you have any other plans for the area?

have to get the plans into the district so A: Ithey can be approved. Once they are ap-

am hoping to incorporate the environA: Imental tour with the little kids.

goal is to make a rain garden. This will A: The clean the water that comes off the roof before it enters the pond.

How the pond will affect you East’s science department is recreating the old pond. Ideally, they will also be making another pond, in order for a stream to be able to go in between them. After the stream is created, amphibians will begin coming because of the running water. The goal is to bring in wildlife including rabbits and birds. Another goal of the project is to bring in native grasses to the environmental education area.

Environmental Education If the project is started in the summer, the class will finish the pond in the fall. They will continue to dig and follow through with the pond until they fill it with water. Once the pond is filled, the class will study the water flow of the pond.

The Schedule If the project is started in the summer, the class will finish the pond in the fall. They will continue to dig and follow through with the pond until they fill it with water. Once the pond is filled, the class will study the water flow of the pond.

issue 16 news page 3

>> Ann


ark en

sending more

THAN MESSAGES Due to reports of health risks from cell phone use, questions have been raised over what action to take

with their SAR at the point of sale. what we can do to make it work in a safer way.” Maine State Representative Andrea Boland has introDavis also said that the population that will be most duced similar legislation in her state. Boland’s bill “An Act affected by this issue is current school-age children and To Create the Children’s Wireless Protection Act” would teenagers because they have grown up accustomed to cell require cell phone manufacturers to label cell phones and phones. their packaging with warnings of the reported health risks. Senior Taylor Burkhead agrees that since getting phones Representative Boland said her bill would simply help in middle school she and her classmates have become used consumers make informed decisions about the products to the constant connection with friends. they buy. Boland said that it is the cell phone industry’s re“Teenagers would be unlikely to change the way they sponsibility to see that their products are safe, but they have use their phones,” Burkhead said. “It’s because we’re so fallen short. used to them, so addicted, really.” “The way they [cell phone manufacturers] deny the risks The Sept. 15 hearing made Davis optimistic about the fuis just like what happened with the tobacco industry,” Bo- ture because of the increased interest in the issue. A year land said. “They’ll say we don’t have enough information, prior, a similar hearing was held and Davis and others spoke that it’s conclusive but it’s their responsibility to prove their to a near empty room. On the 15th, the hearing was standproducts are safe.” ing room only. Davis has been in contact with members of The bill Boland introduced was not passed by the Maine the House of Representatives who are concerned about this Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee but Boland issue. She said they are looking towards policy changes to said she will introduce it again. both fund research and limit exposure to cell phone radiaK. Dane Snowden, Vice President of External and State tion until further research is complete. Davis said that more affairs for CTIA-The Wireless Association said that the CTIA definitive research is needed to convince people to change agrees with the Maine HHS Committee’s decision. Snowden their habits. said there is no definitive research showing adverse health But while research may open peoples’ eyes, Lauren said effects related to cell phones. that it will take personal experience to push the public to “Warning labels would mislead consumers suggesting change their cell phone use habits. that wireless devices are not safe which contradicts the con“ Change might happen over time, if people start seeing sensus of the leading federal and international health orga- health effects,” Lauren said. “When you hear about it, it nizations,” Snowden said. doesn’t really affect you, but if you know Lauren’s mom, Sandra King, said based on the ques- someone that’s affected by it then tions about the certainty of the reports it may be premature you start to realize it more.” to pass laws requiring warnings. But Sandra said she does feel more research on the issue is necessary, because people should be informed about how their daily habits affect their health. “If studies were definitive, I would change my habits,” Sandra said. “If they showed that calling affected health, then I would encourage my kids to go to just texting. If they showed that both calling and texting were negative, then I would restrict their phone use altogether.” In addition to action at the state level, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations gathered doctors The Federal Communications and scientists who have studied the issue for their Commission sets safety standards “Hearing on the Hearing on Health Effects of Cell Phone Use.” Dr. Devra Lee Davis, Professor of for the radio frequency emissions Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh of cell phones in the U.S. Here’s a Graduate School of Public Health testified at brief explanation. the Sept. 15 hearing. Dr. Davis spoke to the Committee Kilogram about the need for funding of research on the issue and in the meantime, Unit of mass equal to 1000 grams. policy to protect consumers. Dr. Davis said that the U.S. has been movWatt ing slowly on this issue is that as The standard measurement of electrical power. a country because we have been focusing on the positive effects Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of cell phones, like improving The measurement used by the FCC for the amount of communication in emergency radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when ussituations, and overlooking the possible negative effects. ing a cell phone. “The Chinese have a proverb that a way of lookThe Limit ing at it is not looking,” The SAR level set by the FCC as the limit for Davis said. “I think we’ve safe exposure is 1.6 watts per kilogram. been so enthralled by this marvelous technology The FCC ID number of cell phones are printed on the phone that saves lives . . . that itself or on its case. You can use that number to find out we tend to overlook how many it may be endanthe SAR value of your phone by going to gering in the future and oet/fccid and following the instructions given.

AR ea do

>>Annie Sgroi

When buying a cell phone, people consider its color, price and style. But according to a recent report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), they should also be thinking about how their phone will affect their health. In a report by the EWG, a non-profit organization that focuses on providing information about public health and the environment, published studies that showed correlations between health problems and using a cell phone for 10 years or more. These effects include an increased risk of brain cancer, salivary gland tumors, behavioral problems, migraines and vertigo. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), all reported negative effects of cell phones connect to heating of body tissues caused by the radio frequencies (RF) emitted by cell phones. EWG Press Associate Leann Brown said that the EWG’s research department conducted a 10-month evaluation of 200 studies about health risks related to cell phones and compiled them into a “comprehensive report.” “We’re asking the U.S. government to really take a look at the most recent science and to continue to look at long term studies,” Brown said, “especially studies that focus on children and teenagers who have thinner skulls that adults, which are not able to protect the brain as well from radiation from the phones.” Brown said there are two key things teenagers should do to reduce exposure to cell phone radio frequency emissions. First, she recommends texting over talking on the phone because texting keeps phones farther away from the brain. Second, Brown recommends limiting exposure to the head when calling by using a headset, speakerphone or holding the phone an inch away from the head. “It’s important for high school students now to understand that they’re facing a lifetime exposure for longer than any generation before them,” Brown said. “And it’s really the long term exposure that we’re concerned about with cell phones.” Junior Lauren King often texts her friends when she’s bored in class and on the weekends she calls friends to make plans. Lauren feels that even with the recent EWG report of possible health risks linked to cell phones, people will be unlikely to change their behavior. The EWG included its recommendations to protect consumers from cell phone emissions in its report. They recommend that the U.S. government require phones to be labeled with their radiation emissions and that the cell phone industry sells phones which have the lowest radiation level possible. Currently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that cell phones sold in the United States meet a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) minimum guideline of 1.6 watts per kilogram. The SAR level of a phone is the amount of energy absorbed by the body when using the phone. The SAR level of phones can be accessed by entering the FCC ID code found on the backs of phones on the FCC’s website. The EWG feels the FCC should make this information more accessible. “It‘s just like how people know you can get cancer from tanning but still so many people do it,” Lauren said. “ They’re so used to using cell phones because it makes life easier than having to e-mail or call someone at home.” In response to reports on the possible health problems associated with cell phone use, bills on the issue have been proposed in the California and Maine legislatures. In California, the EWG is co-sponsoring a bill introduced by State Senator Mark Leno that would require phones to be labeled


e h t of

ons i t a l u g e R


page 4 news 05.10.10


-what it meansLayoffs are called reduction in force (RIF) actions in the federal government. When an agency must abolish positions, the RIF regulations determine whether employees keep their current position or whether they are eligible for a new one.


>> photo illustration by Anna Marken

of employment 1 Tenure Employees are put into three

empty spaces

District implements teacher cuts, affecting East staff members

>> Alysabeth Albano

Thirty-seven teacher’s contracts won’t be renewed for the 2010-2011 school year. This was a unanimous decision by all seven member of the Shawnee Mission School District Board of Education at their April 26 meeting. They passed a reduction in force (RIF) proposal made by SMSD Superintendent Gene Johnson to non-renew the contracts of thirtyseven professional employees and teachers, effective at the end of this school year. Among the list of teachers were three from East: David Muhammad, Ken Foley, and Robert Bickers. Muhammad and Foley were re-hired into the district but Bicker’s future with the district is still uncertain. According to Johnson, the district was forced into RIF action after budget reductions left more teachers than the district thought necessary. He describes the upcoming school year as a “unique year” because in previous years the district was in need of teachers and therefore looked to hire. Before the Board was able to make their decision Johnson expressed he was “saddened and angered” by the vote that was about to take place. The district RIF process was negotiated with the Kansas National Education Association, the union that represents SMSD teachers, and is centered around seniority and licensure. The process is followed exactly from beginning to end, according to Johnson and Sheryl Siegele, President of the Shawnee Mission KNEA. “[RIF] was set in place thirty years ago,” Siegele said. “It is kind of like the emergency evacuation procedures that everyone is supposed to have in their house. We hope we will never have a fire but if we do this is how we will get out. That is kind of how our RIF procedure is like. We hope we never have to use it but if we do it is set in place so we don’t show any favoritism and [follow the procedure].” Each staff member within the district received a number that ranged from 1 to 2,224, those with the largest number were first on the list of possible reductions. Then retirees and resignations were taken into account. If a teacher resigned or retired, the

staff member with the lowest RIF number of the teachers that had been cut was “called back” and told he or she still had a position in the district. Although he was originally on the RIF list, Muhammad was rehired by the district. It is uncertain where his position will be but he has the assurance he will stay in the district. Muhammad heard the news when he called Joy Torgeson, SMSD Manager of Human Resources who told him of a retirement which opened a position that would let him keep his job in the district. Foley was in similar situation to Muhammad. He was originally on the RIF list but was later offered his same position at East. “I felt pretty relieved,” Foley said. “They told me right away that I would most likely be rehired but it wasn’t certain so when they actually rehired me it was quite a relief.” Foley is glad he was offered his position because he wants to be a “lancer until he retires.” The district has already cut nearly $10 million for the upcoming school year, according Donna Bysfield, the East area Board of Education member. Cuts from the state education budget still could occur and would add to the cuts already made by the district, a situation Bysfield hopes doesn’t happen. The legislative session was expected to finish last week. No additional state budget cuts had been made as of deadline. Principal Dr. Karl Krawitz sympathized with the three from the moment he heard of the RIF plan. “I was upset for them personally because it was their job, their career,” Krawitz said. “You start thinking about your own family and ask ‘What are these people going to do?’” Krawitz admits that towards the beginning of the district budget cuts he was optimistic that RIF would not occur. The reason for this, he explains, is because he has never been at this point in his career and it was hard for him to imagine the situation going this far. Unlike Muhammad and Foley, Bickers is still on the “call back” list which means

he has not been offered a job in the district and will remained on the list until he either finds another job in a public school district or someone in SMSD retires or resigns. Although Bickers had a hunch that he would be on the list, he was still uncertain before his meeting with Krawitz. “It was kind of strange,” Bickers said. “I saw it coming, but it is not news you ever want to hear. I was sad that it had reached this point.” In hopes of showing support for Bickers, many students have joined a Facebook group, SMSD shouldn’t cut Mr. Bickers, in honor of him. This group was created by Junior Jake Sirna after he heard news of Bicker’s possibly layoff. “[When I found out] I was shocked,” Sirna said. “I believe Bickers is one of the best teachers at East and he is being let go right after he won teacher of year, which doesn’t make sense to me.” He hopes that more people will join the group and that their voices will finally be heard. He believes that since Bickers was such an effective teacher for so many students that if enough people step up then the district might reconsider. Ninety-nine students from every grade level had joined Sirna’s group as of Wednesday, posting comments to voice their opinion. While they differ in their reasons, the basic message is still the same: save Mr. Bickers. Senior Chris Miller showed his support by commenting “Having had Mr. Bickers for three different classes I think it’s a [darn] shame that a good teacher, not to mention a good guy like him, is getting cut.” Krawitz hopes that in the future RIF can be avoided not only because of the tough process but also the anxiety it creates. “I think that now that we as an organization have experienced it for the first time we have got to find a better way to do it,” Krawitz said. “I don’t know what that way would be because we have never been at this place before, but the district may need take another look.”

groups: employees with tenure, employees on probation, and employees serving under term appointments.

preference 2 Veterans’ Any employee who has served in

the Armed Forces and/or relatives are eligible for this, if they meet other regulations

credible federal 3 Total civilian and uniformed service

Any veteran not eligible for veteran’s preference meets this, which is based upon years of service.

ratings 4 Performance An employee’s work is rated by their employer, which is a factor.

>> US Office of Personnel Management


-process of teacher cuts-

teachers are given a num1 All ber based on seniority 2 Retired teachers from other districts are cut first district looks at areas of 3 The curricula where there are too

4 5

many teachers Teachers with the highest number (lowest seniority) are then cut Some cut teachers are then added to a “call-back list.” >> Shawnee Dispatch

STATS -2010 teacher cut factsSince school district’s revenue (property taxes and state money) have been hit by the recession, school districts nationwide have been forced to implement drastic teacher layoffs. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan estimated that 100,00 to 300,000 public school jobs will be terminated. >> NY Times

THE NEWS{in brief}

issue 16 news page 5 A look at upcoming events at East for the last weeks of school

>>Morgan Christian






Today Attendance waivers due


All waivers for excused absences are due to the office by 4 p.m. today

7 p.m. in the Auditorium



School starts at 7:40 a.m. and releases at 11:25 a.m. on Monday and 11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday

Monday, May 24


Hour 1 final, then hours 2-7

Graduation Practice and Senior Breakfast

Choir Spring Concert

Tuesday, May 25

Hour 2 and Hour 3 finals

The breakfast is from 7 -7:50 a.m. and practice begins at 8 a.m.

Wednesday, May 26

Late Start Day for Underclassman

Hour 4 and Hour 5 finals

7:40 a.m.

21 22 23




Thursday, May 27



Monday, May24

Monday, May 17

Underclassmen’s library materials due Last day for classes in library




Hour 6 and Hour 7 finals

AP Exam Schedule, May 10-14 Monday, May 10 8 a.m.- Biology in the Choir Room 12 p.m.- Physics B in the PCR Physics C: Mechanics in the Counseling Conference Room 2 p.m.- Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism in the Counseling Conference Room

7 p.m. at the North Stadium


Finals Week


Tuesday, May 11

Thursday, May 27

8 a.m.- Chemistry in the PCR Environmental Science in the Choir Room 12 p.m.- Psychology in the Choir Room

Last Day of School for Students

Wednesday, May 12

8 a.m.- English/Compsition in the AUX gym

some brief updates Latin

Thursday, May 13

8 a.m.- Macroeconomics in the Choir Room 12 p.m.- Mircoeconomics in the Choir Room

The Latin program took second place again this year at the Kansas Junior Classical League’s annual convention. The equivalent of a state competition, the convention was held April 24 at Shawnee Mission South. Two-hundred-fifty toga-clad students from 10 different schools competed in categories ranging from Roman life to reading comprehension. East’s 30 Latin students placed in 27 of the 43 events. Among the 10 individual first place winners were sophomore Kristen Shedor (level II reading comprehension and level II oratory), junior Spencer Brown (advanced grammar and advanced reading comprehension), and senior Jason Bates (advanced sight reading and individual sweepstakes). Brown and Bates tied for second in the Decathlon competition (a test in every area of Latin), while Bates beat out Brown in the individual sweepstakes, taking first. “We’re in separate classes, so it’s not so much rivalry,” Bates said. “But I definitely think we push each other.” Club sponsor Dr. Athanasia Worley agrees. “Latin makes everyone reach,” Dr. Worley said. “The students teach each other.”


The students of the DECA program continued their successful streak at the International Career Development Conference this year. The conference, which took place in Louisville and lasted April 24-27, is the highlight of the program’s year. With 40 students, East had the largest team from Kansas. The marketing students went up against 15,000 competitors from around the world in over 30 areas of competi-

After Graduation Party

After learning of a district change to the East graduation date, the PTA now plans to hold the after graduation party on the second floor, in the gym and cafeteria, after the formal ceremony on May 17. The PTA had planned to hold the party at PowerPlay, but after the schedule change, they discovered that the facilities there were already booked by Shawnee Mission South. Sara Stauffer, mother of senior Grant Stauffer, agreed to take charge of the planning after PTA president Cathy Bennett informed her that PowerPlay was unavailable. Stauffer gathered ideas from principal Dr. Karl Krawitz, as well as moms from Shawnee Mission West (Krawitz’s former school), as they have always held parties at their school. Stauffer is also using the input of the Student Council to shape the focus of the party. Stauffer regularly meets with a team of other senior moms, including Jane Wetzel, Barb Haviland, Melissa Anthony, Laurie Kirby and Cindy Lafferty, to plan costs and activities. The party will cost $9,000, and require

tion, ranging from business administration to team decision making. Senior Clay Finley (business services) and junior Kevin Simpson (principles of hospitality and tourism) both placed in the top 10 of their categories in testing, and Finley placed in the top 20 overall for his category. Simpson and Finley were two of the five students from the state of Kansas who took the stage in Louisville. Finley was surprised about his success, as he is not a marketing student.

Friday, May 14

12 p.m.- Latin in the Counseling Conference Room

50-60 volunteers. The cost has been met with a combination of donations and budgeted money, while a few more phone calls are needed to round up volunteers. The night’s activities will include inflatables, door prizes and pickup volleyball and basketball games. There will also be a photo booth, DJ and karaoke. Three full meals will be served: grilled burgers, brats and chicken early in the evening, tacos later on, and pancakes after midnight. The party is expected to go into “the wee hours of the morning,” according to Stauffer. While the party is free to all seniors, they must have their school ID with them to get in. No one can get in after 10 p.m. “The PTA wants graduation night to be really fun for the students,” Stauffer said. “We actually like to think of it as the class of 2010’s first high school reunion because they will be alums when they come back to the school that night.”

“It was very cool to perform well,” Finley said. “I didn’t have a year [to prepare] but a lot of the stuff I was tested on is stuff you see in the news, so I don’t think not being in marketing was a disadvantage.” Sponsor Mercedes Rasmussen was proud of the team’s performance. “This was one of the best years of solid competition they’ve ever had,” Rasmussen said. “We had a very hard working team who did an amazing job.”

page 6 opinion 05.10.10


Junior discusses the responsibility and influence that comes with the ability to vote This year, it really doesn’t matter what your preferences are: left or right, red or blue, liberal or conservative, the Nov. 2 election will be huge. For Republicans and Tea Party followers, it’s judgment day, Bob Martin >> and an important chance to take back power from a Congress they view as unlawful. At the same time, left wingers and Democrats must come out on top in order to keep control of the vote in both houses, and stay with President Obama’s agenda. For me, the date is something completely outside of Washington’s political gridlock. It’s my 18th birthday. It’s my legal entry into adulthood, and above all, it’s my first chance to exercise my right to vote, just in time. As long as I can remember, I’ve always been exposed to the liberal views of my parents, but subsequently surrounded by the strict conservative values of the crimson red state I live in. Never before had any of it meant as much to me as it does now. Politicians have always been more yard signs and television commercials than actual people for me. I’ve seen a Kansas Congressman in the flesh maybe once, and furthermore, I can’t say I’ve ever given too much thought as to how their decisions and actions affect me. Finally, having the chance to choose for myself who should be making decisions on behalf of me, these people become a lot more real, and their ideologies evolve into something I care about. Now, it’s time I decided where I stand. On one hand, I’ve always thought of myself as a Democrat. They’re the party my family donates money to, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is the reason my own brother moved to Washington D.C. earlier this year. As for politics, an opinion of


• • •

Opposes tax increases Identified several areas where Kansas could create new jobs Promotes bio-based fuels and energy conservation as a way of improving our state’s balance of trade Has gathered significant federal support for Kansas colleges and universities supports market-based solutions to address the cost and accessibility of health insurance Is pro-life


good people who don’t vote,” and that’s exactly what I fear will happen if more budding 18 year-olds don’t flex their newly-appointed right. It’s our responsibility to elect our leaders, and if we don’t take the time to do so, we have no right to criticize the government or any of the people it’s made up of. I want to see as successful of a government as anyone else, but making that happen all starts with us. Roughly a year ago, I eagerly headed to the DMV to officially get licensed as a legal driver in the state of Kansas. Now, I feel just as determined to head back and register myself as a voter.


HOLLAND • • • • • • •

Help Kansas economy by encouraging small businesses Crack down on illegal immigration Public education funding Inexpensive healthcare Renewable and nuclear energy policy Property taxes should be reduced For nearly 16 years, Holland has solved the daily problems of running a small business while carving out a path for long term growth


Bob’s Ideal

Candidate • • • • •

A strong belief in the separation of Church and State Well versed in both U.S. Policy and History Several Years of political experience Little or no financial affiliations with major corporations and big businesses The ability to cross party lines in order to work on an important issue.

>>Katie East


it’s all I’ve ever known to be correct. That being said, I can’t choose whether I actually agree with their policies or if it’s just what I’ve been brought up to think. Being given the right to vote will finally allow me to do what I should’ve done all along: develop a real opinion about politics, not one I hear on TV or around my house. With Kansas seeing four house members, one senator and the governor’s seats all up for election, every major office in the state could be seeing change. This means that every major issue that has driven politics for the last two years will play a large role in who comes out on top. Issues like healthcare and Wall Street reform have always seemed so far disconnected from me. I’ve always been to the doctor when I was sick, and never have I had to worry about mortgages or house payments. It almost seems strange to reform something that has worked just as it should for as long as I can remember. But then there’s the thousands whose stories aren’t like mine. The people who have to decide between getting their prescriptions or eating dinner each week, and those who are being forced out of their life long homes—they are the reason I’m registering to vote. Not to put another handsome face in office, or because an impressive speech left an impact on me, but to actually make a difference. While deciding what party my loyalty lies with is a major part of the process, the act of voting in general is even more important. The U.S. Census Bureau reported only a 49 percent voter turnout for people ages 18-24 in the 2008 Senatorial race. Being that the kids of my generation are in fact “the future,” it’s far from admirable that less than half of us showed up to push a few buttons for the good of our nation. Especially when the votes and decisions being made now could effect us for the rest of our lives. Former Secretary of the Treasury William E. Simon once said, “Bad politicians are sent to Washington by



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

provided to its staff members by KPERS. First, a voluntary early retirement program provides 40-50 percent of a retiring staff member’s salary over a five-year period. To be eligible for this, employees must be KPERS eligible and have worked in the district for 15 years. In addition to the voluntary early retirement program, a second benefit was District should offer better installed in the Olathe School District beginning in the 2008-09 school year. KPERS eligible staff members have been offered an additional 20 percent of their salary in order to retire. Nearly 100 employees took the district up on this offer just a year ago, and around 80 have accepted for this year. These added retirement incentives carry a few benefits. First and foremost, the reduction of staff is voluntary in this situation. Staff members are leaving the district because of what has been offered to them, not because they were RIFed like in the SMSD. The second benefit is that it encourages experienced teachers to stick around in the district until they are eligible for these benefits. Under the Olathe School District’s current retirement benefits program, teachers can make 60-70 percent of a year’s salary, in addition to KPERS benefits, if they’re eligible. This kind of incentive is a tough one to pass up, which keeps these faculty members within the district until they get their chance at it. Once they’re eligible, they can retire and open up an opportunity for another staff member to remain in the district. This is why the SMSD should strongly look into these kind of added retirement benefits. East was forced to RIF a pair of its most influential teachers. Robert Bickers won a Shawnee Mission East teacher of the year award and social studies teacher David Muhammad was the sponsor for clubs like Coalition, the Martial Arts Club and the Diversity Club, yet neither is guaranteed a position at East in the future. Just because they lacked the seniority of others in the building shouldn’t mean that they don’t get the opportunity to continue to make an impact of the lives of students.

packing up early

May 10, 2010 issue 16, vol. 51

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

issue 16 editorial page 7

>>Katie East


udget cuts are here to stay. With the state continuing to provide insufficient funds to public schools, the onus falls to the schools to make due with what they have been given. Budget shortfalls have led to the Reduction in Force (RIF) of three East teachers. While two have been told they will be back in the district next year, one is still uncertain about their future. The Shawnee Mission School District does not have many options when attempting to decrease its annual budget. Since teachers make up roughly 80 percent of the district’s staff, it has no choice but to make reductions in this area. However, the current system eliminates teacher jobs in certain departments based on seniority—the least experienced teachers are the first to go. This forced form of budget reduction has led to 37 district teachers getting RIFed, meaing their contracts won’t be renewed. Instead of forcing these young staff members to look elsewhere for employment, the district should turn to a different group in its efforts to save money—the older teachers that are closing in on retirement. By offering more retirement benefits to teachers thinking about moving on, the district could save thousands of dollars that it spends each year in paying the salaries of teachers that have been in the district for decades. This budget reduction would be completely voluntary to those involved, and could save the jobs of the younger teachers in the district. According to Tim Rooney, the manager of budget and finance for the SMSD, retiring teachers in the district are offered only what is provided by the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. District employees are KPERS eligible when they either turn 62-years-old with ten years of service or when their number of years in the district and their age add up to 85. KPERS provides an annual benefit that can be calculated by Letters to multiplying the average of a teachers the editor should top three yearly salaries times years be sent to room 521 of service times 1.75 percent. While KPERS is enough to lure or smeharbinger@ some district members into Letters ment, more can certainly be done may be edited for to convince teachers that are on the clarity, length, libel fence about their future. A potential and mechanics and retirement benefit program could accepted or rejected be modeled after that of the Olathe at the editor’s School District. According to Gary Diener, Executive Director of Busidiscretion. ness and Finance of the Olathe School District, multiple benefits have been added to what is already

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

retirement incentives to older teachers Rooney believes that the only viable option is coming up with a program that targets and offers incentives to employees interested in early retirement, but only allowing them to follow through with it if their retirement will save a RIFed teacher. The proposed additional retirement bonuses would have to only be offered to early retirement candidates, because were it offered to all outgoing teachers, then a situation could arise when the bonus is a waste of money that acts as a parting gift to teachers that did not need to be given the additional benefits to retire. If the SMSD adopts a program similar to Olathe’s, then the eligible teachers could seize the opportunity for an early retirement and younger teachers in our district will see hope in the future of their careers. They will see that the authority figures are making a true effort to give them a chance to prove themselves in the district. Former president Lyndon Johnson once said that education is not a problem, it is an opportunity. Teachers are not problems to be dealt with. They symbolize the opportunity that education can provide the world. For this quote to continue to ring true, we must be able to continue to provide opportunities for the teachers to shine. Once the teachers get their chances, the students are sure to follow.



The majority opinion of the Harbinger Editorial Board

>>KevinSimpson >>Michael Stolle >>Mac Tamblyn >>Phoebe Unterman >>Corbin Barnds Photographers >>Eden Schoofs >>Lindsey Hartnett >>Nathan Simpson >>Taylor Haviland >>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


against absent

12 0 0

>>Anne Willman Online Editors >>Logan Heley >>Pat McGannon >>Michael Stolle Multimedia Editor >>Tom Lynch Podcast Editor >>Alex Lamb PR Representative >>Jeff Cole Online Copy Editor >>Bob Martin Online Staff Writers >>Christopher Heady >>Elizabeth Mcgranahan Online Photographer >>Nathan Simpson 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 05.10.10


The little picture of two computers on my monitor had a red “X” crossed through them, and I started to panic—the internet was out. I scrambled down on my knees and tried to plug wires into all sorts of various slots, but it was useless. It was then I realized the extent of my problem. I never noticed it, and it wasn’t going to halt my life, but I was a worthless information addict; whether it was the amusing idiot who always made his Facebook status on Sunday that he “had no idea what happened the night before” or the YouTube video compilation of huge hits in PeeWee football, I was interested in every little worthless bit of life. A high-tech people watcher, if you will. It would start out with a five minute break from homework, but my texting


I started on Friday, the last day of the week, because I hoped it would be a good day to ween me off the gadgetry. I had a track meet right after school until about 9 p.m., so presumably I wouldn’t have much time to browse the internet or text anyways. I only got about 10 minutes into the first hour before I pulled my phone out. My phone vibrated, I dug it out of my pocket, realized I couldn’t answer the text or e-mail or Facebook notification, and resentfully, I pretended like I was checking the time and put


I expected a few rough days and some sort of beautiful epiphany (“I’m moving to the forest!”), but I am starting to see that texting, while resulting in lots of missing homework and few memorable conversations, is the most helpful of the post-1995 technology. While I didn’t forsee anyone texting me “My house is burning!” or “I’m getting robbed. Can you help?”, I kept my phone on in case there was someone that didn’t know I was going off the grid. An artist for a State journalism project texted me: “Hey I got your email i could start on your

it back. Eventually, I just turned it off and put it in my backpack. It didn’t feel much better. It’s kind of a weird feeling to just be cut off from worthless contact. I wasn’t missing anything, but the idea that I could be missing some key gossip or weekend plans made me surprisingly panicked. I tried to make sure people knew I was out of contact, but I still saw two texts from one person wondering what I was doing that night and another asking if I also could tell how bad the person next to me smelled.

thing tues night.” Ah, what was I to say? It was school, so I couldn’t call her, and a call seven hours later to spend 15 seconds on courtesies and .5 seconds saying “great” seemed a little overboard. I texted her a “thank you” and told her I couldn’t text anymore, and she probably just thought I was a weirdo. Oh well— not an unusual reaction for this week. I put in ear plugs when I got home from track -no iPod, but foam soundblocking ear plugs—and nearly finished my homework for the next two days by 8 p.m.

Gadget Giveups Texting

YouTube Facebook

or my Youtube-ing or my Facebook-ing could take me hours past my ambitious 10:30 bedtime. Sometimes, I would convince myself I could do it in the early hours of the night, but then it just pushed me into doing my homework in a half-awake zombie daze. So here’s my plan: I’m not going to use anything invented past 1995 for the next week. Cell phones had been invented (see: Zach Morris’s gray clunker in Saved by the Bell), but texting and mobile e-mail had not. There was AOL mail, but YouTube hadn’t been invented and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was in the third grade. Henry Thoreau would roll over in his grave, but I think this is going to be rough.


As much as I know I waste time doing worthless technology-related things, today I realized some things are genuinely helpful. As we went for band to the state Solo and Ensemble contest, not being able to text got really frustrating. I couldn’t text directions to my house, and I couldn’t tell my parents when I would get home without flustering some young soloist trying to hammer out a solo in front of me. I was also tempted to cheat a couple of times in the day. One friend even asked me, “so are you go-


I used to be constantly bothered that each day I was probably missing several hilarious Facebook and YouTube posts. Now it just occasionally stings. I had an orchestra concert Tuesday. It was tempting to just take out my phone and ignore the 4th and 5th grader’s parent-forced viola playing, but I found amusement in looking at the parents eagerly filming and children sticking their tongues out and pretending their violas were guitars; people watching, the way it was done by our

>>KatieEast ing to be a (friendly expletive) and not help us find a Chipotle on your phone or are you going to just stick to your dumb article?” I gave someone else my iPhone to use, which is not exactly fair, but hey, who wants to be a (friendly expletive)? Not me. Later, I was reading a sports blog (which I later added to my illegal list) and it was embedded with a YouTube video of NHL skater Alex Ovechkin spraying snow all over a toddler. The internet still thrives without me, fortunately..

forefathers. And while I would never wish this situation on someone else, this relatively uncluttered world has given me ample free time. Now that I had my homework done the night before, I wasn’t worried about having track and a concert that night, something that usually makes me freak out. I miss listening to my iPod and seeing who had the guts to boast what colleges they were accepted at on Facebook, but 10 hours of sleep is nice, too.

Back to 2010


Junior staff member gives up technology created post-1995

The final test of my Thoreau-esque escapade would be the day I could return. Would I cave in and become an internet hermit for 6 hours, or would I barely need anything but the bare essentials anymore? As it turns out, the answer lies somewhere in between. It stunk not being able to text, so I was very happy to be able to tell people what the track workout was or what I was doing that night. However, I missed absolutely nothing on Facebook, and the YouTube videos that were hilar-


Boredom is easily sustainable without an Xbox or iPod. I called my friend Ross today, wondering if he wanted to go to the lacrosse game. He didn’t answer but texted me “Hey I’m at work. What’s up?” I painfully ignored it. I thought texting would prove the most worthless of all the things I was giving up, but not having it has been frustrating in trading small tidbits of information. I’ve had about 10 phone calls that are 20 seconds or less, and two texts today that said the

person couldn’t be on their phone that I had to ignore. Once I got to the lacrosse game, I had no idea what was going on. Usually, I would just Google it, but I was forced to just try and guess what the rules were. I get this weird kind of claustrophobic feeling in my head when I have no idea what is going on around me, and so far, this week has been full of that nauseous, headache-inducing feeling. Thank you, Advil, for being around before 1995.

Wednesday & Thrusday

Now that I feel I’ve had enough time to really “let go” of everything, it is interesting to note it is less annoying each day. I was hoping that I would be able to seamlessly weave back into 2010—that definitely won’t happen--but I at least have proved to myself that I can go several days without YouTube videos of streaking baseball fans getting tazered. Today I was again forced to listen because I couldn’t check things on my phone. I might actually be learning. Other than that, it is pretty refreshing. I had another band concert today,

and while others brought Pokémon to play while the young bands were playing, I was content to, well, actually listen. The change might be slow for me. However I don’t pull my phone out and just look at the time like an idiot anymore. The final day I got a text from someone asking me to check my Facebook, and another bunch of texts that were not worth a call but probably left my friends wondering why I was being such a jerk this week. I had to call one friend and just say “Yes,” which he found amusing but I did not.

ious-sounding the week before were still hilarious a few days later (PeeWee football big hits made it into my personal top 10). So here’s my new plan: limit my texting and try and save Facebook, YouTube, my iPod and my Xbox mostly for the weekend. 1995 was too far back for my personal tastes, but 2010 has more information than anyone could ever need.

Q: Favorite sporting event to attend? A: Soccer, because my friend is the captain and I like to support


Q: Favorite sport to attend? A: Basketball, because it is crazy. Q: Have you attended a spring sport this year? A: No, I have no interest in them. Q: Which sport receives the most respect? A: Basketball because they seem to have done the best overall. Q: What can the administration do to improve student participation? A: Absolutely nothing. Q: Favorite East sport to attend? A: Rugby because it’s outside and it is different than others. Q: Which spring sport gets the most respect? A: Track because there are a lot of people on the team. Q: What can the administration do to fix the lack of student participation at spring sports? A: Advertise more and make the games closer to East.


issue 16 opinion page 9


Sophomore feels spring sports don’t receive the respect they deserve

him. Q: Have you attended a spring sporting event this year? A: No, I’m not interested in any of the spring sports. Q: What can the administration do to improve student participation at spring sporting events? A: Not be so harsh on policies and advertise more.



>>lancervoice an empty

Q: Favorite East sport to attend? A: Basketball, especially the Rockhurst game because of the fan atmosphere. Q: Do spring sports get as much respect as others? A: No, because no one goes. Q: What can the administration do about this problem? A: It is hard to attend sports like tennis and golf. They should make sports such as baseball closer than 3&2 so that people can actually attend.

At the baseball game against SM North on May 4, the stands were close to empty. SammiKelly


an opinion of

For the past two spring seasons, I have donned short shorts and Nike spikes every Friday night to in track >>JackHowland compete meets. And last Friday night in the midst of a seemingly routine 3200 meter run, I had a sudden and unexpected epiphany. That realization started with a quick examination of the bleachers, only to find a dead-zone for East pride. Yes, my mom was there sporting an East tee. But the absence of poster holding, activity pass carrying, Columbia blue clad fans was painfully noticeable. I realized in that moment that track is the equivalent of my second grade youth soccer games. Minus the sliced oranges. Sadly, the same is true for all spring sporting at East. Last week in an attempt to sway myself from this newfound opinion, I stopped by a home boy’s tennis match. I wanted to believe I would arrive to crowds chanting “East, East, East,” or even the distant sound of Shawnee Mission hail to thee..... Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a single fellow student. The only spectators on the south side benches were an elderly couple barely kept awake by the action right in front of them. As I looked around the court, the only Lancer I could meet eyes with was a player. And he quickly looked down, every bit as discouraged as I was. From my own personal two years of fan-less experience, I know that looking up at a crowd only to find merely a plethora of moms, dads, aunts and uncles is somewhat demoralizing. Just like with my fellow spring sports companions, I put in daily practices, often miss Friday night plans and give up on the idea of a 10 p.m. bedtime. But instead of finding a sea of supporters come game time, I will most often find a group of people who just got done with their 9 to 5 workload. Having dealt with this problem, I know that


Check out a live broadcast of today’s softball match beginning at 4:30p.m. only at

it is less than satisfying. And if students were to go to the events, it would not only give the athletes an ego-boost, but it would in turn help them perform better as well. And at this point, let me provide a disclaimer for those reading and giving a look that probably says something along the lines of “cry me a river.” Going to spring sports benefits both sides. Because aside from learning that Chipotle doesn’t stay open past 10:30 p.m, I’ve discerned something else from my five hour meets. Track’s entertaining. Yes, the very sport that encompasses events called the shot put and the steeplechase is exciting. If you can find your way to an obscure activity complex out in god-knows-where, Kansas to see a meet, then you should find that track is enjoyable. Whether it’s a 4X100 team playing catch-up on the last 100 meters to win, or a pole vaulter going to heights that make you question if the pole itself will snap, track almost always is capable of the impromptu jaw-drop. And the other six sports of the spring are every bit as enthralling. If you happen to be a die-hard East fan who marks Lancer basketball and football games on the calendar in the same category as obligatory appointments, then let me assure you that the seven post-winter sports won’t provide a letdown. The spring season consists of girls soccer, track, baseball, girls swim and dive, softball, boy’s golf and boy’s tennis. Yes, football and basketball may be the only sporting events where you can get your fix of chants, cheerleaders and even some good ol’ fashioned Lancer Dancer pop and lock. But spring can checkmate one sporting necessity. The games will often go down to the wire. Girl’s swimming and track both are frequently determined by one stride of an athlete. Tennis and golf are the same way, each one routinely decided by a shot. Just like their fall and winter predecessors, these games have close finishes and the athletes involved are determined to win. The only sport you may have noticed I left unmentioned is girl’s soccer. And that’s because those are habitually not-so-close. The East girl’s team has only one loss on their 2010 record, which came to Notre Dame de Sion. Ex-

cept for that one blemish, the girls have been rolling through the sunflower conference, winning by as much as eight. Which brings me to my next point. East is currently in contention in all seven spring sports. Seriously. The Lancers have a one-loss soccer team, a track squad that holds one of the fastest girls 4X400 relays in the state of Kansas and a statecontending boys tennis squad. On top of that, boy’s golf is almost always in the mix for state, softball has improved drastically from last year and girl’s swim and dive is off to one of their best starts in years. However, without fans these sports will never get the recognition they rightfully deserve. Now, I may never be able to persuade Shawnee Mission Wonderful to the extent that all spring sports look like a scene out of “Remember the Titans” with the repetition of everywhere we go, people want to know emulating throughout the stands. But hopefully, East students can feel a sense of pride in our spring sports. Hopefully, kids can help to end the year on a good note with some lancer pep. And hopefully, the student representation can get into double digits. Or at least more than my grade school soccer games.

Up and Coming

Take the time to come watch your peers at their sporting events this week Friday, Track League @ Lawerence Free State High School, 3 p.m. Today, Softball vs. SM West @ SMSDSC Field #1, 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Girl’s Swimming @ Last Chance Meet, SM West, 4 p.m.

Today, Girl’s Soccer vs. Olathe East, Soccer Complex Field #2. 6 p.m. Tomorrow, Baseball vs. SM South, @ 3&2 Field #1. 7 p.m. Today, Boy’s Tennis vs. Rockhurst @ East, 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Boy’s Golf @ Lawerence Tournament, Alvamar, 8 a.m.

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issue 16 features page 11

>>CorbinBarnds ophomore Henry Curfman has always been the


G.I. Joe, toy soldier type of guy. When he was just two-years-old he had already decided he was going to be in the navy. Curfman never went through the astronaut to fireman to Superman phase. It was always the navy. Curfman was never interested in sports as a kid. When the other boys were talking about the football game in the lot after school, he wanted to talk about tanks and aircraft carriers. When he got to East, Curfman found an opportunity to do what he loves: NJROTC(Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.) “I can’t play football worth a damn, I can’t play soccer worth a damn and I’m not a jock,” Curfman said. “I’ve always considered military because it’s different than what everyone else was doing. Then I started to read about it and began to like it. Now I’m doing this.” Starting as a freshman, Curfman entered the NJROTC program that is offered at each district high school as well as most high schools nationally. An incoming freshman may view the class as an easy way out of a gym credit, but for most of the students that have survived more than a semester of class, it has become more than just the class. “At West there are one or two kids who in the fall go play football or in the spring go do track and they go do it really well,” Curfman said. “And the other kids for whatever reason don’t find football interesting or they don’t understand how it works and they come here, they find ROTC. They pour all they have in to it and they excel at it.” The NJROTC program was created in 1916 with the intention of being a source of enlisted recruits and officer candidates. Almost 100 years later the program still remains but it’s core purpose has changed. Although the program has retained it’s military structure and the ability to infuse discipline into it’s students it dropped the majority of it’s military content. East had their own independent NJROTC program in the early 70’s but due to low enrollment it closed after only a few years. Since then the “Lancer” unit has been part of the SM West program as a detachment, meaning they share the same teachers and combine to make one program and it remains that way today. NJROTC now focuses on leadership, life skills, helping the community(2,000 hours of service logged just this year alone) and doing something right the first time every time. “One of the concepts we teach is teamwork with the understanding that it is possible to accomplish something with someone who may not be your best friend,” adviser Lieutenant Commander Sheldon Vasquez said. “By that I mean it’s a given that not everyone will like you nor will you like everyone. However, it is possible to work together with people you might not choose spend your free time with.” Enrolling in the class doesn’t mean the students are committing to a stint in the military but rather, it offers a chance to get a small taste of what the military has to offer. The program offers a schmorgesborg of options catering to different taste. Whether a person fancies being dropped in the woods with just a map and compass or taking sets of tests nothing like the SAT, there is a role for anyone who wants to have a role. The class itself at East is split up in three sessions. Physical fitness: the cadets were recently training for the Raider Team, consisting of two minutes of non-stop push-ups. Two minutes of non-stop sit-ups, a 6. 2 mile run and all topped off with a swim. The students then either get to pick current events to discuss or the navy curriculum is taught. The current events don’t have to be military related, and often aren’t. Recently the oil spill on the Gulf Coast has been discussed. The classes are normally rounded up with marching. As a way to teach discipline the cadets are used to marching double-time to marching with rifles and blades. Within the program also there is a stands a hierarchy in which promotions are earned by the amount of effort the students put in. Freshman in the program must go through the first three semen ranks before they can move to the higher sets of ranks; each promotion giving more responsibility and control over more people. Then there are the three petty of-

A‘Corps’ Focus Student members of the JROTC program experience a taste of the military

ficer ranks, which are the squad leaders who are in charge of around six people. Ultimately there are around 15 ranks leading up to the commander at the top. Advancements in the chain of command are all relative to the amount of work the student is willing to put in. A student many only want to show up for the class at school and do the bare minimum; for them advancement will be tough. Or they may decide to sit in the front of the class, be a part of the nationally competitive drill team and maybe be a part of one of the competitive fitness related teams; a student like this has a much better chance of reaching commander, top of the JROTC chain. As a Senior Chief Petty Officer, Curfman runs a company consisting of two platoons each with two squads; all together he is in control of 25 kids spread out between Shawnee Mission West, South, East. One of the program’s largest objectives is to instill leadership skills in to the cadets; Curfman is in a position that to be successful any longer, it isn’t just him who has to perform it’s the people that are under his control. Just like any leader, Curfman takes pride in the men and women under him. “When my people succeed, they get promoted,” Curfman said. “They get their own command and they get put in charge of people. It feels good to see them progress. To see them grow in to better leaders and eventually do what you were doing just as well you were or better.” As important as advancement in the hierarchy stands in the minds of the cadets, for a few, the true reason for them doing this program is the ultimate goal of reaching the military. The better they do, the easier it is to get in to an academy and hopefully attaining a scholarship. According to the U.S. News and World Report website, with an acceptance rate of 13.9 percent, the United States Naval Academy is tougher than many Ivy league schools and the other academies aren’t far behind. “Probably no more than 10 to 20 percent of students end up in the military,” Vasquez said. “That is largely owed to the fact that many SME students come from high income households and don’t have an immediate financial need. On the other hand, many SME students express an interest in college ROTC scholarships or appointment to one of the service academies such as the US Naval Academy.” Curfman is currently working towards getting a scholarship to Maine Maratime Academy with the goal of making a military career on a submarine. Curfman is not alone in his pursuit, Freshman Shane Parcels has been in contact with Westpoint since 8th grade, and he’s willing to do anything to get in. When asked about why he wanted to join the military,

SENIOR Phil Roach salutes during formations at a JROTC event Andrea Zecy at Shawnee Mission West last November.


Parcels was uncertain but one common answer is found in many cadets. They love their country. “I don’t really know,” Parcels said. “I guess if I had to pick a reason it’s because I like living in a free country and I don’t want that to go away.” When Parcels e-mailed Westpoint in 8th grade he began the process of setting himself apart from the mile-long line of applications. Unlike most universities, the academies have an extra test making them some of the hardest in the world to get in to. A male must be able to throw a basketball 102 feet, complete 18 pull-ups and 75 push ups, along with many more physical tests. Parcels also went on the journey to find a congressional nomination, an almost necessity to get accepted. Every Monday Curfman proudly puts on his uniform donned with the badges and medals of eagles or color bars normally reserved for the men and women serving our country; this is the man Curfman wants to be and at East there are many more like him. Next year there is 25-30 students enrolled in the NROTC class at East and every year that number is steadily increasing. Although the cadets may get some different looks, from students who see them in uniform, it doesn’t bother them. “I like putting the uniform on every week, and going to school and saying ‘ya I like my country, get over it’,” Curfman said. The more teams or activities the student is involved in and the better the team does the more recognition he will receive. For a cadet in the program the badges on their uniform’s are a way of showing that they are on the top and even to the eyes of the standard student, the glitz of the multi-colored badges are enough to send the message that “this kid in the army uniform must really be good at what he does.” Next year the program is in the hands of Lieutenant J.G. Ryan Hengy, Cadet Esingn Katy Morgan and Senior Chief Petty Officer Henry Curfman, and they hope to take it to a level that it has never been to before. “As a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Corps and being the commander in charge of the Lancer Detachment, I intend to steadily create, mold and craft one of the finest platoons in the battalion,” Hengy said. “However, my mission currently is to bind the enlisted cadets who are going to be petty officers next year in to fine leaders for the battallion. Personally, I think these cadets in that rank group will be the foundation of leadership in the Corps, however, in the distant future I hope that our unit at East will thrive and become one of the finest in the Corps.”

page 12 features 05.10.10

{OUT} coming

Sophomore faces East as a homosexual


*** At home, Patrick had yet to come out to his parents. Whenever the subject of girlfriends came up, he would change it to stop his parents from assuming anything. In the early days of spring break in eighth grade, Patrick decided it was time to tell them the truth about his sexuality. He went on a walk with his mother, Lisa Riggin, which was a common ritual for the two. He had told her he was gay a million times in his head, and every time she didn’t approve, she didn’t understand, she told him he was too young, that he didn’t know better. On the walk, they weren’t talking about anything important. After a passing question about girls, Patrick came out to his mother. “All I cared about was that he was okay,” Lisa said. The week he came out, Patrick felt more vulnerable than he ever had before. “When I told her, I felt uplifted, but it was just such a weird feeling,” Patrick said. “We just walked, and that’s not hard, but when we got back, I was exhausted. It was awkward looking at her because she knew, even though she didn’t care at all.” Lisa told Ben Riggin, Patrick’s father, who was less-thanapproving at first. Patrick said there were tensions for about a week, and Ben went over with Patrick to make sure he knew that he was sure and not just curious. He thought it might be a phase, but after a while, it was clear Patrick was devoted to his decision. “It doesn’t matter what I want,” Ben said. “Just that I want him to be happy. He’s still the same person.” Lisa remembered Patrick bringing up the subject of people being gay and asking how she felt about that sort of thing. It was less than a week later that he came out. “I’m just glad I answered right,” Lisa said. Now, Ben and Lisa do their best to support Patrick and his choice. Patrick and his mother talk about boys, relationships, clothes or whatever else is on his mind. His parents mostly fear for his well-being. Anti-homosexual propagandists and protesters like Fred Phelps, who travels Kansas with signs spelling out “God Hates Fags,” scare the Riggins with their “ugliness and ignorance.” But at East, Patrick’s parents say there is a safe community that doesn’t judge him or try to hurt him like schools in the city. Both of them fully support Patrick in his life decision. “It’s been an education,” Ben said. “It’s new to me to see someone at a young age make that decision and declare their preference.” Lisa noticed there isn’t a lot of support for younger teens who come out of the closet. According to her, people as a whole are more open to young homosexuals. Now, the Riggins are just waiting for society to catch up and to provide

more outlets for support groups for the younger and younger kids “declaring their preference.”

*** With his closest friends, he isn’t the gay kid: he’s just Patrick. He’s more than a pair of socks, another notch on the popularity bedpost. Instead of endlessly talking about their day in English, or just using him as a shoulder to cry on, they will be his shoulder, and ask him about his day. Most of his closest friends are girls, who aren’t afraid of his sexuality. But to a lot of people, he isn’t Patrick: he’s just gay. “Girls will immediately fall in love with me,” Patrick said. “Because I’m gay, I want to talk about girl things. But sometimes, they forget that I’m actually a guy.” Patrick doesn’t want the fact he’s gay to be a big deal. It’s just who he is, and not something he can change. He’d rather people loved him because of what he loves, not who he loves.

*** In high school, Patrick became “okay” with himself. His parents’ support, a graduation from awkward pubescent years, and a lesson in responsibility from a summer job. He felt confident and mature, and happy with himself. It wasn’t his best year, since he still felt uncomfortable among other people. But as a sophomore, if anyone cares that he is gay, he doesn’t care about them. He’ll stand up to people who say “that’s so gay.” “Even though I am okay with me being gay, me not wanting to let the rest of the world know is not taking responsibility for myself.”


on homosexuality in high school

>> >> >>

97 percent of students in public high schools report regularly hearing homophobic remarks from their peers 80 percent of prospective teachers report negative attitudes toward gay and lesbian people 53 percent of students report hearing homophobic comments made by school staff


It was seventh grade when Patrick first thought about coming out. He had known since fifth grade that he was different, and knew by middle school that he was gay. However, it was easier to come out as bisexual because it was less drastic of a change. It wasn’t a total lie, but it wasn’t the total truth. According to Patrick, bisexuality was more comfortable than being gay to the majority of his peers. The media was more comfortable with bisexuality, and it was as close to the truth as he wanted to get. “It was a paradox,” Patrick said. “There is a big step from being bisexual to gay. There was no turning back, it was all or nothing.” So he took the first baby step, admitting something but not everything. Trying to keep it quiet, he told a few of his friends that he was bisexual. But before he knew it, the whole school knew. Initially, he said he was scared, but eventually started coming out class by class. “I wanted people to know, so it wouldn’t be a big deal,” Patrick said. “But telling people made it a big deal. Everything backfired.” All he wanted was for people to know the truth. Or, in this case, a fraction of the truth. He didn’t want it to be a defining characteristic, just a state of his being. Being male wasn’t a big deal, being white wasn’t a big deal, so he didn’t see being gay as a big deal. But no one saw it like he did. They thought he was looking for a date, that it was just for popularity, or that it was just a joke. It was middle school, and no one was mature enough to really handle it. Patrick admitted he wasn’t quite mature enough, either. Because of the tactless manner in which he came out, Patrick spent the next year and into eighth grade saying he was neither gay nor bisexual. He felt like everyone knew the truth, but tried to hide his sexuality anyway. Some of his close friends, however, would out him when he didn’t want them to. He was uncomfortable in his own body— with his own sexuality. Even though he had told everyone, Patrick regretted that everyone knew his secret. In eighth grade, after the disaster of seventh grade’s outing, he didn’t tell anyone new and denied it if anyone asked. He never lied to

himself, but he lied to everyone else. “It’s so simple,” he thought. “I’m a boy who likes boys. Why does no one else get it?”


Sophomore Patrick Riggin walks up from school to his car parked in the sophomore lot. He waves to nearly everyone on the way. He says hello, shouts “I love you!” and almost always gets an “I love you!” back. He cuts a girl off pulling out of the lot, but she doesn’t honk. She rolls down the window and yells, “You’re the best, Patrick!” He smiles and laughs, turning on the Lady Gaga playlist on his iPod. Patrick questions their sincerity, and wonders if they see him as a friend or just a gay stereotype. With the exception of five or six close friends, no one really cares about his day, his feelings. Most just treat him like an accessory, using their “gay best friend” just to gain popularity. To them, he’s just a new pair of sunglasses or a necklace.



>>Dan Stewart >>Dan Stewart


the senior issue. >>Senior Profiles (pgs. 4–9)

>> 2010 Destinations (pgs. 10–11) >>Senior Columns (pgs. 14–19) >>portraits by Mackenzie Wylie, Grant Heinlein & Dan Stewart

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Remember CatDog? Fruit-roll ups? Watching eight episodes of CatDog in a row wearing your Spiderman pajamas? The Harbinger takes a look back to seniors’ grade school days to bring these memories back to life.

THEN NOW Moulin Rouge(2001)

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Finding Nemo (2003)

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)

A. Hey Arnold! B. Rocket Power C. CatDog D. Recess E. The Angry Beavers F. Jimmy Neutron

Ciara Featuring Missy Elliott Kelly Clarkson Green Day Snoop Dogg Featuring Pharrell Nelly Featuring Tim McGraw Usher & Alicia Keys Eminem Bowling For Soup U2 Kelly Clarkson >>

1. Need You Now 2. Hey, Soul Sister 3. Break Your Heart 4. OMG 5. Nothin’ On You 6. Imma Be 7. Rude Boy 8. Telephone 9. Airplanes 10. Baby

technology has Ruben Studdard was Gadgets how changed through the years the first male winner of

“American iPad with Wi- Idol.”

Palm Pilot (1996)

Fi and 3G (2010)

First iPod (2001)

iPod touch (2009)

iPhone G. Fairly OddParents Motorola Razr (new realease H.Spongebob Squarepants summer 2010) (2004) I. Adventure Time


Lady Antebellum Train Taio Cruz Featuring Ludacris Usher Featuring B.o.B Featuring Bruno Mars Black Eyed Peas Rihanna Lady GaGa Featuring Beyonce Adam Lambert Justin Bieber Featuring Ludacris

The Xbox 360 is Apple introduced the released the first iPod shuffle in and nano. march.




1. 1, 2 Step 2. Breakaway 3. Boulevard of Broken Dreams 4. Drop it Like It’s Hot 5. Over & Over 6. My Boo 7. Just Lose It 8. 1985 9. Vertigo 10.Since U Been Gone

when you were in 5th grade...


{ }


Gladiator (2000)

Lance Armstrong won his first Tour De France when you were in first grade.


Toy Story (1999)


Saving Private Ryan (1998)

George W. Bush was president.

The Royals went 83W-79L during the regular season.

D. E. A.


C. B.


H. F.








Christian volunteer joins missionary program, hopes to leave comfort zone during gap year

story by Christa McKittrick


The second 3-month segment is called “Outreach.” Wetzel and her group will choose from a long list of countries where they will go to do volunteer and missionary work. It could be anywhere from Paris to South Africa. Wetzel could be helping impoverished children at an orphanage or comforting patients at a hospital. Wetzel’s first choice is to work at a hospital, trying to comfort those who know they don’t have much time left, because it would take her out of her comfort zone. Just letting that dying person know that someone cares about their life is significant and important to Wetzel. “Whatever outreach program I’ll be with,” Wetzel said. “Whether, orphanage, schooling, hospitals etc. I’ll be so open to learning whatever I can from the people I am trying to serve.” The final three months will be the most like an actual job. Wetzel’s team will once again choose somewhere to go and intern at a missionary organization. The group will learn the business aspects of operating a missionary program. Wetzel is excited for the experience and what it will teach her. “I know I’ll come away with a better outlook on how to live my life and living to love,” Wetzel said.



eginning on Sept. 7, Lois Wetzel will be in paradise. Not on the beaches of Hawaii or snorkeling the coral reefs of Australia, but in Belize working through the program YWAM, a Christian volunteer program that equips and prepares people to help others and spread Christianity, for the project “Destination Paradise.” Wetzel’s 9-month trip is separated into three 3-month segments. For the first part, Wetzel will be living on a sailboat in the Caribbean sea off the coast of Belize with 12 other people. This portion focuses on discipleship. Every week there will be homework and papers responding to Bible passages, but a majority of the schooling will be training over things such as the Old Testament and other passages. The schooling isn’t focused on grades but on teaching the students about God and helping others. Other than schooling, Wetzel and the others will go tubing, water skiing and swimming. Living like this will be an adjustment for Wetzel because of the material they’ll be studying and the living conditions. “You’ll never be alone,” Wetzel said. “Every day it’ll make me appreciate my room and my own space.” The 12 teens will spend Sunday evenings through Thursday mornings on the boat studying but will be on land during the remainder of the week.

Former exchange student host plans to attend an extra year of high school in Belgium


raduating from East will not be the end of high school for Erik Dayton. Next year, Dayton will head back to high school – in Belgium. Dayton will be spending the 2010-11 school year as a high school exchange student in Belgium through the American Field Service (AFS), a foreign exchange program for high school students. A mostly French speaking country, Belgium was one of the few nations that allowed 18-year-olds like Dayton to participate in their exchange programs. In the next few weeks, Dayton will learn who his exchange family will be and what his new home town will be. Though he will not receive any college or high school credit for his year-long venture, Dayton expects to bring back a great amount of intangible experience to the States. “For everyone that is going to college, they will become independent and grow as a person,” Dayton said. “But going to a different country, with different culture and family, everything will be new to me. It’s going to be like being a

baby. You have to learn everything again in a different way.” Dayton has been interested in exchange programs since his freshman year, when he heard about AFS in Spanish I. He attended an AFS meeting, which further spurred on his curiosity. During his sophomore year he hosted a Swedish exchange student, Petter Sundqvist, which increased his desire to travel abroad even more. Dayton’s great friendship with Sundqvist made him seriously consider skipping out on his senior year at East to become an exchange student elsewhere. In the end, he opted to stay home for senior year and take an extra year of high school. Dayton is excited for his Aug. 18 departure, and has continued to hone the language skills he acquired in French III. “I’ve heard from other people [that have studied abroad] that the first few nights you go to bed exhausted,” Dayton said. “Absolutely everything is going to be a challenge. It’s pretty scary, but I know it will be worth it.”

story by Mac Tamblyn

SENIOR PROFILES 5 Veteran photographer plans to attend school in Canada after completing six East Photo classes




asked to perform for professors. According to Creighton, the quality of their music as a group can only improve at the school. “Our influences are just going to build up when we’re down there, and we’ll just get more inspiration,” Creighton said. Since the school is in such an urban environment, they will have ample opportunities to perform in the surrounding area. Rodgers said that the ACM puts an emphasis on “breaking out” and gaining as much musical experience as possible. “The school and the town have a partnership where bars will contact the school for bands to gig,” Rodgers said. “But if we have to do the networking ourselves that’s fine too.” Even though they plan on dropping the name Kept Mess, the three will continue to rock out as college students in hopes of making music into their careers. Newman said that none of them could imagine their lives any other way. “Throughout my high school career I was dreading thinking about college and what I’m going to do with my life after high school,” Newman said. “When I found out about this school is basically when I decided ‘I can’t see myself doing math or English for the rest of my life.’ ”

story by Duncan McHenry


fter their first meeting as two awkward kids in freshman P.E., the duo decided to form their still-standing band, Kept Mess. Joe Newman and Brian Rodgers have been rapidly progressing as musicians ever since their days in black shorts and white shirts. With the addition of bassist Connor Creighton in their junior year, they created an ideal mix for their unique, free form sound. “We’ve been playing for so long now that we can just look and listen to each other and completely change a song,” Rodgers said. “The way we play songs live is basically different every time.” After they graduate from East, the three now plan to continue making music together as students at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma. Creighton is awaiting word from the school about his admission, but Newman and Rodgers have been accepted. The school is currently in its first year as one level of a building in urban Oklahoma City, but it will expand each year. As students, they will take classes for their core instrument, as well as for supplemental courses like voice and production. They will also be paired up with other students and


Longtime band members will attend college together in new musical program


nspiration for a future career can strike in many different forms, whether with an epiphany while doing a project in class, spending time at the family business or while doing something fun with friends. For senior Ali Yaqubian, he was inspired to become a photographer after flipping through skate magazines and seeing the photos plastered in their pages. He soon enrolled in his first Photography class during the first semester of sophomore year, and he was hooked. Currently, he is most interested in skateboard photography but does not limit himself. He also works with portraiture, landscapes and architecture. “I’ve always kind of liked the grittier, urban feel,” Yaqubian said. “Like in the dark room, [photo teacher Adam Finkelston] says to remove dust from the film before you develop it, but I sometimes add it.” Last October, with a portfolio filled with outside work and pieces from the six Photography classes he’s completed, he traveled to Chicago for National Portfolio Day. His main purpose was to meet with representatives from the Emily Carr Institute of Art

and Design, located on Granville Island in Vancouver, British Columbia. “The main draw to it was the price definitely, but Vancouver is just a sweet city,” Yaqubian said. “I’ve always had this thing for Canada, I don’t know what it is.” Yaqubian has decided to attend Emily Carr, a 1400 student institution, which was the only university he actually applied to after researching inexpensive schools with his mom. With over 80 staff members, class sizes smaller than most at East and an prominent skate scene in the area, it was the school that drew Yaqubian the most. He plans to leave about a month before school starts at the beginning of August, so he can find an apartment and attend both school and international orientation. “I’ve been ready to be on my own for a while; I’m going to miss my mom greatly though,” Yaqubian said. “She’s been one of the biggest influences to me, ever. It’s going to be hard to leave, but at the same time it’s not going to be because it’s the chance for me to totally recreate myself and have a new experience. It’s the prime of our life, why not take advantage of it?” story by Colleen Ireland

story by Christa McKittrick


watching her dad John work in the apparel business for 20 years, Sheridan realized that the marketing side would be a better fit for her. As a sales rep for Gear for Sports and Under Armour, John would receive samples of the garments to go out and sell to golf courses, and Sheridan would help him organize the new collections. Sheridan liked organizing the collections which would then be sold to customers. Getting into the marketing side of fashion will give Sheridan more opportunities in the business world, ranging anywhere from planning fashion shows to coming up with new styles for upcoming seasons. One of her top choices would be being a visual merchandiser. As a visual merchandiser, Sheridan would work for an upscale department store such as Bloomingdale’s or Nordstrom. She would travel to each store and teach them how to display clothing, accessories and bags in an eye-catching and creative way for the upcoming season. “I just want to learn different ways to merchandise and effectively display product,” Sheridan said.



s she looked at the displays inside the New York City Bloomingdale’s store over spring break, Caroline Sheridan couldn’t help but dream what she would have done if given the chance to set up the displays herself. She’d find a large glass table and layer paisley and striped, knit and woven scarves on top of it. Above them, she’d strew lockets, rings and an assortment of jewelry pieces. Sheridan was already anticipating the fall of 2010 when she would begin the road to making those design decisions herself. Come next fall, Sheridan will be attending Stephens College, an all girls school with less than 1000 students, located four minute’s walk from Missouri University. At Stephens, most girls focus on either fashion design or apparel marketing. Sheridan was originally interested in the fashion design side but is now looking more into the marketing aspect. “I just felt that I was going to have more opportunities after college starting off with a business background under my belt that just a designer having to start on my own,” Sheridan said. “After


Broadmoor fashion designer plans to merchandise and display clothes at department stores


6 SENIOR PROFILES Frequent traveler will major in astrophysics at Edinburgh University in Scotland


very summer, Anna Webber and her family travel to different places across the United States, from Arizona to Indiana to North Carolina. Her family has also moved several times to California and back, and then across Kansas City, so Anna is used to making new friends and starting over. “In the beginning it’s difficult to make new friends but I got used to it over the years,” Webber said. “Now I’m good at involving myself in different situations that I’ve never been a part of because of these experiences. “I have lived in the US for 18 years and wanted to go someplace new.” The combination of her love of travel with her experience of meeting new people, made the decision to attend Edinburgh University in Scotland a clear college choice for Webber. Because of it’s location, the University of Edinburgh stood out among Webber’s other college choices in San Diego and Arizona. Sprawled out across the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, Edinburgh University lacks the typical American college feel. Classes, departments and living areas for students are dispersed throughout the city of

half a million people. “It’s not going to be the same college experience that my friends will get,” Webber said. “But hopefully I will get a broader, more diverse cultural experience than I would have by staying in the US.” Once she decided she wanted to study somewhere abroad, Webber narrowed her choices to universities in the UK because of the shared language and because her sister was living in London at the time. Webber’s sister helped her locate good schools in the UK and after researching several colleges, Webber decided on Edinburgh for its academics and location. At Edinburgh, Webber plans on majoring in astrophysics, which will combine her love for science and interest in space. Ultimately, this major could lead her anywhere from working for NASA to doing research on astrophysics to being a college professor. Ideally, Webber would love to work at a university as a professor and research dark matter, such as black holes and galaxies. To Webber, Edinburgh is the beginning of a new adventure. “It makes me a little nervous,” Webber said. “But I’m excited. It will be a whole new start.”

story by Annie Sgroi





uring her sixth grade year, Natalie Hine would only go to school three days a week. The other two weekdays she would perform shows with Theatre for Young America. While she participated in small production groups like Theater in the Park and the Coterie Theatre throughout middle school, it wasn’t until her sophomore year that she realized her calling wasn’t acting. She worked with make-up and sound a lot that year, but when she wrote a one-act show for repertory theatre as a junior, Hine knew she wanted to go into play writing and directing. “I love theatre in practice and conceptualizing what it’s going to look like, coming up with the stage picture and writing the story - that’s my thing,” Hine said. As a member of the Coterie Theatre’s exclusive Young Playwright’s Roundtable program, she gained considerable experience in writing. In addition, being a student director and stage manager on several East productions, along with directing her Frequent Friday, have led her to plan on majoring in drama at Vassar College in upstate New York. At Vassar, there is no core curriculum, so Hine will be studying only what she wants, particularly

the theory of theatre. She plans on learning more about the styles and methods of theatre her first two years and becoming more thoroughly involved with productions in her second two years, while continuing writing and excelling in academics throughout college. “[At East] I wish I would’ve focused more on theatre and less on school, because it turned out school isn’t as fulfilling,” Hine said. “I hope that at Vassar I get really, hyper-involved with the theatre program.” Hine hopes to attain leadership roles like thespian president, a position she held at East this year, as well as producing and working on “senior shows,” productions directed by juniors and seniors. Ideally she’ll even have the chance to write and direct her own original senior show. “Ultimately I’d like to be a college professor, I think that would interest me most,” Hine said. “I also hope to get at least one play published or produced, which as a professor, I’d have a really good opportunity. It would give me enough time to keep writing my own stuff, but also get to work with kids and exchange ideas and study what I love to do.”

story by Alex Lamb


Student director aspires to become a published playwright and eventual theater professor


Bone-marrow transplant patient hopes to recover and attend college in the Empire State building She’d been bruising for years, but this time, she had no idea where it came from. Not only was this bruise on her face, but according to her mother, Marsha, it was bigger than usual. Elizabeth McGranahan was only a seventh grader, and was supposed to be enjoying winter break like every other kid. This was before the hospital visits, before the blood transfusions, before all the missed school. This was only the beginning. McGranahan would soon be diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, and later Dyskeratosis Congenita, an often deadly combination that not only perplexes doctors, but prevents the body from producing enough of all three blood cell types. Five years later, and three states away from home, McGranahan is fast approaching the cure she’s spent all of high school waiting for. Entering East in the fall of 2006, her freshman year went as smoothly as her body would allow. With only close friends and family aware of the condition, McGranahan tried to do what every freshman does: act “normal.” “I think the reason it didn’t spread is that nobody knows what it is,” McGranahan said. “If I had cancer, that would spread, because everyone knows what cancer is, but nobody knew what this super rare, dangerous disease was.” She continued with her busy schedule of school, journalism and debate tournaments almost every weekend, and forensics. Despite often feeling fatigued and requiring daily naps, McGranahan enrolled in AP classes and always held high grades. As school progressed, so did the condition, and by the end of her sophomore year, McGranahan had missed over 40 days in one semester. Junior year was spent almost entirely behind a computer screen, working through the Shawnee Mission “Homebound” program for students who can’t make it to the classroom. As a senior, it was much of the same, and in March McGranahan officially graduated with over a 4.0 grade average. She will still get her name read at graduation. “Everybody would love to go through high school like a breeze, and that definitely did not happen for me,” McGranahan said. “I got good grades, but that didn’t come from just going through the motions.” Now living in a Minneapolis Ronald McDonald House, a hotel-

like facility for families awaiting a child’s surgery, McGranahan blogs while she and her mother wait. On May 11, Hematology-Oncology Doctor Jakub Tolar will finally perform the risky bone marrow transplant that, if successful, will rid McGranahan of aplastic anemia forever. She’s been tracking the days leading up to her surgery for roughly six months now on her blog “Reason to Smile,” where she gives one reason for why she should smile on every new post. Here, she mentions how Tolar is one of the only physicians in the world specializing in Dyskeratosis Congenita and may be the only doctor who can truly save her. But first comes chemotherapy, the often dreadful process that essentially works to kill the body and wipe out everything in it. The hair loss, uncontrollable vomiting and chronic mouth sores will all be a part of McGranahan’s week and a half leading up to the transplant. After a scheduled surgery on Nov. 30 fell through, McGranahan is slowly but surely realizing that she is finally going to get the help she needs. “I don’t really remember what it’s like to not be sick,” McGranahan said. “To finally not have that be a part of my life is really exciting. For a long time I thought this was going to be what would eventually kill me.” While the disease has made her education difficult, McGranahan is already prepared for the future and higher learning, literally. In November 2009, she was accepted into The King’s College, a school located inside of the Empire State Building in New York City. The class sizes are currently very small but are growing every year. “I didn’t just want a straight-up journalism major, I wanted something kind of with an edge that would expand my capabilities.” McGranahan said. “I really liked their major because it wasn’t just writing, just broadcast, or just online. It’s kind of all forms of media.” A three-and-a-half year Harbinger staff veteran herself, McGranahan is looking to stick with her passion for writing and journalism as she heads into the school’s “Media, Culture, and Arts” program. While McGranahan will not be able to start school in the fall like her classmates due to the long recovery process, she plans to begin around Spring 2011. story by Bob Martin

8 SENIOR PROFILES World traveler will travel to Africa to volunteer to support local villages and native inhabitants




of where her love for singing and helping others will take her, she can’t wait to embrace the experience. “I want to sing, and Coe has a great music program,” Are said. “I write a lot of songs on the guitar, and they tend to focus on the melody, harmonies and lyrics. I pump out about two a week, but I rarely play for anybody. I think it’s just a great way to clear my thoughts.” Are’s lyrics are very heartfelt and show her love for music, especially in a snippet of one of her melodies: “I think I’ll stay awake/ cause tonight will be the day/ where I can be myself / and I won’t sleep that away.” Coe College allows Are that option to be herself and the ability to continue both of her dreams. “I knew I wanted to go out of state, and I loved the community, size and liberal arts focus of Coe College,” Are said. “I’m not planning on being a musician, but I’m still very passionate about it, and I don’t want to stop. I guess religion would be a more likely career choice.”

story by Matt Gannon


s a Coalition Club leader, Sarah Are danced with glee in the East parking lot when she collected close to $1500 of donation from a bake sale. As a member of the Chamber singers, she fell in love with the song “Hope, Faith, Life, Love.” Now, she plans on bringing both of her passions of singing and helping others to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she will attend Coe College. Are plans to double major in religion and music, two things that have been key to her life. Her father, Tom Are, is the Senior Pastor at Village Presbyterian Church, and because of her family’s involvement in the church, Are became very enthusiastic about serving others, most often through mission work. Her will for helping others has taken her to places as local as the Village Food Pantry and as exotic as the Dominican Republic. Are’s passion for music is easily seen when she strums a chord on her guitar, plays a melody on the piano or bursts into a solo on center stage. While Are is unsure


Community volunteer plans to expand singing and missionary passions at Coe College


hen describing the experience of taking a year off from school to study in Africa, Rebecca Rea-Holloway likes to refer to the phrase “Carpe Diem.” She is a firm believer in the saying, which means “seize the day.” That is why on Sept. 15, rather than packing her bags and going to a university, she is boarding a plane to Africa to be a part of the Carpe Diem Education program. Last summer, Rea-Holloway took part in the National Geographic Student Expedition where she went to Tanzania with a group of students and helped around the community by digging up pipelines and re-building them to create a safer water source. “It opened my eyes and made me more conscious to the world around me.” Rea-Holloway said. “People [in Tanzania] have a greater sense of community and they are a lot more positive and more welcoming than they are here. After experiencing a completely different lifestyle for the summer, Rea-Holloway decided she wasn’t done exploring the world. Through Portland State University she will be going on a three-month trip through Tanzania, Zanzibar and Uganda.

While in Africa, she and nine others will be staying in various villages with different tribes. The group plans to help the villages by building better homes and making sure the environment is as good as it can be for those living there. After returning from Africa, ReaHolloway has her choice of going anywhere in the world for a four month internship through CDEP. With the college credit earned after her travels, Rea-Holloway plans on continuing college when she returns. Her mother Melinda Holloway supports her decision to take a year for traveling. “I think it’s a great opportunity.” Melinda said. “It’s going be a great time for her to follow her passions and learn more about the world and she will start college more prepared,” Melinda said. On top of creating a better living for small tribes in remote villages of Africa, Rea-Holloway hopes to arrive home with a better grasp of the world outside of the US. “It’s not all about changing their lives.” Rea-Holloway said. “It’s also about changing mine and my perspective of different things and different people around the world.”

story by Raina Weinberg




Varsity basketball player to join the women’s team at Yale University

story by Kat Buchanan


get-go, signing her up for numerous teams and helping her hone her skills in the driveway since she started playing 12 years ago. Graf’s two older brothers guided her through the steps, teaching her the motions of lay-ups and assists before she’d even joined a team. Though Graf will be highly involved in the women’s basketball program, she plans on excelling in other programs and in her academic studies. With two $1000 scholarships for academic excellence under her belt, Graf has already shown her potential for handling the course load at Yale. “Next year I know I have to be very organized in order to balance academics with athletics,” Graf said. “It will be a challenge adjusting, but I know I’ll have a great time.” Graf plans on choosing her career path while attending school, but wants to work in New York City after she graduates from Yale.



he dribbles down the court, blonde hair held to her head with a strip of prewrap, but only as a precaution – the sweat already makes her bangs cling to her forehead. She chest passes to her teammate, darts under the net, pivots for the return, then goes in for a lay-up, her Nikes a foot off the ground. Basketball, an irreplaceable part of her past, is now a fast-coming part of Janna Graf’s future. With an acceptance letter from Yale University and a basketball in hand, Graf will be making her way to New Haven this coming fall. After browsing countless college clinics, and visiting schools across the country, she found her place at Yale. “The team, coaches and school all fit,” Graf said. “I loved every aspect of the whole program and team and instantly knew it was where I wanted to play.” Her family has been supportive of her passion from the

Long-time special education volunteer will work towards a Master’s degree at K-State


hether its baby-sitting a young girl with Down’s Syndrome, helping athletes with disabilities at the Special Olympics or working with East’s special education students through Pack of Pals and Social Skills classes, Amanda Privitera has always enjoyed working with special education kids. This passion is take her to Kansas State University next fall, where she will work towards a Master’s Degree in Special Education. “Other people feel uncomfortable around special needs kids but I never have,” Privitera said. “The kids are so much different than regular kids in the sense that they’re so innocent and the littler things make them happier.” For instance, one student involved in East’s special education program, junior Brian Levota, always tells Privitera about his job working at Hen House for Job Club, and how much he enjoys it. “Most kids aren’t excited to work,” Privitera said. “But Brian just loves talking about it.” After researching schools on her own, Privitera discovered the K-State Master’s program specific to special education, instead of just the general education Mas-

ter’s program that most schools have. At K-State, Privitera will take classes focused on special education and will be allowed to student-teach at schools around Manhattan. Privitera might also begin her own project, helping to involve special education kids on campus through inter-murals. After K-State, Privitera plans to go into special education or social work. Privitera’s ideal job would be teaching special education students at the elementary or preschool level. “I’m hoping that when I start teaching special education kids they will have more chances and opportunities in the real world,” Privitera said. “If they don’t, I would love to help them get more.” No matter where her major leads her later in life, Privitera is sure that she will continue to love working with special education kids and learning from them. “I have probably learned more from them then from my other friends,” Privitera said. “They taught me to not take things for granted or to reflect too much on the little things.”

story by Sarah McKittrick



STATES of separation ARIZONA

The Harbinger tracks where members of this year’s senior class will be next year

Arizona State University Jake Gifford University of Arizona Avery West


Tufts University Jordan Dietrich Boston University Cole Fevold Andrew Mohn Harvard University Tara Raghuveer Carleton College Adele Daniel Leia Swanson St. Olaf College Sarah Evans University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Annie Haynes Macalester College Drake Myers Evan Myers Gustavus Adolphus College Carl Skrukrud


WORKFORCE Augie Borchers Stefanie Brown Jake Greene Elizabeth Hernandez MILITARY Nolan Schmidt EXCHANGE STUDENTS Dominika Golinska Dildora Rustamova Anna Seilund Dami Tuerk UNDECIDED Patrick Barry Angelo Borchers Andres Diaz Megan Klugman Grace Martin Caitlin Morley Lauren Riley Lyndsey Riley Allison Roebuck Justin Stults Joe Turner James Williams Adrienne Whitham Stefan Weinrich GAP YEAR Erik Dayton Weston Halberstadt Becca Rea-Holloway Corey Scinto Lois Wetzel Parker Heying ABROAD Alfie Kass - Yeshiva University - Israel Madison Magalski University of British Columbia - Canada Anna Webber - University of Edinburgh - Scotland Ali Yaqubian - Emily Carr University of Art and Design - Canada

TEXAS Texas Christian University Brooks Anthony Haley Dalgleish Baylor University Kelsey Summers Southern Methodist University Mary Tanner Austin College Britini Argeropoulos

Colorado State University Kat Jaeger Ellen Stanziola Grant Stauffer Danny Thompson University of Colorado Sam Carpenter Kathryn DeMoss

Lauren Epstein Jacob Parelman Anna Swanson University of Denver Kaley Herman Western State College of Colorado Andrew Arnold Scott Cantril

ILLINOIS Loyola University of Chicago Maddy Bailey Alexa Schneiders Stephen Shen Columbia College Jake Davidson Northwestern University Joe Deng Wheaton College Lauren Dodd DePaul University Kathleen Fay John Francis Jack Hawkins Millikin University Gordon Green Illinois Wesleyan University Mallory Kirby Principia College Kati Klehm


Broadmoor Technical Center David Moore Ryan Osborne Alex Place Cody Winlaw Emporia State University Gage Grimes Melissa McGregor Johnson County Community College Keelin Austin Joe Barahona Valery Barajas Holland Barling Kelsey Barrera William Carey Rachel Chaney Nicholas Clark Zach Clements Teresa Corrazin Rachel D’Autremont Jai Dayal Joe Dodson Doni Eilenberger Andrew Elliot

Zachary Fair Sam Fisher James Franklin Marisol Galicia Jared Giabbai Lisa Giles Aubrey Grantham Ashley Guerricagoitia Lauren Hackworth Nellie Haghighat Delaney Herman Audrey Howell Marisa Hunter Jessie Jacob Danielle James Travis Janney Kale Justice Seth Kang Ashley Lillis Jesus Lopez-Martinez Amanda Massey Daniella Mata Louis Mehlstaub Alex Munns Katherine Murphy Azad Nowzari Zachary Nutt


University of Northern Iowa Lauren Raibble Grinnell College Sami Rebein Iowa State University Nikki Reber

Coe College Sarah Are Simpson College Andrew Dexter Drake University Lauren Erickson Central College Kevin Hertel

CONNECTICUT MISSISSIPPI University of Yale University Janna Graf Wesleyan University Dana Leib

LOUISIANA Tulane University Alexa Donahue Johanna Hild

Southern Mississippi Stacy Coffyn

Michael Olson Micah Patterson Matthew Peterson Nicole Prenevost Zulema Ramirez Connor Rice Elizabeth Roach Sara Robertson Mildred Roque Jesse Russell Megan Russell Kelly Sabates Patrick Schuele Katie Sharp Anne Slaughter Dara Slemp Khadijah Smith Alexander Steinbock Alexandra Szcygiel Melanie Thomann Josh Thrutchley Madison Weaver Kylie Wheeler Alex Wilson Mason WoodersonPhilipo Tori Wydner Kansas City Kansas Community College Brian Little Jeshua Monarres Kansas State

Unive Caitlin Kathle Marle Kinse Kathe Keega Carl C Alexa Valeri Claire Kristin Mack David Chloe Ashle Spenc Mega Emily Lexi M Mega Ryan John Rache Marga Aman Hann Maria Came Carl R Cody Sarah

MISSOUR University of Missouri Matt Beck Clay Finley Emma Fritts Mary Galvin Grace Gillaspie Sydney Henley Stewart Jensen Rachel Kaskie Ellie Kessinger Collin Carter Hannah Mallen Gabe Miller Anna Petrow Lauren Reynolds Hannah Satterlee Andy Yeast Tom Yeast Elliot Yohn University of Missouri Kansas City Scarlett Cooley


Vanderbilt University Wake Forest University Annie Bennett Brian Aitken Alex Dahlgren University of North Carolina

Jesse Rach Charl Luis R McKa Kaeva Trum Unive Hann Wash Unive Joe C Jack W North State Sara Kans Instit Teres Penn Comm Gretc Avila


Griffin Duke Nick C Elon Matt

ersity n Allen een Belko ena Birkel ey Cates erine Clark an Conrad Cornwell andra Ferlas ie Fisher e Freeman na Grandon kenzie Haugland d Henderson e Kester ey Kurtzman cer Low an Mack y Mayfield Mische an Nemechek Olander Opsahl el Pedicino aret Peterson nda Privitera nah Quillec a Reyes eron Robles Rodgers Rutledge h Sedorcek


e Fancolly hel Gangwere lie McGraw Rivera ayla Smith an Tavakolinia man State ersity nah Copeland hington ersity Craig Walker hwest Missouri e Fisher sas City Art tute sa Harbison n Valley munity College chen Hummel a University

SENIOR BREAKDOWN 11 Sarah Snodgrass Tori Wrede Tyler Wysong Manhattan Christian College Veronica Kerr Pittsburg State University Connor Callahan Ted Dubois Hunter Ensz Ben Hargis Kelsey Kirkpatrick Tyler McKelvey Kelly O’Neill Amanda Pierce Kevin Smith Robert Williamson Dalton Winn Pratt Community College Alex Cox Tanner Johnson University of Kansas Ashton Adams Zach Amrein Heather Athon Iastou Baldeh Dustin Ballard Jason Bates Rosie Bellinger Charles Bernard

Taylor Haviland Evan Herstowski Kris Hertel Carly Holland Austin Hunzeker Colleen Ireland Kathleen Ireland Ben Jensen Ashley Johnson Beck Johnson Jacob Johnson Ben Kaplan Sam Kovzan Holly Lafferty Sam Logan Nicole Luby John Luther Evie Marshall Geoffrey Maxwell Mary Kate McCandless Max McFarland Megan McGillicuddy Kelsey McGonigle Duncan McHenry Chris Miller Kylie Morrow Jonathan Moss Matthew Mueller Brice Mullane Will Penner Jordan Pfeiffer

University INDIANA WASHINGTON Gonzaga Jeff Rutherford Indiana University Evergreen State College Jamie Edwards Molly Mahon

Jasmine Kidd Saint Louis University Bridget Bergin Hunter Stevenson University of Central Missouri Dana Meyer Cara Rivers Rockhurst University Kareen Schwartze Kaitlin Woodson Lindsey Agee Stephens College Caroline Sheridan Drury University Erin Tuttle


n Bur e University Carothers University Creidenberg

Jonathan Bernard Emily Bittiker Jacob Bossing Margaret Brill Natalie Brown Sam Buchanan Brandon Burch Taylor Burkhead Grant Burnside Baleigh Burroughs Zach Busey Tony Camp Ben Carlson Katelynn Cauthon Qi Chen Will Chertoff Leah Chesbrough Chris Clarke Keelia Corcoran Dylan Crandall David Crane Alyx Delgado Kirk Doerr John Dollar Allie Fields Jake Fleming Andrew Forbes Charlie Freyder Kristina Genton Hannah Gerwick Sean Graybill Charlie Gunya

Tess Duncan Appalachian State University Lindsey Sauls

University of Washington Sadie Wendler Seattle University Elizabeth Piper

Becca Clay Adam Levin Depauw University Jackson Harter Allison Kirby Sally Schoenfeld Alison Stephens The College of Wooster University of Notre Catie Herst Dame Miami University of Scott Kennedy Ohio Hanover College Spencer Barnhill Dani Miller David Beeder Caitlin Benson Jack Logan


WISCONSIN Lawrence University John Troup University of Wisconsin Jessie Sykes

Austin Puckett Scott Rainen Maddy Rich Phil Roach Brad Robson Lindsay Rooker John Rowe Brooke Royle Laura Scott Sarah Sears Dawn Selder Kelsey Shaffer Tim Shedor Dale Smith John Stewart Michael Stolle Megan Sullivan Mac Tamblyn Elizabeth Tillhof Maggie Townsend Pete Uhl Natalie Turner Araceli Villanueva Nick Wassmer Grant Wekesser Anthony West Maygan White Amilia Winter Paul Wolff Witchita State University Olivia Sullivan


St. John’s College Nathan Goldman Charlie Kline


Jazz and Contemporary Music Matt Chalk Syracuse University Peter Chow The King’s College Elizabeth McGranahan

Washington & Lee University Harper Coulson University of Virginia David Towster

Vassar College Natalie Hine The New School for

OKLAHOMA Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma Connor Creighton Joe Newman Brian Rogers


Johnson & Wales University Michael Calvert

ARKANSAS University of Arkansas Lauren Bleakley Erica Brandli Erika Davee Megan Deay Claire Finke Ben Galloway PJ Guignon Sarah Hemer

Katy Kettler Hannah Lang Jay Lehoczky Tommy Rappold Sara Schenkelberg Monica Talavera Greg Welsh Tyler Woltemath


Savannah College of Art and Design Lauren Engelken Agnes Scott College Louisa Morton Georgia Tech University Yong Hahn

Culinary Institute of America Xyrus Najar Fashion Institute of Technology Anders Newman Hofstra University Max Stitt


Lewis and Clark University Emily Halter Reed College Brice Roberts University of Oregon Whitaker Sherk

Hawaii Pacific University Ian Boat


Creighton University Collin Hoefer Molly Tidrick University of Nebraska Mackenzie Wylie

PENNSYLVANIA Butler Community College FLORIDA Kariesha Kidd CALIFORNIA Loyola Marymount University Olivia Botts Drew McNamara University of Southern California Jacqueline Crain Phoebe Unterman California Institute of the Arts Alyssa Jolitz Scripps College Kiley Lawrence Santa Monica College Brooks Williams

Ringling College of Art and Design Gaby Thompson

kevinhosley photography portraits senior ad design

TOWN and COUNTRY Asphalt Sealing

6 Years Experience Locally Owned by a Shawnee Mission East Alumni

Brandon Barnds

(913) 669-6092


2010 breakdown top of the class

Governor’s Scholars, top 1 percent of the senior class based on first semester GPA.

Nick Carothers


Qi Chen


Joe Deng


Dana Leib Jack Walker

Wesleyan Washington Univ.

match the student to their new mascot



Big vs. Small

e schools with a look at some of th allest underthe biggest and sm t graduate enrollmen

25000 25,000 25000

20000 20,000 20000

21,066 16,751

15,000 15000 15000 10,000 10000 10000 6,856


5,000 5000 5000

0 00

Hawaii Pacific Univ.




senior going farthest away

most unique majors

Alfie Kass

Matt Chalk - Jazz Performance

The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Cara Rivers - Technical Theatre Central Missouri University

Yeshiva Israel

Grant Stauffer - Outdoor

major: undecided

recreation management Colorado State University

Most Popular Majors Nursing Business


Education Accounting/ Finance Engineering


d. 3. 4. Katherine Clark Collin Carter

1. (B), 2. (A), 3. (D), 4. (C)

1. 2.Austin Puckett

Sara Schenkelberg


10 10

20 20

30 30

40 40

Top Three states where most seniors are going (other than KS)







50 50


Hating to love you, Columbia Blue THE FINAL OPINION OF

SAM LOGAN Dearest student body, I’ve given myself to 56 issues of this publication so I love it, hate it and love it some more. It’s weird, but then again if you’re a jock who quits sports to write stories about them, you yourself probably are. That and a huge dork. All I’ve really ever written about, talked about and dreamed about is sports and frankly I’m pretty sick of it. I love East sports, but I hate loving them even more. It’s a relationship that is so rewarding, yet is so abusive. I go to games, help lead the student section, and (occasionally) do well in competing at them. Yet when it’s all said and done I always have to go back and tell more about them in the paper. So for once, I’m switching it up. My last column I’m going to be honest with my readers, this one is for everyone and everything else at this school that I hate loving. I hate loving to be sarcastic. It makes me who I am, yet it makes sentimental pieces like this almost seem sarcastic in and of themselves. I can assure you it isn’t and can thank every one of the following things I hate loving for causing this side of me. Seriously. I hate loving the faculty here. It’s so un-cool to say that but I truly do. No where else does an administrative team put as much work into satisfying such a demanding student body and their parents because no where else does in administrative team

meet such a dynamic. Whether you like them or not, they make your life better. And that I can promise you. I hate loving the experiences I’ve had here. I’ve been to state tournament basketball games, school dances, AP tests, trips to the principal’s office, and cafeteria lunches. Somehow they all will remind me of my high school days and the incredible times I’ve had and won’t be able to have again. It’s an odd feeling growing up, but once you accept it you can finally look back on all the good that’s come of it. I hate loving my friends. Some have moved on to college already, some are walking across the stage with me next Tuesday, and some will be waiting another year to do so. Every time I think about how lucky I am to have them, though, I remember how unlucky I am to always be separated from some bit of them at a time because of our age. They probably just read this and winced at the word “loving” but in a year when we are all half-a-country apart they’ll know I meant it. I hate loving my parents. It sounds bad, but they’ve probably heard me say those three words less than they’ve heard me say, “What’s for dinner?” The substance behind them is one that I always have with me, though, and always will have with me. They have made everything possible, from the good to the bad, even when I may have been the Sam they wish they never had. I hate loving this school. Because after this week when it’s all said and done, I know that me and Shawnee Mission East are going to have to break up. I’ll miss the memories but keep the people who made them happen with me forever. I love you and will miss you even when I’m no longer a student. And that is something I love to hate. Lancer Proud, Sam Logan

The struggle against mediocrity THE FINAL OPINION OF



strive for mediocre. Or I at least settle for mediocre. In fact, one teacher felt it necessary to joke to my parents, upon running into us at a family dinner last summer that I was the “biggest underachiever” he knew. Well I’m not sure whether this is entirely correct, but I’ll admit that I at least sell myself short. Throughout my high school academic career, I’ve been on the “settle-for-the-B,it’s-an-honor-course” and where has it put me. Still putting enough effort to pass the course, but never to excel. What’s the point? In a school so academically motivated, my 3.992 sits just below the elusive top 25 percent of my class, 25.4 percent in fact. Had I buckled down in Kelly Fast’s sophomore English class and squeaked out an A one semester, opportunities such as scholarships and college honors programs would have opened their doors to me. Though resentful about the academic challenges I face at Shawnee Mission Wonderful, it does speak wonders to the academic drive and teaching ability available. I’ve had the opportunity to learn under high caliber teachers, though I did tend to resent my peers with easier honors teachers. So fighting for mediocrity has had it’s

benefits, but I would have been much better served enjoying my high school experience better. My mediocrity extends beyond academics and out into the sporting arena. Being the all-star athlete I am (joke for y’all who might not know me), mediocrity may be all that I could achieve (if that at all). As a member of the freshman D team soccer team, our impressive 1-16 record most certainly did not reflect experience (two years rec league for me) or effort (Gil’s “Brazillians” were more than punishing for me). But when we garnered that hallowed victory against Pembroke, the celebration, at least for one night made all the punishment worthwhile. Soccer was done on whim; however, one experience I was sure not to miss out on was the boys’ swim team. The experience I saw shared by my brother in his years as a swimmer and the amazing coach in Wiley Wright drew me to a sport where I could only strive for mediocrity. Lane six toil (involving flipper tag and hot showers during hard sets), ensured I was no stellar swimmer, but that was beyond the point. It’s no wonder that Wiley is the winningest coach in East history, and it has nothing to do with East’s status as a country club school. In other sports, the team competes to avoid the punishment of a coach Hair or coach Texiera. However in one of the more individualistic sports, the swimmers hardly do anything for themselves, rather all is done in effort to benefit the team and Wiley. Though my satisfaction with only achieving mediocrity has prevailed in high school, I think it is best to get it out of the way now. For now (or this summer at least) I can live life like I want, until I have to buckle down and get serious about my future.

After four years, cool is only relative THE FINAL OPINION OF



ntering high school as an 8th grade swimming pool rat, I pretty much had two major things I wanted to accomplish as a student at East. Don’t expect me to baffle you with former aspirations of drill team stardom. Being the first male member to do the splits without making every single man in the stands cringe and grab their crotch like Michael Jackson was never in the cards. No, my goals for my career at East were pretty similar to those of probably 80 to 90 percent of the 8th grade boys in the district: to be part of the “cool” group, and to eventually play varsity basketball (in turn increasing my cool/popularness). Now that I’m a senior, I’ve realized that being “cool” is something that’s totally relative, and that suicide sprints and defensive shell drills aren’t the most fun way to spend a school night. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to play basketball and still do my fair share of trying to be cool, but now I know that high school isn’t about popularity. It’s about becoming friends with a diverse group of kids you never would’ve met outside of school, and learning from them over the course of four years. In fact, high school is arguably the only

time in life when you can be bombarded by contact with a sea of hundreds of different faces near your own age every day. The only possible exception to that would be much later on in the nursing home years, but that peer group is more likely to be working on a will than scribbling inappropriate gossip on their tapioca dish. In other words, they’re guaranteed to be less lively and a lot more wrinkly than the average, bright-eyed East student. But the best part about high school is that someone who’s just another unfamiliar face out of that sea of hundreds on the first day of freshman year can turn into one of your closest friends by senior year. By ‘one of your closest friends’ I don’t necessarily mean a member of your ‘go-to’ group, but someone that you share classes with over the years and really get to know. In my own mind, I’ve always thought of those people as my in-school friends, because even though we do everything from sharing the latest music we’re into to copying each other’s homework at school, I rarely see them on weekends or during breaks. Some would probably argue that college exposes you to the same variety of people and friendships, but in college classes I’ll be forced to limit myself to being around a group of people with similar career interests. Never again will I sit between a National Merit Finalist and a drama fanatic in Spanish, or be thrown into a Writer’s Workshop class filled with a mixture of eccentrics, quiet types and a few kids I’ve known since sixth or seventh grade. So to all of my in-school friends, best friends and even friends who I’ve grown apart from since freshman year, thanks for being a part of my time at East. The people I’ve met within the last four or five years have made my high school experience what it was: worthwhile.


Maturing in high school is the real lesson THE FINAL OPINION OF



igh school sucks. At this point, everyone’s heard that aphorism somewhere, and probably. After all, high school basically runs the gamut from terrifyingly new at the start to wearyingly difficult in the middle to seemingly interminable at the end. High school sucks. It sucks in the same way that forgetting your lines in a play sucks: it’s embarrassing, there’s not much you can do about it except trudge on, and you can’t really feel sorry for yourself because it’s happened to everyone. But somewhere in there, between the veritable mountain of Calculus homework and the valley of social awkwardness, you become a different person. Not the person you’ll be forever, but someone. An adult. A graduate. Someone who can think critically and be a part of a

community. That exact difficulty of high school and everything that happens in those four years changes you from shyor-spastic freshman to (getting close to) mature senior. Like most important changes, there’s no dramatic moment where we morph from acne-ravaged ex-middle-schoolers to confident future-college-students. The change is a wide, wide parabolic curve, and it’s all the better for it - if you and your freshman and senior self met, they might not recognize each other. And I’m not coming at this as a big proponent of “rites of passage.” It took me four years to go to a dance that wasn’t WPA, and I’ve never been to an East basketball game. I’ll be the first to say it: high school entails a lot of crap. But if you add up everything that makes up high school - managing and taking advantage of the highs, the lows, the sometimes sheer surreality of it all - it’s more than a rite of passage. It’s a microcosm for life. It’s easy to miss the lesson, though. In John Nickles’ freshman geography class, we had the option to write letters to ourselves and our friends and let Mr. Nickles hold onto them until high school was over. I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently, but I also get the feeling that I might be writing an entirely different column unless someone had implicitly made this point to me four years ago. So, for everyone’s sake, seniors, juniors and freshman, here ya go. High school sucks. Get over it.



The final prank of high school

Through photos, best high school memories revealed





nstead of putting words on paper, I freeze moments with my camera. Whether it’s the intense look on Sarah Evan’s face, the student director of Footloose, right before the curtains open for the first performance of the musical or Madison Haverty beating the crap out of the dummy at the Ali’s runway self defense class, those were moments frozen in time and captured by my camera. When I walk away from high school I will look back at photos to remember, not articles in the newspaper and not what people wrote in my yearbook. Throughout my photography career at East I had many opportunities to shoot a variety of things. My favorite things to shoot were things that aren’t entirely obvious to people—the unseen moments. Not many people can say that they saw a couple sharing a moment when they received carnations from each other, or the look on Stewart Jensen’s face when he lost the race on the board during World History, or the anger on Coach Hair’s face in the locker room during half time of the Rockhurst game, or the scrunched up look on Kylie Morrow’s face as she has her hair spray painted gray for the school play, or the Sweetheart candidates pretending to take “self pics” of themselves before the student body arrived, or the sense of excitement in the football players faces as they wrote “playoffs” on the bus window. Very few people are able to say they saw that. I can.



s my senior year slowly comes to a close, there is one thing I could not bear leaving East without crossing off my bucket list. For the first time in six years, I did what everyone humorously suggested I do--switch classes with my twin, Colleen. With two weeks left of school the pros outweighed any cons. This was the outcome: First Hour- AP art I walk in late after dropping ‘Kathleen’ off at the front so she wouldn’t be late to Physics. I later finding out she graciously got me a detention. “Oh hi Colleen,” Lauren, my informed friend, says sarcastically. “Nice of you to show.” Three people in the class already know. “Colleen, I wanted to put a couple of your pieces in the show,” says Mr. Finkelston, also my Photo teacher. “Yeah? Which ones?” “Well I like the collage,” good, I’ve seen that one, “and also the Diane Arbus one,” Ehh, that’s not ringing a bell. Super day to have your phone stolen Colleen. Giving up on finding the second piece I start taping and un-taping the 46-picture collage of us. But the important question: would she be doing it on the clay-rolling table? Up walks James. He’s in on the scheme as well. “What are you doing?” he asks with the smile of a conspirator. “Dominating my AP project,” I answer. Colleen’s classmate, Aveek, joins in, “Whoa, that’s cool, why’d you do that?” Hmm. “Well my concentration is on twins, so the collage is me and Kathleen. She’s pretty cool, cooler than me.” He takes the bait. The bell rings. One down, two to go (Colleen and I have the same seventh hour.) Hour 3-Newspaper Late. This whole not-having-to-sufferthe-consequences-of-my-own-actions thing is coming in handy. I sit by Maddy, another accomplice. Mr. Tate reads off winners from a newspaper competition.

“Best feature goes to...boring, not my name, boring, clap...and for news writing, Colleen Ireland,” I start clapping. Oh wait, that’s me. Cease clapping. Then my name’s called twice. Wow, didn’t expected that. After reveling in the glory I realize this isn’t me. Cue clapping. Really? I finally get an award in this class and I can’t even enjoy it as myself? Where’s the justice? “Hey Colleen?” Griffin, her page designer, asks. “Yep?” “Do you know what your senior column’s gonna be on?” Dang, I should’ve done more recon last night. “Um. I’m still kinda deciding between concepts. I’ll let you know when I decide.” Yep, really bad day to lose her phone. Fifth hour-Physics Late from lunch. Why should Physics get special treatment? As my flip-flops smack across the otherwise silent room, I look for Colleen’s spot, I think the left side of the classroom? I spy an empty seat and take it. In front of me sits the too-loudfor-his-own-good student, Cameron. He’s gotten us mixed up before. I shoot a glance over to my new labbie, Grant, to see a worksheet I don’t have. Fabulous. “So when you walked in, Cameron thought you’d switched classes with your sister,” Grant informs me with a grin. “Haha, nope. That would be weird,” I respond. The best offense is a good defense. “Colleen?” Mr. Martin whips out a pad of ominous slips. I walk to his desk. “Next time you’re late it’ll be an office referral,” he explains. This’ll be fun to explain. “So when can you come in for a detention?” “Uh,” When does she work this week? “let’s go with Thursday after school?” Payback’s a B. Seventh Hour-Fibers There’s not much tomfoolery to be had with Colleen in the same class. After informing her of the impending Physics punishment she’ll enjoy on my behalf, she gives me the same news. Should’ve seen that one coming. I lighten the conversation by proposing to a fellow twin, Allison, we organize a school-wide twin switch in the near future. We discuss the likelihood of its success before resuming the tedious, hot-wax-ridden art of Batiking until school is out. With detentions for the same class, on the same day, from the same teacher, Colleen and I decide to knock them both out and head to room 407. We stay longer than others because we showed up later. Old habits die hard. It’s been a good day in the life of a twin must be done. Family detentions are vastly underrated.

Reliving the Cinderella story of 2006 D-Team’s lone victory THE FINAL OPINION OF



rior to Sept. 23, 2006, I’d never witnessed a miracle. But something magical occurred at South Stadium that one Saturday evening in early autumn. It was not only a defining moment in my high school career, but East’s greatest upset victory that nobody knows about (save the one lucky freshman who had nothing better to do that night). Well, this fairytale has gone untold long enough. None of the 20 guys on East’s D-Team, including me, ever imagined winning was possible. After all, we were an absolute disgrace. Shortly after the 16-game season ended, a teammate and I calculated that we had scored 8 goals and conceded 80; fans applauded when we successfully advanced the ball into the opponent’s half of the field; our three goalies combined for zero seasons of competitive soccer experience; we were mercy-ruled twice and even wagered money on how bad we’d lose. Earlier that day we had endured two blowout losses in the C-Team tournament, and the thought of a third massacre was nauseating. Many D-Teamers lacked the fitness to play a full half, let alone three games in a single day. Our aching bodies lay scattered around the bench, minutes before the final match against Pembroke Hill. Tall and short, fat and skinny, we certainly were a motley crew. The roster included a defender who is soon to graduate in the top five of our class and a goalkeeper who probably hasn’t been to school in five weeks. There were honor students and skaters, developed men and prepubescent boys. Seemingly everyone had asthma, and one even claimed to be allergic to grass. It featured this year’s newspaper co-editor, a prominent actor from East’s The Grapes of Wrath and a current D-1 tennis recruit. But damn, we were bad at soccer. Standing – no, more like slouching - before us on the sideline was a dejected Brazilian man with silver hair. His droopy red cheeks, watery eyes and slight underbite gave him the appearance of a dehydrated bulldog. Head coach Gil Teixeira always saw the glass half-empty, as would anyone in charge of the 2006 D-Team. But then he said something that made us scratch our heads. In that thick Brazilian accent, he pro-

claimed, “Guys, we could maybe win this game.” Occupying the left forward position for the third time that afternoon, I mulled over Gil’s outrageous claim. At this point we were 0-8 and our ratio of goals allowed to goals scored hovered around 20-to-1. Hmm...maybe he was joking. The game began and we wasted no time playing to our strength: falling behind fast. Foes always salivated at the sight of our buttery defense and impotent offense, and Pembroke was no exception. Three minutes into the game, we trailed 1-0. Surprisingly, the score remained unchanged until the end of the half. This can be attributed to two factors that worked in our favor. First, Pembroke thought it was game over at the get-go, when in truth they weren’t good enough to just coast. Second, the half lengths were shortened from 40 to 25 minutes because there was only an hour of playable daylight remaining. Apparently this game didn’t warrant the stadium lights. Then the game turned on its head. It was a fate-changing moment that enabled us to experience the phenomenon known as “momentum” for the first time all season. Yours truly snuck behind the defense and chipped the ball over the oncoming goalie, not even waiting to see the net bulge before dashing off in ecstasy. My goal came at an ideal point because we had no time to give back the lead; halftime came too quickly. “Guys, what did I say?” Gil demanded at halftime, an unfamiliar smile on his face. “We can maybe win this game...” Shortly after the restart, we snatched our first lead. Ever. A cross flew into the box, bounced around, and met the golden boot of our tennis player. East 2, Pembroke 1. “This is really happening!” I remember a fellow D-Teamer yelling as we embraced each other near the goal. Lo and behold, the choke job: 30 seconds remained and an opponent fired a desperate shot straight at my teammate’s loins. He reacted like any man would and cupped his crotch before collision. The referee blew his whistle, and my heart stopped. Handball in the box. Pembroke penalty kick with no time left... We were so close to shocking the world, and it pained me to see opposing players fighting over who would tie the game. Then one of them barked something that made me chuckle: “I know what to do!” Dude, just avoid hitting it straight at our goalie and it’s a goal, I thought. But hey, this guy knew what to do. Except his shot suggested otherwise. Anticipating a missile, our goalie was almost startled at the simplicity of saving the back-pass that rolled gently to his feet. Game over! D-Team wins! D-Team wins! Yep, that was our lone win in 2006. The following year, many of the players were either cut or decided to pursue other hobbies: journalism, choir, tennis, skateboarding, studying, marijuana, theater. But it was with that dissimilar group othat I experienced one of my finest high school moments.


The inner workings of life as a twin THE FINAL OPINION OF



can’t count the number of times someone has asked me, “What’s it like being a twin?” I still remain speechless sometimes because I don’t know exactly how to answer. Being a twin is just who I am. What am I supposed to say? It’s cool, I guess...? Everyone is unique in one way or another, even siblings who go the extra mile and share nearly 100% of their genetic traits. We definitely have more similarities than the average brother or sister, but what can you expect from two people that have spent 18 years together? I’m fortunate to have someone that shares my tastes on nearly everything—radio stations, restaurants and even clothing stores. I never have to worry about discovering something about her, or vice versa, that could possibly end our friendship because we know everything there is to know about each other. Without her speaking a word, I know what her face is saying when she clenches her jaw or her eyebrows scrunch together, what she’s thinking of saying when somebody cuts her off in traffic or what movie she would rather see if given the choice. But contrary to popular belief, we aren’t clones. We are in fact separate people, and never hold back stating when we have opposing views. We bicker more than any siblings I know, probably because none of them are together as much as we are. But I know that no matter how heated of a fight we might start, even one that involves the use of ammunition in the form of nearby hair brushes or shoes, five minutes later we could both be laughing hysterically over something completely insignificant. It’s like being related to your best friend. Sure, you like hanging out on the weekends and talking in the hall between classes, but even the best of friends get a little tired of one another after spending each day together over a week long vacation. I wake up every morning and

note whether our outfits match or not, debate over whose turn it is to drive and possibly get in an argument over how she’ll definitely get a detention because I didn’t drive fast enough. Once at school we only part for an hour and a half at any given time since we have the same 2nd, 4th, and 7th blocks and both lunch periods together, by some twisted fate. It’s not just the fact that we share our time but we share everything. From birthday parties, to most of our friends and obviously our appearance. I don’t usually mind if someone gets us mixed up, and I don’t want them to feel bad. It’s not their fault that in their eyes we look exactly the same. I’ve been in that situation several times. In a class with at least eight other sets of twins, I had to go through my own process of correctly identifying many of them, and I’m still confused by a few. It still amazes me when some people say they think we’re the most difficult twins to tell apart, but most people that barely know us handle it similarly. I see the deliberation on their faces right before they take a stab in the dark, hoping they guess correctly with the 50/50 chance they have. Obviously it’s not an issue for me because I’m not going to get my own name confused with my sister’s. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve had 18 years of time shared with her to pick out our differences. But to me, they’re not that subtle. Anytime I run into someone outside of school and hear, “Hey Colleen, what’s up” it’s like a breath of fresh air and an accomplishment to have someone that sees me alone. I’m glad to have friends and family that recognize our differences beyond just physical characteristics, like the slight pitch difference in our voices or the fact that one of us has a quicker temper. It also says something for that person, because for them to reach that point means that they are really paying attention and making an effort. With senior year coming to a close, I realize that in a matter of months, depending on our final college decisions, we could go from spending all of our time together to seeing each other anytime a visit home becomes necessary. No more sitting together in front of the television or sharing homework. We’ll have to rely on ourselves more, but being on our own will also give us a chance to be seen as individuals instead of twins. It’s intimidating and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but it has to happen sooner or later. No matter how many miles are between us, we’ll always be a part of each other.


Reflecting on the NEXT four years of your life THE FINAL OPINION OF



isclaimer to my dearest journalism pals and fellow writers of 2010 senior columns: I don’t intend to hurt any feelings, but I find it a bit redundant to reflect back upon the past four years of high school in writing my senior column. It has been done in some way, shape or form in every senior column in the history of high school journalism. From, “My class rank sucks; don’t make the same mistakes I did,” to “Avoiding voice cracks during choir solo tryouts,” and even “I still don’t understand why ordering milk at WPA dinner is socially unacceptable,” they have all been done before. In 2010, I aim to write something different. Instead of reminiscing on the past meaningfully, I will attempt to foretell the future meaninglessly. For example, I don’t have a wormhole that tells me the Royals bullpen will blow a 3 run lead in the 8th inning on July 9 against the White Sox (I don’t need one for that, anyway). But my mom has always told me that I have darn good foresight, like the 4th of July when I specifically told my cousin that scotch-taping two M80s and a 50-pack of Black Cats to a measly Moonbeam Missile wasn’t a good idea. For the record, it nearly veered into the bed of a neighbor’s Silverado. In the next couple paragraphs, that foresight will help unveil the next four years of life on Earth. Pay heed the following dates, because permission is granted to take any of this information to Vegas. July 11, 2010 – Zinedine Zidane makes a surprise return to the World Cup final, this time in the press box with legendary British commentators Martin Tyler and Andy Gray. After becoming upset with Gray’s usual negative demeanor, Zidane headbutts Gray, forever impairing Gray’s trademark Scottish brogue. Oct. 2, 2010 – Rock artists Nickelback release their newest album, “Reason for Taking the Dark Road.” Due to a lack of commercial success with the new record, Nickelback calls Radiohead’s “pay what you want” bet and ups the ante. The band decides to ask fans how much Nickelback

should pay them to download the album. In essence, “How much can we pay you to take this from us?” Nov. 14, 2011 – Apple releases their newest gadget, a mobile video gaming device dubbed the iPwn. The iPwn is Wi-Fi capable, fully holographic and 3D enabled, providing a visually nauseating experience. Apr. 22, 2012 – Apple releases an updated version of the iPwn, the iPwn 3G. At this point, you should know to never buy the original Apple gadget in a series, because six months later they release a smaller, faster and much better version of the product. Dec. 21, 2012 – The world ends. Short term solution – find your way onto a deep space probe. Long term solution – learn how to make Mars biologically habitable. Hint: the best bet is to inject greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to raise the planet’s average temperature up from the normal -81 degrees Fahrenheit. Good luck. Remember, the remaining events are theoretical, considering the world already ended. June 9, 2013 – The ultimate infomercial product, the “ShamOxiWeight,” hits cable programming. A seamless combination of the ShamWow!, OxiClean and Shake Weight, the ShamOxiWeight resembles a hand-operated convulsing dish towel soaked in Pine-Sol. It soon becomes a part of infomercial folklore for its renowned ability to remove stains, soak up residue and tone flabby forearms simultaneously. The tag line – “For just $19.95, it has never been so easy to eradicate grass stains from a pair of jeans and blast your triceps at the same time!” Dec. 6, 2013 – Avatar II is released. After some of the biggest days in box office history, the general population soon discovers that, like its predecessor, the plot has been stolen from a “Pocahontas” movie. In this case, the victim is “Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World.” May 10, 2014 – With his pitch count nearing 220 and his arm swollen to the size of a well-fed boa constrictor, Royals starting pitcher Zack Greinke is removed from his first-ever perfect game in the bottom of the 17th inning. Trying to avoid the still shaky bullpen, the Royals bring in their stalwart, Joakim Soria, despite the fact that he is on the DL with a torn right rotator cuff. Soria must pitch the ball lefty, which turns disastrous when the hitter hammers the ball out of the park. To gain insight from that series of unimportant events would take some real effort, which, I suppose, is exactly what I set out to do. At least I tried to do something different, something that Nickelback can’t say about themselves. On that note, seniors of 2010 and fellow senior columnists, see you in the future.

A mix of emotions during the final weeks of high school THE FINAL OPINION OF



ach time I sing the school song in Choraliers I feel more emotionally attached to it. I’m serious. Being a senior is one of the strangest experiences I have ever gone through. I have almost developed a bipolar personality. Cynical-me can’t pull into the parking lot without letting out a huge sigh, but Sentimentalme keeps on scrounging up the last of my school-spirited smiles. Each day drags on more quickly than the last, and when I step foot outside, I find myself feeling apprehensive. That step reminds me that graduation will become reality very soon. By that time Sentimental-me will be in tears singing, “May our spirits be increased.” And Cynical-me will say, “And God, watch over SM East… because I, for one, am getting the heck out of here.” Cynical-me may think that, being a senior, I have grown up, but Sentimental-me reminds, “That’s a joke.” I find it comical that my friendships are rather based off our taste in Vera Bradley patterns and our ability to

send a text, while still managing to use the word ‘like’ eight times. But that is only because I have to describe every detail about the time I fell up the center staircase during passing period. We know we are ridiculous, but that’s what friends are for. Sentimental-me has found that from time to time there is always a pleasant recollection of my past that pops into my head. I remember my “vast knowledge of geometry” and Ms. Bramley’s hot cocoa days. I won’t forget Mathsketball with Mr. Burrows or the unusually competitive fly-swatter game en français. And I will even miss “ruining Fridays” in Filbeck’s class and mindlessly counting out Harbingers to deliver to fellow Lancers. For me, now there is a meaning to the words, “But fond memories linger on.” I’d like to think that I’ve matured mentally through the years, but Cynical-me comes out every once in a while to act like the self-proclaimed East girl that I think I am. After everything I have learned about myself, Cynical-me can only say that Senior year has flooded me with emotions and memories, while providing a temporary ego-boost before becoming a clueless college freshman. With the days I have left, this school deserves to see a lot more of Sentimental-me. So next time Cynical-me struts through the hallways with my friends, rolling my eyes at squirrely freshmen, I should probably think twice. Sentimental-me can’t think of anything better to do than to enjoy the time I have left with my classmates, singing, “High school days too soon are gone.”


The day when I met high school THE FINAL OPINION OF



om bought my clothes just for that morning. Dark blue shirt. White cargos. New shoes. She walked me to the bus stop too, but she brought the dog along so it would look like that’s what she was doing if there was already anyone there waiting. I came to this school from a private middle school. Before that, three other private schools in three other states. I knew two people, and one of them hated me. I had no diaper-days friends that I remembered Belinder Days with. But before I go on with the disaster that was my first seven hours of Shawnee Mission Wonderful, I’d like to pause for a brief foreword since this is my senior column and I can. I’m a bitter, cynical excuse for a senior. I was the bassist for this year’s Bunch of Bands winner (search “Menlo” on iTunes) and I was the second-place winner of the national high school Journalist of the Year contest. I’d like to consider that as a some-what accomplished senior year, but there would have been a few things I would have liked to tell the school brushing me by when I was a freshman, and some things that still ring true to today. Lastly, the entire following story is true. At the bus stop, I waited patiently because I had gotten there nearly 20 minutes earlier than the posted schedule had recommended I be there. Just in case. Fifty yards ahead, I spotted a fellow bus-rider coming toward the stop, and I immediately brightened. My first friend. She walked down the hill, past me and stood approximately five feet behind me. I waited five minutes, then turned and waved hello. Hello! She didn’t say anything. She didn’t even look at me. I tried two more times over the next 10 minutes, but I was still reduced to cellophane to this chick. Thank goodness the bus came on time, I was losing faith in this day. At school, they had changed the homerooms without telling bumblers like me, so I was sent to the library where they corralled the kids who hadn’t paid their fees or couldn’t prove that they were students by showing their schedules. I was terrified. I eventually found my way to my first hour in John Stonner’s computer apps class. I picked a computer, sat down and typed out my brand-new SMSD account

password. I was so satisfied with myself that I didn’t notice the girl behind me. She had just come back from the bathroom, and I had made a password on her account. Stonner set me up at the proper computer, and I tried to log in. Three failures later and repeated “Uh…um…what you did…um…didn’t….work” conversation with Stonner, my account finally worked. Then the bell rang. I kid you not, I didn’t know what that bell meant, but when everyone started moving I jumped up and allowed myself to be lost in the herd. At lunch, the longest line of kids I’d ever seen – I’d graduated eighth grade with 25 other private schoolers – was spewing out the door. I instinctively followed the pack and jumped in line, even though I brought my own lunch and this line was going into the food court. Coach Brian Hansen, now an administrator at a corrective school, brassly told the mob to keep moving, and to “push if you have to.” Two girls took note and nearly pushed me over. I finally found an open chair at the future-IB table, and ate my lunch in silence. I didn’t want to seem overly-ambitious in friend-making, and the other end of the table wasn’t talking with me either. To wrap up the day, the giant, magnetic mob streamed into the gym. I went up high into the bleachers, found an easy-to-hidebehind thick group of kids and sat down. But when Pep Club yelled “Freshmen stand up and cheer,” the bleachers caddy-corner screamed. Sophomores yelled at their turn. I cracked my knuckles out of fear of the possibility that I was with the seniors. Fortunately, I stood up and cheered with the juniors around me. Caught at the back of the mob pushing through the crunchingly narrow doors after dismissal, I waited until I had a free moment. Then I power walked up to my locker. I grabbed the book that I wouldn’t need because I didn’t have homework but I thought I should grab just in case, and I ran to the bus stop. But who could remember where the bus stop was after a day like that? I didn’t even have a Link Leader to call. I ran to both ends of the third floor in desperation. Someone gave me directions, and I hauled ass. I stepped outside and was lucky enough to see that last bumper of the last bus pull away. But there was hope. A lady walked towards me from around the corner and said, “We’ve been looking all over for you.” She sounded excited, and I could hear a refrain of Allelujahs. I thanked her and asked for a ride home. But just as I was about to step forward and kiss my savior’s hand, a girl stepped forward from behind me and began signing to the paraprofessional. She was deaf, and the two rode away in the handicapped bus. To this day, I believe that if I’m ever within 20 feet of a bus stop, I instantly become invisible.

Finding niche in journalism program makes for an interesting high school experience THE FINAL OPINION OF

back in her head after she performed CPR on her. I’ve written about a high school couple whose relationship would be totally normal except for the fact that they’re both blind. I sat at their lunch table for a week while they whispered in each other’s ears and held hands under the table, oblivious to the rest of the lunchroom around them. My biggest story yet was the children’s book I wrote and illustrated about my grandmother’s life during the Holocaust, which was recently published. Journalism has given me the stories. Those to write about, and those to add to my own life experience. The trips to Dallas, Phoenix, Washington D.C.; the family of sharp, witty, ruthlessly critical “Harbies.” Journalism has given me something to work for, something I care about so much that I put in the seemingly endless hours and most of all, journalism has given me my identity. I came on staff an intimidated sophomore with a lot of opinions and no outlet for them, and a yearning to write stories that would change people. Now I’m just as much a part of the journalism room as the leftover food neglected behind a computer until months later when someone accidentally touches it or deadline night music: an eclectic mix of X-rated rap, Milkman mashups and Top-40 throwbacks from the early 2000s. As amazing as the stories I’ve been able to tell are, they’ve also taught me that a story doesn’t have to be tragic or horrible to be compelling. I’ve been in the pit at two Springsteen concerts. I’m a miserably loyal Royals fan and I drive by David DeJesus’s house almost every day hoping I will catch a glimpse of him taking out the trash. I have a million interests, but never enough time to pursue anything. And above all, I’ve written stories that have taken me to other worlds so foreign from my own. That’s my story. I’m almost a high school graduate, a Kansan, a friend, a fan. And above all, a storyteller.



y story is that I am a storyteller. I may not have suffered a tragic loss or overcome a major obstacle in my life so far, but I’m a listener, an observer, and above all, a writer. I used to think that I would never be a great writer because nothing ever happened to me. I was just a normal kid, with no broken home or dark childhood or internal twin growing inside me that I had swallowed in the womb. I idolized Harriet the Spy and Scout Finch, whose lives were full of adventure. My black-and-white composition notebooks were full of “spy notes;” my summers, sitting in the bushes in the front yard with my sister and our recorder we got from a box of Rice Krispies. A passerby not picking up after his dog here, our septuagenarian ex-Marine neighbor, Dolly, mowing her lawn in her tank top and bandana there. Or a special appearance by the Mission Hills Golf Ball Man, who rode his bike around and picked up stray golf balls from the country clubs that surround my neighborhood. Not exactly Angela’s Ashes. Then, sophomore year, I joined newspaper staff, worked my way up to co-editor-in-chief, and have since spent hours every month conducting interviews, painstakingly transcribing quotes, and crafting other people’s stories with my words. I’ve told the story of a girl who lost her mother to a freak heart attack, written about her watching her mother’s eyes roll

>>photos (left to right) by Andrea Zecy, Katie East, Lindsey Hartnett (3), Mackenzie Wylie, Katie East, Mackenzie Wylie, Katie East

issue 16 features page 13

n o i t a l s n lost intra la

ving from Venezue o m r e ft a st a E to s ore transition


>>Tom Lynch

When Sophomore Carlos Valasquez spotted the large yellow envelope, he had just gotten home from school. Not even his mother Velma, who had been waiting for this day since Carlos’ birth had any idea what the envelope contained. Velma took the package into another room. When Carlos entered his mother was crying. “Los papeles de América vino!” Velma said. The papers from America came. “It shocked me. It was something that I never expected to ever come,” Carlos said. What had come were not merely papers. The reason Velma was crying was not because of the papers. What had finally arrived was the same thing that Velma had found when she moved from Peru to Venezuela. What had come was opportunity. After one of Carlos’ aunts had moved to Kansas City to study engineering, the rest of Carlos’ mother’s side of the family had made the move along with her. Velma had been attempting to gain entry into the US for Carlos, her husband and her since Carlos was born. This wasn’t the first time that Carlos’ family had moved. Both of Carlos’ parents are originally from Peru. In Venuzuela they were able to find more prospects there. They hoped that the same would be true of the US. And after the years of waiting the papers had finally come in Oct. of 2006. Carlos and his family made it to the US on July 21, 2007. The journey took a month and two days. They rode a bus from Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela to Lima, Peru, where the Valasquezes spent a month with family. From Lima they took a plane to New York, then to Denver and finally to Kansas City. When he got off the plane at the Denver International Airport, Carlos was enveloped into a completely foreign surrounding. “It was like stepping into a completely different world,” Carlos said. “It just felt so strange.” Back home Carlos had just one English class a week every Tuesday. The learning was basic vocabulary with very little grammar. He found his meager collection of English words to be of little use in a foreign and intimidating new country. It would take around a year for Carlos to finally begin to understand a majority of the language he had been submerged in. Carlos was enrolled in the Shawnee Mission School District that summer. That fall he began his classes at Mission Valley Middle School in the English Language Learner Program.

>>photo illustration by Grant Kendall The classroom contained at any given time one other student and two teachers. In them Carlos learned the rudiments of the language through one-on-one instruction. But Carlos was intimidated by the daunting language. His frustration got the best of him. He ceased to put as much effort into his lessons, becoming lazy in his attempts to grasp English. One of Carlos’ ELL teachers finally got tough with him. She began to give Carlos poor grades for his ELL classes. “[When she did that], it compelled me to do better,” Carlos said. “I knew that the grades I was getting didn’t reflect my capabilities.” To learn English, Carlos turned to the Harry Potter book series. Back in Venezuela Carlos had always wanted to read the books. He begged his parents for them every time they saw them in a shop, but the Spanish version of the books were too expensive for Carlos’ family to afford. Carlos’ intrigue led him to the Johnson County Library where he found the American version of all the books. Originally Carlos just wanted to read the books, but he found that doing so helped him to learn English. At first, his comprehension wasn’t very high. He missed many of the important details, and had to watch the movies to fully understand the stories. But, as he progressed through the series his comprehension improved along with his English. By the end of the seventh book, Carlos felt confident in his English ability. He was able to leave the ELL program just before High School. Carlos’ will to persevere through difficult times is inspired by his grandfather Felix Gomez. Back in Peru, Gomez had had a top-level management position at the Peruvian branch of Volvo and later at a mining company. When Gomez’s sons and daughters began moving to the US, he left his large home with a guest house to live in the US, and work as a launderer at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. In eighth grade when Carlos’ only class outside of ELL was Humanities eighth hour, and he was still only beginning to grasp English, Carlos was like a mute. He never spoke, and making friends was near impossible. Carlos felt isolated. “I mostly was just quiet in [Humanities,]” Carlos said. “No one really knew me, and I didn’t know them.” But once Carlos got to high school it changed. He finally felt confident in his English skills. He answered more questions in class, and sought the help of classmates. Friends came automatically.

Nowadays as Carlos walks through the halls of Shawnee Mission East many students will call out his name as he walks by. This is partially due to the enjoyment they get from saying an exotic name, but more importantly it is due to their natural curiosity about his background. What Carlos appreciates most in the United States is how much everyone here has. Carlos is impressed by how many people have cars and live in large homes. Some might say that this represents the excess of United States. They would say that this represents how people in the US have more than they need. But for Carlos, it represents opportunity. “Back in Venezuela, you could never ask for more than you had,” Carlos said. “Here, you can work harder each day, and gain a little more each day.” Carlos’ work has payed off for him. Despite starting to learn English just three years ago, Carlos’ speech is eloquent. He still has a noticeable accent, but he doesn’t struggle with grammar. And, he has no trouble finding the right words to elaborate upon a picture he is trying to illustrate.

Carlos’ Favorite 4

Things about America 1 Literature

“I just love it, its my favorite thing about America. You see more literature in the US than you would ever see in Venezuela. Most of the literature there is expository and full of logic instead of entertainment.”

2 Freedom

“You have more freedom of speech here. You have the freedom of being able to do whatever you want. You can say more things here than you could have ever said in Venezuela.”

3 Opportunity

“In America you have the opportunity of being something that you never could have been in South America. I would have never have thought of having a house, a car or a TV before coming here.”

4 Education

“Education was required but to be honest the education was not good. You could not get the same knowledge as you could have here. The things I’m learning now, they would be learning in college.”

page 14 spread 05.10.10


It’s rare to not see Brazil on the contenders list. As five-time winners of the coveted Cup, the Samba Kings seem to have a pedigree of excellence born into their players, demonstrated by the likes of Pele, Rivaldo and Ronaldo. This year’s crop (featuring Kaka, Alexandre Pato and Maicon to name a few) is as deep and talented as ever.


As soccer’s birthplace, England would be expected to be perennial contenders for the sport’s greatest competition, right? Wrong. Traditionally, England has been an underperforming squad, save their 1966 World Cup triumph, which took place in England. Not qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament has thus far provided extra inspiration to new manager Fabio Capello and his squad.


The two-time world champions stuttered through qualifying and had to clinch their spot via a narrow playoff win over Costa Rica. Soccer legend Diego Maradona has struggled as manager, failing to get the best out of a highly talented team that includes star forward Lionel Messi. The pressure lies heavily on the South American giants, who will feel relieved to advance past group play.


Despite finishing fourth in the 2006 World Cup, Portugal’s place in this year’s tournament wasn’t confirmed until the last day of European qualifying. Brazil and Ivory Coast will test Portugal’s defense, which must cope with the absence of injured fullback Jose Bosingwa. Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo scored just once in the 10-game preliminary phase, and will have to do much more if his country is to survive the “Group of Death.”


Coming off a European title at UEFA Euro 2008, Spain will need to evade upstart squads like matadors eluding angry bulls. A big red target on their uniforms may not be enough to stop perhaps the most technically-skilled team in the entire tournament, however. With a midfield that has a tough time finding a place for Cesc Fabregas, arguably the best player in the English Premier League, Spain will be more than a tough out for hungry opposition.

SLEEPER Ivory Coast

Led by Chelsea duo Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba, the Elephants boast one of the world’s most impressive strike forces. Drogba was the Premier League’s top scorer this season and will receive support from brothers Yaya and Kolo Toure, who play for Barcelona and Manchester City respectively. An African team hasn’t reached the World Cup quarterfinals since 1990, but Ivory Coast’s home continent advantage gives them an ideal Cinderella opportunity.


If the English striker could just reproduce the goals he’s scored for Manchester United this season, the Three Lions may be looking at World Cup glory for the first time since 1966. Rooney bagged 34 goals this year at the club level, almost single-handedly keeping United in the Premier League race. His scoring appetite and belligerent demeanor make him one of the competition’s most enjoyable players to watch.

Lionel Messi

At the youthful age of 22, this guy’s already achieved legendary status around the world. Almost unanimously considered as the game’s best player, Messi has it all: dazzling foot skills, blistering pace, finishing ability and an impressive trophy cabinet, having won three domestic titles and two European Cups with Barcelona. Sure, he’s only 5-foot-7, but you wait and see him run rings around defenders this summer.

The Harbinger previews th South Africa, the biggest, m tournament in the world. T teams begin competition o catch soccer fever. >>Sam




Inter Milan’s tireless Brazilian is probably the world’s best fullback. Not only has his defensive presence been essential in the club’s run to the Champions League final, but he also has the attacking ability to make runs into the box or roam on right wing and cross the ball for attackers. Maicon’s 25-yard juggleand-volley last month was perhaps the goal of the year.

BEST GROUP MATCHES U.S. vs. England - June 12

Germany vs. Ghana - June 23

Any fan of being an American should cancel all plans on the 12th. In both teams’ first game of the tournament, the US has a chance to shock the world and stick it to the Brits, Revolutionary War style, while England has a chance to establish themselves. The game is also a rematch of what is considered to be the greatest upset in the history of soccer, when the US defeated England 1-0 in the 1950 World Cup. Bear enough significance for you to watch? We hope so.

History shows that fortune favors home teams in the World Cup. Although Ghana is thousands of miles away from South Africa, they can rely on the fact that the South Africans will be rooting for any other African nation. While no African team has ever made it to the final four of the World Cup, this would be the year due to their obvious advantages. Consistent Germany will be on red alert for this collision of new and old.

Brazil vs. Portugal - June 25 The classic matchup of the colonizer vs. the colonized. Brazil may have inherited their spoken language and Catholicism from formerly mercantilist Portugal, but the Brazilians may teach a lesson in soccer to the Portuguese on June 25. Should Portugal decide to deploy winger Cristiano Ronaldo on the left side, a masterful clash between Ronaldo and Brazilian right fullback Maicon will ensue.

Past World Cup Winners - URUGUAY 1930, ITALY 1934, ITALY 1938, URUGUAY 1950, WEST GERMANY 1954, BRAZIL 1958, BRAZIL 1962, ENGLAND 1966, BRAZIL 1970, WEST GERMANY 1974, ARGENTINA 1978, ITALY 1982, ARGENTINA 1986, WEST GERMANY 1990, BRAZIL 1994, FRANCE 1998, BRAZIL 2002, ITALY 2006, ??? 2010

issue 16 spread page 15



HOW TO WATCH 1 Follow a team

The massive amount of games can be daunting, but choosing a team can make it easy to hop right in. Brazil and England are good choices to watch awesome skill, but the U.S. will fight until the very end.

2 Watch the top plays

Have the attention span of a football fan? Check out SportsCenter or and just get the summary of each day; if you’ve never watched a game, it’s sometimes better to start off with the highlight reel. Trust us, you’ll be hooked in no time.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited for the World Cup are you and why? A: It’s cliche to say something above 10, but that’s where I fall. It brings the whole world together for an entire month and the importance of each game is unmatched by any other sporting event. Q: Predicted winner? A: If the likes of England perform to their potential and put aside the pressure we may see them lift the cup for the first time since ‘66.

Q: How often will you tune in for the World Cup this summer? A: I’ll probably watch all of every single game, other than when my daughter wants to go outside and play. Q: How do you think the U.S. will fair? A: England will be very tough, but we should beat [Algeria and Slovenia]. I honestly think we can reach the quarterfinals, and it’s anyone’s game from there.



>>lancervoice: world cup ‘10 SENIOR JEFF RUTHERFORD

mKovzan and MacTamblyn


Four months ago, the United States’ chances at the World Cup seemed to be dwindling with long term injuries to striker Charlie Davies, midfielder Clint Dempsey and defender Oguchi Onyewu. Now, after the three integral players have made quicker-than expected-returns, the U.S. looks poised to make a run past the group stage. A fairly favorable group draw (including world power England, decent Algeria and mediocre Slovenia) has excited US pundits. A prime combination of youth (Davies and striker Jozy Altidore) and experience (midfielder Landon Donovan and captain Carlos Bocanegra) give this team hope to advance to the knockout stages. Last summer’s Confederation’s Cup victory over then number one ranked Spain shows why the US is for real. Now, if they can only stay healthy.


he 2010 World Cup in most exciting soccer The 32 international on June 11, so prepare to

Q: Will South Africa be a good host nation? Why or why not? A: South Africa should be a ton of fun as a host. The stadiums are new and the weather should be nice for some good soccer. Q: Winner of the Golden Ball (tournament’s best player)? Why? A: Messi or Ronaldo, but I wish it could go to a defender like Puyol from Spain but that’s unlikely.

Q: How much time do you plan on spending watching the World Cup? A: 8 hours a day. I enjoy watching soccer and the World Cup is a great opportunity for that. Q: Who will be the winner of the Golden Boot (top scorer)? A: Messi. He’s quick and he’s got a beautiful shot.

Why Americans should care >> AndrewGoble

>>Alyssa Jolitz


To follow Andrew on his journey to the World Cup, check out smeharbinger. net for pictures and video updates.

Somewhere in the midst of the 2006 World Cup, as the U.S. soccer team desperately tried to make it into the knockout rounds like they did in 2002, I had the holy grail of 13-year-old ideas. While the United States was still crazy about soccer, I would, ever-so-sweetly, ask my mother if we could go to the World Cup in 2010. It was four whole years away; how could she say no? (Answer: A lot of ways) She said yes. I don’t know how, and I don’t care, but I was going to the World freaking Cup. And in the last four years, after sacrificing countless vacations and convincing my parents I wasn’t going to be murdered in South Africa and hearing my friends call me a “spoiled (b-word),” it has always been

in the back of my head. And here’s why: Besides being a showcase of the greatest soccer players in the world, the World Cup is one of the biggest cultural events ever. It is rare that people from every part of the world come together; think of it like a U.N. meeting, but with slightly more drunk hooligans. Forget nuclear discussions and political divisions--the only arguments here will be over whether to call it soccer or fútbol. Perhaps most importantly, American fans will be there to watch great soccer. In the 2002 World Cup, the U.S. made it to the “knockout rounds,” a huge stride for a blossoming program. 2006 proved a little more difficult. The U.S. tied the eventual champion Italy but didn’t make it out of the initial

group rounds. A move into the final sixteen or even the final eight might be the push the average East sports fan needs to become a soccer addict. Sure, a smattering of Manchester United and Arsenal fans litter the school, but it is nothing like football or baseball. Critics have always talked about this “tipping point,” and the year has come. Beat England in the first round, and the country becomes infatuated with diving headers and slick dribbling moves and glorious upper-90 “rips.” But if we lose? Another four years that the U.S. soccer fans have to continue being the lonely minority, and an even longer 17hour flight home for me.


page 16 features 05.10.10



>>photos courtesy of Susie McClannahan

Junior pursues love of Asian culture in a summer trip to South Korea

See It

It LiveVisit

the Plaza on June 12 to experience Chinese entertainment, childrens’ activities and cultural performances as part of the sixth annual Dragon Boat Festival.

The NelsonAtkins Museum of Art is host to one of the most important South and Southeast Asian collections in the country. Stop by and visit it, as well as their extensive Chinese and Japanese collections.



efore her freshman year, junior Susie McClannahan was content with the Western Hemisphere. But since her trip to China after freshman year with Honors World Geography teacher John Nickels, she has dreamed of returning to Asia. “I thought she liked China and was very interested,” Nickels said. “She soaked everything in and enjoyed it.” As a junior in her Chinese 1 class, Susie McClannahan listened to her teacher advocate a study abroad program to that is fully funded by the government. McClannahan took a pamphlet and read the different countries available through National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), a summer study abroad program. One of the countries in the pamphlet was South Korea, and McClannahan saw her chance to return to Asia. In order to get accepted into the program, McClannahan had to write a series of short essays about her interests and reasoning behind wanting to go to South Korea. The essay her host family will receive is an “About Me” letter from McClannahan. In the letter she listed off her AP classes and extra curriculars, and described her strongest personality traits, such as being outgoing. After writing her essays in December, she was accepted into the program in late April and will be going to South Korea in late June to early August for six and a half weeks. On her overseas stay, McClannahan will be staying with a host family in Seoul. NSLI-Y is government funded and the 15 to 18-year-olds that get accepted travel on U.S. State Department funding. There are seven languages a student can learn through the program: Mandarin, Turkish, Russian, Korean, Arabic, Hindi and Farsi. Chinese teacher Hau In Lau presented the NSLI-Y information to the class after she recieved several e-mails about it. “I thought it was a good idea, especially for my Chinese 1 students because they didn’t need to have any experience in the language,” Lau said. “Susie is a good candidate because she is so motivated to learn languages.” McClannahan’s weekday itinerary will start by waking up and going to a college in Seoul to study the Korean language and South Korean culture. In the afternoons, she will hang out and enjoy the city with

How to Find


Kansas City

an assigned South Korean college schoolmate. That way, she will be able to experience what life is like for Korean teenagers while learning about the traditional one that’s taught in text books. McClannahan will spend her weekends with her host family going shopping at local food markets, as well as taking planned cultural outings involving defending herself in Tae Kwon Do and learning South Korean dances. In order to prepare for being fully submerged in the culture, McClannahan has been introduced to a family from South Korea. So far, they have brought her to Kansas City’s Asian Culture Festival where she worked at the South Korean station and got a feel for the language. The family is also trying to teach her the basic grammar of the language, which McClannahan has also been working on herself. “I have been watching Korean movies and learning expressions that they repeat over and over again,” McClannahan said. “If you listen to them enough, phrases like ‘hello’ which is annyeonghaseyo and ‘I’m sorry’ will get stuck in your head.” Upon learning she was accepted into the program, McClannahan went to the bookstore searching for language learner books and came back with multiple volumes on etiquette. When she arrives in South Korea she plans on picking up the language by learning as she goes. “My goal is to get the pronunciation right from the get go,” McClannahan said. “When I go to a Spanish speaking country, I know that I have an American accent. I don’t want that to happen with Korean.” In order to work on memorizing simple sentences such as “I am a student,” She frequently pulls out her flash cards when there is a lull in class. At home she studies on Youtube by looking up posts from South Koreans and listening to their accents over and over again. While there, McClannahan’s goal is to pick up an authentic accent as well as learn more about the Asian culture. This will be preparation for her overall goal of going to college and majoring in Korean and Spanish in order to become a translator. “If you are an American you can’t properly describe our culture to someone who doesn’t live here, just like if someone is Korean they can’t explain it properly to me,” McClannahan said.

Taste It Discover the taste of traditional Korean food, such as grilled beef, pork and chicken, prepared right at your table at Chosun Korean Barbeque, located at 127th Street and Metcalf.

Read I t Cho Se-hui’s modern fiction “The Dwarf” reveals the dark side of South Korea’s economic growth in the 1970s via stories from different points of view.



he first day of beginning debate freshman Wil Kenney didn’t talk. His experience was limited to his knowledge of “Law & Order”, which is exactly how he pictured debate. He took the class “purely on a whim.” “My dad was a lawyer, and I needed another space to fill my schedule,” Wil said. “I mean, why not?” It was this same, spontaneous mentality that led Wil to participate in forensics, yearbook and the poetry slam. It transformed this taciturn freshman in the corner of the debate room into a kid with a knack for public speaking. He writes for the sport of it, but also out of a need to improve. Now a sophomore, Wil enjoys few things more than sharing stories he’s written with his classmates. “I always see him pull out a notebook and start writing during class,” said Andrew Beasely, one of Wil’s poetry slam teammates. Kevin Kenney, Wil’s father, says Wil has always been an avid reader. He recalls a time in fifth grade when Wil had four books going at once. It was around then that Wil first started writing creative stories. “I have on my office wall a short story and a cartoon drawing he did in grade school,” Wil’s father said. “Wil has had a love of language since he was a little kid.” This love was apparent when Wil spoke of one of his greatest accomplishments. For six months he worked on the same story: a 30-page, compressed version of every fantasy book he’d ever read. Wil referred to it as “that bad story with a stupid, boring plot,” and yet this didn’t stop him from being ecstatic when he finished. Wil spent those six months doing what he loved; the story’s turnout was hardly important. Still early freshman year, Wil’s first debate tournament neared. The last thing Wil expected to do was perform well. He didn’t yet have a debate partner, so he was paired with a stranger. They took first. The two were standing outside in the cold waiting to be picked up when a senior stopped by to tell them how well they’d done. “You should be debate partners,” he told the two freshmen. The duo looked at each other. “I shrugged and said, ‘Why not?’” Wil said. They became partners on a whim, by a suggestion from a senior; still, that whim turned out to mean continued first places in tournaments and a very successful debate year. Once again, Wil’s unique personality led him to “one of the best experiences of

a way with

issue 16 features page 17 Sophomore has his voice heard by participating in public speaking

[his] life.” Outside of debate, Wil continued his writing throughout freshman year. It was near the time debate started that he began writing more frequently and posting some of his works on Facebook. “One of my more political posts sparked a discussion, which was interesting because it got people talking about things they normally don’t,” Wil said. “If I can get people to think, I’ve accomplished my goal.” Wil also posted his stories out of a drive to improve. He stresses the importance of criticism, without which the story cannot truly improve. Facebook offered plenty of opportunities for the criticism Wil seeked. To Wil, being perfect simply means being unable to improve, which is not on his todo list. “Even if your story is a waste of paper, it’s selfish to hoard it,” Wil said. “I mean, why not have someone critique your work?” Even if that someone is yourself. Wil keeps a stack of his past stories in a drawer, some of them dating back to early grade school. He enjoys pulling stories out he wrote years before and editing them. It’s just another way he seeks to improve. As his high school career progressed, so did Wil’s writing. In addition to being an active member in forensics and later in yearbook, he was a finalist the last two years in the poetry slam. In addition, he and others continued on to the district poetry slam. “He wrote two poems this year, both with a lot of meaning,” Beasely said. “It showed that not only is he a great writer, but he can also present his works really well.” One of the poems was centered around reasons to smile. The list featured free burritos at Taco Bell, a full tank of gas on the first day of summer and Biggie and Tupac coming back to life to slap Miley Cyrus in the face. This poem was the essence of Wil’s witty, humorous style. Performances like these led Wil, Beasely, and others to place as finalists in the district poetry slam. To Wil’s father, this was just another example of Wil demonstrating his love for writing. “It makes sense that forensics, debate

and yearbook all spring from his love of words,” Wil’s father said. This wasn’t the first time Wil’s knack for public speaking was apparent. Wil sees debate as 5 percent notes and facts, which according to him are placed in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and 95 percent improvisation. As for a career, Wil’s father believes Wil needn’t look further than his passion. “No matter what he does, I think it’s going to have something to do with his writing,” Kevin said. Wil is less confident. He writes purely for the sport of it; consequently, he doesn’t see himself going into the writing field. However, Wil believes he doesn’t have to make a career out of writing to keep his passion alive. “I think it’d be cool to be a writer, but I haven’t given much thought to a career,” Wil said. “Maybe a professional wrestler.” Why not?


For a photo gallery filled with pictures from debate and forensics tournaments throuout the year, visit the Harbinger Online’s website at www.

>>Katie East

Want to Model?

Want to help those in need?

You can do both this summer at a charity fashion show!





East Athletics



Aguiar Ag. Group Denny Aguiar, President

issue 16 mixed page 19



a little of everything


seconds with freshman

So you fell while doing hurdles and broke both of your arms. What was the hardest thing to while your arms were in casts? Eat, definitely. I had to use these really big salad utensils to get food to my mouth. Do you think you’ll ever run hurdles again? Um, hopefully! I would like to, but my parents want me to do a more normal, less dangerous sport that doesn’t involve jumping. What is your biggest fear? Being buried alive.

Q a Q a Q a Q a Q a

>>all photos by Samantha Bartow

Sam Tulp

What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer? I love going to the pool. And the Nelson (Art Gallery). The Nelson is pretty awesome. What was your favorite movie as a kid? Ohh, “Lord of the Rings: The Twin Towers” for sure.

To >> How Make Your Own Shorts You’ll need: Jeans Pencil Ruler

Scissors Bleach Sandpaper Driveway

1. Find a pair of jeans that you’re willing to cut into shorts. 2. You can either put the jeans on and then make a mark with a pencil as to where you want the shorts to end, or you can base the length off of a pair of shorts you already own. 3. Lay the jeans flat on the floor. Use a ruler to draw a line straight across one of the legs. Cut along the line with a pair of scissors. 5. When you finish cutting one leg, fold the pants in half so that the cut leg is on top of the un-cut leg. Then cut along the other leg using the cut one as a guide. 6.If you want to lighten the shorts, throw them in a bathtub filled with enough water to submerge the shorts and 1-2 cups of bleach and let soak as desired. Then rinse. 7. To fray the edges, run a steak knife over them. Or to make holes, you can put the shorts on something hard (like a cement block or driveway) and use sandpaper.

> > How To Make the Harbie’s Favorite Snack

You’ll need: 1 48-oz. jar of pretzels 1 bottle Orville Redenbacher popcorn oil 2 T. lemon pepper 1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix

1. Put pretzels in a large roasting pan 2. Combine oil and seasonings in a small bowl. 3. Pour over pretzels, stirring with a large wooden spoon. 4. Let sit for four hours, stirring occasionally.

What: Royals “High School and College Day.” Bring your student ID and get tickets for $7 each Where: Kauffman Stadium When: June 3, June 17, June 30, July 21, Aug 12 Why it’s cheap: The tickets are cheaper than most movies, and you get an entire evening of entertainment. Eat at Sonic or Winstead’s to forgo the $4.50 hot dogs. Why you should go: It’s the quintessential summer pastime. You can take your significant other on a date or go with a group of buddies, paint your chests and get on the Jumbo-Tron.

What: Oceans of Fun “Twilight” Nights Where: Oceans of Fun When: Anytime after 3 pm or 4 pm Why it’s cheap: Instead of a near-$30 price tag, you get a ticket for $18 online for three or four hours of fun in the water. Why you should go: Oceans of Fun is more exciting than sitting in an inner tube at the pool all day, plus it’s most crowded around noon, so you won’t have to wait out long lines.

What: Movies watched from your car, outside Where: Boulevard Drive-In or I-70 Four Screen When: Anytime, check movie times online Why it’s cheap: It’s around $10 a ticket, and you can bring in as much food as you want instead of paying for a $5 popcorn the size of your forearm. Why you should go: Drive-ins are always a classic way to watch a movie, relax and enjoy the weather. If you want, your car can provide more privacy than seats in a theater and you can bring in dinner like Okie Joe’s or just copious amounts of candy and popcorn.

page 20 a&e 05.10.10


1 1 E N U J M A E T THE A

Harbinger film aficionado Alex Lamb shows you his top five must-see flicks of the summer season

-the-top esomely over aw of ts lo to ing AlexLamb to clear their names—lead success, g n ga s. n e io th ula to achieve d explos oducing tr rm an in fo es d is tl an at th b d ow se on sh ady u enterbut done bighit 80s televisi e Losers” alre similarly be following it, looking more h ly “T pon is ” Updating the y m will A-Tea e hilarious ra ur arm he A-Team” eration, “The g to this is th consists of fo “T n n d ti ge on am u ti an te ib ew e ac tr n g Th on a n . C om ti to ra y fr oser ter. Sharlto Cople and the exhila release gets cl adder and bet dley Cooper, this ger, b h each other taining as its ra it a ton of fun. B w as d , e n n an so av so h se ee ck r n N u Ja te m fo in e’ ia e e, ag (L th p at s t or or do am p elab -packed comman d Quinton ‘R which all look e this full-throttle, action pe from prison s, ca ce es o en h w qu “District 9” an se T) se version’s Mr. framed, and esn’t want to after being Whoever do . t h ol fo fig e th en th I pity adventure—


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spite receiv ing a luxuri ous new life place is wit , they realiz h him, so th e their only ey set out o with Andy. n an adventu re to reunite Even though we’re no lon age to captu ger kids, all re our heart Pixar films st s with a chil ill manAnd since d-like sense “Toy Story ” of wonder. is the studio franchise, y ’s most bel ou can bet th oved is animated sation will sensoar to infin ity and beyond .

d ns”) has faile h Sense,” “Sig xt Si ye an Th ” (“ g, in or pen t direct res (“ The Hap The once grea last two pictu tar: first piece of is va h is “A h h it g ow w n sh w ki e ro ar im a m an in es e al id ic in es tw e orig der,” b e producer ever a fan of th en blockbust uly large- scal e L ast Airben iv tr h as dr w st “T I sfir ). y ct e? is sa fe h t on ef n’ l es I ca chance to denot specia epic. tantly, his last der,” but this material, also mmer action or d en p su te b a im ir ap t A of t ad os d as m in L tal The e’s officially ie and whirlw whose elemen a flop, then h magnificent st action mov oy s e b fir it’ , g on If n on . e u ti lik on yo ti a s ta e h look ade his trium not th do wit d repu he’s finally m something to world, but it’s his career an e en as ve h th th y sa ve ds or sa ee st n e n cc ai Th m at ca the latter. lent, but if it su g this for two e only thing th d lost his ta , and I’m putting money on . I’ll be seein m fin powers are th fil to is d th an in e on acti return rests m ling fantasy e a phant plot that inte intense, dazz can still mak e an th al s: m on ya as Sh t re ovie. out if M. Nigh worthwhile m


“Inception” alread y holds the title of this summer’s important movie (in my eyes at lea most in a future st), all because of where advanced te words: “from Chris eight little tion chnology allows fo topher Nolan, dire of a dream world r the construcctor of ‘The Dark Nolan unquestiona for an individual. Knight.” single bly stands as one In th is id en ea vironment, a of ca th n is generation’s mos ented filmmakers, be the most powe t tal- one man from “Memento” rful weapon on th aims to steal it. Bo to “The Prestige” e planet - so superhero movie to the best Leon asting an exceptio yet, and the fact th nal cast including ardo DiCaprio, Jo at he decided to m film before Batman seph Gordon-Lev ake this sci-fi th 3 means it’s obviou itt and Ellen Page rill ride promises sly something spec , this As of now, little is a fascinating, min ia l. known about the en on d-bending phenom th at’ ll be talked about story, but it takes for years to come. place


has Will Ferrell McKay and rs am ea d y A t n r to ce s in re ship of direc otable movie Ferrell’s best u q st The partner o m , st ie f l of the funn with some o p led to severa ers”), along th erg teams u ro lb B p ah te W “S k ,” ar an M , rm n as o o h ti that (“Anch collabora tion-comedy eir newest uddy cop ac b . Ferrell a re work. In th in tu n en ve m mical ad er funny co ev it cl to h e s th r’ h ea it y w is ke a chance to become th tives who ta ec ot et n d g gh in u o rk the potential desk-wo cops, alth y o la p er g -h er n o lb ti ly, and Wah turn into ac s u rp ri s in g

will be as planned. on’t quite go Other Guys” d e h es “T ad p at ca th s outraclear their es and Ferrell’ ler alone it’s e ai gu tr e lo ia th d m Fro orks quite re witty e actually w ay’s signatu h , cK g M er h lb it w ah rife st earn the for W ic style. As errell may ju F ed d m n an co e s h u o ge rell and Joh ing , so ce, well, Fer morous sett n u si h h o a it u w d in t l g u n el o w usi gs f the most am rothers.” Rounding thin to u q s, es B distinction o p ge succ McKay’s “Ste is to be a hu th t ec p C. Reilly in ex n tion, you ca s around. some solid ac e school roll m ti e th y b y ed constantl

>>all photos from

issue 16 a&e page 21

Costly Cafe >>AnneWillman

To sum up Café Roux in one word: new. The cajun restaurant, located in Park Place just seconds from Town Center, may eventually be the new hot spot for all age groups to socialize. As I entered with two of my friends, I was greeted by a quiet atmosphere. At 5:30 p.m., it was not a surprise that the only background noise was the soft rock music coming from the speakers. As my dinner continued, the age group of people eating shifted from old to young. The interior itself was fresh and warm, with walls painted a rich red color and dark wood stain booths. After being greeted by our server, we were given complementary bread that was long and lightly baked. I was forced to hold each piece in two hands, with a tight grip to allow me to sink my teeth into the bread. Once I finally had the bread torn, it was quite flavorful. I enjoy my bread fresh from the oven but this bread was granite on the outside. I have previously enjoyed hard rolls, but risking a broken tooth before being served the main dish seemed a little much. After the “Battle of the Bread” was over, we were eager to order. Given that the restaurant was Cajun, I knew that anything I ordered would be something I had never experienced. When my friend ordered red bean soup, she was told, “Let me check with the chef to see if we have that.” When the server returned, we were told that the chef did not make that particular soup. I was somewhat shocked. A new restaurant should not offer four soups on the menu and have only a single offering (shrimp and lobster bisque) available. It was apparent that Roux was not ready for prime time, or at least discerning customers. I ordered the Creole pasta, which was one of the server’s recommendations. I was pleased with the dish and I felt that

>> All photos by Dan Stewart

Cajun Invasion

the dish possessed a special ‘pow’ while also having a spicy flavor. I am not a person who absolutely loves spicy foods, but with this dish, the flavor balanced well with spiciness and richness. The pasta was covered in a red sauce with shrimp sprinkled throughout. The downer was that the dish was $17. The entrée was good, but was it $17 good? I think not. The spinach salad was served in a beautiful presentation, sprinkled in a bacon-flavored dressing. When the crawfish pie was delivered to the table, we all commented, “I hope this tastes better than it looks.” Giving it a taste test, it did. The entrée was covered in a light, hard crust that looked stale. I questioned myself when the dish was delivered to my table, but I was ultimately proved wrong. After eating our main dishes, we decided to order desert. We had the caramel apple ginger crisp and the white chocolate and key lime cheesecake. The ginger crisp was delectable and the ice cream served with it was soft and melted in the mouth. I savored every bite that I took from the the white chocolate and key lime cheesecake. I would certainly order either of these deserts again. The service at the restaurant was mediocre at best. The food, building and service gave the restaurant the vibe of being newly opened. Our waitress was pleasant and tried her best to meet our requests but was clearly a rookie. Although she was accommodating, she lacked knowledge of the entire menu and did not appear to have been fully trained. I hope that over time, the service will improve as the staff gains experience. We hope that the same can be said for the chef, who presumably will learn to provide guests a full complement of items listed on the menu.



a look at the unique dishes offered at Cafe Roux

Sweet Potato Fries The fries were packaged well and made for an appealing presentation. On top of that, the taste was unique but excellent. They came with an unconventional honey mustard sauce that made eating them a pleasant experience.

Check please |

Café Roux brings a pricey Cajun flavor to Leawood

Andoule Hash

This dish came out looking like vomit in a serving dish and didn’t taste much better. In the bowl came chopped chicken and potatoes, topped off with a fried egg. Not only was the consistency mushy but the spices mixed together to make a terrible taste.

| Lukewarm |

| Dietary Delight |

Fried Pickles

The Eight thin cut pickle strips came encassed in a thick fried batter were served with a buttermilk ranch dressing. This appetizer is one of the only things worth ordering on the menu. The fried pickles were surprisingly delicious

| Delectable |


issue 16 online page 23

Stay Connected The Harbinger Online has everything a Lancer needs to keep themselves informed


This year the Harbinger Online began experimenting with live broadcasting technology. We took you to Emporia to watch the Lady Lancer basketball team take on Dodge City in the state tournament and now we’re going to take you to East’s backyard for the boys’ state tennis tournament. You ask and shall receive! You voted for the girls’ softball team on a Harbinger Online poll and today we bring you the first ever live broadcast of an East softball game. Seniors, be sure to let all of your out-of-town relatives know they can watch you graduate live at

>>Grant Heinlein


live at

Upcoming Events

Live Broadcasts

May 10, Girls’ Softball vs. SM West, 4:05 p.m. May 10, Girls’ Soccer vs. Olathe East, 5:50 p.m. May 13, Girls’ Soccer vs. Free State, 6:50 p.m. May 14, Boys’ Tennis at State Tournament, 11 a.m. May 15, Boys’ Tennis at State Tournament, 9 a.m. May 17, East’s Graduation Ceremony, 6:30 p.m.

Featured Videos Marla Lindsay’s half-court shot from the ’93 season Emma Marston, Actress Joe Newman, Guitarist CC Creidenberg, Athlete Nick Wassmer, Mountain Biker Performances from the “Bunch of Bands” concert

Final Say

Friday is the last day for seniors, but they’ve already begun thinking about being done with high school. Our “Final Say” video series gives seniors a chance to say their last words before leaving East. The series also features teachers that are resigning or retiring. Find out what they have to say in their final days at East by watching a “Final Say” or two. The Harbinger Online also features many other videos

for your viewing pleasure including our “Highlight” series where we interview students on a hobby of theirs. You will also find footage of concerts, Frequent Fridays and even Officer Pacheco rapping. One of the most on-demand videos currently on the Harbinger Online is English teacher Marla Lindsay’s half-court shot. She took the shot during a varsity game against SM South when she was a student at East in the ‘92-’93 school year and basketball season.

Top Galleries


Boys’ Tennis by Sammi Kelly Cross Country by Dan Stewart Rugby by Claire Wahrer Track and Field by Grant Heinlein Lacrosse by Katie East

For all the news, pictures, videos and podcasts a Lancer student or parent needs visit Your number one source for everything East!

Did your summer trip get cancelled? Are you bored at work? Check out every day of the summer for a new photo gallery of pictures taken by Harbinger and Hauberk photographers. Don’t be surprised if you see yourself one day! If your summer trip doesn’t get cancelled, take a camera with you and send some pictures to and you could find them published on the site! No matter what you do or where you go this summer, the Harbinger Online should be your first stop for all things East!

Ceremony Highlights

>>Conor Twibell

An Internet connection is all you need to watch the ceremony live at with a pre-show beginning at 6:30 p.m. on May 17. The Star Spangled Banner will be performed by senior choir members. The Choraliers recently received a top award at the KMEA state competition. Senior class president David Beeder will give the Student Oration. Anne Peterson Barrow and Bruce Barrow will present the Bryan Barrow Award in honor of their late son. Faculty members Cole Ogdon, Lili Englebrick, Nick Paris, Jeannette Bonjour and Karen Pearson will read the roll.

Summer of Photos

>>Grant Heinlein

page 24 photo essay 05.10.10

Ranked in the ESPN top 50, the girls’ soccer team is



FAR ABOVE: Sophomore Katie Crawford attempts to maneuver around a defender. “We played hard and possessed the ball most of the time,” Crawford said. “We had a lot of people injured, so the younger players had to step it up and play as a team.”

>>Dan Stewart

ABOVE: Sophomore Amanda Chao races toward the ball in an attempt to get to it before a defender. This is Chao’s first year on the varsity team. >>Grant Heinlein RIGHT: In the 2-0 victory against Lawrence, sophomore Caroline Dodd anticipates a header. With this victory the Lancers move to 10-1-1. >>Grant Heinlein

ABOVE: Junior Betsy Dee steals the ball from a Lawrence High School defender. “It is my first year on varsity, and our team has really come together,” Dee said. “It’s fun to see the younger strong players.”

>>Dan Stewart

thecycle of the

issue 16 sports page 25


After every season, coaches say goodbye to a crop of seniors, opening the door for new leaders


Looking around at tryouts last fall, head boys’ soccer coach Jamie Kelly realized how different the makeup of his team would be. Gone was his two-year starter at goalie, Matt Moedritzer. Gone was his leading scorer from the past season, first-team all-Sunflower League forward Michael Cray. In fact, gone were 15 totals seniors, many of which played instrumental roles in the Lancers’ regional championship in 2007. As Kelly surveyed the field, he saw just three returning players—junior Zach Colby and seniors Joe Craig and Gordon Green. The rest of his squad was wide open. “Tryouts were a battle,” Kelly said. “Everybody knew that there were so many spots available, and they wanted them, which is great.” However, Kelly’s squad suffered its only losing record in his three seasons as head coach as they struggled to put the ball in the net against the majority of its Sunflower League foes. This cycle has become commonplace for a vast majority of East athletic programs. One season, the roster is loaded with veteran seniors ready to shoulder the burden of heightened expectations. The next, a new crop of fresh and young faces enters with limited varsity experience and an initial period of transition to become accustomed to the quicker pace. This trend can be seen all over the athletic department. The boys’ basketball team was led to a third place finish at state by a group of seven experienced, savvy seniors in 2009. The next season, head coach Shawn Hair was left with just two players with significant varsity experience, and he added two freshmen to the roster for the time since J.D. Christie started in his first year at East in 2003. The squad did not make it back to Emporia,enced its first losing season since the 2001-02 season. One East coach has been able to find ways to succeed through the challenges provided by graduating classes in his illustrious coaching career. Head football coach Chip Sherman won three straight Missouri state championships from 2000-02 while coaching the Platte County Pirates. His 2000 squad had 21 seniors in its 22-man starting lineup. The next season, the Pirates reloaded and won another title. Despite the fact that Sherman has proven he can win in nearly any situation, he prefers to have the steady leadership that commonly comes from a veteran squad. “They’re your better teams,” Sherman said. “ They know your system, they know what you’re trying to do, they know what the goal is, and they’ve been

>>All photos by MackenzieWylie there.” Sherman ensured that his younger players would be ready to step into their leadership roles in 2001 by getting them as much live game experience as he possibly could. Each player that suited up for the varsity Platte County squad in 2000 played snaps in every game, including all of the state tournament games. Sherman was able to play so many players due to the high point difference on the scoreboard. The in-game reps might have come at a time when the outcome had already been decided, but Sherman saw value in the experience that his younger players picked up. “Even though all those other seniors were gone, their footwork was there, their groundwork was there, their base was there. those guys took their place at the table, and off they went,” Sherman said. Whether the in-game experience comes at the end of blowouts or in the heat of the moment, both Kelly and Sherman see the value of having an experienced team. Kelly thinks that the reason his 2007 team was able to capture the regional title is because of the composure they displayed when things didn’t go their way in the final against Olathe East. Senior Joe Craig, a three-year varsity soccer player, was on that squad. “[The seniors] were out there fighting,” Craig said. “With the conditioning and running that we had done all year, it was all the seniors that were able to score all the goals and make all the big plays.” Kelly cites the steady leadership of defenders from that team, such as Will Tschudy, Zach Barnhill and Owen

Craig, all class of 2008, and Stuart Jones, class of 2009, as one of the primary reasons they captured the victory in the four-overtime thriller. This success in the past with a more experienced team has Kelly excited for the future. Just six players from this year’s team are lost to graduation, and nine starters return to a team that hopes to compete for the Sunflower League title. “[The team] is definitely more confident,” Kelly said. “They have a little more swagger to them, because they know what to expect, they know who’s tough. They don’t like losing, so they’ll have that fire and desire to win every single game, instead of just going through the motions.” This fire and desire will be most apparent in the playoffs, and the team has already experienced the harsh reality of the postseason. Last season ended with a 4-3 loss to Blue Valley West on a breakaway goal scored in the final moments. Though Craig won’t be around this season, he understands the advantage next year’s seniors will have in the postseason. “Knowing you’ve been there before and that losing isn’t the end of the world, it makes you not as afraid to make those risky plays that you know you’re capable of,” Craig said. With leadership and talent returning for several teams next season, coaches like Kelly and Sherman hope that the veterans will be able to put that steady confidence to use when it matters most.


Whenever you lose a lot of seniors, you lose some of their leadership. And what you hope happens and what you talk to your team about happening, is that the leadership gets transferred down to the next group of seniors. You hope they take pride in sitting at the head of the table and taking a leadership role and leading the team. >>Coach Chip Sherman


The boys program lost six seniors and Losing a core group of seniors, these coaches it will be hard to replace the leadership have to find a way to fill and skills they brought to the team. But with returning so many juniors who played the void

this year, I feel we will be able fill the leadership role and hopefully the juniors can also fill the skills and hard work role the seniors had. >>Coach Jamie Kelly

>>Anna Petrow

page 26 sports 05.10.10

Spotlight on Softballers

Haley Fosnough-Biersmith Junior Position: First Base Number: 6 Favorite team bonding memory: The team went to Cinzetti’s for dinner then slept over at Andrea’s. “We TP’d and went to Quicktrip and we were doing Chinese fire drills at every stoplight and getting out to dance in the street.”

East softball team composed of all freshman, sophomores and juniots scrimages during practice. All photos byEden Schoofs



East’s young softball team improves due to hardwork and passion >>LillyMyers

A group of 15 high school girls sit around a table at closer as a team, more focused on winning, and had high Winstead’s on a Wednesday night, clad in black practice expectations for themselves. Sophomore Shannon McGinuniforms for softball. French fry crumbs and the remains ley joined as a pitcher last year, when they were still timid of milkshakes litter the table, as well as a barely-touched and unsure of what they could achieve. Now, the girls see pineapple ice cream soda. themselves as a serious competitor for other schools. The girls’ laughter fills the near-empty restaurant as “We know that we can win this year and we know that they playfully question their young waiter. Softball is far we can compete with the best,” McGinley said. “We have a from their minds. Though tomorrow night they’ll suit up in lot higher expectations for ourselves. their real uniforms to take on the returning softball chamUnlike other schools, they’re competing composed as a pions, Olathe Northwest, tonight is team bonding. team solely of freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Junior Two years ago the Lady Lancer softball team ended the Haley Fosnough-Biersmith sees this as good advantage. season with zero wins. Last year, six wins. This year, with In the future, they won’t have to deal with the loss of any a young but close team, the girls have a current record of seniors. 8-5, the best they’ve had in over 20 “We’re all really familiar with each years. other,” Fosnough-Biersmith said. “And We know that we can we’re all coming back next year so The growing success of the softball win this year and we know we’ll have an even stronger team.” team happened simultaneously with head coach Deon Slemp, who was The absence of seniors has also that we can compete with promoted last year to the position afgone hand in hand with the absence the best. We have a lot ter being an assistant coach. Slemp’s of any separation. Slemp can see higher expectations for a stronger sense of camaraderie in main goal was to change the attitude ourselves. of the program. He wanted to give the the team this year, and players like girls the confidence they were missing >>Sophomore Shannon McGinley McGinley and Fosnough-Biersmith after 2008’s 0-20 season. can feel it. Words of encouragement are “The biggest thing is to instill in their own mind that heard from teammates in the dugout during a game. Team they’re capable of going out and playing a game at a high dinners every Wednesday night give them a chance to joke level,” Slemp said. “Capable of going out and winning.” around off of the softball diamond. Occasionally, after a Starting last year the practices became more regiment- bus ride back to the East parking lot, the girls take part in a ed. Some days are offensive days, others are for practic- post-game dance party around their cars. ing defense. Slemp provides the girls with different drills With a positive and skilled team, Slemp hopes to finish and exercises for whatever they’re having problems with. the year at 13-7, making it through at least the first round in During a game against Shawnee Mission North, the team regionals. McGinley and other teammates hope to go even was having trouble hitting the outside pitch. The next day farther. at practice, Slemp set up the pitching machine so that the “I think that we’re good enough to make it to state,” ball would go over the outer corner of the plate. McGinley said. “Our talent is there, it’s just about playing as With the different approach, the returning softball play- a team and all having the goal to get to state in our minds.” ers came into this year with a new optimism. They felt

Kyra Slemp Sophomore Position: Short Stop Number: 00 Biggest accomplishment as a player: Kyra made the fourth best defensive play out of all the high schools in KS. “We had a play for a slapper (someone that runs and hits at the same time). I came up from short stop to play next to the pitcher. I got a line drive shot that I caught, and I turned a double play.”

Kassey Hughes Freshman Position: Third Base Number: 12 Best East game: This year the softball team’s second game was against Freestate. It was the first game they won this year. The scores were 6-2 and 3-0.






issue 16 sports page 27 GIRLS’ BASKETBALL WINS

Having failed to win the state championship in 2009 after SUB-STATE... AGAIN Arguably one of the least successful teams at East prior to a four-year streak, the boys’ swim team was determined to The girls’ basketball team has never won a state champihead coach Deon Slemp’s arrival last season, the softtake it back in what was head coach Wiley Wright’s 25th onship, but at the start of this season it looked like this ball team was victorious in just one game through season. The team started the year strong and went uncould be the year. Led by Sunflower League Player of two years. Slemp took over and the team started defeated in all of their regular season meets, includthe year Janna Graf, the team split the league title turning around, going 6-15 last year. So far this ing ones against top rivals Olathe East and Blue with eventual state champs Olathe South despite season the team has swept three doubleValley North. The team went on to win their losing to them head-to-head. The girls were headers, scored 89 runs compared to seventh straight Sunflower League title in surprised midway through the season when last year’s 44, and most importantly lieu of topping BV North in a comeback head coach Rick Rhoades announced he boasted a winning record of 12-6. victory for the state would be leaving at the end of the For a team that loses no seniors, FOOTBALL MAKES title in Topeka. year for the new Blue Valley Southit is a welcome sign for a bright GIRLS’ SOCCER MAKES POSTSEASON PLAY west, but instead rallied around future if the Lancers can NATIONAL TOP 50 Despite starting the season with an him and put together a run keep up the strong play. 0-3 record, the football team bounced that threw them into the In head coach Jamie Kelly’s second back to end the regular season at a formistate tournament once season with the girls’ team, he took them dable 4-5 standing. That, along with a renewed again. to a 9-0-1 record to start the season before losing excitement for the team led by first-year head coach to cross-town opponents Notre Dame de Sion. The hot Chip Sherman, threw the Lancers into the start, though, landed the Lady Lancers in the ESPN Rise Fab Kansas Playoffs for the first time in three 50, the highest that one of Kelly’s teams have ever been. years. The team lost in the first round to Despite seeing season-ending injuries come to two eventual champ Olathe North, but the appearance in the postseason set the stage for a seniors at the start of the year, the team has rallied bright future under Sherman. despite losing the top 50 rank after the Sion loss.






‘10 FOR



To cap off a season that was her first against high school comA meet that the girls’ track team traditionally does well at petition, freshman Anne Willman set the stage for a career with against some of the best regional squads, they continued great potential. The Sunflower League was arguably the toughT h e that trend this season by winning the overall 4x400 relay est conference in the state for girls’ golf, but Willman took boys’ and finishing fifth in the 4x800. Last year the team the league title in early October. She edged out fellow soccer team celwon the Kansas Cup, awarded to the strongest freshman Jordan Chael from Olathe East and twoebrated its Senior high school team for each gender, and detime defending Sunflower League champ, Night against Lawrence spite not getting the honor once again, Although Olathe East senior Allison Forristal. The For the second year in a row, this fall by honoring forthe girls still managed to break the the boys’ basketfreshman didn’t place as high at senior Nikki Reber has found mer teammate Bryan Barrow. school record in their 4x400 ball season didn’t meet the state meet but her team as herself on the victorious side The Lancers dedicated the game victory and setting thema whole finished tied for of the Kansas girls’ tennis doubles expectations after last years’ third place to the midfielder who passed away selves up for another finish at state, they started off the year’s fourth, a worthy start to championship. This year she was last March in a car accident. In rememstrong showing away games with a bang. In a bout with Shawa surely successful paired with sophomore Mollie Cooper brance of him, coach Jaimie Kelly fielded at the state nee Mission West, the Lancers went back and forth career. after her former co-champion graduated. only 10 players at the start of the game - one meet. with the Vikings. Both student sections showed a Reber and Cooper overcame a strong Blue short of what’s required. Before the kickoff, strong enthusiasm even as the game wore on... Valley North pairing in three sets despite the Bryan’s parents were invited onto the field for four long overtimes. Coach Hair and his boys Mustangs having the state singles champion in with the other senior families and were ended up losing to the homecourt West team, their duo. Though Reber and Cooper finished high, greeted by coach Kelly and the varsity but the game itself was one that will forever the team as a whole ended the weekend as runners-up squad. A touching moment and classy be hard to forget despite how the rest of the to BV North. acknowledgement, it had the power season turned out. to overshadow the final score. nly 10



the 2010-2011





the harbies



female athlete of the year


HUNTER STEVENSON male athlete of the year


WILEY WRIGHT coach of the year


ANNE WILLMAN female freshman of the year


VANCE WENTZ male freshman of the year


JAKE FLEMING fan of the year



most improved team

12-6 Record

BOYS’ SWIM team of the year


JERSEY SHORE theme of the year


EAST vs. WEST game of the year



Football: Winning Record?

Team most likely to shock people:

Boys’ Swimming: Back toback title?

2010 FIFA World Cup Winner?

2010-2011 Sports Stud

Assistant Editor






Copy Editor
















Sports Panel SAM LOGAN

SAM KOVZAN Sports Page Editor

CORBIN BARNDS Sports Page Editor


page 28 photo essay 5.10.10

batting blind

Spanish classes celebrate Cinco ~ de Mayo with food and pinatas

ABOVE: Seniors Emma Fritts, Kiley Lawrence and Grace Gillespe laugh as their fellow classmate ~ and misses swings at the pinata several times.

>>Mackenzie Wylie

RIGHT: Freshman Chloe Vellum~ wilder holds Senora Detrixhe’s hand as she is blindfolded during her sixth hour Spanish class. The celebration was on Monday, May 3 in order to have all of the parties on one day.

>>Sammi Kelly

~ during his first hour Spanish class. His classmates watch with anticiFAR ABOVE: Junior Andrew Watkins takes a swing at the pinata pation for it to break. “I thought that the Cinco de Mayo party was a good break from a normal class,” Watkins said. >> Mackenzie Wylie ~ after it falls to the ground, failing to break. The Cinco de Mayo celebrations ABOVE: Sophomore Brandon Davis tears open the pinata were held at Harmon Park in the pavilions and all of the Spanish classes celebrated by bringing various kinds of food. >> Mackenzie Wylie

Issue 16  

ISSUE 16 SHAWNEE MISSION EAST PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS MAY 10, 2010 NEWS: Teacher Cuts and RIF issues (pg. 4) SPREAD: World Cup Extravaganza (pgs...