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the harbinger. S H AW N E E M I S S I O N E A S T 7500 MISSION ROAD PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS 66208 OCT. 28, 2019 VOLUME LXII ISSUE 5

SALARY

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S TA L E M AT E A F T E R F I V E U N S U CC E S S F U L contract negotiations this summer and two mediations in impasse — a stalemate in which teachers are without a contract — the Shawnee Mission School District and the National Education Association - Shawnee Mission (NEA-SM) are seeking outside assistance to resolve the issue.

READ MORE | 16-17


02 | INSIDE COVER

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CARTOON | RIVER HENNICK

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PREVIEW @smeharbinger

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STORIES

DRINK UP: ENERGY DRINK REVIEW

FALL IS OVERRATED

Staffer reviews three different energy drinks to find which is the best by | riley atkinson

Staffer doesn’t like the season of fall and has formed the opinion it’s overrated by | winnie wolf

LETTER TO THE EDITOR IN FOCUS | PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

An anonymous teacher’s thoughts on being under impasse I AM O N E of the fortunate who have not been consistently placed on 6 versus 5 classes for the academic year. The impact I felt was almost immediate. I want to do right by my students — be present, be caring, provide feedback, learn about all of my students (all 30 in two of my six classes) and foster a sense of community. It is nearly impossible. The workload is simply too much. I have to find ways to survive and keep plans fresh, but when I barely have a minute to check email from bell to bell, you can imagine what that feels like when I finally get home and get ready to work on plans. I’m exhausted. The mental impact of that is terrible, by the way. I went on a walk last night after a dental appointment and felt it was a great victory that I took a minute to exercise with a friend — not to mention the seemingly epic task it was to schedule a dental appointment after school hours. It’s something I never get to do — and my friends notice that I’m increasingly absent. I have noticed mental health is very important to this district — unless you’re a teacher. The planning is difficult enough — but the grading is a whole other level. I am almost paralyzed by the amount of paperwork sitting before me as I write this email. It’s unfair. It’s sad. It’s costing you an appropriate and well-deserved education. TOP LEFT Senior Greta Horton laughs while pressing one of the Coaches vs Cancer t-shirts in the student store. photo by | reilly moreland

TOP RIGHT Freshman Meredith Ainsley looks for teammate to pass the ball to while shooting baskets at the unified teams practice during seminar photo by | taylor keal

L E F T Freshman Parker Limanek practices his violin before the concert starts photo by | annakate dilks

EDITORIAL POLICY The Harbinger is a student-run publication. Published editorials express the views of the Harbinger staff. Signed columns published in the Harbinger express the writer’s personal opinion. The contents and views of the Harbinger do not represent the student body, faculty, administration or Shawnee Mission School District. The Harbinger will not share any unpublished content, but quoted material may be confirmed with sources. The Harbinger encourages letters to the editors, but reserves the right to reject them for reasons including but not limited to lack of space, multiple letters of the same topic and personal attacks contained in the letter. The Harbinger will not edit content though letters may be edited for clarity, length, libel or mechanics. Letters should be sent to room 521 or emailed to smeharbinger@gmail.com


EDITORIAL | 03

design by | lilah faye editorial illustration by | river hennick

FAR FROM HOME,

FAR FROM THE

TRUTH

The president should be held to a higher ethical standard when it comes to what he says

FOR: 6 AGAINST: 0 The individuals on the editorial board who agree with the viewpoint of the editorial are represented by for, and those that disagree with the viewpoint of the editorial are represented by against.

T

wo weeks ago President Donald Trump announced that U.S. troops were being withdrawn from Syria to come home. Less than a week later, he announced the soldiers weren’t actually coming home like he had promised, but instead being diverted to Iraq. Similarly, Trump has repeatedly and publicly stated that he was not involved in a quid pro quo — in this case, an exchange of promises with a foreign nation with personal, political motivations –– with the Ukranian government. But then his Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, essentially admitted in a press conference that he was, in fact, involved. Two days later, in a desperate attempt to recover from the press conference, the verdict was once again changed when Mulvaney said he was misunderstood. Yet another case of the Trump administration contradicting their original statements. U.S. presidents and their administrations should be held to higher ethical standards that what we’ve come to settle with. American lives and welfare are at stake, and Trump must be held accountable for his misleading words and false claims. Until then, the country is left wondering whether the latest tweet from Trump is a trusted statement from the White House, or just another excerpt in Trump’s personal diary. We’re also left deciding between our president’s word and that of an anonymous whistleblower. After President Trump

suspended military aid for Ukraine, questions were raised as to why and whether or not a quid pro quo was enacted. When a whistleblower complaint claims that Trump requested Ukraine’s assistance in obtaining a Democratic National Committee server used in the 2016 election — accusing him of a quid pro quo — the integrity of the nation is at stake. Then, when the president’s Chief of Staff accidentally confirms the whistleblower’s accusations, things turn from questionable to embarrassing. Mulvaney’s accidental mention is one of three reasons for the aid’s suspension — Ukraine’s lack of involvement in the Russia investigation, particularly not providing the DNC server in question –– contradicted Trump’s original stance that he wasn’t involved. The president’s administration needs to align their story and discover their truth before introducing to the public. Or at least give us the courtesy of being truthful in the reasons behind potentially detrimental actions. Pulling all U.S. troops from Syria reversed years of foreign policy on combating Islamic State terrorists in the Middle East and released unwarranted Turkish pressure on the Kurdish population — and more importantly, his statement about it misled constituents across the country. Trump supported his ‘change of plans’ by claiming that some troops must remain in the Middle East in order to secure oil fields

and prevent an ISIS resurgence. But if it is still necessary for our troops to be involved in the Middle East, then the president should never have promised a homecoming to thousands of U.S. soldiers. The decision to bring the troops home (which again, isn’t happening) also allowed Turkey –– which publicly regards the Kurds as terrorists –– to advance and attack the Kurdish population, amplifying the already unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the region. In Trump’s defense, this undulating humanitarian crisis, which Turkey now sees as an opportunity to wipe out the Kurdish population, began long before President Trump took office. And he has always, both as a candidate and as president, voiced his belief that the U.S. has shed far too much blood fighting “other people’s wars” in the Middle East. But if we are trying to prevent our men from shedding blood for someone else’s cause, removing them on the grounds of “bringing home the troops” only to station them elsewhere is politically unreliable. Politically unreliable seems to be the theme of this administration. Mulvaney’s admission to a quid pro quo was shocking, but less shocking was him walking back with his head between his legs after a nudge from the rest of the Trump team. According to the Washington Post, Trump hit the 10,000 mark in unreliable claims during his presidency, so no one should be surprised by each new

inconsistency. It’s difficult as youth in our country to live through the events of this past week and not feel discouraged for the reputation and future of U.S. foreign policy. Inconsistencies and failed policies are found in just about every administration, but this past month’s inconsistencies seem much more damning to our future than any other past misleading claims. This administration’s words must be taken with a grain of salt — their truth is always changing. An occasional glance at a TV screen won’t inform the general public to an acceptable extent anymore. The first words that come out of this administration’s mouth are never the last on the subject. Anyone who wants to be fully informed on what’s really happening must glue themselves to a screen and peruse news articles in the days following each public address to ensure it’s the truth. Lying as president, no matter what administration, is wrong. The consistent lying from this president tremendously digresses from the level of truth expressed by presidents before him. Democrat or Republican, U.S. presidents are supposed to be respectable and patriotic figures. Dishonesty and deceit is not mentioned anywhere in our Constitution, and it has no business being in our country.


04 | NEWS

NEWS

design by | allison wilcox

EAST

by kelly murphy

HIGHLIGHTS Catch up on news around the school, the state and the nation

THE SECOND ANNUAL orchestra Halloween pop-up concerts, conducted by orchestra teacher Adam Keda, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 31 during all three lunches in room 212. This year’s performers are primarily from the first hour class of advanced chamber orchestra. However, other orchestra class hours can participate if they’re willing to learn the songs at a faster pace than normal. “Putting music together in three weeks for them can be a push, but I think it’s pretty authentic to what they would have to do in the real world [as a professional musician],” Keda said. This year, their set list includes “The Evil Eye and the Hideous Heart,” which is based off of the poem “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “Ghostbusters Theme” from the movie “Ghostbusters”.

LOC A L

T O P The orchestra director directs his students with enthusiam in preparation for their concert file photo by | grace goldman

MA R K YO U R C AL E N DA R BOAR D O F EDU CATI ON M E E T I N G | OC T. 2 8

SOCC ER P L AYO F F S | OC T. 2 9

CROSS CO U N T RY STATE | N OV. 2

R I OT E RS STA RT E D F I R E S AT M U LT I P L E LO C AT I O N S I N KOW LO O N . T H E Y S E T BA R R I C A D E S I N M O N G KO K , YAU M A T E I A N D P R I N C E E DWA R D W I T H DEBRIS, AND SET THEM ON FIRE. H O N G KO N G P O L I C E FO RC E | 1 0/ 2 0/ 1 9

P OL L Are you aware of the protests in Hong Kong? INSTAGRAM POLL | 273 VOTES

Scan to read about East alum Barbara Bollier’s senate bid announcement

36% NO 64% YES Are you upset about the T-Bones being evicted? INSTAGRAM POLL | 217 VOTES

65% NO 35% YES

SCAN ME | NEWS

The upcoming fall play and Halloween orchestra concert Although Keda estimates that between 200 and 300 people attended the concerts last year, he hopes the audience will grow. Orchestra will be advertising the concert in the coming week with flyers designed by junior Luke Tsaur and a shout-out on the daily announcements. Senior chamber orchestra member Julia Stevermer was disappointed by last year’s attendance as well. She is hopeful that more students will come to enjoy the candy, spooky lighting, fake cobwebs and scary songs this year. “I think it’s a matter of school spirit, really,” Stevermer said. “The arts [are] a part of the school culture that can sometimes get overlooked even though we have a really flourishing arts community. This is something that everybody can partake in without serious commitment and just show a little bit of appreciation for our arts community.”

T-Bones eviction due to lack of payments

THE KANSAS CITY T-Bones will stay in Kansas City after the Wyandotte County government approved a $1 million infusion of tax revenue to help the team. The city commissioners approved a new stadium lease for the new T-Bones owners, with a 9-1 vote in favor of the new owners. This came just a few days after their eviction from the Community America Ballpark for failing to repay over $600,000 worth of debt. According to KMBC news, city officials plan to sue the previous owners so that they will pay the unpaid bills. The team’s new majority owner will be local entrepreneur and construction firm partner Mark Brandmeyer. According to new team president Mark Perry, the new ownership group, Max Fun Entertainment LLC, plans on investing

significantly in the stadium and making other improvements to the team’s image. Max Fun has committed to spend at least $500,000 on stadium improvements. The local government has also committed to spending at least $1 million in Sales Tax Revenue bonds (STAR bonds). “We’re taking over an operation that has not performed well as a business consistently in the last several years,” Perry said to the Kansas City Star. “That’s not always easy.” The new owners are ready to spend money now to ensure that they will profit from their efforts in the future. The prospective owners are currently awaiting approval from the American Association of Professional Baseball, the T-Bones’ league, who will potentially be voting on the issue this week.

N A T I O N A L Protests about legislation in Hong Kong AFTER HUNDREDS OF thousands of people in Hong Kong protested a Chinese bill in June that would have allowed sovereign citizens accused of crimes to be sent to China, the U.S. has introduced legislation to ensure respect of human rights in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which has been passed through the House of Representatives but not the Senate, would end Hong Kong’s special trading status with the U.S. if the region crosses stated human rights guidelines. Among the guidelines are the U.S. State Department’s annual certification that Hong Kong authorities are respecting human rights and the rule of law. Another bill, the Protect Hong Kong Act, would bar commercial exports of military and crowd-control items to Hong Kong. The legislation now awaits a Senate vote. “If America does not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests, then we lose all moral authority to speak out on behalf of human rights anyplace in the world,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said

in a floor speech. Hong Kong protesters currently have five declared demands of the Hong Kong government: full withdrawal of the extradition bill, establishing a commission to investigate alleged police brutality, retracting the classification of protesters as rioters, amnesty for arrested protesters and full suffrage for both the Hong Kong Legislative Council and the Chief Executive. Since June, the peaceful protests have become more violent as Hong Kong police fired live rounds for the first time and shot an activist in the chest earlier this month, Business Insider reported. A few weeks ago, chief Hong Kong government executive Carrie Lam banned face masks. According to Lam, the masks promoted “radical behavior” among protesters. Protesters have defied the ban by continuing to wear masks and even forming human chains. The protests have yet to cease and an end to them is, at the moment, unforeseen.


design by | caroline chisholm art by | lilah faye and gabby caponecchi

A breakdown of the upcoming school board election

NEWS | 05

by lucia barazza

S C H O O L B OA R D S W I T C H - U P FOUR OF THE SEVEN positions for the Shawnee Mission School Board will be on the ballot for the Nov. 5 General Election. The Shawnee Mission School Board is responsible for policy making, adopting the budget, approving personal curriculum and several other critical business matters. Each member serves a four-year term. The board is also in charge of hiring the superintendent and overseeing their performance and responsibilities — which include making day-to-day decisions about educational programs, spending, staff and facilities. The superintendent also has the job of hiring, supervising and managing the central staff and principals of SMSD. “The school board is a voice for the community, a voice for the students,” Principal Dr. Scott Sherman said. “It’s a voice for

the teachers to be heard and be a resource to make sure that things at schools are being run smoothly.” One member is elected from each of the high schools in the district, and two members are elected to be representatives at-large. The Shawnee Mission North, South and Northwest positions and an at-large member position will be up for election this November, since only half the board is put up for election at a time. Two of the six members running are incumbent — meaning candidates currently holding the balloted spot. The rest are new candidates who haven’t been on the board before. Social studies teacher Brenda Fishman encourages students to vote in the upcoming election, emphasizing the school board’s direct influence on what happens in the district. “Think about what’s important as far as their student’s

J A M I E B O RG M A N

education and [who’s going] to do the best by students and teachers,” Fishman said. “[Look for] people who can think outside of the box and hopefully keep Shawnee Mission current and relevant.” Vice Principal Britton Haney encourages community members to vote, as board policies and the way the board decides to budget the district’s money can directly affect East students, families, and staff. “School board members give up a lot of their own time to help provide resources and a learning environment for our kids in the community, and that’s very important,” Haney said. “So any time that there’s a chance there will be a change on the school board, anyone in our community should take an active role in getting to know the candidates and making the best decision in voting.”

JESSICA HEMBREE

AG E N DA | g o o d c o n d i t i o n s fo r t e a c h e r s ( 6 / 5 i s s u e ) , m e n t a l h e a l t h r e s o u r c e s , d i ve r s i t y a n d inclusion, and using technology responsibly

AG E N DA | s u p p o r t i n g c l a s s r o o m t e a c h e r s , e m b r a c i n g d i ve r s i t y i n t h e d i s t r i c t , m e n t a l h e a l t h r e s o u r c e s a n d a wa r e n e s s

I want to make sure that every single decision the board makes, we are putting students first. We have to keep the focus on kids, and we have to make sure that if the board votes on something, that it is very clear how the decision is benefiting kids.

I think every time we’re having conversations or making decisions that don’t start with the classroom as our focus, we probably aren’t making the best decisions we could be making — so I really want to make sure that we support classroom teachers and provide ways for them to offer input to the really important decisions that the school board’s making.

DENIS WILSON

B R I A N KO O N

AG E N DA | c o m m u n i t y e n g a g e m e n t , I n c l u s i o n , h a v i n g a vo i c e i n t h e d i s t r i c t , r e s p o n s i b l e u s e o f t e c h n o l o g y, i n a d e q u a t e s c h o o l fu n d i n g My biggest agenda item is community engagement. I believe that there are underrepresented communities and people in this school district, and as a school board member, I would want to make sure to bring on as many people that I can and make sure people’s voices are heard and taken seriously.

LISA FEINGOLD AG E N DA | a d m i n i s t r a t i ve a c c o u n t a b i l i t y, c r e a t i n g a p o s i t i ve s c h o o l c u l t u r e, g o o d c o n d i t i o n s fo r teachers/supporting teachers, fu n d i n g a c c o u n t a b i l i t y, s u p p o r t i n g d i ve r s i t y a n d i n c l u s i o n There’s a lot of great things that are happening, and I don’t want to downplay those things, but there are a lot of things that could be improved that don’t have anything to do with funding — morale, taking other people’s views into consideration, and just procedural things that [make sure] students are valued and respected and listened to instead of [put] on lock down mode.”

AG E N DA | p r ov i d i n g r e s o u r c e s fo r l ow i n c o m e s t u d e n t s , p r o m o t i n g p o s t - g r a d u a t e p l a n s t h a t d o n’ t i n vo l ve c o l l e g e / p r e p a r i n g k i d s fo r c a r e e r s t h a t d o n’ t r e q u i r e a c o l l e g e d e g r e e, e n c o u r a g i n g / p r ov i d i n g r e s o u r c e s fo r a p p l y i n g a n d p a y i n g fo r c o l l e g e a s we l l , r e s p o n s i b l e u s e o f t e c h n o l o g y, t e a c h e r wo r k l o a d / schedule problems (6/5 block issue) We need to make sure that not just college but also good-paying jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree, for example, are accessible to our students. I think we do a good job of setting kids up for college, but I don’t think we do a very good job of setting kids up to have a career that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree.”

B R I A N S . B ROW N AG E N DA | g e t t i n g a d e q u a t e fu n d i n g , g o o d c o n d i t i o n s fo r t e a c h e r s , p r o m o t i n g d i ve r s i t y a n d inclusion We are not the same school district that 25 or even 30 years ago, we’ve changed and we need to meet the needs for the changing demographic that we have in our school district and that’s something that being an African American whose grown up in the Shawnee Mission School District is very important to me. I think there needs to be a deeper dive in looking at how our diverse student population has an equitable opportunity to be able to achieve and define what success means to them.


06 | NEWS

‘A L L H A N D S I N ’ FO R

AWA R E N E S S A

design by | natasha thomas photos by | morgan woods

Student-organized fundraiser event held Nov. 3 aims to educate about suicide prevention and awareness

TEAL AND

PURPLE

RIBBON SUICIDE PREVENTION AND AWARENESS SY M B O L

P ROC E E D S

G O TO : ZERO REASONS WHY THE HARRISON RU PP FO U N DAT I ON SPEAK U P KC

N AT I O N A L S U I C I D E

PREVENTION

LIFELINE 1-800-273-8255

AVA I L A B L E 2 4 H OU RS A DAY,

E V E R Y D AY

SCAN ME

Find more information about the fundraiser at All Hands In KC’s website

by phoebe hendon ll Hands In KC, a student-organized suicide prevention and awareness fundraiser, will be hosted at Chicken N Pickle from 5-8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3. Along with donations collected through the All Hands In KC website, all money earned from the event will go to foundations that provide education and awareness about mental health in an attempt to prevent teen suicide: The Harrison Rupp Foundation, Speak Up and Zero Reasons Why. Rockhurst senior Christian Taylor, along with his handpicked board of 28 other seniors from schools across the Kansas City area — including Shawnee Mission East — has spent the past six months planning the event. According to the event’s website, All Hands In KC ’s aim is to “bring Kansas City together to raise awareness around teenage depression and anxiety.” Taylor is no stranger to the detrimental impact of suicide. In April of 2017, Taylor’s friend and classmate Harrison Rupp died by suicide. In early September, another member of Taylor’s friend group, Sam Serrano, lost his life to suicide as well. Not even a month after entering his senior year, Taylor had lost two close friends to suicide. In May of 2019, Taylor had an idea — one that would eventually become All Hands In KC. After spending several months contacting local businesses for donations and assembling a student-led planning team, Taylor finally decided to go public with his project in early October, shortly after the passing of Serrano. He then immediately got to work promoting his event through social media and recruiting ambassadors from several local high schools. All Hands In KC has already raised over $25,000 through the event’s website, Facebook and Instagram pages. Taylor’s outreach process began by contacting companies he had personal connections with. “I crafted an email I had several people revise and I just started sending it,” Taylor said. “I’d look up a company and send it to [them].” Taylor found their responses to be overwhelmingly positive. He was contacted by CEOs from companies like Garmin who were interested in his project and wanted to know how and where they could donate. Taylor is proud of the community’s preliminary response to his efforts for the event. Over 500 people are expected to be in attendance and $5,000 in ticket sales alone have been raised, with several businesses slottled to donate prizes for the event’s raffle. However, Taylor wants to stress that All Hands In KC isn’t just about the money — it’s about the conversations that stem from mental health education. He hopes the event will help deconstruct the wall between parents and kids when it comes to being open about mental health struggles. “In a lot of situations, kids feel like they’re a burden,” Taylor said. “If all these kids are there, it will make them realize ‘wow, there are a lot of people who care about [ m e n t a l health], including my parents.’”

By combining the social aspect of pickleball with education about depression and anxiety, Taylor hopes to show young people their battles don’t have to be fought independently, and he emphasizes the importance of open dialogue about mental health between parents and kids. Taylor and his team have been meeting for several weeks to find ways to draw people to attend All Hands In KC. The event kicks off with the pickleball tournament at 5 p.m. until around 6:15 p.m., when attendees will hear from three guest speakers — therapist Emma Wood, therapist Julia Harkleroad and Megan Rupp, mother of Harrison Rupp. After the speakers finish, the pickleball tournament will finish up and winners of the raffle will be announced. Tickets to the event are $10. Upon purchasing a ticket, guests receive a raffle ticket, with each additional raffle ticket costing $5. Prizes for the raffle range from tickets to Chiefs and Royals games to fully-paid vacations in Colorado. Putting together a pickleball team of two to participate in the tournament costs $50, or $25 per person. Pickleball and suicide prevention may not seem like intertwined entities, but Chicken N Pickle frequently partners with charity organizations to host fundraisers. Chicken N Pickle’s website solidifies their dedication to Kansas Citians, saying, “Our cultural imperative to our community is to give back, with many philanthropic events and service-oriented endeavors to strengthen our neighborhood and beyond.” Taylor feels his success with the organization of All Hands In KC couldn’t have happened without Chicken N Pickle donating their space for the event — just one example of the community supporting Taylor’s mission. Once Taylor started sharing his idea for the event with his friends, he realized his passion for mental health education resonated with several other students. According to senior Ben Walburn, one of All Hands In KC ’s three representatives from Shawnee Mission East, he reached out to Taylor personally about his interest in the project. Like Taylor, Walburn has a personal connection to the detriment of suicide, saying, “I’ve had six people I know who have either died or [died by suicide].” Walburn is currently creating a club to promote suicide prevention at East. Both Walburn and Taylor’s experiences with the effects of suicide have led them to advocate for a shared belief: everyone deserves resources on how to deal with their mental health. Along with showing parents and teens alike that they’re capable of tackling tough issues like depression and anxiety, Taylor hopes other teens will find inspiration in his efforts and continue the fight for suicide prevention. “If you want to do something, and you have the motivation and the confidence, you can achieve absolutely anything you want to,” Taylor said. Those who cannot be in attendance can still support the cause by visiting All Hands In KC ’s website to give money to one or more of the three foundations the event is partnered with.

THE EVENT’S

S P E A K E RS WILL COVER:

SCIENCE BEHIND DEPRESSION W H AT T O D O IF A FRIEND R EAC H E S

OUT

SIGNS OF DEPRESSION

A BO UT THE

EVENT WHERE:

C h i c ke n N Pickle Ka n s a s C i t y 1761 Burlington Street N o r t h Ka n s a s C i t y, M O 6 4 1 1 6

WHEN:

Nov 3 5-8 p.m.

WHAT:

Experts on Site Raffle S p e a ke rs


NEWS | 07

design by | elizabeth mikkelson

J OI NI NG T H E NAT IO N WID E by sydney newton

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he Shawnee Mission School Board announced that they are joining the country-wide lawsuit seeking a ban against JUUL’s allegedly teen-directed marketing strategies at their board meeting on Oct. 14. The lawsuit is centered around JUUL’s marketing and advertising, which was largely spread throughout Snapchat and Instagram by advertisements and hired influencers. The main claim is that advertising was intentionally directed toward teenagers, according to East parent and lawyer Tom Cartmell, a partner in Wagstaff and Cartmell LLC who will represent SMSD and several other districts in the lawsuit. “We believe that [JUUL] took a page out of the tobacco playbook as far as advertising in order to reach teenagers,” Cartmell said. “We’re claiming that [the school districts] have a lot of kids addicted to nicotine as a result of that.” During the board meeting, SMSD Health Director Shelby Rebek gave a presentation about the effects of vaping, including lung disease and the 29 vaping related deaths in the US. Following the presentation, the board decided to move forward with the lawsuit after a 6-0 vote. SMSD was the fifth school district in Kansas to join the lawsuit, following the Goddard, Blue Valley, Olathe and De Soto school districts, according to Cartmell, who will represent the schools along with lawyers Brad Honnold and Kirk Goza. Cartmell will also represent schools in Arizona, New York and Missouri. These are a few of the other districts around the country who have joined the lawsuit, represented by lawyers across the country. “I think [the school districts] have decided to take a stand,” Cartmell said. “They want to do what they can to try to band together to try to change JUUL’s marketing practice and protect the kids. Part of the problem has been that the vaping crisis has continued to escalate, and I think schools feel like they need to take a stand now to protect the kids.” The lawsuit claims “injunctive relief,’’ a legal remedy that requests a court order to stop the actions of the defendant. The petition will be asking the court to declare that JUUL cancel all marketing strategies allegedly targeting teens, including social

M OV E M EN T

SMSD joined the multi-district federal lawsuit against Juul for their advertising directed towards middle and high school students media advertising and use of influencers. The lawsuit will also ask JUUL to compensate school districts for the costs of implementing devices such as cameras and detectors to prevent students from vaping in schools. This is the end goal of the suit for the districts, SMSD Chief Communications Officer David Smith said. Aside from cameras and detectors, some districts have hired staff to educate students on the effects of nicotine, and others to monitor the halls at all hours of the day. A few districts have reconstructed their bathrooms to make it less easy to hide in, and some have paid for medical help for some of their students, according to Cartmell. SMSD is currently deciding what to implement, with hopes to acquire funds from the lawsuit to cover whatever they choose. Teacher Steven Appier believes that the funds from the lawsuit will help reduce teen vaping in school. “I understand what they’re doing because it’s a problem in this school,” Appier said. “ it will mean less time wasted on trying to enforce our rules for smoking and things like that. We don’t have to worry about people in the bathrooms, leaving class, blowing into their hoodie. It’s not going to stop it, but maybe it will reduce it.” The lawsuit also claims that JUUL contributed to the rise in teen vaping, which has been considered an epidemic by former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. According to CNBC, teen vaping has surged to one in four high school students, with 27.5% of students in the US having used an e-cigarette in the last 30 days — a 15.8 % increase from 2017.

Principal Scott Sherman believes that vaping has led to addiction and distraction in school. “In some cases, kids are more focused on seeing when they can sneak out of class, skipping school, maybe going to a park,” Sherman said. “They are missing out on educational opportunities because they’re hooked on the JUUL product.” According to Smith, the policies enacted to stop JUUL use in schools are costly, placing a financial burden on the school districts. “The lawsuit is designed to recover those problems,” Smith said. “It is specifically the industry that has caused those problems, and they need to pay for them.” Each individual district case will be filed individually, and then consolidated in front of one federal court. The Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation decided on Sept. 26 that all cases will be consolidated in the northern district of California. If there is a trial, it is expected to happen in two to three years, according to Cartmell. In the meantime, the lawyers will go through discovery — the pre-trial work leading up to the case. They will also seek expert witnesses to testify on their behalf, discussing issues such as the loss of resources that schools have suffered and the need for money to fill those gaps, giving support for their case, with the end goal of winning the lawsuit. “If we win, [SMSD] will have the resources that we need to take care of our kids to mitigate the impact of vaping,” Smith said.

LAWSUIT BREAKDOWN: ACC U S E R :

SHAWNEE MISSION SCHOOL DISTRICT

S M SD SCHOOL BOARD LAW S UI T VOTES FOR | 6 AGA I N ST | 0 Oc t . 1 4 SM S D, a l o n g w i t h Blu e Val l ey fi le d a laws uit agai n st JU UL fo r ta rg et i n g yo u n g teen s s p e c ifi ca l ly i n t he i r ad ver tis i n g

OT H E R R EC E N T J U U L L AW S U I TS S ept. 2 7 Ol a the Sc hool Di str i ct a nnounced tha t they woul d s ue the com p a ny for p a r ti c ul a r l y ta rg eti ng sc hool -a g e ki ds S ept. 9 T he G odda rd Sc hool Di str i c t i n G odda rd, Ka nsa s fi l ed a s i mi l a r l aws ui t

ACC U S E D :

JUUL

Should school districts be more invested in illegal actions on-campus? INSTAGRAM POLL | 255 VOTES

52% 48%

YES NO

SCAN ME | PRESENTATION The district’s recent presentation about the harmful effects of vaping


08 | OPINION

design by | maddox mogenson

OPINION

HIGHLIGHTS A look into student opinions and the opinion section

THE WEEK IN 280 C H A R AC T E R S @ R E PA LG R E E N : “ H OW DA R E T H E P R E S I D E N T C O M PA R E LY N C H I N G TO I M P E AC H M E N T . H OW DA R E H E D O T H I S ! D O E S H E N OT K N OW T H E H I STO RY O F LY N C H I N G I N T H I S C O U N T RY ? 1 ? ”

H A L LOW E E N O P I N I O N S

C - S PA N | 1 0/ 2 2 / 1 9

WHAT’S THE FUNNIEST COSTUME YOU’VE SEEN? [The funniest costume I’ve seen] was this guy with a credit card outfit. He said he kept getting ‘used and rejected.’

jaelen chamberlain | junior

T H I C K P E T RO L E U M S L U D G E C O N T I N U E S WA S H I N G U P O N B E AC H E S I N B R A Z I L , C OAT I N G T H E C OA ST O F S UA P E W I T H A N O I LY D E P OS I T , A S LO C A L S H E L P E D CLEAN THE MESS. O I L H AS B E E N WAS H I N G U P O N B R A Z I L’S S H O R E FO R T WO M O N T H S , B U T I TS O R I G I N I S ST I L L A M YST E RY. A B C N E W S | 1 0/ 2 2 / 1 9

ARE YOU A FAN OF HORROR OR THRILLER MOVIES?

M E A N W H I L E I N S O U T H C A RO L I N A , A N OT H E R E F F EC T I V E S I X - W E E K B A N O N A B O RT I O N — W I T H N O E XC E P T I O N S F O R V I C T I M S O F R A P E O R I N C E ST — I S R A P I D LY M OV I N G T H RO U G H T H E STAT E ’S C A P I TO L .

Nope. I don’t like to be scared.

K AT E S M I T H | 1 0/ 2 2 / 1 9

alyssa deering | senior

O P I N I O N AT E D

MEMES OF THE WEEK

DO YOU THINK THE ACT SHOULD BE WEIGHTED AS MUCH IN COLLEGE ADMISSION? | 360 VOTES

This week’s best memes courtesy of @sme.memes on Instagram

25% YES 75% NO DO YOU THINK TECHNOLOGY AFFECTS RELATIONSHIPS? | 383 VOTES

91% TOTALLY 9% NOT REALLY HAVE YOU EVER USED YOUR PHONE DURING A CONVERSATION? | 380 VOTES

90% YES 10% NO DO YOU THINK ATHLETES SHOULD PUT ALL THEIR ENERGY INTO ONE SPORT? | 321 VOTES

“WE ALL FEEL THIS ONE”

“NO DIFFERENCE HERE”

28% YES 72% NO

176 LIKES

2 08 L I K E S


OPINION | 09

design by |sophie henschel photos by | julia percy

DON’T JUST STICK

WITH ONE Kids shouldn’t specialize in one sport or crack under parent pressure

M

by gabby caponecchi y dad pulls up my socks, passes me my cleats and hands me my water bottle on the way out of the door to prepare for the next 90 minutes spent on the field. Soccer has always been a part of my life, but it wasn’t necessarily my choice. I have sacrificed the last 14 years for soccer, the one thing that seemed to keep me sane — until high school. Birthday parties, dinners, play dates — they were all skipped for soccer. Soccer came before everything, there was no question about it — thanks to my parents. Some days there’s no place I would rather be than on the field, but other times I feel that I have only been playing this long because of my parents. I wondered if I was really playing out of my own enjoyment. Then I realized I wasn’t playing for myself, but for my parents. My dad and I don’t usually have a lot to talk about, but soccer conversations can last for hours. He played in high school and started me in the sport before I could even walk. I used to play out of love for the sport, but recently I’ve felt like I only play to still make my dad happy. Being pushed by parents to be competitive in one sport have caused higher rates of injury and burnout. According to The New York Times, parents specializing their kids by placing them in one sport has caused injuries to rise in recent years. Studies have shown that up to half of the injuries are believed to result from overuse of joints and muscles, all because of specialization in one sport. Kids need to experience multiple sports to decide for themselves what they like, not just put all their efforts into the sport their parent happens to love. Parents shouldn’t continue to push their kid to play one sport if it’s not something they are passionate about, to the point of causing them lifelong health problems. They need to do better. I stopped playing multiple sports like golf, ballet and basketball in eighth grade and decided to focus on the one that I enjoyed the most — soccer. I felt like I needed to please my parents by playing the sport, so I personally pushed myself to try hard in every practice and play every game with the full intent of winning. I didn’t intend on getting injured however. In July, I had my first and last visit to Saginaw, Michigan to compete in Regionals for soccer. After the extensive weekend and intense, competitive games, I came home to horrible pain throughout my back. I had been having back issues on and off for two years, so this was nothing new. I had two months before practices for my club team would start up again, so I decided to finally go to the doctor. After an MRI and days of consultation, they had figured out that it was possible I had

a spinal fracture. Their conclusion? Physical therapy for three months. This meant no running, no jumping and absolutely no soccer. If I knew that overdoing myself and ignoring my injuries would have led me down the path of going to physical therapy three times a week, I wouldn’t have continued playing. No one should be pushing themselves to the point of long-term injuries, even if they love their sport. Now I get to balance school, physical therapy and soccer, sometimes all in the same day, a problem that could have been avoided had I played multiple sports. The worst byproduct of being pushed to specialize in one sport? The burnout — a term used for the lack of interest in something. One of the most defeating questions you can ask yourself after investing years of time, money and sweat into a sport is ‘Is this worth it?’ But if your muscles are tired, if you are fatigued, if you have had numerous meltdowns, it’s time to reevaluate why you started to play the sport in the first place. I know I sure have. The U.S. Olympic Committee and three dozen other leading sporting organizations have already joined together to speak out against early specialization in youth sports. Early specialization is the trend of children under the age of 12 focusing entirely on one sport too intensely excluding all other sports. Organizations like the NFL, MLB and NCAA are very against this, and are urging parents to encourage a multi-sport approach. I have started to reevaluate my decision to continue to play soccer — and it feels like I’ve given up on something that’s defined almost all aspects of my life and schedule for the last 14 years. Soccer has been my entire life, how could I just stop playing? Before I began high school, quitting never crossed my mind, but after senior year my soccer career will be coming to an end. After weighing the option of continuing to play I’ve realized I want to focus on my schooling in college. And my parents are beginning to realize this too. Kids shouldn’t just be stuck playing a sport that their parents are pushing them to be in. They should be focusing on what type of person they want to be in the future. Kids must experience all different types of sports of their own choosing and figure out which ones are a fit for them and which ones just don’t work. Although I’ll never forget the memories I made on the Purple Dinosaurs’ soccer team in preschool, I regret not playing multiple sports when I was younger. Maybe I wouldn’t have so many soccerrelated injuries today.

A B O V E Gabby puts away her soccer jersey after being pressured to the point of injury by her parents.

POLLS HAVE YOUR PARENTS PUT PRESSURE ON YOU FOR SPORTS? INSTAGRAM POLL | 330 VOTES

36% YES 64% NO DO YOU THINK ATHLETES SHOULD PUT ALL THEIR ENERGY INTO ONE SPORT? INSTAGRAM POLL | 321 VOTES

28% YES 72% NO

S P EC I A L I Z AT I O N STATS INJURY

1/2 OF PEOPLE WHO SPECIALIZED IN ONE SPORT ARE EXPECTED TO HAVE OVERUSE OF JOINTS AND MUSCLES

DISAGREEMENT THE U.S. OLYMPIC COMMITTEE AND THREE DOZEN OTHER LEADING SPORTING ORGANIZATIONS JOINED TOGETHER TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST EARLY SPECIALIZATION IN YOUTH SPORTS.

Q UITTIN G 70% OF KIDS QUIT THEIR SPECIALIZED SPORT BY AGE 13

EAR LY START 60% OF BOYS AND 47% OF GIRLS ARE ALREADY ON AT LEAST ONE TEAM BY AGE SIX


10 | OPINION

design by | tommy paulus

JACKPOT !

0 3 6

MORE THAN THE

NUMBER

College entrance exams like the ACT and SAT are unfair and should be replaced with a broader way to get into college

H I TT I N G T H E ACT JACKP OT Different ACT stats and ways people hit the ACT “jackpot”. AV E R AG E C O S T F O R P R I VAT E AC T T U T O R

$250

I N 2 0 1 7 , O N LY 2 , 0 7 6 P EO P L E G OT A P E R F EC T CO M P OS I T E SCO R E

AV E R AG E C O S T F O R P R I VAT E AC T T U T O R P E R H O U R

$46

28% O F A L L CO L L EG E S D O N O T R E Q U I R E A N AC T F O R E N T RY

AC T AVER AGES Average scores for the ACT at the national and school level

21.7

STATE AVERAGE

20.8

USA AVERAGE

25.3

EAST AVERAGE

annabelle moore

Y by

ou have 45 minutes to finish the English category. Turn the page and your time starts now. “I will give an announcement of time remaining on each test to serve as a warning before time is called. It is to your advantage to answer every question. Are there any questions?” Fifteen minutes left. But you’re not even halfway done. Do you fill in random bubbles? Or do you think through as many as you can with the time you have left? The nervous tic of no. 2 pencils hitting the desk or feet bobbing up and down is inevitable. This is the ACT after all. Whichever you choose, and however prepared you are for it, this test can make or break your future. But it shouldn’t. Standardized testing has been dreaded by high school students ever since they became a college entry requirement. People spend thousands of dollars on tutors, hours spent crying over their ACT prep books and a lifetime’s worth of regret if they don’t get their sense of a perfect score. In the end, it’s just a number. The ACT and SAT are time-based tests that supposedly quantify your knowledge and determine your potential for success in the future — how much scholarship money you will get from a school, if you will even get accepted in the first place — but for what? A two-digit number? We give that number too much power. The problem with the ACT and SAT is not the tests themselves — the problem lies within the imbalance in expenses students’ parents are willing or able to spend on a tutor or preparation class, and resultantly how much consideration colleges take in them. And for students whose parents can’t pay this high cost, typically ranging from $35-$250 per hour, they have nothing but hope and their own problem solving skills to coincide with a high enough score to get in or pay for their college tuition. Alternatively, there are prep books and free online practice tests, yet these will never compare to having a real person be there to answer questions and give specific insight based on your particular knowledge and thought process. Sure, most schools provide ACT/SAT preparation classes for students whose parents can’t or won’t pay the high price a tutor or outside program costs — but these classes don’t add up to one-on-one help with the specific sections individual test-takers struggle with.

Aside from individual intelligence, students whose parents pay for a tutor or class are taught tips like going with the simplest answers on the English section, and reading the questions before the passage on the reading section to perform better in one or all areas of the test. According to Get Smarter Prep, students’ scores will typically raise one to four points with the help of a tutor or instructor. Some students just get lucky and naturally have advanced test-taking and problem solving skills.

The nervous tic of no. 2 pencils hitting the desk or feet bobbing up and down is inevitable. This is the ACT after all.

annabelle moore | junior But the others who can’t afford a costly tutor or class are left in the dark. Luckily for students still going through the process, on Oct. 10, the ACT changed their policy on retakes. Starting next September, students will be able to retake individual portions of the ACT. Hopefully this revision of this high-stakes exam will move the idea of standardized testing one step closer to feasibility for all students, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds and opportunities. Instead of colleges focusing on ACT and SAT scores, they should be focusing on our skills outside of the testing room: essays showing accomplishments, personal stories detailing the greatest hardship that a student has overcome, clubs they have participated in or things they are proud of. Writing about topics that matter to the student is much more telling to one’s character than how well they performed on the Science portion of the ACT. Schools should dedicate their attention to students’ character and qualities rather than their test scores. Focusing on a student’s GPA, or a cumulative progression of how well they perform over the course of four years, is much more valid than judging a students’ knowledge based on a fourhour test and some pricey tutoring sessions. Colleges such as NYU, Cornell and Arizona State are now test-optional colleges, meaning they don’t require an SAT or ACT score. Every college should consider following after these schools that base their entries and scholarship grants off of a wide scale of accomplishments and high-performances, rather than a test with unjust odds. We’re worth more than a score of 1-36 or 2001600, and it’s time for colleges to recognize that.


OPINION | 11

design by | carolyn popper

CAN WE DITCH

THE FAKE?

Social media has become a barrier for authentic and genuine relationships, making young people struggle in social situations

F

by rose kanaley rom the Snapchat stories posted for one particular person’s eyes to faking dramatic text messages so it seems like you have an adorable boyfriend, everything seems staged in our society. It’s an era of immediacy, one in which we’d much rather send a Snapchat spewing the latest drama than to meet and talk about it in person. Don’t get me wrong, I text my friends and post pictures from our latest photo-op, but using technology as a substitute for confrontation is tearing down real relationships and building disingenuous ones. Given that forming relationships through technology has become the standard, it’s not a surprise that we struggle to maintain depth with reallife interaction. But that’s not how it should be. Relationships are the one thing that should remain untouched by the latest problems or trends — and especially by technology. If you get excited when your crush Snapchats you, imagine how you’d feel if they surprised you with flowers, or your favorite Starbucks drink. We shouldn’t believe the highest form of flattery we can have is a Snapchat streak.

If you get excited when your crush Snapchats you, imagine how you’d feel if they surprised you with flowers, or your favorite Starbucks drink.

rose kanaley | junior Technology has given us an opt-out of the real conversations — face-to-face, in person ones — and it needs to change. We should have conversations where body language and tone are observable to develop genuine conversation, which can’t happen over the phone — the true emotions don’t shine through our Bitmojis. If you spend your young adult years hiding from physical interaction, how do you think co-worker conversations will go? You usually can’t retweet your boss when you agree with her. 77% of 18 to 22 year olds prefer text over any form of communication according to Psychology Today. People have no problem telling someone they’re mad they weren’t invited to their house with the rest of the friend group over text because it’s easier. They don’t have to deal with the reality of the situation. They don’t have to see the teary eyes and scrunched face behind the screen or come up with an immediate, effective response. That doesn’t make it right.

This trend, that scarily has become the standard, is causing teens to take the easy way out when it comes to problem solving in relationships — you can avoid responding altogether by “not seeing” the text. But if you can’t say something to someone’s face, you shouldn’t be texting it to them. No, I don’t want to hear that you’re sorry if you’re not sorry enough to tell it to my face. It doesn’t mean the same thing. With our phones glued onto our hands checking to see if our latest post has hit 500 likes yet, we don’t always look up to see what’s going on around us. I can’t count the number of times I’ve told my friends a story only to realize half-way through they’re more interested in Shane Dawson ‘s latest tweet about his new eyeshadow palette. Our quickness to use our phones as emotional barriers goes back to our emotional intelligence. 10 years from now when we’re living in new places, we’ll be unable to meet people in conventionally social ways. We’re conditioned to meet people through “Quick Add” on Snapchat, so how could we? Technology chips away silently at our emotional IQ, which determines our capability to recognize feelings of ourselves and others. Without the need for in-the-flesh communication, we dispel the skills needed to interact successfully in person because of the illusion that we don’t need them. But we’re the last of the lucky ones. We didn’t grow up with iPads at restaurants or iPhones on the playground. We had to meet people as children, so we at least know what it takes to build real relationships — and just commenting “omg you’re perfect can I be you” on someone’s latest Instagram post or adding them to your private Snapchat story won’t ever mean anything of substance. It’s important to grab coffee or lunch with friends to stay updated on what’s really going on in their lives, not just what they feel comfortable texting. Being there for our friends is what we show through our actions — picking them up to do something fun when they’re upset or going to their family dinners. There’s no amount of texts or comments that can prove loyalty like showing up and being there. Friendships don’t need to be digital, and sometimes they’re best left offline. Call me old-fashioned, but the best relationships are those where you’re not concerned with texting, where you can just call and ask to hang out and be with them 10 minutes later. So yes, technology gives us a great platform to build our intelligence. But if it’s creating a society where the only relationships people know aren’t real, we’re better off without it.

T HE GOO D A N D T HE BAD Sometimes social media can be used for good. Here’s a pros and cons list of four social media apps determined by Rose:

P ROS QUICK RESPONSES D I SA P P EA RS A F T E R A DAY CO N N EC TS CO N TAC TS

P ROS CO N N EC TS F RI E N D S S H A R E S P H OTOS G I V E S U P DAT E S

P ROS P ROV I D E S CO N N EC T I O N S ACC E S S TO N E W S FAST R EAC T I O N S

P ROS

DOESN’T PUBLICIZE LIKES S H A R E S P H OTOS S O U RC E O F C R EAT I V I T Y

CO N S S H A R E S LOC AT I O N S H OW S W H E N L E F T O N R EA D L E S S V E R BA L CO M M U N I C AT I O N

CO N S P RO M OT E S I N S EC U RI T I E S S E E KS VA L I DAT I O N OBSESSION WITH LIKES

CO N S M I N I M A L C E N S O RS H I P G LO RI F I E S D E P R E S S I O N FA K E F RI E N D S H I PS

CO N S

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FEATURES | 13

design by | natasha thomas

F E AT U R E

HIGHLIGHTS

SEAN PADDACK F EATU R E D ARTIST

LANCER LANDING LOBSTERS

POTTER G R APHIC D ES IG NER

B E L O W Juniors Ana Sofia Lahovery and Sophie Rice make efficient use of their time bringing in lobsters to prepare for the annual Lobster Landing hosted by the International Club. photo by | trevor paulus

S ELF-D ESCRIB ED ART WIZAR D

A VIBRANTLY S EA N ’S FAVO RI T E COLORED FELT TIP PEN A RT TOO LS

ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

CLAY

Ai

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE AS AN ARTIST? “Cartoon-y, sometimes comical. I like crazy colors that don’t belong in the setting [they’re in].” T O P After driving overnight to pick up the lobsters at the St. Louis airport when the lobsters missed their connecting flight, Lobster Landing coordinator Gus Meyer helps Junior Graham Billingsley with lobster sales. photo by | trevor paulus R I G H T Junior Ana Sofia Lahovery laughs as East parent Gus Meyer pulls one of the more than 500 lobsters out of it’s box during the 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. sale. photo by | trevor paulus

NOVEMBER

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

2 7-9 2 ND

E a st F u n d Au c t i o n | I n d i a n H i l l s Co u nt r y C l u b | 7 p. m . TH

ND

SCAN ME | TICKETS

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Purchase auction tickets at a range of values starting at $35 for general admission, including entry, dinner, and entertainment

FORGOT TO SIGN UP?

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Register for the Dec 7 SAT by the Nov 8 deadline at collegeboard.org | $49.50

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RECENT PIECE? “I made a ceramic bowl for AP art. It’s pretty nice, it has ruin stones in it. Its from ancient Celtic religions. Celtic priests called Druids would use these tiles with ruins carved into them to basically tell someone’s future. They would go house to house and throw [the tiles] up in the air, and be like “Ah, ceramic bowl and ruin stones you’re going to die.” | sean paddack So basically whichever side they would land on they would read like tarot cards. DO YOU WANT TO DO ANYTHING WITH ART AFTER HIGH SCHOOL? “I would love to continue making things for people, and not necessarily selling them. I want to be a nurse, and I would love to work in pediatrics and just work with kids. I’d make art with them, or have them work on art with me.”


14 | FEATURES

design by | jilli foley

T H E M AG I C O F ∑ M AT H L T I C S by lily billingsley

T H E T RY - H A R D S

VS.

THE JUST-FOR-FUNS

Students Ibrahim Sufi, Harrison Good and Charlie Cronenwett’s dedication and genuine love of math create the competitionwinning Mathletics power team

Students Jame Schipfer, Tate Nicolson and Emerson Bihuniack take a less caring approach to Mathletics and focus more on the “extra credit”

D U R I N G M AT H L E T I C S you won’t find sophomores Ibrahim Sufi, Harrison Good and Charlie Cronenwett nervously typing every math equation they can think of into their calculators. Sure, they occasionally tap their foot during the competitions, but only when they’ve missed multiple questions. Despite the occasional trig or word problem, the team of sophomores have won against teams of every grade level in all but one competition. The boys never expect to win, and in times like the last competition, they don’t even understand how they received the first place trophy. “How did we win?” Cronenwett said. “Seriously? We missed like five questions.” The boys formed their team freshman year after getting to know each other in the Indian Hills math club. This year, all three members are taking AP Calculus BC — a class normally taken by seniors at East. Although their focus falls much more on the “math” part of the competition than many other teams who compete for extra credit, the team enjoys the competitions outside of just the math. Their favorite memory so far is last year’s invitational, when they got to eat as much free pizza as they wanted and placed first. Their lighthearted approach means they often go into competitions without preparing — they just hope that at least one of them will be able to find a solution to the problem. “We basically just yell for the first 30 seconds,” Cronenwett said. “We just talk

SOPHOMORES JAMES SCHIPFER AND TAT E N I C H O L S O N and freshman Emerson Bihuniak were almost late to the last Mathletics competition because they were getting Sonic. But they decided to leave their hopes of mozzarella sticks behind so that they could check in by 3:30 on the dot — if they didn’t they wouldn’t receive the points of extra credit they needed to up their math grade. Like many other East students, the team competed in Mathletics to earn extra credit in their math class. Not all extra credit points are created equal — Nicholson and Bihuniak both earn three points in the test category for attending the competition for their Honors Algebra 2 class, while Schipfer only earns 10 points in the homework category in Honors Precalc. However, any chance of extra credit gets all members of the team — along with many of their classmates — to flock to any Shawnee Mission High School after school to earn any points back they can get. “I joined for extra credit,” Nicholson said. “I got a grade I didn’t want on one of my math tests and I was like,‘Ok, yeah I need some extra points’.” The amount of extra credit doesn’t depend upon how well teams perform, so all Nicholson, Schipfer and Bihuniak really need

out a bunch of ideas until something seems like a good way of going.” The team knows that it’s hard to get every question right — their record is 11 out of 12 correct — but between the three members, chances are one of them understands the problem. “During a competition, my first thought is,‘I hope Charlie knows this’,” Sufi said. “That’s how it works — we kind of just hope that someone knows it.” Even though they’ve never reached 100 percent accuracy, the team is in need of a challenge outside of a Shawnee Mission school cafeteria, and they are currently trying to get the school to register for the AMC 12 — a 25-question, 75-minute multiplechoice test competition. It’s a step up from the three-minute-long factoring and quadratic formula problems that challenge students at Mathletics. “The first 15 questions are doable,” Cronenwett said. “The last ten require three very obtuse pieces of insight.” And if they do well enough on the test — there’s another. This one is three hours and 15 questions. “Tests aren’t fun,” Cronenwett said. “But hard problems are fun.” The team doesn’t compete in Mathletics just for extra credit — although that is a perk. They want to test their knowledge of math and learn how to do different kinds of problems. After a competition last year, Cronenwett took the questions home to solve the ones he couldn’t figure out in the competition. “They recycle them anyway,” Cronenwett said.

to do is show up by 3:30 p.m. and sign their names on the answer sheet. The team sits together with their friends on other East teams, often violating the two-team-per-table rule. All members of Nicholson’s team usually decide to just guess on the problems. According to Schipfer, the team had a pattern for almost every problem: they’d try for the first minute, guess, then spend the rest of the time on the clock arguing over whose guess was right. “We kind of tried at the beginning,” Nicholson said. “But then we realized we don’t know what we’re doing. Half of the questions I had no clue where to start.” Bihuniak adopted a strategy called the X Factor — he would put the variable “x” next to random numbers and call it the answer. Which, according to Nicholson, worked once, but the other team members didn’t listen. The team finds a way to make math fun while getting extra credit — even if they come home with Sonic instead of trophies. “After the competition, we just kind of observed how high the stack of wrong answers [was],” Schipfer said. “It was pretty tall.”


design by | catherine erickson photos by | bella wolfe

FEATURES | 15

ENGREENED I N M E M O RY

Senior embraces his remarkable memory after years of being embarrassed about it

SHARP MINDED

Quotes from Will Green about using his memory to his advantage in three topics

WORLD CAPITALS “I’ve just always enjoyed history and geography so this one comes easy to me.”

STUDYING

BIRTHDAYS

“I just sit down and absorb [information]. With my APUSH test, I watched a two hour review video and my whole goal was to memorize the whole video. It worked pretty well.”

“My own birthday is so weird — it’s on Dec. 26. So, I subconsciously became aware of everyone else’s birthday since people asked about mine.”

I

L E F T Will Green holds up a calendar marked with all the October birthdays he’s memorized.

by natasha thomas

f you asked senior Will Green what the capital of Belarus is, he’d immediately say “Minsk.” “Cambodia?” “Phnom Penh.” “Gabon?” “Libreville.” Green isn’t consulting Google — he’s reciting them straight from memory. And it isn’t just countries’ capitals that he knows. It’s birthdays he’s heard only once, all the pre-test’s in Mr. Sandoy’s physics class or what was shouted across the playground in fifth grade recess one day. “A lot of people know me as the kid who doesn’t forget,” Green said. Green’s been “not forgetting” since his parents bought him an interactive globe for his seventh birthday and he memorized all the countries and their capitals within weeks. “Truthfully, we weren’t paying attention to Will [playing with the globe],” said Will’s mom Kelly Green. “But one day he took a [quiz] on all the African countries, and he knew them all just by the shape.” Green’s memory has always set him apart from others, but African country fun facts and memorized birthdays never got him very far socially with his fellow classmates. In elementary school, Green learned the hard ward way that reciting his classmate’s address that he was told only once weeks ago would get him astonished looks and pointed whispers. But after years of hiding the thing that had at times socially isolated him, he’s learned to appreciate his memory — it’s become one of his favorite things about himself. It’s not uncommon for random people to stop Green in the hallway and ask what their birthday is. Usually he’ll know the answer, even if he’s only met them once. Green’s memory has become a “party trick” among his friends. “People will pull up lists of countries and go through them and try to stump me,” Green said.

But it’s only on a very off day that he won’t remember something. Green says its like having a safe in his brain, and when someone says a trigger word, the safe is unlocked and the answer comes to mind. For most of high school, Green restrained from announcing the obscure fact about his chem partner to avoid the comments and looks that he knew too well. So when people test him for 20 minutes on countries or tell him their birthday to see if he’ll remember it days later, It doesn’t annoy Green — for him the interactions are a nice change. For so long, he had isolated himself from others out of fear of judgement. “There’s this weird threshold of, how much can you know about someone to make them feel good, and how much can you know to make them feel uncomfortable,” Green said. Green had known he’s been treated differently ever since he brought his memorized globe in for show-and-tell in first grade, when other kids asked how he knew the facts he was spouting off. But in a few more years when his fellow fifth graders found out that he knew some of his classmate’s addresses, a rumor went around that Green was a stalker. Green was hit with the harsh reality that people don’t always accept what they don’t understand, especially when those people are other 10-year-olds. His classmates didn’t understand that he wasn’t trying to memorize their addresses, he just never forgot them. At 10 years old he couldn’t take the rumors and whispers, so he began to keep his talent hidden. “I think it shut me down as a person, because when you’re 10, you just don’t know how to process it,” Green said. Green started analyzing his conversations — he didn’t want to be considered “weird” or make people uncomfortable in school. He’d always felt like an extrovert, but instead of chatting with friends in school he kept his head down and did his work. Green’s globe served him well in his elementary school

geography bee — first place in fourth grade and top three in fifth. But as the rumor crushed his spirits, it also seemed to change his memory — in sixth grade Green thinks he placed top ten, “at best.” Green spent middle school avoiding the reputation he’d built for himself, remembering the “Oh my god, are you stalking me?” that he’d heard anytime he seemed to remember too much about a classmate. “That time from 12 to 15 years old — it’s difficult,” said Mrs. Green. “It was probably when [he was] most reluctant to do anything that [made him] stand out or look different.” Then a year and a half ago, Green slipped up in his junior IB Psychology class — he said someone’s birthday. But the reaction wasn’t at all what he expected. The ten-year-old in Green was terrified for a repeat of the stalker rumor that plagued his fifth grade year, but his Psych classmates seemed more interested than uncomfortable. “That day kind of catapulted me into this chain reaction, where one person would ask ‘What’s their birthday,’ and then ‘What’s her birthday’ or pull up the whole list of the world’s capitals,” Green said. He’s even revisited his geography glory days — history is his favorite subject. When his memory started to become a point of pride rather than isolation, he thinks his ability to remember naturally improved. “Honestly, it’s really fun when people that I don’t know come up to me like, ‘Oh, my God Will, do you know all this stuff?’” Green said. “Growing up, I thought that everyone just thought it was weird.” Not that he doesn’t get the occasional fifth grade flashback. Green says to this day, he’ll get a judgmental “How do you know that?” But instead of worrying about what a handful of people think or say, he now focuses on everyone else that sees his memory as a talent. Green’s memory has always made him stand out — and now he knows it’s in a good way.


16 | NEWS

design by | caroline chisholm

$675,154 |

T H E FAC TS

CHECKING

TOTAL DISTRICT SPENDING: $5,889,373 $500,000 |

$

professional growth

maintains health $649 cap and adds 59 new employees

$346,576 |

3% increase for transpor tation

$1,209,674 | includes increase for utilities $1,484,519 | includes increase for supplies and services $1,673,450 | personnel changes of 28.44 FTE

$

THE QUICK FACTS

$69,000 1%

40%

average teacher salary in the district according to the state

are currently earning less money this year than last year

salary increase offered by the district, but shot down by the NEA-SM

NEGOTIATION TIMELINE

MAY 20,22,29, JUNE 24 & JULY 22 | SEPT. 3 | first mediation SEPT. 27 | second mediation TBD | fact-finding public hearing

contract discussions

*information courtesy of the SMSD School Board

SMSD and the National Education Association - SM are seeking outside assistance in the form of a fact-finder to help come to a 2019-2020 contract agreement by catherine erickson

A

fter five unsuccessful contract negotiations this summer and two mediations in impasse — a stalemate in which teachers are without a contract — the Shawnee Mission School District and the National Education Association - Shawnee Mission (NEA-SM) are seeking outside assistance to resolve the issue. The NEA-SM filed for fact-finding, one of the last resorts for im•passe

a si t u a t i o n i n w h i c h n o progress is possible, espec ially be ca u se o f d i sa g reem ent; a d ead loc k

contract negotiation since teacher strikes are illegal in Kansas, with the Kansas Department of Labor on Sept. 27. While teachers aren’t allowed to picket, they are wearing red on Wednesdays and not working extra hours to show they are united on the issue. They are walking into school together on Tuesdays at their contractual arrival time of 7:20 a.m., instead of many teachers’ usual arrival time of 7 a.m. “In this building we have so many dedicated teachers that prepare labs, work with kids before school, that a lot of them are willing to give their time [to students],” Fishman said. “We specifically agreed that we would come in as a group at 7:20 on Tuesdays and not work with kids [before 7:20]... to let the public know that...the contract that was offered by the school district, even though they got millions from the state that was supposed to go to the teachers, [doesn’t meet our needs].” During the fact-finding process, the district and NEA-SM must mutually decide on a fact-finder from a list of five suggestions from the state, then choose a date for a public hearing where each side will bring witnesses and present their facts. The fact-finder will put together a report from the information at this hearing

which will be presented during a private discussion between the two parties, where the parties hope to come to an agreement. The teachers have and will continue to work under their 2018-19 contracts until the hearing, where they will discuss their contractual priorities: increased salary, smaller classes and decreased hours. During mediation, NEA-SM proposed a three-year contract with a 2% base salary increase in the first year and a 1.5% base salary increase for the next two years. They also suggested lightening the workload for teachers by changing high school and eventually middle school teachers’ instruction to five periods instead of the current six and reducing elementary school class sizes, according to NEA-SM president Linda Sieck. According to Sieck, the district countered their proposed contract with a two-year contract which stated a 1% salary increase the first year, 1.5% increase the second year and covering any potential increase in health care costs. “So they didn’t make any movement on salary and they didn’t address class loads and class sizes,” Sieck said. “So at that point, we just felt like we weren’t really even negotiating.” The district’s Chief Communications Manager David Smith said they were unable to fulfill all the terms of the teachers’ proposed contract because they spent over $5 million of a $9.6 million state grant on transportation, utilities, new buildings such as the aquatic center and other necessities. “We’re trying really hard to take care of our teachers, but we have to do it in a financially sustainable way,” Smith said. “This year we’ve got an additional $9.6 million. Next year, I believe the amount we expect to get is under $3 million...Whatever we do this year is what we do from now on. So, we can’t do something that we can’t sustain over time.” The proposal to move high school and middle school teachers

from six periods to five periods and reduce elementary school classes by two students would cost the district more than the remaining $4.5 million dollars they have after spending the $5 million, according to Smith. Sieck believes the district should be investing more of the grant into raises and hiring new teachers since, according to Sieck, the State Department of Education recommends spending at least half of the state grant on teachers. “Our bargaining unit has said we’ll take a lesser percentage of increase if you’re hiring more teachers and making our class sizes smaller,” Sieck said. “[The district is] choosing to spend that money in other ways...If reducing class size and hiring more teachers is important to them, [they should] allocate the money there. That might mean [they] have to cut something else, but their message to us is that’s not important.”

So they didn’t make any movement on salary and they didn’t address class loads and class sizes, so at that point, we just felt like we weren’t really even negotiating

linda sieck | nea-sm president There has also been speculation of the district putting some of the $9.6 million grant into reserves, or the district’s “savings account,” according to English teacher Samantha Feinberg. However, the 2019-20 budget reports presented at the May 13 board meeting show no money was added to the reserves and SMSD board member Heather Ousley reinforced this at the Oct. 14 board meeting. Working under last year’s contract for the past three months

has proven detrimental to over 40% of teachers who are currently earning less money this year than last year, according to Sieck. Teachers in a dead zone on the SMSD salary schedule — years where some teachers do not receive a step raise — received a 1% stipend in addition to their base salary in the 2018-19 school year. So this year, without the stipend, teachers working under the same contract are earning less money. Teachers wearing red to symbolize “red for Ed” crowded the Oct. 14 board meeting, many even standing against the wall due to the unavailability of seats, to voice their opinions on the terms for the new contract and show they are united on the issue. NEA-SM building representative and social studies teacher Stephen Laird spoke at the meeting, emphasizing the problem of increased workload and the proposed five-period day for teachers. “My first year here, most teachers were teaching five periods,” Laird said. “Then [in my fourth year] the district went to a policy where all high school teachers would teach six, all middle school teachers would teach six. One added class doesn’t sound like a lot, but the average class size is 28-30 kids. So that’s another 30 essays you have to grade, 30 relationships you need to build. So there are some teachers in this building who have 200 to 210 students.” English teacher Samantha Feinberg agrees with Laird’s position that teachers are overworked with six periods. During her time in the district since 2005, she’s had to substantially alter her teaching style to accommodate the increase in students. Feinberg has had to simplify assignments to make them easier to grade in hopes of shortening the wait time between the due date and feedback. “My initial question used to be ‘What is the most creative and memorable way I can do this,’ because if it’s memorable then students will take it with them,” Feinberg said. “Now, I just kind of think more from an efficiency mindset, like ‘How can I make sure that I get this out to as many people and how can I make sure

that when it gets back to me I can efficiently account for it?’ So, we’ve lost some creativity, some intellectual thought in the name of efficiency [to be] able to check boxes.”

We specifically agreed that we would come in as a group at 7:20 on Tuesdays and not work with kids [before 7:20] to let the public know that the contract that was offered by the school district ...[doesn’t meet our needs.]

brenda fishman | history teacher Smith indicated that SMSD teachers have similar workloads to teachers in other districts, in addition to an average salary of $69,000 — one of the highest in the state, according to Kansas Education Data Reporting. “What our teachers are dealing with for class sizes are very similar to what other teachers in other districts have to deal with,” Smith said. “Over the past five years, if you look at the average teacher salary, they got [on average] a 4% raise...And that was during difficult economic times...We have said very clearly that our teachers are the highest paid teachers in the state.” However, Laird disagrees and said that SMSD teachers deal with a greater workload than many other districts in the area. “For a lot of us, especially in the high schools, it’s not necessarily the 1% [salary] difference, it’s the work, at least with me,” Laird said. “That’s what I spoke about [at the board meeting], getting that reduction from six to five, which [is what] it is in Olathe, Blue Valley, KCK, that’s the expectation, not the expectation, that’s the metropolitan standard.” Hocker Grove Middle School social studies teacher Lisa Debey

also said she has not been fairly compensated through the years at the Oct. 14 board meeting. Over the last 10 years, Debey’s contract pay has increased by about $4,000, while the consumer price index has increased by 19.7%, meaning her pay should have increased by about $11,000 to remain equitable. “This $7,200 deficit is compounded by the fact that both my husband and I have decided to make our careers in Shawnee Mission School District,” Debey said at the board meeting. “We have lost almost $15,000 in spending power over the last 10 years... Additional work and shrinking pay is not sustainable. I heard talking about increased utility costs [for the district], we have those too, but our pay isn’t keeping track.” Through the mediation and contract negotiations, the district and NEA-SM have come to a tentative agreement about the requirements of teacher work days. According to Sieck, the district asked to make professional development days blackout days, meaning teachers would not be allowed to use them as extended vacation days. In return, teachers asked to be able to take these work days outside of school, so they can work from home or a coffee shop since their work is online-accessible. Although Laird and Sieck expect to come to an agreement during fact-finding, there are still precautions in place if they don’t — they can accept a unilateral contract from the board, keep working under the 2018-19 contract or quit without the usual repercussion of a $1,000 charge.


16 | NEWS

design by | caroline chisholm

$675,154 |

T H E FAC TS

CHECKING

TOTAL DISTRICT SPENDING: $5,889,373 $500,000 |

$

professional growth

maintains health $649 cap and adds 59 new employees

$346,576 |

3% increase for transpor tation

$1,209,674 | includes increase for utilities $1,484,519 | includes increase for supplies and services $1,673,450 | personnel changes of 28.44 FTE

$

THE QUICK FACTS

$69,000 1%

40%

average teacher salary in the district according to the state

are currently earning less money this year than last year

salary increase offered by the district, but shot down by the NEA-SM

NEGOTIATION TIMELINE

MAY 20,22,29, JUNE 24 & JULY 22 | SEPT. 3 | first mediation SEPT. 27 | second mediation TBD | fact-finding public hearing

contract discussions

*information courtesy of the SMSD School Board

SMSD and the National Education Association - SM are seeking outside assistance in the form of a fact-finder to help come to a 2019-2020 contract agreement by catherine erickson

A

fter five unsuccessful contract negotiations this summer and two mediations in impasse — a stalemate in which teachers are without a contract — the Shawnee Mission School District and the National Education Association - Shawnee Mission (NEA-SM) are seeking outside assistance to resolve the issue. The NEA-SM filed for fact-finding, one of the last resorts for im•passe

a si t u a t i o n i n w h i c h n o progress is possible, espec ially be ca u se o f d i sa g reem ent; a d ead loc k

contract negotiation since teacher strikes are illegal in Kansas, with the Kansas Department of Labor on Sept. 27. While teachers aren’t allowed to picket, they are wearing red on Wednesdays and not working extra hours to show they are united on the issue. They are walking into school together on Tuesdays at their contractual arrival time of 7:20 a.m., instead of many teachers’ usual arrival time of 7 a.m. “In this building we have so many dedicated teachers that prepare labs, work with kids before school, that a lot of them are willing to give their time [to students],” Fishman said. “We specifically agreed that we would come in as a group at 7:20 on Tuesdays and not work with kids [before 7:20]... to let the public know that...the contract that was offered by the school district, even though they got millions from the state that was supposed to go to the teachers, [doesn’t meet our needs].” During the fact-finding process, the district and NEA-SM must mutually decide on a fact-finder from a list of five suggestions from the state, then choose a date for a public hearing where each side will bring witnesses and present their facts. The fact-finder will put together a report from the information at this hearing

which will be presented during a private discussion between the two parties, where the parties hope to come to an agreement. The teachers have and will continue to work under their 2018-19 contracts until the hearing, where they will discuss their contractual priorities: increased salary, smaller classes and decreased hours. During mediation, NEA-SM proposed a three-year contract with a 2% base salary increase in the first year and a 1.5% base salary increase for the next two years. They also suggested lightening the workload for teachers by changing high school and eventually middle school teachers’ instruction to five periods instead of the current six and reducing elementary school class sizes, according to NEA-SM president Linda Sieck. According to Sieck, the district countered their proposed contract with a two-year contract which stated a 1% salary increase the first year, 1.5% increase the second year and covering any potential increase in health care costs. “So they didn’t make any movement on salary and they didn’t address class loads and class sizes,” Sieck said. “So at that point, we just felt like we weren’t really even negotiating.” The district’s Chief Communications Manager David Smith said they were unable to fulfill all the terms of the teachers’ proposed contract because they spent over $5 million of a $9.6 million state grant on transportation, utilities, new buildings such as the aquatic center and other necessities. “We’re trying really hard to take care of our teachers, but we have to do it in a financially sustainable way,” Smith said. “This year we’ve got an additional $9.6 million. Next year, I believe the amount we expect to get is under $3 million...Whatever we do this year is what we do from now on. So, we can’t do something that we can’t sustain over time.” The proposal to move high school and middle school teachers

from six periods to five periods and reduce elementary school classes by two students would cost the district more than the remaining $4.5 million dollars they have after spending the $5 million, according to Smith. Sieck believes the district should be investing more of the grant into raises and hiring new teachers since, according to Sieck, the State Department of Education recommends spending at least half of the state grant on teachers. “Our bargaining unit has said we’ll take a lesser percentage of increase if you’re hiring more teachers and making our class sizes smaller,” Sieck said. “[The district is] choosing to spend that money in other ways...If reducing class size and hiring more teachers is important to them, [they should] allocate the money there. That might mean [they] have to cut something else, but their message to us is that’s not important.”

So they didn’t make any movement on salary and they didn’t address class loads and class sizes, so at that point, we just felt like we weren’t really even negotiating

linda sieck | nea-sm president There has also been speculation of the district putting some of the $9.6 million grant into reserves, or the district’s “savings account,” according to English teacher Samantha Feinberg. However, the 2019-20 budget reports presented at the May 13 board meeting show no money was added to the reserves and SMSD board member Heather Ousley reinforced this at the Oct. 14 board meeting. Working under last year’s contract for the past three months

has proven detrimental to over 40% of teachers who are currently earning less money this year than last year, according to Sieck. Teachers in a dead zone on the SMSD salary schedule — years where some teachers do not receive a step raise — received a 1% stipend in addition to their base salary in the 2018-19 school year. So this year, without the stipend, teachers working under the same contract are earning less money. Teachers wearing red to symbolize “red for Ed” crowded the Oct. 14 board meeting, many even standing against the wall due to the unavailability of seats, to voice their opinions on the terms for the new contract and show they are united on the issue. NEA-SM building representative and social studies teacher Stephen Laird spoke at the meeting, emphasizing the problem of increased workload and the proposed five-period day for teachers. “My first year here, most teachers were teaching five periods,” Laird said. “Then [in my fourth year] the district went to a policy where all high school teachers would teach six, all middle school teachers would teach six. One added class doesn’t sound like a lot, but the average class size is 28-30 kids. So that’s another 30 essays you have to grade, 30 relationships you need to build. So there are some teachers in this building who have 200 to 210 students.” English teacher Samantha Feinberg agrees with Laird’s position that teachers are overworked with six periods. During her time in the district since 2005, she’s had to substantially alter her teaching style to accommodate the increase in students. Feinberg has had to simplify assignments to make them easier to grade in hopes of shortening the wait time between the due date and feedback. “My initial question used to be ‘What is the most creative and memorable way I can do this,’ because if it’s memorable then students will take it with them,” Feinberg said. “Now, I just kind of think more from an efficiency mindset, like ‘How can I make sure that I get this out to as many people and how can I make sure

that when it gets back to me I can efficiently account for it?’ So, we’ve lost some creativity, some intellectual thought in the name of efficiency [to be] able to check boxes.”

We specifically agreed that we would come in as a group at 7:20 on Tuesdays and not work with kids [before 7:20] to let the public know that the contract that was offered by the school district ...[doesn’t meet our needs.]

brenda fishman | history teacher Smith indicated that SMSD teachers have similar workloads to teachers in other districts, in addition to an average salary of $69,000 — one of the highest in the state, according to Kansas Education Data Reporting. “What our teachers are dealing with for class sizes are very similar to what other teachers in other districts have to deal with,” Smith said. “Over the past five years, if you look at the average teacher salary, they got [on average] a 4% raise...And that was during difficult economic times...We have said very clearly that our teachers are the highest paid teachers in the state.” However, Laird disagrees and said that SMSD teachers deal with a greater workload than many other districts in the area. “For a lot of us, especially in the high schools, it’s not necessarily the 1% [salary] difference, it’s the work, at least with me,” Laird said. “That’s what I spoke about [at the board meeting], getting that reduction from six to five, which [is what] it is in Olathe, Blue Valley, KCK, that’s the expectation, not the expectation, that’s the metropolitan standard.” Hocker Grove Middle School social studies teacher Lisa Debey

also said she has not been fairly compensated through the years at the Oct. 14 board meeting. Over the last 10 years, Debey’s contract pay has increased by about $4,000, while the consumer price index has increased by 19.7%, meaning her pay should have increased by about $11,000 to remain equitable. “This $7,200 deficit is compounded by the fact that both my husband and I have decided to make our careers in Shawnee Mission School District,” Debey said at the board meeting. “We have lost almost $15,000 in spending power over the last 10 years... Additional work and shrinking pay is not sustainable. I heard talking about increased utility costs [for the district], we have those too, but our pay isn’t keeping track.” Through the mediation and contract negotiations, the district and NEA-SM have come to a tentative agreement about the requirements of teacher work days. According to Sieck, the district asked to make professional development days blackout days, meaning teachers would not be allowed to use them as extended vacation days. In return, teachers asked to be able to take these work days outside of school, so they can work from home or a coffee shop since their work is online-accessible. Although Laird and Sieck expect to come to an agreement during fact-finding, there are still precautions in place if they don’t — they can accept a unilateral contract from the board, keep working under the 2018-19 contract or quit without the usual repercussion of a $1,000 charge.


18 | FEATURES

design by | jackie cameron photos courtesy of | francesca sta-

RECONNECTING TO HER ROOTS

Freshman spends summer in Argentina, learning more about her extended family and herself

R I G H T | Francesca at the airport with her host family on Aug. 6, the day she returned to Kansas.

by maddox mogenson

B

efore this summer, freshman Francesca Stamati could only imagine going to Argentina to visit her dad’s side of her family — she had never even left America, let alone met most of her 100-or-so cousins, aunts and uncles who live 8,436 miles away. Stamati was the only child of her four siblings that had never visited their family abroad. The only introductions she’d had of her enormous family were through sparse FaceTime calls and random visits from her dad’s siblings. She felt that in order to connect to her family — in South America and at home — she had to see them in person. To close the gap between her and her family members, Stamati, accompanied by her sister Bella, decided to spend the summer in Argentina. Just minutes after telling her father she wanted to visit her extended family, her plans to travel were already in motion — he decided he would go with them for the first ten days of their trip, and a text to the Stamati extended family group chat alerted the family that him and the girls would be in Argentina over the summer. Before the end of the day, Stamati was in contact with her second cousin who would soon be one of her closest friends, 16-yearold Bianca Cirelli. “I didn’t even know Bianca even existed, she didn’t know I existed,” Stamati said. “But when I met her we just got close so fast.” Their relationship started last November with a once-a-week Skype call, bonding over Argentine and American music, school drama and Netflix shows. Their monthly calls grew to non-stop texting and constant reminders about how soon they’d finally meet in person. Once they finally did meet in person,

you would never have thought they hadn’t before. Stamati fit right in with Cirelli and her routine — everyday family traditions such as eating choripán sandwiches and drinking mate became second nature. Cirelli found herself surprised that she connected so quickly with someone who lived thousands of miles away from her. “She did a lot of Argentinian things with me,” Cirelli said. “The relationship was great — we got along really well.” Stamati got the chance to meet many people outside her biological family. Since they were unable to host her during her three-month trip, they recommended that she stay with family friends in Córdoba. Her host family consisted of a host mom,

I didn’t even know Bianca even existed, she didn’t know I existed. But when I met her we just got close so fast.

francesca stamati | freshman dad and two 12-year-old twin girls that she referred to as her sisters. She spent time with the girls having contests to see who could roll their “r’s” the longest, making TikToks (their favorite) and taking on the role of “big sister” by solving problems between them. “I became really close to them,” Stamati said. “I talked to them all the time and I still call them on the phone.” Her host sisters weren’t the only sisters Stamati bonded with on the trip. Stamati’s 19-year-old biological sister, Bella Stamati, moved to college when Francesca was going into 8th grade. Traveling together gave them an opportunity to share experiences that nobody else in their family could relate to. “We have so many inside jokes now that

I don’t have with my brothers,” Bella said. “It just strengthened our relationship a lot.” Speaking an entirely different language than everyone in their extended family also aided their relationship’s growth. They had to tackle the Spanish language barrier together — they had grown up hearing it when their father talked to his siblings on the phone, but they never had the chance to use it themselves. But according to Bella, they thrived by relying on each other to communicate to their family. “Sometimes we had to pull out Google Translate when they were trying to speak English to us,” Bella said. “They would act out what they were trying to say — and the other way around.” Her strengthening of her Spanish was just one of the factors that led to her overall new understanding of her Argentinian roots. During the first ten days of her trip, Stamati and her father Miguel visited his childhood home in Santa Fe. He reminisced about the staircases he used to slide down and the windowsills he would sit in. These memories gave Francesca the first-hand opportunity to learn more about her father’s past. “It was just crazy to see something that was part of his childhood,” Stamati said. “Now it’s ‘I’m there and I’m seeing it’ and that was really cool.” Stamati has now been away from her extended family for three months. She doesn’t have plans to go back to Argentina anytime soon, but texting every day almost makes it seem like they’re still together.

MEET THE FAM get to know Francesca’s family members

BIANCA

cousin BEST MEMORY: going to a friend’s quinceañera party together

GUCCI

cousin BEST MEMORY: spending time together at the family reunion

JUSTINA & ANGELA

host sisters BEST MEMORY: cooking pizza, tacos and brownies together

MIGUEL grandpa BEST MEMORY: celebrating his 91st birthday

ALL OVER ARGENTINA Francesca’s favorite places and things to do where she traveled

NEAR ALTA GRACIA SALSIPUEDES drive through mountains cafés

SANTA FE time at the Stamati house

CORDOBA shopping


design by | rose kanaley by brynn winkler

SME

TO

Senior debaters made it to the TOC tournament after working together in and out of the debate room

TOC

T O P Senior Graham Revare listens to advice from East debate assistant coach and alumna Hassett photo by | annakate dilks

B O T T O M Senior Grant Colvin laughs while strategizing with Revare and Hassett photo by | annakate dilks

“C

ongratulations to both teams for making it to the semi-finals,” the announcer said. “The decision is three zero for the negative from Shawnee Mission East.” To translate from debate lingo — senior policy debaters Grant Colvin and Graham Revare had finally qualified for the Tournament of Champions (TOC), the most prestigious high school debate tournament in the country according to East assistant coach Carolyn Hassett. College debaters respect it. High school debaters aspire to reach it. But you wouldn’t find either of them high five-ing or fist-bumping. Instead, they’re busy prepping arguments for their ninth debate round that weekend. For Revare and Colvin, school would have to wait until Tuesday — this tournament was running into Monday. This is the norm for the 2nd year duo during their eight-month debate season. Carpools to the Friday night football games are traded for cramped van rides to their next tournament, and sleeping in on Saturdays is out of the question. Though exhausting, their commitment has gotten the pair to where they are today — a part of the small pool of about a half a dozen debate teams from East that have ever qualified for the TOC. “You go to a tournament, get very little sleep, and do like the most emotionally exhausting activity on the planet,” Revare said. “Sometimes we’ll get back Monday night or Sunday night and then are expected to finish all of your homework and then go to school the next morning.” These grueling hours of debating started early this year, as they both spent seven weeks of their summer at the University of Michigan’s Debate Institute. Here, Revare and Colvin spent 12 hours each day researching this year’s topic (reducing foreign arms sales), compiling evidence and doing practice debate rounds. Colvin said their time at Michigan ensured they were on the same skill level as each other, allowing them to work well together during the season. According to the debaters, the intensive program allowed the pair to reach a learning curve in their careers that made the idea of qualifying for TOC attainable. “You reach a sort of second level understanding of debate,” Revare said. “You go from playing something or doing an activity to really being good at it.” Gone are their novice days of learning terminology and the intricacies of policy debate. Now, they know how to be strategic — how to research more thoroughly, prepare for whatever route the debate ends up taking and use methods of judge persuasion. Debate coach Trey Witt knew that the pair would be able to reach the level where they could achieve what they’ve been striving for — qualifying for the TOC. In order to qualify for the TOC, a team must receive two bids, which are earned by advancing to the semifinals or finals in a designated TOC bid tournament. Prior to this year, neither Colvin nor Revare had ever received a bid. But Witt was confident they would get at least two this year. “Honestly, I wasn’t really surprised,” said Witt. “I knew they were going to be able to get their second bid, especially after how successful their first couple tournaments of the season were.” As of Oct. 17, Revare and Colvin had only lost five out of 28 debate rounds and held an 82% win rate — compared to 66% last year. Hassett credits part of their success to being friends both during their rounds and outside of debate. “They just have a mutual understanding and respect for one another as friends, as partners, and debaters,” Hassett said. “I think the fact that they’re able to have

FEATURES | 19 not only a partnership but also a friendship is what makes their partnership so special.” Another aspect Hassett says sets them apart from the rest of the crowd is their dedication to the research and preparation. “The amount of work they put into this activity is insane,” Hassett said. They’re always doing practice speeches, practice rounds, cutting cards, producing files.” Whether it be in the debate room, another class or in the debate van, Colvin and Revare are constantly found “cutting cards,” or collecting evidence to respond to any argument they could come across. For Colvin, sometimes this can mean getting crash courses about obscure philosophers in the back of a van while heading back to their hotel in Oklahoma City at 9 p.m. As hectic as it seems, Revare and Colvin are convinced the best cards they cut are the ones they do in unexpected places like parties, after getting out of the shower or on three hour road trips to tournaments. “It’s just throwing around a bunch of ideas in a van

Debate is a communicative activity. Not just between you and the judge, or you and your opponents, but between you and your partner. And that’s an aspect that can be sometimes overlooked.

graham revare | senior as you drive through the wheat fields of Kansas,” Colvin said. “Your only source of information is an assistant coach at the front of the van and you have to yell to hear them.” When they finally get to the tournament, it’s communication that can either advance them into the semifinals or send them home before they reach elimination rounds. Though they tend to compliment each other, they acknowledge one weakness as a team can be miscommunication. “Debate is a communicative activity,” Revare said. “Not just between you and the judge, or you and your opponents, but between you and your partner. And that’s an aspect that can be sometimes overlooked.” To maintain that communication and be effective as possible, they have to explicitly consult each other during rounds by continuously asking questions and typing up things for the other person say during their speech. While Colvin gives the more important speech during their affirmative rounds, Revare is tasked with negating the other team’s plan during the negative rounds. Another important debate strategy they utilize is a little bit more unexpected — their outfits. According to Revare, it’s common for debaters at their level to have some sort of trademark for others to associate with that team — whether that be always wearing pajamas or keeping a stuffed animal on the podium while debating. In their case, Revare won’t be caught walking into a tournament without his signature Hawaiian floral shorts and black tie. And Colvin never forgets his Adidas Superstar sneakers. “It puts you in your comfort zone,” Revare said. “It puts the other person off balance because they’re like, ‘why is this dude wearing a tie? And floral shorts?’” Though they’ve attained their goal of qualifying for TOC, they don’t plan to stop cutting cards in class any time soon. Floral shorts and Adidas in all, Revare and Colvin plan on being the first team from East in recent history to travel to Lexington, KY for the TOC this April.


CO M E S E E U S FO R H EA LT H Y SHAKES A N D A GO O D TIME! 9 1 0 W 3 9 T H S T , K A N S A S C I T Y, M O 6 4 1 1 1

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A&E | 21

design by | lauren dierks photos courtesy of | IMDb & itunes

A&E

HIGHLIGHTS

SINCERELY, ROSE Staffer reviews touring musical “Dear Evan Hansen”

The Harbinger hub for all things trending in the arts and entertainment world

N E W LY R E L E A S E D S I N G L E S

by rose kanaley

LIGHTS UP

HIGHEST IN THE ROOM

S I N G E R | T R AV I S S C OT T

S I N G E R | H A R RY ST Y L E S

DAT E | 9 / 3 0

DAT E | 1 0/ 1 1 | 5 STA RS

| 4 STA R S

OT H E R P O P U L A R S O N GS

OT H E R P O P U L A R S O N GS

A ST ROWO R L D

SIGN OF THE TIMES

S I C KO M O D E

KIWI

G O OS E B U M P S

S W E E T C R E AT U R E

B U T T E R F LY E F F EC T

C A RO L I N A

T H E LO N D O N

GIRL CRUSH

1 0,0 0 0 H O U R S

EASY

S I N G E R | DA N + S H AY

SINGER | CAMILLA CABELLO

DAT E | 1 0/ 4

DAT E | 1 0/ 1 1 | 4 STA R S

| 5 STA RS OT H E R P O P U L A R S O N GS

OT H E R P O P U L A R S O N GS

T EQ U I L A

H AVA N A

W H AT K E E P S YO U U P

CO N S EQ U E N C E S

S P E EC H L E S S

INSIDE OUT

A L L TO M YS E L F

S E N O R I TA

F RO M T H E G RO U N D U P

LIAR

ON THE BIG SCREEN ABOMINABLE

AFTER HEARING MY little sister Caroline scream about how amazing Ben Platt is and play the “Dear Evan Hansen” soundtrack on loop for the past three years, I thought I knew the musical more than I’d ever need or want to. So getting in the car for the Tuesday night show, all I could think about was the PSAT the next morning and all my Calc homework looming over me — the Kansas City Music Hall was the last place I wanted to be. But boy did that change. Stephen Anthony’s all too accurate portrayal of Evan, a teenage boy dealing with anxiety and depression, was spot on — from his nervous ticks to his key changes to his uncanny awkwardness. And it wasn’t just Evan. Each character developed with originality, whether it was Zoe grieving for her brother through screaming hatred or Heidi’s tears and frustration when she couldn’t afford to miss her shift at the hospital to have her first dinner with her son in weeks. As someone who refuses to listen to Broadway and musical songs unless absolutely forced, I can’t exactly call myself a musical connoisseur. But even I could appreciate the expressive songs like “Waving Through A Window” and “Words Fail.” The stage was set up with screens

hanging from the ceiling and covering the ground, turning on to represent the characters’ phones or computers. To indicate the start of the show and end of intermission, the screens lit up with a phone call, playing the classic Marimba ring tone to quiet the audience — a simple and innovative idea. It allowed for everything from text messages to phone calls to take place on stage. But it wasn’t just the cast’s acting, setup or songs that kept me in awe for three hours in the dark theater — it was the message. You’re not alone. The boldness and authenticity of the themes of loneliness, anxiety and suicide left me, along with my mom, dad and sister, in tears throughout the majority of the show. The students of their school faced the tragedy of classmate Connor Murphy’s suicide and tried to react properly, but most forgot about it after a week. It was brutally honest. No one wants to remember, but “Dear Evan Hansen” made me realize it’s our job to remember, to keep the message of suicide prevention going, long after the curtains close. My first real musical experience, “Dear Evan Hansen,” may have changed my opinion on all I’d thought was wrong with Broadway productions — and who knows, maybe next time I’m working on an AP Bio 2 worksheet over cellular respiration I’ll try out another musical

ROSE’S TOP SONGS

M A L E F I C E N T: M I ST R E S S D OW N TO N A B B E Y OF EVIL

AD ASTRA

1 2 3

WAV I N G T H R O U G H A W I N D O W “I ALREADY KNEW AND LOVED THE SONG GOING IN, BUT THE BLOCKING AND CHOREOGRAPHY WERE REALLY COOL TO FINALLY SEE”

R AT E D | P G

R AT E D | P G

R AT E D | P G

R AT E D | P G -1 3

TIME | 1HR 37MIN

TIME | 1HR 58MIN

TIME | 2HR 1MIN

TIME | 2HR 4MIN

IF I COULD TELL HER “IT’S SUCH A SWEET SONG SO WATCHING IT ON STAGE WAS EVEN BETTER. EVAN AND ZOE’S INTERACTIONS WERE EXACTLY WHAT I’D HOPED FOR”

S I N C E R E LY, M E “THE WHOLE CROWD WAS LAUGHING THROUGH IT, IT WAS EASILY ONE OF MY FAVORITES. SEEING THE CHARACTERS HAVE SO MUCH FUN WAS FUN TO WATCH”


22 | A&E

*photos based on characters with the most guilty votes

AISLINN MENKE

GINGER SCHNAPPS | 2 VOT E S

G U I LT Y

MURDER AT

BLEDSOE MANOR by sarah bledsoe

Staffer plans and has a Murder Mystery dinner party to top off the Halloween season

LILA TULP

S I E R R A TA N G O | 4 VOT E S

INTRODUCTION HOT CIDER, COOL nights and more horror movies than I can count — spooky season must be upon us. So instead of the usual custom optional Halloween parties I decided to spice things up a bit. With the help of a kit from Amazon and a few friends, I decided to celebrate my favorite time of the year by throwing a

HOW TO S ET IT U P

K A R A AU V R AY

E M F AT E L E | 2 VOT E S

O VERALL, THE PLANNING process wasn’t too consuming, but I have a few tips to help ease the process if you’re planning on throwing the best Halloween murder mystery dinner party. When it came to planning my murder mystery extravaganza, Amazon Prime was my best friend. It provided me with a plethora of murder mystery online kits. And with my Amazon Prime one-day shipping, I was provided with made-up character information for 20 undecided guests, ranging from a mysterious butler to the doctor that never actually got his medical license. Next was the guest list — 17 of

Haunted Murder Mystery Dinner Party. That’s right, 17 people were invited to Bledsoe Manor Oct. 17 — Clue style, on illustrated invitations. Each invite was assigned a role in the murder mystery, everyone gathered for a dinner party celebrating Lord Heathcliff’s wedding to his young French wife, Em Fatale, played by senior Kara Auvray. But before the celebrations could begin, Lord Heathcliff was *gasp* murdered in

his pool house. The game was played in three acts — the mingling phase, the dinner phase and the dessert phase. Each character’s invitation came equipped with questions to ask other guests to try and discover the murderer, and answers for when they themselves were interrogated. But my favorite part of all was the end, when everyone stood in a circle and discussed who the murderer was.

my closest friends that I somehow convinced to come to my house on a Thursday night for a spontaneous dinner party. I decided to choose my most outgoing friends to ensure they would follow along with my evening filled with costumes, horrible English accents (or Scottish in my case) and a feast of chicken pot pie from Costco. Then, I moved on to the characters — because I’m extremely extra, I re-typed and re-designed all of the character cards — with the help of designedobsessed Lilah Faye of course. But even if you don’t change the characters in the $15 Amazon kit, you can still have an amazing party. As long as all of your guests can make it, because crafting the character relationships, only to have

one person bail last minute — thanks Carolyn — leads to chaos at the dinner table. After hours of voice typing — meaning Siri did the brunt of the work — the character cards, the next step was decorations. I set up a red tablecloth and put fake spider webs from floor to ceiling to add to the haunted theme, further strengthening the ominous theme with a spooky soundtrack my dad found on Spotify. Old-fashioned candelabras illuminated the room, which my mom found in the deep crevices of our basement. So I set the table for 17, while my mom frantically vacuumed the entire house.

WHO DUNNIT? | MEET THE SUSPECTS B L A N C H E B AT H E RS P L AY E D BY | B RO O K LY N M A N N I N G O CC U PAT I O N | CO O K S EC R E T | E A R N E D P OS I T I O N BY D EC E P T I O N , A N D W H O FO U N D O U T ? LO R D H E AT H C L I F F A L I B I | WA S I N T H E K I TC H E N C O O K I N G LU N C H FO R T H E LO R D VERDICT | INNOCENT

BUTLER P L AY E D BY | J E N N A T H I E M A N N O CC U PAT I O N | T H E B U T L E R S EC R E T | F I R E D BY LO R D H EAT H C L I F F F O R C R E D I T C A R D F R AU D A L I B I | C H AT T I N G W I T H T H E GA R D N E R OV E R P E R S O N A L M AT T E R S VERDICT | INNOCENT


design by | lila tulp & lilah faye photos by | sarah golder F A R L E F T Senior, and host of the party, Sarah Bledsoe plays the maid Mrs. Withering as she reads the evidence against all of the suspects leading up to act two. L E F T Served with salad, mashed potatoes and bread, the guests ate a main course of chicken pot pie as they mingled with their surrounding suspects. B O T T O M Seniors Reilly Moreland, Ty Browning and Brooklyn Manning eat dinner while answering questions from their fellow guests, trying to figure out the murder.

NOW THE PARTY: as I waited for all the guests to arrive I wore a long black dress with a white apron — my best attempt at a prude maid — and worried about whether my guest were going to fully commit to their character like I did. Fortunately, they dove right in. The mingling phase began. Everyone crammed into my entry hallway and began interrogating anyone and everyone they could — all with the goal of meeting all the suspects in only 20 minutes. Among the visitors at Bledsoe Manor were the deceased Lord Heathcliff’s daughter, played by junior Phoebe Hendon, who stood to inherit the entire will in Lord Heathcliff’s death — making her sound pretty guilty. There was Em Fatale, Lord Heathcliff’s beautiful young widow, who just happened to get married after three weeks of knowing the dude for some priceless antique she wanted to collect — allowing my dreams of living in a gold digging telenovela to become a reality for a night. Then we had Ginger Schnapps, played by senior Aislinn Menke, the young famous wedding photographer who had met Lord Heathcliff only once before but still found herself invited to the wedding. Oh, and the 14 other suspects, but those were the highlights. I mean, with 17 characters it was hard to keep track of everyone, especially considering Inspector Denaux, played by senior Reilly Moreland was screaming she ‘knows the murderer’ every five minutes. After everyone became acquainted, dinner was served. When the guests were seated EM Fatale clinked her glass and stood for a five-minute all-french speech as the guests stood in confusion — later learning it was about her remorse for her late husband — shout out to French 6 with Madame Losey. Ginger Schnapps downed a whole bottle of sparkling apple cider with British Hot shot, Sierra Tango, played by senior Lila Tulp, who was constantly demanding a light for her cigarette — or in her case, just some rolled up white paper. And this was all before

dinner was even over, so I guess you could say it was a lot more interesting that my usual Thursday-night TV dinners. As the night progressed, more hints dropped as to the murderer’s true identity, that is if you could even hear them over the chaos. The Reverend, played by junior Tommy Paulus, and Ginger were constantly screaming at each other because one of them had to have been the murderer. While Investigator Denaux stood on a chair and screamed in Em Fatale’s face because ‘the wife always does it.’ Along the way, we learned that Ginger Schnapps canceled her trip last minute to make it to this dinner party and that Miss Witherings, played by me, was secretly in love with Lord Heathcliff. By dessert, the room was complete chaos — filled with screaming and pointing at who they “knew” had to be the murderer without any actual evidence to back up their claim. The tallies came out to be two votes for Em Fatale, two for Ginger Schnapps, four for Cinders and four for Sierra Tango — whose vote count increased once people learned that in addition to being the Police Commissioner, she was an exotic dancer. When it was finally revealed that the murderer was indeed photographer Ginger Schnapps, there was an uproar while everyone claimed they knew it all along, and the investigator held out her notebook for everyone to see her chicken-scratched “Ginger did it,” and proceeded to lead her out of the house in makeshift handcuffs. Although the evening certainly took a lot of planning, when I was sent back to the reality of AP statistics homework and mundane family dinners, I found myself missing being surrounded by all my friends. For one night, I dined in a spooky English Mansion with a killer and over 16 of the craziest, most outgoing characters around — all without leaving my home. If you ever want to spice up your spooky celebrations, I highly recommend throwing a murder mystery extravaganza.

THE RECAP STEP-BY-STEP | HOW TO PLAN ST E P O N E | B U Y T H E K I T ST E P T WO | I N V I T E YO U R G U E STS ! C H O OS E T H E B E ST AC TO R S A N D M OST O U TG O I N G O F YO U R F R I E N D S A N D A S S I G N T H E M A C H A R AC T E R ST E P T H R E E | S E T U P T H E PA RT Y ! C O O K YO U R D I N N E R A N D G E T I N TO C H A R AC T E R . G E T R E A DY F O R A M YST E RY A N D G R E E T YO U R S U S P EC TS A S T H E Y A R R I V E TO T H E H EAT H C L I F F M A N O R .

SCAN ME | BUY THE KIT Scan this QR code to be directed to the Amazon website to buy your own Murder Mystery Party Kit


24 | A&E

W

design by | celia condon photos by | julia percy

by sydney decker

hen initially seeing the Instagram ad on my feed for the Museum of Good Vibes coming to Kansas City’s very own Westport Event Space, I was slightly turned away. With the cliché name, it didn’t really seem like my kind of scene. But I swallowed my judgments and after paying for a reasonable $16 ticket and time slot, all of my concerns faded away as I stepped through the lavender curtains that led me straight to the “good vibes” that had been lacking from my mundane Tuesday afternoon. The opening room was plastered with a colorful collage, forming an array of artistic pictures and uplifting quotes including “as long as you’re happy who cares” and “have the time of your life.” Although it was simple, it did not fail delivering the good vibes and offered the perfect photo shoot opportunity. The positive and bright atmosphere sets the tone for what the rest of the 45 minutes walking through this place would be like — colorful and uplifting. One of my favorites was the cloud room, which had a rainbow-pastel staircase leading up to it. It was simple yet proved to be mood-lifting — a blue room with seven clouds made of stuffing hanging from the ceiling was the highlight of my day. The breathtaking and fluffy clouds made me feel like I was on cloud nine (pun intended). Looking for the doorway to the next room, I saw two window-like openings in the wall with stairs leading up to them. The glitter streamers blocked the view through the windows, so I moved them aside and my eyes met a wall covered with more red, blue, purple and gold streamers. I was impressed, I hadn’t seen that many streamers since my third grade birthday party. I had noticed a door, but the obvious entrance to this room was a slide below the windows. Crawling through the window, navigating through the streamers and sliding down the yellow slide caused undeniable laughter to escape my mouth. There was a disco room with shimmery balls hanging from the ceiling, and you guessed it, seemingly infinite fluorescent silver streamers. I started to think they had made some kind of deal with Party City where they get a better price the more streamers they buy. Another room was coated in pink paint from top to bottom, with sparkly confetti covering the floor (fact: showering yourself in the confetti makes for the perfect selfie and is an instant mood booster). An intriguing sign in front of a rose-covered wall read, “Pssst… this

room has a secret.” Hidden among the roses was a doorknob and upon opening the door was a room least expected. Expecting a flowery, colorful room, I was instead met with a mirrorcovered room illuminated solely by purple LED lights. I was a little worried because it reminded me of the scene from “IT: Chapter 2,” which also involved mirrors and a creepy clown, but I instantly turned my attention from clowns to observing and appreciating the room’s obscurity and cool vibes. The rose theme on the outside was able to provide me with “good vibes” to spare — I was completely satisfied with the wall flowers. But the dark, mysterious mirrors — a theme opposite from the room’s initial appearance — still created excitement and was a great experience providing a change of scenery from all the previous rooms. Easily the biggest room, which was downstairs, consisted of a giant see-saw, a two hole mini-golf course and three basketball hoops with mini rubber basketballs. After four embarrassing attempts, I finally hit the rubber golf ball in the hole and showed off my lay-up skills derived from my sixth grade basketball career. If you’re an aspiring golfer, basketball player or simply love see-saws, this museum offers great resources and could be a fun competitive atmosphere for you and your friends. The walls in the last room were painted a light, lilac purple while the back wall was a reflective material. But the most attractive feature was the ball pit with clear plastic balls. Energetically jumping into it wasn’t encouraged, but a slip later and I was engulfed in the pit. It seemed impossible to escape, but frankly, I was fine with that. As a very stressed high school student, it felt nice to travel back in time to be a kid playing in a ball pit, and experience the childhood nostalgia. This addition of childhood whimsy I didn’t know I needed was the perfect ending to a museum that held me in a constant state of smiling. Although I wasn’t sure what to expect, (something good I’d hoped), this experience was incredibly entertaining because of its unique exhibits and displays. The system of buying flexible time slots and online tickets prevented chaos and a large crowd. If a museum offering any kind of good vibes comes to KC, take that opportunity. Good vibes can be hard to come by — but no matter what kind of day you’ve had, streamers and ball pits are the easy fix.

ALL GOOD

Vibes P I C T U R E P E R F EC T

Sydney’s choice rooms with the best vibes

B A L L P I T R O O M | 5 S TA R S

F I R S T F AV O R I T E

M y favo rite ro o m was th e ball pit ro o m becau se it was interac tive, su pe r fu n an d n ostalgic .

S P O R T S R O O M | 4 . 5 S TA R S

S E C O N D F AV O R I T E M y s e c o n d fa v o r i t e w a s t h e s p o r t s ro o m b e ca u se t h e re wa s a l ot to d o and it took my mind off school and st res s to h ave fu n .

M I R R O R R O O M | 4 S TA R S

T H I R D F AV O R I T E M y t h i r d fa v o r i t e w a s t h e r o o m o f m i r ro r s b e c a u s e i t l o o ke d re a l l y c o o l a n d wa s a g o o d sep a ra t i o n fro m t h e re a l wo r l d .

A review of Westport’s Museum of Good Vibes: designed to not only inspire fun photographs, but fun times. T O P All photos are a sneak peek into some of the Museum’s rooms and decor. A sign hints at a fun surprise in one of the photo rooms. Streamers hang around the disco ball room, and confetti is suspended in the air to create a fun photo background.


A&E | 25

design by | carolyn popper photo courtesy of | IMDb

THROWBACK

SPOOKS F E A R FA C T O R

Staffer recommends some unlikely Halloween flicks for the upcoming Spooky season

F E A R FA C T O R

YEAR | 1979

Y EA R | 2 01 6 | R AT I N G

| R AT I N G

S C A R I E ST PA RT | B E LOW

S C A R I E ST PA RT | B E LOW

N o ra h a s a h o r r i fy i n g e m b r yo n i c s a c g row i n g o u t o f h e r l i ke a t u m o r a n d I c o u l d n o t h a ve i m a g i n e d a ny t h i n g l i ke t h a t . I t h o u g ht s h e wa s g o i n g to ki l l h e r h u s b a n d , b u t s a d l y I wa s w ro n g .

Lo u , t h e m a i n c h a ra c te r, is being g i ve n an u l t ra s o u n d by ra ve n o u s g o r i l l a s. S o m e t h i n g a b o u t being s t ra p p e d d ow n a g a i n s t yo u r w i l l t u r n e d o n my fi g ht o r fl i g ht m o d e, a n d I froze.

by tommy paulus

T H E I N T RO HALLOWEEN IS CREEPING up on us, and that means one thing: blood, guts and jump scares galore! It also means the same unoriginal, overdrawn plot of a masked killer slicing open the stomachs of some pesky dramatic teenager — and I’ve been yearning for something a little more off-beat. If you’re tired of the basic murders from “The Shining”, “Poltergeist” or “Nightmare on Elm Street”, try out these intense and unusual movies to cure your slasher-movie slump. I picked three of some of the culty-est, wackiest and terror-inducing horror films to switch up your horror selection this All Hallows Eve.

R E A D TO M M Y ’S R E V I E W S B E LOW

F E A R FA C TO R Y EA R | 1 9 6 2 | R AT I N G S C A R I E ST PA RT | B E LOW

IN THIS “MULTI-GENRE” body-horror-flick, the audience treks through the plot lines of a messy divorce with a detached Frank Carveth and his mentally disturbed wife Nora, the shady psychological practices at the fictional Sommafree Institute and (my personal favorite) the murderous child-like monster. Now, don’t be thrown off by all of these seemingly clashing plot lines, they all tie together in the end making a disgustingly perfect yet cohesive story. This movie is an outsider to the 70/80’s movie bubble. The movie deals with themes of psychosis, the effects of divorce and a slight reversal of the damsel-in-distress situations – definitely not just a stale revenge-killing plot. The director also decided to only show extremely grotesque parts of the movie, so when the horrific, wrinkled and pale visages of the creatures were presented to me in full light the noise that left my mouth was like something from one of the movie’s horrifying creatures. The special effects weren’t cutting-edge but still managed to scare me more than some of the questionable CGI animation we see today.

The movie deals with themes of psychosis, the effects of divorce and a slight reversal of the damsel-indistress situations — definitely not just a stale revenge-killing plot.

tommy paulus | junior There is also a horror aspect to most of the supporting characters. They all have their own traumatic back story, making me sympathetic for them even in their most questionable moments. Even though Nora is violent and borderline psychotic you can’t help but pity her because her of her abusive past. The sentimental component given to the horror movie’s characters conflicted the grotesque actions, making for a shocking, thought-provoking and sleepless end to my night.

SET IN A COLD, snow-bound, mid-western town, this sci-fi horror flick chronicles anti-heroine Lou and her mysterious rapidly approaching pregnancy. After floating around another drug-oozing party, she wakes up pregnant and the search is to find out what is actually growing inside of her. She becomes quite manic as her pregnancy becomes terminal and we as the audience watch her fall from indifferent Heroin

I n t h e l a st t h ree m i n u tes, a h o a rd o f u n - d e a d p e o p l e we re d a n c i n g to t h e o m i n o u s c h o rd s o f a n o rg a n a n d b e g a n to c h a se t h e m a i n c h a ra c te r.

LSD

A ha l l uci no g eni c drug tha t ca uses a l tered tho ug hts, feelings, and an awareness of surroundings

addict to crazed zombie woman. Stylistically, this film reflects its characters love of a quick high, with nauseating editing and a color palette that uses colors Crayola hasn’t even thought of making. The style choices set the mood for a disgusting, slimy and all-around perfectly atrocious watching experience. The director made it his top priority to deter any common horror clichés that could be predictable to audiences. As Lou is spiraling further and further into the terrifying trips of her infected brain, the audience witnesses estranged quasi-religious people emerging out of the moon or reluctantly watching Lou receive an ultrasound by what I can only describe as neon gorilla clowns. With all of these occurring my brain was being oversaturated in LSD. The first third of the movie gave me a false pretense of a somewhat laid back horror film about the struggles of people addicted to illegal substances. And boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Towards the end of the plot gears are shifted into OVER overdrive, and it’s all a fever dream I wish I could wake up from but subconsciously want to stay in. Even though the near vomit inducing scene made me take a break from viewing this movie, the hallucinatory cinematography and twisting plot will impress those who can get past its outlandish nature.

PICTURE THIS: YOU ask for the next ticket out of town, but no one can hear you. Time’s not frozen, but the world is silent. You are isolated! Isolation is one of my biggest fears and its effects come in full force when it comes to the protagonist Mary Henry, and her recent hauntings by cadaver-like figures. Since the movie was made in the 60’s, the special effects were, minimal however, I found myself becoming more scared than being in a neutral state, and I loved it. The carefully crafted jump scares loomed over my petrified conscious, but I appreciate the director making each terrifying jolt different from the next — something hard to come by in the average Halloween flick.

SCAN ME | VIDEO Scan the QR Code to watch the movie trailer for “Carnival of Souls”

This movie focuses on how a traumatic past can come back to haunt you and consume your life. As every scene passes the next becomes increasingly threatening, as though every single character, even the extras, want her dead. The feeling I got as she becomes controlled by her past was foreign to me — it was isolation, a horror characteristic I’m not used to. Yes, my family was all occupying my house, but I could have had my mom be parallel to me and would still feel like I am the only one living on my street.


26 | PHOTOSTORY

design by | aislinn menke and kate nixon

M ON E Y FO R MU F F I N Coalition held their 11th annual bakesale on Oct. 20

T O P L E F T While looking at the banner junior Ella Smith made, senior Olive Henry laughs. “[Smith] tried to make a poster and it did not really work, so I was unfolding it to look at what she had written and what she had messed up... [The banner] said ‘Bake; but it was a mix of capital and lowercase letters and then instead of sale there was a kind of s looking character and then a bunch of scribbles,” Henry said. photo by | kate nixon R I G H T Senior Kara Auvray laughs while showing off the new glittery additions she and junior Ella Smith made to the banner. “[We were] trying to get cars and pedestrians to stop by [the bake sale],” Auvray said. photo by | ty browning

ABOU T TH E E V E N T by kate nixon

C

oalition held their 11th annual bake sale on Oct. 20. The bake sale raised money for the Mothers United for Families in Need (MUFFIN) Fund – which is a registered group under Olathe Public School Foundation. The fund, started by a group of local moms who wish to make positive change in the lives of local children, provides children with food, clothing, fees and other basic necessities. In total, the bake sale raised just under $200 in four hours.

M I D D L E L E F T After making an impromptu stop at the bake sale, senior Darby Gunter takes brownies from senior Isabella Velez. “I was driving to go to Fairway Creamery and I saw the brownie stand with all my friends in it, so I stopped by and gave them two dollars for two brownies,” Gunter said. photo by trevor paulus M I D D L E R I G H T In preparation for the bake sale, senior Brynn Winkler makes a poster to promote the sale. photo by | ty browning L E F T A jar collecting donations sits next to the baked goods on the table. photo by | sarah golder F A R L E F T Senior Isabella Velez hands Coalition Club Sponser Sam Feinberg’s son Avi a goldfish. photo by | ty browning


SPORTS | 27

design by | sarah bledsoe

STUDENT POLL

S P O RTS

WHICH IS BETTER: OUR FOOTBALL TEAM’S DEFENSE OR OFFENSE? | 317 VOTES

HIGHLIGHTS

36% DEFENSE 64% OFFENSE

Sports updates, schedules and quotes about the fall sport season

ARE YOU EXCITED FOR THE BASKETBALL SEASON TO START? | 325 VOTES

78% YES

M A R K YO U R C A L E N DA R 22% NO

OCT

N OV

29

1

DO YOU THINK THE CHIEFS’ BACKUP QUARTERBACK WILL BE ABLE TO GET THE JOB DONE WHILE MAHOMES IS INJURED? | 338 VOTES

41% YES

SOCCER

FOOTBALL

Va r s i t y P l a y o f f s

Va r s i t y P l a y o f f s

vs. TBD 6 p.m.

vs. TBA 7 p.m.@

@ SM Soccer

SM North

Com plex 10/29

Stadium

59% NO

AT H L E T E ’ S T A K E

& 10/31

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PLAY A SPORT AT EAST?

COMING UP THIS WEEK C R O S S C O U N T R Y | J V / VA R S I T Y S TAT E v s . T B D 8 a . m . 1 1 / 2 F O O T B A L L | VA R S I T Y P L AY O F F S v s . TBA 7 p.m. 1 1/1 S O C C E R | VA R S I T Y P L AY O F F S v s . TBD 6 p.m. 10/29 VA R S I T Y P L AY O F F S v s . T B D 6 p . m . 10/31

L E F T Senior Lauren Decker performs during the first movement of the halftime show. photo by | kate nixon

I think playing a sport at east opens up a new community of new people and new experiences. Playing with a club you see the same people almost all the time, but they don’t normally go to school so that makes it harder to meet people from school. Playing a sport at east makes it so people can play and meet people who go to our school and just meet new people in all.

maya salas | sophomore

[I run cross country] because I like to stay active and I love running and it’s just a great way to dins a place to be with your friends. Sports are fun.

kelly mcallister | junior

SCAN ME | VIDEO Highlights from Lancer Football’s Senior Night vs. Olathe North by Evelyn Roesner

T O P Senior Cole Long sprints through the opposing team when senior Ryan Bolin hands him the ball. photo by | noelle griffin L E F T Junior Drew Parisi watches the ball as a SMNW forward dribbles towards the goal. photo by | sarah golder


28 | SPORTS

design by | lily billingsley photos by | sarah golder

ULTIMATE FRISBROS The ultimate frisbee team bonds through their love for a unique sport by lauren dierks

W

hile most students are starting their weekend by speeding out of the parking lot onto Mission when the bell rings at 2:40 p.m. on Friday, East’s ultimate frisbee club starts every weekend on the East field for 5 o’clock practice. The team can be found making their way out onto the East practice field to warm up their throws and run through plays. Practice begins when local player and coach Timothy Robins, or “T.R.” as the team calls him, arrives, they then start doing drills and running plays. From there, they scrimmage the rest of practice to prepare for upcoming games.

Since we mostly focus on having fun and making sure everybody has a good time, I think we’re all pretty close for only practicing for a quarter.

ian roudbesh | junior Junior Eli Fay has been throwing a frisbee his whole life. But since his brother brought him along to a practice freshmen year, he’s played each year alongside his now co-captain, junior Ian

Roudebush. After becoming captains, they have renewed the sport as a club, with Chemistry teacher Jarrod Bardwell as the sponsor. The club currently has around 50 members, though only around 15 commit to the weekly practices. The team tries to play every two to three weeks in order to give everyone a chance on the field, whether or not they have time to come to practice. “There’s a mix of people who like to have fun and people who are wanting to improve, so it’s a blend of those two,” Robins said. The game consists of handlers — players who are best at throwing and remain stationary — and cutters — players who run up and down the field to catch the frisbee. The frisbee is passed up through these players until it is caught in the end zone to score one point. The drills they learn are variations of positions and throws between the handlers and cutters to outsmart the opposing team. Roudebush’s responsibility is getting in contact with other schools who have teams and setting up times to play. Currently, East is undefeated with two wins against Shawnee Mission Northwest and Atchinson and will play Rockhurst — their biggest rival — Saturday, Nov. 9 in hopes of keeping up with their record. With an already record number of members, Fay and Roudebush continue

to talk to as many people as they can and encourage them to come to at least one practice in hopes that they will return weekly, to help the team grow. Although the team is large, the members have all become close so far in the season. “Since we mostly focus on having fun and making sure everybody has a good

2-0

THE TEAM’S RECORD SO FA R T H I S S E A S O N

time, I think we’re all pretty close for only practicing for a quarter,” Roudebush said. Due to Ultimate being a lesser known sport throughout the nation and in KC, teammates are able to bond and connect with each other while running through plays no other sport uses and, most importantly, inside jokes. “We do the same thing as other sports: we poke fun at each other whenever someone does bad,” team member junior Liam O’Sullivan said. Just like other sports, the team continues to work together to improve and grow as a team. “Ian and I regulate everything and get everyone together, but from there it’s just everyone putting in work together and everyone trying to be a better team,” Fay said.

FRI SB E E B REA KDOW N RULE | #1 Players may not run while they have possession of the disc. Players can pivot with one foot, but one must remain stationary.

RULE | #2 Players can only hold the disc for 10 seconds. If the disc is still in the player’s hand after this amount of time, the other team gains possession.

RULE | #3 Every point starts with a throw-off from the goal line. All players must remain in their end zone until the disc is thrown.

RULE | #4 A goal is scored by catching the disk in the opposing team’s end zone. The first team to 15 goals wins the match, with a time cap of 90 minutes.

SCAN ME | INSTAGRAM Scan this QR code to be directed to the Ultimate Club’s Instagram for photos, information and other updates


SPORTS | 29

design by | lauren west photos courtesy of justin hoover

LEADING LULU

O

by allison wilcox n days after football games, players are found participating in an athlete recovery yoga class coordinated by Lululemon ambassador, Sarah Buchanan, holding poses to relax their bodies. East’s Head Football Coach and fellow Lululemon ambassador, Justin Hoover, uses his affiliation with Lululemon to work with Buchanan to organize the classes. Lululemon, an international athletic clothing company promoting health and wellness, tries to stay involved in all parts of the community, from football players to yogis. Brand Ambassadors were developed to allow the company to connect with people in different parts of the community, Lululemon Town Center’s Assistant Store Manager Morgan Marlborough said. “Our ambassadors are inspiring leaders, storytellers and doers from around the world,” Morgan Marlborough said. “They help us to keep our finger on the pulse of their communities and provide us with invaluable feedback so that we can improve and grow.” The Town Center location chose Hoover as one of their five ambassadors to represent Lululemon in the football community. After meeting and getting to know Hoover as he became a regular at the store, Marlborough said employees at Lululemon believed his core values, from integrity to collaboration, aligned with those of an ambassador. Plus, his connection to football players and young athletes meant he would make a promising brand ambassador. “We have different ambassadors in different facets of the community, like Justin is in touch with football and young men, we have a couple [running] ambassadors, a yoga ambassador and a [training] ambassador,” Marlborough said.

“We’re able to tap into different parts of the community.” In addition to representing the company in a positive way through different activities whether it’s yoga or football, ambassadors test new products from socks to t-shirts for Lululemon and give honest feedback and areas for improvement.

I think he’s a really good person and athletic [representative]. He’s also a role model in the athletic world

lee marshall | junior According to Hoover, Lululemon wants to hear when their product needs improvement so they can change it to meet customers desires. Varsity football player and junior Lee Marshall believes that Hoover represents their products well, especially the East Lululemon shirt they designed for Hoover to wear the first game. He thinks Lululemon made a wise decision in selecting him to be an ambassador because he is a well-respected coach in the football community. “I think he’s a really good person and athletic [representative],” Marshall said. “He’s also a role model in the athletic world.” Hoover wasn’t too surprised when offered the position, as the employees had been hinting at the idea of him representing that Lululemon location. He happily agreed, accepting the bag of products from pants to jackets Lululemon gave him. While Hoover enjoys the free products from Lululemon, what he enjoys most is the people

he’s met. “I used to think the shorts were awesome and all of that,” Hoover said. “And now I’m way more intrigued by the community and people that represent Lululemon and so that’s what I’m way more proud [of] than the cool shorts.” While most ambassadors hold their position for one to two years, Lululemon asked Hoover if he would continue for an additional two years after being an ambassador for a year in June 2019.. Hoover’s ambassador position will now end in June of 2021 and he will then become apart of their legacy ambassadorship. Lululemon is still developing how their legacy program will work, but they are intending for it to be a way for ambassadors to stay connected to the company by collaborating on community fitness events when their ambassadorship ends. Being an ambassador, Hoover has gotten an insight into Lululemon’s involvement throughout the community through local yoga and fitness events, and has used past and current ambassadors for different fitness, including yoga and pilates, instruction. Through his ambassadorship Hoover has been able to make connections among different fitness studios across Kansas City. He’s improved functional fitness with Jason Bells at The Greater You as well as learned about relaxation with Wendy Zhu during yoga classes at her new studio Yoga Lily. Whether it’s through a community wide yoga class, a 5K run, or providing ambassadors with brand shirts, Lululemon is always looking for a way to interact with community members. “The whole idea is not really about the visual effect, not the body image,” Hoover said. “It is just about your best.

Head football coach Justin Hoover helps connect the community through his Lululemon ambassadorship

L U L U L E M O N ’S C O R E VA L U E S Some of the core values Lululemon looks for when searching for ambassadors

PERSONAL SKILLS responsibility optimism integrity PEOPLE SKILLS collaboration communication listening POLISHING SKILLS decision making vision enrollment

H O OV E R ’S S E L E C T I O N After frequently shopping at Lululemon, Hoover was hand selected by the staff to be an ambassador as he showcased the Lululemon core values


30 | SPORTS

design by | lila tulp photos courtesy of | claire tietgen

Junior finds her identity through creating a Jiu Jitsu gym

NEVER END THE FIGHT by riley atkinson

J

unior Claire Tietgen was so close she could hear their heavy panting. Beads of sweat and blood flew right in front of her. She had never been happier. She watched intently from the VIP front row of a UFC fight as her idols wrestled around the octagonal ring — something not many 13-year-old gets to do, according to her dad. jiu • jitsu

a g ra pp l i n g - based m ar tial ar t w h ose ce ntral t h e m e i s t h e s kill of controllin g a resistin g opp o n e nt i n ways th at force th e m to su rre n d e r

The president of UFC, Ultimate Fighting Chamionship, invited Tietgen to a fight after noticing a video on her YouTube channel that told her story — a story of how martial arts helped her get through rough childhood years and a suicide attempt. It was martial arts that provided an outlet for her frustration and anger. By practicing Jiu Jitsu and learning about a self-assessment test called Kolbe, she was able to come out of a dark place and find herself again. Knowing what it’s like to feel lost, and not wanting other kids to go through it alone, Claire and her family started a non-profit Jiu Jitsu gym and scholarship program called “E3.” But it took a while for Tietgen to get to this point. Lots of her early teenage years were spent behind her locked bedroom door. Missing a social cue led peers to exclude her from normal activities, causing her to feel like she never fit in — which resulted in her attempting suicide. According to her dad, she had never been acknowledged for anything good outside of the family — and that got to her head. But then she found Jiu Jitsu. Starting at a studio called Brass, her natural talent and love for the angerreleasing sport was found. No one was telling her she wasn’t good enough or making fun of her tomboy tendencies at the gym. They were praising her natural talents. Tietgen had found her place. “I just needed an outlet to get all my frustration and anger out because I’d been bullied my whole life,” Tietgen said. “I felt in control [when doing martial arts] because when you’re bullied you kind of knock down and you don’t really have control of the situation.” The summer before her sophomore year, the Tietgen family spent their days completely rebuilding the studio they had bought off of 83rd and Metcalf. For her and her family, it was all going to be worth it when the grey wrestling mat would be filled with kids laughing and the cinder block wall would be knocked down for more equipment space. “We support those kids as much as we can to give them an outlet to build a little self esteem,” Tietgen’s dad Charles said. “So that was E3 — empower, embrace, encourage.” E3 stands for three words, but it means more than that. It’s about embracing being different while empowering and encouraging other kids to do the

same. They wanted kids to feel accepted and safe when they walked in those glass doors. “The kids who come there are mostly kids in elementary school,” Tietgen said. “They just love coming there because it’s one hour that they can just be free. No one’s judging them, no one’s being mean — they can just be a kid and they’re happy and it’s just one hour to get out of their head. And so that’s what I enjoyed of Jiu Jitsu is it’s just my escape.” The gym has turned out to be much bigger than Claire originally imagined when sitting in their car and daydreaming about owning their own gym. Now having fundraised tens of thousands of dollars for people to take classes at discounted prices or for free, E3 has grown into an escape for anyone who can’t afford high-priced martial arts classes. Their class list ranges from kids obstacle course classes to women’s self-defense and fills the gym with around ten people per class Monday through Thursday and Saturday morning. They’ve also started offering a program called Kolbe — an assessment that focuses on determining a kid’s natural strengths and helps them to understand how to use them. Through 36 questions that start with “If you had your choice would you like to do...,” the test breaks down the taker’s tendencies into four categories — Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start and Implementer. Each category comes up with a score of 1-10, and the result of the test is those four scores. According to Charles Tietgen, that knowledge of their numbers can help motivate kids to succeed because it tells them what they’re individually talented at. Tietgen first took the test when she was 13, and it helped her to realize that her life is meaningful — that her talents can create an organization like E3. For years she had been constantly criticized, turning her into a version of herself that her parents didn’t even recognize. Kolbe gave her a chance to find her identity again. “I took it and I found my identity,” Tietgen said. “I found Claire again. I was me again.” Tietgen has her Kolbe result numbers tattooed on her arm — 5833. Her numbers taught her all about how she naturally handles situations, like that she has a talent for organizing and helping others — both of which have been apparent through a couple years of being a young entrepreneur. “Claire has always been an overachiever, and the kids couldn’t beat that out of her,” Charles Tietgen said. “But you hit a wall and it’s just not working, so once we addressed the stress in her life in school and with other kids and whatnot she started to blossom . . . her resume is pretty off the charts and it’s all her.” Tietgen found ways to help her get out of her lowest point, learn to embrace her talents and help encourage and empower others to do the same. “Three things saved my life,” Tietgen said. “My family, Jiu Jitsu and then Kolbe, an assessment that helped me to identify who I am and what I am and that it’s okay to be me.”

E M B R AC E • E M P OW E R • E N C O U R AG E

S C A N M E | C L A I R E ’S S TO RY Scan this QR code to read Junior Claire Tietgen’s story and learn more about the E3 studio, scholarships and mission

T O P Junior Claire Teitgen poses in front of the logo of her family-owned jiu jitsu studio, E3 — standing for embrace, empower and encourage B O T T O M Tietgen watches two girls mess around on the mats after helping teach a kids’ jiu jitsu class at the E3 gym


PHOTOSTORY | 31

design by | aislinn menke and kate nixon

GAME OF M O LES

The chemistry students had their annual celebration of Mole Day — this year Game of Thrones themed ­— honoring the chemistry unit 6.02 x 10^23 LEFT Junior Andrew Wegner sets up a sign for the “Mole Duel” game. “It took us about two days [to set up]. The theme for the year was Despicable Me [...] but I was like ‘Let’s do Mole of Thrones,’ and then somebody else suggested Game of Moles, ” Wegner said. photo by | sarah golder FA R L E F T Junior Sullivan Goettsch is interviewed by the local NBC news station. “They were just asking me a few questions about what Mole Day is, it was pretty cool. I haven’t done that before so it was kind of nervewracking at first,” Goettsch said. photo by | trevor paulus LEFT Senior Ella Higgins celebrates after getting a seat during “Molesikle Thrones”. “The first round I got in the top three [...] and I lost in the third to last round, but then I came back in the second round and won,” Higgins said. photo by | kate nixon FA R L E F T At 6:02 a.m., the official start time of Mole Day, junior Graham Billingsley lights a balloon on fire as part of an annual Mole Day tradition. photo by | trevor paulus

F A R L E F T | Juniors Ashley Osborne and Lilli Smith hit junior Quincy Hepler during a game of “Whack-a-Mole”. “I thought it would be Chem 2 students [being hit for Whacka-Mole] but then they were like ‘go under there’. It was not a great way to start my morning [...] it hurt,” Hepler said. photo by | julia percy L E F T | The IB and AP Chemisty 2 students decorated a sign for “Molesickle Thrones,” a spin off of musical chairs. “This year everyone seemed to have a good time. All their decorations were pretty cool,” senior Ella Higgins said. photo by | kate nixon L E F T | Sophomore Tate Nicholson duels sophomore Blake Nunnelee during the “Mole Duel” game. “We were playing a game where we had to whack each other with [the pool noodle] three times in the chest, and whoever got that first won. It was the best part [about Mole Day]. I went for five rounds,” Nicholson said. photo by | aislinn menke


32 | ALT-COPY

RESTORE

The Restore class at Power Life is centered around the idea of meditation, allowing time to be “more present” and relax. The second you step into the studio, you’re hit by a wave of zen full of lavender smells, dimmed lights and soft music. This is the perfect way to bring tensions to ease — physically and mentally.

AT M OS P H E R E

design by | riley atkinson art by | lilah faye

P R AC T I C E Practice meditation through mobile apps

meditation

to go beyond t he m i nd and expe ri e nce our es se nt i al nat ure —whi ch i s d escri be d as pe ace, happi nes s and bl i s s

The premium packages for full app access seem a little overpriced, but that could just be me and my empty wallet. I understand that the sessions are from trained professionals, and I did find them to be highly relaxing, but they shouldn’t be putting a price on someone’s mental health. Nonetheless, for someone looking for a meditation app, these are definitely options to consider.

headspace

**

D I F F I C U LT Y PRICE:

R E L A X AT I O N

TIPS

calm

** ** PRICE:

Tips from Powerlife teacher Mike Owens to incorporate meditation

1 2 3

Start meditation with no expectation

per $70 year

simple habit

***

Set aside time each day to practice meditating Find what brings you peace and build on that. Meditation is different for everyone

per $70 year

PRICE:

per $60 year

SCAN ME | SITE Read more about Campbell’s reviews on meditation.

KEEP CALM

by campbell wood

FROM

STANDARDIZED

When there’s a lot on my plate,

TESTS to college application

meditation helps me feel at

deadlines, high school can be

peace in stressful situations.

stressful. It’s important that we

So, in search of a new way to

all set aside a little time each

meditate, here are some of the

day to live in the moment.

things I tested out:

Profile for The Harbinger

The Harbinger 19-20: Issue 5  

The Harbinger 19-20: Issue 5