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Volume 88, Issue 3 Shawnee Mission North HS 7401 Johnson Drive Overland Park, KS 66202

On Nov. 4, 2008, Barack H. Obama was elected President of the United States. Here’s what’s happened...



District green initiative focuses on making schools eco-friendly, conserving resources. » pg. 4

>> Students discuss impact Obama’s presidency has had on their lives, future of the United States

Txters Bware! A new legislative campaign is targeting teens who text while driving. » pg. 5

(Counter) Protest Members of a Topeka church picket SM North. See how North students responded. » pgs. 4-5

Where he stands >> A look at Barack Obama’s stance on current hot button issues

Education: Obama wants Amer-

ica to have the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020. Obama has considered the posibility of longer school days/years.

Health Care: President Obama

says that he is committed to working with Congress to pass comprehensive health reform in his first year in order to control rising health care costs, guarantee choice of doctor and assure high-quality, affordable health care for Americans.

NO DAY BUT TODAY >>Rent service project draws positive reaction from community

{By Brittany Williams} This year alongside the production of RENT, SM North chose to take part in a service project. Collecting canned and boxed goods to donate to Johnson County Human Services and joining with Coalition for a Warm Drive, the “No Day but Today” service project has been organized by theater teacher Maureen Davis and focused on reoccurring themes throughout RENT. “We decided to do this because we wanted to put emphasis on something positive,” Davis said. All proceeds from RENT, A.R.T. improvisation shows and No Day but Today bracelets were donated to the North Student Assistance Fund. The project focused on the national issue of homelessness. “It’s not something that happens far away,” Davis said. “This is a problem some of our students face. We just want people to be aware of something more than themselves.”

Inside the Issue Cover.........................................Page 1 A&E/Lifestyles........................Page 2 Opinion....................................Page 3 News.........................................Page 4 News..........................................Page 5 Sports........................................Page 6 Sports........................................Page 7 People.......................................Page 8

Immigration: Obama supports

removing incentives to enter the country illegally and provide ways for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to gain citizenship.

Marijuana: Obama does not support the legalization of medical marijuana, but wants federal authorities to focus on bigger issues than marijuana dispensaries which comply with state laws, but not federal laws.

Gay Rights: Obama supports gay rights, such as removing the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, though he has voiced opposition to same-sex marriage in the past.

Taxes: President Obama has cut

taxes for 95% of all working families as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Obama has also voiced support for repealing the Bush tax cuts, which would raise taxes for some.

Source: >>Barack Obama is born in Honolulu, Hawaii to a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya.

Aug. 4, 1961 >>Barack Obama orders the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility by Jan. 22, 2010.

Jan. 22, 2009

>>Obama works as a community organizer in lowincome Chicago neighborhoods.

June 1985


{By Ephraim R. Chaney} ne year has passed since the historic Election Day, Nov. 4, 2008. On that day, the United States of America elected a new president, Barack Obama. The election was significant due to the large number of young adults (ages 18-24) going to the polls. The election had a major impact on several students at SM North, including alumna Meg Swagerty, who volunteered for candidate Obama’s campaign. “I think that working for his campaign has really given me a sense of pride in our government and our country,” Swagerty said. “It was out of my comfort zone at first, but as I got into talking to citizens about their beliefs and values, I really enjoyed it.” Swagerty’s perspective of Obama has not changed from the time she campaigned for then-candidate Obama to now. “I am glad I worked hard for something I believed in,” Swagerty said, “and that, I think, is benefitting our country.” Senior Molly Cady’s perspective of President Obama also hasn’t changed. “Mostly, he’s making me pleased to have cried on Election Day,” Cady said about Obama’s performance. While not every student shares the same sentiments about President Obama, many agree that he has a tough job. “I don’t envy the job he has to do,” senior Kalen Petersen said. “Right now, he has a lot on his plate.” From trying to stop the worst of the troubled economy to battling terrorism in the Middle East, the president has been busy in the 288 days Obama has actually been in office. However, being a busy official is part of the job description. North students recognize that Obama’s presidency will not be any less difficult. “Well, I would say yes [Obama has a lot to multitask],” Cady said, “but I’ve only been alive during four presidencies, and one of

>>Obama graduates from Harvard Law School magna cum laude and returns to Chicago.

>>Obama is elected to the Illinois state Senate from Chiago’s 13th District.

them, I didn’t even care about.” Also, Obama took it upon himself while campaigning as a presidential candidate to promise sweeping changes to the health care industry, a more diplomatic approach to foreign policy, the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison, the withdrawal of troops in Iraq and a new strategy in Afghanistan. Some may say that, as a candidate, Obama took it upon himself to work tirelessly. Some would agree that Obama has worked hard to achieve his goals, although he may not have worked toward the same goals they have. “I think that he has worked very hard to fulfill his campaign promises,” Petersen said. “It’s just not the work that I would have him do.” “I personally disagree with several of his decisions,” Petersen said, “but I think he has proved his ability to be an effective leader.” President Obama’s leadership has been questioned by many as partisan bickering has slowed the legislative process. “I think that Congress right now is in a big tangle as far as the health care debate goes,” Petersen said. The tangle Petersen referred to has been escalating from one of Obama’s campaign promises, health care reform. As a part of his campaign, Obama promised an overhaul of America’s health care system; as president, Obama has been trying to cajole Congress into creating new legislation by last August. Many of these policies would have a significant impact on North students hit hard by the recession. Senior Jordan Warren expresses concern toward the partisan attitude of Congress. Warren feels that to create the best legislation for the citizens of the United States, whether it is policy from the Obama administration or Congress, everyone should work together. “[Congress] needs to get over themselves and try thinking of the bigger picture,” Warren said. »continued on pgs. 4-5

>>Obama is elected as a United States Senator with a 53% lead over his opponent.

OBAMA TIMELINE 1991 Nov. 4, 1996 Nov. 4, 2004

>>Obama sets the date for U.S. troops to pull out of Iraq at Aug. 31, 2010

Feb. 27, 2009

>>Obama proposes an Afghani army of 134,000 and a police force of 82,000 by 2011

>>Obama announces Cuban policy changes, including easing family travel restrictions.

Mar. 27, 2009

Apr. 13, 2009

>>Obama voices his support for a public option in a speech given before Congress

Sept. 9, 2009

>>Obama is elected President of the United States with a 7 percent lead over John McCain.

Nov. 4, 2008 >>Obama approves new regulations on private industry to curb greenhouse gas emissions

Sept. 30, 2009

PAGE 1 >>COVER>>Nov. 2009


Fall Movie Reviews


>>The Mission staff members give their take on fall films


Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Twilight vocabulary builder boosts performance on standardized tests {By Mary Rodabaugh} When I first received my copy of Defining Twilight, by Brian Leaf, I was very excited to get to work on the book, partially because I’m a Twilight nerd. I also wanted to see if the book would help my PSAT testing. Defining Twilight is a vocabulary workbook that is aimed at boosting SAT, ACT, GED, and SSAT test scores. It takes words from the book Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer, and teaches you synonyms, how to break the word apart so you have a better understanding of it, and so much more. The book consists of 600 vocabulary words giving you the ability to amaze friends. That may seem like an abundance of words, but it really isn’t. I think that this book should be found in everyone’s bag. From first-hand experience I can say that this book does help with testing.

ZOMBIELAND: 5 out of 5 stars

{By Kelsey Larson} Zombieland is your typical bloody zombie movie, but it also offered something more: humor. We find a new actor in this movie, Jesse Eisenburg. He may be reminiscent of the awkward Michael Cera from the movie Superbad, but unlike Cera, Eisenburg is a little bit edgier. Eisenburg, along with his co-star Woody Harrelson, gave amazing performances. The chemistry between the two actors made the movie flow. When they first met at the beginning of the movie the tension was thick, but after a

while they began to relax with each other. Throughout the movie they faced many obstacles such as getting robbed a couple of times, a Twinkie dilemma and the ever-present zombies. If you’re looking for a movie that would make you laugh and keep you entertained this would be the movie. The cons, however, include blood and gore. The zombie faces were covered with blood and almost every time a zombie got hit it would be with a blunt object that would make the blood splatter everywhere.



4 out of 5 stars

{By Hayley Zahnter} Where the Wild Things Are was a big hit with my friends. The film was directed by Spike Jones and adapted from Maurice Sendak’s 1963 children’s book of the same name. With a budget of $100 million, the movie has already earned $55.2 million since its opening Oct. 16. The cast is awesome and was well selected

because their characters’ personalities come out. The part that I thought was the best was when Max went to the island after getting into a fight with his mom and they (the monsters) were going to eat him. He made up a story and said that he was the king of another world, so instead of the monsters eating him, then they made him the king.


3 out of 5 stars

{By Hayley Zahnter} The door swung open and Micah Sloat’s dead body flew at the camera. My friends jumped out of their cinema seats. Sloat’s girlfriend, Katie Featherstone, entered the room, covered in her boyfriend’s blood. She crawled toward the camera, with a creepy smile on her face. Paranormal Activity has been an instant, low-budget box office success. It took only $15,000 to film, and has already earned more than $62 million. As with all other low budget films, Paranormal Activity is far from perfect. The footage was reminiscent of a homemade Youtube video. The movie started out slow. The characters seemed dull at first, but suspense kept us in our seats. As the movie went on, the plot thickened and the suspense grew. I heard a few laughs from the audience at first, buy they had silenced by the end of the movie. My friends left Cinemark shaking and I was just laughing.

ONE TRUE NORTH Hours: 10-6 Mon.-Sat. 5636 Johnson Drive 913-722-2100

We sell a wide variety of new and gently used clothing, books, housewares, electronics, and more at great prices. All the best brand names. Great discounts for volunteers. Come check us out! All proceeds benefit Shawnee Mission North Performing Arts.

PAGE 2 >>LIFESTYLES/A&E>>Nov. 2009

Obama School >>A senior’s critical review of Obama’s education proposal to extend the length of a school day. {By Kalen Petersen} I was browsing through the news articles on the other day when one headline caught my eye. It read: “Obama wants to overhaul education from ‘cradle to career’.” I was shocked to discover that the president wants to lengthen both school days and the school year, claiming that America is falling behind other countries in math and science because our students spend less time learning. His plan is modeled after some East Coast charter schools, which have added three hours to each day, keeping students from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Think about North’s school day. Currently, we are in the building for seven hours per day, at a minimum. Some students come earlier to participate in NJORTC or marching band practice. The district also recommends three hours of homework per day for high school students, though I often find myself doing more. This means that even without extra-curricular activities, sports, jobs, exercise, or music practice—let alone leisure time—we spend about 10 hours a day learning. Compare this to the typical workday for adults: about 8.5 hours. Clearly, the solution to this problem is not to put students in school during more of their daylight hours. In fact, shortening the day might be beneficial. The simple truth is that if students have less time for responsibilities and relaxation, they will stay up later. Numerous studies have demonstrated the negative effects of sleep deprivation on school performance. A lack of sleep has also been shown to weaken the immune system, leaving people vulnerable to infectious diseases (H1N1, anyone?), which would keep students out of school. President Obama is trying to put out the fire with gasoline. Pumping more information into students will not bail out our educational system any more than then a trillion dollars of stimulus has bailed out the economy. Instead, our society needs to teach children individual responsibility and give them more nurturing family time, allowing their talents to flourish. Our politicians need to recognize the hard and thankless work that most teachers endure instead of blaming them when their students fail. Finally, they must learn to differentiate between genuine student development and a boost in filling-inthe-bubble skills. It would seem that our nation’s leaders, not its students, are the ones in need of a bit more education.

E d i t o r i a l

Speech dilemma

Voting Booth >>Should hate speech be protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution?

>>Hate groups shed a negative light on freedom of speech

12 2 4 Y N es



14 members of The Mission staff voted in an anonymous poll. Editorial Cartoon by Malcolm Shanks


hree weeks ago, members of an unaffiliated Baptist church from Topeka picketed SM North for putting on a production of RENT: High School Edition. Why? Because the musical contained openly gay and bisexual characters living with AIDS. The church group dragged rainbow, American and Israeli flags as they held tasteless, vulgar signs with anti-gay and anti-Semitic messages. The most disturbing aspect of the protest, however, wasn’t the protesters or the counter-protesters, but the people who believe violence

and censorship is the answer to dealing with people who express unpopular opinions. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of worship, and the right to assemble in public. This includes hate speech. As nice as the idea of banning hate speech and silencing extremist groups sounds, it’s not a good idea. It would be difficult to come across someone who supports hate speech. Nearly everyone knows someone who has a friend or family member who is either gay or serving in the armed forces. While the message of

For God so loved >>Anti-gay church protesters twist Bible verses to suit a message of hate {By Brittany Williams} FAG O-LANTERN. GOD HATES YOU. OBAMA-NATION. GOD HATES AMERICA. These were just a few of the signs held by members of the Fred Phelpsled Westboro Baptist Church at the protest on Friday, Oct. 23. I have never understood what possesses members of the Westboro Baptist Church to do what they do with such fervor, yet to completely misinterpret the Bible, which is said to be what they live by. I saw a sign that read, “2 Peter 2:12” with the caption under it that said GOD HATES FAGS. First of all, this verse simply says to be wary of false teachers. How in the world do you perceive God hates fags from that? And secondly, God is love. To counter their 2 Peter sign, I made one myself, directly quoting 1 John 4:8- “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Again- “OBAMA-NATION”? Churning out vague references to the Bible and replacing it with whatever tickles your fancy works is a contradiction and hypocritical move. Shouldn’t we be praying for our leaders instead of turning against them? They represent the United States of America to the entire world, and need people who have their backs. Even though protests the Westboro Baptist Church is generally involved in rotate around religion, I was amazed at how it brought North together. Students who aren’t involved, those who live at school, the band kids and the sports teams, students who can’t wait to get out- we all came together as a unified force. The statuses stopped mattering, and all I saw was a sea of faces standing firmly behind one another in support. To all of you, students, teachers and participants: I am proud to know you, to have met you, and to see how else you will make a difference.

this church, and other hate groups, is hatred and malice, protecting their rights is critical to ensuring that others’ rights are protected. The day we begin silencing extremist groups is the day we open ourselves to the slippery slope of censorship. If this group’s message is banned, what’s to stop the government from prohibiting other groups from expressing unpopular opinions? Having free, unrestricted speech is critical to the preservation of a democracy. The beauty of the protest is that it brought the community together and encouraged people to take a stance on

social issues that might otherwise be swept under the rug. Members of the community banded together, including groups who wouldn’t normally work together. Pro-gay activists sided with members of the religious right. The best part: it all happened without violence or confrontation. The two groups faced off without assaulting each other or infringing on either groups’ rights. Protests like this are what make a democracy great. Let the people speak for themselves. More often than not, the truth will prevail.


Head/Copy Editors: Nathaniel Zoschke Ephraim Chaney Brittany Williams

Writers/ Section Editors: Kerenza Singletary Kelsey Larson Ross Lubratovic Mary Rodabaugh Nickole Nosal Lindsay Hinkle Hayley Zahnter

Staff Artist:

Malcolm Shanks


Melissa Arroyo Courtney Worthington Hayley Zahnter Mary Rodabaugh Eva Roebuck Tucker Love Amy Carlisle Taylor Gwin Samantha Slupski

Adviser: Becky Tate

Contributors: Kathryn Zoschke Kalen Petersen

NEW CHINATOWN 6854 Johnson Drive, Mission (next to Kansas Sampler)

SM North students with school ID get $5 special with free drink and choice of entrée (tax included). Phone: 913-403-9800 Fax: 913-403-9095 We do catering!

PAGE 3 >>OPINIONS >>Nov. 2009

Green Initiative comes to North >>A look at each department’s Green Initiative proposal


>>Cardboard recycling program will be implemented >>Specimens will be preserved in nontoxic chemicals >>Animal waste will be composted and used at school


>>Double-sided copies will be made >>Paperless form of assignments, acitivies and quizzes will be used >>Projecters will be turned off when not in use


>>Projecters will be used in place of handouts whenever possible >>Students will be encouraged to use Web Back Pack >>Coputers will be turned off at end of day


>>Double-sided copies will be made when possible >>Electronic equipment will be turned off at end of day >>Environmentally-friendly practices will be discussed in class as part of instruction


>>Drama will recycle used play programs and turn off lights when not in use >>Visual arts classes will recycle clay and use fewer materials in Art Foundations >>Music classes will use projectors for group instruction


>>NetOp will be used for screen checks in business classes >>FACS classes will recycle cans, carboard, and glass >>”Paperless society” will be discussed in business classes


>>Projectors will be used to show students IEPs to the IEP team; corrections will be made elctronically and one hard copy will be printed >>IEPs at a Glance will be stored electronically on CDs and flash drives


>>Students and faculty will be encouraged to walk and bike to school when possible >>Double-sided copies will be made >>The department agenda will be emailed and displayed using projectors

>>WORLD LANGUAGES >>Single-sided copies will be reused >>Emails will be saved in folders as opposed to printing >>Syllabi and photocopies of classroom material will be posted on the Web Back Pack

G ING Counter GREEN >>School district policy emphasizes cost-saving, eco-friendly measures {By Nathaniel Zoschke} he Green Initiative is the Shawnee Mission School District’s latest attempt to cut energy and resource consumption and make schools more environmentally conscious. Students attending school in the Shawnee Mission School District may notice fewer handouts in class, more PowerPoint presentations and an emphasis on finding assignments on teachers’ Web Back Packs, online pages linked to the school website where students can find assignments, notes and other classroom documents. SMSD spokesperson Leigh Anne Neal said that the Green Initiative supports initiatives in the district’s 2009-2014 Five-Year Plan adopted by the Board of Education and aimed at increasing efficiency in schools. As self-explanatory as the Green Initiative may appear, the policy nonetheless lacks specific goals, other than to improve over the previous year’s numbers. “This year, each school has been challenged to put two green initiatives into place that save energy or renew resources in some way,” Neal said. Under the Green Initiative, each building principal and department chair is required to come up with a green initiative plan, a set of objectives for making their school or department “greener.” Teachers are left to implement the plan. Principal Richard Kramer said that North’s Green Initiative will focus on reducing paper use and cutting energy consumption. “We’re really focusing on energy and paper to reduce the SM North carbon footprint,” Kramer said. Another district high school, SM West, has used federal grant money to install solar panels and a wind turbine. Neal said that the district’s operations and maintenance staff will focus on more energy management and conservation. For example, changes in lighting have been made to increase efficiency and reduce electrical costs. Kramer said that changes in lighting and climate control have been made with consideration to mold and humidity levels. One important aspect of the green initiative is cost. Last year, SM North spent over $500,000 on electric costs and $80,000 on gas. These numbers were higher


PAGE 4 >>NEWS >>Nov. 2009

than some other SM high schools, though North has more square footage than other high schools and has undergone construction projects over the past several years. Kramer said that differences in systems also impact energy costs. Department chairs have already presented their green initiative plans to Kramer. Most departments focused on reducing paper use by making fewer copies and making double-sided copies. Several departments also included efforts to increase paper recycling and adding containers to collect plastic and other recyclable materials, other efforts. A cardboard recycling bin will be provided free of charge by Abitibi, the company that provides paper recycling for North. Lori Blevins, the business department chair, said that her department has already cut back significantly on paper and toner usage. “Our main goal is to utilize the technology and print less,” Blevins said. “We’ll try to go paperless, but that will never completely happen.” To do this, the business department is using NetOp, a program that allows teachers to capture and store students’ screens at any time. However, Blevins still sees teachers printing PowerPoint slides and agendas for their classes. “I think we need to become more comfortable using electronic media,” she said. “Change is hard, but we’ll get there.” Blevins said that the green initiative has made teachers more accountable. “I think it was a good idea for them to set a goal with us in mind,” she said. “Everyone talks about going green, but when you set out a goal and there’s a push to try to meet it, it’s more likely to happen. The initiative is there. Now we have some accountability.” Others have been more critical of the green initiative and see it as hassle for students. Certain students also lack Internet access at home. “The green initiative is stupid,” sophomore Nick Porter said. “I think it’s just an excuse to make us go to the web back pack and print stuff at home.” Kramer said he is pleased with the green initiative. “I’m really proud of each department for taking a step,” Kramer said. “We’re taking a small step, and we’re going to build on our success.”

>> Hundreds show up at counter-protest churc


{By Mary Rodabaugh} eniors Marilyn Diemer, Jake Dejarnette, Nathan Heim and Nathaniel Zoschke stood above the retaining wall behind the Johnson Drive sidewalk. The group stood holding a “God is love” sign, facing members of the Fred Phelps-led Westboro Baptist Church. On one side of Johnson Drive, hundreds of counter-protesters stood waving equal signs, rainbow flags and Bible verse signs as they sang songs from RENT. On the other side, a handful of members of the Westboro Baptist Church dragged flags across the ground and held up signs attacking Jews and homosexuals. Cars whizzed past the protesters honking, as SM North drama students collected canned goods, winter clothing and monetary donations as part of the “No Day but Today” service project. “I felt that it went really well,” Diemer said. “I was surprised that we had so many people on our side from so many different groups. I think we made our point without

forcing it on them [the church]. We of positive energy on our side.” It was Friday, Oct. 23, one day b closing day of RENT: High School at North. Members of the Westboro Church had announced their inten picket the school for its production the week before. “I was very proud of the student [reaction] and I’m never disappoint student body because they do such job,” principal Richard Kramer said Though the protest was organize silent protest, students at North we allowed to leave school until 2:40p time, members of the outside comm had already shown up. Some didn’t protest was supposed to be silent. “Ass backwards on a number of they seem to be extremely motivate faith. It’s all about God, whenever I them about anything it links back t said Daniel, a community member the protest who asked to be identifi

ABOVE: Members of the community bring signs to protest the Fred Phelps-led Westb Baptist Church of Topeka. The church picketed SM North after school on Fri., Oct. 23. LEFT: Photo by Melissa Arroyo RIGHT: Photo by Taylor Gwin

YEAR ONE {CONT’D FROM PAGE 1} “Nothing can be fully done with the best outcome unless every aspect is considered, which means possibly stepping across party lines to make it happen.” Cady said that she wishes for the best. “Good luck,” Cady said of trying to pass legislation. “I know that my family is paying huge amounts of money for health care. I think that health care is a big undertaking for just starting out, but I think it’s necessary. And it’s going to be a long process.” Several North students expressed similar sentiments.

“I think his resolve is to be admired,” Petersen said. “As far as making [health care] his first priority, I understand why he did that and I think it makes sense.” Health care is not the only issue the president has dealt with since being elected to the Oval Office. The United States economy officially entered a recession in December 2007, just before the president’s first day, Jan. 20, 2008, and one of Obama’s first actions was to pass a $787 billion stimulus package. “Well, I don’t believe that you can get out of an economic crisis simply by spending $787 billion

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first name. “On a number of issues they are completely reasonable,” Daniel said. “They say we should be out of Iraq, we should be out of Afghanistan, and we shouldn’t be controlling the world with a military mind. I guess they have this problem with gay people, which stems from a number of verses in the bible that do condemn homosexuality.” Wednesday prior to the protest, North administrators met with the Overland Park Police Department to discuss the location of the protest. “We had to have them separate, obviously, but that Johnson Drive buffer was beautiful,” Kramer said. “It was nice having him on the other side of the street. It was nice having them down there in the northeast corner so it stayed away from the main entrance of Shawnee Mission North where everyday traffic could happen.” Because RENT contains alternative lifestyles, the theater department began the approval process for the production in

November 2008. “We had to get a decision right around winter break or early January so that if we decided not to [perform RENT] then they could get another show,” Kramer said. “That’s why we did it early so in case we said this is not going to work, but it worked.” Now, almost a year later, RENT has drawn a positive reaction. “We felt that [RENT] was a dynamic show with challenging music for the vocalists and the instrumentalists,” drama teacher Mollie McNally said. “It was such a passionate performance, it was very powerful,” Kramer said. “Opening night they just hit it on all cylinders, it was a beautiful show. I’m really glad we stuck to it. I thought we did it in a very appropriate way. We did a lot of legwork up front and didn’t shoot from the hip. After the initial okay we didn’t have any issues up until Fred Phelps decided to come. We were all focused on our service project.”

ABOVE: Seniors Dayna Rucker and Jessica stands stand in the counter-protest next to members of a GSA club holding a rainbow flag. Photo by Samantha Slupski


Students reflect on Barack Obama’s first year in office, impact on country, future

ars on a stimulus package,” rsen said. “I don’t agree with way he’s attempting to handle economic situation. But, I don’t k any type of government could pletely right the economy.” Being the president of a country h much-loved free speech has gested that it is only fair for ma to be subject to criticism. But being the United State’s black president has lead some hink Obama is suffering from a stant barrage of negative attacks d on race. However, several North students eve that America has moved ond its past.

”Even if some people are still prejudiced,” senior Jessy McMillen said, “it’s not the real American people. [The election] shows we have come a long way. Yay progress!” President Obama’s first year in office has brought in many changes. Some have responded favorably, while othershave been more critical. In any event, Obama’s election victory has made an impact on many. “To me, he has shown that someone with humble roots can go far in this world and that women and minorities can overcome discrimination,” Warren said.

LEFT: Sophomores Samantha Loy, Chole Flinn, and Jacob Kelsie, members of the SM North GSA/Safe Zone, decorate their jeans with rainbows and equal signs during the counter-protest. Photo by Melissa Arroyo

Texting & Driving

>>Lawmakers propose, pass bans on teens who text while driving {By Ross Lubratovic} ore and more teens and even some adults are taking up the habit of texting while driving. While President Barack Obama, along with the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, have been pushing for a nationwide ban on texting and driving, and many state governments have already put bans and restrictions in place, texting behind the wheel is still going to be a difficult obstacle to hurdle. “I imagine it’d be very hard to enforce,” said Campus Police Officer Ken Lanning about the small size of cellular devices. “It’s just as bad as any other distraction, because it takes away from focusing on driving the car,” said Overland Park Police Officer Doug Rison. Both Kansas and Missouri have recently taken steps toward state bans on driving and texting. As of Aug. 28, in Missouri, anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from sending a text message while driving. The penalty would include a fine of up to $200. Beginning on Jan. 1 in Kansas, as part of the graduated driver’s license program, anyone under the age of 16 and a half is prohibited from using a cell phone while driving, with the exception of emergencies. Students had differing opinions about texting while driving. “I think that it really isn’t a big deal,”


North News Briefs H1N1: Flu Vaccine to be distributed at North {By Malcolm Shanks} The Shawnee Mission School District will start vaccine treatments for H1N1 starting the middle of November according to school nurse Pat Polise. The district is collaborating with the Johnson County Health Department in order to make sure the students get the vaccine at no charge. In order to receive the nasal spray or shot, students needed a consent form signed by their parents returned to the school on Oct. 30. The school district sent a voicemail home with information regarding the vaccine. Students could obtain the vaccination consent

forms either from the school district’s website or at the main office at a school. The district will only be handing out the vaccine during a short period of time, depending on volunteers available. Despite reports of vaccine shortages, there is expected to be enough available for the Shawnee Mission School District. “However many sign up will get the treatment,” Polise said. And after knowing the number of students interested in receiving the treatment at elementary, middle and high schools, the district will finalize and announce the schedule at each building.

said freshman Mariah Whited. “I’ve driven while texting before, and it’s not that hard. As long as you still pay attention, it’s fine.” Studies from the University of Kansas say that a young adult that is texting while driving is 700 percent more likely to get in a wreck. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s studies said that a person who texts while driving had their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds over a six-second interval, or enough time to travel the length of a football field at 55 mph. Junior Dajon Mcclinton doesn’t like the idea of texting while driving. “I don’t text while I drive,” Mcclinton said, “and it bothers me when I’m in the car with someone who does.” The federal government has also taken its first small steps towards a national ban on texting behind the wheel. Photo by Hayley Zahnter The Department of Transportation has planned for three new regulations that would eventually lead up to the nationwide ban. So far the regulations would only include restrictions on employed vehicle operators, such as railroad operators, truck and interstate drivers and school bus drivers. “When you get right down to it,” Rison said, “the fact is, you are operating a two ton weapon, and when you take your eyes off the road you are putting everyone around you in danger.”

Choir festival

{By Jenny Warren} Shawnee Mission North hosted its annual North Area Choral Festival on Thursday, Nov. 5, in the field house. Every year, choirs from the elementary and middle schools that feed into North join with the high school choral department to perform for local residents and parents. “It was fabulous,” said Patrice Sollenberger, North choral director. After singing the National Anthem and the school song, the performance got a kick start with the Shawnee Mission North Chorale, a combination of the two highest choirs, singing a piece, Lord Deliver Daniel. “They did awesome,” Sollenberger said. “I didn’t see any flaws in the whole song. For the final piece of the performance, the entire choir of all the schools stood and sang River in Judea.

PAGE 5 >>NEWS>>Nov. 2009

Sports Roundup Girls’ Volleyball Soccer Golf harder when she did drills with us.” Sophomore Katie Fleming had the utmost appreciation for her coach. “It didn’t take long for Coach Price to earn my respect and trust,” Fleming said. “She enforced leadership and teamwork, which pushed us towards being the best we can be.” Price wishes that she would’ve spent more time working one-on-one with her players. “There is always stuff in retrospect that I wish I would’ve done,” Price said. “Just breaking off and doing position stuff early on in the season.” The team was very senior oriented. “Since we’re losing six seniors next, next year is going to be a rebuilding season,” Price said. “There are girls with potential that can fill needed rolls.” Fleming also had concerns. “It’s kind of scary, to be honest, to lose the seniors, but it leaves a lot of room for growth,” Fleming said. “As a team, I think that we will need to attain a great attitude to be successful.”

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{By Kerenza Singletary} The SM North Varsity Volleyball Team was determined this season to improve from the 2008 season record of 13-21. They reached that goal with a record of 17-20 for 2009 season. Even though it was only four more wins from the previous season, the team saw it as a success. “The best way to measure success in a season is to see if the team and players improved,” said Head Coach Sarah Price. “Every individual improved and we improved as a whole, so to me, we were successful.” Senior Amanda Turnbull said she and her team pulled through as the season went on. “We got better mentally and our teamwork improved.” Turnbull said. “We also improved in our skills.” The season began with a new coach with a whole new attitude. “She brought a new fresh perspective and harder practices,” Turnbull said. “She was really positive about everything and it encouraged us work

PAGE 6 >>SPORTS>>Nov. 2009

{By Kerenza Singletary} The SM North Boys Varsity Soccer Team strove this season to improve their 2008 season record of 3-9-1 but, when all was said and done, the team fell short and ended up with a record of 2-14. “We just couldn’t connect to get the ball to the back of the net,” senior Sam Mahr said. “The opposing teams would beat our offside trap and unfortunately score.” Junior Juan Croda also shared some thoughts on why the team wasn’t pleased with the season. “Some of the players didn’t take it as seriously as they should’ve,” Croda said, “when there were players who put their all into it every day.” Head Coach Steve Collins said he thinks technique was an issue. “I wish I would’ve worked more on technique of actually handling the ball,” Collins said. “I may have spent too much time on tactics.” The team concurs that the season’s record wasn’t what they expected or wanted, but they continued to keep working hard. “The positive thing about our season was the way we continued

to play regardless of the outcome,” Collins said. “We had good work ethic.” The Varsity team consisted mainly of underclassman, many of whom were getting adjusted to the varsity playing level. “It was fine playing with the underclassman, they just really didn’t understand the level of play,” Mahr said. “Tucker Love did a really good job.” Once again, there are seniors who the underclassman feel will be hard to replace on the field. “I don’t like losing the seniors, they were key parts of the team,” Croda said. “They had a lot of leadership and truly lead the underclassman.” The seniors said that they were trying to lead the team to a strong 2010 season. “I plan to leave a good example for the next class that’s going to be playing and representing North,” Croda said. This will be Collins’ last season coaching at SM North. “This is most likely my last season as coach because I’m getting old,” Collins said.

{By Kelsey Larson} While the SM North’s girl’s golf team wraps up their season and puts away their golf clubs, they look back on their season. Taking home the player of the year award was junior Alina Sweircinsky and taking home the most improved player award was junior Breanna Hunt. According to Coach John Stone the team’s best tournament was the Shawnee Mission West invitational. At the invitational the team took first place out of four teams and as individuals sophomore Haley Latham took first place and Sweircinsky took second place. “We had a multitude of people who did a nice job,” Stone said. On October 13 Swiercinsky and Latham went to the class 6A golf regional at Painted Hills Golf Club where Swiercinsky tied for 26th place and Latham took 32nd place.

Cross Country

Football By Kerenza Singletary} The SM North Varsity Football Team worked this season to improve the previous season’s record of 3-6, but they fell short of that goal, which resulted in a record of 2-7. Players were not pleased with how the season went or the outcome, but there was still enjoyment on the field. “Through the tough times this season it was still fun, I love the game of football,” senior Ryan Finazzo said. “I do wish the results would’ve been different, but at the same time we worked hard and had fun.” Sophomore Kendall Kelly explains why he thinks the season didn’t go the way he and his team expected it to. “We didn’t play four quarters,” Kelly said. “We didn’t hustle enough and we didn’t play to our ability.” Senior Luke Lohmeyer had a similar explanation. “The problem was either defense was doing really well and offense wasn’t or vice versa.” There were quite a few injuries this season and the majority of them occurred to seniors. “You can’t control injuries,” Head Coach Ryan Majors said. “It was also a big effect on the field because when key players get hurt it matters what you lose as far as leadership

and cohesiveness.” Lohmeyer was one of the players who didn’t get to play because of his injury. “It tore me up not being able to be with my team practicing every day and, playing games,” Lohmeyer said. “It really sucked.” Senior Christian Dennis was also a player who was injured and could not participate with his teammates for four consecutive games. “It was really depressing because you see somebody else playing your position and you miss the feeling of actually being out there,” Dennis said. “It gave me a new perspective of how important football is to me.” There is a lot of confidence for the 2010 football season from the team. “I think North is going to have a solid team next year, even though there will be a lot of seniors missing,” Dennis said. “I think there are a lot of quality players that will be replacements.” Majors has an idea for how things will be run next season. “Scheme wise, to fit our players, meaning if we need to do something to fit our players next year,” Majors said. “We need to do a better job of holding people accountable who aren’t committed.”

{By Kerenza Singletary and Ross Lubratovic} The 2009 SM North Cross Country Team worked hard this season to compete for the state title, on Oct. 31st, at Rim Rock Farms, north of Lawrence, Kansas. “The competition went really well this year,” coach Ryan Colburn said. “The guys were fast, and Billie [Lubis] did great, placing 14th out of 105.” Unlike last year, when the entire boy’s team qualified, this year’s team was comprised of only three athletes: Seniors Jeremiah Craighead and Ephraim Chaney, and Junior Billie Lubis. However, Lubis was the first girl to qualify in six years. “It was harder going without a whole team,” Chaney said, “But I had Jeremiah with

me, so that’s a plus.” Chaney enjoyed the challenge of the competition, adding that the practices were easier due to the smaller size of the team. “It’s pretty intense because it’s the best people from all over the state,” he said. “Cross county is awesome.” Overall, Colburnis pleased with the results. “It was a really fun season,” he said. “There was more of a family aspect to the team this year. I can’t relaly think of anyone who wanted to quit. I am really proud of all of our athletes and the outstanding leadership from the seniors this year.”

Girls’ Gymnastics placed 3rd at Regionals and 5th at State. Here are Alexis Shelby, Jennifer Lanman, Halyn Massey, Abby Row and Elaina Zinn at the Regional meet. Photo by Mary Rodabaugh

PAGE 7 >>SPORTS>>Nov. 2009

One thing Bethany couldn’t live without: “My family. Definitely my family.” Word of advice to underclassmen: “Be yourself, because you don’t have to conform to fit into any group at North.” Favorite part about North: “There’s no certain groups; they all intermingle.” Music tastes: “I listen to everything. I don’t have a favorite genre. I listen to 104.3, 95.7, everything.” Activities: • NJROTC Battalion Commander • Football manager • Track: triple jump and long jump • Chambers Choir • NHS

{By Nickole Nosal}

Eric Rembold Assistant Principal This year for Thanksgiving Assistant Principal Eric Rembold will travel to Ames, Iowa. While in Ames, Rembold will be visiting his extended family and enjoying a big Thanksgiving dinner. “What I enjoy most about Thanksgiving is the long nap I take after the big meal,” Rembold said.

Mitchell Walters Junior

Every year for the past three years junior Mitchell Walters drives with his family to Lawrence to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with his older sister. At his sisters Walters watches the football game with his dad while his mom and sister prepare for the dinner. “My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the delicious food and the feeling of thousands of endorphins being released after your finished,” Walters said.

“Stay home or go to Chicago?” SM North Nurse Pat Polise asks herself. Each year on Thanksgiving Polise invites her family to her home for a Thanksgiving dinner. Polise is questioning her annual Thanksgiving tradition to go visit her mother in Chicago instead. “What I like most about Thanksgiving is being with my family and it’s not like Christmas so there’s no gifts and chaos just good casual fun,” Polise said.

Homecoming Queen

{By Brittany Williams} Bethany Krzenski could hardly contain herself when she heard the news that she would be Homecoming Queen. “I didn’t even expect to make Top 20,” Krzesinski said. “To just make it that far was unbelievable.” Every year, the Homecoming Queen is the first of North’s royalty to be crowned. Always a surprise to each title-winner, this year’s Bethany Krzesinski had no idea she would even make it past the nominations. Winning the title and crown of Homecoming Queen was a shocker in and of itself. “I was excited, like I didn’t expect it or know what to think,” Krzesinski said. “I had to absorb it.” At North, Krzesinki has participated in NJROTC, choir, NHS, basketball, volleyball and track. Prior to attending SM North, Krzesinki was a student at Hope Lutheran School in Shawnee, where her mom is a second grade teacher.


>>North students, faculty share their plans for the Thanksgiving holiday

Pat Polise Nurse

Bethany Krzesinski

PAGE 8 >>PEOPLE>>Nov. 2009

Thanksgiving Destination

Chester Rodriguez Senior For the Thanksgiving holidays senior Chester Rodriguez plans to go to his Grandmas or his Mom’s to have dinner and spend time with his family. Rodriguez also has plans to hangout with friends. “What I like most about Thanksgiving is that when we eat dinner we have a table full of Mexican food and a table full of American food,” Rodriguez said.

Alec Fuhrman Senior

It’s Sudoku! RULES: Complete each row, column and box with numbers one through nine. No row, column or box may have a repeating number.


“The best part about Thanksgiving is the good food,” Alec Fuhrman said. Fuhrman plans to spend Thanksgiving at his Grandpa’s farm in western Kansas. “ I enjoy sitting with my grandpa eating good food and watching the Turkey Day game”, Fuhrman said.

Kaylyn Suellentrop Junior This Thanks giving Junior Kaylyn Suellentrop has plans to see friends who are coming from Florida. Suellentrop and friends plan to see some movies and hangout. Thanksgiving dinner is what Suellentrop is looking forward to most. “I love Thanksgiving because I get to eat great food and I get to spend quality time with my family,” Suellentrop said.

Issue 3  

Issue 3 of The Mission

Issue 3  

Issue 3 of The Mission