2270 Highway 133
Carbondale , Co 81623
Volume 7 Issue 5
Will and Ruby
Toni and Alex
Kristin and Roy
Cutest Couple 2014!
Malik and Lesley
Maggie and Buckshot
Doherty and Brown; In it for the long haul
-Kristen Joiner “She had more of a personality and was funnier than most girls... I wanted to get to know her,” said Cameron Doherty of Grace Brown. That’s how it all started. Voted this year’s cutest couple, Doherty, a senior, and Brown, a sophomore, have been dating for a little over than a year. “I remember the first time we hung out was on December 21, 2012, the day the world was supposed to end, and Cameron said, ‘If this was my last day, I wouldn’t want to spend it anywhere else,’” shared Brown. It doesn’t get much cuter than that! Throughout their relationship, Brown and Doherty have shared countless memories.
“We’ve done a lot in a year, but just simple things like going to Grace’s house at night to watch TV is what I enjoy the most,” stated Doherty. As the couple argued over when their actual “first date” was, the love between them was obvious. “It was when we went to Pepino’s,” declared Doherty. “No it was when we went night sledding!” Brown insisted. Whenever their actual “first date” was, it was obviously a good one. Not many high school relationships last this long, but Doherty and Brown seem to be in it for the long haul. “I’m going to the University of Colorado at Boulder for college, we’ll see where the future takes us but hopefully
we’ll be together next year,” said Doherty. Brown agreed, “We’re going to be realistic and hopefully it works out. We definitely want to stay together.” One thing that has made their relationship last so long is the trust and communication they have between each other. “I can tell him everything,” said Brown. Open communication is a must in any relationship, and these two seem to have it figured out. Along with Doherty and Brown, many other couples were nominated for this year’s cutest couple at RFHS. From the freshmen class to the senior class, love is definitely in the air this Valentine’s Day between all the couples here at RFHS.
2 Rampage February 2014
High hopes for New Year’s resolutions -Grace Brown
Waking up after a New Year’s eve party, an abundance of glitter and exhaustion float through the room; the start of another year, yet again. Every January 1st, people suddenly realize how short a year really is. Why are my pants so tight? Am I seriously still single? Why did I buy this? According to the Huffington Post, 45% of Americans make a New Year’s resolution every year. Whether it’s about losing weight, finding that perfect someone or ideal soulmate, or being smarter with money, New Year’s resolutions are hard to sustain. Most students at RFHS have resolved to eating less sugar, focusing on getting better grades, and being more active, but as many of them have already learned, resolutions take discipline. “So far, I’m doing better than I thought,” said junior Emily Fuller. For the year of 2014, Fuller has decided to reduce her carbon footprint and save money by watching her spending. “I like going out to lunch and buying
For her resolution, Emily Fuller has committed to saving money this year. Several RFHS students are struggling to stay true to the resolutions they made in January.
clothes, so trying not to spend money is hard.” Many people use the new year as a motivation or kick-start to better health, smarter spending, improved
Engineering a substitute
organization, or maybe even a new look, but most of these common goals made every year are not specific or timely. This could be the reason that 88% of American’s fail to keep up their resolution for the whole year. Sophomore Max Slack made a resolution to be more conscious of people around him by paying attention to his peers and helping when he can. “The hardest part is not being self-centered. Everyone has those times when you really want the last slice of pizza or when you’re too lazy to help someone with their books,” Slack says. “It goes okay most of the time, I mostly try to think about how I can improve someone’s day as much as possible.” There is a culture of doubt when a person cannot keep a promise, especially to themselves. Some believe that because of this, resolutions are mentally unhealthy. As expected, people who let their resolutions go downhill don’t necessarily want to talk about it. Resolutions can either make people feel accomplished when the achieve them or ashamed when they don’t.
Teachers weigh technology options
Jay Engstrom effectively slipped into place at RFHS in late January during finals week as the current replacement math teacher for Ralph Young. After Mr. Young had to be hospitalized due to a brain tumor, the math department desperately needed a replacement teacher for Algebra 2 and Calculus. Engstrom is a graduate of RFHS and has close ties with math teacher Wendy Boland. After seeing each other over winter break, Boland encouraged Engstrom to apply for the teaching gig, and shortly after, Engstrom accepted the offer for a temporary job.
These days a majority of RFHS students carry smartphones in their pockets, and some teachers are learning to embrace the technology, while others still don’t want to see it. The school wide pol“My goal is to push for responsible icy on phones is vague, use.” leaving the specifics up - Hadley Hentschel to the teachers. Because of this, the policy from classroom to classroom is drastically different. Some teachers allow students to keep their phones out on their desks, while others are more inclined to take them away at even the slightest glance. Hentschel, who allows for students to use their phones in class, admits that they can be distracting, but encourages students to use their tools wisely. Other teachers however, do not want to deal with the distraction that the use of phone presents, and have banned their use from their classrooms. Math teacher Melissa Reynolds requires students to have a separate graphing calculator for math, even though many of their phones have apps that would do the trick. Reynolds is aware that phones have the potential to be more of a distraction to her students than a help. “Even if the student is using their However, some students phone as a calculator, if a text feel that phones are not comes in they are going to to read any more of a distraction it.” in classrooms that allow them than in classrooms -Melissa Reynolds that ban them. “I think it’s worse when they don’t let you use them because it’s so tempting.” observed student Dari Briceno. Despite the distractions, allowing use of technology certainly has its benefits. Henschel claims that it streamlines communication and collaboration and keeps students engaged. Hentschel sends out weekly texts to students reminding them of upcoming due dates and tests and has students send him assignments via Google Drive. This not only simplifies matters but also eliminates paper waste. Hentschel also believes that integrating technology into the classroom helps students stay engaged. “When students realize they have more access,they are more motivated,” he stated. In addition, completing school work electronically eliminates the opportunity for students to lose their work, and Hentschel says it has resulted in higher percentage of work completion from his students.
Engstrom graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in General Engineering and a minor in Mathematics in April of 2012 from Fort Lewis College in Durango. After college, Engstrom rested for a year while he worked on and off at an outdoor gear shop in Durango. He traveled to England, rafted the Grand Canyon, and biked the Colorado trail. Eventually, he began his search for a job in engineering, but has been unsuccessful . Engstrom had thought
Jay Engstrom, who had no prior teaching experience when he came to RFHS, is the long term substitute for Ralph Young. He teaches Integrated Math 2 and Pre-Calculus.
about becoming a teacher before, but had not followed up with it. He came into the job with no teaching experience and has found the position challenging but rewarding. “I was caught off guard,” he explained. “I’m going through trial and error.” Engstrom is familiar with high school students as his brother, Wes Engstrom, is a freshman at RFHS. Engstrom is happy to see that students are comfortable with him. “Some students ask for help that I have never met,” he expressed. “It is really cool to see that these kids have an urge to learn.” How-
ever, it’s disappointing to him when kids don’t put effort into their learning. Students and staff alike expected the transition between math teachers to be a challenging one. Many students believe that he is a good teacher and thoroughly explains the material. Engstrom has a high level of mathematical skills which helps him convey the curriculum and makes it easy for students to understand. While he is still looking for a job that is more engineering-oriented, Engstrom plans to continue teaching until Ralph returns to teaching.
As technology continues to advance and phones become even more prominent in the lives of high school students, teachers will either have to continue to suppress and resist the technology or learn to embrace it.
3 Rampage February 2014
Student count slides by senior year -Kayla Derby and James Long
It isn’t a secret that this year’s senior class is much smaller than when they started high school four years ago. As a class moves up in grade level, their student count goes down. Although there are students who drop out, transferring is a much more common solution to not being satisfied with the more traditional education that RFHS provides. Traditional education is not the right path for some students. For these people, alternative schools such as Bridges High School are a good option. Schools like Bridges are much more accommodating when it comes to a
student’s schedule. “A lot of students who work need to stay in school, but they need a hybrid schedule,” said RFHS principal Drew Adams. These types of schools give students options other than just dropping out. Students have many different thoughts on why people go to schools like Bridges. Some think they are better for particular students who may want increased personalized help, a more easygoing learning environment, or support for making up lost credits. “Bridges can be a huge help; it’s more individual and laid back,” stated Roaring Fork High School student David Aguilar. “But lots of people just use it as the easy way out.”
Sometimes, even with alternative options, students still drop out of high school. RFHS has a graduation rate of almost 94%. This number represents the amount of students who graduate on time. As long as the school district can keep track of a student who moves schools, they are accounted for in the graduation rate. While this number is almost ten percent higher than the Roaring Fork School District average of 84%, there are still 6% of kids that drop out. Many students take the opportunity to go to alternative schools, but others end up dropping out. There are many reasons that a student may drop out. Sometimes, they are too overwhelmed
and can’t keep up in their classes, which causes them to lose the motivation they need to stay on track. For some students, things may be hard at home, which results in them having a harder time in school. Some students already have jobs and are making money as is, so they see no need for further schooling. Another common reason students drop out is because they have too few credits to graduate on time with their peers. “Honestly I haven’t learned anything in high school. It’s just a diploma,” said Ryan Ruiz, Roaring Fork High School junior. He doesn’t see how the things that he learns in high school are applicable to the real world. At times,
he has been very depressed which prevented him from doing his best in school. As a result, he failed many classes during his time as a high school student. Ruiz has considered dropping out on many occasions because he won’t be able to graduate on time, seeing that he lacks the required credits. Instead of giving up on school altogether though, he decided to transfer from Basalt High School to Roaring Fork High School to see if it would be a better fit for him. Whether it’s because of students dropping out or transferring schools, one thing is certain: Roaring Fork High School still has work to do before its graduation rate becomes 100%.
Opinion Staff and students speak out about Reach -Lucy Stevens and Dasiy Contreras
The staff has had several arguments in favor of abandoning Reach and SSR to completely rearrange the schedule for next year. Some RFHS students spend their time studying and talking to teachers during Reach, but the staff has contradictory thoughts about keeping the available study time known as Reach and Silent Sustained Reading (SSR) in the schedule for next year. RFHS requires one hour every day dedicated to reading and working on homework. This adds up to almost five hours a week of Reach and SSR. The staff feels that the five hours would be better used for class time instead of students socializing. A new arrival to the staff, social studies teacher Matt Whistler likes SSR because it gives students time to read a great book. “SSR helps expand students vocabulary,” stated Whistler. Although Mr. Whistler is in favor of keeping SSR, he strongly disagrees with the given time for Reach, which he thinks should be added to classes to cover more material. Melissa Reynolds, who has been at RFHS for four years, agreed. “It’s unfortunate students don’t take advantage of Reach, but it’s a great thing that our school provides the support for those students who use their time wisely.” Still, Reynolds feels like most students don’t effectively use
Reach, and she agrees that it should be cancelled. Some teachers argue that underclassmen don’t have as much homework and as many assignments as upperclassmen have, leaving them empty handed during Reach. Instead of taking advantage of the available study time, students play on their iPhone or tablet or even hang out in the halls with their friends. Overall, the staff feels that cancelling Reach and SSR would be beneficial to both students and teachers. Students have similar opinions about the value of Reach. Although teachers are in charge of making this change in the school, students feel that their perspective on the issue should be taken into consideration. In general, students believe that Reach is an important time for students to get extra help, catch up on homework, make up missed tests or assignments, or study for their next classes. Without Reach, students would have to adjust because they wouldn’t have that extra study time in school. As junior Carlos Castaneda said, “Reach gives me a good amount of time to work on homework that I didn’t finish at home the night before. I also know that I’m not the only student in the school that needs this time to not only work, but to meet up with a teacher and get extra help. Reach is necessary.” School would certainly be different without the
Rampage Staff Editor in Chief Rosa Maun Managing Editor William Masters
Photographer Cameron Doherty
Editorial Staff Roy Benge Kristen Joiner Finn Featherstone Lesley Platero
Journalists Grace Brown Daisy Contreras Anakaren Hernandez Jacqueline Jacquez Jake Kelley James Long Caitlin O’Gorman Jake Rusby Lucy Stevens Tavia Teitler Jonny Aranda
Reach and SSR period. A student who wished to remain anonymous explained how life would change without that extra study time: “I guess I’d just have to deal and adjust to my workload that I would have. It would be disappointing because I would have to spend longer on homework each night, and I wouldn’t get that little bit more of study time that I feel benefits me.” Junior Mayra Flores also commented on how the loss of Reach would affect her. “Getting work done and studying isn’t always possible at home … This would affect me because not only do I do work, but I get passes to go to another teacher’s classroom for help,” said Flores. Castaneda agreed that RFHS should not cancel Reach but was ambivalent about SSR: “It would be awesome if we could at least have the choice of either SSR or Reach during that whole hour.” Students realize that their peers sometimes abuse SSR and Reach. “Some just don’t want to be there so they ditch. But it shouldn’t be taken away from students who do use that time wisely. If this privilege is taken away, I would have no way to work or study during school hours,” stated Flores. In short, students are in agreement that Reach is a valuable use of the school day. The staff should consult students before getting rid of this time that students use to catch up and even pass their classes.
4 Rampage February 2014
Team chemistry equals strength
Midway through the winter season, both the girls and boys varsity basketball teams are focusing on their chemistry and communication to improve their skills and teamwork. With the mix of upper and lower classmen girls, varsity started off with a record of 3-9 but are looking to recover. Varsity Coach Kirk Cheney is excited to coach the Lady Rams again this season and said, “I am proud of the girls for not giving up on the season to this point. When you aren’t enjoying the successes that were envisioned from the beginning, it would be easy to give up.” Coach Cheney likes that the girls are aware of what they can become. “Our quest is to find how each one of us can tap into that potential, and if that does happen, look out, Western Slope League!” Senior Maddie Nieslanik has been on the team for all four years of high school and loves basketball: “It provides me with a challenge to perform on an individual basis and as a team provides me with leadership opportunities.” Nieslanik shared that the team’s communication is important for a successful team. “In the beginning of the season our team chemistry was non-existent, but we have been working on it. We have become much closer as a team; it has shown in “Our quest is to find how each one of the way we have been playing.” us can tap into that potential, and if The girls are still optimistic about the season, even with the that does happen, look out, Western rocky start. Senior Daniela SanSlope League!” tana has played basketball all -Coach Kirk Cheney four years of high school. She said, “We started off pretty bad but we worked hard as a team which has helped us.” Santana is grateful for her coaches. “They have made me a good player as the years have gone by. My freshman year my coaches were working on conditioning and getting us in shape instead of working on the fundamentals. This year, the coaches are working on the fundamentals.” The new girls have adjusted to the team by working with the other players and are getting used to their playing style. The older girls are making sure the lower classmen feel comfortable around the older girls. The team’s challenge is getting used to playing as a unit. Junior Emily Fisher is trying to make the freshman feel more comfortable. “We try to include them in stuff so they feel more comfortable,” said Fisher. The boys varsity team is 6-8. Coach Larry Williams has been there with his team through injuries and excitement. “You share both the proud moments and the sad moments. I’m proud of how the varsity boys present themselves and off the “There are three things that we court,” said Williams. focus on for each game: to be funThey have been hampered by injuries. “All the injuries and suspensions damentally sound, to out-hustle the opponent, and to act with class.” have made it difficult for the team to gel together and has challenged the -Coach LarryWilliams lineup,” said Williams. Junior Raymundo Acuna is excited to be a part of the varsity team after his football injury in the fall. He says, “I am glad that I have the chance to play the game both on JV and varsity. I like that the team has already become better than we were in the beginning of the season and that we are only going to keep getting better. The coaches are constantly pushing us to become better, helping us and telling us what to improve on, and the players are there to push each other everyday at practice. That’s what is going to help us get better.” Senior Jack Fisher has been playing basketball for all four years of high school. “I love the games and the atmosphere in the gyms when I play,” said Fisher. Fisher is now unable to play because of an injury but that won’t stop him from helping his team vocally and keeping them pumped up. He says, “the team would be different if we didn’t have Coach Williams because he gets stuff done, and he is always extremely focused on us and how we play,” Fisher said. “He has made us better players and people.” The boys basketball teams have both players from RFHS and from CRMS. Senior Freezy Rumongi who goes to CRMS is an important part of the team. Rumongi says, “it has been a blast getting to know these guys. They are great people on and off the court. I couldn’t ask for a better group of teammates. They have included myself and the other CRMS guys in the Roaring Fork Basketball Family. Roaring Fork is the first place I’ve gotten to play basketball competitively, and this is my second year playing here. I’ve always played basketball but it was recreational,” said Rumongi. Trust on and off the court is an important thing to have for a successful team. “I trust all my teammates for sure, no exceptions. I have gotten to know them personally over the course of the season and they are just great,” said Rumongi. Chemistry and communication are crucial to being successful and enabling the players to improve. The Rams look forward to making a splash the rest of this season.
Photos by Sue Rollyson The Rams basketball teams are excited to see what the rest of the season will bring. Neither have had great starts, but coaches and players are optimistic. Left: Freshman Aldo Pinela shoots a three point shot against Coal Ridge. Right: Senior Maddie Nieslanik takes a shot against the Aspen Skiers.