Staley High School Kansas City, Missouri Volume 11, Issue 6 APRIL 2019
Sports Year in review
The Vaccination divide 6-7
peculiar pets 16-17
Letâ€™s hold HANDS WITH GRACE 20
Inside this issue gETTING bACK ON tRACK & fIELD 4-5 THE VACCINATION DIVIDE 6-7 Harsh winter extends school year 8 9 10-11 sports YEAR IN REVIEW 12 SPORTS
Boys volleyball club looking to become official team
ILLEGAL PARKING IN HANDICAPPED SPOTS IS NOT OK
On the Cover
As this is our last official issue for the school year, Talon decided to highlight each sport and how they performed. Keeping with the minimalistic style, yearbook editor senior Haley Anne Mahusay designed the cover.
Staley High School Kansas City, Missouri Volume 11, Issue 6 APRIL 2019
Sports Year in review
The Vaccination divide 6-7
peculiar pets 16-17
HOLDing HANDS WITH GRACE 20
TABLE OF CONTENTS
13 14-15 16-17 18 19 20
Name-Brand VS. Off-Brand Cereal Lifestyles & ENTERTAINMENT
movie throwbacks LIFESTYLES & ENTERTAINMENT
peculiar pets news
Parking Problems fEATURE
TEENS LEARn FROM REFFING youth sports fEATURE
Letâ€™s hold hands with grace
Letter from the editor: Dear Readers,
Hello, it’s me again. I bet you didn’t expect to see another Talon quite so soon. Well, here we are with issue six. Did you know we produced the most issues a staff has produced in a year since we switched from a typical newspaper to a magazine? Crazy, right? I am still amazed by how well the staff handled the constant busyness that became our lives while constantly on a deadline. We had more newbies
come in than returners, and they sure did prove themselves from the start. Whether it was a vacation or staycation, I hope that everyone had an amazing spring break. It was nice to have a full week of actual planned vacation instead of random, single days over the past eight weeks. This is the first issue this semester that hasn’t been interrupted and pushed back because of snow days, and that feels pretty good. It definitely caused me a lot less stress when it came to
planning the deadlines. When it comes to brainstorming story ideas, as a staff we try to find ways to adapt hot-topic news to make it more relevant to our readers. This time, that topic is vaccinations. While it has become a much-heated debate, it doesn’t matter what side you are on – it affects us all. On pages 6-7, readers can find out more about the argument. Find out more information about the boys volleyball club on page 9 and the longterm affects of
this year’s rough winter on page 8. Also, on the back page, read about junior Grace Fisher and how she thrives in choir despite being visually impaired. We hope you enjoy the newest issue of Talon magazine, and as always, I encourage feedback and would love to hear your thoughts about what you read or what you would like to see in the future. Stay tuned, Senior Haylee Roberts Editor-In-Chief
TALON STAFF Editor-In-Chief: Haylee Roberts Managing Editor: Makenzie Hooton Adviser: CheriE Burgett
Staff: Autumn Adams Sara Almansouri Lonyae Coulter Makanani Grace HALEY ANNE MAHUSAY
Hailey Milliken Kara Morley Kirea Obie Kayla Pospisil Alexa Schulte
Talon publishes seven issues during the school year. Talon will accept letters to the editor in CR202 or at email@example.com. Before the letter is published, we will need to verify the writer’s identity with a photo identification. Letters may not exceed a length of 350 words. We will not publish letters that are libelous, obscene or that may cause a veritable disruption of the education process at Staley High School. Letters must be signed. Anonymous letters will be discarded. Advertisers may contact the adviser at firstname.lastname@example.org, (816) 321-5330 or at 2800 NE Shoal Creek Parkway, Kansas City, MO, 64156-1313. Opinions expressed in Talon do not express the staff’s endorsement of the products or services.
Talon is a member of NSPA, MIPA and Quill and Scroll. Talon is affiliated with JEA and JEMKC.
Why track athletes do what they do Photos by Makanani Grace written by Kayla Pospisil
PR - 15’9”
PR - 6’4”
“I started out doing long jump in elementary school, and I wanted to continue in high school because I really enjoyed doing it. I like doing both pole vault and long jump and enjoy the competitiveness of track.”
“In middle school, everybody jumped, so I decided to join the pack. I’ve always been good at jumping and decided to high jump. I kept working and kept getting better. Jumping is just my passion; it’s what I do.”
Pole Vault Kiera
Anders, 11 PR - 9’9” “I used to be a gymnast, and when I started high school, my friends that do the pole vault got me to start doing vault myself, and I’ve liked it ever since. Getting a new height every time I compete always motivates me to go even higher.”
Clark, 11 PR - 12’6” “I joined track in eighth grade because it got me in shape for football. I saw people vaulting, and I thought, ‘Why not try it?’ Freshman year, I tried to run and vault, but then I decided to do all vaulting. The meets where there is real competition, like districts and sectionals, are the most fun part of the year.”
King, 10 PR - 125’ 8” “I started throwing javelin, because my friend was in it, and running isn’t quite my thing. My favorite part of track is being with my friends and the atmosphere.”
Asta, 10 PR - 103’11” “I joined track in eighth grade. I was never a runner, and I wanted to use my strength to throw. I knew that it would be a lot easier for me to get better at throwing than running. My favorite thing is just the team aspect and everybody doing their best.”
PR 400m - 52.16 sec.
PR 200m - 25.69 sec.
“I decided to be a sprinter because I always had a lot of speed. When I was little, my family would always hype me up to be something great later, and I’m aiming to make them proud.”
“In elementary school, we used to run, so in seventh grade, I started doing track, and I just stuck with it. I sprint because after I tried it, I realized I‘m better at sprinting. It’s really great when everybody cheers for you as you finish.”
PR 1600m - 4:52 3200m - 10:48 “I got involved with cross country and track my freshman year when my sister persuaded me to. Running is a stress reliever for me, and I just like the sport in general. I like the overall environment and all the workouts.”
PR 1600m - 5:47 3200m - 12:14 “I joined track because I started cross country in the fall and liked running distance. So in the spring, I decided to run again. I also wanted to join a spring sport because in the fall I have cross country and Emeralds in the middle. I love running with my teammates and having fun during workouts.”
Coach George Adair’s Insight “Other than the fact that track means summer is coming, I really enjoy the student athletes I get to work with daily. I assist mostly with the distance runners. They are a unique group and just great to work with. They are determined and have a great mindset for running. I was a distance runner in high school and college and continue to run now, so I feel like I can share a lot of my experiences to help them become even better. Watching the athletes improve their times and seeing their excitement is what I really enjoy most.”
chools strive every day to keep students safe. There are different methods to ensure safety, such as disaster drills, autolocked doors, background checks and other policies put in place to protect students. A particular method with this same intention is the staterequired vaccinations to attend school, although these vaccinations have been controversial. Some believe more harm than good comes from them and choose to not vaccinate their children entirely, but others say this decision endangers other students attending school. Currently, anyone with a medical or religious exemption can opt out of vaccinating and still attend school.
The Science Behind Vaccinations State-mandated immunizations are
VACCINATION DECISIONS administered at different points in a child’s life to stimulate the immune system and build defenses to harmful diseases. A vaccine essentially tricks the body into thinking a potential threat has entered and lets the immune system learn how to fight the threat, according to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. “For the most part, there is no cure for the viruses we vaccinate for. There is no cure for measles, hepatitis A, polio, etcetera,” said Lana Hudanick, the Public Health Consultant Nurse for the Missouri Bureau of Immunizations. “We have to allow the virus to run its course for our body to fight it off, which is what vaccines are there for.”
Health Gets in the way The majority of people accept vaccines and receive the ones required by their state. As a reference, the CDC reported
91.1% of children got the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella in 2017. Though, complications can arise when people are unable to get vaccinated due to their own health problems. “Our school district allows students with medical exemptions from immunizations to attend after it was been approved by the state and signed off by a physician,” said Dana Fifer, the Health Services Coordinator for the North Kansas City School District. “These people either can’t receive all of the vaccinations they are required to have, or there are particular ones they can’t get. This varies depending on what their diagnosis is and what’s going on with their immune system.” These people are considered immunocompromised, meaning they have a weakened immune system. This doesn’t mix well with immunizations
Vaccine Exemption hotspots Throughout the United States, there are 15 cities that have a cluster of non-medical exemption rates. These cities are called “hotspots” for anti-vaxxers. The Public Library of Science found that Kansas City, Missouri, was one of these few hotspots in the country.
Source: Public Library of Science Medicine
because many vaccinations carry live versions of the illness in order to make the body fight it off, but immunocompromised people often don’t have an immune system strong enough to ward away the disease.
aluminum, lead and formaldehyde force the immune system to respond. It’s honestly really scary if you consider what it could be doing to your brain,” said Lynda Gammal, an anti-vaxxer with a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology.
All in the Chemicals
There has been debate about the chemicals being put into immunizations and the effect they have on the body. The individuals leading the discussion are dubbed “anti-vaxxers” and are firmly against the requirement of vaccinations. While they are the minority, their views have spread rapidly in recent years. According to the Pew Research Center, 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe. “I’ve been in the medical field since 2007, and I’ve traveled the country talking to many doctors and surgeons. All around, I’ve heard these other professionals talking about how there needs to be a change regarding vaccines. This is honestly just the tip of the iceberg,” said Rob Whit, Medical Science Liaison and creator of Meet Up group “Anti-Vax,” based in Missouri. “I’m not against the act of putting a live virus in someone to help the immune system fight it off, I get what science is trying to do there. I’m against the all the other components and toxins that make up a vaccine.” These chemicals in immunizations are one of the main concerns for many anti-vaxxers. At a high dose, they could be deadly, but just enough is put into vaccines to act as an adjuvant to enhance the immune system’s response, according to the Centers for Disease Control. “The toxic chemicals like mercury,
While the discussion around vaccines is happening nationwide, Kansas City appears to be a hotspot for those deciding not to vaccinate. The Public Library of Science Medicine said there are 15 metropolitan areas in the country that contain clusters of high vaccination exemption rates, Kansas City being one of them. These exemptions have nothing to do with prior health problems though, the decision to not vaccinate based on personal beliefs is called a nonmedical exemption, or NME. “There’s a lot of politically-driven idealogy behind forcing people to get vaccinations. It seems like the government just wants to keep pushing more and more vaccines on us without considering the harms. I fear that in the future, they’ll require everyone, children and adults, to be up to date on their vaccines,” said Gammal. With more and more people deciding to not vaccinate because of beliefs like Whit and Gammal’s, NMEs do have the potential to threaten herd immunity in a community. Herd immunity is the idea of a high percentage of the population being vaccinated to prevent outbreaks of diseases, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. With herd immunity, unvaccinated children and infants who are too young to receive a vaccine are
more protected from the virus. “We just had an infant die from the flu a couple of weeks ago. He was too young to be vaccinated for it,” said Ludanick.
Passing the Blame With outbreaks in Missouri of many viruses and diseases that vaccinations aim to prevent, some have deflected the blame onto anti-vaxxers for spreading the sickness. “I think the argument that unvaccinated children harm vaccinated kids is just humorous, honestly. If your child received the flu vaccine, then why are you concerned about an unvaccinated kid coming to school and giving them the flu? That just sounds like you’re admitting that vaccines don’t work,’ said Whit. Disagreements aside, experts believe anti-vaxxers themselves are especially at risk for catching these diseases. “Currently we are dealing with a hepatitis A outbreak in Missouri. There have been 266 cases so far and one death. We’ve even seen a case of measles so far. Every single one of those cases was from someone who was unvaccinated,” said Ludanick. The National Vaccine Information Center reported that the Missouri state legislature has introduced multiple bills that could limit the current freedom that many Missouri residents have when deciding to vaccinate. This would affect all the public high schools in the state. “I can’t speak on personal beliefs or political views, but I can firmly say that immunizations are the best method to keep everyone safe in our schools,” said Fifer. Written By Hailey Milliken Graphics by Autumn Adams and Makenzie Hooton
Should Students whose parents choose to not have them vaccinated be allowed to attend public school?
“I do not believe that kids that are not vaccinated should be able to go to public school, because there are people that actually can’t get vaccinations because it can cause harm to their body, and we should be trying to push forward so that people who can get vaccinations don’t cause harm to other people.” -- Jackson Pfender, 12
“I think they should be able to attend public schools, because it’s their right if they want to get vaccinated or not, and they can’t stop them from going to school.” -- Paxton Donaldson, 11
“Probably not, just because it’s just safer for everyone if they are vaccinated so that no one gets sick and things don’t spread easily.” -- Macy Tauke, 9
“I think we should allow those children to go to school, because it’s not fair to deny them the opportunity to learn just like everyone else simply just because their parents made a choice that was simply not the fault of their own, and it won’t be fair to deny them that right of education.” -- Omamuwhrere Ogolor, 10
s(no)w School Harsh Winter weather EXTENDS SCHOOl YEAR
ansas City has had one of the harshest winters it’s had in a while. November 2018 was the coldest November in Kansas City, Mo., ever recorded. Students in the North Kansas City School District didn’t have a full week of school second semester until the week before their spring break -- racking up 9 snow days. District superintendent Daniel Clemens, Ed.D., had fun with it and Tweeted humorous messages and a video to announce the cancellation of school. “I love Dan, because he calls it like it is,” said senior Mark Messina. “I enjoy not having school, because I’m a senior, and I won’t have to make up any of these school days.” Seniors’ last day of school is still May 3, despite all the snow days. Underclassmen
will go until May 31. “I like winter weather, but I don’t like missing that much of school. Even though it helps me get caught up with my homework, in the long run, it just makes me more behind,” said junior Haley Sheldon. Science teacher Matthew Nevels runs the Staley Weather Center where he collects information about weather patterns in the Kansas City area and then passes that information to the teachers through email and to the students in his science classes. “We had a harsh winter, because the weather was just more active,” said Nevels. “The last couple of winters, we’ve just missed a lot of the snow. We’ve still had the disturbances of the storms. They’ve just been out north, and so this year everything was just pushed a little bit further south. So we got into that band where all the activity
was just going right though Kansas City.” And Nevels said there may be some good news for juniors. “It is quite possible next winter will be as harsh, because sometimes the disturbance tends to last for a few cycles,” said Nevels. “It could be that the next two or three winters have lots of snow days. So, good news for this year’s juniors -- they might get it next year.” With the possible trend of several snow days continuing, the student body reflects on how it will affect them. “I feel like if seniors next year have to make up all the potential snow days, it won’t be fair because in the past they didn’t have to,” said junior Clare Lester. graphics by Makenzie Hooton Written by Alexa Schulte
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Boys vOLLEYBALL cLUB Hopes tO BECOME mshsaa oFFICIAL
oys volleyball club started in March. Sponsored by The Heart of America region of USA Volleyball, each of the four high schools in the North Kansas City School District has a team. The teams compete in the Kansas City High School Boys Volleyball League. Currently, the club is using the gym time that is available for their open gyms. Due to spring sports taking precedent over club sports, the volleyball club typically receives later times of the day for gym time. “We just practice when we can, and we say thank you. We are doing the best we can,” said volunteer coach Ken Corum. Senior Chad Kirby attended the open gyms and is making the transition from tennis to volleyball.
“I played in middle school, experience, some of the boys and once during freshman year, do not have much competitive and there wasn’t really any boys volleyball experience. volleyball for my age during “It’s really fun. It’s my second high school,” said Kirby. semester of senior year, and Kirby was I wanted to do looking forward something that I “It is something that boys could get involved to having fun and competing. have asked for for a number in,” said senior Corum said Justin Gonzalez. of years. We could have According to a all NKCSD high schools, started a program long pamphlet handed Park Hill, out by Corum, the Smithville, Blue before this year. It’s just school district can’t Valley, Blue that we didn’t have anyone provide funding Valley North, for coaching. This else to play.” Rockhurst means that each -- Ken Corum, Coach and some boys team will Independence need a volunteer high schools coach to lead the are among the schools that will program. compete. The boys started off the All experience levels will season with a win against Oak be represented on the club Park High School and a loss level. While Kirby has some to both North Kansas City
High School and Winnetonka High School March 28. There will also be an end-of-season tournament in May. The schedule can be found on the Staley Boys Volleyball Twitter @StaleyBoysVB. “It is something that boys have asked for for a number of years. We could have started a program long before this year,” said Corum. “It’s just that we didn’t have anyone else to play.” For a sport to become a Missouri State High School Athletic Association activity, meaning not a club, it has to be played by at least 50 schools for two seasons. This is the goal of the efforts being made by the 20 schools choosing to participate. Written by Jack Warner
Why’d you decide to play?
“I joined because I didn’t have anything to do second semester after school. So, I decided to try something new.” -- Justyn Dubes, 9
“I’ve always played volleyball just for fun, and playing it competitively just sounded like more fun.” -- Justin Gonzalez, 12
Photos by makanani grace
At boys volleyball practice March 27, the players work on technique and basic skills. The club started practice Feb. 28 and hold practice whenever the gym is available. Their first tournament was at Oak Park High School March 28. The club was 1-2 as of April 1. The boys’ first home game will be April 16 in the fieldhouse. “I used to play tennis, but now I want to play boys volleyball, because I am just more interested in that,” said senior Chad Kirby. Photos by Lonyae Coulter and Noah Kueter
A Year In Review
Run Down of How Sports Performed in 2018-2019 Written by Kayla Pospisil
t the senior night football game Oct. 5, freshman Brooklyn Vosika performs a sideline routine with her teammates. The cheerleaders placed first place at state for the second time in a row. “I loved bonding with my friends and meeting new people. My favorite part of this season was winning state. It was a really fun experience,” said Vosika. Photo by Ashley Mayberry
t a home soccer game against Park Hill South High School Oct. 8, sophomore Soren Hill passes the ball down the field. The team finished their season 7-15-1 after their loss against Liberty High School in the district tournament. “I got extra touches on the ball and some better relationships with my teammates, but it was good to work on myself and get better with the team,” said Hill. Photo by Grace Duddy
na home postseason football game against Fort Osage High School Nov. 17, senior Jacob Stewart kicks off. The team finished their season 9-3 after their loss to Fort Osage in the state tournament’s District Championship. “For me personally, the season went awesome. It was a really great opportunity for me to interact with the team and just to be able to put some points on the board even though our offense wasn’t the greatest this year,” said Stewart. Photo by Grace Duddy
uring halftime at the senior night football game Oct. 5, senior Olyvia Young performs the hip-hop routine. At nationals, the Emeralds placed tenth in the nation for pom as well as being selected for the National Dance Association Unleashed Award. “My favorite part of the season was performing during halftime with my teammates after learning and cleaning several dances at a time,” said Young. Photo by Ellie Whitesell
wimming the butterfly, sophomore Spencer Adamson competes at the Suburban Red Conference Championship Oct. 27. At the state competition in St. Peters, Mo., the boys team earned 14th place overall. The 200-medley relay placed 9th overall. Including Adamson, the team consisted of sophomore Peyton Wheeler, junior Nick Verwers and senior Charlie Duffy. “My favorite part of the season was being at state and getting that, ‘We finally made it,’ feeling, like our hard work had finally paid off,” said Adamson. Photo by Rami Leroy
gainst Liberty High School Sept. 20, junior Sydney Healy goes for a kill. Varsity ended with a record of 15-16 for the season. The team also had nine student athletes make the Missouri Academic All-State list. “We came up with a saying, ‘Burn the Ship.’ What this meant for us was that it doesn’t matter how far we have come, we finish what we have started,” said Healy. Photo
n Oct. 15, senior Alyssa Freeman tees off at the state tournament. Seniors Julia Hagen and Hannah Skaggs also qualified for state. The girls’ golf team won conference and districts, along with several other tournaments and placed second at sectionals. “I just loved going to state and being a part of something bigger than Staley. It was such a cool experience playing with the best golfers in Missouri,” said Freeman. Photo by Jasmine Bronson
by Amelia Crow
n Jefferson City, Mo., Nov. 3, junior Collin Riggins runs at the state cross country meet. The boys team made history for the school district, placing third and becoming the highest placing team in school district history. On the girls side, three qualified for state as individuals: junior Alex Hamre and seniors Haylee Roberts and Maddie Pare. Hamre earned All-State honors for the third time. “It was a really neat experience for me. The fact that all my friends were on the team definitely helped and made it a lot easier, because I felt comfortable from the beginning,” said Riggins. Photo by Charlie Warner
Track & Field
hrowing the shot put, sophomore David Holt practices on March 6 after school. At the Ron Ives Invitational on March 22, in a 16-team field, Falcons had two event winners. Including sophomore Chloe Saenz in the 400-meter dash and senior Preston Wheeler and juniors Luke Winkler, Jack Warner and Nathan Nguyen in the 4x800 meter relay. “My favorite part of track season is meeting new people and making new friends while doing something you enjoy,” said Holt. Photo by Robert Hill
t a home match Sept. 27, senior Jaegan Freeman returns the ball with a backhand. The team welcomed two new coaches, assistant coach Jacob Sullivan and head coach Daniel Berkland. Varsity finished the season with a 7-7 record, including a team tournament title from the Winnetonka Invitational. Junior varsity finished with a record of 9-5, and novice finished 6-8 with two tournament titles. “One of my favorite things was all the tournaments we had this season. It is so much fun. We get to play tennis all day and have a great time with my teammates,” said Freeman. Photo by Rami Leroy
t practice March 26, sophomore Jacob Fox runs the bases. Varsity beat Park Hill South High School 13-2, March 27. As of April 4, varsity was 6-2 on the season after returning from the Lancer Classic tournament in Arizona. “The Arizona trip helped us to bond as more of brothers than just a team. I am looking forward to seeing how we can keep that same energy and momentum throughout the season,” said Fox. Photo by Sara Almansouri
reparing for competition, junior Ella McMahon dives at the Gladstone Community Center Jan. 31. McMahon placed first at state in the one-meter dive and beat the old MSHSAA record with a score of 481.50. Also at state, junior Bridget Hoth placed 7th in the finals for the 50 free in Class 2. “That feeling before my last dive is still the most memorable for me, knowing that I had finally done it, not only completed my goals but crushed them,” said McMahon. Photo by Courtney Hoth
t Olathe North High School Jan. 26, junior Richard Burtin wrestles his opponent from Olathe North. Junior Rocky Elam was named a state champion in the 182 pound division, and the wrestling team earned fourth place overall. The team also had several other state placers. “As for the team, the best part was going to state and getting as many to place as we did,” said Burtin. Photo by Sara Almansouri
arming up before a game against Grandview High School Jan. 27 at home, sophomore Jehr Fowler looks to pass the ball during drills. Varsity went 12-14 and made it to the district semifinal. “My favorite part of the season is getting together with the guys every day after school for practice or games. Nothing is better than getting to compete with my brothers day in and day out,” said Fowler. Photo by
uring an away match at Smithville High School Feb. 2, sophomore Anna O’Neill works to pin her opponent. In the first official season of girls wrestling, freshman Lexi Hatfield become the first female wrestler from Staley to place at state, earning third. As a team, the girls placed second at the Class 1 district tournament. “This season was a new experience for me. We built a strong family from our determination, supporting each other and sharing new experiences,” said O’Neill. Photo by Jessica Hylton
t the Platte County tournament April 1 at Shiloh Springs golf course, sophomore Nate Thompson tees off. The team placed second out of eighteen teams. “The season is going pretty good. I think the team is doing the best it ever has at Staley,” said Thompson.
reparing to return the ball, senior Jason Simcoe practices at school March 27. The varsity team kicked off their season by beating Platte County High School 5-4 at their home opener on March 28. “I’m looking forward to meeting new friends this season, just being outside and having fun,” said Simcoe. Photo by Sara
Photo by Sara Almansouri
alking into the huddle during the sectional game against Liberty High School Oct. 17, senior Katelyn Kiser throws the ball to her teammate. Varsity ended their season with a 21-5 record. “Overall, the season was really good. My favorite part was playing in the Joplin tournament and really getting to know all of the girls. The best part was at the end of the season when we all pulled together to keep playing games,” said Kiser. Photo by Makanani Grace
arming up, junior Jasmine Bronson runs across the field in preparation for the green and black scrimmage March 14. Over spring break, the varsity girls team kicked off their season by placing first in the Platte County Tournament. As of April 1, the team was 5-1 for the season. “The thing that I am most looking forward to is just playing the game and competing,” said Bronson. Photo by Sara Almansouri
uring a home JV basketball game Jan. 31 against Truman High School, freshman Elanna Aaron blocks the ball. Varsity went 13-12 for the season and took second at districts. “I feel like this season was really great overall. The best part for me was seeing everyone grow so much on and off of the court,” said Aaron. Photo by Lucianna Monaco
We’re better than this illegal Parking in Handicapped spots is not ok
ho doesn’t want a front-row parking spot? It’s a short walk into the building. It’s quick to leave at the end of the day in order to beat the buses. Overall, it’s the best because of its convenience. But pulling into school at 7:35 a.m. and thinking it is OK just to take a designated handicapped parking spot because it is close and empty is not OK. The handicapped spots may not always be in use, but they aren’t there for able-bodied students to use at their own discretion. There are people who have suffered, whether it be something minor, such as a broken leg, or something major, like having a stroke or being paralyzed, and they need those
spots. Our school hosts a variety of different events from sports, to concerts, to district meetings. Many of these events do occur during school hours, and visitors may need to have handicapped accessibility. However, it doesn’t stop there. Some substitute teachers may need it as well, but they aren’t able to, because students feel entitled to parking in those spots. An embarrassing example this school year was when student volunteers held a dance for students with disabilities from many schools. It was held during the school day, so when the students arrived in vans to attend the dance, they were unable to find a parking
spot because our able-bodied students decided to take the handicapped spots. In Missouri, the fine for parking in a handicapped spot can vary from $100-$300 plus additional administrative fees. That is just in a public parking lot, though. In the school parking lot, cars can be ticketed for $25 by the resource officer on duty. Those tickets may seem annoying, but they should still be treated just like any other type of ticket. The problem of parking in a handicapped spot all goes back to the morals, entitlement and straight up laziness, and frankly, it is just sad to see people think they are entitled to take that spot from someone who may actually need it.
For one, students shouldn’t be doing it in the first place, and second, the parking lot should be more actively monitored to allow people to come to the realization that parking in a handicapped spot without a sticker is illegal. Parking in a handicapped spot you aren’t legally entitled to use is just in poor taste and makes our students seemingly own up to the reputation of entitled and disrespectful to our community. That’s not who we are. As a whole, we need to work together to prove these misconceptions wrong and park legally in the parking lot. Cartoon by Autumn Adams
Name-brand vs. off-brand Cereal
wARNER WEIGHS IN: DON’T IGNORE OFF BRANDS Cocoa Crisp Rice VS. Cocoa Pebbles The name brand, Cocoa Pebbles, costs $2.20 more at Price Chopper than the off-brand Cocoa Crisp Rice. The Cocoa Pebbles have a bigger box with four more ounces of cereal. Ultimately, what matters is taste, and they taste the same. So, you can save more than $2 to get the same cereal. It is ridiculous not to buy the off–brand. The price difference covers the extra four ounces of cereal.
Right Choice Crispy Rice Flakes With Strawberries vs. Special K with Red Berries Special K costs 96 cents more than the off-brand at Price Chopper. Also, there is a disappointingly small number of dried strawberries in Special K. However, Special K does have about four more ounces of cereal. Once again, they have similar tastes, but Special K seems to have fewer berries.
Peanut Butter Cocoa Spheres VS. Reese’s Puffs The name brand, Reese’s Puffs, are 50 cents more expensive than the Best Choice Peanut Butter Cocoa Spheres at Price Chopper. Also, while there is not a big difference in taste, Reese’s Puffs have a different texture. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the Reese’s Puffs have more of a powdery texture to them. Also, there is a recipe for a trail mix on the side of the Peanut Butter Cocoa Spheres box, making the off–brand a great choice.
Right Choice Vanilla Almond vs. Honey Bunches of Oats Vanilla Bunches
Honey Bunches of Oats costs $1.10 more than the Right Choice version at Price Chopper. The biggest difference is that Right Choice doesn’t have the “bunches” that Honey Bunches of Oats does. It is just cornflakes, but the vanilla almond flavor makes them taste the same but have different textures. Right Choice has a smaller serving size than Honey Bunches of Oats, but Right Choice also has less sugar per serving and fewer calories. Both have the same flavor, but sometimes the Right Choice texture is easier to eat.
ereal is not just an American breakfast food staple, it is so much more. Cereal is the favorite snack, and sometimes meal, of many. Its versatility and diversity places it as a top choice for any meal or snack. It can be eaten dry, carried in small baggies and mixed in with other snacks. Not to mention, cereal is a good source of iron and fiber. Granted, some cereals are pretty much just balls of sugar, and not every cereal provides added nutrition. But that is part of why cereal is so great. It can be part of a healthy, nutritious meal or a sugary treat. All too often, buyers get tricked by the marketing of cereal companies. The colors and fancy boxes draw in the buyer. But, in reality, the offbrand version, while maybe less visually pleasing or popular, tastes just as good -if not better -- and is typically cheaper. This is in contrast to something like clothing where many buyers hold on tightly to their name brands. Often times, the name brand clothing is higher quality. But with cereal, this is not the case. Off–brand cereals deserve more recognition and credit. Written by Jack Warner Photos by Jack Warner Graphic by Haley Anne Mahusay
Cloudy with a chance of meatballs (2009)
oing back and watching this 2009 animated film was honestly like experiencing it for the first time all over again. Even though I already knew the plot and how it would end, the characters and humor were more than enough to keep it interesting. I think this is a good example of a film that ends up getting overlooked throughout the years, because it had to compete with dozens of other childrens movies being released. The concept was unique, but appreciating the dialogue is the key to enjoying this movie to the fullest. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” truly was ahead of its time, and I regret the fact that younger me didn’t focus on it enough.
mILLIKEN Looks back on childhood favorites
Written by Hailey Milliken Graphics & Photos by Autumn Adams
High school musical (2006)
his singular movie led to a trilogy that shaped an entire generation of kids. I can say with complete seriousness that “High School Musical” contributed to my personality today. Everything about this movie is over the top and super dramatic, but this aspect gave it the power to become such a cult favorite. I had this movie on repeat when I was younger, and I don’t think much has changed. The musical numbers are super catchy, and I’m sure most kids who grew up with this movie could still sing along today. This movie may not have a lot of depth, but the happiness I get from watching it easily makes up for that.
the bee movie (2007)
k. First of all, all jokes aside, this movie is actually really interesting to watch when you forget about the bizarre plot. With that being said, how on earth is this a PG kids movie? Many only remember “The Bee Movie” for its unconventional romance between Vanessa and Barry B. Benson, but the entire movie is weirdly political and contains humor that requires at least some adult knowledge. As a child watching this movie, I honestly had no idea what was going on. Watching this in 2019, the message portrayed throughout the film is actually rather intelligent, even if the characters are disturbing. I think this movie was meant to be more enjoyable for the parents of the children going to see it rather than the children themselves.
lIFESTYLES & ENTERTAINMENT
What was your favorite childhood movie?
here are no words to properly describe the quality of this movie, but two I would use are timeless and masterpiece. Disney and Pixar really created something beautiful when this film was released in 2009. As soon as you’re five minutes in, you’re hooked for the entire thing. As a child, this was one of the only animated movies that made me feel a variety of emotions throughout watching it. This film is one of the most wholesome stories among any genre and any demographic. Not only was the plot beautifully constructed, but the characterization was well done and made me feel a connection to those characters. I loved this movie as a kid, and I absolutely still love it now.
Camilla Rivera, 9 “I thought fairies were so cool. I used to love winter, so a winter fairy made it 10 times cooler.”
Secret of the Wings (2012)
Grace Spitzmiller, 10
“I loved the music, and my family watched it all the time when I was younger.”
Murphy Corum, 11
Another Cinderella Story (2008)
“The characters were very fun and entertaining, especially Mater.”
o this very day, this is Selena Gomez’s best work. This movie is the most cliché, rich-boy meets underdog-girl story there is, and I absolutely love it. Some movies are just so wonderfully bad that they become a childhood staple and a favorite for years. Truthfully, when I was younger, I believed this was a super unpredictable and amazing movie. Watching it now, the dialogue is obviously cringy and very 2008, but somehow it’s still very entertaining and overall enjoyable to watch. Not to mention, the soundtrack is iconic and gave me songs that shaped my childhood.
The Lion King (1994) LIFESTYLES & ENTERTAINMENT
Jordan Owens, 12 “I could relate to Simba and how I lost my father. We both overcame that adversity.” TALON
PECULIAR Pets students call ABNORMAL ANIMALS family
cORI & SABRINA
t about a year and a half old, bearded dragon Coriander likes to be alone and loves salad. Sophomore Sabrina McGraw got him from Craigslist and shares the responsibility with her older sister. Bearded dragons are gentle by nature and not aggressive toward humans, according to the Bearded Dragon Guide website. Coriander isn’t a social pet and prefers to be alone. “He’s really different, because he’s not a cuddly, attention-needing pet,” said McGraw. Bearded dragons are
Crush & AARON
rush, the yellowbellied slider is junior Aaron Hall’s pet. Yellow-bellied sliders are native to the southeastern United States. They are semi aquatic and can live up to 20 years, according to Pet Guide, animal health guide. Hall’s parents didn’t allow him to get a dog or cat, so he chose an exotic pet instead. Crush lives in a tank and likes to sit near water and under his light. Yellow-bellied sliders are omnivores, and
omnivores. For food, Coriander enjoys dubia roaches, crickets and even salad. McGraw said he loves mango, squash and leafy greens. Cori, for short, lives in a large 40-gallon terrarium in McGraw’s guest room and is little trouble to take care of. He’s low maintenance and easy to keep happy, said McGraw. “I just need to feed him every other day and occasionally give him a bath,” said McGraw. Bearded dragons weren’t introduced into the United States until the 90s, according to Bearded Dragon Guide.
juveniles tend to be more carnivorous than adults, according Pet Guide. He eats turtle pellets bought from the store. “I take him out and let him roam around my room,” said Hall. However, Crush can be a lot of work to take care of. Hall has to clean his tank and make sure the light and tank is the right temperature. “Turtles are a lot of work to keep. I need to clean his tank pretty often because he poops a lot,” said Hall.
LIFESTYLES & ENTERTAINMENT
kACEY & mADISON
pARADISE cITY & bRISTOL
ormer racehorse Paradise City was adopted from Rockin’ G Equine Sanctuary by senior Bristol Riley. Paradise is 11 years old and a pure thoroughbred horse. Riley said she has always loved horses and has ridden them for years through lessons. “I like to go to the barn after I’ve had a rough day and just hang out with him, because
he makes me feel better,” said Riley. Thoroughbred horses typically have high protein and fiber diets. Paradise eats hay and grain. Taking care of him is fun but can be hard, according to Riley. “It’s kind of hard to take care of him, because he’s so big,” said Riley. Photo courtesy of Bristol Riley
acey the chinchilla is 3 years old. Sophomore Madison Moore liked having a different kind of animal. Chinchillas are native to the Andes Mountains in South America. She found Casey on the internet and immediately wanted him. “It’s really soft,” said Moore, about Kacey. Kacey gets to run around her room when he’s not in his two-story cage. Chinchillas are herbivores. He eats raisins, hay, peanuts, dried fruit and chinchilla food. There are times when it’s difficult to take care of him, she said. “He chews a lot, so we have had to get new cages. He also chewed holes into my wall,” said Moore. Kacey rolls around in dust, and it gets messy. It’s
LIFESTYLES & ENTERTAINMENT
recommended that they take dust baths once or twice per week in fine volcanic ash that can be purchased at pet shops, according to Live Science, science news source. He makes a lot of messes, but she said he is a clean animal. Kacey makes Moore laugh since he eats with his hands like a human and sits on her shoulder like a parrot. “Kacey adds fun and happiness into my life,” said Moore. Chinchillas can be very quick and agile. “He can jump really high,” said Moore. Chinchillas can live up to 10 years as pets. They’re nocturnal and can have a variety of vocal sounds, according to Pet MD. Written by Kara Morley Photos by Kayla Pospisil
Parking problems STUDENTS PARKING IN HANDICAPPED SPOTS
he student parking lot has been a center point of discussion, as ablebodied students regularly park in handicapped spots to be closer to the building. Recently, there was an incident in the parking lot during a dance for students with disabilities from many schools that shined a light on this issue. “People from another school came in a van, and they didn’t have any places to park, because the handicapped spaces were full,” said Clay County Deputy and school resource officer Kristen Rivera. Any physically disabled person, parent or guardian of
a physically disabled person are allowed to register as handicapped. There are 8 -13 percent of high school students who have a handicapped license plate in Missouri, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. “We actually need more parking spaces. It’s not only Staley students that come here, it’s parents that might be handicapped or students that are injured,” said Rivera. To be able to qualify for a handicapped parking pass, a person cannot walk 50 feet without stopping to rest due to a severe and disabling arthritic, neurological, orthopedic
What action should be taken about students Parking in handicapped spots?
condition or other severe and disabling condition. The person cannot walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other assistive device, according to the Missouri Department of Revenue. “I personally cannot stand to see able-bodied students parking in a spot specifically designated for people who don’t have that luxury,” said senior Taryn Clark. “The people who actually need that closer parking spot would do anything to not need to park there, so it’s just gross to see people taking advantage of that simply
because they are lazy.” A parking ticket at school is $25 as an obligation. If the students want to go to a dance, register for classes or attend graduation, they must pay it. “We ticket them,” said vice principal Jessica Hoffecker. “But they usually hold onto it until they want to participate.” When the student parking lot is full, students are expected to park in the District Activities Center or the baseball field parking spots. Written by Sara Almansouri Photos by Makanani Grace
JAVIER CALDERON, 10
Hannah Wareham, 11
anthony benito, 12
“Be more strict and add more regulations.”
“We should have more parking spots so people don’t have to park there.”
“Give them tickets, or get them towed.”
ALEX CARROLL, 9
NICOLE PHAN, 10
BAILEY BREESMAN, 11
“Fine them first, and then forfeit their rights to park at the school.”
“Notify the authorities anytime you see someone parked in those spots.”
“Just give them tickets.”
more than a game Teens learn from reffing youth sports
oung children can be challenging but also inspiring and helpful, and being a referee for their sports is more than just a summer job. Freshman Austin Marrah referees wrestling and said he learned that everyone struggles at every age but that it all works out in the end. “They all work really hard, and it’ll pay off. They’ll end up where our guys are now,” said Marrah. Refereeing wrestling helps him learn more about it and improve. “It allows me to really learn the rules and feel for things as I progress through it,” said Marrah. For senior Gabrielle Abbott, umpiring softball girls inspires her and helps her
game. Abbott learned firsthand that the 12 and under players she worked with have lots of energy. “They’re always very happy and enthusiastic, and it makes me want to be better at what I do,” said Abbott. Abbott started refereeing at Liberty Parks and Recreation when her friends suggested it. She said it helps her own softball skills by learning from a different point of view and presents compassion for others. “They really love what they do, and I want to be more like that,” said Abbott. Junior Kelena Oots is an umpire for Liberty Parks and Recreation, too, and learned from the kids to stay positive when adversity arises. “When you’re not doing your best, that’s
what I struggle with in softball,” said Oots. Oots said it’s cool to see the kids staying positive with how they deal with struggle such as not doing as well as they hoped. “Little kids are just happy and always positive, and I love that,” said Oots. Sophomore Sadie LeMunyon refs at Gladstone Parks and Recreation and learned that kids have a lot more fun when it isn’t as competitive, but it can be troublesome to work with. “They can be a lot of work, and they don’t always listen,” said LeMunyon. For these students, refereeing young children is more than a well-paying job, it’s helpful and inspiring to them as students and athletes. Written by Kara Morley Photos by Makanani Grace
What is your favorite memory? Austin Marrah, 9 “There were a couple young kids who were just beginning to learn the sport, and everyone in the audience, even the coaches, had a smile on their faces as they battled it out blindly. It was a lot of fun for everyone.”
Sadie LeMunyon, 10 “After a first-grade soccer game, this cute little girl who just got done playing came up to me and handed me a dandelion. She thanked me for reffing, and it made my day.”
Kelena Oots, 11 “When I was behind the plate and the ball went to the backstop, and the catcher didn’t move. So, I went and got the ball. It made me laugh.”
Gaby Abbott, 12 “My favorite memory would be getting to help out and teaching the younger kids how to play the game.” FEATURE
In choir class, senior Hannah Skaggs and juniors Grace Fisher and Allison Myers hold hands while singing March 27. The class practiced singing the alma mater for the upcoming all-school assembly. “I really feel like I can get into the music, and it’s just really fun to get to sing with everyone,” said Fisher. Photo by Alexa Schulte
‘Let’s hold hands with grace’
Challenges do not stop Choir student from singing
eing visually impaired doesn’t stop junior Grace Fisher from singing. Fisher is in two choir classes, Women’s Choir and Chorale. “I really feel like I can get into the music, and it’s just really fun to get to sing with everyone,” said Fisher. Since Fisher can’t see choir director Tracy Resseguie’s cues, another student holds her hand to let her know the cues. “Someone holds my hand, and whenever Resseguie gives the cues to start, someone squeezes my hand. And to stop, someone squeezes my hand,” said Fisher. “There are two people that usually do the hand squeezes, but it will depend on where he has us stand.” The two people who normally help her are senior Hannah Skaggs and junior
Allison Myers. “Whenever we have cutoffs, obviously she can’t visually see it, so I am her cutoff, and I squeeze her hand,” said Myers. “It really helps her, and it also makes her feel like she’s more a part of the choir.” Myers also lets Fisher know when the notes move as well as when her section starts and stops. “I really like when Ress has all of the choir hold hands, and he calls it, ‘Let’s hold hands with Grace.’ It’s all of us together as a choir,” said Myers. The choir frequently holds hands during their performances when Fisher is on stage to unify the choir. “Last year, for the big tenth anniversary performance of Staley, we did it down at the Kauffman Center,” said Resseguie. “There
were over 300 kids up there, and I said, ‘Everybody, let’s hold hands with Grace’ so that Grace knows that she’s there, and that we’re all together.” The whole choir started holding hands to help Fisher know that she is truly a part of the choir, too. “I just wanted Grace to know that she has a lot of worth and that she is as much a part of the choir as everybody else up there, and what she has to add is just as important as everybody else,” said Resseguie. Fisher said she enjoys choir and being able to sing with everyone. “Just because I can’t see doesn’t mean I can’t do what everybody else can,” said Fisher. Written by Alexa Schulte
Talon is a student-produced magazine created and published by the journalism students of Staley High School in Kansas City, Mo. Volume 11, I...
Published on Apr 16, 2019
Talon is a student-produced magazine created and published by the journalism students of Staley High School in Kansas City, Mo. Volume 11, I...