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Gryphon Gazette

Februrary 2016

The Student Voice of St. George’s Independent School

• Volume XIV, Issue IV

Photos: Ms. Sarah Cowan Adam’s Army has currently raised over $150,000 for St. Jude, $100,000 of which was raised at the St. Jude Marathon. Adam has received support from friends and family throughout this entire journey.

Cancer is no excuse

Adam Cruthirds’ life is a ‘nonstop grind’ Kendall LoCascio ’17

Senior Adam Cruthirds walked

13.1 miles at the St. Jude marathon arm-in-arm with his friends, pumped with chemotherapy, adrenaline and the knowledge that he had a major surgery the next morning, but he crossed the finish line anyway. This was just another average day for Adam Cruthirds. Adam, a senior at St. George’s, was diagnosed with leukemia at

the outset of his junior year. Since his diagnosis, he has inspired others with his story, impacted the St. George’s community and raised approximately $150,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, all while courageously battling cancer. Imagine trying to learn pre-calculus without upper school math teachers Ms. Page McMullen or Mr. Jimmy Oxsalida. It’s a terrifying thought to many students, but

Adam did just that last year. “I think I was one of the firstever patients to be learning pre-cal because most of them are learning addition or subtraction,” Adam said. Keeping up with school was an intimidating task, but his teachers jumped on his side and helped him. “Ms. Vasil would come to the hospital sometimes. She was so nice.” If anyone thinks they have an excuse to complain about school

stress, it’s Adam. He managed to maintain good grades and squeeze in AP classes, all while receiving treatments at St. Jude several times a week. “[Keeping up with school] was definitely hard because I was learning new stuff, but I was learning it all at St. Jude,” Adam said. “They have a school program underground, literally below the first floor, that I went to every day for at least an hour.”

Senior Sophia Quesada said she is impressed with Adam’s determination and how he manages to balance everything while staying dedicated. “He’ll have a doctor’s appointment at eight in the morning, and then he will come to school for like a period, and then go back to the hospital.” Quesada said. “He finds time for everything.”




Top Stories Sports

News • New arts buildings await decisions, fundraising (p.2)

A man and his megaphone (p.5)

• Gun control debate is less • I saved animals for a polarizing than you think (p.6)

week (p.8)

Cont. on Page 7

• Valentine’s Day is for me and you (p.10)



The Gryphon Gazette


STAFF What’s next?


New arts buildings await decisions, fundraising

Miriam Brown ’17 Annie Vento ’17

Advisor Dr. Margaret Robertson

Layout Editors Katie Boyle ’17 Elise Fong ’16 Laura McDowell ’17 Carolyn Lane ’18 Annie Murff ’18

Copy Editors Kendall LoCascio ’17 Laura McDowell ’17 Rachel Ducker ’17 Annie Murff ’18 Caroline Zummach ’18

Photo Editor Katie Boyle ’17

News Editor Carolyn Lane ’18

Features Editor Kendall LoCascio’17

Entertainment Editors Rachel Ducker ’17 Emma Pounders ’18

Sports Editor

Bayard Anderson ’17

Opinion Editor Web Editors

Elise Fong ’16

Grant Webb ’16 Jacob Peeples ’16 Eric DiNicolantonio ’16

Staff Writers Sam Hyde ’16 Matthew Blum ’17 Iona Yates ’17 Anna Harbert ’18 Merryn Ruthling ’18 The Gryphon Gazette is dedicated to serving as an authentic voice for the students of St. George’s Independent School. We at the Gryphon Gazette strive to be an open forum for student expression, to act in the best interests of the student body and to embody the principles of journalistic excellence.

Do you think we missed anything? Feel free to comment on the stories on St. George’s Independent School 1880 Wolf River Blvd. Collierville, TN 38017

Photo: Jacob Peeples ‘16 LAst year’s Gryphon Gazette article frames the future site of the new fine arts building. Although the school does not have a set date for the building’s completion, phase one of the construction has been completed.

Jacob Peeples ‘16 think that if the school wants to grow in its art department, we are going to need more art classrooms and more resources for students to use.” Senior Noah Woods also spoke on the benefits of having a theater on the Collierville Campus as opposed to solely the Performing Arts Center at the Germantown Campus. “It will help the theater department and students who want to be in productions but cannot always make it to the Germantown Campus for a rehearsal,” Woods said. These planned additions put the arts among the school’s top priorities, which will hopefully attract more

ing this year’s renovations, located near the middle school and Agape Chapel. Gazette ran a story about the proposed These upcoming construction phases new arts building on the Collierville will require the support of many docampus with the title “It’s Happening!” nors, as it is a multi-million dollar enThough the school no longer has a firm deavor. The fine arts classroom addition date for when the building will be comwill cost nearly $2.4 million to completed, phase one of the construction plete, while the anticipated Performing was completed this January. Arts Center is estimated to cost more “That headline was premature,” Dithan $5 million. rector of Advancement Jay Philpott said. “It is a choice we would have to “[It] is a little bit like when President, make based on what we raise, and we or non-president, Dewey held up the have to fully fund a project to begin to headline ‘Dewey Wins’ and he didn’t undertake a project,” Mr. Philpott said. win.” However, significant progress has While the Advancement Office is been made in terms of construction. fundraising for these new arts buildings, When students arrived back from current buildings will be undergoing winter break this January, they renovations. were greeted with new landscap“I think that if the school wants The renovations should occur ing. With the parking lot finished before the creation of the new to grow in its art department, and the trees planted, the first fine arts building, as acquiring the phase of a multi-phase plan to we are going to need more art funds for the new buildings will add new structures to the St. take some time whereas the renoclassrooms and more resources vations are relatively inexpensive. George’s Collierville Campus is officially complete. “If you build a new building, for students to use.” “They put in all the utilities it’s $2.4 million in our case,” Mr. for the Performing Arts Center,” Philpott said. “But, we renovated Mr. Philpott said. “They piped in all students. Mr. Philpott said that this the room across from Mrs. Bina Young’s the utilities right under the ground for space has always been on the school’s classroom, which used to be a faculty future academic building expansion in agenda. work room, and when we converted addition to the parking lot expansion.” “It has always been on the need list,” that into a classroom, it was more than Now, the debate concerns which Mr. Philpott said. “People knew band $18,000.” of two projects, a fine arts classroom should not be under the eighth-grade The faculty and administrators addition or a performing arts center, to English classroom. It has always been a understand how many students feel in prioritize. plan to move those instruction spaces regards to waiting for a fine arts buildMany students in the fine arts have out of where they are and create the ing and sympathize with them. been anticipating the new building for synergy and energy that comes when “I know the wait is frustrating.” Mr. some time now. all those classrooms are together.” Philpott said. “I joined the school in “The performing arts is currently Future phases of construction 2002 knowing that I wanted that space confined to two spaces in the academic include creating two new buildings, for our students, so I want it here, too.” building,” senior Sutton Hewitt said. “I where new plumbing was placed dur-

In February of 2015, the Gryphon

CORRECTIONS AND RETRACTIONS: The St. George’s Gryphon Gazette strives for accuracy in all articles. However, mistakes are sometimes made. When this happens, you will see corrections here. Issue 3, page 7: The middle picture was miscredited. The picture was taken by Carolyn Lane, not Miriam Brown.


The Student Voice of St. George’s Independent School

Bridging the gap



Bridge Builders strives to unite, inspire Miriam Brown ‘17


cried the week before I went to BRIDGES because I did not want to do it,” junior Erica Alexander said of her feelings in 2012, the year she decided to join the Memphis organization. Alexander was nervous about getting out of her comfort zone and participating in the challenging activities that BRIDGES uses to train its participants. Rebecca Webb Wilson founded BRIDGES, commonly known as Bridge Builders, in Memphis of 1998, bringing together 40 students from Briarcrest Christian School, a private Christian school in Eads, and Northside High School, a public school in Midtown. A Bridge Builders program at St. George’s formed in the upper school during the 2004-2005 school year, the early days of St. George’s Collierville. Today, the program has extended to the middle school with Middle School Guidance Counselor Amy Michalak as the faculty coordinator for the middle school and English Department Chair Heidi Rubín de la Borbolla as the faculty coordinator for the upper school. “St. George’s didn’t have anyone to send to Bridge Builders before because we didn’t even have an upper school,” Ms. Michalak said. “It’s grown quite a lot since then.” Now, Bridge Builders works with over 7,000 students each year from over 144 different schools in Shelby County, Northern Mississippi and Eastern Arkansas. BRIDGES provides students of all religions, races and genders with experiential learning opportunities, and it teaches them to collaborate with their peers in different trainings, workshops and group discussions. “It is definitely taking a healthy risk,” Ms. Michalak said. “It puts them outside of their comfort zone to talk about issues that

Photo: Katie Boyle ‘17 Students play a game of “The Knot.” This game was staged to demonstrate activities at bridge Builders. sometimes we just tiptoe around.” During one team-building activity, Alexander had to fall from the fourth step of a ladder into the arms of her peers, forcing her to establish trusting relationships with her group members. Alexander quickly fell in love with the nonprofit organization and its mission to unite and inspire a diverse group of young adults to be active leaders within their communities. “Bridge Builders is a fun way to be a part of your community with people from different backgrounds, economic and social differences,” Alexander said. After participating in the Bridge Builder CHANGE program last year, she is an inspired member of the organization, encouraging everyone to give it a chance to

impact their lives like it impacted hers. “BRIDGES is actually life-changing,” Alexander said. “I changed because of BRIDGES.” Sophomore Bennett Matson, a Bridge Builder since seventh grade, largely credits the diversity of the Bridge Builder community to the program’s success. “It helps you figure out how to handle people because you’re meeting tons of new people, faces and characters,” Matson said. “Bridge Builders is all about learning to accept people for their differences and encourage them for their strengths.” Matson has also been a member of the Bridge Builder Youth Leadership Board since seventh grade, working with the BRIDGES staff to create events for the other participants. As a result, Matson said some

of his best friends are from the organization, and he would have never met them otherwise. “We are the next generation of leaders,” Matson said. “We are going to be changing the world, and Bridge Builders is preparing us for that.” BRIDGES utilizes a three-program system to accomplish this, which includes Bridge Builders CONNECT, COLLABORATE and CHANGE. The programs, taking place over the course of a school year, teach the participants to recognize an existing problem in Memphis and help them learn how to take initiative and solve that problem. Ms. Michalak finds the St. George’s mission similar to the BRIDGES mission, as both aim to get students involved in the Memphis community and create a community of leaders. She thinks participating in Bridge Builders is a healthy risk as it pushes students outside their comfort zones and results in them creating positive change in their community. “We live in the city of Memphis, so we’re not just St. George’s. We’re a part of a greater community,” Ms. Michalak said. “Getting involved in that whole community of Memphis is so very important to becoming a leader, to learning how to actually impart change in Memphis.” BRIDGES is currently accepting applications for prospective new members. Students who are interested in becoming a Bridge Builder should submit an application on the Bridge Builders website,, by Feb. 26. “I can say without a doubt that I’ve never regretted doing Bridge Builders. I feel like everyone at this school and beyond can get a lot of meaning out of it,” Matson said. “Really, why not do it? It’s amazing.”

Beyond belief

Religion students visit local centers of worship

Photo: Mr. Kyle Slatery Religious studies students pose for a picture after their visit to Church of the River on Sunday, Jan. 31. The project involving students visiting local centers of worship, like this Unitarian church, was introduced this school year.

Merryn Ruthling ‘18


any St. George’s students didn’t expect to be meditating at a Tibetan Buddhist temple or wearing a hijab at a local mosque when they signed up for Mr. Kyle Slatery and Mr. Nick Whicker’s religious studies classes. However, due to a new participation requirement that has been added to these religion classes, St. George’s students are being opened up to new experiences like these. Sophomore, junior and senior students taking religion are required to take three trips to religious centers, one per trimester, though some elect to go on more because

of the wide variety of options offered. The upper school religion course studied a wide variety of world religions, from Zen Buddhism and Taoism to Islam and Judaism, and most of the visits are of the religions they are studying in class in order to emerge them in these class topics. Sophomore Shynia Smith has been on two different visits so far, one to a Muslim mosque and the other to a Quaker meeting. At the mosque, Smith had a handson experience since she was required to wear a hijab and take her shoes off for the ceremony, which was very different from what she was used to. “We saw a group of boys having day

school, and you could tell that they weren’t used to seeing girls in there,” Smith said. “I think that these experiences are great for the [St. George’s] community because it produces more informed students. By going and experiencing them, we can reduce the ignorance in the world.” Meanwhile, senior Hadley Allison has visited a Tibetan Buddhist center and a Greek Orthodox church. At the Greek Orthodox visit especially, Allison had a great experience interacting with the people there and attending the service. “[They were] very receiving of new people,” Allison said. “They want other people to be part of it, and that’s really cool.”

There are six to eight weekends where students have the opportunity to fulfill this participation credit and visit a church. Typically, the visits are to churches of the five most popular worldwide religions, being Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Mr. Slatery and Mr. Whicker hope to continue the trips in future years and grow connections with newer and more diverse religious institutions. “It’s a great learning experience when you are having a direct experience with somebody that believes something different than you, looks different than you or worships different than you,” Mr. Whicker said.



The Gryphon Gazette


Sports Opinion

Competitive cheerleading is a sport Elizabeth Evans ‘17


heer is very different from other sports, and therefore, it is hard to define it as a sport,” junior Mark Clark said, expressing a common stereotype that surrounds cheerleading. For most people, the only time see a cheerleader is on the sideline of a football game, yet the tireless efforts of a cheerleader do not end on the field. Competitive cheer takes the sport to a new level with tumbling, stunting and dancing through a long routine. The sport of competitive cheerleading is one that is often demeaned, resulting in disrespect towards us athletes who work just as hard as those participating in other sports. Individuals who lack knowledge about competitive cheer often view cheerleading as something designed solely to entertain a crowd. Competitive cheerleaders constantly battle the stigma that their purpose is purely entertainment, rather than athleticism. Cheerleading, like all sports, is time-demanding, as our squad begins with spring practices and the practices intensify from August until February. Our team splits its focus between sideline cheer for the football team and competition routines. In the heart of competition season, which are the four months leading up to February’s national competition, practices can be up to three hours long, six days a week. Outside of team practices, cheerleaders are expected to be working on improving their tumbling and stunting skills. The individual conditioning and training cheerleaders do in addition to practices and games are quite similar to the requirements

Photo: Mrs. lane franklin The competitive cheer team performs their routine at Regionals. The squad performed at Nationals on feb. 6.

around the missing person, since every person is necessary in order to practice the complete routine. Due to the training, conditioning, unnatural flipping and stretching, cheerleading is one of the most physically demanding sports. Statistically speaking, cheerleading puts participants at a greater risk of injury than any other women’s sport. The National Center for Catastrophic Injury Research found that cheerleading had more catastrophic injuries than all other sports in which women participate. Cheerleading also ranks second in catastrophic injuries when compared to both men and women’s sports, and that 65 percent of all catastrophic injuries in youth sports occur in cheerleading. The St. George’s competitive

cheerleading team competes three different times each season, which are at regionals, state and nationals. The national competition is held in Orlando, Fla., every February, and hundreds of squads from all over the country come together to compete. There are multiple rounds where each team has two minutes and 30 seconds to perform a routine, consisting of elite stunts and tumbling skills to prove that their squad is the best. The Gryphon cheerleaders represented St. George’s at the nationally-televised competition finals on Feb. 6, 2016. Cheerleading is a sport that is frequently doubted and degraded, but with time and an increase in awareness, competitive cheerleading will receive the respect it deserves as the difficult, demanding sport it is.

Girls Basketball:



This year’s girls varsity basketball team currently holds a record of 4-10, performing decently despite only having one senior on the team, Katherine Clayton. Sophomore Ginny McCarroll attributes a lot of the team’s successes to Coach Nikki White, saying that besides running the show, she also is “super motivational” in helping the team keep their eyes focused on the goal.

The swim team has been exceeding expectations this year. A large part of this has been due to improvement from the younger members of the team. Senior William McBride attributed a lot of the team’s success to the performance of those members of the team, as well as the girls’ overall dominance this season. “The younger guys have really stepped up and helped us beat SBA last week.” McBride said.

The wrestling team is off to a strong start this season. Despite lacking a large number of wrestlers and losing some to injury, the team has still managed to put up very strong individual performances. Senior Jake Lindow earned first place in his weight class at Dawgfights, and several other members have also been performing well.

for other competitive sports, such as football, swimming and volleyball. The seven-month season, plus the off-season practices, conditioning and training, make competitive cheer a year-round sport. Like most other sports, teamwork is arguably the most important component of cheerleading, and practices are mandatory. If a squad member is running a fever or is under a lot of stress with school, she is still required to show up to practice. In cheerleading, every girl not only has her own individual role, but she also has to work with others to practice difficult stunts for a routine. If a girl becomes injured, it is not only difficult for her, but it is difficult for her team. When an injury occurs, an entire routine often has to be reworked


Cheer: The competitive cheer team performed at nationals, which took place on Feb. 6 in Orlando, Fla. The team made it to semi-finals for the second time in school history. “What a successful season with an amazing group of girls!” the official cheer Twitter said.

Winter Cheer: New cheers are not the only thing that the winter cheer team has been focusing on this season. This year’s team has its first ever male cheerleader, junior JR Upton. Along with making history, the team has also been focusing on winning the “cheer offs” against the other teams, according to senior Elise Fong. The cheer team is hoping to bring a lot of energy and excitement to the basketball games to make them more fun for everyone.

Boys Basketball: The defending state champions have been performing much better as of late after a somewhat shaky start to the season. They have managed to accumulate a 10-7 record, which will put them in the race for the state championship. There is still a lot of basketball left to be played, but the Gryphons are hoping for another chance to win a state title.

“The girls leave

almost all of the competition in their wake.”

-William McBride


The Student Voice of St. George’s Independent School



State bound, one stroke at a time Anna Harbert ’18


ith state less than a week away, the St. George’s swim team is diving in and holding their breath. The swimmers accomplished their best times at the state championship last year, so hopes are high this year for similar success. “Many swimmers were on the borderline of getting into finals and got in, so all in all, it was a very successful meet,” Coach Rob Snowberger said about state last year. The team’s third place win in Little Rock at the beginning of January is an encouraging sign that the team is poised to do well for the remainder of their season. “We’ve had some amazing times by the girls, and most of the guys have dropped times, so that’s nice,” senior William McBride said. Going into state this year, McBride and Coach Snowberger agree that the girls’ team is looking impressive this year, and they won two out of three of last year’s overall at county.

Photo: Ms. Andrea Thompson Swimmers dive into the compton pool. the st. george’s swim team accomplished their best times at the state championship last year.

The swimmers attribute their success over the years to their dedication to conditioning. Swimmers take on several different techniques and workouts to stay in shape throughout the year. “Swimming is a whole lot more demanding physically than people give it credit for, so it’s important to stay in shape,” freshman Jensen Lewis said. Lewis said that swim-

mers do cardio and weight-training during the off season as well. “Water polo in the spring helps to keep us conditioned,” sophomore Hudson Beaudry said. Beaudry is one of the many swimmers that participate in water polo in conjunction with swim. In addition to water polo, Snowberger also offers swim practices during the summer.

“Since so many swimmers at state are year-round swimmers, we offer these practices to lessen the gap for swimmers that don’t swim yearround,” Coach Snowberger said. The swimmers are training even harder in preparation for the postseason. The team’s hope is to make a splash in their tournament and to make it to state with as many swimmers as possible.

A man and his megaphone

Junior JR Upton makes school history as first male cheerleader

Bayard Anderson ‘17


hortly after winning a state championship in football, junior JR Upton decided to trade in his shoulder pads for a pair of pom-poms. In doing so, he became the first male cheerleader in St. George’s history. JR initially expressed interest in joining the team during the fall when he was still playing football, and it took Ms. Sharon Lathum, the Executive Assistant to Athletics and winter cheer coach, by surprise. “At first, I thought maybe he was [kidding], but we talked about it, and I knew he was very sincere,” Ms. Lathum said. “I just thought it’d be fun to do something different,” Upton said. And, as promised, Upton joined the team after his football season concluded. Junior Erica Alexander said that the whole squad was excited to have Upton on the team. “Last year he was in the stands doing the same cheers, so it wasn’t a big deal,” Alexander said. While the team may not have had to adjust, their coach certainly did. “I actually went and watched college male cheerleaders and came back and let him know ‘while the girls are doing these moves, this is what you need to do’” Ms. Lathum said. After watching the collegiate cheerleaders, Ms. Lathum recognized that they all seemed to have one thing in common: a megaphone. So, Ms. Lathum got him a megaphone.

“With his voice, he brings a whole new dimension to the sound of the cheers. I like it, and everybody who has come to me says it’s great,” Ms. Lathum said. Upton has not just been drawing attention from basketball fans, however. According to Ms. Lathum, the woman who fitted him for his top “raved about how if he could learn a tumble or two, it could easily lead to a college scholarship.” Upton has been practicing his tumbling, and since he has such a big vertical leap, it shouldn’t be a problem for him to continue improving. Even though he is not be afraid to tumble, Upton admitted he was anxious about the reaction to him cheering. “The first game when I went out, I was nervous because it was my first game cheering, and I didn’t know what people would think about me,” Upton said. “I just learned that I didn’t really care that much about what other people thought because I knew that I was doing it because I wanted to.” However, this hasn’t stopped some of his peers from a having a little fun at his expense. “He’s taken a lot of grief from his football team, but he handles it just with perfection. It doesn’t knock a shuck off of him,” Ms. Lathum said. Even though his teammates from the fall have given him a hard time, Upton now has a new set of teammates who have his back. “My girls love him, I mean that,” Ms. Lathum said. “They love having him

Photo: Ms. Sharon Lathum Freshman Alexis Turner, sophomore Lauren Purdy, juniors Erica Alexander and JR Upton and seniors Autumn Jones and Erica Stevenson pose at a basketball game. JR joined the team this year, making school history.

around. He’s a great guy.” As for being the only guy, Upton did not express being uncomfortable but rather says he enjoys his role as the only male cheerleader. “Honestly, I like being the only guy with a bunch of girls, but that’s just me,” Upton said. The team has adapted to accommodate for Upton, and he has worked

accordingly to help them. Ms. Lathum laughed thinking that perhaps the biggest adjustment she has had to make was how she sends team emails. “When I send emails, I’m used to saying ‘Girls’ and now I say ‘Girls and JR,’” Ms. Lathum said. “He’s a first and hopefully not last.”



The Gryphon Gazette


Shots fired

Gun control debate is less polarizing than you think

Carolyn Lane ’18


eople ask you ‘what do you have to have to drive a car?’ ‘A driver’s license,’ you know,” senior Will Courtney, an avid hunter since the age of nine, said. “A car is just as dangerous as a gun. It just matters who’s driving.” Courtney’s moderate stance on gun regulations may surprise some, but his views reflect a broad consensus between Americans who own guns and those who do not, one that is often overlooked in heated political debates. On Jan. 4, the Obama administration released a new executive order that requires background checks for all gun sales. The most controversial element within the order is the new requirement that every individual selling guns must be licensed and must conduct background checks. “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is making clear that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business — from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet: If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks,” a release from the Office of the White House Press Secretary reads. The executive order was released less than a month after the fatal shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif., where 14 individuals were killed. Though the San Bernardino shooting was the most recent mass shooting before the order’s release, it was not the only shooting cited in President Obama’s speech about the executive order. These mass attacks, which have ranged from domestic terrorists acts to school shootings, include the shootings at Fort Hood Army base in 2009, the Aurora,

Photo: Ms. Lauri Jensen Students line up shots at trap practice. studies have shown that there has been broader consensus on gun control than what may be expected.

Colo. Theater and Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in 2012, and the Charleston, S.C. church shooting in 2015. The order has received both cries of outrage and cheers of support from individuals all across the nation, especially of those both currently running or holding public office. Shortly after the executive order was released, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump delivered a speech vowing to “unsign it so fast” if he is elected. Though Trump is strongly against the order, polls suggest that his view is not representative of the majority of the country. The population of the United States currently stands at 318.9 million individuals. According to a New York Times’ national poll open during the second week of January in 2016, 88 percent of those individuals, around 280.63 million people, support the requirement of background checks for all gun sales. Despite being a small portion of the United States’ population, students and faculty at St. George’s closely mimic the overall trend represented in the larger country. For the purposes of this article, a survey was sent out to the entire upper school, and of the 121 people who participated, 80.8 percent of people said they believed in the requirement of background checks to purchase guns. Senior Harris Kearney is one of those people who supports the background check requirement. “There needs to be more background checks when purchasing a weapon because it is too easy to purchase a weapon at guns shows and stuff like that,” Kearney said. Though the NRA has been against any form of restriction on gun sales publicly, especially restrictions in the form of background checks, a new poll released on the

“I think the United States government should say, if you’re crazier than a betsy bug, you don’t need to buy a gun.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows that 74 percent of the NRA’s approximate 4 million members support the requirement of background checks for all gun sales. Mrs. Leah Allison, Director of Library Services and head trap coach, has been a member of the NRA for several years and supports the background check requirement. “I think the United States government should say, if you’re crazier than a betsy bug, you don’t need to buy a gun,” Mrs. Allison said. Junior Elle Vaughn also believes we need to act to prevent more mass shootings. “If there were any way possible to reduce the amount of deaths and injuries per year as a result of mass shootings, why should we not seize that opportunity?” Vaughn said. Though a majority of students and faculty are in support of further gun laws, there are still those who oppose background checks, either doubting their effectiveness or viewing it as a violation of our Constitutional rights. Junior Austin Skinner cited privacy concerns as the reason he is not in favor of

universal background checks. “It is our right to be able to bear arms,” Skinner said. “We should not have to have all of our secrets revealed to buy a gun.” Junior Beck Sims agreed, pointing out that background checks may not prove effective. “A criminal can get his hands on a gun wherever he goes. He can go to the black market, get someone to buy it for him if he’s a felon or anything, or he can steal it,” Sims said. Despite individual differences of opinion, polling shows that a common ground exists, both nationally and locally. Mr. Mike Smothers, middle and high school science teacher and war veteran, believes that a solution exists to this problem, though the extreme ones suggested may not be the best option. “When you start getting into shouting matches and name calling and all or nothing type of questions, it limits us to looking at where the possibilities are in the middle,” Mr. Smothers said. “Both sides could probably serve to turn it down, striking a good balance between what can we do to protect both interests because they are both very important.”

Background checks should be required for all gun sales, including sales over the internet and at gun shows.

Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers?






80.8 % (Strongly) Neutral Disagree (Strongly) Agree St. George’s

Unsure/no answer


Favor The United States


The Student Voice of St. George’s Independent School

An unsung hero



Mr. Ricky drives St. George’s students to success

Caroline Zummach ’18


ey, Mr. Ricky! How’s it going?” These words are spoken dozens of times throughout each week in the halls of St. George’s to Mr. Ricky Higgenbottom, a kind and caring Facilities Associate and Transportation Specialist. Mr. Ricky was born and raised in Oxford, Miss. He fondly remembers playing with his brother as a child. “My favorite childhood memory would be at Sardis Lake,” Mr. Ricky said. “We used to take the cardboard and slide down the hill, and my brother and I would watch the fish come out of the dam.” Mr. Ricky was previously employed by Premier Transportation, and St. George’s first became interested in him after being informed of his quality work and performance. Once his contract ended, he joined the St. George’s community as a bus driver. Mr. Ricky drives students everyday from the Memphis Campus, Trezevant Manor and Opera Memphis to the Collierville Campus and back home in the afternoon. He also works on maintenance throughout the Collierville Campus building, including fixing lights and leaks. Mr. Ricky said that he loves working at St. George’s, and he especially enjoys its family-oriented environment. “I know that people know who I am, and they respect me.” Mr. Ricky said. “Even though I might not be in the limelight, I feel that I am a big part of the faculty.” And that

he is. From fixing lights to driving the bus, Mr. Ricky can be seen anywhere helping out the St. George’s community. When Mr. Ricky began working at St. George’s, he became close friends with Coach Nick Whicker. Coach Whicker is now a high school religion teacher, but when he started working at St. George’s two years ago, he, too, was in maintenance with Mr. Ricky. “Mr. Ricky is super friendly, very talkative [and] very outgoing, so we hit it off, beginning to talk and see each other regularly,” Coach Whicker said. “He is a caring individual. He loves people, and he actually cares about the needs of others and how people’s days are going.” According to Coach Whicker, Mr. Ricky is also a man of great faith who inspires him everyday. “He is a godly man who has a healthy fear of God, loves people and is unashamed about his faith, which has been a great encouragement to me by his life and our regular conversations,” Coach Whicker said. Bus riders also share a similar appreciation and love for Mr. Ricky. Seventh-grader Luis Lopez rides the bus that Mr. Ricky drives everyday, and said he appreciates how hard Mr. Ricky works for his school. “It is great that he takes time out of his day to drive us to the school and back. And, not only that, [but] he does maintenance around the school,” Lopez said. Mr. Ricky continues to be a beacon of light throughout the hallways of St.

“It has been a

ball, [and] this is where I want to be. I’m happy.

Photo: Caroline Zummach ‘18 Mr. Ricky fixes a lightbulb in the library. Mr. Ricky has been responsible for much of the maintenance that was needed in the school during the past two years.

George’s, and he spreads joy to everyone that he encounters. He always shares his smile and a friendly hello to everyone that he passes. Mr. Ricky plans on continuing his job here at St. George’s for as long as he

can. “It has been a ball [and] this is where I want to be. I am not looking for another job as long as they accept me,” Mr. Ricky said. “My goal is to be here. I’m happy.”

Cancer is no excuse Continued from page 1

“That’s the typical day,” Adam said. ”It’s just a non-stop grind.” Besides keeping up with school, one of Adam’s achievements has been how he has immersed the St. George’s community with St. Jude. At the beginning of the school year, Adam established the St. Jude Club here at St. George’s with the help of senior Sope Adeleye and junior Kneeland Gammill. Though the club is new this year, 50 people signed up within a week, and 40 of those individuals attend meetings regularly. Just this school year, the club has held dog washes to raise money, participated in St. Jude events, including the walks and runs, the ride and the marathon and selling Team Carson and Adam’s Army t-shirts.

“To have buses come out to the marathon and things like that, it’s just been amazing. There’s been hundreds and hopefully thousands of people in the community that have learned about my story and that have learned about St. Jude,” Adam said. “I feel like I have made an impact by bringing St. Jude here.” One of Adam’s goals was to raise money for St. Jude, not only so he could give back for what they have done for him, but to leave his own mark there. “For Adam’s sake and the sake of his Senior Independent Study, I hope that they are successful in raising the $100,000 he has pledged to raise,” upper school English teacher Ms. Jennifer Vasil said. The student body at St. George’s has participated in countless ways to help Adam achieve his goals, helping him accomplish

Photo: Ms. Sarah Cowan Adam participates in the st. jude ride. The ride lasted 24 hours.

far beyond what he envisioned. think would set him back, or you think he “What has really inspired me [and] would take a day to just process everyreally touched my heart, in ways that I’m thing,” Quesada said. “He’s just like any often moved to tears about it, is how the other teenage boy. He just had to learn student body as a whole has just wrapped a lot of lessons other teenage boys don’t Adam up have to learn so in this and early on.” “I was on the bike thinking, really paid Despite his dis‘Alright, if Adam can do this, ease, Adam is living attention,” Mrs. Connie his life to its fullest. so can I.’” Cruthirds, Not only is enjoying Adam’s mother, said. his senior year and hanging out with his So far, Adam has raised about $150,000 friends and girlfriend, but he is participatfor St. Jude, and the St. Jude marathon ing in marathons, bikeathons and raising raised $100,000 alone for Adam’s Army. money for St. Jude. “It’s amazing. All the hard work that Adam has already placed his footprint the club’s doing really pays off,” Cruthirds here at St. George’s and said that he is said. “There are kids losing their lives, hoping to leave a legacy. my friends losing their lives, and seeing “Hopefully, I laid everything down so that money, how it affects them, it’s awethat, after I leave, someone can still take some.” the reins and keep [the work benefitting When two of Adam’s friends, Quesada St. Jude] going,” Adam said. “I don’t want and senior Katherine Clayton, were asked it to stop.” what their favorite thing about Adam was, The St. Jude Club can continue to they had to think for a second. This was participate in St. Jude’s fundraising events, not because they didn’t have an answer, fill the leadership positions open after but because they had too many answers, the seniors leave and can ensure that too many great things to say about Adam. the Adam’s Army and Team Carson spirit “He does not use his cancer as an remains in the school. Now, it is up to the excuse,” Clayton said. “When he was ridstudent body to continue the work Adam ing, we could tell he was in pain, [but] he has started and keep his legacy going. “To me, the chemo is the science of wouldn’t stop. At the marathon, we could this, but the love from St. George’s and tell how much pain he was in. He was holding his hips, but he wouldn’t sit. [At the connection is the healing medicine for the bikeathon], I was on the bike thinking, our son,” Mrs. Cruthirds said. “When he came back to school, everything changed ‘Alright, if Adam can do this, so can I.’” After listing many of her favorite things for him, so we are forever, forever and ever grateful in ways that words are way about Adam, Quesada finally shared the too small.” quality that defines Adam the most to her. “There are so many things that you



The Gryphon Gazette


Destroying humanity

Rick Yancey’s “The 5th Wave” has something for everyone Grace Bennett ’17


s I was working hard to procrastinate working this weekend, I found myself reading “The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey, as reading a book was the only excuse my mom would accept for me not doing homework. I had high hopes for the book since it has already been made into a movie, and although I did enjoy the book and I would recommend reading it, Yancey’s style of writing took some getting used to. “The 5th Wave” is an apocalyptic novel about the world coming to an end via aliens. While an alien apocalypse novel does sound extremely cheesy, the aliens featured in this book are anything but that. They are intelligent, ruthless and merciless. Instead of bringing destruction with flying saucers and laser beams, they bring it through five waves of destruction. The waves range from global power outages to tsunamis, and each one is more devastating than the last. Although the humans are no match for the aliens and their capabilities, the main characters of the novel decide to put up a fight anyways, and the storyline follows their battle. Now, here is where the book begins to get confusing, so bear with me. There are two main characters in this book, Cassie Sullivan and Ben Parish.

Illustration: Miriam Brown ’17

Although this doesn’t seem too difficult to grasp, as many novels have two protagonists, the point of view suddenly switches between Cassie, Ben and a few other characters each chapter without notice. Although this method of telling the story can be difficult to get used to, he does make it clear which character is

narrating. I encourage anyone who picks up “The 5th Wave” to look past the uncomfortable nature of Yancey’s writing style, as it actually makes the story more interesting. By having the novel narrated by the different characters, the readers are able to get to know each character better. Without a doubt, I would recom-

mend this book to everyone. It is slightly slow at first and Yancey’s writing style can feel unorthodox, but the novel appeals to many different tastes. It has action and military plotlines for the guys, some romance for the girls and compelling themes throughout for the analytical readers who read classics for fun.

Imaginary meat at Imagine Vegan Café Iona Yates ’17

In order to fully immerse

Photo: Megan Umansky ‘17

Imagine Vegan Café boasts creative artwork on the exterior of its building. The interior offers a variety of interesting animalfree goodies.

myself in veganism, I went to Imagine Vegan Café, a restaurant in Midtown boasting an extensive array of vegan goodies on its menu. Even though it is in the popular area of Cooper-Young, this restaurant is somewhat hidden. The café is in a small, cozy house with lots of eccentric artwork on the wall. When I first stepped through the door, I realized that no one was there besides my friend, two workers at the café and myself. This was a bit unexpected considering it was during the lunch rush in a popular part of Midtown. All the classic dishes that a carnivore would love are on the menu, from Philly cheesesteaks, to hamburgers, and even chicken and waffles. I decided to get their barbecue “pork” sandwich with fries because, I mean, we

live in Memphis. Upon viewing this sandwich, it looked just like a normal barbecue sandwich. It was upon the taste in which it all went wrong. As soon as I took a bite, I realized the texture was the main problem. I had to put it down because the texture was all wrong. I am sure that if you have been vegan for a while or don’t have sensitive taste buds, this sandwich would have been just the one for you. But, being new to veganism and having some pretty tasty BBQ sandwiches in my day, this one just wasn’t the one for me. I also got a chocolate pecan pie slice, and while texture did come into play with this, it was very delicious. I am sure that whether you are vegan, vegetarian or carnivorous like me, you can find something that you love on Imagine’s menu.


The Student Voice of St. George’s Independent School • Entertainment 9

I saved animals for a week Diary of a seven an almost six-day vegan Iona Yates ’17

When I decided that I would be vegan for a week in order to write this story, people immediately giggled and started betting on how long I would last.

“You’re not going to make it through the first day,” junior Bayard Anderson said. Being a self-proclaimed lover of meat and cheese, everyone knew this week would prove to be a true challenge for me. No meat, no dairy, no honey and not even orange juice. “Why are you doing it if you’re not getting paid?” was the first thing people said when I told them my plan. However, I’m not going to sell my body out for veganism. This is for the sake of a beautiful story.

Day 1: New aisle, new life

Day 4: Vegan guru goals

Vegan grocery shopping is like being transported to a magical land of food you didn’t know existed in your local grocery store. My excitement was at an all-time high while running throughout the aisles of my local Kroger, Super Target and Whole Foods. I had researched vegan meat options before becoming a vegan, but what confused me about these options was why in the world they would ever exist. Isn’t the point of going vegan to expel meat and all the flavors that come with it? I did end up purchasing vegan meat because I am a carnivorous lady and love a good steak. I was amazed with just how much they tasted like the real thing. I got BeyondBeef & BeyondChicken, which have half the fat of meat and all the protein, and these lovely products changed my relationship with meat forever.

I was perplexed to find that junior Megan Umansky, my vegan guru, would pull out baby tomatoes and eat them in a rapid fashion. Many questions rose in my head, like why baby tomatoes? Who likes baby tomatoes? Second, what did they do to deserve this? Lastly, why did she eat them so fast and in such large quantities? A revelation about these baby tomatoes and Megan hit me as soon as I became vegan: snacks are crucial. Most vegan foods are low in calories, so you can eat whatever you want. This was the holy grail for me because a girl’s gotta eat. Every day of this challenge I enjoyed packing my snacks. I found nuts (cashews), butter (almond) and fruit (apples) were great. Some days I would eat all of my snacks within the first three periods of the day, leaving me nothing for later. Tip of the day: Space out your snacks, or your stomach will attack you physically and emotionally.

Photo: Ms. veronica Yates

Photo: Iona Yates ’17

Day 2: Vegan meats SGIS

Day 5: Missing the meat

What does eating in our lunchroom for a vegan mean? Of course I knew that I could eat at the salad bar, but I wanted to see if the action station or the hot line had any options. I was dealt my first loss of the week, or “L” as the kids are saying, at the action station because the food of the day was a wing bar. When I headed to the hot line, the main entrée was fried fish and it was accompanied by quinoa bake and corn. The fish obviously wasn’t an option, but the quinoa bake and corn seemed like my best bet. I had to ask the lunch staff several questions just to make sure that the food didn’t have any of the components I couldn’t eat, and with my luck, the corn had to have butter in it. My last option was the quinoa bake, but as soon as she began serving it, the long strings of cheese unfolded. Therefore, sad vegan Iona’s only choices for fulfilling lunch were salad and Ms. Vicki’s delicious chips.

If we were scoring me vs. veganism, then I took my final L on day five. The day started out like any normal Iona vegan day: me eating large quantities of food and feeling good. This day in particular was an odd one because I slept over a friend’s house the night before, so I wasn’t able to eat as much as I normally would in the morning. This hadn’t gotten to me until later in the day, when my stomach started to betray me. You know when your stomach starts to hurt with hunger? Well my newfound vegan stomach was hurting on a whole other level. I went downstairs immediately to eat, but it didn’t even fix the problem. In this moment, I took the final loss of the challenge and I broke veganism. I had a glorious hamburger, and I don’t regret it.

Photo: Matthew Blum ’17

Day 3: Fending for myself

Day 6: #BlessUp

I am no Barefoot Contessa in the kitchen. Up until the tender age of 13, I have been forbade from cooking in the kitchen because I am a terrible cook. I have loved watching the Food Network ever since I was a little Iona, and this made me think that I would be a natural in the kitchen. Because my family did not consume the same meals I did this week, I needed to kick my culinary skills into motion. Cooking vegan food isn’t necessarily hard if you have culinary skills, but boy, is it time-consuming. My favorite vegan meal I made during this challenge was bell pepper tacos. Even though I was doubtful about vegan meat, I came to realize that I had to eat it for its protein components.

As I reflect on my “week” of being a vegan, there are many gratifying and crummy memories that come with it. I am happy that I did this challenge, considering it wasn’t easy in the slightest. Being vegan has showed me just how important is it to understand what is inside the food you consume. Knowing exactly what you are eating can make you consume better things but also want to eat better. Also, eating small snacks and small meals throughout the day is one thing I found myself doing often throughout the week. This is something I still do now because it is so much better for your body in the long run. One thing I must stress if you are going to become vegan anytime soon is to not go cold turkey on the process. I did this, and I can assure you that taking the time out to plan for it weeks in advance will give you better results than just five days.

Photo: Iona Yates ’17

Photo: Matthew Blum ’17

Photo: Elise Fong ’16

10 February

The Gryphon Gazette


‘Roses are red, violets are blue’ Valentine’s Day is for me and for you

Annie Murff ’18


ome people seem to get too worked up by Valentine’s Day. It’s a day full of candy and teddy bears and love, but nonetheless, there are still those who find a reason to be angry about it. Valentine’s Day is not a day to burn pictures of your exes, nor is it a day to smother everyone you see with teddy bears, kisses and candy. Valentine’s Day is merely a day dedicated to celebrating the love that we should, and hopefully are, exercising all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love a giant teddy bear with a big red bow as much as the next person, but Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, not necessarily a celebration of stuff. In my honest opinion, a dozen balloons filled with handcut confetti hearts is a little too much, and going on a romantic helicopter ride is a bit excessive. Valentine’s Day is definitely a day to celebrate your love, but it’s more of a celebration of something you feel on the inside, not something on the outside that you buy. Going to a nice dinner or just hanging out and watching Netflix are some simple things to do with your significant other without getting swept up in this holiday we call Valentine’s Day. However, just because you shouldn’t strive to emerge as the champion of Valentine’s Day by buying out the chocolate

section of Kroger, doesn’t mean being anti-Valentine’s Day is the answer either. There are plenty of times throughout the year when listening to Taylor Swift circa 2009 and burning pictures of your exes is acceptable, but that doesn’t mean you should do it on Valentine’s Day. If your significant other is, well, not-so-significant anymore, take that opportunity to celebrate your friends, family and even yourself. To all of you single people out there, please remember that Valentine’s Day is not only for couples. Celebrating the love you have for your friends, family, and even your dog is just as important as celebrating the love you have for your significant other. Whether it’s giving Leslie Knope-style gifts for a Galentine’s Day celebration, going to a nice dinner with your mom or scheduling a Netflix date with your pet, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate your love with everyone, not just your significant other. If spending all of Valentine’s Day celebrating your loved ones isn’t enough, celebrate yourself. Loving yourself is equally as important as loving your friends and family. I’m not condoning narcissism, but a treat-yo-self day isn’t so bad either. While Valentine’s Day can be blown out of proportion, and while I’m sure

Beauty is pain

Photo: Miriam Brown ’17 This ink isn’t permanent, but tattoos are. some people who have gotten them have regretted their decision later in life, wanting to hide them instead.

Eric DiNicolantonio ’16


oung people are always looking for ways to express themselves, whether it be through music, sports or academics. They

are searching for ways to express their individuality, and one failsafe way to do so is through body art. Many are now turning to

Photo: Katie Boyle ’17 Sophomore Annie Murff displays her self-confidence by drawing a heart on the mirror in the bathroom. Murff plans to spend her Valentine’s Day with her friends and family.

Hallmark does benefit from the abundance of cards purchased the week of Valentine’s, it is simply a day to celebrate any kind of love, whether it be with your significant other, your friends or even your Harry Styles cardboard cutout.

If you still have negative thoughts about Valentine’s Day after exhausting all other options, try to remember two very important words, “discount” and “candy.”

both non-permanent and permanent ways of displaying aspects of their personality. Although several organizations, including schools and workplaces, encourage expression, there are often concerns about the message being expressed. Some people think permanent body art, like tattoos, could give others negative impressions. Senior Autumn Jones decided that she wanted to get a tattoo on the day after her eighteenth birthday, so she got a tattoo that says “No worries” that serves as a constant reminder to her. Her tattoo is on her right shoulder, so she can choose to conceal it or show it depending on the situation. Jones plans to become an optometrist in the future, but she is not worried about how her tattoo will affect future employment opportunities. “In the medical field, you are looked down upon if you do have a tattoo, but I feel like that thought is slowly degrading,” Jones said. I personally don’t know what I want to do later in life, so I am not choosing to get a permanent tattoo on my body in order to keep options open for careers that do not approve of tattoos. Although some companies like Starbucks now allow their employees to have visible tattoos, this decision does not come without restrictions. Starbucks employees can have tattoos provided that

the tattoo is tasteful and not on the face or throat. As part of a Senior Independent Study experiment on why appearance matters, senior Karina Jensen dressed up in all black for a day, something very uncharacteristic of her. She noticed that, although some people thought the different fashion choice was strange, most were unfazed by her appearance because they already know her well. “Appearance does matter in first impressions and staying true to yourself,” Jensen said. “But, as soon as someone knows your personality and they understand you as a person, it doesn’t matter what you look like because they can see through what you are wearing.” However, the permanence of tattoos can be a double-edged sword. Even if it is accepted by others, what if you suddenly regret your tattoo ten years from now? “Your personal opinion on things change,” Dean of Students and anatomy teacher Mrs. Kalyn Underwood said on the topic. While body art can display who you are, people are dynamic and ever changing. What described you a year ago may no longer apply now, which is why I will stick to other forms of expressing who I am. My opinions on things will likely change in the future, so, for now, I will be staying as a blank slate.

OPINION POLICY: The Gryphon Gazette opinion section is a venue for the free expression of student views at St. George’s Independent School. The opinions represented in this section are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the Gryphon Gazette staff or of the St. George’s community at large. The Gryphon Gazette strives to be an open forum for the thoughtful and deliberate exchange of comment and criticism, and therefore welcomes letter to the editor. Letters to the editor will be printed in the opinion section of the newspaper, should not exceed 300 words, and must be signed and accompanied by a verifiable email address. These letters will not be printed if the content is judged obscene, violates the privacy of others or encourages physical disruption of school activites.


The Student Voice of St. George’s Independent School •


This is HUGE! Annie Vento ’17


ll Syrian refugees are a part of ISIS, all Mexicans are rapists and Muslims need to be banned from the country, according to Donald Trump. The best part? He’s in line to be the next president of the United States of America. Trump seems to have offended almost every group imaginable, including but not limited to journalists, people with disabilities, African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, women, fellow candidates and war veterans, as well as the aforementioned Muslims, Mexicans and Syrian refugees. Despite his harsh rhetoric and ruthless insults, Trump has been the Republican party’s consistent frontrunner in national polls since midJuly, nearly a month after announcing his official run for president of the United States. Even before becoming a presidential candidate, Trump’s name was not unfamiliar to the general public. With a staggering net worth of $4.5 billion, or more than $10 billion according to Trump, he’s known by many for his orange spray tan and conversationstarting hairstyle. Others know Trump from his condo-hotel skyscrapers in Las Vegas, New York City and Chicago and his role as long-term host of “The Apprentice” and spin-off “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Despite unsuccessful tests at seeing how a presidential run would go over in 2000 and 2012, Trump has taken the GOP by storm, as he is currently at 35% percent within the Republican field and has remained the frontrunner. Although many cannot imagine why someone would support Trump, his supporters present valid reasons for why they find him appealing and want to see him as our next president. “We’re tired of political correct-

ness,” one Trump supporter said to US News. “It’s not my generation, and I think the younger generation that founded political correctness are about fed up with it too. They want to hear the truth.” Because of the recent events involving ISIS, the “war on guns” and Mexican immigration, Trump has been able to easily establish his signature type of campaign: a campaign run out of fear. With this, the “truth” to many Americans is that our concerns are valid, and we should be worried. While many Trump supporters have criticized other candidates for not being as aggressive as they should be, Trump ensures his supporters that our country is in trouble, and he’s the man for the job. When he suggested banning all Muslims from entering the United States, he led American citizens to infer that the situation was more dangerous than they previously thought, convincing them that radical action is necessary. With a campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again,” he reinforces his fear-driven campaign and implies that America is no longer great. Trump also succeeds by not speaking like a politician, something that may seem to be a necessary quality for the president of the United States. Trump has said multiple times that he is tired of political correctness. With this, he may not be talking like politicians usually do, but he is talking like average Americans do. This makes Trump more appealing because Americans are able to view Trump not as a celebrity or presidential candidate, but as an average guy who is able to be understood. Not only is Trump appealing because of his charismatic qualities, but many of his followers say that he says what others are thinking but are too


Illustration: Katie Boyle ’17

How Trump is still leading in the polls, and why it matters


Donald Trump 18.7%


Ted Cruz 4.7%

Jeb Bush


Marco Rubio


John Kasich

Ben Carson



Chris Christie

Carly Fiorina

National poll results are accurate as of Feburary 8 according to the Huffington Post. Not all Republican Candiates are listed.

afraid to say. “We’ve got people in positions of power who I know for a fact are liars,” another Trump supporter said on CNN. “I watch the TV, my president comes on the TV, and he lies to me! I don’t believe any one of them, not one. I believe Donald. He says what I’m thinking!” While many supporters may not agree wholeheartedly, they do share a common ground with Trump in the sense that both want to see a dramatic difference in terms of our military, economy and immigration laws, and as the polls stand now, he is line to be the Republican frontrunner. However, if you do not want to see Trump be inaugurated into the White House next January, you cannot sit

idle and complain until he falls in the polls, as his frontrunner streak is proving that to be unlikely. Instead, you must get out in your community and campaign for the candidate you do support, and you need to work as hard as possible to ensure your candidate wins his or her party’s nomination. Even if you do support Trump, nothing is set in stone, and your voice is crucial in ensuring your ideal candidate is successful. As Americans, we all want to see our country be “great again.” Whether you’re voting for Trump or not, we are still nine months away from the presidential election and in the midst of caucuses, and every candidate has a chance to be our next president.

college admissions process. All women will be affected by new laws regarding access to safe and legal health care, as well as the future of equal pay. Most importantly, every human being living on planet Earth is affected by climate change, and we will all be affected by whether or not our next president leads us forwards or backwards in progress. Even if you’re not an eligible voter, you still have a voice in this upcoming election. From a simple bumper sticker on your car and expressing your opinion through social media to volunteering with a political campaign and donating money, it is our responsibility

to be informed citizens and educate ourselves on the issues and the presidential candidates. Hating politics, feeling like your vote doesn’t matter or simply follow what your parents tell you to do is unacceptable aren’t excuses. Find out what you believe in and form an educated opinion based on that. Especially with all of the resources for education at our fingertips, both within our school and on the Internet, it’s not okay to not care. Our next president’s actions will continue to affect you, and this is your chance to determine your future and make a difference.


Your vote, your future A

n average of 60 percent of eligible voters make use of their right to vote for presidential elections, meaning nearly half of those who can vote don’t. Quite frankly, this is unacceptable. In a democratic country with a government that holds inconceivable power in its hands, it is not only our right, but our civic duty to vote in all elections: presidential, state and local. Brave Americans lost their lives fighting for your right to vote. For example, although Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated three years later, his campaigns to ensure his race could be guaranteed the right to vote led to

the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which granted suffrage to African Americans. Susan B. Anthony devoted her life to fighting for gender equality, and because of her efforts, women won their right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. If you are living in the United States of America, the actions our next elected president makes will affect you, no matter who you are. Assuming our next president serves two terms, eighth-graders to college juniors will be affected by changes in college tuition prices and the role that standardized testing will continue to play in the

12 February

The Gryphon Gazette


Galentine’s Day checklist Kendall LoCascio ’17 Rachel Ducker ’17 Miriam Brown ’17 Laura McDowell ’17


Cut and share with your valentine

on’t have a date this Valentine’s Day? The NewsGryphs are here to help. We have taken some tips from Leslie Knope of “Parks and Recreation” and decided to acknowledge Galentine’s Day, a holiday for appreciating your friends. “February 14, Valentine’s Day, is about romance, but February 13, Galentine’s Day, is about celebrating lady friends,” Knope said. “It’s wonderful and should be a national holiday.” While Galentine’s Day was created with women in mind,

everyone can take Galentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day as opportunities to commemorate friendships. Celebrate your friends this holiday with some of these ideas. 1. Go out for breakfast. • Pancakes at Staks Pancake Kitchen • San Diegan Omelette at Brother Juniper’s • The Breakfast Sampler at Bryant’s Breakfast • Muffins from Perkins Restaurant and Bakery • French Toast from Arcade Restaurant 2. Put on some music and dance. • “Confident” by Demi Lovato • “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys

• “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls • “Sorry” by Justin Bieber • “Fergalicious” by Fergie 3. Have a movie marathon. • “The Breakfast Club” • “Mean Girls” • “Spy” • “Bridesmaids” • “Star Wars” 4. Go shopping. • Carriage Crossing Mall in Collierville • Saddle Creek Mall in Germantown • Tanger Outlets in Southaven • Oak Court Mall in East Memphis • Wolfchase Galleria in Northern Memphis 5. Pamper yourself. • Mani-pedis at Elite Nail Spa • Massages at Germantown

Day Spa Salon 6. Play games. • Sorry, Clue and Scrabble for board games • Just Dance, Mario Kart and FIFA 16 for video games 7. Craft. • Work on a coloring book • Design friendship bracelets • Make a piñata filled with Hershey’s kisses 8. Bake together. • Beatty’s Chocolate Cake from Food Network • S’mores Mug Brownie from Betty Crocker • Amaretto Apple Crisp from How Sweet It Is • Chocolate Chip Cookies with Nutella, Brown Butter and Sea Salt from

Annie’s Eats • Coffee Macarons from Bakers Royale 9. Take on an adventurous activity. • Paintballing at Battlefront Laser Tag & Paintball • Race car driving at Memphis International Raceway 10. Binge-watch Netflix. • “Parks and Recreation” • “The Flash” • “New Girl” • “Breaking Bad” • “How I Met Your Mother” Disclaimer: Not all suggestions are appropriate for all ages. Reader discretion is advised.

Art by Elle Vaughn ‘17 with words by Laura McDowell ’17 and Caroline Zummach ’18

With love, The Gryphon Gazette

The Gryphon Gazette Issue 4 (February 2016)  
The Gryphon Gazette Issue 4 (February 2016)