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B R E A K DA N C I N G Students bust moves, see breakdancing p. 14

THE

Sp ke

CONESTOGA HIGH SCHOOL, BERWYN, PA

VOLUME 63 NO. 5

MARCH 19, 2013

STOGANEWS.COM

coping with

concussions: A special spoke team report for national brain injury awareness month

Athletes out of the game, see p.4 Heads up: diagnoses on the rise, see p.5 Road to recovery, see p. 12-13


PAGE 2 THE SPOKE

Track competes in New Balance Nationals Emma Purinton Staff Reporter After the girls’ track relay team competed at the 2013 New Balance Nationals Indoor on March 10, the competitors did not seem like they had just competed in a relay against some of the most elite student track athletes in the country. “After we cooled down, we watched more races, took photos and even joined in line dances because there was a DJ playing there,” sophomore Jenna Wilson said. Sophomores Wilson and Paige Kozlowski, junior Maggie Friel, senior Abby Pioch and freshman alternate Maddie Herman traveled to New York on March 10 to compete in track nationals. The event was held at the New Balance Track and Field Center in the Armory at Columbia University. petition after it competed in the Pa. Indoor Track State Championship meet on Feb. 23. The team placed 17th in the 4x200 meter relay with a time of 1:47.28 and 8th in the 4x400 meter relay with a time of 4:02.37. The team’s time in the 4x400 did not to include teams that get times close

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

NEWS

Photo courtesy David Pioch

Track runners pose at the 2013 New Balance Nationals Indoor. The girls’ 4x400 team ran a personal best time of 4:01.37. to the qualifying time. The team competed only in the 4x400 meter relay at Nationals. The team prepared for the event by weightlifting and practicing every day, but even more importantly, by preparing themselves mentally. “I talked to the girls the day before we left to say that they should remain internally intense to compete because there aren’t as many people around them,” sprint coach Leashia Rahr said. “The excitement is lowered a little bit, and it is easy to get too relaxed, so we really tried to focus on mentally staying engaged which is very important in track and

After the race, the team celebrated a new personal record of 4:01.73. Three of the girls also set new personal records. Rahr believes that the team’s success was achieved through the group’s general attitude and mentality. “I would say they are goofy, they are silly, they are honest, but when they are on the track, they are hard core,” Rahr said. Emma Purinton can be reached at epurinton@stoganews.com.

Ten seniors named Presidential Scholar candidates Suproteem Sarkar Convergence Editor

mately 500 Presidential Scholar

Ten seniors were named candidates for the Presidential Scholars Program on Jan. 24. Seniors Matt Dong, Hans Gao, Jeffrey Han, Jessica Lee, YingYing Shang, Ary Swaminathan, Carolyn Vilter, Phoebe Wang, Michael Wilson and Allen Zhu were all named candidates for the honor.

due Feb. 28. Wang said she was impressed with the number of students selected from Conestoga. “We’re a really good school nationwide,” Wang said.

through their SAT scores. The top 20 males and females from each state were selected. Typically, 141 students are named Presidential Scholars. At least one male and one female from each state are represented at the awards ceremony. “I was really surprised that an envelope from the Department of Education came,” Lee said. “I think it’s really cool. It’s an accomplishment for sure, and even if I don’t get the award in the end, it’s nice to know.” Presidential Scholar Candidates can apply to be one of approxi-

plication form and several essays.

early April and the names of Presidential Scholars will be announced in early May. Recognition Weekend for scholars has been tentatively scheduled from June 15-18. During the weekend, Presidential Scholars will visit Washington and meet with President Barack Obama. Each Scholar receives a goldplated Presidential Medallion from the president. nitely the biggest honor,” Dong said. “I would love to travel to D.C.” Suproteem Sarkar can be reached at ssarkar@stoganews.com.

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The Spoke goes on vacation: Spring break edition Visit Stoganews.com for

Take a photograph of yourself reading a copy of The Spoke during spring break and your picture could be featured in The Spoke or on Stoganews.com. Email your photo to spoke@stoganews.com or share it on The Spoke’s Facebook page at facebook.com/thespoke.

breaking news, photo galleries and video packages.

Save the date: Upcoming in community

Sports Superstars

CPR Training

Lauren Ogren

CPR testing will be held from March 19-21 throughout the school day. Students will take practical and written exams and should expect to return to class eighth period..

Sport: Softball Years playing: 13 Pump-up song: “I Don’t Care” by Tiësto Role model: Chase Utley

National Art Honor Society Awards The National Art Honor Society awards ceremony will be held March 19 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. ’Stoga graduate and artist David Gerbstadt will be speaking at the ceremony.

Lemon-Lime

College Interview Evening

Jordon Little

Student Services will host College Interview Evening April 17 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. College representatives will interview students who participate in the program. Piodanco Spring Showcase of Sound

Sport: Baseball Years playing: 15 Pump-up song: “Cinderella Man” by Eminem Role model: Bo Jackson

Piodanco will host its annual Spring Showcase of Sound April 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium. Club members will perform several genres of dance.

Glacier Freeze Photos: Karolis Panavas/The SPOKE

Full interviews on Stoganews.com.


TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

PAGE 3 THE SPOKE

NEWS

College costs reach record highs, continue increase Suproteem Sarkar Convergence Editor Senior Liane Riley dreamed of attending American University since she was a freshman. She applied to American early decision and was accepted, but the university aid as she was hoping to receive. Riley said that she sent out an apdepartment, but eventually decided reasons. “It had always been my number one school since freshman year,” Riley said. “It’s awful—I’ve been looking at American since I was a freshman and I’m not even going to go there.” Riley said she will most likely be attending Alvernia University next year, which gave her full tuition and $5,000 off room and board. Riley said she received a partial scholarship toward her tuition based and board scholarship since her father is a professor at Neumann University.

According to the College Board, the average overall yearly cost for in-state public college students increased 3.8 percent last year from $21,447 to $22,261. For nonprofit private fouryear colleges, the average overall yearly cost increased from $42,224 to $43,289, a 2.5 percent increase from last year. The percentage increase in public tuition was not as high last year as it was during the 2008 recession; however, tuition increases continue to outpace inflation. According to Student Services chair Misty Whelan, most colleges offer financial aid packages to students based on need or merit to help reduce total costs. “Many colleges are working hard to make their school more affordable for students who need it to be more affordable,” Whelan said. “They’re not the bad guys trying to keep kids out because it’s so expensive—they’re working with them in the constraints of a college’s budget.”

Average total costs for public and private institutions In-state public college

Private four-year college

$21,447

$22,261

$42,224

$43,289

2010-11

2011-12

2010-11

2011-12 Graphic: Suproteem Sarkar/The SPOKE

Source: College Board

The College Board found that in funding for public colleges by $15.2 billion. According to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, private colleges are spending more on information technology and health care. Health insurance premiums alone increased 6.7 percent last year, causing colleges to look for more sources of income. Assistant principal Kevin Fagan said that the increase in college costs has caused students to apply to more cial aid opportunities. “Each year, the average number of applications per student has increased,” Fagan said. “Students and families are doing this because they want to spread their opportunities, and they’re also looking to see which college is going to offer them package.” For senior Alex aid came in the form

late January that he had been accepted. Despite the higher college costs, Lee said that a college’s reputation “You can’t really look at money in choosing a college,” Lee said. “In the end, you would be hired more if a college was more renowned. They are renowned for a reason, so if you paid a bit more, you would get more.” Whelan said that the guidance department recommends that stu-

Barack Obama announced the program during his State of the Union speech as one of several education proposals. The president also proposed amending the Higher Education Act to allow affordability to Fagan said that he recommends application forms early in order to receive aid packages. “It really increases the level of importance of making sure that for

Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, and private aid programs. “It’s a recommendation because then a college will have a basis from which to go from to package a student,” Whelan said.

are all in line and that when the application time comes around to put ready done their game-planning,” Fagan said. “The materials are going to be reviewed sooner in most cases. They’ll get a response sooner in most cases and then they can make a clearer decision.” In order to educate students about

Colleges are “not the bad guys trying to keep kids out because it’s so expensive—they’re working with them in the constraints of a college’s budget.” - Student Services chair Misty Whelan

cers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. After he graduates from college, Robertson will serve in the military for four years. In addition to his regular college courses, Robertson will participate in military courses and drills. “The military [has] always been an interest of mine,” Robertson said. “It’s not for kids who want to just pay for college—you have to be willing to serve in the military in order to do it.” Senior Doohee Lee will receive tuition assistance from the Pennsylvania State Grant Program. Lee said he sent out an application earlier in

Senior Renee Reyes received a full-tuition merit scholarship to West Chester University. Reyes said that although many of her costs are covered, she realizes that many students may not be able to afford tuition. “We’re supposed to be trying to get as many kids as we can to go to college,” Reyes said. “If some kids can’t afford to go to college, they have to go to a college that maybe they don’t want to go to.” The White House released College Scorecard on Feb. 13, an online tool that includes information on college costs, graduation rates

portunities, Whelan said that the guidance department

evenings every year in November or December. Counselors also discuss methods of paying for college during junior meetings. Riley said that she is upset she will not be going to American, but has adjusted to the changes in her college plans. “With Alvernia, I’ll be a big in a big pond,” Riley said. “It’s still hard, but I think in the long run it’s going to be better for me.” Suproteem Sarkar can be reached at ssarkar@stoganews.com.


PAGE 4 THE SPOKE

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

NEWS

Athletes suffer concussions, cope with consequences Jenna Spoont Managing Editor

Junior football player Max Dolente suffered two recent concus-

“I have [suffered] a lot of concussions, seven in total,” junior Oskar Nasman said. “After my sixth one, the doctors said that I probably shouldn’t go back to hockey, but I did. Now, after I got my seventh one, I can’t ever play contact sports again. I can’t play hockey ever again, which is absolutely terrible. I can’t ever play a sport that could possibly give me brain damage.” Athletes like Nasman have been out of the game because of their concussions. Sophomore Leonard Watson said he had a traumatic experience at a league baseball game last summer. “There was a man on second and third, with one out. And he came ball and then threw it to home plate. I dove for the ball and then the runner smashed me in my head. That gave me a bad concussion right on the spot,” Watson said. Watson was not permitted to play football for Conestoga this past season. For senior Josh Loevy, he got his concussion playing football last November, but the incident did not happen on Teamer Field. “I managed to play an entire season of football for Conestoga, did not get a concussion, and then one day, I go out and play with a couple of friends, and I get a concussion,” Loevy said. Loevy missed two weeks of school and had to sit alone at home. He could not use his phone, watch TV, work on homework nor take tests. “Now that I’ve experienced a concussion, I’m more aware of what I have to do in order to be safe and I’ll probably be a little bit more cautious when I play football, if I ever play football again,” Loevy said. Sophomore basketball player Juliann Susas was knocked to the ground at a basketball game. “When I got [the concussion], I didn’t even know I actually got one. I didn’t think it was that bad. I just thought my ear was messed up, and I was going to see an ear doctor, and

ago at a league basketball game and the second concussion occurred at Teamer Field. Dolente missed two weeks of the football season and three days of school. He attended doctor appointments where he took balance and memory tests. “When you have a concussion it’s almost impossible to hold your balance. They had me do different moves and asked me questions like what year it was and who was the first president. When I said I was ready to go back to sports, they had me do a concussion test because I took a baseline test a different year at school to compare the results to that one to see if my brain recovered,” Dolente said. Dolente was cleared to go back to sports after he took the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test, commonly known as the ImPACT out questions about their medical history, including their past concussions. They have to memorize words and remember shapes. At the conclusion of the test, the athletes have to recall the original words and shapes from the beginning of the test.

Sophie Bodek/The SPOKE Sam Sedor for The SPOKE

Source: The American Journal of Sports Medicine

whether or not an athlete is ready to come back into the game. “Current measurements, [such as] sophisticated imaging, electrical studies and biochemical measurements indicate that a sport-related injury takes at least 4-6 weeks to heal. There is no way to test the healing process in [over 300,000] concussion injuries that occur yearly,” Mayers said. Watson felt that he had recovered enough to play football this season, but the athletic department did not allow him to play because of his score on the ImPACT Test. “On top of what I had to go through during the summer, they didn’t let me play football, even though I felt that I had recovered from the concussion. That was probably worse than what I went through during the summer. It was really depressing. It took me some time to get over it,” Watson said. Loevy noted that taking immediate action, such as going to the hospital, after getting a concussion determines how quickly an athlete recovers. “The best thing to do is as soon as

“After I got my seventh [concussion], I can’t ever play contact sports again.”

I felt like I was a little jumbled up, and all I wanted to do was sleep,” Susas said.

- Junior Oskar Nasman Assistant principal and athletic director Patrick Boyle explained how the test works. “It’s not used as a diagnostic tool, it’s used to point out if there are may be issues surrounding the student and the concussion,” Boyle said. “There’s not a cookie-cutter model put together [for] a concussion.” According to Dr. Lester Mayers, concussion researcher of Pace University athletics in New York, the ImPACT Test should not be used as a standardized test to determine

you get a concussion, you have to just rest, rest, rest,” Loevy said. Susas believes that there is not enough awareness about the severity of the injury. “I think people just need to realize how serious a concussion is,” she said. “People have been permanently damaged. I don’t think it is some-

Sophie Bodek/The SPOKE Sam Sedor for The SPOKE

thing to take lightly, because it is a really big deal.” Staff reporters Courtney Kennedy, Simran Singh, Yuge Xiao and Navin Zachariah contributed to this report. Jenna Spoont can be reached at jspoont@stoganews.com.


TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

NEWS

PAGE 5 THE SPOKE

Concussion increase correlates with greater awareness Heather Ward Co-editor-in-chief Between 2001-09 the number of emergency room visits related to head injuries increased by 61 percent, according to a study conducted by Dr. Lisa Bakhos of Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, R.I. “Experts have hypothesized that this may be due to an increasing number of available sports activities, increasing competitiveness in youth sports and increasing intensity of practice and play,” Bakhos said in a press release. “However, the increasing numbers may also be secondary to increased awareness and reporting.” Julianne Schmidt of the University of North Carolina Gfeller Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center agreed, attributing the rise in reported concussions to the awareness of the public. “It seems like the rate of concussions is going up, but in reality people are just more aware of the signs and the symptoms,” Schmidt said. “To me, it’s actually a good sign be-

cause it means that people are actually reporting concussions.” Awareness has led to legislation regarding concussions being passed in 32 states including Pa. Senate Act 101, which went into effect in July 2012, requires students who suffer a concussion to be cleared by “a licensed or certi-

Boyle also attributed the rise in reported concussions to an increased awareness among athletes and coaches. “Students and parents receive information regarding concussions in the forms they complete. Since we’ve

Schmidt said that although recovery time has increased, particularly for athletes, it is because of better research about the spectrum of concussions. “The reason why people are taking longer to recover is because people are paying more attention to the symptoms, and while you still have fessional trained symptoms, in concussions” you shouldn’t before returning to be attending sports. school or doAssistant prining sports.” cipal and athletic Schmidt said. director Patrick She said - UNC professor Julianne Schmidt Boyle felt that the that concusbill helps prevent sions have a athletes from playing sports while become more aware of concussions, wide range of severity. still recovering from a concussion. “There are people who will feel there might be an increase in the number reported.” Boyle said. “Years better in a few hours and others who told that if a student has been hit in ago, this issue may not have been as will take a few months,” Schmidt the head, they evaluate the student important, so I think the educational said. and make sure the student is safe, so element of concussions for students According to research conducted there’s no pressure to put a student has increased an awareness of what by Dr. Ann Duhaime of Mass. Genback in the game if they had a head to look for and why it’s important that eral Hospital, there needs to be better injury,” Boyle said. standards for concussion diagnosis. we take care of the student.”

“It seems like the rate of concussions is going up, but in reality people are just more aware of the signs and the symptoms.”

correlates of a ‘concussion spectrum’ may be needed in future research efforts as well as in the clinical diagnostic area,” Duhaime said in a press release. way to measure a concussion nor is there an exact timeline for recovery. “We need additional studies to provide guidance in management, prevention strategies and education for practitioners, coaches and athletes,” Bakhos said. Schmidt said the awareness is key to the recovery of athletes and has changed the way concussions are viewed. “It’s because of our awareness, and what we know is that there is a metabolic crisis going on in the brain,” Schmidt said. “It used to be considered a badge of honor to get up and keep playing and now we realize [that] recovery is better when people take time off.” Heather Ward can be reached at hward@stoganews.com.


PAGE 6 THE SPOKE

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

NEWS

Best Buddies holds fundraisers, prepares to host annual ball

Yuge Xiao Staff Reporter In the classic story, before heading off to the ball, Cinderella had to and dust the attic. Before hosting their ball, Best Buddies has to plan fundraisers, decorate the school and

People

In addition, Cindy Brauer, club member Grace Brauer’s mother and a professional Zumba instructor, offered to host Zumba sessions for that combines dancing and aerobics.

Funds 400 students attending

faculty members came to support the band. All the proceeds from the

120 regular members in ’Stoga’s Best Buddies $5,000 need to be raised

On April 20, Conestoga’s Best Best Buddies Ball. Students in the

January. Cindy Brauer choreographed special routines for those

Currently, Best Buddies has made about $4,000. The funds

$4,000 currently made $500 from Zumba

timated 400 students attending, decorations and other supplies. The

$500 from Steel City Coffee House

because a lot of people attended. needs to raise more than $5,000. Best Buddies president senior Kelsey Conlan said although pre-

Graphic: Sophie Bodek/The SPOKE

really their prom for the Best Bud-

The club also hosted a fundraiser concert at the Steel City Coffee ute to the club.

Conlan attributes the club’s suc-

Club members senior Conor Mc-

“It’s a happy time. I get to be their band, Brother and Sisters, honored to get to host the ball, and Carthy, the highlight of the night Preparations for the dance began

on stage.

Yuge Xiao can be reached at yxiao@stoganews.com.

better for all the students that are going to be attending because this is

Student Council revives ‘Mr. Pioneer’ senior pageant

Maggie Chen & Wendy Tan Staff Reporters

then they stopped doing it around

America,’ so for it to be funny, it’s funnier if it’s guys instead of

because although seniors are participating, anyone in the school

In addition to raising money for senior prom, Mr. Pioneer is

Senior Sean Tait plans to compete in Mr. Pioneer and said he

super popular. Years in the past,

Although all Conestoga gradPioneers in the past, seniors only

class. ing to the people during free and

In order to rally ’Stoga spirit before graduation, Student Council has organized a pageant catered specifically to boys to bring the senior class together one final time. Mr. Pioneer is a pageant for senior boys that

class bonding thing. There are not many opportunities for all of our grade to come said. “This is a final thing for us all to come together and dents participate and

- Senior Erin Ferreri the senior prom. Student Council hopes to collect $500-600 t h r o u g h

eant as a humor-filled

dent Joe Scuteri are directing the said that the idea of Mr. Pioneer

of the competitors’ performances.

help from other seniors. trying to set up, organize it, stuff

only for males to add humor to are going to try to reach out to

friends. and brandish a special talent.

Maggie Chen can be reached at mchen@stoganews.com.


TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

PAGE 7 THE SPOKE

NEWS

Science Olympiad works with experts, competes at states Simran Singh Staff Reporter From Remote Sensing to Designer Genes, from Maglev to Dynamic Planet, members of Conestoga’s Science Olympiad team found their understanding of a variety of science fields challenged at the Southeastern Regional Tournament on March 4 at Cabrini College in Radnor, Pa. The team’s efforts were rewarded with a third place overall finish at the tournament. The team now prepares to compete at the state competition, which is at Juniata College on April 26. Senior Noah Johnson, who joined the team last year, feels that teamwork is essential in Science Olympiad. “You have to learn how to work with someone. You can’t just do it individually. You have to learn with your partner and you have to be able to work together, and come to the same answer,” Johnson said. The competition includes three

types of events: building events, lab events and knowledge events. The preparation process varies for each student based on the events he or she competes in. This year, the team has implemented changes to help members prepare for competitions. One change is the involvement of outside teachers, parents and experts in the preparation process. These resources include district science curriculum supervisor Nancy Adams, physicist and Conestoga parent Rita Thompson and various Conestoga science teachers, including Jean Mihelcic, Janet Wolfe, Mike Kane and Salvatore Colosi. In addition, two employees of chemical company Johnson Matthey, Joseph Fedeyko and Alejandra Rivas-Cardona, are also assisting the team this year. Fedeyko, who is a staff scientist at Johnson Matthey, says that the company approached the Science Olympiad team in hopes of forg“There’s a push to be involved

in more community activities,” Fedeyko said. “It’s a way for us to basically give back to the community.” Derrick Wood, a Conestoga chemistry teacher, serves as the Science Olympiad club adviser alongside chemistry teacher and Science Department chair Scott Best. Wood says that the involvement of community experts as resources has greatly improved the quality of preparation. “If there are some things that there’s just so much material, it’s nice to have kind of a cheerleader and an expert on the side, to not only guide you and help you learn, but just to be there for support and to help you work through that you see,” Wood said. The top two teams at the state competition advance to the national competition from May 17-18 at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Wood is optimistic for the results of this season and hopes

Yuge Xiao/The SPOKE

Senior Christine Zhang and junior Annie Xu compete at the Southeastern Regional Tournament on March 4. Conestoga placed third overall and will compete at the state competition on April 26. to see the team continue onto nationals. “We’ve been very, very close, we’ve always been in the running [for nationals]. Last year, we were fourth place overall [at states], so we weren’t too far off,” Wood said.

“We have high hopes this year, and we certainly have the scienthe team in order to make it there.” Simran Singh can be reached at ssingh@stoganews.com.

Board cancels class on election days Mary Mei Staff Reporter Because of changes the school board has made to the district calendar, students now have an extra day off on May 21. The school board approved new calendar changes at its Feb. 25 meeting. According to the new calendar guidelines, schools in the district will now be closed for all students on primary and general election days. Richard Gusick, district Director of Curriculum and Planning, said that this decision was the result of several years of deliberation and discussion. “Community members have expressed concern about public access to schools through polling stations on election day,” Gusick said. “At the district safety committee, staff members and local police officers expressed the feeling that schools should be closed to students on election day.” Andrew Phillips, assistant principal and coordinator of the district safety committee, said that community opinion on the matter is varied.

“There’s been two points of views. One is that people think we should be closed because community members are coming in and out of the building right where the students are, and we can't really control the flow of people, since everybody is allowed to vote,” Phillips said. “The other point of view is that we're a school and we're a pretty open building. If we have events like basketball games or plays, anybody or everybody can come in.” In previous years, the decision for schools to remain open for students on election days has posed a number of problems regarding security. When there is an election, there are certain rules about polling places. One rule prohibits police officers from being in the vicinity of voters. Because of this law, schools have relied on district employees to provide security. The new buzz-in security system would also provide challenges if schools in the district were to remain open. With groups of voters showing up to cast their ballots, Gusick believes that it

would make the voting process inefficient. “The buzz-in systems at all schools are not practical to implement when residents arrive in large numbers to vote,” Gusick said. Freshman Lissie Torres agrees with the committee’s decision to close the schools for students on election days because of safety reasons. “On election days there may be many strangers in the school, which could be potentially dangerous to the students,” Torres said. “Not only is having a day off for students safer, but it is also a good day to relieve stress for students under pressure.” Senior Peter Mina doesn't believe the changes to the calendar will affect the senior class. “It’s better for the rest of the school because it’s for the 201314 school year as well. However, it still is a day off for everyone this year, and it’s also on election day, which may make people feel more serious about election day,” Mina said. Mary Mei can be reached at mmei@stoganews.com.

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Opinion TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

The Spoke is published seven times per year at Bartash Printing. It consistently receives the Gold Award from the Pennsylvania Scholastic Press Association and is a National School Press Association Pacemaker award-winning publication. The Spoke serves as a public forum for student expression. Editors-in-chief: Heather Ward, Haley Xue Managing Editor: Jenna Spoont News Editor: Lavi Ben-Dor Op/Ed Editor: Allison Kozeracki Features Editor: Natalie West Sports Editors: Maddie Amsterdam, Abby Pioch Design Editor: Margot Field Photo Editor: Karolis Panavas Centerspread Editor: Noah Levine Convergence Editor: Suproteem Sarkar Business Manager: Claire Moran Operations Director: Shwetha Sudhakar Graphic Designers: Callum Backstrom, Sophie Bodek, Anisa Tavangar Cartoonists: Callum Backstrom, Sophie Bodek, Maggie Chen Staff: Andy Backstrom, Kelly Benning, Maggie Chen, Isha Damle, Stephane Hardinger, Courtney Kennedy, Emily Klein, David Kramer, Mary Mei, Patrick Nicholson, Sophia Ponte, Emma Purinton, James Redmond, Shivani Sanghani, Emily Seeburger, YingYing Shang, Simran Singh, Wendy Tan, Yuge Xiao, Navin Zachariah Faculty Advisers: Susan Houseman, Cynthia Crothers-Hyatt

Submissions

The Spoke will print letters of general interest to the student body and community. Signed letters under 200 words may be submitted to Susan Houseman, Cynthia Hyatt, Heather Ward or Haley Xue. Unsigned editorials represent the views of The Spoke editorial board, and not necessarily those of the administration, student body, community or advertisers. The opinions expressed in signed columns are those of the writer and not necessarily the opinion of The Spoke.

Cultivating creativity

The Spoke discusses ways to promote creativity at Conestoga During the State of the Union Address on Feb. 12, 2013, President Obama proposed a new education plan that aims to provide high-quality preschool programs to every child in America. Other proposals focused on ensuring that students who graduate from high school are able to develop partnerships with colleges and employers that lead to rewarding jobs. The Spoke believes that a key solution to improving the American education system that deserves more recognition is cultivating creativity. Creativity seems to be an integral part of American culture and is one of our country’s greatest strengths. The Global Innovation Index, which takes into account the creative outputs of a country, currently lists the U.S. as one of the most innovative countries in its rankings. However, it seems that our generation is slowly losing the ability to be creative. A recent analysis of Torrance scores of American students, derived from Torrance tests which measure creativity, showed a steady decline in creativity scores since 1990. Some researchers put the burden on schools to teach and encourage creativity, but The Spoke believes that the real responsibility of cultivating creativity lies with the students themselves. Creativity does not merely apply to only music and art, but rather creative thinking can, and should, be employed in all subjects in school. Already, the Tredyffrin/Easttown School Disto incorporate teaching creativity into the curriculum. However, even with the creativity initiative in place, teaching creativity at a school like ’Stoga is challenging. With so many AP classes offered, teachers are often constrained by the AP curriculum because covering everything that will Because of this, teachers are unable to spend as much time as they would like exploring applica-

tions of concepts with students. Since many students take AP classes that are structured around the AP exam, students only feel the need to study whatever is going to be on the test. The root of the problem, however, lies with the students’ outlook on learning. In order to be creative, we have to be willing to spend time and effort toward expanding upon the knowledge that we’ve been taught in class. However, with so many extracurricular activities and demanding course loads, we often don’t want to spend our free time imagining new ways to apply old concepts. We have to be more proactive and apply what we’ve learned outside the classroom, designing a programming code for an iPhone app. Students also need the autonomy, time and motivation to pursue creative thinking. Companies like Google have a policy called 20 percent time, which allows employees to spend 20 percent of their time working on whatever projects they wish. Through this policy, Gmail and YouTube were developed. Therefore, students should actively develop their creativity through that passion. Instead of taking another AP class, consider taking an independent study class or explore new creative outlets through classes like ceramics or theatre. Even within the curriculum of regular core classes, we should still work improve our creativity skills, whether it’s approaching a math problem differently or experimenting with a new style of writing. Teachers can also help to promote creativity by acknowledging and praising creative spirit, as well as setting aside time for students to explore their interests. Creativity is a crucial skill that allows for innovation and growth of our country. In a globalized world with virtually no boundaries, we must learn how to “think outside the box” in order to solve

Pay it forward Heather Ward Co-editor-in-chief I’ve spent almost 13 years attending school in this district and the last four at Conestoga, and I have noticed a glaring issue. We are not kind people. We don’t say “hi” to people in the hallways if we don’t know them. We don’t say “good morning” to whomever is greeting us in the lobby. We don’t take a minute to talk to Mrs. Thomas in the and we don’t even stop to see if the person who just tripped up the stairs is all right (not that the latter has ever happened to me). According to a study done by the University of Cambridge, kindness matters. If one person is kind, the act is reciprocated and gets passed on. Harvard University also conducted a study in 2010 that showed similar results. Paying kindness forward has meaning and the act will be passed on. However, someone has to start the niceness. We can’t all walk around in our teenage zombielike states and expect somebody else to be kind. It doesn’t work that way. According to my good friends Merriam and Webster, kindness starts internally with a concern for others. And I know that I sound cliché when I say this. But after Sandy Hook and the other shootings that have occurred in the past year, there has been a lot of national attention focused on gun control. We, as students, have very little power to control what Congress does, but we can change the atmosphere in the building located at 200 Irish Road, which may have the same effect in preventing school shootings. We can smile at each other—it doesn’t have to be creepy when someone smiles at you—or even say “hello.” Gosh darn it, we could wave to someone across the courtyard, although that might be a stretch. My point is that we all need to take a little vacation from inside our own minds and show some regard toward others. They all matter too. It doesn’t have to take a lot of effort. If each of us devotes one brain cell toward being nice and paying it forward, the person who tripped up the actually hurt, you might be able to help him. My time at Conestoga has been wonderful and I have loved being a part of this school district. But we can always make things better. Imagine if you could save someone’s life by being kind to him. Would you take that extra ounce of energy to do it?

Contact Us

Email: spoke@stoga.net Phone: 610-240-1046 The Spoke accepts paid advertisements. Email cmoran@stoganews.com. Visit The Spoke online at www.stoganews.com News Director: Suproteem Sarkar ssarkar@stoganews.com

From the Editor:

Callum Backstrom/The SPOKE

Heather Ward can be reached at hward@stoganews.com


TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

Emily Seeburger Columnist and obnoxiously bright colors in every store front can only mean one thing: it’s prom season—also known as the time of the year when I begin fretting about every pathetic little detail leading up to and after the dance. If you’re anything like me, this next month and a half might have your mind wandering late at night. You might be panicking. You might be fuming. You might be stressed out. I get that. Logistically speaking, organizing a big (or small, for that matter) group to all get together at the same time and do pretty much the same thing, which inevitably is what prom comes to, can be really overwhelming. However, one thing we girls really need to stop going crazy over is in the infamous prom dress. You might be thinking that on this very special night, you don’t want to look the same as every other girl and end up having the

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same dress and the same hair style and such because, remember, you own prom and no one will take that away from you because it’s going to be your special night. Wrong. Of course you don’t want to look exactly the same as another girl, (who would?) but you’re mistaken if you even think for a second that prom is exclusively tailor-made for you. By nature, it’s a large and very inclusive event. So put the claws away and let’s logically reason through this dress crisis and realize why it’s not the end of the world if some girl

you’ve never talked to is wearing the same type of fabric as you. For starters, if you’ve browsed through even one prom store or magazine, it’s pretty obvious that the styles of dresses deviate very little. Big designers know what sells and they make and distribute it a million times over. Frankly, it’s a great business model. Cue bright dresses with gemstones sewn on, tulle jutting out of corsets, one-shoulder, simple long gowns and cutouts galore. Not that I have anything against any of these styles—hey, to each her own—but I have a problem with girls who think that they claim ownership over any dress that remotely resembles theirs. The selection in terms of style is limited as it is, so tone it down a little bit. Another thing that baffles me about the whole dressselection pro-

Maggie Chen/The SPOKE

cess is the creation of Facebook groups because of the process. In theory, it’s actually not a bad idea. Mainstream dresses are, well, mainstream, so simply letting everyone know which one you have purchased is helpful. But somehow it always turns into World War III over a dress or someone decides to post 20 dresses they’re considering buying but have not actually purchased. If someone has a similar dress to yours, but it’s not the same, take a deep breath and relax. In all honesty, if you have the same or similar dress as someone, but you’re not friends with or not taking pictures with the person, is it really going to matter? The people around you most likely won’t notice, guys don’t care at all (ask any of them if you don’t believe me) and you most likely won’t be near someone with the similar style so it might not even bother you. All I’m trying to say is that, despite all the hype in movies and magazines and books that have surrounded us about prom, the dress crisis truly is not the end of the world. Okay, so someone has something similar to you; what’s the big deal? Ask yourself, are you going to care when you wake up the next day? No? Then move on. If you’re still going to care, I suggest reevaluating your priorities. Remember, it’s just a dress. Emily Seeburger can be reached at eseeburger@stoganews.com.

“Would you wear the same prom dress as someone else?” “ I would prefer not to, but As long as you’re not taking “pictures it shows the other person together, it shouldn’t has good taste.”

Report Card Library Kiosk + Quick access to email and printer - Previous desktops now for class use

Mr. Pioneer + Entertaining and creative fundraising idea - Restricted to senior guys

Spring Sports + More games to enjoy in the warmer weather activities

School Calendar Changes + No school on election days - School year now ends on June 19

Spring Weather

matter.”

- Junior Grace Wydeven

- Junior Kristen Klemens - Brought by April showers

“ I would because I think it’s about the experience, not the attire.” - Senior Brooke Skelly

Yes, I don’t understand why people get so possessive over dresses.” - Junior Andréa Herrera

Senior Internships + Chance to try out potential careers - Frequent deadlines for paperwork


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TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

OP/ED

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YingYing Shang can be reached at yshang@stoganews.com.

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TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

Allison Kozeracki Op/Ed Editor “Miss Congeniality” was on TV the other day, so naturally I had to tune in. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re legally obligated to do so. Now normally I would argue that a movie with a female protagonist as an undercover FBI agent presents a pretty good view of women. But there was one line that gave me pause. In a conversation about beauty pageants, Sandra Bullock tells Michael Caine, “It’s like feminism never even happened, you know?” “Happened,” I thought. Feminism happened? Those two words together concern me because they give the impression that feminism is not still happening. But here’s the problem: feminism has become a dirty word.

Simran Singh Staff Reporter I am more than a box to be checked off. I am more than an ethnicity. I am more than my skin color. When I apply to colleges, I want them to know that. colleges give students the ability to indicate their ethnicity on their application. Though it is optional, some students may feel pressured to disclose their race. Historically, affirmative action was conceived to ensure that age-old discrimination against groups due to race, gender or heritage would not prevent deserving citizens from having the ability to access opportunities to succeed. However, over time, perceptions about the spirit, the desirability and the necessity of the law

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Proclaim that you’re a feminist and you’re bound to get some eye rolls and scoffs. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. There are two likely explanations for the visceral reactions I have received as a “feminist.” The first is a misconception about the meaning of the word. Feminism is not about believing that women are superior to men and plotting a role reversal to make up for thousands of years of subservience. Rather, feminism is nothing more than the belief that women are equal to men and should be afforded equal rights and opportunities as such. Now “equal” doesn’t mean “the same.” I acknowledge that differences exist between men and women beyond the ability to bear children. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be afforded the same rights and protections under the law and in society. The second possibility is the tendency to think of feminism in the past tense—that feminism “happened,” as “Miss Congeniality” pointed out to me. It’s the belief that feminism was

a movement that belongs in close to the 50/50 ratio the past along with proof men and women hibition and Vietnam they represent. War protests because And women in equality has already the professional been achieved. It’s world are oflike, women have the ten forced to right to vote, so choose what more could between they possibly having want? To sneer a caand jeer at genreer and der equality is raising to trivialize the a famefforts of the women ily, somewho have sacrificed so thing that much for the cause. r a r e l y Don’t get me wrong; seems to be we have come a long way. an issue for Women take up a record men. 101 seats in the 113th Ya h o o United States Congress CEO Maand can be found in many rissa Mayer high level positions in the has avoidprofessional world. But ed calling there’s a reason these herself a women stand out to us: “feminist” because they are the because exception, not the of the rule. negativMaggie Chen/The SPOKE The fraction of ity assowomen in Congress is nowhere ciated with the word.

“I don’t think that I would consider myself a feminist. I think that, I certainly believe in equal rights. I believe that women are just as capable, if not more so, in a lot of different dimensions,” Mayer said. “But I don’t, I think, have sort of the militant drive and sort of the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that. And I think it’s too bad, but I do think feminism has become, in many ways, a more negative word.” It’s clear that feminism is something that deserves to be taken seriously, especially here at Conestoga, where we are training an equal number of young men and women to lead the world. Most people wouldn’t laugh at the idea of racial equality, but for some reason the movement toward gender equality doesn’t command the same reverence. Feminism shouldn’t be a dirty word; sexism should. So let’s embrace modern feminism and put the stigma in the past instead.

Undergraduate student Abigail Fisher, who applied to the University of Texas in 2008 and was not Fisher v. University of Texas. She sued the university, claiming that her race (Caucasian) had played a role in determining whether or not she would be admitted. The case is attacking the precedent set by Grutter v. Bolinger, in which the Supreme Court ruled that, in the admissions process, ethnicity is permitted to play a role. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Fisher, the Grutter precedent will be struck down. As a result, colleges across the nation may have to change their application process and recon-

mative action should aim to promote racial equality. However, a system in which one’s ethnicity is factored in the admissions process does just the opposite. Even on the ground that the affirmative action

admissions process at all? In a system that is truly above any racial discrimination, race should not play any role. The reality is that, unlike the early 20th century, in the present day American society, the disadvantaged applicants are not disadvantaged solely, or even predominantly, because of their race. Their disadvantage can usually be attributed to poor economic standing. Instead of compensating for racial discrimination and disadvantages groups may have faced in the past, the system needs to be reformed to compensate for economic disadvantages. Historically a sound concept,

aspects of the application. I wholeheartedly support the spirit Offering advantages to formerly disadvantaged groups to assuage the adverse effects of past discriminatory practices is noble. However, eliminate racial discrimination in the college admissions process proves to be counterproductive as it generates social stigma and perpetuates racial Maggie Chen/The SPOKE

makes the system fairer, in its current shape it fails to solve the problem. The fundamental social divide is not caused by racial discrimination but action in its current shape ignores the economic reality and wrongly delegates the blame to race. cies in the college admissions process bring about further racial typecasting. Even when a racial minority applicant is offered admission purely based on merit, the perception can be the opposite, thereby demeaning the achievements of the applicant. can also be linked to “reverse discrimination.” If the goal is to eliminate racial discrimination, why require the declaration of our ethnicity in the

Allison Kozeracki can be reached at akozeracki@stoganews.com.

bridging racial divides in the past when there were deep racial divides denying equal rights and protection under law. Today, however, in order to truly ensure equality of opportunity to all citizens, economic circumstances need be considered more heavily than race. I am more than a box to be checked off, and I think you all are too. Simran Singh can be reached at ssingh@stoganews.com.


Features breakdancing TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

A move toward self-expression by David Kramer, Staff Reporter

Senior Aryet David, a member of the Hip-Hop club, practices breakdancing in the main lobby. The club meets every Thursday after school in the cafeteria and sometimes invites guest dancers to give instructional lessons. Karolis Panavas/The SPOKE Design: Anisa Tavangar/The SPOKE

It started in the computer lab where about 20 students gathered to watch a breakdance battle on YouTube. They analyzed the moves and each predicted the winner. Next, the group moved down to the cafeteria, where junior David Jeong, now the Hip-Hop club president, battled freshman Airelle David. decided that Jeong was the winner. The idea of breakdancing at school caught on, and the club now meets every Thursday after school in the cafeteria. Sometimes the club invites guest dancers to give instructional lessons, but more often than not, the students are the teachers. The more experienced dancers help newcomers learn basic moves such as the 6-step, which even club adviser Piera Raffaele has learned. “I love the way the kids all try to help one another,” Raffaele said. “Sitting here watching them, they're so intrigued. They just

want to learn. I've never seen this kind of team-building before in a club.” The club started with about 10 members but now has a mix of 20 male and female dancers. Jeong

senior James Kwak, who has been breakdancing for about a year, and popping, a funk-style dance, for four years. The club sometimes hosts events in the main lobby

has the potential to be a very talented dancer, and for this reason, he has been giving her private lessons. David, who has been breakdancing for about

“I love the way the kids all try to help one another. Sitting here watching them, they’re so intrigued. They just want to learn. I’ve never seen this kind of teambuilding before in a club.” - Club adviser Piera Raffaele

says he loves seeing his club gain popularity. He has been breakdancing for four years and practices every day. “[Breakdancing] is an outlet for self-expression and [relieving] stress,” Jeong said. “People that don't normally mix come together, dance and learn.” Jeong started the club with

where students form a circle around the dancers and cheer them on. “I feel a little bit nervous [before performing], but once you get on stage you don’t really care,” Kwak said. “You just dance to the music.” Jeong has taken a special interest in teaching David. He feels that she

six months, attributes some of her talent to her ability to learn new skills quickly. She uses YouTube videos to teach herself new moves, her favorite being the Top Rock, a move that is similar to the Charlie Brown. “I like feeling the music and

just dancing to it,” David said. While breakdancers make the moves look easy and smooth, some are actually quite complicated and dangerous. When he was 10-yearsold, Arielle’s brother, senior Aryet David, slipped while doing a back wear a neck brace and was unable to move his head for over a year. “Right now I'm scared of doing flips because of what happened,” Aryet David said. “I'm trying to practice them again but I can't really defeat my fears.” Freshman Ethan Hildebrandt started breakdancing after a friend showed him a video online. Now Hildebrandt practices every day and is a crowd favorite when the club puts on a show. Breakdancing “is really explosive and energetic,” Hildebrandt said. “It lets you put your own style into it. It helps you define yourself.” David Kramer can be reached at dkramer@stoganews.com.


TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

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FEATURES

‘Jamnesty’ returns to ’Stoga, raises human rights awareness

Isha Damle Staff Reporter

Human Rights Club president, senior Alex Tewnion, has been busily planning to bring Jamnesty, an event in which multiple clubs raise awareness of various issues related to human rights, back to Conestoga on April 12 after several years of the event’s absence. “The goal of Jamnesty is to raise awareness of human rights issues by providing an atmosphere of activism and music. [The Human Rights Club] believes the cooperation and focused effort of many different clubs will create the energy to make Jamnesty a fantastic experience,” Tewnion said. More clubs than ever are planning on collaborating with the Human Rights Club to make Jamnesty possible, including Greening ’Stoga Task Force, Girl Up, Anti Defamation League (ADL), Political Spectrum and Musician’s Guild. “Music is half the event. [One of the goals] of Jamnesty is to give student musicians a chance to perform in front of their peers. Musicians in and out of Musician’s Guild are invited to perform. The music will be human rights oriented to add

to the human rights atmosphere,” Tewnion said. Senior John Martin, president of the Musician’s Guild, is enthusiastic about Jamnesty. “We were approached by the Human Rights club to provide music at Jamnesty, as was tradition for [the event] in the past. In the last few years we haven’t had a Jamnesty, so I was very excited to dust off such a great event,” Martin said. “The songs are going to be loosely geared toward the theme of human rights. All kinds of music will be played, as long as it ties into that theme.” Prior to last year, the Human Rights club was dormant since the students who were involved in the club in past years graduated. Last year, interest in the club started up again, but because of scheduling ties, Jamnesty did not occur. This year, however, the club has the support of many other clubs, whose members are all excited to participate in the event. The clubs involved in the event all plan on raising awareness of different issues, which is one of the main initiatives that Tewnion hopes to accomplish through Jamnesty. Greening ’Stoga Task Force plans

Karolis Panavas/The SPOKE Suproteem Sarkar/The SPOKE

Human Rights Club members senior Annie Chen, junior Annie Medosch, senior Alex Tewnion and senior Michael Knoetzsch plan Jamnesty during one of their meetings. It will take place after school in the courtyard on April 12. on discussing problems with deforestation and water sources and hopes to raise awareness about these issues. “Issues of human rights can be solved in more ways than just donating to a cause, we want to get students to start thinking about human rights,” Tewnion said. Additionally, to encourage students to “go green,” Greening ’Stoga will construct a recycling tree that

students can cover with water bottles. The club’s president, senior Federico Mosconi, hopes that the club’s efforts will motivate students to involve themselves in environmental issues. “I hope students really ponder their impact on the environment and how it ties into human rights,” Mosconi said. According to Human Rights Club vice president, junior Andréa Her-

rera, Jamnesty’s interactive nature makes it a unique experience. “You learn new things that you’re never [going to] learn in school,” Herrera said. “This is your planet, and you do have a say in what happens.” Isha Damle can be reached at idamle@stoganews.com.

Students sample books during Young Reader’s Choice Awards

Jenna Spoont/The SPOKE Jenna Spoont/The SPOKE

Librarian Lydia Lieb poses with the ballot box for the Pa. Young Reader’s Choice Awards. From March 1-8, students were encouraged to read and vote for 15 books that were nominated by librarians from across the state.

Patrick Nicholson Staff Reporter The Oscars, Grammies and Golden Globes may have ended weeks ago, but Conestoga extended its award season into March. And for these awards, students were able to meet the nominees simply by visiting the school library.

From March 1-8, the library held voting for the Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards. Librarian Lydia Lieb said that it provided a great opportunity for students to affect the outcome of a statewide award. “It’s like a ‘People’s Choice’type award. Fifteen books were nominated by librarians from

across the state and then students were encouraged to read those books throughout the year,” Lieb said. “It’s pretty cool because it’s directly dependent on student votes.” This was the second year that the library hosted voting for these awards. Lieb said that although the books were not nominated by the

students themselves, students generally enjoyed this year’s nominees. “This year a lot of the books that were nominated have been really popular,” Lieb said. “A lot of people liked ‘Trapped,’ another good one was ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ so I think there [were] a lot of good contenders.” Freshman Delphine Mossman read three of the nominated books, including “The Fault in Our Stars,” “Room: A Novel” and “Delirium.” Mossman said that she enjoyed all three of the books but ended up voting for “The Fault in Our Stars,” a novel about the love affair between two cancer survivors. “For me, [good novels have] believable characters and a believable plot to an extent. Sometimes I read fantasy, but as long as the world seems real, as long as I can feel like I’m in the story with the characters, then that makes it a good book for me,” Mossman said. Like Mossman, junior Felicity Gong read “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Room: A Novel,” and said they were both good reads. However, Gong did not vote for the awards. She felt that by not reading

all of the 15 nominated books she couldn’t accurately judge which one was the best. “I feel like I’d need to read more [to vote], because it’s not good to vote on books you don’t know,” Gong said. Mossman felt that many students were aware of the book awards, but that the issue with voter turnout lay elsewhere. “I feel like a lot of people [knew] it [was] going on, but I feel like most people didn’t actually vote because either they didn’t go to the library in the morning or they forgot or they [were] apathetic about it,” Mossman said. Lieb said regardless of the voting results, the main goal of these awards was simply to promote reading. The nominees “are always recent, current books and they’re mostly young adult books or other books that have young adult appeal. The whole point behind it is just to encourage people to read,” Lieb said. Patrick Nicholson can be reached at pnicholson@stoganews.com.


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TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

FEATURES

2003 ’Stoga graduate Kasie Hunt becomes NBC reporter Emily Klein Staff Reporter At the start of each workday, 2003 Conestoga graduate Kasie Hunt sits down at her desk and begins researching the stories that will be seen on NBC News later that day. Veteran of the Associated Press, the National Journal and Politico, Hunt joined the NBC News team in Washington, D.C. this January as an off-air reporter and producer. From the healthcare bill to the 2012 presidential campaign, Hunt has delved deep into the political happenings of Washington in the 10 years since her Conestoga graduation. After graduating from Conestoga, Hunt received her bachelor’s degree in international affairs with a focus in communications from George Washington University. Although she was not a part of The Spoke or TETV, journalism as a career was never a far stretch for Hunt, a selfproclaimed “news junkie.” Yet, not until a 2001 nationwide event during her junior year at Conestoga did Hunt become set on her career path. “Sept. 11 was a big factor for me in going into journalism. I think that’s what sort of got me interested actually going on in the world and telling people about it,” Hunt said. During college, Hunt interned with NBC, which was her foray into

Karolis Panavas/The SPOKE

The cast of “Pajama Game” rehearses a dance number from the musical. Music director Suzanne Dickinger says that many cast members have little dancing experience, so the production has helped them learn. Photo courtesy Kasie Hunt

2003 ’Stoga alumna Kasie Hunt joined presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign trail as a reporter for the Associated Press. After graduating from George Washington University, she became an off-air reporter and producer covering politics for NBC News. joined 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign trail as a reporter for the Associated Press, where she worked from Dec. 2011 to Nov. 2012. “It’s a lot of fun to cover a campaign from the road. You get to see a lot of the country and you get to develop a relationship with the candidate. You sort of get a chance to see them up close, catch them

“I went to George Washington University which is right in downtown Washington, so it was pretty easy for me to spend a couple of hours every week working in addition to going to classes,” Hunt said. Following her initial internship, Hunt went on to intern with the Na- 2003 ’Stoga alumna Kasie tional Journal magazine and USA Today before graduating from college. Because of her reporting experience, in unguarded moments, you’re not seeing them just on TV,” Hunt said. at the Associated Press shortly after While being a part of Romney’s her graduation. campaign trail proved to be a won“[Journalism is] a field where derful experience for Hunt, the the more experience you have, the advent of social media, particularly better off you are. People want to Twitter, affected not only the candisee clips, they want to see the work dates taking part in the election, but that you’ve produced, and the best also the journalists working to report way to do that is to actually work in the election as well. journalism as opposed to just taking “You had to be in some ways classes,” Hunt said. more careful than people have had to After attending graduate school be in the past because anything that at Cambridge University and re- you said or did, or anything that the porting out of Washington, Hunt candidate said or did, or anything that

his staff said or did could very easily ‘pop up’ on Twitter at a moment’s notice,” Hunt said. Despite the new challenges faced by reporters in the 2012 election, Hunt still came out of the election period with positive memories of her time on the road. “The campaign was probably just unparalleled. Once you do a presidential campaign its sort of hard to compare it to any other experience,” Hunt said. Hunt acknowledges that the world of journalism is changing with the uses of social media and new technology and has embraced the new sources Hunt of information. “My generation is sort of the Facebook and Twitter generation,” Hunt said. “It’s allowed me to pretty easily understand new platforms and have a pretty good understanding of how people consume their news now.” But even with Hunt’s positive outlook on the changing world of reporting, she still faces the new challenges that accompany new ways of gathering information. “I think in this day and age it is important and it can be hard not to get caught up in the stuff that’s not important. There are a lot of stories

“[Journalism is] a field where the more experience you have, the better off you are.”

and that generate a lot of attention or interest but, at the end of the day, really don’t matter,” Hunt said. Hunt understands the importance of reporting the truth and the impact that her reporting can have on the nation. “The job is essentially go out,

government and what their elected

tell people what they don’t know and what they need to know about their

Emily Klein can be reached at eklein@stoganews.com.

challenging, Hunt embraces the hard work. “I really love that it’s different every day and that I’m always learning something new,” Hunt said.


TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

PAGE 17 THE SPOKE

FEATURES be true because it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. It’s something that if you look at trend lines [you can see the changes]. I think a lot of people are in the “seize the day” mentality and they’re not really worried about the future. This is going to be a big problem, and it might not be something that’s impacting us and other living things right now, but in the future, this can be a real problem to the world.

about Conestoga’s environmental impact, what would you change? E.G.: There’s a lot of paper that we waste here. I know that we put it into the recycle bin, but if you walk by the copy room, we’re constantly making copies, and I just think we waste a lot of paper. [We could] reduce the amount of electricity we’re using by turning off lights and turning off Smartboards when we’re not using [them]. There are little things that we can do. T.S.: Why should students choose to take environmental science? E.G.: I think that it’s an up-and-coming science, and it’s very relevant to [students’] lives. Everything we talk about they can relate to. A lot of [the] topics

two kids: a 5-year-old and a 3-yearold [who are] both girls. I like to run, I like to go to the Y, do outdoor activities and play with my dog. T.S.: What is your favorite activity to do with your kids? E.G.: We enjoy going on nature walks, playing at the playground, reading books and I enjoy listening to them laugh. T.S.: Who is your role model? E.G.: My mother, just because she’s raised three children. My father worked full time, so she was a stayat-home mom and took care of us. T.S.: What class at Conestoga would you like to sit in on? E.G.: Mrs. Ciamacca’s class. She is so passionate and I think that is a quality [that] great teachers possess.

o l l a G h ElizabeStcience and Topics in Life Science

T.S.: What are your pet peeves?

Environmental

are very current; if you turn on the news, there’s always something about the environment.

Jenna Spoont/The SPOKE

The Spoke (T.S.): Why do you think student council is important for the school? Elizabeth Gallo (E.G.): The members of student council are elected by their peers and serve as the voice of the student body. They share student interests, concerns and ideas with administration and with the entire student body. Student council also helps to maintain a positive relationship between the student body and the Conestoga community.

Favorites

T.S.: How long have you been the

adviser for student council? E.G.: This is my second year as student council adviser and I love it. T.S.: How long have you taught science? E.G.: I’ve been here at Conestoga for nine years, and I was at Interboro

T.S.: What do you think is the most common misconception about global warming? E.G.: I think [some] people think that it’s something that might not

T.S.: What can students do to decrease their ecological footprint? E.G.: Students can walk, ride a bike or carpool whenever possible. [They can] reduce the amount of meat in their diet and buy local and organic foods. Also, [they can] use a reusable water bottle. I am constantly emptying and recycling plastic water bottles that are left in my classroom. And, of course, remember the four R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse. T.S.: If you could change one thing

Band: Bon Jovi

T.S.: If you could have dinner with any three people, who would they be? E.G.: Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller and my grandmother; I miss her so much and would love to see her again. T.S.: If you weren’t a science teacher what could you see yourself being? E.G.: My dream job would be to be on “Saturday Night Live.” Now that Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig [are gone], I think that they could use me. And I was also always interested in marine biology. T.S.: What are your hobbies? E.G.: Right now, I come home from work and play with my kids. I have

E.G.: At school, when people leave trash on the cafeteria tables and water bottles all over the building. T.S.: If you could have any super power, what would it be? E.G.: The ability to teleport myself to places and items to me. I would never have to travel again. T.S.: Do you have any talents that many people don’t know about? E.G.: Unfortunately no. However, I sing all the time, it’s just not a talent. T.S.: What is something most people don’t know about you? E.G.: pets, like snakes, lizards, turtles, a hedgehog and rabbits. [I also] used to breed dwarf rabbits. Interview by Natalie West, features editor Design by Anisa Tavangar

Quote: “Imagination is everything, it is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” –Albert Einstein

Song: “My First, My Last, My Everything” by Barry White, because that was my wedding song.

Vacation spot: Jersey Shore

Season: Summer

Cartoon Character: Mickey Mouse


PAGE 18 THE SPOKE

FEATURES

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

Sam Sedor for The SPOKE


TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

FEATURES

PAGE 19 THE SPOKE

Scott Schwalm runs copy room, provides classroom handouts Sophia Ponte Staff Reporter As early as 5:30 a.m. every week day, near room 120, a distinctive mechanical whirring can be heard intermingling with the sound of country music. While the rest of Conestoga is still asleep, Scott Schwalm is already at work in the printing room, churning out stack after stack of paper from his two massive copy machines. Schwalm’s work is the backbone of Conestoga, as he is in charge of all things printing, copying and scanning. Throughout the day, the copy machines spit out paper at a rapid speed as teachers come and go, each taking their respective cargoes. The printing room is so vital to Conestoga that every single teacher, student and administrator is reliant upon its efficiency and success. Schwalm has been working at Conestoga for about 10 years and rarely leaves the printing room from the time that he arrives at 5:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., when he leaves to go home. Sometimes, Schwalm has as many as 30 emails waiting for him every morning from teachers regarding copies that have to be made, holepunched and stapled. He said that most of the printing gets done before school in the morning so that it is ready when the teachers arrive. “Teachers go home and do their work, and because the curriculum has changed a little bit, they now have more classes so [that means] less time to get papers to me, so most of the stuff comes from home,” Schwalm said. “I’ll have a ton of emails waiting in the morning—even some come in at ungodly hours in the middle of the night.” There are more than 100 teachers at Conestoga who teach six periods a day, while there are only three main copy machines in the printing room along with one in the library that teachers can use. Schwalm says that he does not like to leave the copy room in case there is a technical failure with one of the copy machines or some sort of other emergency. For this reason, he has never missed a day of work in all the years that he has worked at Conestoga. He also said that in over 10 years he only

visited the cafeteria once—he forgot his orange juice. If any problem arises, it usually gets solved quickly, because Schwalm has the help of district technology specialist Katrinia Abell. She helps him sort out any mechanical issues that arise with the printers. “I am only as good as Katrinia Abell and my repair guy from the company,” Schwalm said. “If I don’t have those two, I am useless. I rely on them, the teachers rely on me, it is like a cycle.” Schwalm is a big supporter of the hard work that the teachers and students do at Conestoga. He says that an important part of his job is to help to make their jobs easier. “The teachers you see are always calm in front of the classroom, but the teachers I see are teachers wanting perfection, and nobody in this world is perfect,” Schwalm said. “But I always figure my job is to get them as close to perfect as they can get. They are the best group of people and they mean so well—they always want the best for their students.” One of Schwalm’s main concerns is the amount of paper that is consumed at Conestoga. Schwalm goes through about four cases of paper a day, and even more at the beginning of each marking period. He thinks that it is important for the school to start looking toward green options such as scanning to replace the amount of paper that is used for things that could simply be scanned and put up on a teacher’s website. “We are really trying to push the green option,” Schwalm said. “I would never ever tell a teacher how to teach, but when they print, I remind them that there’s another option out there for them. We try to be as green as possible. We do use [a great deal] of paper, but it is never wasted paper. The information you get is really important to read, and I guess that’s why we’re one of the best schools in the state.” Many teachers around Conestoga have made the switch to scanning worksheets and putting them up for their students online. Although the school continues to use a lot of paper on a daily basis, Schwalm said that the amount has decreased a little over the years. Schwalm said that the math

Suproteem Sarkar/The SPOKE

Scott Schwalm works with one of the printing machines in room 120. He arrives at school every morning at 5:30 a.m. and is charge of all things printing, copying and scanning. and science departments use the greatest amount of paper, because everything for those classes must be handwritten. Chemistry teacher Dr. Scott Best said that he has been working on making the switch from printing out all of his notes to scanning them online to provide them for his students. “In science we use a lot of handouts,” Best said. “I do know the science department scans what we can, but sometimes, with things like labs, we have to have handouts for students. Although we try to be as green as possible, there are times where we just can’t get around that.” Best, along with other teachers at Conestoga, admires the work that Schwalm does for the school, and is grateful for his help. “[Schwalm] is essential to the school because without him, we would be making our own copies and scanning our own documents,” Best said. “From a time-saving standpoint as well as a knowledge standpoint, he is invaluable. He really is that cog in the wheel—if he goes away, the whole machine breaks down.” Sophia Ponte can be reached at sponte@stoganews.com.


Sports TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

TOP-SPIN The top-spin serve gives serve-and-volley players time to reach and this serve is easy

SLICE The object of this

acing the

SERVE Learning how to serve is one of the most important aspects of tennis, and Conestoga athletes are striving to master By Navin Zachariah Staff Reporter

percentage of serves

KICK

Tennis players agree that there are different aspects that contribute to a player’s game, but the serve is one of the most important skills to master. Junior Brian Grodecki said he believes a solid serve is crucial in order to start the tennis match out well.

opposite direction of which it hits the

player without a dominant serve,” Grodecki said. “It keeps you as the aggressor and it really determines what type of player you are. It tells you if you can win or not.” Excelling at a serve takes practice and dedication. Sophomore Quinn Olson said that there are several steps in a good serve. “First I lean on my front foot, then back one, then front again. I toss the ball in the

FLAT

has to land directly above my toes for me to hit it. Once I’ve done that, I bring my racket into the air above my head and then smash the ball.” There are various approaches a player can have when serving. Some prefer power while others focus on precision. Grodecki said he believes that a balance of both is necessary. “As time goes on, your accuracy naturally gets better, so I would say that power is a

This serve is not the speed with which it is delivered does not give the opponent Senior Jason Sutker serves the ball at tennis practice. Serving is one of the most important skills of a successful tennis player.

good thing to focus on, but ultimately accuracy is more important,” Grodecki said. “Bottom line is that I want to get a good shot in.” Sophomore tennis player Will Lopez uses kick serve, slice serve and top-spin serve. He said there are advantages and disadvantages to each one. quick, but it can also give you less time to get up to the net. The slice serve can jam your opponent, which I like to do. It also is easy to get in. The problem with it is that it’s a simple serve. The kick serve is really helpful. I use it to catch my opponent offguard. It is really hard to attack since it bounces pretty high. The top-spin serve is what I use the least. It’s very consistent, but your opponent gets used to it,” Lopez said. Sophomore Eric Yen said that it takes a lot of effort and determination to perfect a tennis serve, regardless of the type of serve. “I have worked on mine for a long time and it’s not close to perfect, but it’s pretty well developed,” Yen said. “It takes a long time, with lots of practice, to actually master a serve. Your serve can always be improved.” Navin Zachariah can be reached at nzachariah@stoganews.com.

Design: Margot Field/The SPOKE Photo: Zach Lowry for The SPOKE

13


TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

PAGE 21 THE SPOKE

SPORTS

Rugby ready to head across the Pond, tackle Wales Courtney Kennedy Staff Reporter Three years ago, Conestoga students hosted guests who live 3,500 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. This spring break, the roles will be reversed as the Conestoga rugby team heads across the pond to Wales. The boys’ rugby team leaves March 22 for their weeklong tour of South Wales, where rugby is the national sport and a large part of the culture. Plans for the trip started when the team from Bridgend College in Southern Wales came to America and spent time with the Conestoga team. Now, after overcoming obstacles with time, numbers and costs, the Conestoga boys’ rugby to Wales. “The coach from Bridgend is a good friend of mine. I asked him if he would host us if we were able to pull a tour off, and they are reciprocating by giving us a chance to go over and play there,” coach Keith McClean said. ’Stoga

tickets costing $1,200 per person and other additional expenses including food, travel and insurance, the team turned to fundraising to help reduce costs. “We’ve been doing a lot of fundraising, car washes, raking leaves, selling ads to get us over there,” senior Evan Pentz said. “We got $2,000 from the bake sale,

both London and Wales, and we are going to be playing teams from both parts of the [United Kingdom],” Robertson said. “They

Senior Julian Weinstein practices with the ’Stoga rugby team on March 14. The team is traveling to Wales during spring break.

another $1,000 from the car wash, a couple hundred [dollars] from ads, and all around [fundraising] has been pretty good.” Once in Wales, the team has several matches scheduled against local teams. Senior Alex Robertson said he is excited about seeing how much rugby is a part of the culture. “My first reaction was that it was going to be an awesome experience because rugby is one of the biggest sports in Europe,” Robertson said. “It is going to be great for us because we don’t get a lot of crazy exposure to it here, since it is all just American teams. We are all very excited, so it should be fun.” The team has plans to go sightseeing while in Wales, including visiting Cardiff Arms Park, home of Cardiff Rugby Football Club, the most famous rugby club in the world. Additionally, the team will visit the Ospreys Training Center in Swansea, where players will get to watch a practice and meet professional players. “We are going to be visiting

Zonino added that goalies have a unique type of personality that distinguishes them from other players. “Learning the ability to keep composure during a game is one of the most important things,” Zonino said. “There will be times when you need to move forward in such stressful situations and remain relaxed, no matter what.”

and to be a goalie you not only have to be extremely athletic but also very mentally [tough]. I don’t think many people can do what they do.” Sophomore Kara Schwartz said that she feels a lot of pressure from teammates and coaches while playing goalie, but she admits that not all of the strain is from her teammates and coaches.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the pressure that I feel is put on me by myself,” Schwartz said. “The fact that everyone is staring right at you can play a big contributing factor towards pressure buildup.” Being a goalie can be mentally taxing, and McDugall said that players must keep in mind the extreme level of difficulty of being a goalie. “Goalies may feel as if [a loss] is usually their fault,” McDugall said. “However it really is not, as you have to consider that [the ball] went through the whole team before it got to them. Ultimately, they feel responsible, but they shouldn’t.” Schwartz said that she has learned valuable lessons from playing goalie in lacrosse. “There’s a huge mental aspect to consider here. Learning to keep composure is definitely one of the biggest things I’ve gained from being goalie,” Schwartz said. “Staying relaxed in stressful situations is definitely a huge advantage that I’ve taken away.”

rugby team members “are going to be hosted with the [families of] the teams we are playing, staying at other teammates houses, so they will get a feel for how they live, but also I’m sure they will make good friends.” Team members faced the challenge of raising money to cover the cost of the trip. With plane

Karolis Panavas/The SPOKE

do because there is only so much exposure to international rugby that we have, and I think it would be cool to see the types of skills they have compared to us.” No matter what the outcome of the matches, the players are looking forward to sightseeing and enjoying the rugby culture of Wales. Pentz said that although they will play against talented teams, the life and training experiences they receive will be more valuable. “It is going to be a good training experience. These kids are a lot better than us, and we are basically playing against kids who are actually going to college for Pentz said. “It is what they do. They play rugby.” Courtney Kennedy can be reached at ckennedy@stoganews.com.

Lacrosse goalies lead team defense, keep composure

Shivani Sanghani Staff Reporter For senior Robbie Zonino, being the boys’ lacrosse goalie is not merely a position he plays but something which he “lives and bleeds for.” Goalies are in charge of organizing the defense. Zonino said he thinks that goalies are “similar to quarterbacks of the defense,” leading and controlling the pace of the game. Goalies are expected to endure different training techniques and workouts during practices, focusing closely on speed, agility and drills to improve reaction time. Brian Samson, head coach of the boys’ lacrosse team, said playing goalie is very different from playing other positions. “It takes a lot of courage and mental toughness to be goalie, as sometimes we rely on our goalies to make really exceptional plays,” Samson said. According to senior goalie Jim Walton, goalies must be aware of eveything happening on the field. They must be quick on their feet and develop fast reflexes from various speed and agility drills.

Because being a goalie entails more than just the physical aspect of the game, assistant girls’ lacrosse coach Meaghan McDugall regards the position of goalie as one of the most difficult and important positions in lacrosse. “Being a goalie, they’re really expected to be a leader—outspoken and vocal,” McDugall said. “They are the anchor of the team

Karolis Panavas/The SPOKE

Senior Robbie Zonino plays goalie while junior Scott Hirshman plays defense at a lacrosse practice on March 5. Being a goalie requires a completely different skill set from any other position, including a unique mental toughness.

Shivani Sanghani can be reached at ssanghani@stoganews.com.


PAGE 22 THE SPOKE

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

SPORTS

Steroid use hurts baseball, no inductees enter Hall of Fame

Stephane Hardinger Sports Columnist With steroids in the news in recent weeks, I couldn’t help but think of the Baseball Hall of Fame, which held its 2013 voting in January. The crop of players the voters had to choose from was star-studded. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Jack Morris headlined the class. And yet, when the results came in, none of the candidates this year received the necessary 75 percent of the vote to garner induction. No players will enter the Hall of Fame this year. And why? It’s simple: steroids. The issue of steroids is most prevalent in Major League Baseball (MLB). Bonds, Clemens, McGwire and Sosa all have been linked to ste-

roid use. McGwire admitted it. Many have suspected Bagwell of using as well. But this is where things begin to go south for baseball. Suddenly, anyone who played in the “Steroid Era” of the MLB (the 1990s-early 2000s) is lumped into the group of players who used without a shred of evidence to prove it. Piazza is rumored to have been a steroid user. What did he do to create this doubt? He hit a lot of home runs and had back acne. That’s it. Never failed a drug test, never had ties to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative or any steroid rings, never did anything wrong. But because his back had some pimples on it, Piazza, the best offensive catcher of all time, was kept out of the Hall of Fame. The steroid culture in baseball especially has become something like the Salem Witch Trials and Joseph McCarthy’s hunt for “Communists.” It’s a load of baloney. This country is based on a principal of “innocent until proven guilty,” and yet the writers who vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame have decided that their sense of justice is somehow better than the one that our nation is based upon.

But keeping the players who have used steroids out of the Hall of Fame is still a grave mistake. The talent pool in the hall has become so diluted over the years that being enshrined doesn’t have the same meaning it once did when only the best of the best were inducted. Not to mention the fact that every era has had its own competitive advantages. Should we bar pre-1947

players from the Hall because the MLB didn’t include African-American players then? Or how about players who used performance-enhancing amphetamines, affectionately known as “greenies” as a “pick-me-up” before, during and after games until they were banned in 2006? That lengthy list includes Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. So let’s start there.

With that in mind, how on earth can one justify not having the all-time homerun leader, the pitcher with the most Cy Young awards and the player with the most hits (among many other deserving ones) in the Hall? It’s not hard. Just put an asterisk on their plaque saying they used steroids or bet on baseball. But to pretend that they didn’t happen isn’t going to help anyone. Educate future fans on the entirety of the game’s past rather than trying to sweep it under the rug. We were all here. We all saw the records set by players with massive heads and biceps the size of mortal men’s torsos. The higher-ups let it happen because it made money and sold tickets coming off the ugly 1994 lockout. The writers let it happen with nary an inquiry because it made for good copy. Now it seems they are all trying to make up for lost time by taking the fate of baseball’s Hall of Fame into their own hands. And they’re wrong for doing so. It happened. We saw it.

Ice Hockey

Girls

Ice Hockey

Boys

Swimming

Girls

Swimming

Boys

Basketball

Girls

Basketball

Stephane Hardinger can be reached at shardinger@stoganews.com.

Losses Wins

Boys

Callum Backstrom/The SPOKE

10 1013 10 4413 10 11 13 16 11 10 9

7711 77 7 10 14 10 13 14

22 3 10 10 1211

900

33 3

331

33 9 44 4 22

Ties

Wrestling

SCOREBOARD

00 0 22 0 11

000

00 0

000

00 1 00 000 *All updates as of March 18.


TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

PAGE 23 THE SPOKE

SPORTS

After long preseason, crew team races into start of season Abby Pioch Co-Sports Editor Most sports teams begin their season with a week-long tryout period followed by another two or three weeks of preseason practices before starting regular season games and meets. However, for the crew team, tryouts last a month and are followed by another six weeks of practice bedays a week from 4-7 p.m. at Aspiring Champions, a gym in King of Prussia. The team also practices on weekends, and most practices involve lifting weights and working out on an erg, a machine that simulates rowing. Junior Sean Pepin said he thinks the long preseason the team has, including tryouts, is effective in getready to race. “I think we do a really good job of preparing,” Pepin said. “A lot of teams do not really practice as early

as us, and we are already well in shape as they start practicing. By the time we are ready to race, we have had a lot of extra time to prepare.” After working out at Aspiring Champions, the team changes venues and begins rowing on the Schuylkill River. This year the team made the switch on Feb. 19, even though the

the season. The team participates in multiple Flicks, a racing series at the beginning of the season, before racing in more competitive races, such as the Stotesbury Cup. However, before the team competes in such regattas, the decision needs to be made about who races in each boat and at what

level: varsity, junior varsity or novice. “By the end of the Flicks, it is pretty much established who you are going to race with,” Pepin said. “But the Flicks are fun because you get to race with different people.” This year’s team is composed mainly of younger rowers with predominantly juniors rowing the varsity

The early switch gives them time to adjust to the difference between erging indoors and rowing out on the water. Sophomore Angela Sarkisian said that preseason is important for novice rowers because it is when they experience rowing on the Schuylkill “It gives them a chance to see what kind of commitment they are in for and also allows them to get into shape,” Sarkisian said. “Because this it’s crucial to have those six weeks to ensure they do well in their race.” While the novices are adjusting to rowing on the water, varsity rowers must prepare to race with different

boats. By next year, the team will have had a lot of experience competing at a high level. This season gives younger rowers the opportunity to participate in more competitive races. Though the team is dominated by underclassmen, Pepin said he thinks they can still compete against teams that consist of mostly upperclassmen. “Even though we are young, we are still planning on placing well in big races,” Pepin said. The team still has a long time to practice before the most important regattas of the season occur. Pepin said he sometimes gets frustrated because of the extensive preseason period, but he said that he knows it will all pay off come race day. “During practice you kind of get a little frustrated because it is hard work, but by the end of practice you feel great about yourself,” Pepin said. “You know everything you are doing

Photo courtesy Jan Lyons

Junior Meagan Hudson and senior Molly Dudrear erg at an indoor rowing

Abby Pioch can be reached at apioch@stoganews.com.

Coach hits it out of the park teaching baseball, life lessons Andy Backstrom Staff Reporter Size has never been an issue for Tom Green, who despite his small stature, played Division I basketball in college. “Tommy Green is an absolute example that it doesn’t matter how big you are. It’s how big your heart is,” head baseball coach John Vogan said. Coach of the freshman baseball team, Green has been coaching in

Karolis Panavas/The SPOKE

’Stoga freshman baseball coach Tom Green hits a baseball to his team during practice. Green gradubeen coaching in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District for 35 years.

the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District for 35 years. He has taught his students to balance baseball with academics and to have fun while staying competitive. “Absolutely be the best person you can possibly be, get the best education you can possibly get and give back to the community,” Green said. A 1976 Conestoga graduate, Green became a gym and health teacher and coach at Valley Forge Middle School in 1987 after years of subbing and coaching in the district. Today, he still teaches at Valley Forge and commutes to Conestoga to coach after school. “I am blessed with the fact that I can come back, and I can give back to my players,” Green said. “I can prepare my students and players to become very successful someday.” Green was an athlete himself, excelling at basketball at Wesley University where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame last October. Later, he played for West Chester University, then an NCAA Division I school, where he started as point guard during his senior year. Vogan was Green’s roommate and teammate at Wesley and is still one of his closest friends. “I think Tom has everything a professional teacher and coach should have,” Vogan said. “He is enthusiastic and knowledgeable.” Green said that one of his favorite

coaching moments was seeing the varsity baseball team compete in the State Championship game. “The greatest thing for me was to watch the baseball team win the state title because, as a freshman coach, I had all those players before Vogan got them,” Green said. Sophomore Andrew Diehl, a attributes much of the team’s victories to Green’s unique coaching style. “The freshman team’s success has come from a relaxed playing style,” Diehl said. Green “is very laid back, is relaxed and pretty fun to be around, and he tells a lot of jokes, but he has a good knowledge of the game.” After years of coaching and teaching, Green said he realizes that his purpose is to help the kids reach their goals. “I realized that teaching and coaching [are] really about the student and really about the team,” Green said. Green said he values all his students and players. Everyone that to him. “I have learned that each individual matters, the number one person on the team or number 18,” Green said. “All my students matter.” Andy Backstrom can be reached at abackstrom@stoganews.com.


VOLUME 63, NO. 5

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013

Tennis players master their serves See p. 20

INSIDE Rugby team travels to Wales See p. 21

Stepping up to the plate Baseball gears up for the beginning of the 2013 season. See extended photo gallery at Stoganews.com.

Baseball photo

Senior Riley Pritchett bunts at baseball practice on March 11. The team has its first game of the season on March 25 at Upper Darby.

Jenna Spoont/The SPOKE

Karolis Panavas/The SPOKE Zach Lowry for The SPOKE


The Spoke March 2013