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C r i m s o n Crier

Sparkman High School | 2616 Jeff Road | Harvest, Ala. 35749 | Phone: (256)837-0331 | Fax: (256)837-7673 | |


The Crimson Crier SHS |


Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 Volume XXIII Issue I

Hello Governor

Student president wins internship, spends week in DC.

Friday Night Lights

Wear the rainbow The right and wrong ways to wear colored pants.

New football coach gets ready to lead team.

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>>>>Page 07

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Country singer turns tragic story into motivation Lee Robeson News Editor


ountry music singer Michael Peterson turned away from drinking, swearing, stealing and lying to motivating, singing, mentoring and touring students across America. Before becoming a world-famous singer,

Peterson spoke to high school students. For 12 years he pursued this passion. “At that point I hadn’t had any hit records yet, I was just a guy out there trying to make a difference for students. So even if I wasn’t anyone that anybody knew, there was something everybody shared with my story,”

Peterson said. In the beginning, Peterson did not know how to speak to students. He would talk about what was happening in the world, which at the time, was the OJ Simpson trial. Quickly, Peterson learned that this was a mistake. “When I got the chance to speak to some students I told other sort

of famous people stories and nobody listened to me. It was one of those things where you scratch your head and think, well, I must not be very good,” Peterson said. Peterson then got the idea to tell his own story, hoping that students would have something to relate with. He had to struggle with multiple

divorces between both parents. Then, at age 15, Peterson’s father was shot to death by a business friend. Two years later, his stepfather committed suicide, leaving Peterson to find him. “I thought, well, I never really shared my story before, why would anybody care, but what I found out that when I told

my story, they [students] felt as if they weren’t alone. But I found out that, when I share some of my stories, that people seem to be interested and seem to find some hope and inspiration for themselves in that,” Peterson said.

Motivate cont. pg. 02


College and Career Counselor challenges students


New counselor t akes control Brittany Robertson Web Editor


new counselor is here, and she is not someone to push aside. Dr. Sharon Clanton has replaced Roger Hillis as the college and career counselor. She plans on making college and career a top priority with small group sessions and after-school conferences. With masters, bachelors, and Ph. D. degrees in multiple fields of psychology and management, Clanton knows higher learning. She has created a quiet, soothing and student friendly office to help make students feel comfortable and free to talk to her. Clanton has made simple changes to help students find the right colleges. She intends to make every individual she talks to feel empowered, inspired and motivated. “I love the challenge of diverse students and the onslaught of different grade levels. I find it invigorating and exhilarating,” Clanton said. Clanton calls herself a realist. She sees her job as preparing students for much more than just being college and career ready. She is assisting in making students able to handle the challenges in life and deal with the transition from school to life. “My goal is not just to get you to college, my goal is to get you through to the other side of college so that you will have the readiness for life,” Clanton said. Principal Manuel Wallace chose Clanton to take over where Hillis left off. Clanton spent time with Hillis during the transition period. Wallace is confident that Clanton will be able to handle the job. They are both trying to get the information out to students on how important it is to start early to be college, career and life ready. “Mr. Hillis was a tremendous asset for so many years, and Dr. Clanton has taken on the role to help students have a personalized education,” Wallace said. Clanton wants students to take advantage of college visits, test prep courses and Naviance as a means to advance themselves to the next chapter in life. “You guys need to value what’s being done, what’s being presented to you,” Wallace said.

Upcoming Events Oct. 2 - National Honor Society Induction Ceremony Oct. 6 - AP English Prep Session Oct. 11 - FCCLA Breast Cancer “Walk for a Cure” Oct. 17 - PSAT

43.7% of students use digital textbooks

93% of students own laptops

34% of teens

surveyed own an I-Pad

Statistics from

Photo by Jason Frost. Jason Frost Co-Editor


echnology in high schools is a dead magic. IPods are banned, computers are ancient relics from a distant time and cell phones are considered a black market item. For all intents and purposes, the bridges of Madison County are rusting. But that may soon change. Huntsville City Schools have recently been thrust into the spotlight for adding laptops to the school syllabus, complete with online textbooks and digital media supplements. Given Madison County’s proximity to the Rocket City, the demand for technologically-literate students and graduates is continuing to rise. “My friends in Huntsville all have laptops they can take anywhere, school-provided. And we don’t. That seems unfair to me,” senior Ian Miller said. Madison County superintendent David Copeland hopes to have a “paperless” curriculum within the space of five years. In 2013, he plans to pilot technology programs at every level of the learning spectrum, with a fleshed-out proposal ready by Christmas of this year. “I got a 5-year-old grandson who has been raised on this stuff. If we don’t help work with that, we’re going to lose them. We’re not antiquated- we’re well ahead of the curve. I just want students to have every opportunity A-Z,” Copeland said.

The Board of Education’s plan to move to techsavvy classrooms requires a great deal of planning, and has incurred quite a few problems, money being the primary obstacle. Copeland feels the infrastructure needs to be there first. “I want to feel confident enough that we have done our homework, so to speak. It’s not just going out and buying 25,000 laptops. It’s how you are going to use them. We need to train our teachers first. We need to make sure students are ready,” Copeland said. Forensics teacher Karl Fernandez has already tasted a bit of the technological lifestyle in his classroom, having been afforded a technology grant by the Board of Education a couple of years ago to create the “Twenty-first Century Classroom”. “What’s great about educational technology, especially the types of tools I have, is that they are merely ‘tools of enhancement.’ Teachers can utilize traditional methods, like lectures, and incorporate the technology to enhance the delivery of the lecture,” Fernandez said. Copeland hopes to introduce only the latest technology into the school system with this plan and to also make a shift to more student-led classrooms. To prepare for this change, he is coordinating with directors and local principals to account for problems schools might face when adding electronics to the

Technology cont. pg. 03

2 News

The Crimson Crier

Sept. 24, 2012


cont. from pg. 01



North America

Let’s get pumped up. Country music singer Michael Peterson talks about how confidence comes from the mind. Peterson used senior Nolan Brown as a motivational tool by tearing a phone book in half. Photo by Jason Frost.

County, Madison City and Huntsville City. County Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie is providing the funds for these events,” Bevel said. Students were moved after Peterson delivered his speech on Sept. 14 to seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen. Students applauded after every video, and Peterson made the presentation

interactive by calling students to the floor. To show students that anything is possible, Peterson called Nolan Brown to the floor. Brown was handed a phone book and told to tear it in half. After a few tries, Peterson showed him how to do it properly. “I thought it was pretty good actually, especially for a country music singer,” senior Robbie McLaughlin said.

Dietary regulations affect more than just students The truth about lunch

Beryl Kessio Reporter


or goodness steak. The government’s efforts to make school lunches healthier have brought changes to not only the school, but others across the nation. The recent modifications to the school lunch program have been a topic of debate among students, but not every student knows what the changes mean. “This is all the USDA. This is not just the state of Alabama. This is across the United States. They [the government] have implemented menus that implement things that are better for you,” food service manager Tammy Hudson said. This includes cutting out salt, introducing more fruits and vegetables and baking foods instead of frying them. “It’s harder because you have to be precise with how much you give [students] now, so it’s more time consuming to me,” lunch lady Angie Thomas said. It is important to understand that the lunchroom is a business independent of the school. The government







100 Students Polled reimburses them when they comply with their regulations. If they do not, the lunchroom has to pay big bucks to the government. Their regulations include that students must have four out of five items on their plates: a meat or meat alternative, a grain or bread, a fruit or vegetable, or milk. Students question whether the government should have a say in their diets. “I just want the certain stuff I want to eat because I just throw away the food we’re forced to eat,” senior Austin Sexton said. Regardless of how


the student body feels, the government sees the need to require healthier options. According to the Centers for Disease control, childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years. “We served plums yesterday. A lot of kids came up to me asking ‘What are those?’ Maybe they don’t recognize it because they don’t have it at home, “lunch lady Barbara Whitehead said. Students’ taste buds might be aching for flavor, but one thing is for sure. Students are not happy.

John T. Bachmann, DMD “Go Senators!” 256-489-3065


Realizing that the message made a difference in some lives, Peterson continued speaking to students. His message encourages students to never give up on themselves and to chase after their passions. “I think there is something really exciting about the idea that you could take something that you love to do, and do it so often that you get really good at it, and then get so good at it that people will pay you to do it and then you do something that you get up every day and love to do,” Peterson said. When Peterson returned to touring the U.S. giving speeches, former assistant principal Dr. Raymona Bevel met him at New Hope High School. Peterson’s business partner, Jill Chambers, then set up the appointment to arrange for Peterson to speak at surrounding schools. “[It was not difficult to get him to speak], he wanted to do this for all the schools in Madison

Drawing by Brittany Robertson

Senator Drive

Parking crisis tamed Kasey Stender

Lifestyles Editor


n a school with over 1,800 students, one can imagine the chaos. Nearly two-thirds of the student body drive and park at the school every day. The parking lot lacks many things, but the main one is space. For one of the largest schools in the state, the parking lots are extremely small. “We have [1,800] potential drivers, including sophomores who think they won’t get caught, and less than 600 parking spaces available,” Assistant Principal David Carroll said. The original parking lots have nowhere near enough space to hold the maximum amount of driving students. Therefore, Madagascar was added. Madagascar is the additional parking to the southeast of the school right off of Africa. The parking lots were named by the student body. The main parking lot right behind the cafeteria has been dubbed North America, and the space where the direction of the parking spaces abruptly changes is called Europe. Even Carroll has learned the lingo and calls the parking lots by their

monikers. “Mr. Jones and students told me what they were called. Most students don’t know where I am talking about when I say northeast or southeast. They only know Africa or Madagascar,” Carroll said. Carroll, who is in charge of parking, has made quite a few changes to parking procedures. He has eliminated parallel parking along Senator Drive. This opens up both lanes for drivers to enter in the mornings and parttime in the afternoon to relive some but not all the traffic. “Everyone trying to leave at once creates chaos which results in angry teenaged drivers. It is a scary reality to face,” junior Steven Byrd said. The exiting time has been limited down to 15 minutes despite the rigorous flow of drivers, an improvement from last school year. Last year, crosswalks were added for the safety of the students. This year, for the first time, student parking is available in the faculty parking lot for SEE students only. “We are also considering making the spaces up front accessible to tech students that drive to the tech school,”

Carroll said. Another new addition is the overflow parking. If a student is running late and all spaces in the parking lots are taken, students can park in the gravel area behind the football field. Most students moan and groan about having to pay $20 for a parking decal, but they never ask where that twenty dollars goes. Six hundred and ninety decals were sold this year. The money made from those sells goes into an account specific to parking lot maintenance. This money is used to upgrade the maintenance of the parking lot, buy cones and signs and- possibly in the near future- repave and repaint the parking lot. “The key now is making everyone aware of the flow and procedures,” Carroll said. Students hope to see more major changes to the parking lots in the future to increase the safety of the parking lots and to increase the smooth fluidity of traffic in and out of the school. “I would like to see more controlled rows. They should be one way like a supermarket,” Byrd

of body piercings most often. The dress code frowns upon facial piercings and unnatural hair color. Anything that is distracting, potentially disruptive or suggestive of disruption or violence is not tolerated. “I truly believe that it’s up to that person, but if they are really distracting they shouldn’t be worn,” senior Megan McKee said. Boys’ saggy pants are also problematic. This fad often gets students into trouble. “I don’t think that it’s cool. I used to sag my pants because they were short, and I hated it when the admins got onto me. I just decided to buy longer shorts and pants,” sophomore Sean Berry said. Students’ biggest complaints are mostly centered on body piercings. “It’s a pain to have to take my nose ring out every day,” sophomore

Hannah Peabody said. Shumate has attempted to tack on more body piercing rules to the dress code. Some of the guidelines should be changed in the administration’s eyes. “The administration has submitted changes in the past,” Shumate said. None of the changes that were submitted were addressed. School uniforms are always the topic of discussion to solve dress code matters. Shumate has wanted school uniforms for a while now. She thinks that wearing uniforms will cut down the competition between students trying to outdo each other. Students in poverty will also be affected positively by this change. “I don’t agree with school uniforms because I wouldn’t be able to express myself through my clothes,” junior Esther Okuro said.


Dress code gets hard look April Oberman Reporter


ress code. Some students hate it, administrators love it and it sure can cause major conflicts. Assistant Principal Tandy Shumate goes by the Madison County Board of Education Code of Conduct to enforce the school dress code. Shumate is clear that the administration only makes exceptions regarding the dress code for medical and religious reasons. “The big ones [exceptions] that we have are medical related. One student had to wear a ball cap because of the stitches on his head,” Shumate said. Casts that are on the leg can require the student to wear sweatpants or cutoff jeans. Other exceptions to the dress code include homecoming week and special school events. Shumate says that she disciplines the issue

The Crimson Crier

Sept. 24, 2012



Skinny Day allows for weekend review Mick Walters Web Editor


kinny Day has changed Fridays completely. Bells are different. Time is different. And the flow of class is different. Friday now comes with the added bonus of seeing every single teacher and class. As of this year, A day classes take place on Monday and Wednesday, B day classes take place on Tuesday and Thursday and Friday has become a collaboration of all classes. This plan will go on until at least the end of the school year and may be the future of Sparkman scheduling. “Nothing is ever permanent,” Assistant Principal Wes Black said.


cont. from pg. 01 curriculum. “It’s like a pendulum swinging away from traditional teachingyou’ve got to make that transition. Are there going to be power outlets at every desk? You have to account for that. Even if you have a 7-hour battery, you’re gonna have a problem,”

Block schedule is an innovation itself, and it only came on the scene just recently. Every-otherday scheduling was also installed rather recently, and it has also made its mark on the history of Sparkman High. The idea of Skinny Day was brought up by Black when he heard of other schools using it. He then did his research and implemented it. He hopes that Skinny Day can help students understand what class they have to go to, instead of pondering if it is A or B day. “It [Skinny Day] could be utilized in various ways. The main thing is it gives at least 45 minutes of instruction time for each class, and a lot can

be done in 45 minutes,” Black said. Along with trying to diffuse the confusion, he hopes to make Friday a day of review to help out both students and teachers. But with the new innovation, there is some backlash about lack of time, an excess of workload and overall confusion. The amount of educational time goes from 384 minutes to 315. “It’s really a waste of a day. We have no time to do anything,” senior Kevin Anderson said. Compounded with the lack of time is the extra workload for students and teachers. Students will have to carry more books, binders and school equipment, finish

homework more promptly and learn to adjust to having five to seven classes in a day. Teachers also face adversary in the form of more students per day, less time, a need for new planning and more paperwork. It will take time for everyone to adjust to the new era of Skinny Day. “It seems a lot shorter than 45 minutes,” teacher Chris Telega said. Time may become an issue, but it may become an ally. Skinny Day may be aggravating now, but as teachers learn to utilize it, it may be a valuable resource for review and relaxation. “I don’t yet know how to plan for it, just adjusting on the fly,” Telega said.

Copeland said. According to Huntsville educators like District Superintendent Casey Wardynski, the benefits of a technologyfriendly school system include cheaper teaching, better learning methods and a more receptive student body, as shown by a 2012 study by the CDW-G, where 69 percent of all students in college

and high school said they want more technology in the classroom. “We’re one of the oldest schools around here,” senior Madison Shull said, “but all the others are getting it [technology] first, like Madison Crossroads. I mean, we’re highschoolers and we can’t even use Kindles. I’d like to see more than that.”

Co-ed no longer an option for singers

Ten seniors participate in mock election at Boys and Girls state Erin Rountree Reporter


everal students were given the opportunity of a lifetime when they ran for office over the summer. Girls State and Boys State offers high school students the opportunity to learn how government works by letting them hold elections, pass bills in legislature and experience many other aspects of government and politics. “The purpose of Boys State is to educate our youth about the duties of citizenship,” counselor Dedra Muhammad said. Seniors Chandler Shields, Kelly Walters and Morgan Armstrong participated in Girls State at Troy University. Patrick Fitzgerald, Micah McGlathery, Blake Chapman, Jonathan Trinh, Jesse Westerhouse, Michael Spence, Tyler Howell, Davian Talley and Griffin McLauren participated in Boys State at the University of Alabama. To be selected , these students had to be nominated by faculty in the history department,

and whoever received the most nominations was able to go. “They choose it on academics, leadership and involvement in school,” Shields said. Once at Girls or Boys State, participants can run for offices on the city, county and state level. “Once you get to Girls State, you need to run for a position. The best way to get involved and branch out is to run for office because you meet so many wonderful girls around the state,” Shields said. Besides learning about how the government operates, students were able to meet new friends and role models. “The relationships I made at Girls State will definitely last a lifetime. We still keep in touch and exchange prayer requests and important events that are coming up in our lives,” Shields said. At Boys State, the participants were able to meet people such as Judge Pete Johnson, Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and Alabama football coach Nick Saban. “Commander Gordon Seale was my favorite

because that was the most patriotic person I’ve ever met, “Fitzgerald said. Students left with political knowledge, new friends and aspirations for their futures. “On a political note, I gained contacts in Montgomery and with the Girls State staff that will help me as I start my college career. I learned parliamentary procedure, how to speak publicly and how to carry myself like a lady,” Shields said. Students can earn scholarships after participating, and a few are able to travel to Washington, D.C. Students have the opportunities to make contacts, build resumes and have new experiences. “Anyone and everyone should get involved with Girls State. Even if you’re not interested in politics, it’s still an opportunity that any girl does not want to miss,” Shields said. Students who are interested in participating in the summer of 2013 must have finished their junior year when they participate. Counselors have more information about the programs.

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ocal teacher Mary Taylor decided it was time for a change: coed classes are no more. To the dismay of some students, Taylor decided it would be best for everyone taking Vocal and wanting to learn how to sing if the classes were not integrated. “When working with adolescent voices, male or female, it is better to work with them separate, so switching to non-coed classes helps,” Taylor said. Taylor thinks that this is the best way to find that special talent, but that is not the only benefit. “One thing I have noticed is that guys are really competitive and like competition, but the girls do not, they like to work as a team and cooperate, so now there are not any conflicts in

Skinny Bell Schedule Skinny bell pertains to every Friday for year long classes. Tap and activities change the bell schedule further.

1A. 7:45 - 8:30 1B. 8:36 - 9:21 2A. 9:27 - 10:12 2B. 10:18 - 11:03 3.

11:09 - 1:17

4A. 1:23 - 2:08 4B. 2:14 - 2:59

the classroom,” Taylor said. Another reason for the switch is Taylor wants students who are looking into a future that deals with singing to have the best possible opportunity possible. Making the switch betters that opportunity. “ I n Vocal I everyone learns the basics of singing a n d reading music. If students so choose to continue throughout high school taking this class, they will have the skills and the mindset to go to college and be successful in the singing world,” Taylor said. Some students believe there are some major cons to changing how

the Vocal I class works and operates, like junior Gunnar Harden. “I think it is really unfair to us as students, because in society woman and men work together in every work environment no matter the job at hand,” Harden said. Taylor will not accept “I think it is really unfair to us as students, because in society woman and men work together in every work environment no matter the job at hand.” -- junior Gunnar Harden

anything less than a student’s best, and will not take any excuses. “All I ask is that they try and do their best and be respectful to everyone and everything,” Taylor said.

Tech student bakes up new recipes at school Drew Schrimsher Business Manager


here is more to a dessert than meets the eye and satisfies the tongue. An aspiring baker, senior Kellie Bradley has been making desserts for as long as she can remember. Bradley decided she wanted to further her knowledge in the food industry by taking a culinary class at the Madison County Technology Center. “I saw they had a culinary program, so I decided to give it a shot and really liked it because of all the handson experience. It helped me learn a lot so I took it again,” Bradley said. While enrolled in the class, Bradley decided to venture out into the intern world and hooked a position at local restaurant Grille 29. Bradley was allowed to try her hand in specific positions like crafting salads, but nothing entertained her quite as much as constructing fine desserts.

“I like making soufflés and crème brûlée, but working with chocolate is just tedious. We have these raspberry mousse truffles, and they are the best,” Bradley said. After she completed her internship, Grille 29 wanted to keep her and officially hired her. Bradley hopes to hold this job for the time being but will soon be planning for college life. Out of all colleges offering culinary programs, Bradley holds most interest in Johnson and Wales University in Miami because, in her opinion, it offers the best culinary education. “I’ve thought about going to college for it because I thought about waking up every morning and being like, ‘Oh darn, I have to go to cake class,’ like who hates their life? It’s like going to play with chocolate, sugar and cake all day,” Bradley said. Although Bradley possesses the necessary drive and natural talent, perfecting pastry items involves practice and precision. Bradley has

Cook up some grub. Kellie Bradley pursues her dream to bake. After taking classes, Bradley obtained a job at Grille 29. Photo provided by Kellie Bradley.

been skillfully trained to take part in events beyond the restaurant like offering her desserts up for tasting at the annual Taste of Huntsville event. Bradley’s dream job is to open up her own bakery, but after seeing the stress and responsibility that comes along with owning a business, she would gladly accept a similar position elsewhere. “I don’t really want to deal with that stress. If I could just work in a bakery and play with cake all day and not have to deal with anything else, that would be the good life,” Bradley said.

4 Opinion

The Crimson Crier

Sept. 24, 2012

Every month, The Crimson Crier staff finds an important issue and delves into it to bring you “The Issue’s Issue!”

Students debate merits of school calendar bill Student calls Flexible School Calendar Act of 2012 a farce

Would YOU sacrifice your fall break for a longer summer?

Student claims Act is beneficial for students

Riley Wallace

Taylor Holder

Spread Editor


ummer progressed in much the average fashion this year. We left school feeling liberated, like the world was laid out before us for the taking. We got jobs, lazed about and ignored the half-hearted promises of “we have got to hang out this summer” as per usual. Some found it nice for the school calendar to prolong the warm-weathered adventures of summer break. It was disenchanting for many, however, to whom the glories would be hidden. “What did it really do for us?” we ask, “What was gained by adding three weeks to the end of summer? Was it worth it?” The truth of the matter, regrettably, was no- it was not. The feeling that the end drew near as August began was inevitable, and the nagging suspicion of school around the corner was always kept in mind, making it nearly impossible to completely enjoy the extra time allotted. By the time school did begin, it came as a kind of shock, jolting students from their listlessness and leaving them feeling mostly unprepared. Political and economic rationale behind the Flexible School Calendar Act of 2012- an extended tourism period for coastal attractions in Alabama- is little less than a farce. It affects only a handful of counties on the Gulf, and though it is certainly cheaper to hire bored high school students than legitimately-paid, more thoroughly trained employees, it is detrimental to tourism the rest of the year. Beach trips during the now-extinct fall break were never uncommon. The beach, cooler and not as crowded during the fall, was once a popular destination even after Labor Day. Those tourism dollars are lost now. Good going, Alabama. Meanwhile, back in the classroom, students’ vacations are being honored for a while, but this is an unnecessary provision. The most dedicated parents will be chagrined to realize that their students are missing crucial instruction that prepares them for the inevitable rush of assignments proceeding the Thanksgiving holiday. If students do choose to vacation during class, especially those on the dreaded AP schedule, they will find themselves only bogged down with make-up work when they return. Still, claims are made that by passing this bill, the Alabama government is patching up a gaping hole in the calendar that otherwise disrupts learning. This thinking, respectfully, is flawed. Many students who are disenchanted by school in general crave fall break in particular, and even the dedicated find themselves relatively tired by October. Senioritis will be on the rise earlier than ever without breaks. In fact, we might as well diagnose Junior Flu and Sophomore Sickness while we are at it. Or we could add personal days to the student calendar. I will take mine in October.


“I want a fall break because we need more breaks in between.” - sophomore Stephanie Yell

“I like not having a fall break because it was a waste of time.” - junior Carla Smiley

“No, because a break from school is always good!.”

“Yes, because I like summer weather better.”

- junior Blake McBride

- junior Allison Wrape

“I’m very upset to lose my fall brak because now I have school on my birthday.”

“Yes, there are more activities to occupy my time during summer break.”

- sophomore Braxton Hardin

- junior Mason Legorreta


or students, fall break means relaxation, no school, vacation and sleeping in. However, schools around the southern states will not have a fall break this year. No fall break, eight days of Christmas break, zero weather days and a longer summer vacation is what the Flexible School Calendar Act gives us. Is this really for the worst? I concur with the new school bill. If students have no fall break, they get a full week of spring break and nearly three full months of summer vacation. The school board believes having a longer summer vacation will bring more tourists, meaning more money for the southern states. If we have more money, more will be spent on our school systems, which is better for the students. Another option would have been to add 15 extra minutes onto a school day. If we did this, I think it would not be helpful to the students. By the end of the school day, most are already tired enough. Not having a fall break could actually increase our education level. When students get off for fall break, they tend to forget things they have learned throughout the school year already. Students who have AP classes- or even students who have regular classes- need to be as focused as possible in their school work. Having no fall break keeps students concentrated on their work because there is no week off to forget important information they have learned. Parents who have pre-planned vacations that were scheduled during fall break need not to worry. The school board has said they will work with anyone who just simply asks. Looking at it that way, still being able to go on a vacation students and their families had been looking forward to, in addition to a long summer vacation, is not so terrible. The new bill states that schools have to be out by May 23 and are not to start again until Aug. 20. I love the thought of being able to know exactly when we are getting out of school, and exactly when we are going to start back. The fact that we never knew most years made it harder to plan out vacations without school or end of the year exams getting in the way. Technically, it is not like students actually lose their fall break. The four days we would have gotten out for fall break got added to summer vacation. It is like we still have fall break, just not during the fall, with a long break to follow. This new schedule will help keep students concentrated and the school year will go by faster. Students just have to try to look on the bright side.

Loans would cripple students if not for President Obama Chris Delatorre



n a country whose future is in jeopardy, the upcoming presidential election could decide the difference in the likelihood of the American d r e a m becoming a reality for today’s youth. Two candidates, o n e outcome.

America’s decision for the future of teens in America will be cast into the ballot box this fall, but will the nation choose wisely? President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have several major differences in opinion concerning issues such as student loans and job creation that will greatly impact those entering adulthood in the next four

years. Will you take out student loans? Most students will, and hardly any young adults have dreams of selling their souls for education. This election could depreciate the goals of the youth by making education, the insurance of dreams, even harder to reach. Student loans were to be doubled from 3.4 to 6.8 percent in July. This issue is urgent due to opposition of continuing student loan cuts in the Republican congress. Soon, loans could skyrocket. Obama worked hard to make sure loans didn’t jump to that 6.8 percent in April. He fought tirelessly to prevent the spike in federal loan interest rates, which is why the rates continue to be Cartoon by Beryl Kessio.

low. Barack Obama also has proposed an enhanced and fair income-based payment plan for students to avoid a scholar falling into the endless circle of debt that would make them financial slaves to the government. Obama has invested billions into the future of students, into our future. The Republicans, however, have notoriously had different views than Democrats on student loans. They opposed the extension to the student loan cuts in July, effectively turning their heads from the future of America’s youth. The Obama administration and Democrats holding congressional chairs emphasize college

affordability heavily. Romney and the Republicans are divided, none of them truly knowing how to secure America’s future. They do, however, seem to know how to support those who are already rich and educated, the top one percent of America, by proposing to cut their taxes from 35 percent to 25 percent, leaving young people to pay student loans with a possible interest rate of nearly seven percent in the next year. The future of the youth is at stake, and dreams may be tread upon, if the wrong man is placed at the head of the United States government.


trillion dollars in outstanding student loan debt


of students borrow to cover costs


billion of student loans are past due.

Courtesy of

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The Crimson Crier

Sept. 24, 2012




Lunch change does not change much


chool lunches are notorious for offering chicken and unidentifiable flavorless pile of mush every day. This year the menu changed along with student opinion. In an effort to get students into the habits of eating healthier, student lunch trays are required by law to include a fruit and a vegetable. French fries have been replaced with their sweet potato substitutes. We know that the intentions are good, but the execution leaves something to be desired. Most of the required side dishes end up in the garbage cans, and students buy cookies and chips to satisfy their hunger. In addition, students are being charged an extra quarter to pay for food they do not wish to eat. We are old enough to choose what we want to eat. If the healthy food is an option, not a requirement, the food does not go to waste and students end up happier.

So... Does pizza

count as a vegetable?

Editorial Staff vote 10-0 in favor of this opinion.

Artwork by Beryl Kessio.

Social media may ruin society Kenneth Harris Sports Editor


e all have m o r n i n g routines. Wake up, shower, eat breakfast, brush teeth and so on. However, in the last four years, most of our routines have been modified. Wake up, check Facebook, check Twitter, hop on MySpace and eventually get on with “real life”. Social media has done more than change our life- it is our life. According to Arbitrage. com, 955 million people use Facebook, 140 million use Twitter and

20 million users use Pintrest. There was a time when people would have conversations face-toface, but now all people do is log on to Facebook or Twitter and talk to their friends without having direct contact at all. It can even be safe to say that social media has helped escalate arguing and fighting. I cannot get on Twitter for more than one second before I see someone arguing with someone or subtweeting them. According to Internet Safety 101, about 12 percent of teens say they witnessed cruel

behavior “frequently” on social networking sites, and eight percent have gotten into a physical fight with someone else because of something that happened on a social networking site. These stats support the statement that arguments and fights start on social media sites. Let’s look at this year’s biggest event: the 2012 Olympic Games in London. With the United States being five hours behind London, sports broadcasters, journalists and even students took to social media sites to share the results. That

was not a good idea. The journalists leaked the results five hours before the event was going to air, making sports fans either not care about the Olympics or log off their social media sites. As we change, so will social media, and as long as social media is there, we will continue to use it. Social media has benefitted our society, but people still need to realize that it is a social media site. A careful eye needs to watch what is posted, because what one posts will be with them forever.

Hacking May Become A Global Epidemic Bailey Carswell Reporter


couple years ago, I wrote a short sci-fi story featuring a trouble making student who wanted to test his hacking skills on his school’s network. The damage he did was enough to take down the school’s network for two days. It was a hypothetical situation, but it may not stay that way. Most of us can imagine the benefits of tech in the classroom. No more paying for lost textbooks, no more forgetting pencils and pens. It sounds like a dream come true. But there will always be bored, trouble making students.. They could steal answers from teachers or other students, erase the work of a rival.

Cartoon by Mikala Buwalda. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize hacking. 1. M u l t i p l e networks: a network for the students and a network for the faculty. Both networks are closed and locked. 2. S e p a r a t e operating systems. Each network runs on

a different operating system, rendering them incompatible but for certain specially designed exceptions. 3. T a i l o r e d software, specialized for passing between the two operating systems. Such software would include homework and tests. 4. No wireless

capabilities would ensure nobody could hijack another computer. Anyone who has to work with a computer, however, can tell us just how awful all of this would be. Coupled with the long adjustment period, it may do more harm than good.

School dress code may do more harm than good Rebecca Arnold Co-Editor


here is truth to the phrase “rules are meant to be broken.” General dress code rules are fine. Safety rules are fine. Nitpicky rules about things that really should not be focused on? Not so much. A shirt should not have to be turned inside out because the colors are not from the state college. A legal name in the Signing Exact English method should not be banned. When Hunter Spanjer, a deaf 3-year-old boy, was told that the way he signed his name “looks like a weapon”, the media was quick to pick up the story and make sure the whole country knew. There is no reason that a

toddler’s hand would be threatening in any way. Instead of overlooking the “weapon” and keeping the sign he was familiar with, teachers signed his name out letter by letter. This is the “no tolerance” policy taken way too far. Five-year-old Cooper Barton in Oklahoma was told to turn his University of Michigan shirt inside out because it “violated the dress code.” The only thing the shirt said was “The Big House”, but that is apparently offensive in Oklahoma. Schools should focus on academics, not whether or not the students wear only shirts that support the state college. These children are barely old enough to be in school, let alone scolded for things that are beyond their

The Final Word Sierra Fridelle Opinion Editor


f you want to get a house, get a job that pays a little above minimum wage and then find a husband with a good job.” This comment, overheard in class, made me literally choke back words of vitriol. Does this boy not know the year is 2012? That women can support themselves and not have to rely on men? Apparently not, and why would he? This sexism is not as uncommon as one would think. In extreme market miscalculation, BIC has created a new line of pens marketed specifically for the woman. In addition to being insultingly pink, purple and rhinestoned, these pens can cost up to 70 percent more than comparable BIC pens. However, women and men alike are refusing to let BIC get away with such blatant sexism. Taking to to vent their spleens, reviewers have written over three hundred satirical reviews of the offensive product. Some gems include, “The ink in my new BIC Lady-Pen is made of sugar and spice and everything nice, and somehow when I write, my i’s are automatically dotted with little hearts.” and “28 days or so they [BIC for Her pens] get all testy and for some reason will only write in red ink!” A recent “study” jointly conducted by Esurance and Harris Interactive has discovered that females suffer from road rage more than males do. They report 61 percent of women feel anger while driving, a five-point bump from the 56 percent of men who

admit to violent feelings. Of course, these findings are not based on actual statistics. Instead, these scientific (or, as the inane Esurance article describes them, “legit”) findings are based on nothing more than a poll. Harris Interactive did not look up statistics concerning who is actually involved in road crime- instead they simply asked who experienced road rage. That could be forgivable, if we angry, violent women were in a benevolent mood, except the Esurance article goes on to suggest that women are having exaggerated feelings of road rage because of their need to break free from society’s expectations. Women have demolished society’s expectations. The 1960s feminist movement was about more than braburning and the ability to have unshaven legs. It was about having the freedom for women to be and do whatever they want. Betty Friedan never would have imagined, almost fifty years after her second-wave feminist book was published, women are still fighting to be taken as seriously and non-stereotypically as they deserve. Society needs to quit waiting for troglodytelike companies such as Esurance and BIC to get with the program and just leave them behind. If they and others like them fail to realize women-inthe-kitchen jokes are just jokes, women should not feel as though they have to pull punches. In a world where the proofreader on a computer will suggest replacing husband with a “gender-neutral word like spouse”, sexism has no excuse for existing.

control. Spanjer did not not five-year-olds at the choose his name. Barton mercy of their parents. has no control over the teams his family likes. But the schools still felt The Crimson Crier 2616 Jeff Road Harvest, AL 35749 256-837-0331 the need to make a fuss. @TheCrimsonCrier The Crimson Crier Since when do school Co-Editors-in-Chief.........Rebecca Arnold, rules focus more on what Reporters..........................Will Bartel, Bria Calhoun, Jason Frost teams students support Bailey Carswell, Chris Delatorre, Patrick Fitzgerald, News Editor..........................Lee Robeson than what education they Katlin Gillespie, Taylor Holder, Sarah Jarnagin, Beryl Opinion Editor....................Sierra Fridelle are getting? If schools Kessio, Lauren Noble, April Oberman, Erin Rountree, Lifestyles Editor..............Heather Webster teach students what they Drew Schrimsher, Chandler Shields, Grant Taylor Sports Editor.....................Kenneth Harris need to know, the little Adviser.........................Erin Coggins, MJE Entertainment Editor..........Kasey Stender things will fall into place. Policy Spread Editor......................Riley Wallace Toddlers do not need The Crimson Crier is an open forum for free expression Copy Editor.........................Brandi Whyte those rules hanging over by the Sparkman High School Community. The Crimson Crier is a student-run publication produced Website Editor.......................Mick Walters their head. in the state of Alabama. All final design, reporting and content decisions are the responsibility of the Brittany Robertson Keep the rules basic student journalists of Sparkman High School under Photo Editor..........................Daniel Judge and students will not the guidance of their adviser. The views articulated in Ad Editor..........................Drew Scrimsher have a problem following The Crimson Crier do not necessarily represent the them. There are still rules views of the entire staff, Sparkman High School or the Letters to the Editor Madison County school district. Copies are distributed The Crimson Crier will print all letters to from the handbook that I to the faculty, staff and student body free of charge. the editor as long as space will allow, and have never even heard of, The Madison County Record prints 1,000 copies, eight may edit letters for grammatical mistakes. All letters to the editor must be signed and much less seen in action. times yearly. include contact information of the writer. Most of all, keep the The Crimson Crier is a member of Columbia Letters can be dropped off at the Sparkman Scholastic Press Association, National Scholastic more specific rules to the Press Association, Alabama Scholastic Press High School newsroom (127) one week prior to publication. high school students that Association and Southeastern Interscholastic Press can dress themselves, Association

6 Lifestyles

The Crimson Crier

Sept. 24, 2012

Senior begins political career early

for. She has an amazing personality, was business Reporter friendly and defends NASA budget,” enior Patrick the Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald aspires Being an intern to be president of the United States one day. allowed Fitzgerald to He took his first step to visit the House floor taking the Oval Office during sessions. He also made calls to those in this summer. support of and against Sewell’s actions. The opportunity r e q u i r e d Fitzgerald to stay in the D.C. area and commute into the District daily via the Metro. “It was an experience. I was the only teen in Sewell’s office and gained the Party time. Patrick Fitzgerald shares n i c k n a m e his goals for the senior class, including Baby on Sparkman in the Community project. the Hill,” Photo by Corban Swain. Fitzgerald Wanting to gain said. political insight, Although Fitzgerald Fitzgerald sought an enjoyed his month long internship in Washington, excursion into politics, D.C., with Rep. Terri his mother, Bev Massa, Sewell. He was alone had to allow her youngest in the process, making child to fend for himself. contact with Sewell, “I missed him. This submitting a resume and was not the first time eventually interviewing Patrick was absent from for the position. the house for an extended “I sought out Rep. period of time. Actually, Sewell because I like what this was his second trip she does for Alabama. to D.C. The first was I like what she stands the summer before his Kaitlin Gillespie


freshman year at SHS for ten days. For this trip, after we had housing and supervision secured, it was a green light. I am quite proud of Patrick. His love for people and life warms my heart. He has been blessed with wonderful opportunities.” Bev Massa said. After a month of working for Sewell, Fitzgerald headed to Boys Nation, an opportunity he received by winning the race for governor at Boys State in June. Representatives from each state gathered at Marymount University in late July for Boys Nation. While in D.C., the teen representatives talked about politics and current issues with current officials. Students met with Sen. Jeff Sessions to discuss his energy policy. Fitzgerald and Sessions disagreed. “We both agreed on natural gas. However, he does not believe in a green future like I do. Overall in the end we didn’t agree too much, but we came to a compromise.” Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald and the other representatives ran a mock government, pretending to be the Senate of the United States. They proposed bills and voted on them. Fitzgerald says a few of the bills were

controversial, including one to exclude God from money and the pledge. “Controversy started off the session when one of the delegates decided to come out of the closet by proposing a gay marriage bill,” Fitzgerald said, “The controversy just made it more real and made it possible to see how the government works. It was things that C-Span just can’t give you.” As a perk, delegates toured monuments on the National Mall and were privileged to a grand tour of the White House. Fitzgerald met President Barack Obama, getting the chance to shake his hand and talk with him. “I told him I was his biggest supporter and that Alabama was gonna paint it blue. He gave me a side hug and told me to continue in politics. Meeting Obama was awesome and incredible for me,” Fitzgerald said. The University of Alabama awarded Fitzgerald a four-year tuition scholarship for his governor win at Boys State. “I’ll always have a passion for politics and my reason for it is that Alabama has so much ground to make up and as some see our problems as setbacks, I see it as room

Diabetes, active lifestyle can co-exist Heather Webster

Lifestyles Editor


lood sugar: a term plaguing diabetics’ minds every waking moment. Eating habits, exercise and insulin administration—these are all concerns diabetics fret over to keep their blood from rebelling. For junior Ashley Haynes, all of these concerns have become instinct, having consciously had the disease for ten years. After weeks of being violently ill, Haynes, at six years old, was taken to the hospital by her parents. When her symptoms matched that of a diabetic, the doctors gave her a blood sugar test. Her blood sugar level had reached an alarming 800, with her normal level being between 100 and 120. She was diagnosed with type one diabetes. “They said I would have died the next morning if I wouldn’t have gone that night,” Haynes said. Having come to terms with diabetes, Haynes does not let it bring her down. She has been able to play sports like any other teenager, although she has to stop and eat every now and then. After having to self-administer shots for nine years, she switched to a pump which pumps insulin into her body with the push of a button. “Shots, you have to give them more, but these you take every three days. It’s kind of convenient,” Haynes said. Once, Haynes administered the wrong insulin, the short-acting dose rather than the long. Her blood sugar dropped drastically in a short time period, and she had to eat anything and everything until her blood sugar was stable again. “I had to eat jelly—I had to eat the whole fridge basically,” Haynes said. Haynes’s family and best friend Taylor Fuller are always looking out for her b e s t

Check up. Junior Ashley Haynes habitually checks her blood sugar on her insulin pump after every meal. Photo by Heather Webster.

Wheels go round. Joe and Donnie Myrick take time from behind the wheel to assist in the special education wing. Photo by Brandi Whyte.

Bus driver couple devote time in special needs area Chandler Shields



espite their personal struggles, one married couple is dedicated to serving others, especially students. Joe and Donnie Myrick are full-time school bus drivers. Their non-traditional hours as bus drivers allow the Myricks to set aside their time to serve as substitutes in the Special Education Wing. “I wasn’t really aware of the special needs wing. I’d seen the mini buses in the back and loading them, but I’d never been back in this area. But I found out that there were two students on my bus that are back here. I had a field trip for the special needs wing to go bowling last year, and I took them both times, and that’s when I finally first became aware of them. Then after that, Chris [Bowden] asked if I wanted to aide and I said yes, I’d love to. That’s how I got involved with the special needs,” Donnie said. The Myricks devote their time as substitutes in the special education wing for felicity. It is their passion. “We used to work at Wal-Mart part-time. We quit that. And last March we applied to be substitute teachers or [serve] in the cafeteria, whatever the school needs. So we can do pretty much anything that they need us to do. I enjoy the kids back here though because you get one-on-one with them. They’re just like children. They just need to be taken care of.” Donnie said. Whenever Donnie is waiting in the bus line, she makes her way back to the wing to check in on special education teacher Chris Bowden and his students. Last year, Donnie subbed at the Ninth Grade Academy and assisted one particular student from class to class. She was thrilled when it was brought to her attention that he is now in teacher Allison Bowden’s classroom and that she has an opportunity to visit with him regularly. “They are very receptive to whatever we tell them to do. They don’t act nervous and they don’t have a problem with any of the kids. Whatever we ask of them they do. They definitely, by all means, help with the mental load. Just knowing that they’re in here helps and it takes a lot of weight of our shoulders,” Chris said. The Myricks have been residents of Alabama for four years. They left their home in Kentucky to complete their first form of service: a life-commitment to serving Donnie’s parents that have cancer. Donnie’s father had three different types of cancer. The doctors tried to surgically remove the melanoma, but it went internally, which eventually took his life. Her mother is still strong but has breast cancer. “We left our jobs up there and our home and moved down here with nothing, pretty much. God has really blessed us. My parents both had cancer and they’re down here. My dad passed away about a month after we moved here, so we were with my mom. She got better and she’s very independent. I got a job at Wal-Mart first and then he [Joe] got one. I was out of the job only two weeks after I moved here. Like I said, God has really been with us through the whole thing,” Donnie said. The Myricks have only been married for six years. Through their journey together, they have encountered and endured hardships, yet the Myricks’ outlook on life is a positive one. They give a sense of hope to all walks of life. “Who else can say that in this short amount of time that they’ve had two jobs, a brand new house built that we just moved into this last March. We’ve got these jobs that we both love. This is the best job I’ve ever had. I love my job, I really do. I thank God every day. He got me this job and led me here and used me,” Donnie said.

interests. They remind her to check her blood sugar at regular intervals, and they check on her routinely when something goes wrong. Taylor sets alarms and calls to remind Haynes to check her blood sugar, even in the middle of the night. “She’ll wake up and be like, ‘Ashley, are you low?’ and I’ll be like, ‘No,’ and she knows my tones. So if I have a really mean tone, she’s like ‘You’re low,’ and I check my blood, and [she’s right],” Haynes said. For two weeks out of the past seven summers, Haynes has gone to TCDC—Tennessee Camp for Diabetic Children. The camp teaches diabetic children how to lead a normal lifestyle. They take part in activities like swimming, canoeing, mountain biking, archery, arts and crafts and most other normal camp activities. “[I’ve met] some life-long friends. I’ll keep them forever. Every year, it’s like we pick up where we left off,” Haynes said. This year she was able to return as a counselor for the younger diabetics. She wants to insure that future generations would have as positive of an experience as she did. The counselors, most of whom suffer from diabetes as well, provide guidance and tips to help the children understand how to deal with what was thrust upon them. “We check our blood together, give insulin together. It’s cute. We all know the low blood sugar look and the high blood sugar look. If you’re cranky, they know why,” Haynes said. Also a type one diabetic, junior Samantha Mayhall struggled with the news of having the disease in the sixth grade. She went to her doctor, assuming she had a small infection, and left in tears, fearing her life would be completely different from thereon out. “I cried. I was just really scared,”Mayhall said. Because she controls her blood sugar by taking shots after every meal, she leads, for the most part, a normal lifestyle. The first thing she asked her doctor was whether or not she could still play softball. Now, she plays for the school team and even helped to win the state championship last year. Contrary to popular belief, diabetes does not have to dictate how diabetics live their lives. Admittedly, 2652 Old Monrovia Road M a y h a l l Huntsville, AL 35806 often forgets she even has Vonda Bobo diabetes. (256) 508-9663 “A lot of the time, I forget I have diabetes. I have to remind myself all the time,” Mayhall said.

Artistic Minds

The Crimson Crier

Sept. 24, 2012

Senior makes decision about college Chandler Shields



The Sports Buzz with Patrick Fitzgerald



ver since she was a young girl playing recreational softball at Monrovia Parks and Recreation, senior Janna Korak has dreamed of playing college softball. On Aug. 9, her dreams evolved into reality when she verbally committed to play softball at Marist College. She plans to sign in the winter of 2012. As “one of the top players in Alabama,” senior Janna Korak has been recruited heavily The University of Memphis, Tennessee Tech University, University of Alabama at Huntsville and James Madison University. But Korak chose Marist College in New York City for softball, location and academics. “Everything I have been working for has finally paid off; I couldn’t be more excited about my future,” Korak said. Korak currently serves a vital role on the softball team as pitcher and outfielder. At the plate in 2012, she hit 11 home runs and 99 RBIs, which is an Alabama state record. She helped lead the team to victory at the 2012 AHSAA 6A State Championship. They concluded the year with a 64-7 record. Related to high school softball, Korak was named 6A Regional MVP, 6A State MVP, selected for the 6A State team and selected for the North team in the Alabama All-Star game held in the summer. The All-Star game players were hand-picked by their coaches and then judged by a panel of individuals. With all of these athletic achievements and titles, the big question is… Why Marist? The main reason is not only her passion of softball, but her academics. “I chose Marist because of all the opportunities Marist has to offer. Marist’s education is top of the line. In 2010 Marist was ranked tenth out of 172 in U.S. News and World Reports’ ‘America’s Best Colleges’

Lets Get loud. Senior Patrick Fitzgerald leads the student section as the baby powder, a new found tradition for the student body, surrounds him. Photo by Jarvon Pope.

Cheering on. Rooting her teammate home, senior Janna Korak shows that she loves softball enough to play it on the next level. Photo by Greg Machen.

issue,” Korak said. Korak likes the fact that class sizes are smaller, and she is anticipating the chance to have oneon-one communication with her professors. The college only has about 5,000 students, which leaves classes with only 20-30 students. “Another thing that sold it to me was that Marist has a study abroad program for their students. The fall semester of my junior year I could study in whichever country I wanted to, and my scholarship would cover it,” Korak said. Like any student, especially being a girl, Korak is looking forward to the fact that she will only be an hour away from New York City. But unlike many students, the long journey from home is not a big deal to her. Korak claims that the distance is not a huge factor to her and accepts it as a fact of growing up. “On the softball side of making my decision, it seemed like the best place for me. The coach for Marist is amazing. He seems to be a great person on and off the field and I could really see that he wanted me. If I work hard enough in the off season, I believe I could start as a freshman and make a difference. Out of all the schools, I felt like Marist gave me the best opportunity to excel not only on the field but in the classroom,” Korak said.

Clearinghouse process proves easy to complete Grant Taylor



efore the final transcripts have been sent and before they play their last high school games, aspiring collegiate athletes have already started their college journeys. NCAA clearinghouse is an eligibility center that potential college athletes have to apply to in order to be approved to play. Prospective college athletes have to apply to the clearinghouse by sending their official ACT score and final transcripts. “Just like in high school, you have to be eligible to play. In Alabama we have Alabama High School Athletic Association, and the national equivalent is clearinghouse. The NCAA has to protect the student athlete to make sure colleges are not using the student just for athletics,” senior counselor Lorri Haynes said. Most applicants apply at the end of their junior year, but they remain in a pending state until their final transcripts are approved at the end of their senior year. “If student athletes do not apply, then they cannot step onto the field or court without approval from the NCAA,” Haynes said. Senior Meg Willis, a varsity softball player, had to go through the process of clearinghouse. She now has a softball scholarship to play for Troy University. “It was really easy because it was all online. I only had to send my official ACT score and transcripts,” Willis said. Principal Manuel Wallace has adopted a comprehensive athletics program for the school known as PEAKS to help its athletes reach the peak of their potential and better fulfill the clearinghouse qualifications. PEAKS is an acronym that stands for Prevention, Enhancement, Academics, Knowledge and Sportsmanship. Before PEAKS, the coaches of each sport were able to have their own requirements for the different injuries or sportsmanship problems that school athletes might face, and PEAKS has put all the sports under one program. “All athletes are now required to meet the same certain certifications such as academics, concussions or sportsmanship, and PEAKS makes sure the athlete is qualified in each,” Wallace said.

Student section makes noise at home games


n Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, the lights at Senator Stadium shined bright. The only thing that illuminated the night more than those lights was the spirits lit inside the hearts of the Sparkman faithful. As the football team lifted their score up higher than any other game last year in only one half of jamboree play, the playoff hopes of students went up as well. The team played with great chemistry as the fans cheered chants with even greater chemistry. After the first few days of the season, I could confirm that the student section had not been louder or prouder in the past five years. I think the season will be full of first-time events, and expect to end our three year home win drought this season. With games like Buckhorn and James Clemens on the schedule, we are expected to do just that. That was the feeling I had after the jamboree. The next week, we walked into Milton Frank for a surprise defeat. When the score was 23-0, I thought I was seeing the old student section come back. I was sad to see underclassmen wanting to leave at the half. They had no faith in the team. I hated to see that. Perhaps all of this happening was because it was an away game. I was wrong when I thought the old student section was coming back. Starting with the greatest pep rally I have ever been to, Friday, Sept.. 7, was a phenomenal show for Big Red Nation fans. From singing the national anthem to sending a cloud of baby powder across the field to the Hazel Green band and student section, our fans showed pride. No matter what happens this year, we have to keep faith in our teams and keep cheering them on until the clock hits triple zeros. We are the second biggest school in the state. Not having pride in your school and your athletic programs is not an option. Go loud or go home at the games. The upperclassmen are trying to make the student section something special this season. If you come to sit or stand there, you need to come to cheer. We have something to cheer about and get loud about this year. This year, if chants start up, you need to join. Even if your voice is gone, join in in sign language. As ridiculous as it sounds, join in the next time the,” Hit em in the mouth!” chant starts and keep it going. Over the past few days, the “Hit em in the mouth!” chant has become so popular, I would not mind seeing it infused somewhere in the alma mater.

Varsity volleyball learns in tournament play Patrick Fitzgerald Reporter

Upcoming Matches


he start of fall for many means the start of cooler weather, crisp leaves, school and football. For a selective group of athletes, the fall means much more than the return of homework. For the volleyball team, fall is a chance to erase the pains of the past and prove the critics wrong about the program A new story is beginning with the first chapter painting a picture of what the girls are capable of doing this season. The girls won an invitational in Birmingham, featuring the top-ranked teams from Alabama and Tennessee. “The girls did an awesome job in Birmingham. We went 5-2 in the tournament. One of the games we lost was only because of an adrenaline rush from the game before. It’s tough to reenergize at a tournament,” coach Shannon Phelps said. Camille Harris led the team with 14 saves. Mia Sturge led with 10 blocks. Nicole Shanafelt led the squad with 11 aces. Sierra Davis led the team in kills for the weekend, racking up an amazing 37. Shelby Brown built a team-high with 50-assist weekend. “This team has grown a tremendous amount since the tournament. This season feels different than last year. We have a sense of maturity this year, and a hunger to win. Huntsville and Grissom were sent home quickly, and sending Bob Jones home was a great contender for ‘Highlight of the Trip,’” Phillips said. Phillips said that “she can’t really say that the

team had an overall MVP for this tournament because everybody played in such a way that they supported and propelled each other to the wins.” The team planned to make this tournament streak one of many successes this season. They have done just that. After attending a second tough tournament in Memphis, Tenn., the squad had tests to face back in Huntsville with games against area rivals, including Bob Jones. The first test of the regular season would be fought at Bob Jones. The girls faced an experienced Patriot team in front of a student section of 100 people. The first two games lopsided wins for the team. The next two went in favor of the Patriots. At the end of the day, however, the volleyball team was able to get a hard-earned road win in dramatic fashion in the fifth game. “The tournaments were great for us. We got to face great teams and struggling teams while at the tournaments. This allowed us to be flexible in game strategy. We learned the ways of all types of teams. The team grew a lot. I think that fed into our ability to come back from a hectic tournament schedule and beat Bob Jones in Madison in front of nearly 100 loud students,” senior Shelby Brown said.

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8 Sports

The Crimson Crier

Sept. 24, 2012

Football team uses double threat

The Season By the Yard 10

QB has target in brother Will Bartel Reporter



Rushing Yards ATT - 94 Yards - 350



Passing Yards Yards - 348 Comp - 26 ATT- 60 INT- 4

pponents will be seeing double on the football field. Juniors Danny and DeVon Johnson are twins that make a big impact on the football field. These brothers practice, train and play together. The twin quarterback and wide receiver tandem transferred from Johnson High School. They both look to take the reins of a football team with a revamped coaching staff and make the playoffs. “There is a 100 percent chance that this team will make the playoffs,” DeVon said. In the jamboree against North Jackson, the offense lit up the field with 31 points in a 3117 win. The game even showcased a brother-tobrother touchdown pass. This was the team’s first home win since the 2010 football season. “I believe our offense is capable of putting up 28 to 30 points a game this season,” Danny said. This is not the first time Danny and DeVon




eet the new football coach, Tim Gillespie, a science teacher who is ready to win. Gillespie has coached for 28 years, earning Coach of the Year twice. Gillespie has coached at Lawrence County High in Moulton, Ala., and his alma mater Susan Moore High in Susan Moore, Ala., where he played running back and linebacker. His coaching record is 83-52.



Scores North Jackson, 31-24 Huntsville, 19-51 Hazel Green, 13-42 James Clemens, 37-26 Patrick Fit

have played on a sports team together. They have played football, baseball, basketball and track together since the second grade. As the year goes on, the twins will continue to lean and depend on each other during the rest of the season. “Playing sports together for so long has helped us to become better brothers,” Devon said. Football runs through the Johnson blood beyond the brothers. Danny and DeVon’s father played at West End High School in Birmingham. He has inspired his sons to continue to play football at a high level. “My father has

impacted my football career greatly. I even have some of the same talents and skill sets that my father did,” Danny said. The brothers have also emerged as great leaders out on and off the field. As the top quarterback and wide receiver, they lead the team in practice as well as in the games. “Danny and DeVon have exhibited that they are leaders in everything they do. They work extremely hard in practice. They are great kids on and off the field,” football coach Tim Gillespie said. The Johnsons are especially focused on the biggest game of the season, the annual battle

between the Bob Jones Patriots. This match up will be decided on Oct. 12. Bob Jones has dominated this rivalry as of late, including a 500 beat down last season. The team hopes that their new transfers, as well as other new players and a new coaching staff, will help rejuvenate the team and avoid disaster. Despite recent disparities, the team exudes confidence. The team is reloaded, and their aim is locked in on the Patriots. “This is the year that we will definitely beat Bob Jones,” Danny said.

New coach ready to build program Bria Calhoun

Special Teams Punts Yards - 36.65 Punts - 8 Punts Avg - 4.6

The Power of Two. Juniors Danny and DeVon Johnson discuss the recent offensive drive before the second half begins against Hazel Green. Photo by Allison Wrape.

20 10

CC: Why did you say yes to coaching at Sparkman? TG: I felt that Sparkman has untapped potential as a football program. CC: How do you plan on changing Sparkman’s football status from a losing program to a winning program? TG: By our team’s work ethic, strength and conditioning, and also the culture. CC: What do you see as strengths on the team? TG: The experience on defense and the skills on offense.

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CC: Do you think you’ve gained the trust of your players? TG: Sure, I think I have. A lot of trust has to do with what they see. And that they know and see that we [coaches] are here for them. Rather than just on the practice field, but to also have a rapport with them as people. Rather than “I’m the coach, and you’re the player.” CC: What steps will you take to help improve the player’s grades? TG: First, identify those who need help. Second, offer them help on a one on one level. To completely understand the problem. CC: How will you increase participation in the football program? TG: Kids are drawn to a program that is done the right way, so I will first start with my players, all of them: freshman, JV and varsity. CC: What is your football philosophy? TG: If you’re not molding young men as well as players, you’re wasting time. Football is a tough sport to play.

What the Players Had to Say about Coach Gillespie

Taking the reins. Coach Tim Gillespie walks the sidelines of the first home game against Hazel Green. The team is currently 2-2 in Gillespie’s first year. Photo by Jarvon Pope.

And you could learn a lot about life from football. If you’re not teaching as well as coaching, quit. CC: What were some challenges from the North Jackson Game? TG: None. No challenges. But it was the first time to see where the team was headed. CC: What are your expectations for the student body? TG: To keep positive energy about the team always. Also, to create a great atmosphere that has the best student section.

The Crimson Crier

Sept. 24, 2012



Students start on star-studded path Sarah Jarnigan



ver the summer, Huntsville’s very own Space and Rocket Center was used as a movie location, and local actors and actresses had the opportunity to be a part of it all. Juniors Chris Naquin and Eric Busby and senior Miles Whitmore were among the chosen ones for extra positions in the movie “Space Warriors”. “My family and I are members [of the Space and Rocket Center] and we got an e-mail about the movie filming,” Naquin said. Naquin and his family volunteered at the Space and Rocket Center and, after an episode where he lost his wallet and had a few conversations with a representative of the Alabama Film Office,

Naquin was offered the part of a movie extra because of his personality. He worked one day as an extra. “I plan to go see the move when it is in theaters,” Naquin said, “I want to look for myself in the background.” Busby went about getting his role as an extra in a different way. Busby takes acting classes at Hollywood Huntsville, and he received an email about the open casting call for extras for the movie. Busby went through auditions and was selected. He worked on set for four days, usually for seven to nine hours a day. “My favorite part of the experience was the first day because everything was exciting and new. We got to carry lunch trays around in the

As a an extra on the set of “Space Warriors” , junior Eric Busby was able to meet Hollywood actors like Josh Lucas. Busby’s brush with movie acting has encouraged him to pursue life as an actor after high school. Photo provided by Eric Busby.

cafeteria for our scene,” Busby said. Through the company Fantastic Classic, Busby was in a promotional video for an air-conditioning company and is also heavily involved in musical theater. He hopes to have a bigger part in another movie in the future.

Copy Editor


dmit it: your walls look a little bare ever since you took down those embarrassing Jonas Brothers posters from your middle school days. Instead of ordering pricey prints of personal photos- or, if you’re really desperate, buying One Direction posters- to fill the empty space, try utilizing homemade wall art. In addition to being inexpensive, this craft’s minimalistic, monochrome design exudes sophistication and elegance- unlike a poster of an over-stylized boy bandwhile the customizable quote makes it one-of-a-kind. Materials needed: a canvas in your preferred size, a small paintbrush, a large paintbrush, white acrylic paint, wooden or cardboard letters, a pencil, a ruler and glue.


Space and Rocket Center, expects that business at the Space and Rocket Center and interest in Space Camp to increase due to Space Warriors. “With the movie premiering in the spring, the timing of this could not be more perfect as registration for the week long Space Camp summer programs will be in full swing,” Halbach said. Being a part of “Space Warriors” has gotten Busby, Naquin and Whitmore excited for future opportunities to be a part of making another movie. “I go down to New Orleans every summer and there are always movies being filmed there and I can’t wait to see how many movies I can get in,” Naquin said.

Fall lineup offers new shows Lauren Noble Reporter


he fall TV season is quickly approaching. There is a plethora of upcoming TV shows to check out. Not only are there new TV shows, but the fall season of your favorite shows are also going to start back up. With all of this happening, how will you determine which ones are going to be worth your time to watch or the ones you should not? Here are the top four I will definitely try to catch this upcoming fall.


Premiers: Wednesday, Oct. 10, on CW at 8 p.m. Cast: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Willa Holland What’s it about: Amell plays a billionaire playboy, Oliver Queen, who is presumed dead after a shipwreck. Five years later, he is discovered alive on an island, but he has been changed by his time on the island. As he tries to reconnect with the people closest to him, he creates a persona of a vigilante, Arrow. Why I chose it: I found the idea of a billionaire playboyby-day turned vigilante-by-night very intriguing. He is trying to restore his city. Not to mention, Amell is h-o-t, hot.

Choose your favorite quote, Bible verse or song lyric. Arrange the letters into neat lines on the canvas, using the ruler to make sure they are straight. Trace each letter lightly with the pencil.

“Go On”

Glue the letters onto the canvas. If the letters are not thick enough, glue two or three sets together in a stack. Paint the whole canvas with the large paintbrush, but do not stress if you cannot reach the nooks and crannies of each letter.





Brandi Whyte

“I want to act for the rest of my life,” Busby said. Whitmore learned about the casting call for movie extras from his mother, auditioned and was selected. He worked a total of eight or nine days. “My favorite part was hanging out with the cast.

We watched a bunch of movies together,” Whitmore said. Whitmore is also interested in doing acting on the side in the future, hopefully with bigger roles. The movie “Space Warriors” was filmed from June to mid-August and is directed by Sean McNamara, the director of “Soul Surfer”. The movie stars Thomas Horn, Josh Lucas and Dermot Mulroney among others. The movie will be released in the spring of 2013. Huntsville was chosen as the location for Space Warriors because the main setting of the movie takes place at Space Camp, and the producers and directors chose to film at the real Space Camp. Amee Halbach, a representative of the

Premiers: Tuesday, Sep. 11, on NBC at 9 p.m . Cast: Matthew Perry, Laura Benanti, Julie White, Suzy Nakamura, Tyler James Williams, Brett Gelman, Allison Miller What’s it about: Perry plays Ryan King, a sportscaster who is trying to cope with and move on from the loss of his wife. Why I chose it: It is sad, but it is also funny. Also, Perry was good in “Friends”. I want to see what he has got up his sleeve now.

Use the small paintbrush to repaint the parts of letters you may have missed. Allow 45 minutes of drying time, then hang your masterpiece.


Premiers: Wednesday, Oct. 10, on ABC at 9 p.m. Cast: Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Powers Boothe, Charles Esten, Eric Close, Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio, Robert Wisdom What’s it about: Britton plays Rayna James, a legendary country music star whose stardom is fading. Panettiere portrays Juliette Barnes, a rising country star. Rayna must pair up with Juliette to save her music career or face the loss of it. Why I chose it: It is a “Country Strong” spin-off except with younger people, more drama and more betrayal.

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The Crimson Crier

Sept. 24, 2012

Most Commonly Mistaken Rights Right to bear/ bare arms

Right to trial by jury

Right to vote

Right to a free life

Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

Right to property

Student shares fiery opinion on defense of rights in schools Jason Frost




hen dealing w i t h

texts, things are invariably lost in translation. The United States Constitution is no different. The Bill of Rights defends the rights of all people. It defends people’s right to do as they please without fear of molestation by the government or other governing bodies. It defends the Freedoms of Thought and Conscience. It defends the fundamental, inalienable rights that all people have by defaultthose freedoms which so many governments deem dangerous and strip away. The First Amendment alone encompasses five sacred liberties- the freedom of worship, of speech, of the press, of assembly and (the orphan liberty) of petition.

But how well do these freedoms translate to high school students? Public schools are rife with diversity- this document is designed to protect the minority. Any group can create a club so long as they have enough interest, and may assemble just about anywhere they want, provided they raise the money to do so. And everyone knows that you can pray in school, but you cannot ask the school to praythere are many faiths and belief systems to consider. Petitions are always welcome if you can get the signatures (of living people, of course). Others, however, not only wreck our freedom, but pervert it. Too often, students are disallowed from expressing themselves because someone else finds it offensive. A child can be suspended from school for having unnatural hair,

for baring a shoulder or for openly criticizing or disrespecting administrators. Belligerence, according to the student handbook, is on par with homicide for severity. If courts worked like that, we would all be in prison right now. The lack of extension moves into the faculty room too. In Alabama, it is illegal for teachers to protest conditions they find unfair. They also cannot freely express political or religious beliefs in a classroom setting, even with a disclaimer. Some find sketchy ways around itI had one teacher who did not teach evolution because she did not believe in it, and I was lucky enough to have browsed that chapter enough to accurately answer the question on the graduation exam Some do feel enough trust in students to talk about it- even cull

intelligent conversation (or fights) with it. But most do the right thing- they play devil’s advocate. That, however, can be misconstrued as forcing ideals on people. Every high school journalism student is likely aware of the Hazelwood case which gave school administrators the right to prior review and censorship of the school paper. According to the Supreme Court, the only reason a paper can have content cut is if it presents a significant disruption to the education of students- which in many circles could mean the principal does not like a topic and thinks it should be banned arbitrarily. Principal Manuel Wallace, thankfully, is not one of those men. You cannot even have certain shirts in school, if the school says they are too baggy or too short to be safe, conservative and (perhaps) fashionable.

A couple of years ago, Sparkman Middle administrators went out of their way to suppress an LGBT protest held by students by advising teachers to put an end to their “silent protest”. In high school, you are not merely prohibited from rocking the boat. You are not even allowed to scratch the paint. When did age become an obstacle to obtaining freedoms? Thomas Jefferson, the man whose pen freed us from the bondage of Britain, tells us that all men are created equal- that our rights are ordained by our humanity, not by the laws of the land. Authoritarian states are designed to protect those rights, not repress them. Maybe it is the jazz music and alcohol that supposedly makes students less capable of reason than adults. Anyone who watches political debates could

contend that these aging suits have less reason than the average high school student. And infinitely less tact, at that. America is a melting pot, and even the most unrefined additions add flavor. The Alabama state motto reads “Audemus jura nostra defendere.” It means “we dare defend our rights”. I may be young, but I am also an American citizen. I should have the same liberties enjoyed by those above the drinking age. I will vote. I will pay taxes. I will have ideas and hold beliefs. I will speak my mind. And I will dare defend my rights. Want to do more with

your First Amendment rights? Head over to www. to take a quiz or tweet your #FavFirstRights to @TheCrimsonCrier on Twitter.

Past court rulings dictate modern expressions Timeline of Student Rights

1969 Schools cannot censor student speech unless it is disruptive.


Schools can censor language that is considered


1988 Schools can censor student publications.

Brandi Whyte


Copy Editor

“ t’s a free country”:

the go-to retort for every American. Whether a friend is questioning an outfit choice or your mother is scolding you for language, you can contend that it is your right as an American citizen to dress however you like or say whatever you want… or so you may think. Although the First Amendment grants the freedom of speech to all

American citizens, this freedom can be- and isinfringed upon often, especially for students. In a school setting, the indelible ink of the Bill of Rights is blurred, giving administrators and teachers the ability to censor students when appropriate. However, this does not mean a school can freely violate students’ rights whenever it sees fit. As established by multiple Supreme Court cases, there are specific guidelines governing if and when schools can infringe upon students’ freedoms.

Five-Second First Amendment Rights:

Tinker Standard Hazelwood Standard Fraser Standard

When three students were suspended for wearing black armbands to school in order to protest the Vietnam War, the lawsuit they filed eventually culminated into the landmark case Tinker v. Des Moines School District. In a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that the students could not be punished because schools cannot censor student speech unless it causes a significant disruption or violates the rights of others. Basically, the Tinker standard insures that schools have to have a valid reason to encroach upon students’ rights, such as a legitimate safety concern (like a threat) or a substantial classroom interference that prevents students from learning (like a two-foot-tall mohawk).

In 1988, three students sued the school district after their principal censored articles about the impact of divorce and teen pregnancy from the school newspaper. This led to the Supreme Court case Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, which ruled that school officials can censor school-sponsored publications if they have justifiable educational concerns. However, this standard does not apply to student literature not sponsored by the school, which can be freely distributed and cover any topic as long as it follows the guidelines set forth by the Tinker and Fraser standards.

High school student Matthew Fraser sued the Bethel School District in 1986 after he was suspended for presenting a speech at an assembly containing sexual innuendo. Fraser claimed the school violated his rights because, according to the Tinker standard, his speech did not cause a large enough disruption to merit suspension. However, the court sided with the Bethel School District, ruling that school officials can prohibit speech that is vulgar, lewd and offensive, regardless of whether or not it is disruptive. This standard applies to a wide variety of student expression, from a crude, inappropriate story for English class to a graphic tee boasting a curse word.

- religion -speech -press -assembly -petition

The Crimson Crier

Sept. 24, 2012



Unique styles, school policies clash in modern battle for students’ rights Riley Wallace Spread Editor


his is your daily student conduct compliance reminder. Teachers, please check to see that all of your students are in compliance.” Every weekday morning, students hear the same reminder of the dress code “thou shall nots”: no distracting hair, no baggy shirts, no revealing clothing, no piercings beyond the ears. For the rebellious, the road ends in AAP, the principal’s office or home, where the dedicated may cry out, “I have my rights!” But really, student rights are a delicate matter. “You have the right to be you. You being you is important. We don’t want to discourage that. Unfortunately, there are two institutions in which society says you do not have a choice: one is prison, and you know what the second one is? School. The policies and procedures are not the principals’, the teachers’ or administrators’;

it’s parents’. They vote board members into their seats,” Principal Manuel Wallace said. Among students who have suffered under the strict codes is junior Brandon Burke, who last year was punished for his own expression of independence and uniqueness: a pink mohawk. “Mrs. Shumate told me three or four times. She told me to cut it for about a month. When I didn’t, I got put in AAP, then they called my dad, then they sent me back to AAP for not cutting it. They shouldn’t regulate what I can do. I think in school you should be able to express who you are, not be uniform,” Burke said. The apparent debacle defied the Student Code of Conduct, classified as a “distraction” to the school day. “It’s different and awesome. I think that pink hair is not more

distracting than a pink shirt. Even my mom thinks that. People look at you weird. I like people judging me before they know me. It makes them

returned with opposition of their own. Senior Kayla Cranmer was threatened with AAP when she came to school last year wearing clothing that was

I think in school you should be able to express who you are, not be uniform. -Brandon Burke

feel different once they get to know me,” Burke said. Meanwhile, other students have faced challenges to their personal styles and

deemed too masculine for a female student. “I just walked in in the morning. I was wearing cargo shorts and T-shirt with flatbill clipped to

my belt loop. They told me, ‘If you come back to school dressed like that, you’ll get AAP, and if you keep doing it you’ll get further discipline.’ It’s just when it’s hot, I wear shorts and T-shirt. I can’t see why I can’t wear what I want to wear when I’m not showing anything. Guys go around wearing skinny jeans and tight, tight shirts. Apparently, shorts can’t pass the fingertips and shirts have to cover everything. I was abiding by all the school rules,” Cranmer said. The strictness of the rules may seem to suppress student rights, but administrators assure students that any and all school rules are meant to benefit the student body. “I see the value, need and concern, but no, I don’t want to take away any rights. These are the things we have to do. We protect your reasonable rights, and with those rights come

Say it

responsibility. If that tongue ring was to come out and you choked in class, teachers don’t have the medical training for that, then you’re at risk. True. It’s your body. But we have to coexist. Together. And in that we have to use reasonable judgment,” Wallace said. Though safety and order are the main objectives, that does not stop students from wishing for change when it comes to restrictions on their senses of styles. “I would regulate it a little bit, so it’s not trashy or anything. But colored hair or piercings, not so much [a problem.] Vulgar language or stuff, not so much. But mainly nothing revealing,” Burke said. And Cranmer? “I heard they made the school rule about guys not wearing skinny jeans before. But I guess that didn’t follow through. [I’d change] the dress code, definitely. I think it’s not right that we can’t wear certain things,” Cranmer said.

Right The First Amendment Right and Students So You Think You Know Your First Amendment?

Sixty-two students were asked about their First Amendment rights. Here’s what they knew:



80% 56% Petition


98% Press

Art and Design by: Riley Wallace



12 Entertainment

The Crimson Crier

Sept. 24, 2012

Bright pants knee their way into school trends Photo by Chris Delatorre. grandfather, and he feels that Sutton is a symbol eople who of the loving life his remember the grandfather led. Both death of loved ones do represented a positive so in many different influence in Holliday’s ways. Some write poems, life. “They were both kind others have a shirt made, but junior JT Holliday and caring. They took in remembers his loved ones foster children,” Holliday said. in a more unique way. Holliday sometimes Holliday let his facial hair grow into a beard finds himself burdened which is rivaled by few by the responsibility teens in size and thickness. of the beard. He must Holliday remembers constantly groom himself his grandfather Tommy to remain presentable. “Shampoo, condition Holliday and the and brush. In fact, I was just brushing it before lunch,” Visit Holliday said. Even after to see famous facial grooming, Holliday hair wearing celebrities must take care when trying to enjoy everyday activities. “You gotta watch what moonshiner Marvin you drink, cause it likes “Popcorn” Sutton, both to stay in there,” Holliday deceased, with his beard. said. Holliday takes after his Chris Delatorre Reporter


Shoe collections rival Nike showrooms Beryl Kessio



here is an underground movement occurring that most students have no idea even exists. The phenomenon of collecting sneakers has made an appearance at this school. Senior Kai Sasan has been collecting since the seventh grade. His Sparkman Middle art teacher, Theron Stallworth, introduced him to the other side of shoes. “Kids like video games, buy movies or do something with their cars. I put it on my feet! I love collecting shoes,” Sasan says. Sasan’s first pair of shoes were purchased when he saved his birthday money for a pair of Air Jordan gray Spizikes with an icy bottom sole. “I used to take them to school in a bag, and I used to keep flip flops on my feet, and then when I’d go to lunch, I’d put them on, then take them off after lunch and put my slippers back on,” Sasan said. Sasan has 20 pairs of Jordans in his total of 60 pairs of shoes. He values them at at least $6,000. Sasan is not the only one at Sparkman collecting shoes. Senior Josh Wilson and sophomore Braxton Worthy both sport the most exclusive kicks. Worthy was inspired by his father, the same Theron Stallworth that influenced Sasan, to collect footwear. Braxton recalls seeing his father with many shoes and wanting to be a part of that culture. “I just want to have a variety of shoes. You know, to me shoes can have meaning to them. You can have some shoes that fit your mood,” Worthy said. Wilson takes a more historical approach to shoes by researching the technology behind them and how they are manufactured. “Most shoes have history behind them and I like to learn a little bit about that before I buy them,” Wilson said. Wilson’s shoes are estimated to be worth $6,0007,000. Wilson looks to a person’s feet to gain insight on their personality and style. “Shoes are the first thing I look at when I see a person,” Wilson said. Despite the different styles these sneakerheads have, one thing they can agree on is it is an absolute no-no to step on their shoes. “You never step on anybody’s shoes. I freak out,” Worthy said. With this country in a recession, one might think that spending thousands of dollars on shoes is wasteful. Sasan disagrees. “This is how I look at it. Everybody has their own thing. Everybody has their own hobbies. I know people are like, ‘Dude, they’re just shoes.’ No. You know? It’s my thing; it’s my type of hobby. I would like it if you’d appreciate it,”Sasan said.

Famous Facial Hair


The Goa

in Mounta rd Man Bea



HandleBar % 25 Moustache 80 students polled

Few understand Holliday’s reason for allowing his facial hair to grow to such lengths. As a result Holliday gets his fair share of attention, even sometimes flack, for his beard. “I get a bunch of ‘Ew, that’s nasty, shave it off’ type comments,” Holliday said. Holliday continues to allow his beard to grow. Lessons of love, reverence, respect and sacrifice can all be learned from JT Holliday, the bearded man. “Such a selfless act is something you don’t come by often, and I applaud him for this action,” senior Patrick Fitzgerald said.

Colored Pants: A How To Guide Sierra Fridelle Opinion Editor


nstead of the drab fall hues that normally inundate the start of every school year, Sparkman is alight with color. Just as with every trend, there are some who know how to wear it and some who do not, and colored pants are no exception. It is easy to think that brightly-colored bottoms deserve an incandescent top, but going overboard with color will only leave you looking like a reject highlighter. The key to wearing a brightlyhued top with equally colorful pants is to know the color wheel. If your pants color appears on the warm (reds, oranges and yellows) side of the wheel, pair it with a coolhued top. Vice versa, if your pants are cool (blues, greens and purples), pair them with a sunny top. Pairing patterns with bright tones is another

runway trend this school year. To get this look at home, make sure to let the pattern itself take center stage. Try to avoid wearing a patterned top, but if a patterned shirt is unavoidable, make sure the pattern falls in the same category, i.e. florals with florals or leopard print with leopard print. Another essential mini-trend is color blocking, which is taking colors that contrast totally and pairing them together in an outfit. The simplest color blocking combination is black and white. The colors are absolute contrasts to each other but wearing them together creates a dramatic effect. Color blocking sounds easy enough until you start trying to pair purple and yellow. The trick to successful color blocking is to use saturated colors, or high intensity colors. Even if the color combination is as simple as kelly green and magenta, if the colors are saturated the outfit will look as though Rachel Zoe herself put it together. The trouble comes when saturated and unsaturated hues are paired. Try to keep like with like, in that respect.

A big no-no in color blocking is using patterns. A dramatic look is already being created with the contrasting colors, and adding a pattern to the mix just creates a busy look instead of a dramatic one. If you are wary of going so bold so soon, a good alternative to colored pants is colored shorts. The shortened hem makes it easier to go brighter. Since the color will not extend all the way down the leg, shorts are the perfect training wheels for color blocking or even just wearing colored bottoms in general. It is also easier to pair brighter colors when using colored shorts. To keep an outfit from looking too much like a Crayola crayon gone wrong, use neutral accessories to tie the outfit together. Colored pants are not for the faint of heart, but neither are they something to be feared. The most important rule for wearing them is to enjoy what you are wearing. Do not be intimidated by bright colors and do not be afraid to take a chance. After all, everything looks better with a smile.

Student makes costumes for events Rebecca Arnold Co-Editor


hether it is going to McDonalds or falling down the stairs, things are funnier when wearing an odd-colored wig. For years, junior Michaela Moore participated in cosplaying by going to convention after convention, dressing up as her favorite characters. “I started getting into anime when I was a little kid, and I saw my cousins do it. I thought it was cool because I’ve always liked Halloween, and it’s kind of like the same thing,” Moore said. In four years, Moore created over 10 costumes to wear. But there is more to cosplaying than just having the costumes and going to the conventions. What happens behind the scenes is just as important as the final result. All of her outfits come from her own sewing machine. “There’s this kind of satisfaction of doing it yourself, knowing that you made this and that it looks really good,” Moore said. Moore says the costumes take patience, time and lots of fabric. The longest Moore has

Sewing it right. Posing second from the right, junior Michaela Moore shows off the costumes she has made for Cosplay conventions. Moore loves how participating in Cosplay shows off her personality. Photo provided by Michaela Moore.

worked on a single project is two months and was the most complicated to make. The resulting costume is from an anime called “Mermaid Melody”. It is one that she takes the most pride in wearing. “They required a lot of iron-on stuff and all the ruffles; it was just a big mass [of fabric]. We kept getting stopped for pictures. ” Moore said. Moore went to her first convention with her cousins at the age of 12. Since then, she goes to various conventions around the area, the closest being Hamacon in Huntsville. For three days, people wander around in costume. “There are panels that con staff can lead, but other people can lead them, too. You can meet up and you talk about your fandoms. Get autographs. There are people running around

taking pictures of other people’s costumes. It’s just craziness,” Moore said. When the costumes leave the convention, Moore finds that things tend to go a bit haywire. When walking down the street in costume to

but they were, like, ‘You guys look like California.’ I’m not sure what that means,” Moore said. In a situation where everyone is in costume, normalcy is frowned upon. It lets Moore relax and just enjoy what she is doing.

“There’s this kind of satisfaction of doing it yourself.” - junior Michaela Moore McDonalds, Moore and her cousins were made fun of by a man in the parking lot. On the way out, they were stopped again. “We go in, we get our McDonalds and go out, and these people actually stop and ask me and Kia ‘Wow. What are you guys doing? Is it like a Ren[aissance] Fair?’ We tried to explain it to them,

“When I’m in costume and I’m at a con, it’s like I’m less anxious about stuff. I can actually talk to people more,” Moore said.

September Edition  
September Edition  

The September 2012 Edition of the Crimson Crier