the lancer june 3, 2009
State cancels coveted school award
Following the application process and approval as a distinguished school, TOHS, NPHS, Colina, Los Cerritos, and Redwood Middle School were disqualified as Distinguished schools for 2009. Only a school that is invited to apply may do so for distinguished school status. During the application process, the testing scores of specific subgroups are analyzed. The state neglected to take these scores into account and consequently allowed the schools to apply for an honor that they would later be denied.
Losing this award does not, however, affect the award for Exemplary Technical Education in recognition of the newly adapted EThOS program. “Although [the awards] are certainly appreciated,” Superintendent Mario Contini said. “They are not the primary measure of the amazing success of our schools.” In spite of the loss, the schools retain the fact that they have, in the past, been recognized with Distinguished School and National Blue Ribbon awards. -Dakota Jones
■ See TOHS Robbed, pg. 3
VENTURA COUNTY STAR AWARDS 2009
EMILY ARNDT Second Place Graphics Second Place Features KATIE BUTLER Third Place News Writing ARLAN CASHIER Third Place Series Third Place Review
TREVOR CROWN First Place Series Third Place Series Second Place Opinion Third Place Review DAKOTA JONES First Place Series
JACOB MARKUS Third Place Graphics
SEAN MCMINN Second Place Column Third Place Graphics
REBECCA SYLVERS First Place Review First Place News Photo Second Place Sports
GISELLE QUEZADA Second Place Graphics Second Place Features LOUISA LENANDER Third Place Series
Second Place General Excellence
Editors-in-Chief: Matt Bradbury and Jean Kim
Students explore animal anatomy AP Biology students started their pig dissection labs the week after AP testing. “In this lab students will dissect a pig to see and identify all of the body’s systems that they have been learning about all year,” Dana Grooms, the AP Biology teacher, said. The lab was a way for students to learn about body systems. “This lab was not only a great way to review on what they learned but it is also a great experience to see these systems and to have a hands on [experience] about the inside of the animal as well as the systems similar in the human body,” Grooms said. Junior Natalie Kennedy appreciated the activity. “At first it’s a little gross but once you get into it you really get a feel for how a body works, you can see the parts in books, and you know they exist but its way
USED WITH PERMISSION OF CARLEN HANDLEY
THIS PIG WON’T FLY— The organs within a dissected fetal pig help students understand anatomy.
cooler in person because it makes up a living thing," Kennedy said. Anyone absent or not participating was required to write an essay and do a presentation on sociological biology developments in evolution theory and how they relate to the development of social theories. -Olivia Sundstrom
Working: KATIE BUTLER Staff Writer BY
Anyone who has ever had a job can relate to the spring play “Working.” The play opened on Wednesday, May 13 and closed on Saturday, May 23. Similar to the 2007 fall play “Spoon River Anthology,” this play consisted of monologues from a broad array of everyday jobs, ranging from housewives and ironworkers to prostitutes and valets. “This play is about working in a modern day America with tough times. I think that the reason behind Donia choosing this play was that it parallels with what’s going on in our America today,” senior Samantha Stimpson said. A challenge for the actors and actresses of “Working” was breaking the fourth wall, a theater term for characters talking directly to the audience, something not usually accepted in a play. “I loved the fact I got to break the fourth wall, I got to get up and talk directly to the audience,” sophomore Ryan Brodsky said. Between the monologues were upbeat dance numbers that enticed the audience’s interest with flashy outfits and eye catching choreography. One such dance involved several ensemble members wheeling shopping
DRAMATIC DEPICTION OF WORKERS CAPTIVATES AUDIENCES
PHOTO BY KATIE BUTLER
LOVEN AL’ OF WORKING—Junior Ben Brooks (center) leads background dancers (left to right) junior Kate Pelota, sophomore Brooke Bowers, and senior Caitlyn Arndt to a jazzy tune from “Working.”
carts to the stage while dancers inside waved their legs around before jumping out of the carts. A more unusual challenge was the managing of a cast over 40 people strong from freshmen to seniors. “With a large cast there is definitely a lot more just standing around and waiting for your turn…but since there are a lot of people, you can get
more feedback and suggestions from your fellow cast members about how you’re doing,” Stimpson said. Along with students who have acted in Donia’s plays before ‘Working,” several underclassmen found positions in the play as well. “We’ll have the underclassmen in place to develop [the graduating class’s] acting skills as the plays go
on,” junior Laura Zazueta said. After the final curtain fell, students were pleased with their successful results. “The casting was awesome, the choreography was epic, and all the dancers executed it perfectly,” Brodsky said. “The whole cast really pulled it together and I was happy to be a part of this awesome show.”
Community honors teachers KATIE BUTLER Staff Writer BY
The Teacher of the Month award goes to a teacher who dontates their time and energy to his/her classes and who inspires students. Usually, from month to month the award goes to teachers from different schools. This spring, however, two teachers from TOHS achieved the honor. The April winner was band director Marty Martone and the May winner was ceramics teacher Jerry Sawitz. Martone was surprised to receive Teacher of the Month. “I’ve worked on three different campuses but here there is a great atmosphere and I’m humbled to be recognized by the staff,” Martone said.
Reagan Library Scholarship Winners
Martone believes it is not his teaching alone that inspires the band to win competitions, but his philosophy on how to handle the outcome of a competition as well. “I teach the band to be a humble winner and a gracious loser,” Martone said. Martone’s students feel his award is well deserved. “Everyone has their own personal story to show when he was supportive of the band and he cares about every single person in band,” junior Brandon Dickson said. Sawitz expressed surprise at receiving the award. “I teach an elective and [the award] is usually given to an academic subject teacher,” Sawitz said.
“The staff was even better than I thought and the school presented a lot of opportunities. If you want to be connected to the school, there’s something for you whether it’s yearbook or journalism or something else and it’s just a great school to be a part of,” Sawitz said. Sawitz’s favorite moment of teaching comes from the emails his students send after they’ve graduated.
“It’s the greatest reward getting emails from students who went here 20, 25 years ago and see what they’re doing and where their lives went,” Sawitz said. Students appreciate the time and effort Sawitz puts in his ceramics class everyday. “He is always hands on with everyone and he’s always running around because everyone needs help and he’ll keep doing that until we develop our skills,” senior Kristina Sherman said. The two have both demonstrated their commitment to the tradition of excellence that teachers at TOHS have continued for many years. It is a high honor and a welcome one for the two teachers.
The seniors who received the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Scholarship were awarded grants of up to $2,000 in tuition funds for colleges. Each recognized senior maintained an average 3.0 GPA and demonstrated outstanding excellence in extracurricular activities.
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