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The Sycamore Leaf

Friday, May 25, 2012|Volume LIX Issue 10|7400 Cornell Rd. Cincinnati, Ohio 45242|513.686.1770 ext. 3089|



State Science Day >> SHS students rank superior in the statewide contest



Julia Mattis



London 2012 >> The Olymics will be held this summer in the UK



Scholastics Awards >> All about these important artistic accomplishments



Girls’ Lacrosse >> SHS’s Lacrosse program is driven to succeed

Opening doors Students look forward to bright summer and future for future goals Sarah May

College Costs >> Students are picking up the cost of a broken system


‘I know what we’re going to do today’


staff writer

he phrase “you only live once,” otherwise known as YOLO, has become popular around SHS. As the city of Cincinnati prepares to host numerous new activities, the time has never been better for one to take advantage of that phrase, benefitting Cincinnati in the process.

World Choir Games

Beginning July 4, Cincinnati will host The World Choir Games, where one can witness thousands of the world’s best singers in an 11 day competition. In addition to providing a wonderful opportunity for local choirs, the competition will be one of the most significant worldwide experiences in Cincinnati’s history. Over 250 thousand people from six different continents are expected to visit the city, which will positively affect tourism, local businesses, and Cincinnati’s global image. It will also provide an unparalleled opportunity for students to hear and see some of the best choirs in the world. “I do think the World Choir Games is a once in a lifetime experience. The chance is so rare that a worldwide competition would be right in the town that we

All images by Aditi Sharma.


live in. And it will be so cool to see people from other countries participate in a competition that involves a common interest for so many people: singing,” said Isaac Goldstein, 9. Students who do not want to let this opportunity slip away can volunteer and purchase tickets by visiting

Other activities

On Mar. 9, after nearly three decades of remaining open, the Beach Waterpark announces closure for the summer of 2012. The newly remodeled waterpark at King’s Island will make up for students missing the Beach. Some students are fortunate enough to spend summer visiting an actual beach, but for those unable to travel away from the area, Cincinnati has much to offer. Some ways to take advantage of our hometown is to explore Sawyer Point and Eden Park, attend a Cincinnati Reds baseball game, see concerts by popular artists at RiverBend Music

Center, celebrate by watching fireworks, and attend the Taste of Cincinnati. For every student, taking advantage of summer means something different. “To me, [it] means using time I would have had at school or doing homework to instead be relaxing after a school year of hard work. I look forward to taking advantage of my summer time off to spend more time with family and friends,” said Scott McLaughlin, 10.

Olympic Games

The World Choir Games is one way to expand your international horizons; another is to watch the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Though the games do not directly

>>Summer Continued p.3

Lauren Saxon

staff writer

The Young Men’s Scholars has existed at SHS for years, successfully helping AfricanAmerican men reach their high school and college goals. While this group has been extremely beneficial to male students, many questioned why there was not a similar group for women. This year, that door was opened. Dr. Eugene Donatell, school psychologist, and other volunteer parents responded by creating the Young Women’s Scholars, a group for AfricanAmerican freshmen and sophomore ladies. The purpose of Young Women’s Scholars (YWS) is to help girls achieve their high school goals, as well as prepare them for life after high school. YWS hopes to build leadership and academic success that can expand to other African-American young ladies in the school. YWS also exposes the girls to different careers by bringing guest speakers. On May 3 Dr. Bradley Jackson, pediatrician, came to speak to the members about his profession. He shared his success story as well as the obstacles he endured to reach his goal of becoming a doctor. Some of the advice he gave the girls included putting schoolwork first and surrounding yourself with people who share your goal to succeed. Young Women’s Scholars also tries to include volunteering. On Apr. 29, group members traveled to St. John’s, a charity in Over the Rhine, and took turns passing out sandwiches to the homeless. Next year Donatell will incorporate some of the incoming freshmen into YWS, bring in guest speakers, set up more community service projects, and plan a college visit. YWS has already proved itself to be a positive group, and next year is expected to be even more productive. In the meantime, the group will continue to help SHS students reach their goals, and full potential.




news >>the sycamore leaf


Retiring teachers: part two Ana Barros

For comments on this column, please write to

miss most

opinion chief

There are several reasons Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France, will soon be vacating the Élysée Palace. His colorful lifestyle cost him votes on the right, and his pandering to the immigrant bashers cost him votes on the left. But the overwhelming reason for his loss on May 6, 2012, election was voters’ resentment at the counterproductive austerity policies crafted by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and warmly endorsed by Sarkozy as the antidote to Europe’s financial crises. François Hollande, the unprepossessing Socialist candidate who won a narrow victory, instead called for channeling the government’s spending and taxing powers toward recovery and economic growth. The French were not alone in rejecting politicians who favor sharp reductions in government spending as the one size fits all answer to the region’s problems. In Greece’s parliamentary elections, voters defeated candidates from the two major political parties that earlier this year had agreed on a rescue package, dictated largely by Germany, which required growth-killing spending cuts in exchange for $171 billion in emergency loans. For the first time, the farright group Golden Dawn, whose xenophobic members perform Nazi salutes, will enter Parliament with 21 seats. There is still no sign that Merkel is ready to acknowledge that relentless austerity is not working. Merkel has publically welcomed Hollande’s election, saying that growth is necessary to progress but insisted that the austerity pact designed with Sarkozy’s help was “not negotiable.” Hollande intends to restructure economic policies by raising taxes on corporations and using government programs to stimulate growth and create jobs. He grasps a central truth that seems to have eluded German politicians, and while Greece and others must reform their labor markets and wrestle their budgets under control, they cannot repay their debts unless they are also allowed to grow. The United States economy is doing better than most of Europe. But is there a warning for House Republicans who have endorsed Representative Paul Ryan’s draconian budget? Controlling deficits is important, but too much austerity too soon will stall a recovery. Europe’s grim growth numbers prove that. And voters in Europe have figured it out.

“In 1999, when the Global Language Department relocated to the brand new wing of the building,” said Mrs. Marla Chernick.

“I enjoyed so many aspects of my job. The employers that I have collaborated with for the past 18 years who have all become close friends, and the staff members and job coaches that have kept me from going crazy at times, but most of all the students that typically are under my umbrella of service for six to seven years. I get to see them mature into adults and I’m proud to have been a part of that process,” said Mr. Todd Strasser.

parting words

Isaac Harmon

“When I met Debbie McGraw, I invited her out to play a round of golf. 14 years later, my golf game is worse but we are married,” said Mr. Todd Strasser.

“I am sad to be leaving, but excited about what my future has in store. I will miss my Sycamore family, but I will always be an Aviator,” said Mrs. Robyn Jordan.


Goodbye Sarkozy


managing editor

“Starting a new kayaking/wildlife touring company in southern FL. Looking forward to being able to spend more time with my family,” said Mr. Todd Strasser.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work for the Sycamore School District. If I cease to be a teacher, I do not cease to love all those who contribute to make this School District successful,” said Dr. Maurice Delange.

“To have time to do whatever I want to do, in addition to spending more time with my family,” said Mrs. Lynn Huff.

“The delight everyone took in getting released early when the power went out,” said Mrs. Lynn Huff. “I will miss the students and learning about their lives. I have enjoyed being with friends and the friendships that I have developed over the years,” said Mrs. Annette Burton.

“My fondest memory would have to be when former students stopped by,” said Dr. Maurice Delange. “I will miss working with the students, of course. However, I will also miss seeing the staff every day, especially my colleagues in the Global Language Department,” said Mrs. Marla Chernick.

“Thank you, Sycamore Community, for all that you have given me. Even though things do often get stressful throughout the years, there has never been one day that I have not looked forward to entering this building, teaching my students, and being part of this environment. I want to thank the entire staff for their support and friendship. Hopefully, this is not ‘adiós’, but just ‘nos vemos pronto,’” said Mrs. Marla Chernick.

“I am going to be an assistant principal in Hamilton City Schools,” said Mrs. Robyn Jordan.

“I am looking forward to travelling, playing golf, and spending lots of time with my grandsons Grant and Casey, and new Baby Chernick, who is due at the end of May,” said Mrs. Marla Chernick.

PICTURED FROM LEFT TO right: Mrs. Annette Burton, Mrs. Robyn Jordan, Dr. Maurice Delange, and Mrs. Marla Chernick.

Burton worked in the IMC at SHS. Jordan worked as a science teacher for five years at SHS. Delange worked as a Spanish teacher for 30 years at SHS. Chernick worked as a Spanish teacher for 20 years at SHS. *other retiring teachers ran in the April issue of the Leaf

Private instruction in: piano music theory guitar voice strings Sheila Vail, director

(513) 779-7373

9690 Cincinnati-Columbus Rd (rte. 42)


>>the sycamore leaf >>

In ve n t Meant To

Ohio’s fracking future Lila Englander

news chief

Human beings are meant to invent. Our capacity to change the world through free thought is what sets us apart from other animals, but it also enables us to misuse our own innovations. A current issue involving the misuse of technology is hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” Fracking is a process that extracts natural gas from rock beneath the ground. It is conducted by pumping a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals thousands of feet into the earth. The pressure breaks the rock and releases natural gas. Fracking generates billions of dollars and jobs, limits our dependency on foreign oil, and could even be a transition between fossil fuels and clean energy. The problem with fracking is that when the natural gas surges up the well, so does .5 percent of the contaminated water. The water must either be stored underground, which can cause earthquakes, or be dumped in rivers, which can contaminate drinking water. In places where fracking has occurred, people can light their tap water on fire. Flammable drinking water is just one indicator that the fracking wastewater creates serious environmental and public health problems. In 2005, the U.S. government decided to exempt fracking companies from the Clean Water and Air Acts. Now, these companies have no incentive to find safe methods for disposing the toxic wastewater. Fracking corporations have enough money to buy out entire towns, and often pay homeowners thousands of dollars per acre. After fracking, the property is returned to its owner, the ground is agriculturally ruined, and the water poisoned. Ohio Governor John Kasich has received $213 thousand from the fracking industry in campaign contributions. During the next four years, he hopes to increase the number of fracking wells in Ohio from 62 to over four thousand. Although Kasich’s support for fracking is based on the assertion that it will bring jobs to Ohio, research suggests that 80 percent of the jobs will go to workers from outside of Ohio. Ohio is the new battleground against fracking. On June 17 at The Ohio State University, a group called “350,” the biggest climate action group in the world, will test whether the voice of voters can exceed that of the profit-obsessed fracking corporations. If Ohio’s anti-fracking movement succeeds, it will be a model for others. As the world develops, it is our duty to continue using our gift of free thought to prevent the mishandling of technology. For comments on this column, please email to



even science projects earn uperior at State Science Day

Sanika Vaidya


associate editor

f the many projects initially entered into the SHS District Science Fair in Jan., nine had the opportunity to present and excel at the state level fair, the Ohio State University’s State Science Day. “When I found out I made it to state, I was extremely proud that my hard work had paid off. I never thought I would make it that far,” said Pauline Cappel, 12. In order to get to this level, projects had to achieve a superior rating from judges not only at the SHS district level, which 17 projects did, but also at the University of Cincinnati Science and Engineering Expo (UC SEE). Seven of the nine State entrants were also able to attain superior ratings at OSU, and many won awards. Prior to award placings being announced, students were able to find out if they had won a cash award or scholarship. “I went on to win three cash awards at the State Science Fair from organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Water Environment Association, and the Ohio Environmental Health Association. It was a great experience and helped expand my knowledge,” said Cappel. Students were judged in the categories

of information attained, creativity, use of the scientific method, presentation, and, if applicable, teamwork. Projects could be either individual projects or team projects, consisting of two or three students working together. Whether alone or with a team, the fair allowed students to be able to explore the various fields of science far beyond what is given in an academic classroom. “The Science Fair allowed me to research new questions and areas of science that haven’t been explored,” said Erik Bao, 12. In addition to these awards for individual projects, SHS received the Harold C. Shaw Memorial Outstanding School award. This is given to schools that have entered four or more projects, with at least 80 percent of the projects earning superior ratings. Initially, students and teachers believed that SHS had not received the award, as only seven of the nine projects (about 78 percent) received superiors. However, the score was rounded up and for the third year in a row, SHS received the trophy. The two projects that did not reach superior did attain excellent, the next highest category. Superior or not, the students benefitted from an opportunity so different from the traditional science classroom experience by exposure to an expanded scientific community. “I highly recommend it to anyone who has a passion for science. You never know how far you’ll make it, so work hard and don’t doubt yourself,” said Cappel.

Preetom Borah, 12, and Nicholas Aube, 12: IGF-1 and its effects on human breast cancer cells. State awards: University of Akron Scholarship, Veteranary Medicine Award, and the Ohio Wesleyan University State Science Day Scholarship.

Nicolas Hershey, 10, and Erik Bao, 12: The role of dectin-1 in the inflammatory signaling pathways to Aspergillus versicolor and Cladosporiumcladosporiodes. State awards: Ohio Microbiology Award, Interdisciplinary Research Award, Ohio Wesleyan University State Science Day Scholarship.

Lauren Thompson, 10, and Sanika Vaidya, 10: Acid Rain and Soybeans: Evaluation of Impact and Possible Remedies.

Mishi Liang, 12, and Kristina Cloward, 12: The presence of GRIN2A mutations in synesthetes and non-synesthetes. State awards: University of Akron Scholarship, and the Interdisciplinary Research Award.

All images by Sanika Vaidya


Best of summer: events benefit Cincinnati >> Continued p. 1 benefit Cincinnati, it is an event that brings the city together in support of our athletes. Although the vast majority of SHS students will not be able to make the journey across the Atlantic to experience the Olympics in person, television still provides a way to get involved and cheer for favorite athletes. “I will definitely watch the Olympics because it is so great to see all the countries coming together and competing,” said Allison Kerry, 10. For some students, taking advantage does not mean complete relaxation, it means getting ahead in a course for school.

Earning school credits over the summer may be a teacher’s ultimate idea of taking advantage of three summer months. Although the essence of summer is having no school, taking a summer course will not eat up all your free time. “I plan on taking geometry online, and practicing tons of golf. But also, my time off is a time for me to do all the things I did not have time for during the school year, like painting, spending more time with my family and friends and, of course, just having fun,” said Hannah Brown, 9. As school teachers know that summer break can enhance or hinder academic learning, a coach sees a similar situation

with athletic performance. Fall sports teams take advantage of the summer time by conditioning and training. “The summer runs afford us the opportunity to develop great team chemistry and do some fun team bonding activities without the worries of classes or homework. I firmly believe that half of our individual/team success is cultivated by the time spent at our summer runs,” said Coach Steve Nester, Girls Cross Country head coach. No matter how students spend their summer, the return of school on Aug. 23 will mark the end of one of Cincinnati’s best summers.

2012 final exams Thurs. 7:20 - 9:10 1st bell exam 9:15 - 9:58 2nd bell 10:03 - 10:41 3rd bell 10:46 - 12:11 5th bell 10:46 -- 11:11. 11:11 . . . . . . Lunch A 10:46 11:11 -- 11:41. 11:41 . . . . . . Lunch B 11:11 11:41 -- 12:11. 12:11 . . . . . . Lunch C 11:41 12:16 - 12:54 4th bell 12:59 - 1:40 6th bell 1:45 - 2:20 7th bell

Fri. 7:20 - 9:10

5th bell exam

9:15 - 11:05

3rd bell exam

12:30 - 2:00

exam makeup


Sat. & Sun.


7:20 - 9:10

7:20 - 9:10

9:15 - 11:05

9:15 - 11:05

12:30 - 2:00

12:30 - 2:00

4th bell exam 2nd bell exam exam makeup

6th bell exam 7th bell exam exam makeup

Image by Ana Barros



From camps to concerts: Make way for a super cincy summer Lauren Glynn

calendar chief

SHS & District

Reds Fireworks Night

First day of School

Final Exams

When: June 22nd What: After the game, enjoy a 30 minute show of great fireworks Where: Great American Ballpark

When: August 22nd

When: May 31st to June 5th


Girls Basketball Camp

JCC: Film Festival

When: June 7th & 8th Cost: $60 fee Time: 11:30 am - 3:30 pm Students entering grades 9, 10, 11, 12

When: June 26th to 28th What: JCC summer cinemas series Cost: $10 Time: 7:00 p.m. each night.

Distribution of Report Cards When: June 13th

Summer School Starts

When: Classes recieving orgional credits start on June 7th. Credit recovery classes will begin on June 14. Cost: Depends on what class you choose to take

Boys Basketball Camp

When: June 18th to 19th Cost: $60 fee Time: Noon to 4 p.m. Students entering grades 7, 8. 9, 10, 11, 12

Girls Soccer Camp

When: July 16th- July 19th What: Any students entering grades 6,7,8,9 Where: Sycamore Junior High School Cost: $85 fee.

Shea Lothrop

business manager

School earns spot on best high school ranking list Every year US News and World Report ranks high school and collages in the United States. This year SHS not only made the list but, received a gold ranking. SHS, according to the methodology used by the news magazine, ranked 469th nationally and 19th in the state of Ohio. One of the major factors in SHS’s ranking was its high AP Test participation rate.

“Amphibians” wins PSA contest

Daniel Chiodo, 9 and Ryan McCann, 9 are the winners of the freshman class’s public service announcement (PSA) video contest. All Freshman English classes participated in the contest as a way to learn about persuasive techniques and effective research. The winners were determined through a couple of rounds of voting done online. “Making a good PSA requires understanding who your audience is and picking out the most pertinent information that will not only connect with the audience, but gives them something new to think about,” said Mrs. Emily Sweeney, English teacher. All PSA videos had to present a problem facing our world today and steps teenagers can take to improve the situation. Chiodo and McCann’s video, title ‘Amphibians in Danger,’ talked about how pollution and littering destroy amphibians’ habitats. This was the first year that freshman English classes engaged in such a project. “Our hope was that this was a precursor to sophomore debates,” said Sweeney. Sweeney also said that based on the success of the project, the English teachers are planning to continue the video

World Choir Games

Red, White, and Blue Ash

When: July 4th What: An evening and night with games, food, and fireworks Where: Blue Ash

Taste of Blue Ash When: August 24th to 26th

Friday Night Concerts

When: Every Friday night during the Summer What: Bands performing their best songs Where: Downtown Blue Ash at the square

Radiohead at Riverbend

When: June5th What: Radiohead tours with Caribou Cost: Starting at $36 depending on where you sit Time: 7:30 p.m.

Alma Rechnitzer

staff writer

Lauren Glynn

calendar chief

contest in the years to come. “It was really impressive to see all the different classes come together,” said Sweeney. For winning the contest, Chiodo and McCann both received a $15 gift card to Barnes & Nobel and were recognized at underclass awards.

When: July 4th- July 14th What: Gathering of the best singers in the world Where: Downtown Cincinnati

Rascal Flatts

When: July 22nd What: The band performs with Little Big Town, Eli Young Band and Eden’s Edge at Riverbend Cost: Starting at $30 depending on where you sit Time: 7:30 p.m.

Scott McDowell Memorial River Run


News in Brief managing editor

>>the sycamore leaf >>

Zachary Fritzhand

calendar chief

William Gawin


Where: Boys and Girls Club of Clermont County, 212 Market Street, New Richmond, OH When: August 18th Time: 9:00 a.m. You must go online and register.

To submit a story tip for this section, contact The Leaf at Please include your name, grade, story tip, and any additional details or contact information that can be provided.

Relay raises money for ACS

On May 11 the event to raise money for the disease that never stops- cancer- took place once again. The night was filled with numerous activities such as pie eating, frozen t-shirt, and balloon toss contests. Perhaps the most valuable asset to the night was the dance floor- as the DJ was pumping out tunes throughout the whole night to keep the participants awake for continuous walking around the track. But more importantly, the overall goal to raise money was a success as the 150 teams raised over $133,000 for the American Cancer Society. Thousands of people fighting against cancer are one step closer to receiving a cure from the help of SHS, Ursuline Academy, Mount Notre Dame, and Moeller.

J. Peter Hill, D.V.M. Dogs·Cats·Avian·Exotics J. Peter Hill, D.V.M. Philip A. Krawec, D.V.M.

Dogs Cats Avian Exotics

Philip A. Krawec, D.V.M

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Care Facility

Journalists recieve their awards The Ohio Scholastic Media Association (OSMA) judged 1600 entries from which notable awards were earned by SHS journalists.Competing in the 43 judged categories individual journalism staffers earned multiple awards. The superior, excellent and honorable mention kudos were obtained in advertising, cartooning, columns, commentaries, double trucks, newswriting, facing pages, feature, opinion, personality profiles, reviews, sports, online news, online packaging and the site.

20% Student discount with coupon and valid ID.


Opinion >>the sycamore leaf >>

Reflections on Relay >> Relay for Life participants remember and celebrate cancer victims in their lives


Sushi for Lunch >> New option in the cafeteria meets mixed reviews



College costs >> Loans, debt, and tuition become a burden on future collage students


Letter to the Editor Dear Leaf Staff,

I am writing this letter concerning your article in the latest issue of The Leaf. “SHS, UC announce groundbreaking program.” All in all it isn’t a very exciting article. It wasn’t about dart wars controversy or the dreaded sophomore debates. Nonetheless, it was the best piece I have ever come across in all three years of attending Sycamore High School. My brother, who is two years older than me, graduated from Sycamore last year. He was in the Special Ed. Program that Sycamore provides and is attending a Diamond Oaks Science Lab course that keeps him in the program at a high school level. Previously this was the only way to continue getting sufficient support from the school system concerning children with mental disabilities. My brother was born with autism and his future is very important to my family and I. When I read your article, I was thrilled to learn about this four year UC program more in depth. Most kids in high school (let’s be honest) don’t care about those type of informational articles and maybe you just wrote it to fill up the newspaper content wise. Whatever the reasons, it made a big difference to me and you can be rest assured that I am taking this article clipping home to my family. Thanks for making a difference in one reader’s life, Lila and I will be eagerly awaiting your upcoming stories. Everyone at The Leaf is important and makes a difference, whether they realize it or not. I thought someone might like to know the kind of impact they are making.

Abby Kaluba, 11


the Sycamore

Sycamore High School 7400 Cornell Road | Cincinnati, OH 45242

Mission Statement: The Leaf, the official newspaper of Sycamore High School, serves as an educational tool in the training of student journalists to provide information and editorial leadership concerning school, national, and world issues, to provide a public forum for the exchange of ideas and viewpoints, and to give coverage to newsworthy events directly related to the diverse school population. Editorial Policy: Although students work under the guidance of a professional faculty member, the content is ultimately determined by the student staff and should reflect all areas of student interest, including topics about which there may be dissent and controversy. Students cannot publish material

William Gawin

managing editor

Where do I stand?

Staff Editorial Many of us may grimace at

the thought of staying home for the summer; Cincinnati is sometimes viewed as a boring and dull place to live. Some people even sarcastically state that our only prized possession is a polluted river inhabited by three-eyed fish. It is easy to have a negative of mind about a place you live in, especially if you have lived there for many years. However there are many wonderful qualities about Cincinnati that are often overlooked. It may not be appreciated by some of its residents, but Cincinnati

still has a certain charm that is prominent in most major cities. Take for example Cincinnati’s fine fluency in culture and the arts. It is home to an extremely high concentration of theaters and museums. Part of the reason why the World Choir Games are being held in Cincinnati this year is because of its rich history centered on the arts. For sports fans, Cincinnati is the “Oasis of Ohio,” having not only a major football team but also a major baseball team with stadiums in close proximity to the city’s heart. People often forget that the Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team

established in America, which is a fact in which we should take great pride. The city is ever-evolving with opportunities of things to do in every direction. There is a little something for everybody whether it is sports, arts, or night life. Though not as blatantly obvious as places like Chicago or New York, Cincinnati is also home to a lot of diversity; it may just take a little searching. Step out of your door and embrace the Cincinnati spirit this summer. Whether it is Kings Island, Music Hall, or Playhouse in the Park, there is an endless list of things to do here in your hometown.

leafing through the masses

What is your opinion on staying active over the summer?

It is vital that students do something to stimulate interest. Challenge yourself, pursue an interest so it does not feel like school.

When you get out of your house and participate, you get to see your friends that you would otherwise not be able to see.

Getting involved in summer activities helps students stay fit and make new friends. Then, when you come back in the fall, you know more people at school.

Beth Leblanc, English Teacher

Matthew Sweeney, 12

Rebecca Plaatje, 10

that is obscene, libelous, or will cause “a substantial disruption of the educational process.” Content that may stimulate heated debate or discussion is not included in this definition. The Leaf operates as an open forum for the healthy, robust exchange of ideas. Opinions expressed in the editorials are those of The Leaf staff. Letters to the editor are encouraged. All letters must be signed. The letters, not to exceed 300 words, may be edited for clarity, spelling, and grammar. Letters may be placed in Mrs. Cheralyn Jardine’s mailbox, dropped off in room 115, or e-mailed to The Leaf reserves the right to decide not to cover a death based on relevance, timeliness, and circumstances decided on by the editorial board. In cases that the editorial board decides not to cover a death, letters to the editor in regard to that death will be printed. The Leaf’s complete editorial

policies can be found at www.goaves. com. For comments about columns, please write to writetotheleaf@gmail. com. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Editors-in-chief: Sarah May, Ellie Goldman Associate Editors: Sanika Vaidya, Rachael Sun, Isaac Harmon Managing Editors: Aditi Sharma, Ana Barros, Will Gawin Business Managers: Atiya Dosani, Lila Englander, Shea Lothrop Editor-in-chief: Kelcie Grega Broadcast Editors-in-chief: Tori Swart, Kelsey King

News Atiya Dosani Lila Englander Opinion Alexis Corcoran Isaac Harmon Feature Joseph Ahn Rachael Sun Sanika Vaidya A&E Krittika Chatterjee Sports Nakul Narendran Michael Saxon Spotlight Aditi Sharma Kathryn Tenbarge Fun and Games Taylor Evans Ellen Martinson Cartoonist Lilly Lefton Web Masters Eli Seidman-Deutsch Ruochen Tang

I think it’s important that if I’m going to write both this column and a GoAves blog of the same name, you be aware of where I stand politically. On the political scale, I lean slightly to the left of center. Even so, I like to keep an open mind and, unlike politicians, I’m willing to change my views as new facts come to light. Right now the United States of America is in the middle of a tense election cycle, the focal point of which Mitt Romney’s is attempting to unseat President Barack Obama in this year’s presidential election. The race for the White House is likely to turn into a lightning rod for our nation’s struggles. If you turn on the news in the next six months, expect to be blasted with information and propaganda on everything from Afghanistan to the Zimmerman shooting. In this column I hope to examine the issues at hand to find the facts and common ground in between. Although I hope to mainly focus on US politics we live in a globalized society and so world events are likely to creep into my commentary. I will be paying particular attention the economic crisis in Europe, as it could have enormous repercussions worldwide. Hopefully, though this column I can provide you, the reader, new facts and viewpoints and help shape your own political opinion. This column will run for the next 12 months, and the blog will be updated weekly. So, let’s talk politics. For comments on this column, please email to

Enterprise Editors Allie Oh Lauren Saxon Staff Writers Lauren Altemuehle MacKenzie Boyd John Carroll Zachary Fritzhand Jordan Gause Lauren Glynn Jenny Ham Deepak Indrakanti Megan Jiang Ashleigh Jones Britton Kemp Kelsey King Ellen Martinson Julia Mattis Ethan May Casey Rayburn Alma Rechnitzer Carmel Rechnitzer Liam Reis Cailin Rogers Brenda Shen Joseph Slovin Scott Stefani

Zoe Vanjohnson Kristen Wessinger Ryan Wessinger Alex Wittenbaum Photographer Jeremy McDaniel Adviser Cheralyn Jardine About us Professional memberships: • Columbia Scholastic Press Association • Journalism Education Association • National Scholastic High School Press Association • Ohio Scholastic Media Association • Ohio Professional Writers (National Federation of Women Writers) • Quill & Scroll International Journalism Honorary


opinion >>the sycamore leaf


College collage: Education by the numbers

Prepares them for a job


Gives them intellectual growth


Gives them maturity Despite the rising cost of college, families are still paying thousands of dollars for an education which they feel does not even prepare them for a job. So at some point you have to ask: how much more 25% expensive does college has to People that get?

69% 01


can afford to go to college

Source: Pew Research Center









People that cannot afford to go to college Image by of Isaac Harmon

College conspiracy: Higher education no longer worth while? Isaac Harmon


opinion chief

or years, an article of faith in this country has been that college is the gateway to a better life. So deeply held is this belief that many students borrow tens of thousands of dollars to attend prestigious public or private universities. But as the worst recession since World War II trudges on, many graduates are discovering that the college payoff could be a long time coming, if it comes at all. With student debt soaring at a time when jobs are scarce, the precise financial value of a college degree has come under intense scrutiny. Add one more discouraging calculation to the list. For years, back-of-theenvelope estimates suggested that a bachelor’s degree translates into lifetime earnings of more than $1 million on top of anything one earns with just a high school diploma. The College Board later estimated the value was $800 thousand. Two years ago, a sobering and widely read report further downgraded the figure to $280 thousand. In response, college-age youth have started the UnCollege movement, which argues that young people can get more out of pursuing real-world skills than studying for exams. Heightened anxiety about the value of a college education makes more sense now because college costs are higher. “Given the gross cost of college and the difficulty recent graduates have had finding jobs, we have to question whether we should go into

extreme debt for college or pay 60k for an education. However, there is extensive research that shows that college graduates still make substantially more money over their lifetimes, and some research even suggests that attending college leads to happier lives. So, treat college as an investment - but a very sensible one,” said Artur Meller, 12. Despite this crushing reality check, and some cogent arguments that the price is simply too high to be worthwhile, families continue to invest heavily in higher education. Assets in 529 college savings plans hit a record $165 billion last year. That’s up 5 percent from the previous year. College-bound students have reached the highest numbers on record, while the cost of obtaining a degree has skyrocketed. Today’s sticker price has roughly tripled since the ‘80s. But unemployment rates are still higher than usual, and that’s part of what has triggered concern over the benefit of college. The Obama administration has recently taken action to introduce regulations that would prevent predatory forprofit colleges from inducing students to take out high loans for degrees that often have little value in the job market. “College is definitely worth it. Even if college grads can’t find a job in their field, they have a much higher employment rate than those without a college degree. In other words, being underemployed is better than being unemployed. Also, college grads often use blue-collar jobs as a stepping stone to find higher paying employment in the future.

On average, college grads earn around $1 million more than high school grads over a lifetime,” said Erik Bao, 12 A large part of the college value proposition has to do with employability. In the U.S., 62 percent of jobs require a degree beyond high school; that share will rise to 75 percent by 2020. In 2010, 90 percent of college grads from 2008-2010 were employed while only 64% of peers not attending college had jobs, according to But with college costs continuing to spike, debt loads metastasizing, and dim economic prospects ahead, at some point you have to ask the question: how expensive does higher education have to become, before it’s just not worth the lifetime debt burden? As for that intellectual growth, a study last year by professors Richard Arum, of New York University and Josipa Roksa, of the University of Virginia found that 45 percent of students show no significant gain in learning after two years in college. So no jobs and no brains; what about this scenario says “sign me up!”? But some are less perturbed. “Well, I’m not worried about it because of the superior education I have gotten at Sycamore. Also, when the economy gets back in order, that degree will get me a better job than those without it,” said Megan Rogge, 9. “I have another year for college but no I’m not worried. And getting a proper job is too far away to be worth fretting about,” said Soham Agarwal, 11.


Sushi days:

‘I look forward to coming to school on Fridays’ Lauren Glynn

calendar chief

Imagine entering the lunchroom on a Friday afternoon. The school day is almost over and the weekend is about to begin. You can smell incredible fries and watch as people go through the lines to pay for their food. All of a sudden, you spot a table in the corner. You come to realize it is a sushi stand. “I decided to bring sushi to Sycamore to try to provide some alternate choices for students that were not currently eating school lunch,” said Miss Jessica Johnson, Nutrition Supervisor. Every Friday in the cafeteria, it is a new known tradition to sell sushi. Students were exhilarated when we heard this Japanese delicacy would be a part of the many choices for our lunch. “Now that there is sushi in the cafeteria, I look forward to coming to school on Fridays. Having this amazing dish makes my week. It is extremely delicious and hasn’t left me unsatisfied,” said Taylor Gardner, 9. From 11:00 am to 12:30 pm on any given day, you can walk in the cafeteria, and be overwhelmed with the amazing smells and sights. Only on Fridays can you have the opportunity to get the keen choice to have sushi. “I met with the owners of Fusian, who are very active in trying to promote sushi as a healthy meal choice. They had a relationship with some schools in Dayton, so they were familiar with the process and it was an easy transition. We did a free food tasting for students, and after we received an overwhelming positive response I decided to move forward with sushi on Fridays after spring break,” said Johnson. Anyone can get sushi, but students have to remember it is indeed first come, first serve. To purchase this new product, students must buy a box. You can choose from crab, shrimp, and a few other choices. The boxes are pre-made and come in packs of ten. Sometimes the containers have a mixture of two different kinds of sushi. For example, there is one choice when the box is half shrimp and half crab. “For $6.50 students are getting a 10 piece roll with any toppings they like, from a highly regarded local restaurant, but this is a great meal choice for students that may be willing and able to shell out a few extra bucks for the sushi,” said Johnson. The amazing thing about sushi is that it is all generally fish related but each type is so different, and has so many diverse flavors. Sushi can be categorized as a healthy choice. SHS welcomes sushi into the cafeteria so overjoyed to have Fusian providing such delicious meals.

Photo courtesy of McDaniel’s Photography

Staff reflects on Relay Lila Englander news chief

I had no idea what to expect from Relay for Life. When the crowds arrived around 4:00 pm it began as imagined— tents, pizza, and dancing. The first part of the event was essentially a big party. But around midnight, the Luminaria Walk began. Everyone gathered on the track, sitting knee to knee. There were songs and an introduction, and then a familiar voice came onto the loud speaker. Jimmy Chau, 12, whose girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer this year, began his testimonial. With each of his words, more and more people broke down crying. After Chau’s speech, everyone stood up without speaking and began walking. As I walked, I couldn’t formulate thoughts and was overcome by ineffable emotion. When I encountered Jimmy, he asked me about the movie I had seen the night before and made fun of my inability to speak. His powerful way of coping only worsened my speechlessness. Chau’s story had taken hundreds of very different people and united them by one universal human quality— compassion. If 18 sleepless hours of blasting music was the cost of that lesson, it was more than worth it.

opinion >>the sycamore leaf



College costs create concern Rising tuition causes high school graduates to rethink their futures



Taylor Evans

fun & games chief

n kindergarten, teachers would often ask students what they wanted to be when they grew up. Astronauts, policemen, firefighters, and teachers were always common career choices. But now the question is, what jobs can pay the bills and then payoff the student loans? “I was very concerned about scholarships and whether my parents would be able to comfortably afford school,” said Abby Costello, class of 2010. Is it worth sitting in an auditorium with hundreds of other students for a minimum of four years, watching a professor as they scribble incessantly on a board? For loans that may take years to payoff, is it worth it anymore?

Debts of Today

UC student.

Tuition Trouble

“I am hoping that my GPA and ACT will help me with college costs,” said Kruger. Since 1990, college costs have risen by 50 percent, yet financial aid has failed to do the same. The greatest concerns that graduates have now is how much time they will spend paying off their debts. It is a worrisome topic, especially with our current economy. “After filling out applications, I almost had a heart attack

“I am excited and nervous about college,” said “Colleges will try to nickel and Sammi Kruger, 12. dime you for everything” It is not uncommon to feel jittery because today, the average when I saw the prices,” said college senior will graduate with more than $19,000 in debt. Brandon Ramos, 12. In 1991, tuition at Harvard The Federal Reserve Bank University was at about $14,000 of New York reported that per year. Now, 20 years later, Americans owe less on credit tuition has more than doubled cards than they do on student to around $35,000 per year, loans. while household income has The fact of the matter is that only risen about 15 percent many college students at top during that time frame. universities are graduating “If I could change one thing with debts in the six digit about college payments, range. it would definitely be the “Colleges will try to nickeltuition,” said McClurg. and-dime you for everything. Studies have shown that more For example, only certain families get loans as the cost of editions of books are available college education rises because and often the professor will household incomes have not write their own books and risen as fast as tuition. update the edition so you “If you don’t qualify for can’t buy the used version,” financial aid, it is really hard to said Alex McClurg, former

Alex McClurg


pay for school,” said Ramos. To put this into perspective, adults between the ages of 18 and 24 spend 30 percent of their monthly income to pay off student loan debts, double the percentage of what is was almost 20 years ago. “As anyone knows, only take out as many loans as you can pay off in your first year out of college,” said William Spellman, 12. Even though that is very hard to do these days, it hopefully gives high school graduates a good idea of limits they should try to stay within.

visions they had for their future from the begining. “I didn’t change my career choice because my parents encouraged me to shoot for my goals, and the money will be taken care of, in one way or another,” said Costello.

All images by Taylor Evans

Weighing the options of no college, no debt and college and lots of debt would seem to be an easy choice. However, students should be encouraged to pursue their dreams, and for many ‘Is It Worth It?’ that includes the experience, knowledge, and learning that “I really want to pursue a only a collegiate education career in performing, acting, provides, enabling them to lead Broadway, or film,” said a fulfilling life in the future. Ramos. “I am going to reach my goals But where does debt leave through hard work, motivation, today’s high school seniors? In and perserverence,” said a world where debt seems to Ramos. govern the economy, how is For seniors, college is fast this rising generation to survive approaching along Changing Careers with the worries of Recent surveys have shown payments lingering that 22 percent of people switch “I am glad to be going in the back of seniors’ their career paths in order to somewhere other than HS” minds. One must pay their ongoing debts, while wonder, do seniors a shocking 29 percent have even want to go to chosen to end their educations college anymore? because of too much debt Is college still viewed as financially? With student debt owed. freedom and a time for real increasing as well as college The Census Bureau has independence, or does it just costs, how is one supposed to estimated that a student with make for a lifetime of debt? cope? a college education will earn “Even though I am nervous, In November, “Time about $1 million more in their senioritis has kicked in, so I am Magazine” published an article lifetime than a student who ready to get out of here and go only has a high school diploma. that said it is much harder for to college,” said Ramos. recent graduates to move up in Unlike those who choose not society because debt and lack of to go to college or change their financial aid are holding them majors, some like Costello back. decided to stay with their

Sammi Kruger, 12

What Do You Want To Be?

Career choice is a huge decision that high school grads will have to make. Nearly 29 percent of people have changed their career choice so that they can pay the bills to come.




Biology Calculus Calculus

Law School $50,000 x 7 years

Medical School $40,000 x 11 years

Master’s Degree $30,000 x 5 years

Average cost of college: $350,000

Average cost of college: $480,000

Average cost of college: $150,000

Average starting salary: $110,000

Average starting salary: $164,000

Average starting salary: $35,000

Top Schools in America

1. Harvard University 2. Princeton University 3. Yale University 4. Columbia University 5. California Institute of Technology 6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 7. Stanford University 8. University of Chicago 9. University of Pennsylvania 10. Duke University

8 5.25.2012

Addressing ‘The Avengers’

fun & games chief

Two months ago, The Hunger Games dominated conversations in the halls. Now, ‘The Avengers’ is all people are talking about. The movie grossed $200.3 million in its first three days. That is the greatest amount of money that any movie has ever made in its opening weekend, and took Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2’s spot, which had previously held the position.

Ellen Martinson fun & games chief

Behind the Scenes

Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye in the film, had to receive training from 2. Olympic archers on how to use a bow correctly. He had to learn how to quickly draw back the bow, as well as learn the proper positioning.

Word Search: beach popsicle

Parts of the movie were filmed in Albuquerque, 3. NM; Wilmington, OH; Worthington, PA; Clevland, OH; and New York, NY. Filming lasted a total of 140 days.


28 explosives were rigged, which went off in domino affect to simulate an air attack. The scene called for 14 vehicles to be set up in the streets, including cannon, flipper, and pyro cars. Mark Ruffalo, who plays The Hulk, had to lose 21 pounds for his role.

The flying aircraft carrier seen in 6. the movie is almost as long as a football field, and took nearly five months to build.

Doodles & Dimples

Joseph Ahn feature chief


Photo courtesy of Altavista

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>>the sycamore leaf >>

Have a comic or game you want to appear in the next issue? Contact The Leaf at

There have been more than 500 “Avengers” comic books. The first, “Justice League,” 1. included a team consisting of Thor, the Hulk, Iron Man and two characters who do not appear in the film, Ant-Man and Wasp.


Fun & Games

Taylor Evans


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Anniversaries Bar & Bat Mitzvahs Corporate Parties School Events Weddings Phone: (513) 318- 4556 Email:



Summer Olympics >>Cincinnati; hidden treasures found summer event venues >>Years of tradition culminate in home city

iPhone Invasion >>pros and cons to electronic companions >>digital media influences mentality



Planning perfect college visits

How to choose your ideal school Sarah May

2. Contact the colleges


For most juniors, this summer will be a busy one. With application deadlines quickly approaching and some students applying much in advance, now is the time to get serious about college hunting. Juniors have already taken steps in the college search process. All juniors have met with their counselors this year to discuss options. And just by taking the PSAT and possibly the SAT or the ACT, students already have certain universities interested—and are very aware of this from an overwhelming onslaught of promotional emails. Taking the time to physically visit campuses can be extremely helpful in figuring out which type of school they are interested in. There are several steps to planning the perfect college visit:

1. Decide which schools to visit Be sure to visit a variety of both public and private schools that differ in size and location. Even if you think you might not be interested in a certain type of school, now is the time to rule it out for sure. You may find yourself surprised to fall in love with a school that you never expected, or vice versa.

Before you leave for your college visit, familiarize yourself with the school’s website. Sign up for a campus tour and an information session. If you are a potential athlete recruit, email the coach a week or two in advance and let him or her know when you will be visiting.

3. Take notes Invest in a spiral notebook and take notes at each campus tour or information session you attend. Students tend to remember general feelings about specific universities, such as “I really liked it,” or “I really hated it,” but few remember the important details that contribute to these feelings.

4. Understand what you are looking for While visiting, keep in mind that the schools are showing you the best they have to offer. The schools have been there for years; anything you dislike will probably not change upon your arrival. The most important question you can ask yourself is, “Can I see myself spending four years here?” If the answer is no, cross the college off of the list and continue your search.

Lila Englander

workload when students get to the high school,” said Donatell. What do James Carville, Will At SHS there are two options Smith, and Albert Einstein all for when a student shows have in common? The answer is signs of undiagnosed ADD. not only tremendous success, First, the teacher can speak but also an attention deficit directly to the student or disorder. But at one point, parent. Otherwise they can call perhaps in high school, they a meeting between the teacher, learned to succeed by utilizing counselor, and psychologist to their strengths and identifying discuss academic intervention. their weaknesses. When it comes to medication, By the time students reach SHS’s role is high school limited, if not most would This is a process that really non-existent. assume that involves the student and Outside students with of school, their parents. Attention make Deficit Dr. Eugene Donatell parents the decisions, Disorder SHS psychiatrist regardless of (ADD, the school’s concern. which includes ADHD) “We do not push diagnosis. would have already been There is no reason we should diagnosed, but according to be doing that. This is a process school psychologist Dr. Eugene that really involves the student Donatell, this is not the case. and their parents,” said “We have students identified Donatell. every year that were not According to the Drug as noticeable early in their Enforcement Administration educational careers. Mild there has been a 500 percent attention problems previously increase in the number of masked are now noticed prescriptions for stimulant because of the more rigorous news chief

medication to treat ADD since 1991. According to Dr. Russel Barkley, an ADD expert, stimulant medication is the most affective treatment of ADD. “For many of these students, the medication is helpful, allowing them to focus on school for eight hours a day. I think we can conclude that there is a greater awareness of ADD and there are more advancements in the health industry to address it,” said Brian Sweeney, SHS counselor. Because of the wide spectrum of ADD cases, the effectivity of solutions varies in accordance. Some students can be helped by simple adjustments such as sitting in the front of the room, being prompted to stay on task, having increased time for assignments, or working on organizational and study skills. Anyone who thinks they may have undiagnosed ADD is encouraged to speak to their counselor or the school psychologist. “Students learning to advocate for themself is a key part of the process,” said Donatell.

Photo by Rachael Sun

strives to Attentive success: Community accomodate ADD

TWO ISRAELI CHAVERIM, OR “friends,” from Israel met classes of Ms. Marilyn Ray on May 17. Students participated in a presentation of Israeli culture, sampled food in the customs of the Jewish people, and even learned a brief youth dance combination.

Q&A with Sharon Spiegel, Director of Youth Israel Experience How did you get involved in the program?

I am the Director of the Chaverim M’Israel Program. This is the eighth year of the program, and I have been involved since the beginning of the program.

What is your favorite part of the program?

I love watching as the Americans find out how much Israeli technology affects our own daily existence. Cell phone technology; cherry tomatoes; medical breakthroughs in ADHD, asthma - all of these are Israeli inventions.

In what ways do you think Cincinnatians are impacted by their Israeli guests?

It is amazing to watch as both the Cincinnati residents and the Chaverim realize that the differences are not so remarkable. The interpersonal connections do more to break down barriers than most diplomacy does! *For an extended interview, please visit

i I




Have one too

>>the sycamore leaf >>

Phone era reaches youth world Isaac Harmon

Nakul Narendran

associate editor

sports chief

t has become inevitable. You are sitting in class, listening intently to a lesson when suddenly you feel a quick buzz coming from your phone. Immediately your mind races, asking yourself who messaged you, what they said, and when can you sneak your phone under the desk to reply. This has become a commonplace reaction in today’s iPhone era.

iPhone takeover

America is witnessing an epidemic of this handheld phone, and it certainly looks like it has a lock on students. The iPhone has become an indispensable part of some students’ lifestyles, and many of them openly acknowledge they would be lost without it. “The iPhone is great. I just recently got one and I am on it all the time. I try my best to be responsible on it and not be distracted. However, it really is a part of my life and there are so many things I couldn’t do without it,” said Katie Oh, 9. Piper Jaffray, a U.S. middle-market investment banking firm, surveyed 4,500 students, and found that 37 percent plan to buy an iPhone in the next six months. Already, 17 percent of those asked own an iPhone, compared with 14 percent in a similar study a year ago. “I sometimes just like to check my phone in class for no set reason. I just unlock it, scroll to the left, scroll back, and lock it again. The iPhone plays into my mind as I feel like I need to constantly check it for something,” said Yuri Karev, 11. Teenagers love iPhones, and in a sense, getting one has become a rite of passage. The car used to be the signal of

adulthood; of freedom. It was seen as a sign of being grown up. But in recent years, it seems as if the iPhone has replaced that role.

More than a phone

“A lot of people who have the iPhone 4S claim that they don’t use Siri, their intelligent assistant that comes with the phone. I actually use it a lot when I need to find something or ask a general knowledge question,” said Joshua Goodman, 12. Whether it is at the grocery store, at dinner, or in your own home, the only interaction you often see is between someone and their digitalized touch screen. Some may point out that phones are centered around the purpose of contacting others and that these phones help personal communication. However, although they do connect people, they reduce the need to connect in person and hinder the social skills that stretch beyond their heavy texting vocabulary.

The iPhone is becoming a must-have lifestyle product that conveys status. In that sense, this device offers a degree of freedom and social reach that previously only the automobile provided. It has become the expression of liberation from parents that getting a driver’s license and hitting the open road once was. In a survey published by Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, 46 percent of people 18 to 24 would choose access to the Internet over access to their own car. The teenager’s waning enthusiasm for driving predates iPhones. Statistics released by the Transportation Department note that in 1978, 50 percent of 16 year-olds in the United States obtained their first driver’s license. In 2008, only 30 percent did. Those who get a license also drive less now. The Transportation Department says 21 to 30 year-olds now drive eight percent fewer miles than they did in 1995. But aside from teens choosing phones over cars, there is a more substantial effect of the recent flourishing of the iPhone. Phones have a bizarre power over us, with the ability to invade our thoughts and interactions with a vibration. Although an iPhone may be able to tell you the weather or have Siri find the closest restaurant, it takes away your ability to interact with “I USE MY people on a personal level. IPHONE for all sorts of

purposes throughout the day. It helps me keep up with everything. I can’t even imagine a day without it; it’s just part of my routine,” said Dylan Stern, 11. Image by Nakul Narendran


2:54 PM



Far East Movement Like A G6 Free Wired

by the numbers


Percentage of SHS students that have an iPhone


Percentage of SHS students have spent money on applications

Percentage of iPhone users at SHS who would recommend the iPhone



Million people have bought iPhones during the first three months of 2012

Q&A with Hannah Coletts, 10

All-Time Top Paid iPhone Apps 1) Doodle Jump 2) Tap Tap Revenge 3 3) Pocket God 4) Angry Birds 5) Tap Tap Revenge 2.6

All-Time Top Free iPhone Apps 1) Facebook 2) Pandora 3) Google Mobile App 4) Shazam 5) Movies by Flixter

Image by Nakul Narendran

What is your favorite part of the iPhone?

I love the simplicity of the iPhone. It makes it easy to use and figure out. It’s small enough to easily carry around, but big enough to have a good screen.

What do you use it for?

I mostly use it to keep updated with friends over Facebook or Twitter, but I also use it to quickly find any information I need or play a few games.

Would you recommend it for others?

I would definitely recommend it to anyone who uses the Internet a lot or likes to get information quickly.

Would you switch to any other phone?

I have had it for four or five months and it’s already my favorite phone. So, no.

How many apps do you have on your phone and which one is your favorite?

I have more than 20 apps on my phone, but I use the Facebook app the most.

feature >>the sycamore leaf




‘I hope we can bring it home this year’

London 2012 Olympics Alex Wittenbaum staff writer

Zach Fritzhand


calendar chief

very four years, dating back to 1896, the best athletes in the world gather for one month to compete in the Olympic games, the most prestigious sporting event ever to be held. In two months, they will come together in London to compete for the gold medal in the Summer Olympic Games.


During the Summer Olympics, each country competes in 26 different sports. It is a valued honor to try to win a gold, silver, or bronze medal. Each sport provides this award to the victor of the competition, and at the end of the games, the total number of medals is counted to crown an official winner of the Olympics. “Each year brings a different country to emerge as the overall victor of the Olympic Games. I hope we [USA] can

bring it home this year,” said Konnor Montchai, 11. Popular sports such as basketball, soccer, and swimming headline some of the sports that will be played during the Games, which will take place from July 27 to Aug. 12. “USA basketball always has a great chance to win the gold medal. We have more experienced guys from the NBA than any other country in the world, and it should be a great two weeks for the basketball team,” said Adam Ioas, 9.

Ceremonies Many countries from around the world will nominate athletes to represent their country in the Games, and all of the athletes and participants will be revealed at the Official Opening Ceremony, which will be held on July 27. During the Opening Ceremony, the participating athletes are displayed from from each country. They walk onto a giant track and wave to

all of the screaming fans that are packed into the stadium. The Games will eventually wrap up with the closing ceremonies, where all of the athletes are admired for the hard work that they put in during the games. “I hate to watch the Closing Ceremonies knowing that the Games are over. It is depressing to watch for the average sports fan,” said C.J. Pendergast, 10. The ceremonies play a huge part in the money that is being spent on this year’s Olympic Games. They alone, cost $11.1 million per hour to renovate and keep up.


London has made a lot of changes and new additions to their city to be the host of the Games: seven new venues are being added, and a two and a half square kilometer space of green and outdoors are being built to accommodate all of the fans that will visit during the two weeks. All of these new additions

to London have cost a lot of tax dollars that were billed to each citizen. Also, many groups and sponsors are helping to fund the games, so that the games can be brought back to London for the first time since 1948. The addition of tax dollars has fired up many citizens of London and made them question if it is really worth it to have the games there in the first place. “If I were a citizen in London, I would be very happy to pay the extra taxes to have the venues built. Being able to witness the Olympics first hand would be so amazing, and worth the couple of extra dollars,” said Ysaith Orellana, 9. Each athlete will enjoy a more than comfortable environment to compete in.

SHS Olympic games

medal,” said Spencer Mandell, 9. Other current swimming athletes, such as Cara Norris, 9, will compete in the Junior Olympic Trials later this summer. “I think it is great that SHS has had atlhetes that have competed in the Games before. It gives young athletes the strive to do well and compete at the highest level,” said Nick Hershey, 10.

Summer awaits

With only five months to go, athletes are starting to get prepared to watch or compete. Coming off of the Olympic Games four years ago in China, the U.S won 110 total medals, making it the defending champion coming into this year. The U.S looks to take home another victory during the London Summer Olympics, 2012. “I am so excited to see the U.S. compete during the Games. We can definitely be the overall victor,” said Austin

SHS has had one athlete compete in the Olympic Games while representing the United Schafer, 9. States. Dan Ketchum swam at SHS before attending the University of Amount of money it costs during Michigan to swim the opening ceremony per hour and compete in to renovate and keep up the Games. He $11.2 Million won the Gold Medal in the 2004 New venues that are being built in Athens Olympic London to house sports that will be Games in the played during the 2012 Summer 4 x 200 meter freestyle. “Ketchum is a Domestic companies from great inspiration the UK that will help fund to all of the SHS the games swimmers. He makes me want Empoyees that work to believe that backstage during the opening and closing my team and I ceremonies. can really make it to the Olympics, and win a Gold

Olympics by the numbers



MARATHON SWIMMERS TEST THE area that will host many of this summers swimming events including the men’s marathon 10K swim. This pond is located in London’s Hyde Park. Photo by David Poultney of LOCOG

Summer Olympic Sports Archery Badminton Basketball Volleyball Boxing Wrestling

Diving Equestrian Fencing Football Gymnastics Track&Field

Tennis Taekwondo Water Polo Weight Lifting Triathlon

Pentathlon Rowing Sailing Shooting Swimming Table Tennis

Canoeing Cycling Handball Field Hockey Judo


Olympic security strengthens With a huge crowd expected for the 2012 Games, huge security measures have been taken:

Rooftop Gunman: Being placed on top of buildings and apartments to protect from potential air attacks on London. Missiles: Will be hidden for emergency attacks on London. Protests: After protests from citizens on the extra taxes, government officials are cracking down. Arrests are to be made to any of the protesters. Moving Forward: In event of an attack, the British Government will be ready.



Doors open for Gold Key winners >>Scholastic awards recognize the most talented artists at SHS



Listen and learn >> Lyrically, instrumentally, and more - how do you tune in to your music?


From Prom to After Prom >> The “Out of this World” Prom theme attracts dancing queens


nything but ‘miserable’


ronoff sells out classic show

Alexis Corcoran

opinion chief

t is pure and simple: Cincinnatians love “Les Miserables.” Few shows can essentially sell out the Aronoff Center for an entire weekend, and “Les Mis” did just about that. The show opened May 8, and closed the evening of May 13 when many mother-and-daughter pairs were seen celebrating Mother’s Day at the theater. The show came with Broadway’s Tour Across America for a weekend engagement as part of the 25th Anniversary Production Tour. The director, Cameron Mackintosh, re-constructed the staging, set design, and more for a new feel to this legendary musical. In (very brief) summary, the play, based on the novel by Victor Hugo, follows a former prisoner named Jean Valjean who escapes parole after being mistreated by a harsh Revolutionary France. After an eye-opening encounter with the local bishop, Valjean promises to start a new, honest life. He finds himself running away from his former prison guard, Javert, who becomes possessed by the obsession to catch Valjean. Valjean meets Fantine, a sickly woman with an illegitimate child named Cosette. Valjean raises Cosette as his own daughter. In Paris French Revolutionary student, Marius (played by CCM graduate, Max Quinlan), is introduced as well as his admirer, Eponine. A classic love triangle evolves when Marius and Cosette fall head over heels for each other, prompting Eponine’s iconic ballad “On My Own.” It is nearly impossible to

discuss this musical without mentioning the score and songs. The score is written over the entire play (this means that the orchestra in the pit never stops playing). Each solo filled the auditorium completely. Often, only trained opera singers can achieve this feat, but several of these musical theater singers did this. Though this sounds extremely non-comittal, the ensemble cast was completely full of incredible voices, but the standouts in my mind -due to my personal song choice more than quality of voices- were Betsy Morgan, who played Fantine, and Quinlan. Morgan performed a nontraditional rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream.” Even nontheater people know this song as Susan Boyle’s ballad. Quinlan wooed every woman in the audience when he sang “A Heart Full Of Love.” In this very Romeo and Juliet love song, the charming Marius sings to Cosette on her balcony about the power of love at first sight. Lauren Wiley played Cosette, and her voice was very reminiscent of Belle from Beauty and the Beast, with its high-pitched whimsicalness. It was a bit distracting in contrast to the other voices in the show. The revived staging was excellent. The backdrops resembled the “Pirates of the Caribbean” aura, and the lighting was masterfully done to compliment the setting. Revolutionary torches and candles, with real flames, lit the stage. The staging was previously done for this show using a turntable, however they did not

have that rotating stage for this production. With so much revolutionary marching across France, there were a few times when the staging was a bit awkwardthere was a lot of marching in place. Most of the staging however, was new and creative, and simply would not have been possible on the traditional turntable.

is dedicated to Shakespeare. For many of the students, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is the first Shakespeare play that they have been introduced to. Teachers have exposed the students to the play in a multitude of ways: for some acts, students were assigned parts and read the play out loud in class or read the play by themselves for homework. “It was really hard to read the play by myself because the language was so confusing. It tended to go faster when we read it in a group setting, but I still did not understand everything completely,” said Emily Hart, 9. For other acts, students acted out scenes in groups. They were required to wear costumes, pick music that fit

their particular scene, and analyze literary devices. Some of Marnie May’s students also performed scenes during this year’s Freshman Expo. Teachers also play the movie version of the famous work for their students. Some showed the original 1968 version and others showed the new 1996 version, which gave the story a modern twist while still using the original Shakespearean language. “I like the modern version because I think they do a good job making the movie so that a younger generation can relate to it more,” said Beth Leblanc, English teacher. Regardless of which version that was showed, the movie helped the students gain a better understanding of the

One scene even involved wirework -which is very rarely invisible, even in professional productions- and successfully lifted Javert above the stage. The idea of majestic spirits in white nightgowns surrounded by mysterious fog rarely have the effect on stage that it is meant to have, but in the final scene, the spirits of Fantine and Eponine come out in just this sort of fantastic setting, and it worked. Whether it was the soft, yellow-orange lighting of the contrast of their stark backdrop to the cold lighting on Marius and Cosette, the spirits managed to feel warm and soft, yet eerie.

THENARDIER, PLAYED BY ASHLEY Artus, is hoisted onto the shoulders of his company after he finishes his solo, “Master of the House.” Artus was part of the 25th Anniversary production of “Les Miserables” in which he played a conman owner of an Inn in Paris. The award-winning show was welcomed by Cincinatians warmly.

Freshman class reads classic tale Megan Jiang

staff writer

“Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona where we lay our scene.” This line opens Shakespeare’s iconic play, “Romeo and Juliet.” This well-known tragedy centers around two feuding families, the Montagues and the Capulets. The two families are sworn enemies whose hatred has been running deep for multiple generations. The son of the Montague household and the daughter of the Capulet household fall in love. These star-crossed lovers cannot be together because of the family feud. Ultimately, their love leads to their untimely suicide. For freshmen English classes, a large part fourth quarter

play by seeing actors really act it out. “I liked the movie. It was really cheesy at times, but it really did help me to understand the language better when I could see the context it was meant to be used in,” said Joseph Vaz, 9. Even though Shakespeare can be confusing, some students liked the unit and enjoyed reading the play. “I think ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was an interesting read. Even though I already knew how it ended, it was still fun to watch the plot unfold,” said Stephanie Fleites, 9. To finish up the Shakespeare unit, freshmen English classes are now reading “Taming of the Shrew” which is a comedy. This light-hearted tale is a sharp contrast to “Romeo and Juliet.”

A&E >>the sycamore leaf >>

musical ch a t t e r Krittika Chatterjee a&e chief

My intention in writing Musical Chatter was never to come off as a ‘hipster.’ It really is okay to enjoy what is popular. Guilty pleasure songs, while they used to be a secret of mine, are recently taking up a fair amount of my iPod space. “Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber There is no denying it anymore – the Biebs has grown up. Puberty has been good to him. This song takes me back to Justin Timberlake’s early solo stuff (who remembers “Cry Me a River”?) It has such an oldschool pop vibe, I think anyone who says they don’t like it at least a little is lying. Releasing 30-second video teasers months before the release of the “Boyfriend” music video left some fans (namely, me) nearly rabid. Good thing the video doesn’t disappoint, but it is PG-13 to say the least. Bieber is definitely not the same boy that sang “One Time.” “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen The last time we saw a song go viral hails back to “Friday” by Rebecca Black. Thankfully, Jepsen has some measure of natural talent. She was pegged by Bieber himself after Canadian Idol. At first listen, I thought this would be the kind of song that comes and goes. It has a catchy chorus and a vocalist that is mediocre at best – under no circumstances is it a masterpiece. So why can’t I stop singing this song, ever? At the beginning of the “Call Me Maybe” hype, stars like Bieber and his girlfriend Selena Gomez made a parody music video that shot to millions of views in a matter of weeks. Even National Public Radio was covering stories on “Call Me Maybe.” “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction Oh. My. Goodness. If you know me, you know my obsession with these four perfectly streamlined and styled Brits and one Irishman. Seriously. These guys have a borderline cult following. If you haven’t met a Directioner yet, watch out. Presale tickets for the Columbus, OH tour date on June 13, 2013 are already sold out. That’s right – over a year from now. So, to students, I say: I know you listen to the radio. Don’t try and hide your secret obsessions, because I can guarantee that most of us are silently jamming to the very same songs. For comments on this column, please write to

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eyond the drawing room Students speculate on Scholastics Art and Writing Awards

Rachael Sun

all seniors, also won awards on the National level. Smith, in addition to being recognized with a Gold Key award for her piece “I! HAVE NOT! BEEN! HS would like to recognize the three students UNHAPPY! MY WHOLE! LIFE!” received a $50,000 who made it to the New York National Awards scholarship as well. of the Scholastics Art and Writing competition. This is the first year that SHS has sent three students Now let’s have a big “GO AVES”…one….two…. to the National competition. “Being selected from such This brief announcement comes once a huge range of participants, who are narrowered a year to SHS, is quickly followed by minimal down to those select few is a great honor,” said Mrs. acknowledgement from the majority of the student Margaret Copfer, art teacher. body, and then consequentially dismissed in less than And the rewards reaped from the competition do a minute. not simply end at the monetary level. For some artists, And yet, for certain participants in the program, the Scholastics may signify the beginning of an extensive announcement symbolizes the culmination of a year’s artistic career. worth of effort. Much more than a simple art and Judged by luminaries from all artistic and written writing program, the annual Scholastics competition departments, Scholastic participants are exposed to a affords aspiring students the opportunity to develop wide range of constructive criticism. as an individual, and possibly to begin their career as “I think Scholastics is more of an opportunity to an artist. get recognized objectively, by professional artists. “Scholastics is the only venue of its kind across the However at the same time I don’t think that makes or nation. It provides students with the opportunity to breaks an artist’s development,” said Mr. Peter Griga, see the work of their peers, in great numbers,” said photography teacher. Mrs. Kathy Ferguson, art A young artist or writer’s teacher. contribution to the I don’t put receiving awards as a top For good reason, competition rewards them enthusiasm towards the priority, but rather as a standard and in more than monetary or Awards should not simply technical ways. For some, model for how far I need to push be reserved for those in the program provides the art department. opportunities to jump start my mind and creativity. The competition begins amazing careers in their in the regional level, respective fields. where over 13 million This is evident in previous students across the nation Scholastic award winners, participate every year. The which include renowned pop art figure Andy Warhol young artists and writers are evaluated on originality, and Copfer. technical skill and their the emergence of a personal “It’s really great how broad the Scholastics program voice or vision. is. I mean, not all pieces gets to nationals but almost “I entered my first scholastics contest in the 8th everyone who participates gets something out of the grade, barely understanding the enormity of the entire experience,” said Scott Kim, 12. system. Now, after having been to the New York And so the next time the announcements come on Nationals twice, I don’t put receiving awards as a top to “recognize” those students who strove for success priority, but rather as a standard and model for how through Scholastics, take a minute to reflect on their far I need to push my mind and creativity,” said Hope achievements. Wang, 10. “I think the Scholastics are sometimes overlooked, Wang and Madeline Garrett, 10, both were or minimized. We recognize at SHS things such as selected as New York winners this year. The two national merit, however I think that the Scholastics sophomores participate in art classes outside of competition is something that is just as important and school, and therefore are not recognized often during large as those,” said Copfer. announcements. The awards, however extensive and intimidating Shayna Siegel, Kendra Grubba, and Olivia Smith, they may seem, never fail to give and take for the


associate editor

The Awards by the numbers


art and writing pieces showcased in Carnegie Hall

categories of art and writing


Hope Wang, 10


million dollars awarded in scholarships

Image by R a c hae lS un


partnering organizations

THE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES that students can submit artwork and writing pieces to allow those participating to be exposed to a wide range of work. LEFT, “I! HAVE NOT! BEEN! UNHAPPY! MY WHOLE! LIFE!”, painted by Olivia Smith, 12, won her national recognition in receiving a Gold Medal and a$50,000 scholarship. “I’ve been workwriting-competition-achievments/a6df3/ ing with Olivia through the Scholastics process, and it’s amazing to see how she has developed as an individual,” said Mrs. Margaret Copfer, art teacher. BELOW, HOPE WANG’S DRAWING “Fragile Identity” was one of her two works that made it to the New York Finals and awarded the Prismacolor Award. Wang’s work reflects an artistic vision and character, something that Scholastics judges always look out for.

Photos courtesy of Olivia Smith and Hope Wang.

Photo gallery of Scholastics Art and Writing Competition Achievements 2012

sycamore leaf 14 5.25.2012 a&e >>the



>>the sycamore leaf >> 12.14.2011

Sound of your music Different ears, different frequency Britton Kemp


staff writer

usic has always been a major part of our everyday lives. Today there are so many genres and so many different sounds that we listen to that a person can practically describe their personality by the type of music they like. A major question has come up: do you listen to the melody, the rhythm, or the lyrics? Although the combination of the three are used side by side in each song, every person listens to music in their own way. The lyrics and the melody play major roles in the overall look of a song. In a survey of 36 people, 21 claimed they listen to the melody of a song first.


The melody is better known as the tune. In many newer genres such as hip hop and rap, many argue they hardly contain any melodious components. Leonard Bernstein, classical composer, states, “A melody can be a lot of things. It can be a tune, a theme, or a motive.” Even though a majority of people recognize melody as the tune of a song, they also need to consider that even the simplest chord progressions can be melodic. Melodies have also been appropriated as the “mood” of the song. Music without lyrics, like classical or even the newer dub step, can set a mood by the patterns of notes used and the rhythm they are played.


Drum patterns and repetition also play a major role in music. Newer songs, many of which are considered dancing music, always have a very catchy rhythm pattern alongside a basic continuous melody. These songs usually do not contain very strong lyrical content, and rely more on the sound, than the actual meaning of the song. The real meaning of these songs are to make you move, not to listen to the words. Some people find that these songs can be too basic, because the melody and the rhythm repeat over and over again. Genres that tend to use this technique are hip hop, rap, and pop. Rhythm can make or break a song from being good. If the percussion used in a song doesn’t flow well with the other aspects of the track, then it could cause listeners

stop following along with the song, and simply lose interest.


The message given through lyrics is the most powerful utility to some when it comes to music. Many use lyrics to tell stories; others use lyrics to entertain listeners as the song progresses. Many rap artists have used lyrics to defy the stereotype given to the genre. In present day, rap music has become a competition for whoever comes up with the best metaphors and punch lines.


The mixture of melody, rhythm, and lyrics can create pretty influential and impactful pieces of music. Each person listens to music differently and that is why different people listen to different types of music. Many other factors are in play when songs are made. This includes the tempo and pitch of the song. Whether you find the melody, rhythm, or the lyrics to be the most important part, musicians will always try to find new ways to satisfy the listeners’ ear.

music by the numbers

Synthetic sounds make comeback In the last decade, music has become more about the sound, or instruments, than the words. Genres like dub step and techno, are finally becoming big parts of music in the U.S., compared to being in the background like they were ten years ago. Not only are these genres changing, but also many of the rock and alternative genres are also. For example, Death Cab for Cutie singer, Ben Gibbard, has experimented with using synth in his other group The Postal Service. Recently Gotye, a Belgian-Australian artist hit the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, with ‘Somebody That I Used to Know.’ In this song he uses many of the common instruments, but also uses a synthesizer. Many genres are on the downfall because many artists are more about the sound instead of the meaning. In the hip-hop culture, lyrics have changed from describing hard lifestyles, to flaunting about money.


Million songs on iTunes, and counting

‘A new day has come’


Hours teenagers spend each day listening to music


Number of existing music genres Source:

Lyrics lose meaning Music nowadays seems to be more about the overall sound than the breakdown of songs. This means that many songs that actually have meaning are being ignored for songs that have a nice beat and somewhat dumbfounded lyrics. The origin of the hip-hop rap style was for rappers from rough areas to describe the struggles and daily lives of the people in these areas. Late 80’s leading into the early 90’s, many artists like Run DMC, Funkmaster Flex, and Jay-Z became a part of the music scene. Although Jay-Z is still a part of the hip-hop scene, the way he writes his songs and the sound of his music has changed gradually through time. Many of the top rap artists today like Lil’ Wayne, send no real messages, and tend to make songs about negative topics, while depending on his instrumentals to make the song a hit.

all images by Ana Barros


Year the first recorded song, ‘Mary had a Little Lamb,” was recorded by Thomas Edison

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‘Out of this World’: Prom 2012 Kelsey King


broadcast editor-in-chief

Aditi Sharma

managing editor

rom recently took place Apr. 28 for upperclassmen. This year’s themes were “Out of this World” for Prom and “After Dark” for After Prom. Seniors Peter Giannetti and Riley Miller won the title of prom king and queen (pictured left). The SHS upperclassman danced the night away under the stars at the Oasis Event Center in Loveland. The night concluded with After Prom at the high school where students were haunted by the many activities including a hypnotist show, blackjack, minuteto-win-it games, bouncy castles, palm reading, and an array of different food and prizes. After all the excitment, students were left to catch up on sleep and reminisce on a night they will never forget. CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP RIGHT: Nicolas Hershey, 10, and Nanki Hura, 11, play minute-to-win it games. Ben Mather, 12, dances the night away as Taryn Heidel, 12, James Perryman, 12, and Jack Henning,12, take their bets at blackjack. Alex Knorr,12, and his date get their portrait drawn.

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JV, JVB boys lacrosse >> Future bright for upcoming Varisty team


Varsity baseball Opinion 4 >> Q and A with Ricky Miller on season and personal goals


Jul. 14 - 15 Jose Cerda Memorial Water Polo Tournament

>>the sycamore leaf >>


From coast to coast Girls lax program shoots for

Upcoming SHS Sporting Events Jul. 7 - 8 Boys Soccer showcase Bowling Green University


JV boys volleyball 4 Opinion >> Varsity gold team powers through for great start


Image by Michael Saxon

Aug. 14 Boys soccer vs. Indian Hill 7 p.m.

Aug. 14 Girls golf Sycamore Invitational 8 a.m. - Walden Pond Aug. 17 Girls tennis @ Col. Academy 12:30 p.m.

Aug. 20 Girls golf vs. Lakota West 1 p.m. - Glenview Aug. 20 Cross Country Sunset Invitational 7 p.m. Aug. 21 Boys Soccer vs. Elder 7 p.m.

Aug. 21 Girls soccer @ MND 7 p.m. Aug. 23 Girls soccer vs. Ursuline 7 p.m. Aug. 23 Girls tennis vs. Mason Time TBA Aug. 24 Football vs. Anderson Skyline Crosstown Showdown 6 p.m. - UC Nippert Stadium Aug. 27 Volleyball vs. Loveland 6:30 p.m. Events according to master athletic schedule for the office of Athletic Director

“Coming off a tough loss is not Lina Cardenas always the easiest, but you have staff writer to make sure to keep everyone’s Atiya Dosani head held up high,” said news chief Kristine Monaghan, 10. Their focus was rewarded in he SHS girls lacrosse their next game against another program has had a big rival, Mariemont. Having tremendous amount of one of the top lacrosse programs success this season. This in Cincinnati, it was sure to be a is true for all three teams of the tough game, but the team pulled program, from Varsity, all the through and won 8-7. way down to the freshman level. Throughout the rest of the Varsity on path for State season, the JV team continued Months of hard work and effort their success. Their loss to St. have paid off for the girls lacrosse Ursula was outnumbered by team. With an outstanding record wins against teams including of 11-2-1, the girls have paved the Ursuline Academy, Anderson way for a home game route to the High School, and Seaton High coveted State title. School. The season started off with an “It was evident in our game early loss in overtime to Medina against Seaton how far each High School, but since then, the young woman had come, and JV just victorious girls have taken off, winning key how the collective group came As the Varsity girls’ lacrosse games against tough opponents together as a team,” said Strong. team heads toward state, such as Mason High School, On May 12 the season came to the JV team has gone mostly and upsetting rival schools New a close in a tough game against Albany and New Trier of Illinois. unrecognized. But as the season Upper Arlington. At the end of the came to a close, the team emerged Although the girls fell to first half, SHS was down 0-6, but with an abundance of success longtime rival Upper Arlington, they did not give up. Although the they have high hopes for the State with a 6-3 season. final score was a loss of 4-7, it was “The young women who came tournament. a well-played game. together this year for JV lacrosse The last time the girls were at Defensively, the girls were able were dedicated and had a drive a State final was in 2009, where to hold off Upper Arlington, they beat Upper Arlington to win to succeed. Each young woman allowing them to score only came to practice with a desire to the title for the second time. one goal in the second half. The do better and learn,” said Sarah Despite their loss to Upper offense also showed strength and Strong, JV coach. Arlington, the girls are fired teamwork by going from scoring The team started off the season up to see them again late in the no goals in the first half to four with a 6-4 win against Summit tournament. As of press time, the goals in the second half. Country Day, followed by an girls won their first tournament This game proved the JV team’s outstanding 15-1 win against game against St. Ursula High persistence and perseverance, School, crushing the Bulldogs 19-6. Lakota West. These games were two of the most important things led by a smart defensive line and They are scheduled to play in the SHS lacrosse program. Mount Notre Dame on Mon. May strong players on offense. “They are truly a team which “It is always a good thing to get 21 and Mason High School on supports each player for who that first win of the season,” said Thurs. May 24. they are and what they bring to Madeline Baker, 10. The girls credit their success to the team. As a coach, I am proud Although energized from these the tremendous amount of talent of each of my players for the early wins, the JV girls made sure on the team. Although they are commitment they made and the that they did not let it get to their relatively young, several girls perseverance that they showed,” heads, especially with their next received state-wide recognition said Strong. game against long-time rival Mason. for their minutes on the field. Ending the season with only With months of conditioning Baas was awarded All State three losses, the JV girls lacrosse and pre-season practice, the team and First Team All-District, team has shown just how effective hoped to emerge with a win, Hailey Jardin, 12, was awarded teamwork can be. Although they especially because they tied last All-District and Second All have been strong from the very year. It was a hard-fought battle, State, Kathleen Gasset, 11, was beginning, they have grown awarded All-District, Abby Wise, but the game ended with a 8-12 tremendously as a team, with a defeat. 10, Kara Marth, 10, and Ashley lot to be proud of. Bennoit, 10, were awarded Q&A with Megan Rogge, freshman lacrosse player Second Team All-District and Lizzy MacVittie, 10, was What was your final record? awarded an Honorable Mention. We finished the season 2 - 4. “I am very excited that I got What were your team’s strengths and weaknesses? honored. That motivates me Our strengths were our offensive moves to the goal. Our weakto continue to get better and nesses were definitely our sparse number of experienced defensive to hopefully become an Allplayers, team unity, and passing. American,” said Gasset. In what areas did your team improve this season? With these accolades comes Well, a lot of the freshman were new to the game so they learned a the pressure to rise up against lot. As a team, we learned to communicate better. the competition. This pressure is What were some key games for you this season? especially difficult for the seniors, Our first victory against Little Miami was the climax and the high as they are now out of school.


“It is really nice to finally be out of school and be graduating, but we still have to focus on lacrosse especially because it is tournament time. It can definitely be hard to focus while all my friends are out having fun, but it will definitely be worth it in the end,” said Amanda Frey, 12. Although these next two weeks will be mentally and physically grueling for the girls, they are ready for the challenge, and eager to conquer the State title. “I am very excited for the playoffs. It’s our chance to show everyone what we are capable of,” said Katie MacLachlan, 12. The State tournament will be played at Mason High School this year, with the final being held on June 2.

point of our season. I believe the score was 14-2.

Michael Saxon

sports chief

Death of Junior Seau sparks more debate The protest over the physicality of the NFL has been going on for some time now, and it has always faded to the background as time progresses, with other stories never failing to steal the spotlight. However, this debate has risen to the surface yet again after the tragic death of long-time NFL player Junior Seau. While his death may or may not be linked to any concussions or injuries suffered during his NFL career, it still raises “the question.” Is the NFL becoming too physical? To me, the answer is, and always will be, no. The players know what they are getting themselves into when they step onto that football field. While in the past this excuse could not have sufficed, everywhere one turns today there’s an article about a new study on concussions, or a poster projecting the ramifications of having one. In the past, players simply weren’t aware of the dangers associated with concussions. Now, there is no excuse. The players should know that concussions are very serious. These men are 20 plus years in age. Shouldn’t we trust them to make an informed decision on something that could impact the rest of their lives? I know, I know. Some of them aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed per say (thank god Terrell Owens retired). All kidding aside, it should still be up to the players. Please do not take this the wrong way. I am not, in any way, disregarding the seriousness of having a concussion. In fact, I’m hoping to do the exact opposite. However, this past season especially, we’ve all seen the number of unnecessary yellow flags thrown due to exceptionally hard hits. And some, I agree, crossed the line. James Harrison’s hit on a defenseless Colt McCoy was just plain vicious. However, some other hits that players were penalized for caused me to shake my head in disbelief. Is this the National Football League or a U-8 local soccer league? Because honestly, there are times I can’t tell the difference. The NFL has players playing scared, scared of 15-yard penalties and getting fined. Herm Edwards was right. You play to win the game. And if that means making a few checks payable to Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL, then so be it. For comments on this column, please email to

sports >>the sycamore leaf >>




itching best freshman season in 10 years

owering through unfavorable conditions Zachary Fritzhand


calendar chief

he season came to a close as they lost to the best team in the GMC, Hamilton Big Blue. However, the freshmen baseball team had their best season in quite some time. The season started off great and then cooled down to a mediocre 2-5. After losing their assistant coach in the middle of the season, they won seven out of 11, including three in a row. “We got on a roll and when we played our best ball, nobody could stop us,” said Will Shrantz, 9. On May 5, the team traveled to Oak Hills High School to play on their Varsity field due to the GMC tournament. The

weather was nasty, and the conditions were not favorable. The first game, they played the Princeton Vikings in which they won 6-1. “We dominated that whole game, and once we took the lead, we never looked back, said Matthew Green, 9 After they won, the team got a half hour break to eat lunch before the best team came to town. Nobody in the stands was suspecting a close game even though Hamilton had lost the last game to Oak Hills. After a scoreless first three innings of play, Hamilton finally came through with a one run lead heading to the fourth inning. Then that was when it all went downhill. The starting pitcher for the team was Drake Heuerman,

FRESHMAN PITCHER SAM FREDETTE gets ready to throw a strike during a game. Freddete had a successful season along side Ryan Wessinger, 9. Fredette also managed to be one of the best hitters on the team.

9, who was just coming off injury due to a bad hip. He pitched a solid four innings before he was pulled for Sam Fredette, 9. “We had them at a tie and then once the fourth inning came around we just lost it,” said Glenn Hughes, 9. The final score was 9-2. The season came to a close, and the team turned in all of their pants and jerseys on May 7. The team also voted for MVP, best offensive player, best defensive player, best pitcher, and Mr. Aviator. This has been the best freshmen baseball team in the past decade.

SHS tennis makes strides on every team Alexander Wittenbaum staff writer

Nakul Narendran sports chief

The Varsity Gold team had a great season going 8-1 in the GMC and winning many more matches against other schools. The team only lost to two schools during the season: Springboro and Mason. Yuri Karev, 11, Nakul Narendran, 9, Nikhil Grandhi, 11, and Dylan Stern, 11, all qualified for doubles state this year, a feat that is very rare. “I can’t believe we had two teams qualify for state in one year! This is my first year and I was so excited when we won our

Q&A with Ricky Miller, Varsity baseball player What were your team’s strengths and weaknesses?

Our team had great chemistry. We didn’t have the best “ball players,” but being so close off the field allowed us to have more chemistry on the field, which was really important because we could trust each other. As for a weak spot; it was definitely how young we were. It doesn’t matter how good you are, when underclassmen dominate your team, there will be struggles from lack of experience.

How would you rate your season?

This season was definitely not a failure.We played a lot of good games with an inexperienced team. For how many sophomores we had, we did a pretty good job.

What were some key games this season? Winning the playoff game felt pretty good. We won a playoff game last year, but getting one against the better ranked Talawanda was pretty special. Jason, Cam, and I had an RBI and Casey pitched a shutout. It was special.

second match qualifying us for state. Nakul and I played great and are ready to perform at the state tournament,” said Karev. The Varsity Green tennis team finished their season strong by taking first place in the annual Sycamore Cup doubles tournament and defeating Seven Hills High School. With an 8-1 record, the team was one of the best in the state. “I am so glad that we could keep the Sycamore Cup at home for the second year in a row. It was well deserved. Beating Seven Hills just added the icing to the cake,” said Shawn Krishnan, 12. The SHS JV boys’ tennis team finished the season exactly how they wanted to. Led by Coach Linsey Farroh, the team went

undefeated. They polished off the season by beating a Varsity B team from Seven Hills High School. “Playing with all my friends for two months was one of the most fun experiences of my life. I loved practicing with the team, laughing with them, eating with them, and everything else we did together,” said Brandon Lombardi, 9.

Scan here with a smartphone for an extended Q&A with Nicholas Hershey, 10.

Reality Check

Debate: Since the start of the MLB season, which team looks the best so far? Michael Saxon

Alex Wittenbaum staff writer

sports chief

Even with the absence of Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals still look the best right now. Sure, they were in a little bit of a funk in the series against the Atlanta Braves, but you have to look at how they began the season. They started out winning nine of their first 12 games, and are currently leading the NL Central. And really, how can you ever go against the defending World Series Champs?

What was your final record?

After a month and a half of baseball, a few teams that stand out to me are the Rangers, the star studded Yankees, and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Yankees and Phillies are off to a slow start, sitting fourth and fifth in their divisions, but in the rich history of these two clubs, they are sure to make a late season run. The Rangers, on the other hand, are living large in first place of their division. They are bound to secure a one seed in the playoffs, and could walk away with a World Series title.

We finished the season 10-16.

What are your hopes for next year’s team once you leave?

Next year, I expect the baseball team to do well. Like I said, they’re young and now have varsity experience, which is valuable. Cam Harris and Greg Simpson will play big roles in helping the baseball team succeed.

What are you going to do next year?

Well I’m going on to play college baseball at Baldwin Wallace College. I’m going to keep working hard and we’re going to try to win some National Championships.

What are your favorite moments from this year?

Early in the season, we had a pretty big win against Hamilton, who’s always tough. Later we upset Oak Hills, who finished second in the league. Also our last regular season game, we beat Lakota East, the defending state champions.

Nakul Narendran sports chief

by nakul narendran

I don’t watch much of the MLB, so if I had to sports chief pick a team to win the World Series, I would go with my hometown team: the Cincinnati Reds. With Scott Rolen being injured for fifteen days, the Reds may have a little bit of a struggle, but I still feel they will be able to pull through when nearing the end of a key game. The Texas Rangers have a chance to win it as well, with Josh Hamilton batting above .300. Of course I want the Reds to win, but I know other teams have a chance too, including the Rangers.

Joey Slovin staff writer

This MLB season will certainly be an exciting one. While I would love to predict the Cincinnati Reds to win the World Series, I simply cannot do that with a good heart. I do not believe that they have the skill to win, and lack especially in the area of a bullpen. If I had to predict a winner, (and I don’t, because I don’t want baseball season to ever end) I would pick the exciting matchup of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Texas Rangers. Why? Four words. Matt Kemp, Josh Hamilton.

*Responses as of press time. For suggestions on what should be debated in the next Reality Check, please email to

NBA Playoffs get heated Nakul Narendran sports chief

Wow. All eight teams who made the playoffs from the Eastern Conference last year did it again. At the beginning of the season, I really didn’t think that Boston was going to make the playoffs this year. Of course, a lot of people thought I was being completely irrational and that Boston would easily make it through. With the loss of Kendrick Perkins in the beginning of the season, and Ray Allen’s age catching up to him, I just didn’t think they had the firepower to make the playoffs again. I thought it would be the year for a dark horse to make it through; however, I was wrong. The Western Conference came out just as I predicted. The Utah Jazz had a tough season last year, so I expected a rebound season. They did just that, making it into the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six years. The only thing that surprised me in the Western Conference was the seventh seed. The defending champions, the Dallas Mavericks, were only able to earn the seventh seed. I’m a fan of Jason Terry, so I was a little disappointed with their result. Who’s my favorite team in the NBA? I will always be a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, Lebron James, or not. I did not have very much confidence in my team, to be honest. I didn’t think they had a chance to make the finals in such a tough Eastern Conference. At this point in the NBA Playoffs, there are 8 teams left: the Philadelphia 76ers, the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat, the Indiana Pacers, the San Antonio Spurs, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. From the Eastern Conference, I would put money on the Heat now that Derek Rose and the Chicago Bulls are out of the picture. Some people might say that Boston might have a chance now that Chris Bosh is out. Dwayne Wade and James? Only the Thunder have a chance against such a loaded team. In my opinion, the Thunder are going to wade through the Western Conference. The only team that can match them is San Antonio, but even then, Kevin Durant is too difficult to defend, and the Spurs don’t have a single player that can rise up like Durant. I’m not really sure what’s going to happen in the NBA Finals. Wade and James together can shut down Durant in a way not many other teams can. At the same time, they can work with each other to put up huge numbers, and for this reason, I’m going to lean towards the Heat for the championship.

For comments on this column, please write to


sports >>the sycamore leaf >>



JV lacrosse finishes season JVB meets, scores goals

Silverman, 10, Sean Cliver, 10, and Mark Reinhart, 10, played important roles. Due to unforeseen circumstances, ith the Varsity lacrosse team Reinhart was actually named the Varsity winning five out of their last team’s starting keeper. seven games, many seem to “It was a great experience getting to play have forgotten the equally under the lights on Varsity. Winning a few successful seasons the JV and JVB teams games in a row was pretty cool too,” said have accomplished at the lower levels. Reinhart. Relying on leadership to guide them The JVB team had an equally successful throughout season, even if the season, their record was the JV team one game below In the end, although we didn’t manage finished with a .500. to win the tournament, we were able record of 9 – 8, The team started accomplishing off slow, losing to secure our winning season, beating their goal of a five of their first out some tough teams along the way. record above games, a statistic .500. identical to this “At the year’s Varsity beginning of the team. However, season, our goal the boys were able was to have a to finish strong and win three out of their winning record, and to finish the season last five games, including a win over an by winning the city tournament. In the undefeated Kings team. end, although we didn’t manage to win the “Our game against Kings High School tournament, we were able to secure our was a game that reflected the progress winning season, beating out some tough our team made since the beginning of the teams along the way,” said Mr. Kyle Papia, season. We were able to defeat the Knights JV head coach. who had an undefeated record at that The team played some hard-fought time,” said Michael Narad, JVB coach. games, including those against Indian Hill Like the JV team, the JVB team also and Elder. prepared its players for the next level, “I would say our biggest game was a a goal that Narad established at the home game against Indian Hill. Winning beginning of the year. by a goal in the fourth showed everyone “We reached this goal by sending up that we can play against some of the big several of our players to JVA this season,” competitors around town. Another big said Narad. game for us was against Elder. It’s been a In the end, both coaches agree that their long time since I’ve seen such a physical, respective seasons were very successful hard-played JV game,” said Papia. and both look forward to seeing the Varsity Papia also stated how he had certain team in the future. players emerge as leaders on the field. His “I look at the upcoming varsity team of four captains Alex Harpring, 11, Nathan the next few years with a very positive Michael Saxon


sports chief

outlook. We have a great group of guys who have the ability to play at a very high level both in high school and beyond. The last couple times Sycamore JV had this kind of talent, the varsity team won the state championship,” said Papia.

Kyle Papia, JV Head Coach

“AS A GOALIE, MARK Reinhart, 10, was a natural leader for the JV team. Mark should be given a lot of credit to our team’s success. Being our goalie of a very defensive-oriented team, he led us to victory time after time by saying what needed to be said, then going out and backing his words up,” said Mr. Kyle Papia, head coach. At the end of the season, Reinhart was moved up to the Varsity roster.

‘It was a great end to a good season’

V, JV softball both achieve goals, improve on previous year Ellen Martinson fun & games chief

Coming into the season, one of the Varsity softball team’s goals was to improve from last year’s record. The team did just that, finishing the season up with a 7-18 record, improving from a 5-16 record last year. However, that was not the only achievement of the softball program this year. The Junior Varsity team drastically improved from last year, finishing with a 10-12 record. Last year, the team only won one game. The majority of the

Varsity team this year was underclassmen, with six underclassmen and five upperclassmen. As a young team, they had to play against stronger and more experienced in the GMC. The Greater Miami Conference is one of the most competitive leagues in southwestern Ohio. A different team wins the league nearly every year, showing how fierce the conference is. “For how good our conference was, I thought we did well,” said Kennedy Abrams, 11.

The Varsity squad lost to Harrison in the first round of the sectional tournament. After five innings on the first day, the team had to travel back to Harrison again the next day to finish the game, where they lost 10-9. However, there was still one more opportunity to finish the season strong. Both teams had one more game after losing in the tournament against Oak Hills. “I wanted to finish the season on a high note,” said Megan Stoy, 12. Both succeeded with wins

over Oak Hills. Varsity won 2-1 in the seventh inning. Stoy, the cleanup hitter, hit a double to tie the game in her final at bat as an Aviator, hitting in Kelly Borman, 10. Then, Sydney Kelly, 11, hit a line drive down the first base line. The first baseman got a glove on it, but could not catch it. Marissa Shor, 10, running for Stoy, ran from second to home, and was safe. “It was a great end to a good season,” said Kelly. The entire softball team should be proud of their accomplishments this season.

Community Fund Management Foundation We’ve Moved...

CATCHER ALEXANDRA BATSCH, 9, AWAITS a throw from the outfield to gun down a runner in a game versus Oak Hills. The Junior Varsity team went 10-12 this season as they faced a tough Greater Miami Conference. The team vastly improved upon last year’s season, where they won a mere one game.

14955 Sprague Road Suite 290 Strongsville, OH 44136 Phone: 216-736-4540 Fax: 216-867-9783

Joey Slovin staff writer

Who Dey, or Boo Day?

Are you ready for some football, or just another disappointment in the eyes of all Bengals fans? Speaking of fans, are there any true Bengal fans out there anymore? Has the entire city of Cincinnati lost all hope in a football franchise in this city, or are football fans just in hibernation until after baseball season? Regardless of the outcome of this upcoming season and the next few ones, I can proudly say that I will always be somewhat of a Bengals fan. Maybe not one of the few die-hard fans that paints their bare chest in 30 degree weather down at Paul Brown Stadium (PBS) but certainly watching every single game from the confort of my living room. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll make the voyage to PBS on some select Sundays to see just how good this draft class is. In fact, Sports Illustrated graded the Bengals 2012 draft class as an A-plus, taking the one spot out of all thirty-two NFL teams. In the first round, the Bengals received a second pick on top of their original, courtesy of the trade with the Raiders involving quarterback Carson Palmer last season. The Bengals’ first selection was Dre Kirkpatrick, cornerback out of the University of Alabama, with the seventeenth overall pick. Kirkpatrick will add elite coverage, along with powerful legs that propel him over receivers and will help to stop opponents from airing it out. Ten picks later, they selected offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler from the University of Wisconsin, along with a myriad of other talented draftees. If this season doesn’t bring a smile to the face of Marvin Lewis, head coach of the Bengals, I don’t know what will. Seriously, have you ever seen that guy smile? However, I can’t blame him for not smiling. If you were an unsuccessful football coach in an unforgiving city, would you be smiling? No. I give Lewis another two years if we have consistent .500 seasons, or, if we fail to have a winning record this upcoming year, he’s fired. In my opinion, that is.And who would replace him? Well, that would be up to Mike Brown, current owner of the team. I would love to steal Sean Peyton, head coach of the Saints, who is currently suspended for a bounty-related program within his team, or Mike Thomas, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Regardless, I can’t see the Bengals future getting any more bleak than our past has been. Wow, I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve never been more excited for this Bengals season.

For comments on this column, please write to

sports >>the sycamore leaf >>



Jumping the competition V olleyball team shows promising future Allison Oh

staff writer

Lauren Saxon

staff writer


ach year, many freshmen are surprised to discover that SHS has its own men’s volleyball team. Most people think that volleyball is only a girls’ sport because it was not offered to boys at the junior high level. This year however, five freshmen boys took advantage of the opportunity to play the sport for the first time and competed on the men’s JV team. The JV team had an exceptional season, finishing with an undefeated record of 8-0 in the Greater Miami Conference.

The team had an overall winning record of 11-2, performing well in not only regular season games, but in weekend tournaments as well. Some season highlights included victories against Lakata East, Mason, and Lakota West. These teams were some of the toughest competition in the GMC, and beating them placed SHS among the best in the conference. Even though it was their first year playing volleyball for a school team, all five freshmen contributed to the JV season. Each player shares their thoughts on the season, their strengths and weaknesses, and personal goals for next year. Every victory this season proved that SHS has one of the best JV volleyball teams in the GMC and showed that guys really can play volleyball.

Jonathan Rollins # 2

Meet the


Position: Back Row Strengths: Passing Areas to Improve: Hitting

Thought on the season: We had a lot of fun this season I’m really glad I decided to play this year.

Goals for next year: I want to improve my hitting and get more playing time on JV.

Alex Wright # 3

Andrew Bemmes # 4

Position: Middle,

Position: Setter

front, and back

Strengths: Hitting and passing

Areas to Improve: Blocking and serving


Thoughts on the season: We had a great season. Our victory against Mason was probably the highlight.

season and I had a lot of fun. Goals for next year: I plan to get better.

Goals for next year: Have another

Nick Frankowski # 9

Mark Rankey # 10

Position: Front

Position: Back row

Strengths: Hitting Areas to Improve: Blocking

Thoughts on the season: We were THIS SEASON, THE JV boys’ volleyball team went undefeated in the GMC’s. The team worked hard all season and won all of their games against teams such as Lakota East and West, Princeton, and Colerain. “Our best game was against Mason,” said Andrew Bemmes, 9.

Areas to Improve:

Thoughts on the season: It was a successful


All images by Allie Oh

Strengths: Setting

pretty successful this season and we went on a pretty long winning streak.

Goals for next year: Next year I hope to swing JV and Varisty.

undefeated season.

Strengths: Serving Areas to Improve: Setting and jumping

Thoughts on the season: We did very well. We went undefeated in the GMC.

Goals for next year: To be on varsity.



Shining with Smilg


Lights, Camera, Sound Kathryn Tenbarge

spotlight chief

>>the sycamore leaf >>

Eli Seidman-Deutsch web master


PLAYBILL Aves Theater

Ethan Smilg, 9

AVES THEATRE John Whaphman, Director

7400 Cornell Rd Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 A Cappie Production

Sarah Garvey, Assistant


ETHAN SMILG Assistant to the Head of Sound

INTO THE WOODS Q: How did you get started with tech, especially technical theater? A: I started working in the theater during 6th grade as a spotlight operator, and from there went to lights, and then in 8th grade to sound, which is what I specialize in now.

Q: What are your other interests besides tech? A: I really enjoy reading, video games, Doctor Who, aquariums, and music. I’m a huge fan of Radiohead. Q: What is your favorite thing about working behind-the-scenes? A: I really enjoyed meeting new people and forming new friendships. Q: If you couldn’t be on tech crew, which school activities would you participate in? A: I’m considering joining Mock Trial next year and hoping to get involved with the One Act Play Festival as well, because it isn’t very heavy on tech at all.

2012 Playbill Inc

11023 Montgomery Road

Cincinnati, OH


(513) 530-5501

Graduates, it is time to indulge… Enjoy a complimentary chocolate fondue with the purchase of a combination dinner for two! Restrictions apply. Valid at the Cincinnati location only. Not valid with any other special offers or on certain holidays. Offer is subject to vary or change. Must present this offer to your server. Offer good until June 30.

6/31/12 Not valid with any other offers. Limit one coupon per customer. Only at harpers station .

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Near BW3’s and Subway at Harper’s Station


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