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Sycamore High School News Magazine Volume 4 | Issue 6 | January 31, 2017


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pg.3 NEWS






2| Local shootings leads safety concerns 8| All about art 3| Loving Communities unite against hate 9| Dictionaries present words of the year 10| Nominations pave way for future service 4| SHS supports Sioux, stops DAPL


pg.13 pg.16 FUN &GAMES 17| Crazy jumble




5| Staff Editorial 6| Examining mid-terms 7| Selective Mourning

11-14| Fake news

18| Bowling knocks competition 19| Having fun, getting fit 20| Winter track takes strides



15| New year brings reading resolutions 16| Bach to rock

21| Freshman photographer focuses photos

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 on which there may be dissent and controversy. Students can not publish material that is obscene, libelous, or is likely to cause “a substantial disruption of the educational process.” Content that may stimulate heated debate or discussion is not included in this definition. The views represented in our publications do not represent the views of the Sycamore Community School District or the Sycamore High School administration. Our publications are public forums.



Sycamore High School 7400 Cornell Road Cincinnati, OH 45242

Cheralyn Jardine

PHOTOGRAPHER McDaniel’s Photography

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

EXECUTIVE CO-EDITORSIN-CHIEF Hannah May Benjamin Ruskin MANAGING EDITOR Amy Deng ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jenna Bao CREATIVE PROJECT DIRECTORS Jenna Bao Taylor Close Sarah Horne Lauren Kurtzer BUSINESS MANAGEMENT TEAM Eshika Kohli David Wertheim PRINT EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Natalie Brinkman Adhiti Chundur

Sydney Evans SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Sydney Weiss WEBMASTER Caroline Bruns WEB EDITOR -IN-CHIEF Harsimran Makkad LEAFLET EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Hannah Frey LEAFLET MANAGING EDITOR Emily Chien LEAFLET DESIGNERS/ WRITERS Eshika Kohli Sydney Weiss COPY EDITOR Anne Marsh NEWS Yasmine Guedira Max Torem

SPORTS William Coleman Caroline Veraldo FEATURE Allyson Bonhaus ENTERTAINMENT Taylor Close OPINION Alexander Karev Joshua Patterson FUN & GAMES Samuel Ruskin STAFF WRITERS Elizabeth Arveladze Abigail Bastin Lindsey Brinkman Nathan Colliver Meghan DiGiovanna Lexi Fritzhand Jacqueline Grega Mark Huffer

Chelsea Kinney Yeyoung Lee Abigail Lefton Hannah Loftspring Jessica Lu Sara Margolis Lydia Masset Jason Merkel Yvanna Reyes Madalyn Saunders Jessica Schaad Madeline Shewbridge Uttkantha Sindhwani David Sung Kirsten Thomas Edward Wade Kamaria Walton Jacob Wittenbaum

THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG |1



Local shooting leads to safety concerns weapon while intoxicated and inducing inside of a movie theater in Milford. Just panic. a few weeks ago at the Rave Cinema, news chief The third and most recent incident a gun was found in the theater and the involving gunfire took place just down entire building was evacuated. n the past two months, there have Cornell Road. On Tues. Jan. 10, former Shortly after the gun was found, it was been three incidents involving SHS graduate Trey discovered that the guns that directly affected the SHS Gentry decided weapon belonged community. In the past two months, to enter the to Shauna The first incident that occurred took there have been three Smashburger located Lambert, an offplace on Dec. 21, the last day of midincidents involving guns at 4752 Cornell duty police officer. term exams. There was a soft lockthat directly affected the Road and open fire Lambert has a down in the entire building. on employee Josh history of alcohol SHS community. The lock-down was due to an active Abbott. troubles, and she shooter on Reed Hartman Highway. Court documents was intoxicated After news broke of a shooter so indicate that Gentry when she dropped close to the school, necessary safety and Abbott got in a fight in the back of her gun inside of a theater full of people. precautions were taken by entering a the restaurant. Although it is unknown Before police could arrive at the scene, lock-down phase. why Gentry decided to shoot Abbott, a few brave citizens kept Lambert under “I remember being on lock-down, the conflict prompted one of the men to control while the rest of the movieand it was weird because we practice shoot the other in a public area. goers proceeded to clear out of the so much for these. I thought people After Gentry fired his shots and fled building. Once police arrived, Lambert would’ve been freaking out but the restaurant, it was discovered that was handcuffed and escorted out of the everyone was pretty calm. The he was attempting to leave the state building. situation was handled really well,” said as well. Working with the Cincinnati Cincinnati police have said that Jonah Kim, 12. police, the Los Angeles police arrested Lambert could face disciplinary action. The second incident took place Gentry at an airport in the City of She is facing charges of possession of a Angels. Gentry now faces charges of attempted murder and Abbott is in stable condition. Officials say that the shots were fired around 2:20 p.m., which is the time when the school day ends. Some SHS students were extremely close to the restaurant when the shooting happened, others were just on their way home when they began to see the area being swarmed with police officers. “I saw all of the police cars driving by and completely take over the parking lot at Smashburger. I had no clue what had happened but I knew it was serious,” said Jack Loon, 12. No current SHS students or staff were injured in the events despite the close proximity. This was a potential RECOVERY. When Abbott was shot by Gentry, one of the bullets pierced through his femoral artery. This artery supplies blood to a persons legs and lower limbs, so if it is threat, and should serve as a reminder damaged in any way, the potential consequences can be as severe as death. The most to take precautionary measures to recent reports from officials state that Abbott is in a critical, yet stable condition, and that ensure personal safety. he is making a recovery day by day. Photo courtesy of Yasmine Guedira MAX TOREM


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Loving communities unite against hate

Q&A with Sarah Weiss: Director of Jewish Community Relations Council BEN RUSKIN executive co editor-in-chief


Peaceful transition, peaceful protest

ollowing the controversial entrance of President Donald Trump, marked by a record low approval rating, America is anxious. This uneasiness has led to an uproar in hate crimes, some of which are taking place here in Cincinnati. In the first days of the new year, a swastika was painted on the front sign of Hebrew Union College in downtown Cincinnati. Soon after this incident, Withrow High School, also in Cincinnati, was vandalized with swastikas and hateful messages. Trump’s name accompanied some of these phrases and symbols at Withrow. Some extremist anti-Semites and white supremacists have interpreted Trump’s election as an excuse to release their hatred. More recently, another incident

Q: Why is this incident such a traumatic event for the Jewish community in Cincinnati? A: This act struck a nerve that would make it seem this incident was anything but minor. The swastika carries a Q: What was done to the front sign painful past that symbolizes hate, at Hebrew Union College in early dehumanization, destruction, and loss. January? Its placement on the sign of a sacred A: As we found ourselves full of hope institution that has played a critical role with the start of the New Year, that in the Cincinnati community and in hope was shattered for some on Tues. shaping Judaism in America only elevated Jan. 3 when news broke that a swastika the significance of this hateful act. was found on the sign of Hebrew Union Q: How did other organizations College--Jewish Institute of Religion’s within Cincinnati respond to the Clifton campus. incident? Q: What actions were taken when A: Despite the incident, one thing that the symbol was discovered? we can draw inspiration from is the A: Fortunately, the actual swastika outpouring of support that came from was removed promptly and there was near and far. The reaction from the no indication that this carried a larger Cincinnati community and beyond has threat. We are grateful for the swift and been incredible. So while this incident serious response of the Cincinnati Police may have broken our hope, the response Department. should mend it.

occurred on the Loveland Bike Trail. A white nationalist symbol was painted on the path along with a slur about former president Barack Obama’s race.

Q&A with Sarah Weiss

SARAH HORNE creative projects director

Donald J. Trump took the oath of office and was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Fri. Jan. 20. “My intent was to witness an inauguration and have the rare opportunity to go. My daughter asked to go so we contacted our state representative early enough to get tickets. We wanted to show respect to President Obama who was leaving office and show respect to the incoming president,” said Mrs. Marnie May, English teacher. On the day of the inauguration, some protests became violent protests, however military police were able to control the situation and avoid significant damage. “We have a right to peaceful protest. It can be done peacefully and it should be done peacefully,” said Elizabeth Rickert, SHS alum. The following day, Jan. 21, Rickert was a part of a peaceful protest by joining millions of others who were in the Women’s March. “At the Women’s March I saw so much diversity and was glad to see many men were there showing

support. They held signs saying it is ‘her choice’ and that is when I truly felt support. Because the battle was not gender vs. gender, it was over equality,” Rickert said. Massive amounts of people attended Protesters stand with their signs during the march and the SPEAK. the Women’s March. Both SHS graduate Elizabeth crowds stretched Rickert and English teacher Mrs. Marnie May so wide that it took attended the inauguration. “I have always been into news and government,”May said. Photo Courtesy of an hour to walk from one street to Elizabeth Rickert. the next. Women’s Marches were held in Cincinnati and all 50 states and Puerto Rico, along with over 60 other countries across the world. “It was interesting seeing two very passionate groups of Americans showing up for what they believe in, whether it was supporters of the next president or the people who supported the interest of women in today’s society.” THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG |3


SHS supports Sioux, stops DAPL HANNAH MAY co executive editor-in-chief


ontroversy over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has exploded into a nationwide conflict within the span of a few weeks. Hundreds of people across the country involved themselves in the issue as DAPL hashtags flooded social media. “What really brought the pipeline to my attention was Twitter. I saw the ‘NoDAPL’ hashtag trending. As I researched more of the injustices that the Sioux tribe face, ... I wanted to become a part of the movement towards equality,” said Stephanie Mather, 12. Mather brought the conflict to SHS by starting a donation box at the school. “The idea to start a donation box came to me on Thanksgiving. The

protectors of Standing Rock used that day to set up a demonstration in the middle of the city to show what Thanksgiving means to the natives,” Mather said. She hung flyers and posted about the opportunity for SHS students to help the cause on social media. “As I watched the demonstration on livestream, I felt compelled to join the protest - I even looked for flights to Standing Rock. But, when I realized that dropping out of school and going to North Dakota was a bit unrealistic, I started researching what I could do here, in Cincinnati,” Mather said. The proposed project to build a $3.8 billion pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois as a way to transport crude oil was widely contested by supporters and members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Opposer to the DAPL argue that it would impose upon tribal lands and destroy tribal artifacts. It would also be hazardous to the water supply. For months, protesters had been camped out at the Standing Rock site of construction, delaying production. The Army Corp of Engineers announced on Sun. Dec. 4 that it will not grant a permit for the DAPL to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the debated land. “I loved seeing that people [at SHS] were working to bring change. The fact that the pipeline plans were moved from Standing Rock is a huge victory because it shows that our voices are not going unheard,” Mather said. The DAPL is in the process of looking for an alternate route.

PROTECT. Thousands of natives, environmentalists, and veterans stay at a campsite on the Sioux Tribe land in North Dakota. The argument over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline expanded into a conversation of both cultural and social interactions on social media. People across the country became involved and donated items such as blankets to the protestors. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus. 4|THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG

Leafing through the masses: How do we solve the fake news epidemic?

“The best thing we can do is make sure we’re not spreading [fake news] to other people through social media,” Matthew Swartz, 11. “We need to look for sources that are more credible and media that has had truthful information in the past, whatever proves to be unbiased,” William Schramm, 12.

FAKE. The Onion is a classic example of a fake news website, although it is purposefully satiric. Fake news is meant to look like real news but actually contains untrue information. This was a major issue throughout the 2016 election, with even President Donald Trump citing certain articles as fake. It has become polarizing among social media platforms. Photo courtesy of Sydney Evans.

In America, freedom of the press is a fundamental right. There is a reason that it is in the First Amendment of our Constitution. It allows citizens and voters to have access to all of the facts, instead of just the ones that people in power use to support their arguments. However, this freedom is not to be taken lightly. The purpose of this freedom is to inform the public. Yet, the purpose of fake news is to misinform. We, as a society, need to address this threat with the levity it deserves. We choose to put power in the hands of the public. Thus, the public chooses the government, leaders, and society that we all have to live with. All of these choices depend on receiving accurate and meaningful information. The media has the power to swing elections and public opinion. Fake news has that same power. If the public has the wrong information, how can it still be trusted to make the right decisions on key issues? No matter where you stand on an issue, the facts ought to be constant. There should not be alternative versions. Reality is not partisan. Interpretation of the truth only becomes wrong when you begin to make up your own set of facts. For the sake of our democracy, we need to leave our respective bubbles and examine all the information. We need to realize that we cannot cherry pick ideas that only add to our own. We need to embrace the truth, and fight for it.

“People just don’t believe anybody anymore. That’s why science is important. It teaches a healthy skepticism. I hope this turmoil helps people get more involved,” Mr. James Smanik, science teacher. “I think being exposed to fake news has lead people to form very firm contradicting opinions on the new president,” Hannah Bruns, 9.

Staff Editorial

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Examining mid-terms Is having exams before break good? EDWARD WADE staff writer


hroughout our school, there has been discussion about exams and when they should happen, whether they are administered before or after the two-week long winter break. I feel that having midterm exams before winter break is much better than having them after. Whenever you prepare for exams, you have questions and since you are in school when you have those questions you can go straight to a teacher to ask. In addition to teachers, your friends are a great source of help for those difficult questions. Whenever you have exams while you are still in schools, you have all of the much needed resources to help you study. You can talk to a teacher or use the textbook in your locker that you may have forgotten to bring home over break. Excluding summer break, winter break is the longest break we have all year, making it a perfect time to go on a vacation and spend time with family and friends. With your mind off of school work

NOTES. Many students used to feel the stress the second week of winter break. However, in 2015-16 the high school decided to place exams after winter break. This is the second year of the new exam schedule. Photo courtesy of MCT Photo

and other school-related priorities, winter break if the perfect time to sit back and unwind without worrying about upcoming exams. Furthermore, having exams after winter break has more downsides than positives. I feel that winter break is the time for relaxation and spending time with friends and family. If you have all of those notes and Powerpoints running through your brain, there is no way to loosen up. The thoughts of studying throughout a break where you should be relaxing and taking your mind off of school is definitely something that I think I could not do.

My friends from Ursuline always tell me about how stressful it is to try to keep up with the holidays and make sure they do not forget about studying. With many people on vacation and others disappearing communicationwise, the resources you have for help and questions are limited to the Internet and the class work that you keep reading over. Overall I feel that having exams before winter break gives you the chance to relax and not worry about what stressful work awaits.

Ron Delsignore, Agent 615 W Loveland Avenue Loveland, OH 45140-2325 Bus 513.984.5433 Fax 513.985.2122

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Selective mourning Society affected by celebrity deaths UTTKANTHA SINDHWANI staff writer


sk anyone and you will find that the general consensus regarding 2016, as a year, is that it was full of tragedy. Social media seemed to be filled with people mourning one thing after another. The two most common topics seemed to be celebrity deaths and terrorist attacks in multiple nations, in that order. 2016 brought with it the deaths of widelyloved people in the limelight. The music industry lost Prince, David Bowie, and George Michael. The public mourned the death of these public figures with tweets, Instagram pictures, and even murals that popped up in big cities. The film industry lost Alan Rickman and the mother-and-daughter

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pair of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. These losses were big, and you could not avoid being exposed to just how upset the public was about them. On the other hand, thousands of lives were lost elsewhere in the world to the hands of terrorism. More than 500 lives were lost in Turkey in 2016 and the first month of 2017. The 2016 death toll in Syria was almost 17,000. Compare the intensity of these losses to the losses of the small number of well-loved celebrities in Hollywood, and logic says that most people seem to have displaced priorities. The continued occurrence of this behavior creates a culture that mourns selectively, alienates groups of people, and perpetuates xenophobia. I expect people to be upset when a popular figure passes away. We form bonds with other humans, even through screens, and it is only natural to mourn these losses. I fail to see, however, how so many of us lack sympathy when it comes to the larger number of lives lost. I cannot help but think that this trend translates into a dissonance in patterns of mourning. I struggle with seeing why people seem to not care about the tremendous death toll in countries that do not share a border with ours. I understand that people are upset over celebrity deaths, but the loss of life is the same across borders. I fail to see how some people refuse to see it as such.

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Photo by MCT Photo. ATTACK. Family members of victims cry outside of the Bakirkoy Medical Center in Istanbul. An Istanbul night club was attacked on New Year’s Eve. Istanbul was a common target for such attacks in 2016.


column: MAX TOREM news chief

Just a few weeks ago, 2015 SHS graduate Trey Gentry decided to enter the Smashburger on Cornell Road and shoot an employee named Josh Abbott. Abbott was shot twice, and one of the bullets punctured his femoral artery, which is critical in supplying blood to the rest of the body. Abbott almost died that day, and for a while he was in critical condition at Bethesda North Hospital. This incident once again presents the question of whether or not we need to limit the availability of guns. As of right now, in the state of Ohio, as long as you are 18 years old and you are not under the influence of or dependent on drugs or alcohol at the time of purchase, a fugitive, convicted of a felony, or mentally ill, you are eligible to purchase a gun. Does that sound fishy to you? Me too. It is too easy to obtain a gun in Ohio, and that needs to change. You do not need a permit or license to purchase or possess a gun. I can get past the fact that you do not need a license to possess the weapon. After all, you bought the gun with your own money, and you are the legal owner. But the fact that you can just buy a gun without a license or a permit is ridiculous. There is no in-depth background check and no mandatory testing to prove a buyer’s worthiness of possession. Requiring these checks are possible solutions to a growing problem in the U.S. If we want to be safe and not worry about the wrong people getting their hands on deadly weapons then we should put more requirements on obtaining a gun.

THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG | 7



All about art: Scholastic winners astound SARAH HORNE

creative projects director


very year, artists submit their work to the Scholastic Art Awards. Then they wait for their work to be reviewed and awards to be released on Jan. 9. This year, SHS students received 78 art awards in categories including two dimensional, three dimensional, and photo pieces. These awards included Gold

and Silver Keys as well as Honorable Mentions. These pieces were recognized out of a pool of 5,000 submitted artworks. “For me, participating in Scholastics was a symbol of myself ‘being good enough’ to be an artist,” said Emily Hartwig, 12. The individuals who were awarded Gold Keys will move on to qualify for national awards which, if won, will be recognized at Carnegie Hall.


The individuals who receive national awards will be notified March 14, 2017.

Visiting the art

The art is on display at the Art Academy of Cincinnati from Jan. 20 until Feb. 3 in the Art Academy of Cincinnati., which is located at 1212 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH, 45202. Anyone is welcome to come and see the art that is being showcased.

1. SNAPPING SHOTS. Senior Allison Miller won three Gold Keys, one Silver Key, and one Honorable Mention for her photography. This photo is entitled “Hand.” Her other golden keys were entitled “Pricked” and “Contact.” All photos courtesy of Mrs. Elise Williams.


2. CONQUERING THE TEA CUP. Senior Emily Hartwig won a Silver Key with a piece entitled “Tea Cup Caverns.” Her talented use of shading and pencil drew attention. It is exhibited at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.


3. ALL BRUSHES ON ME. Several students astounded viewers with their lifelike self portraits. Junior Jiin Woo is one of those students. Woo won a Gold Key for her detailed self portrait. 8|THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG


Dictionaries present words of 2016 SYDNEY WEISS


social media director

fun and games chief


electing a word to summarize the year is a tradition among various dictionaries. For example, in 2015, Webster chose the words ‘-ism,’ [tears of joy emoji], ‘microaggression,’ ‘they’ (as a gender-neutral pronoun), and ‘identity.’ Oxford chose ‘emoji,’ which went along with the general theme of Millennial lingo and current issues. This year, however, the words have been slightly more negative than usual. The American Dialect Society chose the word ‘dumpster fire,’ whereas Merriam Webster took a more modest approach and decided on ‘surreal.’ The Oxford Dictionary picked ‘post-truth,’ which is when a political debate varies largely from the policies themselves and instead focuses on emotion. selected ‘xenophobia,’ which is defined as an intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. “I would describe this year

as terrible. The 2016 election, gun shootings, and terrorist attacks contributed to a horrible year,” said Mohit Dighamber, 10. One fact cannot be ignored: the words of the year have been less about generational trends and more focused on the tragedies that struck the world in 2016. “If I had to pick a word I would go with ‘infuriating,’” said Elizabeth Armstrong, 10. With the deaths of beloved celebrities, tragedies in Orlando, San Bernadino, and Brussels, and the extremely controversial election, it is likely that dictionaries believed it did not feel right to sum it all up with an uplifting word. “Pretty much any word with a negative connotation applies because it was not a happy year,” Armstrong said. Regardless of what one word encapsulates all of the events that took place in 2016, 2017 is a new year and nobody knows what words this one will bring.

Banned Words

Lake Superior State University 42nd Annual list

Ghost - when you end all communication on social media and essentially just disappear.

“Is it rejection angst, or is this word really as overused as word-banishment nominators contend?” LSSU said.

Dadbod - the opposite of a toned body, which most people imagine as ideal. “[We] should not empower dads to pursue a sedentary lifestyle,” LSSU said.

Bigley - large, as in length, width or height, or of great importance. “Did the candidate say ‘big league’ or utter this 19thCentury word? Who cares? Kick it out of the echo chamber!” LSSU said.

On Fleek - the misused version of this saying means on-point, or that something is perfect.

“Needs to return to its genesis: perfectly groomed eyebrows,” LSSU said.

Historic - something that is famous or leaves a lasting impact on history. “Thrown around far too much. [It] is best left to historians rather than the contemporary media,” LSSU said. Guesstimate - an estimate made based off of guess work. “When guess and estimate are never enough,” LSSU said. Design by: Sydney Evans


Past Words of the Year 2012



Selfie ---------


A word or phrase with a pound sign (#) and used to identify messages

Design by: Sam Ruskin and Sydney Weiss

A trend seen in teenagers taking self pictures



#blacklives matter


---------Representing the movement


Acting as a gender neutral pronoun


THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG |9


Nominations pave way for future service HANNAH MAY

co executive editor-in-chief


eniors Andrew Quantz and Matthew Schuetz received nominations from Congressman Steve Chabot for the United States Military Academy (West Point, Army) and the United States Naval Academy, respectively. Receiving a nomination does not guarantee a student’s admittance into the academy. Every congressman and senator has nominations to give out and each are limited to ten nominations for each academy. Quantz hopes to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, who graduated from West Point in 1946 and became an army officer. “I come from a pretty long line of army officers. It has always been a desire

of mine to serve a career as an army officer. West Point is, undoubtedly, the most challenging but rewarding route to becoming an officer,” Quantz said. Schuetz received a second nomination from Senator Rob Portman for the Naval Academy. Like Quantz, he aims to become an officer. “I think [the Naval Academy] will help me grow as a person, as well as give me the opportunity to become an officer in the Navy,” Schuetz said. The application process for these military academies can be quite cumbersome; it includes physical fitness tests, medical examinations, an interview with an alumni, and applications for nominations. “West Point’s application involved four teacher evaluations, transcripts, ACT and SAT scores, a record of activities/ leadership, a physical fitness exam, a

Juniors broaden war perspectives ADHITI CHUNDUR co-print editor-in-chief

Juniors in AP Language and Composition are starting their war unit, discussing the implications and lasting effects of war. Students chose one of two books by author and reporter David Finkel to read in January. “I wanted us to think about the ways people write about war, especially in terms of genre, so we will also study poems by Walt Whitman,” said Mrs. Laura Newton, English teacher. One of the choices, “The Good Soldiers,”chronicles Finkel’s journey as he follows the infantry soldiers of 2-16 during the Surge in Baghdad. In 2007, former President George W. Bush increased the number of troops in Baghdad as a part of “The New Way Forward Program.”

The battalion, nicknamed the Rangers, consisted of a group of infantrymen sent to protect a specific area of Baghdad for 15 months. Finkel shares stories from the front lines and explores the complexities of war in this moving recount. In the second choice, “Thank You For Your Service,” Finkel follows the same men from Baghdad as they return home and attempt to reintegrate into civilian life. The book delves into the different aspects and stigmas that affect soldiers who have returned home from war. The books are meant to help students understand the consequences of war and how it affects soldiers, civilians, and people in power.

two-part medical exam, some essays, an employer evaluation, an interview, and some recommendation letters,” Quantz said. Schuetz plans to major in chemical engineering, while Quantz is still considering his options.

HONOR. After the nomination ceremony, seniors Andrew Quantz (left) and Matthew Schuetz (right) pose with superintendent Mr. Frank Forsthoefel. Quantz wishes to attend West Point. He hopes to become an officer in the Army. Photo courtesy of Matthew Schuetz.

“We are looking at how there are different ways to write about war, including different genres and how authors use style and language in their work. “We also want to analyze how people express their feelings about war, as well as how different authors tackle a subject such as war,” Newton said.

10| THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG

STORIES. AP Language reads “Good Soldiers” and “Thank You for Your Service.” The former discusses actions in war, while the latter delves into the aftermath of war. The books combine the class’s goals to read nonfiction and discuss war. Photo courtesy of Adhiti Chundur.



THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG



Fake news, false facts

Social media influences public opinion JOSHUA PATTERSON opinion chief


Top five fake news stories 2016

s we move into 2017, one very, very different things, so let “Obama Signs Executive Order of the more prominent us separate them. The first one is Banning The Pledge of Allegiance in problems to carry over from allowing a greater range of tools to Schools Nationwide” the last year is the epidemic of fake prevent abuse on Twitter. 2,176,177 engagements news. Fake news is the spreading “I applaud Twitter for that move of fictional news articles that are and I encourage them to keep going. presented as fact. The second action they took is “Woman arrested for defecating on The start of fake news was rooted much trickier and frankly concerns boss’ desk after winning the lottery” in the rise of twentieth century me a little bit. Twitter has selected 1,765,146 engagements technology. With recent expansions certain Twitter accounts--most of in the way people view their news, them are from the so-called alt-rightthe restrictions on what is reported and has suspended them,” Schiller “Pope Francis Shocks World, have loosened. said. Endorses Donald Trump for There is limited prevention in Sites like Twitter and Facebook President, Releases Statement” the Internet era of the spread of have not put out a consistent guide 961,000 engagements fake news due to the fact that sites to what is labeled fake news and like Twitter or Facebook are built what is not. This makes it difficult “Trump Offering Free Oneon the premise that everyone has a to enforce these rules without push Way Tickets to Africa & Mexico voice. This makes it hard to discern back. for Those Who Wanna Leave whether news outlets are publishing “The problem is, there is very America” fake news or attempting to express little transparency and consistency 801,741 engagements their opinions. when it comes to what accounts “Let me just say I think it would be Twitter is suspending and which “Cinnamon Roll Can Explodes a mistake for social media companies they are not. As long as there is Inside Man’s Butt During to try to, on their own, determine or an even playing field for all and the Shoplifting Incident” deign what is a fake news story and rules are clearly understood, that 764,814 engagements what isn’t and shut it off, or what’s would be a good thing. We are not a good news organization or a bad there yet. There’s more to do,” Design by: Hannah May Source: news organization. That’s a very, very Schiller said. slippery slope,” said Vivian Schiller, former head of Twitter’s news operation, to NPR. Increasing fake news outlets begs the question: where is the line for fake news? Does a simple misreporting misstep mark an institution as a source of fake news? How many “mistakes” before something is declared fake news? Twitter has taken steps to address the problem by first making it easier to report abusive language and second by suspending accounts that perpetuate fake news. However, this move continues down the slippery MEDIA. Mark Zuckerburg addresses the effect of fake news on the election. Facebook was criticized for allowing the spread of these inaccurate stories. Zuckerberg also mentioned the slope. measures Facebook would take to combat fake news. Photo courtesy of MCT Photo. “Well, those [changes] are two 12|THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

COVER DEFAMATION. Donald Trump has been the victim of numerous fake stories. He also publicized multiple fake news stories throughout his campaign. The election was a major topic of most fake news stories last year. Photo courtesy of MCT Photo.

America’s fake news epidemic: Student’s opinion on dangerous trend SARA MARGOLIS staff writer


ustin Bieber moving to Cincinnati, Donald Trump calling Republicans idiots, and Hillary Clinton murdering former staffers. Fake news is taking the world by storm, and people are becoming more and more worried about the accuracy of their news. Fake news headlines and stories are lies that are created to mislead the public. Headlines about Pope Francis endorsing Trump, Hillary Clinton running a prostitution ring, and much more have led to many Americans becoming victims of believing in inaccurate information. The consequence is serious. You read it, you believe it, and you share it. One popular purpose for fake news is political propaganda. Many are blaming Facebook for swaying the results of the election. Writers of fake news make money based on the views on their articles; once someone uploads a news link to Facebook, it gets shared and shared,

just like how fake news can dramatically escalate. I myself have been a victim of reading and believing fake news. Deception is an awful way to persuade people to believe what you want them to. The job of the media is to provide information to the people. The reason we have the First Amendment, which protects freedom of the press, is to prevent the suppression of information. However, this information ought to be accurate. If you flood people with both fake news and real news you run the risk of a misinformed population, hostile to new information. Prevent yourself from falling into the fake news trap by determining whether the article you are reading is from a legitimate website, checking the “contact us” page, looking at the sources, and looking at the ads. “Fake news is so easy to believe and it is really important to make sure you know that what you are reading is accurate,” said Adam Levine, 10. While the saying ‘fake it till you make it’ could at times be helpful, it is highly recommended you check your news sources. THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG |13

gaining more viewers. Nonetheless, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that it is highly unlikely that Facebook changed the election results. Facebook and Google have been taking steps to remove fake news from their sites by taking away misleading ads. “We believe in giving people a voice, which means erring on the side of letting people share what they want whenever possible,” Zuckerberg said. As a major media outlet, Facebook should be responsible for all of the information that is posted, just like other companies take ownership of their products. Not doing anything to at least make sure these stories are true is incredibly irresponsible and ignorant. Not caring about fake news is one thing, but being irresponsible for one of the most popular social media websites in the world is another. People learn how to take responsibility as they grow up. Taking on the mindset of being irresponsible for one thing will most likely lead to being irresponsible for other things,


How to discern real from fake news Pay attention to the domain and URL

Analyze the quotes in a story

Established news organizations usually own their domains and they have standard looks that you will probably be familiar with. Sites with endings like ‘’ are suspicious.

Real publications will use quotes from multiple credible sources to increase the legitimacy of their articles.


Read the “About Us” fake news section stories on This section should contain the mission statement of the organization. If the language is exaggerated rather than straight forward, it may not be reliable.

Look at the comments

Fake news by the numbers


percent of Americans were easily tricked by fake headlines

Facebook attracted a total of



percent of



A lot of fake news headlines will be exaggerated to draw attention on social media, however, the articles will not support the claims the headlines make. If a lot of the comments suggest that the article does not agree with the headline, then it may be an indicator that the article is fake.

likes, comments, and shares

were easily tricked

percent of

Democrats were easily tricked


Reverse image search

Pictures should be accurate representations of what the article is about. Search for the image on Google by right-clicking and then selecting Google search. If the image search compiles results that show the picture with articles on many different topics, it could not be what the caption says it is on the first story.

Leaving Americans confused American adults who say completely made-up news has caused ____ about the basic facts of current events A great deal of confusion

Some confusion

Not much to no confusion





14|THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG

Design by: Hannah May



New Year brings reading resolutions NATALIE BRINKMAN co-print editor-in-chief


ach year, this season brings the ringing of empty promises made in hasty resolutions for the New Year as most people fail to continue with their goals within the first month. However, there is one resolution that is fairly easy to maintain and keep track of: reading more. Often times, books are lost in the hectic and busy lifestyles high schoolers lead, but in reality, reading is very beneficial and important. It might seem hard to set time aside for reading, when so much of teens’ free-time is dedicated to social media and online life; however, substituting just a few minutes of that screen time for books can add up. Just before going to bed is the best time to swap your device for a book. Reading is a good method for unwinding and de-stressing without the harsh lights of a cell phone. “It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination,” said David Lewis​,

cognitive neuropsychologist. Incorporating reading into a nighttime or daily routine does not take too much effort but can reap instrumental rewards. Constantly reading builds important skills in almost all subjects while providing enjoyment. Another fun way to keep reading throughout the course of the year is starting a book club with a group of friends or joining the book club at SHS. Keeping a weekly or monthly schedule can help keep the process going, and discussions of characters and plots can help aid any difficulties in reading the book. Both the school library and the local public library constantly update their selection of books, so new titles in all genres will pop up throughout the year. It is fun to try reading something outside of the norm, and going to a library can be helpful in finding a new topic to enjoy. Reading is a lifetime skill that is extremely important in everyday life. Therefore, it is always best to keep practicing, setting aside some time for reading can be a beneficial and fun way to start the New Year.

Book Recommendations

Classics: 1. 1984

George Orwell

2. Great Expectations Charles Dickens

3. Macbeth Shakespeare

4. Jane Eyre

Charlotte Bronte

5. Cat’s Cradle Kur t Vonnegut

*Not taught in school

Young Adult: 1. The Giver Lois Lowry

2. The Maze Runner James Dashner

3. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Ransom Rig gs

4. Red Queen Victoria Aveyard

5200 Dixie Hwy. Fairfield. OH 45140

(513) 858-1111

5. An Ember in the Ashes

Sabaa Tahir


Design by: Taylor Close

THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG |15


Bach to rock: SEE1 presents unique concert JENNA BAO associate editor


usicians and genres of all kinds blend to produce SEE1, the Sycamore Electric Ensemble. SEE1 will perform at SHS on Fri. Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. The group, founded and led by orchestra director Mr. David Smarelli, gives students the unconventional opportunity to become rock stars. The group uses traditional rock instruments like the electric bass, guitar, keyboard, and drums, as wells as electric violins, violas, and cellos. “Think Trans-Siberian Orchestra... The light show, the volume, [and] the intensity of the music is comparable to TSO, I think. But also, we do a lot of arrangements of very popular songs, with Michael Jackson’s or Steven Tyler’s vocals covered by the violins,” said Peter McCutcheon, 12. This year the group consists of junior Sofia Ramos and sophomore Morgan Schneider on the electric violin, senior Luis Del Moral Lopez on the electric viola, senior Maxwell Demarks on the electric cello, McCutcheon on the electric bass, senior Maxwell Shirley on the guitar, junior Adrian Oliver on the drums, and freshman Amil Barr on the keyboard. “It’s helped me to be better at improvisation, and it’s helped me to be better at sight reading. I’m able to get used to the rhythm of a piece quicker now,” Schneider said. SEE1’s concert will also feature special guest Joe Deninzon, professional electric violinist and singer of the band Stratospheerius. 2017 will be Deninzon’s third year of playing with and giving advice to the

C H I L I 1949

group. While Deninzon is in town for the performance, he will also give the orchestra a session on improvisation. “The great thing about improv is, no matter what order you play the notes, they’ll sound fine. I’m still working on stage presence, but I tell myself to really not care what I look like up there, and to just have fun,” Schneider said. Improvising is an important element to the genres of music, such as rock and jazz, that the group plays. The group meets every Wednesday to practice not only the notes on the page but also learning to improvise and create a visually engaging performance. “Stage presence is key, and just doesn’t happen on its just have to go out and do it... It was once said that being a good performer doesn’t mean you don’t get scared anymore of performing, but instead, you just become used to the terror. I certainly have reached that point,” Oliver said. The program for the February concert consists of well-known songs like “Smooth Criminal” and “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf. SEE1 will play “Born to be Wild” along with the fifth graders that they played with at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier in the school year. Tickets for the concert will be

available for pre-order and at the door for $10. “It’s incredible to be a part of. No where else would classically-trained high schoolers be encouraged by their teacher (who puts a ton of time, effort, money into us) to pick up electric instruments. “It’s a complete 180 from what second bell orchestra is like. But that’s the greatness of it. High schoolers owning the stage like pro rock and rollers,” McCutcheon said. ROCK OUT. Seniors Luis Del Moral Lopez, Peter McCutcheon, and Max Shirley are playing in a SEE1 concert. The group is led by orchestra conductor Mr. David Smarelli. There are eight members in the group. Photo courtesy of McDaniel’s Photography.

Address: 5005 Cornell Rd, Blue Ash, OH 45242 Phone: (513) 489-8488 Hours: Monday-Friday10:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Saturday 11a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday 11a.m.-9 p.m.

16|THE LEAF|January 31,2017|SHSLEAF.ORG


FUN & GAMES Hint: out of this world


SAMUEL RUSKIN fun and games chief

Answers: Black hole, Astronaut, Orbit, Crater, Planet

Welcome to the January tasrnouAt Issue! This section will feature some fun themed games for your rOtib enjoyment.

Crazy Jumble



Space n’ Stuff


The Honeycomb

Difficulty: HARD

6 7 4

3 4

8 9

3 2 1 6 7 8

6 7

9 3

8 9


iddle of the onth

4 7 2








1.) Star Explosion 2.) Not Apple 3.) Black Substance 4.) Onion ____ 5.) Milky Way

What kind of music do planets sing? Answer: Neptunes




Answers: Supernova, Android, Dark Matter, Ring, Galaxy

*Solution verified by hand and by computer


Start at the colored hexagon. Spell solutions to the hints below by winding your way through the shapes. You can backtrack and use letters more than one time. Each new word starts with the last letter of the previous word. Start with the pink hexagon. The theme is: SPACE

Game Credits: Abhilash Yarlagadda

THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG




Bowling knocks competition

Team with talent to spare CAROLINE VERALDO co-sports chief


ed by coaches James Lee and Lee Estill and senior team captains Nathan Estill and Gerardo Orellana, the SHS boys bowling team has accumulated an overall record of 4-4 so far this season. The girls team, led by senior captain Megan Combs, has a current record of 5-3. Both teams practice twice a week at Crossgate Lanes in Blue Ash and have matches at various alleys in the Cincinnati area about once a week. The teams are composed of students from all grade levels, and any students who want to join are welcome. This year’s bowling teams consist of 12 members, six boys and six girls, all with at least a year of bowling experience under their belts.

The teams strive to advance to the district tournament, and possibly even make it to state. Bowlers who will play a key part in achieving these goals include Estill and sophomore Paige Weitz. Estill and Weitz are the team’s highest scorers, with Estill averaging a score of 196 per game and Weitz averaging near 202. Districts will take place on Wed. March 1 for the boys and Thurs. March 2 for the girls. Regardless of the teams’ success, the score is not the only thing that matters. Most bowlers, like junior Zoe Goldenberg, are in the sport for fun. “I like to bowl because all of the people on the team are really nice to be around. Bowling is fun, but the team is really the best part,” Goldenberg said.

ON A ROLL. With a season high score of 248, sophomore Paige Weitz leads the girls bowling team. The team has a winning season record of 5-3 so far in the 2017 season. Weitz is one of the best bowlers in the state. Photo courtesy of McDaniel’s Photography.



CONTACT: 513-489--5777 ADDRESS: 11385 Montgomery Rd 18|THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG


Having fun, getting fit column: Seniors tackle push-up tag CAROLINE BRUNS webmaster


hen walking from one class to the next, have you ever seen someone spontaneously doing push-ups in the halls? These people are not doing push-ups in the halls simply to show off. They are part of a school-wide game called push-up tag. “Basically the game is just about making eye contact with someone who is doing a weird symbol over their eye. If you make eye contact, you have to do a push-up. In years past, they used to just have to lay on the ground but we decided to add more fun and pizazz to the game and go for push-ups as the punishment,” said Maxwell Hill, 12. As far as participation goes, anyone

LAUREN KURTZER creative projects director

may join. All that is required to play this game is the ability to do a push-up and the drive to have fun. “I play push-up tag because it’s a great excuse to goof off with my friends while getting huge,” said Mitch Radakovich, 12. Although this game does go on during school hours, it is not disruptive during classes. Players are reminded to be respectful to all staff members and each other while in a learning environment. In the future, the game’s founders hope to spread the game not only across SHS but also into many neighboring districts. “I look forward to this becoming a nation-wide trend. This game is a really great way to promote fitness while having fun with friends and classmates alike,” said Justin Banke, 12.

Seniors sign for collegiate play WILLIAM COLEMAN



sports chief

sports chief

business manager

Zachary Richardson: Davenport University Football

Grant Young: Air Force Academy Football

Joshua Glauser: Harvard University Track and Field

Ra’Von Bonner: University of Illinois Football

The following students will sign to play at the collegiate level in February: Ra’Von Bonner, 12 - Illinois football; SHS all-time rushing leader, Cincinnati Enquirer Division I High School Football Offensive MVP Joshua Glauser, 12 - Harvard indoor and outdoor track & field; ran 400m (second in GMC), 4x200, 4x400 (first in GMC) Zachary Richardson, 12 - Davenport football; Cincinnati Enquirer Division I all-team offensive line, first team all-GMC Grant Young, 12 - Air Force football; Cincinnati Enquirer Divison I all-team linebackers, first team all-GMC

I love Super Bowl Sunday. For me, Super Bowl weekend is a holiday. I spend the weekend sitting on my couch, eating football food, and listening to hours of stories and commentaries related to the Super Bowl. While I love Super Bowl weekend, the holiday became less special this year due to the continued appearance of the New England Patriots. The Patriots have been in the Super Bowl for seven out of the past 15 years, creating a “been there, done that” feel to this year’s game. Having the same team making the big game almost every year makes it boring and downright annoying for National Football League (NFL) fans everywhere. The Patriots are the New York Yankees of the NFL: they always win and their fans are obnoxious, which makes them a hated team nationwide aside from their small fan base in the Boston area. Basically every other team in the American Football Conference (AFC) loses to the Pats in both the regular season and postseason, especially in the East division. The constant appearances of the Pats in big games will have many NFL fans rooting against them in Super Bowl LI. Most non-Patriots fans will be rooting for the ringless Atlanta Falcons. The repeated success of New England and NFL fans seeing this same scheme again on national television makes for dull entertainment. It hurts to see the dynasty playing for a fifth ring, and a strong defense seems to be the only key; so come on Falcons defense, “Rise Up.”

THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG |19




opinion chief

As this National Basketball Association (NBA) season moves along, the tendency is to focus on new, flashy players. Whether it is Russell Westbrook or James Harden, everyone wants to focus on the young ones. Instead, what we should be focusing on is the continued greatness of LeBron James, and the fact that we are currently watching the greatest basketball player ever at the height of his power. Yes, he is the greatest to ever play, even greater than Michael Jordan. James is not only a better athlete than Jordan, he is more of a team player than “His Airness.” In his career, James is averaging more rebounds and more assists than Jordan. Also, in elimination games, James averages 33 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists per game, which is better than Jordan’s 31 points, eight rebounds and seven assists per game. Finally, there is no argument against James’ value to his team. After he left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010, they went from the Eastern Conference finals to the worst team in the league. Then, after he left the Miami Heat to return to Cleveland, the Heat went from the NBA Finals to not even making the playoffs. When Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls (for the first of two times), his team went from 57 wins in the regular season to 55. James has cemented his status as the greatest player ever. The only thing left is to see how far the gap between him and number two can get.

SPRINT. The 2017 winter track team poses with an Aves flag after a successful meet in January. The team poses with the flag after every meet. Usually, the flag is brought around with them through the whole season. Photo courtesy of SHS Track and Field.

Winter track takes strides Chasing state tournament ALEXANDER KAREV


opinion chief

opinion chief


he freezing cold of winter and waking up at five in the morning to drive two hours north to an unconventional 200-meter track inside a field house can only mean one thing for winter track athletes: the season has arrived. Otterbein University hosted the track team’s first season meet. Top placers among sprinters included senior Brenden Archer, who ran a 7.2 second 60-meter dash and 23.37 second 200-meter dash snagging him first place in both events, and the girls 4x200 meter relay team of senior Angela Ruffin, junior Nicole McNamara-Marsland, and sophomores Emma Long, and Madeline Thiss placed second with a time of 1:57. In addition, the boys 4x400 relay of seniors Noah Darwiche, Joshua Glauser, and Miles Menyhert and junior Jonathan Malek placed first with a time of 3:47. In distance, senior Kevin Lawson placed first in the 3200-meter run with a time of 9:53, and the 4x800 relay composed of seniors Nathan Kisselle and Noah

20|THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG

Darwiche and sophomores Kevin Landrum and Luis Pereda placed second overall. Top placers among field events included Ruffin in high jump with a jump of five feet, earning her second place, and a third place finish from senior Adam Leyendecker in pole vault, with a vault of 11 feet and six inches. Coming into the season strong, conditioned, and competitive gives these athletes a head start on their opponents. Ruffin is currently ranked sixth in the state for high jump, Archer is fourth in the 60m dash, and Lawson is fourth in the 2300 m. “The competition is much fiercer [in the winter] because instead of eight or nine teams that are local, every team from the state that can come out and race you. They are some of the best in state and working hard to get there will make you and your team better,” Landrum said. With more meets to come, the track team continues to train.



Freshman photographer focuses photos HANNAH LOFTSPRING

Even though photography is a common art form, Miller does not want or two years, freshman Griffin his pictures to look like everyone else’s. Miller has been extremely He always aims to photograph from new passionate about photography. It angles. all began thanks to his older sister. “My favorite part about photography “I found my sister’s old film camera is trying to compose an image in and decided I wanted to try and take different ways. Every once in a while I’ll some cool photos with it. It ended up go somewhere and see a monument or being a lot more fun than I thought, so something that is overly photographed. I kept going,” Miller said. “Sometimes I’ll challenge myself to The film that goes into a film find a new way to compose a picture of camera is expensive to buy and have it so it doesn’t look like all the other developed. Rather than trying to pictures people have,” Miller said. develop his own pictures, which is a Photography is not as simple as it difficult skill to master, Miller prefers may seem. There is more to getting the to have a professional do it. perfect picture than just pointing the To continue his passion for camera and clicking a button. photography while not draining his “Sometimes I’ll see something that I wallet, Miller asked for a DSLR think looks cool at first, but I can’t quite (digital single lens reflex) camera make it look cool with my camera. for Christmas. This meant the “I try different angles and different ability to take as many photos as he settings until I get an image that I like wanted without paying for buying or that is also unique,” Miller said. developing film. Miller has never entered any sort of When Miller received the camera he contest with his photographs, as it is wished for, he challenged himself to more of a hobby for him than something ensure it did not go to waste. he is trying to earn recognition for. “To make sure I use it a lot, I CLICK. Griffin Miller has a passion for photography and nature. He enjoys challenged myself to post a picture on capturing the beauty of the scenery that surrounds him. Miller enjoys Instagram each day. I think this has capturing different perspectives, and if something is overly photographed, actually helped me become a better he attempts to capture the image from a different angle. Photo courtesy of photographer, too,” Miller said. Griffin Miller. spotlight chief


Q&A GRIFFIN MILLER Q: What is your favorite thing to photograph? A: “I really enjoy taking pictures out in nature because there are so many beautiful things that you might go past every day but miss if you don't look closer.” Q: What are your future plans for photography? A: “So far, photography is just a hobby for me, but I think it would be cool if I could take it further. I've done a couple of photo jobs for people, and I would like to do more in the future. Right now I'm taking Fundamentals of Photography with Mr. Peter Griga.” THE LEAF|January 31, 2017|SHSLEAF.ORG | 21

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