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LightningStrike Taking Miami-Dade by Storm

Dr. Michael M. Krop Sr. High • 1410 Countyline Road • Miami, Florida 33179

October 31, 2013 • Issue 2 • Volume 16

DUNN GETS IT DONE: School policeman named Dade County Resource Officer of the Year Dan Sicorsky opinion editor Earlier this month, Officer Darryl Dunn was recognized by the Youth Crime Watch as the School Resource Officer for 2012-2013. The plaque Dunn received describes him as “a dedicated advocate and involved mentor in our community.” As prestigious and noteworthy as this award may be, Dunn claims to have been fully unaware of it until he got a call from one of his sergeants congratulating him on his achievement. Dunn’s response to his sergeant: “Get out of here! This is a joke, right?” Gliding around campus on his high-tech bike, Officer Dunn resembles a modern day Paul Revere, minus the horse or the pack of British soldiers trailing behind. Although he is a presence on campus, no one seems to know much about him. Dunn acknowledges his tendency to seem secretive and attributes it to being a “quiet

guy.” Regardless, students and teachers alike are longing to learn more about the man who glides around campus. Born and raised in Miami, Dunn attended Norland Senior High School, where he dreamed of becoming a fireman. After graduating, he served as MiamiDade Community College’s obligations collector for some time. However, Dunn soon remembered his childhood dream. But when he filled out applications for both the police and firefighter departments, he was hired by the police department first. But, Dunn does not regret his decision. For his nine years as Krop’s School Resource Officer, Officer Dunn has followed his “Dunn-DoList.” He begins a typical day monitoring student drop-off, and then cruising to wherever he is needed in the school on one of his high-tech bikes, all of which are parked in his office. When he is not tending to cell phone thefts or monitoring morning drop-off traffic, he finds himself doing

what he does best: talking to students. On average, Dunn counsels up to three times daily with students involved in drug-related offenses or other crimes which require intervention on Dunn’s part. He finds this to be the most valuable part of his job. Dr. Beatriz Jorva, the school’s new assistant principal, says that in a typical counseling session, Dunn will explain the law to a student involved in drug-related, violent or school-defying offenses and then proceed to engage in one of the most valuable tasks that a school resource officer can possibly partake in: converse with the student. “I try to convey to kids that they should be able to talk to an officer without feeling uncomfortable,” Dunn said. “The greatest award you can get when you help someone is them coming back to tell you how your advice has positively influenced them.” Dunn’s jurisdiction includes our school’s


TOP COP: Officer Darryl Dunn poses with his School Resource Officer of the Year plaque. This award was given to him by the Youth Crime Watch of Dade County.

campus and extends 1000 feet from the gates of our school. However, students are essentially still under the school’s supervision until they walk through the doors of their home. Outside of school, Dunn sticks to his “quiet guy” attitude, although he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, biking

around the city and hiking. All of these jobs and hobbies might be a long way from putting out fires – but that doesn’t bother Dunn. “I believe I was always meant to work with kids,” said Dunn. “We all have to find our place in the world, and I think I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”


MDC to Harvard: Roddy readies students for college Clarissa Buch managing editor CAP advisor Robert Roddy has not always spent his life sending over 5000 emails to students every year about college. Before becoming a CAP advisor, he worked in the airline industry both of which went bankrupt. He then decided to go into education and started as a district CAP advisor in charge of distributing information and various policies to all CAP advisers in his district. In 2002, there was an opening for a CAP advisor at Krop and Roddy took the position. He describes his last 11 years

in the position as “a blur.” scholarships via email throughout “Well, some days are blurs, the year. and some days are organized,” In addition, Roddy sets up Roddy said. “It’s various college a blur because presentations Giving everyone for interested students constantly come in my office. equal opportunities students in an I am always rushing to expose through education effort to classes for them to notpresentations and I drives me to do so traditional have appointments what I do. schools. with parents in the “Students -Robert Roddy usually afternoons.” think Every school of traditional year Roddy organizes the annual schools, and once they meet with college fair hosting over 85 other schools, they realize there colleges, gives presentations is a whole other world out there,” about graduation and college Roddy said. “College is all about requirements and distributes opportunities.” information on colleges and But Roddy has a problem-

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teachers often do not give juniors and seniors permission to miss class for a college presentation. “It’s a dilemma. I understand teachers have lesson plans, assignments and tests,” Roddy said. “No doubt it is a strain on the student to make that decision to go or not.” On average, Roddy arranges for over 100 colleges to make presentations throughout the year. Some colleges travel thousands of miles to Krop and typically the university sees three to four high schools a day. “We are very privileged to be on their list,” Roddy said. “It’s making the arrangement for a great college to come, and

no one shows up that makes what I do difficult,” he said. “Most colleges understand, though, why students sometimes cannot get out of class for the presentation.” To alleviate the problem, Roddy developed an online system where students can pre-register for the college presentation they wish to attend. Students must fill out their information which gives Roddy a record of each student expected to attend and allows the student to print out their pass for the presentation.

► see “RODDY” on page page 2

College Finance More Inside:

Pages 10-11

The price of higher education in 2013

• Drake releases new album - page 8 • The man behind the buddies - page 13 • Alex Knight goes blue- page 17

News Page 2

tops KROP’S

Senior Jamie Odzer was selected to represent the state of Florida at the American Academy of Science convention in Chicago. Her and science teacher Dr. David Buncher recieved an all-expense paid trip where she will present her research on the Florida Everglades at the convention. The National Academy Foundation students visited the Miami Seaquarium to learn about the business side behind their operations. The August/September winners for the Lightning Sportsmanship Award are senior Shirley Thelusma in cross country and freshman Caludius Pubien in junior varsity football. The Honorary Team Sportsmanship Award goes to Varsity Football and their support staff. Assitant Principal Pamela Clappier was selected to represent the Krop Feeder Pattern as our Assistant Principal of the Year.

Mackenzie Duffy was elected District 6 representative for the Florida Scholastic Press Association. Compiled by Clarissa Buch

Lightning Strike • October2008 2013 The LightningThe Strike • September

From local to global: ENGLAND: Wind gusts as strong as 99 mph battered the south coast of England and authorities warned of travel disruptions across the region on Monday. The hurricane force storm left about 220,000 without power and resulted in the fatality of a 17-year-old girl.

KENYA: Following the mall shooting that took place in Nairobi last month, United States military officials confirm that a drone killed two head leaders of the terrorist group that orchestrated the attack. The terrorist group, al Shabaab, has been under the surveillance of the United States government for some time.

CANADA: New research shows that average summer temperatures in the Canadian Artic over the last century are the highest in the last fourty-four thousand years, and possibly the highest in one hundred twenty thousand years. The Artic has been heating up for about a century, but is mostly centered around the 1970s and is characterized by the melting of ice caps.

POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA: Two teenage girls, ages 12 and 14, have been arrested and charged with aggravated stalking by verbally and physically harassing classmate Rebecca Ann Sedwick, 12. Sedwick committed suicide due to this torment by jumping from a third-story cement structure on Sept. 10.

UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA: Pennsylvania State University has committed to paying almost 60 million dollars in order to settle the Sandusky sex abuse claims. Currently, Jerry Sandusky, former head coach of the football team at Penn State, is serving 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of forty-five counts of sexual abuse last year. UNITED STATES: Florida senator Marco Rubio has changed his opinion toward an immigration bill he helped author. He now favors the House’s approach towards the bill but still wants to solve the domestic issue of immigration. sources:

Compiled by Mackenzie Duffy


Lander plans for Spring Break Europe trip

Joshua Swerdlow staff writer Spring Break is usually a time for vacation. Teens use this week to “de-stress” and not worry about colleges or grades. However, a unique way to study and have fun is available for students this school year. An enticing option for the upcoming 2014 Spring Break is a school organized trip to Central Europe, including Berlin, Prague, Auschwitz, Krakow and Budapest with history teacher Thomas Lander. “I want students to learn beyond the classroom and fully engage in other cultures beyond the ‘safety net’ we call home,” Lander said. Traveling abroad is shown to increase motivation

in academics. AdvancED unique experience to students. conducted a national survey After months of negotiating and reported that two-thirds with district officials, the trip of students showed a drive to has been approved. Besides learn new languages, four-fifths Lander, teachers Cesar Cuenca and Elizabeth Morgan are became better the likely communicators Being able to chaperones. and problems Most people solvers, and 92 observe and take in cannot say they percent of the the sights you only see have seen the students who in textbooks is what cultures and travel feel more this trip is all about. places they learn comfortable in -Thomas Lander about. new and different “Being able cultural settings. to observe and take in the sights Lander’s goal was to have you only see in textbooks is 30 students attend, but only 18 what this trip is all about,” are confirmed. He is willing to work with any student who is Lander said. The only requirements interested. for Lander’s trip are a 2.5 Lander has traveled to grade point average, no “C’s” Germany on three separate in conduct and approval occasions and wants to show the

of administration. The allinclusive cost of the trip, which includes airfare, food, hotel stays and sight-seeing is 2,705 dollars, yet Lander is looking for interested corporate sponsors to alleviate some costs. Hoping to make these trips a tradition, Lander is open for questions in his room, 2-176, before the November 15 confirmation deadline. The start date is either March 19 or 20, depending on the decision of Educational Tours, the official sponsor, and the return date is March 29 or 30. “Seeing childrens’ eyes light up is the best feeling in the world,” Lander said. “Especially when you know they are getting educational value out of it.”


►“RODDY” from front page “I have really seen that this cuts down the number of students who just go to get out of class because you have to register before the presentation instead of coming to my office the day of and asking for a pass,” he said. “The students who sign up really want to see the presentation.” This year Roddy created a newsletter for all Miami-Dade county and some Broward county CAP advisors. “The newsletter serves as a training guide because there are many new CAP advisors in the county,” he said. “Many emails I send seniors, I send to them too.” Out of everything Roddy does, he said college acceptances are the best part of his job. On average, 97 percent of students at Krop attend college after

What’s going on around the world?

Text and drive law steers opinions Dina Bendayan staff writer


COLLEGE TALK: CAP Advisor Robert Roddy listens to a student’s questions about the SAT. Roddy often meets with students to discuss college concerns.

graduation. “There is nothing better than education when it comes to improving people’s position in life,” Roddy said. “Giving everyone equal opportunities through education drives me to do what I do.”

Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving (at 55 mph) the length of an entire football field, blind. In October, Florida became the 41st state to ban texting and driving as a secondary offense. But in order to get a texting and driving citation, you have to violate another law. Junior Shirley Plotnik says that this law is necessary because the large amount of accidents are caused by texting and driving and multitasking in situations where focus is needed. “Unless a law is implemented where people will be penalized, they won’t take action

themselves,” Plotnik said. “People think that these types of accidents won’t happen to them because they think they can multitask and still be in control of driving.” Senior Revena Petit-Bois says that people are too attached to their phones to stop using them for long periods of time, even when driving. “Because technology is more updated, you can do more things with your phone making it harder to put down,” Petit-Bois said. However, sophomore Daniela Rojzman says that people will follow this law because they will realize the gravity of texting and driving and hopefully stop. “Many will be more cautious and wait for the appropriate times to check their phones,” Rojzman said. “Hopefully the accident rate will go down.”

There are websites that advocate anti-texting and driving such as www.itcanwait. com where people can pledge to not text and drive and read stories teens write about their texting and driving accidents. Even if people like the new law, there are some who disagree with its severity. In an interview with WLRN Miami Herald, State Senator Maria Sachs says she wants to file a bill to amend the law, making it a primary offense. Sachs says that she wants people to understand why they can’t text and drive. She wants to build a “culture of safety” so that kids don’t think twice about texting and driving. Sachs wants it to be second nature to everyone not to text and drive.

News Page 3

The Lightning Strike • October September 2013 2012


District teachers visit Krop to learn from successful AP teachers

News Briefs Open mic night opens doors


AP CONFERENCE: Psychology and U.S. history teacher Michael Fass instructs district AP teachers. The information center was given over to 10 learning groups, each with a Krop teacher in their respective subjects.

Arie Hariton news editor After sorting through the district schools’ various pass rates, the district convened at a seminar among Advanced Placement teachers to share best methods and practices. Krop hosted the North region’s conference in which various Krop teachers guided discussion groups. According to Principal Dawn Baglos, the region selected the teachers. Schools were asked to submit pass rates and it just so happened that a majority of the leading teachers were from Krop. In Michael Kelly’s session, he demonstrated how the class was run. He shared specific course materials, like F. Scott

Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” and simulated the manner with which he runs his daily literature class. Eugenia Salvo of Westland Hialeah High School compared the session to a classroom experience and emphasized what she gained in these sessions. “I like being in a classroom situation like this where I am a student. It’s important to be able to learn from others who have more experience, [be exposed to] new ideas that can benefit my students,” Salvo said. Other teachers also shared resources. Mary Lee brought her hard drive, to show the variety of textbook resources to group members. Meanwhile, Ellen Elias brought the dry-erase boards she uses to have students draw the

distinct graphs that pertain to her economics curriculum. Lolitha Otero’s Biology group convened at a library computer to view the TED videos she screens in class. Teachers were asked to prepare a document containing class framework, resources, structure, discussion format, sample student work and test structure. Fishbein compiled a seven-page document outlining her class’ schedule through distinct quarters. Still, this meeting was more than the flow of information in one direction. Michael Fass, a group leader, felt that he too gained from the experience. “Everyone in the workshop picked up something, from new reading material to a new way to present information,” Fass said.

Michael Kelly (AP English Literature), Jessica Fishbein (AP English Language), Michael Fass (AP US History/AP Psychology), Mary Lee (AP World History/AP European History), Ellen Elias (AP US Government/AP Macroeconomics), Lolithia Otero (AP Biology), Todd Thompkins (AP Physics), Virginia Olwell (AP Calculus BC), Maria Marino (AP Calculus AB) and George Lesperance (French Language and Culture) were selected to share their techniques on their respective subjects with fellow AP teachers. DRESS CODE

Uniform violators face consequences Daniela Michanie business editor When students returned to school in August, everyone seemed to be complying with the new uniform code. But with every rule, come the rulebreakers. According Principal Dawn Baglos, over 95 percent of the student body has upheld the dress code. Students arrive at school in their proper V-necks or polos, and the girls, no matter how bitterly, have generally avoided the forbidden leggings and sweatpants. What happens to those who continue to express their freedom of fashion? Assistant Principal Daniel Ponkey, who authored the new student code, breaks down the process of catching the violators.

“There are administrators at the gate or walking around in the patios,” Ponkey said, being one of those administrators. “Teachers need to scan the room while taking attendance, and wait for the announcement to send students breaking the dress code down the north patio.” Once students arrive at the north patio, a prepared Ponkey waits with a large blue book containing the names and schedules of every student. After a quick scan, Ponkey can tell whether it is the first time a student has broken the dress code, or if they are repeat offenders. If it is their first time, a warning slip will be their pass into other classes; without it teachers are not supposed to let them in. If this is not, a series of consequences await. Ponkey has devised an effective “progressive disruption

plan” in hopes of deterring uniform infractions. “Instead of getting sent down to sit in CSI and waste a day of learning, we take a series of steps to ensure that students do not break the code repeatedly,” Ponkey says. After a second violation, students must attend a session of after-school detention. During this time, they help the janitorial staff clean up hallways and patios. After a third time, the consequences are a Saturday detention, a parent conference with an administrator, all-day CSI and finally, one day of outdoor suspension for each day that the dress code was violated. Think that the administration is being too strict? According to Ponkey, there are a few more rules that although in the handbook, have not been strictly enforced… for now.

Students Eden Ouzana & Luc-Hughes Genna participate in AMP Open-Mic Night. The event took place in Krop’s Information Center.

The Art, Music, and Poetry Club (AMP), formed this year, held its first Open Mic Night on October 10. Members were given the opportunity to display their talents through paintings, songs and poetry. Although the creative writing club has held Open Mic Nights before, Special Education teacher and AMP sponsor Manuel Quiroga says the club allows students who are not in the Magnet Program or interested in creative writing to artistically express themselves through song, poetry and art.

-Christina Carucci

Students join Color Run for change Color Run, the “happiest 5k in the world” has only two rules for its contestants: arrive at the race wearing all white and leave covered in paint. Color Run is a five kilometer, untimed race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality. While the event is about having fun, the 5k also aims to inspire these qualities in the participants. The run aims to promote healthy living for teenagers, who tend to be at risk of health issues ranging from obesity to anorexia, and promote happy living between friends and families, who complete the race together. Additionally, individuality is emphasized as any age group can participate in the race, and there is no winner. The Color Run is a for-profit event that works with the Global Poverty Project, engaging runners in the hopes of spreading awareness about extreme poverty and hunger. Color Run also partners with over 80 local and national charities to raise money, and runners can nominate their charities to receive donations. This October the National Honor Society volunteered at the Color Run, splashing paint at people as they reached specific checkpoints and getting to see the magic from the sidelines. “This is the first year we did Color Run and it was a huge success,” said Brett Curtis, president of NHS. “It was incredible getting to watch people run and get to throw paint at them all while raising money for an incredible charity. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life,” said Curtis. -Daniela Michanie

News Page 4

The Lightning Strike • October 2013


A look at community service:

Hour requirements around the county Lina Zuluaga feature editor When it comes to community service requirements, Krop follows the district guideline of “no prescribed numbers of hours required,” but one project must be completed. Yet schools can determine how many hours count as one project. And therein lies the varying requirements among the fifty-six schools that make up our county. “We accept an hour because their is no specific amount required by the district,” head counselor Sandra Manfredi said. “At Krop we don’t deny a student a diploma if they only do an hour, but we encourage they do more.” The Superintendent’s Diploma of Distinction and the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship both require a minimum of seventy-five hours of service. Due to factors of this nature, some schools have higher requirements. Schools like MAST look

at factors that they believe work towards legitimate volunteer work. For this school year their curriculum includes a requirement of one hundred service hours. This is based off the idea that there are many ways to have hours inflated, therefore, a higher requirement ensures some kind of significant involvement. Apart from volunteer work that directly affects civic engagement in our communities, Darill Goschler, CFO of Hands On Miami, says that service goes beyond that: “More students become involved if they have requirements exposing them to worthy causes.” According to Goschler, there is a correlation with volunteer work and voter turnout. Those who are aware of issues facing their community are more likely to be politically involved. However, some administrators are hesitant in considering a raise in the service requirements.

Hours required for graduation at other schools: School










Coral Gables*


*The above school names are short for Alonzo & Tracy Morning Senior High, North Miami Beach Senior High, Miami Killian Senior High, Mast Academy, and Coral Gables Senior High. Compiled by Lina Zuluaga

Press from the 2014 Prez I hope everyone is having a great senior year so far. We have a lot planned for you guys and encourage every single one of you to get involved. We will be selling hoodies soon and our class trip is coming up. Make sure to stay up to date with every event in order to stay organized and have the opportunity to participate in all senior festivities. Let’s make our last year here the best and maintain the family we have created since freshman year.

Danielle Mackson

Editorial Page 6

The Lightning • October 2013 The Lightning Strike •Strike September 2008


Students ‘cool’ with new air conditioning decision

I would like to begin by saying on behalf of my fellow students that having consistent air conditioning at Krop is pretty cool (pun intended). Thanks to a district-level decision to run the A/C partially over the weekend, students can now attend Krop every day of the week, as opposed to previously attending a preheated oven on Mondays. I am unsure who to thank for this luxury, be it some district number-cruncher who determined it more efficient not to shut off the a/c or a school principal who e-mailed night and day for the cause. Regardless, to anyone involved in the process, I am forever grateful. With that said, I hesitate to say the following: most of my classes are freezing cold. Literally, it gets colder in

the science hallway than any given winter day in Miami. But I digress. However, students who find the school to be “too cold,” should perhaps view the bigger picture. Whereas uncomfortable cold can be fixed with a sweater, heat has no solution short of an ice pack or fanwielding servant, and balancing out a comfortable temperature on the scale of an entire school that holds upwards of 2,500 students is all but impossible. I would gladly scrape the icicles off of my number two pencils if it means that I don’t have to spend another Monday morning roasting in the stagnant breath of twenty-five of my peers. To be serious for a moment, the heat on some days impeded my ability to pay attention and

THE LIGHTNING STRIKE An NSPA All-American publication Winner of George H. Gallup Award NSPA Pacemaker Finalist Follow us on Twitter @kropstrike Like us on Facebook

JAVIER STORCH, Editor-in-Chief CLARISSA BUCH, Managing Editor ARIE HARITON News Editor DAN SICORSKY Opinion Editor ALEC EIDELSTEIN Sports Editor DANIELLE MACKSON Entertainment Editor MICHAEL BEHFAR Spread Editor LINA ZULUAGA Feature Editor MADELINE GARFINKLE Lifestyle Editor


staff writers NICHOLAS ALEMAN, DINA BENDAYAN, MAYAN DERHY, TALYA GEBARA, JUAN LOZANO, ELIAS ROSENFELD, STEPHANIA SALAVERRIA, JOSHUA SWERDLOW AD POLICY The Lightning Strike solicits advertising but reserves the right to reject any material deemed libelous, disruptive, obscene or otherwise inappropriate.

editorial policy The Lightning Strike is the student newspaper of Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School: 1410 Countyline Road, Miami, FL 33179; (305) 652-6808 Ext. 238. Opinions expressed in the editorial section do not reflect the viewpoints or official policies of the school. The Lightning Strike welcomes readers’ opinions on all topics. However, we will NOT print anonymous letters. Please keep letters under 150 words and saved to disk if possible. The editors reserve the right to reject, edit and condense letters. All letters should be turned in to room 2-233.

STORY POLICY Questions or comments about the fairness or accuracy of stories should be directed to Javier Storch, Editor in Chief, at

work to my full potential. In colder classes, I find that I get more done, albeit with a sweater on, but hey- then it makes me feel comfortable and cozy too! The council of Educational Facility Planners supports this with a study in which students were tested for concentration in rooms set at different temperatures. Students placed in colder rooms consistently scored higher than those placed in warmer ones. In the end, despite any discomfort, it is important to realize that the cold rooms are a step forward. We do go to an underfunded public school, which is a whole other problem in itself. Some things must be bargained for in order to avoid cutting corners on what actually matters: a quality education.

Michael Behfar

LETTERS Parents clog up student parking lot Most GPS systems tend to provide an estimated time of arrival for someone who is anxious to reach their destination, and thankfully, most of the time, they are spot on. So when an anxious student driver inputs our school’s address onto his device, he should expect to see an accurate time of arrival, right? Wrong. This time of arrival might be accurate up until the point when one reaches the intersection of Ives and 16th, when the GPS fails to recognize a widespread driving disturbance- parents. If it’s called the “student parking lot” why do parents find it OK to drop off their students there? The problem has been growing exponentially. More and more parents are deciding to drop off their students in the student parking lot, creating major traffic disturbances and long lines for student drivers desperate to get to class on time. I urge administration to encourage parents to drop off their students at an alternate location- one that would not be detrimental to students trying to avoid the dreaded tardy line. Kaila Fives Grade 11

PSAT: a wasted day Along with the majority of Krop students, I had to spend my entire Wednesday in a room, dealing with back pains as a test that lasts roughly over two hours

was administered throughout a painful and tiring four hours plus. On Wednesday, I missed a full day of class, a situation that could have been avoided if properly handled. The block day I missed included essential classes: Honors Chemistry (in which I had a test the following day), AP Spanish Language and AP European History. Personally, those classes mean more to me than a practice test. Not only did I suffer from a wasted day, but I also left the room with tremendous back pains after a series of four 25 minute testing sessions and one 30 minute session forced me keep back and neck bent over for over two hours. I understand that the PSAT is a mandatory exam, and that it is helpful for those who take it. Yet maybe for future exams, the timing can be set in advance so wasted days like this Wednesday do not reoccur. Sebastian Kuzak Grade 10

iPhones needed for equal opportunity As technology has improved, so has our educational system. However, I believe it’s time for the next step in school technology: the prevalence of iPhones. Every incoming freshman should be provided with one of these multifunctional devices. With the introduction of iPhones, our school’s graduation rate will undoubtedly increase, along with the number of people in gifted, honors and AP classes. As is seen through the work of many gifted

students who are advanced enough to already have an iPhone, these devices are a handy tool when completing assignments or when taking an exam you didn’t study for. Surely, if every freshman is provided with an iPhone to use throughout four years of high school, the school’s average GPA will exponentially increase. Not only that, but with the help of the iPhone, students will no longer have to immorally cheat on a test by writing the answers on an oldfashioned post-it. Yona Weissman Grade 12

Lunchtime problems When students go to lunch they expect to be able to get in line, purchase food, sit down and eat a delicious meal. But this is not easy for most students thanks to the little time given to the students. As the lunch bell rings, students race from class to reach the front of the line as if they were in Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest, struggling to find time to both purchase and eat their food. Since the time allotted to the students for lunch is already very short, the administration should make another lunch area for the students to purchase their food and eat it, saving them from feeling as if they are contestants in an eating contest. Brandon Meyers Grade 9

Opinion Page 7

The Lightning Strike • October 2013 SCHOOL FOOD

Student says Jamaican patties won’t fly IN MY OPINION juan lozano micaha

staff writer

The Jamaican patty trolley makes 200 to 400 dollars per day, but when you consider what people have been saying lately, this is a surprising number. Satisfaction with Jamaican patties is not at its all-time best. Because for some time, people have worried they might find f lies in their patties. Yes. Flies. Senior Adrien Voigt uploaded a controversial picture onto his Instagram account, showing a f ly mixed into the meat of his Jamaican

patty. Even worse, the picture includes a close up of the pre-packaged, pre-cooked, refrigerated and reheated insect. The administration is among the group who most definitely did not hit “like”. The rumor was that Voigt was suspended for his picture, but it is not quite true. He was however, called down to Assistant Principal Pamela Clappier’s office and ordered to take the picture down. According to Voigt, Clappier pointed out that the controversy damaged sales. Finding a nasty surprise in a meal that costs less than a burger at McDonalds should not be wholly unexpected.

Besides, there is nothing seriously dangerous about a f ly that has literally had the living bacteria cooked out of it. Student health is not at risk from a eating a thoroughly decontaminated f ly. Still, it’s not a pleasant experience. Regardless, what has been seen cannot be unseen, and while the patties might not be dangerous, they certainly are tainted. Nobody wants a tainted patty. The soul of business relations, like any relationship, is trust, and ordering students to do anything with their social media is not fair to students. Also, it’s not like taking the picture down from Instagram will stop anyone from talking.

Athletic Business Manager Jackie Torano, who is in charge of patty sales, said that there was never an individual report or any evidence presented to her. She only heard about it through one of her office aids who showed her a photo. “It looks as though the photo was doctored,” said Torano. “There’s no validity. If there was truly a claim, I would have needed to speak to the cafeteria manager who would have spoken to the vendor.” Torano suggested that in the future, instead of posting photos to Instagram and telling friends, students should report the problem to the person in charge so they can take the necessary action.

What’s the



Topic of the Month Staying up all night to study: yes or no?

“I love my rest! I need it to have energy for the next day.” Ryan Jackson, 11


Note to parents: it’s not easy being a teen IN MY OPINION gabriela flores micaha

guest writer

“She’s just a teenager dealing with teenage problems.” She may just be a teenager, but it goes way beyond that. Teens are stereotyped as immature beings with few morals. Thanks to movies like Mean Girls and Clueless, girls are seen as nothing more than objects wearing too much eyeliner and not enough clothing, jocks are viewed with nothing more than a football in their hands and enlarged egos, and geeks are seen as a human calculator wearing glasses. Teenage years are supposed to be some of “the best years of our lives” – or so they say. We are told that it is time to engage

in new experiences, find our true selves, and explore the world. But in the years between childhood and adulthood, we’re either too young or too old to ever be taken seriously. A major problem in the teen world is drugs. Pot is the new black and being drug-free is the new lame. What was considered a “play date” not long ago is now a couple of friends and their queen bee, Mary Jane, seeing flowers grow out of the walls and eating anything with the slightest taste. Peer pressure surrounds us all, and no one wants to be the only one not “having a good time.” Eventually, that one occasional joint turns into a joint once an hour. Grades are our trailer for our soon to come paychecks and entire future. This creates the sensation that every

assignment reflects the life we will have and the person we will become. With so many tests, homework assignments, projects and tutoring sessions, school becomes the main part of our lives. So many high expectations from parents leave no time to do anything but write and write and solve and solve. The competition to succeed in AP classes and earn nothing less than an A becomes a giant world of student portals with teachers and parents crashing down on us. No time remains on our schedules for anything besides school work and the stress it causes. So here we are, a joint in one hand and a beer bottle in the other, and we think to ourselves, “This isn’t me.” We think back to four years ago when we were playing card

games and studying for Spanish tests, and we look at what it’s all come to. We see the smile on our parents’ faces and then picture their expression if they were to ever hear of everything we’ve been doing. The world we have created is falling down upon us and there is nothing to do but start fresh. But if this is me and it’s really not, then what is? From all of this comes depression, eating disorders, anxiety – all things we are probably going to have to battle for the rest of our lives. So, parents, the next time you see your child crying themselves to sleep over something you wouldn’t even frown over, think about it. Think about their maturity level, the curiosity in their eyes and the innocence in their face. And try to understand them.


Techonology should not limit student success IN MY OPINION daniela michanie micaha

business editor

Not long ago, it was a luxury for students to own a smartphone or a laptop. But school supplies have evolved and what used to be a luxury has become a requirement. Miami-Dade public schools want us to hurry up and move into the digital age, but they may not have considered the students they leave behind. Our curricula demands access to computers and the Internet and our teachers

often recommend that students own expensive gadgets for the classroom. “It’s a good idea for people to have a smartphone, if not they get left behind in today’s technological world,” teacher Ellen Elias said. But students who can’t afford a smartphone should not fall behind in classes because of increasing reliance on technology. Technology is useful in several fields, but is education one of them? Although it would be nice if every student had Internet access to complete Reading Plus sessions in their

home, it is not realistic. If MDCPS and Alberto Carvalho want to “access the world through technology,” then they must provide this access. With just 40 computers in the library, and nearly 2,700 students, the county has not provided enough technology. This issue is closer to home than we think. By the end of the year, Krop will have Wi-Fi access set-up for students who own devices with Wi-Fi capability. So let’s assume that when research paper season rolls around, the library computers are packed with students scrambling to

meet deadlines. A student who did not make it to the library early enough, but who owns a smartphone or tablet can easily access any site available on a library computer. On the other hand, a student who can’t afford or does not have access to these handy devices will fall behind. So where do we go from here? Technology is definitely not going away, and neither are the financial issues that students face. The question is whether the county can supply enough technology, on their own part, to meet the demands of a school system that is well into the technological age.

“I prefer to study for a little bit, but not too much; If I stay up too long, I can’t focus on my tests.” Charel Ibgui, 9

“L ast minute studying all night won’t help much, so I prefer to sleep.” Dean Nadler, 10

“I stay up as late as neccesary to absorb as much information as possible.” Mathias Wasersztein, 11

Compiled by Mayan Derhy

Entertainment Page 8

The Lightning Strike • October 2013

Drake’s new album strikes emotion MUSIC

Emotion is what makes Drake’s newest album, “Nothing Was The Same,” stand out. The album, released on September 24, 2013, tells a story. Each song has a message that Drake wishes to convey to his listeners, fans and haters. From love to loneliness, Drake compels his audience through rhymes, rhythm and emotion. Each track does so in a different way and makes up for the lack of up-beat music and playfulness with his stream of sentiments and his kryptonite. “Tuscan Leather”: Drake is fully aware of his fame and greatness as he attempts to convey his stardom. He raps about how the album is not meant for the radio, but for more “professional” purposes. One of the lines in this song says: “This is nothing for the radio/ But they’ll still play it though/ Cuz it’s the new Drizzy Drake, that’s just the way it go...” This is not one of the more emotional songs as it is more boastful than sentimental. “Furthest Thing”: This track, co produced with American hip hop producer, The Jake One, features Drake examining the conditions and sacrifices imposed by fame. He ends [the track] admitting that sacrifice TV REVIEW

is worth it when it comes down to the final reward: success. It is appealing as he explains what he has given up to provide music for his fans that keep him going on a day-to day-basis. “Started from the Bottom”: The album’s first official single that is about Drake’s rag-to-riches anthem. It sets the precedent for the album’s underlying theme of fame. He tells the story of how he was a poor boy from Canada and made his way to a superstar in Los Angeles. “Worst Behaviour”: This boastful track emphasizes Drake’s slow rise to respectability. “Always hated the boy, but now the boy is the man,” Drake raps with a tougher tone. The average Drake listener may interpret this as obnoxious and self absorbed, but his attempt to solidify his high position in the music industry is what makes this song so interesting. “From Time”: feat. Jhene Aiko - The women in Drake’s life must have had a huge impact on him as the powerful yet soft voice of Jhene Aiko [tells a story] and reminisces about Drake’s past loves that never bloomed. This track emphasizes regret and sorrow for previous mistakes, something everyone can relate to. “Hold On, We’re Going Home”: The most commonly

played track on the radio shifts from the somewhat depressing tone to a more wedding reception-worthy sound. Drake hopes that this song will be legendary and that some day it will be played at all weddings. It emphasizes a strong love connection and bond for two in love people. “Connect”: The underlying meaning to the song is that Drake holds a strong connection to his hometown of Houston that had a major influence on his music career and upbringing. It exposes the audience to a more personal Drake. “The Language”: - Drake kicks off this track by thumping his chest, restating his position in the rap industry. He hopes his name will be immortal and that Drake fans will be forever. “305 to My City”: - Drake claims the hometown crown as he represents his city over a slow tempo and scratching beat. “We so far from finished, I brought you right back just so we can relive it,” Drake raps in this song as he reminisces on a place that shaped him into who he is. “Too Much”: - Drake follows up “Take Care’s “Look What You’ve Done” with this album’s most emotional song. This track features the soothing

Movie Review:

voice of Sampha, where Drake reveals the negative effects and broken ties with his family, the result of fame. Drake quotes his mother in this track: “She tell me ‘take a deep breath, you’re too worried about being the best out,’” meaning Drake was too consumed in his celebrity life and not enough his family life. “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music”: feat. Jay Z - “You know it’s real when you are who you think you are,” Drake raps before Jay Z, the album’s only rap feature. Jay Z boasts and takes the lime light until Drake comes back in to close the album. For the Drake lovers out there, this album is a mustbuy. Just be prepared to shed a tear or two after hearing these tracks.

eaking television records

Juan Lozano staff writer The Guinness Book of World Records is officially qualifying “Breaking Bad” as the highest rated show ever on television in it’s 2014 edition. The pulse-pounding, coronary-inducing, 62 episode series scored a 99/100 on according to The Hollywood Reporter. For those who have not seen it, “Breaking Bad” is a show about a high school chemistry teacher and father of two, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who finally gets sick of playing by the rules when he is diagnosed with lung cancer and given two years to live. He and his former student, Jesse Pinkman, (Aaron Paul) decide to become partners in a methmaking enterprise. The “Breaking Bad”

team is versatile, capable and careful. They put excruciating thought into each and every detail in the series’ writing, acting and directing. Every single moment in “Breaking Bad” is polished to perfection by arguably the best team in Hollywood. The last season of “Break-

ing Bad” was spectacular, in its own right. There were different antagonists throughout the series. Almost every season, our meth-cooking heroes had a different enemy to hatch plots against and defend themselves from. Who could forget fiery psychopath, Tuco, his cold-blooded cartel cousin

on a quest for vengeance or Gus Fring, Methamphetamine businessman and criminal kingpin? However, in season five, Vince Gilligan does something curious, he transforms the protagonist of the show into the antagonist. In season five, Walt is the bad guy. This is a novel technique. Vince Gilligan breaks through the dogma that has ruled character development on the silver screen for so long. There is no change from bad to good in “Breaking Bad.” There is no lovable criminal with a heart of gold and troubled past, there is only Walter White. For those who have not started watching “Breaking Bad” yet, make a Netflix account and get your popcorn ready. The finale shocks you as a viewer, because it makes you wonder who’s right, who’s wrong and who you are rooting for.


Danielle Mackson entetainment editor

Javier Storch editor in chief If Alfonso Cuarón’s newest space thriller were adapted into a book, it would probably suck. But the beauty in a film like Gravity is not in what it tells but rather how it tells it. It’s a movie that works as a movie and only that. Starring Sandra Bullock (Miss Congeniality, The Blind Side) and George Clooney (Ocean’s Eleven, The Descendants), Gravity follows two astronauts as they try to survive a space shuttle wreckage caused by debris from the destruction of an obsolete Russian satellite. The story is seen mainly from the perspective of Bullock’s character, which comes as something of a surprise in a medium dominated by male protagonists. Other than the female lead and some flying space debris, the story covers a clichéd race to beat the clock. But what the film lacks in story, its cinematography makes up. With a camera that seems to defy gravity, the film features some magnificent shots, particularly in the opening scene. For the film buffs out there, Gravity is filled with references to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (a movie that redefined the science fiction genre). Before going, I was told to watch the movie in IMAX 3D. While this was a costly suggestion, it was no doubt a great one. With the help of a chilly theater, the film’s 3D and surround sound does a great job of placing the viewer in outer space. Its masterful 3D had me right where its director wanted me, at times dizzy and repeatedly jumping in my seat. And the surround sound experience was very realistic, as the film was designed for and intended to be heard in such a way. This may not be the best film of the year but if you are looking for some heart thumping suspense and a breathtaking visual experience, this is a must see.

The Lightning Strike • October 2013

Entertainment 9 The Lightning Strike • September Page 2008


Welcome to Night Vale

Talya Gebara staff writer “A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale.” Cue eerie intro music and then in a cool mellow tone, radio personality Cecil Baldwin recites the recent events in the small desert town of Night Vale. Welcome to Night Vale is a bi-monthly podcast of a radio show set in a fictional desert community, where the strange and horrifying is as normal as PTA meetings and traffic jams. It is done NPR style and features news updates, editorials by the host and recurring segments such as “a word from our sponsors,” and “The Weather.” The town of Night Vale is a community where mysterious dark hooded figures make the dog park unapproachable, angels exist and a rift in time opening in PTA meeting that releases pterodactyls that kill almost forty people. The absurdities of Night Vale is normalcy to its citizens because, “ If we had to shut down the town for every mysterious event that at least one death could be attributed to, we’d never have time to do anything, right?” said Cecil in episode two “Glow Cloud.” The surreal humor of WTNV is due to radio host Cecil Bald-

How long would YOU wait? “I waited three months for Steve Aoki at Life in Color because I love him, and because he “champagned me.” -Katherine Zheveleva,12

win who is rarely phased by the disturbing events more suited for an episode of the Twilight Zone. Baldwin is a deadpan snarker at heart, unless he is speaking of his love interest, Carlos the scientist. Carlos is always described as beautiful and perfect in the same breath and has come to Night Vale because it is the most scientifically interesting community in the United States. Welcome to Night Vale has been around for a year, but mysteriously sprang into popularity this Summer and became the number one most downloaded podcast on Itunes in July. The fandom, with a strong love for its queer narrator, has

produced countless artwork and fanfiction depicting Cecil and Carlos. Although nothing can be confirmed about Cecil’s appearance, he is usually depicted as man with white hair, thick rimmed glasses, purple tattoos and a third eye in the middle of his forehead. Welcome to Night Vale episodes are released on the first and fifteenth of every month and are produced by Commonplace books and written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Night Vale runs approximately 25 minutes and features a different independent musical artist every episode for its “Weather” segment.

“I waited six hours for Anarbor at warped tour. I was with my friends and wanted to see them for a long time.” -Cindy Barski,12

“I waited two hours for Krewella at ultra. “It was all a sacrifice to be close to the stage and to be close to Krewella.”


Glee loses beloved main character Talya Gebara staff writer In 2009 when Glee first premiered, audiences were captivated by its the underdog heavy themes, flashy musical numbers and also by its all star cast and characters. Characters like Finn Hudson, played by the late Cory Monteith, died this Summer from a toxic combination of heroin and alcohol. Glee honored Monteith’s passing with an episode entitled “The Quarterback,” which aired on October 10, 2013. Glee gathered original characters from the first season to mourn for their late friend. The episode deals with the death of Finn Hudson, the former quarterback and glee club star of Mckinley High school. The episode follows the characters as they return to glee club for their own personal memorial for Finn. The line between script and reality is blurred as each character shows the raw pain they felt for their friend’s death, but along with portraying grief, the actors were experiencing it themselves. Lea Michele, who was dating Monteith at the time of his death,

and who plays Finn’s recurring love interest, Rachel Berry, has had her pain constantly publicized in the media since Monteith’s death in July. But with “The Quarterback,” Lea and the cast were able to take back their agency through these hard times while honoring Monteith and providing a therapeutic outlet for both the cast and the fans of the show. The episode followed each character as they came together and remembered Finn, while also showing the unique ways in which people release emotions. Ex-queen bee Cheerleader Santana (Naya Rivera) breaks down in a fit of chilling screams and cries mid-song from the regret of not having expressed how much she cared for Finn. His best friend Puck (Mark Salling) got angry, and felt lost enough to resort to alcoholism. Or how Finn’s mother (Romy Rosemont), step-brother, Kurt (Chris Colfer) and stepfather (Mike O’Malley) expect to face the rest of their life without such a crucial member of their family. Then finally to Rachel, who only appeared for the last 15 minutes after gathering enough strength to come back to her home-

town. She sang a tearful rendition of “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan in memory of her first singing partner. Finn was a character that resembled many kids just getting out of highschool, hopeful, naive and looking for a passion and direction, and Glee was putting him on the path to one. After spending the previous year feeling lost, Finn had decided that he had a passion for teaching after going back to the Glee Club that helped him grow and to nurture students with the lessons that he’d learned throughout the series. Although this abrupt ending to the life of a person filled with promise could be a lesson, Glee doesn’t decide it’s necessary. “He was such a good guy. I’ll never get to tell him. There’s no lesson here, there’s no happy ending. There’s just nothing. He’s just gone,” says Sue, who has been the Glee club’s biggest enemy from the beginning. As for how the character Finn died, Glee offers no explanation, instead saying that it didn’t matter so much what lead to his death, it was his life that it’s important, which would be true for the character and the beloved actor.

-Benji Sheinman,11

“I waited 11 hours for J. Cole because I’m in love with him.”

-Alissa Tennen, 11

Compiled by Mackenzie Duffy

Finding Funds

The Lightning Strike • October 2013

Page 10


Affording college in the 21st century

This means student loan debt has increased by 400% more than the disposable income of the people who are paying for it

Credit card debt Family loans


In-state loans Private Loans

Student Loans vs. Disposable Income

Amounting to an avera in college-related

According to a CNN survey of 2013 colle

Illustrations by Michael Behfar

Upcoming Deadlines Gates Millenium Scholars

Covers a portion of college costs not funded by other grant and scholarship awards. Scholarship applicants must be nominated by an educator familiar with their academic backgrounds. Applications are due January 15th.

Coca-cola scholars

250 four-year scholarships of $10,000 and $20,000 are awarded through this program. The application deadline is October 31st.

Intel Science Talen Search Finalists receive $5,000 scholarships and have a chance to compete for the grand prize award. The application deadline is November 20th.

Dell Scholars Foundation

This scholarship carries an award of $20,000 to help students complete their college educations. Applications are due January 15th.

Florida FAFSA Florida Federal Financial Aid applications are due May 15th.

College Deci Blake Mars design editor

Financial aid Fiasco Recent graduate Alexis Winer always dreamed of attending the University of Michigan. However, the acceptance to her dream school was bittersweet. She did not receive enough financial aid. “I knew that realistically I could go there only if I got a full ride,” Winer said. “I’d rather have my parents spend money on graduate school or law school than spend so much on undergrad.” Now a student at the University of Florida, Winer feels she has made a smart decision. This trade-off between price and prestige has become common for many high school seniors. According to the U.S. Bureau

of Labor Statistics, college tuitions have nearly sextupled since 1985, while consumer prices have merely doubled. In the 10 years between 2000 and 2010, the cost of tuition and room and board went up 46 percent at public universities. The main cause for the skyrocketing tuition has been huge state funding cuts. As tax revenue falls during a recession, states face a budget squeeze and in need of something to cut, higher education often becomes a prime target. “It has to do with rising federal financial aid over a number of years,” CAP Advisor Robert Roddy said. “Instead of holding the line on cost, universities are forced to up their tuition.” With the continuous increase in college costs, many students turn to federally subsidized student loans. Of the 37 million borrowers who have outstanding

student loan balan or about 5.4 mi have at least one loan account.

Tuition Troub

Former stude considered the ri pay off loans whe school to attend. “If in my fi was going to be to get rid of prere interested in, is buried under a loan debt?” Silve To answer he would not be wor students taking federal governm more to borrow. student loans hav 3.4 percent to 6. is an additional loan taken out borrower.

The Lightning Strike • October 2013

aduate student aid available: Source: College Board

$154 Billion

The average student borrowed Total aid given in the in federal 2010 - 11 school year loans in 2013

59% of students had to borrow money to pay for college

Salli Mae-Ipsos survey of 1,602 2012-2013 college students



6% 4% 4% 1% St P Ta Fe Pe I Fe era ate riva x Cr der de ll G nsti ra ra tutio l Gr Gran te&E edital W lL nts a t mp s ork oa na ns loy l G nts s -St ra er ud nts y Gr an ts 18




Total scholarship money available in the database

Fe d

Taken from College Board’s database of financial aid given to all undergraduate students.

All undergrad


$35 , age of 00 debt ! 0

$8,815 $3.4 Billion Salli Mae-Ipsos

Salli Mae-Ipsos


Page 11

Full-time undergrad

Average College Cost + Fees

ege students.

All graduate

Price over What are unmet needs? isions:Prestige

nces, 14 percent, illion borrowers, past due student


ent Taylor Silver isk of having to en deciding what

first few years I e taking courses equisites I’m not it worth getting pile of student er wondered. er question: no, it rth it. With more out loans, the ment is charging Rates on federal ve doubled from .8 percent which $761 for every by the average

Still, many students choose to attend a school based solely on its academic reputation and prestige. In a UCLA survey of 201,818 students at 279 U.S. colleges and universities, a good academic reputation was rated the number

That extra bit of money is considered an investment in your future” -Robert Roddy

one influence in school choice. One of Krop’s top former students decided the prestige of attending Harvard University outweighed the price since learning and employment opportunities would make it worthwhile. He made the assumption that in the long run

the prestige would cover the cost of tuition in the short term. Conversely, Silver, now a sophomore at Florida State University, was encouraged by her parents to stay in-state because of her Florida Pre-Paid. “I think a lot of kids get swept up in the notion that if they’re accepted to their dream school, they have to go,” Silver said. “If you compare my out of state dream school to where I attend now, the cost would have amounted to a quarter of a million dollars versus the paid for, in-state education I’m obtaining now.” In evaluating price versus prestige, Roddy says students must ultimately consider the financial, academic and careeroriented opportunities provided depending on the school one chooses to attend. “That extra bit of money is considered an investment in your future,” Roddy said.

Unmet needs are left by the financial aid system’s categorization of economic classes. A gap exists between those who are given 100 percent financial aid because of their income level, and those who are wealthy enough to pay for college outright. The applicants within that gap are forced to pay an unreasonable amount for college. According to the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success (CLASP), 98.8 percent of dependent college applicants in the lower quartile financial bracket have an unmet need. These families have an average unmet need of over 10,000 dollars. In comparison, 6% of upper quartile dependent applicants have an unmet need. In this category, the average unmet need is 242 dollars. Students who are aware that they may have unmet needs at the college of their choice are advised by CAP advisor Robert Roddy to search for these scholarships as soon as possible. Useful websites such as among others can be found in Roddy’s e-mails. Statistics courtesy of CLAST

Feature Page 12

The Lightning Strike • October 2013


ELL teacher makes an impact Abigail Duffy photo editor

France, Pakistan, Russia, Syria and Vietnam are just a few of the nations represented by students in ELL (English Language Learner) teacher Margarita Perez’s “international classes.” Perez’s decision to become an ELL teacher was motivated by her own experience. When she was 16-years-old, her parents decided to move their six children to Puerto Rico from New Jersey. Although she grew up in a Spanish-speaking household, Perez was not accepted by her native Puerto Rican classmates. The label “gringa” followed Perez like a shadow. However, Perez’s at-home learning helped her excel in her Puerto Rican high school. “I was very fortunate that I had a mother who made me read Classics in Spanish while I was growing up in New Jersey,” she said. “Everything in my house was in Spanish.” While she was ostracized by her peers, Perez’s teachers were “shocked” at her fluency in Spanish and her biliteracy. “I always had a passion for English because it just came easily to me,” Perez said. “I had straight A’s and I was a passionate reader and writer.” At the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, Perez majored in elementary education and English, minored in ESL and got her Masters in TESOL. She taught ESL in Puerto Rico for 10 years. The methods that Perez uses


IN THE CLASSROOM: Perez overlooks several of her English Through ESOL students as they work on their assignments. Perez draws inspiration from educating and teaching students who are all furthering their literacy in English.

to teach English have proven Perez lends her students’ to be effective. She covers a success to their motivation normal English reading and to learn and determination to writing curriculum with an prove themselves in their new emphasis on listening and environment. One student who speaking to help embodied her students What I love about t h i s a c q u i r e them is how they mentality language. Her was Luis embrace each other’s L a r c o , classes are interactive and differences. We need w h o cooperative, graduated to be accepting of each in 2009. w h i c h aides in the Larco other reinforcement c a m e -Margarita Perez of the students’ to the knowledge. United “I believe that they can do it States from Peru in 2006 as a and they do,” Perez said. freshman. The following year, The diversity in her classes he had Perez for English II. is something that Perez In the first month of her class, appreciates and learning about Larco went to school to “just the different cultures firsthand chill,” but an impassioned, is enriching. 30-minute lecture from Perez “What I love about them is changed his view on schooling how they embrace each other’s forever. differences,” she said. “It’s Larco said that Perez’s almost like they’re teaching desire for the ELL students to adults. We need to be accepting take education seriously made of each other.” him decide to put all of his

effort into the class. Larco’s participation increased as his confidence in the language grew. While his English was not perfect, Perez gave him the confidence to learn from his mistakes, answer questions and share his opinions, all in English. Larco went on to not only pass the FCAT and take the SAT, but he also won a Silver Knight for New Media. He attributes much of his success to the patient and motherly methods that Perez used. Success like Larco’s is something that humbles Perez. In 2006, Perez was named the district’s Puerto Rican Teacher of the Year. In 2011, she became Krop’s Teacher of the Year. Perez said that as a 16-year-old, she never would have imagined that she would receive such recognition. “My reward in itself is what I do,” she said. “It’s a privilege to teach kids.” Perez’s philosophy on teaching is: if you teach them, they learn. Perez comes into work every morning knowing that as an educator she can make a difference in her ELL students’ lives. Through her own hard work combined with her students’ determination, Perez attempts to help students overcome the difficulties that the cultures shock entails. “They inspire me every day through what they accomplish.” Perez said.


Students express themselves through concentrations Mackenzie Duffy co-copy editor

Senior Jasline Rodriguez is taking her concentration for her AP photography class and is using it to close a painful chapter of her life, one that has been troubling for her to cope with through her teen years. Abused at the age of 13, Rodriguez has often felt alone when trying to deal with the aftermath of the event. She uses her concentration to express herself, educating others and empowering others to come forward. “It’s a growing idea, but I want people to face the disgusting truth: kids go through difficult things and people just disregard it” she said. In classes like AP drawing and photography, students are able to get a grade for expressing themselves through their respective concentration. A concentration is a theme

chosen by the student and varies in topic from traumatic experiences to those that bring the student joy. All projects assigned in the year will be based on an interpretation of their chosen theme. AP drawing teacher Ernesto Montes has seen several trauma-based concentrations over the years. “I encourage my students to choose a concentration that’s close to their hearts and their daily life like divorce or family loss,” he said. Due to the personal meaning that these themes have for the students who chose them, students are more determined to complete their themes to the best of their ability. “I see the students putting in more effort into their work when their concentrations concern their daily life,” Montes said. Not only do the teachers recognize this effort, but colleges take the concentrations of students into consideration


EXPRESSION THROUGH ART: Pictured above is the subject of an AP photography student taken from a public web display on Students are able to show case their work before submitting to the College Board.

when reviewing their portfolio. “We just had a college come visit today, and they love concentrations,” Montes said, “It shows a student’s personality and is an indicator of a person instead of their being just a number.” Topics vary from divorce

to family loss. Montes encourages his students to choose a concentration that is close to their hearts or daily lives. It is obvious, says Montes, that students who decide to carry out these types of themes put forth more effort into their concentrations.

Fact or Fiction?

Will there be a chemistry EOC next year? Fiction: “It’s just talk, I’m almost sure it’s not going to happen.” -Science teacher, Gary Feilich

Are the eggs in breakfast real? Fact: “Yes! It comes in a big carton full of them” -Corina Gonzalez

Does Coach Morgan keep a dog in her office? FICTION: “No! You can’t have dogs in school!” - Coach Elizabeth Morgan Compiled by Mayan Derhy

Feature Page 13

The Lightning Strike • October 2013 SPECIAL EDUCATION

The man behind the buddies: An inside look at the founder and head of the Best Buddies program at Krop, Manuel Quiroga

Mayan Derhy staff writer

what you are going to do in the future… get used to it.’” Quiroga has always loved Sixteen-year-old Manuel working with people. Going Quiroga was playing football into college, he got his teachwith his friend Berry. Run- ing degree and started workning back into position, he ing at Arcola Lake Elementary saw another player and yelled in Miami, which coinciden“Pass me the ball!” He was ig- tally had a wing for kids with nored. Again, he yelled for the disabilities. Quiroga, now ball; still, no answer. After a known as Mr. Q, felt attached third time, Quiroga went into to the special education dea rage, cursing at the boy only partment, visiting every day to find out that he was yelling during his lunch. He decided at Berry’s deaf brother, Lynn. that teaching kids with disThat moment abilities was his calling, went changed Quiroga’s life. back to college and got his Quiroga realized then Special Education degree. what many teens his age did Quiroga misses the curnot: that having disabilities riculum challenge of teaching does not characterize a per- regular. He loves the challenge son as disabled. Quiroga and of teaching standard classes, Lynn bebut he came best would friends, I think that was kind n o t g o i n g trade of destiny,” Quiroga said. clubbing teachd o w n - “Kind of God saying ‘this is i n g town any what you’re going to do in special chance educathey had. the future… get used to it.’” t i o n B e i n g -Manuel Quiroga f o r deaf did a n y not stop thing. Lynn from feeling the beat of Quiroga started teaching the music, and according to at Krop in 1999 and decided Quiroga, Lynn was one of the to start the special education best dancers he had ever seen. department. A few years later, “I think that was kind junior Jonathan Weiss came to of destiny,” Quiroga said. Mr. Q with the idea of opening “Kind of God saying, ‘this is a Best Buddies chapter. At the



TEACHING THE BUDDIES: Special Education teacher Manuel Quiroga assists sophomore Jadd El-Halabi, in a computing assignment. Students have a schedule that is adjusted to their needs, but also includes graphics and physical education.

time, the club was called “Best Buddies for Kids with Mental Retardation,” a name that Mr. Q strongly opposed since he felt uncomfortable with the word. “I never felt my kids were mentally retarded,” Quiroga said. “They had intellectual disabilities, impairments, behavior problems and more, but that had nothing to do with how smart they were [or not].” Weiss and Quiroga contacted the Best Buddies National Chapter and they agreed to drop the name, now

officially called “Best Buddies.” The club started with just five people and grew into the diverse group of one hundred people that it is today. Mr. Q tries his best to make the program inclusive, inviting anyone and everyone that could use a friend, not just students with disabilities. One of the main goals of Best Buddies is to spread awareness. Quiroga constantly stresses that being retarded is not contagious, but the use of the word is. When

people say “that’s so retarded,” about a certain thing, he replies “well… what is?” “Retard is like the F word,” Mr. Q says. “Everybody uses it, but people just don’t realize what they’re saying.” Quiroga says making a change all starts with one person. His mistaken anger toward Lynn who wouldn’t pass him the ball drove him to dedicate his life to helping kids with disabilities, making sure he was never ignorant again.

THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Mr. Ponkey 1. Drives: 2012 Black Charger.

2. Hair Gel: Powerfix

3. Lifts: 205 lbs. Most lifted: 225 lbs.

4. Regular PowerSmoothie order: Strawberry Colada and the Southwestern wrap. 5. Friends from Chicago call him ‘Ponk.’ 6. When you put his music on shuffle: Drake- Started from the bottom. 7. Siblings: Has a newly-wed brother and a brother-in-law who is the lead singer in “We are Scientists.” They tour mostly in Europe. 8. Extra-curriculars: Ponkey is part of two basketball leagues. Sunday he is part of an all men’s league that plays half court. Monday nights he plays full courts. 9. He has two boys. Max who is four and a half and Dylan who is one and a half.

10. He has been in the education field for 15 years. He has taught fourth grade elementary, middle school science and has been at a high school for two years, both at MKHS. 11. His first job was when he was 14, working as a bus boy at a BBQ restaurant. It lasted for a year. He could not play sports in high school because he had to help out his family by working. 12. Number one on bucket list is to travel more and go back to Hawaii, which is where he went for his honeymoon. Also, to travel to Italy.

13. He grew up in Chicago and moved to Miami to attend Barry University. 14. Advice to 16 year old self: “Don’t give up. Things will work out.” 15. If his life were to be a movie its title would be “Hard work pays off.” Compiled by Stephania Salaverria Photo by Abigail Duffy


Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013

Dine for Krop at Chipotle in Aventura 3-8 p.m. 20% goes back to Krop but students must bring the flyer

Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013

Parent Appreciation Morning 8 a.m. at Equinox in Aventura. Forty-five minute class, chair massages, snacks, giveaways and more

Tuesday, November 12

Teacher/Staff Appreciation Night 6 p.m. at Equinox Aventura. Fortyfive minute class, chair massages, snacks, giveaways and more

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 6:30pm General PTSA Meeting in the Media Center

Wednesday, November 27 DRESS DOWN DAY (Must buy $1.00 wristband)

Membership applications available in the Attendance Office


The Lightning Strike • October 2013

Page 15


Krop before sunrise Maddie Garfinkle lifestyle editor In the dark hours before the sunrise, as the gray walls of the school blend with the night sky, few signs of life are present. Aside from the hum of street lights, cats that scavenge through trash and cars on I-95, silence fills the usually busy patios of Krop High School. At 6 a.m., freshmen Hazel Fuentes and Adianna Mitia sit on one of the empty benches on the north patio. Both wear headphones and listen to music to pass the time. Fuentes says she does not mind coming early because she knows her parents are working for her well-being and benefit. Siblings Kayla and Khalil Wilson, both sophomores and junior Alexis Wilson, come early for the same reason. Their mom drops them off around 6:20 a.m. to avoid early morning traffic but they do not seem to mind. “I like to eat breakfast before it gets crowded, and I can finish my homework,” said Khalil. The three siblings sit in the cafeteria and enjoy getting

Uniting to Aid Children in Orphanages Susan Bean MADDIE GARFINKLE

their breakfast before the long lines and get an early start to their day. While some must come before sunrise, others are early birds by choice. Senior Lian Romaro started coming to school before sunrise in 10th grade and has continued the routine ever since. “Coming this early can help me prepare for all the noise and crowds I encounter at school,” said Romero. “I don’t like waking up and coming to a noisy school.” Romero appreciates the early morning with her two friends Bianca Bowe and Jerry JeanLouis, who appreciate Krop

before dawn. “We sit here, talk and laugh,” said Bowe. “It’s really peaceful and quiet.” Jean-Louis adds that he sings songs for them in the morning. The three friends savor the noise free school before it becomes alive with the 2,600 plus student body. The students who come early have the benefit of seeing the contrast between the packed school most of us know, to the hushed, peaceful scenery before the sun rises. By 6:35 a.m., the first bus arrives, bringing the first wave of students who flood into the school for yet, another busy day.


Rookiemag: teen advice guru Mayan Derhy staff writer Having boy trouble is hard enough without the stress of high school, and sophomore Veronika Bondarenko wanted a distraction. A friend of hers came to the rescue and suggested Rookie Mag, an online magazine catered to teenage girls, and after reading an article titled “The Dating Game,” Bondarenko found herself hooked. From getting through a rough day to needing advice, Tavi Gevinson’s online blog is helping girls get through the everyday struggles of being a teen. Gevinson founded “Rookie Mag” in 2011 when she was just 15-years-old. Today, she runs the website with her staff of around 50 writers who tackle topics like boys, body image and stress. The website offers a video segment called “Ask A Grown Man,” where older male celebrities such as Jon Hamm and Paul Rudd answer questions sent in by Rookie readers. Readers can also relate to a section called “Diary Entries,” that encapsulates what it feels like to live a day as a teenage girl. “Rookie is like the older sister

Student Innovators

teens never had,” sophomore Shoshana Summers said. “The stories are personal and they give hope to people going through the same situations.” On Rookie, Gevinson encourages her readers to give in to “Fan Girl-dom,” believing it is healthy and truly fun to love an artist and their work. In the segments “Movies + TV” and “Books + Comics,” Gevinson and Rookie writers suggest some of their favorite movies, shows and books. Gevinson posts drawings and annotations for songs that she finds inspiring and encourages feedback from teens with her comment section at the bottom of each page. “I’m honestly in love with Tavi’s music mixes,” sophomore Gal Mintz said. “There’s so many like ‘Summertime Bummertime’ and ‘Bright Lights for Dark Days,’ and no matter

what mood I’m in there’s always a playlist for it.” Rookie acts as a virtual diary for teenage girls, and to accommodate their schedules, Rookie updates three times a day: after school, around dinner and before bed. The site centers around monthly themes like obsession, power, mystery and paradise. For October, it is Haunted. Whether it is for entertainment or advice, Rookie Mag is a girl’s best friend through high school.

Tavi Gevinson

I initiated a project, called Uniting to Aid Children in Orphanages, to raise funds, collect goods and spread awareness of the needs of children in orphanages and foster care around the world. Seventeen years ago, when I was six months old, I was adopted from an orphanage in Hangzhou, China. Because many children in orphanages and foster care are not as fortunate as I have been, I would like to help make their lives a little better, with the hope that they too can someday have a family. I also volunteered at China Little Flower, a home for orphans with medical needs in Beijing, China. To accomplish my goal, I reached out to the World Association of Children and Parents (WACAP), an organization that finds adoptive families for foster and orphaned children around the world and that found me my home. Through the website FirstGiving, I developed a webpage describing my project and goals. In addition to my webpage, my fundraising efforts included selling bracelets, organizing and participating in a “Chopped” style cook-off and having a benefit concert. Through these efforts, I have so far raised more than two thousand dollars. I spearheaded a book drive at school where I collected more than three thousand children’s books that I donated to The Children’s Home Society (a local organization that cares for foster children) and Abriendo Puertos (a local after school and summer camp program for underprivileged children). I contacted and made presentations before my congregation and local Girl Scout troops to spread awareness of the needs of children in foster care. This past summer I participated in the Lifeworks International program, through which I traveled to Beijing, China to volunteer at a home for infant orphans with medical needs. For three weeks I helped care for these wonderful children, feeding them, playing with them and snuggling with them. The funds I have raised have been donated to WACAP for the purpose of providing humanitarian aid to children in orphanages and foster care and to provide funds for families who want to adopt children. I founded this project and have had a leadership role in it. Others have participated in certain of the fundraising activities that I planned (such as the cook-off and benefit concert), and assisted me in culling through and delivering the more than three thousand books collected in the book drive that I organized. Leading this service project has been extremely rewarding, but fundraising has proven to be challenging. I am continually trying to think of new ways to raise funds. I took steps to organize a walk, but was thwarted by the need to provide insurance at local parks. I continue to seek a “partner” to help in that effort. This project is near to my heart because I feel so fortunate and grateful to have found a loving family, happy home and unlimited opportunities. I am gratified by the ability to bring even a little happiness to children in orphanages and foster care, one smile at a time, and I will continue my efforts to raise funds, supplies and awareness of the needs of these children. My family is proud and supportive of me. My school is also supportive of my efforts. The Children’s Home Society and Arbriendo Puertas are making good use of the donated books for the children in their care. My presentations have been well received, and I was able to make the lives of some infants and toddlers in an orphan home in China a little bit happier.

Lifestyle Page 16

The Lightning Strike • October 2013


Media gives teens a distorted sense of reality Christina Carucci co-copy editor Based on experience, it seems the first thing someone notices when looking in the mirror is everything they do not like. Whether it be weight, hair, complexion or clothes, the definition of attractive has been defined as a small waist, big boobs or for guys, muscles. From the front cover of a magazine to celebrities on T.V. walking the red carpet, the influence of the media is everywhere. Comparing ourselves to these figures seems inevitable. It is natural for girls to want a thinner body or a guy to want bigger muscles. In reality however, most of the people we are comparing ourselves to are edited to look “perfect” on the front of a magazine. These comparisons often result in insecurities and possibly eating disorders. And that is where the media’s dangerous effects become evident. “T.V. has affected me

negatively,” says one senior who wishes to remain anonymous. “I thought I was so fat because I compared myself to the way celebrities looked. Whenever there were snacks or soda around I debated whether to eat it and I always forced myself not to eat it, when in reality I was a healthy at 5 feet 4 inches tall and 120 pounds.” According to a study done by J. Kevin Thompson (University of South Florida) and Leslie J. Heinberg (John Hopkins University School of Medicine), the average household has the television on for seven hours a day and only 10 percent of female television stars are overweight. Teens spend a great amount of their day on the Internet where the pressure to be thin is plastered on social media websites. If that was not enough, there are websites that actually encourage losing weight in a harmful way, such as “thinspo.” Short for “thinsporation,”


thinspo is a Tumblr account where disturbing pictures of bone-thin women and slogans like “You’ll never get skinny if you keep on eating,” or “skip the dinner, wake up thinner,” are posted and actually encourage people to starve themselves. Instagram banned the hashtags “proanorexia” and “probulimia” last year because of dangerous content and when searching the hashtag “thinspo,” Instagram warns users of graphic photos. Currently, there are nearly 75,000 Instagram photos using the hashtag “thinspo.” “I think the media has skewed our perception on our appearances because it has made having a perfect body look like the norm,” senior Siling Li said. “I do not think it is worth putting yourself under health hazards to look like that, and we should not alter our looks to please others.” We each have qualities that make us unique and the media’s influence should not

affect us from embracing them. I challenge you, when you look into the mirror, instead of pointing out a flaw, find

something you do love about yourself. I am certain there is something that makes you the special person that you are.

Body Image Statistics

80% of women say that the images of women on television, in movies, advertising and fashion magazines make them feel insecure.

42% of first through third grade girls want to be thinner.

81% of ten year-olds are afraid of being fat.

Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American’s women.

More than half of teenage girls are, or think they should be, on diets. They want to lose all or some of the 40 pounds women naturally gain between the ages of 8 and 14.


Zumba: a great way Teachers and students use to enjoy a workout technology to their advantage

Elias Rosenfeld staff writer Students are joining the zumba craze. Zumba, a Latin-inspired, calorieburning fitness dance workout was developed by Alberto “Beto” Perez, and has become an international phenomenon with more than 12 million devoted dancers. T h e Zumba is a 60 minute workout of choreographed Latin dances of Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia and Reggaeton. Junior Kim Foreiter said, “ Zumba is such a great way to exercise with friends while enjoying the upbeat music. It can get anyone off their butts and on their feet!” Dances feature a high level of energy and beats with exotic rhythms that make it simple for dancers to lose weight and get healthy. Zumba is a total body workout that perfects all parts of the body, specifically the stomach, legs and arms.

If you are interested in joining the Zumba craze, then you can sign up in a local dance studio that offers the classes. Olympia Gym in Aventura is offering the classes for their membership price. You can also buy the DVD sets online and perform the dance routines in the comfort of your home.

Dina Bendayan staff writer Technology has become a tremendous source of entertainment in our every-day life. Whether we are texting someone or typing an essay, our lives without technology would be very different. Although for the most part we use technology to talk to our friends, there are endless things we can do with technology that benefit us. There are numerous apps and programs that appeal to both students and administrators that facilitate their every day lives. Technology guru and test chair, Xandra Lilavois says that she is “all about the productivity” of technology and encourages her colleagues to take advantage of it. She helps newbies take the plunge into the technological world and encourages those who are already there. Lilavois says that students are not being productive with their smartphones because they prefer using them to text and surf the web. Many students are not aware of the things they can do with their smartphones that are academically constructive. SAT practice is never fun,

but senior Netali Shkori found an app that gives her small dosages of SAT practice questions that improved her SAT scores. The College Board’s SAT Question of the Day app has a different SAT-type question every day in math, critical reading or writing. “It’s a simple and easy way to practice for the SATR,” she said. “If I’m on my phone I might as well do something productive.” Another helpful app is AP Macroeconomics Review, created by Jacob Clifford who became “famous” for his Macroeconomic review videos on YouTube. This app helps students through practice tests, lessons and links to his YouTube videos. Senior Anabella Benchimol says that this app is necessary to all AP Macro students because it is a valuable and useful source of information. “It’s an extra study guide that is just $1.99, in comparison to regular review books that are more expensive,” Benchimol said. Math teacher, Wendy Abolsky is a fond admirer of modern technology and uses different computer programs to

enhance the learning environment of her students and interact better with them. Abolsky uses programs such a Splashtop to display notes on the projector and uses her iPad or iPhone as the controller. This allows her to move around the room, which creates a more comfortable classroom atmosphere. “[These programs] allow me to bring into the lesson anything the Internet can offer,” Abolsky said. “They open up a new world of possibilities.” The possibilities of helpful things we can do with technology are infinite, and we should take advantage of them. Though not everyone will admit it, technology has taken over our lives. With endless apps and resources, it’s hard to stay away from technology, but we should dedicate some time to being productive.

Sports The Lightning Strike • October 2013

Page 17


Alec Eidelstein sports editor After receiving offers from universities such as Princeton, Northwestern and Miami, the former No. 1 tennis player in Florida (according to USTA rankings), Alex Knight, has decided to take his talents to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor on a full scholarship. “There’s no better combination of academics and athletics and I loved the goals of the teammates,” Knight said. “Everyone has professional aspirations. The coaches are

great and extremely dedicated, and it seemed like the right fit.” Knight took official visit trips to Michigan, Princeton, Northwestern and the University of Illinois. Official visits are paid by the university and may include lodging and threemeals a day during a span of 48 hours. The five-star blue chip recruit led the Lightning tennis team to States last year and won the boys overall single competition. Knight and former alumni William Federhofer are the only students to win this competition in Krop history.

At one point, Knight was ranked top 10 in the nation and No. 1 in Florida. His rankings change depending on his performance in tournaments. Because he has not played since summer, Knight is now ranked lower as he was occupied with the college recruiting process. He is also an HonorsGifted/AP student and has been taking rigorous classes throughout high school. His schedule this year consists of AP Government, AP Statistics, AP Literature, Physics Hoors/ Gifted, AP Psychology, and Office Aid with Ms. Torano. He effectively balances athlet-

Courtesy of Alex Knight

Alex Knight Goes Blue!

ics with academics in addition to the fact that he trains every day for hours. Unfortunately Knight will not be playing in his final season at Krop. In order to obtain


Student Athletes:


his credits faster, he became a home school student. He will be going up to Michigan in January to play as a redshirt freshman for the first semester at the age of 17.


Some students successfully tackle textbooks and bounce basketballs, while others must choose between success in academics or athletics

Joshua Swerdlow staff writer Having a balanced school life seems to be on the rise in recent years. Achieving academic excellence, playing sports and being involved in several clubs is becoming the norm for highly competitive students. The pressures of being a student athlete is immense. Most practices are held until the late evening hours every day, which can add on stress to anyone’s schedule. A study conducted by the New York University Child Study Center shows that children participating in sports are better off socially and psychologically because they have opportunities to meet new people. The study also finds that many children get “self-esteem boosts” from friends, which can improve school performance. Captain of the boys’ varsity volleyball team, senior Donovan Vasquez, has played varsity volleyball throughout high school. “Playing volleyball allowed me to meet older students, making me understand high school life and mature quicker,” he said. The moral support from older students is a benefit for new students. Vasquez felt his volleyball team has helped him in times when “other friends could not.” Vasquez, looks forward to applying to top nationally

ranked universities. varsity football team, senior “[Volleyball] caused me Sebastian Theodore, agrees to be more disciplined and that playing sports is tough time manage [my studies] but it has several advantages. so I wouldn’t “I guess fall behind [in [football] school].” I had no has made B e i n g it so I’ve committed to motivation to do my met people long practices homework. I was I wouldn’t puts athletes on a v e too tired when I got htalked a strict schedule. to V o l l e y b a l l home from practice. otherwise,” practice ends s a i d -Parker Yagman T h e o d o r e . at five in the afternoon “It has during the [also] given spring. Vasquez “gets over the me a greater chance to get tiredness” and works just as into a good university.” hard on his academics. For other students, putting Many of the students who in the commitment and effort remain in high school sports for multiple years believe ADVERTISEMENT playing has helped them “stay on track.” “For some reason I always find myself saying [tennis] keeps me grounded and away from trouble,” said member of the girls’ varsity tennis team, junior Alexa Roth, “It is something I love to do and I just get so happy when I’m playing.” Both Vasquez and Roth agree to some extent that the “balance” between sports and academics can be tough. Any time outside of the classroom is time lost study time. Besides committing to school practices, athletes also work on their skills by themselves, especially on weekends. “I’m not only playing in school, [tennis] takes up a lot of time outside of the classroom,” Roth said. Four-year starter of the

is too much. Former member of the junior varsity boys’ baseball team, junior Parker Yagman, quit after his ninth grade season. “I had no motivation to do my homework,” said Yagman, “I was too tired when I got home from practice.” Although he enjoyed baseball, Yagman felt putting his “utmost effort” into sports caused his grades to drop. “The players on the team were [demotivated] to just pass their classes,” Yagman said. Balancing a social, academic, and sports life takes a certain balance. Some students can handle the pressures, while others simply cannot.

Donovan Vasquez, 12


Parker Yagman,11

Sports Page 18

Lightning Strike • October2008 2013 The LightningThe Strike • September


Girls’ Basketball Preview

Nicholas Aleman staff writer Do you feel it? After a tough defeat in the regional semifinals to Miami High, the girls’ basketball team is looking forward to little expectations and a season of no pressure. Finishing first in Division 13 of District 8A for the fourth year in a row, the team starts the season with surprisingly low expectations for the first time in three years because of the loss in last year’s semifinals. Also because of the loss of team captain Nikuru Anyagalibo and four others due to graduation and recruiting. “We’re definitely the underdogs,” senior captain Briana Upshur said. “No one is expecting us to compete this year but we’re coming harder.” Two years ago, the team reached the state finals, ultimately losing to Dr. Phillips 72-50. So last year, expectations were high as most high school basketball writers thought we would make another finals run. After a season filled with blowouts and yet another undefeated district

regular season, the team finished with a 17-7 record but a loss in the semifinals. This year, the team is trying to continue a streak that no other team in the district has ever matched. Entering the season, the girls’ basketball team has won 30 straight regular season district games dating back to the 09-10 season. The success, says Coach Ray Thompson, is credited to the AAU circuit. While that may be the case, the studentathletes say it’s Thompson that steers the train. “He’s like a father to us,” Upshur said. “He makes it easier to play for him because when you’re wrong he will tell you you’re wrong.” Upshur knows that down the line, she will appreciate that Thompson drove her to her best abilities. “He just motivates you to do better and you can see that through our play,” Upshur said. Thompson says that it’s the chemistry that sets this team apart from the teams of the past. “This team is unselfish and more team oriented,” Thompson said. “This is a group who really likes each other because they grew up together, from middle

-11/4: Girls’ Soccer @ Flanagan -11/4: Boys’ Soccer @ Flanagan -11/6: Boys’/Girls’ Soccer @ West Broward school ball to the AAU circuit, -11/6: Varsity Football @ Killian the team is closer than most.” But Thompson also recog- -11/8: Boys’ Soccer @ Goleman nizes that the bench isn’t as deep as before. “From a talent stand point we’re not as good as the teams that we’ve had in the past,” Thompson said. “The potential is there and I believe that we will reach it, but it takes time.” Time they have. The season starts with a tipoff classic against Barron Collier and Dwyer, both winners of their division and ranked 103 and third in the state, respectfully. The regular season starts on November 12 against Norland, ranked 11 in the state. Also on our schedule is Dillard, the three time defending class 5A champions and the number two team in the state. “We schedule everyone and anyone,” Thompson said. “We want to play the best teams because if you play all the bad teams and go undefeated, it means nothing.” Coach Thompson describes the upcoming season as bright and full of potential. “We have a good, young team,” he said. “This season we’re going to make some noise.”


Golf Season Recap Nicholas Aleman staff writer New coach, new start. Starting the year with a new coach can always be difficult, but Coach Michael Kypriss is up for the challenge. With Carlos Montero leaving after eight years at the helm, the season started with confusion over who would be the coach. After Kypriss stepped up for the job, the team was locked in and focused on bringing home a district championship and with returning seniors Tyler Sloman and Andrew Marcus leading the team, they finished with a 7-2 record. “This year was pretty good compared to the previous three years,” Marcus said. “We were more relaxed and you can see that on the course.” Sloman finished this year with a top five average in the city and third in districts after winning in a playoff hole to secure the win. He also qualified for regionals where he finished 13 out of 53 golfers. “I gave it my best, but the


PUTTING: Junior Tyler Sloman attempts to putt the ball in the hole for a birdie.

competition was stiff,” Sloman said. “I wanted to represent Krop as best I could.” That he did. “I’m very proud of him for what he has accomplished,” Kypriss said. “He showed leadership on and off the course.” The school hasn’t had a girls team since the 2010-11 season, but this year, senior Lindsay Hibbert took the district by storm. This is her first year in public school after three years of homeschooling, and she arrived here with hope of making it to regionals and she did not disappoint. Hibbert qualified for dis-

November 1-8

tricts by playing against the boys since we don’t have a girls team, something that is quite rare. “It made me more competitive and challenged me like never before,” Hibbert said. At districts, she finished second, against girls competition, and qualified for regionals where she finished in the top 30. “I was surprised that I made regionals,” Hibbert said. “I believe this year was very successful.” The team finished with their best record in three years and both Sloman and Marcus are looking to recruit new members for next season.

November 9-16 -11/12: Girls’ Basketball Contest -11/12: Wrestling Contest -11/12: Girls’/Boys’ Soccer @ North Miami -11/14: Girls’/Boys’ Soccer @ Everglades

November 17-25 -11/18: Boys’ Basketball Contest -11/18: Girls’/ Boys’ Soccer @ Miramar -11/19: Girls’ Basketball @ Hialeah -11/20: Girls’/Boys’ Soccer vs. Hialeah Gardens -11/20: Wrestling @ Miami Central -11/20: Boys’ Basketball vs. Champagnat Catholic -11/21: Girls’ Basketball @ North Miami -11/25: Boys’/Girls’ Soccer @ NMB

November 26-30 11/26: Girls’ Basketball vs.Miami Beach -11/26: Boys’ Basketball @ South Ridge -11/26: Girls’ Soccer @ Hialeah -11/27: Boys’ Soccer @ North Miami Beach ADVERTISMENT

The Lightning Strike • October 2013






National Mix-It-Up Day: Get involved on the patio during lunch!



Cap & Gown Sales - During both lunches



Veteran’s Day - NO SCHOOL


National Young Readers Day!

19 Girls’ and Boys’ Soccer Games at Miramar



World Kindness Day!





FRIDAY Teacher Planning Day NO SCHOOL

2:20 Parking Stop Painting Party


15 On this day in history: The League of Nations met for the first time in Geneva, Switzerland in 1920.

Class Ring Payments - Lunch


Page 19





World Hello Day!




Dress Down Day: All proceeds go to PTSA!


Through the Lens Page 20

The Lightning Strike • October 2013


SNAZZY STYLE: Principal’s Assisant Judy Anderson sports a fifty’s inspired look to show her school spirit during homecoming week. She wore a neck scarf and poodle skirt to complete the look.


GAME TIME: Junior Patrice Bonostro cheers on The Lightning at the homecoming football game on Friday, Oct. 18. The Lightning defeated Hialeah Gardens 35-6.


If you’re thinking about colleges, think about this: one of the most exhilarating, inspiring, and international colleges in the country is right here in South Florida. (Lynn students come from 87 countries and 45 states.) To see Lynn for yourself, come to one of our Open House events or schedule a personalized visit when it’s more convenient. You’ll find all the details online. If you’d like to speak to someone in admission, call 561-237-7545. We’d love to talk to you!

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25 majors including: Biology Communication and Emerging Media Criminal Justice Elementary Education Fashion and Retail International Business Management Psychology Sports Management

Lynn University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, disability and/or age in administration of its educational and admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and/or other schooladministered programs. Lynn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lynn University.

October Issue  

October Issue 2013

October Issue  

October Issue 2013