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Lightning Strike Taking Miami-Dade by Storm

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

September 28, 2012 • Issue 1 • Volume 15

VIRTUAL OVERLOAD: STUDENT OVERCROWDING STRIKES FLVS CLASSROOMS Clarissa Buch managing editor Of the 600 seniors enrolled in Government and Economics this semester, 361 of them are forced to complete it online as one of their six classes using Florida Virtual School. Class sizes average about 60 students per class, but there are only approximately 30 computers to use. The Virtual School Legislative Bill passed in 2011, which requires all students to complete one online class before graduation, will heavily impact this year’s senior class. To address the issue, Assistant

Principal Francisco Garnica ordered 120 new PCs. Out of the new PCs, 30 of them will be placed in a computer lab for virtual school students only. However, as of this printing, the additional laptops have not been placed. Theoretically, the added laptops should allow students to complete the course during class time. But students are not using their class time efficiently. After observing third period’s virtual school classroom, a majority were either studying for another class, playing computer games or talking amongst friends. There were approximately 60 students with one substitute teacher and a wait for computers in a room with

no air conditioning which nearly escalated in a fight. Seniors placed in virtual Government and Economics faced another issue regarding placement. Even though they had a physical classroom to report to daily, there were no FLVS seats for them. With no “virtual” room for students, counselors could not add anymore students to the class, leaving half of the seniors behind. As of September 11, all seniors were approved, but three to four weeks behind schedule. Regardless of the delay, Garnica says that he is confident in the students and believes they will all finish the class on time. While certain issues have

been resolved, one has not: Some students prefer a live teacher over a virtual one. Senior Nathan Lerfelt is one of them. “I tried getting put in a class with a teacher, but there was no space,” Lerfelt said. Administration has targeted regular and honors Government and Economics classes because gifted classes, AP classes and EOCtested classes all require a teacher. “We are not trying to punish students,” Garnica said. “We are trying

to work with them as best we can.” Even though regular and honors students do not have a physical teacher, they do have weekly review sessions, examples of other students work and a 24-hour help center, all sponsored by FLVS. “Since we do not have a teacher, having these resources is the next best thing,” said senior Christie Fiallos, who uses student examples and the help line before she submits her work. Government and Economics is one of the first classes targeted for virtual school, but will not be the last. As we move toward a digital age, programs such as FLVS will become more prominent in our daily school routine.

DESKTOP DILEMMA: Substitute Riteau JeanLouis oversees a classroom of 60 students and only 30 computers. Laptops were ordered to alleviate the computer jam and allow seniors to complete the Government and Economics course before graduation.



Assistant Principal Ponkey, the new man on campus

Blake Mars news editor New Assistant Principal Daniel Ponkey always wanted to be an FBI agent. With his current administrative position and experience in the school system, he is fulfilling his dream. Sort of. Over time, Ponkey realized his place was in the classroom where he could educate kids to make the right decisions. Being a teacher, he could put himself ahead of the problem and safeguard his students’ futures



before the FBI would be needed. Ponkey’s career in education began fourteen years ago as a fourth grade teacher at Hibiscus Elementary School. Six years later, he transferred to Krop’s feeder school, Highland Oaks Middle (HOM), where he taught comprehensive science, marine biology, a study skills course and eventually became involved with administrative work. Last year, Ponkey headed the magnet program at Hialeah Gardens Middle School, which gave him the experience of being



out of the classroom and onto the administrative path. Assisting with managerial tasks for the last five years has allowed Ponkey to assume the position of ninth grade Assistant Principal, his first official administrative position. “He’s a great fit for our team,” Principal Dawn Baglos, who worked together with Ponkey at HOM, said. “He’s one more point of contact for the students and parents.” Ponkey says that if you are good at what you do, forging a relationship with students and



parents will give you instant credibility. Being at Krop gives him just that. “I think I was placed perfectly,” Ponkey said. “Because I know at least half of the students at the school, from either teaching them or seeing them at Highland Oaks, I’m given an advantage.” Senior Maria Salcedo had Ponkey as a teacher during sixth grade at HOM. At that time, Maria was experiencing her parents’ divorce and was able to confide in Ponkey for support. “He was there to talk to me


every single day and explain the situation since I was too young to understand it,” Salcedo said. “Because of Ponkey, I’ve been extremely close with my parents ever since.” Salcedo is one of many seniors who are thrilled that Ponkey will be able to watch them graduate high school. She even hopes to invite him to her wedding someday.


► see “PONKEY,” page 2



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Assistant Principal Ponkey, our newest Lightning administrator “PONKEY” from front page “I have so much respect for him and that will never change,” Salcedo said. This year, Ponkey aims to increase attendance and implement an Alternative-toSuspension Program. He sees students attending two, three-hour night sessions as a substitute for an indoor or outdoor suspension where class time is missed. “I believe that if you’re here in the building, we can obviously help your future,” Ponkey said. “If you’re not here, there’s nothing we can do to help.” Ponkey strives to keep the campus in working condition while tending to the needs of teachers and students at the same time. He hopes to fix problems regarding air conditioning, water fountains and bathrooms. “Basic things teachers and students need to get through their day is important for me,” Ponkey said. However, Ponkey will not just be taking care of business in the office and halls. As a former Girls’ Volleyball and Boys’ Basketball coach, Ponkey is an avid athletic supporter and promises to be seen on the sidelines, cheering for the Lightning. Just like FBI agents, Ponkey says it is important for students to know that the administrators will uphold and protect them on a daily basis. “Sometimes kids think, ‘Oh, they’re just there when we get in trouble,’ but we’re there for everything,” said Ponkey. “As a team, we’re always here for you.”

The Lightning • September2008 2012 The Lightning Strike •Strike September

From local to global:

What’s going on around the world?

UNITED STATES: Following The Democratic and Republican National Conventions, and several significant setbacks for the Romney Campaign, President Obama is Leading Mitt Romney in polls by 3.5 points.

BELARUS: After protests raged over the suspicion the elections in the eastern European nation would be rigged, not a single seat was won by the opposition in the countries elections. The elections have been condemned by international observers.

EAST CHINA SEA: After a week of protest over territorial disputes, Japan and China have diplomatic meetings over disputed island clusters in the sea. Taiwan proves to further complicate things by sending ships to the disputed region.

IRAN: The Iranian Government has announced it will start its own domestic internet service. This will further censor the internet for Iranian citizens who already have their internet use filtered of sites such as Google and Youtube.

CHINA: In front of a factory in north China, a fight that began as a personal dispute between two workers quickly escalated into a riot involving 2,000 people that forced 5,000 police to the scene and officials to shut down the facility. The factory belongs to Foxconn Technologies, a major supplier for Apple.

LIBYA: Libya’s newly elected government has required all nonstate-sponsored militias formed in the revolution to put down their arms. Those who have not done so voluntarily are being forced to by the Libyan military. sources:

Compiled by Dylan Steele


Bloomingdale’s sponsors ‘Shop for Krop’ Lina Zuluaga staff writer To kick off Homecoming, Bloomingdale’s in the Aventura Mall hosted the first PTSA fashion show on September 20, which featured students wearing the latest collections. The PTSA was approached by Bloomingdale’s and collectively put the event together. All of the proceeds will be going towards advancing technology at Krop. “When the school looks to fundraise, we look into the cost and the profit,” said Activities Director Michelle Russell. “This had no cost. It was Bloomingdale’s who sought

to help our local school, and in return we would help them. It was a win-win situation.” Students involved with the PTSA and SGA board members were asked to walk the runway, giving them the opportunity to be directly involved with the fundraising. Recent graduate Edward Roberson DJ’d the event as models strutted down Krop’s purple carpet to Katy Perrys’s “Firework.” “At first, when they asked me to model, I was like ‘Oh great, wow’ because I wasn’t even sure what I was getting myself into. Right now, I actually feel beautiful,” SGA senior senator Melesia Mitchell said.


FASHION FOR FUNDS: (top) Junior Chelsea Katz fixes junior Evan Gruda’s collar. (left) Senior Melesia Mitchell struts down the purple carpet in a BCBG gown and highheels. Student models came for fittings at Bloomingdale’s before the fashion show on Tuesday, September 18. Boys were fitted into suits, slacks and shirts, while girls had their hair and makeup done by Bloomingdale’s stylists.



Dual enrollment course added to curriculum

Dean Kaire co-sports editor Students have the opportunity to challenge themselves in the new Dual Enrollment Excel class taught by science teacher Luiz Izola. In the new Excel course, also called Introduction to Computers, students learn how to use the Microsoft Office programs, Excel and Word. The class, which is also taught at Florida International University, was approved by Principal Dawn Baglos as well as FIU administrators. Izola’s curriculum for the course comes directly from FIU professors. Throughout the first semester, students will perfect their Microsoft Excel skills and learn techniques such as creating spreadsheets, developing formulas and keeping records of bills. The second semester will involve Advanced Excel as students master their Microsoft abilities. The class features four FIU tests, along with Microsoft Excel


TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES: Science teacher Luiz Izola assists senior Lola Argiro with her daily assignment on a Lenovo ThinkPad. The laptops were ordered to replace the insufficient amount of desktop computers in the lab.

and Word tutorials that are used daily as class work. Students who pass the class with a “C” or higher will earn credits to all Florida universities. “I definitely think it will benefit me in the future,” junior Sarah Espiedra said. “A lot of jobs require some sort of knowledge on these programs and after taking the class, I will have had mastered them.” Izola, who worked as a computer engineer before teaching, is an expert on the course. He also

has a bachelor’s degree in computer science, along with a master’s degree in computer engineering. Students enrolled in the Excel class will have the opportunity to take an additional dual enrollment course next year that masters the software program, Java. Krop’s on-campus dual enrollment program has only just begun. Baglos plans to include more college-credit courses in physical education, language arts and music.


The flower of chivalry I do good where I may In bright and dark, duality I am A G Though not in the day So who must I be? If you solve this riddle, have a great resume, and an exceptional project, visit Mrs. Rosenfield in 1-111 or email her at

News Page 3

The Lightning Strike • September 2012

News Briefs Bright futures raises standards Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Programs (FBFSP), which awards college grants to roughly 30 percent of Florida high school graduates will raise its awards standards over the next two years. Although the Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS), a scholarship awarded by FBFSP gave over 130,000 scholarships last year, worth almost threehundred million dollars, Bright Futures is looking to decrease that number. To earn the FMS, this year’s seniors must earn at least 1020 on the SAT, whereas next year they would need to achieve at least an 1170 to earn the same scholarship. Similarly, students taking the ACT will see the minimum rise from 22 to 26 points. Other changes include a ten-point rise in SAT scores and a one-point rise in ACT

for Florida Academic Scholar (FAS). Over a billion dollars have been awarded to almost 400,000 high school graduates by the FAS. Additionally, time to claim the scholarship will drop from up to three years to two years after graduation. CAP Robert Roddy reports that 430 Krop students have received scholarships over the past two years. Although these changes may impact the amount of Krop students that get a scholarship, Principal Dawn Baglos is confident that this will not affect how many will go to college. However, she is concerned with how students will pay for college, either by taking out loans or having a part-time job. Currently, in the United States, student loans exceed credit card debt for over one trillion dollars, at its highest level. -Arie Hariton

Admit policy arrives on time Students have one less worry now that the admit policy has been altered. The policy is the brainchild of attendance secretary Cheryl Daniels who developed the simpler procedure, which Principal Dawn Baglos approved. Students can eliminate the irritating habit of forgetting to get the admits signed each period. Also, teachers must no longer halt their activities to sign a crumbled admit. Students no longer have to wait in lengthy lines and can get to class on time. However, students must still report to the main office to submit their admits. “The new admit was meant to streamline the process and get students to their classrooms,” said Baglos. However, the modification does not mean that the school’s participation policy has been altered. Students who accrue ten or more absences will be considered ineligible for participation in activities and athletics. Even though the procedure is simpler, it is still a student’s responsibility to be in school.

-Elisa Schonfeld

Krop welcomes new students


SUB STATION: Whole wheat subs wait to be covered in cold cuts and vegetables before lunch begins. The new addition to the cafeteria menu allows students to customize their lunches to their choice.


Food changes served up for lunch Abigail Duffy photo & co-copy editor

Along the outdoor corridor leading to the south patio, a stretch of wall is barren, with the exception of four large trash bins and dust collecting on the floor. Until this year, three fully stocked vending machines lined that wall and housed soft drinks and snack foods available to students. Removing the vending machines follows a school board decision at the end of last school year to remove unhealthy food vending machines from MDC schools. The remaining machines contain healthier snacks like Chex Mix and fruit bars to replace PopTarts, chips and ice cream. The school board also passed regulations that require lunch options to adhere to nutrition guidelines that lower fat and salt percentages and add more whole wheat products. These regulations promote healthy lifestyles


has Jamaican patties and prepared sandwiches available to students. “It was Mr. Garnica’s idea to open the pavilion.” Principal Dawn Baglos said. “The goal was to create more access for students to get their lunches faster and alleviate the long lines.” Also new this year to combat sugar cravings: banana bread and dried apple slices. Within the first week of school, the rush for cookies was so great that the cafeteria’s supply ran low and the staff served banana bread as a more nutritious substitute for cookies. Students can also select apple slices instead of cookies, which is another step that the school is taking to guide students to make healthier choices at lunchtime. The modification to food choices and the vending machines is a change for students and teachers alike and demonstrates a new importance for maintaining healthy lifestyles for high school students.

‘La Doctora’ retires after successful career Javier Storch editor in chief Three weeks into the school year, Spanish teacher Gilda Nissenberg announced she would retire to take care of her ailing mother. A Board Certified Teacher, Nissenberg holds a Ph.D. ADVERTISEMENT

IN WITH THE NEW: Sophomore and SGA board member Danelle Amselem gives new students a tour at orientation on Saturday, August 18. At 8:30 AM, new students and their parents packed the auditorium and listened to Principal Dawn Baglos and the administration prepare them for the upcoming school year. After the presentation, SGA officers gave out homeroom numbers and tours of the school building. In addition, the PTSA recruited new members and sold PE uniforms, while agendas were sold by Class of 2013 officers.

amongst youth. Assistant Principal Daniel Ponkey says that Pizza Hut and Papa John’s pizza is not available because the vendors were unwilling to make pizzas with whole wheat crusts to feed the school’s population. An innovative feature to replace pizza is the Subway-like sandwich line in the cafeteria. The sub sandwich station boasts fresh ingredients and toppings, like deli meat and vegetables, which cafeteria staff use to create students’ sandwiches. “At first, I was confused when I couldn’t find pizza, but I am happy that the school has something that resembles my favorite sub sandwich restaurant and has nutritious options,” junior Kyle Lampkin said. In the south patio pavilion, a second snack window is now open to reduce traffic to the original snack window in front of the cafeteria. The second window

in Spanish and authored four instructional books on grammar, vocabulary, and preparation for AP Spanish. She also served on the Spanish SAT II committee and acted as a Table Leader at the AP Exam Readings. During her 14 years at Krop, Nissenberg taught Spanish 3, AP Spanish

Language and AP Spanish Literature. Spanish teacher Jorge Ortega was hired to replace Nissenberg. Prior to this position, Ortega taught high school literature and Spanish in Boston and New York. He also taught political science at Queens College.

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The Lightning • September2008 2012 The Lightning Strike •Strike September


School should have commemorated 9/11 September 11th was just an ordinary day at Krop. We listened to the flurry of announcements and sat in class. There was nothing uncommon, not even a moment of silence for the thousands of lives lost during the September 11 attacks. Out of all the times when our class time is interrupted, a moment of silence on this morning should have been a necessary pause. If our school fails to remember 9/11, our collective memory of the tragic day will soon be lost. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the day of the Pearl Harbor attacks “a date which will live in infamy.” What kind of infamy is it living in if hardly any students remember the day or year Pearl Harbor

happened? When psychology teacher Michael Fass runs his yearly experiment on memories, he asks students to remember where they were on 9/11. Only a few hands went up this year. In a few years, no students will have been alive to remember the tragic day. What will stop us from disregarding the importance of 9/11 like we have with Pearl Harbor? As Americans, it is our duty to remember. As educators, it is your duty to remind.

We must remember this day to honor the innocent civilians who lost their lives. To admire the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 who revolted against hijackers and potentially saved the lives of hundreds in the U.S. Capitol. And to thank the volunteers who, regardless of future health concerns, scrambled through rubble and toxic smoke to rescue survivors. The day we forget to honor 9/11 is the day we forget the many who gave us hope when we most needed it. May we never forget September 11th, 2001.



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JAVIER STORCH, Editor-in-Chief CLARISSA BUCH, Managing Editor BLAKE MARS News Editor ARIE HARITON Opinion Editor Social Network Editor DANIELLE MACKSON Entertainment Editor MICHAEL BEHFAR MICHELLE KRIGSFELD Spread Editors ALEXIS FRANKEL Feature Editor MADELINE GARFINKLE Science & Health Editor


STAFF WRITERS BRITTANY CHANDANI, TALYA GEBARA, MATTHEW ISENBERG, ELISA SCHONGELD, DYLAN STEELE, LINA ZULUAGA 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

LETTERS Hats should be allowed in school Every day, dozens – maybe hundreds - of students at Krop have to decide between going to school and constantly being bothered by the blinding Florida sun, sacrificing a key element of their favorite outfit and being forced to endure the harsh conditions of the building 2 air unit (which is either ridiculously hot or freezing cold), or just throwing on a hat. While the latter may seem so much simpler, Garnica’s sheer hatred for all head-worn articles of clothing almost never fails to snatch up both a student’s dignity and his hat. I will never understand his resentment for hats, nor will the majority of Krop’s student body; but what I do know is that everyone on campus has witnessed the act of Garnica scolding a student. while holding the freshly confiscated hat in one hand along with his Clipboard of Mystery and Walkie-Talkie of Doom, in the other hand, firmly airjabbing at the poor kid who may never see his Pittsburg Steelers snapback ever again. Jared Cove Grade 11

Krop has a great reputation amongst colleges Myself and five other MKHS students I just had the pleasure of listening to William Segura, Assistant Director of Admissions at Emory University. I would say that I pretty much heard what I usually hear from

the colleges and universities that have come to MKHS to talk to our students. To paraphrase what Mr. Segura said, It is very well known in the “college admissions world” that the students from Dr. Michael M. Krop HS are by far some of the finest and most sought after students in all of South Florida. These people talk among themselves and it is no secret that many of these colleges do their very best to make Krop one of their very few stops while they are in the South Florida area. I know for many of you, your day in and day out thoughts of our reputation and the high demand for our students may be the furthest thing from your minds. You are in the “trenches” of the classroom and I would imagine that your vision does not go far beyond the last student who was disrespectful, or failed to do their homework. Please know that beyond all of this are the 96 percent of students who go on to college; many to become the professionals and good stewards of society that we hoped for. Our reputation of those who judge our students applying to college is very solid – because of your efforts. Mr. Segura from Emory University wants to thank all of you for your efforts to turn out some of the finest students his institutions (and others) have ever met in the South Florida area. He has been to a great number of both private and public schools and MKHS stands out as one of the best he has ever been to. Robert Roddy CAP Advisor


The Lightning Strike • September 2012

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Should teachers and students be Facebook friends? IN MY OPINION michael behfar micaha

co-spread editor

Over the summer, teachers were told to unfriend their students on Facebook as per request from the county. However, the policy only “discourages” teachers from friending students on Facebook. Instead of limiting teacherstudent communication, the use of Facebook as an educational medium should be encouraged. The letter to teachers foreshadows future regulations on teacher-student relationships

IN MY OPINION michelle krigsfeld micaha

co-spread editor

School is considered a student’s second home but when a teacher adds a student on Facebook, they open the door to their private home. A new county policy strongly recommends teachers and students to stay away from these online interactions that go beyond educational purposes. In today’s society, one’s personal life is broadcasted through social media. When teachers and students are exposed to one another in such depth, it changes

over social media and may be a response to recent cases of teacher misconduct. Musical theater teacher Charles Willis was suspended from Braden River High School in 2010 for allegedly posting sexually suggestive images and acronyms for profane words. Allowing such actions crosses the line between what is appropriate, however Facebook does not breed any type of indecency more-so than other mediums, including inschool verbal communication. In addition, if any teacher was capable of sexual misconduct toward a student, they would find a way to carry it out even if they were not “Facebook friends”

with a student. There are already laws in existence that prevent these things from happening. E-mail is becoming obsolete. In my experience, teachers do not check their school e-mail often at home. Facebook is a simple way to communicate class-related information between teachers and students through a medium that they will all check often. The informal setting of Facebook works to the advantage of the users to cut out the formal structure of standard e-mails and allow students to ask teachers quick questions without first typing an introduction. Furthermore, everything a teacher says is saved in writing to be reviewed later.

There is a reason why 526 million people as of last April log onto Facebook every day. For a student, checking e-mail is only something done when important mail is expected to come, otherwise it is not paid attention to because most of the notifications coming from it are spam. Regulating how people can act online is a breach of our right of free speech, and a step toward government control over the Internet. Teachers and students alike are mature enough to communicate with each other on a social network without administration telling them how to interact.

the whole dynamic of the classroom and perceptions of one another. Since issues are increasing from these types of virtual interactions, teachers are prohibited to have their students as “friends” on the social networking site. Senior Esteban Columbus believes it is best to keep student-teacher interactions in the classroom. “I have a life beyond school, and it is evident through the things I post on Facebook. I wouldn’t want my teachers to change their academic perspective on me by what they see on my Facebook.” Diving into teachers’ personal lives through Facebook may challenge the image students have of the teachers. Teachers and students must censor them-

selves so that the academic images they have created are not damaged, and limit themselves to open, uncensored forums. Florida high school music teacher Charles Willis, who befriended over 100 of his students, was suspended from Braden River High School after posting sexual and explicit comments. On the other hand, students have also been reprimanded for criticizing teachers and other school related subjects. Ryan Minner, a student at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne Universty, was punished and forced to change a ten-page essay about homosexuality that he posted on Facebook. Minner posted that homosexuals were “subhumans” in a gay-straight alliance group.

Although what he said was antagonistic and disrespectful to homosexuals, the University has no right to control his expression outside the classroom. Both students and teachers, who once used Facebook as a form of expression must now keep their thoughts to themselves out of fear of the extreme consequences. Being at risk of misinterpretations and controlled forums, student-teacher interactions on Facebook walk a very thin line between “right” and “wrong.” Complex relationships, like the one between student and teacher, are best kept within school walls because once they step into the virtual world, there are no boundaries.


Guns laws should be more regulated in the United States IN MY OPINION dylan steele micaha

staff writer

The United States is a well developed, educated country which possesses the world’s highest GDP. Yet there are more homicides per capita in the U.S. than any other first world populous. What is it about America that makes events like the shootings at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech and the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, acceptable? The U.S. leads the world in firearms per capita. For every 100 people in the U.S. there are

88.8 guns, that’s over 270,000,000 guns. Second is at 54.8. Why do we as a society need so many guns? We don’t! Ask any card carrying member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the countries leading gun lobby, they will tell you that their right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. But many things have changed since the ratification of the constitution, especially guns. In 1787 when the constitution was written the most powerful weapon one could get was a single shot musket; today it is perfectly legal to go out and get an AR-15 with a forty-five bullet clip. The Second Amendment was put in the Constitution for self-defense and hunting,

and one does not need forty-five rounds to protect their home or kill a deer. Here are the numbers. Since 1982, there have been at least 60 mass murders carried out with firearms across the country, in 30 states. Of the 137 guns possessed by the killers in those mass murders over three quarters of them were acquired by legal means. Eleven of those 60 shootings were school shootings, 18 were workplace shootings, and the remaining 31 took place in public locations where anyone could be at anytime. The point is that we live in a country that has allowed itself to be kidnapped by a gun lobby and turn a blind eye to the real is-

sue at hand. We as a country need to stand up and say we will not continue to equip people with the tools for mass murder. It is time to place restrictions on clip size, where and when one can buy ammunition and tell the government that government agencies need to actually follow up when a psychiatrist says someone is a threat to themselves and those around them. The issue is not as many have made it out to be, about self-defense or even more ludicrously, hunting. This is about limits and moderation. We live in a democratic-republic, and we have the power to tell our leaders they need to fix gun laws and fix them now, before the next shooter slaughters more


“I think using social media is useful for school purposes only. If you miss class you can catch up on work, but it is better to use Edmodo instead of Facebook so personal information is not shared.” Juanita Laverde, 11

“Communication with the teacher should always be in class. Social media sites are not necessary and do not enhance communication with the teacher.” Luc Pierre- Louis, 10

“Social media like Facebook should not be used between teachers and students. If communication is needed, Teacher Web is the safer way to avoid any problems.” Racher Dalagon, 9

“I like the idea of being friends with teachers on social media sites. It’s nice to see a side of them outside school, and I don’t mind if they see my personal information.” Marissa




The Lightning Strike • September 2012

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Students hide behind virtual identities Danielle Mackson entertainment editor Your friends may enjoy Facebook pictures of your bikiniclad body at the beach or your neon outfit at Ultra Music Fest, but college admissions officers may not. Before seniors apply to college, they often change their Facebook names to avoid the prying eyes of admissions officers. Senior Alexis Winer recently changed her Facebook name when she filled out college applications. “I changed it so that colleges can’t look through my Facebook pictures. If my new name is searched, I don’t come up,” she said. Winer added that she feels better knowing that colleges can not look through her information. Although she has not changed her Twitter name, she is making her Twitter account private. In 2011, nearly 25 percent

of college admissions officers at 359 colleges had visited an applicant’s Facebook page, according to a study by Kaplan Test Prep. This figure was up six percent from 2010. Admissions committees are not likely to spend hours picking through a

Facebook profile with a finetooth comb, according to Shawn Abbott, NYU Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Admissions, at www.hercampus. com. Still, the fact that colleges can examine any portion of a Facebook page propels some students to alter their Facebook

names. If a student does not create a new Facebook name, he or she should make sure that his or her existing profile is as clean and appropriate as possible. “I would suggest that students clean up their Facebook pages in general,” said Mandee Adler,


Compiled by Danielle Mackson and Arie Hariton

Founder of International College Counselors in Hollywood. “What you put online stays in cyberspace forever, so what seems funny or harmless when you are in high school can come back to haunt you when you want a more professional profile,” she said.

Entertainment Page 8

The Lightning • September 2012 The Lightning StrikeStrike • September 2008


Homecoming Afterparty: The night is still young Danielle Mackson entertainment editor The night is just beginning for many Krop students when the Homecoming Dance ends. Afterparties that follow the Homecoming Dance or the Prom have become a tradition, and student planners put in long hours preparing for the event. “Sometimes the schoolrun Homecoming is too expensive or too formal for some students,” said Bruno Lulinski, a Homecoming afterparty host. “The afterparty gives them a Michael Feldman chance to dance and have fun HOMECOMING AFTERPARTY: The class of 2012 hosted the homecoming afterparty October with their friends in a party 2011 at Club Vault. The next homecoming afterparty will be on October 6, 2012. environment,” he said. Lulinski is planning out,” Leiva said. the most important step also have to worry about the October 6 afterparty After calling several because it has to be the security, insurance, parking, for this Homecoming with venues to get an estimate of perfect size. It can’t feel too tickets, flyers and organizing seniors Massiel Leiva, Kevin party costs, the group then crowded, but it also can’t feel promoters.” Gerszuny and Alexis Winer. This year, students will get weighed the pros and cons empty,” Leiva said. “Then “You need to start at of each place and decided the DJ has to be someone a discounted afterparty ticket least two or three months in on the best venue to host the who is recognized for his if they show proof of their advance to find the perfect afterparty. great skills that can make Homecoming Dance ticket. location, DJ and get the word “The location is definitely everyone want to dance. You “We wanted to make

the afterparty affordable for everyone since it gets expensive to pay for both,” Leiva said. “We have a special deal this year that you can buy an afterparty ticket for only $15 with proof of a Homecoming Dance ticket.” The students agree that although the party planning is a lot of work and often stressful, it has been a worthwhile learning experience. “I thought my parents would be a little bit freaked out at the idea of me being involved in throwing one of these parties,” Lulinski said. “But my mom was very supportive and even offered to help find a venue and try and bargain to get the price down.” The afterparties are run solely by the students and are not sanctioned or approved by Krop. And Principal Dawn Baglos is not comfortable with the idea. “Afterparties create a huge safety issue,” Baglos said. “It is an opportunity for students to make unwise choices.”


Miami Spice brings flavor to South Florida

Michelle Krigsfeld co-spread editor I felt like a princess as I dined at the beautiful El Mercadito Mexican Restaurant. With three waiters bringing one delicious meal after another and attending my every need, I experienced my first lavish dinner. When the check arrived, the total price was a reasonable price for my family but was unreasonable for such an elite restaurant. That is the beauty of Miami Spice. There are over 5,000 restaurants in Miami-Dade County, some of them beyond the means of the average dinner. But for 30 days, luxurious restaurants in Miami are within reach. Miami Spice is a promotional program that includes 120 of Miami’s most posh restaurants. Divided into two tiers, “Luxury Dining,” costs $23 per person for lunch and $39 per per-

son for dinner, while “Fine Dining,” costs $19 per person for lunch and $33 per person for dinner. Miami Spice is great for consumers, but it is not always great for the restaurants. “We do and don’t profit from Miami Spice,” NMB Morton’s employee who wants to be known as Rochelle said, “There is more traffic, but that does not necessarily mean that there is more revenue.” Miami Spice restaurants like to promote new clients to their restaurants, but according to Rochelle less than five percent of the Miami Spice participants actually become regular clients after. “We do Miami Spice because it is a great way to give back to the average customer and to those who cannot usually afford our prices,” Rochelle says. Junior Olivia Sacks, a usual Morton’s customer, was unaware of Miami

Spice but decided to try out the menu. She “beat the system” by sharing the corporate-organized, fourcourse Miami Spice menu. Her only complaint was the dessert, which was smaller ADVERTISEMENT

than usual. Freshman Frederico Psevoznik has previously taken advantage of Miami Spice. This year, he went to several restaurants that offered Miami Spice menus and was very sat-

isfied with it for the most part. Psevoznik says he will continue to do Miami Spice. “It is a good way to try new and expensive restaurants for a reasonable price,” said Psevoznik.

Page 10

The Lightning Strike • September 2012

“Teching” it to the

N e x t Level

I Do, I Dare, I Dream Brittany Chandani staff writer Housed in the unremarkable school board building, the iPrep Academy is a remarkable school. The school’s motto stands out: iLearn, iLove, iLive. This magnet school opened its doors in 2010 with a class of 17 juniors, compared to its current class of 145 freshmen and sophomores. Classrooms are equipped with Smart boards and projectors, and each student receives their own Macbook. iPrep Academy has adopted break rooms to give students a rest from their studies. Since there are no sports programs, students use a

A Look Into The World of iPrep Jaqueleene Reyes Creative Writing teacher

gym for exercise and are entitled to join the team of their local home school. “It's a lot smaller and a lot more personal, so all of the teachers know your name, including the superintendent who is our principal,” said sophomore Zackary Lash, who transferred to iPrep from Krop in his freshmen year. Gersie Arnold, Jaqueleene Reyes, Charlene Ortuno and Molly Villucci, former Krop faculty now work at the iPrep Academy. iPrep was one of five Dade County schools to achieve a 100 percent pass rate for the biology and geometry EOC exams last year. Lash and his classmates take Florida Virtual School classes at

iPrep, but teachers are present in the classroom to assist him right away instead of waiting for a virtual school teacher to reply. “It’s not the technology itself, it is the way we use it,” said Lash. Lash’s experience at Krop was mostly lectures, work and assignments.He believes that iPrep does everything they can to innovate, and he enjoys the way the faculty at iPrep is constantly searching for new ways students can learn and challenge themselves. But budget cuts within Miami-Dade County have cut the technology in public schools. iPrep students embrace Macbooks and Smart boards, while Krop’s classes have not had the funds to

bring them up to date, making the ability of Dade County’s standard of “Giving our students the world” questionable. While the absence of technology is already a problem, Krop has up to fifty students in virtual classes like driver’s education and government and economics. At iPrep, class sizes range from seven to 25 students. Krop has 11 computer labs with 30 computers per lab, yet the majority of the classrooms have none for students. Hoping to bring classrooms up to date, Principal Dawn Baglos has invested in 70 new laptops and Mimio boards, similar to Smart boards but a fraction of the cost. A mobile computer lab is emerging

as 30 laptops are carried to classes by a cart, as well as a tech grant given to the physical education department, supplying Krop with 30 iPads. Krop is also expanding Wi-Fi areas school wide which are usable on any device. Although some Dade County schools like Felix Varela High School and Miami Killian High School have incorporated iPrep academies into their curriculums, Principal Dawn Baglos said that iPrep will not be coming. She notes that we already have strong areas such as the Law Academy, and the IT and graphics programs. “We should highlight them rather than bring in new ones,” Baglos said.

The classroom setting at iPrep is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before as a teacher. It resembles a college campus or a small community of learners. Because this is a smaller school, we are more like a family than anything else. We have done away with rows of desks here and instead have horseshoe-style arrangements or set-ups for groups. Collaboration is key to our classroom environment. We use

SmartBoard technology and the students and teachers all have laptops; this allows us to work in a blended environment in real time. For instance, my students were able to write and peer review their introductions to an essay using Google Docs. With this technology, they shared, commented on, edited and revised their writing, all while I monitored their progress on my iPad. Access to technology also

enables students to use e-books rather than traditional books. They submit assignments through educational sites like Edmodo, which resembles a social networking site. It’s a pleasure to be at work every day and I’m sure the students would say the same about coming to school. This environment provides the opportunity for real learning and true-to-life experiences to occur. The decor of our school is also unique in that the walls are painted

bright colors; couches, bean bags and lamps provide a setting of comfort. Traditional school bells have been replaced by digital clocks with no noise, and popular music plays throughout the hallways. As educators, we need to embrace the fact that the way students are learning has changed. What I hope for the near future is that all students are given a chance to learn in an environment such as this one --they deserve it.

First Floor


Gray: 0 Bars Light Blue: 1-2 Bars Dark Blue: 3-4 Bars Purple: Full Bars

The maps show the amount of cell phone se The data was collected via Andriod applica Drawn and compiled by Mi

Page 11

The Lightning Strike • September 2012

All Aboard the Mimio Board by Christina Carucci co-copy editor A new technology called the MimioBoard is introduced to teachers and is moving its way into the classrooms. The MimioBoard turns an ordinary dry erase board into an interactive whiteboard at only half the price of smart boards which cost about $2,000. With wireless technology, teachers can present a power

point for the entire class or give a lecture without being restrained by their computer. The MimioBoard comes with a MimioTeach bar that is attached to the white board and holds the pen. The Teachbar is wirelessly connected to a USB and whatever is written on the white board is immediately transferred to the computer. Junior Nathalie Dumornay finds the technology is efficient and keeps her engaged with the

lessons. “It is helpful because it has the ability to create multiple pages without having to erase therefore making it easier to move back and forth through the notes.” For math teachers, instead of drawing out diagrams for each class, they can have them saved to their computer from the previous class and pull them up faster for the next class, creating more time for teaching and less

Breaking Arie Hariton opinion editor Walking into David Buncher's class in the morning is a unique experience. Music blasts while students hang out with their favorite teacher before the day begins. As tired as they may be, they cannot avoid waking up. Buncher has an incomparable teaching style, perfected over more than 30 years in education. He has stories for all his lessons. From pressure through scuba diving, to sound waves through an atypical orange tube which he flings around the air to the sound of Britney Spears' "Toxic." He incorporates these real-life experiences into his lessons on

a daily basis to help his students understand the concepts and apply them to daily life. From the beginning, Buncher has been an innovator. As a founding teacher and department head in 1998, Buncher designed the classroom he has housed students in for over ten years. "When we started, we all had zip drives and floppy disks because we had nowhere to save on the computers. It was really only the science teachers who worked with technology" said Buncher. Buncher has been able to incorporate technology into his classroom despite limited funds by winning multiple awards, many which often include

Second Floor

ervice throughout the campus. ation Phone Signal Notifier. ichael Behfar

time setting up the notes. Junior Shana Murphy is in Adriana Diaz-Bergnes’ precalculus class and believes that the MimioBoard is more effective than a traditional white board. “The MimioBoard is much better because now my math teacher can easily post the notes online by using a website called ‘Dropbox’,” she said. This saves teachers time, where if they had a projector,

they would have to type the notes onto a computer. It also helps students who are absent catch up on notes. It is easier for them to keep up with the lessons, and refer back to the notes to assist with homework and studying. Currently, about 15 teachers have the MimioBoard in their classrooms. Principal Dawn Baglos says that in the next few years, more classrooms at Krop should have this new technology.


monetary prizes, which Buncher brings back into the classroom. He has won a Disney Teacher Award, the Radio Shack National Teacher Award, the Milken Educator Award and a Best Buy Children's Foundation grant, which is specifically intended to integrate technology into the classroom. With these, Buncher has been able to purchase the plasma screen TV that hangs on his wall, the Bose speakers that accompany it and several pieces of equipment for the Robotics Club along with two laptops for class usage. "I re-invest the money into the students. I couldn't have won the awards without them, so really, they're the stars of the awards."

Not ironically, Buncher earned his doctorate with a dissertation entitled, "How to Incorporate Technology into the Classroom." Throughout the years, Buncher has expanded his usage to include a website where he posts assignments, and his iPhone apps that help students in chemistry, calculus and statistics. He has also written curriculum for Florida Virtual School for chemistry, biology, and earth/ space science. Most recently, Buncher started a Twitter (@ bunchersbest) where he receives and answers questions from students. In the future, he thinks that school will be widely impacted

by the acceptance of technology as a tool. "Five years from now, there will be no books," Buncher speculates. He feels that this will happen when technology becomes affordable for all students, and predicts that in the future, screens will be adapted into desks, to accommodate everyone. Buncher continues to do what he can to bring new elements into his classroom and keep his lessons entertaining. "I'm a lucky guy. Who gets a job where they get to laugh with children all day?" Buncher says. With high test scores and passing rates, Buncher continues to prove his creed that all students can learn.

Feature Page 12

The Lightning Strike • September 2012


DJ Raffi spins his way to fame Alexis Frankel feature editor

What does the landmark nightclub, Cameo and the venue Revolution Live have in common? Answer: both have housed DJ Raffi, otherwise known as junior Raffi Sarmiento. Famous artists like rappers Akon, Busta Rhymes, Lil’ Wayne and renowned “bassheads” like Borgore and Datsik have also made their marks in both locations. “ It’s actually a really good feeling to know that at only 15 years old, I've performed at Club Cameo in South Beach, which is considered one of the most exclusive clubs in Florida,” Sarmiento said. “I recently performed at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale which was the first time I used my original songs throughout my set.” What makes Cameo so exclusive is that only the old (21 and older for you high-schoolers) and elite are allowed entry. But Sarmiento got in because of his passion for DJing. Although school has started for him, he still dedicates time towards his love of Electronic music. “I’m constantly in and out of the studio working on my first album that I plan to release later this month,” Sarmiento said. “Now that I produce [music], I'm able to use my own songs at the events I perform at,” Sarmiento said. But starring in restricted venues has its price. “It does get difficult sometimes because people are always going to judge based on

fact or fiction?

Is Mr. Ponkey’s brother-in-law in the band We are Scientists? FACT: “Yes he is. Keith Murray, we call him Uncle Keith, is the lead singer. He is currently in town, swimming in the pool with my son.” RAFFI SARIMIENTO

- Daniel Ponkey

DJ Hero: Junior Raffi Sarimiento sees success as people enojying his mu-

sic. He played at Club Vault in Fort Lauderdale.

what they see,” Sarmiento said. “I mean, I walked into a club in South Beach and one of the DJs looked at me like as if I was lost or confused, and why I was in the DJ booth in the first place.” Although this sort of situation is frustrating, Sarmiento stays positive, remembering how competitive the Entertainment business is. Sarmiento’s success, which started at first as hobby to make a quick couple of bucks, has progressed over the years to where he stands now. “My friend wanted to become a DJ, so I helped give him good music and went to his house the day he got a DJ set,” Sarmiento said. “I couldn’t help but to play with it, so after practicing for a few weeks with his set, we decided to DJ at our eighth grade mini graduation after party. I realized

then, that a DJ wasn't just another person in the room, but the actual puppet master of the party— that’s when I started loving it.” Even farther back, DJ Raffi was always interested in the dance scene, and gravitated towards it before middle school was even a thought. “The story of how DJ Raffi started is actually pretty funny,” Sarmeinto said. “I have a brother who literally would not stop listening to House music when I was about eight, which hooked me on to DJs like Tiesto and Armin van Burren in no time,” Sarmiento said. Soon to rise over the ranks of Tiesto and Burren, Sarmiento’s music features powerful synth and energetic drops. Samples of his music can be found at dj-raffi and soon, your Itunes.

Did Dr. Trafton make bee viagra? FICTION: “I invented a pheromone for Japanese Beetles to mate, called ‘Japonilure’ which sells for $3,000 an ounce.” - John Trafton Was Ms. Silverman in a band? FACT: “We had a band called She’ll Be Apples, which is an Australian expression meaning ‘everything will be fine’. I was the lead guitar player, Mr. Dulanto also played guitar and Ms. Reyes was the lead singer. We played together for two and a half years in Miami Springs. We broke up when Ms. Reyes moved to South Beach.” - Audrey Silverman


“Three Blind Mice” see how they learn Three freshmen, three different middle schools: their experience

Brittany Chandani staff writer

Some things never change, from the freshmen’s lost expressions to their bulging book bags. Where they spent their previous years in school can make them different. Krop has an array of students from different institutional backgrounds, from public to private to charter schools. Public schools are federally funded schools that are generally open to students that live within a distinct district. A studious freshman from Highland Oaks, Yuria Kusatake navigates through Krop’s hallways to find her

A.P. world history class. Her former school was smaller, so the halls were less crowded. She says that Krop’s curriculum is harder but her middle school did offer high school courses which she took, so it was not a huge transition. “I have noticed that it’s a little scarier at here; they take discipline more seriously than at Highland Oaks, way more,” said Kusatake. “I think it’s just because they want to prepare us for after high school, where our careers and life begin.” Charter schools must adhere to school guidelines like taking FCAT and EOC exams, yet are allowed to use alternative teaching methods to create elective courses according to their own students’ career choices. Considered an alternative option to public schools, they are only

partially sponsored by tax dollars. Freshman Lauren Giraldo misses walking past lime green gates of Aventura Charter, a school by the bay with clean and clear hallways painted ocean colors. At Krop she sees the dull, poster-less, bland white walls. “Here, the teachers make it very clear what standards should be made, but it is less individualized because there are just too many kids,” Giraldo said. “At my old school there were just 98 students in my grade. Because of the large number of students here, teachers barely know your name.” Private schools must rely on tuition payments and charity organizations, and entering students are selected based on an exam by the school to be admitted. Freshman Valentina Lustgarten is from Hillel

Community Day School, which is a private school. She has enjoyed her transition into Krop. From coming from a school with 1,000 students, Lustgarten said it was hard in the beginning because at Hillel she knew almost everyone but at Krop she barely knows anyone. ADVERTISEMENT

“I feel like I am being pushed more to do better at Krop because I have don’t have the same relationships with my old teachers,” Lustgarten said. She faces the diversity of teachers and students with a positive outlook: “I think Krop will help me grow as a person.”

The Lightning Strike • September 2012


USA: United Abigail Duffy photo & co-copy editor

Army strong These two words will soon be associated with senior Andy Apply. On August 25, Apply became known as the guy who wore his Army uniform to school. Apply made quite the first-day impression. “I came off the plane from basic training at 2 a.m.” said Apply. “The plan was to go home and sleep, but my dad forced me to go to school.” That’s right: Apply arrived home from a ten -week basic training camp in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and

started the first day of his senior year, all in about four hours. Apply attended basic training to mentally and physically prepare himself for what he plans to do after he graduates from high school: join the United States Army. But he did not always want to be in the Army. Before Apply chose the army, he wanted to be an FBI agent, aspiring to be apart of the Hostage Rescue Team or the agency’s Special Response Team, but he never thought about being a soldier until one outing changed his mind.

“I went on a run and saw the [basic training] recruiting office and thought, ‘Let me check it out’,” said Apply. “I just walked in and ended up joining.” At the time, Apply was too young to enlist, but he met the graduation standards to participate in basic training, so he signed himself up. Basic training

Van Gogh and Picasso beware Hidden in the shady back alleys of Downtown Miami is a gathering of color and culture with hundreds of attendees. Art Walk happens every second Saturday of the month at the Wynwood Arts District. There are over 60 official art collections in the event, plus street performers and personal galleries in surrounding apartment buildings. The environment is open

and unregulated. Galleries have doors wide open and vendors off of the sidewalk stock their tables full of unique homemade goods. “I don’t feel safe walking to my car,” junior Jenna Bernstein said, “but the actual Art Walk is so fun.” Bernstein mentioned her favorite parts of the event, including the diverse groups of people, the street performers, and the merchant area. The flow of people through the sidewalks is broken by those who stop to purchase fried

snacks from the food trucks or crowd in front of paintings and sculptures laid near the walls. The walls, are also painted with warm, colorful and bus-sized murals are located down the streets of the art walk. “Obviously go to the murals, that’s what it’s most famous for. They’re called he Wynwood walls,” sophomore Lorena Boushira said. The event is cheap and fun for a multiple hours, making it very teen friendly; assuming they can find parking.


Students’ love affair with their hair Talya Gebara staff writer Dreading to shaving to dying and cutting. Hair changes like any other fashion. Styles like the semishaved head go as far back as hip hop duo Salt n’ Pepa in the 80’s, but its recent boom in popularity can be attributed to Skrillex, known for his semi-shaved head and long black hair. Girls like sophomore Roni Netanel and junior Chelsay Marts sport the smilar style of a shaved s i d e and longer hair. A l though, both girls were fans of

Skrillex when he and the style made their way into popularity last year, the desire for a unique change is what fueled the haircuts. “I liked Skrillex when he came out, but I never really thought about him when I did it, I just wanted to look different,” Marts said. Roni, however, had been convinced by Marts and one day decided to try the style. “It was very spontaneous. My friend (Chelsay Marts) said I should shave my head like hers, so we went to a pub- l i c bathroom in Aventura mall shaved my hair there,” said Netanel. Another trend of the summer is Ombrè, the French word for fade. Hair literally ‘fades’ from darker to lighter, o r

Page 13 The Lightning Strike • September 2012

States of Andy Apconsists of three phases: Red, White and Blue. The Red phase lasts for two weeks as recruits familiarize themselves with the army’s environment, routines and drills. During the White phase, recruits assemble and disassemble their weapons, learning how to use them precisely. In the Blue phase, physical drills increase in intensity, they learn how to fight in the field and how to use their weapons at night. As a future soldier, Apply hopes to be deployed to either South Korea or Afghanistan to have the chance to fight in the war. “I want to get out of the United States,” said Apply. “I want to go somewhere.”


Michael Behfar spread editor


from different tones. Sophmore Zoè Mirsky’s hair fades from brown to bright red hair, “I wanted to do something weird with my hair, because I wanted to be anything but ordinary.” But instead of shaving her head, “This is a lot more subtle,” Mirsky said. Other variations of the Ombrè look, is when hair fades from brown to blond, similar to hair bleached by the sun. Look for junior Francesca Fabian who sports this style now. Francesca Fabian’s mother who is a hairstylist from Haiti, did her Ombrè hair for her. At a salon the effect runs anywhere from $75-300, but both Zoë and Francesca had theirs done from home. Although going to a salon to dye hair can be costly, the Ombrè hair can save money because maintenance includes dying only the bottom of hair as needed.


Before he travels abroad, Andy will go to Fort Lenwood, Missouri, for AIT (Advanced Individual Training) and specialize as a combat engineer where he will supervise fighting position, place and detonate explosives, and clear the combat field of dangerous obstacles . After spending ten weeks familiarizing himself with the Army’s early-morning routines, gruelling physical drills and long days Apply stresses that, “What you see is what you get,” and sometimes the life of a soldier is rough. To those who feel that Army life is the life for them, Apply has some words for them to keep in mind. “They don’t promise you a rose garden.”

Feature What’s in Russel’s Bag? Page 14


The Lightning Strike • September 2012


iPAD (her must have item)





Science & Health

The Lightning Strike • September 2012

Page 15


Food labels can be misleading Lina Zuluaga staff writer

Across campus students snack before, during and after class, however some might not know that they are being targeted by companies and deceived by labels. Nutritional labels are meant to inform consumers about the nutritional value food serves. Due to the constant change of regulations by the Food and Drug Administration, companies such as Kraft, General Mills and Tyson Foods, have found ways to market their “regulated” food products, while successfully misleading consumers on the content of labels. “It is a good idea to watch

what you eat and avoid processed of sugar per serving. What package labeling provides a foods,” biology teacher Gary Smart Choice fails to do is uniformity which consumers Feilich said. “If students want acknowledge the 41 percent of are more likely to choose while to improve their health they sugar it serves by weight, which shopping. Ingredients are much more should look at the ingredients exceeds the Smart Choice reliable than front of packaged program. of the stuff they eat.” labels which often mislead The deceptive front-label Smart Choice labels, is a consumers. program developed “With the right by food industries to idea of the processed promote foods that meet “If students want to improve foods in a food item, a the standards of the their health they should look at student can avoid added smart choice program the ingredients of the stuff they chemicals that are used in the form of a frontto preserve flavor and package label. Many eat.” freshness, which are cases like that of Froot -Gary Feilich clearly “unhealthy,” Loops shows that items Feilich said. could meet necessary The United States criteria without disclosing has no standard for labeling the exceedingly high servings of packaging is done in order front of packaged foods, which to gain profit. According to sugar. is why industries took it upon On the box of Froot Loops a study conducted by the itself, Smart Choice labels Strategic Alliance for Healthy themselves to create t hem. standard front-of- In Great Britain, the Traffic inform consumers of 12 grams Food,

Light System, a uniform front of package label indicates nutritional value of a product, with green, yellow and red dots. Green will indicate good nutritious value and poorer values go on to yellow and ultimately red. The system was later adapted by Australia. Feilich thinks checking labels should become second nature, “ It’s a good habit to get into. As you start creating those eating habits, you’ll notice some foods need to be avoided.” Students should realize that advertisements are not always concrete facts. Understanding nutritional facts and applying such knowledge when eating could significantly improve one’s health.



Common phrases misread on labels


“Serving size”

Companies sometimes list unrealistically small serving sizes, in order to make the product seem lower in calories or fat.



“Made with real fruit”

Sometimes products do not even contain the fruits pictured on the box or may contain very little content of actual fruit. It is not required to show the percentage of fruit used. This makes it easy for companies to get away with using very little ingredients advertised and still use the label “made with real fruit.”

“Zero trans fat”

If the ingredients contain hydrogenated oils or shortening, trans fat may still be present in the food.



The term “light” usually refers to flavor instead of ingredients or sugar content. This misleads consumers, and makes the food bland.



Fat free products can be the same amount of calories as the companies’ fat containing products and sugars that amount to the same amount of fat.


“No sugar added”

Many foods such as cereal, fruit, milk and vegetables naturally contain sugar. Products that say “no sugar added” can still contain carbohydrates, simple sugars that can be high in calories, and unhealthy for blood sugar.



While the term “organic” is usually associated with healthy, this can be deceiving. Organic products can be packed with unhealthy fats, sugar, and high calories.


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“All natural”

The FDA has no actual definition and few requirements must be met to use this label “all natural.” This leaves much room for interpretation by consumers. Sodium and high fructose corn syrup will usually be added and claimed to be “natural.”

complied by Lina Zuluaga

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Science & Health Page 16


ADHD medication can do more harm than good Maddie Garfinkle science & health editor There is no such thing as a magic pill to permanently rid a person from ADD or ADHD. What some students consider a solution to staying focused, can lead to even worse consequences. Freshman Mark Smith* had a bad case of ADHD, so he was prescribed to the drug Vyvanse. “My academic life was a mess and there were no signs of it getting better, so I thought the pills were a good idea,” Mark said. Mark was prescribed a high dosage of Vyvanse and after month, but had bad reactions.

What started as minor headaches at night escalated to serious side affects. Mark said that the medication affected his overall physical and mental health. He experienced migraines, signs of mild depression and severe mood swings. “Although I was focusing more, when I zoned out, it would be for longer periods of time, Mark said. “Instead of seconds, it would be minutes.” Mark has been off Vyvanse for several months now and feels much better. “Now that I am off the medication, I realize how hard it is to concentrate.” Mark said. “However, my emotional, physical and psychological life is doing much better to when I

was on the pill.” In the future, Mark says he would try the medication again but on a much smaller dose. He has tried other ways to stay focused and organized. He now writes down all his assignments and gives himself reminders on his phone. He also said that he is more conscious of himself zoning out in class and tries catching himself. In the end, choosing to be medicated is not a simple decision. “For those who are considering taking Vyvanse or other ADHD medications, remember the risks that come with it,” said Mark. *Name has been changed


The Lightning Strike • September 2012

What are you eating? “Bananas are a no mess, no fuss, peel that sucker off and you’re good to go!” -Law teacher, Connie Higgins

“I chose [shrimp and rice] to be healthier and keep my weight down.”

New theory on Earth’s creation Matthew Isenberg staff writer

Scientists have been colliding particles against each other at the speed of light for over 40 years in their search for the answer to a timeless question: How did we come to exist? The answer may be found with the God particle. The “God particle” (scientifically named the Higgs boson after its discoverer, Peter Higgs, nicknamed by author Leon Lederman) is a hypothetical particle that may be the key to finding out how our universe began (the big bang theory). The theory of the particle is that it is found through the collision of two small particles that are being collided together at nearly the speed of light. When the particles smash into each other, a video recording of the particles

clashing against together is replayed to see if there were any other particles that were created during the explosion, thus showing the matter was created billions of years ago. These


collisions are being tested in the “Large Hadron Collider” on the border between Switzerland and France. Most recently, scientists have discovered a new boson,

meaning they are closer than ever to finding the final solution. Science teacher David Buncher has stated that importance of the particle, whether your beliefs are based on science or religion, is that it tries to answer the question of where we came from. Many people are concerned, as they fear that trying to recreate the big bang theory will result in creating an atrocity, such as a localized black hole. This fear reached a new level in 2008, when it got media attention outside of the scientific community. According to David Buncher, an incident like this has a one in a trillion chance of happening. As the search for the Higgs boson comes closer to a solution, we are closer than ever to finding out how we came to be.

-History teacher, Thomas McClean

“I like “plantanos”, a typical food from my country.” -Math teacher, Astrid Rodriguez


“I’m not eating my lunch until after school. I’m hungry!”

-Assistant principal, Daniel Ponkey

Sports Page 17

The Lightning Strike • September 2012 PROFILE

Morgan tackles new position Courtney Goodstein co-sports editor

At 8 p.m school is almost empty except for a black Toyota Tundra parked in spot 238 belonging to Athletic Director Elizabeth Morgan. Teaching three physical education classes, scheduling games, finding available facilities for games and checking for athletic abilities are just some of the new responsibilities for Morgan, who describes a normal day as “controlled chaos.” Known for her wit and determination, Morgan’s new position shows a different side of her personality which, according to Morgan, can both help and hurt her on the job. For example, her organizational skills and touch of OCD will help when dealing with keeping paperwork organized, while her high expectations of those around her can be detrimental as she holds everyone to such a high standard. But Morgan’s main focus this year is eligibility. Instead of bringing the physical paperwork to Jackie Torano, athletes will bring papers to

Abigail Duffy

COACH’S CORNER: Athletic Director Elizabeth Morgan discusses eligibility with Senior Maria Correa, while processing her physical.

Morgan who will then check GPAs and status of citizenship. If Morgan declares an athlete eligible, they will then go to Torano and pay the 30 dollar fee. “Making sure all of our athletes are eligible is very important,” said Morgan. In September of last year, she [Morgan] was asked by Principal Dawn Baglos to help out with eligibility to ensure

that no other problems occurred. Besides eligibility, Morgan hopes to improve school spirit. “Getting students to come to games and support their school is challenging,” said Morgan. “You can’t force them to come to the games.” Morgan recalls how the stands at the volleyball, basketball and football games were filled when she first came to the school.

She believes that if school spirit is going to increase, the responsibility lies with the students and their desire to support their school. Though Morgan has gained new responsibilities, she still plans to stay involved with the girls’ soccer team. The girls, Morgan says, “Bring her sanity on hectic days.”

Athletic Insurance Brief Alexis Frankel feature editor To ensure that all athletes are cleared and eligible to play, Athletic Director Elizabeth Morgan enacted a new insurance policy that is now a district and state-wide policy. “Insurance for Students” is the athletic insurance policy that is mandatory for all athletes to pay now, as it was in the past, but the difference is that it goes through both the athletic business manager, Jackie Torano and then to Morgan to be cleared. Previously, this paperwork process began with student athletes turning in both cash and forms, but now they must print out the insurance policy forms on and take it to Morgan, who checks an athlete’s GPA and status of citizenship. Once declared “eligible,” the athlete then must go to Ms.Torano and pay the $30 fee ($76 for football). Insurance covers athletes with on-school injuries within 60 days of the date of the accident. More information on what is covered by “Insurance for Students” can be found in room 2195.


Yearbook to-Do List -ORDER ONLINE! Order # 752 Visit -(Seniors Only) Buy it for $50! -Attend Senior Parent Night OCT 2ND! -Get ready for Panoramic Picture OCT 17!

Sports Page 18

The Lightning • September2008 2012 The Lightning Strike •Strike September


Fantasy Football scores big Dean Kaire co-sports editor On a regular Sunday, football fans shout at their TV asking the football gods questions like “Why can’t we have a running back like Arian Foster?” or “If only our receiver was as good as Calvin Johnson, we’d be a super bowl team.” Those prayers have been answered. Football fans can draft their “fantasy” team and go up against their friends in what has become the largest online game in America. The original Fantasy Football league was established in 1962 by Bill Winkenbach, who was a partner in the Oakland Raiders organization. Winkenbach thought of a game where he and his friends could draft

a team from active players in the National Football League. Points are awarded to each team depending on how your drafted players perform in the real game. A phenomenon, fantasy football is difficult to learn and very time consuming. It starts off when someone decides to form a league and they invite other players to join their league. They then become owners of their fantasy team. “You get that general manager feel since you have control

over the moves of your team,” said assistant principal Daniel Ponkey, who has been playing for ten years. The team management is what attracts most people to the game. It gives the owner of the fantasy team a chance to essentially run a football team by initiating trades, adding new players and getting rid of old ones. Although the game can be very time consuming, it does not affect sophomore Marc Farren’s workload.

“I usually figure out who I’m going to place in my lineup before I go to bed during the week,” he said. In 1997, the game of Fantasy Football was revolutionized. Large websites such as ESPN, Yahoo and others now have online fantasy features, such as drafting, adding and dropping players. After Fantasy Football made the transition to the internet, the game experienced a huge boom. Sophomore Blake Edwards is currently entering his second season of Fantasy Football as the team owner of the “Tender Rabbits.” “The best part about fantasy is beating my friends,” said Edwards. This season, 35 million people are participating in a fantasy league, making it the largest game in history.

Krop’s Top Fantasy Players 1) Keon Roman

Offense: Quarterback Defense: Free Safety

2) La’Darius Murray Offense: Running Back Defense: None

3) Jovan Durante

Offense: Wide Reciever Defense: Linebacker

4) Ryan Mayes

Offense: Wide Receiver Defense: Cornerback

5) Knowledge Washington Offense: None

Defense: Linebacker Compiled by Alec Eidelstein


Bend it like Gonzalez Alec Eidelstein business editor

so we can build this team for the future,” said Gonzalez. Gonzalez previously coached Spanish teacher and high school soccer in Ohio former professional and Wisconsin. He also soccer player, Tomas played pro ball for many Gonzalez replaces well-known teams in BraFrench teacher George zil, Colombia, and Europe. Lesperance as the boy’s “With Gonzalez as our new soccer team coach, coach this year, I feel like in hopes of we’re going to play bouncing with a new style back from of soccer because a losing of his previous season. knowledge as “My a professional g o a l player,” said jufor this nior mid-fielder year is Agustin Cygiel. to have a Although ABIGAL DUFFY junior varsoccer is a winter sity and varsity soccer team, sport, Gonzalez already began pre-

season practice so he can see who Unfortunately former players has the potential to make the ros- aren’t guaranteed a spot this year.” ter. Practices are on Mondays and Lesperance’s squad performed Thursdays right at a low level after school on last year. We believe that we the soccer field. They fin“The benished the year are going to win efit of preseason 3-10-2 with a games. The team is .231 win perpractice is that we get to build team centage, but going to maintain chemistry by that won’t themselves for this getting to know discourage upcoming season each other on and Gonzalez off the court,” this year. and become much said sophomore “We bebetter. midfielder Dan lieve that we Cohen. “Coach’s -Tomas Gonzalez are going to strategy is to win games. have height in the The team is middle and speed on the wings, going to maintain themselves for so most players who are short this upcoming season and become and slow have a disadvantage. much better,” said Gonzalez.

2012-2013 Schedule 10/31/12 Hialeah-MiamiLakes 11/7/12 @Hialeah Gardens 11/9/12

Ronald Reagan

11/14/12 @Hialeah 11/16/12 @North Miami 11/20/12 @Miami Beach 11/28/12 @North Miami Beach 11/30/12 Miami High 12/3/12 Taravella 12/4/12 @ Hialeah Gardens 12/6/12 @ Ronald Reagan 12/10/12 Miami Beach 12/12/12 Hialeah 12/14/12 North Miami 12/17/12 North Miami Beach 12/19/12 @ Miami High 1/10/13 @ ATM 1/14/13

South Miami

Compiled by Alec Eidelstein

What it means to be a captain... “Being a captain means cheering everyone on, having a good attitude, and picking and keeping the team up even if we’re losing.”

“Being a captain means that I’m responsible for the team and the meets and to help the new members improve.”

Adam Tzur, 12 Swimming Captain

Tatum Blatt, 12 Volleyball Captain

“Being a captain means that I need to encourage my team to work hard so we can win districts again.”

Evan Gruda, 11 Cross-Country Captain

Bulletin Board Page 19

The Lightning Strike • September 2012


2:20 PM- SGA’s Parking Stop Painting Party


SGA’s Homecoming Spirit Week Dress-up Days: Sideshow TUESDAY Wacky WEDNESDAY Class Colors THURSDAY School Colors FRIDAY


7:30 PM- Homecoming Football Game

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6 8:00 PM- Homecoming Dance


6:00 PM- STAND’s Invisible Children Event Film Screening & Ugandan Speaker Tickets are $3 / Takes place in auditorium



All Day- Underclass Yearbook Pictures Yearbooks on sale in Room 2233 for $60

During Lunch- SGA’s Water Wednesday




Early Release Day PTSA’s Shop for Krop





Attorneys at Law 80 S.W. 8th Street, Suite 1710 Miami Florida 33130

To reach us: Email

Phone Number 305-652-6808 ext. 238 Advertisements To visit us Room 2233 Questions or comments about the fairness or accuracy of stories should be directed to Javier Storch, Editor in Chief, at Bulletin Board is a free service provided to the groups of the Krop community. Events should be submitted to The Lightning Strike reserves the right to edit submissions.



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September Issue 2012  

The Lightning Strike

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