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Shawnee Mission North Volume 92 Issue 4 December 19, 2013

Girls Basketball prepares for season page 5

hand up in a salute, senior Anna

Whitaker stands in line at the annual NJROTC inspection on Dec. 5. photo by Bridget Wray

Hello finals! page 2 Opinion: North bathrooms page 3 Foreign exchange students page 6



photos of the month

from the


2 december 2013

t’s that beautiful time of year again. That time where we see the flurries of snow, the ice crystals show up on windshields in the morning, and we happily prepare for the end of the semester. DID SOMEONE SAY THE END OF THE SEMESTER? Why yes, I did. It’s that lovely season when we all realize how much homework we haven’t done, and how much we need to freak out about finals. Those hours spent after school frantically making up missed quizzes are all part of the holiday season. Personally, I love to get all my work done last minute and cram for tests. Of course, I’m kidding. I would rather get everything done on time and leave this season for relaxing, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. But you shouldn’t worry. Maybe you didn’t complete your work and maybe you’ve done quite poorly on a few tests, but look at it like you’re seeing Santa for the first time – with joy and happiness. Alright, so a little less joyful than seeing Santa, but at least (maybe, just maybe) you’ve learned to procrastinate a little less, you enjoy your teachers even more after spending time with them after school, and your next semester can be better. While I’m writing this, I can recall the many hours I spent (during my underclassmen days) complaining about finals. In the long run, complaining never helped me. If anything, it encouraged me to study less because of my dread for finals week. I hate to say it, but tests of all kinds will keep coming at you for a long time. Better to start accepting that now than face it with dread constantly. Everyone knows you’re busy, including your teachers. But during finals week, as quoted from a recent motivational speech from Mr. Kramer – Be better than you are. Your teachers want to help you, so go in before or after school if you need to. In fact, the library is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to help you prepare for finals. Don’t be shy. Don’t be that person who complains, because nobody likes a Debbie Downer during the holidays. You can ace that final, you can pass that class and you can start next semester off on the right foot. So if you’re studying, take a short break and grab some hot chocolate. Or if you don’t like hot chocolate, grab some tea. Or if don’t like either, grab some water. Sit down, relax, and enjoy our December issue of The Mission.

A look at this month’s past Photos of the Day. Follow us on Instagram at @themissionpaper sophomore jolee

Williams cheers while hitting the hands of her teammates before running out on the court for the Charity Basketball Game. photo by Bridget Wray

senior caitie

McNulty meets sophomore Ashley Ross at the end of the cheer tunnel before the game against SM East on Thursday. photo by Goldia Kiteck

teacher katie

Melcher smiles as she high-fives Officer Boling after playing in the Charity Basketball game. photo by Goldia Kiteck

throwback thursday to North in

1922, as pictured in the 2013 Indian yearbook. photo credit unknown

STAFF editors-in-chief savannah rattanavong


goldia kiteck

editors goldia kiteck editor-in-chief



nell gross tevin oller



junior Michael Schley comments on current state of school restrooms, is appalled

t is worth mentioning before I proceed any further that I am deeply in love with my school. We have character. We have grace. The worst days we have still cannot keep us down for any longer than that point in time. That is because we come back to a place where individuality is commended, intelligence is respected, and integrity is our foremost guiding principle. A place where we are not judged by the losses we endure, nor the struggles we have trudged through, or even the failures we so commonly face. Shawnee Mission North is only as good as we choose to make it. That is why, for however long I write for The Mission, I will do my best to draw attention to and help provide a solution to the things that make Shawnee Mission North anything less than the comfortable and loving environment which we all call “home.” I am not the best student at North nor do I claim to be the smartest, the best problem-solver, or even the classiest. I’m

december 2013

A dude dealing with PTSD after his last visit to the bathroom


not. I won’t, however, back down when my fellow students do to my school what should not be done – disrespect and abuse the freedom they’ve been given. Shawnee Mission North, BEWARE! People have been to war, seen massive injustice, and abandoned true hope in humanity – but no one can even conceive the kind of horrors that saunter within the bathrooms of Shawnee Mission North. From far away, one can detect the evil that radiates. It’s almost as if Shrek were taking a bath within our walls. It is not very hard to know when the bathrooms have been misused. A dark, evil stench tumbles out of the restroom and attacks with potent certainty. An evil cloud of disabling filth surrounds the doorways to what inexplicably became Hell on Earth. A brave entrance into these pits of despair is quickly met with foul demons screeching at the pain of overnight digestion. It is unimaginable to think that those… those things could come from human beings. Yet they do. Every. Damn. Day. And they scale the walls from out of their rendezvous in the toilet just to remind any and all who enter that there is no turning back. If that weren’t enough to trouble the personal lavatories, some find it comical or perhaps just downright necessary to take stacks of paper towels and stuff them in the toilet. Not only do these toilets become unavailable for the next student but they become clogged and force our hardworking custodians to unclog them. As if it weren’t enough that they have to perform exorcisms so that students can use those restrooms the next days, but now they have to pick up after them. Shawnee Mission North and the discourse of the bathrooms would be altered immeasurably and no wicked beasts would ever be known to our school if students changed one unconscionable habit – if they flushed the freaking toilet. How easy a fix! Yet, somehow still, so troubling at that. It is, of course, none of my business to know of your sinful duties. Nor is it to my pleasure or need to see what it is that you are doing to your colon. With all of this in mind, might it not be a good idea to give the single iota of effort to push a lever and not leave whatever it is you found to be so awe-inspiring for the next unfortunate pupil? It’s evil to do what you do and not clean up after yourself. Though it’s disgusting, reprehensible, and shameful business, you can do one right and flush that unfortunate toilet who does not deserve to live with the shame you brought upon it. It is also important to treat these facilities with respect. Very private and personal things go on in the rooms so peeing all over the toilet seat, deciding not to flush, or littering the facility with paper towels is in rather poor taste. Do right by your school and keep the bathrooms clean. For everyone, including yourself. Signed,


December News North hosts basketball tournament On Dec. 12-14 the SportsCare Shootout tournament was held at SM North with Oklahoma City’s Bishop McGuinness High School defeating SM East in the title game. North lost their first game against St. James Academy 55-64, but won their second game against SM West on Friday 74-63. They lost their last game on Saturday 61-66 against J.C. Helias, which resulted in a 6th place finish in the tournament. Prior to the tournament Athletic Director George Sallas said he had a good feeling about the year. “We’ve got a new team with new talent,” Sallas said. Last year was the first year that North participated in this tournament. The team finished 8th in last year’s tournament. “We have a new program this year,” Sallas said. “I think that we will be more successful this time around.” story by Dominic Boget

finger pointed up in the air, junior Jackson Hinton sings the school song after SM North won the game against SM West 74-63 during the SportsCare Shootout on Dec. 13. photo by Goldia Kiteck

Debate members qualify for tournament

4 december 2013

SM North’s debate team saw several members qualify to debate in the EKNFL tournament at Olathe Northwest, on Dec. 13 – 14. Those students were seniors Dan Spicer and Tatiana Smith, juniors Christopher Ecord and Sheena Sarai, and sophomores Maria Navarro and Melanie Sams. Several novice debaters also qualified to compete in the EKNFL tournament will also debate in the Novice State Debate tournament in Topeka. Those students were sophomores Kylie and Marie Cameron. “In order to debate in the EKNFL tournament, students have to have

a winning record,” Debate Sponsor Megan Deutch said. “Meaning they won more debate rounds than they lost this season.” Maria Navarro said to qualify for this tournament, a student must have participated in at least four tournaments prior and have a winning record. According to Deutch, there was tough competition at EKNFL and none of the teams qualified for Nationals, but two qualified for State. The teams of Ecord/Spicer and Navarro/Sams both qualified. “We are definitely looking forward to competing at State,” Deutch said. story by Chris Forte

2013-2014 Northman Nominees Adam Alexander Skylar Barker A.J. Bonci Duncan Brandt Ben Burchstead Colin Dujakovich Jeremy Garcia Mario Garcia

Nathan Hauber Lair Heslop Brandon Hoffman Erik Hydeman Scott Johnson Noah Kaifes Max Mayerle Alberto Martinez



Maceo Mitchell Andrew Nevins Jesse Patterson Sam Stevenson John Swagerty Alex Thiessen

Spamalot rehearsal continues On Jan. 23, 24 and 25, students will be presenting the Monte Python musical, Spamalot. In all, about 60 students, cast, crewmembers or pit musicians are involved with the play. Drama and Technical Theatre teacher Ben Bartlett said he expects all the students will rise up meet all the challenges that accommodate this play. “The music for this show has been at times extremely challenging requiring students to explore the limits of their singing range,” Bartlett said. “You are going [to see] a lot of dancing (including tap) in this show, which has required a lot of learning by students that do not have a background in dance training to draw from. There are a bunch of set pieces, props and costumes for this show which has been a challenge to assemble.” Bartlett said that this show in particular is a lot of fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. He said this show lets students express themselves through their dancing, singing, acting, and comedic talents. He also said he picked this Monte Python play after becoming available for high schools to do it. “I am a fan of Monty Python and directed several of their sketches a couple of years ago,” he said. “When their musical became available for high schools to perform it, I thought it would be a fun show.” Tickets will go on sale in January during lunch and will be free to students with an activity card. Tickets are $8 without an activity card. story by Dillon Torello



Team hopes to maintain last year’s level of skill, success

he girls Varsity basketball team is coming off of a season that ended in a sub-state loss. Getting to sub-state was a huge accomplishment, as it was the first time in awhile that the team had reached that level of success. This year, the Lady Indians look to improve on last season, while also improving their own skills. “There is a lot of youth on the team and there is still lots to learn,” senior Caitie McNulty said. “We have to learn to play better as a team and get back to last year’s form.” This is after the Varsity team lost a bulk of its players due to graduation. “It was a big deal losing the seniors since most of the [Varsity] team was made up of the seniors,” sophomore Katlyn Hughes said. Hughes feels that it will allow other players to take the lead. “With the seniors leaving, it allows for the new seniors like Darian Dozier to step up,” Hughes said. One of the struggles arising is being undersized to the competition. “We are a lot faster, but size might be a problem,” Hughes said. “If we work on the basics then we should do fine.” According to McNulty, there is definitely a new mindset of the team this year.

senior whitney Harvey dribbles her way down the court after blocking her opponent from SM East. Indians won 58-55. photo by Goldia Kiteck

“There are new rules and it’s a lot quicker,” McNulty said. “This year we have a focus on speed.” Although the team has to face new struggles, they attributed some of their success to the team dynamic. “We are all really close and comfortable with each other,”

McNulty said. “These are the people I will remember when I go off to college.” Hughes and McNulty’s wish is that more people would follow the team. “If students would come to the games, it would mean a lot to us,” Hughes said. Story by Tevin Oller

SCHOOL’S out for WINTER said. In order to finish off the school year early, the required amount of credits must have been met prior to winter break. After the number is met, the student is free to begin college classes, begin working full time or begin their military career. “Summer school wasn’t that bad,” Tramp said. “I actually liked it better than regular school. Night school is pretty easy because it’s online.” While most students are getting their schedules for the second semester of the

school year, the seven seniors that are in their final stretch of their high school career are planning what they’re going to do with their future. When graduation rolls around in May, the students can choose to have their diploma sent to them, or they can walk with the rest of their class. “It’s a little overwhelming,” Tramp said. “This is my last week of high school. Everybody is getting their schedules, and I’m like, ‘After this, I’m not going to be here anymore.’” Story by Nell Gross

december 2013

ith winter break steadily approaching, May 9 is approaching just as quickly. But for a select few seniors, the highly anticipated wait until their last day of high school is almost over. With the district offering numerous ways to obtain the required amount of credits in a short amount of time, early completion is made possible for those willing to put in a little extra effort. “I’m getting a full time job so I can get money for college,” senior Lydia Tramp



Seniors explain their decision in graduating a semester early


Whole New World


seniors Ulrika Blom, Petter Bakken reflect on their first semester in U.S.

6 december 2013

s senior Ulrika Blom walked sleepily out of her plane into the Kansas City International airport, there was only one thing on her mind: to freshen up. The Wessling’s wouldn’t allow that, though. Sophomore John Wessling and his family stood outside her gate, waiting for Blom with a big sign and balloons as soon as she walked out. “I was sleeping on the plane,” Blom said. “I maybe had mascara or something so I was like, ‘Okay good, I can go to the bathroom, get my luggage, and I can land first.’ But then when I came out of the airplane, they were there. I wasn’t ready for them because I was just walking, kind of halfasleep, and then it was like, ‘Boom! Woah! Hey!’” Senior Petter Bakken and Blom are both exchange students from Europe. Bakken came to the U.S. from Norway, while Blom came from Sweden. “Everything was new and exciting,” Bakken said. “Scary and exciting at the same time. I’ve actually never been outside of Europe before I came here.” Bakken wasn’t the only one who found coming to the U.S exciting. Wessling said he was very anxious to meet Blom. “We all sat down as a family at dinner and decided that we should get a foreign exchange student,” Wessling said. “I was just excited to have another person in the house other than the people who live there.” Bakken mentioned that the strangest thing that’s happened to him since he arrived was his first meal. “The first thing I ate was a fried egg hotdog,” Bakken said. “That was weird. It’s at the hotdog place at Shawnee Mission Parkway. I didn’t like it very @themissionpaper


much. It was a little too much.” Blom also found the food in the U.S. different. “You have a different culture when it comes to food,” Blom said. “It’s a lot of fast food and instead of making homemade food, Americans go out and eat a lot. I mean, it’s cheap so I get why Americans go out and eat instead of making food.” Bakken and Blom met in seminar and are now good friends. They said their similarity of their countries helped bring them together. “I just came in and she was talking Swedish to her mother on the phone,” Bakken said. “It was really awkward because I was listening to her. She thought no one could hear what she was saying, but I understood her because I’m Norwegian.” Adjusting to the new environment wasn’t difficult for Bakken because he started learning English in the first grade. For Blom, it wasn’t the language that was difficult. “First, [school] was pretty hard and all because it’s a whole other system that you have,” Blom said. “We don’t have the six-minute breaks. We have maybe 20 minutes between every class and everyone doesn’t get out of class at the same time. Trying to find Times Square was hard.” Bakken also mentioned how welcome he felt when the school year began. “That’s one thing that’s very different,” Bakken said. “Everybody’s really nice here. Everybody’s really including. North is very much like a family, you know. Everybody is friends here.” story by Kitana Rattanavong

we want

YOU to write for the Mission visit rm 184 or contact Becky Tate at for more info

Summer Aquatic Center Positions The City of Shawnee is seeking enthusiastic, dependable workers who possess fantastic customer service for the 2014 Summer pool season. Applicants must be able to work Memorial Day through Labor day. Lifeguard certification classes are available through the Shawnee Parks and Recreation Department.

Positions available include:

Assistant Pool Manager must be 18 years of age and hold current American Red Cross Waterpark Lifeguard Certification. Starting salary is $12.00/hr Lifeguards must be 16 years of age and hold current American Red Cross Waterpark Lifeguard Certification. Starting salary is $8.75/hr. Swim Instructors must be 16 years of age or older. Training will be provided. Starting salary: $9.75/hr. Concession/Front Desk Attendant must be 15 years of age. Starting Salary is $7.25/hr. Assistant Dive Coaches must be 16 years of age with prior diving experience. Starting salary: $9.75/hr. Head Swim Coach must be 18 years of age with previous coaching experience. Assistant Swim Coach must be 16 years of age with prior swimming experience. Starting Salary $9.75/hr

Pool Employment Applications available on-line at www. and at Shawnee City Hall, 11110 Johnson Dr., Shawnee, KS 66203. Positions open until filled. All positions require pre-employment drug screen.

SMN Booster Club Spirit Wear Collection 2013


available at school events or shop online shawnee-mission-north-booster-club

december 2013

Month in photos

smiling at his teacher Marty Rainin, junior Sam Rodgers dances to Teen Beach Movie during the annual room 129 Thanksgiving celebration. photo by Kelsie Sneegas

bundled up in

a hat and a scarf, sophomore Audrey Pendergraph carols in downtown Overland Park with the choir. “I like the free hot chocolate,” Pendergraph said. “I love singing and getting hot cocoa with my friends.” photo by Tori Collene

hand up in a salute,

senior Alex Theissen stands at attention at the annual NJROTC inspection. “I like the hard work, dedication, and being a family,” Theissen said. photo by Bridget Wray

8 december 2013

taking a breath, junior Josh Mills swims in the 200-meter medley relay at the home meet on Dec. 10. “[Swimming] gives me something to do in the winter when I can’t skateboard,” Mills said. “It keeps me in shape.” photo by Holly Oleson holding his dress, senior John Swagerty portrays Miley Cyrus as a mermaid for a skit in the fall A.R.T. show. “My favorite part of A.R.T. is Mr. Bartlett,” Swagerty said. “I love seeing his beard and smiling face every day.” photo by Goldia Kiteck



The Mission V92 Issue 4  

December 2013