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The Northmen’s

Friday, September 25, 2009

Say Aloha to the 2009 senior Homecoming candidates. |p. 4-5

Oak Park High School

Markets bring farmers to town Kansas City provides locally grown and created produce and goods at local Farmer’s Markets all across the city. For more, p . 6

MSHSAA tests athletes by Alex Mallin sports editor

Oak Park has gone through changes in many different areas of curriculum this year. In order to improve academic standings of schools, the Missouri State High School Athletics Association put in to effect a new requirement for all student athletes in Missouri. In past years, students participating in athletics were required to be enrolled and pass 70% of their school’s available curriculum. This year saw a 10% increase and requires students in sports to pass 80% of their available curriculum. “The decision was made by the state,” said athletic director Keith Ross. “MSHSAA designed a proposal and all the schools that are MSHSAA members vote on it.” This change makes it a requirement that seniors, in order to be in athletics, must have seven credit classes not including Study Hall, Teacher Assistant, etc. Freshmen through juniors must be enrolled in six credit classes not also with the exception of Study Hall, Achievement, etc. because they have a required Flex time which takes up one of their blocks. According to Ross, Principal Skretta sent the vote

out last year to contribute to the decision of raising the eligibility expectations which MSHSAA put in to effect and now may enforce. Assistant executive director of MSHSAA Fred Binggeli attended the board meeting where the ballot’s composition took place. “The suggestion was sent in to the board and this year we actually sent the ballots out electronically to the schools,” Bingelli said. “MSHSAA only instigates the rules that the schools vote on.” Senior Laura Hulfield believes the move conflicts with what a lot of seniors should have to handle on their workload. “Many seniors are taking multiple AP and college classes and liked the opportunity to take a study hall to work on their homework,” Hulfield said. “It’s a privilege for seniors to get to be TA’s and everyone enjoys doing it.” So far no one has reported conflicts this semester with eligibility violations. “We have been talking about the MSHSAA change since last year,” said counselor Marlene Nay. “We haven’t contacted all the seniors because we don’t know who is involved with extra-

Musical cast practices for ‘Cinderella’

Rehearsing the songs for the Musical, junior Brooklyn Bowman, junior Stephanie Mora, and junior Molly Maloney sing in the Vocal Music room with the Cinderella cast on Sept. 8. “It’s exciting to be able to redo a classic show the Oak Park way,” Bowman said. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief

Cast list:

Cinderella - Bekah Bliss Prince - Sterling Robbins Evil Step sisters - Gina Drapela, Rachel Perkins Evil Step mother - Schyler Tate King - Thomas Yoder

curricular activities. When it comes to people changing their schedule we will remind them if they want to do something that will interfere with eligibility.” Senior Mitch Stewart believes that the move contradicts his and many other senior’s original plan of an “easy” senior year, but feels it essential for a change in the education system. “I feel as if it is a little unfair towards the seniors,” Stewart said. “But I agree it is a move that needs to be made. The fact is; graduation rates are dropping and in order for that to stop it is necessary for someone to make the first move towards improving it.” Ross feels if athletes put the same amount of determination towards school work as they do their sport, this rule will not prevent anyone from competing this year. “I think that if students really want to do their sport, they will get their credits and get the classes they need to take,” Ross said. “I think coaches have to put the word out, and coaches need to know this because they need to stress this to their athletes. Anything that helps academically I support, we will just have to see what the results are.”

Issue 2, Volume 45

International exchanges endure setbacks in numbers by Mandy Nichols entertainment editor

Those scanning the halls for international exchanges may find themselves having to look closer this year. Foreign exchange students within these halls have shrunk down to two from the eight in the past. Various factors may be to blame. One reason for the shortages roots itself in district lines. Previously ‘blue’ families now don green jerseys, taking potential host families from Oak Park’s stock. “There are two AFS students at Staley who, but for redistricting, would be at Oak Park,” said AFS volunteer area-coordinator Deanna Wise. Others blame the economic climate. “I personally think it might be due to the economy right now, King said. “If you’re not feeling that comfortable with your financial situation, it’s just another responsibility that maybe people aren’t prepared to take on. That’s part of it.” Host family shortages delayed Thai student Chaisiri Suthapradit’s arrival onto American soil. King decided to provide him with a home for the year. “My husband and I have been considering becoming a host family for several years, but we weren’t sure about making such a big commitment,” King said. “Then this past summer, I studied in France and lived with a family there for a month. It was a really positive experience, so I wanted to help provide that for someone else.” Despite the early confusion and delays, every exchange student in the area has a suitable home. “We’re looking at next year right now,” King said. AFS/IC club hopes to meld students from all district schools in order to keep club activity from dropping and to provide a warmer

welcome to the district’s international residents. Students district-wide received invitations to the club’s pizza party kick-off on Monday, Sept. 14. “With only two exchange students it’s harder to encourage everyone to get out and meet them as a group,” said AFS/IC president Kara Johnson. Sponsors hope districtwide international club collaboration could fuel club participation. “We’re making a bigger effort this year because there are fewer by trying to coordinate our activities more,” King said. The party brought together students throughout the district. After dining on the Papa John’s pizza and drinks provided, club members played various getto-know-you games before international mingling commenced. Though in the past AFS has facilitated much of the exchange students’ stays, the school has received students through other organizations as well. Japanese student Tom o y o Hasegawa arrived here student Tomoyo Hasegawa t h r o u g h AFS visits Kansas City from Japan AFS while this year. Madina Damir came through the Academic Year in America program. Damir traveled from KyrB o t h Madina gystan through the AYA program. programs gain support from volunteers, each placing foreign students into American homes. “Area coordinators will interview you, give you forms to fill out and biographies of various students to try to match your family’s dynamic with their personality,” said AFS sponsor Mary

Interested in hosting exchange students? Contact: afs-816-676-6480 aya-816-420-9713 cwjacobsen@

Langner. The Jacobsen family has hosted exchange students for more than five years. This year they provide a home for Kyrgyzstan native Damir. AYA volunteer coordinator Laurie Jacobsen feels she takes something from the experience. “These exchanges help you become a better American,” Jacobsen said. “I’ve taught them to cook, and I’ve learned from them. They really are like my own children.” Jacobsen keeps in touch with her “children.” This summer, her former hostdaughter from Italy Carlotta Benassi returned to visit her American family and friends. “Right when they get here, we go and make them their own key for the house,” said Jacobsen. “We tell them to keep it so they always have a place to call home here. Carlotta had hers when she came this summer, saying ‘I still have my key, mom.’” Members currently encourage students and their families to look into hosting for next year in an effort to avoid host family shortages. Host families need only provide lodgings, some food and whatever they feel responsible for as a temporary family to their exchange student. The students pay for anything else with spending money sent from their homes abroad. “They just find out about American teenage life,” Langner said.

Learning labs offer help by Gabrielle Young editorial editor Students struggling in certain subjects now have learning labs available to them. Each lab helps students in the specified core subject. Last year, only the math lab, reading lab and the literature lab ran. The science lab adds to the list this year. Before these labs, students had conflictions with coming before or staying after school. With labs though students go during their flex time with their blue pass to the designated teacher. “We noticed that students were struggling a lot in science classes,” said science teacher Katie Gerhold. “So we wanted to give them another opportunity to get help and math had a successful lab.” Students can make up tests, get help in a lab, or receive additional tutoring. The tutoring is through a program study island available online that re-teaches concepts students may have struggled with, including ways to test students on information, or to play a game while answering questions. “Some of the information is hard so they need to be able to ask questions, with one-on-one help,” said Gerhold, “It’s more personalized if a students is good with hands on we do that, most of the instruction in class is visual or verbal and they need hands on or explained in a different way.” With the science lab being a new addition many don’t know about the availability of the lab. “I think teachers need to recommend their students to it, because we don’t get a lot of students or students need to ask their teachers if they can come here,” said Gerhold.

Math teacher Julie Coffey helps a student with her homework in the MIB room on Sept.18; this is where students in need of math tutoring find help. “I felt like students needed help with math because not all students could make it after school,” Coffey said. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief

The math lab has been available for three years; with 12 to 15 in a math lab, the most turnouts compared to others. “I love, love, love doing the labs,” said math teacher Julie Coffey. “I like working with the students. It’s a really comfortable atmosphere helping students get to understand what’s happening in their math class.” The literature lab started the second semester of last year, with about 1 to 5 students in a lab. Students can receive help on writing essays, with step-by-step instructions or critiqued in ways to improve the essay. “I get a crazy amount of satisfaction seeing kids project in their skills,” said reading teacher Callie Smothers.

The reading lab has been in session the longest for four years, with attendance of about six students a lab. “The literature lab is more writing based focused on weak writing skills,” said reading teacher Marilee Frailey. “The reading lab focuses on vocabulary development and comprehension skills.” Students in the lab work on reading strategies and class assignments. “I like the diversity in the needs of kids everyday is different,” Frailey said. “I like seeing the improvements kids make and the success they feel.” Students this year can now feel successful in their classes with a place to go for help, available throughout the day.


BROKEN page sports

Athletes compete; risk injury by Alex Mallin sports editor

approximately 1,248,126 injuries occurred in high school sports in the 2008-2009 year. *

As sports have evolved over the years, the games played by athletes have become more physically demanding. To win, a player must be faster, stronger, and have more endurance to have a chance at victory. With these high demands throughout the athletic spectrum has come a large increase in the risks students take when they participate in their high school sport. The consequences of the risks students take are seen on the sidelines, as injured players watch their peers compete. According to the 2009 National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study more than 1.2 million injuries occurred

in high school sports in the 2008-2009 year. “I see anywhere between 15 to 20 people a day and that could be as simple as them coming in to get a Band Aid for a blister to a sprained ankle,” said athletic trainer Kara Pritchard. “It’s only my fourth week working here and I am surprised with how many athletes I have treated up to this point.” Cheerleading coach Leslie Martin dealt with many injuries plaguing the team at the beginning of the season. “At one point I had seven girls with varying injuries from stunting, tumbling and jumping,” Martin said. “It was tough for them but it really just made them drive harder because they knew what they were up against. .” Aside from the effect an injury has on the performance of a team, an injury also puts an

Three helpful tips to prevent injury: courtesy of Kara Pritchard athletic trainer

1. Stretch

Before and after an activity, it may not be a big priority for some, but it is important for athletes to get a good stretch and warm up before they go in to their full activity.

emotional pressure on the athlete. Senior Chase Wilson held a starting spot on the varsity football team, and after suffering a leg injury during practice at the beginning of the season, he will never set foot on a football field as a player for the rest of his life. “It makes you think of all the memories and the little things you won’t ever be able to get back,” Wilson said. “It feels terrible knowing I will never strap up my helmet or put on pads again.” Despite the situation of being forced to watch peers compete while they sit out, several injured athletes make it a priority to remain positive for the team. Senior Caity Strohm has a seperated shoulder and a dislocated AC joint which keeps her from participating in her senior year of cheer-

”In 10 weeks I’ll be able to walk on it. I’ll always have a plate in my ankle and I’ll

leading. “Since I’ve been out I generally sit and watch,” Strohm said. “I notice things that are wrong and help the other cheerleaders fix it. Its all about helping one another, especially with state on the way.” Although Pritchard has only been an employee at OP for a short time, she holds high confidence in the athletic programs and their methods of dealing with injured athletes. “The coaches are really respectful towards their athletes’ injuries,” Pritchard said. “I think overall between the administration and the coaches here it is a great system in terms of dealing with injured players.”

”I was looking **

forward to a good

senior year

and I developed

tendinitis in my

never be able to play contact ” sports again.”

rotator cuff the

second week of practice.” **


2. Stay hydrated and keep good nutrition

Most athletes don’t understand the effects of having full and healthy nutrition on their bodies, but if an athlete is in a physically strenuous situation and they don’t have proper hydration or nutrition then they have a better chance of getting an injury.

3. Use proper

technique and equipment Always have this so you can participate in your activity the proper way. In many sports, wearing old shoes and socks, wearing your equipment in an unsafe fashion or not practicing proper techniques during game play can result in disaster.


”I was in a sling for

”I turned to run back down the hill I felt a

three weeks and


now I have to go to physical therapy for eight weeks.”

pain in my knee and I just collapsed.”

of all injuries in the 2008-2009 year, 55% occurred during competition and 45% occurred during practice*

The Injury Reserve List

Caity Strohm Senior Cheerleading Injury: Separated shoulder, dislocated AC joint Recovery: Had to wear arm sling for three weeks and now has to do physical therapy for eight weeks

Chase Wilson Senior Football Injury: Shattered leg, tore all ligaments in ankle Recovery: In leg cast, will be able to walk in 10 weeks, won’t be able to play contact sports again *statistics courtesy of The Center for Injury Research and Policy High School RIO

Octavio Arias Freshman Cross Country Injury: Sprained ACL and sprained knee Recovery: Has to wear knee brace when running with the team

Lauren Juhl Senior Tennis Injury: Tendinitis in rotator cuff Recovery: Has to play in accordance with tendinitis which can return if not treated properly

**photos by Kim Shields, photographer, Alex Mallin, sports editor and Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief

Soccer rebuilds one step at a time by Alex Mallin sports editor Last year the soccer team took the field during the 2008 season with 13 senior starters. Projected to be one of the best teams in the state, the team held a 22-5 overall record and made it to state quarterfinals where they suffered a narrow loss to Rockhurst. This year’s team may seem like the polar opposite on paper of last year’s team. Playing a high number of underclassmen with only two seniors on the roster and not a single returning starter, the 2009 team, rather than being considered “top in the state” have coined themselves the “underdogs.” Thus far the team has proved, according to coach Jacob Sirna, they can not only match up, but compete with some of the best teams in the area. “It was easy to see these guys were highly motivated,” Sirna said. “A lot of them worked really hard all summer long to get better and ready for this season and I have never had any doubts they are working as hard as they possibly can.” Team captain senior Arturo Pino started in the summer in order to unify them and prepare for the season. “A lot of the incoming players came in knowing a lot,” Pino said. “I just hung out with them in the summer and tried to lead them just by showing them what I thought a leader should be and rather than showing them just how to play soccer, I tried showing them how to be a part of the team.” According to sophomore Diego Rodriguez, the underclassmen have played a significant part in how the team has

performed. “The underclassmen I think have been really good and we are all stepping up,” Rodriguez said. “This is a building year but I think the underclassmen have put a lot towards the team.” Sirna feels he has had to lead the young team differently from previous years with the absence of varsity experience. Last year’s seniors were coached by Sirna from their freshman year on so the past two years he dealt with a team that knew his personal expectations. This year, with a heavy majority of new players, he has adjusted his expectations. “We have a lot of inexperience,” Sirna said. “Playing at the varsity level is very different from what most of these guys are used to. Most of these players came up from JV or club soccer teams and the level they are expected to play at now is much faster, stronger and more physical than it has been for them.” Despite the inexperience, Sirna immediately noticed a huge advantage in the young team. “For a team that looks far outmatched on paper we have got some real quality soccer players in this program,” Sirna said. “We are a team of a lot of leaders, we’ve got people that bring certain aspects and we are basically a team of people who lead using their strengths.” Oak Park played Lee’s Summit on Monday, Sept. 8, at District Activities Center and lost 1-0. Despite the end outcome, Sirna believes this was a huge morale victory. “Lee’s Summit, amongst coaches, is supposed to be one of the best teams on the Missouri side. They have a huge senior load since they rebuilt themselves three years ago,” Sirna said. “I hate to think too positively over a loss, but we

Running down the Staley soccer field on Sept. 8, sophomore Dylan Drambour speeds towards the ball to intercept the pass from a Lee Summit player. “You have to be a leader because last year we had so many seniors,” Drambour said. “We are trying to be what they were because we lost the whole team.” photo by Kim Shields, photographer

proved to ourselves that we can compete with some of the best teams in Kansas City.” As of Friday, Sept. 18, the team has a record of 2-5. Still, Pino has an optimistic view towards the rest of the season as he readies to finish his last year of soccer. “We are seen as the underdogs,” Pino said. “We aren’t really expected to do well which can only motivate us to do better and try and prove people wrong.”

page 3 opinion

Log’s View: Security cameras provide help

Your Views

What do you think about the change from before/after school lunch detentions? “I don’t like them; it’s no inconvenience for the kid or the parents.” Drivers Ed. Teacher Tom Stout “I’d rather have after school ones, so I can sit with friends during lunch.” Freshman Marshall McFadden “Lunch detentions are better because usually people are busy after school.” sophomore Victorya Carpenter

“I think it’s better because you can get it out of the way, so most people will come.” junior Elijah Neer

The new live surveillance cameras soon to decorate the school have brought up heated reactions from some of the student body. The Log finds these worries without reason as the system can more effectively protect students, their property and the school as a whole. Students need to first recognize the predominant purpose this new system will serve. They will provide detection of harmful intentions to the school and its students, leading to the ultimate protection of both. One of the focuses for these cameras-the parking lot-has always held some amount of unjust actions. Students scratch, ding or back into a nearby car, then scramble to get away without anyone seeing their accident. Sure, truthful students may leave their information in order to pay for damages, but who’s to find the one’s who don’t? The cafeteria has these

“good student” schedule, they should be fine. Why wouldn’t the school and its inhabitants have a right to know what’s happening inside and out of it? The set-up simply serves as a more thorough alarm system protecting inhabitants

and the property inside and out. The cameras may have been a faculty decision, but no honest person connected to Norman stands to suffer from it.

we have Advisory, or 20 minutes of wasted time. The replacement of seminar where students had about 45 minutes to make up test, catch up in a class, attend club meetings, work on homework, or just hang out with friends. To build a strong relationship with a teacher and fellow peers from what I understand of advisory, because we will be stuck together for the rest of our high school career. We’re supposed to be like a miniature family, a place where we can talk about our feelings. In my advisory we’ve done activities to get to know each other better, telling our peers a little bit about our lives. Or just basic information our favorite color, music, or pet. I don’t feel that advisory has been

bad I just don’t completely understand the reason for advisory. Then we watch Blue in Review for the last 10 minutes. “I think it’s pointless we don’t do anything, just watch Blue in Review,” said sophomore Amy Nelson. “I like seminar better, it was long, and 20 minutes is too short.” So far Advisories haven’t done much, but hopefully this will change soon as the year progresses. “I think it’s too short and flex is the same thing and longer,” said freshman Samantha Resner. “I think it’s a waste.” Underclassmen have a class flex time where they are able to complete most of their homework. Seniors aren’t offered this, but it’s not as if advisory would give

them enough time to complete work. “It’s so pointless, it’s only twenty minutes and you don’t do anything learning wise,” said senior Devin Harris. During seminar I had the ability to finish a lot of my homework before the weekend and make-up a test I might have missed. I think students would benefit more if advisory actually gave them enough time to do homework, but the whole aspect of having a close accountability group, I like and a place I can always stay up to date with my grades. Personally, I found seminar a beneficial way to spend our time, but I don’t understand the point of advisory yet.

Old school with Nana “Psh,kids these days...Back in my day the only time we bent over in public was to pick up a lucky Lincoln.”

by Gabrielle Young editorial editor Change, it seems to be the new slogan for this year. With President Barack Obama, our new Superintendent Todd White and assistant principal Tim Johnson, we have to accept change. Advisory, one of this year’s changes. As of now I feel it was unnecessary but, not bad. After second block

Courtyard is senior territory by Kim Shields writer & photographer With the privilege of the senior courtyard comes a great debate over whether or not seniors should be able to invite underclassmen, or should even have the courtyard. If anyone went in the courtyard they would see seniors relaxing, talking to other seniors, and in some cases underclassmen. Opinions differ from one class to another, but when it comes to the senior opinion, we all think the same thing, it is our courtyard we can have whomever we want out there with us. My thought is that the courtyard was gifted to the seniors, which makes it our place to just relax during lunch with no unwanted underclassmen, unless the person is invited by a senior. If someone is not invited then they have no reason to be out there in the senior’s area. Depending on the class, a student might have maybe one, two, or three years before it becomes their right to be out in the court-

yard. We have been here longer; we have earned the right to some peace from the lunchroom. Since seniors were freshman they have been waiting to use the courtyard, we understand once it is our graduating year we get the privilege of eating in the courtyard, other classes should look at it from our point of view. Seniors understand underclassmen want to sit out there but they will have their time, and right now is our time. We just want people to respect that, it is our space not the entire school populations. Most teachers respect this and help by weeding out the underclassmen that have no reason to be out there, the sneaky ones, that only a few people notice then yell at too leave. So underclassmen if getting yelled at or embarrassed isn’t something that sounds too appealing, stay out of the senior courtyard unless you are invited.

Security cameras have been placed all over the building, to provide extra safety procautions and supervision, so students can feel safer at

Students disprove of a seminar replacement

“I preferred after school ones because kids were afraid of them.” senior Stanton Bartholomew

Cartoon by Johnna Hensley

cameras in place as well. In the past, a surprisingly large number of students stole various lunch options. The faculty couldn’t catch everyone, but this problem was brought to the school’s attention. No free snacks at the gas station, and no more in the cafeteria. Haven’t we seen a colorful array of questionable “artwork” dirty the outer walls of our school? I’m sure we all love to see various colorful male “parts” decorate our school, right? Now we can identify the artist, and admire their artwork fully while they spend their time paying for such vulgar expressionism. These cameras won’t spy on students. No one sits behind the camera monitor scanning for sleeping students or cliché spit wads. A strange man trotting through the halls probably attracts more attention than a note passed in class. As long as one sticks to the

by Kayla Smith writer For all those seniors at OP, there are few special privileges that are reserved just for them, because they are the highest class in the school. One of these privileges is the senior courtyard outside the cafeteria. This is a place reserved for seniors to sit during lunch. But over the years more and more underclassmen seem to have a problem with this or sit in the senior courtyard, when they shouldn’t be. Not all underclassmen have a problem with the courtyard being only for seniors. A lot of students feel that it’s something everyone can look forward to when they become a senior. “They have to through their whole high school career, some perks should be involved,” said junior Haley Cope. As a sophomore, my belief is that the senior court


yard is a tradition that senior after senior has had the privilege of experiencing. Underclassmen should look at the senior courtyard as something they can’t wait to be able to use as a senior, rather than something that’s an unfair advantage given to the highest ranking class in the school. The freshmen class is probably one of the most looked at when it comes to an underclassmen’s view on a senior privilege. Many freshmen come into high school and don’t like the idea of seniors getting something special, because it’s unfair to them or they feel left out. Not very many freshmen fully grasp and respect the idea of the tradition. “They’ve spent three years at this school, it’s something they deserve and can look forward to,”said freshman Aggie Reager. “It’s supposed to be something just for the seniors that people should wait for.”

We want your opinions! Write your letter to the editor. Sign it. Bring it to E133 or E134.

The Northmen’s Log Staff & Policies Editor-in-Chief & Photo Editor Gina Drapela Opinion Editor Gabrielle Young Sports Editor Alex Mallin Entertainment Editor Mandy Nichols Lifestyles Editor Courtney Kelley Feature Editor Jessica Nichols Copy Editor Samantha Colhour Cartoonist Johnna Hensley Writers Courtney Light Kim Shields Kayla Smith Photographer Ally Sansone Adviser Christina Geabhart

“The Northmen’s Log” is published 10 times during the school year. “The Log” is a student forum for expression; it is produced by students for students. “The Log” accepts letters to the editor in rooms E133 or E134 or geabhart@ Letters cannot exceed a length of 350 words. We will not run letters that are libelous, obscene, or that may cause a verifiable disruption of the education process of Oak Park. Letters must be signed. Advertisers may contact the business manager at 413-5352, or 825 N.E. 79th Terrace, Kansas City, MO, 64118. Opinions expressed in “The Log” do not reflect staff endorsements of that product or service. “The Log” is a member of NSPA, MIPA and Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for High School Journalists. “The Log” is affiliated with JEA and JEMKC.



page features

Traditions meet surf, sand and sun by Courtney Light writer

Each year, when the leaves start to change and the weather becomes chilled, Oak Park holds its Homecoming. This event has become, not just a dance or football game, but a tradition among high school students. This tradition once

welcomed college alumni back to the campuses in the form of a football game. Now some other activities accompany it. Now, the school hosts a homecoming assembly, pep rally, football game, and a school sanctioned dance. But where did it all begin? How far does this date back? And why?

Forty-five years of tradition by Courtney Kelley lifestyles editor The tradition of Homecoming goes back 45 years. Years filled with spirit, tradition and queens. Many have known Homecoming as the first big dance to start off the year, along with a football game, and spirited students. Years go by and old traditions have either stuck around or been put to rest as new ideas unfolded. One custom, the parade, used to start from OP and head down to our previous home

field North town stadium. Students decorated cars and floats and got pumped for the big game. Then following the big game headed back to the school for their dance in the same night. Now we have a pep rally and a car smash, with the dance on the following Saturday night. In 1965 the first year homecoming did not exist for students referred to it as the Fall Festival dance. Traditionally, seven seniors have represented their class as Homecoming candidates with an assembly

introducing them. Students have also always celebrated this event with a spirit week of some kind. PLayers participating in the sport taking place that night receive good luck charms. The announcement of the winning candidate has forever taken place during Halftime. Before the crowning of the queen, someone reads this traditional quote. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever…Its loveliness increases…It can never pass into nothingness …”

1975 1965 Theme: Autumn Leaves Queen: Candy Hover Activities: “Fall Festival Queen” -Queens’s crown was engraved and placed and displayed in a trophy case. -$1.50 per couple / door price $1.00 per person. -Queens were officially announced on Bandstand. candidates introduced at assembly. Game: Players and coaches were given rabbit’s feet and blue ribbons for good luck.

Theme: “The way we were” Memories of the past brought to mind Queen: Sherry McFarland Activities: - Candidates introduced at assembly. -Good luck charms were handed to cross country and football players and coaches. -$ 2.00 per couple. - Coleman Brothers preformed live at dance. - Rainy night Game: Op won/ Hickman Mills.

1985 Theme: “Memories” Queen: Bonnie Gere . Activities: Homecoming parade – received permission to start at OP. -Spirit week -Past assembly raised questions if students could handle homecoming assemblies. -Homecoming started earlier than ever before. -Halftime- driven onto field by Corvettes.

Game: OP won/ Park Hill

2005 1995

Theme: “Cast a Spell” Queen: Julie West Activities: Spirit week -Pep rally and the parade. -Halftime candidates driven onto the field by luxury cars. Game: Op won/ Truman.

Theme: Romecoming: A night at the coliseum Queen: Erika Takeyama Activities: Spirit week -Candidates brought onto field by cars. Game: lost game

2009 Theme: Hollywood Queen: Lauren White Activities: Spirit week -Assembly and pep rally. Game: OP lost/Tonka.

page 5 features

Surf’s up for Homecoming nominees

The 2009 Homecoming nominees are; top: Kelsey Merrigan, Tara Baumgartner, Blair White, Jesse Hagel, Kelsey Kaelin; front: Hillary Holmes, Gina Drapela, Francesca Christiano, Caity Strohm Photo by Kim Shields writer/photographer

Tara Baumgartner

Gina Drapela

Francesca Christiano

Band- Four years Jazz Band- Three Years StuCu- Two Years Pom- Two years Thespians- Two years Oak Street- Two Years NHS- One Year Varsity Math- One Year

Orchestra-Two Years Log- Two Years Thespians- Two Years Veggie Club- Two Years Art Club- One Year PAC- One Year

Musical- Three Years Oak Street- Two Years Cheer- One Year Blue in Review- One Year Leadership- One Year “I’m really excited. It’s gonna be a lot of fun to be with all my friends.”

“Surprising, and really, really exciting, just to have the honor is really flattering.”

“I never thought of myself that way, but it’s exciting.”

Jesse Hagel

Hillary Holmes

Basketball- Two Years Track- Two Years StuCo- Two Years Softball- One Year Leadership- One Year Blue in Review- One Year Peer Helpers- One Year

Kelsey Kaelin

Peer Helpers- Two Years Track- Two Years Pom- One Year StuCo-One Year

Cheer- Four Years StuC0- Two Years Adaptive PE- Two Years Blue in Review- Two Years Peer Helpers- Two Years DVD Staff- One Year Leadership- One Year

“It’s empowering and just absolutely amazing to go through this with all my best friends.”

“I’m excited to go through the experience and spend the time with all the girls.”

Kelsey Merrigan

“It’s just really unique to go through this with all your best friends.”

Caity Strohm

Cheer- Four Years Track- Three Years Peer Helpers- One Year FCCLA- One Year

Blair White

Cheer- Four Years Debate- Three Years

Volleyball- Four Years Track- Two Years Girl’s Swim- One Year NHS- One Year StuCo- One Year

“It’s exciting, because not very many people get the opportunity.”

“I am super excited, because it’s like the coolest thing ever and I’ve always wanted to be nominated.”

“It’s really exciting. It’s neat to be nominated by your class.”

Unknown one-of-a-kinds find spotlight Small boutiques discovered because of economy by Courtney Light writer A rack of dresses short and long with a red sign that reads “SALE” on top, an abundance of colors and a mirage of girls clustered around. School, back in, and the Homecoming dance, just around the corner. With the current economic climate, some seek out bargains and sales as they shop for Homecoming. “Budget? No more than $100, most of the time it’s been less.” said sophomore Michaela Smith. “I’m not going to spend an unnecessary amount on a dress I’ll probably only wear once. And homecoming dresses shouldn’t be too outrageously expensive.” Most agree with the similar budget for homecoming, though for different reasons. “I don’t want to waste my money on a dress I’m wearing once,” said sophomore Chloe Bechthlod. However, aside from the department stores like

Macy’s and Dillard’s, small boutiques, and even re-sale shops are valid options to get formal dresses for a wearonce occasion. “I actually checked Ditto where they re-sell the used dresses. I mean if they only wore it once, who cares?” said sophomore Shelbi Arndt. “I actually went to tons of places, I went to Independence Mall, and checked out a Dillard’s and Macy’s there. Then I checked several places at Zona Rosa, and even went back to Dillard’s twice. It was a difficult process.” Students have found a varied selection of other dresses in places such as Ditto, Plato’s Closet and even little boutique’s such as Watercolors High Fashion Boutique in Parkville, where the dresses are not like the other department stores around

town. Senior Allexus Roth found out about the boutique Watercolors High Fashion and like many others thought it was a great option. “I would shop there,” Roth said. “Because I’m looking for something very unique, different, something that everyone won’t have, but still something that’s bright and stands out.” Those hoping to find bargains may head to smaller boutiques. “I don’t want to spend that much money on a homecoming dress, since I’ll only wear it once and so I can get a more expensive dress for prom.” said junior Erin Madsen. All three of these shops: Ditto, located by Metro North Mall, Plato’s Closet, in


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“Because I’m looking for something very unique, different, something that everyone won’t have, but something that’s bright and stands out.” senior Allexus Roth

Watercolors High Fashion boutique in downtown Parkville sells one of a kind formal wear for men and women, specializing in donations from past proms and other formal events. Photo by Gina Drapela editor-in-chief

Barry Woods and Watercolors High Fashion, located on Main Street in Parkville have

a varied selection and what could be a few treasured finds.

6 lifestyles


Mentors achieve goals Jessica Nichols features editor Some students may find themselves struggling with a homework assignment or needing someone, other than a teacher, to talk with about school and home related issues. Last year students had only a few places to go for the help they needed. This year, the school implemented a new program with the use of senior mentors. “The Advisory Action Team, a group of approximately 25 teachers representing all departments, designed the advisory program itself,” said achievement coordinator Ken Corum,” and in turn, there was a subcommittee of about five to seven teachers and administrators who drew up the specific plans of the senior mentor program.” The senior mentor program has three goals to help better the school environment. “Our goals with senior mentors are for them to serve as an easily accessible role model and resource and to  provide guidance to our underclassmen in school, behavior and involvement at OPHS,” Corum said.

photo by Johnna Hensley, cartoonist

Senior Justin McAfee helps sophomore Michaela Smith with her homework during her advisory class on Sept. 18. “I get to know all the students in the class, and help them with homework and other problems,” McAfee said. photo by Kim Shields, photographer

Forty-six seniors were selected to participate in the new program. Their eligibility requirements included 95 percent attendance, no discipline referrals and grades of either As or Bs. “I had to have an interview and be involved in my school,” senior Lauren Carlson said, “My teachers had to believe I was capable of helping younger students.” Activity days take place on Wednesdays during advisory. Teachers are “primarily responsible” for the activity that day, but some classes have senior mentors

who step up and lead the activity. “I like connecting with the kids, hoping they’ll listen to me and take some advice,” said senior Amanda Resner. As the days go on, teachers see the affect of the senior mentors on younger students. “It’s still early in the year, but already I have heard stories of mentors and their advisory students connecting in positive ways, sharing each others’ stories and starting to encourage students in and out of the classroom,” Corum said.

work with the Kiwanis Club on things too. Also, we have gotten more new members this year. Everyone’s really positive about it.” One group decided to rework its whole image. Oakies with Rhythm lost many of members to graduation last spring. New leaders, seniors Justin McAfee and Iana Newton knew the way to start was by changing the name to BOM or Blue on Move. “It’s really the start of something new,” Newton said. “Hopefully it will give people a new outlook on hip-hop.” The name isn’t the only

change for the hip-hop group. There are also more boys on the squad this year, creating a whole new vibe for the group. “It’s a lot different this year,” Newton said. “It’s a good change because people get to see a new side to the group.” With a new outlook on the way their clubs will go this year, Volunteer Key Club and Blue on Move hope to keep people interested. The key club meets after school in the teacher’s lounge on Wednesdays, while BOM meets Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays after school.

New names for clubs Samantha Colhour copy editor

The beginning of each year is a time for change and reinvention. A few groups have decided to change their names. Volunteer Club, run by gifted resource specialist Lori Dameron, was accepted by the North Kansas City Kiwanis to become a key club. The club will now be known as Volunteer Key Club. “I think it benefits the group a lot,” Dameron said.”We don’t really change what we have always done. This way we get to do our own volunteer stuff and

Cafeteria strives for heathier chow by Gabrielle Young editorial editor This year students have seen a switch in the vending machines with beverages switching from regular to diet. This switch also applied to the serving sizes of Gatorade from two to one. The cafeteria did not make the decision to switch the beverages. “The change was part of the school beverage guidelines, the 3 large beverage manufactures made only to add those beverages to the school,” said Kim Werning director of food nutrition of NKC, “Pepsi made a commitment a few years ago to only sale certain beverages to schools.” As of the downsize of Gatorade bottles from 32 oz. to 12 oz. has also been an effect of the school beverage guidelines. Although the fact that the beverages have been switched, the changes shouldn’t overshadow some of the improvements in the cafeteria. “Fresh fruit is the thing for Kevin,” said Manager Kevin Vetsch. “Green thumb Kevin is going to deliver fresh fruit.” Before, fruit in the cafeteria consisted mostly of canned fruit, but not anymore. Employees introduced new fresh fruit watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and honeydew, provided in the a la carte section for $2. Also a new fruit drink, Izzes, with four different flavors, and 70 percent juice. “The healthier choices would be good for people who want to go on diets or, are on a sports team,” said freshman Cleopatra Byas. Besides the new fruit products, we have a new veggie burger entrée. Every year the district tries to add new items available to students and the district wanted to offer more vegetarian choices for the increasing number of vegetarian students according to Werning. Breakfast employees feel is also an essential in eating healthy. One of the new choic-

photo by Britany Parker, yearbook staff

es, apple Bosco sticks. “I think it’s a good idea that they (employees) want us to be healthy,” said sophomore Jessica Watson. The changes made in the cafeteria go on to the cafeteria workers. “The customer service is new this year, we’re going to start being nicer,” Vetsch said. “We’re not just lunch ladies.” Employees are also planning on utilizing the art department this year, to make posters, and put up decoration. Students have already seen the security camera poster posted on the door of the main lunch line. “It’s my No .1 responsibility to change to healthy,” said Vetsch “After 25 years in the food industry I’m going to change to make that happen.”

page 7 entertainment

Job excites senior by Jessica Nichols feature editor

Teens spend summers hanging out and working summer jobs. Some may find themselves working at World’s of Fun behind food counters, serving hot, greasy food to large groups of people. A few others may pick up trash and doing maintenance work. Others fill the potentially risky task of operating and test-riding the roller coasters. These generic jobs weren’t for senior Maren Hansen, who spent her summer working with face paint and henna tattoos. “My friend worked at World’s of Fun before and they needed another henna artist,” she said,” I filled out an application and they immediately called. I brought in some of my artwork.” Once hired, she began to work for “Kaman’s,” an art shop that has several locations throughout Missouri amusement parks. Spending her days in front of the “Timberwolf” or in the Oriental section of the park, she painted children’s faces, made rice and hemp jewelry, and used henna to give customers temporary tattoos. If she opened the hen-

Senior Maren Hansen draws henna designs on paying customers at World’s of Fun. Customers either choose a set design or ask her to draw her own. photo courtesy of Maren Hansen

na stand, Maren would get the keys and henna from the main stand called “Air Brush.” When closing up, she’d take everything back to “Air Brush” and clean up the brushes and work space. “There was a girl who wanted a big bat on her leg. It took me like an hour,” Hansen said, “One girl wanted a Phantom of the Opera mask on her face. It wasn’t in the design book so she paid extra.” Maren likes to hear a customer say she can do whatever she wants with the

henna paint. She enjoys designing free-form patterns. “I started doodling really small intricate designs. I’m really good at horses because I was around them so much,” she said. Maren plans on going back to World’s of Fun for next year’s season. “It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “I instantly made friends with everyone, it’s like a big family, and it doesn’t feel like work because I’m doing something I love.”

Markets spread by Mandy Nichols entertainment editor With shopping developments rising around the area, one might not expect to find market stalls strewn out across the city at various times of the week. If one looks for them however, these appear throughout the warm-weather weeks. Farmers’ markets have found their place in the growing urban environments of Kansas City. One such market found a home at Briarcliff Village. This small, recently developed shopping area near downtown hosts vendors of homemade produce and products such as homemade pastas, sauces, honeys and kettle corn with demonstrators and other scheduled events like local musical guests throughout the summer and fall months. The streets of the Crossroads art district play host to such a market as well. Fridays from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. one can find the “badseed” market stalls set up from produce providers of various downtown restaurants. The market’s organizer Brooke Salvaggio has noticed an increase in attendance at the weekly event, as well as an increase in customer diversity. “I imagine this is due to an increasing awareness of our industrial food system and its negative environmental and social implications,” Salvaggio said. “The benefits surrounding organic and locally grown products are appealing to the informed consumer.” Zona Rosa has also held a small market for the past two years. This market currently runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. Shoppers can browse tables of market items as they shop through Zona. The downtown city market, sometimes called the River Market has held many weekend and Wednesday markets in its time. Produce vendors continue to crowd with performers such as musicians and dancers filling in empty spaces. Quilts, jams, honeys, breads and other homemade items fill up product space as well. “I love the environment and the sort of ‘old culture’ you get,” said senior Amanda Kronk. “You get to deal with the community where people perform and discuss as opposed to a shopping mall.” Permanent shops surround the market square,

The City Market dowtown hosts stands of produce and other goods from various sellers on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief

providing an any time alternative to market season days. International food markets and cafes form a ring around the main square, while art and plant shops sprinkle throughout selling products like seeds or exotic tapestries. “It was really colorful,” said senior Rebecca Penrose. “You could also buy things that followed any diet hindered with allergies.” City market master Deb Conners shares her thoughts on the area’s growing market community. “Customers want to know who grows their food and where it comes from,” Conners said. “They are also concerned with the distance food is shipped and the effect transport-

ing food across country has on our environment.” “The positive and enriching transaction between farmer and eater can never be imitated in the supermarket,” Salvaggio said. “There is a level of honesty, trust, and intimacy.”


Zona Rosa-

Tuesdays and Thursdays 4-8 p.m.

Briarcliff Village

Thursdays 3-7 p.m.

City Market

Wednesdays - 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturdays - 6 a.m.- 3 p.m. Sunday- 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.

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On Wednesday, Sept. 9, junior Schyler Tate, junior Rachel Brian and senior Gina Drapela rehearse scenes from the upcoming musical “Cinderella.”“It feels Cinderella-ific, and I’m excited to play a character different from any other character I’ve played,” Tate said. photo by Kim Shields, photographer

Musical twists ‘Cinderella’ childhood classic Disney makeover commences by Kayla Smith writer Glass slippers, evil step sisters, and fairy godmothers prepare to hit the stage. This year’s musical takes a new twist on the old fairy tale. “Cinderella” tells the classic story of a young girl living a lowly peasant life finding her dream prince before becoming a fairy tale princess. With singing and dancing added, the fall musical emerges. “I think the audience will be surprised at how funny it is,” said vocal music teacher Chris Droegemueller. “It’s more of a challenging musical than I thought it was going to be.” The story follows the 1997 Rodgers and Hammerstein Disney movie version starring Brandy Norwood. This version features nine leading parts with a large chorus. “It is a really fun show, the possibilities

are endless.” said theater teacher Stephanie Siers. “The show has a very comedic edge, so I am excited to get started and work with actors. We also had the largest group of students show interest in auditioning for the musical.” The leading parts consist of Cinderella played by Rebekah Bliss and Prince Christopher played by Sterling Robbins. Their supporting cast includes seniors Thomas Yoder, Francesca Christiano, Schyler Tate and Gina Drapela, juniors Brooklyn Bowman and Rachel Perkins and sophomore Alex Stompoly. “The cast acts like a really big family and it’s a great atmosphere to be around,” Stompoly said. With the award-winning performance from last year’s cast of “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” many, including the cast feel they have things to live up to. “I was really pleased with last year’s musical. It was my first big musical to direct and it went very well. Our goal this year is to go even bigger,” Siers said. “Mr. Droegemueller and I make a great team and we are ready to bring audiences a fantastic production!”


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Issue 2  

Cast list: Cinderella - Bekah Bliss Prince - Sterling Robbins Evil Step sisters - Gina Drapela, Rachel Perkins Evil Step mother - Schyler Ta...

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