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The Northmen’s

Friday, March 26, 2009

Wrestling team takes second at state see p. 2.

Oak Park High School

Issue 8, Volume 45

District addresses uncertain future in budget crisis by Alex Mallin sports editor Despite previously held perceptions that economic troubles would be kept away from schools in the North Kansas City School District, the school board conveyed a different tone at its meeting on Tuesday, March 9*. The board recently released its list of “Potential Cost-Saving Measures” for the district. Many of the proposed cuts included items which would affect school and classroom levels. These measures and several other items filled the agenda for the board’s nearly three-hour meeting in the Antioch Middle School Auditorium. “We are looking at changes

which will definitely affect our instructional programs,” said board treasurer Kathleen Harris. The proposed cuts were a response to future loss of revenue and growth of student population, creating a paradox in forming a balanced budget. “It’s not an easy process,” said district chief financial officer Paul Harrell. “All school districts are going to suffer. Many major districts are going through budget cuts but we are on track to create a balanced budget.” Harrell noted several difficulties in creating the budget. Among them include how Clay County faced a decrease in local revenues of 2 percent, state revenues of 14 percent and the end of stimulus funding for the district in August of 2011; all which trickles down to the district receiving less funding. 90 percent of the district’s revenue derives from state income tax and sales tax, and according to Harrell, Missouri currently has the highest unemployment rate in its history. District Superintendent Todd White said if the district fails to approve a balanced budget soon, it could put the district in a vulnerable position. By not approving a balanced budget in time the school district will have to eat in to funds in the district had previously secured. White also explained how the district got pulled into the current crisis. “It’s not that we are spending money widely or unwisely,” White said. “We have just seen our funding system virtually collapse and there really is no light at the end of the tunnel that we can see at this point.” According to

White, the district cut $16.3 million from its budget over the past three years. In order to release a balanced budget this year however, it will need to restructure and cut an additional $9.4 million. In order for this restructured budget to be transferred into contracts for the next year due by April 1, the district will have to approve it by Tuesday, March 23*. How the budget will meet this $9.4 million landmark has been called into question by students, teachers, and community members. The list of potential cuts includes areas such as eliminating nurse coordinators and health clerks, reducing paid days of many building specialists such as counselors, technology coordinators and media specialists, and increasing the employees’ share of health insurance premiums. According to Harrell, nearly every expense for the district is under some type of review. For students concerned with cuts in areas such as extracurricular activities and further cuts in their academics, the potential cost saving list contains no direct data placing these under the chopping block. According to White, the district hopes to maintain their standard in keeping cuts away from classrooms and students. “If you were to take band, choir and the other activities away from Oak Park it wouldn’t be Oak Park any longer,” White said. “These things breathe life in to a school and it is just counterproductive to believe a school district can serve students and take away those programs.” One of the proposed cuts which several students said they felt would be counterproductive was the bid for a change in the high school schedule from block scheduling to 7-period days. “When I first heard they were planning on switching the schedule I knew it would be a bad idea,” said junior Haley Cope. “Me personally and a lot of other juniors are depending on having eight classes next year.” On Thursday, Feb. 25, the district held a “town halllike” meeting at Oak Park in which it hoped

to hear feedback on several of the proposed cuts. In his pitch of the schedule-change, White advertised it as a way to reduce the number of teachers in a building at one time without having to eliminate any positions. With the lowering of class sizes as one of White’s goals, he promoted the period schedule as a way to “create” 39 teachers out of the central office reorganization completed at the beginning of the year. Through the “Community Conversations” meetings across the district, White, Harrell, and their associates gathered feedback from community members in order to better assist them in the board’s final decision making. “Our community is what makes up our school district,” Harrell said. “We are here as a school district to meet the needs of the community therefore we want to make sure we are meeting their needs and gathering input before we make any changes.” With the gathered feedback from the “Community Conversations” and through other factors White and the board voted to postpone the change of schedule at the March 9 meeting. Rather than it changing next year as originally planned, White proposed the creation of a study committee to research it further and provide the district with a recommended path no later than November 2010. While across the crowded auditorium there were sighs of relief, board president Spencer Fields conveyed his deep concern for the district’s uncertain future. “Things are not ‘honkey dorey.’ We are looking at a $9.5 million deficit,” Fields said. “It’s going to be a very rough road ahead of us in the next couple years.” With this negative forecast for the districts fiscal position, Cope feels in the future the district should show more interest and concern for the opinion of students. “They should communicate with students before considering any cuts that will affect them,” Cope said. “The period change would have affected a lot of people and it seemed like they made no attempt to address our concerns.” *As of press time, the results of the Tuesday, March 23, board meeting were unknown.

District Superintendent Todd White addresses the audience in the main auditorium during a “Community Conversations” session on Thursday, Feb. 25. White and his associates used the meetings to hear feedback from the community on proposed cuts by the district. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief

Pave the Way provides career experience by Courtney Kelley lifestyles editor While many have advertised the recession being at its end, Northland students still are finding it difficult to become employed. After running into a coordinator of the United Services Community Action Agency, a student and mother introduced Pave the Way to Oak Park. Since OP is the first school in the NKCSD to hold this program, many are still unaware of what Pave the Way is exactly. All Oak Park students received an email briefly explaining the non-schoolsponsored opportunity; students applied as if it was a typical job. In order to attend, directors and counselors looked at the income of a student’s house hold. The mission of USCAA consists of assisting people in payment of electric and

other bills in their budget. “The program is meant to give students a chance to find a job and work on teambuilding,” said A+ coordinator Sharlaine Hemmingsen. “This program is perfect for Oak Park.” Every Monday through Thursday Pave the Way is held in the cafeteria. 40 students must be enrolled for the program to run. Students receive pay checks, at a rate of around $7.05 an hour. Pave the Way consists of a 64hour session. Not only can finding a job be difficult for young students but filling out applications, learning how to work with others and finding one’s transportation to work are all taught. The mission was to help people around the metro of poverty; USCAA’s office is located off Vivion Road. Other schools such as Ruskin, Hickman Mills and Raytown are all participating in Pave the Way. Only working with edu-

cation a few years, the program never thought it would be helping out students according to Hemmingsen. Last fall, with the help of the stimulus bill, money was provided to USCAA giving them an opportunity to help out students everywhere. As summer comes closer, coordinators have talked to businesses around the metro helping students get jobs for the summer. “We learn how to work with coworkers and find out what our drive is to wor,” said a junior participant, whose name was withheld to protect his privacy. While some may find it unimaginable not to be able to put food on the table. Many students are depended on by people at home, Pave the Way contributes to helping them find a fresh start and provide for their families.

Working on a team building activity students raise their hands as each question is asked by coordinator Tara Mulford from USCAA. “The program has taught me so much about how to look for jobs and fill out applications, plus you are getting paid while learning,” said a junior participant.

Nickels provide incentives to perform good deeds by Samantha Colhour copy editor

Norman’s Nickels began circulating last year, with the purpose of recognizing students who do good deeds. While many students participated last year, news of the program didn’t affect as many kids as it has this year. “We began this because we wanted to reward those who were choosing to do the right thing,” said assistant principal Mark Maus. With the loss of newness surrounding the nickel opportunity, school officials took the chance to reinvent the program.

“One major difference this year how often you can renew your nickels,” Maus said. “Kids can now renew them every travel day (Tuesday and Wednesday) during advisory. I think this is one of the best things we have changed this year. With it not being new anymore, it’s easier for teachers and students to forget. With this change, it’s constant and harder to forget about.” Besides the rate at which students can turn in nickels, the prizes offered have also changed. Prizes now include: personalized stickers for mini-notes, spirit wear and cookies. “One thing I have learned this year is that kids want cookies,” Maus said. “I also

think that the kids are responding to the spirit wear, especially the baseball hats.” Kids responded well to the change in prizes, according to Spanish teacher Cathi Postma who runs the cart with prizes. “The better prizes this year have seemed to really help,” Postma said. “I have been doing the cart since we started the program, and this year there seems to be a lot of students participating. “ According to Postma, one student consistently comes down with a nickel almost each time she is at the cart. Sophomore Eugena Baker has used many of her travel days to trade in her nickel. “I have gotten a lot of nickels,” Baker

Seniors Blaire White and Laura Hulfield prepare boxes to send to Hillcrest Transitional living on Wednesday, March 3. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief

NHS supports charity by hosting food drive Gabrielle Young editorial editor The National Honor Society students found a way to get the school involved in helping others by supporting the Hillcrest Transitional living program, with the Feb.22 - March 12 food drive. The program started in 1976 and helps those in poverty to become self-sufficient, through a 90-day program. According to science teacher Kimberly Bennett the food pantry usually runs low during the months of January, February and March. For that reason advisory classes were asked to get involved and bring various food items and hospitality items as an incentive earn a pizza party. The advisory class gathering the most points was communication arts teacher Callie Smothers advisory, winning a class pizza party. With the incentive used as a bonus for students to help out, the hope from this was that students would learn something from helping. “Students should get a commitment as they become adults to give back to the community,” Bennett said. “It would be great if giving back became a habit for all of us.” Whether or not students helped because they wanted to or to receive the pizza, in both ways the program was given support. Although the economy has been in a struggling battle, most people still have more privileges then those who were previously living in poverty. When helping others people have the ability to get their mind of themselves. “There are people in harder times then we are, and people become selfish,” said senior Renee Hemmie. The supplies gathered by students and teachers were taken to the Hillcrest transitional housing to be stored in the pantry, waiting to be distributed to those in need of a helping hand.

said. “I help teachers with things. I help students because I like to be nice. Sometimes I even pick up trash around the school. I love getting the cookies. The rewards are worth it to me.” With the changes made this year and the changes to come, Maus sees this as a program that will continue for the future years to come. “As long as we keep seeing the results we are seeing, then I think the reward really helps,” Maus said. “The one thing we will have to focus on changing in the coming years is how to recognize those kids that have always made good decisions. “

2 photo essay


Juggling a handful of Campbell’s soups, freshman Bruno Barrera gathers specific types to complete a specific shopping list Friday, March 5. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief

Food for thought Students shop for teachers’ groceries by Gina Drapela editor-in-chief When grocery shopping, many decisions arise. Green grapes or red? Family-sized green tea packs from Lipton, or the exact same product, but produced by Luzianne? Shopping for other people at a grocery store and being accurate can be difficult when provided a list of specific goods, from specific brands, with exact currency. Every B day, the special education class has to complete that task, provided with shopping lists from several teachers in the school to complete and return by the end of the day. “We have everything from Mrs. [Stacey] Stowers entire grocery list from maybe 15 or 20 items, and she sends anything between $30 to $71 at a time. So we’ve basically doing her whole week’s shopping pretty much, to shorter lists where teacher might only want soda that’s on sale or maybe something for their lunches like peanut butter and bread or yogurts that they eat here at school,” said Rita Richards, special education teacher. Many life skills are taught during this excursion; reading a specific list of products, breaking down bills at a bank and being able to track how much money is being spent to accumulate maximum savings. “Usually we get teachers to bring us some of their orders, and we bring them in

the classroom, and we go over them with some of the kids to make sure exactly that. They know for instance some teachers that are on special diets. We talk about the different sections in the store and were we’re going to start off first, if there are certain brands, different things that we need to clarify and then when we’re at the store, everybody’s assigned to a different student. If we don’t talk about it [at the school] then we’ll talk about it at the store,” Mandy Garcia, special education teacher said. The experience seems enjoyable for the students, as well as teachers, while the students exercises skills they will be exercising their entire lives. “It’s a wonderful example of community-based education. We’re going out into the community and learning, instead of just sitting there and doing paper and pencil tasks,” Richards said. The skills learned during these trips are valuable to living successfully, regardless of how small the task may seem. Details that don’t seem so apparent may often be overlooked, even to the average student. “I have teacher assistants come in and help with the class and I have physics students that don’t know the difference between lettuce and cabbage, so it’s those practical skills that we take for granted,” Richards said. “[Skills] that we’ve never acquired or that haven’t been taught from a book, those kinds of things that I think everyone at OP needs to know how to do.”

Special education teacher, Rita Richards and freshman Karl Foutch decide which oranges are ripe, and learn to know the difference Friday, March 5. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief

Reviewing a grocery list, senior Chris Haynes assists sophomore Adrian Marshall by pointing out what needs to be found in the day’s shopping. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief

Friday, March 5, special education teacher Mandy Garcia assists junior Amanda Saltkill before they start grocery shopping for teachers. The class meets every B day, and exercises life skills at the Hy-Vee grocery store, located on Antioch Road. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief

District takes PRIDE in program, trains students in home by Mandy Nichols entertainment editor

Chopping lettuce, special education teacher Laurie Morstatter demonstrates while sophomore Tiffany Foster follows along, Tuesday, March 9. The class learned how to brown ground beef and prepare taco salad using tomatoes, cheese Doritos, lettuce and salsa. photo by Gina Drapela, editor-in-chief

At 11:30 a.m. most B days, students excitedly load a bus which takes them a few minutes away from school to what may seem to some an ordinary suburban home. The remainder of the day one can find them making taco salad in the kitchen, learning about nutritional systems in the garage-turned-classroom, washing the Blue in Review polo shirts and overall housekeeping. Students throughout the district rotate their time at the house, each spending two blocks at a time there. The building, called the PRIDE house, acts as a new part of the district’s initiative to foster independent living skills within special education program students. According to vocational coordinator Sally Smith, PRIDE stands for “promoting responsible individuals through daily living and employment.” “We wanted to have a facility in the community where students could take the skills they learned in school and practice them in a real-life setting,” Smith said. “You can only do so much in the confines of a school for some students.” Junior Amanda Saltkill appreciates the addition to her high school experience. “Regular school is okay,” Saltkill said. “But it doesn’t really have cooking.” Of the activities she participates in the PRIDE house, Saltkill prefers the cooking, especially to cleaning. “I’ve really seen kids come to life because they’re doing things that make sense,” Smith said. “They learn by doing and actually have that opportunity here.” Special education teacher Rita Richards agreed with Smith. “The house gives us many opportunities to teach life skills that are not in a lesson book,” Richards said. Multiple factors made such a program possible. Each year C-TEC program students build a house as part of the class, which the district sells after completion. Two years ago, with the economic downturn, house No. 29 didn’t have a buyer. Smith took this chance to make the idea of a community-based learning facility a reality. “Something like this is always a huge undertaking and expense,” Smith said. “You have to have a plan and slowly put it into action, making sure

Built by the C-TEC, the PRIDE house is used by special education students to advance their knowledge of basic living skills inside a real house. The class consists of cooking a meal, cleaning and learning a lessons from a garage-based classroom. photo by editor-in-chief, Gina Drapela

you get it right.” Smith recalls a similar program from her school days in Texas. Using this and other scattered examples of such a program from across the nation, she had plans to bring one to North Kansas City schools eventually. The unsold house made those plans come to fruition more quickly than she previously anticipated. “We had this dream, and it just sort of happened. Everything kind of fell into place and we were just so lucky the house happened to be available to us and met all of our needs,” Smith said. “The stars were aligned in our favor.” The house holds a variety of disability accommodations. Wheelchair users can move through widened hallways while reaching lowered light switches. The home boasts other like measures as well. As the program carries on through its first year, it has had multiple opportunities to evolve. Earlier in the year, classes started utilizing the garage of the house. “We had this great open space for a classroom where students could display art projects and things like that,” Smith said. Since the house came fully furnished, complete with washer and dryer, Oak Park teachers yearned for other things to clean. The BIR uniform shirts filled that desire. Every two weeks PRIDE house students clean and dry the shirts before

delivering them by the next show. “None of the Blue in Review kids really have time to wash them,” said BIR staff member senior Kelsey Kaelin. “We really appreciate it.” Along the way, students and teachers alike have also run into situations that offer up opportunities to learn the hard way. Smith views these instances as venues for growth. “We’re trying to take what we can from these teachable moments and make a better program,” Smith said. Richards acknowledges these moments, and takes pride in the adaptations and additions made to the program. “It’s a learning experience for me,” Richards said. “The program continues to evolve as we think of ways we can teach practical life skills. The PRIDE house has become a model and example for others. Schools from Missouri and around the country have come to view the house as a showcase of what they can achieve with such a program. The district hopes to further extend the uses of the house in the years to come. This summer, the house will host some of the district’s visually-impaired students to see how they can take advantage of it as well. “It’s going to be utilized for a whole variety of kids, which is exactly what we hoped it could be,” Smith said. “It’s really exciting.”

page 3 opinion

Increased attendance helps the budget

Seniors need to prep by Tah’keeyah Gordon writer

by Johnna Hensley, cartoonist

Your Views:

How would you feel about a switch from blocks to periods? “Bad; because I don’t want to see the same teachers every day.”

Congratulations, the seniors have finally come to the day of graduation, they’re finally finished. Now they have to start planning for the future. ACTs, SATs, scholarships, financial aid, college admissions and college visits seems like so much to do with so little time. According to senior Druzella Purkey staying focused, being responsible, and planning ahead are the best ways to prepare for college. Senior year can be one of the most stressful years. Senior year comes with a huge to do list starting with the ACTs and SATs. When deciding to take one of these two tests one should always discuss the test with their counselor. Studying for these tests becomes really stressful; seniors should make sure they feel prepared. Most colleges do not require students to take both tests so make sure you know which tests you’re going to

need. When preparing for college seniors should be aware of deadlines whether for a scholarship or college admissions. Due to our economy college admissions are becoming harder to accomplish. Concerned parents worry about how to get their students into college and being able to afford the next years of their students education. Price increases and budget cuts in universities are taking place and causing a decrease in accepted applicants. Even though college tuitions are becoming too much to afford seniors can always count on scholarships. Scholarships and financial aid are very important when it comes to preparing for college. After students finish with their college admissions they should apply for as many scholarships as possible and financial aid. The earlier a student starts to prepare for college the better off they will be for the future.

Log’s View: Keep on keeping on As we pass the “almost done” checkpoint otherwise known as spring break, some may require the reminder that a stretch of the school year still remains. When March comes to an end, students face the barrage of days that make up the months of April and May before hall lights flicker on to finally signal an end to the school year.

April holds few reprieve break days to look forward to, and many students have clocked out for the year, spending their blocks daydreaming of destinations beyond the confines of school walls. Despite these trends, the student body needs to stay both physically and mentally within school. All the work

done at the start of the semester will prove meaningless if grades suffer going into this stretch into the end of the year. Slacking off now will not only make individuals look bad, it will show a lack of pride in school. The Log feels that if students can get past this slump of activity, they can look forward to better days to come.

freshman Dominique Rackley

Hollywood posers steal the spotlight “Good; because it gives us an extra day to do homework and hang out with friends.” sophomore Ariel Divis

“Love [block] for science labs, seven period days will make students more responsible.”

by Gabrielle Young editorial editor

science teacher Bethany Hoff

“I think it’s a horrible idea because there isn’t going to be enough time for homework and there won’t be enough time for students to ask teachers questions, which will make the students really stressed.’

A person who steals can either receive the name as a robber or thief. Over the past couple of years robbers have lurked the walkways of the red carpet. The people attending universities for acting degrees wait behind the cur-

tains as reality television stars steal their spotlight. Fame seems each day as more of a reality then in the past for ordinary people. Unbelievably a group of people bunched up under one roof in a house acquire fame within one day. Kirstin Cavallari from “The Hills,” rakes in an income of $90,000 per episode, according to extratv. com, for a show filled with over-the-top drama and carbon-copy characters. The appeal of these shows such as “Jersey Shore,” “The Hills” and “The Bachelor,” reaches beyond just teenage audiences. The popularity of the cast somehow leads them to gather thousands of Twitter followers, a

place on “Dancing with the Stars,” or a guest appearance on a talk show. When they have accomplished absolutely nothing. Even musicians have been pushed to the sidelines by “musicians,” such as Ke$ha, Justin Bieber and Jason Derulo. They’ve taken the rightful passage deserved for those with the gift of singing. Voices seem to matter even less with the destruction of auto-tune and overly produced studio voices, giving anyone a voice that makes them sound “good.” Even the lyrics become reminiscent of another song, and easily within a week the song reaches number one on the music charts as another cheesy pop song.

In the 50s music had depth. The musicians had powerful voices and heartfelt lyrics. Compared to the music industry today where young listeners have more concern with beats and what gets them moving or lyrics saturated with trash. Predictably those who listen to this type of “music,” will continue humming lame hooks and posting them as facebook statuses. While the real musicians struggle to make I-Tunes top 10. The television and music industry could care less about those with talent and have more concern about the dollars earned from vulnerable people.

Seven’s not too much to handle

junior Jeri Porter

“Good; because I don’t have seven periods worth of homework which I wouldn’t have time to do because I work and school activities.”

by Tah’keeyah Gordon


senior Sarah Donnici

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

Freshman, sophomores and juniors were faced with a serious dilemma for the next school year. The school board wanted to switch to seven-period days. While some teachers agree with this change many students disagree. Freshman and sophomore year I had the chance to experience what sevenperiod days were like when

I attended Van Horn High School in Independence. Classes were 45 minutes long and being in the same class every day was not bad at all. With less class time I had the chance to take in more information and I scored much higher on tests. Having my math and science class everyday was really a good thing. There were many benefits for those who struggle in these two subjects or any other subject. Seven-period days al-

low teachers more time to teach a lesson. Everything’s not crammed into a 90-minute class period. One learns more because of repetition given each day. With the same classes everyday students are not allowed to have as much time to do homework. Whereas four classes every other day allows students for more than enough time to complete assignments. The negative aspect about having four classes in

a day with different subjects every other the students can easily forget the last class period’s lesson, making the class more difficult for students to pass tests and causing lower grades. I believe that if Oak Park switched to seven-period days students would be better prepared for tests, end of the year exams and their grades would increase.

The Northmen’s Log Staff & Policies Editor-in-Chief & Photo Editor Gina Drapela Editorial 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 Tah’keeyah Gordon 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 cgeabhar@ 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

Introducing the ‘Bachelors’ Seniors Tara Baumgartner and Lucas Favreau participate in the formal wear segment of the show on Friday, March 12. Favreau represented StuCo at the pageant. all photos by Kim Shields, photographer

Alex Mallin Q: How long have you been involved with Log? A: “2 years” Q: What is your favorite memory of Log? A: “Getting to tell the stories of the school around you and working with your staff to create one whole piece of work. It’s really great.” Q: How does it feel to be nominated? A: “I’ve watched Mr. OP every year since I’ve been at this school. I’ve always wanted to be in it.”

Senior Michael Rieger represented NHS at the Mr. OP contest on Friday, March 12.

Mark Wopata Q: How long have you been involved with Elevate? A: “4 years” Q: What is your favorite memory of Elevate? A:“Coming together with people who share the same belief as I do” Q: How does it feel to be nominated for Mr. OP? A:“I’m humbled to be able to represent such a great group of Christians…such a great group of people”

Lucas Favreau Q: How long have you been involved with StuCo? A: “I’ve been in StuCo for one year, my senior year.” Q: What is your favorite StuCo memory? A: I really enjoy setting up for dances with the other StuCo people and the StuCo lock-in.” Q: How does it feel to be nominated? A: It was a very good feeling. I felt really my work was being noticed.”

Senior Alex Mallin shows off his drumming abilities during the talent portion of the Mr. OP contest. He represented ‘The Northmen’s Log’.

Michael Rieger Q: How long have you been involved in NHS? A:“2 years” Q: What’s your favorite NHS memory? A: “Riding around Zona Rosa in the back of a moving van, getting ready to help with the Jingle Bell run.” Q: How does it feel to be nominated? A: “Exciting and I’m glad we can get our club more recognition throughout the school.”

Chris Haynes Q: How many years have you been involved with debate and forensics? A: “I’m actually substituting for Brandon Wood, and I’m hoping that I can stand up to debate and forensics standards and really represent them well.” Q: What’s your favorite memory? A: “I’ve known a lot of people from it, we hang out a lot and we always have a good time.” Q: How does it feel to be taking Wood’s place? A: “It’s a little weird, I’m really hoping that I am good enough at what I’m going to go up there and do to represent debate, because they’ve been in Mr. OP every year, and I’m hoping to live up to that standard.”

Senior Justin McAfee attempts to open a locker during one of the skits on Friday, March 12 at the Mr. OP contest. He represented band. Seniors Sarina Barr and Mark Wopata stand after Wopata finds out he is the winner of formal wear on Friday, March 12. Thomas Yoder

With sophomore Courtney Hockman on his arm, senior Thomas Yoder answers his formal wear question. He represented the Oak Street Singers at the Mr. OP pageant on Friday, March 12.

Ryan Drapela Q: How long have you been involved with Blue in Review? A: “2 years” Q: What is your favorite memory of BIR? A: “Homecoming wakeups. If I were to chose any memory Homecoming wake-ups would be the best memory out of all of them. Ever since I was a freshman I’ve wanted to do Homecoming wake-ups and there I was.” Q: How does it feel to be nominated for Mr. OP? A: “It is such an honor. I know my sister was up for homecoming, but I never expected to be part of something this huge. It’s amazing.”

Q: How long have you been involved with Oak Street Singers? A:“2 years” Q: What is your favorite memory of Oak Street Singers? A:“Singing on the beach at sunset” Q: How does it feel to be nominated for Mr. OP? A:“It’s a great honor. It’s fun to be representing a great group of friends.”

Nick Tittone Q: How long have you been involved in theatre? A: “Technically 2 years” Q: What’s your favorite memory? A: “It had to be thespian conference, going to St. Louis with the troupe and having a good time, and getting close with the team. Q: How does it feel to be nominated? A: “Honored. I feel very honored to represent us, because we’re pretty good at what we do, and it feels good because we cleaned house at conference and put on some really good shows the past couple of years and it feels good to go up there and represent us well.”

During the club costume section of the Mr. OP contestant on Friday, March 12 senior Ryan Drapela performs a skit from ‘Risky Business’.

Senior Chris Haynes plays the guitar during the talent portion of the Mr. OP pageant on Friday, March 12. He substituted for senior Brandon Wood and represented debate.

Justin McAfee Q: How long have you been involved with band? A: “7 years. 4 years of high school.” Q: What is your favorite memory of band? A: “I really don’t have a favorite. Anytime with the band is a favorite.” Q: How does it feel to be nominated? A:“I feel great that the band sees me as an important figure to represent them.”

Mr. OPthrough the years 1986 -tradition began -senior Joey Zeff named Mr. OP 1990 -sold out -3 judges, 13 candidates -junior Mauricio Uribe named Mr. OP 2000 -theme was ‘A Few Good Men’ -15 candidates -senior Jeff Lewis named Mr. OP 2005 -theme was ‘Superheroes’ -14 candidates -senior Andrew Green named Mr. OP

Junior Schyler Tate stands with senior Nick Tittone on stage as he answers his formal wear question during the show. Tittone represented the Thespians and received the title of Mr. OP.

2010 -theme was ‘The Bachelor’ -10 candidates -senior Nick Tittone named Mr. OP

Mr. OP overcomes changes by Samantha Colhour copy editor

Alex Comer

Q: How long have you been involved with TSA? A: “1 year.” Q: What is your favorite memory of TSA? A: “Being with all the guys and girls, especially building the igloo.” Q: How does it feel to be nominated? “It was a good feeling, though it was tough to put together. It was a one time thing.” Senior Alex Comer did a robot dance during his club costume skit. He was nominated by TSA.

With new leadership for Student Council this year, many wondered if the yearly activities would face changes. While it seems smaller, new leader Carrie Marcantonio says that Mr. Oak Park was actually normal sized this year. “Last year it was huge,” Marcantonio said. “There were so many people in it. This year it’s back to normal with the 10 candidates.” According to junior Haley Cope, who was able to work with previous leader Phil Gegen, the main difference between the two is that Marcantonio is more laid back while Gegen was on the ball. “It’s great, because they are on completely different ends of the spectrum, but they get things done on time still,” Cope said. One main difference for Mr. Oak Park was that no clubs had to be cut. “Before, there were always an excess amount of clubs,” Marcantonio said. “But this year we were able to take every club that applied, which was great.”

The date of the event was also earlier than in previous years. “It was earlier this year because it was right after Sadie,” Marcantonio said. “The calendar was really full, and we had to do it when we could. The benefit from it was that by doing it earlier we now have more time to focus on Relay for Life.” The candidates got a total of seven minutes for their entire time on stage. According to those in StuCo, the candidates could use the minutes however they wished, with many candidates using the most time on club costume. The event also allowed clubs that had never previously participated to join in on the festivities. “It was cool because clubs like TSA got to have someone participate in it,” Cope said. With the changes in show and in leadership, Mr. Oak Park still went off without a hitch and provided a time to bring together the school. “I had fun,” said senior Stephanie Nicholson “Some of the talent was super fun. Ryan Drapela’s was awesome. I also really liked how everyone seemed to include people in their club for skits.”

page 5 sports

Second, but only in points

Northmen display pride in second place finish by Alex Mallin sports editor

The distance between Oak Park High School and Mizzou Arena in Columbia is a total of 138 miles. The only exception may be noted when asking one of the eight state qualifiers from the Northmen wrestling team. For them, their journey to the state wrestling tournament on Thursday, Feb. 18 was more than just the two hours spent on the road. It consisted of the countless hours of physical and mental preparation, the 6:30 a.m. practices, each drop of sweat and blood and the hundreds of other factors it takes in order to build a state qualifying wrestler. The Northmen entered the state tournament ranked fourth in its class. Despite its history of bringing home a state title in each of the last six years, the team was projected to finish behind Neosho, Kearney and Ozark. Neosho, predicted to take first, took second to the Northmen in the 2009 state tournament and returned this year after losing not a single wrestler from last year’s team. After placing third in the Class 3 District 4 tournament, rather than entering the stadium as OP had done in previous years with a state title almost already in its grasp, the Northmen had to become accustomed to a much different label; the “underdogs.” By only sending eight qualifiers, numbers were one of the first noticeable disadvantages the team saw with Kearney sending 10, Neosho sending 13 and Ozark sending 14 wrestlers. “The entire team knew we were going to have to wrestle perfectly to pull this off,” said coach Tim Rupp. On the first day of the tournament, the team saw each wrestler make it through to the second round. This result gave the Northmen a boost of confidence as each team member worked to keep the hope of a seventh state title alive. “It seemed like every other team was starting to choke the first night,” said junior Gage Harrison. “That’s what has happened in the past. A team brings a lot of people out and end up not delivering. This year that just didn’t happen.” According to Rupp, the team knew by the end of the second day that despite their efforts they wouldn’t be finishing in first place.

“Neosho wrestled really well,” Rupp said. “It was just their year.” By the end of the second round Neosho had sent five wrestlers to finals while four of the eight Northmen made it through. “My first thought was ‘Well, we better get second,’” Rupp said. “We were ranked fourth going in and we were not going to settle for third.” At 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20 finals began starting with the 171-pound weight class. After a narrow 5-4 point victory over Staley junior Kaleb Sweet in the third round Oak Park sophomore Hashem Omari wrestled Neosho junior Blake Stauffer for the title. In a hard fought match, Stauffer defeated Omari to a close 11-4 finish. Oak Park didn’t see the finals mats again until three weight classes later when freshman Bradley Perkins Junior Cody Brewer salutes the Oak Park student section after defeating exited the tunnel wrestling senior Cody Orr of Fort Zumwalt North at the MSHSAA wrestling state for the 103-pound weight championship on Saturday, Feb. 20. This match sealed Brewer his third class title. Perkins wrestled consecutive state title, a feat matching that of his brother Dustin Brewer, freshman Nate Rodriguez of an Oak Park alumnus. photo by Alex Mallin, sports editor Neosho and brought about the Northmen’s first individ- throughout high school.” in the top 6. By the end of The fourth and last the tournament Neosho as a ual title in a 5-2 victory. Perkins entered the tournament wrestler from Oak Park to team held 192 points while ranked first in the state and compete in the finals was the Northmen finished secwith his final match ended a Harrison. Harrison, not a ond with 130.5. Kearney perfect season of 44 victories stranger to the state tourna- finished third with 117 and ment, returned to Columbia Ozark fourth with 113. and zero losses. “There was an empty The next OP wrestler to for the third time searching take to the black finals mat for his first state title. With feeling going home with a entered as the team’s only a 37-8 win-loss record for second-place trophy,” Harreturning state champion. his 2010 season behind him, rison said. “You always look Junior Cody Brewer began Harrison defeated opponent back and feel like there was Jared Brock so many things you could preparaof Neosho have changed. To have this tion for in a match six-year tradition behind the 2010 r e m i n i s - you and to have to be the season the cent of his class that ends that streak week after district-title was pretty tough.” the 2009 face-off with Though the team’s hardstate tourthe same op- fought weekend resulted in nament ponent. the end of its six consecutive where he “I was state championship streak, gained his fairly con- Rupp felt anything but dissecond fident be- appointment in the Northconsecucause I al- men. tive state wrestling head coach ready knew “I sat them down and title. In a Timothy Rupp how to wres- said ‘Guys, I am more proud 21-3 victotle the kid,” of you than any group I have ry against H a r r i s o n ever coached,’” Rupp said. s e n i o r said. “The “We did everything we could Cody Orr first period possibly do and nobody of Fort Zumwalt North, Brewer re- he almost got a take down thought we could even take ceived his third consecutive because he wrestled more second, except us of course.” As a team captain, Harstate title in an effort to be aggressively than I had ever the fifth athlete in Oak Park seen him. I decided that it rison said he has pride in his history to be a four-time was time to knuckle up and team’s performance. win.” “We had a young team. state champion. Despite Oak Park’s suc- Going in we were really con“Before I went out a couple of the guys on the cess in individual’s perfor- fident in our abilities but we team were in the tunnel just mances, by the end of Sat- went in like every other year joking around. It helps to urday fewer Northmen were not only counting on ourtry and not take it too seri- seen on the awards podium selves but banking on the ously,” Brewer said. “I tied than Neosho’s Wildcats. other teams choking,” Harmy brother with three state Nine Neosho wrestlers fin- rison said. According to Rupp, the titles. It felt great because ished in the top six of their its one of those memories weight classes while only six school should express the that will always stay with you Oak Park wrestlers finished same amount of apprecia-

“The entire team knew we were going to have to wrestle perfectly to pull this off,”

Carnegie provides motivation for track by Kim Shields writer The track team started its season with the appearance of a new coach, Andre Carnegie. A new coach meant new ways to do things, including pre season conditioning. With a stricter regimen and a “don’t quit” attitude, Carnegie brings

the track team into a new year. “[I am] really happy with him, he definitely doesn’t mess around,” said senior Lucas Favreau. Pre-season conditioning started in January for members of the track team who wanted to get ready for their upcoming season. Carnegie had the team running after school and moving the entire time, a mess up meant a redo,


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and he made it a “once it’s done you can go” type of practice for the athletes. “I think the first week of conditioning I felt like a walking corpse,” said senior Kara Johnson. The athletes who did not participate in conditioning started their season with the rest of the team on Monday, March 1.

Junior Gage Harrison holds his opponent’s position during the championship finals match on Saturday, Feb. 20 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. His victory in this match marked his first state title. “There was so much going through my mind after winning,” Harrison said. “I’ve wrestled for 11 years and this was my first year even making it to finals.” photo by Alex Mallin, sports editor

Freshman Brad Perkins clings to his opponent freshman Nate Rodriguez of Neosho in his championship finals match on Feb. 20 at Mizzou Arena. Perkins ended his year as the only Northmen with a perfect record of 44-0. photo by Alex Mallin, sports editor

tion for the Northmen than any previous year in which they returned with a first place title. “We were supposed to get fourth,” Rupp said. “We should be so proud of what they did. I believe this group of young men wins with humility and loses with dignity. Our philosophy is different than most places. We don’t shy away from pressure, we welcome it.” According to Brewer, the team sees the second’place trophy as a personal challenge for each. While two seniors will be leaving the team, the next year will consist of building for the next state championship. Already the team can be seen practicing three days a week and in the summer they will be found in the weight room at Oak Park in hopes of placing another state championship title in the trophy case by this time next year. “I think the second place finish was good in a sense,” Brewer said. “The Monday after state I started preparing and the team has already started working towards it. Next year we are going back to start another streak.”

Wrestling state by the numbers:

7: The number

of teams in class 3 who sent eight or more wrestlers to the state tournament

48: Total number of opposing teams in Oak Park’s class

1: Number

of returning state champions for OP

8: Number wrestlers OP qualified for state

6: Number

of wrestlers from OP who placed in top 6 of their weight class

4: Number

of matches it takes in order to win a state title

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page lifestyles

Debate proves itself in spring districts by Samantha Colhour writer The month of March proved to be difficult for the Debate members. Districts went on each weekend of the month. “We have done it each weekend this month,” said junior Carly Evans. “We do it on the Fridays and Saturdays of the weekends.” Not only did the members have to work hard to out speak their opponents, they also had to help out the National Forensics League, which does competitive acting, by doing something known as Reader’s Theater. Debate helped out because of the NFL’s lack of boys. “Traditionally, Reader’s Theater is when people sit on stools and tell a story, but we took it one step further and we acted it out,” said senior Christopher Williams. Evans enjoyed the chance to participate in the program.

Talleying up points after the judge’s decisions in the fall home tournament, juniors Carly Evans and Devon Whitton show their dedication to their team, as well as the commitment to they have showed all year. file photo by Lindsey Colner, special to the Log

“It was kind of difficult at first because I had never done anything like it before, but I enjoyed it in the end,” Evans said. Freshman TyQuan Baskin agreed with Evan’s sentiments. “It was pretty cool because we got to interpret the play and add in blocking

while still using the books to read from,” Baskin said. This new program allowed the group to stand out and place three out of eight teams. The group also got to try something else new, costumes. “We wanted something simple because our story was called ‘The History of Man-

“It’s a great cause,” DeRose said. “Students go through cell phones so quickly, why not earn some credit for it?” He offers 7.5 points of extra credit per phone. “It’s funny because I will see a huge influx of phones brought in at the very last minute, right before the semester is over,” DeRose said. Junior Dani Wilkerson was one student to do this. “I brought in seven phones,” Wilkerson said. “I love this opportunity because this class is difficult, and it’s nice to have an op-

portunity to get help in the class.” Psychology teacher Matthew Reynolds gave out extra credit opportunities to his class. “Most of my extra credit is designed to promote critical thinking,” Reynolds said. “I also do things like bathroom passes. I pass out six, and if they still have them at the end of the grading period, they can get credit. These teach responsibility.” While the work proves to be difficult for some, many appreciate the chance being given to them.

kind in less than 30 minutes.’” While they had to focus both on acting and debating, the team also faced the setback of weather. Districts Friday, March 19 went off without a hitch, but with the snow, the continuation of the tournament on Saturday, March 20 was postponed to the next weekend. “Ever since I have been on debate at Oak Park, we haven’t ever been snowed out, especially in the middle of the tournament,” Evans said. The team faced setbacks, but overcame the obstacles and persevere to get one of their own to go onto nationals. Junior Devon Whitton will be attending nationals in mid June to represent Oak Park. “We are really excited for Devon,” Evans said. “It’s a great accomplishment for her.”

Extra credit invigorates by Samantha Colhour copy editor With the end of the year just around the corner, students struggle to keep their grades up. A few teachers around the school offer unique extra credit opportunities for their students to succeed. History teacher Seth DeRose allowed his students to participate in an organization called “Cell Phones for Soldiers.” In this program, students brought in old cell phones to donate to soldiers in the war.

“I really like the extra credit in psychology,” said senior Allison Felton. “It requires creative thinking and a lot of effort. My favorite one has been one where there were random shapes, and we had to make pictures out of them. I got to do whatever I wanted with it, which was really nice.” With these more unique opportunities available, students were able to get credit while either helping out the community or expanding their creativity.


with junior Devon Whitton, national debate qualifier by Samantha Colhour copy editor Q: How long have you been participating in debate? A: “I have been in debate since freshman year, and I have been doing oratory since my sophomore year.” Q: What’s your favorite thing about debate? A: “I love watching everyone else’s oratories. They can teach you life lessons and are often really funny. I don’t think I have seen that many bad ones.” Q: How does it feel to be the only one from Oak Park to go to? A: “It was mildly disappointing to be the only one, but I know they support me. I’m very proud of myself and I love having their support.” Q: What are you going to for? A:“I’m going for oratory. Oratory is a 10-minute persuasive speech that we get to write about. Mine is called ‘Oh my gosh, audience, look at my butt.’ It’s about personal images and how the media persuades the way women feel about themselves.” Q: Where is taking it place at this year? A: “Oratory nationals is actually at Oak Park this year.” Q: What are you doing to prepare for Nationals? A: “I’m really just practicing right now. I’m going to record myself so I can see how I can jazz it up and set it apart from everyone else’s.” Q: When will it be held? A: “It’s going to be in mid June.”

page 7 entertainment TFAC ‘steels’ into the hearts, pockets Diabetes benefit runs tonight by Kayla Smith writer Combining tragic life issues with a splash of comedy, “Steel Magnolias,” an all-female character play by Robert Harling, makes its appearance tonight and Saturday, March 26 and 27, with opening night on Thursday, as the theater department’s annual Theater For A Cause. The play takes place in the beauty parlor and follows the life struggles of six women over the course of three years. Although the story centers around Shelby Eatenton, played by freshman Maddie Marx, and her mother MLynn Eatenton, played by junior Schyler Tate, and Shelby’s medical battles surfacing from her Type I diabetes; it also follows all the women and their life toils, all while showing the strength of friendship in

hard times. “I think it’s really neat how these women come together and how strong women are,” Marx said. The cast list also includes senior Brook Worlledge as Ouiser, sophomore Alex Stompoly as Clairee, Emma Kitelinger as Annelle and junior Devon Whitton as Truvy. The cast and crew for this play started working after the conclusion of the play “A Few Good Men” in early February, and have gone through many struggles. Towards the beginning of rehearsals, they lost and replaced a cast member, and also had a controversy about having one of the female characters played by a boy. “The progress is very good,” Tate said. “We’ve all been getting through it and sticking together.” Since the beginning, all the cast members have been making progress in rehearsals, and have dedicated their time and effort to making the play the best it can be.

Along with them are the understudies for the characters, and all the crew members. Sophomore Shelbi Arndt has been involved in the play from the beginning, as both a crew member and a character understudy. “It’s going really well, and we’ve had a few rough parts,” Arndt said, “but we’re ready and it’s going to be a great show.” One motivation for the cast and crew to make this show successful, is that all the profits made go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, JDRF. “I hope the audience comes in with an open mind and I want them to be open to our interpretations,” Tate said. Since the story mainly revolves around Shelby and her diabetes, the main message of the play obviously comes off as the struggle people have with diabetes. “There are more messages underneath that, like how strong women are and friendship,” Tate said.

Freshman Maddie Marx, who plays Shelby Eatenton, talks to freshman Emma Kitelinger, who plays Annelle, while junior Devon Whitton, who plays Truvy, listens to Annelle’s life story. The play runs 7 p.m. tonight and Saturday in the Little Theater. Cost $6 at the door. photo by Kim Shields, photographer

Refreshing comedy brings giggles, grins REVIEW by Mandy Nichols entertainment editor With his Hollywood film debut, British director Jim Smith dusts off the grime of the typical adult comedy, presenting a more heart-filled feature that delivers laughs all while maintaining a relatively undiluted message and storyline. Lead character Kirk, played by Jay Baruchel from Nick and Norah, worms his way into viewers’ hearts as the dopey, kindly sort of dork many have somewhere inside themselves. He has a wit and charm about him shining through Baruchel’s convincing performance of a mumbling, scrunched-up sort

of skinny “dweeb.” Kirk doesn’t sit in his bedroom blogging about dungeons and dragons all day; this airport security Pittsburgh native simply lacks confidence and swagger. However, by his friends’ somewhat shallow standards, Kirk ranks in as a five on a scale of one to 10 in the dating world. After acquainting the audience with Kirk, Smith summons forth the 10. Molly,played by Alice Eve, an actress new to Hollywood, an event planner and more-thanmildly-attractive blonde with a sweet, well-rounded personality plays the damsel in distress when she forgets her phone in airport security. Kirk takes the role of Prince “not-so-charming” as he chivalrously returns the phone to her at one of her events. Soon after, Kirk

Parade showcases unity by Samantha Colhour copy editor Rain poured down as marching band and Color Guard performed in the Snake Saturday parade on March 13. In previous years, the groups performed two different songs, but this year the group decided on just one song. “We have the biggest and most important concert for us on [Friday,] April 9,” band director Adam Farley said. “We decided we wanted to focus more on preparing for that than the parade.” “This year we just did the fight song,” said junior Melanie Holmgren. “Snake Saturday falls on time that’s not during the normal marching season, so I think we did great for not having practiced since November.” Junior band member Alisha Mahnken agreed with Holmgren. “I wasn’t expecting us to do badly, but I wasn’t expecting us to do great either. I think we pulled it off nicely. It turned out to be pretty good,” Mahnken said. Color Guard members waved their flags alongside the marching band.

“Even though the weather was horrible, we did awesome,” said senior Danielle Colen. “We did mess up a few times, but we were able to keep going and act like everything was okay. It was a piece of cake for us.” While the groups have performed in the parade for many years now, the weather still proved to be an obstacle performers had to overcome. “It was windy and cold, and that stunk because it had been pretty nice that whole week,” said senior Drew Blanton. “We weren’t really expecting it to be that cold in spring. The nice thing about our group is that we are able to embrace whatever is thrown at us.” With the wind and rain thrown at them, the two groups pulled together and made it a performance that they were able to be proud of, winning best musical representation. “I love working with band on this stuff,” Blanton said. “It makes the experience of it all so much better, and twice as much fun. We get to work together to make a great show for everyone to see.”

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and his friends realize, with a fair amount of disbelief, that Kirk actually has a chance with Molly. Once Kirk sees dating Molly as a legitimate possibility, friends tug him toward different paths of action, providing the fruit cocktail of advice that friends often give. Some take the tough-love, “be a man” approach while others reference Disney films with naïve wonder in their voices as they sing “a whole new world.” The film progresses from there, densely packed with situations potentially tugging at audience members’ heartstrings or picking at their scabs of painfully suppressed dating memories. While Kirk’s pack of “bro’s” leave room for the expected vulgar comments, the dainty won’t feel the need to rush out of the theater

to flush out their ears with soap. “Man show” and “chick flick” elements mesh comfortably together with refreshing coherency. Unlike most adult comedies, hysterical lines and pretty faces don’t act as the backbone of the film as it strains to keep a shallow script flowing. A simple, but solid concept acts as a base for the plot with the situational humor piled on. Despite the over-abundance of this in some sections, the message stays the course, remaining present even as soda might squirt out of random audience members’ noses. Though nothing completely new or edgy takes place, “She’s Out of My League” remains an enjoyable, well-done show with a refreshing concept and admirable performances.


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Issue 8  

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