The Northmen's Log, Vol. 57, Issue 3, winter 2022

Page 1

for New Principal, check out pages 4//5


for Student Tattoos, read pages 12//13


for State Competitions check out pages 14//15

The Northmen’s Log Vol. 57, Issue 3 // March 2022 // Kansas City, MO

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Letter from the Editor Hey Oak Park, I’m Kayleonah Trumble, the Editor-in-Chief of “The Northmens Log” newsmagazine. I am excited to bring you issue 3. The last few weeks have been full of crazy Missouri weather, but that didn’t stop life at Oak Park.


This issue brings you rule changes, the way lunches are picked. This issue also brings in the new things in our library, and talks about concerts and students tattoos. It is also competition season and with so many sports and clubs there is a lot

of competitions happening. The issue also features next school year’s new principal. This issue is full of information and fun; I hope you enjoy it! If you have any questions feel free to stop by E134.

Kayleonah Trumble, Editor-In-Chief Luka Ashton, Northmen News Editor-In-Chief Haydenn Gallagher, social media editor Benjamin Dunaway, staffer Katie Klepper, staffer Amelia McCoy, staffer Veronica Mourwel, staffer Brynlee Tucker, staffer Tatem Petet, staffer Christina Geabhart, adviser

Publication Information:

“The Northmen’s Log” will publish four times during the school year. “Log” staff strongly supports the First Amendment and opposes censorship. Freedom of expression and press are fundamental values in a democratic society. Therefore, “Log” encourages readers to participate in the discussion by submitting Letters to the Editor in Room E134 or by email to christina. Letters cannot exceed 350 words and must be signed. “Log” will not run letters that are libelous, obscene, or that may cause a verifiable disruption to the education process at Oak Park. Advertisers may contact the adviser at christina.geabhart@nkcschools. org for more information. Subscriptions are available at $20 for a mailed copy, $10 for an emailed

PDF version, and $25 for both. Opinions expressed in “Log” do not reflect student, staff, or district endorsements of that opinion, product or service. “Log” is a member of MIPA-MJEA, NSPA, and Quill and Scroll. “Log” is affiliated with MJEA, and JEMKC.

On the Cover: Assistant principal Molly Smith laughs in the main hallway with assistant to the principal Stephanie Bouchard on Wednesday, Feb. 23. Smith wil be Oak Park’s first female principal starting in the 2022-2023 school year.“I spent my entire career in education in North Kansas City and I bounced around. Now, this is my third high school. So I think when I got here, I finally found where I fit. I love it.” Photo by Brynlee Tucker

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents 4//5: Switching Up the Principal



Assistant principal Molly Smith was named the next principal.

6//7: Reinstated and Reinforced

Students have lots of opinions about recent rules resurfacing.

8//9: Limits Levied on Lunches

The lunch food quality and options have differed every day based on what food can be supplied.


10: More than Books Wait in the Library

Our library has something for everyone; books, a quiet place to study, arts & crafts, games, and so much more.

11: Back on Beat

Concerts are getting back to normal and a staffer talks about how he loves the crowd.

12//13: Tatted Up Teens

Students discuss the what, when, and why of their tattoos .


Northmen Compete in High Level Competitions Different sports and activities went to competitions aiming for State and National awards.

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Switching Up the Principal A

by Editor-in-Chief Kayleonah Trumble

pproachable. Familiar. Good sense of humor. Respected. Students described the new face of Oak Park as one they already recognize as one of the Northmen family. Students with last names at the beginning and end of the alphabet know her well. Students who need assistance with schedules may know her. Soon all of Oak Park will know their new principal. On Tuesday, Feb. 15, the North Kansas City School school board approved assistant principal Molly Smith as the next principal at Oak Park High School. “I think familiarity is always a good thing, people are often uncomfortable with change so when that change is familiar I think that goes a long way,” said Valadez. Smith has known she wanted to be a principal since she was in high school; and now she will be the first female principal for Oak Park. Smith earned her undergrad from William Jewell in math education; then started immediately working in the North Kansas City School District. She is currently working on her doctorate degree and plans to have it completed before the next school year starts. “I knew when I was in high school that I wanted to be a principal. My dad’s a teacher and was on the school board when I was in high school; so my principal called my house a lot which was really fun,” Smith said. She said she loved her high school principal and wished to take his job one day. After eight years as a math teacher and a teaching and learning coach working with teachers, she became an OP assistant principal seven years ago and became one step closer to achieving her dreams. Smith not only likes to push her students to reach their dreams, but she also makes sure to focus on helping teachers be more engaging as well. “I very much believe in risk taking and empowering people to take risks,” said Smith. When being a leader in a school setting, it

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is not only important to be able to get along and help students; it is important to work effectively with colleagues and build trust in a leadership team. “Mrs. Smith and I were both assistant principals together and had offices next to each other,” said activities director Chad Valadez. “Any time that you have somebody from within if they are solid to begin with that just strengthens our team.” Many juniors and seniors were already familiar with Smith since they experienced her being an assistant principal before COVID-19. This year’s freshman and sophomores have also become more familiar with her, which will help next year when she takes her place as principal. “She’s a really kind and considerate person,” senior Izzy Christus said. “And she never lets you feel like you’re not worth something.”

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Assistant principals Chad Valadez and Molly Smith converse in the activity office on Monday, Feb 21. Oak Park welcomes Smith as its first female principal. “I think one of the things that we’re gonna see that is really a strength is her ability to still be connected to teaching and what that looks like,” said Valadez. Smith has been an assistant principal at OP for seven years. Photo by Brynlee Tucker

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Reinstated and Reinforced New and returning rules have been voted and introduced to the students by staffer Haydenn Gallagher


imitations on lunch locations led students’ conversations at the start of February, along with a few other rules returning to full strength as the building “returns to normal” after a year and a half. Several school rules were adjusted during hybrid learning, but with a full student body, they were revisited. “I think students need clarity. I think if anything, if students know what they’re supposed to do, where they’re supposed to be, and why they’re supposed to be there things go a lot smoother,” said assistant principal Mike Dial, Ed.D.


Lunch has always been a favorite time of the day for the students. It was the time where they were able to sit and chat with their friends who they haven’t seen all day, chill out in the library, or have some fun in one of the courtyards. Recently, the tables in the halls have been shut down and students cram into the cafe. Some people love being in the cafe while other students detest it. “There’s plenty of room to hang out and chill and talk,” said senior Thomas Dyer. Others disagreed. “There’s not any room now. You know how they said no one’s allowed to eat in the hallway and you can only eat in the library if you have a pass? So, like, if I’m even a couple minutes late, I’ll look around and there’s no spots, it’s really frustrating,” said senior Mia Mungai. To get a pass students must go to the library and request them from

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Juniors Aidan Anderson, Grayson Wright, Anmy Gorrita and Andrew Pierce eat their lunch in the cafe on Tuesday, Feb. 15. “You’ll be sitting with like five different people you don’t even know and you will make eye contact with them and it’s even more awkward,” said junior Rebecca England. Photo by Ben Dunaway

one of the librarians. If a student has NCC or MCC in the morning and would like to eat in the library, they can email the librarians, since they are not on campus to request a pass. “It’s [the library] more spacious,” said senior Lamis Habila. “I don’t have to really worry about being crowded and being around a lot of people and because it’s not as loud, I don’t have to focus on projecting my voice when I’m talking to my friends. So it’s like I said earlier, a calming environment.” According to assistant principal Molly Smith, the purpose of shutting down the halls was to help regulate the safety protocols and make sure staff knew where students would be if they were to be called out of school

during lunch. “It’s a security thing. We, you know, part of it is kids were taking advantage of the openness that we had for lunch, and with the new addition to the building we had kids going back into all sorts of nooks and crannies of the building,” said Smith. “It was a safety thing for us. We just kinda had to rein that in and get it back under control.” While there is currently a temporary, fixed seating arrangement, the goal is to eventually go back to the more open seating plan. “The hope is to eventually release a little bit more,” said Smith. “I mean, we got those nice tables out in the hallways now to allow kids to kind of have some choice in different lunch

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environments, but we have to be able to contain it too. We can’t just have people all over all the time.”


For some students, attendance can be a roller coaster - there may be times when there is a doctor’s or dentist appointment, a car might break down, it may be too cold to wait for the bus, or sometimes life just happens. “Attendance is different this year than in the past couple of years because of COVID,” said Dial. “In the past couple of years with COVID, we had things like virtual attendance and attendance was tracked differently by the state, just because they knew most people weren’t in school full time. So this year they went back to what it was three years ago with attendance where students are expected to be in schools 90% of the time or better.” As for the tardy and truancy policies, consequences come in sets of five. After five tardies, a student meets with a member of admin to figure out a plan on why the tardies happened and what could be done to avoid those tardies. If a student reaches 10 tardies, they will get a lunch detention as well as a meeting, when someone reaches 15 tardies they get multiple lunch detentions, escorts to and from class, the restroom, and more. If someone were to reach 20 tardies, privileges would be taken away, such as being able to attend after school events. Students are able to re-earn privileges. “We’re getting close to where we’ve been in school for about six weeks so, we’re getting ready to roll over so students who have had consequences or things taken away when we get to six weeks can roll over,” said Dial.

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Academic Resource, AR, has been a block for years. The main purpose is to help kids catch up on any school work and to have time to get help from teachers if needed. “In theory, if a student’s using advisory time wisely, they should have very little homework and they should be able to go get help from any teacher they need to get help from,” said Dial. In the previous semester, there were three different bell schedules. There was the Monday, Tuesday, Friday schedule where students were able to travel, Wednesday schedule, and Thursday schedule. Wednesday there was an extended AR, while Thursday, students didn’t have it at all due to late start. This semester, the Site Council decided the school no longer needed extended AR time since students would finish the assigned activities from the counselors, the district, or building administration in plenty of time and felt the extra time left over could be put to better use in classes and eliminate an extra bell schedule.


Empty tables wait in the main hallway by the library. “I clean up after myself. I do this, that, and the other,” said senior Elaina Burke about the lunch messes left in the hall. photo by Ben Dunaway


It’s time to buckle down and stay in class. Hall passes are limited to one student per one pass, plus no students in the hall for the first and last 15 minutes of class. “When teachers are giving instruction in those initial parts of the day, that we just don’t have a big flood of people out in the hallway,” said principal Chris McCann, Ed.D. “It’s just like a little bit of a protected time to focus on instruction.” All of these rules are to make sure students are staying safe and that they are accounted for at all times while in the building. “We want to make sure we know where everybody is. I think it’s about trying to make a nice calm flow to the school,” said McCann.

Upstairs hallway during third block: “I feel like you should have more freedom,” said freshman Katherine Slattery. photo by Ben Dunaway

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Limits Levied on Lunches School lunches have changed, find out why

by staffer Brynlee Tucker


unch is one of the only times high school students have that allows them to freely socialize with their friends and eat. School lunches in the last year have changed, and it’s not going unnoticed. “They’re very limited, most of the main meals have meat and/or fat in them, and the fruits aren’t usually of good quality, like the oranges,” said junior Drew Roush. Many students noticed some changes to the lunch menu and the quality of the food over the past year, and there’s a reason behind it. “So we actually got dropped by our main vendors in the beginning of the year this year,” said Jenna Knuth, the director of Food & Nutrition Services for North Kansas City Schools. “So we’re having a lot of shorts where like, we order 70 cases of something and they will send us like 40, so we can fill some of our school’s orders and then some of our schools have to have a substitution. And then we’re having a lot of outs where we order 70 of something and they send us zero, so we have to do a substitution across the board at all the different schools.” The food options aren’t the only concern students have, the amount of food they’re being served is also an issue.

“The school offers the same portions as they offer kindergarteners,” said freshmen Isabella Parrett. “Also, the “Meal Break” option, which is just a bunch of snacks put into a lunch option, really irks me because replacing a meal with snacks is not healthy, and the school shouldn’t encourage it.” While students feel that way, the district’s portion sizes follow the guidelines of the USDA, DESE (Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education), and the Health Department. “So the elementary students, they sometimes get a little bit smaller portions like Bosco sticks, they’ll get one when you guys get two and things like that,” said Knuth. “But a lot of the guidelines require us to serve at middle school and high school a two-meat and two-grain portion for entrees, and so that’s pretty, pretty common across the board at middle school and high school.” Allergies are a large concern for those who suffer from them. Allergies vary from person to person, some just give people a stomach ache while others allergies can be life-threatening. Our school tracks these allergies and ensure’s the safety of all students. “You might have somebody who is allergic to fluid milk that can have cheese and dairy and everything else. So in that instance, we would put an alert on that student’s account. The parent would tell the nurse and the nurse would tell us and so we put an alert on the student’s account ‘no fluid milk,’” said Knuth. For some students, they can’t just avoid their allergies, they have to have a whole new menu put in place for them. “They would require a special menu and so the nurse and the dietitian work with the parent, we actually have to have a medical form on file from the doctor regarding that student’s allergies and then we provide them substitution foods,” said Knuth. The food served at Oak Park is completely decided by

A group of friends sits together eating lunch. Photo by Ben Dunaway

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Feature//Mourwel the students. The more you buy one particular food item, the more likely it is that the food item continues to be served. “We look at participation numbers, so whatever sells the best we try to put on the menu the most, And things that don’t sell well, we try to take off the menu, and we call that popularity, item popularity. So we’re always trying to give you guys what you like the most and mix it with being healthy as well.” With the COVID-19 restrictions on lunches being loosened, Oak Park welcomed back items like the salad bar, allowing students to select their own food without it being in a box. But this comes with pros and cons, a con being the amount of traffic around some of the food items. “The largest problem with my school is it’s an actual moshpit and I’m unable to get the changing dish of the day without knocking into other people,” said sophomore Cruz Lewis. “I don’t want to get trampled like I’m at a death metal concert. I don’t want to get a black eye trying to get a dumb sandwich. There’s no way to not have a bad experience in that lunch line unless I literally run to the cafeteria once I’m released.” At the beginning of the year, lunch lasted 23 minutes, giving students some extra time to get through the lunch line but now with the addition of the fifth lunch block, lunch is now only 20 minutes long which gives students an even more limited amount of time to eat, and they still have to get through the lunch line, every second is vital. Every con comes with a pro, now younger students can choose more and warmer options than the COVID-19 protocols brought. “I noticed that the salad bar came back, and that was great,” said sophomore Tina Tran. “While the food itself seems fine considering this is my first year actually getting a real hot lunch due to it being closed from COVID.”


graphic by Brynlee Tucker People started eating in the classrooms and the library due to the lunchroom being packed. Lori Dameron, Ed.D., opened her classroom to students for them. Photo by Ben Dunaway

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Senior Cecyana Nsaho uses the craft station in the library on Friday, Feb. 25. Our library is full of interactive activities that allow students to have a hands-on experience. “Community outreach, collaboration, library programming, you know, like [the] stuff we do here in like book clubs and March Madness,” said librarian Angela Van Batavia. Photo by Brynlee Tucker

Students grow a hydroponic garden in the Library. “Our kids will go to reading literacy nights of schools in ... our feeder system,” said librarian Angela Van Batavia. Come visit the garden in the library’s Makerspace today. Photo by Brynlee Tucker

Staff Editorial//

More than books wait in the library M ost high school libraries are purely places to read books; however, the school’s library offers a large collection of innovative options for students. We, The Northmen’s Log magazine staff, believe students should take even more advantage of the plethora of activities our library offers. We strongly encourage you to go to the library and explore the many activities it offers. While they do have a great selection of traditional books as well as e-books and audiobooks, they also have a variety of activities for you to enjoy no matter what your interest is. The most recent addition to the library is the hydroponic garden, which is a small garden planted in a container of water with a UV light. The garden is maintained by librarian Angela Van Batavia and a group of four students; freshman Katie Slattery, and juniors Sydney and Rachel Prate, and Gracie Beutler. Sophomore Lillian Tice also helped start the garden.

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Crafters will find all kinds of activities and materials in the Makerspace. Aspiring filmmakers or photographers can take advantage of the green screen and DSLR cameras. Board game junkies can destroy their friends in various games from Risk to Uno. Possibly the most advanced addition would be the 3D printer. If you want to use the 3D printer, talk to Van Batavia about signing up for the next workshop. If you want to craft on a smaller scale, you can use the custom button maker. If you have trouble focusing and staying still, you can use the library’s stationary bikes to exercise while getting your work done. Beyond objects, the library also offers many experiences such as job interview workshops, various book clubs, and breakout boxes. The librarians always have an updated list of activities available on the Northmen LMC Canvas page. Every year in March, the librarians host March Mammal Madness, which

is an event where students select animals to be ranked using a bracket system. If you’d like to join, brackets are due before spring break starts. Once the bracket is set up, real-world biologists will weigh in on how each match up of animals would turn out in real life; animals will be slowly eliminated from the bracket until there is one winner. The Log is not the only one to recognize the excellence of the library. In February 2021, the library won Outstanding Library Program of the Year, awarded by Missouri Association of School Libraries. They earned this award because of their creative ways of promoting literacy and innovative technology offered in the library. We, the Log staff, believe there’s a superior library and media space in our building and more students should use these learning opportunities to share a good time with a friend, take a mental break with a game, or pursue their passion.

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Back on Beat by NorthmenNews editor-in-chief Luka Ashton

through the entire tracklist of their newest album, while me and my sister stood screaming every word. Now, anyone who has met me would typically be shocked by my concert galivants. I’m a very keepto-myself person, I only talk to my handful of friends. I avoid the hallways at peak times. I hide in my favorite teacher’s room any chance she allows me to avoid classrooms of people I don’t know. I’m not a people person. But, dear reader, if you can relate to any of what I just said, I need to let you know how freeing the experience of a concert crowd can be. I’ve never experienced such glee as being playfully pushed through the crowd as Wage War rocked on stage and the entire crowd moved as one to show the band how much we, the collective, loved what they were doing. I’ve never felt so light as when I was carried on top of a crowd full of passionate fans and caught by the tired security guard at the barrier to the end my journey. I’ve never felt so connected to strangers as when we

linked arms and sang our hearts out together as All Time Low played an acoustic version of “Missing You.” The energy of a concert crowd is such a unique experience, that I believe everyone should have at least once. I encourage you all to find a local show happening, grab a friend and go have fun. We are coming to the end of nearly three miserable years of health crisis after health crisis, and I don’t know of a better way to celebrate than to band together and simply rock out.

Cody Carson, the lead singer of rock band Set It Off, starts the show off with a boom singing their new single “Skeleton” on Tuesday, Feb. 8. Photo by Luka Ashton

Front man of rock band As It Is, Patty Walters points to the crowd, cueing them to sing along to new tracks on Tuesday, Feb. 8. Photo by Luka Ashton


hatter surrounds me, collective excitement electrifies the air as stage hands move rapidly back and forth doing sound checks and taping setlists to the stage. After a far too long hiatus, live music found its way back to us. Since August 2021, I’ve managed to go to five concerts and each one has reinforced my love for live music more than the last. Throughout my life, I’ve been surrounded by music lovers. My older sisters told me grand stories of meeting their idols on the Warped Tour grounds, of crowd surfing, and energetic mosh pits. Then, finally, at age 12, I was taken to my first standing concert. A concert where no one was divided by their ability to pay for the best seats, but instead stood squished together in the pit and fed off of the hum of the crowd together. I still remember everything about that show, Pierce The Veil for their Misadventures tour. They played

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Tatted Up Teens

by NorthmenNews editor-in-chief Luka Ashton


very new generation of teenagers has found new and unique ways to express their growing individuality and independence, and now walking the halls the past few years you can see more and more teens with an age-old tradition: fresh ink on their skin. “I have nine tattoos,” said senior Donovan Falder. “My first tattoo was a UFO. I got it when I was 14 in the eighth grade. I have lots of plans, I plan to be covered in tattoos. I really love butterflies because they remind me of my family, so I plan on creating a space- and butterfly-themed leg sleeve.” Tattoos can represent a number of things from a dedication to a loved one to simply enjoying the subject matter. For senior Tom Dyer, his first tattoo represents his accomplishment of graduating high school. “It’s a Polynesian primal shark. Until I was about eight years old, I lived in Florida. I’ve swam with sharks, I’m a big shark kind of guy. So, it’s a very memorable thing,” said Dyer. “It’s something I get as a completion towards a goal I have, like graduating high school will be this one. Then, [after] graduating boot camp, I’ll get the second one.” There are many local shops and artists for anyone planning on getting inked. Falder has had a close connection to tattooing for many years, stemming from his artist. “My artist is my mom. She has been tattooing for over 20 years now. Kelly Dawn at Illustrated Man,” said Falder, who also works within the shop as a piercer. One thing those sporting tattoos can all agree on, it seems, is the pain. “It hurts. Don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t hurt. It just depends on your pain tolerance,” said senior Deyton Brown. “The first three days, it itched so bad but I just didn’t care because it was one of those things that I just kept staring at it. Like, I would just rotate my arm around and just look at all of them for three straight days.” Outside of being the person to wear the art, there is also the art and design aspect of tattooing. This year freshmen in the DIT pathway took a look at that through a project paired with teachers looking to get new ink. “I have a ton of tattoos, and I thought that would be a great way to hone in on the kids skills, practice some drawing skills, and then also look at technology as well. Learning how to apply real world, clientele relationships and conversations,” said art teacher Tuwana Williams. The project was built so students could work on draw-

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Senior Donovan Falder got his first tattoo in the eighth grade, a UFO with script reading “Stay Weird.” Photos courtesy of Donovan Falder

ing off of someone else’s design, listening to a client rather than their own full creative liberty. “Every table had a different design plan, and so they had to interpret it in their own separate ways. So, even though it was a table dealing with one client, they were all responsible for coming up with their own individual ideas,” said Williams. For now, the project has been put on pause. Future DIT students can look forward to similar projects as well. “It’s supposed to go further, we were waiting on equipment,” said Williams. “So what we did was we start with a drawing, and they learn about their skills with drawing, shading, blending, and then we refine those and it moves into digital. After digital, we were going to create a whole tattoo magazine.”

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Senior Deyton Brown got his first tattoo shortly after his 18th birthday. The four butterflies placed around his forearm was priced at $150 at The Bulletbroof Tiger Social Club. Photos by Luka Ashton

Senior Thomas Dyer shows off his fresh ink in early stage healing. Photos courtesy of Thomas Dyer

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Northmen Compete in High Level Competitions by staffer Veronica Mourwel


ak Park’s winter sports are coming to a close and teams worked towards State and National competitions. This doesn’t only apply for sports, a lot of different activities headed into competitions as well.

Dance The Pommies have worked on its routine for State and Nationals since July 2021. They prepared by learning their routine from a choreographer and cleaning it by making it precise and detailed. They had their Kansas City Classic competition at Liberty High School on Jan. 22. At this competition, they placed first in the Mix dance category and third place in the Pom style dance category. Then they had a State competition in St. Charles, Mo.,

Girls Swim The swim team started its season with the end goal of going to State. For the past three years, the girls swim team has been able to qualify for State. To make it to the State competition, they had to place top 32 in the state. At the last chance meet at Gladstone Community Center, the 200-meter medley and 200-meter freestyle relay teams both placed at 32. At State, both relay teams placed 29th. At the last chance meet, freshman Kimberly Greene swam the 500 freestyle race and placed 15th. At State, Greene placed 14th. The swimmers prepared physically and mentally by bettering their time

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on Feb. 25, then a National competition in Orlando, Fla., this week. Senior Elaina Burke placed fifth at the KC Classic competition. She said she gets nervous before performances but because she’s been doing competitive dance since she was 5, she can just get through it. Head dance coach Megan Pabon said they could always improve on their technique and stamina. Pabon also said she doesn’t think the team is worried and that even though it can be nerve-wracking, they have the capacity to show off good technique and skills. “I think that we have a really motivated team this year who want to do well,” Pabon said. Burke said that before performances when her teammates are nervous she tells them to leave it all on the dance floor and to act like it’s the last time they’ll dance.

in their particular race and keeping State as the goal when they practiced. Greene prepared by working on pacing, getting her time down, and visualization practices to help focus on how the races will go. Assistant coach Adam Hall said the team could always use more girls on the team for next year. Hall also said the team is excited for State and that they worked really hard all season. “They’re excited, ready to show up, swim their hearts out, and end the season on a high note,” Hall said. Greene said before relays, it’s nerve-wracking to make sure to get a good time.

Competition Pommies team placed seventh in Pom at State competition in St. Charles, Mo. Front row: seniors Samantha Cain, Elaina Burke, Nevaeh Krull, Caitlynn Morrow and Allison Stehle. Second row: Juniors Rylee Grossman, Jillian Ray andGabriella Fields, sophomore Mia Lopez, juniors Gabby Hill, Eliza Sprouse and Morgan Jastrzembski. Photo courtesy of coach Megan Pabon

Girls swim team at State: junior Alexis Platz, freshman Kimberly Greene, junior Anna Wright and sophomore Kylee Gray. Photo courtesy of assistant coach Adam Hall

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Sports//Mourwel Cheer On Nov. 13, Oak Park’s cheer squad went to regionals at Staley High School, and on Jan. 22-23, they went to Nationals in Dallas, Texas. They prepared by going to camps to improve their skills, and at practice; they built their routines. At regionals they placed a first with a score of 93.45 and at Nationals they placed second with a scored 91.30. Head cheer coach Kelsey Mayabb said this is where they learned their biggest lesson that successful or not they learn a lot through the process of preparing for competition season. “They just did a phenomenal job coming together and working to get

Wrestling The wrestling team prepared for district and State competitions since the beginning of the season. They normally practice every day after school for two hours, but the week of districts they cut back practice by 30 minutes so the wrestlers didn’t feel sore for the district tournament. The top four from districts moved on to State. Assistant wrestling coach Daltan Sweet said because this district is the hardest district in the state, they get nervous and excited for a new challenge at the same time. Junior Karl Knaack said he and his teammates get nervous, but most

the job done,” Mayabb said She also said that skill-wise this year’s cheer squad is the most talented. Mayabb said they’re under a lot of pressure and in a high-stress situation and that the cheer team needs to improve their mental stamina and their confidence. Sophomore Ariana Maldanado said that before cheer competitions she and her teammates get nervous but after she has an exciting feeling. Maldanado also said she prepares at home by getting herself ready for the crowd and lights. She also said she would like to improve her tumbling skills.

times they can handle it. Sweet also said he wants the wrestlers to improve their accountability and take responsibility for their bodies and what they’re doing on the mat. “Really the preparing for districts is kind of an all-year thing. Everything kind of builds up to it every weekend,” Sweet said. The wrestlers did just that and were able to go to the State competition because of it. Knaack prepares at home by sleeping well and eating the right things. Knaack said he wants to improve on getting his mental blocks out of the way.

The Prostart team, including junior Aidan Anderson, prepare for its State competition since November. They’ve been preparing by creating a menu and making it once a week since December. The competition was on Feb.18; and they placed third with a score of 84/100. Prostart culinary instructor Sarah Lorenson said it was an intense competition and the teammates were nervous at first, but how they placed gave them confidence. “It just gives them the opportunity that a lot of kids don’t get to do,” Lorenson said. Photo courtesy of Lorenson dd2 competition.indd 3


Varsity cheer team at Nationals in Dallas, TX. Photo courtesy of coach Kelsey Mayabb

Boys wrestling team. At State, State champion senior Paul Hernandez won the 182-pound division. photo courtesy of assistant coach Daltan Sweet

The members of the speech and debate team go to 10 different tournaments a year starting in October. Since the beginning of the year, they’ve prepared to host a tournament. The tournament was at Oak Park High School on Friday, Jan. 18 and 19. Assistant coach Devon O’Connor, freshman Truman Camarda, junior Aiden Kendrick and senior Draven Hicks wait at the judges table. They prepared by emailing other debate teams to recruit, making ballots, buying trophies and food for judges and coaches, and creating a concession stand. “The team did an amazing job of just doing what they’re supposed to do,” head speech and debate coach Shane Sandau said. Photo courtesy of Sandau 2/28/22 7:00 PM

COMMUNICATIONS! MEDIA! JOURNALISM! Discover your passion for storytelling in a Journalism class. All Pathways may take Journalism courses. Something for everyone. Something for you.


writing, design, social



media, alternative

video storytelling, podcasts,

photography, design,

storytelling graphics

camera and television studio

social media

REASONS TO TAKE JOURNALISM: Travel. Compete at regionals, state or nationals. Letter. Earn scholarships. All Pathways and career fields need strong communicators in a modern world. Join a publication staff - Axe, Cambia, Log, N2 Sports or NorthmenNews. Produce Oak Park news, sports or other stories for students by students. Make friends. Have a great time learning. Contribute to a team.

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2/28/22 5:34 PM