Northridge High School • 2901 Northridge Road • Tuscaloosa, Al• 35406
March 20, 2013 • Volume 10 • Issue 6
Freshmen Academy in effect next year Raiha Bajwa Managing Editor The school board has made plans to introduce a new program Freshmen Academy for incoming freshman next year. The program is meant to help freshman make an easy transition from middle school to high school. The idea of the program is to set aside a certain part of the school building just for freshman where most freshman classes will be in the same area. Isaac Espy, principal, said the change is one of the results of the instructional audit held in October. “This action was taken as part of a school restructuring effort,” he said. The program is designed to give freshman undivided attention from a group of teachers and administrators, aiding them in their success at high school. “We would start by scheduling most 9th grade classes as closely together as possible,” Espy said. “This helps teachers communicate more effectively about student progress.” “It will give them a physical part of the school they can call their own,” he said. “This may eliminate some of the distractions.” Espy said he plans to visit students in the eighth grade in the spring and discuss it with them. “Teachers have come up to me and asked to be a part of this program,” he said. “I am very optimistic and enthusiastic about the potential for significant student gains academically,” Espy said.
Kelly Brown, guidance counselor, said a smooth transition from middle school to high school sets the path for the rest of the students’ path through high school. “The freshman year of high school is most crucial,” she said. “Students who don’t do well their ninth grade year are more likely to dropout in later years.” Shane Ashcraft, English teacher, said he thinks the idea of giving ninth graders a better way to transition is a good idea. “I don’t think it’s babying them,” he said. “I think the transition is tough, and you go from a much more structured environment to high school, and you need some help on the way.” Ashcraft compared the program with how freshman are treated in college. “They do this in college too with freshman orientation, required freshman classes, and freshman housing on campus,” he said. “It’s to help you transition to the new setting; it’s needed.” Alex Smith, senior, said she does not see how the program might be helpful. “It just fosters learned helplessness,” she said. “If we keep delaying when kids have to be social and deal with others then there’s going to be a point where they can’t be a normal part of society.”
In the news
Counselors meet with students to plan schedules Che’Quita Burrell Artist
F reshman Academy? Would you like a
163 students polled compiled by: Jakailah Cooper
A new advising process was implemented in March to help students register for classes. Each student will have a 15 minute advising session with one of the counselors to discuss scheduling options. Jackie Hudgins said the counselors are reviewing each student’s grades, test scores and career interests to help them choose what classes to take. Elizabeth Tiley began advising students for next year on March 8. “I think it’s going pretty well,” Tiley said. “I’ve been able to get to know students better and be more intentional as far as recommending classes.” Each student will plan out all the classes they will take in high school, but this plan can be changed later if needed. Junior BoPing Kang said she preferred the old advising process where teachers signed off on your classes. “I like the old way because I could talk to my parents about it,” Kang said. “It’s my schedule, not the counselor’s.”
Teachers assist seniors in meeting online requirements Alex Hauser Editor-in-Chief
“They pushed BTA in ninth grade, and it ended up hurting us in the long run,” he said. “I wish we were informed eniors who took BTA their freshman year were earlier, so I could have taken it during sophomore or junior informed on Feb. 11 that they must complete year.” When the school was first informed about the missing 20 hours of online experience to graduate. credit, HOSA did not count as that online experience. In 2008, the Alabama Department of EducaHOSA students like Abby Hayes, senior, who had class at tion notified all of the school disTCT during advisory, planned to tricts in Alabama that students who take their class during their lunch wished to receive the Alabama High period. School Diploma with Advanced AcSally Latham, HOSA teacher, ademic Endorsement had to comI’m just wasting my time completing said when she became aware that plete an “online experience.” her students had to take another a packet that’s not for a grade when “Each high school principal and class, she looked into the requirecounselor was informed of the reI could be working on another class. ments to try to help them. quirement at that time,” Jenks, Coor“I read the experience requiredinator of Instructional Technology, ments. I felt we were meeting DeAnothony Mays, senior said. “Students must have the online them through the Edmodo asexperience. [They] could have the signments I’d have them doing necessary online experience in any from the beginning of school,” she said. course meeting the requirements.” Hayes said she was grateful for Latham. DeAnthony Mays, senior, said it was unfair to give se“I’m really happy she took the time to get it approved. niors more requirements to fill during the second half of We really do spend a lot of class time online, so I think their senior year.
Coffee Club Page 6
Honk! Page 3
it’s fair. Latham had Jenks review her assignments and assess whether they met the online experience criteria. “He determined we met the criteria enough to award them the online exemption,” she said. HOSA student Elise Tucker, senior, said she was glad Latham requested HOSA to count. “We have online work every week. There’s a whole week set aside of it,” she said. “It’s one less thing that we have to do now. We wouldn’t have had time with it because we work through advisory so we can finish our clinicals in time.” Mays said he thinks they should have planned for students to take it before their last semester in high school. “If they knew before that I had to complete it, I could have taken it the three years before,” he said. “I’m just wasting my time completing a packet that’s not for a grade when I could be working on another class. It just doesn’t seem right.” Jenks said that after reviewing Ria Evans’ AP physics course, students taking it will fulfill their online experience.
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New, New Again
New Student feels welcome at Northridge
Tyler Davis Staff Writer
Most people would really enjoy being the new kid, because for them, it’s a chance to start over and meet new friends, but in my case it’s different. s I move about every three years since my dad is in the military, and it just gets very tiring and dull. The reason it starts to become dull is because every time I move I end up having to learn all the new rules and reintroduce myself. The plus side to moving constantly is the opportunity to visit many new places around the world such as Germany, and all the memories that I can gain from being in so many different places. I have already created some memories here. Da vi
djusting to a new setting is never easy and one of the hardest transitions for a student is moving from middle school to high school. The first year as a freshman can pave the way for the rest of the student’s academic life. In that crucial year some students can end up lost or confused. The introduction of the new Freshmen Academy program is meant to aid with these students’ transition to high school and give them special attention they might need to stay focused and succeed academically. The program would require for most freshman classes to move to one part of the school, where that area would be designated for freshman. The idea is to welcome them and make them feel comfortable in the larger school and with different workload. While the program might be successful in giving freshman the help they may need, it may hinder students’ ability to deal with such changes in the future. Keeping them secluded from the rest of the school and giving them special attention could lead to babying the freshman and keep them from ever learning how to take care of themselves. Programs such as the Northridge Mentors and Jaguar Jumpstart are already opportunities for freshmen to get help from other students to help make their transition easier and get more comfortable at the school. These programs have been successful in the past, but a whole section of the school dedicated primarily to the freshman might be a bit much. The Northridge Reporter understands that incoming freshmen have a lot to get used to and sometimes the change can be hard to deal with, but even then freshman do not need to be treated like children who can’t take care of themselves. At some point in life these children have to grow up, and high school is just when they have to start doing that.
On my second day at school, I went to Dr. Isaac Espy’s office to shadow an interview. After the interview was over, Dr. Espy introduced himself to me and asked me how I liked the school so far and if I had anything from the school yet. I told him I didn’t have anything that said Northridge, so he then offered me a school T-shirt. I was very happy that Dr. Espy offered me a shirt, since I have very few shirts from any of the schools I have attended in my life. Also, after about three weeks of attending school here, I have met many new people, have become more social, and have begun to really enjoy the school. I have finally become used to how everything works. I am really looking forward to how the rest of my year here will turn out and hope it will get better each day.
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Art by: Raiha Bajwa
Journalist of the Year (2013) • Bailey Thomson Award for Editorial Writing (2013) • Rick Bragg Feature Writing Award (2009) • NSPA 5th Place Best of Show 2012 • NSPA 1st Place Best of Show 2011 • NSPA 5th Place Best of Show 2008 • NSPA 8th Place Best of Show 2008 • NSPA 9th Place Best of Show 2006 • CSPA Silver Medalist (2003, 2004) CSPA Gold Medalist (2005-2011) • SIPA All-Southern (2003, 2005–2012) • ASPA All-Alabama (2003–2011) • NSPA All-American (2004, 2008, 2011) • Best SIPA Newspaper in Alabama (2003–2007) • NSPA News Story of the Year (2005) • SIPA First Place News Story (2007) • SIPA First Place Review (2009)
Northridge High School • 2901 Northridge Road • Tuscaloosa, AL 35406 • (205) 759-3734 ext. 295 Editor-in-Chief *Alex Hauser Managing Editor *Raiha Bajwa Feature Editor *Renu Pandit News Editor *Sarah Katherine Barnes
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The Northridge Reporter March 20, 2013
Social media essential part of everyday life Victoria Love Web Master
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Look at him: Katelyn Lipscomb, senior, Nick Motz, senior, and AnnaBeth Northington, sophomore, practice choreography for Honk! Jr. Craig First, senior, plays the lead, Ugly. “It’s a really cute story,” First said. “I’m excited for people to come and see it.” The play opens April 5 and 6 in the auditorium.
Theatre department retells classic tale of the Ugly Duckling Alex Hauser Editor-in-Chief
efore the curtain rises and the audience appears, the “Honk! Jr.” cast and production team has to transform students to ducks and the auditorium into a pond. “Honk! Jr.” a musical retelling of “The Ugly Duckling,” was chosen by Donna Wright, drama teacher, based on the students available to perform. “You’ve got a limited talent pool, [and] by limited I mean you’re casting from within this group of people. We have plenty of talent, you just have to pick the talent from what you have,” she said. “We looked at the talent that we have, particularly the musical theatre class, and which shows we need to do with this group, because once this group is gone, we missed the opportunity. It usually ends up this way, we think of the people that are graduating.” Wright said that senior, Craig First, who plays the lead role, has been with the musical theatre department since his freshman year. “Craig makes a great Ugly, he stands out,” she said. First said he was excited to “bring to life” a character
that he has always known, but it was challenging trying to portray Ugly in a positive manner. “It’s hard finding a balance between being the victim without being sappy. You want people to feel bad for you, but you still want to entertain,” he said. “[I step] into the audience’s shoes and think that if I was watching this for the first time without any previous knowledge of the script, how I would connect with the character.” Senior Lane Russell, stage manager, said they didn’t want First to be “too ugly,” but would want him to instead be a “cute Ugly.” “We want him to have Alfalfa hair, but haven’t figured out how to do it yet because he has to make an on-stage transformation,” she said. Russell also plays a duckling in the show. “This is the first play I’ve actually gotten to perform in. We sing “Look at Him.” It’s a really cute and funny song, and I really enjoy playing a duckling,” she said. “It is a little difficult because I’m also in charge of blocking and all of the props.” Casey Miller, senior, is playing the Cat, who is the villain of the show. “[The Cat] is sly and
sneaky. She has an inner demon side and only wants to eat Ugly for lunch,” she said. “One of the most challenging parts is being flirty and having a French accent the entire show along with remembering my lines.” Miller also choreographed many of the songs, including the opening number. “It’s my favorite part of “Honk!” because I choreographed the entire dance, and it’s the first time the audience sees me,” she said. Wright said putting on a show is like “herding cats.” “We don’t have the advantage that an athletic team has. If the first string quarterback is out, there is somebody there to step in. You’ve got the second string or third string. We don’t have understudies that are automatically assigned. If someone is missing from rehearsal, you are missing that intricate part of the rehearsal process. So just keeping all the cats in the same place, same time, is always the most challenging,” she said. Several students dropped out of the musical, leaving a small amount of people to perform. “We had a large cast to begin with and now that the cast is so small. Some people have to play mul-
tiple characters, and it’s really hard for students to learn new lines and choreography. I’m really proud of some of the cast members for stepping up,” Russell said. But even with the challenges faced, Wright said the cast was “great.” She said senior Nick Motz, who plays one of the geese, will be “hysterical with his British accent,” and Anna Beth Northington, sophomore, plays a great Mother Goose. “It’s great fun. I think they’re all just very cute. It’s very well cast,” Wright said. First said the cast was very diverse. “We have a lot of new faces and a lot of old faces. We have a lot of new talent here that I’m really excited about.,” he said. Wright said “Honk! Jr.” will be “great fun.” It will be performed in the auditorium April 5-6 at 7:00 p.m. “[The most rewarding part] is when the show is finished and everybody loves it, and they’ve looked great, and you haven’t killed anyone,” she said. “It’s a fun show for everybody. It’s been a while since we’ve done a show where younger siblings can come and really enjoy the show as well.”
Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, students use them every day. Some people think it’s starting to become an addiction. Social media is becoming more popular every day, and many people have a favorite. Smart phones are a student favorite because they give access to the Internet. The apps for the social media sites are used more often than actually getting on a computer and going online to view it. Since the Wi-Fi was disabled, students have a hard time getting Internet access when they need it. Some teachers allow students to use their phones to look up information in class when they are working on a project. Nicoletta Versace, sophomore, said she tries to take advantage of using the Internet as often as she can. She likes to use the apps for Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. She said one of her favorite apps is Netflix. She said she spends about thirty minutes to an hour each day using it. “I use my iPod Touch to get on the apps more than I do my computer… actually. I don’t even use my computer that much anymore, “Versace said. Versace said she has had problems using the Wi-Fi at school. “Sometimes teachers want to use Wi-Fi for YouTube to show us videos in class that relate to the lesson, but then they can’t. Upstairs you can never get Wi-Fi.” Pinterest is a website where you find things that you are interested in and pin them onto digital boards on your page. People use it to find recipes, style ideas, room decor, wedding plans and DIY activities. Lainey Hatfield, sophomore, said she likes to use Pinterest because “you can find lots of cool ideas.” Hatfield estimates that she spends about twenty minutes a day on this site. Facebook is one of the most used forms of social media. Users can post what they are doing, where they are and upload pictures to show all their friends. Erin Green, sophomore, said he is an active user of Facebook and likes to see what his friends post when he logs on once or twice a day. “I get to read about other people’s business online,” Green said. “They’re idiotic for putting it online.” Green doesn’t often use the Internet while at school, but when he does he said it’s difficult because, “it doesn’t have a strong signal when you need it.” Instagram users can upload pictures and follow others to see what they post too. Filters can be added to change the coloring and improve or edit the pictures. Green said Instagram was ok, but he doesn’t use it a lot. Twitter is another popular choice. Loren Ledbetter, sophomore, said that it’s her favorite of all social media. “It’s funny because you get to see people embarrassing themselves,” Ledbetter said. “It’s so addictive.” A new website called Vine is starting to gain popularity. “Vine… I’ve heard of it. It has gifs on it. I just recently found out about it, but I don’t use it,” Ledbetter said. Unlike most, Drew Hindman, sophomore, doesn’t use any type of social media. “I don’t use anything like Facebook,” Hindman said. Hindman said he thinks, “It’s too addicting and becomes time-consuming,” when you could be focused on doing something else.
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The Northridge Reporter March 20, 2013
Renu Pandit Feature Editor
“Treat yo’ self,” and watch “Parks and Recreation.” The popular NBC show stars Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a passionate member of the parks and recreation committee in a small city, and follows the trials and tribulations that she and her eccentric coworkers face. Laine Elliot, senior, said she’s watched the show for two years. “I love it! Mainly because I want to work in government when I grow up, so I basically want to be Leslie Knope,” Elliot said. Elliot said her cousin got her to watch the show after telling her how funny it was. “I would definitely suggest it to anyone; it has jokes that almost anyone from any kind of demographic would enjoy,” Elliot said. Elliot said the show reminds her of “The Office,” “but its humor is really different, so the only thing that’s the same is the office setting.” “It doesn’t use crude or gross jokes to get cheap laughs, and I really appreciate that about it,” Elliot said. “The writing and acting is so great.” Elliot said she loves all the characters, but her favorites are Ben and April. “One of my favorite moments is when Ben proposes to Leslie, and pretty much every single Andy-April moment,” Elliot said. “I also love ‘treat yo’ self,’ when Donna and Tom go out and buy lots of stuff and get mani-pedis.” Rebecca Perkins, junior, said she recently started watching the show after seeing a tweet about how funny it was. “I had heard my friends talk about it, but I just never got into it before,” Perkins said. Perkins said she loves characters Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins. “Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones are just perfect,” Perkins said. Perkins said the show improves a lot between seasons one and two. “It gets a lot funnier,” Perkins said. “So, hang in there watchers.” Stephen Black, Spanish teacher, said he’s seen seasons one and two of the show.
“It’s witty and has great characters,” Black said. “It reminds me a lot of ‘The Office.’” Black said his favorite character in the show is Ron Swanson. “I just love his mustache,” Black said. “I also like April and Amy Poehler’s character, of course.” Black said his favorite moment is when Andy falls into the pit. “It’s something about how both of his legs were broken that’s just hilarious,” Black said. “I also like the Indian guy Jordan and his swag relationship with Jean Hutchinson Ralphio, and all the businesses they Staff Writer start together. They just crack me up.” Laura Worley, junior, said she start“Happy, Haped watching the show over winter py, Happy!” Phil break and hasn’t stopped since. Robertson says in “I finally got Netflix and a bunch the show “Duck of people wanted me to watch it,” Dynasty,” a show Worley said. “Also, ‘The Office’ about a family that isn’t good anymore without Mibecame multimilchael Scott, so I needed somelionaires from makthing new to watch.” ing wooden duck Worley said she loves she calls. show “because all the characPhil or the “duck ters are weird and quirky.” commander” founded “My favorite is Tom,” the duck call company, Worley said. “He’s just so called Duck Commander. perfectly awkward.” His son Willie Robertson, Worley said her favorthe current CEO of the ite moment in the show company, has to deal with was when “Leslie’s goes his family as employees. over all the worst posWillie does his best to keep sible things that could his family under control, but go wrong on a date, as the intro states, “It’s hard to and they’re things that have actually happened to her.” “If you like ‘The Office,’ you’ll love Parks and Rec.,” Worley said.
Rednecks capture audience
Duck Dynasty is freaking awesome. I got the A&E app just to watch it,
Honey of a show
Reality television show captivates teen viewers Rabisa Khan Copy Editor Do you “redneckognize” Honey Boo Boo? “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” is a reality television show which comes on every Sunday at 8:00 p.m. on TLC. The show revolves around six-year-old pageant queen Alana Thompson, and her family. Thompson is commonly known as “Honey Boo Boo.” Demario Plott, sophomore, said he watches the show every week. “The show is so stupid, but I watch it because it’s hilarious,” Plott said. He said, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” shows a “chubby little redneck” girl acting “like a fool.” “The lack of home training that Alana and her sisters have is unbelievable but super funny,” Plott said.
What types of shows do you prefer? Reality TV
run a family business when the “Duck Dynasty is awesome. I family just wants to run wild.” got the A&E app just to watch One of Willie’s relatives is Si- it,” Lollar said. las or “Si” Robertson. At sixtyThe show is in its second seafive years old, Si hunts, makes son and airs new episodes on reeds for duck Wednesdays at nine o’-clock. calls a n d Landon Yerby, sophomore, loves to talk. said his favorite Si quote is, Si is “First it’s a Vietpretty tires, n a m then it’s pretveteran. ty guns... A t next thing o n e you know, point you’re in the shavin’ Phillip Lolar, freshman show Si your beard quit and went off to help Phil on and wearin’ capri pants.” his land. Phil and Si are broth“That was hilarious,” he ers, so Si was excited to work said. with Phil. Melody Mills, freshman, said Phillip Lollar, freshman, John Luke and Si are her favorsaid Si is his favorite character ite characters. because he reminds him of his “Everyone needs to watch grandpa. this show,” Mills said.
Information compiled by Renu Pandit. 70 students polled. Designed by Renu Pandit.
All artwork by Renu Pandit.
Jessica Fergerson, sophomore, said she has also watched the show. “It’s so stupid and useless,” Fergerson said. “This little girl [Alana] is trying too hard to be a 25-year-old by putting in her fake teeth since she still has her baby teeth. Her clothes and attitude are also ridiculous, but I must say the show is addicting.” Zoë Bakker, senior, said she is a huge fan of the show. “It’s just so entertaining! On the outside and surface, they’re rednecks, but you can tell that they [Alana’s family] really love each other,” Bakker said. Bakker said “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” is no worse than any other reality TV show, “and it’s a must see mainly for entertainment value.” Nicoletta Versace, sophomore, said she has a love-hate relationship with the show. “I love it because it’s so hilarious, and she’s a redneck, but you can go into Wal-Mart and find the same kind of people; Alana is famous for no reason, but she’s just a source for entertainment,” Versace said.
The Northridge Reporter March 20, 2013
Nerds make prime time
Morgan DeWitt Beat Editor
In the words of Sheldon Cooper, “Bazinga!” “The Big Bang Theory” is ranked as TV Guide’s number one most popular show on weeknight television. According to TV.com, the show “mixes love with pop-culture and science jokes, and it is an absolute blast to watch” (no pun intended). The show satisfies a wide range of ages, with the targeted demographic spanning from age 18 to 49. The sitcom follows the adventures of four friends: Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj, who are all science majors at the California Institute of Technology. Penny, their blonde bombshell of a neighbor, works at the Cheesecake Factory and has a completely different personality from the guys, as she’s more social and tends to bring a lot of guys home. Walter Hall, senior, said “the show follows the epic tale of four young nerds and their smoking hot neighbor and their quest to find nerd honeys.” “I like the show because Penny is hot, and I enjoy laughing at Sheldon’s OCD,” Hall said. Stephen Black, Spanish teacher, said he also loves the show, and his favorite character is Sheldon. “He’s so smart, but yet he
has so much trouble connecting with people. It’s slightly sad but also hilarious to watch,” Black said. Sophomore Lainey Hatfield said she likes the show because she can relate to the nerdy aspects of it. “I love how the characters are so quirky. My favorite character is definitely Sheldon! My family often compares me to him. He is such a great actor and ignorantly funny,” Hatfield said. Thompson Schille, sophomore, said the show is hilarious.. “Everyone can relate to the show either with Penny or with the guys,” Schille said. “I like Leonard because he tries so hard to be normal but ends up reverting back to his inner nerd.” Elise Tucker, senior, said she likes that the show puts a spotlight on “nerds.” “You always see pretty people, or dumb people, but extremely smart people are rarely seen. In this one, you have a group of nerds, but they’re all different and have their interesting little quirks. It’s something that differs from the norm of comedies, and the humor is very consistent,” Tucker said. The show’s popularity has increased drastically in the past year, with the sixth season boasting the best reviews above all other seasons. Hatfield said she be-
What’s your favorite show?
lieves the show’s increased popularity stems from its contrast to other TV sitcoms. “The quirkiness of the nerds is funny no matter what’s cool,” Hatfield said. Black said the popularity is because of the diversity of the cast. “You’ve got a cast including four nerdy guys and a beautiful woman,” Black said. The shows recurring themes include science, psychology, video games and comics which supports its description of “a nerdy comedy.” With a strong scientific theme, it’s easy to question the show’s credibility. Junior Marianne Martin said she thinks the show is mostly accurate. “We even watched part of an episode in AP Psychology,” Martin said. Hatfield said she doesn’t think the show is accurate. “My cousins are science majors, and they claim a lot of the information from the show isn’t accurate,” Hatfield said. Black said he’s heard rumors that the show is accurate. “I’ve heard they check and recheck all scientific facts on the show,” Black said. “Basically. if you quote the show on a scientific basis, you’re guaranteed to be right.”
Parks and Recreation x x x x x x x Duck Dynasty
The Big Bang Theory x x x x x x xxxxxxxxx xxxx x=2 students
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
How often do you watch TV? Hardly ever Once a day Twice a day More than Every twice a day other day
xxx xxx xxx x
xxx xxx x
xxx xxx x
x x x x
xx xx xx x
x=2 students Information compiled by Renu Pandit. 70 students polled. Designed by Renu Pandit.
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The Northridge Reporter March 20, 2013
Coffee Club Jared Lotfi Copy Editor
Are we safe? Entrances will be secured.
Photos by: Sarah Katharine Barnes
Safety precautions implemented next year Rabisa Khan Copy Editor
epresentatives from Ellis Architecture came for a safety evaluation on Jan.
28. Isaac Espy, principal, said there was “no pass or fail” for the evaluation, but they did give us suggestions. “The general idea is to secure the campus. This is typically done by regulating access through doors,” he said. Espy said installation of a “buzzer system” on all front doors will be executed immediately. “The other areas that must be adjusted to limit access include the back gates by the bus stop and doors by the jaguar,” he said. Espy said it has not been determined how these areas will be limited. He said, “We are considering a timer system to correspond to
bells.” “Eventually, we will have to figure out how to secure the potential entrances. This includes senior courtyard, for example,” he said. Espy also made it clear that it is “impossible to limit all exits and entrances during the day.” “This is due to having a classroom on the other side of the parking lot known as the field house,” he said. Also this building was designed to have a “more or less open feel,” Espy said. Mya Montrella, sophomore, said she believes we are not very safe at school. “The front doors aren’t even locked, so anyone can walk in and nobody would even know,” Montrella said. She said installing a buzzer system on all front doors would make her and her parents feel more at ease. “Even if the buzzer system is an issue be-
cause of the cost of it, we could start today and station a policeman beside all front doors,” Montrella said. “This would ensure a safer environment than we have right now.” Yara Akl, sophomore, said she also thinks the students are not safe. Her concern is mainly with the students themselves she said. “You never know when people will bring weapons to school because many high school students these days solve their problems with violence,” Akl said. She said she believes we need to have more security checks throughout the school year. “A random security check with a metal detector on the student body once a month may be good idea,” Akl said. “Parents send their children to school with an expectation that they’ll be in a safe environment,” he said. “Student’s safety and school security are the most important consideration in the school.”
No Miss Northridge to be titled for first time since 2003 Che’Quita Burrell Artist
or the first time since 2003, there will not a Miss Northridge. This year’s beauty walk was cancelled due to a lack of participants. In all the years of Northridge, except for the first year it opened, there has always been a Miss NHS. Jessica Garcia, the first Miss Northridge, said, “Being Miss Northridge was truly one of the most incredible experiences.” She said she held that position dear to her heart not only because she loved Northridge itself, but she felt so honored to represent such a wonderful school. “I have always looked at a beauty walk as an opportunity to show ones individuality and confidence, so I am very disheartened at the fact Northridge will not be holding one this year,” Garcia said. Junior Jakailah Cooper competed in the beauty walk last year, but said she did not sign up this year because it was time-consuming.
“I wanted to try something new last year,” Cooper said. “But this year I’m doing a different pageant, so I didn’t have time to do both.” Cooper was among 23 girls that competed last year, but this year only two signed up. Sophomore Abbie Atkins won first runner up last year, but did not sign up again because none of her friends wanted to do it. “I think it’s sad no one in our school wants to be Miss Northridge,” Atkins said. “The girls at Northridge don’t like to put on makeup and dress up like the girls at county schools.” Miss Northridge of 2010 Morgan Terry was named third runner up at the Miss University of Alabama competition this year. She said that her title as Miss Northridge helped her succeed in this competition. “I had it on my resume, so the judges were able to see that I had competed in other beauty walks and pageants.” Terry said it is disappointing to not have a beauty walk this year because it is a good opportunity to get to know your classmates.
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For a fee, the Coffee Club, a group of students and teachers who drink coffee from the maker in the library in the mornings, can provide constant relief for those plagued by a need for caffeine. Marci Irvin, librarian, said the club is technically a library fundraiser that functions as a subscription for students. “We started in the second week of September and have since made $67 in profit. This allows us to buy the odds and ends that make our daily lives a little easier: a little ink, a pack of paper or new books,” she said. As of this year, the rates are $5 per semester for membership or $0.50 a cup. Next year prices will probably go up. “Hot cocoa is our new option,” Irvin said. Nick Motz, senior, said he has been a member of the Coffee Club since its inception. “I’ve been in [the coffee club] for as long as I can remember,” he said. “It’s never been a problem for me to get coffee with any teachers or staff until this year.” Motz said a woman he hadn’t seen before told him he was a child who couldn’t get coffee from the place he’d always gotten it and proceeded to set up two thermoses outside the library kitchen. “If I love anything in this world, it’s coffee,” he said. “Anyone else who feels the same way should join.”
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The Northridge Reporter March 20, 2013
Sports Beth Allaway
T h e P r i c e t o P l a y Athletes find themselves tackled with high costs for equipment Jordan Hutchinson Staff Writer A football player, a baseball player, a soccer player and a golf player have one thing in common: they all have to pay to play. The amounts in question differ from field to field. James Cox, senior, paid about $300 to play football as a wide receiver. His parents pay for most of the fees, but Cox buys his own equip-
ment for the season. “My parents do not mind that much, as long as I keep up my end of the deal, which is school,” Cox said. Cox said he gets a good deal for the equipment he buys, especially when it comes to safety. “All my parents and I want is for me to have the best equipment possible,” Cox said. The football spirit pack pays for a sweat suit with the player’s number on it, jerseys, shorts and helmets.
“I think I am getting a good deal,” Cox said. “We get a lot of things in our spirit pack, and it is name brand.” Cox said that he gets new gloves for every game and wears about three or four pairs of cleats a year. He signed with the University of Southern Mississippi on Feb. 6 to continue playing as a wide receiver. Henry Pritchett, freshman, said that golf costs range near $550. The money pays for shirts, hood-
ies, bags, golf balls and playing fees. “We get a lot from a little,” Pritchett said. While he pays for his equipment, Pritchett said golf is fairly inexpensive, but for some it is more of a burden. “I think that there are people who are very good at sports that cannot play because they cannot afford it,” Pritchett said. John Andrew Chwe, sophomore, said he does not think the $400 cost for soccer is too much to ask.
“Four hundred dollars is not bad compared to other sports,” Chwe said. In order to play on the baseball diamond, the costs usually hit close to $800 to cover a “full spirit pack” that consists of a jersey, a hat and a pair of pants; but Marcus Jackson, freshman, said most people do not get the whole package. The uniform cost comes on top of a $300 player fee, bringing the total price to $1100, but baseball players can get a slight discount.
Soccer team jumps early hurdles, hopes to retain momentum Jared Lotfi Copy Editor
The boys soccer season opener kicked off with a city-wide clincher as the varsity team defeated Hillcrest (5-0), Demopolis (5-0), County High (1-0) in the semifinals and Holy Spirit (1-0) in the finals. However, a week later the much anticipated showdown against Vestavia put things into perspective with a 6-0 loss, killing the early buzz. Photo by: Jonathan McAllister Second half rallies colored He shoots, he scores: Trey O’Bryant, the matches, with all five goals sophomore, goes for the kick on the against Hillcrest scored in the NHS field. second half.
By halftime in Vestavia, the boys were down by five goals but regrouped through what Head Coach Carter Hill said was “greater physical assertion.” “We didn’t play as well as we could have,” he said. “We came out a bit scared at first. The second half we played better.” What is encouraging, Hill said, is the opportunity to have seen a team of Vestavia’s ranking so early on in the season. “What this shows us is that we are capable of starting as strongly as we finished if we can clamp down on any apprehension before stepping onto the field,” he said.
Hill said he is extremely proud of the boys performance. “With four matches in three days, we faced a good bit of adversity physically and had to play a man down in the semifinal due to a red card,” he said, “We came through against a team with more rest.” Three varsity starters are freshmen: Will Baker, Louis Garcia and Matthew Hankins. “The opportunity to play on varsity was incredible for me,” Hankins said, “Going into high school, I expected to compete pretty hard for a junior varsity position.” Currently, he starts as a right
defensive back. “We have freshmen athletes who could play on several varsity teams in town, but are having to wait in the wings as they continue their development here,” Hill said. The junior varsity team starts eight freshmen. Kyle Anderson, senior, said having talented underclassmen is a reassuring confidence booster. “I feel we’re more technically skilled than we were last year. We still have an opportunity to make a state-wide statement in the playoffs,” he said.
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The Northridge Reporter March 20, 2013
Personal column: a military perspective
Currently my father is stationed in Afghanistan working as a private contractor alongside the military. He left in September and came back for a ten day leave in February. He will be back in August for his 25th wedding anniversary, then he goes back to come home for good in September. My father has missed Christmases, Thanksgivings and birthdays, but I know he’s doing what he believes is right. I know he is proud of what he does and of his country. I know no one will ever be able to take this away from him, and this is what makes me proud. And nobody can take that away from me.
Savren Nelson Staff Writer
Honor: Savren Nelson’s father stands next to his tank unit in Kuwait, sporting an eye patch from chemical exposure to his eye.
Photo by fellow soldier
Father’s deployment creates mixed emotions for sophomore He then continued and explained what his job was. He would fly out at night and would sit at the back of the plane and look out of night vision cameras. He would search the ground where the troops would walk the next day and make sure there were no terrorist buildings or bombs located anywhere. Silence. My sister was ten at the time, and the only thing she had seen about war was what she had seen on TV, and it terrified her. My father left at the end of June and was meant to be gone until June the next year, but Obama pulled men in Iraq out after seven months of him being there. Although he was only there for seven months, he missed my brother’s senior year, prom and graduation. He missed my little sister’s last year of elementary school and my first year of high school. When he came home from Iraq, he had turf toe, and he had problems with his shoulder. He had hurt it when he had gone on a night mission and his chair flipped over.
Pride. Fear. Intensity. Loyalty. Worry. All these emotions hit at the same time when one’s father sits down and says that he’s going to Iraq. Then those emotions hit even harder when he sits down again and says he’s going to Afghanistan. Before my brother and I were even born, my father was in the Calvary stationed in Kuwait for Desert Storm. My father came back when he found out that my mom was going to have my older brother, Connor Nelson. From driving tanks through the night and taking turns to take ‘cat naps’ every fifteen minutes, my father has horrible sleeping habits. He cannot go to sleep unless the TV is on, and he wakes throughout the night. The summer before my freshman year, my father sat my brother, my sister and me down at the dinner table. He looked each of us in the eye and told us he was going to Iraq. Silence. lived in Germany for three years and then in Hawaii for three years before moving to Alabama. McCray’s father was also in Honduras for six months. McCray said she copes with her father’s leaving with “friends and family.” “Sometimes it can be hard when he’s gone, but I’m proud of my dad, too,” McCray said. “I’ve also learned a lot about different cultures.” Freshman Maggie Butler’s father is in the navy. Even though Butler has never moved schools, her father has been deployed twice: “Once to Kuwait and once to Iraq.” “He’s definitely made me more patriotic. He’s fighting for my freedom and everybody else’s,” Butler said. Butler said she “thinks about her freedom” when her father is away. “It’s hard at times, but it’s worth it,” Butler said.
Parents of teens sent overseas to serve in military, fight for freedom the enemies, though,” Benjamin said. Savren Nelson Benjamin said she has lived in Alaska, Staff Writer Florida, Hawaii and Alabama. “With so much traveling, I know what Heather Benjamin, sophomore, said her father sat her whole family down in kind of place I want to live in. I love big 2007 and said, “I’m going to be gone cities,” she said. Even though Benjamin said she “enfor a while, but don’t joys traveling,” she also said, “it’s also worry. I’m going to be hard going to different schools all the in a secure location.” time. You have He never said exactly He’s definitely made me more pa- to leave your where he was going; just that he was going triotic. He’s fighting for my freedom friends.” Her father to be gone for a while. and everybody else’s. fought in With so little informaIraq for four tion given to Benjamin, Maggie Butler, 9 months, and she “was really upset and he has missed angry.” Benjamin’s father, as well as other Christmas, Thanksgiving and birthdays. “I Skyped him, and we sent him presstudents’ parents here, serves in the U.S. ents, and he sent us stuff back. He was in military. a safe place,” she said. Benjamin’s father is in the Air Force. Sophomore Katie McCray’s father is “When my dad isn’t here, it’s sad. It’s nice to know that he is protecting us from also in the Air Force. McCray said she
March 20, 2013 Volume 10 Issue 6