Senior Gold Dusters bring team together with prayer
Lady Falcon Varsity player overcomes worrisome injury
Government AP classes hear from wrongly convicted, vindicated man
Volume thirty-eight Issue three
With over 3,000 students in one place, five days out of the week, individuals become prone to sickness. Athletes fear staph infections during sporting events, while students hide from the common cold in classrooms. Understand the ins and outs of flu season and how to best prevent sickness. pages
Jersey Village High School
7600 Solomon Houston, TX 77040
A SHOW OF F I RSTS JV Players prepare for their upcoming play, never before seen in the United States MIKELA MELAKIS
DÉBUT The tech theatre sets up black box theater for its first play, Girl with a Pearl Earring.
sports editor For her, she takes the stage in her first lead role. For him, he takes the stage in his first role ever. For the play, it makes its first appearance on a United States stage. For the school, the black-box theater will open its doors for its first performance. Despite all these firsts Daniel Kutsko, play director, putting on his annual play is no new task. The basis of inspiration for the upcoming play “Girl with a Pearl Earring” was an art book he happened to stumble upon in high school. As he flipped through the pages of the book he was taken back by a painting by Johannes Vermeer called, Girl in a Turban. “I just thought it was so cool because it looked like the back of her turban was actually caught in the instant of motion. That was the first time I had ever really appreciated a painting like that for being more than just a picture,” Kutsko said. Kutsko’s intrigue led him to read the book based on the picture, and then watch the movie. However he had never found a play manuscript for the piece “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. Eventually his searching led him to London, England where a theater was putting on the play for a limited time. He wrote to the production company and asked if he could buy the manuscript, to which they agreed. “This will be the first time the play
has ever been performed in the United States and it is being done right here at Jersey Village,” Kutsko said. Not only will the show make its first appearance at the school but it will also be performed in the newly added blackbox theater. The black-box theater is a large all black room with no stage that allows for a more intimate connection between the audience and the actors. For Yahya Khan, senior, the play will be his first ever theatrical performance. Intrigued by the book and curious of the audition process he decided to try out. “I’ve always really wanted to try out for a play, so I seized the opportunity,” Khan said. The senior was more than surprised when he found out he had received a lead role out of a small eight person cast. While he mistakenly thought that trying out would be the difficult part he was soon corrected. The play is very dialogue driven, which demands an enormous amount of effort and teamwork from the cast, in order to be performed successfully. “My character Vermeer is the artist. He is very aloof, and prude. I’m still trying really hard to find his character in myself. Or as Kutsko says I’m trying to find my ‘inner Vermeer’,” Khan said. For Kelsey O’Briant, senior, “Girl with a Pearl Earring” will be her first lead role. Although being the main character might be new for her, theater has been
apart of her life since sixth grade. Until the play, O’Briant’s theater involvement mostly consisted of behind the scene work. Despite this she still had a huge passion for acting. “At first I went into the audition thinking okay I’ll pick a good supporting role, but after reading the book I fell in love with the main character Griet. I knew I couldn’t take anyone else but her,” O’Briant said Courtnie Robert, senior, who was previously the lead female role in Kutsko’s last play Amadeus, is also experiencing her first time as the show’s stage manager. “It’s different going from being on the stage to behind the scenes but it is still exciting and challenging,” Robert said. For Kutsko casting a play is not just a matter of who has the most experience, but who he sees. “As always they are the best people for the parts, as I saw them. Remember we’re telling a story, that’s all were doing, and I want the best people who can tell the story. In my mind those people were chosen for the role. It didn’t have anything to do with anyone being a senior, or anyone being prettier, or shorter.” Kutsko said. Girl with a Pearl Earring will be performed January 14th through 16th and through 21st to the 23rd .
From Pictures To People
Painting: Girl with a Pearl Earring Character: Griet Actor: Kelsey O’Briant
Painting: Young Woman with a Water Pitcher Character: Tanneke Actor: Jacqui Bonkte
Painting: The Girl with a Glass of Wine Character: Magnus Van Ruijuven Actor: Tanner Stogsdill
Painting: A Lady Writing Character: Catharina Vermeer Actor: Julia Imhoff
FREE AT LAST
Man falsely accused of rape serves four years of 25; shares story with AP class kelsey o’briant
managing editor Josiah Sutton did not rape anyone. He explained this to an auditorium filled with Jersey Village government AP students on November 10. Yet in 1998, he sat in the back of a police car, handcuffed and accused, heading toward five years of prosecution, lies, and punishment. As Sutton walked to a convenience store with Gregory Adams, a friend, two police cars arrived and took the boys in custody. They had no idea what was going on, as the two of them had, in their minds and convictions, done no wrong to warrant an arrest. The police explained to them that a woman, who was raped at gunpoint five days earlier, identified them as her attackers. Sutton offered to take a DNA test, relying on his confidence in the system and the truth of his innocence to free him. Sutton was secure that he was not guilty and that this whole situation would be gone shortly. The results returned for both Sutton and his friend. His friend passed, proving to the world through science that he was, in fact, innocent. Sutton’s sample, however, turned out less favorably. According to the crime lab, Sutton’s DNA matched that of the perpetrator. “Obviously, I knew they got the wrong guy and thought that it would all be straightened out. When I got the DNA results back before my trial, I couldn’t believe it. I mean, here was a scientist saying that science had ruled out anyone else. It was really like a nightmare,” Sutton said. Sutton went to trial with both the word of a victim and what was believed to be hard, fast scientific proof working against him. “It felt really horrible to have someone say you did such a horrible thing, and to say it in front of your friends and your mother. And to know you didn’t do it, but there was a scientist saying that you did. I felt really helpless,” Sutton said. At this point, because of the substantial and undeniable evidence against Sutton the jury looked on his plea of innocence with very little concern. They returned with a guilty verdict in less than two hours. With the guilty verdict came a 25 year
sentence. With a 25 year sentence came a new mind-set and lifestyle for Sutton. He was forced to face the horror of prison 24 hours a day, 365 Injustice AP classes listen to Josiah Sutton and his lawyer, Bob days a year. Wicoff, talk about how they proved Sutton’s innocence. “It was really hard being away from my family and haps even corrupt, and which (it would turn friends, really scary. Very lonely too,” Sutton out) had been for decades. The mistakes said. of the crime lab are still being uncovered,” But even in the throes of what would be Wicoff said. a nightmare for any innocent man, Sutton Sutton’s experience in prison and substrengthened in a way that, he feels, pointed sequent release disheartened him. He was him in a direction to change his own life. forced to question and doubt a system that “In prison, I worked hard, had a schedule, he thought was built on undeniable truth. and probably developed some mental disci“I’m sorry to say that I don’t have much pline I might not have had otherwise,” Sut- faith in the court system. As Mr. Wicoff ton said. [has] said, the system did not work to get me While in prison, Sutton studied case law out. Mr. Wicoff and the scientist he hired, on DNA, looking for some way to prove his and Channel 11 got me out. If there hadn’t blamelessness. Hope was small for him. Even been any evidence left to test in my case, I’d innocence projects in New York and Texas still be in there. The system is not perfect. turned down Sutton’s case purely because he People need to approach it with some skepwas convicted on DNA evidence. In 2001, ticism,” Sutton said. though, a new chapter in the Code of CrimSix years later, Sutton and Wicoff came inal Procedures allowed for post-conviction to Jersey Village to tell Josiah’s story. Since DNA testing. By 2002, Sutton filed a motion he was released from prison, Sutton has reand Bob Wicoff was assigned to his case. ceived exoneration and a pardon from the “Josiah’s case was one of the first cases governor. But for Sutton, the system cannot where a lawyer was appointed to represent give him what he feels he was robbed of. a prison inmate from Harris County who “After I got out on March 13, 2003, it was seeking DNA testing to prove his in- took over a year to get a pardon from the nocence. That being said, there was nothing governor. It wasn’t smooth at all. It’s great that jumped out at me when I met Josiah in having my life back, but I’ll never get those prison that convinced me (or even suggested) four years back,” Sutton said. that he was any different from all the others, When the pair came to JV, students were that he was innocent,” Wicoff said. full of questions about life in prison and But a Channel 11 report on the HPD about the justice system. crime lab would change the course of Sut“I have confidence in our justice system, ton’s struggle for freedom. Channel 11 sug- but there are flaws that cannot be easily or gested that improper practices were taking quickly fixed. Cases like Mr. Sutton’s are an place in the HPD crime lab. When they unfortunate consequence of the imperfect found out about Sutton’s story, they worked system,” Brett Robinson, senior, said. to help him, hiring a criminologist to look As Sutton reassembles his life, he tells into the problems in Sutton’s DNA versus his story to prompt questions in the minds that found at the scene. of others, and to open people up to the posQuickly, an independent lab debarred sibility that the courts can be, and often are, Sutton as a suspect, releasing him from pris- simply wrong. on on bond. “Maybe hearing my story will cause peo“The Sutton case proved to be the tip of ple to demand that the system is done corthe iceberg. It revealed a crime lab in Hous- rectly before they hand down such a long ton that was totally dysfunctional, and per- sentence,” Sutton said.
photo by Kelsey O’briant
CLOSER LOOK AT... THE HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT CRIME LAB SCANDAL
-In November 2002, the CBS local TV station KHOU’s journalists David Raziq, Anna Werner and Chris Henao began broadcasting a multi-part investigation into the accuracy of the HPD Crime Lab’s findings. - In December 2002, HPD closed the DNA section of the laboratory. - In January 2006 that of 1,100 samples reviewed, 40% of DNA samples and 23% of blood evidence samples had serious problems. - The city announced plans to spend $1.3 million to upgrade its understaffed DNA lab.
WORSHIP Julie Jackson and Jennie Gates, seniors, lead prayer before every Gold Duster performance as their faith plays a key role in their lives.
Two Gold Dusters inspire team by leading prayer
photo by JACQUI BONtKE
co-managing editor The costumes shine with perfection, not one sequence out of place. Each girl’s smile gleams flawlessly as nervous excitement flutters through the room. The Gold Dusters performance will begin shortly, now all there is left to do is pray. Known as Chaplains, Julie Jackson and Jennie Gates, seniors, lead the prayer. Set up in a military style, Gold Dusters have ranks and the officers include Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, Senior Lieutenant and Junior Lieutenant. Like these titles, the term “Chaplain” also originates from the military. Before every performance Gold Dusters join hands and circle up to pray in order to calm nerves and ensure a good show. “I like to believe that we help ease the nerves of the team by reminding them that there is someone watching over them. It’s a good thing to know before you go out in front of an audience to perform,” Jackson said. Both Gates and Jackson have a very close relationship with God. Jackson attends Cypress United Methodist Church and Gates
attends Jersey Village Baptist Church. They feel religion gives a sense of hope, which they believe is necessary before a performance. “I accepted Christ in the fourth grade at summer camp. I feel Christ gives people hope and in Gold Dusters provides a sense of peace before performances,” Gates said. Jackson and Gates enjoy their duty of Chaplain. Gates has led prayer since her junior year and Jackson since her sophomore. They are constantly making new traditions in order to keep their prayers from getting dull. “Julie and I have come up with many new Chaplain traditions, our favorite being after every prayer we shout ‘Can I get an amen?’ and the whole team responds with an ‘Amen’,” Gates said. Other teammates also enjoy Gates’ and Jackson’s prayers. Their words not only to give the girls a sense of peace, but also make them laugh and remember the reason they are out there. The Gold Duster program runs more like a family than a team, so it seems fit that they pray before they perform. “Jennie and Julie have been the
best Chaplains. Their prayers are serious but they always add a humorous note at the end,” Hannah Franklin, senior, said. With the separation of church and state debate, religion is a very touchy subject. Gates and Jackson are not leading prayer in order to convert anyone or insult any beliefs; they simply do it to keep up the morality according to Gates. “We are not trying to convert anyone to a certain religion. Jennie is Baptist and I am Methodist so we understand that everyone has their own view of God and we respect that,” Jackson said. As contest season approaches, the Gold Dusters are going to need their Chaplains more than ever. With Gates’ and Jackson’s meaningful prayers, they will feel a positive presence as they perform.
photo by JACQUI BONTKE
UPBEAT Watching the band’s UIL performance Joselyn Gonzales, senior, and Hannah Fouts, junior, pose with Jennie Gates and Julie Jackson, seniors, after the homecoming game. ANGELIC On Senior Dress Up Career Day, Jennie Gates and Julie Jackson, seniors, wore nun outfits. Despite the humor they created the two Gold Dusters took their religion seriously. photo courtesy JULIE JACKSON
THE KNIGHTS EMMA MCKENZIE
staff writer Marching on the field or sitting in band class, the talented threesome, Caleb, Connor, and Danna Knight, freshman triplets, have accomplished a rarity that most freshman band students can only dream about, making top band their first semester in high school. The year brought in a large and skillful freshman band class with eight taking their rightful chairs in Symphonic I. The Knights, however, attained their spots together. All three, like most other freshmen, hoped to make the top band, but knew it might not happen. “I was extremely surprised to find out that all three of us made the top band. Of course it was what I hoped for, but I didn’t want to get my FIDDLING hopes up,” Connor said. The melodious In class, Caleb sound of the flute Knight, trombonist, sits fills the room as next to three artistically Danna Knight, gifted seniors. Connor freshman, plays Knight, trumpet player, a tune. plays in a section with a varying age group of talented players and Danna Knight, flutphoto by THILYE RINKE
Triplets earn spots in Symphonic band
ist, joins the other talented girls in the flute section. “I like the other people in the section; they’re a lot of fun to be around,” Caleb said. The Knights all joined band for the same reasons, family, friends and the love of music. “I joined band because my mom was in her school band. Plus, all of my friends were also doing band, so I thought that would make it more enjoyable,” Caleb said. Joining band has given the Knights the chance to make new friends and discover a talent that they might otherwise not have. “Playing flute is probably my main talent, if you could say that. I’m better at flute than most anything else I do,” Danna said. The talents that the Knights possess have put the band directors in awe. They rarely see siblings accomplish so much as freshmen. “The Knight triplets, Caleb, Connor, and Danna, are some of the most talented freshmen to attend Jersey Village for the 18 years that I have been a part of this band program,” Robert Carlin, band director, said. Their musical abilities have given them the confidence to do
what they enjoy most. Although they all love playing in high school, the Knights do not think they will pursue music professionally. “I can’t really see myself playing music professionally, it seems like it would be really SLIDING Focused h a r d on his music Caleb Knight, to do. freshman, slides his tromW i t h bone to the next position. all of the really good musicians in the world, I think it would be a really competitive job,” Caleb said. Nevertheless, the Knights wish to continue playing the instruments they have grown to love. “I look forward to playing trumpet through the rest of my life, whether I make it my profession or not,” Connor said.
photo by EMMA MCKENZIE
FUNNY MAN Although laughter and humor describe Connor Knight, freshman, music is his true passion.
photo by EMMA MCKENZIE
MASTERS OF THE WEB
Improved site captures attention of school tanner stogsdill
staff writer Logging on to the high school website, the banner becomes the first element visible. There, photographs meld together to show the true spirit of the school. News updates, teacher links, daily announcements, and much more fill the site. It has become more user friendly, and easier to use. There have not just been renovations to the school, but also to the school’s website, and it has increased appeal more than before. The website has happened partially due to the skills of Carol Pearsall, the new webmaster. “It’s a window to the community,” Pearsall said. “It is easy to get excited (about the website).” Pearsall came in and really motivated the web mastering students. The website has greatly improved in the last two years ago, moving the use of the website in a positive direction. “My specialty is in design,” Pearsall said. She works on the site with the assistance of Web Mastering II students. They get assignments in class to update a specific section on the site. They sometimes work on their own, and sometimes as a team. The Web I students also help. Their assignments currently include contacting clubs and update the club or organization pages. Web students have various assignments to make each aspect of the site more presentable. The students are very passionate about their pages. They feel the endeavor is definitely worth their time. They have their section in the Web Mastering room where they work on the website.
“It’s cool because you work for the school. You learn how to make a website and have it to show people (as to) what you can do,” Nguyen Nguyen, senior, said. This is the first year that there has been a Web II class that Pearsall knows of. There is no set class period for the Web II class and it is spread out through first, second and third period. The students are relatively new to the art of web mastering, but they work hard to keep a site that represents the school. “You put yourself into it. Pearsall likes creativity and difference. That is what the school is really about,” Kelly Patton, senior, said. The school page keeps improving. It has dates to remember and the daily announcements, which are not read during second period any longer. There are also links to JVTV newscasts, the Peregrine newspaper, and the P.I.V. all on the home page.
UPDATE The school website gets revised by Chloe Holey, Kelly Patton, seniors, and Connor Floyd, junior.
photos by MIKELA MELAKIS
STREAMING VAs part of her duties as a Webmastering II student Michelle Burrow, senior, puts valuable information on the school’s web page. “When we get to create all aspects of a page, it’s cool,” Chloe Holey, senior, said. “It’s one of my main passions.” Making a site is not all fun and games. There are issues with which the Web students must contend. The computers in the class run off of a newer program than the website. The students find it hard, and cannot do all that they would like to. The website construction is also hard because the work is not all letters that go into creating the website, numbers are also required. “A lot of the time you have to work with code and pictures. It’s a lot of research,” Patton said. The students around the school appreciate the site. They find it helpful and easy to use. “It is efficient and has helped me in many situations,” Courtnie Robert, senior, said. Webmaster students are passionate about what they do. They feel that they have almost caught the essence of the school. With full classes of students working on the websites, either through ideas, or working on the actual site, it is a quality representation of the high school.
A Tale of Three
staff writer e traveled 5750.05 miles and waited on an airplane for nearly 12 hours. With anticipation building, the airplane finally landed in Houston, Texas. Adam Mendry, junior, is attending the high school as a foreign exchange student from Bydgoszcz, Poland which is the eighth largest city in Poland, with a population around 400,000 people. The Rotary Youth Exchange program allows Mendry to venture all the way from his homeland filled with beauty to the Unites States and be an American high school student for one year. Throughout the year, Mendry will live with several different host families; he will switch families about every three months. “I decided to be a foreign exchange student because it’s a great opportunity to gain experience and learn about another culture,” Mendry said. Bydgoszcz, Poland and Houston, Texas differ not only population wise, but culture wise as well. Mendry, for the first time in his life, has decided to play baseball.
“The closest thing Bydgoszcz has to baseball is floor a director for a short film that is being made hockey,” Mendry said. by JVTV students, Adam wrote the script in Although Mendry knows little about the sport he is still Polish, and then he painstakingly translated determined. it into English. His attention to detail and “Adam is an extremely hard worker, who is trying to adapt cinematography are what really makes him to a culture with new sports. It’s obvious he is very excited stand out” Cynthia Stoker, JVTV to be here. He keeps our group loose, and fits in nicely with t e a c h e r , everyone,” Robb Jensen, baseball coach, said. said. Since coming to live in America Mendry has adapted to H i s its culture. English “All of America is different than Poland, or even Europe,” has greatly Mendry said. strengthIn Poland, citizens do not rely on fast food for meals, as ened, he has citizens in America do; fast food is commonly seen in Amer- learned to adapt icans everyday life. Mendry is not used to this. to the American “I don’t even like fast food,” Mendry said. culture and lifestyle, In addition to baseball Mendry added PALS, a Gold as well as forming Duster Escort, and filming for JVTV to his list of school friendships. activities. SHOOTING Video taping the “Adam Mendry is a wonderful asset for JVTV. He school, Adam Mendry, junior gathers understands what he needs in order to tell a story. As footage for JVTV. United States according to Dekker includes the education systems. Dekker is in all of the classes that a normal junior would be in, including English III and U.S. History. “She is a lot like a normal student, she is a very hard and diligent worker and she does not have any problems with my class so far,” Mrs. Villarreal, U.S. History teacher said. “The education in Switzerland is a lot harder than that of the U.S. Over here I just want to enjoy my time and spend it with all my new friends,” Dekker said. Dekker plans to participate in sports. Dekker SMILING Before walking to the library, intends Alina Dekker, junior, stands outside. to enroll into tennis
and has expressed interest in joining the golf program. “He’s fun to be around, and all the other golfers love him. He will be a great asset to our golf program,” said Richard Kitterman, golf coach. Barquete enjoys the school and fits comfortably being a part of it although, this school differs from his private school in Brazil. “I like JV very well and the teachers are all good. The school has a very good building. But my school in Brazil is a private school, where we wear uniforms and just have 1500 students in the grades ranging from 10 to 12 the school complex is the same size to JV but it’s not as open. We have access cards to get in the school so they know when we arrive late,” Barquete said. Many cities have no comparison to Houston as the forth largest city in America. “Houston is a really big city. My city in WORKING In U.S. History, George Brazil is Riberirao Preto. Barquete, junior, works diligently with his group.
staff writer undreds of miles away from home, George Barquete stays in Houston, Texas far away from Riberirao Preto, Brazil. Enrolled in the foreign exchange program, and lives with a host family until his stay in Houston ends. Which is some time around a week after the school year ends. His family suggested he register with the foreign exchange program. They had had previous experience with the program with other family members. “I have one brother and one sister who already did the same programs here in the U.S. but in different states, and they liked it very much. But my principal reason to be a part of this program is to improve my English and learn your culture,” said Barquete Barquete has developed a solid relationship with other students at the school, and has involved himself with various activities. He is enrolled in the PALs class
Mendry from Poland, Dekker from Switzerland, Barquete from Brazil study American culture
advertisement designer oasting through the halls of the school, all looks foreign to her, but to everyone else, she is the one who is really out of place. The outsider, Alina Dekker, junior, comes from Switzerland as one of three foreign exchange students new to the high school. The International Student Exchange Program, or ISE, to which she belongs allows students from all over the world to participate in the overseas exchange program. “I have always wanted to come over to America and experience the education system, so I just asked my dad and he said it was a really great idea,” Dekker said. Alina has come to experience the American way of life. “I really love it over here. [America] is very different from Switzerland, but I love it because there is so much to do,” Dekker said. One major difference between her home country and the
during the second semester because it is a game she loves and has been playing tennis for almost six years. “I love to play [tennis], I want to experience American skill and competition,” Dekker said. Dekker experienced the American way of life to its fullest, such as the freedom and surplus of activities, but most of all she will miss her new friends that she has made while staying in Texas. “Over here, [America] I get the opportunity to make friends very easily, and my favorite thing to do is hang out with friends.” Dekker said. Dekker plans to go back to Switzerland at the end of the school year in June of 2010. “I have enjoyed my three months in Texas and when I go back to my home I will miss it very much here in America, because I have been having such an amazing time here,” Dekker said.
We have 900,000 citizens. Houston is humid and my city is very dry,” Barquete said. His stay here in Houston has taught him about the American culture and he has learned a lot. “When this program is over I am going to college, and hopefully after college I will be going to another country. On my own, not with any sort of foreign program,” Barquete said.
photos by emma mckenize
8 feature the
Flu By Numbers
200,000: number of people hospitalized from flu-related complications in the US on average every year 1: number of days before symptoms develop that one can pass on the flu 2009: year that H1N1 swine flu swept the United States 14: number of days it takes for a flu shot to completely set in 4.6: percentage of people in our region who visit health clinics with Influenza-like illness per week 40: years since the last influenza pandemic in the world
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photo by meredith steffen
time after time Hunter Frizzell, senior, experienced reoccurring bouts of Staph throughout his high school football career.
edito As this year’s football season ca players left the field with more than mon problem among high school cus. Staphylococcus, or staph for sh with a small cut that gets infected group where students come in close spread, but detecting its source can “Trying to identify where the st be like looking for a needle in a h treating it and making sure it doe athletic trainer, said. This past season Hunter Frizzel tracted serious staph infections. The ple like Piotrowski in a position to b and off. Players take precautions w athletic trainers treat and monitor c “They have us tape up our cuts a ately after the games, but stuff happ
december ‘09 the
‘tis the season for sickness
common cold, but the infection is self-limiting. Typically a cold lasts out complications. Symptoms include runny nose, headache, congesere’s how to treat it at home:
ease in fluids 3. Over counter medication for congestion
edication before coming to school, and remember that too much decongestant ongested. Brand name medication and generic medication are equally effective. e taking medication and consult a doctor.
ny sick days are 2. About how much water should a person drink per week? r semester?
A. 100 oz B. 250 oz C. 500 oz
is the most common comthe nurse’s office?
dache B. stomach ache gestion
3. How many vaccinations is each high school student required to have?
A. 10 B. 19 C. 27
5. What is the most common peak-flu month?
A. November B. February C. April
answers: 1(C) 2 (C) 3 (B) 4 (A) 5 (B)
ball players plagued by staph infections
or-in-cheif ame to an end, in more than one case, n a good game hand shake. A very comathletics is the spread of Staphylocochort, is an infection that generally begins with bacteria. In sports, or even in any e contact with one another, staph is easily be difficult. taphylococcus was first contacted would haystack. The important matter for us is esn't spread,” Tommy Piotrowski, head
ll and Steven Grant, seniors, both cone unpredictable nature of staph put peobe prepared at all times, both on the field with instruction from their coaches and cases once they have been identified. and they tell us to take showers immedipens,” Grant said.
In Frizzell’s case this was not the first time he was troubled with the infection. “My parents were worried because I have had the infections four times before this. They didn’t want it to keep coming back,” Fizzell said. Both players found themselves on the field each week despite the set back. Frizzell has been burdened by staph infections all through his high school football career. He was infected once during his sophomore year, once in his junior year sending him to the hospital for three days, and now twice during his senior year. After contacting staph once, the infection remains in the patient’s blood and they are more likely to get it again. Unlike an injury, staph infections did not keep players on the bench; however, the risk for spreading the infection heightens with the presence of it on the field. Though staph has the potential to exist almost anywhere, players have identified Pridgeon Stadium as a place where they are at high risk. “We did receive warnings mainly from the trainers. They make us wear extra bandages on open cuts. Staph is present at the Berry Center field, but you are more prone to get it a Pridgeon because it has Astroturf and it’s older,” Frizzell said. When the team plays at Pridegon they make an effort to avoid turf burn
in fear that they could contract staph. Regardless of rumors, the infection, once contracted, can live in numerous places, so treatment and prevention are the important matters. UIL has certain recommendations for avoiding the contracting and spreading of the infection. Taking immediate showers after games and practices and washing gear is strongly encouraged as well as refraining from full body shaving. The athletic trainers practice safe and cleanly habits when it comes to practices and games. “The student-athletes have to be aware of what it is, and come have it checked. If they come in and get evaluated in the Athletic Training Room and we determine that we are dealing with staphylococcus, the wound will be cleaned and covered immediately,” Piotrowski said. Student athletes with staph are present all over the country, and it is hardly rare. “In comparison to my other experiences, I would say that the frequency of cases we see here in the JVHS athletic training room is comparable to those at other high schools,” Piotrowski said. The cases present at this high school happen to be prominent in football, but due to the precautions taken by the prepared athletic training staff, they are rarely an issue that goes untreated or keeps students from playing football.
Breaking the Bank Economic woes affect hard working teens
staff writer Through the world’s current economic downturn, more teens look for jobs. Today’s teens feel the enormous pressure to have a job, any job, if only to earn some extra spending money for weekends out with friends, or for savings. For some having a job remains a personal choice, but for others, their situation at home requires that they help support the family. With technology increasingly taking over easy manual jobs, and employers willing to pay less and less, the unemployment rate for teens this year has hit an all time high, reaching nearly 30%. For a teenager, applying at many different places can be discouraging. Shadae Phillips, senior, applied at Abercrombie Kids and Journeys before eventually being hired by Hollister at the beginning of the summer. The job required that she sold clothes and cleaned the store, but her hours were long and often taxing. “I did like it because I had reasonable and flexible schedule,” Phillips said. Her paychecks went toward her various school expenses and hanging out with her friends, but by the time school came around, Phillips realized she had a lot more going on, maybe even too much. Between drill team, Student Leadership Committee, Senior Ladies and volunteering at a local hospital, Phillips felt that being employed at Hollister would have to come to an end. She quit shortly after the school year started. “I wish I could have a job again to help pay
for all the senior necessities and college,” Phillips said. The difficulties that Phillips experienced in actually obtaining her job were considerably smaller when compared to Billy Mounchan, senior, and his recent work experience. Mounchan worked at Zumiez in Willowbrook Mall for over a year, but when the economy took a down turn and the company suffered monetary losses, Mounchcan’s job became stressful and he would sometimes work alone in the store, or act as manager when there was little help. The situation turned into a nightmare. “At times I would be running manager when I was not supposed to, but when I worked by myself and I had to help a customer or go into the back to get a shoe, people would steal,” Mounchan said. After several occurrences, Mounchan was fired for the thefts, events he could not have prevented. He did his best to apply at many places, remaining jobless for only a few short months. He was eventually hired as an attendant at Monkey Bizness, a company that rents out party rooms full of inflatable slides and obstacle courses for children’s birthday parties. In the end, Mounchan was satisfied with the result. Kirk Trygsdad, senior, is an exception to the
Unemployment Rates For: America ... 10.2% Texas ...... 8.2% Houston ... 6.5%
FAST FACTS 1. Teen unemployment is three and a half times higher than the national. unemployment rate. 2. Raising minumum wage has increased the unemployment rates for teens. 3. Many teen jobs are replaced by immigrants and the elderly.
increasing number of teens that are jobless. He landed a job two years ago at Discount Tires and fell in love with it. “It pays amazing, I get to work on my car for free and I get a nice discount on tires,” Trygsdad said. With positive attitudes, Phillips, Mounchan and Trygsdad successfully landed jobs in an economy that has seen better employment days. Many teens end up without jobs, due to their involvement in other activities or a company’s inability to hire additional employees because of the weak economy. “Just keep applying at multiple places until someone calls you. It’ll happen,” Phillips said.
Health Science views open heart surgery LEANDRA LEE staff writer
Hearts beated anxiously as 26 students observed a live open heart surgery. Sharon Hamlin, Health Science teacher gave three Health Science I students the opportunity to watch surgeons, and doctors work together to perform a heart surgery. “The student spots are limited. Only 30 people can go, including the teacher, the chaperones, and 26 students. I chose Karina Tverbakk, Kevin Le, and Thi Cong, because they all had good conduct and grades. I specially chose Karina because she has a relative that has undergone a heart procedure since the beginning of the school year and I thought it would be a special experience for her,” Hamlin said. The students, who are chosen to attend, observe many reasons of cardio surgery such as; heart diseases, heart abnormalities from birth and sometimes patients who need valve replacements. “It was very interesting watching the open heart surgery. It was a good experience because I got to see the real thing and not what the movies show, it was great,” Cong, sophomore said. Planning for a group of students to watch
an open heart surgery take’s time. The trip is scheduled eight to ten months in advance. The students must have good grades and conduct. Usually students who attend are in health science II and III, very rarely health science I kids get the opportunity to go. “It’s a special privilege and it was a special experience getting to see it. It was really enjoyable and educational.” Le, sophomore, said. Watching an open heart photo by SHARON HAMLIN surgery can be life changing. Excited to have witnessed heart surgery Health Science I,II , and III students pose in front of the hospital It can help a student decide if where they viewed open heart surgery. First Row: Angel White, Amanda Gomez, Nikkie Kaur, juniors, Norma Ortega, senior, Estefani Alea health occupation is someman, junior, Thi Chong, Kevin Le, sophomores, Iliana Moral, senior. Second Row: Armando Landeros, Emelin Martinez, Angela Figueroa, thing they really want to purseniors, Marcell Mattern, junior, Ashley Antione, senior, Emily Hinh, Sean Crain, Rose Nguyen, juniors, Jasmine Reese, senior, Cameron Sweet, sue or not. senior. Third Row: Karina Tverbakk, sophomore, Elizabeth Barrera, senior, Melissa Carios, Ericka Gardner, Lina Chea, juniors, Ericka “I’ve been thinking about Gardner, senior, Jennifer Do, junior, and Ehrin McDaniel, senior. pursuing a career in health care, and being able to see how many people it takes to actually perform open heart surgery sounded like a great thing the surgery. We got to see the heart beating to experience, and to help me decide if open and learn about how everything was being heart surgery was something I was really inperformed,” Tverbakk, said. terested in. It was interesting to watch the surgeons open the patient’s chest and to see
Generous Generation Student Council fundraises to build wells in underdeveloped countries EMMA MCKENZIE
staff writer Citizens of third world countries trek miles to drink a few drops of muck from unsanitary ponds. The gulps that the civilians take in can make them sick or even cause them to die. Charity:Water, however, sets out to put an end to this problem. This non-profit organization collects donations to help cover the cost of building wells in Africa, India and South America. Recently, Student Council decided to join the cause to end thirst. Student Council, commonly referred to as STUCO, decided to donate to Charity:Water this year to help with the lack of healthy, drinkable water in less fortunate countries, for example, in Africa. “There isn’t a certain reason why STUCO chose to help African countries but we usually try to choose causes that help third world countries and provide them with basic ne-
cessities, like sanitary water,” photo by Vanesa Adan Lily Nhoisaykham, senior, INTERESTED Members of Student Council pay close attention to officers explain upcoming events in which they said. can participate. STUCO took one half of the as many people as they possibly homecoming proceeds and donated them to Charity:Water. can. With so much money raised from homecoming, STUCO “We really try to provide countries that are not as blessed was able to provide water for a lot of Africans. as us with simple amenities we take for granted,” Vaidya “We raised the money and the charity will take the ‘literal’ said. action with our funding to build the wells in African comAs the school year progresses, the members of student munities,” Neha Vaidya, junior, said. council continue to think of new organizations around the For every twenty dollars Charity: Water receives, the world to donate to and they choose the causes that will have charity can give one person in an underdeveloped country a great impact on communities. Helping different races and clean water for twenty years. cultures makes STUCO members proud of what they do. “With such a simple price, it is easy to get everyone in“I feel very passionate about [Charity:Water] because volved,” Vaidya said. we’re helping [people in other countries] get a necessary comStudent Council has done their best to raise money for modity that we take for granite here in the United States,” different causes around the world. The members aim to help Yahya Kahn, senior, said.
Junior begins basketball season in emergency room COURTNEY CALBAT
delivery manager eady to take on Conroe in their first pre-season game the Varsity Lady Falcons’ basketball team encountered the unexpected. With the main thought of getting the ball running through her head, Nicole Ancell, junior, found herself on the way to First Choice Emergency Room located in the Woodlands, with a head injury. Conroe had thrown a lob, or higher pass, to the girl Ancell was guarding when she jumped to intercept it, and right as she left the ground the other girl’s elbow came down and hit Ancell right next to her eye. Ancell knew something was wrong right away, for a sharp pain was shot to the side of her eye. “As soon as I was hit, I could feel the warm blood running down my face, and I was terrified because I did not know if it was my eye bleeding or just my head,” Ancell said, although Lisa Ancell, Nicole’s mom, was not as worried at first. “My first thought was that she just
got elbowed in the eye and that she would get right back up off the floor,” Lisa Ancell said. Lisa Ancell kept watching to realize Coach Anthony Decarlo’s face showed signs that it was fairly serious. The trainer from Klein Collins came right away and helped clean Ancell up. She also put some butterfly BandAids on the wound to help keep the blood to a minimum, on the way to the hospital. As she was heading for the ER she could not help but think about how long she would have the stitches in for, and how big of a scar it would leave on her face. As soon as Ancell arrived she went straight into a room for the doctor to examine it. Before the doctor began his work of repairing Ancell’s face, she
was given about six or seven shots surrounding the wound. Even the doctor was surprised of how deep the injury went. According to Ancell the doctor said that he did not usually see injuries like this in basketball. He indicated to her that the cut went all the way to the skull. In the end it took a total of 23 stitches to repair the wound; 14 on the inside and nine on the outside. As her teammates continued the game without Ancell’s presence, they could not help but think if Ancell was going to be okay. At the end of the game Jersey Village defeated Conroe, despite Ancell’s injury. Ancell was only out of basketball for about six days; until her stitches could be taken out. She has now healed from her injury and the Lady Falcon is ready to overcome any other challenges.
“...I could feel the warm blood running down my face...”
photo by Carmen Brown
Dribbiln’ On November 17th Nicole Ancell, junior, decides who to pass to when assisting in a shot against Clear Lake.
ABC to SAT Future graduate reflects on the similarities between senior year and kindergarten
Teen driver expresses frustration with navigation KIMBERLY SHEERAN staff writer
It all began Christmas Day, 2007, when I awoke to find a white 2004 Jetta parked in the driveway of my house and the keys in my hand. Teenagers get excited for their first car and the independence it brings, but through my own excitement, I was unable to foresee the trouble that would soon plague me. I should have known when I got lost in Jersey Village. I should have known when I got lost in the mall. I definitely should have known when I got lost in the school. My parents knew, my brother knew and all my friends knew. Unfortunately, blinded by my new car at the age of 16, I was denying that my sense of direction is almost non-existent. It first hit me when I was driving up to school for drill team night practice. I had decided to take a right into the big entrance of Jersey Village (which I later discovered that the street’s name was Phillipine). I thought that following the bright blue signs that say “School Complex” would be easy enough. Somewhere along my pilgrimage, the blue signs disappeared and the streets became so unfamiliar that it became pointless to even try to figure out where I was. After 25 minutes of aimless driving, I finally arrived at school. When my friends asked me about my tardiness and heard my answer, they gave me strange looks and laughs bubbled from them for more than 10 minutes. Back then, if anyone gave me directions to the Kroger on West and Beltway 8, they would have to go something like: “Take a right out of the neighborhood. Keep going straight NO MATTER WHAT. When you see Sonic, get in the left lane and turn into the shopping center. It is the same parking lot that has KFC and Wendy’s.” My sense of direction (or lack thereof ) has provided me with many interesting experiences, but now MapQuest and Google Maps are my best friends when I get into the car. I still do not know some road names and I still get confused, but I learn from my experiences and have become much, much better to the satisfaction of my family and friends. But to this day, they insist on driving.
W RO N G WAY
I may only have a little less than a semester under my belt, but I think I have senior year figured out. It is just like kindergarten. Besides the obvious fact that seniors take about the same number of naps during this year as they did in kindergarten, the nostalgic experience is one in the same. In kindergarten we were taught to share our cookies. Now we share upward knowledge and the expertise some of us may have acquired over the thirteen years. Seniors share application due dates, costume pieces for senior dress up days, and government notes. We have had a lot of practice with sharing, so we make a point to share our cookies. On the first day of kindergarten, about 20 five-year-olds run around in an attempt to learn everyone’s name and ask ‘wanna be friends?’ After spending years in classrooms with the same students, groups form and best friends become acquaintances. I cannot speak for everyone but during senior year, it seems that we all eventually become friends again for one last hoorah. Even in my first semester, I have reconnected with numerous people that I never expected. It is almost as if one of the side effects of Senioritis is a rejuvenated spirit that eliminates grudges and heals all. To be perfectly honest, senior year is not all kickball and coloring. Applying to college, taking SATs one last time, and making plans does consume many evenings and weekends. In kindergarten I drew pictures of my family and attempted to spell my name right, but that is because at that point in my life, that was all I knew. This year I wrote college essays about my experiences and what I know now, which is much more than spelling my name correctly, but the concept is similar. Looking though old family photos, the most prominent year photographed was kindergarten. There were numerous opportunities for my parents to get out the disposable camera
because every event was the first of its kind; the first day of school, the first field day, the first dance recital. Now flipping through my tagged photos on Facebook, the every album’s name reads ‘Sen10r year.’ Sporting ridiculous costumes and senior t-shirts is necessary because every dress up day, pep rally, homecoming, and first day of school is the last. My dad once told me that some people live their senior year for the rest of their life. I do not think I could live the rest of my life in a school that is under construction while writing research papers and applying to college, but I do understand the pride one gets from being a senior in high school. I plan to take my pride and use it. Use it to move on, attend college, and change the world. I will, however, always remember to share my cookies.
K I M B E R L Y ’ S
GRADUATE Jacqui Bontke, senior, graduates from ECP at the age of four.
M A P
“Good Morning Falcons”
Peregrine Staff 2009-2010
Inconsistent daily announcements decrease community during pressing times
extremes share a commonality in that, for the most part, teachers lack consistency with announcement reading, which seems unreasonable for a practice that is suppose to occur daily. The current form of announcements that still stands asks that students rise for the U.S. and state pledge, along with a moment of silence. Students are then reminded that they can access the school webpage at any time. Another inconsistency occurs when either the student body president or the senior class president reads a random announcement about Dual Credit Registration or a Student Council event. Random announcements would be justified if the topic was urgent, new, or not dictated on the webpage, such as in the case when parking lot changes occurred and students were notified, but that is rarely the case. When announcements were read in the morning over the loud speaker, in some cases, they became arbitrary or repetitive, but now the daily announcements page on the school website sees that problem more than before. Certain announcements get overlooked after they have been on the page for
more than a few days. Keeping Jersey Village’s sense of community is just as important as knowing when clubs meet or when teams achieve. Daily announcements said over the loud speaker should be reinstated, but with that reinstatement, should come a fresh delivery. Holding auditions for announcement readers may allow a student with enthusiasm to grasp the attention of others, or hearing from one of the administrators who enjoys addressing the student body may attract listeners. A city would not shut down its Town Hall if its members did not attend meetings because Town Hall meetings give constituents belonging and establish a well rounded community. Announcements addressed to the student body do the same for this school, while the confusion and inconsistency created from a webpage of announcements does not.
“I miss out on activities a lot by not having announcements,” PAULIN PALOMO, senior, said.
“I want [announcements] back because they inform me of the activities around the school,” HANNAH FOUTS, junior, said.
aving a specific time when news can be shared with students is a necessary aspect of a school that values community. The absence of daily announcements heard over the loud speaker causes confusion amongst students and forgoes that sense of community. The daily announcements once provided students with a large amount of information such as club meetings, student recognition, and need to know basis news. Second period lasts four minutes longer than the other periods in order to have that information heard without taking away from class time. Now, those four extra minutes serve to allow teachers to access the school webpage and recite announcements to their class. Some teachers adjusted to the change by claiming that if students want to read the announcements, they can do so on their own time, but the time set aside for announcements in second period does belong to students for the purpose of hearing announcements. Other teachers decided to, not only read the announcements to their second period, but to all their classes in an effort to keep students as informed as possible. Both
“They should just cancel them completely because [announcements] don’t even say what they need to. It should be the teacher’s responsibility,” BILLY AYOOLA, sophomore, said.
editor-in-chief JACQUI BONTKE managing editors KELSEY O’BRIANT LAURA HEBERT sports editor MIKELA MELAKIS photo editor KATHY ROMERO layout editor MUMTA MITTAL advertising designer VINCE FLORES delivery manager COURTNEY CALBAT staff writers KINSEY BUTTON, ALISSA GUERRA, LEANDRA LEE, EMMA MCKENZIE, THILYE RINKE, KIMBERLY SHEERAN, TANNER STOGSDILL, JESSE UPPAL staff adviser MARGIE COMSTOCK principal RALPH FUNK
Jersey Village High School Student Publications’ Newspaper Policy
The Peregrine is the official student publication of Jersey Village High School and is published by the Advanced Journalism Newspaper class at Jersey Village High School, 7600 Solomon, Houston, Texas 77040 (713-896-3400). It is distributed free to the student body. Subscriptions can be bought for $15, and copies of the paper will be mailed to your residence. Unsigned editorials represent a majority agreement of the staff. The Peregrine is read in advance of publication by the JVHS administration. Advertising is sold by the 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and full page. The staff has the right to reject, edit, or cancel any advertisement at any time. The advertising policy is stated on the advertising contract. Advertising is not an endorsement from the staff, the adviser, the administration, or the Cypress Fairbanks Board of Trustees. The Peregrine is a member of the Interscholastic League Press Conference, Quill and Scroll, and the National Scholastic Press Association. The Peregrine is printed by Mirror Publishers, Inc in Texas City, TX. The opinion of readers is held in high regard. Please send all feedback or questions to our address or room 1712. Letters to the editor need to be limited to 150 words. We reserve the right to edit for spelling and grammar. Letters must be signed.
photo by NICA LLANO
Winter Wonderland photo by NICA LLANO
4. 1. SNACKING ON SNOW With their tongues
Houston experiences below freezing temperatures, school takes break from studies to embrace snow
hanging in the air, Courtney Calbat and Victoria Mueller, freshmen, caught real snow flakes in their mouths.
perature dropped and Shelby Young, senior, hoped her letter jacket would be enough to keep her warm. 3. ICEY BATTLE During theatre class, Nick Garza, sophomore, stood his ground in a snowball fight. 4. SNOWY SMILE Vinnie Lam, senior, could not help but smile when his lunch time ended with a snow day surprise. “It was one of the best days I’ve ever had in Houston because of the beautiful weather,” Lam said. 5. LET IT SNOW As the snow fell the front of the high school became a haven for early dismissals to await their rides home.
n Friday, December 4th, the city of Houston buzzed with mixed emotions about possible snow. Here on campus, during the last lunch, word of real live snow spread like gossip. Many teachers encouraged their students to experience the snow so hallways cleared and students embraced the frozen bliss. The day now goes down in history as the earliest snow in Houston.
2. WARM LETTERMAN The tem-
6. SNOW FRO When she left the house
photo by NICA LLANO
in the morning, Thilye Rinke, senior, never expected to be covered in snow by the end of the day. “The snow was a memory that I will never forget,” Rinke said. 7. A COLD EMBRACE Clutching a pile of snow tightly, Jonathan Noriega, sophomore, hurried back toward the building to show his friends. BEGGING FOR FLURRIES Anticipation built as third period rolled around. Joey Gilbert, freshman, saw a few specs of snow and questioned why she did not believe it would snow.
photo by NICA LLANO