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Students fight to #FreeWildin APRIL 2016 VOL. XXV ISSUE V

The editorials, unless signed, are the consensus opinion of the editorial staff and do not necessarily reflect the views of the adviser or the school administration. The newspaper welcomes letters to the editor. The newspaper reserves the right to edit letters for space and clarity. All letters must be signed, however, the newspaper will withhold names upon request with good reason. Advertisements in the newspaper are paid.advertisements and are not the opinion of, or the endorsement of, the newspaper or school administration.

• Head Editors: Ben Huffman, Morgan Whithaus • Staff: Ray Starn, Sara Falcon, Maya Gacina, Yulmi Alvarez, Pam Gonzalez, Dalia Belmouloud, Cy Neff, Zoe Ashe-Jones, Jac Chapman, Emilee Bachman, Caitlyn Patton, Molly Sobb, Gillian Wensell, Lena Geller, Emmanuel Tobe, Norstarsha Smith, Margot Gersing, Axel Herrera, Reuben Jones, Lexi Newman, Andre Nguyen, Emily Rodriguez, Timothy Duke • Photo Editor: Anna James


3218 Rose of Sharon Rd. Durham, NC 22712



Pirates' Hookok

All hands on deck: Call to action

“Riverside is on a downward spiral.” “The rift between the administration, teachers, and students seems to be growing every week.” “School spirit is at an all-time low.” “FLEX period and mystery policies leave people forgetting which way is up.” “Showing up to take a standardized test has become more important than a student’s true understanding of the material.” As a school, we all hear about the negatives, but we also need to recognize the positives. Riverside does boast a prestigious engineering program, over a dozen kids are attending Governor’s School this summer, each year seniors receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships, our building is full of dedicated teachers, and clubs are involved for the betterment of Riverside and its students. The effort to improve our school is present, and we must all continue to work together to achieve a more positive future. We call upon students, staff, and administrators for a compromise. We are not satisfied with the current administration’s tactics, but need to offer a solution for the lack of communication. Administrators building relationships with students and staff is a way to break down the communication barrier that has divided the school. Better

On the cover:

Riverside students meet with Congressman GK Butterfield to discuss the status of Wildin Acosta, a Riverside senior who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in January 2016. Students and community members from across Durham, North Carolina, and the United States are fighting to have Wildin returned to Riverside.

communication from the administrators to the staff and students is necessary in order for the school to move forward. Without it, we are all just running in place. This communication can help establish trust and confidence, and in turn improve the overall chemistry of the school. With a better understanding of each other’s choices, as a whole school, we can work towards making real improvements. An instruction without an explanation leaves us confused and frustrated. Why do we spend time in FLEX three days a week? Why are the doors so inconsistently locked or unlocked? Why do we play trumpets every day? Why are we expected to take tests we know we are not supposed to do well on? Why are we allowing students

to smoke under stairwells while people are being yelled at for using the crosswalk? Why are there so few bilingual staff members to support English as a Second Language (ESL) students? When we are not given answers, we go to our own conclusions, which are sometimes right, but also sometimes wrong. Com-


munication from all sides is the key for success in the future. More communication from the administration also requires more involvement in school events. With more involvement from the administration in club meetings such as Destino Success and athletic events such as rivalry games and senior nights, school spirit, which our school is currently severely lacking in, can rise. With school spirit comes

a greater sense of the school. Students will cooperate with the administration if they are able to see it in a different light. As students we also need to hold each other accountable. Instead of hanging out in the hallways being wall decorations, we should go to class to do what we are supposed to do. It is our duty to learn, otherwise what is the point of coming to school at all? Our education must be our priority. We all must work together and compromise in order to be successful. Students need to keep an open mind about new policies, but administrators must also be receptive for what students need. More focus needs to be on supporting students and staff, and less on scrutinizing the little things. ESL students and families need more resources for their education to be effective. Students' interests and activism should be supported instead of ignored. We all should not have to be jumping through hoops every year to get what we need for the best education possible. Policies should be made with a valid justification for why, instead of leaving us wondering. All Pirates should have pride about where we go to work and learn every day.

Manos a la obra

“El espíritu escolar está en su punto más bajo.” “El periodo FLEX y pólizas misteriosas hacen que la gente olvide cual es el camino arriba”.”Presentándose a tomar un exam se ha vuelto más importante que la verdadera comprensión que un estudiante tenga sobre el material que está

estudiando”. Como una escuela, todos oímos hablar de los aspectos negativos, pero también tenemos que reconocer los aspectos positivos. Riverside contiene un programa prestigio de ingeniería, más de una docena de niños van a ir la escuela del gobernador

(Governor’s School) este verano, cada año, estudiantes del último año reciben cientos de miles de dólares en becas, nuestro edificio está lleno de maestros dedicados, y hay varias organizaciones que están involucradas para el

Cont. en pg. 6

April 2016

Advisory? Consistency is key By Jac Chapman The term FLEX itself paints a picture of a creepy version of The Terminator or 50 Cent making odd grunting noises while flexing their muscles. Who would ever like that over Advisory? The term Advisory makes one feel like assistance, instruction, and an all around dapper will occur during the time between “real” classes. Contradictory to what Cy Neff thinks, FLEX an acronym. According to Obama, FLEX stands for Formaldehyde, Laxatives, Education, X-ray. This acronym can clearly be explained. Formaldehyde because chemistry. LAXatives because everything learned in FLEX gets flushed down the toilet. Education, because it’s purely ironic. X-ray because they can see the misery of inside one’s heart during FLEX. Advisory was consistent. When Riverside used it during the

Face-Off 2014-2015 school year, students would plan out when they could charge their phones and students were with the same people everyday. Relationships were built, friendships were strengthened, and that one couple could make out in the corner every day. Advisory was a large leap in the realm of human rights. This is clear because Riverside was finally letting the work of the teacher align with their pay—do nothing, get paid nothing. Originally, advisory was Donald Trump’s idea. Trump applied these useless 30 minute periods throughout his day, the entire century and it worked like a charm, Lucky Charms. Everyone loves Donald Trump and it’s clear that anything he says is genius. Therefore, Advisory is genius. Advisory spread to Riverside because Mr. Carlson went to Las Vegas and hung out with Donald Trump. While the two were sipping on cranberry juice, kicking back by the hot tub and working their tans, Trump’s business model came up and Carlson loved it. Carlson then shot an email to Principal Joel County in morse code, who also loved the idea of wasting more time and Advisory was brought into the world of Riverside High School. When asked about Advisory, all Carlson said was, “Get to class folks”. Apparently what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas? FLEX is really just adding more stress to students. A poll states that 140 percent of students believe that they receive far too much responsibility and adding

an ever-changing class to their schedule is simply unfair. Just let Riverside become Trump University. It’s gonna happen anyway and we should just hop on the winning wagon before it’s too late to turn back. Bring back Advisory or let your school turn into a wasteland of sadness, forced child labor and FLEX.

FLEX? Variety is the spice of life By Cy Neff FLEX period has caught a lot of flack in its time. Decried as confusing, few see FLEX as the visionary program it truly is. For example, one would think that FLEX is an acronym, stands for something, or has any meaning at all. In a truly innovative step, FLEX, despite being all capital letters, is not an acronym, and stands for absolutely nothing at all. FLEX is named for the flexibility in which it pulls students and teachers together, and bestows upon them the greatest 25 minutes of their day. The sheer unpredictability of FLEX makes it exceptional. With advisory, students always knew which 30 minutes of the day to skip. With FLEX, students are left running through the hallways without warning, which gives them a sense of adventure as they scramble to find an administrator-free stairwell to make some exceptionally poor decisions under, or a bathroom to get the next period’s homework done in. The chaos of FLEX whisks students back to a time of innocence, when they would actually do their homework and didn’t yet believe

public schools to be a Byzantine bureaucracy. FLEX is like the rich American past-time of Russian roulette: neither students nor teachers know when or where it’s coming, and, in the end, nobody ever comes out better from it. Although there’s a supposed rhythm to the order of FLEX periods, nobody seems to actually know it. If Riverside had to turn to something like FLEX to meet a state requirement, then it’s a sure sign that we’ll need to know how to take calculated risks as adults. In fact, students and teachers are only alerted that FLEX is happening when Mr. Carlson manages to stand in all four hallway intersections at the same time and screams “Fourth period FLEX, folks.” The Pirates’ Hook hired a search team to tail Mr. Carlson in order to discover where he got the information as to how or when FLEX would occur. Results were inconclusive. At the beginning of the year, people were quick to rag on FLEX, about how they didn’t know where to go, why it was happening, et cetera, et cetera. These people failed, and continue to fail, to realize that FLEX is a way of making up for the fact that students are only required to exercise for one semester out of a four year education. Before FLEX, I’d tie my fitbit to a ceiling fan while I oozed like a slug on my couch and slammed back family size bags of


cheetos. Then I’d lie to my loved ones about working out, and say that, “yes, I did run 12 miles today, CHECK THE FITBIT MOM and no, my fingers are naturally orange.” After FLEX, my days of frantically tearing down the halls in search of the correct classroom have left me absolutely shredded. Goodbye trans fats and orange fingers, hello zero body fat and entirely new forms of self-loathing. FLEX takes big steps into the future of psychological experimentation in education. If one gives a teacher a classroom full of students for half an hour, randomly, and gives them very little direction as to what to do, what will the teacher come up with? Well, the results are playing out before your eyes, and they sure are scintillating. So go ahead, critique FLEX all you want. Say that it takes away from educational time, that it exists to help Riverside meet an obscure state standard, and that it doesn’t serve any real purpose. You can kick and scream all you want, but in the end, it’s futile. FLEX makes us survivors and that is the greatest skill of all.



Dear Ben: Prepare for change

By Ben Huffman Dear little freshman me, Your life is going to change over the course of the next four years, some good and some bad. There will be a lot of experiences that will mold you into a better human being. Now that I am done with the cookie-cutter speech, let me tell you how high school is really going to go. After spending the first 14 years of your life coming to this big school (in comparison to your other schools), you will now become a part of it. You have spent more time during the summer here than on vacation. But now it’s time to prepare yourself for a new situation. Buckle up, because it’s time to ride a roller coaster that never seems to end. Peer pressure exists, but it’ll be easy to ignore, so you shouldn’t have too much to worry about there. There will be times people will try to coerce you, but honestly it isn’t as big a deal as it is on TV. In fact, peer pressure as a whole is a giant joke at Riverside. Sure it exists, but it doesn’t show it’s ugly face much. High school is nothing like middle school, and the same can be said for your friends. Now don’t get me wrong, you will keep some friends, but many of

them will take different paths and parking lots and the perimeter of you will eventually grow apart. the school will be cut down. Also The friends you do keep will be the loss of birthday banners will

some of the best you have for the next four years. You’ll also meet new people that you’ll remember for the rest of your life, for better or for worse. There will be a striking change of landscape, both internally and externally. Outside of the school, the greenery that you were once used to will be gone. Many of the skyscraping trees that outlined the

The Asuncion Family Mary & Randy Peterson

ever had. Also, as much as you try, there will be some people you’ll always have class with, but it will • PHOTO COURTESY OF BEN HUFFMAN all be worth it. Once you get used to the same 25 to 30 kids in class every year, nothing will affect you. It will make you laugh a bit too much in class, but nothing can beat a little laughter every once in awhile. Baseball will be a big reason to keep moving on through high school and will be a great experience. Freshman year will be the absolute best, as a part of one of the best lineups on junior varsity, and losing only one game will help that claim. Sophomore year will be even better, and you’ll be able to experience the greatest moment in your four years at Riverside, a come-from-behind, walk-off win on Senior Night against Northern. This wonderful sport will teach you to cope with failure and find silver linings in many take away some of the flavor that adverse situations. When you the school once had. The banners make a giant mistake that costs were always fun to attempt to you some time in the lineup read as you passed by the front (during your junior year, so be entrance. ready), you’ll learn from it and The overall learning environ- come back with a fire burning ment will be less than ideal, but within you, and also manage to it’ll be good enough to get you not get hurt, hopefully. It might through your next four years. Not even cost you so much that you every teacher will be awful; in write about it and it gets you into fact, some will be the best you’ve college.

Thank You Hook Sponsors! ETGXP Compliance Services

Pirates' Hookok Another thing to look forward to is being on the Newspaper staff. Whether it’s Cameron McNeill rubbing your shoulders creepily telling you to share your story, Mr. Unruhe yelling at the class for not following directions, or the sloth video playing on a loop during third period, there is a lot to look forward to. You’ll also experience a teacher change (spoiler alert, it’s Mr. Christopher) that will not do anything to change your enthusiasm for the class. If you work hard enough, you’ll even work your way to the top of the class and become a head editor. The greatest advice I can give you is not to take yourself too seriously. Make sure to enjoy the best of your next four years, because when the bell tolls, it will all be over. Sometimes you’ll be faced with a tough decision, and if it seems remotely wrong then avoid doing it. It could benefit you more in the long run. Just don’t stress the small things. Take every opportunity you get and treat each individual one like an at-bat in baseball. You will not bat 1.000, even though you can’t help but try to do so, but as long as you have a fairly good average, life will be just fine. Besides, what's the worst that could happen? Good luck with high school. You're going to need it, Ben

Brian & Karen Van Horn Pela & Gary Gereffi

April 2016


Dear Morgan: Go for it


By Morgan Whithaus Dear freshman self, Go into high school fearlessly, branch out and make new friends, and start yourself out on a strong foundation to allow your sophomore, junior, and senior selves to pursue what you love. Be confident and be friendly. You’ll make freshman year look easy. I can’t help but begin by telling you that you should play field hockey. Yeah, I know, as an eighth grader you’ve never even heard of the sport before, but trust me, you’ll love it. This decision to start playing field hockey during


your freshman year will greatly impact your high school experience. I know you’ll end up being disappointed in your first season because you didn’t get very much playing time, but let yourself be discouraged. The disappointment you will have about your freshman season is what will fuel you as you begin to play on a club team that following winter. Freshman Morgan, don’t ever give up on field hockey. Your determination and love for the game will enable you for success, resulting in three all-conference titles and two all-state titles. And ultimately, your perseverance in

a sport that was constantly told it had little potential in achieving noteworthy status during your four years at Riverside will lead to the goal against Jordan High School and the win against Chatham Hall. Still, as a second-semester senior, I can’t help but get excited every time I think about those moments. Freshman Morgan, as you go into high school, remember to cherish your time with your church’s youth ministry. Your years in youth group will become some of your favorite years of your life—especially those first five. All of those crazy lock-ins, runs to fast food restaurants, games of Catacombs, and Sunday night Bible studies will help you stay grounded (and have a tremendous amount of fun) during high school. Cling to every chance you have to be with the students and leaders you love so much. Things will change, so please remember to enjoy youth group while you can. And even when things do change, embrace the change. Yes, the transition period will be terrible and you’ll miss your old friends tremendously, but it will be okay. The difficulties will get worked out and you’ll still be closer than ever with your core group of friends and youth leaders even though many have went off to college or are pursuing different paths. Also, don’t ever stop going on the mission trips to Buffalo, NY. I know you loved going over the summer leading up to your freshman year, but you’ll love going even more as you grow older. Your trips to Buffalo will serve as pivotal moments throughout your high school years. Finally, as you start signing

up for the classes you will take during your freshman year, sign up to take newspaper journalism—you’ll definitely thank yourself later. Being on The Pirates’ Hook staff will also be one of your most influential experiences during high school as you learn how to write for, design, edit, and manage a newspaper. During your junior year, you’ll fall in love with doing layout for the paper and designing pages to be eye-catching and appealing. As a senior you’ll fall in love with editing the stories of other writers, and your love for editing will ultimately shape your goal of becoming an English teacher. And finally, as your second semester of your senior year comes, the confidence you have gained in yourself because of your experiences in journalism will directly enable you to help spearhead the #RHSwantsWildinback campaign, and to speak to people and participate in events you never imagined were possible. When I say that you need to sign up to be a part of The Pirates’ Hook staff, I’m completely serious. Your time with The Pirates’ Hook will

directly prepare you for your four years at Meredith College and for your future beyond. As I wrap up my letter to you, I want to tell you that I truly believe you’ll do a great job in shaping your future during your high school years. As senior year quickly approaches its end, I am proud of who I have become, and I know I couldn’t be who I am today without the way you will confidently carry yourself as a freshman student as you adjust to a new school. You can do anything, but please remember that you can’t do everything. If you remember this early in high school and strive not to consistently over-commit yourself, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress later. Finally, act with integrity, stand up for what’s right, and go conquer high school. Remember to be yourself and to be willing to try new things. I’m incredibly proud of you for who you are now and for who you will become later. Keep working hard, have an open mind, have fun, and be yourself! Best of luck on your next four years at Riverside, Morgan Whithaus


May 12 at 2:35 p.m. in Room 138

Pirates' Hookok

6 Columns

Dear Tim: Be cautious of your decisions By Timothy Duke Dear Timothy, On April 1, 2016 you will be rejected from New York University, class of 2020. You will feel completely numb from the dejection. Even though you will spend months preparing yourself for this exact feeling, there will always be some part of you that wants to be wrong so badly. For four years, NYU will be your dream school, a place where you could blossom into the person you want to be. Attending your second choice school, DePaul University in Chicago, will always feel like a second choice. Due to your anxiety, I’m sure you’re thinking about what can be done to change this outcome, how you wish so desperately to be able to use this knowledge I have bestowed upon you to make your dream a reality. Maybe you’re mad at me, I don’t necessarily blame you, but

Cont. de pg.2

Manos a la obra

mejoramiento de Riverside y sus estudiantes. El esfuerzo para mejorar nuestra escuela es muy evidente, y todos tenemos el deber de seguir trabajando juntos para lograr un futuro más positivo. Hacemos una llamada a los estudiantes, el personal y los administradores para un compromiso. No estamos satisfechos con las tácticas actuales de la administración, pero también necesitamos ofrecer una solución para la disconformidad. Es importante que los administradores pueden crear relaciones con los estudiantes y el personal como una manera de romper las bar-

I ask you not to try to change this outcome because I would cease to exist. Before you assume I did nothing in high school, I’d like to say that while I may not have succeeded academically as much as I would have liked, I still made strides in improving myself which will pay off in the longrun. In sophomore year, you begin seeking help for your anxiety and depression, which lead to doing phenomenally well (by your standards at least) in your AP classes during your junior year. And while I’d love to say that you will continue this path to success, I cannot. Senior year you finally become a head editor, only to disappoint yourself as you fall back into old

habits harder than ever. You will miss school so often due to your depression and anxiety that you have to take a medical withdrawal for the remainder of senior year to finish at home. You will fight

this for a few months, despite the advice of your therapists, but it’s for the best. All I can think about right now is how badly I want to never sleep again, dreams have only let me down so far afterall. Hopefully depression and anxiety won’t remain a part of who you are in the future. Hopefully you, we, will be in a better place. I say hopefully knowing that hope opens up the possibility of let down, which is scary to me because it always seems as if I do nothing but let myself down, let my parents down, let my pets down, let my friends down. But let downs also bring with them their own opportunities to reevaluate yourself and your failures and to make changes. Despite my failures, I still wouldn’t change how my high school career turned out. I’m happy with who I • PHOTO COURTESY OF TIMOTHY DUKE have become and I would

reras de comunicación que divide a la escuela. Esta comunicación puede ayudar a establecer confianza y seguridad, como a la vez mejorar el ambiente general en la escuela. Con una mejor comprensión de las responsabilidades de cada uno, como una escuela unida, podemos trabajar juntos para progresar. Una instrucción sin una explicación nos deja confundidos y frustrados. ¿Por qué gastamos tiempo en FLEX tres días a la semana? ¿Por qué las puertas están con seguro o abiertas inconsistentemente? ¿Por qué tocamos el sonido de trompetas todos los días? ¿Por qué tomamos pruebas que sabemos que no debemos aprobar? ¿Por qué

estamos dejando estudiantes fumar bajo las escaleras? ¿Por qué hay tan pocos miembros del personal que sean bilingüe para apoyar a estudiantes de Inglés como Segundo Idioma (ESL)? Cuando no recibimos respuestas, creamos nuestras propias conclusiones, que por veces son correctas, pero también a veces no. Comunicación de todas las partes es la clave para el éxito en el futuro. Más comunicación de la administración también requiere una mayor participación en los eventos escolares. Con una mayor participación de la administración en las reuniones de organizaciones como Destino Success y eventos deportivos, tales como

juegos contra rivales y partidos especiales para estudiantes de último año, que podría aumentar nuestro orgullo escolar. Como estudiantes también necesitamos mantenerlos responsables entre nosotros mismos. En lugar de pasar todo el tiempo en los pasillos saltando clases, hay que ir a clases para cumplir con nuestro deber como estudiantes. Es nuestro deber de aprender, si no, ¿cuál es el punto de ir a la escuela? Nuestra educación debe ser nuestra prioridad. Los estudiantes necesitan mantener una mente abierta acerca de las nuevas pólizas, pero los administradores también deben ser receptivos a lo que los estudiantes necesitan. Deberia

not be who I am today without my failures. If I can give you one piece of advice for the rest of high school is to not look at school as a place to get good grades, however true that may be, but rather look at it as a place to learn. I discovered this perspective when I had fallen too deep into depression and anxiety, but you still have time to use this perspective to your advantage. You love to learn, this is evident in the fact that you can spout some random fact about almost any subject. In order to live happily in this world, you have to jump through the hoops. School can be a place for structured learning—I know how frustrating it can be to not find the proper information on the internet for a topic you’re researching, so use school to your advantage, you’ll be in a better place because of it. Sincerely, Timothy haber mas enfoque en apoyar a los estudiantes y el personal, y menos en la inspección de cosas insignificantes. Los estudiantes de ESL y las familias necesitan más recursos para que su educación sea efectivo. Intereses y el activismo de los estudiantes deben ser apoyados en vez de ignorados. No debemos de tener que estar saltando a través de aros cada año para conseguir lo que necesitamos para una mejor educación. Las pólizas deben ser hechas con una justificación válida, en lugar de dejarnos preguntando sin saber porque. Todos los Piratas deberían tener un orgullo acerca de dónde venimos a estudiar y aprender todos los días.

April 2016


Prom: Parents' night to remember


Students forced to relive their elders' glory days

By Gillian Wensell

to make their prom a night to remember. By joining Prom Committee, members of the club have a say about what will go on Since the date for Prom has been anduring the glorified dance. nounced, enthusiastic parents overwhelm “I have no idea how I got roped into the front office, eager to buy tickets for planning Prom,” marketing teacher Jon their kids. Swanson said. “I didn’t even want to Parental involvement with prom go to my own prom. My mom made has grown exponentially. Students are me go because I missed my senior losing interest and saving up for “more picture and she needed something to important” things such as gas and food. send out to the family.” “I have picked out the dress, every Along with Swanson, many stuaccessory, and made appointments for dents try to avoid prom at all costs as nails, hair, and makeup,” Pam Iacono, they know the truth behind "the prom Riverside mom of three said. “I wish I experience." was the one going. I’ve seen the girls “Prom is a dinosaur age concept,” nominated for Prom Court, and let’s junior Johnny Foraker said. “Everyone just say there are no Brooke Sheilds expects the decked-out ballroom with or Cindy Crawfords.” great music, and food like they have Prom is an event that parents can seen in the movies, but that’s not what live vicariously through their children. it is. I’d rather sit through watching Pictures and dried corsages are pulled one of the eighties prom movies than out of shoeboxes, covered in decades participate in the extravagantly exworth of dust. hausted ritual.” The amount of “back in my day” Parents being more excited than their stories increased by 86 percent during kids about prom may just be from this prom season, and parental neglect generation of pickup trucks instead of drops to an all time low of only 24 limos, and Uggs over Stilettos. percent. “I won’t regret it,” junior Axel “I don’t see the point of elaborate Ampuja said. “By not going to Prom promposals that take up time,” senior • PHOTO BY GILLIAN WENSELL I will save a fortune on the tux I don’t Ally Zilles said. “Also, buying a $400 Junior Jordan Wise poses wearing her mom's fashionable, but dated, Prom attire. Parents have to wear, the dinner I don’t have gown that I’m only going to wear for to buy, and the tickets that I don’t have to pictures and then change out of to put on are deeply invested in Prom, sometimes even more than their teenagers. pick up. That’s a fortune I can use to treat a hoodie afterwards is a ridiculous use of money that I could spend on Starbucks.” floor. mom is in- myself to Taco Bell with.” The payment factor is the one thing “ M o r e sistent on standing in the way of students fulfilling a n d m o r e a replica of their parents' dreams of sharing the prom students are the same experience, even though there is a 30 plus showing up thing her year difference. to prom in date took “My parents don’t understand the outfits that her to prom concept of ‘twerking’ or even ‘dabbing’ scream, ‘I in. No way for that matter,” senior Andrew Wynkoop don’t care!’ I’m showsaid. “If they came to chaperone, the Whoever is ing up in a culture shock would probably give them n o m i n a t e d white tux. a stroke.” Prom Queen Jordans Prom has changed drastically since the will probably couldn’t eighties. Cans of hairspray used to fly be wearing sweatpants under the six layers even help that look.” off of the shelf, while students today are of tulle that make up her skirt,” junior Students have limited opportunities making appointments to spend hours in a hairdresser's chair. There will be no white blazers or gold lemay heels in sight, nor will Queen and AC/DC play on speakers over the dance

Cloe Hogan said. “Is there even a dress code?” junior Kuron Williams said. “I 'm on fire everyday. My casual wear is better than what some people will even show up in. But my

My mom is insistent on a replica of the same thing her date took her to Prom in. junior Kuron Williams

Attention Seniors!!!

Senior forms from The Pirates' Hook will be passed out during the Senior Meeting on Friday, April 22


DPS Is Riverside the new Hillside?

Pirates' Hookok

Test scores create controversy

“Both staffs work really hard, but Hill- students who passed Math III. In 2013, side’s [teachers] are really good at teaching Riverside had four percent more students Math III, than According to the most recent report and improving students who usually don’t who passed Hillside. cards, Hillside is a better school than perform well.” In just Over the past few years, test scores Riverside. two years, Statistics at Riverside are starting to and ratings have been deHillside decrease. Riverside received a School creasing across has caught Performance Grade of 58 for the 2014- t h e up and 2015 school year by the North Carolina leads RivGeneral Assembly, which is 9 points erside by a lower than Riverside’s previous tenth of a score. Hillside received a rating of percent. 65. Numbers like these have many School students and staff alike questioning safety is also the perception of which school is a major area better-if Hillside is becoming the where Rivnew Riverside, or if Riverside is ING erside and S becoming the new Hillside. R GE Hillside have had T A School Performance Grade is a O RG A shifting numbers. One grade given to every public school M BY statistic measuring crime in a C in North Carolina based on achieveI PH school is the Acts of Crime per 100 RA ment scores in a variety of subjects •G Students. and the growth in each school. In 2013, Riverside had Riverside has higher English scores, board at a rate of 1.68 students while Hillside has higher math and R i v e r s i d e . committing crimes per science scores. The biggest difference is Average math, and 100 students. In 2015, Rivin each school’s growth rates. biology, the American erside’s rate had swelled Hillside has a growth score of 88.5, College Test (ACT) scores, to 2.96 per 100 students. which is far above expectations. Riverside has a growth score of 61.5. This score as well as four-year graduation rates have At Hillside the rate is 2.32 does not even meet expectations and is decreased over the past years. Hillside's per 100 students. Still, students and prinfar below the average score of the district. test scores have been steadily increasing, Teacher and football coach Chris Howell and although Riverside still has better cipals believe that Rivertaught at Hillside for five years and at test scores on average, Hillside is closing side is safer. “I really think we are safer [than the gap. Riverside for four years. One instance where Hillside has effec- Hillside],” junior Jamal Stinson said. “I “I believe Hillside’s growth is higher because they start lower,” Howell said. tively closed the gap is the percentage of never went to Hillside so I don’t know, By Emmanuel Tobe

but based on the stuff I heard, I think we are safer.” Perception definitely changes how the different schools are viewed. Students from Riverside may hear horror stories about Hillside but do not really know much about the school. “Hillside is not that bad,” junior Tashon Bagley said. “People just hear stories. When I was going there, it was chill.” Riverside's strengths lie in its engineering program and its English test scores. Hillside's strengths lie in its growth in its students. Both schools also have weaknesses, but together they make up a large population of the Durham community that focuses on preparing students for the future. Assistant Principal Charles Carter believes that the schools should not be compared. “Every school is different, the students,

In just two years, Hillside has caught up and leads Riverside by a tenth of a percent.

the classrooms, everything is different. It is not fair to compare them because of that,” Carter said. “Every school has its strengths and its weaknesses.”

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April 2016


For counselors, serving all students impossible task


Large caseloads and numerous responsibilities limit student interaction By Reuben Jones IV

Counselor Renee Hango could not agree more. “I have regulars who come in throughout the week with problems,” Hango said. “I have to keep up with tons of students applying to college, not to mention all of the added responsibilities we have.” According to Hango, the position of a high school counselor has morphed over the years to include the responsibilities of students’ mental health and overall well-being, college advisement and applications, and all extracurricular activities ranging from Parent Nights to the upkeep of Riverside’s website. The North Carolina average counselor-to-student ratio is one to 400. Although Riverside currently ranks above the standard, the same could not be said two years ago.

“This was hard on me because as a second year counselor I was in charge of three new hires, and at the time Riverside had about 1,950 students.” In 2013-2014, the year Sebring refers to, the counselor-to-student ratio was one counselor per 488 students, falling below the recommended NC Board of Education’s ratio. Riverside still may be recovering from past years of being understaffed, but Council, who now plans to attend UNC-Greensboro, does not believe this significantly contributed to his situation, since this year the ratio was one counselor to 371 students. “We talked to the school and they said ‘we can work something out as long as there can be some sort

ruined my opportunity for acceptance from any of the Common Anxiously awaiting his accepApp colleges I applied to," he said. tance to the University of North Dr. Joel County was unable to Carolina in Asheville, senior respond directAnthony Council’s future became ly to Council’s uncertain as no new emails popped situation due into his inbox. to student conAfter submitting his application fidentiality. He and inviting his counselor to finish does, howevhis school report, Council turned er, sympathize his focus back to his music and with Council’s school work. Once the decision situation. date passed, he began to worry. “Everyone He checked on Asheville’s webhas a role in the site to find that they never received [application] his counselor school report. As a process and it result, he was denied acceptance. is important to Council’s experience raises the the school. If question of whether the mishanwe screw up, I dling of his application was an want to fix it,” isolated incident or a more systemic County said. problem. Senior SoUNC Asheville phie McNeil admissions officer believes probAbby Green enlems such as counters situations Council’s stem such as Council's from the lack often. of recognition and accessibility "We deal with the counseling staff has with its incomplete applistudents. With the counselors cations throughout playing such an important role in the state. We do every student’s high school expenot deny or accept rience, McNeil believes this lack students with unof recognition they have amongst finished applicathe students is unacceptable. tions, we just work “I didn’t know who my counselwith them to get it or was until this year and struggled completed," said to get in contact with her even Green. after scheduling appointments,” Senior AuDaMcNeil said. • PHOTO BY GILLIAN WENSELL sia Newsome, who Sophomore D’Ante Roberts, on works as a Student Cathy Sebring has seen big changes in Student Servicese during the past three the other hand, believes counselors Services assistant, years. There are currently 371 students on each counselor's caseload. support students as they transition believes the problem Council faced “We had one counselor let go, of accountability,'" Council said. to high school. may be a result the counselors’ one on maternity leave, one out for “So, we emailed Dr. County a “My counselor is that fire,” heavy work load. the year due to personal circum- few times. He refused to say they Roberts said. “She is always getting “Despite their job titles, [Student stances, and one counselor put in did anything wrong, which I un- me out of trouble and looking out Services] do much more than sim- charge of testing administration,” derstand because he has to stand by for me.” ply counsel,” Newsome said. counselor Cathy Sebring said. his people, but at this point that’s Since the initiation of FLEX peri-

ods, the counselor’s presence in the school has become less noticeable. “Our practices have changed, we used to every fall semester do advisement every homeroom period, Sebring said. “We met with every senior and told them about the college application process and our roles in their application. We then met with juniors, sophomores, and eventually freshman. “With the addition of FLEX the feeling was that much of what counselors did, pulling students out of class for meetings, could be done during FLEX, and thus began the powerpoints and pushing down of information,” Sebring said. County recognized the decrease in student-counselor interactions with the initiation of FLEX, but said counselors need to coordinate with teachers to find other ways of disseminating college information to students. Council’s story may be a one time mistake by the counseling staff, but he believes when students’ futures are at stake, one mistake may be too many. “If I would have been more familiar with my counselor before applying it may have helped prevented what happened,” Council said.

My counselor is that fire. She is always getting me out of trouble and looking out for me. Sophomore D'Ante Roberts

Pirates' Hookok

10 DPS

Budget proposal to cut Riverside's funds DPS expected to be millions short for the 2016-2017 school year

By Andre Nguyen

instead of by the state, unlike most teachers affect what they need. Engineering teacher Adam Davidson at Riverside. This applies to all of the engineering Every budget proposal brings the threat is one of these teachers that the budget of cuts, but this year the threat is much larger for the 2016-2017 school year. On Feb. 25, 2016, every Durham Public School (DPS) employee received an email from Superintendent Bert L’Homme. The email stated that no teacher would lose their jobs but the amount of open spaces would be cut so fewer spaces are available for future teacher assistants. This will make it more difficult for former teacher assistants to return, as well as increasing the teacher to student ratio from one teacher per 28 students to one teacher per 34 students. The office staff, along with uncertified staff will also be affected by this budget cut because open space in those areas will be cut as well. Uncertified staff are staff members that do not need to earn a certification to work. Chemistry students use the new Chrome lab. Funding for resources like improved Teachers that have Exceptional Children • PHOTO BY ANDRE NGUYEN technology may be cut next year. (EC) students will not be as affected by these budget cuts. These students need cut will have little effect on because he teachers. However, Davidson still has a extra materials, and any budget cuts can teaches EC students and is paid federally strong opinion about these budget cuts. He

believes that these budget cuts happen out of necessity to balance out DPS’s budget and believes that DPS should cut from anything that will have the smallest effect on students and their success. “I’m saddened to see good employees leave,” Davidson said. English teacher Jeff Lang has been at Riverside for 20 years and has been through many budget cuts. "DPS is upgrading to newer technology," Lang said. "Many of these changes have been made without teacher input." Teachers are concerned as to if DPS is saving money with these changes or wasting it. Many of the changes in the budget have been seen as changes to processes that have already worked well in the past. Lang believes DPS has kept much of its staff in the dark about these budget cuts and many of the teachers at Riverside would like to have some input on these changes. “We especially at Riverside don’t have a handle on the budget at Riverside,” Lang said. “We don’t have a breakdown of the budget.”

Congratulations To Our Pirate Teachers!

Tonya Arrington Teacher of the Year

Jessica Friedlander Beginning Teacher of the Year

April 2016


Q and A with DPS officials


Directors, Asst. Superintendent explain dress code, start times, counselors Pirates' Hook (PH): Students have noticed that schools with a smaller ratio of counselors to students according to their student population have not been performing as well. What are DPS' response to these concerns and how will the district address them? Assitant Superintendent, Debbie Pitman (DP): The number of counselors assigned to a school is determined by a state formula and there are guidelines that North Carolina puts forth and that is a ratio of 1:400 [counselor:students]. There is a national standard set by the American school counselor association, which is a much smaller ratio which is 1:250...When we look specifically at Riverside, we do see that there are six counselors and that you have a large student body. The six counselors do fall within the guideline set by the state of 1:400. To that end, we are meeting that standard. The national standard is one that is of course not funded by North Carolina and those standards are a little more challenging to meet. We do know that even one counselors working with 400 students is a large caseload. The goal was to look at the equity and effectiveness of our discipline policies and our procedures. The challenge was not compromising to our school safety but also making sure that we have positive cultures in our schools and that we build stronger school culture with trust accountability and transparency. PH: Has this new push been developing or has it been high-

lighted by the students speaking out? DP: This has been something in recent years where the district has really been focused on our graduation rates and looking at the support students have received and ways that we can strengthen and coordinate services. We are identifying where students are beginning to struggle and fall off their cohort path and immediately respond with getting students in course recovery and also making sure that students have that long term career vision through their high school 4 years PH: Are there any plans to rewrite the school dress code? Why or why not?

DP: It is one of the areas where there would be no out of school suspensions so there is a revision in policy that talks about dress code. The policy currently allows for the principal to make reasonable accommodations based on religious beliefs and medical conditions with dress code. Those are federal protections too. What the task force and Board of Education requested is that we take a • PHOTO BY ANNA JAMES look if there are other appropriate reasons where the principal could Junior Jaden Jules started a petition calling for a rewriting of provide further accommodations, Riverside's dress code. DPS wants to give school administrators and indeed there were two addi- more local control over the dress code. tional provisions added to the conduct. visions for educational reasons from the federal government was to work within the dress code, coming around that immigration PH: Does this provide the ability because there are reasons they was going to be enforced, we for a student body to have more might want to have a special rec- did hear from our schools how conversations with their princiognition, and this really broadens students were hesitant to come pal about dress code? it up for those accommodations. to school and were worried about what would happen when they got DP: Most definitely. It is much more broad-reaching. Some of PH: How are current immigra- home and if their family members were still going to be safe and the school leaders were saying tion policies affecting DPS? DP: Initially when the word secure in place. that they would love some pro-

PH: What were the reasons for changing bell schedule? What process was followed to change them? Director of Transportation for DPS, Marlon Watson: The Board received a lot of documentation about adolescent sleep studies and the correlation between sleep and a better education.They aren’t able to go to sleep as early because their biological make up keeps adolescents up later at night. It has been an ongoing process that had been discussed two years prior, and we had to take in consideration the timing...There were a lot of pros and cons, and the Board of Education believed the pros outweighed the cons. PH: What is the impact of School Report Cards? How do they play into the assessments of students and teachers?

Director of K-5 Teaching and Learning, Tim Gibson: School Report Cards are designed to provide the school and community stakeholders with a standardized overview of a school’s academic performance as well as background information. Although the letter grade schools receive can sometimes create a negative perception of a school and contribute certain mandates to be placed upon the school by the state, the School Report Card does not always reflect all of the great work that is happening in the school. Multiple perspectives should be considered when opinions are being formed about schools. We do not want to make judgments about students based solely on report card grades.



El Congresista G.K. Butterfield habla en el salon de Ana Kistler el 4 de abril. El habla a los estudiantes de Riverside y la madre de Acosta, describiendo la forma en que el trabaja para evitar la deportación de Acosta.

"El hecho de que él es un estudiante que quiere una educación debe hacer que sea intocable. Este 'caso abierto’ es injusto; no sigue la ley. Es triste que los estudiantes están trabajando muy duro para mejorar su situación, y la gente totalmente les dan la espalda”. -Ellen Holmes

Acosta solicita su tarea escolar de un centro de detención en Lumpkin, Georgia. Los maestros lo enviaron por correo, pero fue rechazado por el centro de detención. Trataron de nuevo una semana después. Maestra de español, Ellen Holmes, visita Washington, DC. Ella entrega las peticiones, comparte fotos, y habla con muchos representantes. Más de 500 estudiantes de Riverside se ponen pulseras blancas en una muestra de solidaridad. Hacen más de 100 llamadas al Congresista Butterfield y marchan en Durham, terminando en la puerta de la oficina de Butterfield. Después de trabajar con Butterfield, directora de ICE, Sarah Saldaña emitió una orden para retrasar la deportación de Acosta. La petición para abrir el caso que fue negada por el juez fue anulada a la orden de Saldaña.


Los estudiantes de la Escuela de Durham de las Artes en el equipo de atletismo sostienen cartels que dicen ‘Liberen a Wildin’ para mostrar su apoyo. Escuelas de todo Carolina del Norte están abogando por la libertad de Acosta.

GK Butterfield visita a Riverside y habló delante de estudiantes y Dilsia Acosta, la madre de Wildin. Explicó sus esfuerzos para prevenir la deportación de Acosta, agregando que el sistema pueda ser difícil de combatir.

La Comisión de Relaciones Humanas de Durham piden a las autoridades federales de inmigración que paren de detener y deportar a los jóvenes de la ciudad. Unos días después, el Consejo Municipal hace lo mismo. Estudiantes firman peticiones y las envían a los oficiales elegidos. Juntan más de 400 firmas, fotos y vídeos en tres días. Los grupos activistas y los abogados añaden más presión. Estudiantes de Riverside se unen a una conferencia telefónica con el Departamento de Educación de los Estado Unidos. Ellos, junto con los maestros en Charlotte, analizan el impacto de las redadas de ICE en la escuela. El 18 de marzo Butterfield publicó una declaración que detalla sus esfuerzos para solicitar la liberación de Acosta. Los partidarios marcharon en el centro de Durham para demostrar su apoyo. La Junta de Apelaciones de Inmigración paró la orden de deportación y aceptó volver a abrir su caso. El proceso de apelación podría tomar meses, y Acosta se mantendrá en el centro de detención. Activistas colocan diez escritorios vacíos y sillas en una banqueta en Raleigh para simbolizar los diez estudiantes deportados o detenidos recientemente. Le piden a Hillary Clinton ayuda, pidiendole que cumpla su promesa de parar las deportaciones.

28 de enero January 28 29 de enero January 29 3 de febrero February 3 18 de febrero February 18 9 de marzo March 9 10 de marzo March 10 17 de marzo March 17 19 de marzo March 19 19 de marzo March 19

20 de marzo March 20 21 de marzo March 21 4 de abril April 4 7 de abril April 7

Wildin Acosta finds Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers waiting for him at his apartment. He is arrested and detained. Acosta is the second Riverside student to be detained by ICE. Durham's Human Relations Commision asks federal immigration officials to stop deporting young people from the city. A few days later, the City Council follows suit. Students sign petitions and send them to elected officials. They gather more than 400 signatures, photos, and videos in three days. Advocacy groups and attorneys add more pressure. Riverside students join a conference call with the US. Department of Education. These students, along with teachers in Charlotte, discusses the ICE raids' impact on attendance. Later that day, Butterfield releases a statement detailing his efforts to request Acosta’s release. Supporters rally in downtown Durham. An immigration judge denies a last-minute request to reopen the case, setting Acosta's deportation date for March 20. The Board of Immigration Appeals extends the hold on his deportation order and agrees to reopen the case. The appeal process could take months, and Acosta will remain at the detention center. Demonstators place ten empty desks and chairs on a Raleigh sidewalk to symbolize ten recently detained and/or deported students. They call on Hillary Clinton for help, hoping she will keep her promise to stop deportations.

The arrest makes local headlines. Students take to social media, gaining traction from other schools and advocacy groups. They reach out to attorneys and community organizations along with his parents, teachers, and friends. Acosta requests his schoolwork from a detention center in Lumpkin, Georgia. Teachers mail it, but it is rejected by the detention center. They try again a week later, and succeed. Spanish teacher Ellen Holmes visits Washington, D.C. She delivers the petitions, shares photos, and speaks to many representatives.

Over 500 Riverside students wear white wristbands to school in a show of solidarity. They place more than 100 calls to Congressman GK Butterfield and march through Durham, ending up at the doorstep of Butterfield’s office.

After working with Butterfield, ICE director Sarah Saldaña issues an order to delay Acosta’s deportation. Butterfield visits Riverside to speak in front of students and Dilsia Acosta, Wildin's mother. He explains his efforts to prevent Acosta's deportation, adding that the system can be hard to fight. By Lena Geller & Sara Falcon


Students and Durhamites march through downtown on March 19, protesting Acosta's deportation and demanding action by government officials. The protesters were successful in gaining Congressman GK Butterfield's support.

"This process has been stressful, but it is worth all the effort that everyone has been putting forth to bring Wildin back to a safe environment. I want everyone to know that you have a voice and you can change the way this world takes action on things." -Ellen Holmes • PHOTO COURTESY OF ALERTA MIGRATORIA


El arresto llega a los titulares locales. Los estudiantes toman a los medios sociales, ganando apoyo de otras escuelas y grupos activistas. Contactan a abogados y organizaciones de la comunidad junto con sus padres, maestros y amigos.

Wildin Acosta encuentra a agentes de Inmigración (ICE por sus siglas en inglés) esperando por él en su apartamento. Es arrestado y detenido. Wildin es el segundo estudiante de Riverside que ha sido detenido por inmigración.

Wildin's mother, Dilsia Acosta, holds a sign asking the President to prevent the deportation of her son. She has worked relentlessly with multiple organizations to fight for her son's freedom.



Pirates' Hookok

Destino Success impacts Durham community By Maya Gacina A group of students set on solidarity, support, and powerful strides make up the foundation of Destino Success. Destino strives to benefit both the Riverside and Latino community, by shedding light on important issues and providing continuous support through fundraisers and school events. “We are a place that students can come to feel supported, be involved, and get any help they need,” Destino Success advisor and Spanish teacher Ellen Holmes said. “It is a club where Hispanic students learn to become leaders and take action on issues that affect them and their community.” Destino Success was created seven years ago by Fernando Campos, who is now a dropout prevention specialist for Durham Public Schools (DPS). Since the beginning, Destino Success has been a center of support for the

Latino community. “A couple of seniors wanted to do a service project, and I was frustrated with 40% of In School Suspension students being Latino, so we developed an idea [to createDestino Success],” Campos said. “I wanted to present a model of successful and high-achieving Latino students.” Following Campos’ departure from the club, senior members had to step up, along with their new advisor, Holmes, when an increased amount of Spanish-speaking newcomers came to Riverside. Senior members used homeroom periods as a tool to tutor, advise, and help facilitate class registration for any Latino students in need of translators as well as help fellow Spanish-speakers. “Destino Success has successfully organized a mentor/mentee program where upperclassmen help underclassmen with their classes and give them advice about how to do well in their

The Odd Couple "The Female Version" April 28-30 7 p.m. Glaxo Smith Kline Auditorium

classes,” Destino member and junior Laura Salazar said. Last year, Destino members spoke avidly in front of the City Council and the Durham Public School Board to help pass a resolution that accepted unaccompanied minors in Durham and in our schools and promised to provide them the proper support needed. Unfortunately, North Carolina governor Pat McCrory overturned this ruling, resulting in increased Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) raids throughout the local community. One of these raids involved a Riverside student and active member in Destino Success, 18-year-old senior Wildin Acosta, who was taken on his way to school to continue his education. This event sparked an uproar in the DPS community as numerous students and staff gathered their resources and began protests, filled social media with the hashtag #RHSwantsWildinback, and called Congressman Butterfield repeatedly demanding Acosta’s release. “I am not sure I have ever seen anything like the wave of solidarity we have seen over the past several weeks— the marches, the phone calls to Congressmen, the mailing of the homework, the day of purple,” newly elected School Board member Steven Unruhe said. “It has been tremendous, and it has made a difference.” Along with strides to spread awareness for Acosta, Destino Success provides services, entertainment, and fundraisers to increased support in the Hispanic


Destino Success members have worked to spread awarness of issues pertaining to the Latino community since 2009. Destino also has a club at Jordan High School. community. This includes parent information nights in Spanish, bilingual tutoring, and a mentor and mentee program, along with various school events such as the 5v5 Soccer Tournament, Festival de Comida, Teacher Tape-up, and more. “We support our community financially and beyond,” Holmes said. “We strive to make positive change in our community and ensure our voices are heard. We support students at Riverside inside the classroom and beyond as well.” As there has been a recent influx of Latino students, Destino is becoming even more active in the community by expanding their support to English as a Second Language

(ESL) classrooms and leading events with the local organization and its members, Durham Congregations, Associations, and Neighborhoods (Durham CAN). “It took a couple of years, but we have reached out to bigger organizations which created additional supplies and better results,” Campos said. “It led to an even greater engagement.” Durham CAN and Destino Success members alike spoke at School Board meetings. They requested more support and a smaller caseload for counselors, along with an increase in the amount of bilingual staff available. The School Board came to a mutual agreement that they would fully support those efforts due to the overwhelming amount of benefits it would provide.

April 2016


Teachers, students prepare for upcoming exams

both physical science and Honors Physics we do practice tests,” Tim Brown said. The most stressful time of the year is “We complete previously released North getting closer and closer. Exams are now Carolina finals and go over those in class.” Since there are different exam subjects, only a month away. This year exams will be held from Fri- there are also different types of tests. Some day, June 3 to Tuesday, June 7. Make-up exams are handwritten while others use a scantron. There are also online exams for exams will be on June 8 and 9. Every teacher has a different way of applying their lessons and has different methods on how to correctly prepare their students so they can be confident when taking the exams. Some teachers do review games while other teachers use packets, and sometimes teachers even try to review every concept that they taught throughout the semester. “Usually in

Biology, Precalculus, Advanced Functions and Modeling, Civics and Economics, and English. While Math I, Biology, and English II take End of Course (EOC) exams, the other classes will be taking the North Carolina Final Exams (NCFE): English I, III,lV, American History I, II, Civics and

Traducido Por Emiily Rodriguez

Success]”, dijo Campos. “Quería presentar un modelo de éxito y de estudiantes latinos de alto rendimiento”. Tras la salida de Campos como maestro en Riverside y asesora del club, miembros y la nueva asesora, Holmes, tuvieron que aumentar su involucración cuando la cantidad de estudiantes latinos recién llegados aumento en Riverside. Los miembros utilizaron el periodo de homeroom el año pasado como una herramienta para dar clases, consejería y ayudar a facilitar las inscripciones para el próximo año de los estudiantes latinos en necesidad de traductores y compañeros hispanohablantes. “Destino Success ha organizado con

By Emily Rodriguez


Economics, World History, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physical Science, Physics, Advanced Functions and Modelings, Discrete Math, Math II and III, Pre Calculus and English III. As the student body is aware, Riverside offers Advanced Placement (AP) classes to the students that want to give themselves a challenge. The students that take these AP classes are required to take their exams sooner than the rest of the classes. Because of this, AP exams will be taken Monday, May 2 through Friday, May 13. There are a few classes such as Spanish II, Art, Band, Photography and Dance that have “teacher-made” exams. If students have an A or a B with three or fewer absences in the class, they will be exempt from the • GRAPHIC BY EMILEE BACHMAN teacher-made exam.

Destino Success impacta a la comunidad de Durham

El fundamento del grupo Destino Success está constituido por un grupo de estudiantes determinados, unidos, y con una pasión por apoyar a su comunidad. Destino se esfuerza para beneficiar a Riverside y la comunidad latina, por medio de informar sobre problemas importantes y proporcionar apoyo a través de recaudaciones de fondos y eventos escolares. “Somos un grupo en el cual los estudiantes pueden llegar a sentirse apoyados, estar involucrados, y obtener cualquier ayuda que necesiten”, dijo la asesora de Destino Success y la maestra de español

Ellen Holmes. “Es un club donde los estudiantes hispanos aprenden a ser líderes y a tomar medidas sobre cuestiones que afectan a su comunidad”. Destino Success fue creado hace siete años por el maestro de español Fernando Campos, quien ahora es el especialista en Prevención de Abandono de las Escuelas Públicas de Durham (DPS). El club ha estado continuamente activo en la escuela en, Durham y la comunidad latina. “Un par de estudiantes del último año querían hacer un proyecto de servicio, y yo estaba frustrado que el 40% de los estudiantes en suspensión eran latinos, entonces desarrollamos la idea [Destino

éxito un programa de mentores, donde los estudiantes de clases superiores ayudan a los estudiantes de ESL con sus clases y les dan consejos sobre cómo tener éxito,” dijo la miembra de Destino y estudiante de tercer año Laura Salazar. El año pasado, los miembros de Destino hablaron con avidez frente al Consejo Municipal de Durham y la Junta Escolar de DPS con el propósito de qué pasará una resolución que menores llegaron acompañados a Estados Unidos en Durham y en nuestras escuelas prometía proporcionar el apoyo adecuado a jóvenes que lo necesitan.

Cont. en pg 20



Latin teacher stretches limits

Pirates' Hookok

Yoga present in every part of Lido's life

Latin teacher Melissa Lido showcases the results of her serious dedication to yoga. This position is called "the peacock." She and her husband participated in Riverside's • PHOTO COURTESY OF MELISSA LIDO talent show and practice together every week. By Jac Chapman

Latin teacher Melissa Lido is Batman and Yoda wrapped into one body. For the past 15 years, Lido has been taking yoga to the extreme. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, yoga is “a Hindu philosophy that teaches a person to experience inner peace by controlling their mind and body.” Some do yoga maybe once or twice per week and do it just for the exercise, but for a select few, it means much more. According to the website Yoga Journal, yoga is more of a spiritual activity than most of society gives it credit for. Yoga can provide a calming

force in the midst of chaotic times. The blood flow increase and controlled breathing involved in doing yoga makes yoga close to a form of meditation, providing ease for the mind. For Riverside’s one and only Latin teacher, yoga is a lifestyle. From diet and day-to-day activity, yoga controls almost everything that Lido does. She is a vegan, because it is one of the rules for being a traditional yoga instructor. The reason that being vegan can be considered part of the yoga lifestyle is that it causes no harm to animals, a key idea of traditional yoga. Although Lido has been meatfree since her sophomore year of

high school, yoga has taken her entire diet to another level. “It started out as me just not liking the way red meat made me feel and I just continued to cut out certain things from my diet,” Lido said. “By the time I was teaching yoga I was nearly vegan, but had to stop to keep in alignment with the legit practices." Lido does yoga several times per week, as a student and teacher. Alongside the multiple solo yoga classes Lido participates in, she and her husband also participate in classes together at least twice a week. “It provides us with great nonverbal communication practice and a huge stress release outlet for the both of us,” Lido said.

Lido’s love for yoga has taken bending themselves with unearthher to a place where she is even ly flexibility, lifting each other up, and making everyone in the room stare in awe. “It’s really interesting to see how people react to my strange practices. It seems to confuse people more than my vegan diet does,” Lido said. Outside the talent show, Lido meets with students every other Thursday in the dance room to lead the Yoga Club, yet another way she incorporates yoga into nearly all of her activities. Moving forward, Lido intends to continue teaching both Latin and yoga for as long as she can. comfortable participating in the “My mom taught for forever Riverside Talent Show. Her act and I want to do the same,” showcased her and her husband Lido said.

[Yoga] seems to confuse people more than my vegan diet does. Latin Teacher Melissa Lido

April 2016



Passing over Prom for the Promised Land By Lena Geller Riverside’s Jewish population will be spending the night of Prom eating matzah, gefilte fish, and parsley dipped in salt water. This year, Prom conflicts with the second night of Passover, a week-long Jewish holiday celebrating the Jews’ Exodus from Egypt. Christians and Jews both believe that Jesus’ famous ‘Last Supper’ was a Passover seder. His resurrection a few days later again coincided with Passover, and the word ‘Pasch’, originally meaning Passover, came to mean Easter as well. Neither Easter nor Passover are set on fixed dates; instead, they vary according to the lunar cycle and astronomical occurrences. While the two holidays have a common history and etymology, in a majority-Christian school like Riverside, few have heard of Passover, and fewer are aware of when it falls. “This community just doesn’t understand,” chemistry teacher Eric Weiss said, “[Prom being on Passover] is a function of the white anglo-saxon community.” Sophomore Rebecca Koweek’s family has a seder the first and second nights of the holiday, and consider Passover to be a holiday of significant importance. To Koweek, Passover being overlooked is nothing new. “Last year, I went on a field trip with Mr. Davidson’s class during Passover, and they had a pizza lunch,” Koweek said. “On Passover you don’t eat bread or wheat products, so I wasn’t able to eat the lunch. That was sort of annoying.” Junior Alon Greyber will also be spending the night of Apr. 23 at a Passover seder. “I don’t care about Prom, but if I’d been planning to go, I would be annoyed,” Greyber said. “I’d like to see the reasoning for picking that date.” According to marketing teacher Jon

Swanson, co-advisor of Prom Committee, the date was chosen by the office staff at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. “Since there was no advisor at the end of last year, [office staff] just went ahead and picked the date and rented out the hotel,” Swanson said. Swanson was unaware that the date conflicted with Passover. After being notified of its concurrence with Passover, the committee was unable to move it. Fewer than two percent of Riverside’s population is Jewish, and out of those, only a handful are upperclassmen interested in Prom. Junior Aaron Balleisen says that regardless of Riverside’s Jewish population, the date is a matter of principle. “It’s not that big of a deal, and I wouldn’t be going to prom anyway, but they would never schedule it to be on Easter, or even the night before Easter,” Balleisen said.

Balleisen added that he thinks either Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, two important Jewish holidays, should be a day off of school. “[Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur] are days we have to miss every year,” Balleisen said. “In Kindergarten, I remember having to miss a field trip to the zoo because it was scheduled on one of those days. People just don’t know about them.” Though he is no longer a “big practicing Jewish person,” Weiss is well aware of the holidays and treats his students accordingly. “When I have kids out [on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur], they sometimes come up to ask me for makeup work, and I always exempt them,” Weiss said. Weiss added that schools vary regionally on the amount of attention they pay to the holidays. “In Cleveland, where I grew up, we


had all the days off, because 99 percent of the students were Jewish,” Weiss said. “It’s hard for people to pay attention to this stuff until the population becomes a majority, but it would be nice if teachers could wish each other ‘Good Yontif!’” English teacher Jeff Lang takes Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur off from school every year. “Teachers get three days off that don’t affect leave time negatively, if they have religious things they want to attend,” Lang said, “It would be nice to have [Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur] off [for everyone], but you have to balance the number of students affected. At Riverside, that would only be about two dozen students.” Most Jewish students resolved that though inconvenient, the date of Prom is not something to get angry about. They hope that in the future, Jewish holidays will not be overlooked.

Pirates' Hookok


Consejos para Prom Para muchos el baile de graduación, o prom, es un momento emocionante y a la misma vez muy estresante. Las personas se preocupan por conseguir una pareja, encontrar el vestido perfecto, y al terminar la noche lo que uno siente es un alivio de que ya todo termino, pero eso no debería ser el caso. Hay muchas preguntas que existen acerca de prom y estamos aquí para aclarar algunas de ellas.


Para todas aquellas chicas inseguras en cuánto deben gastar en su vestido, recuerden que no es necesario exagerar. No se gasten sus $1000 en un simple vestido. "Estoy gastando una cantidad considerable porque es mi último año, pero si ustedes son estudiantes de primer, segundo, o tercer año, busquen algo más barato", dijo la estudiante de último año Alexa Dellinger.



Para todos los hombres, alquilen un esmoquin, no compren uno. Es caro y, a menos que pretendan usarlo de nuevo, será un gasto inútil. Encuentren una buena tienda donde alquilar uno y luego devuelvanlo en buena condición después de que termine la noche. "No te vuelvas loco con trajes o esmoquins. Uno alquilado es una buena manera de ahorrar”, dijo el estudiante de último año Evan Iacono. "Pero si quieren comprar un traje, consigan algo que se puedan utilizar para otros eventos”.


De acuerdo a proponerle a alguien que vayan contigo a prom, es muy necesario. Ya puede que sea cursi o que lleve bastante sentimiento y significado, no hay nada mejor que pueda alegrarle el día a alguien como una buena propuesta para prom. Es una manera de hacer que su pareja se sienta especial y pueda añadir a la emoción de la temporada. “Promposals”, como se les refiere en ingles, típicos son carteles grandes con juegos de palabras lindos, pero pueden hacer algo nuevo y fresco. Hacer un video, escribir una canción, no hay límites para los promposals.

Otra controversia caliente acerca de prom es el ritual de salir a una cena lujosa antes del baile. Hay estudiantes quienes creen que ir a cenar es un gasto adicional que puede ser ahorrado sin dañar el ambiente de la noche. "Creo que uno debería ir a un lugar agradable, con buena comida, y que tenga un precio razonable”, dijo la estudiante de último año Mollie McCullough.


Muchos coinciden en que uno ni necesita un pareja con quien ir para tener un buen tiempo en prom. "Yo diría que las personas deberían de hacer lo que consideren que es más divertido. Si ir con grupo de amigas es más divertido, pues hagan eso y viceversa”. Dijo la estudiante de último año Cassidy Leovic.

Destino Success 5v5 Soccer Tournament Come out to the Soccer Tournament on April 28 at 3 p.m. on the back practice field. Make a team and sign up to play in Room 130. $2 per player to play. Vengan al torneo de futbol el jueves, 28 de abril a las 3pm en lacancha atras de Riverside Haga un equipo y inscribansen para jugar en el salon 130. $2 por jugador para judgar.


El estudiante de último año, Jasper Cool, le propone a su compañera Nekessa Schutte, que vaya con él a prom después de su juego de Lacrosse.


Tomen fotos antes de prom, documenten todo. Posen y sonrian para la cámara. Encuentren un lugar divertido y creativo donde tomarse las fotos. Un fondo interesante puede hacer que esos recuerdos sean increíblemente divertidos y únicos. "Fui a un hospital abandonado para mis fotos de prom el año pasado. Fue una locura pero divertido", dijo la estudiante del último año Tehila Rosenblatt-Farrell. • GRAPHIC BY PATRICK SCOTT

Traducido por Axel Herrera


April 2016

Prom Tips

For many, Prom is an exciting and hectic time. People stress over getting a date, finding the perfect dress, and students across Riverside can take a sigh of relief when the night is over. But that shouldn’t be the case. There are many questions lurking around the corner at every Prom turn, and we are here to clear some of these up.


For all those girls unsure of how much to spend on a Prom dress, remember not to go crazy. Don’t blow $1000 on one dress. “I’m spending a decent amount because it’s my senior year, but if you’re a freshman, sophomore, or junior, go cheaper.” senior Alexa Dellinger said.


A hot Prom controversy is the ritual of going out for a nice dinner prior to the dance. Students believe that going to a nice dinner is an additional expense that can be skipped without harming the mood of the night. “I think you should go somewhere nice with good food that is still reasonably priced,” senior Mollie McCullough said.


Many agree that one does not need a date to have a good time at Prom. In fact, dates are just another Prom topic that you should personally decide what to do whether you want one or not. “I would say to do whatever you would have the most fun doing, if going with your girlfriends is more fun then do that, and visa versa,” senior Cassidy Leovic said.




Whether it is cheesy or meaningful, nothing can make someone’s day like a good Promposal. It is a way to make your date feel special and can add to the excitement of the season. Typical promposals are signs with cute puns, be cool and mix it up. Make a video, write a song, there are no limits to Promposals.


For all the men out there; rent a tux, do not buy one. It is expensive and, unless you plan on wearing it again, it will prove to be pointless. Find a good shop to rent one from and then return it nicely after the night is over. “Don’t go crazy with suits or tuxedos. Renting is a good way to go,” senior Evan Iocano said. “But if you want to buy a suit, get something that you can use for other events.”



Senior Bryan Navaro Promposes to junior Ellen McAdams before soccer. The two will be kicking it together at Prom. • PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVIA ROSTAGNI

Take pictures before Prom. Document everything. Strike a pose a n d smile for the camera. Find a fun and creative place to stage them. A cool background can make these memories insanely fun and unique. “I went to an abandoned hospital for my Prom pictures last year. It was crazy,” senior Tehila Rosenblatt-Farrell said. • GRAPHIC BY EMILEE BACHMAN

Junior Joe Heflin channels Willy Wonka and presents junior Emily Turkington with her golden ticket to Prom.

By Lexi Newnam


Pirates' Hookok


Prom Committee prepares for big night

Taylor said. “Me and the Prom Committee are taking care of the creative thought Stretch limousines. Exquisite dresses. and design.” Colorful tuxedos. Kings and queens. Prom will take place on April 23 at Prom, arguably the biggest event in a the Hilton Hotel on Hillsborough Road. high schooler’s life, is created by a small The theme is “Diamonds are Forever” group of dedicated students, teachers, and the color scheme is black, white, and and parents. The Prom Committee meets red. During the Prom, food and drinks are every Wednesday after school with theater provided. teacher Monique Taylor to discuss how This year will be the first year that Riverside Prom will have parent volunteers to help decorate for the Prom. “The theme 'Diamonds are Forever' originated from a James Bond film, but we are converting the idea for a chic evening,” Taylor said. Prom Committee is spitting out a lot of • PHOTO BY NORSTARSHA SMITH ideas such as a dance battle, rap battle, karaThe Prom Committee discusses the theme for Prom and how they are going to make it an incredible oke, the design of the night. Students, parents, and teachers have been working hard to prepare for the special night. By Norstarsha Smith

they are going to make Prom a fun event for the upperclassmen to enjoy. This year, the Prom committee is partnering with marketing teacher Jon Swanson and his classes. Together, they plan to combine business and creativity to create a smashing night. “Prom Committee is controlled by two administrators. [Swanson] and his class takes care of the finances and marketing,”

gift bags, and what is going in the gift bags. Together, they decide on what they are going to do for the evening. "The hardest part of administrating the Prom Committee is time management juggling, rehearsals. Class planning, and the Prom committee,” Taylor said. Everyone is putting out a hand to help. For example, assistant principal Chaundra Clay is helping with whatever is needed for the Prom to go smoothly and tech theatre teacher William Holley is in control of construction. Also, some parents that sit in the Prom Committee meeting and shine some knowledge on the creation of the Prom. “Every meeting is a different topic, designing gift bags and what to put in it, and whatever we can do to make the Prom great,” Prom Committee member, Naloni Anderson said. Prom committee is also working with Riverside’s school store to help fund Prom. The Committee’s goal is to be better than the past Proms and make people enjoy the night.

Destino Success impacta la comunidad de Durham Por desgracia, el gobernador de Carolina del Norte Pat McCrory anuló esta resolución, resultando con una aumentacioń de redadas por Inmigración (ICE por sus siglas en inglés) en la comunidad local. Una de estas involucró a un estudiante de Riverside y miembro activo en Destino Success Wildin Acosta, quien fue detenido por ICE mientras salía de su casa. Este evento provocó un gran revuelo en la comunidad de las Escuelas Publicas de Durham. Estudiantes y maestros reunieron sus recursos y comenzaron protestas, llenando medios de comunicación social con el hashtag #RHSwantsWildinback, y llamando varias veces al Congresista Butterfield, exigiendo la liberación de Acosta. “No estoy seguro de que he visto algo parecido a la ola de apoyo que hemos visto en las semanas pasados: las marchas, las llamadas telefónicas a los miembros del

Cont. de pg.15

Congreso, el envío de la tarea por correo, el día en qué todos se vistieron de color púrpura,” dijo Steven Unruhe, miembro recién elegido al Consejo Escolar. “Ha sido algo tremendo, y ha hecho una diferencia”. Junto a los pasos tomados para la liberación de Acosta, Destino Success ofrece servicios, entretenimiento, y eventos de recaudación de fondos para continuar el apoyo a la comunidad latina. Esto incluye noches de información para padres latinos en español, tutoría bilingüe, y un programa de mentores, además de varios eventos escolares tales como el torneo de fútbol, ​​festival de comida, y mucho más. “Apoyamos a nuestra comunidad financieramente y mucho más”, dijo Holmes. “Nos esforzamos para hacer un cambio positivo en nuestra comunidad y asegurar que nuestras voces sean escuchadas.

Apoyamos a los estudiantes en dentro de Miembros de Durham CAN y Destino Riverside y afuera”. Success hablaron en las reuniones del Como se ha producido una gran can- consejo Escolar, solicitando más apoyo y tidad de estudiantes latinos, aumentado una carga de trabajo más pequeña para es cada vez más activo en la comunidad los consejeros, junto con un aumento en la continuamente amplificando su apoyo cantidad de personal bilingüe disponible al estudiantes de Inglés como Segundo en las escuelas secundarias. Idioma (ESL) y en eventos con la organi- El Consejo Escolar estaban de acuerdo zaciones locales como Congregaciones, y declaró que apoyaría plenamente esos Asociaciones, Viviendas de Durham esfuerzos debido a la enorme cantidad de (Durham CAN). beneficios que proporcionarían. “Tomó un par de Flowers by Gary años, pero nos hemos puesto en contac(919) 471-1566 to con las organizaciones más grandes 4914 North Roxboro St que crearon adicionales y mejores resulDurham, NC 27705 tados”, dijo Campos. “Esto condujo a una www.flowersbygaryofdurham.com involucración aumentado.”

April 2016



Simmons pushes baseball program to new heights By Raymond Starn When Coach Doug Simmons first began his job in 2012, Riverside baseball was a perennial powerhouse but had not won the PAC-6 in two years. The facilities were old and worn, and big changes needed to be made. “The first thing I saw that needed to be improved was the field. Most of the facilities were falling apart and the field had to have serious work done,” Simmons said. Once Simmons got the field and facilities in order, the next step was to continue to run a strong program built on winning and sending players to college. “The first thing that I told my players was the thing that drives me is to prepare and put kids in college to play baseball,” Simmons said. “I had to build a program that would get to the playoffs each year, and do some damage in once we got there.” Before coaching at Riverside, Simmons was an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, gaining both experience and knowledge of the college


Baseball players Kimball Toone, Varney Whitaker, Ray Palma, Jordan Snow, Sam Wood, and Simmons gather at the mound during a game against Cedar Ridge. baseball system. Simmons had a tough challenge to con“We hired him because of his expe- tinue Riverside’s reputation as a baseball rience," Athletic Director Margratha powerhouse. Chambers said. "He had worked at the The number of students coming out college level as well as the high school for the team had dwindled in recent level before and no other applicant had years and the program needed someone that experience.” to spark interest in baseball again. When

RHS Booster Club Join Riverside's Athletic Booster Club to support athletics through fundraisers and events!

$10 for adults $5 for students Board member elections in May For more information, visit riversideboosters.org

the previous coach, Doug Blowe, left Riverside, the school was stuck without a permanent coach. “Since the decision to hire him, [Simmons] has built [the program] up to new heights,” Chambers said. Simmons immediately earned the respect of his players. Chambers says that is one of the biggest elements he has brought to Riverside baseball. “The thing that he really stresses is that you have to practice and practice and practice and that’s the only thing you can do to prepare yourself and get better,” senior Cody Goss said. Upon his arrival, Simmons won back to back Coach of the Year awards in 2013 and 2014. During the same years, Riverside baseball captured the PAC-6 title-- something that had not been done since 2010. “I want to continue with this success. A lot of coaches say that, but with our players, staff, and culture it’s absolutely in our grasp,” Simmons said.

Pirates' Hookok

22 Athletics

Women's lacrosse plays on, with or without coach

By Caitlyn Patton Despite six months of searching and hundreds of emails, Riverside’s women’s lacrosse team started its season without a coach. Chuck Campbell, the team’s former head coach, resigned in August 2015 after three years of coaching the team. Campbell volunteered to coach the team because his daughter played lacrosse at Riverside. A similar situation occurred this year. Todd Leovic, parent of senior Cassidy Leovic, stepped in as head coach until a more experienced coach could be found. “When I found out he was leaving, I was slightly happy,” Cassidy Leovic said. “Our coach last year was extremely nice and extremely generous, but didn’t know anything about lacrosse, so I was looking forward to a new experience of actually learning the game of lacrosse with a new coach.” Leovic quickly learned that finding a women’s lacrosse coach was easier said than done. While Riverside Athletic Director Margretha Chambers had the position posted to a few websites, upperclassmen members of the lacrosse team searched everywhere they could think of for a coach. Both Leovic and fellow senior lacrosse player Nekesa Schutte contacted club teams for the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Duke University, as well as athletic directors and head coaches across the Triangle. “I emailed a ton of people,” Cassidy Leovic said. “I literally asked anyone who knew anything about lacrosse. I also asked a lot of teachers, but [they] wouldn’t do it because they wouldn’t get payed

The Riverside women's lacrosse team assembles before a game. The team endured an extensive • PHOTO BY LEXI NEWNAM search for a coach before finding a Riverside parent to fill in. [much] extra to coach, which is a huge time commitment. I even asked dads, but my dad was the only one willing to do it. The lack of finding a coach was not from the lack of effort from our players.” Without a coach, women’s lacrosse would not have been able to play this season. Several people contacted Chambers about being assistant coaches, but the applicants were turned away because they would only be there part of the time. “There were a couple [prospective coaches] that wanted to be assistant coaches, but they could not be there all the time, only some of the time,” Chambers said. “The players can’t practice by themselves because there is a risk of injury. I didn’t want an assistant that would only be there half the time.” Most girls who try out for the women’s lacrosse team at Riverside have never played lacrosse

before, so they have to learn the basics. While players searched for coaches, upperclassmen stepped up to fill leadership roles that a coach would have taken on during preseason workouts. “It sucked a lot because all the returners would teach the new girls, and that stunted our growth and learning with developing our skills better because we had to teach people instead of practicing ourselves,” Leovic said. “I also feel like the girls don’t like me as much as they would if have I wasn’t the coach in the beginning.” Several members of the team question the amount of effort that was put into finding a coach from Riverside’s athletic department. Chambers had the coaching position posted on several websites including Durham Public Schools, Maxpreps, and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA).She asked other coaches if they knew of anyone

that was willing to coach and also asked current women’s lacrosse players to put out the word if they knew of anyone willing to be a head coach. “That’s about all we could do because lacrosse is a northern sport and there is not much interest here,” Chambers said. “We would’ve figured out something. I want every girls team we have to have the opportunity to play, with or without a coach.” A similar situation happened with the women’s tennis team in 2014 when they were unable to find a coach for their season. A Riverside parent who coaches at Croasdaile Country Club volunteered to coach, and when she could not be there, Chambers was there to coach the team. Not having an experienced coach has also affected the chances of women’s lacrosse players who aspired to play the sport they loved in college. “There have been a few people

on the team who have gotten offers to schools and the fact that we don’t have an experienced coach affects that offer,” Leovic said. “We have had Division II coaches approach us about playing in college.” Women’s lacrosse has struggled through the controversial coaching search and has been playing the best they have played since current seniors on the team have been there. In one of the first games of the season the team scored eight goals, the most the team has scored since 2010. “This season is the best we’ve ever had,” Leovic said. “We are all playing as a team and are being more successful because of our hard work ethic.”

Jenny Leinbach 919-682-2524 yellowbird1111@gmail.com

April 2016



NCHSAA realigns PAC-6 Conference Wake County schools will replace Northern, Hillside, and Person By Axel Herrera A year from now, the Northern and Riverside rivalry could no longer exist. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) has decided to implement a realignment of high school conferences to change the percentage of students per division for the years 2017 through 2021. For Riverside, that means that the conference as it exists will completely change. Out of the seven schools which are currently in the Piedmont Athletic Conference (PAC-6) conference, only two of them will continue in the same conference: Riverside and Jordan High School. The rest of the schools in PAC6 will be moving down to 3A, which include Riverside’s rival, Northern High School. Although they will not be in Riverside’s conference, some coaches still plan on playing the rivals. “They’re all in Wake County except for Jordan,” men’s varsity basketball Coach Brian Strickland said. “You would love to say that we still play Northern, Hill-

side, Southern, but I can only play so many of them because they will all be 3A and I need to play 4A schools. We will always play Northern, that is never going to change, but I can’t go around playing the 3A schools because it will affect our seeding for the conference.” The manner in which schools are placed in divisions are determined by the size of the student population. Riverside and Jordan are the only two schools of the current PAC-6 schools which still hold a student population to remain in the 4A division. “Once you start going down to 1,300 or 1,400 students, you start teetering between 3A and 4A,” said health teacher Michael Whitfield.

for buses traveling continuously between Durham and Wake County will affect the athletic budget. “It makes for a • GRAPHIC BY MARGOT GERSING longer night, not to mention getting out of school at four o’clock. Our closest drive is 15 minutes away, everything else is 30 to 40 minutes away,” Strickland said. Longer drives, and even leaving fourth period classes much earlier has the potential to increase the stress for many already heavily burdened student-athletes. It will increase the importance for highly involved changes. athletes to have well-developed The conference turns Rivertime management skills. side’s competition with other “It’s going to be hard. You have Durham schools, to Jordan and to set back your whole schedule,” Riverside representing Durham against a group of Wake County sophomore junior varsity soccer schools. Furthermore, funding player Maritza Mercado. “I will

have less time to do homework or spend time with family. You don’t know what to expect when you are just thrown into a conference with all different schools.” When an almost complete overhaul of the conference occurs, a worry for the students and coaches is how they will now compare to some of the large Wake County schools. The actual effect on competition is independent for each sport. For example, Riverside’s competition in basketball will probably pick up according to Strickland, but Riverside has already faced traditionally competent schools such as Jordan and East Chapel Hill. “New realignment creates a ‘Power Conference’ with regard to combining Durham and Wake County’s most competitive wrestling programs,” wrestling coach Brandon Palmer said. “A positive side is that I think it is going to help our [ticket sales], because the schools from Wake County are going to travel a lot more,” Dickerson said. “We won’t travel so much, but they will travel to us.”

track team, brand new shootaway ball launcher machines for the basketball and softball teams, and nets, balls, and goals for the soccer team. “They do a great job and they don’t get the support they deserve,” Strickland said. Recently, the Booster Club financially assisted the wrestling team by purchasing new travel bags, singlets, and a crash mat. “Two years ago the Booster

overall support for not only my team but every sports team here,” football coach Chris Howell said. The Booster Club recently held their annual barbecue fundraiser on March 18. This event is an all-inclusive effort by the student athletes of Riverside and the coaches as well. All proceeds from the barbeque go towards funding for equipment, and uniforms for all of Riverside’s sports teams.

This change will have tremendous implications on Riverside’s athletics and rivalries, in conjunction with school time

Booster Club's impact grows

By Dalia Belmouloud Riverside’s athletic Booster Club is a fundraising organization that raises money to assist the Athletic Department by purchasing equipment and uniforms that any varsity sports programs need. “They have done a lot for us,” basketball coach Brian Strickland said. “I think the Booster Club is an absolute necessity that every athletic department needs.”

Before the Booster Club was reimplemented, most Riverside teams had uniforms that were twelve years old, according to Booster Club President Todd Patton. The Booster Club has funded numerous projects for Riverside athletes, and has raised money for nearly every Riverside sports team’s uniforms. It has also funded equipment for teams, including a set of hurdles for the

Club paid for our state champion’s championship ring” wrestling coach Broc Dickerson said. Baseball coach Doug Simmons says he enjoys the new people in charge of the Booster Club. “They are more approachable and more inclined to help every team that needs it,” he said. The Booster Club has also assisted the football team in getting new headsets. “The Booster Club brings in

24 Athletics

Riverside athlete overcomes adversity Sophomore Ashauntee Nelson balances school, sports, and autism

By Zoe Ashe-Jones For most student-athletes at Riverside, balancing school, sports, and family is hard enough. For Ashauntee Nelson, a sophomore and threesport athlete, balancing everything is much harder. Nelson has autism, an umbrella term for a complex group of brain disorders. According to Autismspeaks.org, about 1 in every 68 babies born in America has autism, caused by uncommon mutations in their genes. Autism can affect people in every aspect of their lives, from social interaction to academic ability. The condition presents itself differently in every person di• PHOTO COURTESY OF THE HELM agnosed with it. For Nelson, it manifests Ashauntee Nelson dribbles the ball up the court during a as learning difficulties. home game. Nelson has been playing basketball since she “I have a disorder and was seven years old. I just learn differently,” she had anger issues related to her auNelson said. “ People have to break tism, but as she grew older, she grew into things down to me so I can understand a calm and wonderful student, according them.” to her former Language Arts and Social Even though autism is seen in a negStudies teacher Lakewood Montessori ative light to some, to Nelson, it is the Middle School, Elizabeth Hunter. first thing she wants people to know Hunter marvels at Nelson’s personal about her. growth over the years she has known her. “If I could tell people one thing about “Ashauntee was a very fast worker me, I would tell them about my autism,” in the sixth grade. She didn’t complete Nelson said. work with great accuracy or organizaNelson’s positivity and openness is a tion,” Hunter said. “She completed work new trait for her. When she was younger, just to say she completed it.

"Now, Ashauntee follows instructions extremely well," she said. "She understands expectations and gets everything completed. She has a great work ethic.” That work ethic has followed Nelson from school onto the court. She plays volleyb a l l , basketball and lacrosse. For Nelson, basketball is the most important. “Basketball is my favorite because it’s my dream,” Nelson said. She has been playing basketball for seven years, but school is still prioritized above basketball. “Ashauntee has done a great job of balancing her academic career and her

athletic career,” Riverside junior varsity volleyball coach Sherai Jones said. “Her mother is a great help along with the various teachers Ashauntee has.” On the court, Ashauntee’s positive qualities shine through. “Ashauntee is a great teammate,” Jones said. “She encourages her teammates to do and be the best on and off of the court.” Nelson encourages her teammates by giving speeches and talking about how they can improve their team.

She encourages her teamates to do and be the best. Volleyball Coach Sherai Jones

Nelson’s work ethic is also note worthy. “Ashauntee is a true athlete. Even though volleyball is her secondary sport, she works at her craft relentlessly,” Jones said. “She just wants to be the best at anything she does.”


Nelson races a player for possesion in a game against Jordan. Nelson is a defender on the women's lacrosse team. The team picked up their first win of the season, and are striving for a great year.

Profile for The Pirates' Hook

April 2016  

April 2016