Page 1

Got senioritis? pg 8 Double-threat QB pg 11

Jokes too far? Pg 3



Rider High School

4611 Cypress, Wichita Falls, Texas, 76310

Volume 50 Issue 7 April 2012

Color guard copes with coach’s arrest

Team continues to compete despite various emotions; Henrietta instructor fills in temporarily

by Kayla Holcomb “Do you think what happened to him was fair?” There was a long pause before she looked up straight into my eyes. Her one word held all her hurt and betrayal inside, but at the same time you could hear her strength. She fully believed in the one word she said. “Yes.” Color guard director Michael Christian was arrested Thursday, March 8, leaving behind the color guard to deal with not only his absence but also the reason behind it. He is currently being held on five counts of theft, for a total of $22,695 allegedly stolen from out-of-state companies from whom he ordered band merchandise and then avoided payment, along with accusations of providing false information on employment applications to four schools, including Rider. The members of the guard have experienced many different emotions throughout the ordeal: shock, pain, anger, and finally grief. “The practice after he left, we all just started crying,” color guard member Jane* said. “It’s all really emotional. In your head you think there’s no way this could happen, but then you have to separate what’s in your head from reality.” Reports of Christian’s arrest detonated like a bomb on the team. Just like everyone else in Wichita Falls, they found out about it via the Times Record News story. “The most upsetting part probably would be that he didn’t say anything ahead of time,” Jane said. “He could have given us a heads up. It was obvious that he knew about this from the get go.” According to some of the members of the color guard, Christian had been “real emotional” in the weeks before his arrest and at times exhibited a quick temper along with threatening to cut girls from their positions if they made a mistake. When the team members learned about the accusations against their instructor, many wondered if he had been stealing from them as well. One of the parents has asked a private investigator to look into how much, if any, money was taken from the guard without them receiving anything in return. Because the investigations are still underway, the girls have not been asked to return any equipment that was purchased within the time frame that Christian was

employed, nor have they been offered any restitution for money believed to have been stolen. “When I saw all the amounts of money that he apparently had stolen and I read the word ‘theft’ my whole head was spinning,” Jane said. “If he was stealing from MSU’s guard what makes us any different?” This idea initiated a new wave of hurt feelings. “You have that sense of disgust and a little bit of betrayal,” Jane said. “You have that thought in the back of your head that maybe he was playing you the whole time, like maybe he truly didn’t love you guys. Maybe he didn’t really care, but at the same time you hurt because you really did love that coach.” Rider band director Loy Studer sought the assistance of Henrietta’s guard coach, who the girls refer to as Ms. G, so that the team would have an instructor to prepare them for their two remaining winter guard competitions and championship following Christian’s arrest. “We debated on taking his name off the back of our shirts,” Jane said. “We thought about it, but despite all he’s done, which I’m sure he’s not proud of and we’re not proud of, we still love him. We still appreciate what he did for us and how he got us up to where we were before he went to jail, but we decided we were just going to keep it there. We understand things in life happen, that you don’t always make the right decisions. We’re human. We still love him. We still miss him.” To many members of the color guard, discovering the charges against Christian was a learning experience about taking responsibility for your actions. “He would tell us what’s right and what’s wrong, and give us advice on things, but he needs to take his own advice,” Jane said. “If you do something bad, you’ve got to reap what you sow.” Christian no longer has the ability to decide his own fate; instead he will face a jury that will decide it for him. “We’ve all decided to move on,” Jane said. “We’ve worked hard this year, and we can’t stop now. This is just going to make us stronger.” *indicates name has been changed

“This is just going to make us stronger.

2 Plastic versus paper

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The Rider Chronicle. April 2012

Credit cards can carry secret fees, cash better in end Despite loss, soccer played good game


Staff editorial

In recent years, the simplicity and compactness of credit cards is making carrying cash obsolete. Cards are easier than counting bills and coins and take up far less space than gratuitous amounts of wrinkled, wadded bills. But don’t be fooled by these immediate, trivial benefits, because these shortterm benefits, in turn, carry long-term consequences that the attractive look and accessibility of credit cards fail to tell you. With interest rates averaging at 16.92 percent, and an average debt of well over $50,000 per household, (the majority of which being credit card debt) you could be paying for that candy bar you bought on impulse, that tank of gas, that occasional magazine, for the rest of your life. Along with the staggering $15 trillion national debt, and not to mention the dismal state of the economy, the future doesn’t look too bright for new credit card owners. And don’t be fooled by the waves and waves of, “0% interest for up to two years when you sign up for our card today!” ads that accompany the momentous 18th birthday. Though they sound attractive, they carry untold baggage shrouded behind a curtain of subliminal messaging and attractive packaging that won’t be revealed until after you come to the realization that your credit score has long since gone down the tubes. Don’t fall prey to the idea that a credit card is “free money,” because when all is said and done, and the purchase has been made under the assumption that there won’t be any consequences for using the card “just one time,” there comes the bill. And after interest is calculated and added to the initial purchase price, you come the realization that that, “free money,” wasn’t as free as you originally thought. Though credit cards are quick and easy to use, for the time being, using cash does seem like the more logical decision, despite the hassle. So before you become just another number in the national debt per household statistic, you have to ask yourself, am I really able to handle the long-term effects that accompany a short-term impulse? For teenagers, the answer is no. So don’t let yourself become just another number in a statistic, we have too many of those already.

Our soccer team played their hearts out on the field all season long and during State finals. But, being that close to the goal is semi sweet. Making it all the way to State is amazing; it’s such a huge accomplishment. The whole school is still proud of everyone who played that night. Even though we did lose, everyone is still proud to be a Raider. Our OFOT motto stays with us forever, and the soccer team showed that spirit. They played as a family, acted like brothers and performed as a team.

Parties approaching; don’t drive drunk Celebration is coming right around the corner and so are the stories. Year after year, there’s always something that involves the police, an ambulance, or a “kick-out”.You can’t stop the students from drinking before the dance. What they do on their own time is their business. However, when they bring it to the dance, it will cause problems. Many times groups have been kicked out for being intoxicated, or even so intoxicated they end up going to jail or the hospital with alcohol poisoning. With no control of what happens outside of Celebration, you can only hope that the people who break the law and drink are responsible enough to get a sober driver. Nobody wants to hear a Celebration story about a wreck, a ticket, or a drunk driver killing someone. Out of respect for yourself, your family, your friends and others, don’t drink and drive. Get a driver, a taxi or a limo. Don’t get behind the wheel or in a car with a non-sober friend who chooses to drive. It’s really just not worth it.





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The Rider Chronicle. April 2012

Diary of a redhead

Broken bathrooms

‘Ginger’ bullying goes too far, be proud of hair color

Unsanitary toilets gross out students

by Kayla Holcomb Every time I get my hair cut I am told how beautiful my hair is and how much every woman who dyes her hair wants my color. I am told to be proud of my hair color and never change it. Because I am rare. I am a redhead. We stand out in the crowd. When someone in the hall yells “hey red!” I turn around. It’s my defining feature, the one everyone notices and always remembers. People began referring to us as “gingers,” a name that belongs to a kitchen spice not a human being. But wait, oh yeah, I forgot, according to you guys, we’re not human. Apparently we have no soul. How did this all get started anyway? Who came up with the idea in the first place? South Park aired an episode called “Gingervitus” as a parody on racism, but started something all in itself with the gingers have no souls idea. Great, so we get bullied because of a TV show. Because that makes logical sense. Everything on TV must be true of course. Within the past few months, the criticism has really intensified. I can’t go anywhere without hearing some sort of “ginger joke.” Not even church. Many of my friends are in on it. I even get it from people I don’t even know. You may think it’s all fun and games. I can name off the top of my head a list of people

by Alexa Mauri We’ve all had the feeling.You’re sitting in class and all the sudden, it hits you.You have to use the bathroom. But then you realize how disturbing they are. “I hate using the school bathrooms,” junior Courtney Terrell said. “They’re disgusting.” The seats are gross and there’s hardly ever any toilet paper in the stalls. “I’ve gone into a stall and before I could realize there was no toilet paper, it was a little too late,” Terrell said. “I felt so awkward reaching under and asking the person in the next stall for some.” The girls’ main hall bathroom seems to have been broken ever since Terrell can remember. “I remember the first week of freshman year,” Terrell said. “I walked in and the second to last stall had water every where. A lot of times when I use the main hall bathroom, it still has water all over the floor.” You would think after using such a dirty rest room, you’d enjoy washing your hands and returning to class clean, but how is that possible when there isn’t anything to wash your hands with? “There’s been several times where I’ve gone to wash my hands and there wasn’t even any soap in the dispenser,” Terrell said. “Just rinsing off your hands doesn’t really help the thought of all the germs you just had to touch and now leave on your hands.” The floors are flooded, the toilets are disgusting, and there’s a major lack of toiletries. Our bathrooms aren’t necessarily a place of choice here at Rider High School. “Sometimes I try to just wait until school is out to get home and use the rest room,” Terrell said. “That’s how bad they gross me out.”

that will read this and think “gosh don’t take it so seriously, we’re just kidding.” But think about it. Would you like to be shot down all the time and told you don’t matter because of your hair color? Oh right and the whole time that the “ginger jokes” are being cracked, everyone in the room is laughing and there’s nothing you can do about it. Anything you say gets turned into another joke. And why do the redheads get to be made fun of freely? It’s no different than attacking someone for their religion, appearance, ethnicity, or any other characteristic. So I’m calling out to everyone who’s ever been made fun of for being black or a Jew or overweight or unpopular.You know what it feels like to be judged and unfairly attacked by cruel jokes. Some people can make fun of others all day, but when someone says something about them, the fun’s over. So don’t put others down for your own amusement. Maybe once or twice cracking a “ginger” joke is funny, but don’t keep beating a dead horse. If it gets to where you’re constantly ragging on the redheads around you, it’s too much. Having red hair is a privilege. We reds make up only 6% of the U.S. population. Be proud of your hair color and skin tone. Be proud to be a redhead.

Why did you get your tattoo or piercing? “I’m from a family covered with [tattoos], and certain tragedies in my life.” Jacob Cobb, 11

“My friends didn’t think I’d get a piercing done, so I did.” Cynthia Barrera, 10

“Because [my belly button piercing] looks good.” Stacey Fosnaugh, 11

Tell us why you got your tattoos or piercings at

4 News Recovering economy poses problems for college check us out at

The Rider Chronicle. April 2012

Recessionary gap causes education costs to rise: students taking out larger loans than normal by Kyler Norman

The U.S economy has caused inflated college prices that are creating financial problems for students. College and Career Counselor Julie Johnson said school loan debt is quickly becoming the largest debt in America. “Unfortunately college, like every thing else, is getting more and more expensive and kids either have to pay more or take longer to go through college so they are taking less hours,” Johnson said. “Kids then get frustrated because they think they’re never going to get out of college and they quit before their degrees are up.” Johnson said high paying jobs generally require professional degrees like Doctorates and Masters. “I don’t have many students come to me to ask about jobs,” Johnson said, “I think they think (jobs) are just going to fall in their laps and they’re just going to get these wonderful jobs.” Those wonderful jobs aren’t automatic. “Our economy is in the process of recovering from the 2008-2009 recession but struggling a bit,” Ph.D. Chair and Professor of Economics at Midwestern State University Yoshi Fukasawa said. According to an article by the Huffington Post, China’s economy is rapidly gaining on the U.S. “Yes, it is true that the Chinese economy is growing a lot faster than the U.S economy, or for that matter, most other major industrialized countries’ economies,” Fukasawa said. “Today, the Chinese economy in terms of the nominal GDP is the second largest in the world after the U.S. The Chinese economy has grown on average at about 12 percent per year while our economy has grown at less than 4 percent per year for the last 25 years or so. If this trend continues, the Chinese economy could, although not likely, surpass ours in about 25 years.” The economy has a definite impact on students in the United States. “It is important for incoming students to think seriously about what they want to study,” Fukasawa said. “The university education is getting expensive and desirable jobs are more difficult to find. But, here is a word of advice: Choose the major that interests you most, not the major that gets you a job.Your education should be to prepare you for your life time experience. You want a broad educational background. The job

market changes and you want to have an education that is adaptable to changes.” Fukasawa said it is important for students to learn how the economy works. “Like it or not, you (students) are a part of our society and the economy,” Fukasawa said. “You want to discover the best possible opportunities for yourself in our ever changing economy. Remember, our economy is still the best and the strongest in the world.” Fukasawa said many factors lead to the stability and improvement of the economy. “In the long run, the well-being of our economy depends on our people,” Fukasawa said. “Economic opportunities often become more available in a free society made up of educated people. So, it is important for us to have a good educational system and to maintain a free society.” Johnson said you should choose a job because it interests you, not because it makes a lot of money. “Money is important but money doesn’t buy happiness,” Johnson said. “If you’re stuck in a job you might be making a lot of money, but you might be working a lot hours and your passion might be at home with your family, or in some hobby or sport, but you’re stuck at the office.”

1. Establish a study schedule 2. Experiment with a variety of classes 3. Learn major prerequisites and requirements 4. 5.

Find out when you have to declare a major

Learn graduation requirements 6.

Meet with an advisor

7. Meet your intructors 8. Take time to socialize 9. Check out the Greek system 10.

Find out what student activities your school has to offer

11. Explore beyond campus

Students can go to the guidance office and online to find out about scholarships and grants for college. Photo illustration by Callie Cunningham

The 21 Things Every First Year College Student Should Do 12. Know your campus and the resources it has 13. Keep an eye out for limited campus engagements 14. Be aware of safety hazards on campus 15. Learn all about financial aid Get a checking account and apply for a 16. credit card 17. Set up a monthly budget Look into housing options for the 18. following year 19. Explore internship opportunities 20. Balance work and play 21. Start planning for life after college


News A certain shade of green

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The Rider Chronicle. April 2012

Marijuana considered a ‘gateway’ drug, opens doors to harder, more dangerous substances

by Jaycee Burke In the United States in 2002 there were 15.7 marijuana users from the age of 16 to 17. In 2007 there were 13.1 regular smokers from the age 16-17. The following year it dropped yet again, not by much though, to 12.7 percent of 16-17 year old students smoking marijuana. In 2009 there were exactly 14 percent of them smoking. Experts say smoking can cause some shortterm effects on your body. Memory loss, distorted perception like sight, sounds, touch, and time. Also, loss of coordination, trouble thinking about one topic, and increased heart rate. “It’s easy to spot the people that do smoke, it’s also easy to see the people that don’t,” Ryan* said. “It doesn’t make sense to me why they would ever even try it. I tried it once and I felt like I was about to die every second. I hated it.” Of 8th graders, 74.3 percent think that smoking marijuana is bad. Of 12th graders, that number is 54.8 percent. Most high school students don’t think that it is a problem to try it once. Only 18.6 percent of high school seniors see problems with trying it only once. “I think some teenagers just smoke because they want to see what it’s like to feel high,” Kimberly* said. “That doesn’t make it right. It makes it easier to go and smoke more, because they know how easy it is to get.” Marijuana is known as a “gateway drug” to other drugs. Much harder, and scarier drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that the younger someone is when he or she uses marijuana, the more likely he or she is to use other drugs when they reach adulthood. Cocaine: 62 percent of adults who had used marijuana before the age of 15 have used cocaine at some point during their lives. For those who had never used marijuana, that number is 0.6 percent. Heroin: Those who use marijuana in youth are more likely to use heroin. That number is 9 percent as compared to 0.1 percent for those who had never used marijuana. Psycho-therapeutic drugs: 53.9 percent of those who used marijuana before the age of 15 report that they have also tried to use psycho-therapeutic drugs for non-medical uses. The rate for those who have not

used marijuana is 5.1 percent. “I think it’s easy to get drugs in high school,” Kimberly said.” No matter what it is. Not just in Wichita though. Pretty much everywhere. I do think that marijuana is usually the first drug that kids try, just because that’s what is supposed to be ‘cool’ in high school and middle school because my brother comes home with stories about how people tell him what it is like to smoke.” The new growing acceptance of marijuana is at an all time high. Some cities, states and countries have legalized it for personal use. A poll in 2010 asked the question “Do you think Marijuana should be legal?” 46 percent said yes, legal and 50 percent said no, not legal. In 2006, that statistic was very different. Only 36 percent said yes, it should be legal. And, 60 percent said no, not legal. “If it was legal, it would just make more and more people think that it would be okay,” Kimberly said. There is 16 states in the US that sell medical. These 16 states have websites that tell where the dispensaries are, how to get it and where the medical offices are to get the prescription. Prices range depending on what state it is. In Alaska, it’s $20 for 1 oz. A person can also have six plants growing legally. “Weed is becoming okay in everyday life,” Ryan said. “School teaches us how to say no to drugs in fifth grade through eighth grade, Hot Topics. I think that teenagers and college students have this idea that since it is legal in other places then it should be legal here.” Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American high school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991). The thing they have learned over the years is that when young people come to see a drug is dangerous, they are less likely to use it, according to Lloyd Johnston, the principle investigator in the MTF survey. This helps to explain why marijuana use is rising right now, because the proportion of kids who see it as dangerous has been declining. The most recent survey was is February of this year. The survey is performed in conjunction with the

National Institute of Drug Abuse. The survey proves that marijuana is more abused in high school students than anything else, including alcohol and cigarettes. One in 15 teenagers use it daily. In the past four years that percentage has been increasing exponentially. When someone uses marijuana, the chemicals in marijuana travel through the bloodstream and quickly attach to special places on the brain’s nerve cells. These places are called receptors, because they receive information from other nerve cells and from chemicals. When a receptor receives information, it causes changes in the nerve cell. The chemical in marijuana that has a big impact on the brain is called THC -- tetrahydrocannabinol. Scientists recently discovered that some areas of the brain have a lot of THC receptors, while others have very few or none. These clues are helping researchers figure out exactly how THC works in the brain. *indicates name change

Rider Survey Stats Yes No Should marijuana be legalized?



Have you ever smoked?



Are you a regular smoker?



180 students surveyed


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The Rider Chronicle. April 2012


Students search for scholarships

Applying for grants, loans consumes valuable time; higher education proves worth it in the end

by Lane Weldon Junior Jessica Ayres sits at her desk, fiercely writing. She stops and looks over at the book the essay is on about, “Profiles in Courage,”and then puts her head on the desk. She hopes it is worth it. As the school year comes to an end, it’s still not too late for seniors or younger students to apply for college scholarships. “Most colleges and universities give you scholarships depending on how much aid they give you for merit based on GPA, or class rank, or high SAT scores, or community service, “ college adviser Jaclyn Muensterman said. “You’ll get scholarships from an institution, but they also give you grants on how much your parents make, so a lot of times even if you have all of these activities you’ve done or if you have a family who’s income is low, where it looks like

your not going to be able to pay up much, schools will usually still give you some sort of little bit of loan because they want the student to have something invested in their education.” Experts say even if students do not have a high GPA or are at the top of the class they still can get a scholarship, but they have to work for it. “For a lot of scholarships you have to write an essay,” college/career secretary Nancy Balch said. “A lot of kids don’t like to write essays, but a lot of them are ‘why you think you deserve this scholarship’. It’s not like you have to research Einstein’s theory of whatever. It is usually something personal to you.” There are even scholarships based on ethnicity or gender. “Some colleges are still trying to diversify the type

of students that go there,” college/career counselor Julie Johnson said. “The top people that go to schools are white females followed be white males and then Hispanic and black females. So Hispanic and black males sometimes can get more scholarship money then white males because colleges are looking to diversify to meet federal standards.” Through scholarship money students can avoid debt. “Student loans are becoming the number one debt in America,” Johnson said. “If I wanted to go to MSU, I’d pay about 20,000 a year, and if I’m going to Baylor, I’d pay about 40,000 a year. Scholarships help deduct from the amount I have to take out on loans.”

VASE honors 6 in state level

Students advance in art competition; rewarded with Bryan trip

by Montana Mooney Six students from the art department earned the chance to compete at the state level VASE art competition in Bryan, Texas. “It’s the largest art competition in the world,” art teacher Nancy Kizis said. “It’s an even playing field because Art 1 is compared to other Art 1 material, just like Art 2 and AP Art.” There were 24,000 entries, and out of those, only 1,480 made it to state. Rider had six students go which is an incredible achievement. 850 students won gold medals, like Rider’s Megan Jackson. 100 of the students at competition won a gold seal. The gold seal winner’s artwork is displayed in the capital building in Austin for a year. “The competition has been going on for 50 years in Texas,” art teacher Jim Henson said. “It’s the equivalent of UIL for art, but it’s not divided by school, and the students aren’t competing against each other but instead for gold medals and gold seals.” The six students sent to the competition were Julyann Sosebee, Erin Harman, Destiny Zynda, Cidney Trumpf, Tailer Southby, and Megan Jackson. “It’s the only competition based on the elements of

art. It gives the school a good reflection of how well the teachers are teaching the TEKS of art, so sending six students from our school was incredible,” Henson said. The students say the competition was an awesome experience, and they were able to enjoy their free time in Bryan. “It was a lot of fun,” senior Julyann Sosebee said. “It inspires us to do better and gives us ideas for future artwork.” The students were encouraged by all of the winning artwork, but they were still able to have a good time with their peers. “It shows how we could push ourselves to do better, and we all laugh a lot and have a great time,” senior Erin Harman said. When asked her favorite part, Kizis couldn’t decide at first, “but I loved watching the students get inspired to try new things and do better. We all loved looking at the gold seal artwork. All of the art kids fit in there, and many of them dress so wacky and fun. Art kids really are the best.” Taylor Southby’s state qualifying entry that earned her a trip to the VASE competition in Bryan, TX.



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The Rider Chronicle. April 2012

Academic dishonesty

Teachers speak out on frustration of cheating, lack of academic consequences in classroom

by Ashlynn Giles "I think some of the reasons kids cheat is they are looking at someone’s work to compare answers to see or confirm if they were right, which is stupid because you don't even know if they studied," an anonymous Rider teacher said."When I was in school consequences were a lot harsher than now." Statistics show that cheating among high school students has risen dramatically during the past 50 years according to "If anyone got caught cheating when I was in high school it was a automatic zero and being sent to the principal. No questions asked," another anonymous Rider teacher said. At Rider, when a teacher finds a student cheating on a test the consequences vary, but teachers say they are required to give the cheating student a retest for academic purposes. "If a teacher catches a student cheating on a test they still have to give them a retest, which gives them no academic incentive not to cheat," Pre-Ap World History teacher Chris Hartman said. "All they lose is their pride, but I think it should be a zero." 47 percent of cheating students said that providing test questions to a fellow student who had yet to take a test was academically dishonest, and yet nearly seven out of 10 admitted to doing so according to

"I don't expect my students to be brilliant, but to try," Hartman said. More than half the Rider students surveyed said that they don't think cheating is a big deal. Cheating increases due to pressure for high grades according to Online Education Database. "The reason I cheat is because I feel a lot of pressure from my parents," a Rider student said. "It's hard trying to keep up with all your work, especially if you're in Pre-Ap." In a random sample of Rider students age 15 to 17, 36 percent admitted to having cheated themselves. But seven in 10 also say they have friends who cheat, and only one-third of students have ever had a serious talk with their parents about cheating. "Sometimes it's laziness, but a student's life may not be easy. Maybe they have bad home situations, maybe they are living in a single parent home with younger siblings and had to take care of them all night and didn't have time to study," Hartman said. "If a kid bombs a test I am not going to jump on them for it because us teachers don't always know the situation." Students who found advanced classes in middle school easy can have an extremely difficult time adjusting to the higher expectations and heavier workloads in high school, and that puts them at a higher risk for cheating according to teachers. Many

students, especially those in honors and AP classes, definitely feel pressure — external, internal or both — to achieve high grades, and that, in turn, may increase their tendency to cheat in order to reach that goal says Why-Students-Cheat.html. "In the long run it hurts society," Hartman said. "Do you want a doctor that cheated their way through medical school? Or a lawyer who cheated their way through law school?" One teacher said the students in their class said that cheating isn't a big deal. But one student who was caught disagrees. "I got caught cheating. It wasn't worth disappointing my teacher and my parents," a Rider student said. "If you take the time to study and really get to know the material for the test and put aside time to study, it is so much better. I don't want the person at the top of my class to have gotten there by cheating." 80 percent of the country's best students cheated to get to the top of their class according to Online Education Database. "When it all comes down to it, I would respect a student who made a 65 on my exam and did it honestly more than someone who makes an 98 by cheating," Hartman said.

seem convenient but experts say they cause Cash vs. Credit Cards long-term economic problems for people who use them

by Ashleigh Robinson In a matter of years, paper money may be outsourced with the continued using and uprising of debit and credit cards. While both are quick and easy methods to spend money, one swipe of one credit card is all it takes to acquire a massive amount of debt. Family Consumer Science teacher Lola Pepper feels that credit cards, "when used correctly" are great. According to personal finance writer Ryan Guina of, owning a credit card has many perks. For one, it's more convenient than carrying several bills around. "Credit cards are small, convenient, and carry better consumer protections," said Guina. Pepper agrees with Guina. "You don't have to carry a lot of cash," said Pepper. She also pointed out that this comes in handy. "You can buy now, pay later." Guina believes credit cards are also a way to "establish credit history.” Establishing credit history is

essential to decisions later in life such as buying a car or receiving loans for college. Credit cards even offer rewards such as gift cards, certain discounts, and cash back bonuses. Pepper thinks credit cards are a great thing to have, but mentions that the cards are only available to those who are 21 or older. "Now you cannot get a credit card until you're 21, unless you have your parent sign for you," said Pepper. In the case that a parent does sign, it's important to use the card in the right way. With a credit card some things in life may be easier, but if the card isn't used properly, problems could arise in the future that could leave you in debt. The biggest problems with credit cards are people not paying their bill at the end of the month. Some credit cards have high interest rates that users are charged if their bill is not paid on time. On top of paying for the purchase and the bill, there will be the interest rate added into the entire equation which

often leads to a large amount of debt. "I've heard of people being in thousands of dollars of debt because they didn't pay their bill on time," senior Shiree Perry said. Perry does not own a credit card and doesn't see herself owning one anytime soon. "I only have a debit card," said Perry. "Maybe when I'm older and have a better job, I'll get one, but it's kind of scary right now." Experts say the key to owning a credit card when young is not to make extreme purchases. Start off by charging simple, small things. By doing this, people can establish their credit histories. "If I had a credit card, I would probably buy gas or something small from the store," said Perry. With smaller purchases, it is also easier to pay off a bill at the end of the month. In the end, though, financial counselors say those small purchases will add up to high bills if credit card bills aren’t paid off monthly.


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The Rider Chronicle. April 2012

The countdown begins

‘Senioritis’ sets in for students as final month approaches

Graduation dress code

by Jordan Campagna A glance inside senior classrooms proves that senioritis exists. Students are working on math during English, economics during math, or maybe even just sleeping. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, senioritis is defined as "an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades," or in different words, they don't want to do work. "Kids are just tired of school," college and career counselor Julie Johnson said. "I think they're ready to move on. Even though they're not mature, they think they are." Senior Aamna Zaidi has had senioritis since the first day of school. "I haven't made up a test that was like, a month ago," Zaidi said. "I enjoy being a senior, but sometimes it's frustrating, because you need to do your homework, but you're like, 'No! I want to go outside and stare at the sky!'" Although Zaidi has not tried it herself, she believes that with persistence, seniors can beat senioritis. "If you actually try, you can do it," Zaidi said. Senior Cameron Liss has had senioritis "all year" and in his eyes, graduation is the only cure. A common misconception with seniors is that

colleges don't look at the final six weeks of senior year, and if so, why bother trying to keep good grades? Johnson says that colleges do look, though. "They look to see if you graduated," Johnson said. "They look to see if you just bombed out the last six weeks and they can deny admission." Johnson says that she has never seen a college deny admission due to the last six weeks. "But that doesn't mean it couldn't happen," Johnson said. Students who blow off classes might not be denied admission to college, but they could find themselves doing more school than had they not slacked off. "English 4 seems to be the big class they get senioritis in," Johnson said. "Students that are blowing off English 4 have to go to night school. If there's no way they can pass, we help them enroll." The only way Johnson sees preventing senioritis is ending school in March. "No finals, just announce one day that seniors don't have to come come back until graduation," Johnson said. "There's really no way to get people to not have senioritis. It shows you're ready to move on."

Feature Gentlemen

•White or light colored dress shirt with collar •Dark tie •Black dress pants •Black dress shoes •Dark socks •No earrings or facial jewelry

Ladies •Black dress •Black dress shoes with strap or enclosed heel •Black sheer hose •Shoe heel should be 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches in height •No shorts allowed at graduation •Earrings are the only facial jewelry permitted for females

Important dates for seniors May 24, 2012

Graduation practice at Kay Yeager Coliseum. It is required for all seniors and begins at 3 p.m.

May 26, 2012

Graduation at Kay Yeager Coliseum at 5 p.m. All seniors must be at the coliseum by 3:30 p.m.


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The Rider Chronicle. April 2012

Spring Sports






1) Senior Berkley Hoff hits the pitch against Little Elm. The Lady Raiders were undefeated district champs and are headed into the playoffs. Photo by Meghan Myracle. 2) Junior Austin Hagy pitches the ball. The Raiders are headed to playoffs. Photo by Montana Mooney. 3) Senior Ashley Nuffer focuses on the ball as she works on her golf. Photo by Lee Ginnings. 4) Senior captain Haley McMath walks out with her parents on the Girls Soccer senior night. Girls soccer was undefeated in district and went to the first round of playoffs. Photo by Emily Fuccio. 5) Senior Jasmine Brooks jumps in the long jump competition. Jasmine along with several others from the track team will be competing in regionals. Photo by Meghan Myracle

10 Entertainment The Rider Chronicle. April 2012 She’s a ‘Belieber’ After ‘the Games?’ check us out at

Bieber fever strikes student hard

by Alexa Mauri-Bieber

Why I love Justin Bieber: 1. He's a beautiful man. 2. He sings like an angel. 3. He's awesome. 4. He's better than you. 5. He's a good dancer, and I dance, which means we're meant for each other. 6. His songs are great. 7. He's gorgeous. 8. He does a lot of charity work. 9. He's from Canada. 10. His hair is perfect. 11. His best friend is Usher who I'm also obsessed with. 12. He says the word "swaggy". 13. He's extremely attractive. 14. His manager follows me on Twitter. (@alexa_mauri follow me.) 15. He can moon walk, just like me. Again, we're meant for each other. 16. His hair is shiny. 17. His face is nice looking. 18. He likes giraffes. 19. He knows karate. 20. He has his own Google search engine called

Post apocalyptic themes take over young adult shelves

by Hannah Smith You’ve read the books, seen the movie, (some more than once). What’s next? It’s difficult to find a book that’s of equivalent excitement as your last. There’s a void that needs to be filled and the vampire love triangles won’t fill it. The growing number of young adults reading dystopian, post apocalyptic books is increasing especially after The Hunger Games became so big. But what makes them so appealing? “They make you wonder if you could actually survive a society like that,” senior Michaela Rutledge said. Senior Savannah Brady sees them as an interesting view on the world’s future. “I think I like them more because of the futuristic idea that our world could become something so much different than I could imagine,” she said. So could you survive? Would you be able to feed yourself, your family? Would you be able to resist conforming to the ways of the society and strike up a rebellion? Rutledge thinks so. “I could definitely survive,” she said. “If things got that bad I would join the rebellion.” Senior Jaycob Loeffler agreed that he would join the rebellion. “Why would I stand around watching when I could try to change things,” he said. “I would die either way, so I might as well go out with a purpose.” The characters also drew in the readers. “I liked how it was a strong female lead, Rutledge said. “She was the one that started everything.”

1200 9th ST 723-2764 Senior effects Long term Pastor-Dr. Bob

McCartney, Minister to senior High StudentsJustin Bindel

In a dystopian society such as the one presented in the Hunger Games the world the inhabitants live in is overpopulated and starved of not only food but their rights. Some find the books for entertainment while others see them reflections of society that is already somewhat similar. Loeffler said that people believe too many different things and that something like the Hunger Games could never happen; there’s too much good in humanity. But others believe that the dystopian books mirror our already crumbling world or the way it could turn out to be. “The morbidity in the books didn’t seem to phase anyone,” Rutledge said. “It reminded me of the things going on in our world that are just as bad as the situations in the book, like the whole “Kony” thing. No one cares anymore, things happened, and the story has lost its power. It’s a little disturbing.” Other books that echo the ever popular dystopian theme are books like “The Uglies” a series by Scott Westerfield, a series Brady read even before the Hunger Games and the post apocalyptic theme spread. “I like the plot line of a rebellious fight,” Brady said. “I’m not the lay down and die type, so these books are inspiring in a way that anything is possible.”



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The Rider Chronicle. April 2012

JT Barrett going to Ohio State

Junior star quarterback commits to play football for Buckeyes by Lee Williamson No one knew what he was going to do. Not his friends, not his coaches, not even his mom. It was a tough choice after all. This decision could have an impact on the rest of his life, but he’s finally made it, and senior, Joe Thomas Barrett has no doubt that it’s the right move. JT Barrett has accepted an offer to play football at Ohio State University, and he will be graduating early next year to get a head start on his training. “I want to graduate early to get to business,” Barrett said. “I don’t want to waste any time.” And he means it. Barrett has yet to waste any time getting prepared for what he calls his “career,” even since he was a little kid watching professional games. “When I was 4 or 5 years old I would watch NFL games on TV,” Barrett said. “One day I just told my parents: that’s what I want to do.” And he got to it quickly, playing running-back for Boys & Girls Club at age seven, and eventually quarterback at McNiel Junior High before coming to play for Rider. “We’ve known who he was since he was at McNiel,” said head coach James Garfield. “We knew that we had a lot of talent coming in from him and from all the junior highs.” Which was fortunate as Barrett wouldn’t have the chance to prove himself for awhile. He broke his right collar bone, his throwing side, in one of the first games.

“In my head I knew it wasn’t career ending,” Barrett said. “But it sure felt like it. I thought of the other kids in the nation getting ahead of me.” Despite his injury Barrett was moved to the varsity football team at the beginning of his sophomore year. “He had to be on the field at all times,” offensive coach Marc Bindel said. “He worked very hard.” And he still does. Barrett has come to be ranked as the #1 dual threat quarterback on 24/’s list of 4A football players. “He wants to be the best and have the best team,” Bindel said. “He wants to prove himself.” And he has proven himself to colleges all over the nation; Barrett has gotten 100s of interviews and almost as many offers and scholarships. “JT Has taken a very active role in growing up, he has leadership skills and he respects education,” Garfield said. “He just has an internal drive to be successful.” As to his future, both coaches agree that Barrett has made a great choice with Ohio State and that he has a very bright future ahead of him. “JT would have been crazy to reject the offer they Yds. TDs Pcs. gave him,” Garfield said. “This school will do a great job of preparing him for the1505 professional 7 league.” 111 And with his future, if Barrett chooses to play for the NFL he says he will go with whatever team will give him the best chance to play, regardless of how good they are. “I don’t care if the team is that good or that bad,” Barret said. “If they aren’t very good, then they’ll need me more, anyway.”


Barrett outruns Killeen in the playoffs JT Barrett received offers from schools like LSU, Illinois, Baylor, Arizona, and many others before finally settling on Ohio State this year. Photo by Meghan Myracle






Statistics for JT Barrett’s junior year.












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The Rider Chronicle. April 2012


Rider Boys Soccer, Class 4A State Runner-Up

The Rider Boys Varsity team coached by Josh Hill has been honored with the title of State Runner-Up for the 4A Class. These boys are officially one of the top teams in the state. Determination led to the state tournament where they placed second in the championship.

“There’s two things that have contributed to their success. One, they’re a very talented group, and two, they’re all willing to accept their role on the team and play to the best of their ability.” -Coach Hill

The boys celebrating their 1-0 victory against Del Valle on April 14 that sent them to the state championship where they claimed second place.

“We all like Coach Hill because he knows what he’s talking about. He’s the reason we got so far.” -Hami Howard “I love every single one of my teammates.We’ve all grown close over the season and become not only a team, but a family. I’m so proud to be on the soccer team with all of them. At the moment, I’m upset that we weren’t the champions, but I’m still so proud of everything we’ve accomplished this year.The captains were all leaders and helped this team go a long way. All of the seniors were amazing this year, and we’ll all miss them.” -Kaleb Laughlin

Didn’t buy your yearbook? See Mrs. Lee in room 247 the first week of May to find out the day books will be distributed. On that day only, yearbooks can be bought on a first come, first serve basis.

The Rider Chronicle April 2012  

Volume 50 Issue 7