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theSidekick Coppell High School

Year in Review

185 Parkway Blvd. Coppell, TX 75019





Stanford University Princeton University Major: Molecular Biology or Biochemistry Number of ‘I Rock CHS’ shirts: Six Bucket list: I want to ride in a zorb Favorite band: Coldplay Favorite childhood television show: Zoboomafoo Most unique skill: Able to drink a lot of coffee in a day Longest time gone without sleep: 36 hours Favorite teachers: Mrs. Winters, Mrs. Creighton and Mrs. Martin

Major: Business Number of ‘I Rock CHS’ shirts: Four Bucket list: Just to travel the world and study abroad Favorite childhood television show: SpongeBob SquarePants Celebrity crush: Megan Fox Biggest fear: Being average Favorite midnight snack: Cheetos Favorite teachers: Mrs. Creighton, Mr. Brock Biggest motivation in life: That I have the ability to make an impact in the world



Major: Engineering Favorite food: Rice Guilty pleasure: Pokémon Golden moment in high school: Winning homecoming king Biggest pet peeve: When people ask me about my pet peeves What is your most unique skill? Being me What will you miss most about CHS? The people here Longest time you went without sleep? Three days Favorite teacher: Mr. Brock


The University of Pennsylvania


Information by Kimberly Del Angel, Chase Porter Photos by Brian Hwu, Rowan Khazendar


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Washington University in St. Louis

Major: Undecided Favorite band: Maroon 5 What will you miss most about CHS? My friends and my family in Coppell Do you have any advice for incoming freshman? Don’t procrastinate. You don’t have to overload yourself with classes, but make sure to do your best in each class Favorite teachers: Mrs. Westervelt and Mrs. Creighton Biggest motivation in life: Being successful Biggest pet peeve: Pencil tapping Celebrity crush: Scarlet Johansson Biggest fear: Spiders





Duke University Major: Neuroscience Guilty pleasure: Watching Disney movies Favorite childhood television show: Dragon Tales What are you going to miss most about CHS? The friends I made in IB What is your most unique skill? I can play the oboe, but I wish I could juggle What is your favorite school club? Cupcake Club Favorite midnight snack: Chocolate Biggest fear: Heights.


Senior issue pg. 7-18 6

Pepperdine University Major: Psychology Favorite band: Coldplay Biggest motivation: My Faith Favorite childhood television show: Arthur Special skill: I am exceptional at Super Mario Strikers Favorite midnight snack: Chocolate chip cookies Golden moment of high school: When I won most likely to succeed Freshman advice: Be super nice to your teachers the first couple weeks of the semester and they won’t get on to you as much if you slack off




Vol. 23 No. 6

May 2012

Coach Chasteen to pass ball, retire

Christina Burke Staff Writer

22 21 AUG OCT

After leaving an administrative position at Coppell High School years ago, Mike Jasso returned to CHS this year taking on role of principal. Jasso is proud to be back with the Cowboys and ecstatic to see good things come in his next year as principal.

25 OCT

The groundbreaking club held its first meeting at CHS with around 25 members in its first year. The GayStraight Alliance formed this year, making school history. The club has taken off strong this year, and plans to flourish more in years to come.

13 JAN

Due to the record setting number of cans that students gathered for the 2011 Souper Bowl of Caring fundraiser, CHS was asked to host a nationally televised pep rally to kick off the 2012 Souper Bowl of Caring fundraiser with the motto ‘Tackle Hunger’.

A large crowd roared under the Friday night lights as Coppell Middle School East principal Laura Springer was crowned Coppell’s second annual hometown hero by the Public Service Academy. This was Springer’s second year to be nominated, ending in a well-deserved victory. She is an inspiration to many students in Coppell for years and continues to change lives at CMSE.

19 NOV

The Coppell Cowgirls volleyball team fought long and hard all season down to the very last point, succeeding in bringing home Coppell’s very first state C] championship for the sport. Under the new leadership of coach Julie Green, now a backto-back championship coach, the Cowgirls were able to make CHS history.


Students were called into a duck and cover this year as a terrible storm and three tornadoes raged upon Coppell. During sixth period, students and staff inside CHS were asked to gather in the hallways and stay away from the windows. After the storm passed, everyone was safe, but damage was costly to cars and homes around the city.

To see more go to

Photo by Jack Ficklen

Head basketball coach Brad Chasteen gives his players advice during a time out. This will be Chasteen’s last year as head coach. Sammy Robben Sports Editor

Coppell High School has always been one of tradition, and last week the boys basketball program’s 16-year tradition of excellence with coach Brad Chasteen on the bench ended with his resignation.

Chasteen came to Coppell after serving as boys basketball coach at South Grand Prairie. He led the Cowboys to 12 playoff appearances, including the 1999 state tournament where CHS lost in the semifinals. “We overachieve,” Chasteen said. “Some of our parts

have been bigger than expected, and most years we have done better than predicted by state associations. It is not the number of wins that is special to me; it is that the kids have really poured their lives into the program and done better than anyone expected. ”

Next year, Chasteen is moving from the public school coaching system to work with a Flower Mound friend on nonprofit projects, while getting the opportunity to continue coaching through a home school and select team.

see Chasteen on pg. 2

Spareribs catches up with competition Tanner McCord

Staff Writer

When hearing the words “Spare Ribs,” one’s thoughts may wander to daydreams of delicious barbeque and a nice summer cookout, and after eating said spare ribs, the last thing you will want to do is go for a run. Well, what about hearing Spareribs as someone’s name? One may think how someone went about acquiring such a nickname and what he has to do with running. Spareribs LaMothe is a Coppell resident, a weekly blogger for The Dallas Morning News and an avid runner who has grown acquainted with the Coppell Cross Country team through his daily runs at Andy Brown. As his pseudonym suggests, he could be the new most interesting man in the world, as well as one of the most humorous. He is so attached to his nickname that he would not divulge he birth name. LaMothe has been a Coppell resident for several years now and in those years he has made Andy Brown Park his second home. “I own Andy Brown, I just let everyone else run there,” LaMothe said. LaMothe is joking of course, although as active as he is on the trails, one may think he is being serious. Through his years of running, LaMothe has

grown quite fond of some of the Andy Brown regulars as well as the majority of the cross country team, in fact, after any given race where cross country runners and Spareribs run, you can probably find them mingling together. “When we would go run at the park he’d cheer us on and he had a saying that he’d encourage us with,” senior Gabe Zornes said. “RTYP, run till you puke.” This year, the Coppell High School track hosted the Run to Fund fun run and 5K on May 5 to raise money for the Coppell Education Foundation. The Foundation, although separate from the district, essentially provides funds and materials to the district and is run by seven Coppell residents, one of which is Superintendent Dr. Jeff Turner. Since 2000, this organization has raised over $800,000 for the Coppell ISD and continues to do so. Soon enough, $1 million will have been evenly distributed to each and every school in the district. LaMothe, having the power of media at his fingertips as a blogger plugged the link for the Run to Fund in several of his articles and was a participant in the 5k him-

see Ribs on pg. 3

Photos by Brian Hwu

Spare Ribs frequently participates in Fun Runs with members of the Coppell High School cross country team.

news Freshmen trade in study guides for service logs page 2

may 2012

Julianne Cauley News Editor

After a year of hard work, students can avoid taking their final exams as long as they meet the requirements for exemptions. In previous years, the Texas Assessments of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores were used to determine one’s exemption qualification, but because of the introduction of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) for freshman, their exemption policies have changed. “They still have to have an 85 in the class for the semester, they still can have no more than three [excused] absences in a semester and no more than four tardies,” freshmen assistant principal Jeremy Varnell said. “Since we do not have TAKS scores, the new component is service hours and per class, they can only be exempt from the four core classes if they do an hour of service and the form signed and turned into their teacher.” In order to decide what would replace TAKS scores, associate principal Michelle Kellen organized a committee of freshman teachers to openly discuss what could replace previous criteria. “Mrs. Kellen asked me to head up the committee because I am working on getting my Masters in Administration,” English teacher and coach Clint Schnell said. “It was me and four other teachers of different subjects and we had to sit down and come up with what to do about the new policy. So since freshmen do not take TAKS, we switched that to where they get one hour of community service per core class they want to be exempt from.” Freshmen were told the week of April 20 about the ad-

Graphic by Haley Madigan

justment and originally, when the committee came up with the policy, it was going to have them complete two hours of community service per core class. Since the announcement was made later in the year, they decided to reduce it to one. When informed of this, the teachers stressed to them that this is basically you giving up an hour to do community service that you would spend studying for your exams. “This is the good substitute requirement, because finding an opportunity to serve can be difficult, but overall it is a good requirement for exemptions,” freshman Jenna Bartley said. “[Adding this requirement] makes it fair to upper classmen who had to pass TAKS.” While many freshmen have discussed their support of the

new policies, not all are in favor. “Personally I am not a huge fan of requiring service hours to be exempt because I do not think it is too necessary since it does not have to be school related,” freshman Sarah Slover said. “I can see why the school is requiring service hours to fill a void in the policy, but at the same time I do not really see how it ties into academics and exemptions. Other organizations around the school require service hours, and I think that is great. I have no issue in doing the service hours, but at the same time I do not fully understand why it is necessary [in order to be exempt].” The school implemented the service hours in order to allow more freshmen to qualify for exemptions. “Basically freshmen were going to have to take 14 tests in

lot of what the teams are going to miss is his emphasis on working hard being as important as playing well. He taught me a lot about work ethic and getting things done and done right. He always told me ‘maximum effort is the minimum expectation.’” The hiring process for Chasteen’s replacement has not begun yet, but administration expects a decision within the next three to four weeks. “Chasteen’s teams were always known for being hard nosed and fundamentally well prepared, and at this point we do not have any front runners or any kind of short list in regards to his replacement,” Coppell ISD Athletics Director John Crawford said. Chasteen will have his input in his replacement and feels that personality is as important as skill in finding the right replacement. “You cannot just be a good basketball coach,” Chasteen said. “This is a one school town and tremendously tight community, so it has to be somebody who does not just go to their office, but they get out and meet people and embrace the community as well as push the boys and coach them.” After 16 years of building the program from the ground up, it is the players he works with that

he will miss the most. “That’s easy, I will miss the players,” Chasteen said. “I have had great kids, and the biggest compliment I get is everywhere I go coaches ask me how I get our guys to play so hard, but its not about me it is about the type of kids and type of families that we have in Coppell. I will miss the day-to-day interaction with these guys.” Though everyone around him will miss him, his players and colleagues only want the best for him and respect his decision to go a new direction. “I am not sure how basketball is going to be for us without him and his family around us, but I know after finding out we understood and wanted him to have the best for him and his family because he has given so much to Coppell throughout the year,” Schau said. As Chasteen finishes out his final days at Coppell High School, he hopes to have taught his players more than plays and skills, but lessons they can carry with them. “I hope they are learning some life lessons, mental toughness and character that they would not have learned any other way to help carry them through life’s challenges,” Chasteen said.

Chasteen retires after 534 wins continued from pg. 1

“It is a unique opportunity financially, and one that most public school coaches do not get,” Chasteen said. “It is just too good of an offer for me to refuse. I definitely was not looking to leave because I have loved every minute of being here, but it is just a security and financial opportunity that is great for my family.” Throughout his time here at CHS, Chasteen’s biggest accomplishment is not his 534 wins, but the success of his players. “Older players have called when they heard that I was leaving Coppell and everyone is successful in life. That is what an old coach looks at, how the players are doing after they leave,” Chasteen said. “That makes me feel good that a lot of guys still care what is going on here, but that they are all successful.” For many of the players, Chasteen has been more than coach. He has taught them lessons they will always carry with them, regardless of who their future coaches are. “Chasteen was really important to me because he gave me a shot even though I was not as good as a lot of the other players,” junior Everett Schau said. “A

the month of May alone,” Schnell said. “The administration wanted to figure out a way to lighten that load. [The committee] had to come up with a way to get a lot of freshen exempt from finals.” Other options were discussed before narrowing it down to requiring service hours. “We talked about doing like a field day or just like a fun day on the football field with different events and activities for the kids to do, contests, that kind of thing,” Schnell said. “The more we got to thinking about it, the more we realized that some freshmen will not have to take their tests and some teachers would need to be in the classroom giving tests.” The committee concurred that, logistically, that would have been challenging to organize. There were only a few restrictions

put on the hours themselves. The hours can be school related; the requirement teachers told them was that it cannot be during school hours. Schnell said one cannot volunteer to help one’s art teacher organize and clean art supplies after class. Anything that is school related or community related is accepted but cannot be done from 8:20 to 3:50 on Monday through Friday. However, the principals were letting some of them help clean up after each lunch if they needed extra hours to log. “It is right for the school to enforce service hours, because, although it does not directly have to do with academics, it encourages students to be good citizens of Coppell,” Bartley said. “It is a good way to make sure that freshmen get involved in the community.”

news Ribs a spare member of cross country team may 2012 continued from pg. 1

self along with some of the friends he met through running, including Mike Ahearn, who met LaMothe about eight years ago at a running event. “In a Lake Grapevine race, I didn’t know him, I had just forgotten my watch that day and I was running next to him because he had similar paces,” Ahearn said, “So when we got to the first mile, I looked at him and asked what time he had on his watch and he was [thinking] ‘what kind of goober is this, doesn’t even bring a watch to a race?’” Despite the odd first meeting, Ahearn and LaMothe have grown to be friends and you can see them running together at Lake Grapevine on some Sunday afternoons. Behind his grins and jokes, LaMothe does have a very competitive side. In fact his competitive nature is what keeps him coming to these events. He strives to win. LaMothe won his age group at the Run to Fund, running the 3.1 miles in a very solid 25 minutes and beating the majority of the runners, young and old, despite being the age of 65 and having run a marathon in Boston last week. “I ran 25 minutes, 25…20 something. And you know, there aren’t going to be a whole lot of

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people in the 65-69 (age group), I look around for them and there’s just headstones,” LaMothe said. LaMothe did not begin running until college at Albany State and often wondered why he started in the first place. However, as he progressed he began to enjoy running more and more as most new runners do. “My roommate was the number two runner on the cross country team and he would get up in the middle of the night, run, come back all muddy and soaked and I thought he was either crazy or a hero, and I decided I would try it,” LaMothe said His collegiate cross country years lasted through his sophomore year in college and only ended because of his move to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Although his college running days ended, New York was the birthplace of his nickname. Of all the facts about LaMothe, his name is most interesting: Spareribs. LaMothe got his interesting nickname years ago at a bar in New York and since then, it has grown to be more like the middle name he goes by. “When I was in college back in the 60s in New York state, you could drink at age 18. I was 19 or so and my friends went into this bar and I was very very skinny, I weighed about 130 pounds.” La-

Photo by Brian Hwu

Spareribs runs in the Education Foundation’s Run to Fund 5K on May 5, winning his age group. He frequently runs around Coppell with the Coppell cross country team.

Mothe said. “And there was an old Irish bartender there and he took one look at me and said, ‘And what’ll you be having there, spare ribs?’ And the name stuck.” LaMothe asked for his real name not to be shared despite ‘spareribs’ nearly disappearing as a name after college and there is little chance of finding it out via Google due to the popularity of

his nickname today. LaMothe has worked in Texas professionally as a consultant and several years ago when a company tried to look up his past work (through Google) to see if they should use him for their company, all that came up were pages of race results. “I decided that day that I would take back the name Spareribs for everything that had to do

with running, and use my real name for my consulting practice,” LaMothe said. Whether he is Spareribs LaMothe, the 65 year old who wins races and encourages high schoolers to “RTYP”, or Mr. LaMothe, the businessman at his consulting profession, he will consistently be one of the most interesting men in the world.

news CHS ranks among top in state for college readiness

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may 2012

Graphics by Kimberly Del Angel Photo by Jodie Woodward

Ben Cowlishaw Online Copy Editor

Rarely a week goes by that a program, group or club at the high school is not awarded or noted for their exemplary performance. Now, the school as a whole is being recognized as one of the best high schools in the state, and even the nation. U.S. News and World Report released its ranking of 22,000 high schools, based on standardized test scores, student to faculty ratio and number of advanced courses offered. Coppell High School ranks 28 in the state and 332 in the nation. This includes private and charter schools. Looking at only public schools, CHS is fifth in Texas and third in the Dallas-Fort Worth area – behind only No. 10 Highland Park High School and No. 27 Plano West Senior High School. “[The rating] validates the

hard work of our teachers and our students,” CHS Principal Mike Jasso said. “It shows that their hard work has paid off.” Coppell is known for the college-readiness of its students. This year, CHS offered 29 college classes and students are enrolled in 25. In addition, 1661 AP tests were ordered, an increase of almost 400 from last year. “This year, we have really worked hard to provide classes and support for students to be successful in things that they want to go on and achieve in college,” Jasso said. “The new academies, the growing and development of the IB program and all of the AP classes -it’s a total commitment to try to make everything we do topnotch quality.” AP classes offered, and the number of students who take and pass the tests, were one of the several measures for college readiness that U.S. News and World Report used to rank schools.

Coppell Middle School North

Coppell excelled in the college readiness score, and GT/AP English teacher Matt Bowden sees AP classes as one of the most important things for students to do in getting ready for college. “Especially at the junior and senior level, AP classes are going to serve as an important transitional period between high school and college,” Bowden said. Bowden sees that the motivation Coppell students have to excel in taking AP classes are for both the right and wrong reasons. “A lot of students take AP classes for the right reasons, because they want to be genuinely prepared for college-level courses; I think generally they take [AP classes] because they want to take a rigorous course that’s going to prepare them for college,” Bowden said. “You have a lot of students who take the classes just because they know that colleges are going to see that on their transcripts, and a lot of it comes from

up top with parents telling them they must take these classes. It’s a mix of things.” CHS 2010 graduate and Louisiana Tech University student Tricia Van Winkle agrees that Coppell was excellent in preparing her for college. The variety of classes offered gave her more options and allowed her to be prepared for her college classes. “It helped me a lot coming from Coppell because the classes were more complex and they better prepared me for the classes I am taking now,” Van Winkle said. “The classes and the teachers I had at the high school helped me know a lot more about the classes I was taking.” In addition to the continuing development of the academies and IB program, one of the biggest changes for CHS has been the introduction of Jasso as principal. “It’s a continuation of the hard work of the teachers, the students and the principal before

Coppell Independent School District

On May 4, Coppell Middle School North’s beginner band competed in their annual spring competition at UNT. The band was selected as the Overall Outstanding Middle School Band with four sections selected as Outstanding Sections. At the indivudual competition, a record number 35 Outstading Soloist Awards were received. Photo courtesy Karen Reed.

me,” Jasson said, referencing his predecessor Brad Hunt. According to Jasso, one of the biggest motivators for Coppell students is community. “The community and its students have a high commitment to education, and I think that is reflected in this rating,” Jasso said. “[The community] has high expectations of the school, and they have high expectations for their students. They back that up by supporting their schools any way they can.” The recognition brings positive exposure not only the high school, but the entire district. “It lets us be recognized among the best high schools, and by default, among the best districts in the state of Texas,” Jasso said. “We are leaders in showing how things should be done in serving students at the high school level. We are serving all of our students and we are very proud.”

On May 14, CISD hosted its annual Night at the Ballpark at The Ballpark in Arlington where coach Julie Green threw the honorary first pitch. The Texas Rangers lost to the Kansas City Royals 3-1. Photo courtesy Tony Trejo.

Mockingbird Elementary New Tech High @ Coppell

New Tech High @ Coppell seniors Ryan Whittle and Danielle Hoard were named 2012’s New Tech prom king and queen. Photo courtesy Danielle Hoard.

Mockingbird Elementary Principal Pam Mitchell was selected as a Texas National Distinguished Principal finalist by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. The winner will receive $10,000 and represent Texas in Washington D.C. as the 2012 National Distinguished Principal. Photo courtesy CISD.

Keeping up with CISD

Have an event you’d like to see here? Email photos and info to cwofford@

may 2012

. . opinions

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Senior Columns

Culp reflects on years of school past, looks to future

wren Culp webmaster I opened up my iPhoto library not too long ago and began to peel back time by looking at the hundreds upon hundreds of photos that I thought were important enough to hang on to. Then something happened. A song came on my iTunes shuffle that could only

be described as an act of God. “The Times They Are AChangin” by the legendary Bob Dylan engulfed my room and my heart like a raging flood. With every change of a picture, nostalgia kept rearing its bittersweet head. If there is one thing that I

have learned by flicking through all these pictures, it’s that I’ve changed a lot over the past four years. I am not the nerdy, out of place freshman that I once was, but rather a fairly knowledgeable eighteen year old who is still nervous about going to college. I wish that when I was a geeky, out of place freshman, I could have met my current self. I would explain my life and my future to the younger me in ways that only we could really understand. I would tell the younger me that homecoming is not the big deal it is touted to be and that the Dallas Mavericks would finally win an NBA championship. I would also explain the complexities of high school and try to give him as much advice as I could. I would explain how priorities and interests would always change just as fast as the faces you see on a daily basis walking through the halls. I would have told him to hang onto some friends, and to let go of some friends.

Saying all that to the geeky, a state championship trophy in out of place freshman known as victory, but everyone has a story the younger me would have saved worth being told. me a lot of hardship The most rewarding stoin the future. ries are the ones As I con- I would explain how priori- we do not find in tinued looking ties and interests would Google or anythrough the else on always change just as where pictures, I nothe Internet. The ticed a recur- fast as the faces you see best stories come ring theme. All on a daily basis walking when you make these were either a connection as through the halls. pictures of my a reporter to the friends and I at concerts or shows, subject you are writing about. various film projects and last but When your whole heart is in your not least, some sort of shenani- stories, there is nothing that cangans involving The Sidekick. not be written. I have been so fortunate to These last four years have be apart of this fantastic group of flown by me faster than I have people for the past three years. realized. To be honest, they’ve Everyday I look forward to com- flown by a little faster than I ing to class and hanging out with wanted them to. These times have all my friends who share the same been the best of my life, and now I passion and enthusiasm for jour- move to the University of Texas to nalism and writing that I do. create new times and new memoIf there is one thing that I’ve ries. learned from this class it is this: Bob Dylan’s words have everyone has a story. Not every never applied to me more than student has competed on “The in this one moment. “The Times Voice” or been able to hold up They Are A-Changin’”.

For Stewart, changes bring freedom, hope Graphic by Brian Hwu

College not all Greek to Whitfill College. It’s distant, it’s coming, it’s here. And with it, comes a large array of choices. One of the most asked about and prepared for being that of Greek life. But in all honesty, it was never even a question for me as I feel Greek life is at the core of college’s human and cultural dysfunctions. If I have learned anything from countless horror stories from people with outlandish salaries and the social pariahs of wellaccomplished schools, it’s that good people can do awful things to one another for absolutely no reason. Those people were in fraternities. Coming forward in a recent Rolling Stone article, Dartmouth College outcast Andrew Lohse reported that he was “a member of a fraternity that asked pledges, in order to become a brother, to: swim in a kiddie pool of vomit; eat omelets made of vomit [and] chug cups of vinegar… among other abuses.” Hazing and pledging are some of the most antiquated rituals present in today’s society. Literally, it reminds me of cave men fighting to the death to win the affections of women, but instead, we ask college freshman to pound a pint of beer and pay thousands of dollars so they can buy a group of friends. While some condone this behavior by the reasoning “if you don’t want to be initiated, don’t pledge,” it’s not quite fair to tell people that if they can’t single

handedly stomach three pitchers of beer, they aren’t allowed to be a part of your club. Now, while my extreme bias wants to do nothing but discredit everything about the Greek system, it is not in my nature to not at least try and understand why so many of my peers are dedicated to achieving the picture perfect college experience – fraternities and sororities included. I’m all about networking. In my field, making and keeping connections is almost worth more than actual talent, and it is for that reason that I think Greek life may be worth more than the, on average, $6,000 dues. Both Bush Presidents were part of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Yale University, and Dartmouth’s fraternities have housed two Treasury secretaries, a Labor secretary and a mouthful of CEOs, including those of eBay, GE and Freddie Mac. Those connections cannot be bartered, faked or gained through dreams – but they can be bought in the form of fraternity member fees. “Having a 3.7 and being the president of a hard-guy frat is more valuable that having a 4.0 and being independent when it comes to going to a place like Goldman Sachs,” a Sigma Alpha Epsilon member told Rolling Stone. The Greek system does not deserve to be abolished, but it is in desperate need of an

overhaul. Studies show binge drinking is nearly twice as high in fraternities than among other college students and a growing number of colleges have banned the single-sex organizations including Middlebury College and Williams College. In addition, 44 states have outlawed hazing. But, as with any popular and banned social event, rather than eliminate the problem, fraternities are just migrating underground. In response to the ban, Greek life is not only still in existence, it is becoming more and more dangerous and unmonitored. Instead of attempting naïve elimination, the colleges that host the country’s most dangerous frats need to lay out ground rules with actual repercussions, not just slaps on the wrist. Put liberally, students are being rewarded for not coming forward about outlandish hazing rituals, and the reward needs to be revoked. As put by Dartmouth senior Nathan Gusdorf: “People do incredibly bad things to one another here, because they know they’re going to get away with it.” But students aren’t just getting away with it. It’s shooting them straight to the top of the corporate ladder. Mary Whitfill

Features Editor

kelly stewart opinions editor So here we are. Last days of school. And here I am, the weird quiet girl who used to look at high school seniors and think ‘God, I’ll never be in high school, it’s so far away!’ It is funny how you realize how tired you are of high school your first day of senior year. All year, you settle deeper and deeper into lethargy, not caring and not thinking, just waiting for the freedom of college. And then, weirdly enough, when the time comes for you to finally have the fresh start you’ve always wanted, you find yourself (maybe just a tiny part of yourself) a little scared to leave. Because even though high school is a challenge to get through, it was familiar, it became a part of you. Because even though a majority of the people didn’t like you and thought you were weird, you still had your friends. But now, you will not even have that. It is only going to be a sea of unfamiliar faces who do not know you. But maybe that is OK. Maybe that will allow you to trim the fat – keep in touch with the really good friends you had to stand by your side in those years of tur-

moil, and just let everyone else fall away. Because they are what is really important. They pulled you back up, even when you were at your lowest, and you would do the same for them in a heartbeat. These are the people who know all of your flaws, all of the horrible awkward things that you do, and still hang out with you and allow themselves to be seen with you in public. And maybe in college you can finally stop caring so much – caring what other people think, what other people feel about you because really it’s you who gives their opinions value by thinking that there is something wrong with you, that you’re the one who is wrong. But maybe you can really like things just for the sake of liking them; maybe you can think that gothic fashion is beautiful, even though other people have other opinions, because that’s all that it is, isn’t it? Just the opinion of someone else. And maybe if you can find the right group of people who accept you without giving you a funny look every time you say something weird, maybe, just maybe you can learn to like yourself again.

. . opinions

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may 2012


Fine art of testing not as simple as reading a book For many upperclassmen, the end of the year is not necessarily a time to celebrate, but to heap hours upon hours of cramming on themselves in an effort to pass the various highly important tests they need in order to get into a good college. People have different ways of studying: some lock themselves in their rooms with heaps of notes, others buy stacks of AP, ACT or SAT help books while still other unfortunate souls find themselves in supplemental courses, trying to learn the tricks of the test. But how well do these

classes actually work? It is down to the wire for many juniors (and some unfortunate sophomores) trying to get a good score on their SAT and ACT. Many seniors too are feeling the pressure, trying to scrape by an acceptable grade on their AP and IB tests. Just walking down the hallways, you are surrounded by heavy and impressive–looking books with the promise of getting their owners a better grade. The posters too, appear around January and become a permanent fixture in the commons, promising students a

bright future with perfect scores and colleges begging them to attend. But is a class or multiple help books over the same subject really necessary? Some of them cost hundreds of dollars and can only do so much to help your score. The SAT or ACT are not over the same material after all, so how do you prepare? What the classes offer are a few ‘magic’ strategies that will allow students to trick the test into thinking they are smarter, or know more. But these tests are not just a game that you just need Graphic by Lauren Ussery

Take pity on weary students

I had a 101° fever. I was completely aware of this fact - it was quite difficult to ignore - yet I was sitting in my Econ class learning about tax corruption in less developed countries. Coppell High School’s policy clearly states that a student can be absent for no more than three days in a semester and still be exempt from their finals. For many students, myself included, going through the school day feeling like death only to go home and nap until morning is still preferable to taking the dreaded finals. All necessary measures will be taken to meet these requirements. This is where the holes in the system begin to leak. When school policy begins to take a toll on student health, the problem has become too serious to ignore. Students become so concerned with finishing the school year a few days early that they put themselves at risk of major illnesses. Bronchitis, if left untreated, can manifest itself in the lungs, leading to pneumonia. Allergies can lead to sinus infections. Not to mention the fact that stress and sleep deprivation, when coupled with any sort of illness, only make symptoms worse. When students are forced to choose between their health and their stress level, many will take measures to alleviate the latter

rather than the former. Students come to school with fevers, infections, viruses, many of which are highly contagious, and they expose classmates and teachers to these horrible ailments. A vicious cycle began with the start of the semester; one student’s desire to be exempt jeopardizes another’s desire to be exempt jeopardizes another’s, and so on. Exams are literally starting to make people sick. I have had many a week when I completely forget what it feels like to be healthy. I attend every class, I write down all the notes, I exchange pleasantries with classmates, but I retain nothing. Being in a situation in which your health is slowly but steadily deteriorating tends to put a damper on scholastic achievement. It is hardly the ideal learning environment when half of the class gets up every five minutes to blow their nose while the other half dissolves into horrific coughing fits. There are times when my history classroom sounds like an emphysema ward. Something has got to give. The answer does not lie in making exam exemptions more difficult to obtain, and it, unfortunately, does not lie in granting exemptions to all.

2011-2012 Staff Editor-in-Chief


Features Editor

Business Manager

News Editor

Online Copy Editors

Michelle Pitcher Mary Whitfill

Julianne Cauley

Opinions Editor Kelly Stewart

Entertainment Editor Madison Ford

Sports Editor

Sammy Robben

Design Editor Lauren Ussery

Photos/Graphics Editor Brian Hwu

Wren Culp

Addy Lopez

Kara Adkins Ben Cowlishaw Thomas Hair

Staff Writers

Kimberly Del Angel Jordan Bickham Christina Burke Jay Carroll Caroline Carter John Loop Lance McCaskey Tanner McCord Sarah Police

Stipulations need to be made to accommodate students when they are ill. I understand the legitimacy of having an attendance requirement, but isn’t the core of this requirement to ensure that the students are present and learning? I can personally attest to the fact that we may be present physically, but mentally we are far gone, and we are certainly not learning. Perhaps absences recommended by doctors as part of a treatment should not be counted against a student. Perhaps sick days that can be accounted for by a doctor’s note should go the way of school related absences. We should not be punished for our immune systems, and we should not be in a situation where we have no choice but to expose other students to our germs. Most of all, I want to be able to crawl back into bed after getting sick before school, not crawl into my car in the hope that I can somehow make it through the rest of the day with minimal damage. Take pity on the weary. As it was once aptly put, we are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

to find the ‘magic code’ to get through to the next level; no class is going to give you any secrets to these tests that you couldn’t find from one of those much cheaper books that you can find anywhere. It is the same principle for the AP and IB tests; just pay attention in class and study what you learned during the year. No extra heavyweight books are going to do any good, or teach you any secrets you already know. That is not to say that there is anything wrong with trying to get a little extra help when studying for important tests. But does

someone really need to shell out hundreds of dollars for study aids that will all basically tell you the same thing? Is it really worth a student’s time to go to a class every evening and try to learn the ‘secrets’ of these tests? It is really the classes themselves that are trying to scare people into thinking these tests are harder than they seem, to get them to pay money so the students can up their score a little bit. Those few points do not really seem worth all the time and energy trying to learn tips you could get from a single book.


from the web Modern Dating: What happened to manners? “Nice article! I thought it was well written, since girls lately are more desperate and guys never want to show courtesy because it’s just not a popular thing anymore.” - Rachel

Titanic in 3D proves to be a worthy experience “Capturing every moment of a historical fiction adventure that took the hearts of its viewers. It was only more wonderful in 3D.” - Adeline D.

Coppell T-shirt craze fits community “This is great! I love hearing stories like this where the community comes together. This whole spirit wear idea is great too. We wll have to try that in my hometown!” - Steve Rogers

Michelle Pitcher Editor-in-Chief

Chase Porter Chris Reagan Erica Rohde Tolu Salako Kristen Shepard Corrina Taylor Jordan Thompson Lauren VerDuin Annie Wen Dyer Whitt

Photographers and Graphic Designers Rachel Bush Jack Ficklen Ivy Hess Rowan Khazendar Haley Madigan Trevor Stiff Jodie Woodward


Chase Wofford

The Sidekick is the official student newspaper for Coppell High School. Its purpose is to inform, entertain and provide an educational resource for its readers. This newspaper is a public forum for student expression and thus student editors make all content decisions. The Sidekick is a member of ILPC, NSPA and JEA. The Sidekick was a NSPA Pacemaker Finalist in 2002 and Online Pacemaker Finalist in 2012, The Dallas Morning News best newspaper honorable metion in 2006, Best Newspaper and Best Website in 2011, Best Newspaper in 2012, and is a Bronze Star recipient for 2009, 2010 and 2011 and a Silver Star recipient in 2012 from ILPC. The

editorials and columns presented in this paper reflect the view of their writers. Advertisements are sold as full, 1/2 page, 1/4 page and 1/8 page sizes in black and white or color. For more information you may reach the adviser in his classroom (D115) or by phone at (214) 496-6239. The Sidekick welcomes all letters to the editor, but letters must be signed before consideration for publication. Send letters to cwofford@coppellisd. com. or bring them by D115. For more coverage from The Sidekick and KCBY-TV, visit www.coppellstudentmedia. com.

theSidekick Coppell High School

185 Parkway Blvd. Coppell, TX 75019

Art school

KCBY Seniors


Dancing pg. 8 Queen pg. 14

pg. 15

September 2011 Class of 2012

Vol. 23 No. 1

Valedictorian, salutatorian top off 2012 schoolhere! year Insert witty headline here! Insert witty headline Mary Whitfill

Features Editor

Every journey begins with a single step, and for the valedictorian and salutatorian of this year’s senior class, their journey will begin with a march across the UNT stage at this year’s graduation ceremony. Representing Coppell High School with hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and impressive plans for their future, valedictorian Haley Beck and salutatorian Martin Kalev are heading to opposite ends of the country to begin their collegiate careers. With acceptances at an impressive array of Ivy League schools, these National Merit Scholars have impressed those from their hometown and made their school proud. Heading to New Jersey to begin a pre-med education, Beck will be attending Princeton University. After turning down the full tuition Angier B. Duke Scholarship at Duke University, she decided Princeton was the place she could most see herself attending school, despite the fact that the Ivy League schools do not offer merit based scholarships. “It has honestly been the hardest decision I’ve faced so far in my life,” Beck said. “The AB Duke program is an amazing opportunity, but there was something about Princeton that just seemed to fit when I visited. The people are what really make Princeton so awesome and I really clicked with the student body.” While she will not receive financial assistance from Princeton, Beck has been awarded a number of outside scholarships. She was

Photo by Ivy Hess

Salutatorian Martin Kalev and valedictorian Haley Beck plan to apply the knowledge they obtained in high school to future colllege endeavors.

awarded the O’Donnell Foundation, the Wellesley College Book Award and was named a finalist for the Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship Award. Outside of her academics, Beck was actively involved in advanced art classes throughout high school. Managing to balance both time-consuming activities, Beck won the Excellence in AP Art and Music Theory Scholar-

ship and received a state metal at the State Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE) competition. While Beck’s hard work and commitment to academic excellence propelled her into winning such awards, she is quick to cite her high school as one of the things that made it all possible. “CHS enabled me to explore a variety of different subjects to find out which ones really inter-

McCaskey soars to new heights Sammy Robben Sports Editor

For as long as she can remember, Meghan McCaskey has been flipping, leaping and defying gravity in gymnastics, and now she will continue to do so at Hamline University next fall. Meghan McCaskey has been doing gymnastics since she was two years old when she began taking classes at Dallas Gymnastic Center, where she remained for ten years. By the time she was eight years old, she had begun to compete in team competitions, and currently McCaskey is competing at level ten at Top Flight Gymnastics Training Center. “I saw it on TV when I was probably two or three, and I said to myself ‘hey I want to try that,’” McCaskey said. “My mom took me to a gym and I started classes. When I was eight I started competing at team competitions, and I have moved up a level every year since then I went up a level to level 10, which is the highest you can get before Olympic level.”

ested me, like the sciences and art,” Beck said. “I’m really going to miss my friends and family next year, but I’m really excited to meet people from all over the country and world.” Not only did Beck put in countless hours dedicating herself to her International Baccalaureate schoolwork and extra curricular activities, she was committed to outside academic programs as

well. Interning with Dr. Ralph Mason’s cancer imaging lab at UT Southwestern the summer after her sophomore year, Beck was able to narrow her interests in the sciences to that of a pre-med concentration. “My experience working in the lab shaped my de-

on pg. 10 see Beck Health


Photos by Brian Hwu



Photo by Brian Hwu

Senior Meghan McCaskey will pursue her gymnastics dreams at Hamline University this fall.

She will continue to do gymnastic competitively as she attends Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota on a gymnastic scholarship. McCaskey chose Hamline for academic reasons, as she will be double majoring in bi-

ology and math, and hopes to continue gymnastics as a side sport. “I want gymnastics to be a sport on the side, not my

on pg. 16 see CHS Health

pg. 12-13


page 8

may 2012

FFFF Chenglei Wu

Liz Meyer

Mattie Daily

Tara Henry

Photos by Ivy Hess

KCBY seniors focus their cameras on future Mattie Daily

By Kimberly Del Angel

Senior Mattie Daily did not originally envision herself persuing a career in film. As a sophomore in journalism, Daily stumbled into KCBY looking to have fun and be part of the prestigious organization on campus. However, upon her first broadcast segment at a high school football game, Daily was more sure than ever this was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. “It was just something I had never experienced before—the feeling when you are at a stadium in Texas with thousands of fans all cheering for a bunch of kids who are my age just to win a game is awesome,” Daily said. “I loved the feeling of support and a community coming together for one thing and then when I got to the journalism side of it, I got to report on something that people cared so much about. That was really special and I knew that was one thing that I wanted to do.” After this experience Daily became actively involved in sports reporting for KCBY and pushed herself to become a better reporter in front of the camera. “I really learned to go for it; I have tried to be really involved and be as big as a part of KCBY as possible,” Daily said. “I’ve made myself do things that were uncomfortable like filming or that impromptu speaking at a game and I’ve always tried to get a good general knowledge of every aspect of media.” She has declared herself as sports journalism major and committed to the University of Missouri where she will continue her career path at one of the most prestigious journalism schools in the country. Daily hopes to be part of KOMU, Columbia’s newest broadcasting station. In 10 years, Daily hopes to model after Erin Andrews, reporter for College Game Day. “She’s young, she’s exactly what I want to be when I grow up she does, Daily said.” Overall Daily is anxious for what the future brings to her, but is confident that she will work within the football industry. “I want to work with football for the rest of my life, even if it is not through media, I might want to work with a specific team and do public relations for them, but I know football is going to be like forever definitely, I am excited about it,” Daily said.

Liz Meyer

While other children watched movies for the pure joy of it, senior Liz Meyer, felt a connection with films and quickly adapted to the career as a middle school student. “When I was a kid I just loved movies so much and I wanted to be part of making them,” Meyer said. “They gave me so much joy as a kid; I just wanted to do that for other people.” Like Wu, Meyer will be attending UT Austin as a Radio Television and Film major, and hopes to be part of the Longhorn Television Network and participate in the University of Texas in Los Angeles (UTLA) program, where prospective media students are given an opportunity to study for a semester in Los Angeles. “Hopefully right out of college [I’m] in L.A. and through UTLA I have found a job there,” Meyer said. “They say most students don’t come back because they find a job, hopefully I can do that—if not Dallas is a big place for film, bigger than Austin. I like the big cities, so I wouldn’t be happy with myself at a small town news station.” Meyer has had the opportunity to grow as an aspiring cinematographer with the opportunities KCBY has open gateways to, such as filming Condoleezza Rice and participating in a workshop by Bright Refreshing Films. During this workshop, she was able to work with people within the industry or familiar with it along with Wizards of Waverly Place star, Jennifer Stone. “Every year KCBY goes to STN (Student Television Networking) convention, and this year it was in Dallas,” Meyer said. “I’ve previously won for new media and web design, and it’s neat because it a national convention and just being from Coppell, it’s the first couple of years we’ve actually gone and won stuff, so it makes you feel good about yourself.” After being a senior director this year for her peers, Meyer has developed a dream to become a big-time producer one day and share her love of film. “Film is storytelling at its finest it’s not just words, it’s not just a plotline; it’s video, audio, it just gives emotion and feeling and it really immerses you in it because you’re watching it on this huge silver screen and you’re part of it,” Meyer said.

Chenglei Wu

Chenglei Wu speaks louder than words through his graphic expression and superior filming skills. It’s a no brainer that his talents will be applied well through the media industry, but if you ask him why, he will shrug his shoulders and tell you… “I enjoy film more than anything else in my life, and I want to do this for a living. Why not do something I love and make money at the same time?” As a third year KCBY student, Wu has excelled from special features to a position as director where he has applied his knowledge of the industry to segments and to help strengthen his peers. “I just want to do the best I can and collaborate with other people and their projects to them the best possible while improving my own skills at the same time,” Wu said. Wu will be attending the University of Texas in Austin this fall as a Radio Television and Film Major. “It is the best university in Texas and I chose this as my college because I wanted to stay close and I did not want to lose all the connections that I have made during my high school career since film is on connections and the people you know,” Wu said. “It also has one of the most elite programs in the U.S., and I am really excited to work some more aspiring filmmakers.” Some of the films that Wu has helped produce have been chosen to the Heisman showcase at the Dallas Film festival and other film festival contests. Wu hopes to continue this success and thrive even more, however he keeps in mind his priorities aside from accomplishments and awards. “I believe the Oscars are not my top priorities for what I want to do, but rather produce a byproduct of what I have accomplished and hopefully what I will accomplish later,” Wu said. KCBY however he believes has helped set him up for future success through peers the most. “When we reach the age level where we are all professionals, I can easily work with them on the project because I know them better than other strangers, and that’s a plus when you work with someone you already know,” Wu said.

Tara Henry

While it may seem unexpected for devoted KCBY director, Tara Henry, to go on a different career path, Henry has found passion on a branch in the media industry: public relations/business. This fall, Henry will be attending the University of Texas like her fellow directors Chenglei and Liz. However she will be enrolled into the McCombs School of Business. She feels experiences such as KCBY have given her experience that will put her in advantage to others in whatever career she peruses in the long run. “As a director it’s difficult sometimes to talk to people that are your own age and you have to tell them to do stuff, but in the long run it has prepared me to be able to work easily people know how to delegate a job,” Henry said. “I’ve learned how to organize things so that you’re not taking everything all upon yourself or giving everything to one person, and it’s helped me trust people and trust their own work even though it’s not what I’m thinking in my head.” Although Henry is not sure if she will be working within the media field as a business major, through KCBY her appreciation for film has grown and she hopes to put her experience to good use by joining the Longhorn Network on campus. “If I could get into that somehow and not have to be majoring in journalism or sports broadcasting,” Henry said. “I know they have an on campus news station similar to KCBY and they have funny segments and things, and that’d be really great to get into because I know so much through KCBY already that I’d be a shame to let that go.” Henry is proud of the person she has grown to become through this media organization and the way in which it has allowed her to grasp the concept of communication and personal growth. In ten years Henry hopes to be living life and making the most out of what she chooses to do with her life after college. “I hope to be a well rounded person, I hope to get my major and then minor in something—maybe I will go into law school,” Henry said. “I do want to go into different areas and parts of the spectrum and see what kind of jobs you can get—I just want to be well prepared for my job and excel at what I do. I want to be a people pleaser, really friendly with whoever I work with and be successful.”

Through of the lens of KCBY adviser Irma Kennedy...

FFFF “[Mattie’s] very comfortable in front of the camera, and she has an inquisitive, relaxed interviewing technique when she talks to people. She makes it seem seamless and very effortless, and that’s not easy to do.”

“[Liz] is a leader, I’ve been very impressed in watching her grow in the amount of hearing what she wants to do, she really cares about KCBY and we have a great relationship and that makes a great difference.”

“[Chenglei] already has professionals in California that want to hire him. His work just stands out. He won two Student Television Networking awards for his graphic design everything that he has been involved in has been award winning.”

“[Tara’s] people skills to begin with were excellent that when you manage people you see a total different side about what to be a leader to that capacity and I think that has expanded her and it’s definitely something that she can take into business.”

may 2012


(Left to right) Back row: Chris Reagan, Brian Hwu, Chase Porter, Wren Culp, Dyer Whitt, Jack Ficklen. Front row: Kelly Stewart, Sarah Police, Lauren VerDuin, Mary Whitfill, Ivy Hess, Jodie Woodward, Madison Ford. Not pictured: Kara Adkins.

page 9

Photo by Lauren Ussery

idekick seniors turn out the lights in d115 Michelle Pitcher Editor-in-Chief

“There is no crying in D115.” While senior features editor Mary Whitfill’s final piece of advice to future Sidekick staff members is quite pertinent, there are certain to be a few wet eyes in the room when The Sidekick waves goodbye to this year’s senior staff members. “This year’s graduating class is the one I came into Sidekick with, and they taught me a lot,” junior sports editor Sammy Robben said. “I became friends with them, and I’ll really miss having them around.” The graduating class of 2012 ushered in a new age for The Sidekick. The influence of these journalists, writers, photographers and leaders is evident in the recent success of the publication. For two consecutive years, The Sidekick has been named Best Newspaper at the Dallas Morning News’ annual High School Journalism Day at SMU. In addition, Coppell Student Media was one of 15 national finalists for the online Pacemaker award and received second place Best in Show at this year’s JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle. “It feels great to have worked at something so long and to be recognized for it,” Whitfill said. “Through

all my years on staff I have witnessed all the sacrifice and hard work that goes into The Sidekick and, and we have earned every award we have gotten.” Every day on The Sidekick staff for these seniors is a learning experience. In the field of journalism, anything can happen. These students have had to learn how to cope with every curveball thrown their way while simultaneously being taught relevant life lessons. “While on staff, I have learned ethics and morals and how to apply them in real-life situations,” senior webmaster Wren Culp said. “We had a great teacher, so it was easy to learn.” Before they could learn these invaluable lessons, each staff member had to make the bold decision at some point in their high school careers to apply for a position on The Sidekick staff. For some, the decision was made even before they had taken the prerequisites, but others did not realize their passion for journalism until after entering the field. “I took journalism sophomore year not knowing exactly what I wanted to do with it,” senior entertainment editor Madison Ford said. “I just knew it was a prerequisite to so many things like The Sidekick and KCBY. After being in the journalism class, I realized the actual reporting

and newspaper side of it was what I was interested in. It opened my eyes to how this field of journalism can be really exciting and interesting. I wanted to stay with that.” For those seniors who have been on staff for the majority of their high school careers, they have witnessed a grand era of change in Sidekick history. With the establishment of an online counterpart to its print edition, coppellstudentmedia. com, the ease with which information about Coppell High School could be obtained and disseminated increased tenfold. “Going to web was a really big transition for The Sidekick,” Whitfill said. “We also used to do all of our editing in hard-copy, and the editors would physically edit the story in red pen. Having everything edited on the computer and then putting everything on the website has really changed how we run. It has made it a lot easier to find information and post your stories.” This transition was not an easy one to make. In order to create a functional and accessible website while still maintaining a quality print product, a lot of hard work and time had to be invested. “These seniors probably worked harder than any group I’ve ever had,” adviser Chase Wofford said. “They did so much that required hard work, and a lot of it was

m a e F “ f ” o l l a W

me pushing them. But I think the most important part was the way they pushed themselves.” Although their years on staff have been filled with lessons and hard work, each senior will carry with them fond memories from their time in D115.

“We had a great teacher, so it was easy to learn.” -Wren Culp, Webmaster “I have a few favorite memories on staff,” senior staff writer Chase Porter said. “My favorite memory is either messing with our sports editor Sammy Robben or, in my first year, I would sit in the ‘sketch corner’ and get called out by [adviser Mr. Wofford] for looking at the carpet to find story ideas.” While some had their most profound learning experiences inside the classroom, others found inspiration through interacting with other student journalists in different settings. “I think one of the greatest experiences I’ve had on the Sidekick was going to the JEA/NSPA convention in Anaheim when I was a junior,” Ford said. “It was really great because I had the opportunity to listen to a lot of professionals and other

students. I also got to bond with my other staff members in a way that I don’t think I would have had I not gone on the trip. I gained a lot of friends.” The Sidekick is more than just a place to refine journalistic skills and get valuable work experience; it is a place to forge bonds and friendships with people with a shared interest. “I will definitely miss the people in The Sidekick,” Ford said. “Everyone is so intelligent and funny and nice; it is one of the greatest programs in the high school. I will be sad to say goodbye.” For the Sidekick seniors, the road to graduation has been a long one paved with journalistic trials and great opportunities for growth. Some have spent all four years of their high school experience within the hallowed walls of D115, while others joined later on. Some have transitioned from mentee to mentor. Some will continue on to pursue journalism or communications in college, others film, business or writing. All will carry with them the lessons they learned while working for The Sidekick. “All the people that I met were really great,” Whitfill said. “Everyone taught me a lot and helped me to grow as a journalist and a person. I’ll miss spending every day with the Sidekick staff.”

academics Beck, Kalev ending stellar CHS academic careers

page 10

may 2012

continued from pg. 7

Haley Beck

cision to major in either biology or chemistry. I was able to see the concepts I learned in the classroom applied to real world problems,” Beck said. “I used optical imaging to evaluate the vascular disrupting effects of a chemical agent on mouse breast cancer tumors. My research was included in a manuscript that is in the process of being published.” Taking on the west coast, Finland born Kalev will be attending Stanford University after being accepted early in December. “[Stanford] is going to really challenge him to step up,” art teacher Tamera Westervelt said. “He could have gone somewhere where he could have still been top dog, like he has worked hard to be for the last two years, there he will blend in with everyone at his level. The challenges will be different and a little stronger for him.” Choosing the California school over his acceptances at Rice University and University of Texas, the 6-foot-1 basketball player is unsure of what he wants to study next year. “Stanford lets you decide after two years of studying, so I’m going to take various classes and decide later down the road. I think I want

to minor in visual arts,” Kalev said. “Attending CHS has given me the opportunity to be taught by great teachers and is a big part of why I was accepted to Stanford.” Citing his art teacher as one of the people most influential in his high school career, Kalev says Tamera Westervelt is a large part of the reason he wants to continue his art education. “[Martin] started out as a really strong student coming in his freshman year, and as he developed and got more confident you could definitely see the idea generation in his work,” Westervelt said. “Now that I look at his portfolio, he is willing to take risks and it looks really different, he has grown a lot.” While, like Beck, Kalev will not receive large financial awards from Stanford, he has been awarded several independent scholarships that will ease his financial burden. With awards like the Chevy Inside HS Sports Scholar Athlete, the National Merit Scholarship and the Irving Arts Association Scholarship, Kalev has been rewarded for his hard work in academics, the arts and sports. “My biggest accomplishment is being able to juggle academics, basketball and art, and it’s awesome to be rewarded for that. I haven’t had to sacrifice much. I was able to

do it all,” Kalev said. “I am looking forward to meeting new people and hopefully finding out what I want to do in the future.” Both Beck and Kalev played sports in their senior year, with Kalev escorting the Cowboys through two rounds of the basketball playoffs and Beck captaining the Cowgirls varsity cross country team through the season. In addition, both students were actively involved in other extra curricular activities. Kalev was a member of the National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society, as well as playing select basketball until his junior year. Similarly, Beck was a member of Teen Leadership Coppell, the UIL Computer Science Team, was president of National Honor Society and played select volleyball through her sophomore year. As both Beck and Kalev head in opposite directions from their hometown of Coppell, they represent everything CHS works hard to achieve: passion, dedication and hard work. Looking into the future, the class of 2012’s top two graduates are sure to carry everything they have learned with them as they make their way to the top of their fields.

neering. “I like chemistry a lot, but it is also a lot more than just chemistry,” Jonathon said. “It is a lot of applying the sciences and math and I just like how practical it is. If you major in chemical engineering there are so many job areas you can go into, so it is a really versatile degree.” Jonathon’s acceptance into the nation’s premier science research university was not by chance. Zuniga earned his spot as one of only 9 percent of accepted applicants by finishing with a 5.57 GPA as part of the rigorous International Baccalaureate program. “It’s really cool to be able to say that I graduated in the Top 10,” Jonathon said. “It’s nice to know that all of my hard work is paying off. All of the studying and staying up late for homework, I am actually getting something for it.” Whereas many Top 10 students over the years have focused solely on studying all day and sharpening their GPA, Jonathon has also served as Drum Major

for the CHS Band for the last two years. Moving to MIT’s sprawling state-of-the-art campus, thousands of miles away in Massachusetts, is almost like moving to another world. It is an intimidating thought for those who have grown up in Coppell, even for someone as successful as Jonathon. “It’s a mix of emotions,” Jonathon said. “I am a little afraid to be off on my own and have to take care of myself, but it’s also really exciting. “Coppell is fun and I’ve really enjoyed it, but I am looking forward to new experiences and

Photos by Ivy Hess

Martin Kalev

Zuniga king of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Thomas Hair Online Copy Editor

Just the name “Ivy League” has students around the nation shaking in their boots. Thousands of students are spellbound by the allure of the ultraselective Ivies from an early age and would give their left arm to be accepted to just one of them. Senior Jonathon Zuniga, No. 9 in the senior class, did not set out to make it into an Ivy League school. He did not even realize he had a chance to finish in the Top 10 until the end of sophomore year, but has been accepted to not one, but two of America’s most elite universities. Zuniga was admitted into the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School of Business, often considered the best in the country, as well as Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Texas A&M and Northwestern also sent him acceptance letters.

Photo by Rowan Khazendar

“It is very exciting and we are very proud of him,” father Reymund Zuniga said. “Jonathon is pretty competitive and I’m sure the challenges he is going to face at that level of education will bring out the best of him.” After touring the Northeast to visit each school, Jonathon felt sure that MIT was the right fit for him. MIT is listed as a national Top 5 school in every major ranking system and admitted only 1,742 out of 17,909 applicants for its current freshman class. “I took him to MIT, I took him to Princeton and Northwestern,” Mr. Zuniga said. “The minute he stepped on the MIT campus he lit up. He smiled the entire day that we were there. When we finished that tour, he told me ‘I want to go here, this is my school.’” While in Cambridge, Mass., Jonathon intends to study chemical engineering because it fuses his love for chemistry with the real-world applications of engi-

seeing what I can do.” The Zunigas are convinced that the curriculum at CHS, while challenging, has not pushed Jonathon his full potential. MIT will be an amazing opportunity for one of the Class of 2012’s brightest students to test himself amongst the cream of the crop from around the country. “Unquestionably, MIT is one of the best schools in the world,” junior Zachary Zhou said. “I am almost certain that after enduring it, nothing will intellectually challenge you again.”


may 2012

page 11

Female engineers look to remove gender prejudice

Alizeh Rehman Georgia Tech

Madison Ford

Entertainment Editor

As we move further into a generation of technical and social advances, there is a movement that is occurring that is difficult to ignore: the growth of women in the field of engineering. At Coppell High School, a group of female seniors are planning on becoming a part of this barrier breaking movement. With different fields of interest, and varying forms of inspiration, seniors Tori Clift, Connor Wilcox, Alizeh Rehman, Kelly Sigmund, Kaelan Cowan and Allie Quill plan on pursuing a career in engineering. These rising college freshmen are not only excited to begin their collegiate education, but to forage into a career path that is historically and statistically dominated by men. “I think it’s a really good thing that women are starting to go into the engineering field, because they kind of bring something else to the table that guys just don’t get,” Rehman said. “They think a lot differently from guys, so it’s a good thing to bring in a new way of thinking.” This sentiment is shared by many of the other prospective female engineers at CHS. “I think it’s a really cool thing that women are getting more opportunities,” Quill said. “It’s definitely a growing field and men can’t take all of those jobs and they shouldn’t be the ones that just do it because women are just as smart if not smarter at doing these kinds of things. I think it’s a really good thing for women to be in it because they bring a whole new perspective to the engineering side. I think they bring a more emotional connective side.” One of the most interesting aspects of their journey is what inspired each of these women to seek out a career in engineering. For Clift, it all began when she was quite young. “When I was little, my mom

Connor Wilcox

Texas A&M University

got me this book,” Clift said. “It was a brown blank book and I could do anything I wanted to do in it basically. So I tried writing stories, and that miserably failed and every time, I came up with these little inventions. Basically anything that I was mad about because something didn’t work I would try to come up with a way to make it work. Every time I look at things, I am always curious how they work, so that’s kind of how I figured out that I like engineering. “ For others, however, this passion for engineering is new. “It was this year [when I became interested in engineering],” Sigmund said. “Whenever I took calculus, I really liked it, and that’s really nerdy. But I did.” Fortunately for these young women, Coppell High school has an extensive engineering program that allows them to explore their interests and be exposed to the various fields of engineering. “The school does a good job of showing people how fun engineering can be,” Sigmund said. “Like with the Engineering Expo, and in [my engineering class] we get to do solid works where we get to actually put together stuff on the computer and make a 3D model. It just seems really cool.” A unique engineering program at the high school is that of the solar car team. Cowan, who has been a part of the team since her sophomore year, feels that her experience with this program has brought her the opportunity to actively put her engineering skills to use. “The program made me more interested in engineering because I actually got to work on something, rather than just class projects,” Cowan said. “So that was something that interested me. It’s a competition for high school teams, and basically what you do is you design and build a car that runs on soar energy, but it also is powered by batteries when there is not a lot of sun out, and basically

Kelly Sigmund

Texas A&M University

your main goal is to just build a car that runs and during the summer you get to race either cross country or at Texas motor speedway.” One of the more interesting aspects of engineering is the various fields one can go into upon entering college. Due to broad spectrum engineering covers, studies can lead one to pursue jobs in the medical field to the oil field. “I kind of teetered back and forth [when deciding which field I wanted to pursue],” Wilcox said. “The first two years you are not really specialized in any type of engineering. And petroleum engineering is, of our generation, probably the most involved. That’s kind of why I was interested.” By pursuing petroleum engineering, Wilcox looks forward to the opportunities it provides to travel to different regions of the world. “There are a lot of cool opportunities,” Wilcox said. “I know this one girl, she just graduated, and she lives six months in Houston and six months in Russia. So she is over there working, with oil stuff over there. Then I know a lot of people who are all over the world because we don’t have that much oil here. I’m hoping to travel and experience some places around the world.” For others, the draw to the field of engineering is the opportunity to work with prosthetics. “I always wished I could be a doctor, but I don’t like science as much, and the medical part,” Sigmund said. “So I thought this would be a good way for me to help people. I’d be able to help people, and use math to make the prosthetics better. Years ago people would use peg legs, and now they can run marathons, and I think that is so cool. I just want to [help] people do that.” Quill shares this passion for developing prosthetics for the betterment of the world. “Prosthetics, that’s my big motivator, doing this difficult of a major, because I really want

Kaelan Cowan

Tori Clift

Purdue University

to work with that, I find it really fascinating,” Quill said. “We had someone come in and do this presentation. They had a prosthetic arm, and it is so developed it can pick up a grape without crushing it, that’s how good it is. I just really want to work with that and it seems like a really beneficial thing for the world.” The drive to pursue engineering in a medically related way is a push for Clift, who feels a spiritual connection to this type of work. “Basically I want to help people medically, so I’m trying to use my God given talents in science and math, and just trying to give back,” Clift said. “Because I think medically is one of the most impactful ways we can help people besides spiritually.” Following an opportunity to work in an engineering world, Rehman was able to realize exactly which field she was interested in pursuing. “I did an internship over the summer in a biochemistry lab, and I really liked it, but I didn’t want to do research so I decided to try out chemical biomolecular,” Rehman said. For some, the exact career they want to pursue is not as clear as the field they want to study. “I don’t really have a specific place I want to work at, just kind of want to have an engineering background,” Cowan said. In recent years, the discipline of engineering has expanded exponentially. Opportunities in the field of engineering spread throughout various disciplines, and with a growing insight into this study, our society is advancing. “There have been a lot more things that we have learned about science and kind of in math as well, so engineering has grown exponentially,” Rehman said. “There is so much you can do with technology now to help the environment and people in general. Once you’ve got the basics of science and math down, you can do almost anything with tech-

nology to make it even bigger. While these seniors have each found their own way into the engineering world, there are many ways in which future generations of women can get involved in the field. “There is this program called Society of Women Engineers in colleges across the country,” Clift said. “Basically what it does is kind of reach out to women, because if I didn’t have that little brown book, I basically would not have known. So, basically, what we are trying to do is help people, elementary school, about engineering and that women can do it.” The motivation to have women participate in engineering is apparent when one looks at the current ratios. “As far as the ratio is concerned, for colleges, you’d be lucky if you found a college with a 30% ratio,” Clift said. “It really doesn’t bother me. I just think, I can do it too, you know? That barrier hasn’t really affected me, I think everyone is equal. I don’t feel oppressed in any way.” While the prospect of being a minority in such a challenging field of study seems daunting, these women are faceing the challenge head on. “I know mechanical engineering is the engineering with the lowest girl to guy ratio, so all my classes I’m going to be the only girl,” Sigmund said. “[But] I think it’s fun.” As both engineering and society continues to advance the chances of seeing more women engineers in the world is highly likely. “I think it’s just that women are coming more into their own as society is moving forward,” Cowan said. “So they are kind of like ‘hey I can do this now and it’s not just a man’s world.’ We need to do more of the things we are interested in, whether its science and engineering or whatever else.” Photos by Rowan Khazendar, Rachel Bush and Brian Hwu

Allie Quill

University of Texas at Austin University of Texas at Austin

page 12





Stanford University Princeton University Major: Molecular Biology or Biochemistry Number of ‘I Rock CHS’ shirts: Six Bucket list: I want to ride in a zorb Favorite band: Coldplay Favorite childhood television show: Zoboomafoo Most unique skill: Able to drink a lot of coffee in a day Longest time gone without sleep: 36 hours Favorite teachers: Mrs. Winters, Mrs. Creighton and Mrs. Martin


Major: Undecided Favorite band: Maroon 5 What will you miss most about CHS? My friends and my family in Coppell Do you have any advice for incoming freshman? Don’t procrastinate. You don’t have to overload yourself with classes, but make sure to do your best in each class Favorite teachers: Mrs. Westervelt and Mrs. Creighton Biggest motivation in life: Being successful Biggest pet peeve: Pencil tapping Celebrity crush: Scarlet Johansson Biggest fear: Spiders

University of California, Berkeley Major: Bioengineering What will you miss the most about CHS? Adam Bonville Bucket list: To see the World Cup finals game Guilty pleasure: I like to Dougie Motivation: Girls Favorite band: Coldplay Motto: Work hard, play hard. Rip City! Favorite childhood television show: SpongeBob SquarePants or Avatar: The Last Airbender


Major: Engineering Favorite food: Rice Guilty pleasure: Pokémon Golden moment in high school: Winning homecoming king Biggest pet peeve: When people ask me about my pet peeves What is your most unique skill? Being me What will you miss most about CHS? The people here Longest time you went without sleep? Three days Favorite teacher: Mr. Brock

Major: Neuroscience Guilty pleasure: Watching Disney movies Favorite childhood television show: Dragon Tales What are you going to miss most about CHS? The friends I made in IB What is your most unique skill? I can play the oboe, but I wish I could juggle What is your favorite school club? Cupcake Club Favorite midnight snack: Chocolate Biggest fear: Heights.


Pepperdine University Major: Psychology Favorite band: Coldplay Biggest motivation: My Faith Favorite childhood television show: Arthur Special skill: I am exceptional at Super Mario Strikers Favorite midnight snack: Chocolate chip cookies Golden moment of high school: When I won most likely to succeed Freshman advice: Be super nice to your teachers the first couple weeks of the semester and they won’t get on to you as much if you slack off


Major: Double major in Biochemistry and International Relations Number of ‘I Rock CHS’ shirts: Five Bucket list: To skydive Golden moment of high school: When I broke 5 foot Favorite band: Red Hot Chili Peppers Favorite childhood television show: Blue’s Clues Special skill: I can do a lot of funny accents Motivation: More money, less problems


Duke University


Information by Kimberly Del Angel, Chase Porter Photos by Brian Hwu, Rowan Khazendar

Dartmouth College


Washington University in St. Louis


Major: Business Number of ‘I Rock CHS’ shirts: Four Bucket list: Just to travel the world and study abroad Favorite childhood television show: SpongeBob SquarePants Celebrity crush: Megan Fox Biggest fear: Being average Favorite midnight snack: Cheetos Favorite teachers: Mrs. Creighton, Mr. Brock Biggest motivation in life: That I have the ability to make an impact in the world





The University of Pennsylvania



page 13


Massachusetts Institute of Technology Major: Chemical Engineering Number of ‘I Rock CHS’ shirts: Eight Bucket list: To travel the world Guilty pleasure: SpongeBob SquarePants Special skill: I can speak really loudly Biggest Motivation: Success Motto: “Great moments are born from great opportunity” –Miracle Longest time without sleep: Four days



University of California, Berkeley Major: Biology Number of ‘I Rock CHS’ shirts: Five Guilty pleasure: Singing in the shower Biggest fear: Heights Favorite artist: Katy Perry Pet peeve: When people click their pens during tests nonstop Motivation: Piano music - It’s so calm and soothing, the way I want my life to be Midnight snack: Pepperjack Cheez-Its Freshman advice: Sleep when you can to save your sanity Longest time without sleep: 42 hours

Exploring talent: seniors pursue careers in music Jordan Thompson Staff Writer

Photo by Jodie Woodward

Senior Davis Loose will pursure a music minor at the Univeristy of Oklahoma next year.

Music is a universal language that any person can develop a connection with; some people become so influenced by it that it becomes a piece of who they are. Seniors Tori Mills and Davis Loose were inspired by music enough to pursue it educationally in their future. “It was something I have always done, or at least as long as I can remember,” Loose said. “My mom put me in a music school as a preschooler and it caught fire.” For nearly 15 years Loose has considered music to be one of his hobbies. Even as a senior in high school he still sees it to be a part of his future as an adult. Loose is planning to attend the University of Oklahoma next year and is strongly considering majoring in the field of music, despite how difficult maintaining a musical career can be. “What I plan to do with it depends on my major, which is still undecided, but hopefully I’ll use it to get a job performing somewhere on the side,” Loose said. “Music is a hard career to get into, particularly recording or performance. Mostly I’m doing it because I love it so much.” Loose is not the only senior prepared to brave the obstacles of a musician. Madrigal choir member Tori Mills has committed to Belmont University in Nashville,

Tenn. next year and will major in Biology, with the intent to become an anesthesiologist, and minor in vocal performance. CHS choir director Alberto Torres was not surprised to learn that his student of two years had been accepted to such a prestigious music school. “Her skills are quite refined. She has always been a fast learner and a naturally musical person,” Torres said. Not only has Mills achieved experience as a varsity choir member, she is also a three year member of the Youth Chorus of Greater Dallas. “It is exclusive,” Torres said. “The audition process is rigorous, and if you make it the caliber of literature is amazing.” Mills’ vocal drive dates back to her early love for singing, and her love for the craft has been fostered by her family’s support. “No one else in my life is musically inclined so to speak, but I’ve always loved music, and gravitated towards it from a very early age,” Mills said. Loose, on the other hand, might have received his musical genes from his father, David Loose. “My dad is very musical and would DJ for parties and such,” Loose said. “He was a pick-up guitar player and I heard him playing music all the time and he would always laugh when I would sing along.

In addition to learning to play the piano, he picked up saxophone, guitar, harmonica, melodica, mandolin and the ukulele. “Recently I have tried the organ, which is actually much different than the piano,” Loose said. Despite the remarkable range of instruments Loose has learned to play, it isn’t his self-discipline that truly encourages him; it is his passion for music alone and his desire to keep it in his life. “People who perform classical music professionally are not quite suited to my lifestyle,” Loose said. “They practice for hours a day.” Mills also views music as a piece of who she is, regardless of what she career she chooses down the road. In fact, the amount of selfless energy she invests into her responsibilities as a choir member as well as her leadership qualities will surely come in handy if she decides to pursue any one of her other possible disciplines. Both Mills and Loose are working hard to grow as musicians. While Loose challenges himself to master a wide range of instruments and attain musical flexibility, Mills solely perseveres to strengthen her voice and knowledge of music. No matter Photo by Jodie Woodward what career they attain, their deChoir member senior Tori Mills termination and discipline with will study vocal music at Belmont music will surely bring success University in Nashville next year. their way.

Clancy finds her way onto elite college dance team Caroline Carter Staff Writer

After leading the Lariettes as captain during her senior year, Kaitlin Clancy will continue her dancing at the collegiate level. After a rigorous audition process, Clancy was chosen out of 22 girls to be a part of the Jays Dancers at Creighton University, the college’s official dance team. A dancer since the age of three, Clancy has always had a passion for performing. While on the Lariettes, Clancy has gained numerous awards for her dancing including being a two time senior solo finalist for regional dance competitions. “Kaitlin is very compassionate which made her an excellent captain this year,” Lariettes director Julie Stralow said. “She has a warm, quiet spirit that makes a lot of girls comfortable with her. She is not intimidating or overpowering and is really patient with everyone. I will miss her and the rest of the seniors dedication and strong commitment that they had next year.” Beginning at the Melva Smith School of Dance studio in Coppell and then moving onto the varsity drill team, Clancy has been dancing for the majority of her life. With dance being such a huge part in her life, Clancy knew she could not leave that even when she left for college. “Since Lariettes was ending, I didn’t originally think I was going to pursue dance in college,” Clancy said. “But then when it all started to end, I got really sad because it was all over. I wanted to continue dance in college because it would be kind of a comfort zone

for me since I am going somewhere so far and will not know a single soul. It is a good way for me to have a group of girls on campus and also have something that I love to do” The two day long audition in Omaha, NE was a time consuming and extensive process. From preparing a solo to performing various technical skills in front of five judges, the audition process tested every aspect of a dancer. The audition requirements involved many advanced level tricks that required flexibility and endurance. “College pom squads are usually smaller and they are focused more on the high-energy dance styles,” Stralow said. “They are primarily performing at football and basketball games. If you are majoring in dance, you are usually doing it for more theatre and concert work, which is ballet and modern dance based. Very rarely are you doing both because they are both so demanding.” Though it was a nervewracking process, the audition process ended on a high note for Clancy, as she says that the overall experience was enjoyable. “The environment was very laid back and relaxed,” Clancy said. “It was somewhat intimidating because a lot of [the dancers] were returning members so they already all knew each other. It was good to see that there were lots of nice people, and I could tell that I was going to have a welcoming group of girls with me on the team.” Although making the dance team at Creighton was a huge accomplishment, dance was not the driving factor in Clancy’s college

decision. With the hopes of one day attending the medical school at Creighton and also staying grounded in her faith, Clancy knew Creighton University was the perfect fit for her. “I decided to [attend] because it was a Jesuit school and I wanted to go somewhere with a strong Catholic identity, so I would be able to stay involved in my faith throughout college,” Clancy said. “[Creighton] has a strong medical school, so I am planning on attending that after I get my undergrad. The overall environment in Omaha is so nice, and it really is the place for me.” With her senior year coming to a close, Clancy is looking forward to experiencing college, but says that leaving her friends and family will be hard. “It is definitely bittersweet,” Clancy said. “The saddest part is probably leaving Lariettes because it has been such a big part of my life for the past three years. I am looking forward to college because it will be an adventure, and I’m proud of myself for being independent and going off on my own.” Friend and fellow Lariette, senior Jenny Katlein, says that all members of the team are going to greatly miss her leadership. Katlein, who will be attending Southern Methodist University to major in dance in the fall, knows the difficulties that come with being a dancer in college but believes Clancy has the ability to handle that aspect of her life. “Kaitlin is one of the best friends I have and is a beautiful dancer,” Katlein said. “I am very excited for her. Auditions for any dance program at college is prob-

Photo by Rachel Bush

Lariette Captain Kaitlin Clancy will be attending Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska next year after making it onto the college’s elite dance team.

ably one of the most nerve-wracking experiences, since you do not know what you are getting in to. It is difficult to balance both school and dance, but I know that Kaitlin will be able to do it. Though Omaha will be an adjustment for Clancy, having a close group of girls on the dance

team will make the transition easier, she says. “I’m nervous, like any senior, for what college will be like,” Clancy said. “Making the dance team is going to make the process a lot easier. I will miss all of my friends that, but I know that it will be a good change.”

fine arts

may 2012

A Q&

Lauren Ussery Design Editor

page 15

Sarah Police Staff Writer

Photos by Lauren Ussery

Five aspiring students talk about their passions for art

Allie Norwood Claire Bueter Savanah College of Art and Design

Savanah College of Art and Design

Major: Advertising with a minor in graphic design

Major: Graphic design with a minor in advertising

What first got you interested in advertising and graphic design? Norwood: It’s kind of silly, but the whole reason I wanted to advertising in the first place and then graphic design was because when I went to New York with the Lariettes they had huge billboards in Times Square and stuff, and I was like “Hmm, I could design that one day,” because they go hand-in-hand, graphic design and advertising. What else do you like about advertising? Bueter: Consumer psychology is really cool to me. I remember the reason why I started liking stuff like that literally because in fourth grade art class we learned what graphic design was, and my teacher taught us about logos and then we talked about McDonalds and how the sign is red and yellow because those colors make you hungry or whatever, and that interested me. How did you know that SCAD was the right fit? Bueter: Actually my mom originally suggested SCAD even though I hadn’t heard of it before, and when we visited, I knew I wanted to go there immediately from being on the campus and seeing how involved they are and how they have so many different things and they have the best technology there is. Norwood: And if you’ve ever been to Savannah it’s really historic looking and very opposite from Texas, and all the buildings are cobble stone and really old-timey and they have droopy trees. It’s so pretty and only15 minutes from the beach. What are you most looking forward to? Norwood: I’m really excited to live with Claire, like that’s been something that I’ve always thought would be cool. We just kind of mesh together, that’s why we’re best friends. And I’m also excited for the freedom to be on my own finally and kind of start over. Beauter: I’m excited just to be starting over, but about school stuff I’m excited about getting real training and showing how creative I can be. What are you least looking forward to? Norwood: Maybe because it’s just SCAD and the streets are so old, but there are no parking lots anywhere, and if you find a spot you have to pay quarters every time. Bueter: Well they said that they have really good bus systems that run to all different buildings and stuff, but we’re going to have a car there too. Do you know what you want to do after college? Bueter: That’s one thing about SCAD though is they tell you when you’re there that like 80 percent of their students get offered a job before they get out of college with big time companies, and I’m just kind of hoping that I can get a good job and pay off school.get a good job and pay off school Norwood: I’m literally open to anything because I don’t really know any specific jobs, but that’s also why I’m going to SCAD. It just kind of opens doors, like I know what I want to do, but I don’t know how or what yet. Bueter: Yeah their slogan is “The University for Creative Careers,” so the whole point is that it’s like “OK, this is what you’re good at- this is what you can do with it.”

Jack Ficklen Parsons The New School for Design

Michelle Yi

Ringling College of Art and Design

Christina Wagner Virginia Commonweath University

Major: Photography

Major: Animation

Career goals: To work as a photographer for a big-name magazine like GQ or Newsweek.

What do you like about Ring- What do you want to be when ling? you graduate college?

Focus: Editorial photography, photojournalism or conflict photography How did you know that Parsons was the right fit? I knew that Parsons was the right fit because it wasn’t as conceptual as some of the art schools that I had looked at. It wasn’t just focused on fine arts, you could take art and design through more commercial means and that was what I wanted to do. What are you most looking forward to? I’m most looking forward to being in the environment and being around other artists that I can learn from, and learning from talented teachers. What’s your favorite picture you’ve ever taken? It’s one of my friend Mel from last year at Beaver’s Bend. She’s in a canoe and it’s in this valley kind of thing and it was raining and misty, and it just had a really cool look to it. What makes you passionate about photography? I love it because I think that visually photographs can convey more information, not even deep information, just journalistic information, better than I feel like words can. It sounds cliché to say “I can tell stories with my camera,” but it’s kind of true. Are you the first artist in your family? My grandfather was a cartoonist for The Dallas Morning News and he was also a pretty notable painter. His name was Herc Ficklen.

It’s the No. 1 computer animation school in the country and I wanted to go to the best school. I saw a lot of good reviews from there and I know a few people who go there and they’ve talked to me. Many of the alumni work for Pixar and DreamWorks and I’ve seen the senior works and its just amazing.

Major: Animation

It would be really cool to make video games; its what I’m really interested in. I just really like playing video games, and I don’t care who knows it. I just think it would be really cool to animate. Why is VCU your number one choice?

I really like how the are a public school but they also have a really How long have you been drawgood art program so I was really ing? impressed by that. I’ve been drawing since I was litHow long have you been intle, probably since I could hold a volved in art? pencil. My parents saw that I really liked to draw so they put me I guess all through my life I had just been the artsy child. In fifth in art classes. grade when we were trying to If you could pick a movie to decide what classes to take, I almake a sequel to, what would it most took choir and I’m glad that be? I took art. How to Train Your Dragon. I just Has the recognition you’ve relove it and how at the end Hiccup ceived motivated you to imloses a leg, because it’s so different prove in art? than the happy endings that other I feel like if no one ever recogpeople make. nized me, I would feel like “OK, Have you animated before? what am I doing?” If I wasn’t I animated a little in Digital majoring in art, I would probGraphics and Animation it was ably still do something creative, really hard work but I really en- maybe advertising. joyed it. What are you looking forward What’s your favorite part about to about next year? animating? I’m looking forward to making I just admire the stories you can some new friends and grow artistell with animating and the way tically. The dorm I’m rooming in you can make your characters has an artists hall so the people move. It’s always been so fascinat- who are art majors can room toing and I just want to do that and gether, which is cool. make things come to life. What will you miss the most What are you looking forward to about CHS? most about next year? “I will really miss the art proI’m really excited to meet new gram here, and I’m also going to friends who have the same inter- miss Mrs. Westervelt. I will also ests as me and learning form art miss my friends; I’m so lucky to teachers about my major. have them. We all have our own journeys.”

page 16

senior sports

may 2012

CHS senior continues gymnastics careers at Hamline

Photos Courtesy of Meghan McCaskey

continued from pg. 7 whole life in college,” McCaskey said. “The time commitment will be a maximum of 20 hours a week in college, and I probably will not join any other organizations my first year just so I can get settled.” Like many high level gymnasts, McCaskey is required to put in a lot of time. She practices 24 hours a week Monday through Saturday, while attending five classes a day at Coppell High School. Her practices, which typically end at 8:30 p.m. during the week, have caused her to have to juggle the stresses of both school and gym. “Being in the gym has taught her time management and dedication,” Meghan’s father Lance McCaskey said. “Normal kids that are ranked as high as she is in school do not go through what she does everyday. She has to organize herself and manage her time between school and gym,

and she is still ranked high among her class.” McCaskey used off campus releases during her freshman and sophomore years, dual credit her junior year and release periods her senior year to keep her schedule balanced. Though her late night practices often kept her up late doing homework, having first period or afternoon release made the time commitments easier to handle. Both Meghan’s parents and coaches have seen Meghan grow as person throughout her time as gymnast. She fought injuries and struggles, but never gave up on her dream. “Meghan joined our team as a little girl and has grown into a very responsible young woman,” Top Flight coach LeAnn Sweeny said. “She is a natural leader and very task oriented. She has matured into a ‘total package’ athlete - strong, smart and very physically talented.“ McCaskey gave up what

many would consider to be a normal high school student’s life to go after a sport she loved. She has sacrificed time with her family, friends and opportunities in school, but despite this she says she would never give up gymnastics.

College in Charlotte, North Carolina. Defenseman McCullough committed to Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont, California. Defenseman Zoda, one of the top recruits in Texas, will take his talents to Stevenson University in Baltimore, Maryland. Each boy said that their school of choice has a lot of positives. “I did visit the campus [Stevenson] and it was incredible,” Zoda said. “The facilities there were top of the line and the campus was very comfortable.” Two out of three schools play in Division II (Stevenson is Division III), which is said to be third in rankings of prestige behind Divisions I and II. All three senior stars did

not really think about pursing this punishing sport after high school, but made the decision as late as this year. “I woke up one morning and decided I wanted to play lacrosse in college, got on the phone with my coach, and NDN was about as accepting and helping as could be.” McCullough said. McCullough also received a 10,000-dollar scholarship to the campus at Namur, which also played a part in his decision. Being recruited did not come naturally. In order to get noticed, athletes would have to be in constant contact with coaches all over the country. “The recruiting process was pretty crazy,” Watters said. “I played for multiple travel teams

“ Yo u don’t get to do anything after school, so if your friends are like ‘hey let’s go see a movie’ you cannot just be ‘yeah lets go’ because you have work out all the time,” McCaskey said. “I thought about doing yearbook when I was a freshman, but it would have been too much time so I did not get to try it.” Her love for gymnastics and support from coaches and family are what made the sacrifices worth it. “I just generally love to

do gymnastics, and it is helpful to have the support of coaches pushing you and supporting you through it all,” McCaskey said. “I have kept my love for it through the years, and never wanted to go try something else. Her time as a gymnast has taught her more than flips and tricks; it has given her

life lesson that will stay with her throughout her life. “Being a gymnast has taught me time management, to be confident in what I do and work ethic because you are selfmotivated to do things because your coaches are not always going to be on top of you when there are ten of you in a group,” McCaskey said.

As McCaskey continues to college level gymnastics it will be her love of the sport that motivates her to keep going. “In the end gymnastics is what I love to do, and I do not think anything could replace it,” McCaskey said.

Lacrosse sends three athletes to collegiate level John Loop Staff Writer

Lacrosse. A high scoringgame of catch and keep away. Mix it in with a couple of head-rocking hits, and you’ve got yourself a pretty fun and physical sport. For Coppell seniors Zane Zoda, Austin Watters and Logan McCullough, lacrosse has been their life since they were very young. “I have been playing lacrosse since I was in fifth grade,” McCullough said. “So that makes seven years.” Fortunately, their careers will continue for four more years, as all three boys have chosen to play NCAA lacrosse. Captain and midfielder Watters has decided to attend Queens

Zane Zoda

for a couple of summers and was always in contact with a bunch of coaches, trying to get their attention. I’m glad I caught Queens’.” Over the past few years, the number of lacrosse programs in the South has grown unexpectedly. This game is usually tied to the North and the Northeast regions of the United States. Storied programs such as Syracuse, Massachusetts, Penn State and John Hopkins are the centerpieces of collegiate lacrosse. But expansion of this hard-hitting sport has finally reached Texas, with powerhouse programs like Highland Park, Dallas Jesuit and Coppell at the top of the list. “Lacrosse is becoming bigger down here because we have the caliber of athletes to make

Austin Watters

really good lacrosse players,” Watters said. “Football squads are [becoming] over crowded so lacrosse is a great alternative.” This has been evident in the recruiting class of last year, most of which were two-sport athletes, playing both football and lacrosse. Defenseman and linebacker Brandon Mullins spawned several fullride football scholarships to big name schools to play lacrosse at Syracuse. Midfielder and receiver Nate Hruby plays now at the Air Force Academy. Midfielder and receiver Tyler Landis suits up for Brown University. When these superstar athletes graduate in May, they will hopefully carry the Coppell pedigree with them into their next level of education.

Logan McCullough

Senior Zane Zoda, Austin Watter and Logan McCullough led the team to a 10-6 win over the Southlake Carroll Dragons in April. Photos by Rowan Khazendar

may 2012

senior sports

page 17

Injuries leave athletes questioning their future Kristen Shepard Staff Writer

It’s a high school athlete’s worst nightmare: just before they gear up for the upcoming season at the college of their dreams, they sustain an injury that changes everything. For Coppell High School seniors Phillip Ellis and Kasey Johnson, however, these college dreams are being put on hold as injuries have slowed down their race to college level sports. Johnson’s torn ACL and Ellis’ torn Labrum have caused them to sit back and reevaluate their college plans. Midway through the Jan. 12 game against Midland, Ellis noticed a sharp pain in his shoulder, yet continued to power through the game. It was not until he visited athletic trainer Barry Jones after the game that Ellis realized the severity of his injury. E l lis h a d torn his labrum in his left shoulder. “Nob o dy w a n t s to be injured, especially in the middle of the season,» Ellis said. “I did not want to hear that I was injured and needed treatment, but I also wanted the pain to go away. I did not want to let the team down.” At this point, Ellis knew he wanted to follow his brother, 2009 CHS Graduate and forward JR Ellis’ footsteps and play soccer at St. Edwards University in Austin, but was not sure how his

injury would change this plan. “The hardest part of my injury was finding out what I could and couldn›t do,” Ellis said. “I am an active guy and wanted to play i nt r a murals a n d practice with my team. I just was not sure

w h a t would be best

for me. My college c om m it me nt s are my priority, and I did not want to do anything that would make me not able to play at St. Edwards.” When Ellis received the news that he would need surgery for his torn labrum, he knew his college  plans would be put on hold. The four to six month recovery associated with the surgery would almost guarantee that Phillip would redshirt his freshman year at St. Edwards. For the athletic training department, injuries like these are all too common. Jones has noticed that student-athletes always want to push the limits of their injuries.

“The biggest mistake we see injured athletes make is trying to get back on the field too fast,” Jones said. “These kids are so dedicated to their sport that sometimes they compromise their safety to get back to their sport. It is especially hard for athletes to be apart from the team as the team continues to work out and practice; they just want to be healed” Ellis could not be more ready to get back to the team, especially to build up the strength and endurance he wants to have on his college team. “College soccer plays in the fall. If I got my surgery today and took six months to recovery, I would miss the majority of the season, so redshirting looked like my only option,” Ellis said. For now, Ellis  must simply wait. As he struggles to find the balance between what he  should and should not be doing in terms of working out, he keeps his eyes on the future in front of him and eagerly waits for the day that he will be out on the field again, this time at St. Edwards. Johnson, a midfielder and forward, felt similarly as she suffered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in the Cowgirl’s first playoff game against Keller Central on Feb. 21. “Early in the game, about three minutes in actually, I jumped and planted my foot wrong,” Johnson said. “I tore my other ACL freshman year, so I knew what it felt like. My body reacted the same way. My first thought was ‘I tore my ACL

again’.” Despite her teammates’ attempt to convince her otherwise, Johnson knew the pain all too well, and immediately knew there was a long road ahead. “Tearing an ACL, believe it or not, is a really common sports injury at this school,” Jones said. “We hate to see it though because the recovery generally takes four to six months. That’s a really long time when you only have four years of high school.” Though most physicians recommend six months of recovery, Johnson is doing everything in her power to speed

up the recovery. The last time she tore her ACL she was back on t h e

field she was back on the field after five months. If she recovers in the same amount of time as a senior, she can join her team on the field in September. “I’ve had a hard time deciding whether or not to redshirt as

after five months. If she recovers in the same amount of time as a senior, she can join her team on the field in September. “I’ve had a hard time deciding whether or not to redshirt as a freshman. My coach is leaving it up to me,” Johnson said. “It would be really hard to pick up the game at the level I want to play coming off this injury. I can only watch things play out from here.” Coming to a commitment at Alabama-Birmingham did not come as easily to Johnson as committing at St. Edwards came to Ellis. In fact, as a junior Johnson was not even sure she wanted to play collegiate. “It wasn’t until my friend Kennedy convinced me to check out UAB that I decided I wanted to p l a y ,” Johnson said. “She gave my name to the coach and I fell in love with the school and the soccer program when I visited.” At this point, there is not much Johnson or Ellis can do but wait for time to pass. Until then, they have the support of their trainers, coaches and teammates to help them through their injury and the long road to recovery.

Photos by Jodie Woodward

Meyer, Simonds commit to play collegiate soccer Chris Reagan Staff Writer

Growing up, senior Lindsey Meyer grew up in a Longhorn household with the influence of a grandfather that played both baseball and basketball for the university. This fall, Meyer will be working to create her own legacy wearing the burnt orange for the Lady Longhorn soccer team. Meyer is attending the University of Texas and already has an impressive resume going in with a state championship, two years of being a captain and being named not only the utility player of the year but also on the first team alldistrict her junior year. The transfer to Texas will be interesting for Meyer as Texas just had a coaching change, but Lindsey has already been familiar with the coach. “I’m curious to see how the coaching change is going to be,” Meyer said.” I’ve already been recruited by her when she was at Tennessee, so it is not completely different.” Lindsey has been a lifelong Texas fan and the Longhorns offer was too hard to pass up. I liked everything about it; the campus, the players and the facilities are all great,” Meyer said. Meyer has the experience and the drive to be successful in college according to Coppell girls

coach Chris Stricker. “Lindsey’s been a great asset to the team,” Stricker said, “She’s been a leader and an excellent player on the team. I think she’ll do great in college.” Will Simonds on the other hand, despite being recruited by larger schools has settled on a considerably smaller school, John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ar. “I really liked the campus, and the coach and team were awesome so the choice was easy,” Simonds said. In addition to excelling in high school, club soccer has been a big part of Simond’s soccer career. Simonds has played on several club teams in addition to a stint in the Olympic development program and in the international Dallas Cup as well as the Gothenburg Cup in Sweden. In his time at Coppell, Simonds has impressed his coaches yearly and has earned all district first team honors in his junior year. “Will is a tactically sound player,” Coppell boys coach Chad Rakestraw said. “His judgment and ability will allow him to step in and compete in college.” The two have experienced a great amount of success in both the classroom and on the field, which will help them in the college game.

Senior Lindsey Meyer will continue her soccer careers as she goes to the University of Texas next fall on a soccer scholarship.

Senior WIll Simonds will continue his soccer careers as he goes to the John Brown University in Arkansas next fall on a soccer scholarship. Photos by Ivy Hess

. . senior section t i o a l s n u D A R G c on class of 2 012

page 18

Photos by Brian Hwu

may 2012

Cheerleaders celebrate another touchdown at the homecoming football game on Sept. 23. The Cowboys beat Saginaw 35-6.

Seniors Anna Nudo and Rachael Swaldi sing the national anthem at the Justin Northwest pep rally on Oct. 21.

Senior Conner Clark performs with Vivace! at the homecoming pep rally on Sept. 23. Senior and emcee Clayton Dalrymple gets the students excited about the spirit stick which was sporting a Rangers hat at the Justin Northwest pep rally on Oct. 21. Homecoming queen Sarah Pye walks through a crowd of guests to be recognized at the homecoming dance at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Las Colinas on Sept. 24.

Head drum major Jonathon Zuniga gets ready to conduct the band at the homecoming football game on Sept. 23 during halftime. Senior Sarah Pye is named homecoming queen at the homecoming football game during halftime on Sept. 23. Senior Brittany Cox peforms with the varsity cheerleaders at the first pep rally of the year on Sept. 2. Despite the music having stopped halfway, the cheerleaders still gave a stellar performance.

may 2012


page 19

C.L.A.M. provides recognition for creativity Madison Ford

Entertainment Editor

A subtle scramble ensues in room C231. Pages are edited and re-edited, artwork is placed and poetry is methodically paired with photography. Things are in overdrive for the creative writing class at CHS. As their deadline approaches to submit their pages for production, students put their creative forces to the test as they complete this year’s edition of the Coppell Literary and Art Magazine, or as it are more popularly known, the C.L.A.M. A completely student-produced work, the C.L.A.M. is a long-running tradition at CHS, currently on its eighth edition. This literary arts magazine is a compilation of writing, art and photography gathered from students and faculty. In his eighth year as advisor to the production of the C.L.A.M., creative writing teacher Matt Bowden finds that the publication holds great value beyond its intriguing content. “It’s primarily important just as an outlet for students to express, to show off their creative skills, a creative outlet,” Bowden said. “But most importantly, it’s a place for a lot of kids, the one source for certain kids, to sort of have an avenue to showcase these things. We have football that gets so much attention, volleyball that won the state title this year, and soccer, and various different organizations and clubs and activities, and some kids, they just like to write, they just like to do art, and this is a chance for them to kind of showcase that and have their chance to shine.”

For senior Melanie Duck, one of three chief editors, the C.L.A.M. offers students inspiration. “It’s just a lot of fun and really inspirational for students because it’s seeing other peoples work and it’s like, you know what, I could have put something in there, I could write something really cool, I can make something, an amazing piece of artwork, and put it in there,” Duck said. “And then everyone is going to have it, or you can go buy it and be like, look at this, I’m in a book. It’s a fun little nifty inspiration piece.” What readers don’t see is the countless hours of hard work that go into the creation of the C.L.A.M. “As chief editors we take in all the work that’s been approved to put into the clam and we’re formatting it into the book,” junior chief editor Austin Huens said. “Basically how everything should be laid out, how everything is organized, how the pages appear, how the spreads look; we just put it all together to get ready to publish.” This work can become timeconsuming due to the detailed elements that are involved in page design, organization and sheer volume of content. “It has been pretty tedious, because we have seven sections this year, so getting through each section is a huge relief, and then we have another one to go,” Huens said. “It’s been fun though, matching up the artwork with the photography and with the pieces. This year’s C.L.A.M. promises certain elements that set it apart from prior years.

“We have a really cool theme this year: Greek Gods and Goddesses,” Huens said. “So really it’s going be unlike any C.L.A.M. that’s been published before.” The theme of the C.L.A.M., which changes yearly, can ultimately shape the entire edition. “Every C.L.A.M. has had its own sort of unique personality, vibe to it, and that’s just based on the kids that put it together each year,” Bowden said. “This one, its themes are sort of based on the different characteristics of ancient Greek gods and goddesses, which is a first for us. That has dictated the shape it’s taking. Every year the magazine has certain creative flair or a certain vibe or tone to it and that just come from the kids that are putting it together.” According to junior chief editor Erin Connolly, the caliber of content within this year’s C.L.A.M. has provided the publication with a strength that sets it apart. “This one has a lot of really good writing in it,” Connolly said. Connolly stresses the importance of the C.L.A.M. offering students an outlet to get recognized for artistic pursuits. “Well we have places for visual art, which also goes in the C.L.A.M., and there is sports, and an Academic Decathlon, so this is just somewhere where students who are good at writing and art and photography can also be recognized,” Connolly said. Whether students are avid readers and anxiously await of the annual release of the C.L.A.M., or they have just recently become aware of its existence, the publication provides an opportunity to learn more about the creative tal-

The cover of the clam features art from art student Andy Scott. Works such as this and more can be found in the C.L.A.M.

ents that are bursting through the halls of CHS. “It’s a great way to sort of get a peek at the work that your peers produce,” Bowden said. “It would be shocking and surprising, pleasantly, to see how talented the kids are that sit next to you on your right or your left in class everyday

who you had no idea was such a talented writer, such a gifted poet, such amazing artists photographer, etc. It’s a really cool annual chronicle of the artistic gifts walking around here.” Expect the release of the C.L.A.M in late May.

may 2012 entertainment Springsteen smashes politics with “Wrecking Ball” page 20 Ben Cowlishaw

Online Copy Editor

It is not often that a musician, or any facet of pop culture for that matter, can hold relevance across several generations. Bruce Springsteen is one of those artists as the release of his new album “Wrecking Ball” proves that he was “Born to Run” this industry. There are pictures of my dad when he was my age, guitar in hand, jamming out to The Boss. Despite all that has changed since the 1970s, Springsteen has stayed not only relevant, but of much significance in rock. He has crossed several subgenres of rock, from his heartfelt Americana to stadium rock anthems and jazzy rock ballads. In “Wrecking Ball,” Springsteen sounds older and more subdued. The album is reminiscent of the late work of Johnny Cash, when Cash left behind his earlyrooted rock-and-roll sound for a somber, jaded tone that conveyed much more emotion in his music than his earlier work. “This Depression” defines this aspect of the album. In this song, Springsteen confesses his loneliness and depression to someone he needs to get him through it: “I need your heart in

this depression.” This is perhaps the darkest Springsteen has gone in most of his career. The album opens with “We Take Care Of Our Own,” the song most like his earlier work. It takes after “Born in the USA,” as Springsteen releases his frustration with government and politics in a pseudo-pro-government anthem. Springsteen claims, “wherever this flag is flown, we take care of our own,” although he more or less is saying that we should, but we fail to. This political stance often taken by Bruce is seconded by “Death to My Hometown,” where Springsteen protests the corruption and economic unaccountability of much of the country. His “hometown” is America, and he sings “the greedy thieves that came around… whose crimes have gone unpunished now.” The title song “Wrecking Ball” is a challenge by Springsteen to anyone who thinks they can take on him and his home state of New Jersey. “Take your best shot, let me see what you’ve got, bring on your wrecking ball,” he proclaims in the song. He reflects on his home state and how it affected him as he grew up, the good and the bad, “through the mud and the beer, and the blood and the

cheers, I’ve seen champions come and go.” Springsteen has always been, for lack of a better word, a hard-core New Jerseyite; he has included themes of his everyday life growing up in the Garden State tucked in most of his albums. Much in the style of the aforementioned title track, this album is very much a recap, a closing and a continuation of many of the various styles and topics he has covered throughout his career. Arguably one of his best albums in his discography, “Born in the U.S.A.” calls for much comparison to Springsteen’s latest release; “Wrecking Ball” mirrors “Born in the U.S.A.” themes of economic stress and frustration, and also echoes the timeliness of the album’s release: “Born in the U.S.A.,” released in 1984, came in a heavy election year in the middle of an economic recession. There comes a point when the listener wants to say “OK Bruce, we get it, give it a rest,” but those thoughts vacate quickly. Many musicians run past the expiration of their relevance (can’t U2 just be done already?), but not Bruce. Not now, not soon. He, in the likes of Johnny Cash, will be going until he’s gone.

Poe gains screen recognition When Edgar Allen Poe’s famously gruesome stories are brought to life it takes Detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) teaming up with Poe himself to stop this serial killer before he can reenact all of Poe’s works. While Poe and Fields are busy trying to catch up to the murderer he strikes again, this time kidnapping Poe’s love, Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve). The killer uses this to anonymously give them clues to the crime. The two feverishly try to solve the killer’s clues in a formulaic cat and mouse game strikingly similar to Angels and Demons. At any rate the film does bear the related style of director James McTeigue’s past box office hit V for Vendetta. The use of special effects to enhance the violence and increase the overall gory feeling of the film is preva-

lent throughout. Though McTeigue has some of the best horror stories of all time to choose from, it is disappointing to see that most of the murders are portrayed so anticlimactically. The suspense just simply isn’t there becoming just a track meet on the path to finding the killer. The film is rather confusing to follow with events seeming random and mashed together but the actors do a decent job in character to save this, even if it is just enough to be passable. I am, admittedly, not much of a John Cusack fan and even after seeing this movie still would’ve liked to see Robert Downy Jr. in the role based on his performances in Sherlock Holmes. Still, Cusack does an acceptable job portraying Poe beginning as the unlikable man he was at the time near his death but later on morphing into the type of guy you want to see succeed. Though

not murdered he is still a victim in the movie and his performance represents that, albeit sometimes over the top. One of the things that the film does an exceptional job of is keeping with the sort of setting that one would expect from McTeigue’s previous films. The cobblestone streets of Baltimore dimly lit with gas lamps casting long shadows in the dense fog. The setting is essentially exactly what one would picture when reading one of Poe’s stories and works to create the eerie suspense that the script doesn’t provide. Although it is just an average movie for those who are Poe fans it is worth watching just to see his stories on the big screen. Overall it is not that bad, but from the director that made a movie like V for Vendetta I certainly would have expected more.

into a jazz club to watch her play. The ambiance was distinct; the air was filled with a sense of cool music. It was easy to understand why people of all types would flood to a venue to simply sit and listen to a series of melodies. As I got older, I had the opportunity to experience the entertainment industry first hand. In my pursuit of acting, I was thrown into a world where cutthroat business and a love for the arts go hand in hand. Growing up in such a way my eyes were opened to the air of intrigue and judgment that is typically associated with entertainment. Because it would be a folly to deny the peculiar behavior that exists in this atmosphere, it would also be wrong to let the inspiring minds and moments and products that are present go unnoticed. Some of the most intelligent

and creative minds can be found in the entertainment industry, both in front of the microphone and behind the camera. From Frank Sinatra to Rob Reiner, Robert Downey Jr. and Tim Burton, art is being created. Individuals all over the world who carry with them varying cultures and unique experiences come together to tell stories, create games and to capture our imaginations. Those contributing to these pursuits are not just the performers that we often identify with such professions. Hidden behind our iPods and movie screens are some of the most ingenious businessmen of our time, including Steve Jobs and Jerry Bruckheimer. Entertainment is not exclusive to the starving artist or the lazy teenager; it draws many to its mysterious gates.

It is hard to pinpoint what makes entertainment so appealing. Is it the opportunity to get lost in a seperate world? Is it the assurance one feels when they realize they are not alone in their struggles and fears? Or is it simply the sheer enjoyment that comes from escaping our responsibilities? Whatever the reason may be, there is magic in entertainment. So before we denounce the rise of entertainment in our society, we must look at the significance it has in our world.

Chris Reagan Staff Writer

John Cusack stars in Relativity Media’s gothic thriller “The Raven.” (Larry Horricks/MCT)

Bruce Springsteen performs during a sold out concert at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, April 28, 2009. (David Swanson/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT)

Entertainment merit goes beyond misperceptions Entertainment, ambiguous in nature, is ever-present in our society. It motivates us, calms us and inspires us. Its shear breadth and staying power can also, for some, frighten and intimidate. With these varying sentiments aside, one thing is certain; entertainment shapes our society, and it is here to stay. Our generation seems to be inundated, even intertwined with entertainment. We play games on our phones in class, school projects are often presented as amusing videos or in a creative song or piece of art, and nearly 100 years after the cinema came into vogue, seeing a movie is no longer a special occasion; it is more common than reading a book. Because of this, it is easy to understand why our elders are fearful of the consequences of this

type of society. Reports are often released regarding the diminishing social and communication skills in our generation. More and more children are being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD (while this of course is known to be biological, it would be unwise to ignore a societal influence on this phenomenon), and the messages that are released into society through entertainment are becoming more and more risqué. Yes, there are downfalls to a more entertainment-centric society. However, when one looks beyond these negatives, there is a pure beauty in the way our generation approaches entertainment. From the time I was a child, I was enveloped in the world of entertainment. With a jazz musician for a mother, I recall those special occasions when I would be snuck

Madison Ford

Entertainment Editor

may 2012 Corinna Taylor Staff Writer



page 21

Events heat up for summer MEN IN BLACK III

Summer break provides students with a break from school to catch up with friends and just have fun. More times than not. students find themselves bored with all their extra time. For this reason, I have compiled a list of concerts and movies that will be coming to the Dallas area during this summer to ensure that this summer will be as enjoyable as possible.

MAY 25

Photo courtesy Sony Pictures


AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER | $40 - $164 Best known for its amazing guitarist, Eddie Van Halen, this band has left a huge mark on the rock world as a whole. Eddie changed the way of electric guitars with his extraordinary talent. The music we have today is all in thanks to this band. They will be visiting the American Airlines Center in Dallas June 20 in what is sure to be one of the best concerts of the summer. Popular songs by Van Halen include Panama, Jump and Drop Dead Legs. Be sure to mark this on your calendar because it is sure to be a memorable concert.


Photo courtesy Interscope Pictures


The duo is back in their all new movie; Men in Black III. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are fighting against the alien forces once again. There is a twist on this new movie: Smith’s character has to go back in time to stop an alien from assassinating Jones and in doing so he meets up with the younger version of his friend. The movie follows Smith on his journey through time in order to save his friend. This movie is expected to be as good as the original movies, if not better.



Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox



Benjamin Walker takes the traditional role of Abraham Lincoln to a completely different level. In this new film, Lincoln will not only be fighting slavery, but vampires. This thriller movie is based off of the novel by Seth GrahameSmith and on Lincoln’s secret diaries that he recorded that reveals a whole new outlook and opinion of our 16th president.


This teenage heartthrob band has gained a tremendous amount of fame in the past couple of months. Their pop music has won the hearts of millions of girls around the world, and to the delight of many Dallas girls, they are coming to town. They will be playing at the Gexa Energy Pavillion on June 23 and the American Airlines Center on July 22 for those who love them enough to see them twice.

Photo courtesy Syco music



The Batman trilogy ends in July with what is expecting to be the hit of the summer. This movie has Christian Bale as the masked vigilante Batman and has some new faces to the cast. Anne Hathaway appears as Catwoman and Tom Hardy stars as Bane the newest terrorist to coerce Gotham. The first two movies were huge successes so a lot of pressure is riding on this last movie to make “The Dark Knight Rises” better than the first two in order to close the series with a success.

Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures



This yearly concert event is the highlight of the summer for some. This year there are numerous great bands that will be attending. Such bands include The Used, Breath Carolina, Of Mice and Men, Falling in Reverse and Taking Back Sunday. This concert event is filled with passionate concert goers, and is a fun time for all.



This tour is not as widely known as Vans Warped Tour, however that does not mean it is not as entertaining. This year bands include Cannibal Corpse, Between the Buried and Me, Job For a Cowboy, and The Faceless. These bands are mainly hard rock and only appeal to some, but for those who do enjoy this type of music are sure to have a exciting time.



page 22



may 2012

Boys soccer nearly completes undefeated season Photo by Brian Hwu

stories of 2011-2012 by chris reagan, sammy robben and john loop


Coppell volleyball team wins 5A state championship

This year was the first time in Coppell history for volleyball to win a state championship. To make it even more impressive, the win was with first-year Coppell coach Julie Green, who came in at the end of last year with a new philosophy. “By shaping us into better volleyball players she also shaped us into better individuals,” senior libero Kristin Dickerson said. “She taught us the value of hard work, responsibility, and perseverance.” Green brought in a plan that called for constant test of mental and physical toughness. This paid off in season as the girls went on to have a very successful regular season with their only district losses coming to an excellent Southlake Carroll team. Despite a couple close matches against an always-tough Hebron Lady Hawks and San Antonio Johnson the Cowgirls rolled through playoffs, capped off with an 3-1 win over McKinney Boyd. Green was recognized for her work with the team with the ESPN Coach of the Year award. But Green would not have been able to do it without a very talented team behind her. The team came together under the leadership of seniors Sarah Arnold and Dickerson as well as juniors Cassidy Pickrell and Chiaka Ugbogu. “I am always going to remember this season,” Arnold said. “All these girls, I love them so much and we went through all this together and getting to state together was incredible. We have worked really hard and to come out and finish and be number one it feels amazing.”

Photo by Sammy Robben

Coppell Cowgirl varsity volleyball players celebrate immediately after their victory against the Mckinney Boyd team at the state championship.


Rice brings home wrestling title

Photo by Rachel Bush

After the final takedown that capped his undefeated wrestling season, senior Sam Rice became a state champion. Rice helped add another state championship for Coppell this year, defeating Clear Brook’s Justin Ackerman 5-4 to claim the 285-pound state title. Rice, who has been wrestling since age 5, dominated all of this season’s opponents, maintaining a perfect 42-0 record. The journey was not easy. Last year, Rice lost in the regional level of competition, but coach Chip Lowery would not let him hang his head. “[Coach] used my loss at regionals to motivate me to do better this year,” Rice said. “Look how that worked out for me.”


In addition to volleyball, the boys soccer team also experienced a great regular season with their only defeat coming at the hands of Southlake Carroll. For the majority of the year the Cowboys stayed undefeated and were even ranked number one in the state and number two in the nation. The Cowboys success this year, much like the volleyball team, came at the hands of first-year Coppell coach Chad Rakestraw. Rakestraw came from Justin Northwest replacing Shane Bybee after his departure to Southlake Carroll. Coppell was a step up from Rakestraw’s previous school, taking advantage of the tradition of talent that comes through the program. “I think we’re back to the point,” Rakestraw said, “We’re bringing back the tradition of the program and the deep playoff runs. We’re taking a step in the right direction.” Senior captains Will Simmonds, Phillip Ellis and Tanner lines all took different roles in motivating the team and getting them back in their winning ways after a disappointing season last year. Though the Cowboys had an upsetting first round loss in the playoffs the accolades they earned, including a district championship mark a successful season and a promising start in Rakestraw’s young career at Coppell.

The boys’ soccer team had a great season, with their only loss coming from the Southlake Caroll team.

Senior quarterback Jake Larson injured against Denton Guyer


In a shocking twist of events early in the football season, senior quarterback Jake Larson was injured in a Thursday night matchup against Denton Guyer. Larson was later found out to have torn his right anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and meniscus, and was unable to return for the remainder of the season aside from short series of limited action. The injury left Coppell in a bind at the quarterback position leaving the already ailing Cowboys to rely upon junior Tyler Zabojnik and sophomore Connor Wilson. The two shared the amount of snaps and despite promising throwing abilities, coach Joe McBride moved the Cowboys to a very simple run based offense to help out the young, inexperienced team. The injury deflated the team looking to rebuild after losing the graduating seniors, and trying to prove themselves. The team rallied but was unable to recover from the loss and narrowly missed playoffs. “I was coming off the field, and I saw everyone get on their knees,” junior wide receiver Jason Lister said. “I realized someone was hurt, and I asked who it was. Someone said ‘Larson.’ After that, everything sucked.” Larson has made his recovery and in February signed to the University of Texas-El Paso to continue his dream of playing football in college. The injury was a devastating end to a hope filled season for Larson, but his determination to make his dream happen is an inspiring one.

Chasteen retires after trip to postseason

After 16 years at Coppell High School, boys basketball coach Brad Chasteen announced his retirement earlier this month. Chasteen came to Coppell after serving as boys basketball coach at South Grand Prairie. He led the Cowboys to 12 playoff appearances, including the 1999 state tournament where CHS lost in the semifinals. “We overachieve,” said Chasteen, who won 534 games as a high school coach. “Some of our parts have been bigger than expected, and most years we have done better than predicted by state associations. It is not the amount of wins that is special to me; it is that the kids have really poured their lives into the program and done better than anyone expected. ” Next year, Chasteen is moving from the public school coaching system to work with a Flower Mound friend on non-profit projects, while getting the opportunity to continue coaching through a home school and select team. In 2011-2012, led by seniors Austin Mankin, Jett Raines and Warren Oishi the basketball team was going into the season with high hopes and expectations. The trio has all been on varsity for years and was looking to continue last year’s success which ended in a district championship for the Cowboys. The team had a successful season going 25-9 overall and 12-1 in Photo by Trevor Stiff district, finishing second to Keller Central. The Cowboys lost, 53-51, Sophomore Brandon Watson practices his lay-ups and participates in various drills during the pre-game to Mansfield Timberview in the area playoffs. warm up.

may 2012


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2012 football taking shape during spring practice John Loop Staff Writer

The constant thud resonates from Buddy Echols Field and the sweat drips down the backs of the varsity football players as spring practice begins. After losing a win-and-in game against Keller Central in November, the Cowboys have been hitting harder, running faster and will soon be ready to produce better results under the lights next season. Since the Cowboys’ first game against Longview at SMU’s Ford Stadium for the 2012 Tom Landry Classic, there is not much time between now and when summer starts for the team to get on the same page. “The overall goal for spring football is start preparing for Longview,” junior wide receiver Jason Lister said. “They are a really good team, but so are we.” Until two-a-days start later in the summer, each position will be duking it out to see who wins a starting spot. “They all got something to prove,” head coach Joe McBride said. “It really has nothing to do with the seniors graduating. It is just you have got to reload on talent. But there are also a lot of holes to fill. That is what spring is for.” The losses will be felt most heavily on the offensive line and at quarterback. With the departure of se-

nior offensive tackle Sam Rice to SMU, and the graduation of senior guard Jake Williams, who will attend the Arkansas to pursue a degree in engineering, there are multiple spots open along the trenches. One of these players, Leighton Light, is junior center that will anchor a fresh set of faces on the line. “I’m going to miss having Jake, Sam, Emilio [Primera] and Javier [Davila-Lopez] lining up next to me, “ Light said. “It was exciting to play with such a talented group of guys.” Based on other positions as well, McBride is looking forward to seeing the battles take place in practice for the coveted starting job. “Oh absolutely, it is open competition everywhere,” McBride said. “They need to understand that they need to stay good in what they do. They need to stay sharp because there is always a battle between everybody to try and earn a position on the field. I don’t care if you started last year or not.” After lifting weights and working out inside during the winter, the first day of spring practice has new meaning for both player and coach. “Stepping on the field first time in spring, you get chills strapping on your helmet, Lister said, “We have one of the toughest off-seasons probably in the country and it will show throughout

spring and the upcoming season.” McBride has almost the same principle. “Forget the past and create the new team that’s coming up,” McBride said. “Create chemistry and unity and commitment.” All of these after-school practices in lead up to the Spring Game at 7 p.m. on May 24 at Buddy Echols Field. This game will provide a glimpse of next year’s team. “The game is going to be a lot of fun,” Light said. “There will be guys running around, lighting people up.” McBride says it is a chance for the athletes to show off what they’ve learned. “Hopefully, it will be fun and the kids will be healthy and be competitive,” McBride said. “It has always been a fun atmosphere, but it is really a culmination of the fun time after you’ve put in 17 really hard days [of work].” If the Cowboys come out looking anything like the team from 2010, then next season will shape up to be in their favor. Lister likes the direction that the program is going in, both for next season and long-term as well. “[Spring football] helps us get the feeling of back into football and hitting so come two-a-days in the summer, we are already prepared for the season, “Lister said. “Overall, our goal is to go 16-0. With Coach McBride at the helm, the only way this program can go is up.”

Sophomore center Carson Massey lines up against freshman Chris Biggars and prepares for the next snap in spring football practice.

Photos by Trevor Stiff

Offensive and defensive linemen collide together during a running play.

Robben recognizes various Coppell scholar athletes Coppell High School is often seen as a school with two completely different, unrelated sides to it. There is the classroom, where taking four AP classes is not out of the ordinary and getting A’s is the expectation, and then there is the field, where no matter what sport you play you are expected to give up colossal amounts of time and energy, and being number one or two in the district is the only option. Both areas take and extreme amount of dedication and hard work, and those who excel in either are truly gifted, but it is the ones that excel in both that deserve the most respect. We all know those people. The ones that have been on varsity since their freshmen year, who seem to play every sport incredibly well and who above all that still manage to make

A’s in the midst of an incredibly rigorous work load. They are the students we all secretly wish we could be, and though sometimes envied for their talents, these students are the true role models at CHS. Student athletes put in the time required by high school sports, which usually ranges anywhere from one to three hours a day, often to just go straight to a club practice. It is not uncommon for them to start their homework at times when most of us are already done, and yet they still do as well, if not better than others in their classes.

Graphic by Brian Hwu

It is students like former CHS graduate, Elizabeth Kerpon, who became the 400-meter dash state champion in 2011 and went to Duke on a full ride. Juniors Nick Hazelrig and Cassidy Pickrell are other examples of these outstanding students. As a soccer player, Hazelrigg has put in countless hours that have led him to the hopes of attending an Ivy League school. Pickrell has been on varsity volleyball since she was a freshmen, varsity soccer her freshmen and sophomore year and is currently headed to the 2012 track state chamPhoto by Rachel Bush

Cassidy Pickrell and Chiaka Obogagu prepare to block a hit during the 2012 UIL playoffs.

pionship for high jump, and still takes AP classes, is an active member of KCBY and had committed to UC-Irvine. These three, with countless other CHS students and graduates have continued to be role models for CHS students. These students have time management skills only learned by experience, a work ethic that is truly admirable and talents that are often envied but respected. These students are the leaders of CHS that give it the reputation of excellence it has gathered throughout the years. Some might say these kids are lucky or just born

that way, but I truly believe that playing a sport in high school teaches you skills that help you succeed in every aspect of your life. Early on in high school you are forced to learn to organize your time and manage yourself. Even as freshmen CHS coaches are not going to hold your hand and show you what to do, but they help you learn along the way. Though it can be painful for most student athletes to admit, their coaches who constantly push them to their limits and drive them crazy with tough workouts and never ending practices have taught them more than they will ever realize. Student athletes also learn perseverance and work ethic. CHS sports have a reputation for being tough, and the work it takes to be the best can be grueling. High School sports teach us to work through hard situations even when you want to quit. They teach the importance of sticking to something and neve r giving up, while getting see first hand the results of working hard to achieve a goal.

Sammy Robben Sports Editor

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. . the sidekick

may 2012

CHS life in photos Check out more at



Junior Jen Olson, senior Rachael Swaldi, senior Diana Nyakundi, and junior Keaton Looney are clad in “Flower Children” costumes for one of the songs in this spring’s Vivace! show. Photo by Lauren Ussery.

Coach Farris receives a free ice cream cone in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week 2012. Photo by Ivy Hess.


(Above) Public Service Academy sophomore Derek John was one of the few students who volunteered to be “pied” in the face as apart of PSA’s fundraiser to raise money for the Coppell Relay for Life event. Photo by Trevor Stiff.


Seniors Jonathon Zuniga and Sarah Pye were crowned this year’s Prom King and Queen at this year’s “Casino Royale” prom. Photo by Rowan Khazendar.

The Sidekick - Issue 6 - May 2012  

The May 2012 issue of Coppell High School's student newspaper, The Sidekick.