Page 1

‘Escape’ to the Concert p. 7 Volume 39, Issue 10

ORACLE Thursday, May 17, 2012

GOODBYE CLASS OF 2012 • This year’s graduating senior class is leaving with a positive impact on the entire school. Max Bredthauer is representing the football team. The football team is a key part of the school, many student’s Fridays during the fall are spent cheering on the team to victory. Matt Hays, with his calculator in hand, is the president of National Honor Society. Representing theatre is Will Lynde, being the lead in this year’s Will Rogers Follies; he is the ultimate Thespian. With her camera ready, Annie Rice is able to capture anything interesting to put in the newspaper. She is the Co-Editor-In-Chief of the Oracle this year and takes pride in the work she does. Representing the Volleyball team is Brooke Wiggins. She was a key player this year and creates a positive and hardworking reputation for the team. Always prepared and ready to work is Student Council President Austin Stephens; he is a hard worker and shows that StuCo is always willing to help out. Cheering her loudest is Lexie Jenkins representing the Cheerleading team. She has been on the team since her sophomore year and led the Varsity team this year as Co-Captain. Colonel Katelyn Balch representing Spartanaires has been a part of the team since her freshman year. Watching her and the team dance shows how much Spartan Pride the Spartanaires have. Representing one of the newest sports to our school, Lacrosse, is Lindsey Lee. Lee has been on the team for three years and served as Co-Captain this past year. Playing loud for all to hear is Drum Major Alex Laws. He leads the band during football games and prepares the band for competition. Painting her way by is Kelsey Hunter representing Art. The Art department always makes sure the school looks nice by placing art pieces all around. These are just some of the many groups that make Stratford what it is. Photo by Katie Gregory. Photo compiled and caption by Samantha Hicks.

Senior Destinations p. 11-14 14555 Fern Drive, Houston TX 77079

n o i t a u d

a m. r G4:00 p. 2 r o 01 2 i m , u 6 e 2 n s i l y e a o C S M n a m e D

ol C on



Thursday, May 17, 2012

English Department Releases Summer Reading List English I Grade Level Choose one of the following: Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

English I Pre-AP/GT Choose one of the following: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott English II Grade Level Choose one of the following: Ironman by Chris Crutcher Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson The Wave by Todd Strasser American Born Chinese (graphic) by Gene Yang

English II Pre-AP/GT Choose one of the following: Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver Peace Like a River by Leif Enger Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

English III Grade Level/Accelerated Choose one of the following: Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos Blessings by Anna Quindlen English III AP/GT/Dual Credit Choose one of the following: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

English IV Grade Level Choose one of the following: A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris Water for Elephants by Sara Gruan The Firm by John Grisham English IV AP/GT REQUIRED: The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde Choose one of the following: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe English IV Dual Credit, Composition Choose a book from the English IV Grade Level list.

To get 15% off your summer reading book, see page 9.

Environmental Science Help the Earth and your future

casion. Student teaching and labs are just a couple of If you are looking for a the ways that the Environchallenging class that will mental Science class learns teach you about the planet, about our environment. AP Environmental SciDuring the year, the Envience (familiarly known ronmental Science students as APES) is an idea that work on an annual projmight be worth considering. ect. This project is a way to Talk to Ms. Stephanie Gaissum up the year; it involves er, the APES teacher, and all the students and a soshe’ll tell you about lution to the carbon the “biology-based footprint of students science that’s not and staff at Stratford. heavy in math” which This year, the stucan still be put on your dents and Ms. Gaiser schedule for next year. are teaming up with This project is a way to sum Juniors and seniors up the year; it involves all the the Physics department are welcome - and enstudents and a solution to the to design and build a couraged - to join the carbon footprint of students and solar panel. This panel course for the 2012will help decrease carstaff at Stratford. 2013 school year. bon footprint, helping Environmental scithe environment - the ence is no joke of a entire basis of the class. class. It’s tough, challenging, it so much easier to help save Yes, it is an AP class. Yes, and requires some serious the planet which we inhabit. it is challenging. And yes, it work. However, it can reap As far as activities during adds a little bit of an extra huge benefits for the future. the class period go, the Envi- work load to your junior or Employers for architec- ronmental Science students senior year. But is it worth ture, government posi- like to mix it up. Sometimes it in the end, when you tions, city planning, parks Ms. Gaiser lectures, but the know what it takes to help and recreation, and non- students themselves stand our planet and our future? profit environmental or- up and present information See your counselor toganizations all prefer an in order to share knowl- day for more information environmental science back- edge with the class on oc- and to sign up for this class.

Hannah Bevers

ground in their employees. Architects are quickly having to become environmentally conscious before building anything as our society is realizing that it needs to help out the planet more every day. As for jobs involving conservation, that’s a no-brainer. Learning about the planet which we inhabit will make

The Oracle

Condoleeza Rice Informs

Maddie Stone

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice spoke at the World Affairs Council of Houston luncheon on Thursday, April 26. The World Affairs Council is a forum that promotes awareness of global issues and the importance of global citizenship. Rice focused on those values as well as global politics in her keynote address. Rice addressed the Arab Spring in detail. “The Arab Spring has called into question the stability of an authoritarian government,” said Rice. In regard to the recent revolutions, Rice stated that fear is what separates an authoritarian and his government. The Arab Spring is what happens when reform comes late, Rice said. In relation, Rice pointed out other countries that are diverse in population, yet

peaceful in politics. “India is diverse with millions of people who don’t speak the same language, yet they can vote on a peaceful government,” said Rice. Rice went on to recommend how to repair relations in the Middle East. She stressed the importance of building new pillars in the Middle East, reaffirming U.S. relations with Israel, and committing to a relationship with Iraq. “The U.S. must continue to press reform among our friends,” said Rice. Rice also praised Houston and its global value. “Houston’s oil and gas center is a gift that can insulate us from troubles in the Middle East,” said Rice. Rice championed the concept of a diverse America. “I don’t know when immigration became the enemy,” said Rice. “We are a country of immigrants and that is our great strength.”

Rice concentrated on the importance of education as well as global politics. “The U.S. has never had a narrative of agreement or a narrative of entitlement, but a narrative of opportunity,” said Rice. “Education has always been the key to that narrative. We can’t lead if we lose our narrative.” Rice closed out the day commending her experience as the 66th Secretary of State. “As Secretary of State, you get to go around the world and see what people like and what they don’t like about the U.S.,” said Rice. “I got to not only represent myself but this country to others.” Rice feels blessed for her many opportunities and the difference she’s made. “The only thing that matters in the long run is the impact that you’ve had on others and the impact they’ve had on you,” said Rice.

The Oracle

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stratford Says Adieu


Spartan teachers say goodbye to Stratford America Julie Abrahams

Nyree Doucette

Jan Tyson

Teaches: World History, European History, Pre-AP World History Years at Stratford: 10 Other Schools taught at: Plans for next year: Moving to Denver, CO

Teaches: photojournalism, journalism, yearbook, independent study Total years teaching: 9 Years at Stratford: 6 Other Schools taught at: University of Florida Plans for next year: Freelance editing and writing

Teaches: World History Total years teaching: 45 Years at Stratford: 34 Other Schools taught at: Mostly Spring Branch Jr. High Plans for next year: Cruising the Rhine River and railroad tour through the Alps

Benjamin Cuellar

Sarah Nuschler

Catherine Winegar

Teaches: English II, Analysis of Visual Media Total years teaching: 4 Years at Stratford: 4 Other Schools taught at: None Plans for next year: Masters program in Literature at the University of Houston

Teaches: Biology, Chemistry Total years teaching: 6 Other Schools taught at: None Plans for next year: Grad school for Masters in Counseling, moving to Dallas/Fort Worth area

Teaches: English IV Total years teaching: 10 Other Schools taught at: Ditmas Junior High Plans for next year: Work part time and spend time with my kids

Teresa Opela

Teresa Potina

Teaches: Social Studies, German Total years teaching: 7 Years at Stratford: 3 Other Schools taught at: Columbus High School, Willowridge Plans for next year: Being a homemaker

Teaches: English I Total years teaching: 4 Years at Stratford: 4 Plans for next year: Moving to Dallas to become a software developer

UIL Results

UIL Regional Science ResultsRespina Vaezian- 6th place Matt Lastrapes- 12th place Gordan Walker- 17th place (advanced to state) Holly Hendrickson- 18th place UIL Regional Computer Applications Contestant: Wu, Rosie Place Points: 1 Points: 15 Advance: state UIL Regional Debate ResultsFariha Jawed- 3rd place (advanced to state) UIL Regional Orchestra ResultsEach Orchestra earned the highest ratings in both the concert and sight reading portions. Judges were particularly impressed with the high level of technique as well as musical artistry.

Playhouse 2012-2013 Season The new shows for next years Playhouse seasons are: Fall 2012 Musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown Spring 2013 Musical Crazy for You Spring 2013 Play A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Thanks for the memories, Stratford teachers! We’ll miss you!

Houston-area School Rankings Recently, the Houston Chronicle published its rankings of schools in the Houston area. Based on TAKS-commended students in math and reading areas, average SAT scores, and TEA ratings, Stratford High School ranks 20th in the Houston area and 69th in the state of Texas. Memorial High School ranked 12th in the Houston area, pulling out as 35th in Texas. First place in the Houston area went to Debakey Health Professionals High School, which then scored as 3rd overall in Texas.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Oracle

Class of 2012 Valedictorians In order to become Valedictorian, these fourteen students made all A’s in all of their AP classes and never took an academic class. They finished the first semester of their senior year with a perfect 6.5 grade point average. Most of these students were also involved in many extracurricular activites ranging from football to theatre production. These students are textbook images of what a Spartan should represent. Congratulations, all your hard work paid off!

Mason Hurtte University of Texas at Austin

Lara Samarneh University of Texas at Austin

Matthew Hays University of Texas at Austin

Kyle Brickhouse University of Texas at Austin

Miles Hennington University of Texas at Austin

Katie Grooms University of Texas at Austin

David Anderson University of Texas at Austin

Kellie Barranco University of Virginia

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. -Dr. Suess **See full interviews with each of these students online at Photos by Katherine Kennedy and Will Klussman Graphics by Sarah Davis

Matt Milan University of Texas at Austin

Matt Lathrop Stanford University

Cameron Johnson University of Texas at Austin

Sarah Slack Colorado State University

Thomas Fuller Texas A&M University

Kamryn Richards Trinity University

The Oracle

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Hours of Operation: Tuesday- Friday: 9 AM- 7 PM Saturday: 9 AM- 6 PM




Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Oracle

Dare to Care

Find local volunteer opportunities that interest you Samantha Vargas Amy Brajenovich

A productive way to spend your free time over the summer in Houston is to volunteer and give back to the community. Volunteering gives you an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, help clean areas around town, and can provide the chance to meet people within and outside of the community. The most popular ways of volunteering generally consist of donating food to food banks, providing clothes for homeless shelters, and making quilts for animals. These tasks become so common that other charitable deeds often get over looked. Depending on your personal interests, there is a range of volunteer opportunities that may suit you. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to make a difference about some-

thing you care a lot about. Do you care about animals? Volunteer to help out at an animal shelter, or take care of a puppy or kitten needing adoption. If you have a strong religious faith, volunteer for your church, synagogue, mosque, or temple. “I’ve always had strong faith, so for the past 3 years, I have attended MDUMC’s work camp. I love going out there and doing what I can to help people in need,” sophomore Ellie Weaver explains. Volunteering in a setting that you have a passion for can make the work you do to serve your community an enjoyable way to pass time. For instance, if you were to consider yourself to be good with children, some volunteer opportunities that would interest you may be at The Children’s Museum of Houston. During your volunteer experience, you have the chance

to interact with visitors, as- ment homes. Most retirement sist staff in the action packed and nursing homes don’t exhibits or help the hard have a summer program working administrative staff. to volunteer for, but welAnother opportunity that come any visitors to simply would best suit you would spend time with the elderly. be to If you voluna r e teer at “green”, Te x a s Trees for ChilHouston d r e n’s “I’ve always had strong faith, so for the annually H o s - past 3 years, I have attended MDUMC’s hosts a p i t a l . work camp. I love going out there and tree sale Their doing what I can to help people in on Nav o l tional need.” unteer Green p r o V o l - Ellie Weaver, 10 gram unteer for teens allows 150 students Day. At the sale, there will be an opportunity to volunteer over 400 native trees available in a wide variety of areas to the public. Knowledgethroughout the hospital. If able volunteers will be asked you’re interested, you can ap- to come and help customers ply easily on their web site. select trees and provide inOther volunteer opportu- formation on planting and nities that would best suit nurturing them. Trees For teens good at communicating Houston is an organization would be at nursing or retire- dedicated to planting, pro-

Shaking Up Sherwood

Spartans spread their pride, make an impact on the community


• Students of Sherwood Elementary got a taste of high school life on Friday, May 11. A variety of groups representing Stratford encouraged the kids to do well in school.

tecting and promoting trees in the urban Houston forest. If you support the care of animals, The Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition is the place for you. It is a nonprofit organization that serves as an “emergency room” for Texas wildlife brought in by the public. People all over Houston bring in injured wildlife to get the help they need. Their summer program lets teens, with assistance, properly care for the animals. If you are interested in furthering your knowledge of caring for injured animals, then this is the place for you. So whatever your reason for volunteering, you’ll find that it offers you a truly unique experience. In today’s busy world, many people think that they don’t have time to volunteer. But short opportunities can be as short as a few days, or even just a few hours. They make a truly memo-

rable summer vacation. The more you look into volunteering locally, the more opportunities you will discover. Although volunteering is not required in any way, the act of setting aside your personal wants and devoting time to help other causes are what we should all strive to do. Selfless actions are what our society should be working on doing. With the dedication of just a few people, we, as a society can make a huge difference in providing a cleaner, safer, and friendlier environment for the generations now, and of the future. “Never before has man had such a great capacity to control his own environment, to end hunger, poverty and disease, to banish illiteracy and human misery. We have the power to make the best generation of mankind in the history of the world.” -President John F. Kennedy

The Oracle

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Countdown to...

MUSE Choose Your Fate

muse 7

8 Days... “ These four years went by so fast, I can’t believe we actually graduating!.”



Photos by: Jackie Mask and Caitlin Hilton

Bands Escape the Fate and Attack Attack! take the stage

Jackie Mask

THIS WORLD IS OURS -Friday, April 27th, hundreds of kids crowded

the House of Blues in downtown Houston to watch bands Secrets, MEST, The Word is Alive, and headliners Attack Attack! and Escape the Fate on “The World is Ours Tour”. All bands put on a spectacular perfomance, with Escape the Fate singing “The Flood” and “10 Miles Wide”, while co-headliners Attack Attack! performed “Stick Stickily”, one of their older classics. Photos by Jackie Mask

-Alyssa Sturgis, 12

13 Days... “Ahh finally, freedom!” -Maggie Coleman, 11


School is Out

15 Days... until

“The line up is amazing.” -Michael Aldridge, 12

Free Press Summer Fest

Sunny Summer Reads Don’t Breathe a Word Holly Cupala

We pass homeless people on the streets everyday, yet never before have we gotten such insight into how they ended up on the streets. Cupala’s second hit novel follows the story of a young teen who finds herself leaving her suburb life for one of udder danger. Lev Grossmen Leading Joy through a terrifying Joan Didon new world, Cupala demonHigh school senior Quientin Written by the well known strates that you cannot Coldwater refuses to believe in magauthor Joan Didon, The Year of find yourself unless ic until he is accepted to the Brakebills Magical Thinking takes any reader you lose yourAcademy of magic in up state New York. self first. on a heart felt journey through Didon’s

The Year of Magical Thinking

hardest year of her life. With the sudden death of her husband and daughters frequent visits to the ICU, Didon retells personal memories that will leave you speechless. This struggling journey is not only inspirational but truly remarkable. Story by Kali Venable

The Magicians

Enrolled, he finds himself in a grown up fantasy unlike anything he could have ever imagined. This novel will leave any boy or girl speeches at the extensive imagination and colorful world illustrated through Grossmen’s writing. Photo by Jackie Mask

The Oracle

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Mango Mousse * Mostachon * Almond Delight * Eclairs * Strawberry Mousse* Lattes

We also do Graduation Cakes! 14522 Memorial Dr. Houston, TX 77079 (281) 741-9161

Mango Mousse * Mostachon * Almond Delight * Eclairs * Strawberry Mousse* Lattes

Lemon Bars * Cheesecake * Cupcakes * Tiramisu * Coffee * Croissants

Lemon Bars * Cheesecake * Cupcakes * Tiramisu * Coffee * Croissants

Summer reading is 15% off for all students




Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Oracle

Lydia Sweet

Avery Falick



Paige Tormey

Odd Vermilion Club

It’s impossible not to smile while you listen to this song. It is the sound of pure happiness.

This song is so cheerful and unique. Vermilion Club basically made summer time in song form.

This song manages to come across as upbeat and cheery without being cheesy.

Vermilion Club embodies the feeling of joy in this quirky song.

A Little More Homework 13 The Musical

Is this song supposed to be profound? It comes off as cheesy and overdone.

As part of a musical with only under 16 year olds, this song is basically perfection.

I can see how this might have appeal to certain people, but this song really doesn’t do much for me.

It’s an impressive song, considering the age of the singers. I would actually like to see this musical.

Are You Still in Vallda? jj n° 2

Though the band name is pretentious, they manage to write a very relatable song.

The combination of soothing vocals and lyrics make this song a very nice listen.

jj n° 2 has taken the standard “mid-album acoustic bittersweet love ballad” and perfected it.

This song is simple and honest, so nearly anyone should like it.

After listening to this song, I quickly forgot it. There is nothing about this song that makes it memorable.

This song is relaxing and pleasant, though there isn’t anything super special about it.

Enjoyable while it lasts, but the specifics of the song are somewhat forgettable.

It’s a nice collaboration of different kinds of music, along with some enjoyable whistling.

Fiery Crash Andrew Bird

The Oracle

Thursday, May 17, 2012

From Your

Principals Dear Spartan Class of 2012: The past four years have been absolutely amazing; the time has flown by. I have so enjoyed getting to know all of you and working as your Principal. I will always cherish our memories, whether our experiences were positive or not, and am honored our paths have crossed. My hope is I have somehow made a positive impact on your life; please know our experiences together have made a great impact on mine. Most of you I know by name and for those of you I do not, I regret that and apologize. I’ve always said my door is open and my hope is you have taken it to heart and come to me when you were in need or just to say hello. Please know the door will not be closing once you walk the graduation stage, there is always a welcome mat for all of you. You are about to embark on your adult life, and whatever path you choose whether it is college, armed services or a career, I wish you the best of luck. Stratford will serve as a great base for which you will be prepared to take on any challenge, no matter the size. Reach for your dreams every day, and remember not to waste your time. It is life’s most precious commodity and one can never recapture time wasted. Wishing you a life time filled with health, wealth, happiness and continued education.

Graphic by Sarah Davis

senior 11

Class of 2012. As you prepare to leave the halls of SHS and move on to the next phase of your life, I would like to share a few observations with you. First, and most importantly, I hope you have had an experience while at SHS that will allow you to look back and feel good about the time you have spent here. I know the academic expectations placed on you have been tough at times, but I make no apologies for our teachers keeping the bar high for you and expecting the best from you. Believe me; whatever you do next, the education you have received will serve you well. Next, I hope that the experiences you have had outside the classroom setting have made you feel good about yourself and the unique talents you possess. Whether you were on an athletic team, a member of Fine Arts or a member of another organization or club – I hope you enjoyed the opportunity to share your talents and interests with your classmates and school. Additionally, I hope your interactions with our staff – counselors and principals, teachers and support staff and custodial and food service personnel were positive and left you with the feeling that everyone at SHS is here to help young people realize their full potential. Finally, I hope your time here has instilled in you a sense of pride in who you are and where you go to school. We have had some fun this year and got to celebrate some major accomplishments. I hope when you view the lip dub, it fills you with pride as others from around the world shared with me how much they would like to attend our school. Our school-wide celebration for a State Swimming Championship was a special moment in Spartan history and the senior class was a big part of that success. Our continued success in academics, Fine Arts and athletics has rested squarely with the senior class and you have set the expectation high for the classes to follow you. Wherever you go and whatever you do, the entire staff at SHS wish you continued success and a feeling of Spartan Pride that will never die. As you head off to that next phase of your life, please let us know how you are doing and that we will always have a special place in our hearts for the Stratford High School Graduating Class of 2012. Have a great life Spartans! Mr. Juntti

With utmost sincerity, Kathy L. Steen Graphic by Kelsey Hunter



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oh!ThePlaces You’ll Go

Texas Tech University Chris Arcy-Music Rachael Brennan-Communications Javier Cuevas-Mechanical Engineering Tyler Denney-Engineering Kristina Duskin-Business Connor Flanagan-Business Administration Garrett Graham-Energy Commerce Kelsey Hanna-Hospitality Management Evan Hayes-Engineering Freddie Jordan-Petroleum Engineering Emily LaBaume-Communications Ari Matt-Pre-Med Arnold Mganga-Engineering Zach Pierce-Agriculture Business Michele Poretsky-Energy Commerce Susan Reed-Undecided Graham Sale-Business Taylor Setterlund-Public Relations Ryan Smith-Engineering Don Szumski-Health Sciences Cassie Turzillo-Physical Therapy Sam Waldorf- Business Blake Warner-Business

University of North Texas

Linden Lanier-Music Bobby Nash-Film Victor Silva-Music Kim Stirl-Music Education Katie Weaver-Business

University of Texas at Dallas

Texas Christian University

SooYun Bang-Biology Andrew Kelly-Arts and Technology Kirstyn Smith-Undecided

Other Texas Angelina College/Lufkin: Dejsha Silas-Undecided Art Institute/Austin: Musette Hull-Culinary Management Austin Community College/Austin: Cullen SmithBusiness, Griffin Swank-Audio Engineering Concordia Texas University/Austin: Haydon CouchBusiness, Thomas Scaff-Business Dallas Baptist University/Dallas: Laurel LampasasChristian Studies and Counseling Horne Tech School/Houston: David Leudo-AutoCAD Lone Star College/Cypress: Denzel Lucero-Science, Maria Munoz-Undecided, Ilse Ramos-Undecided Media Tech/Houston: Sung Yoo-Sound Engineering Our Lady of the Lake/San Antonio: Rihana DevanyEducation Paul Mitchell/Houston: Justice Jones-Cosmetology, Kendrica Banks-Cosmetology Prairie View A&M/Prairie View: Xavier MillironsArchitecture, Mercedes Young-Nursing

Baylor University

Connor GreenUndecided Sarah Hendrickson-Pre-Med Mairead Leyendecker-Undecided Michael MacCrory-Secondary Education Nicole QuintanaCommunications Ford Story-Marketing

Ben Burkholder-Undecided Justin Cobb-Wildlife Management Nico Guerra-Undecided Elva Guevara-Physical Therapy Aaron Martin-Industrial Engineering Michael Moore-Business Shelby Narro-Elementary Education Stacy Walker-Special Education

University of Texas at San Antonio Alex Eberly-Petroleum Engineering Kenneth Nouri-Biology Eduardo Sanchez-ArchitectureCourtney Venable- Nursing

Blinn Savannah King-Undecided Jordan Mays-Psychology Kyle Ragas-Undecided Sean Steiner-Business Ainsley Williams-General Studies

Sam Houston State Andrew Johnson-Agribusiness Justin Lopez-Forensics Thomas Mahoney-Management Elaheh Salahi-Law Katy Wilson-Musical Theatre

Houston Community College Sean Adamus-Cosmetology Ileana Batista-Psychology Britannia Cornelius-Undecided Fortunato de la PuenteEngineering Savannah Delgado-Child Development Ameer El-Ali-Mechanical Zora Lee Gray-Business Lucia Gulick-Creative Writing

Tayler Hannes-English Yusra Jabeen-Undecided Katteryne Polanco-Undecided Gustavo Portilla-Nursing Carlos Ramirez-Architecture Mary Ross-Engineering Allen Simpson-Law Enforcement Sandi Wynne-Undecided Jackie Zamarripa-Accounting Lila Zamarripa-Psychology


Texas A&M College Station Hannah Ashcroft-Business Hailey Bramhall-Accounting Hunter Chase-Business Connor Drysdale-Computer Science Alex Dubois-Physics Amy Finkelstein-Business Thomas Fuller-Chemical Engineering Maria Garcia-Marine Biology Kirbie Gonzalez-Elementary Education Michael Herzberg-Business Ryan Hickman-Biomedical Sciences Tomas Hirsch-Mechanical Engineering Brandon Hoffman-Engineering Justin Ivins-Business Kyle Jackson-Mechanical Engineering Taylor Jackson-Secondary Education Brooke Joiner-General Studies Cullin Johnson-Engineering Tony Killough-Business Andrew Kim-Biomedical Science

Adriana Garcia-Undecided Anayeli Garcia-Undecided Samantha Hinojosa-Medical Chris Ryckman-Business Thu Thi-Medical

Daniel Lee-Biology Thomas Maranuk-Petroleum Engineering Emma McRae-General Studies Trey Miller-Business Leah Nash-Architecture Kristin Peters-Physiology Hannah Price-Biology Emma Ross-Telecommunications Jennifer Ryan-Business Caroline Schreiber-Business Marshall Settegast-Environmental Geosciences Brian Skulski-Business Madyson Smith-Communications Henry Sturm-English Eleanor Thomas-Undecided Aggie Tutia-Anthropology Rachel West-Biomedical Science

Rice University/Houston: Sandra Garcia-Music Composition San Jacinto Community College/Houston: Torrey Rodriguez-Communication and Media Southern Methodist University/Dallas: Arthur Justice-Forensic Science, Jarvis Pruitt-Undecided St. Edward’s University/Austin: Katie Canales-Undecided, Natalie Hays-Education St. Thomas University/Houston: Natalie RamirezMedicine Stephen F. Austin State University/Nacogdoches: Lesli Evans-Agriculture Education, Victoria Miller-International Business, Amanda Villasenor-Elementary Education Texas A&M/Corpus Christi: Tierra Mayes-Counseling Texas A&M/Galveston: Clay Harger-Undecided Trinity University/San Antonio: Sam Bennack-Undecided, Gretchen Schneider-Biochemistry Tyler Junior College/Tyler: Courtney FernandezNursing

University of Texas at Austin

Kodi Agbasi-Biomedical Engineering Hanna Healy-Marketing Hanna Kuhn-Child & Family Studies Hayley Nelson-Education Mavery Ramirez-Business Marketing Brooke Wallace-Nursing

Texas State

* Visit thespartanoracle.blogspot. com to see a full interview with these students about what they are studying and how they are preparing for college.

The Oracle

Katherine Aitken-Undecided Michael Aldridge-Engineering David Anderson-Mechanical Engineering Hannah Aven-Education Ellen Barth- Corporate Communications Max Bredthauer-Business Kyle Brickhouse-Business Susan Burrows-Undecided Frances DannenbrinkCorporate Communications Caroline Dodd-Communications William Duffy-Business Valerie Finstad-General Studies Katie Grooms-Business Kelsey Harmon-Business Jacqueline HassellBusiness Jennifer Hassell-Business Matthew Hays-Undecided Miles Hennington-Civil Engineering Mason Hurtte-Mechanical Engineering Alyssa Johnson-Business Cameron Johnson-Undecided Emily Johnson-Biology Becca Jones-Business Cristen Jonesi-Business

Amy Jordan-Photojournalism Shannon Kelley-Undergraduate Studies Marina Khalid-Business Mark Leader-Aerospace Engineering Leah LechtenbergerVisual Arts Matt Lien-Undergraduate Studies Matthew Milan-Mechanical Engineering Laura Nazarenus-Nutrition Kyoung Won Oe-Chemistry Patrick O’Keefe-Petroleum Engineering Daniel Pugliano-Business Anjelica Rivas-Undecided Clarissa Rodriguez-Mathematics Heather Rovner-Environmental Sciences Lara Samarneh-Undecided Blake Schreiber-Business Ammarah Tariq-Neurobiology Respina Vaezian-Chemical Engineering Preston Wall-Mechanical Engineering Ashley Walter-English

University of Houston Zehra Abbas-Undecided Sylvester Afabor-Undecided Sarah Archer-Nursing Sullivan Barnes-Business Administration James Broussard-Hotel and Restaurant Management Jose Castellanos-Civil Engineering John Ducros-Business Sherry Elias-Biology Glenn Frutiz-Undecided Isiah Glover-Accounting Giovanni Gomez-Undecided Samantha Granda-Engineering Julia Green-Digital Media John Guzman-Petroleum Engineering Amirali Haji Taheri-Engineering Rachel Horn-Undecided

Wajiha Jawed-Psychology Robin Katyayani-Science Corey Kruseman-Undecided Matthew Lee-Engineering Ricky Maa-Psychology Adam Massoud-Undecided Leina Abu Mustafa-Dermatology Kathy Oh-Engineering Katherine Perez- Chemical Engineering Caelyn Pho-Biology Cristian Rodriguez-Nursing John Rogers-History Tyson Schell-Business Keshia Smith-Early Childhood Education Syed Shah-Civil Engineering Vincent Wobig-Undecided

The Oracle

Thursday, May 17, 2012



University of Oklahoma Christie Alexander-Mechanical Engin. Katelyn Balch-Marketing Alex Broadley-Business Cole Edwards-Finance Everette Favor-Petroleum Engineering John Fickert-Petroleum Engineering Jordan Gugenheim-Accounting Meredith Hohl-Biochemistry Lexie Jenkins-Nursing Darah Lueck-Global Studies Robert Pennington-Petroleum Engin. Vanessa Sproull-Photography Sarah Katherine Trimble-Elementary Education Courtney Venable-Pre-Nursing

University of Arkansas

Other Oklahoma

Elise Franke-Undecided Taylor Jones-Anatomy

Oklahoma Baptist: Haley Harris- GraphicArt Oklahoma State/Still Water: Jonathan BighamBusiness

Georgia Tennessee Belmont University/Nashville: Morgan Conder-Theatre Performance Will Lynde-Music Business Sean McDermott-Music Business Southwest Community College/Memphis: Johnathan Robertson-Culinary Arts

Clark Atlanta University/Atlanta: Tywaugn Rice-Communications Georgia Tech/Atlanta: Hayden Barnett-Business Administration Mercer University/Macon: Will Young-Psychology SCAD/Savannah: Valeria Chelala-Undecided

Louisiana State University Andy Brown-Undecided Genesis Carvajal-Pre-Med Story Clements-Education Andrew D’Armond-Sports Administration Meghan Heindel-Communications Isai Martinez-Chemical Engineering Rebekah Parker-Communications


University of Mississippi

Other Louisiana McNeese State University/Lake Charles: Heather Hummel-Kinesiology

Blakeley Graham-Communications Lindsey Lee-Journalism Michael Oddo-Undecided Anthony Osso-Undecided Emily Ranger-Business Management

Graphics by Sarah Davis and Kelsey Hunter

Florida State University/Tallahassee: Jacob Soto-History Brooke Wiggins-Meteorology Miami Dade Community College/Miami: Ericka Martinez-Pre-Law Ringling College of Art and Design/Sarasota: Susie Zhang-Computer Animation University of Miami/Miami: Leslie Baker-Marine Biology




The Oracle

Thursday, May 17, 2012


New York


Fashion Institute of Technology/New York City: Jay Kim-Fashion Design

University of Virginia/Charlottesville: Kellie Barranco-Nursing, Kelvin Rainey-Undecided

You’ll Go

North Carolina Elon University/Elon: Avery Falick- Strategic Communications Queens University/Charlotte: McKenzie Martin-Business University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill: Austin Stephens-Finance Wake Forest University/Winston-Salem: Madeline Stone-History

Arizona Northern Arizona University/Flagstaff: Madeleine Sophie GrahamBusiness and Music University of Arizona/Tucson: Stephanie Slaughter-Psychology, Hayley Gibler-Psychology Arizona State University/Tempe: Danielle Wesselink-Supply Chain Management, Srdan Vujnovic-Business Arizona Christian University/Phoenix: Kristofer Wolf-Undecided

Maryland Institute of Art Kelsey Hunter-Illustration Hyung-Ihn Myung-Illustration

California Santa Fe University/Santa Fe: Joe Johns San Diego City College/San Diego: Ashley Kaupert-Undecided Brooks Institute/Ventura: Kelly Kmiecik-Film Stanford University/Palo Alto: Matt Lathrop-Undecided University of Southern California/Los Angeles: Kingsley Nyaosi-Communications and Design San Diego State/San Diego: Torey Shanklin-Architecture

Other Countries Universidad Regiomontera/Monterrey, Mexico: Diana Marmolejo-Psychology Japan Business: Kento Morito Acadia University: Jamie Purvis- Nutrition

Other U.S. Alabama

University of Alabama/Birmingham: Jeremiah Briscoe- Undecided University of Alabama/Tuscaloosa: Victoria Beale- Dance

Cromartie School/Osen, Deleware: John HopesPlant Science University of Michigan/AnnArbor, Michigan: Breyeand Jelks- Undecided University of St. Mary/Levenworth, Kansas: Anthony Payton-Information Tech Carnegie Mellon University/Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Aditya Dargan- Business/Computer Science Marywood University/Scranton, Pennsylvania: Miriam Orr- Art Therapy Lafayette College/Easton, Pennsylvania: Rob GahnEconomics

Colorado Colorado College/Colorado Springs: Rebekah AdairUndecided University of Colorado/Colorado Springs: Peter RadeckiEngineering Colorado State University/Fort Collins: Sarah Slack-Biomedical Sciences Colorado School of Mines/Golden: Kathryn Wood-Petroleum Engineering

Massachusetts Brandeis University/Waltham: Moira Applebaum-Undecided Boston University/Boston: Jessica Newman-Public Relations Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Boston: Manny Mejia-Computer Science and Physics

Work Estuardo Vasquez

South Carolina University of South Carolina/Columbia: John Martinez-Hospitality Management Anderson University/Anderson: Haylee Ross-Interior Design

United States Military Navy-Christian Benjamin Marines-Evan White, Brian Hallenback

Missouri Lincoln University/Jefferson City: Dontrell Britton-Environmental Science University of Missouri/Columbia: Andy Humphrey-Broadcast Journalism, Michael Lipnick-Journalism, Annie Rice-Journalism, Alyssa Sturgis-Strategic Communications,

Indiana Purdue University/West Lafayette: Ben Bogaert-Business Indiana University/Bloomington: Riley Bradshaw-Finance, Margaret CrawfordBusiness University of Notre Dame/South Bend: Matthew Greene-Business Management

The Oracle


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Annie Rice


Co-Editor-in-chief 2011-2012

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” -Vincent Van Gogh


he moment has finally arrived: my final article for this paper. As anyone who has been within a five mile radius around me knows that this year has been bittersweet in every sense of the word. First off, thank you to every teacher that I have encountered in the four years that I have been at this school. Specifically thank you to Mrs. Cummons, Mrs. Driscoll, Mrs. Prudhomme, Mr. Marquez, Mr. Radler, Mrs. Nuschler, and Mrs. Abrahams. There is not enough time in the world to describe how much I enjoyed your classes and personalities. Thank you for all that you do, it is greatly appreciated. Secondly, I would like to thank my family. To my mom, thank you for all the years of driving me to wherever it was needed, for listening to all of my high school problems, and letting me be the zany, creative person that I am today. To my sister, I am glad that we got a year of school together. Don’t cry, I will be home soon. Finally, a thank you to my Poppa, Neil Hurd, for giving me my first camera and sparking so much more than anyone ever expected. Thank you to Blue Willow Bookshop for being so flexible with my work schedule. I have enjoyed working there for the past two and a half years and can not wait to continue working


ince 7th grade, I’ve had a penpal named Sophie. She currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia and goes to the University of British Columbia. Every day since the 9th grade, I’ve emailed her about my first day of school. For the past 30 minutes I’ve combed through my email and I’m tickled at what I’ve found:

Freshman Year

• “This morning I got dropped off at the bus stop and I chatted for awhile with Nice Girl Named Linda, who has curly hair and is a sophomore. She talked about the bus and how fun school is.” • “Journalism was boringish.” • “I ran towards the bus because I thought it would leave without me. It didn’t leave for another 10 minutes. I felt like an idiot.”

Sophomore Year

• “My AP World History teacher is really hardcore.” • “My English teacher seems strict.” • “I CAN’T SING OR DANCE SO WHY DID THEY PUT ME IN ADVANCED THEATRE?” • “Hailey and I were looking through the New Moon Movie Guide and Ms. Chelala comes over and goes, ‘Is that Shark Boy?’” • “Kaela brought her boyfriend onto the bus today so we took the opportunity to make fun of her as much as possible.”

Junior Year

• “There is a Canadian girl who sits in front of me in Chemistry named Jamie.” • “CREATIVE WRITING IS THE BEST CLASS IN THE HISTORY OF FOREVER.” • “My Algebra II teacher seems cool and fun and nice.” • “My schedule was like, YOU HAVE HOLMES FOR THEATRE 2 FIFTH PERIOD! And I was like WOOOO!”

Senior Year

• “Today I felt like the Socially Awkward Penguin for no apparent reason.” I don’t even remember the first day of senior year or why I felt like the Socially Awkward Penguin, but I remember everything else. I remember how Linda Trujano reached out to me on the first day of school, and how proud I was when she got into Harvard. I remember how sweaty, yet entertaining the bus was. I remember being intimidated by Ms. Abrahams, Ms. Driscoll, and Ms. Duke, but then growing to love them and the subjects they taught. I actually don’t remember sophomore Spartan Time at all, but I do remember having more classes with Hailey than anyone else during my Stratford career.

Ms. Chelala, I can’t wait to meet ChaCha. Creative Writing is still the best class I’ve taken at Stratford, and everyone should sign up for it or switch into it as soon as possible (thank you for being such an encouragement, Mr. Nakadate). I’m still enjoying Mr. Marquez’s class, even though math is not my strong suit. I remember being terrified about theatre at first, but I’ve grown to love it as a whole (Mr. Holmes and Cece, please continue to guide Caroline Stone because I love her like Katniss loves Prim and maybe even more than that). Jamie continues to be lovely and Canadian. Kaela, please continue to be awesome. And despite feeling awkward on the first day, I’ve really enjoyed senior year, from Mrs. Winegar’s English class to Ms. Abrahams’s AP Euro class to Coach Wigginton’s Government class (thank you for taking care of your children). And really? All I had to say about Journalism on the first day was, “Journalism was boringish”? Clearly I quickly grew to love it and Mrs. Cummons. When those surveys ask me if I feel safe at school, I think of the newspaper room. This place, these couches, and these computers are home. I feel like I should be sad or a touch more nostalgic. But looking back on all of this, even with

there in the future. Lastly thank you to all of my friends that have been with me for the past four years. Thank you for being there whenever I needed you, it has meant a great deal and I would not be the same person today without you. We will all be together again soon. There is Facebook and Skype. To the new staff; I am so excited to see what you will create for this coming newspaper. It is a process, but the results are worth all the stress and frustration. Do not be afraid to be creative. To the underclassman; pursue whatever career that you will wake up every morning and have a purpose. I will be studying Journalism at the University of Missouri, and I am so excited to pursue what I love to do. Also, I have acquired some knowledge and tips to enjoying high school. First, join a club or organization. It is the fastest way to make friends and actually see what you want to do (or not) in the future. Second, the theatre bathrooms should be the only bathrooms you should go into. Third, actually do your homework, it acts as a cushion to your grade. Your semester average will thank you later. Also, finish applying to college before October. It can create benefits such as apply to housing earlier, like how I applied for housing for Mizzou. I have been honored to work with so many different minds, opinions, cultures, and creativity. I will always look about on these years and be proud to be a Spartan.

the knowledge of how awful and legitimately heartbreaking junior year was for me, I just keep giggling. You know how they say that you’ll laugh about it later? You will. And everything else will fall into place. I refuse to be sad that high school is over. Right now, I’m just happy that it happened. I keep telling my mom and dad to STOP CRYING because it’s JUST COLLEGE and I am A PHONE CALL AWAY. Caroline, dear Weewee, gets all of my old babysitting clients and my room, I suppose. In four months I’ll be at Wake Forest University, a proud Demon Deacon of the Class of 2016. So thank you, Stratford, for being such a wonderful stepping stone on the way to college. Thank you, Mr. Juntti and Ms. Steen, for being such awesome principals. Thank you, Ms. Borzik, for diligently writing all of my counselor recommendations. Thank you, Ms. Potina, for being the Dumbledore to our Dumbledore’s Army. Thank you, Mrs. Franklin, for Shattered Dreams. And thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you, Janice Cummons, for being a teacher, a mentor, and practically a mother to me for these past four years. I adore you. Godspeed, Samantha, Sara, and Caitlin. The Oracle is yours now. P.S. Shoutout to Mr. Evans and Ms. Panfili. I miss y’all.

WelcometoMaddieland Maddie Stone, Co-Editor-in-Chief

SPORTS Playing Away 16

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Oracle

Mckenzie Martin – Queens University: Volleyball Rob Gahn – Lafayette College: Swimming Thomas Scaff – Concordia College: Golf Haley Harris – Oklahoma Baptist: Volleyball Photo by Scott Jackson

Photo by Carlin Leale

Photo provided by Booster Club

Photo by Heather Hummel

Photo by Matt Lathrop

Hayden Barnett – Georgia Tech: Baseball Heather Hummel – McNeese State: Softball A.J. Justice – Southern Methodist: Football Photo provided by Jarvis Pruitt- Southern Methodist: Football Texas Spirit

Rihana Devany – Our Lady of The Lake: Soccer Jeremiah Briscoe – Alabama Birmingham: Football Dontrell Britton – Lincoln University: Football Everette Favor- University of Oklahoma: Pole Vault Shannon Kelley – University of Texas: Cheerleading Anthony Payton – University of St. Mary’: Football Kelvin Rainey – University of Virginia: Football

Photo by Matt Lathrop

The Oracle

Spring Time is Football Time

Thursday, May 17, 2012

SPRING CLEANING• As students prepare for final exams, the football team has been busy preparing for this year’s spring game taking place May 22nd at the practice fields. Spring practice is a time for teams to fine tune their starters while also developing a strategy on how to approach the upcoming season. All their hard work will be on display during the spring game as the team showcases their new starters and gives fans a sneak peak of what to expect in the upcoming season. Photo by Katherine Kennedy.

May 22- Spring Game @ Stratford Aug. 24- Cinco Ranch -Scrimmage @ Cinco Ranch Aug. 31 -Memorial High @ Tully 7:00 p.m. Sept. 7- Magnolia West @ Magnolia West 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14- Oak Ridge @ Tully 7:00 p.m. Sept. 28- Spring Woods @ Tully 7:00 p.m. Oct. 5- Tomball Memorial - Homecoming @ Tully

Oct. 11- Marshall @ Hall Stadium 7:00 p.m. Oct. 19- Northbrook @ Tully 7:00 p.m. Oct. 27- Willowridge High @ Hall 6:00 p.m. Nov. 3- Tomball @ Tully 4:00 p.m. Nov. 10- Ridge Point @ Mercer 1:00 p.m.

7:00 p.m.

A Year In Sports9 Staff Photos


Newton’s Law Alex Newton With the NFL draft behind us the 2012 season has officially begun. OTA’s are set to begin and training camp soon after that. The Texans obvious need going into the draft was a receiver yet their focus seemed to be replacing Mario and Demeco with the selection of defensive end Whitney Mercilus. Don’t expect the two receivers set to replace recently released Jacoby Jones, DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin, to have much of an impact this season. Posey missed the majority of last season because of the suspensions given to Ohio State and he was considered a reach in the third round. Martin has talent but height of 5’11 isn’t encouraging. Jacoby wasn’t great but holding him around for one more year while the rookies develop wouldn’t have hurt. Whitney Mercilus appears to have been a good pick. He has been called a one hit wonder because of his relatively irrelevant role in the Il-

linois defense during his first two seasons yet last year he broke out leading the nation in sacks. Mercilus appears pro ready and while he is no Mario Williams, he should do a good job filling in the void Williams left behind. The void left with Demeco Ryans departure was also an area of concern and the Texans pick-up of veteran linebacker Bradie James should help. James led the Cowboys defense in tackles for six consecutive seasons. The key to the teams success still remains the same a last year, Matt Schuab. He is a top ten quarterback and as long as Schuab stays healthy this team has a chance to go the distance. Schuab has already expressed that his foot is nearly fully healed and that he will be ready for training camp. As bad as the division is, and as easy as the Texans schedule is (fourth easiest in the league) getting that first round bye seems like a reasonable preseason goal.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Oracle

Colts Enjoying Their Luck Alex Newton

One year ago as Peyton Manning was having his neck operated on his plans for the upcoming season were similar to what they have always been, win at least ten games and make a run for the Super Bowl. As we all know that did not happen and now Manning is a Bronco and Andrew Luck is a Colt . It is little surprise that Stratford alum Andrew Luck was selected as the first overall pick in Aprils draft. It is likely that had Luck left Stanford last year he still would have been the first overall pick, yet his decision to stay parallels that of his predecessor, Peyton Manning After earning the Varsity quarterback position at Stratford as only a sophomore Luck was undoubtedly a special talent. He was able to pass for 7,139 yards with 53 touchdown

passes and not to forget rush- a ranking of the top 150 high Gabbert. fensively, most notably their ing for a modest 2,085 yards. school recruits in the nation. It will not be easy for An- receiving core and offensive It must have been destiny Notable quarterbacks who drew as he makes his transi- line, making the quarterbacks for Luck to job much become a more difficult. Colt considerYet Lucks time ing the many with Stanford things that playing in a had to happro system pen, and did, should greatly to get him benefit him. there. The Colts are Only two indeed a reother Spartans building team have joined with a young the elite ranks quar terb ack of the NFL. and wont be Those being contending Craig James for the divifrom SMU sion for a least and David a few more Klingler from years thus Houston. shifting the Yet neither of power of the the two were AFC South to selected as the STRATFORD AMERICA SENDS LUCK• Several students pose showing off a sign they painted which our beloved number one was emailed to Andrew Luck shortly before being selected number one during the NFL draft. Photo by Oracle Texans. overall pick as Staff. Caption by Alex Newton. Luck wont Luck was. make his reA class of 2008 grad Luck placed ahead of Luck were tion into the NFL. turn to Houston until Deplaced 61st on ESPNU 150, Terrelle Pryor and Blaine The Colts are lacking of- cember 16th at Reliant, a sta-

Baseball Pins Seniors Goodbye CLOSING


(LEFT) The Spartan Baseball team ended there season with a hard fought game against Brenham and a senior pinning ceremony. The team lost the game but got to end the season on a good notes, sharing memories with teammates and family. All photos by Allison Rice.

dium he has played in during his time with Stratford. It may become another long season for Colts fans yet the addition of Andrew Luck will surely lead to a more successful result than last years two win season. Andrew Luck has had scouts drooling ever since he stepped foot at Stanford and they say he is the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning himself. Both Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will be compared to each other throughout their career just as Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf were compared with each other for many years. RGIII also happens to be a Texas high school product. His imprint of Stratford will forever be felt as students expressed when they painted a sign saying “Stratford America loves our Luck” which was emailed to him and is now hanging in the school cafeteria.

The Rundown The Rundown A play-by-play of Stratford athletes A play-by-play of Stratford athletes


Hennington pins his family member after the game against Brenham. Hennington is also an Eagle Scout and Valedictorian who will be attending the University of Texas at Austin.

Travis Hanes

Position: Quarterback Favorite College Team: Arkansas Razorbacks Years Playing: 12 Lucky Number: 5 Favorite Football Player: Tim Tebow Favorite TV Show: Feherty Favorite Quote: “See HIS face, feel His presence, trust His love.“ Photo by: Katherine Kennedy

Camila Castaneda SHS Mascot 2012-2013 Favorite Teacher: Mrs. Watson Bet TV Show: Greys Anatomy Favorite Restaurant: Cheesecake Factory Favorite Song: “Call Me Maybe“ Celebrity Crush: Ryan Reynolds Favorite Color: Turquoise Favorite Movie: Shes The Man

Photo by: Leigh Shaver

The Oracle

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Where Have Our Summers Gone?

The Oracle Staff shares their opinion on summer vacation Staff Editorial

Ever since we were little, summer has been the highlight of everyone’s year. For three seemingly endless months, school doors are sealed shut and children are free to roam as they please. However, over the last few years, summer has become increasingly absent of the qualities it once possessed. Students who used to be overjoyed at having no homework over the summer break now find themselves bombarded with work in order to keep up with the modern day pressure of college admissions. SAT and ACT preparation classes and tutoring have become popular during the summer to prepare students

for the hard tests ahead. Some parents require their kids to take extra online courses over the break in order to have more credits for college. This means attending a regular school day for three entire weeks just to gain one more credit. Many are also attending educational camps or workshops to add to their resumes. Organizations such as National Honor Society are requiring large amounts of volunteer hours to be completed over the summer. Although these school related activities take up a lot of time, the real summer occupation for many teens is jobs and internships. The demand and competition has drastically risen for

jobs among high school students. Students tight on money for outings, gas and other materialistic desires have taken on full time jobs over their summer break and spend many hours working. The Oracle staff believes that summer should be a time to spend doing the things you love, not activities you are forced or pressured to do. Teenagers already spend so much of their year stressed out about school, therefore summer should not have be stressful. Unfortunately, society has shaped this cherished break into another three stressful months for students. Summer is supposed to be about being with your family

and your friends and pursuing the things you love to do, for some of us this is no longer possible. We believe that as high school students, the need to have a period of time where you can be stress free is vital. As a teenager, you can explore all of the activities you love yet not be expected to pay house bills or insurance. We believe that students should not be forced to occupy their time during the summer with all work and no play. Instead, enjoy these last few years of having a summer break. After high school and college, summer will be just another season of the year. Enjoy the three months of freedom while you have them.


Let Your Voice Be Heard. Send letters to the editor to

Room 120

Letters must be signed.

Tough Love Gets Tougher Crowded Cafeteria

Troubled students require comfort Esther Jeon

Lately, it seems that confessing troubles to people is no easy deed. Tough love is a concept that works on certain people- the key word of this sentence being certain. When another friend is drowning in bouts of stress and sadness, sometimes tough love isn’t the best road to take. Sometimes, the best thing to do for a friend is to indulge her or him. But it certainly sounds easier than it really is. There are people who don’t or can’t seem to understand this: the last thing anyone would ever want to hear when in the depths of despair would be supposedly comforting condolences along the lines of, “There are kids in third-world countries who don’t have the luxury to suffer from the things you get

Oracle Staff

to suffer,” or something even like, “You should be happy with what you have.” It is a terrible way to comfort someone, but it doesn’t invalidate the truth. Yes, it’s true, a person should not complain about having to study for AP exam in comparison to those who suffer. A person should not complain about feeling melancholy when there are those who starve. A person should not complain about anything like that when there really are people who don’t have the luxury of being able to worry about things like exams and self-actualization. There are millions of people who should be grateful because of the things they have, but that gives no good reason to belittle the troubles a person experiences anyway. Can’t a person be grateful for the things he or she has and

still feel sad or mad? Because honestly, if anyone spent the rest of his or her life not being able to feel righteously sad because there are others in the world who have to suffer things far worse, how could anyone live? If someone wants to introduce the concept of tough love to his or her friend as a way to comfort, it is his or her ball to dance. As belittling a person’s problems and comparing them to far more terrifying problems? That is most certainly not the way to deal with anything. No matter how silly or awful or ridiculously spoiled people’s problems might seem, those are their problems centered around their lives and the events that they have to deal with. So take a bit of that into account next time a friend is seeking comfort and solace.

New renovations spark excitement Michelle Evans

the lunch lines. Every day, the award for preventing as little There is a particular area of lunch line area is crowded people to pass as possible, the school that has tons of with people. It is not only sur- these people would win. Even if they are waiting to students cramped into one rounded by people who are get lunch and are compact area: just mistaken for the lunch line bystanders, they area. should actually be Every day the in line. bell rings releasHopefully the ing students to new design of the lunch, whether cafeteria allows for it’s A or B, and more room. Lunch they pile into the would be so much cafeteria. Some easier if students enter the cafdid not have to yell eteria with their and stampede just pre-made lunchto get in line. es in hand and At first, the renother students venture to the MESS OF STUDENTS • (above) A crowd of students wait for ovations of the lunch and converse with friends as B lunch starts. Caption by Mi- cafeteria seemed lunch line. chelle Evans Photo by Aldo Martinez. foreign and unIt seems some welcome. Now, students are unaware of where to go. Perhaps no one waiting for food. Students de- the idea of a new renovation has told them that if you want cide it is a good idea to stand sounds efficient. Perhaps to socialize with your friends, there and talk to their friends now people can wait for their go find a table. There is not a when they aren’t even waiting lunch with peace and ease. table sitting in the middle of to get lunch. If there were an

Advisor Janice Cummons Editors-in-Chief Annie Rice, Maddie Stone, Avery Falick Associate Editor Rachael Brennan News Editors Samantha Vargas, Layla Shahhosseini, Sara Boyle News Reporters Chandler Callahan, Esther Jeon, Samantha Stazo, Ara Luz Muse Editors Caitlin Hilton, Hannah Price, Paige Tormey Muse Reporters Kaela Beasley, Janelle Blackwood Sports Editors Samantha Hicks, Valeria Chelala, Leslie Bustamante Sports Reporters Alex Newton, Elaine Parizot, Elyse Stieber Opinions Editors Michelle Evans, Lydia Sweet Opinions Reporters Andres Acosta, Caroline Suchman, Jackie Velarde Photo Editors Katie Gregory, Amy Jordan, Mary Elizabeth Schnake Photographers Ariyan Almassi, Maddie Byers, Caroline Demeris, Faith Figueroa, Jackie Mask, Jacob Pennington, Logan Tinkler, Samantha Vanston, Amy Brajenovich Copy Editors Ammarah Tariq, Marina Khalid Staff Artist Kelsey Hunter Design Editors Isabel Deakins, Harrison Vaporciyan Design Staff Gil Sanchez, Kali Venable Ads Editors Leslie Baker, Caroline Schrieber, Katy Wilson Ads Staff Stephanie Slaughter, Mary Margaret Weaver, Blake Schreiber

OPINIONS Never Want To Leave

On And Off, Up and Down

Kaela Beasley

Aldo Martinez


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summer camp impacts many

Giving up time in many student’s summer calendars is a hard thing to ask for, especially considering summer school, jobs, and time to just plain relax. Not many students choose to go and live away from their homes, family, and friends for long periods at a time at a summer camp. Not only are summer camps time consuming, but certain summer camps cost lots of money, making many ask, why even go to camp? Yes, going away for weeks at a time, leaving behind family, friends, and the everyday grind can be difficult. When campers are gone for long periods of time, they miss out on events, TV shows, popular music, and what their friends and families have been doing while they were away. However, camp has the ability to change the lives of everyone who walks through its gates. “Camp has given me a foundation in my faith from a very young age and because of this I have found confidence in

myself that has gotten me through everything,” said senior Hannah Kuhn, who has gone to Camp Cho-Yeh in Livingston, Texas for 11 summers. The friends and bonds that many have made at camp are unbreakable. Summer after summer, many repeat the same session, term, or time

The friends and bonds that many have made at camp are unbreakable. they go to camp to see these friends. “I’m still close with a lot of my camp friends, especially my counselors this past year. We text and Skype occasionally, and the last two years, two different cabins of mine have had reunions outside of camp,” said freshman Emily Fishman, who attended Camp Cho-Yeh for eight summers. Reunions and get-togethers are common among campers

and even counselors. Many counselors of summer camps grow close with their coworkers and continue to see them after camp has ended. Many campers enjoy the various activities that are put on at camp. Activities like blobbing, jumping pillows, water activities like wake boarding, and DVD production are among the few that many enjoy. “My favorite camp memory is whenever I get to spend my birthday at camp, because it’s always a lot of fun,” said senior Maggie McClurkin. The friends and memories I have made through going to camp will last me a life time. Camp changed my heart along with many of the people who shared those experiences with me. Although many have doubts and preconceptions about summer camp, the impact it makes on campers is tremendous. Whether it’s from friends, activities, or just a love of the atmosphere, at camp there is a place for everyone.

The Oracle

Relationships are losing depth and meaning Society’s version of a “healthy relationship” is typically the ability to stand each other’s flaws. Other times it’s just the way they deal with situations. Recently, teens have made it a habit to break up and then resume their relationship within weeks. In some relationships, there is the one person who “loves” you one day and leaves you the next. They can’t decide if they want to commit to a relationship, so they constantly expect the relationship to work on their own timing. This causes a relationship where one person comes and goes as they please, allowing their partner to be a door mat. This isn’t worth the time. Wasting time on one person and waiting for them to come back might actually restrain teens from meeting new people that possibly have corresponding thoughts to what a relationship means. Relationships should be built on trust

Common Sense Isn’t Common

and communication, not lies and texting. It could be that teens are scared to risk their social reputation by being single. There is so much time to date in the future, high school should not be a time to date as many people as you can. Relationships should not lose their value and meaning because of the couples that break-up after a month. “[Relationships] are unhealthy and they cause unnecessary stress especially for teens that are in high school. Either you like the person and stay with them or you just leave them because you don’t,” says sophomore Karla Gonzales. The relationship’s emotional roller coaster really depends on how the couple reacts to an upsetting situation. There is the jealous type of girlfriend (or boyfriend) that could easily overreact to a text from another person. Jealous relationships do not always start that way. There

could be signs of future jealousy that could lead to more risky situations. Some say that they are in love and are used to dealing with these type of situations, but are the partner’s feelings mutual? If that was the case then typical teen relationships wouldn’t be on and off like they are now. It takes two people to run a steady relationship, meaning that the couple must put in their whole effort to make the relationship work. We are teens not adults, but if you don’t feel the same for your partner or your only in it for your social status then it might be time to call it quits. The whole charade might turn into something hectic and one out of the two will end up looking like a fool. Some relationships might be happy while others go up and down. A relationship without a commitment from both sides is hardly a relationship at all. Everyone has a choice to do and decide what is best for them as a person.

This lack of common sense is nothing new: ever since the first caveman managed to light himself on fire, people have been doing stupid things. The key difference is that nowadays, we have the technology and infrastructure necessary to identify these people and laugh at them. Failures in common sense need not always be spectacular nor fatal. Examples of everyday lapses in common sense are... well, common. Few can honestly say that they’ve never frantically searched for something that eventually turned out to be in their pocket the whole time. Surprisingly, common sense itself is far from infallible. In fact, it manages to fall flat on its face a good chunk of the time. The “nirvana fallacy”, for instance, is whenever you dis-

miss something after holding it against an unattainable, imaginary standard. More specifically, it happens whenever you ridicule someone for getting a Big Mac and a Diet Coke. On a larger scale, politicians often use this fallacy to attack pretty much anything they don’t like based on the slightest perceived flaw. In any case, if you want to avoid entirely losing faith in humanity , it is recommended that one stops reading articles about stupid people. Alternately, just avoid any news story with “Twitter”, “Facebook”, “YouTube”, “texting”, “miraculous”, “cat”, “bizarre”, “unlikely”, or “sensation” in the headline, as well as literally any “news” story on the front page of Yahoo. The stupidity of these people will always continue, but at least we won’t have to hear about it.

Recent headlines highlight alarming decline in overall national IQ Harrison Vaporciyan

Intellect has been measured in many different ways throughout the course of human history. In most Asian cultures, wisdom is associated with age, while Europe has traditionally placed more value on an individual’s philosophy and debating skills. America, on the other hand, tends to exempli-

Graphic by Isabel Deakins

fy those with technical knowhow and practical skills. All of these criteria have one thing in common: the individual in question must have a modicum of common sense. Knowing how to make an internal combustion engine from scratch won’t get you anywhere if you can’t resist the urge to stick a fork in an electrical outlet. Sadly, a c ur-

sory glance at recent headlines reveals that this age-old tradition of not being a complete idiot may be in danger of being lost to time, like the recipe for Greek fire or how to wear bell-bottom jeans without looking ridiculous. Take, for example, the recent case of two teenage girls 13-year-olds, to be exact - who decided that the most logical place for them to sunbathe was in the middle of the road, which ended predictably. Both teens survived, which is simultaneously a triumph for modern

medicine and a failure for the theory of evolution. Not everyone who throws rationality to the wind has been as lucky, however. Examples abound of people who paid the ultimate price for their stupidity, ranging from a 20-year-old man in Australia who fell to his death while “planking” on the edge of a hotel balcony to an elderly man who ran cables from his house’s electrical outlet to a nearby lake to kill the fish, then forgot to remove the wiring before wading in to col le c t his catch.

The Oracle

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Valeria Chelala



Love, Amy J “Don’t Cry because its over,smile because it happened”-Dr.Seuss

Memoriesthatlastalifetime... Rachael Brennan

It’s hard sometimes, to look back on these last four years and think that come next fall I won’t be walking the halls here anymore. Instead I will be walking across the campus at Texas Tech University, starting over and planning the rest of my future. I have had some of the best years of my life at this school, I have learned a lot and made a few mistakes on the way, but in the end it has made me into a better person. Saying goodbye is hard for me, I don’t really do all that well with change, and the fact that I’m leaving behind some of the best friends I could ever ask for is heartbreaking. So I want to say a little something about you guys and embarrass you a little bit.


Thank you for always being there for me whenever I needed you the most. You have been my rock for the

past 5 years that I have known you, you aren’t just my best friend, you’re my sister. I am going to miss you so much, but I’m hoping to convince you to come up to Tech next year cause I know you’ll miss me too.


What to say about little old you. We have definitely had our ups and our downs over the past, what, 6 years I’ve known you? Who knew it would take being in the same trainer period to bring us closer together, but regardless of how it happened I am so thankful that it did. You are one of the strongest people I know, and you have held me up when I thought I would end up falling. Thank you for everything Brooke, I love you lots brah! Oh and I’m gonna keep bothering you about coming to Tech, because I need you there with me to wreak havoc! <3


There’s a lot that I want to say to you, but I don’t have that much room left so I’m gonna get straight to point. I love you more than skittles, and I don’t know who or where I would be without you. Thank you for always believing in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself at times.


Thank you. For everything you have done for me, for being there every time I called you to vent, and for every single hug that you have given me to cheer me up. You mean the world to me, and I hope to see you next year at Tech buddy! Oh and would you like a spoon? Even though this will be the last thing I ever write on these pages, and even though I’m saying goodbye to everyone, I am really saying hello to the amazing possibilities that await me at college. WRECK EM!!



Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Oracle

Avery Falick

Co-Editor-in-chief 2011-2012 Saying that I don’t feel old enough to be writing in the senior section of the Oracle is a ginormous understatement. To be honest, most days I still feel like a sophomore. Graduation is approaching so quickly and I still haven’t accepted that I am moving to North Carolina for college in a little over 3 months. Maybe by now I should realize that high school is ending, but for whatever reason I just refuse to believe it. I feel like I haven’t done enough. I didn’t get really involved until junior year, and maybe that’s the problem. Underclassmen, get involved! Take advantage of all of the opportunities available at Stratford, whether it’s athletics or theater. Speaking of theater, getting involved with theater was one of the best decisions of my life. I didn’t get really involved

until junior year, which I regret, but I am glad that I did choose to get involved. The friends and opportunities I have had through the Playhouse make up my best high school memories. If you have any desire whatsoever to get involved with the Playhouse, you should definitely do it. The newspaper that this story is in now has also greatly affected my high school experience. To Mrs. Cummons, thank you for all of the opportunities that you have given me, from Co-Editor-in-Chief to trusting me enough to represent The Oracle in headline writing at UIL. Looking back at my first story I ever wrote for The Oracle (Street Teams, September 2009), I have certainly grown as a writer, thanks to you. Sam, Sara, and Caitlin, have fun with this paper next year, and try not to

I imagine myself in a snow globe. Happily trapped in my own world, daydreaming of all the things I want to do. Then someone has to go and shake the snow globe because they want to see it snowing in the globe. On the outside the snow looks pretty against the landscape, but inside, chaos has interrupted. That is how my life is like. I am lost in my own world until someone has to go and shake me back into reality. Right now, someone has shaken my snow globe, and

the truth is finally dawning in on me. I am about to graduate high school. Like forever. Saying farewell is going to be hard, but I know have to do it sooner or later. So I will start by promising Ms. Guidry that I will never forget the important lesson that she taught me. To Ms. Goemmer, thank you for giving me the best opportunity this year. It’s hard to say adieu to all my fellow debaters which I have grown so close to this year. Thanks for making it

an awesome senior year. To the sophomores in debate, I leave these words of wisdom: the cost of a college education doesn’t outweigh the benefits. And if any of ya’ll “sprinkle” your ankle, just remember sprinkles go on cupcakes. For all those people that put up with me for the last few years, don’t worry, I won’t change. But I cannot end without recognizing a friendship that has lasted for ten years. I hope that one day we can make it 50 years. So goodbye.

As prepared as I am to move forward, I am also terribly nostalgic about leaving it all behind. Unfortunately, four years is quite a while to remain in one place.  Long enough for someone to grow close and miss it when it’s over.  I have made the most unforgettable friendships and truly hilarious memories here at Stratford.  I met my best friend and future roommate here, Lara Samarneh. I had the craziest fun with you "that night.” What would I ever do without you?   Shu Yu Zhang, I’m going to miss having some-

one who will procrastinate with me. Draw me! As for Wajiha Jawed, stop wearing your bobby pins backwards. I don’t know how I’m going to laugh without you.

Ammarah Tariq Reporter and Copy Editor

I'm going to miss the obnoxious comments and protests of my GT class, some of whom I've been with for seven years.  All the jokes and parties we had, the power we held, made this time fun and enjoyable.  To Mrs. Briggs, thank you for the candy and I apologize Reporter and Copy Editor on behalf of the gold-blooded. You survived the anarAnd to Ammarah Tariq and chy of the Gifted Talkers for Leah Nash, we will always two years.  Congratulations. bask in the memory of our   Seeing my blurb now, I can kissables and that crowd- honestly say that I will miss ed lunch table we called Stratford and all its glory. our own in middle school. “Make it a great day or not   I never thought I'd miss this Spartans.” You’ll miss it beplace, until I made memories.  fore you’ve even truly left.

Marina Khalid

lose your minds. All three of you are great. I guess that this is where I’m supposed to give advice to underclassmen, though I do not feel qualified to do so at all. Besides getting involved, my biggest piece of advice is to not take classes harder than you are capable of. I know that sounds terrible and the complete opposite of what I am supposed to say. but if you are getting a C or D in a PreAP or AP class, drop down. Colleges will not be impressed with a C or a D, regardless of the fact that it is in an AP class. In the end, your GPA will only be hurt, something the colleges will notice. My final piece of advice is to remember that what happens in high school is not the end of the world. Between friends, family, grades, and extracurriculars, high school is filled

with drama. It is important to keep in mind though, that once graduation happens, everything that happened in high school doesn’t matter. It’s a difficult concept to remember in the heat of the moment, but important nonetheless. Reflecting on my time at this school, they have definitely been an experience, though not necessarily negative. I am beyond excited to move to North Carolina and become a Phoenix in Elon University’s Class of 2016, but I am also kind of sad to leave high school. I have grown as a person, as is expected in high school, and gotten many awesome opportunities. Though it certainly had its ups and downs, I would ultimately not trade my high school experience for the world, as I think it should be.

Hannah Price Muse Editor

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.” -Dr. Suess I always told myself that I Now I’m going on a tangent bank on that! wasn’t going to be sappy and about my closest friends and To my parents (yes, all four sentimental in my senior family, so bare with me. of you), thank you for everystory, however, this is a lot To Alex Broadley, you have thing that you’ve done for me harder than I thought. been through so much with over the years, from suffering First off, thank you to ev- me. The good, the bad, and for hours on the golf course eryone of my friends who the ugly. I am truly blessed to to late night runs for school helped me survive these past consider you one of my best supplies. Freddy, even though four years. I especially want friends. we fight, you are still my baby to thank those who befriendTo Morgan Conder, I don’t brother. Best friend or worst ed and actually talked to me know what my life would be enemy, we’ve been through it freshman year when I was like without you. We are the all together and I’m glad that the new kid on the block and same person and I’m going we survived living with each knew no one. You have no to miss you so much next other. Austin thank you for idea how much that meant year. Have fun in Nashville! all of the late night talks and to me. Be prepared for me to come moral support. You are both There have been so many visit! welcome in College Station people that have helped me And to Emily Johnson, I anytime! make it through high school. can not picture my life withThe past four years have From everyone on the golf out you. Our daily conversa- been crazy and I can’t believe team to The Oracle staff to tions that go on and on about that they have flown by so ASE, and to even you crazy nothing never cease to amaze quickly. To all of you underguys that I spend my Satur- me. I honestly don’t know classmen that I am leaving day nights with acting like how I’m going to handle my behind, good luck and enjoy a 12 year old, playing mafia. crazy face not being there the time you have left. So You’ve all made high school every day. I will be in Austin Goodbye Stratford. Thanks so unforgettable. every chance I get, you can for the memories.

The Oracle

Thursday, May 17, 2012








Oracle staff wishes all

the best to the Class of Blake Schreiber, Ads








7:04 PM

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Oracle

Online Drivers Ed Take the best driver education in Texas on your schedule, not ours.













Now you have a choice.

Online or in the classroom, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the same great SafeWay

Driving System curriculum followed by professional training in our specially equipped cars with our state licensed instructors. It even cost the same, but it saves you and your parents 32 trips to the driving school!

Sign-up online today!

SM | 713.468.1313

The Oracle: May Issue  

Volume 39, Issue 10

The Oracle: May Issue  

Volume 39, Issue 10