Tam News April 2018

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O4news TUHSD Proposes Budget Cuts bt the Neu's Stu//

05 news Budget Cuts: Weekend Janitorial

Staff by ,lfutleline ,lsch


The Secret Life of Joe Rico by Eddie SL'hult:


{ 9op/ed

{ O perspectives

A Political Party

Mexico City, Mexico hy Alexuntlru Evuns

by Sunrunthu Locke

& Grititt


Budget Cuts: Wellness Director

ht Lolu Lcularitt

11 features


Let's TalkAbout Sex

Wrap Your Head Around This

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17 op/ed


OG news Budget Cuts: Athletic Trarner ht'Josie Spiegelnrun Budget Cuts: District Librarians ht' Iludelirrc Reill.r'& Etltun Swope

Editorial: Part and Parcel hy


Baseball Mid-Season Update


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Crackin'and Slackin'

h'rlre Opiniott Stulf'





Commies Hit Comic Gold bt' ,llurie Hogutt

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18op/ed We Regret to Inform You l..t' ,\[urie Hogun


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April 2018


The Tam News

Haynesworth & Johnson: Student Athlete: of the Year hv Jo.slt Lovc

2eatc Perudplc, As I watch my janitors, wellness center leaders, and, possibly the cut closest to my heart, my librarians, be notified of their probable release from Tam payroll, I've been thinking a lot about how we, as a district, got to the financial situation we have today. Among many uncontrollable factors, such as enrollment growth, I've come to the conclusion that past administrators have failed us in terms of responsibly spending our money, and current district leadership has failed us, by not acting to fix such a large and impending problem sooner. Our Editorial this month, "Part and Parcel," as well as the majority of our news section goes deeper into our district's financial crisis and what we believe should be done. Our feature this month, "Let's TalkAbout Sex," how sexual education at Tam needs improvement as multiple student accounts and a Tam News survey show how many students lack the necessary education to keep them safe while exploring sexual activities. These articles tell me that, as a community, we are not aware enough about what is going on around us. As I read one of this month's opinion pieces by Tam News reporter Amina Nakhuda about her being verbally and physically assaulted for being Muslim, while people stood by without helping, I feel that we must all remember to be active participants in our community, not bystanders. Moving forward, we need to acknowledge our responsibility to look a little closer at Cover by: Kennedy Cook, Samantha Ferro, the world around us, and when we see something wrong or harmful, realue our power to effect

& Kylie Sakamoto




EDITORS IN CHIEF: MadelineAsch, Mesan Butt, Mqrie Hogan, & DahliaZail

NEWS: Milo Levine, Ethan Swope, & Benjy Wall-Feng


On the Cover: Samantha Ferro investigates how sexual education carriculum affects

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Francesca Shearer & John Overton

COPY EDITORS: Grffin Chen & Annie Blacladar

DESIGN: Fergus Campbell, Lola Leuterio, & Glo

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Kennedy Cook, Ava Finn, Elise Korngut, & Kylie



FEATURES: Kennedy Cook, Michael Diamandakis,

BUSINESS TEAM: Josh Davis, Shane Lavezzo, Saman-



Priel, & Aaron Young

tha Feno, & Ava Finn


SOCIAL MEDIA: Ava Finn, Sophia Krivoruchko, Jack Loder Samantha Locke, Ravi Joshi-Wander, Emily

& Adam Tolson

Spears, & Zoe W5tnn

PHOTOS: Ethan Swope SPORTS: Connor Dargan, JackLoder Miles Rubens, Eddie


Schultz, & Adam Tblson

Tamalpais High School 700 Miller Avenue Mill Yalley, CA 94941 www.thetamnews.org

Volume )ilLI, No.

publication of Tamalpais Established 1919

ADMSOR: Jonah Srcinhart

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April2018 A


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To.vn News

Tqrn Braao\ccrst NetrxorK


REPORTERS: NicoleAgosta, CamilaAlfonso, HannahAlpert, ElissaAsc[AnnikaAstengo,AvaAufdencamp, Alec Bakhshandeh, Michael Balistreri, Griffn Barry, Isabella Bauer, Alex Bires, Rocky Browq Sophia Bruinsma, Lila Bullock, Griffin Chen, Zoe Cowan, Hana Curphey, Ian Duncanson, Jordan Engel, Tessa Flynn, Celia Francis, Abigail Frazee, Leah Fullerton, Max Goldberg, Cassidy Holtzapple, Abigail James, Emlen Janetos, Charlotte Jones, Jamilah Karah, Kara Kneafsey, Elise Komgut, Sophia Krivorchko, Jissell Krse, Elan Levine, Logan Little, Josh Love, Johanna Meezan, Sebastian Meyer, Cal Mitchell, Amina Nakhudq Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, Dara Noonan, John Overton, Yoav Paz-Priel, Luca

Kylie Sakamoto, Samuel

Schne-e, Skye Schoenhoeft, Emma Schultz,

Wilton Senel, Aryana Senel, Camille Shakirova, Adrian Shavers, Henry Soicher, Summer Solomon, Emily

Niulan Wright, Aaron Young EDITORIAL BOARD: MaddieAsch, Megan But! Kennedy Cook, Michael Diamandakis, Marie Hogaq Ravi Joshi-Wander, Milo Levine, Samantha Locke, Ethan Swope, Aaron Young,

& Dahlia Zail

v'rittenconsent' The Tam News


April 2018



Budget Cuts: Weekend Custodians by Madeline Asch

wr};Jl,;;x'iiHJ"ilf ,l;'; Mehari, from Drake, Redwood, and Tam, respectively, were notified on March 13 that their positions may be dissolved next school year as part of a series of budget cuts passed by the Tamalpais Union High School District.

"It's going to cost us, depending on how it works out, to work a lot of overtime over the weekends," head Tam custodian Robert Amaral said about losing Mehari, who currently works at Tam two days a week. "We still have to cover the facilities for any events going on on campus." According to principal J.C. Farr, cutting the position will have a negative impact on nighttime and weekend events at Tam. Amaral agreed, adding that Mehari's



& Grffin


also affect any students who

play sports over the weekend, as there will be nobody to set up and clean up their equipment.

Farr also addressed staff morale.


think there's some uncertainty,

there's speculation and rumor. We don't want people wondering if [their job] is safe ... those kind offeelings can create stress," he said. Amaral expressed his hope for the

budget crisis to improve soon. "In future years, if things keep going the way they are going ... yâ‚Źs, [I'm worried about future cuts to the custodial staffl." Head Redwood custodian Tim Mullery wrote an email to the board on March 21, urging them to reconsider letting go of


Mullery wrote that weekend janitors, well as other employees paid by the hour, provide essential services to the students and to the school. "[The weekend custodians] do weekly checks of fire extinguishers, eye wash stations, elevators, wheelchair lifts and A.E.D. (Automatic External Defibrillator) machine and report any issue to their lead custodian. If an emergency as

was to occur all school sites know that the equipment needed to deal with these situ-

ations is ready to go," his email read. "... I hope that reading all of this information the district will realize that laying off employees to balance the budget is simply not an option.",)

any classified personnel due to budget cuts, because, he said, the district is already un-

Budget Cuts: Wellness Director by Lola Leuterio budget cuts for the Tam Wellness Center were announced March



it was officially suggested by the Tamalpais Union High School District 13, and

(TUHSD) board that Wellness Center director Jessica Colvin's position not be renewed for the 2018-19 school year. Ifthe proposal is approved, Tam Wellness coordinator Hannah Wright will not be asked to return, and Colvin will likely take her place as coordinator. Colvin will not be replaced. The decision will be finalized on May 15. As director, Colvin manages the wellness centers at Redwood, Drake, and Tam. Her role is different from that of the Wellness coordinators because it is district wide rather than specific to a school. Some of the opposition regarding the proposed cuts comes from the concern that the Wellness Center will not function properly without a director. "The director herself is a pivotal person in the whole coordination of the wellness program," assistant principal David Rice said. "She has the expertise in these areas to move the program along. Each school needs different things, and she has this plethora ofexperience, so she can adapt to each ofthe schools and their needs." Wright reiterated Rice's concem re-

garding a wellness center without an official director. "[Colvin] does everything from clinical supervision, to helping us bring presenters on campus, to helping us increase our curriculum," she said.

"I believed the proposed cut to my job will directly impact students, including the scope of work and quality of programming that our newly developing wellness centers can implement," Colvin wrote in an email. She offered an explanation for the focus of

the cuts: "Wellness is a low-hanging fruit because we are one of the newest programs

in the district ... I don't think administration is really to blame because it's not clear where the idea to cut from Wellness, or the librarians, came from." The TUHSD has asked the superintendent and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) committee to investigate further into the district's budget in order to assess the appropriate cuts. Currently,

W.ight is advocating against budget cuts for the Wellness Center. In addition to writing to the LCAP committee and the board of trustees, Wright has urged students to act. "I have encouraged students and families to write to the LCAP committee and to show up at the school board meetings to show their support for Wellness, because

I think [the committee] will listen most to sfudents," she said. Wright believes the Wellness Center is a crucial program for high school students

and wants it to be further developed rather than downsized. "The Center focuses on mental health, physical health, sexual health, and substance abuse and use. I think that ifa student can feel supported in those areas the student can be the most present in class and do their best academically," she said. "When a student is feeling alone and trying to balance all of those things, it can be really difficult. The Wellness Center is not only a place for them to come to destress and find the support they need, but it is also a program that I want to be embedded in the whole school to show how much we value mental health as an entire campus."

Colvin expressed a similar sentiment. "[Wellness is] a key part of the district's priorities spelled out in the LCAP, so we hope that will be taken into account," she wrote. "We believe our programs and services do impact students directly and ensure the health, well-being and educational outcomes of all students." There will be a board meeting on April l7 to discuss the proposed budget cuts.i

The Tam News






Budget Cuts: Athletic Trainer by Josie Spiegelman

A s a result of Tamalpais Union High Aschoot Disrrict's (TUHSD) fiscal

most games and to have someone to talk to after school about injuries and different aches and pains and getting advice not only

deficit, Tam athletic trainer Jessica Dominguez will be let go following the end of the school year. This marks the end of her three-year contract and the position will not be filled in the upcoming school year, although it has not yet been decided whether the position will be terminated throughout the TUHSD.

helps parents kind of see what their student needs, and what we say gives a calmness to administration and coaches." Dominguez added that the presence of an athletic trainer is important to the safety of student athletes. "Especially for the sports like football and lacrosse where

Athletic trainers are on-site employees

concussions are so prevalent and injuries

who assist student athletes with injuries.

can happen in the blink of an eye," she said. "Having someone that is trained and


have many students come every day,

of course during the season," Dominguez said. "Every day I have people coming in

not necessarily a coach to run out there and to assess the situationjust helps youth safety. We're here solely to be a resource for students."

asking questicins, getting advice, needing evaluations."

The lack of an athletic trainer raises concems about students'athletic safety, according to Tam athletic director Christina Amoroso. "We've kind of gotten into a place where the standard of care is knowing we have a full-time athletic trainer, and so to take anything less than that is obviously is going to be noticed and unfortunate. In the proposed budget cuts, there's never a

good idea, there's never a good route," she said. "We're hoping that we can still retain athletic trainers in some degree, and that's what our athletic counsel, our boosters, and our school representatives are trying to figure out." "It will just be a lot on the parents

and the administration here," Dominguez said. "Having a resource that's there at

Students expressed apprehension at the prospect of being left without an athletic trainer. Freshman Josh Cushner, who

played on junior varsity football, said "Trainers are very useful. I think if [Dominguez] leaves there may not quite be a negative impact, but there may be less safety. She taped up many people, helped evaluate injuries, and, I'm sure, much more."i

Budget Cuts: District Librarians by Madeline Reilly & Ethan Swope

I t its board meeting on March 13, the l.l,Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) passed a proposal to let go ofthe three district librarians at the end of the school year.

"I'm totally

devastated, just on a per-

sonal level," Tam librarian Melissa Bowman said. There is currently no plan for how the

libraries will continue to function without librarians in the upcoming school year. "You have to think about where [ibraries] fall on priorities and whether we can do without those services for a specific period of time," principal J.C. Farr said. "When you ... put certain programs up for discussion, it is really important that we follow a process and be clear about our goals and then really make tough decisions based on what we need and what is it that


April 2018


The Tam News

we can do without right now. It could mean everything from facility upgrades to books or copy machines. It could mean programs

flike the] library." On March 27, the American Library Association emailed district superintendent David Yoshihara and the TUHSD Board of Trustees a letter which officially stated its support for retaining the positions of the librarians. "The proposal to eliminate school librarians is in direct conflict with TUHSD's

Local Control Accountability Plan, particularly its goals to improve achievement

all leaming groups and to increase eligibility and preparedness for the University of California system," the letter read. across

"Your school librarians are key partners in reaching these goals."o









B) tDDlt 5iH\t Lrz midnight on a Tuesday and Senior is just finishing up repairing the front suspension ofhis MG Midget, awhite two-door roadster about the size of a twin


IJoe Rico

bed. Most Tam kids have probably seen his car parked outside the BPL in between the fence and the telephone pole and wondered a) how he managed to fit into the tiny space and b) why he decided to purchase such an unusual car. As it furns out, Rico made that car run with nothing but some basic tools and a few YouTube videos. "I saw the MG on Craigslist and went, 'Oh man that's a pretty dope car, I wanna buy that,'so then I worked all summer, and bought it, and then the first week I had it, it broke pretty bad," Rico said. "I thought, 'Oh boy, I don't have any money to fix this at the shop so I'mjust gonna have to do it myself." Ever since his first auto shop class at Tam, Rico has wanted to work on cars, but never had the right oppornrnity until the MG Midget. "It started this $azy car addiction, and now I can't really stop," he said. At this point, Rico has had to rebuild the entire engine, the front suspension, the differential, the steering, and the brakes. "It

breaks a lot, so I pretty much have to fix everything that breaks on it," Rico said. He

uses his carport for his operations. "I don't really have like a crazy car lab, I just have pretty basic tools and just make the best I

can with those," he said. Rico often grinds

or welds his tools to fit his needs when he doesn't have the right equipment. "One time I had a cylinder head stud, and it got

stuck. I had to file it down and weld a nut onto it so I could get it off...that was a huge adventure," he said. The MG Midget may not be the most reliable of cars, but fuco loves it nonetheless. The small size, a factor that may turn many away, is what Rico sees as one of its best attributes. "I like the amusement of it being so small. I get the worlds best parking spot whenever I want," he said. "It's a really fun car to have and it does really good donuts...It's better for hauling surfboards than most Toyota Corollas. No joke, I've had six longboards in the thing."

Rico now has to repair his Midget


again, following a crash he had during the March rains. "The car has the narrowest tires you can imagine, as wide as a shoe, and I was going around a turn and I was [hungry] for some McDonalds... I was going around the tum too fast and I hydroplaned on one ofthe super slippery parts of the road," he explained. As a result of the accident, the front suspension has broken again.

On top of repairing the Midget, Rico has another looming project:


April 2018


spends up to 30 hours a week working on his a 1969 Ford Ranchero. PHOTOS BY ETHAN SWOPE

The Thm News



a 1969 Ford

it in Gustine,

California, from a paranoid schizophrenic... I Ranchero.

Lifestyles knew it was a terrible car going into it. I drove it to school for a week but the transmission was toast, so now I'm making it way more powerful [and] putting in a new manual transmission," he said. "The long term goal is to be really loud and fast, and just look bad-ass." He hopes it will be done within a month. Rico works three jobs to pay fbr his

car expenses, including private tutoring "I don't want to know fhow much it costs]," Rico said. "l don't really keep track because I just get depressed, like, 'Oh man, I could've spent all this money on something else."' Depending on the depth of his wallet and his school work, Rico will work anywhere and being a sailing instructor.



from zero to 30 hours per week on his cars. "Some weeks I'm too busy at school to do anything at all, and other weeks I'll go ham and work on it every single night until oneo'clock in the morning," he said. For students who might be considering doing this at home, Rico says it's absolutely possible and anyone can do it if they have the time. "Just go on YouTube or the internet and pray. Sometimes there's really terrible advice and it ends up costing you dearly, and sometimes the advice is pretty fire. It's kind of an adventure that way. I honestly enjoy it. It's changed the way I think. It's the coolest possible puzzle you could ever do." t

The Tam News


April 2018



2004, kidnapping, murder, and comrp-

Ition in Mexico City were reaching an all time high, and my parents decided it was time for us to leave. They did not want their children to be part ofany statistic. [n2004,I had a collection of My Little Ponies and was just getting into reading. Four years later and we had moved around and were living in my grandmother's house while my father struggled to find a job. Four years after that, and I had learned to speak English, found out I had a knack for math, and got my very own rocking horse. I have experienced so-called "cultural shock" thirteen times in my life between Mexico, the US, and Canada, and my parents have sacrificed everything so my siblings and I could get better lives. We have lived in small, cramped apartments just so that we could go to the better school district or live in the safer area. Due to the chaos of so many transitions, one might have expected me to be an anx-

ious child, but I actually had an amazing childhood. Don't get me wrong, I understood everything that was happening and I have always been so incredibly grateful for every sacrifice made in my benefit, but I never let those changes in my life get to me. Every time we moved, whether it was because of my dad's job, my grandmother's illness, or crime rates, I always knew to make the best of it. Since it had always been my norm, I never needed time to ad-

just and even saw each move as an opportunity. Nothing that came in my way ever really affected me because I never let it. That is, until 2012, when we moved back to Mexico. Mexico was a lot of firsts for me. It was the first time I joined the debate team and found a family within my peers. It was also the first time I came to terms with what it means to have clinical depression. But most importantly, it was the first time I became aware of the world around me.

On September 26, 2014,43 male students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College took several buses to travel to Mexico City to commemorate the anniversary of the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre. During the journey, the Mexican

Army kidnapped

and murdered all 43 students for conspir-


April 2018


The Tam News

ing to protest at a mayoral speech. Then,

when thousands of people took to the

streets, many

of them were beaten and even killed by the police, and when they took

to social media the govemment broke into their houses, mur-



and posted the



their accounts. Me anwhi le, Mexican news

outlets, [most of which are owned



government] stayed radio silent. This was

not the

Junior Alexandra Evans, who started at Tam this school year, says hsr experiences living in Mexico have made her more aware and


atrocity to have happened in my country, not even close, but I suppose you could say it was the tipping point, not just for me but for thousands, if not millions, of Mexicans. I may not have realized it at the time, but turning thirteen meant I had let go of my childhood and started to see the world in darker, more realistic colors. During that time, the protective walls I had built ever so carefully around me came crashing down, and all the cruelty and suffering I never let in flooded me. I was pissed. Pissed off at my country for ruthlessly betraying my sense ofsecurity and devastated to see everyone around me also betrayed. And even

though I knew I could never get my childhood back I didn't want it anymore. Moving to Mexico ignited a spark in me, one that still makes me cry every time I talk about what has happened to my country. However, I'm grateful for that spark, because I now understand something that the world will never change if we block out all


the evil things the way little children do. If there is any hope of making our world better we need to actually care. Now I see the U.S. at a crossroads,

much like one Mexico faced not so long ago, and frankly I am terrified. Whenever I tum on the news I always see something new, chipping away at our democracy and threatening our way of life. I have been

called a radical before, but panicking at the sight of the media being discredited or the comrption of money in the government growing doesn't seem like a radical thing to me. This history I carry inside of me is what keeps me analyzing our political at-

mosphere today, checking like a worried mother does for sigrrs of chickenpox, for the derailment of democracy, and, in the end, this history is why I am, and always will be, a political activist. 0

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weeks aftcr


cided to havc sex for the llrst timc. she foLrnd out that shc was pregnant. Nia had only two


have the child or have an abortion.

Despite completing the multiple requircd units of scx ed. Nia. a currcnt student at Tan-r who rccluested anonymity was ill-equipped fbr the situation she found hersclf in.


\ -\ /\

\ N\ inside out," she

had put the condom said. know how that happened." Nia decided to have an aboftion with the help appointment at

"l don't even


Nia wasn't ablc to find support at home during the experience. "My parents think I'll follow thc whole no sex until marriage thing. I was afraid to bring it up and I knew my parents would be more angry than supportive," she said.

"This really impacted my lif'e in many ['m] kccping a secret fiom rny parents...one that still haunts rne to this day," Nia addcd. "My farnily and I are very reliways. Now

gious, Iso the abortion] was a rcally big and sad moment in my lifc. Waking up knowing that a dumb little mistake had changed my life

in such a big way gets to me, and it's something I wouldn't w,ant any other girl to go through."

Nia's cxperience with sex was vcry dif'I'erent than what she lirst envisioncd it as. "l was just not physically and emotionally ready fbr somcthing like this. Befbre I thought sex was just an astonishing momcnt I would cherish for the rest of rny lit'c. but now I view it as somcthing risky and fiightening." Reflecting on her experience and her sex education. Nia said if she had bcttcr education and knowledge of options. such as the morning after pill, the pregnancy could have been prevented.



conversation about sex starts as young as lifth grade, with "Family Life." "Family Life" is a unit wherc fitth grade studcnts learn about puberty and the changcs of the human body as they mature. In -erade,

students receivc a more in depth

referred to as sex ed. According to the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) description and requirements of the Social Issues class. "Thc purpose of this coursc is to provide all studcnts with a clear understanding of their individual rights and responsibilities as thcy enter young adulthood." Tam does not teach sex ed after this unit. However, many students have expressed that it should be taught and talked about morc during all four years of high school and do not f'eel very satisficd with the overall sex ed unit currently taught. In the U.S., the average teen loses their virginity at the age of seventeen. while fiesh-

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In a 2017 Tam News survey of 295 studcnts from all grade levels in which students were asked if they found the Social lssues sex- \ ual education unit at Tam helpful during their \ lieshman year, 4lYo said no. When reflecting


on the sex ed class, 52.4% of studcnts said they reviewed old infbrmation and concepts, while 43.3% said they learn a few new concepts and infbrmation. Only 4.3%o of students said they learn mostly new concepts and infbrmation in

\ r\ \ \ \

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scxual education. where they learn about \ STIs. ditfcrcnt types ol protection, anatomy, \ gender. and scxual orientation. Thc fbllowing year. Tam requires all ficshman to take \ Social Issucs. which includes a one to threc \ week course on sexual education commonly \




men are typically between fourteen and fifteen. It seems antithetical to end sex ed fwo to three . \ years befbre most students begin to havc sex.

In Mill Valley. thc

the 8th


the class.


think Tam's program is alright as fhr


the factual parts of it, but could be improved," sophomore Aeron Becker said. "We don't talk much about the social aspccts, I feel." '"1 didn't even know we had a scx cd program," another student, who would like to remain anonymous, said. In the survey, students were asked to list the top areas that the freshmen sex education

curriculum suf{iciently infbrmed thcm about. 74.5% of the students said they were sufficiently informed about STDs, while Condoms was the runner up at 68.lo/o, and Consent came in at 65.loh. Anothcr question in the survey was, "What topics would you want further education about tiorn Tam?" The top five responses were: Sexual assault at54.60 , Rape at 54.6%, Birth Control at 5l.9oh, Healthy Relationships ar 51.4o/o. and Healthy Decision-making at 48.6 %. So the question is, "Do Tam students want more sex ed?" The short answer is. "Yes." At Tam. 68.,1% of students said yes to wantins more sex education. However. there are a t-ew students w.ho dis-


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agrcc and do not want morc sex ed at Tam but,

instcad, improvcments in what lve currently have. An asexual student, who would like to remain anonymous because she has not comc out


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publicly, voiced hcr opinion on why she thinks Tam should not have more sex ed, but rather it should ofler a bctter adapted version. "l think that by Junior or Senior year people have either had sex or watched enough porn to know what's going on," she said. "Also. we have been fully educated on what and what not to do. and if sorncbody didn't want to pick it up in freshman year they r,von't rvant to learn anything Junior or Senior year. I think what we have is fine, every teacher teaches a little dif-tbrently, but the required curriculum is good." The studcnt did suggest changing parts of thc sex ed unit to something with a greater focus on a person's rights and the social aspcct of sex. "l think the sex ed program in high school should be morc about identity and your rights as a person, as well as the connection and im-

plications that sex can have," she said. "We already learned about all the [STls and risks] in middle school, but sex also has an affcct on our social lives or how we vicw ourselves, so I think we should learn more about that, especially because high school is a timc of change and growth for a lot of people, so we should be infbrmed of how sex can be a part of that if we wish to partake in it."


what sex is. Hc thinks sex ls w sees some weird ass crap on a porn websitc right, and hc thinks that's what it is." Students are looking for answers and information about sex through porn. but it is taking a toll on their mental statc of mind. lowering their self esteem. "lf you're talking about insecurities. why would you as a kid [watch porn], especially because of all thc media we're presented and it's not just porn, it's any media. You're already trying to look good, you're already trying to impress peoplc, right? If you feel that you can't live up to that standard without porn, it's already hard enough," the studcnt added.

\ \ \


The high visibility of recent allegations of

\ \

sexual assault and harassment rcveal the knowledge gap on consent that sex cd has failcd to Iill. acting as a reminder that not all students know thc definition of scxual harassrncnt. sexual assault and rape. ln a survey conducted by the Tam

News last school year with thc participation



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ic and sensitivc images and information, oticn in the form of pornography, rvhich may aff-ect how they view sex. However, school sponsored sex ed rarely teaches students how to navigatc such things on thc intemet. A 2008 study by the

University of New Hampshire found that 939/o of boys and,620/o of girls now in college adrnittcd to r,r,atching porn as teenagers. according to the New York Times. On average. boys see porn for the first time when they are thirtcen and girls when they are fourteen. Many Tam students say that onc of the main ways teenagers educated themselves about sex is through watching porn. A male junior that would like to remain

This is a huge failure ol sexual

at Tam. and one that can make



it easicr fbr stu-

dents to misunderstand the difference between


consensual scx, scxual assault. and rape, accord-f\ ing to one student who wanted to remain anony-


mous. "Sexual assault and rape is a hr"rge issuc. >r\ As a victim of rape myself, I know firsthand howr--r'

\ \ \ \ \ \

anonymous continues talking about the eft'ects of pom and how it influences students."You

havc a 12 ycar old addicted to porn. yet he's never had a sexual experience betbre" a male junior who asked to remain anonymous said of how porn affbcts students. "He doc.sn't know


620 students,54.7% of the students failed to de-_ finc rapc propcrly. \

Today, rnany students are exposed to graph-





mr"rch of a grey area it is not only lc-eally, but inl , \ daily lit-e. There needs to bc a stern linc between \\ sexual actions, and assault. Otherlvisc you'll al}\ ways have storics like mine...," shc said. The studcnt now believes that a more comprehensivc sexual education curriculum might have prcvented her fiom being raped. "My attack occurred in the summer atier 8th gradc, the fsame] year we got ollr first real sex cducation class. I knew the assailant had completed sirnilar sex education class, but reflecting on the course, nothing was said about a clear definition of rape. Until you have thc experience of PTSD, thc flashbacks, visual, auditory and physical sensations of the attack coming back ol'er and ovcr, it's hard to fathom the real effect of such an action on a pcrson. I ofien lind myself wondering ifthe school had really gone in dcpth about rape. how to protect yourself and how to recognizc a dangcrous situation before it's too latc, maybe I wouldn't be in my current situation," she said. "Education Freshman year was sirnilar to 8th sradc. but with a lbcus more on drugs and STDs.


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ing students the resources they need and on ing supporl. In Europe, which overall has the worl lowest teen birth rates, 24 out of 50 countnes mandate a sexual education program. Within

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and when young people grow up without access to quality education, jobs, and health care, they are more likely to become pregnant at young ages. But poverty is not the whole story. One of the statistics that I point out is that in the Netherlands, 6 out of l0 teenage girls are on the pill at first intercourse versus only about I in 5 in the US." In 2016, California attempted to improve its current sex education by passing California

Assembly Bill 329, which mandates that all public school students between grades 7-12 take a sexual education class. which includes learning the definition and real-world examples

of sexual harassment, assault, and rape. Califomia has more requirements than any other state; the state mandates sexual education and

HIV education to all of its students. It also requires sexual education classes to be medically accurate, age appropriate, culturally appropriate and unbiased, and the classes cannot promote religion. Echoing the language of the bill, many

teachers and parents

at Tam expressed that

there should be more sex education for the students, in addition to improvements in the cur-

rent curriculum. Among them, Social


teacher Shawn Weber believes that the school should have sex ed beyond freshman year. "I think the current sex ed program is covered, but perhaps not entirely well enough, in the freshman year during Social Issues. Although there is a mandated guide of topics to be covered that the district provides, there is typically not enough time or resources available to cover sex ed in its entirety, [for example], covering gender identity, safe sexual practices,

etcetera." Weber said. "I think these issues should be covered more in school. particularly the issues of consensual [and] non consensual sex, because, as we have recently seen in our nationwide news cycle. this is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. Students also need to be made aware of their rights and not be intimidated from speaking out about these

issues." Luc Chamberlin,


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[T;['ffi:i:i:1T,ii:Il,frlil:,'r:*.J,:il: said. When asked if it was hard and or fortable to teach sex ed, Chamberlin said,

havior changes over the course of high school.

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Students are often left to remember




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draw them from that unit if the parents pre And even if they don't, it is a very touchy s ject that I find myself walking on eggshells. Teachers can ask Planned Parenthood

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gate sex in the age of social media."

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lessons in education,


it should be repeated [or]

re-approached for that very reason." Recently, Tam has started to look at students sexual education beyond the classroom. On December 8th, Tam High Peer Resources offered a Condom Availability Program (CAP) as part of a "Feel Good Friday" lunch. Stu-

dents could get condom certified by proving they know how to properly put on a condom by sorting step-by-step cards into the right order or by putting a condom on a wooden model of reproductive organs for educational purposes, and upon certification were provided with a care-package with condoms, a definition of consent, Planned Parenthood address, and di-

rections on how to properly put on a condom in both English and Spanish. The goal of CAP was to educate and encourage the Tam community to practice safer sex. "I think that the CAP training was very effective. We had many people get certified and I believe it was an overall success," junior Isaac Goon Perl, a member of Peer Resource, said. Besides Peer Resources the school is also considering new ideas on how better to educate students about sex. "We are starting our first ever Sexual

Health Clinic Feb l6th in the nurse's office," Hannah Wright, Tam's Wellness Center counselor, said. "Here, services are free and confidential and students can get free STI testing, pregnancy testing, birth control, and sexual health information. In addition, Peer Resource and Social Issues have curriculum around these topics and it is my hope we can have peer mentors educating each other on these topics since they can be so sensitive. . ..[in addition], we will have free sexual health clinics every third Friday in the nurse's office. These services will be free and confidential. I think that providing this free service is part of the harm reduction model and important option to offer high schoolers." Wright further expressed that the school should have a health and sexual health curriculum all four years in high school. It often falls upon schools to teach students the biology, intricacies, and dangers of sex including assault, gender identity, and the importance of protection, while parents can

offer support and educate students by helping them navigate the emotional, mental, and moral pitfalls that often come along with becoming sexually active. "When parents and other trusted adults are able to provide guidance around questions of what does it mean to be ready and to give and receive respect in a relationship, then youth will be less likely to rely on unrealistic and unhealthy media portrayals to help them understand how they should behave with regard to this part of their life," Schalet said. Mark Nelson, the Assistant Principal of MVMS, talks about the balance schools and parents should have when teaching students about sex education. "Parents have the biggest role with their child. It is the school's respon-

sibility to educate kids about reproduction, diseases, pregnancies, statistics, relationships, etc., and to provide a safe space to discuss issues with kids, but with regards to when kids

should be sexually active and the role it plays in relationships should be a family discussion and decision."

"Nobody knows the child better than the parent," Suzi Cadle Andrews, a parent of a student at Tam and faculty member at Mill Valley Middle School (MVMS), said. "It's important that parents establish an open line of communication so that the child feels safe coming to mom/dad with a question or a concern. I think it's okay for parents to leave some of the 'how does it work' stuff to the teacher, but must be clear and open that no topic is offJimits and the child can come to them with anything." But students like Nia, who didn't feel they were able to turn to their families for support, continued sexual education could go a long way. The majority of Tam students sexual education expanded beyond three weeks in freshman year. Students are growing up in a very different world than their parents, and today's constant exposure to social media combined with a new moral code of acceptance and empowerment needs to be discussed in a safe learning environment that extends beyond Social Issues curriculum.


EDITORIAL: Part and Parcel fike to call Tam a private school for the cost of a public one; the quality of Mill Valley educational system is an oft cited reason people move to the area and has significantly raised property values. In fact, Mill Valley's entire identity is predicated on being a nice place to raise your

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At first glance, this rosy picture isn't so far off. As a community, we are incredibly fortunate in the educational resources

afforded to us. Relative to other districts, our teachers are well paid and our technology up to date. However, recent revelations over TUHSD financial insolvency show the superficiality of that assessment. Bolstered by support organizations like Tam Boosters and the Tam High Foundation, we have lulled ourselves into a false sense ofsecurity over the well being of our school. While students and parents are not to blame for the budget crisis, we must take an active role in the solution.

As it furns out, you can't have a "pub-

school without paying for it. One of the ways we have historically

News staff, even a small increase in the parcel tax has the potential to significantly

supplemented TUHSD revenue is through

lessen the district's financial stress, and would allow them to make further budget cuts more conservatively than those they are making currently. If, as a community member, you are disturbed by the kinds of cuts being proposed, the most powerful statement you make in the long term is to vote in favor of the upcoming parcel tax. Without new revenue, TUHSD's financial crisis can only get worse, and it is the generations to come that will take the hardest hit. We acknowledge that for many people an additional $150 per year is a financial hardship. This endorsement is not intended as a dismissal of that. However, it's impor-

a district wide parcel tax, in which a flat tax is levied on each piece of property. Currently, taxpayers pay $285 a year, but in an affempt to address their financial cri-

sis, district administration has proposed an increase to approximately $434, which district residents will vote on in November.

After much discussion as a group, The Tam News has decided to endorse this measure. While it's too late to prevent the first round ofbudget cuts, securing additional revenue sources for the district is the only way to minimize budget cuts in the future. Already, the cuts proposed are drastic and directly affect the quality ofour educations; among the proposals is one to lay off all of the districts librarians. While these cuts won't be finalized until May 15, their scale is non negotiable.





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turn, protect property values, which are currently bolstered by the strength of the While we support the parcel tax, we also think that it alone can't solve the district's more systemic problems. By failing to acknowledge and address their spending

a Eflar

tant to remember that in the long run, a parcel tax that supports TUHSD will improve the quality of the district's schools and, in

education provided by the district.

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years ago, TUHSD administration let us down. In the future, it's crucial that administration be more transparent, but it's also up to community members to hold them accountable and demand that transparency.

District leaders and past administrations chose to ignore TUHSD's financial realities, including skyrocketing enrollment, until it was too late to prepare and time for damage control instead. In doing so, they set TUHSD up for a crisis. However, as students and parents, we also chose

to ignore it. It is the joint responsibility of administration and residents not to repeat Longer lunches for Tam Unity Days\t


these mistakes in the future. Librarians let goC


We allowed ourselves to forget that they are and always will be public institutions. As a public school, it's up to us to protect these institutions, notjust for us but also for those to come. To preserve the educational quality of TUHSD in the future, we must pool our resources - both financial and intellectual - as a community. When taken as a whole, it's more than enough. o

The Tam News






We Regret to Inform Yorr... Marie Hogan by


ometime last year, just as college adLJmissions seemed to become, almost


ovemight, the topic of every conversation, I started watching college acceptance videos on Youtube.

After a while, every video began to feel the same - thirty seconds of silent, pained anxiety, the click of a computer button, a sudden flash ofrecognition, and then the scream. It was a scream of unmitigated, long awaited joy, and I couldn't wait until I got mine. That scream rang in my ears as I declared, perhaps louder than I should've, that I planned to film my college admissions reactions. Filming myself opening college decisions was fun. Until I got my first rejection, that is. Without good news, the exercise

felt pathetic. It was a memorialization of how much, in the moments leading up to the decision, I had cared. And although I hadn't cried on camera, the disappointment flashed across my face was still evidence of the pain and frustration endemic to college admissions. So, after the first flush ofvictory faded into a parade of disappointments, filming myself got old, and I stopped doing it. It had become increasingly clear that I wasn't to get my viral video, and that my college

admissions process was not going to climax in a scream of victory. By the time "hy Day" the day the entire Ily League conspires to cause the maximum number of mental breakdowns

by releasing all of their decisions at the same time

the college acceptance videos that peppered my Youtube suggested page felt more like pointed mockery than the results of an overly helpful computer algorithm. They were some of my last college decisions, and I knew they were going to be rejections. I waited until I was at home, alone, and in very comfortable sweatpants

before opening them. Then, perched in ftont of the computer with a giant mug of tea (as a sort of preemptive comfort) in hand, I decided to film after all.

The stories we tell about college admissions are generally very good or very bad. The underdog gets into the school of their dreams. The impoverished teen receives a full ride at Stanford. These are stories of triumph, yet they're also statistically unlikely. On the other hand, we latch onto cautionary tales

of how competitive


process has become. We shake our heads at the valedictorian with a perfect SAT score

who was rejected everywhere they applied. Popular narratives about college ad-

missions are black and white: You get in everyw'here or nowhere; college means everything or nothing. Too often, the "suc-

at the same time, black and white thinking does a huge disservice to many students and fails to account for the randomness and specificity of the college process as a


After Ivy Day and the three mass produced rejection letters it delivered to me, I found myself in the same spot many students have been in before. I felt like a failure because my college admissions story wasn't, in the viral video sense, a success. With distance (albeit only a few weeks), I can see how ridiculous that is. I am not a failure; neither are you, regardless of which colleges you did, or did not, get into. Despite the language often used to describe them, college admissions aren't a game, and you can't "lose" them.

The Ivy Day reaction video remains on my computer. I may have to rethink my earlier dreams of posting it online, but I'm not deleting it any time soon. Acceptances are not the only part of this process worth acknowledging and even celebrating. Yes, that video memorializes rejection and disappointment. At the same time, it is proof that I tried, and that I was okay when it

didn't work out. Ultimately, that the ability to accept and rebound from- "fail-

cess" ofone's process gets measured by admit rate. Some of that is a given. As far as ways to judge people goes, college admis-


sions is pretty stark. The hard line between acceptance and rejection makes all the difference, yet it's often incredibly thin. But

I'm calling it a victory.

is far more important than any college acceptance. ln absence ofthe scream I'd hoped for, 0


A Political Party by Samantha Locke

\Zouth trends are almost always scrutiI nized, and youth culture remains an enduring staple of headline material. From

intemet behavior


social differences,

we've received pity and disdain from previous generations. which we've been criticized for adolescent apathy, members of our generation are now hailed as changemakers. And it's true that we've engaged in great performances of passion: The Washington Post estimated than over 10,000 high school students participated in high school walkouts to protest gun violence, and USA Today estimated that these students came from about 2,800 schools.

While students are participating in more protests and arts activities, the effect ofthese are hard to measure. Ifactivism devolves into a celebration ofopinions that are trendy and fashionable instead

a nuanced stance.

The consequences are cumulative and

Despite the comic frequency with

grcups working to achieve something;

support it from within a comfortable echo chamber. Few people find time to thoroughly understand each political issue, and it's far easier to join a group than maintain


eventually catastrophic:


decisions are

made by choosing emotional bonds over

intellectual merit of different arguments, credibility crumbles and reconciliation of opposing liberal and conservative groups becomes nearly impossible.

Protests are not inherently bad and social media is not inherently evil. Americans have celebrated their first amendment for generations. Civil rights marches brought light to national issues, and people filled the streets to protest the most recent foreign wars and occupy Wall Street. Marches have served to unite a discontent popuIace and renew faith in

if the American

marches and protests become so broad that they lose focus and aren't moving towards any goal accept attending said event; ifindividual opinions and voices are sacrificed for the fi.rn and unity of a group social gathering youth activism may become little more -than a new, thrilling pastime, and an excrse to join together on a free Saturday: a political party, if you will. Fred Clark takes credit for the creation

of the word "slacktivism" in

1995. The original meaning was an appreciation for the simpler, less-flashy ways a person can help politically: sigrring petitions, organizing small-scale events, or talking to very local representatives. The idea was to make politics accessible.

people. "This is what democracy looks like!" protesters chanted recently. Despite the human element and enthusiasm,protests

themselves simply are

not enough. (A cautionary note on the impacts of marches alone: we are still

fighting in Afghanistan and a sparse few CEOs were indioted for their involvement in the stock market crash of 2008).

But this is not the end. Don't recycle your

ing to Politico, NPR" The Atlantic, and othen) the slacktivism pitfall would be to

clever handmade sign yet; don't stop talking to your friends about politics. This is not the time to embrace the futile feeling of protests, but to take it one step further. Explore the nuances in issues and solutions: we need not be the generation to march the streets with trvo opposing

accept a commonly held idea and vocally

three-word chants, but a symphony

More than twenty years later, "slacktivism" is a criticism of social media politics and modem action: in a nation more polarized than ever before (at least accord-



different voices and sometimes-dissonant opinions to find our best attempt at one solution. To change the world for the better doesn't require good lighting or one shared opinion. To work towards a goal, call representatives, encourage our generation to preregister and actually vote (49 percent of eligible millennials reported voting in 2016, according to the Pew Research institute).

To be the generation that brings change, we must work towards change. It's possible. We must keep goals in mind and focus on the better world we hope to achieve and the most concrete steps required to get there. That said, there's nothing wrong with a good protest. Out of the ways to spend a few hours on a weekend or weekday, it's important to fight apathy and encourage people to consider their values. At their best, marches and protests stir an apathetic populace from slumber to rise up and support the downtrodden, resisting the comrpt. We can unite under shared values and salvage an American identity when it's needed most. Hopefully, we can channel this energy into voting and concrete action. But in the meantime, let's pick up our signs and move forward. o


Wrap Your Head Around This by Amina Nakhuda


uery year in middle school, we would a moment of silence in remembrance of 9/ll. And every year, I would bow my head trying to moum, but my classmates'attempts to subtly glance at me intemrpted my moment of silence. It was as if there was some connection between me


and the terrorists because we were a part


the same religion. How could I explain to everyone that the religion I followed was one ofpeace and respecting others, rather than forcing people to accept a religion in an oppressive manner? Why did I feel like I had to prove that I wasn't a part of the religion that extremists portrayed and called Islam?

Every time there is a terrorist attack, my stomach clenches in fear. Every time a shooting happens, my fingers curl up in response. Every time a bomb goes off,

I feel

like I'm going to throw up. Why? I have a fear that one ofthese aftacks is carried out by a supposed "Muslim." As a Muslim student at Tam, there is this unconscious yet constant pressure to portray myself a certain way, to not make mistakes, and all in the fear that someone will take my actions in the wrong way. It's the need within myself to make up for all the horrible acts of violence that happen daily and show

Muslims in a different light. Many Muslims, like myself, have taken on this responsibility to try to be seen in the best way to compensate for terrorists and extremist groups who are somehow connected to us.

A year ago, I was in the Safeway bathroom changing for basketball practice. It hadn't even been two minutes when a loud banging started. I called out that I would be done in two minutes and said sorry. The banging kept going and started getting louder. I was getting frustrated and I opened the door intending to tell them that I was done. I barely had my shoes on and had haphazardly wrapped my hijab (head covering wom by Muslim women) around my head. When I opened the door, there was a woman who immediately came into my face. I could feel the spit on my face as she shrieked, "What the fx*k were you doing in there?!" Before I could get a word out, a switch turned on in her head. She had realized I was Muslim. "Oh of course, you're Muslim? Probably


April 2018


The Tam News

making a bomb in there, you terrorist!" I was so shocked, all I could say was sorry. She shoved me out ofthe bathroom doorway so hard, I fell to the ground. Then she threw my bag and shoes on top of me and slammed the door while yelling "terrorist" once again. My eyes glassed over in tears and my legs started shaking uncontrollably as I tried to get up. There were customers and Safeway employees who had all heard and seen what the lady had done, but no one came over to help me. There wasn't one person who even came to say sory or support me. And that was what had hurt the most. It wasn't the women's blatant act of racism. It was the fact that not one personhadtaken

action. They had all looked the other way. Even in such a liberal community, a few people perpetuate racist incidents. We need to be aware of that. While I've been really lucky compared to other Muslims all around the world who struggle everyday, I would have to be oblivious to not feel the stares and distasteful looks at my hijab or not realize the hidden prejudices when people come up to me asking why I choose to stay in "such an oppressive religion that doesn't respect women." The racist undertone is clear as well as their premade assumption about who I am. I would have to be stupid to not understand the message loud and clear when people have said I was a terrorist straight to my face in a grocery store.

We have all heard many times that "a small group in a religion doesn't represent everyone," which undoubtedly holds truth, but that isn't what will create a solution to bridge the gap between acceptance and learning. Reaching out and asking questions to clarify rather than assume is how we can come together as a society. Any Muslim will tell you that they prefer answering the harsh questions to having people create an opinion for themselves. I don't want to be pitied for go-

ing through honible experiences, but I want people to take a chance and ask me. If it's a stupid question like if I wear my hijab in the shower, I'll answer it. If it's a hard question like if

women in Islam oppressed,



answer it. As a society, we



become accept-

ing when we learn and understand to clear doubts







we are] not just getting hyped for Above: Senior Sam



is ready to do what it takes to giyg;he Hawks an edge. Senior Jacob Berg is a centerpiece of the Hawks OffenH PHOTOS COURTESY OF TEAMSNAP

tTthe varsity


baseball team is up and run-

ning again, which means head coach

and social studies teacher Nathan Bernstein

can be found around campus talking nonstop about baseball to anyone who will listen. The team is currently fourth in MCAL (Marin County Athletic League) and 9-5

overall as ofApril 4. "I expect with this team that we will compete and win the championship this ).'ear, so my expectations are to go out there and win every game we play." Bemstein said.

The team has a particularly strong group of seniors, including Jacob Berg, Sam Pletcher, and Jake Franco, along with Tam News editor Jack Loder and reporter

Alex Bires. Fineman credits their


so far to the strong camaraderie among se-


"We have a strong chemistry [and] rr'e work well together both on and field," Fineman said.


Berg agrees with his teammate


brings in the point that they have learned

the game together. "[We are great at] working together, I think we have a really good bond as a team. I have played with most of these kids since I was five and [we've all grown up togeth-

er]," Berg said.

An MCAL title won't be easy, as the league is extremely competitive this year. Tam had a disappointing loss to Drake 4-0 on March 19.

"I think [the loss against Drake] will motivate us," Pletcher said. "We know how good we are and we know how good the teams we are going to play are, so I think it will help push us to be the best we can be." The team lost again to Redwood 2-0 on March 27, which has fueled the team to work harder in order to make changes and adjustments for them to be ready for the next time they play each other again later in the season. "We need to be more focused on the games that we should win instead of stooping down to the levels of our opponents." Fineman said. "[We need to make sure that


against Drake and Redwood but getting ready for games against teams [that aren't of the same caliber]." Hitting coach Brett Grayson hopes that outside of winning, the players can develop skills and relationships for the future. "We are making progress...we [as a team] expect a lot of ourselves and I think there soon enough," Grayson said.



With two months left in the baseball

still has time to improve and make MCAL and NCS runs. Though hey took a hard loss to Terra Linda on April 3, they bounced back in a win against San season, the team

Marin the following day.

"I think our biggest challenge this

will be having a consistent offense... I think getting everyone on the same page and being able to feed offof each other will year

[allow this to happen]." Pletcher said. Berg, Pletcher and Fineman are all hoping that their team dynamic will propel them to not only an MCAL championship but an NCS (North Coast Section) title as well. The last time the team had won an NCS championship was in 2012, andTam baseball has never won an MCAL champi-





1-\n March 13, Principal J.C. \.-fFan and Athletic Director Christina Amoroso announced the Tam student athletes of the year: seniors Noah Haynesworth and Reilly Johnson.

Haynesworth had a threeyear varsity basketball career and was a captain his senior year. He also earned all-league honors in

his only varsity football


senior year.

Johnson spent three years on varsity soccer and was also a captain her senior year. According to Amoroso, both athletes were selected based on their excellence in their athletic involvement and leadership, as well as their positive contributions in the classroom and in the community.

"I think I was

awarded student-athlete

of the year not only [for] how I carried myself on the [basketball] court, but off the court as well," Haynesworth said. "I always had faith in my teammates and coaches in whatever they did. I wanted to care for oth-

ers as much as


[care for] basketball and


think it showed." Haynesworth was an integral part of a boys'varsity basketball team that reached the MCAL championship for the first time

in l8 years. "This award means the world to me," he said. "I had the chance to play with my brothers everyday and go to the school where I've grown love for over my four

I've never been acknowledged for my efforts as both a student and athlete, so I am very honored to receive an award

years here.

student attrletes of the year, Haynesworth receives gifts on senior night, February 6, and Johnson takes the field at home for the last time on Feb'


that is so rare." Johnson helped lead girls'varsity soc-

cer to an MCAL title this season. "I was actually surprised that I got this award," Johnson said. "I think I earned Tam student athlete of the year because of my work ethic, performance, and leadership both on

the field and in the classroom. I wanted to make this team closely knit and have it be a safe space to escape from stress where we could have fun, but also have the ability to get focused and work hard." a

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Volume Xlll, lssue No. V - February 2Ot8