TOWER Wednesday, Feb. 15 , 2017
RAY HASANAJ ’18 | Supervising Editor here are over three million teachers in America that report to a different school across the country every day for 10 months out of the year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Regardless, the level of appreciation and value teachers receive is a completely separate issue in America today. AP government and politics teacher Mike Rennell says that the value placed on
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profession of teaching fluctuates from different time periods. “There was a time in history where teachers were very undervalued, but through the work of teachers unions we started gaining rights, and it (teaching) was somewhat valued,” Rennell said. “But now I think we are back on the decline and the certain things we are doing with right-to-work and taking away the rights of what we can and what we can’t talk about prove we are on a downhill decline.” Rennell has an active role in enforcing and protecting teaching rights as he serves as the president of the Grosse Pointe Teacher’s Union. “My roles as president are to promote education, to work for teacher’s rights as far as working conditions, making sure that we have proper class sizes and materials that we need to have a successful classroom,” Rennell said. He also represents the teachers by bringing out all the great things that happen in this district though board meetings every other Monday to make the community aware of all the great things that are happening, Rennell said. While being a big supporter of what teachers do, Rennell still believes that there are times when teachers are undervalued, specifically in regards to pay cuts, he said. “We took big pay cuts in 2013, we still aren’t even up to our pay level from 2008. Those are difficulties but those are not necessarily district wide, it’s more of a state issue and a funding issue,” Rennell said. In addition, Rennell feels that the recent confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education will not bode well with teachers. DeVos has no prior experience working in education and believes in “educational choice.”
How education is valued in America
Annual coffee house returns this March GRIFFIN JONES ‘18 | Staff Writer The Class of 2018 Student Council will be hosting a fairly new fundraiser at South this March. The Coffee House, returning for the second year in a row, will be showcasing the many talents South students behold. “I’m most excited to see the variety of performances that people audition for,” Coffee House Chair, Joe Ladensack ’18 said. “I think that’s what makes the Coffee House really fun. We have been working hard for months to ensure that everything runs smoothly.” Last year, the Coffee House saw performances of covers, original music and some poetry. Along with the performances, a silent auction was also held as well as paper tables for people to draw on as extra activities to partake in. “The Coffee House was something-- to my surprise-- that was a lot more fun than I thought it would be,” Eion Meldrum ’18 said. “I was very glad I auditioned because a lot of people showed up, and there were a lot of great performers. There were people who I didn’t know could even sing or play guitar, and all of a sudden, they were on stage. I think that’s the cool experience of it.” Expectations can change as people perform and show off their talents as it all gives the opportunity to learn about the performers, Meldrum said. There are people at South that are not known for their talents, but for some, the Coffee House is an opportunity to show off those skills. “I think the Coffee House event allows for a different type of kid to come to school and appreciate something that’s just a little bit different here,” Class of 2018 Student Council adviser Katie Parent, said. “We really focus on athletics, we really focus on academics, but we don’t necessarily always focus on the arts, which is unfortunate. So this is a nice event for kids to come and appreciate the arts and for kids to be appreciated for what they have to offer in that realm.” The Coffee House is being hosted at South from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on March 17.
The South and Pierce orchestra concert will be Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m.
“We took big pay cuts in 2013, we still aren’t even up to our pay level from 2008.” MIKE RENNELL | Grosse Pointe Teacher’s Union President
you are really good at what you do, it looks really easy. Many people have little idea what goes into planning a sound lesson.” Although, in her own community, Stevens does not feel undervalued. Rather, she said she feels appreciated. “We receive a ton of support from parents and community members in Grosse Pointe. Everyday we share stories of letters of appreciation from parents for going that extra mile,” Stevens said. In contrast, Stevens said that she thinks teachers are “vilified” nationally for several different reasons.
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State law may cause the elimination of midwinter break from academic calender ALYSSA COLE ‘19 | Staff Writer With the planning of next year’s school calendar there comes to question the scheduling of midwinter break. Each year in February, there is a one week break for students to vacation, spend time with family and friends and relax. “It is a time that many students look forward to in order to replenish themselves and take a break from the stress of school,” Cindy Hogan ’19 said. However, students of the district may not be able to look forward to this anymore. There is a possibility midwinter break will be taken off the calendar from now on. The state recently passed a new law, and now the requirement for Michigan schools states that students must be in school for 180 days and 1,098 hours. “We have always hit the required amount of hours, but we don’t hit 180 days, so we have to add student days for next year’s calendar, and there are only so many places to add days,” Michael Rennell, a member of the board for the Grosse Pointe School System, said. Midwinter break has been a part of the schedule for many years now, so removing it could potentially affect students’ plans for that time of year. “Taking midwinter break away is a bad idea, because many families plan trips in advance and look forward to spending quality time together,” Hogan said. “Without the break, it would take away the opportunity to do this.” However, others believe it could be beneficial to remove it. Many argue that it is better to remain in school for the entire month of February so that more school days are not added on at the end of the year in June. “Having school the whole month of February is better overall because that way school can get out earlier in June,” Zachary Pierce ’18 said. “I think having a
week long break disrupts good habits that students develop, so when students return, they dread the work even more and have forgotten everything they learned prior to break.” Another idea being taken into consideration is still having a break in February, but making it shorter than it has been in previous years. “A compromise that has been discussed by the calendar board members is having a long weekend, and just having Friday and Monday off, instead of an entire week including two weekends,” Rennell said. If the board’s idea gets approved, then we will have a little bit shorter break at Christmas time, but keep our February break,” Rennell said. “There is not an official calendar for 2017-2018 yet, but right now the probability of having a February break is high.”
THIS WEEK AT SOUTH...
“Betsy DeVos, who doesn’t believe in public education, just got confirmed as the Secretary of Education. I think that makes teachers feel very insecure about the teaching profession and I think it will have a negative impact,” Rennell said. Renell he believes what keeps him around is to continue fighting for, and protecting the teachers that have been under appreciated in the community. “Have teachers been devalued? Very much so, and that’s why I have a job to be president and make sure those people get represented fairly,” Rennell said. Along with Rennell, English teacher Dr. Jodi Stevens also feels that the election of inexperienced people such as Betsy DeVos makes it difficult for teachers to feel valued. “The problem is you have lawyers and business people trying to make educational decisions at a national level, and they don’t know anything about teaching,” Stevens said. Stevens says that people who judge educators need to step in the shoes of a teacher and see what it is actually like to do what they do. “People, instead of making hollow claims and making swipes at educators, need to go into classrooms and spend some time and see all the decisions we have to make every single day,” Stevens said. “When
Boys varsity swimming senior night is this Wednesday v.s. Detroit Country Day at the Boll Athletic Center.
S BY RIL
Midwinter break starts this Friday at 3:05 p.m.
“We need to talk, let’s take a break” District considers changing the break schedule
As high school students, we’re expected to perform a continuous, near-impossible balancing act. In addition to roughly 35 hours of school every week, we have to make time for homework, friends, family and numerous extracurricular commitments. Breaks from school are a rare source of relief from these hectic schedules. No nightly homework assignments and no alarm clocks ringing before dawn is a welcome change from the stress of a normal week at school. But beginning next year, state law has increased the minimum number of hours that Michigan stu-
OUR VIEW // Editorial dents must spend in the classroom. Thus, there is a possibility of the district adjusting or removing breaks from the calendar next year. According to Moussa Hamka, South’s principal, the calendar for the 2017-2018 school year has yet to be agreed upon by administrators, and the central office is discussing possible options with parents, members of the community and the teacher’s union. There are several options: beginning school a week earlier in August, adjusting the lengths of any of our breaks, removing a break or extending the school year a week further into June. As far as students are concerned, adjusting breaks or extending the school year further into summer vacation is inconvenient and illogical. Adjusting the length or amount of breaks would cut back on students’ down time free of school, and extending the school year has the potential to cause multiple problems for students. Firstly, this would force the 60 percent of our student body that is enrolled in an AP course to attend their class daily for nearly a month and a half past their exam dates. Additionally, this could interfere with students’ summer jobs, summer camps and or workshops, as well as family vacations. That leaves what we believe to be the most favorable option: beginning school in August. While starting school before Labor Day could potentially result in a penalty for the district (because of a 2006 law prohibiting August start dates for Michigan schools), the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Because we would start a week earlier, midterms would fall the week before our break in December. This way, students wouldn’t need to be concerned about exams during the holidays. “When I was a student in high school, we did not have the requirement to start after labor day. So we started end of August,” Hamka said. “Then we came back from New Year, (there was a) new semester, and went on. It was a lot cleaner.” AP teachers would also be aided by an earlier start to the year. This would give them an additional week
Something That’s Adele came home with Album of the Year at the npr.org Grammys for “25”.
The best of times, the worst of times
What it’s like to be a second semester senior
he time has finally come, the second semester OLIVIA SHEFFER ’17 of my senior BUSINESS MANAGER year, the moment I have been patiently waiting for since I was a first semester freshman. My time in high school seemed as though it was never-ending, but now is the time where we reflect upon all of the things we did. While having a clean slate next year at college will be nice, you can’t help but to think of all the things you will never do again, and all of the people that you will probably never see after graduation, unless you run into them at Kroger. Homework and outfit choices are both things that a second semester senior is not particularly worried about. It is sad that it took four years to realize that no one will remember how much effort you put into what you wear, whether it be a good or a bad thing. Homework is not particularly a large concern due to the lack of motivation. Though it is still important, it becomes extremely difficult to somehow fit in homework between naps and Netflix. My alarm clock has suddenly been set back half an hour and my wardrobe consists of leggings, a sweatshirt, and any shoe I can find to go with it. The only way that the morning is somewhat doable is
waking up and knowing that a cup of coffee awaits me. After school is a completely different story, because somehow doing nothing has amounted to making me even more exhausted than school ever has before. When I come home, the only thing that I want to do is sleep and watch Netflix; somewhere in between sleep and more sleep is when my homework is done, or at least some of it. The most stressful part of the year is finally over: applying for colleges and putting the final touches on our ACT and SAT scores. At this time, most people have a good idea at where they will be going next year for college. It seems as though the only things people are concerned about at this point are spring break, prom, and of course, graduation. It’s weird to look back on high school and reminisce on some of my freshman year memories thinking about how long ago they were. When you are a freshman, it feels like graduation will never come, and you don’t even realize all the great memories that are ahead. It seems like graduation cannot come fast enough; the clock is slowly ticking and June seems like it is years away. This is unfortunately the time in high school where you truly begin to realize how much you will miss the little things when you go to college next year and everyone goes their separate ways.
Editor-in-Chief Erykah Benson* ’17 Associate Editor Jack Holme* ’17 Supervising Editors at Large John Francis* ’18 Liz Bigham* ’18 Supervising Editors Ray Hasanaj* ’18, Anton Mikolowski * ’17 Rachel Harris*, Riley Lynch*, all ’18 Page Editors Claire Hubbell* ’17 Cam Smolen*, Chase Clark*, Elena Rauch*, JD Standish*, Katherine Bird*, Liam Walsh*, all ’18
Copy Editors Madeleine Glasser*, Lily Kubek*, both ’17 Alyssa Czech*, Audrey Whitaker, Sylvia Hodges*, Bianca Pugliesi*, Claire Koeppen*, all ’19 Business Managers Cameron Francis* ’17 Asst. Olivia Sheffer* ’17
to instruct students prior to the exam in May. According to Hamka, Michigan students are at a disadvantage when it comes to AP courses. Because many schools across the nation begin in the middle of August, Grosse Pointe students are, at times, two or three weeks behind in the same curriculum as students in other parts of the country. James Adams, AP Biology teacher, said that more time for curriculum would be better. Most schools double the amount of time that students spend in AP Biology; students are instructed for two class periods instead of one. “More days before the AP test is a good thing. I think every AP teacher would say that, for the most part,” Adams said. “So adding days, for me the biggest thing would be don’t add them in June. That doesn’t help AP at all.” According to a Tower Twitter poll, out of 62 votes, 54 percent like the current setup of the school calendar, indicating that optimally the district calendar should undergo as few changes as possible. Starting school a week earlier was the second most popular choice, with 24 percent of the votes. Starting school before Labor Day, despite a few drawbacks, would aid AP students and teachers, as well as being less likely to inconvenience and possibly infringe upon summer activities and commitments.
Garrido’s Bistro & Pastry gives gourmet experience
Detroit icon and Tigers and Red Wings Owner Mike Ilitch passed away CNN.com at 87.
GRAPHIC BY RILEY LYNCH ’18
PIPER ESCHENBERG ’18 & GRACE REYES ’19 | Staff Writers arrido’s Bistro & Pastry has recently boomed in popularity on social media due to their new creation: a hot chocolate piled high with treats that range from small candies to waffles. The hot chocolate has a variety of flavors and toppings blended together that range from donuts, toasted marshmallow fluff to lava cake, all just as delicious as the next. In preparation for the upcoming holiday, Valentine’s Day, the drink was served with a pink berry whipped cream and festive candies. While the restaurant is filled with elegant tables, sitting at the bar opens up the possibility of having Vanessa Gonzalez, owner and inventor of the desert, to create the sweet treat in front of the customer. Although it’s a long process, it is well worth the wait. Gonzalez and her husband Christopher handmake the monstrous chocolate creations and the cocoa powder themselves, which is better left untouched by the espresso shot that it’s supposed to come with. Gonzalez originated from Spain, while David and Christopher Garrido come from Venezuela, and with them came their cooking expertises which are used in their bistro.
PHOTOS BY PIPER ESCHENBERG ’18 & GRACE REYES ’19
FINE FOODS |Vanessa Gonzales, owner of Garrido’s and the inventor of the dessert, makes a hot chocolate for patrons at the bar. She is originally from Venezuela.
both ’18 Staff Writers Adam Cervone, Charlie Denison, Conner McQueen, Emma Russell, Gillian Eliot, Jack Froelich, Jack Roma, Kelly Gleason, Mac Welsher, Mary Grace O’Shea, Michael French, Sydney Stann, Thomas Sine and William Muawad, all ’17
Online Editor-in-Chief Ariana Chengges* ’17
Arianna Pagenette, Alex Acker, Blair Cullen, Evan Skaff, Evan Theros, Griffin Jones, Ian Dewey, John Schulte, Harper McClellan, Kaitlin Nemeh, Maren Roeske, Margot Baer, Mollie DeBrunner and Piper Eschenburg, all ’18
Web Editors Erica Fossee*, Henry Ayrault*, Kathleen Carroll*, all ’19
Allison MacLeod, Amelia Turco, Alyssa Cole, Donald McGlone, Grace Reyes, Jacqueline Mercier, Katherine Costello, Sarah Bellovich, Sarah Stevenson, and Olivia Mlynarek, all ’19
Multimedia/Social Media Editors Emma Andreasen* ’17 Abigail Due*, Brennan Zilhman*
Adviser Kaitlin Edgerton
Photo Editors Lauren Thom* ’18 Phoebe Miriani* ’18
Garrido’s has a modern atmosphere with authentic Venezuelan specialities. Since December, the restaurant has been selling these homemade extravagant hot chocolates that has been drawing in more customers, according to their Facebook page. The hot chocolate is large and is best shared because it will make the overwhelming amount of sugar more manageable. It’s a great way to share time with a friend or Valentine. Although it is messy and hard to get at, the drink is dense with flavor. The chocolate is rich, but not overpowering. The waffle that came with it was slightly bland, but necessary when paired with the other flavors. If you’re looking for a chocolate dessert to indulge in, Garrido’s hot chocolate is ideal.
“The Tower” is the weekly publication of the Advanced Journalism classes at Grosse Pointe South High School. It has always been a designated public form of student expression. The Tower is located in room 142 in Grosse Pointe South High School. Please contact us at 313-432-3649.
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Robotics club gears up for first team competition in April
GRINDING GEARS | The Gearheads prepare for their first competition which takes place the first week of April. The robot will be finished by the end of March.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
EMMA ANDREASEN ’17 | Multimedia Editor The Grosse Pointe North and South combined robotics team is in full gear preparing for their first competition. “The day of the competition is that first weekend in April. That’s when we’ll first compete,” supervisor Dr. Eileen Reickert said. Reickert attends meetings and oversees the students in the building of the robot, which will be finished sometime at the end of March. “We have to get it [the robot] done a few days before the competitions because the schools that will host need time to set up. It’s only fair,” Trinity Diehlee ’19, a Grosse Pointe South student, said. Diehlee has been on the team for two years and is the unofficial co-captain of fabricating, one of the sectors of the team. There are six sectors of the team, divided by the job they do: design, fabricaThere are more tion, build, media, teams in Michigan business and safety, than a lot of other Diehlee said. states, so it’s pretty “The design team designs the parts of competitive. We are the robot and then proud of the fact that those designs get we always make it so sent to the fabricafar. tions team, which DONALD MATTES ‘17 makes the parts,” Grosse Pointe North student Diehlee said. “The build team puts the parts together and controls hard wires. Media is sort of their own subteam, sort of out of the circle. They do articles and social media. And then there’s business and safety, but those aren’t really teams.” The team started coming together to prepare for the competition about three weeks ago, Diehlee said.
Black history means to me black excellence. Growing up in a community where there aren’t a lot of African Americans, having black history reminds you that black excellence is real and it’s there; that’s why it’s so important for me.
IMANI SUGICK ‘17
The structure of the competition changes every year, alternating between different themes, Donald Mattes ’17, a Grosse Pointe North student, said. The goal of building the robot is to have it compete in these competitions and win an award. “There’s going to be multiple ways to score points, which there is every year. Whoever scores the most points wins,” Mattes said. “There’s There are six sectors always some sort of well structured task of the team, divided it has to adhere to, by the job they do: even if the task itdesign, fabrication, self is really differbuild, media, busient. This year, the ness and safety. core tasks are taking balls, and there’s two goals: one’s on a playing field and TRINITY DIEHLEE ‘19 one’s high up in a basketball hoop.” There are several competitions the team has to get through to make it to the finals. Two years ago, the team made it to the World Championships and last year they had a chance at states but the team decided not to go, Mattes said. “There are more teams in Michigan than a lot of other states, so it’s pretty competitive,” Mattes said. “We are proud of the fact that we always make it so far.” Although competitive, the battles are usually pretty friendly. Everyone is just working toward the same goal, Mattes said. “We all have mutual respect between teams like collaboration,” Mattes said. “The goal isn’t so much to win, but display how hard we’ve worked.”
To me, Black History Month means reflecting on particularly my past because of the color of my skin, and acknowledging all the people who have accomplished things to better America and make our society better, and my life better, too.
DEMETRIUS FORD ‘18
BASE club plans to make BHM more interactive MARY GRACE O’SHEA ’17 | “I have someone in the group Staff Writer that wants to do a mural, so we The Black Awareness Society are working on that. We are pofor Education (BASE) club at tentially going to do some black South is planning activities this history trivia for gift cards and Black History Month to celebrate prizes in the main building the lives of African American cit- during lunch and a jelly bean jar izens that have made remarkable where students guess a number discoveries in an attempt to edu- with significance to black histocate students that are interested ry.” in learning more about the hisBASE was restored last year tory. and joined by “Throughmany South out the month, students in we are going The purpose of Black light of events to hang postHistory Month is to at South and ers around the the need to learn the history of sig- be educated school of fanificant black people, on the impormous African Americans and to remind the cit- tance of black that have creizens on the history of culture, Sugick ated invenwhat has happened in said. tions that are “When I the United States. still relevant came to South JUSTIN HUNTER ‘18 today, like the freshman year, traffic light, there was the thermostat African Amerand peanut butter,” club president ican Student Alliance,” Sugick Imani Sugick ’17 said. said. “Then, last year after all of Events will be going on during the racist incidents happened, I both lunches for students that are joined for my junior year, and I interested in participating and was elected as president this year. learning new facts about African BASE essentially revamped itself American history. and we still have more people
joining.” Black History Month is not only intended to educate people on the topic, but also to remind citizens-- both white and black-of what African Americans have done for the country, Justin Hunter ’18 said. “The purpose of Black History Month is to learn the history of significant black people, and to remind the citizens on the history of what has happened in the United States,” Hunter said. “We have to educate and remind the minorities what they have done.” Black History Month celebrates diversity and how its prevalence in the United States has grown immensely throughout its years, Daniel Kuhnlein ’17 said. “The month encompasses cultures that we may not necessarily be accustomed to,” Kuhnlein said. “At least once every February, there is a speaker at the African American museum downtown, and my family goes each year. We hear about how Detroit was, the race riots and Rosa Parks. I remember when Rosa Parks died, we drove downtown to see her casket, and we could not even get past Campus Martius. It was cra-
Conversations about racial zy, but shows that Detroiters and Americans are interested in black issues are difficult to hold, but important, Pascoe said. Students rights and want to learn more.” History books and other that are interested in learning forms of education in schools more and being aware of other opinions need do not always to have eduteach about the cated, peaceful importance of conversation. black rights or For us to try to cram “The best give rememeverything into one thing we can brance to the month and to say that do is talk to progress African Americans there is only one month each other. If it have made, of success, I don’t think causes whites and African BASE adviser it does African Ameri- American kids Dennis Pascoe cans justice. to talk to each said. other and if “I think it DENNIS PASCOE it brings out is sad that we BASE Adviser realizations, have to be reI think that minded to put helps bring us black history into one month because it should on the right track to being more be something that is taught all unified as a school and as a city,” the time,” Pascoe said. “I think Pascoe said. “We need to have conversations. that sometimes our history and uncomfortable English books don’t necessarily Racial issues are hard issues to pay enough attention to accom- deal with, and if we can talk to plishments that African Amer- our friends respectfully about it icans have had. For us to try to or try to understand where somecram everything into one month one is coming from, I think that and to say that there is only one is going to help us out a lot.” month of success, I don’t think it does African Americans justice.”
The dangers that result from soaking up the sun, whether at the beach or at a booth, are more prevalent than ever in a bronzed obsessed nation PIPER ESHENBURG ‘18 | Staff Writer The issue with getting a base tan is the way in which When Calyx Turco ’17 went on spring break two people go about it--indoor tanning salons. The CDC years ago, she didn’t anticipate the sun poisoning she and dermatologists agree that this form of getting a was going to get from tanning too much. In an effort tan is in fact far worse than the sun itself. to never experience it again, she began to go to tanIn fact, according to the CDC, indoor tanning saning salons to get a “base tan.” lons and the UVA and UVB rays in the tanning beds Turco said she got sun poisoning due to the sudden lead to skin cancer. It’s even more profound in teentemperature changes. agers, whether its immediate effects or long-term “It went from super cold here to super hot (on va- from the rays. cation), and my skin couldn’t adjust to that quick of “It seems like a lot of times people don’t una change,” Turco said. “I went to a tanning bed just derstand how strong the sun and tanning booths to get a base tan and get my skin used to the warm are,” Hines said. “It’s probably why melanoma is weather.” so common when it absolutely shouldn’t ever be According to The Centers for Disease Control and in teens, (at least) not naturally.” Prevention (CDC), a base tan is not the answer to preMelanoma is growing in teens aged 15-29, venting a burn. A tan itself indicates damage to the taking second place as the most common canskin, and a base tan is almost double as harmful to cer in this age group. It can also come up later skin. One gives their skin a double dose of harmful in life in people in their late 30s or 40s as a rays by exposing it to result from too much the intense rays of the sun exposure as teentanning bed and then A tan is basically your skin’s way of protecting agers, Hines said. by going into the sun. Tanning can also itself; it doesn’t like being in the sun, and it cause sun spots and In additon, they may produces more pigment because it doesn’t not feel as obligated discoloration latto wear sunscreen beer in life, which want to be hurt again. cause of the base tan. Hines believes to DR. ALIYA HINES “I believe that tanbe more cosmetDERMATOLOGIST ning in moderation is ically detrimental okay,” Sam Rivard ’17 than wrinkles. said, former tanning saWhile getlon worker. ting a bad burn As a worker at a tanning salon, Rivard said h e a few times is not deadly, it can be had to know about how each tanning machine worked very painful, according to the CDC. Especially bad sunburns can cause so he could give clients the safest tan. “If you were to moderate the amount of times you swelling, blistering, nausea, headuse a tanning bed, the dangers are far less extreme aches, and chills. Hines said that although than being outside in the sun without any protection,” Rivard said. “If you were to go on vacation without there is really no safe way to tan, preparing your skin (by tanning), the sun is going to people can still enjoy the sun if a do more damage to your skin than if you were to get broad spectrum sunscreen is used with an SPF of 20 or higher and in a tanning bed a few times before you traveled.” According to Dr. Aliya Hines, who specializes in reapplying every two to three dermatology, a tan is the skin’s way of protecting itself. hours and after swimming. Sun“It (skin) doesn’t like being in the sun, and it pro- screen should be reapplied evduces more pigment because it doesn’t want to be hurt ery two to three hours and after PHOT O BY again,” Hines said. “That (tan) color is a reflection of swimming. Hats should also be JOHN FRAN CIS ’1 worn if the sun is particularly bad. damage.” 8
TIPS FOR BEING IN THE SUN
1. AVOID THE SUN BETWEEN 10 A.M. AND 4 P.M.
SUNGLASSES WITH 100% UV PROTECTION
3. EAT FOODS HIGH IN VITAMIN D
4. USE CHAPSTICK WITH SPF
5. USE SUNCREEN WITH AT LEAST 30 SPF
6. WEAR A HAT INFORMATION COURTESY OF AAD.ORG
Six ways to celebrate Black History Month SYLVIA HODGES ’19 | Copy Editor
VISIT THE DIA COLLECTION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ART
From Feb. 1-28, the DIA will be doing a special tribute to African American artists in honor of Black History Month by displaying its collection of African art. They will also offer guided tours, workshops and short film screenings. According to the DIA’s website, the DIA’s African art collection is among the finest in the United States, boasting pieces such as Benin brass sculptures, jewelry and even a carved wooden palace door. Their pieces are primarily from the African regions south of the Sahara Desert. Admission is free for residents of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. Get more information about this event at dia.org.
PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVITIES AT THE HENRY FORD MUSEUM
On Feb. 15-19 and 22-26, the Henry Ford Museum will let you explore African American culture through food and hands-on activities. The museum will help you follow African American history from the northern migration to the beginnings of jazz and all the way up to the Obama administration, according to their website. On Feb. 24, Robert Scott, the director of diversity initiatives for the University of Michigan College of Engineering, will share his vision for more inclusion in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. This experience comes free with museum admission. Get more information at thehenryford.org.
SEE “RACE” AT MACOMB COMMUNITY COLLEGE
On Feb. 28, Macomb Community College will host a viewing of the movie “Race,” a film about former Olympic track star Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals in the 1936 Berlin games. The viewing will be held on the Center Campus from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You must register in advance by calling 586-498-4031. For directions and more information, visit macomb.edu.
VISIT THE CHARLES H. WRIGHT MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY
The MAAH is open all of February from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for special events for Black History Month. Current exhibitions include “And Still We Rise: The African American Journey” and “Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology,” as well as many others. Guided tours are available and admission is eight dollars. Check out thewright.org for more information on exhibitions and special offers.
GO ON A TOUR AT THE DETROIT HISTORICAL MUSEUM
The Detroit Historical Museum is doing a featured tour on Feb. 18 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. about African Americans in the 20th Century. It will focus on the histories, experiences and influences of African Americans in Detroit. The featured tour guide will be Jamon Jordan, the founder of Black Scroll Network. Admission is 15 dollars per person. Check out detroithistorical.org for more information about this event.
PERFORMANCE BY THE ALNUR AFRICAN DRUM AND DANCE GROUP
The Detroit Historical Museum will host storytellers Ivory D. Williams and Madelyn Porter along with performances by the Alnur African Drum and Dance group. The performance will feature traditional dance, song, poetry and rhythm and is all part of the African American History Family Day. Along with the performances, attendees are
PHOTOS BY OLIVIA MLYNAREK ’19
INFORMATION COURTESY OF DETROITNEWS.COM
HARPER MCCELLAN ‘18 | Staff Writer Adolescent teenagers are at a higher risk of depression due to hormonal changes. According to National Institute of Mental Health, 12.5 percent of all teenagers have depression. 19.5 percent of teenage girls and 5.8 percent of teenage boys have depression. For Taylor Laney ’17, she said she has encountered a friend with symptoms of depression. “I knew they were depressed before they told me because they never wanted to go out anymore. I just knew, and then they finally told me. I told them ‘I’m here for you no matter what,’” Laney said. “I was lucky they told me. I could help them.” Laney was able to identify some symptoms of depression in her friend and address them. Knowledge of these symptoms and signs is important when dealing with such a serious matter,” school psychiatrist Lisa Khoury said. “Warning signs can be variable from student to student,” Khoury said. “Sometimes you would notice a change in personality, sometimes people withdraw from their friends or things they enjoy doing, they’ll chose not to go out with friends and stay home instead.” Students may also have a change in sleeping or eating habits, difficulty paying attention or start slipping grades, according to Khoury. However, there is a difference between regular stress and depression, according to Nicole Westfall, health teacher. “Everyone feels anxious or hopeless, it might be for a day or two. When it lasts for two or more weeks it can be linked to depression,” Westfall said. “So when it lasts for more than two weeks, that’s when I recommend for people to get help.” According to Laney, she recognized these signs in her friend before they told her, and wanted to do whatever she could to help. “I made sure I was always free and available. I was always there for them if they needed to talk to me,” Laney said. To help support your friends, there are various ways you can approach talking about this subject. “You could ask them about it, like, ‘hey, I noticed
Advice from Mr. Roby on how to cope with a depressed friend
that we call you to go out and you’re not responding, and you’re saying no more often. Is anything wrong?”’ Khoury said. Other ways to encourage a conversation with someone you’re concerned about could be to ask if they’re feeling okay, especially if they haven’t been as outgoing or talking and laughing as much as usual, according to Khoury. “If you notice a change in your friend’s behavior, you have to talk to somebody. You have to address the problem,” Westfall said. There are many adults, even just at South, that will be able to talk about this subject, according to Khoury. “You or your friend could talk to a school personnel, like a school counselor, a school psychiatrist or a school social worker. You can share your concerns. They might know something about a background story about that student, and be able to reach out,” Khoury said. Laney reached out to adults to help support her friend during this time. “I told her to tell her parents so they were aware what was going on, and could help her,” Laney said. According to Westfall, sometimes it is crucial to reach out and get help from an adult. If your friend is depressed and talking about self harm, it is essential that you contact an adult, Khoury said. “I would never laugh it off or blow it off if your friend comes to you with this, because you would never want anything bad to happen to them,” Westfall said. Depression is the number one disorder linked to suicide. When someone is suffering through depression, when they feel like they can’t handle life anymore is when suicide is often considered because they just are miserable and can’t deal with their stress anymore, Westfall said. If you or a friend is dealing with depression, a teen hotline number is 310-855-4673. Also at South, there are school counselors, a school psychiatrist, and school social workers that can help.
PHOTO AND INFO COURTESY BY LIAM WALSH ‘18
If your friend is depressed, seek out some form of adult support wherever that may be. It can be here at school it can be outside of school depending on their age if it’s outside of school that would involve parents. I can keep it confidential. We would need to connect that person to a professional so they can evaluate the extent of the depression, how severe it is, so if we need to do more than we are doing. I’m not a psychiatrist so I can’t prescribe medication but I can make diagnoses. There’s situational depression and formal depression which is a chemical imbalance in the body. Medication’s goal is to level those chemicals out and you follow that with therapy to learn how to deal with that. I’ll have students appear at my door saying this is how I’m feeling. Or they take a depression inventory in health class and then have concerns about the answers so they will then seek out an adult. The key is to seek out an adult. There’s nothing we should have to face on our own.
DOUG ROBY School social worker
Having depression increases a teens likelyhood of committing suicide by..
GRAPHICS BY ELENA RAUCH ‘18
of teens with depression also have a substance abuse problem
Teen females develop depression twice as often as men
ALL INFORMATION FROM: INEEDALIGHTHOUSE. ORG, PSYCHCENTRAL.ORG, TEENDEPRESSION. ORG, NIMH.GOV. INFORMATION COMPILED BY MARGOT BAER ‘18
20% of teens experience depression before adulthood
Only 30% of depressed teens are being treated for it
children ages 12-17 in 2015 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode a year.
How to spot teen depression and what to do about it
of teens with depression can be successfully treated if they seek the right help.
TEEN DEPRESSION HOTLINE: 310-855-4673
Can 21st century learning become the new age for classrooms around the nation?
CLAIRE KOEPPEN ‘19 | Copy Editor Students at South may soon be educated in new ways if a system, known as 21st century learning, is implemented in the curriculum. The switch to this method has already begun in some elementary schools in Grosse Pointe, such as Maire, Kerby and Mason, and is planned to spread to all classrooms in the district. David Ross, CEO at the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, said most students have been learning in the same, traditional format that isn’t necessarily beneficial to them. “If you’ve been a normal American student, you’ve been in a classroom in which you usually sit in rows, and the teacher usually talks to you and you don’t talk to other students, and the teacher expects you to listen to every word that they say,” Ross said. “Most of the information comes out of a textbook. Then, you have a test and you move on, and you study something else.” Ross says that this is an outdated system of learning. “That’s the way schools have been for hundreds and hundreds of years, and my organization, which has been around since 2002, is based on what businesses were saying, and what colleges were saying, and what research was saying, (which was), ‘that’s not the way people learn!’” Ross said. Riley Brennan ’19 believes that the current way students learn may be better than the proposed 21st century learning. “I think we should focus mostly on the core aspect of school, but a little bit of technology wouldn’t hurt,” Brennan said. “I use my phone in class as a calculator or computer.” Daniel Roeske, current vice president of the school board and outgoing Trustee of the Board of Education, says he thinks 21st century learning is beneficial for the student and that he sees it in the workplace. “It is about learning competencies such as collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving that we need to teach to help students thrive in today’s real world,” Roeske said. “I see it first hand at my work. We use the concepts of coming up
with creative solutions to problems and being willing to try something new and different. Students will need these skills and experiences to be successful in college or in the workplace.” However, according to Roeske, there’s no guarantee that this plan will be passed. “If Dr. Niehaus and the administration are allowed to put their plan in place, I believe it will transform the way our kids learn, and for the better. Look at what happens in classes today-- the teacher asks a question on the topic being discussed. The student does a search for more info on their laptop, tablet or phone,” Roeske said. “This generates more questions and discussion.In the end, this embodies critical thinking skills and that is what you need to be successful in college, or work, or the military, after high school.” Kendra Caralis, a history teacher at South, has already incorporated new methods of learning into her classroom. “The things that I’ve been doing in my classroom involve new types of seating to encourage collaboration and freedom of choice. I use flexible seating options that put away the traditional desks,” Caralis said. “The desks that I do have are grouped in sixes and get larger amounts of students together and talking appropriately.” Caralis also believes that 21st Century Learning is a way for students and teachers to progress together. “I think the system of 21st Century Learning is great. We need to use all tools available to us and continue evolving as a learning community. I learn new things from my students every day and I hope I do the same for them. We can all help each other,” Caralis said. “Traditional learning is, to me, a stagnate idea. Today’s learners need to find the answers themselves and seek out new solutions. Often times, my students get frustrated when I don’t just tell them the answer. I want them to think it through themselves first, and turn to your peers for answers also.” Brennan believes that the new way of learning could go either way for students. “This will either negatively or positively impact kids depending on if they use technology responsibly,” Brennan said.
GRAPHIC BY JD STANDISH ’18
How education is valued in America
RAY HASANAJ ‘18| Supervising Editor Continued from Page 1 “One, people don’t think what we do is hard work, and in my opinion we have the second most important job on the planet, besides being a good parent,” Stevens said. Stevens also believes another reason is because of the common misconception that teachers do not have to work in the summer. She says these people are mistaken. “Another reason that we are vilified is that people use this claim that we have our summers off, where we are usually taking classes that we pay for out of our own pockets. Or redoing lessons, or going to workshops about the latest shift in standardized testing,” Stevens said. Todd Hecker, physics teacher, agrees with Stevens’ claim that a contributing reason to the lack of respect teachers receive is partially due to the idea that teachers get their summers off. “People always say ‘teachers get summers off and the afternoon,’ but the time I spend in the summer is preparing for and modifying lessons, it’s not like I’m sitting around picking my nose all summer,” Hecker said. Not only does Hecker focus a lot of his time in the summer on his job, but he says a majority of his week is focused on it as well. “I work 60 hours a week when I’m here. Most days I’m here at 6:30 a.m. and I stay until 5 p.m., plus hours out of school grading papers,” Hecker said. Hecker wishes that with all the time and commitment he and other teachers put into the job, it could be regarded a little higher. “It would be nice if teachers were valued in the same way doctors and lawyers are. I think the contribution that teachers give to society is definitely as important,” Hecker said. In addition, Hecker says he believes the teacher’s union taints the perception that some have on the career. “I don’t know if doctors have a union but I think that people have a negative view of unions and I think that hurts the way that teachers are viewed,” Hecker said. Although, Hecker says that he does not feel devalued at South and that Grosse Pointe provides a very hospitable environment for teachers. “I think Grosse Pointe is pretty good for the most part at valuing
teachers. I haven’t had a ton of interactions with parents, but most of To earn respect and value amongst her students, Stevens said she the interactions I’ve had, have been positive,” Hecker said. accomplishes this with an outstanding working relationship with Hecker also sites politics in correlation of how well teachers are them and their parents. regarded. Especially with the recent congressional hearing of Betsy “I care about them as people, and I can tell you something about evDeVos. ery student in the classroom that has nothing to do with their reading “Right now there’s a big anti-union push and Snyder pushed the and writing. I go to their sporting events, they follow me on Twitter, I right-to-work bill, and certainly the selection of DeVos as the Secre- give them congratulations, say hi to them at the door. Sometimes it’s tary of Education,” Hecker said. the little things.” Despite what works against Rennell also pracHecker and other teachers, he says tices a similar teaching that what continues to motivate practice as Stevens. He him to teach is the rewarding mosaid he gets his kids to ments after a student understands respect his work as a something. teacher by letting them “The opportunity to work with know that he cares about students, the fact that you get to them. see that “ah-ha” moment with “Kids don’t care what TODD HECKER | Physics Teacher students-- the light bulb where it you know until they clicks-- it’s rewarding and I love know that you care. I that feeling,” Hecker said. have to show my students that I’m as passionate about my job and Hecker said he origionally went to the University of Michigan to teaching them,” Rennell said. pursue engineering, but that the lack of human interaction drove him Regardless of how valued or respected they feel, Rennell and Steaway from it. vens both share the same reason as to what keeps them going as a “I wanted more interaction with people, and that’s really what I like teacher. about teaching,” Hecker said. “When I switched out of engineering I “Students (keep me motivated). You have all kinds of people who decided, look I’m going to earn less money but I need to do what I come back to you and say ‘I loved your class’ or ‘because of you I’m want to do, not just what pays the best.” doing this’. That’s what it’s all about, it’s not for the money,” Rennell Stevens can relate to Hecker’s feelings on pay, but dosn’t take well to said. Similarly, Stevens said “We love the kids. We love you guys and when her salary gets cut. As a matter of fact, she said that the last time girls. It’s a privilege to work here, we have great students in this buildshe personally felt ‘kicked in the teeth’ was when teachers had to take ing, and that’s why (we’re here); to hang out with you five days a week.” their last big pay cut, because she knows how hard teachers work. Stevens said that she anticipated teaching to be a difficult job overall, but in the end it was her parents that made her decide she wanted to teach. “My parents were really great educators, and they told me that I should go to Stanford Law, and that I should not go into teaching, but I saw how many lives they changed, and that’s why I chose this field,” Stevens said. “I know it was not a mistake.”
“It would be nice if teachers were valued in the same way doctors and lawyers are. I think the contribution that teachers give to society is definitely an important.”
Ten Books to read before college ANTON MIKOLOWSKI ‘18 | Supervising Copy Editor
ON THE ROAD BY JACK KEROUAC:
INVISIBLE MAN BY RALPH ELLISON:
There is a enjoyment of the mundane, often not embraced by traditional literature, which Kerouac tends to write about. “On the Road” chronicles the travels of Kerouac and his friends, based on other major beat figures whom he is associated with. The work is seen frequently as the heart of the beat generation, exemplifying the humanity and liberation the movement was known for.
This novel and philosophical master-key recognizes and explores a plethora of social conventions through the lens of an invisible man-- who can sift through these truths without fear of detection or the like. It is an experimental and naturalistic work which leaves no stones unturned concerning the rotting western culture of the time (1952).
ULYSSES BY JAMES JOYCE:
JANE EYRE BY CHARLOTTE BRONTE:
Many AP Lang. students may be familiar with James Joyce, the 20th century Irish author known for his clever, avant-garde style and downright raunchy attitude. “Ulysses” focuses on the growth of two characters in particular over the course of a single day in Dublin. It is unusual in the literary field as it utilizes a stream of consciousness, which lets the novel read like a continuous flow of reactions. It is relatively existential and there is a likelihood that the reader will question their place in society and the globe.
“Jane Eyre” can be seen as the classic, bildungsroman (or coming of age) story. It revolves around the early experiences of a female figure and exercises early feminism and equality-based tendencies. It displays the consciousness of this character and portrays thoughts covering varying themes.
THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN BY SHERMAN ALEXIE: This semi-autobiographical work seeks to inform a wide audience of what it means to be a Native American in the contemporary era. It explores themes like life, love, race and the meaning of freedom. It is equally parceled with dry comedy and pathos-intensive sections, leaving the reader both entertained and enlightened.
THE STRANGER ALBERT CAMUS: By the philosopher and Franco-Algerian absurdism Albert Camus, “The Stranger” questions the convention of what it means to be a “hero”. The protagonist, Meursault, is not traditional by any means or accounts-- he is sometimes seen as cold, even callous; other times lighthearted and kind. Camus has a slick style about his person and his writing, known for being heavily charismatic.
Their view: MR. ADAMS The way that students might feel more secure, even though it might not be more effective, is there are always the books the library has to offer, like the “5 Steps to a 5”.
MS. MOREFIELD PINDER If you want to do well in calculus, you have to do calculus. You really have to practice. You literally have to sit down and do practice problems.
How to prepare for AP Testing
The hard part is the aptitude you kind of come here with. I can help you a lot with content, but exposure to those questions is pretty much the best thing I can do for people.
MS. MCCUE It’s a five year process, so they’ve been preparing since they started taking Spanish because that’s what our curriculum does. There is no magical pill you can take, even your last year. It’s kind of a long term memory process thing.
TROPIC OF CANCER BY HENRY MILLER: If there is a book your parents don’t want you to read, it’s probably this one. Henry Miller tested the American laws of pornography when this was published in 1934, despite the book being more about the exploration of self and the trials of being a writer than obscenity. This novel is still unavailable at booksellers and libraries across the nation. CRIME AND PUNISHMENT BY FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY: If you’re seeking the questioning of your own morality, then “Crime and Punishment” is probably for you. Dostoyevsky experienced countless times of peril and adventurous excursions throughout his early life and is relatively qualified. The book is long, a near-epic in its own right, but will instill the reader with a sense of what it means to be human-- to have purpose.
FAHRENHEIT 451 BY RAY BRADBURY: There is an eerie similarity between the 1953 Bradbury dystopian work and today’s heavy emphasis on progressive technology with regressive society. It takes the reader through the mindset of a “firefighter”, but not how we think of them… in “Fahrenheit 451”, firefighters do not prevent fire, but start them in order to destroy books and knowledge of what the tightening government sees as culture from a corrupt time.
THE DREAM OF A COMMON LANGUAGE BY ADRIENNE RICH: Adrienne Rich is known for her strength in poetry. She uses “The Dream of a Common Language” to emphasize themes of power, love and human nature. It is divided into three sections and was seen as relatively controversial when it was published in 1978 due to Rich’s sexual orientation. It is filled to the brim with vibrant poetry that has a reckoning force to command the attention of the reader.
Are AP Courses Imperative? ERICA FOSSEE ‘19 | Staff Writer Advanced Placement (AP) exams are quickly approaching this May and the importance of AP classes for getting into college is becoming prevalent. “As soon as I was allowed to take AP classes, I was taking them,” Maria Trosinski ’17 said. “So sophomore year I was taking two AP classes.” High school students spend lots of time and work hard in AP classes, according to Trosinski. “There are so many AP courses available, you should take advantage of some,” AP calcus teacher Alexa McConaghy said. Some colleges used to accept AP scores of three, but most colleges only accept fours and fives now when taking AP credit, according to McConaghy. “Western might take a three, University of Michigan doesn’t take a three for anything,” AP biology teacher James Adams said. “The more selective state colleges or just colleges in general, generally you have to get a four or five for those,” . According to Adams, by taking AP biology a student may be able to pass out of a freshman class in college. “The upper level classes expect you to know a lot of biology,” Adams said. Some students take enough AP class to start college as a sophomore, according to Martha Dawson ’20. “Students will take AP classes just to be more attractive to colleges and try to get in,” Dawson said. Students take AP classes to show they are ready for college, Adams said. Many elite colleges expect students to take AP classes, according to AP Spanish V teacher, Cindy Morefield-Pinder. The AP biology test has gone through changes in the past years, according to Adams. It has become more of a biology SAT and tests student’s aptitude more than biology knowledge. “The people who score really well on standardized tests do really well on the AP biology test,” Adams said. Actual college exams will test knowledge more and less aptitude, according to Adams. “I don’t know if it (the AP test) is really helpful overall for college preparation,” Adams said.
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Some colleges are not accepting AP credits, according to McConaghy. Whether or not a college will accept AP credits can affect the college decision process, according to Bobbi Barrett ’18. “A lot of people take AP classes just so they won’t have to in college,” Barrett said. Brown University does not accept any AP credits for English, according to brown.edu. The possibility of a college not accepting a student’s AP credits is affecting students’ choice to take AP classes, according to Adams. “A lot of people are not taking it (the AP exam) for a lot of different reasons,” said Adams. Cost and the choice of college are some reasons students chose to not take the AP test, according to Adams. According to Morefield-Pinder, students taking AP classes will not be affected by certain colleges not accepting the credits. University of Michigan and Michigan State University are both generous when it comes to giving AP credit. “A lot of kids feel like they need to have those college credits,” Dawson said. According to Adams, the AP biology class was made more difficult in order to better prepare students for college classes. “AP classes are at least a little important because there’s a GPA multiplier, so that will bring your grade up,” University of Michigan freshman Tyler Scoggin said. “Also, it shows colleges that you’re trying harder in the classes that you’re taking.” AP classes are more important when students get to college because they will better understand their professors, according to Scoggin. “They (students) know that the rigor of their curriculums still plays a role in looking at their background and their transcript,” McConaghy said. It is also possible that colleges will check to see if students took the most rigorous schedule possible, according to Morefield-Pinder. “The reality is, even if they don’t take your AP credits, if you don’t take the AP exam, if you’re not an AP student, you’re not going to get into those colleges anyway,” Morefield-Pinder said.
Athletes to watch out for in current sports KATHERINE BIRD ‘18 | Page Editor
Grade: Sophomore Sport: Varsity Basketball How often do you practice? Every single day How long have you been playing? Since I was 10
Grade: Junior Sport: Varsity Hockey How often do you practice? Five days a week How long have you been playing? I’ve been playing for 12 years
Grade: Freshman Sport: Varsity hockey How often do you practice? 4-5 times a week How long have you been playing? Since I was 5 or 6
South alumni wins the Apple app of the year with new My Swim Pro app JOHN SHULTE ‘18 | Staff Writer When asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, many South students would draw a blank. Falling under this category was South graduate Fares Ksebati, who never expected he would develop the Apple Watch App of the Year, My Swim Pro. Ksebati first knew he was interested in technology when he participated in a technology program during his time at South, he said. “When I was a junior, I was in this program called Panasonic Living in High Definition, and they selected 20 families across the country to get 20 thousanddollars worth of high definition technology. This was back when high definition was a big deal,” Ksebati said. Ksebati had other interests in high school, like being on the swim team and participating in DECA, Varsity Club and French Club. After graduating from South in 2009, Ksebati went on to swim collegiately at Wayne State University, leaving with a business degree and a passion for swimming. By the end of his fellowship in 2014, Ksebati knew he wanted to make something. “I was kind of in that mindset of bringing something to life that doesn’t currently exist,” Ksebati said. With an entrepreneurial mindset, Ksebati assembled a team to bring his idea to life. “I met one of my co-founders while he was working at a technology company in Detroit and I was working at a technology start up in Detroit,” Ksebati said. “I met him at an event. Then the other guy,--he swam at Michigan-- I knew him through swimming, so we actually competed in the same event,” Ksebati said. The My Swim Pro app also has a team of experienced advisors. “We have recruited a team of advisors who have started to build Global Fitness Company, the largest sports brand in the world,” Ksebati said. “One of them was an Olympic swimmer. His name is Peter Vanderkaay, and he competed in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics. He went to Michigan; he was co-captain of the US Olympic team in 2012.” Ksebati’s inspiration for My Swim Pro came from his experience as a swim coach. “Being a coach, it was actually when I was coaching when I realized that there are zillions of people who don’t have access to a coach,” Ksebati said. “I am a coach and I realize, ‘wait a second, there are all these people with the problem that they don’t know what to do’,” Ksebati said. According to Ksebati, My Swim Pro is the first of it’s kind on the app store. “The thing that separates us from anything else right now is really getting a personalized workout experience,” Ksebati said. “What that means is having something that is truly unique to what the swimmer’s goal is, because it is one thing to see a workout that someone else did, but the more personalized we can create the workout, the more valuable it is.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF FARES KSEBATI
Ksebati used his experience as a swim coach to create all the training plans the app offers. “The reason we won app of the year is because our watch app redefines personal coaching on a wearable device. You can take a workout from your phone and put it on a watch, and it will guide you through the workout step by step,” Ksebati said. “That experience right now is still the only one of its kind.” In order to create a personalized workout for swimmers, the app offers a variety of workouts that are tailored to skill level and type of workout. “Once you setup your account and are grouped into a skill level, then you have different workout categories you can choose from. If you want to do a strength workout or a distance workout, we have eight different categories,” Ksebati said. “Once you pick out a category, there will be a bunch of different workouts you can pick from which are organized by the duration and the time, like how long the workout is.” Ksebati did not think his app would be named best watch app of the year by Apple, but he knew he had made a hit from the positive feedback. “You never know you are going to be app of the year, it kind of just happens. Even from the really early days, I knew that we were on to something because the feedback we received was simply incredible, like people would, you know, like the feedback, like, even the app store reviews,” Ksebati said. Ksebati said social media played a crucial role in the success and popularity of My Swim Pro. “Social media is a way for us to communicate to our audience all over the world,” Ksebati said. “Ten years ago, you could never have the distribution you have today if it wasn’t for these social platforms. They give small businesses like ours the opportunity to compete with the big brands because we can create this compelling content.” Ksebati has plans to further develop the personal training experience of My Swim Pro. “The next step, in terms of innovation, is having an artificial intelligence layer creating the workout better than I could or than anyone could, because it is factoring in a lot of different data points,” Ksebati said. “It also makes it simpler for the user, and simplicity is really important.” In addition to improving the personal training aspect of the app, Ksebati could potentially apply the technology from My Swim Pro to other sports apps. “In terms of expanding to other sports, that’s a yes and no answer, because right now we are really focusing on owning swimming, and we don’t want to get too diverted with other opportunities,” Ksebati said. “The world we live in is becoming more personalized, so whether it’s swimming, running or studying, all those things are going to become more and more personalized. I think apps in general are only going to grow.”
PHOTOS COURTESY OF KELSIE FRANCIS, WILL FRAME AND LILLY ADAMS
Varsity cheer team tumbles into districts LILY KUBECK ‘17 | Copy Editor Grosse Pointe South’s cheer team will be wrapping their season up next Saturday, Feb. 18, as the team prepares for districts. “It’s been a good season,” Addie Ulku ’20 said. “We have a lot of new people on the team, so I think for that, we have been doing really well.” The team just finished the last of their three Maximo Area Conference (MAC) Competitions this past Thursday, Feb. 9. They placed fourth overall out of six teams, and scored 682, varsity cheer member Ulku said. “I’m really proud of us, we did so well,” varsity cheer member, Claire Duncan ’17 said. After completing the last of the MAC competitions, the team is focused on preparing for districts, Duncan said. “Our goals for districts are to just get our scores up even more because everyone’s scores go up,” Duncan said. “We’re just working hard to hopefully pass a few teams.” To prep for the upcoming event, the cheer team is going over each round repeatedly, and then improving all the small technical skills, Ulku said. Overall the team has reached multiple goals set for the season, Duncan said. “One of our goals was to get a lot more tumbling and gymnastics into round two and three, and we definitely did that,” Duncan said. “And our stunting has definitely gotten better over last year to this year.” The team also mastered their back handsprings for round two, which has been a goal for for awhile, Ulku said. “The season has been really good,” Duncan said. “We have gotten so much better over the course of just the competition season and I’d say this is the best team we have had in a long time.”
SCHOOL SPIRIT ABROAD | The cheer team brings the heat at their Maxi-
mo Area Conference (MAC) Competitions. They finished with a final score of 682 and in fourth place overall.
SMILE FOR THE CAMERA | The squad takes a break to capture the moment at one of the competitions. Their goal going into districts is to improve their overall score.