— March 2013 —
The Walker School
Volume XIV Issue 5
WALKER RELEASES NEW EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN ON PAGE 2
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY A POTENTIAL AT WALKER ON PAGE 4
WALKER HOSTS VEX ROBOTICS COMPETITION ON PAGE 7
ATLANTA BRAVES ADD YOUNG TALENT TO ROSTER ON PAGE 9
The Wolverine The Wolverine, founded in 1999, is the newspaper of The Walker School, 700 Cobb Parkway North, Marietta, Georgia 30062. Telephone: (770) 427 - 2689. E-mail: email@example.com The Wolverine is published seven times during the school year by the members of the student body. Guest articles and letters to the editor may be submitted. Submissions must include the writer’s name and be hand-delivered or emailed. The meaning of any submission will not be altered, but The Wolverine reserves the right to edit for coherence. Rights are also reserved to postpone or withold publication any letter, article, or advertisement submitted. Final decision on publication rests with the Editor-In-Chief in consultation with the entire Editorial Board and the Journalism Adviser. Guest articles and letters to the editor do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Walker School, its administration, or employees. Copyright authority to the material (articles, graphics, etc.) contained in this publication is strictly held under reserve by the Editorial Board. Any reproduction or alteration without written consent is strictly prohibited. The staff of The Wolverine is comprised of members of the Upper School Journalism Class. The Wolverine serves as a voice for the Walker Community. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Visit us online at TWSWolverine.com Journalism Adviser: Kaitlyn Ranney 2012-2013 Staff Editor-In-Chief: Coleman Hedden. ‘14 Managing Editor: Travis King, ‘14 Assistant Editors: Mary Grace Walsh, ‘14 Meredith Wright, ‘13 Reporters: Alex Brack, ‘15 Victoria Hudson, ‘14 Stephen Oweida, ‘14
Walker Releases New Emergency Operations Plan BY Travis King On Friday, February 22, every building across Walker’s campus underwent a hard lockdown drill. This drill served as the one of the first tests of the school’s newlycreated Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). This new plan, a joint effort between the Facilities, Security, and Communications departments, has been in development since last spring, and consists of both a 45-page detailed response guide as well as a quick-reference guide distributed to all faculty and staff. The quick-reference guide contains checklists and instructions for almost every kind of school emergency, including a severe allergic reaction, a fire, severe weather, a chemical spill, an armed intruder, a bomb threat, and even an earthquake. The February 22 drill was treated as a “hard lockdown,” which would mean that an armed intruder is inside a building somewhere on campus. In a hard lockdown, faculty, staff, and students are to enter the nearest classroom or office, lock the doors, cover the windows, and turn off the lights. Teachers are responsible for taking attendance and noting any missing students. The guide also lists what to do when there is an active shooter in the vicinity: first, try to evacuate. If there is no easy or safe escape route, hide in an area out of the shooter’s view and attempt to block entry into the hiding place. Though the recent events at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. were not responsible for the creation of this guide, they served as a wake-up call and forced the administration to take a closer look at the new procedures. Director of Facilities Jackie Porubiansky said, “We have been working on this emergency plan for a while, and it’s been at the top of our list. In response to Sandy Hook, we have sought out some security specialists, including the Marietta SWAT team, the Georgia State Patrol, and the Southern Poly Security Chief. We’re just trying to seek out additional information to
make sure we’re doing the best that we can.” Since the shooting took place in an elementary school, it truly struck close to home for both the Preschool as well as the Lower School. Preschool Principal Gail Doss said, “As the school continues to examine safety, we were given an opportunity to test the current emergency system. I’m pleased to report that all went well…our little ones were great…our teachers were terrific…not one child seemed afraid!” In response to the incident, the Preschool has revamped its visitor sign-in procedures (all visitors must check in and receive a name tag, much like in the main building), a new lock has been installed on the playground gate, and carpool is being monitored more closely. Lower School Principal Megan Howard said, “First, our Lower
Three Lower School students comfortably walk arm-in-arm knowing the campus is safe. Photo Courtesy of Jason Jones
School students’ safety is our first priority. So, after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we reaffirmed this priority by supporting our children, faculty, and families in unique and specific ways and also by reassessing our building’s security – both the
strengths as well as the weaknesses. I met with concerned parents and also heard from parents who were grateful for all that we already had in place at Walker. More specifically, we have made some changes that we have communicated or will communicate to parents about exterior doors, check-in and checkout policies, and safety drills. As a whole school, additional security measures have been put in place that makes our campus even more secure.” The majority of the new security measures deal with policies and procedures, but there will be several visible changes throughout the school as well. The main doors, which have previously remained unlocked during the day, will be locked and an intercom installed to verify visitors. All visitors must sign in with the front desk, and faculty and staff have been instructed to send anyone not wearing a badge to the front desk to check in. Additionally, phones and speakers are being installed throughout all buildings, allowing for everyone in every building to hear any important announcements. Though physical security upgrades are crucial, they prove useless without the support of the Walker community. Howard said, “The most effective piece of any security plan is careful and thoughtful people. The response of the teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook was tremendous under unimaginable pressure. Having procedures in place – and consistently re-evaluating those methods – is important, but it’s not as important as making sure everyone in the building is aware of those procedures and confident to act in case of an emergency.”
Online Extra: Visit TWSWolverine. com to view a complete list of the latest security upgrades, as well as the most recent communications to the Walker community regarding the new security procedures.
Five Words for Walker BY Stephen Oweida Most Walker students can agree that our school is different from any other school. To find out how unique it truly is, a school-wide survey was administered so that the students could choose what five traits make Walker such a wondrous place. On the survey sheet were a multitude of words that could possibly define Walker, and students were were told to circle five. After the votes were counted, the five words that were unanimously chosen are respect, community, leadership, honor, and dedication. Respect, not only to faculty and staff members, but to one another as students, is a key trait that Walker students posses. By simply walking down the hallway, one can
see that the lockers have no locks on them, and students can leave their backpack wherever they want without fear of anything being stolen. This shows that Walker students have respect for each other’s personal belongings. When students respect each other, they create a community that flourishes and thrives. Referring to Walker’s diverse community, junior Jeff Wallace said, “with so many different clubs to join, its hard not to be an active member of the Walker family.” As for leadership, most on campus, including freshman Luke Hathaway, see the seniors as leaders not only in grade ranking but among the student body. Hathaway said, “The seniors lead the way for our
school, and when they get excited for school events, they get the whole school pumped up as well.” Another key word chosen to describe Walker is honor. Walker high school students act honorable both in and out of the classroom which helps support our school. We even have an Honor Code which stipulates that all Walker students must act honorably. We honor our school by following the rules and trying to be the best students that we can be. The final word the represents Walker is the most important. What good are any of these traits if we do not possess dedication? The dedication to these traits ensures that these traits can be found in
our student body for as long as Walker is around. Walker alumni from the Class of 2010 John Langmack said, “I was dedicated to my responsibilities as a student… and to honoring my community. This not only improved my high school life, but it also prepared me for how I should act in college. Walker’s unique environment creates opportunities for students to be active members in a community which will benefit them in the future.” When the entire school can agree on the traits respect, community, leadership, honor, and dedication, it shows the Wonder of Walker, and that we are more than an average private school.
New Classes for 2013-2014
Social Media Policy a Potential at Walker
BY Mary Grace Walsh
With recent talk concerning social networking at school, students and faculty are questioning whether Walker should enforce a policy over the online profiles of students. Other ideas have included the concept of student-led groups for discussion about social media etiquette. With online conversation affecting the way students feel in the Walker community, does the faculty have the responsibility to keep track of what is said online? Dean of Students Newton McCurdy discussed his views on how social networking is used. He believes the administration has the right to interfere if bullying or harassment is occurring between Walker students. McCurdy said, “That’s what a policy is for, not so much of what you can and cannot post. It’s more of when it infringes upon other students. It’s less content and more harassment and bullying.” McCurdy also pointed out that some posts can reflect negatively on the school. “There have been instances where someone posted something on Twitter and mentioned or ‘hashtagged’ ‘The Walker School.’ So therefore, if someone is looking at ‘The Walker School’ then they would see that. We would talk to the person and tell them why that’s inappropriate.” Upper School English Teacher Matt Eisenman agrees that Walker should have an established standard for social networking, because students on and off campus use Twitter and Facebook. “I think we need a reasonable standard established by students, faculty, and administration. Similar to the Honor Code, where enforcing a policy isn’t the issue, but it’s about setting an acceptable community standard,” Eisenman said, “With technology, the difference between off campus and on campus is non-existent. Unlike alcohol, for instance, where you’re underage and on campus there are other consequences; it’s a tangible thing. Twitter and
Facebook can be on and off campus, and things said at home will impact the way people feel in the community during the school day.” Communications Associate Meghan Stauts believes that student-led groups will be the most efficient way of teaching students to use social networking sites wisely. “I think that’s a more constructive way to reach people. I find that people react better when they’re not being talked at; they’re being talked with,” said Stauts. “I would hope that it would be more of a collaborative effort if students were talking to other students. If I put myself in the shoes of a high school student, I would prefer student-led groups as oppose to a faculty member coming in and saying ‘don’t use this and don’t do this.’”Stauts believes social networking sites can be used positively, and small groups would allow students to discuss the way they use these sites and how they can be used to their advantage. “I think we’re capable of making social networking a more positive thing in our community,” said Stauts. “I think social media is a great tool, and I will say that it can be used in excellent ways for students. I don’t think you shouldn’t use it, because when they’re used correctly, they can be a great tool for research or networking with people.” She emphasizes that as students enter the job world or go to college, social media becomes less about ‘sub-tweeting’ and more about making connections with others. “I think once we can move away from
having that image of social media, we can move more towards using it as a tool in 2013 to accomplish things. I think that would be a huge change,” said Stauts. Some students believe that administration and teachers spend time looking through their online profiles, but that isn’t necessarily true. “We care about the student,” McCurdy said. “I do not have a thousand hours in my day. I have Facebook and Twitter but I don’t sit there and police students’ profiles. When it comes to our attention, then we investigate and see to what level we need to be involved.” According to Walker’s administration, situations have been and will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Students aren’t always on board with the idea of a policy. Junior Riley Kole said, “It’s not their place because we have freedom of speech. I understand if it’s about school or a teacher, but other than that, we should be able to do what we want.” Junior Abisola Ologunja agreed and said, “It’s our personal
lives, and I don’t think the school has the right to look at the stuff we post, even though we’re sharing it with our friends. It’s some things we may not want to share with our teachers.” The issue of appropriate social networking has been a topic discussed throughout different facets of the school for a while. Stauts said, “It’s been considered in the past. I have been here for a year and it was something that was brought up. In my time here, there have been some instances when we had to take action. It’s certainly something that parents are more interested in.” Eisenman said, “It’s been something that’s been a longer process. Sometimes we expect students to know things that we haven’t said very clearly. I think part of this is not necessarily to set new rules, but to articulate more clearly the things that already exist in the community standards and be specific with the various technologies that are out there.”
BY Meredith Wright
Day in the Life of a Lower Schooler
The Walker Lower School is a colorful and fun-filled building. There is artwork displayed all along the walls, and many Lower School students can typically be found huffing and puffing around the track in the gym. Throughout the course of a school day, the students’ minds are challenged and they are constantly learning new things. “Learning experiences embedded within the school day for our first through fifth grade students are quite impressive,” said Lower School Principal Megan Howard. The subjects that each grade studies differ based on
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difficulty, and the curriculum offers many opportunities to explore outside of what is traditionally taught. The students also get to take mental breaks and move around with activities like P.E. and recess. Fifth grader Gabrielle Todd said recess is the favorite part of her day. “I get to hang out with all my friends,” she said. In the fifth grade, it’s important to prepare students for their next step to middle school. Jonathan Poteet, also a fifth grader, looks forward to things like having more freedom and getting to be clubs when he is in Middle School. The Lower School tries to maintain
Second Graders look on as their tree is planted in the garden to help Keep Cobb Beautiful Photo Courtesy of Meredith Wright
connections between the other divisions (Middle School and Upper School) through many different activities. A variety of sports teams, like Middle School Football, include Lower School students as a part of their roster. Many of the older students in the Lower School participate as reading buddies to the younger students, and a dance after school allowed all grades to boogie down and get to know each other. Most recently, the second graders were involved in a part of Keep Cobb Beautiful, learning about the structure of a tree while also planting one of their own to give back. The Lower School has also increased the use of technology in the classroom. The technology classes that are taught can build connections and bridge gaps for other subjects. Lower School Assistant Principal Liz Meadows explained, “By accessing
art, performances and events through the Internet, technology provides students virtual aesthetic encounters which means students have more opportunities to extend lessons and express themselves.” Lower School Principal Megan Howard is a new face to the Walker School this year. Before Howard became principal, Meadows worked as principal to carry the Lower School forward. Between two new principals, new programs and ideas have also arrived. For example, last year, Meadows created “a school schedule that increased deep learning for students,” said Howard. Not only did this kind of schedule benefit the students, it also increased the benefits for the teachers. Now anywhere inside the school, the enthusiasm can be seen from both the students and the teachers. “The teachers are all really nice,” said fifth grader Jake Tasman. Regardless of the grade, every student has an exciting and creative day full of learning. Every schedule is different. “It totally depends on the day,” said Howard. “I can say one thing: it’s full of a lot of action, a lot of learning, and the opportunity to have some fun along the way, too!”
Man on the Street What is your ideal Prom venue?
“Dubai, United Arab Emirates.”
- Mitchell Boylan, ‘13
- Nissa Johnson, ‘14
- Nicolette Paglioni, ‘15
“Room 312. Kennerson’s Room.” - Blake Whiting, ‘16
Walker Hosts School’s First VEX Robotics Competition
BY Travis King
On Saturday, February 24, Walker’s Robotics Club hosted the school’s first robotics tournament: the final VEX Robotics World Championship Qualifier. The club has participated in many of these Qualifiers, but this was the first ever Robotics match of this magnitude
that Walker has exhibited. Walker had four teams participate: 4495A (made up of Seniors Alex LaDue, Decker Onken, Eric Flint, and Brielle Bowerman), 4495B (Sophomores Alex Reichenbach, Joseph Zuckerman, and Courtney Lewis), 44/95C, and 4495D
Dear Daisy... Dear Daisy, I am not sure who to ask to prom. Is it ok for an upperclassman to ask an underclassman? Will seniors be upset? I don’t want to set my date up to be harassed all night, but I think I would have fun if I asked them! What should I do?! Sincerely, Cautious
Of course! It’s always fun for girls to be asked by a boy, but boys can also be super shy. There’s also the expectation that boys will ask girls, but that doesn’t mean it’s a rule. If there’s a special someone that you’re sick of waiting around for, ask them! That kind of confidence is something you should be proud of. I mean, how could they say no?
Dear Daisy, Is a hand written thank you It’s your prom, not theirs! You shouldn’t hesitate to ask someone note a thing of the past, and is it you know you’ll have fun with. acceptable to use email? I don’t think people will harass your date just because they’re an Sincerely, Old school underclassman. Freshmen and sophomores can go to prom if an upperclassman asks them. Do I don’t think handwritten notes are what makes you happy! If that a thing of the past at all. Call me means asking someone who isn’t old-fashioned, but thank you notes in your grade, than who cares are important. By taking time out what other people say? of your day and away from your phone or computer, you’re showing Dear Daisy, the person that you really appreciate Is it okay for a girl to ask a boy what they did for you. I personally to prom? I am tired of waiting write thank you notes for all gifts and I just want to get a date! I receive from friends and family. Although the idea has grown old, Sincerely, being grateful for the things you Taking My Dog To Prom receive will never grow old.
(consisting of Middle School Robotics Club members), all of which were led by Upper School Technology Department Chair Thomas Cooper. Cooper, who was instrumental in starting Walker’s Robotics program, was in charge of the entire event, which consisted of 30 teams from 12 different schools from all over the state. The mix of public and private school teams began arriving at 7:30 a.m. for what would prove to be a long and tiring, but also exciting and rewarding day. The tournament took place from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and every minute was filled with competition. In the morning, all of the 30 teams competed in eight total qualifying matches. These qualifying matches were played with alliances from different schools, meaning that all Walker teams ended up playing together and against each other for at least one round. Team 4495B was in first place until the last qualifier where they dropped to second after they experienced trouble with their robot, and Team 4495A held steady in second place until the final qualifier where they dropped to fifth. At 2:30 p.m., each team was able to choose two other teams to form an alliance with for the semifinal and final matches. Walker teams 4495A, 4495B, and 4495C formed an alliance with each other, but ended up losing in the semifinals to Dunwoody. Overall, the teams from Brookwood High School in Snellville and the Gwinnett School of Math, Science, and Technology in Lawrenceville won, and Woodward Academy’s team took home the Excellence Award, an award given to the team with the best robot,
best engineering journal, and best performance. Many attendees were impressed with Walker’s facilities. Cooper said, “People said it was a really nice space. We used the Activity Center, so the kids appreciated being able to work on their robots in a separate area rather then in the same room. All the adults said our volunteers were very nice and very helpful.” Though Cooper certainly appreciated the praise, he was very thankful for all the assistance from the tournament’s volunteers. Cooper said, “I was really impressed that Vinnie [Paglioni] came back and helped run the tournament software. Mr. Doug Flint, Eric’s [Flint] dad was the Head Referee and he did an excellent job. Also, Kirsten LaDue did a great job of organizing the volunteers. And the Field Crew who reset the sacks [the objects the robots performed with] all day long were Middle School students, so that was very nice.” Senior Decker Onken, who was unable to attend the match, was ecstatic when he found out the results. Onken said, “My favorite moment was when I got the call from Alex after saying that he had done really well driving – he really stepped up, and I think he’ll do really well at Nationals.” From here, Team 4495A will be attending the National tournament in Omaha, Neb. on March 7-9. They will also be attending the VEX Robotics World Championships, held from April 17-20 in Anaheim, Calif.
Online Extra: Visit TWSWolverine. com to view more photos from the match as well as to find out more information about Walker’s Robotics Club.
Artist of the Month: Kyle Rehl BY Alex Brack Every year, the Walker Drama Department leaves audiences amazed with their superior acting abilities as well as the stunning visual effects. Throughout the school year, Fine Arts Department Chairman Katie Arjona and her crew, as well as the actors, work diligently and constantly in order to present the school community
involved in multiple productions for many years.. Senior Kyle Rehl, has been a part of the Drama Program at Walker for a while. In addition to this, he is a determined football player and student. For the production of “You Can’t Take it with You,” Rehl played the character Paul Sycamore – a married man who spends his time making fireworks and playing with erector sets. The show ran for two weeks, opening on February 27 and closing on March 9. Rehl began his career as a drama student his sophomore year when he was a member of the crew for the musical “The Drowsy Chaperone” which sparked Rehl’s interest in drama. He began to audition for short ten minute plays offered at Walker. By junior year, Rehl had achieved the lead role in the play “All My Sons.” “I enjoy acting because I find it to be a very enlightening experience,” said Rehl. Like many of the members of the Walker Drama department, Rehl has benefited tremendously from acting. For Rehl, acting is a
“I enjoy acting because I find it to be a very enlightening experience.”
with their wonderful plays. Their hard work pays off tremendously as a majority of their shows end with standing ovations. “I look forward to when the plays open, as they are always entertaining,” said sophomore Steven Liang. He stands for many of the students and faculty of the Walker community. For the 2013 Spring play, the Drama Department performed the comedy play, “You Can’t Take it with You.” The cast features many veteran actors who have been a part of the drama department and
The senior cast members in “You Can’t Take it With You”. Kyle Rehl (Back row, right) Photo Courtesy of Coleman Hedden
“When you are cast as a certain character you must break down the characters motivations, past experiences, and nervous habits,” said Rehl and, “During this creative process, you begin to understand your character; why he behaves and thinks the way he does, why he feels the way he does, even why he might commit terrible acts that you would never even contemplate.” Acting also provides an excellent life learning experience. Rehl believes that learning how to Senior Kyle Rehl as Paul Sycamore in live like the many “You Can’t Take it With You.” characters he portrays gives him a better Photo Courtesy of Coleman Hedden understanding and fun learning experience. As Rehl view of humanity. It is this attitude was introduced to the character he that Rehl believes will help him will be portraying, he began the become a better person and have a process of becoming his character. larger impact on those around him.
Atlanta Braves Add Young Talent to Roster BY Victoria Hudson In 2013, the Braves are poised to make a competitive run and have a legitimate shot at a World Series title. This offseason, the Braves acquired two new outfielders – B.J. and Justin Upton – in what is possibly the most exciting offseason in recent Braves’ history. According to a Nov. 29 press release by the Braves, older brother B.J. signed a five year, $75.25 million contract in November, while the Braves obtained younger brother Justin from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a seven player deal on January 24. In a recent article by Mark Bowman of MLB. com, Braves starting pitcher Tim
Hudson said, “It has been an exciting offseason. We brought in a lot of talent. We felt like we had a really good team last year, and I feel like we’ve improved in a number of areas. I’m excited.” The Uptons combine with right fielder Jason Heyward to complete what could be the best outfield in Major League Baseball. All three of these outfielders are gold glove caliber defenders and are capable of producing 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases. In an article published on Feb. 7 by MLB.com, beloved former third baseman Chipper Jones said, “If those guys can motivate each other to take it to the
Head of School Jack Hall with Walker alumnus David Hale (‘06) at the Atlanta Braves’ Spring Trainng in Kissimmee, Florida Photo Courtesy of Jack Hall
roster. Jones fears that the new power heavy offense will struggle with strike outs. In the Feb. 7 article, Jones said, “I think they’re going to miss Martin Prado, to be honest with you….Martin was a guy who went out and threw up really good at-bats time after time after time.” Walker alumnus David Atlanta’s new outfield (left to right): Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, Hale, class of and BJ Upton at Spring Training in Kissimmee, Florida. 2006, hopes to make the club Photo Courtesy of Kevin McAlpin for Opening Day. Hale played four years of next level, the sky is the limit.” Jones retired at the end of the varsity baseball for Walker. He 2012 season. A loss to the St. Louis continually posted impressive Cardinals in the first ever Wild Card numbers, especially his junior Game on Friday, Oct. 5 marked the and senior years, in which he was end of Jones’ career. Replacing named to 1st team All County. He Jones is an impossible task, but the then attended Princeton University pickup of the Upton brothers will where he played three years of definitely help boost an offense that varsity baseball and graduated with already boasts Freddie Freeman, a degree in Operations Financial Dan Uggla, and Brian McCann. Engineering. He was chosen in the The Braves’ new offensive look third round of the 2009 MLB Draft, combines power and speed. Braves 87th overall and the second pick of manager Fredi Gonzalez hopes that the Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately, Brian McCann will combination will propel the club into October. “We have an exciting not be available for Opening Day. lineup, but this is a 162 game He suffered an offseason shoulder season. We have to take things one injury that required surgery, but hopes to be back to open the Braves’ day at a time.” Missing from that electric two game series against the Kansas offense will be former left fielder City Royals on April 16. The Braves will hold their season Martin Prado. Prado was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the deal opener against the Philadelphia that acquired Justin Upton. Prado Phillies home at Turner Field on was an invaluable utility man that Monday, April 1 at 7:10 p.m. Single had played every position except game tickets are currently available pitcher since he joined the Braves on the Braves’ website.
Girls’ Lacrosse Joins Spring Sports Lineup
BY Victoria Hudson
For the first time in The Walker School’s 55-year history, girls’ lacrosse will be offered as a spring sport. After years of interest from many students and the addition of a boys lacrosse team in the 2012 season, girls will have the opportunity to join the team. Head coach John East joined the Walker family this year and also serves as the Head Coach of the Varsity Football team, who went 11-1 in the 2012 season. This is East’s first time coaching girls’ lacrosse, and he expressed excitement for the new challenge. “I have never coached girls lacrosse before, so it will be new for me. I know a lot of the girls are new to the sport, and I’m new to coaching it; we’re in this together.” East’s enthusiasm makes for a fun atmosphere this season, which has attracted many girls to come out for the team, a majority of whom have
never played lacrosse before. Lacrosse newcomer Sarah Syrop is a senior who will likely be the goalkeeper for the team this season. Though Syrop has no goalkeeping experience, she does have many years of experience playing elitelevel softball. Her position is
the worst case scenario, block it.” Since most of the team consists of newcomers, the squad will rely on the players’ previous athletic endeavors and their natural athletic ability. Since this is the first year there will be a girls team, they are required by GHSA regulations to be a Junior Varsity team. Despite their official JV standing, the girls’ team boasts a schedule that consists of all 4-A and 5-A schools. The team will look to the more experienced players to help give them an edge while playing such large schools. Junior Gracie Yarborough was one the forces who helped bring girls’ lacrosse to Walker. When
“Despite their official JV standing, the girls’ team boasts a schedule that consists of all 4-A and 5-A schools. catcher. Syrop said, “Catching has definitely helped me with goalkeeping. It’s basically the same idea: trying to catch the ball, or in
she moved from St. Louis in 2011, Walker did not offer lacrosse, and Yarborough commuted to Canton, Ga. to participate in lacrosse. She and her father Upper School history teacher David Yarborough, who also works at Walker, made it a point to integrate girls’ lacrosse into Walker’s athletic program. Gracie Yarborough is currently injured, but should be joining the team in preseason workouts soon. She said, “I’m really excited for us to start playing games. The new girls are catching on really quickly, and we’re having a lot of fun!” The Walker girls’ first lacrosse game will be on Wednesday, March 20 at Kell High School. The remainder of their game times and locations can be found on the Walker School website on the JV Girls’ Lacrosse page.
Walker Soccer Ready for Success BY Alex Brack With spring just around the corner, many members of the Walker community grow eager for the coming of the soccer season. The soccer program at Walker is one of our oldest and strongest athletic programs. Since the fall of 1980, the Walker soccer program has witnessed immense changes. Specifically, as time has progressed, competition has also grown substantially. However, Walker soccer has compensated through rigorous amounts of both mental and physical practice. After school, you may see the boys and girls soccer teams either preparing at the stadium or scrambling to get rides to practice at indoor locations. Practice has remained this way for many years. Every weekday, whether it is rain or shine, players meet for practice. For both soccer programs, the coaches effectively plan practices
in order to improve the team’s weak The 2013 boys’ Walker soccer points. Sometimes, the boys team season will be coached by Athletics will assist the girls team in order to Director Gary Blohm, Kennesaw mutually improve. State University Coach John
Junior Luke Lammert competing in a Varsity soccer match. Photo Courtesy of Mike Mackey
Montgomery, and Middle School faculty member Jamie Rubens. For the boys program, there will be both a Varsity team as well as a Junior Varsity team. The girls team, however, will be coached by Director of Admissions and Spanish teacher Brad Brown and will only have a Varsity team. Blohm is the head coach for the boys Varsity Soccer team. Blohm has been involved with the Walker soccer program for 31 years. Even prior to coming to Walker, Blohm was involved with soccer. Blohm said, “I have been playing soccer since the age of 10. I played for four years in high school and four years in college at North Georgia College. I coached for two years at NGC while I was completing my Master’s Degree.” Continued on Page 11
Athlete of the Month: Ian Cossentino
BY Meredith Wright
Is there anything Senior Ian those unfamiliar to track, there are many practices to prepare for their Cossentino can’t do? Recently multiple races based on distance. weekend competitions. Cossentino efeatured in the Atlanta Journal- Upper School English teacher and can also be found playing the yConstitution as Walker’s STAR Cross Country and Track coach trombone in the Walker band. ostudent achieving, Cossentino Chris Golden has a lot of experience Outside of school, he participates aexcels both in the classroom and on running with Ian. “Ian motivates in the jazz band at Kennesaw othe track. According to the Marietta himself and doesn’t need prodding State University. Then typically eDaily Journal, a STAR student is from the coaching staff,” said on Sundays, Cossentino tutors Vi e t n a m e s e selected “for kids with the mhaving Seniors Mitch SAT ehighest Van De Eynde oscore on the and Ceci Dang. sthree-part test When it comes din one sitting, to being so along with involved with ebeing in the a variety of Top 10 or top activities, it 10 percent can be hard sof his or her to balance eg r a d u a t i n g academics Vclass.” with your He joined the commitments cross country outside of team in sixth Senior Ian Cossentino (fifth from left) runs in a track meet at school. Like grade, and Walton High School. many other his choice in Upper School running came Photo Courtesy of Mike Mackey students who with a range of reasons. “I looked at something Golden. “He sets a high standard are so involved, Cossentino credits that was actually useful and fun,” for himself and understands that minimal sleep and trying not to Cossentino said. “It’s a combination he is the one who has the greatest procrastinate as qualities that help of a bunch of things, and after a stake in achieving his potential.” him keep everything under control. while you couldn’t really stop, so This drive can be found anywhere “I mean, you get through it, everyone I just stuck with it.” Cossentino that Cossentino is involved. He puts gets through it,” Cossentino said. He has spent so many years continued running through middle all his effort and commitment into running and kept the motivation to and high school and is now entering whatever he is working towards. his final track season as both a For example, when he is not return to the track team each year. captain of the team and one of the running, Cossentino competes with For Cossentino, “the feeling you best long-distance runners. For the academic team and attends get afterwards, an irresistible drive to go back because of the adrenaline and accomplishment all at the same time,” that keeps him coming back each year striving for more. Next year, Cossentino will be attending Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island where the motivation he has carried all through high school will continue.
Varsity Soccer Ready for Success Continued from Page 10
Blohm has dedicated much of his career to soccer. His attitude towards the game of soccer is positive even if the odds are not in Walker’s favor, and Blohm expects a lot from his players as he expressed. “I expect to see improvement every time we step on the field…for all the young men to work hard for a common goal,” Said Blohm. Despite there being the usual problems, such as the fact that Walker has such a small pool of players, Blohm believes that the 2013 soccer season will be a success. Brown, who is the coach of the girls Varsity Soccer team for the 2013 season, seems to have the same expectations as Blohm. Following his career as a student and soccer player at Furman University, Brown was eager to coach soccer. In 2000, Brown began coaching at Walker. Although the girls only have enough players for a Varsity team, Brown is striving for success as he noticed the positive attitude of all his players. Brown said, “I am truly looking forward to a good year. We have a balanced team with strong leadership and some dynamic newcomers.” While their ultimate goal is to win, Brown hopes that the girls team will still benefit from every training session and game. The players, both boys and girls, share the same up-beat spirit as the coaches. Sophomore and varsity player Parker Smith said, “I am looking forward to a great season. I believe that both the Boys’ and Girls’ program will do very well.” Smith stands for all of the players and coaches. Their enthusiasm and dedication will show this season, in turn giving way to success. For the remainder of the season, both the boys and girls teams are facing tough games against rivals such as Mount Paran and Holy Innocence.
Thespians Spend President’s Day in New York City
BY Coleman Hedden
On February 14, 2013, nine students and three faculty members flew to New York City for Winter Break to take part in the Broadway Student Summit alongside many other drama students from across the country. The students were given the unique opportunity to learn from Broadway professionals such as Steven Malone, the assistant musical director for “Newsies” who taught a vocal class, and Holly Ann Ruggiero, a Broadway casting director, who taught a class on the Broadway audition process. Outside of the classroom, the group ventured into the city, watched a vow renewal ceremony on Times Square for Valentine’s Day, were interviewed by CNN about subway safety, and even participated in the student-filmed Harlem Shake video for New York University. Upper School Fine Arts Chair Katie Arjona attended the Broadway Teacher Summit this past summer through which she learned about the Student Summit. Arjona was accompanied by Upper School Chorus teacher Samantha Walker, Upper School French teacher Jennifer May, and nine student thespians. The trip was Walker and Senior Aly Iachino’s first times visiting the city and both thoroughly enjoyed their experience. Iachino said, “It was awesome. It was really fast-paced and I had never been there before so there was definitely a learning curve.” Walker said, “It’s kind of the mecca of what I do. The Metropolitan Art museum and opera is located there. It’s just a wealth of the arts. I felt like I was in a movie the entire time I was there. Or in a Seinfeld episode.” Arjona hoped to expose the students to professionals in the field who could validate what they learn in the classroom and in after school productions. Arjona said, “I wanted to give the students an opportunity to see how much more they need to learn and what the business is really going to be like, because it’s not an easy career to make for yourself. This was certainly a great way to expose them
to that aspect.” Students also had an option of performing a monologue and/or song in front of a Broadway casting director to receive feedback. Of course, some classes gave the students memories they will never forget. Jess LeProtto, a dancer in the cast of Broadway’s “Newsies” and a “So You Think You Can Dance” alum, taught an intense, yet very popular dance class. Junior Jenny Hawk said, “I was starstruck. It was just a fantastic opportunity to learn from such a talented dancer.” Holly Ann Ruggiero, the Assistant Director for the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys”, taught a class on how to give yourself the best opportunity to make a lasting impression on the casting directors in an audition. Senior Alex Catlin volunteered to perform her prepared song, “I Resolve” from the musical
Upper School Fine Arts Chair Katie Arjona is interviewed about subway safety by CNN. Photo Courtesy of Coleman Hedden
“She Loves Me,” in front of the entire class and receive assistance from Ruggiero. Catlin said, “I definitely felt more confident afterwards and it was so great to work with [Ruggiero] because she was so reassuring and made me feel more comfortable to open up. The way she taught was very relatable and down-to-earth.” Walker said, “Watching Alex Catlin walk up and sing her solo in front of the casting director and her working with Alex,
helping give her more dimensions to her song, and watching Alex sing it again definitely was an emotional experience for me. That was definitely a very memorable moment for me that I’ll never forget.” Walker thespians (left to right) Alex Catlin, Georgie Wilkins, On Friday, Erin Leagan, Aly Iachino, Sam Lowry, Jenny Hawk, Eleni Demestihas, Rachel Novak, and Samantha Walker gather February 15, outside Joe’s Shanghai for a lunch in Chinatown. the students took a Method Photo Courtesy of Coleman Hedden A c t i n g class from Yvette Mercedes, a praise from the whole group. Junior professional actress and teacher at Erin Leagan said, “‘Newsies’ was the Strasberg Institute. Arjona and definitely my favorite show because Mercedes met when Arjona was I enjoyed the excitement of the set the director of the Young Actors and the dancing was absolutely Program at the Strasberg Institute phenomenal.” “Cat on a Hot Tin from November of 2000 to July Roof”, starring Scarlett Johansson of 2003. Arjona said, “[Patrons of (as Maggie) and Benjamin Walker the Arts] was gracious enough to (as Brick), left the group speechless fund the money to pay her the fee with the power of the actors to teach the private class and also onstage. After the production, the to rent the studio space where she group waited outside the stagedoor taught the class so we’re really and received autographs from some grateful for that opportunity from of the actors including Debra Monk them.” Catlin said, “Yvette’s class (as Big Mama) and Ciarán Hinds (as was very transformative, and I Big Daddy). Yet, the most popular tapped into a different side of show the group saw was “Once.” myself that I don’t usually bring Catlin said, “‘Once’ was my out.” The purpose of the method favorite show. The music was just is to allow actors to experience so great and so well performed.” honest and natural emotions during Senior Rachel Novak said, “It was a performance. Arjona said, “I an incredibly inspriring, really watched all of the students reach moving show. I was just so focused some sort of clarity about having no throughout the entire show.” fear about expressing themselves Over the course of the trip, onstage, so I got a little emotional Arjona emphasized the importance and overwhelmed.” of seizing every opportunity. Over the course of the weekend, Catlin said, “Mrs. Arjona taught the group was able to see three me that you can’t be afraid to put shows performed on Broadway: two yourself out there. No holding musicals, “Once” and “Newsies”, back.” Arjona returned to Atlanta and a straight play, “Cat on a Hot extremely pleased with the trip and Tin Roof.” The Broadway Student said, “I learned that the experience Summit provided tickets for all is important for the students and the students and teachers to see we will make it an every other year Disney’s “Newsies” and it received thing for juniors and seniors.”
Issue 5 of The Wolverine