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February, 2013

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Four TJ alumni nominated for hall of fame By Dylan Montgomery Reporter

People who leave their mark here at Thomas Jefferson may be put into the hall of fame or people who achieve something great after they have graduated. “It honors past TJ graduates for their accomplishments in life,” school administrative manager, Dan Merriam, said. This year there are four inductees. Shane Talbott is the most recent graduate he lives in Chicago. He started out has a personal hairdresser for Oprah Winfrey. He then started a company called Talbott Teas and that was very successful. He then sold Talbott Teas to Jamba Juice, he is the VP of Innovations and will continue to create new products. “My teas are the ultimate beauty product,” said Talbott in the article for the hall of fame inductees, “visually stunning, intoxicating aroma, and indulgent flavor.” The next inductee is Jim Butler, an artist who transferred from Fort Dodge to TJ his senior year. “I have such wonderful memories of my time at TJ,” said Jim Butler in an email about the hall of fame, “I am honored to be selected for this award. Thank you.” Butler has had nineteen awards and fellowships since 1967. He was included in 103

Graphic by Allie Townsend.

publications since 1967. He was awarded twenty commissions since 1973. He is in 177 permanent collections including Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chicago Art Institute, and The Whitney Museum of American Art. When he attended college he had a BS from the University of NebraskaOmaha and an MFA at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “This is quite an honor,” said the third inductee, Robert Hurley, in a letter about the hall of fame, “I am proud to call myself a TJ alumni.” Hurley was born and raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa. he at-

tended Simpson College as an undergrad, and the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. He opened Tri-City Dental in Carter Lake, Iowa in 1984. In 2011, with partners Knott and Jones, he opened Omni Tri-City Dental on Woodbury Ave, Council Bluffs. Hurley has a Masters degree in the Academy of General Dentistry and a member and past president of the Midwest Gnathostomatic Study Club. He volunteered 20 years for Give Kids A Smile, a free dentistry for underserved children in the metro area. In 2008, he received the prestigious Mastership award,

the highest honor available in the AGD. It represents the interest of general dentist in the US by fostering their continued proficiency through dental education. And last, but not least, David R. Witke graduated in 1955. He went to Northwestern University, 1955-1959. At a thirty six year career with the Des Moines Register, he held 10 newspaper positions. At the end of his ten years as managing editor, The Register was named by Time Magazine as one of the ten best newspapers in America. During his years guiding the news operation, Register staff members won five Pulitzer

Prizes and a number of other national and state awards. Witke was in the U.S. Navy. Commissioned as ensign, USN, in 1959 and served to Lieutenant, j.g., aboard the USS Colonial in the Pacific Amphibious Fleet, as radar officer, combat information office, and navigator, until 1962. He also taught journalism classes at Drake University and at Simpson College as an adjunct instructor. He also was a guest lecturer on journalistic ethics at Iowa State University. April 19th is when one of the four will be chosen to be in the hall of fame.

Tribute to Mr. TJ speech team advances Williams: A great to State competition teacher and coach By Brooklyn Holder Reporter

By Kelsi Thurman Reporter

On Thursday, January 24th a beloved family member of Thomas Jefferson High School passed away after a long battle with cancer. Mr. Gary Williams retired from Omaha Public Schools and came to Council Bluffs. He worked for three years as the Apex coordinator for TJ and last year he was moved to Kirn where he taught 8th grade math. He was also the one who started rugby for students in the district. “He had a real gift with connecting with kids, he was an outstanding educator, ” TJ administrative manager, Dan Merriam, said. “I remember when he had his first battle with cancer. I asked him if he was going to quit or retire. He said, ‘No, this is what I love

to do.’ Working with kids was his passion. When the cancer came a second time he was very optimistic.” Though he was sick, he kept a positive attitude. His dedication inspired many of the students he has worked with. “He fought for everything and he believed in everyone,” senior, Seth Banks said. “He has shown many of my brothers one of our favorite sports, rugby. Not only was he a great coach, this man was there for everyone. He took time out of his day to help people. I have never met a man like him. He helped a lot of us while going through what he did. He will always be loved by his birth family and his rugby family.” Williams was an overall outstanding human being and his legend will live on through the students he has influenced.

Thomas Jefferson High School large group speech competed in the District competition in Glenwood, Iowa, on January 19, 2013. TJ was able to send two groups to compete including Group Improv. and Reader’s Theatre. Group Improv. consisted of Kateland Bryan,, Brooklyn Holder, and seniors, JaVohn Rollins and Kaylinn Taggart. Reader’s Theatre consisted of juniors Faye Readers Theatre group (left to right and top row) junion Brooklyn Holder, Arthur, and Aaron DeSantiago, Faye Arthur, and Aaron DeSantiago and senior Kaylinn Taggart. ( Second row) Senior JaVohn Rollins. Rollins, Taggart, and Holder. By performing “The Wind In Mrs. Carrie Booms-Ryan. This is comes from the tip of the tongue. The Willows” by Kenneth Gra- Booms-Ryan’s first year in charge “Improv. is something that I hame, Reader’s Theatre advanced of the speech team, taking over am always nervous to do at first to state and competed on Febru- for Mrs. Beverly Hall who moved because there is always that potential thing that I’m going to run ary 2, 2013. over the summer. “It feels great!” said Arthur. “It was kind of like watching out of ideas,” said senior Javohn “I’m excited for competition and your child take their first step,” Rollins. “But, when you have a I feel like our hard work payed said speech coach Carrie Booms- group you can continue off of evoff.” Ryan. “I felt proud and nervous.” eryone’s creativity and everyone Competition can be nerve- Unlike Reader’s Theatre has your back.” racking, even for speech coach where you have a script, improv Read “Speech” on page 4.

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Keeping spirit at TJHS By Isabella Moore Reporter In the halls at Thomas Jefferson High School we see banisters, posters, and decorations all supporting TJ with a peppy attitude. What you don’t see is the majority of the student body expressing school spirit. “You see it pretty often, but there is not as many students as there should be,” said junior Matt Raes. “Not as much as other schools.” There are three different types of students in our school: those who show up to the games, those who take action in school events, dressed up, and those who “don’t have time” for our school events. Students don’t need to go to every game, but they can try harder to attend games wearing school colors. It has been shown that people are more likely show up to support the boys rather than the


school colors one day and then have it be a domino effect that other kids will follow. If you do not have enough money to go all out for it, just be creative and think of something or look on pinterest for some ideas! There are a lot of different ways to help our school look and feel better, but how? “Making sure our school building looks good by not writing on walls, by not leaving trash everywhere and also wearing your TeeJay apparel or buying the TJ apparel, going to the athletic events and helping support all of the athletes and any of the other activities we have,” said Mrs.Storey, “We have a good majority of students that support the school, I think it could be a lot better Juniors (Left to right) Nick Knotek, Jake Taylor, and Matt Raes, and senior Carly than what it is right now.” When you try, the athletes Williamson keep spirit at a TJ basketball game. Photo by Shelbie Granger. and everyone else involved girls. You can go to both! Bring If you do not want to feel tries a little bit harder too. a date, it’s affordable and super alone maybe you and some Read “Spirit” on page 4. fun! friends can all dress up in

Working Never an off-season for athletes hard to go to college By Tristan Eggett Reporter

By Dylan Montgomery Reporter Many students are preparing for a future in college athletics. Some exceptional students at Thomas Jefferson have already received scholarships for the sports they play. Senior, Devin Young, is working very hard, he is currently in four sports this season and is working on his baseball skills by going to the night practices indoors with the Thomas Jefferson baseball team. “My determination to do well,” Young said. “I think that will help me go far and do well.” Acquiring good grades is also something students needs to do to help them out in college. “I’m studying pretty much just what I need to know to get to college,” Young said. High school students who are going to college are working a lot harder to be as good as the other college athletes and so they can possibly be in the starting lineup as a freshman. “I really just have to make sure I get in the weight room to improve myself physically,” said senior, Adam Poldberg, “Athletes in college are just that much more more athletic and physical than the athletes in high school.” Poldberg says he is going to try and get his ACT score up so he can make it a lot easier for him to make an easy transition to the higher academic level. Students who are going off to college are working hard and are trying to do extra work to help them out later in life.

Although softball and baseball have not officially started for the athletes. Members of the TJHS baseball and softball teams have been in the weight room and the gym in the off season working on making themselves better for their summer sports. Going to off season work may feel like a drag if you do not have any motivation to go. Some athletes want to go to get better at one thing in particular while others want to go to get better at everything and anything they can. TJ Baseball has been utilizing the off season so they can have a much better season than they have in the past, which is a huge motivation for athletes to get to practices. “The season we had last year didn’t go in our favor, and that is one of the many things that motivates me to go to the off season practices,” sophomore, Brandon Schnider, said. “I feel if I go and get more of my team to go, we can get better as a team and have a much more successful season than we did last year.” The baseball team practices

Junior Dalton Clark working in the off season for soccer. Photo by Shelbie Granger.

every Monday and Wednesday from 5-7 in the TJAC to do many exercises to help them improve. Batting in the tunnel is a very good way to get a smooth and firm swing down. Pitching in the bullpen is a very good way to get the pitchers’ arm ready and loose for the summer. The baseball team works hard and has been trying their best in the off season practices, lets hope that all this hard work pays off for them in the upcoming season. Baseball players are not the only ones working hard in the off season, TJ Softball has been working just as hard and with the same motivation.

“I think going to the off season practices helps me a lot,” varsity softball player, Emily Dickerson, said. “I can get a lot of reps in and get stronger for the season. I also enjoy when other players go so they can get some one-on-one time with the coaches and myself because that helps them get stronger for the season.” Off season work truly pays off and will help you improve at the things you need to work on. Although there are many other sports athletes participate in, coaches still want to see teammates show up and get a couple of reps in. Off season work will continue until the regular season starts.

Selecting electives effectively By Tristan Eggett Reporter Have you ever had this thought, “What if the school had this class, or that class?” Many students have probably thought that and really wanted a specific class that they would enjoy taking. It is not a particularly easy process to get new electives added into the school system. To get an elective added at TJ, it must be entered by October; 9 months prior to the following school year.

The class must have a teacher certified to teach the subject. There is also an immense amount of paperwork behind getting the class approved. There is a growing fan base for MMA programs and some students in TJHS have been asking for a “Self Defense Class” for many reasons. “They need a class like this so students aren’t so stressed out, and have a way to let their anger out, so they don’t get in fights during school,” said sophomore Gage Fisher.

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Students are not the only ones looking for new classes to be added to the list of current electives. Secretary Pam Harold would like to see a farming and agriculture class similar to the one offered at ISU. “It would be a great class,” Harold said. “We live in a farming state so it would be beneficial.” If you have any other elective ideas, talk to a counselor or an administrator. They will see that your request is considered.

-Order your yearbook at or call toll free 1.866.282.1516. -Sign Language Club meets every Tuesday after school in Mrs. Capel’s room in C218. -Tech Club meets on Wednesdays after school in the Tech Center. -Check the main office for information about spring sports.

Senior’s Corner

-URGENT MESSAGE FOR SENIORS . . .The College Goal Sunday that was originally scheduled for February 23rd, from 9 12 at Kaplan University has been CANCELLED. Please check with your counselor if you need assistance in finding resources to help you fill out the free application For Federal Student Aid. -Seniors! College click meets on Wednesdays after school in the upstairs portion of the library. -Do you and your parents need assistance filing the FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid)? If so, on Febraury 28th from 3 -7 pm. financial aid experts will be here to help your family file this form. Stop by the Guidance Office for more information and to schedule an appointment.

20 tips to survive high school By Isabella Moore Reporter

20. DO NOT SKIP SCHOOL. 19. Turn in ALL your work. 18. Become friends with your teachers. 17. Stay off your electronic devices! 16. Need help with homework? Go to homework help every Tuesday-Friday in the Library. 15. Stay caught up in school, once you fall behind it is very hard to catch up. 14. Be on time to class. 13. Try not to sit by your friends, you will be able to concentrate better without them being a distraction. 12. Always ask questions if you do not understand what is going on. 11. Take notes. 10. Raise your hand. 9. Pay attention in class. 8. Come to class prepared. 7. Do not let people borrow your stuff. 6. Bribe your teachers with gifts. (Kidding...well just a little.) 5. Try not to get into trouble. 4. Eat a nutritional breakfast before coming to school. 3. Do not let people take advantage of you. 2 Join in more school activities. 1. Be yourself. Hope these tips help, and if you repeat them until you graduate you should be fine!

Modes of Dance and cheer team use basmotiva- ketball game for a book drive tion By Dana Mefferd Reporter

By Kelsi Thurman Reporter “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude,” Thomas Jefferson once said. Motivation is something that energizes, directs and sustains behaviors. Not only students, but teachers and parents alike have different motivational techniques. “I think motivation is within. My motivation is getting up and coming to work. I know that there are a handful of students that are disappointed when im not here and i know my supervisors and fellow employees count on me. Here, at Thomas Jefferson, we work as a team,” Mrs. Lisa Honig, graduation coach at TJ explained. When a person desires to perform a particular task just because it gives them pleasure, it helps them develop a particular skill or is morally the right thing to do. “Intrinsically motivated students are bound to do much better in classroom activities, because they are willing and eager to learn new material,” Intrinsic/ Extrinsic Motivation and Hierarchy of Needs. Read “Motivation” on page 4.

Thomas Jefferson’s cheer and dance team did another fundraising to raise books for children. The book drive started on January 8th and went until the 18th. Word spread quickly and they were able to get close to 300 books. Boxes of books were given to Roosevelt, Rue, Walnut Grove, Franklin, Edison and Carter Lake elementary schools. “We wanted to promote reading for the kids to get more involved in reading [and] to get better education,” said sophomore Abigail Ross “We thought it would be good because it’s help-

ing with our children’s futures.” Reading is an important part of a child’s life. According to, reading strengthens brain connections and actually builds new connections. When children read they can learn about the world around them. They can learn about different places and how other people live. Some families may not have the money to go get books. Book drives like these help give kids a chance to read. The elementary schools could use them in their libraries or classrooms. On Friday, January 18th at the TJ-AL basketball game TJ’s Cheer and Dance team did a dance to Call Me Maybe. Instead of saying Call Me Maybe they

changed the words to Read Me Baby. AL even got involved when students and staff took part of the flash mob. This is not the first book drive coach Tiffany Eggett has done. “This is the third children's book drive I have done in the last 15 years starting with my daughters girls scout troop back in 2001, then again with the TJ cheerleaders in 2007 and now this years,” Eggett said in an email. This is not the first fundraiser the cheer and dance team has done. They have also gone on breast cancer awareness walks and have done things for the special olympics. Thank you to all of the people who donated books!

Senior Tekeyah Henderson (Left) and sophomore La’Kendra Black (Right) during the halftime show at the TJ vs AL game. Altogether, the cheer and dance team collected around three hundred books for the book drive. Photo by Shelbie Granger.

When buying a car By Kelsi Thurman Reporter Everyday, drivers, experienced and novice, buy a car. These are some good tips to follow when looking at a car. A car that does not run well could lead to someone getting hurt. OR it can leave you rolling down a hill. 1. DO NOT believe the car salesmen. Make sure you look at the car with an experienced buyer. 2. If a used car, make sure there is a clean title to see if it has been in an accident. It is also important to make sure the car is not stolen. 3. Internet reviews. Informational car facts sights are available to see if there is common problems with the model, like or (THE 1999 FORD TAURUS RANDOMLY DIES) 4. High MPG. Gas prices are outrageous. 5. A long car life is important (will last around 200,000 miles). 6. Don’t buy a car because it is pretty. You won’t think “fab” when you are stranded on the side of a road. 7. Check with your insurance agent. Ask for an estimated quote to get an idea of the payments. 8. Make sure the brakes work. 9. Check tires. If you buy a car with bald tires it could be dangerous and you will have to shell out money for new ones. 10. If you can afford it, just buy a new car.

By Kiarrah Pleas Opinion

When some people get to high school, they expect freedom. Most get to go out more than they did in their middle school days. But that’s not the case with everyone. Everytime I want to go somewhere my dad has to call whoever I’m going with to make sure I’m not lying, check the weather to make sure I won’t die, do a background check on everyone I’ll be around, make sure there won’t be any boys there, install a tracker on my clothing, and then MAYBE he will let me go. All of the above is exaggerated, but that’s

what it feels like. Nobody wants to be under complete lockdown all the time. “I would hate that so much,” said sophomore, Kelli Cumberledge. “It would drive me absolutely crazy.” And it does. When my dad does things like decide who I can and can’t talk to by blocking their numbers on my phone (without telling me), it makes me WANT to go against him. The fact that he can’t trust me even talking to certain people makes me feel like a terrible kid. Though it may not be the same for everyone. “Some kids get a sense

of security when they’re being told what to do,” sophomore, Alissia Tallant, said. “It’s weird.” When parents are being overprotective you can do one of two things. You could either 1.) Do everything that they say and ignore the craziness and HOPE that in time they can learn to trust you and your decisions. Or 2.) Rebel against them completely and try to make them realize that you’re not a little kid anymore. In my opinion, number one is the best choice. Treat your parents with respect and show them that they can trust you. Freedom and respect go

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Graphic by Kelsi Thurman.

Problematic parents: Overprotection in high school

Speech Continued from page 1

Although large group speech is over, individual speech is still available to participate in. Practices for individual speech started on Monday, January 28. The individual speech categories are public address, acting/solo musical theater, poetry, prose, literary program, original oratory, spontaneous speaking, radio news announcing, expository address, storytelling, improvisation, reviewing, and after dinner speaking. Districts for individual speech will be held on February 23, 2013 and state will be held on March 9, 2013. For more information see Mrs. Booms-Ryan.

Spirit Continued from page 2

“It’s amazing what an athlete feels when they feel like they have backing. Then it just gives them that extra drive to perform better and to actually want to work and improve their games,” said Storey. Supporting your teammates helps give them pride and they feel accomplished knowing that someone is actually rooting for them. “Support will help us win more games and do better,” said Raes “The athletes know that the students are behind them and will help them play better.” There are tons of different events you can attend that are very fun and full of excitement, such as, basketball, bowling, swimming, wrestling, choir, band, cheer, and dance. Different events for different seasons! This upcoming spring you can look forward to soccer, golf, baseball, tennis, and track. With all these events there is no possible way you could be bored!

Motivation Continued from page 2

“Their learning experience is more meaningful, and they go deeper into the subject to fully understand it,” the website continued. “Each student has a different motivational factor, whether it’s just me checking in with them, or extra assistance with homework or even a phone call home. Each case, is different,” said Honig.

Tech Club trains for the future By Dylan Montgomery Reporter

There have been many stories about the Tech Center, but this one is different. The Tech Center also provides a Tech Club which is not only a place where computers get fixed; it gives students the experience of a real job by allowing them to work hands with the technology. The Tech Club meets every Wednesday after school in the Tech Center. “We like to see kids who are building google apps, that are tearing computers apart,” said John

Stile the supervisor of technology, “It’s not just a school thing.” Now that Thomas Jefferson has the Chromebooks from Google, students who are in the Tech Center are able to learn real life problem solving. “I think it’s a fun experience and it helps you in the IT world,” said Will Kearney, a senior in the tech center, “[kids] come to you and your the guy that fixes it.” The students in the Tech Club work collaboratively toward a common goal with other students

What is love?

and teachers. “[The kids] chose us,” said Stile, “We do have some criteria. You need to have passing grades but we haven’t turned anyone away because of that, moderate attendance, and we like you to have a desire to be here.” The Tech Center and Club is a place where you can learn especially if you are into computers or want to learn more about them. “You work with the chromebooks, you replace the screens,” said Kearney, “It helps you out with the business world also

because you have to write tickets to help out customers.” Workers in the Tech Center learn more than they ever knew about computer from being in the club. “If you would like to be in here just let us know and we’ll work with your counselor, we will find a way,” said Stile. Stile says he would have loved to have this experience when he was in high school. If interested in joining the tech club, stop by the Tech Center for more information.

(Don’t hurt me, no more)

Graphic by Trystan Brock.

Information gathered from

By Trystan Brock Dr. Love

Phenylethylamine, norepinephrine, dopamine, oxytocin, testosterone, and endorphins. These are the chemicals that we humans perceive as “love”, however all of these chemicals are found in mammals. This means that love is not exclusive to just us humans and more importantly that it isn't as magical as it seems. Love is actually quite natural and is just another chemical process in our body. Simply put, Phenylethylamine or PEA, which is derived from the amino acid phenylalanine, is a neuromodulator that affects our neurons on a larger scale. It signals the release of norepinephrine and dopamine, which is also what amphetamines do. Those afflicted with attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder have very low amounts of PEA, conversely high concentrations of PEA has a positive correlation with people that have schizophrenia. High amounts of PEA is also

found in chocolate, however most of the PEA is metabolized by monoamine oxidase meaning that very little actually reaches the brain. This chemical itself really doesn't directly do much except trigger other chemicals that will do something. Are you still following me? Norepinephrine is a catecholamine, synthesized from Tyrosine which is triggered by PEA. It can also be directly synthesized from PEA when no Tyrosine is present. Norepinephrine is released from the sympathetic neurons in the heart which act in a fight-or-flight response but also act to maintain homeostasis. This chemical has multiple purposes it acts as a neuromodulator in the central nervous system and a hormone in the blood system. It binds with an adrenergic receptor, which then takes the signal and based on the cell type acts differently. Norepinephrine acts as a vasoconstrictor as it flows through the bloodstream, increasing blood pressure, this is the opposite of

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its homolog epinephrine which is a vasodilator. This hormone is responsible for making our palms sweaty, our pupils dilate, parts of our body swell including the inner part of our nose, and as stated before, it makes our heart race. People with schizophrenia have more norepinephrine in their bloodstream. By the way, I am a junior. Dopamine is also a catecholamine, it is synthesized the same way as norepinephrine. This neurotransmitter, which is a chemical released by nerve cells to send to other nerve cells, is received by five different receptors in the brain. Evolutionarily, this means that animals really strived to collect more dopamine so animals that had more receptors were selected for. Dopamine's main function is in the system that is responsible for rewarding us. The less expecting of a positive outcome we are, the larger we will be rewarded for it in a dopamine release, this is how it acts as a learning tool in the brain.

Also, there are neurons that fire in our brain rewarding us in anticipation of the expected rewards. We get constant dopamine releases when we are with our "significant others", when we do things that make them smile we feel rewarded for that action and therefore remember what we did to make them feel that way. We strive to keep getting these dopamine releases that come from their dopamine releases. Extending the unexpected rewards to human behavior, it helps to explain why we like getting flowers and cards randomly. On the outside this behavior may seem altruistic, but we our acting in self-interest to obtain more dopamine. Make sure to explain this chemical process to your valentine this Valentine’s day. If you have made it this far and are still following along, be sure to stop by Mr.Lindquist’s room and ask Mr. Flegle to be your Valentine for a candy bar. However, you must be one of the first five people to ask, so be quick.

Feb 2013  
Feb 2013  

The Signal for Feb, Thomas Jefferson High School.