Volume 88, Issue 9
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Read “Letters to a Leukemia survivor” page 2 and “Anime trends around TJ” on page 3.
A new beginning for Mrs. Tvrdy By Kaylinn Taggart Editor in Chief
Before Spring Break, Mrs. Jesse Tvrdy stepped into Dr. Martha Bruckner’s office to discuss the opening position as principal at Kanesville Alternative Learning Center. Tvrdy has worked at Thomas Jefferson High School for four years. She also worked as a Dean of Students at Santee Educational Complex in Los Angeles, California, as the Resident Principal at Castlemont High School in Oakland, California, and served as Assistant Principal at East High in Des Moines, Iowa. “I did an internal application for the position and was appointed to the position by Dr. Bruckner after she considered all internal and external applicants,” Tvrdy explained. Tvrdy accepted the position, but will still have to go through an extensive process for the remainder of this year and the summer before officially given the title. Some of these steps include attending some of the professional
development meetings with staff at Passages and will start going to professional development with Kanesville staff and Principal Jennifer Barnett before the year is out. “The current principal, who has done a fabulous job, will also be available for support in her new position as Director of Family Services,” Tvrdy said. “To have a mentor, and someone who knows my new position, is a great resource and source of support.” It is a 12-month position that will require Tvrdy to work collaboratively with high schools and middle schools in the district. Tvrdy will be leading Kanesville, Passages, and serve as the high school summer school principal in the 2014-2015 school year. “Kanesville is a small school that can really focus on the relationships between staff and students,” Tvrdy said. “The small school environment will allow me to really get to know all the staff and students, which is very important for me as a person and a building leader.”
At Kanesville, Tvrdy will be in charge of the School Improvement Plan (SIP), the staff, budget, professional development, climate and culture, and comply to the state and district school expectations. Tvrdy will be performing many of the same functions that she does here at TJ, but as the Principal of Kanesville, she will be responsible for the decisions and success of the school. “When you are the principal of a school you must treat it like your second family, and be willing to give it your all while making decisions that you feel are in the best interest of the students,” Tvrdy said. “You are also responsible for making sure your staff is receiving opportunities to grow professionally, develop and deliver professional development, and serve in leadership positions.” There are many initiatives in the works at Kanesville and Passages that have come from the dedicated and talented teachers there. Read “Tvrdy” on page two.
Photo of Mrs. Tvrdy by Shelbie Granger.
Summer school options By Dana Mefferd Reporter I’m sure we have all heard of the dreaded summer school. People are always talking about the bad things about going to summer school, but it is not all bad. The summer school program for students entering grades 9-12 is a six week long program. This year it is running from June 3 through July 12. The registration information is ready to be filled out. You get credits for the classes you pass. It is also open campus and everyone gets free breakfast and lunch. Instead of making up failed classes in twelve weeks, you can make them up in six weeks. And if you pass all the classes it is free, and you get your deposit back. “It’s shorter,” said summer school principal Erica Shannon. “Over the summer there’s a lot less daily instructions. Mean-
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ing it’s a lot more independent. You get more independance, it’s project based, [and] you get a project to help you get ready for a test.” Students work hard during the school year and they want to relax during the summer. “The pool is right next door so its hard to walk into school and see everyone having fun,” said Shannon. Going to summer school is a great way to get caught up or even to jump ahead. It is also a chance to see some friends you might not normally see during the summer. “Last year was my first year as principal we had 18 kids graduate,” Shannon said. “We had a really nice ceremony. We had a great senior speaker. That was a really proud moment for me as a teacher and a principal.” So you might lose some pool and relaxing time, but in the end summer school can benefit you.
Photo of senior Brett Sprinkle lifting weights by Kelsi Thurman.
Athletes fire up with tunes By Kelsi Thurman Reporter Headphones in; nobody exists. Your mind is in the game. The combination of rhythm, lyrics, and beat help to motivate you. Before a runner takes their mark at the starting line, so nervous, yet calm, they have that song in their head. Sometimes the song differs from race to race. Running a 100 meter dash is explosive and fast, compared to running 2 miles and having to pace your yourself for a long period of time. “Music gets me in the zone,” sophomore Lakendra Black said. “I feel like I’m in my own world. I think I run better with music because I run with the beat of the music. It also helps me keep a pace!” A football player takes the
first step onto the field, listening to the crowd go wild; a powerful feeling. They are pumped up and ready. The team is willing to do anything and everything to fuel a passion for the sport that will enhance each player's performance. “I listen to music while I’m lifting and running,” senior, Dominic Wi1 lson said. “When I lift it just gets me pumped up and ready to go. When I run it takes my mind off of running so I'm not convincing myself how bad it is.” “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent,” said Victor Hugo. Latest research from FourFourTwo Performance suggests well-chosen tunes at the right time can aid performance and recovery by up to 10%. “If you synchronise whatever activity you're engaging in to the tempo of music there's a very
clearly energetic effect,” said Professor Peter Terry of the University of Southern Queensland. The Serendip Studio website describes four main components of how music could help athletic performance. “First, music can distract an athlete from fatigue, second, music can act as a mood altering catalyst, third, music can synchronize an athlete’s rhythm and movement and finally, music can act as a trigger for learning certain motions and aid with muscle memory.” So when your coach or PE teacher yells at you for listening to music, show them these facts. Maybe they will change their mind. “Music helps you focus,” Mike Brinson of the Council Bluffs Boxing Club said. “The words help with focus and the beats help stabilize your rhythm.”
Korean Letters to a leukemia survivor Tvrdy missiles By Dylan Montgomery Reporter
By Tristan Eggett Reporter “We have taken notice of the March decision...to further enhance the status of a country possessing nuclear arms for the purposes of self-defence,” said Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich. “This radically complicates, if it doesn't in practice shut off, the prospects for resuming six-party talks. Attempts by Pyongyang to violate. Decisions of the U.N. Security Council are categorically unacceptable.” (Information from www.reuters.com). The past couple months have been scary for South Korean citizens and the countries allied with them. "The first strike of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) will blow up the U.S. bases for aggression in its mainland and in the Pacific operational theatres including Hawaii and Guam," North Korea stated. Although they say this, experts (The military analysts) believe that North Korea is years away from developing missiles that could reach the United States. North Korea has threatened South Korea many times in the past, but this time analysts are viewing the situation differently and are considering the possibility of a large-scale attack from the North. North Korea is believed to have moved two “musudan missiles” to its eastern coast, leading many to predict that they will soon have a missile launch. South Korean and United States’ defense forces have responded by upgrading their military surveillance and looking for signs of a North Korean rocket launch. “I believe that North Korea is delusional enough to launch a missile, many troops are in missile range which scares me,” Thomas Jefferson High School resource officer Ron Zika stated. “I also believe that they are running bluff and metaphorically speaking ‘Poking a bear with a stick’. They know what will happen and a part of me believes they won’t do anything at all.” As for all of you Americans at home, there is no need to panic at this time. You should still make sure to stay up-to-date with what is going on in the world today. If this does not lay to rest without any wars, things could get bad very fast for many countries; including us.
In fourth grade I was diagnosed with leukemia and I wasn’t cancer free until sixth grade. Awhile back some people sent an offer in the mail. It asked if I wanted to write a little of my story and put a picture with it and send it out to schools. Recently I received letters from students at Kellom Elementary. They all told me that they were glad that I survived leukemia and asked me a lot of questions like how are you doing, what did it feel like, and
how did you deal with it? This is the second time I received letters from a school. The first time it was about the same thing, but it’s great to see how these kids are reacting when they hear a story like mine. The kids at Kellom raised fifteen hundred dollars for the Lymphoma Leukemia Society. That’s a lot of money from just one elementary school. I thought it was really cool how they wrote to me. Some of the letters were short and some were long. Either way they got the point across that they were
glad I survived and it’s obvious they care a lot. These kids cared enough to raise a lot of money for a good thing like the Lymphoma Leukemia Society and that’s only going to help more kids that are diagnosed with this horrible disease. I would just like to thank the Kellom Elementary kids for raising money and every other school that participated. I hope people keep doing good things like raising money for diseases not just like this, but any disease that is hurting people. Thanks.
Letters to Dylan from students at Kellom Elementary school. Photograph from Dylan Montgomery.
Awkward 2012/2013 school year my pants.” By Kelsi Thurman Reporter
High school is filled with memories. Whether epic or embarrassing, odds are you’re going to remember them for the rest of your life. 30 years from now I see myself telling stories to my kids. About times that I fell down in the lunchroom, or walked around throughout the whole day with my pants unzipped. Though at the time this was really embarrassing, all I can do is sit back and laugh. Little moments like that are apart of life and make us who we are. “I went to get a drink in the B wing and someone turned the faucet so it sprayed me.” senior Cassie Payne said. “I walked around looking like I peed
The 2012/2013 school year has been a roller coaster filled with tests, breakups, fights, weird weather, and much more. “My favorite memory from last summer was when we were playing a softball game,” Softball coach Shannon Stusse said. “The ball was hit foul to the right side of the field, Khadesha Brown was busting hard after it to make an out and she slipped and slid with both feet out in front; when she managed to stop, she popped up like nothing ever happened, grabbed the ball and threw in. I still laugh when I think about it!” For a lot of people this is a delicate subject, which is understandable, but odds are nobody will remember 20 years from now. If they do...good luck.
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Continued from page one. Tvrdy is positive that the 2013-2014 school year will be off to a strong start. Tvrdy’s goal is to create a curriculum that will engage students and translate to the rigor and expectations of either traditional high schools. “I want for students to transition from the Passages Program successfully back to their home schools by building relationships and procedures that meet the needs of the student and their home school,” Tvrdy said. Tvrdy said that she will also miss all of the students, teachers, administrators, custodians and nutritional services support staff at TJ that she has made great relationships with. “I grew to care about so many staff and students and it will weigh heavy on my heart to leave but I will definitely stay connected to all of them,” Tvrdy said. Many students at TJ will surely miss seeing Mrs. Tvrdy around the halls. “I am going to miss her a lot,” senior Jasmine Fisher said. “She has been there for me since the first day of my freshman year and she has always helped me when I needed her most. She has been such a positive impact on my life and I will always remember her as a strong, independent women who I will always look up to. Thanks for being there Mrs. Trvdy, I will love and miss you.”
Summer computer checkout By Dana Mefferd Reporter Students now will be able to keep their Chromes over the summer. But they do not have to keep their computer if they do not want to. “For underclassmen, we will be calling them down from 8 - 10:30 to the Commons on May 20th & 21st to check their Chromes prior to their taking them home for the summer. A schedule of who is called out will be in the near future,” said principal Lisa Dale. All students must have their computers looked at prior to summer check out. Students must have their chromes on May 20th and 21st. Any damage or loss that is found does not have to be paid previous to summer check out. But, students and parents are responsible for any loss or damage. If a student does not want to keep their computer over the sum-
mer or if they will not be returning in the fall, they can check in their computer in the TJ Tech Center on May 24th or on the 28th. The computer will be returned to students in the fall. All seniors must check in their computers. Computer check in for seniors will be on May 17th. All computers must be checked in or accounted for by senior check out on May 22nd. No students will be able to complete the checkout process on May 22nd if they have not checked in their computer. Any loss or damage expenses must be paid by May 24th in order for the student to receive his/her cap and gown and walk at graduation. They will only accept cash after May 17th. The Tech Center will be open all summer from 8:00-4:00 each day for any student who needs assistance with their Chrome.
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Anime trends around TJ By Dylan Montgomery Reporter Many people were unaware of the popularity of anime until a lot more kids started watching it at Thomas Jefferson. Anime are Japanese animated productions featuring hand drawn or computer animation. Anime includes animated television series, short films, and full-length feature films. The word comes from the abbreviated pronunciation of "animation" in Japanese. Anime has many different genres, such as science fiction, adventure, and comedy. It might take you awhile to find one that will be your favorite. “My favorite anime is Naruto,” said Trevor Long, a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson, “I watch about four episodes a day because it is so addictive and just fantastic.” Some anime have magic in them. “My favorite anime is Fairy Tale,” said sophomore
By Brooklyn Holder Reporter
Photo of “Naruto” from iphonewall.net
Marshal Fallet, “it’s mainly about wizards that use magic.” There are countless animes available covering many different areas of interest. Both Fallet and Long watch more than just these two anime. Fairy Tale, High School of the Dead, Sword Art, Bleach, Naruto, Inuyasha, and Dragon
Ball Z are just a few more of the animes they watch. Long and Fallet also read manga. Manga is a Japanese word referring both to comics and cartooning. If you are interested in any of the anime or manga, get on your computer or go to the library and look them up.
Saying goodbye to student teacher Mr. Flegle By Brooklyn Holder and Kelsi Thurman Reporters
During the 2012-2013 school year, the journalism department was given a student teacher. At first the journalism students were not sure how this would go because Mr. Lindquist had been on his own for so long. But, because of the change the students in this department have received some of the greatest high school memories. “My greatest memories were every time we completed a great newspaper and Swarm TV, especially the spoof episode,” Mr. Doug Flegle stated. Flegle has spent his days at TJ assisting the newspaper, yearbook, broadcasting, and intro journalism classes. “Fleegs, Flegle, Deegle, Doug”; just a few
Thomas Jefferson Winter Percussion crowned 2013 Class A champions!!!
Photo of Mr. Flegle by Kaylinn Taggart.
of the many names he has developed at Thomas Jefferson High School. Flegle has a gift of laughter that taught everyone to let loose and enjoy their passion for journalism while having a good time. He has had some moments where he had to be serious but he enjoyed his job. Not only has he influenced students, he has learned a lot too. “I’ve gained a lot of valu-
able experience that will help me in my upcoming career,” Flegle said. “I’ve gotten to know great students and teachers. I feel like I’m a part of the TJ family.” All of us wish him well and hope to see him at this school in the future. “I would love to stay in the Council Bluffs Community School District,” Flegle said. “I will be looking for a journalism job wherever it’s available.”
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T h o m a s J e f f e r s o n ’s Wi n t e r P e r c u s s i o n h a s won many competitions throughout the y e a r. T h e y h a v e w o n 1st place four times and t h i r d p l a c e o n c e . Wi n t e r Percussion was crowned 2 0 1 3 H e a r t l a n d Wi n t e r Arts Association Scholastic Class A Champions. “ W h e n they announced the 2nd place winners, we all were really excited and my friends and I grabbed hands,” said junior Cori Bergantzel. “ A f t e r they said our name, our group was so proud and excited.” Excitement was in the air for percussion students. “When I heard our named called as first place for championships, it was hard to just stand there and not jump u p i n j o y, ” s a i d s o p h o m o r e Ta n n e r Wa l l a c e . Many memories that
people have are close to home and their loved ones. “My favorite memory was when we performed for our families and the entire school,” Bergantzel explained. Others would say the greatest memories are the big time concerts. “I think my favorite memory was during Championships as we were all lined up in rows of two and the said the second place school, and at that moment we knew that we won,” Wa l l a c e s a i d . Hard work always pays off in the end. “I personally feel like we've improved so much since the beginn i n g o f t h e y e a r, ” s a i d B e r g a n t z e l . “ O b v i o u s l y, we achieved our number one goal by winning championships. And we a l l f e l t c l o s e r. ” Looks like it was a great year for Thomas Jefferson and we hope next year is just as good.
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Photo of the snare line during a TJHS Winter Percussion competiton.
High school in a nutshell By Shelby Jones Reporter
720 days. 5,040 hours. 302,400 minutes. This is the time you will spend in high school. And as cliche as it sounds, it really flies by. I was pretty nervous on my first day here, because it’s much different than middle school. Bigger school, and tons more kids. It’s definitely intimidating. The Class of 2013 went through a lot of changes within our four years here. We had 3 different types of schedules. Our freshman year, we had 7 periods that were much shorter. Our sophomore, we had the dreadful block classes, which you youngins will never have the displeasure of experiencing. Each class was ridiculously long. And finally, our junior and senior year, the trimester scheduling has remained. We also had two different principals. In the 2009-2010 school year, Mrs. Judy O’brien was our principal, and for the past three years, Mrs. Lisa Dale. It’s almost time to for graduation day. And fortunately for us, we get out a week before the other three grades. As it gets closer, the more excited I am to graduate. But there are certainly things that I’ll miss here. The students, the teachers, and a few of my classes were certainly memorable. “I’m sad to leave, just because I made a lot of younger friends,” senior Katie Adams said. “But I’m happy with my experiences that got me here.” In 10 years, I want to look back at my time in high school and be satisfied with it. Then again, I also want to move forward and succeed in the future. Even though problems in high school seem like the end of the world, I know that things will get better from here. After being in school for the vast majority of my life, I’m really looking forward to what lies ahead.
Seniors of Mr. Lindquist’s newspaper class. (Back left to right) Shelby Jones, Shelbie Granger, and Allie Townsend. (Front row) Kaylinn Taggart. Photo by Kelsi Thurman.
Dynamic duos By Allie Townsend and Shelbie Granger Photographers
Have you ever wanted a friend, someone that you can tell all your darkest secrets to? Someone to have a lot of fun with? Or just someone to be able to communicate with and share those common interests? Well, we found that certain someone. Our friendship started at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. Shelbie was new to the journalism class, and Mr. Lindquist told Allie that her and Shelbie were going to taking photos together. From there... a friendship to last a lifetime unveiled. We have had our share of great times together. For instance: Pokemon cards scattered across the floor; over 500 balloons in Mr. Lindquist’s classroom; spitballs (you do not want that explanation); walking around stores reeking havoc in all
the isles; staying up until 5 or 6 in the morning talking about pointless things; ect.. So, yes, we, Allie Townsend and Shelbie Granger, can say that we are partners in crime, Best Friends till the end, like Woody and Buzz lightyear. As you go through your high school career, you will always need a friend. It is important to have at least that one person you can talk to. If you have everything bottled up, you are just going to EXPLODE (that definitely is NOT a good). We don’t know what we would do without each other. For instance, when winter break came about, we did not get to spend any time together. Once school started back up, we were happy again. We were reunited. (Insert smilie face here). All in all, we are inseparable. Best friends until the end. If you see one of us somewhere, you better expect to see the other coming up right behind her.
"Photography is my pride and joy. Being able to do it with my best friend my senior year just made it even more fun." (Allie Townsend)
"The time I’ve spent on The Signal staff has been an awesome experience!" (Shelbie Granger)
Preparing for life after high school Being on the newspaper staff is fun and rewarding, and it’s cool to see your stories in print. (Shelby Jones)
By Kaylinn Taggart Editor-in-Chief
Senior year has been rumored to be the hardest yet easiest year of high school. A lot of students complete the required classes before senior year even starts. This leaves a lot of time for seniors to take college classes, or “fluff” classes that they were not able to before.
“For those who like writing, consider joining the newspaper. If you enjoy leading other people, there is not a better place to learn how than by being on the newspaper staff. (Kaylinn Taggart)
“It was easy because I didn’t have as many classes,” senior Jacob Archibald said. Archibald plans to attend Iowa Western Community College in the fall to major in vocal music. Many seniors have already finalized their plans for life after high school. Senior Sarah Ingwersen plans on attending the University of Iowa to study to be a doctor. “I was a lifeguard and had to use my skills,” Ingwersen stated. “I liked it and I realized I wanted to help people in emergencies like that and I’ve always liked human/ biological sciences.” The process of choosing a college that is a good fit for you takes some time and going to the wrong one could be costly. Seniors spend a good portion of their final year applying for
scholarships to be able to attend college. “I’ve applied for a lot of scholarships, but I haven’t gotten any yet,” senior Sam Campbell said. Campbell plans to attend Drake University in the fall to study for her pre-pharmacy degree in two years and pharmacy school in the four years that follow. While many majors in college do not require you to take classes prior to being accepted into the school, it is recommended to have a variety of classes and activities in addition to the required classes. “Actually try and do well in your classes,” Ingwersen said. “If you get D’s in your classes you won’t make it. Work hard and make sure you’re passing your classes.”