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November, 2013

Four pillars hold up NHS

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ideals

By Isabella Moore Reporter

The National Honor Society (NHS) is a unique group that offers students recognition for leadership, good attendance, and being a good role model. “National Honor Society is full of role models for other students in the building and it shows that we represent TJ very well, wherever we go,” said senior Janette Gonzalez. This program was established to recognize outstanding students for their good intentions and grades. NHS does different volunteering activities as well; Friday, October 18th and Monday the 21st, NHS let TJ students get into the “senior night” football and volleyball games by bringing a can of food as admission. September 25th NHS went to Hitchcock Park and cut down trees for trail

Photo by Deb Goodman; NHS cutting down trees and planting seeds.

maintenance and collected seeds. “It makes me feel good about myself that it’s such a prestige group and it’s full of the top students in our school, and to be part of that makes me proud,” said Gonzalez. Gonzalez

states that being apart of NHS is a great asset for her resume. This program is offered all over the country. National Honor Society was established in 1921 by The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Not only is this program offered in high school but, NASSP also established a National Junior Honor Society just eight short years later for junior high students. “There are four pillars and the first and foremost is

Social Media Etiquette By Hannah-Grace Northam Reporter

The Internet can be compared to the Wild West: rule-less, reckless, and open for anything. Rule number one of the internet, there are no rules. Yet, there are four million results on Google about etiquette that should be used when it comes to surfing the net. As technology has evolved, rules of the internet have evolved

with it. Politeness is still a must when it comes to communicating with people, whether through technology or in person. “Well, it’s just like any other social media, treat others how you want to be treated. I think that people shouldn’t be negative, but be positive,” said John Fuller a school technician in the Tech Center. The rules for manners still exist. However, people abandon these

rules, harass others, and say rude things. “People feel like they can get away with saying rude things on the Internet because they’re behind a screen, no one’s there in front of them to do anything,” said junior Devon Kermoade. “If people don’t post anything stupid, then they’re not going to have to worry about it.” Anything people put on the Internet can be

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Volume 89, Issue 2

permanent. All it takes is a screenshot, or a repost. Schools, co-workers, other students, and future employers can all see what has been posted. “Well, if I had something to hide, then I wouldn’t be posting it on the internet,” said sophomore Mike Crusius. If students do not want other people knowing things about them then they should not post information online. However, the internet is not the Wild West that needs taming. It is still relatively new and constantly changing. It is an ambiguous and unique form of communication. Collaboration is key to creating a set of rules.

scholarships which means you have to maintain a 3.5 accumalitive GPA,” said business teacher Deb Goodman. “The second is service and so that’s why we ask the students who do NHS to do community service outside NHS for 20 hours, third is leadership and thats where we ask our students to have two types of leadership types of positions, and the fourth one is character, and that’s where we have an advisory board. We are looking at applicants and how they speak to their character.” If students are interested in being apart of NHS, take each of these steps very seriously. “I recommend that freshman and sophomore students work on Keeping their GPA up so they meet that 3.5 level and keep maintaining good character,” said Goodman.

General Rules: 1. Don’t complain about work on social media sites because your employer, co-workers, and potential employers can see it. 2. Link to sources Often if you use a quote by someone, especially from somebody’s blog, you should link back to their original post. Not only is it proper blog etiquette, but it can be used to your advantage. 3. Friends are optional You’re not obligated to friend/follow anyone. No matter what. 4. For every opinion, there is always at least one loud and opposing opinion. 5. Have common sense - If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t say it online.


Evolution of Buzz By Derrick Johnson Reporter

Recently, classroom chatter has brought up school colors, orange and white, and our mascot, the Yellow Jacket. “I don’t get why were called the yellow jackets but our colors are orange and white,” said sophomore Sydney Clark. “It kind of makes sense to me but it kind of doesn’t.” There is actually an insect called the yellowjacket that closely resembles our TJ mascot, Buzz. Way back in 1955, a simple shy Buzz was created as TJ’s logo. Soon

enough, Buzz started to show more aggression and confidence. In 1996, the Buzz mascot was born and appeared at the school pep-rallies. Soon after that it was replaced with the current buzz in 2010. There are many teachers and staff that have been connected to TJ for a very long time. Some have worked here for over 20 years and some are even TJ graduates. Business teacher Debra Goodman knows a lot about Buzz’s history. “Back in the 70’s they believed that the logo looked mean but it wasn’t super intimidating,” said

Goodman. “They had talked about even looking at changing the mascot, maybe the TJ Tigers…. it had a lot of push back”. Although there was confusion, TJ knows that the Buzz mascot is here to stay. Each year the school pays a royalty fee of $1 a year to remain the yellow jackets, which is derived from Georgia Tech. Over the years, there have been elementary schools adopting our logo and becoming the “Junior Jackets”. Soon, all of our feeder schools will be connected to us by our beloved Buzz.

Photos by Derrick Johnson; phases of buzz.

Senior picture do’s and dont’s 1. Needs to be a vertical frame. 2. Waist and up, or close up. 3. No words/ years on the photo. 4. Needs to be in color. Deadline is Dec. 20th!

Photos by Isabella Moore.

Get schooled By Angela Gardner Reporter

This year, getschooled.com is holding a contest that gives $5,000 to a school with amazing attendance. TJ is currently in 2nd place out of 9 schools in the region, with a total of 234 points. TJ students can easily get involved and earn points by signing up, playing games, and showing up for school on time. They can also wear green on Thursdays for attendance awareness. On the website students can do activities about college, attendance, tests, and even win a wake up call from a celebrity. Also on Novem-

The diary of a TJ kid By Alejandro Vieyra Reporter

This year at TJ, the yearbook department is doing something similar to the famous series, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, but how about “Diary of a TJ Kid”. This idea came from this year’s yearbook editor Kayla Bussing. “I was at the yearbook conference and I was looking at books and we saw this one and thought it would be cool to do something we haven’t done before.” said Bussing. The yearbook pages will also be laid out in chronological order. The idea for this also came from the yearbooks’ editor. So if students want to know something about something in particular they can just turn that week’s page. The yearbook staff needs to sell as many yearbooks as they can throughout the school year, they need the yearbook to appeal to students, so the yearbook is adding something new

called “Aurasma.” Bussing stated that this app allows students to really see what happened in the past from the future. “It has all their memories in it, and get to see all the work their classmates did,” said Bussing. “I think it will be cool, especially with the new app they are going to be using on it. I think it will be just as good as the other years. Usually they make a few edits that people don’t like but I think they will clean it up this year, so overall it will be a really good yearbook” said senior Alex Salak. The yearbook is also doing something called “spotlight pages” these pages are dedicated to one boy and one girl on each side of the pages, and is a good way to learn about these students, and their interests or hobbies. “The spotlights are really there so the yearbook

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class can highlight students and their personalities that the student body might not normally recognize,” said Journalism Adviser Mr. Rob Lindquist. These pages are not something a student would apply for, nobody will get a spotlight page on request. The yearbook staff chooses these students at random. Also the students always are either juniors or seniors. Speaking of seniors they need to get their senior pictures in a soon as possible. The deadline for these pictures are Decem-

ber 5th and December 3rd, if they can prove you are a “get schooled kid”, you can get a free taco at Taco Bell. “I want the kids to really know perfect attendance starts every week and everyone can win prizes," graduation coach Silina Branson said. “The other thing I want kids to know is to check into grad for mas, and do the polls, surveys, and discussions and earn the most points for our school” Do not forget to join. TJ is only 60 points away from first place in the midwest division, and 5th in the nation!

ber 20th. Also seniors need to get their senior ads in by January 10, 2014 as well for the yearbook. Senior ads cost $40 for 1/4 a page, $75 for 1/2 a page, and $145 for a full page. If students have to turn these photos/ads in, give them to TeLeigha Starks (tstarks141@cbcsd. org). The yearbook has many cool features this year, if a student would like to purchase one of these yearbooks, they need to do it sooner than later at jostensyearbooks.com.

Photo by Alejandro Vieyra; Kayla Bussing, yearbook editor.


Applying to colleges By Megan Carroll Reporter

Applying for colleges takes courage, hard work, and dedication. Each community college and/or state university has its own specialty concentration that newcomers can choose from. “Try to find out what the college has to offer you,” said senior Janette Gonzalez. “Take a tour of the campus. Be sure that it’s the place you want to live for the next four years of your life.” “Start right away, and talk with a counselor about scholarships.” said Tylene Knapp. Knapp is ac University of Omaha (UNO) student who observes on Mondays and

Graphic by Trystan Brock.

Wednesdays with Mrs. Shannon’s U.S History class. Keeping options open to many schools could be helpful for students as well.

“Having more choices makes it easier in making a decision, because you can compare and contrast,” said senior Alyscia Parker. “You’re supposed to apply to at

least three (schools) so that you have some options,” she said. Parker is talking about the suggested number of applications by TJ’s C.A.P instructors, but going for more is also

better for student’s future. Students can choose to make applying for colleges entertaining, and even easy. Know what you want to go to school for. That is the hardest choice. Then, look into the exciting events that interest you. There are many different choices to make. Peers should also realize that applying for college means being on your own. Therefore it would make the experience better if students become comfortable with the college before they make a choice. Even though making memories can be joyful, the goal of graduation from high school and college should be taken seriously.

Fellowship of Christian athletes By Eric Garringer Reporter

Early this year, a new religious club emerged at TJ. What students may not know is, more religious clubs could exist. Every group has a right to their own club inside the school, as long as it is not school-funded. As always, students have the choice to join these clubs or not. The separation of Church and State law

Photo by Eric Garringer; Fellowship of Christian athletes poster.

of 1947 ensues that there are strict borders between organized religion and education. Since clubs and after school activities are not always school funded, this law is staying intact. Clubs with no religious association exist and students are encouraged to join any number of these as well. Groups like these are often student-oriented and student-run. Each student is entitled to their

own club and the right to join or not. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, sponsered by Mrs. Sara Jennings, is a club where students can come in a safe place and talk about their faith. Member Brianna Clapper says that the club, “ isn’t just for athletes,” and it is similar to a youth group.

Homework help needs help By Ikran Ahmed Reporter

Homework help was an after school club that gave students the opportunity to stop by and either get caught up on school work or get help with their homework. Students who were struggling in courses could get help

from their own teachers. Teachers gave up their own time to help students have a better understanding of the assignment or tests. Last year homework help met after school from 3-4 in the commons or in the library. Homework help started in the beginning of the year but was not

very successful. After school only 1 or 2 students (if any) would come to get help on their homework. Most of the students were just serving detentions for the teachers who were there to help other students get caught up on work. This year TJ does not have homework help but instead teachers will

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be in their classrooms after school to help students with questions and homework. It is more convenient for both the teacher and the student now. Students and teachers wondered if it was a good idea to have homework help. “It makes you feel more comfortable

knowing that you're not the only person in a classroom with one teacher but instead you are with a bunch of other kids trying to get help on work too” said Ashley Mace, a Senior at TJ.


Tied Down By Kelsi Thurman Editor-In-Chief

The relationship is “on edge”. A lot of people cannot handle being tied down all the time, it really is a bind. This is not the cliché girlfriend-boyfriend breakup sob story. This is the love-hate relationship between people and ties. There are all types of knots; The Bow-Tie, the Four-In-Hand knot, the half, and full Windsor, some being harder than others. “The Windsor knot

is the one I can tie effectively,” Mr. Eric Sagert, 10th grade principal said. “It is most recognized as far as formality.” Sagert also said that formal dress is the expectation of professional appearance. “I like the Trinity knot because it looks sharp,” said junior Devon Kermoade. “It’s really difficult to tie.” When young lads are first learning how to tie, things can be difficult and confusing. Not knowing if they will ever be able

to knot and twist… the agony. “I learned how to tie a tie when I was about 12,” Kermoade said. “My grandfather originally taught me, but Mr. Walker taught me how to tie different kinds of knots.” Though some people really do enjoy dressing up, It is safe to say some just do it because they have to. “To be perfectly honest, I don’t like wearing ties, I’m more of a tshirt and shorts guy.” said Sagert.

Graphic by Hannah-Grace Northam

Comic Corner by Hannah-Grace

Get involved with ASTRA parenting. Current projects and meeting activities are Want to help your creating a poster advertiscommunity? Want to get ing for membership in involved and meet new ASTRA, deciding on the people? Students who are first fundraiser (last year looking for a great organi- was Boo-Grams) also zation to be part of should maybe a costume drive. join ASTRA! This is an Kassandra Meeker, organization for students a sophomore who was into have the opportunity to volved in the program last give back to the commuyear, stated that ASTRA nity in a postive way. helped benefit her and ASTRA is an after provided many opportuschool club dedicated nities. She got to know to helping out Council more people and she also Bluffs and Metro area volunteered. community through ser Some of the volvice projects. There has unteering that Kassandra already been a first ASliked was when ASTRA TRA meeting. went to elementary It is ran by Mrs. schools and handed out Cathy Straub and Mrs. candy to kids on HallowErin Grachek. Straub een. They also sung and teaches Foods class and danced with them to help Parenting while Grachek stop bullying and promote teaches clothing and drug awareness. Textiles, Fashion, Child development and also By Ikran Ahmed Reporter

Louder than a bomb By Dylan Montgomery Reporter

The Slam Poetry Club, founded in Chicago, has been introduced to both, Abraham Lincoln and TJ. Students who enjoy writing poetry can improve their writing skills and learn how to present the poetry. “The whole purpose of “Louder than a Bomb” is to bring coaches in to work with you,” said Samantha Schreier, the CBCSD sponsor of the Slam Poetry Club. Even students who have not written poetry are

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welcome. “Students who have never written poetry are welcome to come get tips and learn more about slam poetry,” said Scheier. The professional that is helping out is Timothy Siragusa. He is in the club to practice with the kids and help them get better all around with poetry. Slam poetry is open to anyone who is interested and welcomes everyone. So if students, even teachers, would like to join they meet every Wednesday after school at 3:00 and it lasts for about thirty minutes to an hour.

Nov 2013 Signal  

The official student newspaper of Thomas Jefferson High School, Council Bluffs, IA.

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