Page 1

Join the conversation and Like Us on Facebook!

Volume 88, Issue 2

October 2012

Help from CBC/CAP By: Abi Raymer Reporter Monday through Thursday after school there are two clubs to help students prepare for college called College Bound Club (CBC) and College Access Program (CAP). These programs are available to any students that attend Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Papillion although space is limited. This is something that appeals to students because of the extra help and trips to college campuses. “We do a lot of field trips to visit colleges to meet with the programs at those colleges so that they could see like what a college treo program or student support would be available,” said CBC site coordinator Mrs. Ashley DeVrieze. “We also bring in speakers from different careers or volunteer organizations so they can learn about opportunities. We attend some leadership conferences, and things like that, so students get some of those different skills.” These programs, however, have requirements. You need to maintain decent grades, attend college prep hours after school and have at least two hours of volunteering each trimester. College prep hour is study time after school where you can get help with your homework and you have to have a certain percentage of attendance each trimester. This percentage goal is determined by your GPA at the beginning of the trimester. Staff is also involved in the programs in different ways. “We have teacher mentors that are apart of TJ staff. Right now, we have seven of those and they each have a group of between 12 and 15 students that they meet with, just to check in, and kind of just get to know them. We also have the counselors involved with College Click after school for seniors,” said DeVrieze. Read the rest of this story at:

Obama and Romney want your vote By: Brooklyn Holder Reporter It has been a long and competitive election season for President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Both visited places across the United States to win over Americans for the upcoming 2012 election. Promises made by both candidates are being debated all around the country. So why should you care? There are three reasons we should care about the election: taxes, healthcare, and employment. “It is important for students to know about the election because it is our voice,” said Econ teacher President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney will debate three times this Curtis Weber,”[It’s] our one time month: Oct. 3rd, 16th, and 22nd. Graphic by Trystan Brock. that we get to express our direc- cut individual taxes by 20 percent companies to make their own tion that the country takes.” and corporate taxes by 10 percent. rules, this would also cause fami Taxes have been an issue for Romney also wants to eliminate lies to have fewer choices of what decades and they are not going the death tax. The death tax is they can do for insurance. away anytime soon. when pay taxes on an inheritance President Obama’s plan for It is important that students from a family member that has health care is to keep the Affordcare about the tax plans of each died. able Care Act. This act holds incandidate because if they are Healthcare is also another is- surance companies accountable working they have to pay taxes. sue facing our country. A law by putting an end to the worst Either situation will affect them. passed on March 23, 2012, said abuses, such as capping and drop Obama’s plan is to increase health care is required for every- ping a person’s coverage when taxes on those who make more one. While some families cannot they get sick. Obama also wants than $250,000 annually. He also afford it outright, most full-time to put an end to health insurance wants to cut middle class taxes, jobs provide health insurance for company practices of charging saving them around $3,600 dol- them and their families. women more than men for the lars over the first-term of his pres- Romney has said that he wants same coverage. idency. to limit federal standards and Weber explained that he thinks Romney’s plan is to cut taxes requirements on both private in- healthcare is the biggest reason on the rich, while raising them surance and medicaid coverage. students should care. “There is so on the middle class. According to Obama’s website has explained much detail on how it affects us Romney’s website, his plan is to that this would allow insurance now and in the future,” said We-

ber. The economy for Americans has fluctuated for so long and people are in need of employment. President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden say that before Obama took office, the economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month. Under the current administration, we have gained 30 consecutive months of job growth and 4.6 million new private sector jobs. Biden also says that Obama has saved 1 million jobs in the auto industry. Romney has expressed that he wants to improve the labor policies and ensure stable paying fields to which businesses can operate. Romney does not want businesses to worry about the federal agencies changing rules upon employment without warning or regard. If you have ever paid attention to commercials then you would know that they can be deceiving. They seem to only put their candidates in the limelight. Take some time to do your own research and compare your thoughts to theirs. Early voting has begun in some states, such as Iowa. November 6 is the date of election, so if you’re eligible, make sure to register and vote. There is a link on The Signal’s website, as well as on our Facebook page, if you would like to register.

TJ prepares seniors for real world By: Kelsi Thurman Reporter

Only three out of five college graduates nationally get a career in what they majored in. That would mean out of the 274 seniors currently enrolled at Thomas Jefferson High School, 60% will end up in a career they choose. Senior year is an important time in a high schooler's life; a new beginning and the start of the rest of their life. But the toughest test is getting a job. According to a district survey on graduate intent, the

percent of students with an intent to enroll in postsecondary education (four-year college, a two-year college, or technical school) increased to 69%. This is a rebound of 9% compared to 2011, and the secondhighest percentage in the previous five years. The Council Bluffs Community School District does have activities planned for Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln students where they can learn about career pathways and requirements. The Career Day Fair, and visits to college campuses, are

Page 1

upgraded opportunities from previous years. The Emerging Technologies Academy at ALHS and Business and Finance Academy at TJHS have been developed to provide a more “real world” experience for students interested in those fields. College graduates are more apt to get a job than someone with Career Counselor Mr. Nepple. Photo by Shelbie just a high school Granger. degree. helpful for the field in which “Take advantage of the opportunities,” said you are entering. Careers Counselor Pat Nepple. In spite of the recession, “If you have a leadership op- young adults are still finding portunity, take it. Any more jobs. experience you can get is go- It is important to start thinking about college and career ing to be helpful.” Starting a resume is impor- plans as soon as possible. Even tant when trying to find a job if you change your career, it is or even searching for a college. important to get a feel for what In today’s society, employers you would like to do in life. look at resumes to see what “Do things that make you kind of skills and experiences stand out over other people,“ you have, and if they would be said Nepple.

It’s easy being green By: Kelly Espinoza Reporter Recycling is very important because waste has a large and negative impact on the ecosystem. Council Bluffs is taking action informing the residents and public organizations and/or buildings in the city to recycle. Forests are being targeted for the trees at roughly 100 acres per minute, stated by the Iowa Department of Economic Development. The average American uses 650 pounds of paper each year 100 million tons of wood could be saved each year if all that paper was recycled. “We only have one earth and one chance to keep it from ruining the environment,” said Thomas Jefferson IJAG teacher, Mr. Jay Busby. “I don't want to live in a world of garbage.” All schools in Council Bluffs, Iowa have recycling. Thomas Jefferson High School has a special program called IJAG where students help inform the public and contribute to the environment. They pick up the recycling bins in every classroom every week, make videos to inform the school and discuss new ways to improve the society. According to Iowa Department of Economic Development 1.2 million tons of materials are recycled in Iowa each year. The percentage of people who recycle has been decreasing for more than 20 years. In 1980, more than 80

percent of people said they recycled. By 2003, that number remained around 70 percent, reported by the National Recycling Coalition. The National Recycling Coalition stated that the number one reason people do not recycle at home was because it was a inconvenience. “People think it is too much work and people don't want to spend the time to get the bins. Also, people are lazy and uneducated on the benefits of recycling,” said IJAG teacher Mr. Seth Groat. Recycling is essential for having a healthier environment including; cleaner cities and efficient resources to keep us alive and well. The U.S. government has several programs to help with “reuse, reduce, and recycle” items to help the Earth. In every city there is at least one organization or governmental facility that helps with recycling, for example the Council Bluffs recycling center. “I do recycle sometimes,” said junior, Ivy Ramirez at Thomas Jefferson. “I think recycling is beneficial because we protect our world from more damage and we are also protecting the place where we live. We all should live in a safe clean environment.” If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year (recycling-revolution. com).

Boys Golf helping at concession stands. Pictured are (L to R) sophomore Tristan Eggett, freshman John Poldberg, math teacher Mrs. Storey, and junior Grant Storey. Photo by Allie Townsend.

Giving a helping hand

By: Isabella Moore Reporter

Students at TJ are helping out to raise some money for the needed materials for their programs. Different clubs, sports, and activities all volunteer to work at concessions whenever their coaches sign them up. They do this in order to not only help out the the team that is playing, but also to benefit themselves. “I want to raise money for softball,” said junior Khadesha Brown. She has volunteered to help with the concession stands three times while she has been at Thomas Jefferson. She says that the money raised goes to the fund for new softball equipment.

Sports are not the only groups that benefit from helping with the concessions. “The money goes to the clubs at TJ, like IJag, ASTRA, and DECA,” said junior Shondaria Harris. Football, softball, basketball, cheerleading, track, cross country, and numerous clubs at Thomas Jefferson are involved with helping with concessions. The community inside our school is very close, and all the sports and clubs work together to help each other out whenever they can. “It has a sense of pride that they take,” said bowling coach David Lutz. “It helps support each other and it’s just kind of a sense of pride or commitment

to TJ.” Different sports and activities raise the money for different reasons. Lutz said they use the money for t-shirts and food for away games. “The volunteering part of concessions covers helping to get the our budget under control,” said Lutz. Volunteering is a great way to be social, and it is a great idea for students so they can raise money. People volunteer every day, from picking up litter on the side of the road to serving food in concessions during sports games. The students know what it’s for and they are extremely committed to their school.

New cheer coach takes action Grounded in high school By: Kiarrah Pleas Reporter

By: Dylan Montgomery Reporter Tiffany Eggett is the new spirit squad coach at Thomas Jefferson and is getting many things accomplished already. “She is very reliable, and she is a really good coach,” said sophomore TJ cheerleader Cassandra Warner. “She’s a friend, but she can also be a coach at the same time and that’s something I really love about her.” This is not the first time that Eggett has been a coach for TJ. This is her second after she agreed to come back on the condition that she’s allowed to coach both the cheer and dance squads. “I agreed to do it on one condition, that I could have both cheer and dance,” said Eggett. “Some girls could have the option to do both if they met the right conditions that I was looking for.” One of the many things Eg-

Photo of Tiffany Eggett by Shelbie Granger.

gett has accomplished already is raising money for the Special Olympics. “We raised close to $1000,” said Eggett. This money was used by Coach Vetter to buy tshirts for all of the Special Olympic athletes in the Council Bluffs Community School District. The money will also help purchase bowling ramps for the athletes. In a separate fundraiser, Eg-

gett’s squad also raised a little over $400 for a dance team member who is having testing done on her kidneys at the Mayo Clinic. A family member said it helps them out a lot, “it is like a weight was lifted off of our shoulders, and so it was a good impact.” Eggett said she wants her squad to be a good representation of TJ, and wants them to be a good team.

Page 2

Only twenty-nine days left in my sentence. All connections to the outside world have been cut. I’m grounded. Whether it’s something big, or small, grounding is almost always the first form of punishment parents turn to. And quite frankly, it sucks. “Yes, I think (grounding) will work, because I don’t think anyone wants to give up their privileges over and over,” said mother of me, Julie Carberry Pleas. Pleas’ statement reveals the true controversy of grounding. The question remaining is whether or not being grounded actually helps the child stop doing what they were in trouble for. There is a fear of being grounded that will often keep a teenager in line. “Every kid is different, and every situation is different,” said Pleas. High school is when one flour-

ishes and outgrows their awkwardness. People are maturing, and being trusted by their parents more. But when trust is taken away, life gets harder. The absence of technology and fun-filled weekends turn into long, boring days of waiting for Monday. Here, the connection to the world can be restored to a grounded student again. “I guess I got through it,” said freshman Brianne Richards. When Richards was grounded for two weeks, she had her phone and computer privileges taken away for the entire two weeks. Most parents agree that grounding is an effective way to get the point across to their kids. I know this because my parents have tried other forms of punishment on me before grounding. They have tacked on extra chores, reduced allowance, and taken my phone away numerous times. The good part about grounding though, is that it has to end, right?

TJ Signal October 2012  
TJ Signal October 2012  

Thomas Jefferson High School (Council Bluffs, IA) high school newspaper The Signal. Published monthly.