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Knight Life

606 E. Kilgore Rd. · Kalamazoo, MI 49001

e h t e r A We

Volume 52 · Issue 1 Loy Norrix High School · November 2011

s t h nig

K w Ne

Marta Grabowski Knight Life News

Football season, there is nothing like it, and this year it finally feels good to be a Knight. While the past few years of Loy Norrix football have not given Knights fans a lot to cheer about, this year things have definitely seen marked improvement. The Knights posted a 3-6 record on the season. For many schools, 3 wins isn’t much to be excited about, but after recent abysmal seasons, the total of wins, combined with a few close losses, has given Norrix many reasons to feel school pride. see FOOTBALL page 2 Daniela Paz / Knight Life News

Index News.............2-3






NEWS New Teachers Bring Unique


Insights to Loy Norrix Veronica Olan Knight Life News

Cristina Bryant / Guest Photographer

Reactions of the members of the Knight Life News team range from cheers of excitement to gasps of astonishment as the team members receive award after award at the 2010-2011 MIPA spring conference.

Knights Travel to Lansing, Show Up Big at Journalism Awards Gwendolyn DeYoung Guest The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) held their annual spring conference in East Lansing Michigan. MIPA is a strong supporter of students learning to exercise First Amendment rights responsibly. MIPA holds a spring conference where they recognize top writers, teachers, and high school media publications in Michigan. MIPA also holds summer workshops for students who want to further their skills and become better journalists. Over 3,000 student journalists from 73 school newspapers across Michigan attended the conference in East Lansing, including the 2010-2011 Loy Norrix Knight Life staff. Many students on the Knight Life staff had photos, articles and layout pages entered in 36 different categories in hopes of placing the top spot. Graduate Veronica Hughes placed third in the Sports Column. “I was surprised, I didn’t think I would win because I’ve only done this for a year,” said Hughes Graduates Ava Gaines and Jocelyn Jensen also placed third in the Informative Spread category. “I was so excited that I wanted to pee my pants,” said Jensen. “Knight Life” newspaper was awarded the Spartan award, which is the highest award a high school newspaper can receive at the MIPA spring conference. This is a step up from the Gold rating Knight Life received previously, and the paper is now back to being titled a Spartan Awarded paper. Past Editor-in-Chief DeChelle Jones was happy about being awarded the Spartan. “I was shaking and my eyes were about to water. It was amazing. I felt very accomplished as an Editor-in-Chief,” said Jones. The Spartan Award is the highest ranking a newspaper can receive from MIPA. The 2011 spring conference marks the 4th Spartan ranking in Loy Norrix history.


individual honors: Third Place

Sports Column- Veronica Hughes Personality Profile- Davarius Hill Informative FeatureAva Gaines and Jocelyn Jensen Comic Strip- Carrie Hoekstra

Honorable Mention

Illustration- Calvin Leinenbach News Page Spread- Cristina Bryant Environmental Coverage- Haley Pfeil Portrait- Madison Luckett Entertainment Page SpreadCristina Bryant and Brittany Tyson Sports Page Spread- Racheal Koole Pro/Con Editorial ColumnsBrittany Tyson and Polina Naumova Opinion / Editorial SpreadMadison Luckett and Jocelyn Jensen Madison Luckett and Veronica Hughes Comic Strip- Jeremy Peterson

A few changes have been made this year at Loy Norrix and teachers are part of those changes. Seniors, juniors and sophomores have come back to school knowing certain teachers. Even freshman may know some of these teachers because the teachers might have taught at a previous school. Students may look forward to seeing a teacher that they had the previous year. However, this year some of the teachers resigned and have been replaced with new teachers. New teachers at LN this year are Nicole Coleman, Brianna English, Bob Hess, Angela Laginess, Jessica Obado, Cohen Sangster, Sandra Shaw and Atiba Ward. Coleman teaches an English class in K1, English teaches an English class in M13, Hess teaches a construction trades class in M4, Laginess teaches an English class in C23, Obado teaches an English class in D18, Sangster teaches math in B21, Shaw teaches orchestra in J10, and Ward teaches strategic computer classes in K5C. Students find it fun to have a new teacher because they bring new insights to students. With new teachers come new experiences and different routines. New teachers are a fresh start and students get to show their personality to them for the first time and vice versa. Senior Maria Diaz enjoys the idea of new teachers. “New teaching methods, more creative ideas, and better activities. They’re coming from a new place so I’d expect them to bring some diversity,” said Diaz. New teachers are a pleasure to have because they bring a whole new attitude to the school and students. Since these teachers are new, the students do not really know their teaching methods or rules for their classes. Every teacher has their own personal methods of teaching. Angela Laginess has a simple method for teaching and brings a lot of diversity to Loy Norrix from her past traveling experiences. “I’ve lived in Las Vegas and I taught at Eastern Michigan University,” said Laginess.

Daniela Paz / Knight Life News

English teacher Angela Laginess helps out sophomore Kailee McDade with an assignment. Laginess enjoys working with her students on an individual basis. Her methods for teaching are very simple and liked by students. She describes her methods as “whatever will be best for the students,” said Laginess. Norrix has a lot of diversity and now there is even more. Teachers are the ones who keep students on track and help them improve for the future. With new teachers arriving there are even more experiences for students to learn from. It’s good to start new so the atmosphere around will be fresh and different. Sometimes it is hard to transition to another place but it is a nice change and fun to be somewhere else.

FOOTBALL from page 1 The key to success for this year’s football program is teamwork. This fact has not gone unnoticed by defensive coach Rob Bradford. “We’ve had a lot of issues with selfishness in the past and we don’t have those issues now. We are a family now and we genuinely care about each other, and we want to be successful and we are working towards one goal together instead of 40 goals individually,” said Bradford. Senior starting wide receiver and cornerback Davion Phillips has been in the football program four years and has noticed the improvements this year. “We are working together. We have more key players who are actually making good plays,” said Phillips. Without a doubt one of the biggest moments this football season was finally slaying the Giants of Kalamazoo Central with a 22-12 victory. Junior captain Will Aeschbacher cites

the importance of the victory over their cross town rivals. “It was a big step for us. Our first really big win for the season and it laid the path for more wins and hopefully two more wins,” said Aeschbacher at the time of the interview. Head Coach Sean Bergan agrees that while this was indeed a huge accomplishment, for him the biggest accomplishment of the season so far is the attitude of his players. “These guys are working together, they are working as a team. For me that is the best accomplishment and I am so proud of these guys,” said Bergan. While the season has not been perfect and the season is officially over, the Knights have shown that they are willing to fight till the end. “We don’t quit, we don’t give up,” said Bergan.


Consumers’ Faith in Organic Products Takes a Turn


Obama’s New Plans Estimated to Save Trillions

Miki Patel Knight Life News A person uses an average of nine personal care products daily, with 126 unique ingredients that penetrate the skin membrane according to the Natural Skincare Authority. But do you know what is in your products that you use daily? Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the dangerous chemicals that companies put in the products that are claimed to be organic. These chemicals, which may include paraben, rosin and mercury, can lead to dermatitis, psoriasis, cancer and many other diseases. Dermatitis is a skin condition that becomes itchy, while psoriasis is a disease that causes red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. Organic products are those that are grown and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers. They are natural products that are not genetically altered to give them other characteristics. Mary Farner, a senior at Loy Norrix High School, has been using organic products for two to three years. “I like to use organic produce since it has less chemicals and organic things are pure,” said Farner. “They sometimes cost a little more but it’s a lot more natural and healthier for you. They’re better for the environment and more sustainable.” Organic products can cost up to a hundred dollars depending on the company you buy it from. The director of Natural Skincare Authority, Adam Waters, exposes the companies that claim to make organic products through his Natural Skincare Secrets mini-course. Waters decided to go natural with his products because of a life event. “Because of a life threatening illness I had five years ago, I got a massive wake-up call that dramatically impacted my life,” said Waters. “That’s when I decided to take direct action by clearing out the toxins in my system.” An average of 587 skin care lovers join Waters every week as he exposes the companies that claim to be organic. His goal is to make these skin care lovers into informed organic consumers. According to the Natural Skincare Secrets minicourse, the chemical corporations do not want consumers to know about the absorption of harmful chemicals through the skin. Knowing this could result in the companies $29 billion empire to fall apart overnight. The Natural Skincare Secrets mini-course also states that the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate chemicals in skin care, hair care and cosmetics. This means companies are allowed to put dangerous chemicals in their products and sell them without warning the general public.

Peter Farner / Guest Photographer

Senior Mary Farner uses organic products beyond just beauty items. Farner has been using eco-friendly products for two to three years, like Organic Valley milk. Many companies that sell beauty products lie to their consumers to gain trust and increase business profit. The companies that claim to be organic will put the prices of their products at very high prices when they are no different than the inorganic products that contain synthetic chemicals. Good Guide gives information about how safe the products on the market are by using there website and an app for smartphones. The Good Guide scientists rate this information based on health, society and environmental effects with ten being the safest rating. The Natural Skincare Secrets website suggests a way for consumers to live a non-toxic lifestyle, which is to buy certified organic products. These products will stand out from the rest because they will have a USDA Organic or Australian Certified Organic seal on them. With these labels, consumers can be certain that their products are at least 95% organic. The USDA’s National Organic Program regulates products for agricultural companies to sell as organically produced. Organic certification agencies inspect and verify that the products comply with the USDA organic regulations.

Robert Haley / Guest Illustrator

The Jobs Bill or the American Jobs Act fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance. The Democrats plan to split the bill into pieces to get passed through the Senate and the House. Jessica Moshoginis Knight Life News We all know the feeling of having a scarce amount of money and wondering how or when we will have more. The U.S. government is spending too much money and falling into a national debt of over $14 trillion, so President Barack Obama created a new plan, which he released on September 19. It is estimated to save trillions and could affect his re-election. After an argument regarding the rise of the debt ceiling with, Speaker of the House John Boehner, this summer failed, Obama is not worried about vetoing bills that do not fit some guidelines. For example, Obama believes wealthy Americans should pay higher taxes rather than those on Medicare; moreover, he has threatened to veto anything that does not create higher taxes on the wealthy. This new plan proposes a savings of over $3 trillion in ten years by raising $1.5 trillion in taxes, $1.1 trillion from decreased involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, $580 billion from government program cuts of Medicare and Medicaid, and $430 billion from the interest of this profit alone. The plan would eliminate corporate tax loopholes. This new plan, which is a “more fiscally sustainable course” (according to CNN) than the debt ceiling plan of the summer, will be going to a congressional committee to go through the bill process. As Obama focuses on reducing debt

by collecting from upper-income people and businesses, there is a chance that this plan could be shut down because of Republican rejection. For some, this plan could affect them in both good and bad ways. Republican government and economics teacher Art Williams would be part of the upperincome population that would have to pay more taxes although Williams would not benefit from paying higher taxes. Williams does not believe Obama’s plan would be very successful. On the contrary Williams said, “Our 401K retirement plan is actually losing money because of the economy. I’d love it if it was successful.” In the long run, if this plan is successful it will benefit many people, whether it helps boost their 401K retirement plan or helps them start a career. Williams believes the plan could affect students at Loy Norrix. “If it’s not successful, the job market will not be there when they graduate from college or Loy Norrix,” said Williams. After Republican opposition to Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill, Obama plans to achieve his goal of by separating this bill into multiple smaller bills. Obama’s plans on raising money and creating jobs could affect every citizen in some way.



Once a Knight, Always a Knight

Class of ‘61 Visits a New Norrix Lucas Leibold Knight Life News

Courtesy of 1978 Accelade

Leah Rathbun / Knight Life News Ted Duckett has taught and coached at Loy Norrix High School for over forty years. Although times (and styles) have changed, Duckett remains an involved member of our high school community.

Loy Norrix High School opened its doors to the class of 1961 in November of 1960. With wet paint signs and electricians still working in the hallways, Loy Norrix was a completely different establishment than what it is today. Loy Norrix was proposed to be ready for its students in the fall of 1960; however, there proved to be too much work to complete by then and Kalamazoo Public Schools needed to find an alternative. Back in 1960 the high school for Kalamazoo was Old Central, which is now Chenery Auditorium and the building used for the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center (KAMSC). Chenery Auditorium is located on the corner of West Vine Street and South Westnedge Ave. Since it was not acceptable to have students in a dangerous halffinished building, all of the students that were to attend Loy Norrix were moved to Kalamazoo Central temporarily. For the first few months of the 1960-1961 school year, Loy Norrix and Kalamazoo Central students split the use of Old Central, the former Kalamazoo Central Building. In the morning, Kalamazoo Central students would have their half day, and in the afternoon Loy Norrix students and teachers would use the classrooms. In November, Loy Norrix was finally in an acceptable state for students. Two hundred and thirty seniors moved to Loy Norrix, and 496 students stayed at Kalamazoo Central. Kalamazoo Central was in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo and had a very diverse student population. Most of the people who lived in downtown

Students Experience College Application Stress Ray’Von Jones Knight Life News As teenagers, we are often told that our senior year of high school will be one of the most fun years of our lives. But, who forgot to mention that it would be one of the most stressful? High school in general is stressful. As students, we are forced to balance schoolwork, home life and extracurriculars, while also trying to maintain a social life. Yet, seniors have an extra stress to deal with: college applications. College applications force a teenager to convince colleges that he or she is worthy of acceptance. Senior Mary Farner, among other seniors, finds the application process stressful. “You have to put all of yourself into different essays,” said Farner. “It’s difficult to have to juggle all of that with your school work and sports.” Farner is not the only one who

finds the college application process stressful. The largest stress surrounding the college application process comes down to one word: rejection. Nobody wants to be told that they are not good enough. Yet, each year, colleges are raising their requirements and accepting fewer students. According to the Huffington Post, Columbia University saw an increase in its applicant pool, although the University accepted a mere 6.4 percent of applicants. This fact instills fear in a large number of high school students. In regards to handling the stress of college applications, counselor Sheryl Scott suggests that students should be proactive. “Start the process early. Start thinking about it right away and do some initial research,” said Scott. Senior Raymond Ryan feels that students don’t have as much control over acceptance into college as they may desire.

“If [colleges] want to say yes, they’ll say yes. If they want to say no, they’ll say no,” said Ryan. Whether one finds the college application process stressful or not, applying to colleges is a big deal. There are a few things that parents and teachers can do to help. “They can help us and support us with advice because they’re older,” said senior Oscar Castro, who is applying to a number of schools including University of Michigan, Brown University, and Grand Valley State University. “For stress, reach to your support system, talk to your counselor, and take care of yourself physically. Give yourself permission to have time for relaxation,” said Scott. But what if things don’t work out the way we want them to? In reality, we may not all be accepted into the college of our choice. “Parents are helpful by being there to remind you that you’re good no matter what, “ said Farner.

urban environments did not have the resources to attend Loy Norrix because it was still a ten-minute drive from downtown Kalamazoo. Usually high schools are named with the city, Kalamazoo Central, Battle Creek Lakeview, and Portage Northern. However, we are Loy Norrix. Our school was named after the former superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools, Dr. Loy Norrix. We are not thought of as a Kalamazoo school most of the time, our school is a ten-minute drive from downtown, and the land used to build Loy Norrix was actually annexed from Portage.

There was low diversity, and Loy Norrix was thought of as the “country club school.”

The Loy Norrix class of 1961 celebrated its fiftieth class reunion this year. On Friday, October 14th a group of alumni made a trip to their Alma Mater to see Loy Norrix in its present condition. As the alumni gathered in the tower, there were many laughs, hugs, and pictures being taken. Loy Norrix has had many makeovers since the time they attended here, and many features of Norrix that current students think nothing of, were absolutely non-existent for the class of 1961. New to Loy Norrix is the entire K-Wing, main office, tower, and cafeteria. Before these renovations, each of the different wings had their own respective cafeteria, where

students that had a class in that wing, ate lunch. When the group walked through the A-Wing a few alum commented that they used to have their own pottery and ceramics class in what is now art teacher Nancy Mollhagen’s classroom. Interestingly enough as the group made their way through the library, they were introduced to the current Loy Norrix varsity soccer team. The soccer team was reading through all of the Loy Norrix yearbooks for old soccer records to match against their own. The 1961 yearbook was brought out and both groups reminisced, suspended in another time. Today, when people hear about Loy Norrix, a connotation of violence and just general discontent comes to mind. Many in the community only see the dropout rate and boys with their underwear hanging out. However, their eyes need to be opened, people don’t see our AP classes, winning sport teams, the National Honors Society, stand out ACT scores, and Heyl scholarship nominees. Students here at Loy Norrix are doing great things, and the community is very slow to realize that. Loy Norrix High School definitely made its own reputation; however, a school reputation is made by its predecessors, and it is not always fair being judged by somebody else’s actions. Loy Norrix’s environment has changed in the recent years. In the last four years this school has seen new administration, redistricting, tighter policies, and overall a more disciplined student body. see KNIGHT page 12



Going to School in Ecuador Roberto Cevallos Knight Life News

Mario Lopez / Guest Photographer

Roberto Cevallos and his fellow classmates and teammates walk away from the soccer field after a hard day of training. In Ecuador, soccer is the most played sport and almost everywhere you look you can find a soccer ball or a soccer field. At school students are given breaks to go outside and play soccer.

Around the world you can find every kind of school and all of them are different. Specifically we are going to talk about schools in Ecuador and its capital city Quito. In Quito there are public and private schools and some of them are Catholic schools. I used to go to an all-boy private Catholic school called Intisana. You can find good and bad things being in a school like that. The schools in Ecuador are not very big. There are guys from 6 to 18 years old in the same place and the student population is about 1,100, and everyone has different schedules that change everyday. We have 12 different types of classes. Each day you have eight classes and you don’t have the opportunity to choose your classes. Classes that we have that are different from Loy Norrix are environmental philosophy and religion, students can not choose their classes, everyone has to take all the subjects. We have classes from 7:20 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., it is a very long time to be in school. All of the students at Intisana wear uniforms. Every Monday all students from freshmen to seniors have to wear a blazer, then every day changes. Sometimes you wear dress pants with a collared shirt, school sweater and dress shoes, or a track suit with the school logo on it. But when you become a senior you create your own hoodies that all seniors wear

to school. These hoodies have your name, the year you graduate, and also the initials of your school. This is really nice for seniors in Quito because it is a change from the same boring uniforms that aren’t very different. Almost all the students are warm and friendly and you can see it when you go to lunch or recess because all the people come to you and start talking to you, they really want to learn about you and it really feels like you’re in a family. We have three recesses, one is 40 minutes and people use it to either read or go to church. The other breaks are also 40 minutes, and during those breaks you can find enough time to talk with your friends and meet new people. A really interesting thing is that when you become a junior you have the chance to tour Europe with all of your friends. While there you can visit places like Rome, Paris or Madrid. That is really interesting for students because they see new cultures, different technologies and architecture, and also new people with different ideas. During senior year, students have the chance to have lunch with their teachers and friends. This is because it is the last year and teachers try their best to make students feel special and loved. These are memories that will last forever.

Cell Phones for Education Aubrey Butts Knight Life News

“When they [students] can pull out their cell phones in class and not get scolded for it, it’s like Christmas,” said Loy Norrix Social Studies teacher, Matt McCullough, about the benefits of using technology in classes. McCullough and Rob Bradford, Loy Norrix English and Social Studies teacher are ahead of the pack of teachers when it comes to technology usage in class. In such a digital era, using technology in learning environments is the wave of the future. Technology such as laptops, Nooks, and iPods, are taking the place of clunky, traditional textbooks in classes across America. Cell phones are being used more in classrooms across America. Research from Blackboard and Project Tomorrow found that sixty percent of students in grades sixth through twelfth feel that being able to use cell phones for educational purposes would improve their schoolwork. Administrators agree that schools can employ the use of cell phones in class. Winegrass Ranch in Tampa Bay, Florida, encourages its students to use cell phones


of parents say YES, they would buy their child a cell phone for educational purposes

in class to take photos for projects, research famous people in history, and do math calculations. Principal of Winegrass Ranch, Ray Bonti, saw the benefit of using phones, but still having restrictions on the usage, such as firewalls and designated times of usage. Twitter is a popular fad that students and educators alike have hopped on. Several times a day, students are “tweeting” in lunchrooms, in between classes, or after school before practices. For this reason, several colleges have being using twitter in classrooms. Dr. Monica Rankin of the University of Texas at Dallas tried an experiment in which she used Twitter to encourage participation in college discussions. She was excited by the increase in participation in her United States History course. At Loy Norrix, Bradford’s sociology class is utilizing a website called tweetchat, which is both enjoyable for the students and helpful for those who don’t like to raise their hands in class. Tweetchat allows the students’ tweets on a specific topic (with a specific hashtag) to show up on the screen. Like Rankin, Bradford is using technology to increase participation for those who normally wouldn’t share due to


of parents feel that using cell phones would increase student engagement in classes

shyness. “Instead of raising their hands to ask a question, it’ll show up on [tweetchat],” said Bradford. For teachers, allowing students to use their phones for learning helps out when teachers ask them to put phones away. “I believe when I affirm their technology usage and when I tell them seriously to put it away, I never get any backlash about it,” said Bradford. Using technology is a great way to prompt students about homework. McCullough uses an online service called remind101, which reminds kids to do homework by texting the students. Bradford also uses technology to remind students of homework. “I do use the twitter to send homework,” said Bradford. Technology has become such a taboo in schools. Repetitively, students hear “put it away” about their technology. The debate about not using cell phones in schools is the potential to be distracting to the learning environment. But according to the recommendation of the National Education Technology plan, cell phone bans should be rethought out and more inclusive of this beneficial technology.


of students already have cell phones (with mobile internet)

@Remind 101: - Free service for teachers/students to set up text/email reminders about homework or other class assignments. @Study Boost: - Site where students can subscribe to, then make their own set of study questions, receive study questions, and share with friends. @Tweetchat: - A website that allows virtual conversation through tweets.

Leah Rathbun / Photo Illustration


of teachers feel cell phones would not be benefical *All facts from Tomorrow Group Speak Up 2009



Celebrity Halloween Costumes Jazmine Houston Knight Life News When most people think of Halloween, they think of simple costumes like superheroes or princesses, but most do not actually take the time and think outside of the box for Halloween costumes. The ideas are right in front of you. Many celebrities take the time to think of the coolest, wackiest costumes to impress their fans and promote themselves. Who would have thought being the Queen of Pickles was so cool, besides Snooki? What about being the biggest, craziest Kali like Heidi Klum? Check out some of these inventive celebrity Halloween costumes from past years.

Vogue.com YEEEAH.com

Heidi Klum showed off her creative skills with a crazy Kali costume.


Snooki thought of a very unusual costume and “strutted her stuff� as the Queen of Pickles.

Kelly Osbourne and Luke Worrall got couple costumes for Halloween. They went out as bacon and eggs.



Professionalism: The Thought Behind a Teacher’s Wardrobe Sarah Sherman Knight Life News As hard as it may be to believe sometimes, Loy Norrix teachers are people too. Surprisingly enough, teachers have the same dress code as students. Despite this amusing factoid, teachers make the choice to get up every morning at the crack of dawn and put on business attire. With different standards of dressing to live up to, how do teachers decide which button down to wear in the morning to look the part? Every once in a while teachers will come up with a really original outfit, but this is a rare occurrence. Students can get extremely fatigued at seeing the same button down three times a week, and sometimes, wish teachers dressed more like them. But teachers have a certain standard of dress they must adhere to in order to look professional and gain respect from both students and colleagues. If they toted cartoon backpacks instead of briefcases and donned Jordans instead of dress shoes, we might question just how much more mature and qualified teachers are than us. Introducing two Loy Norrix fashion icons; Matt Porco and Rob Bradford. They may not be icons because the way they dress is especially “swaggtastic” but because they have a style that is memorable. Bradford is the one with a pair of glasses for every outfit and the head full of dreadlocks. Bradford is also assistant varsity football coach and teaches freshman English. Porco is the AP history teacher, renowned for his sarcasm and unfailing adherence to AP history deadlines. Porco does not have matching glasses for his outfits, but he does take dressing for work very seriously. “As teachers, we have to protect our professionalism,” said Porco. We might think differently of our teachers if their dress was no different than ours, but few teachers are willing to risk the possibilities of finding out what that difference would be. Bradford holds onto the notion that although students would not think of him differently if he wore a t-shirt in the classroom, dressing up gives him more respect during passing time and from his administrators. Johhny Edwards, Principal of Loy Norrix stated that there are two general guidelines he expects teachers to follow. One; always separate the way you dress from the way your students do. Second; dress as if you were going to a job interview. To spirit-wear Fridays, Edward expressed neutrality, and said, “Hey, you’re the teacher; dress the part, look the part, act the part.” Despite this ethical honor code of dressing for school, Porco said, “No, I never wake up and want to wear my half-mesh jersey from the 80s.” Not even on Fridays. Porco spoke of a “vague professionalism” hovering over the dress code for teachers; an ominous feeling that if you dress down too often, it will be noticed, and in a bad way. Porco has his dress routine down to a science. “I’ve had students where if I deviate [from my routine], they will ask me ‘Hey, what’s going on?’” said Porco. Monday is button down day, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Porco wears a dress shirt and tie, and Friday he always wears Norrix spirit wear with jeans. This kind of rigid dress schedule is both intriguing and perplexing in its steadfastness. Bradford commended the professional dress code, saying, “I find it freeing because it’s easy.” But Bradford goes above and beyond your average button down—he has 13 different pairs of glasses to customize any dreary shirt and tie combo.

Photo Illustration by Sarah Sherman

8 KNIGHT LIFE PUBLICATION POLICY Got opinions? Disagree with something we’ve said? Just want to get your say in the paper? Write us!


Accomplished Singers Should Stop Overdramatizing Their Performances

Direct Letters to the Editor to: -Knight Life Loy Norrix 606 E Kilgore Kalamazoo, MI 49001 -Submit to Room K15 -pankoptl@kalamazoo.k12. mi.us Guidlines: 250 words or less, must contain author’s name, third period, and ID number. Right to Withold: If space permits, guest columns, personal opinions, contains libel or obscenities, disrupts school envirnoment, invades privacy of others. Notes to reader: Any photography that has been manipulated will be labled as a photo illustration. -Knight Life will publish a formal correction of any factual error made in a previous issue.

KNIGHT LIFE EDITORIAL BOARD Racheal Koole Editor-in-Chief Lucas Leibold Aubrey Butts Web Editors

Racheal Koole Knight Life News When someone says “Lady GaGa,” some imagine a crazy woman dressed in meat, not a woman who has great vocals. When someone says “Katy Perry,” there’s a young woman with overlarge cupcakes that comes to mind. Many music artists depend on looks and looks alone during their performance. They do not produce the best vocals in doing so. Music artists should rely on their vocals before focusing on thousands of dances, crazy costumes, and making sure they look good at all angles. Singers who exaggerate their performance hinder their vocals. For example, Katy Perry’s songs are catchy. However, when she gets on stage live, it is like she has a sore throat 24/7. She chooses semicrazy clothes and weird dance moves that do not

Melanoma Doesn’t Look Good On You

Piper Simons Marta Grabowski Layout and Design Editors Jess Moshoginis Synquissa Morris Business Editors Daniela Paz Leah Rathbun Photo Editors Adam Kemp Piper Simons Feature Editors Sarah Sherman News Editor Aubrey Butts Sports Editor Ray’Von Jones Arts and Entertainment Editor Meredith Farrer Sarah Sherman Miki Patel Veronica Olan Copy Editors Jazmine Houston Opinion Editor Veronica Olan Comics Editor Roberto Cevallos Staff Writer Tisha Pankop Adviser

make me want to watch but instead wear earplugs and a blindfold. Her dancing tires her out so that she does not focus on her voice. Overdramatizing tears away from the effect of her songs that made people love her in the first place. Thus, Perry’s shows are mediocre, not show stopping. There is also the aspect of background dancers. The dancers catch more eyes than the singer does especially when the dancers are off beat. The singer’s voice should capture the audience, not the dancers who are supposed to be in the background. Don’t these singers want to be the center of attention? Another common aspect is the artist dancing elaborately with jumps and fancy moves. When this happens either they need a back track turned up loud, or the person is desperately gasping for breath for the rest of the song. The breathing distracts the listener when the song is supposed to be playing. A couple of artists that do this are Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. They dance and put on a show, but sooner or later their vocals are in the dump or, like Spears, they have to lip sync. Lip-syncing is not spectacular either. Most singers’ lips are not even moving with the lyrics and, most likely, the audience can tell. Again, the audience wants to hear the actual voice rather than the CD track on their iPod. Lady Gaga and many other performers actually have great voices, but they need to tone the over

Leah Rathbun Knight Life News Tanning has become more of a habit than going to the dentist for many teenage girls. 2.3 million teens will go to the tanning salon monthly, weekly, or even daily. Thirty million Americans tan every year. Many tan because the media shows that being tan is what is considered beautiful in society. Frequent tanners feel more confident about themselves when they are tan. Senior Taylor Hamilton, an avid tanner at Loy Norrix High School says she tans about one to three times a week. “When I put on my makeup and it is darker than my skin, then I go tanning,” said Hamilton. In dull, dreary winter, tanning is the closest thing to summer and the sun. And getting those endorphins from tanning is a great pick-me-up. Endorphins are hormones that give happy feelings. But, just like the real sun, this faux sun comes with dangers as well. According to the World Health Organization, regularly tanning increases your chance of skin cancer by 75%. Since it is

common knowledge that tanning has its hazardous aspects, why do people still take the risk? “Not everyone that goes to the tanner gets skin cancer,” said Hamilton. “There’s a lot of positive effects of going to the tanner too, like vitamin D… there’s a whole poster about it at my tanners.” The International Agency for Research on Cancer disagrees about the positive assets of tanning. Their findings conclude that tanning is more risky than they thought. Apart from the obvious skin cancer, there is a chance of skin burns, premature skin aging, and both short-term and long-term eye damage. Most people think that spray tanning is a safe alternative to that summer glow, but spray tanning is not exactly safe either. The Food and Drug Administration tests only 11 percent of the possible 45 ingredients in spray tanning solutions. The main ingredient in spray tanning, Dihyroxyacetone or DHA, is only safe when used externally. The FDA has not approved the use of DHA in spray tanning because it can easily be inhaled and come in contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth. Specific health dangers of DHA are not clear, but there have been reports of rashes, coughing, fainting, and dizziness as some side effects. “I love going to the tanner and I’m not going to stop no matter what they say about skin cancer. Tanning makes me feel better about myself,” said Hamilton.

dramatics down to show that they can sing. Lady Gaga sang “Poker Face” acoustic on BBC 1 Live Lounge and she did not need a back track. The album track is your average pop track and when live, it’s an okay performance, but when she strips it all down and is able to breathe, it’s amazing. Other people think that being tired on stage is okay if the performer puts on a great show. Those people want to see the artist act out a story instead of hearing the artist sing. The thing is that there are people who put on a good performance but still have great vocals. Singer Jessie J performs without any dancers and she still captures her audience in such a way they want to sing along and enjoy the concert. She does not need all the extras in the background to make people love and enjoy her performance. There have been artists who perform while singing and giving a great performance. Elvis Presley sang great live while also swinging those hips of his on stage. The band Queen performed live while jumping around on stage multiple times. The latest singers should take some tips on performing from these old icons. These singers do not have a bad voice but with the outgoing performances, it gets boring fast. To get more attention for your vocals, return to your roots and stop showing off how much you can bounce in a minute.

Students Need Bus Service freshman year, Cruz had to walk a distance to catch a bus coming for other students so he wouldn’t have to walk all the way to school. “They [KPS transportation] just say I live too close,” said Cruz.

Synquissa Morris Knight Life News Imagine that you’re on a short walk. It is freezing cold and you are carrying a huge backpack. This does not seem so short of a walk anymore, but it’s a walk that several students have to make just to get to school everyday because they are not provided a bus since they live within one and a half miles from the school. This personally affects me and it’s a problem because it’s an unreasonable distance to walk, especially considering the conditions of Michigan’s weather. Some students without buses are able to eventually find rides from friends or parents, but senior Regina Love says she does not have that privilege. Love walks half an hour to school everyday with child who is less than two years old. Love called constantly to get a bus, but transportation will not give her one. “I shouldn’t have to walk with a baby,” said Love. Junior Kane Cruz is another student that does not have an assigned bus. He says that it takes him approximately half an hour to walk to school if he is not fortunate enough to get a ride from a friend. During

“I shouldn’t have to walk with a baby,” said Love. This is the same thing that was told to me as well as many other KPS students. I do not understand how over a mile away is “too close”. My mom has called transportation numerous times. Once they told her that part of the problem was that they did not want to change their route. It is ridiculous, considering that several different buses come right through my neighborhood. There have been times when I was on my way to school and a bus would be right ahead of us going to the same place I was going. How hard would it be for them to stop and pick up a few more kids? Is KPS transportation supposed to be what is convenient for the kids or the bus drivers? I would think that transportation would be a little more concerned with us students than having the minimal distance for buses at a certain point. KPS Transportation has been contacted, but is unwilling to respond for publication.



Staff Editorial

Knights Speak Should cheerleading be considered a sport? Chance Blake, Senior “Yes, because they do some sick workouts.”

Courtney Kingsbury, Freshman “Yes, because they work hard like other sports.”

Sidney Miles, Sophomore

Sarah Sherman / Knight LIfe News

Students Struggle With New Changes to the Tardy Procedure Loy Norrix High School students struggle with the meaning of the new tardy procedure. First it is one thing and then it is another. Some students can not deal with the constant changes. The new tardy procedure has a negative affect on students and eliminating the warning bell was not a good idea. Starting this school year, the new tardy procedure states that on a student’s third tardy they are to receive a referral and get sent out of class. Students do not know exactly what this referral means. Administrators also want teachers to call home on the student’s first and second tardy. This is unreasonable because teachers do not have time to call the parents of every student every time that a student is tardy. Teachers planning and grades to do. When students grow accustomed to a rule or something like the warning bell it is hard for them to readjust to changes all at once. Students have been trained to listen to the warning bell, so why change it now? At least students were getting to class with the warning bell. Administrators say that they took out the warning bell because students abused it and did not get to class. Meaning when the warning bell rang

students were still in the hallways socializing, but not everyone should be punished for what a small group of individuals do. Many students truly used the warning bell correctly. Since the warning bell has been eliminated, it has been a struggle for students to get to class on time especially if they have classes on the other side of the school. Passing time was moved from six to five minutes this year as well. Loy Norrix has 1,452 students this year, so the hallways are always crowded. How do the staff and teachers expect students to get to class in five minutes? Passing time is the only time for students to talk and see their friends, but students do not have the chance to do that because they are hustling to get to class. There is a difference between being late to school and being tardy to class, and just being tardy because of loitering in the hallways. Students that get to school late obviously do not have as much time to get to class as a student that is already at school. There are students who are always tardy to class no matter what. If they are always tardy to class that should tell teachers and staff that the student does not care. The

people that are late are going to be late to class regardless, the whole school should not get punished for that. Some students have an intrinsic motivation and others have an extrinsic motivation. Students with an intrinsic motivation get to class on time because of an inside force telling them they need to. They do not want to miss any learning. Students that only have an extrinsic motivation need that extra boost of someone pushing them and telling them to go to class, such as a warning bell. While looking at the bright side of Loy Norrix tardy procedure, it is more lenient than other schools. At least Norrix students do not have to pay three dollars every time they are tardy like Skyline High School in Utah or get Saturday school like students at Crandall High School in Texas. The tardy procedure at Loy Norrix is unorganized. It needs to be more clear and consistent so students know what is to come and what the consequences of each referral are. Teachers also need to know how to handle the situation for when a student is tardy. If the tardy procedure was more clearly stated, students would actually respect it and not make a joke out of it.

Trae Williams, Junior

At Skyline High School in Millcreek, Utah:

“Yes, because they are just as active as basketball players or football players.”

“No, because they do not do anything but flip.”

- Students are fined $3 per tardy.

- There is zero tolerance. Even if they are one second late, they get a fine. - If the student doesn’t pay the fine after a week, it’s $5.

Emily Bernhardt, Sophomore “Yeah, because they have to work nearly as hard as other sports do.”

- Perfect attendance for four weeks removes all fines.

- Tardies decreased from 25,000 to 11,000 as a result of this policy.

Pamela Mcclenton, Senior “No, because it is more dancing and endurance and anybody can do it.”


Props and

Stops PROPS - Homecoming Great way to start the school year. - New Exchange Students Welcome to our abode. - New Year Students have a fresh start. - Fall Sports Teams A chance for students to see what we got this year. - Fall Weather Fun in the sun is gone, the cold is here. - Norrix Football Had a better season then past years. - Class Advisor College is right around the corner, we need to prepare. - Welcoming New Freshman Watch out! There are new fiesty freshman in the halls.


Letters to the Editor Hey Baby, What’s Yo’ Name Dear Editor, I really enjoyed reading “Hey Baby, What’s yo’ Name.” It is so true. Guys are always saying corny things like that. It’s really funny when I hear a guy say stupid pick up lines. My favorite one is “ If you were a hamburger at McDonalds, you would be called the Mcgeorgeous.” That is hilarious! I don’t think guys realize how corny they are sometimes. So I hope this article shows them. Allyiah Slack, Sophomore Dear Editor, I read the article “Hey Baby, What’s yo’ Name,” and I thought it was funny to hear those crazy pick up lines and now all the boys in school are saying them! Kalila Blackeage, Sophomore Dear Editor, I read your article “Hey Baby What’s yo’ Name.” I really liked it. I wish guys actually said stuff like that! It’d be so funny. Like who actually says, “You’re so beautiful that you made me forget my pickup line.” If someone said that I’d be so clever. I’d have to go on a date with them. I mean as clever as that! Cayesha Small, Sophomore Dear Editor,

STOPS - Crowded Hallways We have over a thousand students, walk down a different hallway. - No Warning Bell/ Tardy Policy Lets move it, penalties are in order. - Scheduling Issues It happens every year, lets get it together. - Large Classes More people, more distractions. - No Snack Line Can we get some snack in here? - Fights Already We need peace not violence.

I read the article “Hey Baby What’s yo’ Name.” This article is so funny only because I laugh at pickup lines. My honest thoughts on pickup lines are that if a guy really has to use them, they are the ones that don’t know how to talk to a real lady. I feel that my thoughts are very true because real ladies will not fall for pickup lines, we like the “can I get to know you type thing.” This article was very funny, I would be more like Ashley Chimner if I got a pickup line like that.

Soccer Team Stays Strong, Despite injuries Dear Editor,

Foreign Exchange Students Experience a Change Dear Editor,

After reading the article “Soccer Team Stays Strong, Despite Injuries.” I just wanted to show some appreciation to the girls. I have also been injured from track (a potential stress fracture), so I’ve visited the training room frequently. So I have seen mostly, if not all the players mentioned working to get better so that they can continue playing in the upcoming games.

I read the section on the foreign exchange students. I think that it was a good idea for them all to become exchange students. They got to learn new things and got to see how we live. It is always good to learn about other peoples life style.

Jordan Peterson, Sophomore

Dear Editor,

Dear Editor, I read your article “Soccer Team Stays Strong, Despite Injuries.” I think you did a great job explaining the girls’ soccer team’s loyalty and hope for their team, even after injuries. I think it’s good that the girls are still doing good and with teamwork like that, they will continue getting better. Keep up the work girls. Justus Eason, Sophomore Rapture Does not Come Dear Editor, I read the article “Rapture does not come.” I understand that there are a lot of believers in the rapture, Christianity, etc, but no one has the right to judge another and tell them they’ll go to hell for not believing in their religion. Regardless of your religious preference gender, race, or sexuality. I believe everyone is equal. No one should shove their religion down your throat. It’s your choice to believe in what you have faith in. Alexis Graham, Sophomore Rebecca Black Phenomenon for Wrong Reasons

I read the article “Battle of the Sexes Senior Edition.” I loved it because it was funny seeing the ways that people disagree. I especially liked how the girls said that the boys were worse and vice versa. Keep up the good work!

Dear Editor, I read “Rebecca Black becomes a Phenomenon for the wrong reasons.” I agree with what Omar Al-Jayyousi is saying. Most everybody hates the song but they still sing it. “Friday” is just one of those catchy songs you know all the lyrics to. The song was nominated as the worst song ever and since then it became more popular. If it sucks so bad, then why do you sing it, I ask everybody. The song Friday gets on a lot of people’s nerves and that’s why I sing it. I just think it’s funny how everybody hates that one song.

Emma Grooters, Sophomore

Alexis Tyson, Sophomore

Bre’Anna Crawford, Sophomore Battle of the Sexes Senior Edition Dear Editor,

Alexsandra Burse, Sophomore

I read the article called the “Foreign Exchange Students Experience a Change.” I like how they did that because it shows how foreign exchange students can come to the U.S. and learn the different life styles that we have here, and how they react to moving. Caroline Brigham, Sophomore

Dear Editor, I read “Foreign Exchange students Experience a Change.” I like how it shows who is a foreign exchange student and how things are different for them. I also like how they come here and do well in sports for our teams. Zach Brandt, Sophomore

Dear Editor, I read the article “Foreign Exchange Students experience a change.” I think that it was pretty cool how people from all over the world can come and go to school in a completely different country and learn everything we learn. One day I want to be an exchange student from Loy Norrix because the experience would be life changing. Akelah Oneal, Sophomore

Dear Editor, I read the article “Foreign Exchange students Experience a Change.” I think foreign exchange programs are really neat. I would enjoy traveling and meeting new people and different ways of learning. The way school and language is different from where you came from. The only thing I would miss is my family. The experience would be great. Rebecca Beynon, Sophomore

Remembering Fallen Heros Dear Editor, The article that I was reading was “Remembering Loy Norrix’s fallen Soldier.” This is a very sad article to me because it is sad to hear about deaths. My sister knew him because she went here last year. She always came home talking about him. She always talked about how nice he was. This article made me want to cry because he sounded like he was a hero. He did a lot of fun things in his life. I want to do the things he did because he lived his life to the fullest. That’s what I want to do. Shayla Brown, Sophomore Dear Editor, I read the article “Remembering Loy Norrix’s fallen Soldier.” It is important that students know about Officer Roger McDowell. Although many students don’t know him personally, everyone can see the affects he made on the school. Writing this article is a good way for students who didn’t know him to learn a little about him. It also helps students be appreciative of his work at Loy Norrix. Michaela Haw, Sophomore Dear Editor, The article I read was “A community Comes together to remember a fallen hero.” The article was very interesting even though I don’t know who Officer Zapata is. I always hear on the news about how good of an Officer he was but I can’t relate to it. To me it doesn’t matter if I have known him or not. What matters is that he was a very brave man, and we’re all going to miss him. Caroline Whitelow, Sophomore File Sharing is not a Crime Dear Editor, You make a very convincing argument as to why file sharing isn’t, or rather shouldn’t be considered illegal. I liked how you looked at all aspects of the debate, and mentioned certain programs such as Limewire and Frost Wire. I’m sure everyone is familiar with some type of file sharing, and so the article was not only interesting, but relatable. Bringing in the definition of stealing was also a nice touch as well. I completely agreed with what the article itself said, and believe that copyrighters should reconsider their terms. Scout Richardson, Sophomore


Foreign Exchange Students Play Sports in America


A Gripping Tale That Leaves Many Hanging

Daniela Paz Knight Life News What do foreign exchange students do when they are freaking out about going to a new school, especially when they don’t know anyone? Many join extracurricular activities, such as sports. Joining a sport gives international students a great experience while their stay in America. It also helps them meet new people, as well as stay busy throughout the school year. Seven out of the eight foreign exchange students attending Loy Norrix this year are involved in at least one sport, ranging from tennis to swimming. The majority of these exchange students had never played a sport before coming to the U.S. Sports are played differently in other countries, and in some countries, competitive sports do not even exist at the high school level. Senior Gabriela Mendoca cheers for the Loy Norrix High School Junior Varsity team. She had never cheered, but finds it similar to dancing. “If I could I would cheer back in Brazil, but there is no cheerleading there,” said Mendoca. Senior Louise Calder believes that swimming is not as important in Scotland as it is in America. “The sport [swimming] is taken more seriously here. It’s all right, but it’s very hard work, very tiring,” said Calder. Calder is a first time swimmer. She loves swimming but has never been on a competitive team. Senior Martina Tugnoli, who is also a first time competitive swimmer, talks about how in Italy sports are done on individual bases and on the students’ own time. “In Italy you have to practice on your own. Most of the swimmers practice about twice a week, not everyday like we do,” said Tugnoli. “Schools in Italy focus more on the studying. Sports are extra.” For most foreign exchange students playing a new sport is not the only worry they have. Being on a new team where they do not know anyone is frightening for students. Senior Roberto Cevallos is one of the very few who has played his sport back in their home country as well. “I didn’t know anyone and it was hard to understand what my coach and teammates were telling me. [In Ecuador] The only thing you play is soccer, I trained everyday,” said Cevallos. Foreign Exchanges students aren’t the only ones with a great deal of anticipation. Coaches also get nervous about the student joining the

Daniela Paz / Knight Life

Sophmore Peter Rossi sits studeously in the library with the book Kite Runner. This book is an international best seller in over 70 countries.

Meredith Farrer Knight Life News

program. “[An obstacle is] definitely language barrier,” said Paul Mahar, the swimming and diving coach. “And being able to feel out Roberto Castells how American coaches of Ecuador use verbal and nonverbal communication.” Having an exchange student on the team is a great experience, not only to the student but also to the rest of the athletes. While the obstacles are overcome, the program grows with the addition of the foreign student. “I believe it gives a good balance to have a foreign exchange student come in and be a part of the program,” said Mahar. Joining a sport changes the experience of all the international students that come to Loy Norrix. These students are challenging themselves everyday and are getting the opportunity to come out of their comfort zone doing things that are not the norm in their country. “It’s [swimming] great,” said Tugnoli. “This year will be the best of my life.”

Daniela Paz / Knight Life News

Senior Martina Tugnoli works hard to perfect her Individual Medaly. She will be swimming this event at the up coming SMAC Confrence Meet November 4 at Battle Creek Central.

We all have bad days but in “Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini those bad days are forgotten. By reading this you realize how thankful you should be of the life you have. The “Kite Runner” is narrated by Amir, the dominant character in this novel. As he tells his story, you do not want to set this book down. As Amir enters his teenage years, his world is changed forever when Russian forces invade Afghanistan, the setting of this book. Amir takes you on his life journey. He begins by explaining about the past. “It’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because it claws its way out,” said Amir. Before the end of the first page, you are left to wonder what was so horrible about Amir’s past that he wanted to bury it. The story truly begins in chapter two, in which there lies the story of Amir’s past. Hassan, Amir’s best friend, comes into the picture. They have grown up together and behave like brothers. It’s hard for two young boys to find something to do in a town taken over by Russian military forces. Like many other

children in the town, they have taken up competitive kite flying. The boys in this competition design and built their own kites. They also cover the strings of the kite with glue and crushed glass. To win the competition you must cut other competitors’ kite strings with your own and be the last kite flying. The last kite to be cut down becomes a prize. All the other competitors and spectators chase the last kite that has been cut down and the last kite is viewed as a trophy for the children. This is where the problems with Amir and Hassan begin. This book leaves the reader on a cliffhanger every other chapter It leaves the reader questioning what twists will happen next in Amir’s life. You feel the character, yet you cannot help but be angry with him for the choices he makes. When he begins to redeem himself the reader feels the pain he goes through when returning to the place where he lived as a child and made so many mistakes. There is no way to see what is coming and the despair of it all. “Kite Runner” is Hosseini’s first novel, and according to the Khaled Hosseini website, it is an international best seller and is published in 70 countries. “Kite Runner” is an amazing novel that will leave you horrified, speechless and amazed.


VISIT from page 4

Ted Duckett has been working here at Loy Norrix for 42 years. He went to high school in Chicago and got his teaching degree in Kalamazoo at Western Michigan University. “Loy Norrix was beautiful, open glass windows, a track, football field,” reminisced Duckett of Loy Norrix in its days of glory. Ted Duckett has seen Loy Norrix in the best of times and the worst of times. His first year working at Loy Norrix, Duckett said the student body was very focused and motivated to learn. “...Blue collar type attitude, people worked hard and earned what they got,” said Duckett. There was limited diversity, and Loy Norrix was thought of as the country club school.

Once upon a time Loy Norrix had a different air about it, every student was proud to be a Knight. People from all over the county wanted to come to Loy Norrix for its fresh atmosphere and modern architecture. Math department head Adam Hosler has been working at Loy Norrix for fourteen years and has seen a change in kids’ attitudes since his beginning years. Although the school is indeed finding its groove and functioning as a learning environment, this fact does not reach many members of the community. “There is still a perception that bad things are going on here,” continued Hosler. “Everybody that comes here is happily dissuaded that this is not so.”

Authors @ the Zoo Meet authors Holly Black, Curse Workers series, and Robin Wasserman, Cold Awakening Trilogy. Ask them about their books, their lives, and their work as writers. Thursday, November 3 6:30 pm Kalamazoo Public Library 315 S. Rose St.


SPORTS Loy Norrix Coaches Work Hard for Norrix Students

Synquissa Morris / Knight Life Coach Sean Bergan instructs Laparis Beach on offensive plays. The Knights practiced all summer to prepare for the season. Adam Kemp Knight Life News Imagine getting up early and arriving at Loy Norrix around six in the morning to catch up on work before classes start. Now think about spending five extra hours at Loy Norrix after school. That is probably not something most people would just volunteer to do every day. It takes somebody extraordinary to take on the responsibilities of being both a coach and a teacher. Randy Rowe has been teaching math classes and coaching the Loy Norrix men’s freshmen basketball team at Loy Norrix for about 20 years. He is among the many teachers at Norrix who take it upon themselves to be a coach for one of Norrix’s sports teams. Being a sports coach is a huge commitment. During the season, coaches have to spend nearly every weekday afternoon holding practices for the team. They also have to be present for all the games or meets and some hold practices on weekends or in the morning before school. However, Rowe thinks that all the extra work benefits him. Rowe said, “Being a coach helps with my time management as well as classroom management skills.” Being a coach teaches a person to be organized and manage their time well because they are so busy. Rowe comes to work at six in the morning to do the majority of his teaching duties, such as grading assignments and creating lesson plans. This clears up his time after work and running practice, allowing him to spend quality time with his family too. “There’s no time to do those things in the afternoon because there’s always practice or games,” said Rowe. “If I have free time at home, that’s family time.” Sean Bergan, a social studies teacher and the football and wrestling coach describes his own busy schedule. “It’s a little crazy at times. Sometimes I’ll get up early for a work out. Then I teach classes. After school, I hold a study table for my athletes, and then there’s practice. I’ll usually leave Norrix around seven o’ clock,” said Bergan. Norrix’s coaches receive small wages for

their work. “It ended up being about two dollars an hour when I did the math,” said Rowe. Coaching isn’t about the little extra money for him. Rowe said, “The money is absolutely not a big part of why I coach. I just really enjoy it, and I get satisfaction from the game and the competition.” Being a coach and a teacher takes a lot more work and the sacrifice of a lot of time that could be spent relaxing or with family. Bergan and Rowe both think that all the sacrifice is completely worth it. They do it because they love it. “I love the sports,” said Bergan, “I love to teach them to the kids and see them understand it, and, hopefully, have them win and succeed.” Rowe simply enjoys the time spent with his sports team and the fun that comes with the work. “It’s a great way to end my day. It usually ends on a high note,” Rowe said. Some might think that the busy coaching schedule could cause the coaches to slack on their work in the classroom. Students and athletes feel that Rowe and Bergan don’t give preference to either coaching or teaching. Senior Damien Hegler was an athlete on Rowe’s freshman basketball team in 2008 and is now a student in his statistics and probability class. “On the court, Rowe’s obviously a lot louder than he is in the classroom. Other than that, he’s the same person,” said Hegler. Davion Phillips is currently on Bergan’s football team and a student in his AP psychology class. “Bergan is definitely the same person on the field as he is in the classroom,” said Phillips. Rowe and Bergan show the same focus and dedication to their teaching as they do to their coaching. Bergan loves to put in all the extra work for the benefit of his athletes and his students. “I look at teaching similarly to the way I look at coaching. I like to see my kids learn and succeed,” said Bergan. Rowe believes that coaching and teaching work together cohesively. “I think that teaching and coaching go hand in hand,” said Rowe, “I think that if you can be a good teacher, you can be a good coach, and vice versa.”

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