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Valor Dictus May 4, 2010

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Senior gifts leave a legacy BY ALYSSA HARD Staff Writer

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The school is filled with an array of odd trinkets, decorations and plaques, most of which gradually classes bestowed as class gifts. Some students blame the school for their poor choice in spending, but the class gift is ultimately chosen by the senior class officers. “Our sponsor told us that Mr. Meier was going to pick the gift and that we would just pay for it, but we are behind [in buying the class gift] because it’s actually our decision,” senior class council member Pheobe Anim-Yankah said. The class gift for 2010 has not been decided yet, although the gift is usually chosen by around this time each year. Usually the gift will cost between $5,000 and $10,000, but if the gift is over $10,000 the school will help pay for the gift. Sometimes what they choose depends on a recommendation by the principal, but ultimately the choice is up to the class council according to Principal Dan Meier. The senior class council members have gathered information about what students would want them to purchase.

“I’ve heard some people want an LCD screen in the front welcoming everyone, or a welcome sign in the back of the school,” AnimYankah said. “They might even do cafeteria booths for the seniors,” senior class council member Becky Le said. The rising seniors have their opinions about what they want for next year. “I think that it would be a good idea if they covered the back wall of the cafeteria where the seniors sit with a giant booth-style bench. [The bench] would be for seniors and [the bench] would be better than booths because they only seat small groups,” junior Madisen McDade said. The fundraising begins freshman year and last up until during senior year. The money that they raise is to pay for prom and the class gift, which is a tradition for our school. “I don’t know if [the class gift] is mandatory, but it’s assumed because every class gives [a gift],” Le said. Examples of past senior gifts are the clock in the front of the school from 2006 and the Coffey Stadium gate and sign from 200

Main entrance Class of 20 clock 06 and the stadium’s sound system from 2004. “They usually like gifts that people can see and remember the class that gave it to the school,” Le said. The gift is a way to remember past classes and to improve our school with money that students raised for four years. Our class gifts inspire other schools to ask for the same things from their seniors. “Other schools drive by our school and say, oh hey where did you get that, and then I tell them that our seniors gave it to us as a gift,” Principal Dan Meier said, “Then they go and ask their seniors for the same thing because they like how it looks here at Robinson.”

Animals leave an imprint BY MICHELLE BEDKER

She was part of a therapy dog team when the Oregon high school administration Freshman Samantha Scott’s father is in the called her team in to help. military, and often spends time overseas in The students responded positively to the Iraq. She said she most appreciates her pets dogs and the “counselors were amazed at when he is away. the response,” Ehlers said. “[They’re] always just there,” Scott said One of the high school students, who was about her pets, which include three dogs initially unresponsive because of a traumatic and three guinea pigs. experience, wrote a poem about how one of She said she feels most connected to her the dogs had helped her. black lab/border collie mix, Pepper. “The dog did all the work,” Ehlers said. “[I] She said she loves Pepper because he loves realized that dogs could help people on a her unconditionally and never gets mad at deeper level.” her. She grew up with her dogs and guinea AACR is now a non-profit organization pigs, much like her parents grew up with that is composed of 85 registered dog therpets of their own. apy teams across the nation. Cindy Ehlers, founder and president of When the shooting crisis at Virginia the National Animal Assisted Crisis Re- Tech occurred on April 16, 2007, AACR sponse acknowledges had difficulty getting the ability of dogs to invited to the univerprovide comfort to husity to provide support, mans. but once they came, the AACR provides emo- I realized that dogs could help response from the stutional rescue and on- people on a deeper level. dents was “overwhelmgoing support to those ing,” Ehlers said. in need through pet According to Ehlers, Susan AACR Founder Christopher therapy. the police first-re& President Ehlers explains the sponders were expositive responses tremely relieved beto her association cause they could talk to to the psychological them about what had elements of body memory. When people happened and were able to relax about the see a dog, people are taken back to a place situation. where they felt safe, and their stress level Veterinarian and owner of Companion drops instantly. Animal Clinic Susan Christopher was a Ehlers founded HOPE AACR after a member of a pet therapy team when she was shooting at Thurston High School in in veterinary school, with the Delta society. Ehlers’ community. After stepping down She said one golden retriever that was a as President of HOPE AACR, she founded part of the team helped a blind diabetic who the National Organization for AACR. had lost her legs as a result of diabetes. Production Editor

“[The dog] was literally a reason to live [for the patient],” Christopher said. In general, she said pets teach people how to interact with animals as well as people. Junior Michael Hickey has two Sheltie Sheepdogs. His parents had pets when they were grow- ing up and got them for him as well. He said he would plan to get pets for his own kids when he grows up as well, because they will probably like pets too. He said he most appreciates his dogs when he comes home from vacation or school because they get excited to welcome him home. Christopher said there are many responsibilities that come with owning a pet. She said a few key components are the financial and medical responsibilities, as well as the daily exercise, grooming and feeding needed to provide proper care for pets. Despite the negative burdens and unavoidable responsibilities taken on by having pets, animals provide a sense of comfort on a daily basis to families, as well as play a significant role in helping people cope throughout difficult and often traumatizing experiences. Christopher has one cat and two dogs that she said have positively influenced her two daughters, who are five and eight years old. Concerning having animals in her life, Christopher said she “can’t imagine life without them.”

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Do you think it is important to have pets? “Yes,it is good to have a companion when no one else is around.” —Will Grooms, 9

“No, you don’t need pets. I’m not an animal person.” —Lizzy Sirney, 10

“Yes, [they are] good for families. ” —Scott Dykes, 11

“Yes, a dog is a girl’s best friend.” —Harleen Sangha, 12

“Yes, it is important. [They] make you responsible.” —Nahin Campos, 12

what the

kids in the hall are saying compiled by Mica DeAsis and Hailey Metzger


Christopher Susan “Yes, a dog is a girl’s best friend.” —Harleen Sangha, 12 people on a deeper level. “Yes,it is good to have a companion wh...


Christopher Susan “Yes, a dog is a girl’s best friend.” —Harleen Sangha, 12 people on a deeper level. “Yes,it is good to have a companion wh...