Issuu on Google+

April 12, 2013

LATE-NIGHT RESTAURANTS

Check out our reviews of quality local eateries open after hours.

lance

the

8701 Pacific St. Omaha, NE 68114

Volume 57 Issue 7

‘HUGE GAPS’ Diversity vs. equality divide apparent in AP classes, at Westside and nationwide By Emma Johanningsmeier EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Advanced Placement review books and materials routinely feature pictures of happy-looking students studying or working in classrooms. They’re a diverse group — white, African-American, Asian, Latino and Latina. In reality, though, the average AP class does not look like this. Nationwide, underserved minority groups — African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans — lag behind white and Asian American students in taking and doing well on AP tests. Of these underserved groups, African-Americans are the most significantly underrepresented in upper-level classes. According to the 8th Annual AP Report to the Nation, the class of 2011, overall, was 14.7% African-American. Only 9% of students who took an AP exam that year, though, were AfricanAmerican. And although the number of students taking AP tests has more than doubled since 2001, and the number of minority students taking them has also gone up, that doesn’t mean all these students have done as well as one might hope in the AP program. For example, in 2011, according to Inside Higher Ed, almost 75% of African-Americans who took an AP test failed. Here in Nebraska, the 2011 Nebraska graduating class was 5.7% African-American, but

only 1.7% of the students who passed an AP test that year were African-American. Also, Nebraska ranked the second lowest nationwide for Hispanic representation among those passing AP tests; although 10% of the 2011 Nebraska graduating class was Hispanic, only 4.7% of students passing AP tests were. However, for a variety of reasons, in many cases these students themselves can hardly be blamed for their performance. On their own, the statistics about AP achievement are shocking, but considering 37.4% of African-American children and 34.1% of Hispanic children in America were living in poverty in 2011 (according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), they start to make sense. As demographic groups, people of these ethnicities do lag behind white and Asian Americans socioeconomically, and low income often correlates to low achievement in school. In many places in America, poor children attend low-quality schools, which severely limits their academic opportunities. Few would argue that being in the Westside schools limits the opportunities of the 30.8% of district students who are on free and reduced lunch, yet by high school, when students tend to separate into basic, college-bound and honors/AP paths, the makeup of the different levels of classes does not reflect Westside’s racially and socioeconomically continued on in-depth page 4

BRAD ASHFORD

Westside graduate, parent runs for mayor By Tom Schueneman OPINION EDITOR Seeing your father’s name wherever you go is a strange feeling. It’s not a feeling most people can relate to, but it’s one sophomore Tom Ashford is intimately familiar with. Ashford’s father, Brad, has been in politics since before his son was born, and has held many government positions in Nebraska. He is currently a member of the Nebraska Unicameral representing the 20th legislative district, and recently ran for mayor of Omaha. “Everyone knows my dad.” Tom said. “Most places I go, I get asked, ‘Is your dad the one running for mayor?’ or ‘Is your dad Brad Ashford?’” However conversation of this sort can turn downright hostile during election season. “People who don’t support him start to bash my dad to my face,” Tom said. “I see that more with him running for mayor.” To Brad Ashford, though, this criticism is indicative of the wider problem represented by partisanship in Nebraska.

Ashford has run for various offices on both sides of the aisle in the past, but he ran as an independent in his recent mayoral campaign, hoping to bridge the divide between Democrats and Republicans that has persisted in recent years, both locally and across the country. All Omaha elections are technically nonpartisan in that political parties play no official role in the process. Unlike other elections at the state and national level in which there are separate primaries for separate parties, mayoral elections in Omaha feature a single primary in which all candidates participate, regardless of party. The top two candidates then move on to the general election, the victor of which becomes mayor. In theory, this means that two candidates of the same political ideology may run against each other in the general election. In practice however, political parties usually support a specific candidate, leading to elections that are still very much partisan, which can make running as an independent difficult. With Democrats organized behind current Mayor Jim Suttle, and Republicans rallying behind Jean Stocontinued on page 3

A Brad Ashford sign stands in a Westside yard. Ashford, a Westside graduate and father of sophomore Tom Ashford, was eliminated from the mayoral election in the primary April 2, after running as an independent. Photo by Estella Fox


2

news

April 12, 2013

CHERRY BERRY

Countryside protesters attract attention, confusion By Emma Johanningsmeier EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

When Cold Stone Creamery moved out of a Countryside Village store facing Pacific Street this past year, Cherry Berry, a frozen yogurt store, moved in. But recently, it gained attention for something besides its frozen yogurt. Protesters could be seen along Pacific holding an attention-grabbing “Shame on Cherry Berry” sign, with “Labor Dispute” printed in the corners. Although one might think this would deter potential customers, Cherry Berry Countryside manager Corrine Jenea said the protest actually did the opposite. “I would say that we’ve actually gotten quite a few people from it, because they’ve heard about the dispute,” Jenea said. “It’s been great seeing people support a local business.”

The Cherry Berry employees, likewise, weren’t too unsettled, according to Jenea. “I think it’s more of a confusion, because when we first talked to them [the protesters] they would not talk to us,” Jenea said. “We couldn’t get any information. They wouldn’t speak to our owners... nobody actually knew until the news got to it.” According to KMTV, the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, a union, organized these protests in order to pressure businesses not to hire non-union carpenters for building and renovations. They also sent letters to business owners claiming certain non-union carpentry companies don’t meet labor standards. “The Carpenters Union refuses to sit on the sidelines when unscrupulous contractors erode area standards,” the union’s website reads. “We expose these contractors wherever we find them, go public with campaigns against them, and work with elected officials to close the loopholes they exploit.”

However, the Omaha campaign came as a surprise to many local carpenters and business owners. One carpenter who was targeted told KMTV that the accusations were baseless, and that he pays his employees more than the union wages. Cherry Berry wasn’t the only business targeted; other businesses and organizations, such as Raising Cane’s and the Omaha Archdiocese on Dodge, saw protesters with “Shame” signs recently as well. “If anything, the only thing [customers] have said is that it irritates them that they have to drive through the community and see these signs, some of which are kind of brash,” Jenea said. KMTV was not able to get in touch with the carpenter’s union, and Jenea said she hasn’t seen the protesters at Countryside for a few weeks. She also said they’ve been targeting other places for a long time. “It’s been going on for about six years,” Jenea said. “Everyone’s kind of tired of it.”

Above left: Protesters demonstrate outside Cherry Berry’s countryside location. The protesters, who were organized by a carpenters’ union, would not speak to the Cherry Berry owners. Photo by Grace Hoyme Above: Cherry Berry, a frozen yogurt place, offers a self-serve yogurt bar. Photo by Sarah Lemke

BRIEFLY

402.384.8400 www.facesspa.com

ATSC runner-up at FAME Orlando

TEEN DAY SPA PACKAGE

Treat yourself to a relaxing day of pampering at Faces Spa. Our teen day package includes a Pure Balance Facial, Teen Spa Manicure, Mini Pedicure and a Make-Up Application. All for $ 150.00. * Add an eyebrow wax for an additional $ 12.00.

ALSO ON SUNDAYS

Faces offers a Special Teen Body Treatment $ 90.00

8715 Countryside Plaza

Omaha, NE 68114

The Amazing Technicolor Show Choir traveled to Orlando, Florida March 12 to March 18 for the FAME competition. A total of 77 students and adults traveled to Florida, comprising ATSC, the show band and crew. An additional 50+ parents also attended. The show choir visited Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure. They performed Saturday, March 16 at the Hard Rock Live located in the Universal City Walk between the parks. Nine show choirs from eight different states competed in ATSC’s division. ATSC qualified for finals, where the top three received invitations to the National Show Choir Finals. They finished as First Runner Up. This year, ATSC set the record for the most Grand Championships won out of any past ATSC group. They were undefeated the whole season, and due to their performance in Orlando, they became second in the nation. “I am proud of the conscious choice this group made to be successful,” ATSC director Doran Johnson said. “They floundered for a time early in the year, but when competition season arrived they found the courage and confidence they needed to win. We started the season strong and they did not look back. Their success came as a team.” The Amazing Technicolor Show Band has also played a tremendous role in ATSC’s success. At every competition in which they were eligible, ATSB has won the Best Band Award. “I really enjoyed working with this year’s band,” Johnson said. “They are quality players and quality people. They knew when to pull back and support the singers and knew when it was their turn in the spotlight. They also had a great spirit and energy about them.”

Three freshmen make dance team Dance team tryouts started Monday, March 18, through Saturday, March 23. Monday and Tuesday, the girls learned a dance routine and another on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday they held a mock audition. On March 23, audition day, the girls tried out in groups of four in front of judges. The results of the 2013-2014 varsity dance team consist of the following girls: Kylene Abraham, Chelsea Beveridge-Grandizio, Annie Davis, Kristin Day, Gayle Goldstein, Molly Graf, Abby Hack, Macy Hollingsed, Kayla Holmes, Katie Kupka, Kennedy Matt, Brooke Schneiderman, Gabby Simon, and Samantha Sullivan. Three of the 14 girls who made dance team are incoming freshman. This includes Kristin Day, Gayle Goldstein, and Samantha Sullivan. Two-year dance team member Kennedy Matt wasn’t surprised at the amount of freshman on this year’s squad. “The new members and returning members have a lot of talent to bring to the team,” Matt said. “I’m very excited for the upcoming season.”


news

April 12, 2013

3

ASHFORD: election featured Westside parent continued from page 1 thert — and to an extent the more conservative Dave Nabity — there was little room for Ashford. “I underestimated the power of the political parties in the primary,” Ashford said. “I didn’t think it would be that intensely partisan.” Suttle had hoped to change the partisan nature of Omaha politics, but with the two winning candidates heavily backed by their respective parties, Ashford doesn’t expect to see this change. “It’s going to be a highly partisan race between Democrats and Republicans,” Ashford said. “Had [I] been there, we would not have had that partisan piece to it.” However, his defeat in the mayoral race does not signal the end of either his political career or his pursuits outside politics. “I don’t have any plans for future office right now but I have the legislature for the next year and a half and I’m going to concentrate on that,” Ashford said. Specifically, Ashford is focusing his attention on juvenile justice legislation. “Of the many things I’m working on, the most important is the juvenile justice bill that we’re working on this session to change how we deal with juvenile offenders,” Ashford said. “That’s my most important focus right now.” This is part of Ashford’s wider concern for Nebras-

ka youth. “I hope [Nebraska] changes dramatically,” Ashford said. “The most important thing is we have a big responsibility to work on jobs for young people. I’m hopeful that we can continue to find ways of providing jobs for young workers.” It’s a passion that seems to have left an impression on his son, although Tom still isn’t sure whether or not he should follow the same path as his father. “I have always thought about politics to be my career because that’s the way most of my family is,” Tom said. “As I get older, though, and I go through more of his elections, it starts to get old.” Elections demand a great deal not only of the candidates, but of their families as well. “During the weekend, not in election season, he’s the same as any other dad, just with less time.” Tom said. But election season is different. “He doesn’t really have the time to always be at family dinners or sporting events, but I understand because he has a very busy life,” Tom said. Despite this, Senator Ashford balances his family life, his political obligations and his professional pursuits well. “I think the most interesting part of his career is how he can support all of his jobs,” Tom said. “He’s in the legislature and he owns a business online, all while

he is running for mayor.” Balancing politics with private life is not an easy task, but Ashford believes his role in politics is necessary if he is to see the change he desires in government. “In Douglas County, we’re going to have to change to a more efficient form of government,” Ashford said “If we don’t do that it will continue to be very costly to continue to run our city.” The failure of his mayoral campaign is a setback in accomplishing this goal, but Ashford will persist regardless.

Brad Ashford recently ran for mayor as an independent, and has a son at Westside, Tom Ashford. Photo courtesy of Brad Ashford website Tom Ashford is a sophomore this year. Photo courtesy of Shield

PREISTER VERSUS BRAMLEY Mayoral race edition Questions by Joe Hack EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Anyone who has spent an open mod in the social studies IMC knows that instructors Jon Preister and Nathan Bramley love debating politics, loudly. With the mayoral election a mere four weeks away, the Lance sat down with Preister and Bramley to pick their brains on the recent campaign developments, their election prognostications and their status as “frenemies”.

Who will come out on top? Preister: I think Suttle is still the man to beat. In the primary voter turnout tends to be pretty low, so I think the primary was in Stothert’s favor, because her supporters come out to vote. Suttle will get his people to come out to vote in the general election and he will be victorious. Bramley: I don’t think so, because Stothert won by what, 10%? Lance: I believe it was 8 points. Bramley: She went up against a heavyweight, Brad Ashford, and still came away with a strong victory. Now, you’re right that conservative voters do turn out more in the primaries. I told you a while back that Barack Obama was not going to win Omaha and you insisted he would and he didn’t. While this city is more liberal than any other place in the state, it is a red city and Suttle is not going to win. Preister: I think Stothert, her 8-point victory, was really a product of the last two weeks and her capturing voters who were alienated by the nastiness of the republican race. I think Suttle is more politically savvy and you won’t see that happen in the general. Bramley: She’s already survived the most vicious attack she’s going to see. What else is Suttle going to do? She’s overcome the first hill. I think you’re right, he’s going to have to run a positive campaign.

Who has run the better campaignt thus far? Preister: Suttle has stayed above the fray. Stothert has also ran a good campaign, avoiding pitfalls over the last two weeks. Bramley: They’ve both run good campaigns. Suttle’s strategy, for lack of a better word, is to be subtle and stay above the fray. I feel like the mayor has been resting on his laurels since he survived the recall. Maybe these primary results will wake him up a little bit. I look forward to seeing a more vibrant Suttle in the next few months.

The Numbers

To what extent can Jim Suttle take credit for balancing the city budget? Do you believe his fiscal reforms have been positive and were necessary? Preister: Any time a city is doing as well financially as Omaha is doing right now, the mayor can take credit for that. Is it all of his doing? No, he benefited from the groundwork that others before him laid, but some of his fiscal reforms, like the restaurant tax, have paid off and have put the city on a trajectory where we are going to be financially stable for the next 5-10 years. Bramley: Here’s the thing. Omaha is doing well and I’m glad we’re doing well, but the city is doing well because we’re in the middle of the best economic part of this country. Omaha is doing well economically because all the farm communities around us are doing well and they’re spending lots of money in the city. So, I think that the success of Omaha has much more to do with a regional trend than his “amazing ability” to balance the budget. Preister: Suttle and his predecessor have done a very good job of letting business grow within Omaha while not regulating it too much. Bramley: You sound like a Republican. Preister: Hahaha, ouch, that hurt.

Do you think Stothert’s stances on social issues, i.e, the gay rights ordinance, will hurt her politically? Bramley: I don’t think so…I don’t know. In local politics it [social issues] doesn’t matter that much. It could be a killer if you come out and say you’re pro-choice as a Republican, but the more local you get, the less some of those philosophical issues matter. Not that those things don’t matter; there are segments of the community that are passionate, but it’s just not going to be the main issue. Preister: Yeah, I agree. Your stance may sway a few voters, but overall, tax issues and the state of the economy are going to drive local elections. Bramley: People care more if Jim Suttle can get potholes filled than his stance on gay marriage. And we don’t have that many potholes… Preister: Hahaha. Moore: That has more to do with the weather than Suttle.

Which issues would you like to see the mayor tackle during the next term?

Preister: Suttle has been outspoken on the violence issues in the city. I’d like to see the next mayor figure out

Jean Stothert 32%: the percentage of votes garnered by Jean Stothert in the primary April 2. $513,124: total money raised by Jean Stothert’s campaign, $416,876 of which she has spent so far. 15%: the amount property taxes have increased since Suttle took office. One of Stothert’s major campaign promises is to curtail these taxes. Instructors Jon Preister (top) and Nathan Bramley (above) square off for their debate over the upcoming mayoral election. Ballots will be cast May 14 as voters choose between Republican Jean Stothert and Democratic incumbent Jim Suttle. Photos by Estella Fox a plan to tackle the violence in this city. Bramley: I completely agree. This is a very segregated city in a number of ways. It would be nice to see different communities merged together literally and figuratively. That would be a great accomplishment for either mayor.

Do you believe this race is more partisan than previous mayoral races/ what can be done to make local politics less partisan? Preister: The media is trying to make this very partisan. I don’t know if this has extended to the people, though. Bramley: Where I disagree with you is that it will come down to red and blue voters. Full disclosure, I don’t live in Omaha so I don’t have a vote. Preister: Hahaha, but I do!

The Numbers Jim Suttle 24%: the percentage of votes garnered by Jim Suttle in the primary April 2. $804,700: total money raised by Jim Suttle’s campaign, $664,518 of which he has spent so far. $40 million: The amount Jim Suttle has increased spending during his tenure.


4

news

April 12, 2013

Cheer

Two male students try out for cheerleading squads By Sophie Clark STAFF WRITER Sophomore Alex Zimmerman’s decision to try out for cheerleading was a spontaneous one. “I was walking up the stairs to the Math IMC and saw the tryout poster,” Zimmerman said. “I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to go to that meeting and see what happens.’” At the meeting, Zimmerman saw cheerleading as a great opportunity. He said it would be beneficial to him as an athlete. He also is involved in football, track, and lifting weights. He was excited to experience cheerleading, which he had never tried before. “I also get to hang out with the entire cheer squad,” Zimmerman said. “Which isn’t a bad thing.” Zimmerman tore his ACL and MCL last September during football season. He is still recovering, so before the tryouts, he said dealing with his injuries during tryout week was going to be a challenge. He had limited ability with jumps and some choreography. Also, he said if he made it, there might be schedule conflicts with balancing cheerleading with his other commitments. “I do really want to make cheerleading, but if I don’t, that’s okay because I still have other activities to fall back on,” he said before tryouts. “Cheerleading is the only thing some of the other girls have.” Zimmerman said he thinks a male cheerleader would bring more energy to the team and get more people to come to the games. With a male cheerleader, they are able to do lifts. Zimmerman would also join them in cheering, thus creating a stronger sound.

“The cheers will be slightly more threatening,” Zimmerman said. He was planning on auditioning with sophomore Skylar Ricerri on Saturday March 30th. Zimmerman said his partner was going to work with him on the basic cheers before auditions. “So far, all of the girls and coaches have been really supportive of me, “ Zimmerman said. Cheerleading coach Amy Studts said no male cheerleaders have made the team before. But she said she would love to have boys on the cheerleading team and they would bring a lot of benefits to the squad. Studts is supportive of Zimmerman’s decision to try out for the team. “Some people have questioned if it’s a joke, and what his intentions are,” Studts said. “However I feel there has been a lot of positive feedback in supporting Alex.” Studts said the purpose of boy cheerleaders is different from girl cheerleaders. They are used for their tumbling abilities, strength, and voice projection. Studts said they are not expected to perform the same choreography as the girl cheerleaders. During cheer week, Zimmerman said he was surprised at how sore he became. It was a lot to take in during the course of a week. He said before his official tryout, he was really nervous. “After the first two moves, I forgot the rest of the cheer,” Zimmerman said. “I think it definitely could have gone better.” Zimmerman plans on trying out for cheerleading again. He hopes to have more guys join him next year. Junior Chris Garcia was another boy who tried out for cheerleading this year. Unfortunately, nei-

ther boy made it. “Boy cheerleaders face the challenge of peer pressure,” Studts said. “You have to be confident enough in yourself and strong enough to face the critics.”

Sophomore Alex Zimmerman studies during homeroom. Photo by Estella Fox

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ONLY! TWO WEEKS

UNLIMITED

TANNING

19

95

$

*

30 DAYS UNLIMITED TANNING

40

$

*

& TANNING LOTION ($69 VALUE)

*Must present valid high school student I.D. card. Not valid with any other offer. 14 & 15 years of age must have parental consent. See store for details. Expires 9/30/12

15th & Cornhusker - Bellevue 42nd & Dodge - Omaha 144th & W. Center - Omaha 14th & Farnam - Omaha 78th & Cass - Omaha 96th & Q - Omaha

110th & Maple - Omaha 168th & Burke - Omaha 168th & Q - Millard 84th & Giles - La Vista 7th & Broadway - Council Bluffs

No Appointment Tanning • Open 7 Days a Week

ww.ashleylynnstanning.com


feature

April 12, 2013

Band raises money for uniforms By Emma Johanningsmeier EDITOR-IN-CHIEF This year, the Westside marching band received a “Superior” rating at every contest it went to, and was the ninth best high school marching band out of 29 in the state. But band director Jim Kordik thinks they can do better. “As a judge — I’ve judged before, and when I look at a band and their uniforms are clean and pressed and contemporary, you think right away, these guys are going to be good,” Kordik said. “The aesthetic appearance of the people just standing there is a factor right away.” “Clean”, “pressed” and “contemporary”, however, no longer describe Westside’s marching band uniforms. “When we go out there everything just looks rumpled and old, and we’ve got vinyl hats that have fingerprints on them that we can’t get off, so they’re not shiny,” Kordik said. “Aesthetically, we’re just not pleasing to look at. It doesn’t matter how well we play or march.” The labels on the Westside uniforms are almost worn off, so it’s hard to tell their age, but Kordik thinks they’re about 14 years old. In an attempt to find out the natural lifespan of marching band uniforms, Kordik sent out a questionnaire to the directors of all the other schools that compete at one major contest. None of them keep their uniforms longer than 12 years. And not only are the Westside uniforms old, but they’re also showing their age. According to Kordik, dry rot and mildew stains are common, some of the zippers are broken, and the uniforms have been al-

tered so many times they can’t be altered anymore. Once, two uniforms were cut in half and sewn together to make a larger one. “They take them to Disney World every other year, and they see a lot of use, and the kids sweat in them, and they just get kind of gross,” said Melanie Clark, a band parent. “They do dry clean them at the end of the year, but that’s about it.” Besides, Kordik said the Westside uniform style was cool in the 90s, but not anymore. In the fall, a group of band parents approached principal Maryanne Ricketts about the possibility of getting new uniforms, and she went to the executive team and explained the situation. Sometime in February, Kordik heard from the ABC building that he and the band parents’ association could make plans and start raising funds to get new uniforms for next fall. They have a difficult task ahead of them, because band uniforms don’t come cheap. A single uniform costs about $500, and the band needs about 200. The district will contribute $25,000 of the $100,000, according to Kordik, but the band parents and the Westside Foundation will have to come up with the remaining $75,000. The band parents’ association has never done such extensive fundraising. They also don’t have any money set aside, because in the past the district paid for new band uniforms. Both Ricketts and Kordik said retired band director Roger Groth tried to get new uniforms within the past five years, but the district ended up spending the money on other things. Opinions differ on whether the school district should pay more. Clark, who is chairing the campaign to raise the $75,000, said she didn’t know how much money was going to be needed when she volunteered,

ripped cloth

but she, for one, thinks it’s reasonable for the parents’ association to help out. “I mean, as a band parent I’m willing to help, certainly, with dirt the uniform cost,” Clark said. “We’re not called upon that much with public schools to step up and help.” So far, several thousand dollars have been raised just from talking to people, and Clark plans to have a fundraiser with “key parents” kickoff in early May at her home. She also has a mailer that will be sent out to high school and middle school band parents, as well as alumni. Kordik put together an online fundraiser for the band members to use. In the fall, the annual VI-VI gala will help raise money as well. “I think it’s going to be hard, but I think we can do it,” Clark said. “I think people will come together and support the band program. I hope they will, like they support other programs. They should, because it’s a really, really great program at Westside High School.”

5

missing button

unattached sash

broken buttons

A Westside marching band uniform shows its age. Photo by Estella Fox


6

opinion

April 12, 2013

lance The Lance is a schoolsponsored publication of Westside High School, Westside Community Schools, 8701 Pacific St., Omaha, NE 68144. The Lance office is located in room 251. Phone: (402) 3432650. The Lance is an in-house publication. The paper is distributed every month to all students, except in vacation periods. Subscription rates to others are $25 prepaid. The Lance is printed by White Wolf Web, in Sheldon, IA. Advertising rates are available upon request. The Lance editorial staff reserves the right to edit all ads for clarity and grammatical errors. The editorial staff reserves the right not to publish any ads that are libelous or that contain non-factual information. The Lance editorial staff also reserves the right to nullify contracts at any time without prior notification. The Lance also refuses ads that promote activities illegal to a majority of the student readership. Reader response is welcomed in the form of letters to the editor. Letters should be less than 300 words, signed by the author and sent to room 251. Names may be withheld upon special request. Lance editors will decide whether to honor such requests. The Lance editorial staff reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and grammatical errors. The editorial staff also reserves the right to not publish any letters that are libelous or that contain non-factual information. The Lance is a member of the Nebraska High School Press Association, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the National Scholastic Press Association and the Quill & Scroll Society. The Lance staff recognizes that the administration of Westside Community Schools controls the curriculum and, thus, sets the parameters of the production process of school publications. The Lance staff also recognizes its own responsibilities to inform, enlighten and entertain its readers in a way that reflects high standards of journalism, morals and ethics. Editors-in-Chief Joe Hack, Emma Johanningsmeier; Managing Editors Zane Fletcher, Sophie Goldberg; News Editor Kellie Wasikowski; Opinion Editors Connor Flairty, Tom Schueneman; Feature and InDepth Editor Andrew McVea; Sports Editor Aren Rendell; Arts & Entertainment Editor Skylar Harris; Staff Writers Ellie Anderson-Smith, Sophie Clark, Grace Fogland, Tim Graves; Photo Editors Aaron Boyle, Estella Fox; Staff Photographer Sarah Lemke; Business Manager Kate Durst; Adviser Rod Howe.

SUTTLE Graphic by Joe Hack

Practical Suttle deserves another term In the 1840’s, the scottish writer Thomas Carlyle formulated the “Great Man Theory”, positing, “The history of the world is but the biography of great men.” Carlyle argued, with moderate success, that men of extraordinary intelligence, charisma and political skill shape history, and are best equipped to occupy positions of power. “Heroes” such as Napoleon, Shakespeare, Voltaire and Jefferson, through intellectual achievement, profound creativity and deft political maneuvering, have made the world what it is today according to Carlyle’s theory. A logical extension of the Great Man Theory is that our public officials and delegates should naturally have ample charisma, sparkling grace and keen intellect. Carlyle died in 1881, and several great men, ironically, such as Herbert Spencer and Leo Tolstoy, have discredited his Great Man Theory since then. However, to this day, at least in America, we still elect politicians largely based on their charisma. The archetypal American politician is a glib extrovert. In today’s political system, politicians almost always have to be extroverts because they have such long campaign cycles. Campaigning is essentially intense networking during which politicians accrue votes through their power of personality. However, the qualities inherent in exceptional campaigners are different from the qualities required of an effective politician. The profound desire extroverts have to be liked can subvert their political integrity and make them avoid tough decisions. Abraham Lincoln was an introvert; Gerogre W. Bush is an extrovert. Jim Suttle will never be distinguished as a “Great Man,” nor mistaken for an extrovert. He has no inspiring personal story like President Obama, no sparkling charisma like Bill Clinton or even our previous mayor, Mike Fahey. When the Omaha World-Herald ran a profile of Suttle in the leadup to the April 2 primary, it reported that many people close to Suttle acknowledge he is not a natural politician and sometimes

“struggles to communicate with the council, staffers or voters.” In a political climate populated with flashy extroverts and dogmatic partisanship, Suttle distinguishes himself as a boring, awkward pragmatist. ­­However, Suttle has been successful. When he took office in 2009, Omaha was in bad fiscal shape, with almost a billion dollars of debt, anemic tax revenues and a new ballpark to pay for. Suttle was faced with a simple, yet politically fraught choice — cut programs or raise tax revenue. In Nebraska, politically among the reddest of the red, raising taxes is almost certain political suicide, and it nearly cost Suttle his job. He narrowly defeated a recall effort in 2011 after proposing property, restaurant and wheel tax increases. Conservative demagogues like Dave Nabity led the recall effort, spewing invective about Suttle’s fiscal negligence while conveniently ignoring the fact that the recall vote they were organizing would cost the city $600 to $900 thousand. Suttle won by a mere 2,000 votes, yet ultimately validated his worth as a mayor by restoring Omaha’s AAA bond rating and balancing the budget. He must be commended for doing the right thing rather than the politically expedient one, and furthermore, for doing it in a pragmatic, fairly painless way. There is no significant evidence that the restaurant and wheel taxes Suttle levied to raise revenue in any way inhibited economic growth or deterred people from eating at restaurants and buying cars. Suttle continues to uphold his political integrity by supporting gun control legislation — again, political suicide in Nebraska. What Suttle lacks in social grace and glibness he makes up for in pragmatism and an acute sense of accountability. Having a mayor with an engineering degree doesn’t hurt either. When the Missouri spilled over its banks during the summer flood of 2011, Suttle responded with well-coordinated pumping and sand bagging efforts. The College World Series went on as

warrior voice

scheduled, the airport was unaffected and businesses stayed open. Suttle’s analytical approach and his superior problem-solving skills qualify him to lead our city. Having established Suttle as a staid yet competent politician, witness Jean Stothert, his challenger. Stothert is tall and charismatic. She loves campaigning, knocking on at least 5,000 doors for the primary, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Her platform is predicated mostly on vague promises like “Rolling back all of Jim Suttle’s tax hikes,” and “Reducing the size of city hall,” details on which are, as yet, unspecified. She’s running a campaign on reactionary tea-party dogma, overstuffed with impossible promises and scant specifics. Nothing is more illustrative of Stothert’s shortcomings as a candidate and a human being than her opposition of the city gay rights ordinance. Omaha lagged behind Kansas City, St. Louis and even Council Bluffs until it passed an ordinance banning discrimination in 2012. Stothert was one of the ordinance’s most vehement opponents. She is more concerned about the rights of those who choose to discriminate against gay people rather than gay people themselves. “We must respect the rights of people, who for moral, religious or personal reasons, decide to fire gay people or deny them service,” said Stothert in a city council meeting last year. However, in February 2012 Stothert sponsored an anti-bias resolution, which would lead one to believe that Stothert is a tolerant politician amenable to gay rights reform. Jean Stothert had no qualms about supporting a toothless resolution, but when it came time to actually codify that support into law, she balked. Stothert will always do what is politically expedient. Jim Suttle may not be flashy, but he’s not disingenuous and hypocritical either. He may not have exciting rhetoric and grand ideas, but he executes his promises. No, he’s not one of Carlyle’s great men, but he’s the best one for this job.

Do you think we should be worried about North Korea?

I don’t think so, because they can’t even get their missiles to America. SAMANTHA BARNETT freshman

It’s definitely something to be concerned about, something to really keep an eye on in the news. JULES ROSS sophomore

No, I’m not scared because I have big guns. JOHN FICENEC junior

Certainly not. North Korea doesn’t have the military power. ALYSSA CURRAN senior


opinion

April 12, 2013

7

Move puts Omaha in good standing With Creighton University officially moving to the Big East Athletic Conference, many consider the once modestly sized university to be taking a big step towards becoming a major university not Connor Flairty only in academics, Opinion Editor but also in athletics. The school will have to compete with universities in big cities, such as St. John’s University in New York or Georgetown in D.C. This got me thinking: how does Omaha rank as a city among its new peers? When I meet people who have never been to Omaha, their first thoughts are that I must grow corn right in my backyard, that Omaha is a flat wasteland with a few cows here and there. Many misjudge this unique city. Obviously, Omaha is not a farm wasteland but a city unique and among itself. With a population of about 400,000 and a metropolitan area of about 800,000, Omaha ranks 42nd among U.S. cities. This may seem small, but Omaha ranks above such major cities as Minneapolis and Miami, and shows no sign of stopping its growth, with Forbes magazine ranking it the 11th best place to live. Why is it such a great place? Though many residents of Omaha lack the hometown pride that you find in many places, it does not lack in greatness. Omaha is home to independent music label Saddle Creek Records, which features bands such as Bright Eyes, The Mynabirds and Cursive. Also, venues such as the Slowdown and the Waiting Room give Omaha a great indie music scene, which many cities lack, particularly in the Midwest. On the other hand the CenturyLink Center makes Omaha a major stopping point for pop stars like Taylor Swift, Maroon 5 and Kid Rock — all of whom made appearances last month. Right next to the arena stands TD Ameritrade Park, home of the men’s College World Series. Eight teams every year from around the country bring thousands of fans with them, and make Omaha a must for all college baseball fans. Another major attraction that attracts tourists is the Henry Doorly Zoo, thriving with over 17,000 animals and 962 different species. The zoo is acclaimed around the world and is a major tourist attraction. In addition, major growth has been seen in Omaha’s downtown area. Along with the recent building of the pedestrian bridge, new condos and shops have sprung out of what seemed like nowhere, revitalizing the once vacant riverside. Areas other then downtown have seen resurgences as well; Aksarben Village and the newly built Midtown Crossing are both good examples of Omaha’s growth. These two newly developed areas offer cool nightlife, stores, restaurants, condos and apartments all in one convenient place, in areas the city was not using. These areas give Omaha that big-city feel and make you forget sometimes that you are in Nebraska. However, the city is not just new buildings. Take a trip to Dundee or Benson and you will realize that the area is rich with historic neighborhoods, and that they serve as great assets for that Omaha feeling that makes the town so unique. Even though growth has affected Omaha, the residents still sport a humble Midwest attitude, and Omaha lacks the bad rep most major cities have of having rude dwellers. A warm hello is not out of line here, but it easily would be in such places as Chicago. Many don’t realize it, but we’re living in a great city without even knowing it, a city with history and a galaxy of things to do. Omaha is a unique area and cannot really be compared to anywhere, but it proves one classic saying: never judge a book by its cover.

GENERATION Y

Graphic by Tom Schueneman, Sophie Goldberg

Counterculture missing in millenials’ lives As an adolescent, it’s not uncommon to hear that your mind isn’t yet fully developed. You may hear it from any number of different sources — from teachers, or parents, or on the news. But while there is certainly a truth to it, this idea carries with it the connotation that the adolescent mind must also therefore be inadequate to make decisions of even personal Tom Schueneman significance, let alone significance to the wider world. In fact, there is Opinion Editor a case to be made for the exact opposite conclusion. The adolescent brain is uniquely poised to create change in society, but this generation seems less willing to make something of this unique time in its development than previous generations have been. At birth, the human mind is wired to learn. The axons of a child’s mind reach out in every conceivable direction, providing an openmindedness that allows children to take in a huge amount of information quickly. Not all of these avenues of thought end up being particularly useful as life progresses, however. This leads to a process known as synaptic pruning, in which the less-used brain pathways wither and the more used ones insulate themselves and grow closer to one another, adapting to the world they will navigate in adulthood. This period of redevelopment comes, perhaps unsurprisingly, during adolescence, when teens are experimenting with the world of adulthood, testing their own limits in order to figure out how they fit into things, and by extension, determining which neurological connections to strengthen and which to disregard entirely. The later portion of adolescence therefore occupies an interesting period in the development of the mind, in which the mind is more familiar than ever with the wider world, but still hasn’t lost the capacity for abstract reasoning more common among children. This combination of open-mindedness and a relative lack of naiveté is the source of counterculture — a subset of society that is, not coincidentally, occupied primarily by young people.

Counterculture has been present in some form or another going back centuries — possibly since the beginning of society as we know it. And while it’s led to more than a few stupid mistakes, it’s also been the catalyst for many of the great movements for change in history, from the Russian Revolution to Tiananmen Square. This isn’t to make the ancient — and by now hopelessly clichéd — suggestion that past generations step aside and let the younger generation have a turn at the wheel. If anything, this generation has proven the least willing of any in recent American history to engage in a cause. The same cannot be said, however, for the rest of the world. Anyone who has paid attention to the news over the last two years is probably aware of the role young people played in the Arab Spring, particularly in Egypt. Millennials in China have perhaps the best claim to radical behavior. In a country that for much of its history has been largely rural or focused heavily on communist ideals, the consumerist tendencies of the current generation break heavily from the past, and while this activity is encouraged by the government, it is nonetheless unprecedented in the history of the country, and is largely responsible for fueling the economic juggernaut that China has become. Western youth, however, don’t seem to share this progressive spirit with their predecessors or their foreign counterparts. It’s difficult to attribute this to anything in particular, but whatever the reason, where past countercultural movements have concerned themselves with things like freedom from monarchy or nuclear disarmament, all generation Y seems to have gotten out of this unique period is hipsters — and many would just as soon do without them as well. The hipster trend is still very much countercultural, but rather than being aimed at an overarching aspect of society worthy of criticism, it is aimed at any and every minor detail that warrants a complaint. The targets are innocuous — pop music, fashion, and things that generally aren’t worthy of the concentrated ire of a generation. Perhaps it’s a function of the development of Western society, maybe it’s indicative of a reduced need for social change. It is, however, a major break from the norm that has endured for the last several centuries, and it may yet prove detrimental to society’s ability to progress.

All generation Y seems to have gotten out of this unique period is hipsters — and many would just as soon do without them as well.

PowerGrade A+

Nice job, Westside, for giving us a spring break during such a glorious week of weather. We all feel rejuvenated and ready to learn, although we have some reservations about the alliance with Mother Nature that must have been necessary for such a coincidence...

C

We all want to look nice when we graduate, but do cap and gown prices have to be so high? Dropping more than $30 on a piece of clothing that will only be worn for three hours of our lives seems excessive.

F

We give the administration an F for blocking the single most entertaining spectacle in the month of March, a tournament so compelling even faculty could be found watching games on TV in certain areas of the building. March Madness will not be suppressed!


8

opinion

April 12, 2013

Pledge: patriotism gone too far By Kellie Wasikowski NEWS EDITOR

G N DRUG TESTI School policy ineffective and invasive Graphic by Joe Hack

By Gabe Levin GUEST COLUMNIST

At what point is an attempt to control the safety of students taken too far? Currently, Westside has a policy stating that any student wishing to leave the building during open mods as a junior or senior must be signed up for the school’s random drug test program. Why? A school is meant to be a place for the education of young minds, not the analysis of their chemical makeup. Westside High School claims in its “Westside Community Schools Drug Testing Facts” booklet that “Drug use by young people… is a problem that is getting worse at a fairly rapid rate.” However, the only evidence presented to support this is the American Drug and Alcohol survey from 1995-1996; it seems our drug-testing program is based entirely on the results of an outdated, 18-year-old survey. To make matters worse, nowhere in the booklet promoting and explaining the drug testing program does it state whether drug testing even helps in preventing drug use, which is an “enormous threat to the physical, social, and academic growth of our youth,” according to Westside. If the school really were so worried about this “enormous threat”, one would think they would take the time to implement a counter-drug initiative that actually works. According to the largest comprehensive study of school drug testing, performed by study researchers from the University of Michigan on over 76,000 high school and middle school students, absolutely no statistically significant difference was found in drug use between schools that tested and those that didn’t. Dr. Lloyd D. Johnston, one of the study researchers, stated that the study “suggests that there really isn’t an impact from drug testing as practiced. It’s the kind of intervention that doesn’t win the hearts and minds of children. I don’t think it brings about any constructive changes in their attitudes about drugs or their belief in the dangers associated with using them.’’ Not only does school drug testing not decrease drug use among students, but it also fails to discourage them from future use. A 2010 study led by

the U.S. Department of Education conducted on 36 high schools found that in schools that did not drug test, about one in every three students said they will “probably” or “definitely” use drugs within the next year. This number was found to be exactly the same for schools that did drug test. The program is clearly ineffective in deterring both current and future student drug use, so does it even serve a purpose? What reason is there to test students’ urine, already an unnecessary breach of privacy, if doing so does not change anything? While the test is technically voluntary, denying a completely unrelated privilege, such as leaving the building, if one does not agree to the testing, hardly seems rational or voluntary, not to mention how many students are actually signed up for the testing program by their parents against their own will. This program we “voluntarily” submit to is not even common practice among high schools. Other major Omaha high schools, such as Millard North, Omaha Central, and Burke, currently have no drug testing program for the general student body. Additionally, according to the University of Michigan study, only 18% of schools nationwide perform drug screenings of their students. By adopting this program Westside stands out negatively as one of the schools still behind the times, unwilling to conform to scientific findings in fear of admitting to having once been wrong. As long as students’ life choices when it comes to the matter of substance use are not disrupting the education of their peers or the overall safety or effectiveness of the educational institution, what possible reasoning does the school have for offering this program? Our students are not being helped, time and resources are being wasted, and basic privacy seems to have become a thing of the past, all in order to implement an already worthless program. While I am not one to advocate drug use, I am certainly not one to support the breach of students’ personal privacy either. The school has enough to worry about without adding another unnecessary matter to its plate; Westside should let the drug testing be left to doctors and courts, and, for lack of a better term, mind its own business.

The Facts In schools that did not drug test, about one in every three students said they will “probably” or “definitely” use drugs within the next year; this number was found to be exactly the same for schools that did drug test. Only 18% of schools nationwide perform drug screenings of their students. In a University of Michigan survey of over 76,000 high school and middle school students, absolutely no statistically significant difference was found in drug use between schools that tested and those that didn’t.

With Legislative bill 540 having been passed recently requiring school districts to designate time during each school day to say the Pledge of Allegiance, there has been both positive and negative reactions from students and adults alike. While certain aspects of the Pledge of Allegiance may be positive, such as learning how to display patriotism to one’s country appropriately and feel a part of the community, some students have taken these feelings of patriotism too far. Recently, I saw a picture that a student tweeted of a few of his peers in homeroom sitting down during the Pledge. The photo was accompanied with the tweet “Get out of America if you don’t wanna stand for the pledge.” This ignorance from students is rather appalling. Can they not handle being respectful to others in their choices? Not only is this disrespectful to the students who choose not to stand up or recite it for personal reasons, but it is even worse when a student is taking pictures on his or her cell phone of others during the Pledge of Allegiance. While we live in an age of communication being dominated by digital media, cyberbullying becomes easier for people to target others who may be different. Intolerance like this only further upholds some students’ unwillingness to be accepting of those whose values and beliefs differ from their own. For example, students who don’t believe in God or worship a divine being that is called “God” should not have to praise “God” mentioned in the Pledge of Allegiance. This is a problem when students become forgetful that public school districts must honor the separation between church and state and how that intertwines with practices like the Pledge of Allegiance. In classes such as Global Intolerance and World history students are taught the very basics of religion and what it means to be tolerant of those who may have different values than you. This education must be followed to create an environment in which people won’t be targeted for participating or not participating in daily school practices. Another reason students may not participate in saying the Pledge of Allegiance is that it might come across as forced patriotism. While some students may feel pride in our country, others may not feel the same. The initial idea for the bill came from ex-marine and now businessman Richard Zierke of Lincoln. In an interview with the Lincoln Journal Star, Zierke talked about what he hopes students learn from reciting the pledge each morning. “Reciting the pledge teaches patriotism, and it instills American exceptionalism,” Zierke said. “It’s also a stepping stone to young people making decisions about how they could serve their country, including stints in the military.” This form of American exceptionalism disallows students to question why America is so exceptional, and creates a barrier between those students who do question actions of the government and those who don’t want to. When people believe in an overarching exceptionalism, actions of the military become unquestionable, such as the justification for United States intervention internationally, or the treatment of women soldiers that often remains overshadowed. While certain aspects of the military are good, knowing both sides to an issue is ultimately more beneficial to learn critical thinking and decision making skills to better formulate conclusions. Although the Pledge of Allegiance might be a positive practice for some students, those same students need to be mindful of others who do not want to participate as well. And to post pictures on Twitter of their peers not participating is extremely disrespectful, those who want respect for their country should honor that same respect for others.


in-depth

April 12, 2013

1

Y T I S R E

V I D HISTORY

Westside has integrated past By Andrew McVea FEATURE/IN-DEPTH EDITOR

This May marks the 58th anniversary of the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education. This case, which desegregated American public schools, affected schools across the nation. Later, by executive order, many schools reluctant to integrate were forced to do so. The racial makeup of schools across the country was a hot topic throughout the 1960s. However, one school that was ahead of the curve was Westside High School. While Westside was never officially segregated, few minority students attended Westside before the 1980’s. At multiple times during the 50’s and 60’s there were not any minority students attending Westside at all, including its first few graduating classes in the early 50’s. The first minority student to attend Westside was A.B. Sunny Brown, the son of a custodian at Loveland Elementary School. At the time, he was the only black student at the high school. He graduated from West-

side in 1959, and when he left the high school there were no other minority students remaining. Since then, Westside has grown steadily more diverse. According to the Westside High School website, just under 20% of the population is non-white, currently. It is also the third most diverse district in Douglas County, behind OPS and Ralston Public Schools, and its minority population has been steadily increasing over the past few decades. Despite having few minority students in its early days, Westside has always had a strong international presence. Students have traveled to nations across the globe through the Youth for Understanding and other Foreign Exchange programs throughout Westside’s history. Students from six continents and nations such as Thailand, Chile and Germany have come to study at Westside. Students from Spain and the Czech Republic are here now. The internationalism of Westside can also be seen in the courtyard where the flags of the nations of Westside students and faculty reside. There are 48 flags currently in the courtyard.


2

in-depth

April 12, 2013

s i r t e y v i v d i b s r u a o i nt at W g i l e R estsid e By Kellie Wasikowski NEWS EDITOR

While walking down the hallways at Westside, it’s difficult to tell what makes up each student’s identity. Gender and race might be easily exposed on the outside, it is often more difficult to know someone’s religion and how that faith reflects his or her ethical values. Being connected to one’s faith is a fundamental part of many students’ everyday well-being, and members of many different religions make up the Westside community. “I think our religious diversity here at the high school is probably greater than most students realize,” guidance counselor Doug Hauserman said. “We have a number of religions that students practice, and we also have students that choose to practice no religion.” While Hauserman believes a diverse population at a school is ultimately beneficial, there are many more intricacies to the separation of church and state than the average person might realize. Although there is seperation of church and state, certain students can’t participate in some activities because their religions don’t condone it. “For example, the Pledge of Allegiance,” Hauserman said. “The state government’s argument might be that they aren’t forcing you to participate, but if you’re in a classroom with 16 other people and you’re the only person not participating, you still feel very singled out. It’s obvious you would feel very different, whether or not anyone says anything.” Hauserman also points out that adhering to the school calendar and celebrating birthdays in the classroom are exclusive to certain religions and religious practices. “Homeroom donuts for birthdays—if someone’s religion doesn’t celebrate birthdays then they can’t really participate,” Hauserman said. “And our school calendar certainly matches holidays that are primarily Christian, and people who are minority religions have to miss school to celebrate their religious holiday. We know that not being at school typically puts people at an academic disadvantage.” Although these inherent common practices Hauserman describes are difficult to overcome to truly not benefit one religion over another, he believes that right now Westside has an exceptional level of tolerance for different beliefs. “Different religions are more acceptable here than they would be in a smaller, more rural high school in Nebraska, because we have so many visible, vibrant communities within our Westside community,” Hauserman said. The sense of community of being involved in a religion rings true for sophomore couple Reis Pieper and Leah Schwarz, who were first connected based on their Christian faith. They agree this spiritual connection makes them more compatible. “On Sundays we will go to worship together at each others churches,” Schwarz said. “Some mornings we’ll go to 4:30 prayer, which is a really awesome and spiritual experience.” While the two connect based on their faith, they also both agree being part of families that have the same values helps them stay faithful to their God. “I think having a family that is also religious really helps,” Pieper said. “It is especially hard today to maintain a relationship with Christ on your own. But when you have parents who have that same relationship too, they can really help you develop.” Junior Hannah Budwig has also felt more connected to her family through their practice of Judaism. Although she believes the religion itself has

made her a better person, she thinks the greatest benefit that has come from her being a part of a faith is the long-term relationships she has created and the necessity of giving back to the community that she has learned through her youth group at Temple Israel. “My temple’s youth group gets together 4 times a year,” Budwig said. “we do things like social action, which is volunteering. One weekend my youth group made blankets and took them to the Stevens center. We gave the blankets to the kids there and read stories to them, and they read to us too.” Budwig is also volunteering at a Jewish summer camp this year, and is looking forward to going back and seeing all of her friends there. “I’m going there as a counselor this year, and the people I have met there in the past have became my lifelong friends,” Budwig said. Junior Noah Gray is part of the group Hauserman described as those who don’t practice a religion. Gray identifies himself as an atheist because he believes there is no way to ever confirm any sort of metaphysical being. “It’s my belief that people find in religion just a conception of what they think is God, but we can never really know,” Gray said. “I think there’s just a book that people find contentment in, but I can never find any hard evidence in anything.” Although Gray doesn’t believe in any sort of faith or religion, he respects those who do, and thinks religious diversity is a necessity at school. “I think it’s a good thing that there is a diverse background of students at the school,” Gray said. “It really promotes tolerance among all the students.” While tolerance may seem to be something that ought to be honored by all students at Westside, there are still many instances of narrow-mindedness at Westside that the school continues to overcome. Many students have noted that they have at least once been targeted by hurtful stereotypes. Budwig thinks this is because of insecurities other students have with themselves, and said although it is difficult to fully educate students on different religions’ practices, the sophomore World History class does a good job teaching the fundamentals of different religions. For now though, Budwig thinks the only way to learn is to be open minded to other faiths. “There are churches who come to our temple on Friday nights, and they have services, and after they stay for a while and we can ask questions,” Budwig said. “I think that’s the best way to learn.”

Q&

Dr. James Tangdall spent a 36-year career at Westside, from 19 ing a coach and math teacher, to being athletic director, to princ time with the district, Westside grew from a rural school district who still lives in Omaha, shared his impressions of diversity at W

Q: Over the course of your time in the district, how racially and ethnically diverse would y

A: Well, when I started — I think I’m right that in 56-57 at least through the early 60s we o dent, a young man named Sunny Brown, and he was a son of a custodian at Loveland Eleme plot of land, and Sunny was really a good kid, and was well accepted by the student body, but student that we had in those first four or five years. We really didn’t have very many minority s until the early 70s. We started getting more students, but still were never very heavily popula

Q: In terms of religion, how dive

A: Well, in terms of religion … I dents Jewish. We had a large numb and I’m sure we had a fair number o Protestants, the Jewish was by the f

Q: When was that? The whole time you were there?

A: Well, I think that number — that percentage — probably stayed pretty consistent over in 1956, that first year, we had I think around 77 to 80 — no more than 80 students in the gra — it was 840. So, we grew a little over 10 times the size, and consequently I think the number ticeable increase or decrease in any particular religion, but there was a considerable increase

Q: When you were at Westside, do you think there were any s

A: I mean, I’m sure that there probably were many that I wasn those kids probably took some abuse just like kids that had any obese, or whether they were mentally limited or learning handi you know that kids that just are growing up can be pretty cruel. I to deal with it much. We didn’t get many complaints, et cetera, b

Q: But you do think that as the district grew in population, it grew in diversity?

A: Yeah. Well, there isn’t any doubt about it. When we started out, we just — as I say, the o was an African-American boy who lived in a rural area out there. We just didn’t have many min population is now, but I know that it’s certainly changed. It’s noticeable when you go to any k black youngsters, and Asian youngsters, and Chicano youngsters. I mean, many more than w

Q: Anything else?

A: I think generally speaking, we maintain a friendly sort of a family f job, and I think most of the studen there left with that feeling.


in-depth

April 12, 2013

3

As Westside grows more diverse with each class, lack of minority educators dismays some

&A

Questions by Emma Johanningsmeier

956 until his retirement in 1992. His trajectory took him from becipal, to associate superintendent, to superintendent. During his to a suburban district with several thousand students. Tangdall, Westside.

you say Westside High School was?

only had one African-American stuentary School. They lived on a rural t he was the only African-American students in school at least probably ated with minorities.

erse would you say it was?

don’t know the exact number. It runs in my mind it was probably 7 to 10 percent of our stuber of Protestant students, from Catholic to all the different Protestant beliefs that existed, of kids that weren’t affiliated with any church. I would say that other than the Catholics and far the biggest minority religion that we had.

r the years. And of course it grew as our population grew, because like I say, when I went there aduating class. And by the time I was principal in 1975-76, we had our largest graduating class rs — percentage of religions didn’t change dramatically. At least as I recall, there wasn’t a noin minorities, but it still wasn’t real big.

specific challenges facing minorities at Westside?

n’t aware of. Kids can be pretty cruel sometimes, and I’m sure that y kind of peculiarities about them, whether they were extremely icapped. Although you work very hard to prevent those things, I know it had to exist. I wouldn’t say it didn’t, but we didn’t have but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

only minority student I can think of norities at all. I don’t know what the kind of activity. I notice many more we ever had before.

we always try to keep a good environment for learning and try to feeling in that school, and at least we think we did a pretty good nts and most of the faculty that worked there or went to school

By Joe Hack EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Detractors of Westside often hurl the epithet “Hollywood High” around while talking about our school. The implication of this moniker is that Westside is a playground for the elite, affluent and white, and lacks socioeconomic and racial diversity. In 1985, this allegation had some truth, when less than 3% of the district’s 4,915 students were minority students. Since then, however, the district’s minority populations have steadily increased, and this year there are 1,246 minority students enrolled in Westside, 20.8% of the total body. This proportion is roughly equal to the proportion of minority citizens in Omaha, which is 17.4%, and to other Omaha area school districts, with the notable exception of OPS. High schools like Central, Benson and South have minority populations well above 60%, because the populations those schools service are considerably more diverse. Westside is not trying to make the district more diverse through selective opt-in admission and legally cannot, as a public school, give preference to minority opt-in students. “Westside’s demographics actually are very similar to the demographics of the greater metro area,” Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Eric Weber said. “We do not have specific diversity marks we are aiming for in terms of students.” However, minority populations are growing within the district, fueled by an influx of immigrants in several elementary schools. Westbrook, Hillside and Westgate elementary schools all have minority populations upwards of 30%, considerably higher than the other seven elementary schools. While the district cannot control the levels of diversity within the schools, it is accountable for cultivating a tolerant and inclusive environment at Westside. Several clubs at the high school, IncluCity and Club Rise are devoted to this cause. IncluCity, however, only has one member this year, president Jordan Brown, a troubling indication of student apathy. “We always have some kids, so it’s weird that only I attended club this year,” Brown said. “There’s really no intiative to come. People don’t really care, and don’t really see that there’s a problem, so why fix it.” However, Brown thinks that Westside is generally tolerant and that racial and socioeconomic differenc-

es haven’t polarized the student body. “I really think that the tolerance at Westside is a lot higher than at other schools,” Brown said. “I think we have our issues, but overall, we are pretty accepting of everyone and everything.” Although Westside’s student demographics roughly mirror the city’s, the faculty’s racial composition is far more homogenous. As of 2006, the most recent year Westside collected demographic data, there were five full-time African-American employees in the entire district of 1,263 employees. None were teachers. In 1995, there were ten minority teachers in the district. As of 2005, there were only three minority educators. Jim Stevens, Director of Elementary Education and Excellence in Youth, is the only African-American administrator in the district. He has worked in Westside since 1986 and been a teacher, principal and administrator at all education levels. For much of his career he has been one of the few minority educators in the district. He sees the dearth of minority teachers partly as a recruiting problem. “Part of it is recruiting,” Stevens said. “There is a larger recruiting mechanism from OPS to UNO than Westside to UNO.” Weber agrees with Stevens’ assessment and would like to see teacher demographics more closely approximate student makeup. “In terms of staff, we are always trying to recruit and pursue diversity,” Weber said. “Ideally, it would be nice for our student population and our staff population to mirror one another. That is a challenge for all districts right now, as minority students are not pursuing careers in education. Every student in school, regardless of their background, should be able to see and build relationships with role models who are like them.” Stevens has never experienced overt discrimination at work and has nothing but positive things to say about his tenure in the district. However, he can understand why some minority teachers might not be happy teaching at Westside. “The hardest part of recruiting minorities is getting a sizable pool started,” Stevens said. “It’s not like I can say [to prospective teachers], ‘Here’s a group of like minorities you might enjoy being around,’ whereas in OPS there are many more options for making connections.” Having grown up in Philadelphia, Stevens attended the predominantly white and Lutheran Augustana College in South Dakota on a scholarship. Stevens has never felt compelled to teach minority students in more diverse environments, as some educators in his position might. “It doesn’t matter what their color is,” Stevens said. “If somebody needs something that I can provide I’m going to do it. It doesn’t matter. Not everybody would say that, but I look at people as the driver, not color as the driver.” While increased diversity does not necessarily correlate with academic improvement, it is a vital part of social education. Stevens and Weber recognize the increasing utility and importance of a diverse learning environment. “Cultural diversity allows a lot broader discussion,” Stevens said. “If I have diversity then I have different perspectives and people who respect each other’s perspectives and people who can build from each other’s perspectives.”


4

in-depth

April 12, 2013

Westside diversity not reflected in AP enrollment continued from page 1 diverse population. Although statistics on the number of free and reduced lunch students taking AP classes at Westside were not available in time for the publication of this newspaper, all AP teachers were recently offered the opportunity to take a survey about how diverse their AP classes are. Of the 17 teachers who chose to participate, five said they have zero African-American or Hispanic AP students. Ten estimated they only have zero to five percent. In regards to income, three teachers said they thought “almost none” of their AP students came from low-income backgrounds, and 11 said they thought there were “a few.” Considering district enrollment is 6.1% Hispanic and 7.8% black this year, and the high school itself has 26.4% of its students on free or reduced lunch, things don’t quite match up. One of the reasons low-income students are much less likely to end up in AP classes may be the same reason many of them do end up in basic classes. English instructor Kim De La Cruz attributes the high number of lower-income students taking her basic classes to something called “summer reading setback.” Basically, kids in poor families are much less likely to be exposed to books and other types of print over the summer, while middle- and upper-class families typically have the resources and knowledge to have access to these things. This means lower-income kids have a tendency to fall behind their peers in terms of reading level. “While it starts off pretty small in elementary school, by the time you get to high school there’s these huge gaps,” De La Cruz said. De La Cruz said the students in her classes are usually properly placed, and she’s able to “release” a lot of students each semester to the college-bound level. Most of these students end up doing well. But what about lower-income students who don’t need the remedial classes in the first place? The College Board “encourages educators to make equitable access a guiding principle for their AP programs by giving all willing and academically prepared students the opportunity to participate in AP.” In many cases, that means encouraging students with “AP potential” to go for the AP classes. However, one of the most shocking ethnicity-related statistics from the College Board relates to how many students are recommended to take AP classes and how many actually do. While 58% of Asian and 38% of white students took an AP class they were recommended for, those figures drop to 30% for Hispanic students and 20% for AfricanAmericans. At Westside, opinions differ as to whether students who have the potential to do well in the AP program are adequately encouraged. Most students interviewed for this article said they personally had been encouraged by teachers to push themselves academically, but some said they thought Westside doesn’t push and encourage students enough

overall. At Westside, teachers recommend students for certain classes, but ultimately the choice is up to the student. One African-American junior at Westside who is on free and reduced lunch said he’s doing well in his regular classes, and teachers have told him he could take harder classes, but he’s afraid of his grades dropping if he does. He said he might try taking an honors class next year. For those low-income students who might be able to do well in an AP class, though, it’s often circumstances that get in the way. Counselor Mike McCann pointed out that students from low-income families may be more at risk. Others have to work to help their families, or don’t get much encouragement because their parents are working all the time. Sometimes, peer pressure plays a role. “Some kids, their parents do push them, but they hang around their other friends that aren’t being pushed or don’t want to push themselves, so they end up following the crowd and everything,” junior Charie Payne said. However, McCann does think all students get enough encouragement at school at Westside. He believes with the creation of dual enrollment and the ACE scholarship, which is offered through the Nebraska Department of Education and pays the full cost of dual enrollment (meaning students don’t have to pay for the AP test), low-income students may be just as likely to take dual enrollment. For students not in dual enrollment, the $89 AP exam fee is reduced to $53, although for many this may still be unaffordable. Junior Reneé Stewart found out about the ACE scholarship from the dual enrollment representatives that visit AP classes, and talked to her counselor about applying for it. She said having it has been motivation for her this year. “What about the kids that could have gotten a scholarship, or didn’t get the scholarship because I took that place and I got it?” Stewart said. “So I feel like I should work harder. Being African-American, I feel like I have to work that much harder because I want to succeed. I want people to think that ‘Oh yeah, it doesn’t matter what race you are — you can still do well in a course.’” For Stewart, the path to AP classes hasn’t been easy. Her freshman year she spent one semester at Mercy High School and one semester homeschooling herself online. She had to take regular and basic classes when she came to Westside her sophomore year, but got in trouble because she was bored. She said her math and English teachers encouraged her to sign up for harder classes the next year. She did. She’s currently in two AP classes, and they’re going okay. “I was before taking regular classes, and I was getting good grades and A’s and B’s, and she [my grandma] didn’t have to say anything like ‘Good job,’” Stewart said. “But now I’m getting C’s and D’s, and she knows I can do it. She just wants me to push myself harder, but I’m trying to tell her that these are harder classes, you know. I’m not going to get the same results. I just feel like – maybe I do hold back a little

Being African-American, I feel like I have to work that much harder because I want to succeed. Reneé Stewart junior

bit, but it’s hard. I just need to push myself a little bit more. I do believe in that.” Stewart is getting used to being in a practically all-white classroom, but she still doesn’t like it much — she preferred the diversity in her classes at Mercy. Even though her grades have dropped since she started taking the hard classes, she said she prefers being in those classes. She told her AP U.S. History teacher last semester, instructor John Brian, that she learned a lot. However, after pushing herself a lot this year at Westside, she doesn’t plan to take as rigorous classes next year, although the list will still include some APs. Payne, who is also African-American, doesn’t think kids are encouraged enough at school, but she believes the lack of black students in AP classes has much to do with attitudes of the students themselves. Her theory is that in anticipation of having a harder time out in the world, some African-American students may want school to be as smooth as possible. Payne herself, who takes almost all AP and honors classes, participates in debate and makes honor roll, isn’t choosing that route. She said her parents have always told her she’d have to work hard and get a scholarship to go to college, and that’s been motivation for her. Payne has observed younger African-American students while sitting in the debate room during English 9 classes, and hopes more of them have the courage to sign up for AP classes. “There’s a couple of freshmen I see — I hope they take AP [or] honors classes next year,” Payne said. “I see how they act different around their friends, but when I see them talk to another teacher, they talk very proper and they’re intelligent and they’re more than able to take those classes, but they may not choose to because they want to be with their friends in the other classes. But I hope they don’t.” Although some barriers make it harder or more unlikely for promising minority and low-income students to take AP classes and do well in them, some high schools across the country have had enormous success in drawing these students into challenging classes, using different techniques. A Washington high school, in an effort to create a “collegegoing culture,” had all the teachers wear college items one day a week. Others have used PSAT scores or the online “AP Potential” tool to determine students who have “AP potential” in certain subjects. One school found sending letters to parents congratulating their children on being identified as having AP potential is effective. The letters include a list of AP classes to consider, and information about follow-up meetings with school staff. But why bother? AP classes add stress and homework to high schoolers’ lives, and taking the tests costs money. However, besides setting students up for greater success in college, the AP experience can open their eyes to new ways of thinking, and give them a sense of confidence. “My dad has always told me — and pretty much every black kid gets this lecture when they’re younger — that it’s hard in the world,” Payne said. “You have to work harder in the world as a black person, because racism still exists today. It’s not as in-your-face as it was in the past, but we still have to work harder. And that has scared me, because I was like, ‘What if I don’t become the things that I want to become because of the society we live in?’ But it also makes me want to prove to every white person and everyone else that I’m a smart AfricanAmerican girl and I can do just what you can do, and maybe even better.”

STUDENT DIVERSITY SURVEY Do you think Westside is accepting of all racial/ethnic groups?

Do you think Westside is accepting of LGBT students?

Yes: 64% No: 24% Not Sure: 12%

Yes: 62% No: 24% Not Sure: 14%

Yes, for sexual orientation: 16

Have you ever been bullied?

Yes, for religion: 33 Yes, for race/ethnicity: 21 No: 141


feature

April 12, 2013

9

JENNA HAGER

Senior makes plans to volunteer, learn By Andrew McVea FEATURE/IN-DEPTH EDITOR “So where are you going to college?” It is a question asked by teachers, family friends and classmates with ever-increasing frequency as the end of senior year draws closer. It is a common question for senior Jenna Hager as well. However, to the surprise of most instead of attending college after graduation Hager is taking a gap year. A gap year is a break from studies taken between graduation from high school and entrance into college. Typically, students travel, volunteer or work during this time. Despite being encouraged by many major universities, not many students take advantage of the opportunity. Only 1.2% of all students deferred enrollment in college to take a gap year in 2011, according to the Washington Post. Like most high-achieving high school students, Hager had planned on going directly to college after graduation. However, at the end of her junior year she began to have second thoughts about her future plans. “Originally I planned on going to college and I had actually applied and been accepted and gotten a whole bunch of scholarships,” Hager said. “Then I started thinking about it, and I realized that wasn’t where my heart is. I want to go and help people, and I feel like the best way at this point in my life is to just go with the gifts I have now and then come back later and sort out what I want to do for college.” During her time between high school and college, Hager plans to teach English and music to orphans

at different international orphanages. In October, Hager will leave for the Hogar de Vida orphanage located in San Andrés Sajcabajá, Guatemala. After two months there, she will return home for a month. Then, in January, she will leave for the New Day Orphanage in Zambia, where she will spend a full year. “[The orphanage] is deep in the bush,” Hager said. “It’s away from everyone and everything, so there’s not much communication with the outside world there.” Although being cut off from the world would be daunting for most people, Hager bubbled with excitement when discussing her opportunity. Her parents are another story. “My mom is super nervous,” Hager said. “Right now they are worried about making sure I have a passport and the right visas. Also making sure that I have health care that can cover me where I’m at and that there is hospital within distance in case I need anything.” Despite some worries, though, Hager’s parents support her decision. After her time in Guatemala and Zambia, Hager plans to return to the United States, where she will honor her parents’ wishes and attend college. However, this will not be the end of her philanthropy. “My plan right now is to go with the flow,” Hager said. “I’m hoping while I’m away I’ll be figuring out what it is I want to do with my life, and then I’ll be able to come back and attend college with a focused area to study in. Then I will hopefully go back and volunteer at other places.”

Above: Children sit and listen at the Hogar de Vida orphanage in San Andrés Sajcabajà, Guatemala. Hager will volunteer there for two months next year. Left: Hager poses for a photo with a child at Hogar de Vida. Photos courtesy of Jenna Hager


10

feature

April 12, 2013

Post-secondary plans

Students pursue alternate career paths By Ellie Anderson-Smith STAFF WRITER Traditional schooling is not for everyone.­This can be seen in the looks on some students’ faces as they trudge down the school’s hallways and unenthusiastically attend their classes. After high school, going straight to college isn’t the best choice for some of these Westsiders. For the other 16% of Westside High School graduates who don’t move on to a traditional college, contrary to what some might think, there are options as to what to do with a high school education. “I’ve had one student take a gap year,” guidance counselor Theresa Henson said. “They went over to India and worked in orphanages for a year to get some service and be with family. They wanted to decide what they wanted to do with the rest of their life before they went to college. When they got back, then they applied to colleges and scholarships.” A gap year is just one example. Students at Westside have entered the military, trade schools, proprietary schools and apprenticeships, or have gone straight into the workforce. At Westside, going to community college and going into the military have recently become more popular. According to guidance department chair Melissa Hanesen, over 50 students enrolled at Metro Community College and eight students enlisted last year. Hansen reasons this is due to the staggering costs of college. “In this economy, you’ve got to be financially frugal, because it costs a lot to go to school,” Hansen said. Despite the many options, choosing not to attend college has acquired a negative societal connotation. The media dictates that college is the best preparation for adulthood. However, when looking at the numbers, that is not necessarily the case. “The new research that we are incorporating into our group guidance classes is how so many students are now going to prestigious schools and spending up to $120,000 on school and coming out with no job,” Henson said. “Think about it... that money could’ve bought a house.” “Students [who pursue other forms of education] don’t nearly have as much debt,” said Hansen. “A four-year degree is great, but in actuality, if you look at the jobs out there, only a third really need that degree.”

Senior Thomas Wzorek’s decision not to pursue college doesn’t mean he is not going to pursue education. “I am getting an apprenticeship at the county jail doing boiler work, or working as an auto mechanic in one of the many dealerships in Omaha,” Wzorek said. “Another option is going to trade school.” There are many reasons why some choose to go down alternative educational paths after completing their high school education. Given that the graduation rate from a four-year university is only 55% nationwide, students have to be sure they will benefit from the college experience. For some, this isn’t the case. “I’ve noticed that [some students who choose not to go to college] hate formal schooling,” Henson said. “They might change that mindset down the road, but they can’t [envision] themselves continuing that on in the fall. For some, it’s that they haven’t done the preparation to find scholarships so they don’t have the money. It’s sad, but it happens. Some have to help out the family. Then there are some that just don’t know what to do and want to take that time to discover themselves.” That’s where the school jumps in. Sophomore and junior group guidance, two of Westside’s many unique features, offer students the chance to figure out what sort of education makes the best sense for them. As early as sophomore year, Westside students are asked to think about what field of work they are most interested in. During junior year, guidance class educates students about their options and helps narrow down what sort of education will make the most sense for an individual and his or her interests. Taking the preparations in the middle of a student’s high school career eases the stress of finding the perfect match later down the road. “Some might not realize the benefit they’re getting,” Hanson said. To help those students who may not have paid attention in guidance classes or are still unsure of what they can do after high school, Hanson has organized a small group session for seniors to take a look at their assessments and personalities and figure out the best paths for them. It’s an opportunity to find out what steps need to be taken in order to prepare for college or a career. As college starts to be a less appealing option for some students, other types of education start to pop up. “They might go on and find something they truly care about,” Henson said. “They can save their money and hopefully spend it exactly where they want to.”

The Facts The average four-year public college costs an average of $8,655 for instate students. That number jumps to $21,706 for out-of-state students. The unemployment rate among college grads is 3.7%. While below the national average, being unemployed with college debt can be devastating. 44% of students who enter the American college system do not finish college within six years, due to failing, dropping out or cost.

J 62 A G D F C B 6 J H 4 F C B 0 J A H 3 63 F G C D A H 14 A B H J 7 F G D 4 1 G D C 3 64 A B F C 15 F G C D 48 A B H J B 2 J 3 A 65 A H 16 A B H J 49 F G C D 1 F 5 3 G D 3 F C 17 F G C D E 50 A B H J 52 B 4 J 3 D B 8 J A H 1 1 G C K 5 J A H 53 F 35 F G C D B J 9 G D 1 2 A H E 5 D F C 54 36 A B H J 41 F G C D K 20 A B H J J 55 E 37 F G C D B 2 J 4 1 G D 2 D A H E D F C 56 C K 38 A B 3 F G D 4 B 2 J 2 B J C K J A H A H E 39 B 4 J H 4 3 G D 2 1 G D A H E 3 D F C F C K 5 F G D C 4 B 4 J E 2 B 2 J C K 3 J A H D A H E B 6 J H 4 5 G C K 2 3 G D A H E 3 D F B J F C K 7 F G D C 4 6 A H E 2 B 4 J C K 3 B J A H E 21 F G C D K B 8 J H 4 5 G D A H 3 G D E F C K 22 A B H J E C 49 F G D B 6 J 3 B C K 3 G D A H E 2 50 B J F C K 7 F G D 3 A H E B 4 J C K 2 A H E 11 F G C D K B 8 J 3 5 G D A H 2 D E F C K 12 A B H J E 9 F G C 3 D B 6 J 2 B J C K A H E 13 F G C D K 0 A H 4 B J 7 G D 2 A H E 29 F G C D F C K 14 A B H J E G D B 8 J 2 F C K 30 A B H A H 15 F G C D K J B 2 J 9 G H 2 A H E 31 F G C F 16 A B H J E G D 3 F G D F C 30 C K 32 A B H 17 F G C D K 22 A B H J B 4 J A H E 33 F G C 18 A B H J 23 F G C D 5 F G D D C K 34 A B C 19 F G 24 A B H J B 6 J B J A H E 35 A H 20 5 F G D 2 7 F G D 5 G D C 1 C K F C B 6 J 2 B 8 J B 6 J A H 1 A H J A H 7 G 2 9 F G H F 17 F G C D B G D 8 A 2 0 F C 1 B 8 J 1 29 F B 8 J A H A H 9 G D 1 30 A 9 F G D F C J D C B 0 H 2 C 31 F A 10 A B H J G D B J 1 F C 2 A H 32 11 F G C D 22 A B H J 1 F G D C 33 12 A B H J 23 F G C D B 2 J D A H 34 C 13 F G 24 A B H J 3 F G D B J C 35 A H 14 5 F G D 2 B 4 J 5 G D C 1 A H F C 26 A B H J 5 F G D B J 16 C

Preparing Westside Students for the ACT and SAT for over 12 years...

2 T S TE

3 T S TE

www.JohnBaylorTestPrep.com


feature

April 12, 2013

11

This is the third installment in a Lance series about Westside teachers retiring this year.

Mitchell leaves strong AP legacy at Westside By Grace Fogland STAFF WRITER After 22 years of dedicating her life to teaching in the Westside district, English department head Nancy Mitchell has decided to retire, taking the voluntary retirement plan the school district offered this year. “I didn’t start the year thinking I was going to retire,” Mitchell said. “Though I probably would have sometime in the next couple of years, it feels so real now that my replacement has been named. It’s been a roller coaster.” Mitchell started her path of teaching after graduating from college in the 70s. “Back then, women who graduated from college had about two choices,” Mitchell said. “You could either be a nurse or a teacher. Every time I took one of those aptitude tests that told you what to do with your life, I always scored the highest for a teacher.” She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Augustana College in Illinois, her Masters Degree from UNO, and an Administrative Certification in Educational Leadership from Creighton University. Mitchell has taught many age groups throughout her career. She taught at a high school in Illinois, and after she moved back to Omaha, she taught at Mann 9th grade center in OPS (now called King Science and Technology Magnet Center). Then, she taught at Westbrook for six years, from 1976 to 1982. After taking some time off to spend time with her children, Mitchell came to Westside High School in 1994. Before Mitchell came to teach at Westside High School, there were no opportunities to take AP Eng-

lish classes or options for dual enrollment. “When I first started in the department, there was Honors English but no AP English,” Mitchell said. “I took a couple of AP training classes, and helped create the two English AP courses Westside offers today.” Mitchell was also instrumental in setting up dual enrollment with Nebraska Wesleyan and UNL. “I think it was a good change for the department,” Mitchell said. In addition to teaching high schoolers, Mitchell is involved with the K-12 language arts staff development for the district. “The last three years I have been able to work with elementary school teachers,” Mitchell said. “It’s amazing what those teachers do.” Mitchell’s favorite thing about teaching is that she gets to start over every day. “Every day is fresh,” Mitchell said. “If things didn’t go great the day before, everything is brand new the next day. You never know what it’s going to be like.” Being a social person, she also enjoys the interactive part of working at a high school. She’s learned a lot from both her students and colleagues. “I like working with people and kids,” Mitchell said. “Kids make the teachers stay young. After I retire, I’ll miss my co-workers and having really thoughtful professional conversations on a daily basis.” Mitchell has brought her inquisitive nature to Westside, as well as her prior experience. If there’s a better way to do things or a better practice than what the English teachers have been doing, she is active in the change. “The English department is already such a strong

and thoughtful department,” Mitchell said. “I feel like there’s a sense of history, because I’ve been around a long time. There’s a lot of young people in the department, and several of them I have had in my own English class.” Mitchell believes Westside is a wonderful place with a wonderful environment to work in. “My favorite thing about Westside is that teachers have so much freedom to create curriculum and design classes,” Mitchell said. “I believe that freedom gives more personal investment in the things teachers are teaching.” After Mitchell leaves, English instructor Kimberly De La Cruz will become English department head. “The English department has amazing teachers who are truly focused on student success,” De La Cruz said. “I am very excited to work with them.” To prepare, she is meeting with Mitchell weekly to talk through the various duties of the department chair. She believes Mitchell has had a significant impact on the department. “Almost all of the current English teachers have been hired since she has been department chair, including me,” De La Cruz said. “All of us as teachers have been influenced by her leadership.” As for Mitchell’s future, she plans to work somewhere, but does not yet have anything planned. She will take a break before she starts a new job. “It has been a challenge to look for a new position next year with so much to do to wrap up here, but I’m looking forward to a change,” Mitchell said. “Right now, I don’t know what I’m going to do, but who knows?”

Above left: English department head Nancy Mitchell works at the English IMC desk. Photo by Aaron Boyle Above middle: Mitchell poses in the 1995 yearbook. Photo courtesy of 1995 Shield Above right: Mitchell talks with her daughter Emily at her desk. Photo courtesy of 1998 Shield

Leehy expanded business department By Aren Rendell SPORTS EDITOR When Westside High School teacher Rita Leehy started teaching — at Westbrook Junior High in 1974 — she taught students to type on manual typewriters. Thirty-nine years later, Leehy sits at her desk typing on a laptop, remembering the many changes that have taken place during her time as a teacher. “I jokingly said to somebody the other day, ‘When I was in college we had to take a computer machines class. The type of different machines we would be teaching — they’re probably all in the Smithsonian now, they’re all so old,’” Leehy said. “That’s been a huge, huge change for us.” Leehy has been in the district long enough to see the creation of Westside Middle School and the addition of ninth grade to the high school. “I came up [to the high school] with the ninth graders,” Leehy said. “That was in the school year 1986-87, and so when the junior highs closed and they opened a middle school, that’s when I came up here. Leehy, who was born in Cedar Rapids, NE, earned her degree in teaching at the University of NebraskaKearney, which was then called Kearney State College. She earned her masters degree from 1975 to 1977, while teaching in District 66. “When I first started applying for teaching jobs, I didn’t even know about District 66,” Leehy said. “I applied and was offered a job in Omaha Public Schools. A good friend of mine lived in District 66 and encouraged me to apply here. Fortunately, I had not accepted the job yet in OPS.”

With all of the transformations Leehy has witnessed since the beginning of her teaching in the district, she is now ready for a major change of her own – retirement, a decision she made independent of the district’s buyout policy. “I would have retired this year, regardless [of the buyout], and I could have qualified for the buyout last year, but I knew I chose to go one more year,” Leehy said. “Somebody told me once ‘You’ll know when it’s time,’ and I truly believe that.” With retirement approaching, Leehy looks back and knows she made the right decision in becoming a teacher. “My mom was a teacher, but she was an elementary teacher,” Leehy said. “My aunt, who I was very close to, was a business teacher, and I think that was a huge influence on me, because I knew, when I was a freshman in college, that’s what I wanted to do. I never changed my major and I’ve never regretted it. Not for one minute have I ever regretted it.” Leehy is know facing the decision of what to do during her retirement. “I know I will do something, because I’m not a sitat-home person,” Leehy said. “I plan to do some volunteering. I have a new little grandson, so hopefully I’ll spend my time with him. And then, I’m not sure. Subbing is always a possibility. I might look into some things in the business world a little bit. I’m just not quite sure yet. But definitely I won’t sit at home full time.” In her retirement, Leehy said she will keep all doors open. “I would say right now it’s probably 50/50 [between

Above: Business and technology instructor Rita Leehy teaches Personal Finance April 9. Leehy has been teaching for 39 years. Photo by Sarah Lemke Below: Leehy poses in the 1988 yearbook. Photo courtesy of 1988 Shield teaching and another profession],” Leehy said. “Until I have time to explore some of those options a little bit, one doesn’t outweigh the other at this point.” For now, Leehy’s main plans are to travel to and to be with her family. “There’s certain areas of the country I’ve always wanted to travel during the spring or the fall that I thought would be beautiful, which of course you can’t do because it’s always the summer vacation,” Leehy said. “So, probably some traveling, and of course spending time with my family and my kids.”


12

sports

April 12, 2013

Softball

Ladd and Teuscher prepare for college competition By Tim Graves STAFF WRITER

Top: Senior Allie Ladd poses with a softball in the girls locker room March 19. Above: Senior Morgan Teuscher holds her softball bat in the athletic hallway March 28. Both players will participate in college softball next year. Photos by Estella Fox

Westside softball players have a history of playing well at the next level. One example is graduate Allie Baker who recently set the all-time home run and RBI records at Creighton University. Allie Ladd and Morgan Teuscher look to follow in her footsteps, although they will not be following her at Creighton. Ladd always wanted to be a college softball pitcher, she will get to fulfill her dream next year at Missouri Western State University. “There were four or five schools I looked at,” Ladd said. “I had offers from three of them. I decided on Missouri Western because it was the closest, [it] had really good facilities, [and] good coaches, and I really liked the atmosphere.” Missouri Western State University also has topnotch facilities. “Missouri Western has such great facilities because the Chiefs practice there in the summer,” Ladd said. “They donated a lot of money to the athletic department.” Ladd also liked the coaches at Missouri Western State. Head coach Jen Bagley is an accomplished coach at the Division III level. “They were super nice, and she [Bagley] kind of took me through a tour through the school and explained how they do things in the program. It seemed really comfortable to me.” Likewise Teuscher, was very comfortable with her decision to attend Minnesota State Mankato. “You know when people say you get a gut feeling about what school is right for you?” Teuscher said. “Well, I got that feeling right when I drove on the campus.”

Teuscher was recruited by five schools and ended up getting a scholarship offer from four of them. She said none of them were comparable to Minnesota State Mankato. She was recruited as a first baseman. The coaching staff at Minnesota State Mankato, led by head coach Lori Meyer, made a good first impression on Teuscher. “The college coaching staff at Minnesota State helped me make my decision by giving me all the good and bad things about the college,” Teuscher said. “They were very laid-back and didn’t seem like the other college coaches I had talked to that were all business and all they were worried about was softball.” Teuscher said she liked how the coaches were concerned with her personal life and her grades. It felt good to know someone would be there for her in college. Both Teuscher and Ladd are confident they can make an impact at the college level. Head varsity coach Kevin Dunn thinks he has prepared them for the college game. “We hope what we do on a daily basis will prepare the athletes to move on to the next level,” Dunn said. From experience, he knows what the Westside softball team does enough fundamentals for players to develop into collegiate athletes. “Many former players have come back and said we do more fundamentals than they do in college,” Dunn said. Ladd and Teuscher know they can perform early, and are not planning to red-shirt. Both know the hard work they put in during their years at Westside will help when they get to college. “It took a lot of hard work, and I’m really excited about it,” Ladd said.

College-bound sprinter leads track team into season By Connor Flairty OPINION EDITOR On a track team that doesn’t include many seniors, one athlete stands out. Craig Timmons, one of the top sprinters in the state, plans to lead the Warriors to the state track meet. At the Bryan Invite he earned first place in the 200-meter race and second in the 100-meter. His times in these two races currently are the best at Westside, and are continuing to improve. Timmons can be distinguished not only by speed but also by his towering 6’6” height. “A lot of the time you do not see sprinters at his height,” head coach Rick McKeever said. “That really makes him unique as a runner.” This height though is a major liability to his technique. “Coming off the blocks is really tough for him, with his height,” McKeever said. With this disadvantage Timmons had to put in extra effort to reach the level that he’s currently running at. “He spent this summer,[and] all of the winter working, and really perfected his technique,” McKeever said. “With that, he has just continued to get faster and faster.” This effort has paid off extremely well, as Timmons has seen improvement in his technique and in his times. “My technique below my waist I’ve been told is very good,” Timmons said. “I obviously have long strides and a pretty good turnover.” These strengths help Timmons exponentially, but one of his biggest strengths is something totally different — the ability to be cool under pressure. “He stays very relaxed like it is effortless,” McKeever said. “People say he doesn’t even look that fast, but he wins races.” This strength is sometimes overlooked, but helps Timmons a lot. These strengths, along with his work ethic, have made Timmons a perfect college recruit, and he will

most likely run at the next level. However, the college track recruiting process is much different then other sports such as football or basketball. “There’s not the money that there is in say other sports,” McKeever said. “There may be a few national champion-caliber athletes that get good scholarships, but that’s about it.” College track can also be heavily influenced by the athlete’s academics, as well. “Especially for the smaller schools it is just as much dependent on your academics as your running,” McKeever said. As academics are not a problem for Timmons, his plans to run at the next level are almost guaranteed. However Timmons understands the he still needs to work on some things to make the jump to the next level. “I obviously need to get stronger,” Timmons said. “Wherever I go the kids will be much faster then they are here.” Timmons, like many track athletes, will continue to brush up on his technique as well, something that can always be improved. “I need to make sure that my technique is as good as it possibly can [be],” Timmons said. “It is one of those things that is just assumed at the college level.” Though Timmons needs to work on some weaknesses, his coaches have a lot of confidence in him. “I have no doubt that Craig will be able to run in college,” McKeever said. “He’ll improve and just continue to get faster and compete.” Timmons will decide later on in the year where he will be running in college, Craig has not made his decision yet but has given thought to schools such as University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Nebraska Wesleyan. Many things factor into his decision, but academics will play a large role in his choice. “My philosophy is that a good education should come before athletics,” Timmons said. “Some may disagree, but academics will play a large role in my decision.”

Senior Craig Timmons practices his sprints March 29 on the Westside track. The sprinters practice every day after school. Photo by Estella Fox


sports

April 12, 2013

13

Randleman skates into junior league By Aren Rendell SPORTS EDITOR All of the athletes in our recruiting profiles are taking traditional routes, jumping directly from sponsored high school sports to college. One senior with aspirations to be a college athlete is not taking a traditional route. Senior Connor Randleman is trying to become a college hockey player. Hockey is a sport that is not school sponsored. Randleman played for Westside for a short period his freshman year, but has been with club teams since then. He is now taking a step up into the next level of hockey. “I’ve gotten some offers for some colleges, but right now I’m getting recruited for junior teams,” senior Connor Randleman said. “For hockey there’s an intermediate step between high school and college, and that level is juniors.” Randleman sees advantages with taking a different route to college hockey. “Playing juniors gives you more time to pursue your hockey career, getting noticed by colleges that would

give you a scholarship to play for them,” Randleman said. “It also gives you some time to figure out what career you want to pursue or what you want to study.” Randleman is being recruited by teams in Florida and recently went to a showcase in Pittsburgh to get offers from teams on the east coast. Randleman is looking to get recruited by teams in the top level of junior hockey, Tier I. “No specific team [in mind], but a league,” Randleman said. “There’s the NAHL, which is the North American Hockey League, and the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL), on the east coast. Just any of the teams in those two leagues would be a realistic goal for me right now. It’s Tier I junior hockey, and there’s three tiers.” The Lancers in Omaha are an example of a Tier I team, but Randleman said they are in a league better than the NAHL and EJHL, so he won’t be recruited by the Lancers. For picking between teams within the NAHL and EJHL, Randleman is looking at a number of factors. “I guess [I’m looking at] the quality of hockey — and I have some friends in Omaha who are trying to

play junior hockey at the same level I am, so if they were going to play for a team and I got the same offer, I might go play with them,” Randelman said. “Also, how that team has moved players up to higher levels, like in a higher league or up to college.” Randleman said he would decide on a team this summer. Until then, he is going to prepare for juniors. “I’m on team Midwest, and we practice in Des Moines every weekend,” Randleman said. “Other than that I’ve just been staying in shape, going to the gym, getting on the ice whenever I can.”

Senior Connor Randleman poses on the ice rink at the Ralston Arena on March 29. Randleman plays for team Midwest. Photo by Sarah Lemke

Volleyball

Westside sees spike in number of recruited players By Aren Rendell SPORTS EDITOR Head varsity volleyball coach Kim Eymann was once searching for the right college to play volleyball. Now, she has given three senior volleyball players — Amelia Jensen, Capris Quaites and Anna Skold — advice on their path to committing to a school and realizing their dreams as college volleyball players. “I guess just because I went through it a long time ago, [I was able to give them] advice on what to look for and what’s important,” Eymann said. “You know questions to ask coaches and schools and stuff like that.” Even before the recruiting process, Eymann contributed to the girls’ ability to be college players by helping them improve their skills and intangibles. “She’s helped a lot,” said Jensen, who committed to Hamline University in January. “She’s pushed me a lot during practices, and during games she’s made me become a leader on the court and take responsibility for everything that happens. Especially in the setter’s position you have to have a lot of responsibility, and she drove that into my head.” In addition to the help Eymann gave the athletes, they all put in extra work to get to the next level. Skold, who committed to Boston College in May of 2012, did a few specific things to enhance her skills. “I started going to a trainer, which really helped my volleyball,” Skold said. “And I changed clubs and really focused on volleyball, and ate right and worked out a lot.” Quaites put in extra time at the gym playing volleyball to enhance her abilities. “To get to the college level I spent a lot of time in the gym practicing and playing at tournaments,” Quaites said. “Our Sunday tournaments normally last from 8 a.m. until 4 or 5 at night, so that makes for a pretty long day. During the summers I went to a bunch of college camps so I could get a feel of the campus and the coaching staff.” After all the extra work had been put in, the recruiting process was fairly easy for Quaites, who committed to Drake in March of 2012. The recruiting process was actually pretty smooth for me,” Quaites said. “The biggest thing I had problems with was contacting the coaches and talking to them over the phone, because I was really intimidated. But other than that, taking visits to the different schools was really fun and it helped me get an idea of where I did and did not want to go.” Skold, Quaites and Jensen were all looking for a school that would fit their academic interests, leading them to choose their respective universities. “I really wanted good academics, and I wanted a smaller school so I didn’t feel like I was drowning in students,” Jensen said. Jensen chose Hamline because its academics were better than most division II and III schools, so she went with the division III Hamline. Skold chose Boston College for a number of reasons, ranging from the quality of volleyball to the allure of the city. “[The reason I chose Boston College is] probably the good education they have, and it’s in a fun city, and the volleyball team isn’t super good, at the top of division one, it’s a good level for me, and I liked the coaches,” Skold said. Quaites also had specific reasons for choosing Drake. “The overall feel of the campus, the academics, and all of the welcoming people were the three things that really impressed me when I was at Drake,” Quaites said. “I loved pretty much everything about my visit and the coaches and other players were super nice. I also really liked the volleyball facilities.” For all the athletes, getting to the next level has been an aspiration for quite some time, and this fall they will finally realize their dream. “Being able to play volleyball at the collegiate level has been one of the biggest goals throughout my high school career,” Quaites said. “It means a lot that all of the hours I put into the sport paid off.”

Top: Senior Amelia Jensen spikes the ball at volleyball practice on March 25. Above: Senior Capris Quaites practices her bump at Nebraska Elite Sports and Fitness. Photos by Estella Fox


e

14

arts & entertainment

April 12, 2013

Taylor the tailor

Student excels at photography, fashion design By Zane Fletcher MANAGING EDITOR You’ve probably seen him walking through the halls because, frankly, he’s hard to miss. He’s the one who out-dresses a large percentage of Westside’s male population, is daring enough to wear white after Labor Day and sometimes dresses up sweatpants. Yet there is a deeper level of Dalton Taylor that an observer could not recognize by a cursory glance. Since his freshman year, when he began taking fashion classes at Westside and photography classes at Metro Community College, Taylor has been one with the fashion world. After doing a project on renowned photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt, Taylor became hooked on photography, and began contacting local photographers about working and learning from them. “I started shooting a little bit with [local

photographer] Daniel Muller and he’s really helped me progress,” Taylor said. “I had a lot of trouble using [the camera] at first, but after the class and practice I began to get better.” Because shooting fashion shows on the runway is so difficult different due to factors, Taylor began with a simpler alternative. “Shooting runway is really hard because it’s so dark, you need a fast lens, and everything is changing so quickly,” he said. “So I started out shooting still models outside because that has the best light — studio work is really hard.” Taylor has shot for Ready or Knot, a bridal boutique in Omaha that has used some of his photography in advertisements. Yet his favorite collection of photographs he took was for a DECA project in which he organized an ad campaign for a variety of Omaha-area boutiques. Apart from his interest in capturing the beauty of fashion through photography, Taylor has recently

taken an interest in producing his own work as well. “I don’t want to go into a career in construction or design or anything but I think to know the industry you have to be well rounded in it,” he said. Taylor’s attentiveness to all facets of the fashion industry becomes apparent when he cites Tom Ford and Karl Lagerfeld as two of his main inspirations. Both of these men not only designed their clothing, but worked in photographing it as well. Taylor points to an all-leather outfit he made as his magnum opus, complete with tie, shirt, and sweatpants. Next year, Taylor will be attending Iowa State University to study marketing and fashion merchandising, but in ten years he envisions himself in quite a different place. “I really want to be in London…or Paris,” he said. “Ideally I would want to be a buyer for a major department store, like Bergdorf Goodman or Barney’s New York.”

Senior Dalton Taylor lays out a prom dress at his home design studio. Taylor has made several products at home, including ties, pants and tote bags. Photos by Estella Fox

BENJAMIN TAPE

Former Westside student directs school play By Sophie Clark STAFF WRITER Benjamin Tape once acted in plays at Westside. Now, he’s directing them. The 2008 Westside graduate is assisting theater instructor Jeremy Stoll in directing the play Rumors. Tape first became interested in directing during his education at Grinnell College. A directing class was required and Tape found that he really enjoyed it. He was able to direct his first play during his senior year at Grinnell. After college, Tape’s mother, who volunteers for the arts programs at Westside, told him about the upcoming play at Westside. She suggested he ask if the theater department needed any help. “I had a boring day job in Minneapolis, so when this opportunity came to me, I was really excited and I took it,” Tape said. “And it worked out because Mr. Stoll was expecting a baby, so I could help out when he was on maternity leave.” Rumors is one of Tape’s favorite shows, and the last show he was in during his senior year at Westside. He is looking forward to working with the cast of Rumors, and said it’s something he’s always wanted to do. It is his first time working with an auditioned cast and actors he’s never met before. “I’ve never worked with the cast before, so I have zero biases,” Tape said. “I’m really excited to have a fresh group to work with.” Tape said his biggest challenge with directing high school students is his age. He is only five years older than the actors, so he’s close to being their peers. Tape said he’s trying to find a balance between connecting with the students and taking the role their teacher. “I need to maintain the respect of the students so we can produce the best work possible,” Tape said. Stoll said having Tape assistant-direct Rumors has worked out for both of them. Tape gets the experience, and Stoll gets help with the show, especially because he and his wife just had a baby. Stoll said Tape is in a good position to direct the show because he has a degree in theater and has a good sense of comedy. “He’s really invested in the show and has a lot of drive, which makes him an easy person to work with,” Stoll said. Stoll said Tape benefits the show with his prior knowledge about the show

and about theater in general. He appreciates the fact that Tape brings his own experiences and creative input to the production of the show. Stoll said he’s also made himself available to students outside of the regular hours for help with technical elements of the show. “This not only makes him very involved in the process, but also a great person to rely on when inevitable problems arise,” Stoll said. Directing is something Tape would like to see in his future. He said he experienced a lot of arts programs at Grinnell College, so there are a lot of paths he can choose from. He doesn’t know exactly where he wants to focus his future goals, but he said his experience with Rumors at Westside has definitely encouraged him to go down the directing path. “If they asked me to come back and direct again, I totally would,” Tape said.

Benjamin Tape attends a Rumors play rehearsal in the Westside High School auditorium. Tape graduated from Westside in 2008 and now is helping theater instructor Jeremy Stoll direct a play. Photo by Aaron Boyle


arts & entertainment

April 12, 2013

15

midnight

snacks

Localmotive Food Truck

By Estella Fox, Sarah Lemke PHOTO EDITOR, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Smoke Pit BBQ

The Donut Stop

Whether they are coming from a concert or a bar, many people find their way to the Donut Stop, located near the Old Market. The Donut Stop is a unique after-hours dessert restaurant that brings people all over Omaha to one out-of-view location. The donuts are popular and are some of the most inexpensive you can find in town. Customers do not frequent Donut Stop for the donuts, though — it is the ambience that makes people come back. Cat posters cover the walls and bathroom of the building. Also, there are interesting and antique board games for customers to play. Donut Stop is only open from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Thursday, so this place is perfect if you are looking for a late-night snack or an exciting place to meet up when school is out.

Localmotive Food Truck

A food truck is not something you can find easily in Omaha. Localmotive Food Truck, located in the Ted and Wally’s parking lot, offers gourmet food for all the hungry people in the Old Market. Its menu is surprising, for a food truck. Steak frites, samosa rounders and gyros are just a few on the list. All of the food is well prepared and made with local ingredients. Localmotive Food Truck’s meal prices range from about $5 to $9, which is a great deal considering the quality of food you are getting. This food truck can typically be found from 10 p.m. to around 2:30 a.m. Food trucks constantly change their schedule and location, but luckily, Localmotive Food Truck makes it simple. Its website provides a schedule of its location and the times it is open for the week.

Lighthouse Pizza

Located on Pacific Street very close to Westside High School, Lighthouse Pizza is a local food joint with very fast service. It’s guaranteed to have you in and out in one mod or less. Its massive slices and customizable toppings make this restaurant a Westside favorite. Not only is it open late, but also it provides drive-through pizza until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday that is made on the spot. Its immense pizza slices are one-fourth the size of an 18-inch pizza, and each one is around $5. In addition to their enormous pizzas, but the fries are excellent as well. Lighthouse offers garlic parmesan and traditional fries. Located in the strip mall near 72nd and Pacific

with a large “GET YOU SOME!” sign on its storefront, Lighthouse Pizza is not hard to miss. Although the pizza is inexpensive, the quality is very average and there is minimal amount of change to the standard customizable toppings you could have at home. Inside the building, there are pictures on the wall of locations in Omaha with lighthouses placed in them. Overall, Lighthouse Pizza is a great place to go if you are out late at night and are not too picky about your pizza.

Smoke Pit BBQ

When looking for late night munchies, barbecue usually doesn’t come to mind. However, with Smoke Pit BBQ & Lounge, you can snack on ribs past 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The most popular item on the menu is the smoked pork back ribs, but the immense menu features other classics as well. The dishes vary from smoked chicken to spaghetti. Smoke Pit also has fried shrimp, ravioli and cod. The prices are pretty reasonable considering it is slow cooked barbecue. Entrees range from $5.25 to $10.25. Although there are many reviews stating how great the food is, there are some that say it doesn’t even come close to “real barbecue”. After going to Smoke Pit, we can conclude the restaurant has a great atmosphere despite the outdated décor. Also, the food is surprisingly good for being late night barbecue. Smoke Pit BBQ is located in downtown Omaha on 25th Street.

The Donut Stop

Abelardo’s

At first glance, Abelardo’s does not look very inviting. The storefront is not well kept and there are not the friendliest of people outside. However, it is the most reliable eatery to be open at late night. This Mexican restaurant is open 24/7. With over 58 items on the menu, including the 23 combos, you are sure to find something you like. The prices are not bad either. Each item costs around $13, which is a great deal for the amount of food. Abelardo’s isn’t for the health-conscious, but it will fill you up within generous portions. There is quite a bit of grease and the meat is heavily salted. However, the overall flavor is fantastic and authentically Mexican. Abelardo’s has quick service and there are also an assortment of authentic Mexican drinks that you can’t find in very many places around Omaha such as Horchata. There are three Abelardo’s locations located in the metro area. This restaurant is perfect for a late-night genuine Mexican meal.

Abelardo’s

Lighthouse Pizza Photos by Estella Fox and Sarah Lemke


16

April 12, 2013

arts & entertainment UPCOMING SHOWS CenturyLink Center Arena 5/12/13 Carrie Underwood w/ Hunter Hayes The Hideout 4/22/13 Reagan Youth Slowdown 5/13/13 The Thermals 5/28/13 Bloc Party w/ Bear Mountain

In and out in one open Mod or less Slices made fresh in 5 minutes Drive-Thru open until 3 AM 1004 South 74th plaza

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

“[Omaha]’s most groundbreaking arts organization.” _ 724 South 12th Street | Omaha Tue - Sat 11 - 5pm Free bemiscenter.org

Sokol Auditorium 4/19/13 Slightly Stoopid 4/20/13 Tech N9ne 5/14/13 Whitechapel w/ Motionless In White, Asking Alexandria, Chimaira, and I Killed the Prom Queen Sokol Underground 5/1/13 Transit The Waiting Room 4/12/13 The Lonely Forest 4/14/13 William Beckett 4/17/13 Lydía 4/19/13 Jukebox the Ghost 4/20/13 Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship 4/21/13 The Black Angels 4/22/13 Johnny Marr 4/23/13 Polica 5/14/13 Stornoway 5/23/13 Escape The Fate w/ The Color Morale and Glamour Of The Kill


Lance Issue 7