THE PAW PRINT An Independent Publication of Wilde Lake High School •5460 Trumpeter Rd. Columbia, MD 21044 • Volume 41, Issue 1 •
Howard County Schools Loosen Grip on Cell Phone Use During School Hours By Daniel Ingham News & Opinions Editor
Last year, students were expected to keep cell phones and other electronic devices “off and out of sight” from 7:25 to 2:10. That rule changed this year. The administration now asks students to use the “threshold-to-threshold” rule. According to administration, students need to put away devices before they enter the threshold of the classroom and can take them out again once they leave. This door to door policy is supposed to keep personal time from interfering with class time. According to Wilde Lake Principal Mr. LeMon, “The difference is that you’re allowed to have them [cell phones] out from bell to bell, in the hallways, and during lunch. If the bell has rung, your electronic device should not be seen or heard. We especially don’t want to interfere with classroom instruction.” Sophomore Ethan Newman thinks the new policy is a step forward for student rights. “I like the new rule,” said Newman. “Sometimes I need to quickly check my phone, and now I don’t have to sneak it. If I forget my gym uniform, stay after school, or forget lunch money, I can text my mom between classes.” Newman hopes the new rule means that cell phones will be integrated into the classroom in the not-so-distant future. “Maybe soon we can use our phones in
Students use their cell phones during lunch to text friends, check Facebook posts, and update status’. (Photograph, Syra Kayani).
class to look something up,” said Newman. “Hopefully this means we’ll be using technology more in school.” Junior Irina Higgins thinks the policy change is a logical move for the administration. “Education will be centered on technology in the future, so it doesn’t make sense to fight the inevitable,” said Higgins. “I like that I don’t have to hide my phone if I need to tell my parents something,” said Higgins. “Students don’t get in trouble as much in the hallways now. I can talk to friends or look at a social media sites. The way I see it, if you are using your phone in the hallway, you’re more likely to
Candice Ho, Female Drum Major
pay attention in class.” Senior TJ Mallo is excited for the new rule. “I think that it’s about time,” said Mallo. “I’m grateful that they passed this policy. I think this means we are progressing towards technology use in more productive and useful manners.” While students and administrators seem optimistic about the new policy, some teachers have concerns about the new rule. “You know, I don’t really see anyone whipping out their cell phone to work on a parabola equation between classes,” said Art and Photography teacher Mr. Pickett. “I’m accepting of the new rule, with reser-
Bringing “Fresh” Spirit to the Lake
By Janay Gore Arts Writer
By Jessica Hubert Sports & Arts Editor
At halftime, the crowd quiets and anxiously waits for the marching band to begin. The drum line eagerly leads the band out on to the field, keeping everyone in step. With a whistle, Candice Ho begins to count off. Candice is the first female drum major at Wilde Lake since 1999. Having been part of the band program since her freshmen year, Candice has developed her skills as a musician by balancing her piano and flute studies while marching in the band. To get the position, Candice practiced daily to show her committment and talent. “It’s just one of those jobs that guys usually have,” says Candice. Candice has never felt that being a girl has stopped her from pursuiing her goals. “She’s very responsible,” says one student, who has asked to remain anonymous after voting for Candice in the open election. “She has great leadership skills, and represents the band well. She is a skilled conductor.”
While waiting for the schedule to resume on the day of PSAT testing, all freshmen were gathered for a day of “fun.” The freshmen class was split up and each group was assigned three to four senior leaders. In the main gym, students line-danced and did trust falls off of a table. In the cafeteria, students wrote letters to their future selves. On the track, they played Hot Lava and learned Wildecat cheers. “The purpose of the day is to have the Freshmen bond and begin to develop leadership skills,” said Freshman Fun Day organizer Ms. Diane Caporaletti. The senior leaders befriended the freshmen and made them feel welcome by giving advice about high school. One group of freshmen was led by senior leader Bizu Baldinazzo. “At first we had a rough time with our freshmen, there was some attitude, but when they saw that we had a lot in common with them they thought we were pretty cool,” said Baldinazzo. Baldinazzo believes that a big part of
In News: YouTube and other Social Networking sites can be streamed in school. Page 2
Candice Ho shows her school spirit at the Homecoming pep rally. (Photograph, Xiomi Baleno).
Having taken up a leadership role, Candice still wants to be seen as an equal. “I want people to respect me as their leader, but love me as one of them,” says Candice. Candice is well known for her optimism, which is what makes her a good leader. “She’s upbeat,” says Mr. Dutrow. “She never has a rainy day.”
In Features: Rigorous high school schedules pose a balancing act for freshmen. Page 2
vations. I would be stupid if I thought kids were only using them [cell phones] as educational tools. I mostly see kids using cell phones between classes for pleasure.” Mr. Pickett still sees potential in the new cell phone policy from a teaching perspective. “I see phones as tools for work, play, and networking,” said Mr. Pickett. “They can supplement and further education, or distract and stunt education. Hopefully the new policy isn’t abused. As long as it isn’t abused, we can move forward.” Wilde Lake G/T Resource teacher Mrs. Dixon sees another problem with the policy from a parenting perspective. Mrs. Dixon is worried that parents would be required to foot the bill for more innovative teaching methods. “In 2013, teachers presuppose all students have a computer or internet access,” said Mrs. Dixon. “It wasn’t too long ago when that wasn’t the case. When will these new devices become mandatory? The new rule could be a Pandora’s Box for parents.” Despite concerns about the new rule, Mrs. Dixon believes in the merits of technology and education. “I think education and technology are almost becoming inseparable,” said Mrs. Dixon. “The key is that technology is auxiliary to personal interaction between the teacher and the student, not a substitute for it. I don’t think technology is going away and we would be foolish to try and curtail it or slow it down.”
In Features: Meet the new teachers and administrators at the Lake. Page 4 & 5
In Sports: Preview Wilde Lake’s winter sports. Page 6
making the day fun was the fact that it was led by seniors, not teachers. “If the teachers were the leaders, it probably wouldn’t have been as laid back and would have felt more like a mandatory activity for kids. We weren’t afraid to look stupid. The seniors promised that ‘what happened at Freshman Fun Day, would stay at Freshman Fun Day.’ I know that a good number of kids took what we said to heart because we really wanted to help them out,” said Baldinazzo. Some students hope more freshman will participate in the activities in the future. However, some opinions were mixed. According to one freshman, “It was not as fun as it could have been because barely anyone would truly participate and show some school spirit in the activities.” Though other freshmen who did particpate said the day was a lot of fun to connect and show school spirit. Freshmen Tess Kostelec’s favorite activity was cheering on the track. “I liked spending time with my class and getting to know them better,” said freshmen Tess Kostelec. “Overall I definitely enjoyed it.”
In Opinions: Need advice for your common app essay? Check out these tips. Page 7
YouTube and Social Media Restrictions Lifted in Howard County Public Schools By Jessica Hubert Sports & Arts Editor
Students “like” and “comment” on a photo of Miley Cyrus using their cell phones and media center computers. At lunch and in the hallways, students check updates and add pictures of their friends to Facebook. This is what Wilde Lake High School looks like in 2013. Starting this year, Facebook and YouTube are now available for use within Howard County schools. This new online freedom is a result of the Responsible Use of Technology and Social Media policy. The policy is chartering a new experimental approach called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). If BYOD sticks and spreads, students might be allowed to bring in their own devices such as laptops and cell phones in the future. Long Reach High School, Mt. Hebron High School, and River Hill High School are currently test driving the BYOD policy. Because the use of electronics in schools has historically been outlawed, students and teachers are quickly discovering new possibilities and opportunities. However, a few students have foreseen flaws with loosening restrictions. Senior Ellah Ipah is concerned about social media preventing her from studying.
“It’s definitely distracting,” said Ipah. “We already live through our phones, and it diverts us from our school work.” Senior Lindsay Tuttle is in agreement that restrictions have caused complications. According to Tuttle, permitting social media encourages some students to stand outside classrooms and block the doorway in order to peek at the most recent post on their Facebook walls. “In Art classrooms, there’s duct tape outside the door. As soon as you cross it, phones away,” said Tuttle. While there are some flaws with the newfound freedom, Wilde Lake students and staff are mostly excited for the new online access. Information about clubs, sports, and academics can now be easily distributed through social media. Junior Anna Haase has been playing girls soccer for three years at the Lake and was a captain her sophomore year. She attests to the struggle of receiving information regarding events and is excited about the change. “The use of social media in school is helpful because a lot of sports teams have groups on Facebook. Accessing them during school to check changes in practice, games, and pasta parties is faster and easier than waiting for an after school announce-
ment,” said Haase. Haase is thankful she doesn’t have to run around at the end of the day to find out information regarding her sport. Instead, all she has to do is quickly thumb through Facebook to see that soccer practice has been cancelled or changed. In addition to being beneficial for students, teachers find the new freedom constructive in the classroom. They can pull clips from YouTube that are relevant to their lesson instead of traditionally downloading videos and attempting to save to their computer. “I use YouTube for classes when I need a clip of a movie. It’s easier than buying the whole movie and then finding the one scene I needed,” said Social Studies teacher Mrs. Chapman. “Using YouTube has allowed teachers to change the way they teach lessons.” As Instructional Team Leader (ITL) of the English Department, Mrs. Read believes learning will be different now that students “literally have the internet at their fingertips.” “The access of social media is a privilege and grants students the opportunity to prove they’re responsible and mature,” said Ms. Read. “I’m curious about where it’s going to go.”
Howard County Schools Adopt Environmentally Friendly Lunch Trays By Jennifer Fairbarns News Writer
“Small steps are the way to a larger impact,” says eleventh grade Assistant Principle Mrs. Foyles.
This year, Howard County lunchrooms are introducing environmentally friendly lunch trays that are made from recycled materials. According to Leonard Paper Company, the paper product supplier of the Howard County
Biodegradable lunch trays, stacked, and ready for use (Photograph, Syra Kayani).
School System, these biodegradable lunch trays are capable of decaying in compost over time. The old trays were made from non-renewable petroleum based resources. They could only be disposed of by being burned, releasing toxic chemicals into the air, or being dumped into a landfill. The new lunch trays have a lower impact on the environment. “I am glad that we made the switch to the biodegradable lunch trays,” said eleventh grade assistant principal Mrs. Foyles. “We need to be conscious of our carbon footprint.” Freshman Jasmin Stevenson is happy with the new trays. “It’s better for the environment because the new trays don’t pollute as much as the old ones,” said Stevenson. While the new lunch trays
are better for the planet, students like senior Devin Mchugh are not too fond of the lunch trays. “I don’t like the new trays,” said Mchugh. “I think they are too flimsy and hard to eat off of. The new trays feel heavy, like I am going to drop it. They don’t really seem stable.” Senior Sam Enomanna is also unhappy with the new trays. “Even though the new trays are made from renewable resources, I prefer the old ones,” said Enomanna. “The old trays were lighter and not so bulky. I think they were just better.” Despite criticisms of the new trays, proponents like Junior Kylah Cooke believe in the benefits of this environmental action. “I never thought that I could do anything good for the environment,” said Cooke. “I’m glad that we are going green at lunch.”
Students Raise Concerns Over Broadcast of Detentions on Afternoon Announcements By Michael Moore News Writer
At 2:10, students with detention obligations are directed to room 136 over the intercom. Some students are raising concerns about the public nature of these announcements. Sophomore Landon Franks recalls his last detention experience. “It’s really putting your business out there,” said Franks. “If you have a reputation as a good student, people start to ask why
you even got a detention.” AP student and robotics team member, senior Satyajit DasSarma can sympathize with Franks. “People found out eventually,” said DasSarma. “I felt like my classmates looked at me differently. People tend to assume you did something really bad if you’re going to detention,” said DasSarma. Freshman Charlie Jeffreys believes that the announcements disenfranchises students. “I don’t
think people would take you as seriously after they find out you had detention,” said Jeffreys. “Some people might think you’re less intelligent.” Not always popular, the announcements are the administration’s response to forgetfulness in students, according to tenth grade administrator Mr. Crouse. “Students forget to go to detention,” said Mr. Crouse. “Announcing students’ names over the afternoon announcements is
just a polite reminder. You can’t call students down to the office and take them out of class just to remind them of detention. That would take away from the student’s learning time, the time of administrators, and the secretaries’ time in the front office.” Senior Demoine McMillan agrees with Mr. Crouse. “I think it’s probably a necessary reminder for students,” said McMillan. “If I had detention, I would probably forget without a reminder.”
County Assessments Discontinued By DeQuantai Edwards Feature Writer
This year, Wilde Lake English classes have replaced County Quarterly Assessments with essay writing tests. To track academic growth, teachers will give students a total of five tests throughout the year. The first essay serves as a baseline and the four subsequent measure growth. Senior Imani Simmons has been taking Quarterly Assessments since elementary school. According to Simmons, the diagnostic was not a full measurement of her abilities. “You can’t judge a student’s ability on an essay that they only had one period to write.” However, Mrs. Sheinhorn prefers the essays to the multiple choice exams. “The diagnostics show not just their [students’] knowledge, but also their ability to apply that knowledge,” said Mrs. Sheinhorn. Mrs. Read, head of Wilde Lake High School’s English department, says this year’s diagnostics will be experimental and will affect future changes.
For Incoming Freshmen, First Quarter is a Balancing Act By Natalie Varela Feature Writer
Life is a balancing act for most students. Everyday after school, students have homework, studying, sports practice, clubs, other extracurricular activities, and then more homework. It’s no surprise that incoming freshmen nowadays are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. “I’m normally overwhelmed on a daily basis,” said freshman Griffin Diven. “I get home late and go to bed even later.” Griffin participates in lacrosse and swimming among other things, and balancing his homework is always a struggle. “It’s hard to handle a lot of the stuff teachers give you. I’m in honors classes and sports and it’s a bit much,” he said. Most teachers agree that homework can overload students. “Although we want to prepare our students for college, we need to keep in mind that students need to have a well rounded life,” says teacher Mrs. Pennington. So how can students work around this obstacle? School psychologist Mr. Channel has one suggestion. “Time management, time management, and time management,” said Mr. Channel. “Make sure you plan and be aware of your time.” Mr. Channel urges students to manage their social, personal, and academic lives. Griffin understands that high school will be a lot of work. He notes that, “handling all this is going to be hard, but I’m sure it will be worth it.”
3 Teacher Evaluations Affected by Student Performance By Anjali DasSarma Features Writer
This year, teachers will be evaluated on their teaching effectiveness through student improvement, according to eleventh grade Assistant Principal Ms. Foyles. Last year’s policy assessed teachers based on planning and preparation, and overall instruction. This year, 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation is based on fulfillment of teacher responsibilities, and 50 percent is based on student growth. The change in teacher evaluations is not a concern for most students. Senior Matt Goldie is confident in his teachers’ ability to teach. “I’m not worried. I’m sure teachers will be fair. Part of what makes a good teacher a good teacher is being able to effectively motivate students,” says Goldie. Despite the risk of being inaccurately represented by student grades, teachers, for the most part, have a positive outlook. Ms. Pennington, a social studies teacher, feels rushed to meet deadlines, but is mostly in favor of the change. “It’ll be alright. It’s a good idea because teachers should be able to prove student growth with data,” said Ms. Pennington. “As a teacher, the timing isn’t perfect. The deadlines feel rushed, but [the evaluations] will be more objective and clear.” Mr. LeMon is understands that their will be an adjustment period. “To be honest, we’ve never done this,” said Mr. LeMon. “It will be a learning experience for everyone.”
Administration Changes Schedule, Students Lose Time By Natalie Varela Features Writer
After asking his Math teacher for extra help before the test, waiting in the lunch line for far too long, and then finally settling down to enjoy his meal, Joseph Howards has only 10 minutes left to wipe the grease off his pizza and eat. “I feel extremely rushed,” says Joseph. “No one has time to even finish eating. I’ve had to throw away my half eaten lunch several times.” In an administrative decision, the three minutes, which was once designated to students for walking to lunch, or back to class, has been removed from the fourth period block. Now, students no longer have a full 30 minutes for break in the day. Students like Senior Arianna Nicholson are discontent with the loss of time. According to Nicholson, “There’s no time to get stuff things done. I do not eat breakfast in the morning, so if I lose all of my time for lunch because I have to go meet a teacher to get help, or check in with my guidance counselor on my college applications, I do not get to eat.” “By the time I get home, it’s been like 7 hours without food, and I have no energy for the day. It’s frustrating,” said Nicholson. According to English teacher Mrs. Reely, the loss of time is inconvenient. Mrs. Reely, like many other teachers, faces the challenges of the new change. “It creates a further burden on my students. As a teacher, I can barely get my lunch in. I have to wolf it down in order to get back to class.” This change was made with good intentions in mind. It includes added time for announcements without having to take away instructional time. Eleventh grade administrator Mrs. Foyles agrees, “We want to make sure students are receiving information timely without compromising instructional time.”
Lunch Staff Implements New Pin System By Syra Kayani Editor-in-Chief
“Point of Sale,” the new electronic system for keeping track of and paying for student lunches, allows parents to fund an online account from which their child can pay for breakfast and lunch at school. Within the first month of the 2013-2014 school year, students received a six digit identification number by mail. To access any funds on their account to buy lunch, students must punch their assigned number into a keypad, which is connected to the register. The system gives parents the ability to monitor, online, their child’s lunch expenditures. Compared to previous years’ tedious methods of archiving paper records, the new system was implemented to improve record keeping, according to the lunch staff. With the program coming into effect this year, some students have begun expressing concerns about Point of Sale. Freshman Taylor Thomas is concerned about time lost at lunch. “In theory, it’s a good idea, but it slows the process down,” said Thomas. “When students forget their numbers, or input them incorrectly, the lunch staff member has to find the person on the computer, and verify her face.” According to Thomas, buying lunch has became too
A student types in their pin number before sitting down to enjoy their meal. (Photograph, Syra Kayani).
much of a “hassle and inconvenience . . . I just stopped buying lunch altogether,” said Thomas. Sophomore Jah’Dai Bryant is in agreement that the pin numbers have made lunch inefficient for students. “I’d prefer if there were less numbers to have to remember just to buy lunch,” said Bryant. “Students forget these too easily, and this affects us all.” While some students are frustrated with Point of Sale,
others see the benefits of the new program. According to Sophomore Samar Abdalla, “I think it helps forgetful students,” said Abdalla. “The system makes it so students have a back-up if they forget their lunch money.” Students like junior Matthew Zayeneh have noticed the benifits of facial verificition. “Now students cannot steal or buy lunches for other people,” said Zayeneh. “I used to
always see students walk right out without paying.” According to Sophomore Heather Sun, “Once Students have their numbers completely memorized and everyone is used to the system, this new system could potentially make a difference.” Sun feels the system could lead to quicker lunch transactions. For the lunch staff, Point of Sale makes an inefficent system, efficient.
County Lowers Academic Eligibility Standards for Students By Syra Kayani Editor-in-Chief
With at least a 2.0 GPA and no more than one E for the marking period, students in Howard County are, for the first time, allowed to fail a class and continue to participate in extracurricular activities. Last year’s policy, which required a minimum 2.0 GPA for participation, was revised, according to Board of Education member, Mr. John Davis, “to make sure more students could get involved.” “We want to give students more opportunities to stay active, positive and connected to the schools,” said Mr. Davis. The impact? According to Spanish teacher Mrs. Sweitzer, students who usually work hard, but still receive insufficient grades, now have leeway to get their grades up and, in the meantime, get penalized less. “Certain students need those activities to do well,” said Mrs. Sweitzer. “I know there are a lot of students who work really hard but still struggle to remain at the level that was previously required, but any extracurricular activity is beneficial and this policy helps increase student drive to do better.” Though Spanish teacher Mrs. Palmateer recognizes that there is no easy answer because the possible pros
and cons of the new policy are weighted against each other so evenly. “We [teachers] have an obligation to help students in any way we can if they are struggling and need a healthy outlet, but having a stricter policy now and encouraging consistent work ethic, will only benefit them more in the long run,” said Mrs. Palmateer. “A policy that is too lenient can cause some students to feel like they can slack off, but we [teachers] would rather they do that here, where we can help them, then in an unsafe and unhealthy environment outside of school.” However, according to Mr. Davis, it is still too early to judge how the policy will impact student performance and participation in extracurricular activities. “The numbers for player participation will be gathered at the end of the fall season for comparison and analysis, but we will not know how the policy really impacts us until then. For now, all we can do is speculate,” said Mr. Davis. Still, some extracurricular activity coaches and supervisors remain strong advocates for the new policy. Football Coach and Social Studies teacher, Mr. Schafer believes that extracurriculars are “a safe place for students to receive help and guidance.” “Some kids, if they don’t participate, get involved in other stuff outside of school that can be detrimental to the
kid. On my team, there is proper supervision and extra help anytime a student needs it, whether through other players on the team, or one of the seven out of ten coaches we have who already work in the school. There is never an opportunity for my athletes to slack off or struggle unnecessarily,” said Coach Schafer. Senior athlete Sam Enomanna has struggled in a class before and was able to balance his sports and get his grades back up, with the support of his coaches and team. “The new policy shouldn’t really change the way students and athletes work together because coaches and teachers were already trying their hardest to give us unconditional help,” says Enomanna. “Last year I was having a really hard time in Chemistry, but my coaches were very understanding and flexible, always allowing me to cut my workouts shorter or miss practice altogether so I could go get extra help.” According to Mrs. Palmateer, most teachers and athletes alike are in agreement on a standard to be met. “Our goal as teachers is to always help students learn and be successful so we will never let you fail if we can help it,” said Mrs. Palmateer. “Just because the policy says you can have an E, doesn’t mean you should, and that is what students need to understand about what this new policy is really offering. ”
>WILDE LAKE'S NEW STAFF Dr. West: Mr. Scott Wilde Lake’s Respected Sage Retires by Ali Mallo
(Photographs, Syra Kayani)
Mr. Scott Speaks “Student” Bilingual in Spanish and English, Wilde Lake’s new guidance counselor, Mr. Scott, is able to provide serve to the school’s Hispanic community. With a background as a Hispanic Liaison and counselor, Mr. Scott believes that being able to communicate in another language is an important part of his job. “On my caseload, I have three or four students who speak Spanish,” says Mr. Scott. “I’m able to provide a service to students and parents who feel more comfortable speaking in their preferred language.” Junior Manny
Science by Chris Simmens
(Photographs, Nathan Nguyen & Ali Mallo)
Sanchez, whose first language is Spanish, prefers to speak Spanish even though he speaks English in school. “When Mr. Scott talks to me in Spanish I get the concept faster and am more open to try,” says Sanchez. Mr. Scott is joining an already multilingual team. Mrs. Pashigian is able to communicate in some Arabic and Armenian and Mrs. Dummett speaks some Spanish. Mr. Scott previously worked as a guidance counselor for Hammond Middle School. As a bilingual guidance councelor, Mr. Scott will be able to help the 11.4% Hispanic population here at school, as well as many members of the Lake’s community.
Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD High School:Wattkins Mill College: Undergrad- UMBC Grad- U Penn Position: Guidance Counselor Role Models: Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr. Favorite Book: Chesapeake, James A. Michener Interesting Fact: Wanted to be an astronaut if he couldn’t be a teacher
Ms. Linton’s Class Sets Into Motion A rowdy class begins to settle in after the bell rings. On the board, a warm-up reads, “which will hit the ground first: a basketball or a pingpong ball?” The class is divided: Some say basketball and some say ping-pong ball. The new physics teacher drops both objects and they hit the ground at the same time. Senior Danny Johnson is one student who gravitated to Ms. Linton’s Physics class this year. “It’s an exciting class, She’s really passionate about Physics,” said Johnson. “She brings a lot of enthusiasm to the class. Senior Devon
Former Social Studies teacher Dr. Herb West retired two weeks before the start of this school year. As an admired staff member and a dear friend to teachers and students alike, Dr. West will be missed. Dr. West taught Sociology and African American Studies. His classes were full of deep and thought provoking discussion that encouraged students to think critically. Wilde Lake graduate Jasmine Gonlin was greatly influenced by Dr. West’s Sociology class. “He really made you think about things that sometimes we ignore,” said Gonlin. For many students, Dr. West wasn’t just a teacher, he was a mentor. “He liked taking field trips, to get us out of the classroom and actually apply things that we learned.” said Gonlin. Dr. West would hold mock debates in class for his students to really delve into controversial topics. “He made the people in his class think about problems and controversies that sometimes are seen as ‘taboo’ or ‘not politically correct’ in American society,” said Gonlin. For example, she clearly remembers one debate her class had on the topic of euthanasia. Dr. West taught his classes in college format to prepare his students for the future. According to Gonlin, he really was concerned with his students receiving a first-rate education. A firm advocate of learning from experience, Dr. West believed that learning didn’t stop at the school bell. During the summers, Dr. West would travel whenever he got the chance. He would go to different locations, gathering knowledge and information that he would in turn share with his classes. He was remarkably opinionated but never forced his beliefs on any of his students. His goal was to fuel students with knowledge and allow them to generate their own conclusions. Social Studies teacher Mrs. Pennington worked closely with Dr. West and was one of the teachers in charge of Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society. “Wilde Lake will miss his knowledge. He was the heart and soul of the Social Studies department,” said Mrs. Pennington. There is no doubt that Dr. West will be treasured and remembered and his teachings never lost. New students will fill the halls of Wilde Lake and sit in class learning about the Civil Rights Movement, not knowing that the lesson plan was an old activity Dr. West had passed down. Despite his retirement, students will continue to benefit from the positive impact Dr. West had on Wilde Lake. “Dr. West will never be truly gone,” says Mr. Penn.
By Jessica Hubert Sports and Arts Editor
Jones-Robinson said he feels privileged to be a part of Ms. Linton’s first year here at Wilde Lake. “She brings a lot of joy to learning,” said Jones-Robinson. Senior Daniel Volinski is usually exhausted by 5th period, but is in better spirits when he walks into Physics class. “We’re always doing something interesting,” said Volinski. “There hasn’t been a period where I’ve lost interest.” Ms. Linton had always been interested in Science. At thirteen, she took a class at the NASA Langley Research Center and she remembers being inspired after observing stars through telescopes. “It’s the students that make me relatable,” said Ms. Linton.
Hometown: Williamsburg, Virginia High School: Lafayette High School College: Christopher Newport University Position: Physics Teacher Role Model: Neil deGrasse Tyson Favorite Book: Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, Neil deGrasse Tyson Interesting Fact: Worked at NASA for four years
Mr. Scott was born in Silver Spring, MD and was raised in Gaithersburg, MD. He went to Wattkins Mill High School and later attended University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UMBC) undergraduate program. Mr. Scott is able to speak English and Spanish. He loves his job as a Guidance Councelor because he can help students and impact their lives. With his background in Spanish, Mr. Scott is excited to start his new job. Mr. Scott believes that people should “live life with their hearts and eyes open, always being honest with themselves.”
Ms. Linton was born and raised in Williamsburg, VA. She went to Christopher Newport University, where she earned her master’s degree in Education and her bachelor’s degree in Physics. She was inspired to become a Science teacher by her eighth grade Science teacher, who she said made class fun and engaging. Ms. Linton spends most of her time participating in activities like archery, 5K Cross Country, monkey bar, and mudpit races, anything for a good cause. Her message to students: “Choose who you want to be and don’t let anything stop you.”
by Daniel Ingham
Mr. Crouse Strives for Excellence
Mr. Fish Dives Into the Lake
(Photographs, Brianna Xiomi Baleno & Syra Kayani)
can reach more kids and teachers.” Mr. Crouse is committed to his work as an administrator. “As an educator, I mul“I want my door titask. I prepare for open for students to classes, help teachers come in and say heland parents, and try lo,” said Mr. Crouse, to not let anyone slip. the new tenth grade That’s a big challenge Assistant Principal. in life. Sometimes it’s “I can help with the difficult, but I always atmosphere and envi- want to be the best ronment of the school. person I can be and be I can make school the best at everything positive for everyone I do. My philosophy by providing students is to always strive for and teachers with the excellence.” tools to succeed.” Before coming to After teaching the Lake, Mr. Crouse math in Howard worked at Mt. Hebron County for the past High School for 18 26 years, Mr. Crouse years and at Howard thought that becoming High School for eight an administrator was years. the next logical step. Mr. Crouse was “I decided I wanted to an Instructional Team be an assistant prinLeader before he cipal. As a teacher, I joined the Wilde Lake was limited to helping Administrative Team. certain kids. Now I Hometown: Ellicott City, Maryland High School: Loyola High School in Towson College: University of Maryland, College Park Position: 10th Grade Assistant Principal Role Model: His Father Favorite Book: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald Interesting Fact: Wanted to become a pilot if he could not go into the Education
Principal by Grant Severson
by Grant Severson
(Photographs, Syra Kayani)
New to the school, his students call him Mr. Fish. He even has a blue fish sign outside his classroom door. Mr. Fischetti is Wilde Lake’s new Sociology and World History teacher. Mr. Fischetti became a paraeducator at Reservoir High School after college. This Special Education background helped to influence his Social Studies teaching methods. “I like introducing a topic and then letting the students brainstorm the answers themselves, while guiding them in the right direction,”
(Photographs, Brianna Xiomi Baleno)
said Mr. Fischetti. “I want them to learn how to think on their own. Students better understand content when they have to figure it out themselves.” Mr. Fischetti has a holistic perspective on teaching. “In the real world, you need to be able to come up with your own conclusions. You get nothing from having other people think for you.” Senior Julio Valles appreciates Mr. Fischetti’s teaching methods. “He is a hands-on teacher,” said Valles. After dipping his toe in the water, Mr. Fischetti is excited about his becoming a member of the Wilde Lake staff. “I’m ready to dive into the Lake,” said Mr. Fischetti.
Hometown: Laurel, Maryland High School: Reservoir High School College: UMBC Position: Social Studies Teacher Role Model: Obi-Wan Kenobi Favorite Books: Harry Potter 3, J.K. Rowling or The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald Interesting Fact: If he couldn’t teach he would want to be a Park Ranger at Fort McHenry
Ms. Knox Relates to New Kids Ms. Knox likes being the new kid at school. “I think it makes kids feel more comfortable,” said Ms. Knox. “It’s so cool when I meet with students who are having a tough transition and say ‘Hey, I’m new here too.’ My philosophy is that relationships with people are the key to being a successful leader.” As the new ninth grade Assistant Principal, Ms. Knox is excited to be a member of the Wilde Lake staff. “I really wanted to come to Wilde Lake,” said Ms. Knox. “I think what sets Wilde Lake apart is the diversity and acceptance of one
another’s values. If we all are working together, it will be the best for everyone.” As an administrative instructional leader, Ms. Knox is in charge of teachers in the Science, World Language, Career Technology Education, and English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) departments. Ms. Knox is already making an impact on students, supervising the Teen Parenting Program and Bridges Over Wilde Lake program. She is in charge of transportation, assigning bus parking spaces and keeping track of bus numbers. Overall, Ms. Knox is enthusiastic about joining the Wilde Lake Staff.
Hometown: Columbia, Maryland High School: Centennial High School College: Virginia Tech Position: Head of the Special Education Department and 9th Grade Assistant Principal Role Model: Her mother Favorite Book: Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger Interesting Fact: She received her administrative certification at McDaniel College.
Mr. Crouse was born and raised in Ellicott City, MD. He is currently in charge of the Wilde Lake building and student testing. He also oversees the Math, Physical Education, and Health departments. He attended private schools throughout his adolescence and graduated college from the University of Maryland, College Park. He was inspired to become a teacher through his love of working with children. Mr. Crouse has coached college sports and high school varsity and JV sports. His message to students is to “let your actions follow your words.”
Mr. Fischetti was born and raised in Laurel, MD. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Arts and History at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and currently teaches Social Studies. His students describe him as a joker and when asked what inspired him to teach, he said, “My mom told me to go out and start something.” Mr. Fischetti loves his job as a Social Studies teacher because he believes that “you can’t understand the world until you know the people in it.” His message to students is: “Life won’t be handed to you, you have to take it.”
Ms. Knox was born and raised in Columbia, MD. She earned an undergraduate degree in Human Resources, and a master’s degree in Special Education at Virginia Tech. Before being assigned to Wilde Lake, Ms. Knox was a Special Education teacher and team leader. Outside of school, she enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family. If she wasn’t a teacher, she would have worked for an Austism Foundation. She loves working with students and helping them to succeed. Her favorite song is Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’”. Her message to students is to “work hard and be nice.”
Fresh Legs Join Varsity Soccer
By Kate Glaros Sports Writer
Think back to freshman year, athletes. Remember that first tryout where you stood, sweating in the August heat and hoping beyond hope that the coach would take you for the varsity team? The coach pulled people aside, told them their fates, and you stood, anxiously awaiting the moment that determined the people you played with for the entire season. For freshman Luke Pascale, all of his preparation paid off. Though he worked hard over the summer, running three miles a day to keep his stamina up, he was still surprised when he found out that he had made the varsity team as a freshman. Kevin Comeaux, Jah Dunbar, and Nick David also made the varsity boys soccer this year. Sophomore Rachel Lazris had a chance to see the team in action and was impressed by how Pascale performed with the older players on the field. “He wasn’t as
big as them, but he made up for it by being aggressive and playing with heart,” said Lazris. “He got along really well with the team.” “High school soccer players are bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter than the players on club,” said freshman striker Nick David. Like Pascale, he underwent a lot of preparation for his first high school season, but was still shocked by the level of play he was competing with. After the loss of thirteen seniors last year, soccer coach Mr. Faries was concerned with the team’s leadership. Fortunately, the new freshmen and sophomores, according to coach Faries, “brought hope.” “We are currently starting five underclassmen,” said coach Faries. “I think people are really starting to step up.” He reported that the team has more diversity allowing him to rotate more players into the games. The result: refreshed, energized players are able to replace the tired ones. He and coach Robinson have made practices structured in a way that they can teach the boys plays, then let them use what they learned and practice.
This year, seven seniors lead the team. According to freshman Kevin Comeaux, the upperclassmen on the team always support the underclassmen and try to stay positive. “They are good players who lead by example by working hard and taking it seriously,” said Comeaux. Comeaux thinks that the team has created a good balance between work and play by working hard but also having fun at the same time. He believes that his older teammates encourage the rest of the team and always try to stay positive. “All of my older teammates were very helpful and didn’t treat me like a freshman,” said Pascale. He said that the competition is physical but his fellow players don’t go lightly on him because of age. Nick David attests to the benefits of the senior leadership in sports. “It’s pretty cool having people up to three years older than me on my team because I can look up to them and they can mentor me,” said David. With all the fresh legs joining the team, the older players have stepped up to help them be successful. “They pick my head up,” said freshman Jah Dunbar.
Growing in Numbers and Strength, The Carly Jones Returns from Kenya with Equestrian Team Jumps into Action New Philosophy: Teamwork and Unity By Kate Glaros Sports Writer
Since the start of the Wilde Lake club, the equestrian team has expanded into eleven JV and varsity riders. With a passion for riding, junior Madison DeLawder found a way create a club that allowed her pursue her love of horses.“It’s a good opportunity to give a less appreciated sport a chance,” said senior co-captain Hannah Becker. The equestrian team competes from the beginning of the school year in August to February and they have a show once a month. Riders bring their own horse or rent from the barn. According to DeLawder, renters are at a disadvantage because of the strong, personalized relationship she feels riders have with their own horses. DeLawder said riding horses can be a dangerous sport. “Our horses are unpredictable animals that we trust with our lives every time we get in the saddle,” said DeLawder. “There have been many times that I have come far too close to serious in-
jury, or even death, than I would like.” With the help of DeLawder’s leadership, the team has been winning ribbons since its formation. Last year, DeLawder was reserve division champion with three first place ribbons. “It’s an individual but team sport,” said sophomore JV rider Sarah Moore. This is only her first year being on the team and she has already noticed the difference between riding in high school and riding on her own: She has teammates to talk to and more opportunities to compete in shows. Because DeLawder created the equestrian team, she has given Wilde Lake students the chance to express their love of horses with others who feel the same. DeLawder is one of the few students who created and managed a successful club. She hopes that the program will continue to grow in the following years. “I can trust the younger members of the club right now to keep it up and continue to improve it after the older girls, including myself, graduate,” said DeLawder.
By Ali Mallo Sports Writer
Carly Jones dives to the ground, arms stretched to block a spiked ball. A crowd in suspense watches the ball rebound off her arms to a nearby teammate who volleys it back over. Jones is a senior captain on the varsity volleyball team for Wilde Lake. This is her second year on varsity and her fourth year at Wilde Lake. She is the libero on the team, a special defensive position, played by the fastest reacting player. This year, Jones’ teammates attest to her improvement and stamina, “especially in passing,” according to senior Ellah Ipah. Ipah believes, “Her [Jones’s] biggest change has been her energy on court.” This past summer Jones went on a mission trip to Kenya. On her trip, Jones discovered a new philosphy: putting others first before oneself, which she then applied to volleyball. Instead of getting frustrated with her teammates, Jones now encourages
them to be the best. “The most important part of volleyball is mental toughness and playing together,” said Jones. “The girls want better, want victory, and want unity. When they are having fun it shows in their playing.” Charlie Boulton, a fan of the volleyball team, was at a game where Jones’ teamate Kelly Surkovich dove for a ball but missed. Realizing her teammate could have been irritated or distraught, Jones suddenly dove to the ground next to her and smiled. “She [Jones] constantly says ‘always show your teeth’,” said Ipah. Jones is described as being a motivation to her team and an inspiration to the fans. “Carly Jones inspires the fans, and the team to put our hearts into the game,” said supporter Paul Donald. He said that Jones would always be positive when a negative situation occurred in the game. As a senior, Jones is excited about her last year playing for the Lake. “I just really love it!” said Jones.
Winter Sports Blossom at Wilde Lake By Khari Jackson Sports Writer
Historically, Wilde Lake’s Winter Sports have been consistently inconsistent. But this year, the Lake’s winter sports are blooming with talent. Last year’s girls varsity basketball team went to the second round of playoffs led by seniors Lindsey Williams, Grayson Corbett, and sophomore Brynn Drury. Wrestling brought home two county titles led by senior Malik Jackson. Boys varsity basketball went to the third round led by seniors DeVon Groves and Spencer Ampofo. Indoor track scored many points in all events, led by Matthew and Cameron Lumpkin. Wilde Lake’s girls basketball has been waiting in eager anticipation for this upcoming season. Coach Williams led her team into the second round where, within the last seconds, they lost by a devastating two points to Stephen Decatur High School. She said this year’s team is looking to improve from last year’s. The difference between last year’s team and this year’s team is
optimism. Last year, with such a good run in the playoffs, players feel they can be even better this year. The team has been preparing by participating in a fall league that has some of Maryland’s best competition. “I am excited for the season because the people on the team will make the season very fun and enjoyable,” says Drury. She believes the team is closely knit which means better team chemistry. According to Drury, they are ready to take on the county. Boys basketball has had its share of “ups and downs” over the last few years. Two years ago with a 17-5, record the basketball team was second in the county, and lost in the first round of playoffs. Last year the team ended with a 9-13 record and made it to the third round of playoffs. This year’s team is much different than last year’s, according to Head Coach Deonne Wingfield. “We will be real competitive in the county. My goal is for us to be at least top three ,” says Mr. Wingfield. Mr. Wingfield plans on implementing a new defense that will be played very aggressively
this year. “We will have a defensive mentality this year,” says Wingfield. Senior DeVon Groves talks about how pre-season training has benefited the team. “We’ve been hitting the gym at 6:00 in the morning before school and four out of our five starters have stayed in shape by playing football,” says
“The [fans] that do come out are great fans because they watch us perform and stay until the very end. No matter what the end result and I love that.” Groves. He believes team chemistry has been “a big theme” in this year’s team. This year’s varsity wrestling team looks to be small in roster but big in talent. With returning county champ Malik Jackson leading the team, it looks like they will do well this year. Jackson has won two county titles in a row and will be looking for a third. He is also striving to win a state championship. The team has
been preparing by wrestling in the off-season, Jackson especially. “I went to two national tournaments and came one round from being an all-American. My team placed 10th in the nation. So I had some of the best competition in my life,” said Jackson. According to Jackson, this year’s wrestling team wants the fans to come out. “We have good fans, but we still need more. The ones that do come out are great fans because they watch us perform and stay until the very end. No matter what the end result is and I love that.” Indoor track this year is blossoming with talented runners ready to rake in points for the team. Led by senior twins Matthew and Cameron Lumpkin, the team is optimistic for the upcoming season. Four sophomores on the girls team are experienced runners who dominated the outdoor competition last year. Quez Bradley, Matthew Lumpkin, Jas Chung, and Sam Enomana will be the main people to watch out for on the track. According to coaches, winter sports teams are about the fan
support this year. “The fan base at Wilde Lake seems great this year. A strong fan base will definitely help the team,” says varsity basketball coach Deonne Wingfield. Sophomore Brynn Drury says the girls varsity basketball team fan base has room to improve. “I don’t think the fan base will be good at the beginning of the season. But since we [the team] will improve, I think the fan base will too.” Drury believes the fan base will start off weak because of their record last year. Wrestling and track coaches feel their fan bases can be stronger as well. According to Malik Jackson, the fan base will be strong because of the matches the wrestling team has won. “We have a good fan base. They come watch my teammates and I perform. Our fans are very spirited. I feel that with them we win more!” Sprinter Cameron Lumpkin is optimistic about the fan base. “Indoor tracks fans will improve because more people will become interested in us winning.” All in all, the winter sports teams are striving towards improvement and progress.
By Daniel Ingham
Conquering the Common App: Advice from The Paw Print
News & Opinion Editor
The Common Application increased the word limit for the personal statement from 500 to 650 words. Here is some advice to make those extra 150 words shine. 1. Show, don’t tell. Sometimes the best way to start your essay is to use a personal story, or an anecdote, in which you write about how you learned a life lesson. Whatever anecdote you present, show that you learned something from it. Don’t tell colleges that you have good qualities. Instead, show that you have good qualities through a personal story. 2. The shortest way to say something is the hardest. Try to illustrate big ideas in small ways. Brevity is important. While an extra 150 words may seem like an excellent reason to throw in some filler, you run the risk of muddying your ideas. 3. Pick one idea and go deep. Rather than
trying to show every facet of your personality, illustrate one of your best trait really well. The extra 150 words are the breathing room you need to drive home your bottom line, which is that this school would be lucky to have you!
Cartoon by Brianna Xiomi Baleno
4. Don’t take shortcuts. The first draft is never good. Good writing takes effort, thought, focus, and a couple cans of Red Bull. If you put in the time and energy, your essay will get you where you want to go. 5. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Life isn’t perfect, so you shouldn’t come across as perfect in your essay. Often times we learn the most in the face of defeat, hardship, or embarrasment. Some of the best essays are the hardest to write because they illustrate times when your perspective on life changed. We would love to print a great college essay, so send your best personal statement to Mr. Townsend at Ben_Townsend@hcpss.
School Lunch Menu Does Not Encourage Healthy Eating New Common App Should Not By Max Schwind Opinion Writer
To teach better eating habits to students, the Howard County Public School System has aimed to improve the nutritional value of school lunches. The process of making school lunches healthier has involved reducing salt and adding options from all food groups. This year, there are more choices of food to purchase than ever before. Several sandwiches and burgers are offered to students and a full salad bar is available. A variety of foods like spaghetti and fish are offered some days of the week. Additionally, fruits such as apples, oranges, and peaches are not only offered, but required. To consume a nutritious meal, a student purchasing lunch would need to pick out foods from a variety of food groups, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. On the surface it may seem like school lunch is healthier, but some menu items are not as healthy as fast food items. High cholesterol and high fat content are present in many menu items. A regular hamburger, for example, contains over three times the cholesterol of a McDonald’s burger. Students are still opting for french fries drenched in ranch
dressing over apples and oranges. The fact is that students still need to make the choice to eat better. In the real world, knowing how to make healthy choices is a valuable skill. At the same time, school lunches need to be more appealing while still being affordable if the county wants to convince students to buy into their plans to improve student eating. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, currently sixteen percent of Americans between the ages of six and nineteen are overweight. Making healthy choices isn’t always easy. Students will have to adjust to less salty and fatty foods
and choose to eat fruit, vegetables, grains and dairy products during lunch. While eating healthy is important for young people, we all need to make adjustments for Howard County’s healthy eating objective to work. Students need to choose to eat healthy, but healthy food should be made more appealing to the students while unhealthy menu options need to be improved or removed. If the school system can tighten up the lunch menu and students change their outlook on cafeteria food, we can begin to make healthy decisions that will set us up for a successful tomorrow.
McDonald’s Burger vs. School Lunch Burger Portion: Calories: Cholesterol: Sodium: Fiber: Carbohydrates: Total Fat:
McDonald’s 3.5 ounces 250 25 480 2 grams 31 9 grams
School Lunch 3.5 ounzes 268 77 377 0 grams 1.22 19.24 grams
Sources: Howard County Public School System, McDonald’s
When comparing the 3.5 ounce HCPSS school lunch hamburger to the 3.5 ounce 89 cent, regular McDonald’s hamburger, there are a few surprises. The school lunch hamburger has just over three times the cholesterol of the McDonald’s hamburger. In addition, the HCPSS burger has 19.24 grams of fat and no fiber. The McDonald’s burger weighs in at 9 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber. The school lunch burger contains less sodium than the McDonald’s burger.
Dear Paw Print, I almost crashed. Again. But it wasn’t the kind of crash with a license and car insurance. It was more like the kind with an overdramatic student in middle of the hallway who, forgetting all the people behind her, abruptly stopped walking. In the middle of the hallway! Athough I’ve survived the worst of these traumatic incidents, hallway collisions occur on a daily basis, jeopardizing countless students. Even though most of us have only been on the road for a short time, it surprises me that so many high schoolers have a weak grasp of the common courtesies that drivers afford one another. Stopping in the middle of a narrow road, or hallway for that matter, is not one of those courtesies. Neither is navigating on the wrong side of the road during rush hour or going negative two feet per minute to send a text. You can try and say something to those students, but then they have the audacity to ‘get smart’ and talk back, even though they are the ones that don’t know the rules of the road. Maybe we need Hallway Ed for the reckless walkers of the world. Maybe we all need to invest in commuter insurance. Or maybe I should just trudge the halls muffled in bubble wrap from now on. Signed, Still Stuck in the Hallways We would love to print a great opinion, so send your best “Dear Paw Print” to Mr. Townsend at Ben_Townsend@hcpss.org.
Frighten Us from Technology By Grant Severson Features & Opinion Writer
The Common Application, an online college admission application used by 517 member colleges and universities, has encountered technical difficulties after releasing its’ fourth software update, CA4. High school applicants have experienced a host of frustrations with the new software since its release on August 1. These technical glitches begin right at the login screen, according to the Common App website, where the site sometimes fails to recognize a user’s account or times out before logging in. Both teachers and students have difficulties uploading and sending recommendation letters, and are sometimes fooled by the site’s incorrect display of recommender status. The site’s interaction with documents is constantly on the fritz; it deletes and fails to save edited portions of the essay, and drops transcripts and other documents. And on top of it all, the site is often unable to preview and submit the entire application, as well as sometimes charging students multiple times for one application to one colleges. While freshman, sopho-
mores, and juniors do not have to deal with the rough new version of the Common App, the senior applicants are in a position that all high schoolers can sympathize with. Nearly every student knows what it is like to have his or her progress on an important paper or project halted by a broken printer, frustrating website, or flighty internet connection. We’ve all had those infuriating moments when you simply despise the finicky workings of computers: losing whole documents, printers jamming, computer errors, and crashes. Despite the numerous hiccups, however, computers are quickly becoming an everyday tool in students’ schoolwork. Technology is, and should be, an integral part of education. This new version of the Common App is a prime example of how difficult the process of refining the relationship between technology and education will be. But at least it is a start. Though the current form of the Common App is worrying for current seniors, and possibly the next couple graduating classes, it is one of many crossovers between computers and education. We should not let these minor setbacks discourage us from educational progress.
The Paw Print Wilde Lake High School 5460 Trumpeter Road -- Columbia, MD 21044 Volume 41, Issue 1 The Paw Print is published by the Journalism Class. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the staff, the students, the administrators, or the school board. Letters to the editors are encouraged. The Paw Print reserves the right to edit any submissions. Editor-in-Chief ........................................................................................................Syra Kayani News & Opinion Editor.....................................................................................Daniel Ingham Sports & Arts Editor............................................................................................Jessica Hubert Features Editor.......................................................................................Brianna Xiomi Baleno Reporters...........................................................................Anjali DaSarma, Arianna Drayton .............................................................DeQuantai Edwards, Jennifer Fairbarns, Kate Glaros ............................................................Janay Gore, Khari Jackson, Ali Mallo, Michael Moore ................................................................Nathan Nguyen, Grant Severson, Kristen Sheppard ..........................................................................Max Schwind, Chris Simmens, Natalie Varela Faculty Advisor...................................................................................................Ben Townsend
8 Public School Athletes Short Changed During College Athletic Recruitments “The college recruitment process should not be manipulated by money. Getting recruited shouldn’t be about money or connections; it should be about talent.” By Khari Jackson Sports & Opinion Writer
Being recruited by a college or university is the number one priority of every competitive athlete. However, as a competitive athlete I feel that nowadays it is more difficult to get recruited than ever before. One problem is that college recruitment is unfair for most public school athletes who do not have the connections that private schools athletes have. One solution is to use recruiting programs such as Hudl, MaxPreps, and BeRecruited. These programs allow colleges to review player statistics and highlights, but as an athlete I feel that these rarely help because coaches cannot see all of the players “tangibles”. The reality is that private schools hire coaches to have their programs win. Winning programs attract college coaches. Therefore, private school students have a better shot at college recruitment opportunities than their public school counterparts. Another problem is that being recruited starts at an early age. Parents place their kids in top AAU/Club teams to set them up down the road. The formula for college recruitment is simple. Play for the best AAU/Club team that money can buy to get a foot in the door before anyone else. Phil Booth, a good friend of mine, has played for a top AAU club Team Takeover for five years. Using his talent and connections from his AAU team coach, Phil is going to Villanova University on full basketball scholarship. This is because he had great connections to supplement his great talent. The college recruitment process should not be manipulated by money. Getting recruited shouldn’t be about money or connections; it should be about talent. As a public school student, I should not feel disadvantaged for reasons outside of my control and I should be on the same playing field as every other college hopeful.
By Daniel Ingham
The Solution To World Wide Problems Is Simpler Than You Might Think By Christina Kochanski Featured Writer
Christina Kochanski was a member of Wilde Lake’s Class of 2013. She is currently enrolled at the University of Notre Dame. She first became interested in Neglected Tropical Diseases in her Common Human Diseases class. Over one billion people are afflicted with a deadly or disfiguring Neglected Tropical Disease. That is enough people to fill up the Raven’s M&T Bank Stadium over 14,000 times. Yet these 17 devastating diseases receive relatively little media attention in America, simply because their reach does not extend outside of developing countries. We Americans do not see the impact of NTDs as we do with HIV/AIDS, so NTDs slip through the cracks in our awareness. The consequences are tragic. They are tragic because NTDs can cause blindness and permanent limb disfigurement that prevent a person from finding a job or starting a family. They are tragic because we have the cures for these diseases but lack the resources to transport them to the people in need (pharmaceutical companies even donate the medicine for many of the diseases). They are tragic because it would only cost on average 50 cents to treat a person with an NTD for a year, yet adults and children die every day from these diseases. But the most disturbing aspect of the NTD problem is how easily these deaths escape our awareness.
Similar to most problems, solving this one requires money. Money to treat individuals, money to train local doctors, money to raise public health and hygiene standards. NTD eradication is not going to receive the funding it needs unless people are made more aware of this problem. So while much focus is on finding cures for other diseases such as AIDS and malaria – an important cause, certainly – what is the point of curing a disease if we will not make the necessary effort to get the cures to the people in need? Our treatment of the NTD problem sets a troubling precedent. Now that we have cured the diseases, do we consider our job done? We have done our part, so the rest is someone else’s problem? It is this type of attitude that prevents global progress and improvement. Unfortunately, this attitude and a general lack of awareness of international problems are rampant in our country the same way that NTDs are rampant in developing countries. After the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, American media and charities responded with a brief flurry of action. But the attention and funding faded while the Haitian people still struggled to survive. Our initial response satisfied our consciences so that we would not feel guilty about later ignoring the situation’s – and the people’s – cries for help. I will admit that if I read about NTDs when I was in high school, I would not have given them a second thought. I would feel sympathy for the affected people, but that would be the extent of the impact of
this information. However, now that I have researched the diseases and seen pictures of the death and disfigurement that they can cause, the desire to help the people is inescapable. These pictures forced me to face the reality of these diseases. I could no longer cower behind my ignorance and use that as an excuse for inaction. It was at first difficult for me to step outside of my comfort zone and devote energy to problems that did not appear to affect me directly. But once I learned a little more about the horrific impact of NTDs, I realized that a solution to this problem requires everyone’s help. Therefore NTDs affect everyone; I was simply refusing to admit to any personal responsibility. I can only ask that you too will take a few steps out of your comfort zones. It is easy to become wrapped up in high school - the grades, the social pressures, the extracurricular activities - but it is critical that everyone consider the troubling world outside of the Wilde Lake community. If you would like to help with NTDs, the first step towards a solution is simple: Raise awareness among your peers. This could be formal or informal. Start a club here at Wilde Lake, get a group of students to write letters to Congress, or simply ask your friends if they have heard of NTDs. No action is too small; raising an issue at the grassroots level can help bring it to the nation’s awareness. Hopefully we can raise NTD’s out of the “neglected” category and give the affected people the attention they need and deserve.
Social Networking: The Safe and Easy Alternative to Real Life Interaction By Daniel Ingham News & Opinion Editor
Let’s face it, real life conversation is terribly inefficient and awfully clunky. It’s just unpredictable! Interacting in real life never goes exactly the way I want it to, in fact, it’s almost always messy, awkward, and confusing. Conversation brings uncomfortable topics, awkward moments, inevitable social gaffes, and embarrassing mishaps. Sometimes I think that I just have no idea what I am doing and I’m just making this whole thing up as I go along. Real life interaction is a constant reminder that I am not a perfect human being in complete and utter control. Actually speaking to people is like holding up a megaphone and blasting my fears and insecurities to the entire world. Why get to know anybody well enough that they notice my flaws and shortcomings when I can present a perfect and pristine version of myself online instead. I think we’ve come to a tipping point, so I have decided not to talk to other people in real life ever again. Thanks to social media, I don’t ever have to feel inadequate or socially inept. In fact, I don’t have to speak to anyone at all. I don’t
have to try and fit in with a group of people that I really don’t fit in with, and I don’t have to tell people how I really feel. Now if I go out with friends, I can bury my face in my smartphone and avoid eye contact and conversation as much as possible. I simply snap the obligatory group photo and post about it online to let the world know that I am happy and content and happy and secure and just really, really happy all the time. This works for every social occasion. Heading down to the cafeteria for lunch? Easy! What used to be an awkward trade off between listless small talk and awkwardly watching my friends eat is made simple thanks to social media. All I have to do is stare at Instagram, constantly hitting refresh while I stuff my face. It’s not weird if everyone does it, and trust me, everyone does it. Social networking is life made simple. Conversations can be well thought out and perfectly planned, distant friendships and relationships can be easily faked, and, most importantly, no one has to know who I really am. I’ve made up my mind. I intend to hide behind a screen for the rest of my mundane, comatose, Lays-potato-chip fueled excuse for an existence.