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THE PAW PRINT An Independent Publication of Wilde Lake High School •5460 Trumpeter Rd. Columbia, MD 21044 • Volume 41, Issue 2 •

Glitchy Common App Bugs Students By Daniel Ingham News & Opinions Editor

After weeks of laboring over writing supplements, filling out personal information, and following up on teacher recommendation letters, senior Evan Bell sat down on October 15 to send an online college application to one of her top choices, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Filling out that online application on Common App was no small feat, but it was a labor of love. After checking her application one last time, Evan typed in her mother’s credit card information and hit “submit.” A wave of relief washed over her as she sat back in her seat. It was finally over! Evan went to the kitchen to celebrate with something chocolatey while the application loaded. Evan sat back down at the computer with a Hershey bar at hand and a puzzled look on her face. To her surprise, the application was still loading. Evan tried not to worry and let the website run its course, but ten minutes turned into fifteen minutes and then into twenty. This was the last day that she could submit! Panic started to creep up her spine and into the back of her throat. “The cursor just kept turning and

Students who apply to different schools across the country use the same Common Application, despite the shortcomings of the server (Photograph, Daniel Ingham).

turning,” said Bell. “I waited for almost an hour for Common App to finish loading. It eventually just logged me out. I was nervous because it was the last day for early action and I wouldn’t be eligible for certain scholarships if I applied regular decision.” Evan remembers what it was like to

sit at her computer while Common Application stalled. “I was scared,” said Bell. “I just sat there, sweating it out. I was so frustrated and I kind of wanted to cry. After going through all the hurdles of recommendation letters, SATs, subject tests, and counselor

By Daniel Ingham News & Opinions Editor

In News: Need help finishing that English essay? Check out the new writing lab. Page 2

By Xiomi Baleno Features Writer

Ellah Ipah sings Miracles by Mambo Sauce with the Wilde Lake guitar class, orchestra, and barbershop (Photograph, Ben Townsend).

the assembly. “Being able to dance during Black History Month is a way for me to show my respect for people who fought for civil rights,” said Kaiser. “It’s a way for me to give back.”

In News: Wilde Lake cares for people over 8,000 miles away in the Phillippines. Page 3

Continued on page 3

Oldest Middle School in Howard County To Be Torn Down and Rebuilt

Black History Month A Way to Give Back On February 20, 2014, Wilde Lake High School hosted its annual Black History Month assembly in the JRT. The assembly featured the Wilde Lake orchestra, chorus, guitar and dance company. Wilde Lake Principal Mr. LeMon believes that Black History Month holds significance for Howard County’s young people. “The assembly gives students a chance to perform and celebrate their culture together,” said Mr. LeMon. “I think it is important for us to reflect on where we come from.” Junior Tiara Brown moderated the assembly. Brown believes that Black History Month is a way for her to serve her community and heritage. “Being in this assembly means that I get to help my school learn about black history,” said Brown. “By getting involved, we are learning about Black History, and Black History is American history.” Brown recognizes how important the assembly is to her as an African American. “The assembly made me appreciate my heritage even more,” said Brown. Junior Juliana Kaiser danced to “The Circle of Life” from the Lion King with the Wilde Lake Dance Company. Kaiser was honored to be a part of

meetings, I just wanted it to be done.” Evan is one of many college-bound seniors who have struggled with a glitch-ridden Common Application website this year during the college application process. The Common Application, an online college admission application used by 517 member colleges and universities, encountered technical difficulties after releasing its fourth software update, CA4, on August 1, 2013. According to the Common App website, applicants have reported glitches that range from being charged multiple times for a single application to not even being able to log in to their accounts. Common App reports that the most widespread glitches involved teacher recommenders. Senior Zain Ul Abidin is one applicant who struggled with a buggy recommender system. “I assigned the recommender and the recommender received an email from Common App,” said Abidin. “When he pulled up his Common App, he couldn’t see my name. The counselor couldn’t resolve the issue, so she emailed Common App.

In response to a growing population and general structural and space related issues, construction to replace Wilde Lake Middle School will begin in 2015, according to WLMS Principal Mrs. Smithson. The new building, which will open in 2017, will be larger and “green,” according to The Baltimore Sun. “Enrollment has increased and we are outgrowing the school,” explained Principal Smithson. “We need more space.” WLMS students and alumni will tell you that the school is infamous for its small size, packed hallways, and lack of windows. “If you had two classes right next to each other, you could walk completely around the school and still get to class on time. That’s how small it [the school] was,” said Robert Thompson, high school senior and Wilde Lake Middle School graduate. Thompson said that the school always felt a bit cramped.

In Features: The Paw Print takes an in-depth look at safety at Wilde Lake. Page 4 & 5

In Sports: Concussions mess with students’ heads in the classroom. Page 7

“Every year, my band teacher would say ‘when we get a new room we’ll have more space, when we get a new room we won’t be so cramped, when we get a new room…’ but we [the students] were all like ‘okay…’ We didn’t really think it would actually happen,” said Thompson. The current building opened as a middle school for students, grades six through eight, in 1969. With the intent of “going green,” the school could qualify as “the county’s first ‘gold’ middle school”. The school would produce its own energy through the use of solar panels, according to The Baltimore Sun. Additionally, the new structure will be more handicap accessible with wider hallways and more wheelchair accessibility. The project will take two years to construct, starting in 2015, and students will continue to attend the current WLMS during that time. When the new school opens in 2017, the existing 1969 middle school building will be demolished to make room for new sports fields and parking lots, according to Principal Smithson.

In Opinions: The Paw Print takes a look at new standardized tests in Maryland. Page 8


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NEWS

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English Department Opens After-School Writing Lab for One-On-One Tutoring By DeQuantai Edwards & Janay Gore Feature Writers

Every Tuesday and Thursday, in a quiet but welcoming room in the school, teachers wait for students to attend Wilde Lake’s new student-centered writing lab. Writing lab is a place where students can go get help with writing centered assignments such as lab reports and college essays. Opened this year by the English Department, English Instructional Team Leader Mrs. Read thinks the program is a great way for teachers to get help to students who might need some extra time with a good writing teacher. “In a class of 20 or 30 students, no matter how hard you try, it is difficult to give each student 45 minutes of your personalized time,” says Mrs. Read. “In the writing lab you can have one teacher giving personalized instruction, working very specifically with that student’s self-assessed weaknesses and also working on a specific assignment.”

According to Mrs. Read, the writing lab is focused on giving individualized help. But, Mrs. Read explains, the lab is not just an editing service. It is centered around helping students improve on self-assessed weaknesses. But according to Mrs. Read, “The center is underutilized by students.” Though the lab is staffed twice a week by volunteer teachers, it is usually empty. English teacher Ms. Higgins, however, has hope for growth in attendance. “Once we are done advertising and it is more known throughout the school I feel more students will participate,” said Ms. Higgins. Though the program is not just for English assignments, according to English teacher Mr. Satterfield. “Although sessions are run by English teachers, students can bring writing from subjects other than English,” said Mr. Satterfield. Mr. Satterfield, “Hopes students will take advanatge of this oppertunity more in the future.”

Students who attend the Writing Lab recieve help immediately. Junior Tiara Brown receives individual help from English teacher Ms. Higgins (Photograph, DeQuantai Edwards).

Edmodo: A Teaching Tool For College

Overparenting A Growing Problem Among Students By Natalie Varela Feature Writer

Students in English teacher Mrs. Sheinhorn’s class bring their conversation from the computer screen into the classroom. Using the information posted on Edmodo, the students are prepared to work in class (Photograph, Ben Townsend). By Kristen Shephard & Mariah Robinson Features Writers

AP Environmental Science teacher Mrs. Proctor considers Edmodo one of her most valuable teaching tools. Mrs. Proctor feels that Edmodo’s most important feature is its ability to open up communication between students and teachers. “It’s important for students to collaborate with one another and the teacher face to face, rather than having students collaborate online where only one or two students are leading the discussion,” said Mrs. Proctor. Edmodo is a virtual classroom that emulates the Facebook interface. By allowing students and teachers to connect through the internet, teachers can easily assign homework, create quizzes, and engage students in discussion, all in a virtual classroom setting. While Mrs. Proctor still prefers face-to-face interaction with her students, she recognizes the potential in Edmodo to become a virtual school where students and teachers can communi-

cate and do classwork. “I use Edmodo to connect and communicate with students outside the classroom,” said Mrs. Proctor. “Sometimes they need assistance outside the classroom and ask for my help. By using Edmodo, they can ask me questions and I answer them.” When Mrs. Proctor uploads an assignment to Edmodo, whether it is homework or a lab write-up, the students receive an email notification. The email tells the students the date the assignment is due and what time it is due. According to Mrs. Proctor, this allows students with extracurricular activities to plan ahead to when do the assignment. English teacher Mrs. Sheinhorn uses Edmodo with all her English classes. “I expect my students to keep up with their work,” said Mrs. Sheinhorn. “There is no excuse because everything is online. This makes them college-ready, because in college everything is online.” In the past, technology has not been able to support virtual learning through programs like

Edmodo. Just a few years ago, teachers had to go out of their way to create websites, either through Wordpress or Google Sites. Making these websites was no easy task, said Mrs. Sheinhorn, because it requires a lot of customization knowledge of HTML to integrate pictures, videos, and notes. Edmodo already has these features integrated in the website, where you can upload or link pictures or videos. Mrs. Sheinhorn uses her WordPress site and intergrates it into Edmodo where notes are uploaded. Mrs. Sheinhorn, who has her Master’s Degree in Technology Education, says she loves Edmodo. She can track her students’ progress, and she knows which students are using Edmodo. She also likes the it provides follow-up information and that there are the notes and materials that she uploads. By giving materials and notes online, Edmodo allows students to turn in assignments online. “In college, the professors put everything online, said Mrs. Sheinhorn. “Edmodo is the future.”

*Students names have been changed by request Aspen, the online grade book that allows students and parents to monitor grades, has Freshman *Hilary Rose and Sophomore *Larry Smith frustrated and annoyed. The Howard County School System introduced the informational portal last year to facilitate more efficient communication between teachers, students, and parents. Aspen gives students continual access to their assignments and current grades. However, some believe that the system has created parents who are hyper-focused on grades. Despite Hilary’s attempt to communicate with her parents the outcome always makes her feel like she is a horrible student. “With Aspen I feel that all my parents see is everything I do wrong and they never pay attention to any of the good grades I get,” said Hilary with a heaving sigh. Larry also feels shortchanged by the 24-7 online access to grades. “I wouldn’t consider myself a horrible student,” said Larry. “I take honors classes and for the most part my grades are at A’s and B’s. Occasionally, some assignments slip, that’s all.” Larry feels this type of parenting tends to be frustrating and over reactive.

“The second they receive an email notification I lose my phone, freedom, computer, everything! I’m always concerned about my parents viewing my work.” Other students at Wilde Lake have expressed similar concerns. “My parents really frustrate me,” said freshman Ashley Comeau. “I want to prove to my parents that I can accomplish high grades and good test scores without them, but I never get the chance. They constantly feel the need to help me.” Students may find Aspen and parents as a nuisance, but according to Mrs. Dana Sparrow, mother of a high schooler and middle schooler, to parents it’s a way to stay involved and hold students accountable. “Aspen helps to watch over your child’s progress and keep them on the right track,” said Mrs. Sparrow. “Aspen is extremely beneficial to both parents and students. I watch over my child’s work and from there I can help them improve. Students need to understand that as parents we are only doing our jobs.” Active Booster Club member Christine Fontana understands both sides of the issue. “I can see the disadvantage it can create for teachers who are pressured by both parents and students for immediate grade feed back,” said Mrs. Fontana. “Aspen is a great motivator for grades because it keeps students accountable.”


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NEWS

Guidance Pushes Naviance as College Planning Tool By Kristen Sheppard & Mariah Robinson Features Writers

As English teacher Mr. Satterfield walks his class into the computer lab, Guidance Counselor Mr. Scott stands by in excitement. The front screen displays the logo for Naviance. The slide show is up and everyone’s computer is logged on ready to begin. “Naviance is a new program this year in Howard County schools,” said Mr. Scott. “It’s a planning tool with access to a tremendous amount of information. Through Naviance, students can plan out their futures and learn about certain topics regarding colleges they might be interested in.” On Naviance students can take personality tests and career interest surveys. Additionally, students can go on virtual college searches as well as set goals. One benefit of Naviance, according to Mr. Scott, is that it gets parents involved. “Every parent can create an account and monitor his or her child’s searches,” said Mr. Scott. “Meanwhile, counselors can help provide suggestions for the students on their accounts.” The guidance department has already started introducing Naviance to students in all grades. “Each grade will begin at a different stage of the college and career search process,” said Mr. Scott. “Freshmen and sophomores work on goal planning, while juniors are setting ‘smart goals’ and determining career interests. Along with the seniors, juniors are also starting college searches.” While Naviance is new at Wilde Lake, Mr. Scott is optimistic about the online program. “We are still exploring the program so everyone is in sort of a transition phase,” said Mr. Scott. “Next year students should be able to apply to colleges, get scholarships, do goal setting and goal planning all on Naviance.” Mr. Scott thinks that Naviance is the future of the college application process. “We can expect Naviance to slowly make its way into the everyday life of students at Wilde Lake next year,” said Mr. Scott. “For now, student’s are definitely encouraged to log in and explore.”

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SGA Raises Money and Awareness for Disaster in Phillippines By Anjali DasSarma News Writer

Two months ago, just after the deadly Typhoon Haiyan, body bags lined the street of the crumbling town of Tacloban. A toilet lay sideways in the road, water slowly seeping out of it onto the cracked, ravaged ground. Children scrambled around the area, rummaging through the rubble to scavenge for the remains of toys, clothes, and their former lives. The dark skies loomed overhead threateningly. 8,571.1 miles away, students at Wilde Lake High School nonchalantly scrolled through texts, tweets and posts on iPhones while sunshine streamed through propped open windows. Fortunately, thanks to the work of Math teacher Mrs. Becker and the SGA, the Pinoy, the people of the Philippines, did not go unnoticed at Wilde Lake. Mrs. Becker came up with the idea to raise money and awareness for the devastated Pinoy by starting a collection drive for spare change during student lunches and selling bright yellow bracelets stamped with the words “Love for Pinoy” for one dollar a piece. The SGA raised more than $1000 in their collection, which was sent to the Philippines through Catholic Relief Services (CRS). According to Mrs. Becker, the CRS use the money to provide immediate relief like food, water, and clothes. For Mrs. Becker, this disaster hit close to home. Born and raised in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, she moved to Columbia in 1990, but both her heart and her two sisters re-

main in a city outside Metro Manilla; Manilla was one of the hardest hit cities by Typhoon Haiyan. “SGA has always been involved in community service projects. I brought up the idea of doing something for Philippine relief during the officer meeting the week following the incident and they got the ball rolling,” said Ms Becker. “We did the same type of change collection after the Haiti earthquake a few years ago.” Junior Nia-Simone Woods, SGA member, accredits Mrs. Becker for the success of the collection. Whenever there is a problem, Mrs. Becker works with the SGA to ensure that we are doing all that we can to help, whether that is through collecting donations or selling awareness. Like these bracelets!” said Woods, holding out a handful of bright yellow bracelets. Junior De’Quantai Edwards joined SGA his sophomore year and can attest to the benefits of Mrs. Becker’s leadership in the program. Mrs. Becker has made a big difference in the SGA as a group. “She dedicates a lot of her time, money and support to the SGA,” says Edwards. “Even though it’s a student run organization, we would not be able to do this without her, she really brings us all together.” Mrs. Becker, and SGA members alike are excited to take on new projects in the future. “The Wilde Lake community is filled with very generous, unselfish, and caring people,” said Mrs. Becker. “I am thankful and proud to be a Wildecat because of the tremendous amount of support that we provide for people who are in need.”

“I am proud to be a Wildecat because of the tremendous amount of support that we provide for people who are in need.” - Mrs. Becker Nia Woods (Photography below, Anjali DasSarma) has helped the SGA sell nearly 400 yellow “Love For The Pinoy” (Photography left, Anjali DasSarma) bracelets to support the Philippines relief effort.

Common App Website Fraught with Bugs Continued from Glitchy Common App Bugs Students The problem was that Common App updated the form after I had filled out all of my information, so I had to fill everything out again before I could assign any recommenders.” Abidin remembers what it was like dealing with the recommendation system glitch. “I was very upset and scared,” said Abidin. “I was only applying to one college, so I wanted to be prepared. I filled out everything two weeks early. That was the first time in my life I had ever been fully prepared for something school related. The glitch happened right before my application was due. That freaked me out. I really had no contingency plan because I only applied to one college, UMBC [University of Maryland Baltimore County].” Abidin wonders what the glitches mean for students across the country. “Common App is widely used, yet it had the potential to affect me and many other people in a negative way,” said Abidin. “I resolved my issue, but I worry that maybe everyone else did not.” English teacher and recommender Ms. Curtis had trouble with Common App this year.

“I had a problem when the students tried to add me as a recommender,” said Ms. Curtis. “For two of my students, I didn’t receive anything. The students had to contact Common App and get them to resend everything to me.” Ms. Curtis thinks that the buggy website is frustrating for students. “What was concerning to me was how many glitches there were,” said Ms. Curtis. “I think it created even more stress in what was already a stressful situation for students. It took what was supposed to be an easier process and made it more difficult.” Ms. Curtis is particularly worried about the merits of using a Common Application that is fraught with bugs. “I think that if it takes stress off students, Common App is worth using,” said Ms. Curtis. “But if it’s still glitchy, then it’s going to be stressful.” The way Social Studies teacher Mrs. Platou sees it, that stress defeats the purpose of using a one-size-fits-all application like

the Common Application. “It’s frustrating because Common App is such a great idea,” said Mrs. Platou. “I think there’s already a lot of pressure on students during the whole college application process. There’s so much to do and you want to be

selors also struggled with the buggy website. “At first I was quite concerned,” said Wilde Lake guidance counselor Mrs. Pashigian. “All of the sudden we were having all of these negative experiences. We couldn’t do our part, students couldn’t do their part, and there wasn’t really anybody to call.” While Mrs. Pashigian was upset with the glitches on the website, she understands that Common App Inc. has been working hard to resolve known issues and appreciates their efforts. “They didn’t anticipate this kind of a problem, but they installed a lot of tech support. They also send us daily progress updates,” said Mrs. Pashigian. “I like that they put in a system that helps.” Wilde Lake guidance counselor Mrs. Malloy is optimistic about the future for Common App. “I like the idea of Common App as a concept,” said Mrs. Malloy. “I had to handwrite all of my apps, so I think Common App is

“I was scared. I just sat there, sweating it out. I was so frustrated and I kind of wanted to cry. I just wanted it to be done.” - Evan Bell able to check it off and get it done. In theory Common App should simplify things, but this just complicates everything.” Students and teachers were not the only ones frustrated with Common App. Guidance coun-

great. Common App will also iron out the wrinkles, so hopefully we won’t experience the same problems next year.” ation process has been stressful for students like Evan Bell who have had trouble applying through Common App, colleges have helped alleviate some of that stress by extending their application deadlines. “University of North Carolina sent out an email extending the application deadline by a week or so,” said Bell. “By that time Common App fixed the issue and I sent in my application. I was very relieved. I was thankful that UNC took into account Common Apps’ glitches.” Evan Bell still believes in the merits of Common App. “I think it’s great that we are starting to integrate technology into our everyday lives and tasks, but we get the negatives with the positives and we need to be aware of that,” said Bell. “I think Common App is a very helpful tool because the majority of applications are in one place. Even though I did have problems, I would rather use Common App than another service.”


Student Walkers Concerned for their Safety By Syra Kayani Editor-in-Chief

Community paths used to be freshman *Caroline Richardsons go-to route for getting around,` until the day she was sexually harassed. Richardson recalls the incident. “A guy was walking towards me from the opposite direction on the path. He seemed normal enough from a distance, but as we got closer, he kept staring at me. I felt very uncomfortable,” said Richardson. “Once our paths finally crossed, he started asking me inappropriate questions and making comments, regarding what was under my skirt. It was the last time I walked on the paths alone.” Richardson did not report the incident because she never saw the man again. She said, “Honestly, it’s just one of those things I have come to expect. I did not think anything of it.” However, incidents, like that of Richardson’s, are not to be taken lightly among walkers, according to Wilde Lake Principal Mr. LeMon. “Though the school does not monitor anything that is off school property, we want to keep the community informed if something does happen,” said Mr. LeMon. “We encourage students to report any incidents or accidents that occur.” Still, for students who walk long distances, sometimes up to two miles, local paths, which wind through forests and behind residential neighborhoods, are unavoidable if students wish to get to school on time. These are the paths that, Richardson reports, feel less than safe, especially in the dark mornings and afternoons. Senior Samantha Schlictman will not walk on local paths. Stories about students being bullied, mugged, sexually harassed, and molested on secluded paths have made Schlictman afraid to take a quicker route to school. With no other option but to walk along the street, Schlictman must leave the house at 6:30 every morning to get to school on time. Though she admits her time would be cut significantly if she took one of the local paths, Schlictman does not feel safe walking alone. “The sun still has not come up when I leave the house, but at least on the street I am in an open area with cars and street lights,” said Schlictman. “If I were to use one of the paths, I would feel paranoid and anxious because you never know who could be hiding in the dark.” Other students have confirmed Schlictman’s fears. According to junior *Margaret Hale, illegal activity often takes place on the paths. “Day or night, if I ever walk on the paths, particularly the ones around Wilde Lake, I see students and adults selling drugs to each other,” said Hale. Additionally, students face intoxicated strangers on the paths. “There are always older men drinking and smoking on the paths and in the tunnels,” said freshmen Da’Myah Wands. “Once I was walking on

Camera Systems Installed on Howard County School Buses By Syra Kayani Editor-in-Chief

The Howard County Public School System is now in the process of installing digital camera systems on all school buses. With the goal to have every Howard County bus equipped with a camera system in the next few years, the camera’s are being installed to address and allow schools to investigate complaints of bullying behavior, according to HCPSS Director of Transportation, David Ramsy. According to HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Renee A. Foose, “These cameras will help us to ensure that students get to school safely—both physically and emotionally—while riding a school bus.” Though camera recordings will not be monitored on a regular basis, HCPSS staff can access them if necessary to assist in an investigation. Bus driver Lee Hope is a fan of the new cameras. “I think the cameras were installed for several good reasons. Primarily as a deterrent to prohibited behavior, but also as a means to back up drivers words and actions between the students with audio/visual proof,” said Hope. Mr. Hope has been driving school buses for 16 years. He describes the typical setting on his bus. “Different age groups act very differently. This has been constant over my years driving school buses. My high school students are church quiet, listening to their music players (with earphones) or napping. My middle

The new cameras on HCPSS school buses ar

schoolers talk nonstop among each oth elementary kids are the most energetic in and need to be reminded to keep their v Mr. Hope does not believe the cam stalled to monitor only a certain age gro According to Hope, “The cameras a tool to protect the 99 percent of studen having, from the one percent that are no Though Mr. hope admits there are concerns with surveillance, he hopes the installed with good intention and will beneficial and routine as time passes.

Continued from Student Walkers Concerned for their Safety the path behind the golf course in Harpers Choice. A group of guys were blocking the path with their bottles and smoke, so I had to cut across the field to avoid them . . . . I was scared and angry because I can’t even walk in my own neighborhood and feel safe.” Moreover, the concern for safety is not limited to young women. Guys have reported incidents on the paths as well. One student recalls his phone being stolen. “I was walking on the path when a middle aged man

asked me if he could make a call with my phone. I said sure and he told me not to move; he said he would be right back,” said junior Urick Frankfurt. “He never came back.” Controversy arises when discussion of the safety of paths in Howard County is questioned. With over 40 walking paths, a majority of which are unlit and secluded, girls have expressed greater concern for their safety on the paths than guys. Now some students feel the need to arm themselves when they leave home.

One student, who h asked to remain anonymou admits to carrying a flashlig and a pocketknife whenev she walks alone. “If I cou take a bus I would, but un I feel safe, I am not going leave the house unprotected.” But weapons includin firearms, knives, and chem ical sprays are prohibited o school property. This leav administration and studen the task of proposing saf methods for students walkin alone. Mr. LeMon proposes th students come up with an a


Parents Shine a Light on Walker Safety By Jennifer Fairbarns & Daniel Ingham News Writers

re small yet clearly visible. In the top left hand corner of the bus, they are always on. (Photograph, Ben Townsend.)

her, though my n the morning, voices down.” meras were inoup. are just another nts who are beot.” always privacy e cameras were become more

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“Cameras were installed on my bus in mid september 2013,” said Mr. Hope. “I think initially there was a tense feeling on the bus, where the kids would not talk at all. But as we have gotten later into the school year, they are used to the system and are more talkative, but ever mindful that conversations can get to their parents ears if inappropriate.” Freshman Ashigh Cameron has rode on buses in other counties. She admits that, “Howard County buses are the safest that [she] has ever been on.” Cameron says, “Now with cameras, HCPSS has simply added one more level for security.”

ternate plan of safety ahead of time. “We want students to stay safe but we cannot encourage them to carry weapons that could hurt others and potentially themselves if misused,” said Mr. LeMon. “We want all students to feel safe, and if students are so afraid for their safety that they feel they need to carry weapons, we encourage students to talk to us so we can find a solution.” Additionally students suggest several practical means for staying safe on the paths.

Junior Cierra Lester says, “Don’t be distracted. Always be aware of your surroundings.” Senior Devin McHugh suggests, “Looking around every once in a while,” and freshmen Desmyn Stevenson says, “Try to always walk in a group.” “It’s a collaborative effort,” said Mr. LeMon. “Though I do not personally know the future of these paths, only with involvement from students, parents, the school, and the community as a whole, can we ensure that student’s understand how to be safe.”

Students living in The Birches, a residential neighborhood in Wilde Lake, must walk over a mile to and from school on a daily basis. A few years ago, parents in the Birches felt they needed a safer way for their children to get to and from school when it was dark out in the morning. Becky Livingstone, a Wilde Lake parent living in The Birches, believes that the paths are not safe in the mornings. “The path is too dark in the morning for walkers,” said Mrs. Livingstone. “In the afternoon, no protection is necessary because the path is well traveled.” Mrs. Livingstone is leading the charge to get the county to take morning walker safety seriously. “I originally called the school board and challenged the walk zone policy but to no resolution,” said Mrs. Livingstone. According to Mrs. Livingstone, the county sent out a representative to assess walker safety, who concluded that walkers have sufficient lighting to get to school. However, the representative assessed the paths during a bright summer day instead of a dark fall or winter morning when the paths are still dark. Mrs. Livingstone still has high hopes about walker safety improvement. “The schools referred me to the Columbia Association,” said Mrs. Livingstone. “The Association has plans to install lighting in the future.”

Junior Andre Hill walks to school daily from a neighborhood less than one mile from the school. (Photograph, Ben Townsend.)


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6

SPORTS

Lady Cats Going “Back to the Basics” By Jessica Hubert Sports Editor

As the warm-up music blares from the speakers and vibrates off the gym walls, the Wilde Lake girls varsity basketball team shows off their skills up and down the court. The pre-game countdown finishes and the girls are called over to the sideline for a short peptalk from new head coach Robert Cranford. Buzzer sounds, hands in, one, two, three, WILDECATS! This season, the Lady Cats welcome Coach Cranford and Coach Burke to a historically solid coaching staff of teamwork and synergy. Coach Cranford and Coach Burke are both experienced basketball coaches. Combined, they have eleven years and offer a variety of skills that can increase the pace of the game and, in turn, put the points on the scoreboard. “We are using a much faster pace to run teams into the ground,” said senior captain Lindsey Williams. According to Coach Burke, versatility is a key component in the playbook this season. Last year, most players were set in positions they felt most

comfortable playing. “This year they [the girls] need to know how to play different positions,” says Coach Burke. The coaches are urging the girls to get out of their comfort zones and learn various positions. “We are teaching the girls the basics of basketball that they didn’t know or weren’t showing on the court,” said Coach Burke. Coach Cranford and Coach Burke are the Lady Cats mentors on and off the court. “My job is to teach the fundamentals of the game,” said Coach Cranford. “You can’t learn the harder stuff until you learn the basics.” Joining an already experienced team with returning players senior Lindsey Williams and senior Ni’Jah Richardson, the coaches have the athletic players needed to perfect the skills. Richardson is optimistic about the new coaches and plans on improving her skills this season. “He brings a fresh breath of air to Wilde Lake girls basketball,” said Richardson. Coach Cranford says he believes in his team. “They are hard workers and dedicated to winning,” said Coach Cranford. With games during the week and

Team Co-Captains, Jackson and Groves, Inspire Underclassmen For captains, leadership position brings challenges

Khari Jackson dunks during Howard High School basketball game (Photograph, Brian Jackson). By Kate Glaros Sports Writer

“When we step in between the lines, it’s time to get serious,” said senior captain DeVon Groves before the basketball game. The team huddles and senior captain Khari Jackson goes over the game plan and says a quick prayer. They begin a chant and their voices echo off the walls. Walking onto the court with serious faces, they meet roaring fans and begin the game. Seniors Khari Jackson and DeVon Groves were chosen as captains this year by Coach Wingfield and Coach Chenier. “They [the captains] deliver criticism by explaining what we did wrong and showing us how to do it properly,” said sophomore Jeffrey Jones. This is Jones’ first year on varsity basketball and he admires how easily the captains get the team ready for games. “I try to calm them [the players] down so they don’t play scared or nervous,” said Groves. Groves explains that he and Jackson try to get their teammates comfortable because when they are nervous during the game they tend to be less confident in

their decisions. Jackson and Groves both agree that being captain can be challenging. “It can be a test of getting the whole team on the same page and building team chemistry,” said Groves. “Being captain is difficult because of the responsibility and the fact that the team relies on you,” said Jones. According to Jackson, he and Groves can be hard on their teammates in order to make them stronger. “[My teammates] probably find me a little annoying, but I’m annoying to make them better,” said Jackson. Although being captain can be a challenge of creating a balance between work and play, Jones believes that Groves and Jackson have made themselves very approachable and are good leaders. “It’s easy to talk to my captains and I feel like I could come to them with any question,” said Jones. Wingfield believes that one of the challenges of being captain is separating being a friend and a leader. He and Coach Chenier make the decision on who is captain based on certain qualities, like academic success and leadership. He believes that a good leader is not only a role model on the court, but in class as well. “These guys are exceptional in the classroom,” said Coach Wingfield. According to Jones, the team feels like a family because of the captains. They pick the team up after a tough practice. They spent weeks building strong relationships with the players. They respect each other and their fellow teammates. This family is strong, with connections durable enough to withstand any obstacle. When the team takes the court before the game, they are confident. They are confident because of the leadership shown by their captains DeVon Groves and Khari Jackson.

practices on Saturdays, the girls work hard. Practice six days a week and games in between allow the girls to demonstrate what they have learned. According to Coach Cranford, the name of the game is hard work and “practice, practice, practice.” Lindsey Williams is eager to rebound from last season. Like her other teammates, she believes Coach Cranford and Coach Burke will be great additions to the team. “Coach Cranford is the icing on the cake this year,” said Williams. “We have the talent and he’s pairing it with his vision and there you go. Victories!” After tryouts, a few practices and games, Williams has already noticed a difference in the pace and tempo of their play. Looking toward the future, the girls believe their previous record will improve. “Last year we were almost to the top of the mountain and we just needed that extra shove to get there,” said Williams. “Coach Cranford and Coach Burke are the extra push to help us get there.” The girl’s record so far this year is 7-12.

Coaches Cranford and Burke are reinforcing the basics this season in basketball (Photograph, Lauren Hutchison).

Wilde Lake Baseball Prepares to Win It All Despite Losing Record Last Season, Team Has High Hopes for 2014 By Kate Glaros Sports Writer

A losing season is a season in which a team loses more games than they win; but in the athletes’ minds, it means much more. It means that they need to work, train, and practice harder. Above all, it means they have to find the drive to win. Wilde Lake boys baseball finished its 2013 season with a record of 4 wins and 13 losses: a “losing” season. And although it seems like a challenge, the players believe that they can perform at their highest potential to win more games this season. Last season ended on a bad note, says senior Tommy Aubin. They lost in the first round of playoffs. “We were frustrated,” said Tommy. “The outcome was a tease of how well we could really do.” On the MaxPreps playoff predictions, Wilde Lake baseball was not even listed in the possible top 25 teams in the 3A class. It was ranked behind four teams, all of which did not win any games that season. Despite these setbacks, junior Matt Aubin saw potential at the end of the season. “It was a start to greatness that we will achieve next season,” said Matt.

Wilde Lake Athletic Director Mr. Rau was one of the coaches of the Oakland Mills baseball team last year and remembers when his team played Wilde Lake. “They played very tough, they were a very good team,” said Rau. Although his team beat Wilde Lake, he recalls Wilde Lake being very well coached and showing a lot of potential. When the team lost, it was often disheartening, said Matt, because one of the team’s goals was to limit errors. Nevertheless, they quickly learned how to pick

Tommy Aubin believes that baseball will be the best athletic team at Wilde Lake this year. themselves up from a tough loss. “We were mentally tough,” said Matt. “We were always upset [when we lost] but we were always ready for the next game. We had a lot of heart,” said Tommy Aubin. Junior Sergio IrizarryCruz recalls that many of the losses were close-calls. “We were always disappointed because we often came close,” said Cruz. Whenever the team won a game, it tried to remain classy, said Matt.

“We acted like we’d been there before,” said Matt Aubin. Matt noted that although they were excited, they tried to act like they were used to winning and that it was no big deal. The players agree that this season will be different and that the fans should expect a very different outcome. Despite having a losing season in years past, Matt Aubin is hopeful that the team will be state champions at the end of the season and Tommy believes that baseball will the best athletic team at Wilde Lake this year. Cruz hopes that the team can perform at its best potential for the entire season. To match these expectations, new leadership is going to step in this season. Last season, Senior captains Thomas Mee, Nick Wright, and Brandon Pelitier led the team. Now that they have graduated, the team will need to decide who will lead them in the 2014 season. Many seniors have already stepped up to the plate and plan on leading the team this spring. Tommy Aubin believes that he will bring a different type of leadership to the team this year. He says that he will not be strict or demanding but instead “a teammate that will always pick my boys up and encourage them to push harder.”


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SPORTS

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Concussions in High School Sports Become Rising Problem for Athletes

Sohopmore Chris Johnson contests for the ball in a varsity soccer game against Reservoir High School (Photograph, Chris Johnson). By Grant Severson News Writer

“I was out for a solid week,” said senior Chris Simmens, recalling the concussion he suffered in his sophomore year. “For the whole month after I came back, the days that I was absent were scattered. A day here and a day there,” said Simmens. The difficulty of doing school work after his concussion. “It became hard to look at worksheets or read small print. It was a pain in the neck, literally, to focus on little things for a while.” Simmens suffered from the immedi-

ate effects of a serious concussion after getting “slammed into the mat” during wrestling practice. The concussive blow fogged Simmens’ memory. “All I remembered was hitting my head,” said Simmens. “I don’t remember the rest of the practice or even how I got home.” According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), Chris experienced some of the typical concussion symptoms. Other signs include the inability to maintain a consistent stream of thought and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms impede the level of focus necessary for high school students to perform to

the best of their academic ability. in soccer to protect the brain. Just prevent Because concussion patients are of- the fouls from happening in the first place,” ten instructed to remain in a dark room said Hudec. for multiple days, it is difficult for students According to an essay from the like Chris Johnson to do school work. after American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) maintaining a concussion. on concussions in youth sports, referees “I slowly was able to do work after should take more control of the game. As half a week,” said sophomore Chris John- a result, the number of contact injuries, son, who suffered a concussion in a varsity including concussions, could be reduced. soccer game against Atholton this year. If officials can keep a game from getting Chris Johnson remembers that it was out of hand early, then players will look for nearly a month after the injury occurred fewer risky and potentially damaging plays before he could resume playing soccer. said the AAP. While there are rules in place Johnson said it took him a whole two weeks to prevent injury-causing contact, the AAP of recovery before returning to school. His relies on enforcement for them to be effecconcussion caused him to fall behind in his tive. classes and have trouble Helmets are another focusing on single tasks. “All I remember was hitting method for the prevention The often lengthy of head injuries and are alrecovery period for con- my head. . . I don’t remem- ready used in some sports, cussions serves not only such as football and ice as an interruption to stu- ber the rest of the practice it- hockey. Some athletes dents’ education, but also self or even how I got home.” think helmets make the to their other activities of sport safer. However, some - Chris Simmens preference. experts say there is a lack “I couldn’t look at of research on the success screens or read books. I also had to wait a of current helmet technology to make an couple weeks before playing sports again,” accurate conclusion. said Annie Hudec, a sophomore who has Head boy’s soccer coach Mr. Ringexperienced two concussions, both from gold says the best method of prevention is sports. Losing out on multiple weeks of preparation. “To prevent concussions, edextracurriculars due to concussions is not ucation is the most important thing,” said atypical. Coach Ringgold. “Players should be warned The severity of the injury and disrup- of physical possibilities, positive or negtion of daily life brought on by concussions ative, prior to game play. The preparation presents a concern: How can concussions for a player understanding how to handle be prevented from becoming frequent ob- his body and its limitations may aid in his stacles for teenage athletes? personal education of their sport.” Coach “I believe safety can be improved Ringgold also believes coaches should have through more rules and punishments for access to more information about player fouls,” said Hudec. “But there is nothing safety in order to better prepare players.

Matthew and Cameron Lumpkin Sprint Through Their Senior Year Together By Ali Mallo Sports Writer

Matthew and Cameron Lumpkin follow the line of people filing in behind their lanes. They rip off the backs of their lane stickers and place them carefully on their uniforms. Their teammates loudly cheer in the background, but the brothers take no notice. They are focused and ready, “BANG!” The starting gun goes off and the race has begun. Matthew and Cameron have been athletes on Wilde Lake’s winter track team for four years. This year, they return for their final season as team captains. Last year, Matthew broke the school record for the 55 meter dash. Cameron was one of Wilde Lake’s stronger athletes in the 55m and 300m events. Over the summer, Cameron participated in a track program to help himself improve in order to be in a prepared position for his upcoming senior season. He worked over the summer in order to build up his endurance and improve his running technique. This season, the Lumpkins have already topped previous expectations. Currently, Cameron holds the new school record for the 55 meter dash, having placed first

in the first meet of the season with a new personal record of 6.53 secsonds. Matthew has also continued to improve his times, setting his own impressive personal record of 6.76 for the 55m. The Lumpkins are also members of the 4 by 200 and 4 by 400 “A” relay teams. Cameron and Matthew share a dream of going to states and winning in the 55m, 4 by 200 meter relay, and the 4 by 400 meter relay. “And, I want to beat my brother,” Matthew added with a laugh. Although they share big goals and are motivated for themselves and their teammates, Wilde Lake Track Coach Chris admits that they have not lost their sense of humor. “They are good team captains,” said Coach Chris. “But they can be a little goofy sometimes.” He added that together they make a good pair. “Matthew just has a good attitude about everything. And Cameron works really hard,” said Coach Chris. Both captains also have the same goals for their team. “I want the team to win a county championship and the younger boys to get better,” said Matthew. Cameron hopes that after they graduate in the spring the

team will still find success. “When I leave I want the track team to stay on point,” said Cameron. “The Lumpkin twins are the backbone of Wilde Lake’s track team,” says teammate Matt Aubin. “The track team only goes as far as the legs of the Lumpkin twins. They have a drive for success and are motivated.” According to Cameron, racing against his own brother is not always easy. “We fight a lot, but it helps us get better,” said Cameron. “It’s a lot of competition, so sometimes it gets heated.” “You can tell how much they like each other,” Coach Chris said. “Even though they look alike, they have different personalities. Matthew is more outgoing and loud. Cameron is more reserved.” In the next weeks the Lumpkins will compete in invitational meets and meets for titles before they transition to their final season of outdoor track. While that will be their last time competing for Wilde Lake they want to continue their track careers into college. Their senior year is coming to an end, but before they go they hope to leave a mark behind from their success, a success that they helped each other earn.

Cameron Lumpkin (above) and Matthew Lumpkin (below) push each other to succeed in their races. (Photograph, Steve Virostek).


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PARCC Test A Burden For Students By Daniel Ingham News & Opinions Editor

Next year, students will be taking the PARCC Test (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) in place of other standardized tests like high school assessments. The PARCC Test is completely electronic, with comprehensive Math and English sections that are designed to encourage critical thinking. The PARCC Test is the benchmark with which Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics will be measured. I took a pilot version of the PARCC Test to give students an idea of what to expect next year.* The English section of the test is not unlike many of the English assessments we have seen in the past: short readings, multiple choice questions, and an essay question. I guess they don’t want to mess with something that works, right? At first glance, there are only a couple of minor differences that inevitably come from the clunkiness of a new online test interface. However, a second look exposes the English section’s biggest benefactor and detractor: its level of difficulty. The test is much harder than any English assessment in recent memory. The test asks students to juggle two large bodies of text, answer multiple choice questions related to both questions, and then complete an essay that interprets both passages to analyze their collective themes and meanings. This English section is a mammoth undertaking for almost any student, and it begs the question: Is a harder test the best way to increase academic standards in America? I wonder if a more demanding, rigorous test will provide harder checkpoints that students will meet, or if it will be a source of constant frustration for students. The Math section of the test looks and feels different than any pen and paper Math test I have ever taken. These questions were more difficult than other standardized tests, to boot. I think the test is clunky because it is new, which makes PARCC fall short of any self-imposed expectations of educational innovation. The Math section sports a free response that is, um, different. While trying to provide students with all the tools to masterfully navigate a math question, the free response interface is a barrier to critical thinking. The interface offers everything from simple addition and subtraction tools to trigonometry and greek variables. It is difficult to figure out exactly how the test-makers want the students to go about answering the question when they provide an all-inclusive free-response interface to answer an open ended question. And that pretty much sums up the whole Math section. A huge plus to this test is that it encourages mathematical thinking that takes students above and beyond the typical standardized “plug-and-chug” testing mentality. This math section dreams of challenging students to unlock the system of thought that takes a mathematical approach to independently answering questions without the crutch of teacher assistance or a study guide. Time will tell if the PARCC test can do that, but it will take some adjusting to make sure this test is towing the line behind challenging and just behind hard for hard’s sake. Trying to develop a test that effectively measures academic growth while fostering critical thinking in students without leaving some kids behind is extremely difficult. Ultimately, trying to review this test and develop conclusions as to whether it will be effective or not has just raised even more questions about the test. Arguably, the best way to increase America’s competency in an ever-competitive world is to increase our standards for education. However, this test holds a huge potential to hurt those students who are not “math people” or “English people.” While overcoming a challenging test like this will help students grow, what about those students who simply cannot overcome a challenge of this caliber? *You can take the pilot version of this test here: http://epat-parcc.testnav.com/client/index.html#login?username=PARCC_HS&password=PARCC_HS

OPINION

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It’s Not How We Fall, But How We Get Back Up At approximately 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, January 25, eight shots were fired in the Columbia Mall. After the event, three were killed and several were injured, but the pain and anxiety lingered in Columbia. Following the incident, many were still afraid and hesitant to enter the one place they visited for an afternoon lunch at Chick-Fil-A or the traditional Friday hangout with best friends. No one had ever thought they would see Columbia on the national news; so many were shocked and still in disbelief when this tragedy hit so close to home. To cope with the psychological unease students were encouraged to talk with guidance counselors and school psychologist Mr. Channel. Despite these efforts, it is the opinion of the Paw Print that these figures are underutilized in our school system and community. Now that we realize these events can occur so close to home, our school can open up discussion on how we can better utilize our guidance counselors as resources and provide the mental help and

support that can prevent events like this from happening in the future. Having regular check-ins with a guidance counselor at least once per quarter not only teaches kids at a young age that it is okay to talk about their feelings but makes it possible for closer relationships to develop. A strong relationship with a guidance counselor can create the building blocks for mental wellbeing and confidence and trust in all relationships. If more people knew they could open up about their problems instead of dealing with them in unsafe ways, our school system can tend to the needs of its students and help prevent tragedies like this one. Only by making sure everyone is aware of their resources can we restore our school’s trust in a safer tomorrow. The Wilde Lake Paw Print staff gives its condolences to the families and friends of those whose lives were lost. In the coming days, remember to show your love and appreciation for those you value and know that you are not alone.

With New Album, Beyonce Proves She Is The Same Bey By Mariah Robinson Opinion Writer

While balancing a new family, Beyonce’s career seems endless as she continues to wow fans with fierce performances and chart topping hits at the age of 32. With the unexpected release of her album Beyoncè, Beyonce shocked fans in December with hits to bring in the new year. The album consists of songs ranging from topics about her love life to the bond with her first born. As a new mother, her love for her

daughter and her sincerity in her maternal role is expressed through “Blue ft. Blue Ivy,” “Blow,” and “Rocket.” These songs show a more intimate side of her. Some fans feel a stronger connection to Beyonce now that they can relate to her role as a mother. Her music style has changed a lot since her last album, 4. While 4 was a lighter album about new love and female empowerment, this new album takes on more serious themes of postnatal depression, loss, and insecurities of womanhood.

Additionally, the album features a variety of sounds. Beyonce’s originality is unrivaled, and through experimentation in musicality Beyonce shows her artistic credibility. In songs like “Drunk In Love ft. Jay-z,” Beyonce talks about the relationship between her and her husband Jay-Z. In “Pretty Hurts,” Beyonce tackles the mental and physical struggle that people put themselves through while trying to be perfect. “XO” is a love story about having fun in a relationship. Beyonce has made

herself appear more vulnerable and human through her music. She is grounded and lets her fans in to see her as a mother and a wife, not only as a vocalist. For this album she got back into shape after birth and even gave fans more of the “old Bey” by adding a more sexy look and sound to Beyoncè. Even though Beyonce deviates from what she has done in the past, this is one of her best albums. It lets her long-time fans see that she is still the old (though maybe a more mature) Bey.

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was A Freshman By Chris Simmens Opinion Writer

I remember walking into Wilde Lake on the first day of my freshmen year, and thinking, “I know everything.” Now as a senior, I think back and am surprised at how much I actually didn’t know. I’m writing this to give a little advice to those of you who just don’t know yet. Here are five things I wish I had known when I was a freshman. 1. Dreading it doesn’t make it better. Waking up between five and six in the morning to get ready for school was not fun as a freshman and it still is not as a senior. Having a positive attitude before you go to school makes the day much better. Try looking forward to something you’re going to do after school, a specific class, or even just

talking to your friends at lunch. 2. Set a goal. This goes hand in hand with your attitude. With a goal, you are motivated to get stuff done and enjoy the process more. Having a goal motivates you to show up and be the best you can be. 3. Take chances. Do something outside of your comfort zone. Don’t let the fear of embarrassment stop you! In a few years, no one will remember the time you tripped walking down the bleachers to dance during the halftime show of the homecoming game. Heck, they probably won’t remember it after a few weeks. 4. Cherish being an “underclassmen.” I wish I had known that being an upperclassman is not as spectacular as I thought. Don’t get me wrong, being a senior is pretty cool, but some of the

most fun I had in high school was in my freshman and sophomore years. As an underclassmen, you are still allowed that awkward but less accountable phase of underclassmen. You don’t have to stress over things like college applications, or SATs yet. We get four years to completely mature to a responsible adult; do not take for granted the freedom and last two years of childhood as an underclassmen. 5. Don’t let the past keep you from experiencing the present. I wish I had realized when I was fourteen that life goes on. Issues and stress come up all the time and we do our best to make things right, but sometimes it just does not work out. Maybe you failed a test or did something really embarrassing. Don’t dwell on those issues. You gotta keep moving forward!

The Paw Print Wilde Lake High School 5460 Trumpeter Road -- Columbia, MD 21044 Volume 41, Issue 2 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 Reporters.............................................. Xiomi Baleno, Anjali DaSarma, DeQuantai Edwards .....................................................Jennifer Fairbarns, Kate Glaros, Janay Gore,Khari Jackson ................................................................................Ali Mallo, Michael Moore Nathan Nguyen ............................................................... Mariah Robinson Grant Severson, Kristen Sheppard ........................................................................... Max Schwind, Chris Simmens, Natalie Varela Photography....................................................................................Ben Townsend, Syra Kayani ............................................................Daniel Ingham, DeQuantai Edwards, Anjali DasSarma ............................................Lauren Hutchison, Brian Jackson, Chris Johnson, Steve Virostek Faculty Advisor......................................................................................................Ben Townsend