THE PAW PRINT An Independent Publication of Wilde Lake High School •5460 Trumpeter Rd. Columbia, MD 21044 • Volume 42, Issue 2 •
Winter Storms Derail Learning, Testing Remains on Track
STATS FOR THE 2014-15 SCHOOL YEAR: CLOSINGS: 8 DELAYS: 7
REMAINING BUILT-IN INCLEMENT WEATHER DAYS: 0 *As of March 12, 2015 Icy roads and sidewalks called for early-morning plowing (Left photograph by Ben Townsend, right photograph by Misbah Farooqi). By Jenny Lees Copy Editor-in-Chief
Just before midterms, arguably one of the most stressful times of the school year, Howard County was hit with a series of weather-related delays and closings. While winter weather put student learning on hold, it did not slow the arrival of high-stakes county and state tests, including midterms. In the two-week stretch before the endof-first-semester testing, Howard County had one closing and four delays. While students were happy for the time off and additional sleep, many admitted that the winter weather could not have come at a more inconvenient time.
In the few weeks preceding midterms, most teachers are already trying to pack in the last bits of information, tests, and study guides to wrap up the first half of the year. This year, with days set aside for PARCC test preparation and the winter weather, their time was crunched and lessons were cut. “They needed extra time to go over concepts before tests, but we didn’t have that time,” said junior Rebecca Chamblee. Chamblee, who takes multiple G/T and AP classes, said the lost time definitely had an impact on workload, comprehension, and grades. “There was more homework, I had to study more on my own, and it made it harder to understand what I needed to
know,” said Chamblee. This increase in work comes from the pressure put on teachers to cover all of their material in a shortened class. “We either didn’t do some of the work from the delay days, had to cram it in, or missed all of the work,” said junior Sophie Bertrand. Accompanying the struggle to learn all of the required material was an increase in pressure. “I was definitely more stressed than usual,” said Bertrand. For Ms. Schulman, who teaches multiple levels of Chemistry, one solution would have been to delay the mid-year testing, since midterms are worth 10 percent of a student’s grade.
“With something that large a percentage of a student’s grade for the year, they should not be expected to learn it on the fly or not at all and still take the test as if nothing happened,” said Ms. Schulman. Though midterms are over, the winter weather is not, and students with upcoming PARCC and AP tests are facing the same pressures that the delays caused for midterms. “The problem has been the snow since the midterm. We’re starting the third quarter, and we’re starting a new unit. We’re behind, especially in AP,” said Ms. Schulman. As of February 26, the county had used up all five built-in inclement weather days.
Afterschool Study Hall is Helpful Though Underused By Gabby Christopher Staff Writer
Any student who has ever played on a sports team can relate to the stress of juggling sports and school work. To help ease this stress, Wilde Lake now holds an afterschool study hall in the cafeteria for athletes. “The study hall was created to provide students involved in sports with a structured place to quietly study and finish homework before practice,” said Mr.
Abeo, who founded the study hall. James Pender is a sophomore who attends the study hall regularly. “When I leave practice, I usually don’t go straight home, so I end up getting home late. By that time, I rush through my homework because having to do homework after practice is really tiring.” said Pender, who is on the wrestling team. “I like going to the study hall, because it gives me a place to do my homework, and I can just re-
lax when I get home from school. By the time I get home, I’ve already finished everything,” said Pender. “At the study hall, I’m still full of energy, and everything from school is fresh in my mind.” However, Pender is one of few students who utilizes the study hall. While Pender attends the study hall voluntarily, Coach Wingfield decided to make attendance mandatory for the boys varsity basketball team. “Some of the athletes think of
it as a punishment, when it really isn’t,” said Wingfield. Wingfield intends for the study hall to help athletes keep grades up and manage time better, but it will only be effective if students attend regularly, says Wingfield. Still, some players, who have asked to remain anonymous, have expressed that they don’t plan on attending in the future. The study hall will continue to be available for students during the spring sports season.
“At the study hall, I’m still full of energy, and everything from school is fresh in my mind.” -James Pender
STEM Fair Showcases Student Passion for Science Experiments By Alex Moon News Editor
This year’s STEM fair concluded with an impressive participation of 147 student projects ranging from distracted driving to the strength of different 3D printing methods. Fifteen of the students will move on to the Howard County STEM fair at Long Reach High School. Two hundred freshmen and sophomore students participated in projects related to science, technology, engineering, and math. The multi-step projects were a mandatory part of the curriculum in Earth Science, Biology G/T, and Biology Honors. Students began by finding reliable research sources, designing an experiment following the scientific method, then carrying out their experiment, and writing a multipage report. Sophomore Lia Conforti, who will be moving on to counties for her project on the flammability of assorted fabrics, said that the project was a valuable lesson in time management due to its strict deadlines. She had
to plan out when to finish parts and then create a 10 minute presentation. Along with public speaking skills, the project teaches students to work with precision, focus on details, and apply what they’ve learned in class. Projects were judged by a panel of STEM professionals on their hypotheses, ability to make a claim, and scientific accuracy. A few unique projects emerged as crowd favorites, including freshman Nicole Blair’s project on homemade solar panels. Sophomore William Smith’s project on assisstive lifting devices was noted for its impressive use of mathematics. The following students are moving on to the Howard County STEM Fair: Dhruvil Patel, Kevin Liu, Stella Johnson, Rachel Eisenhauer, Jenny Gloyd, Bailey Dicus, Kate Loughlin, Isabela Rey, Melissa Lund, Tiffany Dang, Beth Virostek, Carly DeSesa, Lia Conforti, Avery Trinh, and Ryan Ingham.
Science Department Replaces Two Teachers By Alex Moon News Editor
This winter, the science department suffered from the unexpected absence of three veteran teachers. Independent of each other, Ms. Jenkins, Mr. Hubbard, and Ms. Schulman were all replaced by substitutes. Ms. Schulman is back to teaching, but Ms. Jenkins and Mr. Hubbard have retired, and new permanent teachers have taken their places. Across classes, students were left grasping for explanations. Ms. Jenkins’ class had the most notice, because the school psychologist Dr. Channel came to talk to the class and explained that Ms. Jenkins’ husband had passed away. Later, she gave the class a week’s notice that she was “retiring early.” Meanwhile, Mr. Hubbard and Ms. Schulman left without warning. Jackson Shaffer, a student in Mr. Hubbard’s 5th period Chemistry class, was frustrated with the situation. “We had no warning. Parents had to call [the school] for a week before a letter got sent home saying [Mr. Hubbard] retired,’” said Shaffer. Ms. Schulman described a similar experience saying neither her nor her students knew she was leaving.
Each group of students had a different experience with substitutes. Jackson Shaffer was disappointed with how little progress his class made and recalled teaching them one day. “I ended up teaching [the periodic table]. I looked it up [online] and showed them,” said Shaffer. Ms. Schulman was also concerned about how far behind the class was in the curriculum, particularly her AP Chemistry class. She says that the month she was gone was virtually “lost” and that she had to drop an entire unit from the G/T Chemistry midterm. However, students seemed relatively happy with Ms. Lala, the long term substitute for Ms. Jenkins. One student said, “We just kind of went with the flow,” and others mentioned the numerous labs they did with her in class. Now, students have a permanent teacher in place, Ms. Mulhern. Ms. Schulman summed up her opinion to the class: “You had to learn on your own, sorry kids, that’s out of my control.” Like the other classes, in the end, she says “the kids didn’t care [why I was gone], they were just glad to not have subs any more.”
Foose Implements “Hour of Code” By Gabby Christopher Staff Writer
Freshman Cecilia Fritz presents her STEM project at the school fair (Photograph by Ben Townsend).
For a week in the beginning of December, Wilde Lake students had an hour long break from their science classes to create their own versions of popular games like Disney’s Frozen or Flappy Bird. Students were able to program these games during the Hour of Code, using the nonprofit Code.org website. Dr. Renee Foose, the Howard County Superintendent, made the decision to sign up all of the Howard County high schools for the opportunity to participate in the Hour of Code. Media Specialist Ms. Bailey took charge of the program at Wilde Lake. “Next year we are going to implement more coding into technology classes so everyone has a chance to code for more than one hour. Most jobs in the future will
probably require coding,” said Ms. Bailey. “At least if students don’t like it, they won’t be scared of it.” The website used during the Hour of Code “was really user-friendly and easy to use,” said sophomore Akira Jarrett. The site was designed to have clear instructions so that anyone could participate, even if they didn’t have prior coding experience. Sophomore Desmyn Stevenson was hesitant at first but said “it actually was fun,” once she got involved in the activity. Ms. Bailey believes the Hour of Code was a rewarding experience for all students, as she stresses the relevance of coding in the future. “There will be a lot of high-paying coding jobs in the future; maybe even more jobs than people,” said Ms. Bailey.
Upperclassmen Mentor Freshmen in Green and Gold Academy By Keir Hicks Staff Writer
In the week before school began, juniors and seniors in the Green and Gold Academy, headed by Social Studies teachers Ms. Volpe and Ms. Startt, gave up part of their summer breaks to help freshmen transition from middle school to high school. In the unique program, mentors help mentees with anything from schoolwork to class work to studying for assessments. In a program that believes in relationship building, Green and Gold volunteers
keep their mentoring positions throughout the year when they find opportunities to meet with the incoming freshmen. This year, mentors have been meeting during Wilde Cat Time, but some catch their mentees in the hallways, before school or after school, and some encourage contact through texting or social media. “I talk to my mentor every morning and sometimes we hang out after school and go either to the mall or Skyzone,’’ said freshman and mentee Charlise LaBoy. Isaiah Zamora is a junior volunteer in the program. He thinks of his role as that of a family member.
“I do my best to make them feel welcome inside the school, so our relationship would be like an older brother,” said Zamora. “She helped me stay on track with my work,” said freshman Faith Robinson of her mentor. “She helps me to stay out away from drama, and we study together on Wednesdays.” In more ways than schoolwork, mentees benefit from their mentors’ help. Victor Enomanna, a senior mentor, supports the program’s mission of going beyond the role of a typical mentor. “I give advice [about] how to act in school,’’ said Enomanna.
“They give you the option to be tutored and mentored,” said freshman and mentee James McClain. From attitudes to what’s going on at home, McClain says his mentee has helped him to adjust. The results of the program can be seen in the personal relationships built between mentors and mentees. “I’m there for anything we need to talk about,” said junior and mentor Kyrie Press. “He gives me a chance to be more successful and better in life’’ said freshman and mentee Tiyuan Jackson.
Indoor Track Team Shatters Records at States By Ali Mallo Sports Editor
Wilde Lake broke records this past week at the indoor track and field 3A State Championships. Five different records were broken, and one State Champion was crowned. Senior David Eisenhauer lead the boys team with a State Championship title, winning both the 1600m and 3200m races with new personal records. Eisenhauer also broke old school records in each race by at least one second. Another senior, Eric Smart, took seventh in the 1600 meter run and eighth in the 3200 meter run. As the seniors finish up their high school careers, Coach Brewington is very proud of how hard they have worked to get there. It was not only seniors who showed well at the meet. Sophomore Christian Saulsbury won seventh in the highly competitive 55 meter dash, giving the team great hope for next indoor season.
The girls track and field team also had an impressive outcome. Jamila Brown led the short distance team with a fifth place in the 300 meter dash, consequently breaking her own previously set school record. Brown also set her personal record in the 55 meter dash, winning seventh place, and was part of the 4x200 meter relay that took third overall, breaking the previous school record by two seconds. Her teammates on this relay were Briyonna Carter, Faith Taylor, and Londyn Tyler. Sophomore girls dominated the field part of the team for Wilde Lake. Deanna Yancey cleared five feet in the high jump, breaking Wilde Lake’s previous school record. This helped her break into the top ten finishers with a ninth place finish. Jane Tripp broke the top ten in pole vault with a ninth place finish. Most of these competitors will be returning to the track this spring for the outdoor season, giving the track team a very positive preview for what is to come.
Track team dominates at states, breaking school and personal records (Photograph by Chris Brewington).
Spring Cleaning Brings Jeans Again By Ali Mallo Sports Editor
Wilde Lake students collected jeans which were displayed on the balconies (Photograph by Natalie Varela).
For the second consecutive year, Wilde Lake’s halls were decorated in old jeans. They ranged from toddler to extra large adult sized, from the traditional blue to red, and from long to short lengths. Wilde Lake students came together this past month to help out the community by all bringing in old jeans to donate. Donation boxes were set up and students were able to drop the jeans directly off to Mrs. Busso, the teacher sponsor of the project. The leadership class students hung up the jeans as they came in as a way to show off Wilde Lake’s progress throughout the drive. Last year, Teens for Jeans was a huge success here at the Lake, and this year, students wanted to step up the program. However, while the halls were filled with jeans, the program did not get as much support as last year. Hopefully the program will re- Hanging jeans prove that Teens for Jeans had anturn next year with more success. other successful year at Wilde Lake. (Photograph by Natalie Varela).
President Obama Proposes New Plan for Two Years of Free Community College By Misbah Farooqi Managing Editor-in-Chief
Recently, President Obama announced a proposition: make community college free for hard-working and successful students. The plan would apply to students who can maintain a GPA of at least 2.5 and plan to attend community college as half time or full time students. Obama’s plan is modeled off of similar plans in Tennessee and Chicago. In Tennessee, about 16,000 students are expected to participate in the program at 13 of the
state’s community colleges. If the plan were to go into effect, it would have a tremendous impact for Wilde Lake, as numerous students would be eligible to take advantage of the program. For many students, community college is the best option for continuing their education past high school. “Since you’re just doing prerequisites you get the same education for cheaper!” said Kayla Gajewski, who plans to attend Howard Community College next year. Amanda Reely added that HCC “is so
much closer to home,” meaning she can save money on tuition and housing by going to community college. On average, tuition at community colleges is $3,347 per year, according to the College Board. While it is less expensive than traditional four year colleges, the costs can still be difficult to pay for some students. Obama’s plan gives students time to figure out their future finances and career.
Obama’s Proposal: • Make community college accessible to all hard-working high school students • Two years of tuition-free community college • 75% of tuition paid for by the federal government and remaining 25% by the state • Must maintain 2.5 GPA
From Humble Beginnings to High School Principal By Misbah Farooqi Managing Editor-in-Chief
There’s no question as to whether or not Mr. LeMon is passionate about what he does, but that was not always the case. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mr. LeMon is the youngest of six kids and comes from a hard working family. Mr. LeMon went to Washington High School but, surprisingly, wasn’t the best student. Instead of focusing on his academics, Mr. LeMon focused on football and basketball. “I just did enough to be eligible to play sports. If I didn’t participate in sports, I wouldn’t have gone to school,” said Mr. LeMon. A star football player, Mr. LeMon was offered scholarships by many schools. “I got called to the front office. It was my junior year, [and] I didn’t really know why. I get into the office, and there were two gentlemen that were sitting there and there was my high school coach. They introduced themselves, and it was a coach from [the] University of Tennessee and another coach as well, I believe from Ohio State. Ultimately, they told me [that] if I didn’t have the grades that I had, they would offer me a full scholarship for football.” The news was a wake-up call for Mr.
LeMon, and he focused on his academics, worked harder, and earned better grades in his junior and senior year. After high school, Mr. LeMon was unsure of whether or not he wanted to go to college. He decided to work in a steel mill, as his father had done for 20 years. However, after eight days at the job, he decided to attend a junior college. Mr. LeMon called up his old high school coach and asked if any of the coaches at a junior college would consider him, which resulted in him being flown out to Kansas. The road to Kansas was a difficult one, as Mr. LeMon did not have enough for a ticket from Pennsylvania to Kansas, but he was able to find a ride with a family friend from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati. “I cried the whole way [and] I was so mad at myself. I was just upset with myself that I had found myself in that situation,” said Mr. LeMon. It turned out the risk was worth the reward, as he ended up staying and was able to succeed in football and focus on his academics. “It really made me learn how to study.
I always could do it. I just didn’t put the effort into it, and it helped me refocus my priorities in life,” said Mr. LeMon, describing his time at the college. However, his success in football did not last, as Mr. LeMon hurt his knee playing against the Air Force Academy and missed 4-5 games. The injury made him realize that he could easily lose his chance to play football, but no one could ever take what he had learned in school away from him. Not only did the injury increase his focus on his academics, it also caused him to miss more than half of the season. In the end, it worked out as he then decided to play for West Virginia University. After graduation, Mr. LeMon ended up working as a probation officer, and he worked in the athletic department of WVU to help athletes succeed in their academics, as he had learned to do in school. He went on to earn master’s degrees in education and public health from WVU, and he moved to Maryland, where he earned his third master’s degree from University of Maryland in social work. He became a social worker and went on to hold positions as an assistant principal
and administrator at Mt. Hebron, Patapsco Middle, Marriotts Ridge, and Hammond before he was promoted to principal of Wilde Lake. In the end, it was the people who helped Mr. LeMon during his school years that drove him to become involved in education and social work. “My whole goal was always to help kids, and I think that’s why I found myself in education and as a licensed social worker. I’m just trying to make a difference,” said Mr. LeMon. Mr. LeMon’s road to success is unusual but not impossible. He works to inspire and motivate students to reach their full potential. “You can do anything that you want if you work hard, know how to persevere, and know how to treat people,” Mr. LeMon tells students. As for the future of Wilde Lake, Mr. LeMon hopes to see strong student-teacher relationships and for students to leave Wilde Lake as well-rounded individuals who are able to make their own academic and social choices. Mr. LeMon reminds his students when he tells them about his personal journey, “it’s not about where you start, but where you finish.”
Opening the Time Capsule: Articles from Mr. LeMon’s Past “I learned there if I wanted anything in life, I had to work at it if I was going to be somebody one day.” -Mr. LeMon
Mr. LeMon “reaped the benefits” of his hard work both academically and physically (Articles courtesy of Mr. LeMon, photograph by Misbah Farooqi).
THE CAT’S CLAW
Winter 2015 • Volume I
Featured Athlete: Ernie Fermin By Ashleigh Cameron Staff Writer
Senior Ernie Fermin played football all four years of high school and has been wrestling for three years. He started wrestling as a way to keep his body in shape and as a way to pass the free time he had. “I love wrestling because I love leading the team and the feeling you get when you win a match,” said Fermin. Even though wrestling takes up the majority of his free time, he still makes it a priority to maintain his good grades. “It’s one of the most important things when you’re an athlete to make sure you keep up your grades,” said Fermin. Fermin connects to wrestling, because he likes anything aggressive. “I get this adrenaline rush when I’m doing aggressive sports that I don’t get any other time. And it keeps my body in shape,” said Fermin. Although he loves wrestling, Fermin
admits that he is going to stop wrestling and pursue his football career in college. Fermin has been playing football almost his entire life. “It’s the sport I’m most comfortable playing,” said Fermin. Coach Harrison has coached Fermin through his high school career and has seen how much his abilities have improved. He commented on how Fermin’s determination and hard work has made him a better football player. “Ernie has showed a lot of leader characteristics this season, because he is one of the more dependable seniors. He pushes everyone else on the team to do their best on the field and at practices,” said Harrison. Fermin admits that even though he wishes the 2014-1015 football season could have been better than a 3-7 record, he doesn’t regret anything. “I loved my team and I know that even when I’m gone they’ll continue to improve on their game,” said Fermin.
Opinion: Stepping it Up Better Recruitment, Better Coaching, More Wins
Overall Records for Varsity Wrestling School Oakland Mills River Hill Glenelg Mt. Hebron Marriotts Ridge Reservoir Atholton Centennial Howard Long Reach Hammond Wilde Lake
Record 17-2-4 16-4 10-4 9-4 5-5-4 7-5 6-9-1 3-5-3 3-6-2 1-9-3 2-11 1-11-1
By Ali Mallo Sports Editor
Wilde Lake is not known through the county for it’s sports. We have suffered many years with the majority of our teams having losing records. While some programs do not follow the trend, the reputation we have been given has stuck. Why are Wilde Lake sports struggling? The issue is not a lack of talented athletes. Each sports team has standouts that are first-team all county caliber and many
Overall Records for Varsity Boys Basketball School Oakland Mills Centennial River Hill Glenelg Reservoir Mt. Hebron Atholton Long Reach Howard Marriotts Ridge Hammond Wilde Lake
Record 19-2 18-1 15-5 12-10-1 12-8-1 12-9 10-10 9-14 8-13 4-15 3-19 2-18
more that display untapped potential. With one of the best short distance track teams in the state, Wilde Lake shows that athleticism is not lacking. It comes down to the issue of inexperience. Many students come into freshmen year without previous experience in a sport. But they still try out and often times make a junior varsity team. Two years later they have to move up to varsity with only the experience they gained on the junior var-
Overall Records for Varsity Girls Basketball School Atholton Centennial Mt. Hebron Howard Glenelg Oakland Mills River Hill Long Reach Reservoir Wilde Lake Marriotts Ridge Hammond
sity team. High school provides a new opportunity for students to finally try out the new sport. However, it is hard to build a program up that starts from the JV team when the coach has to spend time teaching players how to play the sport instead of trying to fine tune the more advanced skills. With all the focus being on teaching the basics, the few experienced students are not able to develop as much as they would on a team where the majority of players are
Winter Season Comes To An End Winter is finally ending, and the spring season is already here. Wilde Lake wrapped up great efforts for the winter season by all teams. Say goodbye to the snow, wrestling mats, and hoops, because it’s time to go back outside.
Photographs by Natalie Varela
Record 20-1 17-4-1 17-2-1 17-4 12-8 9-8-3 7-12-2 7-13 6-13-2 4-14-3 5-17 4-18
experienced. If you look at the schools that are winning most of the county, regional, and state titles you’ll see that most of their starting players have been playing year round for most of their lives. For experienced student athletes at other schools, their way of gaining experience is through club sports. However, the price of club sports can easily cost thousands of dollars that not every family can afford. The problem of inexperience does not just lie with students; it also lies with the coaches. Howard County policy is that if an employee of the school system wants a coaching position, they have priority. This policy allows for teachers who have less experience than an outside coach to taking the coach’s position. Also, coaching staffs are often inconsistent, and schools struggle to fill in positions last minute. This often results in helpful teachers stepping in, but that does not mean they are able to provide the necessary experience to help the students improve. If Wilde Lake wants to step its sports up, it needs to make some changes. Students should be given opportunities before coming to high school. Other states and other counties have middle school sports which could add three years of experience for the new athletes. These middle school programs also propose many other positive benefits for students and could be something that the county could develop. Wilde Lake also needs to recruit a more experienced coaching staff. Coaching is critical to the development of players’ skills, and with students that already lack experience, it is even more critical. Lack of experience of both students and coaches will continue to produce losing records.
Opinion: Professional Athletes Face Harsh Criticism By Michael Casey Staff Writer
In the world of sports today, players can get in trouble for being too confident, too reserved, and almost anything that reflects poorly on their teams. Professional athletes must meticulously choose their actions, almost as if they are actors with a script. Athletes are treated with more severity than nonathletes when it comes to breaking the law, and are subject to additional restrictions put in place by their respective athletic leagues. Even in comparison with other famous icons, professional athletes get in more trouble for less serious offenses. Nearly everyone remembers how Justin Bieber got into trouble for drunk driving, yet was let off with little to no consequences. Take the Seattle Seahawks’ Running Back, Marshawn Lynch, for example. Recently he has made headlines for not talking to the media. When he finally met with the media, he gave one sentence responses and deliberately dodged the reporter’s questions. Lynch has
his own reasons for not talking to the media; he doesn’t want to take all the credit for his miraculous plays, as it is his teammates who allow him to make such plays. This has not always been issue, as in college, Lynch would even have fellow teammates talk to the media for him, yet it is just now becoming an issue. Now, the NFL is forcing him to talk to the media by fining him thousands of dollars and is ready to do so again if Lynch does not comply. This is taking away his most basic human right of deciding not to speak if you don’t want to. Cleveland Browns’ Wide Receiver, Josh Gordon, is also a clear representation of the harsh penalties on professional athletes. Gordon has had multiple offenses for the possession and use of marijuana. For a regular citizen, the punishment would be a fine, but for Josh Gordon, the punishment was a much greater fine and a one-year suspension from the NFL. Many people know the effects of and use Adderall for both medical and non-medical reasons. Orioles First Baseman Chris Davis had a prescription
for the use of Adderall, yet no longer had one for the 2014 season. He was not using the drug to enhance his performance, as he actually lives with ADD/ ADHD. For the offense of using Adderall without a prescription, Davis was forced to sit out for 25 games, including the Orioles’ run in the playoffs. Though this is a punishable offense in terms of the law, Davis was punished harsher than a normal citizen would be. Davis had to sit out the whole of the Orioles’ postseason run, and now must sit out of the 2015 Opening Day These players are being victimized by their respective leagues for violations for which regular citizens might only receive fines. For the same crimes, professional athletes are losing much more than the average citizen, because their employers are the ones punishing them. People can argue that these athletes represent entire cities in the national eye, but that doesn’t condone the harsher punishments thrust upon them. Athletes should not be punished harsher than others for their actions, simply because they are athletes.
Brett Bowie defends his basket from the opposing offense (Photograph by Natalie Varela).
Wilde Lake Basketball Underdogs Continue To Take the Court Against Tough Rivals By Michael Casey Staff Writer
The underdogs of Howard County, Wilde Lake boys varsity basketball started the game against Glenelg on December 10 with aggressiveness and fierceness and ended with victory, catching the Glenelg Gladiators by complete surprise. During the game, the Wildcats put 50 points on the scoreboard, while restricting the visiting Gladiators to only 46 points, and thus winning the game. This put Wilde Lake’s record at 2-15. Although all of the players have their strengths on the court, one of the leading players in multiple statistics is senior captain Steven Jordan. He is one of the most dependable players on the team, because he is very consistent, according to his teammates.
Even though all of the games in the season are important, the game against Glenelg was one of the most imperative games to win, according to Coach Wingfield. “This is probably one of the biggest rivalries for me because we’re playing against my former high school, and I’ve known Coach Wingfield since middle school,” said Glenelg’s Coach Snyder. Snyder and Wingfield played basketball together at Wilde Lake during their four years of high school. The Cats had the chance to repeat their success against the Gladiators on February 3, but fell short in a close game that ended with a 55-65 loss, leaving Glenelg to overtake Wilde Lake in the Howard County Basketball Standings.
Team Required to Use School Horses Changes Impact Competition By Kate Glaros Sports Editor
Imani Valenine, junior, competes for Wilde Lake in the Advanced Section of an IEA show (Photograph courtesy of Stephen DeSesa).
This year, Wilde Lake’s Equestrian Club is having to adapt to a new competition series, organized by the IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association), with rules against riders bringing their own horses to competitions. According to the IEA website, in the series, horses are selected randomly in a lottery, minutes prior to each competition. In previous years, riders had the option to either bring their own horses or be given one from the stable. On the IEA website, it is stated that the rules restricting riders from bringing horses to the competitions were put in place to prepare them for riding at the collegiate level, where the same rules are currently in place Senior rider Ali Mallo says that the introduction of the new rules will impact riders’ performances, as the familiarity between horse and rider is thought to be an important aspect of the sport. “It’s like a best friend relationship. You trust each other the more you get to know them,” said junior Equestrian Team Member Melissa Rabinowitz when describing her relationship with the horse
she rides. When it comes to horses, riders have to understand how each horse thinks, which requires time with their horses, says Rabinowitz. For example, Rabinowitz goes to her own barn as often as she can and rides a large, chestnut horse named Simon. Other riders on the Equestrian Team, like juniors Sarah Moore and Lily Conteh and Senior Ali Mallo, also spend time at their own barns and ride several different horses to get to know them. “It’s all about trust,” says Rabinowitz. However, according to Rabinowitz, in the new competition series, the aspect of trust is no longer present, as riders compete with school horses that they meet only minutes before their events. “Riding is based on how you trust your horse. I ride better on Simon than on a horse I’ve never rode before, because the trust is there with Simon,” said Rabinowitz. Many riders have had to adjust to riding on and competing with horses that they have never met. Mallo has been riding since elementary school, and knows how to deal with the unpredictability of school horses. “Most of the time, a lot of the horses
respond better to you if you’re sweet and calm. They can feel if you’re tense and will feed off of that negative energy,” said Mallo. Because they do not have prior relationships with the school horses assigned to them, the riders have to turn to other means of reading their horses’ emotions. These veteran riders take visual cues, like pinned back ears and legs kicking out, to know to stay away from their horses. These physical changes in the horse’s behavior are interpreted as warnings that the animal may lash out at its rider. “Riding on a school horse makes you a lot more sensitive to the horse. If you kick it really hard, it could either buck you or stand perfectly still. You don’t know how the horse will react to your movements,” said Moore. “You have no idea what the horses are going to do, so you have to improvise your style of riding until you get a feel for them,” said Conteh. As unpredictable as they are, horses are often misunderstood by people who do not ride them, according to Mallo. “You have to gain their trust at first. Horses are prey animals, so they’re going to be defensive. They’re going to be afraid of you,” said Mallo.
Sports Nutrition By Rachel Lazris Staff Writer
Rachel Lazris is currently in the intern/ mentor program at Wilde Lake and is researching sports nutrition with her mentor, Athletic Director Mr. Rau.
As an athlete, what you eat has a major impact on your athletic performance. The foods that your body consumes are what give you energy to perform at your maximum capacity. Eating healthy is a major factor that can help you improve your performance, but the nutrition plan you should follow depends on what sporting event you partake in. Any moderate form of exercise, such as a soccer game or a cross country meet, needs foods that can help your body’s energy last as long as possible. Prior to training, you should consume a mix of proteins (such as peanut butter, eggs, nuts, beans, or any meat) and carbohydrates (such as whole grain breads, crackers, and fruits). Carbohydrates are the first sustenance your body uses for energy, so consuming them prior to exercise is vital. Carbohydrates, however, give only a short burst of energy. Mixing
in protein slows down the carbohydrate absorption and allows carbs to remain in the bloodstream longer, thus preventing a *sugar drop and helping the body’s energy remain high for longer. During training, you should consume a small dose of carbs every hour to restore energy levels. After exercise, you should eat protein within 30 minutes. It would help to carry a snack with you, like a granola bar or peanut butter, so you can consume it directly after exercise. The protein allows your muscles to recover and build up, thus preventing injury and muscle breakdown. Chocolate milk is recommended to drink immediately following exercise, as it contains double the carbohydrate and protein content compared to milk water or most sports drinks. This makes it perfect for replenishing tired muscles. Sprint/power exercises, such as sprinting, wrestling, and baseball, need short bursts of energy to reach maximum performance. The concept is similar to endurance exercise, except before training, you should consume a lot of carbohydrates to give your body a high amount of energy that it can use in that short amount of time. After exercise, you should have protein to help the muscles recover. Focusing on what and when you eat is a factor that can take you to the next level of your athletic capability while keeping your body healthy. *An example of a sugar drop is: when you drink caffeine, the body is immediately full of energy, A sugar drop is when all the energy goes away and the body feels tired.
On The Ice Everyday: Ryan Allison
By Michael Casey Staff Writer
This year, the longstanding tradition of national championship bowl games made way for the new college football playoffs. Under these new playoffs, the bowl games that once served as national championships (Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta, and Peach) will rotate as the semifinal games on a three-year cycle. The top four teams in the country were admitted to the playoffs, with the winners of the semifinal games playing in the national championship. This poses the question: Is it better to stick with tradition or change with the times? Despite the high demand for this new system, there are still a few flaws that need to be worked out. “High school football players looking to play in college will look to the big schools like Oregon or Alabama. Smaller schools won’t get a chance,” said Senior Conor Shimabukuro. “When players look for colleges to play at, they look with the hope of winning a championship. This playoff system gives larger schools a better chance to do that.” The emphasis on large schools is a pressing issue for unsupportive viewers. However, a larger debate is focused on the selection of teams. Fans and coaches alike were confused about the members of the selection committee, with diverse members such as Archie Manning, the father of Peyton and Eli Manning; Oliver Luck, the father of Andrew Luck; and even Condoleezza Rice, a
Ryan Allison skates to the puck during his ice hockey game (Photograph courtesy of Ryan Allison).
parents. I at least owe them that much,” said Allison. Allison had to miss at least five days of school for a tournament in Canada, but he says that the sacrifice is worth it. “I’m going to miss a lot of school, but this might be the time I get a look, and I can’t pass that up,” he said. Allison stays hopeful every match, even though he has been playing for his entire life and has never gotten a single call or email from a recruiter. He truly believes that it is a sacrifice worth taking and that one day, he’ll get a call from the college of his dreams.
previous Secretary of State. Why Condoleezza Rice was on this committee, many don’t understand. Many fans and coaches believe that Rice was not qualified to serve on this committee. College football fans were livid and confused over selections made by the committee; such as Florida State, an undefeated school since 2012, being placed at the number 3 Seed behind Alabama and Oregon. After the end of the first college football playoffs, with Ohio State on top, only one complaint remains: junior Ryan Tiffey and senior Justin Allen, among many other college football fans, believe that the new playoffs should admit the top 8 teams instead of just 4. Viewers argue that the playoffs would be much more entertaining and would bring in more revenue if the top eight teams were admitted. This would allow teams such as Baylor, TCU, Mississippi State, and Michigan State to play in the playoffs, which would result in increased publicity on account of a larger population of interested fans. Despite these complaints, the first year of the College Football Playoffs was a success. It captivated viewers and made the National Championship system much more fair by allowing more teams a chance to participate. Though the old bowl game method was tradition, in a sport that is constantly changing, it was necessary to adapt to the times.
Running in a Winter Wonderland By Rachel Lazris Staff Writer
By Nick Smythe Staff Writer
“I wake up every morning in agony, having to force myself to get out of bed and get ready for school,” said sophomore ice hockey player Ryan Allison. Allison has practice three hours a day, then goes home and stays up late at night, finishing homework. Having to juggle school and hockey, he becomes swamped with schoolwork from all the days he spends on the ice instead of at a desk. When he is not at practice or doing homework, he can be found at the gym, getting his body ready for matches to come. “It is worth not getting any sleep and hurting everyday,” says Allison. He does this in hope of getting a call or look from a college recruiter. “I haven’t gotten any calls yet, but I’m really hoping. My family needs this,” said Allison. Since he currently has siblings in college, he feels that it is his responsibility to help his family pay for his college education. “I don’t regret missing school and being swamped; I’m doing this to help out my
Opinion: College Playoffs
Snow, rain, wind, and freezing temperatures don’t stop indoor track runners. Indoor track places the drastic winter weather to the side as the runners train outside during the winter season, despite the physical adversity. When asked about his motives regarding running in severe weather, junior Tyler Patron exclaimed “I like to work hard.” Patron explained that in the winter season, the team continues to run outside, no matter what the weather is, as they do not have many other options. If the weather prevents them from training outside, they find a way to run. Even when black ice coated the streets, the runners had no day off. Instead, they ran up and down the stairs and through the halls of Wilde Lake. Even though the runners fight through the adversity, the weather can be detrimental to their performance. When it is cold outside, “you can’t run as fast because your body gets tight. You can run a lot faster when it is hot outside,” explained Patron. Cold weather causes muscles to lose more heat and contract, making them tighten up. The joints get tighter, so muscles are forced to work significantly harder to complete the same tasks they complete easily in milder weather. Mr. Rau, Wilde Lake’s athletic director, said that “when it is cold outside, it is about moderation and conditioning.” Rau explained that it is vital that runners let their
bodies slowly adjust to the weather. It is helpful to begin running in warmer weathers and as the weather cools, the body will conform itself. “That is why they start in November...it is about being adapted to the weather,” Rau explained. The concept is similar to training. Junior Ally McHale explained, “over the season, track workouts get harder and harder”. This gradually builds up speed and endurance, allowing the body to safely grow stronger and robust. Winter track meets occur in an indoor facility, differing from the spring season. The laps are only 200 meters juxtaposed with the 400 meter laps outdoor tracks contain. This causes the runners to have to mentally adjust, as they have to run around the indoor track twice as much as they do in the spring. The atmosphere is a major factor that contrasts the indoor facility to outdoor tracks. Junior Steven Bae stated that, in the indoor facilities, the “air is really dry, making it difficult to breath”, but, according to Patron, “at least it’s warm.” CREDIT TO WRITERS Ali Mallo--------------Editor Kate Glaros----------- Editor Rachel Lazris Michael Casey Nick Smythe Ashleigh Cameron Carmen Freeman
In Best Buddies, Different is Welcomed By Catherine Ewing Staff Writer
Elise McGinnis and member Parthenia Pearson meet and bond both during meetings and outside of school (Photograph by Natalie Varela).
“Our goal is to go out of business.” This is how junior Elise McGinnis, president of the Best Buddies club, explains the primary goal of the program that matches special needs teens with their peers. The club is all about “appreciating people who are different than you,” said McGinnis. But the hope of the club members is to one day not need a club to encourage inclusion of special needs teens, and that everyone will be included in all situations, without needing a program to promote it. “Including people who are different than you is very rewarding and makes your life more fulfilled. It’s derogatory to see them as being less than you,” says McGinnis. McGinnis explained how the club gave her more confidence in her ability to include others. Before, she didn’t know how to comfortably include her buddy with her friends, but she now invites her buddy to events all the time, bringing her buddy to games and to other hangouts with her friends. “Best Buddies sets a standard to make people more comfortable with people with intellectual and developmental disorders, because you start seeing them as your friends and not as being less than you. It’s really just about spending time with them,” says McGinnis.
Anime Club Members Embrace New Cultures By Christian Richardson Staff Writer
After the intense battle of the popular horror computer game, “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” which lasted multiple hours, Wilde Lake’s Anime Club concluded the tournament with no winner. But it’s not about winning for members of this unique club. The Anime Club, which has been a staple club at Wilde Lake for several years, held the tournament in order to boost its membership, but also as a way to bring people together for a common interest. That’s why, for Senior President Devon Johnson, winning didn’t matter. “It [Anime Club] expresses who I am, and embraces the culture that I like.” Anime is a style of Japanese film and television animation, typically aimed at all ages. Many people have made attractions to advertise the popular sensation. It’s been distributed through multi-platform media, video games and graphic novels. In Anime Club, members typically watch Anime shows, like Dragon Ball Z and Sword Art Online. But sometimes they do more. Dress up days (Cosplay days) and gaming tournaments are an important part of the Anime experience. In Anime Club what holds the group together is their love for the art. “Anything can happen in Anime,” says Devon. That’s what he likes about it. Anime excites and takes down the expectations for many people by breaking many laws of both physics and nature. Vice President Logan Ward says that the
Members of the club are matched with a special needs teen based on their personalities, and member requirements include turning in friendship updates and hanging out with their buddies outside of school at least twice a month. After attending a Best Buddies conference last year where Best Buddies members from around the country joined together, McGinnis was inspired to make this club a big part of her life. She joined as a freshman, motivated to join by her sister with Down’s syndrome who benefited from the club when she attended Wilde Lake. McGinnis went from a member her freshman year, to vice president her sophomore year, and now, as a junior, she is president of the club. Out of all her experiences in the Best Buddies program, her favorite is the matching of the members with their buddies. She recalled her favorite match party, the one at the first meeting of this year, where she was able to witness all of the pairs bonding and getting along very well. As president, she and the other members of the executive board work to match the pairs based on the personality charts that all members fill out. McGinnis is also responsible for organizing the socials which take place every month, collecting the friendship updates, and promoting the club. The club’s biggest promotion month is in March, known as Best Buddies month, and it is dedicated to the “spread the word to end the word” campaign. McGinnis’ focus is on promoting inclusion and encouraging not using the “R-word.”
Toni Heo: A Girl With An American Dream By Rachael Drake Staff Writer
In the Anime Club, members have the chance to explore different cultures (Photograph by Natalie Varela).
Anime Club “gives a chance to people who like Anime to feel welcome and accepted for who they are and what they like.” For Logan, the Anime Club is a place where fans of Japanese cartoons come and hang out with other fans. “People feel accepted for who they are,” says club member Jason Kiefer, “but what keeps them coming back is being around others who share the same liking as them.” “It’s the only type of cartoon I like,” says Logan. Devon and Logan have ambitious plans for the club’s future. They hope to take the club to the Otaku festival held at Centennial in April. They also want to host Cosplay days, which is a way fans show their appreciation towards Anime by dressing up as the characters, and more tournaments.
Junior Toni Heo has been fascinated with American culture since she was young. From learning English and watching American television shows such as Caillou and Dragon Tales, she aspired to be like every other American kid except there was one problem: she lived in Seoul, Korea, halfway around the world. Entering grade school, Heo found herself under the pressure of an enormous amount of stress. After seeing their daughter struggle, Heo’s parents decided to move to Maryland to lessen the pressure and give her more opportunities. After moving to Maryland in 2012 and beginning school at Wilde Lake in 2013, Heo quickly learned English. Here at Wilde Lake, she felt right at home. “All the teachers and people were so nice to me,” she said with a smile. Heo first heard about International Club from Mr. Browder, and that sparked her interest. She wanted to see what it was about, so she came to one of the meetings and fell in love. “When I came I
made so many friends and I enjoyed learning about the different cultures,” she said, “This made me want to keep coming back.” Heo went to every meeting after that and shortly after the seniors left last year, the club put Heo as its president because of the efforts she put forth. “As president, I give directions of what we are doing and what we could do to make the club better and more popular. I also made a Facebook page to help promote it,” said Heo. Heo has bigger plans in mind. Next year, Heo wants to start another club where International Club members help new foreign students learn English at Wilde Lake and Wilde Lake Middle School. She also wants to start an international club when she’s in college. From a young girl in Korea dreaming about coming to America to president of the International Club, Heo has big plans for her future in the U.S.
Exchange Programs Bring Diversity to Wilde Lake By Carmen Freeman Staff Writer
Through Howard County’s exchange programs, many students have had the opportunity to experience other cultures. Yada Ngamposri and Charis Ramsing, two Wilde Lake students, have had the chance to take advantage of these programs. Junior Yada Ngamposri is a foreign exchange student from Thailand, who currently lives with a host family that has never hosted an exchange student before. “At first it was just culture shock,” said Ngamposri when explaining her first experiences in the U.S, “It was just so different.” She discovered many cultural differences upon first arriving at Wilde Lake, such as her experience at the homecoming dance. “Everybody was so upfront and social, compared to my culture,” said Ngamposri, as she explains that her culture is more conservative and would not have such an event. “The biggest part that I still haven’t gotten used to is the diversity of people and their ability to all get along,” said Ngamposri. Senior Charis Ramsing has experienced the other side of that story. Last year, she lived in Morocco for ten months with a program that intends to improve relationships between the U.S. and Islamic countries. “I’m really interested in cultural diversity and I wanted to know more about the world that we live in,” said Ramsing, “I really believe in breaking stereotypes, and that’s why I went.” For Ramsing, every aspect of her day was drastically different then how it is in the U.S. “I went to a private French school, so it was very different from Wilde Lake. There were only 100 kids, no extracurricular activities, all in French, and because it was a private school, everybody was really rich,” said Ramsing. Ramsing believes that her exposure to different types of cultures and people at Wilde Lake has impacted the way she views the world.
Senior Charis Ramsing spent her last year of school in a French school in Morocco, while junior Yada Ngamposri is visiting Wilde Lake from her home in Thailand (Photographs by Natalie Varela).
Ngamposri also believes that the diversity at Wilde Lake allows for a different and more open-minded perspective on the world. Ramsing and Ngamposri, although both foreign exchange students, were a part of different organizations that gave them the opportunity to live abroad. Ramsing’s trip was sponsored by the U.S. government, while Ngamposri was sponsored by Education First, a program that specializes in language training, educational travel, academic degree programs, and cultural
exchange. There are many different kinds of programs available which offer students the opportunity to live abroad, such as the new Sister Cities Exchange Program, which is sponsored by the Columbia Association. The program allows students to go to a European country for two weeks and then come back to host one student from the family they stayed with. “I appreciate that I have the experience of staying here [at Wilde Lake] for an entire school year. I don’t think anybody could get
the full experience from a two week program,” said Ngamposri when she learned about the Sister Cities Exchange program. “I don’t think either [program] would be better or worse than the other, because either way you are going to get a cultural experience that you will remember for the rest of your life,” said Ramsing when told about the program. “No matter what experience you decide to take, you should take it and never forget the experience you had,” said Ramsing.
Emily Hobby Finds New Outlook on Life By Anjali DasSarma Features Editor
Junior Emily Hobby has her whole life in front of her. From her college plans to getting a new puppy to the completion of her first novel, Hobby hasn’t let her diagnosis of Lyme disease get in the way of her bright future. Hobby was diagnosed with Lyme disease in October of 2013. After several infections and complications including POTS, the syndrome that causes blood pressure to drop, Hobby was forced to stay home from school, having her friends bring work back and forth
for her. After two months, Hobby began the “Home & Hospital” program which sends a teacher once a week to her home to teach her for an hour per subject. “It’s been a little more than a year now and I’ve definitely gotten into the swing of it,” said Hobby. Staying home all day has brought her closer to her parents as well. “[It’s] been pretty difficult, you know, being a teenager, stuck in your house with your parents all day. I think we’ve gotten better at getting along,” said Hobby. The hardest part, Hobby says,
is the schoolwork and not being able to see her friends as often as she once did. “Schoolwork’s definitely difficult. That’s hard, and not seeing a lot of people because when you’re at school, you’re together all the time. I definitely think I’ve matured a lot, because you don’t have a teacher over your shoulder telling you what to do. It’s really on you,” said Hobby. Over time however, Hobby was able to focus and put her free time to good use. “I make a list of things I want to do everyday and if I get everything done, that’s a good day. One
of the good things about being home all day is that I get to explore things that I want to do. I think I want to be an economist or a biomedical engineer. I also love writing and in the time I’ve been here, at home, I’ve written two novels. The first one wasn’t that great. It takes practice. I actually want to publish the one that I’m working on now by the end of the year.” Hobby hopes to continue exploring her options and working towards her future, whether she’s at home or back in school. For her, “it’s just setting small goals and trying to hit them.”
Emily Hobby has utilized her time at home to explore her interests (Photograph by Natalie Varela).
Procrastination is Our Worst Enemy By Misbah Farooqi Managing Editor-in-Chief
It’s 8 P.M. on a Sunday night, and you still haven’t started your homework. You’re lying in bed, scrolling through your Instagram feed. A quick text to your friends confirms that you’re not the only one who hasn’t started your homework yet. It happens to all of us, but it’s something that needs to end. Procrastination has always been a part of human nature, but lately it’s becoming a larger issue. Today, procrastination has become a normal routine for lots of teenagers. Due to widespread use of the Internet and social media, it seems like everyone is procrastinating these days. However, the normalization of procrastination does not mean that it is okay to procrastinate. Technology plays a huge role in the increase of procrastination. Cell phones, TV, and social media sites are very distracting and prevent people from getting their work done. In the study conducted by StudyMode, a website that provides online learning tools to students, using social media and watching movies or TV are the top two ways teens procrastinate. Not only does procrastination affect your current productivity, it also affects your future. Once you start procrastinating, it becomes a habit, and it is one that is difficult to break. Constantly procrastinating causes you to wait until the last minute to finish everything, which causes you to rush through your work, become overwhelmed, and even give up on your work. This causes stress, which affects how much sleep you can get and your happiness. This could lead to other health issues like depression. Living in a constant cycle of procrastination is not only unhealthy, it’s not the way a successful person lives. Successful people make sure to finish their work on time and get the job done, because if they didn’t do that, then they wouldn’t have anything at which to be successful. Putting things off only affects you accomplishing your goals in the future, which does nothing to benefit you. However, all is not lost if you’ve started to procrastinate. Putting an end to procras-
tination starts by changing your mindset. No matter how much you want to find out what happened in the season finale of your favorite TV show or see your favorite YouTuber’s latest video, it isn’t going to help you accomplish your goals (unless of course, your goal is to watch TV or Youtube videos). You have to recognize that your work is important and necessary for success, and if you don’t do it, there will be consequences. So, turn off Netflix and go finish that English essay!
Students Should Not Be Pressured to Take AP Classes
Ways to Stay Focused and Motivated 1. Think about your future goals and what you plan to achieve, and how getting your work done will help you achieve your goals. 2. Have a good support system of people who will motivate you and remind you to keep on track. 3. Organize your workspace. Make sure you have all the materials you need in front of you before you start working. Be careful not to use organizing as a way to procrastinate. 4. Get rid of or turn off any distractions you may have, including your phone, computer, or TV. 5. Use an app or a website like SelfControl, to block any distracting websites while you study or work on your computer or phone. 6. Create a to-do list of what you have to do before starting your work, and check off each task as you finish it. 7. Break up your work into small tasks so that you don’t become overwhelmed by it all. 8. Don’t multitask. 9. Finish your hardest task first. 10. Set a reward for yourself once you finish a task.
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Students prepare for an upcoming AP exam (Photograph by Natalie Varela).
is that students are taking more AP classes than they can handle. Adding to that stress, AP students typiColleges are searching for the best and cally take other high level classes. Many of brightest students. They are looking for these students also balance a loaded schedwell-rounded students who challenge ule of extracurriculars and lack enough themselves academically. Advanced Place- time to get everything done. ment courses are presented to students as A survey by the American Psychologa gateway into the colleges of their dreams, ical Association found that nearly half of but that is not the case. all teens said they were stressed by school The issue of whether students should pressures. This is due to high-level and AP challenge themselves with AP classes is courses, in addition to other factors highcontroversial. Students are being pressured school students face. by parents, teachers, Even if a student and peers to step up can handle the stress Take classes you love and not their games when it and succeed in an AP comes to competing ones you feel pressured to take. class, passing the AP against other stutest does not guaranBut also consider the benefits dents. That means of taking higher-level courses. tee college credit. Not taking higher-level, all colleges accept AP more difficult classes, That’s the message we should be credits, so many stuoften at the expense getting from our administrators. dents have to retake of personal health and the course in college. happiness. So, in some cases, the But it isn’t just parstress and late nights ents who are putting are all for nothing. pressure on students to take higher level During this season of scheduling, we courses. The administration is also putting should remember that choosing classes that unnecessary pressure on students. is personal. Take classes you love and not The fact is that schools appear more ac- ones you feel pressured to take. But also ademically successful when students take consider the benefits of taking higher-level and pass AP classes. With the reputation of courses. That’s the message we should be the school on its back, the administration is getting from our administrators. pushing students to do more, and the result By Caitlyn Brosnan Staff Writer
The Paw Print Wilde Lake High School 5460 Trumpeter Road -- Columbia, MD 21044 Volume 42, 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.
Managing Editor-in-Chief..............................................................................................Misbah Farooqi Copy Editor-in-Chief...............................................................................................................Jenny Lees Features Editor...............................................................................................................Anjali DasSarma News Editor..............................................................................................................................Alex Moon Sports Editors ..................................................................................................... Ali Mallo, Kate Glaros Business Manager....................................................................................................De’Quantai Edwards Photographers........................................................................................Natalie Varela, Ben TownsendWriters..............................................................................................Caitlyn Brosnan, Ashleigh Cameron, Michael Casey, Gabby Christopher, Rachael Drake, Catherine Ewing, Carmen Freeman, Keir Hicks, Rachel Lazris, Christian Richardson, Nick Smythe Faculty Advisor..................................................................................................................Ben Townsend
Schools Should Provide Necessary Technology By Jenny Lees Copy Editor-in-Chief
As the “Bring Your Own Device” policy grows, students without smartphones are left in the dust. The policy, better known as BYOD, officially went into effect this year. It allows teachers to have students use their smartphones as part of instructional activities. For now, smartphones are predominantly used for educational games, like Kahoot, and for research when teachers are unable to attain a class set of computers. Kahoot has been a major success, as it is an engaging and fun way for students to test their knowledge in the classroom. However, in all of my classes, the advice for students without smartphones is the
same: share. And though, in this early stage of BYOD, the effect of not having a smartphone has on learning is not extreme, those students are already missing out. When devices are used for researching purposes, those sharing will not accomplish as much in class, and if the student without the phone sits out of the activity, he or she does not gain the researching skills that are important in high school and even more important in college. As usage of the policy expands, it will have a greater effect on the progress of these students unless something is done. Though there are different reasons for a person to not have a smartphone or tablet to use in school, many without will be those who are of a lower socioeconomic status and cannot afford one. If the school is going to continue the
BYOD program, it should provide smartphones, tablets, or computers for students who do not have their own to use during BYOD lessons, so the progress of students of a lower socioeconomic status, as well as others without smartphones, is not inhibited by the policy. In 2014, the Board of Education spent over $3 million on textbooks. There is inconsistent criteria for replacing textbooks, so some are replaced unnecessarily. The money wasted replacing textbooks that are still in good condition could be used to provide students with devices to use in class. In a world caught up in Instagram and selfies, it is easy to forget that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a smartphone, and the school should ensure that these students are not left behind as the use of the BYOD policy expands.
Gap Between Class Levels Hurts Student Progress By Catherine Ewing Staff Writer
Offering a variety of class levels allows students to have a schedule that is the best fit for them, but students aren’t being challenged enough, and our public school system is leaving students unprepared. Most classes in high school offer some combination of a regular, honors, G/T, or AP course selection, but the jump to each of these levels differs dramatically. The change in workload from a regular or honors course to a G/T or AP course entails an entirely different course and a huge workload and stress level. But our regular classes should be preparing us for honors, and our honors classes should be preparing us for G/T. This would ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to move up in class difficulty level as they continue through their
high school career. This huge jump between difficulty levels means that two different kids can both graduate from the same public high school but have two completely different levels of preparation for college and future careers. This is not the intended goal of public schooling. One of the top public school systems is in Finland, where they practice the technique of having absolutely no different class difficulty levels. As researched by Smithsonian Magazine, Finnish public schools teach all children in the same classroom, and the difference between the weakest and the strongest students is the smallest in the world. With this technique, Finnish students have neared the top of the charts in international standardized measurements, coming in second for science, third for reading, and sixth for math, out of half a
million students around the world. Smithsonian Magazine reports that, in contrast with Finland, the United States has continued to “muddle along in the middle for the past decade. ” Efforts to increase scores, like George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act” and Obama’s “Race to the Top” initiative, have evidently failed to boost our students, as we have stayed in the middle of the rankings for the last ten years. America has two options: decrease the difficulty difference between these class levels, or rid schools of this jump all together and bring all students to the same advanced level of education. The United States’ public school systems problem lies in student inequality. The United States must prepare all students equally regardless of class level difficulty and give students the ability to jump to their success.
School Start Times Should Be Later Entering the school building, instead of smiling faces, we are surrounded by zombies. It may sound like a horror movie, but surprisingly, the cause of the outbreak is not some kind of rare pathogen. The zombies are just the exhausted high school students. Early school start times are negatively impacting the ability of students to get the minimum 8 hours of sleep, which causes them to be too exhausted to function properly during school, especially in the morning classes. From our experiences, in first and second period, people are more tired, less alert, and fall asleep more often. If the starting time of school was later, students would get more sleep and therefore be more attentive in class. According to a study by Brown College professor Mary Carskadon and Bill Dement, a sleep researcher and founder of the Sleep Research Center, the biological clock in teenagers creates a zone between 9 and 10pm which keeps them awake. The study also showed that teenagers need more sleep than younger children, and said that they need a little over 9 hours, even more than the accepted 8 hour minimum. Starting school later would also benefit students who walk to school, as it would be brighter and safer outside in the morning. The school system is looking into the issue and has formed a workgroup to research the issue, look at school bell schedules, and analyze the impact of a later school start time on transportation, after-school activities and sports, and family needs. A committee appointed by the school system conducted a three-year research study with over 9,000 students in eight high schools in three states and found that, in high schools that start at 8:30 AM or later, 60 percent of the students are able to sleep for at least eight hours a night. The study found that students who received less than eight hours of sleep each night had higher depression symptoms, greater caffeine use, and a greater risk of abusing drugs. Students have also been asked to take a survey on what start time would be most beneficial to them, which is a step in the right direction for the county. When there is a delay, which pushes the school’s start time back two hours, the school as a whole feels brighter and more alert. As students, we often discuss how awake we feel with just those additional couple hours of sleep in the morning. Starting school later would improve the overall health and happiness of people in the school, since a greater percentage of students would be able to get a proper night’s sleep.