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Seven FBLA members learned real-world business skills at the FBLA conference in Baltimore. (Photograph by Ms. Bullock).

“The conference was a great experience. It made me know for sure that I want to study business in my future.� -Charlette Alavi

Wilde Lake PARCC Results Below County and State Average By Misbah Farooqi Editor-in-Chief In last year’s PARCC exam, Wilde Lake performed below the county average. The PARCC exam was administered for the first time last year. The PARCC was taken by students in English 10, Algebra I, and Algebra II, and will be taken again by students in these classes this year. For the English 10 exam, 36.4 percent of students at Wilde Lake scored a Level One, meaning that they had not yet met the expectations that were required. The Algebra I and Algebra II tests had similar results for Wilde Lake, 78.7 percent, did not “meet� or “partially meet� expectations, and no students “exceeded expectations.� For Algebra II, 61.3 percent did not “meet� or “partially meet� test results, and none of

the test takers “exceeded expectations.� These results sharply contrasted with the rest of the county. Countywide, 52.6 percent of, English 10 students “approached� or “met expectations� and 14.5 percent “exceeded expectations.� For Algebra I, 71.7 percent of students “approached� or “met expectations,� and for Algebra II, 56.2 percent of students “approached� or “met expectations.� However, according to Mr. LeMon, the administration does not believe that the test accurately measures the college and career readiness of the students. Many students and teachers agree with Mr. LeMon, as they felt as though students did not make an effort because they were told that the test did not count towards a graduation requirement. “People didn’t try because they thought that it didn’t count since

some teachers said it didn’t matter,� said sophomore Brittany Rotolo. The PARCC was created to measure student college and career readiness, and to evaluate students on skills that were not tested in the MSAs or HSAs. The test requires students to read, analyze, and interpret language passages and to use mathematical reasoning and concepts to solve real world problems. Although the PARCC test does not count as a graduation requirement right now, the scores are used as a reflection of the school’s performance. Next year, passing the PARCC will be a graduation requirement for students taking English 10 or Algebra I.

In late October, Wilde Lake’s Future Business Leaders of America, or FBLA, chapter sent seven students to Baltimore for the 2015 National Leadership Conference, where people from around the country came to learn what it means to be a business leader. During this two-day conference, students were able to attend different workshops led by business professionals who taught FBLA members how to step out of their comfort zones, what it’s like to do business overseas, what is considered proper business attire, and other real-world business skills. At the end of each night, a professional came and spoke to over 3,000 FBLA members about their experiences in business and how members can apply that to their own futures. “The conference was a great experience. I got to create a close bond with my fellow chapter members and I also got to learn about business. It made me know for sure that I want to study business in my future,� said freshman Charlette Alavi. Wilde Lake’s chapter advisor, Ms. Bullock, said that she is “very

happy to have so many new members this year. We’ve more than doubled our membership from last year. We were very excited to have seven students come to the Regional Conference this year.� Wilde Lake’s 15-year-old FBLA chapter is preparing for their upcoming Regional Competition on Saturday, February 13 at Mt. Hebron, according to Ms. Bullock. For the upcoming competition, members signed up for one of the 80 competition categories and will compete against about 700 other members in the region. After regionals, members may have the opportunity to go to States and then Nationals. FBLA is a club in which students who are interested in business and leadership can learn and experience what the real world of business is like. Last year, senior and President Toni Heo, made it to Nationals. “Since our membership has grown so much this year, I’m hoping that we can have four or five members represent Wilde Lake at the National competition this school year in 2016,� said Heo. “FBLA has been a great experience for me and I hope people continue to join after I graduate.�

HCPSS Votes to Keep Jewish Holidays, Adds New Ones By Keshav Suri Writer The Board Of Education voted to keep Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, and also decided to add Eid Al-Adha, a Muslim holiday, Lunar New Year, a Chinese holiday, and Diwali, a Hindu holiday, on January 14. According to the New York Times, Board of Education Chairwoman Christine O’Connor said “We want to do our best to find flexibility within the calendar to provide opportunities for all to experience all cultures within our community.� Senior Isaac Soloman testified to persuade the Board to vote on keeping Jewish holidays.

“It was important to voice my opinion so I called the board and asked to testify. I said that Vision 2018 would be violated, as it would be unfair to Jewish students and staff if they didn’t close school on Jewish holidays,� said Soloman. “I feel like they made the right decision. They added three other holidays to the calendar, making it more diverse, which I think is a great step forward,� said Soloman. Sophomore Daman Deep Singh, a Sikh who also celebrates Diwali is happy the change was made. “The Board Of Education has finally recognized that other holidays are just as significant as the ones that are already on the calendar,� said Singh.




Dr. Fowlin Addresses Mental Students Try AP on for Size Health through Role Playing During AP Shadow Week By Sara Fitch Writer On December 9, Dr. Michael Fowlin, a psychologist and public speaker, came to Wilde Lake and gave a presentation on a multitude of issues, including feminism, stereotypes, and mental health. Dr. Fowlin drew on his own past experiences with depression as well as issues concerning high school students today. By acting out the roles of four different teenage archetypes, he was able to express the incongruities between how students feel and how students present themselves. But, the performance impacted everyone differently. His presentation was comedic yet serious, according to senior Laurencio Lowe. “His ability to make a difficult subject easier kept the audience paying attention and hanging on to every word,” said Lowe. Other students agreed with Lowe and said that Fowlin’s abil-

ity to act as different characters helped make his presentation more relatable. When he acted as a girl, for example, he discussed feminism and the values that girls are forced to conform to in society. “The presentation delivered a power message, not only through verbal appeal but visually. It put you into different perspectives of people you wouldn’t normally think about,” said sophomore Jazmina Perry. “He put humor into his presentation by acting as the exact stereotype of the character he was playing. He changed his voice and his body language with each character,” said sophomore Eunice Rodriguez. Students described his presentation as inspirational, emotional, relatable, and hope that he will return to Wilde Lake in the future. “Dr. Fowlin had a big impact on our school. I hope he comes back soon,” said junior Valerie Antoine.

Gil Brown, Always Smiling, Dies at 20

By Jazzmyn Purdie Writer During the first week of January, potential AP students participated in Wilde Lake’s first AP Shadow Week, which was developed by Ms. Cherry and the School Improvement Team to encourage more students to take advanced placement classes. 58 students participated in the AP Shadow Week in which they worked with student ambassadors from the class they shadowed. Student ambassadors were selected by their teachers to help field questions from the potential AP students. At Wilde Lake, the AP enrollment is “just below average,” according to Ms. Cherry, but the program’s purpose is to expand the AP community. According to HCPSS, last year, 19.7 percent of students at Wilde Lake took an AP test, in comparison to River Hill’s 41.2

Bathrooms Closed Due To “Low-Level Threat,” according to Ms. Foyles By Keshav Suri Writer

By Misbah Farooqi Editor-in-Chief On November 17, Wilde Lake lost a valued member of the community when Sergial, ‘Gil’, Brown passed away from Ataxia, a progressive nervous system illness. Gil is remembered for his energetic and bright personality, as he was always joking and smiling, according to Mr. Ringgold. “He was a bit of a jokester and would always greet you whenever he saw you,” said Ms. Foyles, who had known and worked with Gil. Gil loved to play video games and draw cartoons, which led to his dream of being a video game programmer. Ms. Knox, who was Gil’s 5th grade Special Education teacher at Dasher Green Elementary, then called the Cradlerock School, watched him grow up and described him as charismatic and sociable. “Despite everything he was going through physically, he always smiled and he always wanted a hug,” said Ms. Knox. Gil left an immense impact on Wilde Lake, and he will be missed.

percent, Atholton’s 22.7 percent, and Oakland Mill’s 15 percent. In order to increase AP class and test enrollment, the AP shadow week aimed to get students from all grade levels to experience what it is like to be in an AP class. “Everybody is accepted,” said Ms. Cherry, “AP shadowing program aims to take away the anxiety of taking advanced classes.” Sophomore Amara Edwards was one of the 58 students who participated in the AP shadow week this year. “The AP shadowing helped me see what the classes have to offer so I can further my education,“ said Edwards. Freshman Jenna Hutchinson, who shadowed the AP Government class, enjoyed the experience and decided to take AP Government because of the AP Shadow Week. “I would absolutely recommend this to any student. You get to try out the class without commitment,” said Hutchinson.

The administration closed the boys bathroom on the second floor from December 15 to January 4 after being alerted to graffiti, which was considered to be a “low level threat,” said Ms. Foyles. Police and security were called to assess the threat and the administration emailed parents. Instruction continued as normal. The administration did not say what was written on the walls of the boys bathroom.

According to Ms. Foyles, administration has investigated it thoroughly. The threat came at a time when nerves were on edge, as in California, the Los Angeles school district was shut down due to a bomb threat that same week. Administration does not believe that students should be afraid but, they should be vigilant and observant. “If they hear or see such a threat in school or anywhere else they should report it to the administration immediately,” said Ms. Foyles.

Winter Storm Jonas Closes School For Six Days By Misbah Farooqi Editor-in-Chief On Friday, January 22, Winter Storm Jonas hit, bringing almost 30 inches of snow, according to the Weather Channel, breaking historic records and closing schools for 6 days. The snowstorm delayed 5th and 6th period midterms and the distribution of course registration materials. The storm also pushed back the end of second quarter to February 1 and the report card distribution date to February 9. Although the snow ended on Sunday, January 24, school remained closed the following week due to clean up. “I think it was the volume of snow that was the challenge for the whole county. Once the school parking lots and sidewalks were cleared, you had to worry about snow on the roofs of buildings, emergency exists, etc. That takes time [to clear],” said Mr. LeMon. Superintendent Dr. Foose also sent out

updates to parents and guardians and posted on her blog about the snow removal process as it was happening. “Whenever we experience snowfall beyond 4–5 inches, we must clear outside every door on every school building and open at least a 3-feet wide pathway to the parking lot or sidewalk. This adds up to over 30 miles of sidewalks and pathways that our grounds and custodial crews must clear for all of the school buildings and portable classrooms in our system in order to ensure a safe journey for 10,000 students who walk to our schools,” said Dr. Foose. However, according to Dr. Foose, there is still work to be done, as many areas like bus stops have yet to be cleared by the cleanup teams. “These teams are making good progress, but some pathways and steps are still being cleared. Some large piles of snow remain and significant drifting at some schools still needs to be removed,” said Dr. Foose in her email to parents.

Counselors Advise Students to take the SAT, Despite Colleges Opting Out By Cris Fiorini Writer The SAT has long been an essential part of applying to colleges nationwide, however, some colleges have been following the trend of not requiring the SAT. Almost 1000 colleges and universities no longer require the SAT, or its counterpart, the ACT, to apply to their schools, according to The New York Times. In Maryland, St. Johns and George Washington University are now following this new trend. Colleges are making this change to increase enrollment of underrepresented student groups, who consistently scoring lower on standardized tests like the SAT, which is keeping them from entering selective colleges. According to Laurie Kohler, the head of enrollment at George Washington University, “The test-optional policy should strengthen and diversify an already outstanding applicant pool and will broaden access for those high-achieving students who have historically been underrepresented at selective colleges and universities, including students of color, first-generation students and students from low-income households.” According to The Wall Street Journal, a correlation between high income and high SAT scores exists. In other words, making the tests optional should allow underrepresented student groups to enroll in college more than before. However, for most students, taking the SAT or ACT is still encouraged because a majority of schools still require the test. Many local universities for example such as the University of Maryland College Park still require the SAT. Mr. Scott, guidance counselor, still advises students to take the SAT or ACT, despite the recent changes for some schools. “It’s good to keep your doors open,” advises Mr. Scott “Those tests aren’t perfect, but they are the best way to measure college preparedness. Even if we’re seeing a lot of this growing trend, it still isn’t universal and that’s important to keep in mind.”

“It’s good to keep your doors open. Even if we’re seeing a lot of this growing trend, it still isn’t universal and that’s important to keep in mind.” -Mr. Scott




Music Tech Students, Local Bands Perform at Coffee House By Sara Fitch and Khalea Conway Writers Wilde Lake’s Music Program provides many opportunities for students to showcase their musical abilities, and the Coffee House on December 17 was one of them. Mr. Rankin, the Music Technology teacher, hosted the event in the cafeteria. The front of the cafeteria was where the students were located, and they were either singing or playing instruments. Sophomore Kyle Ryder, a guitar player in his band, put a lot of time into preparing for his performance. “We do get practice time in class, but I used a lot of time outside of class to practice,” said Ryder.

During class, students can rehearse for their music showcases and performances, but most of the students recall the majority of practice being done on their own. Hugh Fraser, a sophomore in Music Technology and Chorus, is very involved in the music program. “This was a great opportunity for me. I enjoyed being in it [The coffee house] a lot because music is something I’m passionate about,” said Fraser. Fraser adds that “this event is important because it’s good practice for future performances.” Mateo Parsons, a sophomore in Guitar 2, agrees with Fraser. “It’s always enjoyable when we showcase our work. Events like this give us a chance to improve our live performance skills,” said Fraser.

Guitar students Benny Medina and Taye Baldinazzo spend class time practicing their songs. (Photograph by Rachel Eisenhauer.)

Mr. Meyers Brings Experiences To Teaching By Rachel Eisenhauer Arts Editor “There’s this rush about it,” said student-intern Mr. Meyers about his passion for music. “I really love it because I feel like I can share something that is meaningful with people.” Mr. Meyers at Wilde Lake this fall, learning alongside band teacher Mr. Dutrow. Mr. Dutrow’s first impression of Mr. Meyers was that, “He seemed enthusiastic, energetic, and really wanted to work hard to do a good job.” “I started playing saxophone because I wanted to be in the jazz band in my middle school, and when I was in high school I decided to keep playing and pursue that professionally,” said Mr. Meyers. Mr. Meyers currently attends the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and is seeking a degree in Music Education and Saxophone Performance. “As for teaching and performing, you can’t do one without the other. When you are performing, you are teaching even if you aren’t talking and saying things. I am

always listening to figure out what I can do to improve as a player myself, and as a teacher. My own playing has gotten better after teaching.” At the Lake, students recognize his expertise. “He knows what he’s talking about and you can tell that he’s experienced at playing and conducting,” said senior Sophie Bertrand. Mr. Meyers also performs professionally and is part of an orchestra that commissions composers to write pieces for them. Recently, he performed a concerto written for a saxophone and a small orchestra, with Meyers as the saxophonist. His group has an upcoming album to be released that contains that song. “Concert music is exciting. There are a lot of really beautiful moments that have been written for the saxophone. It has such Student Teacher Mr. Meyers directs an amazing melodic sound, and that’s why concert band. Photograph by I love playing the saxophone in a concert Rachel Eisenhauer setting and as a soloist,” said Mr. Meyers. “Music is worth it because it makes me happy. I like how music makes you feel and the experiences you can have with other people in music,” said Mr. Meyers.

Looking Ahead Jazz Band Concert On Wednesday, February 10, the Wilde Lake Jazz Ensemble is performing in the Jim Rouse Theatre. The oncert starts at 7:30 PM. Percussion Concert The Wilde Lake Percussion has an upcoming concert on Wednesday, February 17th. It is a free concert that starts at 7:30 PM. Steel Drum Panorama On Thursday, January 12, Wilde Lake’s Steel Drum Band will host a concert in the Jim Rouse Theatre. The concert starts at 7:30 PM. The Little Mermaid The Wilde Lake Theatre Department presents The Little Mermaid, in the form of a musical. The shows will be performed on March 10, 11, and 12.

Wilde Lake Dance Classes Showcase Broadway at Winter Concert By Khalea Conway and Rachel Eisenhauer Writer and Arts Editor Wilde Lake’s Dance department showcased student choreographed pieces to Broadway songs at the winter dance concert on January 7 and 8. The preparation for this showcase took about two months, according to Dance teacher, Ms. Estabrook. Students were put into

groups where they chose a song that they choereographed for the concert. Many Dance students said that the majority of their class time was used strictly to practice their routines. The Dance classes performed on two different nights, Thursday and Friday. “The Friday night performance was successful because my students were very confident. It’s

a great feeling for me to see their confidence in expressing themselves,” said Ms. Estabrook, director of the Dance department. “It takes a lot of work and dedication to put on a show,” said Ms. Estabrook. “It’s a wonderful experience for my students to express their creativity.” Nelson Espinoza, a Dance 2 student, agrees with Ms. Estabrook. “The Friday night performance had a better turnout be-

cause people were spreading the word, and students from other schools were able to come,” said Espinoza. Sophomore Joy Williams has been in the Dance program for two years. “I think our dances were really great the second night because everyone’s nerves were out and we had more time to think about our dances,” said Williams. “I think it went very well,” said

Junior Dance Company student Armani Cromwell. “The themed dances were really great. We worked really hard and we dedicated a lot of time to it. Overall, it was a great success.” The Dance department will be having another concert in May featuring dances involving the whole class. Ms. Estabrook and her students are looking forward to putting on a show like the last one.

4 Reporter Reflects on Cell Phone Usage “I want to start putting my phone down and focusing on the world around me more often.” By Sara Fitch Writer On Thursday, December 10, I downloaded the app Moment, an app that tracks how many hours you spend on your phone. After four weeks of tracking, I am shocked by my results. The first day, I used my phone for six hours and 28 minutes which is nothing compared to the 12 hours and 42 minutes I spent on my phone the next day. The numbers are very different between the days I am in school and the days I am not. On Tuesday, December 22, two days before winter break started, I only spent one hour and 48 minutes on my phone the whole day; yet Sunday, December 27, two days after break started, I spent 19 hours and 36 minutes on my phone. My first thought was “did I even sleep that day?” That was during winter break and on a Sunday. There was nothing going on, but all I can think of is how I could have spent the day doing something productive or just anything else besides laying in my bed, staring at a screen. My average is 9 hours and 36 minutes a day, and the longest I’ve spent on my phone in one day is 23 hours and 17 minutes on Sunday, January 10. Honestly, I never realized how many hours I spent on my phone until looking at my results. I seem to be more in touch with my phone than the world around me. Instead of cherishing moments with the people I am around, I am either documenting it, by taking videos and photos, talking to other people, or looking at social media. Now some might say taking photos and videos are just capturing the moment, however the several minutes spent after capturing and looking at views or likes takes away from that. I think this app would be very helpful for everyone to open our eyes and broaden our knowledge on just how much technology has taken over our everyday activities. Many of you may be scoffing at how high my phone usage was, but until you start tracking, you can’t put those numbers into perspective. I took a lot away from this experiment but mostly I want to start putting my phone down and focusing on the world around me more often. I challenge you to do the same. Download Moment, track your usage, and write something about your results. We would love to publish your reflections. Email us at wlhs.the.paw.print@ gmail.com.



Mrs. Sweitzer Returns to Coaching Wrestling By Vladimir Stewart Writer Mrs. Sweitzer, Spanish teacher and JV volleyball coach, has returned this year to coaching high school wrestling after a 10 year hiatus, replacing Doug Schenk as the JV wrestling coach. Mrs. Sweitzer is no stranger to wrestling. While she was enrolled here, she was the first woman wrestler at Wilde Lake, wrestling from 1991-1994. From 1991-1995, Mrs. Sweitzer attended Wilde Lake and wanted to join a sport. “I hated running, could not dribble, and could not do gymnastics,” said Mrs. Sweitzer. She decided to try out for wrestling. “I was very excited to join wrestling because I’m not a person who is afraid of challenges,” said Mrs. Sweitzer. When she made it on the team, her coaches, teammates, staff, and family were very supportive of her. “Wilde Lake wrestling is like a family. Even though I was the only girl on the team, all my teammates treated me like I was ‘one of the guys’,” said Mrs. Sweitzer. Although she was able to build up a support system, not everyone was liked the fact that Mrs. Sweitzer was wrestling. “Many times when we would go wrestle other schools players and coaches would stare at me, but eventually they learned to deal with it.” Mrs. Sweitzer also encountered some

Ms. Sweitzer has taken over the responsibility of coaching JV wrestling here at Wilde Lake. (Photograph by Rachel Eisenhaur).

criticism from classmates and peers. “Sometimes girls at school would say negative things about me, but I don’t like to pay attention to negativity. If I have a goal I go for it,” said Mrs. Sweitzer. By overcoming adversity, Mrs. Sweitzer was able to make it to the regional championship her freshman year. “If I didn’t have the team I had, I wouldn’t have been as good as I was,” said Mrs. Sweitzer. Mrs. Sweitzer prefers to focuses on the basic fundamentals of wrestling. Sophomore Saleem Jackson, varsity wrestler, describes Mrs. Sweitzer as “focused.”

“Teachers Can Open Doors” says Junior Saquan Maxwell By Kashe Beasley Writer In Saquan Maxwell’s freshman year, he almost gave up and dropped out. “I used to come to school and think ‘I can’t do this,’” he said. It was Ms. Volpe, his ninth grade US history teacher who made him change his mind about school. “I went to her class, and she would look out for me, and let me be myself. From picking my own seat or getting me to speak in front of the class, she exposed me to little stuff like that, that eventually led to bigger things,” said Saquan. Ms. Volpe worked with Saquan all of that year, helping him think about his future. “Here in class, it was never an attack in a sense, like ‘you need to do this’ or ‘you have to do this.’ It was always ‘you should do this because it will help you with this in the long run,’” he said. Saquan compares his growth to that of a tree. “My mother planted the seed in the ground by putting me in Wilde Lake. She told me everyday that it can only get better from here. Ms. Volpe was just the one to water the tree everyday,” he said. “Eventually leaves started growing. When I say leaves, I mean connections like Mr. LeMon, Mr. Shoemaker, Ms. Knox, Ms. Wyatt and more.” Ms. Volpe gave Saquan the encouragement he needed, telling him that he had potential and that he was way ahead of his generation. “Now every time I see Ms. Volpe, it’s like, if she didn’t give me that push where would I be?” he said. Now a junior, Saquan has found success in many different ways, from mentoring three different boys, to coaching lacrosse. He has also been awarded the Wildecat Award. “I feel comfortable sharing my story, I don’t have to hide my intelligence anymore,” he said.

“Coach Sweitzer coaches with intensity and wants to coach you until you have done the drill right,” he said. “Even though it can be bothersome at times it eventually pays off when I win my match.” Junior Ayan Kazi who also wrestles on varsity, admires Mrs. Sweitzer’s dedication. “When Coach Sweitzer is leading practice she believes in working the fundamentals repeatedly, so we’ll run a lot of repetition drills , where we’ll run the same thing over and over to work on technique, speed, and instinct,” said Kazi.

What Makes a Good Teacher? “A good teacher is one who helps kids, gives you motivation and leads you into the right path. Everyday Mr. Shoemaker asks me what I’m up to and makes sure I’m doing something productive. He honestly cares about my well being. Every time he talks to me it’s always about something positive,” -Freshman Ronzio Jackson. “A good teacher is someone that wants to help students be successful. I was a bad- no, a horrible student. I didn’t care about school at all before but now because of Mr. Ringgold, I care about my future. I’m a happier person and student, now I want to pursue a better future. I would like to be a engineer.” -Sophomore Stanley Parson. “A good teacher is someone who loves what they do with a passion and cares about helping someone excel in life. At first I would get frustrated and discouraged, but Mr. Cox gave me a sense of confidence and humbleness when struggling. Now I’m learning to excel and support myself.” -Junior Cobay Bolden.




How Much Will the ‘College Experience’ Cost You?

By Anjali DasSarma Editor-in-Chief The American college experience brings to mind freedom from the parental shadow, gaining independence along with responsibility to study, and learning time management skills. But along with the college experience, 71 percent of bachelor degree graduates in 2015 left college with $30,000 of debt from the tuition, dorming on campus, books, and transportation.

Along with graduation rates, student loan debts have progressively been rising since the 90’s, when the average debt was around $10,000. Now, according to The Wall Street Journal, 2015 graduates have racked up a whopping average of $30,867 this year, up from $29,684 in 2014. The average monthly payment for a student with $30,000 of debt is about $160 per month for a 30-year loan, and about $300 per month for a 10-year loan. For low-income families, going to college isn’t an option without taking out

loans, and if students aren’t informed, they can end up in a downward spiral of debt. So how can students reduce the debt? One option is taking the general-education classes (graduation requirements) for two years at a local community college like HCC, where students can take prerequisite courses for less. But to some, like Mr. Thompson, staying at home and going to a community college prevents the budding adults from being able to gain the “college experience” of leaving home.

“Without a doubt, [leaving home for college] helps you mature and find independence. It really gives you a broader view of society,” said Mr. Thompson. But the question remains whether the “college experience” really is worth decades of debt afterwards. For a newly graduated college student, the prospect of paying for a college experience for 30 years to come can be overwhelming. But, with supports like financial aid and scholarships, students can gain both the college experience and the knowledge they need to gain a rewarding career in the subject of their choice. Guidance counselor Ms. Pashigian said, “students need to complete the FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) whether they feel they will qualify for financial assistance or not. Colleges will need the FAFSA information when determining what financial assistance is needed by a student and also when awarding merit scholarships.” Scholarships can also prove useful, said Ms. Pashigian. “Scholarships are a great way to help with affording college. Students can search on Naviance for various scholarships including community based ones. However, individual college scholarships need to be searched through their site.” By applying for opportunities like financial aid and scholarships, and keeping in mind the quality of education at different schools, students can reduce the negative long-term impacts that loans can have on college graduates, 30 years down the line. “There is a great deal of opportunity for students to receive financial assistance. Students have to be vigilant in applying and searching for scholarships and, therefore, offering themselves a greater opportunity to attend the college of their choice,” said Ms. Pashigian.

Wilde Lake Teachers Share College Experiences, Offer Advice By Rachel Eisenhaur Arts Editor From glow-in-the dark ultimate frisbee at midnight to live bands playing on the quad, Wilde Lake teachers have experienced all college has to offer. The Paw Print interviewed four teachers, each with a different college experience and advice for students. Ms. Shin, French and Spanish teacher went to four different colleges, majoring in Russian studies, and even spending ten weeks in St. Petersburg, Russia while it was still communist. Her experience overall was a positive one, but she said, “I would have benefited from not going to college immediately and instead taking a year off to have a job and learn about the real world.” “College is completely different,” said Ms. Shin. “I didn't have much freedom in high school. I went from no freedom to a lot of freedom. It was a tough transition.

There are so many people and you have to be comfortable seeking people out to ask questions, which was hard for me because I was shy, but it is a good skill to learn and have.” Ms. Shin spent her time in college learning and experiencing new things. She offers basic advice for college success. “Don’t procrastinate,” said Ms. Shin. “Ask for help when you need it. And make sure you attend your classes.” English teacher Ms. Sheinhorn believes that college is about experiencing many things. She said that the most challenging thing for first year college students is balancing the amount of time they have and understanding the way scheduling works. She advised that students try everything and change it up every year. Ms. Sheinhorn went to school at University of Maryland College Park. She started as an Architecture major, switched to Graphic Design, then eventually changed

again to English Education. She lived in a girls-only dorm her freshman year, a co-ed dorm in her second, then an apartment, and finally a sorority, with each having its own vastly different experience. Ms. Sheinhorn offers practical advice: “Don’t take 8 AM classes that you won’t want to attend. And make sure you are doing everything for a class, especially if it’s a lecture, there may be a discussion section,” said Ms. Shin. Math teacher Mr. Faries graduated from Towson, with a degree in Mathematics and a concentration in Secondary Education. “If I could do anything differently, I would work on my time management skills and take advantage of the opportunities colleges give,” said Mr. Faries. “Take academics seriously, but also enjoy all the things that college life has to offer.” Media specialist Ms. Bailey graduated from Western Maryland College, now known as McDaniel College. She got a de-

gree in Psychology with a certification to teach. The first couple years for her were difficult because she was getting a handle on how challenging the work was. “It made a difference to ask for help from someone [her] own age.” In her free time, she created a club called the Peace and Justice Coalition that focused on awareness for different actions and crimes around the world. They brought many speakers to their school, one of whom was a Holocaust survivor. For Ms. Bailey, this was one of the defining moments of her college experience. Even though every teacher has a different college experience, they can all agree on one lesson they learned: To take advantage of the opportunities they are given. “Keep your mind open to opportunities, you never know what is around the corner for you,” said Ms. Bailey.



Elise Lang Researches Concussions, a Growing Concern

By Rachel Eisenhaur Arts Editor The CDC estimates that between 1.6 million to 3.6 million concussions occur every year. Concussions have been more prevalent in the news recently, with the topic brought forth in the 2015 movie Concussion about the danger of concussions in the NFL. Elise Lang, a sophomore at Wilde Lake, who has spent the year studying concussions in her G/T Research class, is researching how parents, students and coaches perceive concussions. According to Lang, concussions in sports were not taken seriously enough in the past, and “athletes are two or three times more likely to get a concussion than regular students,” said Lang. “In recent years, concussions are starting to be taken more seriously,” said Lang. “It was at first disregarded because people thought that since you cannot see it, it doesn’t

matter.” However, Lang believes that people need to pay more attention to concussions because of their long term effects. “It can affect someone in the long term by being paralyzed later in life because they didn’t pay attention to any of the pain they were having or the fact that they had a brain injury in the first place,” said Lang. In fifth grade, Lang was riding her bike down a hill when she slammed into a car. She experienced headaches and had a difficult time focusing. When she went to the doctor, they diagnosed her with a mild concussion. Lang became interested in concussions because of that experience. Currently Lang cheers for Wilde Lake. “With cheer I am catching people who are falling above my head, so I have to make sure I am always paying attention to what is happening. It is now like knowing my surroundings at all times.” Victoria Morgan has been playing field hockey for Wil-


de Lake for three years. She got her first concussion this past season during a competition. After her concussion, Victoria was in and out of school for two weeks, struggling to catch up because she had problems concentrating and staying awake in class. “I was playing field hockey and I had the ball. The girl that was defending me crashed into me and we both fell. After I got off the field my head hurt really bad and I was dizzy,” said Morgan. “For the next two weeks, I was in and out of school because I couldn’t concentrate and I was falling asleep in class. It was awful. Everyone should strictly follow doctor’s orders. I didn’t and that is why it took me longer to heal.” Band student Caroline Boone was on a field trip loading drums onto a school bus when she got a concussion. Sophomore Isabela Rey had turned around to jump onto the back of the bus while Boone was bending over to help her up. When Isabela jumped, her head slammed into Boone’s jaw, knocking Boone backwards, giving them both concussions. “I determined that I had a concussion by the fact that I was dizzy and my vision was blurry,” said Boone, “[focusing] was really hard, there is this pressure in your head that gets worse whenever you try to concentrate on anything. It’s frustrating.” Like Morgan, Boone struggled with the amount of schoolwork that built up and focusing while trying to return to everyday activities. Lang realized through her research that we need to start breaking the mindset that concussions are not important and focus on how to better help those with a concussion. According to Lang, people are not supportive of those who have been diagnosed with a concussion and are attempting to keep up with their work loads and returning to activities. Lang explains that precautions need to be taken with concussions. “If you think you might have a concussion, I would definitely go see a doctor. You are more prone to concussions if you have had one in the past. When you are in high school your brain is still developing so if there is any sort of trauma, it can leave that area vulnerable,” said Lang.

Rachel Lazris, HC Girls Soccer Player of the Year By Gabby Christopher Opinions Editor

Senior Rachel Lazris has played soccer since she was four, and has chosen to attend Dickinson College. (photograph by Rachel Eisenhaur)

“It felt good being recognized for all of the hard work that I put into soccer for all of these years. It’s satisfying when it all pays off ” -Rachel Lazris

Senior Rachel Lazris was named Howard County Girls Soccer Player of the Year and is a player on the premier Maryland United FC 97 ECNL Girl’s team, which is ranked 4th in all of Maryland. Lazris has been playing soccer since she was four years old. She chose soccer mainly because of all of her friends were on the team, but as time progressed, she began to love the sport. Lazris plays defense on her travel teams, and when she came to high school, she started playing midfield. She was able to use her defensive skills to help her be a better midfielder. Not only did she play varsity high school soccer for all four years, she plays on several travel soccer teams like The Baltimore Sun All-Metro Girls Soccer First Team, Howard County All-County Team, Maryland United FC 97 ECNL, and The Washington Post Girls Soccer Team. Lazris's travel team has brought her to many places like California, Florida, Oregon, Indiana, and New York. “I love soccer,” said Lazris. “All of my friends are on my teams and it is a really

good destresser for me.” Lazris spends most of the year playing soccer and has practices more than once a week for about an hour and half each practice. When she’s not playing in the summer, she practices her juggling and shooting. “Balancing my school work and soccer has been very difficult for me, especially during my sophomore and junior years. I struggled the most those years and I had a lot of stress, but this year I’m taking 6 AP courses and I think I’ve finally found a decent balance.” said Lazris. Lazris committed to Dickinson College for soccer, which is in Pennsylvania, during her junior year. She chose a highly ranked D3 school rather than a D1 school because she doesn’t “want to be controlled by soccer,” said Lazris, “D3 will allow me to do things outside of soccer but I still get to play at a high level.” When she was named Howard County Girls Soccer Player of the year, she was, “very shocked but very happy,” said Lazris. “It felt good being recognized for all of the hard work that I put into soccer for all of these years. It’s satisfying when it all pays off,” said Lazris.

“Lazris always played a vital role for Wilde Lake, but this season the midfielder led her team with 27 points (12 goals, three assists), which ranked third in the county.” -Baltimore Sun

“In 2015, she helped the Wildecats have one of the most successful seasons in program history, finishing with a 16-2-1 overall mark and succumbing just one loss in county play.” -Baltimore Sun




Weight Regulations Give A New Face to High School Wrestling By Faith Leslie Sports Editor When one thinks of high school wrestling, the image of muscular men starving themselves to lose weight may come to mind, but new regulations are trying to change that. A study done by the National Eating Disorders Association showed that 33 percent of males participating in weight class sports, like wrestling, are affected by eating disorders. According to Mrs. Sweitzer, coach of the JV Wrestling team at Wilde Lake, for many years, this was the unhealthy yet entirely common reality of high school wrestling. “A lot of times [the team] would put on a whole bunch of layers of clothing and trash bags and would go sit in the sauna just to sweat the weight off and then we would weigh in and we would go up to Giant and just eat before the match,” said Coach Sweitzer on when she wrestled at Wilde Lake. Nicholas Sylor, the varsity coach, is aware of this common problem. “When you become so conscious of that weight, it doesn’t surprise me at all that it lingers for some people and becomes a problem later on,” said Coach Sylor. This weight consciousness that often leads to eating disorders comes from the foundation of wrestling, the weight class system. For this system, wrestlers are separated by their body weights and train specifically to wrestle people in that weight class. However, if wrestlers weigh in heavier than their class, they are

unable to wrestle or are forced to wrestle someone from a different weight class. According to many Wilde Lake wrestlers, this causes a disadvantage since it is harder and more physically demanding to wrestle someone heavier than you. So, to avoid this situation, many wrestlers participate in a common practice called “weight cutting” where they use unhealthy weight loss techniques in order to lower their weight quickly and be able to compete. However, according to Coach Sweitzer, this was much more common in 80’s and 90’s when fewer regulations made it easier for wrestlers to lose weight fast through unhealthy, unsupervised practices. Coach Sweitzer experienced this when she wrestled for Wilde Lake in the early 90’s. “The rules weren’t as strict so we’d be sitting in class and students would have tobacco in their mouth and they would be spitting it into jars and cans in order to lose weight quickly, especially on the day of a match,” said Coach Sweitzer. However, after the negative effects of weight cutting became more apparent, new rules and restrictions were put into place in order to monitor the weight gain and loss of wrestlers, said Coach Sylor. “You have to fill out a weight chart. They do a hydration test with the trainer, calculate the safest minimum body weight and then they go to a physician. They then see if based on body type that is a safe weight for them to have,”

New regulations have allowed for safer environment in wrestling. (Photograph courtesy of Ayan Kazi)

said Coach Sylor. “We get a sheet from the state that calculates the most weight they can lose each week. It’s controlled by week so they can’t drop weight all at once.” Having wrestled since the fourth grade, Coach Sylor has been surrounded by wrestling for most of his life, and because of this, he understands the risks of unhealthy weight loss and emphasizes healthy eating and weight monitoring for his wrestlers. “The biggest thing I talk about is proper nutrition,” said Sylor. “What happens with a lot of guys is they realize they’re not aware of where their weight is and then they have to lose a lot of weight to get down. Instead of having the up and down all the time, I try and make guys be more aware of their weight while eating a lot of

healthy food.” However, according to varsity captain and junior, Ayan Kazi, even though restrictions and coach support makes it easier for wrestlers to keep a healthy weight, the responsibility of eating disorder prevention is with the wrestlers themselves. “Coach Sylor tells us every day to eat healthy,” said Kazi, “and he doesn’t force us to drop weight. But if I want to wrestle a lower weight class and do better, it’s on me.” Senior Captain Ammenu McGruder grew up in a wrestling family and came into wrestling hearing about these practices. “To lose weight some people used to spit in a cup to lose pounds. You lose like a pound if you spit in a cup all day. My dad

used to have to do that,” said McGruder. However, according to Coach Sylor, Wilde Lake weight loss is closely monitored today in ways that it wasn’t twenty years ago. “We don’t do that at Wilde Lake. We don’t do anything extreme. If you’re that overweight they make you wrestle the higher weight and don’t let you cut down,” said McGruder. Still, Coach Sweitzer recognizes regulations don’t solve every single problem. “It’s common especially if you’ve been wrestling for a while,” said Sweitzer. “Some people start as early as 4 or 5 and it just gets built into them that weight cutting is apart of that and they don’t recognize it as an eating disorder even though that’s what it is.”

Showing Dedication and Perseverance, Hunter Kahn Leads Distance Runners at Wilde Lake By Cris Fiorini and Faith Leslie Writer and Sports Editor Distance runners at Wilde Lake can expect an eight mile run after school with other intensive workouts on the track. This type of workout pushes the body, forcing the runners to pace themselves so they are able to get to the finish line. Running such a long distance may seem daunting, but athletes like Hunter Kahn thrive off of this kind of competition. For four years, Kahn has been one of the staple runners for the Wilde Lake long distance running program, having ran continuously for 11 seasons now. He ranked 2nd in the county and third in the region for the mile in indoor track with a 4.36 mile time, and 25th in the entire region for cross country

with a 17:44 5k time. But Kahn wasn’t always fast. Like many runners, it took time for him to get to the level that he’s at now. “After graduation from middle school, my friends were all going to do cross country at their schools, so we trained together the summer after eighth grade,” said Kahn. Despite the summer training, Kahn still hit obstacles during his first season running. “Nothing could’ve prepared me for cross country,” said Kahn. “That first season, I got shin splints and was pretty miserable.” Undeterred, Kahn continued with his running career. “The feeling after finishing a race or a hard workout made the pain worth it. Once track came along, I got a lot

more invested in running.” Now a senior, Kahn continues with his sport, running through rain and snow under the leadership and guidance of Coach Bass. As the oldest member of the team, Kahn serves as a role model to many of the newer runners. Junior runner, Jonathan Sussman, has known Kahn since he began running as a freshman. “We’ve shared similar goals all season. This year especially he pushed me to become a better and more competitive runner. Hunter has always taken running seriously,” said Sussman. Kahn is able to inspire younger runners to succeed and be more involved in the sport. Junior Nathan Gears has looked up to Kahn and his positive attitude towards the sport

Senior Hunter Kahn began cross country his freshman year and has continued for 11 seasons now. (Photograph by Faith Leslie)

during his eight continuous seasons of track. “He has the mental mindset all track runners need,” Gears said. Kahn said that mindset is what has helped him throughout his time running for Wilde Lake. “I was decent as a freshman, and every race I just got better and better,” he said. According to Kahn, Wilde Lake’s cross country team, while being one of the smallest teams in

the school, is also one of the closest knit. “I wouldn’t trade the friends I made on the team for anything. The team gave me an automatic group of friends freshman year, and I’m still close to the guys on my team,” said Kahn. Kahn is looking forward to his final spring season and hopes to make the State Competition.

Yes, You Can! Do Something About Climate Change

By Anjali DasSarma Editor-in-Chief

The future of our planet is dim and clouded with smog. By the end of this century, in many areas, including Africa, South America and Asia, temperatures will soar to averages of 113 degrees Fahrenheit daily. 94 percent of Miami Beach and 88 percent of New Orleans will be flooded, according to NASA’s climate change projection. With the increase in temperature comes the surge of extreme weather. Hurricanes like Sandy and Katrina, heat waves, blizzards and droughts will become more and more common, according to Climate Central. Now, I understand that “fixing” climate change is not an easy task. To reverse the imminent damage that we as humans have inflicted on this planet will take decades, even centuries. I go to a high school where I view students not understanding the impending disaster that very well may destroy the life-sustaining capabilities of the planet in our own lifetimes. I know that at this very moment, it may not seem to be a problem, and it may not seem to devastate your community in the next year, but climate change is a very real and very serious issue. According to the New York City Panel on Climate Change, within ten years, the sea levels around New York City will increase 4-8 inches, which increases the likelihood of floods and creates the perfect conditions for more damaging storms like hurricane Sandy. If and when the world’s temperature rises two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) the ecosystems and coast lines of our world will collapse into disrepair. It’s time to show the everyone that we care, not only about ourselves, but about our children, and our grandchildren. It’s time to start deliberately taking action against climate change. From buying electric vehicles and renewable energy, to trying to keep our carbon footprint down, to carpooling with friends and neighbours, to even just buying less packaged foods, we need to take action. So What Can I Do? Educate yourself about the issues. Make sure you’re well informed. We do not want to be deemed as “complaining teenagers” before we even have the chance to speak up and share our ideas. Talk about climate change with your family and friends. The more we remind people that it’s happening, the more we can make a difference. Start thinking about buying an electric vehicle. The main cost may seem a bit scary for one of the shiny new electric vehicles (EV), but you can get federal tax credit of up to $7,500, and Maryland sales tax credit up to $3,000, and it’s worth it to keep the fossil fuels out of our atmosphere. Talk to your parents about switching your home to renewable energy through your local power company. From wind to solar, there are plenty of affordable ways to reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Wind energy does not require the installation of solar panels, so may be a better option for some homes. Reuse, reduce and recycle. The same mantra we’ve been taught for all of our lives could help save the planet. Yes, it’s a stretch that one bottle thrown in a recycling bin can make a difference to our coral reefs and coastlines, but altogether, many can make a difference. Ask your parents to buy fresh, local foods instead of unnecessarily packaged products. Manufacturing produces an average of 4-8 pounds of CO2 for every pound of the manufactured product, according to CarbonFund. By buying fresh, you’re preventing the CO2 from entering our atmosphere and adding to climate change. We’ve been taught these same ideas since we were children, reading The Lorax, and I believe that as a community, if we start caring, we can make a difference in the world, one at a time.


Why Everybody Should be a Feminist By Gabby Christopher Opinions Editor

what men were paid. The average American male will make $50,383 while the average American female Time Magazine has been publishing will make $39,621. These statistics are an issue at the end of the year with staggering considering that the Equal someone they name the Person of the Pay Act of 1963, which declares equal Year. Since 1927, the beginning of this pay between gender, was signed detradition, there’s only been 4 women to cades ago. There really should not be ever be named this and Angela Merkel, a difference in pay between men and Time’s 2015 Person of the Year, is the women in the same position considfirst woman since 1986 to receive this ering that they typically have the same title. capabilities. In the world, we have always had This inequality is also shown in our an issue with economic, political, and U.S. House of Representatives as well. social gender equality. It seems ironic that the House of RepAccording U.S. Department of Laresentatives has women misrepresenbor, 57 percent of women in America tated. Out of the 435 representatives, participate in the workforce while only 84 or 19.3 percent of them are 69.7 percent of men in America are women. It feels wrong that people who working. Though this seems like a get to make decisions for American low percentage, women working has women aren’t mostly women or advoincreased by 46.1 percent since 101 cates for women. Since 50.8 percent of years ago in 1915. This major increase America’s population is women, about is admirable, but women are still prohalf of the HOR should be women. jected to represent less than half of the In high school, women already feel labor force at 46.8 percent in 2022. gender inequality with the dress code The reason for less women particand stigmas against girls taking certain ipating in the labor force is that there classes. But when young women leave are still jobs that have been discourag- high school, they will experience very ing the inclusion of women, especially serious things like making significantin higher positions. According to ly less than men, having laws made CNN, women make up only 14 percent against their freedoms, or not being of CEO’s in businesses or enterprises represented equally as men. in America. To get rid of this stigma that Women are also affected economwomen are less deserving and valuable ically by this patriarchy. In 2015, The than men and that women can’t be as U.S. Department of Labor says, women successful as men, we need to discard in America were paid 79 percent of these thoughts and views at a very

young age. Adults in a child’s life need to show that both men and women are equals and should be allowed the same things in all aspects. Young girls need to have powerful female role models to show them that despite their demographics, they can still do great things in life. According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, “Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” Meaning, a feminist is a person who supports gender equality, which is why everyone should be one. Some people, even women, often make the argument that they’re not a feminist because they are afraid of being misjudged. There’s always been this common misconception that feminism is exclusive to women, but the only way we can truly change and succeed in this movement for gender equality is if our male counterparts speak out on supporting feminism as well and get help to dismantle the patriarchy in our society. Everybody should be a feminist. Support and awareness of both men and women is crucial for this movement to grow and eventually lead to the end of gender inequality and a truly equal society where women don’t grow up believing that they’re less valuable than men.

Junior Senior Prom Not Confirmed Misunderstanding Leads to Revision of The Paw Print’s Editorial Policy By Gabby Christopher Opinions Editor

In the last issue, The Paw Print, published an article about the creation of a combined Junior-Senior Prom this year, however The Paw Print was incorrect in saying that the event was confirmed. The Paw Print apologizes the inconvenience and confusion surrounding the article. The Paw Print was informed that the combined prom was confirmed by class council sponsors, but after the story was published, Mr. LeMon informed The Paw

Print that the administration had not yet approved the combined prom. The Paw Print goes through an extensive editorial process and fact checks its articles with multiple sources, however, As of right now, the administration has not approved a combined prom, but PTSA Vice President, Linda Leslie, can confirm that the PTSA and the senior class are discussing inviting juniors to the after-prom to raise more funds for the event. As a result, The Paw Print revisted its mission statement as follows.

The Paw Print’s Mission Statement: 1) Maintain high ethical standards with regard to fairness, personal and legal rights, responsibilities and accuracy. 2) Always report factual information, and check facts with multiple appropriate sources 3) Provide a forum for free and responsible expression of student opinion and present well-balanced, locally researched coverage of issues of broader student interest

The Paw Print Wilde Lake High School 5460 Trumpeter Road -- Columbia, MD 21044 Volume 43, 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.....................................................................................................................................................................Anjali DasSarma and Misbah Farooqi News Editor.................................................................................................................................................................................................................Misbah Farooqi Features Editor..........................................................................................................................................................................................................Anjali DasSarma Sports Editor ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................Faith Leslie Arts Editor.................................................................................................................................................................................................................Rachel Eisenhaur Opinions Editor......................................................................................................................................................................................................Gabby Christopher Photography Editor.................................................................................................................................................................................................Anjali DasSarma Photographers.....................................................................................................Anjali DasSarma, Rachel Eisenhaur, Cris Fiorini, Faith Leslie, Ms. Bullock Writers.................Kashe Beasley, Khalea Conway, Cris Fiorini, Sara Fitch, Taylor Morton, Tyler Powell, Jazzmyn Purdie, Vladimir Stewart, Keshav Suri Faculty Advisor............................................................................................................................................................................................................Ben Townsend