by Hunter Trzeciak, features editor
by Hunter Trzeciak, features editor
by Sam Shelenberger, Staff Writer
Olivia Hoffman, Mrs. Susan James, and I recently traveled to McDowell Intermediate High School for the PMEA Region 2 Chorus Festival, one that will surely be remembered by all who attended. In fact, no one could have anticipated the random events that would unfold over the next few days.
The first day was relatively normal. We arrived and practiced for a bit before being sent off for auditions. Each section went to a separate holding room to wait for the auditions to begin. When we entered the audition room, we had to sing a scale and two selections from our music we had been practicing for over a month. One of the pieces we had to sing for the audition was in German. When the results were announced, Olivia placed seventeenth chair and I was thirteenth, both out of 20.
After dinner we resumed practicing, and around 8:30 p.m., the power went out. Surprisingly, the 165 teenagers sitting on the stage didn’t panic or move. We all calmly got out our phones and turned them on, using the flashlights to illuminate our music. It was a truly remarkable sight to see. The guest conductor somehow got a glow stick and used it to conduct the choir, allowing practice to continue for the rest of the night.
After practice, the choir was split into the four sections: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, and each section got a bus back to the hotel. Due to the two hour delay, everyone had to be out of the hotel by 10 a.m. Every bus except the tenor bus was loaded and sent to the school, but ours was nowhere to be seen. The entire time we waited for the bus to come, all 35 tenors stood watching the television in the lobby, screaming what the captions said.
On Saturday, we started back to the school, ready for the concert. We made it halfway down Peach Street and then had to go back to pick up the sopranos because their bus broke down. On our way back, the road was blocked by a semi, which led to a lot of remarks from the tenors as a whole bunch of cars attempted to make their way around it, many without success. The concert went off as scheduled, thankfully, and we all headed home.
And we agreed that even though nothing that happened was planned, there were plenty of memories made that weekend.
by Autumn Jones, marketing director
by Braeden Kantz, sports editor
Rumors have been swirling through the halls regarding the possibility of scheduled tutorials returning for the 2018-19 school year. After the 2015-16 school year, there have been no scheduled tutorials or study halls. Many students and teachers relied on those periods to tutor students and get work done.
This year, junior high students have been place into WINN (What I Need Now) classes, an advisory period for students who will benefit from an extra period to study, complete late work, or participate in enrichment activities. Many students and teachers agree that a similar class would be advantageous for high school students.
“There is an opportunity that some students will get a tutorial-like period opposite a gym class, but will not be offered to all students. However, there is also a possibility that intervention and extension periods will be introduced as an everyday occurrence,” Principal Tom Baker said.
Many students agree that the intervention and extension periods are useful, but may be redundant if offered every day. “I think everyday would be too much. They should just bring back the regular tutorial,” junior Abbey Passilla said. Others see the extra time as beneficial. “I would definitely use the time to do homework,” junior Hillary Twiford said.
Thanks to the early scheduling process this year, students should know by late May what to expect for the 2018-19 school year.
by Kaitlyn Kozalla, staff writer
In wake of yet another devastating school shooting, thoughts have resurfaced on how to prevent these unfortunate events from happening again. Many people have adopted the #NeverAgain motto in their tweets, implying the need to end gun violence and increase school safety. Surrounding this remark and many others is one question, “Should teachers be armed?” Regardless of partisan opinion, the media has been blowing up for either armed or unarmed teachers.
Since the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Donald Trump has spoke on Twitter about fake news and his intentions for the future of school safety. “I never said ‘give teachers guns’ like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience – only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot would not be able to immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A “gun free” school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!”
We protect banks, prisons, government officials, and celebrities with guns. Is that more important than protecting the future of America? “Maybe we should protect our schools like the super wealthy protect their cash,” said Steven Crowder, a conservative political commentator. Celebrities lecture Americans on guns, yet what protects them? Guns. Can you imagine if every school were as protected as the Oscars? One of the most vocal celebrities on gun control is the rapper Eminem. “They love their guns more than our children,” the rapper said as he slammed the NRA and accused gun owners. Maybe “the real slim shady” should sit down and take into account his own unlawful past involving firearms. Is this who should be petitioning for anti-armed schools?
Do I think schools should have guns tomorrow? No. But I do believe teachers who have had extensive training, who have shown a strong commitment to their job, and who have shown themselves to be mentally capable, should be allowed to carry a firearm on school property. When it comes to basics, an active shooter outside of a school will find a way in, and law enforcement can’t always show up in time to stop the number of casualties from growing, or stop the shooting all together.
There are 14.5 million active concealed carry permits in the United States. People trust armed citizens walking in streets, in churches, and in businesses. There are no riots about armed civilians except when it come to the topic of putting guns in schools. On Nov. 5, 2017, a mass shooting occurred at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. An armed civilian, a former NRA instructor, used his AR-15-style rifle after hearing gunfire, and confronted the shooter. As horrific as the shooting was, it would’ve been much worse if the civilian did not intervene before the authorities reached the church. Having someone who knows what they’re doing inside an event can potentially lower the number of casualties.
The average response time for a police call is around twenty three minutes, while the average response of a handgun is 1750 feet per second (fps). What would you rather have protecting children, a call that could sacrifice lives or a trained inside source who could stop the massacre? How many more times do we need to hear about a mentally unstable gunman walking into a school shooting? How many more lives will be sacrificed before everyone wakes up and prepares our school officials to take action? Arm teachers, give them that right to have a fighting chance. A gunman is less likely to walk into a school knowing teachers are armed.
by Nick Archacki, staff writer
After sixteen straight days of televised competition for winter athletes all around the world last month starting on Feb. 10, the twenty-third Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea concluded with the extinguishment of the Olympic torch at the closing ceremonies. From rising stars to veterans, our United States athletes had an impressive showing at the Olympics, creating historic moments along the way.
On Feb. 11, a pair of U.S. athletes, Red Gerard and Chris Mazdzer, brought home medals in the Men’s Slopestyle Snowboarding and Men’s Singles Luge competition. Gerard, a seventeen year old snowboarder, brought home the United States first gold medal in the games and his first Winter Olympics medal. Mazdzer brought home the United States first ever medal, another gold, in Men’s Singles Luge, Mazdzer’s first ever Olympic medal as well.
Feb. 12 was another good day for the U.S. as snowboarder Jamie Anderson brought home her second consecutive gold medal in the Ladies’ Slopestyle competition, making her the first female snowboarder to win more than one Olympic gold medal. The U.S. Figure Skating Team also brought home a bronze medal on the twelfth.
Feb. 13-14 were historic days for the United States because of the performances from two U.S. athletes. On Feb. 13, Chloe Kim, a seventeen year old snowboarder, brought home gold in the Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe with fellow American Arielle Gold placing third in the same competition to earn the bronze medal. With Kim’s win, she became the youngest woman ever to win an Olympic snowboarding medal.
Feb. 14 was the start of another memorable Olympic moment for Shaun White. The thirty-one year old icon, who holds the record for the most X-Games gold medals and also has the most Olympic gold medals by a snowboarder, won his third Olympic gold medal in the Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe competition. Not only did White complete his third run with a fantastic 97.75 score, he won the United States their one-hundredth Winter Olympics gold medal, the second ever country to accomplish that feat in the Winter Olympics.
The next five days were pretty tame for the United States, except for Feb. 15. On that day one of the most famous winter athletes in the world currently, Mikaela Shiffrin, won her second gold medal in the Ladies’ Giant Slalom competition. Shiffrin’s win tied her with Ted Ligety and Andrea Mead Lawrence for the most Olympic gold medals ever won by an American Olympian in alpine skiing. There were no medals won by the U.S. on February 16 and 19, but there were still a pair of athletes who brought home medals on February 17 and 18. Pittsburgh native John-Henry Krueger brought home a silver medal for the United States in the Short Track Speed Skating competition on February 17 and on the eighteenth, Nick Goepper brought home another silver medal for the U.S. in the Men’s Ski Slopestyle competition.
Feb. 20-22 were fantastic days for U.S. athletes in figure skating, skiing, and hockey. On Feb. 20, siblings Alex and Maia Shibutani brought home a bronze medal in the Figure Skating Ice Dance competition along with Brita Sigourney bringing home another bronze for the United States in the Ladies’ Ski Halfpipe competition.
Feb. 21 was a day of rejoice for all the U.S. medalists winners and a sad one for one skiing legend, Lindsey Vonn. Vonn, age thirty-three, announced earlier in the week that this would most likely be her final Olympics in her storied career. Even though this would supposedly be Vonn’s last Olympics, she still gave her best effort even through years of injury by bringing home a bronze medal for the United States in the Ladies’ Downhill Skiing competition. Although a great career would be coming to an end, that was by far not the top headline of the day with multiple medals being won by the female U.S. athletes.
The U.S. Ladies’ Speed Skating team won a bronze medal, the U.S. Women’s Bobsleigh team came home with a silver medal, and the biggest highlight of the day was when the team of Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall brought home the United States first ever medal, a gold medal, in U.S. Women’s Cross-Country Skiing history in the Team Free Sprint competition. Diggins, who finished out the final half of the competition while Randall started the run, beat out her opponent by half a ski length to earn the United States another medal.
The concluding days at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics witnessed even more historic moments for the United States on Feb. 22 and 24 as the Americans did not win medals on Feb. 23 and 25. Feb. 22 another big day for the United States as Mikaela Shiffrin made another run at a gold medal, this time in the Ladies’ Alpine Combined competition, coming up just short earning a silver medal. David Wise won back-to-back gold medals in the Men’s Ski Halfpipe competition with U.S. teammate Alex Ferreira standing right beside him on the podium, winning the silver medal. Also, on the twenty-second, the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team won our country’s first ever gold medal in the competition, beating Canada in a penalty shootout, 3-2. Ending the day for the U.S., Jamie Anderson also brought home a silver medal in the Ladies’ Snowboard Big Air Competition.
The final medals were earned for the United States on Feb. 24 and another first time milestone was achieved for the U.S. Men’s Curling team. The team of Team Shuster brought home the United States first ever gold medal in Men’s Curling. In conclusion, the final U.S. medal was earned by snowboarder Kyle Mack in the Men’s Big Air competition and bringing the overall medal count for the United States to twenty-three. All the medals consisted of nine gold, eight silver, and eight bronze medals, the fourth best country in the Winter Olympics this year.
To end the journey for United States at the Olympics, the U.S. Paralympic Team competed in the 2018 Paralympic Winter Olympics, also in PyeongChang, from March 9-18. Our United States paralympic athletes had an impressive performance at the games, their best in sixteen years, by bringing home thirteen gold, fifthteen silver, and eight bronze medals, leading all of the countries in medals this year in the paralympic games.
The next Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing, China in 2022.
by Stevie Siple and Paula Stachuletz, staff writers
Volume 12 Issue 6 St. Patrick’s Day issue was released on March 16, 2018. (click here to read)