Spyglass: Volume LVIII | Issue I | October 2016


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Volume LVIII | Issue I Joplin High School October 2016 Eggleston Eases into New Role PAGE 4 SNAPSHOTS FROM THE PAST PAGE 8 SPORTS…oh, and clubs too Page 15


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What's Inside 4 Eggleston Eases into New Role 5 New Faces in Familiar Places 5 Does My Vote Matter? 6 New Joplin, New Flag 6 Real Life Research 7 A World of Opportunities 8 Bearing Good News 8 Snapshots From the Past 9 Can’t Get Enough Drama 10 Truth, Honor, Leadership 11 A Cross-Cultural Conference 12 High School Do’s and Don’ts 12 Friday Night Spook Light 13 DIY: Mummy Mason Jars 14 When ‘A’ Stands for Average 15 SPORTS...Oh, and Clubs Too 16 Different States of Mind students and staff, In a high school as large and historic as ours, choosing what to feature in a school magazine can be a challenge. There are always too many unique stories for sixteen pages to do justice. This fall, as always, the student body of Joplin High School has been busy, and the Spyglass staff has been busy covering as much as we can. This issue attempts to tell the history of JHS through the eyes of the alumni as well as its recent activities through the eyes of the students. -Sarah Peterson, editor-in-chief Spyglass is the student publication of Joplin High School. All articles are student-produced, and any views expressed are that of the author. This magazine is distributed throughout the Joplin R-8 School District and local business sponsors. Please direct all correspondence to Mary Crane, adviser, marycrane@joplinschools.org or Sarah Peterson, editor-in-chief, sarahpeterson.stu@joplinschools.org. Cover Design by Annie Le Editor-In-Chief Sarah Peterson Online Editor Annie Le Assistant Editor Ashlynn Scott Copy Editor Halli Robinson Sports Editor Jessica Beebe Business Manager Drew Romero Staff Becca Brown Emma Simon Grace Hughes Grace Overman Jake Jones Jesse Croney Keaton Campbell Kyler Powell Maggie Brister Megan Petersen Rachel Patterson William Schwarzenberger Zoe Brown Adviser Mrs. Mary Crane


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news | 4 New Head Principal Brandon Eggleston answers questions from students. Eggleston comes to the high school with 16 years of experience in the school district. Eggleston Eases into new role New principal at Joplin High School shares his plan for the new year Photo and Story by Grace Hughes With the 2016-17 school year underway, there are many new changes at Joplin High School, one of those being a new head principal. “This is my ninth year in administration. I’ve been at North Middle School the whole time, but I have been in the Joplin Schools District for 16 years,” said Dr. Brandon Eggleston of his new role. Eggleston has many plans for this upcoming school year, but his priority is to visit with students from each grade level. “My main goal is to just get to know kids and make sure that kids have a safe place to come learn, are being challenged and know they are loved here,” said Eggleston. According to Eggleston, the best part of being a principal in the high school is he will get to see students change, as well as watch them receive their diplomas. “I think it is neat I get to see kids until they graduate. I’m excited to see them from freshman year until they are seniors walking across that stage,” said Eggleston. In order to get the most students possible to reach graduation, he believes every student can help make an impact. “We need students to take ownership of the building and pride in the fact that each person here has goals and is working toward meeting them,” said Eggleston. He has a plan to make the goals become a reality. “Students, teachers, staff and the community have asked for improved behavior and consistency within JHS, and that is what we are working on. We are working towards instilling a growth mindset that is focused on continuous improvement,” said Eggleston. Eggleston thought he was ready for something new in his life when this opportunity came along. “Everybody likes a new challenge and likes something new and fresh. And that’s what I think I was looking most forward to,” he said. Having worked with different ages of teenagers, Eggleston has noticed high school students have a better idea of what they want to do than middle school students. What suprised him was how many course options are available for students, which he believes has a big role in students’ lives. “I think what shocked me was the variety of course offerings we have. Seeing the things that are available for you students is amazing,” said Eggleston. Though there is a difference between administrating middle school and high school students, he has loved both positions equally. Eggleston believes each have high and low moments, but he loves his job and being involved in students’ lives. “I like being around kids. I don’t like one better than the other; I just love helping and working with kids,” he said. The whole experience of being a principal has made him have a bright outlook. He doesn’t believe his title or position is what has impacted his life, but the students he has met in the duration of his career. “What changes your life isn’t being a principal, but it’s the kids you deal with and the people you deal with everyday,” said Eggleston. “It gives you the passion to come to work every day.”


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New Faces in Familiar Places New counselors and principal join Joplin High School staff By Becca Brown It is fall of 2016, and the new school year is in full swing. In addition to the new rules and new schedules, there are also a few new faces in some familiar school positions. Kirk Harryman, who was previously a Joplin High School gym teacher, has taken on the position of sophomore principal for the 2016-17 school year. Harryman is looking forward to the new position but will miss some of the perks of his previous one. “When I was in my classroom for P.E., I got to see all of my students every day and interact with them. I know that when I am now in the office, there is a possibility that I don’t get to see and spend my time with them as much,” said Harryman. “I’ll miss some of those interactions that I had in the classroom with all the kids.” For new guidance counselor Jennifer Hancock, adjusting to JHS has been easy. “The transition to this school has been very smooth. The students are wonderful, the staff is wonderful and I feel very welcome here,” said Hancock. Earlene White, the new career service counselor at Franklin Technology Center, is looking forward to helping students. “I have the fun job of helping everyone be successful here at Franklin Tech, so that’s a pretty neat position,” said White. “I’m looking forward to helping the students and hope to increase our enrollment. I am also looking forward to working with the programs.” With a new job position comes many differences. “I left a great job in Baxter Springs. There, I taught elementary music,” said Hancock. “[Here,] I am out of the classroom, and I am dealing more with student records and schedules. I don’t have nearly as much face-to-face contact with students, [and] the age groups are completely different.” Looking forward to being closer to family seems to be a pattern for the new position fillers. “I think the thing that I am most excited for is that this position is going to offer me a little more time at home with my family: Deborah, Tyler and Josh. I’ll be able to spend more time with them,” said Harryman. “I actually retired from career tech in Oklahoma, so I was excited to come up here and be a part of career tech again while being much closer to home,” said White. Even if the year has just started, things already seem busy for Jennifer Statler, the new special education process coordinator. “The year has been extremely busy, but really good,” said Statler. “I am looking forward to a great year at JHS.” Does my vote matter? Students ponder the importance of their vote in the 2016 election By Grace Overman In the United States, 18 is the age to vote. It is the age that society knows to be the transition into adulthood. Of course, with an election only coming every four years, not every generation gets the chance to vote at 18. Politics are becoming an important part of many young adults’ lives. Although this may be true for some, it is not always the case. “Teens that have recently turned 18 focus on the social media side rather than watching the debates and studying the parties,” said senior Lauren Rader. Zac Nay, who has recently turned 18, believes that his vote matters. “Eighteen-year-olds are the future that shape the way the country is built,” he said. The next generation moving on to college and entering the workplace is making its mark on society. Decisions will be made other than the presidential election. “Politics are becoming more important in my life, not nec- essarily because of the election,” said Nay. Senior Jax Petty encourages everyone to vote as a necessity for the future of the country. “Politics used to not be a big part [of] my life. However, now, because I have a job and [am going to] college soon, they are becoming bigger and more relevant,” said Petty. Parental guidance also plays a role in most political deci- sions. Nay, however, has forged his own path. “I have a conservative dad and a more liberal mom, so with their views, I get the chance to decide for myself what I like and don’t like [about] each party,” said Nay. Worries and fear about the election play a big part in an 18-year-old’s decision of Ages of Eligible Voters whether or not to vote. Rader explains that she 19% 21% Which age will not be participating groups voted in this year’s election due to her lack of knowledge 36% 24% in the last presidential on the subject and the distorted message social media delivers. Her election? choice was made recently; however, she sticks by it and looks forward Ages of Actual Voters to the elections to come when she can really in- 22% 16% 65+ vest her time and energy 45-64 into becoming better educated. 23% 39% 30-44 “Despite my choice to not vote, I am very 18-28 excited to see who wins and what my peers have to say in the election as Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau well,” said Rader.


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New Joplin, New Flag Movement hopes to design new flag to represent revitalized Joplin By Jake Jones “A city flag represents its people in the same way that a flag can represent the people of a state or country,” said Ted Kaye, vexillologist and author of Good Flag, Bad Flag. This idea is very important to a group known by the social media-inspired name #JoplinFlag that wishes to hold a contest among locals to redesign the current flag of the city. The current flag of the city is a red map of Missouri outlined in white on a blue field with the city’s motto, Ad Omnia Parata (Ready for Anything) underneath. According to Kaye, however, this flag does not fit into the defined rules of vexillology, the study of designing flags. “The current flag of Joplin, unfortunately, was created before the basic principles of flag design were widely understood,” said Kaye. There has been some opposition to the #JoplinFlag movement, mostly from the city’s former mayor, Richard Russell, who spoke for approximately 45 minutes in front of the City Council. The point was made that a redesign of the city flag would not be economically sound, as each flag costs $3,000 to produce. Another reason that the former mayor considers the new flag change a bad idea is the flag’s history. A very prominent member of the community designed the flag in the early 1990s. Russell argued that this, in combination with fiscal reasons, is why the flag change debate should stop. T­ he contest itself came to a close on Sept. 15, with the candidates displayed on Sept. 9. Photos Contributed FEATURE | 6 REAL LIFE RESEARCH Missouri Southern State University helps send Joplin High School senior to Arizona science fair By Emma Simon Every year, the Missouri Southern Regional Science Fair sponsors two students who win first and second prize to go to the national competition. First place goes to nationals to compete, whereas second place goes as a student observer. Senior Farhath Sulthana got the opportunity to go to Phoenix, Ariz. as a student observer in the summer of 2016. Although she did not compete in the competition herself, she was able to go to various activities that week. “The student workshop had multiple stations in which we were able to learn new things, such as decoding and app development, and share our projects with one another. The latter allowed us not only to connect intellectually but also to brainstorm ways to improve our projects for the next year,” said Sulthana. Each day there was something new to learn or to observe. “All five days that we were at the convention were learning days for me, whether that was in the places we toured on our own or at the convention itself. There were hundreds of projects to read and look at, and while I wasn’t able to make it to or understand every one, I definitely learned a lot from the ones I did see,” said Sulthana. The majority of the workshops focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers. “This experience really helped me brainstorm innovative, effective and advanced ideas for my next project. It also gave me pointers on the do’s and don’ts of the science fair because there are many rules and regulations of the competition that we were unaware of. Overall, I feel that this experience has truly strengthened my desire to uncover the many mysteries of science and immensely increased my interest in STEM careers,” said Sulthana. “This experience has truly strengthened my desire to uncover the many mysteries of science and immensely increased my interest in STEM careers.” - Farhath Sulthana, Senior A


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A World of Opportunities Joplin High School welcomes two exchange students Story and Photos by Ashlynn Scott Two foreign exchange students from Germany and Paraguay share the Joplin High School experience that they traveled so far to partake in. Junior Yoon Jin LeeChung, also known as Lety, is from Paraguay, but her parents immigrated from South Korea before she was born. Making the transition easier, LeeChung’s host father works at JHS. Nerves played a role early on for both parties. “I think we were a little nervous until we skyped with her, and I think she was too. Until you meet a person, everything looks good on paper, but you just don’t really know,” said Wolfshorndl. “Once we talked to her and skyped with her three times, we felt, ‘this is great, this is a really good match.’” Even though coming to America was exciting, it was also a challenge. “Coming over here, I was too excited to think about other things. But when I got here and started school I was like, ‘oh this is hard,’” said LeeChung. German foreign exchange student Flores Schuetze, junior, is embracing school spirit. “I wanted to do an exchange here in the U.S. because of the school spirit and to improve my English, to get in a new culture and to get to know new people,” said Schuetze. Although they are enjoying the experience, the two exchange students are missing home. “I miss my family, my friends [and] also the trains. Germany is a routine for me, but I miss German bread,” Schuetze said. These two students and this host father can all agree that this is an experience worth doing. “Just do it. More people should do this. I think [for] everyone that knows an exchange student or hosts an exchange student, it’s a really cool experience. Every exchange student that I have met has been an amazing person,” said Wolfshorndl. SHACRoEmDmBuYniGtyENisEaRbAoTnIdONS JOPLIN 802 South Main Street ..................... 417.623.8860 2433 South Rangeline Road ............. 417.623.3100 1316 East 32nd Street ....................... 417.625.3691 1651 West 7th Street, Suite 1............ 417.626.6170 WEBB CITY 1010 South Madison Street, Suite M.. 417.673.4100 SARCOXIE 501 Cross Street............................... 417.548.3211 pinnbank.com SEE THE STORIES AT WHYCOMMUNITYMATTERS.COM Top: Teacher Seth Wolfshorndl hosts Paraguayan Yoon Jin LeeChung. Bottom: Junior Flores Schuetze came to Joplin from Germany. THE WAY B AN K I N G S H O U L D BE MEMBER FDIC


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FEATURE | 8 bearing good news Hand-carved ‘Brutus the Bear’ Parkwood mascot rediscovered By William Schwarzenberger After 15 years, Brutus the Bear, the hand-carved Parkwood High School mascot of the 1975-76 school year, has finally been rediscovered and was unveiled at the Parkwood High School ‘76 reunion on Sept. 17, 2016. Brutus the Bear was originally carved by Randy Branham, brother of 1976 class president Keith Branham, and was hung in the student lounge during the 1975-76 year. “Brutus had been continually loaned out for reunions,” said Linda (Cash) Witteck, a member of the committee organizing the the 40th high school reunion. Brutus was never returned after being borrowed for a reunion 15 years ago. Recently, however, a member of the class of 1980 retrieved Brutus and delivered him to Dr. Kerry Sachetta. “There is a lot of speculation on where Brutus has been, but I understand that he may have a Ph.D. from Missouri State University,” said Whitteck. Now, 40 years later, the original carver of Brutus has restored him to his previous condition. BarduitsupslathyecBaesaerinnotwherenseiwdeJsopinlin High School. Snapshots from the Past Fifty years of Joplin High School’s history through the eyes of alumni By Annie Le In 1966, the first wave of Baby Boomers were maturing to adult- hood. Fast forward 50 years, the first wave of Generation Zers are coming of age. Although there are generational differences and age gaps, the typical high school experience seems to have remained unaltered even after half a century of social, cultural and technolog- ical changes. According to 1966 Parkwood High School alumnus John Hale, his fondest memories of high school include taking dates to basketball and football games, going to dances at the Eagle’s Nest and watch- ing movies at the drive-in. “I remember falling in love at least two or three times, working three years part-time at a grocery store, and finally having a driv- er’s license and driving out of town with the radio blaring [and my] friends laughing,” said Hale. It was during this time Hale, like many young adults, was beginning to shape his identity. “I remember discovering protest folk music, playing acous- tic guitar, letting my hair grow longer [and] getting ready to leave Joplin and its small town ways,” said Hale. Fast forward almost ten years later, rock became prominent in the U.S., with groups like Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones coming onto the scene. Meanwhile, on a ArFsirhgalhnetyk) local scale, Parkwood High School won the Football State Championships against St. Louis De Smet, with a score of 16 - 8. On the sidelines was 1976 alumna Linda (Cash) Whitteck, cheering on her school. “Because I was a member of the marching band, I have fond memories of our trips to play at different games,” said Whitteck. Many people remember the 1980s with its neon-popping clothing, classic movies like The aclSotmhumidegemhnotrssachpteuootPlausrpkcotwhmoeiondngeawtnodmgeaMtsehcmeoortr.it-o Breakfast Club and The Outsiders and pop idols Prince and Madonna. Back then, teenagers were able to cruise Main St. for fun, and many would spend time with friends at parking lots and teen dance clubs. It was also during this time period Parkwood High School and Memorial High School came together to become Tthhero1u9g95h-96thfeoostibganllbetfeoarme baregaakme. Joplin High School. Photos Contributed


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FEATURE | 9 “Everyone thought it would be a rough transition but our class became a very tight knit group. It was my favorite year of high school,” said 1986 alumna Denise Skinner-Krolman. Skinner-Krolman, former member of Key Club, Spyglass and Joplimo Yearbook, recounts high school as memorable and cherished. “[High school] was the best time of my life: hanging out with friends, being involved in activities and clubs [and taking] interesting classes with awesome teachers,” said Skinner-Krolman. For 1986 class co-president Valerie (Paul) Wil- son, her high school experience was similar to high school now. “We’d get together and go to football games, movies, [and] swimming pools [and] go to each other’s houses,” said Wilson. Before there were Smart Boards and Joplin Avenue Coffee Shop, teens had to use overhead projectors and went to Dioko Coffee Co. during the 1990s. “We loved our music, socializing, wearing flannel shirts, our denim overalls and Doc Martens boots. We took pictures of our friends with disposable cameras and had the film developed—hoping we got some good shots on the roll,” said 1996 alumna Amanda Bilke. It might have been a new millennium with MySpace becoming one of the first social media platforms and R&B becoming mainstream by 2006, but nevertheless, high school students still had an uncertainty about their future and what career path they wanted to pursue. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after high school. I knew I wanted to go to college and play tennis, which I was able to do,” said 2006 alumna Melissa Sanders. Teachers still played an important role in inspiring the minds of young students. “There are great memories of influential teachers like Mr. Parker, Coach Mac and Mr. Keczkemethy,” said 2006 class president Jessica Cullen. No matter what era or decade a teenager grows up in, they will face the same situations and overcome the same obstacles as many before them. btSuhtuieldodelindntgsP. airnk1w9o6o6dspHeignhd tSicmheooalt ArFsirhgalhnetyk) sTitnraorNtsnoviicenm(btThehrie,r2dD0if0ar6r.oym otfheAnne Can’t Get Enough Drama Ashley Trotnic directs ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ 10 years after starring in it By Sarah Peterson tsehcmeoortr.it-o m e baregaakme. On Sept. 15, 2016, the aspiring actors of Joplin High School flocked to the black box theater to audition for the fall play, The Diary of Anne Frank. Ten years earlier, a similar scene took place: another Joplin High School, another theater, another group of nervous, excited students hoping for a role in The Diary of Anne Frank. Among them was JHS theater director Ashley Trotnic. It was Trotnic’s senior year, and she had never been cast in a fall play, despite having auditioned twice. This time, however, she was cast as the title character, Anne Frank. Her excitement upon seeing the cast list was followed by the revelation that an enormous task stood before her. “I felt an overwhelming pressure to do justice to her as a real person,” she said. “When you play someone who was a real historical figure, a lot more work has to go into the character. There is not as much leeway for you to make it who you want to be.” In order to shape her character, Trotnic read Anne Frank’s diary and did research about the time period. Adopting one of Anne Frank’s habits, she used the diary prop from the play to journal about every rehearsal. This diary, which she kept for 10 years, will be used again in this year’s show. “I’m sentimental, and I keep things that mean a lot to me. That show meant a lot to me,” she said. She believes that her personal connection to The Diary of Anne Frank will have a positive influence on the upcoming production. “It’s something that’s really close to my heart,” she said. “I think that will definitely show in the performance of the actors.” Trotnic chose The Diary of Anne Frank as this year’s fall play because it is perfectly suited to the unique features of JHS’s black box theater. The black box, which has never before been used for its intended purpose, is designed to create a more intimate atmosphere than a regular auditorium. There will be seating on three sides of the stage, with the actors only feet away from the audience. A bookcase will be placed over the door to create the illusion that the audience is locked in the attic along with the Frank family. “The relationship between the actor and the audience is huge,” Trotnic said. “It’s something that high school students rarely get to experience.” Another reason Trotnic chose to produce The Diary of Anne Frank this year is that she knows there are talented student actors ready to take on the challenge of a serious historical drama. “Students who come to see it will honestly be amazed at the level of acting that’s going to be happening,” said Trotnic.


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feature | 10 Truth, Honor, Leadership Students exemplify leadership skills while investing in their future By Zoe Brown Leadership. Joplin High others is more than neces- Vowels, Fusion intern. School has a diverse student sary,” said Landon Moore, The leaders of JHS are population with distinct in- junior class president. always looking for more terests. There is a multitude Leadership roles in high student involvement in their of extracurricular opportuni- school teach many necessary particular organizations. ties for student involvement skills for college and career Student involvement is a at JHS. Some of these include readiness. key component in creating a sports teams, clubs, band, “My leadership position safe and enjoyable culture of orchestra, Future Farmers of helps me gain experience for learning and growing. America and JROTC, just to the future by preparing me to “We can’t really make de- name a few. Along with the enhance my workplace and cisions for the student body opportunity for involvement enrich the lives of my family without the student voice. comes the opportunity for and coworkers,” said Moore. So if students are not a part leadership. Leadership is a skill learned of student council and don’t Due to the substantial num- by experience. Having lead- come to the meetings, then ber of students at JHS, it is ership roles teaches students their voices aren’t really essential that leaders propor- how to be responsible for not heard,” said Campbell. tionately and accurately rep- only themselves but for oth- One of the most important resent the majori- duties of being a ty. Student leaders act as representa- “I think it is important for students to leader is establishing goals and tives of the student body to teachers, principals and the public. “I think it is be leaders so they can find their little niche.That’s what makes our school so diverse.” - Maddie Campbell, Senior working toward achieving them. The definition of a leader is someone who leads or important for stu- commands a group, dents to be leaders organization or so they can find their little ers, how to delegate to peers country. However, one can niche. That’s what makes and how to lead by example. be a leader by simply setting our school so diverse,” said It also prepares students to a good example for others in Maddie Campbell. be able to creatively solve the classroom, on the court, As senior class president, problems, make important in the workforce and in ev- Campbell is responsible for decisions and think objec- eryday life. making the voices of the tively. President of FFA and senior class heard and their “Being in a leadership posi- co-president of National En- concerns expressed. She will tion has given me a lot more glish Honor Society Morgan also make a speech at gradu- confidence. Being a leader Wilson said, “I want to be ation and will be in charge of comes with a heavy workload someone who inspires people all future class reunions. and a lot of responsibility. and encourages people to “Having students that stand Being in this position now follow their dreams.” out [from] the rest [who] can will help me to balance things help to lead and guide the in the future,” said Kendall


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Feature | 11 A Cross-Cultural Conference Joplin High School teacher and student travel to Japan to discuss disaster relief at an international high school forum By Maggie Brister Japan may seem far away, but to this Joplin High School teacher and student, it is closer than one might think. Nov. 11 is a significant day for French teacher Christopher Young and senior Andrew Chesney. These two individuals will be traveling to an international high school student forum in Ishinomaki, Japan to discuss disaster relief in different parts of the world. “They (international high school forum) have a theme, and it is disaster. We were selected to go and talk about the disaster that occurred in Joplin in 2011, and we’ll be visiting tsunami sites in Japan,” said Young. Young was selected from the United States to meet with others from Vietnam, Korea and Japan. He then chose Chesney to join him for the forum. According to Young, the decision of who would accompany him on the trip was a difficult one. “It was really hard to pick a student because when the tornado happened, most were really young,” Young said. “I had to have a student who was currently in high school. Otherwise, I would have probably picked someone who was in high school during the event because the recollections would be more clear.” Chesney’s parents’ connections also will help with the forum because they were working for Freeman Hospital the day of the tornado and have insight about what the hospital went through. “I got selected by Mr. Young to represent our school and town by discussing how much we’ve improved since 2011 after the tornado and sharing what exactly happened on a global scale,” Chesney said. While the trip will be exciting, one aspect could be difficult for the pair: the language barrier. But Young is hopeful that it will be an obstacle they can overcome. “I’m attempting to learn a little bit of Japanese just to do the formalities,” Young said. “But I think most of them are going to end up speaking English, and our presentation is given in English, so I don’t think that will be a situation at all.” Though the presentation will be given in English, Chesney believes it may be challenging to present in front of a large group. “I feel like one challenge I may face would be giving a well-done presentation in front of at least 500 people,” Chesney said. Not only will Chesney be presenting at the forum, but he will be using the presentation as a PLE (Personalized Learning Experience). Young explains that a PLE is like an independent study with guidelines set by the school. “It’s a class that doesn’t exist—we make it a class. It’s competency based, and the students just have to meet different criterias set by us,” Young said. Both are looking forward to going to Japan to expand their cultural horizons and see how other countries have dealt with disasters. “I’m most excited for the opportunity to go to Japan and just see the world some more,” Chesney said. Similarly, Young is eager to visit a country he is not so familiar with and also see other countries’ progression after direct devastation. “I’m excited just to go to a country I’ve never been to, but I’m also excited just to be able to see how other people and other countries handle devastating events and see how far they’ve come,” Young said. “I know Joplin bounced back pretty fast because we had a lot of great support, so I’m interested to see how that looks in a country like Japan.” There are a few other things that Young is looking forward to on his trip to Japan. “They have special Pokémon there,” Young said. “I’m going to get those too.”


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Photo by Annie Le INTEREST | 12 High School Do’s and Don’ts By Kyler Powell HAVE GOOD ATTENDANCE Having good attendance can help you during school. Your attendance plays a big role in taking finals; high school is different from middle school. Universities care what your attendance looks like. It’s time to stop and think about whether or not you want to grow up and succeed in life. Talk to someone Talk to somebody if you are having a hard time in life. Find a teacher or friend that you trust enough to open up to. You need to talk about things, or they will consume your life. If you don’t talk about it, it will start affecting your schoolwork. Your brain will stay focused on the bad, and you won’t be able to power through it, which results in you falling behind in your classes. You close up and shut down. Don’t skip school Skipping school results in bad attendance, skipping repeatedly, after school detention and, if you skip enough, a parole officer. People dig themselves a really deep hole once they skip. People are different, and everyone has a different mind set. Some say, “I’ll only skip this once,” or “I won’t ever do it again.” On the other hand, you have the people that just throw away every opportunity to be successful in life. Many can bounce back from skipping, but not all are so lucky. Friday Night Spook Light Joplin High School students talk about their experiences with the mysterious Spook Light By Jessica Beebe and Halli Robinson Over the years at Joplin High School, reports of a mysterious orb of light have continued to amaze and confuse students. The Hornet Spook Light, locally known as the Spook Light, has been haunting the dirt road of Devil’s Promenade for over 80 years. Legend has it a Quapaw maiden fell in love with a young man. Her father would not let her marry the man because he had little wealth. The couple eloped but were pursued by a group of warriors. When they were about to be caught, the pair joined hands and jumped into Spring River to their deaths. The light appeared after the young couple’s deaths and is said to be their spirits. Another legend is that Native Americans attacked a miner’s cabin while he was gone, and he came back to find his wife and children missing. The light is said to be his lantern as he searches for his family along the old road. Still others believe that it is the ghost of an Osage chief. After being beheaded in the area, the chief is searching for his lost head with a lantern in hand. Whatever you believe, none can deny the mystery and the existence of the unexplained light. “I saw it this summer,” said JHS senior Maxxine Hang. “We saw it flashing and everything, which was actually really awesome because I did not believe in it.” Many JHS students have scoured Devil’s Promenade, searching for the light, but never got a glimpse. According to senior Austin Landis, to see the skittish light, travelers must be quiet and few in number. “If you are silent enough and if there’s not a lot of people out there, it will actually come down the road,” said Landis. Senior Logan McPhail was one of the lucky few who managed to catch a glimpse. McPhail described the light as a “yellow glowing ball of light with a blue tint to it.” “We were on our way down the hill, and we saw a light off to the side, so we stopped and slowed down,” said McPhail. “And it came onto the road and kept going. It was pretty weird.” Some think that the light is a haunted spirit, others attribute the light to passing cars, and many have their own theories. “One of my theories is that everyone around the area is just in on the joke. Maybe there’s a group of people that goes out every Friday or something and just messes with people,” said Nathan Ward, JHS audio/visual productions teacher. “Don’t go out expecting to see it. Go out not expecting to see it, and you’ll be surprised,” said Landis. Though there have been many theories explaining the Spook Light, the mystery remains unsolved. Some believe it is headlights seen over the hills or perhaps atmospheric gas affected by electromagnetic fields. If you dare, venture to Devil’s Promenade to experience the Spook Light for yourself. Directions to the Spook Light can be found at www.eaglealley.com


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DIY: Mummy Mason Jars Story and Photo by Rachel Patterson interest | 13 My family watched Gremlins while I made this, which can only mean one thing: Halloween is near. It’s hard not to love Halloween: spook houses, handing out candy to trick-or-treaters or, if you want to embrace your inner child, trick-or-treating. To make your life a little more full of Halloween and DIY, here is how to make a mummy mason jar. Supplies: Mason jar Gauze Googly eyes Glue and/or tape Directions: Step 1: Gather your supplies. You may find all of these supplies around your house, or you can get most of them at a dollar store. Your mason jar can be painted or clear. You can take the gauze off when Halloween sadly comes to an end to put your mason jar back to its original use or use it for another craft. Step 2: Wrap your gauze either all the way around the mason jar or omit the lid so that you can use it to pass out Halloween candy. Step 3: You can glue on one googly eye to make a cyclops, two eyes to make a mummy or eyes all over to make a multiple-eyed monster.


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opinion | 14 When ‘A’ Stands for Average The realities and impact of our inflated grading system By Keaton Campbell A few years back, I was looking through some of bution is narrowing at many schools, meaning that my parents’ stuff from back when they were in high there is very little difference between a student in school. While I was rifling through the old papers, I the top 20th percentile of a class and a student in the ran across one of my dad’s grade cards. Upon taking 40th percentile. When class rank becomes insignif- a closer look, I was shocked. The paper was littered icant, colleges struggle to find meaningful distinc- with ‘B’s and ‘C’s, and horrifyingly enough, the tions between applicants. occasional ‘D’. I thought to myself, “What a hypo- This, in turn, results in another problem. When crite! There’s no way it would be acceptable for me grades become so inflated that they are meaningless, to bring home a grade card like this.” I questioned colleges place a greater emphasis on standardized my dad regarding his obviously terrible grades. He testing. This means that more emphasis is placed didn’t bat an eye. “School was much harder back on a questionably accurate four-hour test than the then,” he said. I rolled my eyes, and thought to my- entirety of a student’s academic career. self, “Yeah, right.” But perhaps most unfortunately, when ‘A’ means Turns out, my dad may have been right after all, average, top students get lost in the mix, or worse, mainly due to a phenomenon known as grade infla- sink to the middle. When the difference in GPA tion. between an outstanding student and a perfectly av- The concept of grade erage student is negli- inflation was first gible, the motivation introduced during the Vietnam War. Young men who attended Why seek excellence when to be the former is lessened. Why spend days perfecting an college could not be drafted. Professors mediocrity will suffice? essay when someone who wrote theirs in would inflate their a mere few hours the grades in order to en- night before reaps the sure that these students wouldn’t flunk out and put same reward? Why seek excellence when medioc- themselves at a higher risk of going to war. Today, rity will suffice? The greatest consequence that the grade inflation has a much different purpose. school system will see from grade inflation is loss The average high school GPA has increased from of brilliance in favor of unexceptional, uninspired 2.68 to 3.1 between 1990 and 2009. This large jump is averageness. not due to increased achievement, but instead, grade So as much as it pains me to say it, we may not inflation. Today, grade inflation occurs when aver- be as smart as we think we are. Our pristine grade age grades are skewed artificially high because class cards may be no more valuable than the participa- assessments are too easy or teachers are too lenient. tion trophies we got for playing tee-ball when we The motivation is likely twofold: high schools want were six. Our class rank is as meaningless as our to look good in comparison to schools that don’t student ID number. The crowded stage at the honor grade-inflate, and teachers don’t want to be to blame society banquet is not a result of our increased in- if a student cannot go to college solely based on their telligence, but rather, our eroded system. So before GPA. While the practice seems harmless on the sur- you swell with pride over the academic all-star decal face, it can have unintended negative consequences. your mom has on her mini-van, or you brag about Evidence of grade inflation’s impact can be seen your special cord at graduation, remember, your ‘A’ through how crowded it is at the top. Grade distri- was likely your dad’s ‘C’.


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Opinion| 15 The unequal treatment of extracurriculars often leaves clubs overlooked By Megan Petersen SPORTS… oh, and clubs too After attending a pep rally, it is hard to forget all the excitement. The cheerleaders’ chants, the band’s music and the crowd’s screams have a tendency to stick around long after everyone is dismissed. Students, teachers and parents alike love to come together to celebrate and encourage high school sports teams. However, it seems that in all of the excitement over sports, clubs and other organizations are often forgotten. At Joplin High School, there are at least two annual pep rallies where attendance is mandatory. Both of these pep rallies are dedicated entirely to sports. There is no mention of clubs or organizations, and not for lack of merit. Several clubs do important things for the community. Others are recognized at state or national levels. Athletes and club members are both equally dedicated to what they do, so why aren’t they treated equally? As a society, we have begun to lean towards favoring athleticism over all else in high school. We announce sports try-outs over the intercoms in the middle of class, but we neglect to mention the first Cartoonist’s Club meeting. We encourage students to show up to home games but neglect to announce the Physics Club’s success at competition. Athletes and club members are both equally dedicated to what they do, so why aren’t they treated equally? Sports have many benefits for those who participate in them. The obvious benefit is health. A study conducted by Taliaferro in 2010 found that student athletes tend to live healthier lifestyles. Not quite as obvious is a benefit to mental health. According to a study conducted by Valois, students who play sports have a higher self-worth and perceived life satisfaction. Andrew Chesney, senior, is involved in swim team, International Thespian Society, National Honor Society, Show Choir and Foreign Language Club. “Swim has been the most beneficial [activity], not because of the exercise, but for the time and effort put in to become better. Also, it has taught me to not give up when things get difficult and even if things are hard, you can get through them,” said Chesney. Much like athletics, clubs and organizations have several benefits for their participants. According to the National Educational Longitudinal Study, students who participate in clubs or organizations are more optimistic and have higher self-esteem and confidence. A follow-up study found that club participants were less likely to become juvenile delinquents or to abuse alcohol or drugs. Harris Allen, junior, is a Future Farmers of America (FFA) officer and a cross country runner. “I’ve been in cross country longer than I have been in FFA but I’d have to say that FFA has helped me develop more as a person. FFA has really helped me with anything from study habits to people [skills] and has made me who I am,” said Allen. Brooke Parker, senior, is an FFA officer, co-president of National English Honor Society and a member of National Honor Society. “We go to a national convention and a state convention, so you get to meet people from all around the country. You make connections with people,” said Parker. Obviously, sports and clubs have some similarities. They each help participants both in and out of school. They both contribute to better mental health. It seems clear that since the two have equal benefits, they are equal in importance. It should also be clear that if the two are equally important, they ought to be treated as such. There is a clear problem in the treatment of sports and clubs. The two are equally important, so perhaps it’s time we started treating them that way. Perhaps we ought to start holding pep rallies for club events. Perhaps we ought to encourage kids to visit club booths at Third Thursday. Perhaps we ought to treat club members as though they are as important as athletes.



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