1. Smoke Signals
Discover some of
Peters Township: Year of
Photo by Mandy Magnotti
2. Photo by David Tennet
Volume 4 Issue 5
Peters Township High School
264 East McMurray Road
McMurray, PA 15317
3. Meet the Staff
Business & Sports Editor
Life & Style Editor
Special Features Editor
PT Focus & News Editor
Voices and Student Work Editor
Staff Writers & Layout Staff
People Features Editor
Smoke Signals is produced six times a
school year by the students of Media
II, III, and IV Journalism staff at Peters Township High School.
The staff adviser is Mrs. N. Sitler.
Commentaries, reviews, and opinion
columns are the expressed opinion of
the author and not of Smoke Signals,
its advisor, or the
Peters Township School District.
4. e of
Girl’s Softball racks up
the wins this season
Read up on some stories
that will make you say
“What in the World?”
Also in this Issue....
PT Focus 4-5
Life & Style: 10-11
Student Work: 22-23
People Features: 14-15
POWER RANKINGS: Why the Sequel(s)?
I thought about including the Scream films on the list, then I realized just how great those films are. I hope they make a million more, at
least. WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILER ALERTS!
5. Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
Surely, you can’t be serious. Unfortunately, I am. Several main characters came back for a second round of the air travel madness. What’s
the difference between the first and second edition, you ask? Instead of food illness causing Ted Striker to save the plane from smashing
into land, this time Ted Striker has to save the plane from flying into the sun. Wow. That’s some difference. Now, I understand that
The Hangover films follow the same approach (although hopefully the final chapter changes at least a little), but at least they include
hilarious jokes. The only positive from Airplane II: The Sequel is that the cast picked up William Shatner. Otherwise, enjoy losing about
an hour and a half.
4. Jaws 2 (1978)
Why the need for more sharks? Didn’t the point get across? Apparently not. Not sure if Jaws had some sort of baby with his shark wife
(because I know Jaws wouldn’t just have a baby with any old shark, he’s got morals) to create an equally terrifying shark. And so the
cycle repeats. What Jaws are we on now? Seventeen? They’ve even lost count, they’ve started using names such as Jaws: The Revenge. The
first one was a classic, LEAVE IT BE. Jaws died a peaceful death originally, no need to try and revive him. Leave the
oceanic drama to the phenomenal Piranha films.
3. Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)
What are the odds that Sandra Bullock would end up in such an unlikely situation twice within five years? Almost
impossible. Additionally, when deciding to make a sequel, at least bring the appropriate cast back. Give me Keanu
if you can only get one back. He’ll provide some action phrases that are so bad they are comical.
Bullock just talks and tries too hard to play the part. At least they got William DaFoe, who is
always entertaining, if nothing else.
2. Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)
Just when it can’t get any funnier, they go out and do this… AND TOTALLY RUIN EVERYTHING! Why do Hollywood
producers have to pick up worthless paychecks at the cost of disgracing classic films? Although I generally loathe Jim
Carrey, the original is one of the best comedy films of the 90s, without a doubt. And now, rumor
has it there may be yet another chapter in the series coming out next year. Here comes disaster.
1. The Karate Kid, Part II (1986)
Talk about running a series into the ground. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made some sort of Karate Kid mash-up
in which Jaden Smith battles Ralph Macchio. Come to think of it, that would be awesome. Regardless, why can’t
Mr. Miyagi and Danny either become friends for life and reminisce over that tournament while catching flies with
chopsticks or sadly part ways, never to see each other again. Don’t take us through the painful attempts of sequels.
There is no other karate match or tournament that can beat the ending of the original Karate Kid. Period.
Keystone Questions Answered
Say goodbye to the PSSA’s and hello to the Keystone
Exams. As of 2013, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires
students to take three Keystone Exams by the end of their junior
year: Algebra 1, Biology, and Literature. The exams are brand
new, so there are many questions and concerns about this new
What is the difference between the Keystone Exams
and the PSSA’s? The Keystone exams measure the newly adapted
PA Common Core Standards.
They are designed to be end-ofcourse assessments for various
subjects. The PSAs measure
proficiency in reading, writing,
and math for the PA academic
“I believe that the
PSSAs were easier than the
Keystones because the questions
on the PSSAs were a lot simpler,
less analytical, and are more
straight forward,” said
Students from a school in Hazleton, PA take the sophomore Julia Hilden.
keystone exams Friday January 11th 2013.
have to take the
Keystones? As of the
start of the 2012 school year, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania
requires students to take the Keystone exams to graduate. Since
the exams are new, numerous students were required to take the
test a year or two after completing the actual class. However, as the
Keystones progress, students will be given the opportunity to take
the exam immediately after they finished the class.
“Taking the Biology Keystones while taking Chemistry
was very challenging because it was difficult recalling specific
details about Biology,” stated sophomore Jennifer Holcombe.
What if you did not receive a proficient or advance on
the tests? Students who did not score proficient or above in the
winter Keystones in Algebra 1 or Literature will receive remediation
in those areas and will have to retake them in May. If students do
not pass the May Keystones, then they will likely be enrolled in a
semester-long course in the fall or spring of next year. However,
the Biology Keystone is not currently a graduation requirement,
but students who did not pass will have to retake them. This is to
stress and help students understand the importance of science in
the curriculum, and review necessary skills.
Which exam should students who have not taken the
test be worried about the most? Do not stress over the Keystones
but rather prepare for each and take your time during the test.
However, the majority of students thought that the Biology
Keystone was the most difficult and that students should definitely
study for them.
“The Biology Keystones were difficult because I had to
remember the information from freshman year and the questions
were very specific, especially the open ended ones,” said junior
If you have any other questions about the Keystone
exams visit http://www.pdesas.org/module/assessment/keystone.
aspx or contact your guidance counselor.
6. Congrats Grads
Alana Lomis| Staff Writer
Seniors, we’ve been
working towards our graduation
day for the past twelve years
and it is now just around the
corner. We have an entire week
of practice, guidelines to follow,
and everything for is planned
down to the final detail. We’ve
made it this far, let’s not ruin
the big day. Here are just a few
Girls: A white dress
and white shoes are required.
Keep in mind that gram and
gramps will be in attendance, so
keep it classy. We do not need
any wardrobe malfunctions
while you’re shaking hands
with the superintendent. Also,
please remember to bring your
cap and gown.
Guys: This shouldn’t
be difficult. All you need is black
dress pants, a white dress shirt,
and black socks and shoes. A
tie is optional. I’m sure if you
give your mom a couple weeks
notice, she can have everything
ready for you, even your cap
Time: We know how
terrible the traffic is in the
morning on our way to school.
that, but twenty
times worse. Give
yourself plenty of
time to get to the
high school. This
does not mean
you leave your
house with two
minutes to get
here, then blame the sweet old
traffic guard for your tardiness.
Excuses like that won’t cut it in
Family: This day is
not just about us. Our families
have worked just as hard as
we have to make sure we can
walk down that red carpet.
Give them the time and respect
they deserve. I’m sure we will
all understand if your mom
is sobbing uncontrollably and
is insisting on hugging you
and never letting go. Let’s also
make sure our parents make it
to graduation. This means do
not lose the tickets the school
provides for you, and please
keep them informed on the date
As long as everyone
instructions, graduation should
run smoothly. This day should
be fun and exciting; we’ve all
worked so hard to get to this
point. This day should go
without a hitch.
Fencing Their Way to the Top
JesseEby | NewsEditor
The Peters Township boys fencing team may have snuck
under the radar of PT sports, but we cannot forget the fact that
they are then League Men’s foil champions for the second straight
The 2012-2013 fencing season has been extremely
successful, adding to the many championships earned by PTHS
sports teams. Every member of the squad was a huge contributor
to their success this season. Senior team captain Josh Bowman is
nationally ranked in both foil and epee, and was named League
Men’s Foil MVP. Senior foil captain, Kenny Dodson, is nationally
ranked in foil. Senior Josh Larimer, junior Chris Laster, and
sophomore Freddie Smith also greatly contributed to their winning
Furthermore, the club will be adding a new trophy to
their collection. The Pittsburgh High School Epee Cup will be
showcased at PTHS due to the hard work of Mariska Usouski,
captain Joshua Bowman, and other captain Joshua Larimer.
Photo by Rachel Celini
Photos by Rachel Celini
Photo by Lindsey Chiesa
7. 6 Sports
Athletes of the Month
Senior Clayton Edwards has exemplified the
will to win in his past four years for the volleyball team. Edwards has played the sport for
the school since he was a freshman and has not
only grown with his own ability, but has also
grown with the other players on the team.
“Volleyball is a good time for me. I get to play
a sport that I’m good at, and get to be around
my friends at the same time,” Edwards said.
Coming off of a 16-3 record last year, the team had a great season, but there’s always room for improvement.
“The things that we can improve on that will really help us is
our defense and our blocking,” Edwards stated.
Edwards believes that teamwork is going to be a key factor this
year, and with him being a middle hitter, he will be a central figure to the team. The team has a few goals they are looking forward to achieving, such as beating their rivals Bethel Park, winning their section, making the playoffs, and making a run at the
state title. The team has a great outlook and should prove to be a
tough opponent to play against.
“The team is looking excellent, and we’ve really improved from
our season last year. We plan to show everyone what the volleyball team is all about,” explained Edwards.
Deep down, Edwards has a drive and strong will to win that
will assist him in carrying his team through what everyone has
Photo by Chris Watschak
planned to be a successful season.
The female athlete of the month is sophomore softball player
Lindsay McKnight. She has worked hard on and off the field,
and her determination to keep getting better is what makes her a
great player. Her team made it to the playoffs last season and she
plans to take them there again. “One of the most important goals
as a team is to beat our rivals Canon-Mac and win our section.
If we keep our bats going we can beat any team we play,” said
The Varsity softball team is very young team with many sophomores starting this year. “We are a very young team, which is
good in some ways because we can
only get better,” said McKnight.
Recently, the varsity team went to a
tournament in Tennessee where they
captured first place. Lindsay helped
the team by driving in runs and making many great defensive plays.
As a shortstop she works hard defensively and offensively to try and
help the team win every game. “Lettering last year as a freshman was one Photo by Emma Norton
of my biggest accomplishments. Last season in a tournament in
Kentucky I drove in the game winning run with a double,” stated
McKnight. She is a huge contributor to the success of the softball team and her determination helped her earn Athlete of the
PTSB Starts off Strong
With a nice winning
streak going and really making a name for themselves, the
PT Lady Indians softball team
is one to watch. Having decent
seasons in previous years, the
ladies have stepped up their
game and proven themselves
to be a great team.
Starting off the season in a tournament at Gordonsville, Connecticut, the
Lady Indians won it all, without dropping a game in the
tournament. With a great start
and a confidence booster for
the team, they have been continuing their streak ever since.
Like every team, they have a
ritual they do before game time
to get them pumped.
“We all like to dance
so we always have music to
get us pumped up, loose, and
jazzed up for the game,” said senior Abby Cunningham.
Cunningham has been
on the team since her freshman
year, and now as a senior she
is happy to see her team doing
so well. She also knows what
is important and considers her
teammates as family. “Our team
is extremely close. We’re all best
friends and get along with each
other very well, which makes it
easier to play”, stated Cunningham.
worked hard and still continue
to do so. They have become so
close, but as the year comes to
an end and the seniors graduate, Cunningham knows how
hard it will be not only for the
t e a m
I’ll miss everyone on the team
more than they know.” They
truly deserve accolade and notice for what a great season they
are having. Best of luck to the
Photo by Softball Team
8. Let the Games Begin
As temperatures rise
across the country with the
changing of seasons, so does
the heat inside every NHL
rink. With the season winding
down and teams jockeying for
position in two crowded conferences, here are some bold
predictions for how this year’s
playoffs shake out.
In order, I expect the
Eastern Conference to look
1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Boston Bruins
3. Washington Capitals
4. Montreal Canadiens
5. Ottawa Senators
6. Toronto Maple Leafs
7. New York Rangers
8. New York Islanders
I expect the Senators
to give the Canadiens a show in
this year’s first round. The two
match up well, but Ottawa is the
hungrier of the two teams. The
Pens will dispose of the Islanders in six. The Isles are a much
improved team, but the Penguins are more talented across
the board, and the additions of
several key veterans in Jarome
Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, Brenden
Morrow, and Douglas Murray only make them that much
stronger. It doesn’t matter how
you fare at the beginning of the
year as long as you play well at
the end of it, and the Capitals
are a fine example. They will
beat Toronto in the first round.
Captain Alex Ovechkin has
shown that he can still light the
lamp with authority, and a Neuvirth/Holtby platoon in net will
be tough enough to weather the
Maple Leafs barrage. Finally,
I’m predicting a Rangers series
victory in the first round. It is
not so much about what the
Boston Bruins will do wrong as
much as it will be about what
the Rangers will do right. I
like Boston’s depth, but Henrik
Lundqvuist is a superior goalie
and the Rangers offense will
find holes in the Bruins defense.
In the Conference
semi-finals, I expect the Penguins to edge out the Rangers
in what surely will be a footrace
for a spot in the Conference
finals. The teams have played
each other well this season, but
it’s really hard to bet against the
Pens at this point. The team
is strong from top to bottom.
Their depth is unmatched, and
they will only get better once
they get Crosby, Martin, and
Neal back from injuries. The
Capitals-Senators series will be
one for the ages. Both teams
coasted somewhat easily into
the playoffs, namely the Capitals, who play in what may be
the weakest division in hockey,
but this series will be the exact
opposite. The Capitals will put
a stranglehold on the series by
beating the Senators in seven
games and advancing to play
the Penguins in the Conference
If this were 2009 or
2010 or maybe even 2011, this
series would be the highlight
of the playoffs, but PenguinsCapitals doesn’t exactly have
the same ring as it used to. Despite that, this will be an EXTREMELY physical six games
of hockey, and the team who
can put the puck in from in
front of the net will advance.
The Penguins will win this one,
too. It could be another cup
year for the team, as I expect
them to represent the Eastern
Conference in the Stanley Cup
Finals. Maybe next year Alex
Photos by AP Images
Peters Township: Year of the Champions
This school year has been a successful one for Peters Township athletics, whether it is playoff runs, WPIAL Championships, state titles or national titles.
Students have been full of spirit, giving sports teams their full support and cheering them on to victory. This year has consisted of four extremely successful
sports teams: the girl’s tennis team, the girl’s soccer team, the dance team, and the boy’s hockey team.
Girls’ Soccer- The Lady Indians
had another tremendous season
they only lost one game during
the regular season to the team
that they defeated 1-0 in the state
championship game. They captured both of their postseason
goals by winning the WPIAL
Championship first, then going
on to win their third state title in
as many years. The soccer team
has not only built a tradition of
winning, which is something
none of these ladies will forget.
Are ranked as the number one
team in the country by Max
Dance Team- Another program
in the township that has shown
great success over the years is the
varsity dance team. However the
team’s success always seems to
fall on how they do at Nationals.
The girls took first place in several events this year, but none as big
as winning Nationals. They have
reached their ultimate goal of
winning Nationals and being the
number one team in the country,
proving that all the practice and
hard work put into their season
was completely worth it.
Boys’ Hockey- The hockey team
has shown through the years to
be a juggernaut in the regular
season and postseason hoping
to capture their ultimate goal
of winning the “Pens Cup.” This
season, the Indians were the
number one seed heading into
the postseason and cruised their
way into the championship. In
the end, they lost a hard fought
battle against North Allegheny
2-0. Even though they came up
short of what they wanted, the
boys had an amazing year.
Girls’ Tennis- The girls are not
used to losing and have built a
winning program over the past
couple years. The Lady Indians
had another successful season
by going on to defend their section, WPIAL, and state titles.
The expectation to win is high.
They certainly didn’t disappoint
finishing the season 22-1. Three
state titles in the past four years
is an unbelievable accomplishment, and the girls have turned
the program into a dynasty.
9. 8 Opinion
Rising Stars from your Desktop
Let’s get real: searching for one video on YouTube
turns into an hour and a half
escapade where eventually,
you end up watching a video
about a talking dog. Take more
advantage of your YouTube
time by looking up these five
incredible young dancers, who
you may find more interest
than a dog whose bark sounds
1. Dena’h Gregory- This young
hopeful is well known for her
interpretive style of dancing. Her best two pieces are
“Nostalgia” and “Sentimental.”
Both are primarily instrumental pieces, and her unique body
movements, interpretation of
the music, and incorporation
of her personality are what
makes all of her performances
impossible to not watch.
2. Paulina Macias- This young
star could be considered more
doing an acrobatic type of
than a dancer. She’s a perroutine, while at the same time
former. In what can be called
showing a struggle of getting
her “blockbuster” of a perforunraveled from something she
mance, “Hallelujah,” Macias
couldn’t get out of. This mindnot only executes extremely
boggling, yet incredible routine
difficult tricks and combinations, but she does it with emo- just shows how talented this
tion and style. This outstanding young performer truly is.
performance scored Macias
almost a perfect score and won 4. Sophia Lucia- This young
girl is the true definition of a
the overall top solo perfor“prodigy.” By age nine, Lumance.
cia could do 54 pirouettes
perfectly, without a single
3. Juliette Frishette- The new
“Gumbi” of dancing, Frishette’s stumble or fall. The first thing
you probably think of when
performances, although thoryou hear this name is the
oughly entertaining, are probshow “Dance Moms,” where
ably the hardest to watch of all
little Miss Sophia Lucia was
others. In a national competition in 2011, she took a routine featured in a few episodes
called, “Unravel.” As all dancers toward the beginning of
the current season. Before
know, props are hard enough
her shining moment on
to perform with, but having a
prop twisted around your body, national television, Lucia
was very well known for her
while continuing to dance
full time life as a competitive
with it, are nearly impossible.
dancer. Lucia has taken home
The routine included Frishette
a winning routine from every
single competition she has ever
5. Kate Aberger- A very matured and sophisticated dancer,
Aberger’s classic and memorable performance, also named
“Hallelujah,” shows just how
much talent this young performer had. Something unique
to watch out for is how well she
truly knows how to dance; it is
mostly seen through her emotional execution, and overall
Photo by AP Images
Is This the Year?
Twenty straight years of losing for the
Pittsburgh Pirates. They have gone to
the ends of the world over those twenty years, trying to end the worst streak
in professional sports history. Over the
course of this horrific streak, they have
had at least 90 losses in ten of those
seasons, traded away star players such
as Freddy Sanchez, Jason Bay, and Nate
McLouth, as well as a pair of late season collapses in the past two
seasons. However, many fans and experts believe that this is the
year that the Pirates’ tormenting streak comes to an end.
Last year, the Pirates were sixteen games over .500 with
just 52 games left in the regular season; all they had to do was win
nineteen of those to get over the 81 win mark. However, the team
collapsed and finished with a very disappointing 18-41 record in
those final games. It was heartbreak for Pirates fans everywhere. At
the height of their season, they had a better record than six of the
ten total playoff teams, including the World Series contenders, the
Giants and Tigers.
This year, they kick off a new season with a new motto.
Finish. This will be key if the Pirates want to make the playoffs and
ultimately end the horrific curse. They go into the season with a
solid core of players, headlined by center fielder Andrew McCutchen. To help McCutchen on offense, they brought in Russell Martin,
a two time all-star with the New York Yankees. Neil Walker, Pedro
Alvarez, and Garrett Jones should also prove to be reliable early-tomiddle of the line up bats to add some much needed offense. The
Pirates should be able to compete well early in the season and carry
the momentum into the final months, and hopefully even into October.
Defensively, the Buccos should continue to be solid. Once
again anchored by reigning gold glove winner Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates are also returning with shortstop, Clint Barmes,
and backup catcher, “The Fort” Michael McKenry. Newly acquired
Francisco Liriano will add some depth to the pitching rotation that
features fan favorite AJ Burnett. With Hanrahan now on the Boston Red Sox, Jason Grilli is going to have to step up into the closer
role. As long as the pitching stays reliable, Pittsburgh will have no
problem staying around the coveted .500 mark.
With new players, reliable bats, and the bitter taste of another late season collapse still fresh in their mouths, Pittsburgh has
great motivation to break this infamous streak. As long as they do
the little things right, I think that Pittsburgh will finish with 87
wins this season. Yes, the Pirates will finish over .500 for the first
Photo by AP Images
time in twenty years.
10. May 2013
Confessions of a Lifeguard
Lifeguarding is the
quintessential summer job.
Lifeguards are often portrayed
in movies and TV shows saving
lives and existing as beach gods
and goddesses. As flattering as
this stereotype is, the truth is
that the reality of being a lifeguard is not like the movies.
1)Guards love the sound of
Every clap of thunder or flash
of lightning requires the pool
to be cleared for another thirty
minutes. During a big summer storm, this could give
guards the entire afternoon off.
Throughout this paid free time,
they get to have some fun. Ju- mer. By enforcing safety rules
nior Holly Hanna and sopho- and keeping young children out
more Joe Dunleavy confessed of the deep end guards avoid
to doing crazy things like jump- having to save swimmers.
ing rope with a vacuum extension cord or just enjoying them- 4)The job isn’t as glamorous as
selves by singing, dancing, and it seems.
In addition to surveying the
2)Guards are always on duty.
pool and enforcing the rules,
When guards go to the pool to guards are charged with the
enjoy free time, they tend to slip upkeep of the pool. This reinto work mode. “I find my- quires not only cleaning the
self sometimes saying “walk” bathrooms and the pool deck,
at random kids,” said sopho- but also some unusual tasks.
more Tyler Phillips. Off-duty Strange cleaning stories range
guards have also been known from pulling staples out of a
to straighten up lawn chairs or picnic table to vacuuming ceeven start scanning the pool ment. Once, Tyler Phillips even
while sitting on the deck. For had to catch a toad in the baby
those reasons, sophomore pool.
Becky Moshier doesn’t go to the
pool during her free time.
5)Dealing with little kids is an
important part of the job.
3)Lifeguards don’t save swim- Guards know every kid at the
mers every day.
pool, either because the kids
Contrary to popular belief, are on swim team or because
guards rarely make saves. Last they’re troublemakers. “I love
summer only two Rose Garden little kids. I coached swim
guards had to rescue a swim- team this year and it was one
Hipster Trends Heed to an End
What does it mean to be hipster? It is the question that
the teenage population, along with every other human being on the
earth, has not yet figured out. Well, maybe they have. The obsession with “being hipster” was basically screaming “look at me; I’m
different than everyone else.” However, 99.99% of teenagers have
become “hipster,” so that no longer makes you different. The following trends of a “hipster” have since been adopted by everyone,
basically ending the whole movement.
Part of being hipster was all about the look. Hipsters had
a unique, edgy style that did not just draw attention, but had people doing double takes. You may have seen the moderate hipster
dressed in fringey boots, printed skinny jeans, and grungy top,
while the extreme hipster expressed their style by wearing a hot
pink furry cat hat and suspenders. Another key accessory in “hipsterism” was oversized glasses. These glasses differed in shape and
color, but were a sure sign of conforming to hipster trends.
Although their style was a little wacky, hipsters sure do
know some good music. Mumford & Sons has become a huge sensation, taking home a few Grammys. Their music is alternative but
all of their songs offer a relaxing, happy tune. The XX’s new album
Coexist is available for purchase now as well. The Weeknd and
GroupLove are also worth a listen, so be sure to get in tune with
your already inner-hipster and check them out.
Ombré, the fading of dark to light hair; yet again another
trend that started off just in the “hipster” category, but is now adopted by almost every teenage girl’s head. However, it has started to
decline and soon, the ombré style will most likely cease to exist and
get its revenge twenty years from now. Celebrity starlets like Katy
Perry and Kelly Osborne have used their head as their canvases,
dying it almost every color imaginable. That trend has since rubbed
off on half the world. Walking around the mall, or anywhere in
public for that matter, you will see people looking like their heads
are on fire, or some that look like they took a wrong turn through
the Crayola factory. Let’s take a moment of silence for them.
of the best parts of my summer,” said Becky Moshier .Not
every guard shares the same
sentiment, however. “Some are
really adorable, but some are
super bratty and people just let
them run free,” commented Joe
Even though the general perception of lifeguards is
different than reality, the media
does get one thing right: being
a lifeguard is not for the faint
of heart. While a typical day
more likely includes the risk of
sunburn than the risk of having
to perform CPR, the threat is
always there. At any moment
a day at the pool can go from
boring to dangerous, and lifeguards are prepared for both.
After all, it’s all fun and games
until that whistle blows.
The Positives of Donating
Every time you donate blood, you are potentially saving
three lives. With a simple prick of a needle, and less than 30 minutes
of your time, you are positively altering the course of someone’s life.
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. That is more than 44,000 blood transfusions daily. A single car
accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood, while the
typical donation is one pint Only 38 percent of people in America are
eligible to give blood, due to health restrictions, or medications that
prohibit the donation. If you are sixteen or older and do not have an
irrational fear of needles, give blood.
Donating blood is a completely safe process. You begin with
a quick physical and answer some preliminary health questions. Next
the actual blood donating begins. The needle used to extract the
blood, is sterile and only used once. The actual blood donation typically takes less than ten to twelve minutes. After donating blood, you
relax with some refreshments to insure you are feeling your best. The
whole donating process from start to finish takes about an hour.
If donating blood is something that interests you, consult
your doctor. They will make sure you are healthy enough to give blood
and double check that any medication you
are on will not affect the blood you give. The
Center Presbyterian Church in McMurray
hosts blood drives every Thursday and Saturday from 1pm-7:30pm. PTHS makes it
easy for students to donate blood by hosting
a blood drive every nine weeks. Take advantage of the many opportunities you have to
help people and seriously consider donating
Photos by AP Images
11. 10 Life & Style
Getting That Glow
Summer is just around the
corner, and the warm weather is
bringing shorts, skirts, dresses,
and swimsuits to the front of
our closets. Don’t get caught
with the palest skin in school;
follow these tips to get a great
tan this season.
The most obvious way to
get a tan is to grab a lawn chair
and lay out in your backyard
or by the pool. However, this
isn’t always the easiest way
due to the fact that we live in
Pennsylvania, and for most of
the spring we consider “warm”
temperatures to be in the upper 50’s. If you do get a chance
to get away to a place that is actually hot, take advantage of it.
Don’t forget sunscreen! SPF 35
or higher is your best defense
against UVA and UVB rays that
can cause cancer.
If laying out in the Arctic
of Pennsylvania isn’t really your
thing, you’re in luck; there is a
huge variety of self-tanners for easiest way to get
you to choose from. Some of the glow you’ve
the top sellers are luxury-brand been looking for.
St. Tropez, which is an instant Tanning booths,
bronzing mousse, and drug- or stand-up beds,
store favorite Jergen’s Natural are the newest inGlow, which is a gradual tan novation in the
that builds with each use. Sun- industry. There are
less tanners are perfect for ev- several great taneryone, especially those who ning places in PT,
don’t want to take the risk of ex- such as Sunkissed,
posure to aforementioned UV Sahara Rays, and
rays. If you want to avoid the Oh So Tan. Prices
stereotypical orange shade that for each location vary, but the
sometimes comes along with most affordable way to fakeinstant self-tanners, gradual bake is to buy a membership.
tanners may be more suitable Just be sure to start with a low
for you. Make sure to exfoliate time in the bed or booth, and
and moisturize your skin prior increase it each time you tan.
to applying the self tanner.
In the case that you do get
Last, but not least, a high- a burn, the best remedy is aloe
ly popular form of tanning is vera. Clinique also makes a
the tanning bed. While tan- great moisturizer called Moisning beds often have a negative ture Surge Intense that is perconnotation because of their fect for sunburns because the
concentrated exposure to UV main ingredients are simply
light, they are the fastest and aloe and water. Try to avoid
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is the best method of prevention other than staying indoors.
Whether you want to stay
traditional with sunshine or go
with a new, innovative way to
tan, there are countless ways to
get that summer glow this season.
Photo by AP Images
Why do we get our wisdom teeth removed? Usually because
if you don’t, they will crowd your mouth and ruin that sparkling
smile your parents paid thousands of dollars for. Getting your wisdom teeth pulled is not enjoyable. The actual procedure of getting
your teeth extracted is not excruciatingly painful, but the recovery
is extensive and boring.
If you don’t enjoy hearing drills going into your gums, I advise
you be knocked out for the process. It will make your experience a
lot more pleasant. I don’t mean to scare you, but it sure beats being
awake during the whole surgery. They put you on so many different medications and sedatives; you will barely even remember
the day you got them pulled. When you wake up, you will most
likely find yourself extremely confused sitting in a room with one
of your parents and the doctor, just smiling at you. Whatever you
do try not to say anything, because you will still be drugged and
unaware of what comes out of your mouth. This can get pretty
embarrassing; just think of all of the things you would not want to
say in front of your mom or doctor.
Ice cream, italian ice, and milkshakes will be your new best
friends for at least a week. This sounds wonderful, but after a few
days all you want to do is eat something crunchy or salty. Luckily,
being limited to what you can eat can be a good way to lose weight
without all of the special food brands and counting calories. Taking off of work and school and staying in the house for about a
week to recover is a smart idea. You will probably resemble a chipmunk for a few days, which can be mortifying if you are sporting
the chipmunk-look at the mall and you run into a bunch of people
you know. Also, it may be hard to talk for the first few days because your mouth will be so swollen.
12. May 2013
Decorating your Dorm
I think everyone can agree that there is plenty of mental preparation for college, but there is also a lot of physical preparation. The
list of items you will need for your dorm room and classes is ongoing. Where do you start? Let’s establish your to do list together.
The first major necessity is a laptop. Hold off on buying this
big item until the departure time gets closer. The major electronic
stores usually have sales in June for college students including Apple just in time to purchase a Macbook or Macbook Pro. Typically,
you’ll receive a free printer at the Apple store with your laptop or
computer purchase. You can find a variety of other brands at stores
like Best Buy. Don’t forget the simple supplies; binders, notebooks,
and a calculator. They’ll be a lot cheaper at these places than the
Now it gets a little more involved and complicated when you
begin purchasing everything you will need for your dorm. Think
logically when trying to tackle this overwhelming job. Start with
bedding; Are you coordinating with your roommate? Keep in
mind, most dorm mattresses are XL twin. Don’t forget the bed bug
protection kit, it is a must. You should then move on to organization. This includes closet organizers, hangers, storage bins for under the bed, storage carts, additional bins, a shower caddy, desktop
storage, and corkboards. There are many items you will need to fit
in such a small space. The more organization options you have, the
easier it will be.
You’ll need to buy cleaning supplies. Germs spread fast in college and messes are guaranteed. If you have the right supplies, staying healthy and keeping your dorm clean will be easy. Paper towels,
a trash can, a mini hand vacuum, dish cleaning soap, wipes, and
hand sanitizer are all products you should be buying.
Now one of the worst parts about being in the dorms…no real
kitchen. Packaged, canned, or cabinet food is on the menu. If you
don’t feel like going to the commons every day, or just want a snack,
keep easy foods in your dorm. I do recommend purchasing a microwave, coffeemaker, magic bullet, glasses, dishes, and silverware.
AP Images Peters Barreras
Keep a case of water in your room, as well.
Time to do your own laundry. Laundry detergent, dryer
sheets, a drying rack, and a laundry basket are definitely needed.
Don’t forget, you also need all your own shower supplies, including towels, washcloths, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and any
other toiletries. A shower caddy is helpful for lugging these items
to the bathrooms down the hall. You will also definitely want a pair
of flip flops designated for shower use.
Decorating-this is the fun part! An area rug is a necessity; the
ground is cold and hard. Decorative pillows, wall art, lamps, pictures, clock, backrest pillow, door mirror, and maybe even a chair
if you have room. This is the chance to make your dorm feel more
like home. Make it cozy and comfortable and you.
Where can you purchase all of these things? Target, Bed Bath
and Beyond, Walmart and PB Teen are all excellent sources. Most
of these stores have sales this time of year on all the products you
will need. If you go online, some stores even have sample check lists
to refer back to when lost with what to buy or what you’re missing.
Don’t stress over all the preparation, utilize your sources.
Watching Out For the Freshman Fifteen
The first year of college is an enormous flood of stress and ex- the worst things you can do for your diet. It is a rule of thumb that
citement. Among those stresses is the worry of gaining the fresh- you should stop eating after 7:00 at night.
man fifteen. The freshman fifteen is the weight college students
Another fact college students tend to forget is what cafeteria
more often than not gain soon after arriving. Along with other new food is really like. Cafeteria food is not cooked with love by your
found freedoms, college students also experience the freedom of mom. It is made for quick access and in mass quantities to feed
food. College students start eating at forbidthe population within the college. This means
ding hours and often, it isn’t good food. A
that the food served is plentiful but lacks in
recent study at Dartmouth University found
nutritional values. The cafeteria is also locatthat the average weight gain is 3.5 to 4 pounds
ed in such a way that students do not search
within the first year. That’s a lot better than
for another food option that is more suitable
fifteen, huh? But during the year, it was said
for them. Since most cafeteria food is prepaid
to be a 7.8 pound gain.
for, this food also becomes the cheapest opIt is a no-brainer that you need to watch
tion as well.
what you eat and try to get to the gym as often
Bottom line is, be aware of your eating
as you can. But students forget that you need
habits. More than ever, you need to be aware
to watch the times at which you eat too. If you are up late studying of your body and what you are putting in it. If you let it get bad,
or having fun (wink, wink), you can’t eat a full meal at that hour or one day you will look down and realize you gained fifteen pounds
you are guaranteed to gain weight. Sleeping on a full meal is one of and you fulfilled the prophecy.
Photo by AP Images
Don’t date crazies.
Respect your elders. Period.
Take a mental health day.
Don’t start Twitter fights. #chill.
Use your 3G.
Dress for all seasons.
Walk on the correct side of the hall.
Get your cookies early.
Be careful in the gated lot.
Don’t reapply makeup.
Know your bus #.
Learn to text without looking.
Upperclassmen get the window tables in cafeteria.
14. Don’t stand in the middle of the hallway.
Get out of the way.
Keep moving. Don’t stop.
Don’t be afraid to open a door.
Don’t hug the corners.
Don’t walk too slowly.
Don’t expect to sleep.
Always watch the Morning Announcements.
Library passes don’t exist.
Don’t go to Room 304.
Take grades seriously.
Take more media classes.
Take hard classes before senior year.
Be Smart. Get a tutor.
Take a study hall.
Make friends with the lunch ladies parking attendant.
Spread designed by Raelynn Noonan
15. 14 People Features
Reflections Contest Victory
The results of the
2012-13 Reflections contest are
in. High school students created
their own personal depictions
of “The Magic in a Moment”
through three different categories: visual arts, literature, and
All students who participated at the local level received a certificate and a Giant
Eagle gift card. The winners
receive a $10 certificate, and the
council level all received medals. The regional and state levels attend an awards ceremony
at Sewickley Academy and are
rewarded certificates and medals. The Reflections Contest
has three different awards for
students who reach the national level. This includes the
National Outstanding Interpretation, Awards of Excellence,
and Awards of Merit. Only one
entry from each category is
selected for the National Out-
standing Interpretation award. all of these juniors and seniors
The winners of this award re- who placed in regionals. Junior
ceive a trip to the National Cecelia Allison, placed first for
PTA convention, an $800 arts the literature category with seeducation award, a gold medal- nior Joe Majkut, in second. In
lion, a certificate signed by the the photography category, juNational PTA President, and nior Jessica VanNewkirk placed
their entry which is showcased in first followed by junior Emin the Reflections online gal- maLee Ducoeur, and then julery. They also receive a $200 nior Meredith Rovito. For viart education award, is given sual arts, senior Emily Corrigan
to the student’s PTA. Up to 72 came in third. The local winstudents are selected for the ners for each category were as
Award of Excellence where they follows. The visual arts winners
receive $200, a silver medallion, were seniors Carla Buzzatto in
a signed certificate, and a place first, and Lauren Belack in third
in the online gallery. For the who both also made it to the
Awards of Merit, 120 students council level. The photography
are chosen receiving a silver winners included senior Timomedallion, a certificate, and thy Warne in fourth place, and
place in the online gallery. This junior Julia Schuerle in fifth.
contest is clearly a big deal and
The Reflections Conone of the greatest chances for test is a huge opportunity each
anyone who wants their talents year for students to express
to be recognized. Young artists themselves and show off their
should not neglect this event.
artistic abilities. The school dis
to trict is proud to have so many
creative pupils. Next year’s
theme will be “Believe, Dream,
Inspire.” The PTSA, who sponsor the contest for the district,
highly encourage more students
to enter next year. There are far
more categories than those that
were mentioned. Even students
who have already entered the
contests in the past should enter
again. What limits your chance
of winning the most is not entering at all.
Photo by Mrs. Boni
Changing Lanes of Life
For those of us with a license, we
couldn’t imagine a life without it. It’s
thanks to the wonderful Mr. Maize that
this is not the case for most students
at PTHS. Over the years, his teaching
and personality have dubbed him a
very popular reputation and won him
the 2013 Faculty Face-Off bracket. Unfortunately, his years of sharing his vast
knowledge with students are coming to an end. Mr. Maize will be
retiring at the end of the 2013 school year.
Beginning his teaching career in 1978, Maize started off
by teaching physical education at the middle school. After improving the life of teens there for seven years, he took the position as
Athletic Director after the unfortunate death of friend and mentor, Jerry Debolt. He immediately embraced the role and even took
over as head coach of the baseball team. After being offered a position as a full time administrator, Maize declined and decided to
pursue his love of teaching and coaching instead. And it is a good
thing he did.
“Driver’s Theory is the most important class that students
will take in high school,” Maize said.
If you pass the “Joe Maize School of Driving,” you are pretty much set for life. Not only has Mr. Maize shaped and changed
the lives of countless students and faculty, but they, in turn, have
also had a major impact on him.
“[The thing I will miss most
about PTHS] is watching the students
and athletes grow from freshmen to seniors, [like I did with] my own two sons
Aaron and Ryan,” said Maize.
Maize plans on staying involved in the
athletic department to a small degree
and will continue to watch over his baseball players and student drivers. You
can take the man out of the high school,
but you can’t take the high school out of
the man. He may no longer be teaching driver’s theory, but rest
assured, he will continue to follow the rules of the road and let
them lead him where they may. Mr. Maize has taught us the ways
of the road, and more importantly, the ways of life. So next time
you are stuck
in a sticky
the road or
16. May 2013
Kirwan Wins Prudential Spirit of Community Award
Junior Casey Kirwan
recently received the Prudential Spirit
w o r k
to volunteering and organizing
community service projects.
The award is earned by students who spend a great deal
of their time volunteering or
organizing community service
projects. Not only did Kirwan
receive this award, but she was
recognized among the top ten
percent of all applicants from
Pennsylvania for her outstanding community service. Kirwan
is a member of the High School
Interact Club and led last year’s
efforts to support autism awareness in the schools with the first
annual Autism Walk.
“I suggested the idea
to the Interact Club and I became the head of it. All I had to
do was speak up,” Kirwan said.
Aside from the Autism
Walk, Kirwan spends time volunteering at the Washington
Humane Society and working with other various projects
through the Interact Club.
“I just go help whenever and wherever I can. I mean,
I feel like I’m always busy with
some new project,” explained
Volunteering has become a large part of Kirwan’s
“I started volunteering after hearing about different places that I could help out,
I just decided to jump in and
have fun with it,” said Kirwan.
Ever since she has been volunteering even more.
“My favorite part
about volunteering is the feeling that I’ve helped someone. I
know that sounds corny, but I
love that feeling of accomplishment and knowing that some
simple actions I do can help
other people,” said Kirwan.
Kirwan doesn’t plan
on stopping volunteering anytime soon. “My plans for the future are to continue the Autism
Walk my senior year and then
after graduation, I hope that I
can participate in similar projects, whether it’s leading them
or just participating.”
have to be tedious work. In fact,
Kirwan advises that students
get involved with the community doing something they enjoy.
“I suggest that they go
with friends and volunteer together. It’s more fun that way,”
Every second counts,
and no time spent volunteering is too small. Come support
autism awareness at the annual
Autism Awareness Walk on
April 27 from noon to four at
the high school.
Bianco Serenades PTHS Barefoot in Stratford
Friday March 8, 2013. The
day every female student at PTHS
fell in love with sophomore Nick
Bianco’s voice and guitar skills after
his performance at the Library
Arts Café. He became a super star
throughout the halls of PTHS and
student’s twitter timelines. Little do
some of you know, Bianco has been
writing music, singing covers, and
playing guitar most of his life.
“I learned how to play
guitar when I was six. My oldest
brother learned in college and
taught my other brothers and me,”
From there, Bianco continued to teach himself to
play and eventually to sing.
Bianco covered a plethora of songs at the café,
including music by some of his biggest inspirations, Ed
Sheeran and Dave Matthews. Sheeran and Matthews write
their own songs, just like Bianco. His favorite style to pay is
acoustic alternative, and his favorite song to cover is “I Will
Follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie.
Bianco has written songs that can be found on his
YouTube channel, scurvyman36, so be sure to check it out.
Writing a song may seem challenging, but when a subject is
in mind, the job is much easier.
“I usually use a girl as inspiration. I take different
little things from different relationships. Pretty much
whatever mood I’m in will reflect in the song I’m writing at
the time,” explained Bianco.
Bianco is clearly phenomonal at singing and
playing guitar, so it is good that he enjoys it.
“It’s just relaxing. It’s good because it’s a time when
I really don’t care about anything else and can just do what
I love,” said Bianco.
For many students, Mrs. Kelly Barefoot may just be a
ninth or eleventh grade English teacher who’s known for her occasional involvement with the theatre troupe. What most students,
and maybe even some staff, may not know is that Mrs. Barefoot’s
interest in theatre expands beyond the high school stage.
When Mrs. Barefoot was a junior at Michigan State University, she was invited to the International Actors Fellowship
through Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in Stratford. Where she also
studied and observed at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
“I learned so much about how to access the characters and
language of Shakespeare,” said Barefoot.
Being able to study at the legendary theatre allowed Mrs. Barefoot
to focus on her real love of the works of William Shakespeare. She
was given the opportunity to practice the role of Ophelia from
Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” The focus on such classic works gives the
audiences as well as the actors a fresh perspective on how timeless
Shakespeare’s plays can be.
“I love the language, the characters, the themes-- Shakespeare is so real,” explained Mrs. Barefoot. “Real problems, yes, in
a grand, or exaggerated circumstance, but the raw human emotion
behind everything is very relatable.”
Although the experience was undoubtedly unmatchable, there
were some serious lessons to be learned. Mrs. Barefoot said, “[I
learned] If you can do anything other than acting and love it, do it.
Acting is a really tough business. Talent does not necessarily mean
you will work. You live job to job, paycheck to paycheck, and as a
woman, you have a very short shelf-life.”
Like most actors, Mrs. Barefoot learned the unpleasant
sacrifices that would come with working in acting.
“I was told at an audition for the soap opera, One Life to
Live, that, if I lost 15 lbs, I would test better on film. That was an
eye opener-- if I had lost 15 lbs, I would have been dangerously
Mrs. Barefoot did find another theatrical love though- directing. “Honestly, I am more inspired and creative as a director
than I ever was as an actor.”
The decision has worked out well. Audiences will be able
to see Mrs. Barefoot’s direction at work with Thespian Troupe 185’s
spring production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
on May 23, 24, and 25.
17. The end of the school year is near, and for the
seniors, so is their time at PTHS. With that in
mind, some seniors started asking the questions that have been on their mind their entire
high school career.
Before it’s too late, Matt Mullan and Hannah
Carpenter have decided to investigate these
Hannah Carpenter Matt Mullan|StaffWriters
For those who have
ventured into the girl’s
restroom by the band
room, they have
These stalls allow
for very little
privacy with their
allowing for the
Why are these
Hannah: Budget cuts?
Matt: To accommodate the
abnomally short ladies who
venture in to this particular
Spread Design by Julie Griffith
18. No student can resist the soft,
gooey cookies from the Snack Shack in the cafeteria.
Former students have even gone on to proclaim that
these cookies are better than any other cookie they
have ever eaten. So what exactly makes these cookies
Hannah: They probably just add extra shortening to make them so gooey.
Matt: Magic. It’s definitely magic.
Three months ago, PTHS encountered a
school-wide black out that rendered the school powerless
for the entire day, ultimately resulting in an early release
for students. Later, Mrs. Pavlik announced to the school,
and the 40,000 homes and businesses that watch Channel 7 Community Access Television that the cause of the
blackout was chipmunks eating the power cable.
Although most of the school
chuckled at this notion, some
students still live in fear of these
chipmunks. Where are they now?
How did they become so powerful?
Are they still at large?
Hannah: There never were any
chipmunks. The story was all just a
joke to distract from the possibility
that a harsh winter had weathered
Matt: The chipmunks continue
their devilish plans. Radiation?
19. 18 Entertainment
The Entertainment Must List
Laura Purkey|Online Editor-In-Chief
For myself and the 365 others in the graduating class of 2013, June brings the promise of freedom, adventures, and finally finally finally leaving
the Bubble. And for the other students at PTHS, it’s the end of another school year. Odds are, even if you really hate it here, you’re going to be
a little nostalgic about leaving or finishing another year. So, to wrap up our ride, I give you the best of high school related pop culture greats.
The Girl Next Door
The Breakfast Club
Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate
This 2004 film centers on Matthew Kidman One of the biggest downfalls of high school Throughout his career, Dustin Hoffman has
(Emile Hirsch), an honors student who has is the judgment and stereotypes which cre- given many impressive performances, but
been accepted to Georgetown University, ate cliques (surprisingly enough, they ex- perhaps his best was in the 1967 film The
and dreams of not only a political career, ist in the Bubble, too). In the 80’s film The Graduate. He plays Ben Braddock, a recent
but a real high school experience. Kid- Breakfast Club, five students--a criminal, university graduate who is collapsing unman wants to skip school, go to parties, and an athlete, a brain, a basket case, and a prin- der his parents’ pressures for grad school.
hang out with the cool kids. He wants to do cess--come to school for a Saturday deten- He does not have a real direction for his
it all. When he meets his neighbor and for- tion. Throughout their time together, they career, or his life, and begins an affair with
mer adult film star Danielle (Elisha Cuth- open up to one another and realize they are the much older Mrs. Robinson. Braddock
bert), who is the opposite of a cliché “girl all more than their label. The respect they faces the problem many people do once
next door”, she opens a lot of doors to the gain for one another in this realization leads graduating, and Hoffman portrays his turfun he’s been missing. However, he begins them to accept their differences. Truly an moil with grace and realism. The addition
to struggle with his schoolwork. The Girl amazing film, The Breakfast Club opens of a soundtrack featuring the duo Simon
Next Door is a must-see before June 7th. viewers’ eyes while combining memorable Garfunkel make this movie one of the most
quotes (ex: “Eat my shorts”) and humor. highly regarded films of all-time.
Boy Meets World
It’ll be a long time before anyone forgets
This 90’s TV show followed Cory Matthews about John Bender walking across the field
Friday Night Lights
and his friends growing up and going to with his arm up in triumph.
For many high school students, Friday
school. BMW was just plain funny-- each
night lights mean something. It’s one of the
character served a different comedic role.
Donnie Darko’s “Head Over Heels”
most cliché parts of high school. Whether
Cory (the unambitious but witty and levelScene
you play on the field, cheer on the sideheaded star), Shawn (the rebellious bad-boy Not only is the movie spectacular (and gets lines, or watch in the stands; you’re part
best friend), Eric (the funny goofball broth- better with every watch), Donnie Darko of the game, and sports are a big part of
er), and Topanga (the brainy girlfriend) had also has amazing cinematography, which school spirit. The television series Friday
friendships and relationships that were not is especially seen in the “Head Over Heels” Night Lights portrayed a football team in a
only interesting to watch, but also real. An- scene that is shot throughout the protago- small Texas town. Throughout the series,
other important character in the series is nist, Donnie’s, school. The scene is a con- their coach, Eric Taylor, helps the team face
the teacher Mr. Feeny. Although an annoy- tinuous reel which shows the daily activi- problems on and off the field. Not only is
ance in their youth, Mr. Feeny progresses ties of everyone in the school--the average the show a good watch, but the soundtrack
to teach them valuable lessons and mentor students, the trouble makers, the nerds, the is phenomenal, featuring a Texas native
them in all things. Our generation grew up outcasts, the popular girls, even the teach- band Explosions In The Sky.
with Boy Meets World and is moving on ers. It’s an awesome perspective set to the
just as they did. Class dismissed.
perfect Tears for Fears song.
Sun, Fun, and Reading
It’s summer time. The birds chirp, the pool is glamorous, periences to produce a renowned novel.
and there is no school for three months. But let’s be honest, you Mr. Kuharcik approves of…
need something intellectually based every once in a while this 1.
11/22/63. “This is a novel about time-travel and the Kensummer. So, below is a list of some of the English Department’s nedy assassination, combining supernatural elements with a love
favorite books and suggested novels for you to read as you go into story, intrigue and suspense,” says Mr. Kuharcik.
your long break.
Sing You Home is another recommendation of Mr. KuMrs. Hitchens approves of…
harcik. He states that, “this is the scariest novel I’ve ever read; set
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, which takes place in within a twenty-four hour time frame; it tells the story of a woman
nineteenth-century China. The main character of the story is Lily, hunted down by a crazed killer.”
a seven year old girl who is matched with a laotong. Upon meeting Why does the English Department love to read so much?
the loatong, Snow Flower, Lily is given a silk fan by the loatong.
“Each book is a page-turner, one that I couldn’t put down.
The two girls endure the hardships of life, including the foot bind- And in each (particularly the Picoult) you are challenged to refine
ing processes and their arranged your beliefs and restructure the way you think about social obligamarriages, making their friendship tions and rights,” Mr. Kuharcik stated to answer the question. So
if you feel the same way about reading a book as he does, wouldn’t
The Help, known by many you just die to pick up one of these books this summer?
from the movie, is about a black What are you planning to read over the summer?
maid, Aibileen, living in 1962 Jack-
Mrs. Hitchens is going to read Unnaturally Green this
son, Mississippi. Eventually, she summer. It is an autobiography about the understudy of Elphaba
meets the white socialite, Skeeter, in the Broadway show, Wicked. Being extremely excited she exwho is looked down upon because claims that it will be “the first thing I pick up in June!”
she went to college and is still not
They’ve got reading…do you?
married. Together they work to write a novel about the maid’s ex-
20. May 2013
Playlist of the Month
Let’s take a stroll down memory conspiracy theory is from a cartoon that
lane and examine those innocent cartoons dates back to 1978, Garfield. This lasagna
we all know and love. Goofy, cute, colorful loving cat is said to have been abandoned.
cartoons like Dexter’s Laboratory, Rugrats, Garfield wakes up in an abandoned house
and Garfield are classic 90’s cartoons. Our and begins to search for Jon and Odie, who
parents have let us watch them since before no longer are part of his life. In fact, Garwe could talk. No harm in a little light heart- field is actually dying of starvation, which
ed cartoon humor, right? Wrong. Every car- explains why he is always hungry. He keeps
toon has a twisted background; the real art Jon and Odie alive in his mind to balance the
in making the television shows is contorting fact of him being abandoned and mistreated,
them in such a way that the disturbing mes- when in reality, they no longer exist.
sage is displayed in a fun, foolish, and over-
Moving on to a household favorlooked story.
ite, Dexter’s Laboratory. This show is about
This first conspiracy is a pretty well a young boy who happened to be lucky
known one. The popular children’s cartoon enough to build his own laboratory in his
Rugrats doesn’t strike as a morbid TV show room and have it remain a total secret from
told from the mind of little Angelica, now his parents (obviously they paid no mind to
does it? To much surprise, it is. The show the electricity bill). Think again. Dexter is
is completely made up by Angelica herself. introverted and socially awkward. His “arch
Each of the babies are actually illusions made nemeses,” Mandark, was actually one of the
up in her mind. Tommy was actually a still- closest friends Dexter has ever had. Dexter
born baby, which explains why Stu is always relies on his imagination to keep himself enin the basement frantically making toys for a tertained. His parents and sister tend to play
son that never was. Chuckie died a long time along with the game at times, but have no
ago with his mother, clarifying why Chaz is mind of what Dexter truly believes. Spoiler
always a nervous wreck. As for the Devilles, alert: there is no laboratory, just a figment of
they had an abortion. Angelica could not un- his imagination.
derstand this procedure so she compensated
Now after all that, cartoons probby generating the idea of twins in her mind ably don’t strike as light, innocent tales, in
because she never knew the sex of the baby.
fact, it almost disturbing to know that as a
Not totally convinced yet? The next small child, we were exposed
Design by Christine Gaab
to this and had no idea. Every cartoon
had to come from some mangled imagination; it’s just a matter of decoding the
true meaning of each.
Warped Tour Coming in July
The Warped Tour has evolved
since its beginning in 1994 and is a great
event for both teenagers and adults alike.
Pittsburgh will host it on July 17, 2013 at
the First Niagara Pavilion in Burgettstown.
Tickets are on sale for about $40 each. The
tour originally featured punk rock, but
plenty of other genres have been added to
the venue and it has expanded into other
countries. It showcases approximately 100
bands on 10 or more stages, with many
bands playing at the same time. Be prepared to go home with ringing ears. The
tour will feature popular bands such as
Reel Big Fish, 3OH!3, Never Shout Never,
and Forever the Sickest Kids.
Reel Big Fish gained major recognition in 1997 with their number one hit
“Sell Out”. Which promoted their sophomore album, Turn the Radio Off. They are
an ska punk band and can be compared
to popular bands such as Sublime and No
Doubt. Harsh love songs are their favorite,
but somehow, their music still makes you
want to dance.
3OH!3’s playful and mischievous
attitude defines their music. Their album
WANT went gold in 2008. You may remember blasting “Don’t Trust Me” and
“Starstrukk” on your radio back in middle
school. They have worked with several
different artists, such as Katy Perry and
Ke$ha; which has widened their musical
palette. They will be playing their classic
hits alongside new material off of their new
album OMENS this summer.
Straight out of Joplin, Missouri;
Never Shout Never’s Christofer Drew has
been writing and creating music since he
was sixteen. The band’s favorite genre to
write for is indie pop and it includes a variety of songs, ranging from sad love melodies to inspiring music about living life to
the fullest. They have released many hit
singles such as “First Dance” and “Lovesick”.
Forever the Sickest Kids recently
signed to California’s Fearless Records and
are in the studio working hard on their new
album. They spent all of 2012 on tour in the
US and overseas. Their first album, Underdog Alma Mater, made them the number
one underground band according to Alternative Press. Their 2010 album The Weekend was a huge hit and made them popular.
They will be playing on the tour for most of
Every year, fans vote online for
the band they want to see play as the last
band of the night. The tour also features a
“BBQ Band”, who, in exchange for playing
on the tour, is required to prepare food for
the bands and crew for the barbecue which
is held on most nights. Go this summer to
switch things up and vote for your favorite
bad at www.vanswarpedtour.com!
21. 20 News
Female Fights for
Kelsey Hunter|Staff Writer
Caroline Pla is only eleven years old and has already
done more for women’s rights than most women will in a lifetime. For Pla, it started out just being about playing football,
but it became much more. This young girl has inspired other
young girls to fight for their rights as equals to men by fighting
for play in a completely male-dominated sport.
Pla has played football since she was five and was
told after last season in Catholic Youth Organization football
that she could no longer play. She was truly upset, but not
discouraged. Pla continued to fight against this ruling of the
Catholic school. A panel at the school met, but ruled against
her because she was a female player and it was the policy of the
school for football to be boys-only.
Pla was not pleased and pushed her equality to hang
with the boys. Soon, the Archbishop heard her cries and
o u t .
o v e rruled the
p a n e l ’s
and decided to
p l a y ing. The
statem e n t
w a s ,
“ T h e
participation in CYO football, effective in the 2013 season.”
“If you’re good enough to play, it does not matter
whether you are a boy or girl,” Junior Naomi Burke, stated.
This is the attitude that seems to be growing among our society. Pla’s persistence to play showed that she is truly equal to
the boys on the team.
Pla has paved the way for herself and all other girls
wishing to play football in Catholic schools. She fought for
what she believed in and because she was so persistent and
passionate, she won. This eleven year old women’s activist
has already made a difference and has not even reached high
school yet. This may be the first, but will definitely not be the
last time Caroline Pla is in the spotlight.
Pla gained the national attention by winning her fight against the
Philadelphia Archdiocese to play football.
Photos by AP Images
What in the World?
Do you think lending someone a pencil at school is generous? A twelve-year-old student in Detroit was spotted handing
out wads of cash to classmates. Reports claim that the student received $20,000 from a generous next door neighbor. A few of her
lucky classmates were given up to $500. When the police heard
about the situation, they confiscated the sixth grader’s backpack;
and all the cash was recovered and returned to the unidentified
neighbors. School punishment for the student’s generosity is to
be determined, as a situation like this has not been addressed in
the school policy.
A Rubiks cube can
take months to complete by
the average person. But a fiveyear-old girl named Summer
can solve one in only 100 seconds after six months of practice. Discovering the cube at a
family party, Summer became
interested in solving it quickly. Her progress has nearly
Photo by AP Images
reached a level where she can show off her talent at competitions. Summer enjoys the challenge of continually trying to beat
her record.  She said, “It’s fun. I like to sit in the treehouse in the
garden at home and do it. I can finish faster now than when I first
started” (telegraph.co.uk). She also enjoys spending her time doing jigsaw puzzles when she is not doing work for home school.
Child prodigies like Summer make us all want to step up our
Most of us are only fluent in one language. Maybe some
of us know a little Spanish, German, or French; but let’s not kid
ourselves--we’d sound like two-year-olds when compared to fluent speakers. A 16-year-old from New York City has taught himself a total of 23 foreign languages. The obvious question here is,
“How does this kid have so much time on his hands to learn all
these languages?” Well, unlike the majority of American teenagers, Timothy Doner uses his summer vacation productively. He
has become the world’s youngest polyglot (someone proficient
in several languages). Doner’s YouTube account contains many
videos of him speaking all these languages, making his popularity grow. Since he lives in New York, Doner practices the various
languages when speaking to foreign cab drivers, connecting with
foreigners via Skype or simply walking down the streets of New
York City. Mastering the Spanish language or simply getting an
“A” in Spanish class seems like a piece of cake compared to all the
work that Doner has done.
If you think driving at 16-years-old is too young, consider driving at age six. A child in Michigan took a three mile trip
to get Chinese food before he was stopped by the police for erratic driving. The child hit a street sign near his house, cracking the
bumper of the car. As a result, his joyride included a stop at the
car repair shop. Blaming the damage on his father, the child told
the police that he was simply driving to the dealer to repair the
car. How did the child escape his parents? To add to his troubles,
he snuck out while his parents were asleep. It is unsure whether
charges will be pressed.
22. May 2013
The Catholic Church’s New Beginning
The cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church in Vatican
City astonished the Catholic world by electing Cardinal Jorge
Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the 266th pope. He is the first
Jesuit and Latin American in modern times to lead the world’s 1.2
billion Catholics. Pope Francis ushers in an interesting Catholic
world and the Vatican City.
He chose the name Francis, which has never been used
in the church’s 2,000 year history. This name signaled to the Vatican City that there is a new beginning for the faith. The pope
wanted to honor St. Francis of Assisi, an admirer of nature and
servant to the poor. St. Francis was born the son of a rich cloth
merchant, but he lived in rags among the beggars at St. Peter’s
Basilica in Rome.
In some ways, Pope Francis is just a normal guy. He is
very humble and uses public transportation every day. Some of
his astonishing decisions include choosing to live in an apartment
instead of the archbishop’s palace, passing on a chauffeured limousine, and cooking his own meals. In his first public act, Pope
Francis broke with tradition by asking about 150,000 people, who
were packed into St. Peter’s Square, to pray for him, rather than
him blessing the crowd first. He broke another tradition by refusing to use a platform to elevate himself above the cardinals standing with him as he was introduced to the world as Pope Francis.
The reactions in St.
Peter’s Square as Pope Francis was being introduced
were out-of-this-world, filled
with excitement and full of
joy. The Catholics are anxious to follow a pope with a
fresh, new name and a sense
of closeness and humanity.
Latin American countries are
Photo by AP Images
embracing their faith and do
not feel that they will be ignored anymore. With the new changes
and approaches, Pope Francis is paving the way for a brighter future around the world that will bring Catholics together.
Pope Francis is not actually the first pope from outside
Europe. Back in the eighth century, a Syrian, Pope St. Gregory
III, led the church from 731 to 741 A.D. There have been other
popes from Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and modern-day Libya. Several other Syrians have been chosen in the last few millennia. Although the majority of the popes since the very beginning have
been Italian, with the first election of a Latin American pope, the
tide could be shifting to outside of Europe.
On March 15, two
Steubenville high school football players, Ma’lik Richmond
and Trent Mays, were found
guilty for the crime they committed on August 11, 2012.
However, the investigation does
not stop there. Further discovery is being conducted to determine what other influences
played a part in this horrific
event. Are parents, school officials, other students, or coaches
refusing to come forth and confess their role in the case?
Social media has unearthed much of the evidence
that was presented to convict
the two guilty individuals. The
“Anonymous” group leaked
photos, videos, and tweets that
uncovered the crime and questioned why the two players were
not prosecuted for their actions. Many people have taken
a side on this situation. Some
question whether the girl chose
to associate with the football
team, but social media backs pictures and posts,” said junior
up her innocence when one of Allison Welsh.
Sothe text messages she sent read cial media continues to harbor
“They were taking advantage of violence and gossip. The careme.” During the trial, text mes- lessness and ignorance of teensages backed up the accusations agers keeps catching up with
that Richmond and Mays did in them. Shortly after the verdict,
via Twitto cover
ter. Curfor them.
r e n t l y,
“ T h i s
t e a c h
people to watch out for under-
Results of a grand jury
age drinking as well as internet investigation will take place
security. Both need controlled. within the next month to reveal
Once you post something on any other possible guilty parties
the internet, it is always there which may include the coach
and even if you haven’t com- or parents who knew that this
mitted a crime, colleges and fu- situation was taking place. Susture employers can still see any picious text messages revealed
that the football coach knew
what went on before charges
were brought against the players.
This entire rape case can be a
lesson for anyone who freely
posts their opinions or personal
information online especially
now that the online evidence
can be used in court. The lives
and futures of Richmond and
Mays have gone from bright
and positive to painful and
treacherous because of their
crime. Many teenagers seem to
feel “above the law,” as if they
will never be caught for their
mistakes. Those two teenagers
now live with constant regret
and emotional suffering, and
they will pay their price in jail.
An important lesson can be
learned from the Steubenville
Rape Case: anything you say,
do or tweet can be used against
Photo by AP Images
23. Mix it Up...
These student pieces showcase the wide array of talent at PTHS. Whether they’re capturing
the images through a camera lens or a paint brush, these students were able to display their creativity.
Here is just a taste of the talent that can be found in the elective classes.
Dan Pletz, 12
Justin Puente, 12
Kelsey Collins, 10
Joanna Pollock, 11
25. 24 Voices
If you could go back and change something in your
high school experience, what would it be?
“Had a better balance of
work and fun earlier on”
“Done track all 4 years
instead of 1”
“Mean girls and bullies.”Maura Majcher
“Spent time trying to stay
“The school cookies.”
“A bunch of clothes.”
What will you miss most about high school as you enter college?
“Hanging out with my
“My mom’s cooking.”
What is the scariest thing about going to college next year?
“The complicated college
schedule” -Justin Magnotti
“One step closer to college.”
“Being able to say I survived
high school” -Holly Hanna
What are you going to miss most when you graduate?
“All of my friends.”
“My favorite teachers.”
“Extra credit, cookies, hall passes,
snow delays.” -Sarah Smart
What is the best moment that has happened during your class?
“A song parody of A Horse with
No Name.” - Mr. Davidson
“Kids passing out.”
“To see the seniors start their
next chapter.” - Mr. Compeggie
“Someone flying a toy
helicopter.” - Mrs. Mannion