Where are they now?
PIAA State Champion
Soccer & Tennis
Twas the Day
Student Work: Ceramics
Volume 3 Issue 2
Peters Township High School
264 East McMurray Road
McMurray, PA 15317
Meet the Staff
Special Features Editor
Life & Style Editor
Layout Editor-in -Chief
Online Editor-in- Chief
Smoke Signals Staff
Smoke Signals is produced six times
a school year by the students of the
Media II, III, and IV Journalism staff
at Peters Township High School. Staff
Advisor is Mrs. N. Sitler. Commentaries, reviews, and opinion columns are
the express opinion of the author and
not of Smoke Signals, its advisor, or the
Peters Township School District.
4-5 PT Focus
Fish Tail Braids
10-11 Life and Style
12-13 Twas the Night Before Break
14-15 People Features
Letter of Intent:Mike Bittel
16-17 PT Alumni Feature
Table of Contents
Girls Soccer and
Tennis State Titles
Finding the Best App for That
20-21 News Features
Occupy Wall Street
22-23 Student Work
Meet and Greet:
Mr. Lesnett & Ms. Sanders
You see them in the halls, waiting by the buses, and
eyeing up your dress code violations, but how well do you really know our vice principals? In the past year and a half, Peters
Township has employed two new vice-principals, Mr. Christopher Lesnett and Ms. Emily Sanders.
Mr. Lesnett, a
Fort Cherry High
and prior viceprincipal at North
Hills School District, has long
wanted an administrative role. After teaching world
history and geography at the honors and AP levels, he had witnessed the impact teachers have on
their students and desired to apply that same positive influence
as a vice-principal.
Starting this fall, Mr. Lesnett said he will strive to,
“provide an administrative presence, supervise consistently, and
shape the PT culture to be one of school spirit and honor.”
In his spare time, Mr. Lesnett enjoys playing ultimate
frisbee, skiing, watching Modern Family, and taking walks with
Sanders, also a local high
school graduate from
Laurel School District,
is another positive
force in shaping our
A prior English teacher in Monessen and West Middlesex school districts,
Ms. Sanders stated she is always, “looking for ways to improve
curriculum, instruction, and assessment in hopes of better preparing students.”
After a year as an assistant principal for the BaldwinWhitehall School District, Ms. Sanders has brought her drive
and determination to PT. She would like to institute policies that
would help us better use our technology and – much to the students’ delight—reinstitute the currently banned Muffin Day.
Overall, both of our vice-principals bring engaging and
productive personalities to PT. The student body should be looking forward to the exciting changes they will bring as part of the
PT Girls Soccer Team
The Peters Township
Lady Indian Soccer Team captured its second consecutive
state championship Saturday,
Nov. 17, 2011 against Pennridge. It is the first time in
which a female soccer team
defended its previous title in
Pennsylvania state history.
Although the Lady
Indians were outshot fifteen
to three, they made the most
of an early tally by sophomore striker Veronica Latsko
at the 21 minute mark of the
first half. Taking a pass from
freshman Laurel Carpenter,
Latsko weaved through two
defenders before netting the
eventual deciding goal. Stingy
defense and a spectacular effort by sophomore goalkeeper
Megan Parker helped to preserve the 1-0 victory over the
seventeenth ranked team in
the nation, according to the
National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
“We have great individual talent and when we
play together as a unit we are
unstoppable,” said Parker.
The victory capped
off a phenomenal season for
the squad. Led by seniors
Madison Creehan and Brooke
Smith, the Lady Indians compiled a 20-3-1 record as well
as an astonishing 11-1 mark in
section play. They did so by outscoring their opponents 112-16.
Despite the fact that the team
only had three seniors, a cast
of young stars helped lead the
way. Latsko followed her sensational freshman campaign with
an MVP-like performance this
season. Junior Olivia Roberson
followed closely behind, finishing second on the team in goals
“The playoffs are crazy. The atmosphere is so intense
and everybody’s blood is flowing. If you lose, you’re out so it’s
winner-take-all,” said Latsko.
And win they did.
The team thrashed the Obama
Academy 9-0 to open the state
playoffs and after a positive
decision against State College,
they were ready to rematch
archrival Upper St. Clair, an opponent who squandered their
hopes of winning the 2011
WPIAL Championship. By defeating U.S.C., the group solidified their spot in the final. Head
Coach Pat Vereb led his troops
into Hershey for a match that
would make history.
Photos by McKenzie Fritz
Photo by Soccer Boosters
December 2011 5
Girls Tennis Achieves Perfection
The Peters Township
Girls Tennis Team had a flawless season, with an overall
record of 22-0 after defeating
Shady Side Academy in the
PIAA State Championships.
They have won two PIAA titles
in three years. This year, they
also placed first in their section
and won the WPIAL title. Their
success came from the unbelievable depth that the opposing teams lacked; their line-up
was incredibly powerful from
line one singles to line two doubles. However, the girls knew
they would not have an easy
victory in the finals.
“When we were in the
finals against Shady Side, I was
really nervous, but at the same
time, I was excited,” said freshman Morgan Parisi.
When the girls arrived
at the courts on the day of the
finals, they were anxious to become state champions again but
knew they would have to play
their best to beat Shadyside.
After freshman Sara Komer
and senior Caroline Nixon won
their matches, the girls could
sense the excitement of victory.
Sophomore Stephanie Smith
was in the middle of a close
match, and it was up to doubles
partners senior Liz Palko and
freshman Abby Cummings and
senior Eleni Coleman and junior Vida Komer to close out
the win. Line two doubles defeated their opponents when
Komer and Coleman put their
heads together and Coleman
hit an incredible overhead to
end the match.
“Winning our match
was amazing. It was the perfect
way to end my senior year,” stated senior Eleni Coleman.
Palko and Cummings
dropped a set, but kept their
composure and pulled through
to win their match. After they
won, the team rushed the court.
“The most memorable part of states was when
everybody ran onto the courts
after our victory,” stated junior
The team was absolutely unstoppable on the court.
However, over the weekend,
team bonding was a huge part
of the experience.
Photo by Mrs.Perryman
After the win, the team posed for a picture with the trophy and medals. “There was
a big group of girls with so many different personalities, but we all shared a common goal: to win states,” said freshma Sara Komer.
“This past season,
our team bonded and became
a family. Everyone got along.
Spending the weekend together
at states brought us even closer,”
stated freshman Jen Holcombe.
The team visited Chocolate
World, went out to eat each day,
and went swimming in the hotel pool after the matches were
over. Additionally, six inches of
snow fell in Hershey resulting
in another overnight stay at
“It was fun to be with
the team over the weekend because everyone enjoyed each
other, even though there was
a big group of girls with so
many different personalities.
We all shared a common goal:
to win states,” said freshman
PTHS Makes AP Honor Roll
Peters Township High
School has been selected by
the AP District Honor Roll
due to its collective success in
AP courses. Only 367 school
districts across 43 states and
Canada receive this prestigious
honor. Playing a crucial role in
this achievement are the AP
teachers. They provide challenging classes and encourage their students to go above
and beyond what is expected
of them. Ms. Hamilton, an AP
Literature teacher, saw this one
“I’m extremely excited
about this, but not surprised,
because we have extremely
hard-working AP students,”
Ms. Hamilton makes
an excellent point. Maintaining
a decent grade while juggling
other classes and out-of-school
activities is a difficult task to accomplish. Students like senior
Garret Verwer find this challenge to be ultimately beneficial.
“I think it’s great. It really goes to show how well our
school prepares us for college
and life,” explained Verwer.
Although Peters is often statistically compared to Mount
Lebanon, they were one of tens
of thousands of school districts
across America that did not receive this honor. When it comes
to academics, Peters Township
School District is truly among
Photo by John Galatic
Ms. Hamilton’s second period AP
Literature and Composition class is
busy preparing for the AP test.
Early Playoff Exit Marks
End to Boy’s Soccer
The Peters Township
Boys Soccer team fell to Erie
Cathedral Prep in a gut wrenching 5-4 PIAA Playoff loss on
November 8, 2011. The team
packed it in early, but there
were no regrets as they are already anticipating next season.
This year, they established
themselves as legitimate contenders and will work hard to
win it all next year.
“We always have
room for improvement. We
need to keep working together
as a whole,” said sophomore
goalkeeper Max O’Hare.
Behind senior goalkeeper Chris Gagianas, the
team earned a 14-7-1 record
(7-2-1 in section play). Seniors
Zach Partyka and Matt Venanzi
provided a stable scoring touch
and were counted on to help
the team through tough games.
Losing to archrival Upper St.
Clair helped keep the team
grounded and focused on the
big picture. Despite being ousted from states early, the boys
understood how much they sacrificed and accomplished.
“The effort shown by
the players and the dedication
Photo by Soccer Boosters
How to Feed a Hockey
shown by the coaches was phenomenal,” stated junior Neil
However, it was not
all hard work all the time.
When the team was not fighting
for position on the field, it was
hosting other events that gave
the players some downtime and
relaxation. Led by Head Coach
Bobby Dyer, team bonding activities were put to good use
and players enjoyed them.
“It’s always fun to do
things with your teammates because it helps to keep the guys
close,” said senior midfielder
Though the team is
losing numerous star seniors
to graduation, there are plenty
viable pieces in place to contend for a title next season. The
level of play is not expected to
diminish any time soon, and
the team would not have it any
“We have to be in
shape and be determined,” stated sophomore Connor Kovacs,
“Not to mention our social life;
that will be gone the next four
months. It’s worth it.”
Photo by Madison Mincone
What Do You Usually Eat?
A typical meal for the three senior ice hockey
captains involves carbs and meats. Davan Groom usually eats Mrs. Snyder’s homemade pasta with meatballs
and breadsticks. Aaron McDonough and Cole Snyder
typically enjoy Taco Bell. Snyder eats three chipotle
flat bread sandwiches and then a beefy five-layer burrito; while McDonough likes his Taco Bell with a piece
of chocolate cake.
How Many Times A Day Do You Eat?
While most people eat about three times a day,
these boys eat anywhere from four to six times a day to
stay fueled up for games and practices.
What is a Normal Practice Like?
A normal hockey practice starts off with the
basics: passing and stick handling drills. After that,
they move onto skill-building drills, sprints, and finish
practice with a game.
What is Your Pre-Game Food?
As an athlete, pre-game food choice is extremely important to keep you powered up and ready
to go for the entire game. Pre-game food for Snyder is
Taco Bell. The carbs and meats in the Taco Bell power
him up to score goals. Groom’s pre-game food is either pasta or chicken, which keeps him energized while
on the ice. McDonough likes water and pretzels for his
pre-game meal, and that helps him to stay hydrated and
full throughout an entire game.
Young Basketball Team Looks to Improve
The Peters Township Boys Basketball Team comes into the 2011-2012
season with a clean slate and a chance
to improve upon its mediocre 2010-2011
campaign. Although the team is shorthanded when it comes to seniority (Kevin
Glod is the only senior member), the basketball program has been infused with a
breath of fresh air in its younger players.
Coaches and players are optimistic about
the team’s chances this year.
“We finished 6-16 last year,” said
team manager Matt Crall, “we can go nowhere but up.”
The season opened with a plethora of early matchups. Although there
were some questionable calls, the play has
many people, including the boys themselves, happy about the direction they are
headed in. The squad spent the whole
summer conditioning and working out the
kinks in their game as they set out to prove
they belong with the top teams in Quad-A.
They had an opportunity when
they faced section opponent Baldwin on
December 16th. As in every sport Peters
plays in, Upper St. Clair is always the biggest match of the season as they are the
Indians’ greatest rival. The squad will face
the Panthers on January 3, 2012, with only
one goal in mind.
“We have to beat them. They
are a great measuring stick for how our
team will do this season,” said sophomore
shooting guard R.J. Pfeuffer.
No matter what happens this season, the group of basketball players will
still put fans in the stands and help display
school spirit along the way. However, it is
not all about the stats. Winning games is
the main goal.
Under Review: Best Wide Receiver in the NFL
JohnGalactic.Editor-In-Chief & GrantTaylor.Staffwriter
JG: Speed kills in the NFL, and Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Wallace is the Ted Bundy of wide receivers. Perhaps the fastest man in the league, Wallace can outrun any defender. Not
even the great Joe Montana could overthrow this speed demon. Number 17 leads the NFL in yards per catch among
active players, and he holds the Steelers’ franchise record for
the longest reception at 95 yards. As shown by these stats,
Mike Wallace is able to use his speed to help his team tremendously. However, the Ole Miss product contributes much
more than just quickness. Wallace leads the team in receptions, touchdowns, and receiving yards, and is among the nation’s leaders in all three categories. Also, Ben Roethlisberger
can rely on him to catch the ball in any situation, not just as
a deep threat. Quite literally no one in the NFL can keep up
with Mike Wallace.
GT: Although Mike Wallace is a solid player, he is simply
not producing as much as Lions wide out Calvin “Megatron”
Johnson. While Johnson and Wallace share similar numbers
in receptions and receiving yards, Johnson is blowing Wallace out of the water in touchdowns. Throughout the first
eight games, Megatron scored eleven touchdowns. This is
quite an impressive feat. Because Johnson is scoring at such
an efficient rate, he is putting his
team in a position to win every
game they play. The game is
all about scoring points and the
more points you score the better chance you have of winning.
Maybe, someday, Wallace can
be compared to Calvin Johnson
when he provides more points
for his team.
that many touchdowns simply out
of necessity. Do you really think
the Lions would air it out as much
if they were not consistently behind
in most games? Lions quarterback
Matthew Stafford throws to Johnson often because he is essentially
his only option. I challenge you to
name one other receiver from Detroit. Only Google will help you
there. Jahvid Best, the Lions’ running back, is the team’s third leading receiver. This suggests a serious
of lack of depth at the wide out position. The Steelers, on the
other hand, have Hines Ward, Heath Miller, and a slew of
talented young players that compete with Wallace for catches.
Even so, Wallace is on par with Johnson in every other receiving category. Besides touchdowns, a misleading indicator
of greatness, Mike Wallace produces just as much as Calvin
Johnson with fewer opportunities.
GT: Johnson’s stats are far more impressive because he is
seeing double and sometimes triple coverage on him in almost every game. Since teams know that the Lions are trying
to throw the ball to Johnson, they key on him heavily. Despite
all of this, he still manages to produce in big ways. On the
contrary, when Mike Wallace is put in double coverage, he
does not come up with the ball. Another reason Calvin Johnson is a better receiver is because of his 6’5” stature. He has
the ability to out-jump any defender in order to go up and
catch the ball. Wallace hardly breaks six foot, which does not
allow him to leap in the air and take balls away from defensive backs. Mike Wallace is a commendable player; however
he does not possess the intangibles that Johnson does. Calvin
Johnson would without a doubt outperform Mike Wallace on
JG: Calvin Johnson has caught any given day.
Know Your Dance Personality
Want to know your school dance personality? Answer each question below based on your interests and with what
is most relevant to you. Keep track of how many A’s, B’s, and C’s that you answered and at the end, select the appropriate
box that matches your answers to discover your dance personality.
1. When you think of your favorite style of dress for a school
dance, what comes to mind?
A. Long, elaborate, formal dress/Nice tux and bow
B. Short, fun, casual dress; not very expensive, one
you possibly already own/Button-down shirt and
dress pants, no tie— very cost effective overall
C. Short dress, colorful, and fun/Button-down shirt
and dress pants with a colorful tie
2. Do you typically like to go to a dance with:
A. A date—your boyfriend/girlfriend
B. A group of your close friends
C. A date—a close friend
4. Where do you prefer dinner before the dance?
A. At the dance
B. At McDonald’s
C. At a local fancy restaurant
5. How do you like to dance?
A. In a cluster—tight group of people, everyone
crammed on a small, crowded floor
B. Spread out, not a lot of people around you
C. With a small group of friends in a little tight
3. How much are you willing to spend on tickets?
You are very sophisticated and
love to dress up. You are okay with
spending a good bit of money for
a good time. Typically, you like to
go to dances with your boyfriend/
girlfriend and get sweaty dancing in
one large group. You like to have a
nice classy dinner before the festivities begin. You are and overall fun
person, with a touch of class.
The scandal at Penn
State, the death of Andy
Rooney and Steve Jobs, and
the Kim Kardashian divorce
have overwhelmed the media
the past few months. The Kardashian divorce seems out of
place compared to these other important and news worthy stories, but the public was
fooled by it in more than one
Kim Kardashian and Kris
Humphries, spent less than
eighty days together before a
split that wasted $10 million
dollars, none of which came
from their own pockets. Do-
You love to have a good time, and Snowball
is the place to do just that. For girls, short,
fun dresses are the fashion with nice accessories. For boys, a button-down and dress
pant. When it comes to dinner, you would
rather eat at the local McDonald’s—or anywhere cheap, fast, and delicious. With fashion, dinner, and tickets, you are more likely
to spend less money. However, whatever
the cost, fun is always your main priority.
You are moderate when it comes to the extremes
of school dances. Homecoming is between fancy
and casual dances. You enjoy dressing up, but
have a more casual look to you rather than the
long formal dresses or expensive tuxes. You
typically enjoy going out to a local fancy restaurant for dinner with a group of friends. Because
you can essentially determine the cost yourself,
homecoming is the perfect dance for a lowmaintenance, high-energy person, like yourself.
Reality Star Needs a Reality Check
nations and the television
company, E!news, paid for
the extravagant affair, but the
joke is still on us. This shortlived couple actually made
$18 million off of their closely
watched nuptials, including
the $2.5 million spent to get
first-look wedding pictures,
according to People Magazine. TMZ found that for
each day that they were married, Kim and Kris might as
well have spent $138,888.88,
which would have added up
to their fairytale wedding bill.
What is even more
than mind-blowing is that
$10 million was donated to
a wealthy celebrity’s wedding
instead of helping a charity.
For example, the price of Ms.
Kardashian’s wedding earrings was $5 million, which
could have supplied water to
750 million Haitians. Furthermore, her fabulous shoes
cost around $600 could have
supplied 240 pairs of shoes
for SOULES4SOULS, an organization that sends shoes to
third world countries left distraught by natural disasters.
“I don’t even care,”
said Junior Jake McPeek, “the
money could have been used
for way better for feeding kids
and stuff like that.” After recognizing the colossal loss of
cash, some students see Ms.
Kardashian’s oops as a sincere
“It was a huge waste
of money, but although everyone wants a dream wedding and she gets to keep
those memories,” said sophomore, Sarah Zimmerman.
And while Kim gets her
memories, children in Africa are still orphaned and go
unclothed. Try “Keeping Up”
December 2011 9
PDA, Blobs, and
Happy Valley No More
Snurtling: What Not to
Do in the Halls
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good
Imagine, you are rushing down the hall, trying
to get to class, but there is a blob of students standing in
your way. Some of them are cuddling, some are just being generally obnoxious, some are freshmen, and some
are even upperclassmen, but all of them do not understand the rules of the high school roadway. However,
these hopelessly confused students can still learn the
rules for navigating the halls.
Rule 1: Do not snurtle (walk in a combination
of a snail and turtle like pace) down the hall. You are not
taking a leisurely stroll; therefore, it is unnecessary to
walk at that pace. Even though you may not want to get
to class, the people behind you do. Also, if you feel you
must walk slowly down the hall, do not recruit twenty
other people to walk slowly in a pack with you. The only
thing worse than walking slow is walking slow with a
blob of people that take up the entire width of the hall.
To learn more about how to properly organize a blob in
the hall, refer to Rule 3.
Rule 2: Do not PDA in the hall. It happens all
the time; some couples slowly walk down the hall, hand
in hand, taking up as much of the width of the hall as
possible. Other couples stop in the middle of the hall to
kiss and say how much they are going to miss each other
for the next 41 minutes of their lives. However, although
you may be totally “in love” and want to proclaim that
“love” to the world, but no one wants to see you sucking face like a malfunctioning vacuum while they are
trying to get to class. So be courteous, keep your hands
to yourself, and save your displays of affection for the
privacy of your own home.
Rule 3: This is not middle school anymore; you
do not need to stand in blobs in the middle of the hall.
Although you may not realize this, the middle of the
hall is where people actually walk. If you want to stand,
without making anyone angry, move a couple of feet to
your left or right, find a wall, and stay near it. You are
not an animal that moves in a pack, so do not act like a
donkey (or its euphemism) and move out of the way.
Rule 4: Do not throw stuff. Just because you
have an empty water bottle or bag full of trash sitting
around, you do not have to launch it across the hallway.
Also, it is unnecessary to place trash on the ground and
then blatantly watch for someone to slip and fall on it.
So, instead, act like big boys and girls and find one of the
millions of conveniently placed trash cans around the
halls and dispose of your trash there.
Rule 5: No stink bombs in the stairwells. It
should really just go unsaid.
men do nothing.” These words, spoken by political activist and philosopher Edmund Burke, apply to a chain of events that continue to
unfold at Penn State University. Currently, the allegations of sexual
assault by Jerry Sandusky against young boys throughout the past
weeks continue to grow and create a domino effect for the University Officials.
“I feel this is a terrible thing that happened to Penn State
and I feel terrible for the children that this happened to. This is
an extremely negative situation, but the school will find its way to
bounce back,” said teacher and Penn State Alumni Mrs. Hruby.
As a result of the Sandusky scandal, Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno was fired after 46 years of coaching. “JoePa” fans and Penn State alumni all question why, after his years of
legendary discipline, Paterno was punished for a crime he did not
“My family grew up watching Penn State football and Joe
Paterno. It’s just sad that it had to end like this for him,” stated senior Sarah Barczak.
What people fail to realize is, although he is a good man,
graduate assistant Mike McQueary came to him with the alleged
assaults, and Paterno fell short of his responsibility. With not reporting what he knew to the police, Paterno will have to live with
the fact that he did next to nothing to stop Sandusky. Unfortunately, after his 46 years of coaching, people’s last thoughts will not be
how much he achieved, but how little he did for the victims of the
What is most baffling is how little blame is put on McQueary. Was McQueary not the one to first witness Sandusky and
report it to Paterno? With claims that he was only a young graduate
assistant who was in shock and too nervous to report Sandusky to
the police, McQueary remains in the shadow of the allegations put
Age and inexperience does not restrain him from his
responsibility to help the victims. After what he witnessed, McQueary was obligated to not just go to Paterno, but to assure that
the information got to the authorities. With not doing this, he is yet
another good man who basically hid in the background and did
With all the activity surrounding Paterno, McQueary, and
other former staff members, the big picture is fading away: Sandusky is the person to be pointing fingers at and he is the one to
blame for the scandal. With all the confrontation and confusion
being passed around, people are forgetting who committed the
primary crime-Jerry Sandusky. Yes, Paterno, McQuery, and others
must be held accountable for their failures, but Sandusky is ultimately responsible for the offenses against these innocent children.
Photo by Taylor Laster
Life & Style
A New Wave In Braiding: How To Fishtail
A fishtail braid is an easy way to spice up any outfit and is different from the average hairstyle. It can be dressed up
with a pretty flower or clip, or kept simple for an ordinary day at school. Also, a fishtail braid is an easy way to cure “bad” hair
days; it looks complex and time consuming, but is easy and fun. To do this braid, you will need a comb or brush and a hair tie.
If your hair is layered, you may need a few bobby pins to hold back fly away hairs.
Step One: Use a comb
or brush to split the hair
into two even sections
down the back.
Step Four: Continue this
process until you reach
the bottom of the hair.
Step Two: Take a small
strand of hair from underneath one side and cross it
over the hair to make it join
the other section of hair.
Taking hair from underneath creates the “fishtail”
effect of the braid. (It does
not matter which side you
choose to use first.)
Step Three: Take a piece
from the opposite section of hair. Cross it over
to join it to the other side.
Make sure to still take the
piece from underneath
of the hair. Make these
pieces of hair as loose or
as tight as you want.
Step Five: Tie the hair
with an elastic band.
Senior Mandy Nerone comments, ‘Fishtail braids are so
easy and a cute way to wear
my hair for school. I love it.”
Photos by Katie Finn
If you would like to make your hair look wider
or thicker, gently tug the outsides of the braid. Also, by
taking smaller pieces throughout the process, you can
make the braid look more intricate. The bigger the piece
you take, the more it will resemble a normal braid. To
make the braid more fun and girly, you can tie strands
of multi-colored yarn to pieces in the bottom layers of
your hair. Make sure to tie the yarn at the root and also
tease the hair a little in order for it to stay. Intertwine the
yarn into your hair and you will have a colorful braid.
Kicking off Winter Fashion with Boots
As the weather
gets colder, and the snow on
the ground rises higher, our
choice of footwear is basically limited to boots. No, I
don’t mean Uggs, which are
probably the most unstylish
things ever created; don’t
get me wrong, I wear them
too. However, with so many
styles of boots these days,
there is certainly a boot to
fit everyone’s fashion sense
while still looking stylish.
The most popular
trend emerging this winter is over-the-knee boots.
They come in a wide variety,
from completely flat to sky-
scraper heel heights. Over-theknee boots usually have a loose
fit so you can wear them with
jeans tucked in or pair them up
with a dress or skirt for a more
sophisticated look. When picking out the perfect pair, be sure
to get the right length for you.
Otherwise, they may be too tall
and make your legs look super
short, which is definitely not
flattering. The top of the boot
should hit right above your
kneecap, do not go all the way
up your thigh.
Ankle boots will definitely be back again this winter,
for the fourth season in a row.
This boot trend has certainly
taken over the footwear world.
The two main styles of booties
are open and closed toe. Again,
they can be worn with either
jeans (don’t tuck them in) or
with a dress or skirt for an edgy
look. This year booties are looking edgier than ever, with many
designers adding spikes and
other metal accents to them.
The populaity of wedges from the warmer months
will carry into the heel trends
of boots this winter. With
wedges, you get the best of both
worlds: the height of a heel and
the comfort of a flat. However,
when wearing them in the snow
or ice, be careful not to slip because most wedges don’t have
much traction on the bottom of
them. Wedged boots come in
a variety of colors and styles.
Designers are now even making wedged rain boots.
Photo by Molly Doehring
Black Booties paired with a
dress can go with any outfit.
Ring a Bell
Celebrating the New Year brings toasts to new beginnings, party hats,
noisemakers, and of course, resolutions. These optimistic promises sound
great on January first, but are difficult to accomplish as life becomes busy. If
you are in search of a fulfilling, attainable resolution, the hunt is over. The following kettlebell workout is a simple yet effective routine for getting fit in 2012.
Kettlebells are a new trend in weight lifting because they make typical
dumbbell exercises more difficult. Their weight is not evenly distributed which
makes your stabilizer muscles work harder. The results are worth it as definition
can be gained from just a few simple steps. For extra tone, repeat the circuit 2 times.
Move 1: Figure 8
Stand in a slight squat with your feet wider
than hip-width apart. Maintain a flat back
with your chest up. Hold the kettlebell in your
left hand on the outside of your left leg. Swing
the kettlebell in front of your left leg, between
your legs, and behind your right leg, grabbing
it with your right hand as you do so. Repeat
by swinging it in front of your right leg,
between your legs, and behind your left leg.
That is one rep. Continue for 10 reps.
Move 2: Front Squat
Stand straight up with
your feet hip-width
apart, holding the kettlebell with both hands
in front of your chest. Keep elbows bent and
close to your body. While keeping your back
flat and chest up, push your hips back and
bend your knees until they form 90 degree
angles. Return to standing while pushing
down into heels. That is one rep. Continue for
10 to 15.
Move 3: Windmill
Stand with your feet wider than hip-width
apart with the kettle bell in your left hand
raised overhead. Rotate your chest to the left and look up at your
hand holding the weight as you bend
down to touch your right foot. Pause
then return to standing position while
keeping your arm up. That is one rep. Do
5 to 10 reps, then lower the weight and
switch to the right side.
If this is a workout worthy of
making your New Year’s Resolution come true, check out Jillian
Michael’s kettlebell workouts.
With the holiday season closing in, last minute gifts
are on everyone’s minds. Bath & Body Works offers a
variety of fragrances that can be those perfect gifts for
others or even yourself. Indulge in any of the four spotlighted, holiday scents this season and you will not be
Vanilla Bean Noel- This decadent scent is a combination of fresh vanilla bean, warm caramel and rich
cream. One spray of this holiday-inspired fragrance
will warm up any winter day.
Pink Sugarplum- Mist this fragrance all over your
body to leave a light scent of sugarplum, tangerine and
vanilla musk. A quick spritz of this mist will leave you
smelling as sweet as candy.
Winter Candy Apple- This fragrance is a mouth watering blend of crisp apple, candied orange and cinnamon
spice. The fruity scent will catch everyone’s attention
this holiday season.
Twisted Peppermint- A spritz of this fun winter scent
will leave you smelling like refreshing mint with a hint
of vanilla. Nothing describes the holiday season better
than the smell of a candy cane.
Photo by Katie Finn
Junior, Lindsay Spinabelli,
brings a little holiday spirit
into her day by spraying herself with Twisted Peppermint
Twas the day before break, when all through the school,
No seniors were here, because they were too cool.
The projects were graded by teachers with care,
In hopes that the students soon would prepare.
The juniors were stressed and filled with dread,
While visions of SATs danced in their heads.
With teachers in their jeans,
and freshmen in their shorts,
The PT fashion was all out of sorts.
When out in the parking lot there arose such a clatter,
Mrs. Pavlik sprang up to see what was the matter.
Away to the front she flew like a flash,
Tore open the door with an echoing crash.
Even though there was ice on the student lot
There was no two-hour delay, definitely not!
When, what to her wondering eyes should appear,
But the snow covered man who was principal last year.
Layout by Valerie Gobao
With a cell phone in hand and a glass of hot cider,
She knew in a moment it was Mr. Brettschneider.
More rapid than eagles, the teachers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Kuharcik! Now, Degnan! Now, Baker and Pinto!
On, Gearhart! On, Kuhn! On Lawrence and Giaquinto!
To the top of the stands! To the end of the hall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As Mr. B and the teachers rushed into the gym,
Mr. Lesnett quickly chased after him.
So up to the bleachers the teachers they flew,
With the bag full of smart phones and iPads, too.
And then, on the TV, Mrs. Pavlik appeared
Urging students to the gym before the surprise disappeared.
And then in an instant the students left class,
They ran to the gym in a large, crazy mass.
All through the school, students were perplexed
Anxious to see what would happen next.
The gym was then filled with excitement and glee
For they saw him, the famous Mr. B.
His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
“Now students,” he said in a resounding voice
“I’ve come here at last to give you a choice”
“Today is the day where no rules will apply.
Everything you’ve dreamed of in the blink of an eye.
Go on Facebook and tweet to your heart’s content
I want all calls answered, all text messages sent.”
“Forget all the tests and forget all the grades.
There will be no homework, you’ll all get A’s.
This holiday season, you now have your chance.
It’s now time to party, to cut loose and dance.”
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work.
And filled all the lockers then turned with a jerk.
With a wink of his eye and a nod of his chin,
He waved to the crowd and left the gym.
Then, all of a sudden, the roaring bell sounded
I woke up in study hall, confused and confounded
But as I looked out the window, I saw quite a sight.
Mr. B yelling, “Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!”
the News Magazine Staff!
Sugar and Spice
Anything a guy can
do, a girl can do with heels
on, right? Well, in this case, its
skates. Julianna Dachille and
Darby Kern play ice hockey for
the high school team. Dachille
is currently on the JV team and
Kern is on Varsity, and yes, they
play with the boys.
Both girls started playing hockey at a young age; Kern
was nine and Dachille only six.
“I love hockey because of the
excitement of the game, and
overall, just having a blast
while I am on the ice,” stated
Kern and Dachille
play not only for the high
school teams but also for a girls
travel team, Pittsburgh Penguins Elite.
“Placing first in the
Mid-American District for girls
and then placing second in
the nation in 2009 were some
of the best accomplishments I
have ever had as a team,” said
After they placed in
their District, the team went on
to Nationals. Not only did they
make it to Nationals in 2009,
but they made it in 2008 and
2010 as well.
Kern also has a list of
accomplishments. For example,
she was selected to go to the
USA National Camp for girls
U-16 in 2010 and she has set
high goals for herself.
“For girls, my goal is to
be one of the top point scorers
on my team and get better. For
boys, I want to learn more and
become a better player,” said
In the fall, Kern will
head to Penn State on a scholarship to play Division I Women’s
Ice Hockey for head coach, Josh
Brandwene. This is especially
significant due to the fact that
next year will be the first year
Penn State endorses a D-1
women’s ice hockey team. I n
previous years, there was only a
women’s club team.
Dachille strives to
contribute as much as she can
to both teams and have fun
while doing so. She would like
to continue playing at this competitive level and eventually
earn a spot on a Division I college team as well.
“My main goal is to
play Division I in college and
earn a scholarship to get there,”
Being the only two
girls on the PTHS Hockey Team
is quite remarkable. Neither of
the girls are treated differently
by the boys on their team or any
“It is hard to play with
the boys because they are very
talented and more physical
than girls, but it is also not hard
because they are all nice kids,”
“They take no mercy
on us on the ice and that’s how
it should be,” said Dachille.
Photos submitted by Julianna Dachille
and Darby Kern
Shane Dazen: Last Man Standing in MLB Contest
Photo by Josh Glicksman
Dazen fills out his MLB brackets.
The 2011 MLB Playoffs amazed just about everyone who watched. Furthermore, the St. Louis Cardinals’
victory over the Texas Rangers
in Game 6 of the World Series
is a game that will be talked
about for years to come. The
word “predictable” could not
be used to describe the postseason. Or could it?
hosts a competition called
the MLB Postseason Bracket
Challenge. Participants face
the task of correctly predicting
the winner of every series and
the amount of games taken to
earn victory. If a participant
miraculously succeeds, he or
she earns a cool 10,000 dollars.
This year, over
40,000 baseball fans flocked
to the site, looking to earn
some green. Sophomore,
Shane Dazen, found himself
among those that entered.
“I just wanted to win
10,000 dollars; it is as simple
as that,” stated Dazen.
lead him to the very end. His
predictions of the Rangers
winning the World Series in
six games faltered in the last
game. The Rangers blew a
late lead and ended up losing
to St. Louis.
Although he received no money for his
valiant efforts, Shane was
the last man standing in the
competition. Everyone is still
impressed by his amazing
“It was a great ride,”
Mr. Lesnett Makes the Grade
New Assistant Principal, Mr. Lesnett, was recently
awarded with the Distinguished
Young Educator Award from
Pennsylvania Association of
Curriculum Development. To
receive this award, an educator must be 39 years of age or
younger and display an array of
contributions to the profession.
Mr. Lesnett has continuously
promoted an environment of
constant learning. From his
extensive schooling and past
experiences, the new Assistant
Principal has learned a wealth
of knowledge and now shares
that knowledge with his colleagues. Congratulations, Mr.
Bittel Commits to a College
Holiday Choir Concert
On Tuesday December 6 the choir held a multicultural concert. They incorporated songs from around the
world to kick-start the holiday
season. The backdrop for the
forty-five minute concert was a
slide show with about 1,800 pictures taken by Mrs. Boni’s photography students. Some of the
songs performed were “Betelehemu”, “Most Wonderful Time”
and “Rudolph”. The concert was
a great way to give the community holiday spirit.
Senior Mike Bittel
committed to Seton Hill University last month. He will
pitch for the baseball team this
spring on a full scholarship.
“I have a sense of
pride in my players that have
been successful at our level to
the point they are able to play
at the next level,” said Varsity
Baseball Coach Joe Maize.
Good luck next year,
Photos by Michelle Thomas
Art Students Bringing
On Thursday December 1, the Peters Township Ceramics Honors and Art Honors students took a field trip to
the Western Penn Allegheny
Health System Outpatient Care
Center. The students, under the
supervision of Mrs. Kazalas and
Ms. DeGiovanni, painted col-
orful and lively murals on the
large window at the entrance, as
well as several others inside the
“All the kids had a
great time, and the patients appreciated the kids’ work. It truly
lifted their spirits,” said Ms. DeGiovanni.
Photos by Ms. DeGiovanni
PT Alumni Feature
D’Abruzzo Goes From the Bubble to Broadway
Class of 1989
“In 2005, I participated in a giant concert at the Hollywood Bowl in honor of Stephen Sondheim's 75th birthday.
I sang in front of 17,000 people,
shared the stage with incredible performers, and hung out
backstage with legends. There
was even a picture of me in Variety the next morning,” stated
alumna Stephanie D’Abruzzo.
Many teenagers share
this dream growing up, but few
believe that anyone from such
a “bubble” could make it big in
the real world. Never giving up,
D’Abruzzo, who graduated in
1989, achieved what many view
as the impossible. She has had
opportunities that few people
experience, such as performing for the Clinton family, rehearsing and performing for
the Tony Awards telecast, and
meeting actors she has always
D’Abruzzo had many
rough patches along the way,
but her high school experiences
guided her to where she is today.
“I had really wonderful teachers who were supportive and often brutally honest,
which definitely helped me
achieve more and aim higher,”
D’Abruzzo also mentioned that during high school
she learned numerous lessons
that helped her separate from
the crowd later in life. Important qualities such as showing
up on time, being prepared
and respectful, and always giving everything your all made
her shine brighter than others.
Nothing was ever handed to
her, which later only bettered
the memories of her journey.
“Because I didn't have
a car, I often just stayed in the
building between the time
school let out and the time rehearsals started. Sometimes the
auditorium would be unlocked,
so I would just sit in that empty
theatre and eat my Cup-a-Soup.
I would wander the stage, sit
in the seats surrounded by the
Hall of Fame pictures, memorize my lines, or do my homework. I felt very much at home
there,” said D’Abruzzo.
Many current thespians could agree that the theatre
department is a family, and
maintains a cozy atmosphere.
However, students who have
similar dreams as D’Abruzzo
are unsure of how to reach such
a far-fetched dream.
“Try to be a decent
person, no matter what you decide to do in life. Also, if the
price of that sushi is too good
to be true, just walk away,” stated D’Abruzzo.
Ben Glicksman: PT Dud to SI Stud
Ben Glicksman graduated from Peters Township
High School in 2007. Since receiving his high school diploma, he accomplished feats that
make Peters Township proud to
call him an alumnus.
After graduating, Ben
attended the Medill School of
Journalism at Northwestern
University, which prides itself
on being one of the most prestigious journalism schools in the
During his senior year
at Northwestern, he completed
an internship with Sports Illustrated and his articles were often published on their website.
Ben finished his years
in college, graduating Cum
Laude, and went searching the
job market. After searching the
job market for a few months,
Ben received an offer from
Sports Illustrated. He currently publishes multiple articles
weekly, and the sky seems to be
the limit for this young writer.
Ben is fascinated by
life “outside of the PT bubble.”
He notices several differences
between the lifestyle in Peters
Township world and lifestyle in
other places such as New York
peoples' points of view and
being exposed to different cultures was really interesting. Liv-
ing at Northwestern and in New
York, you come into contact
with people from all over the
country and the world," Glicksman stated.
Although Ben is having great success outside PT,
he never forgets his roots. He
remembers his enjoyable high
school career, but he also wishes
he had done other things while
“Participate in at least
one extracurricular activity because it is a good thing to compliment schoolwork with a fun
activity that helps you to meet
people,” advised Glicksman.
Ben recalls some of
his favorite memories in high
“I loved going on ski trips with
my friends, because I loved skiing and it provided an opportunity to get together with a huge
group of people after school,”
he said. This love of sports may
have contributed to his success
Ben seems to be succeeding greatly outside of the
bubble, but he does not forget
the good life right here in Peters Township.
Hanson, “SlapShot” To Success
greatest game on earth.”
Hanson fell in love
with the game of hockey as a
child because he was always at
the rink with his dad. At the
age of thirteen Hanson started playing youth hockey for
the Pittsburgh Hornets Travel
Team. Hanson also practiced
with the Pittsburgh Forge, a
junior team from the North
American Hockey League
“Winning PT’s first
state championship at Rostraver, and being able to celebrate it
with my fellow classmates, was
my favorite high school memory,” he stated. “Since I was away
almost every weekend for the
Hornets and didn’t get a chance
to do much with my peers, it
was really special.”
During Hanson’s senior year of high school, he
moved to Kearney, New Eng-
Hanson grew up, his family
never spoke of the legendary
hockey movie “Slap Shot.” He
was aware of it as a child but
never understood its significance until his teen years.
what the movie is and what
effect it has on the game of
hockey is great,” said Hanson
of the iconic film that his
father starred in and the enduring effect on the game of
helped to transform hockey
from a cult following into
a mainstream sport in the
“The best part of the
entire situation is that over
the years, my father and the
Carlson brothers have been
able to raise millions of dollars for charities while being
positive ambassadors for the
land. There he played for the
Tri-City Storm of the USHL for
two years before attending the
University of Notre Dame.
After graduating college, Hanson was drafted to
the Toronto Maple Leafs. He
scored his first goal in his first
year of professional hockey.
“My first goal was
something amazing that I had
never imagined,” stated Hanson. “Growing up Brodeur was
my favorite player, so to be able
to not only play against him
but be able to score my first
NHL goal against him is something that I can’t even put into
High school hockey
was not as big when Hanson
played for PTHS as it is now.
Since then, PT is becoming a
hockey hot bed for the entire
city of Pittsburgh. Having been
pumping out quality players
for the past eight years, PT
has become a notable location for hockey players.
“Just like any other
job, hockey is a job and you
are paid to perform.” However, “If you are not playing
for the love of the game, you
are playing for the wrong
reason,” stated Hanson.
Class of 2004
Degnan: From Student to Teacher
Class of 2000
Caitlin Degnan attended Theil College after
graduating from PT in 2000,
to become a Spanish teacher at
her old high school. While in
school she had a tremendous
time studying Spanish.
experience was unbelievable.
I still go back every year for
Homecoming, and it still feels
like home. Thiel was an amazing school. While there, I was
able to study abroad in Spain
during my junior year and finished the requirements for my
major (Spanish) early, ” said
Degnan also feels Peters curriculum prepared her
for college. The courses here
were very effective during her
time in college.
“I was very well prepared as a result of graduating
from Peters. I won a full tuition
scholarship based on my high
school GPA and performance
in a competition at Thiel. Also
during my freshmen year of
college, I was placed into an
upper level Spanish class first
semester ,” said Degnan.
Degnan currently lives
in North Strabane and feels that
not much has changed because
she is still close to Peters. She
has a wonderful job here and is
still close to her family.
Degnan believes that
coming from Peters has been a
gratifying experience in her life.
“Peters definitely had
an impact on my life. It was a
wonderful place to grow up,
and I am honored to now teach
in the district. As a teacher, I
appreciate how supportive and
kind the parents and students of
Peters Township are. I consider
myself very blessed to work
here,” said Degnan.
Kindle Fire Attempts to
Scorch iPad Sales
Apple’s Next Big Thing
From Nanos to iPads, Apple’s
evolution has been a success
since the beginning. Constantly creating the next big
thing, Apple has set on making current products thinner
and more efficient for the consumer.
What can possibly
be brought out next? Judging
by the timeline of the Apple
Corporation, newer devices
have a tendency to lean toward
the music portion of technology. This is due to all of the
different generations of iPods
circulating, not to say that
Apple cannot come out with
a nonmusical related product.
They have surprised us many
times before with their creations, guaranteed they will do
A few ideas for the
Apple Corporation to dwell
on would be iTV, a gaming
system, a camera, or perhaps
a Home Entertainment system. The graphics of these
products would be clean cut
and defined- almost futuristic. Not only would the graphics be brilliant, but the sound
systems ability would be impeccable. Judging by the incredible features included with
iPads, iPods, MacBooks, and
iPhones. This would be a great
technological advance in Apple’s timeline.
Not only has Apple
come out with numerous
new inventions for our modern day society, but they have
also produced new generations of their already released
products. Making the “igeneration” thinner and more
efficient for the consumer,
Apple has recently been trying to add more memory to
the product while shrinking
them in size and width. Basically, they are trying to make
the words first hand held
business has yet to disappoint
a customer. Recently, they
were rated the top computer
networking system according
to Hubpages. If they were to
come out with any type of TV
or gaming system, it’s clear
that the consumers would
flock to it.
With the holiday season closing in, last minute gift
giving is rapidly approaching.
The search for the perfect gift
is never easy, but the Amazon
Kindle Fire could be that gift.
The Kindle Fire claims to be better than all other tablets because
of its Amazon original features
and low price.
The Kindle Fire features a vibrant color touch and glare free
screen, which is perfect for use
in the broad daylight, unlike its
competitor, the iPad. The state
of the art display is chemically
strengthened to be harder than
plastic and more durable against
accidents. Additionally, the Fire
comes with free storage for all
Amazon music, videos, photos, and documents, using the
Amazon Cloud. Not to mention,
the device already comes with
a capacity for approximately 80
apps, 800 songs, 6,000 books,
and much more. The new Amazon Silk, which is a browser
that uses split browser. That
can load websites in five milli-
Finding the Best App
We all love the convenience of
apps, although finding one that
appeals to us, or just one we are
trying to find can be a challenge.
To narrow your search, here are
5 apps that are as useful as they
are amusing. Whether it is for
finding out the weather, traveling, or just passing the time,
apps are handy to use and fun
to play. All of the apps listed below are available on iTunes.
1. Mad Pad, created by Smule
Inc., 2011. On the screen appears a bunch of everyday objects and while in use make a
variety of different songs. By
tapping a variety of different
objects in different sequences,
you can create a very unique
video; you can also turn your
imaginative creation into a music video by using the record
button. Costing only 99 cents
and available in the app store,
this unique app will keep you
amused for hours with your
creative musical creations.
2. Too lazy to go control your
music or TV program? No worries, Remotes’ got you. With
Apples’ Remote app not only
can you control your iTunes
and Apple TV but this convenient app comes with numerous
more features. You can rewind,
fast-forward, or play and pause
anything playing from your
apple device at any time. You
can basically do anything you
would do on your computer
from a tap of your touch screen.
There is nothing you cannot do
seconds, compared to the 100
milliseconds of other wireless
connections, which allow users
to multitask. Finally, the Fire is
also light weight at 14.6 ounces
and 7.5 inches wide it can easily fit into any briefcase or purse
making it great for anyone who
travels or is always on the go.
It only costs $199, which is a
bargain compared to the iPad’s
$500 to $700 price tag. Plus,
the Fire comes equipped with
free Wi-Fi services unlike its
It has been the bestselling
product on Amazon.com since
it was introduced in early November. Amazon’s Black Friday
sales are up four times more
than 2010. On Black Friday,
sales at Target stores soared because of the Kindle Fire.
3. Revenge is sweet...and so
is Demon Cam. (Created by
Video Copilot). If you want to
seriously freak out your friend
(or just someone who deserves
it) this app gives you the perfect
opportunity. Just by filming a
short clip of yourself or someone else, you can use the effects
to alter yourself to look like a
demon. With this creepy effect,
the person you decide to trick
will always regret tricking you.
4.It’s that time of year: stressful
but exciting, busy but relaxing.
However, when you are travelling with friends or family and
are trying to seek plane tickets
at a convenience, dealing with
the stress of buying them takes
away from your “time off.” With
the Jets app, you can not only
purchase plane tickets cheaply
and quickly, but this app comes
with much more. You can also
view a digital picture from the
bird’s eye view of the type of
plane you would like to travel
with. With this picture, you
can look at available seats and
choose where you would like to
sit, if available.
5. On the amusing side of
things, Rogue sky, created by
Chillingo Ltd., is an easy to play
game with relaxing features.
Playing as a hot air balloon
floating in the sky, you use the
simple controls to make it move
left and right, to avoid possible
obstacles that could be in your
way. If you are looking for a
simple and amusing yet time
consuming game to play, Rogue
Sky is the one for you.
James Taylor’s iPod Playlist
It’s Beginning to Look
A Lot Like…Boredom?
Excited for break but not sure of things to do? If
your answer is yes, then you are pretty much like everyone else. Take a look at this list of fun activities to keep
you busy, and out of the house, when your great uncle
whoever comes to visit. No matter what you choose to
do, this list guarantees holiday fun.
1. I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas
2. Don’t Shoot Me Santa- The Killers
3. Silent Night
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Call of Duty:
The Next Chapter
Grab your controllers and snacks, because everyone’s favorite game is back.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
3 hit shelves this past November eighth. The third installment
of the Modern Warfare series
picks up right where the second left off. The same characters
from the series return; however,
players can use five new playable characters in the game. The
plot continues to follow Captain
Price as he and his team attempt
to stop World War 3 and kill
Russian terrorist Makarov. Players can expect the story mode
missions to be very exciting and
meaningful to the overall plot.
Players and enthusiasts alike can expect great things
from multiplayer and online
play. Though the online play is
very similar visually to Modern Warfare 2, the points and
rewards system has been completely modified. Players can
kiss kill streaks goodbye as infinity ward has changed the con-
cept into a system called point
streak. Players can improve
their point streaks by planting
bombs and capturing flags. Two
new online games have been
added as well; Kill Confirmed
and Team Defender are the new
games that players can engage
in while playing with friends
Within twenty hours
of going on sale, Call of Duty:
Modern Warfare 3 sold 6.5
million copies in the U.S. and
U.K. alone, grossing over $400
million dollars. These statistics
made the game the top grossing entertainment release of all
time. However, this is not surprising since Modern Warfare 2
was the top grossing entertainment release of all time before
Modern Warfare 3 was released.
Players will not be disappointed
with the newest edition of the
Call of Duty series; the game is
guaranteed to keep gamers in
their chair for the next couple
1.Go downtown: There is nothing like Pittsburgh during the holidays. Go with friends, family, or even both.
Some places to check out include the ice skating rink at
PPG, the decorated store windows at Macy’s, Randall’s toy
store, and eating in the Market Square. Take the T for
convenience and to save extra dollars on parking.
2. Build a snow fort: Ideally, we need another snowpocalypse for this to work. However, just in case we do have
a ridiculous amount of snow this season, take advantage
of it by building a snow fort. It’s like a sandcastle, only
3. Get ready for Oscar season: Those coveted shiny gold
men are being given away in a few months, so catch up
on all those indie/retro films you have not had time for.
Some movies that should definitely make your list: J.
Edgar, Melancholia, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball,
Bridesmaids, and The Descendants.
4. Enjoy the snow: Hit the slopes or hit your backyard.
Go skiing at the popular Seven Springs lodge. It has
beautiful views and is like a road trip and snow adventure all in one. However, you are pretty much guaranteed to awkwardly bump into that kid in your third period. Or, you could always go sled riding at home. For
those who do not like skiing or spending money, this is
perfect. Except, try sledding on ice, not snow. Be careful
though, this is meant for expert sleigh riders.
5. Have a baking contest: Get your friends together and
see who can make the biggest gingerbread man. This
is faster and easier than making the traditional gingerbread house. Also, let’s be honest, who really wants to
spend four and a half hours putting miniature gumdrops
on an icing roof unless you are Buddy the Elf?
6. Host a costume party: It is all the fun of Halloween,
but less scary and more cheery. Props to the person who
can think of a costume other than the Clauses, elves, or
5. Go to a Pens game: There is nothing better to do than
see our own Pittsburgh Penguins. Pens games are fun
for both guys and girls—they are a fantastic sports team
to watch, that also happens to have many attractive players.
TTYL: Texting While Driving Becomes Illegal
Last month, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed
a law that makes texting while
driving a primary offense. This
makes Pennsylvania the 35th state
in the country to adopt this law. It
will take effect in March of 2012. If
a driver is caught texting on a cellular device while operating a vehicle, they will be pulled over and
charged a fifty dollar fine. This law
will be strictly enforced, but there
are some instances in which using
a cellular device will be permitted.
One exception to texting
while in a car or any other motorized vehicle will be if the driver is
completely stopped on the side of
the road while texting. Also, passengers of a car are permitted to
text or talk as long as the driver is
not involved. The issue of people on the phone while driving
has been held off for now, but
will be discussed at a later date.
According to Reuters.com,
since 2010, 13,790 crashes have
been caused in Pennsylvania
by distracted driving. Nearly
1,100 of those were caused by
a cellular device, and 66 people
were killed due to lack of attention. However, this new law has
raised some controversy from
“It’s going to be a pain
sending a text message. Especially if you are in hurry and
you have an important message
to send. I think it does more
bad than good,” said senior
While there are detractors towards the law, most
people believe it will improve
“Texting while driving severely affects driving
conditions in a negative way.
This law will increase safety
and make the road a better
place,” stated senior Laurel
Cell phones distract
the driver from the
road, making an
Miller attempts to
text while driving, a
Photos by Allie Schlafman
Occupy Wall Street: A Reflection
Photos by McKenzie Fritz
On Veterans Day, November 11, 2011, I spent the
day at what may be considered a
highly patriotic rally or, as New
York City mayor Michael Bloomberg put it with, “a whole bunch
of people that are just disaffected.” Yes, I spent the day at Occupy Wall Street.
Before you start calling
me a dirty hippie and egging my
house, you should understand
that I was in New York City on
college visits and traveled to, the
now infamous, Zuccotti Park out
of pure curiosity. However, I can
easily say that the Occupy Wall
Street protest was the most interesting part of my trip to New
From the moment I arrived, all of my preconceived notions were pushed aside by the
bustle of the crowd. When shown
on the news, Zuccotti Park appears to be a giant expanse of
land filled with protesters. In reality, the park is no larger than
our school gym. However, what
the park lacked in size the protesters made up for in sheer volume. Never have I seen so many
people packed into such a small
space. Still, the protesters themselves were just a tiny portion
of the crowd. From tourists and
press to street vendors to police
officers, everyone was smashed
into the square.
The protest itself was
diverse. Anyone who had a problem or a cause to be heard could
be found in Zuccotti Park. As
stated by one NYPD officer, “It’s
a carnival of crazies, every single
one of them.” Although he may
have been slightly overreacting, there were definitely some
“quirky” types to be found –I’m
looking at you, man with the sign
that read “Fluoride = Hitler.”
Despite the intermittent
bongo solos and strong scent of
Eau de Homeless man, Occupy
Wall Street had an abundance
of thoughtful points. Walter, a
twenty-four year old plumber,
was protesting for better workers compensation. After volunteering at ground zero, he suffers
from PTSD and a debilitating
autoimmune disease. He was denied workers compensation two
times and is now jobless. Oth-
ers were protesting Marcellus
shale drilling in New York
and passing out rocks with
the witty phrase, “What the
frack,” scrawled on them.
However, the protesters numerous messages
are ultimately the downfall of
the protests. At its core, the
Occupy Wall Street movement is supposed to be against
corruption in business and
corporate greed. However,
while at the protest, I saw
people advocating everything
from the legalization of marijuana to the freeing of the
Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
While I find it inspiring that
these people are standing up
for what they believe in, perhaps, if they all stood together
they could have a much larger
Though I support
the protest as a whole, for
now, I will be cheering on the
protesters from the comfort
of my home. While I don’t reside in a 1% mansion, I’m not
quite ready to pack up and
move into a tie-dyed tent.
PTHS Book Club Held
What in the World?
Do you enjoy reading? There is good news for you. Peters
Township High School has started a book club for interested students. The first meeting was on December 16 where the books were
all chosen. The first book they anticipated reading was “The Fault
in Our Stars” by author John Green. The books will all be oriented
towards young adults to make for a more enjoyable experience.
“Lots of kids seem interested in the book club,” said senior
book club officer Lexi Marlett, who is very involved in creating the
club. “I think the book students are most excited to read is The
Hunger Games, so we are going to try to take a field trip to watch
the film adaptation,” said Marlett.
The majority of the meetings will be held on Fridays after
school and there will be numerous movie parties to watch books
that have come to life on the big screen. On top of that, the school is
teaming up with the public library to make this a better experience
for everyone involved by granting access to their facilities if necessary.
“I’m really excited to be working with the public librarian,
Maddie. She is great and I really hope we can use the teen room
there,” said Ms. Myers.
The two librarians are planning on combining the PTHS
Book Club and the teen book club for the public library in order to
offer a networking experience.
The Bebout Tunnel is
undergoing a huge makeovermeaning it is being completely
torn down and rebuilt. When
Construction started on October
24, local drivers did not realize
how often they used the Bebout
Tunnel until they were forced to
find absurd shortcuts through the
township. The most commonly
used detour is the one is through
Photo by Amanda Moore
the neighborhood Briar Cliff.
These signs add a few more minutes to
“I find it to be very every commute. “I was late to so many
inconvenient because I travel things, but it will be worth it when the
through [the tunnel] all the new bridge is finished,” said senior David
time and it makes so much extra Tucker.
traffic with all the detours,” said
junior Gail Luster. Not only is the construction inconvenient, but it
is also sad because the bridge is so iconic.
“That tunnel has been there for as long as I can remember. It’s going to be weird to see it torn down,” said senior Ronnie
The construction has also impacted more than just road
traffic. The trail that used the former bridge has also been closed
down which impacts local runners and walkers.
“I run there every day and it’s really frustrating that I can
only run one way,” stated sophomore Rachel Moore.
Public Works Director Peter Overcashier reported that
there have been multiple damage complaints about chunks of cement falling from the ceiling onto unsuspecting cars.
Once the actual tunnel was completely torn down on November 20, the township reopened the road for drivers. The construction will resume whenever the beams are delivered, which is
expected to be mid February. There is also the possibility of an addition of a turning lane and stoplight. Another project in the near
future may be redoing the bridge on Sugarcamp Road.
In New York City, Off Broadway is breaking news
and wind with its latest tasteful addition to the world of
theater: “The Fartiste.” The musical chronicles the true
story of Joseph Pujol, a nineteenth century Moulin Rouge
performer with the special asset of being able to fart on
command. His act revolved around this skill, entertaining
the masses by creating “the sounds of thunder, cannons…
tearing fabric,” smoking cigarettes, and playing the trumpet
with his talented derriere. Despite the stinky nature of
the plot, the creators of the new play insist that it’s about
more than just potty humor; apparently, it’s the story of a
“dignified man” striving for “artistic respect.” Unfortunately
for the show, numerous potential viewers are turned away by
the gassy subject matter. Obviously, they do not see the true
art in the fart.
Sorry kids, there is a reason that Santa is not real:
among other things, fat men do not fit into chimneys.
Unfortunately, Atlanta native and rookie burglar Ronaldo
Jack learned this lesson the hard way when he, and his bag
of stolen loot, became lodged in his victim’s chimney for ten
hours. An observant neighbor heard his muted screams and
called the police, who then had to get the fire department to
lift him out. Talk about embarrassing. But if that was not
bad enough, he gave a false name to the police after he was
rescued and arrested, adding another count to his record.
When questioned about the robbery, Jack only had one thing
to say: “I’m stupid.” Truer words were never spoken.
Forget Norman Bates, it is Russian historian Anatoly
Moskivn who’s truly psycho. Prone to rummaging through
cemeteries in his hometown of Nizhny Novgorod since the
seventh grade, his main goal was to “uncover life stories”
by deciphering gravestones. However, he took the concept
a bit too far by actually digging up the corpses and taking
them home with him to the apartment that he shared with
his parents. That’s even more insane considering the extent
of the collection; when recently discovered by the police, the
apartment was filled with a display of twenty-nine Russian
mummies dressed in stolen women’s clothing, like creepy life
size Barbies. Described as “a loner with certain quirks,” locals
could not imagine what inspired this behavior in Moskvin, a
previously respected member of the community. However, I
can; he must have a face that only a mummy can love.
Ceramics is one of the Art Department’s most popular
electives. In this class, students are taught different clay working
techniques, such as, wheel work, hand building, and sculpting.
Here are just a few examples of the talent found in the Art
Jess McIntosh, 12
Alexa Ansel, 12
Nico Arribas, 11
Lindsay Pisarcik, 12
Layout Design by Denée Renz
Christina Fortunato, 12
Mike Bittel, 12
Sammi Philips, 12
Sadie Martinez, 12
Liz Palko, 12
Elena Buzzatto, 12
Holly Popovich, 12
Courtney Golembiewski, 12
Jess McIntosh, 12
Sarah Grippi, 12
Maddie Williams, 11
What is your worst holiday
“I got lost in the
woods and ran out
“Our dog chewed up
one of my presents.”
“Our dog ate the
“I didn’t get any
presents from Santa
“I only got clothes on
“I set a part of my
house on fire.”
“When I didn’t get a
puppy on my seventh
“My grandmother put
too much alcohol in her
“My worst holiday memory is when there wasn’t
snow on Christmas.”
“My parents got
me a dictionary for
“My mom dropped
the turkey on the
“I ate too much and
“The year it didn’t snow
I was devastated!”
“Cops yelled at us for
sledriding on a private golf course.”
“My parents didn’t
give me anything I
“I had to tell my mom
I didn’t like the gift
she gave me”
“The Easter bunny
forgot to come to my
“I actually got coal
“I hurt my tailbone in
a sled riding accident.”
“My mom spilled
hot wax into the
“I was puking on
“My mom put little
fake coals in my
“Finding out Santa
“I was sick on Christmas.”
“I was hit by a