Summer Issue 2008

Volume 39, Issue 7

Do Unto Others:
Photos By: Annie Tarwater, Rachel Sunday, Molly Simeons, Mike...






Summer Issue 2008





May 2 00 8




Emily Estep

Smoke Signals



Summer Issue 2008

Staff Writer

Jerry Scheller, Sergio
Tennis, and...



Summer Issue 2008

Smoke Signals


Breaking The Bank: Prom ‘08


Bridget Stasenko

Staff Writ...

are off-limits to tourists for religious reasons, and
only certain parts of the monolith are allowed to be


Summer Issue 2008

Smoke Signals

Three Cheers to Our Crazy Teenage Lives


Alex Egan

Opinion Co-Editor
Summer Issue 2008

At the beginning of the second
semester, I began a program of unlimited
passes to every period, with ...

Best Dressed

Shelby Gregor & Andrew McMillian

Best Looking at 50
Justin Broglie & Leanna Frey

Best Persona...
Most Likely to be Remembered
(Chosen By Teachers)
Andrew Marshall & Laura Sunday

Most Likely to become the next
Oprah / D...




Summer Issue 2008

Smoke Signals



IJ: The 2008 NFL Draft w...
Summer Issue 2008


Release the Hounds

Ian Jackson

Staff Writer

The year was 2006, the
World Cup was in full thr...
Seniors ‘08!
Aaron Dana	
Adamsky	Jay .D. 	
Ali Chelsea	
Allen Katy	
Allen Mike	
Almnaizel Jeries	
Anderson	Robert	
Summer Issue 2008

Moving House

Retiring Teachers

Angelina Nepa
Features Editor

Mr. Houser has always been something of...

in the


What Is Your Favorite Summer Memory?
Tim Fitzgerald ‘08

“Watching Galloway walk
down the street in ...
May 2008 Smoke Signals Issue 7
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May 2008 Smoke Signals Issue 7

  1. 1. PTHS Summer Issue 2008 Volume 39, Issue 7 Do Unto Others: Photos By: Annie Tarwater, Rachel Sunday, Molly Simeons, Mike Dubois, Tracey Lutes, Kara Lewis, Shania Herman, Nina Come, Shane Deiley, Jessie Smith, Olivia Bovalina, & Heidi Eltschlager The Mahatma Project Renée Wunderlich Editor-In-Chief The Mahatma Project, inspired by the efforts of peace-seeker Mahatma Gandhi, is a service endeavor comprised of events and fundraisers that benefit international causes. Sophomore students in this year’s Honors World Cultures classes took on this assignment to give aid and to gain an understanding of the world outside of the United States. This challenging yearlong venture was broken up into four benchmarks: During the first nine weeks, students brainstormed ideas and researched possible means of fundraising for their individual causes. The second nine weeks brought on the creative process, when students started putting their ideas together and planning for each of their events. The fundraisers were put into action during the third nine weeks, and then were evaluated on the fourth. On May 19, students’ work was displayed for the public eye at the Mahatma Project Fair. Here, awards were given to select students for their gracious efforts to aid others in need. Some of the service projects undertaken were a Max & Erma’s dinner coupon for 20 percent off, where all proceeds go to starving children in Africa. Andrea Briggs and Erica Schwotzer held a ‘Hat Day’ for disaster relief in the Virgin Islands. Kira Scammell and Kaitlyn Richert sold baked goods to combat world hunger. One project that was especially popular to the student body and staff alike was Beth Herder and Claire LaRosa’s “Pie In the Eye” fundraiser to support the Anna Seethaler Hospital in Oaxaca, Mexico, a free clinic that provides basic and special services to those who cannot pay for treatment. Currently, the hospital is looking to purchase equipment for complex eye surgeries. Such equipment may mean the difference for many patients between sight and permanent blindness. “The project was really challenging, and we weren’t exactly sure how the teachers and students would react to it, but we made it through and it was really successful,” said Herder, “Over Christmas break, Claire called me about an idea she had gotten for our project off the Internet. It sounded cool, so we tried it. The teachers were great – there were so many volunteers! We were sorry that we had to limit it to nine.” On April 11, after recognizing the various spring sports teams for their tournament accomplishments, a panel of 8 teachers (as well as Dr. Hajzus) lined up to have Reddi Whip flung into their faces – for a good cause. Over 30 teachers volunteered for the event, but after a careful tallying of homeroom surveys, Herder and LaRosa settled on: Mr. Scott, Mr. Bastos, Mr. Wilkinson, Mr. Whalen, Mr. Pinto, Mrs. Lamb, Mrs. Polard, and Mrs. Gunther. The vote to include Dr. Hajzus into the festivities was unanimous. And while some teachers opted to wear a garbage bag over their attire, Dr. Hajzus braced the hurling pie pans (3 in all) without any protective covering. With the interest of the student body, a handful of teacher volunteers, and lots of Reddi Whip, two dynamic girls are making a difference in the lives of many patients in critical condition who do not have the means to pay for treatment. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
  2. 2. PT REFERENCE PTHS Sunday Tuesday Monday Wednesday Summer Issue 2008 Thursday Friday 2 Saturday May 2 00 8 1 4 8 Boy’s Varsity Volleyball 9 vs Cannon Mac 7:30 Fred Girl’s Varsity Lax vs Astaire’s Baldwin 7:30 Birthday 10 15 Boy’s Varsity Lax 17 5 6 Varsity Baseball vs USC 7:00 Boy’s Varsity Lax vs Franklin Regional 8:00 7:30 ConcertBand Concert 11 Mother’s Day 7:30 Chorus Concert 12 13 7:30 Orchestra Concert 18 7 14 20 1 “Seinfeld” TV Series final episode airs 1998 23 Mock Crash Assembly 7:30 AM Theatre Awards 28 29 30 2:30PM in the Cafeteria 27 4:3 0PM Senior 4 Senior Breakfast Smoke Signals OPINION EDITORS Alex Egan Brian Lewis SPORTS EDITOR Bill Berry Jordan Dent MARKETING EDITORS Brianna Lutes Shelby Miller SYNTAX EDITOR Andrea Briggs STAFF WRITERS Emily Estep, Gina Nepa, Taylor Relich, Bridget Stasenko, Katie Ellis, Averi Clements, Paige Burris, Mady Dietrich, Stephanie Nitschmann, Stephanie Cotugno, Ian Jackson, Dana Hoelle, Melanie Hoffman NEWS EDITOR Grant Burkhardt LAYOUT TEAM Katie Gavlick, Kaylin Zawicki, Emily Correal, Shelby Miller, Brianna Lutes FEATURES EDITOR Angelina Nepa ADVISER Ms. Daerr LAYOUT EDITOR Katie Gavlick 5 World Enviroment Day & Senior Picnic Kennywood Day for 7:00PM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Renée Wunderlich Ashley Czajkowski Senior’s Last Day! Prom From Seniors! Bob Dylan’s Birthday 31 6 Last day of school! Relay For Life 12:00 PTHS St adium Hilt on Garden Inn June 2008: Senior Week! Awards Smoke Signals is produced eight times during a school year by the students of Media II, III, IV Journalism and extracurricular staff at Peters Towship High School, 264 E. McMurray Road, McMurray PA 15317. Telephone: 724-941-6250 x.5379. E-mail: 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. Member 24 Grand March & Track and Field Awards Night 3 Boy’s Varsity Lax vs. Mt Lebanon 8:00PM 7:30 AM Blood Drive 22 No School! 16 7:00 @ PTHS Memorial Day 2 of the Pennsylvania School Press Association. vs Trinity 6:00 Yearbook Social 26 Musical: Annie Get Your Gun 7:30 Musical: Annie Get Your Gun 7:30 Mr. PTHS Show 1:00 PM Mike Myers’s Birthday Musical: Annie Get Your Gun 7:00 Varsity Softball vs Cannon Mac 11:00 Varsity Baseball vs Mt. Lebanon 7:00 21 NHS Induction 25 Girl’s Varsity Lax vs USC 7:30 3 7:30 Jazz Band Concert 7:30 Wind Sypmphony Concert 19 Boy’s Varsity 2 Varsity Softball vs Volleyball vs Moon 7:30 Mt.Lebo 4:00 7 Graduation 7:30 S U D O K U
  3. 3. NEWS PTHS Emily Estep Smoke Signals Mr. PTHS 3 Summer Issue 2008 Staff Writer Jerry Scheller, Sergio Tennis, and Tim Beck. You may know them as talented, funny, all around nice guys. What else do they have in common? Mr. PTHS. Jerry set the precedent for the title three years ago, and now on Thursday May 15th, some other lucky guy will get to fill the spot. This year, Peters Township High School will be hosting the 4th annual Mr. PTHS competition. There will be representatives for each grade, showing off for the coveted title of Mr. PTHS. Whoever wins will go down in PTHS history as being one of the greatest guys in our school. This competition is one of the most anticipated events of the year. To be considered, contestants first had to be nominated. Nominations for Mr. PTHS were sent out dur- ing lunch periods, and all grades were involved. Each nominee will do their best to excel in multiple categories, to get as much support as possible. One such category is the talent portion. In this event, competitors will have to show off their skills to prove that they are the best of the best. This may consist of anything from acting out a scene or playing an instrument and singing a song. Freshman Carlee Schneider explains, “My favorite part of Mr. PTHS is the talent part. Those guys have serious skills!” Besides the talent portion, the nominees will also try and make the audience laugh. They will also have to dress their best. Sophomore Dan DeLuca says, “Mr. PTHS is a great program for our school, I encourage everyone to participate.” What In The World? This just in: anorexia is illegal in France. The French Parliament has just passed a landmark bill making it unlawful for celebrities and fashion magazines to incite or promote unhealthy thinness in both men and women. This was seen as a necessity after the death of a Brazilian fashion model in 2006, which was linked to the disease. Better late than never. Hopefully the rest of the world will follow suit and help to prevent eating disorders in young women. Yet another human disorder has jumped into the land of animals: apparently, pets can now be diagnosed as “clinically depressed.” In Britain, veterinarians and zoologists have been known to prescribe the antidepressant Prozac for depressed parrots. “If people go out to work all day, their parrot will get bored and frustrated, and eventually develop depression,” claimed British television vet Romain Pizzi. So next time Polly wants a cracker, you better give it to him… Proving that those with disabilities can do anything they set their hearts on Robert Dunham of Green Valley, Arizona, made a hole-in-one on a three-par course. The real kicker: the eighty-five-year-old veteran was deemed legally blind ten years ago. According to, one of Dunham’s colleagues simply “lined up a ball for him on the tee, gave him a nine-iron, and told him to take a whack.” And we thought only high schools had a problem with weapon control – an elementary school in Dennis, Massachusetts was set into a panic when an eight-year-old brought a WWII hand grenade in for show-and-tell. The school of 400 students was immediately evacuated and the school was searched for other explosives while the grenade was inspected. It was deemed inert, as the explosive charge and detonator had been removed, and a hole had been cut in the bottom, rendering it safe for school officials to handle and dispose of properly. Compiled by Katie Ellis, Staff Writer Features Editor Peters Township will host a local chapter of Relay for Life, a fundraiser that supports the American Cancer Society, on May 31. The twenty-two hour event lasts all night, as competing teams keep a team member walking on the track at all times. Notable event during the Relay include the survivor lap, during which cancer survivors are recognized in their own lap, as well as a lap among Steph Cotugno hundreds of lit luminaries dedicated to all who are affected by the disease. This daylong event features dozens of track-side activities. Last year the theater troupe hosted carnival games at their station, while the music department staged a memorable eating contest. This year’s event will begin at 12:00 pm on May 31, and will end at 10:00 am the following morning. For those stay- ing overnight, the fun will last all night long, as long as one member of the team remains on the track. Christine Ghetto, captain of the thespian team, said “It’s a great event where kids can have fun while raising money for a cause that I really believe in.” The first Relay for Life was held in Tacoma, Washington in the May of 1985. Dr. Gordy Klatt spent twenty-four hours walking the track at Baker Stadium in his hometown. Friends and family paid to walk or run with him, and he ended up raising over $27,000. Today, events are hosted all over the world, and Peters always has great success. Hopefully students of all ages will turn out to help those that have been given more than their fair share in life. PTHS Gives Back Staff Writer In hope of providing Mexican elementary schools with new school supplies, the Spanish Club has created an outreach program benefiting a small school outside of Mexico City. The club has recruited all of the schools in our district to help, as well as members of the PTA. Pleasant Valley, Bower Hill, McMurray, the high school, and the PTA have come together to help the Mexican elementary school students receive a better education. From May 5 to May 10, collection boxes will be available at both the main entrance of the high school and in all homerooms to accept donated school supplies from the people in our township. Also, PTA members will be present on Saturday, May 10 to collect supplies from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Supplies such as pencils, crayons, markers, glue, construction paper, rulers and scissors are all needed to help provide the elementary students with a strong education. The elementary school, Escuela Primaria Federal, teaches students in grades one though six in Tlalnepantlaa, Mexico, a small town outside of Mexico City. There is no government funding for the school, so the teachers working at the school have to supply all materials for their students. The students have few or no school Photo By Katie Gavlick With gas prices so high right now, it would be disastrous to misprice the gasoline that you’re selling. That’s just what happened in Wilmington, North Carolina; instead of $3.35 a gallon, the computers were set to charge just $0.35 a gallon. The gas attendants didn’t realize their mistake, and lucky customers managed to fill multiple cars and alert many friends. By the time the mistake was recognized and amended at 6:00 pm that Friday, there was mass chaos and a traffic jam that extended around the corner. Police were called in to help restrain the crowd. Angelina Nepa Relay for Life supplies to reinforce and enhance their learning, so anything that can be donated will be beneficial to them. “We are blessed with so much in our lives, and don’t realize how much we have. The Spanish club promotes giving back to others who are less fortunate than us,” stated the Spanish Club’s sponsor, Señora Beth Bockstoce. The Spanish club exemplifies helping others and emphasizes the kindness of giving. “I am so happy I am involved in the Spanish Club because I feel like I am really helping those who need it. The club truly has a magnificent purpose,” stated sophomore Katie Ellis.
  4. 4. 4 FEATURES PTHS Summer Issue 2008 Smoke Signals Speak Breaking The Bank: Prom ‘08 OUT Bridget Stasenko Staff Writer Prom is a pricey event, but who spends more-boys or girls? Well, let’s compare. Boys have to rent a tux, while girls have to buy a dress. The dress is the most important thing needed, as it defines her night. She will go to great lengths to find the right one. Some will go out of town, and some will go to multiple stores and shop for many hours. Dresses nowadays can cost up to $800 or more, not including alterations, which cost around $50. The guys have to buy flowers, but the girls have to buy lots of accessories, such as jewelry, a purse, and shoes. It is nice that the guys pick up the $110 tickets, because the girls have fine details that cost a large sum of money that makes the entire look. Girls must schedule various appointments to top off their appearance. Hair appointments must be scheduled way in advance to be sure they get the time and professional they prefer. The up-do usually costs $40 or more. They also need to begin tanning about 2 months in advance. A tanning package usually costs $40 for 10 tans. Manicures are also a necessity, and to have a full set of nails is around $30. As you can see, prom is quite pricey. The girls definitely spend more on the big event. A ballpark price for girls is about $900, while the guys spend about $300. Even though this is an expensive night, it will be one to never forget. Where is your favorite vacation spot? Senior Greg Maronde: “The McDonald’s parking lot.” Dana Hoelle The Public Library Teen Room Staff Writer The Peters Township Library recently just opened up the new teen room, as apart of their new expansion project. This expansion was an impressive fundraising feat for the library, and it is luring teens to this new space. Video games are being used to turn on teens to the joy of reading. Featuring a Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, multiple televisions, computers, and multicolored LED ceiling lighting, this space is ready for teens to enjoy. Teenagers can hang out, play games, and socialize in this new room. “The teen room is a great space for me to hang out, and become more educated while still having fun,” said freshman Doug Maronde. The former teen area hardly existed, with only a few beanbag chairs in the toddler section. This problem was causing teens not to visit the library because of the age gap between the toddles and their selves. “We wanted to give the teens a place that they could feel was their own,” said Pier Lee (The Peters Township Source.) The idea of bringing video games with library GO figure Olympics Junior Kristina Gaudy: “Anywhere warm is good for me!” Sophomore Dara Hoelle: “I love going on cruises. They are the perfect vacation!” services might seem strange, but it is a growing trend that is continuing to increase around the country. Getting teenagers in the library in the first place was the library’s main goal and accomplishment. The new teen room is attracting teenagers to use the many services the library offers. Having video games in this new space is an alternate way to learn in the library. The plan for The Peters Township Library was to combine In the 1912 Summer Olympics, Austria, Russia, New Zealand, Estonia, and the Netherlands zero won gold medals The US has won 79 gold medals from 1924 to 1976 video gaming with expanded lessons. The same goes with the other services in the new teen room. The new space was one of the primary reasons of the expansion of the book collection. The bulk of the new space is devoted to non-fiction shelving. All the new services the teen room provides are geared to attract tons of teenagers. The new library addition is becoming the new teen haven. So if you need a place to study or even hang out, visit the teen room during library hours. During the Stockholm Olympics, Italy had a gymnastics score of 265.75 Freshman Becca Beradino: “The beach is the best place to go on vacation.” Thor Henning (Sweden) won the silver medal in 1912 for his 400m Breaststroke with a time of 6:35.6 A stadium 400 is meters long because legend says Hercules walked that far and called it a “stadion”
  5. 5. PTHS are off-limits to tourists for religious reasons, and only certain parts of the monolith are allowed to be photographed. Harry Potter fans, Mont Saint-Michel is worthy of being compared to Hogwarts. The French castle is located a kilometer off the country’s northern coast on a rocky tidal island. Once used as an Armorican stronghold in the sixth and seventh centuries, Mont Saint-Michel is a beautiful castle with a quaint village all around it. While gorgeous during the day, don’t forget to visit at night when it’s lit up, making the whole thing even more magical. Angel Falls of Canaima National Park in Venezuela is the highest free-falling waterfall in the world, with a 3212-foot drop. The falls are so tall that before they can even reach the bottom they’re pushed around by the wind and most of it is turned to mist. An aerial tour of the falls is available, but the falls cannot be seen well on cloudy days. The Cathedral Reims is a French church constructed at the end of the thirteenth century. The cathedral is humongous – the foyer alone is nearly 5000 square feet. Known worldwide for its intricate design work and beautiful stained glass windows, this house of worship is locally famous because the French kings were once crowned there. England’s Clock Tower, better known as Big Ben, is one of the most recognized landmarks in all of England. Known for its reliability, the Clock Tower has only had one major breakdown in almost 150 years. The name Big Ben is not actually in reference to the tower itself, but is the nickname of the Great Bell within the belfry, named for Sir Benjamin Hall, the commissioner of the works. Be sure to catch the Clock Tower at night when all the lights are on and, if possible, from across the river – the reflection in the water is just as breathtaking as the tower itself. Lake Baikal, located in Southern Siberia in Russia, has been called the “Blue Eye of Siberia,” and for a good reason: the water looks as if it’s made of liquid sapphire. The lake has a surface area of nearly 12,200 square miles and has twenty-two islands within its waters. The lake is available to tourists most of the year. However, it’s frozen from January to May, so try to visit late in the summer or you’ll miss out on the sparkling blue waters. Dippin’ Dot Delight Emily Correal Paige Burris Layout Team KENNYWOOD’S OPEN! It’s time to start talking to your friends and planning a date to go. You can’t miss out on the great rides, games, and of course, the food. Whether it’s their Potato Patch fries, corn dogs, or any of the sensational desserts, you will soon be indulged in great summer taste. My favorite Kennywood snack is the unique type of ice cream, Dippin’ Dots. When I’m on my way to wait in a long line for the Phantom’s Revenge, I have to stop at the Dippin’ Dots stand and buy a cup. The little ice cream dots melt on your tongue, satisfying your taste buds and cooling you down on a hot day. They usually have five flavors to chose from: chocolate, vanilla, rainbow ice, cookies n’ cream, and banana split. Why not eat a tasty treat while you are waiting in those long lines? Another good thing about them is that they aren’t messy, so you don’t have to worry about them melting all over you. Next time you go to Kennywood, you have to try Dippin’ Dots; you won’t be disappointed. By Mady Dietrich Staff Writer Are you sick of taking the same family vacation year after year? Do you feel the need to travel somewhere a bit more… interesting? This summer, instead of piling into the family van for the annual trip to the infamous potato farms of Iowa, try one of the following destinations, all of which have been dubbed the “Most Beautiful Places to Travel” by Travel Paradise: The Statue of Liberty is one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York City. If you want something more exotic, a visit to Las Vegas will provide you with a replica of the Statue with the lights of the city in the background, giving Lady Liberty an entirely different persona. If you’re looking for French beauty, the Louvre is one of the most visited museums in the world. It’s known not only for the beautiful art inside the walls, but for its architectural design as well. The pyramid-shaped building is made entirely of glass and was once a palace in the tenth century during the Capetian Dynasty. The museum is so large that to view the entire thing it will take almost three days, but it’s well worth seeing – both the interior and exterior can be considered masterpieces. The Karnak Temple in Egypt, the largest ancient religious site in the world, is an open-air museum. While there are four different precincts in the temple, only one is open to the general public. The difference between Karnak and the other temples that cover Egypt is that Karnak took much more time to develop and was used for a longer period of time. For ancient beauty, the Parthenon is definitely the perfect choice. Built in honor of the Greek goddess Athena in the fifth century BCE, the Parthenon still stands today. There have been many reconstructions over the years and the building has slowly begun to corrode due to acid rain over the past few decades, so be sure to schedule your trip to this architectural wonder as soon as possible. The Uluru Giant Monolith, also known as “Ayers Rock”, is a gigantic sandstorm rock formation in central Australia. The cherry-colored rock stands 1142 feet high and has a circumference of 5.8 miles. While the local inhabitants rarely climb the rock, it is open to visitors who wish to attempt to make the nearly vertical climb. However, parts of the rock 5 S wimming In Fashion Welcome to Paradise Mad About Fashion Katie Ellis Summer Issue 2008 FEATURES This year there has been a flashback to the 1960’s- when go-go boots, wide leg jeans and frilly bathing suits were some of the psychedelic trends. This summer, the ‘60s continues with one-piece bathing suits. One-piece bathing suits are no longer just something that your 10-year-old sister would wear. Some of the styles consit of sweetheart necklines, all over tiny floral patterns, checkered patterns, wide ruched (a ruffle in the fabric which is used for trim around clothings) straps, animal prints, frilly triming, polka dots, and a lot more. Your bathing suit doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable to be fashionable. All you have to do is find the right size for you. The website www.venus. com/sizechart shows you how to fit for a bathing suit. It has you measure your bust, hips, and waist to find your perfect size. It shows you where to measure, and also helps you find out your correct cup size. On this website there are also bathing suits you can buy that give you support, or make you look thinner. V i c t o r i a S e c r e t ’s website has many designs to choose from. From designers such as J e s s i c a Simpson to DKNY, anybody can find a bathing suit on this website. Photo Courtesy of: Kennywood Food Staff Writer During the hot days of summer, one of the best snacks to get at Kennywood Park is Potato Patch french fries. Cheese-covered fries with bacon sprinkled on top is a treat you must have every time you go to Kennywood. There are so many fries in a single basket that it can be considered as a full meal. The fries are made right in front of you and they come out hot. There is sometimes a long line that winds aroud the stand, but the utterly delectable fries are definitely worth the wait. If you want a great drink to go with your delicious, deep-fried snack, try and ICY slush. They are a great thing to grab before getting in line for the Potato Patch. ICYs are normally cherry or blue rasberry, but there are sometimes many other flavors. There is no doubt that the best food in Kennywood is definitely Potato Patch fries. Paired with a cool, refreshing ICY, it’s a combonation you don’t want to miss!
  6. 6. 6 OPINION Summer Issue 2008 Smoke Signals Three Cheers to Our Crazy Teenage Lives PTHS Alex Egan Opinion Co-Editor “Seventeen only comes once in a lifetime,” as Tim McGraw says. I would have to agree. Our teenage years come and go so quickly, and there will probably never be a year the rest of our lives like these. I believe that each year from the ages of sixteen through eighteen is an experience in its own. According to Bruce Springsteen, these are the “Glory Days.” No wonder sixteenth birthdays have been given the title “Sweet Sixteen.” From then on, the next few years of life are usually filled with bliss and sweetness for the young and innocent. Our teenage years are the times in our lives when we really have time to experiment with new things, and turn our lives upside down to try and figure out who we really are. Again, as Tim McGraw says, when we’re “Seventeen, living on crazy dreams, rock’n’roll, and faded blue jeans,” we feel like we have the universe in our pocket. We do what we want, we think we know everything, and we like to aggravate our parents, just because know we’re good at it. Teenage years are the time to let loose and show our true selves, whoever that may be. In a teenager’s life, our friends are our world, almost as if they were our family. Friends who grew up together usually go through their teenage years together, which makes the years so much more worthwhile. Being a teenager is all about feeling free (and trying to convince our parents that we are.) When a group of close-knit teenage friends are together, they almost feel as if they can do anything. The nights go on forever, and we walk around like we own the town. As Brand New says, “We never miss a party, because we keep them going constantly.” All in all, being a teenager is just one big party. Throughout our teenage years we unknowingly take mental photographs of the good times. The times we share together, like the nights we feel most alive, the nights that change our lives, and then nights when tomorrow just comes way too soon – those are what being a teenager is all about. We may do stupid things at times, which may anger (or just “disappoint”) our parents, but being grounded is also a part of being a teenager. But we never let it stop us. In the words of the Beastie Boys, “We’ve got to fight for our right to party.” The thing about being a teenager is we’re still so young and innocent. We make our own mistakes, we learn the hard way, we give in way too fast, and we often get our hearts broken. All seem bad at the time, but help us grown in the long run. By the end of our teenage years, we can look back and realize who we’ve become, and have our own mistakes to thank for it. Summer off mean the world to us, and we plan every moment of our summer from the start of school. As a teenager, summer is an excuse for sneaking out late at night, stargazing into the night, wishing upon the shooting star, and making friendships tighter than every. For a teenager, the summer could last a lifetime. Let’s face it. Teenage lives are crazy, dramatic, unforgettable, and time for us to make the memories that will last a lifetime. Life is so full of change, but no matter how much fun we have our post-teenage existence, there still is nothing like the glory days. The thing is, our teenage years are only a moment in our whole lives. And the second you blink, the moment is gone. Being a teenager sadly doesn’t last forever, but the memories do. We all want to be “Forever Young”, and in a way we’re all going to be eighteen forever. As my friends and I always say, “Friends, boys, and drama. Three cheers to our crazy teenage lives.” “We do what we want, we think we know everything, and we like to aggravate our parents, just because we know we’re good at it.” Being on the Outside of the Inside: PT Lockdown Stephanie Nitschmann Staff writer Secrets, secrets are no fun; but should they really be shared with everyone? The recent lockdown at the high school stirred up nerves, anger, confusion, and most of all, questions among students. After having their bags examined, their bodies swiped, and being herded into the gym, students were left with a handful of questions, but no answers. Continuing the day in lockdown, students were still uninformed of what was happening in their everyday environment. Parents received an e-mail that morning concerning the situation, but then had to rely on news or a text from their children in order to understand what was happening within the school. All of this ultimately stirs up the question: ‘Why?’ Why not make a phone call to the parents that day to provide them with the information the school knew? Why not come on the PA system and make an announcement to students about what was happening? Why not explain the situation and open the door to questions? Although there is an endless list of these questions, there is one answer that covers them all: safety. Keeping students on the outside is the best way to ensure their safety. Having important information leak out and reach a potential predator could give them the open chance to change their strategy to conform around the administration’s plan. “I understand the biggest issue is safety,” stated sophomore Jade Murman, “but how safe can you really feel when you don’t know what’s going on?” Students were originally flustered about the situation, but once calmed down they accepted that the importance of safety is greatly higher than the importance of a good, juicy story. Either way, is it fair to completely leave students on the outside of everything? I asked several students and most said that even if the teachers had lied to them, it would have made them feel safer just to know anything. Comfort is a big part of security, and when change comes to the ordinary, sometimes people don’t know how to react. Now that we as a whole have experienced the “Lockdown” procedure, hopefully we’ll take a safe approach to solving these questions next time. Fishtank: Graduation By Renée Wunderlich Brian Lewis Parking Problems Opinion Co-Editor The administration’s enforcement and changes of this school’s parking rules has caused more confusion and congestion than ever before. I remember last year at Peters and there were very few, if any, problems with parking. Every space was filled in the student lot, kids were able to park down by McMurray Road, and there was no double parking or teachers being forced to guard the all-important privilege that is parking on campus. Sure, there may have been a few minor issues, but the system worked by itself without any complaints. The system students had for parking was, of course, too good to last. After some outside influences were placed on the administration, several changes were made in order to placate the thought that parking was dangerous and unsafe at the school. These changes should not have been needed, but because of these nagging influences, herding students into the gated lot has caused even more havoc. These irrational changes have forced the parking lot to become a more dangerous area than it was before any changes were placed upon the school. Thankfully, the administration realized the magnitude of this problem and attempted to resolve the issue by handing out a type of “honors” pass to select students in good academic standing. Unfortunately, this has not completely solved the problems as some students are still blocked in due to the large number of students with traditional parking passes. A second problem is that any student with a temporary pass is forced to park in the student lot as opposed to parking facing East McMurray Road. Perhaps if the administration were permitted to revert back to this former policy, some of the remaining congestion in the student lot would be reduced. One of the other problems that the administration was forced to clamp down on is student parking in the wrong areas. I’m curious as to what the actual issue was. From what I can gather, no teacher was having an issue finding a parking spot, nor were students with community service passes and work releases having difficulty. In fact, several spots were still available at the end of the lot even after students with normal passes decided to park in the lower lot. Perhaps the larger issue with the parking is the number of passes given out. When school administrators were essentially forced to abide by the exact parking rules, it turned out that too many students had parking passes. The concept seems simple enough; there are a certain number of parking spots in the student lot, so that many passes should be given to the student body. Unfortunately the school board has an inability to allow simple school policies to be run by the administration, which led to the issue of too many parking passes being given out to students. While the administration does say that the decision to fully enforce and in some ways change the parking rules was due to safety, the parking lots at this school are, by my standards, pretty safe. I would have to say that this high school has the safest parking lot out of the various schools I have attended. Unfortunately this has not deterred several of our school board members from attempting to meddle in a minor issue such as student parking by regulating the parking policies of the school. This is regrettable, because the issue of parking needs to be left to those who know the most information about the issue .rather than those who think they know what is going on. The administration has already stated that their goal is to do what is best for the students at this school, which leaves one to wonder exactly what the school board’s motives are with this issue.
  7. 7. Summer Issue 2008 At the beginning of the second semester, I began a program of unlimited passes to every period, with an occasional exception for meetings or recording days. Because your article in the December issue of Smoke Signals was the impetus for this pilot program. I am writing to let you know the results of that pilot. While the pilot proved to be an unworkable program, as will be explained it has helped me design what I hope is a better system. Beginning Monday, April 14, 2008, every study hall will get passes everyday but the number of passes will be based on the class schedule in the library. The exact number of passes will be dependent on the number of study halls that period, with each study hall receiving a number proportional to it’s class size. Allowing unlimited numbers of study hall students each period works if, and only if, the students who visit the library do so because of academic need, and conduct themselves that way. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case during our pilot. Most of the students who visited did so (by their own admission) to leave a “no talk” study hall. Students were quite frank that they came to socialize as much as to do work. Our statistics confirmed their words. By staff observations, approximately 70% of the students who used the computers were playing games or watching videos, both unacceptable by district policy. We did not experience an increase in material objects, lying on the tables and other inappropriate behaviors. We did find a great deal of graffiti on tables, and some vandalism. Daily the tables and floors were littered with food, baggies, and wrappers. It was evident that the study hall students needed to be monitored. However, monitoring study hall students in one area and teaching in another did not make for my best lessons! Remember that it is not unusual for the library to have 8-15 classes scheduled per day. I cannot increase time spent on study hall monitoring if it means less time teaching the classes that come to use the library resources. It is the goal of the library program to serve as many students academically as is practical. That is the reason the library is open more than 12 hours each week before and after school. However, our pilot has shown us that we cannot serve all people in all ways. No program in our school can. Students cannot randomly walk in the art room and begin painting. Our staffing and school structures don’t permit that to happen. However, the pilot did illustrate that even with classes in the library, study hall students can have access, but in controlled numbers. How large those numbers are will be largely a matter of student behavior and intent. I welcome any student who has an academic reason to use the library. Student input on library policy and library materials is truly encouraged. I welcome everyone to attend our student advisory meetings, held every other Tuesday at 2:30. The next one is April 15. Refreshments are always served. Please be encouraged to continue the fine work in your newspaper to enact change in your school and your community. Your library article has resulted in change. I enjoyed your Farmhouse Coffee article immensely. Who knows, if you write about it, maybe our school will create a student union for students to chat, listen to music and but a snack! Sincerely, Mrs. Morriston 7 Self-Esteem vs. Competiton Letter to the Editor To the Editors & Staff of Smoke Signals: PTHS Opinion Grant Burkhardt & Jordan Dent News Editor (Jordan) I have a brother who is eight years old and participates in numerous little league baseball teams throughout the year. I overheard my parents talking about how the draft for his upcoming spring league was held, and I was surprised at the thought of an actual draft for kids his age. (Grant) I, on the other hand, have played competitive sports pretty much my whole life and have gone through year after year of drafting to pick teams. I have no problem with the process. Actually, I think drafting is the only reasonable way to pick teams. (Jordan) I am not saying that I am against competition. I, too, have played sports my whole life and have a very competitive attitude about most everything I do. I don’t, however, think that such a high level of competition should be introduced or encouraged, at such a young age. And I do not think that drafting is the only “reasonable” way to put together a team. (Grant) Then how do you expect 12 or 13 year olds to gain a competitive edge if they were never properly introduced to a little adversity? If you place an athlete in a competitive situation where he understands who is good at a sport, he will be able to comprehend what he needs to do to succeed. I think competition is essential at that age, and seriously the only thing that is really competitive at that age is the feud Sports Co-Editor between the “baseball dads.” How else would you pick teams? (Jordan) I think learning competitiveness through actually playing the game is more valuable than learning it by knowing who is better than the next kid. And, I think you prove my point ten times more by mixing in obessesive parents. Mom and Dad pressuring the athlete to be “the best” at age nine can put a serious strain on a child’s ability to perform well. And as far as picking teams goes, whatever happened to picking names out of a hat? (Grant) Picking names out of a hat is ridiculous because if you end up stacking a team with talent, aren’t you just hurting the all-important self-esteem of the kids on the team that can’t win? When was the last time teams in a league were picked out of a hat? Never. Competitiveness is NATURAL. You make a good point about wanting to please the parents, but even the harshest parents can understand that to get better you have to play with better players. If he is serious about wanting to be good at a sport, having teammate role models is the best medicine to help with subpar talent levels. If he looks up to his own “role models” in higher level sports, that means that he wants to be like that person, and the sooner we introduce “wanting to be the best” or just being better, the better the product on the field. That is what matters. (Jordan) So don’t pick names out of a hat, pick them alphabetically or by birthdays or some other meaningless way. At least if you do end up stacking a team, you know that you were not doing it on purpose. And another thing, what if the kid just wants to play? What if he didn’t look up to Barry Bonds, Tom Brady, or Tiger Woods? What if he or she just wants to run out an a field and have fun with their friends? That is the whole point of RECREATIONAL sports. According to Dictionary. com, “recreational” is defined as, “a pastime, diversion, exercise, or other resource affording relaxation and enjoyment.” If you ask me, worrying about whether or not you can throw further, run faster, or hit harder than your friends is not relaxation or enjoyment. (Grant) If you knew anything about the drafting process, you would know that the teams are rarely picked with last year’s statistics in view. There is nothing wrong with a kid wanting to just go out and have fun with his friends but at some point, for the sake of the athletes who enjoy winning and being talented, the level of competitiveness needs to be raised at rapid pace. If that means phasing out the lessgifted, so be it. Barry, Tom, and Tiger didn’t get to where they are now by beating a hundred lesser athletes; they achieved greatness by beating the best and becoming the best. Every person who considers himself athletic has role models, trust me. Let’s just say that being competitive boosts selfesteem and end the fight now. (Jordan) I guess we just have to agree to disagree. While I do not think competition should be encouraged so young, I do suppose that a certain level of competition is necessary to achieve greatness in any sport, or really anything else in life. I just think it is important for kids to know that in order achieve anything, they must first believe in themselves. SHE SAID HE SAID Brian Lewis Summer What are you looking forward to most about Alex Egan graduating? The future! I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. Being able to sleep in. Are you Nope. sad to graduate? Yes! As much as I complain about high school, I know I’m going to miss it, and I’m going to miss all the people in it even more. What are you looking forward to Sleeping in and being away from the parents. What was the Once I knew where I was going to school, I stopped caring about my grades completely most about college? Boys. And the whole college experience in general. But mostly the boys. best part about being a senior? Everything was just so much more carefree...senior year is by far the easiest and most fun.Also, it’s so nice just knowing that this is your last year, then you’re done.
  8. 8. S E N I O R Best Dressed Shelby Gregor & Andrew McMillian Best Looking at 50 Justin Broglie & Leanna Frey Best Personality Jes Stockhausen & Kaitlyn Stroyne Most Athletic Pat Russo & Megan Hahn Most Artistic Tina Elderkin & Taylor Atkins Best Smile Greg Maronde & Mackenzy Radolec Best Laugh Bob Stein & Lauren Legg Biggest Flirt Alexis Joseph & Nick Smith Most Musical Becky Rosky & Dave Sheperd Easiest to Talk To Annelyse Giovannitti & Alex Sam
  9. 9. Most Likely to be Remembered (Chosen By Teachers) Andrew Marshall & Laura Sunday Most Likely to become the next Oprah / Dr. Phil Melanie Hoffman & Grant Burkhardt Most Likely to Be High School Sweethearts Mike Allen & Rebecca Nicholson Most Likely to Discover a Cure for Cancer Kelsey Gallagher & Chris Jewison Most Likely to be on Saturday Night Live Natalie Palamides & Eli Diamond S u p e r l a t i v 20 e 08 s Most Changed Since Freshman Year Jessica Ward & Clinton Amand Most Likely to Backpack through Europe Danny Hinson & Elena Ponte Most Likely to Climb Mt. Everest TC Rauch & Bridghid Knoll Most Likely to Live Off Ramen Noodles for the Next 10 Years Sasha Machel & Mike Stromberg
  10. 10. 10 IAN 02 EXTRA POINT IAN JACKSON SPORTS Summer Issue 2008 Smoke Signals 03 TAYLOR RELICH IJ: The 2008 NFL Draft went great for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They arguably had the best draft in the league, and made some seriously shocking picks. Drafting Rashard Mendenhall in the first round was a great pick and second rounder Limas Sweed was arguably the steal of the draft. So with all the great picks, who was the best pick? (excluding Mendenhall) IJ: I think Limas Sweed was the steal of the entire draft. I mean in the whole NFL, not only the Steeler’s draft. Even though I think that was a great pick. I think I am going to have to go with my boy Dennis Dixon. In the fifth round!?!?! Are you kidding me? People forget that if he hadn’t gotten hurt, he probably would’ve been the second quarterback taken. No disrespect to Joe Flacco, but Dixon is the superior quarterback when he is healthy. That was the best pick in the 2008 NFL Draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers. TR: I agree that Dennis Dixon was very good in college at Oregon, but the question is, will he be a good pro quarterback. As a fifth round pick with two quarterbacks in front of you on the depth chart, if you don’t have a good camp, you have a legitimate chance of making only the practice squad. I think Bruce Davis will make a much quicker impact on the Steelers than Dennis Dixon will. As long as Big Ben is playing well, Dixon is nothing but a backup. IJ: Dixon is the best athlete on the team. They will find away to get him on the field. Use him like Kordell, Randle El, or as a kick returner. It doesn’t matter; if he’s on the field we’ll score touchdowns. That’s all I know. He can run (fastest 40 time of all the quarterbacks in the draft), he can throw, and he is the perfect gadget playmaker. He would’ve won the Heisman trophy if it wasn’t for his ACL exploding. Go on and tell me he won’t be the best quarterback in NFL history. I dare you to tell me that. Taylor Relich Staff Writer It’s the time of year again when the NHL Playoffs are the only worthwhile thing on television. Major League Baseball hasn’t heated up yet, and nobody really cares about the NBA Playoffs. After much thought, I have come up with five reasons why the Stanley Cup Playoffs are way above the rest. 1. The playoff format The NHL has one of the best playoff formats in all of professional sports. They take eight teams from each conference, including the six division winners, and ten at large bids based on points. There is reseeding after every round, which gives the one and two seeds a constant advantage, and the better seed always gets home-ice advantage, which I like. 2. The intensity of the fights is cranked up In the NHL Playoffs, all the excitement of the regular season is amplified. The fights in the playoffs are so much better. The passion that the players display is amazing, because in the words of the NHL, “every shift matters.” 3. The atmosphere of the game The atmosphere of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is just amazing. The crowds get into it especially in areas that are crazy for hockey. The crowds in Canada and cities in the US like Detroit, Denver, and Pittsburgh really get behind their teams come playoff time. During the playoffs, you see all kinds of fan antics, from the regular banging on the glass to throwing live octopi out on the ice, not to mention the fact that the chants are always loud and proud. 4. The Penguins are back in the Playoffs Probably one of the best reasons to watch hockey this time of year in Pittsburgh is because the Penguins are in the Playoffs. The Pens have revamped their lineup and qualified second in the Eastern Conference. After a strong first series, the Penguins show potential to go deep into the playoffs. Bill Berry Image courtesy of: TR: I definitely think that Bruce Davis will make the biggest impact next year out of any of the 2008 draft choices, besides Rashard Mendenhall of course. Davis was a major steal at the point in the draft that we picked him up. He was a standout at UCLA and was kind of overlooked just because he played in the PAC 10. The Steelers linebacker core was weak last year, with James Farrior having one of the worst years he has ever had. The blitz wasn’t producing sacks and the defense was a non-factor. 5 Reasons to Love the Stanley Cup Playoffs 5. Playoff beards It might be quirky and unique to hockey, but you have to respect the playoff beard. This is one of the hallmarks of commitment among NHL fans. In cities like Pittsburgh where hockey is life after football season, fans from 15 to 80 love to show their passion for hockey by not shaving until their team is out of the playoffs. Although the focus of attention in Pittsburgh is obviously the Penguins, the NHL Playoffs are a spectacle to be seen. I strongly recommend watching as much hockey as you can this postseason, because it doesn’t get any better than this. The Stanley Cup finals will be exciting no matter who is in them, but like the rest of Pittsburgh, I think it would be a whole lot better if the Pens are in contention. PT Lacrosse, Push to the Playoffs Staff Writer The Peters Township lacrosse team is fighting their way into the playoffs. After beating Upper St. Clair 8-7 in double overtime, the Indians need one more win to make the post season. Either a victory over Franklin Regional on May 6 or a road-win at Hampton on May 7 will clinch a playoff berth. A win over Mt. Lebanon on May 10 would also send PT to the next round. The team is anchored by its strong defense led by senior goalie and captain Mike Moretti. He is the team’s only returning all leaguer, and is a candidate for AllAmerican. The starting defensemen are senior captain Kameron Burk, senior Brett Van Dyke, and sophomore Jeff D’Abarno. Junior Tyler Sheets is the starting long stick midfielder, and is backed up by Charles Murray and Andrew Johnston. Another strong unit for PT is their attack. The three starting attack men are senior Edan Fletcher, junior DJ Destefano, and sophomore Connor Mannion. They will try to replace last year’s talented players, Jason Powell and Sean-Paul Mauro. So far the attack has been able to fill the void by racking up goals and assists. Fletcher and Destefano are currently the team’s two leading scorers. The fourth attack man is junior Chris Cain. The one thing that hasn’t changed from last year is Peter’s dominance of face-offs. Led by senior captain Ben McClure, the Indians have been able to win most of their faceoffs creating numerous scoring opportunities. Also chipping in are senior Dan Marchky and sophomore Jimmy Cogley. Senior captain Jes Stockhausen leads the midfield, and is currently the team’s leading midfield scorer. Adding depth to the position are McClure, Cogley, Marchky, seniors Justin Broglie and Mike Mannion, juniors Jeff Falsetti and Eric Rackley, and sophomores Bryce Palumbo and Dan Markrinos. After graduating a strong senior class, not many people had high expectations for their 2008 campaign. “I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people who don’t think we’re going to do much this season,” said head coach Doug Miller. This will be Miller’s first season as the head coach of PT after three seasons as an assistant at USC. Peters’ future looks bright with four sophomores either starting or contributing quality playing time. Look for Peters to be a perennial powerhouse in lacrosse for years to come.
  11. 11. Summer Issue 2008 SPORTS Release the Hounds Ian Jackson Staff Writer The year was 2006, the World Cup was in full throttle, and the Riverhounds were having the biggest crowds they had ever had. They had sold out the Consol Energy Park, which holds 3,200 people, six times during the season. That had never happened more than once in a season. Yes, the Riverhounds always have spiked attendance during the World Cup, because it is the one time every four years that most Americans care about soccer. The Riverhounds responded to the crowds and made the playoffs for only the third time in franchise history. The team had a great season to build on until things got interrupted. In early 2007, the Riverhounds were put up for sale and sold. The winning bidder was a group that consisted of the Allegheny Sports Complex and Everton FC, of the English Premier League. The group believed things needed to change, and had the team sit out the 2007 season to commit to rebuilding. (They promised to be Paige Burris back in 2008. They kept their promise and in December the team announced that they would be back for the 2008 season.) They will once again play in the United Soccer League Second Division (USL 2), but they will be led by a much different group of players and play in a new stadium. The David Flavius era has ended. Flavius, who had MLS type talent, is the all-time leading scorer for the Riverhounds. He announced his retirement over the offseason. He played nine seasons for the Riverhounds (1998-2007). After playing two seasons at Consol Energy Park in Washington, PA, the Hounds will play their home games at Chartiers Valley High School during the 2008 season. Flavius may be gone, but the team is still full of talented players. The key returners are defenders Jason Kutney, Nathan Salsi, and attacker Leon Browne. They will be joined by forward Thabiso Khumalo, midfielder Travis Mackenzie, and midfielder Justin Evans. Khumalo and Evans (who is a Peters Township graduate and starred for the PT soccer team) each have spent time with teams in Major League Soccer, Khumalo with the Chicago Fire; Evans spent time with the San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas. Khumalo and Browne will be responsible for filling in the shoes of Flavius. They have to finish the plays Flavius finished for nine years and put points on the board. That may be no easy task, but it is one that they have confidence in accomplishing. “David was a great player for a long time. He was a player I looked up to and he taught me many things to help me develop my own game. I thank him for that, and he will be missed,” stated Browne. “But this team still has a lot of ability. I’m confident that we can still put the ball in the back of the net and win games.” ( The Riverhounds are currently 0-3-1, with one point, and sit in ninth place in the ten team USL 2. They played Harrisburg City to a draw in their first home game of the season, in front of 3,119 fans. They play their next home game at Chartiers Valley High School on June 13th. Lady Indians Softball: Rewind Staff Writer has paid off; the Lady Indians have made it to the playoffs by beating Mt. Lebanon, and Cannon McMillan in the final stretch. We wish them luck in their upcoming playoff games. Image by: Paige Burris The Lady Indians are surprising their opponents with their unlikely level of success, given the circumstances of the season. So far the team has had fourteen wins and only four losses, to Mount Lebanon in the seventh inning, Upper Saint Clair 4-1,Trinity 3-2 in extra innings, and Baldwin 6-4. They have had a minor setback, with Shaylee Ianno tearing her ACL on the mound on April 14 against Baldwin. Just a week later, the team received disappointing news that Shaylee Ianno would not be back for the season. However the team captain and head pitcher will still be there watching and cheering on her teammates. Her surgery happened on Friday, May 2. Although Ianno is out, the team has played without her before in the fall ball season and came out with a record of 20- 4. For fall ball, the team also took two tournaments without Ianno. So, needless to say, the team can still be successful without the assistance of their head pitcher. The team also got a great addition to the team- Amanda Heitmeir. She is the starting catcher, and will be attending a Division 1 softball school, the University of Pittsburgh, in the fall. The defense has been adjusted according to the new pitchers, which are sophomore Olivia Bovalina and freshman Morgan Meadows, and the modification is pushing the team towards a winning season. The offense is also starting to step up. The softball team’s hard work The girls won all but one of there games in Florida. They enjoyed hitting up the amusement parks as well. A Spring Tradition: Powder-Puff Football Melanie Hoffman Staff Writer As a spring tradition here at PTHS, Girl’s PowderPuff Football is something both the junior and senior classes are able to look forward to. The game, to be held on June 4 at 6:00, has been put together by Mrs. Bockstoce. The senior team is ready and, after their shutout victory last year, there is much anticipation. With the end of the year drawing near and “senioritis” in full drive, the seniors are ready to play. The junior team, however, may have a problem. With the lack of school spirit the juniors show at pep rallies, some ask if they’ll even be able to pull together a team. Junior Bridget Stasenko thinks otherwise. “Our grade may not have the most spirit, but we’re ready to play some Powder-Puff!” Requirements to play this year are attending four out of five practices, and purchasing a ten-dollar jersey and a mouth guard. Some volunteer coaches returning this year are Miss O’Connor, Mr. Hitchens, Mr. Cervenak, and Mr. Demascal, among others. “PowderPuff allows girls to show their true competitive nature. It’s a healthy competition and one of the activities most looked forward to throughout the year,” fellow coach, Mrs. Bockstoce said. All in all, the game should be interesting, giving upperclassmen girls something to top off their year. 11 Sports Briefs Baseball (14-6, 9-6) – 3rd in Section, qualified for WPIAL Playoffs Boys Volleyball (5-11) – Won Their Senior Rec game against Canon Mac Boys Tennis Beat Penn Trafford in WPIAL quarter finals Softball (15-4, 8-4) – 3rd in Section, qualified for WPIAL Playoffs Track and Field Boys and Girls (5-1) - qualified for WPIAL Playoffs Girls Lacrosse (10-4) – qualified for WPIAL Playoffs Boys Lacrosse (5-7) – Senior Recognition on May 15, vs. Trinity
  12. 12. Seniors ‘08!
  13. 13. Congratulations Aaron Dana Adamsky Jay .D. Ali Chelsea Allen Katy Allen Mike Almnaizel Jeries Anderson Robert Arillotta Jim Atkins Taylor Bak Justin Balionis Jon Banas Steve Barna Sara Baxendell Alexa Beck Tim Beggs Chelsea Bench Erin Berestecky Andrea Bergman Calvin Berry Bill Bittner Michele Blandino Andy Bloser Kyle Boehme Benjamin Broglie Justin Brooks Joanna Brouwer Derek Brown Gino Burgan Shannon Burk Kameron Burkhardt Grant Burns Angela Buzard Kaitlyn Cameron Zach Carbonara Melissa Carey Janel Carone Megan Carper Cayla Caso Taylor Cassano Larissa Catalano Chelsea Caumo Brittany Chiappino Jason Christman Kayla Ciancarelli Dan Cicero Adrienne Clawges Jennifer Cole Pat Come Nina Connor Matthew Connors Sean Corrado Vince Courter Matt Creehan Mackenzie Crossman Josh Debee David Debowski Mike Defelice Zack Deiley Jacqueline Dellavalle Jamie DeLuca Alexa DeNardo Jeana Dent Jordan DeWoody Jake Diamond Eli Dinger Cassidy DiVella Mike Dodds Lindsay Edwards Spencer Eisengart Paige Elderkin Rebecca Ellis Carly Eskew Ryan Fazio Cooper Ferrara Phil Fitzgerald Katie Fitzgerald Timothy Fletcher Edan Fletcher Hadas Fortunato Joseph Freeman Jessica Frey Leanna Fryder Kelly Galiano Brittany Gallagher Kelsey Ganick Katie Garbera Alyssa Gardner Haylee Garland Anastacia Gavlick Katie Getz Abby Quinnipiac University Penn State University of Altoona Penn State University of Altoona California University of Pennsylvania Case Western Reserve University Indiana University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh California University of Pennsylvania Academy of Art University Indiana University of Pennsylvania Marine Corps. 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Ohio University Stockhausen Jes University of Colorado at Boulder Stokan Adam Undecided Stratico James Penn State University of Altoona Stroyne Kaitlyn Duquesne University Suchy Rachel Case Western Reserve University Sunday Lauara University of California at Davis Swoope Niki West Virginia University Tarwater Annie Columbia College of Chicago Taylor Sara University of Notre Dame Thome James Undecided Tomayko Jenifer Ohio State University Toth Brittany California University of Pennsylvania Trageser Erika Duquesne University Trier Emily Taylor University Ulrich Danielle Westminster College Urbanowicz Dan Duquesne University Vachon Jordan Indiana Unversity of Pennsylvania Van Dyke rett B University of Pittsburgh Vodzak Kayla Indiana University of Pennsylvania Wagner Gina Indiana University of Pennsylvannia Wallach Aaron Navy Walnoha Alexa Gannon University Warzinski Paul Liberty University Wawrose Ann Rice University Weaver Sara Slippery Rock University Welch Ally Undecided Yingling Hannah Towson University Zajdel Byron United States Military Academy at West Point Zawicki Kaylin Point Park University Zeffiro Liz Lehigh University Zini Lauara University of Pittsburgh Zoufalik Stan Point Park University
  14. 14. Summer Issue 2008 Moving House Retiring Teachers Angelina Nepa Features Editor Mr. Houser has always been something of an enigma for PT students. He comes to school every morning, dressed impeccably, more eager to discuss The Grapes of Wrath than any student and spends his class periods espousing his love for English. However, few students that leave him to enter their sophomore year know much about him. Though never one to discuss his personal life, Mr. Houser recently revealed a few details to lessen the blow of his imminent retirement. It is widely known that Mr. Houser graduated from Washington and Jefferson College and majored in English. But few know that his favorite subject was actually chemistry. He ultimately decided to pursue a career in teaching, and embarked upon a 39-year run as a purveyor all things English. He first taught in Rochester, before moving on to Carlington, PA, and then finally to Peters, where he stayed for 34 years. Mr. Houser decided to retire while he was young enough to maintain a certain quality of life. “Though I won’t have the same commitments, I will not have free time,” he admitted. Obviously one who has taught English for decades would have thousands of stories, about fictional characters and real-life students alike. He remembers how his students react to books read and projects they embark upon most of all. Mr. Houser hopes that his pupils will remember him for the unbounded enthusiasm he expressed during each day of class. Mrs. Kocan, fellow English teacher, said as much. “Mr. Houser is my mentor, I admire the way he always maintains a sense of class and dignity when others would falter.” Mr. Houser is perhaps most famous, however unwillingly, for being the “Best Dressed Man in PT.” When asked about his amazing dress sense, specifically where he shops, he humbly replied, “wherever there’s a sale.” As for boys that come to school in sweats every day, they should, simply put, “up their style.” As for his true passions, he plans to spend his retirement reading fantastic books (his favorite being The Great Gatsby), playing sports, and spending time with his family. He divulged that he will miss the daily interactions with students more than anything. As for the hassles of technology in the classroom, however, he would not say the same. High school seniors that hope to someday become teachers would do well to take a page from Mr. Houser’s book. He advises all prospective teachers to immerse themselves in their subject area, instead of merely the prospect of teaching. Additionally, every student heading off to college should heed of his counsel concerning their years spent at school. “Personal responsibility is key, don’t blame others for your mistakes,” he commented sagely. Every one of his peers and pupils would agree that Mr. Houser is a force to be reckoned with. After living such a life thus far, all that any student could hope for, college bound or otherwise, is half the grace that he radiates, and half the respect he commands. Renée Wunderlich Co-Editor-In Chief PTHS Doc For those students who are and have been involved in the Music Department, April 7, 2008 was a 2nd period that would live in infamy. After much praise for the Wind Symphony’s th 10 consecutive Superior ranking in a recent adjudication, the band room experienced an apocalyptic moment: it went silent. There was neither buzzing of mouthpieces nor moistening of reeds. The classic mid-morning chatter was abandoned entirely, and not even a spontaneous crash was herd from the Percussion section. Dr. Robert Dell had announced his retirement. Some gawked, many cried, and most were just stunned into silence. It was truly a turning point in the lives of the countless students and adults alike who have learned so much from this remarkable man. During his interview, Dr. Dell insisted that this feature fill only a modest corner of the paper, and the staff of Smoke Signals has tried to honor his request. The following is merely a snippet of what was, is, and shall forever be “Doc”. When first coming to Peters Township School District, what was your impression of the music department and of the students here in general? I’m a country boy – at that time, Peters Township was a farmland, so I was right at home. The district certainly wasn’t up to the standards of excellence that it is today, but nevertheless, it was an impressive system. My first position was actually at the middle school, not at the high school, so it was a little difficult to connect with the high school kids that I only got to see after school during Marching Band. The 1968 Superintendent was phenomenal. He was the one who pushed for a Marching Band and was the real reason it was started. 15 A Goodbye to Mr. Murdock Gina Nepa Staff Writer Thirty-four years into the business, Mr. Murdock has decided to wave us all goodbye as he chooses to retire and move on to bigger, better things. The school will be sad to see him go; he offered a new perspective to the district, as well as constant passion in the classroom. PTHS has been the only school he has taught in, which demonstrates his loyalty. “I definitely connect with fellow teachers in this school,” Mr. Murdock explains, “Frank Ciocci was like a mentor to me when I was a new teacher; he showed me the ropes and took me under his wing. For that, I will always be appreciative.” A bond between these two teachers is widely shown, and respect is administered towards each other on a regular basis. Mr. Murdock attended Clarion College, receiving his undergraduate degree, and West Virginia University, where he received his masters. “My favorite part about this place is the people - the kids and the teachers,” Mr. Murdock states. “The only thing that bothers me is that when I see the potential PTHS has the ability to possess, and when they fail to meet these standards, it’s upsetting.” Older teachers develop bonds with students, as did Mr. Murdock, and have a strong passion towards the students’ efforts. Mr. Murdock laughs when asked about the craziest situation ever presented to him while in the school. “I’m the wrestling coach here, “ he says, “And in 1986, we had to sue the WPIAL for claiming that a match we won didn’t count. If we had won that match, we would Averi Clements have moved on to the championship. I was forced to testify on the stand.” It is always refreshing to see teachers getting involved in extracurricular activities such as wrestling, as it shows their dedication to the school and the lives of the students. “I bet a lot of people didn’t know that I’m the President of an Internet company,” describes Mr. Murdock. “After retiring, I plan to work on this business and maybe expand a bit- after getting in some much-needed travel, of course.” His future plans seem typical in regards to vacationing, and his pleasant attitude demonstrates that he will most likely be sad to leave, but excited for his busy upcoming agenda. Tapping Out Staff Writer Who/what inspired you to become a band director? Many people were very influential, but I would have to say that it came from my first great hero, the late Mr. Warren Mercer. He was my high school band director, After 34 years of drilling students and he somehow convinced me to pursue the same profession. I was the Drum Major in gym class, Mr. John Buckley is throwing of my school’s marching band, and music had always been my comfort zone. in the towel. He will be retiring at the end of the year from his position as one of the Do you have any pets? physical education teachers of PTHS. Yes, my six-year-old Siberian husky, Koda, In addition to his tasks as a teacher, Mr. and Tye, a 23-years-young Palomino horse. Buckley also took on the responsibility of She’s my second horse, actually. Riding was coach for the junior high wrestling team, one of the things I used to do back in the day. I’ll encouraging many young wrestlers to probably get back to that. I used to be a bit of a continue their careers through the high cowboy – for five summers straight, I went on a school level. Although Mr. Buckley’s gym horse-packing venture through the Allegheny students will breathe a sigh of relief knowing Mountains. The landscape was just gorgeous! that their daily regimen of pushups will be I also used to give a life skills class once a eliminated, there will be no such luck for year, back when I was a principal. It was for the junior high wrestlers; the coach will be special needs children in the area. I would returning during the wrestling season to load them up onto my horse and give them uphold the junior-high team’s continually rides. It was one of my greatest experiences! successful reputation. “I e n j o y coaching the wrestlers and What were some of the obstacles you/ seeing them develop into the band faced during it’s early years? accomplished athletes. I’ve The first year was a bit rough because the organization made a commitment to the was new. Marching Band has always been an extra curricular activity, wrestlers, parents, and my which means that its level of excellence depends on how much the students and fellow coaches, and I want directors are willing to put in. Despite some early adversity to the program, I have to uphold it for a little while always given the band 110%, and I believe the kids have too. The “original 42” [the longer”, said Mr. Buckley first members of the Mighty Indian Marching Band] kept it together. They showed a on his decision to keep dedication that surprised so many, and every year, the new students continue that legacy. coaching. Mr. Buckley intends to give up his Have you ever experienced deja-vu? coaching position at When I came back to the band and to the Music Department after being a the end of next year’s principal. But I knew what I was getting back into, as well as what to expect. wrestling season. Although How do you feel about this year’s upcoming leadership team and the graduating plans of cycling to class of 2009? Washington DC after Terrific! Of course, my heartstrings are being pulled retirement bring a constantly. I am so confident with the upcoming seniors smile to Mr. Buckley’s and the leadership that they are bringing to the next season. I’m not face, there are still surprised really, but I can’t help but be amazed at this group. They never miss a beat! many fond memories that he holds from If you could give one piece of advice for an individual who WASNT directly his time at the high involved in music, what would it be? school “There were a lot of Don’t be afraid to just get into it. You are never too old, never too far in life sports championships that I was a part of. to start appreciating the beauty around you that really is music. Even listening can provide an understanding that no other field can cover. How can you loose? If you were to get a tattoo, what would it say? “Band is my life, let us march!” Those hold some memories that won’t soon be forgotten,” he recalled. Buckley says that the number things he will miss most about teaching is great – The students and staff have become a significant part of his life. But, he says, the time to bring his career to an end is appropriate; there are still many things he wants to do that will be enabled by his retirement, including future jobs and seeing one of his son’s concerts in San Diego, California. Overall, Mr. Buckley is one of those teachers that is, in a way, immortal – the idea of his absence in future years is practically unthinkable. Although the time has come for him to leave the high school and enjoy some time to himself, he will miss his students and colleagues… and chances are, the feeling will be mutual.
  15. 15. Voices in the Hall What Is Your Favorite Summer Memory? Tim Fitzgerald ‘08 “Watching Galloway walk down the street in a bathing suit.” Brahim Shettima ‘09 “The time I fell asleep in a tree.” Jeff Lioon ‘10 “Fly fishing in Utah.” Jason Lewis ‘11 “When I broke my ankle.” What Marks The Offical Start Of Summer? Jon Stewart ‘08 Drew Williams ‘09 “2nd semester.” “Whenever Gary Roberts says it starts.” Max Maszle‘10 “After baseball season.” Zach Darlington‘11 “July.” What The Teachers Have To Say... Mrs. Kazalas “The Last Day of School.” P T Mr. Perote “When I get to wear my Hawaiian shirts in the sunshine!” Mrs. Kuhn “Going to the Outer Banks.” Elle Goozdich ‘08 John Krak ‘08 What summer movie are you most looking forward to seeing? “Sex in the City, of course.” What are your summer plans? “I’m going to St. Simons island with Megan Carone.” What’s your favorite summer food? “Strawberries.” If you could go anywhere this summer, where would you go? ”Spain.” Whats the craziest thing you’ve done during summer? “Jumping off a cliff into water!” What summer movie are you most looking forward to seeing? “Batman: The Dark Knight.” What are your summer plans? “Going to the beach in North Carolina and relaxing.” What’s your favorite summer food? “Cherry popcicles.” If you could go anywhere this summer, where would you go? ”Italy.” Whats the craziest thing you are doing this summer? “Fun with Mr. Galloway.” Minute the Ms. Hamilton “Being evacuated from North Carolina!”