Photo by Lexi Harmon
Volume 3 Issue 5
Peters Township High School
264 East McMurray Road
McMurray, PA 15317
Meet the Staff
Life & Style Editor
Special Features Editor
Life & Style Editor
Smoke Signals Staff
Smoke Signals is produced six times a
school year by Media II, III, and IV Journalism students. The staff adviser is Mrs.
Sitler. Commentaries, reviews, and opinion columns are the expressed opinion of
the author and not of Smoke Signals, its
advisor, or the Peters Township School
4-5 PT Focus
10-11 Life and Style
Uggs Causing Foot
14-15 People Features
Art Plastic Scupltures
Summer Water Parks
20-21 News Features
22-23 Student Work
Table of Contents
Class Officers Field Trip Sparks Change
With summer getting ever closer, the students
of PTHS often lose focus on
schoolwork and look forward
to the months of June, July,
and August. The class officers,
however, are already planning
events for 2012-2013.
Recently, the class officers took a trip to Mt. Lebanon High School. They were
able to interact with the class
officers from Mt. Lebo, and
see how they handle tasks differently.
they’re so put together and
really know what they’re do-
ing,” stated junior class officer
Garrett Warmbein. The Mt.
Lebanon class officers have a
large influence on their school.
Not only is the election process
much more rigorous than the
one at PT, but the ML class officers have other students act
as their assistants. In general,
they assert more influence over
school events with planning,
organizing, and enacting. This
has prompted the PTHS class
officers to take a more activee
role for next year.
During the trip, the
class officers talked with students from Mt. Lebo about
many important school
events, but the main focus was on prom. Mt.
Lebanon has prom on
a Thursday night (seniors only), and the
next day the senior class
has off school. They
hold their prom at the
William Penn Hotel in
Pittsburgh. In addition,
once their dance is over,
students return back to their high school for an after-party and
are locked inside until five AM.
“Next year, we hope to try and make prom and other
events even better than they have been in past years,” stated
junior class Vice President Bryan Hall.
Photo by Photography Class Officers
On Monday, April 16 in the auditorium, 73 students were inducted into the National Honors Society. The inductees attended
a brief ceremony, concluding with the holding of a candle while reciting the NHS oath. After the induction, a reception in the library
was held, offering the students slices of cake and punch to celebrate. Congratulations to the following students:
Photos by Mrs. Belcher
Pointers to a Part-Time Job
Thank God, summer is just around the corner. An entire student body is itching to shed its school-time skin and is
patiently awaiting the flood of summer euphoria. With the anticipation of this being “the best summer ever” maybe cash will
come in handy. However, this cash may not exactly come from
your dream job but there are plenty of options available for all
personality types. Smoke Signals has compiled a list of jobs for
you to spend your sun-shiny days earning some money.
“I have had a job as a hostess, babysitter, and tutor, but
being a lifeguard is where I belong,” said junior Alexis Aronson.
“I get excited for summer because I know I’ll be working.”
If you enjoy being in the sun or spending your days lazily by the pool, then lifeguarding is a job you should consider.
Lounging in a chair and working on your tan is the ideal summer
day for any typical teen and a perk of the job. However, it is not
always paradise. You may find yourself scrubbing bathrooms and
handing out band-aids to shrieking boys and girls. Requirements
include knowing CPR, having a license from the Red Cross, and
people skills. Availability is also a major must.
Does setting your own fees, choosing working hours,
and having no contracts sound like a dream job? Depending on
your compatibility with children or lawnmowers, asking around
the neighborhood if anyone needs landscapers or babysitters can
be the answer. This opportunity could be the job of your dreams,
especially if you are the entrepreneur type. With the exception of
an onslaught of rainfall or a shortage of the kids’ favorite snacks,
the satisfaction of setting your own schedule and helping others
is completely worth the trouble.
If a sport or hobby of yours keeps you happy during the
school year, you are likely to enjoy it in the summer as well. Working at a golf course or batting cage could be refreshing. Driving
around golf carts or working a snack shack is time well-spent,
and you most likely earn more than minimum wage. Although
that may sound ideal, customer service oriented jobs sometimes
require you to deal with difficult people.
If the school year is too hectic or your return next fall
is called off by college, a seasonal restaurant, such as Rita’s, is the
perfect place to earn some extra cash. Although the schedule can
get hectic, your wallet will persuade you otherwise.
PT Officer Stevick Secures Students’ Safety
Peters Township Police Officer Jim Stevick was
hired on April 16th for the remainder of the school year. His
job is to support the school’s
proactive approach to providing a secure learning environment.
He was approached by
his boss, Chief Freucht of the
Peters Township Police Department, because Chief Freucht
felt that Officer Stevick would
be able to maintain a safe environment while building trust
with the student body. Some of
the benefits of working at the
high school include interacting
with students and working consistent daylight hours. Officer
Stevick’s main responsibility is
to keep the students safe.
“We want students
to be able to come to us with
concerns. We don’t want them
to be afraid. We are not here to
hurt them, we are here to protect them,” said Officer Stevick.
This security extends
beyond the classroom into the
community specifically focused
on the Lewis and Clark Expedition formerly known as Assassins.
“The majority of
people that live or work in the
township are not aware of the
game. They become alarmed
when they see people dressed
in black, running or sneaking
amongst houses, businesses
and cars,” stated Officer Stevick. “When responding to
such calls, officers have no way
of knowing if they are going to
confront a participant of this
game or a criminal.”
Officer Stevick believes it is a fun game that he
would have enjoyed participating in but he advises students to
make wise decisions.
After several years as
a police officer, Officer Stevick
can easily determine the best
and worst aspects of his career.
“The best part of my
job is interacting with people,
and the worst part is going to
accidents and seeing people
suffer,” stated Officer Stevick. “I
love the outdoors and my first
choice was to become a Wildlife
Conservation Officer with the
Pennsylvania Game Commission. I soon realized that would
interfere with my hunting,
therefore the next best choice
was to become a police officer. I
can’t see myself doing anything
Officer Stevick enjoys
hunting, fishing and hiking
with his family. In high school,
he described himself as an “average student” and he swam
for his high school swimming
team during his junior year. He
is a Steelers fan and he enjoys
watching college basketball regardless of what teams are playing.
During his brief time
here, he has noticed one trend
“Students avoid looking at me in the halls. Hopefully
Officer Jim Stevick hopes to build
trust with the high school community while providing a secure learning
they will open up by the end
of the year and be able to approach me with their concerns.
I’m not here to scare them,” said
The high school community thanks Officer Stevick
for taking the time to keep
our school safe.
Lady Indian’s Track: Runners, On Your Mark...
The coed track team
has some of the best athletes
in the school. There are no
tryouts or cuts, but anyone
who is willing to run mile long
races, repetedly throw a javelin, or sprint until they can
barely stand is clearly dedicated
enough to strive for and expect
The distance girls are
working hard under the supervision of Coach John Knabb.
The 4x8 relay team, consisting of Kenzie Stepanik, Marisa
McKnight, Kristen Czajkowski,
and Kara Erinburg is already
making great strides. This race
is very difficult, and the girls
have already been successful at
“John Knabb really
whipped us into shape fast,”
stated senior Kenzie Stepanik.
“We had scrimmages early in
the season, so it really helped
Halo is a freshman to watch.
She can throw as far as some of
the seniors and loves doing it as
“The next few years of
track will be great. I cannot wait
to show people what I can do,”
said Halo. As an up -in- coming
star, Halo tries to stay in shape
by eating right and staying active. On top of track practices,
she plays in the Peters Township
recreational softball league.
“I can’t sit still. I love always
being somewhere to do something,” explained Halo.
Salizzoni is a sprinter with a lot
of heart. Even after suffering a
season ending injury, she still
stays active in the track team by
being a manager. Before the injury, she ran the 100 meter dash
and had a personal best of fifteen seconds. She is determined
to come back strong next year
and go right back up to that
time or even better.
The Lady Indians
Track team is full of desired
athletes who compete seriously and enjoy doing it. All
the girls on the team are a tight
knit group, something that can
be detected the second they
walk onto the track. Stretching,
warming up, and competing together helps the team bond, and
with the giant mass of students
Photo by Laura Counihan
Senior Marisa McKnight sprints
to the finish of a relay during a recent track meet. She was a leader
on and off the track this year.
attending practice everyday, it
is no wonder why the team is
destined to succeed.
“Its not a battle between two teams. It’s a battle
against yourself. That’s why I
enjoy it so much.” said junior
Photo by Laura Counihan
Softball Team Seeks Success
The Peters Township
softball program has always
surrounded itself with unwavering talent, and this season
is no different. Senior pitcher
Tara Konopka and senior
catcher Morgan Matetic headline a cast of savvy ballplayers
who are determined to capture
a section title, as well as a
WPIAL crown. The two, who
recently signed letters of intent
to Drexel (Konopka) and
George Washington University
(Matetic), will play a large factor in the team’s success.
“It’s always been a
dream of mine to play past the
high school level and having
some of my teammates move
on as well is special,” said Matetic.
Behind the pitcher
and her backstop is a team
that is as capable as any in the
league when it comes to flashing the leather. Sophomore second baseman Tori Weida and
senior shortstop Kellie Lewis
will be counted on to man the
middle of the field. Defense is
a major key to succeeding in
high school softball, and one of
the team’s goals is to tighten up
the holes in the field.
“If we want to compete with everyone else in the
league we need to make sure
we are making smart plays in
the field and backing up our
pitchers,” stated freshman Kellyn Perich.
At the plate, the Lady
Indians will have to cut down
on strikeouts to have a great
season. Their section features
some elite pitchers, and the
team will have to continue
to make adjustments to stay
ahead to remain a strong contender in a tough section that
includes rivals Canon MacMillan and Upper St. Clair. However, there are some personal
goals that need to be attained
as well. A couple ambitions
include improving batting
average, increasing RBI’s, and
reducing strikeouts. For most
members of the team, though,
it goes deeper than what looks
good on the stat sheet.
“I would like to be
able to win more section games
than we lose,” said freshman
Photo by Carlee Wickstrom
Under Review: Remember the Titans or Miracle?
JohnGalatic.PrintEditor & GrantTaylor.StaffWriter
JG: Remember the
Titans is in a class of its own
when it comes to sports movies. Most movies of this genre
are one dimensional, either
focusing on only the serious
aspect or the humor that can
be found in sports. However,
Remember the Titans has it
all. It portrays a touching story
of a high school football team
that overcomes racial differences to achieve their ultimate
goal: a state championship.
What makes the movie so great
is that humor can be found
throughout its duration. From
the hilarious pregame workout
to the “yo momma” jokes, the
Titans had me laughing for a
good hour and 45 minutes. The
movie was based on a true story, so some of the more tragic
elements, like a devastating
car crash, were still included.
Yet, each time, the Titans overcome their adversity to become
closer as a team and as a football family. For this reason, trying to compare any other sports
movie to Remember The Titans
would be pointless.
GT: Remember the Titans is a fantastic movie, however Miracle is a much more
inspirational film. Sure, Remember the Titans is inspiring because of its theme of
overcoming racial differences,
but Miracle gives a strong sense
of national pride. For those
who have never seen Miracle,
it is about how the 1980 U.S.
hockey team defeated Russia
to play in the championship
game in which they won for
the gold medal. This movie
makes you feel incredibly
proud to be an American. The
joy that the U.S. shows after
beating the Soviets is without
parallel. The defeat of Russia
was a pivotal moment for the
U.S. because not only were the
Russians heavily favored, but
the country was in the midst
of the Cold War, and the Soviet Union was the enemy. Every
American should watch this
movie if they haven’t already.
JG: Oh, please. What
problems did winning a gold
medal in the Olympics solve?
Did it actually end the Cold
War? I think not. At the very
most, it took bragging rights
away from the Russians. America already had strong national
pride even before that series,
and I am pretty sure there have
been more exciting sports moments as well. Everyone hypes
up the 1980 Olympic Hockey
Championship upset as a magical event that took divine providence for it to even happen.
Miracle was no miracle. It was
simply a group of young men
with a great work ethic and an
even better coach. On the other
hand, Remember the Titans was
a true miracle. Perhaps the most
difficult thing to maintain in
this world is peace. The Titans
did not just maintain the peace;
they evolved from hating each
other because of difference in
skin color to loving each other
as brothers. Granted, it takes a
great team to win a gold medal
in the Olympics, but it takes an
even greater team to end many
years of hatred between races.
GT: Sure, Remember the Titans shows how the
players overcame racial differences, but it is the story of just
one team. Thousands of other
schools had to go through the
same thing when they decided to integrate their schools.
The team in Remember the Titans represents a multitude
of other schools and teams.
Miracle, on the other hand, is
very unique because there is
only one Olympic Men’s hockey team. Their struggles and
triumphs are unique because
only their team experienced
them. To address the problem solving issue, racism still
exists in high schools around
the country, but the Cold War
is over. Without a doubt the
players in Remember the Titans share a special bond in
the end, but imagine the bond
the players of the Olympic
hockey team felt after winning
the gold medal. They earned
Americans tremendous pride
in their accomplishments,
which, in the end, is insurmountable.
Ready, Set, Grow for a Good Cause
It is that time of year
again. As playoffs continue, several NHL players have put away
their razors for a ritual that
dates back to the 1980’s. Growing a “playoff beard” became
popular during the early 80’s
success of the New York Islanders, a team that won four Stanley Cups from 1979-1980 to
1982-83 and has gained steam
It has become so
popular that the NHL actually
sponsors a ‘Beard-A-Thon’ contest where fans send in pictures
of themselves pre-shaven and
monitor their beard growth
until their teams are eliminated. Fans even pledge money
for the growth of their beards.
During the 2012 season alone
the NHL site has generated
more than $5,375, with all proceeds going to Make-A-Wish
“I heard of this a couple years ago and have been
growing a beard for the playoffs ever since the Pen’s won
the cup,” said sophomore Andrew Stroud.
Other athletes have
joined in on the fun, like Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive End
Brett Keisel famously sported
a dyed beard during the 2010
and 2011 football seasons.
Furthermore, Keisel hosts
“Shear the Beard” at the end
of the season where he shaves
his beard. Last year, the event
raised more than $40,000 for
Whether it is growing
a beard for fun or challenging
your inner athlete, enjoy the
playoffs because it is the only
excuse for looking disheveled,
while raising money for a good
AP Images Gene J. Puskar
60 Second Mystery: Questionable Media
Reporting on the Trayvon Martin Case
A boy was followed,
two phone calls were made,
and that same boy was shot.
In the case of Trayvon Martin’s
murder, these are the only pieces of evidence known for sure.
Everything else “known” about
the last 60 seconds of Martin’s
life is He Said – He Said. Consequently, the media has gone
into a frenzy using unconfirmed “facts” to decide on the
case themselves, instead of letting the court do their job and
develop an impartial ruling.
Basically, the second
this tragedy became breaking news, every single media
source immediately took one
side or the other. There was no
in-between, no unbiased telling of facts. Instead, each different media group used whatever “evidence” they could find
to prove their side. Through
leaked school and police records, they have made a mess
of this case and the people it
involves. However, in the end,
no matter how much speculation the media does, only two
people know what truly happened during that mysterious
60 seconds. Unfortunately, one
of them is going to say whatever will get him out of trouble
and the other won’t ever be able
to tell his side.
One example of incorrect journalism surrounds the
media’s varying reports about
whether George Zimmerman,
the alleged gunman, was in-
jured during the crime. According to CBS, a police officer at
the scene of the crime claimed
that Zimmerman was “bleeding
from the nose and the back of
his head.” However, on the other side of the media spectrum,
The Huffington Post claimed
that surveillance video from
the Sanford Police shows that
Zimmerman “was ushered into
the station without visible abrasions, bruises or blood stains on
his clothes.” These two different
accounts both boil down to one
question: which media outlet’s
information is correct? Only
one can be, but both are fighting hard to use their “evidence”
to support their side of the argument.
different media groups are portraying both Martin and Zimmerman incorrectly. The first photos
released of Martin were from
years ago when he looked young
and innocent, not 6’2’’ and 160
pounds. Once that was discovered, the next photos the media
used were of Martin in a hoodie.
Coincidence? No, the photo was
definitely used to evoke sympathy and incite a movement of
support for Martin. These same
media outlets also chose to portray Zimmerman with his 2005
mug shot, instead of a more recent photo. However, the media
sources that do use recent photos of Zimmerman often forget
to mention the fact that he was
arrested for assaulting a police
Finally, some media
outlets have used Martin’s suspension (for a bag with traces
of marijuana) and the fact that
police once questioned him
for stealing women’s jewelry
(never proven) to paint Martin in a bad light. These same
media groups also follow blogs
who claim that Martin stole the
Skittles and Arizona Ice Tea he
had with him on the night of his
murder. This fact alone proves
that media groups are pulling
at straws to persuade people to
agree with their side of the story. Furthermore, it’s these same
media groups that fail to mention altogether that Zimmerman was arrested for battery
of a police officer and therefore
was not permitted to become a
police officer. Additionally, they
often gloss over the fact that as
neighborhood watchmen, Zimmerman was not legally supposed to carry a gun.
After all the supposed
“facts” have been laid out and
worn to pieces, no one is any
closer to knowing what truly
happened on that tragic night.
However, the media has made
this a race issue and a national
movement by using Martin as
an innocent martyr for their
petitions and marches. Unfortunately, during the process of
inciting these movements, they
have tainted the reputations of
both Martin and Zimmerman;
they have also forgotten the fact
that this is still a case about a
poor boy who was murdered by
a man who wanted to be a vigilante instead of waiting for the
police to do their job.
Trayvon Martin was killed
by his neighborhood watchmen George
Zimmerman, and their case has caused
a media upheaval. The two photos above
show the media’s bias as they either try
to portray Martin has young and innocent or Zimmerman as an already accused criminal.
PT Meme Madness
Memes have been popular on Twitter, 9Gag, and apps on your smart phone. These are sarcastic Internet animations that have
become an integral part of online culture and humor. Some of the most popular memes include one does not simply, success kid, unhelpful high school teacher, and condescending Willy Wonka. Let’s look at these popular memes through the lens of PTHS.
A Sarcastically Sentimental Message
to the Class of 2012
Well class of 2012, we’re about to burst out of ‘the Bubble’.
It has taken four years, three principals, too many bad pep assemblies, and one mystery pooper (don’t even ask), but graduation day
is finally in sight.
As people, we’ve spent some of the most tremulous years
of our lives in this high school. While I can’t personally speak for
the entire class, there have been moments when PTHS has made
me want to go on a Britney Spears circa 2007 rampage. (No cars
were beat with an umbrella during my high school career.) From
waking up at the crack of dawn on a daily basis, to eating the moderately suspicious cafeteria food, there have been some unpleasant
moments. However, I now realize that despite the drama, the last
four years have been thoroughly enjoyable. As a school, we’re lucky
to have excellent teachers. I’ve learned a lot from them and made
friends and memories that are unforgettable. Come summer we’ll
all be heading in different directions, but I’m glad to have spent
the last four years with you…well, most of you. I’m not that sappy.
I’ll be heading off to Germany for a gap year followed by Barnard
College to study English and Political Science or, as my parents
lovingly say, “double majoring in unemployment.” However,
I’ll always be able to look back on my memories of PT fondly
(insert sad violin song here). In all seriousness, high school
may not have been perfect but it has been memorable. I’m glad
to have had the experience
By time you read this
you’ll be less than
four weeks away
meaning that you
won’t be in school to
read this, anyway.
AP Images Joerg Sarbach
Beating the Freshmen 15
College is finally within reach for seniors and the biggest fear for most students is
not the impending workload,
but the freshman fifteen. Everyone has heard the warnings
from previous students, but
usually no one knows how to
stop the pounds from packing
on. However, with a few tips
and healthy habits, seniors will
be able to tackle this fear.
The first and most
important tip is to adopt
healthier food habits before
and after starting college. Students should avoid eating when
stressed, studying, or watching
TV and avoid skipping meals.
By eating during these vulner-
able times, students’ bodies will
want to eat more and therefore
cause them to overeat. Instead
students should choose foods
with more nutritional value
such as whole grains, vegetables, fruit, lean meats, low- fat
or nonfat dairy and light salad
dressing. Also, students should
not forget to watch portion sizes and avoid going back for seconds. To know the perfect portion size, divide the plate into
four sections protein, starch,
and two vegetable sections.
The next healthy habit
is knowing how to approach
a college dining hall. Instead
of thinking of food as bad or
good students need to pay more
AP Images Tony Dejak
attention to the portion size
and how often they eat certain
foods. Rather than counting
calories, they should concentrate on getting the nutrients
their body needs by eating a
variety of healthy foods. Students can vary their diets by
trying new healthy foods they
would usually not eat. Students
should not linger in the dining
halls. Since, most dining halls
include a buffet the longer students stay the more likely it that
they will return for more. Also,
they should stock up on healthy
snacks and keep them on hand
and in their dorm room.
It is important to exercise frequently and regularly.
Some studies have found students who exercise at least three
days a week were more likely
to have better physical health,
greater happiness, and be more
productive than those students
who did not exercise. Start by
trying to work at least thirty
minutes of an exercise activity
into your daily routine. Some
activities include walking,
swimming, working out at the
gym, jogging, a pickup game, or
even attending exercise classes
at a local recreation or college
Finally, the key to
AP Images Larry Crowe
maintaining a healthy lifestyle
is getting enough sleep. Recent
studies have linked a healthy
weight with getting enough
sleep at night. Sleep is also a
great way to manage stress
without prompting over eating. The recommended amount
of sleep is seven to eight hours
each night. To make the most
of sleep, keep a regular sleeping schedule. Furthermore,
students should avoid drinking
caffeinated drinks in the evening and listening to loud music before bed.
Gaining weight during the first
year of college may occur due
to being away from familiar
places. But with these tips students should able to maintain a
healthier lifestyle and avoid the
dreaded freshmen fifteen.
Life & Style
The Price of a Bronze Glow
With prom and
summer around the corner, everyone is vying for
rays of sunshine to achieve
their bronze glow. Although
a tan has been perceived as
a sign of health for years,
more and more research is
showing the real risks of UV
radiation. The scary truth is
that any color change of the
skin is evidence of cell damage. While abstaining from
any level of tan may not be
realistic, especially for teenage girls, steps towards understanding the risk of an
obsession are essential.
While lying out
in the sun is just as harmful as laying in an indoor
sun-bed, salons can offer
a tan year round making
this harmful habit more alluring. Tanning beds emit
both UVA and UVB rays,
both of which can damage the DNA in the skin.
Excessive exposure to both
types of rays increase the
risk of several types of skin
cancer, including the most
deadly, malignant melanoma. There are over 132,000
cases of malignant melanoma and over two million of other skin cancers
diagnosed worldwide each
year (World Health Organization). In addition to
the most obvious risk, other injuries can arise from
regular tanning sessions.
Burns and eye damage as
well as premature aging,
allergic reactions, immune
system suppression, and
premature aging are common.
If a tan is something
you cannot live without, try
swapping the tanning bed for
an airbrush spray tan. The end
result is the same yet much less
of a risk. While avoiding an
overload of UV exposure is important, there are also smaller
steps that can be taken to improve skin health. Your skin is
your body’s armor. Treating it
with extreme care may be te-
dious now but the benefits in
the long run will be worth it.
A layer of sunscreen should
be applied to exposed skin
daily, even when it is cloudy.
Getting into a regular habit of
exfoliating and moisturizing
will shed dry skin cells and
keep the skin silky smooth.
In addition, drinking an adequate amount of water is not
a bad idea either.
AP Images Pedro Pedroncelli
Dramatic Prom Dress Trends for 2012
With Prom season in full swing, hysteria
has broken out to find the perfect dress. Though
the dance is quickly approaching, there is no need
to panic. By following this year’s trends, there is no
doubt you will look like Cinderella.
Nude and blush dresses will be making a
comeback in popularity again this year, and may be
even trendier than last year. These dresses definitely
have a romantic and somewhat vintage feel. Most
feature lace, tulle, or chiffon, making them appear
soft and flowy. A dramatic charcoal or silver toned
necklace goes well with a pair of simple studs and a
bracelet. Hair and makeup should also be soft to go
along with this dress style’s feel.
Branching off from last season’s high-low
cut dresses are this year’s chiffon overlay style dresses. Though very similar in idea, the chiffon overlay
features a cocktail-type short dress underneath a seethrough overlay of chiffon or mesh-like fabric. They
have been very popular so far on the red carpet this
season. With this style, girls will not have to choose
whether they want a short or long dress! It’s a great
choice for girls who are planning on wearing their
prom dress again because they can take it to tailor
to transform it into a short cocktail dress for less
formal occasions. As far as jewelry goes, be bold.
Since this is such a sleek and modern style dress,
you have the ability to wear trendy jewelry as well.
Try a chunky pair of earrings and a bunch of layering bangles. Wear your hair in a chic little bun or
with a headband for extra sparkle. Since this dress
is so unique, you can have fun with the accessories.
Though sequins and jewels have always
been an important part of the classic prom dress,
this year’s bedazzled dresses take it to a whole
other level. Almost every big-name designer is using large, chunky beads in geometric shapes. This
is another ultra-modern look. Chandelier earrings
emphasize the dramatic vibe of the dress. Makeup
should feature something dramatic as well, whether
it be a smokey eye or bright lip color. A volumous
pony will go great with these dresses and will also
show off the earrings. Finish the look with some
killer platform stilettos.
Long Term Effects of
Short Term Trends
Trends come and go and unfortunately, some people do
not notice the the long term effects of society’s current habits. From
fashion to electronic trends, many have a negative long term impacts.
The hottest fashions in footwear are Ugg boots and converse shoes. For the past year or two, these comfy and versatile
shoes have helped dress up or down any outfit, but it is the shoe’s
sole that can be harmful. Converse shoes consist of a piece of rubber
with thin canvas as the sides. This provides no support for the foot,
especially the arch of the foot. In addition, Ugg boots also provide
no support. Therefore, by the end of the day people’s feet begin to
ache and their ankles become sore. These pains could greatly affect
the muscular and skeletal structure of a person’s feet as they grow
older. The foot is what supports the entire body. All the strain and
weight of a human is put onto their feet. Not only do they support
the body, but it is almost impossible to function normally without
using your feet. If a person grows up and has foot problems, it can
be very harmful to them in completing day to day tasks. Uggs and
Converse are great every once in awhile, but should not be the only
shoes people wear. If you care this much about fashion now and
do not care about its harmful effects, hopefully wearing orthopedic
shoes at the age of 30 will not bug you either. It is better to fix the
problem now while it is still minor.
Above: Popular Ugg boots that are becoming wornand potentially harmful
Electronics have weaved their way into society, and in a sense have
taken over some people’s lives. Many people take their phones and
laptops to bed, and some even fall asleep with their electronics still
on. Statistics show that 64% of people fall asleep listening to some
type of music or noise (radio.com). Sleep is a time for the brain to
relax and rest, but this cannot happen if music or the TV is playing
in the background. The brain is still picking up and transmitting
sound waves, causing it to never fully be at rest. Your brain needs
to rest so it can be fully alert and ready for the next day. If it never
gets to truly relax, your brain can over exert itself causing it to function poorly. Sleeping with lights on in a bedroom also causes the
brain to never fully rest. According to Readers Digest magazine,
too much light around you while sleeping causes the pupil to never
fully contract and rest. This can affect the muscles of the pupil to
dilate and contract later on in life. Cell phones, laptops, and digital
clocks with very bright faces especially tend to cause this problem.
These affects can be harmful to the pupil’s muscles and wear them
out or potentially damage them as well. Everything has a cause and
effect; it is just a matter of deciding how intense you want the impact to be.
Photo by Andi Saliszzoni
Decorating a dorm room can be a stressful time for incoming college freshmen. It is a brand new experience. With so
many products available, deciding what needs to be purchased can be overwhelming. The following list of four items
will be a helpful start in the craze of dorm room shopping.
Remembering all of the homework, projects and social
events can be tedious and sometimes impossible. To avoid
forgetting an important date
or assignment, invest in a
white board or a chalkboard
to jot down memos. Some
white boards even come with a
printed on calendar to further
Instead of lugging all of your toiletries to the bathroom each
time you shower, purchase a shower caddy to keep everything organized and ready for use. You will save yourself
numerous unnecessary trips back to the dorm to retrieve
your forgotten shower products.
The Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker is
a new must have for a dorm room. A
single serving (K-cup) of any hot drink
you can think of is inserted and within
a minute a steaming mug of coffee, tea,
cider, or hot chocolate awaits. This coffee
maker allows for a quick, personalized
drink on the go. This can be purchased at
a local department store such as Macy’s.
With the hectic workload that comes along with college, a lap
desk is another dorm room essential. The desk top comes with
a padded underside, making it perfect for getting work done
on a bed. Since the room will be cramped, a lap desk will give
plenty of options for studying. Bed Bath & Beyond regularly
stocks these in their back to school section.
Photos by Carly Beck
Every year, PTSD must say goodbye to some of its most valuable and beloved teachers as they retire.
2012 is no exception, as seven cherished teachers will move on to retirement after the school year ends. All
seven of these teachers have dedicated both their minds and hearts to PT, and it has not been unnoticed. There
is no doubt that they have irrevocably changed the lives of many students during their long tenures. Throughout this issue of Smoke Signals, their illustrious and eventful careers will be on display (pages 12-13, 16-17) for
you to learn more about them and remember the passion for education they have instilled in generations of
The Next Joyous Chapter
When Ms. Hamilton
graduated from PTHS in 1970,
she did not realize that one day
she would return to Peters for
her teaching career. However,
her dream job did not come
into fruition until 1981, after
she had already taught at Oil
City Middle School, Tionesta
High School, and Fort Cherry
High School. Although it took
Hamilton a couple years to return to Peters, it did not take
her nearly that long to decide
that she wanted to be a teacher.
“[I decided to become a
teacher] through the influence
of my high school teachers, Mr.
Walter Boettcher in particular. I
think I always knew I wanted to
be a teacher, weirdly enough,”
passion to teach has resulted in
an illustrious career and priceless memories such as teaching
her favorite class of AP Literature, directing plays, and,
of course, sharing her favorite
literature with students. Furthermore, Hamilton also enjoys
keeping in touch with her previous pupils.
“[I am] still keeping in
touch with one of my first students, Kim Phillips Sethna. She
went on to be a teacher, principal, and superintendent. We are
still the best of friends after so
many years,” said Hamilton.
career has been an impressive
one, it is coming to an end this
year as Hamilton will be entering the wonderful world of retirement. However, Hamilton
is not entering retirement on a
whim, she already has a plan as
to how she will spend her days.
“Sleep. Read. Shop.
Play with my dogs. Do more
volunteer work (I volunteer at
the Human Society now) and
definitely travel. I’m going to
Germany, Austria, and Switzerland with Mr. Wilkinson and
his students this summer,” explained Hamilton.
However, before Hamilton leaves for the utopia of
retirement, she has a final lesson she wants to leave students
“Your life is what you
make it. As Leon Uris said,
‘Tragedy is human legacy. Joy
is human creation.’ Choose always to be joyous!”
Photo by Allie Schlafman
Goodbye Leads to New Beginnings
five years in the
as a substitute
teacher at the
is retiring. Although retirement is a time
she has looked
forward to, there
are aspects of
her job that she will miss greatly.
“My freshmen are the sweetest little cherubs; while my juniors are my older,
maturing cherubs, enjoying life,” said Stevenson.
While at PTHS, Stevenson taught
in the English Department. She primarily taught juniors Honors English but more
recently has taught Academic English for
freshmen. Stevenson served as the chair
person for the VFW’s Voice of Democracy
Contest where she helped students win at
the local, state, and place at the national
level. In the 2004-2005 school year, she was
honored and awarded by the VFW with the
Voice of Democracy Teacher of the Year
award for her years of service.
“What I will miss most are the
students and staff who have become my extended family,” said Stevenson.
For all of her “cherubs,” there
was never a dull moment in the forty-one
minutes she taught. The information taken
away from each class was more than what
was on the lesson plans. Each student was
included and each class formed a little family. As Stevenson’s last days come into view,
it is as if a small family is being broken
Upon retiring, she wants to take
the time to straighten up her home and become more organized. With some help, she
plans to accomplish this project.
“I plan to get a dumpster to fill up
so I can clean out my entire house,” stated
A clean, organized house is only
the first goal on her list.
“I’m looking forward to spend
time with my three, well soon to be four,
grandchildren. I will also take trips when-
ever it moves me,” said Stevenson.
After all is said and done, her
goal is simple: to live life. Although she
has formed a family here with the students
and staff, Mrs. Stevenson looks forward to
what will come. The cherubs here in Peters
Township thank her for her twenty-five
years of unforgettable teaching. Although
everything must come to an end, there always starts a new beginning, and from all
the students she has taught and guided, we
wish her the best of luck in what is next to
Farewell, Mr. Dailey
Mr. Dailey, a beloved social
studies teacher, has decided to
retire after spending his entire
teaching career at the middle
school. He began his career
educating sixth and seventh
graders at the old middle
school in 1978.
“I have been teaching for thirty-four years, and
I made the decision this particular year to go out while
I’m still on top,” said Mr.
Dailey. “You don’t want to wait
until students are putting postit notes on your back that say
‘kick me!’ I feel like I should go
out while I’m still very cognizant of what is going on.”
Of all the things he
cherished in his time with the
middle school none will be
more missed than the relationships he has formed with former
students, parents, and faculty he
has come across. Two years ago,
Dailey had open-heart surgery.
Friends and family of students
he had came to his home to visit
him and deliver food. It was the
caring nature of the people that
genuinely were concerned for
him that he remembers most.
“Establishing relationships are the most precious
things because when I get really
old, I know that there will still
be people contacting me and
there will be tons of stories to
be told. I can’t wait to hear those
stories,” said Dailey.
In 2009, Dailey graduated from the Trinity School of
Ministry with a second master’s
degree in church history. After he finishes the school year,
he will embark on publishing a manuscript about an old
preacher named Edwin Mendenhall who lived in the Poconos during the 1840’s. He will
be the first person to ever write
Mendenhall’s story. After he
gets his manuscript published,
he will also begin to write about
a man named Dudley Ting,
another preacher who lived
in eastern Pennsylvania some
“I love church history,
and I feel like it is my calling to
tell the world about these men’s
stories,” stated Dailey.
Thank you for all your
contributions to Peters Township Middle School, the school
district, and every soul you’ve
touched over the last thirtyfour years. Congratulations on
a great career and make sure to
Photos by Molly Doehring
Donations for a Good Cause
According to The
Center for Disease Control
and Prevention›s Autism and
Monitoring Network, about 1 in
every 88 children is diagnosed
Autism. Every year, the rate of
children affected by it increases.
However, what is this disease
that affects so many lives?
According to the National
Institutes of Health, autism
spectrum disorder (ASD) is
defined as a range of complex
difficulties, and restricted,
repetitive, and stereotyped
patterns of behavior. It is almost
five times more common
among boys than among
girls. Unfortunately, scientists
are still looking for a cure for
the disease. Fortunately, the
Interact Club helped to raise
money that will be donated to
help Autism research.
“It’s great to get to have
fun and work for a good cause at
the same time,” said sophomore
month of April, members of
the Interact Club sat outside
the cafeteria during all lunch
periods. They sold items
promoting Autism awareness
such as bubbles, bands, and
pins for just a couple of dollars.
There is nothing like sporting
fashion to support a great cause.
“Most people think
that a single purchase cannot
make a difference, but any
money contributed to the
cause can go a long way,” said
sophomore Matt Crall.
In addition to the
booth outside of the cafeteria,
they held a walk for Autism
at the high school stadium on
April 21st. At the walk, there
was a Chinese auction and a
bake sale for a little added fun.
The Interact Club appreciates
everyone that donated money
and that came out and to
support the cause. The idea
for the walk was hatched by
the brain of sophomore Casey
Kirwan. It took a lot of hard
work to accomplish such
a big event, however, with
perseverance, everyone came
together to create a great end
“I heard about the idea
a year or two ago and wanted
to bring it to our school,” said
Photo by Taylor Cox
Sophmore Alyssa Aburachis hands an Autism band to a supportive student.
Creating the World One Mural
This is the third art mural being painted in the school’s hallways by Mrs. Kazalas’ art classes. A special
thanks goes to the following students who helped in the production of the mural: McKenzie Fitzgerald, Erica
Gretz, Kyle Higgins, Ben Hoskins, Shane Johnstonbaugh, Natalie Krewin, Jessica McIntosh, Lindsey Policz, Ryan
Spangenberg, Carla Buzzatto, Allison Resnik, and Anna Zerkle.
Extra Classmates Around PTHS
Remember Life Size Barbie?
Honors ceramic students at PTHS have
created life size saran wrap sculptures
that have been installed throughout the
school. The students recently completed a
unit about installation/eco/found art.
“Installation art is art that is
installed because it is so large. Eco/found
art is art that is made from materials that
are free or in abundance,” said Honors
Ceramics teacher Ms. DeGiovanni. As a
conclusion of the unit, the students cre-
ated these life size sculptures made of
“My favorite part was “wrapping each other in saran wrap,” said
senior Sadie Martinez.
The idea is to have the sculptures be installed around the school to
act as if they were students. Keep an
eye out for these extra students in your
classrooms or as you walk through the
A saran wrap sculpture is installed in the Principal’s
office and clothed to imitate a true student.
The Way to Go in May
As the months of the school year fly by, so does each
students attention span. Let’s be honest, our attention span left
a long time ago. With the weather getting warmer and the sun
finally making an appearance, it is hard to find time to do all that
lousy homework. Most students, no matter the grade, have already
experienced the beginning symptoms of “Senioritis” and the fact is
the illness is only getting worse. Even with the promise of summer,
it is important to stay on task with grades and everyday activities
that need to get done.
One way to keep focused is keeping a journal, otherwise
known as a goal setting journal. No, not a diary boys, but a
scheduled journal of all the things work or school related that need
to be attended to. It is time to dig up that dusty Peters Township
High School Planner. If you want to get fancy, list items according
to importance. For example, list the easiest tasks first so you can get
them out of the way to focus on the more difficult tasks later. In the
end, the satisfaction of scratching off a task you have completed is
very self rewarding.
That brings me to my next tip. We all like rewards, right?
Therefore, why not treat yourself to one after you have completed
something important? Suppose you got an A in math class, that’s
a reason to treat yourself to an item you have wanted to buy or
maybe you would like to treat yourself to dinner one night. You are
more likely to complete a task if you know there is a light at the end
of the tunnel, am I right?
Now there are also more obvious helpful hints. For
example, turn off your distractions! Yes, that means the television,
computer and even your cell phone. Turning off these oh-soimportant items can be devastating but it is a definite way to finish
homework or chores and eliminate distractions. You can also limit
your time on tasks. Do not spend five hours on one assignment and
not finish any of your other homework. Set a deadline for yourself
and stick to it. When you have promised a deadline to yourself, you
are more likely to get it done.
Finishing out the school year organized and efficient will
end the year with a bang. Once school is over, there will finally
be more time for the really important things- like tanning and
FBLA Members Qualifies for Nationals
During the third week of April, the
Future Business Leaders of America
(FBLA) traveled to the sweetest
place on Earth, Hershey PA, for the
FBLA State Leadership Conference.
Students participated in workshops
and competed in individual and team
events. All of the members were very
successful, and 16 students placed
in the top ten for their categories.
Nick Roberts, Grace Brandstetter,
and Paige Hannah qualified for the
National Leadership Conference.
Roberts placed first in the Business
Math category and Brandstetter and
Hannah placed second in the Global
Business category, and all three will
be representing PTHS in San Antonio, Texas at the national competition
at the end of June.
Photos by Paige Hannah
Time to Smell
After being a
gym teacher for
36 years at Peters Township
Mrs. Rose has
decided to hang
up her sneakers
and retire. Rose
began to pursue
this career after being inspired by her
junior high gym teacher’s progressive
take on physical education. However,
it was not until her junior year of high
school she officially decided to become
a physical education teacher. Rose had
considered a few other teaching positions, such as music, but knew physical
education was the job for her.
“I loved physical activity and
teaching, so why not put both together?
I get to interact with students in a more casual environment,” said Rose.
She has enjoyed everything about
her career at Peters. She loved offering a
wide variety of classes varying from the
more rigorous gym activities to the most
relaxing like yoga.
Her favorite subjects to teach to
students were rock climbing and canoeing.
Both are great outdoor physical activities
that had a sense of adventure to them. The
climbing wall gave Rose her best memories
from teaching, because she helped a visually impaired student and a handicapped
student over the wall. She was able to get
them to the top of the wall. It was fulfilling
for her to help the students overcome their
disabilities and be a part of gym class like
If given the chance to relive her
life, Rose knows she would not have done
anything differently. She loved the fulfillment that teaching physical education has
“I enjoyed working with teenagers (really!), and I loved exposing them to
adventure education. My pride and joy was
bringing adventure education to PTHS,”
Rose cannot wait to begin her retirement. She plans to spend at least the
next two years living in her motor home
with her husband. During this motor home
expedition, Rose will be captain as her husband bikes across the country. She found
fulfillment in her career at the high school,
but ultimately felt that it was her time to
“I decided it was time to graduate
and go out to the real world and play,” said
Goodbye to a Great Mentor
Photo by Naomi Burke
Mrs. Kathleen Sekley is mainly
known as the Information Technology
teacher who is an expert in Excel Spreadsheets and Word documents. However,
she was also the head of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club for
many years. What people do not know
is what she did to get to the position of
respect she has now.
After high school, she went to the
University of Pittsburgh for her undergraduate in business and then went to teach at Connellsville Area
High School. When she had her first of two sons, she decided to
take a fifteen year maternity leave instead of a fifteen month one.
While she was taking care of her sons, she got her masters in technology and business at Penn State. Once the boys
were grown, she became a software trainer and traveled a lot. She
eventually decided to become a teacher again and ended up at
PTHS in 1993. She immediately started teaching the Information
Technology class (previously known as Computer Based Applications) and became involved in FBLA.
She has thrived here both as a teacher and the head of
FBLA for the past nineteen years. As a teacher, her students have
had much success, but she has impacted the students involved in
FBLA the most.
While most high schools have five or six students qualifying for a chance to compete at the state level, this year there
were a total of forty three students from PTHS who qualified. This
is a huge accomplishment in itself, but what is more impressive is
that out of hundreds of students in Pennsylvania, 16 made top ten in
their events and eight of them qualified for a chance to compete in
the national level at Austin, Texas this summer.
“Having so many students have this much success is a great
way to end my career,” said Sekley. Looking back on her career here,
the FBLA conferences were one of her favorite parts.
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a look of
pride and accomplishment on the students faces when they win,”
During retirement, she has four goals. She wants to spend
more time with her husband and two sons, get into better shape,
volunteer in her community and church, and do something she has
been dreaming of since she was a little girl: get a grand piano and
take piano lessons.
Her legacy will be
long lasting and impactful. The amount
of respect she received from students
and FBLA she kept
will forever be ingrained in the PTHS
way of life and she
will be sorely missed.
Photo by Allie Schlafman
Farewell, Mrs. Morriston
Mrs. Morriston has been a part
of PTHS since 1978.
Yes, you read that
correctly. During her
she has accomplished
many things and she
will surely be missed.
When first joining
the PTHS staff, Morriston was an English teacher and worked with her class to
create the first issue of the Smoke Signals
Newspaper. Without Mrs. Morriston, you
would not be receiving the news magazine today. She was also the yearbook
advisor or co-advisor for about a dozen
years. From there, she went on to become
the librarian. She now is the Graduation
Project Teacher and works on technology
integration with the teachers.
“I’ve been so fortunate to have
fantastic teachers like Mrs. Boni, Mrs.
Sitler and Ms. Myers take my programs
to higher levels after I’ve left,” said Morriston.
Morriston is extremely happy to
have had great administrators who have
encouraged her and given her the trust to
develop the courses she did.
Before she was at PTHS, Morriston attended college at the University of
Pittsburgh. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and English and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information
Science. Being a Class Marshall and number one in her school of education (Pitt divides valedictorian by majors), Morriston
was often questioned on why she wanted to
become a teacher and not something else.
“I am willing to work hard and
that’s how I got to be number one. I became
a teacher because teaching is important and
money is less important,” stated Morriston.
Morriston, a very on-the-go person, looks forward to resting and exercising
so she can keep as busy as she was while
working. She plans to read all the books she
never had the chance to read. Since she enjoys traveling, Morriston expects to do a bit
of that as well. She also says she would not
be surprised if she ends up working somewhere again.
As Morriston hears about her students’ college plans, she is reminded that
the role of women in society has grown and
changed. Her roommate in college was the
only female industrial engineer in her class.
In the early 1970’s only 11% of women went
to college but over 30% of the males did.
Today the percentage of women is higher
than the percentage of males in that category.
“The world can’t afford to let any
group of people waste their talents so the
progress women have made is a great step
down a path toward equality. Retiring is a
good time to contemplate positive changes
and to help ensure more positive changes in
the future,” stated Morriston.
Photo by Allie Schlafman
Sprowls Rides to New Horizons
“Being a teacher I have had the opportunity to be a role model to thousands of students. I have tried to
treat others with respect and share the importance of being a person who treats others with the value and worth
they deserve,” said Mrs. Suzette Sprowls.
After sixteen years of devoted teaching at PTHS, Mrs. Sprowls, the child development teacher, will be
retiring. From freshmen to seniors, Sprowls has taught students the essential information on child care and childhood education.
Sprowls graduated from Mansfield University with a degree in Economics and later studied at California University of Pennsylvania to earn a
master’s degree in education. She has worked with every age of children,
from newborns to college students. Before teaching at PTHS, Sprowls founded a preschool, taught
at a private Christian school, and was the director of an on-site preschool program. Here at PTHS,
Sprowls taught two Child Development courses, with Child Development II being her favorite.
“I delight in teaching Child Development II and running the lab preschool program. I
have had the joy of meeting such darling three, four and five year olds. What a privilege it has been,”
said Sprowls. “One memorable experience is of a little three year old. His mom had warned me that
when he gets angry he rips off all of his clothes. Sure enough in a burst of anger he was nude quicker
than I could get to him.”
Departing from the students and children will be a monumental change in her life, but Sprowls is
looking forward to retirement and the different lifestyle it has in store for her. She and her husband plan on riding
their Harley Trike (motorcycle) to discover new, unknown places. She is looking forward to spending more time
“Thank you to all the students who have helped mold me to be calmer, more appreciative, and more in love
with life itself,” said Sprowls.
Photo by Naomi Burke
boredom is a problem for high
school students. The fun outdoor times with friends and
family tend to get lost in the
world of video games, movies, and music. Summer camps
used to be the highlights of
the summer for young people,
but now they have become
less popular. Summer camps
like Camp Kon-o-Kwee are a
unique chance to make lifelong
friends and have unbelievable
experiences. Since 1926, Camp
Kon-o- Kwee has taught boys
and girls from the ages of seven
to seventeen the four principles
of Belonging, Adventure, Ac-
Gotta See It to Believe It
complishment, and Leadership.
“Teens should go to
summer camp because it helps
them gain independence, confidence, self- discovery, and
courage,” stated camp director
Since 1926, Camp Kon-o- Kwee
has taught boys and girls from
the ages of seven to seventeen
the four principles of Belonging, Adventure, Accomplishment, and Leadership.
High school students,
teens may be worried that attending camp makes them “uncool” or that it is too late. Not
only does Camp Kon-o- Kwee
frown upon judging others, but
it is nonexistent there; welcoming people of different ethnicities, age and gender.
“Summer camp is the
best way to truly find yourself,
and it makes you realize you
shouldn’t be anything other
than yourself,” stated Hoffman.
Teens have unique
opportunities to go on amazing off-camp trips. The “classic” trip is the Vagabond Hike.
This thirty-two mile hike on the
Laurel highlands trail begins at
Donegal, PA and brings campers, accompanied by staff members, to Ohiopyle State Park.
A more exclusive opportunity
is the Kinzua Canoe Trip. This
trip provides the “true camp
experience” by canoeing ten to
fifteen miles a day on the Allegheny River. Campers total
approximately 107 miles by the
end of this two week journey.
During this trip, campers find
their own camp, cook their own
food, and “shower” in the river.
This truly is a “bucket- list”
kind of experience.
Young people always
leave camp gaining experience in building fires, making
friends, swimming, or playing
games. These activities allow
campers to grow and gain a
sense of personal accomplishment.
“There are no expectations; you
may come in shy and alone, but
leave with unforgettable experiences and gain lifelong friends,”
Fortunately, leadership opportunities are offered
for juniors and seniors even if
they have not attended Kono- Kwee before. Eligibility
for staff begins at age sixteen,
when teens can apply to be a
C.I.T. (Counselor in Training)
and can volunteer to be a new
staff member for the following
summer. Applicants stay at the
camp for a weekend in spring
for interviews and evaluations.
After two summers of going
through the C.I.T. program,
teens can apply for the counselor job. Most C.I.T.’s return for
Taking a Plunge: America’s Top Water parks
Memorial Day weekend is on its way, which means
that pools and water parks everywhere are opening. Sandcastle is the ‘Burgh’s only water
park, and let’s face it, Sandcastle is only fun about one trip
a summer. Now, it’s time to
take a plunge and visit some of
America’s top water parks.
Each year, a group of
theme and water park enthusiasts set out on a journey to
find the best of the best in the
amusement industry across the
globe. These are the Golden
the Golden Ticket Award for
best water park in the world,
Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels,
Texas takes the prize. Schlitterbahn is filled with nineteen
tube and body slides, and each
one gives riders a different taste
of thrills. For those who like
to relax, Schlitterbahn has ten
pools and multiple lazy rivers
mixed in throughout the park.
Schlitterbahn’s newest addition
is the world’s longest water ride,
a tube ride called The Falls, a
3,600 foot long river that takes
you through a crazy course of
waterfalls, rapids, and waves.
America’s largest water park is in…Wisconsin?
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, is
the location of Noah’s Ark that
features thirteen slides. Among
the thirteen slides is the first
looping waterslide ever, the
Scorpion’s Tail. The Scorpion’s
Tail features a launch chamber
that you stand in, and after a
countdown the floor drops out.
This sends you plummeting
down a speed slide-like hill into
the tilted loop. But if thrills are
not your style, Noah’s Ark also
features two wave pools and
Disney takes paradise
to a whole new level with their
two water parks. Both parks
were in the top five for golden
ticket winners; Blizzard Beach
came in second and Typhoon
Lagoon in fourth. The snow
resort themed water park of
Blizzard Beach has one of the
world’s tallest and fastest freefalling body slides, the Summit
Plummet. The Summit Plummet is on top of Mount Gushmore and soars above the park
at 120 feet. If this massive slide
is too much for you, the six other body and tube slides are just
as fun but less intimidating. Ty-
phoon Lagoon is a water park
that is themed like a hurricanedestroyed island paradise that,
unlike the other water parks,
stars the one of the world’s largest wave pools. The Surf Pool
is the center of the water park,
with huge tidal waves in the
deep end and a play area for
kids in the shallows. Typhoon
Lagoon also has some awesome
slides too, one of which is the
Crush ‘n’ Gusher, an ominously
named water coaster, and five
other slides. It also has a lazy
river that goes the entire way
around the park and a shark
reef where you can scuba dive
with real sharks.
Water World is probably the
most creative water park yet.
Water World has seven themed
areas and five of them have
slides. The eleven slides in the
park have the most variety out
of all of the other water parks;
each slide has a theme relating
to the section of the park that
it’s in. Each slide has its own aspect of thrill; The Bermuda Triangle is a covered underground
speed slide. The Voyage to The
Center of The Earth takes you
on an animatronic journey into
the dark depths of the Earth.
Deciding to spend the day, or a
couple days, at Water World will
certainly keep you entertained.
If you are searching for thrills, or you just want
to get out of the bubble for a
couple days, America’s top water parks will certainly give you
something to rave about. Just
remember to hold onto your
A rider heads down the Summit
Plummet at Blizzard Beach in Walt
AP Images Phelan M. Ebenhack
Mike Kronket’s iPod Playlist
The Entertainment Must List
1. The Story of Us-Taylor Swift
2. Something bout a Truck-Kip
3. Mine-Taylor Swift
4. Crazy Girl-Eli Young Band
5. Call Me Maybe-Carly Rae Jepsen
Delirium & Silent Witness
Season 3 of The Vampire Diaries: After the CW
show’s first two great seasons, the show finally hit it out of the
park with their third season. Every
week, the creators deliver insane
supernatural drama and always
leave with a climatic twist. The
new characters Klaus and Rebekah
make being bad seem oh so good.
Also, it does not hurt that no actor
on the show is remotely bad looking. After vampires got such a bad
rap, this show makes them cool
AP Images Dan Steinberg
Young the Giant: After their first big-time debut at the
VMA’s in August, the alternative rock band has been gaining fans.
Their mesmerizing chords, along with lead singer Sameer Gadhia’s
unique vocals and François Comtois’ excellent percussion make
them the freshest band in alt-rock since Third Eye Blind. They’re
currently on tour, and hit Stage AE on April 20th. Best songs on
their self-titled album are “I Got,” “Cough Syrup,” and “12 Fingers.”
Fathead’s: This restaurant located in the Southside
(which originally started off as Bighead’s in Dormont) is a great
place to go. It combines a nice location with superb food. The best
choices on the menu include a monster-sized sandwich called the
“Headwich”, and wings with tons of different sauce choices. Better
quitted and the real murderer is than Primanti’s? Definitely.
If you were a fan of the found, he leaves behind his home
Dave Matthews Band at First Niagra Pavilion:
Hunger Games, you will defi- and travels to his dream college,
nitely like Delirium by Lauren Harvard, to study for a law de- DMB hits the First Niagra Pavilion in Burgettstown July 13th and
Oliver. This futuristic read pulls gree. Twenty-eight years later, 14th. That’s two opportunities to see one of the best bands of all
you into the world of seventeen Tony receives a call from his best time. 2012 marks the bands 21st anniversary. Hopefully, “The
year old Lena Holloway and friend’s wife begging for him to Space Between” you and the stage is not far and no one will “Crash”
the complications involving the represent her husband in a mur- into each other. I bet the water there will be fine to drink as well.
love of her life, Alex. The main der trial taking place in his own (Sorry for the bad play on words.)
complication of the book con- hometown. Tony returns back
Marley: Not Marley & Me—better. The
cerns the government and its to Lake City after years of trydocumentary released April 20th captures
idea that love is a disease that ing to put his past behind him.
the life of the amazing Bob Marley and
must be cured. Lena is set to He is forced to struggle through
the legacy he has left behind. The movie
be cured of the disease at the the memories of Alison’s death as
promises unheard songs and unseen footend of the summer, but upon unbelievable, life altering secrets
age. Besides this, the film illustrates the
meeting Alex she finds herself are unearthed and he realizes his
famous Rastafarian in a passionate, raw
letting the “disease” of love cap- life at seventeen was not what it
way; and shows a man who lived for life—
ture her. As the summer goes seemed.
on, Lena realizes she does not
not for material riches.
want to be cured and wishes to
Boston Accents: British accents have
be with Alex forever. However,
been swooned over too long. The Boston
what will she have to do avoid
drawl is by far cuter. Some famous greats with this accent include
the laws of her government?
the Kennedys, Ben Affleck, Marky Mark, and Joey Massone from
Silent Witness by
2012 Cannes Film Festival: Probably the biggest film
Richard North Patterson is a
celebration there is--the Cannes Film Festival keeps growing. Peonovel that surprises readers
ple gather in Cannes, France to watch some of the recent year’s best
up to the last word. After sevindie, foreign, and short films. Awards are given in categories such
enteen year old Tony Lord was
as Sci-Fi and LGBT. If you cannot make it cross country, you can
wrongly accused of the murder
follow online and watch with some of movie’s most talented stars.
of his girlfriend, Alison TayMust-see: the striking documentary Prison Through Tomorrow’s
lor, he could not wait to escape
the skeptic eyes of the citizens
Photo by Katie Finn
AP Images Collin Reid
of Lake City. Once Tony is ac-
Does Christina Cho Tar
Before everyone fell
in love with the extremely
attractive Hunger Games
character, Peeta, the only
PETA known was the largest
animal rights organization in
(People for the Ethical
Treatments of Animals) PETA
activist, Christina Cho, has
recently sparked controversy
over an incident in which
she flour bombed the ohso-famous Kim Kardashian
while she was walking the red
carpet at a red carpet event.
Cho did this because Kim
was supposedly seen recently
As seen on one of the
past episodes of Keeping Up
with the Kardashians, Khloe
posed naked for PETA and
met with a top-ranked senior
Michelle Cho, Christina’s sister.
her sister’s attack, Khloe
Kardashian took to her blog
stating, “I’ve been a vocal
supporter of PETA for a long
time, but I have also been very
vocal about anti-bullying, so
this was a huge disappointment
for me. As you all know, I
don’t condone violence and
bullying and what happened
last Thursday was just that. I am
absolutely disgusted by their
[PETA activist’s] behavior.”
Khloe has since cut ties with the
Kim was reportedly
debating whether or not to
press charges as she does not
want anyone to think that this
type of behavior is acceptable.
A PETA spokesperson released
a statement saying that PETA
will pay any legal fines they may
receive due to the actions of the
However, before Cho
was a flour bomber, she was
a stage jumper. At a women’s
the stage and grabbed the
microphone out of designer
Donna Karan’s hands. She
began to rant about the use of
fur in fashion. After ruining the
event, PETA congratulated Cho
with an award to celebrate her
We get it, people
should not wear fur and it
should be left to the animals
themselves, but has Christina
Cho taken the name activist to
a whole new level?
AP Images Shizuo Kambayashi
AP Images Charles Sykes
AP Images Vincent Thian
Making Your First Ballot Count
For many seniors
turning eighteen brings many
exciting and new opportunities
into their lives. However, the
most important may arguably
be the right to vote. With
the upcoming election this
November, new registered
voters have the responsibility
of picking which candidate
best suits their beliefs. Students
should not be swayed by the
opinions of others, but should
find out what they qualities
they desire in a president. So
the question remains: what
makes a good president?
It is hard to not judge
our candidates based on their
appearance or on the few clips
seen occasionally on the news.
The most important part is to
avoid voting blindly, meaning
not picking a candidate based
solely on their political party.
First time voters should
research their vote by following
the news and reading about
the candidates. The same goes
for evaluating our current
president, up for re-election.
Determining how our president
has run the country the past
four years helps voters decide
whether to re-elect the president
or to turn to a new candidate.
Furthermore, reading opinions
from both the left and right
gives a perspective not given
from the media
Being an adult means
making adult decisions, which
includes the responsibility
as a citizen to vote. Voting is
not as hard or as complicated
as it might seem. The easiest
way to register is right here in
the guidance office. If you are
eighteen, register now. You
must be registered by October
in order to be able to vote
in the November election.
New voters will receive your
voter registration card in the
mail and will be put on the
list at your specific voting
location. The voting location is
determined on where you live,
and not everyone in Peters
votes at the same place. Also
consider if you go away for
college to request an absentee
ballot that you can mail in if
unable to vote at your assigned
location. Make sure to get out
on November 6th and exercise
the right to vote!
Kony, Famous For What?
Kony 2012: Everyone recognizes those words and what
they mean, but do they actually know what the Kony campaign
is about? Grant Oyston discovered more than meets the eye when
watching the Kony 2012 video.
Most people have seen the “Kony 2012” video on YouTube. The creator, Jason Russell, provides facts about what Kony
is doing to the children in Uganda and—in a way—tears at your
heartstrings in order to get your money for the campaign. However, he does not provide any actual information.
If you have watched television or read an article online
lately, Grant Oyston has dedicated multiple blog posts on his blog
visiblechildren.tumblr.com to the Kony 2012 Invisible Children
Oyston is a college student at Acadia University in Novia
Scotia, Canada who began researching the Kony 2012 group and
decided that the world should know where all the money is really
Students had the chance to chat via Skype with Oyston
on Monday, March 19. This opportunity became available because
Ms. Myers knows Oyston through another organization in which
she is currently involved. He answered questions from various students and talked about what he has gone through since his blog was
He explained that he agrees Kony is “an evil man,” but he
thinks that the message Invisible Children sends is that “anybody
can change the world, and it’s easy.” Oyston stressed that he believes
“Anyone can change the world, and it’s difficult,” he said.
“But you should do it anyway.”
Oyston blogged that he strongly opposes Invisible Children. He goes on to say that the organization claims that it is nonprofit, meaning that the profits and expenses are public. Last year,
the organization spent $8,676,614.
Oyston’s blog states that thirty-seven percent of their budget goes directly to central African-related programs, about twenty
percent goes to salaries and overhead, and the remaining fortythree percent goes to our awareness programs. Which for most
organizations, is the other way around. It also states that the truth
about Invisible Children is that they are not an aid organization,
and they don’t intend to be. People think it is delivering shoes or
food but it is an advocacy and awareness organization.
Since his post, Oyston was offered to be flown to Uganda
with Angelina Jolie to see what is happening. He declined in knowing that the money used to fly him out and pay for all of his expenses would be paid for by the organization, and that is not okay
Photo By: Ms. Blackhurst
Students talk with Grant Oyston, an activist who is seperating the
rumours from the facts about Joseph Kony.
What in the World?
From the crème filled Cadbury’s to the colorful, hard
boiled variety, eggs are an integral part of our spring experience
here in the Unites States. But, we’re not unique; the Chinese also
participate in this spring “egg-session.” However, the citizens
of Dongyang dye their eggs a little differently. For a springtime
snack, they prepare a delicacy called “virgin boy eggs,” which
are chicken eggs cooked in the urine of pre-pubescent boys. For
anyone interested in recreating the recipe, the eggs are soaked and
boiled in urine (collected from local schools) for an entire day
to obtain the “popular fresh and salty taste.” Talk about a treat!
According to street vendors, this recipe has been passed down
for centuries as a body-restoring remedy; apparently, the eggs
have health benefits ranging from an increase in energy to the
prevention of aches and heat stroke. However, as much as I enjoy
adventurous eating, I’ll have to side with the sanitary concerns
of Chinese medical officials. Stay away from yellow eggs in the
It’s the end of the world as we know it! Doomsday,
aka December 21, 2012, is rapidly approaching. But luckily, a
commune outside the French village of Bugarach knows exactly
how to survive this impending apocalypse; they’ll just hitch a
ride on an alien ship. Yes, that’s right; in the ultimate new age
conspiracy theory, these hippies believe that an “extraterrestrial
Noah’s Ark” is parked within a nearby mountain, the Pic de
Bugarach, and will whisk them away to safety. This odd belief is
rooted in the mountain’s strange, upside down appearance, which
has fascinated everyone from Jules Verne to the Nazis throughout
history. However, it is now causing trouble for the normal citizens
of the area, who are peeved by their new neighbors. Perhaps
influenced by the mountain’s “unique magnetic waves,” the new
agers have been spotted hiking naked and performing strange
rites, and are expected to later participate in mass, ritualistic
suicides. They’d have better luck stocking up and hiding bomb
shelters; at least they’d survive the disappointment.
Holy impersonator, Batman! In a creative attempt to
stop crime, the police of Taubate, Brazil, have hired a retired
officer, Andre Luiz Pinheiro, to patrol the streets in a full Batman
costume. They’re not a bunch of jokers, either; besides being a
public face for the police, Pinheiro’s Batman will also act as a tool
“to combat crimes such as murder and drug trafficking which
have increased” in the town in recent years. While it’s unknown if
this venture will succeed, it’s hoped to at least raise awareness of
crime prevention in the area. So even if this Batman isn’t decked
out with a bat-signal, a bat-mobile, Batarangs, and a sidekick, this
remains the most awesome idea in the history of crime fighting.
I just hope that DC Comics doesn’t get them with a copyright
These student pieces from the wide variety of PT electives show the skills of artists and photographers alike. From
painting murals to creating art through photoshop, students
exhibit their remarkable expertise by creating unique and
beautiful pieces. Here are just a few examples of the talent
found in the elective classes.
Dillon Devine, 12
Kailyn Schmidt, 11
Emily Koch, 11
Layout Design by Denée Renz
Emily Corrigan, 11
Rachel Martin, 12 and
Kate Kozlowski, 12
Reid Elattrache, 12
Kristina Carbonara, 11
What motivates you to come to
“The end of the
“I do it for the street cred”
“Graduation is in
less than a month”
“Lots of good things
to look forward to”
“The light at the
end of the tunnel”
“Students get excited and it’s funny
“I have to drive my
friends to school”
“Being with friends”
“I kind of have to”
“I come because I
“I have to get good
“Coming to do the
“So I don’t have to sit
at home all day and to
get into college”
“It’s illegal if I don’t”
“To get into a good
college and get a
“To get a good education and to make a
good life ”
“In order to be in
sports, you have to
be here at least half
“May as well