By Xavier Smith
With the new year coming and going so quickly, the most memorable way to look back on the school year is with the 2016-17 yearbook.
Each yearbook has a theme and this year’s theme is “Y[our] Story”. A theme gives the yearbook something to focus on and express through each page. Through the photographs and captions, this yearbook has a central focus on the story behind the past school year. Samantha Johnson, editor of the yearbook staff, states, “This year’s theme helps get a student perspective and share their experience”.
The Yearbook price is $75 and can be paid in the spirit store or on-line through www.jostens.com. If you pay in the spirit store, you may pay in 3 payments of $25 each.
The yearbook also has a unique feature that sets it apart from past yearbooks. Yearbook staff member, Victoria Larini, states, “I think the cover is the coolest cover we’ve had so far and I can’t wait to see people’s reaction to it”. Information regarding the special feature about the yearbook’s cover has been requested to not be disclosed yet. The only way to discover what the yearbook’s distinct feature is, is by purchasing one.
The yearbook staff provides effort into every detail of the yearbook. According to Sarai Madrigal, another editor of the yearbook staff, “The cover is the best thing by far because it took months to come up with. We went to yearbook camp and when we arrived we had no idea we’d design such a cool cover”. Yearbook staff editors spend countless hours after school editing pages and writing captions to produce an exceptional piece of work for students to value as a memento of their high school career.
Buying a yearbook enhances a student’s career by providing a way to look back on the memorable and unique experiences that they encountered. All purchases are appreciated by every member of the yearbook staff for recognizing the hard work put into every page.
The yearbook sells out every year, so don’t miss out on 2016-17 memories.
By Meghan Reynolds
When asked about your worst fear, many people talk about heights, rejection, and possibly even the dark. However, some students fear something far bigger. Failing.
From the moment students step into school, there is a heavy expectation on our shoulders. What is this expectation? To succeed. There are many different definitions for ‘failing’, especially when it comes to grades. While some students are content with C’s, others hate anything below a B, and for a fairly common reason. Self satisfaction.
An anonymous student shared that she believes that B’s are mediocre. “For me, a B is average, and anything below is failing,” she began, “the reason why I don’t accept B’s is simply because I personally believe that I am better than that.” She shared that whenever she finds a B on gradebook, she immediately tries to seek out a teacher to find out why. When I asked about the common thought that, ‘your grades define you’, she vehemently denied it. “I don’t think my grades really ‘define’ me, but it shows how well I can handle sports, and school at the same time.” She stated that while some students don’t care much about their grades, she takes them very seriously, and frequents StudentVue to keep herself in check.
In a student survey, 28.6% responded that anything below a C is considered ‘failing’, and most for the simple reason, “My parents told me so,” or, “It’s what I’ve always been taught”. Meanwhile, others shared that their grades were to go towards a scholarship, or even to make their parents proud.
Emma Dies, a sophomore, shares that she despises the sight of anything C related. She says that her family simply doesn’t accept anything below an eighty, no matter what. To Dies, failure depends on what your goal is. “B’s could be failing, but could also be an amazing grade. People have different goals.” She explains, “To me, failure is the lack of effort,” B or higher. Grades don’t define you, but they will affect you in the future. She explained that letter grade wise- C’s are essentially a ‘failure’. Dies says, “I always think that I can do better. Whenever I get a C,I know I can be better,”
While there are some students that always aim for A’s and B’s, there are some students that believe firmly in the motto, “D’s get degrees”. While they’re certainly not wrong, they tend to have a much different view on their grades.
Freshman Jason Williams revealed that though his parents are not very fond of low grades, and will, ‘totally flip out’, he doesn't particularly mind them. He says that though he doesn’t like them, he doesn’t exactly hate them either. Like others, Williams explained his definition of failing. “Failing is 59 or below, I mean, an F is failing.” Despite initial thoughts, Williams doesn’t believe in the saying that ‘D’s get degrees’, particularly because he doesn’t really want to go to college. I then asked if he felt that his grades defined him. To this, Jason shook his head, “No,” he began, “You can not care about school, but still care about the people around you.”
Despite meeting with three vastly different students, there seemed to be a common consensus. Nobody wants to ‘fail’ in their own way. What is failing? Failing is what you make of it. There isn’t a specific grade that indicates failure, failure is what you think it is. Bearing this in mind, allow me to ask you. What is failing to you?
By Meghan Reynolds
Dismissal. Every student craves the sweet sound of the final bell, however, teachers do not always feel the same. Often times, teachers are preoccupied with their… extra curricular activities.
It’s not a surprise that teachers are often held up at school, but the question remains of how long they remain on campus. Other students wonder just what exactly takes place that requires so much time. In a survey, 32.6% of teachers shared that they actually return home between three to four, only 11.6% are fortunate enough to leave at the bell, and 30.2% stay late into the afternoon.
Given that such few teachers are able to escape school right at the bell, I was unable to locate a teacher with this luxury. Thus, I have instead interviewed two teachers that usually leave school before sundown.
One such teacher is Dave Wagner, a new chemistry teacher on campus. Mr. Wagner’s policy is that work should never mingle with your home life. Mr. Wagner usually returns home between three and four, but it wasn’t always like that. He explains that he originally left school early to work at home, but quickly found that the line between work and home was becoming blurred. Between juggling work and his children, he found himself very unhappy. “That was eight years ago,” he begins, “Now I stay [at school] until I’m done so that when I return home, it’s all about life, and zero about work.”
Mr. Wagner explained that he always takes care of his grading at school, but late work is usually left for the end of the week. I asked about the students and parents that may be incredibly displeased with his mindset, but he replied saying that the parents (at least) usually understand where he’s coming from after a simple explanation, and that students just have to learn to turn assignments in on time.
Alison Wood, a Spanish teacher on campus, shared that she usually returns home between four and five, but is no stranger to the later hours. She shared that she sometimes stays until late into the hours of night working, and even coming in on weekends to finish work. She even mentioned that she has occasionally stayed until ten at night grading. Ms. Wood explains that she spends most of her after school time grading, preparing lessons, and occasionally procrastinating. Angry students haven’t been much of an issue with Ms. Wood. She says that parents are more impatient with her than students, to which she explains that like any teacher, she has a policy on work, and that is that she grades on her time, just as students do work on their time, “I have a life, and I do have about 170 students,” she explains.
On top of late hours and weekend work, I asked if Ms. Wood brings her work home, to which she responded, “I often take a large chunk of work home, mostly grading,” she began, “but I find it easier to do it here. While I’m at home, I find a lot of things… ‘easier’ to do,” she finished, with a smile. She then began to list off easier ‘things’ that even students enjoy doing, watching the tube, napping, eating, and many other things.
While students often hear stories of teachers staying late, there’s never much evidence of it. I sought out a teacher who coached, knowing full well that practices normally ended at about five. Wrestling season is currently in full swing, thus, I interviewed Christopher Jaurigue, the current wrestling coach, and an English teacher for both freshmen and sophomores. I was shocked when I learned that Mr. Jaurigue usually returns home around eight at night.
Mr. Jaurigue says that wrestling begins at three, ends at five, and the rest of the time is dedicated to lesson plans, grading, and responding to emails. If there is any leftover work, it’s usually packed up and taken home. “I do 80% of my grading at home. It’s bad, I know.” Mr. Jaurigue admitted, and after hearing this, I asked if he felt that wrestling ever got in the way of his teaching, to this, Mr. Jaurigue said, “Not ever, I’m always a teacher before a coach. Coaching is my responsibility, but teaching is my job.”
While I only interviewed three of the many teachers in our school, there are still many with duties to fulfill and grades to insert. Unfortunately, many students put a lot of pressure on teachers, many of which are unbeknownst to the extra hours our teachers and staff put in for all of their classes. While it may be frustrating when we see that our grade remains unchanged, or that our teachers forgot to capitalize on a lesson plan or homework, we should remember that just like there’s the stress of student, there’s also the stress of being a teacher.
By Xavier Smith
This upcoming Valentine’s Day can either be the most anticipated or most dreaded by students. Either way, candy is still on sale for everyone who’s bearing the pain of loneliness.
The most frequent concern among people on Valentine’s Day is whether or not they will be spending it alone. Statistics according to www.statsiticbrain.com conclude that 38.2 percent of people don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. People do not participate in the celebration of Valentine’s Day because some believe that the holiday’s purpose is redundant.
Ethan Neiswanger, a Sophomore, stated, “Although it’s associated with love that’s mostly viewed relationship wise, there are different kinds of love. Like with family and friends”. It is a commonly shared belief that Valentine’s Day only applies to the love of a significant other. This belief leaves many to feel that without a boyfriend or girlfriend, they are alone and have no purpose in celebrating the holiday.
In a student poll, the majority answered that they will be alone this holiday. Those who answered No, either had a friend as a valentine or their boyfriend or girlfriend.
Because of the ideal that Valentine’s Day only applies to those with a boyfriend or girlfriend, students see little importance in the holiday. Elizabeth Curtin, a sophomore, stated, “I don’t see what's so special about Valentine’s Day, since love can be celebrated everyday”. Students view the holiday as redundant and unnecessary when other occasions such as anniversaries exist.
Samuel Hobbs, a junior, states, “Personally, I feel that it’s not necessary, but I do feel that it’s a nice way to show the person you love that you always will”. Despite students believing that the holiday is unneeded, there are those who see romance and individuality in its festivities.
This Valentine’s Day, it is critical for those who are alone to keep in mind that love is not exclusive to one day and neither is it exclusive to one person. Holidays are not meant for melancholy speeches about the pain of isolation. Even with the absence of a significant other, there are others to share love with.
by Nakaiya Alston-Hardnick
Do you have a New Year’s resolution? (left) 25% said no, 75% said yes
Guys we made it! 2016 is over and were walking in to 2017! Now it’s time to build ourselves up for another bumpy year, and what better way to do that than doing it with a New Year’s Resolution.
New Year’s Resolutions are a common tradition in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior.
The ancient Babylonians are the first to make New Year’s resolutions, they would have a 12 day religious festival they called Akitu. The Babylonians crowned a new king or gave their loyalty to their reigning king.They made promises to their gods, and if the kept their promises, the gods would bestow favor on them in the coming year. If they didn’t, they would fall out of the gods favor.
Students resolutions include: get better grades, focus in school, graduate, have more friends, become more popular.
Why don’t we hear some of the New Year’s resolutions that some of our fellow Broncos have made.
“My New Year’s resolution is to get better grades and to save up for my dream car, a Range Rover.”, says Freshman Roman Juarez.
I know getting better grades is hard, and maintaining the grade you want is even harder, and to get the ball rolling on that is to do your homework continuously. That helped me get into the rhythm of doing my school/ homework.
. I asked Roman if he will you keep up with his resolution. He said, “Yes I will; if I don’t, what am I going to drive?”
I also asked Roman what part of his resolution would be the hardest, which he replied “Definitely the Range Rover part”
Senior Alex Ardila said that his resolution was to start fresh and have no problems. “Probably will be hard, temptations, but you gotta stay on track”, he said.
Junior Imani Nettles wants to do really well in track this year. “It’s difficult sometimes to get up and run in the Arizona heat.”
English Teacher Mr. Jaurigue said, “To be a better teacher and be better prepared. Also try to separate my work life from my personal life,I know it sounds bad but it’s not what I mean.”
Mr. Jaurigue explains what he means by separating his two lives. ”My work life takes up so much of my time it’s hard to separate the two.”
Keeping up with resolutions can be tough, here are a few tips so you can keep up with them all year.
1.Reminder! Mark it on your calendar, so you are reminded of what your goals are.
2.Are you motivated? Is this goal of yours what you want to accomplish?
3.Overwhelmed. Don’t make a two page resolution 2 or 3 is just fine.
Happy New Year Broncos!
And Remember, Stay Bronco Strong!
By Xavier Smith
An advertisement of the upcoming school play, The Curious Savage. -Photo taken by Xavier Smith.
After the holiday season, everyone’s wallet grew a little larger. Is there any better way to spend some money than seeing an upcoming school play?
The upcoming play “The Curious Savage”, is a play produced by the theatre program under the direction of Mrs. Stahl. According to Mrs. Stahl, the play will be performed on January 26-28th. Admission is five dollars for students and staff and seven dollars for general admission.
“The Curious Savage” is a play that centers around five patients that are in a mental institution or “Mad House”. These five are referred to as “The Cloisters”, and they have a new patient joining them. The name of this new patient is Mrs. Savage. She was placed in the institution because her children insisted that she was going crazy for making a memorial fund for her late husband. The play is full of humor and a couple of plot twists that are sure to catch viewers off guard.
When asked about how she felt about the play, Paige Sorenson, cast member, said, “I have really enjoyed being able to be apart of this amazing play and being able to be apart of such an amazing cast and crew. I can’t wait for people to come and enjoy it”.
The cooperation of everyone in the theatre program takes immense work and dedication to contribute to a successful performance. Caleb Janicki, cast member, had this to say the theatre program, “One [thing amazing about doing theatre is] being how close the cast is- it feels like we are a family rather than individuals. We all care about one another on and off stage. Another major thing about Theatre is how open everyone is and how able everyone is to talk about problems they are having in their lives. People are able to do this because they know that we won't judge them or tell them that their problems are minuscule or unimportant”.
The theatre program has swiftly created a strong, passionate, and caring group of students who are devoted to bringing wonderful stagings.
With such a large and vibrant cast of characters both on and off stage, tuning in to see “The Curious Savage” is one of the many experiences that a student should be apart of as a school community. Don’t forget to support Poston Butte’s Theatre Troupe’s performance from January 26-28.
By Meghan Reynolds
Just a bit of what Method Test Prep has to offer, as seen on the website. (Photo taken by Meghan Reynolds)
Students were recently required to sign up for Method Test Prep, a program to help prepare students for SAT, and ACT. But exactly how well has it been received?
Method Test Prep (MTP) was developed mainly to help students learn testing techniques and prepare for SAT and ACT. MTP boasts many programs, all of which cater to the different needs and learning speeds of students. In order to keep on top of the tests, the staff of MTP take the SAT and ACT to keep all content up to date, and frequently update.
To help better understand, and (attempt) find any gems within Method Test Prep, I sent out a survey, and received a lot of interesting feedback. While many students expressed a disdain for MTP, some students still provided a few reasons why the program isn’t all that bad. Some students commented on the program helping with subjects, and properly helping to prepare students for tests. Many students commented that some subjects are easier to understand even going so far as to say that subjects are significantly easier to comprehend on the program than in the classroom.
However, on the flip side, One survey taker mentioned that it was pointless for seniors to be taking the test when they had already completed ACTs. There are also many students saying that the timer on MTP often causes high anxiety, and that the work just adds extra time to students’ schedule.
An example of this is Isabel Garrido, a sophomore. Garrido expressed that she very rarely feels anxiety during tests, and accidentally skipped over the fact that the quiz was timed. When she had realized her error, she sheepishly admitted to quickly choosing random answers. She then said that she felt frustration, mainly because she had to repeat the quiz for a better score, especially because she’s “obsessed with A’s.”
Senior Haleigh Lewis, expressed her fundamental issues with Method Test Prep to me, saying that the idea of MTP seems great, but it was executed in a very poor way. Lewis said that some of her teachers could care less about the grading of MTP, but some do, ultimately adding more to the work pile that students have. And for what? “It would be nice if there was a standard. Either you grade the MTPs, or you don’t. If you do, how frequently do you them?” Lewis also brought up the point that not all people want to attend college. In this case, why would those people waste time practicing for a test they’ll never take?
While regular students might cry about MTP, AP students are also shedding their share. The workload for AP students is already a hefty burden, and adding onto the load by throwing MTP into the mix can be quite detrimental. As one AP student mentioned, Method Test Prep is more work to just toss on to a student’s agenda, especially with the unrelenting work from teachers.
However, there is another valid point brought up by senior Samantha Johnson, who mentions that Method Test Prep is entirely pointless for seniors, who have already completed both the ACT and SATs. Johnson even takes it a step further, saying that underclassmen don’t even need it. “...if they (underclassmen) actually took it seriously, it would help a lot more, but we all know that they don’t.”
Regardless of what us students say, there is a little chance that Method Test Prep will just disappear. Especially if there are results, and changes in scores after each of these tests. But the real question is, what are we REALLY prepping for?
By: Faith Mcgee
Photo Credit: Faith Mcgee
Sweep isn’t being taken seriously.
Some students think of it as a way to get out of class and a way to get out of doing their work.
A majority of students that go to sweep either go on purpose, have never been before, or have been there for tardiness. Sweep is supposed to be a place that students go if they don’t get to class on time or if their teachers decide to send them there for being defiant, but some say that it’s being abused.
When going to the sweep room the other day, to further investigate, there was about 6-7 people in there.I had the opportunity to interviewed 3 students. The first person I interviewed was Dave Steel, a security guard who sometimes manages sweep. He shared, “We take the kids, they sit there and behave. We may be stern, but we’re friendly.” He expressed that there can even be anywhere from 3-10 kids in sweep every hour and sometimes 20 or more on Thursdays.
Anthony Perrone, a freshman, shares, “I've been to sweep about 18 times”. Curious, I asked him if he goes to sweep on purpose. He replied with a no, but he also shared that he felt no feeling of guilt or motivation to be proactive in sweep. Shaelyn landis-ku, a sophomore, was the final person of questioning. When I spoke, it was her first time in sweep. and she said she had not purposefully came to sweep, and she had no intention of coming back again.
What I learned from speaking with these students, is that some of them don't go to sweep on purpose to get out of class and to get out of their work. Many students were just late to class, but once they get to sweep they don't do the work they are supposed to be doing for the class they are were swept for. which is why sweep in pointless because the kids sit there and do nothing.
All of this concludes with my simple opinion as to why I think that sweep is pointless. There doesn’t seem to be a genuine reason to have students sit in a room, while they could be learning. Considering how many students are swept solely on the fact that they are late, I believe that in order to be Bronco Strong, we must be in class.
By Miku Nelinger
The following documents include tests and notes that Honors Math/English Sophomores take (Photo By Miku Nelinger)
In today’s education system, a frequent question students ask in class is ‘why do we need to learn this?’ and Common Core can be to blame.
As of the current way schools across America teach, majority of the U.S. follow state standards known commonly as Common Core - standards in Math and English that the states believe is beneficial to its students on a national level- wherever you are in America.
Following math and english standards, each grade level has has an initiative that “ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to take credit bearing introductory courses in two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce” as said by the official Common Core website.
In a public poll presented by CNS.com, as of last year, less than 50% of educators and America support Common Core, which shows a dramatic change in the popular vote versus governmental guidelines.
Much of the controversy comes from how preparable or relevant the standards are in order to help students nationwide. Many backlash/stigmas are majorly portrayed as having lack of reality and asking the question: what do we need to learn?
Math teacher Mr. Svedin holds mixed feelings about Common Core. While supporting Common Core for reasons like out-of-state transfers, probable necessities, and effort, Svedin also sees difficulty from Common Core.
“Every classroom of students is a mixed bag of personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and interactions so it is extremely difficult to keep one school full of geometry classes (just as an example) on the same page,”
Junior Imani Nettles, someone who sees both the good and the bad, notes, “The idea was good and well-meaning.”
“It's not the source of all evil in the education system.” However important they can be, Nettles points out that it left “many children behind… it was called the "No Child Left Behind Act". I don't think the Department of Education meant to be so heavy on the irony.”
Since its implementation, Forbes.com wrote “test scores on the Common Core-aligned tests were down significantly” with states like Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware and New Mexico taking a major toll on their education practices.
Raymond Bailey, a sophomore who truly opposes Common Core, was victimized based on state standing. Moving to Arizona, he struggled in his Pre-Algebra class, especially on tests, “because my work wasn't formatted to Common Core standards. Not only was I being taught for the test, I was being told how to think.”
“Assuming people learn the same way and restricting the teacher on their ability to modify a lesson to appeal to a group of students learning style is not the way of going about things. The curriculum is also too aggressive for a real, ordinary, average, classroom,” says Bailey, critiquing just what it means to get a normal education.
However, Mr. Svedin also added, “to say things like, “I don’t care about this subject because I will never use it” is short-sighted, lazy, and irresponsible thinking.”
As a teacher, Svedin will do his job ensuring that he’ll teach students what they must do, and that there are the benefits in learning something like math.
“I highly doubt that you will ever have to expand a seventh-degree polynomial ever in your life, but learning the process trains your mind…” continues Svedin, “using patterns to solve fairly difficult problems, to think analytically, to use your resources, to persevere when faced with difficulty, to look for more efficient solutions to problems, and to think algorithmically/logically... are HIGHLY marketable job skills.”
The purpose of education, is met with exercising of the mind. To prepare oneself “morally, creatively, and productively.” In the end, it’s met with great encouragement to know what’s best for you and the others around you.
Many hate what the Common Core stands for; others praise it for the necessities met in growth mentally. All three interviewed gave substitutes for the difficult testing, regarding teacher’s class, concept, and purpose.
But, in the end, whether life skills, complex analyzation skills, or english ring importance, one thing to remember is: “hope that people will not rush to demonize an idea just because it is hard to do, it seems different from what they are used to, or because they do not understand it.” - Svedin.
By Xavier Smith
5th Hour Band Students (Photo by Xavier Smith)
At the end of the year everyone anticipates one thing: Christmas. One aspect of Christmas that is adored by many is the sound of the holiday music bringing joy.
These melodies are also produced by the school’s music program. There was a recent concert on December sixth. At the concert there were performances from the concert, jazz, orchestra, and choir members. There was also a jazz performance on December eighth both taking place at Copper Basin. After these successful performances, it is put into question how the students apart of the music program are able to cooperate and perform with fine quality.
In an interview with Wendy Lopez-Delgado, a member of the music program who plays the trumpet and trombone, stated, “the band kids know what makes music sound good, and they know how to make the music meaningful. If a piece is meant to be sad, happy, mysterious, or any emotion you can think of, they are able to play it with that same emotion”. Many members of specific components of band have been playing since they were in elementary school. Wendy Lopez-Delgado and other band members will agree that the years of experience pay off and draw in large crowds for their performances.
With such a large group of members, conflict is only to be expected. However, according to Angela Thongpay, a member of jazz band who plays saxophone, claims the groups manage to work together peacefully. In an interview, she stated, “the best part of performing as a group with the team effort we have is that everyone supports one another & tries to help each other improve on their instruments”. The group’s ability to aid one another in areas they may struggle is what Angela Thongpay believes makes an extraordinary performance at concerts.
In an interview with John Woode, the band instructor, he states that, “The reason as to why band members cooperate well is because they are all working towards the same end goal. That goal is to perform the best that they can at all times. If one member doesn’t do what they are supposed to then the group suffers”. According to John Woode, the group is graded off of their ability to work together. Being required to band together is imperative to the grade of all participating in class. What bonds students apart of band so closely is their similar interest of improving their grade, their joy of music, and the experience they share together.