The Future of The Patriot Press
By: Daniela Paris and Shelby Salisbury
As the 2018-2019 school year draws to a close, The Patriot Press moves along as well. The newspaper experienced a great year with many published issues relating to student life, news, and school sports. As the staff looks on to next year, they hope to continue the paper's legacy for the 2019-2020 school year.
The staff will leave behind an amazing group of seniors that served as the paper's editors, layout editors, and freelance writers for the duration of their high school careers. Neda Dabbagh and Sam Carnes worked as editors for the paper, making executive decisions for articles and assignments. Emylia Rosario worked on layout editing and perfected the paper's layout so each issue could look flawless. Grace Twomey wrote various freelance articles throughout the years, and also created The Patriot Press's beautiful header. Loryn Boorstein contributed to the paper through freelance articles, including articles on the Sports & Health page and the News page. The staff and Mrs. Briggs will miss these wonderful writers as they move on to the next step in life, and would like to wish them luck for their future.
The continuing staff will be composed of co-editor Shelby Salisbury (rising 12th), co-editor Daniela Paris (rising 11th), and content editor Julia Rowland (rising 11th), as well as various new staff members who will join in the fall. They hope to continue publishing articles and building up an online presence on social media and this website. They also would love to hear from their readers.
What do you want to see in The Patriot Press? Please take the survey below to let us know your thoughts.
Student Elections: Get to Know the Candidates
By: Daniela Paris
Q1: Why did you decide to run?
Zedrique: Mainly I feel like I'm a good representation of a lot of people at my school. A lot of people said I'm a fun person and thought I should run, so that was a big influence for why I started running, and also I did it last year. So I enjoyed STUCO and decided, why not go for it again this year?
Brayden: I decided to run because I really want to make the school the best it can be. I'm involved in a lot of the activities here, and I know ways we can make it better and how to reach out to people. I really love the school, I really love being here, I really love being involved in things, so I want to help the best I can.
Q2: Have you held any positions in STUCO or other organizations?
Zedrique: I was the junior class president. That was my first time running. I was debating on doing it beforehand for my sophomore year, but I kind of just fell on the opportunity, and this year I was just like, why not go for it?
Brayden: Yeah! People know that freshman year, I was all about fixing the water fountains, and I did, doesn't matter what people say about it, I did. I was also class president my sophomore year.
Q3: If you're elected, what would you do to improve the school?
Zedrique: For the school, I don't know exactly what I would do yet, considering, after learning from a year what we're able to do at STUCO, but I know I could bring a lot more creativity to the school for things like homecoming, different events, with things like Valentine's day with passing out the card and things like that, and just different things to help improve school spirit and things like that.
Brayden: I think that the best way STUCO can serve the school is by increasing participation in school events and making the events we already have the most fun it can be...We don't have a lot of leeway of like extra stuff we can add, but what we can do is make spirit weeks, make prom, make homecoming, make the traditions we're building, the best they can be.
Q4: Why should students vote for you?
Zedrique: If you know me, or a lot of my friends, you know how involved I am in the school. I take part in things like DECA, I'm part of the baseball team. I'm just very involved, and UNIFY, and I find that I have a good representation of the students around me.
Brayden: Students should vote for me because I have experience with leading, I have experience with reaching out to people, I have experience planning things and making things really good and really fun... That's kind of what this campaign is all about, making things more fun, because...especially my senior class, we're supposed to be leaders. We should be at the forefront of everything, having that school spirit, showing up at like the Patriot Pit at football games and basketball games, and just being at the forefront of the most fun things we can do at school.
Q5: What qualities or qualifications make you capable of being a leader?
Zedrique: I show a lot of initiative in my work. I feel like I'm pretty charismatic at times. I just have a tendency to, I'm not afraid to go and take things that might seem out of the norm.
Brayden: I've held leadership positions in a lot of clubs, I think I've done a good job with it. I was freshman and sophomore class president, so I kind of know how our STUCO has been built up, and the best way to run things and get things done.
Why did you decide to run?
I decided to run because I've done Student Council since...Well, I ran my freshman year for the sophomore year. It's not what I expected at all. I didn't know how much they did, and I really liked being part of it, because I like our school and I liked being able to help around and help teachers and help make the events we have at school the best they can be.
What positions did you have in STUCO or any other organization?
In Student council sophomore year, I was class rep. This year, I am student body parliamentarian. I'm also the secretary of NHS and president of Spanish Honor Society, and a committee member in Project Unify.
You're currently running unopposed, but if there were someone running against you, why should students vote for you?
I think students should vote for me because I'm really dedicated, and since I've done it all these other years, I kind of know how Student Council runs. I really enjoy it; it's just something that's always been a passion of mine, so that's a really big reason. To be successful in Student Council, it's all about whether or not your really want to be there, and I want to be there to help out.
What qualities make you capable of having this leadership position?
I think I'm really outgoing, which is important to be in Student council, because you have to have a lot of different interactions with people, especially within the club. I also feel like I'm not afraid to be a leader and help out, but I'm also okay with letting other people do that too, if they are more qualified than me.
What Do Students Want From STUCO?
By: Daniela Paris
As summer and a new school year approach, students will start thinking of who they want in Student Council. Candidates for a range of positions including student representatives, secretaries, treasurers, and more will submit their applications to Ms. Wooten in room 2231 by May 10th. On the 24th, class president and vice president candidates and student body president candidates will give speeches to all grade levels in the auditorium, and on the 29th during homeroom, voting will commence for STUCO 2019-20. Read on to find out what issues AFHS students want Student Council to tackle next year.
"From what it seems, they only organize events. They need to have more of an impact rather than just [being] a figurehead. Try and fix the bathrooms because especially the male locker room bathroom, it's disgusting, and we need a lot of help to get that not as bad. Try and fix the ceiling tiles in the other locker room for the guys. Try and make sure we have enough soap in the bathrooms because oh boy. I prefer if we have soap."
"One issue I think student council could work on next year is the girl's bathroom because the locks are often broken and they're only maybe two or three working at one time, and sometimes the sinks are ripped out, so I can't wash my hands, and a few times there hasn't been toilet paper either."
"I would say advocating for the changes that the school needs, especially in repairs, I think they may have said something about that last year about fixing the girl's bathroom, but that never got fixed, and the issues about vaping in bathrooms, and just things that need to be called to the attention of the administrators to make a change for the students."
By: Shelby Salisbury
Mother's Day falls on May 12th. Moms work very hard for their children. They help in so many ways, from homework help, to making dinner, to being someone to confide in. Moms make the world go round, and motivate their children to do their best. Don't forget about a mom, and make sure to appreciate her this Mother's Day.
Taking care of children, especially young children, tends to be challenging for teachers. Babies have a lot of needs and can be demanding. A few teachers at AFHS have babies and many have toddlers.
Mrs. Werts, a science teacher at Apex Friendship, recently welcomed a daughter into the world. Currently on maternity leave, Mrs. Werts shared her experience being a mother and teacher. "The hardest part about being both a teacher and a mom is the time commitment and passion/energy that both jobs take. Sometimes it doesn't seem like there are enough hours in the day to be a truly great teacher for all of my students and to spend enough time with my family as well (without burning out before the end of the day)."
However, while the demands of teaching and mothering can take a toll, Mrs. Werts said, "The very best part of being a mom is watching my daughter grow and change every day as she forms her personality. She has just started smiling and is the MOST adorable little baby I have ever seen."
Mrs. Lawless, another science teacher at Apex Friendship also recently returned from maternity leave. According to Mrs. Lawless, the hardest part about being both a teacher and a mom becomes "Maximizing my efficiency at school because when I go home, it is hard to get anything school related done!" The best part about being a mom according to Mrs. Lawless proves to be, "experiencing life through a child's fresh, new perspective."
Mrs. McClellan feels the challenge of being the "best mom and the best teacher that I can, but there is not enough time in each day to do everything that I need to do." According to McClellan, "Watching my daughter grow and learn new things is the best."
Pats Take New York City
By: Grace Twomey
During the first weekend in April, over seventy performing arts students from AFHS traveled to New York City for a weekend of Broadway shows, professional workshops, and a once in a lifetime performance.
Students saw two Broadway shows, Come From Away and Mean Girls. Come From Away tells the story of a small Canadian town where several planes had to be redirected after the government closed American airspace on 9/11. Mean Girls, based on the movie of the same name, follows a teenage girl who moves to the midwest from Africa, and infiltrates the popular group.
Not only did AFHS students get to see these shows, they also got to attend exclusive workshops from actors in those shows as well as actors from other Broadway shows, such as Frozen, The Book of Mormon, and Wicked. Students learned choreography and songs from the shows as well as getting opportunities to ask the actors questions about their experiences on Broadway. Megan Hogan, a senior in theatre, said "it was really cool to learn from actual Broadway professionals. I think if I had to choose a favorite part, it was going to see the Broadway shows."
On Friday, April 5th, select AFHS students got the opportunity to sing in the famous Saint Patrick's Cathedral under the direction of the chorus teacher, Ms. Gustely. The trip combined students from advanced theatre, dance, chorus, and technical theatre classes, but any student going on the trip could audition for the performance.
Students also toured Radio City Music Hall and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and got the opportunity to explore many parts of the city including Times Square, Chinatown, and Little Italy. Carly Mann, a senior in theatre, said her favorite part of the trip "was being able to see the history of New York and experience it with [her] best friends."
Students got brief opportunities to explore different parts of the city with their chaperone groups as well. Danielle Lomi, a senior in theatre, said, "my group and I figured out what we wanted to do in advance, so we walked down to Rockefeller Center and went ice skating. We didn't know this until later, but it happened to be the last day the rink was open for the season, so there were a lot of professional skaters dressed up and practicing for the last time of the year. It was just a really cool experience to check off my bucket list and to be around friends made it even better."
By: Daniela Paris
Since opening in 2015, Apex Friendship High has become home to many clubs. Over forty clubs, listed on the school website, provide spaces for students to gather and grow specific interests. Most meet during STAR lunch, but some meet after school or on weekends for outings and projects. The clubs span topics from writing, to fashion, to politics, and even K-pop. Some serve academic purposes: WISE, or Women in Science and Engineering, strives to give young women interested in STEM an inclusive environment. In Speech and Debate club, students compete in tournaments with original or interpretation speeches, or debate students from other schools. Other clubs share cultures: Cultural Appreciation Club, Muslim Student Association, and Hispanic Community Club, among others, allow students to celebrate their backgrounds. AFHS certainly has a club for everyone.
However, some clubs may be in danger. Following reports of low attendance and students creating clubs simply for officer positions and college credit, faculty in charge of clubs at AFHS have decided to cut the amount of clubs that will be allowed to continue next year. Club presidents met during the day with Ms. Wooten and Mrs. Freed on a rotating basis in Ms. Wooten's room, and created Google Sheets shared with them and club advisers to track how many members participate in each meeting. The spreadsheets will allow faculty to determine what clubs to cut.
The new guidelines have already affected some clubs. Two of these, Environmental Club and American Meteorological Club, came up with a unique solution after being told they could no longer continue because they had too few members. Environmental Club, for one, asked faculty for an extension to get club attendance back up. Lauren Wallace, a senior and president of the Environmental Club, said, "We basically just talked to a lot of people in class and told them our situation, and told them what Environmental Club does, and that helped us get our membership got back up. I was really surprised and happy that the school supported us and came to more club meetings."
Meteorology Club, which focuses on "tracking and forecasting atmospheric conditions by using the meteorological infrastructure we installed on campus, conducting experiments, and collaborating with professionals," merged into a subcommittee within Environmental Club due to the clubs' somewhat overlapping topics. The merger will allow both clubs to continue next year.
When asked her opinion on the club cuts, Wallace said, "I think it's a case by case basis. I know that it's good to have a large school presence, but also there are clubs that are more niche and just because they're niche doesn't mean they don't have an important role in the school. There are groups that need to have a place in the school even though they don't have a lot of membership."
Alternative Spring Break
By: Shelby Salisbury
Spring break presents a time for going to the beach, visiting family, and travelling to another state in the U.S., but not everyone spends spring break on American soil. Some people travel internationally. Several students from AFHS prepare for their unique spring break travels.
One of the major trips relates to the French exchange students. Some of the students who have taken French take the opportunity to travel to France and live with a host family. The trip creates a special chance to learn more about the culture in France and learn about the French language. Students find a great opportunity for a foreign adventure. Along with fun comes an academic gain as well; the trip creates a great learning environment with tons of friends.
Some students from AFHS will also be travelling to Iceland: an island in the Atlantic Ocean that has cold weather for days. A small group of students get the chance to explore the country with Ms. Rundhammer. On the trip they will get to sight-see and hike through the country. The trip advances opportunities for learning about the country of Iceland and creating a project based on the experiences of the trip.
"[I'm looking forward to] going to Paris, and just going to the school in France. Just seeing what they do in France and how they go to class and view how it's different. I feel it will be like a cultural shock just seeing how different it is. I feel that it would be really cool seeing how it is in France."
"I just like going to new places and stuff, cause I don't get to travel like outside that much. I heard it is really pretty so the activities and stuff."
"I look forward to spending time with my French student and to really learning about French Culture and going to the French schools. [I look forward to] seeing the differences between France and America."
Is the Patriot Press in Danger?
By: Daniela Paris
Widely accepted as the first continuously published newspaper in British North America, the Boston News-Letter published its first issue on April 24, 1704. Three hundred fifteen years later, the journalism industry has spread to thousands of daily newspapers, hundreds of local TV channels, and dozens of mass media conglomerates that operate across magazines, papers, internet sites, and social media to disseminate the news. With these sources, citizens across the United States have received information they can trust from credible sources for years. However, journalism faces a pressing problem: with readership moving from print to online, how do they adjust to the demand of free, twenty-four hour news without a drop in quality?
Journalism today faces many problems, from the abstract fear that media today moves continuously towards biased reporting, to the more pressing issue of how to sell ad space online. Biased reporting, or as President Donald Trump calls it, "Fake News", presents the first problem. The phrase entered the public view in 2016 with the Trump presidential campaign, during which the campaigner (and future president) repeatedly bashed the media for allegedly spreading this fake news. In one instance, he called the press an "enemy of the people", according to the The Atlantic. This casual name calling, while seemingly harmless at first, may spell out a threat to journalism's credibility. In an article titled "Not Praising Trump is Fake News" from The Washington Post, journalist Erik Wempie argues that in calling media sources that don't agree with him "fake news", Trump threatens the fabric of trust between the public and media organizations, and threatens the very obligation that those media organizations have to honest criticism.
A second threat to journalism, more pressing to AFHS's own Patriot Press, and local college newspapers like The Daily Tar Heel, can be found in the cost of print media versus online media. According to Vox, "Older Americans are newspapers' most loyal readers, while people born after 1980 largely don't subscribe to newspapers. So each year, a few million newspaper readers die and are not replaced by new readers." Today's readers have overwhelmingly flocked to the internet for their source of news. And why not? Why pay for an outdated, daily newspaper when any news of interest can be obtained in seconds online? The problem, of course, involves newspaper revenue. Online news sites, most of which don't put up paywalls, don't receive nearly as much profit as newspapers did when in full swing. Ads online make up for some, but not enough, of the profit lost from daily newspaper editions. Yet, the public expects the media to keep up with a constant news cycle, with less money to pay reporters.
Without newspapers and news organizations to disseminate the news, democracy becomes endangered. According to the American Press Institute, journalism provides citizens with "the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments". Even the famous Washington Post concurs with this line of thought: the newspaper's motto, "democracy dies in darkness," resides in a prominent spot on their website. It means that without the spread of credible information that journalism provides, citizens cannot remain informed and make educated decisions when voting, and democracy "dies".
With the problems journalism faces, it comes to no surprise that hundreds of newspapers have had to shut down. Newspaperownership.com keeps a list of daily papers that have recently merged, closed down, or shifted to weeklies. The list, started in 2004, includes hundreds of entries, including the Tampa Tribune (closed), the Daily Review (merged), and the New York Sun (closed).
At Apex Friendship, The Patriot Press struggles to continue its print edition. Ads, hard to come by, largely pay for the bi-monthly paper's editions. In addition, the paper has had to cut its production per issue from 100 copies to 75 copies to keep up with the rising prices of print shops. The paper also maintains a website, patriotpress.webnode.com. However Mrs. Briggs, the newspaper teacher, expressed optimism: "I don't think journalism is going to cease to exist, it'll just exist in a new form," she said. For now, the print edition of The Patriot Press remains safe, despite looming threats in the future.
How Students See STAR Lunch
By: Daniela Paris
From students not using time wisely to vandalizing the bathrooms, Apex Friendship's faculty has come forward with a sizable number of concerns surrounding the school's lunch schedule, STAR lunch. Mr. Wight and the school's staff have put together some possible solutions, but what does the school as a whole have to say about what happens during STAR Lunch?
"My sister's coming here next year, so even though I won't be here myself, I still care. For me, I don't think I've had lunch in the cafeteria since my freshman year; not only is it easier for me and my friends to eat lunch in a teacher's classroom, it's really helpful to be able to stay in the classroom both halves to work on that stuff. Hypothetically, if it were possible to figure out who it was that was doing [the vandalism], they could strip them of STAR lunch because they're the ones that are not respecting it, but I know that's easier said than done."
"It's a place where I can hang out with friends, and I get all my homework done that I may not have had time to do because I do sports...[They should make it] more of you have to get to a class, rather than walking around, and that kind of leads to the vandalism that you're talking about."
"I think lunch is a super social time. For a solution, just having more areas for kids to go and hangout. A lot of times when I want a quiet place to go I go to the library, and it's packed, and a lot of those people aren't working. So if they had a lot of focused areas like specifically for kids who want to work."
"I think [STAR lunch] is a good concept. A solution could be harsher punishments. Take away STAR lunch from kids who aren't using it correctly. You know, tell the teachers of those kids in second period to escort those kids to detention if they're not going, or something like that."
By: Sam Carnes
The month of March marks National Women's Month; established in 1987, March honors women and contributions made towards women. Many remarkable women have contributed thoroughly to history, especially in the advancement of civil rights.
Born in 1964, Senator Kamala Harris became the second African-American woman and the first South Asian American to be elected into the United States Senate, according to biography.com. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, she announced her candidacy for the upcoming presidential race in 2020, which will remain in history forever. She began her political career back in 2010, when she emerged as the state attorney general for California.
Constance Wu, an award winning actress, can be recognized as an activist for Asian-American representation in Hollywood. Best known for her role in Crazy Rich Asians, the first major Hollywood film in 25 years with an all Asian cast, Wu has never been hesitant to speak up for what she believes in. She spoke against the decision to cast Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell back in 2017 when the character had originally been Japanese.
Jameela Jamil, born in Britain to Pakistani parents, portrays the character Tahani Al-Jamil on The Good Place. As well as being an actress, she also models and participates in activism. She joined a campaign with Aerie, a brand by American Eagle, that centers around body positivity and includes women of color, plus sized women, and women with disabilities.
Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States, lawyer, Chicago city administrator and community worker, advocated for many issues. She encouraged national service, helped women balance career and family, and supported military families according to biography.com. During her days at the White House, she volunteered at shelters and soup kitchens, as well as appearing in schools, where she encouraged and advocated education.
All of these women have advocated for what they believe in and have changed the world with their remarkable actions and minds.