The Mill Valley High School journalism department earned numerous honors at Saturday’s Kansas Scholastic Press Association State Journalism Contest, including the school’s second 5A state journalism title in the last four years.
Lead by seniors Kristina Milewski, Austin Gillespie and Jillian Mullin, the team of 14 students outpaced Wichita’s Bishop Carroll to win the state title, 39-35. Mill Valley also won state journalism titles in 2004, 2009 and 2010. Click here to read more about the contest.
The following students placed in the state contest:
Senior Kristina Milewski: first places in feature writing and in photo illustration and honorable mention in caption writing
Senior Austin Gillespie: third place in newspaper design and in headline writing and honorable mention in photo illustration
Senior Jillian Mullin: honorable mentions in sports photography, in yearbook design and in yearbook copy writing
Senior Ellen Bodine: first place in yearbook sports writing
Senior Kelsey Floyd: second place in academic photography
Seniors Miranda Snyder, Jenna Middaugh and Haley Woods: second place in video news story
Senior Miranda Snyder: honorable mention in academic photography
Senior Hanna Torline: honorable mention in sports writing
Senior Kelsey Winscott: honorable mention in editorial cartoon
Junior Sydney Wilson: honorable mention in editing
Junior Ryan Fullerton: honorable mention in news writing
Also competing in the contest were seniors Lisa Galvan and Mackenzie Eckman and juniors Alana Flinn and Riley McDonald.
The journalism department also brought home four All-Kansas awards Saturday, the top rating given in the KSPA critique service, for the first time in school history. Mill Valley was the only school in Kansas to earn All-Kansas ratings in the four categories. The 2012 JAG yearbook (editors Rachel Mills and Katherine Beck), the 2013 JagWire newspaper (editors Gillespie, Milewski and Torline), Mill Valley News Online (editors seniors Miranda Snyder and Alec Santaularia and junior Shelby Rayburn) and MVTV (executive producer senior Brenna Iskra and assistant producer Jacob Patterson) earned the ratings. Cindy Swartz is the adviser of MVTV and Kathy Habiger is the adviser of the JAG, JagWire and Mill Valley News Online. Click here to read more about the awards.
This is possibly the most stressful time of any production: tech week. Rehearsing with costumes, adding lights, sound and props and everything else that will go into the final production. As of today, we only have one week until the show opens on Wednesday, May 1. Needless to say, tensions are running high and my fellow thespians are a little testy, to say the least. However, it is a necessary part of any production and we must muddle through as best we can without tearing each other to shreds.
Along with all the stress and worry also comes a sense of sadness. As a senior, this is my final production at the school. After being involved in every theater production the school has put on since my freshman year, it is strange to know that this will be my last time performing on this stage. Every time I walk into the theater now, I feel a slight pang of nostalgia that reminds me of my past four years here, along with all of the people that I’ve met and all the memories I’ve made. It is a feeling that I’ve been anticipating, but I simply cannot bring myself to recognize the fact that my high school acting career is almost at an end.
Despite all of this, the feelings of excitement and anticipation that I get prior to a performance are still quite prominent. I am determined to make my last show a great one. I hope that my fellow cast mates feel the same way, and channel that energy into the show in order to make these performances great.
The Jaguar Invitational track meet was held at Mill Valley High School on Friday, April 5. The boys team placed third overall with 108 team points, and the girls team placed first overall with 155 team points. Individual results can be found below. Head coach Chris Dunback feels that the meet was important in that it highlighted what areas and events the team still needs to work on.
“BLAH DEE BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH,” Dunback said. “BLAH DEE BLAH BLAH DEE DEE BLAH.”
Using the results from the meet, Dunback says that he will do something or other.
INSERT ANOTHER QUOTE FROM COACH DUNBACK HERE OKAY OKAY I’M DONE GOODBYE.
Sophomore hurdler Cody Deas said something else about the meet.
INSERT QUOTE HERE, Ford said. INSERT QUOTE HERE.
PUT IN ANOTHER LEAD OF SOME SORT FROM senior pole vaulter Emily Brigham.
AND THEN ANOTHER QUOTE. JUST FOR SHITS AND GIGGLES.
The varsity track team will compete at the Ottawa Invitational, which will be held at Ottawa High School on Monday, April 8. The events will begin at 3:30 p.m.
The team and individual results of the meet are as follows:
Boys – Team Standings:
De Soto High School – first place – 122 points
Ottawa High School – second place – 113 points
Mill Valley High School – third place – 108 points
Girls – Team Standings:
Mill Valley High School – first place – 155 points
Winnetonka High School – second place – 123 points
Lansing High School – third place – 97 points
Boys 100 Meter Dash:
Senior Kendall Short – fourth place
Senior Staton Rebeck – seventh place
Senior Logan Zavodny - eighth place
Boys 200 Meter Dash:
Senior Keenan Ford – seventh place
Boys 400 Meter Dash:
Ford – fifth place
Senior John Poorman – seventh place
Boys 800 Meter Run:
Sophomore Drew Nelson – second place
Boys 1600 Meter Run:
Junior CJ Meeks – third place
Freshman Derek Meeks – fourth place
Sophomore Kurt Loevenstein – fifth place
Junior Graham Wilson – sixth place
Boys 3200 Meter Run:
Senior Stephen McEnery – sixth place
Freshman Hunter Brown – eighth place
Boys 110 Meter Hurdles:
Sophomore Cody Deas – first place
Junior Tyler Hinnen – sixth place
Boys 300 Meter Hurdles:
Deas – second place
Freshman Christian Jegen – third place
Boys 4×100 Meter Relay:
Mill Valley – Zavodny, Short, sophomore Kyal Long and Rebeck – third place
Boys 4×400 Meter Relay:
Mill Valley – CJ, sophomore Teddy Gillespie, Loevenstein and Ford – third place
Boys 4×800 Meter Relay:
Mill Valley – Gillespie, Nelson, freshman Zac Korris and Brown – second place
Boys High Jump:
Poorman – eighth place
Boys Pole Vault:
Sophomore Colton Bray – third place
Senior Connor Hays – fourth place
Freshman Cooper Hutteger – eighth place
Boys Long Jump:
Hays – fifth place
Boys Triple Jump:
Junior JC Miller - seventh place
Freshman Michael Estell – eighth place
Boys Shot Put:
Senior Coleman McCann – fifth place
Boys Discus Throw:
McCann – fourth place
Boys Javelin Throw:
Junior Ben Carroll – second place
Junior Grant Reiner – third place
Junior Adam Willoughby – fifth place
Junior Jason Gramke – sixth place
Girls 100 Meter Dash:
Sophomore Dominique Hernandez – fifth place
Girls 200 Meter Dash:
Hernandez – sixth place
Senior McKenzie Schmitt – seventh place
Girls 400 Meter Dash:
Freshman Ellie Wilson – third place
Schmitt – fourth place
Senior Bailey Dollard – sixth place
Girls 800 Meter Run:
Freshman Ally Henderson – seventh place
Girls 1600 Meter Run:
Junior Maria Kalma – sixth place
Girls 3200 Meter Run:
Kalma – sixth place
Girls 100 Meter Hurdles:
Junior Mary Altman – first place
Senior Kathy Nguyen – third place
Sophomore Holly Webb - fourth place
Girls 300 Meter Hurdles:
Nguyen – second place
Sophomore Lauren Mansfield – fifth place
Webb – sixth place
Girls 4×100 Meter Relay:
Mill Valley - sophomore Whitney Hazlett, Webb, Altman and Schmitt – fourth place
Girls 4×400 Meter Relay:
Mill Valley – sophomore Emma Hansen, Schmitt, Dollard and Wilson – third place
Girls 4×800 Meter Relay:
Mill Valley – sophomore Devin Ristau, junior Holly Peterman, senior Josie Hanson and Wilson – first place
Girls High Jump:
Sophomore Ally Shawger – first place
Freshman Katie Burke – sixth place
Girls Pole Vault:
Senior Emily Brigham – first place
Altman – second place
Freshman Taylor Corbitt – fifth place
Mansfield - seventh place
Girls Long Jump:
Brigham – first place
Altman – fourth place
Junior Jordan Townsend – eighth place
Girls Triple Jump:
Estell – first place
Nguyen – third place
Webb – fifth place
Hazlett – seventh place
Girls Shot Put:
Senior Joylyn Kennedy – sixth place
Girls Discus Throw:
Junior Hannah Krull – fourth place
Sophomore Madison Holland – fifth place
Junior Kellyne Weathers - sixth place
Girls Javelin Throw:
Junior Emily Rice – second place
Kennedy – third place
Senior Mallory Baska – fourth place
Junior Mary McDaneld – eighth place
Well, it has finally arrived; crunch time. We officially have less than one month until the show opens on Wednesday, May 1. Although this may appear to be an exciting time filled with the joy and anticipation of finally getting to perform our play, it really isn’t. In fact, the month before opening night is the most stressful, nerve-wracking, hair-pulling and anxiety-filled four weeks of my life.
Now don’t take this the wrong way. I love my cast, show and producers to the ends of the earth. But for these four weeks tensions run high for everyone. People snap at the smallest of mistakes, such as missing a line or forgetting your blocking. I mean, you’re already stressed because you have to perform this show in front of a live audience in less than a month. But now you have a hyper-emotional cast breathing down your back criticizing every single breath you take and Lord have mercy on your soul if you breathe at the wrong time.
Despite all of the negative energy floating through the theater, this is also by far the most important time period of the entire production process. Before now, you could use your script to remember your lines and blocking. Now, the scripts are thrown away and you’re left treading water among the stress of trying to memorize every line you have, along with your blocking. You also have to begin perfecting your character; you must start to think and react as they would without hesitation.
Even though everyone has all of this emotion running through their head, we have to stay focused. At the end of the day, everyone wants the best for the show. So it’s best to not take their criticism too seriously and do what each individual has to do to make the show the best it can be. The emotions will begin to wear off in a week or so, once everyone gets more comfortable in their specific role. Until then, though, be careful not to rub a thespian the wrong way or they might overreact, just a little bit.
People cramming to memorize monologues and walking around the hallways talking in weird accents. This can only mean one thing: auditions and rehearsals for the spring play have begun. This year, director Jon Copeland selected “You Can’t Take it With You,” a 1930s romantic comedy that was later turned into a movie of the same name, which starred the famous actress Jean Arthur. This show is different than those Copeland has chosen in past years, having previously preferred classic scripts in the form of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice“ and Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Auditions for the show were held after school on Monday, Jan. 28 and Tuesday, Jan. 29. In auditions, those who are trying out must perform a 2-3 minute monologue in front of the shows production board, which consists of Copeland and assistant director Jerry Howard. Once all of the auditions were complete, Copeland posted the call-back list on his website. This list consisted of actors he wanted to either see perform again or perform a specific role. Call-backs were held after school on Wednesday, Jan. 30 and Thursday, Jan. 31.
The cast list was posted on Copeland’s website on Sunday, Feb. 3. In response to the small number of actors needed for the show and the large amount of people who auditioned, Copeland created two separate casts in hopes of giving more people a chance to have the experience of performing in the play. Each cast will get two shows: the nicknamed “James Stewart” cast perform on Wednesday, May 1 and Friday, May 3 and the “Jean Arthur” cast will perform on Thursday, May 2 and Saturday, May 4. The leads of the play are as follows, with the actor in the Jean Arthur cast first and the James Stewart cast second:
Alice Sycamore: senior Allison Mackey and senior Megan Marquardt
Tony Kirby: senior Alec Santaularia and sophomore Adam Segura
Penny Sycamore: junior Madison Plouvier and junior Tori Kilkenny
Martin Vanderhof: sophomore Brady Franklin and sophomore Clayton Kistner
The entire cast list for both casts can be found here.
As a regular in the school’s theatrical productions, I am excited for the challenge of performing in a show of a different style than those I’ve done in years prior. Not only will the show itself be fun, it will also be a good experience for all involved. It will be difficult having two entirely separate casts, as this means that each cast will get half the amount of time to work with Mr. Copeland and will have to spend the rest of their rehearsals working with our student directors. However, I have no doubt that we will be able to overcome this difficulty and put on a wonderful show come May. I will be posting weekly updates in regards to my cast’s progress, so keep checking back to see where we’re at in the production process.
I always knew that my race would have a profound effect on how other people saw me. However, I never thought it would be justification for someone to call me a “spick,” which occurred to me while I was on a family vacation in Florida this past summer. Now, I can’t say that I didn’t see it coming, as I look pretty Latino. But at the same time, it astounded me that someone would be so quick to stereotype me based on my race.
Before the Florida incident, I had never really given a thought to racial stereotyping or the effect it had on me. But we attend a predominantly white school, and although there is nothing wrong with this, it has certainly led to racial divides between the students at our school.
Think about it: what race are the people you hang out with in the morning? What about the people with whom you eat lunch? Although this is not always the case, they’re likely the same race as you, aren’t you? Now I’m not saying we’re strictly segregated, for lack of a better word. I’m simply saying that we, as a society, have a tendency to associate with people who are the same race as us.
Yet this is where the issue originates. My question is simple: why? Why are we so willing to “segregate” ourselves when we were raised knowing it was wrong? What do we accomplish by doing so? What is the point of creating these unnecessary, and oftentimes unintentional racial divides?
There is nothing wrong with associating with people of a different race. We don’t live in the Deep South in the 1950s. But while you may think racial divides don’t exist anymore, they do. Although natural barriers still occur in our society today, it’s important to make a conscious effort to expand our social groups.
Anything involving school in today’s society relates to grades in some way. “How are your grades?” “What grade did you get?” “Did you get a good grade?” The grades a student receives dictate how smart they appear to be and their performance in a class.
In today’s education system, teachers tie a grade to every assignment, regardless of whether it is busy work or the final exam. But why does every assignment have to be taken for a grade? What says that a student must do an assignment for a grade instead of simply doing the assignment to learn the material? Although attaching grades to assignments may not seem like a bad thing, it is actually detrimental to a student’s learning habits.
The educational system has conditioned students to use grades as motivation to learn. Teachers argue that the purpose of doing so is to motivate the students to do the work and to learn. They feel that without the incentive of a grade, the students wouldn’t desire to learn on their own.
However, in a widely accepted theory put forth by the American Psychological Association, it is shown that students are naturally motivated to learn and experience new things. Teachers, instead of attempting to motivate students through grades, should instead be putting emphasis on students’ natural desire to learn and should create an environment that nurtures that desire. This will increase students’ understanding of the material and will allow them to create personal interests in the material, causing it to become more meaningful to them.
The theory also discusses the impact of using grades as motivation in school; it reached the conclusion that by conditioning students to learn for the reward of a grade, teachers are taking away the students’ natural desire to learn. This then translates to students losing their sense of self-determination to learn new things and to create interests in material that they are exposed to both inside and outside of the school environment.
The debate team attended a tournament at Blue Valley West High School on Saturday, Sept. 28.
The team of seniors Alex Reeves and Lexi Riddle won three rounds and lost two. Reeves predicts that they were in the top 20 of the 32 schools there.
“We did really well, but we didn’t medal,” Reeves said.
However, in their previous debate on Saturday, Sept. 15, they came in first.
“[One of my goals for this season] is to get another gold medal,” Reeves said. “The varsity team is good, but we’re small.”
Debate teacher Jeanette Hardesty hopes to see the team do well throughout the year.
“I look forward to more wins as the season progresses,” Hardesty said.
As the new school year begins, returning students reminisce about those who graduated from Mill Valley in years past. Yet when I walk through the hallways, I rarely hear mention of the class of 2012. Why does it seem as if the class of 2012 has already been forgotten? What is it that has caused other senior classes to be more memorable than last year’s seniors?
The class of 2012 had many prominent effects on the way the school operates and how the students can participate in and make an impact upon it. StuCo senior class president Josh Duden led the committee focused on removing the dance policy, removing the document from students enrollment packets. Last year’s NHS president Carly Granato revised the club’s constitution, allowing for them to have more flexibility in the services they could provide for the students, including their financial aid seminars and other information sessions. Senior class president Rachel Mills and the committee she led also rewrote the StuCo bylaws, giving them privileges to host more activities to benefit the school, other than the regular pep rallies.
But I have a question for you: why is it that when a student does something that has a lasting effect on the school, they are rarely recognized for their actions? The change is often not announced to the student body. Their actions have made a huge impact on how the school operates yet no one so much as bats an eye; they deserve so much more than that. They took a risk and should be rewarded for their efforts.
There is no way that anyone can say that the class of 2012 has not left a huge impact on this school. They have done more for Mill Valley students and the school itself than many of the other classes that have graduated in years past. The students of this class cared for the school and did whatever they could to improve it and make it better for future students.
We need more students like this at Mill Valley. We need students who aren’t afraid to step up and take control of a situation, as well as finding a solution for it. We need students who aren’t afraid to fight for what they believe in. We need students who are able to make this school the best it can be for everyone.
That is what I am challenging you to do. This is your school; therefore it is your responsibility to make it the best it can be. I am challenging you to get involved and to make an impact. Do something that will be remembered. Records will be broken, the old champions forgotten in time. But if you do something that affects every person in the entire student body, you will be remembered. Be proactive and be involved. This is your school, so make it the best it can be.
This is Alec Santaularia’s second year on the staff of the JagWire. He is glad that he gets to spend his senior year with such an amazing group of people. Santaularia also participates in JagChorale, the Mill Valley Singers and the school drama productions. His favorite quote is from the famous poet, Robert Frost; “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”