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Smoke Signals
Preparing for
Break by Kelf

Dec. 2013/Vol. 5 Issue 2

Boys Soccer


Smoke Signals

Volume 5 Issue 2
Peters Township High School
264 East McMurray Road
McMurray, PA...
Meet the Senior Editors

Josh Glicksman
Editorial Team Leader

Jenna Taimuty
Print Editor-in-Chief

Kristin Slomiany
Table of Contents


s So

the M
etes o



Kelf ’s Gift

ing Guide





PT Focus // December

Bean There…Done That; CoffeeHouse 2013

CoffeeHouse, the annual and M...

Overrated Holiday Traditions, Part II
DISCLAIMER: I’m a Grinch

5. C...

Sports // December 2013

The Boys Turn

PT has been known for its terrific soccer teams over ...
Athletes Of The Month:

Brian Baker

Senior Brian Baker has spent a large part of

#connect//December 2013

Last Minute Shopping Ideas

For the holidays, Pinterest is the pe...

Paul Marchky, 10

Gina Vilsack, 12

Sarah Heeter, 11

Olivia Miller, 12

Jake Augustine, 12

Ryan Page,...

Life & Style // December 2013

Subject to Change:
4 Winter Sports you Didn’t Think Were

Festive Fashion

As the holidays round the corner, every girl wants something fashi...
Preparing for

never too
Although, you should’ve started months ago, it’s
ate. Tinsel and holly are great but my favorite
Break by Kelf

ussman) and scrooges bri
them on in a snowball
em tightly and speed is key

here in
ritone or a...

People Features// December

Past Teacher Feature

RebeccaPerryman|WebsiteEditor-In-Chief & KelseyHunter|SportsEditor...
Behind the Bench: Ted Elattrache

The anticipation of senior year begins the minute you you p...
How Mr. Sussman

Every Indian down in Peters liked Christmas a lot…
But Mr.Sussman who taught in room 214,...
n Stole Christmas

The morning of the last day before break,
Mr. Sussman thought, “This is going to be a piece ...

Entertainment // December 2013

Keep Catching ‘em All

There are currently
718 ...
Holiday Bucket List
As the holiday season nears, adults scurry to find the most effectiv...

News // October 2013

What in the World?

There are too many kids that face the challenge of...
The Unresolved Assassination
Kassianna Politis #connectEdtor

During the 2013 career fair, students were given
the opportu...
Keep Calm and Clay On
With the hectic holiday season upon us, ceramics students are ...
, 12

, 12

, 12

, 10

Layout by EmmaLee Ducoeur
Home Sweet Home

These delicious Gingerbread houses were on display at PPG Place
during the holidays made by Foods I stude...
Dec. 2013 Smoke Signals Issue 2
Dec. 2013 Smoke Signals Issue 2
Dec. 2013 Smoke Signals Issue 2
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Dec. 2013 Smoke Signals Issue 2

  1. 1. Smoke Signals Preparing for Break by Kelf Dec. 2013/Vol. 5 Issue 2 Boys Soccer Wins WPIALS Sports How Sussman Stole Christmas #ThrowbackChristmas #Connect Festive Fashion Life & Style Photo by Molly Campbell
  2. 2. idays Hol appy H om... fr Smoke Signals Volume 5 Issue 2 Peters Township High School 264 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317 724-941-6250 www.ptmedia.net Layout by Kristin Slomiany
  3. 3. Meet the Senior Editors Josh Glicksman Editorial Team Leader Jenna Taimuty Print Editor-in-Chief Kristin Slomiany Layout Editor-in-Chief Andrea Salizzoni Web Editor-in-Chief Shane Dazen Print Editor-in-Chief Cassi Deluca Layout Editor-in-Chief Casey Kirwan Web Editor-in-Chief Andrew Stroud Section Editor-Student Content Jesse Eby Section Editor-Student Content Kelsey Hunter Section Editor-Sports Rebecca Perryman Web Editor-in-Chief JC Brush Section Editor-Sports Meet the Junior Editors Kassianna Politis- #connect Editor Natalie Rihmland- Business Editor-in-Chief Nicole Spindler- Business Editor-in-Chief Nicole Folino- Section Editor: Life and Style Maria Hoge- Section Editor: News Madi Start- Section Editor: PT Focus Vanessa Scoulos- Section Editor: Student Content Nicole Beichner Naomi Burke EmmaLee Ducoeur Bailey Fink Olivia Glod Alana Hiner Jill Kovac Elise Jozwiak Section Editor-Entertainment Nicole Torchio Business Editor-in-Chief Staff Maddy Lampert Emilou Landas Natalie Leven Kourtney Martin Valerie Mikec Deidra Moran Tori Piscatelli Joanna Pollock Karen Richtar Maddie Woodrow Brenna Woodside
  4. 4. Table of Contents Sports: Boy s So onth the M f etes o ccer 6 Kelf ’s Gift Giv ing Guide Athl 7 12-13 Entertainment: PT Focus: 18 Hol iday Bu cket L ist Life and Style: ario nd M oa Nicc trangelo Mas Student Work: 4 #Connect: 22-23 8 Holiday Instagra ms hion e Fas v Festi People Features: e eacher F School T Past atures 11 as Sussman Stole Christm News: echt Dr. W 21 ge: Chan ct to inter Subje me W Extre ports S 14 10 Mission Statement 16-17 Smoke Signals is produced six times a school year by the students of Media II, III, IV Journalism Staff at Peters Township High School. The staff adviser is Mrs. N. Sitler. Commentaries, reviews, and opinion columns are the expressed opinion of the author and not of Smoke Signals, its adviser, or the Peters Township School District.
  5. 5. pths PT Focus // December Bean There…Done That; CoffeeHouse 2013 BaileyFink|StaffWriter CoffeeHouse, the annual and Mrs. Kuhn, the tech director. Both teachers are veterans and variety show sponsored by Thespian have 23 years of CoffeeHouse experience between them. SponTroupe 185, was a great way to enjoy soring CoffeeHouse is not all bottomless mugs and cheesecake; the talents of other students while choosing acts and hosts that the majority of students will enjoy. enjoying hot beverages and pastries. Picking an appropriate leadership team that helped CoffeeHouse CoffeeHouse 2013 had all run as smoothly as possible was a major responsibility. of the legendary bottomless mugs “Choosing the acts is not easy! Ms. Wilmus and I work while hosts Savannah Brooks and together after auditions to make the final decisions. It was espeRachael Ferraco provided lots of cially difficult this year with all of the variety and talent,” said Mrs. laughs. Kuhn. “CoffeeHouse was a great op- This time of year, most people think of hot chocolate and portunity for my band to perform in Christmas carols that will not get out of your head. The students front of a live audience,” said senior that participated in Coffeehouse shared these holiday favorites Artwork by Diana Sarnicke A.J. Clark, a member of the band FYFS. with their audience. CoffeeHouse is always a highlight of the holi This year’s theme was Bean There… Done That. It was held in the cafeteria from December 12 to December 14 at 7:00 each night. “I participated in CoffeeHouse last year and it was such a cool experience. I was so excited to see how the show came together this year,” said sophomore Nikki Wall. CoffeeHouse is sponsored by Ms. Wilmus, the director, Artwork by Ms. Wilmus Get It To The Italians: Mastrangelos Clinch WPIALs OliviaGlod|StaffWriter Most athletes symbolically refer to their teammates as family members, rather than just other competitors who help them score goals or win games. However, in some particular cases, teammates are actually siblings. The WPIAL champion boys soccer team contains three sets of brothers including junior twins Mario and Nicco Mastrangelo. The Italian duo began playing soccer at the age of four and have not lost touch with the ball since. “Every parent signs their kid up to play soccer when they’re little,” said Mario, the older twin by thirty minutes. “As soon as we joined the grass hopper league we immediately loved the sport and we love it even more now.” After playing on travel and cup teams their entire childhood, the twins are proud to admit that their most memorable soccer experiences have been with the high school varsity squad. Within their first three years of high school, Mario and Nicco have not only played, but also started, for a team that has faced rivals for the past two years in the WPIAL Championships. This season, the team won WPIALs due to a goal scored by Mario. Just like the twins in the notable Will Ferrell movie “Kicking and Screaming,” Nicco and Mario constantly are hearing, “Pass the ball to the Italians!” “The most memorable on-field moment with Nicco was when I assisted him a pass with 58 seconds left in the second half and him scoring the game winning goal in the WPIAL semi-final playoffs against our rivals, Canon Mac,” stated Mario. “He and I always know where the other is on the field at all times without even realizing.” “It’s awesome,” Nicco says when describing living the life of a twin. “There’s always someone to joke around with or get help from. On the field, we know what each other are thinking and our chemistry is strong.” The Mastrangelo brothers prove that twin telepathy is not a myth through their numerous accomplishments. They hope this superstition can help the team improve and reach even greater success next year. The season may be over for this year, but the duo is already ecstatic to play together for possibly the last time next season of their senior year. Photos by Olivia Glod and 04 Layout by Val Mikec Samantha Abraham
  6. 6. POWER RANKINGS: Overrated Holiday Traditions, Part II DISCLAIMER: I’m a Grinch JoshGlicksman|EditoralTeamLeader 5. Christmas Ham Do people still eat these? For the Smoke Signals faithful, you may recall egg nog from part I of Overrated Holiday Traditions. The ham falls into a similar category. Wouldn’t you rather have a turkey or something else? Ham is just so nasty after a while. Maybe it’s because there have been no classic movies about turkeys. The same can’t be said for pigs. After my second plate of ham, I just envision Babe or Wilbur crying out for help. Too much? Very possibly. Is this a pitch to make you ditch the ham? I won’t tell. 4. A White Christmas A light covering of snow on the ground is perfect. That’s all we need. Just enough to cover the ground. For those who want the mass snowfall: are you crazy? Who wants to spend Christmas Day shoveling? Wow, opening presents was fun, now let’s go shovel for hours on end. Perfect. My shoveling job is going to turn out worse than Janet Jackson’s performance at the Super Bowl. I just want eat a lot of food and do nothing. Christmas is like Shabbat—it should be a day of rest. Don’t make your kids work. Please. 3. Mistletoe Let me start by saying that this one doesn’t apply to long-time couples. But for the rest of us: ugh. Another good idea in theory. It’s really cute, right? Look who found themselves stuck under the mistletoe? Teehee! In reality, it just ends up creating an awkward situation. Now both parties are stuck looking at each other wondering who’s going to make the first move.  Everyone happens to be watching and tensions increase by the second. It feels more awkward than a middle school dance. Or a high five/fist-bump mix-up. Or watching Kristen Stewart try to act. Pass.  2. Secret Santa In theory, this is a good idea. Unfortunately, it almost always goes downhill when people start opening gifts. Why can’t people just follow the spending cap? There always has to be that one person that needs to go above and beyond. Suddenly, my creative yet inexpensive gift looks mediocre in comparison to your assortment of pricey gifts. Thanks for making me look bad. Thanks for making us all look bad. You know those compliments that we’re giving you about how generous you are? They’re laced with anger and envy. The whole night just went down the tubes. 1. Holiday Letters It’s always interesting to see the various poses and creative ideas from the different families on holiday cards each year. However, that’s not the issue. The problem is that some people want to tell everything (AND I MEAN EVERYTHING) that happened in the past year. Even a few major events are acceptable. But when I start hearing about the daily eating habits of the kids, it starts to drag on. When it comes to holiday cards, there should be a specified word limit for everyone. 150 words or less. No exceptions. Go. AP Images Mead, Burkaty, Ano and Rubra Mr. PTHS Returns JennaTaimuty|PrintEditor-in-Chief The cost of admission to this event will be five dollars. Miss America, Mr. PTHS, what is the difference? This year the PTHS cheerleaders will bring back an old tradition, the All proceeds will benefit the Watchful Shepherd and the MozMr. PTHS competition, set to occur on Friday, April 4, 2014 in the ingo family in West Virginia. The Watchful Shepherd provides the Washington County Child Protection Services Unit with an high school gym. The competition will involve senior boys that will be electronic monitoring device that enhances efforts to increase the chosen by the student body. The ballots to choose which boys will safety of children in possible threatening home environments. The Mozingo family’s house exploded earlier in October because compete will be similar to those of the homecoming court. The actual competition will include a talent competition, of a natural gas outburst. The explosion killed their eighth-grade a dance (in board shorts of course) performed with the cheerlead- daughter, Hannah, who was a cheerleader, the mother, Tracy, and the family’s other daughter, Haley. The family is left with nothing ers, and a final question and answer for the five runner-ups. The judges will be personalities from outside of the school. and a donation fund for the family has been set up at Progressive The cheerleaders are hoping to get television personalities as well Bank at 744 Charles Street Wellsburg, WV 26070 to accept donaas some other well-known local celebrities to judge the competi- tions. The details are subject to change and more are to tion. As for the winning prizes, donations such as gift cards and prizes from businesses around the community will be gifted to the come about this fundraiser. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite senior boys during homeroom in March. winner and runner-up. 05
  7. 7. pths Sports // December 2013 The Boys Turn JCBrush|SportsEditor PT has been known for its terrific soccer teams over the years. While both the boys and the girls teams have been very successful, the girls have stolen the recent spotlight from the boys by winning states three years in a row. This season both teams advanced to the WPIAL Championship game, but it was the boys turn to shine. After many years of disappointing playoff losses, it was the boys who captured the gold, beating rivals Canon-Mac and Upper St. Clair during their playoff run, making their success that much sweeter. Going into the championship, PT was an obvious underdog but was able to outplay the St. Clair Panthers, winning 1-0. The team’s great season came to an end after losing in the second round of the state playoffs to those same Panthers. This loss did not diminish a well- played season. “Winning WPIAL’s was a great feeling, but going into next season our goal as a team is to win states,” said junior Rylen Faloni. The 2014 team has a chance to replicate this year’s suc- cess and hopes to win the state title, as well. The boys strive to match the dynasty like play the girls exhibited over the last few years. With their success, it is safe to say they are on the verge of a dynasty themselves. The team has many key players returning next season. Anything short of a WPIAL and state title would be a disappointment. Photo by Caitlin Pendergast Tired of Second Place “Second place is not a defeat. It is a stimulation to get better. It makes you even more determined,” said former baseball player Ty Cobb. The hockey team has made the Penguin Cup finals for the past three seasons only to succumb to their opponents. “It’s painful to come that close every year and watch as the other team steals your trophy,” said senior forward Evan Opeka. The Indians last won the Penguins Cup in 2005 and are looking to reverse their misfortune this season. “It is tough for everyone, but it is particularly tough 06 AndrewStroud|StaffWriter pected of the Indians entering the 2012-2013 campaign, but the team proved their doubters wrong. Behind senior captain Trevor Recktenwald, who now plays for the Johnstown Tomahawks of the NAHL, the squad finished the regular season atop the standings in Section 1 and swept through the playoffs to make their return to Consol. They eventually fell to powerhouse North Allegheny when a late goal sealed a 2-0 victory for the Tigers. The dream of gold has been cemented in the players’ minds, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them return to the cup this season for a fourth try at the title. The team has arguably the best goalie in the state (senior Brian Baker), not to mention junior Adam Alavi who was one of the league’s top scorers last year. They also have senior Evan Opeka who is one of the fastest skaters in the whole country. In addition to talent, the team has been preparing for this season since the summer by participating in intense on for the seniors,” said senior forward Keenan Witmer. “Being a senior, you want to win it.” Reaching the Penguins Cup in three consecutive seasons is something that happens very rarely. The team started the streak in 2010, when it fell to Bishop Canevin while playing in class AA. The following year, the team rode its strong goaltending and senior leadership all the way back to Consol to face Bethel Park. An unlucky late goal gave Bethel Park the win and left the Indians devastated again. Not much was ex- Layout by Kristin Slomiany and off ice workouts. They are hungry and aren’t intimidated by the challenges that lie ahead of them in one of the toughest sections in Western Pennsylvania. “We’re ready,” said junior Gaven Reboltz, “A lot of teams are aiming for us, but we’re not backing down.” Canon Mac, Bethel Park and Upper Saint Clair are expected to have strong teams and any one of those clubs have a realistic shot at capturing the Penguin Cup. At the same time, Peters desperately wants to break the “Consol Curse” and finally bring home the cup. Good luck boys! Photos by Emilou Landas, Jake Augenstine and Erin Pakela
  8. 8. Athletes Of The Month: Brian Baker NicoleTorchio|BusinessEditor-in-Chief Senior Brian Baker has spent a large part of his life involved in hockey. He continues to make a name for himself as the starting goalie on the hockey team. His personal goal is for the team is to win the coveted Penguin Cup. After three straight seasons of finishing second, the team is determined to earn it this season. In order to make his dream a reality, Baker has made it his personal goal. Following his lead, the team has dedicated themselves and will work harder than ever before. Although it is a challenging task to achieve, it is possible for the team to win it all. The team is off to a great start, with a 5-1 record in a tough division. They have already beaten North Allegheny, who they lost to in finals the previous year. With this much success already, they have high hopes for a triumphant season. Like most teams, the boys have their own superstitions. “We have pasta dinners at people’s houses where we get to enjoy a nice meal and be with the boys before the game,” said Baker. Along with the pasta dinners, there are other perks, according to Baker. “My favorite thing about hockey is that there is never a set outcome, that anything can happen and any team can win. Statistics are worth nothing in the game of hockey,” said Baker. Baker became interested in hockey at a young age. Being raised in Pittsburgh, his favorite NHL team is the Pittsburgh Penguins, and more specifically, his favorite player is their goalie, Marc-André Fleury. “As a young goalie, I always used to watch Fleury and go to Pens practices to see him,” said Baker. Although this chapter of his hockey career is closing, his deep-rooted passion for the sport is not going away anytime soon, as Baker plans to continue his hockey career through college. Best of luck to Baker and PT varsity hockey as they progress through the season. Bring home the Cup boys! Photo by Molly Campbell Saoirse Paulu-Benson ToriPiscatelli|StaffWriter Senior Saoirse Paulu-Benson spends almost as much time in the water as she does out of it. Paulu-Benson is confident that her team will be successful in many meets this year. She, along with the rest of the team, is anticipating meeting personal goals that will result in overall team success. “Gliding through the water and feeling the competition race beside me is one of my favorite parts about being a swimmer,” said Paulu-Benson. Paulu-Benson grew up swimming and enjoys being in the pool. The pool is her second home and gives her the opportunity to hang out with friends, most of whom she has been swimming with since middle school. Swimming also serves as a stress reliever. She maintains focus during each race by concentrating only on that race. The swim team is very close and supports each other during their practices and meets. Paulu-Benson typically leads the team in cheers to pump them up before meets. “Swimming is a very competitive sport. You can always see the competition next to you during the whole race,” said Paulu-Benson. Along with swimming, she puts a lot of time and effort into her academics. “Although swimming is important, academics take first priority in my life,” said Paulu-Benson. Paulu-Benson’s personal goal for this season is to place in the state competition. She plans to continue swimming through college. Best of luck to Paulu-Benson in pursuing her goals and in her senior year on the varsity swim team. Editorial: Crossing the Line With the fallout of the Jonathan Martin scandal concluding, it has become evident that sports, and football, in general, will have to raise its standards of maturity if it hopes to avoid another catastrophe like the one that is unfolding in front of their eyes. Rookie hazing has been common practice in locker rooms across the country for decades. Players, notably veterans, ostracize younger players by making them perform degrading tasks that stem from cross-dressing to covering lavish dining expenses. Martin’s humiliation has exposed the severity of this practice in a ShaneDazen|PrintEditor-in-Chief league that is supposed to be more disconcerting is the in“professional?” Is it a responsi- ability of grown men to solve bility as a teammate, and, more their problems in a professional importantly, as a human be- manner. These players are role ing, that the best environment models for society, whether be provided to anyone who is they want that responsibility willing to expose and sacrifice or not. The example that has themselves for the greater good been set here is clearly short of moral stability, and the profesof the team? The degradation of sionalism, or lack thereof, both Martin, a current Miami Dol- players displayed is inexcusable. phins player, who was threat- There are countless hazing ened on several occasions by and bullying victims everyday teammate Richie Incognito whose pleas for help are unwith the use of racial and sexual heard, and the way the situation epithets has lead to discussion was handled does not serve as a over what is going to be accept- forum for them. Incognito, who able and unacceptable in the described his relationship with Martin as ‘brotherly,” failed NFL going forward. However, what is far miserably as a leader, as a team- mate, and, most importantly, as an individual. Martin should have said something to authority in order to avoid the situation that unfolded. The ability to talk to someone about his problem may have helped ease his mind and the toll bullying was taking on him. No one is ever too old to ask for help. The NFL is not a classless league. It is full of richly intelligent and genuinely respectful individuals, but the counter-culture that exists beneath the spotlight must change. Threats and violence are not solving any issues; they’re aiding them. 07
  9. 9. pths #connect//December 2013 Last Minute Shopping Ideas JoannaPollock|StaffWriter For the holidays, Pinterest is the perfect website that gives you resourceful ideas. It is well equipped with some creative last minute gift ideas for girls, guys, and parents. Holiday gift for a girl: Not sure what to buy that teen girl on your list? What does she like? Do you know? Do they know? (Clothes are dangerous; wrong size, wrong style, and wrong decade). Here are my top five gift ideas for teen girls on your list. • • • • • Scarves Shoes Perfume iPhone cases Makeup AP Images Pedroncelli • • • • • Holiday gift for a guy: not sure what to buy for a teen guy on your list? Here are my top five gift ideas for a teen boy this year. Perfect for your boyfriend, brother, cousin, or friend. Video games Cologne Gas money New pair of shoes Headphones Holiday gift for a parent: You are down to the most difficult people on your holiday gift list: mom and dad. Even if you have already blown through your holiday gift budget, you can still get your parents a unique, thoughtful gift without spending a lot of money. Here are my top five gift ideas for parents for this year. • • • • • AP Images Lee Homemade picture frames Homemade baskets of gifts Family photos Homemade card Chocolate AP Images Kaster #holidaythrowback These throwback photos were taken at McMurray Elementary School when we were in grades four to six. Every holiday season the PTA held parties for us where we participated in festive games and activities. My hope is that these pictures don’t embarrass you, but remind you of our enjoyable time in elementary school. 08 Layout by EmmaLee Ducoeur
  10. 10. #holidayinstagram Paul Marchky, 10 Gina Vilsack, 12 Sarah Heeter, 11 Olivia Miller, 12 Jake Augustine, 12 Ryan Page, 10 Dream Life Quiz NicoleFolino|SectionEditor At this age, everyone is confused on where they want to settle down. Some have an idea of their future lifestyles, but most high school students have no clue as to what their future holds. Hopefully this quiz will point you in the right direction for your future lifestyle. 1. Where is your ideal vacation spot? A. Colorado B. Los Angeles C. New York City D. Beverly Hills 2. How do you relieve stress? A. Working out B. Sleeping or watching TV C. I don’t have time for stress D. Shop till I drop 5. What is your most fond memory of high school? A. Sports B. Late nights with friends C. Clubs/activities D. Prom 3. What is your ideal holiday gift? A. Skis or snowboard B. Car C. Computer D. Clothes 4. What do you look for in friends? A. Adventurous B. Good sense of humor C. Honesty D. Good Listener 6. What did your childhood summers mostly consist of? A. Playing outside with the neighborhood kids B. Playing video games or on the computer C. Coloring or reading books D. Vacation after vacation Mostly A’s- You are bound for a life of taking risks and chances. You love living life on the edge and your ideal dream home is a sweet house in the mountains where you can live your dicey lifestyle to the fullest. Mostly B’s- You put the “chill” in “chillax.” You love spending long, endless days on the beach not worrying about a thing. A pristine beach house would work great with your relaxing lifestyle. Mostly C’s- Hustling and bustling is definitely your thing. Face it, a city apartment with a breathtaking view is basically made for you. Mostly D’s- The life of luxury and riches is calling you. You love being pampered and what better for that than a gorgeous mansion with your name on it? 09
  11. 11. pths Life & Style // December 2013 Subject to Change: 4 Winter Sports you Didn’t Think Were Possible AndiSalizzoni|Online-Editor-in-Chief&EliseJozwiak|EntertainmentEditor All winter sports have one thing in common: facing the bitter cold to participate in something you love. Some winter sports push people past their freezing point, just for the fun of it. The question is, are you brave enough to try these yourself?   E: Shovel Racing-If you think sled riding is extreme, try traveling down a hill on a shovel hitting speeds as high as 60 mph. Shovel racing is actually a worldwide sport that began in the 1970’s when slope workers were looking for a quick way to get down a hill. This sport doesn’t exactly qualify as an Olympic event, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your eye out for it every once in a while on TV. A: Polar bear swimming-Some call it polar bear swimming, some call it “The Polar Bear Plunge.” This treacherous sport, usually lasting just under a minute, is considered a once in a lifetime experience. Imagine hopping into a body of water that can make your internal body temperature drop several degrees in just a matter of seconds. Make sure a steamy cup of Starbucks Coffee is waiting for you after you decide to participate in this “bucket-list” worthy experience.   E:Speed Flying- If skiing wasn’t hard enough, try parachuting out of a helicopter on skis while avoiding trees and rocks looking to take you out. This crazy winter sport rightfully earned its name of ‘speed flying.’ A skier is usually flown to the top of a mountain and proceeds to click his/ her skis on, say their last words, and jump. If the skier comes across a tree or rock in their way, he/she better pray they have the clearance to sail over it. If not…good luck. A: Ice Yachting- Alright everyone, time to get your yachts out early this year, the Annual Ice Yacht Race is underway. Racers control the direction of their yachts much like directing a sail boat--by getting ahead of the wind. This competitive sport is making its debut throughout the northern U.S. and is taken very seriously by its participants. Just don’t wreck your yacht, kids. Your parents would be disappointed. Would you try these wacky sports? Double-dog-dare you. AP Images Montoya, Heisenfelt, Bilow, and Faber Healthy for the Holidays MaddieWoodrow|StaffWriter Staying healthy during the holidays is always a tough task. up mashed potatoes, however, they can be There’s the candy, pie, cookies, and other large amounts of food. loaded with fat when the potato is full of Eating some unhealthy food is unavoidable, however, it is easier butter, cream cheese, bacon, and cheddar cheese. This holiday season go for a baked than you think to find the healthiest option. Surprisingly, holiday beverages could potentially pack as potato with a small amount of butter. And many calories as a full meal, if you are not careful. Opt for the tall who could forget about the crescent rolls? Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks instead of a ven- This delicious treat should be limited to just ti. This will cut out almost half of the calories while still letting you one, not four. Finally, stop yourself from getting thirds. It can be a difficult task resisting all of the tempting desindulge in one of your holiday favorites. Dinner is considered to be serts. Instead of depriving yourself of these tasty treats, learn how the main course of the day. It’s hard to make your choice a healthier one. Have pumpkin pie without to change family traditions just to be any whipped cream. Also, choose sugar cookies over the stuffed healthy. Although, there are healthy cookies containing icing. Once you are finished with your meal and have some time choices you can make. One option you have is to pick white meat over dark to recover, go shopping to burn off some extra calories. By this meat. Dark meat contains more fat, cal- point you will probably be exhausted and out of money. It’s a good ories, and cholesterol. No one can pass idea to sleep away the resent of eating yourself sick and spending all of your money for the next twelve hours. *Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist Layout by Naomi Burke 10 AP Images Crowe
  12. 12. Festive Fashion NicoleSpindler|BusinessEditor-in-Chief As the holidays round the corner, every girl wants something fashionable this year, and here are some teachers to help design that perfect holiday outfit. Mrs. Pinto: “My style is all about being classic with a little sprinkle of trendy,” stated Mrs. Pinto. She believes that a bold necklace or scarf can complete any outfit. Pinto is inspired by Piperlime and Polyvore, two online fashion sites. The perfect gift Pinto wishes to receive is a tab collar leather jacket. She believes that a holiday outfit should pair something neutral with some sparkle or velvet. Photos by Nicole Spindler Ms. McKenna: While trying to keep up- to- date on what’s in, Ms. McKenna’s style is always classy with a touch of trendiness. “The best holiday outfit should have something sequined, a sequin dress or skirt, with thick black tights and boots,” stated McKenna. Her fashionable gift ideas are a pea coat and combat boots. McKenna’s inspirations and fashionable outfits come from Kate Spade and J. Crew. Mrs. Polard: “A comfy and stylish outfit such as a sweater dress with leggings and boots is the perfect holiday combination,” stated Mrs. Polard. Polard’s two favorite stores, Banana Republic and Nordstrom, are her places to go when looking for the latest fashion. Of all the expensive and beautiful accessories out there to buy, Polard thinks that you do not have to look far to find something; your smile will complete any outfit. Caution: Carcinogens Señora Miller: Señora Miller walked the runway with her fashion tips in the October issue and now she is back to talk about the holidays. “For the holidays the essentials: shimmer, sparkle, and shine and for the winter cold weather, nothing is better than cozy and comfortable sweaters, booties, and leggings.” Miller’s best fashionable gift to give this season is a scarf; it is a great accessory when completing an outfit. The inspiration for the season is to keep boots and heels in heavy rotation. MadiStart|PTFocusEditor Who knew delicious peanut butter could lead to something as awful as cancer? Carcinogens are hidden in items that we use everyday. Items that seem so harmless that we would never think twice about them being potentially dangerous to our health. Besides peanut butter, some of these culprits include deodorant, sunscreen, and cell phones. A fungus called Aspergillus flavus grows in peanut butter stored at room temperature. It releases a cancer causing metabolic product called aflatoxin B1, which is officially recognized as a carcinogen. Researchers recommend refrigerating peanut butter or buying organic peanut butter so this fungus cannot grow. Unfortunately, peanut butter is not the only everyday item that may lead to cancer. Just because you wear sunscreen while having fun in the sun does not mean you are safe from skin cancer. People often think that sunscreen is the ultimate shield for skin cancer. Too much sun is harmful, even if you are wearing SPF 50. Interestingly enough, the FDA states, “there is no assurance that the specific values themselves are in fact truthful…” Regarding that higher SPF sunscreen is not in fact safer then lower SPF sunscreen. Junior Alex Pacich said, “Sunscreen companies should be more honest about what their products actually do.” Sunscreen is not the only product we use that may be harmful to our health. Everyone wears deodorant to stay odor free but some scientists have experimented and discovered that deodorant may be harmful. Some scientists have suggested that the aluminumbased compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer. These compounds enter the body through nicks and cuts caused by shaving. Everyone loves browsing their twitter feed before bed, but falling asleep by your phone might actually be extremely harmful. Dr. Devra Davis, author of Disconnect--The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, has been researching the safety hazards of radiation emanating from your cell phone. The truth is, cell phones have a similar frequency to microwaves. Dr. Davis suggests that people should not talk on their phone for thousands of minutes each month and not sleep by them to prevent radiation exposure. “This is shocking to me but I don’t sleep by my phone or talk on it a lot so I don’t really have to worry,” stated Zach Jaap. These are just a few of the items researchers have found out to be potentially dangerous. Although this research hasn’t been substantiated by other studies, it is still a sobering thought that common everyday items could be harmful to our health. AP Images Crowe
  13. 13. Preparing for never too Although, you should’ve started months ago, it’s ate. Tinsel and holly are great but my favorite late to decor scissors decorations are snowflakes! Grab some paper and cutting! and get The holiday se early? Instea ason is full of delicious cuisine, so w d of packing hy not start a horizons wit h spaghetti to boring PB&J for lunch, expand your pped with po late syrup, ca ptarts, choco ndy, and don’ late, chocot you dare fo rget the map le syrup! Looking fo perfect answr the perfect gift? Fresh are just so go er. Yummy and warm -bak an candy canes od! You can add chocola d O , or any other te c tr milk and map eat you enjoy. le syrup for d ip (Mr. Su Don’t let those grinches . You can take your spirits down ck the Remember two things; pa
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  15. 15. pths People Features// December Past Teacher Feature RebeccaPerryman|WebsiteEditor-In-Chief & KelseyHunter|SportsEditor Elementary and middle school teachers have molded our student body since the first day of kindergarten. A few of these teachers include the humorous gym teacher Mr. Shaw from McMurray, the enthusiastic seventh grade social studies teacher Mr. Maiolo, the caring and compassionate Mrs. Gropp from Pleasant Valley, and the comical eighth grade science teacher, Mrs. Palko. They shared insights, advice and what they learned from the Class of 2014. What has changed over the years teaching at your school? “The biggest change in my 21 years at Pleasant Valley has been in technology. We have gone from writing lesson plans by hand to typing them on the computer in files that can be shared electronically throughout the district and stored on the N drive. Also children spend more time in front of technology rather than creatively making projects or running and interacting with friends,” said Mrs. Gropp. Mrs. Gropp What are your best memories teaching? “I have so many great memories teaching science. I love what I teach and couldn’t ask for a better curriculum. More so, I really enjoy teaching middle school students. They are always very excited to complete the hands-on activities and ask off the wall questions,” said Mrs. Palko. What did the class of 2014 teach you? “[The Class of 2014 taught me] the value of having a good sense of humor in the classroom,” said Mr. Maiolo. Mrs. Palko Mr. Maiolo Do you have any advice for the graduating seniors this year? “I would simply say [to the graduating seniors] to give 100% of yourself in everything that you do and you will end up with no regrets. Don’t accept failure; strive to be the best. Good luck to you on your journey ahead,” said Mr. Shaw. Mr. Shaw Photos by Kelsey Hunter and Rebecca Perryman Guten Tag! From Kirsten Hello! Or should I say guten tag? PTHS welcomes junior Kirsten Rieper, a foreign exchange student from Germany.                 Switching schools can be difficult, but moving from one country to another and trying to fit into a new school can be even more challenging. “I really like it here at PTHS and it is what I imagined an American high school would be like,” stated Kirsten Rieper                One way new students make new friends and get to know their fellow classmates is 14 BrennaWoodside|StaffWriter by getting involved in a school so we can just adjust to it. sport or activity. Learning the language overall “I joined cross country, I like was a little difficult but not too it a lot because I’m not use to hard.” competing and being with a                               With the holidays team, and will probably join approaching Rieper shared indoor track too since I enjoy her thoughts about celebrating running,” said Rieper Thanksgiving and Christmas.                         Everyone adjusts to “I am  excited to new situations differently, celebrate my first Thanksgiving however, Rieper’s transition and Christmas here, I feel like from speaking German to you celebrate these holidays the English language was no more here than we ever did problem for her at all  back in Germany,” stated “I took an English Rieper. “I will probably be sad speaking class while living in on Christmas, as my family will Germany since middle school,” not be here with me, but I am stated Rieper. “We listened to excited to see how you guys American music all the time celebrate it.” Photos by Brenna Woodside
  16. 16. Behind the Bench: Ted Elattrache NicoleBeichner|StaffWriter The anticipation of senior year begins the minute you you practically plan out the rest of your life. You have an idea of walk into the doors freshman year. For senior Ted Elattrache, where you’re going and what you’re anticipating the rest of your life,” said Elattrache. freshman year was like yesterday to him. Students may see high school strictly as a place to learn, “I remember my but there are also life lessons that are acfirst day of freshman year quired that can really come in handy later and looking up to all of the on in life. seniors and wanting to be in “I love high school. I’ve learned so many their position. Time goes by life skills that I never thought I would so fast,” said Elattrache. learn. I learned how to be a good friend The senior benches and to take as many opportunities as posgrant upperclassmen the ausible. Knowing how to interact with people thority that comes with sewill get you further than any other skill,” niority. said Elattrache. “The senior bench As much as we all love high school, the es are definitely a place for journey must come to an end for everyone. sociable seniors. It’s a place “High school goes by so fast. What I will where we share stories, miss most it is being in the same building laughs, and share other exwith hundreds of people that I grew up with. periences,” stated Elattrache. Goals that I have for the end of senior year Although school are to meet as many people as possible, to do has its negatives, senior year everything I can, and to take any opportunity that approaches me,” has its positives. “What I like about senior year is that it is the year that said Elattrache. Photos by Nicole Beichner Painting a Picture of Krissy Rhen Gifted artists are usually a rarity in high schools, where the focus is not placed on art theories and techniques. Senior Krissy Rhen is one of these unique art students. Rhen has taken numerous art classes over the past four years, but has been most involved in painting. “Painting would be my favorite art class because of the watercolor and acrylic mediums used,” Rhen stated. “There are a wide range of experimental techniques that can be used to create abstract art pieces as well as realistic painting.” Rhen prefers to work with watercolor while painting. To no one’s surprise, her favorite piece out of those that she’s created is a watercolor masterpiece. “This year I created KarenRichtar|Staff Writer a watercolor painting in “My inspiration can Advanced Art Honors. It is an come from almost anywhere,” up close image of the rib cage of Rhen said. “Music, nature, and a skeleton,” stated Rhen. “The even other artists’ pieces have bones were painted in a magenta inspired some of my work.” color against a contrasting blue Different art forms and purple.” require new sources of In addition to inspiration and some are the watercolor techniques more challenging than others. incorporated throughout the This year Rhen is exploring painting, sharpie details were Ceramics, a class that is new to drawn in the background. A her. viewer examining the work “I find the art form might wonder how long Rhen much more difficult than other has been developing her art forms because it is very incredible artistic talent. The ‘hands-on’; it requires lots of answer is further back than she practice,” Rhen said. Outside can remember. of art classes, Rhen enjoys “I created art at such a designing and sewing clothing. young age I can’t remember the She has decided to attend Kent first thing I made,” Rhen stated. State for fashion design next Other than creativity, year. natural talent, and practice, the “Experimentation is key for any artist is inspiration. important in creating artwork. For Rhen, inspiration is an Don’t overthink!” abundant resource. Photos by Rachel Campion
  17. 17. How Mr. Sussman JillianKovac|St Every Indian down in Peters liked Christmas a lot… But Mr.Sussman who taught in room 214, did NOT! Mr. Sussman hated Christmas! The whole holiday season! Now please don’t ask why.  No one quite knows the reason.   It could be that he liked math way too much and the whole holiday season just didn’t add up.    But I think the most likely reason of all, May have been that his heart was pi sizes too small. But, whatever the reason, his heart or the math,   He stood there before break, planning how to carry out his wrath. Staring out at his class full of chatty teens with a sour, Sussman frown, He planned and he plotted on how to bring their spirits down. “I know just what to do!” Mr. Sussman laughed about his trick, As he prepared his costume to look just like St. Nick “All I need is a reindeer or two,” Mr. Sussman looked around, But since we live in Western Pennsylvania there were none to be found. Mr. Sussman didn’t let this problem stop his plan. “A student shall do,” as he searched for a nice young man. That’s when he spotted Max walking in the hall, He said, “If you help me I will award bonus points to all.” He couldn’t resist. He couldn’t refuse, Max agreed to help no matter what he had to do.
  18. 18. n Stole Christmas taffWriter The morning of the last day before break, Mr. Sussman thought, “This is going to be a piece of cake!” On this very morning the fire alarm he did pull, Forcing all of the students, besides Max of course, out of the school. Mr. Sussman chuckled and laughed with glee, “Mwahaha,” he said, “Christmas was stolen by none other than me!” Max led the way from room to room, They had to work quickly and swiftly “ZOOM, MAX, ZOOM!” Mr. Sussman took phones and iPads and computers, He took pictures and decorations from every teacher, even the tutors There was one last stop they had to make, The janitor’s keys Mr. Sussman would take. As the students filed in, down the hallway floor, Mr. Sussman locked door after door. The students were trapped with nowhere to go, They didn’t have phones to play on or pictures to show. Mr. Sussman only left two things in the classroom nooks, Some bright yellow calculators and torn up math books. Layout by Cassi DeLuca
  19. 19. pths Entertainment // December 2013 Keep Catching ‘em All CaseyKirwan|WebsiteEditor-in-Chief There are currently 718 Pokémon in existence and people everywhere are still trying to catch them all. October 12, 2013, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y were released all over the world for the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS. According to Gameinformer.com, in just the first two days that the game was released, over 4 million copies were sold. That is the same number of iPhone 4S’s that were sold during its weekend release. This game is the most revolutionized Pokémon game thus far. Now with three-dimensional graphic, customization, and special effects, this sixth generation in the Pokémon game franchise is an enormous success. It has been nearly 20 years since the very first Pokémon game was created for the GameBoy and it is impressively, after all these years, keeping its spot as the second most popular gaming franchise behind Nintendo’s own Mario. Despite the original main target audience of young kids, Pokémon is extremely popular among teenagers and college students. The release of Pokémon X and Y has already made an impact here at PT as kids on the buses and in the cafeteria are trading pokémon back and forth. People are very pleased with the new graphics and goodies of the new games. “I like the friend safari the most,” said junior Jacob Simmons about one of the new features in the games. “It gives you the ability to find pokémon with rare abilities and many other secrets.” Senior Tristan Snyder said, “My favorite thing about the new pokémon is the trainer customization because there are a lot more choices than just a stereotype trainer, plus, your character is in cut scenes and they use your trainer as they are.” This game pair also brings about a whole new storyline for players to enjoy and venture through. Junior Garrett Murray commented, “The plot is the best thing. It is very dark and emotional unlike the other Pokémon games.” It is evident that there are many new pokémon to look forward to. The designs and looks have improved much since the last pair of games. Simmons said, “[My favorite new pokémon is] Mega Alakazam because it put a nice new twist on one of the old pokémon.” “[I like] Aegislash. He’s a possessed sword!” enthused Murray. “His design is a sword sheathed in a shield. His hilt looks like a crown and he can change form in battle to switch his defense to his offence.” There is definitely a lot of hype over the new “fairy type” pokémon that has been released with the game as well. Fans find this new breed of pokémon to be very refreshing after so many years of the same types. “The new fairy type adds something new to the game and finally gives dragons something to worry about,” Snyder said. “The fairy type, while it seems weak, the type is very strong,” explained Murray. “It’s very annoying to fight if you don’t have a poison or steel type.” This new release is clearly a must-have for any gamer. Pokémon X and Y are here and it appears that they will be highly in demand all the way until the next pair of games reaches the shelves. Photos by Casey Kirwan Beating the Winter Blues VanessaScoulos|PeopleFeaturesEditor With less sunlight and freezing weather, it is easy to catch a case of the winter blues. Instead of laying on the couch watching Netflix for hours on end, try something new. Try one of the ideas below if you want to have an exciting winter break. Bake Cookies: Invite your friends over, gather ingredients, and whip up a batch of warm chocolate chip cookies. You’ll enjoy spending some quality time talking over freshly baked desserts. The best part is that you get to eat cookies. Ice Skating: Spend a lovely Saturday afternoon skating at one of our local rinks. The Iceoplex and South Park skating rink are popular choices for many local 18 kids, but if you are looking for more excitement, try the PPG rink. It is located in downtown Pittsburgh and is open until midnight on the weekends. Build a snowman: You cannot let this winter season pass by without playing in the snow. Embrace your inner child and get outside! Put on your snow pants and boots and head out to the back yard. Invite your younger neighbors and siblings. This doesn’t appeal to Layout by Natalie Rihmland you? Try building an ice sculpture instead. Ginger bread house competition: When it comes to building ginger bread houses, everyone feels like an architect and this is your chance to prove it. Instead of going out with friends on a Friday night, share some quality bonding time with your family. Whip up some icing and have a contest to see who can make the best house. Prizes can be awarded for the winner. Kits are available for purchase at Giant Eagle and most convenient stores at a fairly low cost. Read a book: Sometimes you have to just chill out and have some quiet time. Pour yourself a mug of hot cocoa and curl up with a good book. Some of this season’s best sellers include Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, and Sycamore Row by John Grisham. Photos by AP Images Mead & Dunham, and Vanessa Scoulos
  20. 20. Holiday Bucket List KassiannaPolitis|#connectEditor As the holiday season nears, adults scurry to find the most effective prices for the best gifts while students are piled to the sky with homework and tests. This year, take some of the stress away by knocking out one or two of the holiday activities listed on the Holiday Bucket List. 1. Choose, cut, and buy a real Christmas Tree What better way is there to open presents than to open them under a real Christmas tree? Gather your family and head to Candle Tree Farm in Washington County. Here the full experience is provided. You can walk or ride a wagon into the field, choose from thousands of Christmas trees, and even cut it down yourself. Afterwards, come inside and enjoy a complimentary cup of hot chocolate or coffee. This is quality fun for the entire family as a real tree will complete the Christmas experience, imprinting the senses of smell, sight, and touch that will create lasting family memories. 2. Bring back childhood memories We all remember those days when the first snow fell and everyone rushed outside to play in it. Bring back your childhood memories this holiday season. Gather your friends, and start with the old classic snow ball fight. Afterwards, change gears a little and get ready to build and decorate a snowman. Although it may not come to life, do not forget to add a top hat! Save the best for last, and end the outdoor adventure by sledding. Wrap up this fun filled day with a warm cup of a hot chocolate and a holiday movie. 3. Downtown at PPG Bundle up, rent some skates, grab your friends, and head down town for a fun filled evening at PPG. First, stop at the amazing PPG ice rink and surround yourself with the ones you love, a 65-foot tall Christmas tree, and holiday themed songs. Then, warm up in the PPG Wintergarden as you enjoy the breathtaking “Spirits of Giving from Around the World” exhibit. This exhibit features a 32-foot tall Christmas tree and sixteen life-sized Santa Clauses representing sixteen different countries. PPG Ice skating and the Santa Clause display is the perfect combination for a delightful holiday packed day. 4. Times Square for News Year’s Eve Where is the craziest, noisiest, and most amazing place to celebrate the New Year? You guessed it, Times Square. Enjoy six hours of live music performances, celebrity guests, and time in New York City. As the anticipation of thousands wait for midnight, do not forget to set your resolutions for the new year. And as the countdown comes to an end, the famous ball drop occurs exactly as the clock strikes midnight. Photos by AP Images Franklin II, Kaster, and Srakocic Bridegroom KourtneyMartin|StaffWriter Gay marriage is an ongoing debate in the United States. The country seems to be going in circles instead of resolving the issue. While some states have made gay marriage legal, other states are vehemently fighting for it to be banned altogether. Although the government plays a key role in deciding the legality of it, the people also have an impact. Significant people protest in forms of marches, lectures, and movies. Bridegroom, directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason tackles this controversial issue. It tells the heart wrenching story of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom. The happy couple has been committed to each other for six years and has done everything together. Tom was a brilliant photographer who had a successful business going. One day, he decided to go on the roof of a high story building when he tragically slipped off the edge and fell to his death. Shane was completely crushed and turned to his family for support. The day the funeral arrived, Tom’s family forbid Shane to attend and would not even allow him to see his body one last time. Shane was devastated, distraught, and confused; it left him wondering what kind of people would go to that length to ruin someone’s life. They completely shut Shane out, financially and emotionally; Tom’s family removed all memories of Shane from Tom’s estate, including pictures of them. They refused to give Shane even a penny of the money that they had saved together over the years. This prompted Shane to make Bridegroom so his voice could be heard and give people without legal protections the help they need. Bridegroom opens a window into the issue of marriage equality like no speech ever could. It shines a light on the important lessons in life, such as fairness and equality. Bridegroom was a hit in the theaters and is now a popular documentary on Netflix. The movie has also won numerous awards for best documentary of 2013.This movie is a highly recommended must see by the NY Times. Photo by AP Images Vogel 19
  21. 21. pths News // October 2013 What in the World? MariaHoge|NewsEditor There are too many kids that face the challenge of obesity everyday and too few schools that are able to meet each state’s physical education requirements. Medgar Evers High School was not able to meet the necessary requirements until they turned the basement hallways into an indoor track. This may seem crazy but it allowed the students to break a sweat and to receive credit for the necessary eight semesters of gym. In 1990, a group of tourists decided to endure the cold conditions and stay in the Icehotel, located in the small Arctic town of Jukkasjarvi, Sweden. Little did they know, this hotel turned out to be a popular tourist attraction today. Entirely made out of snow and ice, the Icehotel has always experienced some difficulty rebuilding itself every year. This year has not been any different, especially with a new demand for the placement of fire alarms. When dealing with food recipes there are basically two types of people: those who do not like to try new recipes and those who live for it. If you are the latter, then Zucker’s Bakery, located in New York, is the perfect shop for you this holiday season. They made a new concoction: Thanksgivukkah donuts. These donuts are supposedly a mind-blowing combination of the favorite foods of both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. A few of the different Thanksgivukkah donuts offered include a sweet potato donut with a marshmallow filling or a donut filled with slices of turkey and cranberries. Unsure of the public’s reaction to these treats, the bakery plans to continue selling the usual donuts as well. You can never practice something too much, right? Laia Martin, a 27-yearold concert pianist, thought so too. That is until she was confronted with the possibility of serving jail time due to her downstairs neighbor filing a complaint. The prosecutor claims that Martin’s constant practicing has caused her to suffer from a lack of sleep and panic attacks. The indicter is asking that Martin is not only jailed AP Images Perlman, Funick and for 16 months, but also banned from performing as a professional pianist for six months. Green “No Tune Left  Behind” Rocks Out in D.C. MariaHoge|NewsEditor In 2004, four teachers from McMurray Elementary (Mr. DiFilippo, Mr. McGough, Mr. Cygrymus, and Mr. Lovett) decided to work together to assist with the school’s talent show. After receiving praise on their show performance, the teachers were motivated to form the band called “No Tune Left Behind.” Since then, NTLB has greatly contributed to Peters Township’s character education program.   As a result of their contributions and successes, the band traveled to Washington D.C. this October to perform at the annual National Character Education Conference. “Dr. Freado is a big reason that we found out about the CEP,” said Mr. DiFilippo. “He has helped us to establish and continue Character Counts here in Peters Township.”    Unfortunately, the combination of challenges presented by both mother nature and the transportation of equipment caused a delay in the band’s arrival. However, They were greeted by the exceptional audio and video crew, giving them the luxury to focus on perfecting their set. “Musically, we performed well and the audience we had appreciated our hour-long show,” stated Mr. McGough, the drummer and one of the singers in the band.    20 Layout by Maddie Lampert The set included songs the teachers felt had clear positive messages, such as “Under Pressure” by Queen and “Instant Karma” by John Lennon. “My favorite song that we are performing right now is Under Pressure by Queen.   I really like this piece because it has a great message and I love a challenge,” stated Mr. McGough.    Although there was not much time to spare, three out of the four members had the chance to sit in on former principal Dr. Freado’s presentation on establishing a good character counts program. “In the past couple of years, we have been focused on our live performances, but, as we approach our ten year anniversary, we are looking to create more videos,” said DiFillipo.          “No Tune Left Behind” plays at the National Character Educational Conference in Washington, D.C. “Musically, we performed well and the audience we had, appreciated our hour-long show,” stated Mr. McGough.
  22. 22. The Unresolved Assassination Kassianna Politis #connectEdtor During the 2013 career fair, students were given the opportunity to listen to a remarkable speaker and wellknown forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht. Dr. Wecht has performed autopsies on our nation’s toughest cases. In 1968, he was called to consult on the results of the autopsy of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Dr. Wecht spoke at our school on November 21, 2013, coincidentally the eve of the 50 anniversary of the JFK assassination. The official government report states that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin that shot both Kennedy and Governor John Connelly with a single bullet. However, Dr. Wecht has a different theory. “75-85% of the American public does not accept the Warren Commission Report. I think that Americans should learn about this case and contemplate what is owed to all of us and what we in turn owe to our country, the pursuit in what I consider to be an unresolved case, the assassination of the president, and most importantly not by the Russians, Cubans, or Chinese, but by people here in America. That’s really what it’s all about,” stated Dr. Wecht. He reiterates the fact that in order for the bullet to pass through Connelly’s ribs and then hit President Kennedy in the head, it would have had to turn at a 90 degree angle, which is impossible. Therefore, Dr. Wecht ultimately believes that there was at least one other shooter involved. The notoriety he received from challenging the official Warren Commission report on the assassination led him to be called in to consult on many other high profile cases such as the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, the Charles Manson killing of actress Sharon Tate, the death of Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones, and Elvis Presley. These cases have made him the most successful medical examiner in the nation. However, to achieve his success, Dr. Wecht put in many years of hard work. Not only does he have a medical degree, he obtained a law degree as well. Dr. Wecht has put his degrees and experience to good use. He has served as Allegheny County Coroner, Medical Examiner and County Commissioner. He has been the president of both the American Academy of Forensic Science and the American College of Legal Medicine, and currently heads the board of trustees of the American Board of Legal Medicine. In his name, Duquesne University School of Law established the “Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law.” Dr. Wecht said, “Speaking realistically, pragmatically, and perhaps regrettably the college diploma isn’t worth a great deal. You have to think that you are going to have to get a masters degree and in many fields you will need a PHD. Wecht has plenty of advice to share with high school students beginning their career paths, “My advice is to think about what you want to do, find a school that has good programs and post graduate programs, study hard, make good grades, learn as much as you can, and in the summer time look for positions in those fields to acquire more knowledge and information about it.” Photos by Shelly Belcher Farmhouse Closes Deidra Moran|StaffWriter Just think back to the middle school days of walking to Farmhouse Coffee. It was the hot spot for every student after school. Sadly, this local coffee house closed on November 1 of this year. Farmhouse Coffee was not only popular with students, but also with many groups such as book clubs and community members that met there over the years. Farmhouse started to lose business three years ago when Starbucks Coffee opened across the street, causing many students and residents to rethink their hang out spot. In addition to the obvious competition, Farmhouse was in a less convenient location for customers, which was a huge drawback. This unfortunate combination along with limited hours of operation caused customers to choose faster service at the drive through over a cozy, relaxed environment. “I am going to miss Farmhouse. I used to go there with my friends before band practice,” stated junior Kayla Damazo. The students will miss some of farmhouse’s unique beverage choices not offered at other coffee shops. “I’m upset because I have never had their frozen hot chocolate,” said junior Julia Kuehn. Photo by Deidra Moran 21
  23. 23. Keep Calm and Clay On AndreaSalizzoni|OnlineEditor-in-Chief With the hectic holiday season upon us, ceramics students are relaxing with some mug-making and pottery-painting. Enjoy this display of the student body’s impressive talent, original ideas, and personal masterpieces. , 12 , 12 , 12 , 12 , 12
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  25. 25. Home Sweet Home These delicious Gingerbread houses were on display at PPG Place during the holidays made by Foods I students. Anna Cocco, Parker Delaney, and Abby Strennan Evan Lantry, Adam Jaworski, and Greg Serena Gabby Quarture, Demi Blair, and Megan Kinney Elena Haynes, Niki Lester, and Olivia Bondi Nicco Mastrangelo, Connor Pike, and Lindsay Pendergast Jordan Harakal, Alanna Weiss, and Alyssa Watkins Teachers Blake Dickey, Crystal Ecker, and Rachel Hino Jennifer Holcombe, Alyssa James, and Abby Marnik Seana Soika, Lexi Rhoads, and Jane Fitzgerald Photos by Samantha Abraham