The baseball team get to play in the old Minnesota Twins stadium, it does not hold any more professional baseball games so the team got the chance to rented it out for the day.
It is the first year that a baseball team has ever gone on a trip like this. It is common that a team plays on a local college fields but never a professional field. The team will be playing on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. against Osseo-Fairchild.
“The idea actually came from a parent, I thought it was a good idea. It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to play inside a stadium, so I thought it would be a memorable experience,” said varsity baseball coach Jake Dahlke.
The trip is being funded by the athletic boosters club. The boosters club has donated a lot to the baseball team and this trip was a huge surprise to the players. The varsity and JV teams will both be playing.
“I think it will be fun to get to play on a former MLB field,” said junior catcher Tommy Torkelson.
It takes a lot to excite a high school student enough to make them get up and be on the bus at 6:30 in the morning on a Saturday.
“The opportunity to step onto a former Major League Baseball Field filled with years of history, a chance to feel like a MLB player for the day, and hopefully a day that they will remember and talk about the rest of their lives,” said Dahlke.The Metrodome is not a normal field it has turf instead of grass. “I think the ball will take a different hop of the the turf, but it will be more predictable than playing on grass and dirt,” said junior third baseman Dalton Shaw.
Getting the money to rent the metrodome was the easy part of the planning. It took about two weeks of planning just to get everything set. “It took me the first week to get ahold of the lady in charge of renting the Metrodome. Then I finally got ahold of her, and it took another week for me to find a date available that matched up with ours and Osseo-Fairchild’s schedule,” said Dahlke.
The game that we will be playing does not count for conference it is just a game that we get to play. The game is just getting more games in and experience for the athletes.
“I think that this will give us confidence from playing on a professional field and we will get the feeling of being professional baseball players. Hopefully the confidence transfers onto the field when we are playing conference games,” said Shaw.
The snow has just melted and sports teams are just getting to be able to go outside. Athletic teams across the state were held in the gym for weeks while Mother Nature slowly continued bringing back winter weather for a final return.
Over the last few weeks, sports teams have been limited to very little practice. Track has been the only sport that has had a competition while the other sports wait on until they can finally get out there. For athletes that are looking to play at the next level, having a big chunk of their season being cancelled, has had some effects.
Senior Grant Stittleburg will be attending Stevens Point next year and will be a part of their baseball team.
“Yeah, it has been tough. I love the game of baseball and not being able to go outside this past month and play has been hard, but shortly we will be out–and I can not wait,” said Stittleburg.
When universities recruit athletes to play on their teams, they normally look at season stats. This year will be hard for recruiters in the area with a lot of the season being cancelled.
“It won’t really effect me too much. I have spoken with Stevens Point and they know what we are all going through. For some athletes I could see this being a problem, though. The less games you play, the less experience you have to carry on to the collegiate level. It is a bummer to miss a chunk of my senior year of baseball, but I will make the most of it,” said Stittleburg.
“This weather hasn’t had an impact on me going to college. I will be playing football, so missing some track meets isn’t going to hurt my chances. I just wish we could get out there so I could throw,” said senior Christian Steihl.
The golf team has also had a pretty slow start to the season. All golf has been able to do is sit in the classroom and go over rules of the game and different situations.
“This weather has really set our season back. We were supposed to have like five matches already but we haven’t even got to go outside that much. The weather should warm up soon and we will be very busy having matches like three times a week,” said junior Alec Muth.
Every day the world finds new ways to use technology and electronics. However, with this change in technology, people must change and keep up-to-date with this new-age of technology.
Next year the high school is implementing a new program in our school called one-to-one. This program will give students a personal laptop. This will allow many possibilities on how the school will approach both learning and teaching.
The school’s technology integration coach Kaye Henrickson is very hopeful about the future of one-to-one. Henrickson is helping plan the program and get everything in order. She is hoping that the school will save money and will become more educated on the technical aspects of the world.
The district is wanting to get the best laptops for both educational uses. Having the latest technology will allow the latest programs to be accessible for the students.
The one-to-one program will have some environmental advantages as well. With more classes having more online based classes, the use of paper will be decreased, thus saving the trees.
This change to our school will make way for many new online based classes to enter the school. It will allow students who are interested in different classes to try them and expand their learning horizons.
Studies show that smaller schools who carry out the one-to-one program there test scores and grades slightly go up. Even though it may just be a slight increase, this will allow different teachers to see what needs to be changed in different classes.
One-to-one with the computers will also allow students to get help outside of class by either having programs that will help you study, or chat groups with the teachers. Homework will be available online as well. Having homework online will result will also allow students who may have missed a day to get their homework and information they may have missed available to them.
Other schools with the one-to-one have seen more responsible students and less behavior referrals. In fact more schools have seen more engaged learners after implementing the one-to-one program.
The one-to-one program may seem as if it is burning a bigger hole in the schools pocket. However, studies show that schools save a lot more money from online textbooks, and lack of paper use. Also the programs on the laptops will be ever-changing and always have up-to-date material.
This new program may be both good and bad for our school district. Only time will tell the effects of the program, however the faculty seems very hopeful with this change to the high-school.
Lately at Black River Falls High School, many students have had to set their alarms for six in the morning. For what, you may ask? Sports practice!
“I am fine with the early practices. I mean, I have been having to get up early for school for awhile and there was even a time when I had to be to school at seven for weeks on end, so I am used to it by now,” said junior Joseph Barnett.
With six different sports needing to practice after school, the weather has presented the Black River Falls High School with a challenge. Due to the snow-covered and muddy fields, the teams are not able to practice on the fields and courts. Since there are only three gyms available for the sports teams to practice in, some teams were forced to move their practice times to six AM.
“I like the practices being early in the day better than after school,” said sophomore Gabby Servant.
Some students may find themselves more energetic throughout the day because they got up early and were active. On the other hand, some students may find themselves dozing off during class because they burned so much energy already that morning.
“One advantage for me is that the practices are almost private because the area is kind of yours. On the other hand, a disadvantage is that some people don’t take mornings well, but some don’t mind it. I guess it all depends if you are a morning person or not,” said Barnett.
For students without their driver’s license, the early morning practices can present a challenge. The busses do not run their routes that early, and if a parent has to be to work earlier, or is not able to take their child for some reason, how are they supposed to attend their practices?
“I have definitely had trouble getting up at six each morning because I have been busy, and it wears down on the body because you are really tired and it bugs me. But once I am up and ready, I am fine with it. Also, I help give people rides to the early practices that do not have rides available for themselves,” said Barnett.
Many students, including Miranda Schnur, Joey Barnett, and others, agree that morning practices aren’t all that bad.
“I love six AM practices!” exclaimed sophomore Miranda Schnur
Here at the Black River Falls High School, six AM practices are becoming a new regular for many sports teams.
Many students are starting to study for the ACT and SAT tests. Some are even starting to look at college life and financially preparing. One thing that students are starting to also do is touring colleges. Many juniors find that touring a college of interest is an important step in choosing a college because of the view they get.
“I want to go to a college in New Mexico,” said sophomore Lionel Sanchez.
Unlike some sophomores, Lionel has put much thought into where he wants to go to school after high school.
The students that are attending the college have a voice and an opinion when it comes to their college. Junior Katie Malchow says that she has toured UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse.
“My tour was actually led by someone from the admissions office,” said Malchow.
Sometimes colleges will hold a student led tour. Many students feel that a student led tour is a better option because they get a more raw and relatable experience. After all, the admission officer gets to go home instead of stay on the college at night. Who would know the college better than a student who lives there 24/7?
“I’m definitely looking for some more freedom, but I also want a more academically challenging college,” said Malchow.
When students tour colleges, they get a look inside the college life. They get to tour a dorm and a variety of the buildings in which student pursue their majors. Sometimes when they visit a college; however, they get a view that might not be so good.
“Walking from building to building for classes is going to be hard to adjust to,” said Malchow.
Even though they visit a college to get a feel for it, they also get a social feel for the college.
“Adjusting to college life and making new friends, meeting new people, it’s going to be difficult for me,” said Malchow.
The overall experience of college tours are very important in making a decision. However, many students neglect to tour their college of interest.
On April 2, Dr. Shelly Severson was named as the Black River Falls School District Superintendent.
“It is with highest regard and respect that we welcome Shelly Severson as our educational leader. She is an energetic, professional, accomplished leader who looks to continuously improve the learning environment,” said Mary Jo Rozmenoski, Black River Falls School District’s current school board president. Severson was selected after 16 other applicants applied.
“Dr. Severson was one of 16 applicants for district administrator. The Board reviewed all application materials then narrowed personal interviews to 6. After personal interviews, Dr. Severson was one of three top finalists in our search,” said Rozmenoski. Severson has many qualities that qualify her for this job such as an Ed.D. Educational Administration, Master of Arts in Education, Educational Leadership and Bachelor of Music, Choral and General Music.
“I am a very active member in the community, I have a good understanding of the district, and I know our district’s strengths,” said Dr. Shelly Severson. The school board thought she had many great qualities as well.
“Dr. Severson is an experienced instructional leader, has exemplary interpersonal skills, is a collaborative leader and is driven by personal integrity and high values. She has pursued continuous professional development throughout her career,” said Rozmenoski. Severson has many great ideas to help further our district, and the Board is there to help her.
Severson’s first priority is to help bridge the gap between the schools.
“There is such a big shock when students transfer to each school, and it shouldn’t be like that,” said Severson. She would like to form a leadership team that involves teachers, parents and students.
“Students tend not to care about what is happening in the other schools in our district. But what happens in each school affects everyone,” said Severson. Severson wants the leadership team to branch over all of the schools in our district. The leadership team would be consisted of mostly teachers and parents from all three schools.
“It’s important for teachers, parents, and students to be involved because they all have a say in what happens with their school,” said Severson. Making a leadership team is not Severson’s only priority. She also believes that going to one to one technology next year will help the school.
“One to one technology will be good for the students next year. It will help keep the students and teachers connected,” said Severson.
“The Board looks forward to the transition of working with Dr.Severson as the district’s superintendent, as she brings positive, trusting, creative leadership and is familiar with all facets of our district,” said Romenoski.
Many local businesses expect to have students come work for them during the summer. Having a summer job gives students a way to make money for themselves and feel independent.
High schoolers are unsure where to look or find job opportunities, but students can find jobs in several different ways.
“The most effective means is to read the paper and look at the job postings. If none of those options sound interesting, ask an upper classman about job opportunities, and check social networking pages for local businesses,” said careers teacher Tina Gilbertson. Often word of mouth and having good references will secure a job.
“It gives me something to pass time and I like having my own money,” said junior Tyler Rush.
It is not Rush’s first time working this year. Rush has worked at the golf course in the past summers. He filled out the application and got a call soon after.
“I don’t work in the summer because school and sports take up all my time,” said Rush. In some cases, students keep their jobs through the school year. They are able to work on weekends if they have the time.
“Once summer comes I will get more hours and more hours means more money, but I will not have as much free time,” said Burger King cook Harry Lipke.
Students are not looking for a career choice you are just looking for work. Students in Black River Falls and the surrounding area have many options to look for temporary or part-time employment. There are several fast food establishments, lots of hospitality jobs with local hotels, and jobs related to tourism such as employment with the state/county Park, as well as the Lunda Park.
“Students who like to be outdoors can also look to get jobs in the agriculture industry or small construction jobs,” said Gilbertson. All it takes is standing out to your employer.
There are many ways to get hired for a job. It depends on what job you are planning on getting. Complete, correct and truthful applications are what employers are looking for.
“Students should make sure they complete every section of the application. It’s important that students promote themselves and list volunteer opportunities as well as previous paid employment. Students need to be sure to ask the individuals they list as references if they will be a reference before listing them on an application,”said Gilbertson.
Once students get the job they want they have their own money to spend. It is very easy to spend money on things that are not important. “I buy things that I need and then I put the rest into a savings account for college,” said Rush.
Sitting behind the wheel, you eye the red light, waiting for the moment it turns green. As it changes color, the car jerks forward in a quick, surprising motion. Quickly after, the voice of the passenger riding shotgun rings throughout the car.
“PRESS THE GAS SLOWLY,” blurted the passenger. She has been sitting in the car for around an hour now, clutching her seat at every turn you have taken. As your teacher, she has to be next to you as you drive for the next nine months.
Starting off, teens are prone to make mistakes. With their parents by their side, teens tend to relax hoping that they are taught quickly and efficiently; eventually the student becomes irritated.
“I did get a little mad at my mom, I thought I was doing fine and focusing,” said sophomore Mitchel Gjerseth.
Although teenagers are desperately striving toward getting their licenses, some tend to pick up bad habits along the way. According to DoSomething.org, one-third of the death of teenagers ages 13-19 are cause by motor vehicle crashes; to make matters worse, 16 year olds have the highest crash rate. New drivers should always be practicing their driving, especially with their parents. Statistically, only 56% of teenagers rely on their parents to learn how to drive.
“I am so glad that I got my driver’s licenses. I can do so many more things but I think my parents helped me out a lot while learning to drive,” said sophomore Eli Parker.
Although teenagers may not mind the company of their parents, others think that their parents cause a distraction and makes them nervous. Trying to meet their parents’ expectations, teens often make mistakes which is followed by a reminder or a remark.
These complaints light a fuse inside the beginner who is behind the wheel. As the fuse dwindles down, the mood of some drivers also changes. They start to become a little annoyed and angry, wishing that their parents would let them drive peacefully.
“I do not mind driving with my mom, I already know the basics, so she does not really yell at me,” said freshmen Ashley Derus.
Even if you have been driving or just beginning, always remember to view your safety and your passenger’s safety first. You would think that wearing your seat belt should be an absolute, right?
Well, teens are twice as likely to wear their seat belt when their parents are in the car. And one more thing, the one you probably hear the most from, don’t text or call while driving. Recently, they’ve passed a law making it illegal for people age 18 and younger to operate their cellular devices while driving. Did you know that talking on the phone and driving doubles your chance of getting in an accident? It slows your reaction speed down to that of a 70 year old.
If you are learning to drive or just cruising, remember, safety first.
Life can change in the blink of an eye as sophomore KayCee Sanders found out earlier this year. Sanders was diagnosed with a bone cancer known as Osteosarcoma. Osteosarcoma is a bone cancer that is normally found in teens and young adults.
“I went to the doctor for an ear infection and had my leg checked because it was bothering me. The x-ray showed that I had a tumor. I then had to go see another doctor for an MRI, and then another for a biopsy on my leg. The results showed that it was cancer,” said Sanders. Sanders found out about her condition in November of 2012.
“When I found out I got really upset and threw up,” said Sanders. She wasn’t the only one who was upset.
“I was terrified. I kept wondering, why my baby,” said Tammy Murphy, KayCee’s mother. Sanders friends were also very concerned about her.
“I was devastated. I mean, I know what cancer does to people, and to know someone younger than me was going through it, it’s hard to imagine,” said senior Camille Gunning. Gunning met Sanders through the tennis season. Gunning found out about her condition by a mutual friend and teammate.
As Sanders has come to know, many things change when you have cancer, especially relationships.
“My relationships with my friends kind of changed. I don’t see them as much, and we don’t talk as much either,” said Sanders. Some of Sanders friends think their relationship with her has gotten better.
“I started getting to know her during the tennis season this year, and now I feel like I know her better because all of us [the tennis team] have come together for her,” said Gunning.
Her relationships with her family members haven’t really changed, but one in particular has.
“We’re a lot closer now. We spend everyday together,” said Murphy. Sanders and her mom are together everyday. Murphy is Sanders’s primary care giver.
“Everything’s changed, our whole world was turned upside down. I don’t work anymore, and I moved in with my ex-husband,” said Murphy. Many of Sanders habits have changed since she found out she has cancer.
“I have a very different outlook on germs. I can get sick a lot easier than other people because of the chemotherapy, so now I don’t go to places where there are a lot of people. If I do, I always wear a mask, and carry hand sanitizer with me,” said Sanders. Although many things have changed, Sanders is learning to accept it.
“It still upsets me, but it’s okay right now,” said Sanders. Sanders is learning to cope with having cancer, but she doesn’t let it get her spirit down.
“KayCee has a really positive attitude toward having cancer. She is always able to see the positive side even though its hard for her,” said junior Sonja Cook. Cook was also on the tennis team with Sanders this past fall.
“Don’t ever take life for granted, it can change in the blink of an eye,” said Sanders.
They call themselves SNAC, Student Nutrition Advisory Council. Basically, they eat food and give their input on it. Sounds like a fun club, right?
“Basically on SNAC, we help the cooks to decide what foods they should serve us based on what we like and don’t like and give our input on the new foods,” said junior Sierra Flick.
The SNAC group has already gotten busy with the new food menu. The changes and additions will be taking place soon.
“Some examples will include, meatballs on May 8th, a multi grain sub bun on May 9th, a beef patty on May 14th, a new Italian cheese on May 15th and banana bread on May 20th. These are just a couple item changes that may or may not go through for next year,” said Nutrition Services Supervisor Connie Sieber.
SNAC consists of Kinzi Macintyre, Samantha Guillaume, Sierra Flick, Zachary Bailey, Collin Oakes, Taylor Hamilton and Dylan Rochester. The SNAC group may be small, but they are learning a lot.
“So far, I have learned that there are a lot of foods out there that we really haven’t tried and we should get a bigger variety,” said junior Zachary Bailey.
The club recently went on a field trip on April 9 to Eau Claire where Indianhead Foodservice hosted an event at the Eau Claire Sports Arena. SNAC went on a trip to Eau Claire to taste test some new foods.
“On the trip, brokers and manufacturers come together to highlight new products that they have developed and to provide information about current product lines they carry. One of the most important reasons to attend the show is to network with the brokers and participants,” said Sieber.
A day of eating, recipe exchanges and demonstrations were the expectations of the day.
“We have went on two trips so far, and we taste-tested food for next year for lunches, and that was fun because, obviously, eating food is fun, but you get really full eating so much,” said Flick.
Because of the field trip, there will be new items added to the menu for next year and more changes to be made in the future.
“Based on the taste testing experience we had with the SNAC group earlier this year, there will be changes happening in the future. They were able to taste over 206 products back to back in a blind taste study and provide us with honest feedback. The experience was eye opening and beneficial,” said Sieber.
The SNAC group has had a fun year and they have been very helpful providing information to the cooks.
“SNAC is fun and it’s nice to give our input on the food without worrying about offending anyone,” said Flick.
If anyone is interested in joining the SNAC group, talk to one of the members of the group or contact Connie Sieber.
“Developing this team and working together to create a better nutrition program has been the best experience, and I look forward to many more years to come with the hopes of increased interest in joining our group,” said Sieber.
The thought of a needle going in your arm may seem unpleasant at first, but that little bit of pain can create a great outcome in the long run.
Giving blood can seem very unpleasant at first, but once someone realizes some of the benefits of donating blood, they may realize how it can change someone’s life.
“I give blood because its a nice thing to do, and I feel accomplished after,” said senior Matt Skogstad.
They whole thought of giving blood may leave someone disinterested, but the award for doing so is worth the discomfort. “I got interested in giving blood because I like helping people and lets me feel like I am making a difference,” said Skogstad.
Blood donation is one of the great ways to help people in need, and it also allows someone to try new things. “I like how giving blood feels cool, and how it makes me feel more important,” said Skogstad.
Blood drives can be a great way to participate in volunteering, however organizing a blood drive can be difficult. “Some struggles of the blood drive is the set up and contacting different businesses about the blood drive,” said senior Maria Lee.
“Helping with the blood drive can be stressful at times, but it was a great volunteering opportunity,” said Lee
External and internal rewards come from giving blood, to getting pizza afterwards to the warm feeling of knowing you are helping someone. “Giving blood is a great opportunity to give back to people that are in need of something,” said Lee.
With the pros about giving blood there is always a con to it to. Volunteers for the blood drive know that sometimes giving blood can cause discomfort and dizziness. However the group of volunteers work with people so they can be as comfortable as possible, by providing food and comfortable blood donation beds.
A lot of expenses can go into setting up a blood drive. In order to get people to come to the blood drive the volunteers have to put signs and different types of advertising around the town and school. This can become very costly for the Red Cross, especially for a non-profit organization.
“Giving blood allows someone to help others in need, even if you don’t know them, and is an easy way to give back to people,” said Skogstad.
Going into your first year of high school, you are starting on a fresh new plate. Everything from your freshman year to the end of your senior year matters for college. As a junior, you may start to visit colleges you would want to attend and take the ACT test, which you have been preparing for and you may not even know it.
Offered six times per year, the ACT, which stands for American College Testing, evaluates students readiness for college or technical school. Showing up to class, paying attention, and doing quality work has prepared you for this important test. More tips can be found at http://www.actstudent.org/testprep/tips/. Though few people will not take this test and will not attend college, The ACT is necessary to even be looked at and accepted into an university.
Students have many opportunities to prepare for the ACT freshman and sophomore years, also.
“In ninth and tenth grade, students should take the Explore and/or Plan test to prepare. These tests are short previews that provide a good example of what the ACT is kind of like,” said guidance counselor Sue Leadholm.
“I plan on taking the ACT coming up soon. I took the PLAN test as a sophomore, and it really helped me. I also downloaded an app on my phone which has helped me through the process and helped me study,” said junior Jacob Gerzsik.
There are practice booklets in the guidance office, but there is also numerous resources that can be purchased at any bookstore. To sign up for the test, you must go to the ACT website, which provides step-by-step instructions for the signup. On the free app, students can get a question a day.
Leadholm recommends taking the test more than once.
“When it comes to taking the test, students should take it a minimum of two times to get your desired score. I recommend that students take the ACT the second half of their junior year and again in their senior year,” said Leadholm.
When taking the test more than once, you may ask yourself what score will they take? When applying for college, students send in their best score and the other one is discarded.
“ I took the ACT twice and did better the second time. After I knew what the ACT was about and the difficulty of it, I was able to study and cruise through it a bit easier the second time,” said senior Grant Stittleburg.
The ACT is an important test for the future. If there are any questions or concerns about the ACT, contact Mrs. Leadholm in the Guidance Office or visit the ACT website for additional information.
Fourteen years after taking her first step on the ice at the age of three, Kayla Tennant is finally stepping off the ice once and for all.
“I am really going to miss just being able to skate and do my own thing,” said Tennant.
Although her future plans are going to WTC in Black River Falls and doing the physical therapy program to become a PT assistant, then later coaching for the Black River Falls Figure Skating Club, she will be greatly missed within the club (BRFFSC).
Tennant was involved in many different groups of the BRFFSC, from basic lessons to anything beyond she did it all.
“I was involved in the Eau Claire competition, Badger State Games competition. I was involved with the synchronized skating team for four years, and I was in private lessons for eight years,” said Tennant.
Practice makes perfect, and with a lot of experience under her belt that quote is something Kayla could definitely agree with.
Without coaches within any activity, things could go wrong very quickly. They are there to help guide those who need guidance.
“They helped me by teaching me to do things right rather than wrong, I‘m pretty sure that if I would have taught myself I would have done a lot of things wrong,” said Tennant, laughing.
Coaches were a big part of Tennant’s fourteen-year-long skating career, they lead her through step by step helping her get things done right.
Close friendships were made for Tennant throughout her skating career, sophomore Kaitlyn Noggle seemed to be one of her best.
“Kaitlyn and I have been skating together ever since we started skating. We do everything together. If one of us wasn’t at skating for a night, things just weren’t the same,” said Tennant.
Building such an inseparable bond between each another, skating built a friendship that is not about to end.
“Just because she’s not on the ice as much, that doesn’t change our relationship. She’s still my best friend,” said sophomore Kaitlyn Noggle.
Skating takes a lot of concentration and devotion to be at the ice arena at least three times a week, and Tennant was always there.
Preparing for the ice show every year in March is what the Black River Falls Figure Skating Club looks forward to the most throughout the year.
“It’s definitely hard. You have to learn so many programs, but I’d have to say just skating in it is the best part,” said Tennant.
Memories are made a lot throughout high school, strong memories which will be remembered even passed high school.
Noggle and Tennant have been skating together ever since they both stepped foot on the ice at a very young age, making it very easy for great memories to be made.
“I’m never going to forget staying with Kayla at competitions and cheering each other on,” said Noggle.
“I’ll never forget when Kaitlyn and I stayed in a hotel room alone and we were up at two in the morning jumping on the bed. Mariah Jessie was in the hotel, too, and she had to call us to tell us to stop because we were being so loud,” said Tennant.
Skating is a huge part of Tennant’s life, so stepping off the ice completely is really not an option just yet.
Looking forward to coaching in her future with the Black River Falls Figure Skating Club, carrying on her tricks to success with those younger than her is a goal to be reached.
“I will miss just being able to skate my own way. Coaching will at least allow me to keep skating, it will be fun to teach younger skaters what my coaches taught me,” said Tennant.
“The benefits of taking the AP test are numerous; however, I think the most important is that these tests have the potential to save you major money when it comes to post-secondary education,” said AP English teacher Justice Broker.
The college credit and money-saving opportunity is not the only benefit, though.
“By taking the test and getting a high score you not only gain a college credit, but the test is also a very good representation of what a college test is going to be like,” said AP psych teacher Tony Boerger.
A college credit today is around $1,000 and most classes are three credit courses. That comes to a grand total of $3,000. That is a lot of money compared to the $89 for the AP tests.
“I took the AP test because I figured that, since I completed the class, I might as well try and get college credit for it,” said senior Camille Gunning.
“I am only taking one AP test this year and that is AP Psych. I plan on taking the AP English next year. But I’m taking it in hopes of getting some credits and to save money. And to get the feel of a college exam so I can feel more prepared when I start college,” said junior Samantha Barnum.
Even if a student does not take an AP class, it is still possible for them to take the test to earn some college credit. The class is not required for the AP test. So is it worth spending the $89 on the test?
“Any AP test will be challenging, but it is worth the experience. I truly believe that this test will prepare you and give you a taste of post-secondary courses and testing experiences,” said Broker.
“I do think it is worth the money. I would recommend taking the test. It could save college-bound students a lot of money,” said Gunning.
There is also a lot of time and effort that goes into preparing for the test itself.
“I like the fact that we are doing reviews on Thursday mornings and Sunday evenings for the AP Psych test. But I know I’m going to have to study a lot on my own. It’ll be a lot of work but I think that if I put in the work, I’ll get the results I want,” said Barnum.
The AP tests that are offered at Black River Falls High School are AP Psych taught by Tony Boerger, AP English test taught by Justice Broker, AP Biology taught by James Klos, AP calculus taught by Tim Young and AP US History taught by Paul Rykken.
If anyone is not enrolled in an AP class but desires to take an AP test, talk to any one of the AP class teachers.
“I will be honest and say that it is nerve-wracking, as any test can be, but with preparation and determination, one can dominate the test and achieve their best,” said Broker.
The average high during the month of March in Black River Falls is 42 degrees. Last month, the area averaged a cool 34. With more snow and ice added to the weather mix, most sports have been left in the cold when it comes to competitions.
Senior student athletes are hurting especially hard.
With the weather nothing like it was the previous year,with it being almost half of the average temperature that it was last year, some sports are almost a month behind their original schedules, with outdoor games and meets being rescheduled, postponed and even cancelled. This year, both baseball and softball have had their schedules rescheduled so that there will only be one conference game per team. These teams will play less than half of the games they played last year.
“I really don’t think track has been that badly affected,” said first year track coach Laura Christenson. “But for the other sports, the seniors are really getting kicked because they won’t have very many games.”
“I’m not going to say that it’s not fair, because it’s no one’s fault,” said senior softball player Riley Smith. “But it just kinda sucks because I’m not going to get a chance to make it the best year.”
The softball team has had to start their games a month later than they originally planned. Baseball even more so.
“No, sir, I am not a fan of this weather.” said sophomore Justice Blackhawk. “It’s really got to suck to be a senior. They’re missing out on a lot.”
“It’s really frustrating,” said senior baseball player Ryder Vold. “We’re all stuck still practicing in the gym, when this time last year we had already played some games.”
Even tennis has been affected, although not as much as other teams. Tennis has only been set back by three weeks at the most.
“It doesn’t really bother me because we’re still playing tennis,” said junior tennis player Zach Bailey
Golf feels the impact the most. “We haven’t been outside yet this season. Like, at all,” said senior golfer Lucas Quackenbush. “We’ve been in Mr. Rykken’s room because there isn’t anywhere else for us to go. We can’t practice our drives or anything.”
by Lauren Harkner
“I hate it! I hate, hate, hate, hate it!” said sophomore softball player Kristen Johnson. “This time last year, we had already played, like, four or five games!”
Five weeks ago, softball began practicing for that first pitch. Baseball opened practice in the gym on March 18. Neither has played a single game. On April 14, the Black River Falls area received three inches of snow. The recent weather has the spring athletes wondering if they’ll ever compete.
“I’m so mad about this,” said senior softball player Riley Smith. “We’ve been in practice for a month and we’ve only been outside like twice.”
Softball and baseball aren’t the only sports that has been affected by the weather this season. Track, tennis and golf have all been affected. “I really don’t like having practice inside, but I guess we have to make do with what we have,” said junior golfer Emily Ward.
“Practice has been tough. We have five teams trying to use three gyms, so we really have to be spread out,” said softball JV coach Brian Stemper. “We’ve got all three softball teams in one gym at a time.”
All available gym facilities are being utilized by the teams. Golf has been practicing their putting in social studies teacher Paul Rykken’s classroom room and lifting in the weight room.
Track and Field athletes have been using the gym and the pool in the middle school.
“There’s hurdles, distance, throwers, jumpers and pole vault all trying to fit in the main gym. It gets a little frustrating at times,” said sophomore runner Karly Tennant. “But, I guess it’s building the ‘team’ mentality.”
The tennis team was recently able to get on the courts, thanks to the shoveling that the team did earlier in the season. Monday was the first day the team was able to be on the courts.
Baseball was able to practice on the grass for the first time on April 16. “It was okay, but it was still kind of mushy,” said sophomore baseball player Cody Bergerson.
“I hate the gym!” said junior baseball player Thomas Torkelson, “I’ve been hit, like, twice directly in the chest.”
Softball plays at Luther today at 4 p.m. Will the weather hold?
By Lauren Harkner
— Sandy Lin (@itssandylin) April 5, 2013
Black River Falls musicians and vocalists will compete in state solo ensemble competition on May 4 at UW-Eau Claire. Many of the students that made it to state seemed excited and ready to go.
“I’m excited and relieved that the first level of solo ensemble is done and I’m going to state,” said senior Camille Gunning. “Solo ensemble has been a lot of fun and hard work so far; with a lot of early morning practices.”
Gunning is only one of the students going to state. “When I get to state I’m really looking forward to getting to present our music at a higher level of competition,” said Gunning.
“I’m very excited to be going to state,” said sophomore Mary Onstad. “It’s exciting to know that with my own personal talent I’ve made it this far,” said Onstad.
“All season it has been fun, a little crazy but I loved it the whole time. I am however excited to be moving on from the normal competition and moving into state competition,” said Onstad.
Solo ensemble participants can present a variety of talents. Gunning is going with a team of handbells, Onstad is going with her own solo. Junior Paige Fisher is presenting a musical theater solo. All of the students going have done so through hard work.
“Going to state feels almost as if it is a normal competition, but I feel more accomplished,” said Fisher. “Solo ensemble so far has been really hectic with the musical I’m in and hard with the new choir director. But all-in-all it has been really good.”
Fisher is presenting a musical theater solo and is “very, very excited.”
“It really depends on your schedule you have. I had the musical going along with solo ensemble, so it was difficult to juggle all of that, but like I said it really depends on your schedule and what you have going on. And even though it has been really busy it has been fun the entire time,” said Fisher.
BY TORI MILLER
College is the next step to adulthood after high school. Looking into colleges and choosing the best one can be tough for some people. Facebook confessions pages can be one stop on the way to making a tough choice.
“It’s hard choosing where you’re going to go to college, you have to take into consideration the costs. Also, you have to take into consideration what your major is going to be,” said senior Hannah Fendt, who is looking forward to going to UW-Stout.
Although choosing a college should be able to be stress free and worrying about other things getting in the way shouldn’t happen, but it does.
Sandy Lin who is looking at UW-Madison, Minnesota and NYU has some of the same feelings about problems faced while choosing colleges.
“You have to worry about what the colleges offer as majors and minors. Madison doesn’t have as good of an art program vs. Minnesota. When I first seen Madison’s confession page I was like really?” said senior Sandy Lin.
There are a lot of colleges that have a confessions page on Facebook. This is a page where students that go to the college confess things, while hiding their identity.
This page could be a good place to dig up some dirt on the colleges students are looking at, helping make the decision process easier, or could have a negative effect altogether.
“When I first looked at Stout’s confession page, I was freaked out!,” said Fendt.
“One person said, “Just filled my bong with water from a red solo cup, if that doesn’t spell “UW student” idk what does” The impact on a person based on this page could be more negative, because the things I saw were either negative or straight up stupid,”said Lin.
Viewing a confessions page different things can be expected, whether or not the statements are correct is up to you to decide.
The truth can easily be stretched, or in some cases not at all truthful.
“You just have to take into consideration that some people post fake things to get attention. But sometimes the statements can be true. I was just surprised by the amount of inappropriate posts,” said Fendt.
“You should base your choice more on academics, and if they are good then that’s where you should go,” said Lin.
Seeing some things that may not be positive on the pages could easily cause a future college students to steer away from the college itself.
In this case, a student became a little on edge about going to a college she had been looking at.
“I am scared now, but I was thinking ‘Wow! this is a crazy school!’ But you just have to remember that it happens everywhere not just at that university,” said Fendt.
“The posts don’t mean that all U-W students are partiers–environment and job opportunities are important,” said Lin.
These pages are open to the public and different confessions are added daily by students that attend the universities.
As an outcome Fendt seems to be more on the wary side of things based on what she has seen on confessions pages.
“At the time I found the page. I had already turned in my acceptance letter. You can’t let other people’s mistakes influence you. It’s not like it’s actually going to happen to you,” said Fendt.
Opinions on confessions pages can go in many different directions, some feel everything to almost everything is true. Others feel that the amount of things made up is unbelievable.
Whether or not the things on the pages have facts or not, the viewer kind of has to take that into their own hands.
“I feel like a lot of it is made up. It makes me less scared when there is a possibility that it is made up, but the confessions are crazy messed up,” said Fendt.
BY HANNA HODGE
“The first [concern] is the concentration level. As you put in a full day at school, a lot of times kids aren’t as energetic and ready to buckle down and really do a lot of studying. The other thing is that it [having focus at the end of the day] kind of offers a natural wind-down to the day, and there seems to be a lot of that mentality about it,” said Principal Thomas Chambers.
In other words, the concern is that students lose focus by the end of the day.
“Brain research on adolescents shows very clearly that adolescents tend to have sleeping patterns where they go to bed later, get up later, get going later. Their metabolism is such that it doesn’t get going in the morning as early as it does for adults,” said Chambers. “So by having that period of time… at the beginning, students have a chance to get focused to get prepared for the day.”
By moving the Focus time to the beginning of the day, Chambers hopes that it will allow students time to both wake up and prepare for the day. However, how well students are able to use their time in the morning begins with how well they prepare in the evening.
“[One concern is] whether or not that will actually motivate kids to do their homework in the evening and be prepared when they come in, or if they will get used to knowing how much they can put off until that morning focus and get done before classes,” said Chambers.
One of Chamber’s hopes is that students will use focus as a time to get questions answered, rather than entire assignments. One thing students may have questions about is the technique of “flipping the classroom.” If BRFHS is able to give every student with a laptop or electronic device, they will be able to use those devices in new academic techniques.
“Part of our hope next year is to also move to a One-to-One situation to where… every student is issued a computer, and a teaching method with that is called ‘flipping the classroom’,” said Chambers.
“Flipping the Classroom” is a method in which a teacher will record themselves giving a lesson the day before. The students then watch the lesson in the evening in preparation for class the next day.
“The teacher actually gives the lesson the day before, and the students watch the lesson either on video or online, and do something with the lesson themselves in the evening,” said Chambers. “Then they come to school the next day, and the teacher walks them through the homework process in the classroom.”
For this to work, students will have to do their work in the evening, The benefit of being ready and performing well is that students on privilege will not have to attend focus.
As exciting as the prospect of having an extra 30 minutes to sleep in is, some students may not be able to benefit from it. Students involved in sports that take part in weightlifting in the morning may not have the time to travel home after these events. Music students involved in extra-curricular ensembles that practice at 7 a.m. will have the same issue.
“We do have some before school rehearsals already for handbells and jazz band,” said band director Paula Hardie, “ but I know, especially for brass instruments, that it can be challenging to have to play high notes in the morning. I know once people have been in school for the day, and they’ve had a chance to warm-up sometimes playing is a little easier sometimes, in the afternoon than in the morning.”
Hardie, along with four other teachers, has another concern to consider if the high school schedule changed. Five teachers employed by the BRF School District work at both the high school and middle school.
“Making the schedule mesh with middle school schedule is really important because of the teachers that we share,” said Chambers.
Teachers that work at both the high school and middle school include Hardie, choir director Gillian Pacetti, agriculture teacher Brad Markhardt, Spanish teacher Marc Rukavina and business teacher Mary Byrns. To make these teachers schedules’ work, the middle school would also have to be adjusted.
“If the high school were to go to a 1st hour Focus, the middle school, too, would go to a 1st hour Focus. Because we share so many teachers, it is imperative that our schedules match as closely as possible, even though we do not have the block over here. This would affect all teachers and we know that there are pros and cons to both sides of this issue,” said Middle School Principal David Rouu.
According to Chambers, this change will most likely be in place for next year. However, the details are still being worked out. Both Chambers and Rouu have expressed interest in the opinions of students and teachers on the topic. Students and teachers can e-mail Chambers and Rouu by typing in their names into a gmail account.
“Send me an email, tell me what you think,” said Chambers.