Archives for : Student Life

It’s Okay to be Unsure: Choosing a College and Major by Tricia Bair

Not everyone knows what they are destined to do at 17 or 18 years old. This decision is challenging and it’s not as easy as it may seem. The average college student changes their major 5 times. Some might say that it is bad and that nobody should ever change their major that many times. Actually it is okay! You are the only person who knows you best and what will make you happy in the future. It is normal and acceptable to change your mind.
A lot of people say changing your major is a sign of someone who will not do well in college. When in fact it just means that they are trying to find what they want to do. That does not mean they will fail college. It is better to change if you’re not happy with what you’re doing. This is why it is wise to choose a college that has a variety of majors to offer. That way if you do decide to change you won’t have to change colleges.
There are also other options other than attending college after high school. There are technical colleges and trade schools. These are not the traditional colleges and these types of schools will get you just as far as a traditional college. It is also acceptable to not know where you want to go. This decision could be the hardest yet because it’s almost permanent. There are many factors that come into play when choosing a college such as whether or not you want to move or stay at home, or if you could afford to live on campus with roommates or on your own.
None of these choices are technically wrong, but you must think of what is best for your personality and what you can afford to do. So choose what you want to do and live out your dreams. If you change your mind, don’t get discouraged. You have many years ahead of you left to figure everything out.

The Annual Scholarship Dinner by: Tricia Bair

Every year multiple organizations and clubs offer the Springfield high school senior graduates scholarships that can range from $100- $3,000. These students are encouraged to apply for these scholarships and to do so some require an essay and can include lengthy applications. Almost every scholarship has requirements that each student has to qualify for before applying. These are requirements that are set by the people that are offering the scholarship. It is worth it to put the time and effort to apply because you could never know if you will win.
Every student that has a GPA of 3.0 was invited to attend the annual scholarship dinner on Monday, May 15, 2017 at St. Paul’s Church in New Middletown.This year there was a great turnout of students and there were many scholarships awarded. The total amount of scholarships received was $42,500. This is a wonderful testament to the hard work of our students and generosity of those that offer scholarships to them.
With so much money being offered as local scholarships, the amount is even greater because of the college scholarships that are given to students as well. Scholarships are a great way to get some college paid for and to diminish future school loans. We thank them clubs and organizations that participate in giving our seniors the recognition for their hard work.

I Don’t Know How to Study! Studying for Finals by: Tricia Bair

Finals are coming up and there always seem to be the problem of studying. We have all studied before and probably passed a few tests and possibly even failed. We sometimes wonder how did I fail even though I studied so hard? The problem is that you do not know how to really study. There’s really no right or wrong way because every person studies differently.
Some of you might have more than one final. There could be 3 or even 4 exams one student has to take in one day. It can be difficult to study for all of them at once. The first thing you should do is to set out a studying schedule. Make sure to leave rest time in between to give yourself a break so you don’t drain yourself of energy. Start studying for the exams a couple of days before to give yourself enough time to prepare and ask questions if needed. Some exams might need more attention than others depending on if you understand the material or not. Procrastination is one of the worst things you can do.
Another huge part of studying is being organized. It is difficult to study when the area around is you messy or if your notes and homework is messy. Sometimes rewriting your notes to organize them can also help. This may even highlight material you might have forgotten over time.
Also keep in mind, breaks are necessary when studying for long periods at a time. You have to eat because if your stomach is growling at you, you won’t be very focused. When eating during studying you might not have time to make a full course meal. If you want to just eat something quickly, just make sure it’s a nutritious snack. Junk food will not fill your stomach and it will only cause you to have a sugar rush and feel awful. Some examples of “brain food” are fish, nuts, seeds, and yogurts. These foods help with memory and increase concentration.
Another helpful hint is to make note cards or your own study guide to help you study. Note cards help with repetition and the study guides can be used for lengthy questions that require longer written answers. These tools will get you plenty of practice to prepare you for your actual tests.
Each person has their own methods of studying. Remember to figure out what is best for you and do not allow yourself to become stressed. Good Luck on your exams!

Reading Without Walls Challenge

Everyone has a story. A story of how they came to be or what made them who they are. Stories come from all around the world. Each human is a book filled with thousands of pieces of paper, bound together by their culture, loved ones, and their history. The variety and amount of culture that flow through this Earth is vast. Everyone is accustomed to their own niche and their surroundings of their home, but there is so much more out there in the world. To discover the true depths this Earth has to offer, one can always turn to books. With books there is an endless amount of possibility and wonder. There are stories about nearly everything imaginable. Due to the surplus of books right at mankind’s fingertips it would almost be a pity to not truly understand other people’s ways of life besides one’s own.
This is where the Reading Without Walls Challenge comes in. This challenge allows students to leave their world and venture into the euphoria of different cultures and stories. Every author has a story to share, each bursting at the seams with rich thoughts and ideas. To envelope oneself into the world it is best to get to know it first. The object of this challenge was to choose a book that depicted a lifestyle that was very different from your own. One that represented a different culture or was written in an unfamiliar format so that you could learn from it.
This year Youngstown State University’s English Festival encourages all student to get involved with The Reading Without Walls Challenge. The English Festival began in the fall of 1978, and has continued to grow and add unique contests since then. There have been an ample amount of books and authors represented throughout the years at this annual event. This year the English Festival has welcomed Gene Luen Yang, ambassador of The Reading Without Challenge, along with the stories he has to offer. Yang allows this beauty to flux into fruition by representing and writing the stories of fictitious people who emanate from different places besides America. His books are a perfect choice in the Reading Without Walls Challenge because of how different the point of views are from the average book an American student reads. His novels that have been represented at an English Festival include: Boxers, Saints, American Born Chinese, and The Shadow Hero. They are jam-packed with excitement and exuberance, with humor added in along the way. They represent cultures that might be different from what one knows, but it’s not difficult to relate to the real meaning in the plot. Taking part in this challenge was a brilliant and exciting way to see into the varying lives of people all around the world.
Springfield Local High School’s Freshman class took this challenge head on with 31 students reading with resolution and an open mind. They were told to choose either a book that was about a character that didn’t look like themselves, a topic they didn’t know about, or one that was written in an unfamiliar format. Following these guidelines each student chose their own book that attracted them and that fit the criteria.
The students that partook in this challenge and gave a wide variety of opinions on the matter. The words they offered contained excitement at what worlds they got to explore and marvel at what they had learned. Some explained how important it is to stand up for yourself and have a voice. Others showed how their book taught them to be more thankful for the benefits they have, because others have life much worse. One student that offered her opinion was Rebecca Catlos, she chose the book Freedom’s Children written by Ellen Levine which was from the perspective of segregated African Americans. Catlos stated, “I learned how strong [African Americans] all had to fight and how much heart they put into it for their rights…One thing I learned about myself is that I’m very very fortunate to be living where I do, around me are very supporting and accepting people who impact my life positively.”
Another student, Anjelina Booksing, read the book I am Mala by Mala Yousafzai and stated, “This book is important because it teaches people to stand up and have a voice if they think something should be changed/fixed. One thing I learned about myself from reading this book is that I’m very lucky have the things I have and that I’m lucky to be able to do the things I do safely.”
Caleb Guilliams also joined in on the challenge and chose the book Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers, he stated, “I learned that even though these soldiers were from different backgrounds, different races, and different genders, they were all still able to be united as soldiers in the American Army. I learned that I shouldn’t let someone’s background, gender, or race determine what I think of them. God made everyone different, but we are all still humans!” These quotations were from only a few of the many students that enjoyed this challenge, and they provide perfect examples as to what experience the students gained.
Overall, what was learned from this challenge is that even though these stories came from different diversities, different predicaments, and some even across seas, everyone is still human. Although there are a plethora of differences, similarities can be found in the underlying message of all novels, and it provides something to relate to. It is easy to find oneself amongst words on a page when lost in the story, and that is exactly what happened to the students who participated in this challenge. It was a perfect way in reminding people that they aren’t alone in the world and there is so much more out there to learn and to feel. The world is filled with beauty. And when walls are knocked down, the sight displayed for all to see, the view is a whole lot better.

Making the Students Think: An Assembly about Character

Early last week, Mr. DeFelice called an assembly that was much different from the usual ones that we have here at Springfield Local High School. At this assembly, Mr. DeFelice played a video that was very inspirational, touching, and moving for everyone who watched.
This specific video was about two men who thought they had lost it all. The one man had lost his vision and the other had lost his arms. As soon as their accidents happened causing them to lose these very needed things, they both thought they were useless to society and to the world. Until they started to make a difference.
There are several big messages and points of inspiration in this video. The first inspirational aspect in the video is that these men have learned to help themselves and each other living with their disabilities. These two men have also used their other senses and limbs to the extreme since they cannot use the ones that they lost. The man without arms has learned to do basically everything he needs to do with his feet; he can cook, clean, and pick things up with his toes. The man without vision has learned to use all of his other senses to help guide him. But what really allows the two together to do great things is the relationship they have built with one another.
Another inspirational aspect of this video is that although these men were discouraged and thought they had nothing left, they made a huge difference to the world. They actually started to plant trees in the area in which they lived! It doesn’t seem like much, but over time the number of trees that were planted and grew became significant. The first few trees they tried to plant would not grow because of many reasons, such as the soil being too dry. They ended up being successful and planting over 10,000 trees!
The moral of the amazing video that Mr. DeFelice had showed us is that you should always help others around you and never give up, even if something does not work the first try. Also, no matter what your challenges are, if you have a purpose, you will have the drive to do more than survive; you will live with passion.

Give back with your blood

There are many ways to give back to others throughout the community and even strangers that need our help. Have you ever thought about donating your blood and have it save someone’s life? The American Red Cross does many blood drives all around the year and all over the country. It’s an easy process to sign up and donate. Make sure to do research on the requirements before donating your blood.
On Tuesday, November 15th, The American Red Cross came to Springfield High School and 44 students and staff donated. There are some precautions you should take before giving blood.
My first time donating was on Tuesday, and unfortunately I could not donate. My iron level was too low for the requirement to donate. For women their iron level has to be at least a 12.5 and for men 13.0. If your iron level does not meet the requirements you cannot donate blood that day. That is what happened to me. I was unable to donate because my iron level was a 11.3 in my right finger and a 12.3 in my left. Although I was deferred that day, I won’t let that bring me down and discourage me from trying again and nobody else should either. Sometimes our iron levels are low because of our diet, so a couple days before it is beneficial to stay hydrated and eat foods that are high in iron like red meat, peas, seafood, breads, pasta, spinach, etc… Definitely check out the other requirements before you decide to donate to make sure you are eligible.
Donating blood is such a big help to everyone around. You never know whose life you could be saving. Just remember, if you are having health problems, don’t feel obligated to give your blood. Having problems with your health will only affect the other people that will receive your blood if you decide to donate. If you have never donated it’s never too late to try!

SLHS Choir Kicks off the Christmas Season

Students and staff may think that there’s nothing to look forward to after we come back from Thanksgiving break, but there is one thing to be excited about. There is a specific group of students that have been working hard since school even started and on December 8th, and they will finally get their time to shine.
The 7th and 8th graders and high schoolers have been working together with Mr. Senn, their choir director, to make the perfect performance for their choir concert. The concert this year will be on December 8th at 7:00PM, and doors opening at 6:30PM. Since the concert is in December, it is a Christmas themed concert. Stop by and hear the amazing songs sang by the students!

Ringing In The School Year With New Choir Director

Mr. Senn is the new choir teacher for 6th-12th grade. We asked Mr. Senn a few questions to get to know him better!
As for most students, we are curious as to what inspires teachers to become what they are. When asking Mr. Senn what inspired him to become a music teacher, he answered, “I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. My middle school band director is really who put the idea in my head. I thought I was going to be a band director until about sophomore year. When I sang in an honor choir, it changed my thinking to choir being the class that I wanted to teach.”
Most of us that are familiar with Mr. Senn or have asked about Mr. Senn know that he went to The Ohio State University. For students like us, it’s a dream to hear about what it’s like to go to school there. Mr. Senn was involved in the OSU Marching Band and a part of many choirs. He also was a part of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Sphinx Senior Class Honorary. Some of Mr. Senn’s favorite memories and experiences come from his time in marching band. He said, “Any of that cool stuff with the OSU Marching Band that you saw on youtube, I was involved in that.”
We know that teachers need to have some activities or hobbies that they enjoy outside of school, we figured we would ask Mr. Senn what he likes to do! In his free time, Mr. Senn enjoys running. He currently is training for a Spartan Race and the Columbus half marathon. He also enjoys reading.
This will be Mr. Senn’s third year of teaching. We found an interest to ask him some similarities and differences from the school he previously taught at. He answered, “Having a sixth and seventh grade choir is new for me. I used to teach general music at my previous school, so teaching choir all day is a nice change. I’m excited that I get to continue teaching high school and am looking to start a Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus in the future.”
We wanted to know how Mr. Senn’s experience at Springfield Local is going so far. He responded, “It has been a great experience meeting all of my students, and I am looking forward to meeting more students as I become more involved. The staff has been extremely welcoming and I look forward to learning more about them.”
Since Mr. Senn is a music teacher, we were interested in what kind of music is his favorite and why. He answered, “It all depends on my mood. The presets in my car include two country stations, two pop stations, one Christian station and NPR station. If I were to scroll into my iPod, you’d find all that music plus some classical music and several Broadway and Musical Theatre recordings. I think that music is something that helps us express ourselves and communicate to other people. Because of that, my favorite genre will always be the one that helps me express my thoughts and feelings.”
Mr. Senn is an awesome guy willing to meet new students. If you see him, stop and say hello!

Red Ribbon Week: Students Staff all Join in

This just isn’t a spirit week where everyone does a variety of things like wearing their pajamas to school and wearing their favorite sports jersey. Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign conducted annually in October in the U.S. This is promoted in a similar way as spirit week but with different activities to do throughout the week. This is all done with the help of Teen Institute Club in the school.
This year the activities are some that we have never done before to make things more exciting than just crazy hat day or pajama day. We have had two people that have been committed to the fun themes of the day. Mr. Cornfield and Ms. Friedenberger have gone outside of the box with their participation.
Monday was dynamic duo, where you can dress up as twins together or dress up like two people that are the perfect duo. Corn and Fried wore matching vamre (pun intended for these two math teachers) shirts with capes. They were clearly hunting for some students that needed some math tutoring.
Tuesday was teacher look alike day, where students dress like one of their teachers. Maybe it’s the other way around this time though. Corn decided to dress like coach Guerreiro and wore Nikes with a Springfield shirt and athletic shorts, so they basically were the same person. Fried wanted to be Antinucci for the day, so she wore the black football pullover with black pants and dress shoes, which is his every day attire. This year Russell Seymour also dressed like Mr. Yazvac and even wore a mustache. Now we had two superintendents for the day to brighten up everyone’s morning.
Wednesday was 80’s workout day, when students wore bright leg warmers and arm and sweat bands with some tight stretch pants. The girls really outdid themselves with this one. Corn and Fried made their mark when they dressed like Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World which everyone truly enjoyed. They even had a cameo on Tiger TV announcing the top 5.
Thursday was Tacky tourist day. Corn and Fried really nailed this one, and they wore their Hawaiian shirts and even had the camera and the tiki cup plus a map. They couldn’t have pulled this off any better, and they acted confused while in the hallways asking for help getting to Pittsburgh.
Friday was dress up like your favorite athlete day, and many of the staff wore their favorite team’s jerseys.
This week has been a lot of fun, but let’s not forget the meaning behind it all. Which is to stand up against the use of alcohol and drugs and to show that there are better ways to have fun. This week has been a success and probably the best participation we have had in a long time.

Banned Book Week Meets Blackout Poetry

In conjunction with Banned Book Week Mrs. Mullane and Mrs. Johnston worked with their students to create blackout poetry! Here are some of the best:

Period 1 – Kate Denmeade
Inspired by Chinese Handcuffs
On a starry night remember things aren’t always as they appear
Do everything right, make no mistakes with discipline
He smiled a tired smile
Instincts all quiet
I was scared was something wrong God?
Believe it, my boy
I swear people were animals

Cierra Latronica
Inspired by Eclipse
Lost in the darkness

Dark, thick clouds, heavy air..
Shadows, gloom.
Gasp, sigh of relief.
Cool hand, found my chin,
Without a word..
Tightly against his chest
Hards lips on mine, tension in his jaw.
Pulled away.
He let me breathe.
Kissed me again.
Already gone,
Squinting into the darkness

Period 2- Shantel Springer
Inspired by New Moon
Vampires must work, get the credit
They’re not going to be very happy
They’ll act very quickly

I looked away, fighting against my teeth
As they tried to break through my lower lip
Bleeding was not the best idea right now

Tell me what I have to do
You don’t have to do anything
I’m going to get you as close as possible,
Then you’re going to run in the direction I point you
Try not to trip

Haley LaMorticella
Inspired by Vampires
Vampires do not smile.
I was realizing what she meant when she said ironic.
They are not going to be very happy.
She shook her head, her expression grim.
I looked away, fighting my teeth as they tried to break skin of my lower lip.
Bleeding .
Tell me what I have to do.
He just has to see you before he moves into the light.
How are we going to work that?
We do not have time for a concussion today.

Period 3- Natalie Babinec
He left with one last lingering look.
She had seen that look in his eye
A human being,
More than that, a desirable young man

The terrible truth had forced a smile to her lips
But after a few moments, she replaced it
Something she hadn’t expected

She thought,
Love exists
And no one is free

Cassie Bacon
Inspired by My Sweet Audrina
“But, but…Papa-”
“Don’t protest, just accept.
We know you are ultrasensitive.
We love you.
We want to see you happy”

He came to sit on the edge of my bed.
I lay on my back, frozen, trying not to breathe,
I might be dead.

He leaned closer,
I seized hold of the sheet and pulled it high under my chin.
Papa’s ironlike hands, his strong fingers
Digging into my tender skin,

Our gazes locked.
He was the winner again.

“Now, now, it’s not so bad, is it?
You’ve done it before,
You can do it again.
You can help me.”

“But-but,” I stammered, wanting to make him stop.
But he went on,
Inundating me with his needs.

I was afraid.
Was he going to keep this up?
Would I be able to satisfy Papa?

“Make all of your father’s hopes come true.”
I stared at him sitting there on my bed.
His dark eyes, “full of love…”
Could I keep resisting?

He was my father.
Fathers were supposed to know right from wrong.

“Won’t just one more time be enough?”
“Perhaps it will be…”

Period 4- Cole Sexton
Inspired by I Think We Shall Have to Try
I think we could manage this
I don’t know how you can be so sure
I think we shall have to try
You’ll kill yourself for certain, going over like that without even a look to see what to make for
Be patient
A deeper blackness was already reaching out with long arms
Its courses were all twisted and disordered
If we’re going to try, we had better try at once

Jeff Horn
Inspired by It Ain’t Beautiful
It ain’t beautiful, It’s scary.
We’re all vile sinners.
You believe it but you hate it
It’s crazy, why?
God’ll damn you to hell when you die

English Teachers at Springfield Local High School Arrested

September 26-30th was Banned Book Week. This week celebrates the freedom to read. It brings attention to books that are banned because of its inappropriate material. Banned Book Week helps bring attention to the harm that censorship does to many classics and other. Some well known books that have been frequently challenged are To Kill a Mockingbird, Looking For Alaska, Grapes of Wrath, and even the Bible!
On Friday, September 23, 2016 four of Springfield’s English teachers were (mock) arrested for reading banned books to their classes. Talking to the apprehended teachers they had something to say about the importance of this week.
Mrs. Johnston, the freshman English teacher said “I love it, it is more dangerous and daring to get kids to read. I feel super lucky and thankful for the grant. I’m so shocked and amazed by the turnout from the kids and teachers.”
Mrs. Mullane, the junior English teacher, said “It was awesome for kids and staff to be excited about books but a lot of work to put together yet totally worth it!”
Mrs. Chiarello, the senior English teacher said “I think it was a good way to raise awareness. I think it is interesting that there are still banned books today and that is phenomenal.”
“I thought it was good to see how far we have come in terms of things of literature, and we realize what we need to continue to promote and share ideas,” explained Mr. Slopek the sophomore English teacher.
The way the students freed the teachers was to find a quote or passage from a banned book and put it in an English teacher’s envelope on their door. The teacher with the most quotations won, and that was Mrs. Johnston. Brayden Harbert’s name was drawn and he won a prize.
The students also created blackout poems from pages from banned books to celebrate on the last day of the eventful week. They shared their poems and enjoyed a coffee house atmosphere created in Mrs. Mullane’s room.
Mrs. Johnston and Mrs. Mullane would like to especially thank the following students who worked on the awesome display in the front lobby, decorating the doors and setting up the coffee house in Mrs. Mullane’s room.: Sage Holt, Taylor Barber, Nicole D’Angelo, Megan Deskin, Courtney Blakeman, Megan Donegan and Jessie Swartz.

Foreigners Take a Tour to The Springfield Jungle

Nico Su and Matteo Monge are the two new foreign exchange students at Springfield Local High School this year. They both have come a very long way to America. They first met their host father Bill and Bill’s sister when they arrived in America. The boys currently live together in the same house. They both have started a new chapter in their lives with new culture, friends, and food. They received this opportunity through different organizations in their countries.
Nico is a sophomore at Springfield Local and is from Germany. With the help of the ISE (International Student Exchange) program and his host father, Nico is here with us at Springfield! ISE is a program that gives exchange students the opportunity to live with loving and accepting American families. The goal of the program is to bring different cultures closer together. When we asked what Nico missed the most, he did not hesitate to say that he missed the European bread, family and friends. His favorite activity so far at Springfield is going to football games and the school spirit. Although, he dislikes waking up earlier than he had to in Germany.
Matteo is a junior at Springfield Local and is from Italy. Thanks to the GEC (Global Education Center) program and his host father, Matteo was also given the opportunity to be here with us at Springfield. Similar to Nico’s answer, Matteo misses the Italian food and his family the most. His favorite part about Springfield so far is the school organization. In Italy, the school system is very different. “In Italy, I go to school six days a week. We don’t have lunch offered at school like we do here and we get to go to different classes at Springfield unlike in Italy where I go to the same class everyday,” said Matteo.
Before coming to America, Nico and Matteo would communicate through facebook, skype and WhatsApp to get to know each other and their host family. They would like to give a special thank you to Cody Peterson, Ryan DelSignore and James Russo for making them feel welcome. The boys will be returning to their countries in early February.
We hope Nico and Matteo enjoy their stay here at Springfield and make lots of memories while they are here!