The Brantley Banner The student news site of Lake Brantley High School Tue, 10 Mar 2020 16:27:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Girls lacrosse takes the win Tue, 10 Mar 2020 16:26:45 +0000 The varsity and junior varsity girls lacrosse teams played against Oviedo High School on Thursday, Feb. 27. They played on their home field, Tom Storey Field, and both teams won their respective game. Varsity won 8-2 and junior varsity won 6-2.

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President Trump Acquitted on Both Articles of Impeachment Tue, 10 Mar 2020 16:23:01 +0000 On Feb. 5, after hearing arguments from House impeachment managers and the president’s defense team, as well as a vote along party lines to not introduce new witnesses or evidence, the Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump of both articles of impeachment against him. This officially ended the long process of impeachment that had dominated Capitol Hill since October. The vote on obstruction of Congress fell along party lines, with all of the 53 Republicans voting to acquit and all 47 Democrats voting to convict. In a surprising break from his party, one Republican, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, voted to convict Trump on the charge of abuse of power. 

 To convict a president in an impeachment trial requires a 67 vote super-majority. With a 5347 Republican majority20 Republicans would have needed to take two votes against a president of their own party who holds very high approval ratings among their core base of support. With such a strong threat to their reelections, many observers were not surprised by the almost unanimous adherence to the party line. Senator Romney’s divergence from the party was surprising but not completely unexpected. 

There’s nothing for [Romney] to lose because he is very popular within his state given the heavy Mormon constituency, US History and AP Comparative Government and Politics teacher Vita Simmons said. “The only ones who feel like they can speak out against Trump are those who feel some sense of job security.” 

Like the final vote to acquit, the vote on whether or not to bring in witnesses and evidence fell primarily along party lines, but Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah joined Democrats to vote in favor of providing more witnesses, bringing the vote to 51-49. Failing to reach a majority of 51 affirmative votes, the motion to bring witnesses failed. The vote would have given each side the opportunity to bring in new witnesses in hopes that they would provide additional information about Trump’s actions. Proposed witnesses included John Bolton, former national security advisor to Trump, and Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and the subject of the pressure campaign by the President that began the impeachment inquiry in October. 

“The trial was not fair by any means,” senior Ben Evelev said. “It is a trial and witnesses should be called.  

The arguments presented by the House impeachment managers in favor of conviction and Trump’s defense team against conviction centered around ideas of power and accountability, with one particular argument from Alan Dershowitz, one of the defense lawyers, standing out. 

“If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment,” Dershowitz said during a question and answer phase of the trial. 

This interpretation of presidential power is expansive and has generated heated debate among constitutional scholars. Many see such a broad interpretation of presidential power as dangerous to the system of checks and balances that the American government relies on. 

“It expands the executive power beyond the intention of what the founders and framers ever envisioned,” Simmons said. “What is the point of impeachment, what is the point of an impeachment trial, if we are going to allow the president to do anything within his means, and he has enormous means, for his own private purposes? 

The aftermath of impeachment and the president’s acquittal will continue to be a part of campaign speeches and a permanent part of Trump’s historical legacy. For the president and his supporters, the acquittal can be seen as a victory, while for others, the trial and its outcome are a reminder of some of the less pleasant aspects of politics. 

“Trump objectively broke the law,” senior Ryan Nolan said. “But partisan pettiness did not punish him.” 

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Business Professionals of America compete in video production Tue, 10 Mar 2020 16:08:44 +0000 Business Professionals of America (BPA) is a club that participates in competitions each year. There are multiple categories within the club, including accounting, business law, computer programming, graphic design, speech and video production. Each person has an opportunity to compete in districts and, if they place high enough, can continue to states and nationals. One of the two video production teams, composed of seniors Sabrina Bonadio, Zoe Brown, Molly Kucharski and Joelle Wittig, created a video about Shriners Healthcare for Children, following the prompt of choosing an organization to convince people to donate to. They earned first place in the state level competition.

“It was an amazing experience to be able to return the support from the organization that helped my family and my brother immensely,” Brown said. “Without Shriners, we would never be able to afford the prosthetic that allows my brother to play the sports that he’s so talented in.”

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Chicago: Behind the stage Tue, 10 Mar 2020 14:45:52 +0000 For any theater production, a lot goes into it. From work days to build sets to the weeks of seemingly endless rehearsals, many unseen things are put together to give the audience an unforgettable experience.

“It’s the whole troupe coming together to tackle one big goal,” senior Connor Albrechtsen said. “It’s for a whole- everyone needs it.”

Albrechtsen plays Billy Flynn, one of the main characters in the upcoming production of Chicago. Sophomore Ashley Welch is helping out with the light programming this year, but enjoys coming to days like these to build set pieces.

“Work days are definitely a learning experience because you learn about stagecraft,” Welch said. “[The most important part is] definitely the teamwork because you learn teamwork better [and] how to work with your peers.”

Some schools, like Albrechtsen’s old one, have stage crews who will build the set for the actors. Although it can be helpful, it does not help the actors really get into the show. Working together provides opportunities for the troupe to create and strengthen bonds. It also gives them the chance to have fun (and be responsible) with power tools.

“I wouldn’t be in the stagecraft class myself,” Welch said. “The people who are actually in the show should be learning about this kind of stuff.”

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J and A’s Q&A Episode 2: “Aladdin” Show Review Mon, 09 Mar 2020 15:54:14 +0000 Joelle and Anisa discussed Aladdin the Musical at the Dr. Phillips Center with Drama student Brooke Holland! They explored from the actors to the set, in true Q&A fashion.

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W.T.F: Kellogg’s Eggo Blueberry Waffle Cereal Mon, 09 Mar 2020 15:49:26 +0000 In their debut episode of W.T.F. (weird tasting foods) junior Angelina Jonkaitis along with sophomores Julia Moon and Brooke Holland discus the first questionable food in the series: blueberry waffle cereal.

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Ashley signs to the University of Florida Mon, 09 Mar 2020 15:32:51 +0000 Running is a tiring sport for one’s mind, body and soul. After years of training and racing, athletes can sometimes hit a wall in both their motivation and desire to continue within the sport. Senior Ashley Klingenberg has used her dream to compete collegiately to propel her through the many challenges the sport of cross-country brings.

Klingenberg began running in elementary school and quickly developed both a love for the sport and a deep passion for training. After years of improvement through hard work and months of talking with scouts, Klingenberg has committed to attending the University of Florida to continue her education and running career.

“The best part of coaching Ashley is being able to see her grow in her determination as a distance runner,” coach Tony Moore said. “She is always striving to be better and I love that about her. When she sets a goal, she achieves it no matter what obstacle comes her way.”

Klingenberg has a deep respect for the sport of running and loves to help those around her reach their full potential. She hopes to continue her love for running, as one day maybe coaching which would allow her to build upon her love for the sport. Over the past four years, she has excelled at both the Regional and State meets, and her senior season has been no different, placing 10th overall at the FHSAA 4A Cross Country state finals with a time of 18:22.

“I think my favorite part of training with Ashley for these past four years has been her positivity,” senior Lindsey Nowak said. “Ashley always makes us work harder and pushes us to believe in ourselves even on the days we may not feel like running.”

Over the course of her high school years, Klingenberg has grown much as an athlete and person under the coaching and mentoring of Moor. She has been able to not only grow as a leader but has also learned the importance of conquering the battles one may be facing and rise above the challenges. This is the lesson that Klingenberg lives out every day on the track and in life.

“I have learned that with hard work comes results yet the results can’t only focus, you have to win the day and enjoy the point your at because in the struggle to fitness you realize you are stronger than you think,” Klingenberg said. “You have to go into everything with the confidence that you’re the best person there, but also keep in mind that anyone can have a great day, you just have to rise to the occasion and boss up.”

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An effective system Mon, 09 Mar 2020 13:51:23 +0000 As the school year draws to a close, course registration becomes a time for students, teachers, and counselors to decide which classes students should enroll in for the upcoming year. Lake Brantley High School has implemented a new, yet overall more efficient system for scheduling core classes for the 2020-2021 school year.

With the combined efforts of counselors, teachers, and administrative staff, they have been able to construct a method to help ease the process of class enrollment for everyone involved. Guidance counselor Pamela Boodram believes that although not perfect, this new method is much more efficient than traditional ways.

“By having only the teachers select the core classes for students, based upon a course progression rubric it gives us a much better schedule overall,” Boodram said. “For years we have had students select their classes when many put in the wrong class selections.”

Most teachers agree that one of the many reasons the new system is a step toward improvement is that it ensures students are correctly placed in core classes that are suitable for a student’s progression. Karen Szewczyk, an Algebra II teacher, has worked in the mathematics department at Brantley for over ten years and believes it is beneficial for students, teachers, and counselors.

“There were too many people that were getting scheduled classes because they were in the wrong level of class so this helps expedite those schedule changes so at the beginning of the school year there probably won’t be any schedule changes,” Szewczyk said.

Students and parents might assume that algorithms have been set so teachers and counselors do not have to put in the effort to review each individual student. The new system has made it easier for counselors to adjust schedules but also requires teachers to engage in an elaborate process to recommend the next course for students.

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“Teachers discussed within their department what class a student would progress to depending on what class they were sitting in now and what their grade in the class was,” Boodram said. “Teachers put this into place over a period of time before the end of the first semester. Then administrators looked it over to approve them.”

Students might believe it is unreasonable for their academic path to be based on teacher advisement. At times, students do not fully comprehend the rigor of a class because they select high-level courses based on upper-class students’ interpretations. Although it is helpful to receive input from students that have already taken or are currently taking that course, different factors affect what one might consider ‘easy’ or ‘difficult.’

“I think it limits it [a student’s right to choose] a little bit but I think that they don’t realize how tough the next course is and teachers have much more experience in knowing what to expect in the next class so I think it’s going to be beneficial for them in the long run,” Szewczyk said.

This is especially important when students cannot change their courses and are stuck in the class for the rest of the year. Students may cause disruptions that divert attention away from the teacher and use up valuable time needed to teach the lesson. Students cannot effectively learn and seek help when the teacher’s attention is focused elsewhere.

“[In a classroom setting,] when a student is starting to fail a class, they sit there and disruptespecially younger kidsthey disrupt and that ruins the flow of the class and then it hinders other people that want to learn,” Szewczyk said.

The new method for course registration is beneficial to everyone and will most likely continue to be utilized in the future.

“This system definitely makes it easier for students to make up their minds,” sophomore Faith Shimick said. “It’s easier and more time saving for students.”

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Camp Wewa Mon, 09 Mar 2020 13:01:06 +0000 YMCA Camp Wewa, a place to meet new people, try new things and even get closer with one another. A group of students at Lake Brantley had the chance to experience it over a weekend on Jan. 17-19. Students were asked by English teacher Peggy Leis, or invited by friends to gather together and enjoy a great weekend.

“Getting ready for camp I was a little nervous,” sophomore Kendyl Vigie said. “I wasn’t sure how many of my friends were going to the camp and I really didn’t know what to expect.”

As students prepared for Camp Wewa there were many different feelings for each camper. Some were unsure how they would like it, however, once they got there it was a completely different story.

“It was different from other camps because we were grouped with ‘families’ of people that you didn’t know,” sophomore Kendyl Vigie said. “So you could meet people that you wouldn’t have if you were grouped with all your friends.”

As the weekend continued they made new friends, challenged their beliefs and perspectives of others. Students experienced different participation in activities with others such as arts and crafts, canoeing, rock climbing and much more. Engaging in these activities allowed students to expose themselves to new opportunities with others.

“It felt good to be there and be able to talk to those people,” freshman Chris Gillon said. “It was a little weird at first but once I got to know them it was fine.”

YMCA Camp Wewa has many different occasions that students can attend to experience these things like, team activities, building relationships and learning many new things that everyone enjoyed. Team bonding activities really gave the students a chance to connect and it gave them opportunities to talk about relatable things with each other.

“We talked a lot about stress management which I think is something great to discuss with high school students because it’s a common problem for most with exams, grades, and prep for college,” Vigie said.

Camp Wewa led students out of their comfort zones and gave them the option to open up. Leis also made impacts on the students lives introducing them to Camp Wewa and all it provided for them.

“I would go again because it was a nice way to get away from all the stress of school and extracurricular,” Vigie said. “No one ever used their phones so everyone had the chance to hang out and have fun without distractions.”


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Class Scheduling Changes Trample Student Choice Fri, 06 Mar 2020 17:27:25 +0000 Administration recently announced a change in the registration process for students as they decide which classes to take in the upcoming year. The changes would automatically place students into their core classes based on test scores and prior academic performance in their classes. This change would still allow students to select their own elective classes, but any modification of the core classes automatically assigned to them would require them to go through their guidance counselors. This deeply flawed policy change places unnecessary burdens on students and guidance counselors and denies students one of the few chances they have to exercise agency in their academic careers. 

Recall, for a moment, the beginning of the school year: hot, humid and full of stress about the new year, new classes and scheduling conflicts. The last thing that students and guidance counselors need is more problems with classes. Students who are placed in classes that are too challenging for their schedules, both in and outside of school, will be desperate to change their classes in order to accommodate the rest of their lives. In addition, students that are placed into AP courses often find it difficult, if not impossible, to move down to a less challenging class tier if they feel they need it. Students who want to challenge themselves with more advanced classes that they may not have been automatically placed into will be scrambling to transfer into them before all the openings are filled. It will be a mess, ending with a more stressful start to the year and at least some people in classes they do not want to be in. 

More than the stress of being placed into classes they do not want to take, students lose one of the last remaining opportunities they have for some form of autonomy and independence in their academic paths. One of the joys of getting older and maturing is the ability to make decisions for oneself rather than having everything dictated from on high, as this policy seeks to do. From kindergarten to fifth grade, students are all shepherded through the same classes with no choice. This is acceptable for young students who do not know what they want their future to look like, but as students get older, they should be given greater autonomy. In sixth to eighth grade students have more choice, with greater variation in the classes they can choose to take, but in high school students finally have the kind of academic self-determination befitting of people preparing for adulthood. In high school students were, until this policy, free to specialize their academic pursuits to their personal interests and future aspirations. This policy forces students to follow the dictates of guidance counselors and administrators rather than what they feel is best for them and denies them the dignity of choice.  

I’ll concede that some students may need to be encouraged and guided toward classes that will challenge them and help them grow rather than float through school passively, but that was already happening. It is the job of guidance counselors to help guide students, but they should not force them onto a path that they do not want to be on. Students should not be forced into classes with no choice simply to inflate AP classes and their associated funding or make the school look better to earn more funding from the county, state and federal government. The money that the College Board gives to schools when students register for AP exams is not worth the personal and academic struggle of an unwanted AP class. The dignity and agency of students is above that. 

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