On the night of September 26, 2014, about a hundred students were traveling on buses in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, when police began to fire at them. The young men on the bus were students from Raúl Isidro Burgos Teachers’ College in Ayotzinapa. Burgos is full of murals honoring leftist icons such as Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Lucio Cabañas. The students were traveling by Iguala to protest against a speech made by the mayor’s wife. Neri de la Cruz, a student who had survived the attack, said, “When I heard the shots, the first thing I did was look back to make sure my fellow students were doing OK. I saw one of them was shot in the head. He turned his face and fell to the ground. At that moment, we panicked.” The survivors ran and hid for hours and days. According to Mexican authorities, the students had been attacked by police and were then handed over to the United Warriors (Guerreros Unidos), a local drug gang. Police officers were said to have been working with the United Warriors and stated that the drug gang mistook the students as a rival gang after hearing a rumor this rival gang would be present. At a news press conference that took place on Sept. 27, Jesús Murillo Karam, a Mexican Attorney General, stated that there was “legal certainty” that the forty-three missing students were murdered and that ninety-nine suspects have been detained so far. “These and other elements we found during the investigation allowed us to carry out an analysis about the local causes, and, without a doubt, we can conclude that the students at the teachers’ college were abducted, killed, burned, and thrown into the San Juan River, in that order,” Murillo Karam stated.
The 67th Annual Emmy Award Show was unlike the past sixty-six shows; this show introduced and promoted the fandoms that have been forming for years. True fans cheered as their favorite actors, actresses, and shows won consistent awards. Game of Thrones won Outstanding Drama Series over heavy hitters like Orange Is The New Black and Mad Men.
Netflix viewers were infuriated. In 2014, Orange Is the New Black was not even nominated for an award. For years, the Emmy Awards have neglected to acknowledge original Netflix series with nominations. This year, though, that was sure to change. Orange Is The New Black was not Netflix’s sole nomination for this year. In the running for Outstanding Comedy Series, one of Netflix’s newer series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, sat alongside Modern Family and the winner of the category, Veep. For any Netflix viewer, the 67th Annual Emmy Award Show was quite shocking due to the major losses against mainstream titles like Game of Thrones and Veep. Still, it was an honor to see the Netflix original series nominated alongside network television series.
The 67th Emmy Award Show also made groundbreaking history with its winners. Winning the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Viola Davis became the first African-American to win this award for her performance in How To Get Away With Murder. Also, John Hamm from Mad Men won his first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series after seven nominations.
Unfortunately, the ratings of the award show didn’t reflect the major success of the winners. As claimed by CNN Money, the show brought in a “record low” of “11.9 million viewers” this year. The low viewings directly correlates to the lack of young adults watching the show.
Other award winners, as stated by CNN, include:
Overall, the 67th Annual Emmy Award Show was nothing short of extraordinary. The past shows lacked the panache and humor that came this year. Nevertheless, the show’s dull background has kept many young adult viewers away. Critics believe the entertainment industry focuses heavily on popularity rather than content, making many people opt out of watching award shows.
Editor-in-Chief and A&E Editor
For Raleigh, North Carolina, the weekend of Sept. 18 was an eventful one as SPARKcon, an annual festival of the arts, was held downtown. During the festival, which took place Friday night and all day Saturday, Fayetteville Street was crowded with participants, onlookers, and numerous food trucks. “SPARKcon is a creativity festival showcasing arts of varying disciplines,” says Erica Porter, lead organizer of fashionSPARK. “Its goal is to introduce the community to the artists. Exposure for our artists is a huge deal for us.”
SPARKcon spans multiple city blocks; these are divided up into sections. These fourteen spaces display different artistic mediums, and each have a separate title beneath the overarching SPARKcon festival. Some of these include artSPARK, danceSPARK, and fashionSPARK. Porter has seen the festival grow over the five years she has been involved: “It went from being in Moore Square to taking over four blocks of Fayetteville St. and three side streets! We had over 55,000 people in attendance this year.”
Many of these thousands of guests journeyed through artSPARK, which comprised of exhibits, workshops, and the ever popular chalk art. Hundreds of five by five feet chalk murals cover three city blocks. Teams of four artists were given the opportunity to sign up and purchase a square; they were then given until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19 to complete their work before the judging began. A number of Apex High School students signed up to street paint. Juniors Sarah Dunn and Madeline Maier, square number fifty four, even won honorable mention in the high school category. “We wanted to keep it fairly simple considering this was our first time doing chalk art,” says Dunn. “We also wanted to do something super creative and random, and I think an alien fishing for planets is pretty creative.” This was not Dunn’s first time at SPARKcon as last year she watched the acrobatic performances. SPARKcon is composed of many different artistic forms, including dance.
After a grueling 162-game season, ten teams, five from each league, have ascended over their rivals to advance into the playoffs. With both new faces and storied franchises standing tallest in the major leagues this year, baseball fans are in store for another thrilling October. For the first time in the history of the sport, there will not be a repeat champion for fifteen straight years, as the 2014 victors, the San Francisco Giants, were officially eliminated at the hands of ace Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday night. The Giants were one of many tournament hopefuls who fell just short of the finish line, as the Twins and Angels were eliminated over the weekend. With each team remaining clawing toward the Commissioner’s Trophy, weaknesses will be exposed and a true champion will be crowned, and it all kicks off Oct. 6.
Meenakshi Sathish and Nick Stines
Some students spend their every waking moment memorizing SAT/ACT preparation book like it is a survival pamphlet; others chew gum every other minute because they read on the Internet that it acts as a simulant and improves accuracy. SAT and ACT season is cut-throat and can be the cause of stress for students nation-wide.
In the recent years, the competition has increased, and students have to work harder and get better SAT and ACT scores in order to get into their preferred college. An ongoing study, which UCLA began in 1996, observes that freshmen students now are more likely to be studying in their dorm rooms rather than partying during the weekends. They are also more likely to get their Master’s degree. It can be overwhelming for students who are taking their College Board exams and entering college. But with hard work and a positive attitude, it is possible for students to achieve the grade they strive for and get into their dream school.
Towards the end of the year, Stephanie Whiteside, Apex High School English teacher, offers her students advice and techniques to ace their exams. As a teenager, she would try all sorts of tricks and hacks (like eating multiple oranges the morning of the exam) to prepare for exams except studying. So, she made sure her students understood that in order to get a good score, the best option is to study.
Jerry Seinfeld, American comedian, actor, writer, and producer, forced himself to write a joke every day and mark an ‘x’ on his calendar every time he did so that he was motivated to continue. This method, The Seinfeld “X” Technique, can be applied while studying for exams as well. Another strategy includes performing light exercises (stretching or treadmill jogging) to help the brain retain the information. Classical music has also been said to be helpful, but scientists recommend the music be played on low volume.
After all the studying and preparing, the day finally arrives, and students are nervous to the core. Here are some ACT test taking tips, which can be applied to the SAT as well:
2. Point I
3. Point II
4. Proof against expected rebuttals
5. Closing/call to action
If one is able to follow this prompt, the graders will be pleased with the work. The more one writes, the more likely they are to score higher on the twelve point scale.
If one considers all of these strategies, they will definitely score higher on the ACT and/or SAT test. A retake may be necessary, but that is okay. Not everyone will receive their desired score the first time. It is also very important to practice healthy therapeutic exercises if one is prone to testing anxiety. While important, a bad score on The ACT and SAT is not the end of the world.
College: Pembroke State (Undergraduate Degree), UNC Chapel-Hill (Master’s Degree)
Majored in: Social Studies (Undergraduate Degree), Master’s in Administration (Master’s Degree)
Born in: Selma, NC (Johnston County): lived there until he attended college: played Football, Baseball, and Wrestled in High School.
Family: He is married and has two daughters, one who attends Appalachian University and one who is currently attending Apex High School and plays soccer. His wife also currently owns her own accounting firm.
Favorite Hobbies: Attending college wrestling matches, coaching wrestling and football, and outdoors activities including fishing.
Favorite Movies and TV shows: Watching ESPN and The Food Network and movies including The Last Samurai, Gladiator, The Sandlot, and Forever Strong.
Inspiration for coming back to Apex this year: He wanted to take over Wrestling Program, and his daughter transferred to Apex this year. He also has wanted to come back to Apex ever since he left, says “It feels like coming home.”
Biggest Pet Peeves: Laziness and mediocrity are his biggest pet peeves.
Favorite Moment from Coaching: In 2011 he coached the Apex Wrestling team, “Was a small team but they were very hard workers.” Three quarters of the team were state qualifiers and all that placed in States won state championships. The team as a whole placed tenth in the state.
Favorite Aspect of his job: Enjoys interacting with students and helping them learn new things: likes helping athletes progress and get better every day.
What would he be doing if he weren’t a Teacher or a Coach? He says he has no idea what he would be doing, but when he is done with teaching and coaching, he wants to live in the mountains and would like to do lots of outdoor activities.
Robyn Moore, Spanish teacher, started her first year of teaching at Apex High this August. Moore is originally from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, where she attended Cedar Crest High and Lebanon Valley College. While attending Lebanon Valley, Moore studied music but then decided on studying Spanish instead and received the Spanish Student of the Year Award, Community Service Award, and summa cum laude--summa cum laude is the highest of three degrees of praise. Moore’s love of the Spanish language is what made her get into teaching and why she chose Spanish as the subject she teaches. Moore says her favorite phrase in Spanish is ‘me gustan los gatos’ which can be translated to ‘I love cats’. Outside of school, Moore enjoys playing the piano, singing and cooking-- “...Although that's more for survival,” Moore said about cooking. Moore currently has no kids and is getting married in the summer. Her biggest pet peeve is laziness, her favorite movie is ‘A Walk to Remember’, her favorite artist is Beethoven, and as expected, her favorite subject in school was Spanish.
Before coming to Apex, Moore did student teaching in Pennsylvania. Moore loves the people and energy of Apex High, but if she had any dislikes, it would be the technology; she hasn’t quite gotten the hang of using them. Compared to other schools she’s been to. Moore says, “Apex’s students get here and turn in their homework on time, and the staff has shown to be very helpful.” But, if Moore hadn’t gone into teaching she’d want to be a translator. Moore says half her students possibly perceive her as strict, and the other students see her as more laid back because they “haven’t seen how strict she is.” Her most memorable moment as a teacher would be seeing students outside of school, because you never really hear about what happens after they leave the class. Her advice to the students is to study and always do their best, “if you try your hardest, then that’s all you can do,” Moore says.
Features and Web Editor
Many showed off their school spirit during Peak Week 2015. Both students and faculty members flashed back to the past on Hippie Day, followed by a sneak peek into the future on Senior Citizen Day. On Tourist Day, a group of vacationers started off the one day “staycation” with an early morning luau. There was no shortage of patriotism for the U.S. of A. on Red, White, and Blue Day. The best day by far was Friday, Black and Gold Day, which was full of sparkles and excitement.
For members of the Homecoming Court, Peak Week started a bit earlier. On Wednesday, September 9 the final ballots came out. Homecoming Princess Olivia Hair remembers hearing her name in the announcements while in Spanish class with Homecoming Queen Alexandra Stanford. Hair continued saying, “I looked over at her and she was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ and then she heard her name, so we were both really excited.” Homecoming King Andrew “Gibby” Gibson recalls seeing his name on the ballot saying, “I just really appreciate everyone that voted for me because you hadn’t won anything at that point. It was really cool that people think enough of me to put me in the top ten.” Before all of the festivities began, the ladies of the Court met up at the then unknown Homecoming Queen’s house to decorate posters for the parade, and all too soon it was Friday.
The morning can be summed up in two words: glitter explosion. It was all over the floors, desks, backpacks, and people. Everyone, whether it be underclassmen, upperclassmen, or faculty, were excited to be sporting their spirit wear. At the beginning of fourth period, the pep rallies began.
Click "Read More" to get a recap of the pep rally, parade, and game and much more (including lots of pictures)!
Apex’s Art I class is taught by Ian Sands; his Art I students are working on a project using space, limited space. The students are working in lockers in C building. They are using the small spaces given to create dreams, nightmares, asylums, concerts, heaven, and hell. Eleven groups of students each have a locker. Each group has created something inspired to them or in some cases, completely random. Sands came up with this project when he was teaching about using space. He thought it would be a creative idea to see what the students would do with the space. All of the lockers look incredible! The lockers are named: Heaven/Hell, Zeppelin, Skate Park, Rabbitstronaut, Nightmare in 503, Le memes in space: An interactive experience part 2, Asylum, War, and Up & Away.
Official Press Release
TAC Titans swimmer Ashlyn Butkowski has verbally committed to swim on a four-year scholarship for the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She plans to study kinesiology in preparation to go on for her doctorate of physical therapy. Having just turned 17 last month, this distance freestyler is excited to keep practicing and competing this year before she heads out next fall to train with Women’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach Bob Newcomb and his staff in Amherst.
Swimming for Apex High School and the TAC Titans simultaneously have helped prepare Ashlyn for the rigor she’ll face in college, although her mom jokes that she isn’t so sure her NC native is prepared for the weather in the Northeast. “She’s going to have to buy a whole new wardrobe just to keep warm!” She started swimming in the popular Raleigh area summer swim league at just 4 years old but didn’t take up competitive swimming until age 7. “You would never have known at four that she would someday be a competitive swimmer,” her mom says, “she really only swam to be with her friends.”