Last Friday in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a gunman, Robert L. Dear, opened fire in a Planned Parenthood (PP) clinic, killing three people and injuring at least another nine. After a five hour standoff, Dear surrendered to police, giving up his automatic rifle and several “suspicious items” that he brought into the clinic.
The nine injured (five police officers and four civilian bystanders) are expected to recover shortly. Jennifer Markovsky, there to support a friend, was killed during the assault along with Iraq war veteran Ke’Arre Stewart and police officer Garrett Swasey. The police have not released a motive for this act of violence yet. However, many are pointing to the assault being an attack on PP and its supporters. Dear has been known in the past to support those who attacked other clinics, and most who knew him did agree on his fervent pro-life beliefs. One of his former wives commented that he publically identified as conservative, was extremely religious, owned several guns, and was prone to acts of sudden violence.
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Social studies teacher and cross country coach Carly Brown was recently named Apex High School’s 2015 Teacher of the Year. In addition, special education teacher and Project Unify advisor, Ellen Kroeger, was named Apex HS’s 2015 Teacher Assistant of the Year.
While teaching her fourth period class, administrators, CougarTV, and the Apex mascot all came in to surprise Ms. Brown. In an interview with CougarTV, she said, “It feels amazing. It feels humbling. It’s great to know that the Apex community is receptive and supportive.” She goes on to mention how she is passionate about what she teaches and how she tries to instill that passion and drive into her students. Brown, who is also the Student Council advisor expressed her gratitude saying, “Thank you Apex students, teachers, and everybody. You guys are awesome and I am happy to serve you guys.” Brown will begin compiling a portfolio to be entered to win the Wake County Teacher of the Year and will be invited to a banquet in May where the winner will be announced.
Brown has been teaching at Apex since 2012, and in that time she has taught a variety of classes including AP Psychology, law and justice, psychology and sociology, and multiple American history courses. After graduating from Broughton High School in 2006, Brown went onto North Carolina State University on as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow. She received a History BA, Teaching Option in 2010, with concentrations in Civil Right’s Studies and Women’s History. Just two years later, Brown obtained her graduate degree of Mastery of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, with a concentration in New Literacies and Global Learning - Secondary Social Studies. According to her website she is a “wolfpack fanatic,” who thinks Carolina blue is “tacky”, and is a proud alumna of Alpha Delta Phi Sorority.
One of the things that makes Brown such a great teacher is how relatable she is. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, hiking, Netflix, and looking up videos of otters.
All of us at Legacy would like to congratulate Ms. Carly Brown and Ms. Ellen Kroeger on their great achievements.
On Nov. 21, 2015 Apex art teacher Ian Sands announced on Twitter that Apex High School won a 3D printer. The contest, held by Maker Bot, challenged what school could get the most retweets of a teacher tweeting #WeneedaMakeBot. The prize would be awarded to the account with the most retweets. Librarian Ms. Howard had seen the contest while scrolling on social media one day, and, after discussing with the rest of the staff from the media center, they decided Mr. Sands would be the perfect person to enter the contest for our school. Sands said, “Two hundred fifty students retweeted almost instantly. At first we thought we were way ahead of everyone else but by the next day we saw we were in second, behind by one hundred retweets.” Students and teachers spread information about the contest around the school in hopes of getting more retweets. Apex High’s total retweets turned out to be 576. Sands then said, “It wasn’t me who won it, it was the students who actually won it.”
Oh my goodness! CougarTV launched as Apex High’s first video news broadcast on Nov. 18. The pilot episode of CougarTV featured announcements regarding activities/clubs around Apex, a sports report, and a feature on the Cougar of the Week, Anna Parrish.
The idea of CougarTV had been discussed for the past two years, originating from the concept of live broadcasts of sporting events such as football, basketball, and lacrosse. Coach Lockwood brought the idea to Coach Hayden during lacrosse playoffs last year; Hayden liked the idea but was hesitant of opposing teams seeing the footage. The idea was resurrected this year and quickly developed into a weekly newscast during homeroom with the hope of live streams of sporting events for the future.
The general process for creating an episode of CougarTV is similar to the process followed by a regular newscast. Three to four topics are chosen, and students conduct research, film the piece, create the necessary voice overs, edit the piece, and send it in. The news broadcast, the sections featuring John Mitchell and Michael DeSantis in the previous installment, is filmed as if it were live, and then all the clips are pieced together like a puzzle.
On Dec. 12, the Apex Youth Council (AYC) invites guests ages fourteen and older with disabilities to the Rockin’ Reindeer Special Needs Dance from 7 to 9:30 pm at the Apex Community Center. The cost is $5 cash per person. The dress code for this event is casual to allow for comfortable dancing, snacking, and socializing. To aid in the smooth sailing of the event, volunteers of the AYC will be readily decorating, taking photos, supervising the refreshments, and interacting with guests. After the success of similar events held in both Cary and Raleigh, Allie Prelaske, a program director of the Town of Apex, has arranged the dance to feature a snack bar, DJ, dance floor, and a photographer. This event will make the first annual special needs dance hosted by the Town of Apex and the Apex Youth Council; however, the expected success of the event has opened the doors to similar recreational events in the near future.
Cards Against Humanity (CAH), known for their dirty and slightly vulgar version of the family game Apples to Apples, is full of crazy new kooks. This year, the company that continually donates has decided to receive. Since 2012, the company has, according to their website, raised “nearly $4 million for organizations [they] love,” including starting “$500,000 full-ride scholarship for women getting degrees in science.”
CAH is known for its crude humor, making it easier for the company officials to always remain straight-forward with all of their endeavors. This year, the company decided to receive donations on Black Friday in $5 increments. As the CAH twitter account put it, “On Black Friday, a lot of companies promise you something for nothing. We're the only company to offer you nothing for something.” As crazy as that sounds, the idea was quite the spectacle, and many people caught on.
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As students near the end of their high school careers, the idea of dealing with financial responsibilities as an adult can be stressful, but the “Reality of Money” financial simulation from the North Carolina Credit Union gave Apex students a chance to learn about managing money in the real world. The simulation, organized in part by career development coordinator Jackson Hayes, presented students with a fictional financial situation. They were given an income, an occupation, a marital status, and a number of kids in their care. Savings, student loans, and other factors were also considered. Russell Duncan, a math teacher who was involved in bringing the project to life, says that the goal of the workshop was to help students “really learn about money.”
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There was a unanimous vote by the Board of Commissioners on Nov. 16 to increase permanent Wake County employees’ pay to $13.50. Previously, some were making as little as $11.08 an hour. But with this new living wage, all employees will earn at least $28,080 annually. For some employees, this will be a pay rise of one or three thousand dollars. “We’re pleased that the number of employees who will benefit from the living wage is relatively low, because it shows that our market analysis is working,” says Wake County human resources director Angela Crawford. “We regularly research what the fair market rate is for each one of our positions, and the living wage data proves our efforts are effective.”