The Eye of the Gale

Lancaster High School's Journalism News Blog

2013 Fairfield County Election Results

November 5, 2013 by · Comments Off · Uncategorized


Lancaster City President of Council:

Russell (D) – 2081

Bitler (R) – 2811 <winner>

Lancaster City Council at Large (Elect 3)

Nixon (D) – 1628

Woodgeard (D) – 2263

Bentle (R) – 2653 <winner>

Hale (R) – 2701 <winner>

Hedges (R) – 2811 <winner>

Lancaster City Council Ward 5

Hiles (D) – 306 <winner>

Mogle (R) – 215

Lancaster City Council Ward 6

Touvell, Sr. (D) – 235

Tener (R) –  327 <winner>

Lancaster CSD Board of Education

Bickham – 2845

Kittredge - 3513 <winner>

Pearce – 2898 <winner>

Issue 1 (Fairfield County District Library Replacement)

Yes - 8773 <winner>

No - 7313

Issue 2 (Fairfield County Roads & Bridges Renewal)

Yes - 13564 <winner>

No – 7195

Issue 3 (Fairfield County Senior Services Renewal)

Yes – 15457 <winner>

No - 5377

Issue 9 (WalMart – Sunday Sales of Wine & Mixed Beverages)

Yes – 52

No – 62 <winner>

Accident Causes Student Tardies

September 12, 2013 by · Comments Off · Uncategorized

By John Urbine

On the morning of Thursday, Sept. 12, a motorist lost control of his vehicle near the corner of Fair  Ave. and High Street.

The car, a 2004 Dodge Durango, veered off of High Street and onto the guy-wire of a telephone pole. The accident occurred when the SUV’s steering-wheel locked, which prevented the driver, a Lancaster High School student, from steering back onto the road.

Authorities blocked High Street during their cleanup of the situation, resulting in many Lancaster High School students being late to class.

No injuries were reported.


Wizard World Presents: Ohio Comic Con

September 10, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES, Uncategorized

By Jeremy Hill

From Sept. 20-22, fans from all over the Midwest will gather at The Greater Columbus Convention Center to share their love of pop culture at the Ohio Comic Con.

Thousands of pop culture fans travel far and wide to revel in their interests at this yearly event. Comic Con yields booths dedicated to movies, comics, television shows, graphic novels and more. Fans can buy and sell wares related to their hobbies and enjoy the company of those with similar interests.

Lancaster senior Kiefer Spangler tries to attend the event every year.

“It would be one of those experiences I would would be mad at myself for missing,” Spangler said. “It’s the one day of the year I can meet people just as nerdy as myself…it’s an explosion of excitement that can’t be described unless you’ve been there yourself.”

Ohio’s Comic Con draws celebrities and guest speakers year after year. This year Stan Lee, William Shatner, and TMC’s “Walking Dead” star Norman Reedus are scheduled to be in attendance.

“I am excited for the whole thing, but I am especially excited for the celebrities. Some of these people live such extraordinary lives and just love having a good time,” Spangler added.

Tickets are available through Doors open at the GCCC on Friday, Sept. 20 at 3 p.m. The event will close at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22.

Ohio Comic Con is orchestrated by Wizard Entertainment, a New York based publishing house. Wizard Entertainment runs similar events in Chicago, Toronto, New York City, and Boston.

Class Of 2013 Preparing For Graduation

May 20, 2013 by · Comments Off · Uncategorized

By Jacob Williams

It’s been twelve longs years for the class of 2013 but the day everyone dreams of is finally almost here. The seniors of LHS will be graduating on June 2 and entering the real world.

Reaching the end for most of the seniors is a bittersweet moment. It’s an end to four long years of hard work.

But it’s also the last time that most of us will ever see each other again and not to mention the teachers. It sure is going to be odd not seeing all of these wonderful people anymore.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, senioritis is really starting to kick in for the class of 2013. But honestly, almost all of the seniors felt this on the first day.

Luckily for seniors, it’s almost all over so just hold on tight for a few more weeks. Twelve years of hard work isn’t worth ruining in the last two weeks of high school.

“Well I don’t think I’m going to miss the high school that much, I’m ready for college,” said Chris Longnecker.

“I’m going to miss some close friends but that’s about all,” said Jordan Gossell.

Make sure to make the best out of the remaining time left at the high school seniors, and lets go out with a bang!

LHS Students Excited for Summer Break

May 20, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES

By Emily Matheney

Now that summer vacation is coming close, people can be spending time in a lot of different ways.

During summer vacation people can spend it with friends and family. Others can spend it just relaxing, going on vacation, or playing sports during the summer days.

There are a lot of popular vacation spots that people go during the summer such as: the beach, Florida, California, and many more places. There are also some people who have a budget that can go to the zoo or even the city pool just for day.

Some people will be playing sports for travel teams and others might have conditioning for their school teams which takes up time during the summer. They could hang out with friends when they do not have games or just relax lying out in the sun.

“During the summer I am going to be running in the morning and in June going on vacation to Hawaii,” Trent Lindsey, a sophomore at Lancaster High School said.

During the summer it is also a great time to do things that people have wanted to do since they have a lot of free time. They could be trying new things, going to new places, making new friends, and tons more.

Summer is the time that is taken off from school where students can just relax and get ready for the new school year. This is the time when everyone deserves a little bit of a break.

Major Concert Offers Low Price Tickets

April 23, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES

By Sarah Morton

When it comes to concerts featuring bigger name bands, the price for tickets is generally upped slightly. However, CD102.5 always defies this every year.

Every spring, CD102.5, the local Columbus alternative and indie rock station, hosts two major concerts. These concerts feature four to five bands per show.

Most of these bands are well-known to fellow CD102.5 listeners. However, admission prices are extremely cheap: five dollars each.

The “First Dose” featured Alt-J, Little Green Cars, Family of the Year, and The Virginmarys. While the three other bands have recently acclaimed higher status, Alt-J is a critically praised band, having been presented The Mercury Prize. The Mercury Prize is a prestigious award awarded in Britain, equivalent to The Grammys’ Album of the Year.

Second Dose featured The Joy Formidable, The Neighborhood, Guards, and San Cisco. These bands have also reached recent popularity in the indie world.

“Some friends and I went to both doses,” said local concert-goer Brianna Keil. “Definitely blasts attend to and see for yourself.”

Unfortunately due to the cheap prices of the tickets, they sell quickly, and a good chunk of people miss out on a great concert experience. Or those who could not go…better luck next year!

Music Fans Excited About New Album Release

April 23, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES

By Jacob Williams

After almost seven years of anticipation and false rumors, the day has almost come. Daft Punk is set to release their forthcoming studio album.

Random Access Memories is the title of the new album that will be up for sale on May 20, in the UK that is so you Daft Punk fans in the U.S. will have to wait until the 21 to get your hands on a copy.

Honestly it will be worth the extra one day wait for new Daft Punk. After all they’re kind of the best French House group out there.

All of this anticipation that has accumulated over the years has brought up one huge question for lovers of house music everywhere. Will this new material be accompanied with a tour of some sort?

The one thing we do know about these “androids” that hide their true appearance with leather suites and futuristic robot helmets is that they are entertainers. They have come to be known for the stellar live performances that they put on.

The set up that they use during live performances is truly a thing of beauty. A massive pyramid covered in LED lights towers over the stage as the two grind away at their controllers, mixers, etc.

“I’m a long time Daft Punk fan and I love the music,” said Austin Barnett.

Lancaster Students Get Spring Fever

April 23, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES

By Emily Matheney

Now as the days and weeks go by the weather outside has slowly increased in temperature and it feels great.

When the weather gets warmer people can find more things outside to do like going for a walk, jog, riding a bike, going to the park, hanging out with friends, or just laying outside watching the clouds go by.

Some students may be in sports and with the weather like this it is much better than it being less than 40 degrees and having to wear layers of clothing just to stay warm for the game.

“The weather is at a comfortable range, not too hot and it is not too cold,” said Kelly Sparkman, a sophomore at Lancaster High School.

The flowers and the plants are starting to blossom and the trees are starting to get there leaves back. This is where everyone can see what is so unique about the world.

Instead of staying inside all day watching television, surfing the internet, and watching those adorable videos of cats. People can go outside and enjoy life while they have it. People can always stay inside, but when the weather is like this go outside and make your own the adventure out there.

Hopefully as the temperature tends to raise maybe people will see what is outside and go out and look for a while and experience something real.

Lancaster Choir Students Travel to New York

April 23, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES

By Sarah Morton

There appears to be a trend with traveling among the Lancaster High School Arts. The Drama Club went to State Conference this year; the Band of Gold goes to Florida every few years. And this year, the LHS choirs went to New York City.

While it is not a required trip, a majority of the students involved in the Cantari, Women’s Ensemble, Men’s Ensemble, Chamber singers, and Singing Gales participated.

The choirs will be performed in a cathedral located in the city. They performed each of their individual choir pieces, as well as pieces combined together.

But performing was the smallest part of the trip. Sight-seeing, shopping, and even watching a Broadway show were the events the choir participated in.

While the students are stressed out taking their quizzes and tests early and getting their homework in advance, the trip was nonetheless worth it.

The choirs will de departed Wednesday night the 17th, and arrived in New York the following morning. They left Saturday night the 20th.

Boston Bombing Terror Attack Rattles Citizens

April 23, 2013 by · Comments Off · NEWS

By Jacob Williams

Last Monday, the Boston Marathon was at the center of a series of terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 3 people and injured 183

To both the runners competing in the race and the spectators, nothing seemed unusual about the Marathon. Then as runners were approaching the finish line a bomb went off.

About 12 seconds later another explosive was detonated not all but 20yards from the site of the first explosion. These bombs sent concrete flying through the air at speeds exceeding 500 feet per second.

After some time spent investigating, law enforcement was able to figure out that the bombs were made out of pressure cookers and were filled with all sorts of shrapnel, including nails and chunks of metal.

Among the victims who died in the explosions include Martin Richard who was only 8 years old when he lost his life to this unthinkable act of violence.

“It’s a terrible thing that someone would want to do this to so many innocent people,” said Chris Longnecker.

Metal Detectors at Schools Become Popular

March 18, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES

By Josie Dupler

Have you ever thought about having to walk through metal detectors to get into school? State Representative Bill Patmon has proposed a bill to make it happen.

Ever since the Sandy Hook shooting took place, school safety has been in the limelight across the United States. Putting metal detectors in place is just one of the many ways the government is working to improve safety in Ohio’s schools.

If Patmon’s proposed bill passes, metal detectors will be available to any Ohio public school that wants one in their building.

“I love the idea! I’ve even discussed with my family how having metal detectors at our school would make me feel so much safer than I ever have before,” said Taylor Heath.

While Ohioans support improving the safety of their children, many are worried about the cost. To pay for the metal detectors, Patmon plans to use money from homeland security rather than education funds.

A few parents and educators are against this form of improving school safety, worrying that having children walk throw a metal detector every morning will be a negative way to start their day.

“Metal detectors would be a great addition to safety, but schools would have to have a plan in place with someone to monitor the metal detectors as students come in and be prepared to confiscate items detected,” said Deputy Dixon.

While parents, educators, and students would have to adjust to having metal detectors in schools, we can only hope that this will improve the safety of all.

Speaker Gives Glimpse into Life in Vietnam During War

March 18, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES

By Josie Dupler

On February 25th, Gahanna’s Columbus Academy welcomed Kim Phuc as a speaker, part of the 2012 Currier lecture series. While many people see Kim Phuc as the Vietnam War poster child, Phuc works to be seen as hope for war victims across the world by telling her story.

Kim Phuc was born and raised in Trang Bang, Vietnam, where she and her family lived a life of luxury and happiness. However, this all changed on June 8, 1972, when the place her family was hiding at for safety was bombed by the American military, which was told the village had been cleared of civilians. During the bombing, Phuc lost two of her cousins and was covered in napalm gas, burning her skin at 1200 degrees Celsius. When miraculously running out of the fire, Phuc was photographed by Nick Ut. Little did they know, that photograph would change both of their lives forever.

Ut rushed Phuc to the nearest hospital, where she began her long recovery. After spending two years in different hospitals, enduring seventeen surgeries, Phuc was finally able to return to her village. She was thrilled to be back in school and catch up with her classmates, but the Vietnamese government had a different plan for her. The picture that Ut had taken of her was all across the world, on every news stand and in many homes. The horrid image broke the hearts of people everywhere, filling them with anger.

“My dream was to study medicine and give back what was given to me, but my country didn’t allow freedom like that to happen,” said Kim Phuc to her audience at Columbus Academy.

Instead of being able to return to her studies, Phuc was forced to become a symbol of war for her country. The Vietnamese government had her under 24 hour surveillance, not allowing her to be free to study and live as she pleased. After years of being her government’s government, she was finally able to escape to Canada and begin a family with her husband.

“We all take for granted the freedom that we have and don’t take enough time to consider what has happened in the past that gave us the freedom we have,” said Meredith Hood. “War victims, like Kim, make us realize how lucky we are to live where we live.”

Phuc’s new life in Canada gave her a chance to tell her story the want she wanted it told, not the way the Vietnamese government did. She started traveling the world, sharing how blessed she is to be alive and how encourage people everywhere to work together to make peace so that less people become victims of war, like she was.

“I believe that every person can make a difference and create harmony,” said Kim Phuc.

She also has traveled the world to seek forgiveness for herself and the Vietnam veterans that attacked her village. At Columbus Academy, she was able to reconcile with two Vietnam veterans that live in Lancaster area.

“I always wondered what had happened to the girl in the picture, now I’m at peace knowing that she is alive and working to make our world a better place,” said Vietnam veteran Jim Lutz.

Phuc now has her own non-profit foundation that works to provide medical and psychological help for war victims and needy children in many different countries. She is also a UNESCO Ambassador for a Culture of Peace and has received four doctorate degrees. Phuc is a living symbol of peace, forgiveness, and freedom for people all across the globe.

“When terrible things happen, we must learn from the experience and use it to make us stronger. We all were put on this Earth for a purpose and each of us have a chance to speak up for what’s right and work to create change,” said Kim Phuc.

Arts Programs Making a Wave in Competitions

March 18, 2013 by · Comments Off · NEWS

By Sarah Morton

While most people seem to only notice the accomplishments of sports teams, the arts at LHS have also made some significant achievements.

Friday, March 8, LHS’s choirs and bands participated in the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) conference at Teays Valley High School. From 4 to past 10 o’clock, these groups performed for a rating, with 1 being the highest rating.

Choirs that competed at this conference included Women’s Ensemble, Men’s Ensemble, and Chamber singers. All of these groups received 1’s.

“We performed class double A songs, so I did not expect us to all get 1’s,” said LHS junior Alexis Scranton. “I’m so proud of everybody!”

Symphonic band and concert band both received a 2, while wind ensemble got a 1. Wind ensemble will be going onto states as well.

The bands and choirs that received a rating of 1 will be going to States. Exact locations and dates are as yet to be determined.

“I’m pretty sure we are going the same week as prom,” said LHS junior Emily Allen, one of the members of the Wind Ensemble.

For those who have classes with choir or band kids, congratulate them on their hard work and wish them luck as they go on to states.

Blue Jackets Finally Starting to Heat Up

March 18, 2013 by · Comments Off · SPORTS

By Jacob Williams

For the majority of their short time as a franchise, the Columbus Blue Jackets have been the laughingstock of the National Hockey League. But with their recent performance, they’ve showed fans that they can win more than one game in a row.

Perhaps an even stranger fact is that the Jackets were named the NHL’s hottest team with a five game win streak and a new franchise record of an 8 game point streak. Anything past a one game win streak was a miracle in the past but things are looking up for this mostly young team.

Coaching, last year’s disgrace of a season was widely contributed to the poor coaching skills and bad attitude of the Jacket’s past head coach, Scott Armiel.

But with Todd Richards their new head coach, the whole team is getting along and actually playing like a team and winning games despite the laundry list of injuries that is plaguing the team.

The most outstanding part of their team right now is the recently acquired goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky. Last years’ Jeff Carter trade to the Flyers proved to be a wise decision in an attempt to have goalie that can stop more than 10 shots a game.

Before their overtime loss to Vancouver on Tuesday, Bobrovsky lead the jackets to a five game win streak including a pair of weekend victories against Detroit and on Saturday’s affair, Bob solidified his first career shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Red Wings.

“I am absolutely astounded by the Jackets recent performance, they’re starting to actually look like a real professional hockey team,” said Nick Williams.

Pope Francis Welcomed by Catholics Worldwide

March 18, 2013 by · Comments Off · NEWS

By Josie Dupler

While students were test taking, the Roman Catholic Church welcomed a new Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio on Wednesday.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is from Argentina, being the first Pope ever from the Americas. He fluently speaks Spanish, Italian, and German.

“I think it’s really cool that Bergoglio is the first pope to be from the Americas,” said Bailey Kuhn.

Instead of asking Catholics from Argentina to travel to Rome and celebrate his appointment with him, he requested that they stay at home and donate the money they would have used to travel to the needy.

Bergoglio will be called Pope Francis. Some say this is a reference to Franciscans, since Bergoglio is the first Jesuit to become Pope, while others say it is in honor of a 13th century saint.

President Obama sent the best of luck and wishes, calling him “A champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us.”

When addressing the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis asked that members of the church pray for him and one another on their journey to make their faith and church stronger.

Lancaster Students Prepare for OGT’s

March 5, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES, Uncategorized

By Makinsey Campbell

With only a few instructional days left until the Ohio Graduation Test, students and staff at Lancaster High School are preparing for the test in multiple ways.

The Ohio Graduation Test, also known as the OGT, is a test consisting of five subjects; reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies. The test is given to all sophomores in the state of Ohio.

Students must earn a score of 400 or higher on all five portions of the test to pass the OGT.

In order to graduate high school, students must pass all five portions of the OGT. Students are given multiple chances to pass the test.

Students and staff have been preparing the sophomores for the test all year, but now as the test becomes closer, there are OGT Prep classes offered after school for any sophomore that need help preparing for the test.

Freshmen are required to come to school every day at regular time in order to take a practice OGT and PLAN test.  This opportunity will help freshmen become more prepared for their sophomore year and give them an idea of the OGT.

While the freshmen and sophomores are taking their tests, the juniors and seniors, who have passed all five portions of the OGT, will have the privilege of arriving to school two hours late.

Oscars Hand Out Many Awards For 2012 Films

March 4, 2013 by · Comments Off · NEWS

By Cara Carpenter

Hollywood’s A-Listers took to the red carpet Sunday to celebrate the 2012 year of film at the 85th annual Academy Awards Show, or more commonly known as The Oscars.

Seth MacFarlane took a more comedic approach at hosting the 2013 Oscars. He opened with an original song and dance accompanied by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Danielle Radcliffe, Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron. MacFarlane dropped some racy jokes all throughout the night, all in good fun.

The night consisted of many jaw dropping fashions and astonishing, unpredicted performances. The cast of Les Miserables gathered on the Oscar stage to perform together one last time. Barbara Streisand sang an unforgettable tribute to the late Marvin Hamlish.

Shirley Bassey sang a dramatic tribute to James Bond with “Goldfinger”. Jennifer Hudson sang her classic “And I am Telling You” leaving the audience with chills. As Always, Adele gave a show stopping perfected performance of “Skyfall”, which later won the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Along with all the performances, the night gave awards to many deserving actors and actresses. Jennifer Lawrence took home the Oscar for Best Actress in a leading role, tripping up the steps in her gorgeous Dior Couture dress. Lawrence laughed off the incident and accepted her award, for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook”.

Daniel Day- Lewis won Best Actor in a leading role. Lewis gave a riveting acceptance speech, owing his award to the brilliant man, Abraham Lincoln, who he portrayed in his winning role “Lincoln”.

Jack Mickelson is known for being the last man standing at awards shows, so when he came out to present the biggest award of the night, best picture, no one was surprised. What they were not expecting was for him to be accompanied by the first lady herself, Michelle Obama, who presented the award live from the white house.

“Argo” took home the Oscar. An emotional Ben Affleck, director and actor of the film, delivered an emotional acceptance speech after much hard work on his true story of Six Americans attempting to escape from Iran.

The night ended with host Seth MacFarlane and Kristen Chenoweth singing another comedic original song called “Here’s to the Losers”, paying tribute to all the unhappy losers of the night

Prom Fashion Show Rescheduled

March 4, 2013 by · Comments Off · NEWS

By Sam Bishop

Lancaster High School’s Prom Fashion Show was cancelled Friday February 22nd, they plan to reschedule for March 15th.

Ms. Chelsea Durdel, the Latin teacher at LHS, is the leader of this event.  Durdel works with two other teachers, Jenifer Etherington and Faith Spires, to put on this Fashion Show. Students will sell tickets once more during lunch periods, and the event will be held in LHS cafeteria at 8 p.m.

The Prom Fashion Show helps raise money for the junior class prom. The seniors, who worked the show last year, are the models for this year’s fashion show.

“The goal of fashion show is to show fashion trends that save money, as well as raising some ourselves,” says Durdel.

Uniquely Yours and Henrys are two major donors for the models clothing. Local businesses are donating things such as gift cards and tanning packages for a raffle after the show.

“I’m excited to watch it, I think it is going to be awesome to watch my friend’s model, and show some different ideas,” Jordan Householder says, a sophomore at LHS.

Even with the cancellation the entire committee is hoping for people to come to the rescheduled Prom Fashion Show.

Lancaster High School Band Plays In Annual Concert

March 4, 2013 by · Comments Off · NEWS

By Hannah Edwards

Last Thursday, the band program at Lancaster High School put on their annual concert where they play selections for Ohio Musical Education Association large group contest.

“I think our band was ready for this concert, and it was be an event to help us get ready for large group contest,” said Daniel Dreyer a senior at Lancaster High School.

Each band played three selections that the directors have chosen from a list that has been put together by the members of OMEA.

All three of the bands, Concert band, Symphonic band, and Wind Ensemble all had different difficulty of songs. Which are divided into classes, depending on how complex the piece is.

The concert started out with Concert Band, then Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble was the last group. Also a Flute ensemble played in between Concert and Symphonic Band.

“All of the directors were happy with the progress we made in such a short time, and they think we will do well at contest,” concluded Dreyer.

Lancaster High Schools band program had a great night and were pleased with their performances.

Spanish Club Collecting Jeans for Homeless Teens

February 15, 2013 by · Comments Off · NEWS

By Alex Shaw

Spanish Club is currently taking jeans to give to the homeless in the local area and needs you to donate.

Lancaster’s Spanish Club is asking the students of Lancaster High School to donate old jeans that they may have lying around the house.

You can take your jeans to the Spanish room (106) or to Aeropostale in the mall. Both collection points will take the jeans to where they need to go.

They can be any brand or size of jeans. They will all go to homeless shelters and benefit the homeless in the surrounding areas.

There are many teenagers in Lancaster and surrounding cities that are without jeans this winter and are in need of your help.

“I think this is a great way to help out the people in our community,” said Mattie Joiner, senior at Lancaster High School.

This fundraiser may not have any effect on the Spanish Club, but it does help the people in our area get jeans for the cold winter.

Andrew Ng Advocates Online Learning

February 13, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES


By Alek LaVeck

As eTech Ohio has proved thus far, online learning is growing rapidly. And when Andrew Ng (@AndrewYNg) gave his testimony in the Grand Ballroom today, the same held true.

Andrew Ng is a Co-founder of Coursera and a Computer Science faculty member at Stanford. He is also the Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, the main AI research organization at Stanford. Ng also teaches an online Machine Learning course through Stanford.

While at Stanford for a decade, Ng says his classes consisted of approximately 400 students. He taught the same thing… over and over and over. 

“It became repetitive,” Ng said. “I was teaching the same thing to the same types of students and telling the same jokes.”

Due to the constant repetitiveness, Ng and Daphne Koller founded Coursera — an online schooling website where great universities offer courses to students for free. Currently, there are 33 participating universities (including Stanford, UPenn, and Ohio State), 213 courses and upwards of 2.5 million students.

Now, Ng teaches a class of roughly 100,000 students online and feels it is more interactive than his previous lecture classes. Also, Ng believes his online class, as well as others, gives students more opportunities to succeed. 

For example, instead of a student failing an assignment once in a normal classroom, Coursera has “tools for instructors to create randomized assignments and provide students with multiple opportunities for success,” says Ng.

Ng also adds that “education should be about helping students to succeed.”

These online courses are very interactive, which leads to greater student learning. For teachers, it allows them to spend more class time actually teaching instead of lecturing about a certain topic. 

“It’s a much better experience for the teachers,” Ng explains. “But more importantly, it’s a much better experience for the students.”

Taking courses on Coursera can help everybody, even adults who do not have a college degree. After completing a class, these adults (or anybody) receive a certificate of completion signed by the professor, which helps tremendously in finding a job. 

Some universities are even offering credit for Coursera classes, as the American Council of Education — the most respected academic organization in the nation — has recommended five Coursera courses to be used as academic credit.

Coursera offers financial aid for those who can’t afford the fifty dollar fee, as well. Ng wants great professors to be able to share expertise with anybody and doesn’t want cost to bar people from that opportunity.

“I want to lower the cost of education, and raise the quality,” says Ng. “A great education is a fundamental human right.”

Max Brooks Encourages Show and Tell

February 12, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES


By Alek LaVeck

Lancaster Journalism Student

Sharing isn’t for everyone, but sharing in the classroom should be. 

As Max Brooks, keynote speaker at eTech and Manager of Communications at Discovery Education Network (DEN), puts it, “sharing allows you to showcase your passion.”

But Brooks wasn’t always a sharer. He recalls a much simpler time, as a young child, when he never wanted to share… until, that is, he discovered Legos. Brooks loved Legos — everything about them — and when show-and-tell came up in his second grade class, he was enthralled. 

The young Brooks passed his Lego spaceship around with pride. He was so happy with his work.

“Something about Legos, it changed me,” said Brooks, as he explained how being passionate about something enables kids to do awesome things. Every student has a passion, Brooks says, and there are so many great ways to let them share their passions. 

Furthermore, Brooks let his audience in on a new sharing platform DEN is working on, called BoardBuilder. BoardBuilder allows students to build a webpage tailored to whatever topic they choose, and it’s extremely user friendly. He urged educators to challenge their students to go outside the scope of the classroom — to engage them after the last bell. 

Most importantly, Brooks wanted his audience to know that show-and-tell is for everyone. He wants teachers to help students find their passions, and then encourage them to use sharing platforms such as Moodle or Mahara (mmm, M&Ms) to broadcast things they love. 

Before concluding his presentation, Brooks left the audience with one final thought: “Don’t be afraid to share. What are you passionate about? Shout it out!”

Heather Clayton Staker Talks Blended Learning

February 11, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES


By Alek LaVeck

Are students getting the most out of their time in the classroom? That’s a tough question, with an even tougher answer, but incorporating online learning may be able to help. 

As Heather Clayton Staker, the Senior Research Fellow for the Education Practice at Innosight Institute, told a crowded conference room of educators at the eTech Ohio convention in Columbus, mixing online learning with traditional class room learning, or ‘blended’ learning is a sustainable solution to enhancing classroom architecture for the future.

Since blended learning is such a young concept, there are multiple ways it is being implemented in schools across the nation. Most notably, these methods include lab rotation models, flex models, self-blend models and enriched virtual models.

First, a lab rotation model consists of stations in which students rotate to. Some stations are taught online and others are taught by an instructor in person. Staker concludes this model is especially effective in elementary school with younger children who are more adept to the “station rotation” concept. 

Next, a flex model is designed for students to spend a specific amount of time learning online and then transition to being taught in a classroom. For example, a student may spend one half of class on the computer and the other half being traditionally instructed.

Then there is the self-blend model, which many students are already using. Self-blending is when students take online courses in addition to their high school classes on their own without much help from school instructors. Typically, self-blending is utilized by high schoolers, rather than younger students. 

Finally, enriched virtual models consist of full-time online learning, but in a brick-and-mortar environment. This helps students who choose online school because it provides them with a solid area to receive assistance with their work. 

Although technology makes all of these methods possible, Staker urges us to remember that technology does not mean blended learning is occurring. These techniques are what makes blended learning possible and what makes the technology useful. 

Also, Staker predicts, through her research, that by 2019, fifty percent of courses will be offered online. She believes this will help to maximize student potential and allow them to learn as much as they can. 

In fact, she has children of her own that attend a flex model school in Austin, Texas. Staker says she is impressed by her kids’ progress — especially her daughter’s progress in mathematics. 

Staker herself became interested in education at a young age. As a 17-year-old, she was elected to the California State Board of Education and was a voting member. From there, she went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard College and later received her MBA, with distinction, from Harvard Business School. After many other prestigious jobs, and due to her interest in education, Staker has decided to continue exploring alternate learning techniques. She now researches and advocates blended learning across the nation and regularly testifies before state policymakers. 

An innovator, to say the least. 

Coming Home Dance at LHS

February 5, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES

By Hannah Edwards

On Saturday, February 2nd is the annual Coming Home dance that is held at Lancaster High School.

“The dance was a lot of fun, seeing everyone and spending time with friends made the night memorable,” said KayCee Giesy.

Saturday, the dance started at 7:30 p.m. and ended at 10 p.m. This is for students that attend LHS, and their preapproved guests.

Each grade voted on a male attendant to represent their class at the basketball game, and at the Coming Home dance. The senior class has multiple attendants, and the winner was announced at the dance.

Brandon Marcum won the title as Coming Home King, while he was escorted by Kelli Landis.

“Dances are always something to look forward to in the year, and the cafeteria was really well decorated. It definitely a great time,” concluded Giesy.

The dance slowly came to an end, and everyone shuffled out the door. It was a great night had by all.

A Valentine’s Day Legend

February 1, 2013 by · Comments Off · FEATURES

By Taylor Conrad

Valentine’s Day isn’t just a day about cards, roses, and chocolate. Like all holidays, there is history behind it and there are many different legends of how Valentine’s Day came about.

One legend says that third century Rome, Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men because they made better soldiers if they weren’t married, but a priest, St. Valentine, continued to marry young couples in secret. Valentine was eventually caught and sentenced to death.

Another legend says that Valentine was imprisoned for trying to help Christians escape harsh Roman imprisonment. While in prison he fell in love with a young girl, and before his death wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression we use today.

Regardless of which legend is true, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by 62% of adults in the United States. There are 150 million Valentine’s Day cards and gifts sent each year. Men spend around $150 a year on average, while women spend $74 on average.

“I love buying gifts on Valentine’s Day, not only for my boyfriend, but for my friends to. I like to show them that I appreciate them,” said senior Alex Shaw.

Some people are not so fond of the holiday though.

“Valentine’s Day is a waste of money, I don’t need to buy people things to show how much I care about them,” said senior Kim Deal.

People will always have different opinions about Valentines Day, but we should all try to get along on the holiday, for St. Valentines sake.