Dean Spires

By Chance Brown

Lancaster High School’s newest member Mr. Spires has been teaching in the Lancaster area for many years and is gladly welcomed as new dean of students.

Mr. Spires taught at Tallmadge elementary and South elementary school for many years before being asked to become dean of students at Lancaster High School. He accepted under one condition.

Spires was also a wrestling coach for the high school. Becoming a dean at the high school is hard for Spires because it required that he forfeit his job as the wrestling coach.

Giving up the job was hard for Spires but he has found new joy in connecting with students at Lancaster High School. He finds that making these connections is more rewarding than he could have imagined.

Spires considers the best part about being a dean at the high school is being able to talk to the many students at the school. He also works with the students to find solutions to their problems.

Spires was welcomed by the teachers and staff and was humbled to be one of them. Lancaster High School’s staff welcomed him into their family.

Preparation for this job was hard on Spires as he had to quit his coaching position on the wrestling team. For four years he had to prepare to connect with the student body at Lancaster High School.

Spires’s plan for the future of Lancaster High School and the graduating classes to come is being able to problem solve with technology. Lancaster High School is blessed to have a bright, young, and driven dean like Mr. Spires.

“Gotham”

By Owyn Howard

Have you ever wondered how Batman got his start as Gotham’s Dark Knight? Fox’s new show “Gotham”addresses the beginnings of the Caped Crusader.

“Gotham” stars Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue. McKenzie portrays the main protagonist Detective James Gordan.

Gordan is new to the detective department in Gotham City. Being fresh and untainted by corruption, he is honest and respectable. He seeks justice first and foremost, and he repetitively puts himself in danger because of his earnestness.

Gordan’s respectable nature clashes with his partner, Detective Harvey Bullock, played by Donal Logue. Bullock is a seasoned veteran in the police department and knows all the ins and outs of the city.

Unlike Gordan, Bullock has become corrupt by the city, seeking his own well-being first. He is willing to hurt others and turn a blind eye to injustice as long as it is beneficial for himself. In this regard, Bullock and Gordan are polar opposites.

However, through the distinct character differences, Gordan and Bullock work well together as partners. Gordan’s earnest pursuit of justice has begun to rub off on Bullock. With Gordan’s passion for justice, and Bullock’s knowledge of the city, the two make a great duo.

“Gotham” is a show that has different qualities that set it aside as unique and interesting. One quality is that the show has a filter over the lens that makes everything appear in a gritty and dark lighting. This is symbolic of the gritty and dirty nature of Gotham City.

Another quality that makes the show unique is that it addresses the corrupt nature of big city politics. Gotham is a city where the mayor is controlled by the city’s biggest mob boss and cops turn a blind eye to injustice for the right price.

One thing I would like to see the show do is to set up the steps leading up to the Caped Crusader dawning his cape and cowl. I hope to see Bruce Wayne, as a child, begin to form into the makings of Batman. I also would enjoy seeing the birth of the Joker.

In my humble opinion, I give this show two thumbs up. And after all, who doesn’t love Batman?

Lancaster High School Hosts First Blood Drive of the Year

By Owyn Howard

Red Cross will be conducting a blood drive at Lancaster High School on September 23rd. All students eligible are invited to come contribute to the life-changing cause.

Donating blood is a great cause that can help countless people. Blood transfusions are used in hospitals on a daily basis; many people’s lives depend on the donation of blood. Every single ounce of blood given will be put to use.

Blood drives also serve the purpose of bringing people together. On September 23rd, Lancaster High School will come together as a school to help the community. Literally shedding blood alongside fellow students truly brings the community together in a unique way.

“I think the blood drive will be absolutely awesome for our school. Donating blood is a great cause that can save lives,” said sophomore, Savannah Foster.

Many people expect to be given blood when medical complications arise, but few people actually take the time to donate. This is a problem that cannot be overlooked.

If the use of blood by hospitals is more than the amount of blood given by donors, then the people who critically need blood will have none. By keeping your blood to yourself, who are you helping?

“If I have the ability to help save someone’s life, then I am going to donate. It is as simple as that,” said junior, Noah Raddatz.

If you are able to donate, then donate. It is for a life-changing cause.

Your blood could be the factor that saves someone’s life.

LHS Band of Gold Hits Season Head-On

By Harrison Gilmore

While most students at Lancaster High School were sleeping in and going to the pool, the LHS Band of Gold was working hard in the heat of late June.

Now, the group prepares to host the Lancaster High School Band of Gold Invitational Saturday the 27th. While the group will play in this competition, they are unable to place because they are hosting the event.

“The rating system is based on a scale from 1-5; 1 being the highest, 5 being the lowest. Our new director, Mr. Factor, has experience achieving that 1 rating at state competition,” senior Douglas Mayes said.

With a new director at the helm for the band, Lancaster High School hopes to take the Band of Gold to scoring ones at state competition year in and year out.

This is the Band of Gold’s second competition of the year, placing first in their first competition at Licking Heights. After tomorrow’s competition, the group will have 3 or 4 more opportunities before state competition.

With a new director this year, the freshmen in the group have a unique opportunity moving forward that other members of the band do not have.

“The freshmen have the chance to have Mr. Factor all four years of high school. They don’t have to worry about learning new styles or preferences,” said Mayes.

The Lancaster Band of Gold Invitational will feature between 10 to 15 schools from across Ohio. Each school will showcase their talents in front of spectators, opposing schools, and judges.

Lancaster FFA Honored for Dedication in Classroom

By Shawn Norris

Lancaster High School is honored that one of our teachers, Gina Neff, won a national award for her excellent teaching in the classroom.

She was awarded a National FFA Award for young teachers that perform well in the development of young minds.

As a young teacher in the agricultural system, one of the most prestigious awards to be nominated for is the Outstanding Young Member’s award, in which Ms. Neff was not only considered for but also awarded.

Ms. Neff was awarded by the National Association of Agricultural Educators in 2013, then received the Ohio’s outstanding young member award in 2014.

Just to be eligible for the award you have had to been teaching for 3 to 5 years to even be considered. Then they look at the achievements in the classroom.

Other things that are looked at when being considered for the award are the accomplishments throughout the FFA organization.

There are only six other members to win the outstanding young members award, which says a lot about Lancaster’s ag teacher. This would then place her as one of the best in the nation.

“I am very excited to have gotten the award and to see how much the chapter has grown since I have been here,” Ms. Neff said.

Wizard World Presents: Ohio Comic Con

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 TicketLeap.com. 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.

LHS Students Excited for Summer Break

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

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

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

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

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.

Metal Detectors at Schools Become Popular

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

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.

Lancaster Students Prepare for OGT’s

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.

Andrew Ng Advocates Online Learning

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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.

Lancaster Students Impact Lives

By Taylor Conrad

Juniors and seniors at Lancaster High School are impacting their community in a big way through Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Big Brothers Big Sisters, or BBBS, is an organization that helps to improve the lives of children ages 6-18 by matching them with older volunteers, also known as, “Bigs.”

The children, or “Littles,” are children who are have problems at home, such as having a single parent, suffering from poverty, or a parental incarceration. These are kids who really need someone there for them in their lives.

Once someone puts in an application to become a Big, a coordinator comes to LHS to conduct interviews. These interviews help the coordinators match Bigs with Littles that share common interests and lives.

After matched with a Little, coordinators meet the Big at the Little’s school for the initial meeting.  People that sign up are encouraged to be committed to the program because the Littles count on them and look forward to them being there.

The Bigs at LHS spend about an hour a day, once a week, with their Littles at the different elementary and middle schools around the community. Bigs that can’t drive themselves are provided transportation to insure that they get to their kids.

Bigs and Littles do things together like playing games, making crafts, reading, doing homework, or just sitting around talking.

81% of the Littles said that their Bigs gave them hope and changed their attitude about life. Through the experience of the program Bigs benefit as well as the children.

“It feels really good to have someone look up to you as much as my Little does. It helps show me I am making a difference,” Cassie Hennessy, a senior in her second year of mentoring, stated.

Despite Cold Weather Many Lancaster Students Still Choose Shorts

By Emily Matheney

During the winter it can be really cold outside, but why do girls insist on wearing short shorts when they could be wearing jeans?

When it’s about 20 degrees outside and girls are wearing shorts it makes you think aren’t you freezing and don’t you know that it is the middle of winter?

“They think it is cool to do, but then they complain that it is too cold outside,” Kelly Sparkman, a sophomore at Lancaster High School said.

Maybe as it gets closer to spring as it slowly gets warmer it will be bit better to wear shorts than it is during the winter season.

Winter is defined by being the coldest season of the year in the northern hemisphere from December to February. Also, an adjective of winter is the word cold.

“They do not realize how cold it is but they do it because they think it is warm outside enough,” Leann Poole, sophomore at Lancaster High School said.

As the winter months continue, hopefully people will check the weather and know what is appropriate and what isn’t appropriate to wear for the day.

Lancaster Students Excited for Coming Home Dance

By Sarah Morton

As the second semester begins, students can look forward to a clean slate for grades, but also for Spirit Week and the upcoming Coming Home dance.

Coming Home, the winter counterpart the fall Home Coming dance, is on Saturday, February 2. Tickets are currently being sold at lunch for five dollars each.

If the 2012 Home Coming did not live up to the expectations of Lancaster High School’s students, perhaps Coming Home will be a more fun improvement.

“I got my dress a few weeks back. I’m really pumped for this dance,” said Lancaster High School junior, Elizabeth Smith.

Spirit Week this time also has a different spin this time, introducing new themes to the table. Monday is Super Bowl team day, Tuesday is Twin day, Wednesday is Super Hero day, and Thursday is Formal day. Of course, Friday’s theme is unchanging: Blue and Gold day.

Generally a more casual event than the other dances Lancaster High School hosts, it is nonetheless, a much anticipated event by some. However, others seemed to have not given much attention to the upcoming school dance.

“I honestly didn’t even know it was going on this week,” said LHS senior, Brianna Keil. “I guess I have better things to worry about.”

If your idea of fun is jamming out with your friends to good music, go to the Coming Home Dance. If not…well, find something else to do.

Screen Actors Guild Awards Hand Out Many Big Awards

By Cara Carpenter

Many viewers tuned in to the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday night. Along with stunning red carpet attire, many of Hollywood’s most renowned actors walked away with big awards.

The first Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) was aired live on February 25, 1995. The SAG awards are awarded to actors and actresses for excellence in the film and television industry.

Recipients of the award will go home with a 16 inch 12 pound statue called “The Actor”. The statue is a male figure holding a mask of comedy and a mask of tragedy.

In the 19th SAG awards, many of Hollywood’s finest were winners of the night. Male actor in a leading role went to Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln. Jennifer Lawrence took home Actress in a lead role for her part of a crazy widow in Silver Linings Playbook.

Female supporting actress went to Anne Hathaway for her part in one of the year’s biggest hits, Les Misérables. Best supporting actor was awarded to Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln.

Best ensemble cast for a drama television series went to Downton Abbey and best ensemble cast in a comedy television series went to the cast of Modern Family.

The biggest winners of the night were action performance for stunt ensemble went to Skyfall. Ben Affleck, director and actor of Argo, took home the biggest award of the night, best overall ensemble cast.

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

MArtin Luther King Jr. delivers his famous “Ihave a dream” speech. MLK Day was celebrated across the country on Monday January 21st.

By Jacob Williams

Martin Luther King, Jr. We all know what he is famous for, but did you know that his name at birth was Michael.

Now that we’ve established the differences of his names, something to acknowledge is Martin Luther King Day. Monday the 21st marked the date of MLK day and celebrations across the country.

Another fun fact to start with is that President Obama’s inauguration took place on Martin Luther King Day, a good way to honor MLK and our first black president.

Martin Luther King Day was originally created to celebrate and remember his birthday but it has evolved into much greater things over the years. It can now be seen as a call to action for people to step up and make a difference within their communities.

It makes perfect sense why more people get involved every year. King fought for the rights that he knew African Americans deserved, and with dedication and hard work his goals were fulfilled.

An interesting thing about MLK Day is that its purpose is to celebrate his birthday but it doesn’t even take place on his birthday. When MLK Day first started it was to be held on the third Monday in January.

“His famous, “I have a dream” speech is great. It’s very powerful and inspires me to do great things,” said Chris Longnecker.