Authors Posts by Samantha Cherney

Samantha Cherney

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From the exciting to the embarrassing, freshman year brings a whole new experience. For many, it’s a whole new way of life from the comforting walls of junior high.

Senior Taylor Troha had a funny freshman moment that she will remember for a long time. What Troha pictured homecoming to be like freshman year was far from what it actually was.

 “I had no idea what homecoming would be like. I had heard stories, but I thought that most people would just be standing around talking,” Troha said.

 When Troha walked into the dance, she was in shock when she realized there weren’t just a few people dancing but the whole room.

 “My two friends and I saw a huge group of kids dancing so we made our way to the middle of the crowd and just stood there and looked around because we didn’t know what to do, so we started fist bumping,” Troha said.

 But not all of these freshman moments are funny, some are filled with embarrassment. Senior Alveena Saeed explains how she unknowingly walked into the boys bathroom her freshman year.

 “It was in the morning and I woke up really late, and I just wanted to go to the bathroom when I got to school. I was on my phone and saw the hallway so I walked in,” Saeed said. “After, I was really embarrassed, but good thing I didn’t know any of the guys in the bathroom.”

 Going into a new school with new people and surroundings can be scary, but getting injured on top of it all can be even worse.

 Senior Matt Buczko tore his meniscus in his right knee freshman year attempting to do a pin drop.

 “My friends and I were messing around and dancing and one of them did the pin drop. So I decide to try and when I got down I heard a pop, and I was in a lot of pain,” Buczko said.

“I was amazed that it tore by just doing a simple pin drop. It was the worst pain in my entire life.”

 Some other moments are ones that students are proud of. For Senior Ryan Taylor, it was during his freshman year football season when he got pulled up to Varsity during playoffs.

 “It was a [really] nice accomplishment. I got to feel what the atmosphere [on Varsity] was like at an early age,” Taylor said.

All of these moments that happened freshman year are in the past, but will remain with them for a lifetime.

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There are 23 players on the DGS Varsity baseball team. Out of those players, nine of them are pitchers. Without all of these players out on the field there would be no game, but one of the key components to the team are the pitchers.

At practice, while the rest of the team is working on fielding and hitting, the pitchers work on something different.

DGS Varsity pitching coach Patrick Molinari describes the everyday routine for a pitcher.

“A typical practice day for a pitcher can vary depending on the last time they pitched in a game.  Most of the starters have a specific throwing routine they follow throughout the week to get them ready for their next start,” Molinari said. “They also participate in all team defensive drills, as well as even hit ground balls to the infielders if they are needed to. Pitchers also do a lot of running and conditioning. This is an important part to the life of a pitcher to keep their bodies fresh and healthy throughout the long grind of the season.”

During the games each player is focusing on their specific position, but they all have the same goal  — to win. Senior Danny Kasher talks about the pressure that is put on a pitcher.

“Pitchers are the center of the game. The game only moves if we move, we have a lot of stress because however well the team does depends on how we do,” Kasher said.

If the position of the player is a P.O. (pitcher only) they have more downtime than any other player. They spend that time working on their technique so when they get called to be put in the game they’re ready.

Senior Peter Hamot explains the determination the pitchers have when pitching in a game.

“We go max effort in every pitch; we try and outsmart the hitters and do whatever we can to help the team,” Hamot said.

Just like every other player on the team, being a pitcher comes with the demanding struggles like soreness and not playing every game and.

“You do a lot more conditioning than the rest of the players. Pitchers typically get only a couple innings a week, and then you sit.  If you have a bad game then you have to think about that for awhile until you next opportunity, which in most cases could take a week,” Molinari said.

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DGS advanced 22 students to state for the business club DECA.

Tiffany Leung, President of DGS DECA chapter shares some of the club’s success she has been a part of this year so far.

“DECA is a phenomenal organization that has a place for everyone. This year, we competed at our Sectional Competition and had 22 students place in the top 10 in their event. Out of those 22, 12 students placed top 4. On March 12-14, we will be competing at our State competition,” Leung said.

DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) is a club open to all students at DGS who are interested in a future in the business field. It has over 70 members at DGS and is also composed of about 250,000 student members across the nation.

They compete in a number of academic and leadership activities such as marketing, finance, hospitality and tourism and business administration, which strengthens their knowledge, leadership, and communication in the business world.

Senior Diana Masolak describes what DECA is all about.

“We choose an event having to do with business like Marketing, Restaurant Service Management, Finance, etc. and we compete with other students from schools at Sectionals… Basically, you do real-world things that take place in the business world,” said Masolak.

Students who did not place in the top 10 had the option to write a 30 page essay that deals with the purpose of business, which would then qualify them for State.

This year, DECA qualified 30 students for State. Teacher and DECA coach Paul Krick explains the team’s goals for State.

“We hope to qualify many for National [completion] in Orlando.  At DECA Nationals there will be over 12,000 students competing,” Krick said.

Senior Peter Funk placed 7th at sectionals in the category Food Marketing and hopes to place better at State. Funk explains how DECA will help him later on in life.
“DECA Allows me to see possible career fields that I would have not known existed. It also allows me to practice professionalism in a actual work environment that I will use in the future,” Funk said.
The weekend of March 12-14 DECA competed in the State Championship. Five students placed in the top five in their categories.

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Over the past three years, DGS has raised over $187,000 to help find a cure for childhood cancer. This year alone, DGS is hoping to raise over $50,000 for the school’s 50th anniversary.

Due to the overwhelming amount of votes from the DGS SAALT (Student Activities and Athletics Leadership Team) as well as informal feedback from students, the school decided to bring back the St. Baldricks charity for the 2014-2015 school year.

Activities Director John Aldworth shares why he thinks DGS students are so eager to contribute to this charity.

“I think it’s a cause that hits home for a lot of people…Almost everyone knows someone who’s suffered from cancer….People are very passionate about trying to find a cure for childhood cancers,” Aldworth said. “From an event standpoint…the head shaving piece works really well. That gets people really fired up and a lot of people are doing good things to help raise money…There’s a lot of energy around the event.”

DGS students seem to be passionate about this change and this cause: there are 61 participants signed up to participate in this event. Not only has the number of general participants increased, there is also a record breaking number of female shavees this year.

Juniors Amanda Surrusco and Domenique Aguirre have formed a team entitled “Love for Lisa and Tara,” and they raised $6,151 out of their $6,000 goal, and plan to keep on raising even if their goal is met. Surrusco shares her reasoning for deciding to shave her head.

“My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and when she told me she had to do chemo, I knew right then and there I wanted to shave my head for her…and since the moment I signed up I knew I was making the right decision,” Surrusco said.

Junior Kat Woltman is shaving her head for her 12-year-old cousin who is diagnosed with leukemia; last year Woltman shaved her head for her cousin without the backing of an organization. This year she decided to do it for St. Baldricks, and she shares the reasoning for her decision.

“I think for St. Baldricks it was more difficult. Because when I did it last year just for my cousin, it wasn’t for a foundation or anything…but now I’m anticipating it, this is the day I’m doing it…I’m not going to have hair anymore,” Woltman said.

Woltman discusses what motivated her to raise money for St. Baldricks instead of doing it on her own.

“I don’t really think there was anything [that pushed me], it was just kind of like hey this is happening, let’s do it…I met so many other patients, because I used to visit my cousin all the time when she was at Comer, which is the hospital where there are a lot of patients with childhood cancer, and it was heartbreaking. Donating money was a bigger part of it,” Woltman said.

Woltman raised $1,030 out of her $1,000 goal. Junior Meredith Ferguson is shaving her head for her grandfather and her brother’s close friend; she raised $2,690 of her $2,000 goal.

Ferguson shares why she decided to do St. Baldricks this year.

“I really wanted to [do it freshman year]. but I loved my hair too much, and I couldn’t….I chickened out…but his year I decided I was just going to do it–hair grows back. Overall, I think I’m really excited,” Ferguson said. “Just deciding whether or not I wanted to do it…in the end, the pros outweighed the cons.”

Sophomore Noah Tunney joined the movement this year because of a close friend and his close encounter with cancer.

“I have a close friend who battled childhood cancer and if it weren’t for the support of this organization, he may not have beat it. Because of this, I feel that I need to do whatever I can to stop it [childhood cancer] from putting any more kids through a burden bigger than they should have to handle,” Tunney said.

In his opinion, shaving his head and raising some money is the very least he could do. With so many kids suffering from this disease, many students share the same motivation. Tunny raised $685 out of his $500 goal.

Senior Mark Begitschke is proving that you don’t need to have experienced cancer firsthand in order to get involved. Begitschke is not shaving his head for anyone specifically, but to raise money, increase awareness and show support to his peers.

“Since it’s connected to basically anyone here, I’m just doing it for everyone,” Begitschke said.

Begitschke also shaved his head his sophomore year; he raised $145 out of his $500 goal.

Senior Ramiz Riadi had a similar mindset when deciding to shave his head.

“I am shaving my head for everyone. I don’t have a particular person in mind, but I know a lot of people affected by cancer,” Riadi said.

Like many other shavees, the decision to shave his head was not an easy one.

“I didn’t have the guts before. I never liked my hair short, and I never wanted to let it get that way,” Riadi said. “Then I thought, hey, some kids don’t have a choice, so just do it for them.”

Riadi raised $130 out of his $1,000 goal.

Freshman Christopher Gertgis will be shaving his head this year because of his grandfather’s long battle with lung cancer. “I have wanted to participate for several years, and [I] finally got my mom to agree this year.  I want to do this to show my support for all people dealing with cancer, especially kids.  My grandfather passed away a couple years ago from lung cancer, so he will be in my thoughts while I am getting my head shaved,” Gertgis said.

Gertgis raised $550 out of his $200 goal.

DGS students can also get involved without having to shave their heads. There are many fundraising events held in school in the weeks before the actual event. From the annual dodgeball tournament, the boys basketball green out, the dance showcase Mr. Mustang pageant and the Mongolian Grill out. All proceeds from South Fest were donated to St.Baldrick’s to help DGS reach their goal.

DGS clubs are also getting together to help raise money for St. Baldricks. German Club sold Mardi Gras beads, Mustangs Aware are having a bake sale and selling bracelets, ACE helped run coin wars and Cultures In Action is donating half of their proceeds from their show that will be on March 20.

All these events are contributing donations that will go towards St. Baldricks.

As a whole, the DGS community raised $40,074 to help fund research for childhood cancers.

All of the money was last recorded by Blueprint staff on March 17.

 

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Since the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, dating in 2015 seems to have changed. From asking your girlfriend to go “steady” to calling dating a “thing” before getting asked out, or calling your significant other “honey” and “sweetheart” to calling them “bae” or “boothang”.

 Instead of a boyfriend giving his girlfriend his letterman jacket or class ring, something  different is given.

Junior Nishant Lala has been dating junior Marisa Carioscia for a year and a half, and explains what belongings have been taken by his girlfriend.

“She’s got my sweatpants and half of my sweatshirts and a couple of shirts,” Lala said.

Going on a date to a drive in movie or going out dancing has changed to staying home and watching Netflix together. Sophomore Jessie Fortin has been dating sophomore Max Davis for a year now and explains what a normal date for them is.

“We usually just hang out at home and I watch him play xbox or we watch a movie,” Fortin said.

Fortin talks about how her and Davis families are involved in their relationship.

“Max is slowly meeting more of my family through parties. I’ve met almost all of his family. Being around fun people like his relatives is one of the best parts of being in a relationship,” Fortin said.

Even though the decades have changed that doesn’t mean dates between couples have.

Senior Emily Rzeszutko has been dating her boyfriend, senior Mason Szoldatits, for a year and explains what her boyfriend has done for her.

“Mason took me to a really nice dinner in the city for our six month anniversary and then after we wandered the city. It was just a really special night I won’t forget,” Rzeszutko said.

With technology being a big part in this generation, along comes social media. All over Twitter and instagram there are couples posting pictures and statuses on what their boyfriend and girlfriend has gotten them or done for them.

Lala explains how social media impacts couples regarding the need to “live up” to the stereotypical boyfriend exception, and shares different things they are expected to do.

“Knowing my girlfriend keeps up with the Twitter social media account “relationship goals”,  I try to make sure that she’s the girl that gets to post cute things I do for her on it,” Lala said.

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According to a Gallup poll published Dec. 12, Americans have mixed feeling about the police. About 61% of Caucasians have confidence in the police, 57% of Hispanics have confidence in the police, and only 34% of African Americans have confidence in the police. This makes some wonder what has triggered this decline in trust.

Do DGS students feel the same way about police as the Gallup poll showed? A poll was conducted at DGS on Jan. 27. Two questions were posed. “Police officers are suppose to protect and serve citizens; do you think police officers are protecting citizens? ” and “Do you trust police officers” The results showed that 41% of Caucasians trust the police, 32% of Hispanics trust the police, 10% of African Americans trust the police, 50% of Asians trust the police and students who marked their ethnicity as other showed 30% trust the police.

After recent deaths in both Ferguson and New York, police trust has been questioned by society.

Junior Katie Rock explained an encounter with a police officer.

“I was having Tropical Snow with my friends, and they have seating outside of the property. We were just sitting down enjoying our snow cones, and a police officer told us that we were disturbing the peace and waited there until we left,” Rock said.

 School resource officer Scott Buzecky addresses the barriers between students and officers. Buzecky likes working in the high school with students. This allows him to try and break negative stereotypes. 

 “You know stereotypes are tough in our job, and obviously a lot of cops get stereotyped,” Buzecky said.

“It’s all the negative… you hear the negative in the media, and I think it’s what we try to break down and show people on a daily basis,” Buzecky said. “By trying to talk to students or relate to them on a different level.”

Sophomore Michael Blazevich thinks police officers are trying to do their job.

“I think they are doing a good with their job because when there is a problem, it is solved within a reasonable time period. Are they perfect? No, but they are also humans, and no human is perfect. Everyone will make mistakes but when you do more good than bad, it is OK,” Blazevich said.

Freshman Teagan Custer has had personal experience with a cop since her Grandpa was a police chief.

“My grandpa was a police chief, and I think they are important because they are a good role model to look up to. They follow the laws, they take away the bad things in the world, and solve problems. They really protect us and…we need them in our society,” Custer said.

When comparing the Gallup Poll and the DGS poll, the percentages are similar. DGS feels the same as the rest of America. 

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Coming to a new school is hard for anyone. Changing a daily routine, being around new people and living and learning in a whole new environment.

Senior Sammer Abdelmalek moved from Egypt to the U.S when he was 15 years old. Coming not only to a new country but to a new school would be hectic for anybody.

“The difference between the U.S and my Native Country is, here it is more safe. We had a revolution back in Egypt and it wasn’t really safe back there.  The schools aren’t that good. There were even problems with medical care. But here it’s way different and better because you at least have rights,’’ Abdelmalek said.

English Language Learners (ELL) teacher Katherine Callahan explains how students new to the country learn to interact to U.S norms.

“There is definitely some things that are different from the social norms their country to ours so that is one thing we deal with, even if its how to phrase a question so that it doesn’t come off as rude. We talk about how to phrase questions so that people aren’t put off by what they say and that’s hit or miss again it depends on the student,” Callahan said.

Transitioning from not only normal routines and  norms can be hard to get used to but also how different the school is in the U.S versus how it is in their Native Country.

“The school here in the U.S is really amazing and it’s way better than my school in Egypt, the teachers care more about the students here,” Abdelmalek said.

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Senior Joe Engel recently committed to Columbia University in New York to play baseball in the 2014-2015 season.

Engel has been playing baseball since he was three years old, and had always dreamed of playing baseball in college. When he got the call from Columbia University, there were some emotions.

“I was really excited; the first time the coach called me, he said he saw me play at a tournament. He said he liked how I played, and he would like to have me visit [Columbia University] and offer me a position on the team,” Engel said.

Engel wasn’t the only one thrilled for this opportunity to play. Darren Orel, DGS Varsity Baseball coach, also had a few things to say about Engel’s achievement.

“I immediately thought, ‘good for him.  I am very proud and excited for Joe.  Being a great athlete is one thing but being a great student as well as a great person is a whole other level.  Joe has reached that level, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to coach him,” Orel said.

One of Engel’s biggest motivators throughout his baseball career is his dad. He has taught him everything he needs to know about baseball.

“He got me started playing when I was young. He coached my teams when I was younger, and took me out to hit and take ground balls a lot. He always gives me tips on things to work on,” Engel said.

Varsity player, senior Zack Radde explains what aspects Engel brings to the team.

“As a player he is very smooth and confident. He also is a very consistent hitter and you can always count on him to get his hits. As a friend he is funny and lightens up the mood when things aren’t going the best,” Radde said.