Category Archives: Symantha Edwards

New KSD Technology Aims to Promote Learning

by Symantha Edwards – Staff Writer

As our world progresses each day, the push for new technology is affecting the way we travel, the way we communicate and now, the way we learn. Schools all over America are pushing for technology advances, and schools right here in Kent are no different. 14 million computers are already available at different school across the countries, but Patrick Regnart, former principal at Neely O’brien and current director of technology for the Kent school district, disagrees that computers are as essential as we make them seem.

While an advocate for technology being available to students, Regnart noticed the effect typing had on the overall thinking process of his students. He watched younger students struggle with keyboards so much that they could barely articulate the thoughts they were trying to express. “Technology allows us to do more in less time, but it does not always foster learning,” said Regnart. “If we want students to synthesize material, draw inferences, see new connections, evaluate evidence and apply concepts, we need fewer gigs — more brain power.”

The solution to this dilemma? Convertible laptops, similar to tablets. With these devices, students can still type, but are also enabled to draw directly on the screen with a stylus or make handwritten notes in the margins of articles. Many studies have shown that writing further helps students to retain and understand information more than typing ever has.

Along with all of the above-mentioned benefits, the tablets will reduce sheets of paper getting lost and mangled in students backpacks.

About 900 tablets were distributed to Kent elementary schools this past November and plans to distribute more in the next couple years are in place.

As new technology advances, school wills try to keep up to better our leaning experience, and that is positive change.

Jelena Rekindles Relationship

by Symantha Edwards – Staff Writer

Anyone who grew up in the late 2000s knows that the ultimate couple that those years were famous pop stars Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber. Both rose to fame in the early 2000’s, but were first linked to each other in 2010, when spotted holding hands in December of that year. Now, following Gomez’s breakup with longtime boyfriend Abel Tesfaye known as ‘The Weeknd’, reports began to circle after the two stars were seen together many times in the following weeks. Let’s look back to their rollercoaster of a history together.

After first being linked on a date at a local IHOP, paparazzi caught the two kissing on a yacht in St. Lucia, essentially proving what fans already suspected—they’re an item. After ten months of a seemingly happy relationship, the two broke up. Conflicting schedules, and their young ages were rumored to be causes of the split. For the next year and a half, the two made it their personal mission to confuse the public, from throwback pictures on Instagram to songs about each other, Selena finally opened and revealed to Ellen DeGeneres “Everybody was talking about the same thing: my relationship,” she remembers. “I was so exhausted”.

Don’t fret Jelena fans, all is not lost. This last October Bieber and Gomez are seen hanging out together again, but multiple sources say it’s just as friends. Allegedly their church, Hillsong, as well as Gomez’s kidney transplant caused to two to reconnect. And The Weeknd, Gomez’s then boyfriend was reportedly fine with it. A week later however, Gomez and The Weeknd announced their split, leaving the media wondering if Bieber was the cause.

In the weeks following Gomez’s breakup with The Weeknd, she’s been spotted with Bieber. . . again and again and again. On Nov. 15, they kiss at his hockey game—fueling tabloid speculation that they are back together and better than ever.

Although nothing has been confirmed, and looking at past evidence, there is no guarantee that anything will last, fans wait in anxious anticipation to see if true love is in the cards for these two stars.

Pros vs. Cons: Thanksgiving Edition

Pro: Thanksgiving is Important in This Society

by Symantha Edwards – Staff Writer

America has a view of a traditional family Thanksgiving, everyone gathered around the table, with dad about to carve the turkey. Pure happiness, right? But let me be the one to tell you (if you have not figured it out by now) that not everyone has that perfect family. We live in a country that is diverse and different, which is really important to our society as a whole. I am here to tell you that thanksgiving is still important no matter who you are, how weird your family is, or what you believe.

Although in elementary school we were told it all started with the pilgrims coming to America and meeting the Indians and eating all sorts of delicious food together (though this is far from reality), I believe that the values of the holiday itself are even more important that the history. We as a society and a world tend to focus on the negative. Just look at the news; maybe every 15th story is something positive, but the rest is depressing and is designed to make you feel hopeless.

Thanksgiving is not only a time to stuff yourself with all sorts of carbs and food and watch football, but a time to appreciate all that we have. Whether it be you are grateful for your new iPhone 8, or your just happy that your mom is your mom, its important to remember these things in order to stay sane.

So let us think of Thanksgiving not as an ancient tradition, but as a time to eat food and love life.

Con: Thanksgiving’s Men, Myths, and Legends

by Megan Monahan – Staff Writer

As the holiday approaches, many are excited to eat a homecooked meal, spend time with their families, and enjoy the festive fall decorations that adorn many homes and neighborhood. However, think of this, Thanksgiving was taught and created from a lie.

The origins of the holiday are not based off the common idea that the pilgrims and the Native Americans came together and had a giant feast and lived in harmony therefore after. The holiday’s origins actually have nothing to do with the United States at all. It is a hybrid of a three-day Pagan Harvest Festival where they celebrated the good harvest, and a Christian religious holiday where they thank God for all the gifts that he has blessed in their lives. This hybridization along with the myth of the “Great Feast” has placed us in the religious fat fest that thanksgiving is today.

Thanksgiving itself wasn’t made a national holiday until 1863 when Lincoln proclaimed it a national holiday of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” that was to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. (history.com) As Thanksgiving is blatantly a Christian holiday ignoring the separation of church as state, and not taking into consideration that others who are not Christian do not celebrate it. Therefore, making it a national holiday is being inconsiderate of those who do not share the Christian faith.

With the basic idea of thanksgiving being that you are supposed to be spending time with your family and friends and thinking of everything that you must be thankful for how did it morph into eating dinner at 4 pm and lining up outside the door of your favorite store or mall for hours just so that you can get the TV of your dreams for a slightly discounted price. With 23% of all shoppers camping out before the clock strikes midnight to get into the stores first according to statistic brain. Thanksgiving has become almost solely about food and fighting for the death for a sale. Without remembering the true purpose of Thanksgiving, bringing people together, then the holiday will continue to be used for capitalistic purposes.

Taylor Swift Releases Controversial Single “Look What You Made Me Do”

by Symantha Edwards – Staff Writer

Taylor Swift ended summer 2017 with a dramatic introduction to her new album and apparent new reputation. It had been almost 2 years since her last single had been released, and we quickly realized that this is not the same Taylor swift.

As an artist, Swift has evolved from country singer to girl-next-door, and it is hard to keep up with it all. Swift has yet again changed it up on us with her new album called “Reputation”, set to be released in Nov. Fans can only assume that this is another phase, but what we don’t know is how long this “bad girl Taylor” will last. Who is this new Swift?

On Aug. 18 fans were shocked to realize that Swift had deleted every trace of pictures or posts from every social media account with no warning and no explanation whatsoever, leaving fans wondering what it meant. On Aug. 21, a picture of the tail of a snake with no caption had people checking her accounts by the hour, making theories and asking questions. Two days later, a picture stating “First single out Tomorrow night” sent fans into a frenzy. The next night, Aug 27, her first single off her new album was released titled “Look What You Made Me Do”.

Swifties worldwide began to dissect the song for any references to her former feuds with Katy Perry or Kanye and Kim Kardashian-West, and they were not disappointed. In the very first verse, Swift sings ‘I don’t like your tilted stage’ which is a reference to Kanye, famous for his tilted stage in his recent Saint Pablo tour (2016). The feud between these two artists started when Kanye stormed the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009 because he thought Beyoncé deserved the Best Female Video prize instead of Taylor. Fans also seemed to notice that Perry also had a tilted stage during her Super Bowl performance.

What was surprising about the video was the criticism that she rained on herself. In one scene in the video has Taylor as all her former selves and personalities, including her ‘you belong with me” persona. In this she is literally mocking the media for everything the they have accused her of, like acting too surprised when she won awards, or acting as the victim when things don’t go her way.

She also addressed her recent suing of DJ David “Jackson” Mueller who allegedly groped her during a 2013 fan meet-and-greet. Swift sued for only $1, to simply make a point and to empower girls around the world who don’t speak up. In one shot of her music video, a single dollar bill is shown amidst hundreds of diamonds and jewelry.

So now we all wait anxiously for Nov, when we can really see what more Swift has in store for us. Fans continue to ask the questions that might never be answered, and it leaves them to wonder, what if the thing Taylor Swift “did” is something she hasn’t even dropped yet?

Carmen Conforti Graduates as Valedictorian

Conforti, Carmen

by Symantha Edwards – Staff Reporter

Senior Carmen Conforti came to Kentlake from Rainer Christian school district her freshman year, and while we all know it can be hard to come to a school where you know hardly anyone, Conforti said it was one of the best parts of high school. “Coming from a different school district and not knowing anyone was great because I got to meet a lot of new people, most of which I am still friends with today,” Conforti said.
While she enjoyed all her years at Kentlake, if she could do one thing over again, it would be her freshman year. Conforti said “I know its cliché, but my freshman year I didn’t really get involved like I have the last 3 years, so I would want to do that over again.”
Along with keeping a 4.0 GPA all throughout highschool and being valedictorian, she is also giving a graduation speech. “I’m doing it with Haley (VonGoedert), who is so sweet and I love her, so it’ll be cool, it will be weird though because it’s the last time we will all be together.” Through all the goals she has accomplished throughout her high school, she said that she had one teacher that really helped her high school experience be one of a kind. “Ms. Rychlik is really funny and awesome, she’s like my mom, and I love her.” When asked if being valedictorian took away from having a fun and exciting 4 years at Kentlake, she disagreed. “Of course, there were times I had to miss out on things so I could study, but overall I didn’t miss too much.”
We at Kentlake will definitely miss Carmen and the whole senior class, and we wish them all luck with their future hopes and dreams.

Haley Vongoedert Reflects on Achievements

by Symantha Edwards – Staff Reporter

Few students have reached the heights that Haley VonGoedert has in her time in high school. A member of numerous sports, clubs, and one of the two valedictorians of the 2017 class, VonGoedert has proven herself an integral member of the falcon community.
Reflecting on her time in school sports and clubs, VonGoedert said, “I’ve done volleyball for four years, I have done track for two years, I’ve been in The Sound of Music, I’m the president of breakfast club, I’ve done national honors society and I volunteer at Sawyer Woods every week.”
“I thought I could really relate to a lot of different students through these clubs. I really have loved that throughout high school. I don’t just have one small group of friends, I feel like I know a lot of people in different groups, so that’s what I love most about getting involved in school.” VonGoedert said.
Even though she was busy with clubs, VonGoedert also became one of the two valedictorians for the 2017 class, along with Carmen Conforti.
“…we’re hoping to give a speech about it. We just reflected on the fact that it’s not hard to do well in school. Well, I mean, we’ve worked hard in school, and that’s great and we’re proud of that, but the main thing we think is that we’ve had really good relationships with teachers and peers, and that has become the people we are.” VonGoedert said.
She also reflected on how she was able to do so well in school, even around her busy schedule.
“School is my top priority. I’m just really nerdy and I like that aspect of school. I like to be competitive about it a little bit, but most of all, it’s like a self-motivation. You have to want it yourself. More than your parents want it for you, more than your teachers, or your peers. You have to go for it.” VonGoedert said.
VonGoedert has been extremely successful in every facet of high school, and will undoubtedly go on to do incredible things with the rest of her life.

Senior Trips Allow for Post-Graduation Adventure

cabo san lucas 2 ocho rios jamaica

by Symantha Edwards – Staff Reporter

Congrats seniors, you are almost done with school. What a better way to celebrate than to go on an exciting senior trip! We have complied together 3 trips that are affordable and exciting, both in the United states and across the world.
Everyone dreams about the Caribbean, the warm summer breeze and bright blue waters, however, for those of us that do not have money to splurge on such a vacation, we have found the Caribbean’s doppelganger, Florida Keys. Of over 1,700 islands to choose from, you can tailor your trip to you. A four-day trip through the company adventurestudenttravel.com includes action parks, dolphins, Bahama breeze eating and laser tag. Adventure studenttravel.com will customize the trip too you and your group, whether you want to fly or drive or take a train. A group of 20 people can go for only 600$ per person, minus airfare. This trip is great to go in a group with all your friends to celebrate the end of an era.
Feel more adventurous? Travel to Jamaica, an island paradise where reggae, romance and the Caribbean sun come together. Highschoolvacations.com has a trip flexible to your needs and wants. Highschoolvacations.com says, “Negril, the “capital of casual” located on the western tip of Jamaica, is a favorite spot to view the sun sinking into the ocean. Swim among dolphins, find breathtaking waterfalls, expansive beaches, tropical gardens, and fern gullies; if you are up to the climb, the 700-foot cascading waterfalls at Dunns River Falls beckon. Depending on your tastes, your Jamaican vacation activities can include horseback riding, polo, golf, tennis, shopping, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, sailing and surfing, rafting, swimming and sunbathing on gorgeous beaches. Add shopping and fabulous dining to the list!” The cost of this experience cannot be determined because you get to decide what you do, so the cost will change according to your plans.
Highschoolvacations.com also has some exotic Mexican trips available. Straight from their website, they describe the trip here. “If the site of a magnificent mountain desert disappearing into the cobalt blue Pacific Ocean is your idea of bliss, then Cabo San Lucas is your ideal destination. With more than 300 days of annual sunshine and less than 10 inches of annual rainfall, the spring’s temperature is typically 80°F.
You might spend a day deep sea fishing in the marlin capital of the world or go sailing or kayaking past the famous Land’s End rock formations. With a little luck, you might spot seals, whales or even a regatta race. Golfers delight the challenge of a world-class course while beaches beckon sunbathers. As evening approaches, prepare for an amazing meal and dancing at a variety of restaurants, clubs, discos, and bars.” The cost of this experience cannot be determined because you get to decide what you do, so the cost will change according to your plans.

“The Bachelor” Star Nick Viall Makes Final Decision

by Symantha Edwards – Staff Reporter

Bachelor nation has been eagerly waiting on the edge of their seats for the finale of the 21st season of ABCs hit show. Over 6 weeks, Bachelor Nick Viall presented roses and broke the hearts of 25 women, finally narrowing it down to 2 girls.
TV.com sums up The Bachelor as “an original one hour prime-time reality television series that gives one man and 25 women the unique opportunity to find true love in a most exciting and adventurous way. The Bachelor will get to know the 25 women in a series of fun, exciting and exotic dates that will elicit real and raw emotions. Along the way, he must follow a gradual process of elimination, as his initial 25 bachelorettes are narrowed down week by week by presenting them with a single, red rose. In the end, he will ultimately decide on the one woman who captures his heart.”
Vanessa Grimaldi and runner-up Raven Gates, the final two bachelorettes were both equally confident in their success of winning the handsome man, however, only one of them were able to catch him.
When Viall walked in to the room, got down on one knee and proposed to (hopefully) the love of his life, Vanessa Grimaldi, I think we all shed a few tears and wondered why we do not have a man like that. However, is fourth time a charm for Nick Viall? This being Vialls 4th time on the show, we are hoping and praying that he will finally get his happy ever after.
After conducting a survey that asked the question of who they thought should win the bachelor, the results were as follows. Raven won our school wide vote, winning at 56% with Vanessa only 12% away at 44%.
This season had drama, about as much you can expect from a bunch of attractive women fighting over one man, and if we are honest, we enjoyed every minute of it. From fighting about Corrine’s nanny, to the constant competition between the women, we have loved see the changes in personality throughout this season. We can conclude that we are happy for the couple, and wish them well.

Pit Band Fosters Creativity Among Musicians

by Symantha Edwards – Staff Reporter

Our school is known for its amazing and thrilling drama department, with its newest performance, Sister Act, coming out this spring. Jonathan Urmenita believes that the success of the play is partly attributed to the pit band.
“Its real people. That is really what it is. People like listening to real people. There is nothing that matches the energy of people physically there.” Said Urmenita when asked what the pit band provided in comparison to a prerecorded CD.
The experience of playing in the pit is what differentiates the pit band from concert band.
“when you are actually down in the pit, with the lights and the singers up on stage, its loud, it’s a lot more like a professional performance, people are paying to hear us, so everything has to be right.” Urmenita said
On his personal preferences and why he would prefer the pit band to concert band, urmineta said “for me personally, the involvement. Besides the playing and directing, I get to work with singers, dancers, and more”
Cameron jones said “The thing that really excites me about Pit band is the experience because of the talented people you get to play with and the difficult music you get to play.”
Jones also said “I am actually excited about Sister Act because of the music we get to play. Even though it is not a well-known play, it should be good”
The pit band is and will always be a huge part of the atmosphere we feel when seeing our famous drama productions.

Fastpitch Works Well Under Pressure

by Symantha Edwards – Staff Reporter

The spring sports season is coming, and the tenacious fast pitch team is coming along with it. This team does a great job of working together, and has the will to surpass many obstacles.
Leizllyn Nicolas, sophomore, labels the team as determined and strong, because they always pursue their goals and are never giving up. The fast pitch team reacts well under the pressures of the game, delivering some outstanding performances from the seasons past, like last year when they made it to districts.
One of the team’s main goals according to Nicolas is “to have a successful season and make it to playoffs and state.”
Varsity last year made it to playoffs and they hope to do so again this year, but with great aspirations comes great practice. The team pairs rigorous practice with fun training to further strengthen the bond of the team. This year as Nicolas says the team would like to rise to the occasion, facing equally strong teams, coming together to beat them.
Senior caption Ashley Hendrickson gives us insight to the challenges and struggles of fast pitch. In comparison to baseball, Hendrickson told us that fast pitch was hard because the diminished chance for perfection.
“Baseball has a much larger field, so because ours is smaller we have less room for error”.
Not all of the pressure is riding on Hendrickson however. Hendrickson revealed that the sport was much more of a team sport than an individual one, and you have to rely on your team to succeed.
Hendrickson called it “a domino effect’, when one error is made, more error occur after so the team has to work together to play their very hardest and give it their all.
With lots of incoming freshman coming in, the team is excited for the upcoming season.
The newest addition to the Kentlake family is Ms. Stanly, the new fast pitch coach. With a new coach and a new year, we can expect a lot from our girls fast pitch team.