the End of an era:
Principal Ralph Kitley retires
Read the story on page 2
Northwest Guilford High School Greensboro, NC Volume 56, Issue 3 March 2020
FRONT PAGE FEED
Arts & Entertainment 18-19
3 Impeachment creates controversy
Mental health affects students
Cheer team welcomes new member
Cycling Club fights for biker rights
Staff reflects on Kitley’s retirement
Principal Ralph Kitley says goodbye to Northwest
Arts & entertainment editor
As of March 1, Ralph Kitley’s
tenure as principal came to an end.
As the school’s sixth principal,
Kitley worked tirelessly to improve
Northwest for 11 years.
His journey didn’t start in administration.
A graduate of Wake
Forest University, Kitley taught
social studies for many years in
Forsyth County. However, wanting
his influence to expand beyond
the four walls of a classroom, he
sought to move up in administration.
Kitley came to Northwest in August
1998 as an assistant principal.
In 2004, he left to become principal
of the Middle College at GTCC-High
Point and then he went on to serve
as Southeast High School’s principal.
He returned to Northwest as
principal in 2009.
“(I really wanted to work at the
high school level) because of the
connections you make with the
students,” Kitley said. “High school
students are really becoming more
and more independent. It’s a fun
level to work with because you get
to build relationships with students.”
Kitley has built these relationships
with students in a variety of
ways. From walking through the
hallways to greeting and joking
with students, Kitley has left his
mark on Northwest.
“I have never seen a principal
that gets along with the students,
that walks down the hallways looking
all happy and saying ‘hi’ to all
the students who walk by,” junior
Katya Luna said.
However, being a principal can
make it difficult to have a relationship
with most students.
“Now, as a principal, it’s a little
different (than being an assistant
principal). You don’t handle (students’
problems) as much. So you
have to really make an effort to
interact with students, and that’s
why I tried hard to be in the cafeteria
every day,” Kitley said.
His dedication to interacting
with students does not go unnoticed
by his colleagues.
“I think that people are intimidated
(by Kitley at first). (But)
he’s approachable, and he’s very
observant. He just has conversations
with kids,” assistant principal
Tanya Hiller said.
Assistant principal Kimberly
Gilyard agreed with this sentiment.
“Mr. Kitley has a great way of
building relationships, not only
with students, but also the staff as
well,” Gilyard said. “He’s straightforward
and honest. I love the fact
that he’s very visible. He has an
open-door policy. He invites whoever
needs to talk to come in.”
In January, Kitley announced
that his retirement. While this
transition means changes at Northwest,
staff will remember Kitley’s
impact on the culture of Northwest.
“I cried immediately. He will
have a lasting effect. He (was) a
leader here,” Hiller said.
As a leader, Kitley has helped
Northwest improve its achievement
and graduation rate each year he
has been principal, despite losing
teachers and resources due to
“This (school) is a total team
effort,” Kitley said. “I think our students
here are just tremendous.”
In addition to being a leader,
while at Northwest, Kitley has also
made many great memories.
“Watching the girls (basketball
team) win the championship in
2017 after being so close so many
times (was very memorable),” Kitley
said. “That would be my most
memorable moment, especially
because my daughter (was on the
Hiller also said that she will
have many great memories of how
Kitley handled difficult situations.
“I think my favorite moments
with him are not things that students
typically see. I watch him
have difficult conversations with
students and have difficult conversations
with teachers that I would
not want to have,” Hiller said. “In
the middle of it, you realize, ‘Wow,
he made it okay.’”
However, many students are
still confused by his decision to
leave Northwest in March rather
Continued on page 16
Front page photo by Kaylen Ayres
2 www.northwesthorizons.com March 2020
The issue and what exactly happened
Jhenesis Hines, Val Orozco
On Dec. 18, 2019, Donald Trump,
the 45th President of the United
States of America, became the third
president to be impeached and the
first president to be impeached
while concurrently running for a
second term. He was charged for
Abuse of Power and Obstruction of
“If you are president and you
obstruct justice, try to bribe a foreign
leader and threaten national
security, you’re going to get impeached.
End of story,” U.S. Representative
Susan Davis said during
the House debate.
The term “impeachment” is
the process by which a legislative
body charges against a government
official. Although Trump was
impeached, he will not be removed
from office. There are a number of
significant steps that lead to the
expulsion of a president--which has
never happened before.
The situation started with a
whistleblower who revealed that
Trump threatened to withhold military
aid to Ukraine via phone call on
July 25, 2019--unless Ukraine provided
information about Joe Biden,
one of Trump’s competitors in the
2020 presidential race. The whistleblower
did not take the stand.
“Technically, we will never know
who he is,” AP government teacher
Jim Jiles said.
The call between the President of
Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and
Trump was disclosed by the White
House last August, and its contents
enabled Speaker of the House Nancy
Pelosi to open the impeachment
After the Democratic-majority
House of Representatives--through
a 230-197 vote--opened the articles,
it went to the Senate for a trial. Because
the Senate is Republican-dominated,
it was assumed beforehand
that Trump would be acquitted, just
as Andrew Johnson (1868) and Bill
Clinton (1998) were before.
The second trial to convict or
acquit Trump began in the Senate
on Jan. 22. This trial was overseen
by Chief Justice John Roberts.
The second trial took two weeks,
during which the Senate voted 51-49
not to call witnesses in response to
the Republican concern that witnesses
would slow down the proceedings.
The trial entailed opening
and closing statements; there was
little to no cross-examination.
Republican Mitt Romney from
Utah was the only senator to break
from his party to vote to remove
Trump. All others voted along party
For Article I: Abuse of Power, 48
senators voted guilty; 52 voted not
For Article II: Obstruction of
Justice, 47 senators voted guilty; 53
voted not guilty.
A 67-vote threshold was necessary
for Trump’s removal. The vote
took place Thursday, Feb. 6, and
ultimately, as predicted, Trump was
hope (was) that we
wouldn’t use divisive
politics, that we would
stop seeing the opponent
as the enemy.
social studies teacher Jim Jiles
“The hope (was) that we wouldn’t
use divisive politics,” Jiles said, “that
we would stop seeing the opponent
as the enemy. This (divisiveness) has
been going on for decades.”
This divisiveness was seen on
both sides. Trump’s tweets during
the trial claimed that the media
used unreliable sources to slander
and misinform ballots.
“In the end here, nothing happened,”
Trump tweeted the day of
the impeachment. “We don’t approach
anything like the egregious
conduct that should be necessary before
a President should be removed
from office. I believe that a President
can’t be removed from office if there
is no reasonable possibility that the
Senate (won’t vote to remove him).”
However, others disagree, claiming
that the facts were incriminating.
Even if acquittal was inevitable,
Trump should still be held accountable.
“His actions are in defiance of the
vision of our founders—and the oath
of office that he takes—to preserve,
protect and defend the Constitution
of the United States,” Pelosi said
in her remarks on the articles of
impeachment in December.
Some at Northwest agree with
“I believe that regardless of political
parties, our citizens, Congress
and the rest of the government
should keep the President accountable
for his actions,” civics and economics
teacher Autumn Martin said.
However, many at Northwest
found the impeachment proceedings
to be a waste of time and tax dollars
with its inevitable outcome.
“I believe that it is redundant to
(try to remove) a president when
his term will be over by the end of
this year,” senior Alidaycia Saunders
With the conclusion of the third
presidential impeachment trial in
American history, the final judgment
will be in nine months when
voters cast their ballots for his
“The brilliance of America is
that we compromise,” social studies
teacher William Satterfield said.
Drawings by Christy Ma
(From left to right) A phone, president Donald
Trump and a voter box. These are key
images of the impeachment issue where
the solution may lie in dialogue and voting.
Timeline of protest culture:
Boston Tea Party
The March On Washington for
Organized by the Sons of Liberty. colonists in America
protested British taxes by throwing tea into the Boston
Jobs and Freedom
An estimated 250,000 people attended the march from across the country.
It was the largest civil rights gathering of its time. The march, created
by A. Phillip Randolph, was focused on civil rights abuses against
people of color, employment discrimination and support for a Civil
Rights Act that the Kennedy Administration was attempting to pass
through Congress. This peaceful protest was where Martin Luther King
Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream Speech.” After the march, civil
rights leaders met with Kennedy and vice president Linden B. Johnson
to discuss the need for bipartisan support of civil rights legislation. The
Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed.
March for Life
Walking on Washington was the first March for Life that lobbied Congressional
leaders to find a legislative solution to the Supreme Court’s
decision of Roe v. Wade. After realizing the protection of the unborn was
not going to get any congressional support, the marches creator, Nellie
Gray, decided to hold a march every year until the Supreme Court
decision is overturned. The march’s mission is to end abortion so in the
future, “the beauty and dignity of every human life are valued and protected,”
according to its website.
Million Man March
Aimed to unite the black community, the Million Man March was used
as a campaign to combating negative racial stereotypes in American
media and in popular culture. Organized by Louis Farrakhan, the march
had a varying number of attendees estimated to be around 400,000 to
one million people.
On Jan. 21, following the inauguration of President Donald Trump,
people gathered in many large cities across the nation to protest
Trump’s inauguration and bring light to issues such as reproductive
rights, immigration and civil rights. It is currently the largest single-day
protest in United States history, estimated to have between 3,267,134
and 5,246,670 attendees.
Fridays for Future
Created by environmental activists Greta Thunberg after protesting in
front of the Swedish parliament for three weeks in order to change the
lack of action on the climate crisis. On Sept. 8, Thunberg vowed to protest
every Friday until a plan was created by the Swedish government
that would include a safe pathway well under the 2-degree celsius Paris
Agreement. Her protest spread across the world; students and adults
have also taken action to protest against climate change.
A few major protests in
United States history
The March of Coxey’s Army
In 1894, a large group of unemployed Americans marched to Washington
D.C.; it was led by an Ohio businessman, Jacob S. Coxey. The
protest goal was to convince Congress to create a program for public
roadbuilding in order to provide jobs for the unemployed following an
economic collapse. The group received large amounts of publicity, but
the proposal had no impact on public policy. The protest inspired other
Vietnam War Protest
Anti-war protests grew from small gatherings on college campuses to
large protests following the US bombing of North Vietnam. Critics began
questioning the government’s assertion of fighting other countries’
democratic war to liberate South Vietnam from communist aggression.
On June 12, 1982, an estimated one million people gathered in New York
City to demand the end of nuclear weapons. The march was planned
to line up with the United Nations Second Special Session on Disarmament.
Although the march’s main focus was to disarm nuclear weapons,
many attending the march believed nuclear weapons were also linked to
other social justice issues.
Multiple marches took place across the United States in more than
600 cities to protest President George Bush’s decision to invade Iraq.
The largest protest took place in New York City, Los Angeles and Seattle.
This protest movement is known to be the largest in the world.
Iraq War Protest
March for Our Lives
Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in
Parkland, Florida, students vowed to make sure the gun violence they
experienced would never happen again. At the first march organized
by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, millions
protested gun violence and political leaders’ inaction to gun violence.
The group toured the country to expand their knowledge on gun violence
while helping over 50,000 registers to vote.
4 www.northwesthorizons.com March 2020
Custodian shortage affects school cleanliness
Teachers and students have had to deal with
a new issue within the past couple of months:
the shortage of custodians throughout the entire
school. More specifically, this shortage has affected
the New Building the most.
“It’s a big job. It’s a big campus and the buildings
are large,” Spanish teacher Gwen Stencler
Since custodian Jan Carter left in November,
his vacancy has remained unfilled. The school
has had difficulty finding people to take the job
and have them stay in that position. Although
it has been difficult to find someone for this job,
those custodians who are currently working are
doing the best that they can in terms of cleaning
as much as possible in the time frame that they
are required to work.
“Our custodian gets our trash done every
day and is cleaning the hallways as well as the
bathrooms,” Stencler said. “Sometimes our rooms
don’t get swept, but I understand that because
it’s a time crunch and she is pulled away to other
areas of the campus to work.”
Custodians are designated specific areas, like
the top floor of the New Building, that they are
responsible for keeping it clean. However, their
job becomes more difficult when they are pulled
out of these designated areas into others. They
are responsible for getting both cleaned in the
time that they would normally clean one area
“Whenever we’re missing a person, we have
to do all of theirs and all of ours. And if we are
missing another person, so we must do all of
theirs and the other man’s,” custodian Leroy
Prather said. “It’s kind of rough.”
The custodian shortages, along with being
assigned to more areas to clean than the usual
amount, explains why they sometimes cannot
clean every room every day or why the bathrooms
may not have soap.
In order to help maintain the school clean,
calculus teacher Rhonda Hudson and Stencler
award service opportunities to National Honor
Society members for cleaning the school grounds.
“I think we’ve had NHS try to help out cleaning
by dumping trash cans, cleaning rooms,
cleaning the stairwells and cleaning doors on
the New Building and the Old Building,” Hudson
Recently, National Honor Society has been
focused on cleaning mostly inside the school
buildings in order to more directly provide aid to
“I use my NHS people to help me out and
clean my room and help her out as well,” Stencler
The custodians appreciate any help that they
receive in an attempt to keep the school as clean
“They are trying to cover spaces that they
didn’t have to before,” Hudson said. “Our custodian
who normally just cleans the downstairs of
the new building might have to go do something
over in the gym area or the cafeteria area, so it’s
not their fault.”
Photo by Sarah Arteaga
Custodian Leroy Prather sweeps a room. There is a
shortage of custodians at Northwest, which means each
custodian has to do more than he or she is supposed
OCS track prepares for future readiness
tudents who are a part of the
Occupational Course of Study track
can often be seen on recycling runs
for Northwest High. While their
work was always appreciated,
not everyone knows why they are
tasked with some custodial duties.
“The courses were picked for
me,” senior Kelsey Cheney said.
“I’m happy though because it’s a
great course to go through, and it
helps people like me to have a better
The students taking the Occupational
Course of Study prepare
for work after graduation instead
of preparing for continued studies.
There are opportunities--like
the Special Olympics, the Employability
Duel and regular job club
meetings--that OCS students get
The students and staff in the OCS program
also give back to the community through fundraisers
and community service. The custodial
tasks--like sorting mail, organizing athletic
laundry, cleaning, recycling and managing
coffee sales--also help meet required in-school
work credits and develop job skills.
“No matter what type of job a person is doing,
hands-on training is one of the best ways
to gain practical skills,” exceptional children’s
teacher Kristin Skordahl said. “(It) teaches realworld
skills like responsibility, reliability and
care for your environment, (and) students get
Photos contributed by Kristin Skordahl
Students and staff from the Occupational Course of Study track go bowling for team bonding.
The OCS track prepares students with the support and experience for life outside of school.
a feel for what the job would involve. It teaches
teenagers that giving back is important.”
Students agree about the importance of
“My favorite part (of the program) is that we
get to go out to work,” Cheney said. “My work
from the nursing home has taught me a great
deal about respect, especially for my elders and
To complete the course, students must complete
several content and educational credits
along with hours of training and paid employment.
Classes can be a mix of traditional Northwest
classes and preparational classes.
Students are also aided with creating
resumes, filling out applications and mock
“Many students who have graduated
from the OCS program have a regular paycheck
from the job site they were placed at
in high school,” Skordahl said. “I love seeing
them graduate and go on
to be successful in full-time,
With the resources, support
and preparation of the
program, students are well
equipped for the real world.
“I feel supported and
prepared, thanks to the lessons
from my teachers and
the community,” Cheney said.
“Try to support these people
because they do a lot of work
every day; we do the coffee
runs, popcorn, and recycling.
Support the program and help
us out a little bit.”
Overall, the track and program is received
positively by students and staff.
“I wouldn’t change anything about the
program,” Skordahl said, “but I wish I could
change how people viewed it. There’s a stigma
among certain people who feel like the students
in the OCS program are different (in a bad way);
people refer to them as ‘those kids.’ Keep in
mind, ‘those kids’ still follow the general curriculum
and take the same final exams as their
peers on the Future Ready Course of Study; they
just have different goals after high school. All
students are students first.”
Kitley leaves an impact as big as he
For 11 years, principal Ralph Kitley has been a highly respected head
of administration at Northwest. His support for the school and our Northwest
Horizons paper has helped us grow to new heights in journalism.
His dedication to the students, as well as the faculty, is unmatched and
greatly appreciated by all. Kitley’s retirement will not only be upsetting for
those at Northwest, but also alumni and the community.
With his experience in education as well as athletics, students were able to
rely on him in all aspects of their high school careers. He was also known for
making close relationships with students, especially since his daughter, Eliza-
beth Kitley, attended the school and participated in many athletic events and
activities around the school.
Being both an administrator and a parent allowed
better understand the students’ needs and struggles,
he tended to on a daily basis.
In journalism, he was always available to us for interviews and enabled us
to write on difficult or taxing topics.
As a result of his unwavering support, he won the Southern Interscholastic
Press Association’s Administrator of the year award in 2017.
Being able to have a voice no matter how intense the topic is crucial for
any journalist, Kitley allowed us to espouse our First Amendment right to free
speech and supported us every step of the way.
He has touched the lives of many students and faculty members here at
Northwest and will continue to have a large impact, both through his height
and presence, on the school even after he is gone.
After such promising years as a Viking, we are sure he will continue to
inspire and influence people to be the best that they can be.
“Mr. Kitley gives teacher
autonomy in the classroom
and allows them room to
grow and develop leadership
skills.” --English teacher
“I have known Mr. Kitley for 18
years. He was assistant principal
when I was hired. I enjoyed
working with him and of course,
was excited to see him return to
Northwest as our principal.”
“I will always be grateful
for all the time he has committed
to help new teachers, like
I was 15 years ago, become the
best they can be. (He) has always
made me want to be a better
teacher and advocate for
my students.” --History
teacher Kim Deyton
“Mr. Kitley constantly
reminded us as staff
members that the key to
getting kids to learn and be
successful in the classroom is
to build relationships with the
Photos by Hinal Patel and Lily Hughes
Social media and youth: What age should you get verified?
Jhenesis Hines, Kelby Shouse
Social media is an ever-changing way of sharing your life with
other people. On some apps such as Twitter, Instagram and TikTok,
when you reach a certain number of followers, you can become verified,
which makes users famous and more likely to be seen on the
explore page of those apps.
It can be conflicting when you add up the fact that young people
are still maturing, and often fame can lead to self-image issues.
“Especially in high school, you should be allowed to have social
media, but when you’re younger, like in middle school, it should be
regulated,” junior Savannah Lawson said. “When you’re younger, you
need to be able to make better decisions.”
More middle and high school age minors are verified on social
media apps per day.
“I don’t like that young people are verified because it puts a lot
of pressure on them, especially when they have to put up a facade
for social media of what everyone expects,” Lawson said.
That doesn’t mean that social media is bad and everyone should
delete it, because there are positive effects, too. The ability to build up
a profile is one of many positive effects.
“If young people become verified on social media, they can start to
build up their profile if they want to act or model,” sophomore Olivia
Dubas said. “It can help (young people) get the recognition they are
Many young people see social media as a pathway for their future.
It can be a breath of fresh air from the stagnance of everyday life.
“If you have a finsta (fake Instagram) or private Snapchat story,
it’s just for the fun of it, but if you have a lot of followers, it does
have an effect on self-image because you have to hide
all of your emotions and feelings,” Lawson said.
Photo by Melanie Huynh-Duc
Eight-year-old Timothy Huynh-Duc surfs social media on a phone.
`While he enjoys playing games, in reality, he is too young for Twitter.
Many high school seniors are turning
18 this year: but what are the benefits? They
don’t get more freedom, as the majority stay
with their parents until graduation, they
are not able to purchase alcohol or nicotine
products (which have been very popular in
the generation) nor are they even able to rent
a hotel or purchase a car at most reputable
places/dealers. Why is the adult age suddenly
becoming 21 in every aspect--except for serving
in the military?
Northwest alumni of 2019 Cielo Esquivel
shares that her boyfriend, Aidan Prendergast,
went to the military upon graduation. While
an honorable service and career path to follow,
she states her concerns regarding this age
“Many times when I travel to his base
to see him, I have to get a hotel through the
military or my mom has to get it, they won’t
let me stay even for a night because they
think I’m some kid trying to run away from
when they suddenly raise the legal age to buy
tobacco products, it directly affects me because
I can’t suddenly just stop smoking,” Esquivel
Even still, more responsibility is thrown
upon young adults as many times seniors are
balancing high school, a job, and college preparation.
Yet, the government and even private
sectors seem to be forgetting that people are
maturing much faster due to the society that
we are living in. A few months ago, after my
eighteenth birthday, I was attempting to test
drive a new car. Upon arrival, I learned that
the dealership was “unable to allow a minor
to test drive a vehicle,” yet being a young
adult is just that--an adult. The inability to
do something as simple as test drive a car
demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt the
distrust of 18-year-olds, and even up through
19 and 20-year-olds who have undergone
Young adults who experience this type
of distrust are left scrambling, as not all of
them are still with their parents or may have
circumstances that are not as fortunate as
“It’s ironic how the army
goes to high schools to recruit
18-year-olds to join
the army but they can’t buy
a pack of cigarettes,
When you turn 18, you can vote, go to
war and pay taxes. You can buy a house, go into
debt and enter legally binding contracts. You can
even buy a gun. However, you can’t drink alcohol
or smoke tobacco until age 21. Why is that?
The answer is that 18-year-olds were considered
too young to make the important decision of
whether or not to smoke and drink. The time we
should truly consider people as adults should be
21, despite the U.S. legal age of adulthood.
“Part of it is on what you are expected to do
as a 15-17 year old,” social studies teacher Scott
Bennett said. “Do you have a job? Do you have a
driver’s licsense? What kind of responsibilities do
you have? Because that is going to help you learn
how to function as an adult.”
Studies show that a human brain isn’t fully
developed until age 25. Adult and teen brains work
differently. Teenagers think with the two amygdalae
located on the side of their brain, and adults
think with the prefrontal cortex, which isn’t fully
developed until one had passed their teenage years.
HEAD TO HEAD
When are teenagers considered adults?
18 year olds are old
enough to be adults
Only 21 year olds are
developed enough to
be considered adults
was lowered to 18. As a direct result of this act,
advocating for the voting age to be raised increased
significantly. “Old enough to fight, old enough to
vote” became a widespread slogan at this time.
States govern most of the age restriction laws.
After Prohibition, the legal drinking age was set
at 21, consistent to the voting age at the time. So,
when the voting age was changed to 18, the drinking
age was changed in turn.
In 1984, president Ronald Reagan began
advocating for states to raise their drinking age,
claiming that it contributed to the problem of
drinking and driving among teenagers. This
resulted in most states raising their legal drinking
age to 21 years.
“I think that if the age for being drafted into
the military is 18 then yes, people should have the
rights of adults,” Latin teacher Parker Jackson said.
“However, I do not think that 18 year olds are typically
ready to be adults mentally.”
You graduate from high school as an adult
at 18 years of age. However, some people might
feel that they are unprepared for adulthood, as
the complete 180 from rigid school schedules and
dependence on adults to the sudden independence
I feel like there are a lot of
things about adulthood and
life in general that I do not understand
because they do not
teach these things in school,
home; even though I’m 20,” Esquivel said, “I
also think it’s ironic how the army goes to
high schools to recruit 18-year-olds to join the
army but they can’t buy a pack of cigarettes; if
someone is old enough to join the army, they
should be able to buy tobacco products.”
If you are eligible to vote, go to a club at 1
in the morning and serve in the military, one
would think that you ought to be allowed to
rent a room from a hotel for a night or test
drive a car. This simply is not the case and is
completely backwards as our society does not
seem to realize that kids are growing up faster,
“It’s so frustrating having to ask an ‘adult’
to book it for us, and it’s ironic because once
you’re 18 you are considered an adult--or at
least used to be,” Esquivel said.
The new law of having to be 21 years of
age to purchase nicotine/tobacco products has
directly affected many people in this age range
as well. Those who have been smoking for longer
periods of time (legally) yet are still under
21 are now expected to suddenly quit smoking,
as if it is as easy as switching off a light to a
“I have been smoking for over a year, and
others. If one must provide for themselves but
cannot even purchase a vehicle--a necessity in
the society we live in today--where do they go
“Society expects so much from 18-yearolds
and up; they expect us to manage a
budget, go to high school or college, have a
part time job in order to pay bills and do all
these things but when we want to rent a hotel
or buy tobacco products we are denied it,”
Whether hotels, car dealerships, or even
the government with the new nicotine age
raise, entities seem to be forgetting that many
times students have busier lives than even
most adults and balance it much better. Why
are we trying to halt student success, their
achievements, or their adulthood as a whole?
“I think it’s absolutely disgusting that the
government has raised the legal age from 18
to 21 to purchase tobacco products yet they go
to high schools and talk to 18-year-olds about
joining the army,” Esquivel said, “It’s like ‘Oh,
you’re 18? You can’t buy cigarettes, but you
can join the army and kill people!’ It’s just not
The amygdala is most well-known for its
role in fear responses. It can send signals to the
hippocampus, which activates the ‘fight or flight’
response. It’s also important for forming memories
that are associated with both positive or negative
memories. It also has a role in arousal and hormonal
The prefrontal cortex is most well-known
for its role in one’s executive functions. Executive
functions include the ability to focus, prediction
of consequences of actions, anticipation of events,
impulse control, planning for the future and
adjusting complex responses to stimuli. It also
contributes to personality development. It is the
last part of the brain to fully develop, maturing at
around 25 years old.
“If you look at it neuroscientifically, once you
reach the age of 25 you actually reach full maturity.
Your brain is still developing (at 18), so you’re
still going through a lot of changes,” junior Ysantis
McKenzie said. “Experience -- failure, relationships,
college-- and actual chemical changes in our
brain shape us into being adults.”
Originally, the voting and conscription age
was set at 21. Then in 1942, the conscription age
of adulthood and jobs is daunting.
“I think that is (because) a lot of times, they
are not the ones making their full decisions in
high school, and sometimes that’s a shock to them
when they go to college or choose a different path,
so I think that is stressful, especially if you haven’t
been trained for that,” Marshall said. “What would
help that was if parents and students would work
more collaboratively while they’re in high school to
make those decisions, with the student having the
ultimate choice, and the parents being hopefully
on board with that choice.
Eighteen might be the current legal adult
age, but 21 is by far the better choice. Twenty-one
in fact, used to be the legal adult age, but was
changed so that the government could draft
more people during wartime. Teens aren’t adults
right when they get out of high school, from a
psychological and physical standpoint. They should
be given more time to mature and develop after
“Personally, no (I’m not sure I’ll be an adult at
18) I feel like there are a lot of things about adulthood
and life in general that I do not understand
because they do not teach these things in school,”
Is Northwest getting better or worse?
Sarah Teague, Morgan DelFava
op/ed editor, staff writer
Three teachers provide their perspective
Do you feel Northwest has changed over the years you’ve been here?
It’s definitely changed. The environment around school and the climate have all definitely changed.
It’s hard to explain what it was like when I started in ‘95. There were a handful of teachers here, Mr.
Parrish, Mrs. Little, but not many remain. I think I’m the third or fourth oldest teacher still here. I
didn’t have a working computer yet; there was no email for anyone. There was a different culture, and
you knew other teachers better across departments because the staff was smaller. There were a lot
more faculty meetings that would last a number of hours.
If you were principal/superintendent for the day, what would you change?
If anything, I would opt to give the schools more control over their policies and over their students.
Schools are very different, even from different parts of the county, they differ one from another. And
I think that administrations need to have more authority when it comes to control over the aspects of
day-to-day and the overall school.
How has the student body differed year to year?
We were a lot more rural in those days. In fact we still had remnants of some students that you needed
to look the other way when they would be out at certain times of the year. They’d be helping the family
bring in the crop. It sounds crazy but they would say, ‘I’m going to be out the next couple days because
it’s that time of year.
Do you feel that Northwest has changed to better or worse?
Better. I know that our scores have gone up, but I think that overall the principals have done a pretty
good job. Mr. Kitley has done a great job in terms of helping our schools improve not only their scores
but also the overall climate. There’s a lot of cohesion among students and teachers.
Photo contributed by Julia Skaggs
Photo contributed by Phil Coley
Do you feel Northwest has changed over the years you’ve been here?
Somewhat. The staff has had a lot of changes. There are still staff who have been here a
long time, but there are a lot of new faces in the last few years.
If you were principal/superintendent for the day, what would you change?
I would have even later start times. Teenagers need more sleep than adults, and biologically
their rhythm is off from the current school schedule. I think it would help a lot
with attendance issues.
How has the student body differed year to year?
It is getting more diverse. While it still is not what it should be, I think overall we are
seeing more diversity. The fact that as a staff we are trying to address those changes and
make all students feel welcome is a really good thing.
Do you feel that Northwest has changed to better or worse?
Neither. With any school, it has its pluses and minuses, and I think we are very fortunate
as a school community to be where we are.
Do you feel Northwest has changed over the years you’ve been here?
I think everything changes with the times. New attitudes, perspectives, styles. I think it’s a more
nurturing environment. There’s been more of an effort to make connections between teachers,
students and administration. You can really see that in the open house this year. It was a teambuild
as a department and brought the community out.
If you were principal/superintendent for the day, what would you change?
If I could change the day to day, I would figure out how to extend the lunch or add a study hall. I
feel that the student body has gotten busier and I think it would help with that.
How has the student body differed year to year?
I think you still have the same attitudes as far as apathy or when someone has something going
on at home; it’s just a part of growing up that is common to everyone.
Do you feel that Northwest has changed to better or worse?
Better. I think they’re working toward making it better, but just like in society, you’ll always have
people who push back or work against the system. Any good that we try will always have pushback.
I think as long as we’re trying to make the school a more welcoming place for everyone,
regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, we'll be fine.
Photo contributed by Andrea Julian
Teachers Phil Coley (upper right), Julia Skaggs (middle left)
and Andrea Julian (lower right) pose with former stduents.
These teachers have been at Northwest many years and have
a rich perspective about the progress of this school.
With a new age of environmental
consciousness has come a spike in the
interest of veganism. From 2014 to 2017,
the number of vegans in America grew
by 600 percent from roughly 4 million to
According to the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change, approximately
a quarter of global greenhouse gas emission
come from food, with 58 percent
being solely from animal products.
Becoming vegan is a suitable choice
for some. They feel, rightly so, that they
are affecting the environment in a small,
but impactful way. Sophomore Lina
Aboghalyoun switched over to veganism
around eight months ago, and she feels
the choice, although difficult at times, is
worth it in the long run.
“It comes with its fair bit of challenges
like many other things that go ‘against
the norm,’” Aboghalyoun said. “My family
isn’t vegan, so I am constantly surrounded
by foods that I grew up eating
and loved at one point. Even to this day it
can be challenging for me because it’s so
disconnected from the animal. I just get
used to always choosing to do ‘the right
thing’—in my view—that daily temptations
(and) cravings aren’t worth it.”
Although making the choice to
become vegan is easy for some, this is
not an option for those in lower socioeconomic
classes. Imagine living paycheck
to paycheck, as many Americans are, and
having to turn down a meal because the
products used to make it aren’t vegan.
The main difference Aboghalyoun
made was in regards to cooking.
“The only drastic changes for me
were that I had to cook more often. Eating
out was less likely because most fast
food restaurants didn’t have substantial
vegan options,” Aboghalyoun said. “I did
end up (becoming) more informed about
nutrition. Learning to cook, while at the
start was a hassle, actually became a
creative outlet and something really fun
Sophomore Maddie Galyon reflected
The growth of veganism
on her time being vegan for the first it onto others.
month of school, and came to a similar “I think there are good things to take
away from being vegan, there are still
“It was my dinners that I got the some vegan items that I use in my daily
most creative (with),” Galyon said. “It was life,” Galyon said. “But I also feel like people
obsess over being completely vegan,
actually sort of fun, but it was also hard
because I don’t have a very good concept that they’re making choices that aren’t as
of time. I didn’t realize how long some smart for the environment. Even though
of the meals would take. I wouldn’t start they aren’t using animal products, there
cooking until I was hungry, but it took a are some plants where harvesting them
long time to cook. I wouldn’t get hungry is really bad (for the environment). People
until six, but I wouldn’t be eating until need to take that into consideration and
worry about the balance.”
The main difficulty these two shared When it comes down to it, there
was an increased amount of time dedicated
to preparing food. This may seem easy we make. To make the smartest choice for
needs to be balance in every choice that
for some, but for others working multiple ourselves, others, and our environment,
jobs, they don’t have the time to dedicate that takes time, and research. As opposed
to spending hours preparing meals for to changing your entire lifestyle, maybe
themselves, or their entire families. try implementing some aspects of veganism
into your life. Try meatless Mondays,
This is in no way an advocation for
everyone to become vegan, nor is this an or maybe just drink almond milk in your
argument the other way around. This is coffee. In order to come together to tackle
simply an attempt to try to see both sides climate change, we don’t need divisions,
of veganism. Because this lifestyle is not we need to unite and work together to
an option for everyone, we shouldn’t push make the smartest decisions we can.
Photo by Sophia Carson
Sophomores Garret Eichlin and Maddie Galyon are shown eating lunch together.
While a healthy choice, veganism can be isolating to communitites that
can’t afford the extra cost.
NORTHWEST HORIZONS STAFF
Nestled between a sports bar
and a gym on Wendover Avenue,
Chicken Salad Chick supplies
Greensboro with good food and a
welcoming atmosphere. Pastel pink
and green line the walls and tables
of this restaurant, giving the place
a retro vibe with modern amenities.
While it’s only open from 8-3,
Chicken Salad Chick is the perfect
destination year round. An outdoor
patio makes it a great way to eat
during warm weather, placed in the
shade to shield you from the sun.
However, the environment isn’t
the only thing that draws customers
Chicken Salad Chick offers a
wide and unique array of chicken
salads -- available in sandwich or
scoop form -- and pimento cheese.
Their jalapeno chicken salad
combines the sweet jalapeno flavor
without the overwhelming bite that
can sometimes accompany that kind
of spice. The chicken salad is also
delicious, a classic flavor without
the grapes and nuts that can ruin a
perfectly good sandwich.
Their sides also pair very nicely
with the main chicken salad --
soups, pimento cheese and pasta
salad are just a few of the options
available. Their potato soup comes
out piping hot and is a nice play on
the classic flavor.
Quick service, great meals and a
retro atmosphere are all things that
define Chicken Salad Chick and are
all things you will be able to enjoy
your next visit.
Editors in Chief
Arts & Entertainment Editor
Adam Sasser, Jacob Teague, Morgan
DelFava, Lily Hughes, Val Orozco,
Kaitlyn Sumner, Kelby Shouse,
Laina McCoy, Mycheal Warner,
Sophia Carson, Ava Rickelton,
Jhenesis Hines, Angela Lam
Statement of Policy
Serving as a primary printed
and online forum for student
opinion, Northwest Horizons publishes
four times each year published
by the staff at Northwest
Guilford High School. The paper
is supported through community
Staff Editorials are unsigned.
The stance of each editorial is
voted upon in staff meetings, but
requires the approval of the majority
of the editorial board.
All members of the school community
are encouraged to express
their views. Letters to the editor
must be signed when submitted.
in the modern world
Madison Magyar, Mycheal Warner because of my parents’ divorce,”
features editor, staff writer
senior Jason Ellington said. “(My
therapist) then recommended me
to see a psychiatrist who diagnosed
n recent years, mental health Bipolar disorder is characterized
by episodes of mood swings
has become a more prevalent topic
of conversation, especially among ranging from depressive lows to
students in high school and college.
An increase in stress and the “(Having) bipolar (disorder), I’m
amount expected has contributed not up and down. I'm not going to
to these developments. Whether be happy one second and throwing
having ADD or Bipolar disorder,
talk on mental illnesses has Skara said. “It's a controlled thing.”
books the next,” sophomore Rachel
become more open over the years. This can be achieved through
A lot of mental illnesses remain a variety of methods, some being
overlooked and unaccepted. Many therapy, medication and even a
students and people around you good support system.
struggle daily to overcome personal “I didn't change because it was
challenges they face.
something, I've dealt with for such
“It’s always been kind of a a long time that the only difference
stigma for people to be diagnosed was medication,” Ellington said. “I
with a mental disorder, but it have a tight group of friends that
seems that now the mold is being I share a lot with, and I have been
broken for people to make it more able to open up more to my family
understandable,” school nurse Livy recently.”
For many with this disorder,
Stress has existed longer than people tend to be judgmental and
humanity, whether being the assume things they have heard
process to form coal or in a mental from unreliable sources.
stasis of the mind. While stress is “You don’t have to dance around
well documented, many other mental
based disabilities are unrecog-
about mental health, 90 percent of
it. If you want to ask me anything
the time, I’ll be happy to answer
ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity
touched subject that you can't talk
it,” Skara said. “It’s not some un-
“It’s not considered an extreme about. We should be talking about
disability, so teachers forget or are it. We should be more open about
not told I have severe ADHD; it affects
my school work,” senior Catey OCD (obsessive compulsive
ADHD, or attention deficit
“(When I first learned) I had
hyperactivity disorder, often arises OCD was a very confusing situation.
Not knowing anything about
at a young age. There are currently
more than three million cases in it whatsoever, I kind of went off
the United States.
when they told me, and then went
“When I don’t take my medicine,
I forget things,” Engel said. “I started to realize this is me; this
to look it up more,” Skara said. “I A girl shields her face to stop the release of her emotions. Many people with mental illnesses feel tra
fidget too much and ramble a lot.” is who I am,; I’m going to have to Depression and Anxiety (cause anxiety attacks); school
For many students, medication
as well as seeking help from a have to fight through it.”
recognized over the years, and it is School is considered a very
learn to live with it; I’m going to Depression has become more stresses me out.” anonymous said.
therapist regularly can help.
OCD, or obsessive-compulsive believed that 10 percent of young stressful place, as 1 in 5 college students
consider suicide as a result of
“I take a really heavy dose disorder, is characterized by people will experience a bout of
of medicine and rarely show up repeated unwanted thoughts or depression.
without it,” an student who wished sensations and compulsions.
“I probably would’ve ended up “I take medicine and go to
to remain anonymous said. “I do a “I get distracted easily through dealing with (depression) since counseling when needed,” another
lot of extra work in my classes and my OCD thoughts, so I bounce depression runs in my family,” anonymous student said. “I also try
have to work harder to keep up my around a lot,” Skara said. “I have to a student who wished to remain to focus on my breathing and do
add in extra time for everything to anonymous said.
this thing to try and stay grounded
This being said, ADHD can be account for the ‘what could happen?’”
understood over the years and is ent things when I am anxious.”
Anxiety has also become more by finding and focusing on differ-
managed and doesn’t make them
less intelligent than any other studentreotypes
about OCD, everyone is than it affects men. Anxiety is that plague the mind, not all are
Although there are many ste-
twice as likely to affect women While there are many diseases
“It doesn’t define your intelligence
because I thought it did; “OCD does not mean I’m going in the US each year, or rather 18.1 taking time to be understood.
known to affect 40 million adults heavily recognized and are still
it just means you need to work a to sit there and line all my books percent of the population. Furthermore,
stress and anxiety have a nosis on almost anyone even if its
“You could probably find a diag-
little harder (than others),” anonymous
hand sanitizer every five minutes,” direct link as anxiety is a reaction OCD or depression,” Shepherd-Gray
up in alphabetical order and use
Skara said. “I can live my life as a to stress.
“At first, I was going to therapy person without it affecting me.” “Stressful situations like school
10 www.northwesthorizons.com March 2020
pped within their own mind.
Photo by Autumn Dixon
can cause more than just mental
illness such as depression, anxiety
and obsessive-compulsive disorder
(OCD); it can cause physical ailments
such as dehydration,
fainting and even seizures.
With all of the stresses
of school, it is important
to stay hydrated especially
during the wintertime with
germs and illness crawling
around campus. Illnesses can
become easy to catch when
someone isn’t thinking about
their well being.
“I think there is a
population of students who are
performance driven, whether it
be academically or physically, and
take on more than they can handle,”
health science teacher Pattie
Bumpus said. “These students tend
to forget to eat, feel like they don't
A boy (left) is surrounded by words that others describe him as. Such insults
and labels can engulf someone’s every thought. Sophomore Lindsay Hash is
shown (right) labeled by the mental illnesses she possesses. “Most people just
think (having ADHD means) your bouncing off the walls when you really just
can’t focus,” Hash said. “When I don’t take my medication it’s bad for my grades
because I can’t focus and work like I’m supposed to.” Photos by Autumn Dixon
Academic pressure makes students overwork
have enough time to eat or even
to take a water break. When you
have so much going on, it's easy to
Bumpus thinks that there
might be too much emphasis on
academics and sports instead of
There is a population of
students who are performance
driven and take on more than
they can handle,
health science teacher
wellness. According to the US
National Library of Medicine, 46.4
percent of students are dehydrated,
and 59 percent have improper
“If you are drinking water, not
fruit juices and other drinks high
in sugar, and keeping hydrated, it
keeps you alert, it keeps your blood
flowing, so you are not tired, and it
flushes germs out (of your body),”
Bumpus believes that having
a nurse on staff at Northwest
would help with the issue
of students passing out and
overworking themselves because
a nurse would provide
wellness checks to students
“I definitely think that
having access to a nursing
staff (would help) because
Northwest only has a nurse
that circulates between
other schools,” Bumpus
In addition to having more
nursing staff, Bumpus thinks that
having vending machines with
access to water would help those
students who forget their water
Mental health facts
begin by 24
of lifetime mental illness
cases begin by 14
1 out of 5
children experience a
mental health condition
in a given year
percent of children 8-12 experience
a mental health condition
but do not receive treatment
Information sourced from web sources
On average,the delay between
the onset of symptoms
and intervention is 31
In survey taken in 2016,
of teenagers reported
they had experienced
one major depressive
episode in the last year
What stresses you the most?
In a poll of 40 students, the majority of students
said school stresses them out the most.
School Family Work Relationship
NCAA considers paying student athletes
After this step, on Oct. 29, 2019
editor in chief
the NCAA voted for the changes of
the act. Therefore, each national
One of the largest nonprofits
in the United States with a $1.1
Division (I, II, III) will have to make
their own rules for the act by 2021
billion-dollar annual revenue has
for it to be fully enacted.
never given a paycheck to their
“Obviously I was pretty excited,”
hardest workers. Since its founding,
senior Hayden Summers said. “The
the NCAA has had a strict rule that
NCAA is a billion-dollar industry,
amateur athletes cannot be paid
and they make a ton of money. For
outside of athletic scholarships.
athletes to not get paid is not right.”
Even though a scholarship can
Summers is committed to UNCbe
worth thousands of dollars,
Chapel Hill for baseball as a pitcher.
collegiate athletes believe that the
Even though this act has been
revenue they bring to their school is
well received by endorsers like NBA
player Lebron James, many people
“I am for people being able to
are still not fond of the change in
make money in the United States of
the system. The original idea of not
America (because) we are a capitalistic
mixed economy, and if some-
paying athletes outside of scholarships
was to ensure a divide between
one is willing to give you money in
the rights of an amateur athlete and
exchange for whatever you’re able
a professional athlete; the Fair Pay to
to provide for them, you (should) be
Play Act shatters this wall.
able to get that money,” social studies
teacher Jim Thompson said.
“They’re already being paid so
much to play the sport, and that’s
Thompson played football for
why they’re there--to be paid in
one year at South Dakota State
tuition,” math teacher Jessica Estep
before realizing college football was
not for him. Like others, he sees the
Estep played basketball at Iona
NCAA as a company that has used
College for four years on a full
the amateur athlete status to make
ride. As an athlete, she was given a
head start compared to the average
student. Athletes have gear, top
As of Sept. 30, 2019, the Fair Pay
to Play Act was passed by California
Gov Gavin Newsom; which was
meal plans, tutors, overseas trips
and other bonuses along with a paid
the first step towards the possible
education. This is all given because
rule change in the NCAA. It allowed
athletes devote all their time to their
athletes in California to profit from
sport and school.
their name, image and likeness, or
“People don’t appreciate that
more specifically, they can sign any
stuff enough, so throwing all these
kind of licensing contract that will
other things on top of these experiences
you get to have (is) pointless,”
allow them to earn money, and they
can hire an agent to assist them in
Graphics by Megan Harkey
On top of that, controversy could
arise out of this act. The difference
now between the athletic income of
a Division III sport and a Division I
sport, or a female and male sport is
top of a scholarship, unlike Division
III schools who cannot even give an
“I feel like it could cause more
problems with recruiting, and it
could cause problems with team
chemistry if someone is getting an
extra paycheck and no one else is,”
Each athlete will most likely not
be getting the same amount of pay
from brands that may or may not
sponsor them, however this “unfairness”
can just be seen as the real
“Capitalism isn’t fair, so it’s not
always going to be equitable, but
pro sports aren’t always equitable
(either), meaning the best players
make the most money,” Thompson
said. “That’s more of a discussion of
whether or not our capitalism is fair
more than if this particular thing is
This inequality could benefit the
athletes by giving them a reason to
work harder for their team in order
to make more money, like any professional
“I think it would be better to
have more money because (with it)
I would try to improve my craft and
my name would be out there more,
which means I would be getting better,”
Like in most businesses, the
motivation of the workers is money;
this is why professional athletes and
coaches can move from team to team
in order to capitalize on their salary.
The NCAA has always believed that
the motivation of the college athlete
should be the money going towards
their education and sports program.
The only reason athletes are there in
the first place is because their coach
chose them out of thousands and is
willing to work with them and the
team to create a name for the school.
“If your coaches (choose you)
and your team wasn’t there, and
everyone wasn’t working together,
then what are you?” Estep said. “The
program should get money because
money from brand deals and even
jersey sales should go back to the
program that coached the athlete
to the top. Whether or not this act
is justified--it is in place for 2021.
The only thing left to change are the
rules surrounding it.
“(A rule that I would like to see is
for) athletes to not touch that money
before they graduate, so whether
you go to the draft or you graduate
there’s a chunk of money sitting
(there) for you,” Estep said.
This provides the opportunity
for the athlete to think about what
they can do with their money. For
example, they could use it for graduate
school or to fund their ability to
play professionally here or overseas.
A rule like this could also bring on
some controversy since professional
athletes don’t necessarily have to
wait for their money, so why should
college athletes have to?
“I don’t want to see any rules
whatsoever at all,” Thompson said.
“I think that the same rules about
paying non-athletes should be the
exact same as paying athletes.”
The power of the Fair Pay to
Play Act will be unknown until the
release of the rules for each Division.
Until then, athletes and schools can
only hope for the NCAA to be on
their side; whatever that may be.
“At the end of the day, it’s just
going to have to be something
everyone has to work on, like in the
professional leagues,” Summers said.
Infographics by Megan Harkey
The bar graph (top right) shows how many
hours per week the average student athlete
allots for each sport. These statistics are
from a study by Business Insider.The pie
graph (bottom left) illustrates the student
opinion on whether athletes should be paid
in college. The majority of the 87 students
surveyed agreed they should be.
Meet your MATCH: Freshman girl competes on wrestling team
or most female athletes,
there are plenty of sports
available to try at school:
field hockey, volleyball, soccer,
name it. However, for one
girl, she’s taking a nontraditional
Garrett is a member
of the junior
team. She moved
here from Ohio
where she started
wrestling in enth grade.
Garrett picked up
wrestling after competing
in other sports
like track, cross country,
gymnastics and boxing.
Wrestling was something
new she wanted to try.
However, not everyone
was welcoming back in
Ohio when she began
“When I first
started, it was really
different. Everyone thought that
I wouldn’t be able to do this,
but I can,” Garrett said. “They
First male cheerleader makes school history
lines and is now doing it with us.
looks fun to him.
fectly with everyone. We all
He adds so much character to the
“My favorite thing about
team and is just like any regular
cheer is all the friends I’ve
Photo by Ava Rickelton
orthwest cheer is now cheerleader,” Payne said.
made and definitely stunting,”
Sophomore Dylan Logan
cheering with a new member who Logan’s interest in cheerlead-
strikes a pose. Logan is the
is going against the gender gradient
of the sport and the school’s Although he is Northwest’s first
Logan has been enjoying
ing came from watching videos.
As the season goes on,
fi rst male cheerleader in North-
male cheerleader, cheerleading in
this new experience with his
Photo on page 2 by Wayne Phillips
Sophomore Dylan Logan was general often features many males
friends and hopes to continue
the cheer manager for the football as a main base for stunts
this after high school.
season this year, then he tried
“I’ve always wanted to do it
“I would totally do this in
out to cheer for the basketball from seeing it online,” Logan said.
college,” Logan said. “It is very
season and made Varsity. Being a “(The team) has welcomed me,
fun and you make lots of
male cheerleader--who has never (and) I have become friends with a
cheered before--has proven difficult.
Senior varsity captain Layton
lot of them.”
“It was a little difficult to learn Howard has enjoyed having Logan
the cheers, but after you do it three on the team as well, she agrees on
or four times, you have them down. his positive influence on the team. talks
I got most of them down after the “He has definitely impacted our
third practice,” Logan said. team in a positive way. He always how
Sophomore and Varsity cheerleader
Avery Payne h as enjoyed positive attitude,” Howard said. “We gan
has a smile on his face and has a Lo-
having Logan on the team. always call our team a family, and is
“He started out as a manager he is definitely the little brother I always
for football season and was such a never had.”
delight to everyone. He’s made everyone
feel comfortable and taken can be very stressful when trying
Having multiple games a week
care of,” Payne said. “He joined us ing to balance cheer and school, the
for basketball, and it’s almost like but Logan has stayed on top of his
he’s known how to cheer his whole responsibilities.
life.” “I balance cheer and school so
Payne talks about how much easily, probably because I haven’t to it.
Logan has learned from watching had much homework at all this
practices and games and how much year,” Logan said.
character he adds.
Right now, Logan is a main
new things to help
“He knows all of us and has base, but he would like to try being
the team,” George
watched us cheer from the side-
a flyer at some point because it
said. “He fits in per
thought I was going
to quit, but I didn’t.”
After the initial
some of the
guys, they quickly adapted to having
her on the team.
“(Cole Vermilyea) just came
up to me and picked me up and
slammed me on the ground,” Garrett
said. “It was so funny. They’re
all really sweet.”
Head Coach Ron Bare has
developed a culture of acceptance
throughout his years of coaching,
which has made it a welcoming
program for Garrett.
“We’re trying to treat everyone
the same,” Bare said. “Everybody
that comes in our room gets
Girls’ wrestling in high school
has been growing throughout
the past several years. According
to wbur.org, the girls’ sport has
grown 30 percent from last year
“There are a lot more ladies
wrestling,” Bare said. “There’s a
lot of girls’ only tournaments, so
she has more opportunities.”
Even though the sport has
been on the rise, some of Garrett’s
opponents have been more opposed
to it than others.
“Some guy forfeited because
he didn’t want to wrestle a girl;
it was really annoying,” Garrett
said. “One time, I pinned a guy,
and he started laying on the mat
and crying because he lost to a
Despite the adversity, Garrett
hopes to continue getting better
along with the support of her
“I love them all,” Garrett said.
“They’re like a side family now.”
Photos contributed by John Edwards
Freshman Lexi Garrett (wearing black)
wrestles an opponent. Garrett is a member
of the junior varsity wrestling team.
March 2020 www.northwesthorizons.com 13
March is MAD:
he NCAA men’s basketball
tournament is underway, as 68
teams are projected to compete to
see who this year’s national champion
will be. Many from all around
the country will be tuning in to
watch this crazed past time during
the month of March.
“I watch March Madness for
the hype, especially because games
are usually one and done, meaning,
once you lose, you’re done,” senior
Gabrielle Kim said.
Kim isn’t the only one around
school participating in the excitement.
“I like basketball and the overall
atmosphere,” sophomore Jed
Students don’t just watch the
games; many prefer to participate
in brackets, making the tournament
more of a competition between
friends. Brackets are opportunities
for the viewers to interact
and create how they envision the
National basketball tournament is underway
tournament going. Viewers from
everywhere in the United States
create brackets, but the chances of
correctly predicting 68 games are
“With how many people who do
it with the national bracket, you
don’t really have a high chance of
winning, but it’s still fun to see
how well you can do,” Hampton
Every year, this tournament
produces wins and losses that
shock the nation. This year doesn’t
appear to be any different, but here
are some of the top predictions for
this year’s national championship:
Villanova: Currently second in
the Big East with an 18-6 overall
record, Villanova seems like a
contender for the coveted title of
“Villanova will win the championship
because of their talent and
past success,” Kim said.
Gonzaga: With a 25-1 overall
record and first in the West Coast,
Gonzaga is starting to be seen as
the team to beat.
“This year, I think Gonzaga will
win it due to their team depth and
overall talent,” junior Agustin Orozco
said. “The team is great from
top to bottom, and they know how
University of North Carolina:
Despite a history of success, the Tar
Heels have faced a tough season
with an overall 10-14 record. Many
doubt UNC will even qualify for
the tournament, but some still
hope they will pull out a win and
“The one I want to win, UNC,
is not doing too well this year,”
Hampton said. “I still like the
school, and I really like the coach.”
Logos taken from school websites
The logos shown right represent students’
top picks for the March Madness tournament.
Villanova (top) currently has an 18-6
record. Gonzaga (middle) currently has a
25-1 record, and UNC (bottom) currently
has a 10-14 record. These statistics were
last updated on Feb. 14.
Kaylen Ayres, Lily Hughes
sports editor, staff writer
Name: Anna Sechrist (below on left)
Sport: varsity swim
Position: breaststroke, 50 freestyle, and 100 freestyle
Hype song: “Motorsport” by Migos
Pregame ritual: “My friends and I either go to
Chick-fil-a or Salsaritas.”
After game: “My best friends’ and my families
go to eat somewhere, and we always have a fun
Name: Sheldon Ulmer (left)
Sport: junior varsity basketball
Hype song: “Dreams and Nightmares” by Meek Mill
Pregame ritual: “I listen to coach’s pregame speech,
stretch and pray right before I go out.”
After game: “I listen to coach’s after game speech, go
talk to everyone who came to watch, go out to dinner,
go home and do homework.”
Name: Shaena Riddles (right)
Sport: varsity girls’ basketball
Position: shooting guard
Hype song: “Toes” by DaBaby
Pregame ritual: “Reagan Kargo and I
After game: “I go out to eat with my parents.”
Name: Devin Bradshaw (above)
Sport: varsity indoor track and field
Position: pole vault
Hype song: “Rockstar” by Nickelback
Pregame ritual: “I listen to music during stretches and
After game: “I get a burrito and a Twinkie from Sheetz.”
Photos contributed by Shaena Riddles, Devin Bradshaw, Anna Sechrist and Sheldon Ulmer
Unveiling the value of censored materials
Literary works and student
publications have been
subject to censorship in the
past. Here is a brief history
and a current look at how
censorship is treated here at
Northwest and nationally.
Val Orozco, Kimberly Brown
staff writer, arts and entertainment editor
What crosses the line in
terms of appropriate literature in a
For many years, the English department
at Northwest has grappled
with this question. Teachers
have used various genres and pieces
of literature to encourage students
to dive deep into a wide variety of
But what if those literary works
also contain controversial content?
1997- “The Color Purple” and
In 1997, a parent raised the challenge
that Alice Walker’s “The Color
Purple” and Richard Wright’s “Native
Son” were inappropriate for her
son. Rather than accepting alternate
titles, she insisted that the literary
works be completely removed from
Northwest’s English core curriculum.
“Those were some tough times,”
retired Latin teacher Sarah Wright
recalled, who was Northwest’s
Teacher of the Year in 1997. “What a
2012- “The Handmaid’s Tale”
In 2012, Grimsley and Page
High School parents presented a
petition with more than 2,000
signatures challenging Margaret
Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s
Tale.” The petition asked district
leaders to “make sure that our
school assignments do not denigrate
anyone’s religion” and to
“promote rather than tear down
In each instance, the Guilford
County School Board upheld
the literary works, reminding
parents that they can always
request alternative titles for
HB 2044- Public Library Censorship
Meanwhile, in other parts of the
country, the ability to censor is being
put into law.
HB 2044, a bill introduced Jn. 15
by representative Ben Baker in souri, could potentially create a new
precedent for how titles are chosen
to be in public libraries.
“The current bill notes in detail
how libraries receive state funding,
and it indicates where and how the
libraries shall work with the State
Librarian for further funding,” author
Kelly Jensen said.
HB 2044 provides for much
greater parental oversight of public
libraries. It creates restrictions for
sexual materials and any content
deemed inappropriate. Although it
has good intentions, the bill raises
concerns when it creates a parental
library review board as the ones
who decide what material stays and
what material goes.
This board’s selection of materials
directly affects the funding that
would go towards the library. It
raises the questions: What kinds of
people are going to be making these
executive decisions? What kind of
preparation and training will be
The answer is simple: the board
members will be chosen based on
parents’ ability to come to a meeting
rather than merit.
2018- “Perks of Being a Wallflower”
and “The Absolutely
True Diary of a Part-Time
The most recent book to be challenged
at Northwest was “Perks
of Being a Wallflower.” Like many
other novels that are dissected and
analyzed in high school, “Perks
of Being a Wallflower” tackles the
heavy topic of rape, which can be
hard to digest for some students.
“The student and parent were very
religious and thought that some of
the content, including language and
sexual content, was blasphemous,”
English teacher Jason
This was an inde-
the student could change their book,
but there is a much larger issue
surrounding the negligence toward
reading certain materials; students
aren’t exposed to deeper topics.
Parents also recently voiced their
opinions about “The Absolutely
True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.”
Despite being a National Awardwinning
book, this memoir by Sherman
Alexie has been removed from
reading lists around the country.
The book was required as a summer
reading assignment in 2018,
put in place of “Sleeping Freshmen
Never Lie.” Although the challenge
never went as far as the school
board, Northwest parents still argued
that it be taken off the reading
“It is vulgar, obscene, overly-sexual
and has no place in the curriculum,”
one parent wrote in an email
to the English teachers.
Despite their complaints, the book
remained on the summer reading
list, but with an alternative--the
previous summer reading novel,
“Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie.”
Ultimately, in 2019, summer reading
was canceled altogether by the
School Based Leadership Team as
part of a blanket decision to eliminate
all summer assignments.
Freedom of Speech in Public
Photo by Kaylen Ayres
Senior Zoe Simon has her mouth covered up by symbolic, censoring hands. Sometimes
in an effort to protect a student’s innocence, parents and authority fi gures overstep their
boundaries and end up limiting their access to valuable content.
Not all parents are against their
children being exposed to sial content.
“As I told my neighbor,
great literature tackles
the thorny, complex
issues of controver-
ity,” a different Northwest parent
wrote in an email. “This is just the
kind of education I want for my
But what happens when students
“tackle thorny, complex issues” in
their own publications, such as tne
school newspaper or yearbook?
Public schools in the United States
are all protected under the First
Amendment as established by the
1969 Supreme Court Case Tinker v.
Des Moines to have freedom of expression
for students after a school
banned the students from wearing
black armbands to protest the
“The school has to prove that the
conduct or speech metrically and
substantially interferes with school
operations in order to justify the
ban,” the Supreme Court ruled.
However, sometimes this freedom
is contested by the school leadership
Northwest Horizons’ battle
with censorship in 2010
In 2010, a Northwest Horizons’
student wrote about a taboo topic
new to Northwest’s halls. The story
was titled, “True life: I had an abortion.”
The article throws the reader into
a personal account of what this
student went through. The writer
pours her emotions into the article;
she speaks about the conflicts
it brought between her and her
boyfriend, and the legal trouble she
endured in order to go through the
process without telling her parents.
She talks about her deepest regret
being when she walked into that
The staff felt that this was an important
article. Northwest Horizons
prides itself on being able to tell the
indidvidual stories of a diverse and
large population of students.
Understanding the gravity of
this topic, however, adviser Melanie
Huynh-Duc created a board of parents
and colleagues to provide their
thoughts on the article.
The board, comprised of different
political leanings and opinions
unanimously agreed the article
should be published.
However, after the article was
forwarded to the administration of
the Central Office, its publishing
was halted under the ruling that it
was deemed inappropriate.
This is the only example of blatant
censorship Northwest Horizons
Should students and teachers
have free reign when it comes to
language and controversy? Probably
not. However, censorship
potentially removes valuable voices
that could have a transformative
effect on whoever’s listening.
Perhaps the late author Pat
Conroy said it best in 2007 when he
confronted a West Virginia School
Board for censoring his own books.
“Book banners are invariably
idiots,” Conroy wrote. “They don’t
know how the world works--but
writers and English teachers do.”
The Cycling Club takes on city council
Madison Magyar, Kaylen Ayres
features editor, sports editor
The Cycling Club is very wellknown
as a service-learning club
at Northwest. They sponsor many
service projects such as bike rodeos
and cycling events as well as other
A year before the Cycling Club
at Northwest started, there was a
mountain biking club which did
not do service learning and quickly
“I was 13 years old when I
started; I was quite late but when I
did start cycling, I got really into it
really fast,” senior Jesse Andrews,
president of the club said. “I started
cycling with local bike shops
through their weekly group rides;
after that, it just picked up.”
His interest in cycling is one
of the main reasons for starting
the club. Experiences with other
groups helped him with this decision,
“(In other groups) it was just
me and a bunch of older men and
women. There was no one I could
connect to; I mean this is an eighth
grader riding with a bunch of 30-
40-year olds,” Andrews said. “I was
like, well, it’s high school just start
The Cycling Club has grown to
new heights doing many projects
with the help of many other organizations.
“With Bicycling in Greensboro, we
get service-learning opportunities
because we have a partnership with
them,” Andrews said. “They sponsor
the Ride of Silence, which is the
event that honors cyclists who have
been injured or killed throughout
Andrews is the secretary of Bicycling
in Greensboro, an organization
that advocates for safer cycling
and better cycling infrastructure.
“This year we went to City Council
with Bicycling in Greensboro
and spoke to the council members
about safer streets,” Andrews said.
The proposal, called Safe Systems,
involves advocating for safer
roads to be built as well as adopting
practices to make cycling safer
on city streets.
“It’s basically to have an extra
voice when roads are created in
Greensboro,” Andrews said. “Right
now (the roads) don’t get approved
by the cyclists. The engineers are
creating these roads without having
a plan for cyclists.”
After speaking at the Greensboro
City Council meeting, the cycling
for it to
be a safe
it has to
and a bike lane.”
Although this may seem minor
to some, cycling is becoming
a popular and, in some cases, a
necessary form of transportation
“I think a lot of people don’t
realize that cycling is a way
of transportation, and a lot of
people don’t have the means,”
Andrews said. “Not everyone has
the ability to own a car, so cycling
for a lot of people becomes
their only way of transportation.”
Andrews hopes that after
he graduates the club will
continue to thrive and make
changes to better the community.
“I know that’s going to be hard
to pass down (the club) to someone
else, but I’m going try my hardest
to get the next leader to be able
to do exactly what I’ve been doing
with the same outreach opportunities
to Greensboro and the Department
of Transportation,” Andrews
Junior Ethan Dales, a member
of the club for three years, hopes
to carry on the club after Andrews
“Next year, a couple members
and I plan on continuing the
Cycling Club, and hopefully it’ll
continue for years after I graduate
high school,” Dales said.
His dedication as well as the help
of the community and other organizations
has allowed the Cycling
Club to flourish and have a lasting
impact at Northwest and Guilford
county as a whole.
“I am starting a cycling ambassadorship
program where we’re
going to get what we’ve done at
Northwest, and we’re basically going
to send our program to other
schools in the Triad,” Andrews
said. “We have a complete list of
what you need to do to have this
club at another school.”
The Cycling Club has made big
strides this year and hopes to continue
to in the years to come.
“We are a hardworking club,”
Dales said. “We are proud riders of
North Carolina. We want to do anything
we can to make it safer and
more fun for cyclists riding here.”
Photo contributed by Jesse Andrews
The Cycling Club goes to Greensboro City Council to propose the Safe System. The club has
been working on branching out in the community to make a positive and lasting impact.
Photos contributed by Ralph Kitley
Kitley and his wife Loretta (left) pose with the school
mascott. Kitley has been a principal at Northwest for
11 years. Kitley and a student (right) take a picture
at a Powerderpuff game. He has made strong connections
with many students over the years.
Kitley’s retirement, cont. from page 2
than in June after graduation.
“The main reason (I chose
March) is that once you retire,
you have to have been disengaged
or disconnected from
the school system for at least
six months,” Kitley said. “That
would put me coming back Sept.
1 in time (for the beginning of
the school year). And there are
a lot more opportunities Sept. 1
Kitley looks forward to working
with Guilford County Schools
by providing guidance to other
principals and administrators as
For students and staff at
Northwest, Kitley will continue
to be a leader and a mentor.
“He makes you feel like you
have the confidence to carry
things out and be able to get
things done,” Hiller said.
“One thing I’ll take away from
his leadership is being visible,
being supportive and being honest,”
Gilyard said. “He really has
a great way of dealing with those
difficult conversations with staff.
He’s just a great guy.”
webmaster/co-editor in chief
Toward the end of the first quarter,
several Advanced Placement teachers received
new resources and books to use in the classroom.
The books came in conjunction with changes to
the curriculum in their courses. These new
resources came as a surprise to AP teachers;
however, Northwest did not explicitly request
That is not to say the new books and
materials have been unappreciated by teachers,
though. AP Statistics teacher Catherine
Brown was pleased to receive the materials
for her class despite being initially taken
aback by the news of their arrival.
“We didn’t know we were getting new
books until they said ‘you’re getting new
books,’ and we didn’t know they were coming
until they did,” Brown said.
The books arrived in mid-October, after
many teachers had already made lesson
plans and prepared to teach the year with
their previous materials. The late arrival of
the materials can be attributed to the lateness
of the changes made by the College Board
to the core material of the classes. The changes
were first revealed late last spring, so new
books weren’t able to be ordered to reflect these
changes until the summer at the earliest.
Further complicating matters was the difficulty
of coordinating transportation of the resources
due to the sheer quantity of new items being
“The coordination between the county office is
where some of the hold up happened,” curriculum
facilitator Susan Orr said.
This late arrival proved to be an obstacle in
immediate usage of the new materials. English
teacher Scott Walker, for example, has not yet
been able to take advantage of the books for his
AP Language class.
“While already balancing six classes, it’s hard
for me to read the texts,” Walker said. “It’s a good
resource; I just don’t know how to use it yet.”
Even though the absence of the book prevented
Walker from making use of his texts this year, he
does not bare resentment for the holdup saying
he “doesn’t blame the timing.” Walker also plans
on making use of his book in future years after he
has had time to study it and evaluate how to best
incorporate it into his teaching.
As for why the textbooks were received by
Northwest at all, the school has Guilford County
at large to thank. In the interest of distributing
the county’s resources fairly among all schools,
the county doesn’t exclude schools from receiving
requested materials just because that particular
school didn’t explicitly request them.
“County-wide, there was a need and a request,”
Orr said. “There needs to be equity in the county.”
A whole semester passed since receiving the
books; however, the question arises if the materials
have proven useful in the classroom. In some
ways, having a hard copy version of the textbook
as opposed to online materials already available
only saves on inconveniences.
Changes to curriculum gets teachers new textbooks
Photo by Megan Harkey
New textbooks were provided for some teachers of AP classes due
to College Board curriculum changes. Many teachers have not been
able to integrate them in their classes yet.
“I already had access to a teacher version, so
they were basically saving on copies,” Brown said.
Walker also notes that having an updated book
will be a boon to saving on copies. Saving on
having to photocopy extra materials alleviates
the physical workload of teachers, so it follows
that they would enjoy having the amount needed
“I won’t have to make as many copies,”
Walker said. “They’re good for sustainability.”
In some ways, it wasn’t necessarily the
books themselves that proved to be the source
for positive change, but the teaching resources
developed alongside of them.
“Now we have additional teaching resources
like Powerpoint and more (math) problems,”
Brown’s statistics classes found themselves
in a particularly unusual scenario, as
the College Board originally only sent them
partial textbooks that had not yet reflected the
changes made. The reason for this decision being
that the books simply weren’t printed yet.
The need to send partial textbooks didn’t
interfere with the delivery of the rest of the
books, however. The resources Brown enjoyed
were updated efficiently once the books were
printed with the changes in mind.
“They were very good at making sure they
sent the the teachers’ resources twice,” Brown
Additionally, the partial textbooks, which don’t
need to be sent back, proved useful as a means of
easing the makeup of work when students were
not in class.
“I’ve had a lot of kids out with the flu, so I’ve
been able to send them home with (the partial
textbooks) to stay caught up,” Brown said. “It’s
kind of like having a workbook.”
Regardless of whether the new classroom
resources have fulfilled their original intentions,
they have been positively received by teachers and
have been met with gratitude.
“We’ve wanted updated textbooks for a while,
and now we have them,” Orr said.
Northwest alumna survives biking accident
fractured vertebrae, broken clavicle, The cycling community has come Steve. Currently, she uses a speaking
valve on her trachea tube to
broken jawbone, broken cheek together to help pay for Rebecca’s
bones, internal bleeding and more. medical and legal expenses through talk.
er life changed in the blink Ron Booker is part of a 20-to-30 a “GoFundMe” page organized
long recovery to go,
of an eye.
person cycling group with Kefer and
by Monte Brackett. They are
Northwest alumna Rebecca Kefer her father, Steve. He heard about
nearing the goal of $20,000
who has supported
was hit by an oncoming car when the accident through another member
in the group.
page, Brackett posts updates
“Everyone has been
to help the family. On the
she was cycling on Bunker Hill Road
on Dec. 22, 2019. Kefer graduated “Most drivers just don’t look at a from Steve on Rebecca’s condi-
so helpful and caring,”
three years ago and was a junior cyclist as someone’s father, daughter
or whatever they are,” Booker Train” to help the family through
on the GoFundMe page.
National Honor Society member said. “They’re just trying to get the rough time.
“It brings tears to my
and the president of the Interact around them, not paying that much
Rebecca has endured plenty of
eyes when I think about it.
attention to the fact that they’re struggles—multiple surgeries, feed-
Thanks so much for all the
Due to brain bleeding and many on the road. I think it’s something ing tubes, practicing walking and
prayers and support. We’ll
pain medications, Kefer does not all of us need to be—a little more swallowing again, doing arm and
get her through this.”
remember anything from Dec. 20 patient.”
hand exercises and intense pain—in
The GoFundMe page for
through Jan. 8 and is thankful for Kefer knows how important road the recovery process. However, she
the Kefer family can be
safety is through her experience. is back home from the hospital and
found through this link:
“I feel fortunate to not remember “This has highlighted how much resting. She is still getting visits
the trauma,” Kefer said. “I believe power drivers have,” Rebecca said. from doctors including the ENT and
I would have been completely “When you drive a car, you have orthopedics.
Photo contributed by Rebecca Kefer
tion. They also provided a “Meal
Steve said in a message
marshal, cross country member,
surprised by the car because I had tremendous power over others’ lives.
They are planning for her to un-
Kefer poses after winning fi rst
ridden that route so many times. It One driver has altered my life and drergo tracheotomy to allow her to
place at a biking event. She
was the middle of the day, and that the lives of my family so much, speak better. The procedure involves
was the number one girls’
road is usually very safe.”
almost taking my life. A traumatic creating an opening in the neck to
runner for Northwest crosscountry
Kefer was placed on a ventilator
for four days. She faced life-
does shake the confidence of me and the “most painful and scary” part
threatening injuries including three many cyclists in the area.”
of the recovery process according to
March 2020 www.northwesthorizons.com
event like what happened to me place a tube into the windpipe. It is
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
ARTISTS AT NORTHWEST
Freshman Spencer Hiller Photographic design 1
What do you like about photography?
I just get to be free with the pictures I take
and get to learn more about the camera
than what I knew before.
What are your future plans with
I think it’s just going to be a part
time (hobby) for me, and as I learn
more I will take more pictures of
What goals do you have this
year in photography?
Pretty much just do the best I can
and learn to use my camera as
best I can.
What do you like about
(I like) being able to work
with a vast group of people
and having a good time
What are your future
plans with theater?
A future plan is to go to a
(drama) school and get better
at acting and help teach
What goals do you have
this year in theater?
My goal is to be able to
jump a level (skip Theater
2) and get into Theater 3
Sophomore Meghan Virost
Junior Brody Hilton
Honors Vocal Ensemble
Photos by Mychael Warner
What do you like about
I love singing, and I love getting
to sing (different) parts. I
love getting to sing all kinds
of genres in music.
What are your future
plans with choir?
I plan to go to school for choral
music and composing.
What goals do you have
this year in choir?
I planned to audition for NC
Honor Chorus and Mars Hill
Choir, and I have already
made both of them.
Senior Emily Dunn Creative Writing 2
What do you like about creative
I get to express myself as a
What are your future plans
with creative writing?
I want to be a writer. I like
fiction a lot so like an action,
fantasy (or) adventure writer.
What goals do you have this
year in creative writing?
I want to get a concrete idea for
a book to write in college and
get better at writing.
Disney expands empire
In 2009, Disney had an estimated net worth
of $63.12 billion; within 10 years, they managed
to triple that to a net worth of $193.98 billion.
It’s no secret that Disney has become one of the
most powerful companies in the entertainment
industry, and Disney+ is the cherry on top.
On March 20, 2019, Disney gained ownership
of 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion, thereby
making it the biggest media center to ever
exist. With this acquisition Disney began to set
in motion the creation of their own streaming
service, even though since buying Fox they now
owned 60 percent of Hulu. For just $7 a month,
a person can have access to almost every piece of
media that Disney has to offer.
“I think it’s definitely a monopoly, and I
think the power has gone to their head a bit,”
senior Jaden Malley said.
This might seem like a stretch, but Disney
has already planned out its entire movie release
schedule until beginning of 2023. This hurts
every other entertainment company as no one is
brave enough to have their movie go up on the
same day as Disney’s.
Looking at Disney+, it’s easy to see that
they have become attuned to creating lucrative
media. When Baby Yoda was first revealed in
“The Mandalorian,” there was a huge demand
for plush toys and merchandise relating to the
character. Disney knows how to artificially generate
emotional media like “Avengers: Endgame”
or “The Mandalorian.”
“Disney+ is a brilliant move on Disney’s
part,” junior Mackenzie Milani-Kaufman said. “It
really solidifies the hold they have on the entertainment
It’s also very rare that any other production
company will stand up to “the Mouse.” That was
until August of last year when Sony managed
to strike a blow to the juggernaut in the shape
of Spider-Man. The issue arrived when Disney
wanted to renegotiate its deal with Sony over
the use of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic
Universe. The deal had been that Disney made 5
percent on all Sony Spider-Man movies and 100
percent of all Spider-Man merchandise.
But Disney wasn’t satisfied after “Spider-
Man: Far From Home” made more than a billion
dollars at the box office. Sony threatened to pull
Spider-Man from the MCU in response as they
own the movie rights to
the character. The issue
was eventually resolved
with a new deal,
but Sony was largely
labeled as the bad guy.
led to them getting a
25 percent share of the
box office of all future
should be able to
have that much control
over an industry,” Milani-Kaufman
Drawing by Adam
Mickey Mouse is portrayed as
a monopoly monster. Disney
has recently expanded its
dominance over the entertainment
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Is modern art overrated?
Christy Ma and Kelby Shouse
news editor, staff writer
Asingular black dot, completely blank white
canvases, a banana taped to a wall: all of these
are famous pieces grouped under the umbrella of
modern and contemporary art.
Modern art is often argued as “overhyped”
and “overpriced” as it requires very little technical
skill, but there is also a long history and
many arguments for the merits of modern art.
Modern art began around the time of the Industrial
Revolution; with such drastic changes to
daily life, art started to mold around new depictions
of individuality. This contrasts the commissioned
paintings of previous years,
which were often centered around
“I think modern art is the
expression of modern ideas,”
junior Abby Englishman said.
“It’s a different way to express a
Ideas of the subconscious,
dreams and symbolism became
even more prevalent,
and the idea of “making
it new” became
took hold over realistic portrayals, and later,
postmodern and contemporary art wanted to
push these boundaries even further.
“Pieces (like the banana on a wall) are outliers
of contemporary pieces, but I love them,” art
teacher Beth Herrick said. “I think they’re fascinating.
It’s risky; it’s pushing the boundaries.”
Some people disagree, stating that those outliers
are pushing on the edge of what art is.
“Personally, I think that taping a banana to a
wall and calling it art is testing the limits of what
people will accept,” senior Austin Liebgott said.
“It requires absolutely no skill, so conventionally
calling it a piece of art seems questionable, but to
each his own.”
Others criticize the confusing or pretentious
themes--due to the emphasis on individual
perception--and extremely high prices.
“It’s very difficult for a viewer to understand
modern art just by looking at it,” junior Jeanette
Wei said. “Often times, only the artists themselves
know what their work is conveying. It’s
not a bad thing, but it tends to make things very
The tremendous price on gallery
pieces can be attributed to
factors: time, name and
audience. Because gallery
pieces are often
marketed towards art
curators and not
their prices can
be marked a lot
works for a certain amount of money, it would
be to their detriment to then sell something
for less,” Herrick said. “So if they’re really well
known and well-liked, they can slowly increase
During the dada era--an avant-garde movement
starting around World War I--pieces like
Marcel DuChamp’s “Fountain,” which was just
a urinal he found, sparked debate about artistic
representation. These pieces focused on concept
and used art to convey their ideas rather than
having an underlying concept with a focus on
the art; the technical simplicity is traded with
“Modern art is supposed to be taken as is,”
sophomore Melissa Hooper said. “It’s not about
the skill. Don’t think about what you can do,
think about (and enjoy) the art in front of you. (It)
brings in a lot of new ideas to art as a whole.”
Modern and contemporary art has not only
been changing the dialogue, but also who has a
voice in the mainstream western art world. Older
western art mainly depicts upper class white
men as they were often the ones commissioning
pieces; however, contemporary pieces--like Kehinde
Wiley’s “Napoleon Leading the Army over
the Alps”--serves to paint a more inclusive
“(Modern and contemporary art)
has led to inclusion,” senior Renad
Alsaid said. “A lot more people
have a voice and a platform, and
there’s so many more beautiful
artworks created by people of
minority groups finally (getting a
Regardless of personal opinion
on the merits of modern art, it has
certainly shaped the way this world
perceives art and ideas as a whole.
“It’s made people ask more questions,”
Herrick said. “I think that’s a good
thing. Even with the banana on the wall,
people asked ‘what is that doing?’ Modern
art definitely inspires topic, and it brings out
strong opinions from everyone.”
Drawing by Christy Ma
(Left) -A digital rendering of the famous “Banana on the
Wall” art piece is shown above. Modern art has helped to
shape our society but poses the question, What is art?
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20 www.northwesthorizons.com March 2020