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Driving hard to finish senior final projects

Teo Bagnoli’s go-kart sits completed in his garage, waiting to be displayed in the senior showcase.
Photo Courtesy of: Teo Bagnoli

As RAHS seniors rapidly approach the end of the year and graduation, the select few who have chosen to participate in the Senior Showcase are wrapping up their projects before their presentations. But with too few putting forth projects for the Showcase, they may not get the chance.

Teo Bagnoli has been designing and building a Go-Kart for his submission to this year’s Senior Showcase.

“I set up the frame design myself, and it’s constructed from square tube aluminium in the interest of weight reduction,” said Bagnoli. “The whole kart is going to weigh under 150 lbs in the end and it should be a lot of fun to drive.”

Initially, Bagnoli planned on building the Go-Kart as a way to improve his automotive knowledge and create his own vehicle.

“I chose to submit the Go-Kart because I was already planning to build it,” said Bagnoli, “and I realized I could also submit it as my senior project.”

While enrolled in the CAD course now taught by Mr. Gudor, Bagnoli designed models of the kart he wanted to build before assembling it at home. Despite some help and a CAD design, there were still some issues along the way.

“There have been a lot of small issues along the way, such as linking the throttle and mounting the steering,” says Bagnoli, “but they’ve all been caused by improper planning on my part.”

Although the requirement for senior projects has not existed for several years, Bagnoli believes removing the requirement has increased the quality of the projects submitted.

“If they’re mandatory, the quality of submissions would definitely be worse,” said Bagnoli. “Voluntary leaves the opportunity out there for those who want to do it but doesn’t force them.”

Humanities teacher Ms. Wombold also believes that making the senior project optional has created both benefits and drawbacks.

“Participation has gone dramatically down,” says Wombold, “but the projects have been ones that are authentic to the student.”

Although having quality and interesting projects has been beneficial, low participation from students has become an ever increasing issue.

“We have too few students right now to do a showcase,” said Wombold, “unless I have more seniors sign up, the showcase will not happen.”

With the current number of students at 8 and a minimum of 10 needed, the showcase–and the scholarship opportunities it presents–may vanish.

“The method in which the scholarship is selected requires a presentation,” says Wombold. “Without a method of presentation like the showcase, there won’t be a scholarship award.”

Although the potential for total discontinuation seems a very real problem, Wombold doesn’t know what else could be changed.

“There’s no paperwork, you don’t have to get projects approved,” said Wombold, “they [PTSA] want to support what you’re doing, they’ll even give you up to $50 to get your project started.”

Wombold strongly encourages students to sign up for senior projects this year and hopefully the next year as well, before the opportunity completely disappears.

“There’s no requirement for subject matter,” said Wombold, “there’s nothing to do except a project you’re already going to do and that you’re passionate about.”

Seniors like Teo Bagnoli will continue to work on their projects as the Senior Showcase still hangs in the balance, hoping that last year’s will not be the final iteration of Senior Projects.

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Aviation Law dives into end-of-semester project

Senior and student of Aviation Law, Michael Alden shares his ideas with fellow RAHS students, and seeks feedback to help with his project.
Photo By: Zak Sleeth

Troy Hoehne’s Aviation Law class consists of students interested in learning about what happens behind the scenes of all things aviation, specifically regarding to the laws and regulations surrounding the industry. The class is now in the process of working on a large project, where students must come up with compelling reasons to continue service at small, local airports. They must research the services and opportunities the local airports and the surrounding community offer, and the impact losing commercial aviation would have if it were lost. When all research is gathered, students will draft, edit, and revise a formal presentation to a simulated council of airline officials.

Sophomore Arianna Montoya is a student of Aviation Law has helped deepen her understanding of the aviation industry, including learning aboutions [FAR] book which is a book of regulations in aviation,” said Montoya. “More recently, our work has been preparing [us] for our upcoming semester project.”t the many laws and regulations in place for the aviation industry. Students will put all of this knowledge to good use in the upcoming project.

“In Aviation Law we have been mostly learning things in the Federal Aviation Regula

Sophomore Carson Klein believes that projects working with real world issues are very beneficial to learning and using in the future.

“I would say that the most important part is [that] it requires us to consider real world issues, said Klein. “Each group was given a real airport for the project, and that fact alone makes it closer to a more real-world scenario.”

The Aviation Law class is now diving into the end-of-semester project, which will use all of the knowledge that they have obtained throughout the semester to complete their project. Sophomore Alex Lam hopes to use his experience from this project to do better in the Environmental Challenge Project.

“I feel like this project will help introduce me to some of the issues I will have to address during the Environmental Challenge Project,” said Lam. “I think it is giving us Aviation Law kids a good background on doing a project like this before jumping straight into the Environmental Challenge Project.

The notorious Environmental Challenge Project has begun for all RAHS sophomores. Working on a large scale project and presenting it to professionals in the industry gives students in Aviation Law beneficial additional experience for the Environmental Challenge Project.

“This project seems very interesting and student/self led so I am excited to figure out a solution on my own and with my group,” said Montoya. “Since I am a sophomore and will also be doing the ECP I feel like this project will be very helpful to put things in perspective on how we can fix problems at the SeaTac airport as well.”

The principles and issues that the students will be introduced to while working on this airport project is fairly similar to the Environmental Challenge Project, which also has to do with coming up with resolutions to airport problems. This could help the sophomores by introducing them to a similar project prior to the ECP. Also they could utilize the information and knowledge that they gain from this project and use it in the ECP.

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RAHS junior Henry Feehan competes in Motocross

Henry racing on his motorcycle.
Photo Courtesy of: Henry Feehan

Henry Feehan, a junior at RAHS, is a serious motocross competitor, who dedicates significant portions of his weekends and breaks to practice and compete. He has even qualified for the national championship in Tennessee, and likely would have attended the championship this year had it not been for his injury, sustained during a practice lap. It takes significant dedication and commitment for Feehan to stay at the top of his game, and setbacks are par for the course in such an intense sport.

“Motocross is a sport in which 40 competitors ride motorcycles around a dirt track, racing for 30 minutes, and once the 30 minutes have elapsed, an additional 2 laps,” said Feehan. “Whoever passes the checkered flag first wins, and points are assigned based off of placement. The difference between the first and second place could be anywhere between a half second to ten seconds, but larger gaps are always possible; sometimes the gap between first and last is under 15 seconds.”

The competitive nature of the sport ensures that to qualify for tournaments, competitors must finish in the top ranks of qualifying rounds, particularly for intense tournaments such as nationals. Feehan has qualified previously, but was injured before the qualifications for the upcoming nationals in Tennessee.

Feehan has been participating in the sport since he was only 10 years old. He frequently travels for competitions, sometimes spending twelve hours in the car over a single day. He has experienced several crashes, most recently on a training run, during which he broke his collarbone. After spending 15 weeks recovering, he was back on the bike.

“My mom is really upset that I still compete, but it’s not something that I can just stop; it is a part of who I am,” said Feehan. “My father has been very supportive throughout the process, and he has always supported my riding. The sport is primarily done throughout the summer, but practice is year round, so I’m always riding. Sometimes my mom thinks that motocross is too detrimental to my grades, and potentially my health, but I think its just fine.”

Calvin Wilson, brother of RAHS junior Nico Wilson, has been a member of the local motocross scene for years; he took up the sport in 2009, when he was 15. Nico fondly remembers his brother’s competitions.

“His competitions were always so fun to watch, but sometimes they were just too far away,” said Nico. “I know it really messed with his homework schedule sometimes, but I think it was worth it.”

Feehan believes that although the distance between competitions may be great, it does not inhibit the sport’s ability to bring friends together.

“Although the competitions can be far away, most of the competition [competitors] lives nearby, it’s just that the closest track is far away, but you can still hang out with them,” said Feehan.

The social nature of the sport is something that Feehan believes supplements his interactions at RAHS.

“It is really nice to have friends that share a common sporting interest, something that you can do outside of school with a group,” said Feehan. “Robotics and other things look fun, but can’t compare to the thrill of racing, it’s just significantly different from anything else I’ve done.”

Feehan’s mother’s concerns are not unfounded. He has sustained numerous injuries throughout his motocross career, both during training and in competition. While a broken collarbone is the worst he’s suffered, he has befriended other riders who have not been so lucky.

“I know two guys who were paralyzed as the result of a crash and many others who were injured in accidents,” said Feehan. “Falls are tough, and can pull you out of the competition for months on end; when you are sponsored and have thousands of dollars in the sport, a fall can be not only physically, but economically devastating.”

The sport is so competitive that many riders — such as Feehan — are sponsored by Motocross related corporations.

“I’m blessed to get a lot of my equipment for a reduced cost, otherwise I don’t know how I could afford to race,” said Feehan. “My parents pay for most of my stuff, but I still have to pay for certain products out of pocket.”

Feehan’s competitive spirit has served him well throughout the numerous competitions that he has attended, as he has placed well in several competitions, including the Washington State Championship.

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Ross and Bergin commence a new way for students to learn instruments

Wren Bergin (left) and Davie Anne Ross (right) perform a musical piece to RAHS students.
Photo by: Ava Yniguez

RAHS sophomores Wren Bergin and Davie Anne Ross are in the process of setting up a music lessons program at Highline High School. The two offer instrument lessons ranging from novice to advanced in expertise based on the student’s instrument of choice. Anyone with a passion for learning or improving their skills with an instrument of choice is encouraged to participate.

Bergin and Ross pride themselves on their approach to teaching styles geared towards the individual and their unique pricing structure, separating them from other music lesson rates in the area.

“Davie Anne and I are offering $15 or less per lesson which is more accessible to all families. said Bergin. Another difference is that Davie and I are 10th graders, our students are 3-5 years younger than us. We are old enough that they will listen to us but we are young enough to know the musical pathway they have been put through in elementary/middle school.”

Although the logistics of the program are to be discussed further, there are many benefits to the music lessons that Bergin and Ross are offering.

“The Highline School District has many benefits, musical education [is] not one of them. Music is one of the most abstract forms of art and has been proven to have a direct correlation with advantageous brain stimulation.” Bergin said.  “I am hoping we can provide these students with motivation and education to help them in their student careers.”

Jason Dominguez, a current student learning the piano under Bergin, is excited to learn music without breaking the bank.

“I chose to take lessons this way because it was a much cheaper way to get a good musical education.” said Dominguez.

As Bergin and Ross have expertise in multiple instruments, students can take up any from a wide variety of options.

“I play piano, clarinet, saxophone, and have intermediate experience on flute. I am offering lessons in any of these families (i.e. alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, bass clarinet),” said Bergin.

“I play violin primarily and have for almost decade; therefore, I will be offering violin lessons and possibly viola as well.” said Ross.

No prior knowledge or skill is required to take lessons. Wren Bergin and Davie Anne Ross have already been contacted by prospective students and may be contacted directly if one is interested in joining and participating.

“We have emailed and gotten responses from various elementary and middle schools around the district, most of which [we have] personal connections with.” said Bergin. “We plan to give presentations each year to inspire new recruits.”

Ross hopes to partner with local music stores and to expand to other schools.

“‘In the near future, we look forward to partnering with local music stores in order to provide instruments [for students’ use] that are clearly so vital to learning about the mechanics and technique of music,” said Ross. “‘Lastly, we both live within a five-mile radius of Highline High School, Gregory Heights, Sylvester, CHOICE, and many other Highline District locations.’”

Bergin and Ross are both well versed in playing instruments within ensembles and in music theory.

The instruments I play fall into the band category (excluding piano) and Davie Anne has a lot of experience with instruments in the orchestra.” said Bergin. “We are both well versed in music theory and instrument fundamentals and we both have experience with interacting with this age group.”

Their program differs from that of regular music lessons, as Ross and Bergin have implemented a different approach to learning an instrument.

“We anticipate that the message of our program will resonate more deeply with students because we will be leading with the impact of music on our lives and character and not the technicality of learning an instrument,” said Ross.

The benefits offered by providing an array of options, are geared toward students’ needs, relating it to personal learning experiences.

“This angle is, in our opinion, significantly more beneficial and sustainable because in order for an individual to learn an instrument to the best of their capabilities, they need to first understand how much they can truly gain from their commitment.” said Ross. “I can say that if I had realized this earlier on, then I would be years ahead of where I am now skillswise.”

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New classes coming to RAHS next year

Mrs. McGuire works on a draft of next years schedule.
Photo By: Will Garren

Next school year, while the core part of the schedule will be the same, new classes will be added.
Over the past year, Office Manager Trish McGuire has been working on the new schedule.
“There are many new classes possibly being added for next year,” said McGuire.
There are a large variety of potential new classes being added to next year’s roster.
“Some of the new classes might include “Photography, Physics, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and two programming classes,” said McGuire.
Even though he is a senior, Sameer Romani is excited that some of these classes are being added to the RAHS curriculum.
“I think that the addition of Unmanned Aerial Systems would be very beneficial and fit the model of RAHS well,” said senior Sameer Romani.
Changes like this tend to shake up the school environment quite a bit. Additionally, teachers are being helpful and informing McGuire of the optimal time for classes
“I have not had any teachers ask to set their own schedules. I have had a few teachers ‘recommend’ what would work for them,” said McGuire. “I always welcome teachers to let me know what works for them. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.”
There have also been no new teachers hired at the school which means that the schedule for next year will stay relatively similar to what is currently in place this year.
However, according to RAHS advisor Carper, “most of the staff would love to go back to the old schedule.”
The old schedule had advisory immediately following lunch on block days, but was changed for teachers to have longer breaks.
“We can advocate for that,” said Carper, “but there are certain things in our contract that we’re not allowed to change.”
Next year’s schedule is constantly being evaluated by staff members.
“Typically Mrs. Tipton, Mr. Holloway and a couple teachers who are interested will start coming up with ideas, brainstorming about what worked this year and what didn’t,” said Carper.
After a basic rough draft is done, other staff members look over it to make sure it encompases each teacher’s constraints. It’s also important to make sure the schedule is feasible.
“That would be me, Mrs. Tranholt, Mrs. McGuire and administrators that look at it and try to figure out how realistic it is, as well as the amount of teachers we have, and their constraints,” said Carper.
Dealing with the schedule is a hard task, especially when teachers are busy during the year dealing with students.
“It kind of all comes down to funding. In a small school we have fewer teachers and fewer courses so you kind of have to accept that there’s no schedule that’s going to work for everybody,” said Carper.
Hopefully with the funding the school has, a schedule with variety and fun engaging classes will be created for next year.

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Mrs. Cook cans her old life for one in New York

Here is Mrs. Cook with her mother, who visited from Washington state last October to enjoy the fall foliage, and her husband, enjoying the trails in the Adirondack Mountains.
Photo Courtesy of: Mrs. Cook

Former RAHS English teacher for at least a decade, Mary Ciccone-Cook, has been up to big things. Mrs. Cook has been gone for almost an entire year now, and while there are parts about RAHS she misses, she is enjoying her life away from the school. Living in upstate New York, Ms. Cook has become a Career and Technical Education (CTE) English Instructor; a teacher for people in the workforce.

“CTE is big here,” said Cook, “with programs in automotive technology, building trades, electrical technology, culinary arts, cosmetology, agriculture, health occupations, and others.”

As a CTE instructor, Cook is implementing English Language Arts (ELA) standards into her technical curriculum.

“I’m in charge of embedding the ELA standards and curriculum into the CTE curricula,” said Cook. “It’s the opposite of what I did at RAHS where I embedded aviation and aerospace topics into my English classes. Now, I’m learning all about these trades in order to find books, short stories, essays, and other texts and topics for reading, research, writing, presentation, and other ELA skills and standards.”

Working in the CTE program, Cook is teaching people in the workforce valuable English skills they can use to benefit their careers. Her program makes it so that people in the workforce don’t have to go back to school in order to expand their knowledge. The CTE program Cook is working on has a rich history in helping people realize their full potential.

“CTE used to be called vocational education and most high schools across the country had programs like these up until the mid-1990s,” said Cook. “Then the philosophy changed that ‘everyone should go to college’ and they got rid of these programs, much to the detriment of educating high school students with real work skills so they could either go into those trades or at least have some job skills so they could get a decent job to help pay for college.”

Her former job at RAHS helped prepare Cook for her new job, and the work that she does in the CTE program is useful and important. But outside of work, Cook is enjoying a fun life away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities.

“My hobbies since we moved here have been mainly pertaining to painting and decorating our 106-year-old house,” said Cook. “I’ve been watching a lot of HGTV [Home & Garden Television] shows to get decorating ideas! Since this is a very small town with limited shopping–the nearest mall is 50 minutes away–I’ve had to do a lot of shopping online for things. However, the antique stores here are plentiful and much cheaper than in the Seattle area.”

Decorating her house is just one of the things keeping her busy. In addition, Cook has spent some time putting puzzles together and canning fruits and vegetables.

“I’m just about to finish my seventeenth puzzle since moving here last June!” said Cook. “I’ve also learned to can, so last fall I canned about thirty-five jars of tomatoes and eight jars of apples. My latest hobby is beading–I’ve been making necklaces and bracelets. There are tons of craft fairs here so I might start expanding that hobby and [sell] my works.”

Although she is missed dearly, there are some things about working at RAHS she is happy to be rid of.

“I don’t miss the horrendous commute on I-5,” said Cook. “My commute is five minutes and I stay in town. Periodically I have to go to the other CTE program, which is a 45-minute trip into the mountains to Saranac Lake. It’s gorgeous and there is no traffic. (The traffic issues we have here are the occasional cattle crossings, farm tractors, snowplows, and Amish horse and buggies.)”

Mrs. Cook is enjoying her new life in New York, however, she does miss parts of Raisbeck.

“What I miss about RAHS are the students,” said Cook. “However, several of the seniors have kept in contact since I did many letters of recommendations for them for their college applications and now for the scholarships they are applying to.”

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Has Link Crew really benefited students?

Link Crew failing to link Freshmen to their new high school.
Photo by: Semay Alazar

Link Crew is a program led by upperclassmen designed to help incoming freshmen get through their first year of high school at RAHS. While it has been beneficial to some students, many students feel that it has not assisted their transition into high school.

Freshman Gurleen Kaur is one of the students that did not experience the benefit of Link Crew.

“I don’t think it is beneficial to have a Link Crew,” said Kaur. “Most of the time Link Crew meetings are at lunch which is the only time students get to socialize with their friends. Also if students have questions they usually just ask each other right away and don’t need to rely on other help.”

Freshman Fela Goerz does not see the advantage of having Link Crew throughout the school year.  

“I think Link Crew is a good way for new students to get acquainted with the school when they first start, but I think after about a month it is pointless,” says Goerz. “I think I adjusted to high school at my own pace. I think every student has to take their own time to adjust to high school. It’s a different experience for everyone. I think students don’t go to their meetings because they are acquainted with the school and they do not feel they need any more help.”

Wren Bergin, a sophomore and Link Crew leader, has taken it upon herself to try and interact with her group. However, it has been very challenging for her.

“It seems to me the freshmen don’t come in to it [Link Crew] with an open mind,” said Bergin. “Some are very responsive, unlike others who either don’t respond at all or give us the wrong number for their contact information.”

Bergin has tried many ways to be truly helpful to her Link Crew

“My partner and I at first were very committed to establishing connections with our group,” said Bergin. “We set up a group chat on a platform of social media everyone had and sent reminders [to them]. Only two or three students would show up to our weekly meetings even though we would remind them in person if we saw them.”

Bergin believes it could be a very effective program if everyone pulled their weight.

“I believe Link Crew helps create some sense of bonding if the freshmen and the leaders are committed,” said Bergin. “I believe the meetings during the summer where different groups were able to bond with each other created more community.”

Freshman Marco Jawili has not completely interacted with his Link Crew. However, he as a student is aware of the importance of having the program in place.

“I cannot really speak on this question since I haven’t really interacted with my Link Crew,” said Jawili. “However, what I’ve heard from other people it’s sometimes awkward and not really helpful. Although I don’t think it’s as effective throughout the year. I think Link Crews are really useful before school starts and a few weeks after for helping freshman getting their way around Aviation and just giving them a student perspective”

Jawili was able to join the student body without the help of Link Crew

“I found my place at school through getting out there and going out of my comfort zone to find my sort of niche,” said Jawili. “Through interacting more with other people I was able to find  people I can really relate with.”Sarah Erdmann, a teacher at RAHS and one of the staff members that helped first start Link Crew, believes there is more subjective reasoning behind the students’ low attendance in Link Crew meetings.

“I am sure there are a variety of reasons,” said Erdmann. “I would guess one reason is because the Link Crew Leaders aren’t holding meetings. Maybe at some point the freshmen outgrow the need to attend or don’t feel connected enough to attend. I am sure individual students have their reasons.”

While there are improvements to be made to the program, Erdmann still finds the importance of implementing such a group at RAHS.

“Obviously I think the program is beneficial, but just like with every program or organization, there is room for improvement and nothing is perfect,” said Erdmann. “I would like to see more Link Crew Leaders holding meetings [with] their groups throughout the year, and I appreciate those who still dedicated to their Link Crew, like [juniors] Mitchell [Turner] and Nico [Wilson]. I think one of our biggest issues is we just run out of time — there is so much going on and ASB has a lot on our plates, so that is definitely part of why it’s still a work in progress.”

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Students run for a head start on education

Some students from the 2020 graduating class are planning on pursuing their education outside of RAHS through Running Start. The program provides students an opportunity to, in many cases, take college level courses at their local college whilst still enrolled in high school. Participation includes graduating with an associates degree. Although the choice of where students go to further their education is their decision, the unintended consequences of this will significantly affect the financial support the school receives.
Although many sophomores are unsure if they will participate, it is a looming thought. Sophomore McKenzie Firestone believes Running Start will help her in ways that a regular general education here at RAHS wouldn’t, and that it will open more doors for her.
“Doing Running Start my senior year is the best choice for me because I will have my primary education at RAHS and so I will have that on my resume as well as Running Start,” said Firestone. “So I have the opportunity to get more scholarships, internships and opportunities through the school [RAHS] on top of a year of college credits.”
Running Start does remain a concern, especially because it results in decreasing attendance. School counselor Katie Carper believes students committing to the Running Start program detract from the school’s mission and deviate from commitments the students made at the beginning of their education at RAHS.
“We definitely wouldn’t exist in the same way if kids just came in and did Running Start in huge numbers after two years,” said Carper. “That’s what that commitment is about.”
Math teacher Karen Wilson says that Running Start is detrimental to the school because of its impact on the school’s finances. This is especially important because RAHS is a small community that may not be able to afford loss of student funding and participation.
“Schools get to keep about 7 percent of the cost of the money that would come in from the state to be able to handle their own administrative work of having that person on their roll,” said Wilson, “but then 93 percent of the money goes to the college that they are attending, so [the school does] lose funding.”
Wilson also believes that students must be ready in order to handle an advanced course that jumps two years of high school education.
“Choose wisely because in my opinion, if you are choosing to do Running Start, you are saying that you are so smart and so complete with your education that you can skip two years of high school to jump right into college classes,” said Wilson.
Running Start would also lead to depleting participation in RAHS concentrated electives and curriculums, which form the basis to the schools mission for educating STEM interested minds. For a small school, this participation is necessary to keep the classes going. That being said, Carper feels that the school supports Running Start, even if they encourage students to remain at RAHS.
“We have to support Running Start if students have [already] tried their best to get what they can from Aviation and for whatever reason, Running Start is the best option for them,” said Carper. “Then as of right now, [and this can always change], they go to Running Start from Aviation and remain Raisbeck Aviation students.”
Running Start is a popular topic among the minds of the sophomore class who are doubtful about the program. Sophomore Mekias Kebede believes although it may question student commitments, teachers should provide information for interested students. Regardless, students should prepare well in order to participate in Running Start.
“Running Start is a great program in my opinion that shouldn’t be so hidden from students,” said Kebede, “but it is a program that is entirely dependant on your own needs as a student. So choose wisely and research all your options.”
Kebede recommends the program but only under certain circumstances since it is a concern to a small school. He encourages that participation should be dependent on comfortability in the school environment.
“I would not suggest [it] if you don’t have strong pressing issues with this school limiting your capabilities and not being able to maximize your potential,” said Kebede.
Sophomores Anusha Gani believes the program would enhance her education because of a larger diversity in courses. But, Gani chose not to participate as she realizes the big steps she would have to take in order to succeed.
“I was considering Running Start because of the diversity of the courses, new social environment, and the ability to obtain college credit made it very appealing to me,” said Gani. “However, I am not going to participate in Running Start as you are essentially jumping from a high school sophomore to a college freshman.”

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Flight by Design discovers new insights

From left to right, seniors Caden Gobat, Josh Sherbrooke, Brynne Hunt, and Sara Reyes examine a Cessna Caravan, which the ecoDemonstrator program uses to test technologies involving autonomous flight.
Photo Courtesy of: Nicole Danson

During second period on Thursday, 29 Mar. 2018, Flight by Design teacher Nikhil Joshi took his class to a Boeing facility to experience an Eco-Demonstration; a presentation by Boeing engineers about the new technologies they are trying to implement onto a FedEx owned 777.

In this Eco-Demonstration, the Flight by Design class got to visit twelve stations, which explained the ingenuitive modifications made to the Boeing plane.

“We visited about twelve stations over two hours to learn about different aspects,” said Joshi, “from collision avoidance while taxiing on the ground, to the next-generation collision avoidance system for flying in the air, to fire suppression technologies inside of the airplanes, to more efficient thrust reversers, to the use of 3D printing in order to make spare parts.”

Both Flight by Design and a part of the freshman class got to attend this eco-demonstration with the hope of learning something new.

“It was an enrichment opportunity to see a real plane, see new technologies, and find out how Boeing is looking forward to making enhancements to not just this particular plane, but using it as a test bit for fleet-wide enhancements and improvements to their product line,” said Joshi.

Senior Sara Reyes got to learn about innovative developments, including fuel that is biologically engineered, (bio)fueling her own curiosity.

“I really enjoyed how they presented technologies and instruments that they were planning on integrating on current models of planes,” said Reyes. “I also really enjoyed the presentations on the biofuel as well [because] I learned that the biofuel that Boeing has developed is more efficient for the engines and the only disadvantage to using it is that it’s a little bit more costly.”

Although the demonstration didn’t help Flight by Design students with their culminating projects (to learn more see page __), it did help Reyes imagine her future in the field.

“Honestly it didn’t relate to my project whatsoever,” said Reyes, “but you can say it did by giving me insight about the current state of the aerospace field and what it’ll be like when I enter it.”

Both students and chaperones alike, such as Vice Principal Tremain Holloway, learned not only about a field that they are interested in and passionate about, but also unique tidbits.

“The name of the airplane was Holly, and I thought it was fascinating how they named it,” said Holloway. “Because it was a Fed-Ex sponsored plane, there’s basically a drawing with all of [Fed-Ex’s] employees and [they] put their child’s name in that drawing. So they pick from that and that’s how they figure out what name the plane is going to have.”

In addition to learning new things, Holloway thought this trip would be a good opportunity to get outside the school and find potential mentors or speakers for the school.

“I know our students here are aspiring to be something like what they’re doing over there, such as eco-programs,” said Holloway, “so I thought it would be a good idea to make connections.”

Holloway, in fact, made some old connections with another group of UW students who were also attending the eco-demonstration.

“We were not the only group that was going,” said Holloway. “There were four or five different groups, and one of them was college students. We saw [alumni] Uyen Tran and a couple of other former students. It was good to see them and see what they were doing.”

However, there were drawbacks to the demonstrations, seeing as the twelve stations of modifications were squeezed into just about two hours.

“There wasn’t enough time,” said Joshi. “We were really being moved quickly from one display to another so we barely had time to ask questions.”

This whole field trip was made possible with almost no cost to the school due to the help of Boeing and freshman literature teacher Nuka Nurzhanov.

“It was really nice of Boeing to provide a bus because otherwise we probably wouldn’t have been able to do it because we were out of busses that day,” said Joshi. “Not all the kids were able to make it because they had to show up before school started to get on the bus on time, so Ms. Nurzhanov was kind enough to cover the students who couldn’t make the trip.”

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Speech and Debate spooks students

Host of the dinner show, Steph Harvey (played by Kyla Marks), prepares to ask the Robinson family a question for their game of Family Fued. The father of the family, Buster Robinson (played by Mr. Gwinn), is a part-time sheriff and full-time rancher who’s favorite color is denim.
Photo Courtesy of: Davie Anne Ross

From 6-8 PM on 20 April 2018, RAHS Speech and Debate held their annual Mystery Dinner with tickets priced at $15 to raise funds for the team. The dinner was an interactive show with the theme of Family Feud between two families; the Grundelpliths and the Robinsons. Filip Grundelplith, the father of the family, was murdered during the show and the audience had to discover who was the perpetrator with the evidence presented to them.

“Every year, we do a different theme for the show and characters,” said Hong Ta, junior and executive Speech and Debate member who played the role of Kim Grundelplith during the dinner. “This year it [was] Family Feud, so characters included the two families, and our own host! After the dinner, we [had] a dessert auction where we auctioned off donated desserts from local bakeries. This year, we also auctioned off themed baskets.”

Sophomore audience member Everett Crockett enjoyed the show.

“It was very entertaining and well done all together,” said Crockett.

Crockett’s favorite part was the interrogation after the dessert auction where the murderer(s) are revealed.

“All of the actors kept to their character and it was really fun to watch,” said Crockett.

As an executive member and treasurer, Ta worked with other executive members throughout different committees to begin planning the dinner in January. Committees work to call bakeries, write the script for the show, and obtain costumes.

“My responsibility for making sure everything runs smoothly is working with other members of the exec team- [seniors] Debora Ferede, Monica Lopez, Janelle Vu, and [junior] Steph Glascock- to organize all of the possible details that come with the dinner,” said Ta. “As treasurer, I make sure tickets are sold, funds are turned in, and [oversee] the overall budget of the dinner.”

Although the team communicates well, harmonizing the various aspects of the dinner can be difficult.

“A challenge that comes with planning the dinner is coordinating all of the many different aspects together,” said Ta. “We have to advertise the dinner, have every team member sell their assigned tickets, collect desserts donations, create decorations, etc. – the logistics all have to come together.”

Sophomore Speech and Debate member Amrit Singh played the role of Rajiv Grundelplith during the dinner, the conspicuous adopted child of Filip Grundelplith. But behind the scenes, Singh assisted in writing the script.

“My role in planning the dinner was primarily as a part of the script team,” said Singh. “I helped to write the script for the event and create the character evidence [that everyone] saw.”

Though the amount of people who came to the dinner was surprising for Singh, he feels it was perceived positively.

“I feel the event went well,” said Singh. “I think people enjoyed it, from the feedback I have received so far. Everything may not have gone as smooth as it could have, but with any large event such as this, there’s always going to be small mistakes and what not.”

Even with these minute complications, the dinner raised over $4,000 for Speech and Debate.

“But that doesn’t detract from the fact that the dinner was indeed successful because of all the hard work of our team members and the generous donations and contributions from the lovely attendees,” said Singh.

Biology teacher and Speech and Debate advisor Nathan Gwinn also played a significant role in organizing the dinner.

“[Students] take care of the writing aspect of the actual script and that kind of stuff,” said Gwinn. “I’m mostly just doing what I typically do, which is making sure things get done in a timely fashion and making sure it’s organized well.”

Being this is his first year as the Speech and Debate advisor, Gwinn experienced some surprises during his first few weeks on the team.

“I had no clue what I had signed up for, and that was positive and negative,” said Gwinn. “I didn’t know the time commitment I was signing up for. That was something that I had to wrap my mind around.”

However, seeing his students working so hard for the team has made the experience worth it.

“Just seeing how hard [students’ have to work and seeing the things they have to go through has been moderately inspiring,” said Gwinn. “The kids have just been awesome; they’ve made it every part of it worthwhile.”

If everyone hadn’t come together to work on the event, Singh believes dinner would not have been served

“My biggest takeaway from this dinner is the importance of organization, leadership, and teamwork,” said Singh. “Without these three traits present in our executives or team members, this dinner would never have been possible.”

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Boeing revamps internships for RAHS juniors

RAHS alumni Vee Glessner participates in a Boeing Internships during the summer of 2016.
Photo Courtesy of: Vee Glessner

For the summer of 2018, Boeing is offering 11 internships for students at RAHS who are interested in the aviation and other related fields.

Career Choices teacher Renee Olsen is helping coordinate all of these opportunities, and Boeing has increased the amount of them offered. Olsen has been very involved in the preparation for these opportunities.

“We have 11 Boeing internships offered this year, and that’s up from 7 last year, and they range from web design to chemical departments,” said Olsen. “There’s quite a wide variety of them.”

Boeing offers these jobs in areas and departments that require more attention.

“They are very similar [to previous years], but different departments can join in, so a department that has need, or sees that they can have an intern, then that department would step up,” said Olsen. “Boeing [Human Resources] goes out and puts out a message to all the departments and then they decide if they want interns.”

The interviews will decide who gets the job, so RAHS students have to prepare for that event.

“The internships’ names for the people that have applied for interviews go out [April 2], and will be posted [later that] afternoon,” said Olsen. “The interviews will be on April 16. The actual internships are going to be from June 25 to August 23.”

Not only is this incredibly helpful for the departments they would work for, but it comes with other benefits that other internships do not offer.

“These internships will be very beneficial, very helpful departments they can work in,” said Olsen. “They pay over $15.00 per hour, so they pay well and it’s all summer long meaning they get a lot of hours and experience.”

They also finish the internship with an out briefing, and people get to see what they have accomplished with Boeing.

“They do a nice out briefing, which is a presentation scheduled for August 15,” said Olsen, “so we get to go in and meet with [the students] see their work, see their management and everything they’ve been doing.”

There are some basic restraints, but overall the application process is rather simple. Olsen helps facilitate the application forms with students.

“The application process is not that difficult. They do have to do a resume, cover letter, and fill out the Boeing paperwork. There are some stipulations though,” said Olsen. “They have to be a junior, that’s Boeing’s rule, and they have to be a U.S. citizen to work at Boeing. So we have to go through security and that sort of thing. It’s a little more serious to get through that orientation than other internships offered.”

Anna Hardy is a junior from RAHS who applied and did an interview for the Boeing internships.

“The application process was not hard,” said Hardy. “All you had to do was to have a resume, a cover letter, and then fill out a little form for each job application.”

Boeing actually offered a wide variety of internships, thus appealing to many students. Hardy found her own interest in several of them.

“For mine specifically, one of them was called the P8 quality intern and there you worked on process auditing and using different skills for that purpose,” said Hardy. “There are also different jobs such as the shipside support engineer, and there were many that had to do with chemistry. And then, the other job I interviewed for was the web development [job].”

Hardy truly believes that these opportunities will benefit those who participate, and will help especially for college application.

“I am hoping to take the skills in the internship for my future career, as well as using the experience for internships to come,” said Hardy. “[It will also] help for getting into colleges, and just bettering my future.”

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