58% of voters approve funding for education and student programs

In Feb. 2018, voters approved the Highline Replacement Educational Programs & Operations Levy, with 58% voting in favor of it. This levy will continue to fund teachers, educational help for students with special needs, athletic programs, and school nurses, among other things.
Although the Highline School District (HSD) receives some funding from the the state, RAHS Principal Therese Tipton notes that levies are used to close the gap between what the state funds and what is needed.
“Levies, such as the one in Highline [School District], are super important because they make up that difference of what the state funds and what we really need for student success,” said Tipton.
According to Catherine Carbone Rogers, the Highline School District’s Chief Communications Officer, levies are critical to any school district’s budget.
“Levies were intended to fund ‘enrichment’ – extras above and beyond basic education,” said Rogers, “but since the state has not fully funded education, districts have had no choice but to rely on voter-approved levies for about 20% of their budgets.”
Levies play a vital role in the quality of education that the Highline School District can provide for their students.
“The Levy helps keep class sizes small — 32 is the max for high school, which is fairly large; it helps keep that number small,” said Tipton. “It could go up to 38 or 40 if we did not get that additional support. The Levy supports students who need an IEP, an Individualized Education Plan, so that funds paraeducators to help. We have somebody who is part time here that helps students who need extra help in the classroom.”
Although RAHS will not benefit from some programs that the Levy funds, the Levy will still enrich education at RAHS.
“The Levy dollars pay for 15 nurses [for the entire Highline School District],” said Tipton, “and also teacher training days, because as state requirements change, teachers have to be trained in that, and athletic programs, which we don’t have, but which some of our students take advantage of. One interesting thing is school security officers. We don’t have a school security officer here, so that’s not a benefit we get, but we do get support staff, like Ms. Tranholt, and activities such as Camp Waskowitz with our 9th graders (we just went for the second year in a row, so we’re making that a tradition every year).”
Rogers is thankful that the Levy was able to be passed.
“Speaking on behalf of Highline leadership team, we are grateful to our voters for supporting our schools by approving the Levy,” said Rogers. “Passage tells us we are on the right track and that our community wants to support our schools.”
Rogers believes that the 58% passage rate is not as low as it may seem.
“In my experience, 58 percent is not particularly low for a school levy,” said Rogers. “In fact, Highline had one of the highest passage rates in the region. For example, Kent School district barely passed at just a few votes over 50%; Issaquah got 51% and Lake Washington [got] 54% on their levies.”
The Washington State Supreme Court, however, concluded in their McCleary Decision that the Washington legislature has not fully funded education.
“We are hopeful that the state legislature will comply with the [Washington] State Supreme Court ruling (McCleary v. Washington State) and appropriate the funds to fully fund the cost of public education,” said Rogers. “Lawmakers did pass a funding plan last session, but they have not yet appropriated enough money to fulfil the plan.”
Nevertheless, if Washington lawmakers do pass education funding, Rogers believes that Highline School District funding could still decrease. When the legislature raises property taxes to fund education, they ask districts to cut the amount of money they request through levies, which is a form of property taxes.
“Unfortunately, the amount Highline will get from the state will not make up the amount we will lose in local levy funding,” said Rogers. “So ironically, once the state plan is fully implemented, Highline will actually see revenues decrease, not increase. We anticipate this to occur in the 2019-20 school year, unless the legislature changes the funding formula in a future session.”
Tipton, however, is optimistic about the future of Highline School District funding after almost 60% of voters voted for the Levy.
“6 in 10 people support public education in Highline and I think that speaks a lot — there is a lot of good,” said Tipton.

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New CAD teacher brings new format to class

Senior James Mitchell assembles a 3D printer for use in class.

The Engineering Design II class, with a focus on computer-aided design (CAD) and manufacturing, is taught by Michael Gudor and allows returning students to choose projects that interest them. These projects range from 3D printing fidget spinners to making 3D printers.

Michael Gudor was asked to teach the new class to take advantage of the school’s machine shop.

“The CAD class came about because some teachers were talking last year about how we could better utilize the shop space with all the tools that we have at our disposal,” said Gudor. “They went to Mrs. Tipton and asked ‘why don’t we teach this production type class?’”

The new class has less emphasis on the textbook and focuses more on individual projects.

“They would finish the book, or not; finishing the book is not paramount to me,” said Gudor. “Having kids use what they are learning is paramount.”

Gudor wants students to learn from producing something instead of just doing what a textbook says.

“Like a traditional CAD class we will still [work with] the textbook,” said Gudor. “There are lessons on how to use the program but what I’m trying to do is find natural breaks where students would stop doing the book and try to produce something in class.”

RAHS senior James Mitchell is looking forward to using the skills he learned previously when he first took the class to efficiently do his project.

“I’m technically a year two student so I know CAD quite well,” said Mitchell, “so I’m taking the skills that I have and applying them to this project that I’m doing.”

Mitchell ordered and assembled a 3D printer kit in order to get funding for another 3D printer of his own design.

“What I’ve been doing in class is researching components and building it,” said Mitchell. “We just ordered a kit off of Amazon because PTSA doesn’t want to fund my exact project until we have at least one working printer. My current project is supposed to be inspired by the 3D printer [built from the kit].”

The freedom of the class is what many of the second year students look forward to throughout the year.

“I really enjoy the freedom of the class,” said Mitchell, “as a year two student we can basically work on anything we’re going to learn from, so I’m seeing this project as something I can use as a tool to make parts for the next thing.”

Principal Therese Tipton is glad to see the class become more STEM-oriented and teach skills that could be used outside of the class.

“The class definitely aligns with our school goals of providing project-based, hands-on learning, STEM, and connections to industry,” said Tipton. “Students will be providing real-world applications and they [will] utilize a variety of skills.”

The new class also had a lot of interest from students and teachers last year.

“This past spring when students selected their course requests, there was a very large interest to have two sections [of CAD],” said Tipton. “The master schedule committee worked on placing two classes in our schedule.”

It was a combination of teacher and student forces that brought about the second CAD class.

“The new class idea came out of a collaborative work team of teachers this past spring around how teachers could take the basic CAD design class and then enhance it with hands-on projects,” said Tipton. “We then gathered student interest and had a very positive response about the proposed idea.”

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False rumors about Skunkwork Robotics spread

As RAHS Skunkwork Robotics finishes their season, rumors surrounding potential changes to the club have been circulating among the student body.

 

According to RAHS Principal Therese Tipton, however, misinformation abounds.  For instance, despite the concern of some robotics members, the rumor that the robotics team would no longer earn students credit is false.

 

“It’s because of the learning that’s happening,” said Tipton, “because [robotics is] hands-on, project-based, they’re learning very important engineering processes and programing. Those are all called out in the robotics engineering framework, so if they’re doing all that work, then that’s creditworthy.”

 

Because of this, the advisors for the robotics team will also continue to receive teacher pay.

 

“If the class is credit-bearing, then a teacher would get a teacher stipend,” said Tipton. “There could be a coaching stipend on top of it as well.”

 

Additionally, for next year, the rumor that the robotics team would start at 5:00 rather than 6:00 was also false. Tipton credits these rumors to how questions and suggestions from teachers, parents, and students could be mistaken for actual, definite changes.

 

“I think some of the concern came out of questions, not we are going to, but, ‘Hey, what would this look like’ or, ‘Somebody suggested this,’” said Tipton. “So I think sometimes if you ask questions, they think something might be changing.”

 

In fact, the only major change had already occurred this school year, involving the monitoring of robotics students after school .

 

“One of our board policies is that for the Highline Public School District, there’s supposed to be some sort of supervision if you have some students,” said Tipton. “So Ms. Tranholt agreed to just be in the commons area upstairs in the cafeteria if large groups of students were staying afterwards for an activity or if they were waiting for a bus, or a ride home, or for robotics.”

 

Despite these changes not occurring next year, some robotics members, such as RAHS junior Zuzanna Dominic and Skunkworks member, are worried about the changes taking effect in the future.

 

“She said that she wasn’t going to change things next year, but she really didn’t form it in a question,” said Dominic. “She made it seem like she is going to change our time to 5-8 pm in the future. It was kind of awkward and we are going to lose most of our mentors if that happens because they can barely make it here after work to begin with.”

 

In fact, Dominic worries the robotics team will be faced with unwanted changes in coming seasons.

 

“It seemed like Tipton was proposing changes that could theoretically happen to the team in the future,” said Dominic.

 

According to RAHS junior and Skunkworks member Erin Demaree, such concerns about the future of the robotics team and its relation to the RAHS administration are widespread, especially among the juniors on the team.

 

“The juniors who are going to be in leadership positions next year and will have responsibility are scared,” said Demaree. “We don’t know what’s happening and the confusion is causing some of us to freak out and other people to stress out silently. We are all just trying to figure it out, but we’re still unsure.”

 

To some members, the emotional interactions that have already occurred would make it impossible for the robotics team to connect with the administration, even if they start showing more support at competitions.

 

“When it comes to the people that are already on robotics, it will be hard to prove she is there for us and not on some weird agenda,” said Dominic. “It’s not about rumors, it’s just the fact that we feel like she doesn’t support us.”

 

However, to Demaree, there is hope that the relationship between the robotics team and the administration can be mended.

 

“I don’t think any bridges have been burned yet, I just think that we’ve been staring at each other across the water and trying to communicate and waving our arms, and it hasn’t worked yet,” said Demaree, “and now, we’re starting to try to build that bridge and make that connection, and I definitely think it can be done.”

 

Demaree believes that both sides have room to improve, with both the robotics team and the administration not doing enough to develop their relationship, but she feels there is still time to make progress.

 

“I personally don’t think that we [the robotics team] have extended a whole huge welcoming arm as much as we could have,” said Demaree. “We have sent her some emails, but it’s been very weak, and at the same time I feel like she has not made a big effort either, so I feel like it’s been really lackluster on both parts, and we need to reverse that in the next month and next year, and start doing something positive.”

 

For the robotics team part, Demaree hopes that the end of the spread of rumors about supposed changes to the robotics team could help improve the relationship between them and the administration.

 

“I really want everyone to stop spreading those as much as possible because they’re hurting both sides of this,” said Demaree. “So this relationship that robotics and Ms. Tipton and Mr. Holloway and the new administration is trying to build keeps getting hurt by all of these rumors, and it’s hard to make a positive connection when everyone is throwing false negative connections around.”

 

On behalf of the administration, Tipton agrees that she and Vice Principal Tremain Holloway could have done more to help support the robotics team, but hopes to correct this in the future.

 

“One of the thing that I took ownership of, well both of us did, was that we weren’t as supportive during the year as we could have been,” said Tipton. “And we took responsibility for that and pledged to the team that we will come to a competition next year and hopefully demonstrate our support for the valuable part that they are to our school. So hopefully that will help.”

 

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Spirit Week brings peak in dress codes violations

Usually Spirit Week involves dressing up in different themes for each day, but in the week before Spring Fling students were dressing for the weather, regardless of the day’s theme. This resulted in twenty-two detentions.

During Spirit Week RAHS Dean of Students Nuka Nurzhanov responded to concerns that staff and teachers has regarding students violating dress code.

“Staff concerns during Spirit Week arose when some students really crossed the line and wore very inappropriate apparel,” said Nurzhanov. “Some girls’ dresses revealed complete bare shoulders, short tops uncovered midriffs, dresses were short enough to make our staff and visitors uncomfortable, torn jeans and t-shirts, sagging pants, etc.”

While dress code violations have happened in the past, this past Spirit Week resulted in a influx of violations.

“Complaints reached an all-time high during Spirit Week which was unfortunate.” said Nurzhanov, “Most of these violations had nothing to do with the spirit wear [and] it became clear that I needed to do my job to support the professional culture of our school even during that week.”

In order to address these concerns, Nurzhanov sent out an email to the entire student body. The memo told students that they could not wear clothing that would normally violate dress code during Spirit Week if they were not participating.

“The email memo was released to inform our students about specific clothes that was not allowed to be worn by students in spirit wear during Spirit week. The decision was made with staff input,” said Nurzhanov, “The no jean dress code was enforced on students who didn’t participate in Spirit Week.”

After the email was sent out, Senior Tatyana Jenkins replied to all the recipients of the email with “okay duly noted,” and several other students repeated the same message. This led to the reply-all meme.

“To me the email was simply a broken record,” said Jenkins, “She had stopped kids in the hallway about their dress, made a verbal announcement to EVERYONE who was at the assembly. I think that was more than enough. But then to send out emails to everyone was ridiculous.”

Because it was sent as a group email, more than a quarter of the student body took part in replying to all with “okay duly noted” which then manifested itself into different image macros, .gifs and the script to Bee Movie, twice.

“Duly noted is something I say in my daily speech. I was sick of all the announcements about the dress code so I thought I’d let her know that we all got it,” said Jenkins. ”When I sent it out everyone got it and from then on it just all escalated and became a thing. And honestly it was pretty funny, I don’t regret any bit of it.”

In the midst of the image macros, there was some confusion as to what the email actually meant. Eric Jones, a senior, had a different interpretation of the email.

“That email was really misunderstood, the original intention of that email was: if you’re not participating in Spirit Week you have to follow the original dress code [and] here is said dress code,” said Jones. “You kinda signed the agreement when you joined the school, it hasn’t changed much.”

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Stay in school–cash injections for the low price of an essay

Future-proofing your education is worth it at the small cost of a little extra work.

With the year coming to a close, several scholarship winners have been announced. Students have applied, written essays, and key industry players have chosen scholarship recipients.

Geneva Rossman was the recipient of a $5000 scholarship from Alaska Airlines. According to Rossman, the application process for the Alaska Airlines scholarship was intensive and multi-tiered.

“The application process was pretty extensive,” said Rossman. “[It required] an online application, two letters of recommendation, GPA, general info, essay, [and an] interview process at Alaska Airlines Headquarters.”

Instead of funding a typical college ramen habit, the extra money can go towards things that really matter.

“The money will be going towards my tuition and helping pay off some of my student loans,” said Rossman.

From experience, Rossman believes there are some key points to consider when applying to scholarships that can greatly increase success rate. In addition to applying for many, several application techniques can increase the chances of getting accepted.

“Have some letters of recommendation prepared before scholarship season,” said Rossman. “You will have to write a new essay for every scholarship. There is no such thing as a general essay like everyone says.”

RAHS Counselor Katie Carper is in charge of helping students prepare and apply for scholarships. Even if college payment isn’t an issue, applying to scholarships can act as a safety net to cover unexpected expenses or permit a bit of financial breathing room. Even if the chances seem small, many are pleasantly surprised by what they receive from scholarship funders.

“They [scholarship funders] are people that believe in the mission of the scholarship,” said Carper. “Oftentimes it is to encourage students to enter a certain field.”
As for Rossman, looking to future opportunities is the next logical step. Rossman believes that accessibility in education is arguably one of the most important factors, and scholarships greatly contribute to this.

We could have company

 

On 3 May 2016, a team of professors and students at the University of Liège in Belgium discovered three potentially habitable planets orbiting around an ultracool dwarf star about forty light years away from Earth.

Even though forty light years means that the planets would take millions of years to reach from Earth with current human technology, the planets are closer than many other potentially habitable worlds that have previously been identified.

Julien de Wit, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at the University of Liège, stresses the importance of making further investigations in an MIT News article.

“These planets are so close, and their star so small, we can study their atmosphere and composition, and further down the road, which is within our generation, assess if they are actually inhabited,” said de Wit. “All of these things are achievable, and within reach now. This is a jackpot for the field.”

Usually, ultracool dwarf stars do not hold promising prospects for the existence of life. No habitable planets were found around a sun so small and dim in the past. Emmanuël Jehin, a research associate on the group that discovered the planets, summarizes the uniqueness of the discovery in an article by the European Southern Observatory.

“This really is a paradigm shift with regards to the planet population and the path towards finding life in the Universe,” said Jehin. “So far, the existence of such ‘red worlds’ orbiting ultracool dwarf stars was purely theoretical, but now we have not just one lonely planet around such a faint red star but a complete system of three planets!”

This discovery was not made by NASA, the European Space Agency, or another large organization, but rather by a team of professors, researchers, and students centered out of the University of Liège called Trappist. They used their telescope for 62 nights to observe the star 2MASS J23062928-0502285, also known as TRAPPIST-1.

The Trappist team discovered the planets using TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope), which is a 60-centimeter telescope operated by the University of Liège and located in Chile. TRAPPIST is designed to focus on 60 nearby dwarf stars, which are very small, cool, and are so faint they are invisible to the naked eye.

The group was studying one of the stars and found that it faded very slightly at regular intervals, indicating that several objects were passing between the star and the Earth. Analysis showed that there were three planets about the size of Earth orbiting it, and were further able to determine that the three planets have orbital periods of about 1.5 (Earth) days, 2.4 days, and between 4.5 and 73 days.

Michaël Gillon, a research associate at the University of Liège and key member of the Trappist team, explains this information in terms of planets closer to home.

“With such short orbital periods, the planets are between 20 and 100 times closer to their star than the Earth to the Sun,” said Gillon. “The structure of this planetary system is much more similar in scale to the system of Jupiter’s moons than to that of the Solar System.”

According to Gillon the full project will now focus upon the planets that the team uncovered and their atmospheres.

“We will use bigger telescopes with more sensitive instruments to explore more,” said Gillon “We are looking for planets that could have on their surfaces the conditions like on Earth and may host life.”

Further investigations could prove whether or not life exists on one or more of the planets, potentially answering the question of whether or not we are alone in the universe.

The end-of-semester blues

Studies and statistics show that students’ stress during the finals week increases drastically, and students in a desperate time will look for any and every solution to keep them awake and alert.

 

“Nearly half (49%) of all students reported feeling a great deal of stress on a daily basis,” according to New York University’s website (nyu.edu), “and 31 percent reported feeling somewhat stressed. Females reported significantly higher levels of stress than males (60% vs. 41%).”

 

Karen Wilson, RAHS Pre-Calculus and Algebra 2 teacher, is very encouraging in the classroom, but is particularly helpful with quizzes and tests. Some might argue that finals are unnecessary and downright malicious, and some think that it’s a necessary process that needs to challenge students knowledge and measure how much they know.

 

“I think finals are very useful to go back and try to remember all of the stuff you learned in the semester,” said Wilson. “It’s really difficult to just see something one time and and then remember it forever so I like taking the week that it takes to go back and have a review and then take a final, but I don’t think a final should count as a huge portion of your grade.”

 

When students struggle or have questions, Wilson thinks that they should not be afraid to ask teachers.

 

“I do give [students] a review, and I do give time to work on it, and I am available for questions and [finals] only count as ten percent of the grade,” said Wilson.

 

It’s no secret that most students who are in either highschool or college have some type of final or a project to complete their semester grade. The high pressure around finals time leads students to frantically review everything they’ve learned in the year.

 

RAHS Junior Jashanpreet Tatla is currently juggling three Advanced Placement courses. Her favorite methods of studying are watching videos on YouTube, on channels like Khan Academy and Crash Course.

 

“Places that I have excelled mostly is english, by studying a lot and practicing and rewriting the material down. One factor that really helps is Quizlet,” said Tatla. “I [also] like to review a lot of the information at random times because it helps me memorize it easily otherwise I’ll think I’m forcing myself.”

 

RAHS students are recognized by schools around Washington state for their higher test scores in comparison to other schools, which is a reflection of teaching methods by teachers and  studying methods by students.

 

“I don’t stress, I just do what I need to do. I try to get ready beforehand so I won’t have to cram last minute. I separate parts I need to review a lot and those I am fine with,” said Tatla, “than I study as much as I can for each subject I am struggling most with or has the greatest impact on my grade first, then I narrow down to the classes that are easier or don’t matter as much.”

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Famous tradition overlaps with another

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“We are promoting aviation and aerospace and it’s good to know the history,” said Nurzhanov. “The purpose of the dinner isn’t just about building network. The entire dinner is formed around lecture.”

While some were dressing in sequins and giving flowers to one another for the Aviators’ Ball, other students decided to take a different approach to their November night.

Students were encouraged by both flyers and the NOTAM to apply to the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Joe Sutter Black Tie Dinner Lecture, which was at the Museum of Flight on Saturday 14 Nov.

“It’s really a pretty incredible thing for our students to be invited to,” said RAHS Coordinator Steve Davolt. “Generally, it’s something that you would pay $175 per seat to be at, and this [event] enables students to be there in a way that normally, not the general public gets to go to.”

The Joe Sutter Black Tie Dinner Lecture is an event that has occurred for the past fourteen years to commemorate former Boeing engineer Joe Sutter. He started at Boeing after he served the country during World War II and was part of the incredible team that rolled out the first 747 in just 29 months.

“Joe Sutter was a former aeronautical engineer,” said Dean of Students Nuka Nurzhanov. “He was very famous for building planes for Boeing and he got lots of recognition for aviation. He is literally called the ‘Father of Boeing 747’. I feel like it’s amazing to go to that special event.”

This year, Dr. Roger D. Launius was the guest speaker. He is the Associate Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. and spoke to the many different people who attended the dinner: military, academic, and technical fields alike.

“Each year is really pretty different,” said Davolt. “This year it’s a gentleman from the Smithsonian and that’s a different perspective than the guy that they had last year who was talking about the Battle of Britain.”

Since every year’s theme is so vastly different than the themes before, the event appeals to the attendees, who keep coming back. This year’s theme was “The Strange Career of the American Spaceplane: NASA and the Quest for Routine Human Space Operations.”

“Just the fact that you can actually hear something that is not published [and] face someone face to face, it’s different [than reading published text],” said Nurzhanov. “It’s the same as actors who play in movies and play in a theater. When they play in the movie, everything is set and they can do the same scene multiple times to get what they need to get but when they play [live], they just get energized from their audience and I think it’s the same things here.”

This variety attracts many different people from many different fields, including the fortunate students that get to go. This tradition has been going on for all ten years of RAHS. However, only a handful of students were able to attend the dinner this time, as the Aviator’s Ball had been scheduled for the very same evening.

“We’ve been involved in it some way or another for all 10 years,” said Davolt, “and [attendance] varies from 10 students to 30 or 40.”

Faculty, like students, were also torn between the two events. Aviator’s Ball needed chaperones, yet the Joe Sutter Dinner is always a sought-out experience.

“Unfortunately this year we were short booked [on staff],” said Nurzhanov, “because we had Homecoming and Joe Sutter Dinner on the same night.”

Apart from learning about aeronautics through lecture, students also got to sit down and converse with professionals.

“All of our students are placed at tables with a variety of people so it allows you to have this interaction with adults you normally wouldn’t have,” said Davolt, “and it’s different than a teacher or an administrator. Where else do you have an opportunity to be [that] involved?”

 

Like the Aviator’s Ball, the dinner is well known throughout the RAHS community. It has been promoted by flyers, in the NOTAM, and even personally by Nurzhanov.

 

“Its an experience that can never be repeated,” said Nurzhanov, “because it’s not going to be the same the second time.”

While some were dressing in sequins and giving flowers to one another for the Aviators’ Ball, other students decided to take a different approach to their November night.

Students were encouraged by both flyers and the NOTAM to apply to the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Joe Sutter Black Tie Dinner Lecture, which was at the Museum of Flight on Saturday 14 Nov.

“It’s really a pretty incredible thing for our students to be invited to,” said RAHS Coordinator Steve Davolt. “Generally, it’s something that you would pay $175 per seat to be at, and this [event] enables students to be there in a way that normally, not the general public gets to go to.”

The Joe Sutter Black Tie Dinner Lecture is an event that has occurred for the past fourteen years to commemorate former Boeing engineer Joe Sutter. He started at Boeing after he served the country during World War II and was part of the incredible team that rolled out the first 747 in just 29 months.

“Joe Sutter was a former aeronautical engineer,” said Dean of Students Nuka Nurzhanov. “He was very famous for building planes for Boeing and he got lots of recognition for aviation. He is literally called the ‘Father of Boeing 747’. I feel like it’s amazing to go to that special event.”

This year, Dr. Roger D. Launius was the guest speaker. He is the Associate Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. and spoke to the many different people who attended the dinner: military, academic, and technical fields alike.

“Each year is really pretty different,” said Davolt. “This year it’s a gentleman from the Smithsonian and that’s a different perspective than the guy that they had last year who was talking about the Battle of Britain.”

Since every year’s theme is so vastly different than the themes before, the event appeals to the attendees, who keep coming back. This year’s theme was “The Strange Career of the American Spaceplane: NASA and the Quest for Routine Human Space Operations.”

“Just the fact that you can actually hear something that is not published [and] face someone face to face, it’s different [than reading published text],” said Nurzhanov. “It’s the same as actors who play in movies and play in a theater. When they play in the movie, everything is set and they can do the same scene multiple times to get what they need to get but when they play [live], they just get energized from their audience and I think it’s the same things here.”

This variety attracts many different people from many different fields, including the fortunate students that get to go. This tradition has been going on for all ten years of RAHS. However, only a handful of students were able to attend the dinner this time, as the Aviator’s Ball had been scheduled for the very same evening.

“We’ve been involved in it some way or another for all 10 years,” said Davolt, “and [attendance] varies from 10 students to 30 or 40.”

Faculty, like students, were also torn between the two events. Aviator’s Ball needed chaperones, yet the Joe Sutter Dinner is always a sought-out experience.

“Unfortunately this year we were short booked [on staff],” said Nurzhanov, “because we had Homecoming and Joe Sutter Dinner on the same night.”

Apart from learning about aeronautics through lecture, students also got to sit down and converse with professionals.

“All of our students are placed at tables with a variety of people so it allows you to have this interaction with adults you normally wouldn’t have,” said Davolt, “and it’s different than a teacher or an administrator. Where else do you have an opportunity to be [that] involved?”

Like the Aviator’s Ball, the dinner is well known throughout the RAHS community. It has been promoted by flyers, in the NOTAM, and even personally by Nurzhanov.

“Its an experience that can never be repeated,” said Nurzhanov, “because it’s not going to be the same the second time.”

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A Mountain Range Of Speed Bumps

Students, staff, and parents all must endure the speed bump-filled journey in and out of the school each morning and afternoon.

The sound of scraping suspensions and the sea of red brake lights can been seen and heard throughout the front of the school.

The official speed limit is 10 mph throughout the lot. The new implementation of the speed bumps are supposed to slow down cars to ensure the safety of everyone driving. There has been significant opposition to the bumps from the day they were put in.

Noah Palmer, a senior, saw and felt the wrath of the bumps on a cold fall Saturday afternoon.

“One time I was coming in under the speed limit unaware that the speed bumps were there, as they were put in the day before I actually went over there,” said Palmer. “They were not painted yet and when I hit them I’m pretty sure my suspension blew up.”

The bumps have also caused some issues driving over them. Though many oppose them, the speed bumps were set in place because of safety concerns and excessive speeding.

“On occasion I would say people were doing over 40 mph, leaving or coming in,” said Principal Kelly. “It was a safety-driven decision.”

With these new bumps, Principal Kelly hopes students, staff, parents, and visitors will slow down when driving in the parking lot. However, some students feel their car and they aren’t made for these speed bumps.

“I feel like my dreams are being crushed every single morning as I drive in, its just bump after bump,” said Andrew Denny, “My suspension just isn’t built for this.”

Students and their cars aren’t made for this kind of pain. It’s a suspension’s worst nightmare to see the sign “Speed Bumps.”

“We haven’t had any accidents beforehand, and I don’t really see the reason for the speed bumps,” said Denny. “Kids were being safe, there isn’t really people walking across the streets or going over to the salvage yard.”

Only one person in the school will have the final say on the speed bumps. Bruce Kelly faced many questions about the motive for implementing the speed bumps.

“It was a combination of factors, it began with parents sending me messages, emails or phone calls about the rate of speed down the straight away in front of the school,” said Kelly, “This summer I noticed that the visitors in the building, that became similar to a race track or a raceway out there with the high rate of speed of people leaving and coming into the building.”

Principal Kelly is in charge of everyone’s safety and the speed bumps were put in to ensure that. He doesn’t want any accidents or injuries because of speeding. So in order to prevent this, speed bumps were the best option.

“If the speed bumps would even prevent one accident or one injury or one collision then it would be worth it,” said Kelly, “the sign that is posted on the entrance of our school, no one is adhering to a 10 mph speed limit, the sign isn’t an effective way to reduce speed.”

Since most students don’t favor his decision, Kelly isn’t receiving the most positive feedback, but popularity wasn’t his goal.

“I wasn’t looking for overwhelming praise or thank you’s, it was a safety concern for me,” said Kelly. “I’m in charge of the safety and welfare for everybody in the building.”

Traffic is also a major problem at the school, cars get backed up all the way to the back parking spots. It may look and feel like traffic has gotten worse, but Kelly doesn’t think anything has changed.

“I haven’t noticed any difference with respect to the timing cycle of the light, I don’t believe the speed bumps limit or help more cars exit the parking lot than before,” said Kelly. “People have to be patient, there is only one way out.”

The bumps are here to stay, so everyone will need to adapt to their presence. They enhance safety and reduce excessive speed, and though the speed bumps may be unpopular among people, the decision was made to ensure the welfare of everyone in the building.

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