By: Ramatou Soumare

Prom is quickly approaching and while there are certain things to worry about such as the details of pictures, coordinating rides and what to do afterwards, no one should forget the things that you’ll need on the night of Prom itself. Here are a few things to remember to make it the perfect night:

Deodorant: What do you think happens after dancing in a room full of people with heavy makeup, long dresses, strong cologne and fancy tuxes? Sweat! Everyone, after the first hour will obviously start to smell. The blend of perfume and cologne will start to fade and the forceful smell of musk will overtake the room. The best way to prevent yourself from being a victim of the mixture of smells is to be armed with precautions. Don’t bring perfume. Bring deodorant.

Charger: This is one of the most vital items to have with you on hand at all time. Especially with smartphones, you never know when your phone is going to die. You could be recording a video of someone tearing up the dance floor one minute and then your phone will be dead and wasting space in your pocket the next. There are so many places to charge your phone so don’t forget to bring one.

Flip Flops/ Sandals: Ladies. We get it, those heels were expensive and they look amazing with your dress. Don’t you think that after two hours your feet will start crying for release? Then you decide to take your shoes off and walk around barefooted. That is the most disgusting idea you could possibly think of. This is why you bring an extra pair of sandals or flip flops. The chances of you stepping into something disgusting barefooted are more avoidable if you just bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes.

Dinner: Many students attending prom reserve seating at a restaurant before prom. People go out and spend more than $20 on a meal when a meal is already provided. The ticket that you purchase is meant to cover the cost of food, so you don’t have to spend more before the event. It would make more sense to go out somewhere like Steak ‘n’ Shake after Prom which requires you to bring extra cash. This way, you’re not spending more money than you should be, all because you want to look fancy.

Parking: Our school is not the only school hosting a Prom downtown on April 29. The downtown area will be crowded with cars, limos and even party busses. The chances of finding a convenient parking space close to the ballroom are slim to none. This is why everyone should plan ahead for parking. Do some research to find out parking locations and how much they cost. Plan to walk a bit. When you purchase your ticket there will be a page of information about parking. Read that information so you are aware of problems that could arise and how to avoid those problems.

Umbrella/Poncho: There is a huge chance that it will rain on the night of Prom and the only way to prevent any damage to hair and clothes is to bring and umbrella or poncho. Girls who spend hours working on their hair and makeup will definitely regret not bringing something to protect themselves. For those of you guys renting tuxedos or wearing expensive brands, BRING AN UMBRELLA! Don't let the rain put a damper on what is supposed to be a night to remember. 

Advice from Kelsi Martens:  I would return those expensive shoes you bought because you’re going to be dancing all night and obviously those shoes are going to have to come off. It’s Prom! You should get dolled up and get low on the dance floor. Take a lot of pictures and enjoy your time. Of course you’ll need to make sure you bring with you: bobby pins, safety pins, chapstick, lip gloss or lipstick. Also don’t forget hairspray, extra deodorant and a phone charger. The most important thing for the guys to remember is the corsage, but also to be sweet and kind. 


By: Student Webmaster


My Little Brother

My little brother was always strange, never really fit into a crowd. He could talk to people just fine, but more or less just kept to himself. Last year, I came home from school just like it was a normal day, but when I got there my mom and her SUV were on and waiting for me to get home. Mom was sitting in the car and crying. At the time, I had no idea why. My brother was also sitting in the car, and he had a look on his face that I had never seen before. She told me to get in the car and start driving, telling me where to make turns. We left the side of town that I had normally been around, and after about half an hour we got to our destination: a mental hospital. I was very confused when we got there, and after they admitted my brother I was told the full story. 

Earlier that day my brother had written a suicide note and had stolen a bottle of mom’s pills. If he grabbed a bottle that she didn’t use constantly she would of never found out in time.  Once he actually went into the hospital we had to sit and wait, waiting for someone to come talk to us, tell us how long he would be there, and if they thought he was gonna be okay. Mom cried the entire time, and I sat there for almost three hours of silence before I decided that I needed to go home. I called my dad, who was told about what happened before me and was at home waiting for a call, and told him that I needed to leave and go home. Before I left the hospital I hadn’t cried about what happened yet, but as soon as I got into the car to leave I broke down, crying the entire trip home.

I just had so many questions. Why was I caught off guard? When I looked at the warning signs my brother showed so many, but I paid no mind to them because I just assumed he was antisocial. When did he start wanting to die? How could he? That was the worst part, I think. I didn’t know it was coming and I had no clue what to do. 

It’s been over a year since then, and since then my little brother was put on medication and came home, diagnosed with some form of depression. If I have learned anything from what happened last January, it is to not ignore any of the signs. You have to be aware that some of the people that seem the happiest really are just hiding the pain and want help, but don’t know how to ask. Don’t ignore the signs.

My Best Friend

Suicide has been in my life, from stories on the news or stories from my friends. However, all their stories blended together in a blob that seemed to tell the same tale. That was until I met Max.

Max was a close friend who trusted me enough to tell me his story. He was molested by family members, which led to a series of depressive episodes that weren’t helped by his father, who was in the army and was required to move every three years. He had spent some time in a hospital after attacking himself, and spent over two months there. Despite, what help he did received he still had night terrors that plagued him.

I felt so helpless after he moved away, the distance between us prevented me from reaching out to help him. It was destroying me. Despite sending countless of messages telling him he wasn’t alone, it never seemed to help. It damaged me, I threw myself into all his problems head first, even if it risked me ignoring my social life. I stepped back and had to look at myself and saw that I was a shell of a person, filled with his problems. I had to take a break from him, and in that break we learned a lot about ourselves. He learned what his problems meant, and I learned what I meant to myself.

Max still needs help to recover from the years of trauma, but we are both aware that these problems cannot become us. I learned that we cannot forget ourselves in the problems of other people. Suicide has affected me in a large way, it’s such a melancholy and avoided subject but it can teach you a lot about yourself and where you stand as a person.


It all started when I moved from Whiteland to Indianapolis.  I lost all my friends that I went to school with from grades four to seven. I had so many friends. I moved here and I knew no one. I didn’t want to do anything. We moved here in July of 2014. I didn’t want to make new friends, and I was scared because I’ve always been a bigger girl than other people. I thought that since I was overweight I would get made fun of. I talked to my mom about home-school online, because that way I wouldn’t have to face other people. In August of 2014 I started school online, and I was alone from 7 A.M. to 5 P.M. every day, sometimes even working alone until midnight. I was lonely and sad, and began to cut and eat more because I was bored. 

In October it got even worse. I had gained 20-25 pounds in 2 months. I began to become depressed. I felt unwanted, nasty and ugly. I began to harm myself and  cry for hours on end. One night, I was alone and I thought that maybe I should just kill myself. I went into my bathroom, and tried to find all the pills I could. I started crying and trying to take all of them. I sat there and talked to myself about how my family would feel and how they’d hate me. 

After all the stuff I’ve been through I’ve made it. You can make it too. We all have weak moments and think life isn’t worth living. But it is. Life gets hard ,yes, but it will change. Don’t let others bring you down. Love yourself, your flaws and everything about yourself. Life gets better. Nowadays I am happy that I didn’t end my life. 

By: Zach Acton

Losing a loved one can be devastating and when it is someone who died unexpectedly, the pain can be even worse. Suicide is tenth leading cause of death in the United States. It kills tens of thousands of Americans every year and has been the second highest loss in the lives of teens and young adults for the last decade. 

Every nine hours a loved one in Indiana dies by suicide. In Indiana, approximately one in ten teenagers will attempt suicide while. Last year alone, suicide killed almost 45000 Americans. 

This statistic is slowly on the rise, with 2015 claiming roughly a thousand less. In 2014 the number was down to 42000. According to the CDC, there has been roughly 575,000 suicides since the year 2000. 

Financially, suicide roughly costs communities $44 billion every year nationwide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In Indiana alone, around $1 billion is spent due to suicide. This includes attempts that are stopped by paramedics along with postmortem care for those who die by suicide.  

Suicidal thoughts are not a trend that affects only one race, gender or economic status. It is a problem that affects society as a whole and anyone who feels this way are not alone. In Indiana, one in five teenagers have contemplated suicide.

Out of all 50 states, Indiana has the highest number of students who have contemplated suicide. Indiana also is the second highest number of students who actually attempt suicide, with one in nine students attempting at some point in their student careers. On average, for every 25 suicide attempts there is at least one death by suicide. 

The cause for a student to feel suicidal can vary from teen to teen. Moving, a stressful school situation, parents divorce or a family member’s death can put someone in a deep depression that bring them to feel life is not worth living. 

No matter the reason someone wants to end his or her lives, it is a serious issue that requires both tact and support. If someone is feeling suicidal, do not leave the person alone, remove all firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects from the household. Removing any sort of weapons limits the opportunity to do anything rash. Call the U.S National suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK(8255) or call the police, who can send an ambulance for the person in need. Even if the suicidal individual states that being sent somewhere will cause him or her to want to kill themselves more, the fact of the matter is that being in the hospital will put them into the safest hands possible, and they would be able to receive the help they desperately need. Many parents and fellow students, however, are unable to know when a student is suicidal, with many of the obvious signs going unnoticed.

To combat this, Community North and WTHR have teamed up, creating the website www.havehope.com, a teen suicide awareness movement for Indiana. The movement hopes to increase information that youth and parents have available to them, believing that having more knowledge on the subject will lower the number of suicides. 

“We all play a part in recognizing the potential for it in students or in youth in general,” said David Petersohn, an Indiana teacher who once taught at Stonybrook Middle School, who now works with the Have Hope Movement. Petersohn urges all parents and educators to keep open to the signs and look out for even the smallest of signs, because finding the smallest of signs could be the difference between a student’s life or death. 

The movement offers a simple test that allows people to get a general idea for where they land on the spectrum of depression, stories of people from different perspectives on how they have dealt with suicide and even provides a locator for the nearest mental health facility. 

Suicide is never the answer, and even when life seems hopeless and that no resolution is in sight, there is always a support system in place. Whether it is a trusted teacher or a counselor, a peer or a family member, the environment is full of people who are ready and able to help someone through it. Suicide claims a life every nine hours, but with proper awareness and the knowledge on how to handle a situation, suicides can be stopped and the lives of those who would be claimed by it can be saved. 



By: Ramatou Soumare and Kayla Pimpton

The Indiana Discount Mall has a variety of cultural stores with the most popular ethnic group being Hispanic. Many of the stores cater to a Latino customer base. It is a great place to go if you want anything from religious statues to soccer equipment. This mall has it all, from shoes to even cowboy wear. There is also a restaurant which serves all kinds of Hispanic foods from empanadas to elotes and esquites to tacos. The Indiana Discount Mall is a place to go for Hispanic goods. They also offer services such as a nail salon and a tattoo shop . Students looking to purchase a quinceanera dress, Guadalupe shirt, soccer jersey, African textiles or a Virgin Mary statue can make a trip to the Indiana Discount Mall on Lafayette Road. 

"Indiana Discount Mall is like a little piece of mi Mexico from the gold to the clothes to the things for parties like wedding dresses, quinceanera dresses, and more. The best thing about the mall is watching la Raza work hard everyday to bring money home to their family." -Norma Avila-Galvez, Junior














Carniceria Guanajuato

By: Kayla Pimpton

The Carniceria Guanajuato located in the Lafayette area is not just a grocery store. Inside the store there is a restaurant, a pharmacy, a butcher shop and much more. For six years this supermarket has been providing their customers with a place to shop for everything they might need and the chance to enjoy traditional Mexican food while they do it. 

Carniceria Guanajuato was founded in Indianapolis in 2002 by David and Flor Campos. Even though the store has many different things to offer, the goal is to sell groceries and be a place where people can find what they need for their families. 

The supermarket has two other locations, both in Indianapolis. And because they offer such a large variety of services to people who come into the store, employees say that they are always busy, especially the restaurant. They serve seafood, tacos, cakes, pies, different types of meats, traditional drinks and more. 

Carniceria Guanajuato is open everyday of the week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., except on Sundays when they close at 8 p.m.



India Plaza

By: Ramatou Soumare

The India Plaza, located right next to Lafayette Square Mall, is an area with a market, banquet hall and buffet/restaurant, owned by an Indian family. Not only Indian shoppers visit the plaza, but also people from all parts of Africa also visit the market because of the similarities in culture. The market sells a vast variety of Indian vegetables, grains, spices and seasonings, and other things like, cookware and suitcases. 

The banquet hall is a place used for weddings and planned family gatherings. On a typical day you would be able to hear the upbeat traditional music and see the colorful Indian dress. There aren’t very many Indian restaurants in Lafayette road and so the buffet/restaurant in India Plaza is a great source for delicious authentic Indian food. The India Plaza is an all around wonderful place to check out if you are looking for a spectacular Indian experience. 



Szechwan Garden

By: Kayla Pimpton

Szechwan Garden is a family owned business that has been operating for about a year and a half. The owner of the restaurant and his family, who moved here from New York City, enjoy working together and feel that having a location in Lafayette is profitable and good for their business.

Szechwan Garden has a very big menu and a large variety of food items that customers can choose from. The restaurant serves Szechuan and Cantonese food and recommends that customers try their steamed bass if they haven’t already. In addition to the seafood offered at Szechwan Garden, customers can also order stir-fried dishes, soups, casseroles, vegetables, noodles and rice and lunch specials that are offered Monday through Friday. There are many options to choose from but their most popular menu item is their spicy popcorn chicken. 

Szechwan Garden has one location and their busiest days of the week are Saturday and Sunday, but they are open everyday. 



Lafayette Square Mall

By: Ramatou Soumare

One of the most well known places to visit on the West Side is Lafayette Square Mall located only a few miles northwest of Downtown. Although not popular, Lafayette Square Mall is home for a diverse group of shoppers and store owners. Over the years, Lafayette Square has gained a reputation for being violent and unsafe. The mall went from being a very prosperous mall, to one that houses few brand- named stores family owned businesses. 

Lafayette Square features a variety of different cultural and popular stores such as Footlocker, Kids Footlocker, Finishline, Hip Hop Fashion, Rama’s Golden Fashion, One Love Fashion, Jimmy Jazz, Shoppers World, Burlington Coat Factory and more. One of the best parts of the mall is the food court, which includes ethnic restaurants like Italian, Hispanic and Asian foods, along with American Deli and Cinnabon. If any student has the opportunity to do so, they should visit Lafayette Square Mall because of the array of culture, entertainment and enjoyment the facility provides. 





"Lafayette Square Mall is a great mall if you don’t like to be crowded in, so it’s a great destination if you like that sort of environment,I love the oil store and the different range of shoe stores there. PLUS there’s a Cinnabon and a place that serves Mangonadas so it doesn’t get any better than that." -Tyshara Loynes, Senior 


By: Ramatou Soumare

Every year during the holiday season kids prepare for a happy and fun time, a part of the year where presents are wrapped, and the radio cannot be turned on without some corny but unforgettable song played on repeat. Other families, however, are less fortunate, and have to focus on keeping the fridge stocked and the heat on rather than holiday cheer.

In response to these painful situations, the student council brought the entire school together in an effort in help those families in the Warren community who truly need it. Classes, clubs, organizations and sports teams alike can adopt a kid, offering to sponsor them and help finance a Christmas for that child.

The Christmas Party was held on Dec. 9, and this year the school, lead by the student council, was able to help give a Christmas to 91 elementary students, coming from nine different schools. The Christmas party, which has been a tradition in the school for over 20 years, allows the student body to help elementary students whose families are unable to afford a Christmas.

“Helping the younger students in our township is a great way to show how much we care,” said Destini Ross, historian of the student council. Being a part of the Christmas party allowed students to make a difference in a child’s life who is in the Warren community.

To make the Christmas party unforgettable for students, groups and clubs adopt a kid, and receive a list from the kid that was picked describing what they need and want. Sizes for clothes are put down, and the parent of the child will write on the top of the list items that are desperately needed by the child. After the gifts are bought the presents are sent back to school to be wrapped and brought down to the student council room.

At the actual party students have two members of the club that they are sponsored by arrive to take them around the party, which is split up in three groups. The party was split up into 5 stations of 20 children. There were games, craft stations, presents, caroling, and then a space to eat food. Before opening presents students were greeted by Santa and Mrs. Claus, who sat in a large red chair at the front of the commons. The kids each got to have a moment talking with Santa before the bag of presents are handed to the childrens’s high school chaperones.

Photos by Madicen Steele

By: Mikali Azziz

Warren Central High School is home to a multitude of growing and maturing students many of which believe that the older they get, the less they should ask for help. However, the school has plenty of opportunities to help those in need. Reasons to touch base with a counselor can range from conflict with family members at home to a full-on house fire. Despite the variety of guidance that is offered, the vast majority of Warren Central’s student population chooses to suffer in silence.

Counselor Bre Brown described this discrepancy as “very common.” She explained that within Warren Township, elementary schools are far more likely to have students and even parents, reach out to staff for guidance.

Brown shared that a 15-year-old freshman at Warren Central, Abraham Lowe, tragically passed away early this December during a house fire. During this difficult time, Brown explained, Warren Central’s guidance team was actively providing support to his family through the grieving process.

Senior, Ifeoluwa Ayoola-Ladapo (Ife), is one of the few students that decided to take advantage of these opportunities for help that are offered here at Warren Central. By being proactive within the school, Ife has already been accepted to Ball State University. She plans to major in nursing. Throughout her high school career thus far, she has been involved in Student Council as well as the National Honors Society.

Ife’s parents, who immigrated to the United States from Nigeria, have been a firsthand example of what it is like to endure struggle. The process of starting a career in an entirely different country was not easy and neither was assimilating into a brand new culture and way of life. Her mother, she says, was the most influential person in her life as a child.

“I’ve seen her work so hard,” she explained. “My mother practically put her life aside to be successful in this country.”

In a well-written essay for the Lilly Endowment Scholarship, Ife discussed the significant impact that her parents had on her, by instilling in her that “education and hard work is always the key to a better life.” Her essay was so moving that she was subsequently selected by Warren Central’s counseling department to be a candidate for this grant.

Ife’s African heritage unfortunately made her the target of discriminatory ridicule as she was growing up.  

“When I was younger, people used to make African jokes,” Ife said. “I didn’t really claim being African, but now I actually claim it and I have confidence.”

Ife noted that when she started to accept herself, others noticed it and began to accept her background as well.

Despite Ife’s notable accomplishments and activeness at Warren Central, high school hasn’t always been a breeze for her. The struggles of being a busy student began to take a stressful toll on Ife during her junior year.

“Last year was my hardest year,” she explained. “I had all advanced classes, track, and my job.”

Many students at Warren Central, particularly upperclassmen, find themselves in very similar predicaments. Sports, jobs outside of school and difficult classes are often all factors that contribute to students’ skyrocketing stress levels.

Luckily, she had understanding teachers that she felt comfortable enough with to confide in. One of these teachers, Ife said, is Ms. Tracey Bush.

“She’s really sweet and takes the time to ask you if you’re OK.”

Ife explained that once, she was pulled aside by Bush, who noticed that Ife wasn’t acting like herself.

“I will pray for you,” Bush reassured her.

What truly makes high school worthwhile, from Ife’s perspective, are the teachers that motivate their students to succeed.

“I like the teachers that push you… motivate you.... see potential in you. I enjoy going to school and seeing teachers that care about me and want to see me be successful,” she noted.

Ife is just one example of a student whose willingness to open up about her struggles as a student landed her some great opportunities. Warren Central’s counselors strongly encourage students to come forward to staff about any issues they may be dealing with, no matter how trivial or severe they may seem.


By: Ramatou Soumare

“My mom passing away changed my whole life around,” Cassady Cantu said. “I had to meet new people and start my life over with a whole new parent who wasn’t my mom.”

Every day students go through life altering events that either motivate them to move forward or go down a self destructive path.

For senior Cass, her life altering event caused her to surround herself with supportive friends, focus on her education and succeed in all extracurriculars.

At the age of 6, after the death of her mother, Cass was forced to move in with an unfamiliar relative in a two bedroom apartment with four other people. Everything was changing right before her eyes but she remembers being aware of the situation. Cass was previously enrolled in IPS before her mother passed and the switch to Warren was overwhelming.

Although Cass was having a hard time adjusting to the loss of her mother, there was a light in moving to Warren Township. The idea of meeting new people and the transition to a different school system no longer scared her as much.

“I was not used to people really knowing each other and their teachers well because at IPS no one was very close or communicative,” Cass said. “It was honestly the best thing that ever happened to me though.”

Over time Cass became accustomed to the Warrior way of life and made life lasting friendships with her classmates and teachers. Her most memorable mentors have always been her teachers, who she often becomes close to and learns from. One teacher in particular left a lasting impression on Cass inspiring her to do missionary work and become more involved in service.

"One of my favorite teachers was Ms. Brittney DeBesse because she was like another teenager,” Cass explained. “She was like my friend, I could go to her and talk about anything and she would let me tell her about my problems at home.”

During the school day, Cass works hard to achieve the best possible grades she can reach. There are times, as is for most students, when Cass wants to give up, but she motivates herself with the idea of a successful future. There is also that burning desire to not repeat the same mistakes that her family members made. Cass has been accepted into Butler, Franklin and IU Bloomington and is excited to be the first in her family to attend college. Cass’ goal is to major in education and minor in English as a new language so that she can teach non-native speakers English and give them the chance to have better opportunities.

“My family gives me motivation, not because they’re motivating, but because I see what I don’t want to be,” Cass said. “Everyday I’m reminded, this is why we go to school and this is why we get a good job and go to college, because I don’t want to turn out like all of my family has.”

Cass is the basic teenager who enjoys Netflix, being a couch potato and spending time with friends. Along with her lazy hobbies, Cass is involved in student council, The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, youth group and Hi-Lites.

“I also consider my ELO at the Early Childhood Center and extracurricular because I get to make connections with all the kids and go to the events that they hold at the preschool,” Cass said.

Educating non-English speakers is a small part of the service that Cass wants to provide. After traveling to Haiti and Thailand for missionary work, it is her dream to travel around the world and help third world countries gain the opportunities that they deserved.

Although she didn’t receive the scholarship, Cass was a candidate for the Lilly Endowment. The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program offers scholarships for full tuition, required fees and other fees for textbooks and equipment. The purpose of the scholarship is to increase the number of Indiana residents getting college degrees. Cass’ counselor and teachers encouraged her to apply for the scholarship because of all the hard work she has put into becoming the compassionate, intelligent and most deserving young woman she is today, despite her financial and personal challenges.

“Her hardships have allowed her the unique opportunity to withstand any storm with her head held high, not allowing for self-pity, but for preservation,” Spanish teacher Amy Moeller said. “She is such an empathetic young woman who has so much to offer others.”


By: Paige Finnigan

Diaper disaster

Tawnya Curran- 1987

We made the rounds to visit our family and show them our prom attire before prom. After visiting his brother and 8 month old nephew, I noticed a bad smell.

Apparently, the baby’s diaper leaked somewhere on my dress! We smelled it all night. We are getting ready to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary, and we still laugh about that night.




Frozen flowers

Adrienne St. Laurent - 2000

My now husband decided he wanted to get my gorgeous white flower wrist corsage extra cold, so he put them in the freezer.

He went to get it out to give to me and all the flowers were yellow and smelled horrible. I remember being so upset...apparently he killed them in a few short hours.

I still wore them and laugh now every time I look at our pictures and my “yellow” dead flower wrist corsage...needless to say it’s been 16 years later, and he’s never put another flower in the freezer again!!



Towering heels

Kerryn Rodriguez - 2014

Even though it was sophomore year, I towered over my poor prom date. The heels I wore that night didn’t make it any better for him. Normally, he’s only three inches shorter than I am, but since I added five inches of heel to my height, it probably was a very strange sight to see.

Not only that, but during the night, I had decided to take off those heels. Apparently during the night, someone had broken one of the glasses that had been on the table through dinner. When I went to go and grab my shoes, I had to carefully watch to keep from stepping on broken pieces of glass.


Brad Brown- 1983


Prom was the week before my 18th birthday. My date and I went to dinner with another couple at The Dry Dock. At the end of the meal the waiter asked if we wanted Dessert and both of the guys ordered, but both girls said they didn’t want anything.

My friend and I both enjoyed the dessert while the girls just sat and watched us. When we both finished it the group of waiters carried out a birthday cake that my Mom had called and arranged to have brought to our table and sang Happy Birthday to me.



Crys Dewenger- 2000

I just finished getting my hair done at the salon and got back to my house to finish getting ready. We had three couples going in a limo that was to meet at my house-well about 10 minutes after I got home-my car engine caught on FIRE!!! We had to call the fire department and they got lost coming to my house!

The limo coming to pick us up was 45 minutes late-had scotch tape taped up the windows, cigarette buds and ashes all over the places, and one of the door handles didn’t work!


Josie Kroics - 1987

l was nominated for Prom Queen and did not have a date. So my mom made me get my picture taken with my sister a junior then at the prom. ‪Julie Burkert-Denzio was really mad and embarrassed. Oh and then I didn't have flowers obviously so I took some off a table.


Peggy Combs Nichols

At my junior Prom, my date split his tux pants right before the prom. We stopped by a friend's house and their mom stitched his pants up, and we then took off for the prom.


Tammy Anne Huffman Lanum

A drunk driver hit my date and I after prom on our way to Dry Dock restaurant. Spent the night in the hospital emergency room! I think he was leaving Dicks Harem House; T boned us on passenger side which I was on.


Cheryl Hui Fillenwarth

I didn't go to our prom. Instead, I got married. Crashed some other school's prom. Yelling at some poor hotel desk clerk because my husband was 20 years 11 months 3 weeks and 4 days old. Had to be 21 to get a room. Oh and I was pregnant. The good news is next month is our 30th anniversary.


Michael Nelson - 1979

For Prom 1979, a couple of us couples got tired of our all-night party, so went to the all-night drive in, where , and I'm not making this up, "Apocalypse Now" was playing. What were we thinking!


Prom tips and tricks

-If you’re going to wear heels, bring a pair of foldable flats.

-Do not spend your entire prom watching other people have fun. Even if the music isn’t good, you can still find a way to dance to it.

-If you are going to eat dinner at prom, go early to get the food at its freshest and fullest.

-Make sure you know exactly where the water cooler is at all times. You’re going to get thirsty and drinking a soda is a little expensive.

-Do not bring a big bag to prom. The most you will need is your ID, a small amount of emergency money and your keys if you’re driving.

-Check to make sure your nice clothes are perfectly clean before you head out to prom.

-Bring a couple of safety pins in case of a wardrobe malfunction.

- Take as many pictures as possible, you will regret missing taking a picture with your childhood best friend.

-Girls pack some oil blotting sheets in your purse. Prom is hot and they are perfect to whisk away extra oil on your face.

- Keep in mind that prom will not be perfect, so if something goes wrong do not stress just have fun!



By: Megan Bone

Trends come and go every year whether it is Beatle mania in the ‘60s, big hair in the ‘80s, or everything Arvil Lavigne in the 2000s.

Also, trends are known for making a reappearance such as neon anything, choker necklaces and high wasted jeans. This past year has consisted of Adele releasing an album after a four-year hiatus, the whip, legalization of gay marriage and Donald Trump. However, these are the worst trends of the year. These should never see the light of day again. These are the trends that need to stay in 2015.

January-Man Buns

Celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Harry Styles and even David Beckham were wearing this hairstyle. While the bun is very functional, it was not very stylish. Half up half down, top knots and low-slung buns were the ways men were wearing this bun. This hairstyle was seen on red carpets, shopping trips and  even at the pool.


February- Overdrawn Eyebrows

Cara Delevigne  was the face of the natural-looking eyebrow this year. She has thick, dark and full eyebrows, which is what every girl was aiming for. However, some took this trend to the extreme. Not everyone can have perfect brows like Delevingne, so makeup products allow them to achieve this. This year seemed to be filled with ridiculously over drawn caterpillar eyebrows. While natural looking brows are still in overly drawn ones must stay in 2015. 


March- The Whip/ Nae Nae

Adults, teens, teachers or even small children, especially small children, were doing the whip/nae nae in 2015. Hundreds of videos graced the Internet of people dancing along to “Watch Me” by Silento ,which is where the dance came form. Not only was it all over the Internet but also every radio station played this song non-stop. You could not escape this song in 2015. Despite the hilarious videos of people attempting this dance, we never want to hear this song again.


April- Kylie Jenner Lips

Kylie Jenner’s huge pouty lips were all the rage this year. To imitate her signature pout, people were suctioning their lips into small glasses. Before and after pictures and videos of this surfaced all over social media and not surprisingly this had some negative side effects. Some found huge bruises around their mouths for days because of this “challenge” and even had permanent blood vessel damage.  While a full pout is still in, permanent blood vessel damage is not.



May- Charlie Charlie

Similar to Bloody Mary, Charlie Charlie is a game that people play to conjure a spirit. The rules are to take pencils and cross them on a board with yes or no printed on the board and ask questions and “Charlie” was supposed to answer. Although this gained traction, it should fade away just as Bloody Mary has.


June- Yoga Pants

Yoga Pants are not really pants despite how comfortable they may be. These were originally supposed to be worn for working out or for yoga as the name states, however girls were wearing these everywhere. Warren was filled with yoga pants made popular by the store Victoria Secret and LuLulemon. These work out pants should be left for the gym


July- Straight Outta “_____”

“Straight Out of Compton” came out this past summer and while it was an amazing movie, many missed the idea behind “Straight Outta Compton.” Straight Outta “____” was everywhere even at Warren. T-shirts were made with Straight Outta Warren printed on the front. The G hall had signs printed with Straight Outta G Hall. But all of these shirts and signs with the Straight Outta saying on them were missing the point of Compton, a poor neighborhood, which is home to plenty of famous rappers and has a rich history in pop culture. 

August- Donald Trump

In August Donald Trump announced he was going to run for president. While everyone believed he was going to fade out, he is still a front-runner for the Republican candidate. He has made some very impossible promises. Those promises include: building a wall across the Mexican American border, making the Mexican government pay for the wall, bomb the hell out of ISIS, punish the Chinese government and best of all make America great again. Trump was plastered all over the media making him gain even more traction with the public. Unlike his hair, Donald Trump hasn’t been swept away with the wind.


September- Emoji Outfits

Emojis are symbols that can range anywhere from a smiley face to a cactus. During 2015, teens could be seen wearing outfits plastered with all the different kinds of emojis. And it’s not just shirts with a symbol we are talking about matching sweatshirts, pants and even t-shirts with these emojis all over. Despite being extremely cringe worthy, they somehow became popular. Emojis are meant for the Internet not clothing and should be left on the shelves in 2016.


October- Hotline Bling

“Hotline Bling” by Drake was a smash hit in 2015. However, most radio stations over played this song to the extreme. At first it was a good , catchy song. Then it seemed like it was on every radio station ever created 24/7. Even clothing featured the words “1-800-HOTLINEBLING” which, of course ,everyone was wearing. Better yet the music video, which featured Drake dancing terribly, was the forefront of many online memes and even an SNL skit.


November- “Don’t Judge Me Challenge”

The “Don’t Judge Me Challenge” started off with good intentions. The idea behind it was that girls/ boys could show what they look like when they first wake up then later make themselves look beautiful. However, people began drawing fake acne, unibrows and even used glasses to portray what they believed to be ugly. People actually have those problems and the whole point behind the “challenge” was to show that everyone is beautiful in his or her own way. Except society’s standard of beauty did not really allow the nature of this challenge to fully be embraced.

December- Hoverboards

Hover boards are here! Your balance powers these contraptions. If you lean one way, the board will take you in that direction. Sounds cool right? Wrong. This board can cost anywhere from $200 to $800 and are known to randomly catch on fire. Also, because this board relies on balance, people fell off, all the time. Videos of people and celebrities falling off these hover boards are all over the Internet. Teens were riding these through stores, on the street and just around the house. While these only top out at about 12 mph, randomly combusting makes this a trend that should stay in 2015.

Whitney Zuercher


Favorite worst trend: The Condom Challenge

Favorite overused phrase: Eat



By: Paige Finnigan, Khaila King & Kayla Pimpton


Jacks Doughnuts opened in 1961 and three generations later it is still rolling out tasty treats. Tiger Tails and Caramel Nut Rolls have kept customers coming back for over 50 years. The original location opened in New Castle, IN after Jack and Ada Marcum bought Bill’s Donut Shoppe.

For the Marcums it was a family affair. Jack and Ada’s six children had all worked at Jack’s at some point. Jack Marcum Jr. bought Jacks from his father to carry on the family business in producing sweet confections and he still works at Jacks to this day. Jack Jr.’s son, Jack Marcum III, started in the family business at age 14 and bought Jack’s Donuts like his father did 30 years before.

Since 1961 Jacks has created many loyal customers. It was those customers that urged Jacks to open another location. Customers got what they wanted in the Spring of 2013 when the first Jack’s franchise was opened in Fishers. Now there are three Jack’s Donuts franchises in total located in Greenfield, Carmel and Fishers.

The Greenfield location opened two years ago and has been a big hit.

“Since we opened we have done very well,” franchise owner Ron Youngclaus said.

Tiger tails are one of the best sellers at the Greenfield location, they are a twisted doughnut mixed with regular yeast dough and chocolate yeast dough. On Saturday mornings customers can see Jack’s in full swing, because that is their busiest day of the week.

 “Jack’s is known for big doughnuts and great customer service,” Youngclaus said.

The Greenfield location is set up more like a coffee shop rather than a classic doughnut shop and it serves coffee and lattes as well. Additionally, Jack’s in Greenfield is a family friendly shop that welcomes kids who are looking forward to a sweet treat.


When the name Long’s Bakery comes to mind, it is not uncommon to associate it with yeast doughnut delicacies. From dusk till dawn, the employees of Long’s Bakery prepare delicious desserts for customers to enjoy.

Long’s bakery is a family-owned business that was founded by Carlos Long in 1955.

Since then, Long’s has become very popular in the bakery business and has even expanded to two locations. The original 16th street location has been operating for over 50 years, while the Southport location has been operating for over 20.

It is no secret that Long’s has a very “long” line of history. It is also evident that Long’s is mostly known for their yeast doughnuts, specifically among students.

“I usually purchase doughnuts from Long’s Bakery, because they are very popular, somewhat affordable and very delicious,” said senior Jaylin Wright. “They have tons of flavor, they are soft and are not too doughy.”

Some of their popular doughnut flavors besides yeast are blueberry, cake and apple. They also produce other desserts such as cakes, pies, pastries and cookies. In addition, they bake specialty cakes for events like birthdays.

All of their tasty treats are made from scratch with no preservatives creating a taste that cannot be found in the average convenience or grocery store. Long’s fresh-baked goods really prove that there is no taste like home.


Hart’s Bakery is a family owned business that has been operating since 1946. The current owner of Hart’s Bakery, Sandy Taylor, has owned it for 24 years and is training her son and daughter-in-law to eventually take over. She has worked at the bakery since 1968 and is happy to be able to work with her family.   

“It’s harder than I thought it would be, and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Taylor said.

Hart’s Bakery has a large variety of desserts that they can offer customers. Some of their usual bakery products include their handmade and hand cut bars that come in many different flavors, bread and rolls, cookies, cakes and pastries.

Some of their signature bakery items are the crown bread that is made with no preservatives or chemicals, and some of their well known desserts are their brownies made from scratch and their Princess Bar. They also make pies, cream horns, eclairs, and individual pineapple upside down cakes.   

There is a very large selection of desserts to choose from at Hart’s, but their most popular desserts are their doughnuts. The doughnuts come in many different flavors, but their yeast doughnuts are the more popular choice. Taylor thinks they are the most popular because they are the most cost effective and they are made fresh everyday.  

The people at Hart’s Bakery enjoy what they do and are able to work with other bakeries to help them or get help if they need it. They believe that there is enough business for all of them. Unlike other bakeries, Hart’s has a gift shop inside where you can buy figurines, dolls, stuffed bears, and other collectable items. They also believe that what sets them apart from their competitors is the hands-on attitude shown by the owners, and the fact that they are very interactive with their customers and try hard to make sure everyone gets personal attention.  

Jack’s Bakery of Greenfield

1522 N State St

Greenfield, IN 46140

(317) 477-5225


Sun & Mon: 4:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Tue - Sat: 4:30 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.

Prices: $1.00 per yeast doughnut, $11 a dozen


Long’s Bakery 16th Street Location

1453 N Tremont St

Indianapolis, IN 46222

(317) 632-3741


Sun-Sat: 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Prices: .57 per yeast doughnut, $6.84 a dozen


Hart’s Bakery Location

7030 E. 10th St.  

Indianapolis, Indiana 46219

Phone: (317)-357-4706

Monday-Friday: 5:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Saturday 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday: Closed

Prices: .75 per yeast doughnut, $4.50 a dozen

By: Khaila King

“I think it’s hard, because you think of the people who take care of you and how they would go to the ends of the earth to make sure you are taken care of, but what if they couldn’t though,” Associate Principal Ms. Emily Brown said. “What if something was prohibiting them from covering those needs and how bad those families must feel? That’s what I keep thinking of. What if I couldn’t afford to send my son to school in a coat or what if I couldn’t afford to have a meal for him at night?”

Lacking a place to sleep at night is a harsh reality that some students have to face. Approximately 106 students attending Warren are considered homeless.

A recent graduate once lived in a van with his family. He took a shower every morning at a local gym right before school. His family could not afford to pay rent, however, the father managed to make sure his children were well dressed, so that there was not a stigma connected to them. In reality, under the nice clothes and polished façade, the truth was undeniable: they were homeless.

Up to two million people will experience homelessness and approximately half these individuals will be children. Any individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence is considered homeless.

This means  a person sharing housing due to loss of housing or economic hardship is homeless. If an individual is living in a park, car, public space, abandoned building, standard housing or a bus or train station, they are qualified as being homeless. Additionally, a person living in a motel, hotel, trailer park or a camping ground is considered homeless. The list goes on and on, however, there are policies set in place, as well as staff members willing to help students who fall under any of those categories.

When handling homeless cases, Warren Township schools follow the guidelines of the McKinney-Vento Act, which requires educational access, attendance, and success for children and youth experiencing homelessness.

In order to receive assistance from McKinney-Vento, a student must qualify. There are a lot of different scenarios where a student can qualify for McKinney-Vento, including shared housing and temporary or permanently unaccompanied youths looking to enroll. Dean Mr. James Taylor said most families come in during registration and explain the circumstances they are in. Sometimes families will call, because of the administration’s ability to recognize the issue in a student’s absences.

Many situations can qualify a student for McKinney-Vento, however, there is one major question that must be addressed in every case.

“The big question is did you originally start out in Warren Township,” Taylor said. “If the answer is yes, then you have the right to stay in your school system until you are permanently housed. If you started out here as a Warren student and lived in our school district and something happens along the way where you lost your house, you had molding in your house, the landlords weren’t fixing something, you ran out of cash, you made a decision that I can no longer afford to pay this, then if you move you reserve the right to stay, because you qualify for McKinney-Vento.”

An individual does not qualify for McKinney-Vento if he or she did not originate in Warren Township. There are procedures in place that will prohibit someone from lying about their residency.

Not only is this Act in place to help students, many staff members are doing whatever it takes to help students in need as well. For instance, staff members in the Counseling Service Center (CSC) worked together to create a resource guide that they can provide to students who are going through financial hardships.

“If a child comes down and says, ‘we’ve lost our house and we have to leave everything behind because we were evicted and we had to get out,’ then we are going to find resources to number one get them food and to try to get them clothes if they need them,” CSC Director Ms. Bre Brown said. “One of our roles is to help them meet those basic needs while they are kind of in transition.”

Brown said each person in the counseling office took a topic and compiled a list of resources from food and clothing access, shelters and places where to go for pastoral care. Brown said that they are looking to publish the guide and make it available to students within the next couple of weeks.

In addition to that, Brown also stated that each of the counselors have things similar to the resource guide on hand all the time. Brown stressed that one of the most important tasks for the counselors is to help students achieve their goals.

“One of the hardest things is you have students that come down and they are struggling with their grades or they are late to school, or their attendance is bad and as you start to dig a little deeper and uncover the layers, you might find out well, ‘I’m living in a car,’ or, ‘I’m bed hopping from house to house to house,’” Brown said. “Of course that type of instability makes it harder to get daily tasks accomplished. We are always trying to figure out, ‘How do you help students achieve their goals and hold them to a level of accountability that is reasonable, but take into consideration that these are challenges that some adults can overcome?’ So if adults can’t get past them, then how can we expect a child to get past them?”

Although it can sometimes be a challenge for students, Brown encourages students facing homelessness or any kind of issue to seek the help they need.

“We tell kids a lot, ‘we can’t help you if we don’t know,’ and I know that it is really hard for a lot of people,” Brown said. “You don’t want to be judged, you don’t want someone to think that you are incompetent or they are protecting their parents. They don’t want us to think that their parents are making mistakes, but every single one of the adults in this building, we have over 200 staff members, has a story. We all have stories of moments in our lives when things were tough. We either had addicts in our family or we’ve had financial issues. We have people here that have faced homelessness at some point in their life and so I would just encourage the kids to know that we really want to help them, but we can’t if we don’t know what is going on. Remember that even though it seems like we’re here enforcing the rules and making you do all these things that you don’t always want to do, that we really do want to be able to help and we have resources if they’ll just come in and talk to us.”

We really do want to be able to help and we have the resources if they will just come in and talk to us.

Ms. Bre Brown CSC Director

with contributions from Paige Finnigan 

Photo illustratiion Angelica Page

By: Taylor Baker

How many high school athletes can say they went overseas and practiced with a national team?

The answer is not many.

One Warren Central swimmer got the opportunity of a lifetime earlier this year. Junior Ethan Park competed in Washington D.C where if you won you were invited to go to Korea to meet and swim with the Korean National team.

“I went to the meet expecting to get third honestly,” Park said.

Park ended up placing first in the 200 individual medley qualifying him to get the experience of a lifetime.

“I experienced a whole new way of life,” Park said. “Everything they live by is so different compared to the U.S in and out of the pool. I learned a lot about myself as a swimmer.”

During his first week he practiced with the Korean National team, and the second week he went to Gan Wan and swam in the National Korean games. He swam the 200 meter and 100 meter breaststroke and placed 15th against some of the top Korean athletes in the country.

Head Coach John Sincroft knew that this trip would do wonders for Park and allow him to take his experiences and help the other members of the team.

“The trip helped him get out of his comfort zone,” Sincroft said. “It will make his comfort zone bigger and in the future when new situations arise he will be able to handle them with ease.”

After a 99-81 loss early on to Perry Meridian the boys have bounced back and the momentum is definitely on their side.

Last Tuesday the boys faced Mt. Vernon and proved their dominance with a score of 103-80. They then turned around and went up against Brebeuf Jesuit and the International School of Indiana in a tri-meet.

Park had a solid night coming in first in both the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke.

Some other first place finishes included senior Jackson Sandala in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke, senior Anthony Mendez in the 100-yard individual medley, and Ernesto Cabrera in the 200-yard freestyle.

Over the past weekend the boys competed in a very competitive meet, the Hall of Fame Classic at Franklin Community. They went head to head with some of the top teams and swimmers in the state.

Despite coming in sixth place out of nine teams, several swimmers made good showings at the meet and showed promise for the Warriors later on in their season.

Sandala placed extremely well at the meet coming in first in the 200 freestyle and the 200 butterfly, and placed second in the 50 freestyle.

Park and Mendez also performed well with Park coming in third in the 400-yard individual medley, fifth in the 100 individual medley and Mendez placing eigth in the 100-yard individual medley.

The boys finished out a hard week of meets with another tri-meet against Franklin Central and Scecina. The boys came out on top again placing first with a score of 246, and Franklin Central and Scecina following behind with scores of 169 and six.

Despite the rough start, the boys are picking up speed and are closing in on their goal of doing well at the state meet.

“We stumbled out of the gate vs. Perry Meridian but have recovered to go 5-0 over the last five meets,” Sincroft said. “I think the first meet was a bit of an eye opener from the stand point that we have a lack of depth, but we are growing. We are growing closer as teammates and growing in our ability to swim.“

The boys are back at it Dec. 15 against Shelbyville at home.

SENIOR CAPTAIN JACKSON Sandala dives off the block in the 200 freestyle in a meet against Mount Vernon. Sandala has been a huge contributor to the varsity roster. The boys went on to win this meet with a huge score of 103-80. Photo by Cortez Rose


By: Paige Finnigan


Children's Christmas Party

Photo Gallery by Josh Wall

Tis the season for holiday cheer. Kids all over are making their lists and checking them twice. They are munching on Christmas cookies and looking forward to Christmas morning where they hope to see a tree overflowing with presents.

But in Warren Township, there are many kids who do not share in the cheer. They are not making lists, because they do not want to be disappointed. They watch friends enjoy holiday sweets, knowing that they will not receive any and they are not looking forward to Christmas morning because Santa always misses their house.

There are many families that struggle every month just to make ends meet. Fortunately, there are programs in the township that allow students, faculty and administrators to come together to help out the community.

In the township many families do not have a stable way to put food on the table when students are at home. So when students come to school that is where they can get up to three meals a day.

With a total of 12,317 students attending schools in Warren Township, 76.7 percent of students are taking advantage of the Free and Reduced program as of October. Over 5,000 students were approved for Free lunch because their families receive Food Stamps or TANF (A Welfare benefit).

“Free and Reduced is a good indicator of need [in the township],” Chief Financial Officer David Holt said.

Mason Gallmeyer, the Assistant Director of Business Operations and Contract Services has noticed an increase in need over the years.

“We have seen a steady climb in the past 10 years in our Free and Reduced students,” Gallmeyer said. “We have gone from about 52 percent Free and Reduced to pushing 76 percent.”

Direct certification has also gone up. If a family is on food stamps for TANIF, the township receives that information from the Department of Education and the family is automatically approved for Free and Reduced lunch.

Families that do not get directly certified, have to apply to receive Free and Reduced. Acceptance is based off of the family’s income.

“The application for Free and Reduced lunch is very black and white. It’s those who just barely miss the reduced cut that breaks my heart,” Gallmeyer said. “They make a little too much for food stamps make and a little too much for Medicaid, these are the families that are really struggling. We only see them as the application at our office, and they reach back out to us and learn they make just a little too much money. Unfortunately our hands are tied with federal guidelines.”

Students who also are considered homeless can get access to Free and Reduced lunch. Warren Central has over 100 students who are classified as homeless. Homelessness is not always the stereotypical living in a box on the side of the road. According to the McKinney-Vento Act, homelessness is defined as “An individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”

“Something we see increased a lot is mobility rate, students transitioning in and out,” Holt said. “That is a big component of need we serve 32 apartment complexes which proportionately we serve more kids that come from multi family units than any other district as far as the percentage. We have seen a high turnover rate with those units. It doesn’t mean it is a bad place to live, we are just seeing higher turnover. We are approaching 35 percent turnover. When kids move in you never know what their needs are so it takes us a while to determine that.”  

The PTSA has established Sonny Day food pantry with the help of the district. Carissa Dollar, the founder, is an instructional assistant at Raymond Park.  At Sonny Day Warren Township families can receive more than just canned food items. Dollar has access to refrigeration so she can give out fresh foods along with toiletry items. In the past year, the pantry has served 1,346 Warren Township families.

“What Sonny Day has been able to provide for the township is huge,” Holt said. “And it is continuing to grow. They are always needing more resources to give out to meet the need of Warren Township families.”

That is why this Warren Central’s annual canned food drive, Huddle Up Against Hunger was so important. All canned and boxed goods collected by the school were donated to Sonny Day.

The school exceeded their goal of 15,000 cans, which was an extreme help to Sonny Day.

In addition to HUAH, Student Council organizes another community service project annually, the children’s Christmas party. Student Council receives the names of elementary students who are considered in need. Student Council assigns a child to a sponsor, who receives a “wish list” from the student. The teachers and clubs that sponsor children collect money and go shopping to help give their child a Christmas that their parents may not be able to provide.

There is no doubt that with the extreme need in Warren Township that the students that do receive Christmases from this program really appreciate it. During the party itself, participants make arts and craft, eat pizza and then, best of all, open their presents.

Another program that happened this year was a coat matching it involved teachers and staff providing coats. Teachers and staff were asked to bring in new or gently used coats for students that needed winter coats. Teachers were given specific sizes to ensure the students got a coat that fit. Administration was able to give 45 student’s coats with hats and gloves. Extra coats, hats and gloves that were donated were given to Sonny Day.

“Our staff recognizes that there are a lot of needs in the building and sometimes students do not know where to go for help,” Associate Principal Emily Brown said. “We refer them to Sonny Day to get the help that they really need.

Warren Central’s staff has been sending donations to Sonny Day throughout the year. Each department is assigned items needed by Sonny Day and tries to bring in their assigned item to department meetings.

Without the generosity of teachers, staff and students, these programs would not be possible. Tonight at the Christmas party when students open their presents, the looks on their faces will exclaim how thankful they are for the students, staff and administrators that cared enough to make their lives brighter. 

Junior Gyan Partlow helps organize clothing donations for Sonny Day. The Sonny Day is a food and clothing pantry run by the Warren Township Council of Parent Teacher Association.

Part 2 in January will cover how Warren is addressing the increased amount of homeless students.

By: Austin Hood

The year was 1977. President Jimmy Carter had just been sworn in, The Eagles’ “Hotel California” was topping the charts, Apple computers had recently incorporated, and audiences around the world watched as the words “Star Wars” flashed in front of them in bold yellow letters to the tune of John Williams’ triumphant score.

Although premiering almost 40 years ago, George Lucas’ “Star Wars” franchise remains a staple of pop culture to this day. Fans of all religions, races, and creeds, who straddle all demographics and dwell in all corners of the globe can recognize the face of Luke Skywalker, recite the advice of Master Yoda, and mimic the eerie breathing of Darth Vader.

And these fans have reason to celebrate. On December 21, the seventh installment of the franchise, “Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” will be released nationwide.    

Following the release of 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith,” which brought an end to the prequel trilogy often panned by critics and fans alike for its gimicky elements and lack of gravitas, it seemed as though the days of live-action Star Wars films had ended. Instead, Lucasfilm focused on expanding its market to children, including the partnering with Lego and other toy manufacturers as well as the creation of  “The Clone Wars,” a computer-animated film and TV show which aired on Cartoon Network.

However, Disney’s 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm coincided with an announcement regarding the multibillion dollar mass media firm’s intention to continue the Star Wars film saga.

What initially began as rumors and distant possibilities soon blossomed into an active merchandising and promotion campaign. Beginning on September 4, Disney began to add to the already vast Star Wars books series as well as ramp up their output of Star Wars themed toys and clothing. A trailer which premiered during halftime of ESPN’s Monday Night Football on October served as a welcome reminder to many fans that “The Force Awakens” is just around the corner.

“When I first saw the trailer I was like ‘Woah, this is really happening,” said Castle. “Before that it was just some distant possibility, but now it’s here.”

“The Force Awakens” is directed, written and produced by acclaimed filmmaker J.J. Abrams, whose previous work includes films which pleased fans and critics alike, such as the three latest installments of the “Mission Impossible” franchise and the “Star Trek” reboot series. Alongside Abrams are writers Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote the scripts for the second two films in the original trilogy “The Empire Strikes Back” and “The Return of the Jedi,” along with Academy Award winner Michael Arndt of “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Toy Story 3,” and producer Kathleen Kennedy of dozens of blockbusters including “Jurassic Park” and “Schindler’s List.”

The cast of “The Force Awakens” includes both the leads from the original trilogy and new additions. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, playing Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia respectively,  all make their return to the franchise after last appearing together in 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.”

Alongside those returning are newcomers Adam Driver, of “Lincoln” and “Inside Llewyn Davis,” who plays Sith lord Kylo Ren, Daisy Ridley as desert-scavenger Rey, and John Boyega as Finn, a redeemed First Order stormtrooper.

Despite all the hype and excitement built around “The Force Awakens,” Disney has left much to mystery, even going so far as not having any critic screenings, leaving many fans worried that Abrams may be hiding serious flaws from scrutiny in order to save what will surely be a big opening weekend.

Others think Disney seems to be learning its lesson from the last time it release a trilogy launching film, “The Phantom Menace,” when the then-fledgling internet leak culture unveiled numerous bootlegged-previews and key plot points of the 1999 film. These leaks, however, did not stop “The Phantom Menace,” from breaking several box-office records and it is unlikely that any leaks would seriously hinder the commercial performance of “The Force Awakens,” which has already sold over $50 million in advance tickets.

What is known is this: “The Force Awakens,” is set approximately 30 years after the events in “The Return of the Jedi,” in which Luke Skywalker and the Rebels overthrow the Sith empire led by Lord Palpatine and his former-Jedi apprentice Darth Vader. As seen in the trailers and teasers, there seems to be a revival of both the Sith and the Jedi, and one can only assume that at some points these two conflicting forces will meet, though there will be two successors to “The Force Awakens.”

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

After 1,000 years of peace, the Galactic Republic is threatened by the greedy Trade Federation and a resurgence of the Sith. A young Anakin Skywalker is discovered and believed to be the one prophesized to bring balance to the force.


Episode II: Attack of the Clones

10 years after Episode I, the Clone Wars begins as Anakin Skylwaker is well on his way to becoming a Jedi Knight, despite a few bumps in the road.


Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Three years after the start of the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker is seduced into the darkside by Senator  Palpatine who replaces the Galctic Republic with the Empire and orders the execution of all Jedi. Anakin Skywalker assumes the name Darth Vader.


Episode IV: A New Hope

Nineteen years after the rise of the Galactic Empire, Anakin Skywalker’s son Luke joins the Rebel forces where he meets Han Solo and Princess Leia. The group embark on a journey to assist in destroying the Empire’s Death star.


Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

As the Rebel Alliance struggles against the Empire, Luke faces his destiny as a Jedi Knight an begins training under Mater Yoda. He then battles Darth Vader , who reveals himself to be both Luke and Leia’s father.


Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

One year after his duel with his father Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker has graduated to the level of a full Jedi Knight as he assists in toppling the Galactic Empire by defeating Emperor Palpatine while Han Solo, Leia and the Rebel Alliance fight in the Battle of Endor.

Illustration by Cortez Rose


By: Khaila King

Students face obstacles outside of their own inner struggles no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance... Title IX Law By Khaila King

With the iconic transgender lives of activist/actor Laverne Cox and former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner in the spotlight, many trans individuals are starting to become more comfortable transitioning and embracing their true identity.

Transgender is when the self-identification of a person does not correspond with the biological sex that the person was assigned at birth. Usually in this case, a person changes physical appearance to match what is felt on the inside.

A common assumption is that transgender is directly related to a change in sexual preference, which is inaccurate. A person can change gender, but still be attracted to the opposite sex of his or her original biological state. They are just simply changing their physical appearance to acquire the gender they feel they were meant to be at birth. This is done sometimes surgically, with hormone therapy or simply cross-dressing.

For teens this process can be especially difficult. One student said that he had always known he was transgender, but finally accepted it towards the end of middle school. Although society is becoming more accepting of the LGBT community as a whole, there is still a long way to go before it reaches true equality.

The transgender community is one of many that still faces challenges. Specifically with transgender students, schools are sometimes hesitant to enforce the rights they are entitled to under the Title IX law of the Education Amendments of 1972. That law prohibits any form of sexual discrimination in any program or activity on the basis of sex, and has been interpreted by the Office for Civil Rights to also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or the failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.

For instance, a school district in Chicago announced that they would not adopt a policy requiring students who are transgender to use locker rooms of their choice for changing and showering. That defies the Title IX law that specifically states “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The school district was warned by the OCR with the loss of federal funding if they did not comply with the law. As a compromise, the school district then suggested building a separate facility for trans students. The OCR has only reached settlement agreements that require school districts to permit transgender students to use restrooms that correspond with their self-identity two times in the past two years. The policy for Warren Township prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and transgender identity in addition to the Title IX law that all schools must follow. Any issues that arise are addressed to ensure that transgender students are not discriminated against or harassed.

The exact number of transgender students that attend Warren is unknown because that information has not been collected. Principal Rich Shepler and Associate Principal Ms. Emily Brown said that the schools work son a case-by-case basis to ensure the best interest of the student and the family.

Brown said that it is different for every student but it is usually a counselor that talks with the student and family at first. One of the biggest things is where in the process are they because that process is different for every student and every family. They then find out what requests are being made. “Not all students have the same requests, and so then we as a school talk with them and talk through those requests and come up with a plan,” Brown said. “Some students don’t present themselves to a counselor or to any staff members. They keep that private, but when that happens then the counselor emails the information that the student wishes to be shared with the teachers.”

School discrimination is not the only challenge being faced by transgender students. Students also have to deal with the reaction of some of their peers. Bullying is a concern for every school. A national survey performed by the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network revealed that 75 percent of transgender youth feel unsafe at school, and those who are able to persevere had significantly lower GPAs, were most likely to miss school out of concern for their safety and were less likely to plan on continuing their education.

A study conducted in 2011 by the National Center of Transgender Equality displayed that 44 percent of transgender youth had been abused physically, 67 percent of them had been bullied online and 64 percent of them had their property stolen or destroyed.

Luckily for one transgendered student at Warren, bullying has not been a major issue. “I haven’t really had any bad experience with it,” the student said. “Most people don’t really care and those who do care don’t say anything or they stay behind closed doors.” Although this student may not have faced bullying, the school is still concerned about bullying incidents when it comes to certain situations as explained by Warrior Alliance sponsor Ms. Laura Butgerite. “The concern is primarily the safety of the student,” Butgerite said. “It is not that the school wants to keep a transgender male out of the boy’s bathroom. Obviously, bathrooms are a pretty vulnerable area for everybody, and so if a female to male transgender students wants to go to the boy’s bathroom, is he going to be safe in there.”

Another major obstacle for transgender students is the transition itself. Opening up to family members is not always an easy journey. In some instances trans students are not only ridiculed and discriminated against by prejudices in society, but they cannot even express themselves in front of loved ones. This can sometimes lead to depression and suicide. Fortunately for the same student mentioned previously, his parents were very sympathetic.

“My parents have always been supportive,” the student said. “It came as a shock and they didn’t really understand, but as they began to understand, they have been really accepting of it and all around good about it. I’m very lucky. It’s gone as far as hormone therapy, and I am going to start testosterone very soon. Just be yourself, do what makes you feel comfortable, and it’s all about what you feel. Don’t let other people dictate how you feel. That just leads to hurt.”

One parent said that the only concern about the child being transgender was all the challenges and discrimination the child would encounter, endure and have to overcome. The parent was only upset at the fact that the student had not told them sooner. Unfortunately, some students are not as fortunate as others are with peers and family members. One female to male trans student recalled a time when he carried all his Barbies and baby dolls to his parents’ room and told them that little boys did not play with Barbies. The parents refuted it, telling him that he was a girl and to go back to his room. If students are struggling to transition and need emotional support, Brown recommends that they seek a counselor or a trusted adult in general. Brown feels that counselors can be the best advocates when provided the opportunity. “

Any time a student is thinking about sharing something with their family that they are hesitant about whether it is this issue or any other issue, counselors are the best resource,” Brown said. “Sometimes I talk to Mrs. Bre Brown [Director of Guidance] about things that are going on in my personal life to have a sounding board, because they have special training in that. When I was a teacher, I had kids confide in me sometimes, because I was someone they trusted, but sometimes I would look at them and say I don’t have training in that. I can tell you what is in my gut feeling, but I don’t know that that is right and so often times I would use the counselors as a resource for that.”

with contribtions by Paige Finnigan Editor-in-Cheif and Megan Bone Associate Editor Due to sensitive nature of the topic, all students were kept anonymous.

Student 1: I always had this feeling that I was trapped in my body and I was not the same as everybody else. Imagine looking into a mirror and not seeing what you think should be there and you have this image of what you should look like and you do not match up with that image, that is what being transgender feels like. From a young age I always preferred the boy characters, and it was always small things that set me apart from others. I realized I was transgender when I was coming from a class and my friend addressed me as she and I snapped because being called “she” offended me. That is when I knew I was not non-conforming or gender fluid but transgender. From there I used YouTube to learn about being transgender. When I told my parents they were in shock and did not understand why. After they understood what I was going through they were a lot more accepting, and they are even allowing me to start hormone therapy to further my transition.

I have learned to just be myself because you should not let others dictate your life. When I first came out I was afraid of what others would say, but at the same time I felt free and happy to finally be who I truly was. Parent 1: When he told me he was transgender I was never worried about him being a boy, I was worried about what parents were going to say about him. I was upset that he had not told me sooner, but at the same time him being transgender is not a big deal to me. One of the main things I was worried about right off the bat had nothing to do with us accepting him or worrying about him being transgender, it was how others would treat him and how would he live a normal life. Being transgender is going to be an uphill battle for him his whole life. It does not stop with high school I am always going to be worried when he goes to get a job and him not being, chosen because he is transgender. Parents are so busy fighting their child being transgender that they do not realize what their child is going through emotionally. And I would rather accept my child than have them deal with all of those emotions alone.