All posts by Alyssa Kuntz

Eighth graders prepare for their freshmen year

As the school year creeps toward an end, returning students begin preparing for the upcoming year. While many high school students return, new freshman arrive each and year eager for a fresh start in a new school.

“I am very excited [for high school]. I am looking forward to it because it’s a new chapter of my life, and I’m really looking forward to becoming an adult and learning new things along the way,” eighth grader Chris Miller said.

On Wed., Feb. 17, anxious eighth grade students entered the high school to receive the first glimpse at their freshman year in the new school. They came to the high school for an eighth grade orientation to understand a little bit more of what high school will be like.

“I am really looking forward to high school because I don’t really like Kimpton right now. I think that high school will be better because you are allowed more freedom,” eighth grader Maria Leonino said.

As the students entered the building, they all went to the auditorium with their parents and found a seat. Then they sat through an explanation of the orientation, what to schedule for and what to expect coming in on the first day of school next year.

Next they all proceeded to the cafeteria and gym to see the career programs, classes, sporting events, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, support groups and more offered at the high school.

“[While here], I was looking at basketball, soccer, football track, student council, journalism and a few other classes as well,” Miller said.

Many students seemed interested in every option available to them, while others were drawn to a mere one or two.

“I am excited to take creative cooking because I like to cook, and I especially love to eat,” eighth grader Olivia Edwards said.

Some students were attracted to the sports programs, while others were attracted to certain classes.

“I am interested [in taking] teammates, photography and cooking while also maybe doing Hitting 4 Home. They all interest me because I like helping others, taking pictures and I like to cook as well,” Leonino said.

Some eighth grade students are related to other high school students, so they will be going to school with their family relatives.

“I can not wait to see my brother, Logan, at school,” Edwards said.

The eighth grade students all had enthusiasm on their faces to see the possibility in their new education at the high school next year.

Valentine’s Day brings mixed feelings

The aftermath of Valentine’s Day can have some people questioning their relationship status.

While some people are out on dates, getting each other stuffed animals, chocolates, roses or balloons, others are sitting at home by themselves playing video games, snacking, watching TV or hanging out with their own friends.

“While everyone else is out doing things and having plans, I just end up sitting at home playing video games in my room all day,” senior David Hall said.

Some of the people who do not go on a date with a significant other can sometimes feel left out.

“Valentine’s Day does make make feel left out a little bit, but I have gotten used to it,” Hall said.

Feeling left out on Valentine’s Day may be due to the constant advertisement in stores, on TV or in schools on around and on holiday. Commercials, posters and propaganda are everywhere telling people they need to go on a date or find a date with someone.

“What makes me feel left out the most on Valentine’s Day is the necessity that exists in our culture today of having a boyfriend or girlfriend,” Hall said.

This constant advertisement of the holiday may leave some people questioning their status and if they really should find a significant other they can call theirs.

Other people find the holiday annoying and tacky. Some couples decide to just stay home and order pizza because they don’t find Valentine’s Day amusing.

One may find himself wondering if Valentine’s Day is really a day to celebrate love or to point out he does not have a significant other yet.

“I don’t feel left out [on Valentine’s Day] because, personally, I don’t need anyone to make me happy,” senior Kayla Esterle said.

While some people are feeling left out on Valentine’s Day, other may feel like the opposite. They might think they do not need anyone to make them happy as they are happy with themselves.

Two families support Josie Cremer

If one was to see the Cremer family, they would notice an ordinary family that loves to swim for fun and for competition; however, people do not notice the challenges and hardships they have to overcome in their daily lives.
Their family consists of four brothers and two sisters: Alex Cremer, Josie, Cory, Toby, and Ana.
Their whole family loves to swim. Alex swam in high school, and Josie and Cory are following his lead by pursuing the sport as well.
“All together, including summer league and high school league, I have been swimming for about four years,” sophomore Cory said.
Cory swims distance events such as the 200 and the 500 meter.
“My favorite event to swim is the 500. It is also the event I am personally the best at,” Cory said.
The siblings in the Cremer family grew up swimming together and eventually formed close bonds with one another as well as strong passions for the sport.
“My older brother is the one who got me interested in swimming competitively,” Cory said.
Josie loved swimming too, but something was different when she swam versus when her brothers swam. She would get very easily exhausted.
“[Josie] gets exhausted very easily and has trouble keeping up with us sometimes,” Cory said.
The family soon found out Josie had had heart problems. Her brothers helped her throughout her hard times when she was struggling the most, and when she needed someone to boost her morale.
“She has heart problems that sometimes hold her back when she swims, and as a brother, it is hard to watch her struggle like that when you know there isn’t much you can do to help her. I fully support her and am by her side the whole way,” Cory said.
These heart problems were critical and she would need to have multiple surgeries.
“She has had four open-heart surgeries so far, and it is very scary every time she goes into one because she was expected to not make it through them all,” Cory said.
Although times can be hard for Josie and her family, everyone, especially Cory, is still very encouraging and helpful.
“When she gets good times, it makes me excited to know that she is actually doing good. It’s also very heartwarming that the coaches are helping her and pushing her to her full potential, and to get better despite her setbacks,” Cory said.
Her family enjoys seeing her do what she loves and watching her strive to be the best she can be.
“It makes me happy that she is able to push through her challenges and overcome them for herself,” Cory said.
The entire swim team is supportive of Josie and loves watching her succeed. They cheer her on during each of her events and encourage her to do the best she can.
“When she is able to push through her hardships and do better than she has before and even better than she had last year, it’s really great for her and the team. It helps the rest of the team because everyone cheers for her and then everyone gets excited and ready for their own races, so they do better and have more confidence,” Cory said.
Josie loves the family vibe that she gets from all of her friends and coaches, and that is her favorite thing about swimming.
“What I like the most about swimming is when we have pasta parties and can come together like the big family that we are,” junior Josie said.
People who do know Josie and the challenges she has had to overcome are all inspired by her will to strive to the top and not let her problems get in the way of her favorite thing to do: swim.
Cory said, “she has inspired me to always do the very best that I can. She is also a constant reminder that I should never give up no matter how hard things may get.”

Looking into popular blocked websites

     Many students at Stow-Munroe Falls High School become frustrated over the wifi and why they cannot use their favorite apps and go on certain websites. These students go through the constant struggle of having to get on and off wifi to use these apps.

    The person who updates the web filter for the high school is Sean Fitch, and he works for the school district’s tech department.

    Some students realize some of their favorite apps on their devices are blocked and want to know what other websites and apps are blocked, and why they are blocked.

    “The website we block generally speaking fall into two categories things that are inappropriate and things that are a distraction. Things that are considered inappropriate would be porn, blood and gore, online gambling, information on weapons, and other things of an R-rated nature that is not considered educational. Things that are a distraction would be online games, social media and video search engines; however, there are exceptions such as youtube [that] is unblocked due to the large amounts of educational content available,” Fitch said.

    The technicians that work for the school district update the websites as often as they get a request.

    “We get more requests to unblock sites than to block them,” Fitch said.

    The filter is setup by an outside company called neonet. The filter system has categories and terms it chooses what to block based on what the company decided is irrelevant for students.

    “Beyond what the program decides is inappropriate for students, teachers, principals, and administrative staff can ask us to block or unblock sites that the filter missed or blocked on a faulty premise. If we are unsure if a request is reasonable, it will get escalated up the chain of command,” Fitch said.

    The technicians have the capability to block sites themselves as well as the ability to block search terms.

    “The three of us techs do it by ourselves. Whoever gets the ticket first does it unless they feel the need to ask whether a site should be blocked or not. If we have to escalate the request it goes to our boss the temp Tech Director Jim Gotshall, he can escalate it to his boss Mr. Fritz who is a business manager, and finally if all of us are unsure the request will go to the superintendent; however, this has only happened once, and it was for unblocking a site,” Fitch said.

    Sometimes problems arise, and it can be difficult to block and unblock things online.

    “Sometimes we have issues getting a site blocked or unblocked if this happens then we can send a request to Neonet for help.  The issues have a lot to do with the way websites are programmed,” Fitch said.

     Working with the web filter has been part of Fitch’s job since he started back in August (2015).

    “My job is to handle all technology issues with few exceptions, as such the web filtering was given to me as it is a technology issue,” Fitch said.

    As far as working with technology in general, Fitch has been fascinated by machines since he was a child.

    “I always wanted to work with some sort of technology. I started doing IT for KSU while I was a student there, and this is my first job out of college. As far as doing the filtering, I like working on sites that are difficult and don’t want to be blocked or unblocked. I find the challenge fun,” Fitch said.