Woodshed Word News 2019-2020

Mrs. Hornstein

Senior Year Focus

Hopefully senioritis hasn’t kicked in quite yet for you seniors because there are many things you should be focusing on throughout this school year to prepare for your future after graduation. No matter what your plans may be, I have some tips to help prepare your chosen path.

For anyone planning on furthering your education, make sure you start looking at schools and making lists of colleges, universities, tech and trade schools that interest you. If you haven’t already, start planning on campus visits as well. You can start the application process too and it’s recommended you have those done by Thanksgiving break. Each school has a different deadline, so be sure to research when to have everything done just to be safe. Many of you will need to take your SAT if you haven’t done so already, so please be on the lookout for upcoming test dates and locations. If anyone is interested in retaking the test during this fall to improve your score, see Mrs. Hornstein for more information. Scholarships are going to be available soon. Mrs. Hornstein will be giving information about local scholarships and there are other national scholarships you can be researching on your own. If any of you need letters of recommendation from teachers, please give an advanced notice of about one week to ten days. Last but not least, you can be looking around for job shadowing opportunities. For any further questions, there are many staff members who will be willing to give you any tips or advice, so branch out and start asking around.

Students who are interested in going into the military, there are some tips for you too. It is a good idea to start meeting with recruiters as soon as possible. Recruiters will guide you through everything you need to know and help you focus on which branch to pick and what jobs to look for. If you need more information, there is a list of recruiters you can choose from to talk to in the guidance office. There will also be many upcoming dates where recruiters will be here to talk to anyone interested in the military, so be sure to take advantage of those opportunities. ASVABS scores should be reviewed and anyone who is looking to retake the test this November to improve their score, needs to see Mrs. Hornstein as soon as possible to sign up. Look at websites, careers, and research any further information if you have free time to help give you an idea of what you’d be interested in doing if you don’t already have a plan.

For those of you who would like to immediately start collecting a paycheck upon graduation, it would be a good idea to start looking for part-time work right now if your schedule allows. If co-op is something that would interest you during the school year, it isn’t too late to start the process if you already have a job lined up. Start networking with friends and families to possibly find a job as well. Make sure you prepare yourself to get to your job whether it is securing transportation or just preparing yourself for the work life, like waking up early and working long hours. You will need your resume that you make in English this upcoming year, so take it seriously and invest your time and effort wisely.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks in surviving your senior year.

-- The Woodshed Word Contributor --

                  Kimmi O’Rourke 



MHS Library Renovations

Notice anything new at our school? It’s more than obvious that we have a new and improved library. Over summer vacation, the school has remodeled our library, in the hopes that more students will come to use it.

Right away, many students notice a new span of carpet resembling a sky blue oak paneling and many pieces of furniture more suitable for student comfort. Everything in the library was enhanced, from tables to the wall color. The couches and tables are so much bigger than before and everything is rearranged. Mrs.Rose suggests everyone to go down there and check it out.

Another change this year in addition to the library arrangements is Mrs. Rose’s schedule this year.  MHS is fortunate to have her in our building every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. She is at MES on Mondays and Fridays. Mrs. Rose states that the best time to come down to the library is on Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school begins.  Student can also visit the library during “lunch plus time”. Tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders have access during “lunch plus” on Wednesdays, while seventh, eighth, and ninth graders can visit during “lunch plus” on Thursdays. Students will also be able to experience the library during WINN times when eligible.  More details on that will be forthcoming. 

There are so many new goals that are needed to be reached this year amongst all of these changes. The librarian is trying to get as many students to read books and enjoy the new library! Mrs. Rose also wants to have students come down to work on projects consistently to enjoy this spectacular new space. Many students are asking questions about the new coffee bar, so these details will be shared with the public as soon as possible.  If you have any questions about our new library, be sure to ask Mrs. Rose. Mrs. Rose also wants to give a shoutout to Mrs. Howick for putting so much time and energy into creating this wonderful space.

-- Woodshed Word Contributor --

              Alexis Rodgers 

Students in the Workforce 

The Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5, commonly known as the IU5, began their program called “Student in the Workplace” (SIW) where they included selected students from a few local schools to participate in “real world” experiences to gain valuable skills for the workforce and beyond. I, Chad Robey, was fortunate to represent Maplewood on this first outing, and I want to share my adventure with all you, Tigers.

On September 18th, Mr. Eisert was captain of our school van as he drove Kelis Joliet, Kaleb Donor, Nick Thomas-Brandenburg, Aurora LaLonde, and myself to the Millcreek Mall. Upon converging in the conference room with another local school, we heard our goal for the day and it was rather simple: we had one hour to go to nine of the twelve stores listed on the paper, ranging from large stores like Boscovs, to smaller ones like Build-a-Bear. We were to ask an employee his role, his greatest responsibility, and some essential skills for the job. We also had to find out one thing that he learned on the job that he had wished he had learned in high school. Surprisingly, most of the employees said that they wished that school had taught them real-life skills, such as learning to do taxes, managing personal credit, and utilizing time management. 

After we met our goal, and discussed the results of our interviews, we then continued the portion of the program where they outfit all of us students with a brand new business suit and accessories. JC Penny had employees assisting us with our outfitting, to make sure we all got the proper measurements and styles. The employees seemed very psyched about this, as they all enjoyed matching the clothing and seeing all the customers’ needs being met. These provided suits will be worn during out next adventure planned for October 11th where we will be traveling to Edinboro University. Once the outfitting was done, we proceeded to the food court where lunch was provided which was Joliet’s highlight of the day.  

After thanking the Millcreek and IU5 representatives, we traveled back to our home schools while our energy buzzed about the day’s activities.  We were all thankful for this experience since it got all of us thinking about the requirements and skills needed for the workforce. Fortunately for our MHS students, we have various classes, such as statistics, economics, and independent living where we are gaining these valuable skills that will help us succeed in all areas of our lives.  

As SIW continues, I am hoping to learn more about the world around me, and I will continue to pass on this valuable information to the entirety of the student body here at MHS.

-- The Woodshed Word Contributor --

             Chad Robey 

Hurricane Dorian

A few weeks ago, you may remember hearing about hurricane Dorian. Sadly, it was certainly the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the United States. This hurricane left a lot of damage toward the citizens and the landscape, and we are all affected by its aftermath even though we may live hundreds of miles from the storm’s path.

On August 26-28, 2019, a hurricane was formed and it was predicted to move up the east coast of the United States at about 180 mph. Atlantic hurricane season is a dramatic time for all citizens and at this time, Dorian was born. This hurricane did it’s best work in the morning and during the day. Imagine around 30 hours of horrific rainfall and watching your home life vanish. Unfortunately, this left thousands homeless. Because of this, both The American Red Cross and The Support Team Rubicon are currently helping people to build up and salvage those in need.

For all those with curious minds, there is an explanation of how this hurricane started. It’s when moisture evaporates into the atmosphere and eventually grows into a humongous cloud of heated air that swirls and it then creates a hurricane. The direction the hurricane is moving depends on the environmental wind field that surrounds the earth; this led for Dorian to climb up against the United State. The statement, “ Warmer waters have made the speed at which hurricanes intensify in strength faster in the recent years.” Rick Scott from The Guardians confirms that the reason the hurricanes occur more often is that global warming is taking part in the 21st century.

This hurricane was incredibly strong ranking 5. The strong rain falls destroyed places such as the Bahamas, Abaco Island, and the south eastern part of the United States coasts. The destruction from the hurricane caused these beautiful places to accumulated about 7 billion dollars in damage and left 70,000 homeless. To continue, the United States is helping those states and countries that were hit by Dorian. 

Although this hurricane is the strongest hurricane to hit the United States, we can try our hardest to help others and put our hearts out there for those in need. To conclude, you can donate to the following places such as Salvation Army, Americares, Mercy Corps, and the National Association of the Bahamas.

Website Sources include: nymag.com and theguardian.com   

  -- The Woodshed Word Contributor --

                Jenna Rubaker           


New Things At MHS

Although there may not be any new faces among the teaching staff this year, there are several changes among their departments and within their curriculum. For example, there are changes among the rotations offered and some of the available electives. It is also obvious that the schedules within the school day have changed a bit too. Some may be wondering if the changes this year are temporary, and yes, some of them may be temporary because we are on a trial run to see if everything works out properly.

To start with, MHS had to say goodbye to the beloved Mrs. Zurasky since she retired at the end of the school year. Although we can never truly fill her shoes, stepping up to the field this year is our very own Mr. Borkovich. In response to how he is adjusting to this major change  he replied, “it is different but it's also good…I like that I’m in one classroom instead of bouncing all around.” Another change this year is within the English department since Mr. Bailey is now teaching Reading Reinforcement at the junior high level. He states, “I find teaching Reading Reinforcement a definite challenge.  It is so crucial to help struggling readers to attain a higher level of reading ability.” True, you need to be able to read some things to get a good job in the future. Mr. Bailey continues by stressing that, “It is very difficult to succeed in our culture without being able to read, interact with, and comprehend written text."

As many already know, Mr. Gardener and Mrs. Rose go back and forth from the elementary and high school. However, their schedules have altered a bit. Mrs. Rose’s new schedule is that she’s at the elementary on Mondays and Fridays, but then is at the high school Tuesdays to Thursdays. She states that this “ gives more opportunities for the teachers to bring their  students to get books to help them in that class. “ I think it's too early in the school year to decide if the rotations are a good thing…possibly a good opportunities for them.” Mr. Gardener claims. The teachers who stay at the high school think that, ”...it's a big adjustment for everyone, especially for the seventh graders who are just coming up to the high school, and for others… they believe that the block periods with the eighty-five minute classes will help with projects and or other things that need to get done…you also don’t need to split up the projects that do take more time than others…” Many staff members voiced their opinions about the differences this year. 

-- Woodshed Word Contributors --

Kyra Hoan & Dakota Thompson 

Soccer and Speed

With school starting, and fall quickly approaching, many sports are starting up again, as well. A couple of those sports include our very own girls soccer team and cross country team. Starting with soccer, sophomore McKenzie Means, said her “goal for the season is to improve and surpass (her) last year’s goal count of sixteen. (She) can achieve this goal by practicing and improving (her) precision and aim at the goal.” McKenzie said that she is looking forward to improving her team as a whole, and understanding the different skills used to win. Her advice to other girls considering joining next year would be to go a little easier on yourself because, “you aren’t going to become Ronaldo in one day, but if you practice and have the willpower to continue, you will develop a set of skills needed to become a fantastic soccer player.” McKenzie is very dedicated to the sport and pushes herself to do better at each game. 

A soccer player who truly pushes herself time and time again, Jordyn Ploski, states that she hopes her team, “will advance farther into the playoffs than (they) did last year, and (she) hope(s) to score more goals this year, now that (she’s) playing midfield and not defense.” Jordyn said that her team can achieve these goals by practicing a lot together, becoming  more aggressive and being motivated. Jordyn seemed excited about this season because she is eager to get to know the team better and see their improvement throughout the season. Her advice for girls thinking about joining the team is to just try soccer out. She states, “We have a lot of fun at practice and get along.” 

Also running toward wins this season is our cross country team coached by Matthew McClellan, who is very dedicated, making sure his students are always performing to the best of their ability. The major change of this season’s team is that many seventh graders joined the team. Even though it may seem difficult to have a lot of new runners, McClellan said that they are a very teachable group, and they are very determined and hardworking. A couple things McClellan looks forward to this season include seeing how the team improves and witnessing his team’s goal of making it to states. He stated that even with the amount of new runners that joined the team, there is room for more people to join if they are thinking about joining a new sport.

Not new to the sport this year, is sophomore Lisa Prenatt,  who joined the sport back in seventh grade. She joined the team because she showed an interest in running and enjoyed it. She also became friends with many people from the team. Her goal for this year is “to get in the lower twenties for a 5K.” Lisa strives to complete this goal by trying her hardest at practice and having the right attitude to achieve success. She said that she is most excited about regions, because she wants to see how the team places and how they improve.

Another returning varsity runner, Walker Wheeling, declares that his goals for 2019 are to place at districts, regions, and states. He can accomplish these goals by practicing hard and aiming to be the best runner he can. His highlights from this year and past years are running home course and competing against other great runners at districts and regions. Some of the cross country team’s strengths that Walker noted are that jr. high runners are fantastic early in the season, and even though the team has some challenges to overcome, such as losing last year’s seniors, Walker stated that they all have untapped potential that can really assist them this year.

Additionally, Brooke Jackowski, another varsity runner with speed, shares that her leading goal for this year is to get her final times lower than last year. She mentioned that her main highlight for the seasons is the races. Knowing that everyone has a chance at placing first really helps the runners do their best. Brooke said that the team’s strengths are that they all get along and work well together.

Whether running on rugged cross country trails or running on grassy field, our athletes are sure to shine this season. Try to witness some spectacular sportsmanship as the season continues for these fall athletes. 

-- The Woodshed Word Contributor --

                   Kaitlyn Schutz


Keeping Colds at Bay

Do you want to stay away from the common cold? Well of course, we all do! However, colds are all too common here at MHS. Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid becoming its next victim. First of all, students must always wash their hands really well, get enough sleep, and always take medicine at the first sign of a cold to help minimize the symptoms. Colds can spread extremely fast, so it is important we protect ourselves.

As mentioned, you should always wash your hands after using the restroom, touching books and public surfaces, other people’s belongings, and while playing sports. Hand hygiene and hygiene in general, are really important when it comes to avoid getting sick. Here are some great steps on how to properly wash your hands; use warm water, and scrub your hands, wrists, in between your fingers, the back of your hands and under your fingernails. Make sure to use soap in this process and then rinse very well. Adopting this habit can play a major role in your health, and avoid the viruses. 

Sleep is very important to your health wether you think it or not. For the most part, having good rest can help clear up your sickness and help you heal faster. It is required by the doctors that your bodies needs 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Sleep helps boost the immune system and it attacks all of the unwanted viruses. So if you were recently sick, know that you should consider a strict sleeping schedule.

If you are starting to feel slightly ill and you start having symptoms of catching a cold, make sure to take proper medicine. For example, you could take ibuprofen for pain, Robitusson, Musinex, and all of those other foul tasting medicines that help. Make sure you take the proper time, such as daytime or nighttime, so you don’t end up sleeping in class or at work; that’s a chance of failing and getting fired. Medicine is useful to take while having symptoms because it will only get worse if you don’t.

So now that you know that washing your hands properly, abiding by a strict sleep schedule, and taking medicine symptoms arise, can help you overcome sickness, you should consider these three things as tips. 

-- The Woodshed Word Contributor --                               Alexis Rogers

Foster Family Photo

Fostering Love 

Foster care is one thing many people want to get involved in, but never take any steps toward completing their goal. First off, if you want to start fostering children, you have to know what it is. The word foster means to bring up (a child that is not your own), and care means providing what is necessary for the health and protection individuals or something. So, together, foster care means to bring up someone by providing health and protection to him or her. 

Jamie Schutz and her family started foster care around a year ago, and said, “I really wasn’t confident. I had a lot of misgivings and insecurities about it, even to the point of almost backing out of it. It’s scary to do something new, especially if it’s so unknown.” Even though she had a lot of doubts, Jamie and her family knew that they had to start foster care. She expressed that she, “just really felt like it was something we were supposed to do. We have a lot to offer children, and we are in a good place as far as our own kids’ ages, and I just felt like it was the next ministry that I needed to be a part of.” Jamie said that her “favorite part of foster care is seeing how much (her) family really loves the whole process. It’s really become a family thing that we do together.” When asked about her advice for people who want to start fostering, she said, “Foster care will not be as scary as what you think it is, and I definitely recommend doing it because there’s so many kids and there’s so much support for foster families.”

Your actions can greatly impact and benefit children and help them to escape from their issues, and provide much needed care for them. Although becoming part of the foster care system may seem like a lot of work, it pays off in the end when you get to experience the child’s attitude and personality blossoming through your care and dedication. If you stick through the whole process, you will definitely not regret all the work required for starting foster care.

-- The Woodshed Word Contributor --

                       Kaitlyn Schutz 

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

With the new school year unfolding, football is in full swing.  Returning coach Bryan Borkovich says the main goal with his current team is to win regions and playoffs. Varsity has a smaller team to work with this year but they are still going strong! With such low numbers, it’s vital the team stays healthy.  Borkovich declares, “Winning isn’t for everybody,” but they are going to take it one week at a time and see where this season takes them. The Tigers are ranked first in the region and third in the district. The coach exclaims that the players are all very athletic and fast this year and he is “excited that the season is here.” Senior varsity football star and quarterback JD McFadden says that his main goal is to work as a team, win regions, and District 10. He's also looking forward to Reynolds on the 20th. McFadden knows they have a very strong team that has played together since seventh grade showing lots of true leadership.  Some of the major challenges McFadden believes they deal with is public adversity and arguments between teammates. Next up, senior football player Bryan Kelly, defensive end and left tackle, states that his main goals are also to win regions and districts, as well, and to dominate in the Reynolds game. Kelly is thrilled that all of the seniors have returned this year to keep the momentum going and says that even though MHS may have a bad reputation, it is being overcome with discipline and hard work.

 Not always in the spotlight, but equally important are our spirited MHS cheerleaders who provide the heart and soul behind our Tiger team.  Cheerleading assistant coach, Debbie McPherson, is excited to welcome their brand new head coach, Amanda Hollabough. Their goals for the season are to be drama free and have a very safe season with no injuries. Highlights of the season will be community night and the homecoming football game. McPherson remarks that every cheerleader is very talented but one of the biggest challenges for the team was the coach leaving and getting a new one. Varsity senior cheerleader Lauryl Oakes is looking forward to senior night and graduating. She reports that some of the challenges are communication and getting along with teammates. Senior varsity cheerleader Hannah Shartle also says she is looking forward to the homecoming football game. She is excellent at flying during routines and she is looking forward to getting closer to teammates. The whole team seems to be buzzing with energy as the season continues.

Our Friday night football games would not be complete without the “hopping” sounds of our very own marching band.  Mr. Gardner, the enthusiastic band director, states that his goals for the season are quality experience and working on becoming better musicians.  Sadly the band can’t compete this year because all of the seniors from last year have graduated and the band is very low in numbers as a result. That band has three shows they are participating in,  including General McLane, Maplewood home show and Meadville. Mr. Gardner announced that he has very good kids who work as hard as they can but he is still looking for more people! He is very proud of the kids who have stuck with it because it shows a lot of integrity. Senior band student since the seventh grade, Hannah Davis, says she’s really disappointed she’s not going to be competing this year but she’s still excited for the season. She’s looking forward to their home game and the Meadville show. The band is comprised of a lot of young students and only two seniors this year.  They are all working hard together and are very confident in pursuing their goals. 

Hopefully all of you students and community members can make it to some of the games this season to watch the athletic talent of these Tigers.

   --  The Woodshed Word Contributor --

                         Miranda Titus 

E-cigs? E-nough!

Everyone’s heard of e-cigs, right? Well, have you heard the truth behind these new mystery machines? When the devices were first introduced to the public, there was a big concern about them exploding in people’s faces and giving them extreme burns. These devices work by heating up a flavored liquid to make a mist in which you then inhale, or “vape”. These liquids usually contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive, highly dangerous killing machine. This drug is added for people who search for a “buzz” from the electronic. Due to this, this item has been classified as a tobacco product, according to the FDA, who in fact does not approve of them. There are also e-cigs available that do not contain any nicotine. Sounds safe, right? Well, think again. These are just as dangerous, due to the fact that these flavors break up easily in the stomach, they do not do the same in the respiratory tract. When tested with the humans’ blood cells, a number of e-liquid flavoring chemicals caused high levels of cell stress or death. This proves how bad they are, since dead immune cells can’t go fight infection. They tested and showed that heating each flavoring in an e-cigarette created harmful levels of molecules that can damage cells. What’s more, mixing two or more flavors together caused even higher levels of these damaging molecules than did heating each on its own. This suggests that breathing in multiple e-liquid flavors could be more dangerous than exposure to just one at a time, as tested by sciencenewforstudents.org. You may think that all this is bad enough, but it gets even worse. For growing kids and pregnant women, it delays growth of the child and can even kill them! It delays the development of the brain and the body, and will destroy the lungs and heart. The side effects are uncharted, but many believe that they are caused by black market pods, or they may be a fail in the product. CNN has announced yet another death caused by this product, and New York has gone so far as to ban sale on all flavors. So much is unknown about these mysterious devices, and there is still so much left to learn. As long as they are around, nobody’s safe.

               -- The Woodshed Word --

                             Chad Robey 

Schooling Options of Today 

With technology advancing and times changing, it is becoming easier to find the schooling program to fit your needs. Beyond cyber school and public school, there is also traditional homeschooling. Even though there are obvious differences between the three programs, there are also many pros and cons to each of them.

First of all, one of the most popular schooling programs is normal public school. Although many students dread waking up early to come to school and sit in a room for hours while the teacher lectures, there are many benefits to it. On the social factor, public school ranks the highest. Seeing and interacting with hundreds of other teenagers five days out of the week, really brings about benefits to your social health and social skills. Another perk of the public school system is that the students have greater time management skills. Having an enforced, physical due date for projects really helps students manage their time. They have to figure out how to keep up with sports, while studying, and making sure their upcoming projects are ready to be turned in. When having minimal time in class to work on assignments and many other different classes with the same amount of work, it can become a very stressful day. Despite these challenges, the majority of students find a way to make their schedules work while managing time to play sports, attend jobs, and keep up with their social lives.

Cyber School is another popular schooling system with a lot of new online programs being created and making it easier for people to attend. The disadvantages of cyber school include being secluded from real students, other than the students you can communicate through email, not being able to get an immediate answer from your teacher, and not having as strict of a schedule. Although that could be a plus, many students need a set schedule or they won’t get their work done to the best of their ability or on time. Some benefits include more time for studying and sports, and being able to customize your schedule to your needs. Not all classes are offered at all times in public school, so having a couple more choices for your classes and when to take them, can help students choose classes that they like, and can correspond with their future job choices.

The last well-known schooling method is traditional homeschooling. Among the other two types of school, homeschooling has the most laid back and customizable schedules. Being able to choose which classes you want to do and when, with the exception of the core classes, really helps students feel less overwhelmed and can help enhance their learning ability. Cyber school programs are somewhat customizable, but if you want to interact with the teacher, you have to do that class at a certain time, whereas with traditional homeschooling, your schedule is completely customizable. Along with cyber school, homeschooling also has social disadvantages because you are secluded from most teenagers, and don’t get that much interaction with other kids. You can, however, opt to attend a co-op a couple times a week, which allows you to go to different life skills classes, and interact with other teenagers.

With these three options of schooling available, it makes it easier for many children and teenagers to pick one that they will enjoy and will help their learning abilities soar.


Vaping Victims

In the 21st century, the number of vaping victims have grown tremendously, killing several and hospitalizing hundreds. To stop this addiction, there are some ways to help, such as developing new coping mechanisms, speaking with a psychiatrist, and participating in a number of programs.

To begin with, in 2015, vaping was trending and ever since then, people have been left on bad terms. It is better off to quit, but of course, it isn’t that simple. Therefore, there is a way for getting your mind off of vaping such as relying on better coping mechanisms. Many teens have symptoms of depression and anxiety, but other than vaping, there are healthier ways to cope with these personal issues. For example, exercising or participating in a hobby you’re interested in is a healthier outlet. Your actions can precisely change your decisions and can most likely save your life.  

In addition to healthier coping mechanisms, having a psychiatrist or therapist can help you mentally stop vaping. Sometimes having someone there to help you through your progress and listen to your personal problems can make a big difference in the right direction. Therefore, discussing the main reason of how and why the habit started can reduce your ways and will most likely will convert your bad habits into good ones. To continue, there are six types of therapy that are recommended to those in need. The six types include cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, psychodynamic therapy, art therapy, and psychoeducation. To read more about these types of therapy, click on the links provided. 

Other than the six types of therapy, there are plenty of programs that are useful to end the habits of vaping. The programs BecomeAnEX, This is Quitting, and Exprogram are well-known programs that proceed to help teens stop smoking. Therefore, contacting these programs gives teens a higher chance of living and become more successful in their lives.

To wrap up, from coping mechanisms and psychiatrists to programs, don’t add to the number of teens risking their lives and maybe think about your choices.

Website sources; truthinitiative.com and abcnews.go.com

-- The Woodshed Word Contributor --

                         Jenna Rubaker