Freshmen Elections Announced

President Ryan Gwin

On Wed. September 17, ten freshmen eagerly presented their campaign to voting peers for a spot on the Helix Student Council.

 

The students who ran included: Ryan Gwin, Eric Young, Capri Wilson, Leslie Savala, Faith McWashington, Ethan Thomas, Ahmad Amud, Winston Cohen, Brecca, and Diana Flores.

 

As the audience of over 500 students began quieting down in the cramped gym, the candidates shared their short and concise reasonings as to why they’re the best contender for their desired position.  Although all ten got approximately 20 seconds to speak,  some of their stumping techniques included the following,

 

“I do love fried chicken!” said Ryan Gwin, which turned out to be his crowd winning statement.

 

Winston Cohen, running for Vice president made the statement that he is not running for himself, but for “all of you” (he pointed to the audience).

 

Another memorable speech came from Ethan Thomas, when he affirmed the crowd of his honest, integrable personality before declaring that through his hard work and dedication he believes we can all have a “good time” at Helix.

 

Subsequent to the speeches, ASB director Coach Krzywicki brought the assembly to an end by having opposite sides of the gym scream “Once a Scottie! Always a Scottie!”

 

Following the assembly, one of the topics of discussion throughout the Helix freshman class was about who will win one of the coveted student council positions. Although not everyone has gotten caught up in the excitement, it was impossible to ignore if you attended the Thursday night freshmen football game, when they announced the victors.

 

As the announcers walked out, the anticipation set in for the applicants, as well as for the crowd. When they announced the select few that would become the class of 2018′s student officers, the crowd screamed equally loud for everyone.

 

First came Ryan Gwin, the Class President, followed by Capri Wilson, Class Vice President, Ethan Thomas as the Class Treasurer, and the class Secretary, Ashley Nelson who wasn’t appointed by the students.

No matter wh

On Wed. September 17, ten freshmen eagerly presented their campaign to voting peers for a spot on the Helix Student Council.

 

The students who ran included: Ryan Gwin, Eric Young, Capri Wilson, Leslie Savala, Faith McWashington, Ethan Thomas, Ahmad Amud, Winston Cohen, Brecca, and Diana Flores.

 

As the audience of over 500 students began quieting down in the cramped gym, the candidates shared their short and concise reasonings as to why they’re the best contender for their desired position.  Although all ten got approximately 20 seconds to speak,  some of their stumping techniques included the following,

 

“I do love fried chicken!” said Ryan Gwin, which turned out to be his crowd winning statement.

 

Winston Cohen, running for Vice president made the statement that he is not running for himself, but for “all of you” (he pointed to the audience).

 

Another memorable speech came from Ethan Thomas, when he affirmed the crowd of his honest, integrable personality before declaring that through his hard work and dedication he believes we can all have a “good time” at Helix.

 

Subsequent to the speeches, ASB director Coach Krzywicki brought the assembly to an end by having opposite sides of the gym scream “Once a Scottie! Always a Scottie!”

 

Following the assembly, one of the topics of discussion throughout the Helix freshman class was about who will win one of the coveted student council positions. Although not everyone has gotten caught up in the excitement, it was impossible to ignore if you attended the Thursday night freshmen football game, when they announced the victors.

 

As the announcers walked out, the anticipation set in for the applicants, as well as for the crowd. When they announced the select few that would become the class of 2018′s student officers, the crowd screamed equally loud for everyone.

 

First came Ryan Gwin, the Class President, followed by Capri Wilson, Class Vice President, Ethan Thomas as the Class Treasurer, and the class Secretary, Ashley Nelson who wasn’t appointed by the students.

Vice President Capri Wilson

No matter who won, everyone had great speeches and would have been great for the job. The freshmen class would like to congratulate the winners and is looking forward to seeing this years class council attributions to Helix Charter High School.o won, everyone had great speeches and would have been great for the job. The freshmen class would like to congratulate the winners and is looking forward to seeing this years class council attributions to Helix Charter High School.

B-Boy and B-Girls: Break Dancing Near You

Break Dancing Coming Near You

By JaNae Bell

This year Helix Charter High School has a new B- Boy and B-Girl dance club, who practice in the little theatre Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-5 p.m.

B-Boy dancing is also known as break dancing. It is a street dance that was originated from african Americans and Puerto Ricans in New York City during the 1970’s. The dance then became known worldwide due to popularity in the media, especially in regions like the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Germany, and now break dancing has come to Helix Charter High School.

Senior, Robert Jones, the creator of the club, stated that he has been dancing since he was a little boy. “I’ve always felt the need to move and dance around,” said Jones, who is now sharing his talent with others.

Dance instructor and Helix tutor Mrs. Alexandria Harris, who has been dancing since third grade, talks about how music is a way of expression for her, and how Diplo, an Electronic Music Dance DJ, influences her dancing.

“When you see him live he is always trying something new” Mrs. Harris said.

Another one of the members, Keyera McBryde, a senior, is a B- Girl dancer who talked about how she learned to dance from “old school” music videos starting at the age of five. She explained dancing as being “A way of showing feeling.”

Jones experienced a similar passion as a young child, wanting to break dance by learning from movies such as, Step up Revolution, Stomp the Yard, and You Got Served.

Stay in tune for more information on either joining or encouraging the B-Boy and B-Girl dance club. “Come support us in October for our Homecoming performance,” McBryde said

Their future performances will include clubs like tap dancing, and the poetry club (Movement Be) later throughout the year.

Top 10 Tips for Freshmen


Ah, high school-The four years that some claim are the best of their lives, and others absolutely resented. No matter how you feel about being in high school now, you have to do it so you might as well make it as easy as you can. It’s your own experience to create for yourself and you get one chance to do it your way. For new freshmen, that can be a bit harder than it sounds. However, here are 10 tips that not only will make your high school years easier, but a lot more enjoyable as well.

 

1)      Get Organized and Stay that Way

Remember that “everything folder” that you would just stuff all your papers in from all of your classes? Time for that to go. In high school, organization is key to success. Clean out your binder every couple of weeks and get rid of the papers that are unnecessary and save the ones that can be helpful later. A neat, divided binder and planner can make a busy school night a lot simpler, especially when you’re given various assignments with different due dates. Don’t rely on your memory to take notes for you. Take the time to actually separate your subjects and write down when assignments that are due. You’ll thank yourself later.

 

2)      Join a Sport or Try a Club

Helix offers a huge variety of sports and clubs that are waiting for people to join. They look good on college applications and furthermore, they are the activities that make your high school experience worthwhile. You meet new people, develop certain skill sets, and learn how to handle life situations that you couldn’t get from a textbook. Joining an activity that you are passionate should be your outlet separate from the stress of school and academics. The experiences you will get from playing a sport, creating the yearbook, or writing for the school newspaper are the times you will remember most and make you into stronger, more well-rounded person than any classroom lecture can. “Get involved. Always try to broaden your horizons,” said Jericho Toilolo, former Helix student and now Extended Learning (Exl) tutor. “It helps you narrow where your interests are when you start exploring colleges, it will gear you towards a certain direction,” he added. Find out now what you can participate in and start exploring your interests.

 

3)      Use All of Your Resources

Here at Helix there are many beneficial programs that are offered to students and many freshmen don’t even know they exist. Whether you’re struggling with English, math, science, or just need a quiet place to get your work done, there is an after school program that can help you with all of that. The Aspire program covers the majority of these projects. All you have to do is walk in. Not to mention the everyday resources such as Exl and the library where staff and tutors are eager to help students with whatever they need. “Stay on top of your homework, try not to get behind. It’s really hard to play catch-up,” Toilolo said of school work. If you are having trouble in any of your classes, don’t be afraid to ask your teacher for the extra instruction. Both you and your teacher will appreciate the additional effort to get a better grade.

 

4)      Get your Priorities Straight

Although high school has the impression of only being fun and hanging out with friends, a lot of students forget the importance of it for the future. High school is the main pathway to whichever college or program you may wish to attend after graduation. No matter what kind of student you were before this point does not affect who you want to be now. As a freshman, it would benefit you to make that decision early so that the rest of your high school years can be used for achieving a goal. Start high school with the end in mind: imagine where you want to be as a senior and make that vision happen, starting now.

 

5)      Don’t Hesitate to Participate

Many freshmen have the preconceived notion that if they raise their hand in class, ask questions, or volunteer in discussions that they will be labeled as the stereotypical “nerd.”

That is not the case. If you feel you have a valid point to add to the discussion, make your voice heard. It keeps students active and involved in class and can also help you and your classmates understand a concept better. So next time you’re feeling hesitant to ask a question, don’t be. It’s your education, no one else’s.

 

6)      Time management is your best friend

There will be times in high school where it seems as if all your teachers are secretly plotting to make your school life the most stressful and difficult thing ever. What do you do when you have hours of homework from all your classes, tests to study for, a volunteer job, sports practice, and on top of all that, a social life to uphold? This is where prioritizing and time management comes in. “Work smarter, not harder,” is Exl tutor, Angel B-M’s, favorite motto. “Time management is the key to life. If you know how to manage your time and get things done, your life will run a lot smoother.” Try to set yourself a schedule to follow every day to where you can get all your business done in a timely and convenient manner, without stressing yourself out. And yes, that might mean cutting down on some socializing time with friends. However, it beats staying up until 4 in the morning frantically trying to finish all your assignments. Procrastination is the ultimate evil of high school. Don’t get in the habit of it unless you want your 4 years consisting of all-nighters, coffee, and more coffee.

 

7)      Upperclassmen aren’t that bad

No one can help you navigate the world of high school better than a high schooler them self, especially one that has been in your exact same position not too long ago. Establishing a friendship with an upperclassmen you get along with and trust can be a huge advantage when you need some advice about a class, teacher, sport, high school, or life in general. Despite the reputation of juniors and seniors being the big, bad, top dogs of the school, many of them are actually very friendly and are happy to share their advice and experiences with underclassmen who are genuinely curious.

 

8)      Get social

For some people, this tip is completely unnecessary. For others, a total nightmare. Nonetheless, it’s helpful either way. Meeting new people and building friendships is another way to make high school a little more tolerable. Knowing a variety of people makes the week days that much more fun. Although for the average student, academics is a top priority, having a few friends in each of your classes can be beneficial to your school work as well. Forgot a homework assignment? The answer is just a text away. Those dreadful group projects? Don’t get stuck with a group where you are going to do all the work. Surround yourself with friends who are just as motivated as you are and will push you to do better, instead of dragging you down. Having friends who share the same work ethic as you allows assignments to get done faster, with ease, and some laughs.

 

9)      Get connected with a staff member

Although it seems that your teacher would be the last person you want to open up to, sometimes they are exactly the person you need. The teachers at Helix are your personal cheerleaders and can give you guidance and wisdom about almost anything you need. They have all been through high school and college themselves and know the ins and outs of what you will eventually have to do to reach your goals, so why not get a second opinion? The teacher that you connect with will be with you all throughout high school and you’ll definitely be thanking them once you’re walking off stage with your diploma in hand.

 

10)  Be yourself

No matter what path you choose to take in high school, the most important tip you can consider is to be true to yourself. Don’t take classes or join sports or clubs just because your friends are. Do things for yourself because you enjoy them and want to pursue it. High school is your own experience and shape it the way that you’ll be proud to look back on in your yearbook years from now. Ultimately, these 4 years are what you make them so accept the fact that you will make mistakes. It’s what you learn from those mistakes and make yourself a better person that takes you one step closer to the person you want to be. Enjoy high school for what it is and know that you are going to rock it.

New School Year, New Food Options

A new school year means a change in the food choices for students here at Helix Charter High School. Modifications have been made within the cafeteria school lunches, vending machines, and carts.

As part of the guidelines imposed by the Federal Government and endorsed by Michelle Obama, new food restrictions were put into effect Nationwide starting July 2014. Food given to students on campus has to fulfill a healthy nutritional value and serving sizes have gone down. However, these guidelines do not apply to sporting events, plays, and other school activities.

Many popular food items no longer exist and students have an opinion of their own when it comes to these new regulations. Travis Kyser, a junior, stated that he has stopped eating school lunch on campus due to the new changes and outrageous prices. Gatorade, having too much sugar, has been replaced with Powerade for the same price. If there will be a change, better options and lower prices should be provided, stated Kyser.

On the other hand, Andrew Pulé, a sophomore and football player, said “there are a lot of sports people on campus” so serving healthier options may be an acceptable thing. Arizona green tea’s have gone up from $1.25 to $1.75 due to the amount of sugar.

Many students complain about the price inflation and the fact that they are able to get better food and cheaper drinks at local shops; while other students notice a slight change, but are not exactly sure what it is. Overall, students want to see tastier food.
Senior Thomar Moultire said, “I want to see more cooked food” rather than processed food.

Cafeteria supervisor, Susan Cooper, stated that the reaction she has gotten from students has not been good, “the pizza is smaller, students are not fans of the Powerade and the entree changes have made many students mad,” she said. Yet when given healthy food choices, such as apples and oranges, far too many students throw them away.

“I don’t think nutrition starts with school, I think nutrition starts at home” stated Cooper. Despite the current changeover, these new modifications are to remain.

Toilolo Town

Teresa Toilolo, Helix Charter High School’s newly appointed Academic Advisor for the class of 2015, has been making leaps and bounds by joining the 2015 Grade Level Team.

Toilolo said, “for the most part it is to advise students academically, to support them with whatever needs they have, and to help my grade level team, especially Ms. Gunion.”

Formerly, working as a tutor at Helix and in the attendance office for a year, she’s finally transferred to her personal “dream job,” she explained.

“Its been fun, exciting, overwhelming and I’m just thankful that all my students are being patient with me as I’m learning,” Toilolo laughs.

She has been receiving generous amounts of  support from Helix students since joining the story.

Kori Patton, senior, admits that Toilolo, in an act of dedication, stayed until 8:30 p.m. on a Friday night, arranging the students schedules to meet their requests.

Patton feels that, “it’s nice because she’s more open and she relates more to the kids,” commenting on how Toilolo establishes an understanding and connection between her students.

Some advice recommended to Toilolo, Patton said, “she needs to not put her heart into everybody, because she’s so nice and tries to help everyone, but not everyone can be helped.”

Another senior, Luke Holloway, remarks that, “she gets distracted easily, so if she stays focused then she’ll be even better at her job.”

Yet, with her compassion and easy-going spirit, she allows students to feel more comfortable around school staff and still offers them the best advice she can.

Also on the Helix Campus are two other supportive members of the Toilolo family, her sons, Jericho, an ExL tutor, and Joe, a senior, contributing their Toilolo passion to the school.

Holloway and others are very supportive of the change from Renee Milburn transferring into her position from Academic Advisor to  a Program Supervisor and ExL and Tutorial Manager, opening up the spot for Toilolo.

Holloway said, “I heard that she’s doing what she wants to do now and that provides Ms. T an opportunity, who’s a great backup.”

Although it’s just the beginning of the school year, Toilolo already seems to be starting off strong and determined in her new position, positively affecting the class of 2015 and other students to come.

Spring Athletes Advancing to CIF

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Helix has a lot to celebrate because several of the school’s best spring athletes made it to CIF. For any high school athlete, going to CIF is a goal they strive towards all season. Sports with players advancing include swim, dive, baseball, track and field, and tennis.

For head track coach Damaja Jones and his staff, the feeling of accomplishment knowing thirteen of their athletes are headed to CIF must be overwhelming.
The thirteen track and field athletes proceeding to CIF on Sat. May 31 at Mount Carmel High School are junior Keyera McByde, junior Shamar Davis, junior Donaka Corley, senior Tajhneke Roberts, senior Kordell Hampton, senior Jalen Wyatt, senior Andrew Shane, sophomore Nate Stinson, and senior Cynthia Jones. Also qualifying for CIF are Mason Vinyard, freshman Noah Tynes, junior Tomas Villegas, and junior Robert Jones.
Unlike the track and field teams, Helix’s tennis team is only sending one player to CIF, and that is senior John Stowe.
Also with numerous CIF contenders are the swim and dive teams, who are sending a total of 22 students to compete for a CIF title. The male swimmers include junior Vincent Ojeda, junior Aaron Knuteson, senior Daniel Massaglia, senior Nathan Ottobre, junior Graham Root, and junior Greyson Tracey. The females representing Helix are sophomore Caleigh Balon, senior Ella Casillas, senior Ruth Fuentes, senior Justine Gutowski, sophomore Hailey Jackson, senior Montana Jackson, senior Molly Kaster, sophomore Antoinette Peterson, sophomore Lael Proffit, and sophomore Rebekah Schwalger.
Representing Helix’s dive team is junior Tristan de la Flor, senior and swim CIF contender Ella Casillas, junior Carrie Hailey, and freshman Kara Justeson.
Congratulations to all the athletes who are advancing to CIF, good luck Scotties!

Senior Awards Night

May 29, 2014, at exactly 6:31 p.m. Paula Trevino, Helix’s Grade Level Principal Class of 2014, stepped out and introduced herself.

A crowded theatre rippled with excitement as the high school seniors sat down across from their teachers and other community members, while family members and friends laughed in the audience.

The lights dimmed as a slide show of seniors played, taking the audience through the class of 2014.

In the past, Senior Awards Nights have consisted of students Gold Cord Recipients, Golden State Awards, and Golden State Diplomas. This whole night consisted of Helix students receiving scholarships from Community programs, Helix clubs and departments, and local organizations.

These students were recognized as outstanding individuals providing hope and promoting excellence, shown by their actions in society.

Yolanda Street, the 2014 Academic Advisor, set up the whole night, with a bit of help of course.

“There’s a lot of preparation needed to make this night happen,  invitations for everybody, an open facility, correct programs, certificates, food, and drinks,” said Street the day before.

Some of the main points of the night were when one student, Ricardo Felix was recognized for his participation in the Architecture Contruction and Engineering (ACE) department, for $50,000.

Another four students, thanked for their perfect attendance all four years of their high school careers, “with no off school campus passes, tardies, absences, or excused marks,” Trevino says, received the chance in a raffle, in which the student would win a car. The other three instead were presented with $200. The winner of the car was Andrew Perng.

As students stood up and lined across the stage, the audience continued their cheers of elation.

One voice, rose above all, as one student stood up, “That’s my son!” The voice cried with pride.

Ending off the night, Trevino requested a round of applause to recognize all the graduating seniors.

Sending the Senior class of 2014 to their future.

SAT/ACT Struggles

A student, plagued with doubts, sits and debates over the stresses of senior year. Debating over which colleges to apply to, focusing on academics and extracurriculars, the list piles up thinking about senior year.

This upcoming fall, the graduating senior class of 2015 will start sending in applications to universities and colleges. One necessary element to these applications is a test score from either the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or American College Testing (ACT).

Helix’s Academic Advisor Class 2011 and 2015, Renee Milburn, stated, “colleges use the test scores as a national standard,” explaining how it differs from a grade that a teacher may give a student based on the criteria in the class.

“The ACT is a knowledge-based test. While the SAT is more reading comprehension and vocabulary,” said Milburn, when asked the difference between the two.

Milburn said, “it’s to your advantage to register for these tests early.”

She believes that testing early provides a “base” for where each student stands. This way, a student can easily calculate their eligibility, based upon their scores and grade point average (gpa).

For colleges to compare students, the score rubric on the SAT ranges from 600 to 2400, in 800 point sections, Mathematics, Critical Reading, and Writing.

While the SAT does not test on high school curriculum, the ACT texts on Mathematics, English, and Science criteria taught in schools with a grading of 1-36.

One of the advantages of taking one of these tests, Milburn said, is that “you can retake the test as many times as you want. Well, as much as you’re willing to pay for.”

There’s also the area of subject tests, where certain subjects have a special test focused squarely on that subject. “These are highly recommended if youre entering an impacted fields like math and science,” Milburn stated.

While class rank, GPA, and extracurricular, hold a huge impact on college applications, the standard for college acceptance is and always has been, these tests.

Hopping the Last Hurdle to Graduation: Senior Boards

On May 27 and 28, Helix seniors hopped the last hurdle to graduation- senior boards. Senior boards, eight to eleven minute speeches describing experiences at Helix like what they learned while completing their senior research paper, what they did for their senior project, and plans following high school. Seniors received grades based on the content of their speeches, their delivery, visual aids, and their ability to answer questions from the graders in their room.
Many seniors were nervous about their presentations, but for Victor Saxon, senior boards were a breeze.
When asked if he was nervous before senior boards, he responded no. “I was really confident because practice boards helped us a lot. I wasn’t nervous about anything” he said.

That wasn’t the case for Samiira Hussein, who said that she “really wanted to wing it” because AP testing got in the way of the practice boards session.
For Hussein, the most nerve-wracking thing was not having exact directions about what to do because “everyone has seen senior boards before”, likely referring to when seniors practice their speeches in front of different advisory classes for practice.
But for both Saxton and Hussein, the feeling of relief after senior boards was amazing.
Saxton described it as “incredibly relieving” and then said that he was really excited for graduation.
Along with her relief, Hussein also felt anger with herself because she felt she didn’t prepare enough, which led to her “totally blank[ing] out”.
“I still passed, but I lost it because I didn’t write stuff down, or label my visuals.”
For juniors next year, Hussein says that the best thing to do for preparation is to practice.
Saxton also advises to “definitely complete your senior project and be prepared to answer all sorts of questions.”

Behind the Blue Fences: Campus Construction

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“The Great Wall of Blue Fences”

Since May 1, a large section of the Helix Charter High School campus including the boys’ PE room, the girls’ PE room, the old dance room, and the pool and pool deck has been sectioned off by an impregnable ring of blue fences.

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Fences and construction equipment block view of the Dog House.

Along with this change came the sounds of construction reverberating throughout campus, with jackhammers and construction vehicles hard at work all throughout the school day.

Despite these minor intrusions to the normal flow of things, school has continued on normally. But what is all the construction for?

Ken Britschgi, Helix’s facilities manager, pointed out that these changes have actually been a long time coming.

As Britschgi said, the facilities currently under construction “haven’t been touched since 1952,” 1952 being when the buildings were first created. They are now in desperate need of updating.

The facility updates to this part of the campus will bring a slew of changes that will benefit both staff and students by not only solving problems with the old buildings, but introducing new quality of life changes as well.

“They [the construction company] are remodeling and modernizing the boys’ and girl’ PE rooms, replacing the pool, and replastering the pool deck,”  Britschgi said.

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Workers look over an empty pool and a partially demolished Girls’ PE room.

Britschgi mentioned that not only will the facilities be cleaner, they’ll also be more energy efficient. New, efficient lights, additional wall insulation, air conditioning, double pane windows, and an end to peeling paint and leaky roofs are included in the much-needed revamp.

The changes will also fix some specific problems that plagued the old building layouts. For instance, “for both PE rooms, the restrooms will be able to be used without access to the actual locker rooms,” Britschgi explained.

As Britschgi also added, more room will be made for the pool deck by moving the fences surrounding it farther out, allowing for more walking space and better, less precarious bleacher placement.

Britschgi’s heard of no major problems about the construction thus far, and the construction process for this particular project has been going smoother than ever.

“The company has done an incredible job working with us,” Britschgi said, “and the staff and students have been great too.”

“It may have inconvenienced some people, but that’s the price you have to pay for these kinds of things,” Britschgi concluded.

The construction will be complete “on or about Labor Day,” Britschgi said, which takes place on Sept. 6 this year.

Until then, campus will still be crowded by blue fences. But it will be more than worth a little inconvenience in the end.