The Third Marking Period ends on April 1st.

Parkville High School
Attention Class of 2018!
Important Notice:
The Third
Period ends on
April 1st.
The Freshmen Focus Committee and your student
mentors are planning a “Fun Friday” for you and
your friends. Please plan to join us on Friday
2/27/2015 to celebrate being kind to one another
and have some fun. Mark your calendars for this
event that will take place after school from 2:304:00pm, and look for more details coming your way
on your lunch shifts.
See you soon,
Freshmen Focus Committee
What we now call Black History Month originated in 1926 and was founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson as
Negro History week. In 1976, the awareness of Black History and their contributions was expanded to Black History
Month. It would be a great loss to only focus on the contributions of Blacks in America because Black history does not
begin in American or with the transatlantic slave trade. While important, this dark period in American history does not
define the contributions of African ancestry in American.
Mansa Musa was the emperor of Mali. While on his pilgrimage to Mecca, he was accompanied by thousands of
richly dressed servants and supporters who made generous donations to the poor and to charitable organizations, as
well as to the rulers of the lands his entourage crossed. He gave away so much gold that the price of gold dropped, and
after he visited a country their economy would recover. The vast majority of discussions on the origins of science
usually include only the Greeks, Romans and other civilizations. But in fact most of their discoveries came thousands of
years after African developments. While the remarkable black civilization in Egypt remains alluring, there was
sophistication and impressive inventions throughout ancient sub-Saharan Africa as well. There are just a handful of
scholars in this area. The most prolific is the late Ivan Van Sertima, an associate professor at Rutgers University.
Many modern high-school-level concepts in mathematics first were developed in Africa, as was the first method
of counting, scripted textbooks about math that included division and multiplication of fractions and geometric formulas
to calculate the area and volume of shapes. Distances and angles were calculated, algebraic equations were solved and
Egyptians considered a circle to have 360 degrees and estimated pi Π at 3.16.
In astronomy Egyptians charted the movement of the sun and constellations and the cycles of the moon. They
divided the year into 12 parts and developed a yearlong calendar system containing 365 ¼ days. Clocks were made with
moving water and sundial-like clocks were used.
A structure known as the African Stonehenge in present-day Kenya (constructed around 300 B.C.E.) was a
remarkably accurate calendar. Steam engines, metal chisels and saws, copper and iron tools and weapons, nails, glue,
carbon steel and bronze weapons and art are all contributions of Africans to the world. Africans also more than 80
pyramids the largest of the pyramids covers 13 acres and is made of 2.25 million blocks of stone.
Several ancient peoples throughout Africa employed many treatments and medical procedures we use today.
The use of plants with salicylic acid for pain (as in aspirin), kaolin for diarrhea (as in Kaopectate), and extracts that were
confirmed in the 20th century to kill Gram positive bacteria. Other plants that were used used had anticancer
properties, caused abortion, and treated malaria. Vaccinations, autopsies, limb traction and broken bone setting, bullet
removal, brain surgery, skin grafting, filling of dental cavities, installation of false teeth, what is now known as Caesarean
section, anesthesia and tissue cauterization.
The awareness of Black History month may focus on the contributions of Blacks in the New World but it
should be encouraging, inspiring, and uplifting to know that Black history is not marked only by struggles for social
justice. All of our history is not about racism, discrimination, degradation, pain, and suffering, but by a free people who
were attracted to education and the benefits it has over a lifetime of generations. It is not important who did what first
but rather the main take-away from Black History month is that the ancestors of Black people worked hard to improve
life for everyone no matter what their culture was. Making life better because of our love for humanity is what we should
all be striving towards. If this is not what we are striving for then our living is in vain.
By: Mr. Moragne-El
How to Find Balance Between Academics and Social Life in 5 Easy Steps
1. Be organized. Organize your study time and the time that you spend with people,
sports, and clubs. Have an agenda, prioritize, and keep lists or a calendar.
2. Ask for help. Whether it’s your parents, teachers, friends, or counselor… if you think
you need help, you probably do. You’re not Superman! Go to coach class or tutoring in the
Library the 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month.
3. Get involved. For instance, if some of your classmates are in a club and invited you to
join, don’t think twice, just go and have a great time. That way you will be getting involved,
having fun, and building your college resume at the same time!
4. Don’t procrastinate! Being a student is a full-time job. Your academics require your
attention every day. If you leave studying to the last minute, there will not be enough time to
do a good job.
5. Set goals for your future self. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you
want to do when you get older? Whatever it is, keep those goals in mind when you’re
making decisions.
Don’t forget! Everyone has to find THEIR balance. What your friend can handle probably
won’t be the same as what you can handle. Make your High School years count and have
some fun along the way J
- Ms. Nee
We are looking for ideas and writers:
If you have any ideas for topics you
want discussed in the next issue of
Transitions or you have an interest in
being a newsletter writer, please see
Ms. Smith in Room 97 or email Ella
Marcovitz, the newsletter editor at
[email protected]
Making the most of all Parkville has to offer…. After school!
As a school counselor, I often tell students that academics come
first, but what comes next is almost equally important.
Extracurricular involvement can alter your high school
experience greatly. The term “extracurricular activity” is a catchall for how you round out your day after the last bell rings. Clubs,
sports, volunteering, internships, and even part time jobs are all
Socially, after school clubs and sports will help you feel more
connected to your classmates, and potentially meet students
who are not be in your classes or grade. Aside from being fun
and a great way to interact with peers, extracurricular activities
can improve your time management and stress management
skills, increasing your overall productivity. Volunteer experiences
will give you an opportunity to give back to others and learn more
about your community. Internships and part time jobs will give
you real world work experience, which is the first step in deciding
a career path.
You begin building your college resume the first day of your
freshman year of high school. Colleges like to see consistent
extracurricular involvement starting with freshman year. Getting
involved doesn’t mean you have to join fifteen clubs or be a star
football player, instead pick a few diverse activities and become
a committed member of each. As high school progresses, taking
on leadership roles in those activities will demonstrate
commitment and drive. Your four years here will go fast (the first
one is more than half over), if you aren’t involved yet, find a club
or service opportunity that interests you ASAP! After all, time is
Because you love
me I have much
Had you despised
me then I must have
But since I knew you
trusted and
I could not
disappoint you and
so prevailed.
--Paul Laurence
-Ms. Serico
Dear Freshmen,
As a senior it has become apparent to me, now more than ever, the importance
of setting goals. Goals serve a lot of purposes: they can motivate you to get through an
assignment that you do not enjoy, they can help you organize the path you want to
take, or they can give you a light at the end of the tunnel when you are feeling
overwhelmed. I have personal found goals the best way to stay organized with all of
the activities and classes I involve myself with because they remind me why I do what
I do. Now, as you approach the end of your freshman year, you want to start thinking
about the future and setting long-term goals, whether they are to be accomplished
next school year or five years from now. As you set goals you will find clarity in the
path you want to take with your education, and as you find clarity in that path you will
feel less stressed and more enthusiastic about everything you are doing!
Best wishes on your goal setting journey,
Ella Marcovitz
Let’s learn about our AVID program! Advancement via Individual Determination or AVID is an international college prep program made to help students all over the world get into college. AVID is made to shorten the education gap by preparing all students for college and other post-­‐secondary activities. AVID has helped over 800,000 students not only in America, but around the world. There are five AVID classes here at Parkville High School, four for each grade level and one ESOL AVID class. Ms. Blackwell is the AVID coordinator as well as the AVID 10 teacher. Not only does AVID guide students in a pathway that will get them into college, it also trains them to have exemplary skills and behavior for academic success. AVID 9 currently has about 25 students, all taught by Mr. Bergan. Since the beginning of the year, AVID 9 students have learned many skills that will benefit them in their core classes. Some of these skills include Cornell note-­‐
taking, annotation, public speaking, and reading comprehension. These skills not only help the AVID students excel in their core classes, but will also help in scoring well on the SAT. In the 2013-­‐14 school year, 28 percent of all AVID students took the SAT. The AVID 9 teacher, Mr. Bergan, has had his students’ research and learn about the SAT, as well as practice for it many times. AVID 9 students have a great perception of what the SAT is, and how it will affect their prospects of getting into college. Every day the students start off class with an SAT practice question in order for them to practice skills needed to score well on the SATs. AVID 9 has had many SAT prep sessions since the beginning of the year. Mr. Bergan has reiterated many times that GPA is the most crucial part of a college application. GPA, or grade point average, management is one of the main focuses in AVID. In order to transcend in their core classes, every Thursday AVID 9 students have a tutorial session. A tutorial involves students bringing in questions or confusions from other classes to AVID in order to clarify and get a better understanding of the topic. Since the beginning of the year, students have had many tutorials. The clarity tutorials provide help students excel in their core classes and raise their GPAs. All AVID 9 students must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher in order to remain in the AVID program. Not only does AVID help students excel academically, it also gives them the opportunity to participate in community service projects. AVID formulated the “Adopt a Family” project to help needy families during the holiday season. Students also sent holiday cards to Veterans to thank them for their service to our nation. All AVID classes have also been asked to compose a community service project that will be done in the spring. Ms. Kenney organizes all of our projects. AVID is not just made to improve your high school academic career, but will benefit you throughout your life. AVID students stick together to achieve the common goal of success. Students gather to help one another with the guidance of their AVID teachers (and tutors). AVID teaches students to be well rounded and excel in everything they do. AVID is not just a class, it is a family. By: Seemab Kazmi Looking for ways to get your 75 service learning hours required for
graduation? Many of the clubs at PHS have service opportunities; so
pay attention to the morning announcements for details. Also, if you
want additional information, talk to Ms. Sparks in the guidance
office for ideas and resources.
MARCH 17, 2015
Learn more about
Discover the
diversity within
Enjoy food from
around the world!
Experience Different Cultures!
Want to learn more about Italy, Brazil, or Japan? Come after school
and discover their cultures here!
Passionate about your own culture? Join in a group and show what
you’ve got!
Parkville High School is known for its unique diversity among its
students. The Multicultural Fest will allow us to showcase that
diversity through food, presentations, and fun! You can participate
in spreading knowledge about your own or other cultures by joining
in a group with SGA members.
* Groups are responsible for creating boards that will present a
country of their choice.
from other
Participate in the
After school at PHS
March 17th
From 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Questions? Ask the SGA or
Mr. Rodriguez-Hobbs
(room 309)
The GSA serves two main purposes. The first is to
provide a safe space within the school for students of
any gender or sexual orientation. The second is to
educate the school community on issues relating to
LGBTQ+ topics. This education includes putting
together and providing resources to the students,
teachers, and staff, as well as providing an
informational presence in the school through morning
announcement appearances and GSA sponsored events.
Please check out the article in this issue of the
newsletter about creating safe spaces within our school
for LGBTQ+ students. This article, which was written by
one of our education committee chairs, aims to make
our school environment as inclusive as possible by
clearing up the meanings of common terms and talking
about allyship.
As a new club at PHS, we are excited about all of our
plans for the future and cannot wait to see you at
meetings! The GSA meets the second and fourth
Thursday of every month in room 131 from 2:15 to 3:30
pm. Please see our advisor, Ms. Reardon, for additional
details about the club, and stay tuned for upcoming
events and initiatives sponsored by the GSA.
By: Ella Marcovitz, Co-President of the GSA
Remember, joining clubs is a great way to meet new
people and learn more about the school and the
community. If you join a club and have a great time, tell
your friends about it, maybe they will join, too.
If you want your club featured or mentioned in the next
issue of the newsletter, email the editor of the
newsletter, Ella Marcovitz at [email protected]
and let her know what your club is doing to impact the
school community!
Dear Alex,
I just signed up for my classes
for next year, but I am having a
bit of a dilemma when it comes
to how challenging my classes
are. Should I take higher-level
classes or get better grades?
Dear Unsure,
High school is not about being
perfect. It’s about selfimprovement. Acing classes that
aren’t challenging just to avoid
doing a bit less than perfect in a
higher-level class is something
you might want to move away
from. All of your habits are
starting to form now, and so if
you become complacent now, it
will be a harder habit to break
later. On the other side of the
coin, if taking that higher-level
class presents itself to be too
much of a challenge, don’t
stress yourself with trying to go
after the title. What’s most
important is that you’re
challenging yourself and doing
the best that you can.
Your friend,
Top 10 tips for… writing an essay for English class
“Optimism is
the faith that
leads to
Nothing can be
done without
hope and
-Helen Keller
1. Annotate the prompt and use it as a checklist while you
are writing to ensure you include everything required.
2. Plan out your essay before you write it. Allocate time to
figure out your thesis statement and the subjects of each
body paragraph prior to beginning the actual essay.
3. Write in the third person – unless it is otherwise specified
in the assignment, you should not be including words, like
“I” or “we”.
4. Use proper MLA formatting. This includes the header, the
heading, citation of quotes, and the bibliography.
5. Use consistent font size and font type throughout the
entire essay.
6. Include examples from the text.
7. Use vocabulary you are confortable with – it usually does
not work out well when you are constantly looking up
words in the thesaurus as you write.
8. Have someone proofread the essay before you turn it in
for a grade.
9. Give yourself enough time to write the essay – most well
composed essays are not written in a ten-minute period of
time right before class starts.
10. Don’t repeat the same mistakes – read your teacher’s
comments on your previous essays before you start
writing your next essay.
By: Ella Marcovitz
Quotes from Upper Classman Reflecting on Their Involvement in Extracurricular Activities:
Ø “Color guard for MCJROTC gives you discipline and skills to prepare you for the military. Student
Council has a sociable environment that gets you to know more people and enters you for afterschool
activities that looks good for colleges.” –Kyaw L. ‘16
Ø “If anything, join a sport. Joining a sport is like joining a family – join!” –Craille T. ‘15
Ø “Student council is a great organization where students can run the school. We plan great events like
Homecoming, cultural festival, carnivals and Parkville Pageant. You get to meet new people and friends.”
–Ugonna M. ‘15
Ø “I am most involved in Class of 2015. It has benefited me by getting to know my class better, after all
these are most of the students I will be sharing my graduation experience with. I feel being a part of the
class’s activities makes your high school years more memorable and enjoyable.” –Frances A. ‘15
Creating a Safe Environment for LGBTQ Youth By: Newt Cascio
“That shirt makes you look so gay, man!”
“She’s such a dyke!”
“He looks like a tranny!”
“What a fag!”
Recognize these words? As a teenager you probably hear them more often during your day.
Walking through the halls, on social media, possibly from your own mouth! They seem like
harmless words thrown around carelessly when someone disagrees with something or is trying to
make a joke. But the truth is, these words are not only hurtful, but they can also be toxic to a lot
of people. Maybe not to the person the words are flung at, but to the innocent bystander who
interprets those words into negative memories and feelings.
Firstly, lets clear up what LGBTQ stands for:
- Lesbian
- Gay
- Bisexual
- Transgender (someone who identifies opposite of the gender they were assigned at
- Queer - an umbrella term for any identity not covered by the first 4 letters of the acronym.
This term in the most commonly used when referring to individuals of the queer
Another important term to remember is Ally. While this is a general word that can applied to
multiple situations, in this case it means a heterosexual/ cisgender (a person who identifies with
the biological gender they were given at birth) person who works to end and advocate against
oppression towards the LGBTQ community. While the LGBTQ community is a strong community
and works very hard to end the oppression held against them in today’s society, allies are equally
as important in working towards this goal as well.
As an ally, one must understand how to create an inclusive environment for their LGBTQ peers:
● Calling out people who make homophobic slurs is a good place to start.
● Do not automatically assume someone’s sexuality or gender.
- When making sure not to assume everyone is heterosexual, also try not to assume
someone with stereotypical ‘gay’ behaviors is part of the LGBTQ community.
● A good way to make sure you’re being a good ally is to ask people their Preferred Gender
Pronouns (PGP), whenever you meet someone new.
- These pronouns can differ from their physical appearance or they can be the same,
but no matter how someone looks you should always use the pronouns they tell
you to call them.
● Use inclusive language.
- Make sure to use gender neutral terms such as ‘significant other’ instead of
boyfriend/girlfriend or ‘handmade’ instead of manmade.
Out of everything an ally needs to remember, respecting people’s privacy as well as treating the
subject of homosexuality and gender queer identities with a positive light are two of the most
important, as they play a role in every behavior an ally should try to implement in their daily lives.
These behaviors will help those around you feel safer in your presence as well as possibly
encourage others to adopt these behaviors.
Attention Freshmen!
Ø Peer tutoring hosted by National Honor Society
and Math Honor Society
Ø In the library
Ø After school until 3:15 pm the 1st and 3rd
Wednesdays of every month
Ø February 4th and 18th
Ø March 4th and 18th
Ø Anyone can come!
Class of 2018 meetings
are held the fourth
Monday of every month
in Mr. Maskew’s
classroom, Room 128. If
you want to stay up-to-date
on Freshman events and
help plan for the future of
your class, be sure to be
Mr. Maskew and Mr. Soper
History teachers are not the only people who need to know what happened between the Big
Bang and now. There is art preserved from the Renaissance, plays by Shakespeare still
revered today, and a Constitution that has lasted in largeness since 1789. Everyone likes a
throwback, so for this issue we’re throwing it back to 1492, or maybe back to Harappan
Civilization. History, with as bad of a reputation it may carry among high-school students,
is a very important subject that involves a lot more than powdered wigs and the slave trade.
History is the broad spectrum of human activity throughout the construct of the Gregorian
calendar. Whether that activity is morally acceptable or heinous, it all plays a role in how
society has evolved to this day. Maybe you’ll think of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
when your favorite clothing line gets busted for outsourcing jobs to illegally run sweatshops,
or maybe you will think of the original idea of peaceful protests that Martin Luther King Jr.
brought to America during the civil rights movement when you cheer on violent fights. Most
of us today live conveniently in the fallacy that history is and will forever be in the past, but
we are making history at this very moment. Marijuana is legal again depending on where
you live, and, within the lifetime of our parents and grandparents, we put a man on the
moon. Life’s pretty great thanks to history. Everything in our world has been happening at
once: politics, art, fashion, social life, technology, all evolving simultaneously and we are
the product. There have been many mistakes along the way, however, like individuals must
choose to learn from their mistakes, history allows us to chart our progress along the everelongating timeline of our existence and to keep moving forward without having to repeat
the mistakes made by our predecessors. History is the story of all of us.
By: Kireh Wright
What classes do you currently teach? American Government and African American History Why did you decide to become a social studies teacher? Before teaching I was a high school lacrosse coach, during my time coaching I enjoyed interacting with students and helping them to learn the game of lacrosse. Teaching was the natural progression of my desire to help students master new skills, when combined with my love for history it was a great fit to become a social studies teacher. Is it actually important to take social studies classes? Social studies has the broadest range of course offerings in the school, and requires many skills to succeed. Students must be skilled at reading and interpreting, writing to show understanding, and even math to succeed in economics class senior year. These skills are valuable later in life and will ensure you are prepared for college or work. Furthermore there is no Math channel on TV; if the subject is interesting enough for an entire channel it must be worth taking. How does the fact that you are not African American influence the way you approach teaching your African American History class? I do not find my race to have a significant influence on my approach to the way I teach African American History. Courses in history are best taught through the study of events and the interpretation of how those events have affected the society around them. Because of this I provide students with materials to interpret independently, creating their own views on events and persons related to African American History. Rather than placing the emphasis on my experiences or beliefs, students are exposed to the beliefs of figures like W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington, Thurgood Marshall, Ida B. Wells and many others who have varied experiences over a number of years. These figures can paint a very vivid picture of events related to African Americans in the United States for the students in my class. As you know, February is Back History Month. What is the importance today in learning about Black History? How can all people, no matter their race, relate to Black History Month? The history of Blacks in America is a story of struggle, persistence, and overcoming great obstacles. African Americans in the United States have made the made great strides from their beginnings working largely on plantations in the south to having an African American being voted into the office of President of the United States. This accomplishment did not come easy and certainly was not achieved overnight, however with a relentless drive to succeed and overcome it was made possible by many great men and women who refused to give up. Such a triumphant story can be a lesson to us all, regardless of race, that anything can be achieved through persistence and hard work. If you had one piece of advice for the freshman what would it be? Hand in your assignments on time. It will improve your grade and better prepare you for tests. 11