Jaguar Cross-Country Advances to State

Renee Moreman

Staff Writer

   The cross-country team dominated the race at Sokol Park on Nov. 2, taking three of the top four spots. The team was led by John Niiler, who had a time of 17:03 to take first place. Second place was taken by Adam Bolton, who finished at 17:08.33. Forrest York took fourth place with a time of 17:19.18. The cross-country girls also dominated the race by taking first place with 25 points. Mary Mac Collins led the team with a time of 20:31.30 to take first place. The victory in Sokol Park sent the Jaguars to the state championship.

“I felt great,” said Niiler. “I got out to a fast start and was able to maintain the whole race. I was able to run 17:03. We have been working hard all week and it is nice to see all of our hard work pay off in the end.”

Winning this race puts Northridge through to State on Nov. 10. Nathan Shemwell has been working hard all all season in hopes of making it to State.

“I am really excited for State,” Shemwell said. “It is my last year running in high school, so I am excited to give it all I have this one last time–unless we win, which of course, I hope we do.”

*Update: The boys placed 14th overall at State, in part due to a disqualification and the girls placed 11th.

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HAMITER SIGNS WITH ALABAMA BASEBALL

HAMITER SIGNS WITH ALABAMA BASEBALL

Patrick Johnson

Staff Writer

William Hamiter, senior, signed to play baseball for his dream school, the University of Alabama, on Nov. 14.

“Growing up here in Tuscaloosa, I have always been a huge Alabama fan,” said Hamiter. “I knew it was the place for me to go. When I got the opportunity to play there I knew it was what I wanted to do.”

While the Northridge baseball team helped develop his skills, his father was the most influential in his baseball career.

“My dad was has been the most influential in my baseball career,” said Hamiter. “He got me to start playing baseball at a young age. He taught me how to play growing up.”

The coaching staff and new facilities helped make Hamiter’s decision to play at the University of Alabama.

“I really like the new facilities and the coaching staff,” said Hamiter. “The new facilities compare to the best in the country. The coaching staff is also awesome.”

The baseball team’s coaches played a key role in developing his skills to be prepared for a collegiate team.

“All the coaches did a great job with helping me develop as a player by running us as players through specific drills during practice,” said Hamiter. “This helped each of us work on our own baseball skills.”

Hamiter, along with the rest of the university’s recruitment class, is prepared to change the University of Alabama’s baseball team.

“The recruitment class is full of lots of talent,” said Hamiter. “We are ready to change the culture of Alabama baseball.

Is Roy Moore the right choice for Alabama?

James Anderson

Staff Writer

Roy Moore, a former judge of the Alabama Supreme Court, is running for the open senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, after being confirmed as the Attorney General. Moore faced Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat in February in the Republican primary which pinned the far-right against the establishment. After an initially close vote in the primary, Moore swept Strange in the runoff

Moore is never one to shy away from major controversies and has twice gotten him suspended from position on the Court. In 2002, he was kick off the seat following his refusal to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments. In the First Amendment to the constitution, Thomas Jefferson explicitly wrote that there should a separation of church and state, meaning Moore cannot use his office to talk about his religious beliefs. Yet again in 2016, Moore got himself in hot water for refusing to allow same-sex marriage to become legal statewide after the ruling in a federal case and got himself suspended again and eventually resigned.

If you’re not familiar with Doug Jones, the Democratic opponent, you shouldn’t write him off for being a Washington insider like Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton. Jones doesn’t have that many connects and hasn’t held political office before. He’s been busy defending the law and not his power to speak on his religious beliefs. Jones is well-known for successfully prosecuting the men who carried out the 1963 Birmingham Baptist Church bombing.

Although Moore was a judge under the United States where he was positioned to uphold the law, everything he did was a stand against the Constitution, its \amendments, and basic human rights in the country. Roy Moore’s public statements on same-sex couples, Islam, and race relations show how much of an extremely ignorant bigoted person he is. While Doug Jones was prosecuting the white supremacists for the 1963 bombing of a church that killed four young African-Americans, Roy Moore was tearing a mother away from her kids simply because she was lesbian. I don’t know how to explain to you that you should care about people.

Alabama has the opportunity to change and to show that we care about people no matter what they believe. Roy Moore is unfit to ever hold political office, and Alabama should step up, and elect a reasonable, and caring person. No matter what you think, it is important to get involved go to vote on December 12.

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How students are handling decrease in art funding

RESHU CHANDRA
COPY EDITOR

 

Funding for the arts has been dramatically decreased ever since the state cut a majority of its funding.

Art teacher Suzanne Puzinauskas, commonly known as “Mrs. P” explained how this will affect her and her classes. “For years, the art departments have relied on funding for grades six through twelve, through the city board,” she said. “Basically we rely on a fund, then we ask our students, each student in our individual art class, to donate twenty five dollars, and that is how we purchase our expendable supplies, because we are always going through our supplies. It’s not like buying a book [that] you can just read and close and reuse. We have to rely on that [donation].”

Puzinauskas explained why they could not directly ask for funding from students anymore.

“Well last year, the city board did some research, and they felt that by asking students for funding, we were contributing to discrimination because some students cannot come up with the funding,” she said. “At some point I believe that students had to pay all of their funds before they graduated, and some students could not come up with the funds. So basically they took classes, they could even take classes for four years if they wanted to, and at the end if they did not pay those funds which they [had] accumulated, it could end up being a lot of money, and if they couldn’t afford it, then they couldn’t graduate. So somebody at the board, made a unanimous vote and essentially said ‘Nope, we’re not going to ask for funding anymore.’ And so, someone like myself with a new department, that’s painful because I have very little money in my account, however I am allowed to ask for donations from my students and some have been very gracious and have donated funding. We as a high school department, need a big budget and so we are always looking for funding. We’re brainstorming all the time, and trying to recycle things. I try to come up with different options to get funding.”

She is relieved however, that they are trying to make up for this deficit.

“All said, I was in a meeting and I found out that the city board, the financial department, is coming up with some funding and they will be giving it to us,” she said. “It’s good news because they have great intentions to give us funding, and that’s very important. Out of this whole research and situation, Ed Levine, the head of finances at the Board of Education, did some research and compiled some data that the city board never had before, because up until this year they didn’t know how much people were spending in their departments, and he was shocked. We keep records of all of our money, all of our transactions, every invoice that we write, and any money that comes in and he was absolutely blown away when he found out how much money the visual arts department spends for the city. So all said, it is good news we have data now and we are getting funding, and we can ask for donations and do fundraisers. I spent over 5,000 dollars last year [on art supplies]. We do buy tax-free but the supplies are still outrageously expensive. For example, one little pint of acrylic paint, which if I’m doing a project, I can go through that in a week is like twenty five dollars. I owned an art business and I transferred all of my supplies, thousands of dollars worth of supplies that I personally brought here. Because when I came here, this classroom was empty.”

Art teacher Richard Nowell said that the funding cuts were made to make classes more accessible for all.

“They cut it out of the course of study, and they’ve made it to where there aren’t any fees for any student for any class,” he said. “So it wasn’t just picking on fine arts, it was just making it more accessible for all classes, like even AP and stuff like that, for kids to have it. And so in that, I’m in favor of free education, we just need sources to come from other places. According to Mr. Levine, he’s going to try to match with what the students would’ve been paying [fee-wise]. From this year forward, there shouldn’t be any class fees. In the past, we were charging twenty five dollars a person, and this year we’re asking for donations in any amount, but we’re asking for 10 or 15 dollars and hopefully if funding comes through from the central office, they’ll try to give us $22 per student.

He explained how his years of experience have prepared him for moments like these.

“If I was a brand new teacher coming in, starting up from nothing, I’d be a little scared [of the funding cut], but since I’ve been here for years, and have been building supplies, I’m okay… for about a year with donations coming in. I do use a lot of my personal money but I think most art teachers do. We waste a lot of stuff, so we try to recycle. In a moment’s notice we might think of something we don’t have, and it usually takes a week or more to go through the office to do a purchase order, so it’s just easier sometimes to run out to the store and buy it yourself.

He says on the bright side, the funding cut makes art more accessible to those who might not have been able to afford it.

“I think the whole block schedule makes it more accessible to have 4 electives each year instead of 3,” he said. “There’s the opportunity to have more art students, but that’s the same for other classes now that they’re not requiring AP tests. You can take the AP class and they’re not requiring you to pay for the AP test, so that will influence more people to take more AP classes too.”

Senior Maria Potts expressed her disappointment with the funding cuts.

“Cutting the art funding was not a great decision in my opinion. If you look closely at the art program in this school, you’ll see that we don’t have all the resources we need to do anything past grade level talent. Anything else that’s somewhat high-end comes out of the teacher’s pockets. It’s a good thing the art teachers care enough about their students to provide quality supplies for them, because if they didn’t, then we’d be using crayons and broken supplies to create things. It just goes to show how much this state — let alone the school system — cares about sports and athletics as opposed to the arts. Don’t get me wrong, I love sports, but the arts are just as important. The administrators need to start seeing that.”

Senior India Woods says the funding cut limits creativity.

“I think the art fund being cut shortens our variety of different art forms and doesn’t let us explore and expand our knowledge in art.”

Senior Sabrina Wright noticed changes from her freshman year art class to her senior year art class.

“The lack of funding to the art program at Northridge has limited something meant to be limitless. Having taken three years of art, the difference between my first class and my current one is evident. Suddenly, clay projects are a rare feat in a class dedicated to three-dimensional art. The students’ artistic abilities are being stifled by busy work due to the cut funds in classes whose purpose is supposedly ‘freedom of expression’. To my knowledge, funding has been cut in all areas of art – theater, band, not just the actual art classes, which has made it clear that the artistic programs here are majorly under-appreciated.”

Junior Walker Ferry says art is a good break from reality and thinks funding cuts could take away from teachers and students.

“Art is one of our choices for electives at Northridge and one or two classes are often required to graduate. They also give us a break from challenging core classes and student often find a talent they are passionate about in these classes. With the cutting of art funding and our teachers already not paid enough, the fact that our art teachers are expected to pay for supplies out of their own pockets is absolutely ridiculous. Until changes are made, I think the best way to raise money for the art department is through fundraising and class fees.”

Junior Emma Curtner-Smith says funding cuts limits what art students can do in class.

“Having the funds cut for the art program really limits what we are able to do in the class due to lack of supplies. It questions the importance of requiring a fine arts credit if the school board doesn’t believe it deserves the funding it needs. This also keeps students from being able to explore certain mediums and the field itself in the long run.”

Senior Meredith Vaughn says funding cuts would be especially hard on people trying to major in the arts in college.

“As I am planning to study within the arts department in college, cutting the arts program would be difficult on those who wish to pursue arts or wish to be a part of the arts department, primarily theatre, as it is a career that I hope to pursue as well as many other aspiring actors.”

 

Students perform magically in Aladdin Jr.

Petra Zlatkovic

Staff Writer

Aladdin Jr., a play based on the screenplay by Ron Clements, John Musker, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, was adapted by the BAMA theatre and was shown from October 6th to October 8th.

Many Northridge students have taken part in the play, including freshman Clark Moman. Although not very experienced, Clark managed to steal the show with his portrayal of Aladdin.

“It was only my second show ever, so being able to play a character, especially a lead character from such a good Disney movie was really cool”, said Clark.

The show was wonderfully adapted and it took over two months of hard work to prepare it.

“There were certain parts that were easy, but the singing and the dancing were probably the hardest for me”, said Clark.

Some scenes were experiences that the cast would cherish throughout their whole lives.

“I think my favorite scene was the actual flying on the magic carpet”, said Clark.

Aladdin Jr. is an adaptation directed toward a young audience, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting for adults. Those fond of Disney’s animated version of Aladdin are almost guaranteed to like the play. It is a show made to entertain entire families, from children to grandparents and in that it succeeded. It is fun and enjoyable, the kind of show which makes you want to burst into song alongside the characters. You find yourself wishing and hoping for Aladdin to succeed in his attempt to woo princess Jasmine and when “A whole new world” starts, you are overwhelmed with joy and happiness.

The special effects and the costumes were amazing and made the show even better. The entire cast gave their best and fantastic performances and showed a true love for theatre. The singing and the dancing were done so well it seemed easy, even though it took months of hard work and preparation to perfect them.

Overall, Aladdin Jr. was a wonderful show, giving the fans of the Disney movie a taste of Agrabah, a closer look at Aladdin and Jasmine, Jafar and Iago, Genie and Sultan. Heartwarming and lovely in every sense, it was a play deserving of a long standing ovation for it made a child smile and reminded adults of what it’s like being a child.

 

Football Game vs Tuscaloosa County High School

Friday, August 27, Northridge played their arch-rival Tuscaloosa County High, capping off a week of fueled emotions. The Jaguars ultimately fell short to the Wildcats, with a score of 56-14. Jags player Kerry Shepherd scored one touchdown on a 17-yard run, while  teammate Calvin Street ran a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Next week, Northridge will host Hillcrest High School as it hunts for the first win of the season.

Photos by Emily Matthews

Editor’s Blog: The final post

It’s the end of the year, and the end of my term as Editor-in-Chief. Today, along with the rest of the senior class, I graduate.

The past week has been a strange mix of busyness, relaxation, sadness – but happiness too. Last Wednesday, we celebrated our final pizza party, with cake thrown in for good measure. The bakers may have messed up the icing in pretty significant ways, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying it!

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Saturday was the bittersweet occasion of our end-of-year banquet. Held at Another Broken Egg, we laughed and shared stories over a fantastic breakfast. To celebrate our coffee-loving adviser and the hard work she has done on our behalf this year, we as a class pitched in and contributed to purchasing her a Yeti tumbler. Needless to say, she loved it.

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As I reflect back on my term as Editor-in-Chief, I realize I held this position at the most tumultuous time in our newspaper’s history. While my class fought for a controversial student exchange to occur, the paper was also undergoing a dramatic shift to investigative-based reporting, and our previous advisor, Mrs. Susan Newell, was making plans to retire.

But having weathered both the good, bad and ugly, I can confidently say the three years I have spent working on The Northridge Reporter have been some of the best of my life. When I walked into room 109 for the first time sophomore year, I had no idea my life would change so dramatically.

But it did, and I’m ever so glad for it. With that in mind, I’m ready to pass on the torch to the next generation of leadership in our paper, who I know will lead it on to new heights – and I have every reason to believe the best days of The Northridge Reporter still lie ahead.

It’s been a great run, everyone. I’ll catch you later.

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New football coach arrives

Cedric Brown, Staff Writer

Northridge football had an tremendous season last year, going 8-2 as they reached the second round of the state playoffs, before ultimately being defeated by defending champions Spanish Fort.

However, after 13 years of coaching Northridge football, head coach Mike Smith announced that that would be his last season. He is retiring from coaching Northridge.

With the new head coaching job up for grabs, many have wondered who would become Northridge’s next head coach.

Throughout the next few months, many coaches have come and examined Northridge as they wondered what they could do and how they could enhance the team.

Only a few months after the announcement of Smith’s retirement, Daphne High School’s former offensive coordinator, Michael Vickery, took the job.

After spending 12 years under his dad, Glenn Vickery, at Daphne, Vickery decided it was his time to become a head coach.

“I’m excited to have my first head coaching job,” he said. “ I had other offers but turned them down – it just didn’t feel right – but coming here, all the pieces just fell into place.”

Having lived in Tuscaloosa for a period of time after graduating from the University of Alabama, Vickery always wanted to come back to the town.

“I’m super excited to be back in Tuscaloosa,” Vickery said.

Knowing about the current district rezoning and being aware that many athletes are moving to other schools, Vickery is nonetheless highly optimistic about the upcoming year.

“I look forward to it. This is a great school and it’s a great challenge, but I believe we can get through it,” Vickery said.

Vickery also wants many to come and try out for the team.

“Football a great sport: it helps you learn, overcome unique challenges, and test your mental toughness,” he said.

As this next football season rolls upon us we wonder what’s next for the team. Maybe a state championship?

There is a bright future for the Northridge football team as they continue to excel and strive as the season arrives.