Hillcrest High School
In This Issue
With wintertime rapidly
approaching, there is
one chocolatey treat
on everyone’s mind. The
Hurricane decided
to weigh in on
our top hotchocolate
pages 4&5
The world is filled with
people of diverse
upbringings. Take an
inside look at the world
of adoption from the
hearts and minds of fellow
Assistant editor Lilly Stafford
assesses the importance
of truly valuable teachers
and just how much of an
impact they
create in our
everyday lives
high school.
page 10
This year’s Homecoming
spirit week was filled with
crazy costumes and loads
of school
spirit. Turn
to the back
cover to see
our votes
for best
page 12
Senior Panoramic Picture
Wed., 11/9 at 10:30 a.m.
Hillcrest’s Musical, ‘Curtains’
Thurs., 11/17 - Sat., 11/19
Thanksgiving Break
Mon., 11/21 - Fri., 11/25
Report Cards Issued
Mon., 11/28
Next Issue of The Hurricane
Fri., 12/16
Winter Break
Mon., 12/19 - Mon., 1/2
The Hillcrest
is now on
Want to follow us? It’s
simple! Just log in and go to!
Dallas, TX 75230
Volume 67, Issue 2
November 7, 2011
Coach decides to take initiative
The bar is raised for students new to P.E.
in terms of her grading rubric, students’ grades are also
determined by an evaluation of other factors. Students
receive one point for participating in the warm-up activity
As Hillcrest’s new P.E. teacher, volleyball coach Mary
and one and a half points for participation in the game.
Beth Bass has students swimming through the gym doors
These scores are recorded daily to account for the students’
ready to earn their physical education credit. A new addition
participation portion of their average, amounting to 75 percent
to the athletic department has enriched students with a
of their total grade. Two tests, one written and one on skills,
different approach to gym classes, and as an experienced
make up the remaining 10 and 15 percent of their mark.
female athletic coordinator,
Coach Bass has noticed that a
Coach Bass was seen fit to teach
legitimate grading system has
P.E. classes.
driven kids to take the class
“Coach Bass, with her
seriously and to be encouraged
amazing organization ability, has
to put forth effort in P.E.
added more structure [to the P.E.
“[The grading rubric] has to
program],” associate principal
be meaningful to them,” Coach
Tamika Prentiss said. “Due to
Bass said. “[My main goal for
budget cuts, we had to lose a
my students is] to [have them]
[P.E. teacher]. She is certified to
participate daily.”
teach P.E., so she was best suited
Fifteen years of prior
for the job.”
experience in P.E. teaching
Coach Bass has four P.E.
has left Coach Bass with a
classes to teach throughout the
good idea on how to run the
day, three of which contain
course smoothly. So far, she has
Students gather around to listen to instructions from
only boys. At the sound of the
having three Hillcrest
Coach Bass. Her new approach to a once-mocked
bell, students are instructed to
duties and has
classroom setting has students listening closely. photo
perform the day’s warm-up,
by Cassie Caballero
been happy to fill in the job’s
which usually requires them to
slot as needed. A major concern
run one lap around the perimeter
of Coach Bass is the widespread
of the gym in under two minutes. Students’ participation in
obesity among children and adolescents in the United States.
the warm-up is a rule enforced by Coach Bass; if a student
Hillcrest administrators’ decision to assign Coach Bass the
fails to comply, he will not partake in the day’s game. So far,
task of taking on P.E. classes has proved to be a successful
students have gained experience in volleyball and basketball,
move, as she considers physical education to be of the utmost
each of which has taken up one six-weeks portion of the
importance to not only Hillcrest students, but to the country
course. They also participate in different sports, including
“We are an overweight nation, starting with unfit kids,”
“[The games are] fun,” sophomore P.E. student Trailous
Coach Bass said. “I think kids need a physical outlet every
Adley said. “We’re better at volleyball now.”
day and a chance to play.”
Though participation is Coach Bass’ main criterion
Arts Page Editor
Teachers hired to decrease classroom sizes
Feature Page Editor
Fresh meat is in the hallways because Hillcrest has hired
three new teachers to help solve the oversized classroom
problems. Jabem Pathinathan and Dr. Janet Hurd are new
to the math department and Grace Desamito is new to the
science department. These additions to the staff are hoped
to make classrooms more productive by having smaller
“Adding new teachers benefits the math department in two
major ways,” math teacher Mona Wooley said. “First, we are
able to reduce our freshman and sophomore class sizes, which
ultimately benefits the students. Secondly, we have additional
resources for instructional strategies and fresh ideas.”
In the math department, Mr. Pathinathan will be teaching
algebra I and geometry while Dr. Hurd will be doing “pullouts” for students who need additional help on TAKS or
reinforcement of core math skills. The smaller class sizes that
Mr. Pathinathan is providing will help students’ learning skills
to become more effective in the long run. More one-on-one
student-teacher attention is scientifically proven to increase
test scores across the board. In addition, Dr. Hurd is helping
those in need of assistance to graduate. Passing TAKS and
the new STARR exam is a graduation requirement, so with
Dr. Hurd’s review-type math class, students will get the help
that they need to get great scores on those tests. In the science
department, Ms. Desamito will be teaching biology and a few
other science subjects. The benefits are, again, smaller class
sizes which could mean more labs or hands-on learning. Her
hopes are that through this type of education, students will
become both more interested and involved in the class.
“My goals right now [are] to strengthen the learning
knowledge and skills that my students had already acquired
and help them succeed in the future,” Ms. Desamito said.
The deciding factor behind hiring these new teachers was
to decrease class sizes and to even out the number of students
enrolled per class. Before, classes contained an abnormally
high number of students and were making things harder for
both the teachers and the students. Both the math and the
science departments worked hard to get the district to give
New science teacher Grace Desamito teaches her secondperiod class. Ms. Desamito is the new addition to the Hillcrest
science department. photo by Cassie Caballero
2 news
Hillcrest High School
Dallas, TX 75230
Seniors get their own space
Clubs unite to renovate courtyard
Staff Writer
Several Hillcrest clubs are joining forces to
refurbish the empty west courtyard into a seniors-only
area that will be available for use during lunches and
before school. The Hillcrest Key Club, which has
joined together with the Green Club along with the
Student Council, National Honor Society and Interact
Club, will all take part in the renovation, which is in
the process of being approved by principal Ronald
K. Jones. Once the blueprints and cost estimates are
ready, construction will begin.
“[The courtyard] is pointless and takes up space,
so re-doing it would be really cool,” sophomore Aaron
Broughton said.
The rough plan for the courtyard is to build seating
areas with decks and benches; a storage shed to
contain blankets and towels for students to sit on the
grass; a garden and other landscaping; and possibly a
small pond. The funds used for this project will come
out of existing club money, and the groups are also
applying for grants to help cover the cost. This seems
like a step up from the other courtyard, which has
fallen into disarray due to lack of maintenance, but this
privilege comes at a price to the junior class.
“We are making it into a junior-class project of
sorts,” Key Club and Green Club vice president Miki
Arsova said. “So once the class of 2012 builds and
finishes it, it will be up to the class of 2013 to keep it
nice and pretty if they want a nice courtyard.”
The courtyard sits between the boys’ gym and the
main hallway and is unused space that is off-limits
to students. When completed, the new courtyard is
also planned to have a vegetable garden for the AP
environmental science classes and gardens for any
other classes. Additionally, teachers will be allowed
access with their classes when the weather is nice.
“Hopefully [the completed project] will increase
school morale and will give the future seniors a
privilege to shoot for,” science teacher and sponsor of
both the Green Club and Key Club Jonathan Hall said.
Because the project is such a large undertaking
for just one group, the Green Club and Key Club have
decided to join together as a single club but still keep
the two titles of the organizations separate. Also, all
the students in Key Club are also in Green Club, and
both are sponsored by Mr. Hall, so combining makes
things easier for them.
“I think [the project] will affect the entire school
by instilling a sense of pride,” Key Club and Green
Club secretary Keila Crosby said. “This is something
we basically did on our own, and everyone has the
opportunity to contribute to it.”
Cafeteria renovations update
Feature Page Editor
The cafeteria renovations are almost complete.
On October 27, the workers took a large step
toward completion. School-personalized signs
and the pillar of
character words
were hung on the
walls to add some
color to the room.
All of the tables, booths and other seating areas
will be installed
over Thanksgiving
break, and students
will be eating in a
new cafeteria the
first day after break.
DallasISD cafeteria
modification and
marketing assistant
Gwen Brantley has
been involved in
this project for the
past five years. The
renovations started
at Bryan Adams
High School, and
after the students
responded so well
to the change, the
district decided to
renovate all of the
secondary school
cafeterias in the
district. This project
was originally
supposed to be
finished during
the summer before
the start of this
school year. The
delay was due to
the lack of funding
for Hillcrest. Other
schools had to be
completed first
before Hillcrest
to see how much
money was left
ing r though d
n an
t are ardashia ng for
W im K
fili of
ph 72 days
Kris rce after ge?
divo marria
“I think they
wasted their money.
That money could
have been used for
better stuff.”
Senior Christian Connor
“It makes no
sense why she would
divorce him after
72 days. She was
rushing it.”
Freshman Sabrina Schriefer
“I find it very
ridiculous. When
they were getting
married, you could
tell it wouldn’t last.”
Junior Arelly Garcia
“The love
connection wasn’t
really there. It was
all for publicity.”
Junior Forkpah Worlomo
“I think it’s dumb.
They should have
gotten to know
each other better.”
Freshman Brian Delgado
“She left him for
Senior Justin Walker
sports 3
HHS loyalist committed to the Panthers
November 7, 2011
Volume 67, Issue 2
Coach commutes from E.D. Walker to Hillcrest
Opinion/Editorial Page Editor
when Coach Wren was in high school, his athletic
motivation was to become a professional athlete
like everyone else. Wren’s grandmother kept him
grounded and made sure that he had a backup plan
Wide receiver coach Lionel Wren joined the
like his role model, Coach Cooper. Today Coach
Hillcrest coaching staff last year with a goal to
Wren wants to be that type of coach for the players
make sure the receivers were ready to compete
at Hillcrest.
with other teams in the district. Since Coach
“Coach Cooper was a role model for all the guys
Wren’s arrival, the Panthers have won a district
loved the game of football,” Coach Wren said.
championship. Coach Wren taught full time like
“Still to this day we keep in touch.”
the other coaches on staff until he lost his teaching
Coach Wren considers himself a players’ coach,
position due to district leveling. Now he teaches
which is understandable based on how he goes out
special education at E.D. Walker Middle School
of his way to make sure that
during the day and coaches
the players are ready to play
the Panther receivers in the
their best come game time.
Coach Wren will sometimes
“I manage my day just as
stay late after practice with
[I would] every day,” Coach
players to work on their routes
Wren said. “I’m in class for six
and forms of catching. He was
periods and then my planning
in their position not too long
period is seventh. So I travel
ago, and he wants to help them
over to Hillcrest around 3:10 to
the best he can to make sure
get to practice.”
they achieve all of their athletic
Coach Wren has eight years
of coaching experience under
“It impresses me that he
his belt. He started coaching at
go out of his way
his alma mater - Ardmore High
us,” senior wide
School in Oklahoma - where
Phillip Pitts said.
he coached for one year. Then
get special
Coach Wren went to coach at
Ardmore’s rival, Altus High
Coach Wren may not
School, for three years until
be a full-time teacher at
he got an opportunity to work
Hillcrest, but he still thinks
with his former high school
that it has not had any effect
quarterback coach at Richardson
on his relationship with his
High School for two years.
players or with the coaches.
Football coach Lionel Wren goes over the
Now he hopes he has found a
pre-game with his fellow coaches. Coach
According to one player, no
coaching home in his second
Wren is the Panthers’ wide-receiver specialist.
matter how serious Coach
year at Hillcrest coaching the
photo by Blake Mokate
Wren gets, he has a funny
Panther receivers. Not only does
side and jokes around with
Coach Wren have extensive
the chance. When he
experience as a coach, but he also has played for
Wren is helping the
four years as both a wide receiver and quarterback
players with the fundamentals. His dedication and
at the college level.
passion is clear in his mission to prepare the wide
“I attended East Central University in Ada,
receivers for whatever obstacles they come across
Okla.,” Coach Wren said. “I was a four-year starter
on and off the field.
at wide receiver.”
“I’m laid back and like to have fun but in the
Coach Wren’s passion and dedication comes
sense getting work done with hard work and
from his old high school coach, Milton Cooper,
Coach Wren said. “They know I’m
who served as his mentor and father figure. Back
there for them in whatever they need.”
The coaching staff appreciates his knowledge of
football and how good of a mentor he is with the
players. Coach Wren could easily be coaching at
Walker, but he chooses to make the trek to Hillcrest
to give his time to coach the receivers to their full
“I think it’s pretty great,” junior wide receiver
Jeshun Jones said. “He doesn’t have to coach but
he gives his time to come out here and coach us.”
Q & A with four-year cross country member...
Irma Alvarez
What is your favorite thing about cross
Everybody is united and everybody treats each
other like their family. Coach Warnock doesn’t
just treat us as her runners; she treats us like her
own kids.
What are some advantages
of being on the team all
four years?
You get more attached to
the whole team and to the
newcomers and you are an
example to them.
What’s the most
challenging part of being a cross country
When you’re trying to beat your time or trying to
beat the person that is better than you, and then
graduating and saying bye to all the people you
got attached to ... especially Coach Warnock.
What motivates you to finish a race?
When Coach Warnock and your teammates
are at the finish line screaming your name out
telling you to sprint because someone is right
behind you who you can outrun, and when you
see Coach Warnock jumping up and down, it
motivates you to sprint your heart out.
I’ve got something to say,
ake us
do le
t even
We h
ball yet
Mc ach
all k enom
vam now y y, we
wai pire, w u’re a
adm ing fo e’re ju
it it r you st
ach Bass,
please don
’t make
us run for
late. Some
you get us
but we stil
l love
odd your
ach grow
“C uld
sho out.”
**Quotes were collected from JV
and varsity members of teams.
Hillcrest High School
4 a&e
Student Art Gallery
Dallas, TX 75230
Many talents are hidden among Hillcrest’s student body, and superb artistic eyes are no exception! Several of art teacher Barbara Roth’s students completed exceptional
work featured below:
by sophomore Christine Park
by senior Janeth Davalos
by senior Brenda Villegas
by junior Keaton Lambiotte
by senior Ty’Ron Tyler
Teacher Shuffle
AP U.S. history teacher Garet Feimster was given
a daunting task: choosing five of his favorite songs.
The result was quite a playlist:
Murder in the
City The Avett
Makes me think abut
the relationships that
I have in my life; my
wonderful family and
Song Bob Marley
Wave On Wave Pat Green
Makes me think of my
future wife and how
fortunate I truly am to have
her in my life.
No matter who you
are or where you
are in life, you can
always change.
After the Storm Mumford and Sons
Feeling Good
Again Robert Earl
Gives the hope that in the
end, there will be something
better than our present
The title says it all.
Uplifting song!
Makes me think of
the good times.
by Anonymous
by junior Johana Hernandez
Staff addition levels art classes
Staff Writer
To ammend this issue, at the end of the fall
semester, many students that are in over-populated
elective classes will be removed from that course and
transferred into a
Art class update
brand-new art class.
Despite attempted
The change will take
schedule corrections,
place at the end of
Hillcrest art students
the semester so that
are still experiencing
the students being
abnormally large class
moved will still
sizes, and a final round
get their previous
of schedule changes is
elective’s credit. The
yet to come. With the
new art class will
loss of Lisa Jones, AP
be taught by current
Art History teacher, to
reading teacher
district-wide budget
Lynn Perroux.
cuts, current art teacher
These changes
Barbara Roth had to
will hopefully
Freshman Daniel Paul receives help on his creative
take charge of all art
put an end to the
color wheel from art teacher Lynn Perroux during
classes, resulting in
abnormal class
seventh period. Freshman Mayte Jaimes works
enormous class size and
sizes and be the
overlapping curriculums.
answer to a series
the end of the period. photo by Lori Todd
“It’s tougher to control
of rescheduling
a larger class,” junior
James Foster said. “The large class size makes
“Now I get to do two of my favorite things,
it more challenging to get individual attention.”
to read and to do art,” Ms. Perroux said.
a&e 5
Volume 67, Issue 2
November 7, 2011
After selling over a million copies of their debut
album, Oracular Spectacular, which consisted of
several day-glo pop hits including “Kids,” “Time to
Pretend” and “Electric Feel,” MGMT is back with
a compilation album, Late Night Tales. Late Night
Tales is a series that dozens of bands in the past have
been honored to be a part of. The concept of the LNT
series is for the artist to choose a list of songs which
inspired them. The track list consists of songs recorded
by notable rock and psych-folk icons from as far back
as the 60s. What may be the best song on the album,
“Ocean,” is by The Velvet Underground, an extremely
talented rock band from the early 60s led by the
notorious Lou Reed. If you are into slow-paced, even
ominous music, then this is the album for you.
Hot Chocolate
When I first received the cup of hot chocolate,
it was served steaming hot, just how the drink
should be. The photo on its advertisement shows a
cup with delicately placed whipped cream on the
If you were one of the many who voted Scotty
McCreery for American Idol this past year, then Clear
as Day is most likely right down your alley. Each of
the 12 upbeat ballads is what anyone would expect
from McCreery after winning last season’s American
Idol. From a subjective perspective, this artist’s debut
album will go about as far as Joe Jonas’ new record. I
do not mean to vilify this aspiring 18-year-old’s first
album; it is just hard to believe that this is going to
be what gets him the Grammy. It takes quite a lot of
oomph for a country singer to not sound like every
other country singer. Listening to this album caused
me to feel a particularly strong emotion of regret as to
ever choose this artist as a music review.
Reviews by Design Editor Jesse Degani
McCafé Hot Chocolate
top, drizzled in chocolate syrup, but I was upset to
see none of that when I opened the lid. As I had small
sips of my drink, it tasted similar to a spoiled dairy
product. It was so bad that I did not finish it, and at
300 calories, it is totally not worth it.
Hot by Maria Cuyarn
This little-known lyrical genius and funkadelic
superstar has just released a second, and even more
mind-blowing, album. Imagine R. Kelly mixed with
the great Marvin Gaye, and then add a splash of
Prince. With that you have got a decent representation
of Mayer Hawthorne’s funky, sexy sound. In the song
“Can’t Stop,” Snoop Dogg makes an appearance and
Hawthorne inevitably upstages him. When listening
through the entirety of this album, there is not a single
song that irks you enough to hit the next button. Each
and every song brings something intriguing to the
table. This album makes good use of Hawthorne’s
romantic, yet dirty, lyrics through its dynamic and
refined sound. This album is not an album to pass up
on listening to.
Being a store that specializes in hot beverages
and is pretty popular among the public, I had high
expectations for Starbucks’ beverage. They offered
not only a plain hot chocolate but several different
variations, which all seemed very tempting, but I stuck
with the plain. I received within the next five minutes
a drink that was very warm and topped with whipped
cream. The flavor wasn’t too sweet or too bland, just
perfect. It was worth every cent.
Einstein’s Bagels
Hot Chocolate
I ordered a hot chocolate along with a bagel and
waited in line for 10 minutes before my name was
called. When I finally received my order and had
my first taste of the drink, it had gone cold, which
defeats the purpose of ordering a hot beverage.
Though the taste was very delightful, it lacked a bit
of the chocolatey sweetness and was a little pricey
for a small.
Franklin Field
Hot Chocolate
I ordered the hot chocolate thinking it was going
to be not so great, considering it came from a high
school stadium’s concession stand. Since it was so
cold at the football game, the temptation of a warm
drink was all that made me buy it. But as I took the
first sip of the drink, it was maybe one of the best
cups of hot chocolate I’ve ever had. The warmth
was prefect for the weather, and there was just
enough sweetness from the chocolate. It’s definitely
a must-try at the next sporting event.
A “homeless team” steps its way back to Hillcrest
Assistant Editor
After an exceptional performance at this year’s
Homecoming pep rally, Hillcrest’s group of bad girls is
back. The step team has kicked it into high gear upon
their return from a short hiatus and has continued to
blow away the student body with their strong beats and
incredible precision.
“They called us a homeless team,” senior captain
Octura Tate said. “We started out with nothing - no
funds or anything, but I had a vision, and I wanted a
team, so I brought it to [math teacher Mona] Wooley.”
Though many might not yet consider the step team
to be at the same level as other school organizations,
the girls are constantly working hard to create stellar
performances. While focusing on making different
beats, the team also finds it important to bond on a
higher level.
“Before practice, we pray,” step team member
Taylor Washington said. “We also do a chant before
we step to start us off for what we’re about to do.”
The step team practices after school three times
a week in the cafeteria and every day on the week
of a performance. Though there is enough room
for the team to get organized and start practice, it is
sometimes difficult to deal with the outside distractions
that come with their designated space.
“We have to work with the [custodial staff], and
they’re not as easy to work with,” Tate said. “We’re
not a sponsored athletic sport, so we had to pull a
couple of strings, but they worked with us and we
worked with them.”
When preparing for performances, the beats made
are not the only concern. Most step routines are
inspired by a specific plot such as the jail setting done
at the Homecoming pep rally. The team came prepared
with costumes and confidence in their work.
“Generally, if you watch step team competitions,
there is some kind of skit around the [routines] with
costumes and [such],” co-sponsor Ms. Wooley said.
“They completely came up with the [prison setting]; I
just monitor and make sure it is not inappropriate.”
After countless hours were spent practicing the
team’s ground-breaking routine, students and staff
members throughout the school gave praise to the
team for their blood-pumping performance during the
Homecoming pep rally. The student body found the
choice for the skit both entertaining and innovative.
“I loved [their performance],” junior Mo Walker
said. “They came out there looking like prisoners and
you knew right away what they were trying to do.”
Considering their huge success toward the
beginning of the year, the team has various other plans
in motion. While the team is currently getting excited
for a step camp that will take place on Nov. 18 at Tyler
Junior College, they have many other plans in store.
“There is a talent show in the area that [the
students] are going to audition for,” Ms. Wooley said.
In addition, the team has been asked to participate
in various other Hillcrest-related activities since
their first hard-hitting routine of the year. While they
continue to flourish and create new steps, the team
knows the importance of sticking to their roots.
“Our mission statement is ‘I can do all things
through Christ who strengthens me,’” Tate said. “So
many of the girls came in saying ‘I can’t do this’ or
‘I don’t know how to step,’ but if you can move your
feet, clap your hands or make a beat, that’s step.”
Steppers rehearse a sequence in the cafeteria after
school. The Homecoming routine included a creative
theme, and the team practiced hard to ensure an
entertaining performace before their peers. photo by
Becca Ray
eye of th
Hillcrest High School
Dallas, TX 75230
Adoption in the
Sophomore Rosie Zander
Sophomore Rosie Zander was born in Dallas and lived with a foster mom
for a few weeks before being officially adopted by her parents. Zander, who
was a part of a closed adoption, cannot be granted contact with her birth
mother until she turns 18. Her birth mother, who gave the young Zander
up in a closed adoption back in 1995, had one other son a few years later,
whom she kept.
“I have no idea where my birth mother is from,” Zander said. “[All I
know] is that she delivered me in Dallas. I have no idea what my blood
heritage is. When everyone else says ‘Oh, I’m Irish, Oh, I’m Indian,’ I can’t
say anything. I’m [counting] down to my 18th birthday to meet my mom
and dad and brother. But mostly my mom.”
Zander does not know what her exact heritage is and will not find out
until she is able to contact her mother. Her adoptive parents, both in their
early 60s, were unable to conceive and sought out adoption services.
Zander has one other sibling, a 12-year-old sister who was adopted from a
Russian orphanage.
“We’re just like any other [pair of] sisters,” Zander said. “We fight, yet
we still love each other. Adoption doesn’t make us that different.”
Despite her loving family, Zander still occasionally feels a void and wonders about her past family. During an especially tough
time two years ago, Zander research and called a private investigator in an attempt to find her mother.
“I was too scared to leave a voicemail,” Zander said. “[But I called because] it was hard knowing [that] people are deciding ...
that I can’t see the person who gave birth to me.”
Although Zander may sometimes feel this way, she ultimately has a positive and thankful attitude toward adoption.
“I’m very proud [of being adopted],” Zander said. “One of the most annoying things is when people tell me ‘sorry’ or tell me
how horrible it must be. It’s not. I’m just fine.”
Senior Phillip Pitts
Spread by Becca Bielamowicz and Blake Mokate
This generationdefining inventor, who
invented everything
from the ipod to
iTunes, was adopted
shortly after he was
debbie harry
This Boston writer wrote
such famous works as
“The Raven” and “The
Tell-Tale Heart.”
steve jobs
edgar allan
Senior Phillip Pitts spent the first 13 months of his life in a foster home
in Perm, a small Russian village, until he was adopted by his parents.
Pitts’ adoptive mother was not able to have children and saw adoption as a
feasible option. Pitts’ birth mother was 17-years-old when she had him and
was not equipped to raise a child.
“My real name was Demitri Alexandrovitch Shishcum,” Pitts said.
Pitts is an only child and was
raised knowing that he was adopted.
His parents did not want to keep this
secret from him.
“They told me that I was adopted
around age five, when I knew what
adopted meant,” Pitts said. “[If I
could find out who] my birth mother
was, I probably wouldn’t. I’m fine
the way I am right now.”
This woman
fronted the
popular new
band Blondi
whose hits in
such songs a
“Heart of Gla
and “Call M
he storm
November 7, 2011
Volume 67, Issue 2
e halls of Hillcrest
Senior Zach Boger was adopted when he was six days old. His birth
mother was 18-years-old when he was born and could not handle raising a
child. Boger was born in Philadelphia but grew up in Dallas. His adoptive
parents, who are white, raised him knowing that he had been adopted.
“To be honest, when I was in early elementary school, I thought I was
white,” Boger said. “I didn’t notice that I was adopted. I was like, ‘Yeah
I look different from my parents,’ but it wasn’t until I was older that my
parents explained everything and I started noticing.”
Boger has two older stepbrothers and one sister, Kalli, who is a
freshman at Hillcrest and who was also adopted. When Boger’s parents
married, his mother could not have any more children, but they adopted
because they wanted to raise children together. When Boger interacts with
his older brothers, he feels as though they are not any different from a
blood relative.
“It’s like we’re really brothers,” Boger said. “No awkwardness at all.
I remember one time, my brother got mad at me when I told him that he
wasn’t really my brother. And he was like, ‘You really are my brother;
don’t say that.’ We’re really close.”
Senior Kathleen Scott
leo tolstoy
Senior Zach Boger
This Russian author,
who wrote classics
such as War and
Peace and Anna
Karenina, was
brought up by his
relatives after his
parents died.
Senior Kathleen Scott was put up for adoption by her 19-yearold birth mother and was taken home by her parents when she
was one day old. Her birth mother, who was Finnish, could not
handle a child at such a young age and thought that adoption was
the best solution.
“She was 19 and couldn’t take care of me,” Scott said. “Her
parents, when they found out that she was pregnant, were
extremely angry. She considered abortion from what I’ve heard,
but she didn’t have it, and gave me up in a closed adoption.”
Scott was born in Dallas in 1994. When her adoptive parents
married and found out that they could not have children, they
sought out other options.
“My parents just always wanted to adopt,” Scott said. “My
parents were offered several babies but were just like, ‘No, that’s
not the right one.’ One day [the adoption agency] said that they
had one, so my parents went, and they liked me, I guess, and got
Scott has two older stepbrothers from her father’s previous
marriage - one is 45 and the other is 47. Despite the age
difference, their relationships are still strong.
“We still get along fine,” Scott said. “I’m still their little sister.
We don’t really consider each other step siblings. They’ve
known me my entire life, so it’s like they’re my actual brothers.”
Adoption comes with its ups and downs, and the desire to meet a birth mother
varies from each person. For Scott, meeting her birth mother is not a top priority.
“The question that people ask all the time is ‘Do you ever want to meet your birth
mom?’” Scott said. “I’m just like, not really. She’s never been a part of my life, but I
feel like one day when I’m old enough I’m going to want to look her up.”
Approximately 7 million Americans are adopted
100 million Americans have adopted relatives in their
immediate family
Hillcrest High School
Dallas, TX 75230
Alumna returns to the halls of Hillcrest
Ms. Loveless fills in for Ms. Ashmead for six weeks
Staff Writer
Some challenges Ms. Loveless will have to
“[The Hurricane] opened so many doors [and],
overcome are adjusting to a new lesson plan as well
I loved it,” Ms. Loveless said. “I hope I can
as getting to know her students she will be teaching
encourage students to consider [doing journalism].”
for the next six weeks.
Ms. Loveless graduated from SMU with a
“To be completely honest, students really don’t
double major in French and journalism. After
[respect] subs,” junior
spending a semester abroad in France
Pamela Peralta said.
her junior year in college, Ms. Loveless
“Since we’ve met [Ms.
returned to SMU and received her Master
Loveless], I don’t think
of Liberal Arts. Ms. Loveless has had many
she will be like one of
interesting jobs in her journalism career.
those horrible subs.”
Being the spokesperson for the Dallas Fire
Graduating from
Department, Ms. Loveless was on call
Hillcrest in 1966, Ms.
24/7 and was required to wear the uniform
Loveless tied with
as well as to go down to the scene of the
13 other students as
fire to report to the media. Other jobs Ms.
valedictorian out of a
Loveless has encountered in her journalism
class of 523 and was
career are national communications director
a Panader as well as
for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers,
a co-editor of The
advertising manager for Mrs. Bairds, PR
Hillcrest Hurricane.
director of the Salvation Army in Tarrant
During her time as coCounty, public relations professor at
Ms. Loveless teaches her
senior economics class about the
editor, the front cover
UTD and editor of the SMU yearbook
of the newspaper was
and magazine. Currently, Ms. Loveless is
dedicated to artwork and The students eagerly listen as they
working on a freelance project of making
prepare for the upcoming AP exam.
featured an entire page
brochures for the College Board. In the
photo by Zach Boger
of ads. Ms. Loveless
future, Ms. Loveless hopes to come back
credits The Hurricane
and take more substituting jobs at Hillcrest.
with showing her her chosen career of journalism
“I think there is a lot of potential [at Hillcrest],”
and even chose taking newspaper over calculus.
Ms. Loveless said. “I don’t think I would take
In 1986, Ms. Loveless returned to Hillcrest as the
another permanent job, [but] I would be glad to sub
journalism adviser for two years.
after this one or two days at a time.”
Former Panader; Hurricane co-editor and
adviser; and Hillcrest alumna Janie Loveless is
stepping up to the plate and taking over for English
and economics teacher Amanda Ashmead while she
is away on maternity leave.
“I thought it would be fun and interesting to get
to know students,” Ms. Loveless said. “I did it once
before, so I am used to coming in the middle of the
six weeks and trying to carry on.”
Returning to her roots, Ms. Loveless came
back to Hillcrest as a substitute teacher last year.
This year, Ms. Loveless was asked to take over
mid-year in place of Ms. Ashmead’s absence. Ms.
Loveless plans on shaking up the classroom and
not just letting the students have a six-week break.
One of her new lesson plans includes incorporating
journalism into the curriculum. Ms. Loveless will
teach about the fundamentals of journalism such
as being precise, clear and accurate. Ms. Loveless
believes journalism opens up a whole new spectrum
of opportunities that strictly English does not. As
for taking over Ms. Ashmead’s economics class, she
plans on continuing with Ms. Ashmead’s previous
lesson plans.
“I think the first weeks are going to be a little
crazy,” junior Jordan Greve said. “It is going to be
hard to adjust to a new teacher after we just got
adjusted to Ms. Ashmead last six weeks.”
“Emp ke
s ma
wagon oise.”
a lot o er A
See if you can guess your teachers’ favorite phrases!
“In the grand
scheme of
Teacher B
Teac .”
her C
“Get it!”
Teacher D
thing is
Teacher A: Ms. Butler, Teacher B: Mr. Feimster, Teacher C: Ms. Hayslip, Teacher D:Ms. Todd, Teacher E: Ms. Mattox
Isa Flores
12 Things You Don’t
Know About Me
Junior Isa Flores is known for her unconventional style and creative use of make-up. This thespian reveals interesting
facts about herself with the student body.
1. I love acting and theater.
2. I love horror movies.
3. I want to be a horror movie director.
4. I have a weird fascination with
5. My favorite band is
the Misfits.
6. My boyfriend and I love to
paint our faces like zombies.
7. I love Asian food.
8. I love to draw.
9. I love dressing
in all black; it’s just
who I am.
10. I have the weirdest cat. He loves to suck on his
toe, has a small tail and has a weird meow.
11. When people look at me,
they get scared, but I am
actually really friendly.
12. My idols are David
Lynch, who is a
movie director, and
Tom, who is a horror movie
make-up artist and also
does special effects.
The Middle East meets Hillcrest
November 7, 2011
Volume 67, Issue 2
Students from other countries blend their culture
Staff Writer
Imagine the first day in high school, how nervous
and excited everyone was. Now imagine the first day
of high school in a strange country with an unknown
language and an unfamiliar culture. Terrifying, right?
Middle Eastern students who attend high school in
America have to overcome the regular challenges of
high school while adjusting to a different lifestyle and
environment. It is a testament to their personal strength
and persistent determination to accomplish their
dreams that they decide to move to America.
“They’re all amazingly courageous,” ESL
department chair Lynn Bolton said. “And very strong
Out of the 13 Hillcrest students from the Middle
East, most come from Iraq. In past years, the influx
of students from countries coincides with the political
situation in those areas. Somalia, Burma and Iraq have
sustained difficult situations that pushed its residents to
move to different areas; as a result, Hillcrest has seen
more of these students walk its halls.
“They follow the geopolitical situation, especially
if there are wars or if the U.S. takes refugees,” Ms.
Bolton said. “We’re getting more and more from Iraq
as refugees or families who helped the government get
legal residency.”
Most students from Iraq have been here for about a
year and moved because of the war and tenuous safety
in their country. They come to America looking for
peace and a secure future but often must leave behind
aspects of their life. Though they enjoy the freedom
and possibilities, they still miss family and friends.
“I miss my
grandfather and
grandmother and
friends,” Haider
Al Shammari,
a junior who
moved to
freshman year,
said. “But we
still keep up.”
Senior Sarah Al Kayali follows along
situations in their with Dr. McGaffey as she reads in her
home country
English class. She moved here from Iraq
in her junior year with her sister, Mais.
have been a
photo by Cassie Caballero
primary reason
for moving to
America, Iraqi students also seek out a more fulfilling
education in their move. Any level of education is free
in Iraq, but some students felt that they would benefit
more from an American education. Iraqi seniors plan
to attend college and join the ranks of engineers and
doctors as well as other commendable vocations, so
their bright dreams need an education that fits them.
Several differences between the two school systems,
as noted by Iraqi students at Hillcrest, include more
involved teachers, more time spent in school, slowerpaced classrooms, an emphasis on an individual’s
understanding of the topic and no gender separation in
“The college in Iraq is free,” Zahraa Kamil, a junior
who moved to America freshman year, said. “But the
schooling is better here.”
However, pursuing an education demands some
sacrifices. Not only did the students switch cultures
and leave family and friends, they had to adjust
to a new language and find a niche in an, at first,
overwhelming environment. Some students did not
know any English when first arriving in America
and most knew only some of the language, having to
discover its many inconsistencies and numerous slang
phrases during their first year. Some students only
speak English at school, making it difficult to truly
adjust to the language.
“The hardest part was I didn’t know the language,”
junior Mais Al Kayali said. “It was so hard.”
Most students made up for a language barrier in
other ways. Several have joined sports, including
football and soccer, and have made efforts to integrate
into the Hillcrest community. And with warm Texan
courtesy, Hillcrest has welcomed them.
“[Soccer] feels like one team,” senior Sarah Al
Kayali, who came to Hillcrest as a junior, said. “Even
if people don’t know you, they smile.”
It takes a truly bright and dedicated student to
venture out into a foreign culture for their education
and safety. Their ambition and strength make them
valuable components of the Hillcrest community.
“We don’t worry about something bad happening
tomorrow,” Sarah Al Kayali said. “I feel peace here.”
Where are our E�change students now�
Leo Perreria
1. It was OK, although I used
to forget the Portuguese words
sometimes and I had to randomly
use English words. It was funny,
2. I miss the friends I made
over there a lot.
3. Just about everything.
Mostly clothes and my classes were different. In
Brazil we have more freedom.
4. Mostly by Facebook, but I do talk over the
phone with some of them.
5. Sure! I want to see my friends again. Also, I’d
like to visit New York, Washington and other cities.
6. Well, I guess the teenagers in Brazil have more
freedom to do what they want, but that’s because
we mature earlier, I think. The way I see it, the
American home education is so conservative that
it does not allow the children to grow, but that’s a
culture thing right? No judgments.
7. Everything! I love them. I still talk to them
almost every week.
8. I missed my Brazilian friends a lot. And
sometimes I felt lonely. It’s tough to be “alone” in
a foreign country. People don’t always understand
you, but I really liked my experience.
1. How was it adjusting to living at home after
living in Dallas for so long?
2. What do you miss most about the states?
3. Did anything in your day-to-day routine
change after going back home?
4. How do you keep in touch with your friends
from Dallas?
5. Do you think you will ever visit the states
Vittoria Cappelli
1. It was a little bit confusing. I
felt very strange for a month and
had a nostalgic feeling for America,
but also experienced many happy
moments because I was back to my
2. The high school. It was the
most amazing thing I’ve gone
through in my whole life. I had the time of my life at
Hillcrest High School.
3. Not really. I think it has changed a little bit, but
I guess it would have changed even if I didn’t leave
Italy, because I am older.
4. Facebook, and sometimes Skype or Oovoo.
5. I will absolutely be back soon! I want to come
back to Dallas soon to visit all my friends. Also, I want
to go to California and New Orleans because they are
the only places I didn’t get a chance to visit.
6. Most importantly, the religion. We don’t think
religion is one of the most important things in our lives
as Americans do.
7. I miss the fact that they considered me as a very
mature girl, and they would ask me for everything.
8. I don’t even know what was the toughest part,
but I can say that January was the worst month. Maybe
because it was the time after Christmas and I missed
my whole family around the table with our Italian
again? If so, where and why?
6. What stood out the most in America
culture that is different from where you live?
7. What do you miss abut the host family
you stayed with?
8. What was the toughest part about living
in the states?
Susana Belo
1. It was tough because
I had to adjust back to my
old routine and old habits
after a whole year of new
2. The diversity of people.
3. It didn’t really change
since I took my junior year in the USA and then
came back to the my old high school for my
4. Usually by Facebook. With the closest ones
I normally use Skype.
5. I’ll definitely come back to the United
States! First of all, I have to go visit Dallas
where my friends and host family live. Also, I
want to visit some other states besides Texas.
6. I’m not sure it’s about the culture, but high
school in the States is a lot different than in
Portugal. Here we pick a specific course, while
over there you have a lot of different subjects.
Besides, in the States there’s a big variety of
sports and arts in high school, while in Portugal
there’s only a few.
7. I miss everything about my host family.
Especially my sister Alex.
8. Just adapting to a new family and school in
general. But it was actually easier than I thought.
And time goes by fast.
Hillcrest High School
Dallas, TX 75230
Students are not the only ones to blame
Teachers have more influence than they realize
Assistant Editor
When I really consider the amount of knowledge
I have obtained over the past 16 years, most of that
knowledge comes from one of three places: my parents,
my relatives and my teachers. To some, whether you
learn from them or not is simply a choice. Someone could
easily walk into a classroom day after day and count
the ceiling tiles. The same mindset applies for various
teachers. They show up to class, you meet them there, go
home, repeat and they will get a paycheck regardless.
When walking into a great teacher’s room, it is just
as apparent, but in an extremely different way. It’s as if
a light shines through the doorway like in one of those
weird sci-fi movies where you can hear the angels singing
as you walk through the threshold. Immediately there is
something inside that lets you know that it’s going to be a
great year. This is why when I walk into a new classroom
in the beginning of the year, it usually takes me a total of
10 seconds to get an initial reaction to the person standing
in front of the room.
Considering the fact that teaching is not exactly
the straight shot to becoming a millionaire, I find it
astounding how many bad teachers there are versus good
ones. It is a rare occasion when you hear those singing
angels. Really, really rare. So the small percentage
usually leaves me wondering where all of the great
teachers come from. Were they simply born brilliant and
eloquent? Or was it maybe a teacher who showed them a
perfect example of how not to teach a class leading them
to a sense of moral obligation?
In all actuality, the world has few amazing teachers.
Many have attempted to blame America’s stupidity on the
advanced age of technology or our inherently lazy nature,
but the truth remains at the source: we need people who
care. And the truly sad part is that while the government
can’t afford to pay those who are poised and prepared to
take on the task what they deserve, it is my generation
that suffers. We are willing to walk through every gifted
teacher’s door, but all we need is for someone to turn on
the light.
Panther Report Card
Though I understand the school’s motives to shut down reconnect classes, in the end, the effects of the classes were more positive than
negative. While reconnect served as a way to avoid difficult core classes for some students, for those who are in Pre-AP and AP classes,
reconnect was a way to take classes such as health or speech in order to focus on maintaining a better rank and GPA. By erasing reconnect
from the school’s curriculum choices, it forces students to redo their high school plans in the hopes that they might be able to get everything
done before graduation. While I know that considering some classes to be easier than others might not be looked at as honorable, it doesn’t hurt to have one or two classes
done through such a program. And let’s just call it the way it is: taking computer class in an era where we get yelled at for being on them too much is not only hypocritical
but preposterous. I say that there are two choices: either make the classes that just take up schedule space optional or bring reconnect back. Not cool, State Board of
Education. Way to go by making graduation a nightmare for all.
Yes, the most simple kind of extra credit is the kind where you drop off a tissue box during passing periods, but have any of the teachers ever
considered that it might not be something students can afford? The whole point of going to high school is for us to work our hardest and maintain a
high average in order to become successful adults in the working world. By giving us bought extra credit, it sends a message to students who bring it
that it is acceptable to “buy” your way to good grades. Perhaps a grade for something that we put effort into might be more helpful in the overall result.
Though the extra help is both appreciated and necessary, students need a bit more of a push. Simply taking the easy route for both the grading process
and the student’s time commitment truly is not putting the student’s best interest at heart.
For both the students and teachers who are in classrooms next to the metal detectors, the noises that come from the monstrosities by the doors create
a huge distraction. The metal detectors are necessary in the school to keep us safe, but the thing that really gets me is the fact that half of the people
who come to school in the mornings don’t have to enter through them. There is the entrance through girls’ gym,
the auditorium, the door by the library; the list goes on and on. This is why it is so frustrating to deal with
the machines’ extremely loud beeping while you are sitting in class trying to learn. If we all knew that the metal
detectors were guarding us from a potential crisis, it would be simple to sit and ignore these things, but they are
merely an annoyance at this point. I truly appreciate the effort, but there are definitely some improvements that
still need to be made.
Becca Bielamowicz
Assistant Editor
Lilly Stafford
Design Editor/
Lori Todd
Graphic Designer
Jesse Degani
Page Editors
Zach Boger
Business Manager
Sara Cagle
Sydney Pedigo
Jesse Degani
Reggis Guthrey
Blake Mokate
Cassie Caballero
Ben Siebel
Reghan Goldberg
Becca Ray
Staff Writers
Maria Cuyan
Cole Morgan
Sydney Pedigo
Jack Stein
Lauren Westbrook
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the editor may be submitted to
[email protected] They will be
reviewed by the editorial board for publishing in
the issue directly following the date of submission.
Persons writing letters to the editor will be informed
of their publication a week in advance. Letters will
be edited for grammar and spelling but not for
content and may or may not represent the views
of the Hurricane staff.
Advertising which endorses substances not legally
available to students under 18 years will not run
in the Hurricane. Advertisements may or may not
represent the views of the Hurricane staff.
Every morning, I sit in my PAWS class and await the announcements.
The only issue that comes along with waiting for the announcements
is the fact that once they come on, you can’t hear them. There is no
announcements point in spending the amount of time and effort that we do attempting
to interpret the random babbles that escape the intercom each
morning considering the fact that they never come out clearly. Announcements are a helpful tool for
students who need quick information and are needed at our school. This is why it would be so great if
we could hear them. At the same time, the information conveyed is very well organized and fun to listen
to (when audible). When we barely hear the words ‘please be seated,’ it should be the start of PAWS
announcements, not the end of them.
Being a foreign
exchange student
hosting one
Hot Cocoa with
without whip
Scotty McCreery
Volume 67, Issue 2
November 7, 2011
12 photo essay
Hillcrest High School
Dallas, TX 75230
Volume 67, Issue 2
November 7, 2011
We’ve Got Spirit,
Yes We Do!
Students went all out for this year’s Spirit Week!
The Staff of ‘the Hillcrest Hurricane’ picked out some of the week’s stand-outs.
Associate principal Tamika Prentiss and assistant principals
Luis Cuevas and Stacey Segal team up for their matching
Multiplicity Day costumes. Many teachers and staff dressed up
alongside the students for several days during Homecoming
week. photo by Lori Todd
Sophomore Shelby Snyder sparkles
in her unicorn costume for Animal Day.
Costumes on this day ranged from nature
guides to cows. photo by Cassie Caballero
JV cheerleader Pamela Peralta
shows off her school spirit during
class. Mums and garters are a
Homecoming tradition between
dates. photo by Becca Ray
Student siblings Reghan and
Kayce Goldberg channel their
inner-hippie for a different kind of
look. “I chose to take a dfferent
approach on Green Day to spice
things up a bit!” Reghan said.
photo by Becca Ray
Senior Debrika Cormier explains to her classmate, senior
Sam Williams, the error of his ways during PAWS. Green Day
brought with it many different interpretations depending on if
it was taken literally, or in some cases, figuratively. photo by
Reghan Goldberg
Jasmine (junior
Arelly Garcia),
Pocahontas (senior
Kelcey Sartin) and
Snow White (junior
Jordan Greve) take
a stroll down the
band hall. Disney
princesses was
one of the more
creative costumes
on Multiplicity Day,
which unfortunately
coincided with
PSAT testing. photo
by Lori Todd
Freshman Ciara Molina and senior
Ruben Sixtos chat during a passing period.
This couple thought it would be fun to get
commemorative matching T-shirts. photo by
Becca Ray
Junior Emily
gives fellow
junior Keaton
Lambiotte a
thumbs-up for
his ingenuity.
Even with crazy
students were
still required to
stay in dress
code. photo by
Becca Ray