Graduation won’t be at St. Norbert; location still undetermined

By Connor Schoen, Aviator staff writer

An inconvenience looms up ahead for the senior students of De Pere High School, as the usual facility for senior graduation, the Schuldes Sports Center of St. Norbert College, is unavailable this year due to construction work.

However, don’t fret as the school is taking action to find a replacement venue.

Mrs. Schrader and Mrs. Guyette, the senior class advisers, will be working with the senior cabinet to carry out the task.

Mr. Joseph, the DPHS principal, said that the group has sent out feelers to certain venues. Places such as UW-Green Bay, the Kress Center, and the Resch Center are being considered as possible facilities to host the graduation, he said.

Mr. Joseph cited three main concerns when it comes to picking the venue:

  1. Size. The chosen venue should be able to hold all the guests that are attending. This year has the largest number of senior students in DPHS history (377). Not only that, but each student will most likely bring their family to the graduation. Even the DPHS gym, which can hold 1,944 people, isn’t going to be enough to seat the crowd.
  1. Cost. The DPHS staff will try to find the best possible venue without breaking the bank. How much a facility costs will have an effect on the decision.
  1. Weather. Weather in Wisconsin can be quite unpredictable, and this can be a problem for planning events, especially when the event in question is planned next year. Students have suggested using Nowak Family Field. Using the field would be cheap but not effective.

“The issue there is the seating holds less than the gym,” Mr. Joseph said.

The date of Monday, June 5, 2017, is set. The graduation takes place on a Monday to make it more convenient for the folks who were out of state because they travel on a weekend, as opposed to the middle of the week.

 

Pledge means more to me, but that’s OK

By Abby Allcox, Aviator staff writer

Every day at the beginning of 5th hour, Mr. Soquet comes on the loud speaker and says the Pledge of Allegiance.

Until I got to high school, I didn’t understand that some declined to stand for the pledge and refused to say it. This blew my mind, as I was raised in a family where we had only the highest respect for the flag and what it represents.

Every Memorial Day, we would go to the De Pere parade and hold the small miniature flags, and my dad told me not to let it touch the ground. Small things like that were instilled at me from a young age.

The flag, to my family, was more than a piece of cloth or a symbol of our government. The flag was a reminder of our freedoms and those who had died protecting it.

Imagine growing up having only respect for the flag and then coming to high school where every class treated the Pledge of Allegiance differently. I have had classes where half of the students didn’t stand at all, or they talked or played on their phones while it was said.

I have had classes where everyone stood but no one said a word. The worst one was when one student stood up and said the pledge each day, but she tried to say it in the most obnoxious accent she could think of.

This was one of the first tastes of the real world that I had where not everyone saw the flag the same way I did. The question then became, “How do I deal with this?” and “How do I react?”

After all, I believe in the freedoms the flag represents, which includes freedom of speech. I believe that other students have the right to sit for the pledge just as I have the right to stand for it. So, how do I make sure that my voice is heard, too?

My freshmen year, I didn’t really do anything. In the classes that didn’t say anything and just stood, I didn’t say anything either. I didn’t call out the kids who talked and disrespected the flag.

As I progressed through high school, I realized that my own protest was standing for the pledge. I said it even if I was the only one. I asked the kids sitting for the pledge to at least be quiet if they were talking.

This is how I was raised. However, as I listened more to the news on Colin Kaepernick, I realized that how I was raised to look at the flag may be different from how others such as DPHS senior Daniel Reich do.  

“During the Pledge they say ‘under God’ and I’m not religious,” he said. “I just feel like it doesn’t represent everyone well.”

He, along with others in the school, refuse to stand for the pledge because it says “under God.” Being an atheist, Daniel doesn’t believe in God and refuses to say something that goes against his belief. The flag, for him, represents what it represents to most of us — freedom and liberty.

Many people cannot understand why he doesn’t stand for the pledge, and I have to admit before I interviewed him I didn’t either. He said he has had kids call him a Communist and give him weird looks when he sits during the pledge.

“I feel like a lot of people are Christian and don’t understand atheism,” he said.

The more I looked into it, the more I understood why some kids sat for the pledge. The “under God” phrase was not added until 1954 and was not originally in the pledge written in 1892.

No one would expect me, being a Catholic, to say “one nation under Allah”, so why do we expect those who do not believe in God to say “one nation under God”?

This hasn’t changed the fact I will still stand for and say the pledge every day, but it does give me a new way to look at those who choose to sit.

In a world where we seem to bend our beliefs to avoid upsetting anyone, I respect those who put themselves out there to be criticized for standing up for their beliefs.

After all, standing up for our beliefs is what this country was founded on.

 

Kaepernick protest disrespectful to military

By Zach Goblisch, Aviator Features editor

San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick has taken the NFL and media across all mediums by storm after he began his highly controversial and, in my eyes, disrespectful protest to refuse to stand for the national anthem.

Now Kaepernick’s movement, which is unjustified in my opinion, by his explanation has spread across the NFL and beyond.

For example, the Garfield High School football team of Seattle, Washington, chose to kneel as a team for the national anthem prior to a game on September 16. Megan Rapinoe, the United States Women’s Soccer National Team star, also proceeded to take a knee for the national anthem before taking on the Netherlands on September 18.

In all of these examples, the people are working within their basic rights of being a United States citizen — the freedom of speech; however, their justification as to why they refuse to stand is invalid in comparison to the reason in which we stand for the flag.

Kaepernick started the national anthem movement on August 26 prior to a preseason match-up against the Green Bay Packers. Kaepernick justified his actions after the game by saying to an NFL Network reporter, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

He went on to say in that same interview that this issue is “bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

What Kaepernick fails to realize is that we do not stand for the national anthem in honor of the unjust and racist people serving our country. We stand for the 1.46 million active members of our armed forces (insidegov.com) who fight for our country despite its obvious flaws, and the 1.1 million who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for that same purpose (pbs.org).

Those are the people that U.S. citizens stand for. We are humbled that so many people would be willing to do that for more than 324 million strangers.

While Kaepernick, Rapinoe, and the Garfield High School football team take a knee for a national anthem, they are showing their disapproval for the police and its refusal to deal with the “oppression of black people.”

Kaepernick has specifically said that this is not a military issue and that the flag he kneels for represents the police brutality against African Americans.

However, when they kneel for the national anthem, I believe that they are disapproving of the United States military, which fights every day for our right to disrespect them.

DPHS enforces school wide expectations to limit use of cellphones

By Emma Jo Hirschy, Aviator Editor-in-Chief

In previous years, students at De Pere High School were allowed to use personal communication devices in their classrooms except in a testing environment. At the start of the 2016-17 school year, DPHS enforced a school-wide expectation that devices (primarily cellular devices) must be shut off and out of sight while in an educational setting.

According to Mr. Orlich, DPHS assistant principal, last year the staff discussed what the largest barriers to learning in the classrooms were. In a survey, over 97 percent of staff agreed that electronic devices were the biggest distraction to learning. Orlich also described electronics to be an “impediment.”

Orlich mentioned that the decision was concluded by a committee of staff that met over the summer.

“We worked together with how we could best help increase student learning by regulating the use of these devices, while at the same time ensuring that students still have access to their devices,” he said.

Policy 5136 highlights the rules for electronics and the consequences of use of the devices in the classroom. According to the policy, personal communication devices consist of computers, tablets, electronic readers, cell phones, telephone paging devices, and other web-enabled devices of any type. It also states that students are still granted permission to use their device before and after school, during lunch, during commons hour and passing time. In other words, the devices must not create a distraction in an educational environment of any sort. During classes, they must be shut off and stored out of sight.

Reminding students that the expectation is that personal communication devices must be turned off, Orlich said, “The policy is clear on how staff will be handling issues with devices.”

He also affirmed that on the first offense, the student’s device will be confiscated by the teacher or placed onto the teacher’s desk. The teacher will also get into contact with the student’s parents to make them aware of the issue. Orlich ensured that there would be no office referral on the first offense, as long as the student complies.

On the second offense, the student will have an automatic office referral and the student will have to meet with Mr. Allen or Mr. Orlich in regards to the issue. By having an office referral, their offense would also be recorded onto the behavioral record and they would receive a detention. Orlich said that a recurrence of the offense with electronic devices may lead to suspension as well.

“This issue was based off of educational things,” Orlich speculated. “It’s not that we don’t want students to have cellphones, and it’s not that we do not have a zero tolerance for them at De Pere High School. We understand the necessity when it comes to students communicating with their parents when they have doctor appointments, when they are getting picked up, and etc.. We just ask that students handle those in a responsible manner and just wait to check messages until passing time or during lunch.”

REACTION

“I really like it. In my classroom, I have less students that are distracted by their music or whatever is going on on Twitter or Facebook. Now they are more focused on what we are doing in class.” – Mr. Gladwell

“I think its works pretty good as long as everyone has the same ideas and you don’t have one teacher saying one thing and another saying a different thing. There is less kids trying to get away with things and know that everybody is on the same plan.” – Mr. Picard

“It is great and everyone is on the same page. Students have been paying more attention in class and that is definitely noticeable.” – Mrs. Thor

“I like the new expectations. I do not like phones in the classroom because they are a major distraction and it is very rude to the teacher because it shows that you really don’t care about what they are teaching. I agree, the phones should be taken away and I do take phones away. I have seen a lot less phone usage. I’ve seen students use their phones during passing time and as soon as the bell rings, they come into class and maybe after 30 seconds, they put them away. Now, they are very respectful to the policy and that is a huge difference to what I have seen in the past.” – Ms. Korst

“It is a smart idea for teachers to have a little bit more control over technology in the classroom; however, I think it kind of prevents students from making smart decisions on their own.” – Sydney Bozec (12)

“I think that it is kind of inconvenient at times because when we get work time and stuff. I also think it is unfair that we can’t listen to music and tune out the disrupting people. Sometimes it is just a habit to check my phone, but then getting an office referral or having my mom called is ridiculous.” – Anna Hochschild (12)

“Phones should be allowed in classrooms as long as the person with the phone is not distracting anybody else. If they want to sit on their phone and get the F in class, then it’s their grade, it’s their choice, and it’s their problem.” – Cory Petri (12)

“I think that it was a nice attempt for the school, but I don’t really think that it will stick for long. I think the teachers should be the ones to decide if they want to take your phone away or not.” – Cassidy Pearson (12)

 

Turnovers doom Redbirds in loss

By Greg Bintz, Aviator contributor

Nine turnovers  — four interceptions and five fumbles — is all it took for the De Pere Redbirds to lose 26-7 Friday night at Ashwaubenon in a Fox River Classic Conference football game.

“Anytime you turn it over three times or more, you’re going to have a tough time winning,” De Pere Coach Chad Michalkiewicz explained after the game.

The Jaguars (2-2) were found guilty of five turnovers but had a lot of support from their kicker, Ryan Hanson, who made two field goals (35 and 36 yards out) and two extra points out of three. By the end of the game, he scored nearly one-third of the Jaguars points.

De Pere’s Lucas Reynolds led the way rushing with 76 yards on 13 carries (5.85 yards per carry), scored a touchdown, and had one fumble lost.

Three key plays were the wingman of the Redbird turnovers: Two made field goals by Ashwaubenon, and a 47-yard-long ball touchdown that was scored by the Jaguars after one of the turnovers by De Pere.

With the Redbirds being 1-3, the next few weeks are very important to bring themselves up in the division standings. The next three games are against Preble (2-2, this Friday night at home), Sheboygan North (0-4, Sept. 23 at home), and Pulaski (3-1, Sept. 30 away).

De Pere is currently in 7th place in the 10-team league. Bay Port, Notre Dame and Southwest are all 4-0.

Despite the loss, Michalkiewicz was positive about the future of the season for the defending FRCC Champions.

“Anybody that knows De Pere football knows that we’ll never quit,” he said. “We don’t care what our record is, what the score in the game is. We’ll put blinders on and try and get better every day and give it our best shot to win it.”

 

Badgers’ defense doesn’t miss a beat

By Greg Bintz, Aviator contributor

Returning Badgers defensive players such as Vince Biegel, Chris Orr, Jack Cichy (LOTT IMPACT Player of the Week), and Sojourn Shelton lost Dave Aranda, arguably the best defensive coordinator in all of college football, in the offseason.

The way the defense played last Saturday, you wouldn’t have known Aranda even left the state.

Even with four offensive turnovers, the unranked Badgers, led by their superior “D”, stoned the then 5th-ranked Louisiana State Tigers. They also contained star running back Leonard Fournette to 138 rushing yards (nearly 30 yards under his average) on 23 carries.

In addition, LSU’s offense scored only 7 points (those points were scored after a fumble in LSU territory on the offense) in the 16-14 College Classic win at Lambeau Field last Saturday.

“Really proud of them. Far from perfect, but they just kept playing and found a way just to make plays,” coach Paul Chryst told the Associated Press after the game.

Going into the game, the Badgers’ defense seemed way underrated, mostly because of the loss of Coach Aranda, as well as players Michael Caputo, Tanner McEvoy and Joe Schobert. No Badger fan should’ve doubted one of, if not the best, defenses in college football, though.

In fact, on ESPN’s famed show, College Gameday, guest host and current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was the only one to pick the Badgers over experts Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, and former Green Bay Packer phenomenon Desmond Howard. Herbstreit later said in a tweet that the Badgers “deserved to win the game.”

 

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Graduation 2016 photos

Photos by Emma Jo Hirschy