National Art Honor Society participates in 5K run


The National Art Honor Society attended the Optime 5K run, which was held to benefit Young At Art. The event was held on Sept. 21 at Markham Park. There were over 1,000 attendees, and 75 percent of the ticket sales went to benefit the museum.

“Young At Art supports the arts whole-heartedly, and it gives students and adults the opportunity to be exposed to the arts in unique ways,” art teacher Elizabeth Jenkins said. “The Optime 5K was great exposure for the club.” 1908437_744796208918355_3829665833937881496_n

The run took place on National Peace Day. Club members wore tie-dye shirts to spread peace and happiness throughout Markham Park.

“I thought the run was very organized, and it was nice to see so many people promoting the arts and peace,” freshman club member Cristina Macari said.

Two hours prior to the race, club members set up a pinwheel installation using over 200 handmade pinwheels.

“Everyone had their eyes on the pinwheels. It was a great way to promote Cypress,” Macari said.

Along with other vendors, the club had a table set up with pinwheels and art history books to teach the 5K participants about art and the Bay’s art club.

“I love the Art Society. I am definitely planning to go to more events like this one in the future,” said art society member Nicole Burmeister, a freshman.

Members of the National Art Honors Society will be volunteering at Young At Art in the future and plan to create many chalk murals around the Bay.






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Gender Sexuality Alliance celebrates Coming Out Day



Students and teachers showed their true colors on Coming Out Day, an event held through the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club on Oct. 10. Decked in rainbow attire and face paint, students walked through a “door” in the courtyard to represent their acceptance of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community. IMG_3561

“It’s important for other students, not only those part of the LGBT community, to see a lively event in which coming out is celebrated,” said GSA president Anne Montgomery, a senior. “It’s good to show it in a positive light and encourage people to come out.”

Coming Out Day is a GSA club tradition, and is open to anyone regardless of their sexuality.

“Everyone is very supportive,” club sponsor Ivri Winn said. “We’ve had a lot of students come out just as an ally to the LGBT community.”

To celebrate Coming Out Day, GSA provided face paint, balloon animals and food. There was also a poster that people signed to show their pride toward the LGBT community.

“Almost every single person has reacted positively,” Montgomery said. “A lot of people have asked questions about what we’re doing and they all seem really supportive of it, and it’s all been really well received. It’s been very successful.” IMG_0434

Freshman MG said she came out to her dad as pansexual on Coming Out Day, pansexual meaning showing interest in all genders.

“I was really scared to come out,” she said. “I didn’t think my dad was going to be okay with it. I asked him on Coming Out Day if he was homophobic, and he said no, so I sent him a video of me literally jumping out of the closet. He told me to put it on Facebook, and he said as long as I’m happy and healthy, he loves me.”

She said Coming Out Day helped her come out to her dad and that this event can help many other people.

“Seeing all these people who have done it helped me come out,” she said. “Before, I was really scared because I had only heard bad things about coming out like people being kicked out of their homes. I was so worried about that, but I saw all these people, and they were proud.”

Freshman Danielle Perez, a member of GSA, said Coming Out Day was a success because people showed interest and asked questions. She said everyone was supportive and had fun.

“It’s important because you’re coming out,” she said. “It’s your sexuality, and you don’t want to be defined as something that you’re not. If you’re defined as something you are, it’s better. And here you’re not judged for it. People are accepting of who you are.”



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Harry Potter club plans to have cosplay contest


The Harry Potter Fandom Club has events planned for members to look forward to this year, including contests and movie screenings. The club has meetings every Thursday in room 833 from 3:15-4:15 p.m. and anyone can join anytime during the year. The club held its first meeting on Sept. 4.

“We do trivia and discussions about all the books and characters and we also talk about different fandoms that we’re interested in like ‘Dr. Who’ and ‘Sherlock’,” club president Sami Orlando said.

The club is having a cosplay contest soon, which is a competition between people who dress up as characters from a book, movie, or video game. It is available for anyone in Broward County. They are also having a movie screening of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” on Jan. 9.

“I’m really looking forward to the cosplay contest because I’m excited to see what everyone brings and what characters people will be,” Orlando said.


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Debate competes in national tournament


The debate team placed in the top five in the nation at the annual speech and debate tournament National Forensics League (NFL) Nationals. The competition was held on July 14-21 in Overland Park, Kansas.

Debate coach Megan West said the team had success in several events at the tournament. Josh Ulino and David Goldstein placed 11th in Policy Debate; Jordan Friedman placed 13th in Lincoln Douglas; and Isabella Paretti placed fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking. They all graduated in June.

Junior Ben Parlo attended Nationals in Humorous Interpretation, which is a speech event. He performed a piece called “Women Behind Bars.” Although he didn’t move on past the preliminary round, Parlo said he was excited to be in a competitive environment among people who were talented.

“I was happy with how I did considering it was my first year competing,” Parlo said.

Junior Jake Howard competed in Congressional Debate and has been competing in debate since September of his freshman year. Howard said a general interest in the argumentative style of the debate is what interested him in Student Congress.

“It has so many competitors per round and it requires so many skills that you can’t just be good at arguing, you have to be well rounded and diverse,” Howard said.

IMG_1594Debate captain Giancarlo Musetti, a senior, competed in Extemporaneous Speaking, in which each round has a different topic about domestic or international political issues. The competitors are then given 30 minutes to prepare a seven-minute speech that is delivered in front of a judge.

Musseti said he plans on using his debate skills in the future in hopes of studying international relations and economics in college.

“I love competing and traveling the country with my debate family,” Musetti said. “We always have a great time.”

Senior Alison Huang competed in Public Forum debate. Public Forum is a two-on-two debate about current topics that come out monthly. Her topic was about whether or not NATO should intervene to improve the situation in Ukraine.

“I met a lot of cool people and it was a good experience,” Huang said.

Mrs. West said many of the students who attended the competition have graduated. She is proud of the team for its performance and is looking forward to further success in the future. She said she is excited for the new season.

“This was our favorite trip in four years and was an extra special year because we took 15 students,” Mrs. West said.


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New vending machines installed


Students were used to seeing vending machines everywhere on campus, but when a majority of the machines were taken away at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, it was hard for students to find ways to get snacks. Athletic director William Caruso, who is in charge of vending machines, said they were removed so that they could be updated and 31 new machines were installed during the week of Sept 15.

“They were taken away because they were outdated and needed to be changed. They were delayed because our school’s order for 31 new vending machines was so big,” Mr. Caruso said.

Mr. Caruso said delay caused some people distress.

“I had students confront me asking if the vending machines would ever come back,” he said.

Sophomore Andrea Garrfer said that she is glad the new vending machines have been installed.

“There was always a line in front of the vending machines at the beginning of the year because rather than everyone having a lot of machines to spread out at, everyone gathered around the few vending machines which made it difficult to quickly grab a snack,” Garrfer said.

Garrfer said she was affected because she did not get the chance to snack as often.

“I have fourth hour lunch this year and when most of the vending machines were gone, by the time sixth or seventh period came I was starving,” Garrfer said. “There were not any vending machines for me to go and get a snack near my classroom.”

Sophomore Kylie Jones said she was affected by the loss of the vending machines in other ways.

“I need caffeine in the mornings to have a successful day. The days that I would forget to drink coffee or I did not have time to make coffee, I would just go to the vending machines and buy the most caffeinated drink,” Jones said.

Some students would go to the vending machines if they forgot their lunch, but due to the lack of vending machines and long lines, students had to find other ways to get lunch, said Garrfer.

“If I forget my lunch I had to wait until I get home to eat,” she said.

Jones has a different approach if she forgets her own lunch at home.

“I used to go to the vending machines, but when most of then were gone, I had to stand in line in the cafeteria which took away from my lunch time with my friends,” Jones said.

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DeBAYte team grows in size, prepares for new school year


The debate team is steadily growing, and it is coming off of the statistically best year of its existence. The team placed in the top five of the national tournament this past summer, and big things are expected from the team this upcoming year.

The new debaters meeting had over 200 students ranging from freshmen to seniors.

“Almost one third of the school is in our debate program now. Each year we are getting bigger. A good chunk of our team graduated, but we are not rebuilding, we are reloading,” junior Lacey Larson said.IMG_1536

Michael Valladares is a sophomore policy debater who said he is excited for this upcoming year.

“We’re going to do a great job this season, so I am really looking forward to this year. We’re a lot more on the individual topics this year,” he said.

While school was on a break, the debate team was not, as they were training during the summer.

“During the summer, almost all of our debaters went to training programs all over the nation,” Larson said.

The team will be traveling all over the country during the school year as well, traveling to some of the most respected tournaments of high school debate such as Glenbrooks in Chicago and GMU in Washington D.C.

“This month I’m going to Greenhill in Texas. I’m so excited for the experience because as a freshman I didn’t get to travel as much as I will get to this year,” Valladares said.

Larson is an experienced debater who said she is looking forward to tournaments at prestigious universities such as Harvard and Emory. Her personal goals are to acquire bids to the Tournament of Champions (TOC) and Nationals.

The second annual Crestian Tradition Tournament will be hosted at the Bay on Oct. 11-12.

In an attempt to spread the techniques of the Bay’s debate program and improve the team in the future, the team will be traveling to Falcon Cove and Tequesta Trace Middle Schools to teach the students about debate and the different events.

“This will help our program entirely because middle school students interested in debate will enter our program with information on the events, which helps them make a decision on which event to chose,” head debate coach Megan West said.

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PTSA hosts Lightning Award of Excellence ceremony

PTSA hosts Lightning Award of Excellence ceremony


The auditorium was filled with 106 students on April 23 for Parent Teacher Student Association’s (PTSA) Lightning Award of Excellence and Scholarship Ceremony. The award honors students of all grades who show dedication to their schoolwork and community service.

“We have the award ceremony to celebrate and acknowledge students that really shine in our community through nonprofit organizations and helping people in need,” PTSA president Maricel Mayol said.

For a student to win the award, he/she must be a member of the PTSA, be active in the community, have a minimum core GPA of 3.0 and be involved in two or more extracurricular activities.

“The students who win all work hard from ninth grade on,” said Natasha Samagond, who serves on the PTSA Executive Board as the Lightning Award Chair. “It’s not a one-time thing. Students will not get the award if they don’t put their heart and soul into their academics, extracurricular activities and community service.”

Seniors Raavi Singh, Taylor Duarte and Jesse Segaul were awarded the Lightning Award of Excellence Scholarship. In order to receive the $1,000 scholarship, the students had to have an academic core GPA of 3.5, 250 service hours, two leadership positions and a clear disciplinary record. In addition to these requirements, the scholarship winners had to be PTSA members and be registered to the university they are attending.

“When I received the scholarship, I felt shocked, super happy and any other positive adjective you can think of,” said Singh, who won the award for her volunteer work for blind and disabled women in India.

Sophomore Samantha Staropoli was one of the recipients of the Lightning Award. This was her second year receiving it.

“It’s an honor to receive the Lightning Award again,” Staropoli said. “It’s great that the PTSA gives this award to students. It encourages them to work hard in school and community service projects.”

Staropoli said she will keep applying for the Lightning Award each year and that she wants to win the Lightning Award scholarship in 12th grade.

“Winning awards such as these makes my hard work in school and the community worthwhile,” Staropoli said.

Ms. Samagond said the PTSA spent three months planning the ceremony. This process included uploading the applications online, receiving applications and choosing the winners for the awards and scholarships.

“This event is only an hour, but we’ve been planning the Lightning Awards since January,” Ms. Samagond said. “As the PTSA, we feel we must do something to honor the students.”



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American History EOC exam is made mandatory this year



For the first time, the End of Course (EOC) exam for U.S. American History has become mandatory this testing year for AP students enrolled in the AP U.S. American History class. Honors and AP students will be taking the exam on April 24. By taking this EOC, students come one step closer to scholar recognition on their standard high school diplomas. The other needed items for this recognition are: EOCs for Algebra II and Biology, two credits in the same foreign language, and at least one credit in an AP, IB, or AICE course.

“It was the school’s decision to make AP U.S. American History students take it,” assistant principal Marianela Estripeaut said. “We did not realize or think about the AP students taking the EOC until the beginning of this year, but most high schools in the area are having their AP students take the EOC.”

Assistant principal Jeff Nelson, who is a part of the administrative team helping with the end of the year testing, believes that the EOC will show the hard work the students and teachers have put into the class.

“There is a team concept that exists at Cypress Bay High School,” Mr. Nelson said. “When taking the EOC exam, AP students will do exceptionally well, as will all of our students, which will be a reflection of how well this school is doing, as well as our dedicated teachers.”

AP U.S. American History teacher Eric Adzima said he recognizes the AP U.S. American History students are a strong crowd of students, but has mixed feelings about their taking the EOC.

“On the one side, I recognize that it is an additional test at the height of the study season. In that respect, it serves as a bit of a distraction,” Mr. Adzima said. “However, the EOC test has an upside, giving the AP students a chance to work with a test that will allow them to work with primary documents.”

Mr. Nelson said he believes all of the students tested will go into the test with a positive attitude.

“I know they will try their hardest,” Mr. Nelson said. “They love this school and they appreciate their teachers and the great job they do. Everyone is dedicated and we know that this is a hard time of year.”

Mr. Adzima said he has not heard much feedback from his students about having to take both the EOC and the AP exam.

“No kid enjoys taking extra tests,” he said. “But I haven’t heard any revolutionary upheavals over it.”

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PTSA recognizes students for character


Selected students gathered in the media center for the Kids of Character breakfast on March 6. Students were chosen for the complimentary breakfast presented by the PTSA for showing character traits valued by Broward County.

“The PTSA works with the Broward school district to bring out kids that excel in responsibility, citizenship, kindness, respect, honesty, self control, tolerance and cooperation,” PTSA president Maricel Mayol said.

DSC01121Junior Stephanie Jacobsen, a recipient of the award, said the award recognizes people for their good work.

“Kids of Character is about kids who do their best in school,” she said. “It’s about kids who teachers think do their best and try to achieve as much as they can.”

Students don’t only have to exemplify these characteristics on a school campus. They can be recognized for their showcasing of these traits outside of school as well.

“Students can be selected for almost any kind of work that they’ve done. Many students do their service outside of school,” Ms. Mayol said.

There were 56 students nominated for the award from Cypress Bay. If a teacher feels that a specific student deserves the award, then he or she will be nominated.

“Teachers nominate students in different categories,” Ms. Mayol said. “Not everyone has an obligation to nominate a student. Teachers only nominate someone if they see a person displaying a characteristic.”

Teachers have to go out of their way to nominate students, PTSA board member Natasha Samagond said.

“A teacher has to request a form so he [or she] can nominate someone for the award. So the person really has to impress a teacher,” Ms. Samagond said.

Ms. Mayol said the award accomplishes its goal in creating a better community.DSC01131

“The award was started to promote moral development,” Ms. Mayol said. “It’s important to show students care about others. Even though they are kids, they can make a difference in someone’s life.”

Ms. Mayol said that not everyone is a stereotypical teenager.

“When a student does something good in society, we need to recognize that,” Ms. Mayol said. “It promotes confidence to keep going and do better things. We always hear about teenagers doing bad things in the news, but it’s not always true.”

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TOMS Style Your Sole event


Art Honor Society hosted its main event, TOMS Style Your Sole, on March 14 in the cafeteria.

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