Storify: Senior parking spots spark creativity



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Storify: First day back is a wake up call for students


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PTSA recognizes student achievements at annual event



Students were honored in the auditorium on May 6 for their achievements inside and outside of school at the PTSA Lightning Awards. Seniors were also awarded Lightning Award of Excellence scholarships, which are made possible through PTSA membership fees and fundraising.

“I think overall we got really good reviews on the Lightning Awards,” said Natasha Samagond, event coordinator. “They liked the fact that we do something. This award is for the whole picture for the candidate. Overall, the feedback was good. The ceremony was short and sweet.”IMG_8755

The awards honored 120 students, including six seniors who received the scholarships. Four seniors received a $1,000: Kalie Manigilia, Carlos Gabriel Morales, Adam Gold and Emily Podolsky. The honorable mention winners Samantha Varrone and Monica Molina, who received $500.

Ms. Samagond said the award decisions are made by a committee.

“The essays stand out in the applications,” she said. “We want to know what they’re thinking and where they’re going. We want to know the whole person. Hopefully next year we can give out more awards because we really want to. Normally we only give out three scholarships and this year we gave out six. Hopefully next year we can give out 10.”

In order to apply for the award, students needed a minimum 3.0 weighted GPA, to be involved in two or more extracurricular activities and need to be PTSA members.

“We look at the whole kid not just academics, so that everybody gets a chance,” Ms. Samagond said. “We value what these students do. It’s the package that counts.”

The Cypress Bay Jazz Band and ballet performer, senior Stefano Milione, performed at the ceremony.

“Just having students perform was very well received,” Ms. Samagond said. “We always like to showcase our own kids and their talents. Next year we hope to showcase even more student talent.”

PTSA memberships are open to students, parents and extended family members, and they cost $10. Ms. Samagond would like to emphasize that it is mandatory for the student to be a PTSA member in order to qualify for the award and scholarship. For more information about the awards and other PTSA events, visit the PTSA website:



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Robotics team qualifies for World Championship



After a long year at work, the robotics team, “Greased Lightning,” qualified for the 2014-2015 First Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championship. Only three percent of teams qualified for this tournament. There are 200 teams competing in this category, coming from over 30 countries, ranging from Australia to the Netherlands. The tournament will take place in St. Louis the weekend of April 22.

“It feels really good, especially since last year we made it to super regionals,” vice president Alejandro Munoz Mcdonald, a senior, said.  “We wanted go further than we had gone before.”

Club sponsor and founder Angela Ashley said the team received the motivate award which made them eligible for the world championship. This award has to do with motivating people to be interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activity.

This year’s world competition is called the Cascade Effect. Each team is required to assemble a robot that will retrieve plastic balls from dispensers in the center of the playing field. Upon doing that, the robots have to score the balls into specific rolling goals, which vary in height. In this particular event, there is a two-minute remote control portion, as well as a 30 second autonomous period.

Ms. Ashley said the robot is always being updated. It takes time to produce the end result.

“Once a year they will be given the task, and the task will be complex enough so that the robot won’t be able to do everything by the first tournament,” she said.

“We will have design goals for each tournament, and the robot will get more advanced from tournament to tournament.”

She said building a robot is a strenuous task, and without the consistent dedication of her members, the club would not have this kind of success.

“They never stop working,” she said. “It is a 365 day competition so as soon as this year ends, we already start working on next year.”

While building the final robot takes months to complete, president Savanna Lipke said there are many other factors to being successful at competitions.  Judges critique spirit, costume, and passion.

“We are ‘50s themed, and we all have costumes which intrigues judges,” she said.

Since the club was founded six years ago, Ms. Ashley said the robotics in general, as well as the club itself, has become more popular among teenagers. There were only six members when the club started, and now over 40 kids are paying members.  Over this time period, the South Florida region has grown from just three or four teams to over 40 plus teams.

Next year is the premiere of the Robotics class.  If interested in signing up for this course, see Ms. Ashley in room 838.


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Tri M Music Honor Society sells ice cream for fundraiser


Tri M Music Honor Society is selling popsicles every Wednesday under the catwalk after school until 3:30 p.m. to raise money for the club. The members are selling ice pops for $1 each and Klondike bars and Drumsticks for $2 each. All of the money is going toward helping fund events and activities for next year.

IMG_9890“We want to make as much money as possible so we can satisfy our members next year,” said president Sarah Rothbard, a junior. “We’re hoping to make enough money so our members can go to All-State if they make it.”

Member Sabrina Kim, a junior, organized the fundraiser.

“The goal is to help raise funds for next year so we can have more events,” she said. “We want to chords and pins for the seniors for graduation because they’ve dedicated so much of their time and effort to the club.”

The members must sign up to sell a week in advance. They get points toward the club for each day that they sell the popsicles.

“We’ve sold out multiple times,” Kim said. “People seem to really like having a refreshment after school.”

Tri M adviser Bradley Franks said so far the club has been successfully selling the popsicles.

“The members have been really good with volunteering to sell,” Mr. Franks said. “They’re so organized, which helps to make the whole process run as smoothly as possible.”

Rothbard said the club is planning on doing more fundraisers like this one since it was so successful.

“We have lots of plans for next year,” Rothbard said. “This fundraiser will definitely help us for the future.”

Rothbard said she is happy the club can treat the seniors.

“It’s nice that we can support the seniors this year,” Rothbard said. “Hopefully, we can raise a lot of money so we can host some special events next year, since we’re going to have a lot of seniors.”

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Relay for Life to raise money for cancer


The annual Relay For Life event is quickly approaching, and it will be hosted at the Bay for the 11th year in a row. On May 2-3, this overnight walk and celebration will be taking place on the track this year for students and community members to raise money for the American Cancer Society. IMG_6162

Relay for Life is an event that occurs all over the country, in which participants and volunteers spend the whole night walking the track to support cancer survivors and future cancer patients. So far, the participants of this year’s Weston Relay have raised over $73,000.

“It is a special year for us since it’s the 30th anniversary of the event,” said Karen Eason, a board member of the Weston Relay. “This year’s theme will be ‘The ‘80s.’ We plan on having lots of ‘80s themed entertainment. It will be a sight to be seen.”

Alexandra Rousseau is the community manager for the Florida division of Relay For Life and on the planning committee for the Weston Relay. She said the Weston Relay is one of the biggest Relay for Life events in Florida.

Ms. Rousseau said the Relay event is very meaningful to community members in Weston and around the South Florida area, and it is one that students and clubs at the school look forward to every year.

Ms. Eason said hundreds of kids from the Bay participate each year, including the large clubs such as the National Honor Society and Key Club.

“We always enjoy participating in the Relay because it represents a community coming together to help each other and make a difference,” said Stephanie Jacobson, Key Cub Relay chair. “That’s what Key Club is all about.”

Key Club has been working on preparations since December. They plan to sell Silly String, hair paint spray, cookies, glow sticks, chips and water at the event. The club hopes participants can come together and feel like a mini family. All the proceeds they make will go to the American Cancer Society.

For Jacobson, Relay For Life is an extremely important event. When she was 10 years old, her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though her mom is ok now, once she saw the impact this tragedy had on her family, friends and other community members, it compelled her to take action.

“Ever since I saw how the money Relay raises goes to so many helpful and priceless services that help cancer patients, I really wanted to chair the event for my club and participate,” Jacobson said. “If I participated, I knew I would be able to make a change to prevent other people and families from going through the terrible roller coaster cancer put my family and me on.”

Ms. Eason explained she has been on the planning committee of Relay as the team recognition chair for 11 years for very similar reasons. She believes the luminary ceremony where candles for deceased and surviving cancer patients are lit at night in paper bags and the survivor/caregiver walk at the beginning of Relay where they take the first lap and all other participants cheer for them are very important. Ms. Eason considers it very emotional for attendees to see the impact their help has on cancer patients and families.

“These two parts are very, very moving. I encourage you to have tissues handy,” Ms. Eason said.

All students are encouraged by the Relay committee to attend Relay For Life either in a team, to volunteer, or just to come out and support the cause.

“This is a big and impactful event that takes place at school,” Ms. Rousseau said. “I think participants should support their fellow students who take time to be a part of this event and work hard every year for this event.”

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Ecology Club participates in Water Matters Day


Ecology Club and AP Environmental Science students participated in the 13th Annual Water Matters Day on March 14 for five hours at Tree Tops Park in Davie. It was hosted by Broward County. At the event were interactive educational booths, water conservation tips and children’s activities. Other activities include face painting, crafts and activities, rain barrel workshops, and a variety of giveaways and raffles.image2 (1)

“Essentially, it was a day to raise awareness about environmental issues that we can all proactively approach and change,” said senior Jocelyn Gordon, an AP Environmental Science student. “Obviously, emphasizing water in particular, there were many booths set up around Tree Tops Park with engaging activities to inform and spark change in our communities.”

At the event, if participants were stamped at a certain number of booths, they received free trees. Gordon’s job was to hand out these small and easily transported trees.

“Informed adults gave out facts to the participants about which trees would plant the best in their particular type of home. Once he or she decided on the tree, volunteers like myself would be on the lookout and carry it to the person as fast as possible,” Gordon said.

As a volunteer, Gordon said she felt she gained a lot of knowledge about water and how to preserve it; she took out a lot from her experience. .

“It was amazing because after I volunteered, I was able to experience the event itself and learn easy ways to preserve our water and resources,” she said.

image1 (1)Gordon said after the event, she felt empowered, motivated and eager to save, recycle and to teach others the valuable and easy ways that we can positively affect the environment.

“Things like taking shorter showers, turning the lights off when you leave a room and unplugging electrical devices from the outlet when they’re not in use were a few things that I went home empowered to do and to pass on the message to others,” Gordon said.

Senior Barbra Valencia, who helped register participants, said she thought it was great that the event put a spotlight on different aspects about the importance of conserving water.

“A lot of people were excited about attending the event, but when they got there, some of them said they did not know what to expect,” Valencia said.  “When the participants walked out, they were happy, and got more out of it than they expected.”

Valencia said the event was an exhausting, long day of volunteering, but she felt amazing after participating in Water Matters Day.

“I felt great knowing that I had contributed to a great cause and made people aware of the importance of water that we all need to know about to have a better future,” she said. “It felt good to have walked out knowing I made a difference by participating in the event.”

Cynthia Joseph, Ecology Club adviser, said she thought Water Matters Day was a great way to educate the community in an enjoyable way.

“We had a great time and the students got very involved.  One student dressed up in a toilet costume to represent water conservation, while others handed out trees at a booth,” she said. “When I asked my students if they wanted to take a break, they didn’t want to leave the booth because they were having a lot of fun.”


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Storify: Students dance for those who can’t at first annual Dance Marathon

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One in 4,700: Carline Heckmann



With the ultimate purpose of engaging, involving and connecting the Bay’s diverse community, The Circuit has launched an ongoing multimedia project that highlights the individual stories of students, teachers and staff through still photography and personal narration.

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Auto Club fixes, sells cars for fundraiser


Senior Michael Raymond founded Cypress Bay’s Auto Club two years ago. The club is an organization where students can learn how to fix and maintain a vehicle. The club relies exclusively on donated cars. During the year, the club holds fundraisers to finance the cost of the repairs they perform on the project car. Once the car is completed, the club sells it and donates the money to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD.) auto club

“This year we got a Mini Cooper donated by the owner of the Lexus of Pembroke Pines and many other dealerships. We are hoping to be lucky enough to fix and sell this car and donate fifty percent of the money to MADD,” Raymond said.

MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization working to protect families from drunk drivers, and prevent drunk driving accidents everywhere. Raymond says it was a natural fit for the Auto Club.

“We are worried about all the underage drinking and driving kids are doing. It’s sad to see some kids being so careless and reckless.” Raymond said.

Nick Montecalvo, a teacher at Cypress Bay High School, has been helping the Auto Club since it started. He used to be a mechanic and was certified in Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Mr. Montecalvo said that he does a lot of the more rigorous work on the car while the students watch and learn.

“My goal is for everyone to learn about cars while we are working on them,” he said. “I want them to know what we’re doing, when we’re doing it.”

According to Raymond, there are about seven different officers in the club who have different specialties.

“We all know different things about cars, and we have our different areas of knowledge, so we hope to have the Mini Cooper almost done by the end of the year,” he said.

Raymond and Mr. Montecalvo know that the car has many problems and they won’t be able to make it perfect.

“All we want is to fix it up to the point where we can sell it for a good deal, and get a new project car to work on,” said Mr. Montecalvo.

Raymond says he is thankful for all the experiences he’s had since starting the auto club.

“I have learned so much more about cars and how to raise money than ever before,” Raymond said. “I have met many new people in the car business, and throughout the MADD organization. Donating money to MADD gives me a reason to continue what I’m doing. I’m not just raising money to spend on a project car, but to donate to a charity that cares.”

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