Homecoming week stimulates school spirit



In preparation for Homecoming Week, beginning on Oct. 24 and lasting until the Homecoming Dance that will take place on Oct. 29 at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, students at the Bay have been working on ways to get ready for the festivities as well as the annual Homecoming Dance.

Sophomore Lauren Nau, member of the Student Government Association (SGA) and chair of the spirit days for homecoming, said the time leading up to the dance is one of the most stressful weeks of the school year.

“My committee, along with all members of SGA, has been working non-stop to come up with ideas to bring excitement and spirit to the school,” Nau said. “It is all worth it in the end to see all our hard work in action and to see students getting spirited and having a good time.”

With the spirit days revolving around television shows, Nau said SGA wanted to incorporate the opinions of the students for the theme.

“We went around during all lunches to see which themes and television shows would get the best feedback and reviews; I think this was the perfect way to involve all students and make this a school-wide effort, and that is what events like this are meant for,” she said. “I really feel like these dress up days will get all the students pumped up for the pep-rally at the end of the week.”

Junior Taylor Lessem, director of the Human Resources committee in SGA, said she is excited to see all of SGA’s hard work pay off and benefit the students.

“This year, SGA really tried to involve the students in preparing for homecoming. We wanted this to be an event that all students would look forward to and ultimately enjoy,” Lessem said. “I think involving the students by using tools like polls on Twitter to decide on dress-up days really helps SGA deliver to the needs and wants of the students.”

Junior Libby Motes said homecoming week is a time for students to express their individuality.


“I notice that during the dress-up days, so many students really put in the time and effort to show school spirit throughout the entire week. This really shows something about how students are passionate about our school,” Motes said. “In addition to just the spirit days, the dance is also so much fun and is a great way to see people from school in a different and more relaxed environment.”

Adding to the sense of individualism that comes with Homecoming Week, this week gives students something to look forward to.

“Homecoming is a great time to forget about the stress of school and enjoy time with friends,” Motes said. “I really feel like events like these are the ones that matter most in high school.”

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PRIDE hosts Health Fair to give back to community



Promoting Relations in Diversity through Education (PRIDE) hosted its annual Health Fair on Oct. 1 in the Wave.  The event was open to all students and parents as well as others in the community who wanted to attend.

“We think it’s very good for the community, and PRIDE loves helping the community,” senior and club President Michelle Nguyen said.  “The Health Fair is a great event because learning about health is very important.”

Health professionals offered free screenings and tests such as vision tests, glucose tests, hearing tests and skin cancer screenings.  Additionally, guest speakers at booths placed around the Wave informed participants about various health topics.

“I came to the Health Fair mostly because I wanted to check on my vision and my glucose,” freshman Alissa Castro said.  “I learned a lot, and it felt like a good place to get checked out and learn about health.”

Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) helped PRIDE organize the health fair and contact the health professionals and guest speakers. HOSA members also volunteered at the event.

“As HOSA members, we try to help promote medicine as much as we can, so when we heard PRIDE was doing the health fair, we wanted try to help and promote services,” senior and HOSA Vice President of Fundraising Jeena Zacharia said.  “We try our best to help the community learn more about the medical field.”

Zacharia as well as other Health Science 3 students checked participants’ blood pressures.  She said she enjoyed doing this because it felt good to help the community                                                                                  .

“All of us who were testing everyone’s blood pressure were really trained, and everybody was really glad we were providing this service,” Zacharia said.  “For something as easy as testing blood pressure, it makes me feel happy that [the participants] got to learn something.”


PRIDE began the Health Fair event four years ago.  This year, the vision tests, hearing

tests, glucose screenings and nutrition booths were added to the booths and screenings.

“We started [the Health Fair] as a service for the community,” PRIDE sponsor and Spanish teacher Claudina Fernandez said.  “In PRIDE, officers can propose an event and then the members vote to do it, so this idea was proposed a few years ago.”

Nguyen said the Health Fair is a great way for PRIDE to support the community, because it provides free health opportunities.

“PRIDE promotes the Health Fair because a lot of people don’t have access to insurance or health facilities, so we feel that it’s right that we promote health in our community by offering this event,” she said.

Sophomore Arturo Graterol attended the Health Fair and had his vision, hearing, and blood pressure tested.  He said he enjoyed the variety of services that were offered.

“I wanted to make sure I am healthy, so I went to the Health Fair,” Graterol said.  “I didn’t know about my vision, hearing and blood pressure, so it was helpful to find out this information.”

Mrs. Fernandez said she thinks it is important for the community to learn about health because it will help them in the future.

“It is very important to take care of ourselves,” Mrs. Fernandez said. “Many students are probably going to be parents in the future, and they are going to have to know about health to take care of their families.”

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New faculty members added



As students entered the Bay on Aug. 22 for the new school year, a handful of new faculty members did also. American History teacher Jeffrey Buttell, chemistry teacher Elefteria Halivelakis and Guidance Counselor Shawn McCartan were all a part of the new staff.

Mr. Buttell, a returning Cypress Bay teacher who started teaching in 2007, was transferred to West Broward High School in 2008. After a few years of teaching there, Mr. Buttell was brought back to the Bay.

“My goal was to eventually return back to the school where I started my teacher career in Florida,” Mr. Buttell said.

Mr. Buttell has also taught in Northern California and in Sao Paulo Brazil.

“I was a teacher in Northern California, where I am from, and I taught in the Sacramento area for three years. I also taught abroad for an American private school,” Mr. Buttell said. “When I returned to the United States, I decided to move to Florida to complete my Master’s Degree in Education before returning back to teaching.”

Mr. Buttell has been teaching for 14 years, and nine of them have been for Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History.

“I originally wasn’t sure about teaching when I started college, but because of the great impact that my college professors had on me as a student, I decided that this was the profession for me,” Mr. Buttell said.

After 14 years of teaching, the large population of the Bay has not affected him.

“I feel as if the population makes the campus feel more like a small college rather than a high school,” Mr. Buttell said. “I enjoy impacting students and guiding them through their academics to get them on route to attending college or some other kind of post high school endeavors.”

Like Mr. Buttell, chemistry teacher Ms. Halivelakis originally began teaching at Cypress Bay and decided to return this year after a break.

“I have always loved the idea of educating others and making difficult material more understandable,” Ms. Halivelakis said. “I realized this passion of mine when I started working under my professors at Florida International University as a Learning Assistant; the program taught the fundamentals of teaching science and how students processed information.”

Like Mr. Buttell, the amount of students in the school is not an issue for her.

“The large population only requires organization when it comes to keeping track of my students,” Ms. Halivelakis said.

Ms. Halivelakis said she always had a passion for Chemistry.

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Seniors paint parking spots as tradition


The class of 2017 continued the tradition of painting senior spots on Aug. 20 as 259 students filled the student parking lot. Class officers provided the paint, but the participating students were required to bring their own paintbrushes and creativity. The location of spots was chosen based on a first come, first serve basis that was chosen in May.

Senior adviser and English teacher Victoria Warenik said her role in the event was to ensure that it went smoothly.

“There were over 200 kids in the student parking lot,” Ms. Warenik said. “I had to make sure that no one was using different paint colors and that they were behaving properly.”

The sale of the spots was intended to begin at midnight on May 16, but due to technical difficulties, the spots did not end up being sold until the following morning.

“I understand students being upset [about the technical difficulties]; however, [the class officers and I] were not aware of the time that the spots were supposed to go on sale,” Ms. Warenik said. “There will always be bumps in the road and people to complain, but at the end of the day we were able to sell [parking spots] to 259 seniors to personalize.”

Junior Cali Kaufman attended the event of painting the senior spots to help her friends decorate their spots.

“All of my guy friends aren’t artistic, so they asked me to help them paint,” Kaufman said. “Painting posters in SGA often made me more prepared than a lot of my friends, so I didn’t mind helping.”

Senior Matthew Melamed said he is happy with the way his spot turned out regardless of the process it took to get it.

“I thought it was unfair that I had to stay up so late because the page never came up, but I still ended up getting a great spot that allows me to be late to school and still have a prime area to park,” Melamed said.

The painting tradition was scheduled on the Saturday before the first day of school.

“It was extremely hot the day of the painting; I remember feeling like I was going to faint,” Melamed said. “Florida heat, sweat and painting are not a very good mix.”

Senior class President Max Morales was tasked with the role of monitoring students during the painting. His duty also included creating the system to give out the spots.

“I created a spreadsheet of the parking lot for students to sign their names on, and after, I walked around and made sure that everyone was using the right colors,” Morales said. “I also had to make sure no profanity was being written on the spots.”

Senior Sarah Gillman said the major reason she wanted a senior spot was because the teacher parking lot is no longer available for students to park.

“I have had a teacher parking pass since I got my license, and I feel that the teacher parking lot is so much closer to my classes than the student lot is,” Gillman said. “If it was up to me, I would have opted for another teacher spot.”

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Best Buddies hosts annual match party


Best Buddies hosted its annual match party on Sept. 28. More than 100 club members attended the meeting in order to be officially introduced to their peer buddies.

“This event is really important for the buddies, because it’s the beginning of a friendship,” Best Buddies President Amy Gallagher said. “They get to know their peer buddy and talk about what they want to do together this year.”

Although attendance is mandatory for peer buddies and buddies, associate buddies and members without a partner are also welcome to attend. For many students, this will be their first time sitting down and actually talking to the other members of the club.

“Many students at Cypress [Bay] think that the buddies are unapproachable,” Gallagher said, “In reality, they are just normal students who want to make new friends like anyone else.”

Vice President Emma Bartleman said peer buddies are expected to make the club and their buddy a priority both in school and out of school.

“While I can’t speak on behalf of all of the buddies in the club, I hope that it makes them feel more included and know that they have friends who really care about them,” Bartleman said.

Best Buddies tries to host events and parties that would have a great impact in the lives of the buddies. These events are usually not school related in order to allow their club members to wind down and have fun.

“Best Buddies was created to make all of the buddies feel included on a daily basis,” Gallagher said. “Joining the club teaches all the students the importance of inclusion and the power of friendship.”

Gallagher said the Best Buddies board wanted to make this event a fundraiser as well as a bonding event, but they decided to let their members enjoy it without having to pay.  Throughout the year, the club will host other events that will have a dual function; they will work as a fundraiser and as a bonding experience for the members.“We recently got a snow cone machine donated to us, and we thought about selling [snow cones] at the match party,” Gallagher said. “The match party won’t act as fundraiser but we have many more to come that definitely will.”

Best Buddies is one of the largest clubs at the Bay and continues to grow each year. As the first event of the year, the match party is one of the most important events that Best Buddies will host.

“The buddies are always excited for a new year in Best Buddies, because it means they get to make even more friends; students also really enjoy and benefit from these friendships,” Gallagher said. “Over the years, there have been some pairs that have been so successful that they are matched together for multiple years.”

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NHS brings volunteers to charity run



While some people may have spent their Labor Day weekend relaxing, National Honor Society (NHS) members spent their Sunday volunteering. On Sep. 4, 2016, the 10th Annual King of the Hill 5K was held at Vista View Park in Davie.“This event was really cool, not only because it was the first run that NHS volunteered at this school year, but because this particular race empowers runners to stay fit and challenges them to run a 5K uphill,” NHS president, senior Jacob Wilentz said.

Club members arrived at the event at 5 a.m. and were each assigned different jobs to do during the race including helping set up, giving out water and cheering on the runners.

“I helped with registration in the beginning and then after the race started, I handed out medals to the participants as they finished,” NHS member, senior Jenna Leval said.

The race went from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and was followed by an award ceremony. All participants in the race received a medal and a t-shirt.

“Even though this event wasn’t held for a specific cause, it was a reminder of how much NHS does to positively impact our community and others around us,” Wilentz said.

Leval said her favorite part of the run was getting to talk to new people throughout the community and hearing stories of other races people have done and how devoted to running the participants were.

“NHS takes pride in participating and helping out in various runs for different causes throughout the school year and I think it makes a difference on the club members too and gives them experiences that they may not have gotten if they weren’t in the club,” Wilentz said.

The race, which is known as the start to the South Florida 5K racing season, had more than 2000 participants this year.

“Even after running a 5K the energy at the finish line was really high and everyone was just so excited and happy,” NHS member, senior Morgan Roach said. “It made me really inspired to see how motivated everyone was to finish the race and I could tell that everyone was so proud.”

NHS plans to volunteer at many more runs in the future including the upcoming Optime 5K Run on Sep. 25 at Markham Park.

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HOSA ice cream social attracts new members


The Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) club hosted its annual ice cream social on Aug. 30 in the auditorium after school to recruit and inform new members about HOSA.

“[The ice cream social] is not only a great opportunity for students to join the club, but it’s also a good way to make new friends,” HOSA adviser Laura Clarke said.

At the social, board members taught students about the club’s priorities and different activities the club is involved in.

“Students can learn about the different committees they can sign up for and different events such as the Breast Cancer Pink Tee fundraiser and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) walk in November,” Mrs. Clarke said.

In addition to learning about the HOSA events, Vice President of Social Media Hope Brunner said that the ice cream social is a great way for students to familiarize themselves with the overall idea of HOSA, which is the education of medicine.

“The purpose of the ice cream social is for incoming members to get used to the medical field, which is what HOSA is all about,” Brunner said. “Students from the class and club could come and get an idea of what HOSA is truly like.”

The HOSA ice cream social is hosted to enlist new members and educate them about the club. Junior Brooke Bonkowski said the club did an excellent job of doing this.

“As a current member, I think the ice cream social is a great way to bring people together and get new students to join,” Bonkowski said. “The ice cream makes people want to come to the social because students are typically hungry after school.”

Bonkowski said that attending the social made her excited for another year in HOSA.

“The social really inspired me to continue participating in the club and engage myself in everything it does,” Bonkowski said.

Mrs. Clarke and current members of HOSA organized the social a week prior to the event. Students helped create a presentation for the event and arrange the social aspect of it.

Junior Alex Grao helped organize the presentation that included information about the different events HOSA is involved in as well as general information about the club.

“I think the presentation made a huge impact on the students,” Grao said. “After hearing all about HOSA through the slideshow, I really think it made people want to join.”

Students that have never been involved in HOSA were enticed to join after attending the social.

After attending the event, sophomore Barbara Farina became interested in involving herself with HOSA.

“The social was an event where everyone came together to enjoy ice cream and talk about HOSA,” Farina said. “It was all so interesting and really made me want to become a part of the club.”

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PTSA hosts annual Lightning Award of Excellence


The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) hosted its annual Lightning Award ceremony in the auditorium on April 27 to recognize students’ academic and personal achievements thus far in their high school career.This year, 158 students applied for the Lightning Award and 28 for the Lightning Scholarship.

“PTSA decided many years ago that we wanted to recognize and celebrate student accomplishments,” board member Natasha Samagond said. “This award is recognizing their hard work, amount of service hours, and can even be placed on their college resume.”

In addition to the award, PTSA also offered scholarship money to nine students based on several factors such as their GPA, extra-curricular activities and well-roundedness.The scholarships ranged from $500-$1000.

“We made sure all students had met the scholarship criteria,” Samagond said. “Our goal is to increase the amount of scholarships each year because the students deserve it.”

Fundraising Vice President Colleen Laurent said that this year’s applicant turnout was unlike any other year.

“We received a record number of applications this year, up 25 percent, in large part due to our success in spreading the word to students through clubs, particularly the PRIDE club,” Laurent said.

In order to receive the award, students had to be a member of PTSA.

“The $10 membership fee makes the scholarships possible,” Samagond said. “I encourage families to join so we can continue hosting the ceremony and also give out more scholarship each year.”

President of PTSA, Silvia Novelli, said students should be encouraged to apply for the Lightning Award in the years to come.

“Lightning Award is an academic award that can be mentioned in a student’s resume and it is well considered by many colleges,” Novelli said.

In addition to the award that students received at the ceremony, they also get a Lightning pin.

“When the names of winners are announced, students go on stage to collect their certificates,” Laurent said. “They are also given a pin, which they can wear to their graduation ceremony.”

Besides honoring students for all of their hard work, the ceremony showcased other talents as well.

“This year we had a Cypress Bay jazz band and a singer which was very entertaining,” Samagond said. “PTSA likes providing these performances because parents don’t get to see that aspect of the school too often.”

Members of administration, as well as Mr. Neely, attended the ceremony.

“Administration is there every year because they are supportive of the Cypress Bay community and PTSA,” Samagond said. “It is nice to have their presence at the event supporting the students who work so hard.”

Samagond says that applying for the award is also beneficial when applying for colleges.

“When colleges look at your application they look at it in the entirety,” Samagond said. “The award shows colleges that they were active in school and involved in the community.”

Sophomore Kayla Fernandes enjoyed the award ceremony for her second year in a row.

“I thought that the PTSA did a great job in planning the ceremony,”Fernandes said. “It was nice to see all of their accomplishments this past school year and how they’ve really helped our school.”

Fernandes also thinks that accepting the award was an honorable feeling because it shows that you stand out in such a large school.

“I felt that the award was a big accomplishment considering there were so many applicants who were eligible to receive it and I was chosen,” Fernandes said.

Senior Justin Wyman was one of the seven students who got the $1000 scholarship.

“I’ll never forget when they called my name,” Wyman said. “I always thought I had a chance but it’s one thing to believe and it’s another for it to actually happen.”

Wyman said that it was an honor to be the first student called up to the podium to shake hands with Mr. Neely and accept such a prestigious award.

“I don’t think anyone was quite as joyful as I was,” Wyman said. “Except for maybe my dad in the stands because $1000 means less money he will have to pay to send me to the University of Florida.”

In addition to applying for the award throughout all four years of high school, Wyman hopes that underclassmen do the same.

“There is nothing better than the feeling you get, knowing someone chose to give you a scholarship out of so many others due to your achievements and hard work,” Wyman said. “I hope underclassmen realize that it can help them in the future.”

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Storify: School elections trump social media



As the 2015-2016 is coming to an end, new class officers and student government officers are elected. Candidates took to social media to broadcast their campaigns from April 11-21.

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Storify: Record-breaking prom brings many promposals



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