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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Review: Video Music Awards cause annual excitement



In the music industry, men have appeared to be in control. But at the annual MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Aug. 24, many female artists were able to prove otherwise. Performances from artists such as Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Taylor Swift, and others proved that the 2014 VMAs will be one to remember.

Beyoncé easily had the best performance of the night, performing a mashup of songs from her self-titled visual album, which has earned worldwide success. Beyoncé’s performance was flawless, as she transitioned from one song to the other effortlessly. She made the home audience feel as if they were watching a concert of her live, as that’s how spectacular she was. Some of the more known songs that she sang snippets of included “Drunk in Love,” “Flawless,” “XO,” and “Partition.”VMAs

After the performance, husband Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy awarded her with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which is given to musicians who have significantly made an impact on MTV and music culture. Jay-Z and Beyoncé kissed on stage, dismissing the rumors of the divorce between the couple that were once present.

The opening act included the trio of Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj, singing their collaborative song, “Bang Bang.” Grande and Minaj first sang their popular hits, “Break Free” and “Anaconda.” The performance as a whole was a great way to open the VMAs, showing that females are getting more recognition than ever in the music world.

Miley Cyrus won the Moonman, which is the name of the award that the VMAs give out, for Video of the Year with her video for her hit ballad “Wrecking Ball,” but instead of going on stage to accept her award, she had Jesse, a homeless youth, accept in in her honor. Jesse proceeded to talk about the runaways and homeless youth in America and how citizens can help them. This was well-received by the audience, and a great way for Cyrus to promote a cause.

Ed Sheeran won the Best Male Video for “Sing,” Katy Perry won the Best Female Video for “Dark Horse,” and Fifth Harmony won the Artist to Watch award, the first girl group to win a VMA since 2008.

Taylor Swift and Iggy Azalea were able to showcase their new hits during the VMAs. Swift sang her new pop hit “Shake it Off,” shedding off her old style and introducing herself as a a more free-willed person no longer relying on anyone else. The funniest part of her performance was when she stopped the song and decided not to jump off a platform that she had put on stage, with the platform saying “1989” as a reference to her upcoming album. “I don’t care if it’s the VMAs, I don’t want to hurt myself,” she said, walking around it to then finish off her song.

When Azalea and Rita Ora sang their collaborative hit “Black Widow” for the first time, their performance exceeded everyone’s expectations. Azalea’s effortless raps and Ora’s ability to hit all of her notes, along with the upbeat tune of the song, pumped up the audience, including Swift, who was seen dancing the entire time.

In the middle of the show, MTV presented a short, minute-long tribute to Robin Williams with Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars” in the background. It was nice of MTV to give a tribute, but they could have executed it in a better manner. To do this, they could have had somebody introduce the tribute instead of placing it unannounced before a commercial break.

The 2014 VMAs could have improved from past years’ shows, but it was still a remarkable award ceremony.

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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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UNICEF Club has big fundraising year


The United Nations’ Children Fund (UNICEF) club has raised about $7,000 after a year of fundraising for the organization. Compared to last year, when the club raised $4,000, club sponsor Rosalia Sachs said she is floored with the results.

“I’m extremely proud of all the students and all the members,” Ms. Sachs said. “The $7,000 is by selling everything for $1 per unit. For me, I think it’s incredible. It’s an amazing chance and increase from last year.”

unicef2013Currently, the club has over $6,500 in its account and the officers are still waiting for club members to turn in money before sending the money to UNICEF.

“Seniors have a service project that they need to do for them to be able to receive the cord, and it’s to go out to the community and talk to businesses in Weston and they request donations and the donations go straight to UNICEF,” Ms. Sachs said. “We’re still waiting for seniors’ fundraising to come in, so we will have $7,000 and a little bit more.”

Each chapter of the UNICEF organization collects money for a specific cause organized by regions of the United States. This section of the country collects for the purchase and installation of water pumps in third world countries, Ms. Sachs said.

“This section of the United States goes for water. They will buy pumps, and each pump is $500,” Ms. Sachs said. “One pump of water will feed a village, like a street, ‘12 little huts.’ The installation and the pump is $500. That’s where most of the money from this area of the United States goes for. It also goes for food, mosquito nets, vaccinations, etc.”

Club vice president Hannah Levinson said she was also impressed with the amount of money UNICEF has raised.

“It’s such a great accomplishment that we could almost double the amount of money we made last year, and this is such a new club and that we can raise so much money,” said Levinson, a sophomore.

Through the use of bake sales that occur every Thursday under the catwalk and snack/pretzel fundraisers, the group was able to collect money for the cause. Ms. Sachs said the club’s size also greatly contributed to the charity.

“We have over 250 members and every fundraiser at least 185-190 of them work for the cause,” she said. “It’s a big effort.”

Donations director Rona Wang said both local businesses and club members were offered an incentive if they donated money to the club.

“We’ve done a couple of fundraisers and we told juniors and especially seniors, because they need to get the cord, that if they get businesses to donate or if they personally donate X amount of money, they will get X amount of service hours,” said Wang, a sophomore. “If their parents were doing a business or if they asked a business, if they donated $250, they would get advertising space on the back of next year’s shirt.”

Although Ms. Sachs said she is elated UNICEF has raised so much money, she is already starting to think about next year’s goal.

“Now the only problem that we have is we don’t know what to do next year because if we close the year with $7,000, then how are we going to get $8,000 next year? We would love to hear opinions from the community to see what you want us to do in order for us to be successful again,” Ms. Sachs said. “Everything goes to them. We keep $100. Every year we start from scratch. That’s why it’s so stressful, because we need to raise everything again.”

Ms. Sachs said the main reason she sponsors the UNICEF club is because of the difference it can provide in people’s lives. She hopes members of the current club will continue to work with the organization in the future.

“I started sponsoring it last year and I was looking for a club that made a difference in the world,” Ms. Sachs said. “I’m from Puerto Rico. I’m from another country, and I wanted something that would make a mark and would teach the kids how to run a club and go to college and open a chapter there with an organization that is legitimate and will help them at the same time.”

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Media Center has new printing system


The administrators and staff have provided a new option for printing papers in the media center, which started in February.

The new pay-and-print system can print in color, but now the prices have risen. The new prices to print are 15 cents per page for black-and-white and 30 cents per page for color.

useUnlike the last system, where students would have to pay the media staff personally, this system allows students to insert money directly into a machine and gives students the opportunity to hold money on a personal account to print papers.

“This new system is called the pay-and-print system,” said Carol Brown, who works in the media center. “It is more efficient than the last system because the media staff doesn’t have to handle the students’ money.”

The new system has its benefits.

“It is convenient for when I need to print papers and I don’t have any money on me. I can just use the money I have on my account,” sophomore Bradley Krotowski said.

The new pay-and-print system can print in color, but now the prices have risen. The new prices to print are 15 cents per page for black-and-white and 30 cents per page for color, also a new option.

The pay-and-print system requires students to type in a username and password to access their personal accounts.

Terri Nelson, another media staffer, ordered the new print system because too much paper was being wasted because students weren’t paying the fees to print. Students can insert coins or $1 or $5 bills, but it cannot take $10 or $20 bills.

Security has been added for students to access their personal account. Some say this causes a delay.

“It is more complicated and also it takes a long time to sign in and if I’m in a rush it takes too long,” freshman Pia Gonzales said. “I would rather have the old system back because it’s less confusing, and I can print and pay quicker.”

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Sign language students observe Silent Day


ASL students participated in Silent Day on March 12, as a remembrance for a protest that took place at Gallaudet University in the 1980s.

kayla mazine senior“It’s to get an idea of deaf culture,” American Sign Language teacher Stefanie Love said. “It kicks off Deaf History Month, which starts on March 13.”

Ms. Love said there are difficulties in not being able to communicate on a regular basis as hearing students normally would with peers and teachers.

“The higher level ASL students wear ear-plugs which don’t take away all the sounds but they muffle a lot. They get an idea of what it would be like as a deaf kid sitting in a regular mainstream classroom,” Ms. Love said.

Junior Julia Strum said she had a fun experience on that day. She said it was hard not to talk but she managed to get it done.

“It only made my day different because I couldn’t talk to my teachers,” Strum said. “To students it was kind of fun to mess with them because you can sign whatever you want and they don’t know what you’re saying.”

Students wore a paper hand around their necks. If they talked, they would get a finger ripped off.

“It was a really fun day overall and I’m happy since I didn’t lose any fingers,” Strum said.

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Marine Science Club to host final beach cleanup of the year


The Marine Science Club will be taking part in its third and last beach clean up of the school year on April 12 at Hollywood Beach. Club members and nonmembers are invited. Field trip forms can be picked up in Room 210 after spring break. Nonmembers are required to pay $5 to attend.

Club president Gabriela Carrillo said members get first priority and nonmembers who sign up on a first-come, first-served basis will fill the rest of the spots.

“The bus has room for 40 people but we prefer to take around 25-30 so it’s more organized and efficient,” Carrillo said.

Carrillo said she is very excited to do another beach clean up with the club because they always have a lot of fun.

“Not only do we have a good time cleaning the beach, but we are also helping out by keeping the environment clean for everyone including marine life,” she said.

Vice president Christopher Chin, a senior, said cleaning the beach potentially saves marine animals’ lives.

“We find a variety of things on the beach like cigarettes, food wrappers and plastic items and by cleaning them up we are preventing the animals from swallowing them,” Chin said.

Chin said that cleaning up the litter on the beach not only benefits the marine animals but the people as well.

“Cleaning up the beach creates a safer and more enjoyable environment for people as well,” he said.

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