Seen On Campus: Chokers


The Circuit takes a closer look at a trend seen on campus through still photography and video footage.

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Horror movies enjoyed year-round by teachers, students


When spring break starts, sophomore James DuPre plans on having fun and relaxing while enjoying a spooky evening by watching his favorite horror movies.

“I’m actually thinking that doing a movie marathon with some friends would be pretty fun,” DuPre said. “Watching old horror movies is always the best though, because those are actually filled with lots of suspense and can really scare you sometimes.”

DuPre is not the only who finds watching horror movies fun; other students share his opinion and find other ways to enjoy the horror genre, even when Halloween is nowhere in sight.

“The reason I like watching horror movies is that I think that it’s kind of interesting to be able to see things that can’t be explained but still happen anyway,” said sophomore Ashley Ryskind. “I like to pay attention to the small details, so that I know what’s really going on.”

A few popular scary movies that are considered great classics from horror fans include The Shining (1980), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Carrie (1974), and most recently the Conjuring (2013).

“’The Conjuring’ was pretty cool,” sophomore Amanda Nilsson said. “The plot was great, with a lot of suspense, and the special effects definitely spooked me out a lot in many scenes.”

Sophomore Christina Oliveira said she prefers to read horror through Internet sites narrating haunting folktales, disturbing memoirs, and eerie short stories to a the teenage population.

“It’s much worse when you’re reading horror,” Oliveira said. “It’s hard to explain – like riding a roller coaster because you feel excited and you don’t want stop because you want to know what is going to happen next. Reading it at night is fun, but it’s 10 times as scary!”

AP Psychology teacher Cecilia Fonseca said that there is a scientific explanation as to why people may feel compelled to frighten themselves further and expose themselves to fictional situations that are more capable of scaring them.

“Biologically, we are ‘programmed’ to fear certain things which our ancestors may have considered dangerous,” Mrs. Fonseca said. “Somehow, that made it into our DNA and helped us survive.”

Pre-Calculus Honors teacher Mrs. Amy Bass is an example of how although there are adults who enjoy their favorite shows or movies in the horror genre, they may also take the added precautions to tone down the big fear factors included in their entertainment.

“My favorite shows are ‘The Following,’ ‘American Horror Story,’ and ‘Penny Dreadful’,” she said. “But, I think [TV] has gone a bit too overboard. Sometimes I need fast forward some parts, because it gets too scary for me.”

Mrs. Fonseca said teens may like horror because they feel a natural urge to be daredevils.

“I think this has more to do with age than anything else,” Mrs. Fonseca said. “When I was younger, I used to love thrills, whether they were roller coasters, driving over the speed limit, or watching horror movies. I like my life much slower paced now, probably because I am more aware of my own mortality.”

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Grade inflation elicits varied conversation

Grade inflation Emma GBY EMMA GOETZINGER

Carolene Kurien, a junior at the Bay, is a student who has spoken out against the topic of grade inflation.

“The problem of grade inflation at Cypress has definitely gotten way out of hand. If something isn’t done soon to control it, I think it’s going to start having an even more negative effect on the fairness of the learning environment,” Kurien said.

Grade inflation is the tendency to award or receive higher grades for academic work that would’ve normally deserved a lower grade. It exists in many forms, ranging from taking extra classes to have more weight factored into a person’s GPA to simply asking a teacher to bump up a grade.

Professor Diane R. Deane of Illinois State University and co-author of “Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today’s College Student” said that grade inflation exists. Administrators are also aware that they’re doing little to stop it. In fact, until recently, it was believed that nothing needed to be done to stop it, said Ms. Deane in an email interview with The Circuit.

“For many years, although the situation seemed outrageous, it was not regarded as something that was important,” Ms. Deane said. “Grade inflation was something everyone knew about, but nothing that anyone wanted to do anything about.”

Ms. Deane said despite the awareness of this subject, some of the country’s universities have chosen to ignore it, but since grade inflation is becoming more apparent, disregarding it is something that can’t necessarily be done. Ms. Deane said that even at Illinois State University, the school where she is employed, hasn’t done as much as it could to stop this problem from escalating.

“Schools and employers have always been well aware of what was going on behind the scenes, but now, grade inflation has become a serious problem for current undergraduates,” Ms. Deane said. “For example, even though I’m well aware that grade inflation exists, as well as my colleagues, no serious efforts have been made to reverse this trend. I have talked to friends who work out numerous other schools, and it’s obvious the grade inflation is starting to become a very common trend.”

Allen Groves, dean of students from the University of Virginia, said current undergraduates are significantly more sheltered and spoiled than previous students. He attributes this directly to the amount of grade inflation that occurs within the school system.

“This is a generation that has never been allowed to fall on their knees. They’ve grown up with an inflated and skewed sense of accomplishment, which tends to grow very strong during high school, and they carry it with them all throughout college,” Dr. Groves said in an email interview.

What parents, students and even teachers who have experienced and seen the effects of grade inflation find concerning is that it starts at young ages like 5, but then bursts at the high school level, often during junior year. Eric Adzima, a social studies teacher at the Bay, is very familiar with the grade inflation.

“I have a 5 year old daughter, and I’ve already seen the behavior that leads students to feel entitled to higher grades,” Mr. Adzima said. “Children are always awarded trophies for every game, whether they win or lose. My older students’ parents are always there to fix any issue that they may have, and students of all ages are always told good job. This is the root of the problem.”

Grade inflation and the manipulation of GPAs make it harder for students to compete with their peers who use grade inflation to their advantage.

“When people think of grade inflation, many just picture a student going into a teacher’s classroom and arguing for a higher grade,” Kurien said. “Grade inflation doesn’t have to be that direct. I think that the amount of BC [Broward College] classes that students take is probably the most uncontrolled form of grade inflation here.”

Kurien is not only concerned about the fact that students have the ability to take classes outside of school, which can inflate their GPA, but she also questions why there are no limits as to just how many classes students are able to take.

“There are absolutely no regulations placed on the amount of extra classes students can take,” Kurien said. “It makes all the classes that I’m taking at school feel a lot less valid, and it skews my ranking just because I’ve been taking all my classes at school.”

Junior Cecilia Padron has also seen the effects of grade inflation. Not only are students allowed to take extra classes, which can inflate their grades and GPAs, but they are also able to take extra online classes in order to finish more credits to take more challenging classes that weren’t intended for their grade levels.

“As a student who hasn’t taken a BC or online class, I see a huge problem with doing so,” Padron said. “No matter how hard I work taking my difficult classes at school like students are intended to do, it’s really hard for me to compete with some students who are taking extra classes just to factor them into their regular GPAs.”

Students who do it may believe that this inflation is beneficial, but in the long run, it may not be. BC classes can tend to be less rigorous than those offered at the Bay.

“Students come into rigorous classes [at Cypress BayGrade inflation Emma G] automatically expecting to get A’s by taking the easy way out…They often think they can just ask teachers to bump up their grades, sometimes by quite a bit,” Mr. Adzima said. “I know many of my students take extra BC classes, and it definitely affects their attitudes and performance in class. I’ve also heard that they’re much easier, and if that’s actually the case, then it definitely makes matters unfair.”

Parents are just as concerned as students when it comes to the topic of grade inflation. Elizabeth Kurien, mother of Carolene, doesn’t want students entering college or the workplace with the false feeling that they will be able to face challenges with more ease than others just because of elevated grades on their report cards.

“Anyone can take and succeed at any easy extra class and boost their GPA, and people who may not be as bright or try as hard as those taking rigorous classes at school can end up having higher GPAs, providing them with a false sense of accomplishment,” Mrs. Kurien said. “Although I do believe this is the case, I can also understand why students do take extra classes to inflate their GPAs. But I still don’t agree with it.”

Some still stand behind their decision to take extra classes and believe that they’re more than just means by which to inflate their GPAs.

“I think it’s a misconception that people only take extra classes to inflate their GPAs. Although this is what some students do, I know from my own experience that this isn’t always the case,” sophomore Aaron Carrio said. “Some students take extra classes for help with what they’re doing at school, or if a class is not offered at Cypress, BC is the second best option. I think it’s wrong that people automatically assume that BC classes, or any extra classes, are just for the purpose of grade inflation.”

More recently, ways have been discovered for parents, students, and teachers within the high school system to detect grade inflation. Alfie Koh, a sociologist and author, has written 14 books, including “No Contest: The Case Against Competition” breaking down just what these ways are. He said with students who take AP classes, it is much easier to tell who has taken advantage of grade inflation in the past.

“Parents can compare the report card grade to the AP test score and understand that inflation has probably occurred if the grade is significantly higher than the test score,” Mr. Kohn said during a phone interview. “Numerous studies have been conducted that show that a 4 or a 5 on an AP exam is closely equivalent to a high school A, a score of 3 is similar to a B and a 2 is comparable to a C. Besides this, there still really isn’t a definitive way to detect grade inflation, and until students and teachers discover one, the issue of grade inflation will remain the same.”

Mr. Kohn said despite this method, it is still not possible to always know when grade inflation is present. He said thatthis would involve students confessing to what they’ve done and how they’re manipulating their GPAs, which isn’t always easy to get students to do.

“Although this isn’t always the case and may not always be effective, this is one way that I’ve seen students and parents busting grade inflation because when asked, many people simply just don’t tell the truth about it,” Mr. Kohn said.

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Club of the Month: Best Buddies

IMG_1374Club of the Month is a recurring segment that highlights one of the 89 clubs at the Bay. This month, staff writer Jessica Russo interviewed senior and president of Best Buddies, Erica Strum.

What is the purpose of the club?

This club’s purpose is to create one-to-one lifelong friendships with students with disabilities and students without them. Best Buddies strives to make everyone feel comfortable and make strong relationships with any student.

What are events are coming up?

Some of our upcoming events include an Art Honor Society Event where we do arts and crafts with all the buddies, an Uncle Louie G’s fundraiser, a Friendship Ball, which is a big dance that the club members and the buddies attend to have a fun night that everyone can enjoy, and the annual Friendship Walk where we all walk together as group to promote our club.

What sets you apart from other clubs?

I think Best Buddies is special because it is interactive and directly changes the lives and families of children with disabilities. I feel like it is one of the most important clubs at the Bay because we really care for our buddies and treat them as real friends.

What are your goals for this year?

Our goals for this year are to keep members involved, create even more friendships than we already have, and raise at least $4,000 at the fundraiser walk.

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Excuses range in credibility, creativity


Sophomore Olivia Giknavorian walks into her math class two minutes before the bell just to realize she does not have her homework. Instead of trying to finish it quickly, she asks her peers for an excuse as to why she doesn’t have it.

“I believe that if you’re going to make up an excuse, it should be realistic,” Giknavorian said.

Teachers have different rules regarding homework assignments. World History teacher Michelle Tobon doesn’t allow late work.

“I don’t allow late work because I want students to be responsible and develop a good work ethic,” Ms. Tobon said.

Biology teacher Jamie Dillon said that a student once used the excuse: “My homework got wet and destroyed from the rain.” She reasoned with the student and agreed on giving him an extra day.

“Some students tell me they did the wrong assignment. How can they do homework on something I haven’t even taught?” Ms. Dillon said.

Senior Lexi Goldstein said she is able to come up with very random excuses on the spot.

“I forgot to do my assignment, so I told my teacher that I left my backpack in Israel,” Goldstein said.

Geometry teacher Richard Kline said his students have tried to make up unrealistic excuses in the past.

“A student told me he got into a battle with aliens the night before, and the only way to save himself was to give the aliens his homework,” Mr.Kline said. “I thought this was so creative and funny.”

Economics teacher Patrick McNamara has heard many unbelievable excuses.

“If a student is going to make up an excuse, they should at least come up with a believable one,” he said.

English teacher Amy Lupu said that she always hears the same old excuses.

“Students are always telling me their dog ate the homework.” Mrs. Lupu said. “One girl brought in her work with teeth marks on it!”

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Rare illness leads to new passion

IMG_166550443559BY LISA BURGOA


Every Monday – or as she likes to call it, MUNday – senior Barbara Valencia basks in her power as the co-president of the Model United Nations.

During these meetings, the fate of the world is rested squarely on her shoulders. As an Egyptian consul, her nuclear disarmament negotiations helped avert World War III. As a New York representative in the American Congress, she allocated more federal funds to education reform without skimping on the military budget.

Valencia wears her political savvy on the MUN floor like a freshly tailored pantsuit, commanding armies, nations and entire ideologies along the way.

But there is one thing Valencia can’t control – her own body. Five years ago, on Feb. 20, 2010, a trip to the dentist went awry, changing her life forever.

“I had two permanent molars that were loose, which was very weird, so I went to the dentist and he took an x-ray and found that on the right side of my face there was a shadow,” she said. “Usually you’re able to tell easily the shape of your skull and everything in an x-ray, but on that side he couldn’t really see mine. He went ahead with the tooth extraction, because it was really weird and we wanted to see what was going on.”

After injecting her with anesthesia, the doctors managed to extract her tooth, only to have blood spurt uncontrollably as a result. Valencia, still conscious throughout the ordeal, could only watch as over nine bags-worth of blood soaked through her pink-flowered dress, drenching the operating chair and floor.

“At first I didn’t notice, like I thought maybe that somebody had accidentally spilled some water on me,” she said. “I didn’t know what was happening until I looked down and it was red everywhere, and I looked to the side and saw my mom had dropped to the ground crying.”

In a haze, Valencia remembers the doctors hastily patching up the hole with gauze until the ambulance arrived to shuttle her to the operating room. Commands like “shut your mouth” and “chew hard” swirled around her throughout a litany of MRI scans and face plasters conducted by increasingly baffled doctors.

It wasn’t until the models came back two weeks later that the doctors were able to identify Valencia’s condition: an arteriovenous malformation, or AVM, in the carotidal artery connecting her jaw to her brain.

“AVM is best described as an abnormal connection of arteries and veins tangled together without normal capillary beds,” said Dr. Drew Schnitt, a Hollywood-based reconstructive surgeon who has treated Valencia. “These malformations of blood vessels do not perform their normal functions of carrying oxygenated blood to the tissues and deoxygenated blood from the tissues. This may lead to the formation of large lakes of blood anywhere in the body and can have life threatening consequences in certain circumstances.”

At first, Valencia was in denial and couldn’t come to terms with the gravity of AVM. Confused by the medical jargon thrown around by doctors, she took to the Web for answers.

“I knew how to speak English, but I didn’t know how to speak doctor,” she said. “Google became my best friend. People usually say when you get sick, your new obsession becomes your illness, and I guess for me that was kind of true.”

In the aftermath of the surgery, Valencia underwent countless surgeries, sometimes as often as three in one week at the beginning of her treatment. To this day, she carries the scars on her face from these procedures.

“The particular severity of Barbara’s condition is rare and most professionals would not see an AVM of this magnitude in their career,” Dr. Schnitt said. “If it is large and in an area of critical function, such as in the brain or around vital organs or structures, it may be terrifying for a patient as at any moment as it may cause functional problems, bleeding or death.”

As a former athlete who was involved in cheerleading, volleyball and basketball, her inability to participate in contact sports is her largest misgiving about her condition, as a blow to the head or an abrupt fall could kill Valencia.

Valencia’s discovery of MUN as a junior offered a much-needed respite from the pain inflicted by AVM. She was instantly smitten with the process of writing position papers and debating current events with other delegates, as well as participating in conferences across the state. She ascended the ranks to serve as co-president of MUN with junior Kendra Blandon, where she handles internal affairs in the club like co-editing papers and managing the club’s treasury.

“Barbara is such an angel in the club,” said Blandon, who handles the club’s external affairs. “She’s a very genuine person. She’s sweet, dedicated, and always saves time for other people. She thinks ahead enough to anticipate any problems and she solves them with ease.”

Drawing from her experience with the political process, Valencia hopes to use MUN as a springboard to jumpstart a career in public service. Though undecided about what school she will attend in the fall, Valencia plans on majoring in political science, enrolling in law school and returning to her native Ecuador, maybe one day even running for office there. As a politician, Valencia hopes she can combat Ecuador’s issues, such as crime and income inequality, which caused her family to flee when she was 9.

“Somehow it all ties back to Model UN,” she said. “Now that I know what it feel like to represent a country, I want to give back to the country that has so much of my family and life-long friends. It’s a way of thanking Ecuador for all the beautiful memories of my childhood I had growing up there.”

For all the trauma AVM has caused Valenica, Blandon said the experience has contributed to Valencia’s prowess on the MUN floor.

“I think her scars add character,” Blandon said. “Talking to her is when her real beauty shines. She has such a kind soul and it shines through her smile, regardless of her scars. While I’m sure they were very painful for her, they make her more human and genuine.”

Dr. Schnitt said Valencia has demonstrated incredible fortitude against her condition.

“Barbara is everything the words strength and courage describe,” he said. “Her life was literally hanging by a thread when she first presented to the emergency department. Since that time, she has endured countless surgeries and interventions, some of which are of the largest magnitude modern medicine has to offer. Yet, somehow Barbara has managed to keep a smile on her face, a friendly and engaging personality and has maintained a stellar academic record.”

Valencia believes that there is a correlation between AVM and her involvement with MUN.

“My disease is definitely part of the reason I love Model UN,” Valencia said. “My obsession with trying the best in everything that I do it overcompensates for the little power I have over my illness. I exert control over things that are in my control because I can’t over things that aren’t, like AVM. That’s just my coping mechanism.”

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How to decide between AICE or AP classes


With course selection cards and college on students’ minds, students at the Bay find it hard to pick between AICE and AP. AICE coordinator Melissa Boorom gives input on both AICE and AP and what the school has to offer to prepare students for college.

AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) is a program from Cambridge University and AP (Advanced Placement) is a College Board program. AICE tests are multiple days and may occur beyond the school year. AP tests are usually one day and are finished by the end of school year.

“I think AP is definitely more popular, but AICE is catching up. People are just more familiar with AP,” Ms. Boorom said.

AP Psychology teacher and soon to be AICE psychology teacher next school year, David Geller, said that AICE is more research analysis and AP is more content.

“I felt like it would be a great opportunity to turn to a new way of thinking for both the students and myself,” Mr. Geller said.

Although both AP and AICE classes provide students with the opportunity to earn college credit, there are benefits in taking one or the other.

“Even though I am an AICE coordinator, I feel that there are benefits to taking both AP and AICE classes because not all colleges accept AICE classes as college credits,” she said.

Ms. Boorom said AICE classes are recognized as high achieving classes when they are not considered for college credit. She also mentioned the benefit of AICE classes enabling students to earn a Bright Futures scholarship, even without having the minimum score needed on the SAT or ACT.

“If you earn the AICE diploma you can still get Bright Futures without the SAT/ ACT test scores. This an advantage for the students who are not good test takers,” she said.

Ms. Boorom said that based on students interest and likes and dislikes,they can decide whether to focus more on AICE or AP.

“They should take classes where their interests lie. AICE offers a wider variety of classes from AICE Media Studies to AICE Global Perspectives,” Ms. Boorom said.

Freshman Oliver Qiu and freshman Noah Barboza have opposite viewpoints on AP and AICE classes. While Qui prefers AP classes, Barboza likes AICE classes better.

Qiu said AP is more relevant to daily, everyday life and he feels it is more well known.

“I have friends all the way on the other side of the world and they know what AP classes are but they haven’t heard of AICE classes. When I am taking AP classes, it is really cool to be able to talk to other people from other countries about the topic,” Qiu said.

On the other hand, freshman Noah Barboza is headed toward the AICE Diploma and said he feels he is on the right track by taking classes such AICE Global Perspective and AICE General Paper.

“AICE classes offer a different way of thinking and make you think outside the box and in ways that I didn’t even know I was capable of. AICE makes me think in a more psychological way as opposed to a straight forward logic way,” Barboza said.

Barboza said that the AICE diploma will look very unique on his college transcript because not that many other people will have that.

Mr. Geller said because AP has been around for such a long time, colleges expect to see AP classes on a student’s transcript but AICE is now starting to become more accepted, too. Ms. Boorom explained why administration decided to offer AICE and in what ways it can be beneficial.

“The Bay brought AICE to offer more variety to students,” Ms. Boorom said. “We are one of the very few to offer AICE in the county.”

Mr. Geller said offering AICE benefits not only his students but him, too.

“I took on the opportunity of being able to teach AICE Psychology because I wanted to try new things and I felt like I was the person who could bring the most to the plate and take on this task,” Mr. Geller said.

After teaching AP for 13 years (at the Bay for seven and at other schools for six), Mr. Geller has decided to branch out and discover AICE.

“I feel like AP can better prepare a student for life and college but AICE psychology is definitely more applicable if the student wants to pursue studying in the scientific field,” Mr. Geller said.

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Big age gaps impact sibling bonds


Older siblings tend to pave the way for their younger siblings as they grow up. Following in an older sibling’s footsteps can make the hardships of adolescence a little less challenging. But, while having a role model can be helpful at times, it can also be stressful to have the pressure to live up to an older sibling.

Sophomore Cassandra Secada, 15, is growing up with an older sister, 19, and brother, 20, and said she has always felt somewhat inferior.

“My siblings are both in college now, but when we were younger, we used to fight a lot and they would gang up on me since they are closer in age,” she said.

Cassandra’s older brother Mark Secada, 20, said now that they’ve all grown up and matured their relationship has grown stronger.

“A combination of my own maturity into young adulthood and her own maturity through adolescence has helped us get along better than when we were growing up,” he said.

Cassandra said when she was younger she was influenced greatly by what her older siblings interests were.

“I always wanted to be into what they were into when it came to music, books, and their class choices early on,” she said.

Mark said Cassie comes to him more often now for advice than when they were younger.

“I’ll always support her decisions,” he said. “As long as she’s happy, or at least content with what she does in life, that’s good in my book.”

Senior Sophie Hyman, 17, is the second oldest of five siblings in her family ranging from ages 4 to 21.

“I’m close in a sense to each of my siblings,” she said. “I’m friends with my older sister Madison, who is 21, and I’m more of an authority figure to my younger siblings Tzipora, Yona, and Yishai, who are 10, 8, and 4 years old.”

Hyman said in some ways she feels pressure to live up to her older sister but she doesn’t want to follow exactly in her footsteps.

“It’s stressful to be struggling to achieve everything my sister has already achieved, like applying to college,” she said. “At the same time, I want to be able to meet or exceed the standard she set but by doing it my own way.”

Hyman thinks that her three younger siblings will feel more pressure to live up to their older siblings than she did.

“My younger siblings have more people parenting them in a sense and criticizing them and the choices they make,” she said.

Madison Hyman, Sophie’s 21 year-old sister, said she’s always liked being the oldest.

“Being the oldest I’ve felt like I was the trial period for my parents,” she said. “I liked the attention they gave me because everything I was doing was their first experience with a kid.”

Sophomore Adrian Machado, 15, also feels like his younger brother, 7, is going to feel pressure to live up to his achievements.

“My brother Nicholas is constantly being compared to me by my parents,” he said. “We have very little in common, so he doesn’t participate in many of the same things I enjoyed when I was his age.”

Junior Jeremy Mochel, 17, also used to get into fights with his older sister, 19, when they were younger.

“Even though we were only a couple years apart, we didn’t have as much in common so we didn’t get along,” he said.

Mochel said his relationship with his older sister strengthened upon entering high school.

“We became closer because we both joined marching band and that gave us something to talk about,” he said.

Machado said his relationship with his little brother is mainly based on raising him rather than befriending him.

“It’s challenging at times to take care of him because I always have to lead by example,” he said.

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Student entrepreneurs take over the Bay

5afad1be8c8f4ade426b123fa3f31de5BY RACHEL GUTNER

Sophomore Sarah Gillman has always had a passion for baking and decorating, but two years ago she turned that dream into a business.

Starting small, Gillman began just minimally decorating cupcakes, later moving on to abstract designs.

When it comes to building a brand, Gillman is not alone. Not only are students working for businesses, they are creating them.

“I make a lot of specialty cakes. I even made a replica of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” out of cupcakes,” Gillman said.

She said her customers are satisfied, and that’s what makes her the happiest.

“The most exciting thing is to see the expressions on my customers’ faces when they see the cakes, whether they are kids or adults,” Gillman said.

When a business is owned and run by teenagers, there isn’t much money for advertising, she said.

“The reason people know about my business is because of word of mouth,” Gillman said. “Without my clients’ telling people, I don’t know where I’d be.”

IMG_9237Sophomore Reilly Markowitz also owns a company, Markowitz Tech, and has employees who are students. With an interest in technology, Markowitz started his career with computers a year and a half ago and plans on continuing it.

“I’ve always kind of dabbled in it,” he said. “When I started to take Computer Science freshman year, it really peaked my interest.”

Even though he specializes in computers, Markowitz and his six employees, who also attend The Bay, fix other technologies as well.

“When I realized that I had an opportunity to work with people that I liked and to enjoy my work, I took it and created Markowitz Tech,” he said.

Manager of HTML Web Design, Eli Nir said being part of the business has taught him responsibility and helped him grow.

“Having a responsibility to not only yourself, but also your clients, gives me more of a sense of maturity, mentally and economically,” said Nir, a sophomore.

c52fbbddceae18d8ce564f0f3996d323Markowitz and his friends have built the company from the ground up, each holding defined positions and dedicating time to the company.

“Working and owning a company gives you an entirely new perspective on school, social life and all of my extracurricular activities,” he said.

Gillman said that owning a business is good for character and good for later life experience.

“Owning and running a business has taught me to be a lot more responsible, and I feel like that is going to be extremely helpful for me in the future,” she said.

Markowitz said working for this business has helped him with real world tasks.

“All of things I associated with being an adult, I can now do. That is going to give me a leg up,” he said. “Being able to fill out tax forms, hand out paychecks, get tax ID numbers, and all of that other stuff is what I’m doing. It is exciting to know that I am my own boss.”

Learn more about these two businesses at: and

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Students’ privilege to park in teacher lot causes discussion


Students want to scurry out of school to be the first person in the Chipotle line, but their burrito is going to have to wait.

For a couple of years now, students have taken up the parking spaces in the teacher parking lot. It has caused problems for teachers and administrators.

“Many teachers complain to me about students in the parking lot, but [Principal] Neely said he feels certain students should have the right to gain these privileges,” said athletic director William Caruso, who distributes student parking passes.

use IMG_1295Students who are involved in large clubs or productions at the Bay, such as newspaper editors, yearbook editors, athletes, or presidents of the classes, may get the privilege of parking in the teacher lot. There are also special scenarios, like club positions, where students can park there for convenience.

“I am on the cheer team and I also have a job, so I got the permission to park in the teacher’s lot,” junior Danielle Nicolay said. “It makes getting to my job much easier and faster.”

Junior Emma Sanders parks in the teacher lot and said that parking there has many perks.

“I love parking in the teacher lot because there is less traffic on your way to school in the morning and allows time to talk to more people after school,” Sanders said. “It’s mostly teachers who park there, so when school gets out at the end of the day, there are not that many cars trying to get out of the parking lot.”

American Sign Language teacher Allison Coombs has just started teaching at the Bay this year. She said she doesn’t usually run into problems, but sometimes students can create problems in the parking lot.

“Sometimes if the students take the spots closer to the front, it makes it harder for us to get a spot closer to the building,” Ms. Coombs said. “I prefer if they didn’t park there, even though they are allowed to, but it is what it is”

Senior Luke Lacroix said parking in the teacher lot is a privilege, and it should be granted to students who earn that privilege, like a few seniors.

“I think seniors should get the advantage of parking in the teachers lot,” Lacroix said. “I like it because it’s honestly just easier for me to get in and out of the parking lot.”

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