Senior skip day causes mixed feelings



Senior Vanesa Alvarez plans on missing school on Friday, Feb. 12 so she can take in the warm sun, fresh air and ocean breeze.

Although school will still be in session at the Bay, many seniors will “play hooky” on this day to participate in the annual Senior Skip Day. Most seniors on this day opt out of school in order to hit the road with friends and go to the beach, or simply relax at home.

“I am so excited for Senior Skip Day and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since I was a freshman at the Bay and saw the seniors that year participate in it,” Alvarez said. “Although I’ve been waiting for our Senior Skip Day for four years now, I have not made plans yet because plans change at the last minute anyways, so I don’t want to get my hopes up.”

Alvarez said she wanted to go to the beach on this day because it is a tradition, but she said traditions change due to unpredictable events.

“I’m hoping that my friends and I go to the beach, but I can’t commit myself to that plan until I check the weather first,” she said.

Senior Sam Etkin chose to do something a little different than what seniors generally have done in the past.

“Since Senior Skip Day is on a Friday and it’s a long weekend, my dad and I are going to visit a school in New York,” Etkin said. “We might even stop by New York City to see my brother and sister.”

Etkin said even though teachers may look down on the day for skipping valuable learning time, it should be seen as an acknowledgment of the hard work and dedication the seniors have put in.

“Senior Skip Day is when the students recognize how hard they have worked the past four years of high school and take the day off in celebration,” Etkin said. “It is the day that seniors can finally look back at high school, with all the ups and downs, hardships and dedication, and see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Even though on the second Friday in February most seniors will not be in school, school will go on and teachers will continue with their schedules.

“It would bother me if my teachers made me make up work that I missed because it is the one day that seniors are supposed to take off to enjoy, and get psyched for their future,” Etkin said. “It would make me the most upset though if a teacher of an all senior class made us complete make up work since they already know that most seniors are going to miss that day.”

For Senior Katie Slattery, this Friday in February is very significant.

“The Senior Skip Day may seem like it should be relaxing and full of tanning and friends, but the University of Florida (UF) decisions come out on this day, making it anything but relaxing and fun,” she said. “Many seniors have been stressing about UF decisions this whole year, so many will be anxiously awaiting to log in and see their fate.”

Physics teacher John McCann said this day is no different than any other day on the school calendar. He teaches seniors as well as sophomores and juniors and said he has no time to waste before the Advanced Placement exam.

“My students usually show up on this day, even the seniors,” Mr. McCann said. “Most of my kids will come to my class on this day and then leave after it because they know that I never waste a day in class. So if they miss it, it will be on them to figure out what we did and then make it up.”

Mr. McCann said he does not think that Senior Skip Day is a good tradition since it influences kids to skip school. He said it makes it so that seniors who want to go to school so they don’t miss anything don’t in fear of being the only senior there.

“I’m against the tradition,” he said. “Kids are going to do what they want to do anyways, so life goes on.”

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One in 4,700: Sofia Depassier


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, videos and personal narration.

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Alumni Strike: Alumnus wins Forbes’ special “30 under 30”



What started as a science fair project in his junior year of high school soon turned into a future career for alumnus Felipe Gomez del Campo, 22, who graduated in 2012.

Gomez del Campo was recognized in Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30” special in 2015 in the “energy” category for his work on a fuel injector for jet engines. “30 under 30” is an annual special that recognizes young entrepreneurs, leaders and stars, classifying them into 15 different categories.

“It validates a lot of the hard work I have put into this, but at the same time, people only see the media coverage and not how much technical risk there is and how much work still needs to go into this research,” Gomez del Campo said. “It’s basically motivation and a reminder to keep working at this, and probably to do more science and less publicity this year.”

Going back to his junior year of high school, Gomez del Campo wanted to replicate the interaction between flames and really strong electric fields. He ended up finding that plasma could have a beneficial effect on combustion, leading him to dig even further in his research.

“The project developed into ‘Ok, so we can make flames more stable, who cares, what can we use this for?’ Which led me to look at this to improve combustion in jet engines, my science fair for my senior year, from there, once I got to Case Western University, it turned into a question of  ‘Ok this works but what’s the best way to apply plasma to jet engines,’” Gomez del Campo said. “That turned into modifying the fuel injector which is what the past three and a half years have been devoted to.”

He said he has always felt an inclination toward engineering in general, especially because he is the fifth-generation engineer in his family.

“I guess I was always fascinated by planes and things that go fast,” he said. “The mechanical engineering part came about because my school, Case Western University, made it really easy to do the double major.”

Gomez del Campo’s project led him to create his own company, FGC Plasma Solutions. Its goal is to make jet engines a little bit cleaner and help them save more fuel by using plasma.

“We are working on a better fuel injector to incorporate this technology, called plasma-assisted combustion, in a way that you can install it easily into jet engines and help solve a couple of problems which they face,” he said. “To this end, most of what we do is research and testing to keep developing this technology.”

Leaving high school, he said he never imagined that his project would lead to the creation of a business.

unnamed-3 “I could almost say I was tricked into it really,” he said. “But at college I was spurred by some professors and mentors to look at this as more of a commercialization venture than just a research project. I basically realized that turning this into a company would be the best way to fund the research and get it out of the lab and into the real world.”

After receiving recognition from Forbes Magazine, Gomez del Campo had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. There, he met both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

“It was probably one of the most incredible moments of my life, I almost felt bad about it because as an entrepreneur, I met a lot of people who are working on incredible technologies and are a lot farther than I am,” Gomez del Campo said. “But I basically took it as motivation to keep working hard.”

Along with being recognized by the president, Gomez del Campo had the ability to be on a panel with the “sharks” from the TV show “Shark Tank” at the White House. From there, he was able to pitch his company and its goals to them.

“It was a surreal experience, I still can barely believe that it happened,” he said. “I made some great connections and got some great advice about what it takes to successfully launch a business.”

BRACE adviser Shari Bush said Gomez del Campo was always interested in science, whether he was entering competitions or taking part in the robotics club. She said he put a lot of his time and effort into school, impressing everyone around him.

“He was just phenomenal. Just this sweet, diligent, hard-working, likeable student, liked by his peers, teachers and counselors; there was nothing not to like about him,” Mrs. Bush said. “He was the nicest guy, he would walk into a room and it was like you were instantly drawn to him.”

Mrs. Bush said she had always expected Gomez del Campo to do big things in his future.

“I was not surprised at all,” Mrs. Bush said. “I knew from the get-go that this guy was destined for great things. I also felt pure joy because when somebody is a good person, who has done everything authentically and for the right reasons and stays true to who they are gets recognized for something, it is a true testament to their character.”

Gomez del Campo said he plans on graduating in May with degrees in engineering. He wants to work on his Ph.D in aerospace engineering, incorporating all of the research he has gathered working on his project

“The plan is to keep developing this technology and partner with a jet engine manufacturer, someone like GE or Rolls Royce and a research institution, like NASA to help my project take flight,” he said.


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Alternative to Valentine’s Day honors female friendships


Freshman Alexis Epstein plans on celebrating Valentine’s Day with all girls, observing a new form of Valentine’s Day called Galentine’s Day.

“This Valentine’s Day, instead of celebrating the traditional holiday, I will be spending it with my friends,” Epstein said. “We plan to go to the beach and spend the day together having fun.”

Galentine’s Day is a holiday first referenced in a 2010 episode of Parks and Recreation. It is traditionally celebrated on the Feb. 13 and is a day to honor friendships between women. For many students, such as Epstein, Galentine’s Day will be replacing Valentine’s Day.

“I am a big fan of ‘Parks and Recreation’ and I love the idea of Galentine’s Day,” Epstein said. “Galentine’s Day is a great idea for single people to appreciate the friends they do have, rather than the boyfriend or girlfriend they are missing.”franki galentines day

Freshman Remi Schwartz said she has been planning her Valentine’s Day for a while and is excited to spend the day with friends.

“My friends and I are planning to go see a movie and go out to eat,” Schwartz said. “The reason we already have our plans made is because we want to highlight the fact that we want to spend the special day with each other, rather than anybody else.”

Although Galentine’s Day is typically celebrated the day before Valentine’s Day, sophomore Emily Zern believes it will one day take over Valentine’s Day because of how quickly the holiday is gaining popularity.

“So many people celebrate Galentine’s Day without even knowing it,” Zern said. “I found out about Galentine’s Day last year and I loved the idea. I always went out with my friends on Valentine’s Day, but it is even more fun now that it is being recognized.”

Math teacher Lauren Bender thinks Galentine’s day is a great idea for students, because they are having fun doing it.

“I think it is awesome that students have started to celebrate something that makes them happy,” Mrs. Bender said. “If you are having fun and it is not hurting anyone I think it is a great way for students to spend the day.”

With Galentine’s Day right around the corner, Schwartz has begun to buy store bought and handmade gifts for her friends.

“Most of the gifts I have gotten are either cute knick knack items, or things I have made myself,” Schwartz said. “I think it is really cool to give homemade gifts because people appreciate them more.”

Schwartz said her friends are extremely important and she can’t wait to celebrate Galentine’s Day with them.

“I think it is really important to start planning these things early because I want to show my friends that they are just as important as a boyfriend,” she said. “I am really excited to celebrate Galentine’s Day with my friends. It is so important to cherish and celebrate these relationships because my friends are always there for me and I like to show them I care.”

Zern said she greatly values her friendships and she is happy that the holiday is continuing to grow.

“Galentine’s day is helping students to remember that even if they have a boyfriend or girlfriend, they shouldn’t forget about their friends,” Zern said. “I think Galentine’s Day is a great way to celebrate friendship in general and I hope the holiday continues to grow.”

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Foundation created to raise awareness on water safety


After the loss of her 14-year old son to a Jet Ski accident, Lee Nossen started the Tyler Scott Goldberg Foundation to honor her son, who was a freshman at the Bay.IMG_7199

The foundation collects money, which is used to prevent children from suffering injuries from the use of personal watercraft. It promotes legislative change, as well as educates children in school about the dangers of operating them.

“Tyler will continue to save many lives with the help of others,” said Mrs. Nossen, president of The Tyler Scot Goldberg foundation. “Although I miss him more than ever, I am happy that his legacy is educating other young kids.”

At its core, the foundation’s mission is to continue Tyler’s legacy of love and compassion for others by saving lives, so that no other family has to endure the pain and suffering.

“I love the foundation,” said Brittany Goldberg, Tyler’s sister. “Whenever I just talk about it, it puts a smile on my face.”

The foundation is also dedicated to easing the suffering of those whose lives have been impacted by these types of accidents, providing money for medical research and expanding trauma services.

“Working for the foundation makes me feel good,” freshman Lexi Barten. I love the fact that I am making a difference in the world,”

Mrs. Nossen started the foundation mainly to educate young kids about water safety.

“What my family went through was absolutely horrific,” Mrs. Nossen said. “I don’t want an event like this to happen again because another family doesn’t deserve to endure the pain that mine did.”

IMG_7200The foundation collects money all year long, which then goes to hospitals all around the state. Most donations are made through the Tyler Scott Goldberg website.

“Being there for others is what I do best, which is why I want to help other people who have to go through the same things I did,” Brittany Goldberg said.

Mrs. Nossen said that she is always flattered by the amount of people that come out and show their support.

“I greatly appreciated all of the people that contribute to my son’s foundation,” Mrs. Nossen said. “It really means a lot to me and shows me people’s generosity.”

Every year, the foundation hosts a 5K run to raise money. Freshman Sydney Saul has participated in the run three times.

“On the day of the run, the entire community comes together and supports all of Tyler’s family,” Saul said. “People come from near and far to celebrate the amazing changes they are making in our world.”

The first ever run was held in 2007.

“The run is always a very exciting day for me,” Mrs. Nossen said. “I am always touched with mixed emotions. On one hand I wish that I would not have to relive the events of the past. But on the other, I am happy that I am making a difference in the world.”

Mrs. Nossen said she hopes one day all of their work will be worth it, and no one will have to experience the same things they did.

“The foundation is one of my best accomplishments in my life,” Mrs. Nossen said. “Although I would have it all taken away to have my son back, I am happy I am making a difference in the world.”

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Republican debate stirs up viewers, candidates


The GOP Presidential Debate causes commotion between candidates on Jan. 15 in North Charleston, South Carolina as they head into the Iowa caucus.

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One in 4,700: Dani Fried


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, videos and personal narration.

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One in 4,700: Drew Marsh


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, videos and personal narration.

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One in 4,700: John McCann


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, videos and personal narration.

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Foreign exchange student takes on new culture


Marthe Reiersen, a foreign exchange student from Norway, arrived to Weston on Aug. 13. After hearing her sister’s experience with the program, Reiersen decided to participate in the foreign exchange program with Emily Floyd from Orlando, who is currently staying with Reiersen’s family in Norway. The foreign exchange program between Reiersen and Floyd consists of them having a whole year experiencing each other’s home country.

“Honestly, you learn information about the family and what they value and think is important, but mostly you have to be appreciative and grateful,” Reiersen said.Marthenewnewpic

Reiersen is currently staying with the Freedland family. For a family to house a foreign student, the family has to go through multiple steps: picking an organization, investigating the family’s background profile for any crime and a house search.

“The process is very precise on the required listing for a foreign exchange to go to the host family’s home,” Reiersen’s host father Michael Freedland said.

Reiersen said the Bay is different from her school in Norway because in Florida, students have four years in high school, but in a Norwegian high school students have three years of high school.

“I love Florida, it is very hot and humid, but it’s so absolutely beautiful, I have 200 Palm tree photos on my phone,” Reiersen said.

Reiersen’s older sister Ana did the exchange program during the 2012-2013 school year at North Kitsap High School in Washington. Both Ana and Marthe were placed under The Rotary Organization for the Foreign Exchange Program to Washington and Florida.

“When my older sister came back from Washington we all saw how much she grew on it, how it made her more outgoing and how much she learned,” Reiersen said. “I also wanted to experience a new culture and learn as much as I can just like she did.”

Reiersen said she recommends that her classmates participate in a foreign exchange program based on her great experience.Marthesnewhostfamily

“Being put in a family you don’t know might seem scary to a lot of people, I know some people might call me crazy,” Reiersen said.

Reiersen said she feels less comfortable in Florida than she did in Norway, because she cannot drive and has to depend on her host parents and friends to drive her to destinations.

“You meet so many people with so many stories, and you learn to adjust fast to the atmosphere and I’m constantly excited for what I will learn next,” Reiersen said. “I’ve been here for two months, so I can imagine what I’ll learn in the next eight months.”

Before Reiersen arrived at the Freedland’s household, Blake and Ashley, her host parent’s children, were ecstatic for her to arrive to gain knowledge of Norway and Reiersen’s background and lifestyle in her home country.

“Blake and Ashley were excited to know the cultural lifestyle and have read some of Marthe’s application and Facebook page for a general picture of her before she arrived,” Mr. Freedland said.

Mr. Freedland said as the year continues, the Freedland’s are getting educated about Norwegian culture, including trying the traditional dish called Kjottkaker (meatballs). He is considering hosting another exchange student in the future, closer to the time when Ashley gets into her teenager years.

“Yes, I would definitely recommend the program to other people, it is a huge commitment and a huge responsibility, but it’s a positive experience. The family gets to learn the culture and get exposure to Norwegian knowledge,” Mr. Freedland said.

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