New Dance Club helps build self-esteem


Dance Club Ally PolnerIn an effort to help build confidence and to teach members to become better dancers, freshmen co-presidents Jordan Pelegrin and Kim Orelus started Dance club.

“This club helps build self-esteem by showing people that if they have a desire to dance, they can fulfill that desire in Dance club,” Orelus said.

Members learn a new dance combination every meeting. It also focuses on community service projects such as helping underprivileged kids and teaching students from other schools how to dance.

“It’s not only a great benefit to the school, but also to the community,” Pelegrin said.

Students are not required to have any prior dance experience to join. Pelegrin said the club provides a chance to learn how to dance and improve the member’s dancing skills.

“All the board members are trained for at least four years and will work together to make a dance combination easy and fun for the whole club,” Pelegrin said.

Each month during all four lunches, the members will be participating in a flash mob to get the school energized and keep the school spirit going.

“We do not have all our ideas for the flash mob yet, but we are hoping everyone can come out and join us in all of our activities because it is a great bonding experience,” Orelus said. “It’s not only to learn for fun, but also to show off dance moves and use them.”

In addition to working on flash mobs every month, members will go to Children’s Harbor Place to teach underprivileged kids dances and play games with them.

“The children’s Harbor Place will be a good place to volunteer,” Pelegrin said. “The children there don’t really get to do a lot of extracurricular activities, and this is a good way to just have fun with cute kids and make them happy.”

Orelus said she is looking forward to the upcoming year.

“I hope to have fun and dance all types of dances with our club members and be able to teach people dances they want to learn,” Orelus said.

Freshman Danielle Rudolph said she cannot wait for the next meeting and to learn a new dance routine.

“I love to dance and I want to be a larger part of the school,” Rudolph said. “This is a great way to meet new people that like the same things I do.”

Sponsor Hope Fisher said that the club is going to grow and become very popular.

“The dance club will be popular because all students who have an interest in dance may enhance their self-expression through movement on a regular basis,” Mrs. Fisher said. “Participating in our community outreach program will give underprivileged children the opportunity to explore their individuality through dance.”

Mrs. Fisher said she is excited to share dance all around the school.

“My daughter has a passion for dance and, as a club advisor, I have the opportunity to share her love of dance with others,” Mrs. Fisher said.

The Dance Club meets every Wednesday. The next meeting is Dec. 2.


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Interact club holds “Polaroids for Polio”


IMG_0484Members of the Interact club held a “Polaroids for Polio” event during all four lunches to raise money to help fight polio on Oct. 30. “Polaroids for Polio” allowed each student to donate a dollar in exchange for a Polaroid picture.

“I think ‘Polaroids for Polio’ really catches people’s attention so you can get a good memory. It is good for an organization and it is out of your normal territory,” senior Ariana Serrano, historian of Interact, said. “It is just mutually beneficial.”

The goal of “Polaroids for Polio” is to raise money for research to eliminate polio around the world. With every dollar, two vaccinations are provided to someone in need.

“This idea is extremely successful, and we are hoping to expand it to other schools,” sponsor of Interact Brandon Boswell said. “By donating, the kids can help out a lot.”

The club raised $70 and Serrano said she considers this a success. Interact plans on doing this event again next year.

“We wanted to bring it back this year hoping to create more funds to give to Rotary [ Interact’s country-wide sponsor],” Serrano said. “Honestly we’re just happy to raise as much as we can raise. We hope to promote more next year.”

Serrano said it was a long process to plan the event. However, in the end, she said it was worth it.

“We had to first get project approval, and then we moved on to creating signs to grab people’s attention,” Serrano said. “After getting all the supplies for the event we were finished.”

Along with getting a picture, students also received an insight on the polio disease.

“Before, I wasn’t really aware what exactly polio was, and honestly, I didn’t really care,” freshman Mariel Pulido said. “I just wanted a picture with my friend. But when I spoke to the officers of the club I realized how big of an issue polio is, and that we can help do something about it.”

Mr. Boswell said he is proud of the “Polaroids for Polio” campaign, because it will make a difference in the long run to end polio.

“Although the kids don’t understand that they are supporting polio, they really are,” Mr. Boswell said. “Indirectly, it’s a kind of win-win [scenario].”

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SGA hosts BCASC meeting


The Bay’s Student Government Association (SGA) was selected to hold a monthly Broward County Association of Student Council (BCASC) meeting on Oct. 15.

At the meeting students from the different schools discussed future projects such as homecoming and Honor Flight, where SGA sends World War II veterans to visit the Holocaust museum in Washington D.C.

Sophomore Emilie Vargas said the meeting was more of a business-oriented meeting than a fun one.

“These meetings are an essential part of how SGA runs around the county. In these meetings, we are able to discuss what topics or ideas the BCASC officers would like to inform the schools about,” she said.

The Bay’s SGA hosts the meeting once every three to four years. Executive Director of the Florida Association of Student Council (FASC), Michael Roland, selected the Bay’s SGA to host the meeting out of 36 schools in the district.

“The meeting was informative and helpful to the SGA members of Cypress Bay and the other schools of this county,” said Asher Michelson, SGA member.

Like Michelson, Vargas said the meeting allowed for schools to share ideas and improve upon current projects. Vargas also believed the meeting was helpful for newer SGA chapters to share ideas and improve upon current projects.

“The meeting was very productive,” Vargas said. “Not only were we able to elaborate on what our school is doing, but also we were able to hear and compare it to what other schools were doing.”

There were two guest speakers: one from the Red Cross and the other from the Humane Society. The Red Cross hoped to get the different chapters of student government to get CPR certified, and the Humane Society wanted the schools to donate supplies to the foundation.

SGA member Katie Keene said at the end there is a part of the meeting in which each school says what they do.

“The ‘At My School’ segment’s topic was homecoming, in which each school sends a representative up to the stage to give a brief summary on what they are doing for their homecoming week and dance” she said. “I love this part of the meeting, because we were able to hear the variety in what each school was doing.”

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Debate team succeeds at Bulldog Invitational tournament


Fifty-five members of the DeBayte team traveled to G. Holmes Braddock High School in Miami to compete in the Bulldog Invitational on Sept. 12. The policy team won first second and third place in competitions.

“This was a local competition, so while the stakes weren’t as high and the competition wasn’t as tough, it still served as great practice for future competitions,” junior Shawn Hatchwell said.

Hatchwell has competed in Lincoln Douglas debate for three years, and he said he feels that there is something to be learned from this competition.

“I need to pay much more attention to the amount of time I spend in my speeches responding to certain arguments and how I allocate my speech time in general,” he said.

Hatchwell competed in five rounds of Lincoln Douglas debate, winning three to two.

“While I did well in the tournament, I feel like there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Ms. Fiebrantz, the Bay’s newest debate teacher said she is always excited for a good competition, and Braddock was no exception.

“They give students an opportunity to show their strengths; they’re very competitive,” she said.

The team prepared for competitions at debate camps over the summer at Dartmouth College for policy and Boston University for public forum.

“They were anywhere between two and seven weeks,” Ms. Fiebrantz said. “They went to a university and just worked on debates. It shows their dedication, which shows that they’re determined.”

Practices for the teams covered everything expected to come up during the season, and how to better themselves to work toward their common goal.

“We focused on individual responsibility, what they’re doing, how it’s happening. The captains had practices every week. We do practice debates and speeches,” Ms. Fiebrantz said.

Howard Ki and his partner Alice Viera won first place in policy debate.

“I felt great, it was a good start for the year,” Ki said. “We set a good precedent.”

Ki attributes his success at the Bulldog Invitational to the skills he gained at Wake Forrest, a prior competition.

“Wake Forrest was like a testing ground and we were able to get some arguments down to do well at Braddock,” he said. “We learned how to work with your team, how they help you, you help them.”

Viera said Braddock helped her emphasize the importance of being proficient in one’s argument.

“Success in debate depends on how well you’re able to adapt to another team’s other arguments and come up with your own out of scratch, even in the fact of arguments that you have no prior experience with,” Viera said.

Viera committed hours of research to come up with arguments and anticipate opponents’ arguments. She and Ki collaborated with one another in coming up with what they would present to the judges at Braddock.

“My passion for debate pushed me to put in a lot of work into winning this tournament because local tournaments, especially ones this early in the year, serve as good indicators towards how the rest of the year is going to play out,” Viera said.

Viera said that she wants to get into the mindset that will allow her to achieve national success later on.

“Braddock served as the kickoff for this year’s debate season, and therefore I knew that doing work and being able to place would get me ready to work more,” she said.

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Mu Alpha Theta excels at National Convention



After weeks of practicing, members of Mu Alpha Theta (MAO) placed fourth overall at the MAO National Convention from July 17-24 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Students competed in three rounds of competition indifferent math subjects ranging from geometry to statistics.

“Our team members work so hard throughout the year individually and in a group setting,” MAO sponsor Jessica Stillman said. “Students spend a week doing math and building friendships Juan Panizawith other members of our school and other schools.”

Senior and president of MAO David Li was proud of his accomplishments in the competitions, especially statistics. Li won second place.

“It felt great winning,” Li said. “I competed because the subject was one of my favorite classes.”

Participating in the MAO National Convention was an unforgettable experience for junior Jalen Jiang. He participated in the pre-calculus division, took tests in algorithms, trigonometry and applications. He also contributed to a team round.

“It was amazing to be with these several hundred students who share a passion in math with me, to be surrounded by the beautiful Utah landscape and make many lasting memories and friends in a single week,” Jiang said.

Students prepared for the MAO National Convention by taking released tests that were given in previous years at the National Convention.

“Practicing makes a huge difference in performance,” Jiang said. “We can be sure of what to expect on those tests.”

Jiang said entering competitions is more than just about winning trophies.

“I’ve come to realize I have a competitive spirit but also a growing appreciation for meeting new people and making friends,” Jiang said. “There are few things that combine competition and camaraderie as well as Mu Alpha Theta.”

Next year MAO anticipates on going to the MAO National Convention once again at Washington University in St. Louis from July 10-15.

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Robotics team qualifies for World Championship



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Tri M Music Honor Society sells ice cream for fundraiser


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

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

Member Sabrina Kim, a junior, organized the fundraiser.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Auto Club fixes, sells cars for fundraiser


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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French Honor Society collects plastic caps for charity


The French Honor Society (FHS) is currently holding a fundraiser, Caps of Love, in which students donate plastic caps from water bottles in order to donate an electric wheelchair to someone in need. Senior Laura Munevar, FHS president, began the fundraiser on Feb. 5.

“In previous years, officers had talked about doing more charity work, and this year as president, I took the responsibility to provide new events to service people in need,” Munevar said. “I did some research and came to know that the organization, Caps Of Love, had actually begun in France and had then spread to the United States.”use

The caps that are donated are then sold to Blue Grass Recycling. With the money produced there, an electric wheelchair is purchased and then given to someone in need of one. Munevar said the goal is to collect up to 1,000 caps.

“The organization is in charge of giving the wheelchair to the disabled recipient, but we just take the initial step of collecting the caps and sending them to the recycling company,” Munevar said.

Although members of French Honor Society would be the only recipients of service hours in return for donations, everyone is encouraged to donate caps.

“I believe members do feel as if they are making a difference,” said senior Camille Chabeneix, FHS vice president. “Once you see the pictures on the website showing kids in the wheelchairs, it is impacting,”

So far, members have donated gallon-sized bags, and officers are hopeful that more donations are to come, Munevar said.

“Although the counting process is time consuming and difficult, we have received a vast amount of caps, and we are sure there will be more donations,” Chabeneix said.

Cap donations are not only useful for the primary cause of giving a wheelchair, but also help keep a green environment.

“Not only are we helping the environment by recycling caps, but we are also contributing to those in need by providing a wheelchair,” Munevar said. “With everyone’s collaboration, we can make a difference.”

Caps may be donated to sponsor Ms. Valdes in room 456. The deadline for the fundraiser has not yet been decided.

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English Honor Society accepting entries for poetry contest


English Honor Society (EHS) is hosting a love-themed poetry contest until March 6. The first-place prize will be $100, the second-place prize $75, and the third-place prize $50. EHS will be not be accepting any more entries after March 6. 17171

EHS sponsor Cecilia Fonseca said she is excited to witness what students can bring to the table when she judges this contest. In order for a student’s work to be submitted, his or her poem must be 20 lines in length and have rhyming verses.

Mrs. Fonseca said with the theme of the contest being love, students are able to get very creative.

“From the students, I am expecting the traditional and hopefully the not-so-traditional. For example, the love of pizza, etc.,” Mrs. Fonseca said.

Mrs. Fonseca also added that almost every academic year, EHS puts on contests like the Short Story contest and other competitions that allow students to expand and test their knowledge in the field of English. These contests try to encourage students to be more involved in writing.

“This contest was formed to give students another opportunity to engage in a literary contest. We had the Short Story, so why not Poetry?” Mrs. Fonseca said.

She anticipates around 50 to 65 students will enter the contest. In the Short Story contest, there was a slightly higher number of participants, but because this contest is a new one, participation may be lower.

“The participation in this contest really depends on how interested the Creative Writing classes are,” Mrs. Fonseca said. “For the Short Story contest, all three winners came from Ms. [Joyce] Seigel’s class. Not even English Honor Society had a high number of entries.”

Freshman Alexia Young has entered a piece of her poetry into this contest. When writing, her inspiration will come to her at random times, and when an idea arises, she will utilize it to her best ability, Young said.

“I entered my work in this contest because I like to write poetry and thought it would be something fun for me to do and hopefully there will be a good result from it,” she said. “I am able to test my strengths against these students, and if I win, it looks good on my college application.”

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