SGA officer training helps new officers learn the ropes



In order to teach club officers about their leadership positions, the Inter-Organizational Council (IOC) hosted an officer-training workshop on Oct. 13 in the auditorium and classrooms in the 100s building. More than 150 officers from 52 clubs attended the workshop.  All officers were welcome, but treasurers of each club were required to attend.

“[The training] basically taught [officers] how to do their job better and easier with less mistakes,” senior and Student Government Association (SGA) 1st Vice President Daniela Hernandez said.  “In SGA, we are taught by the previous officers, and I don’t think other officers get a chance to do that, so we are the teachers for them.”

Club officers were divided into three groups and rotated at three workshops.  These workshops were Communication & Project Planning, Officer Team Dynamics and Time Management & Member Motivation.

“I thought the workshops were extremely helpful,” junior and President of Debbie’s Dream Daniela Schwartz said.  “I learned a lot of great tips from SGA officers on how to communicate better with the officers and club members. The training also provided great tips on how to plan events using time management and organization.”

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PRIDE hosts Health Fair to give back to community



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

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

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

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

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

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Best Buddies hosts annual match party


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

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

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

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NHS brings volunteers to charity run



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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HOSA ice cream social attracts new members


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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SHAPE donates books to less fortunate children


b91e1e3d-209e-49a5-9fc8-cf962a82606bStudents Helping Achieve Philanthropic Excellence (SHAPE) participated in a book drive to give Collins Elementary, an underprivileged elementary school, the opportunity to enrich the student’s academics. The club collected more than 1200 books, and 15 members went to donate the books on Feb. 25. In addition to donating the books, club members made bookmarks and read to students in Collins Elementary after-care program.

“The SHAPE Club’s mission is to focus their efforts and funding on education, specifically the needs of underprivileged primary school-aged children,” Julie Klitzner, adviser of SHAPE Club said. “Through research, the SHAPE Club connected with Collins Elementary, which fits this criteria.”

Vice President of Community Service, Alexa Luongo said she had a change of perspective on life after the experience of dropping the books off to the school.

“I realized many kids take things for granted and these kids at Collins Elementary have nothing,” Luongo said. “I was able to see everything first hand. Donating over 1,000 books to students who didn’t even have any books was such an amazing experience.”

Mrs. Klitzner said that both, teachers and students were grateful to receive the books for entertainment and academics.

“Teachers are able to have more books in their classrooms for reading assignments and enrichment activities,” Mrs. Klitzner said. “For instance, Collins is having Dr. Seuss week and we delivered a box of Dr. Seuss books. Teachers couldn’t grab them fast enough.”

Along with members of SHAPE Club, other classes were also encouraged to donate books. AP Art History teacher, Gretchen Marfisi, collected more than 200 books to help contribute to the drive.

“The AP Art History students took the time to look for their old books and to be part with their precious treasures.” Mrs. Marfisi said. “The young students were delighted to have the donated the Bay’s books.”

Based on the outcome of the drive, SHAPE Club plans on working to help other schools in need.

“It made us want to continue working with these kids because we can tell that they appreciate us and we enjoy giving back to them,” Luongo said.

At the end of the visit, they were allowed to pick a book to take home. These students also had the opportunity to take home additional books for their siblings.

“They were really happy to have such an assortment of books to choose from because they are all just starting to read,”Mrs. Klitzner said. “They treated the books like presents.”

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Wildlife Protection Club attends Gumbo Limbo to view rehabilitated animals

IMG_6321Seven members of the Wildlife Protection Club (WPC) went to the nature and rehabilitation center, Gumbo Limbo, in Boca Raton on Feb. 20 to observe how rehabilitation centers treat their animals.

“It was really cool to see the different types of tanks the animals live in, what their diets consist of and their interactions with other animals,” said club co-president Rachel Gutner.

Gutner said it was important for the club to go to Gumbo Limbo because it encouraged conservation efforts within the club by exposing members to nature centers.

“We want club members to experience as many nature centers as possible so that we spread knowledge and awareness about taking care of animals and the environment,” she said.

Senior Colton Murphree, a WPC member, said he was glad to see the volunteers at Gumbo Limbo help prepare the animals to go back into the wild after rehabilitation.

“It was my first time going and it was such a great experience to see all of the sea turtles, stingrays and different types of fish healing in a safe environment,” he said.

While at Gumbo Limbo, members saw how large the rehabilitation center was. Murphree said he didn’t realize how often animals need rehabilitation.

“I was shocked to see the amount of animals in the rehabilitation center,” he said. “I learned that most animals get injured from trash people leave all the time.”

Murphree said he will now be more cautious about littering and picking up litter he sees on the ground because of this experience.

“The last thing I want is to contribute to the injuries of the animals,” he said. “I want to do everything in my power to make sure less animals need rehabilitation from human caused injuries.”

WPC Vice President Camila Lim Hing said the animals were treated with love and care at the rehabilitation center.

“The volunteers were so passionate about helping the animals,” she said. “It’s great to see a place taking such pride in making sure animals get proper care after getting injured.”

Even though it was a far trip for WPC, Lim Hing said she would definitely want to go back to feed the fish and revisit the animals in rehabilitation.

“It was such a cool experience to see all of the different types of fish and get to feed them out of our hands,” she said.




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ASL hold Valentine’s Day social for members


American Sign Language (ASL) Club held its annual Valentine’s Day social filled with ice cream, games and activities, in portable 33 on Feb. 11. The 25 members of the club attended the social and received snacks along with further information on upcoming events.

“I feel like the club has really taken off this year. We have so many more members now,” senior Samantha Fanells said. “It’s nice to have a social like this because we really get to meet everyone and make more friends.”

During the social, ASL Club played Valentine’s Day-themed games such as having to balance candy hearts on a stick as they traveled to place their hearts in the cup. The team with the most Candy hearts in its cup won the game.

“This allows the members to bond and if they can bond and create friendships now it makes it so much more meaningful when they work together on other projects the club does,” ASL club sponsor Allison Coombs said.

After the games and ice cream, ASL officers talked about ways to get involved in the deaf community such as deaf community service and book readings.

“The best part of learning the language is getting practical experience,” ASL adviser Allison Coombs said. “Going out to deaf events gives students the opportunity to practice the language.”

Junior Sophia Hrassnigg, president of ASL, said this event was held because it is a fun way to show the club’s appreciation for its members along with informing them.

“The event was something the officers and I wanted to do,” Hrassnigg said.

“We wanted something fun for the members to show that they did work really hard.”

When members walked in, they were greeted with an ice cream bar set up with chocolate and vanilla. They could chose from toppings such as hot fudge, candy and whipped cream. Club member, freshman Madison Liebman said the desserts were appreciated and brought a fun atmosphere.

“I really like ice cream, so it was a lot of fun to be able to come and enjoy it with other club members.” Leibman said. We all had a great time eating and hanging out.”

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beach cleanup

Wildlife Protection Club attends beach cleaup


The Wildlife Protection Club (WPC) went to John U Lloyd Beach State Park on Jan. 16 for its second beach cleanup of the year and to spread awareness about the environment. Ten people attended the event, which was open to members and nonmembers.

“Cleaning up the beach was really rewarding because not only did we have fun at the beach, [but also] we were helping the environment,” said club president Hannah Gutner.

Gutner said it’s important to clean up beaches, because people litter without realizing how it affects the animals.

“People don’t realize how severely a small piece of plastic can harm an animal when they throw their trash on the ground,” she said.

Club sponsor Amy Lupu said turtles eat the trash people leave behind and choke and often times die.beach cleanup

“Going out and cleaning the beach sets the example for others to care for the environment as well,” Ms. Lupu said.

WPC Vice President Camila Lim Hing said she always attends beach cleanups because she is very passionate about being an active member of the community.

“This is not my first beach clean up, and I’ve participated in many other beach clean ups with other clubs not affiliated with WPC,” Lim Hing said. “Not to mention I take a trash bag and pick up any trash when I go to the beach on my own time.”

Unlike the last beach clean up, WPC hosted a barbecue after as a reward for cleaning up the beach and a bonding experience.

“The barbecue is something we have never done before, and it was a really fun way to get club members and nonmembers acquainted,” Gutner said.

Club member Caitlin Mirabella said this was her first beach cleanup, and it was an eye-opening experience to see all of the litter at the beach.

“The beach was mostly littered with plastic bottle caps, plastic bags and Styrofoam,“ she said. “I didn’t realize how poorly people treat nature, and I was shocked to realize how much trash was around me as I cleaned up.”

Mirabella said she is glad she attended because she had a great and memorable time with the club.

“Even though I couldn’t stay for the barbecue, I still had a lot of fun cleaning up the beach, and I can’t wait to attend the next one,” she said.

Like Mirabella, Club member Mason Eiss said he had a great time cleaning up the beach, the barbecue was his favorite part of the event.

“The barbecue was a great addition to the event because it provides delicious food, a great atmosphere to meet the members and a nice reward after cleaning the beach,” he said.

WPC plans on having another beach cleanup in March.

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Short story contest offers monetary prize to students


As the English Honor Society’s (EHS) annual short story contest began its 12th cycle, so did students creating short stories to the set theme. Several students had the opportunity to write a short story under the topic “I opened the door and out came…” with the chance of winning the first place prize of $100, the second place prize of $75 or the third place prize of $50.

“The purpose of the short story contest is to allow Cypress Bay students to showcase their talents in a competitive, yet friendly atmosphere,” EHS sponsor Cecilia Fonseca said. “At the same time, they are able to reap a monetary reward.”

EHS Vice President Jacob Wilentz came up with the theme. He said he chose this because he wanted the writer to continue the topic by filling in the blank with any idea he or she desired.

“In my creative writing class, we wrote a story around the theme, ‘I opened the box and out came…’” Wilentz said. “The topic was very successful and we saw a lot of great ideas. It will be cool to see people express themselves differently through the same sentence.”

Although EHS ran the contest, any student was eligible to enter.

“As much as I love EHS students entering the contest, I would love to see students outside of EHS enter as well,” Mrs. Fonseca said

Sophomore Rotimi Odewole, who is not a member of EHS, entered the contest because he enjoys creative writing.

“I’ve been writing since I was young because it’s something I thoroughly enjoy,” Odewole said. “I thought, why not give it a shot.”

Even though there was a cash prize, Odewole said he was not competing for the cash prize.

“I hope to win not only for the recognition but also for people to know that this is something I can do and something I am good at,” Odewole said.

EHS continues to host these writing contests, such as an upcoming poetry contest, to allow students to profess their love of writing.

“We encourage and want to see how one line can be interpreted in a million different ways,” Wilentz said. “Everyone in Cypress Bay can use that line in a different and unique way to make a really cool story.”

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