Remembering Chaney King

Chaney King graduated from Heritage High School in the class of 2000. She had a remarkable bubbly and inspiring personality that was irreplaceable. She was always happy and no matter what was happening she would say “it’s all good”. She was a swimmer and a star student while at Heritage. After she graduated she then continued on to the Air Force Academy.

10 years ago this month Chaney King was tragically killed in car accident at the age of 20. She was a passenger in the car with her boyfriend when he didn’t see an overgrown stop sign. Their Jeep Wrangler was t-boned by an oncoming car. She was killed on impact and he spent a week in a coma.

She was in the middle of her sophomore year and was a Falcon Scholar Cadet. When she died she it shook both the Air Force and Heritage Community.

Alina Guldy ’13 took private swimming lessons from her and her death left mark on her life. The King’s are family friends and Chaney was a role model to her. When she died it was her first exposure to death and changed her path. Guldy then switched her focus from swimming to gymnastics.

“It is important to remember Chaney because she was such an incredible individual. She was the Rachael Joy Scoot of my world,” says Guldy.

The Falcon foundation hosts the Chaney King Bike Ride/Run in honor of her. The proceeds of the race go towards the Academy.

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Print in the making

Artwork by Lauren Harrington

Nestled back in an art room on the first floor Mr. Bernal’s printmaking class is hard at work carving out various images for their next exciting assignment.

Senior Lauren Harrington recalls that the printmaking class works with three main types of prints; relief prints, reductive relief prints, and intaglio prints.

“My favorite project was the second project we did which was the reductive relief prints. This one was fun because you had to take your time with it and be very exact and if you did that your project came out great. I did a zebra for my print and it turned out better than I had originally envisioned it,” says Harrington.

The process of making these prints of course varies based on each project.

“The majority you carve a design or image into a surface like linoleum, wood, plastic, then cover it with ink, and finally roll it onto the paper. [It’s] kinda like paintings but you can produce more than one of the same piece at a time,” states Harrington.

As class registration gets underway and the last few credits are hard to find Addie Wilkins ’13 strongly recommends looking into the printmaking class.

“I would absolutely recommend this class to other students! Mr. Bernal gives us instruction and then lets us have a lot of freedom in our projects which I really enjoy. He is also extremely encouraging and very helpful. It was a wonderful experience and made my day a little bit more enjoyable.”

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Once upon a winter musical

“Once Upon a Mattress”
February 28, March 1 & 2
7pm nightly + 2pm Sat. matinee
Purchase tickets online!
seatyourself.biz/heritage

Heritage’s theatre department welcomes more talent for this year’s musical, “Once Upon a Mattress.”

This year’s musical puts a whimsical twist on the childhood tale, “The Princess and the Pea.” For his first musical, Seth Deeter ’14 is very excited for show night.

“Being my first, it’s all very exciting and there is so much going on and I love it already,” explains Deeter.

Heritage’s play and musical choices vary from year to year and each year they are completely opposite from last year’s choices. Even the musicals themselves differ significantly from the plays.

“It’s not that the fall plays don’t have life to them, because they do, it’s just that the way musicals are set up brings more life and positive energy that just happens naturally within a show,” states Taylor Wallace ’13.

Plays have the more literal level on the stage, where musicals have more spectacle.

“I enjoy musicals so much; they have more aspects than plays. You have the choreography, the orchestra, the ensemble, it just has so much more spectacle,” says Mr. Fischer, music teacher.

Not only do the musicals bring more life to the stage, but they also bring more actors to the stage.

“I really enjoy how the musicals bring more choir kids around rather than just the theatre kids,” states Georgina Rayne ’13. “It brings more people together and we create a fuller experience.”

There is a tiny ingredient in musicals that spark more interest in people.

“In plays, there is a lot of work, a lot of work but still really fun,” explains Duane Taylor ‘14, one of the leads. “In musicals there is still a lot of work but it is a lot but it is more open and free.”

It is not that musicals are better than plays, they just differ in aspects which make them more appealing to various people whether people prefer the more verisimilitude side or the livelier, “out of the water” feel on stage.

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Partnering up with Unified

The Unified team prepares for a game in the Heritage gym.

The coaches teach them the game. The fans cheer them on. The players give it their all. And the partners — the Heritage students on the court beside their HHS PACE teammates — make Unified Eagles a positive and exciting experience for everyone involved.

As Special Olympics Colorado describes, Unified partners become teammates and friends with the athletes, “promoting physical health and bringing people together.” Heritage partners have fully embraced this mission.

“There is no other sport with such enthusiasm and great sportsmanship,” says Rachel Street ’13, one of a handful of seniors who have played on the Unified team for four seasons.

Veteran player Rachel Lukowicz ’13 agrees, recalling a favorite event that epitomizes the level of sportsmanship Unified entails.

“There was one game when the other team didn’t have enough partners, and so a handful of us went and played for the other team. It was just so much fun because everyone was so cool and laid back about it!” she shares. “Sportsmanship at its finest.”

The team has practices on Tuesdays and games on Wednesdays, usually at Heritage, throughout January and February. The games are open to the public and both the players and the partners appreciate enthusiastic audiences.

This year, the team is massive. Almost 100 partners support about 15 players. This has both benefits and drawbacks.

“A big issue the team faces is getting to know the players and getting the players to recognize you,” says Shelly Youngkin ’13, who has also been a partner since her freshman year. “Getting one-on-one time with a player is very challenging, but you just have to say ‘Hi’ and talk to them every chance you get until the both of you know each other well.”

Lukowicz enjoys the sense of community that comes from such a big team.

“Because there are so many partners, we switch off during the game on who is on the court, but we all practice together,” she says. “Each partner can usually only go in for three or four minutes, but if you’re not on the court we are always cheering and having fun in the stands.”

Street agrees, adding, “Even if the players don’t know all of us by name, they still feel the support of a huge team!”

All of the returning seniors are glad they had the opportunity to play year after year, citing Unified as a highlight of their high school experiences.

“The attitude of the team is what brought me back every year,” says Youngkin. “Every player there wants to be there and wants to play basketball and that is such a positive environment to be around. The players are some of the happiest people I know. It’s so inspiring to be around those players because their happiness can be from something as simple as a basket.”

“I truly believe it’s the most beneficial and joyous thing anyone can be a part of in high school,” says Jamon Armitstead ’13. “It’s really that powerful of an experience, every single game.”

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Diving off the fiscal cliff

A graph displaying how collected income taxes are dispersed throughout government systems

The phrase “fiscal cliff” has been spreading like wildfire through newspapers, books, magazines, blogs, websites, economics classes and discussions around the world. The Council on Foreign Relations explains that “fiscal cliff” refers to a time when, if there are no changes made to the nation’s financial laws, taxes increase, government spending decreases and its deficit slowly reduces. The most immediate effect involves increasing the income tax and stopping the tax breaks.

Income taxes are how much money a person pays to the government, determined by a pre-set percentage rate.  The income taxes are separated and dispersed throughout different sectors of the government. Because of the new year and the fiscal cliff, income taxes have increased and citizens will be walking away from work with a little less money in their paycheck.

Makenna Frahman ‘13, a hostess at the Melting Pot of Littleton, noticed these changes as well.

“I didn’t notice it at first,” Frahman says. “But after closely looking at my paycheck from the end of December into the beginning of January, I noticed that I had earned a little less than my previous 2012 paycheck, even though I worked a ton over winter break.”

The payroll tax increased from 4.2% to 6.2%, according to journalofaccountancy.com; a significant change in the amount of final pay stubs. Yet, the minimum wages of some states have increased, closing the monetary gap.

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Tune out of autotune

The warbled, computerized voices flood out of my car speakers.  Robot voices.  Voices that cause me to angrily smash my palm against the dashboard and shut off the radio.  Autotune has taken over the music scene, and I am not happy about it.  In fact, I’m spitting mad.

Now, I’m the first to admit that pop and Top 20 music isn’t my thing.  The lyrics seem mostly hollow and meaningless, or about trivial topics such as partying and other school inappropriate behaviors.  You are much more likely to find me listening to rock and metal at full blast to drown out the autotune blaring on every radio station.  To put it bluntly, I feel like autotune masks the voices of iffy to not-so-great singers and boots aside real talent.  Why really work when a computer can alter your voice and make it sound “great” anyway?  People eat it up.

Sure, it might add a certain edge to some songs, and at times it can add something to the music, if used in moderation.  However, when used in excess (I’m looking at you, T-Pain) it just ruins everything.  There are thousands of aspiring musicians with pure talent who find themselves floundering around in a state of anonymity due to the flood of popstar wannabees and robot impersonators.

There’s a time and place for autotune, but it certainly won’t be making its way onto my iPod any time soon.  I prefer raw talent and natural voices, not ones that have to be filtered through a computer to sing about menial topics.  To each their own though.  Everyone is entitled to their own taste in music, and I’d be the last person to harp on someone’s music choices.

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Alcohol allowed?

Almost everyone has witnessed underage drinking either in person or through the media. Tons of parties happen every year across the country, and to see minors drinking is a common occurrence. No matter how much of an effort the nation puts into restricting this activity, it cannot be fully prevented. Why should we keep the legal age for the consumption of alcohol at 21 years old when the country’s 18 year olds can marry, vote or go to war? Once a teen turns 18, he or she should be able to share a glass of champagne at graduation or have a beer at dinner with other adults.

“I propose that the drinking age be lowered to about 18 or 19 and permit those of legal age to consume in socially controlled environment such as restaurants and official school and university functions,” says Dr. Ruth Engs of potsdam.edu   If the law was changed so that 18-year-olds could drink, they wouldn’t have to do it illegally in the darkest corners of society. Teenagers could have supervision when drinking to learn moderation and to be kept out of dangerous situations. A plethora of kids get intoxicated as fast as they can so they will have the alcohol in their system. Wouldn’t it make more sense to let kids drink when they reach adulthood so that they can learn to control their alcohol intake? If it weren’t so rebellious to consume alcohol, would as many people do it?

I think not. I believe that high school and young college students are so keen on drinking, at least partly, because of the adrenaline of breaking the rules. If teens are given the freedom to do things they already do behind closed doors, then not as many of them will do it. If they are allotted a place to safely consume alcohol, won’t enter social situations where they will put themselves and other people in danger. The current generation should be given the chance to prove themselves as worthy and responsible adults.

I understand the reasoning behind MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) and I sympathize with the families who have lost a loved one because of drunk drivers. That being said, however, I feel that I must make a thought provoking statement: If America allowed teens to drink three years earlier, their responsibility may be higher and the number of alcohol related incidents and casualties could be lower than today’s.

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Keeping HHS students secure

The past year has been a scary one for America. Many shootings have happened, and many people have lost their lives because of gun violence. After the shooting at Newtown, schools across the country have started to either create new safety protocols or reinforce ones that have already been instated, and Heritage is not an exception.

Ms. Stacey Riendeau, Principal, and Mrs. Janet Sedivy, Assistant Principal who is also in charge of safety, believe that there are many steps that can be taken to protect Heritage and prevent violent incidents from happening.

“Honestly, none of our safety policies have changed except for the magnets being put in the doors around the school so that they cannot be opened from the outside,” says Riendeau. “We are just trying to make sure that the students will increase their level of awareness as to what the safety protocols are,” she says, referring to plans already in place like not opening doors for strangers outside and having safety officers all over campus.

“We’ve started doing drills because we think that it will make the student population feel safer,” says Sedivy. “We don’t want to confuse the drill for the real thing, which is why we’ve had teachers communicate this plan with the students.”

Riendeau and Sedivy both emphasized on how important it is to prevent bullying in the school, so that the school can prevent violent issues from occurring.

“The only way to stay safe is to have open conversations when something doesn’t feel right,” says Riendeau. “We need to get the resources for the people who are having violent thoughts before they get to the point where they feel like they need to be heard.”

The administration spends a lot of time following up on tips and concerns from students and staff members. Every time that a bullying incident is reported, whether it is online or at school, the administration addresses the issue and tries to prevent violence from getting any further.

“The building is very safe and secure, and we do believe that this is one of the safest places for students to be,” says Sedivy.

Mrs. Katie Krumm started teaching at Heritage in 1998 and believes that in order to stay safe the staff and administration need to talk to the students about real dangers.

“These issues could be avoided if we stand unified against any violence,” says Krumm. “We can never be one-hundred percent sure that we can stay safe, but having students be aware of the presence of threats, security guards and what the protocol is can help immeasurably against any future violence.”

Littleton Public Schools is rated eleventh in the nation for being one of the safest school districts.

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Putting an end to the winter doldrums

The best winter movies

Catch up on some great movies this winter season. There are plenty of classics out there that are guaranteed to keep your mind off of the dreary weather.

Christmas is over and it goes without saying that it’s not really socially-acceptable to watch Christmas movies any more. But just because you had to pack away the tree and lights doesn’t mean that those warm, cozy nights in front of the T.V. are over. There are plenty of outstanding movies to catch up on over the next few weeks of winter that are sure to put an end to your winter doldrums.

My obvious choice for those cold, dreary nights would be none other than one of the acclaimed Marvel flicks, ranging anywhere from Captain America: The First Avenger, to any of the two Iron Man movies, to Thor and finally to the cumulative Marvel superhero movie The Avengers. These action-packed superhero masterpieces are sure to bring out the hero in you. Before long, you’ll forget it’s winter because all that’s on your mind is fighting crime.

Maybe superhero movies are too far-fetched for you. If so, this is a good time to watch the romantic classic Titanic. Don’t groan—yes it gets a ton of recognition but Valentine’s Day is coming up and it does have an irresistible forbidden love story.

If you don’t have a “significant other” and don’t care for romantic flicks, there are way too many great action/adventure movie series around for you to waste those winter nights staring out the window at the bleak weather. Dreary winter evenings provide a prime time to catch up on your favorite action flicks, such as the Bourne trilogy plus its latest addition, The Bourne Legacy.

With Skyfall having been released, those of you who are daring may want to sit down for a James Bond marathon. And yes, you have to watch all twenty-three movies for it to be legitimate. You better bring extra popcorn.

If the Bourne or the Bond movies aren’t your cup of tea, how about settling in for an evening of older action classics like Star Wars or Indiana Jones? You can’t go wrong with these flicks!
And if you still can’t settle on a flick for movie night, I recommend a simple, hilarious classic like Forrest Gump, The Princess Bride or one of the Back to the Future films. These movies never fail to entertain and are sure to cure even the worst cases of winteritis.

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