Heritage student enlists in Air Force

Heritage Student Devan Walsh ’15 has made the decision to enlist in the United States Air Force after graduation in May. Walsh was officially sworn into the military on Thursday, February 26.

For Walsh, the dream to join the Air Force began during the second semester of her junior year.

“I decided that I wanted to join the Air Force last year around Spring Break. I went on the website just to check it out and then after I went through the several job choices that I was eligible for, I couldn’t turn away. I was hooked,” she says.

Walsh isn’t the first of her family to join the Armed Forces.

“It’s really an honor to be able to say that I am getting to be a part of it. The history is so amazing that it’s unreal to me that I get to actually participate. I come from a long list of people in my family who have served as well, so I guess you could say it’s a family tradition,” she says.

Walsh’s family members are proud of her for making the decision to serve her country.

“I could not be more proud of my daughter. From the moment she was born, I knew she would accomplish great things. Although I will miss her every day, I am thrilled that she is following her dreams. I have no doubt that Devan will continue to be successful; she doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘fail,’” says Ms. Mary Narkunas, Devan’s mother.

While most seniors in high school have to wait to begin their life after high school until August, Walsh’s training for the Air Force begins June 16, the day she leaves for boot camp, which will take place in San Antonio, Texas.

“I am most excited for my ship day, as crazy as it sounds. Boot camp is going to be quite an experience, but I know I can make it. I also think receiving my first orders will be exciting, there are countless bases all over the world so there’s a good chance that I’ll get to travel,” she says.

After June 16, Walsh will participate in eight-and-a-half weeks of basic training before continuing on to technical school. She plans on competing for one of 85 commissions to the Air Force Academy after enlisting, and hopes to possibly take an officer position in the future. She currently has nine possible jobs on her list, including security forces, air traffic control, aircraft armament, munitions and nuclear, or possibly working in the canine unit.

“I’m really hoping for security forces. It’s a dream of mine to become a defender,” she says.

As of now, Devan Walsh '15 is still a normal student at Heritage. However, in June, she will leave for boot camp and officially join the Air Force.

As of now, Devan Walsh ’15 is still a normal student at Heritage. However, in June, she will leave for boot camp and officially join the Air Force.

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Traveling again

After taking nine students to England, France and Italy last summer, Ms. Jackie Peach is preparing for it again, this time to Spain and Portugal.

During the summer of 2016, Peach and students will be traveling with Education First Tours for 12 days to Spain and Portugal, and with a short extension to Morocco. Any students who will be 16 by June of 2016 are eligible to travel on this European vacation. Students wanting to travel must know that this trip is not sponsored by Heritage.

Chaperoning EF Tours trips allows Peach to bring what she teaches inside the classroom to life.

“Most of the kids who participated in the last trip had never been out of the country before and their excitement about going to a new place and experiencing a new culture was definitely worth all the work that goes into planning a trip. It is truly an eye-opening experience, and it’s cool to be part of that experience,” says Peach.

The first informational meeting about the trip was on March 18, 2015 at Bemis Library. However, meetings will continue throughout the year for students and parents.

“We will discuss what the generic itinerary will look like, costs, how the program is run and I will answer any questions that parents/kids might have pertaining to the trip,” says Peach.

Jennifer Brewer ’15, a student who traveled with Peach last year, thought that this kind of trip was life changing and that others should be able to experience this as well.

“I think others should try to travel the world because it teaches you some amazing life lessons and you get to meet great people from all around the world,” says Brewer.

However, for any students not able to travel during the summer or for additional travel, there is a possible 2016 spring break trip. For any additional questions, talk to Ms. Peach in the Heritage Social Studies Department.

Students that traveled with Peach and EF Tours last year, got to see historical landmarks all around Europe.

Students that traveled with Peach and EF Tours last year got to see historical landmarks all around Europe.






The students got to meet people from different cultures and speak in European languages.

The students also got to meet people from different cultures and speak in European languages.

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Senioritis affecting Heritage

Second semester, infamously known for slacking off that occurs at Heritage High School, presents itself once again with a new batch of “senioritis”.

Senioritis occurs when a student, not always a senior, begins to slack off due to the high pressures of the school year that is beginning to come to an end.

Typically, it is most prevalent towards the end of February.

“You see it start creeping in junior classes. It affects not only just the seniors, but the entire school,” says Mr. Dave Collins, a Heritage High School History teacher.

From a student perspective, it is hard to motivate oneself to do schoolwork when the weather is spring-like and statewide testing is coming up.

senioritis pic

Many students concentrate on their phone and social life rather than their school work.

“It’s hard to focus on school when I know that graduation is so close, and Netflix seems like a much better option,” says Ally Lambrecht ’15.

With graduation around the corner for most seniors, the procrastination of school work in order to spend time with friends, whom they will be shortly leaving, is becoming a trend.

There is a perception among students that once they are accepted into a college, senior year is irrelevant. However, colleges have the power to revoke an admissions if they feel it is needed.

Senioritis is affecting all of Heritage. As freshmen look to the upperclassmen, they begin to copy their actions of how they handle their schoolwork. However, it becomes a problem when most of the students at a high school begin to slack off in their work.

The school year of 2014-2015 is almost over, but it might not end with a bang.

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Trail blazes through Richmond

From February 13-16, Marleena Trail, a Heritage student, traveled to Richmond, Virginia to compete in the annual Junior Olympic Fencing Championships.

Over the course of the four-day tournament, Trail, who represented her fencing club, the Fencing Academy of Denver, competed in two events out of a total of 287 fencers.

“I love to travel and I’ve never been to Virginia, so this was a great excuse to go. Also, fencing in the Junior Olympics is a huge honor, and the experience is a reward in itself,” says Trail.

Trail and coach Mr. Tom Strzalkowski prepare for an upcoming fencing bout. (Photo courtesy of Marleena Trail.)

Trail and her coach, Mr. Tom Strzalkowski, prepare for an upcoming fencing bout. (Photo courtesy of Marleena Trail.)

Trail’s events included talent from around the country and were separated into a Cadet division (at or under 16 years old) and a Junior division (at or under 19 years old). In addition to the fencers, coaches from around the world attended the tournament, adding an element of diversity and experience that made the tournament worthwhile for Trail.

“I am so proud of her! I know how hard she works and how much she loves fencing. It was really awesome seeing her reach one of her goals,” says Alicia Sather ’16.

Outside of competing, the tournament offered Trail the opportunity to bond with her nine other FAD teammates who also participated in the championships. Support is a significant part of fencing, and although Trail was fencing alone on the fencing strip, her teammates, coaches, parents and friends were all on the sidelines cheering her on.

“When you haul 10 fencers across the country to compete the camaraderie is intense. We go to each other’s events and support one another. Team dinners are the best, too, because that’s when we get to know each other in normal circumstances,” says Trail.

After all was said and done, Trail took away the new experience and knowledge she gained from her time in Richmond.

“This year I was really shown how much improvement I’ve made since last year. Last year I competed in two events, lost all but one pool and didn’t make it to DE’s [direct elimination]. This year i made it to DE’s in both events…It’s an encouraging thought,” says Trail.

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