Trapped in a Box

This year for MAD Week, Heritage High School added a new fundraiser: the Teacher in a Box. Two teachers and an administrator were “trapped” in a box for an hour and the students could give money to either make them smile or squirm.

Mr. Fischer is listen to music to start jamming to in his heels.

Mr. Fischer is listen to music to start jamming to in his heels.

The smile category included things like their favorite drink or food, or maybe some tunes they really enjoy. The squirm category, which was where most of the money went to, included their fears or things they didn’t want to do.

“The teachers they used where really

funny and played along really well. I really liked Fischer’s, it was awesome when he had to wax his legs,” says Morgan Castle ’15.

The people who were trapped were Mr. Fischer, Mrs. DeVries and Mrs. Riendeau. All of these teachers were great supporters and ended up raising a lot more money than was expected. Teacher in a Box raised $987.20 in just three off hours.

“I thought it was really funny and it was a fun new way to make money for MAD week,” says Michelle Near ’15.

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You are what you eat

The saying “you are what you eat” isn’t taken as seriously as it should be. Everything that enters the body either hurts it or helps it; there’s no in between.

Since the beginning of 2015 I had been eating a primal diet consisting of Katie Kelley PIcfruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and meat. No dairy, grains or legumes entered my body for the first three months of the year and I never felt better. I never really took the whole “you are what you eat” concept seriously until I started feeling so much better when I wasn’t eating processed, fake foods.

To see if the saying “you are what you eat” is true I did a little experiment where after eating primal for three months I decided to eat whatever I wanted to for three weeks. I went out to lunch with friends and ate at Café Rio, Noodles and Company, Qdoba and Coldstone to just name a few. From ice cream to noodles to cookies and every other processed junk food imaginable, it all went into my body. My conclusion is that “you are what you eat” is extremely true.

While eating whatever I wanted to, I felt like I was being punch in the stomach after every meal. I had multiple headaches, dehydration and stomach aches. My body was so accustomed to eating primal that every time I ate food with additives in my food and processed junk I felt like I was going to be sick. On top of feeling sick after every time I ate, my performance in the gym also decreased. Over the three weeks I easily lifted 20 pounds less on each lift. I noticed I was constantly tired and all I wanted to do was sleep.

When my food choices were primal my energy levels and performance in general was much higher. The food that enters the body only hurts it or helps it. When I was eating whatever I wanted, I had more flavor variety but I also wasn’t functioning at my full potential. The food I was eating was hurting my body.

It can be a challenge to eat primal; however, the benefits outweigh the costs of giving up some of the best processed foods. Fuel your body so that the food you’re eating helps you instead of hurts you.

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The Pioneer Webseries Episode 104: The Best Films of 2014, Part 1

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Photo Illustration by Michael Neave

Click here to watch the episode.

On today’s episode of The Pioneer, the crew reviews two of our personal favorites from the year: “Gone Girl” and “Birdman (or the unexpected virtue of ignorance).” Join us next week for the final episode of the year.

Produced by MACE|FIlm in cooperation with Heritage News Production

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Silencing journalism

Having been a reporter and an online editor for the school newspaper, I have had to deal with a variety of obstacles, from hitting deadlines to setting up interviews.

However, the one thing that looms over my head every time I publish an article is not the anxiety of reaching a word count, but the fear that my voice will be silenced or defamed.

Censorship photo

As news publications are censored, journalism loses its meaning and people are deprived of their right to information.

In our contemporary society, censorship is often viewed as the domain of oppressive totalitarian regimes; it is something so seemingly far away from the values of a democratic society—such as our own—that we do not want to believe that it could happen to us. In reality, censorship is a common facet of our media culture.

It isn’t enough that the Bill of Rights asserts the protection of free speech and press when its basic principles are not affirmed and upheld. According to the First Amendment Center, there have been 94 cases involving the First Amendment that have reached the United States Supreme Court in the past 13 years. While the U.S. is arguably one of the safest places to speak and publish freely, we are not perfect; we do not always adhere to our founding ideals.

Censorship of the media is not confined to domestic hypocrisy, however. Free speech and press still have plenty of headway to make the world over before we can call ourselves liberated. The unhindered exchange and communication of information is the natural enemy of oppression, and to censor is to deny ourselves of our inherent rights to life, liberty and happiness.

The free flow of information has been greatly facilitated by the Internet, and with this new route comes new pressures to obstruct its path. Without the ability to share this information, we cannot hope to grow as a global community.

As a reporter and editor for a news publication, it is my mission to uphold the ideals of freedom of press and speech, to showcase the good and expose the bad. Censorship is not the road to a world where “bad” things cease to exist, but only to a world where if we ignore the bad, we convince ourselves that it does not exist. However, the bad cannot be kept under wraps indefinitely.

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Students take the stage at Mr. Eagle 2015

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Jared Leonard takes the crown at the 2015 Mr. Eagle boys beauty and talent competition.

Jared Leonard ’15 took home the title of Mr. Eagle 2015, the flowers, crown and $150 at this year’s Mr. Eagle competition. Stunning everyone with his unique talent, his performance of 38 songs in six minutes kept everyone in awe.

“I feel stunned that I was crowned Mr. Eagle. I worked very hard on my talent and rehearsing my dance so that I had a chance at winning. It’s a great feeling,” says Leonard.

At the Mr. Eagle competition, boys have two awards to strive for: Mr. Eagle is the big winner, as well as a smaller prize, Mr. Money Maker. Throughout the week, the boys raised money to donate to the MAD Week cause, and the boy who raised the most money would win the title of Mr. Money Maker.

This year, the money was donated to Doctors without Borders. Leonard raised the most money throughout the week, thus claiming the title of Mr. Money Maker.

“Being crowned Mr. Eagle will be my lasting legacy at Heritage. Winning this award is more than beating the other boys at who is the funniest and most handsome, but it is the senior boy who shows pride, character and excellence,” says Leonard.

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Overconfident snowboarders lead to crashes

Ever since snowboarding emerged in the 1970s, recreational skiers and mountain resorts have faced safety concerns for young skiers and in the face of an increase in injury risk due to reckless riders.

I, as an avid skier, have had a handful of smashes and crashes with snowboarders on multiple mountains.  Every accident has involved a snowboarder who has had neither the agility nor the skill to make a sudden stop or turn.  Each incident has involved a high speed collision in an area where caution should be taken.  From what I can gather, a combination of overconfidence, equipment limitations and a lack of consideration is the reason snowboarders cause accidents.

The culture and style surrounding snowboarding encompasses a wild, radical image of shredding down the mountain.  This image does not include the important message that it is important for snowsports participants to develop the necessary skills before taking risks on the mountain.  It is also necessary for boarders to recognize that soft, comfortable boots may not be as responsive as hard boots like ski boots.

I have tried both sports and found snowboarding takes much less time to get to feel comfortable with the equipment.  When I was learning to ski, having two long planks on either foot felt awkward, and it took me a

Loveland Ski Area in Colorado has 1800 acres of terrain for both skiers and snowboarders.  Visitors are directed to take caution in slow zones and learning areas to avoid accidents.

Loveland Ski Area in Colorado has 1800 acres of terrain for both skiers and snowboarders. Visitors are directed to take caution in slow zones and learning areas to avoid accidents.

while to feel comfortable enough to take risks.  With snowboarding, I felt that I was able to get the basics quickly—within one afternoon as a matter of fact—and I was eager to try more difficult terrain.  Trying jumps on the board, I greatly overestimated my skill level in the sport.  It takes a little more time and practice to really get good at snowboarding, but it takes almost no time to feel comfortable.

At Alta Ski Resort in Utah, snowboarders are not allowed. This creates a safer environment for skiers to enjoy the mountain.  Younger skiers have a lower risk of injury on the main mountain at Alta without the presence of snowboarders

The reality is that mountains are safer without reckless recreational snowboarders. Younger skiers and their parents do not have to worry about injury or a bad experience at places like Alta.  Recognition of reckless snowboarding and skiing as a safer sport would lead to the creation of a safer snowsports world as a whole.

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Water World blasts Eltich’s water park away

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The infamous Thunder Bay wave pool is one of the most popular attractions at Water World.

As the temperature rises to create another blazing Colorado summer, people flock to pools around the state.

Although more expensive options, Water World and Elitch Gardens Water Park offer more than just a dip into a pool, though that is available as well. However, Water World trumps the water park at Elitch’s.

Water World contains more than 40 rides, with a recent installation of a roller coaster ride that provides the feel of not only a water park, but an amusement park as well.  Water World allows for its customers to bring their own food and drink, which helps the cost, unlike Elitch Gardens. Concession food may be yummy, but it is expensive for the average family.

Water World provides a more complete variety of activities. With two wave pools and a multitude of rides, Water World is perfect for people of all ages.

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Alpine Club climbs to Butler Gulch

On Saturday, April 11, Alpine Club endeavored up to Butler Gulch Basin located on the east side of Berthoud Pass. The club ventured through the deep snow and climbed up 12,150 feet.

Silje Hayes ‘15, Janeen Plomondon ‘15, Annika Reuter ‘15, Jevin Austin ‘15, Jacob Jones ‘16, Lizzie Marquez ‘16, Eli Marquez ‘16 and Wesley Donnell ‘17, as well as Mr. Guy Warren, Heritage math teacher and Alpine club sponsor, made the journey together.

“There was snow surrounding the mountain, so we were required to wear snowshoes, and it was physically draining trying to keep balance as it got steeper. The hike was tougher than normal because of the snow and the trail, but at the top of the mountain there was a beautiful view of the horizon around us,” says L. Marquez.

The club started the hike around 7am and it took five hours to complete.

“It was the first time some of us had gone snowshoeing and we fell down quite a bit, but it was definitely worth it. Mr. Warren taught us a basic avalanche test to see how stable the snow is. It was exhausting, but the weather and the mountains were beautiful,” says Plomondon.

Alpine Club climbed 12,150 feet to Butler Gulch. The hike too five hours long.

Alpine Club climbed 12,150 feet to Butler Gulch. The hike took five hours long.

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Life 101 closes out the year

Since the middle of February, a group of Heritage senior have been meeting in the Heritage Library every other Wednesday night to participate in a senior seminar called Life 101. Sponsored by counselor Mr. Brian Powers and Spanish teacher Mrs. Emily Libbey, the seminar has provided the attendees with an opportunity to close out their senior year by talking about difficult subjects and getting to know each other on a deeper, more personal level.

Silje Hayes ’15 and Mina Awtrey ’15 are two of the students who decided to participate in the seminar. Both went into the first meeting not knowing what to expect.

“I felt open to the new experience and I was curious about what the meeting was going to be about,” says Awtrey.

Hayes received a bit more direction before deciding to attend.

“Janeen Plomondon invited me to come, since she is one of the small group leaders. I was also recommended by Austin Merchant, who attended last year,” says Hayes.

Before Life 101 officially started, five seniors were selected by Powers and Libbey to be small group leaders for the seminar, including Tristan Syron, Ian Hargis, Jilliann Simms, Nathan Parry and Janeen Plomondon. Each leader was asked to prepare a speech for his or her assigned evening, covering topics from love to happiness to making amends.

Hayes and Awtrey were both most impacted by the topic of baggage.

“The discussion about baggage was the most relatable one for me. It’s not good to hold on to things past their prime. It’s like old food, you need to throw it away. You need to move past the people who hurt you,” says Awtrey.

Hayes took away a slightly different lesson from that evening, however.

“It definitely helped me to let go of some things that I had been holding on to, but I also learned that some things never entirely go away and that that’s okay,” she says.

Interested juniors can look forward to attending the seminar next February.

“Juniors should go next year so that they can get to know some classmates in a way they wouldn’t get to otherwise. It’s also a great way to relieve pre-graduation stress. It will become the highlight of your week,” says Hayes.

The final seminar for this year will happen on Wednesday, May 13 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the library.

This year, the Life 101 participants created a tradition of eating at Chic-fil-A after each meeting. Chic-fil-A staff members reported that this was the longest table they had ever seen at their location.

This year, the Life 101 participants created a tradition of eating at Chic-fil-A after each meeting. Chic-fil-A staff members reported that this was the longest table they had ever seen at their location.

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Dazzling audiences again

Not many people know that I’m actually a huge theatre kid. I’ve grown up performing in plays as well as watching professionals all around the country.  Luckily, one of my ultimate favorite musicals is coming back to Denver again to dazzle audiences at the Buell Theatre from June 3 to July 5.

“Wicked” the musical is based off of the book by Winnie Holzman

"Wicked" was performed at the Victoria Apollo Theatre throughout the year of 2014.

“Wicked” was performed at the Apollo Victoria Theatre throughout the year of 2014.

and the music score was written by Stephen Schwartz.

“Wicked is the story of how two girls – one born with emerald green skin – become friends in the land of Oz (long before that girl from Kansas arrives),” according to

I have seen this musical three times at the Buell Theatre and once in London at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Each time, I left blown away. From the moment people walk into the theatre, they see incredible stage props and glittering curtains, which excite the audience even more for what’s to come. When the curtains rise, the cast members perform amazing dances and sing to unbelievably written songs that are bound to get stuck in people’s heads.  The costumes and makeup are a step above excellent and really make audience members believe that they’re a part of the story.

Many people believe that this show is a version of “The Wizard of Oz” which is completely wrong. Although there are some of the same characters in “Wicked” as there are in “The Wizard of Oz,” this musical doesn’t tell of Dorothy and her dog. This show is a prequel of the well-known movie that appeared on screens in 1939.  It relays a different side of what has been thought about the Wicked Witch of the West and of her “enemy” Glinda. I highly recommend “Wicked” to people of every age.

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts will be hosting other musicals as well. “The Book of Mormon” will be performed from August 11 to September 13 at the Ellie and “Matilda the Musical” will be performed at the Buell Theatre from September 9 to September 20.  For more information on tickets, times and locations, go to

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