ASL class returns

By Hadley Quigg, staff writer

The ASL, American Sign Language, class at Lassiter High School was in danger of being removed last year. Lassiter’s D/HH, or Deaf and Hard of Hearing department, did not have enough money to fund the ASL class. Lily Herman, an ASL student, played a key role in getting The ASL allotment back. Lily explained, “I researched and saw that most other schools funded their ASL classes through the foreign language departments, while ours was through the D/HH…I went and petitioned to get the allotment reinstated as foreign language.” Lily rallied hundreds of people to sign the petition, and her efforts were rewarded.

The ASL class was given a foreign language allotment and students continue to learn about deaf culture and sign language. The ASL class brings lots of opportunities to people who learn the language such as jobs, different forms of communication, and access to a new culture. The ASL class grants many benefits in multiple career areas.

Knowing ASL looks great on resumes and applications for any job and opens career pathways that otherwise would have been closed. ASL helps nurses, doctors, social workers, and therapists communicate with their patients and customers. A person who learns ASL could be an interpreter for schools, politicians, the justice system, doctors, etc. Some bands even utilize ASL interpreters at their concerts.

Another benefit of ASL is it also introduces students to the deaf community. The deaf culture is a very proud culture. They celebrate their own celebrities, use slang, and organize national, state, and local meetings, and learning ASL grants people access to that culture.

The fact that Lassiter has gotten its ASL class back for the 2019-2020 school year means a wonderful opportunity exists for students to learn a new language and culture. Students will benefit from the exposure to the deaf community and learn the difference between English and ASL.

GreenWise Shopping Center

By Juliana Malfitano, staff writer

East Cobb is expecting some new additions to the business scene. A shopping plaza is being built on Sandy Plains where Mountain View Elementary School previously stood anchored around the small supermarket chain, GreenWise. GreenWise is an all natural, organic brand offered by and created by Publix. Publix is now testing GreenWise as an entirely natural supermarket concept on its own.

Many businesses have already signed on to the project including, Diesel Barber Shop, a barber shop based out of Texas, and Hollywood Feed, a boutique pet food store. Additionally, four restaurants will be opening in this shopping center: Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, Mod Pizza, First Watch, a breakfast and lunch eatery, and Bad Daddy Burger Bar.

Construction on the shopping plaza recently began, so hopefully this new development will be ready for the public in early 2020.

Lassiter chorus sings at SunTrust Park

By Audrey Smiles, staff writer

On September third, Lassiter Chorus sang the National Anthem for a crowd of over two thousand people. However, what made this performance special was Lassiter Chorus would be singing two anthems at the game for the first time.

The Atlanta Braves were playing the Toronto Blue Jays, so our chorus was given the honor of singing both the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “O’ Canada” in order to pay tribute to both teams. This game was also special because the Atlanta Braves were admitting Hurricane Dorian evacuees for free to the game to help make leaving home a little easier to bear.

Chorus students were also able to watch the game after singing and enjoy the Brave’s victory against the Blue Jays. Listed below are the links to the Lassiter Chorus Instagram and Facebook accounts so you can view the pictures and hear our talented chorus at the game.



Fires in the Amazon: Everything you need to know

By Nyra Pasha, News editor

Recent news has amplified the horrifying fires occurring in the Amazon rainforest. Brazil has had 40,341 fires, the highest number since 2010, according to the country’s National Institute of Space Research Agency. Many assume that these fires are the result of climate change; however, this is not the case. This summer, Brazil has seen an increase in man made fires that are set by farmers in order to clear the land for a new growing season.

Climate change can make the fires worse by making the fire burn hotter and spread faster. As a result, over sixty percent of trees are dying after every fire. The Amazon rainforest holds 100 billion tons of the world’s
carbon in its millions of trees. If these fires continue to rage on, the once bountiful rainforest could transform into a dry savanna, which could contribute to an extreme reduction in Earth’s oxygen levels. Another effect would be a great output of carbon dioxide into the air since savannas are unable to maintain vast quantities of the gas.

Scientists have declared that the Amazon could face severe deforestation
that will not be reversible. The Amazon rainforest fires have garnered a great amount of attention and global response. Thousands have shared posts about the devastating fires on social media like Twitter and Instagram. Pictures of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s capital, covered in smog with a black sky have circulated through the internet causing great concern.

Many celebrities have also spread awareness on social media. Most significantly, Leonardo DiCaprio pledged to donate 5 million dollars to help aid relief efforts in the rainforest. Brazil’s president Bolsonaro originally rejected 20 million dollars in foreign aid through the G7 aid program, but has since reversed his decision and is now accepting the money.

Year of the substitute teacher

By Sarah Patterson, staff writer

It is hard not to notice; it seems wherever you go, you see a new face. More substitute teachers than usual have been filling our normal teachers’ spots this year, all around school. Teachers are out for various reasons: from sickness to maternity leave, the latter of which seems to be quite popular this year. In fact, students can expect even more of these subs in the future, with several teachers needing gaps filled in the coming months. 

One such substitute is Mr. Guzman, who has been subbing for Mrs. Schneider while she has been out on maternity leave since the first day of school. He has been teaching both Algebra 2 and AP Statistics in her absence. Mr. Guzman has also been volunteering with the marching band, and he says he will be subbing until November 8th

Mrs. Voloce, another long-term substitute, has been subbing for Señora Rainey and plans to stay for some time. Mrs. House, Mrs. Etter, and Mrs. Clark have also been subbed, though Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Etter have recently come back from their maternity leave. 

Of course, when it comes to substitutes, there is always a little bit of uncertainty, so make sure to treat substitutes with respect! Whether long-term or just one-day subs, it is always worth it to make them feel welcomed.

Student Pep Rally Committee

 By Emily Swindell, staff writer

The first pep rally of the 2019-2020 year was unlike any of the past. Instead of a teacher planned pep rally, it was planned by our very own Lassiter students. The student pep rally committee is made up of ten students: five juniors and five seniors. The idea was first developed by Mrs. Wilson, the faculty head of the committee. She originally had the idea to take the brunt of the work load off of her, and to bring in student ideas instead of ones made up by teachers.

The students were selected by her after each student submitted an application and teacher recommendations. In regular meetings, students present ideas, vote on them, and are then assigned different jobs. For example, some students will plan the playlist, while others plan the class game. Junior committee member Rom Or stated, “It allows the students to share their ideas and apply them to the pep rally.” It was exciting to see our student body in red, white, blue, and black for our patriotic theme instead of our usual class colors. We are excited to see what is in store for the upcoming pep rallies, and what fresh new ideas our peers have for us!

SAT adversity score removed after backlash

By Natalia Bass, Editorials editor

Recently, the College Board made plans to introduce an adversity score to measure individual students’ “disadvantage level.” This score on a scale of one to 100 is calculated through various factors including the neighborhood the student grew up in, whether or not they grew up with a single parent, and the average income of people in their neighborhood. With the recent college admissions scandals, the implementation of the Environmental Context Dashboard, which includes the adversity score, maintains the College Board’s SAT as a valued test option for colleges to base their admissions on. However, this move has caused quite the uproar from teachers and students alike.

A major disadvantage of the adversity score that has been noticed is that it causes major anxiety for test-takers who have been subjected to it. Because the College Board is reluctant to describe exactly how the score is calculated, students are unaware of the impact on their scores. Additionally, colleges already have the resources to analyze an applicant’s background and the context of their scores without having the College Board do it for them. This detracts the College Board from focusing on improving the SAT and minimizing score gaps. The score also only shows one number for the background of a student without providing detailed descriptions of their history, which individual colleges can look into if required.

Luckily for many anxious students, parents, and teachers, the adversity score was abandoned due to the backlash it received. Instead, the College Board will be launching a tool called Landscape, which will provide information for admissions offices like “…average neighborhood income and crime rates…,” however there will be no individual score. This leaves interpretation to admissions. Individual colleges will be able to use the information provided by the College Board to make their own decisions about the impact of the environment a student grew up in on their scores. This means the Landscape tool will likely have little to no impact on the scores of students because the College Board cannot use a number to define a student’s background.

Showing school spirit

By Anna Trevathan, staff writer

Football season has just started at Lassiter High school. From winning best students’ section on Fox 5 news, to holding enormous pep rallies several times per year, it is clear to see that Lassiter has evident school spirit. So, besides showing up to football games, how else do Lassiter students show their school spirit? I have taken this question to the halls of Lassiter to find out. 

Cassine Castillo answered, “I show my school spirit by buying the themed shirts and spirit wear at the beginning of the year. I also dress up for the themed days.”

Blake Moore said, “I go to the band and orchestra concerts to support my friends and listen to their music, all while supporting the school.”

Sara Schmiedeknecht: “I joined clubs, like art service and LOL, to get involved in the school. I think that getting involved is the best way to show pride in Lassiter.”

School spirit is important because it makes the high school experience, overall, more enjoyable for everyone. If all the students at Lassiter High School show love for their school, every student will know that they are a part of something bigger than themselves, giving the student population more hope and more love towards one another.

The Dangers of Texting and Driving

By Morgan Arevalo- Guest Writer

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured daily in the United States due to distracted driving. 1 in every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting while driving. According to CBS news, 98 percent of drivers who own cellphones and text regularly said they were aware of the dangers, yet 75 percent of them admitted to texting while driving. These statistics are frightening, and they should serve as a wake up call. Most people develop this terrible habit by texting at red lights and/or at stop signs. As society becomes more and more technology based, people will continue to have access to almost everything at their fingertips, allowing them to misjudge how long it actually takes to send out a text or email. Just when texting while driving could not sound any worse, the group of people who are most likely to be affected by it are teens. According to Scholastic News, “Drivers age 25 and under are two to three times more likely than older drivers to send text messages or emails out while driving.” As a matter of fact, teen drivers have a 400% higher chance of being in a car crash while driving than adults. Ray Lahood, Secretary of U.S Transportation, says, “Young people think they are so invincible. They think that nothing can happen to them and we know the statistics don’t bear that out.” Currently 44 states have banned texting while driving, including Georgia, to try and stop this issue. However, texting while driving continues to be one of the leading causes of death, as it has been for years. How can we change this devastating statistic? Many studies indicate that the best way to prevent texting while driving is for the driver to put the phone out of his or her reach. It is also advised to block incoming calls and texts or to turn the phone off completely (or to place on silent if using for navigation purposes.) While all distractions from driving can be very dangerous, texting while driving has become the most life threatening.  Drivers are not only risking our own lives, but the lives of others if they don’t put their phones down while behind the wheel. The texts, the calls, the emails… they can wait.


Teacher of the Year

Luci Wilgus- Staff Writer

Lassiter high school is notorious for high value education and competitive students. Our school produces excellent students with the help of dedicated educators. Each year, one faculty member is honored and recognized for their hard work with the Teacher of the Year award.


Ms. Minich was nominated  for Teacher of the Year by  Ms. Etter. This was Ms. Etter’s nomination:

Our AP Capstone program consistently has 100% of the students who take the AP exam pass it, many earning 5s.  These teenagers are challenged by Mrs. Minich to choose relevant, challenging, and extremely important topics/problems to research.  After going through an intense research process and writing 50 page papers analyzing their data and results, they consolidate that research into an oral presentation that they have to defend to a group of Lassiter faculty. Having sat though a few of these presentations, I am so impressed by the immense amount of work the students put into these projects and how much knowledge I gain from them!  While these are the “cream of the crop,” they put in this quality work due to Mrs. Minich’s constant revision, inspiration, and encouragement.  Several of these students have had their research published, have earned scholarships based on their research, and have been accepted into prestigious Ivy league schools around the world. They could not have accomplished all of those amazing feats without Mrs. Minich; she is a wonderful educator who is truly making a difference in these students’ lives as well as impacting our society through their contributions.  Also, she has done quite a bit to help out “Team Phoebe” this year.  She’s very deserving of this honor.



Interview with Ms. Minich:

How did you feel when you learned that you were nominated?

 – I felt incredibly honored to be nominated alongside several fantastic teacher colleagues – we have some of the best teachers in Cobb County at Lassiter, and I feel fortunate just to work here!


What do you think makes you stand out as an exceptional teacher?

 – Well, especially with AP Capstone, teaching extends way beyond the classroom. In AP Research, we meet for coffee over the summer to begin topic selection, and we make it a priority to celebrate achievements outside of school, which I think helps create a strong bond between me and my students. Also, I’m not sure if this makes me exceptional, because I know a lot of teachers have this philosophy, but I try to be a positive part of every student’s day. Students bring so much into our classrooms that we’re unaware of (anxiety, problems outside of school, successes in extracurricular activities, relationship issues) – and I want students to leave my class feeling good about themselves and their contributions in class that day, as well as inspired by what they learned.


Who / What has contributed to your success as a teacher?

 – I come from a family of teachers and principals, so definitely my family. But in addition, my teacher friends, many of whom have been friends for close to two decades, have been so important. We lift each other up and constantly inspire each other to be better. Finally, it really helps to have a teacher husband to talk shop with at home. He gets it, and that’s invaluable.


What is your favorite part of being a teacher? 

Uh, the students – duh! 😉


What is the most stressful part of teaching? 

 – As teachers we have to wear a lot of hats; this creates a pretty large to-do list every day, which at times feels impossible. Teachers might be the most productive, time-efficient people out there because we have to be. Teaching English and AP requires lots of hours of work at home, and it can be tough to bust out the essays and the laptop after putting kids to bed at night, but the stress of the job is hands-down outweighed by the positive aspects; few jobs are as rewarding as this one.


If you could have any other job in the world, what would you choose to do?

– Professional cupcake-taster


Advice to future or new teachers?

 – Respect all students, don’t feel the pressure to be perfect (and laugh at yourself when you mess up), attempt to build relationships with all the students you teach, and above all – stick with it!


Congrats to Ms.Minich!