Archive for ‘Editorial’

May 13, 2014

A Day with Mayor Nutter

By Jeremy Estes, Class of 2014

Yesterday was quite a powerful experience.  I was one of the lucky candidates selected to sit down with the mayor and make my voice heard on George Washington’s need for funding. During Mayor Nutter’s visit, it was a very different atmosphere in school. As I entered the library, all eyes and ears were set on Mr. McKinney, our English Department Chair. He was at a table with Mayor Nutter and a few others as he pleaded why our school and our city need more resources to prevent the student body from suffering further from budget cuts.  I know Mr. McKinney as a humorous, goofy English teacher.  However, at that table, I saw a man on a mission.

Those few minutes listening to Mr. McKinney made me have a completely different perspective on this event. My thoughts of this went from performing an errand for the counselor to a ‘do or die’ moment for the future of our youth.  When Mayor Nutter asked which student would like to open up, the adrenaline running through my head made me volunteer. I wanted to make a statement. I shared how Mr. Bachmann’s last minute advice before my FULL SCHOLARSHIP interview at Drexel helped preserve my bright future and how that alone proves that with more than one counselor, we will have more success stories with our students. I also expressed my interest in an expanded My Learning Plan, and with more counselors to help implement it, I explained how it could drive at-risk students on the right path to develop a résumé for the future.

The other 15 or so students in the meeting had unique views that all made convincing cases for more staff.  Some spoke about the wandering students in the aide-less halls, or the absence of programs that would make students value going to school, some requested career academies to specialize in guiding questionable students. One thing is fair to say for all of these students: they should be proud for stepping up for our school and city. I feel it was a humbling time for Mayor Nutter himself, as he gave a group hug to us and promised his best efforts to fix this crisis.

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April 16, 2013

Jacob Tucker – slam dunk champ

By Ryan Smith, Class of 2014

I recently read an article about a college athlete named Jacob Tucker who rose to fame from his many YouTube videos.  He was a student at Illinois College, a small college with a little over 1,000 students.   At 5’10” being able to dunk is no easy feat.  He has recorded a 50” vertical leap.  He participated in the NCAA Slam Dunk Contest on Final Four weekend.  But because he doesn’t play against the larger name universities such as Kentucky, Ohio State, or even Butler, according to author Stuart Feil, “…his candidacy needed a push.”   His YouTube videos display his outstanding hops and Jacob doing windmill, 360, and even jumping over a teammate to dunk the ball through the hoop. His video has almost 5 million views and this catapulted him into the contest.   Jacob took home the slam dunk trophy and he is now a part of the Harlem Globetrotters.   This article is a display of how hard work can get you anywhere and you’re never too small to reach your dreams.  

This article caught my eye not only because it is about basketball, but because I myself have seen many people quit chasing their dreams because they were “too small” or “not good enough.”   This article is a display of how a young college athlete didn’t listen to all of the criticism regarding his lack of height and continued to work hard to be the best he could be.   A 50” vertical leap takes years of work to gain. That’s a lot of leg presses, calf raises, and working on your legs. This relates to our class because our teacher (Mrs. Kirby) constantly preaches that we can achieve our dreams with a little hard work and dedication. This applies to my life because I try to work as hard as I possibly can to be the best basketball player and the best person I can be.

April 16, 2013

What characteristics make a good teacher?

By Nodirbek Maksudov, Class of 2013  

Teachers must be teachable.  They must possess the ability to listen, share, respect others, laugh, cry, move on, teach and transfer information, ask for forgiveness, admit when they make a mistake, know that they are not perfect and do make mistakes, have patience beyond measure, see and set boundaries, possess empathy, disagree without being disagreeable, understand they cannot fix everything and everyone, and most importantly, think outside the box.

 It is important to teach children how to live their own lives by developing their own minds and equipping him or her how to deal with reality.  Children need to be taught how to think rather than what to think.  Teachers should encourage children to improve their minds and think for themselves.

(Thank you to Mrs. Carroll for inspiring this editorial via a journal assignment.)

April 13, 2012

Don’t talk with your mouth full – continued!

As promised last month, here is a link to more food articles written by our ESOL I students.  Enjoy!  ESOL

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December 22, 2011

The 90s are all that

By Katharine Rice, Class of 2012

We all remember the lines “Welcome to good burger, home of the good burger. Can I take your order?”  and “Who loves orange soda? Kel loves orange soda!”  These were our favorite quotes as children. Now, with Nick showing our favorite shows kids can share the joy of having them back.

The main audience watching these shows is us 90s kids. Having our favorite shows back, from Rugrats to The Amanda Show, is plain awesome. I now have the privilege of looking at my six year old sister, Emma, and saying, “Em, that’s what I watched when I was little.” My only complaint is that Emma and I cannot sit there and bond over the best cartoons out there. Why? The reason is because the majority of the shows air after midnight. I started to wonder if teens are staying up past midnight to catch these shows.

After a day of walking the halls of Washington, I have my answer. Many of us are indeed staying up into the early hours of the morning, and many of us are talking about the episode of Rugrats that aired the night before. I hear many kids starting conversations by asking, “Did you watch The Amanda Show last night?” Even more so, I see many Facebook statuses that say something along the lines of, I wish Nick would air these shows earlier in the day. The 90s Are All That and Nick is awesome, but it would be even better if it aired earlier in the day.

October 11, 2011

Students and classroom rules

By Samuel Vargas, Class of 2015

As soon as you step into any classroom, there are rules you have to respect.  However, at George Washington High School, those rules are often broken. From the people that sleep in class, to the use of phones and ipods during class, students break every single rule in the book.

For students, it is a dream come true, where students get to do anything they want when they are in class. I haven seen everything happening in this high school, and I just started here, but what I have seen  is off the scale. 

I have seen students sleeping in almost all of my classes; students listen to music at a very loud volume; students talk on their phones during class; students interrupt in the middle of the lesson; I can go on forever.  What really grinds my gears is that the teachers see the students breaking the rules, but all she/he say is “stop” or “put it down,” she/he is not actually doing anything about it to stop the behavior.   The students just keep doing the same thing. 

What I’m trying to say is that this high school needs someone to tell the students not to break the classroom rules or there will be consequences. When I was in Florida, schools had the same rules and the same disciplinary actions, but the students were scared of breaking the rules because they knew the consequences of breaking them.  In Florida,  you will not see students using a phone or an ipod, nor will you see anyone sleeping during class.  Here, students seem to have no fear of breaking the rules or getting punished for it, which apperantly never happens.

So what is George Washington High School going to do about this problem?

May 6, 2011

Teenage pregnancy

By Princess Kollie, Class of 2012

It takes a girl to get pregnant, but a woman to raise a child just like it takes a boy to form a child but a man to raise that child, and it takes both parents to give that child happiness.

The teenage pregnancy rate increases every year in the United States, and many teens think it’s cool to have a child during their teen years. Some of them believe having a child for their boyfriend at a young age means living the Cinderella Story of Happily Ever After.  What they fail to realized about being a teenage mom is that their life will never be the same again.  A child is a big responsibility.

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May 2, 2011

Technology and education

 Avramit Katsnelson, Class of 2012, was inspired to write this editorial after reading an article in the December  2010 issue of Philadelphia Magazine

In the past several decades, technology has advanced in a way few thought possible.  From Google and iPhones to texting and Facebook, there are a variety of resources at one’s disposal to find information, contact friends, and share ideas.  However, the question that has been arising more and more frequently is what effect this technology is having on the efficacy of education in this country.

There was a time when students did not have advanced calculators to aid them in solving problems and, thus, had to memorize tables of values ranging from the basic multiplication table to trigonometric functions.  There was also a time when students did not have the Internet to turn to when writing research papers: They actually had to sit down and look through large books to find the information they needed.  Although technology has been a tremendous help in making the education process less strenuous for students, I believe it has also enabled students to be lazy and has weakened their reading and writing skills.

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May 2, 2011

The experience of a lifetime

By Huschai Severe, Class of 2012

April 3rd to the 6th was an experience of a lifetime. The FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) members of George Washington High School had the luxury of attending a trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania.   At Hershey, members of the FBLA from all over Pennsylvania came together to compete in a series of events.  

The experience was truly life changing. I realized we live in a competitive society where three million people are dreaming, competing, and striving for the same things you are. Today, many adolescents believe that everything is going to come to them without any work being brought forth. We all have dreams to be rich, have big houses, and nice cars but have lazy mentalities. I have learned that if you don’t work, you will not make it to where you are trying to go. There is a saying that says, you reap what you sow, meaning whatever work you put forth to a task you will gain the consequences of your effort. It is time to develop a go hard or go home attitude. We need to strive for success. We need ambition, desire, and zeal if we are going to make it. Every time we begin to work hard we need to think about someone else that is working harder. 

We look forward to another wonderful year.    I hope you join FBLA in September and be part of this great event.

February 19, 2011

The love I find in journalism

By Princess Kollie, Class of 2012

To dream you’ve got to believe; to believe, you’ve got to be determined; to be determined, you will achieve your dreams. Hello my name is Princess Kollie. I’m from West Africa, Liberia, but my residence is in the United States with my mother and three siblings.  I’m a Junior at George Washington High School, class of 2012.

My dream is to become a Journalist because writing is something I find passion and freedom in because it gives me the opportunity and privilege to engage in Freedom of Speech and for my voice to be heard reaching out to teens around the world letting them know that it doesn’t matter what country you are from, what language you speak, what you wear, or what religion you are. 

If we can learn to accept criticism as a compliment, we will learn that life will not always be the way it was when we were a young child because as life moves on, changes become a force that we cannot not run from; we must adjust to life yet always believe in ourselves because if we don’t, nobody else will for everybody has a dream of their own. 

I was once asked by a college journalist why I wanted to become a journalist and I responded by saying my background is what has given me the courage and inspiration to seek and find Love through writing.  He said he would love to read an article on why I was so passionate about writing, so here I am pouring my heart out for the first time on how I found love through journalism.

I came to the United States in July of 2001, started school in the third grade in Bristol School District, but I didn’t know how to read.   I was also having difficulty with speaking because I had an accent which made the other kids laugh when I tried to speak in class or tried to read, so I became the silent girl never having the courage to speak up.  With the help of my teachers, I made progress with my reading and started to speak up more in class. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher because I like to help others and wanted to that just like my third grade teacher helped me. In the fourth grade, I joined the Reading Olympics Team at my school with the intention of making friends because I was tired of being alone.   My new friends captured my interest, but the stories in the books I read is what captured my heart and motivated me to stay on the Reading Olympics Team.  Little did I know that I would discover a talent  within me.

Sometimes I imagined myself as the characters in the books or even imagined myself as the authors who wrote the breath-taking stories. I felt proud of myself because beautiful stories were wrapped in rectangular size books, but sometimes I would rewrite the ending of a story putting it in my own point of view to my satisfaction because I disliked how some stories ended. By rewriting the ending of stories, I became interested in writing poetry so I started reading poems by famous poets to get ideas on how I could also be good at poetry.  I remember the first poem I wrote which was titled, “THIS IS ME.’’  It got the attention of many people because for a starter, I went in deep and emotional, telling the truth about who I am and what the world fails to see when they look at me. Compliments from family, friends and strangers kept me writing but, most importantly, my past is what inspired me to write because I am a story – a story that needs to come to light. I overcame the impossible and unthinkable, and I want to tell these stories through books and poems to send a message out to other teens and adults that one bad situation should not take over your life and to always believe in yourself because that is how you will get to your destination and fulfill your dreams.

I’ve turned all the criticism that I’ve received from people in the past into a journey turning those negative words into positive compliments.