Students Talk About Struggling During Muscatine High School’s 2014-2015 Lunch Period

Amber Platt, a junior at M.H.S eating lunch in  the new wing with Allison Pierce, also a junior.
Amber Platt, a junior at M.H.S eating lunch in the new wing with Allison Pierce, also a junior.

By: Ty Arnette

Students at Muscatine High School, are trying to prepare a new year with a lunch period that is pretty chaotic. During the 2014-2015 school year, students at lunch time are released for lunch at 11:53. But all students are released at the same time. Most students are ready to sit and eat instead of dodging a crowd and fighting for the last piece of pizza. With the time and choices of food changing, students have had to adapt to something new every year with a different change.

“It gets really crowded in lines for lunch and in places to sit and eat,” said Allison Pierce, a junior at M.H.S. both her and Branden Connell agree that lunch time is not a place for a lot of room. “Even though there is new areas there still isn’t a lot of room to eat with all the students,” Connell exclaims. During the time for lunch there is almost 1300 kids in lines and at register to get food or either paying for food. Then with that many kids separated around the building to find a place to eat, the selected areas are crammed full and you have to scavenge for a seat. But Mr. Slattery an art teacher at the high school said, “ Hasn’t been a problem. I actually get my lunch faster because I don’t have to go all the way down to the lunch room.” With the new changes in the school selected areas serve food instead of just the cafe like in the past.

“I don’t think its a very good idea or rule,” Tierney Colschen, a sophomore at the Muscatine high school, said about the new rule of not being able to leave unless you have an excused 4th or 5th period. Before the new school schedule students in 10th grade through 12th grade were able to leave for lunch. Only new freshmen were not allowed to leave for lunch. now with the new schedule enforced you must have a 4th period, before lunch, or 5th period after lunch cleared to be able to leave. “it would solve alot of crowding issues from the upperclassmen who have cars and can drive to lunch and leave,” Branden Connell, a senior at M.H.S, states that since upperclassmen usually drive back and forth to school it would be easier to solve a crowding issue because they would be able to leave during the lunch period. Without being able to leave seniors and some juniors are stuck here eating instead of going out to eat like previous years.

Many students are frustrated with the new changes as it seems the school changes periodically. Most students get used to one change and then things change again. Was it such a good idea for the new and upcoming changes? Could the school have changed things more differently? With new changes to come, and a whole year left, well continue to see how students adapt to M.H.S.

When One Girl Falls The Rest Stand For Her


By: Anna Masengarb

As the Miss America contestants were waiting anxiously to hear who had won the preliminary awards on Tuesday night, Ivy DePew, Miss Rhode Island, got overheated and fainted onstage.

The Boardwalk Hall went silent when the host, Dena Blizzard- a former Miss New Jersey and stand up comedian- informed the audience that she was suffering from a heat stroke.

The contestants, although there were in a competition against each other, did not worry about who had won which award. Instead they ran to form a circle around and prayed for her safety.

As paramedics took her away the contestants followed in a circle around her to make sure they were still shielding the audience and judges from their view. “It is amazing to see the contestants put aside the competition and to care about her safety and to make sure that the judges and others don’t get to see her at this moment. I know that she will push through this and be ready for tomorrow’s competition,” said Grace Romanello, Miss Rhode Island’s Outstanding Teen.

Winners of Preliminary Night One

The preliminary swimsuit winner and recipient of a $1,000 scholarship was Miss Florida, Victoria Cowen.

The preliminary talent winner and recipient of a $2,000 scholarship went to Miss Ohio, Mackenzie Bart.

Bart did an entertaining ventriloquist act to the song “Supercalifrag-ilisticexpialidocious” with a platinum blonde puppet that craved for the spotlight. This is the only ventriloquist act scheduled this year on the Miss America stage, making it even more interesting.

Winners of Preliminary Night Two

This night the Mu Group competed in Swimsuit and Evening Gown, where the preliminary swimsuit scholarship winner was Miss Oklahoma, Alex Eppler.

She also received $1,000 to the college of her choice.

Miss Kentucky, Ramsey Carpenter, won the talent scholarship of $2,000 to the college of her choice with her fiddle performance.

Preliminary Night Three

Thursday’s preliminary competition fell on the anniversary of 9/11, which led to many tributes to those who lost loved ones, as well as the lives of those who were lost.

The show went on though and resulted in two more preliminary winners. The first being Miss Maryland, Jade Kenny, who won the swimsuit preliminary and the second was Miss Pennsylvania, Amanda Smith who won the talent by singing “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from the hit musical “Phantom of the Opera”.

Semi-Finalists on Finals Night

Miss Idaho, Sierra Sanderson, won the America’s Choice Award granting her a spot in the Top 15 and gave her a chance to compete on national television. She became an inspiration to those in the diabetes community for rocking her insulin pump on stage.

Miss North Dakota, Jacky Arness, was voted in by the judges as an extra they wanted to see continue and ended up placing in the Top 15.

Miss Texas, Monique Evans, placed in the Top 15. She was focused on spreading the word about Heart Disease and reached millions across the nation.

Miss Connecticut, Acacia Courtney, hopes to address the obesity issue in the world with her platform, The Monday Campaigns: A Guide to A Healthier World. She made it into the Top 15.

Miss Kentucky, Ramsey Carpenter, won a preliminary talent award on the second night of competition. Her story of the struggles she has overcome from being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis was an inspiration to others. She ended up placing in the Top 12.

Miss Iowa, Aly Olson, with the platform of Do One Thing: Diversity Everyday, made it all the way to the Top 12.

Miss Oklahoma, Alex Eppler, who won a preliminary swimsuit, made it to the Top 10.

Miss Mississippi, Jasmine Murray, was a crowd favorite. This former American Idol contestant sang her way into the crowd’s hearts and all the way to Top 10.

Miss Tennessee, Hayley Lewis, spread the awareness and her personal story with her platform, Children’s Miracle Network, which is also the national platform as well. She landed in the Top 10.

Miss Alabama, Caitlin Brunell, a former Miss America’s Outstanding Teen and a daughter of an NFL pro, placed in the Top 10.

Miss Ohio, Mackenzie Bart, won preliminary talent on the first night doing a ventriloquist act and landed in the Top 10 as well.

Miss Massachusetts, Lauren Kuhn, who is two years away from being a dentist, proudly represented her state all the way to become 4th Runner Up.

Miss Florida, Victoria Cowen, shared her platform of making good decisions and ended up being 3rd Runner Up. She also won a preliminary swimsuit award.

Miss Arkansas, Ashton Campbell, grew up in a town of 75 people, but that did not stop her from chasing her dreams. She ended up being the 2nd Runner Up.

Miss Virginia, Courtney Paige Garrett, searched to make a difference for those with disabilities because her brother has cerebral palsy. She was 1st Runner Up to Miss America.

There She Is

There must be something in the water in New York, because this was a three-peat.

Kira Kazantsev, Miss New York, took the crown back to New York for the third time in a row.

Kazantsev, a 23-year-old, whose platform is domestic abuse and as a personal story to tie with that, talked about sexual assault in the military for her onstage question portion.

For talent she sang to Pharell’s song, “Happy” and tapped a red plastic cup. This talent warmed the hearts of the audience and everyone agreed that the cute little laugh at the end sealed the deal for her.

“It is such a huge honor to bring back this title to New York for the third time. I am so thankful to be standing here representing the Miss America class of 2015. I can not wait to spread my personal platform and the national platform, Children’s Miracle Network, as well as STEM education,” said Kira Kazantsev, your new Miss America.

MHS Siblings Experience Going to School Together

Kelsey and Kobe Vasquez catch up in between classes at MHS.
Kelsey and Kobe Vasquez catch up in between classes at MHS.

By Lizzie Utley

When the school year started this year, some students did not enter MHS alone. This year there are many siblings that are going to school together. Some siblings love having their brother/sister here and wished they could have always gone to school together. But some other siblings had some other ideas.

“Having Kate (Custis) here at school with me is very convenient,” said freshman Meghan Custis. “She gives me rides to school and we are in Student Council together.” Kate and Meghan are very close sisters. Meghan does not want Kate to go to college because she will miss her too much. How does Kate feel? “I find Meghan very helpful to have at school because she always carries food with her,” said senior Kate Custis. So Kate finds some other benefits of having her sister at school with her. Even though they do not get along 24/7, Kate said that she will miss Meghan when she goes to college and said that Meghan should get her permit soon and to make sure that their mother, Laura Custis, will let Meghan drive to see her at school. People envy Meghan and Kate’s relationship and how well they get along. Their bond is something that everyone wishes they could have with their sibling.

“I always see Kelsey (Vasquez) during passing time and sometimes during lunch,” said freshman Kobe Vasquez. Kelsey and Kobe Vasquez are the best brother and sister duo around. They are both taking AP Human Geography, but they are not in the class at the same time with each other. “A perk of taking the same class as Kobe is that we can do our homework together and we help each other when we need help,” said junior Kelsey Vasquez. This is their first year at MHS together and they love having each other around. Kobe and Kelsey are the nicest brother and sister pair you could meet. They are always so kind and respectful to each other and anyone they meet, if only everyone could be like them.

Not all siblings enjoy each other’s presence at school though. “I don’t find my sister (Lizzie Utley) very helpful or convenient to have at school. I drive myself to school and I don’t need her help with my homework,” said freshman Miles Utley. Miles and I participate in Student Council and FCA together. Even though I love seeing Miles around school, he does not feel the same way. “I really only like it when she takes me out of art to interview me,” said Miles. I find Miles very convenient to have at school in case I need money or if I forgot something at home, he can bring it because I am usually at school before he is. Even if I don’t always tell him, I really appreciate Miles and everything he does for me. I hope he feels the same way about me.

So siblings’ love can vary from one to another, but in the end, family comes first. Everyone needs to remember how blessed they are to have their sibling because one day they might not be there anymore.